Miss Hammurabi: Episode 10 recap

How does one really know if the career they have is really meant for them and is what they want to do? Oh-reum explores this question as she ponders over whether her position as a judge is the right choice for her or not. She wants to do so much more, but is also limited by the lack of power she has. Oh-reum is being put to the test and it’s this struggle that will be the most impactful decision she’ll have to make yet.
Miss Hammurabi: Episode 10 Recap

Episode 10 starts off with a happy Judge Jung who informs his besttt friend Ba-reun on what he did: he confessed to Do-yeon and asked her out on a date. The good mood continues throughout the day for Judge Jung who plans on getting some work done so he can leave early to get ready for the date.
Meanwhile, Oh-reum receives a phone call from the prosecutor’s office and is to testify for Presiding Judge Gam’s hearing the next morning.
Judge Jung has been too consumed with Do-yeon that he’s unaware of the situation with Presiding Judge Gam. He finally finds out that the presiding judge has been dismissed from the court district and arrested. Judge Jung later on visits Presiding Judge Bae to hand him a settlement document, but is given another assignment to do on the way out. Judge Jung is to mediate for another case that Presiding Judge Bae was originally responsible for but that he couldn’t do because he’s too agitated and frustrated at the moment.

Mediating the case shouldn’t take too long right? But the two teams argue a lot longer than expected, irritating Judge Jung who only has 40 minutes left until his date with Do-yeon. He hands them some cash before leaving to help them mediate and then drives over to the restaurant where he’s meeting Do-yeon. But of course, there’s traffic and Judge Jung even gets into a small car accident along the way and all the roads are blocked. The clock hits 7PM and he’s late for his first date with Do-yeon.
Do-yeon arrives at the restaurant first and waits patiently for Judge Jung. As if things couldn’t get any worse, Judge Jung’s car dies so he has to get his car charged before he can leave for the restaurant. But he decides that running would probably get him there quicker and so he runs and he runs and he bumps into people along the way and almost gets run over by a car but it’s okay because he finally makes it to the restaurant. Judge Jung stumbles and barely makes it inside the restaurant, but nothing matters because he’s finally with Do-yeon.

He apologizes for being late and confesses his love for Do-yeon on a bigger scale. It doesn’t matter if she’s dating an older man or if she works at a bar to earn some extra cash, he still likes her. Do-yeon is angry and upset at his remarks and slaps him before walking away. He went through all that for nothing. Sometimes it’s just better to say nothing at all, Judge Jung.
Oh-reum meets with a prosecutor to testify about Presiding Judge Gam. It seems like the prosecutor already has an agenda: she’s set on making Oh-reum the victim and Presiding Judge Gam the antagonist. But Oh-reum makes herself clear that Presiding Judge Gam didn’t ask her to do anything other than to carefully review all documents about the case related to the cosmetics company. Plus, Oh-reum reported Presiding Judge Gam not for her own self-interests like many others think, but for the betterment of the court district. Hmm, you go girl!
Ba-reun paces back and forth anxiously in his office while waiting for Oh-reum’s return. He checks in on her and asks how the meeting went. She gives him a small summary of the meeting before heading to Chief Presiding Judge’s office to meet with him.

Chief Presiding Judge warns Oh-reum about the prosecutor taking on Presiding Judge Gam’s case. She’s known to be ambitious and cold so Oh-reum needs to be careful around the prosecutor. Oh-reum defends herself and explains that she only reported Presiding Judge Gam because it was just and it was the right thing to do. However, Chief Presiding Judge comments that no such thing exists in the world. Oh-reum should be careful with her words and actions or else.
Ba-reun and Oh-reum have a small talk outside in the courtyard. The prosecutor will eventually move on to find the other judges that Presiding Judge Gam asked a favor from if they don’t manage to find anything on Oh-reum. Their talk is interrupted when the two gossip guys and their colleague tease Oh-reum and call her the name “fighter for justice.” Ba-reun is enraged and confronts the bully, but Oh-reum stops Ba-reun from doing any further damage and they both walk away. Ooh, don’t mess with Ba-reun!

The meetings with the same female prosecutor continues for Oh-reum, but nothing changes because Oh-reum doesn’t have anything more to say about Presiding Judge Gam.
Judge Kim from Civil Department 99 confronts Oh-reum in her office. Now the prosecutor is coming after Judge Hong. If Oh-reum had just let things slide and never mentioned anything about what Presiding Judge Gam did, none of this would have happened. Oh-reum goes to check up on Judge Hong.
Judge Hong doesn’t mind that she was called in by the prosecutor to testify. She reassures Oh-reum that what she did was the right thing. Speaking of Judge Hong, how has Presiding Judge Sung been treating her after the miscarriage incident and mistreatment that he got in trouble for? Luckily, he’s been too busy proposing and promoting this idea of a Commercial Court to his colleagues that he hasn’t had the time to pay her any attention. Phew, that’s good. Let’s keep it that way.

Chief Justice and Chief Presiding Judge watch the news report about Presiding Judge Gam. They’re not too happy with it. Chief Justice has a phone call with the Chief Prosecutor to discuss about the case.
Presiding Judge Han talks about the incident with another presiding judge who he’s close to. The presiding judge blames Oh-reum for what happened, but Presiding Judge Han gets defensive. If anything, he should be the one blamed since he was the one who reported Presiding Judge Gam to the Chief Presiding Judge. Presiding Judge Han gets angry and walks back to his office (“You didn’t even offer me a drink! I’m never visiting your office again!”).
Oh-reum and Ba-reun meet with Presiding Judge Han in his office. Instead of yelling at them and getting angry with them, he instead encourages them to not give up and to not worry about everything that’s been happening. It’s all just bad timing. Unlike he did before, Ba-reun compliments Presiding Judge Han this time for being so cool. Oh-reum agrees and adds that the back of Presiding Judge Han’s head looks really cool. LOL, I love this team.

The three judges take on another case. It’s related to the company that was involved with the sexual harassment case back in episode 3. If you recall, one of the witnesses named Kim Da-in ultimately testified in support of the intern and because of her story, the manager of the company was reprimanded. In the aftermath of the court case, the company’s reputation was greatly damaged and ruined so clients working with the company began to withdraw. This left the company with no choice but to remove some of their employees and Da-in happened to be one of them who got fired.
The defendant’s team claims that her dismissal was fair, but we learn that only she and the intern who filed the lawsuit against the manager in the sexual harassment case were the ones who got fired. Everyone else on their team simply got transferred over to another team. Even worse, the manager got rehired to work at a company subsidiary despite what happened. Oh-reum quickly becomes angry and heated having learned what happened after the sexual harassment case so Presiding Judge Han ends the court hearing for the day. He reminds her to maintain a distance from the cases.

Ba-reun informs Oh-reum on more updates regarding the aftermath of the sexual harassment case. They’re finally going to question Lawyer Go Doo-hwan who had represented the manager back during the case. The manager’s wife went ahead and sued him like she stated she would back during the court trial so the prosecution office is going to bring him in to question him.
As Oh-reum enters the prosecutor’s office to have another meeting about Presiding Judge Gam, she witnesses Lawyer Goo entering the prosecution office at the same time. Many reporters awaiting his arrival ask him questions, but he doesn’t respond.
A new prosecutor is assigned to the case about Presiding Judge Gam. The female prosecutor that Oh-reum had originally been working with on the case had been transferred to another department.

The court hearing for the dismissal of Da-in resumes. The defendant argues that she got dismissed for inappropriate conduct and lists a variety of reasons as to why she was dismissed. Da-in defends herself and brings to everyone’s attention how much the manager threatened her after the court case. He used his connections with others to get her fired.
Oh-reum is outraged at how unfair this is for Da-in. The manager should have been punished for his wrongdoings, but instead it’s her who suffered. Ba-reun tries to calm her down and reminds her to not reach any conclusions yet. At that moment, he receives an email from the Supreme Court informing everyone in the court district of Presiding Judge Sung’s achievement. He’s been promoted from a presiding judge to Seoul High Court.

Presiding Judge Sung receives an influx of congratulatory messages from many people, including his two associate judges. In a meeting with Judge Hong and his other associate judge, Presiding Judge Sung gives Judge Hong a friendly reminder to stay quiet or else she could get in trouble.
On his way to the Chief Presiding Judge’s office, Presiding Judge Sung encounters Presiding Judge Bae, Presiding Judge Kwon, and another presiding judge. They congratulate him on his promotion, but they figure that the glory won’t last for long.

While leaving work, Do-yeon stops to catch a look at Judge Jung’s damaged car. Judge Jung walks up from behind and apologizes to Do-yeon for the hurtful comments he made about her the other night. But she asserts that she’s not angry at him; she just wishes he was more thoughtful with his words. Because he’s so honest, direct, and transparent, he’s not that fun of a guy. Also, he should get his car fixed if he wants to impress girls at the bar. They wouldn’t like a broken car like his. OOOOH. Even I felt that.
Back in the office, Oh-reum reveals to Ba-reun his plans to save Da-in. She’s going to take revenge on the company for what they did to Da-in. She’ll spread the story via TV and social media and eventually everyone will know what really went down. But Ba-reun isn’t going to let her do that so easily – at least not as a judge. She asks why he’s so adamant on stopping her if he tries to act like a saint most of the times to help others. But unlike Oh-reum, it’s not so he can change the world and achieve justice. It’s so he remains grounded and doesn’t become greedy and corrupt like the rest of the world has become. Ahhhh, why are their arguments always so so intense and heated and scary? Please, let’s just get along T__T

Later on that night, Oh-reum grabs some drinks with Yong-jun. He understands how frustrating it must be for Oh-reum to want to change the world as a judge, but not have the power to do so. He, therefore, offers a suggestion: using Yong-jun’s power and money, they can both work together towards achieving justice and getting revenge. If Oh-reum accepts, she can do big things like make the company who defended and rehired the manager go bankrupt or publish articles about Presiding Judge Sung and his harsh acts towards Judge Hong. Yong-jun reveals that he’s ultimately doing this so Oh-reum will look favorably upon him and stay by his side forever. He makes a bold confession to Oh-reum and expresses his feelings for her (WTH! I kind of had a feeling he liked her, but now that he explicitly said it I’m so shook! Lol).
There’s nothing the three judges can do to save Da-in. She’s going to lose the court case. Oh-reum is clearly frustrated with the results and so desperately wants to do something about it, but she’s powerless. Ba-reun calms her down in the office and places both of his hands onto her shoulders to keep her grounded. She cries and reveals her honest feelings. Had she known how difficult and powerless a judge is, she wouldn’t have studied so hard to become one.

Yong-jun meets with Ba-reun that night to discuss about Oh-reum. He’s worried that being a judge and working in the court district isn’t right for her. Maybe she needs a change in career that would still allow her to achieve justice like how she wants. The only thing she lacks is the power to enact change, but all of that can change if she chooses to be with Yong-jun. Ba-reun understands the underlying message that Yong-jun is relaying and disapproves of his plan. Oh-reum would be limited even further if she was with Yong-jun and he wouldn’t want Oh-reum to feel that way.
Ba-reun that night has a deep conversation with his father on the meaning of life. What is the meaning to life anyways? Doesn’t his father get tired of talking to so many people and has he found the meaning to his life from doing so? Dad shares with Ba-reun a folktale to get his message across: no one really knows what the meaning to life is and it’s up to you to find out what that meaning is yourself.

At work the next day, Oh-reum and Ba-reun are teased by Presiding Judge Bae, Presiding Judge Kwon, and another presiding judge for their recent behaviors. They joke around that they should be careful with their words or else they might get in trouble too. Uncomfortable with their presence, the presiding judges walk away.
Ba-reun and Oh-reum are clearly hurt by the snappy remarks. While they reflect on what just happened, another presiding judge approaches the two judges and invite them for some coffee.
While having some coffee, the presiding judge shares with them her story as to why she became a judge and her experiences of being one. This prompts Oh-reum to then share her reason for becoming a judge: she wanted to protect herself from the scary and dangerous world. After witnessing her violent father abuse her mother and her father commit suicide because of his failed business, she was afraid of the world and became a judge so she could protect herself. But along the way, she resonated with the stories shared in each case and felt the need to advocate for them. She wanted to get revenge for these people. However, in the process, she also realized just how powerless she is at a judge and is uncertain as whether the position is really meant for her.

The presiding judge comforts Oh-reum with wise words, saying,

Have you heard of the term ‘wounded healer’? Because you have many wounds and scars, you will become a wonderful judge. You can understand and sympathize with others’ pain better than anyone else can.
Just give your heart a little bit of a break. Give yourself some time so that new, strong skin can grow on your wounds.

Oh-reum cries into the presiding judge’s arms while Ba-reun stands nearby without saying a word.

It’s the final day of the court hearing for Da-in’s case. Presiding Judge Han announces the final verdict and reveals that they’ll have to reject Da-in’s request. Although she already knew and was expecting it, the results are still a huge blow to Oh-reum. Later on that night, Da-in approaches Oh-reum and thanks her for all that she’s done for her. There needs to be more judges like her in the courtroom.
Oh-reum and Ba-reun drink some soju at her Aunt’s booth at the farmers market. Oh-reum shares that being a judge is hard and she’s not sure if she wants to continue being one. One of her Aunts suggests that she can always marry Yong-jun and live a comfortable life, but Ba-reun disagrees. Work would be too difficult without Oh-reum and plus, the court needs Oh-reum.

Our two judges head out to get some fresh air at a nearby river. Ba-reun encourages Oh-reum to still be a judge despite the iffy thoughts she has about her career. Like Da-in stated, the court needs her.
To feel better about the situation and to get these negative thoughts off their chest, Ba-reun suggests that they yell out curse words. He starts off first, shouting out into the world a few curse words. Oh-reum follows after and does a much better job at it (like she does with everything else). Foreigners watching from afar assume the two judges are swearing their love for each other. That must be why they’re yelling while standing together on the popular proposal spot that other couples use to make proposals. AHHHH.

The foreigners know what they’re talking about! Ba-reun and Oh-reum are startled by the sudden heart that appears at the bottom of their feet and the waterworks shooting in the river nearby. Couples waiting for the popular proposal spot rushes the two judges to hurry up.
Ba-reun and Oh-reum finally realize what’s happening and can only giggle and smile in response. When not looking at each other lovingly in the eyes, the two judges timidly avert their eyes elsewhere with a smile on their faces.
Ba-reun and Oh-reum might not exchange any words of love and affection while standing in the popular proposal spot, but their actions and body language says otherwise.
My Thoughts:

Oh my goodness, that last scene had me smiling like a fool! It was so so sweet, adorable, and cute and yet again is another scene between our two leads that showcases the beauty and complexity in their relationship. They can go from having intense and heated debates in their office at work to drinking some soju together and yelling out curse words in a popular proposal spot for couples. There’s really no in between for the relationship of our two leads, but I think that’s what makes their love and support for each other so beautiful.
There were multiple scenes in this episode that really highlighted Oh-reum and Ba-reun’s relationship development, but the one other scene that automatically stood out to me (other than the ending scene) was when Ba-reun comforted Oh-reum by placing his hands on her shoulder. To me, it was not only a form of comfort and consolation to a confused and frustrated Oh-reum who so desperately wants to change the world with the little power she has a judge, but it was also a source of acknowledgement by Ba-reun that he understood her pain and her struggles.

If I recall correctly, it was one of the first times neither of them had initiated any physical contact with each other which is why it might have thrown Oh-reum off at first, but also why she eventually allowed herself to be so vulnerable in front of him. She let everything go once he showed her that he cared and she cried out her honest feelings to him in that moment. Ba-reun has continued to remain the respectful, caring, and kind colleague that he’s always been to Oh-reum and respects her enough to let her decide what is best for her. She’s a little confused right now so he offers her his personal opinions and any other forms of self-care that they can practice together, but he’s ultimately aware of how strong Oh-reum is and that he doesn’t need to push his boundaries as a colleague to make any decisions for her. He recognizes that even though Oh-reum’s struggling right now, she will be able to overcome the pain and frustration she’s feeling. She’s done it her entire life and she can do it this time too.

I’m loving the relationship development between our two leads, but I’m also just as intrigued with Yong-jun’s confession to Oh-reum (I felt so guilty sharing this because I love our two leads together so much). He has the one thing that Oh-reum wants and seeks and she can easily have access to it if she chooses to be with Yong-jun. Maybe that’s the one thing that Ba-reun can’t offer Oh-reum as compared to Yong-jun and Yong-jun is aware of this. He might use it in the future against Ba-reun in order to gain Oh-reum’s trust and feelings, but I doubt that Oh-reum will leave her career as a judge for something else just to gain power. Having power will allow Oh-reum to achieve the justice that she envisions for the world, but knowing how stubborn and strong-headed Oh-reum is, she’s going to make sure she gains that power through her position as a judge. There’s no other way for her.

I appreciate that although this drama can be formulaic and procedural, it still also manages to be very touching, heart-warming, and light. Dramas that are procedural – whether it’s a law drama as if in this one or one about law enforcement – can get dry and boring pretty quickly because it follows the same routine each episode. This drama is different though because it goes past beyond just focusing on the cases. Instead, the drama uses the different court cases to bring forth the theme and message for each episode and in the process, also provides us context and growth for our characters. The drama isn’t so occupied on solving the court cases as some other dramas are, but instead focuses on how our judges react to each court case and the struggles and victories that they face along the way.
The court case with Da-in in this episode was especially beautiful and one that I loved because it was a good wake-up call for everyone, especially Oh-reum. There is only so much she can do as a judge and sometimes things don’t always work out for the better. Oh-reum suffered another loss again as she did in the case with Protesting Mother and as odd and bad as this sounds, I enjoyed witnessing this to an extent. It was realistic, it was relatable, and it was honestly brutal. Oh-reum have had plenty of wins in this drama regarding court cases and whatnot which is always great, but it was just as refreshing to see her struggle because of a loss. Because honestly, people struggle in life just as much as they succeed and it’s not so much about the struggle itself but how you overcome it that is most important. This episode did a wonderful job in showcasing the flip side of things through Oh-reum and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how she fights back.

Also, these are some really random notes and a little late considering that this is the recap for episode 10, but this drama is so so beautiful and easy to watch. I really like the bright and light colors, the filming, the cinematography, the music (OMG ESPECIALLY THE MUSIC), the cast members, and so much more. The plot and characters make the drama already great as it is, but combine this with the cinematography and filming and it makes the drama ten times better. Also, I just noticed a few recaps ago that this is the third drama that Go Ara has filmed with Sung Dong-il (if I remember correctly). They first acted together as son and daughter in Reply 1994, then they met again in Hwarang, and then now they’re acting as judges in Miss Hammurabi. I just found it so funny and amusing that both actors have worked with each other on a variety of dramas the last few years. I’m curious as to how this happened and if the two will act in any future projects together.

The drama continues to remain effortless to watch and brings us many great learning lessons and themes which other dramas rarely attempt to do. It’s for this reason and so many more that ‘Miss Hammurabi’ remains enjoyable and stands out. 10 episodes in and it is still the same drama that it started off as: eye-opening, light, warm, and powerful.

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