Innocent Defendant Episode 6

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The great thing about this show is that each reveal opens up even more questions and deepens the mystery of what exactly happened on that night even further. Just as we think we are getting closer to the truth, we receive yet another piece of information that pushes us further away. The constant shift in chronology also helps keep things interesting given that we don’t always get the full context of what happens and often see events in isolation.

Take for example Jeong Woo’s confession to Jun Hyuk that he killed Ji Soo and Ha Yeon. IT seems so straightforward that I’m sure there’s more than meets the eye. What was the context of that confession? Why did he decide to do it? Was it just to give himself a peace of mind and end the torment and investigation into the death? I wouldn’t put it beyond Jeong Woo to ‘sacrifice’ himself so that Ji Soo and Ha Yeon can die or live in peace (since we don’t know whether Ha Yeon is alive or not). We see in this episode that he also confesses to Ji Soo’s mum that he killed her, even though he had no recollection of it. Or was he being threatened to confess or else Ha Yeon would die? Is Ha Yeon now being kept as hostage to be Cha Min Ho’s final trump card in the case that Jeong Woo does recover his memories? There are just so many possibilities and as much as I find the repeated amnesia too convenient a plot device, it is very meaningfully used to create suspense and intrigue about what actually happened.

The list of suspects keeps growing and we get two new characters thrown into the mix this episode. The first is Seok who serves as Min Ho’s right hand man, investigating what he needs and also doing his dirty work. He was involved in Detective Ko’s car crash and in the murder, but we’re not quite sure how. Given that he was dressed in black in this episode, is he the man in the video? However, it seems a little too straightforward and simplistic to have Min Ho ask Seok to kill Ji Soo, so I’m sure he’s not the murderer. Then, we have Seong Kyu – oh my Seong Kyu, I never knew you had it in you. His confession at the end was a real curve-ball and I never saw that coming. However, it comes so far afield that I’ll have to reserve judgement to see how this is played out, because I also don’t want the show to go down the route of ultimately pinning the blame on someone who’s completely peripheral to the main storyline. I am hoping that the murderer is someone within the mix of the existing characters, because I’d rather we deepen the existing network of characters we have and reveal new twists and turns to their relationships, rather than keep introducing new ones.

Beyond all the fascinating twists and turns, I’m really enjoying Ji Sung’s performance as Jeong Woo. He’s been consistently good throughout, portraying to perfection his confused, tormented yet determined state. I especially loved the moment of clarity and peace that was so evident in his face when he saw the video of his confession. There was even a subtle smile on his face, because he finally received confirmation about who killed his wife. As a character, Jeong Woo is also very well-written and we see how his morality and sense of righteousness go so deep that his focus in appealing is not really to prove his innocence, but to find out the truth for the sake of his wife and daughter. He’s perfectly willing to be punished by death if he really did murder his wife, but right now, he doesn’t even know if he did.

It’s unfortunate though that not all the other characters are as well-written as Jeong Woo and I’m starting to find most of them rather ‘thin’ and certainly deserving of more fleshing out. The most disappointing one currently is Min Ho, with most of his screen time spent planning his next move or covering up his mis-steps. I was really hoping he’d be built up as a more compelling villain in the likes of Yoo Jin from K2 or Moon Sik from Healer. These were good villains because they were evil and ruthless, but their motivations were clear and they also had a softer side with people in their lives that they cared for. Right now, I don’t even see Min Ho caring for Yoon Hee or Eun Soo genuinely. They seem to be used mainly as a means to carry on his farce of being Seon Ho. If Yoon Hee was his first love, then shouldn’t he show more affection towards her? Also, what was the trigger point for Min Ho exhibiting such violent tendencies? How did he get to this point?

Ultimately, I feel the show is suffering a from having way too many characters which helps to keep up the suspense regarding the murder, but also makes it more difficult to build them all up in a compelling manner. Nonetheless, it’s still early in the series and the show still has time to develop its characters more concretely. There’s still plenty to keep us engaged and thinking and the main question bugging me now as I wait for next week’s episodes is what does 16k refer to and why Jeong Woo thought it important enough to inscribe it.

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