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Police Unit 38: Episode 10

Seventy minutes of mayhem ensue as Jung-do, Sung-il, and the crew move in for the kill. Loyalties are tested and assumptions are upended as new and old enemies band together against our heroes. They say there is no honor among thieves. Our resident teddy bear ajusshi is about to find out just what his trust is worth to Jung-do.

 
EPISODE 10 RECAP

Sung-il tells Jung-do about detective Jae-sung’s allegations against him and waits for Jung-do to scoff and deny it. But instead, Jung-do smiles coldly and says that the detective was right — “I am using you.” Sung-il tells him to stop joking but Jung-do carries on in the same half-amused, confessional tone.

He tells Sung-il that after getting the $50 million in taxes out of the Bang family, he intends to pull down the paper company President Bang runs in the name of Chairman Choi. Once that happens the media will start looking into their businesses, and at that point, says Jung-do, he will leak the news that Mayor Chun worked with Baek Sung-il of Division Three to con rich men out of unpaid taxes. It’ll have a certain impact on society, he says to a shocked Sung-il.

With fear and hurt in his eyes, Sung-il slowly asks if Jung-do is serious. Jung-do finally breaks eye contact and looks down as Sung-il’s anger and disappointment rise. A moment later Jung-do starts laughing and the tension lifts easily from the air. Sung-il almost collapses from relief as Jung-do calls him adorable for falling for his act.

Sung-il believes him instantly, but asks how he knew about President Bang’s paper company and Mayor Chun’s involvement. Jung-do explains that he picked up stray information from Sung-il on his brother-in-law’s memorial day. Jung-do asks in turn why Sung-il thought the detective would have anything good to say about Jung-do, and tells him to focus on conning Bang Min-ah instead.

They adorably make up over drinks, but later Jung-do calls an unknown associate to tell them that Sung-il knows about their plan. He promises to be careful and hangs up. The charming Jung-do is replaced by a chillingly calculating version of him as he sits alone, contemplating this new complication.

Jae-sung’s minion cop visits him in prison and reports that Sung-il has decided to side with Jung-do. Jae-sung doesn’t seem particularly disappointed. He tells the cop that the people who always listen to them best are criminals. They fear the police, he says, and turn informants against their teammates to survive. Jae-sung cryptically tells his minion that someone came by earlier who can hand them Jung-do.

Sung-il sneaks out of the office again, and Sung-hee notices Commissioner Ahn immediately following him out. She sends a warning text to Sung-il, and he calls her back from the road. He tells her that he can’t just change his destination suddenly, or Commissioner Ahn would be suspicious of Sung-hee. He asks her to trust that he’ll handle the matter and hangs up.

Sung-il makes a U-turn and Commission Ahn follows closely. Then Hak-joo jumps out in front of Commissioner Ahn’s car, bringing him to a stop. Sung-il grins as Commissioner Ahn gets out to call emergency and watches in frustration as Sung-il’s car gets away from him.

Min-ah walks around Insa-dong, noticing the “cultural ministry’s” employees carrying out their nefarious dealings, and smiles to herself. In a planned move they had to abort once before, Sung-il bumps hard into Min-ah causing her to twist her ankle. Sung-il apologizes while conspicuously trying to hide a rather large box behind his legs.

He invites her into the cultural ministry’s van for coffee and a medicinal pad for her foot. Min-ah observes that the ministry people seem quite busy making side deals in the antique business, and Sung-il launches into an earnest tirade about the unfair inheritance tax laws in the country. He finds a sympathetic audience in Min-ah as he explains that he helps people burdened by this law to avoid paying the tax.

Min-ah wants more information, and when Sung-il hesitates she pleasantly threatens to visit the police on her way home. Sung-il gives in and tells her that a friend in the Appraisal Unit in Busan Harbor helps him get expensive antique pieces into the country at low prices. She asks if the box he has with him now contains one such piece, and Sung-il proudly takes out an authentic ceramic vase that makes Min-ah gasp in appreciation.

In a gesture of good will, Sung-il gives her the vase. He asks her to keep his team’s activities a secret and tells her that they can help each other out in the future. Min-ah limps into an antique dealer’s shop with the heavy box and gets the vase appraised.

When the dealer tells her that it’s an extremely expensive antique, Min-ah calls up Sung-il and asks him to help her out since she has been burdened by unfair tax laws too. Sung-il agrees happily and hangs up to tell Madam Noh, Ja-wang, and Ji-yeon that he’s good at scamming people now. Pfft. Why is he so adorable?

Sung-hee gets a call from Jung-do while leaving the office, asking her if she’s ready to go to the dinner, where she and Jung-do are supposed to have a double-date with Bang Ho-seok and his wife. Sung-hee tells him angrily that she’s not going and to tell Ho-seok that she’s dead, but it turns out he’s waiting for her right outside, along with Ho-seok and his wife. Ho-seok asks if they’re still fighting, but Jung-do puts an arm around Sung-hee and claims that they made up last night. They stand awkwardly while the silence stretches, until at last, Sung-hee agrees unconvincingly that they made up.

At dinner they sing the birthday song over a cake and candles, and Sung-hee has to ask Jung-do whose birthday they’re celebrating, not knowing that it’s supposed to be hers. Hahaha. Ho-seok’s wife gushes over how cute her husband looks when he’s eating, and Ho-seok asks Sung-hee what she liked about Jung-do when she first met him. At first Sung-hee just says that she doesn’t remember and everyone thinks that she’s being shy.

But when Jung-do pushes her by saying he’s curious too, Sung-hee explains that when you’re hurt badly by someone you love, you forget why you liked them. She looks at Jung-do and says that you forget what your emotions were and what you did back then. The table falls silent and Jung-do’s act falters as he absorbs her words. Ho-seok’s wife whispers to him that Jung-do had probably cheated on Sung-hee.

After dinner, the “wives” stand together while Jung-do and Ho-seok discuss business matters. Ho-seok’s wife decides to bond with Sung-hee over disappointing husbands and confesses that she wants to flatten “the pig.” At Sung-hee’s surprise, she explains that she married Ho-seok because he’s rich and actually hates the way he eats.

Business talk done, Ho-seok and his wife drive away, leaving Sung-hee and Jung-do standing alone. Jung-do says they won’t get any cabs on this street and starts walking. When Sung-hee tries to point out that there’s a cab not too far away, he comes back and takes her by the hand. Sung-hee doesn’t protest much.

They walk together and Sung-hee asks what Jung-do had been telling Ho-seok. Jung-do tells her his plan without hesitation: He was trying to get Ho-seok to invest a big amount in a racket that brings in original antiques hidden among fake ones, so they can avoid paying import taxes and sell them at a large profit in South Korea. Sung-hee catches on to the plan immediately, and Jung-do wonders ruefully why it took Ho-seok so long to understand the concept.

Sung-hee asks if Ho-seok agreed, and Jung-do says not at first. Jung-do had to work him some more, pointing out that bringing original pieces into the country, packaged as fakes, would give them ten times the profit. A convinced Ho-seok asked if he could see the antiques before investing and Jung-do agreed easily, smiling like a cream-fed cat.

Sung-hee catches a cab a little further on and tells Jung-do not to involve her in this again. He agrees and bids her goodbye. As the cab pulls away, Jung-do calls up Sung-hee and says: “I’m sorry… that only I have the good memories.” Sung-hee doesn’t answer and Jung-do hangs up. He walks home alone, thinking back to the day he broke up with Sung-hee.

He had sat outside the pub while Sung-hee drank herself numb inside. Jae-sung arrived moments later to arrest him. On the way to the police station, Jae-sung asked if Jung-do really liked the girl or was so bored that he seduced her despite Sung-hee being poor. Jung-do told him that since he turned twenty, this was the first real thing he did, and now it’s become fake. Looking forlorn, Jung-do asked Jae-sung to please just drive.

The next step in Jung-do’s plan is merging the two groups and bringing the con home. Mi-joo is tasked with finding replicas of a couple of priceless artifacts and Sung-il is given a stack of information to memorize about the pieces. Then Jung-do calls up Ho-seok about checking out some “samples” that just came in, who in turn calls his antique collector sister, Min-ah. And then whom does Min-ah call? “The only antique expert that Bang Min-ah trusts… a public official who is just a little bit dirty,” says Jung-do.

They meet at the UN Communications office and Jung-do sets two ceramic figurines before the Bang siblings. When Sung-il is introduced as an antique expert, Jung-do acts a little offended at their distrust and tells Sung-il to be careful while handling the artifacts. Sung-il examines them and gets a disturbed look on his face. He starts to say that it’s wrong, and Min-ah asks if it’s a fake.

Sung-il explains that they are pieces of extreme historic value and should be in museums, not in a private collection. He sets out to educate them about the history of the figurines but Ho-seok and Min-ah are more interested in their monetary value. Sung-il estimates the value to be around $500,000, and Jung-do smirks and points out that a $100,000 investment magically turns into a $500,000 profit in Korea — just as he had promised.

After the meeting, Min-ah invites Sung-il to her house for lunch and Jung-do sits with Ho-seok to discuss his investment. They settle on $30 million but Ho-seok says he needs to borrow the money to invest. Jung-do tells him he should go for it and even offers to lend him the money, which Ho-seok gratefully declines.

At Min-ah’s house, Sung-il and his hostess drink tea and discuss the next shipment coming into Busan Harbor. Sung-il tells her that he’d told his contact to focus on ceramic vases for Min-ah. She’ll need to spend $20 million, he says, but will make thrice that amount in profit.

Min-ah asks Sung-il to follow her and leads him down to a basement guarded by a small army of men. She unlocks the door to a room full of extremely valuable ceramic artifacts — everything Min-ah has collected in 20 years — and asks him to appraise them for her. Sung-il happily agrees.

Commissioner Ahn’s hoobae has been tailing Sung-il and he reports back that Sung-il was seen coming out of Min-ah’s house that day. The commissioner takes this news to Mayor Chun, convinced that Sung-il was carrying out a con, and the mayor walks down to meet the Division Three team. He asks them where Sung-il is and Sung-hee covers for him by saying he’s at a borough office, collecting files.

The mayor moves closer to her and asks if she’s sure that that’s where Sung-il is. Sung-hee pauses for a beat and then says yes, making her allegiance clear. Later, the mayor asks Commissioner Ahn if Sung-hee is in on the con. The commissioner confirms that she definitely knows about it but he’s unsure of whether she’s helping them.

Jae-sung meets the “criminal” who’ll double-cross Jung-do, and it’s Mi-joo. She looks unsure and scared as Jae-sung bullies her into confessing everything to the Bang siblings. As soon as Mi-joo tells them about the con, Min-ah calls their father. President Bang arrives at the UN Communications office and slaps his son for being a fool. Ho-seok bawls like a toddler — complete with stuttering, uncontrollable sobs — and President Bang’s bellows subside as he comforts his big baby boy. Gag.

President Bang agrees to help get Jae-sung out of jail and focuses on how to catch the conmen. As Mi-joo watches with trepidation, the siblings invite Sung-il and Jung-do to Min-ah’s house. Mi-joo begs Min-ah not to force her to face Jung-do, but Min-ah has no mercy for her. Min-ah calls the guards up from the basement and the Bang family sits down with tea to wait for the scammers to arrive.

Sung-il arrives first and Jung-do enters the residence to find him standing stock still at the doorway. He turns to Jung-do and says, “I think we’re caught.” President Bang walks up to the door and tells the guards blocking off the exit to take them to the police. Ho-seok grabs Jung-do by the collar, blustering, but gets shaken off when Jung-do sees Mi-joo standing beside Min-ah and realizes her betrayal.

Sung-il and Jung-do are thrown in lockup, and Sung-il calls Sung-hee to ask her to submit a request for two days’ absence from work. She asks if he’s in trouble but he says that two days will be enough to sort everything out. President Bang meets the police chief to pressure him into sending Sung-il and Jung-do to jail for a few years, but unfortunately (hah!) no money has been exchanged, so the scam hasn’t happened yet. The police can only hold them for 48 hours.

As the chief explains the situation, Min-ah and Ho-seok give their statements to the police. When Min-ah accuses Sung-il of pretending to be a government official, Sung-il calmly points out that he is a government official. (Muahaha!)

The police chief says with frustration that no money had exchanged hands and Min-ah was the one to receive a gift that is valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars. And no matter how much Ho-seok threatens the police with connections at the prosecutor’s office, Jung-do is a VIP client at his company and has done nothing illegal.

President Bang shouts that all of that was just to gain their trust, and the police chief agrees helplessly that he’s right. But as matters stand it will be easier for Sung-il and Jung-do to file a case against the Bang siblings than for the police to charge the two with fraud.

48 hours later, Sung-il and Jung-do come out of lockup unbathed and itchy. They go to their regular hangout to eat some food and discuss their next move. Sung-il says he’ll visit Min-ah first and then President Bang, and Jung-do declares his intent to visit Ho-seok. Sung-il leaves and calls up Min-ah, and Jung-do calls up Mr. Kim in prison and asks to be connected to “him.” Mr. Kim hangs up and tells Chairman Wang that Jung-do seems to be starting for real now.

Sung-il visits Min-ah at her house and she asks him whether he wants his vase back. He smiles and says he’s not that low, but wants to just ask one thing: “Will you not pay your taxes?” Min-ah laughs at him and speaks down to him in banmal, asking if he doesn’t understand the situation. Her father will get him with or without proof, she says.

Sung-il calls her rude and tells her that he understands the situation perfectly but was giving her a last chance to pay the $50 million her father owes the government. He then reveals that Mi-joo never betrayed them. She only needed to get close to Min-ah to “borrow” something. Min-ah’s superior smile evaporates as she takes out the keys to her treasure trove basement from her pocket and realization dawns.

We see in a flashback that when Mi-joo was begging Min-ah, she had taken the keys out of her pocket and used the molten wax of an incense candle from the bathroom to get molds of the basement key. Then when Sung-il and Jung-do were being dragged away to the police station, Mi-joo slipped the keys back into Min-ah’s pocket.

In the present, Sung-il explains that he has a boss named Commissioner Ahn who had found out about the con. What he didn’t know was that Hak-joo was tailing the hoobae who was following Sung-il. So, says Sung-il, they beat the commissioner to the punch by revealing everything themselves. He points out that when they were all at the precinct, Min-ah’s house had been empty, and asks if she isn’t going to check the basement.

Min-ah rushes down, tripping over her own feet in her hurry, and opens the door to find her entire basement completely cleaned out of the precious antiques it once housed. While the Bang family and our two conmen were at the police station, Hak-joo, Mi-joo, and Madam Noh brought in a crew and cleaned everything out. The guards were guarding a burgled house until now.

Min-ah collapses to the floor and Sung-il follows her down to explain that everything has already been liquidated and since they were in jail when the burglary happened, the Bang family can’t pin it on Sung-il or Jung-do. Min-ah, hyperventilating, tries to bribe Sung-il, but Sung-il says his wife runs a pork trotter restaurant and they do well enough. He tells her to call her father and takes the phone from her.

Sung-il tells President Bang that he might not remember Sung-il’s name or face, but Sung-il has met him several times. He reminds President Bang that six years ago, he’s said he doesn’t owe the nation anything. Sung-il tells him that fine, he can believe that, but for the rest of his life, President Bang will have to compensate the people who got hurt because of him. And to begin with, Sung-il says, he has now paid off his $50 million tax in full.

President Bang puts down his phone slowly and starts laughing in disbelief. Sung-il tells Min-ah to live as a decent human being and leaves the basement. On his way up he gets a call from Jung-do, who tells him he’s sorry, but he needs to use this money for something else. Sung-il tells him to knock it off but Jung-do says again that he’ll use the money — after all, he did do most of the work.

Sung-il realizes he’s serious and half-pleads, half-shouts that Jung-do said he wasn’t lying to him. Jung-do laughs, sitting right beside President Bang, and says: “Of all the people to trust in the world, you trusted a con artist, ajusshi?” Jung-do thanks him for the money and hangs up, then turns to President Bang and asks him what he’ll do now.

COMMENTS

No, no, no, no, no!

I think I’m a little traumatized. I can’t imagine a scenario where Jung-do is doing this for Sung-il’s own good, but then this has never been a show where I could predict the next turn. That’s the hope I’m clinging to because if Jung-do just double-crossed Sung-il for real — no matter how lofty his higher purpose is — I’m going to be majorly pissed. In that turn of events, the only thing that could save this show from my wrath would be Sung-il pulling one over on Jung-do and getting all that money back. I think Sung-il and I are both done with people taking him for granted! But putting my personal (and violent) feelings aside, this is exactly how conmen work. Jung-do helped Sung-il to catch tax evaders and faithfully deposited all the money into their income tax accounts, building Sung-il’s trust in him over time. Sung-il pulled off the same scam on Min-ah. So, he obviously understands the principle but just refused to apply it to his own situation.

While I love that Sung-il is getting so good at scamming evil tax-evaders, the world is very black and white for our beloved ajusshi. There’s the Bang family, who are fair game because they hurt people, and then there’s Jung-do, who is to be trusted because he’s a friend and has helped him once before. It’s very in character for Sung-il to believe Jung-do the moment he says that he was just kidding about the Machiavellian betrayal plan. But aside from his trusting nature, Sung-il is also in alien territory, depending completely on the guidance of an experienced native. If Jung-do was lying, Sung-il would have nowhere to go. Therefore, Jung-do must not be lying. It’s almost a survival instinct at this point.

Jung-do likely knows and capitalizes on that. When he looked away from Sung-il’s astonished gaze in that first scene, it was like he was reining in the urge to keep telling Sung-il the truth. He knew Sung-il wouldn’t be able to handle it. I also suspect that Jung-do couldn’t bear the look of fear and disillusionment in Sung-il’s eyes. Maybe that’s why, in the last scene, he chose to hurt Sung-il over the phone rather than face him.

We already suspected that Sung-hee was the real deal for Jung-do but it was nice to have it confirmed. I liked that although Sung-hee is willing to go along with a charade for a couple of hours, she hasn’t forgotten what Jung-do did to her and isn’t above reminding him. With six episodes to go, and with feelings still running deep under the surface for these two, I suspect that Jung-do confessing his reasons for dumping her would be enough to at least start the process of forgiveness in time for the finale. But I can’t see how we can achieve a happily-ever-after without major time-skip happening towards the end, to give these two some months at least to relearn each other. And that’s only if Jung-do hasn’t really screwed Sung-il over. I’m pretty sure that that would be a nail in the coffin of their love, for Sung-hee.

The con that this writer-director team pulled over on us, the viewers, was so clever. They spent so much time building up the fake smuggling business — Jung-do asked for $30 million and Sung-il for $20 million from the siblings, bringing the total “investment” to the $50 million they owed in taxes. We were convinced that that was how they were going to get the money out of the Bang family. But then they played us good. I don’t think anyone expected them to go the burglary route. But how elegant! I loved that the Bang family had nothing on them! It was totally worth it to see President Bang’s influence failing to do our conmen any harm. The writer and director have my loyalty for life now. Anyone who can think up and execute twists like these in a TV show without compromising on logic or consistency will always get my money.

 
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Thanks for the recap. This show is brilliantly written and after watching ep 12 - no worry I won't spoil anything, I'm just heartbroken. Again. And again after the past episodes.

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I was so relieved!!!!!!! I thought we were in the clear!!! AND THEN THEY USED THE LAST 2 MINUTES AND CRUSHED ME!!!

THIS IS A BETRAYAL OF SHAKESPEAREAN PROPORTIONS.

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ikr - et tu, Jung-do?

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I'm thinking he will make a deal with Bang Pil-gyu to get their trust. Then target the larger tax evader who controls BPG.

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Same here, it seems pretty formulaic. We've been privy to several of Jung Do's conning styles and that arc is consistent. We sort of think that the drama will take us to one point. But then again... it's also very consistent at making us very comfortable in submitting to a pattern and then pulling it from under our feet to catch us unguarded. The writing is that good for this drama, plot-wise.

I wish the editing could do better (I remember You/Hello Monster editing was soooooooo pristine), but the plot here is very well-put. It's classic fun.

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t5here is another twist though. and another. it will get so twisted up that it is like laundry spin on 1500 turns.

just don´t think... stop thinking, you will not be able to figure out anything before it is there. just wenjoy the BTS bromance.

https://twitter.com/zinedce/status/757603890477010945

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THIS SHOW IS PLAYING US and I love them even more for it.

On one hand, I was clutching my hair doing the Darth Vader 'NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!' at the last two minutes but this episode and last, but on the other, I appreciate that we're being kept on our toes here - the con team is the heart of things here, and breaking them apart would definitely shake things up.

Which is why I love the trope subversion even more, on a meta level - they play to that fear and then reveal it's all part of their plan anyway! And I'm really glad Mi-joo turned out not to be a betrayer after all!

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And yeah, if Jung-do is really out to screw over Sung-il, I think we'll all want to bury him for hurting teddy bear ajusshi, no matter how thirsty SIG makes us. But then with Jung-do and the con, he really doesn't let up on whether it's real or fake (Sung-hee, as the recap has noted before, is an exception - his one 'real' thing, so to speak. And there are whole worlds of hurt there, which I don't think we're going to get resolution on before the end!).

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what about the other way around though? what about the opposite? WHAT ABOUT...

argh this week I REALLY cannot watch the show cause I will be on a festival. dammit. or maybe sunday morning...if the public internet isn´t jammed.

Seo In Guk is crushing me with Those Eyes. esp in the last moments of the last ep....

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Me too!
I was seriously worry MJ will betray them. So happy that MJ never betrays the gang...
Excellent, MJ <3

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I apologized and bowed to the Lee Seun Bin on Twitter and Insta. I was ashamed to put so little regard on her phenomenal craftyness.

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Still loving this show. Will love it even if JD is mean to SI and betrays him, though my heart will be sad for SI. [SPOILER] But this is kdrama and kdrama will never allow him to hurt SI without major damage to himself...the dig 2 graves scenario. He, however, hurt SH and seems to have gone on with his life assuming she will just 'get over' it. The fact that he was surprised at how angry and bitterly hurt she is, is a testament to his inability to understand how much damage he can cause to the innocent. I know he did what he did to protect her, but his assumption that she would forget was an eye opener for him. So I'm hoping that grain of enlightenment and his innate goodness will win out...in fact I'm sure it will.

I think too we will have to have a cooling off period at the end of this. The cliche 1, 2, 3, etc year jump. Will he go to jail for a couple years? I hope it's not that, but fear it may be.

This drama is accelerating in tension and drama when so many start making filler episodes in the middle of their runs. 11 was rough...I'm dreading 12 now.

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Just finished 11 & 12 and well, can't really say they're filler episodes, cause this plot is still moving....full speed ahead! LOL. But episode 13 & 14 might have the year jumps you're talking about and to be honest, I don't mind. He can't get away with EVERYTHING so easily without having roadblocks. Anyways, I'm just excited to see how everything ends! haha

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That isn't exactly a spoiler but it's bordering dangerously close to it.

To be fair to other readers (and future watchers), can't we just avoid referencing future episodes at all?

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I have to admit that would be very difficult, given the painful edge that this drama keeps me on. Reaaallly difficult.

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it is very difficult because heart attack

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Thanks for the recap! Can't waittt for the recaps to episodes 11 and 12! Ya'll have been super speedy about catching up. Loving this show -- you'd think SIG was a real conman in another life with the way he's acting!

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I LOVE this drama!! It just keeps getting better and better - with more twists and turns than can possibly be imagined. No spoilers for 11 and 12 but it keeps up the brilliant writing and rollicking pace. I have a feeling this drama is going to have an ending that just blows all of us out of the water. I will say it again, it's a perfect combo of Misaeng and Signal., with the extra spice of Seo In-guk thrown in for ultimate pretty.

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Geez, this is like Oh Hae-young and Tae-jin all over again, just on a whole other level. I mean it's totally in character for Jung-do to go the noble idiocy route but he's totally underestimated how much he hurt her and good for her for letting him know! When will these noble idiots learn that the other party deserves to know the truth and that the truth in this case actually hurts a lot less than being told you've been played and in a onesided relationship all this time.
Sung-hee you better let him suffer a bit more (a lot more) before considering giving him another chance. If you don't know how gimme a call under 555-fu-noble-idiot

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I was thinking of the same exact thing about the OHYA similarity. But I suppose the 1) half truth about confessing to being a fraud, 2) not being engaged to get married the following day and 3) jungdo being acted by SIG just made the police squad version slightly more understandable for me.

I also agree with the comment about sunghee not picking up the relationship with jungdo so soon. I'd like to believe that sunghee's character is strong enough to give him a well deserved talking to and time out.

On the other, more shallow end, if I were sunghee and someone looks at me the way jungdo does, I'm not sure I can handle forgiving him for being a noble idiot.

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Also, "I'm a con artist and I was playing you" is miles better than "I just can't stand to watch you eat anymore" in my book.

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Besides the way it was done, the whole thing fit this story better, but that's not surprising considering that the writing for 38 is many levels above that of OHYA.

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Blnmom, that's a really strong, valid point. Yes!

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About your last sentence...sigh, I know, and his charm doesn't help as well. Hwaiting Sung-hee!

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Sooo difficult to comment on this subject, considering the spoiler issues, but hey. There could be a deeper reason for the noble idiocy, now citing the theory of Chun Sung Hee and Mayor Chun Gap Soo's apparently imminent connection. There could be more to that theory.

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I don't fully understand the urgency to break up with Sung-Hee. I mean, unlike Tae-Jin, it was clear that his imprisonment would make Oh Hae-young's future bleak, both emotionally and financially as their marriage wouldn't be consummate and that he wouldn't be a good provider in the future. moreover, it is urgent because he will be arrested at the very day of their marriage. but for Jung-Do, I don't think the stakes are that high. I hope there's a better explanation in the coming episodes (I'm only at ep.11). otherwise, I would' be satisfied with this noble idiocy.

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Me too. Unless they reveal more details, I'm gonna think that Jung-do is an even bigger noble idiot than Tae-jin...

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I don't see how difficult to understand why JD leave SH and lie. If you love a girl that deep, you wouldn't want her to waste 6 years waiting for you, not mention to what JD was planning to implement after jail time. It's too dangerous to let her know anything. Breaking up with her cruelly is best way to let her move on. If i were JD, I would do the same thing. I don't get this noble idiocy stuff here at all.

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+1

I think JD really liked SH a lot and probably thought that she deserved someone better than him. In a way, during that break up, while he lied about his true feelings, in a way he still wanted her to know who he really is by telling her that he is a conman. As for the possible ending between the two, I do hope that writer-nim goes for an open ending wherein both JD and SH start on a clean slate, with the "real" JD showing himself.

I think it's also funny how JD lies about how he got to know SH. He told Sung Il previously that SH had a big crush on him and was not able to move on. To Ho Seok and his wife, JD told them how SH followed him around in college. We now know that it was really him who pursued her all along.

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Hm, I didn't really question this noble idiocy. If he had been dating Mijoo at the time, I would have, but he knew Sunghee's personality and morals -- she's still the same now. He knew admitting he was a conman would break the relationship anyway, so he was trying to soften the blow by making her mad at him so she could forget him, which according to her birthday dinner conversation, she did.

Would I have preferred JD to fess up and say he was a conman but he still loved her? Yes, I'm of the mind that honesty is always the best policy but I don't think that's the mindset of the Korean culture atm. There's still a lot of protecting your loved ones from any kind of pain going on -- case in point my uncle didn't tell his son that he was going through chemo because he didn't want his son to worry. I think that kind of thinking will be gone with the next generation, but for now it still is alive and well and showing up in our dramas.

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Trying to protect your loved ones from pain doesn't only apply to Korean culture but I'd say any culture, especially like in your example when it's a parent-child relationship.

The show hasn't shown us how the past six years have been for Sung-hee but judging by her reaction when she heard from her friend that he's appeared again and later when they had their first encounter in the freezer it's quite clear that she's never forgotten him and later we learned that she even changed her career because of him. She says she's only forgotten why she liked him because he's hurt her so much. (I'm sure she still knows why she's liked him but the pain is just still too big.)

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Yeah, good points.

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I'm trying to understand why I'm more accepting of Jung Do's noble idiocy than Tae Jin's...other than my bias towards Seo In Guk's face.

Probably because we get a lot more insight into Jung Do's psyche than we ever did with Tae Jin. I mean I still think that OHYA did an excellent job with their second leads, but there's still a big difference between how much you get to know a lead character vs. a secondary one. With Jung Do, he definitely made the cowardly move breaking up with Sung Hee, but as a con man, I can't really expect him to do anything else but lie through his teeth and immediately "nope" himself out of the situation once it got difficult. It just goes along with his character.

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That's a really good point actually. Full characterization goes a long way in helping us, viewers empathize or at least know where the person is coming from.

Having said that, OHYA is still a different fruit altogether that I enjoyed on a different level as I am enjoying police squad.

I am happy to stay for the ride for 38 and hope we can delve more into this "couple"'s story.

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"I'm sorry.... That only I have the good memories."
Ugghhhh.... Jung Do-ahhh i love you that even you are cold outside, you still have soft spot and warm inside.

Jung Do is calculated person and full of masks. But in front of SH he become the real Jung Do. How vulnerable he was when he dumped her that night. The tears in his eyes, his quiver lips, and when he said "just go," breaking my heart. I rewatch that scene over and over again. JD-ah how pity of you.

But that pity turned 180 degrees in the last two minutes. Wth JD!!! You're betraying your friend! Okay, there are no real friends in the conman world. How pity i am to believe the conman even if he is as cute as JD.

I've been conned by JD. the writer. The PD-nim. Huhhh!!!!

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when he cried inside the police car, my heart broke into tiny little pieces. that scene is so painfully delicious.

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When he called to say "I'm sorry that only I have the good memories.", I just went.... gah. WHY ARE THESE TWO NOT TOGETHER??? Noble idiocy and its UMRGFHPHS. Painfully delicious, yes, very much so.

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I actually watched the scene from the fake birthday up to the taxi phone call several times. Both SY and SIG were amazing. My heart broke for these two, with SH still feeling betrayed and with JD still having feelings for her but could not tell her everything. I think JD is still protecting SH, without her knowing it. I know that it has been said a few times in the show that she is "poor" but it could just be JD's way of telling the others to lay off of her so that she could not be collateral damage.

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Oooh interesting way of putting it. I've been having a hard time convincing myself that she's "poor"

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Yay, all caught up now! Thanks for the recap, festerfaster! I'm still waiting for your bio on the minions page so I can find out what the heck your name is referring to.

Ha, now Baek Sungil is just as good an actor as Ma Dongseok. Loved that moment in the van where he's all proud of himself (and Jawang gets smacked by Noh's daughter).

Also when Hakjoo threw himself on Ahn's car, I couldn't stop laughing.

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Seo In Guk really is very good with physical comedy. Not necessarily big scene-stealing sight gags, but the smaller bits that put together a character. It's really very charming.

That awkward pose in the header, I couldn't stop laughing at how absurd it looked in the scene, but in an entertaining way!

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so true, and it will be on full force in ep 12. until it lasts.

no spoiler here.

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To be honest the only drama that I care about at the moment is 38 task force. This drama is pure gem rather the most expensive and beautiful diamond! Every once in a while there comes drama which just succumb your mind and makes you sit at the edge of your chair while the episode goes by. 38 task force is doing THAT to me. The last time i remember i was so excited about a drama was Kill me Heal me. Seo in guk is just killing it i this drama. Every role he plays is just a treat to watch and 38 task force is a legit reason why this guy deserves a wider applause and appreciation. I really hope people would just stop running after the so called popular over-hyped actors and start appreciating real gems like Seo in guk and Joo Won, who might not be as popular as other ‘stars’ but are for more better actors than them.

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Million thanks for catching up the recaps!

The latest 2 eps remind me of how good SIG is in acting romance. I have complicated feels about his new drama Shopping King Louie. On one one hand, the premise is full of cliches and rating seems to be doomed given the competitors in the time slot are too strong. On the other hand, I really miss him playing a lovey-dovey after 3 non-romantic dramas in a row

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Thanks for the recap.

I usually don't have the patience for mysteries, but I'm enjoying this one.

The cast is stellar.

Mrs. Noh stands out amoung the women considering what a bang up job the same actress is doing in Five Children as a very different (and annoying) character.

The men are a great collections of character actors, but even within that stellar bunch Ahn Nae Sang slays. Has he spoken 100 words as yet? I doubt it. Yet his is so able to convey so much with his eyes turned down and every once in a while making direct eye contact.

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I agree! I really like Ms. Noh and Ahn Nae Sang, but especially Ahn Nae Sung as the mayor. I keep hoping that he's not really that bad of a guy. But considering how deep his connections are with the "real" bad guys, I'm worried.

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if he licks the hands of bad guys, he is their dog, end of story. dog that cannot help his master is evil, he is faithful anyway cause he is being fed.

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Ahn Nae Sang is gold in Awl. at first, I'm disappointed that he landed such a minor role in Police Squad 38, but the deeper we get into the story, the more I realized that the character demands a nuanced and complex actor, which Ahn Nae Sang obviously slayed.

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I thought no one remember him in Awl!

He was spectacular in Awl. I instantly fell in love with his quirky, nerdy, nonchalant, sometimes annoying character there. Truly an unforgettable character.

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I agree that the cast is stellar. While Seo In Guk continues to surprise, the acting prowess of the rest of the cast cannot be ignored. The collective cast is one of the best ensemble I've seen in a long time. Even the villains are very, very effective. Bang Pil Gyu, Commissioner Ahn, ahhh... everyone is sooo good.

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festerfaster, I haven't even read the recap yet but - that first screencap! I burst into laughter, good choice and thank you.

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Personally, what makes that shady detective so hateful is his firm believe that Jungdo and his friends are a mere trash and that they'll never rise above it. He seems to think that people like Jungdo would never understand the noble concept of loyalty and friendship. And he definitely love to fling those accusations with a fake fatherly affection like he knows best about him. Sure, Jungdo might be always breaking the law for as long as the detective remember, but the way he scorned at all those real mundane things in Jungdo's life (love, friendship, relationship) is so infuriating. It's like he believes he is some sort of saint who never make any mistake and he stands high above all those lowly human. And realizing that just makes me want to slap him hard...

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I've always loved the detective actor in all of his other roles, but all of them have either been cheerful or good-at-the-core. The way he's playing this detective is terrifying, both because he's doing it with a smile and because all of those relatable elements from his happier characters are twisted for evil this time round: he seems to aim to really hurt Jung Do whenever he can, all with a fatherly air.

It's actually pretty sadistic, like he enjoys exploiting the things important to Jung Do (and others) and then twisting them to cause maximum pain. Really good acting with a really scary role.

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Choi Soo Young... her part is so little but the impact is big...

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This episode killed me!

I am writing this comment from the afterlife.

(Luckily we get all the K-dramas, subbed even, as soon as they air.)

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JD's betrayal is so consistent with his character as a con artist and I love it! I wouldn't actually buy a con artist who always lets his sympathy get in the way of his job. he wouldn't just be effective!

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I'm glad to say that I didn't quite believe that Mi-joo had turned traitor. The way she cowered before the slimy detective was so out of character from her spunky, defiant self that I was quite sure it was a act...(one can't always tell 100% from this drama!). So I was really thrilled at how the writers had spinned it - a con within a con, using the viewers being conned as well.

However, I felt that the con was based on a few assumptions:
1) That Min A would have the basement room keys in her pocket.
2) That Sung-il identified the right key - there were so many!
3) That there was a candle to make wax in the bathroom. What if there wasn't? Shouldn't Mi-joo be more prepared?
4) That Min A would call her goons to come up, thus leaving the antique room unguarded. Who knows? There could have been another set of goons lurking upstairs.

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*with the viewers

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Me too. I've come to trust her based on past episodes that (1) she's a good actress like Jung-do, and (2) she's not the crying type of girl.

Even if she decided to betray her team, she'd be doing it haughtily or angrily, not cowering in front of a slimy detective who's behind bars.

What I couldn't guess was how it all fit into their con though. That part about stealing their antiques while our boys are locked up was genius. :D

1) Sung-il saw Min-ah with the keys before. I don't think Mi-joo was idle while at the Bang residence. She was probably observing the Bangs w/ the intent of checking for keys and confirmed that Min-ah had it with her.

2) Now this one is a bit lucky.

3) If there wasn't, you can also use soap.

4) This one was also lucky. Must be why Madam Noh brought her own men?

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1) Sung Il. Yes. And Bang Min-ah must be the kind of control freak that always keeps everything within her reach. Consistent characterization.

2) I remember Sung Il eyed it with careful observation. LOL. photographic memory much.

3). She could also have brought the candle with her, pretending she needs it to perform natural bodily excretion duties. Soap works too.

4.) Yep. Madam Noh's men would have been enough had there been one or a couple left to guard. They may also have counted Bang Min-aAhs men and deduced from such.

To me though, nothing beats that part where airbags never go off in car crashes in these dramas. KKKKK

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"The writer and director have my loyalty for life now. Anyone who can think up and execute twists like these in a TV show without compromising on logic or consistency will always get my money."

This is what separates 38 and a select few other shows from the vast majority of other K-dramas.

The "twist" here was great.

Director Ahn is no dummy, so it was inevitable that he was going to find out that Sung-il was working on the daughter - so the "team" had an alternative plan.

Even better was the misdirection of Mi-joo having "changed" sides - and the strategy of using Jae-sung as the impetus of Mi-joo changing sides which made her turning turncoat all that more believable to the Bang family.

Jae-sung thought that he was using Mi-joo as his means of getting out of prison, but he ended up being the one used (this level of writing is rare and I wouldn't be surprised if this was picked up to be remade in the US; good news is that 38 has been sold to 10 other markets).

That actor who plays Jae-sung is doing a bang up job - and in this ep stood out among an excellent cast.

That look Jae-sung gave Mi-joo when he got an angry was scary as heck. LSB also did a great job in what were just reaction shots listening to Jae-sung talk.

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I really like the actor playing Jae Sung. Saw him for the first time in The King of Dramas - he played the role of a director struggling with alcoholism. He's a good combination of stoic and vulnerable, and yeah, I find him attractive too :)

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It's been hours, and I still can't keep from laughing at SIG's stupid face in the header ?

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haha... me too... me too...
It's just made my day.

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This drama's getting better and better [I heard the rating's doing well too].
Love the 'con-squad'.

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Wait..wait... so last weekend aired ep 11 & 12??? I completely forgot that this drama is a weekend drama! Well with the kind of drama parade going on this month, a girl is allowed to loose count, right?
I just finished ep 10, dying to see what will happen in the next ep after THAT ending but sad that I had to wait a whole week for it and...
TADA!!!
Saw the Currently Airing dramas on the right.
Yaayyy!! I don't have to wait for 2 new episodes!! A very happy dramafan over here!!

But then I saw the Next Recap to Post. Oh, noes... I read good reviews about it, but my plate is so full already!

How can dramas make my life so complicated...

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Police Unit 38 is KILLING me!!!

Recapping this series must be a real hard work since there are so many cons on many levels. Thank you festerfaster. Now we can have a real time recap. Hooray!

As a die hard SIG fan girl, I was quite sad he chose this non-romance drama, but I was wrong, cause I still swoon and squee hard in every eps. Not just for his forever charming face, but for his stellar performance as Jung Do. SIG is doing a fantastic job as Jung Do that I really think I don't need any romance. Yet still, he sold this super tiny love line beautifully.

Last ep rating was 4,5%, the highest on OCN so far. Can we now truly crown him as Prince of Cable? LOL.

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yeah kudos to recappers, cause it must be hard to do while gasping for air all the time. dont faint. or we´ll get "ZZZZFR%%%///////////////////////////!!!!!" for the next recap

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Yesss, Prince of Cable indeed! What Answer Me curse?

He's starting to remind me a little of Song Joong-ki - the range, the adeptness at microexpressions, that damned puppy face..... it would make my week if he ever got that big, but I'm glad he's still on cable because there is no way a Big 3 network would ever have pulled this show off.

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Oh My God! This cliffhanger left me screaming out loud! I kept shouting nooooo Jung Do don't do this to Sung Il. This show sure knows how to keep it coming.

Seriously, dear show- congratulations, you have succeeded in being the true embodiment of MIND-truly and irrevocably- BLOWN.

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Ahhh. Thank you for the very emotional comment section. I was there. It's such a pain to have to keep such feelings in, while recaps aren't out yet. So the comment section is soooo soothing because I feel less alone in this frustration hahaha.

For this episode, I feel a bit of regret that the Jung Hee couple is somewhat restrained. The chemistry was oozing in this episode and although I don't welcome the idea of romance taking center stage in this drama, it doesn't exactly leave me NOT wanting to see more of Jung Hee. The noble idiocy, however cliche, still appeals to my sense of masochistic romance. LOL. IDK, it's just delicious when two people are obviously still so into each other and they're given a chance at it, albeit reluctantly, 6 years after all the wrong decisions. It just works for me. The tension. KKKK Okay enough.

That being said, I still need for Jung Hee's character to go beyond being the moral compass. I need some sort of evolution from her character. I somewhat need to see her evolve just to gauge whether there's any room for reconciliation between her and Jung Do. I understand her pain completely, sure I do. I'm for her castigating Jung Do at this point... but it's essential for Jung Do's character to "have" her in his life, so I need to see how she'll come to terms with the conman that Jung do is--- not just for Jung Do, but for the depth of her character altogether.

Her seeming connection with the Mayor is also an interesting plot device for her character. I just need more of that story arch incorporated into the drama for balance in her character that seems too white at this point. In a drama where people are crisscrossing between levels of morality, I need to see whether she's stayed in her sense of right or if she's truly pristine. I'm convinced there's more to her than that. I need her wits to overtake them all, while being still pristine despite knowing that the world is not just black and white. It's sort of redemptive.

So yes, patience is a virtue. Next weekend, come faster please.

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this show, I mean I watched the very latest episodes in front of Town Hall in Viljandi (or actually, it was in the Town Hall rose garden under security cameras) and I bet the camera recorded me doing weird things like suddenly jumping, grasping my head or laughing out hysterically, then making heart eyes right before pulling my hair out... the good thing is it was Sunday so no sirens or anything. There is a famous madhouse in this town, if I had watched the episodes on a Monday I would have probably ended up there. well, on the other hand, the mayor is my friend. Wait, I sound like Bang Pil Gyu. I swear I am not that corrupt. Well, next time if anyone seesme behaving like this from the town hall windows, I can just invite them to join me. Who works during summer anyway?

ah, I just dunno how I will survive. Seo In Guk and his eyes! Dudes, be friends, please! I mean, yes, he is a swindler and he stole your money and he didnt pay Bang Pil Guys taxes but thats not his job anyway.... besides if he doesnt pay them, would BPG not still own 50 million, so he has to cough it up or go to jail?

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My I ask? How many years JungDo in prison? And how long his relationship with sunghee last before he went to jail? Thankyou

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Spoilers?

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Nope :) Jung-do comes out of prison right before Sung-il's scam starts. SH+JD breakup is some time in the past. So we can conclude that the breakup happened before jail.

Exactly how long between breakup and jail is unknown.

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Sorry, I gut confused, with something else.

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I know what you mean! Hahaha it does seem spoiler at first glance. But thanks for pointing out a possible spoiler. At least it's a warning.

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I think the break up came a good 30 minutes before Jung Do got arrested. Junh do was in prison for 6 years. I don't know how long the relationship lasted before breakup however. *runs to rewatch break up scenes

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Well, as of this episode, it looks like there were bare minutes between breakup and jail (or arrest, anyway). I was not expecting that!

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I won't spoil it. Don't go to Soompi either if you haven't seen the the last Ep. For those who haven't watch Ep 12. your heart will be shattered into million little pieces. You will fall even more in love with this drama. It is a gem of brilliant drama. The writing, the execution. The twist. It's all so good.

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5 Reasons You Should Be Watching “Task Force 38” Right Now

http://www.soompi.com/2016/07/22/5-reasons-watching-task-force-38-starring-sooyoung-seo-guk/

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Seo Inguk is adooooorable!!!^_^

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Are we sure the Writers aren't getting their stuff from real lifecon artists? Or maybe they are the con artists conning us that they are writers by using their personal experiences???? Man...there's just too many twists....I wonder if we will end up in a full circle?

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I think they are. con artists, I mean. They are conning us into equilibrium and then Bam! another kick in the loins. Why, writers? You damn sadistic psychopaths! You evil, EVIL just evil. So evil. So sneaky (can´t say sneaky without thinking of Smeagol though). Dey sneaks, Master!

what speaks in favor of this theory?
-they are familiar with human psychology
- they can anticipate our reactions and decisions
- they know how to get us to trust them repeatedly even when being cheated repeatedly also
- they make fake maneuvers to make us crash completely
- can´t say they lie exactly, but they make something seem like the truth then go oh hey just kidding.
- they make us invest into an idea and make it go poof!
...

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I had sorta been dreading this episode since I saw the preview for it after EP 9. Mi Joo! I felt so disappointed.
I wanted to fast forward the old romance part too. I'm just not feeling it. I wish this show didn't include it.

But anyway, they got me good during the big reveal. Idek about that twist at the end!! Eek it was like 2 twists back-to-back!

No more episode previews for me. They make me overthink stuff and be all antsy LOL.

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Nearly two years late, but I agree with the old romance part! I don't know if it gets better later on (which you've probably found out by now), but I was hoping we wouldn't dwell on it too much.

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So I am watching this show in Feb 2018 and I love every scene of it. Acting of all the actors is perfect and very natural. I am so hooked on the song that plays everytime a con is revealed, can anyone tell me the title of that song?

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It’s probably either “Run” or “Cool” from the OST! Both songs get me so hyped.

Run:
https://youtu.be/lSAX5YI9riE

Cool:
https://youtu.be/lEU0s3Bkwxw

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I read before that episode 10 was going to screw with our minds, so that's the only thing that prepared me. Had to stop 3/4 of the way in the episode, so I had a whole day to think of what could possibly happen next. So I came to the conclusion that Mi Joo was merely acting and that our own papa bear was being played. I became more and more sure of it. But wow, when I continued, I became convinced that Sung-il was actually aware of everything, and all went according to plan. No back-stabbing. At least for now. Then they messed with me again in those last few minutes. I love/hate this show. Mostly love, though.

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