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Forest of Secrets: Episode 11

That’s it, the gloves are off. Now that our investigation team knows who they’re after, they’ll do whatever it takes to get a suspect in handcuffs. As always, Yeo-jin truly shines in this episode as she knocks anyone down who will get in her way. But the more we delve into this deep forest of secrets, the more I begin to fear that the corruption our heroes are fighting against is more dangerous than we could’ve ever imagined.

 
EPISODE 11 RECAP

Newly appointed Chief Secretary Lee decides to celebrate with some champagne, though with all of his hoobaes on the clock, he suggests only one of them drink with him – the one who’s been hardest at work lately. Lee hands Shi-mok the glass and praises him on his briefing. He warns the others to watch out, since Shi-mok could show up in front of any one of them at any time.

“Anybody who’s committed a crime should be careful,” Shi-mok agrees. He pours Lee his drink and they clink their glasses to “a better world.” While Lee takes a sip, Shi-mok puts his glass aside and explains that he can’t drink since he brought his car. Lee gives him a cold look before sitting everyone down for a chat.

Meanwhile, Yeo-jin sits down with Yeon-jae in the Lee household. Yeo-jin says that Ga-young’s nurse clearly saw a pretty ajumma come by the hospital (and Yeon-jae repeats “ajumma” like she’s just been insulted).

She asks why Yeon-jae went to see Ga-young, but Yeon-jae merely smiles and pretends to be unfamiliar with the name. Yeo-jin doesn’t play along, asking if Yeon-jae did something to Ga-young’s ventilator or touched Ga-young’s pillow. Yeon-jae remains silent.

Yeo-jin then pulls out Ga-young’s photo, saying she thought Yeon-jae might’ve been curious about what she looks like. Yeon-jae’s gaze is unswayed as she notes her surprise at the Korean police force – she wonders if Yeo-jin failed to check the hospital’s CCTV footage before coming over.

Yeo-jin takes a moment before answering, which confirms Yeon-jae’s guess. Yeon-jae says that there’s no way “that person” would’ve left that footage around since they’re “not an amateur.” Curious.

Taking a different tactic, Yeo-jin points out that Yeon-jae gave up seeing her daughter to return for her husband’s promotion. However, Yeo-jin speculates that the real reason for her return was because of the news that Ga-young had woken up. Perhaps she’d followed her husband in fear that he would pity the young girl.

Yeon-jae calls the very thought ridiculous and stands up to leave. Yeo-jin rises as well and says that she’s banning her from leaving the country now that she’s a suspect. Yeon-jae bursts out laughing and challenges Yeo-jin to go ahead.

After talking with his hoobaes, Chief Secretary Lee sends them all out so he can get back to work. On their way out, Section Chief Kang tells Shi-mok to play nice and then whisks a reluctant Eun-soo away. Shi-mok takes one last look at Lee before his doors close.

Inside, Lee unblocks Chief Kim just as he gets a call from him. When Lee answers, Chief Kim cockily notes that his “gift” must’ve been very effective. He tells Lee that he’s waiting in the underground parking lot and that he better come down if he wants to keep his gift a secret.

Shi-mok gets into his car when Eun-soo comes running over and urges him to roll his window down — she wants to know if their suspect truly is Chief Kim and not Chief Secretary Lee. Shi-mok tells her that that’s what the evidence says, making her face fall.

Eun-soo asks if he moved Ga-young because she woke up. Shi-mok looks up at her and asks if she went to the hospital. Eun-soo answers that of course she did, since Ga-young’s statement could—…

She’s interrupted when Section Chief Kang waves her over to his car. She tells Shi-mok she’ll call and then hurries off. As Shi-mok watches Kang’s car drive away, he notices Chief Secretary Lee sneak down and climb into the back of Chief Kim’s car.

Chief Kim is furious that after a forty year friendship, Lee would just betray him. “Who introduced me to [Ga-young] in the first place?!” Kim reminds him. Lee calmly counters that he didn’t force him to do anything.

Now desperate, Chief Kim says that Lee is the only one who can save him now. Lee starts to argue when he gets a call from his wife. Kim suddenly remembers Yeon-jae in the hospital footage and asks about her, and Lee angrily says not to talk about her. He tells Kim to just hand in his resignation quietly and that he’ll handle the rest.

Shi-mok watches Lee exit the car, followed by a grateful Kim. Shi-mok rolls down his window just in time to hear Lee order Kim to keep Ga-young quiet. If she talks, Lee says, nobody will be able to save him then.

Once the two men disperse, Shi-mok calls Yeo-jin and warns her that they’ll lose Kim if they don’t catch him now.

Back in her home, we see that Yeon-jae was clearly affected by Yeo-jin’s confrontation. She desperately searches her (alarmingly large and well-stocked) medicine cabinet for pills to calm her panic attack. When her nerves finally settle, she flashes back to the day she went to the hospital.

Yeon-jae had quietly gone through each hospital bed trying to find Ga-young. However, she’d stopped when she noticed someone standing over the nurse’s station up ahead.

Her eyes had widened to see Chief Kim take the phone off the hook. (Aha, now Kim’s reaction to the CCTV footage makes sense.)

Yeon-jae had quickly hidden behind a curtain as Kim walked past and approached Ga-young’s bed. With horror written all over her face, Yeon-jae had watched him remove Ga-young’s mask and press the pillow down on her face until the alarms began to sound.

Yeon-jae snaps out of the memory and reaches for her phone to call someone. She tells whoever it is to inform her right away if anyone goes near “them.”

Chairman Lee is informed that his daughter is banned from leaving the country, and enraged that Shi-mok would dare to go this far, he orders his secretary to contact Dong-jae.

At Yongsan Police Station, Yeo-jin and Gun get an earful from their team leader for going behind his back and accusing their own chief. Yeo-jin quietly apologizes, but a phone call makes her excuse herself. As she leaves with Gun, she looks back to a snickering Soo-chan and asks him to follow.

Yeo-jin pulls Gun aside and orders him to get the CCTV footage from Soo-chan while she goes out – apparently, Ga-young got hurt. Soo-chan overhears this and calls Chief Kim to let him know that Yeo-jin is heading toward the hospital. He shoves Gun aside, sputtering that the footage is in his drawer, and runs after Yeo-jin.

Dong-jae calls Shi-mok to ask about Yeon-jae, and assuming this is Dong-jae’s first mission from Hanjo Group, Shi-mok starts to hang up. Dong-jae quickly says that he’ll be able to gain Hanjo Group’s trust if Shi-mok gives him this intel, so Shi-mok sighs and reveals that Yeon-jae is a murder suspect. With that, Shi-mok hangs up, and we see that he’s tailing Chief Kim’s car.

Dong-jae nearly salivates from this juicy new opportunity Shi-mok has given him. He reports to Chairman Lee of Shi-mok’s suspicions, calling Shi-mok an unpredictable pyscho. He tells the chairman that he’ll dig more information out of Shi-mok and figure out why he’s labelled Yeon-jae as a murder suspect.

Chief Secretary Lee comes in just then, surprised to see Dong-jae there. As Dong-jae walks past to leave, Chief Secretary Lee quietly tells him to wait for him downstairs. Lee then joins his father-in-law and happily informs him that after meeting with the director of the National Tax Administration, the tax audit has been dropped. While that is good news, the chairman is more disappointed that Chief Secretary Lee is unaware about his wife’s recent predicament.

Chief Secretary Lee is floored to see Yeon-jae’s travel ban. The chairman thinks that Shi-mok is quite motivated to go this far, but Lee says that Shi-mok just doesn’t know his place. Either way, the chairman states, Lee has a meeting coming up that has a trillion won on the line, so he better make sure Shi-mok doesn’t catch up to them.

Chief Secretary Lee bolts up to excuse himself. As soon as he’s gone, Chairman Lee shakes his head, wondering why his son-in-law didn’t even bother to ask who Yeon-jae supposedly killed, or why.

Downstairs, Chief Secretary Lee finds Dong-jae waiting just like he asked. He tells Dong-jae to work for him, under the condition that he stop hanging around Hanjo Group and the chairman. Dong-jae readily agrees.

Soo-chan follows Yeo-jin all the way to Ga-young’s room, informing Chief Kim that they’re on the second floor. As Yeo-jin gets Ga-young all covered up and tells her that they have to move her again, Soo-chan bursts in with that cocky smile of his.

Yeo-jin barely has time to react before Soo-chan tries to snatch Ga-young’s wheelchair away. Yeo-jin struggles to fight Soo-chan off while Ga-young just buries her face in her blanket. (Wait, is that really Ga-young? Please tell me it’s not.)

Chief Kim comes rushing in, and Soo-chan holds Yeo-jin back, telling the chief to hurry and take Ga-young out. Kim escapes with Ga-young as Soo-chan roughly tosses Yeo-jin against a hospital bed. Soo-chan starts to say that it’s about time the two of them face off, but Yeo-jin has had enough. She saunters right over to Soo-chan and punches him square in the face, knocking him to the ground.

Yeo-jin easily twists Soo-chan around to cuff him to the hospital bed while Shi-mok, keeping watch in the hospital’s control room, spots Chief Kim getting on an elevator with Ga-young, headed toward the roof. He calls Yeo-jin to let her know.

Once Kim makes it all the way to the roof, he makes sure the coast is clear and then bends down to Ga-young’s eye level. He tells her that he’s not trying to hurt her – he just needs her to say that she doesn’t know him. He shakes her by the shoulders and pleads with her to comply… until his heart drops at the sound of a door opening.

Shi-mok slowly makes his way across the roof and stands by Ga-young’s side. Kim tries to stumble off in the opposite direction, only to freeze at the sight of Yeo-jin pulling out her handcuffs. Yes. So badass.

Behind Yeo-jin, her team leader and other officers come flooding out as well. As Yeo-jin takes her place beside Shi-mok and Ga-young, Chief Kim nervously turns to his subordinates and weakly declares that he found the missing victim. He starts to reprimand them for failing at their jobs when Yeo-jin says, “I called them. They should know the truth too.”

Shi-mok continues that the truth is the violation of the Juvenile Protection Act and attempted kidnapping of a victim. He tells the officers to arrest their chief for those crimes. For a long moment, no one does anything. Their team leader then comes to a decision and orders everyone to escort the chief out, and to bring Ga-young too.

“No one is going anywhere,” Shi-mok firmly states. He glances behind them expectantly, and everyone turns around to see Section Chief Yoon wheel someone over – the real Ga-young, along with her mother.

Chief Kim’s eyes widen as the fake Ga-young stands from her wheelchair and peels off her blanket, revealing herself to be Clerk Choi. Shi-mok approaches the real Ga-young and asks if it’s true that she met with a man every Monday. She keeps her gaze lowered, afraid – and perhaps unable – to speak.

Yeo-jin kneels by Ga-young’s side, assuring her that everyone is here to protect her. “They’re all good people,” she says, wanting so much to believe it herself. So she asks Ga-young if she can point out the man she’d been seeing.

Ga-young finally looks up, sending Chief Kim into a panic. He orders everyone to stop fooling around and take their witness, but they’re all waiting for her answer. So Ga-young slowly lifts a shaking hand… and points right at Kim.

The Yongsan police turn to their chief, deflated with betrayal and disappointment. Their team leader begins to read him his rights, but when the chief still resists, the team leader sighs, “Chief, that’s enough.”

Kim is stunned into silence, so Yeo-jin cuffs him as Shi-mok explains that he’ll be held at the prosecutor’s office instead of Yongsan’s detention center. The two of them escort Kim off the roof as the others stand back and watch.

Later that evening, Chairman Lee and Chief Secretary Lee attend the meeting they had discussed earlier. Among the guests is a Japanese man that seems rather important, considering how the chairman goes the extra mile to please him.

Eun-soo is all smiles when she informs her father that she’s requested a retrial. With the evidence she has, she promises to prove the injustice he suffered three years ago. Young Il-jae points out that a retrial is most likely to be dismissed, especially since the Department of Justice would be unwilling to admit they were wrong.

However, Eun-soo insists that she won’t give up. “You trust me, right?” she asks, giving him a loving hug. Young Il-jae watches her leave for bed, muttering to himself that he does trust her – he trusts her so much that he’s afraid she’ll get hurt.

Yeo-jin’s team leader walks in on Yeo-jin searching Chief Kim’s office for the hospital footage. He apologizes to her, saying he never would’ve thought that their chief would do such a thing. Focusing on her search, Yeo-jin merely says that no one could’ve have guessed it. She comes up empty-handed and shouts in frustration, wondering if the files have already been trashed.

Meanwhile, Shi-mok meets with Section Chief Kang to explain that his team’s elaborate plan was needed in order to capture Chief Kim. But Kang is worried that keeping the police out of the investigation might stir up trouble between them and the prosecutors.

If that’s the case, Shi-mok asks what would have happened if it were Section Chief Kang who’d had an inappropriate relationship with the victim, and what would happen if the police had the evidence to prove it. He states that the police would’ve done the exact same thing that they’re doing as prosecutors now.

Shi-mok gets a call from Yeo-jin telling him to come to the hospital. But before he leaves, Kang asks if Shi-mok really had to request an arrest warrant for the section chief of Unit One. Even if the section chief is Kang’s friend, Shi-mok says, he still accepted bribes. Kang just sighs and says that he’ll take care of Chief Kim’s case from now on.

As soon as Kang joins Chief Kim in the interrogation room, Kim asks for his one phone call. He immediately dials Chief Secretary Lee’s number and greets his pal with hope, but Lee tells him to shut it.

Lee already knows where Kim is and he knows that he’s done for. He tells Kim to go down alone, otherwise his family will get hurt. His lip now quivering, Kim wordlessly hangs up the phone.

Ga-young is placed back into a hospital, and the investigation team is relieved to have her safe and sound. Shi-mok comes in and informs them that Chief Kim has been arrested, making Ga-young choke on her water. Shi-mok knows that she’s been through a lot, but he tells her that she must regain her memory to prevent this from happening again.

He shows her a picture of Chief Secretary Lee, hoping that if she was able to point out Chief Kim, she can point out Lee too. He urges her to remember to ensure her safety, but seeing Ga-young struggle makes her mother ask that they stop.

They all agree to let her rest when Ga-young slowly mumbles, “Zero… Seven.” Yeo-jin quickly grabs her notebook and asks Ga-young if she has enough strength to write the numbers down. But Ga-young is still too weak, so they decide to stop here and leave her alone for the night.

As they file out, Ga-young says something that sounds like “cold,” but when Clerk Choi tries to get the blanket over her, Ga-young resists it. Shi-mok notices this, as well as the thermostat on the wall that says the room is over 80 degrees.

Chief Secretary Lee is completely drunk by the time he and the chairman return home. Yeon-jae assumes something good must’ve happened, though her father notes that men usually drink when they’re worried.

Yeon-jae isn’t sure what he means, so he sits them down to ask if she did anything behind his back. Chairman Lee assures her that no matter what it is, he can only cover it up for her if she tells him. (Ugh.) He continues that he’d heard she’d tried to kill a girl out of jealousy, and Yeon-jae asks why she would get jealous, considering her privileged childhood.

Besides, Yeon-jae is more curious as to why her father is so concerned over one girl. Chairman Lee says that if Chief Secretary Lee goes down because of that one girl, they would lose way too much. He reminds Yeon-jae that her husband has way too much ambition to lose what he’s gained.

Yeon-jae joins her husband in their room, the thought of Ga-young still in her head. She shakes the thought out and reaches for her husband’s tie when he suddenly gasps her name. He mumbles in his sleep that he’s sorry before going silent again. Yeon-jae urges him to continue and reveal what he’s so sorry about, but thinks better of it and tells him not to.

The investigation team regroup in their office, speculating about who could’ve disconnected Ga-young’s oxygen tube at the hospital. Yeo-jin is positive that Yeon-jae must’ve seen someone at the hospital, though the team considers the fact that Yeon-jae could’ve lied. Watching Yeo-jin’s expression, Shi-mok asks if there’s anything odd that strikes her.

Thinking back to what Yeon-jae had said about “that person” not being an amateur, Yeo-jin thinks she’d said that knowing exactly who’d gotten rid of the footage. Shi-mok thinks the most logical person would be Chief Kim, and with Kim’s authority, the team agree that he would have the power to delete all the footage.

Gun suddenly jumps up, demanding to know why they’re all so adamant on accusing the police. He thinks they should be focusing on people like Dong-jae, who’d hidden the victim’s phone, or Section Chief Yoon and Clerk Kim, who’d come up with the idea to tell the media about Kyung-wan’s abuse at the station.

Yeo-jin cuts in that she’s the one responsible for that, which just fuels Gun’s frustration. He storms out, and we see that the real reason he’s frustrated is because of the copy of the hotel footage he’d sent to Chief Kim.

Yeo-jin spends the night writing the numbers “0” and “7” over and over in her notebook, wondering what they could mean. At the same time, Shi-mok calls Clerk Choi to ask how Ga-young is doing and hears that she’d mentioned feeling damp. With that in mind, Shi-mok tries to figure out why Ga-young would build up the strength for comments like “cold” and “damp.”

The next day, Dong-jae sits down with Shi-mok during lunch and instantly starts bragging about his new job at the Blue House. But more importantly, Dong-jae tells him, he discovered that Chief Secretary Lee had a meeting with four people (he’d spied on the meeting). Before he reveals who, he wants Shi-mok to drop his arrest warrant.

Shi-mok turns to the TV beside them and notes that it must have been a five-way meeting, referring to the Japanese businessman of Matsuyama Group shaking hands with Chairman Lee on the news. The headlines read that Matsuyama finally agreed to return national assets through Chief Secretary Lee’s mediation.

Shi-mok tells Dong-jae to keep witnessing big moments like this, especially if it has anything to do with CEO Park’s murder. Now that Dong-jae’s working under Chief Secretary Lee again, Shi-mok asks, doesn’t he want to know if Lee really killed CEO Park?

It’s Dong-jae’s first day at the Blue House, and all he can think about is what Shi-mok had said about Lee. Though when he tries to provoke Lee with a comment about Ga-young, he still comes out empty-handed.

But Dong-jae is suddenly brought back to attention when Eun-soo comes storming in and walks straight into Chief Secretary Lee’s office. He tries to drag Eun-soo out, but she ignores him and continues glaring at Lee. “The person who denied our request for a retrial was you, wasn’t it?” she demands, her eyes brimming with tears.

Lee blankly asks if that was what happened. Holding her ground, Eun-soo says that the judiciary of this country missed a good opportunity to right a wrong they did to a former minister of justice. She continues that Lee must mistake himself as a god, since a few words from him hold such power over people’s lives.

“Me?” Lee asks, the same blank tone. Eun-soo’s tears spill over, whatever hope she had left destroyed. Dong-jae suggests she leave on her own accord instead of getting dragged out, so she moves past him and Lee’s female secretary.

As soon as she’s out the door, Eun-soo drops to her knees, overcome with grief. Dong-jae silently hands her a tissue, while the female secretary answers the ringing phone and informs them that the chief secretary is complaining about the noise. Eun-soo immediately rises and makes her way out of the building, so busy wiping her eyes that she doesn’t notice Chairman Lee walk past her.

Dong-jae watches the chairman enter Chief Secretary Lee’s office, and thinking fast, he presses the record button on his phone and slides it up his sleeve. Dong-jae then enters the office to drop off the tea, and while the chief secretary and chairman aren’t looking, he pretends to slip and drop the tray, swiftly dropping his phone and kicking it under the couch. Okay, that was pretty slick.

Chairman Lee eyes Dong-jae has he leaves the room and gestures for his son-in-law to turn on some music to cover their voices. He also advises him to check his office for any wiretaps often since he’s an important person now – and since they have to discuss how they achieved their advancement in weaponry. In fact, Chairman Lee has just taken care of a deal with Ukraine.

The chairman notes that the division of the two Koreas has made the people only want the most advanced and expensive products, not the sturdy products, adding that they couldn’t even import weapons from Japan until the current administration. Chairman Lee praises his son-in-law, saying that his presence alone had to have influenced the Ministry of National Defense and the Defense Administration. He says that there’s no stopping the corruption in the defense industry, but they can still do what they can to get the best possible results for Korea.

Back at the investigation team’s office, Shi-mok asks Jung-bon to look into the Matsuyama Group and the artifacts they returned. The team splits up to complete their individual assignments, leaving Shi-mok with Yeo-jin and Clerk Choi in the office.

Shi-mok tells them that he plans to visit CEO Park’s house. He thought about Ga-young’s comments about feeling cold and damp and figured that she probably hadn’t felt that way in the moment, seeing as how she resisted the blanket. Instead, she might’ve been remembering feeling that way in a specific place.

And so Shi-mok and Yeo-jin head out to what looks like CEO Park’s basement, hoping that his speculation is right. Meanwhile, Ga-young shakes in her hospital bed, reliving that cold and damp place in her nightmares.

 
COMMENTS

That poor girl. Ga-young has most likely been through hell and back, and it’s tough having to watch her suffer. And while she can’t seem to gather enough strength to help with the investigation just yet, Shi-mok’s team has been doing a fine job doing whatever they can to move forward anyway.

Their scheme against Chief Kim unraveled so perfectly, slowly revealing that each team member played an important part. I cheered when Yeo-jin punched Soo-chan’s lights out, I breathed a sigh a relief when Shi-mok was manning the control room, I gasped when Section Chief Yoon brought Ga-young out, and I clapped when Clerk Choi revealed herself to be the decoy (she was one brave soul for putting herself in that position). It was truly teamwork at its finest. And I’ve never been so happy to see someone get arrested. At long last, we got an official arrest!

I know I probably shouldn’t, but I finally feel like I can throw away my suspicions and trust some of these characters. They’ve done so well to prove their loyalty to the team that I can’t imagine any one of them becoming a traitor. In a strange way, I’m even opening up to Yeon-jae a little bit. She still carries multiple warning signs of being unstable, but after seeing more from her perspective in this episode, things definitely make more sense.

The flashback in the hospital made me think that her search for Ga-young was meant to be more confrontational and not so much lethal. Besides, if she looked that frightened watching Chief Kim attempt murder, I doubt she could attempt murder herself. But then again, there’s still so much we don’t know about her. For instance, she seems to genuinely love her husband, but the way she reached for his tie sent a shiver down my spine. (Why is it that whenever someone reaches for a tie in this drama, I’m afraid someone is about to get choked?)

I’m also opening up to Eun-soo again, despite my better judgment. Her breakdown outside of Chief Secretary Lee’s office was so raw and heart-wrenching, I couldn’t help but feel for her. When she’d first told her father about the retrial, her intense hope for justice to finally bless her family put her in such an innocent light – it was a nice change from the cold, calculating Eun-soo we’ve gotten so far. So it wasn’t easy having to watch that hope of hers instantly get snatched away by Chief Secretary Lee. And even though I can’t stand Dong-jae as a character, I was a little relieved that he at least showed some pity and comfort towards her.

I’m consistently impressed with how tight this drama’s writing is. I was so sure that Yeon-jae was the culprit, but the sudden reveal that she wasn’t the culprit not only made sense, but it also explained some of her behavior from before. I love that the twists here serve to clear things up rather than serve as some sort of shock value. The writer obviously has complete confidence with this story. With Chief Kim now in custody, we’re one step closer to justice, and I can’t wait to see where this writer will take us next.

 
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No Eun Soo- Shi Mok romance please! Don't disappoint me show, after all this time!

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Don't worry, I don't think anyone's getting a loveline in this show lol.

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I don't think there will be any, if there is, maybe just a little hint at the end and won't affect the storyline.

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I think it's been a constant theme that she's interested in him romantically, but he's never reciprocated with anything other than annoyance (that Eun-soo chooses to interpret as concern). She hasn't done anything stereotypically second-leady yet, but maybe it's because she and Yeo-jin are hardly ever in any scenes together?

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Do not worry....I don't think we're getting any love lines at all. Besides, Eun Soo loves her father above and beyond all else. She is a filial daughter. Even if she does silently have a crush on Shi Mok which I somewhat doubt, those are muted feelings and she has bigger things in her mind.

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what do you make of the new sweater she bought him, though @gem28 ?

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if there was a way to burn Kdrama ships, I would have burned this one (Eun-Soo/Shi-Mok). I reeeeeeally don't like her.
I respect her revenge plans but the way she:
- sometimes withholds info from Shi-Mok
- appears too eager to help
- plays coy when talking to him, completely ignoring his almost visible irritation

that and more, just bother me A LOT. as he screamed at her in an episode (can't remember which one, I marathoned the whole show in 4 days), he's not doing ANY of this to help her SPECIFICALLY and yet, she AND her mother both interpret it with rose-tinted glasses, which frustrates me to no end.

I mean, girl, if he doesn't like you, MOVE ON! You're a smart, intelligent and good-looking chick! E n o u g h with sticking to his skin in the wrong way!

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It's unexpected that Yeon-jae only saw Chief Kim tried to kill Ga-young. But it also beg the question of why she was there at that moment. Did she only wanted to check on the young woman or was she actually has a more nefarious reason? From what we see so far, she seems to be above jealousy, but seeing the girl with her own 2 eyes surely could change her opinion. But I'm also pretty sure I saw her frowning in disagreement and surprised that Kim would go to that extent.

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One more thing about that scene which makes me curious, is if there could possibly have been another third person in the hospital room. Yeon-jae did emphasize that she couldn't see everything because of the curtain.

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I got this sense too! But then dismissed it as being too paranoid. But then with this drama, there is no such thing as being too paranoid.

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He apparently went there to smother her with a pillow, but then left abruptly - and we don't know why. It seems a bit odd.

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This show. AMAZING. Also once again cheers to Yeo-Jin for being a boss. Thanks for the recap.

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This show is just so awesome, I can't even believe it! Between all the amazing twists in this episode and episode 12 (no spoilers, just SCREAMING) this week really knocked it out of the park. This might be my new number one drama of all time!

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Girllllll or Boyyyyy, episode 12 though.

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think of everyone's reason for being "the person".. and you will find that our "the person" has the most heartwarming legit reason to do whtever is beign done

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Don't even! I'm still shook from the reveal! Can't wait to see the reactions for that episode. ?

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episode 12 had me shook! I want mooooorrree

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Episode 12 left me speechless ??

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I spoiled myself for the revelation that Yeon-jae is actually a witness, and the big twist in episode 12, all because I went on Twitter before I watched the episode. This drama is so good that I hate having the dramatic tension taken away. Note to self: stay away from TvN's SNS accounts before savouring the actual cake.

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1. Shi-Mok puts the campaign glass down in front of everyone instead of celebrating
2. Yeo-Jin punches Soo-chan in the face.

Priceless!

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I shouted "Yes" when she punched him and handcuffed him. It was long overdue.

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Subs in the version I watched had him saying
"I knew that we'd end up having a fight like this one day".
Uh, bet he didn't know it would end like that.

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It felt so, so good when she decked him one. That's one punch long overdue, for his snark and attitude.
The fact that they searched his drawers for the hard drive hopefully means he's been arrested and locked up in a holding cell somewhere. Hope he'll be charged for at least aiding the abduction. He's got it coming.

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Omgg, that drinking scene with Lee Chang-jun was priceless! I aspire to be as low-key savage as Shi-mok.

It's true that Yeon-jae is clearly mentally unstable, but on top of everything else... I'd also like to know who she's always talking to on the phone.

And... for all his supposed lack of emotions, I really like how Shi-mok treats Kim Ga-young. He's considerate and even a little gentle.

But I kind of miss our Shi-mok-Yeojin moments.

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"As low-key savage as Shi-mok." Lol.

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I love Shi-mok for sticking to his not-drinking. That's incredibly hard to do in a culture where drinking is so deeply ingrained in social and work life. I can't think of any other drama where a character just didn't drink. Rather, drinking is overused as narrative device in kdramas (whenever some character needs to confess or to escape their feelings) so that it gets old, but I also always worry about the way and frequency it is used in dramas and the effect that has on people watching (of course, it also reveals something of real life in Korea, it goes both ways). Anyhow, I think it's great that they are showing a character that is basically doing something that goes against the norms in Korea – that is courageous and might make the world of a difference to those viewers who don't drink or don't want to drink and have been ostracised for this.

<But I kind of miss our Shi-mok-Yeojin moments.

Preview for ep 13 suggests there's a SM/YJ moment to come. But yeah, I know what you mean. Because I just think they're so right for each other & I oh so ship them.

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I noticed that too. He's been very consistent about that and that is refreshing. Too often characters change their behavior to fit the plot. I think it's also being used as an indicator to show how he does not really fit into conventional society-many times by his own choice.

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"I love Shi-mok for sticking to his not-drinking. That's incredibly hard to do in a culture where drinking is so deeply ingrained in social and work life."

Thats because he really doesn't feel it, to the extent a normally functional person would. So he doesn't get affected. Not sure if one can compare his willing abstinence to that of a normal person.

What stood out in the scene was his not simply holding the glass ( as he did in the garden party, being polite even if not drinking) he keeps his glass someplace else after toasting to show his complete disapproval of LCJ. This is underlined by the dialogue. SM is extremely aware of social cues and what he did with LCJ was deliberately being badass because he suspects him.

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<Thats because he really doesn't feel it, to the extent a normally functional person would. So he doesn't get affected. Not sure if one can compare his willing abstinence to that of a normal person.

He is aware of it though. He doesn't care, but does it not affect him? That's debatable – other people will still judge him and that can have consequences. His refusal this time was in front of a large group of people and, as you say, it was a huge sign of disapproval/disrespect, which is not going to go down well with many.

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He doesn't care, but does it not affect him? That's debatable – other people will still judge him and that can have consequences.

Yes, and they do tell him he'll face consequences for his actions. Yet the next time, he simply goes ahead with doing what he wants. He doesnt care. And when asked, he explains and justifies himself and that shuts them up. Weve seen it with LCJ, Kang , wife, and the police as well.
The same people who feel threatened don't do anything , just complain and let it pass.

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I cheered and clapped like crazy in this episode! #yaasteam
I also realized how depressing this show is. Not in a bad way, but the fact that corruption is so rampant, it made my blood boiled. Especially when the police was chastising Yeon Jin! for what? For being ethical and respecting her job, morals and protecting society? That is what the police is supposed to do!?

This show is great on so many levels, but the writing is truly the best. Everything I finished watching the episodes, I feel I need more, even though the pace is so slow, but the writing is truly what makes it work. I guess that's what they say, no matter how good of an actor you cast, if the writing sucks, the show will suck.

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I'm impressed how there seem to be no wasted moments in the show. Like that time Ga Young was completely covered with a blanket, I thought that was weird, but it set us up for the sting operation this episode.

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Even minor details. Like Clerk Choi wearing a bullet proof vest when she was revealed to be the fake Ga young. I feel in other dramas, they would not take care of that detail.

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The attention to such details is one thing that really impressed me about this show. So far have seen almost no serious blunders, such as that stupid trope about the first shot being a blank in a gun.

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"I guess that's what they say, no matter how good of an actor you cast, if the writing sucks, the show will suck." This!!! I always say, I can love an actor to pieces, but if the writing isn't there I end up hating the show "cough" Goblin "cough."

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I don't want to name drama names because of fan wars but yes. And it doesn't have to be a crime dramas to be well written, I've watched romantic romcoms where the writing is tight.

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That's what i always say. Characters make actors. The biggest objective of writer is to create a bind between audience and characters.
Govt officials take oath to serve their duties towards society but in reality they only serve their superiors. They go extra mile to even abuse the powers given to them. They are litteraly disrespecting their institution and have no right to be there.

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Omg can Yeo-jin please punch her way through all the corrupt people in this show?? How bloody badass of her that punch was so satisfying!!!

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In the beginning of the fight, it looked like she pretended to be the weaker fighter so that Chief Kim can take "Ga-young" away and once Chief Kim was gone, it was beating time!

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When she pulls out the handcuffs, that's her Game Over move. Twice in this episode and that time with Dong Jae.

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What I love is the way she does everything with such a deadpan face - she stays calm, cool, and collected even when she punches people.

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<I know I probably shouldn’t, but I finally feel like I can throw away my suspicions and trust some of these characters.

Not in my case. When Clerk Choi was pulling up the blanket for Ga-young and Ga-young was resisting, I debating whether that wasn't suspicious! Of course, the later explanation that Ga-young was mumbling and remembering something rather than Clerk Choi behaving oddly made sense, but I'm still not willing to trust anyone.

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I want to punch & kick like Yeo Jin and low key savage like Shi Mok.

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I wish I could join you in trusting and empathising with Eun-soo. While I don't distrust her anymore, it seems she truly is just so desperate to redeem her father and that is it.

On the other hand it always seems like Eun-soo is in a completely different drama than everyone else. Everyone else is so ... understated? Except maybe Dong-jae, who is just going to be in weasel mode forever now, dialed way up to 11. Everyone else has had quieter and more understated emotional beats and almost everyone for whom we as viewers have been given a more in-depth understanding of their motivation I could at least grasp that motivation. But Eun-soo and her grief don't quite reach me, because I don't know her or her father or their relationship. I know her ambition is to redeem her father, I know she's driven and smart and may have some sort of infatuation thing going on with Shi-mok. But I know nothing else about her and it's making it hard for me to care. She seems to be steamrolling over her father as well in her quest to right his wrong and I haven't seen enough, or anything in their relationship that would make me root for her.

This is why I always feel like she's from another drama, with her outbursts and emotional breakdowns that feel out of left field for me. I can totally see a story where she would be the main heroine, fighting for justice for her father and taking down a corrupt prosecutor/politician that has a complete

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I would argue that we don't really know a lot about Yeo-jin either. We don't really know her backstory or anything, but it doesn't seem like people have a problem sympathizing with her or her cause. The same goes for someone like Section Chief Yoon (after he apologized to Shi-mok and we found out about his dead child, I was soooo sad for him LOL). Eun-soo is also younger, a little less mature, still inexperienced despite her intelligence, and highly driven by emotion.

I don't really really expect her to be as casual about everything as everyone else is.

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True, but we do know stuff about Yeo-jin other than she's good at her job, righteous and committed to upholding justice. And us not knowing about Yeo-jin's backstory is not such an issue for me since her arc is not about what happened in her past. I would not be opposed to learning about Yeo-jin's backstory but I don't think it is as necessary to explain her current character.

And Section Chief Yoon's backstory is also missing that is true, but he is not a driving force of plot or conflict in this drama.

And sure, I can appreciate Eun-soo's drive and motivation, but to me it feels like such a tonal shift when she has her important/big scenes. Not extremely so, but enough that it feels off to me.

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<I would argue that we don't really know a lot about Yeo-jin either. We don't really know her backstory or anything, but it doesn't seem like people have a problem sympathizing with her or her cause.

We don't know Yeo-jin's background but in some ways that makes it easier to connect to her. Because Yeo-jin doesn't really have a "cause", she's selflessly pursuing justice in a corrupt world, for the greater good of all of us. Because we don't know much about her (and doesn't act suspiciously in any way to make us doubt her), she sort of becomes the ideal fighter-for-justice, that is very upright in a way that most of us would hope to be (i.e. uphold our morals even in situations where most people would just cave). She does this even if it costs her (being hit by Dong-jae, being ostracised by her colleagues, etc.), most people would put themselves first at that point.

Eun-soo is harder to sympathise with, her cause is personal and selfish. It's not wrong per se (I understand that she's driven to clear her family's name), but it is still just *her own cause*, with no indication that she'd be a greater warrior for justice in general. Instead, there are indications that she'd be willing to do just about anything to succeed – whether that's making Shi-mok uncomfortable by invading his space, threatening someone or worse – and that pushes her into much murkier territory. Who/what will she sacrifice for her cause/her family? That's not a question you can ask with Yeo-jin, who so far is portrayed as completely selfless, even toward Eun-soo (see ep. 12).

All in all, I think there a good reasons why people can sympathise more easily with Yeo-Jin than with Eun-soo. I agree there's also an issue of age and maturity, and simply difference in personality – there's nothing wrong with Eun-soo's high-strung dermination versus Yeo-jin's much quieter opus moderandi, but, as said, ultimately Eun-soo's cause is her own, while Yeo-jin's (for all we know) is for everyone.

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Good points! I think both Yeo-jin's selflessness and Eun-soo's selfishness make them human though. I also think people are able to rally around other k-drama heroes who are driven by one goal and are eventually able to mature and see past that (so I do have a lot of hope in her character and the writer in that respect).

What I don't buy is the excuse that not seeing her struggle play out in real time makes her an unsympathetic character (this is just a general complaint, I'm not calling you out). All it took was Dong-jae making one statement about having a kid to support and people instantly felt just a bit sorry for him. Eun-soo's house could burn down and people would still be like, "well, she got in Shi-mok's face that one time so idk..." (or she could be assaulted by another prosecutor and still be labeled as the crazy one LOL -- funny how that works).

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@astromantic well said.... really well said.

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Agree. Gosh, every episode, you and gem28 and few others come down to defend ES, its heartening.
Till you go blue in the face - as you said. :)

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I personally cannot stand Dong Jae. I don't sympathize with him in the least. I don't care that he has a child. The people whose lives he wanted to destroy or destroyed also had loved ones. But I think what I don't like most about him is he has absolutely no loyalty to anyone but himself. He also seem to have no sense of justice whatsoever. When I watch him trying to take innocent people and frame them for a crime they did not commit without any compunction or fear, I immediately didn't like him.

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@astromantic you make very good points here.

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This show is doing a great job of exemplifying that saying, everyone is the hero of their own story. Not just Eun-Soo, but Dong-Jae has got his own thing going, trying to play all sides in full tilt survival mode. He seemed like a cardboard villain at first, but now it's like watching The Fugitive.

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Dong-Jae seemed to genuinely feel bad for Eun-Soo. at this point it's very unclear which way he will go-good or bad. It would very cool if Dong-Jae becomes the deciding factor in who finally wins the game.

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I think he just wants to survive haha !

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I was very surprised that he even seemed to sympathize with Eun-soo.
I will be even more surprised if he decides to do something selfless.

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I also think Dong Jae and Eun Soo intentionally or unintentionally will provide good proof to Shi-Mok.
Dong-Jae's overworking brain will surely create troubles for Mr. Lee. I like his attempts to get through all of this as much unharmed as possible.

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I'm having the same problem with Eun-soo as well. I understand her only in the sense of wanting to right a wrong done to her family but I just don't have an emotional connection to her story. I think it's because the impact of her father's story on their family was only shown briefly in flashbacks and their present state in terms of loss of income. I didn't really get to emotionally connect to them because it happened in the past and I didn't get to see their suffering. Usually a story like theirs would make my blood boil because of the injustice and suffering shown in their story but in this drama I'm mostly just shown Eun-soo's pursuit of justice for her family and bits of her relationship with her dad whom it is clear that she loves and respects.

I find I have more emotional connection to the victims whose story unfold in the present time of the drama because I see what they experience and their helplessness against those in power. In terms of those who should be upholding the law, I like the way YJ risks her career to stay true to her conscience. Exposing what her fellow officers did to the young man could affect her in the future since those cops seem to have a mentality that brotherhood trumps upholding the law. Eww! Even though she doesn't have a backstory, who I see on the screen is enough to endear me to her. Watching her take those chucks from slimy Dong Jae on the bridge had me fuming but she held it together because she didn't want to endanger the mission. That was another point she scored with me. I just really enjoy watching this heroine as her character unfolded on the screen.

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I totally agree with you... I feel connected to her when she's with Shi Mok though

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That's a good point, I think all the characters are better around Shi Mok. His Scooby team looks like a crack operation when they're all sitting around the table together, but his clerks for example looked kind of scatterbrained before. He's even helping Yeo Jin figure out and be the kind of police officer she wants to be. At least she seems to have dropped her habit of talking to herself out loud (Shi Mok is really the only person she can talk to). Eun Soo and Dong Jae have the disadvantage of operating by themselves out in the field, but they do seem to reveal themselves more via Shi Mok when they get a chance to work with him. He's their (literally) fearless leader.

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I hear you. I feel connected to her through the way she goes about her police work, (I'm a crime fiction enthusiast) and the way she deals with the victims and their families. I like the way she deals with her fellow cops and their corruption as well. She's a whole lot more rational than I would be working with them knowing what she knows about them. I admire that about her because she still seem to maintain some respect even for her team leader who condoned the beating of PMS' son.

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I can't not agree with you here. Sure, I don't have a problem with her, I love Eun So and I can very well imagine their sufferings even when it is not shown on screen (I have seen that a lot in dramas lol) but I get why it's harder to sympathize with her character.

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I like how the writer is showing how different people react to seeking justice, ambition, greed, and power. I don't have a problem with Eun soo as a character. I think like everyone else, she is there to show how she needs to prove her dad's innocence and seek justice, vastly different more Shi Mok and Yeo Jin. She is doing it the wrong way. Her emotions get on her way of manipulating, building, and engaging relationships. Same with Dong Jae, his impatience and stupidity is what eventually will get to him. For Chief Lee, look how much of a service dog he acts around his Father in-law, he needs to act that way to get what he wants, same with his wife and everyone else. I like that we are getting so many different personalities and characters. It really reflects how we humans act in the real world. I can tell you that my impatience and emotions get in the way of me when I try to work with the different department at work. I know to get what I want from them, I need to have composure and remain and level-headed.

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WTF OMG IT WASNT THE WIFE??? Wow I really didn’t expect that

I can’t wait for Eun Soo to be the one to handcuff Lee and finally get her father’s name cleared. It’s going to be so satisfying to watch because when she broke down crying my heart went out to her. I can’t help feeling a tad bit worried about Dong Jae. He’s technically somewhat of a spy and I hope no harm comes his way

“She doesn’t know anything about her husband. That’s why he’s been messing around…” - This statement rubbed me the wrong way. Nothing justifies cheating. Nothing at all. Saying this makes it seem like it's Yeon Jae's fault. And as much as I don't like her, she deserves better than this. And I can't believe her father of all people said this. Ugh

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The Police chief at the hospital would explain why security was so lax in the ward. This lack of security always stood out as one of the few flaws in the story.... Now it makes sense. I just missed that it was a clue.

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Her father said this because it is the low opinion he has of women. I won't be surprised if he was an awful husband and cheater.

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"And I can't believe her father of all people said this. @

I believe that only the father could have said this. He is amoral to his bone and all he wants is more money and more power. More more more, and like it or not the world's super rich do have plenty of his ilk today. Its not a far stretch at all.

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It's true though. She loves her husband but mr. Lee just uses her for his own goals. We don't know how many womens services mr. Lee used. But that doesn't​ even matter much. She might know few habits of him but she clearly doesn't know him. If she had any inclination of his character i don't think she would have even married him. She is the one at loss here. Both father and son-in-law are enjoying their life.

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"WTF OMG IT WASNT THE WIFE???"

Am not sure about her intentions. Only she knows for what reason she went there in GJ's hosp room. She may have gone to kill but the arrival of scum Kim gave her a chance to not get blood on her hands.
She goes to meet the the girl at 10 pm, waiting for the nurse to take a break, and I have to now buy that she is innocent? Not a chance!

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I fear that Eun Soo will end up getting herself in trouble, or perhaps even killed if she keeps going off on her own.

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It may be translation but I read Yeon-Jae's jealousy comment a bit differently - not because she was privileged but because she'd learned a lesson about something she did while jealous - which may help explain the extraordinarily large cache of drugs.

Also, and this is something that partly came from the next epi but I'm sure it's been referenced before - have she and LCJ only been married about 10 yrs? It must have been s'thing because I've been a bit confused about how they could have an independent child overseas. Although the odd looks LCJ gives her when she brings the daughter up do make you wonder, again, what the drugs are for.

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That's what I thought too. I took it as in her father probably cheated too and she has been used to seeing that. Definitely not about her privilege but more about she learned from watching her mom, probably, take the cheating and everything else. Which is so sad. But patterns do repeat.

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It helps explain her reaction to Yeo Jin's barb about women who treat other women as enemies.

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I wonder if there is some more back story about Yeon-Jae, her childhood, and her daughter. Her daughter is brought up in almost every episode. Yeon-Jae got way more interesting in this episode. She's not just an ice queen or a mentally unstable person but an interesting mix of both with a dash of vulnerability. Very interesting character.

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I also find her interesting. Though she may have a privileged background. It may not necessarily be a happy one. All those prescription drugs she keeps speaks of issues she have had or currently have. She is good at keeping up facades so she is also hiding something. Wonder who she keeps vontact with on the phone. She has a lackey and I wonder if she has an insider in the prosecution or police side. Maybe with the investigation team.

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AAAAAAAAAAAARG!

With this show it is almost impossible to go back even 1 episode and comment meaningfully. Its not just spoilers, the show moves so consistently through the story that each new moment answers a question or it poses new questions that mean your old thoughts are obsolete.

All I can manage without writing vapidly in retrospect is:

Eun-Soo - is reinforced as being even more desperate to exonerate her family than previously shown. She remains in the frame for at least one of the acts.

Yeo-Jin is far to kickass to be a 1st year detective (noted in ep 01). Given her skills and what we know now, it is not out of the realm of possibility that she is an federal agent...

Yeon-jae has layer upon layer of grudges under that surface.

It was amazing to watch Yeo-Jin/Yeon-jae interact. It was so layered even down to their visuals. Yeo-Jin full of micro expression, fluid and compelling. Yeon-jae by contrast is elegance as frozen image, expressions have to be exaggerated and singular...reality is concealed and its all dangerous undercurrents.

I’ll repeat my comment from last week- Its getting far to hot in here. Out team is going to be in real danger as the antagonists are cornered.

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Yeo jin and Shim Mok are such a formidable team. Kinda like Ace team of Running man. I hope they are always one step ahead of them...And that punch was so satisfying. The writing is so top notch always. Its so unpredictable.

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That punch! Good job Yeojin! Soochan deserves it. She mustve been itching to do that for ages. I just hope she can clock one on Dong Jae too.

I sorta felt bad for Yeon Jae after seeing her scenes. I dont know yet what to do about her. But i think she still has some secrets up her sleeve.

I was glad to be wrong about Clerk Choi. Glad no one got to her and just had to watch over Ga-young.

The next episode is something else. Cant wait for next week!

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And before I forget that diss when Shimok didnt drink the champagne offered him by Chief Secretary Lee. (His titles are everchanging) and the look he gave ShiMok.

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For me this episode was about the three women. Yeo-Jin's punch, Yeon-Jae's horror when watching Ga-Young being strangled and Then Eun-Soo's breakdown. The moments were raw and very well acted ??????
My jaw dropped when I saw Yeon-Jae witnessing the attempted murder. This show keeps showing us possible suspects and then turning around and showing how or why they couldn't have done it. It did it with Dong-Jae, Eun-Soo, and now Yeon-Jae. But the writers leave us with just a sliver of suspicion too. It amazing! Can't wait for episode 12 recap, the episode just blew my mind ??

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(Why is it that whenever someone reaches for a tie in this drama, I’m afraid someone is about to get choked?)

Well, it IS a kdrama.

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It's kdrama cliche? I get this dangerous vibe only from this drama.
Yesterday a pic of lady tie the knot of a young guy became viral. So

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Kidnapping 101: Always Look Under The Mask!
Did anyone not smell a rat when girl-in-the-wheelchair was so completely covered up?
And it was good that the decoy was wearing the bullet-proof vest, just in case.

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Yes to the vest. And she had Yeo Jin's taser too! Just in case. :-P

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That's why i felt a bit disappointed. Such a cliche done perfectly by the team and then idiot police comes up and leaves bare hand.
Such a way to make life of Yeo-Jin better in police office.

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I can't for the life of me understand why an experienced Chief Kim wouldn't check first to make sure that Ga-Young was the person that he was kidnapping. All he had to do was take the hat off and the mask.
I'm not a cop but it sure as heck looks suspicious. He does deserve to get caught for being stupid.

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Well, it's not like he had all the leisurely time to check her ID with all the altercation going on when he abducted her right under Yeo Jin's nose.

On the plus side, he appears to just want to strike a deal with Ga Young and needed to be in as private a spot as he can, fast, to do that. He may be bad for sleeping with an underage girl, knowingly or more likely, unknowingly but he doesn't have it in him to murder someone. I think that's why he couldn't go through with it when he had the pillow over her face in the earlier hospital scene. He still has some shred of humanity left in him.

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Maybe I'm a bit harsh but It takes one second to pull that hat off and another for the mask, especially when he was in the elevator. I guess not everyone thinks like Shi-mok.
I also see your point. Perhaps he was desperate and was not thinking straight. Yeo-jin basically fought them like she was really protecting Ga Young.

It's pretty realistic that he couldn't kill her even if he wanted to. Corruptions is one thing but taking a life is another.

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That scene with fake Ga Young felt too neat a plan to execute for team Shi Mok. They assumed the Chief can't kill, will be too agitated to varify who was under the sheets and that is exactly what happened. The alternative scenario could be Lee Yeon Bom threatening Chief with his family to get rid of Ga Young. And he shoots fake/real Ga Young's head. Kevlar can't protect your brain from gunshots.

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I wonder if Secretary Lee was pretending not to see Shi-mok at the parking lot and was tipping him off from what he said to Chief Kim outside of the car.

It's too convenient for Shi-mok to be at the right place at the right time.

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I'm not quite up to this episode, but I'm just stopping by to share my LOVE for this drama. So GOOD!!!

The casting is perfect and it's a miracle to have both Cho Seung-Woo and Bae Doo-Na in a drama together.

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When Yeon-jae reached for her husband's tie, I 100% thought she was about to strangle him. Last episode I was fully convinced she was the killer, but after the revelations in this one I'm not so sure. That's what I love about this show! Episode 11, and while I have my theories, I have no solid conviction about who the person behind it all truly is.

That, and the character development. I love Yeo-jin so much, she's definitely become one of my favorite heroines of all time--no surprise there, given that she's played by Bae Doo-na. She's refreshingly competent, so kind without being blind to the realities of the world around her. The others are pretty well-developed too. By the end of the first few episodes I loathed Dong-jae with every fiber of my being, but now he's kind of conflicted, and while I definitely don't like him, he's become more interesting. (If Yeo-jin can clock him the way she clocked Soo-chan, I'd be very happy.)

Anyway, I love this show a lot and I wish it was the weekend already

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Shi Mok's deadpan comparison to Chief Section Kang.

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I never thought I would watch a drama as good as Signal (in the crime/investigation) category but I was wrong! This drama rocks!!

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Episode 12 had a shocking revelation. And I understand why that person did what he did. I can't even judge if he was right or wrong. Killing a person is wrong but sometimes the reasons behind it make it less black and white.

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I don't want to be a killjoy, but no body show some love to Seo Dong-jae character. I like him and Lee Jun-hyuk nailed the character. I find he's so funny, but cringeworthy at the same time. Every time I'm so angry with him (I'm so disgusted with how he treats women till I want to slap him across the screen ?), but I end up pitying him. I don't know he seems always so reckless, scattered, unplanned. I enjoy watching him looking so smug like finally he finds way to save his ass time and again, but then realizing Shi-mok, Chairman Lee, Chief Prosecutor Lee, Yeo-jin, or like every one else in the show outsmarted him. Ha, ha, ha. Oh that look of revelation on his face. Priceless.
Anyway I wish him can catch a break and find better term with Shi-mok by redeeming himself. And...... if he can fix attitude toward women *drumrolls* I can see my self shipping him with Eun-soo *don'tthrowrockonme*

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Seo Dong Jae did some good things in episode 12. I was happy to see that but he still accepted many bribes and needs to serve time for them. He is married with a child in the drama; so, no shipping with Eun Soo. And romance is not agreeing with the tone of the drama. I agree that he is pathetic and funny at the same time.

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Upps I don't know he's already married. I thought "he's the only kid of his parent", not "he has a kid". I guess I'm wrong.

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I am watching in Dramafever. I thought he said that he even has a kid so please be lenient.

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He soft of reminds me of Wile E. Coyote. At times he exudes a cartoonish desperation and panic. But you have to admire his persistence!

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I'm a little glad that his character hasn't been written out of the story yet. It's kinda funny how he's still managing to hang on to different sides and interesting to see how much longer he can gather intel.

I totally thought he dropped his phone on accident lol. That scene was so quick. Curious about what other sneaky methods he will use.

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Even i think he acidently droped the phone but he left within few seconds so it doesn't make sense to keep recorder on for half a minute. It was deliberate move.
This guy's persistance is worth applause. He is fighting the power centers his own way.

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Dong Jae is hilarious and I am glad writers have given him his own arc. He is hanging by a thread but he is hanging. I find his character quite refreshing.

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Good for you that you find Dong Jae hilarious. When I look at him, I see the bar hostess madames he intimidated in his search for Ga Young. I also see him bullying Yeo Jin at the bridge. He's a bully to me and the reason he's not his usual self now is only because he's trying hard to survive, navigating between Shi Mok, Sec Lee and the Hanjo chairman. He did however show his good side in this episode, being sympathetic to Eun Soo. He may be bad, but he's not all the way bad.

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At first, I found Lee Jun Hyuk's Dong Jae jarring to the rest of the characters. As one beanie said, LJH seemed to be playing it very kdrama style which made it ordinary. I had concurred then but over time, I have grown to appreciate LJH's handling of the character. He's quite perfect as the sneaky weasel that is a contrast to most of the characters in this drama who are mostly collected and quietly scheming.

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I don't know if it's intentional, but playing to kdrama type made me as a viewer write him off in the beginning and therefore understimate him, just like Shi Mok did. Some of the same happened with Eun Soo and Yeon Jae, also.

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I somehow feel like that is exactly the purpose of having some of these characters be on a slightly different beat than the tone of this show suggests.
You quickly underestimate them, bc they kind of fit into a kdrama category and it's probably easier to think they're predictable.

Dong-jae surprised me with his quick-wittedness, and Eun-soo with showing even more desperation...I never expected her to barge in Lee Chang-jun's office and show her cards so openly. And Yeon-jae's vulnerability took me completely off-guard.

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actually the writer herself mentioned that Lee Joon Hyuk played SDJ to perfection.

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He definitly grew on me and I love his character. But I still think he is doing those crazy Korean drama eyes! If it wasn't for and if he can be a bit more subtle with his eyes, it would be perfect! but this is me nitpicking!

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He has some subtle moments in episode 12 in which he shined. He's very interesting too.

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I'm ashamed to admit that I've been a Seo Dong-jae fan since Day 1, lol. He's frustrating and terrible (still not over him disrespecting Yeo-jin on the bridge), but oh so fun to watch.

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I know this has been said already, but I have to say it again.

The music on this show is awesome. It's so haunting and moody. It adds to much tension and depth to these beautifully acted moments. I think it's part of the reason I have so much feels when I watch it.

Also, I need more Yeo Jin - Si Mok moments. I need a side drama just of them. :)

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I love the opening theme! It IS haunting and moody.

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after the ending of episode 12 I feel like anyone can be the killer. everyone has a very good reason but it is clear that Eun Soo's father is sitting right in the middle of this mess. Why would a man so prideful that he didn't want to look Simok in the face when he came to visit him again ask to protect his daughter? why is he so convinced that Lee chang Ju wouldn't kill someone, he said that person isn't wired like that. I feel like he knows too much.
As for Eun Soo, she's so frustrating but I understand how she thinks and why she does what she does only that she does Simok more harm than good. I feel like she needs to get hurt to wake up because she's doing herself and her father more harm the more she continues digging.

Seo Dong Jae is the ultimate survivalist. I have never seen someone want to survive with such vigor. I really feel like he knows too much than he has yet revealed. He knows Simok would never make a deal with him to lessen his sentence thus giving him no reason to reveal everything he knows. Also I didn't buy his story of wanting to protect Gayoung.

until now people who are still very suspicious; Yeon Jae, Lee chang Ju, Simok's highschool classmate and 0.7

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Don't forget Yeo-jin too... I hope the writer giving her some background story to make me less suspicious on her. She is such a awesome, kind, and badass, I don't want myself turn my back on her at the last minutes.
I got the theory that (I hope it is not spoiler) the chilgong is the one who started the mess in FoS, but anything else is like domino effects: Chief police's attempted murder, chief prosecutor lee's corruption, and chairman lee's weaponary deal with hideous 'crane' ? company.

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i also agree chilgong/eunsoo's father/lee chang jun are in the middle of everything. I don't think Yeo Jin is the killer. she has untill now no motive to want revenge.

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Last week, I wrote that Yeon Jae was unlikely to be the culprit given how sinister the drama made her look. Even if we know who is the one who kidnapped Ga Young, it's just a part of a huge puzzle. There are many pieces or players involved, different agendas but each linked or each action created a ripple effect.

Why do I have this nagging suspicion that Chief Lee is working against his father-in-law? Most may suspect that his apology uttered in his drunken stupor was about his affair with Ga Young but could it be that he's sorry to Yeon Jae for what he is doing to Chairman Lee? If I am right about this, I am not sure if Chief Lee is doing purely for the sake of uncovering and weeding out corruption. Does he have a personal agenda?

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This what I got from watching too much dramas, that actually chief lee and Yeon-jae really love each other, they met when the 'still good' chief lee tried to prosecute chairman lee. But chairman lee didn't approve the couple since he wanted his daughter married other chaebol. So chief lee tried so hard, groveling his way, to get chairman lee's approval that he's good enough to be his son in-law despite he's being 'lowborn'. Perhaps it is the reason behind why chief lee crossed to the 'other' side.
Yeah, don't count on me, it is what my mind made up. Ha, ha, ha.

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I do think that Chief Lee and Yeon Jae love each other. The relationship has obviously changed through the years but it is not completely devoid of love.

However, I don't think Chief Lee's resentment towards Chairman Lee is the one that's motivating him. It's got to be something bigger.

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I'm still hoping that there is good in him even from the beginning of the show (Yoo Jae-myung is pretty darn good. I have a hard time reading him so I'm just guessing).

Ga-young is able to identify the baddies like Chief Kim Woo-kyun. When Shi-mok showed her Secretary Lee's picture she did not freak out so I don't know.
Maybe there wasn't anything going on between Ga-young and Secretary Lee. I just hope she wasn't use as a bait to get Chief Kim. It's too cruel.

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I think Ga young freaks out because there's Dong-jae at the last time Eun-soo showing her the photo of chief lee. Wait is that scene from ep 12? ?

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I'm talking about this eps.

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@kiara - I do believe there is some good to Sec Lee. He may be bad but he's not bad all the way, like stopping short of actually killing another human, as he vehemently denied when Shi Mok confronted him on that issue.
With regards to Ga Young, he may actually have had nothing to do with her. IICR when Shi Mok checked the hotel footage of her going into Lee's room, she was there for only about 13 mins(?). There were not likely to be any sexual activity between them for that short duration. Unless they're both chickens.

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That make sense because if he was the culprit he would not put someone like Shi-mok in such an important position.
Chief/Secretary Lee doesn't seems like the type to be anyone's pet and there is no way in heck he is going to stop the investigation.
I think the only way to get rid of or uncover the corruptions is from the top down. He might be the guy to take down the Chairman Lee and the higher ups with Shi-mok's help.

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I think chief lee wants to reveal chairman lee's corruption and secret dealing, because deep down inside he still wants to be a good prosecutor, but he thinks he has already crossing the bridge with no point return, the price he has to pay to marry the love of his life ?? ? (perhaps it is also the source of his resentment toward chairman lee, he kind of blames him for turning him to be corrup prosecutor) and he doen't want to ruin his relationship with chairman lee since he's his father in law and he still loves his wife, so he put Shi-mok on that position.

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That's another possibility. It would be difficult for him to stay clean while being connected to Chairman Lee.

Something still bugs me from earlier episodes when Secretary Lee made a comment that someone else is smarter than Si-mok.
Is he talking about himself?

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There was also a comment chief lee, sorry secretary lee, about how he couldn't find any dirt on Si-Mok. "Even the person he planted right under his nose couldn't find anything."

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I also think so. He knows how Shi Mok is, so he is intentionally keeps provoking Shi Mok so Shi Mok will keep digging and digging.

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That's exactly what I'm thinking Sera.

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Why do I have this nagging suspicion that Chief Lee is working against his father-in-law

You're not alone. My suspicion is increased after epi 12. I think he was once an ambitious guy, but he is not able to close his eyes after looking at how his FIL doing his business (unsure if it is related to his personal agenda). But in order to do so, it is necessary for him to get his hand dirty.It is like 'in order to fight monster, you have to become a monster too'.

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Rather than ambitious, I think he had been idealistic. I just don't know if his motive to take down his FIL is purely an altruistic one.

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THIS. I initially found his acting to be lacking compared to the other heavyweights, but surprisingly he just grew on me, and the recent reveals showed his character's growth as well. It's been said many times but the writer really needs to be applauded.

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Sorry, this is meant to be a reply to the comment about Dong-jae in thread number 24.

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Okie,
1. ES is still after Lee. I got a little tired of the same approach , hers, yet I do like her as before. Just, why is she alone in this quest. Who can be advice her? What a ridiculous father she has.

2. THe roof top scene, k drama land shenanigan. I founf it very artificial and OTT. FOr a drama that prodes itself in being 'real and grounded' this was a WTH moment!

3. YJ could have directly told Mrs Lee that they have a witness and she would have spilled the beans. Not sure why it extended to ep 12 and SM doing the honours, unless again the writer needed to put the idea of marriage into his head.

4. LCJ, the actor, gosh, I really like this guy. He adds so much gravitas to a role that makes the viewer simpy not know whose side he is on. Whether is he doing on his own, fighting his own battle. What is he upto? Fantastic character and actor.

5. SDJ, really a very very difficult life to just jump around one party to another. He really brought that out, how difficult it is to do what he does. If only he didnt feel so inferior about himself.

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On a lighter note, I nead to think who is meant every time Soo-Chan is use. To differentiate when discussion it we just use 'idiot Kim'.

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Pretty obvious I wrote this when 1/2 asleep!

"used" "discussing". Soz :)

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Lee is the secretary of the President of S Korea, but the president is simply absent in a way that its only Lee the father in law barging in an out of the office with the juniors bowing as though he is the president.

Its like Lee has no other politics related work , only his father inlaw. They dont even discuss at home or in the fil's office but Lee's!. Like nothing else is happening in the country for the president. Find this quite preposterous.

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At the time the drama being produced, SK president had been caught in Scandal so if she had been potrayed absent in blue house, it went well with the real life situation ?

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That would have kept LCJ more busy with the political messes and turmoils going on.

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They could... but I think it would take away from the general storyline. At best, those tasks would be a small side play that can throw a small wrench into well-laid plans. Most likely though, it would have just been filler. And I personally wouldn't like that because so far, the storyline has had no filler. All the parts shown have added to the story.

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I think Shimok more comfortable with yeojin

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As well if LCJ and wife are married for 10 years how come they have a daughter of marriageable age? If its their daughter that is. Or its her daughter from before?..It cant be his, that fil would have snuffed them both (ie LCJ and child, if that is).

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Perhaps not really theirs, or maybe just his? Another illegitimate of her fathers??

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At one point, I thought the daughter was a figment of the wife's imagination (because she has a closet full of pills). Maybe she had lost a baby in the past and had some post-traumatic depression. Then I thought about how there are shares listed under their childrens' names, so maybe if the children don't exist then, they are just dummy names and Chairman Lee really owns them all. BUT...I don't know. This is what happens when dramas are unpredictable. My mind goes to all kinds of places...

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Interesting each episode brings out the hate for ES. I did roll my eyes when she rushed into Lee's office but heck, here is somebody who is completely driven by a cause to set a wrong right. All she needs is guidance but the thing is , I see as well, as SM says, will she listen? There is no guarantee of this yet I want someone to advise her, be with her and channel her rage into clear strategic thinking and execution for her father's case.

And so the love for YJ brimmeth over. Her back story is not important, why? Because no matter what she is a completely positive written character in this drama. She is unreal so bringing some reality in terms of her sad (or not) past is immaterial.

All others have some thing or the other going on in terms of their behavioural ticks and moral codes. They are written that way, except for YJ.
SM apart from the surgery and what limitations it has brought again is put on a pedestal.
ES, LCJ , SDJ all others are moving around in reality. Hence their moralities also change because they wish to survive in that corrupt world.

What I want to know is what SM did in that office for 8 years? After 8 years he is on all guns and blazers against everybody, 8 years, was he just clerical avoiding any kind of mess himself.
So is it that because he was at the crime scene of Park first that he is full onto this case? Would he have taken it up if he werent there at that moment? If the former, isn't this case as personal to him as ES's case is to hers? He cannot be emotional because he doesnt have that part of the brain, as much as ES gets emotional that is. So how different is SM from ES?

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Yeo Jin as much as I love her is too good to be true honestly. Sometimes I half expect her to turn out to be a ghost. Like I said even Shi Mok isn't perfect but Yeo Jin is. She has all the wining traits, very few people will not like her. It seems unreal at times which is why I want her story. Nobody is that perfect.

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Thats the point. She is the ideal character in the drama. The pivot for the viewers to watch, else this drama would be dark acc to k tv drama standards and audience will not accept it.
The success hinges on these ideal unreal characters of YJ and knwoing her backstory won't help because it will not break her ideal image persona now. There is very little to nil a chance that YJ is bad, she simply cannot betray the viewer , else this drama writer will not have her next gig.

SM is made more interesting because of his surgery. Mind you, the story carefully uses his brain re-wiring not to his -ve (he was a very violent child but that is brushed away) but to a positive that he is upright a lawyer. His emotions are used to appeal to the romantic side of the drama trope.
These two are the typical genre leads of a thriller drama who will take down the baddies and provide a catharsis for the viewer.

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100% agreed on the catharsis part. I'll give the writer a whole lot of credit. Even without those tropes that we are used to she knows how to get viewers excited. She is trying to sell us whatever possibility romance we want depending on our taste yet never once mentioning it out loud. There's probably none.

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The chances of her being bad may be small, but what do you think the chances of her dying at the end? I don't want that to happen, but I was just wondering. YJ character, though ideal, still has people questioning whether she will do something bad or something bad will happen to her.

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<too good to be true honestly

I wonder if Koreans would generally see it that way though. She's a mid/late-thirties woman (going by Bae Doona's real age and assuming Yeo-Jin is essentially the same age), who is unmarried, doesn't seem to have much of a family and whose life seems to consist only of her work (no boyfriend, no obvious close friends). With her status she doesn't actually fit into Korean society very well at all and I don't think she'd be seen as perfect. Her colleagues and others like her, she has many great traits, a lovely personality and I think she's awesome – but I think she'd be judged harshly by quite a few people in everyday Korean reality and would even be seen as a failure. This is the sense I get from having mid-thirties/forties Korean women friends, both unmarried ones (escaping to Europe to escape the judgement/expectations/matseons of their families/other people at least somewhat) and the married ones (where parents in the end preferred a foreign husband, rather than for their daughter not be married).

The drama doesn't much dwell on Yeo-jin's status within society (the focus, after all, is on crime and corruption), but we have had hints – quite early on (ep 4), one of Yeo-Jin's superiors essentially tells her that staying in the Criminal Department will make it difficult for her to get married and have children. Yeo-Jin meanwhile insists that she absolutely wants to stay there, meaning she is intent on pursuing a path that is different from the norm.

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Great points. To me Yeo-Jin does not come across as too good to be true because I have met such people in real life-even keeled, and patient with a very strong sense of purpose when it comes to their work. However, they do seem to have a problem with maintaining what would be called a full personal life. In the sense that they usually don't have family or if they do then they spend only a small amount of time with them. Yeo-Jin fits that pattern as pointed out by alua.
In addition, I think the writer is deliberately keeping Yeo-Jin's background a mystery. There are some hints but nothing is being given away. Makes me wonder if Yeo-Jin's backstory is tied into who the culprit is.

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Culturally speaking, South Asia or Southeast asia is not kind to unmarried, career driven, passionate woman. Not being married past 30 is frowned upon. And there's also exists too educated for her own good concept in the part where I live in. I am asian and I am speaking from first hand experience.
I wasn't speaking in context of culture but from the point of a protagonist. I don't see any fault in her characterization. Smart, intelligent, dedicated, idealistic but not a pushover, funny, cheerful, capable, compassionate.....is there anything that you can dislike?? I've not met a combination like Yeo Jin once. I'll be gender neutral. I've never met this kind of man or woman. Nobody in my world is perfect, I've met some great, good and kind people but not an individual without any fault. So, yeah she does feel unreal to me at times. I am not complaining, more like an observation.

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<I don't see any fault in her characterization.

Question: Why does there need to be a fault in her characterisation?

And: Not being married is part of her characterisation, even if it is given little weight. If it weren't part of the characterisation, it would either be an unknown factor... or if the writers wanted a perfect persona, they could have easily made her younger (i.e. where the 'marriage' bit isn't an issue yet). That said, this reminds me of something I wonder about: Why is Yeo-jin so early in her police career despite her age? (Obviously this is a question about the background of hers that we don't know about.)

< I've not met a combination like Yeo Jin once. I'll be gender neutral. I've never met this kind of man or woman. Nobody in my world is perfect, I've met some great, good and kind people but not an individual without any fault.

But you've just said you're talking about a "protagonist", not a "person". The people you know are obviously persons, so if you do want to make the comparison I don't think you can ignore Yeo-jin's cultural context. Otherwise we're comparing apples and oranges and won't get anywhere.

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dear alua, the last part was not meant for you but for Kasumi....she has met somebody like Yeo Jin and I haven't. I merely stated that.
I will stress again that her perfection as a protagonist baffles me at times. I know why culturally speaking, she won't be perceived as an individual without any faults. That isn't what I wanted to convey. Protagonists have certain struggles, certain weakness that they overcome in mainstream work of art. They overcome them and become a more complete individual or broken individual by the end of a novel or show or movie depending on genre. So, she isn't conventional protagonist. She is a perfect protagonist. And it feels like she has lived a life in another fiction and came with the strength and wisdom she has learned from it. Its not a bad thing but its not what we generally watch on screen. Also, to Shi Mok's Yin, Yeo Jin is a yang, when they work as a team. Partnerships in thrillers aren't perfect either. This one is near perfect. It seems deliberate choice by the writer. To what end, time will tell.

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The Koreans are loving her aren't they, else they would not have embraced the show and showed all the affection towards YJ and Doona Bae for portraying her.
They love her for what she is in complete and she s slightly different from the thirties women as described above. YJ is new to the task force, not someone who is settled and yet single. She's new, she mentions a family very briefly (we dont know about her relations with family except that they are not ES kind of rich), does invite people over in that she likes friends (close friends may be she does have a few as she spends time on herself more, I cant speculate on this) , invites old people to live with her i.e. she likes having family around. She shows interest in SM, that too , so soon in her career shes come across a guy shes interested in, and is willing to take it further. May be marriage, may be living together , I dont know, but she is open to people in her life in varying degrees. She's a great human, a super professional , achiever, morally on the right path, gosh, pretty, smart, very unique sense of dressing (although a newbie detective her clothes damn, she does have a designer to herself) , I dont know what is the negative normal trait of hers.
Hence shes out there above all in this show and in reality as well. And if she is sacrificed or dies in the end, it takes her to the next level of posterity. She'll be worshipped.

YJ is unreal yet I really like her , whats not to like in someone so positive?

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