Divorce Attorney Shin (Season 1), Episodes 1 & 2 ‘Netflix’ Review, Recap, & Ending Explained: “Divorce Attorney Shin,” the latest K-Drama to hit Netflix, is a promisingly delicate exploration of various kinds of marriages, and thus divorces. With a charismatic titular lead, the show builds on its intriguing premise of a former Pianist helping people get divorced. And if the two episodes are any indication, we are in for a plethora of unhappy marriages for our enigmatic lawyer to work on.
“Divorce Attorney Shin” airs every Saturday and Sunday.
Divorce Attorney Shin (Season 1), Episodes 1 & 2 Recap
The Case of Lee Seo-jin
The opening scene, where Shin Sung-han (Cho Seung-woo) wins a case and gets his client the required division in the divorce, establishes the credibility of Attorney Shin as the divorce lawyer. So, it comes as no surprise when he takes the almost unwinnable case of Lee Seo-jin (Han Hye-jin). Lee was a successful radio host before she was asked to leave. The reason for her downfall was an extra-marital affair where her supposed boyfriend recorded her during sex and released that tape.
The scandal affected her professional and marital lives. The primary loss for her was losing the love and respect of her son, Hyeon-U. Now, like Shin, we might not immediately side with Lee with her being the adulterer in this case. But, it would not take much convincing to know that, like many women, she is also the victim of men—first, her husband and then, her boyfriend.
Her husband, Mr. Kang, is obsessively insecure about the relationship. He asks Lee to keep sending him a photo of her whereabouts every half an hour. Kang keeps tabs on her undergarments lest she gets a new one, which he would immediately identify as a gift. Furthermore, he is verbally abusive and, on occasion, becomes physically abusive too. It was only humane for Lee to get swayed by the lovely gestures of a new man. But that man turns out to be equally reprehensible. So, it becomes paramount for her that her son understands her. Of course, that’s a huge ask since he is only a young boy.
Friends of Divorce Attorney Shin
The first two episodes also introduce us to a couple of characters who will most likely appear again. Jang Hyeong-Geun (Kim Sung-Kyun) is Shin’s old friend and also operates as the manager of Shin’s office. And then we have Jo Jeong-sik (Jung Moon-sung). Jo is both Shin and Jang’s friend and the owner of a Real Estate company. His business does not seem to do well, and he is running behind in paying his rent to Shin and Jang.
Despite all that, the three of them often hang out together, especially as drinking buddies. The Kimchi making and sharing moments between Jang and Shin are humorous and show the kind of friendship they have.
It has been hinted that Shin’s career as a musician and Piano professor in Germany did not end well. It can be assumed that Jang was there to pick up the pieces when Shin came back to Korea, seemingly too broken to think about music. Shin now seems to be a lot better and also dabbles with music. Listening, that is.
Divorce Attorney Shin (Season 1), Episodes 1 & 2 Review
“Divorce Attorney Shin” has the nuance to explore various layers of morality when it comes to relationships. The relationship between Lee and her son Hyeon-U is beautifully etched. It was a delicate topic; a child would not understand the situation that might call for adultery. It is natural for the child to blame the mother. “Divorce Attorney Shin” shows the maturity and subtlety to handle that situation without becoming preachy. Or showing anything drastic.
Cho Seung-Woo is quite excellent as the enigmatic titular hero. He is just the right amount of zany and yet not larger-than-life, which is sometimes not the case with some K-Dramas. Han Hye-Jin’s performance as the mother is riveting. It is good to see that she will still be a part of the show in future episodes. Kim Sung-Kyun’s Jang provides the necessary humor and humanizes Seung-woo’s Shin.
Divorce Attorney Shin (Season 1), Episodes 1 & 2 Ending Explained
How did Shin win the battle for Lee?
Kang’s attack on Lee solely focused on proving Lee, an unfit mother. His counsel tried to make the leak of the sex tape the most traumatic thing that could happen to the child, Hyeon-U. Kang even coerced Hyeon-U to draw certain pictures to help the child psychologist determine that Hyeon-U prefers Kang, his father, and not Lee, his mother.
However, Attorney Shin finds Hyeon-U’s journal, where he mentions that despite somewhat ill feelings towards his mother, he would still prefer to live with her. Using this Journal, Shin puts Kang on the stand and confronts him. He asks him upfront whether he has shown Hyeon-U the sex tape of Lee, Hyeon-U’s mother. The enraged Kang does not take much provocation to admit to that.
This indicates Kang has zero sense of responsibility towards Hyeon-U. His sole motive is to hurt Lee. It is, in fact, he who is unfit to be a father. Forget about being a father, a half-decent human being would think twice before showing a child the sex tape of their mother.
New Case for Shin
As Shin moves ahead after celebrating the victory of Lee’s case, we see a new case being built for him. It is the case of the cleaning woman of his apartment. Unbeknownst to him, the cleaning woman is in a tumultuous marriage. It was largely due to her cruel mother-in-law. The mother-in-law owns the house and, as a result, feels like owning the entire family. She constantly chastises her daughter-in-law. Things turn ugly when the matriarch starts hitting her granddaughters. The cleaning woman could not take it anymore, and since her husband would not stand up to his mother, she took matters into her own hands. In an attempt to stop the old mother-in-law from beating her daughters, she beats the mother-in-law.
Clearly, this will be the new case for Attorney Shin.
The Past of Shin
Shin’s past is a bit murky now. He has expressed a desire to kill someone. That someone (a ‘he’) is apparently responsible for the ill fate of Shin. There is a woman, a director, named Jin Yeong-Ju, who seems to keep herself informed of Shin’s activities. Shin’s relationship with music will also be explored in the future.