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Police Unit 38: Episode 1

Who knew that my heart would ever ache for a tax collector? But that’s exactly what happens in OCN’s new crime comedy Police Unit 38 where an ordinary man’s life is turned upside down when he crosses paths with a con artist fresh out of prison. While the premiere spends more time delving into these two characters, we can rest assured that there will soon be more personalities added to the tax-collecting-scammer team.

Once the team is formed, it’ll be time to con the men who con the system, and they won’t even know what hit ’em.

Note: This is just a one-off recap, but a smooth talker like Seo In-gook can go ahead and steal my heart for the rest of this series.

EPISODE 1 RECAP

A man runs through a crowded street—this is BAEK SUNG-IL (Ma Dong-seok), whose mind thinks back to an earlier conversation when he’d been asked for help. His coworker had strongly believed that what they did was right and had little faith in the government they both worked for.

Sung-il, however, had been reluctant about leaving the financial secure job as a civil servant, and presumably that was the last time he saw that coworker… until now.

We see Sung-il dash into the building and race upstairs to the roof. He’s breathless by the time he arrives at the parking garage, where he spots a lone, locked car filled with smoke—his coworker is unresponsive.

He yells and pounds on the window in desperation, then decides to use his fists to punch his way through. One, two, three… crack.

Six years later. The tax collection bureau at Seowon City Hall is abuzz with busy workers, save for the team leaders who are engrossed in either Solitaire, or in Sung-il’s case, studying English. Today’s lesson is interrupted by the need to collect taxes out in the field, which follows the departmental slogan: “We will chase you to the end and collect!”

He and his team are met with an icy welcome when they arrive at the factory. The owner barges out screaming that he’s penniless, and the team disperses to try (and fail) in speaking with the rowdy workers.

Having to go out into the field to collect taxes in person is all part of the job description for Sung-il, where each and every day follows the same routine: wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, get beaten up, be cursed at, or driven out by angry residents, and go home. Lather, rinse, repeat.

All of his hard work is to support his family, who are all asleep when he returns home. His wife has fallen asleep from managing the finances, and Sung-il pockets one bill to use as his allowance.

Sung-il sits through an uncomfortable meeting over lunch with his boss, who reminds him of how much his team, Team 3, is severely underperforming this year. His boss agrees that he should work harder to make up the 20 billion won deficit, and makes a passive-aggressive remark on how Sung-il could eat right now.

So it’s back to work for Sung-il, who spots an employee screaming at his wife over the phone before he turns to his right-hand woman, CHUN SUNG-HEE (Sooyoung) for the file on the person who owes the most taxes on their list. That person is MA JIN-SEOK, who despite all previous efforts to place him on the blacklist and freeze his assets, still leads a life of luxury and resides in a penthouse apartment.

He tells his team that they’ll be paying Ma Jin-seok a visit today, then gets pulled aside by a fellow team leader who asks to borrow some money. He can hardly believe it when he hears the man had been scammed recently, though that would also explain the other angry employee.

Section Chief Kang claims the scammer was such a smooth talker, it didn’t even register that he’d been conned at first. As Sung-il’s team exits the building, they cross paths with the mayor of Seowon, CHUN GAB-SOO (Ahn Nae-sang).

In the van, when Sung-il voices how only the gullible fall victim to con artists nowadays, Sung-hee matter-of-factly remarks that she was scammed once too, and she learned a lot from that experience.

Unfortunately for our team, Ma Jin-seok is tipped off about the tax collectors’ arrival. He orders the building security to stall them in the lobby while having his wife stow away the valuables throughout the house. His case will be dismissed soon enough, and then the tax collectors will have no grounds to come after him, he adds gruffly.

Downstairs, Sung-il nor Sung-hee will let a few security guards stand in their way. They exchange a look, then try to push their way through. In the struggle, Sung-hee reaches in for the guard’s access card, then runs inside alone.

She makes herself look presentable on the elevator ride upstairs, and the lady of the house reluctantly lets her in. Sung-il and the other guys aren’t too far behind, while Sung-hee introduces herself to the woman who hesitantly identifies herself as Ma Jin-seok’s wife.

Sung-hee gently notes how the couple still lives under one roof despite being divorced, then reads out that her ex-husband currently owes 5.77 billion won in local and federal taxes. That’s when the others arrive, and the team combs the place from top to bottom, discovering gold bars, luxury brand items, and cash under the cushions and mattress, inside the appliances, and every other nook and cranny.

Jin-seok arrives while the team is busy assessing all the valuables, and he is not pleased to find unwelcome visitors in his home. He throws his ex-wife’s phone into an expensive vase, then points out that it’s illegal to search someone’s home after sunset.

He catches the housekeeper delivering water to the tax collectors and uses her to make the point of how people are easily influenced by money. He promises to increase her salary if she can down the expensive bottle of water without stopping, reminding her of her children.

So when the housekeeper opens the bottle and drinks, Jin-seok chuckles, having proven his point. He argues that tagging his house with repo stickers is useless, then insults them by throwing the cash in their faces.

He isn’t afraid of the so-called repercussions because those don’t exist for men like him. The government couldn’t take away all of his other properties and riches through illegal means. And why’s that? Because the law is in favor of rich men like himself.

That statement is a hard pill to swallow, which is when the housekeeper spits up, unable to finish the bottle. Sung-il berates Jin-seok for talking down to a woman whom he should treat like a mother, to which Jin-seok snaps back: “She’s not my mother.” Ugh.

He insults Sung-il by calling him a beggar, and the others have to hold the men back from physically tearing into one another. Sung-hee steps in when Jin-seok chucks his wallet at Sung-il’s face, only for him to push her to the ground. That move pushes Sung-il over the edge, and he clocks Jin-seok squarely in the jaw.

It isn’t long before Sung-il’s boss catches wind of the incident. He’s promptly escorted to the mayor’s office, where he apologizes for his behavior. His boss is called inside (though Sung-il hilariously mixes up the intercom message as a command), and Sung-il is told that he’ll be facing disciplinary action.

Sung-il returns to his desk where he drinks from a bottle of soju stashed in his drawer. There’s also an old photo of him and the current mayor standing under the tax collection slogan. Interesting.

Sung-hee is still at the office and sighs upon hearing the news about disciplinary action. She knows he isn’t the type to get easily angered, though those pointed moments usually get him in trouble. She offers to share the responsibility among the team so that their team leader avoids suspension, but Sung-il leaves wordlessly to pick up his daughter.

As they walk home together, she wonders why her grades haven’t been getting better despite studying harder. Sung-il checks an incoming text, then tells her that he’s in the same boat—he works hard but always comes in dead last at work, and his salary has always remained the same. They laugh over how similar they are, which is just adorable.

A passing car drenches them with water just then, and the student inside is a classmate of Sung-il’s daughter. Her father is none other than Ma Jin-seok, who pointedly walks up and personally apologizes to Sung-il’s daughter.

But since that’s not enough, Jin-seok takes out a few large bills before realizing his “mistake” and taking out smaller ones instead to pay for the dry cleaning bill. Sung-il politely declines, and Jin-seok says they’re now even for what happened today.

Jin-seok has one last comment to make, saying that Sung-il shouldn’t make his daughter walk home from school (Translation: “You can’t even afford a car, but I can.”). Sung-il’s daughter sweetly makes sure her father is okay, and they head home.

Sung-il can’t sleep that night, his mind still fixated on the idea of a car. His suggestion about getting a car is flatly turned down by his wife, but then he gets up to peruse his options online. Even buying a used car is too expensive, so he writes a post on a community forum about acquiring a car for all the money he has: five million won (about 5,000 USD).

In the morning, Sung-il get a call from a potential seller inquiring about his post. The male voice politely explains he needs to sell his vehicle in a hurry, so he can bring down his usual price to work with Sung-il’s offer.

Sung-il is dubious to why a seller would want to appeal to him, to which the caller says they can forget the deal if he isn’t interested and hangs up. The camera cuts to the caller: a young man, whose face we don’t see.

Still, that call has made Sung-il curious, and his team members convince him that it’s a fair deal if he checks out the vehicle himself. So he calls the seller back, but on the way to their meeting, the seller says something came up so he can’t make it. Sung-il needn’t worry though, since he’s sent someone else to meet him.

The seller sounds apologetic as he says not to bring up money at that meeting, since he owes that person some money. Sung-il is understanding and finds the car on the lot. Pleased upon closer inspection, Sung-il calls the seller to ask to buy the car today, though he gets skeptical when the seller says he can’t be there in person.

He’s told that his contact has all the necessary paperwork, and Sung-il can wire the money to him directly. He contemplates that for a few moments before agreeing.

Sung-il sends the money through an ATM and tries calling the seller again… but no one picks up. Uh oh. Realizing that he’s just been conned, he runs back to the lot where he flags down the car to ask about the seller. But the contact says he knows of no such hyung and that this car belongs to him.

Just then, Sung-il gets a call from the seller, who is withdrawing the money in cash as they speak. In an amused voice, the caller says Sung-il shouldn’t have sent money to someone he never even met. He should take care to proceed with caution next time, and only gets more amused as Sung-il’s voice turns from pleading to outrage.

Sung-il can head back home now, the caller continues. An incoming text notifies Sung-il of a paltry deposit to his nearly empty balance to pay for a taxi ride home, and he’s left with nothing but frustration and guilt.

Now it’s time to get a good look at our con artist: YANG JUNG-DO (Seo In-gook).

Let’s roll the clocks back to really understand Jung-do, on the day he was released from prison. He tells us in voiceover that the people of Korea have been fixated on money ever since the IMF crisis in 1997: “They call money their religion, their parents, and their friend.”

He makes sure to say goodbye to a gray-haired inmate who is too busy watering plants to bid him farewell, and he reflects on how the world has bred people like him to con others in his 30s. He’s even thought about why people are so easily deceived to such a simple idea like a con, and his answer is equally simple: each and every person is obsessed with money.

He’s given the keys to a fancy car once he exits the prison gates, and Jung-do walks us through the workings of a successful swindler: “When people look at money, you look at the person. Look at who the person is on the inside, not who they appear to be. Focus on a person’s EQ than their IQ. You need to become that kind of con artist, and if you achieve that, everything in the world will go as you planned.”

Jung-do takes out a notebook and uses one of his many phones to calls up his target: Section Chief Kang. He pretends to be a bank employee offering a special promotion to his loan inquiry, which turns out to be a ploy ordered by the gray-haired inmate.

Section Chief Kang readily gives his personal information, and Jung-do moves on to the following victim—the other angry employee we saw named Han Se-chan. The notebook contains a list of details, including relatives, so Jung-do calls Han’s wife to make a fake reservation for a large group at the restaurant she works at.

He switches lines to regretfully inform Section Chief Kang that he needs to make an initial deposit to obtain the loan. The five million won deposit is sent to the restaurant as a security deposit for the reservation, then Jung-do calls to inquire about buying a watch from an online seller for seven million won.

He switches phones to call up the restaurant and apologize for wiring too much money. Since it’s on the company dime, he kindly asks that the remainder be sent back. He switches phones again to make sure the watch is on its way—he’ll send the money once he sees the tracking label.

The deposits are made and the photo is sent, so Jung-do runs into the convenience store to retrieve the package. Now it’s time for the grand finale, as it dawns on all the victims that they’ve been robbed. Jung-do abandons one of the phones, his pockets now much heavier.

He heads to the club where he smiles at a pretty lady dancing. This is JOO MI-JOO (Lee Seon-bin), who seems to recognize him, and though he’s happy to see her, she greets him with a slap across the cheek.

He and Mi-joo had been in the car when Sung-il picked up his daughter in the rain. We see that Sung-il’s name had been next on the list, and Mi-joo had sent the text. It had been Jung-do who had passed them on the sidewalk and had seen Sung-il delete the text.

He had overheard Jin-seok’s comment about how Sung-il didn’t have a car, which sparked him to think of a new con: set up a buyer-seller meeting, but then swipe that money for himself.

So Jung-do had called the original seller pretending to be interested in buying the car while also pretending to be selling the car to Sung-il. He had told both the seller and Sung-il that he couldn’t make it, then kept watch as the meeting went down.

Now that we’re caught up to speed, Sung-il is told that it would be virtually impossible to get his money back. He throws down the last two bills he has left… only to come back and retrieve them moments later.

Sung-il looks out into the lot in despair, as Jung-do walks right up to him. With a little smirk, he asks, “Can I bum a light?”

 
COMMENTS

Even if Sung-il doesn’t know the perpetrator’s face, that’s still a bold move on Jung-do’s part. Although Police Unit 38 didn’t introduce all of the faces plastered on the drama’s promo posters in its premiere, there are enough hints indicating that we’re headed in that direction. The show will soon have more than enough characters to entertain, so I don’t mind waiting to be properly introduced to them all. And if I know anything from writer Han Jung Hoon’s past works (notably Bad Guys) is that the people who will make up Police Unit 38 will be interesting personalities in their own right.

So I’m pretty happy with dedicating most of the premiere getting to know our team leader in Sung-il, played by the ever lovable Ma Dong-seok. He abides by the law, works hard to make ends meet for his family, and can see where the system fails for the common folk. His desires are simple and humble, and he can lose his temper in the face of injustice. But he also has a blind spot when it comes to modern scams, and to see him fall so easily to one was especially hard to witness.

Which makes me wonder just how Sung-il and the other tax collection bureau officials ended up on the gray-haired inmate’s hit list. Something tells me it has to do with the incident six years ago, when the coworker died in the car. My guess would be that he and that coworker played a part in blowing the whistle on the man, and now that decision is coming back to haunt him. But who knows when there’s so much politics going on in the bureau itself, where the many questions include how far back the relationship between Sung-il and the mayor goes.

But for now, I’m more interested in these first few encounters between Jung-do and Sung-il. Compared to the multi-threaded con used to introduce our resident con artist, the scam he pulled on Sung-il looks like a walk in the park. Him walking past Sung-il and his daughter was a near blink-or-you’ll-miss-it moment, and the setup was only too simple, much like the other tricks he pulled. Watching Jung-do’s smooth-talking abilities was so impressive and convincing that it was almost easy to forget that he’s ruining people’s lives in the process. And at present, he doesn’t really have to worry about those consequences, as long as his pockets get a little heavier.

So I can’t wait until Jung-do starts using his skills for good, to con the men who have conned the system like Ma Jin-seok. It would be right of Sung-il not to trust a man like Jung-do right off the bat, but both men have so much potential to learn a thing or two from one another. Once you beef up that team with more straight-laced minds like Sung-hee and more sly talents like Mi-joo, you’re left with a deadly team that isn’t afraid to pull the wool over your eyes.

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I love this show already! After watching episode 2, I have some theories about how it will all come together, especially the grey haired man... I can't wait for the whole team to assemble! Thanks for the recap (even if it's a one-off)!

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I love it when Seo In-gook plays this kind of character and that his smiles just sooo nice to see. Glad that the drama's off to a great start!

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Haha SIG plays the cocky smooth talker so well, though I think he's less of a geeenius in this one compared to I Remember You. Also, pity this is only a one-episode recap because the second ep actually had a lot of depth and heart (and some great action). But, thanks for the hard work as always!!

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Glad you recapped this, gummimochi.

I felt Ep.1 was a bit s-l-o-w so I hope that people watch to the end of Ep. 2 when it comes together.

#giveitago

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Glad to hear that it gets better in ep. 2. Frankly, I was bored until the last 15 min and wasn't sure I'd keep watching.

Thanks for the recap, gummimochi, because I was really confused about the car selling scam.

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Loved it! (and I've already watched ep 2)

Looking forward to see the team being performed and how they'll strategize to catch those tax-evaders...

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Wow.

I'll be watching this!!!

Dramaland must be getting overcrowded if even with the increase in minion numbers DB can't cope...

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I think jb and gf mentioned that they watch, recap, and screenshot all the shows that new minions recap as part of training. So at least for the first few months of when there are new minions, they're actually doing double, triple, even quadruple(?) recapping duty. :(

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Wow, that is so much work for them. Thanks, JB and GF, for your dedication to growing DB!

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Seo In Guk!!!

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Aaaaaaaahhhh! I squealed so loud when I saw gummi wrote the recap and then deflated 30 seconds later when I saw it's just going to be the first episode. Sad. Hope you decide to recap anyway.

The con scenes were very Oceans 11, loved it!

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Same. Let's hope db picks this series up for recaps.

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how I wish there will be full recapper for this drama..it awesome as a tax-blind like me...and it my sooyoungie drama ='(

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I wasn't big on episode 1, which was much more downtrodden than I expected (I thought it'd be more comedic, coming off the previews). But ep 2 gave me a little bit of hope, so I'll be giving this another shot next week.

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Same. I was a little surprised by the tone of the show overall, though I think it still works. But I think once they start working together next week there will be more humor injected. Thanks for the recap! Hope you guys will continue to recap (crossing fingers).

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Oh pretty please please please recap this series in full! I love to read the analysis given by the recappers at the end and the comments are always awesome!

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I kind of get why the setup for the story took as long as it did, because otherwise I wouldn't buy it. The ex-con comes in and suddenly is helping him. Without saying much, I love this drama. Ma Dong-Seok is adorable, he has such a Daddy bear vibe, I just want to go and ask him to cheer up and Seo In-Guk is damn fine. All in all, my new crack drama is here.

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I totally agree that it was necessary for the setup to take some time. Because Ma Dong Seok's character is a morally upright person who follows the law, the drama had to take some time and really convince us that he was desperate enough to work with a con-man.

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Hope you're able to cover more dramas with the new batch of writers. You did start recapping Beautiful Gong Shim after half of it had already aired, so I really hope you go back on your word this time around and do the same with this show.

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Really hope this turns out to be the kdrama version of White Collar.

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Nooooo! It's only a one-off recap? I'll be watching this show, I love shows where they oust the corrupt. The last one I watched was Remember - Son's War and I was pleasantly surprised to see our gangster lawyer make an appearance :D Though I couldn't finish that show becuase it got too painful.. Hope this one doesn't go the same way! I'm excited for the rest of the series.

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It's here!

He's here!

Seo In guk is here!

My heart is dead and revitalized for his presence to grace my pixelated screen again.

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Ep.1 kind of slow and boring for me not because of the story but because i watched all their previews couple of times already and it's kind of same and predictable so I think all the excited will start next week when "The Team" ready for action.

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This isn't on Viki and is delayed on Dramafever (only til Monday, but still). Is it available anywhere else?

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on dramafire. i love that website.

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Does anyone know where Dramafire get their subs from? I've noticed that even when Viki or Dramafever don't have the subs, Dramafire finds them somewhere? Is there another subbing group that I don't know about?

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DSS is one. But they explicitly avoid advertising. It's against the rules to put "subbed by ____" in their subs. And I see beanies commenting about a VIU?

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It's from VIU if I'm not mistaken. A Singapore-based website. Bless them for early subs especially for variety shows, they sub some dramas too.

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I'm experiencing something bizarre... I've always loved SIG, but it was more fangirling than anthing heart fluttering... and at the end of Monster/I Remember You, it was just a normal level of love for an actor. Then BToB Yook Sung Jae happened, and for some reason, during that period of SIG hiatus, I fell IN love with him. Which makes no sense whatsoever, because I barely saw him except for his "live" perf of Seasons of love. How does one fall in love with someone more when that person isn't even there??? And how does stanning his doppleganger result in me getting infatuated with him. Makes no sense whatsover. I need help.

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Ooops. 15.2 wasn't meant as a reply. ^^"""

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forced separation magic. when they leave in slo-mo, you realize you cannot live without them.

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If it makes you feel any better, I've never seen seo in guk in anything before (always wanted to watch 1997, but never got to it), and I am already head over heels for him with just his voice in this episode. So I'm in a worse muddle than you. I think i have a thing for conmen. I fell HARD for kurosagi as well, and I've got to say, yamapi has nothing on seo in guk. swag. *swoon*

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also another conman i fell for... shota as akiyama in liar game. nick in zootopia. im slowly realising it's a pattern. i'm screwed, i have the worst taste in men.

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Err... at least they're competent conmen?

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Welcome to sig syndrome ..keke

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I just finished re-watching Master's Sun. And yes, Seo In Guk cause all my 2nd Lead shipping symptoms to surface. (He's just such a cutie in that Rom/Com.)

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Oh, you have to watch 1997. I watch it at least 3 times a year and if I don't have time, just eps 14-16 on a loop. You can't not love SIG after watching it.

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Well if u need help, then i need it too. I just watched ep 2 of squad 38 and i'm totally in love with smooth talking seo in guk. *DIES IN A PUDDLE*

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VUI started subbing dramas and variety shows a couple of months ago, their speed (shows and dramas are usually subbed in under 24 hours) and catalogue made big waves in the kvariety community. It's available in HK and Singapore.

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YOU GIRLS DECIDED TO RECAP THIS?? AWWWWWESSOOOOME!!!!!!

I hope this is not only a first-ep recap but cover the show until the end. Coz ..where else should I go to droll over Seo In Guk if not there?

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I'm getting all Kurosagi feels while watching the 1st ep; the slick and smooth con-artist, using multiple mobile phones and casually living a day's life.

Nonetheless, I wish this drama'll be good for it has SIG and MDS, not to mention SY playing upright character.

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..a smooth talker like Seo In-gook can go ahead and steal my heart for the rest of this series..

Happy to hear that I'm not the only one who lose my heart and mind over this enchanting smooth talker.. He is the sight to sigh over.

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Oh I really loved the first two episodes! Ma Dong-Seok portrays his character so well, I was literally getting stressed watching what he was going through in these episodes, but it was a satisfying ending.

Pretty please can you keep recapping? It looks like it will be a fun and emotional ride, and um Seo In_Guk...

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I waited so long for SIG’s appearance in this episode and the director/writer basically nailed it! I loved that they gave a shot of SIG’s lips just 15 minutes into the show so that his fans would not get frustrated and will wait till his entry to judge the show! ?

Ma Dong Seok is already awesome in it. And the second episode was quite cool too. I was wondering where I had seen the actor who plays the bad guy- Ma Jin Seok and I finally realised after 2 whole days that he was in Marriage Contract!

Overall, it is a very interesting show till now and SIG is oh so cool in it. I am still waiting to form my opinion but I am definitely gonna watch it for obvious reasons! :D

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And I hope you guys continue recapping this cuz I really need the DB fandom to gush over SIG's adorable sexiness!

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Dearie~! You were on my mind when I watched it live and wrote in OT last week. In my head, i sang you a bday song too.. I'll watch him for you too if you don't, and sigh incoherently nonstop for you too.. Hahaha, I know, excuses excuses. When it come to SIG, I'm shallow and I love it.. ^^

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Ooh thanks a lot! You are too kind. I missed the OT last week but I will go and check it out now :) SIG sure is the best gift one could get on their birthday :P I love people who are shallow and sigh for SIG as I am one of those very people. He has somehow gotten even hotter in this show!

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I'm shallow too!!! Lol!

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LOL @Asmara. The 3 of us def could form the sisterhood of shallowness here..^^

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Hi5 to my shallow sisters :P

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Looks like the actor playing Ma Jin-soek is a typecast for all the sleazy villainous roles in dramaland this year. Lol His character in Come Back Ahjussi was also very similar to the one in Marriage Contract.

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Oh I had forgotten that he was in Come Back Ahjussi too! Thanks for reminding me. :)

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All I have to say is Sooyoungiiiie :D.
Finally she is back to KDramaland because Perfect Sense doesnt count, duh. I already love her character and her relationship with Ma Dong Seok's. As his right hand, they dont even need to talk to understand each other but just exchange looks. Awesome :D.
I am also really curious about her relationship with Jung Do. They didnt have a scene together yet but Sooyoung and Seo In Guk mentionned a tragic past and I am pretty sure that when Sung Hee said "When you got conned, you learn a lot of experience", she is talking about Jung Do.
I didnt watch episode 2 yet but my guess is that coming from a "good and rich" family, Sunghee must have had a relationship with Jung Do. I dont know if it was love or anything else but at the end, Jung Do conned her family and maybe, someone from her family commited suicide because of it and he got arrested ? Hence jail ?

Anyway, tax may sound boring at first but I like it. Throw con artists with it, it is amazing and I gotta say you learn a lot of things too. It is more easy than it looks too lol. Why did he have to wire the money like that tho. Gah.
I cant wait for the next episode and please, more Sung Hee :D.

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The show is here! And i love it. Ep 1 is a little slow. but from ep 2 it gets amazing.

SIG is adorable and sexy all at once. He just lights up the screen.

I can't wait for that annoying club owner to be crushed

Please don't let it be a one off recap. It will be so much fun discussing all the different cons. pls pls pls recap this.

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*fans self and falls over*

Oh god that smile!

I actually liked the first episode. It was slow but interesting in terms of setup.

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I agreed with you so much..its a bit slow but its interesting..

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I am a huge fan of white collar and was really sad that it was over. This is a great replacement in that regard.

I was bit confused at the end where Jun-do simultaneously conned three people. I understand how the section chief was conned as well as the con with the watch. But what about Han's wife? What is the loss for her? Was it her husband's watch?

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Yes, I was a little bit confused about the "con" there too. I understood Chief Kang, but the Hans I wasn't sure. Did he just steal the watch from Mr. Han and that's all?

I found episode 1 really slow and boring in parts. Episode 2 was a lot better but I still think it could have been worked a little better in places. After watching both White Collar and Leverage, maybe I'm just used to to premise being set up by the first episode and not dragged out like here. I was a huge fan of both White Collar and Leverage, so I'm really hoping that the show hits its stride next week.

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Myb the restaurant's owner is the wife? Thats why shes able to access the account.

But i dont really get how the con worked neither >_< like why did he have to connect all three people?

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ep 2 gets a lot deeper into the right and wrong and peoples´ place in life. but a warning, the sleaze factor in the attitude of the baddies is really strong. have a puke bag ready.

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I felt much more violent emotions to the baddies... Kick them in the face, knee in the groin, break their nose kind of urges....
I needed a body bag, not a puke bag.
Man I hope the Team gets them good!

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Everything just so perfect... I am SIG fan so I am not surprise with his good performance but MDS? I see him everywhere but this is my first time watching his drama...oh my that ahjussi make me want me to hug him... Hahaha...

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Ugh, Na Suk-chul's here, just without a scar. This guy is really good at being hateful.

I was planning on watching this (Seo In-gook, Seo In-gook...) but didn't think I'll stick around. Second episode got me really hooked in though, so for now I'm staying.

Also: Seo In-gook!

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Thanks gummimochi for recapping this. May I hope for regular recap? *buildcircleofpray*
I love this episode and can't wait for all the team assemble. I must say, this first episode kinda hard to watch. To look all the vain efforts from tax collector team to do their job was hard. It also hard to saw how BSI get conned and left with only a few dollars.

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That part of episode 1 when Jung-Do, A, conns all those people is written very bad and in my opinion it is totally false.Is the writer making fun of us? Some questions to prove my point:

1. Why did Mr. Kang, B, send the 5000 $ to the account of the restaurant? no answer. Perhaps that was not the account of the restaurant and just his wife's account who works for the restaurant. Then why should his wife, D, confuse the restaurant's account with her personal account? No answer.

2. What happened to the C ,Han Se-Chan? No answer.

3. What did the woman, D, do wrong? No answer.

4. Why the man in the convenience store, the shop-keeper, delivered the parcel to A? No answer.

5. What is the relation between stealing the watch and stealing the 4500 $ ? There is no relation .So why does the writer show them as parts of the same plan? No answer.

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I am confused too. The way all the 3 cons were shown with snippets looked jazzyl, but were mostly lost in translation.

i'm hoping that now the cons will be properly explained. And this super fast method was just to establish the coolness factor

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You are totally confused. Can't blame you though. The editor hasn't done a good job to clarify the tricks played by YJD. I spend some time discussing with other viewers and I think we finally understand what's happened. One very important point you miss gives you most of the confusion- the three scams he pulls off are not related, despite the fact that he does it almost simultaneously. The writer and director put it this way just to show how good YJD is as a con artist. Let me explain them one by one.

1. YJD sends a phishing text to restaurant owner's husband (text: upgrade of our online banking), he clicks the link and exposes his bank details. YJD calls the restaurant to make a reservation worth of $5000 and claims he would pay $500 as deposit. Then he sent a fake text to the restaurant owner's phone confirming $5000 has come into her (and her husband's) account. She returns the $4500 to his personal account without checking the balance first so she loses $4500.

2. YJD pretends to be a bank staff and calls the loan borrower offering an attractive rate. Obvious the borrower has a bad credit history and is in great need of money. YJD requests him to wire $5000 up front as assurance ($5000 just happens to be the same amount as above, but not the same lot) and the money falls into his pocket.

3. YJD pretends to be a buyer of the $7000 watch which is a bribe offered by the mysterious guy in prison to the watch seller. He advises the seller to leave the watch to the convenience store for posting. Then he pretends to be the seller's son and takes the watch from the convenience store claims his dad wants the watch back

Therefore, loan borrower loses $5000, restaurant owner and her husband lose $4500 and the watch seller loses the watch.

YJD has a note book keeping all these targets' info and weaknesses and that's why he gets to them so easily. We are non-Korean viewers so we miss this kind of info from the drama.

I know the victims seems to be too stupid. These are real scams in life. The difference is in real life scammer will try to scam many people and they only one out of a hundred being trapped to make money

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Thanks for the explanation, I rewatched the beginning where our team's talking about the cons in the car and the con itself god knows how many times before I got it. lol

But aren't there actually 4 cons happening at the same time? Kang (bank loan), Han's wife, watch owner and another guy (the one who received a weird text message).
So I think your first point are actually 2 cases. Oh and that was a phishing text the one guy received which he was wondering about? It wasn't translated and they didn't really follow him up or said how much money he was conned.

Aigooseen, the woman is actually Han's wife and they must own the restaurant because she calls her husband to tell him about the 50 people reservation. The 5 million won text message she'd received was fake since her husband scolded her for not checking the balance beforehand.

It's confusing and some things were either mistranslated or not translated at all like the text messages and the information in the notebook. And I think the notebook also says the amount of money Jung-do should con each one for. I need to check dramafever later when their subs are out and hope it's better translated.

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The guy receiving phishing text and the restaurant owner are husband and wife. Around 11:50 in the drama you can see him talking frantically over phone with his wife. I assume they share a bank account. YJD use the bank details phished from the text to con his wife. I think such info. is in the notebook, otherwise it's very difficult for viewers to pick up all the subtle details

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Oh I'm talking about a different guy, the one who makes a short appearance at 11:00 (apparently the guy's dad's name was used and now he has to pay). He's the one who receives a text message (which I don't know what it's about) at 52:25 and later he is in the storage room at 55:25, throwing a fit. I've come to tell them apart by their ties by now. lol
Text message guy wears a black and blue tie, husband wears glasses and a grey tie with white spots.

Haha, it's insane how often I've rewatched those scenes by now.

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The guy talking about dad and the guy receiving text are two people. The guy talking to his wife and the guy receiving text are the same guy. The guy talking about dad (I don't know why, maybe mistranslated?) and the watch seller are the same guy. They look alike and they have similar hair.

Oh my gosh, I bet most international viewer are confused about this part

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Thank you for explaining them. Just a ques about the 3rd - i don't understand this " leave the watch to the convenience store for posting" ... is this a korean thing ? Bec convenience stores donot do that in my country. And did he not transfer 4500 to the watch owner AFTER which he sends the watch ? or was that a fake text as well ?

I hope the writers read online comments and realise this problem and explain future cons well. or all the fun will be lost.

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Re: posting parcels
All the parcel delivery companies provide that in my country (I'm from Europe). You can actually post and pick up parcels in any stores that has signed up for this which is quite handy since you don't need to rely on opening hours of post offices, not to mention the time standing in line. Though I'm sure irl it's not as easy to retrieve a parcel like Jung-do did.

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Yes it is a Korean thing. My friend told me that you can also order stuff online and instruct it to be delivered to your local convenience store. Then you pick it up from there. I live in the u.s. and my local dry cleaning shop also collects UPS packages for me.

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What happens is the seller texts YJD the posting tag of the parcel to prove it's ready to go. It's trading norms in Korea that once the buyer receive this text he should pay straightaway. But YJD instead goes to the sending convenience store pretending to be son of the seller and taking the parcel. The seller soon discovers it's a scam but it's too late, so he loses the watch

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Thank you everyone ... Well this is a convenient feature ... here we stand in lines to get our letter/parcels "speed posted" ... Wish we had this here

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Does he steal 4500 $ or 5000 $ which one? or both? how both?

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It really was painful for me to watch baek sung il. When he have to swallow the insult from that bulied tax payer to have punishment from the disciplinary department cos of that man (yeah i know it's violent but i can't help to punch him myself if i were BSI) to again bullied by him in front of his daughter and finally being conned by YDJ. I have to pause and then fast forward to YJd cos i can't take it.
But epi 2 is great and can't wait for BSI and YDJ become a team and will make those big tax paying their tax.
Thanks for 1st episode recap. I know it's a hardwork but i hope you pick this up again to being recap regurlay :)

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Thank you for recapping this show! And pleaseee continue recapping. I know everyone in DB is very busy but you can feel that everyone is having fun in this thread.

I know I'm biased (Oh SIG, what to do with those eyes and lips and smiles) but almost every comments is positive in this drama thread. Cross fingers DB team will change their mind.

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Lets hope all our good comments (read: gushing) on this page induce Gummi to continue recapping this show :)

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Hope this can be recapped. I think this will be a feel-good show. I love the casts.

The best part of this episode for me was the song 'What should I do' on the scene when Sung-il(MDS) was at a loss in the car lot after he found he was conned.
I heard this song in early 70s even before it was officially debuted. And much much later it was in Jeon Do-yeon's Lover in Prague. Thought about old days for a min. there.

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Been lurking around for years and leaving my first comment ever to say PLEASE PUT THIS DRAMA ON THE REGULAR LIST OH PRIDDY PLEASEEE CANT GET ENOUGH OF SIG!!! *FLAILS

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Thank you for the recap Gummimochi!
I'll be watching this regardless if you guys recap it or not, but it would be great if Dramabeans Team could because:

We get to discuss about it and smart Beanies can enlighten not-so-smart Beanies like me about the cons in the show and up the enjoyment level (see above^^^)

Also, while I'm not a huge SIG fan yet, there are so many many Beanies here who are Squee-ing and it's more fun to squee together (even if I'm more of a spectator) (also see above^^^)

But I do know you guys are working super hard and will understand if you can't because you haven't discovered a warp in the space time continuum yet. ?
Thanks for the recap again!

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Or if recaps are really not possible, maybe a weekly hangout? With one or two or three screencaps of SIG at the top?

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Or four, or five, or six?

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Haha. @ObsessedMuch now now don't be greedy...
Tho I'm sure you and a few other would be more than willing to contribute to the screenshots of SIG to help out! ?

I second Weekly hangouts! ✋

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Hallo! Recap is here.
Finally there is a drama to watch.
I've been succumbing to watching other dramas that barely amuses me, in a desperate need for my drama addiction.

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Ma Dongseok is such a cute teddy bear!

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Daite date daite señorita...

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Shallow sister! Lol!

Hope you had a great birthday last week. I couldn't believe they kept SIG for the first half of ep 1. Too long! His lips just made my heart raced faster, oh dear.

I always love SIG related threads in DB. Comments are hilarious and oh so full of love. It would be great if this happens to the end of this series.

I watched ep 2 and I was hooked on YJD background story. I wanna know what happened to his family back then. And with Sung Hee? Will there be a love line? Awww.

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All SIG related posts are mostly fangirling about his looks. But obviously it is also his acting that is awesome! Ep 2 was good and I was so impressed with the latter half of that episode that I was screaming at my screen :D

My birthday was fun :)

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His acting was totallly awesome. I was half afraid of him during the car chase scene in ep2, especially when they managed to nab him. Very different from the academic we met in iry.

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I'm really looking forward to the upcoming episodes. I hope this show gets recapped.

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I hope you continue to recap this, the second episode is SO good! ?

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Idk what happened but this supposed to be a reply for ObsessedMuch above.

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Lol something must have gone wrong! Cuz your replies are coming as comments...

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Loved,loved the week premiere...I'm already invested in Ma Dong-seok character and wanting to find more and more about Jung Do character...can't wait to catch that aweful dude and take his money,want to see his face after he is conned so badly....also was i the only one who knew the first instant in the scene with Sung-il and daugher walking home and a random guy walked pased them that it was In Guk character????????

Happy he choose such a new character,not the goodie r chabol type...

i guess it's the effect of watching way too many dramas over the years

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So this is kinda a technical question, which I will get to momentarily. But, for now, some background:

I sometimes have a hard time following or understanding the reasoning behind shows that deal in the law, as Korean law is vastly different than US/state law ( a la watching Signal - you mean there's a statute of limitations for murder?!?!? What is this sorcery?? o.O) So, finally getting back to my question, why would a City Hall branch be going after tax evaders?? Don't they have an IRS equivalent or some treasury dept? I find it very odd that they don't seem to have any real authority to go after them. I am not expecting Eliot Ness highjinx, but still. If someone is familiar with this and could briefly explain I would be very grateful.

I kinda want to recommend this to my dad, as he gets excited for any movie or show tax related - he was an IRS agent for over 40 years - we shall see show, we shall see...

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Interesting question. I'm assuming the City Hall works for the Korean equivalent of the IRS and the taxing authority just has a different vertical structure. But I'm also going to wait for the experts to step in and explain this.

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I was wondering the same thing...

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I will definitely give this a go.

First ep was rather slow, but I guess its job is to give us the right impression to the context (that tax collectors are humans, just like us...who may wish to have decent affordable car, just like us...who get swindled, just like us...etc.)

It's catching up well in ep.2, and I hope it keeps improving.

I like the fact that this drama is one of the kind. There are many stories that highlight the life of criminals, police officers, detectives...but THIS?

It's different, it's interesting, and I'm on board.

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Yesss, SIG back on screen. The show looks promising and I hope DB continues recapping it if possible! :)

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if talk about inguk, i can go forever. i might even mean that literally. so imma keep it simple. im loving the connection between the characters, and i know we gonna receive more following upcoming episodes. one of my fav part of the pilot is that, the way they introduce jungdo. as much as i love inguk (n i only love harry potter n inguk mind u) i dont feel bad like how i didnt see him in the get go. introducing the taxman.... n then slowly.... the pace on introducing jungdo doing his thing... n then the do the whole flashback thing. they make jungdo so expret. how can sumone get out of prison, driving his car n not even sitting down but went straight to conning people n do the task given. the flow fits so perfectly. n im so pissed at ma jin seok. damn damn. oh btw, ive been rewatching iru yesterday for some stuff, n i thought i wouldnt see it. but yes... its amazing only with like... an episode n a half of 38..... n watching back lee hyun...... SEO IN GUK LOOK SO EFFING DIFFERENT. like in awe how his mannerism differs so much for his character. i am in awe yet again, just like the first time i see him in hskos simultaniously with reply and masters sun.... the thoughts in my mind was like... how can sumone act an age... like huge gaps.. when it real life everything is like a year apart... n how is it so different. looks. face. everything. fascinated by his acting chop considering hes trained as a singer. *n yes hes still an awesome singer. AND I AM SUPER LOVING BAEK SUNG IL!!!! HES SUCH A SQUISHY TEDDY BEAR!!! getting squishies from both baby foxy and papa bear...... yayyyyy!! (but yesterday i had a thought. is it possible that we will never ever ever gonna see inguk lips in action... u know. kiss scene. like.. doesnt seems like it. andwae!!!! pd nim at least give us some flashback of jungdo n her past girlfren. just by that much)

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From all of the K shows currently airing in all genres, Police Unit 38 and Oh Hae Young are hands down the best. I do have a feeling that PU38 will be severely underrated, but I still hope it wouldn't. I just can't wait for the episode 3, and see how SIG finds ever more creative way to con the "bad guys". He's so natural in this role, just amazing! The pacing of the show is brilliant, and it has comedy, heart and drama (and hoping some romance in the future) in equal measures to entertain us. Watch it, people.

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I can't be the only one desperately refreshing to see if there is an ep 2 recap right? Hahaha

Wishing and hoping this will get picked up by the db community ?

Watched this for sooyoung but it looks like I'm staying for the lovable bear that is ma dong seok and the charismatic conman that is SIG

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You're not the only one who is been wating n refreshing for ep 2

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Mochi, thanks for the recap!

Seo in Guk is back!!!! I can already tell that I will love this character, he is so charismatic and his cheeky smile is the best.

Can't wait to see when and how he will call the team together.

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