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Police Unit 38: Episode 8

The crew gets together once again to take down an even bigger bad guy than last time, and the stakes are raised higher than ever with a side of personal vengeance. With the law protecting those who do most harm, Sung-hee’s faith in the system and the people she works for is shaken beyond repair. While she teeters on the edge of the abyss of lawlessness, someone close to Jung-do tries to pull him back.

 
EPISODE 8 RECAP

Sung-il stands at Jung-do’s doorstep and asks him if money really solves everything. Jung-do realizes that something is very wrong and asks him what happened. Sung-il tells him that what he wants more than anything is to take down the bastards who hurt the people he cares for. He asks Jung-do to work with him one more time.

Jung-do sighs that he really should stay away from civil servants, then asks with a sly smile how much the sting is worth. Sung-il says $50 million and Jung-do laughs a little. He asks if Sung-il can pay him 10% of the total sum, and Sung-il tells him he can have anything he wants.

Jung-do calls up the team and they all beg to be excused because they’re so very busy… until Jung-do tells them how much they’re going after. Then suddenly everyone’s schedule becomes flexible and Jung-do hangs up the phone grinning.

Finally, there’s just Madam Noh to convince, who observes wryly that they need her and her “ammunitions” badly, since they’re all dirt poor. She agrees to work with them again and asks who this defaulter is who owes $50 million in taxes to the government.

The subject of their conversation, President Bang, is discussing the tax department’s raid of his house with Mayor Chun. He says he didn’t realize that the mayor was taking care of Sung-hee and Section Chief Kang internally, and self-deprecatingly apologizes for trying to handle it himself. Mayor Chun is not so easily mollified. He tells President Bang that a man died and one of his section chiefs lost his job — a laugh and an apology is not enough.

All mirth leaves President Bang’s eyes. He tells Mayor Chun about a pet dog he owned that bit him after six years of being docile. Chairman Choi warned him not to forgive the bite, since the dog would then mistake pity for what he’s entitled to. That’s why, says President Bang, he had to kill the dog.

Mayor Chun watches him impassively as President Bang says that one of his employees suddenly paid $6 million in taxes, and then the income tax department raided his own house. He wonders why he feels like he’s just been bitten, and asks Mayor Chun if he’s started to mistake the pity President Bang has shown him for what he’s entitled to.

Mayor Chun remarks that sometimes people forget how much pity they have actually shown; how much they have done for people like him. At that point, says Mayor Chun, they start making unreasonable demands and saying terrible things. He asks President Bang if he’s forgotten his place.

President Bang narrows his eyes and asks if the mayor just insulted him and Chairman Choi. Mayor Chun calmly clarifies that no, he just insulted President Bang. He adds that from now on if President Bang wants something from him, he should ask politely instead of threatening. President Bang retorts that he’s never asked for anything politely, then brings up the mysterious incident six years ago. Mayor Chun’s face stills.

The con team has assembled in the “freezer,” their hideout in Hak-joo’s butcher shop, to discuss President Bang. Jung-do explains that all they have on their man is his picture. Sung-il elaborates that President Bang has two children. He has transferred all his assets to them and neither seem to ever go to work.

The son, Bang Ho-seok, spends his time playing Monopoly-like board games with his friends, using real money, while the daughter, Bang Min-ah, leaves her home twice a week to look around Insa-dong, where artifacts and antiques are sold, and then heads straight home.

Jung-do wonders why they never leave their homes — do they have something buried there? Ja-wang turns to Sung-il and says he should learn from the Bang siblings and go home sometimes. Sung-il just huffs that he’s too busy right now.

Together, Bang Ho-seok and Bang Min-ah manage an illegal pyramid scheme company called UN Communications, where they rope in victims by making them buy stolen products and then have them recruit friends and family if they can’t sell enough units. The employees are then made to take out loans from a company owned by Chairman Choi to buy more units, and then pressured to sell or recruit to get promoted.

Commissioner Ahn hears that it was Mayor Chun who canceled Sung-il’s disciplinary hearing and can’t quite accept it. Section Chief Baek from Division One reports to him that according to Ma Jin-seok, he was conned into paying the taxes by Division Three’s Sung-il.

Slowly realizing that something odd is up, Commissioner Ahn asks for all files on Division Three defaulters who recently paid off their taxes. He calls them up and finds that none of them know their taxes have been settled. Commissioner Ahn puts down the phone and laughs in disbelief.

Back in the Freezer, Mi-joo points out that anyone working for their company could meet the siblings, but Sung-il says that is unlikely since they’re hardly ever at work. Mi-joo thinks about it and says that she’ll get a job there and make the siblings come to her. They ask her how and she says, “By rising to the top.”

Mi-joo gets a job with UN Communications and begins her first day by “selling” 30 units, and then 50 the very next day. Her supervisor watches her with astonishment mingled with worry, while the “sold” products pile up in the Freezer. Mi-joo’s sale numbers go up daily as she spends Madam Noh’s money to buy so many units that finally her supervisor calls Bang Ho-seok, to tell him about the girl who joined a month ago and is already about to reach gold status in the company.

Ho-seok is disbelieving since he can’t imagine anyone wanting to actually buy their product, but the supervisor keeps reporting ridiculously high sales numbers until he’s forced to come to the office to check out “the weird new girl.”

He watches Mi-joo drive away after a workday and calls up his sister Min-ah about the “real diamond” in their office. Next thing we know, Mi-joo’s supervisor is sacked and Mi-joo’s getting diamond status for having the highest sales in the office that month.

Sung-hee visits Section Chief Kang and finds him in a sad state after losing his job. She asks about his black eye and he hurriedly assures her that his wife didn’t beat him, he tripped and fell. Sung-hee says she needed to apologize to him in person, but he brushes it aside. Section Chief Kang observes that even though her teammate Chang-ho is badly injured and Sang-ho is dead, the mayor remains quiet. Kang confesses that he’d thought Mayor Chun was done with President Bang, but it looks like the mayor is still protecting the man.

Sung-hee asks what he means, and Section Chief Kang tells her that Mayor Chun practically works for President Bang. Six years ago, the phone call that derailed the tax department’s investigation and ended with Kim Min-sik’s death was made by President Bang to the mayor.

Jung-do visits his father in prison and tells him that he’s sent Detective Jae-sung to prison. Not really expecting a response, he tells his father that he’ll get the other two as well. Jung-do gets up to leave but suddenly hears his father trying to speak. He immediately leans forward, aching to hear every word.

His father raises his eye with difficulty and says, “Don’t. Don’t do it, son.” The words, coming out with exhausting effort, bring tears to Jung-do’s eyes, but he only says, “You’ve grown so old, Father.” He turns and quickly leaves as his father calls out to him again.

Mayor Chun sits in his office and thinks back to the threat President Bang made over lunch. He reminded the mayor of the incident six years ago and asked who he thought would get hurt if that happened again. A man with a pen, Bang said, could never beat a man with a sword. Mayor Chun had asked what he wanted and President Bang said with a smile: “I’m thinking of seeking a public hearing to discuss my unpaid taxes.”

The Division Three team hears about the open court and one of the employees starts getting very angry thinking about President Bang getting away after hurting their teammate and getting Section Chief Kang fired. Section Chief Baek pauses by their table and asks what any of that has to do with President Bang, who’s only exercising his citizen’s rights.

This drives the team member to call Section Chief Baek out on his corruption: “Have you become toilet paper from wiping up after Commissioner Ahn?” Tempers rise and the two are about to get into a fight when Sung-hee gets up and asks them to stop. She tells her colleague to drop it.

She asks what fighting amongst themselves would accomplish when everyone knows that they’ll never be able to get the taxes out of someone like President Bang. He’ll hire the best lawyers and manipulate the judge into dismissing all his arrears. President Bang will get away and the only one to suffer will be people like them.

Sung-hee walks out, leaving behind her silent colleagues, her hopelessness like a millstone around her neck. She meets Sung-il in the corridor and tells him about President Bang’s hearing. Sung-il already knows about it and says it won’t happen. Sung-hee’s eyes widen as she realizes that he’s involved in another con.

She tells him that Mayor Chun is protecting President Bang, but it’s obvious from his face that he knew that too. Defeated, Sung-hee asks him if what he’s doing is really the only way. Sung-il pats her shoulder and walks away, leaving a weary Sung-hee standing alone.

After making record sales, Mi-joo is now Deputy Head of UN Communications. Jung-do visits her office after all the employees leave and they discuss their next step. Mi-joo invites Ho-seok out for a meal and kisses up to him. He doesn’t seem to respond to her flirtatious compliments like men usually do, and just starts talking about his wife. Mi-joo tries to find out more about his sister from him, but all she gets is that Min-ah is into antiques, and often says that passing down ceramic artifacts to your children means they don’t have to pay taxes on them.

As directed by Jung-do, Mi-joo then tells Bang Ho-seok about the man with a large business in China who helped her gain her diamond status. Ho-seok guesses that he’d been buying all their products, and Mi-joo says that her benefactor will need another large order soon since he’s holding a conference. Ho-seok nods and says that he sounds like a really nice guy, then goes back to eating.

Mi-joo had wondered if just mentioning Jung-do’s Chinese businessman persona would be enough to snare Ho-seok, but Jung-do had insisted that it would. And so later, just as Jung-do predicted, Ho-seok asks if he can come along when Mi-joo goes to deliver the next product order.

Ho-seok and Mi-joo take a car to the convention, while Hak-joo directs a hall full of hired actors on how to react to Jung-do’s speech. Bang Ho-seok gets a call from his father and it’s clear that he has kept the Chinese businessman a secret. He apologizes for missing family lunch and hangs up with a “Love you, Daddy!” Mi-joo suppresses a grin but her smile fades when Ho-seok turns to the driver and kicks him for staying under the speed limit.

President Bang turns to his daughter and asks if Ho-seok is up to something stupid, and Min-ah answers that Ho-seok is always up to something stupid. Neither pay attention to Ho-seok’s wife sitting at the table, unable to swallow a bite. Before entering the conference hall, Ho-seok asks Mi-joo if he looks poor, and Mi-joo assures him that he looks exactly like a Chinese tycoon. They enter a hall full of excited people who clap very hard when Jung-do comes onstage.

Jung-do, playing the rich Chinese businessman “Cho Hee-joon,” presents like a demagogue. He speaks with flair and riles up the crowd, until even Ho-seok is lit up with the energy in the room. Jung-do talks about the antiques that get dug up in China every day and how ancient rich people would be buried with their treasures. He promises that investment in his company, which brings such treasures into this country to be traded, will give back twice the amount of investment in just two months, and five times their investment in five months.

With a background score setting a mood of epic opportunity, “Cho Hee-joon,” with his broad Chinese-accented Korean and infectious energy, gets the people in the hall roaring their approval as he tells them to join the rich of his country and make their dreams come true. Ho-seok looks properly inspired to invest.

Back in the Freezer, Sung-il, Ja-wang, and Madam Noh have the task of baiting Bang Min-Ah. When Madam Noh asks them if they just intend to sit there all day, Sung-il brings out a notebook with a plan sketched out. He’s tentative about it but when Madam Noh reads the pages, she’s obviously impressed. Sung-il sketches out the plan:

Since Min-ah’s only interest is in antiques, they will first find a store in Insa-dong and rent it. The idea is that if they squat there for a week or so, Min-ah will eventually turn up to check it out. This all happens according to plan and when Min-ah comes into the store, she’s greeted by Madam Noh, posing as the ajumma store owner.

According to Sung-il’s plan, Madam Noh shows Min-ah a ceramic vase. She begins to describe the process by which the vase gets its color, but Min-ah finishes her sentence, clearly knowing the process well. Min-ah examines the vase and finds a piece of a price sticker at the bottom, and dryly remarks that this isn’t as old as Madam Noh had claimed. But it turns out that selling her the vase is not part of Sung-il’s plan.

Moments later, some men come into Madam Noh’s shop and claim to be from the Ministry of Culture. They tell her to come with them, but she asks them to tell her the reason first. That’s when Sung-il walks in with Ji-yeon and Ja-wang in tow, clearly the team leader. Sung-il greets Madam Noh in front of Min-ah, and according to Sung-il’s plan, this is the moment they were building up to — showing their faces to Min-ah. So when Sung-il tells the men to take Madam Noh away, she now leaves with no resistance.

Ho-seok meets “Cho Hee-joon,” who explains his business model, and Ho-seok listens with apparent calm as Jung-do claims to return a 1000% profit in one year. If he puts in $10,000, Ho-seok would get $100,000 back. Ho-seok asks him to meet for lunch the next day, and Jung-do calls his assistant, played by Hak-joo, to find a spot in his schedule.

Hak-joo tells him that he has an appointment with a Chinese businessman who’s coming to meet him tomorrow and then a dinner with his wife. Jung-do lays it on thick with the loving husband bit and says he has to celebrate his wife’s birthday tomorrow. So, they settle on dinner the day after, canceling his meeting with someone who has been promising an investment for some time but isn’t committing.

At the end of the day when Hak-joo, Jung-do, and Mi-joo are leaving the hotel where they held the conference, they’re tailed by Jae-sung’s police minions. In prison, Jae-sung tries to convince President Bang to get him out of jail. He uses his knowledge of Jung-do’s activities as leverage to incentivize President Bang to help him, but President Bang is uninterested in any information he might have. He sneers that they were never that close anyway and leaves.

One of Jae-sung’s cops asks him why he didn’t tell President Bang about the ongoing scam on his son, and Jae-sung snarls that he hopes Bang Pil-gyu gets ripped off. Then channeling his fury into evil thinking, Jae-sung orders his minion to bring Sung-il to him.

When the cop gets Sung-il to the prison to meet Jae-sung, Sung-il is confused about why they needed to meet. Jae-sung looks keenly at Sung-il and asks how much he knows about Yang Jung-do. Sung-il frowns and Jae-sung smiles, confident that what he has to say will have an impact.

COMMENTS

As Jung-do says in this episode, when the stakes are this high, so are the risks. This story really likes to keep its audience at the edge of their seats. The pace was always fast, the editing tight, but now it feels like we’re hurtling forward with no way to pull the breaks. I don’t remember the last time I watched a show that followed up foreshadowing this well. I feel like I’m always being given just enough information to keep me hooked but never left to feel adrift.

Sung-hee’s heartbreak really got to me this week. The system she trusted so much seemed to keep hurting people she cared about, just to protect the rich and unscrupulous. Her hopelessness in the office scene was so poignant. It was a tipping point for Sung-hee. I had wondered in previous episodes what could possibly convince a straight arrow like Sung-hee to turn to the dark side. The show followed her disillusionment so skillfully that I no longer think this would be out of character. If Sung-hee chooses to help Sung-il and Jung-do, the government has no one to blame but its corrupt gatekeepers for hurting her so badly.

In a way I loved that the anger poured out of Sung-hee’s colleague and not her. Her despair is born of rage and hurt and just like Sung-il, she can now see no point in railing against the men who manipulate the law. She’s beyond futile outbursts. But is she willing to go outside the law? When she asks Sung-il, “Is this the only way?” Sung-il’s silence answers her eloquently. Neither of them want this to be the only way. Neither want to break the law or work with con artists. They just want to do their job.

I suspect that that may be the reason Sung-il no longer wants to go home. Sung-il had once asked Commissioner Ahn how he faces his children, doing the harm he does. To a man like Sung-il, it’s important to live with self-respect. And though he may be getting surprisingly good at working outside the law, it isn’t his natural instinct and it might make him ashamed to face his own daughter at home.

I loved that Sung-il came up with his own plan in this episode. His diffidence was utterly adorable, especially because it contrasts so beautifully with his confidence during the scam — the bumbling con man who forgets his lines is no more. Also, when Madam Noh came out in her ajumma garb, I nearly died laughing. She’s just so brilliant.

They’ve also developed the relationship between Mi-joo and Jung-do a little bit more and it seems possible that they might be more like siblings than anything else, which would be a huge relief for someone like me, who struggles to watch love triangles. It was also hilarious to have a spoilt, entitled little villain like Ho-seok be a devoted husband, immune to Mi-joo’s charms. Never accuse this show of being clichéd.

Speaking of complex villains, it appears that Mayor Chun has a conscience but is either mired too deep in the same mud where President Bang and Chairman Choi play, or has some personal reasons for going along with them. Since I really like the actor playing him, I want a redemptive arc for the mayor. But even if he stays evil, I appreciate the glimpse of uncertainty that even the most corrupt officials feel when their subordinates are hurt on the job and they can’t hit back.

Finally, a word on Jung-do. Seo In-gook plays him like he has real life experience conning people. When he was on that stage riling up the fake audience, I would have personally invested in any company he pointed at. The man is criminally attractive, not just in his extreme good looks but in the way he switches from sly to nonchalant to heartbreakingly sad. I desperately want to know how his police officer father ended up behind bars, and how Jung-do became a conman carrying out his personal vengeance one charming scam at a time.

 
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*muted*
I have so much tosay about this ep but I am too sleepy right nw

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thank you very kamsa for following up with recaps so quickly

btw Ma Dong Seoks´ Insta is so adorable. every pic is love. and then there is this video from Sun Bins´... (OMG Sun Bin is so tiny lenghtwise compared to Seo In Guk and widthwise to Papa Bear)
https://www.instagram.com/p/BHqeMeXAhYu/?taken-by=sunbin_eyesmag

how can these cuties act so cunning in the drama does not compute

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How'd you find his Instagram I can't find it! Unless that links to his Instagram?

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from that link, here is SIG and MDS' instagrams:

https://www.instagram.com/seo_cccc/

https://www.instagram.com/madongseok_/

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oops sorry, I should have added that too, I just assumed everyone is already following him. I wonder if that´s safe...

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OMGOSH. SHE IS TINY NEXT TO THEM. THEY TOWER OvER HER... LOL...she doesn't look that small at all on the screen, but seeing that...wow... LOL. she's so pretty though. and SIG so charming. And Papa bear so warm hahaha

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Thanks! So cute those 3 with little Sun Bin playing the fool in front.

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She's giving me serious Red Velvet Irene vibe, with a bit of Park han byul, ha ji won, and shin se kyung mixed in. tooo pretty.

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Not only prettier, but a better actress as well.

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she also looked a bit like song hye gyo

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YES! I thought i was imagining it. From some angles, a quick glimpse would make u think it was SHK.

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For those who don't know - was interesting to find out that MDS used to be a trainer for MMA fighters here in the states (aka Don Lee).

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Madame is the best example of a woman in her prime. Age hasn't stopped her one damn bit. I want to be her when I grow up.

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not until now do I recognize this acress as the mom of Lee Kang To (Gaksital). looks like she can only play awesome women.

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She occasionally gets stuck in particularly annoying mom roles (Smile you, Five Kids) and yet she always manages to make me laugh so I can never hate her. Still, I wish she would only get roles as badass as this one.

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If she was in the IS she would have ben one of the girls in OITNB. It would have been awesome to see her interpretation.

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Ohhh, that's right. I wondered where I've seen here before, not in the annoying mom role. I do feel bad for so many of the older actresses and actors as they get stuck playing such typecast roles--EMIL, horrible rich chaebol, etc., when they've done great roles in their youth.

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I admire how much effort you guys are putting into catching up. Thanks.

Your comments are so on point. I felt so bad for Sung Hee. When the right way doesn't work, is it really alright to take the wrong path? It's an important question to ask. Sighs....I'm like Sung Hee so I understand her. I don't think I could ever con people no matter what the situation is.

Seo In Guk is doing such a marvelous job that as the viewer not even I know when to believe him sometimes.

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Thank you for the recap!
Did anybody else swoon when they saw SIG with his hair all slicked back during his speech performance?
Speaking of which, he's so stellar in these rousing motivational scenes that I feel like production will always attempt to include one in his projects... maybe we can expect something like this his next drama?

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I´d sell my arms and legs to any of them. Jung Do is so slick that you just forget the whole background and get caught in the moment: " Yes! Take it!"

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Me! I was swooning! This is his best look so far in the drama, he's gorgeous. The hair and suit and glasses plus the accent, whoo...

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No words can describe the effect he had in me when I watch this scene. I'm shallow. Yes, I know. *LOL*

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ME ME ME! He is such an object I would never get bored to look at! "Criminally attractive"!

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Right, shades of HSKOS! He's naturally gifted in these kind of portrayals. Someone here said he ad-libbed this. I read several places where he ad-libbed the scene in Savvy, but can't tell from the link about this one in PU38 whether he did it again (probably bad translation). This one is so specific, I just wonder.

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How come the header pic of Seo In Guk reminds me of Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can?

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I got the feeling that is exactly the vibe SIG is basing his character from.

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It actually reminded me more of one of Leo's role in Wolf of Wall Street. SIG is indeed a very talented actor. I gave him a standing ovation after that speech.

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Gosh Seo In-Guk just makes me melt...watching him on my screen is just love. This guy can do no wrong. He has this unconventional sexiness to him, can't really explain it.

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He is the sweet/dorky guy in school who sings songs in the corner and makes you laugh. Nothing special to most folks but burns your loins and makes you wish you were brave enough to ask him out.

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LOL! 'Burn your loins'? LOL LMAO

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“Cho Hee-joon,” with his broad Chinese-accented Korean and infectious energy...

No, SIG speaks Gyeongsangdo (southeastern part of Korea) saturi as "Cho Hee-joon". After all, he is a Ulsan man. His Gyeongsando saturi was shown with its full flair and flavor in LR as well as AM1997.

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Yaaaaas I recognised that accent sooooo much. I watch AM1997 countless times so I recognised the words used only in Gyeongsangdo satoori, the way he called his wife "manura", or call a girl with "Gashina". He also used that accent in real life when he talked to his mum and his hometown friends. But still, I was so excited seeing him use his Gyeongsangdo accent again on his drama.

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It's such an adorable accent. I wish there were an entire drama of this shady businessman doting on his wife and giving crowd pleasing speeches.

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yeah, that threw me for a bit because it sounded almost exactly like his AM1997 satori (and even with that, there's nothing that reminds me of Yoon-jae at all....damn him for being such a good actor and an '87er we have to lose to the army soon :( )

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Although I still can't understand Korean I feel like through all my kdrama watching it has somewhat improved to the point, that I can tell SIG was talking with an accent and then I can't comprehend beyond that without subtitles lol He was great in the speech just so so funny beyond words. I was laughing too much at lunch.

Mijoo is really growing on me I'd love to be as badass as her. Madame is also great, wish they'd show her daughter do a bit more than just act like her henchman.

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The moment Jung-do or rather "Cho Hee-joon" mentioned his wife to Ho-seok I started laughing like a crazy woman, thinking "Ha, I bet Ho-soek will want to meet the wife! I wonder who'll play his wife...lalalalala". I got way too excited just thinking about it. Pffff.

And SIG standing on a stage and delivering like nobody's business....AGAIN!! As if I wasn't loving him enough already he makes a motivational speech in his Gyeongsangdo saturi. *faints*
Speaking of speech, it reminded me of his presentation scene in High School King of Savvy (minus the saturi), which was verybut it was equally captivating.

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Oops, no idea what happened to the last part of the last sentence, should be "which was equally captivating."

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Cho daepyo remindsme so much of changmo from love rain. With his sattori n his liveliness. Since yoonjae is all about chic. Hehe.

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I LOVE this music director. Besides the awesome OST and use of 70s-style background music when they're working a con, the music for the speech scene was beyond funny, starting with a brass fanfare and sweeping to a rousing finish! I was laughing so hard at the music that I had to rewatch the scene to see what was actually said.

And then to contrast, the scene with Jungdo's father and Sunghee's in the office fight... I just really really like this drama.

Thanks for the recap!

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I love that the cable channels invest in good background folk. The networks seem to have missed the cue there.

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oh, the music and the sound in general is so great I love the theme songs

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Look at him. Duh, so pwerfect. I can't recall what the others do nor the story. SIG never fails to turn me into a puddle of goo... *fanself*

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I hear you Gaeina Lee. I don't know what I will do if I ever get to meet him (or even see him from afar). I am sure it would be something so very embarrassing that I won't be able to recover from it for at least a month! :D

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I'll be blushing head to toes then swoon i guess.. Much to my dismay. *LOL*

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I LURVVV your first screen cap!

SIG is freaking gorgeous in that scene, gosh, I would give all my savings to this CEO, I would even vote him as the next President! LOL!

And your last paragraph on SIG aka Jung Do, oh so spot on. I'm a totally super happy fangirl right now. Give me all the cons, I could bear it all with Jung Do's sexy smirks!!!

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Thanks @ festerfaster! Good recap!

My favorite moments were the working the 'audience' at the conference scene. What an awesome amount of work and money going into this con. It's so deliciously deceptive and totally engrossing to see what else they will come up with next!!!

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"Seo In-gook plays him like he has real life experience conning people."

this made realize -- isn't acting, in essence, conning people in real life? like it tricks us into thinking that the characters actors play are real so that when we see them endorsing things, we seem to be sort of cajoled into investing and consuming such products.

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love this "The man is criminally attractive, not just in his extreme good looks but in the way he switches from sly to nonchalant to heartbreakingly sad."

thankyou for the recap

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"The man is criminally attractive, not just in his extreme good looks but in the way he switches from sly to nonchalant to heartbreakingly sad." SO TRUE! The speech was awesome and I was laughing my way through it and I was shouting back when the audience in the hall did!

This might be SIG's best performance yet, though I do say that after watching each of his dramas. What can I say, he keeps improving himself. I love many kdrama actors but Seo In Guk is the only one I am crazy about!

This episode was Oh so Good!

And thanks a lot festerfaster. You guys are catching up with the show faster than lightening!

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it certainly combines all that he has done before and more. High School Savvy was already going in that direction, there were hints in IRY. he plays a role inside a role (inside a role) and it leaves the feeling being a conman is also just a role for Jung Do that he has assumed.

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Seo In-guk is the whole package. No doubt about it. From his chubby cuteness winning Superstar K in 2009 and becoming a singing sensation, to his maturing as a brilliant actor - in comedy and romantic melo - he is the real deal; a talent that can't be denied. He keeps growing and stretching and challenging himself beyond what we've known before. I can't even imagine what the strengthening and self-reflection in military service will do to him. He will undoubtedly emerge even better than before - if we can even imagine it. And that face. THAT FACE. Thank you, SIG, it's indeed a pleasure to reap the benefits of your determined life energy. Wow.

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Woah! your comment gave me goosebumps. It indeed has been a pleasure, like u said, reaping benefits of SIG's life energy. Even though he is kind enough to give us one more show before he leaves for army, I can't wait for the mature, post- army, refined SIG.

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I'm shallow, I can't wait for SIG's post-army tanned bod which will be something like this just...even better https://www.dramafever.com/news/happy-birthday-10-skin-baring-photos-of-seo-in-guk/

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Hehe.. Well I am shallow too. But I don't care about his body so much. His face is sexy enough with or without a six pack on display :P

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When I read your comment the lines that stuck on my head is:

...He keeps growing and stretching and challenging himself...
...And that face. THAT FACE...

I look at that face again, and ohh... *blush*
[Reprimand to self: Mind out of the gutter, G~! Now!! ^^]

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And to think that he hasn't been acting that long. He's brilliant.

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"They’ve also developed the relationship between Mi-joo and Jung-do a little bit more and it seems possible that they might be more like siblings than anything else, which would be a huge relief for someone like me, who struggles to watch love triangles"

i was the same but after watching the new episode........... GAH!

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hah, my reaction exactly.

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SIG has been very good all-along in the role of Jung-do, but as Jung-do playing a fake businessman giving a presentation/sales pitch to a convention full of paid stiffs, he was simply stellar (that was a WOW moment of acting).

Every well written/well acted drama has that one scene where an actor simply kills it (such as Han Suk-kyu's scene in TWDR where, as King Sejong, he grieves the death of his son) and this scene may very well be it for SIG in PU/TF 38.

Haven't watched everything that SIG has been in since his AM/Reply days, but this may be the 1st project to really challenge SIG since and allow him to grow as an actor.

The actress who plays Mi-joo, Lee Seon-bin, is a real find. Mi-joo seems so authentic as the "flower snake" - being pretty on the outside but tough on the inside, and when Mi-joo takes on the various roles in their scams - it really seems like Mi-joo taking on those roles (and not LSB).

See big things in the future for LSB and aside from acting talent, doesn't hurt that she is simply gorgeous.

The actress who plays Madame Noh, Song Ok-sook, also stood out in assuming the role of the ajumma shopkeeper.

The actor who plays Jae-sung is also exemplar and freaky as heck (when he gives that "evil eye" stare - really reminds me of one of the Beagle twins in RoS).

While also, a relatively minor role, Ahn Nae-sang is making the most out of his role as the Mayor of Sewon.

Actually got to appreciate his acting talents unlike in "Entertainer" where he was wasted in somewhat creepy role (w/ an even creepier hair-do).

Like I stated before, it's the old, meek-looking bad guys like President Bang that you have to watch out for - they didn't get to their position and hang on to it w/o reason.

Sung-hee being the naive, goodie-two shoes started to get on my nerves (as she was supposed to), but transition from that to being disillusioned (but still trying to do the right thing) was wonderfully done.

What's so great about this drama is the superb writing (and acting to go along with it).

As the show continues - layers are added - increasing the complexity with all the various players as we are not quite sure of their respective end-games, esp. as certain characters go thru changes or seemingly go thru changes.

Not tired cliches/tropes here (thankfully) w/ twists and turns and certain things left up to interpretation where you don't quite know what's real and which way the story will go.

There have been complaints about PU/TF 38 being "SLOW" - which boggles my mind.

Yeah, there's a lot to take in and assess and even then you aren't quite sure of certain things - but this is a sign of excellent writing when it keeps your mind working overtime.

Unfortunately, this type of show will have little chance of winning major writing awards as they are usually awarded to huge hits - many which are totally undeserving of writing awards (being nothing than tired, cliche/trope-filled soaps).

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I wish I can give this post a thumb up. Do we have one? No, right? ^^

I totally feel the same exact way as you do except I don’t know how to put it in nicely into written words. Hahaha… Thank you for doing so.

I’ve watched decent amount of Kdramas and love many actors during my Kdramas watching lifetime but it’s SIG that I’m crazy about. He’s an all-rounder entertainer wrapped in an unconventional good looks. I love how expressive he can be with his acting and the fact he liked to challenge himself with different roles with his projects as well as not giving a damn on preserving his I-need-to-look-good-always image while acting.

It helps that the fact this drama is an all-rounder with great writing, awesome directing and phenomenal casting. I do wish that this kind of drama get their well-deserved awards and fame for their quality. Albeit it is something that seems too far out of reach since they’ll get overshadow by huge undeserving hits that only have pretty outer shells but empty inside.

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Yeah the directing is really impressive. The director doesn't seem to have much experience. There's not much information available on him.

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For a cable network (don't think OCN has quite the budget of tvN despite being owned by CJ E&M), also have to give kudos to the production values (yes, wouldn't be out of place for a feature film) and in particular the chase scenes (with and w/o cars). which are much better than those done on network shows and even better than many K-films,

Btw, thanks for your kind words.

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if it were a movie, it would get writing awards too.
even though just to spite the damn writer I don´t want it to.

to fry our brains like this, deserves some punishment. the punishment is writing a second season.

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I like your way of thinking...

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Ahn Nae-sang is an amazing actor. He was the definition of perfection in "Conspiracy in the Court." Any writer's gem because they can count on him to do more than what he is given.

It took me a while to warm up to him but I'm a fan for life now.

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Just shows how much a role (and the quality of writing that goes with it) has an impact on how one perceives an actor.

I'm hoping that ANS as the Mayor gets more screen-time in upcoming eps.

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That's exactly how I feel about Sung Hee. She is so frustrated by a system she believed in but it doesnt mean she will go to the dark side because of corruption. "Is that really the only way" ? Lots of people pointed out how Sung Hee was annoying for being a party pooper but as a character, she is really realistic.
Yeah, straight laced people arent that liked because they are supposedly no fun or whatever but you can tell that Sung Hee really does her work well and try to do things or even change them according to law. She believes in it so she wants to do her best even if it means disappointment. I like that among the con artists, corrupt people and Baek Sung Il, she is the one sticking to the "right side of the law". As a character, she is very interesting and yeah, I cant wait to see if she is going to join the Squad and how it is going to be.
Sooyoung is really doing a wonderful job btw. I keep praising her because I completely have to, she is too awesome.
It doesnt mean that the rest of the cast doesnt deserve it tho XD. I am really really impressed by SIG ! I was only able to finish Reply 1997 and Master's Sun among his works so even tho people praised him a lot for his acting skills, I couldnt really appreciate it, I gotta say "Damn, he is so good !". I cant picture anyone else for the role of Jung Do. Of course, Ma Dong Seok is BAE so no need for words and Lee Su Bin is so gorgeous and talented so I am in a total fangirl mode (and as a Sooyoungster, a little bit threatened, haha).

Anyway, I have to add that weirdly, I kinda like Mayor Chun. I dont know if it is because of the actor (he does play bad guys a lot but he is just so good) but even if he is part of the corrupt, he doesnt seem that bad. Maybe because of the theory of him being the father of Sung Hee, I want him to be good but y'know, unlike others, he seems to care about his people and doesnt like the way things are aka working with corruption. Well, he still does it so he is a fault but I think he is going to redeem himself at the end. I would so love it :D.

38 Police Squad Fighting !! (I cant wait for the recaps of the next episodes ! Going to spazz so haaaard :D)

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I also didn't find SIG to be really great in Master's Sun and thought he was in the drama to be the "nice good looking second lead". But since I saw him in I Remember You and here at Squad 38 I'm really impressed by his acting. He acts with his eyes and I find this amazing, I love it when actors do that.

I also think that Mayor Chun is the nicest among all the corrupted guys. I also hope he'll end up being good. I like this actor too so maybe that's why.

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Well, I dont think Master Sun is the right drama to judge Seo In Guk acting skills. He was playing a one dimensional, underdeveloped second male lead, after all. It's better to judge his acting skills in dramas when he played a male lead, with good writing of his character. Reply 1997 is his first ever lead role and only his second drama, and as a total newbie, I think he did it brilliantly. He was so believable as a boy who can't help but fall in love with his best friend. After that, in every drama when he was given a chance to show off his potential, he keeps getting better and better.

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The actor of Mayor Chun played +ve good role in Yoo-Na's Street and Ugly Alert.

Even here he is the only one who tries to straighten up Bang Pil Gyu.

I think he got lot of funding from Bang Pil Gyu for his political campaigns.

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I also think he got bribed a lot by Bang Pil Gyu but he still seem to be less of a bad guy than Ahn Tae Wook for instance. When I look at this actor I automatically think of Sungkyunkwan Scandal and he wasn't a bad guy in there

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+1

What I like about SY is also her versatility as she is able to do both funny and emotional scenes convincingly. Hopefully she is "pushed" by SM more into acting as she is one of their more talented acting idols.

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If SIG cannot find any acting roles anymore, he can be a Korean televangelist!

That segment was superb!

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"Korean televangelist" ahaha.

He is stellar, so compelling as an actor and entertainer.
Loving this "slow" show (wow, shows the impatience of some for a script reaching far beyond overused tropes.). Go PU38!

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Loving SIG in this! He's so natural and I'm loving the bad ass women too! I'm thoroughly enjoying this drama even though I don't have much to say about it, I'm a huge fan!

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Ditto. I'm just enjoying the pleasant ride it took me on.

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Okay. I learned my lesson about spoilers and rants. No spoiler here. But Squad 38--you're gonna give me a heart attack!!!!!!

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SIG, Luv'im, so don't get me wrong....but, he's lost too much weight. He's not naturally built to be "Korean Skinny". I think he looks a little unhealthy, makes me wonder if he's been under the weather.

As far as the show goes, he owns this character. Yes, he's doing a great job and the cast has really got their flow going.

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