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Liar Game: Episode 12 (Final)

Good news! Liar Game won’t be going down as yet another good show ruined by a bad ending, because this finale delivers. And in traditional fashion, everything you think you know about the small set of characters who’ve become near and dear to our hearts these past six weeks will be thrown on its head. I think I’m still in denial that it’s even over, because I’ve latched on so tightly to the idea of a second season that convincing me otherwise will now be next to impossible—even if the actors sign a contract in blood stating that they’ll never touch this material again. If that means I’ve transcended from fan to superfan, it’s only because the drama transcended into a higher plane of existence first. Yes, it’s that good.

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FINAL EPISODE: “Final Round II”

We rewind to the bathroom conversation between Director Jang and Da-jung, and how she refused to believe in Woo-jin’s treachery based off a video testimony that could be made up.

“That’s not all,” Director Jang continues. “Hundreds of other people were scammed along with your father.” He makes a compelling case against Woo-jin when he claims that he plotted with Do-young to get him into the game (it’s true that Woo-jin voted him in, but not for those reasons), and that it’s no coincidence that Jaime and Dal-goo were eliminated.

Da-jung still doesn’t want to believe him, but Director Jang is relentless: “The way I see it, Ha Woo-jin will betray you. The network wants you to win.” His advice is for her not to trust Woo-jin, and to shoot him if she feels he’s betrayed her.

PD Lee takes control of the broadcast when she finds one of her crew members reporting secretly to Director Jang, and tells him that she’ll be the only one giving orders to her team.

Director Jang is incensed as he asks her if she’ll take responsibility in the event of a broadcasting accident, but PD Lee isn’t cowed. “If you try to influence the game in any way, you’ll be making a huge mistake,” she warns him, before throwing her phone into the briefcase where all crew members have been ordered to deposit theirs. Go PD Lee!

Before the round begins, Da-jung watches from afar as Do-young acts chummy with Woo-jin, which only corroborates Director Jang’s lie. While Jaime and the other eliminated contestants watch on nervously, Director Jang announces the modified rules for this extra final round: No dodging will be allowed, everyone gets fifteen hearts, and they have only thirty seconds to either load their gun or choose to shoot.

He gives each of them a chance to say a few words first, starting with Da-jung. “I… don’t think all the things Woo-jin has shown me have been lies,” she says. Woo-jin: “No matter what I do, trust me.” (*melts*)

Do-young laughs at all this gooey sentiment, and tells them that it’s time for them to throw away their masks—he wants to see what their true faces look like.

While Do-young chooses to load for the first round, Woo-jin chooses to shoot…

…And aims straight for Da-jung. Oh god. Is this why he asked her to trust him no matter what?

He fires, but it’s a no-go. Da-jung looks at him disbelievingly before she loads her gun, though Woo-jin uses his second chance to aim for her again. “Why are you doing this?” she asks shakily, before Woo-jin pulls the trigger.

Again, it’s a misfire. Their eliminated teammates reel in shock at what they perceive to be Woo-jin’s betrayal, but Jaime sets them straight—if Woo-jin really wanted to shoot Da-jung, he would’ve loaded more bullets first.

Now we get to hear what Do-young said to Woo-jin when he was acting friendly earlier, and it’s not good. He gave Woo-jin a choice: He could save Da-jung’s father by eliminating her… but if he eliminates her, he’ll lose.

And if he loses, then he’ll never hear the answers about his mother Do-young has been lording over him since the beginning. “Do I look like someone who would hold a joker in his hand and not even use it?” Do-young asked through a maniacal grin. Oh, you evil bastard. You evil, evil sonofabitch.

In the present, Woo-jin can only think to himself: “Please hurry, Dal-goo.” If Dal-goo can find her father, then Woo-jin won’t have to bend to Do-young’s threat.

When Woo-jin aims for Da-jung a third time, she asks desperately, “It’s not true, right? It doesn’t make sense that you conspired with Kang Do-young. You have a reason, right? Please, tell me!” He doesn’t, and pulls the trigger. Another misfire.

But I love that Da-jung shuts Do-young down when he offers to tell her about his relationship with Woo-jin with a, “No. I don’t trust anything that comes out of your mouth.” POINTS.

Woo-jin uses the next round to aim for her again. “Don’t do it,” she pleads. “I want to trust you, Woo-jin. So please…” But he fires—and this time, it’s a hit.

Da-jung looks numb with disbelief, unwilling to believe what’s staring her right in the face. Little does she know that Woo-jin is trying to protect her father, who’s currently duct-taped to a chair facing the live broadcast. He’s been soaked in gasoline, spared for now only because of the thin thread that runs from him to the burning lighter perched nearby.

“If I were my normal self, I would have trusted you until the end, Woo-jin,” Da-jung says at the beginning of the next round. With his gun pointed toward her, Da-jung aims right back at him: “But you told me: Reward loyalty. Punish betrayal. I can shoot you too. So please, stop now.”

Woo-jin: “Shoot me.” All three guns fire simultaneously, resulting in Woo-jin losing five lives, Da-jung six, and Do-young zero. He’s in the most advantageous position at present.

Detective Cha did the right thing in calling the production company about Woo-jin’s real bullet, but it’s not enough for PD Lee to put a stop to the game. Instead, she orders new guns for all the participants and pulls Woo-jin aside during the commercial break.

She claims she doesn’t want to get involved in whatever grudge he has against Do-young and Da-jung, but that keeping everyone safe on the show is her responsibility.

Woo-jin just seems confused when she frisks him, before she adds, “I trust that you’re not that kind of person, so I’m saying this just in case. Even if you fight with Do-young, don’t stoop to his level.”

Cut to: Do-young replacing one of the new blank bullets he was issued. Remember that lackey who attacked Detective Cha with a two-by-four? He stole one of the bullets from his gun for Do-young.

But in another twist, Do-young wasn’t exchanging one of his fakes for the real thing… he exchanged one of Woo-jin or Da-jung’s bullets. Ack!

Do-young calls Woo-jin out for stalling in his decision. Meanwhile, Detective Cha is prevented from entering sans warrant, even though he has probable cause to believe there’s a real bullet inside one of the guns.

Before the shooting begins, Director Jang asks Do-young to go into more detail about his past with Woo-jin. Do-young obliges without going into too much detail, and claims that there was once a kind woman who looked after orphaned children as if they were her own—but due to circumstances outside of her control, the orphanage had to shut down.

A flashback reveals that Woo-jin’s mother had done everything in her power to save the orphanage, even resorting to begging. At the orphanage, she was greeted by all the children as “Mom,” causing Woo-jin Lite to jealously proclaim, “She’s my mom!”

But Mom had only reinforced the idea that she was every child’s mother, and that she loved them all equally. Even though they weren’t related and had different personalities, Do-young says, the two boys recognized a certain sameness in each other.

Back in the past, we see Woo-jin goading Do-young to play a trust game over the well where they’d have to lean in at the same time over the edge. If one of them didn’t lean, the other would fall in.

They played that way, leaning in and pushing back off each other so that they could stay safely(?) on the edge. “Mom treated those two the same. She loved them,” Do-young says in the present. Woo-jin just yells for him to stop.

Do-young agrees to save the rest for later, but can’t resist adding, “We were special. Mother recognized that immediately. I wish I could see her.”

“Then why did you kill her?” Woo-jin growls. “Why did you kill her?!” he aims his gun at Do-young, who claims to be innocent—why would anyone want to hurt Mom? She was angelic and selfless, just like Da-jung.

“Mother aways said this: ‘It’s not so wrong for people to trust one another.’” Do-young adds, which only adds fuel to Woo-jin’s fire, since Mom had posed that statement to him in question form before she died.

As much as Woo-jin wants to shoot Do-young, he’s reminded of the choice he has to make, and shakes in rage as he redirects his aim at Da-jung and fires.

However, Da-jung doesn’t return betrayal with betrayal, and turns her gun on Do-young. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Do-young is down five hearts.

When she’s asked why she didn’t shoot at the person who shot at her, Da-jung professes her trust in Woo-jin—she knows he must have a reason for aiming at her. Awww.

Do-young isn’t fazed, and answers simply when Woo-jin asks why he dragged Da-jung into this. “Woo-jin, you know now that the three of us were there.”

Da-jung’s eyes go wide as Do-young tells her that she was probably six at the time and too young to remember. Or her father lied to her. Where did he tell her she was going, anyway? Summer camp?

Dad screams behind his gag as he watches the broadcast unfold. Whoa. Did he once abandon his daughter?

Dal-goo makes it to the orphanage and finds Dad tied to a chair, but is delayed in his rescue when a lackey surprises him with a chair to the back. And then just starts bludgeoning him.

Do-young tells Da-jung that she was a cute kid back then, even though she followed the two of them around constantly, always pestering them to play with her. She especially wanted to try the Well Game, even though they told her it wouldn’t work with three people.

But as he continues with the story, he mentions how Mom was so trusting that she made a mistake in trusting someone she shouldn’t have.

Flash back to a shady man accompanying her to the orphanage with gifts for the children, and how he noted with too much interest how smart Woo-jin and Do-young were after watching them solve a Rubik’s Cube in record time. Then he’d promised to give another to whichever boy proved smartest.

The shady ajusshi had approached Mom about adopting both boys, claiming that the orphanage would be compensated well for it. Even though Mom sensed something strange, she only offered the boy who wasn’t her biological son.

So afterward, the ajusshi approached the eavesdropping Do-young: “Did you hear that, kid? Ajusshi just bought you.”

In the present, Do-young says that Woo-jin knew very well that the ajusshi was a bad man. “He was an adoption broker who sold kids for money. Mom sold me… to that man. Da-jung too.”

Dad is beside himself at Do-young’s reveal, and seems past the point of realizing that every move he makes brings the lighter one step closer. Now it’s not just his life at stake, but Dal-goo’s too.

Woo-jin tells Da-jung not to believe what Do-young says, but Woo-jin can’t answer her when she asks if she was there at the orphanage with them. Do-young explains that her father gave her up when her mother was sick, thinking that Da-jung would go to a better home—or that he would return for her if her mother got better.

Da-jung covers her ears with her hands to shut out the horror when Do-young asks if she wants to hear the sad story of the girl who got adopted instead of her. “Or… should I tell you what kind of hell I endured?”

Dal-goo manages to break free of the lackey’s control by biting his leg and fighting him off. Dad tips his chair, sending the lighter falling toward the ground, but Dal-goo dives in time to catch it right before it ignites the fuel. Phew.

Meanwhile, Do-young calls bullshit on Woo-jin’s claim that there was no way to know the ajusshi was bad news—Woo-jin knew from the very first moment. “Isn’t that why you tried to kill him?” Do-young asks.

Now the greater plan starts falling into place. When Do-young first returned to Korea, he approached the ajusshi to make him the president of a paper company named—you guessed it—L Company. Since he made the ajusshi his puppet, he instructed him to pull the scam on Mom…

“Crazy bastard,” Woo-jin growls, ready to throw down with him. He has to be restrained by the crew while Director Jang brings the focus back to the game.

The eliminated members of Team Woo-jin get a call from Dal-goo confirming that he rescued Da-jung’s father, but find themselves unable to get the message to Woo-jin when they’re still in the studio.

While Detective Cha stages a protest outside about the real bullet inside, PD Lee goes back through the footage of the gun-switching to catch anything she might’ve missed.

As the next round begins, Do-young tells Woo-jin ominously that they’ll finally be able to finish the game they left hanging in their childhood—the game that Da-jung still doesn’t remember—as he coerces them in closer for the last turn.

In the meantime, Jaime rushes in front of Director Jang to tell Woo-jin that Dal-goo rescued Da-jung’s father, but can only send him a thumbs up when she’s restrained by the crew.

Woo-jin gets the message, which means that he can now tell Da-jung that he’s been having to shoot at her because Do-young was holding her father hostage.

“Thank you for trusting me,” he tells her. “Now, let’s end it.” They both point their guns at Do-young, while he points his at Woo-jin. Meanwhile, PD Lee frantically searches the behind the scenes footage and spots Do-young switching out the bullets.

Do-young says it’s Woo-jin’s loss—he’ll never find out the truth now. Woo-jin just tells him to shut up before they all fire.

Because Mini Do-young blamed himself for being sold (since he didn’t ever say “Mom” like the other kids), he warned Da-jung not to make the same mistake. Perhaps he hoped that Mom might take pity on her if she called her that.

Da-jung had initially refused, sure that her father would come back for her, but Do-young made her cry by telling her how unlikely that’d be. But when Woo-jin joined them, Do-young took the initiative to suggest the Well Game, but with a decidedly Liar Game-esque twist.

Just like the painting and the brief memory flash in Woo-jin’s mind, the three children stood around the well with their hands interlocked and their backs turned. The idea was that they’d each pull one hand away from the kid they’d rather be gone—so one of them would fall into the well if both hands holding them let go, or none of them would fall if no one let go.

It was then that Do-young told Woo-jin that his mother sold him and Da-jung off for money, sowing distrust between them right before the pivotal countdown… but in the end, Do-young was called away by Mom (who didn’t feel the need to make all the children get away from that yawning hole of death), and the game was left unfinished. “This isn’t over,” he told them. “Let’s play later.”

But Da-jung’s father did return for her, leaving Woo-jin and Mom to face the closing of the orphanage alone. But Woo-jin’s trust in his mother would be forever shaken.

Bang. Bang. Bang. Shot after shot is fired, just as PD Lee realizes that Do-young switched out the fake bullet… at Da-jung’s podium.

She jumps to her feet just as Da-jung prepares to shoot Do-young, who knows what’s coming and turns toward her to meet his end. Woo-jin has to only take one look at PD Lee to figure out what’s going on, but it’s too late—Da-jung pulls the trigger…

And Woo-jin, with only milliseconds to react, throws himself at Do-young to save him. The bullet lands in Woo-jin’s arm as the two tumble to the floor.

Do-young is left in complete shock as PD Lee orders the cameras to hone in anyway. Da-jung is declared the winner of Liar Game. Wait, what?

Some time later, Woo-jin wakes up in the hospital with Da-jung at his side. She shows him the news article Reporter Gu broke on Do-young’s true identity, and that he’s being investigated by the police for various crimes.

He’s not the only contestant recovering there—Sung-joon managed to barely survive his elevator plunge. (While I’ve clearly learned nothing from years of drama watching. It’s never a death until you see a body. Derp.)

When Woo-jin visits Do-young in prison, he’s asked what expression he saw on Do-young’s face before Da-jung shot. He looked like he was… waiting.

“Is it over now?” Woo-jin asks. “This isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning. This was only a test. Just because you two won doesn’t mean they’ll stop,” Do-young replies. Woo-jin asks who “they” are.

They’re the ones who made him this way, according to Do-young—and they’ll start another game soon. As for what Do-young, his aim this whole time has been to take the system down from within, without anyone suspecting.

Woo-jin asks why Do-young is telling him this, only for Do-young to recall what Woo-jin told him about how a human would never be able to fully control their microexpressions.

“In the end, I’m a failed experiment,” Do-young says. Then he suddenly grips the table as he adds gravely that if no one stops “them,” the chaos they’ll cause will set the world on fire.

Just like that, he gets up to leave. But before he goes, he turns back to Woo-jin and says, “Let’s meet again.”

Da-jung finds Woo-jin contemplating the meaning of life at the abandoned orphanage, and jokes about her possible future as a philanthropist now that she’s won all that money.

They both smile as Woo-jin extends his hand to help her up in the same way he did when they first met. (For the second time, anyway.)

A series of vignettes accompany Da-jung explaining what happened after the show ended, and that the grand prize wasn’t paid—instead, each contestant received five hundred million won/five hundred thousand dollars.

But it was enough for everyone to start over. Da-jung was able to live with her father again and go back to school, Bulldog and Actor Gu were able to return to their old professions, and Jaime and Dal-goo started their own love line.

Da-jung quotes an American philosopher named Mortimer Adler (I tried to find the quote she might’ve misquoted with no success), about our lives being dictated not by our past traumas, but by our future goals. And that she can trust whoever she damn well pleases even if she gets betrayed.

After burning everything in Do-young’s dossier but the picture of the two of them with Mom, Woo-jin walks the streets and thinks, “If someone says not to trust anyone, should we believe them? Or… in order to trust that one person, do we have to doubt everything?”

Woo-jin misses the newsflash that Do-young went missing during a prison transfer, but can’t ignore the caller when his phone rings: It’s Liar Game. Da-jung and multiple others receive the same call.

The voice on the other end is Do-young’s, who speaks only after the black bag is removed from his head by mysterious masked men.

“Whoever received this call is invited to the real Liar Game. The show is over, but the real game begins now. Never… trust… anyone.” Do-young laughs maniacally through his busted lip.

Flash forward to the third round of this new game, with the contestants fretting over how to proceed. Then a voice cuts through the noise with a familiar line: “I have a way to win.”

Who else would it be? It’s the one and only Ha Woo-jin.

 
COMMENTS

Bravo, Liar Game. Bravo. Pulling off a finale that delivers on everything that’s been hinted at/promised up to this point is no small task, and we’ve seen shows do so much worse when their only job was to coast to the finish line. Here, the mysteries brought up in the eleven solid episodes preceding this seemed too many to count, and certainly too many to properly address in a one hour finale. Yet here we are.

Granted, I’m still confused about a lot of things, which has been absolutely agonizing. My job is to break down these hour long episodes into bite-sized discussion points, or at least to paint a coherent picture of the events as they unfold, but I’ve never found that a harder task than I have with this show. It’s not a bad thing, don’t get me wrong, but it puts me at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to summing a monstrosity like this up in a neat little section when just studying individual focal points could take up more space than the entire recap. Which all goes to say that I’m not a wizard, but I’ll don the cape and try my best just the same. The rest I happily leave to you all, because this is the first show since White Christmas that begs to be studied from anywhere but the inside of a vacuum.

Poor Do-young. That’s something I didn’t think I’d find myself saying, but what a way to create a complex character out of what could’ve so easily been a stock villain with a megawatt smile. It’s been amazing to watch everyone’s progression through the show, but Do-young’s arc was a work of art, what with him being simultaneously as tragic as he was malicious and just a teensy bit misunderstood. I do love that his character came full circle both figuratively and literally, and that the reveal that he wasn’t just in the game for pure revenge didn’t mean he was an automatic good guy. He did some really, really unforgivable things.

There’s no way of knowing just how much Mom was culpable for based on the information we’ve been given, since Do-young’s account of her being a child-selling devil and Woo-jin’s memory of her as naive and selfless are so vastly different. It’s possible that Woo-jin had a bad feeling about what Mom was up to based off the scene where he let go of her hand after telling her he didn’t want to come back to the orphanage, but Do-young can’t exactly hold him accountable for not taking action when he was just a kid. After all, Do-young’s elaborate setup with the L Company CEO was made for the chief purpose of getting Mom to pay for what he thinks she did to him. And she was certainly no innocent, but I’d be willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that she might not have known that she was selling children into some sick, psychological experiment that left someone like Do-young calling himself a “failed experiment” just because he couldn’t shed every last vestige of his humanity.

The fact that Do-young was man enough to admit as much to Woo-jin said so much about him, but I loved how it all came back to trust in the end. Do-young wasn’t out to torment Woo-jin, he just had a very warped determination to return to the last part of his past not colored by unspeakable pain. I’d almost go so far as to say that Do-young set up the final roulette game out of fondness for times past more than anything, only this time he actually wanted to throw himself down the well and end it all. That’s why Woo-jin saving him was so perfect and unexpected for that moment, since the three of them were playing a more high-stakes version of the trust game they’d put on hold so long ago.

Only this time, Woo-jin proved to Do-young that he wouldn’t have let him fall down to the depths—not then, not ever. At least not on his account. It also says a lot for Do-young that he wasn’t the kind of crazy who wanted to take everyone down with him, since in the end he was fully ready and willing to put himself out of his misery. Which is just sad, regardless of the horrors Do-young inflicted on others. Having such a sorry past doesn’t excuse him, but it helps to understand him. And for Woo-jin to go from the “Never trust anyone” professor to a beacon of trust and hope for others, so much so that he showed Do-young what trust was by taking that bullet for him? That’s the stuff true heroes are made of.

Not to mention the whole undercurrent of Do-young having been in this to fight whoever “they” are from the inside, which led to a subtle moment of understanding passing between the two men when Do-young warned Woo-jin to stop the people behind his currently frayed mental state before they did something even more horrifying to others. Which might explain why Woo-jin found himself back in the game at the end. I’m trying to keep speculation for a second season down to a minimum because my heart will just break otherwise, but how cool would it be if the two of them worked together to stop whatever devils are behind all this shadiness?

But Woo-jin didn’t just change overnight when it came to trust, nor did anyone else previously on the fence—Da-jung gave them reason to hope again. While I love the individual treatment each of the final contestants received, the most startling and heartwarming transformation is still Jaime’s. She could’ve just as easily reinforced the stereotype that all drama women who wear heavy makeup are bitches (who can be measured on a sliding scale based on how dark their lipstick is), but was instead given a full, meaningful arc with actual bearing on the story.

And while I bemoaned the lack of romance between our two leads, I’ve also got to admit how refreshing it was to have romance removed from the bigger equation entirely, since it gave the two prominent female characters who weren’t Da-jung purpose outside of fighting over who gets the man. And though Jaime and Da-jung, or Da-jung and PD Lee, wouldn’t make it to anyone’s Best Female Friendships list, the fact that they learned how to coexist and cooperate with each other feels like we’ve stepped out of the darkness and into the light. That’s how it felt to watch all of Liar Game, actually. And if that’s not a reason to give such a deserving and revolutionary show six seasons and a movie, I don’t know what is.

 
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Thank you for the recap, once again! WOW! Such an intense ep. This show is going out with a bang, and such an open ending hinting at LG, Season2. Smart of the producers to do that, in case they end up having a 2nd season. And if that were to be the case, we know that at least our 3 main leads would be back. And can I just say, “CSJ is ALIVE!!!!!” I did the happy dance. @ Shalini, and @ GB, Show gave some of us what we wanted. He will heal, and he will be fine. Sorry, @ Shinayame (sorry if I messed up your screen name).

This show managed to keep everything tight (and secret) to the end. I guess that was what one of the PDs meant by paying attention to everything, and that there would be shocking revelations. Shocking yeah, HWJ saved KDY’s life, among many things. NDJ kept her trust in HWJ the entire time (throughout the whole show), and once Jamie on board that trust train (about HWJ), she did not look back. So glad they made her shine once more in this ep. She rocks! Awww… and BD and GIG showed they were still part of the team.

That scene with the dad at the orphanage was really intense. I think the dad was trying to untie himself, but I kept being worried that he might fall and set the place on fire. I guess KDY really wanted NDJ’s dad to die? Speaking of KDY, I knew he had issues, but WOW! He really needs some friends. To set such an elaborate plan, trying to kill people in the process, just to have NDJ kill him? So he could die what? A martyr? A bigger victim than he already was? Getting attention from the whole country? (Since the broadcast was live).

I am also glad that HWJ did not fall for KDY’s twisted storytelling, though his pain makes a lot of sense, in light of what he had to go through. However, as NDJ said in the end (what Adler said), “it is not the wounds and past hurts that will define you, but how you decide to live your life” (sth along those lines. That was how I understood it). KDY chose to focus on his pain and on his past, and b/c he chose to not move on, he never healed, and remained a tormented, twisted and sick person.

I loved the ending: GIG went back into acting (I think), BD is training other people (maybe having his own gym), DG is being sweet on Jamie (following on his “oh baby” from ep.10), and Jamie is playing hard to get?  NDJ is back with her dad, tying his tie. Yay! Jamie and NDJ ended up being strong female in the show, in their own way. I LOVE that part of the ending had HWJ extending his hand to NDJ, personally choosing to hold hers, and help her up, in a reversal of their initial meeting at the end of ep.1 (or was it only in ep.2?) That ending is quite chilling though: KDY being as sardonic as ever, having managed to attract new people.

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I don't actually mind that Show didn't go there with Sung Joon like I thought I would because I love Puppy the Second, but mostly because there were so many awesome things about this finale that I completely forgot to be disappointed.
The backstory...finally. I think what I loved most about the story was Da Jung's part in it. A lot of us had already guessed that Do Young and Woo Jin were connected by the orphanage and episode 11 made it pretty clear that Da Jung was somehow connected to it too, but I did not, for a millisecond, suspect exactly how she was connected.
I also loved the twist they gave Do Young's character, that warped as he was, he wanted to spend what he thought were his last moments with the two people he was happy with before he was dropped into his own personal hell. Also that he realised he couldn't be the soulless automaton the Walden Two people wanted him to be and was trying to fight them in his own, admittedly completely warped way.
My mind has already decided there's going to be a second season, whether the cast and crew and network wants it or not (There will be. Of course, there will. There will. Really.). All that's left is to mind control them into making it happen.

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Even if Do Young's intent is to spend his last moments with these two from his childhood, I can't help but question him giving the real bullet to Da Jung. If he'd actually died, he must have known how much of a shock this would be for her, since she would have essentially killed a person with her own hands. So I think Do Young is still plentilly warped...

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He IS warped.

Do Young strikes me as incredibly stunted, psychologically and emotionally. His psyche seems to be firmly fixated on that moment at the orphanage well, when he stood alone with his suitcase while WJ left with his mother and Dajung with her dad. Remember the smuggling game? When WJ observed that DY seems like a kid enjoying a game? I interpret DY as a boy in a man's body, with the IQ of a genius, and enough past trauma to produce a factory of sociopaths.

I think DY keeps going back to the well game because (creepy though it is to us) it's the last source of positive social interaction for him. WJ was the one who came up with it in the first place; that initial orphanage scene shows DY reading quietly while WJ tried to find kids to play the game. The well in many ways represents the "deep end" of life-- that dark, cold abyss we all see at some moment in life. The point of WJ's well game was to stare at that abyss with someone you trust, and through that process not fall into it. For DY, it literally was the *last* time he stared into the abyss with someone he trusted and did not fall. The next years for him were all about falling fast and deep into the metaphorical well.

And down he went. YD was essentially made, for many years, to play variations of the liar game. WJ mentioned that Walden Two made children betray and hurt each other. This kind of systematic deprivation of positive social interaction is detrimental to human development.

I think it might be helpful to examine DY's sociopathic craziness through the lens of attachment theory. John Bowlby defines attachment as “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings”, and the predominant understanding today is that children come into the world biologically pre-programmed to form attachments with others, as an evolutionary mechanism. In other words, we all naturally WANT to trust others, because cooperation enhances our chances at survival.

In 1958, Harry Harlow conducted a series of experiments on young rhesus monkeys (ugh poor babies). Those brought up with playtime with three other monkeys grew up to be emotionally and socially healthy (even in the absence of mothers). Yet those reared in social isolation died, or exhibited frightening/abnormal behavior.

The point is that positive playtime with other kids is essential to the mental health of a young person. Systematically made to manipulate and to betray, and systematically deprived of positive social interactions, DY is damaged and insane. No surprise here.

What IS surprising is the look on his face when he thought he was going to die. For the entire show, he was going on and on about how he “never loses a game.” And I mean, yes, sure, that’s understandable given he probably survived Walden Two because he literally never lost a game. But he lost the moment DJ decided to trust WJ unconditionally, and a bullet was going to end his life. And yet he never looked more euphoric (not even in...

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Oh gosh I'm so unbelievably happy about that ending and that straight up confirmation of that second season! (It's happening, it's definitely, definitely happening! xD WITH A LOVELINE) And NDJ playing doctor with HWJ and tendering helping him walk (*spins fantasies with joy*) And the gentle way he smiled and offered her his hand :D I’m on cloud nine here! I literally ending up writing over 4600 words when trying to analyze this ep, it was just so full of awesomeness! I love how DG and Jamie are now an item! And how Jamie straight up betrayed Dir. Jang ( I love this woman so much!) But it's their childhood game that I spent a lot of time analyzing, because I really wanted to understand KDY and why he did what he did and everything seems to come down to that and ‘finishing the game’. I’d love it if someone could add to this, because I really want to get him fully.

Ful analysis is right here! : http://unstoppablesun.com/2014/11/27/liar-game-ep-12-just-the-beginning/

I find it interesting that both the young HWJ and LDY gravitated towards her though. Little HWJ in particular seemed rather taken with little NDJ and certainly was less shy about showing it. (Remember when he told off little KDY for making her cry? and asked to read to her? xD)

Little HWJ's game (standing on the well and pushing each other back and forth) was based on trust, on counting on the other person and believing that they'd care enough about your well-being to not shove you in the well. However, all the other kids thought it way too risky. The curious thing is that the risk lay entirely in someone letting go off you, therefore they clearly didn't trust each other enough to hold the other person on top of the well. As such, none of the other children wanted to play little HWJ's game. KDY did, but they were quite similar in nature and their manner of thinking, and easily saw that the other wouldn't let them fall off. But little NDJ, who would never have been able to solve that Rubik's cube in twelve moves, wanted to play. Unfearing of the risks, she easily trusted little HWJ and KDY to not let her fall. Perhaps it was this trusting quality that drew them to her, and resulted in her becoming the third in their gang, the tag-along they didn't really mind. The only other child they were close with besides each other. Until little KDY overheard that conversation that is and he changed in an instant.
At first, I thought he was asking little NDJ to adress HWJ's mom as her own to fill the loss felt by his departure. Then it turned out to be his way of twisting the knife, and assuring her that her father wasn't coming back. And the twisted version of HWJ's game that he plays is where we really see the roots of present-day KDY begin. No longer was it a game about trusting one another, but actively suspecting and betraying the other, of looking out for your own skin as you could be the one, the other person lets go of. It was a manifestation of a child's pain and...

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part 2:

..and his need to know if he was truly wanted by someone, anyone. But he never got to find out. And the moment stayed with him for years, of never knowing whether he was the unwanted one. Walden Two took his mind, twisted it and shattered it, he never saw any more good in the world after that. His happy childhood was all that stayed. And so, he tries to find the answer, years later. Who would they have picked?
It's interesting to see that all three children, HWJ, KDY and NDJ, started off with the same philosophy, believing that all you needed to do was trust one another. And it is arguably his mother that implanted that philosophy in them to begin with. It's fascinating to see how each person turned out. HWJ slowly lost faith in humanity, beginning with the first lie his mother said, having understood on some level, just what truly happened to KDY. KDY's faith shattered much sooner, as we saw, and after having gone through hell for years, all that remained was anger, insanity and a massive God-complex.
But NDJ remained the same, despite betrayal, and immense debt, she never stopped trusting. And it is this quality that sucks HWJ straight in, as he knows this is someone who'll never betray him. On the other hand, it is this quality that KDY wants to destroy in her. And she surprising him time and time by failing to rise to his bait, we saw it in episode 9 in the Inspection room and we see it again when she trusts in HWJ no matter what. (YAY!)
But this anticipation of death wasn't what I'd expected of KDY. What happened to money raining from the sky? But the answer was right under my nose. This was it. This was his answer, who the unwanted one was. And that was all he needed. The fact that he considered himself a failed experiment was all the more saddening. He'd nothing left. And he seemed to know it from the start, setting it up so that either he'd die or HWJ would. This was all or nothing for him.
So why did HWJ save him? His purpose was threefold. First and foremost came NDJ, regardless of whether or not she'd have gone to jail, DJ wouldn't have been able to live with herself if that bullet had killed KDY, regardless of whether he deserved it or not. Secondly came KDY, HWJ wanted to answer his question at last, to finish that game the way it should have ended those years ago, with no one letting go of the answer. With KDY not being the unwanted one. And you could see that KDY understood the unspoken message. They truly have quite similar minds. The difference is in how they choose to use them. And HWJ's final purpose was, answers, HWJ knew that there was far more simmering below the surface, and he sure as hell wasn't letting his only lead get himself killed.

@Ivoire @GB @shinayame. You guys have been so brilliant and spot on with your observations with this show, and I'd love to know what you think of KDY's nature as well! I really hope I'm not contriving anything, as I really want to get KDY but things...

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@Ivoire @GB @shinayame part 3

...but things got a little confusing. I did love how NDJ was reading the same book that HWJ had been, during ep 9! (The courage to accept hatred) Three cheers for our adorable (and trusting) OTP!
What do you think KDY's reasons were? I'd seriously love to know! :D (In the meantime I'll be counting down until season 2 xD)

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I cheered when DJ turned her gun away from WJ and shot DY. I think I also laughed and thumped the table...not a good idea in the office during lunch. :D

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A character study of Do Young? Man, that is one piece I'd love to write, given the time. It's really so brilliant how the show handled his character. We spent eleven and a half episodes love-hating him and in literally just a few minutes, everything we thought was flipped on its head. I have never seen a show, k-drama or otherwise, which could pull something like this off. This is officially, hands-down, my favourite show, EVER. I think what gave it more colour and made it that much more interesting for me is that this is the first time I've ever felt inclined to join in on the discussions in the comments section on this site. Each episode made me want to actively hunt out other people and find out what they thought and whether they agreed or disagreed with me, or had a completely different opinion. Again, another first.

Kang Do Young...I never thought I'd end the show feeling anything other than love-hate for him (in the sense that I LOVED him as a villain but I'd hate him as an actual person. Or I'd be too terrified to.) I haven't found the words yet to explain how I feel about him now, but it's definitely so much more than that (I get you when you say that it's like you know the characters, Shalini, because talking about DY now is like I'm trying to describe how I feel about an actual person.)

I think what really got me about him is that in the end, when you peel away all the mental damage and twistedness and general insanity, he was, at his core, still that kid at the well who wanted to be with his friends again. That was the one thing he kept repeating throughout the final episodes, that he just wanted the three of them to play together again. That's what pulled me in during the finale, that, putting aside his revenge, everything he did was to spend his last moments with the only two other people in the world who meant anything to him. He was aware enough to try to pull the company down from the inside and warn Woo Jin about the people who broke him. What made him so real to me after 11 and a half episodes is that despite everything, fundamentally, there was a part of him deep, deep down that believed in the trust that Woo Jin and Da Jung believed in, which is probably what made him a 'failed experiment'.

Da Jung's involvement was something else that I absolutely loved. What a way to turn a seemingly throwaway line into such a vital part of their journey. Kudos to the writers for making it so brilliant and organic and completely unexpected. It made sense that back then and in the present, she was the moral core of their trio while the two boys were the poles. So well done.

There is one thing that I want your opinion on. In the end Do Young put the bullet into Da Jung's case. Why do you think he did that? That detail really leapt out at me because I thought he put in Woo Jin's case. It would have made sense to me if he'd put it in Woo Jin's case because there's a certain symmetry to that action. Everything...

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Regarding DY putting the bullet in DJ's case, as you said, I think that deep down he believed in the trust WJ and DJ had as kids. He knew that in the end, DJ would not betray WJ, and that she would end up shooting DY. As to why he wanted to be shot, I'm not sure. There are several good reasons that it could be, which I think other people in this thread have mentioned.

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It could be that, or DY put the bullet in DJ case because he wanted them to resume the well game. What could be more similar to it than putting a real bullet in one of their guns? (The well was no joke either. Anybody could fall and die). He didn't put it in WJ because he knew WJ would shoot him. But DJ is one little girl balancing the difference between these two boys. He gave his life to DJ. So when actually DJ points her gun to DY, he was relieved because he knew the ending of that well game.

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...started with the two of them and it would end with the two of them. But then he put the bullet into Da Jung's case and that made sense too, because of the way killing him would affect her. Maybe he thought that shooting him would corrup that soul he was so bothered by. Or maybe he wanted to taint her or bring her down to his level, just a little bit, because she had such a pure soul and he had practically no soul.
What do you think?

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@ Shalini, good morning~

Where in ep.9 is HWJ reading that book? I don't remember that scene. Please refresh my memory. How did you see the title? And NDJ was reading it upside down? (in ep. 1 or 2, when HWJ is in jail, he reads a book upside down as well, b/c it challenged him more).

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Hmm... I have a screencap of it. Here's when he was reading it in ep 9 http://anunstoppablesun.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/vlcsnap-2014-11-18-23h18m34s65.png
And here's when she was reading it :D
http://anunstoppablesun.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/vlcsnap-2014-11-26-01h56m10s12.png
I get very trigger-happy with the screencaps for this show, hence why I managed to catch it xD
She was actually reading it the right way up here. But Little NDJ back in the orphanage was reading the book upside hence why little HWJ asked her if she wanted him to read it for her, but she said that little KDY had told her that the book lasted longer if she did it this way. It's pretty neat that HWJ unconsciously carried on that habit!

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Hi Ivoire!!:)

How did you react when WJ turned his gun on DJ and fired that first time? I laughed out loud and made so much noise! Fortunately no one was around.

About paying attention to everything! I just have to re-watch slowly and rewind and re-watch. I'd love to catch every hint of what was to come.

Yes it was a wonderful ending to a wonderful drama, with almost promises of more. It's the promises that make the ending so much greater!

@ Shalini
WRT to the well game... you said "Little HWJ’s game (standing on the well and pushing each other back and forth)" it was Do Young who was initiating it and instigating the kids to play it, so perhaps DY's game and not WJ's.

Must read your analysis. I wrote a bit on DY in 7.2.1.1. below, just a general thing and nothing like your deeper analysis.

Read ya both later!

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Hey GB! I thought the kid standing on the well was KDY too, at first, but he was actually the kid reading the book. HWJ was the one asking the others play :P pretty surprised too, because for some reason little KDY looked more like present HWJ!

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@ Shalini
Also I wrote more on DY in comment 19 below.

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Sounds great! I'll read it right away! :D

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@ GB, @ Shalini, @ shinayame and @ those who have commented in between (@ Jackeline, @ Jjk) and @ Lixie and @ all the other beanies I have been leaving comments to (earlier today), and in the past recaps:

Today is a Holiday in the US, it is Thanksgiving Day, and I am also working today (don't ask! :-) ). I have barely been able to read Heads' recap and analysis of the ep. and of the drama, and I have only been able to quickly skim through some of the comments in this recap. So... I am saying all of that to say that I am not able to comment right away (as proven by my absence since I posted my comment early this morning), however, as I was peeling potatoes, and prepping other Turkey-eating food (to be cooked), I have been pondering what I think of KDY, of the show, etc...

Some of you guys know me by now. I like to give things (and dramas) some thought, so as not to write (or speak) out of thin air. So... I will be back later (like late tonight), since we will have to eat, entertain the guests we will have (could I make them watch LG? :-) and discuss it with me?), and I am on cleaning duty, when the guests leave. So yeah, it is a long day, and long night for me. I will also be back throughout the weekend, b/c I feel that I might have a lot to say, but also, there is no timeline I put on myself to discuss this drama, or its episodes. I am willing to do it, until there is nothing left to say, if that is possible :-)

So please, continually come back, and check on my and other beanies comments, if you feel inclined to do so. I know that I would personally appreciate that. So, until I know how to do magic (like KDY), and create another "Ivoire" who would have "LOVED" nothing but stay on her computer all day today, typing her comments away, that is how I will have to handle it for now. Thank you for your patience, and for going along with it. I really like the community we have created. Wouldn't it be something, if we could (actually) meet, and discuss this drama, over some drinks (and some really yummy food)? That would make my day, no my week... Wait, that would actually make my month, really!!!!! :-)

I would not be me, if I didn't leave you with some questions. So here we go. Hopefully you guys can help me figure these out, while I continue to think about the things I have to share with you guys (I have a lot of notes, so we have things to talk about :-) ):

1—Why did Jamie breathe like she had actually died? (beginning of the ep.) Is it b/c the players get so much into the game that they actually feel like they are dead when they are eliminated/shot at? B/c DG did that as well, when he was shot. Was he faking though, b/c he actually wanted to eliminated, so he could go the orphanage. And, they know that they will all win, so why breathe heavily? He and Jamie acted like they had actually been killed. I thought that was interesting. I don't know if I would have done that, though I was not on that stage.

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My comment from here, 1.6 Ivoire November 27th, 2014 at 4:02 PM
PART 2: (BTW, @ GB and @ Shalini, we need to discuss and dissect Angel Eyes at some point. I would love to do that with you ladies).

2—What was Dir. Jang doing? Just blindly being manipulated by KDY, or did he want in on sth? (when he talked to NDJ, in the bathroom, about 5mns in). He was trying to brainwash her, but why? I am trying to figure out if Dir. Jang was just a puppet (in KDY's hands), or if he wanted more (like when he wanted to go 50/50 on the prize $ with Jamie, remember that)? Which btw I am assuming never happened? Since Jamie became part of the team, and she turned "good" (did not stay evil manipulative witch). Dir. Jang didn't get anything out of this game, did he? Wasn't he trying to save the station though? (When he went to meet Llyod's Company's chairman), b/c he is one of the heads of JVN, no? (One of the decision makers, at least).
3--So I take it that HWJ was just buying time when he was shooting at NDJ, right? He wasn't really trying to eliminate her? But since KDY wanted to just go one on one with HWJ, why have NDJ try to kill him (and switch that bullet)? I am puzzled, b/c it didn't make sense to me.
4--So I guess it is safe to assume that NDJ's mom died, since we don't see her in the drama (and since we find out in this ep. that she was sick). I had been curious about NDJ's mom all along.
5-Was HWJ a murderer then? Did he really kill that CEO, or did he just let him hang on that chair, and the CEO died on his own? Wouldn’t that be kind of like the same thing? Though HWJ didn't go to jail for murder.
6--I am still curious about what happened to the participants (who were eliminated), at the beginning of the show. And what happened to LMJ (she was kidnapped, and then what?) What was the motive(s) behind the former players' disappearances? (all of them)
7-KDY is a murderer, right? Or is he just one on the side, since he didn't actually do the attempted killings?
8-Do you guys know why HWJ told NDJ to shoot him? Was he buying time again?
9-Why didn’t HWJ remember ANY of that time at the orphanage with KDY and NDJ? Could KDY be right? What would be the reason(s)?
10-Why was HWJ yelling at KDY to stop? Didn’t he want to hear the story KDY had to share? B/c I would have wanted to hear it, just to hear his version of what he thought happened.
11-Is KDY’s issue that HWJ’s mom betrayed him (did he use to call her mother? Heads says "no," I thought he did). So he must have thought of her as his mother, right?) But then, she sent him to the US where he was put in the WTP (which she didn’t know would take place, though she did look a little uneasy, for some reason when the bad ajusshi mentioned the couple in the US). And she clearly chose to keep her son with her. For KDY, could it be that, HWJ’s mom didn’t really love the children the same, as she claimed she did? (couldn’t he make that argument?) After all, she sent some of them to...

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Same comment, PART 3: 1.6 Ivoire November 27th, 2014 at 4:02 PM

After all, she sent some of them to the US (they ended up in the WTP, so to them, SHE sent them there), though in her defense, what else could she have done? And she was never told that they were actually being recruited for WTP. Doesn’t KDY see HWJ’s mom, and former CEO Kim as the two responsible for what happened to him? (Being adopted by US couple, who then used him for WTP, and that was all they were interested in).
12-Shalini said that SSR is in 2 other dramas, which ones are they? I only know about him being in King’s face. What would the other one be? Trot Lovers? But didn’t he do that before LG? (that is a lot of work though).
13—What do beanies think HWJ thought of KDY? He didn’t seem to buy into the way KDY was telling the story, he didn't seem to believe him.
14-So KDY did try and “save” NDJ then, when he advised her to call HWJ’s mom, “mom” so that maybe, she would not let her be adopted? I liked that.
15-Why didn’t they get the 10 Mil. USD?
16-If KDY wasn’t in for revenge, what else was he in for? Bring back HWJ’s memories, and make him admit that his mom was not an angel? That HWJ was wrong about his mom?
17-Did HWJ really doubted his mom at the orphanage? Is it based on how he asked “you did a good thing today, didn’t you?” Why did Heads say that? (I wasn't sure he really doubted her, though there was sth in his voice, when he asked his mom).
18-In light of what we know now, what did this mean, "KDY is “empty” inside"?
19-So KDY is not the one who created LG? I thought they said in the 1st ep. that he did?
20-Here, “but how cool would it be if the two of them worked together to stop whatever devils are behind all this shadiness?” What “shadiness” is Heads referring to? The LG TV show, or the (maybe) ongoing WTP? (Walden Two Project).
21-I would have liked to have known what happened to HWJ's dad.

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Hey Ivoire,
First, Happy Thanksgiving! I'm not good at calculating time zones so I hope you had/will have a good day!
I'm at work, so I'm going to take my time replying to your comments...I have fun answering your questions 'coz they make me think about things from different angles than I originally had in mind...
1-- I think it was all just so intense that they got sucked in. It's like when you're watching something really gripping on tv or reading something and you get so immersed in it that it's like it's happened to you. The guns may have been fake, but the situation was so intense and the stakes were so high, that when they lost, it may have felt like they'd actually been shot.
2--Director Jang was absolutely a puppet. He didn't have an agenda of his own from beginning to end (or maybe he couldn't) because he was manipulated so easily by KDY. Looking back, every action Jang took was engineered by KDY. He told Jaime to go to Jang with the idea of nominating him as Presidential candidate and he was the one who, as the presumed owner of Lloyd Capital, offered to buy JVN. I think it would not be wrong to say that Jang was just a pawn in KDY's overarching plan to get to Da Jung and Woo Jin.
3--I think Woo Jin shot at Da Jung for more than one reason. a) Do Young pretty much blackmailed him into doing it by threatening to kill Da Jung's father. b) He was trying to buy time so that Dal Goo could find DJ's father c) Maybe he thought that the sooner Da Jung got out of the game, the better. She'd be safer if she was eliminated first and he could deal with Do Young himself.
4--Yes. I think Da jung's mom died, as well. She doesn't seem to have been a very significant character in the show.
5--No, Woo Jin wasn't a murderer. I think they mentioned at the beginning of the show that he was arrested for attempted murder, but acquitted of that charge and then convicted for financial fraud. The CEO apparently killed himself.
6--I'm really curious about those contestants, too. Woo Jin mentioned during the voting game that a few paid the forfeit and some took loans to pay the forfeit and some disappeared. What I've been thinking is (and this would be really, really cool if {WHEN} there's a second season) what if the contestants who couldn't pay their debt were kidnapped and made to participate in the underground Liar Game that started at the end of the show? They could be forced to participate with the incentive that they'd be able to repay what they owed. I think that would be a truly awesome angle to explore during the second season.
Okay, so that's Part 1. Part 2 during my next break!

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Part 2!
7--The only person I can think of that Do Young actually tried to kill was Sung Joon, and Sung Joon is still alive, so Do Young isn't a murderer...i think. I'm personally still not sure if he actually wanted to kill SJ and DJ's dad or just scare them really, really badly.
8--I'm not sure why Woo Jin told Da Jung to shoot him, but my theory is that if she saw that he was willing to run the risk of being eliminated by her, she'd believe that he wasn't trying to betray her and he had a reason to keep shooting her.
9--Woo Jin letting go of his mom's hand at the orphanage symbolised his losing faith in her. He lost the belief that she was the kind angel he'd believed she was, and he was just a kid then, so maybe he couldn't handle it. He didn't want to believe that Do Young was telling the truth about her selling the other two off, so he just unconsciously suppressed the memories and 'forgot' until he saw the painting.
10--This answer's connected, in a way, to my answer before this one. He didn't want to believe it back and in the present, Woo Jin still believed that his mom was the idealistic, naive, kind-hearted woman she seemed to be. He didn't want to taint her memory by believing Do Young's story. I also think (and I don't why but I keep tying Woo Jin's actions during the last round to his wanting to protect Da Jung, even though that might be stretching it in some places) that he wanted to keep Da Jung from hearing the truth because he wouldn't want to entertain the thought that her father gave her up once.
11--I think Do Young did think of her as his own mother, it's just that he was never a very expressive child. He must have felt betrayed when he realised she wouldn't send Woo Jin away because he was her biological son. Also, even if she didn't know exactly why the shady ahjusshi wanted the kids, I am very sure that she knew it wasn't for anything good, because she looked really solemn as if she knew why the ahjusshi wanted the boys and she very deliberately said that one of the boys was her son. So I think that she was indirectly responsible for Do Young's fate.
12-- Shin Sung Rok's been in You From Another Star, Trot Lovers, Liar Game and King's Face this year.
Part 3 coming soon!

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@ shinayame, good morning (my time, which is also DB [dramabeans] time zone~

Great! I am looking forward to part 3. Please keep those coming, and then I will post my questions for ep.11, either here or on that recap, and then I will let you know when I have posted them (hope that is OK!) Thank you so much for responding!!!!

I have another question: when KDY said that he was a "failed experiment," I kept assuming that the people at WTP (Walden Two Project) rejected him, b/c he wasn't succeeding at the experiments, so maybe he was let go, or asked to leave?
But then, I got to thinking, and I wondered if KDY actually did do OK, maybe not as well they expected him to, but well enough to stay there a long time, until it was time for him to leave, and then he went to those great schools he went to in the US. Does he then consider himself "a failed experiment" b/c he still have emotions, he is still "human inside," as HWJ pointed out (human to some extent, maybe?) KDY seems to have been in WTP for a very long time, enough to have seen a lot of horrible things being committed on innocent children for quite some time (or maybe for a long time?)

What do you think? Since KDY is a genius, and during the Presidential Game, he could control his emotions (those micro-expressions), do you think the people at WTP considered him a "failed experiment," or is it KDY's views? I realized that (for me), it was not made clear, b/c both views would have a different meaning and different implications. When you have the time, please let me know what you think. I am so glad my questions make you think. It makes it worth the time I write them (in my notes), and it makes it worth sharing.

I am sorry I have not commented yet. After a long day, and a long night yesterday, I was not feeling well late last night. So I wasn't up early (around 3 or 4am, DB time) as I hoped I would have been, b/c it is the time when I love to write (no distractions then). So I was not able to post new comments. However as I said earlier, I will be around for quite some time on these recaps' comments, so please keep checking, and let's continue our conversations. I had a really good Thanksgiving, the food was excellent! Thank you for your well wishes :-)

I will be back later, when I am able to be back :-) Have a wonderful day, or night, depending on where you are living! :-)

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Hey there Ivoire! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! :D I hope you're having a wonderful time with your family! shinayame took the words right out my mouth for your questions, so I'll just add on where I can :D
NDJ wasn't awarded $10 million as the company behind the prize money was Lloyd Capital of KDY's company. Remember when LDY instructed the lackey/fake Chairman to sell every bit of the JVN as soon as possible? He was essentially cutting his ties with the station , he never had any intention of working with Dir. Jang. However, things didn't turn out the way he'd planned. KDY's true nature was revealed, which resulted in his arrest, and the station had no choice but to cut ties with Lloyd Capital (which was also being investigated), as such there was no real source of money for them to award $10 million. I imagine they scrounged up what they could from the money used in the previous games, and paid the contestants as much as they could.
“Does he then consider himself “a failed experiment” b/c he still have emotions, he is still “human inside,” as HWJ pointed out (human to some extent, maybe?)”
From what I heard, KDY started off by agreeing with what HWJ said during ep 9: that some vestige of humanity always remains no matter how hard you try to get rid of it. KDY agreed that it was the same for him as he found out. He may have come into his game, in complete control of himself, planning to exact his revenge, and put HWJ and NDJ through some seriously painful mental gymnastics but the closer he got, the most the past, and its wounds, began to resurface, getting closer and closer until he began to flip out more and more. I mean, this is the same guy that President Bae said was “empty inside”. Yet these past few episodes KDY has been veering more and more onto full-on mental.KDY was at the peak of his control during ep 8, beating HWJ at the coin-tossing game. Things just went downhill from there. I think it was then that he began to realize that perhaps, he wasn’t as perfect a God as he thought he was. I feel like it’s only now that he’s realizing the extent to which his mind has been damaged. And one last thing that I found incredibly chilling was when he told HWJ that “the confusion gets out of control” if no one stops him. Whatever the WTP did to him was as messed up as hell.
“Do you think the people at WTP considered him a “failed experiment,” or is it KDY’s views? I realized that (for me), it was not made clear, b/c both views would have a different meaning and different implications.”
I think it’s a mixture of both really. KDY also told HWJ that while he couldn’t control himself perfectly, that there were those who could. Meaning that he has seen a successful experiment, and he’s warning HWJ that they will be out to get him. The ending showed KDY all busted up and tied up, meaning that the people behind WTP must have done something to him. Plus that ending (and the season season hooray!) sets up the original Liar Game premise (the...

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@Ivoire part 2:
(the underground series of life-threatening games). Meaning that the show will only get darker as time goes one, as we’re now off-air, and there’s no one to stop our contestants from violence (as non-violence was one of the rules on the broadcast).
I love all your questions! They really get into the essence of the show.
Just wanted to let you know that I have read your comments on the other recaps, and I’ll be responding in a few hours! Can’t wait to check out all the LSY moments you mentioned!

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Hmm...that's a really good question, and Shalini answered it pretty well too, so I'll just throw in my two very similar sounding cents.
Do Young was on top of his game right up until Woo Jin mentioned the Project during the smuggling game. I think the intense anger he felt when he heard Woo Jin talk about that must have come as quite a shock to him (and I'm understating this very greatly considering how completely he went off the rails after that) and that's when his downward spiral began, when he realised that something was happening that he hadn't calculated. Because, of every eventuality he foresaw (and he foresaw quite a few) I don't think he imagined that Woo Jin would go digging into his past, let alone find out about Walden Two.
So from then on, and since he'd already completed the revenge portion of his agenda, I think he started to work towards the finale of his grand plan, which was the three of them in a tiny place and a game of trust with massive stakes. The fact that his finale was exactly like the last happy period of his life and also that look of relief and anticipation on his face when Da Jung shot the last bullet proves that all his years in the WTP couldn't wipe out that tiny bit of humanity he had left. It was tiny, but it was big enough to have him try to fight the system and warn Woo Jin about the bigger threat.
That last scene of his really gave me the chills, because if the Project did get to him, then they would have tried to programme him again, and that laugh sounded an awful lot like the laugh of someone who's actually, genuinely, truly fallen off the edge, not just skirting it like Do Young was before. If he does end up working for the Project in the next season, he will be walking a much, much darker path than he was this time, though I have no clue how they can make him any more twisted than he already is.

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Part 3!
13--I don't think Woo Jin likes Do Young at all. First, because he was responsible for his Mom's death, second, because he saw him as a twisted maniac bent on destroying society as we know it. I also think Woo Jin still believes in his mother's innocence and naivete because he didn't actually hear his mother talking to the shady ahjusshi. So to him, Do Young is someone who is trying to corrupt his mother's memory. Also, at his core, Woo Jin is just as morally upright as Da Jung is and just the things that Do Young has done so far would turn Woo Jin against him. What I'm interested in, is how they will go forward from the end where Woo Jin took the bullet instead of Do Young and Do Young warned Woo Jin about 'them'. If, like Heads suggested, they do team up, or Woo Jin tries to rescue Do Young from 'them', that will be an interesting thing to see.
14--He may have been trying to protect her, I thought that as well, or it may have been how he chose to preface his disclosure about being sold off. I chose to believe that he was trying to protect her as the last good thing he did before his happy life ended.
15--I wish they would have mentioned that, but honestly, it doesn't bother me that they didn't. I figured they divided the money between all the contestants, but math isn't my strong point, so maybe someone can help with the calculations.
16--He was definitely in it for the revenge. He got his revenge against the shady ahjusshi and Woo Jin's mom. He failed in his objective of revealing Mom's true face, because Woo Jin continued to believe in her. Mostly, I think he wanted a conclusion to their incomplete well game. He thought he knew how it would turn out by making himself the villain; his death would end everything but he still wanted the time before that to be spent with the two people who shared his last happy moments with him.
17--Woo Jin was always intelligent. So when Do Young said what he did at the well, I'm sure it stuck with him. Like adult Do Young said, Woo Jin knew the ahjusshi wasn't good. That's why he let go of his mother's hand as they walked away from the orphanage. Subconciously, I think that is when he started doubting his mother, and that doubt is what he later repressed and what he refused to let Do Young bring up during the final round.

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And Part 4, coz my shift's almost over and I have the time.
18--From what we can tell from the show, The Walden Two Project essentially robbed the children involved of any trace of personality they may have had. They were left with nothing, no emotions, no conscience, no soul. That is what it means. Although, that teensy bit of trust in the end, when he warned Woo Jin and owned up to trying to fight the Project from the inside, made him a 'failed experiment'.
19--Do Young did create the Liar Game, but it was kind of like an independent project under a larger umbrella. It was, at its core, what the Project expected, a destruction of trust, but he twisted it to suit his own aim. So Liar Game was probably his idea, but the seed of the idea came from the WTP.
20--She's referring to the Walden Two Project. The show was just a trial, a test run, like Do Young says when Woo Jin goes to visit him in prison. It's a beta test, you could say, and once they have their results, they launched the 'real version' underground. This version would probably be a lot more vicious and deadlier than the show because the show would have to be 'sanitised' or kept clean for TV audiences, whereas an underground, off-the-grid version would have no such limitations, giving the Project a larger and more varied sample pool for whatever heinous experiment they were conducting.
21--I'm okay with not knowing about Woo Jin's dad and Da Jung's mom. They weren't relevant to the story and until they become relevant to the story in some way, I'm okay with not knowing.

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@ shinayame and @ Shalini~

I just LOVE you guys (so much!!!!!!) for continuing this conversation. This is making my day. Can I ask you guys a favor? I never posted my questions for ep.11. I am going to post them on the ep.11 recap (within a few hours). Would you guys mind looking at them, and taking a jab at them? Since we really love analyzing and dissecting this show, looking at it from all possible angles. I am still working, so I will be back later.

@ Shalini, I guess I will have to learn how to do screencaps, so I can notice more things, like you did. I tried doing the downloading thing you explained to me a few episodes ago, and I was not successful :-( So, when I try that again, I will let you know, so you can walk me through it, please.

@ shinayame~
There is sth I would like to explain to you about how to post your comments (so they don't get truncated, and you only realize it when it's done/posted). I have a few tricks I use to help prevent that. I will explain later, b/c one of the children here is getting impatient. I will be back later.

And guys, I can already tell that I will have a lot to write, so you guys will have some good stuff to read (I hope) : -) Your patience will be rewarded, I promise!!!!! :-)

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Oh, and sorry: I said this "and taking a jab at them?" when I meant to say this "and taking a stab at them?"

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I just checked both expressions, and I actually did mean "to take a jab," though I don't want a quick answer. I prefer our answers, that we take the time to think through, and which, as a result of being thought through, can be long (not that I am complaining :-) ).

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Hey Ivoire! *insert massive hug* Can't wait to see your questions over there!
And considering the massive amounts of free time that I have I'd be glad to walk you through with torrenting! I find that it really allows me to go back and go through the episode at my own pace (while screencapping HWJ's face from every single possible angle xD)
Hope the weather (gosh it's getting cold) is treating you well! :D

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@ Shalini *insert massive hug back*

I am soooo sorry I have not posted my questions on ep.11 yet. I will get on that now. I have not been feeling well :-(, and I tend to get really immersed when I start writing on this blog. All that thinking (and writing), takes a lot of energy (at least from me). I guess I am not getting any younger :-)

@ Shalini, I did leave you some responses here http://www.dramabeans.com/2014/11/will-liar-game-produce-a-season-2/
however, I haven't seen any responses from you, there. Did you remember that I wrote to you there? I also left you a comment here, http://www.dramabeans.com/2014/11/news-bites-november-29-2014/
I hope you will see it (and maybe respond?)

And yes! Please help me with torrenting, b/c I have a feeling that the HD images with torrenting might be (much) better than the HD on viki. And I would REALLY love to be able to watch Kdramas with awesome HD images. That would just be wonderful!

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@ Shalini~
I just posted a comment (to you), that is awaiting moderation, FYI.

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Oh, thanks Ivoire, that would be really helpful...i keep having to check I'm not crossing the limit and that means I can't always write the way I want to...

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Hey Ivoire!
I did read it and left you a response right now! :D
I'll definitely e-mail you with steps on how to torrent. The quality is incredible, plus I don't have to deal with a lousy connection xD and video loading problems :D

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Shalini, would you mind explaining torrenting to me too? I usually stream my shows online, but I'd love to have some that I want to watch again without having to wait for them to load...

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Thanks for the recap heads.

I was excited for this drama when it was first announced solely because I love the Japanese version and I wanted it to be as good as that one. Granted, this version was very different and it didn't hooked me as much, it was a good adaptation.

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It's finally here, thanks headsno2. By the way, if you're experiencing major withdrawals, I recommended watching the JPN dorama. It's just as good (if not better) and the male lead is a total hottie (and a genius too).

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"and the male lead is a total hottie"

I can vouch to that!!!

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My fav kdrama ever!

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ME TOO. I was on a year-long kdrama break, and only watched this show because of my love for the original manga. tvN really put forth something impressive. LG is just a pleasure to watch-- cerebrally stimulating, visually stunning, and emotionally substantial.

While the cast and the ending pretty much hint at a season 2, I'm still a bit scared that our show will sink in development hell. The reason being that, on average, LG ratings were below 1%. I'm afraid the mediocre ratings might interfere with season 2's funding and production.

**Signal boost**

Those of us who are devoted fans-- IS IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO ASSEMBLE A PETITION AND/OR SEND SOMETHING TO TVN / the cast & crew??? Javabeans, can you help us arrange something? It would be so wonderful if we international fans can show our love and support.

Like, Veronica Mars was never a ratings success. But look at what that fandom managed to do.

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Here's the official facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/tvNliargame?fref=photo
A lot of fans have been posting like crazy, asking for a second season. I actually think it's a given that we'll get one season as tvN has begun doing multiplie seasons for a number of its shows: Three Musketeers, Misaeng, etc, so I don't doubt that we'll get one. But the support does speak for something, so posting on there would be a great idea!

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am I a psycho if I pump my fist and say:"YES! YES! YESS! ASSA!" in my mind, when Do Young escapes at the end, when with any other baddie it should be: "OH NOOOOOOOO!"? what in the... the tendency to cheer for the evil mastermind still SHOULD BE unhealthy, right? oh man I so didn´t do that with You From The Stars....Yeah, I know: cause it means more deliciously eerie Shin Sung Rok.
Though I wouldnt mind a cute comedic short in between.
and someone make me an interchanging gif of Woo Jin and Grumpy Cat.
so glad pickled radish stayed alive!

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What a great ending!( but I would have liked it better if it ended when DJ and WJ received the phone call from Liar game people).
Most of all, I am happy that heads got to recap this great show. Hope she can find next one (to recap) this good. Thank you very GamSa for the recap!

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I have some doubts:

Why did DY started this game? To fight "them"...but how?

Or to take revenge....but that's not true...

Or to kill himself at the end...but then...why?

totally confused!

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Yep. I wonder if any of those who love the show could explain to us. :)

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@ cg,

I am a little confused about this as well "Or to kill himself at the end…but then…why?" But then again, KDY is twisted and deranged, so... Was he trying to get more attention by doing that? Or was he playing God again?

Also, I feel that kDY did get some kind of revenge, considering that HWJ's mom committed suicide (and HWJ lost his mother), KDY put HWJ through many mental pains, and he upset his life, making HWJ having to protect NDJ, and at times having to race against time (to save her dad, for example). KDY also made things difficult for NDJ, abducting her dad, and trying to kill him. He definitely upset her life as well, though she did get some money in the end, so that was good, and her dad came back home.

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@Ivoire

C'mon. :) After 12 hrs of building suspense they can't expect us to go with KDY was twisted, that's a good explanation for everything he did, including trying to kill himself. His motivation was one of the big mysteries so even if they don't explain who is behind LG at least the KDY part should have been better resolved.

I can come up with a lot of explanations but I find frustrating that show didn't pick one and went with it, makes me think show was not confident enough to commit.

For instance he could have wanted to show NDJ's philosophy was wrong from the beginning but then he would want to win fairly and he did try stage his win so that doesn't make sense.

He could be trying to make her a killer which would devastate her but then he would have to have brought the real gun himself.

It goes on.

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@ cg and @ Ivoire

About DY,... I was thinking ... How much can we believe what he says both at the beginning and at the end? After all he did and put others through. He used any means, threats, taunts, rewards... to get people to do what he wanted.

In the end, can he blame it on a 'them' who is controlling him and who have never made an appearance?

If he is speaking about people who experimented with children in a controlled environment, it seems unlikely that they have much to gain in drawing in the general (indebted) public to play a game.

The more obvious explanation as to motivation which covers the questions by cg, as described by Heads and mentioned/hinted at by Ivoire, is the one where he is insane and the real prime mover who refuses to move on from the past. From resentment towards the adoption broker and WJ's mum and refusal to leave that well game.

Thus he took his revenge on WJ's mum and indirectly on the broker through WJ (not sure how the broker died). Then he goes back to his elaborate organisation of playing his game of trust to see who falls into the well.

Since he gave the bullet not to WJ but to DJ, there was a chance of either WJ or himself being shot. So the unpredictable outcome of the well game was still possible.

And why? Because unfortunately he is not only evil (even as a child) and a genius, but really mad, and cannot derive satisfaction any other way. That quote from Adler is so apt.

And like Woo Jin said to Da Jung, the water in the well is the same temperature throughout the year although we think it is warm or cold in different seasons, life and how we choose to regard it determines whether we find it worth living or not. But actually, life is always worth living.

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thanks a lot Growingbeautifully....I think some of my confusions are cleared...

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Great analysis!

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could it be that before her dad was saved by Dalgoo, KDY is contented with NDJ ending his life just in case he ended her dad's? or perhaps, he really just wanted to call everything quits by also letting NDJ bear the burden and guilt. but why would KDY do that to the innocent girl, i just kinda feel that he means NDJ no harm.

btw, ohmygad! when HWJ saved KDY's ass

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IMO, DY's aims was to make NDJ kills WJ, as in a kind of twisted "poetic justice". He planed everything to create a plot to make NDJ distrust in WJ, aiming WJ death - and this was why he said WJ won't know what was the true behind everything. I think he was surprised when NDJ turned to him, though after that he seemed to feel resigned with his end.

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he wanted to "play"

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i guess we need season 2 for your answer. we really need it.
and if SSR didn't get an award for this show, i will lose my faith in kdramaland. LOL. can't people see how awesome his acting??

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@lucy I think SSR got more work than anyone this year, YFAS, Trot Lovers, LG and King's Face. I think lots of people see the awesomeness. :)

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Ah, don't worry lucy... Believe me, my fans' admiration and love is so much more important than those cheap awards and even money! =LiarGame xP

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He is pure awesome. d#(*$&(*D I can't even ..

I think I would have really hated Kang Do Young, had another actor took the role.

But SSR inhabits the role in such a way that I feel everything for him, all at once.

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I think the creator of Liar Game is actually the people that made DY into this "evil" person. DY organized this game for several reasons. 1.) For his own pleasure, he created a social experiment that uses money people to manipulate and deceive other. I think the Walden Two people made into a sick masochist who enjoys seeing people hurting each other. 2.) I think revenge is surprisingly the least motivator for his creation of this game. He did get his revenge on WJ's mom and the philanthropist who took to him to the US. DY did appear to act upon some remaining hatred toward WJ though.
3.) DY knew that he was sick and he wanted end things his own way. In his conversation with WJ at the end of the episode, he mentioned how he hoped WJ and DJ would convince him to change his mind.

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I don't know, yes it's not a bad ending in any way but it felt really unsatisfying and incomplete.

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In itself, I found it complete enough in that it wrapped up on many big questions that we had. We ended up understanding most of the whys.

It could feel incomplete in that with DY's unpredictable madness, not everything may make sense. Also with the openness to another Season, some cliff hangers are intentional.

My thoughts on plot holes or things which are too fortuitous/coincidental...
1) There was no guarantee that DY would get that bullet from Detective Cha's gun, since there was no guarantee that WJ would bring Cha along with him to rescue DJ's dad. So his great plan to be shot on live TV, unless he was sneaking in his own bullet from somewhere else, might not have been foolproof. But that is unlikely for DY whose character does nothing ad hoc.

2) By giving the bullet to DJ rather than WJ, was DY certain to get himself killed? Could he predict that at the end DJ would turn the gun on him? And what if the bullet had been in one of the earlier shots? Woo Jin might have received it instead.

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2) After all was said, he would be pretty sure she would shoot him but the gun wasn't supposed to be there in the first place so like I said before, if getting shot was his plan then he should have brought the gun himself.

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did this episode ever mention that DY got the bullet from detective Cha's gun? I thought he just brought his own real bullet.

I think DY could have guessed that it was more likely that DJ would shoot him instead of WJ. I don't think he would have mind her shooting WJ.

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When the lacky knocked Detective Cha out with the 2x4 he took the bullet. I'm not sure how he got it to DY when no one else could get anything through but it showed how they got the bullet out of the gun...

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1) Of course Woo Jin would choose the police officer. It's not that complicated to predict--WJ's first choice would have been Dal Goo, but he's busy in the Liar Game. WJ knows better than to go alone--because last time, when he went alone, someone hit him over the head and he ended up dangling on a roof. So he needs someone to watch his back, just in case DY pulls foul play. WJ is also kinda of a loner--he doesn't have many people he trusts, because when you list them all out--Da Jung, Jaime, Dal Goo, the female reporter, and some guys he knew from prison, most of them he can't rely on for when things get violent. The prison guys are still in jail, so that leaves the police officers he knew. All DY needs to do is have one of those spies confirm this (he keeps tabs on everyone--from PD Lee to Da Jung's father) and the stage is set for sure. But the statistics of Woo Jin choosing to bring the police officer was pretty high to start with. If I can make this deduction, DY doubtlessly can as well.

2) The reason why he gave the bullet to Da Jung was precisely because he wanted to duplicate the same uncertainty they felt in the well game. Back then, in the last well game he said things that would make them resent him. And flash forward to now when he did all these despicable things. He's laying down similar circumstances and is fully expecting them to turn on him, but he plays the game anyway. Part of me thinks that it's to confirm his world view--that humans are despicable and no one can be trusted. Part of me think this is rooted in his own self-hatred and hatred of humanity. He wants people to let go of their "nice masks" and show who they really are. And the fact that he gave that bullet to Da Jung, the "nicest" person who seems incapable of betraying... one reason might be that he wants to see whether Da Jung proving him right or wrong. (And that he is conflicted on which end he wants to see, but needs the closure anyway. The way I see it--life after this event was hell for him, so he clung to these childhood memories, probably that last good (innocent/happy) ones for a long time. But that incomplete well game nagged at him, and the question wherein--whether he would have been the unwanted one and tossed in the well, whether his friends could actually be trusted or betray him just like "mom", was still inconclusive. You could say that the Liar Game is actually a game of trust.

(Not to mention, there was also the chance Woo Jin would recognize a real bullet when he saw one.)

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I really hope they will release the bgm as a part of the ost because i loveeeeee this show's bgm.

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Me too, many people seemed to not like it, which is weird to me :/

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@ Maira,

My thoughts exactly! I am hoping that they will release the OST (all of it), and that it will have the bgm we have been hearing throughout the drama. There is one particular (long) piece with a lot of drums, which I think was introduced in the Presidential Game (the 1st ep. of the Presidential Game). That was when I 1st noticed it. It caught my attention, because it was new, and long. It is such an upbeat piece, great for a workout. I have looked up the instrumental pieces (for this drama) on YT, but no one has posted them there (yet).

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THIS! One of the reasons why I loved the original Liar Game as well. The OST is amazing!

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LG's instrumental soundtrack is the best soundtrack of all time, OF ALL TIME.

Background music in kdramas usually drive me nuts-- especially those cheesy piano melodies in soapy romance/angstfest dramas.

But the LG soundtrack is quite exceptional, with complex melodic ideas and excellent orchestration. I really love that ominous instrumental theme that starts in G minor (anyone know what I'm talking about? The starting notes are: G D F Eb D C D Eb F# Bb).

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What I`m gonna miss most about this show is the epic intro

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ikr? never got tired of it :)

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The LG intro is kinda similar to Orphan Black's, especially with the mirror images and the Helvetica-esque typography.

I wonder if LG's writer has seen Orphan Black and/or is a fan? The two shows are similar in narrative speed and tone. Also, Kang Do Young's character remind me of Helena from OB. Both are mentally deranged, victims of brainwashing/torture, and yet are incredibly charming.

I'm not suggesting LG is copying OB or anything! I deeply love both shows. Beside, creative inspiration and influence are awesome things.

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Hey, do u know why Woo jin read the book upside down in jail , from the earlier episode? is it related to psychology thingy?

There was one scene when Da Jung read a book , and she read it upside down as well ( the scene in the orphanage) , and Woo Jin her reading a book like that.

Could it be that Woo Jin remember her well, and he read the same way in the jail as she did?

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There was also a scene where young Do-Young was reading a book upside down while all the other kids gathered around the well. It's supposedly meant to make the book last longer since there weren't very many books at the orphanage (Mum promised to buy him more books to read). Woo Jin probably picked it up as a habit or probably had a small variety of books to choose from at the Prison. Haha.

On that note, i love how Liar Game has so many detailed intricacies that can serve as discussion points in their own right. I'm going to miss Liar Game so much. *cries*

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That is such a brilliant observation! I remember back in the orphanage, HWJ noticed DJ reading upside down and asked her if she wanted him to read it for her, but she said that little KDY had told her that the book lasted longer if she did it this way. It's interesting to see that HWJ remembered that much from his time in the orphanage and unconsciously copied that habit!

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* woo jin saw her

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Can people please stop comparing it to the jdrama? Not every one cares about the jdrama, I don't...

When City Hunter came was on, no one compared it to the manga...

Anyway, Liar Game is my 2nd fave ever kdrama. A bloody masterpiece. What an epic finale.

One question: Why did Darug and HWJ repress those memories? Why were they always standing on the well on the verge of falling off? We're they contemplating suicide? They didn't seem like sad kids... Esp Darug when you look at her happy and trustworthy character.

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As far as I can tell, there is no indication of why DJ and WJ cannot recall their childhood much. One of the plot holes?

As children, daring each other and standing over a well was a game and I'd guess that DJ and WJ did not think of the real danger, so of course things like suicide were not considered. Where DY was concerned, there was something sinister in how he taunted/dared others to play with him this scary game. It was at best a terribly reckless game to play and at worst, a possible way to get someone killed.

What is inconceivable to me is that the adults in that place, especially WJ's mum, could allow that well to be left there open for any accident to take place,... her own son was standing there! (My heart would drop at the thought of the fall).

And seeing that the kids were standing on the wall of the well, it is also unbelievable that she never prohibited it!!! What kind of care giver allows such a dangerous situation to even happen and to be repeated!

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I don't think that Da Jung and Woo Jin losing their childhood memories was a plot hole. Especially if it's memories that you really, really want to forget, it is especially easy. For Da Jung and Woo Jin, they both have their reasons for trying to erase it from their minds: Da Jung doesn't want to recall that her father abandoned her; Woo Jin sees something in his mother that deeply unsettles him.

(For me personally, I don't remember anything from before I was six years old. I know enough to sometimes recall the memories when it is triggered, but it's sort of a terrifying feeling. You know that you buried something and that it is awful, and the very thought of trying to recall it--makes you feel that same creepy/scared feeling that horror movies inspire but with none of the reassurance that it's not real. So a lot of the things that Woo Jin felt and his reactions, struck a cord with me. And at the same time, Da Jung's also did--because there's always that curiosity, especially if you forgot it enough to forget all the negative emotions associated with it.)

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I have to admit that I don't know much (or at all?) about my six year old self. Only like two to three snippets. I guess for Da Jung there addittionally comes the feeling to forget that she was abandoned.

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A lot of people compared CH to the manga and I should know since I was one of those people and I don't see nothing wrong with comparing this version to the dorama, it's a remake after all and if you don't like it, then just skip reading those comments.

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Why did Woo Jin never change his expression? It's always the same brooding, some what pissed off face in different range depending on the situation.

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When he sees stupid comments like these that dare challenge his greatness, why should he smile?

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THAT I don't think anyone here can explain. :)

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My take on his broodiness is that at first he did not trust anyone, he was basically a loner with no real friends. He is plagued by a sense of failure over his mum's suicide, since he could read others but did not know what was going on with his own mother. By the time he learnt to trust others more, the seriousness of the game, DY's taunts and the real dangers became apparent so he had no reason to smile.

But on the other hand, (I'm just guessing that) the producers probably told him, don't smile, because if you do, your dimples will just throw everyone and no one will take the weightiness of your role seriously!!! :) Plus viewers might swoon and miss out on some important hints! :D

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Liar Game 2 - bring it.
; )

and pleeeease, can we see lee sang joon smile just once so we can see his adorable dimples????

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A few more things...

I'm not really a fan of DY spilling out all the answers that HWJ and us viewers had been looking for. It would be better if he, the hero, found it himself, but ehh.

Also, what happened to that asshole Director Jang? He should be rotting in jail too.

And what about that guy who used to be the boss of Dalgoo? He had affiliations with DY but we haven't heard of him for awhile...

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Yeah, they're teasing the idea of season 2 at the end of this finale by starting the "real liar game". So-eun also said she'd do a season 2 if they were to.

This was perhaps the most satisfying drama ending i've experienced this whole year thus far. Everything tied up nicely. It didn't feel rushed nor did it drag. I was literally on pins and needles when they were cutting in between flashbacks and bullets.
Shows like these make me think all action k-dramas should be 12 episodes long because it worked out perfectly. Not all the games were my favorite, but liar game certainly thought outside the box and you certainly will not find another k-drama like it.
Thanks for the great ride, show. And heads, thank you for recapping this gem!

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This final episode was dedicated to Do Young. From the beginning to the end, I let out a string of "YOU!SONOFABITCH!" to "oh-my-goodness-no wonder" to "poorpuppy--cometomomma" ...

And Be damn to the stylist who ruined Ha Woo Jin's hair in that minute. I want the hair back! How dare you destroy our memory of the Handsome Ha Woo Jin with that hair??!!

I think this drama is one of the most complicated dramas to recap, to hats off to the recappers. I believe the time you've spent thinking and studying and writing and thinking and googling and typing and watching it again and again can't be exchanged with a mere thank you. I will always feel gratitude for you. thank you..

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Give me your address <3

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Yessssss! The hair! Argh - To give me the amazing confident hero, Woojin, and then put him in a turtleneck and give him an almost-perm/bad part hair job! Ack! Whhhhhhhyyyy? (Or Wheeeeeeyoooooooo)

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It's amazing how much Lee Sang-yoon smiles in the BTS pics. There's no spontaneous BTS moment that he didn't smile. Smiling is just his identity. Lee Sang-yoon is that certain someone who makes everybody happy on the set.

How a torment it must have been for him to frown the whole time. Lee Sang-yoon, how adorable you are! And the last pic. THAT. LAST. PIC. WITH. VELVET. COAT. I love you even more, Lee Sang-yoon-sshi! (May I marry Ha Woo-jin over Dong-joo?) HE. IS. PERFECT. ARGUMENTS. ARE. INVALID.

Kim So-eun's Nam Da-jung aka. Kanzaki Nao is mighty fine. The role is tailored for her. Though I will still point the fact that she is the protagonist of this show. Everything centers on her. Supposedly. But this one showed intellect versus intellect of the two guys, Nam Da-jung there at the side. But I will not deny it, I love this version more than the J-version, officially. (I think my decision was based solely on Lee Sang-yoon, though, but I waited for it to finish first)

Choi Sung-joon. Poor kid. Sigh. Whatever he has done to receive that! Jamie and Dal-goo, love overflows! I saw the most drastic change of heart with Jamie and Dal-goo. Bulldog, still the man of steel. Goo In-gi looks suave practicing his lines in his dressing room. Way to go, stories of hope and fighting through life's disappointments and corruption!

And this Do-young will do anything for RATINGS. Lol. He wants to die in front of national television, and become the talk of the town. Is he an Anthony Kim wannabe?

Have I pointed out how hard my HEART JUMPED when he offered his hands towards her? And she accepted his hand! Then they walked together. Ha! Good things abound!

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LOL! The centre parting bothered me :D

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Me too!!! Why leave our smexy hero on such an ajhussi-looking noteㅠ Please let the middle part be a temporary thing that does not last long if season 2 happens... why must perfectly hot hair be replaced just because it's a new season? *waaah* I remember cringing the same way when I saw Min Tae Yeon's new hair in vampire prosecutor 2. I eventually got used to it but still think the original look works best and maybe even more so in HWJ's case!

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Hilarious comments regarding Ha Woo-jin hair in last part are as EPIC AS EPIC CAN GET! I love Liar Game fans!

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I admit, I feel the same way. I hope that if we see that hairdo again, it will be an extremely brief occasion.

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I'm just going to pretend I didn't see it. If I don't look away from his eyes (which, admittedly, isn't difficult at all) I can pretend it doesn't exist and his hair is the hot, scruffy do it always has been. (And always will be, Show, or we will have words.)

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I think the reason you couldn't find the quote was because the philosopher must have been Alfred Adler even if the show said Mortimer (I don't know if they did or just said Adler) -- both were philosophers, but the former specialized in individual psychology and the latter, who became associated with the Great Books program, specialized more in straight philosophy.

Anyway, this may have been the quote referred to:

"No experience is a cause of success or failure. We do not suffer from the shock of our experiences, so-called trauma - but we make out of them just what suits our purposes."
Alfred Adler

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/alfred_adler.html#fhT5xytpOPFc3jwk.99

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gotta say i didn't like that quote much. Seems merciless and dismissive of the pain some traumatized folk endured. Yeah, yeah, i know it's supposed to make us feel it's right to judge Do Young's actions because he somehow "chose" to react badly to his horrific childhood experiences...but just the same.. it feels like the American phrase "Get over it!" ..a phrase that i never liked. ust my 0.02

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Thanks again Heads for all the great recaps. They were a way to understand much more since my subs were rather 'strange'.

At the end of this, I feel that the name of the show could be called Trust Game instead of Liar Game. It was all about a game of trust.

Even after Do Young's revelations to Woo Jin, can we trust him?

Mental health-wise he is definitely unstable and a couple of times I wondered if he has a split personality.

In the previous episode there is mention of his 'usual' self. In the end of this episode, when speaking to WJ in jail, he does a sudden look to his right, as if looking at someone there, and his words according to my version of the subs seem to change from passive voice to active ie he seemed to be talking about himself rather than others "If no one stops me, the chaos will get out of control."

It seemed to me that he had changed personality from someone speaking about them, to another person speaking about himself as the 'they'. It was so creepy. Did anyone else feel this?

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Oh yeah, he definitely has seriously psychological issues from whatever was done to him at Walden Two, that line creeped me out as well, especially when he just reverted back to normal and and said 'see you again'. SSR is honestly just magnificent in this role. I feel like the switch from 'they' to himself really indicates that he knows how unstable he is, and realizes that regardless of how much he may wish to take the organization down from the inside, that part of chaos instilled into him by Walden Two often triumphs, resulting in him playing for 'their side' and simply enjoying the havoc he creates. It's almost like he needs to stop the people behind Walden Two, and HWJ and NDJ needs to stop him. DY honestly makes for a fascinating character study.

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@Shalini

This. Your comment is so perfect. I felt much the same.

His character is so fascinating--he's become one of my favorite villains. The main reason I'm watching Liar Game Season 2 is because of him.

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Loved it!! Ahhh more bromance next season, please?? Really loved all the main characters in this show but also as heads mentioned couldn't help loving Jaimie in all her arrogance and cunning.. wasn't as impressed with Lee PD though, felt like she was more bark than bite. But this drama has been so nail bitingly good, I can't wait for Season 2 (of course, there will be a season 2 *lalala*) Thanks for the recaps Heads~

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I loved the little bit we got to see of PD Lee and wished the script had given her more to do. I wouldn't mind at all if she turns out to be among those who help DY bring down the people who made him in longed-for Season 2.

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That. Was. BRILLIANT. As an aspiring writer, Liar Game is an example of utterly exceptional story-telling. From its nuanced characters, to its subtly woven plot threads lurking in between ingenious loopholes within already complex games, this show has gone above and beyond the average Kdrama. I’m astonished and inspired that people that can write so brilliantly! Props to the PD, the screenwriter, and all the staff that clearly poured so much love into the creation of this show! And to the original mangaka, of course! PD Lee got to live out the ultimate HWJ fangirl fantasy, patting him down for that gun. HWJ’s look of stupefaction was hilarious to see! Love, love, love HWJ and NDJ, their sizzling chemistry, and unwavering faith in each other. And Professor Ha looks damn fine in those hospital pajamas! NDJ playing doctor and then serving as support while he walked was adorable, especially seeing as he got shot in the shoulder, and likely didn’t need any help with walking! (I see what you did there, HWJ. Skinship, eh?) This last episode is chockfull of revelations and ends being tied neatly. Took me forever to get my thoughts in order and I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to do so but here they are!
http://unstoppablesun.com/2014/11/27/liar-game-ep-12-just-the-beginning/
Thanks so much once again to all who read my posts, it honestly makes my day to know that I’m not alone in living through this show.
I feel for KDY, I really truly do. The way he considered himself a failed experiment, his childhood trauma, gosh the poor thing, and then he goes berserk at the end and chills me to the BONE. I nearly died of happiness when HWJ sweetly offered NDJ his hand and smiled. And OH GOSH DalGoo ahjusshi and Jamie are together!!! The pickled radish and the queen of betrayal, oh my gosh this is brilliant xD I love how everyone gets their happy ending, and how HWJ and NDJ read the same books and are clearly staying in contact.
This ‘ending’ serves to give us the perfect amount of closure while opening the door wide open, for the start of season 2 which is pretty much a given at this point looking at the amount of people clamouring for one, and by the actors' and actresses’ own admission. I’m pretty sure the entirety of the cast will be brought back, seeing as all the original contestants of Liar Game appear to have been contacted once more (we saw NDJ and HWJ both starting at their Liar Game phone in shock, I’m willing to bet that all the others with a phone were also contacted, meaning everyone all the way from the first round). I honestly can’t wait. But what the HELL have they done to my husband’s hair? Get rid of that Joowon mane, HWJ! I love how Korean netizens are echoing this sentiment as well. Go back to bangs, Professor Ha! Or give us LSY’s Park Dong Joo hairstyle (so adorable).
I’m definitely not saying goodbye to this show, especially with the news of this second season and I’m just super duper glad that such perfection exists in the...

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As a writer, I thought...wow, the plotting in this drama..it's merely okay. It's not great. To be great one has to feel the possibility of danger, trouble, etc. But there wasn't any possibility of that here. Because there was way too much (typical) K-drama coincidence and way too many plot conveniences. There was no real room to breathe life into a script where coincidence and luck are equated with good plotting. I winced and cringed several times throughout the series...and in this last episode I cringed a LOT...especially with Dal Goo arriving just in time to catch the lighter.

But all that said, some kdramas are great at plotting and some are not. Some are not meant to be examined too closely. I've seen other kdramas that were well-written and didn't use coincidences, conveniences, unbelievable plotting. (What's Wrong with this family? is a good example of a good story that doesn't overdo all the kdrama stuff.) But as a fun story to sit through Liar Game was okay. Way too over-plotted. But good if you don't think too much about it.

What i did like was how nicely it wrapped up..and sprinkled the main characters' storylines throughout the series. Good stuff there if only they had not overdone other stuff.

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ia with this

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The ending, for me, just reiterated how great the writers of the show were. They were able to keep in mind the big picture, but provide us with obvious and not-so-obvious pieces to put together the main leads. In this last episode, there's just so many little, subtle details to explain Doyoung, Dajung and Woojin, it's just amazing.

There's the scene between Woojin and his mother, in which he drops her hand, which suggests that deep down, he might have known that she was not 100% pure and innocent in Doyoung's plight. Probably, that led to adult Woojing's thinking that you shouldn't trust people. But at the same time, he wanted to believe that his mother was kind and innocent, which probably convinced him to help Dajung in the LG.

There's also Dajung's stay at the orphanage and her past interactions with Doyoung. He tried to convince her not to trust people by telling her why her dad had left her there and that he wouldn't come back, and probably could have succeeded, making adult Dajung an entirely different person. But her father did come back for her, and we can imagine that the fact that he didn't break that trust probably made her who she is.

I love that they added these small details to the last episode. It really contributed to understand the three characters (especially Dajung, who sometimes kind of seemed surreal) and rounded them up well.

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Also, just an example of small, tiny details they put in that go a long way. When I saw the scene with the creepy bad adoption broker dude and Woojin's mother and he mentioned that the people who were supposed to get Dajung refused her because she was too young and they wanted someone older, I didn't think twice. But when Doyoung asks Dajung, in the last game, if she wanted to know what had happened to the girl who went in her stead, I suddenly put the pieces together. Why do you think they'd want a cute but older girl?

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@ ellenelle
Since the people who commissioned the broker to get children wanted them as subjects for Walden 2, then they would want start of with some controls - at least have subjects with some similarities such as age.

Perhaps because it was an experiment playing on what is morally right or wrong, on deliberately deceiving others and controlling one's own micro-expressions, then they may have wanted children who had reached the age of reason, who could definitely decide to do good or evil, etc.

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That's a nice theory (and actually a lot "cleaner" than the one I had)! I didn't think that the broker was only working for the Walden Two people, but it makes the most sens, as it would explain how Doyoung knew of the fate of that girl.

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Whoa wait, why? I'd honestly love to know if there's something behind that, I though KDY was merely alluding to that girl having endured horrible psychological torture.

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Hi Shalini
I was replying to ellenelle's question on "Why do you think they’d want a cute but older girl?"

From the little that's mentioned, Walden 2 (in this dramaverse) was to do with experimenting on children. Yes it probably included psychological torture. As to why, that has not been revealed yet. :)

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Yeah, it could have been just me! Since I'm working with lots of people with child traumas, it might have conditioned me into seeing child abuse anywhere. The broker could have very well only be looking for Walden Two subjects, and then, the older girl would have been Doyoung's mate in misery.

But what irks me is the fact that the "parents" (Walden Two) he wanted to hook with Doyoung and Woojin were looking for "very smart" kids, but the "parents" he had wanted to hook with Dajung were looking for "a cute and endearing" girl, only older than her. I assumed that they weren't the same "parents" (so the broker didn't have just Walden Two as a client), and thought that maybe the other ones had been looking for an older girl for immoral reasons (aka child prostitution or sexual abuse). It's twisted haha

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That was exactly what I thought too, ellenelle. You could tell from Woojin's mother's reaction that she had the same thought, but decided to trust the man and ignore her suspicion, to the detriment of the children involved. It's interesting in that context to see how trusting someone could hurt not just herself, but also others so deeply. And why Doyoung would have such scars from it, in addition to whatever horrors he went through later.

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All in all this show is good. the music intro for each episode is somewhat cool. i really like it. ever since LG started airing i dont have that 'Monday Blues' syndrome but now i dont know what to do on Monday. LOL

while some would like to compare this version to the original, u can't deny this adaptation is good. the casts, the plot, the characters, everything is honestly great.

WooJin is a hottie loyal vicious dog and cool in his own way.

DaJung is naive and sometimes i feel like i wanna smack someone this stupid but i dont have the heart to hate her.

DoYoung in totally creepy but he is the reason this show turn out good.

Jamie is a manipulative b***h (not towards the end) but i really love her make up. her plum/red lipstick really look good on her.

DalGoo is a loyal ahjussi everybody adores even he is sometime unreasonable.

SungJoon is another cute puppy no noona can ever hate. LOL

PD Lee is a cool woman who dont simply bow to other people.

and other characters are really great. it's sad this show has to end so soon.

i really hope the production are considering season 2 AND please consider WooJin hairstyle!!!! i cannot help but laugh really hard watching WooJin popped out with that hairstyle. AND please put some loveline!! Hahaha.

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They just had to change the hair to show that it is some time in the future. Should have left his hair well alone!!! :) ;)

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where do I sign the petition for six seasons and a movie?

I'm happy you mentioned White Christmas, so I'm not the only one who thinks they're similar, at least in the effect they had on me, like I said before in a comment, Liar Game and White Christmas are the only two kdramas who made me feel scared for a moment or three

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Sign me up!

Thanks for the recap Heads! Your recaps are awesome.

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Loved Shin and Lee as Do Young and Woo Jin. I can watch them all day. Not a big fan of Kim as Da Jung, and felt like she was the weakest link. I hope there's a season 2 because this is one of the better remakes and deserves more. This made me curious and I'll definitely check out the j-version since so many have raved about. :)

Btw, thanks Heads for a great job with these recaps. And Happy Thanksgiving!!

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KSE was perfect please stfu tyvm

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I definitely like how the ending sets up the original style Liar's Game for the next season

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Arrgggghhh I love a show which leaves me wanting more..but this is too much to handle :( I am left with more questions than answers sigh all I can hope for now is a cracking season 2.....I think I might just watch the Japanese version cos I just cant take the wait damn you show damn you why aren't there more episodes of you when worse shows get 16 to 20 eps and sometimes even extensions sighhhh

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The Japanese version and the Korean version are pretty much far apart, chinggu. Though you are aware of the mechanics of the game, its rules and all that, you'll be left surprised in the turns of the events. The events are really unpredictable, even if you have watched the original. I know the feeling, chinggu, oh! that! chick! Sigh!

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Damn :/ I thought they will be similar hmmmm.....I'll still watch it considering this adaptation blew my mind!!!! More liar game goodness is always welcome....it will keep me occupied till the second season of k-version comes along ( make it so drama gods make it so )....thanks for the tip whitewire chingu!!!

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I think the reason why Do-young wants to die in Da-jung hands because of his guilt about mom. He knows somewhere deep in his heart that Mom is innocent, and to be killed by Da-jung who possess the same traits as mom, somehow felt as the thing he deserved.

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He wasn't guilty about her, she did sell some kids, no smart, crazy and resentful guy like him would ever forgive her without any self-respecting story explaining very well the reason for it.

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I think he gave it to DJ to corrupt her soul. She always was the balance between WJ and DY. The person who trusted the most from those three.

That's why he said that he and DJ were sold off immediately before the countdown of the well game. He wanted to shake her trust and see if she would let go of (I think so) WJ hands because he had the luck to be the real son=not be sold off. I believe he wanted to see if she still would trust him/them.

The well game was in DJ hands, at least how I see it. She was the core point of not letting go, letting go of WJ hands (becaue she was sold of and he not) or letting go of DY hand (because he spoke out loud that she was sold off too even though she believed her father would pick her up = for her it sounded like a like).

And that's why he gave her the bullet. He wanted to test if she'd really shoot (and in doing so taking somebody's life and therefore corrupt that innocent soul) him/WJ. Well, I have to add that I believe that he thought WJ would shoot him (because he looked surprised when he was saved by him) if it came down to him or DJ, but with DJ he wanted to see if he tainted her naive trustworthy character so that she would really shoot. OR he predicted she would shoot him because he wanted to die (?).

I think it's really hard to explain that because there are many explanations and comparisons to the last game and the well game.

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Liar game is simply AWESOME. It's a shame that the ratings weren't any higher. This is one show where we can all agree that the ending was WAY BETTER than the beginning. And the last scene of Do Young bound, bleeding and laughing maniacally - PRICELESS!

Who would have thought that the guy many feared, hated, and reviled in most of the drama would be someone to root for at the end? Only in this drama. What a complex villian Do Young makes and the actor played him to perfection.

As for the expression Do Young had as he was waiting for DaJung's bullet to hit him - he looked peaceful and happy, somewhat relieved and glad it was all over which is sad, sad, sad!!! But managed to win me over big time.

Could we have a season 2 please?

What a lot of great dramas tVn released this year: Married not Dating, Liar Game, Misaeng, Three Musketeers and some fairly good ones: Plus Nine Boys. I'm really loving their quality dramas. Notice I did not add My Secret Hotel to this list.

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My one complaint with this finale is that the strategy took a back seat. I wanted HWJ to actually outmaneuver KDY and beat him at his own game, but he ended up just reacting to everything KDY did, barely pulling it out of the fire.
In general I appreciate that the show created an amazing, scary, and smart villian, but I think the hero by contrast lost some of his coolness. For example this show gave the idea to use the magnet to void the cards and the mad card counting abilities in the poker round to KDY when they were HWJ's (Akiyama's) in the original. I was really disappointed because in the jdrama the card counting thing was one of Akiyama most awesome and impressive moments, making us realize that he really is a genius. In the kdrama I was mostly waiting for HWJ to wise up and figure things out faster.
Lastly, since they made up their own game for the final round instead of relying on a situation from the manga, I think it was rather lackluster as a strategy game. Again confusingly explained and not very interesting. The final round was all about the character relationships rather than anything to do with winning the game. This is not necessarily a bad thing, I loved that the kdrama focused more and the characters and created an awesome back story, but I was also disappointed that I didn't get to see a more intense strategy game at the end.

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I agree with you (and then some).

The final three games where rather boring and made DY and WJ look stupid, to be honest. DY at least seems to be savvy enough to notice that and goes for good old-fashioned blunt blackmail finally. That didn't help to make the games more interesting, but it delayed the totally destruction of his characters dignity by a few minutes.

To add more of my frustration, the second they talked about "russian roulette" (in ep 11), I KNEW there was some twist with bullet switching coming up, killing all the slow "suspense" scenes in the 12th ep dead.

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I agree with you on the simplicity of the finale game. Once they took out the rule that forbid talking out of turn and removed the ability to dodge, the winning strategy is obviously to load up bullets until you have a full chamber and then shoot them all at once. Since Do-young had to unload all his backstory, they should have at least kept the ability to dodge.

Disagree about the blackmail though. I felt Do-young having to resort to physical violence (when it's forbidden in the actual games) lowers his credibility, since it means he felt like he couldn't beat Woo-jin otherwise.

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I agree with you somehow about the blackmail. It made me think that DY had no more strategy to corner WJ or to win LG, lol. He should have been smarter than that.

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I meant to say that Do-young understood that the games where so simplified that they had nothing to do with "Liar's games" anymore, thus he saw that he had to resort to other, out-of-the-game ways of action.

Yes, it lowers his credibility (and hurts the character design). And I'm not sure why the writers changed the type of games when the show is still called "Liar Game".

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Thanks so much for the recaps, Heads! I ended up not being able to watch because it was too confusing and scary for me, but your recaps were fantastic. I had to laugh when the kid who fell down the elevator shaft came back. They just couldn't resist- - maybe they need him for the 2nd season?

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as much as I was relieved to see him alive, I LOL'd too.

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As someone who watches Liar Game for the games, I felt the remake sacrificed the games in favor of the characters. When they kept switching from the game to the behind-the-scenes (PD Lee arguing with Director Jang) back to the game to Woo Jin's investigation (theorizing with Reporter Gu) back to the game to Dal Goo's antics (stakeout, quitting his job), then back to the game... it loses all the momentum of the game. It has been a while since I watched the dorama, so I had forgotten how some of the games played out and only remembered the outcome, but even knowing who wins the game, I was still confused at how they got there. Woo Jin and Do Young's strategies were not explained very clearly, which leads me to conclude that Liar Game was not meant to be a reality game show. I liked Shin Sung Rok as Yokoya; it was a shame he entered the game so late (even though that does follow the manga). The most spot-on casting to me was Lee El as Fukunaga; she owned that role. But I was not a fan of the made-for-drama / non-manga characters, particularly Director Jang with his monotone MCing. Made me wish Do Young could have pulled double duty as a player and the host. Thanks, HeadsNo2, for all the recaps!

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I agree that this remake sacrificed the games for the characters. While the presentation of the games was really well done, the integrity of the show was hurt by the back stage manipulations including DY's involvement in the games. It was unfair for him to suddenly join the show even though he made it more entertaining.
On the other hand, I think this show would have been less popular if it focused too heavily on the games. The general public usually wants more focus on characters and plot.

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Oh my gosh, the most tragic bromance EVER!!!!! I always believed in Do Young...cause that's how i roll when it comes to wounded children. Just wished he hadn't done the pesky kidnapping murder thing throughout. Betrayal is bad but why destroy other folks in order to get at the two childhood friends who wounded and abandoned you?

Good drama. I so didn't like the overwrought music direction, though. If you're riding on the suspense, you don't need that music. If you're not riding on the suspense, the music just becomes overwhelming and it feels manipulative and intrusive.

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Omg the end. Woojin...that hair...why??

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Were the bangs more "manga-like"? I also was put off by the beard, although I guess it is meant to signal some change in Woo Jin. He is handsome enough to look good even with bad hair.

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