Do You Know that Extraordinary Attorney Woo is a Hero?
She is. Truly.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo, ENA/Netflix
Summary (from Netflix): Attorney Woo (Woo Young-Woo) is an extraordinary attorney who has Autistic Spectrum Disorder. This fact offers her unique perspectives on her cases, but is also limiting.
This Hero’s Journey breakdown is for the first episode of this awesome series.
Woo Young-Woo, the first autistic attorney in the Republic of Korea, a graduate of Seoul, South Korea.
She did not speak until she was 5 years old, and when she did speak, it was citing law and criminal code from the mountains of books her father has.
Woo Young-Woo is hired as brand new rookie attorney at Hanbada law firm. Things about her:
- She struggles to look people in the eye
- She must count to three before walking into a room/new space
- She only eats gimbap (it’s predictable in look and taste)
- She is passionate about whales
Call to Adventure–
Young-Woo enters the law firm ready to begin her career, but knowing she is different.
Refusal of Call–
The senior attorney she works under, Jung Myeong-seok, does not want her on his team. He thinks she is not up to the job because of her autism, but Han, the CEO of the law firm, wants to give her a chance.
Meeting the Mentor–
Lee Jun-ho is part of the litigation team. He helps Woo Young-Woo navigate through the case. Choi Su-yeon is also a rookie attorney with Hanbada and was in law school with Young-woo. She is a reluctant ally.
Crossing the Threshold–
Young-Woo is given a case about a woman accused of attempted murder of her husband. Her crossing of the threshold is literal. She just go meet the client, but she can’t figure out how to get through the revolving door. Jun-ho helps her see it as a waltz with counting. She gets through the revolving door, which is a first success.
Tests and Allies–
- On her first day, she meets an ally—Lee Jun-ho, an enemy—Attorney Kwon Min-woo, and an old acquaintance—the landlord of the apartment where she and her father lived when she was a child.
- The husband of the defendant once accused Young-Woo’s father of making moves on his wife (the defendant). He was unreasonably jealous. When he sees Young-woo again, he is verbally abusive and violent.
- Young-woo’s good friend, Geu-ra-mi, teaches Young-woo how to spot a liar (itchy nose, sweaty palms, wiggly leg)
- Geu-ra-mi also helps Young-woo with strategies to be successful in court.
- Jung Myeong-seok (the senior attorney) also becomes an ally after recognizing Young-woo’s strengths.
- Choi Su-yeon continues to help Young-woo in certain ways. She feels sorry for the way her disability inhibits her success, but at the same time, she is annoyed by Young-woo.
- Jun-ho becomes Young-woo’s ‘sidekick’ and is intrigued by her.
Young-woo comes up with an analogy to whales which helps her realize that this is not a criminal case, but a civil one. If the focus remains on the criminal aspect, the point will be missed. She realizes that intent to murder would strip the defendant of any financial support from her husband or his property.
She begins the trial nervous, but makes objections that are sustained and gains confidence.
Young-woo makes good arguments to have the indictment changed from attempted murder to bodily harm.
In an effort to win the case, the defense puts the injured husband on the stand to demonstrate his volatility. He is provoked, scaring everyone, most especially Young-woo, and the jury sees cause for the wife to have defended herself.
But then the husband dies and the charge changes from intent to murder to murder. All feels lost.
Through a ‘whale-ization’, Young-woo realizes that the husband had an underlying issue and that the subdural hematoma that killed him was a result of this. She gets the medical examiner to admit this on the witness stand.
Return w/ elixir– The woman is found not-guilty of murder. Young-woo has won her first case.
Comments: As with any medical or legal drama, there is always a moment when success is in hand, only to have something monumental happen that snatches that success away. This happens with Woo Young-woo. In each episode, she has a ‘whale-ization’…a moment when something becomes clear to her about the case.
Extraordinary Attorney Woo is a wonderful TV show. Highly recommend
Check out another Hero’s Journey: Kat Valdez from the movie, Marry Me.
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