Never forget that perjury is the name of this game, and that means we’re sifting the lies from the truth as much as our intrepid courtroom team. But having reached the halfway point with this episode, it’s time for some of those spinning plates in the air to come down… and bring a few unexpected revelations with them.
As the newest turn of events shakes Seo-yeon’s resolve, she has to ask herself whether the truth is worth the price. But as the dots begin to connect, is there a bigger, more menacing picture that they have yet to see?
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Seo-yeon asks Dong-hyun to confirm Woo-hyuk’s claim that they were together at the time of So-woo’s death. Dong-hyun glances at his fellow minion Sung-min before revealing that he wasn’t with them. “Choi Woo-hyuk is lying. His alibi is entirely fake!” he yells, adding that Woo-hyuk made them say they were together.
Woo-hyuk leaps up and yells that they were together, but Dong-hyun argues back that they weren’t. Woo-hyuk makes a rush at Dong-hyun, and the defense team leap in to restrain him. Dong-hyun flees in the chaos, while judge Min-seok tries futilely to restore order, finally calling a recess.
Woo-hyuk storms into an empty classroom, followed by his defense team. He tears into Ji-hoon for letting everything fall apart when he’d promised to vindicate him. Speaking firmly, Ji-hoon tells him to wait until he finishes the cross-examination, but Woo-hyuk leaves with a snarl.
The defense team return to their makeshift courtroom without Woo-hyuk. Dong-hyun also hasn’t returned, but judge Min-seok orders Seo-yeon to continue. She tells the audience that Dong-hyun’s testimony that Woo-hyuk made him lie shows that he was up to no good at the time of the incident. She adds that they also have an eyewitness whose testimony places Woo-hyuk at the scene.
Ji-hoon interjects with a question for the prosecution, and asks Seo-yeon her biggest reason for putting Woo-hyuk on trial. “The letter of accusation,” she replies. On his request, she reads it out, until she reaches the part that names the perpetrators as Choi Woo-hyuk, Lee Sung-min… and Kim Dong-hyun.
She comes to a stop as she realizes what it means. Ji-hoon explains to the audience that if the prosecution accepts Dong-hyun’s testimony as true, then the account in the accusation letter (that the three of them pushed So-woo from the roof) must be false, since they can’t both be true at the same time.
Ji-hoon asks Seo-yeon where she thinks Dong-hyun was that night. Seo-yeon looks toward Joo-ri, hiding among the audience. After a tense pause, Seo-yeon says Ji-hoon is trying to cross-examine the prosecutor, so she won’t answer.
In a shock move, she then retracts Dong-hyun’s testimony and the entire case against Woo-hyuk’s alibi. That makes Joo-ri leave with a scowl. The other spectators file out soon after, buzzing with excitement, while in the hall, the club kids tidy up in silence.
Back in the clubroom, the girls discuss their doubts about Dong-hyun and Joo-ri’s respective testimonies. Soo-hee and Yoo-jin both admit that they don’t trust Joo-ri, but are following Seo-yeon’s lead. Soo-hee asks probingly if Seo-yeon really believes her.
Min-seok pops in to schedule the next hearing, but Soo-hee bites his head off, since they’re still recovering from the drubbing they got in this one. When the door opens again, Soo-hee snaps angrily, thinking it’s one of the boys, but then her eyes widen.
It’s Joo-ri. Unpleasant as ever, she hands over a piece of paper which she says is a full account of what Cho-rong told her. She says she’ll testify if they keep her involvement secret, and if they make sure she never has to face Woo-hyuk. Lastly, she tells Seo-yeon to trust her, even if she has a bad feeling.
Joo-ri flies into a rage when Seo-yeon points out that they have grounds for reasonable doubt regarding the letter of accusation’s veracity. Seo-yeon says that although she withdrew Dong-hyun’s statement from the trial, she’s certain everyone realized that the accusation letter was wrong. Joo-ri counters that Cho-rong might have mistaken who exactly was with Woo-hyuk and just assumed it was those two.
Soo-hee rolls her eyes in disbelief, and Seo-yeon agrees that Joo-ri should have verified it before naming them. She then asks if it was really Cho-rong who saw the incident, not her. “Lee Joo-ri, if I’m to trust you, you have to trust me,” Seo-yeon says. Joo-ri explodes, screaming that yes, fine, it was her.
She bitterly asks what right Seo-yeon has to be prosecutor when she can’t believe Joo-ri’s words. Soo-hee snaps that she lied, and Joo-ri screams back that of course, everything she says is a lie. Seizing her new statement, she rips it into pieces and tears out. Seo-yeon runs after her, but loses her. Turning back, she runs into Joon-young.
Elsewhere, Woo-hyuk’s dad gets the news of his son’s involvement in the trial, and he orders his driver to take him to the school immediately. At school, the principal reproaches Kyung-moon for not preventing his son from taking part in the proceedings. But he’s glad that they discredited the letter of accusation, although Kyung-moon points out that the school violence committee is now under fire. He tells the principal to take care of it.
Joon-young brings Seo-yeon a hot drink and asks her what happened with Joo-ri. “It wasn’t a fight… I was rebuked,” Seo-yeon replies. She asks him to lend her an ear for just five minutes, “Not as the defense counsel, but just as my friend Bae Joon-young.”
She confesses that she didn’t believe the letter of accusation from the start, since it had too many irregularities. She also acknowledges that as the prosecution, she knew she had her work cut out in looking for something even the police couldn’t find. Surprised, Joon-young asks why she’s fighting a losing case.
“Because we have to discover the truth,” Seo-yeon replies. She explains that regardless of the letter’s truth, she thought she could prevent So-woo’s case being swept under the rug and figure out what really happened if she could get everyone to talk. But now, she worries that she’s not qualified to be a prosecutor if she can’t believe in her own case, noting how easily she was torn down by Ji-hoon: “He was a real attorney. He excelled. I have to overcome that.”
Ji-hoon finds Woo-hyuk’s sometimes-girlfriend (and jury member) painting her nails in the clubroom. He tells her to leave since he’s meeting Woo-hyuk here, and she cryptically remarks that he’ll be waiting all night.
With Dong-hyun gone to ground, Woo-hyuk suffers a fit of rage over his betrayal. He instructs Sung-min to alert him the moment anyone spots him. Sung-min urges him to hold it in a little longer since they’re mid-trial, but the reminder only makes Woo-hyuk angrier.
Before he can say more, his dad’s car screeches up. Seizing him, Dad curses him for taking part in the trial, but Woo-hyuk breaks out of his grasp. Enraged, Dad smacks Woo-hyuk so hard that he falls to the ground. Sung-min tries to block him from beating Woo-hyuk more, but Dad practically throws his son into the car and drives off. Only then does Sung-min turn around to notice Ji-hoon, who witnessed the whole interlude.
That night, Seo-yeon thinks over what Ji-hoon said about the conflicting testimonies, and Joo-ri questioning her fitness as a prosecutor at all. Her mom catches her off guard, and she accidentally admits that she’s struggling to figure out what it means to be a prosecutor.
Over dinner, Seo-yeon asks her dad why he mentioned Woo-hyuk’s dad on the phone earlier, noting that arson is not his division. He brushes off the question, but both parents advise her not to bring up the arson during the trial.
Seo-yeon says it’s bound to come up if it’s connected with So-woo, but Dad tells her strongly that it isn’t connected at all. She realizes that that means the police have got something and narrows her eyes suspiciously, but Mom quickly stuffs her with a lettuce-wrap.
Reporter Park examines the video from the trial, particularly fascinated by Ji-hoon. He points out how absolutely certain Ji-hoon is, and says that that’s not speculation talking. He asks his hoobae about the task he gave him to track the Jeongguk Sentinel’s IP.
The hoobae shows him a map that tracks most of it to Jeongguk High School, but adds that at the end of December, the access point changed to a different location. We don’t see the map, but Reporter Park clearly figures something out and rushes off.
Crashing Detective Oh’s solitary dinner, Reporter Park tells her, “I think the Jeongguk Sentinel is Lee So-woo.” Wuuut. She nearly chokes, and he explains that the IP tracked back to So-woo’s neighborhood and usual haunts. Oh points out that that can’t be right, because the Sentinel’s posted even after So-woo’s death.
And that’s exactly when the access point changed, Reporter Park says. “Lee So-woo was the first Sentinel, and now it’s the second Sentinel.” Wuuuut. But the important thing, he points out, is that So-woo wouldn’t have made just anybody his successor—not with how many secrets and confidences he held.
They figure it must be a friend he trusted, but as far as they know, So-woo didn’t have any friends. That, too, is intriguing, says Reporter Park, because it means that that person has deliberately concealed themselves, and what could be the reason for that?
Bleeding and bruised, Woo-hyuk escapes his father and the rundown apartment they now live in. He runs right into Ji-hoon, and reacts angrily to his concern. Ji-hoon asks him for his real alibi for that night, “I have to know that so I can protect you.” Woo-hyuk finally says that it was just him and Sung-min. He’d gotten drunk and Sung-min took him home, then he went home himself.
“Is that really all?” Ji-hoon asks. Woo-hyuk looks away. Sighing, Ji-hoon thrusts a bag of medicine at him and leaves, but the gesture makes Woo-hyuk run after him. He tells Ji-hoon that he saw someone in his house that night, and a flashback shows a masked figure at his bedroom door. He doesn’t know if it was real or a dream, but he figured Ji-hoon should know, “Because you’re my defense counsel,” he blurts. Aw.
Joo-ri visits Cho-rong, still in a coma. “Nobody believes me,” she tells her, a tear rolling down her cheek.
Meanwhile, Dong-hyun pays a secret visit to Seo-yeon in the clubroom, where she’s coordinating an operation to get the CCTV that would prove his alibi. At the bar in question, Soo-hee throws a tantrum begging the ajusshi to help her catch her cheating boyfriend in an attempt to get the tape. Reporting to Seo-yeon over the phone, Yoo-jin cringes in secondhand embarrassment.
Dong-hyun tells Seo-yeon that he’s a hunted man, but she assures him that no one will find him in this corner of the school. “It’s the corners that are dangerous,” Dong-hyun says darkly, “Kids like us like them more.”
Seo-yeon goes over his alibi: At 8:00 p.m., he was drinking with Woo-hyuk and Sung-min at the latter’s house. Then, around 11:00 p.m., he met other friends at a bar, and got home at 2:00 a.m. But the problem, Seo-yeon explains, is that his friends’ testimonies won’t be considered reliable, and the bar staff refuse to corroborate his story for fear of being caught selling to minors.
Frustrated, he says there were so many people there on Christmas night. It’s news to Seo-yeon that it’s a popular place, and she gets an idea. Calling Soo-hee and Yoo-jin back in, they start to comb social media for other people’s photos.
Seo-yeon finds him in the background of a couple-photo, wearing the same clothes he is now. She says it definitively disproves Woo-hyuk’s alibi, but Dong-hyun refuses to go back to the trial, since he’s in for a beating already. After he leaves, they find a few more photos, and Seo-yeon says that they’re strong enough evidence even without Dong-hyun’s testimony.
Dong-hyun makes his way out carefully to avoid being seen by the other students, but it doesn’t matter since Sung-min catches him anyway. “You know what Woo-hyuk’s going through these days. In that situation, did you have to betray your friend?” Sung-min asks. Dong-hyun retorts that they were never friends to begin with—they just used him. Sung-min curls his lip at his inferiority complex. “You scumbag,” he accuses, leaving in disgust.
Maddened, Dong-hyun kicks Sung-min down from behind. “I’d rather be a scumbag than a murderer,” he says, taunting Sung-min. The boys go at it, fists flying, and they even manage to draw blood. Sung-min lands a solid kick on Dong-hyun, right in the solar plexus, but to his horror, Dong-hyun falls backwards at the top of a long flight of steps. Sung-min tries to grab him, but misses, and he tumbles all the way to the bottom.
Teachers rush to the scene where Dong-hyun lies screaming in pain. Seo-yeon and the girls also catch the commotion. Meanwhile, Sung-min flees like the devil is on his tail, sobbing in horror.
The principal has a meltdown over the incident, blaming it on the trial. Teacher Kim and the homeroom teacher can only hang their heads. In the classroom, the kids already know Sung-min is responsible, and assume that it’s retaliation for Dong-hyun’s trial testimony. Furious, Soo-hee points out that they were always a fight waiting to happen.
The club meet, and judge Min-seok says they ought to acknowledge their role in triggering the fight. They hear that Dong-hyun sustained a broken leg and a fractured arm. Upset, Seo-yeon says that she doesn’t think they can carry on with the trial, not when it puts the witnesses in danger.
But Ji-hoon says that it was because of him, not the trial: He knew Woo-hyuk’s alibi was false, and although he foresaw Dong-hyun’s negative reaction, he didn’t know Sung-min would do what he did. “It’s entirely my mistake,” he says.
“No,” says Seo-yeon in growing consternation, “from what I can see, you planned it.” She figures that he purposely riled Dong-hyun into testifying in a calculated move to discredit the letter of accusation. “Is the trial just a game to you? Is winning that important?” she asks.
She says that right now, none of them know anything for sure, but Ji-hoon interjects that he does know one thing: “Choi Woo-hyuk’s innocence.” Bolting up, Seo-yeon rejoins that she’s sure of one thing, too: “Choi Woo-hyuk’s guilt.”
She sweeps out, and the girls follow. Soo-hee scorns the defense for putting on a play while they were conducting a trial, but Seo-yeon disagrees, “Han Ji-hoon conducted a trial, and the one who put on a play was me.”
She says he acted like a real attorney and believed in Woo-hyuk’s innocence, while she didn’t once believe in Joo-ri. She asks Yoo-jin for the statement Joo-ri brought earlier, and says this is what she should have been looking at from the start.
Back in the clubroom, Ji-hoon’s also left, and Seung-hyun complains about his act of self-sabotage just now. Min-seok impatiently explains that it was a shock tactic on Ji-hoon’s part to bring Seo-yeon to her senses and stop her from closing the trial.
Alone, Ji-hoon thinks back to seeing So-woo… after his fight with Woo-hyuk, by the look of it. Worried, he asks who did it, and So-woo replies, “You.” That’s chilling.
The girls ask Teacher Kim to let them onto the rooftop so they can examine the scene. Students aren’t allowed there normally, but she says she can accompany them. Once there, the girls trace the record set out by Joo-ri’s statement, verifying her descriptions of the layout and her vantage point.
Seo-yeon climbs onto the ventilation ducts that Woo-hyuk and So-woo were reportedly standing on. She reads that Woo-hyuk threatened him and forced him onto the ledge, at which point there was a metallic clinking sound.
Seo-yeon points out that the clinking was after So-woo was forced onto the ledge… and turns around and climbs onto it, despite everyone’s protests. I’m getting jelly-legs just watching this. Soo-hee films her gingerly taking one step, then another… and there it is, the metallic clank of a loose panel at the top. Seo-yeon’s eyes widen in astonishment.
Once she’s safely down, Yoo-jin says that if Joo-ri knew that sound, she really must have seen it. Seo-yeon confirms that Joo-ri must have been telling the truth, and says they ought to believe in her now without being swayed.
Ji-hoon gets called into the principal’s office at the end of the day. The principal kowtows to him as Kyung-moon’s son, and urges him to drop out of the trial for his father’s sake. But Ji-hoon calls him out on his true agenda, concerning the allegations of the unfair ruling by the school violence committee. Rather than bring it up privately like this, Ji-hoon invites the principal to testify himself at the next hearing. The principal gapes.
When Ji-hoon gets home, his dad asks why he asked the principal to testify. Ji-hoon says lightly that he thought there should be at least one person representing the school’s point of view, and laughs that he’ll probably put them all to sleep. I’m pretty sure Dad doesn’t buy it, but he lets it go.
A troubled Seo-yeon messages the Sentinel that she now believes in the letter of accusation, although she feels terrible about it. Ji-hoon writes back, It’s because you became a real prosecutor. “A real prosecutor,” Seo-yeon repeats to herself, “Prosecutor Go Seo-yeon.”
Seo-yeon tries to see Joo-ri, but Joo-ri’s mom refuses her. She tells Seo-yeon that they’re moving far away, and Joo-ri wants nothing more to do with them. Seo-yeon asks her to just pass on one message—that she believes her. Mom slams the gate in her face, and from an upstairs window, Joo-ri watches Seo-yeon linger there.
It’s the second day of the trial. Min-seok asks Seo-yeon and Ji-hoon what they’re playing at by keeping their witness and evidence lists private. Ji-hoon says it’s a strategic choice, and Seo-yeon says the same, but Min-seok argues this isn’t the real thing for them to go so far. He questions how they can cross-examine each other’s witnesses effectively if they aren’t able to prepare. Teacher Kim agrees, and advises them not to put each other on edge, reminding them that they’re all on the same side.
Ji-hoon and Seo-yeon are left alone for a moment. “Going forward, don’t tell any more lies,” Seo-yeon says sharply. “Was that my only lie?” Ji-hoon asks, taking her by surprise. “Let’s do a good job today, too,” he says.
At last, Min-seok opens the second hearing, and Seo-yeon is taken by surprise once again as she sees Joo-ri at the back of the hall, in her school uniform, staring at her.
Ji-hoon sure is one heck of an enigma. I both hate and love that I can’t unravel him, and that’s largely because we know so little about him. We see a lot of him, but he’s a character that reveals very little, even in telling micro-expressions. Not because he’s not capable—he does uncover them every so often—but that’s how tightly controlled he is, and Jang Dong-yoon does a great job expressing that, which is surprising in such a new actor. It’s like you can always feel the storm of calculations churning below his surface, but his motives remain totally opaque. He’s not really a character you feel fuzzy about (like my baby Joon-young), but I’m intrigued by how many concurrent roles he’s pulling off with Seo-yeon, as he goes from adversary to mentor and back again, and that’s not even counting his secret Sentinel identity. But I definitely feel like it’s all leading somewhere, the only question is where.
While Ji-hoon, Joo-ri, Woo-hyuk, and even Min-seok continue to give us food for discussion, this episode also unexpectedly spotlights Dong-hyun and Sung-min, whom we can no longer just call minions. I found Sung-min especially interesting, with his evident warmth for Woo-hyuk set against the edge of meanness he has towards everyone else, and of course, his all-too-real horror at causing Dong-hyun’s accident—he desperately tried to catch him, and I think that counts. I feel like, given kinder conditions, the three of them could have just been ordinary, untwisted kids. It’s a possibility that shows most clearly in Dong-hyun, who we now understand was always less aligned with Woo-hyuk. But it’s interesting that his motives are self-serving even while he does the objectively “right” thing. On the other hand, Sung-min’s lie springs from loyalty, and in their world, that’s a currency that carries far more weight.
This is what makes Solomon so fascinating to watch, because it offers these messy characterizations and mixed motives that feel so true to life. Still at that stage where they’re forming their identities and principles, these kids are inconstant and capricious more often than not, and you instantly feel the struggle. It’s the stuff of real people. They’re erratic, selfish, despicable, loyal, sympathetic, heroic—everything at once and anything in between, and therein lies the allure of teen-centered stories. It’s further strengthened by a thoughtful balance between the adult and teen storylines. The adults remain very relevant to the kids’ world, but they don’t hijack or dominate the narrative, because they’re busy in their own arcs. It’s true to life in a different way, illustrating just how separated the worlds are despite existing alongside each other. They don’t occupy the same spaces (physical or virtual) or have the same priorities, and they certainly don’t operate on the same currency. When they overlap, they clash, and that’s a pretty exact portrayal of the entire adult-teen conflict.
I’m impressed at how the show has so many balls in the air at once, but continues to maintain its tension and throughline. But I do want to shake the girls for faulty logic. Joo-ri reporting that sound correctly only means she heard that sound when somebody stepped up there, it’s in no way a definitive proof that events went down as she described. I believe she saw something, sometime, but I don’t believe she saw Woo-hyuk murdering So-woo, nor do I believe Woo-hyuk killed him at all. Of course, if I’m wrong, I’ll come back and sob over my fervent denial.
I was really glad to see Seo-yeon get so thoroughly schooled by Ji-hoon at the trial. She can learn a lot from him, and I don’t want her unable to recognize the flaws in her logic. But I find her singleminded desire to believe in Joo-ri a little frustrating, because I think it’s making her lose her objectivity. At the same time, I appreciate that this is how she’s answering her struggle about what it means to be a prosecutor, but it seems like her new position is informed by a mistaken belief that Ji-hoon’s certainty in Woo-hyuk’s innocence stems from faith, rather than some secret he’s not telling.
But what a great reveal about So-woo. If he was the original Sentinel, it finally answers what I’ve wondered since the beginning, about how So-woo and Seo-yeon were connected. In the first episode, the way So-woo paid attention to her, I was sure there was something between them, but it never came up again—and then this episode, she categorically said that she didn’t know So-woo at all. But this explains so much, like why he was so disappointed in her back then. And when Ji-hoon’s dad asked So-woo after the fight, “Does Ji-hoon know,” could that have been alluding to his secret identity, too? So-woo being the Sentinel changes everything, and the field of possible suspects is blown wide open—anyone could have motive. Did So-woo find out something that someone powerful didn’t want found out? Add to that Woo-hyuk’s masked intruder (who could also be his arsonist), and I have a bad feeling that this thing just got too big for Seo-yeon and the school trial to handle.