I haven’t seen the original, so all reviews will be based solely on the Kdrama’s remake.
- Jang Dong-guen (from A Gentleman’s Dignity) as Senior Partner Choi Kang-seok. The Ace in Ha-yeon‘s law firm, he was told to pick an associate after being made senior partner, and although he initially resisted the idea, was drawn to Yeon-woo for his quick wittedness and earnestness. Kang-seok regards himself as one who is able to judge a person’s character adroitly.
- Park Hyung-shik (from Strong Woman, Do Bong-soon) as Associate Go Yeon-woo. To be fair, he was made a lawyer entirely by chance.
We start in the present, with Yeon-woo incarcerated, and Kang-seok representing him as his lawyer. Time reverses and we go back to the day where their paths cross.
Kang-seok is a busy and successful partner in a bustling law firm, earning his female boss’, Ha-yeon‘s respect and his frenemy, Guek-sik‘s envy. He was promoted to Senior Partner in the law firm and ordered to pick an associate to work with him. Annoyed, Kang-seok decides on a short pre-interview quiz for the candidates — they will have to identify a statue of Caerus, the Greek God of Opportunity.
On the other spectrum, we have Yeon-woo, who has an eidetic memory, but owing to a bad decision to take a bar exam for a “friend” and later having both parents die in a car crash and him having to take on the burden of paying for his ailing granny’s hospice fees, Yeon-woo is basically an unemployed and desperate young man. He caves in to his friend’s request to help transport a case of drugs to a hotel.
Turns out the hotel is the same location where Kang-seok is holding his job interview for his potential associate. And Yeon-woo, who is very observant, realises in time he has been set up by his “friend” (and the chaebol whom he irritated the previous night). By pure chance (and in order to evade the police officers after him), Yeon-woo identifies Caerus correctly and enters the interview grounds.
Yeon-woo comes clean with Kang-seok, and the latter tests him on the spot by asking him to defend himself against the 2 police officers. Yeon-woo does so brilliantly (having memorised the entire law book…), and passes the interview.
However, when he turns up for work the next day…Kang-seok tells him he is fired.
I didn’t really like the lawyerly bits in Suits, since said law firm deals mainly with (boring) corporate laws. Though to be fair to Kang-seok, he refuses to take cases where there are whiffs of corruption and unfair practices. Yeon-woo by far is the more interesting character, who owing to a bad choice and bad circumstances, is unable to reach his full potential before.
The opening of ep1 with the quote on chance, choices and Fate is probably very appropriate for the debut narrative. And especially in the case of Yeon-woo, who I really pity as the victim of Bad Luck. Although I give it to him for not whining about his Fate but taking on the blame squarely on himself for making Bad Choices. Which, if you think about it, is true. If he hadn’t agreed to take the bar exam in place of his friend, he might have an equal chance to take the exam himself (instead of fearing that he will be caught out in future). And that decision to take the case of drugs to the hotel — bad idea.
Ironically though, if Yeon-woo HADN’T made that bad decision, there would have been no turning point for him. I suppose Kang-seok realises the potential in the young man he interviewed — he has the ability to become an Ace or just another patterned number in a deck of cards.