Hye-kyung is one female lead I have a love-hate (ok, maybe more like exasperation) relationship with. I like her character for its very candid portrayal of a wife whose husband has strayed (and according to him, “juz once”). She is angry, lost and yet also vulnerable at the same time. Half of her wants to kick him out of her life, the other half wants him back for the previous stability. It’s not a role that is easy to play thanks to all the emotive nuances, so kudos to Jeon Do-yeon.
In addition, I admire Hye-kyung for being a lawyer of the “good” kind — those that fight for justice, and not for the pay check, despite the pressure and temptation to do so. Even with a young upstart competitor in the law firm, she stands by her moral code and never resort to playing dirty. Unlike Joon-ho, who isn’t below trying to undercut Hye-kyung’s abilities by alleging that she may not be a “suitable candidate” for the perm post cos of her age (read: work inexperience) and her family commitment (read: work is not a priority). (i kinda feel sorry and also smug that he was kicked out eventually)
However, juz as I love Hye-kyung for her realistic portrayal of a betrayed wife, I am also annoyed by her wishy-washy attitude in facing her husband’s infidelity. As early as eps3/4, she starts to question Tae-joon’s character and his inclination to cheat his way out, as she recalls a similar recurrence way back during the hit-and-run. I believe her innermost self then is whispering to her not to trust Tae-joon again. In the following eps, time and again she is faced with Tae-joon’s lies and half-truths, and his manipulations. I’ve kinda lost count on how many times she goes to him and tells him to stop lying to her, to stop meddling in her cases/ work life…and every time, Tae-joon’s reply is “it’s for your own good”, followed by “trust me”. Ridiculously, Hye-kyung will juz stop questioning and back off. When she subconsciously KNOWS it’s not for “her good”, and she cannot “trust” her husband.
Finally, the last straw comes in the form of Kim-dan. A colleague-cum-almost best fren who she now suspects/ knows had slept with Tae-joon. So Tae-joon’s profuse declarations of Amber being the “one and only” mistake is false. Kim-dan has been kinda dropping hints (really broad hints) to Hye-kyung since ep1 to not believe Tae-joon. Those hints finally hit home — and now Hye-kyung will lose an ally and friend at work. (sigh)
Even in her profession, I find Hye-kyung idealistic to the point of being rather dense sometimes. In ep9, when she goes to investigate Park Jung-jin’s office, she cuts it really close with the police and prosecutors who are on their way up. Joong-won has already warned her they are coming, and she is still taking her sweet time to poke around. I don’t like it when she has to be “rescued” by poor Joong-won who had to do a vertical race against time to press the elevator at each level. It’s isn’t very professional to have your ass saved by your boss. Plus, she stole evidence from the site — although it’s for the sake of her client, it’s still a theft and deliberate hampering of police work.