Extraordinary Attorney Woo in Retrospect
Note: this is an ongoing post that is regularly updated.
If you haven’t watched Extraordinary Attorney Woo on Netflix, I’d suggest to add it to your watch list. It’s now the super-hot drama in South Korea (and many of Netflix subscribing countries) for obvious reasons. Attorney Woo Young-woo (the same name whether flipped outside down or backwards) is a genius attorney who has autistic spectrum disorder. Because of this condition, she sees the world differently and responds to various stimuli in her own way, making her very unique.
Episode one introduces us to Young-woo, the only daughter of her loving dad, who runs a kimbap store. Young-woo comes to her dad’s store every morning, where she eats a breakfast of Young-woo’s kimbap, and takes a lunchbox of another Young-woo’s kimbap. She loves kimbap because it’s predictable, she can see all the ingredients at once and knows when an unfavorable ingredient is used, and therefore could avoid having it at once. Loving law and order, Young-woo arranges the cut rolls of kimbap in perfect symmetry before proceeding to eat them.
Why Woo Young-woo loves kimbap
Besides yummy and predictable kimbap, attorney Young-woo also loves whales. Her love of this giant sea animal is evident in how much she knows about them and how she connects things and situations to them.
Sometimes Young-woo gets too excited talking about whales, she loses focus. Therefore, she and her father agree that only when the situation absolutely requires whale talk, that she can proceed with it. She also endearingly also introduces herself the same way, saying that her name is the same when read straight or flipped, like kayak, deed, rotator, noon, and racecar. In Korean, she actually also says “tomato”, which is the same word when read backwards per syllable.
(contains spoiler below)
Young-woo has a potential love interest, that she hasn’t realized yet. Lee Jun-ho works at the same law firm and he’s the first person Young-woo met there. He shows Young-woo how to get through the revolving door by counting one-two-three like dancing steps, which makes perfect sense to Young-woo since she always counts a few seconds before entering a room.
Maybe because she’s extraordinary, she tends to think outside of the box. In the first episode, she meets again with her old neighbors, a husband and wife. The wife is accused of killing her husband after hitting him with an iron. Unfortunately, the iron is not of the modern kind that’s made of plastic; it is as old as the couple themselves — an iron made of iron. Oh, the irony? Remember that Young-woo tends to connect things to whales? Well, here’s an example, when she looks at the evidence of this case, which happens to be the first case she handles at Hanbada Law Firm:
Her special way of thinking and approaching cases wins her clients — and their hearts.
On being yourself: Young-woo introduces herself the same way, every time. She says, “My name is Woo Young-woo. It’s the same whether it’s read flipped or straight, like kayak, deed, rotator, noon, and racecar.”
On thinking outside the box
Young-woo: You can’t only look at criminal law to solve this case. You have to look at civil law to solve it.
On being creative
In Episode 4, Young-woo represented a man who was duped by his family members into giving part of his inheritance. She found that when the recipient commits a crime against the giver or the giver’s immediate family, the giver can cancel the gift contract.
Choi Soo-yeon: Did the CEO become CEO just because of her abilities? Did she not inherit the position from her father, the founder of Hanbada (the law firm)?
On never underestimating anyone
Kwon Min-woo: Woo Young-woo is strong. Can’t you see? Her nickname in law school was “First Place is Woo Young-woo Anyway.”
On being honest, especially to yourself
Woo Young-woo to Jun-ho: Can I touch you just once? I want to check whether or not I like you.
Jun-ho: Can you only check by touching me?
Woo Young-woo: I’m trying to check my heart rate to see how fast my heart beats when I touch you.
Choi Soo-yeon (talking to Woo-young loudly so everybody could hear): Students with good grades at SNU (Seoul National University) law school all do internships at major law firms and get employed before graduating! You were always the top in school, but you weren’t hired anywhere. Everyone knew it was unfair. But they didn’t do anything about it because it was none of their business. Including me.
Woo-young: Well, since I have autism…
Choi Soo-yeon: Hey! Discrimination against the disabled is prohibited by law! You not being employed anywhere with your grades is discrimination, dishonesty, and corruption.
On confusing identities
Lee Jun-ho: By Yu-jin, do you mean the person who plays the violin?
Village Chief: Yes, Sodeok-dong’s Eugene Park.
Woo-young: What’s Eugene Park’s real name?
Villager: Park Yu-jin. Note that Eugene Park and Park Yu-jin are pronounced the same.
Village Chief: That was actually why he learned how to play the violin in the first place. He had the same name as Eugene Park.
On meeting her mother for the first time
Woo-young: I’m Woo Gwang-ho’s daughter. Do you not recognize me?