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Forest of Secrets: Episode 12

You’d think that by now I’d be used to all the twists, but each dark turn this show decides to take still has me reeling. I love that with Shi-mok’s condition, he’s incapable of feeling any kind of fear toward the people around him – or more importantly, toward the people above him. He’s going to need that effortless bravery as he’s forced to confront every single person out there trying to keep him out of the picture.

 
EPISODE 12 RECAP

Shi-mok and Yeo-jin greet Kyung-wan in front of his old home before making their way to the basement. They take in the old, cluttered space, speculating that this might be where Ga-young was held.

Shi-mok suddenly gets a thought and asks Kyung-wan to go upstairs and play loud music. Sure enough, a few moments later, they can hear the music booming from above. But the music is cut short when they hear Yeo-jin’s team leader knocking on the door. Yeo-jin goes out to see him while Shi-mok holds back, having noticed something.

When Yeo-jin comes back with her team leader, they find Shi-mok crouching down where Ga-young would’ve been. He points to a sack sitting across the room, a big “7” right on the front. However, Shi-mok says that Ga-young wouldn’t have been able to see it from where she was lying down.

Yeo-jin tells the team leader about the numbers Ga-young had said, and the team leader notes that there’s no “0” anywhere around. So Yeo-jin takes a closer look, soon noticing something odd: scratch marks up the concrete stairs.

Upon further inspection, Shi-mok deducts that the marks were made by metal, most likely from a large wheeled bag. Dragging a person around would look suspicious, so Yeo-jin thinks it’s highly possible that the culprit used the bag to carry Ga-young up the stairs.

The team leader sighs that the forensics team must not have paid too much attention to the basement since all the commotion had been upstairs. But he wonders why the culprit would’ve kept Ga-young down here for a day.

Remembering the case report, Shi-mok says that the students came to the house earlier than they usually did, supposedly because it was one of the kids’ birthday.

So, the team leader says, if the kids were already partying in the house, the culprit must’ve decided to put Ga-young in the basement first. Then, they dragged her upstairs the next day and—…

“Stabbed her?” Kyung-wan finishes, standing by the door. He asks why the culprit didn’t just stab her in the basement when it would’ve been more convenient. Instead, he notes that the culprit waited an entire day to stab her upstairs.

Shi-mok answers that if the culprit hadn’t waited, Ga-young would’ve bled out and died. That must mean that the culprit waited for the perfect time to stab her so that she would be saved.

But Kyung-wan doesn’t understand why. He asks why the culprit spared Ga-young while his father, who’d done nothing wrong, had to die. No one has an answer for him, so he turns away and heads back upstairs.

Yeo-jin goes after Kyung-wan, but Shi-mok holds the team leader back. He asks the team leader if he can look into what music the kids were listening to upstairs on that day. If Ga-young listens to that music, he explains, she could remember things faster.

When the team leader joins Kyung-wan and Yeo-jin inside – and Kyung-wan noticeably looks away – Yeo-jin asks why he came in the first place. To her surprise, the team leader drops to his knees, facing Kyung-wan.

He says that it was Dong-jae and Soo-chan who had told the press that Kyung-wan had lied about being beaten. And while the team leader says that he knows Kyung-wan may not believe him, he felt so ashamed after what happened in the station. He apologizes for doing nothing while he just let Soo-chan use violence against Kyung-wan.

But Kyung-wan doesn’t want to hear it as he gets up and heads straight for the bedroom. Yeo-jin suggests the team leader leave before following Kyung-wan inside, where she joins him on the floor and carefully asks if the team leader really didn’t do anything.

Kyung-wan just says that it’s not a big deal; his father was stabbed to death, so getting beat up a little was nothing to him. Yeo-jin tries to tell him that his father’s death wasn’t his fault. Keeping his back turned to her, Kyung-wan says that he actually hated his father and the way he lived his life. But after finding out his father had died, he hated that too.

His voice shakes as he begins to cry, saying how he wished he had just one day with his father to say he didn’t really hate him. As he cries that he had no idea how terrible he would feel with his father gone, Yeo-jin’s eyes glisten with tears of her own as she wordlessly pats Kyung-wan’s back. Outside, Shi-mok listens, but turns when he spots a framed photo of CEO Park smiling with his son.

Once Chief Secretary Lee leaves his office to escort the chairman out, Dong-jae sneaks back in to retrieve his phone. He crouches down to reach under the couch for it when Lee suddenly opens the door and demands to know what he’s doing.

Dong-jae momentarily panics before coming up with the excuse that he dropped a spoon when he came in with the tea. Lee tells him to move the couch then, wanting to see for himself. So Dong-jae pushes the couch away to reveal… nothing.

Dong-jae laughs nervously, saying he must’ve been mistaken. Lee still looks pretty unconvinced as Dong-jae clears the cups away and heads out again. Dong-jae breathes a sigh of relief once he’s out, and we see that he managed to snatch his phone just in time (he’d hidden it under the tea tray when Lee burst in).

Dong-jae whips out his earphones to give the recording a listen, and he’s happy to hear that it’s all there. However, the music Lee had turned on drowns out most of the conversation. Dong-jae strains to hear it and barely makes out “Hong Kong” and the “-kraine” in “Ukraine.”

Lee leaves in his car, thinking back to what the chairman had said about making a large investment through Hong Kong. They’ll eventually pull the investment and sell, their assets alone amounting to seven trillion won. The chairman had said to just wait and leave it all to him.

Shi-mok goes over to the Lee household to talk to Yeon-jae. He tells her that he’d heard how she and her husband had gotten together, and how she supposedly liked him first. While Yeon-jae admits that’s true, she wonders if Shi-mok is trying to pull a new tactic by beating around the bush.

At that, Shi-mok gets straight to the point and asks if she made a deal with the other person who’d gone to the hospital to see Ga-young the day her ventilator was unhooked. Had they promised to pretend they hadn’t seen each other? Yeon-jae stresses that she didn’t go to the hospital, so she wouldn’t know something like that.

Shi-mok stands up with a sigh and says that he has no choice but to summon her for questioning. He starts to say that a nurse definitely saw her, but Yeon-jae finally breaks and insists that she just wanted to see what Ga-young looked like. “What did I do wrong?” she spits out. “Why do I have to go through this just because of some idiot?”

Yeon-jae confirms that it was Chief Kim she saw in the ICU. She says that she saw him press the pillow down on Ga-young’s face before he ran away, looking terrified. When Shi-mok nods, Yeon-jae tells him that he can’t tell her husband any of this. Shi-mok merely says that he’ll consider it.

In his car, Shi-mok listens to a radio broadcast about the Ministry of National Defense and their plan to import a detection radar system that was produced by a Ukrainian company. When he returns to his office, he gets a simple text from Dong-jae that reads “Hong Kong and cranes.” He calls Dong-jae, who excitedly says that he discovered the chairman is importing cranes from Hong Kong. (Ha.)

Shi-mok asks question after question, making Dong-jae hang up. But remembering the radio broadcast about Ukraine, Shi-mok puts two and two together: A deal was brokered by Hanjo Group and Bahn Group, and the Ministry of National Defense is buying weapons from Europe. But Shi-mok doesn’t see how Matsuyama fits into all of this – why would Chairman Lee meet with a Japanese company instead of a European one?

Dong-jae arrives at the hospital, flowers in tow, and finds Eun-soo waiting outside Ga-young’s room. He’s not too surprised to be running into her, assuming that she’s going to ask Ga-young to confirm that Chief Secretary Lee is the culprit. Knowing Dong-jae is on Lee’s side, Eun-soo assumes he wants Ga-young to confirm Lee isn’t the culprit. Dong-jae just gestures her inside, promising that he won’t blow her cover.

Ga-young’s mother starts at the sight of unfamiliar faces, but Dong-jae reassures her that he worked on Ga-young’s case and that he currently works at the Blue House. It’s not until Eun-soo introduces herself as a coworker of Shi-mok’s that Mom is able to relax a bit, and Eun-soo uses that to get Mom’s permission to show Ga-young a photo.

Eun-soo pulls out Chief Secretary Lee’s photo, asking Ga-young if she’s ever seen him before. Ga-young doesn’t react to the photo, but when she looks past it and sees Dong-jae’s face, she suddenly remembers Dong-jae chasing after her taxi the night she was kidnapped.

Memories of a bang on her door and someone grabbing her flash in her mind, making her cry out in terror and duck under her covers. The doctor rushes in to check on her, kicking Eun-soo and Dong-jae out.

The two wait out in the hall, both contemplating Ga-young’s reaction. To Eun-soo, it looked like Ga-young had been cowering from the photo, but it looks like Dong-jae may have noticed Ga-young’s eyes flicker toward him.

Dong-jae turns to Eun-soo and tells her not to catch Chief Secretary Lee like she tried to catch him. Eun-soo doesn’t understand, so he reminds her of the night he nearly strangled her to death. If something had happened to her, he says, he would’ve been done for. (Always thinking about yourself, aren’t you, buddy?)

Nevertheless, Dong-jae says he wants to see her succeed in her career. Eun-soo notes that she only realized this when he left the profession, making him scoff. He says that he’s eventually going to come back as chief prosecutor, so she better get ready for all the work he’ll be giving her.

Back in the hospital room, Ga-young’s mother remembers that Shi-mok had shown Ga-young Chief Secretary Lee’s photo as well, and wonders why Ga-young only reacted to it now.

Shi-mok meets with the CEO of Sungmoon Daily to ask about the whistleblower who exposed the bribery at the prosecutor’s office. He asks if the whistleblower had been targeting the prosecutor’s office or Hanjo Group, since news of bribery would hurt both.

The CEO figures that Shi-mok must know something and asks what it is. But instead of answering, Shi-mok wants to know why they released the news so quickly when they only had a little information.

When the CEO smiles and says that it’s a personal reason, Shi-mok shoots back, “If it hadn’t been personal, I would’ve found out about it before coming here.” Seeing that Shi-mok isn’t about to back down, the CEO gives in and reveals that Chief Secretary Lee’s wife was initially supposed to be his wife.

Shi-mok dubiously asks if this was all because of one woman, but the CEO asks in return if Shi-mok really doesn’t know what it means to be the son-in-law of Chairman Lee. He still curses the fact that a “peasant” like Lee Chang-joon stole Yeon-jae and his chance of getting the main branch of Sungmoon.

Shi-mok asks who knows about the CEO and Yeon-jae, seeing that the whistleblower had to know that the CEO would still be angry and would willingly publish the news. The CEO tells him that a high school girl came in with a letter, having been paid by an older man.

When he doesn’t say who the girl is, Shi-mok offers some information to make things even – he brings up the Ukrainian company that will be manufacturing weapons for the Ministry of National Defense, and Matsuyama’s weapons manufacturing business in Japan. He tells the CEO that he’ll be curious as to where the weapons will truly be manufactured.

Satisfied, the CEO stands and says that he’ll give Shi-mok the girl’s information. However, before Shi-mok leaves, the CEO asks that Shi-mok keep his engagement to Yeon-jae a secret.

After their discussion, Shi-mok now knows that the whistleblower had to have known three things: the relationship between Chief Secretary Lee and CEO Park, the broken engagement between Sungmoon and Hanjo, and the CEO of Sungmoon’s grudge. “The person who would know all of this…” he wonders, but then his thoughts trail off.

It looks like the CEO was quick to act — it’s not long before Sungmoon Daily prints their latest story about the source of the weapons being fabricated. Everyone is shocked to hear this, suspicious as to what ulterior motives the Japanese company may have when it comes to manufacturing their radar systems.

In their office, Jung-bon asks Shi-mok why he gave the information to Sungmoon instead of having their investigation team release it, and Shi-mok explains that by the time they would’ve released the information, the weapons would’ve been imported already. The backlash would’ve been bad for them, but not for a powerful company like Sungmoon.

Meanwhile, a frustrated Chairman Lee is already dealing with the consequences as he assures the national defense minister to simply continue as planned.

Chief Secretary Lee has Sungmoon’s CEO come to his office, and they certainly seem friendly enough – it doesn’t take much for the CEO to reveal the tipper and hand over Shi-mok’s business card. The CEO thinks it’s a shame that the president Lee is serving will be out of office soon when he worked so hard to get to his position.

“All I have to do is entertain my guest as best as I can during his stay,” Lee states, adding that rich people like the CEO sure love to think like that. The CEO counters that a long-term “guest” like Lee must actually think that he’s one of them now.

When the CEO leaves, Lee calls Secretary Yang in to inform her that he’ll be having a guest from Ukraine soon. He tells her to reserve a room at the Triple Hotel and to keep it a secret from Dong-jae.

He sends Secretary Yang out and calls his father-in-law, telling him that his assumption of the tipper being Shi-mok was correct. He asks his father-in-law what he should do, and after hanging up, he dials the prosecutor general’s number.

A few moments later, Dong-jae is sent in next. Lee tells him the exact same thing he told Yang, but to make the reservation at Myeongdong Hotel. He says this while remembering Dong-jae sneaking around the couch. (Hmm. Did he see Dong-jae take his phone?)

Back at the investigation team’s office, Yeo-jin declares that they should all have a staff dinner. Everyone enthusiastically agrees, but they deflate and turn back to their work when Shi-mok doesn’t answer. He tidies up his desk and then asks, “Aren’t we having a staff dinner?” Lol.

However, the team doesn’t get a chance to celebrate. Shi-mok gets a call from the prosecutor general telling him that the special investigation team is to be disbanded and that all of their findings are to be transferred to the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office. Despite his team’s worried looks, he tells them to lock the door and wait here while he goes out.

Shi-mok marches all the way to the prosecutor general’s office and demands to know the reason behind his order. The prosecutor general merely states that the team has done quite enough, but Shi-mok knows that’s not the real reason, asking who ordered the disbandment.

The prosecutor general angrily says that it was his order, but again, Shi-mok doesn’t believe it. He reminds the prosecutor general of what he said when Shi-mok was promoted – that he was to prove to the public what a true prosecutor was.

Still, the prosecutor general says, Shi-mok has captured a coworker and a police chief, and at this rate, he’ll empty out the entire prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor starts to say that Shi-mok’s own workplace is opposing him, when suddenly, they hear a knock on the door.

It’s Section Chief Kang, and he files in along with his fellow coworkers. Kang explains that they came here with one request: “The special unit… Please do not disband it.”

The prosecutor general sighs that he’s a person carrying a lot of responsibility and that he must protect the existence of prosecutors. To that, Kang asks that he protect the reason for their existence instead.

Kang and his coworkers continue that they still have their pride, and they don’t want him to succumb to his orders. Still unwilling to move, the prosecutor general shouts that the order was based on his judgment and his decision.

“The Korean Prosecution belongs to neither you nor us,” Kang argues. “Furthermore, it must not be controlled by a sole person.” Shi-mok adds that his team still has twenty days to investigate; he asks that they at least finish with the amount of time they were given. Finally stumped into silence, the prosecutor general sits down in defeat.

Shi-mok exits the office with Section Chief Kang and the other prosecutors, thanking them for backing him up.

Kang coolly states that he did it because he didn’t want to be humiliated as a prosecutor, not because he likes Shi-mok or anything, and mutters under his breath that they really need a chief prosecutor at times like these.

Once his sunbaes take their leave, Shi-mok calls Dong-jae and asks him to relay a message to Chief Secretary Lee. The next thing we know, Chief Secretary Lee is waiting for Shi-mok in a courtroom.

When Shi-mok makes his entrance, he notes that this very courtroom is where he and Chief Secretary Lee first met. There had been a lawsuit against the government that day, and the prosecution had already decided to side with the government. Shi-mok remembers that Lee did something different, and it was that day that Shi-mok decided what kind of prosecutor he wanted to be.

Lee almost smiles, flattered to hear that Shi-mok actually wanted to be like him. But Shi-mok continues that Lee has caught his attention again – he wants to know why Lee was so scared that he would destroy someone who’d been like a father to him (Young Il-jae). And he wants to know what’s got Lee so scared right now that he would try to disband the investigation team.

Lee doesn’t think “scared” is the right word. After all, he says, he sent Shi-mok into the special unit because he was in the way. And now he’s trying to disband it because Shi-mok is still getting in his the way. Letting that sink in, Shi-mok decides that him getting in Lee’s way must mean that he’s heading in the right direction.

His eyes hardening, Lee asks if Shi-mok brought them here as a threat that they would soon be standing as prosecutor and defendant. Shi-mok holds his gaze, saying that Lee is the only one who knows whether or not he’s at the end of his pursuit.

Lee firmly states that Shi-mok can’t get him to stand here as a defendant —
it won’t happen, ever. Shi-mok asks if that was a confession, but Lee just repeats that it’ll never happen, so Shi-mok just nods and says that he’ll work harder then.

The team is still waiting on pins and needles by the time Shi-mok returns to the office, and they all heave a big sigh of relief to hear that they’re not getting disbanded after all. They think this calls for a celebration, but Shi-mok thinks it’s not the best day for a staff dinner anymore.

Yeo-jin says that it would be weird if anyone saw them drinking and celebrating. With a smile, she says that they just have to celebrate in a place where nobody can see them then. The team rejoices while Shi-mok watches with the same blank look on his face (though he’s pretty much emitting annoyance, ha).

Eun-soo stops by Shi-mok’s apartment and leaves a little note reminding him to submit his tax reassessment. She heads back into the elevator just as she hears someone step out of Shi-mok’s apartment… but the elevator doors shut before she can get a proper look, so Eun-soo figures she just misheard.

The investigation team set up their little party outside Yeo-jin’s apartment. While Shi-mok is away, they notice that Eun-soo is calling his phone. Jung-bon notes that she’s the girl Shi-mok’s seeing, making Yeo-jin’s ears perk up.

As Eun-soo exits Shi-mok’s building, she keeps trying his phone. She turns to see a man come out behind her, an umbrella shielding his face. When the man sees her, he abruptly turns the other way and leaves. She finds that strange since it’s not raining, but her attention is brought back to her phone when Yeo-jin answers Shi-mok’s phone.

We find Gun pacing outside Yeo-jin’s building (she called him to deliver the alcohol), kicking himself for storming out on the team before. He then spots Eun-soo approaching, carrying alcohol as well, and is relieved to see that he doesn’t have to go up alone.

The team is pleasantly surprised to be joined by Gun and Eun-soo. As Eun-soo awkwardly takes a seat beside Shi-mok, the team playfully teases Gun for ditching them. Now that they’re all together again, they all say a big “Cheers!” and clink their glasses. Yeo-jin smiles, soaking in the light atmosphere.

Later that evening, Eun-soo joins Yeo-jin inside to help cut some fruit. After a moment, Yeo-jin turns to Eun-soo and tentatively starts to ask about her and Shi-mok, only to shake her head and change the subject. (Kyaaa. Wait, should I be hopeful? I’m gonna choose to be hopeful.)

Eun-soo turns to take the fruit outside, accidentally bumping into Section Chief Yoon and spilling water on him. She quickly grabs some napkins to clean him off, but stops when she notices something through his soaked shirt — a tattoo. Before she can ask about it, Yeo-jin hurries over to help clean the mess.

Yoon leaves them to it and heads over to the bathroom to wipe himself off. As he wipes his shoulder, his expression suddenly becomes alarmingly dark. He removes his wet dress shirt, revealing the elaborate tattoo written across his shoulder blades. His undershirt covers most of it, but what’s peeking through looks like a very clear “07.” OH MY GOD.

After getting cleaned up, Yoon puts his shirt back on and makes his way back outside.

He stops at the door, watching everyone have a good time. And then his eyes fixate on Eun-soo, remembering that she’d noticed the tattoo.

Yeo-jin sees him standing there and gestures him over with a smile. The intensity in Yoon’s eyes fades away and he smiles right back, shutting the door before joining his team again.

 
COMMENTS

Again, OH MY GOD. Oh my god. I feel like I say this with almost every episode, but I did not see that coming. As I said in the last recap, I’ve been really enjoying the natural chemistry between the investigation team. After getting to know them bit by bit and watching them put so much effort and hard work into this case, I couldn’t help but form an attachment to them.

So this shocking reveal really took the wind out of my sails. I should’ve known better than to cross the team off my suspect list so easily. I’d had a bad feeling that a lovable Scooby gang was an obvious trap, but I fell for it anyway. But in a way, I’m really glad I fell into the trap because now, Yoon’s possible betrayal stings a lot more. I liked his character so much that I still want to give him a chance. I still want to believe that he perhaps found Ga-young and she just happened to see his tattoo. But it’s not looking too good for him. The way his demeanor completely changed in the bathroom has “suspect” written all over it. He definitely has a reason to want revenge – his child dying in the car accident – but I wonder how that ties in with Ga-young. As Shi-mok said, the culprit had wanted Ga-young to be found alive. If he truly is our culprit, did he leave her alive as some sort of protest? As a warning? And who would the warning be aimed for?

Since Yoon obviously couldn’t be in two places at once, I also wonder who the mysterious man at Shi-mok’s apartment was. I tried rewinding and pausing multiple times to get a better look at the man’s face, and I’m almost positive that it’s one of two people – either Dong-jae or Chairman Lee’s secretary. They both had the right build and face shape, but considering the events of the episode, I think it was most likely the secretary. Shi-mok has been a constant thorn in Chairman Lee’s side, but after the stunt he pulled with Sungmoon Daily, he pretty much made himself an open target. I’m so scared for Shi-mok to return to that apartment. The mystery man could’ve simply planted something or taken something, but right now, I’m only thinking the worst.

We’ve seen that there are plenty of people in the prosecutor’s office who still want to respect their job title, and want to live up to what it truly means to be a prosecutor. We’ve seen that with Chief Secretary Lee too, but he failed. We’ve seen that happen with the prosecutor general, but he also failed. All around Shi-mok, there are those claiming that they still hold the term “prosecutor” close to their heart. And it seems like Shi-mok wants to believe them, but he knows better. There will always be a need for money, a need for power, or a need for security. No matter how much someone wants to hold onto that term, there will always be an excuse to let it go.

Section Chief Kang restored a bit of Shi-mok’s faith – and my faith – in this episode, but Shi-mok still has a new mission on his hands. Everyone around him may sit around and claim to know what a true prosecutor is, but Shi-mok is going to try his damnedest to be that prosecutor. No talk, just action. I want him so much to be the one man who can hold the title of a prosecutor proudly and I have no doubt in my mind that he has every capability to do so.

 
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<Also can I be best friends with Yeo Jin please?????

Me too please (but show, don't throw us a dark twist for her, ok?).

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5.5% rating for this episode is far from being underrated. Hopefully this is going uphill till the end.

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It's on a pay cable channel "..*** Note: This drama is aired on Pay-TV channel which has fewer viewers than Free-TV channels. So, please don’t be surprised with the low rating. ***.."

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THKS FYI

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Dong Jae is interesting because as we learn more about him, it isn’t that he has extra layers, but that his layers go a bit deeper than I’d previously expected. I’d written him off as a hot-headed power hungry prosecutor (which admittedly he still is), but I definitely underestimated his level of cunning. The twists that occurred in episode 7 as he led our detective-prosecutor duo on a dead-end chase were unexpected. Watching him in this episode and the previous he continues to display forethought and the ability to think ahead (which I had previously thought he didn’t have the ability to do). The issue is however, that he’s playing cards at a table where almost all the major players can easily see his hand. So while he’s trying to plan steps in advance and play the people around him, they already know at least half of the cards he’s holding. He’s continually impressed by his own self but no one else is. I love it so much. I am going to thoroughly enjoy watching him be taken down like the scum he is.

Episode 8 is when I truly hopped aboard the Yeo Jin train. Her anger and her expression of it once she realized that the colleagues she works with on a daily basis took part in beating Kyung Wan, all for the sake of information and a culprit really affected me. I thought the scene between her and Shi Mok for this part was so masterfully written. It was from that point on and especially in these past episodes where I was finally able to see Yeo Jin’s (intellectual) skills as a detective be exercised. I know other people were praising her from the beginning but I just didn’t get it up until this point and I have happily jumped aboard her train. The scenes where she’s able to draw out tiny smiles from Shi Mok make me so happy.

I thoroughly enjoyed the progression of Chief Kim’s storyline and how he is being brought to justice. Men like him, and there are far too many, remaining in positions of power is so upsetting. The scene I liked most with him was when Yeo Jin was questioning him at the office. Incredible, but well played because there are many people like that who will commit the crime and blame others for the repercussions. The shirking of guilt and responsibility is amazing.

This scene, Yeo Jin’s scene with Shi Mok in episode 8, Dong Jae’s gross treatment of women around him and many other parts truly highlight one of the main reasons why I love this show so much. It’s the writing. The scriptwriter has done a fantastic job in making these characters (repulsive as some of them may be) so rounded and true to life, not in just their characterization but in their dialogues and the ways in which they respond to the world around them and the people within it.

I’m so glad Ga Young is awake and making contributions to the plot progression, but I definitely did not expect the reveal about Section Chief Yoon that came at the end. The whole time during the scene I was basically a mess of ‘holy crap holy crap holy crap’. I like that they put...

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I like that they put this reveal in the same episode where we see that someone has broken into Shi Mok’s apartment. It really ups the stakes even more so because our protagonist is in the direct crosshairs of two people who have gained close access to him. There are only four episodes left to this and there’s still so much left to unpack. Thank goodness this show is so good at depositing a crap ton of information within one hour. I’m definitely going to miss the mental workouts when it’s all over.

One thing I was personally correct on since the first episode was how I knew I’d feel about Eun Soo’s character going forward. I already loved her interactions with Shi Mok and was super interested in the projection of her storyline and I STILL AM. Is she a trustworthy character, heck no. I think we can all agree on that. But man do I love Eun Soo's scenes so much. Watching her try to play this game with everyone else is so interesting to me because it’s a mix of a young female professional trying to prove her worth but at the same time she has all the morally gray trappings of a character that can easily have tipped over to the ‘dark’ side at any point, and we’re just waiting for the reveal on whether she has or hasn’t.

As an aside, I’m also probably one of the few who definitely ship her with Shi Mok (although it’s not a necessary for me). The story is fabulous on its own and I adore the developing friendship between Shi Mok and Yeo Jin. I know Shi Mok doesn’t trust her fully, and rightfully so, but I still can’t help it.

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DJ greatly amused me. I cannot believe he is still hanging on there, albeit by a single thin thread, but he is still hanging on. OMG!

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Lol, he's such scum but it is funny in a way. He's like that weakest member of an apocalypse group who you can't believe is still alive 3 seasons in. ? WHY?!

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He is a villain ...an opportunist ... but he always know how to survived ...

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"He’s continually impressed by his own self but no one else is."

HAHAHA, so true and well-said. He's so pathetically funny...I'm tickled that he has actually managed to survive this far and I'm curious to see how much longer he can keep at it.

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And he’s so optimistic, talking about coming back as Chief Prosecutor!

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Lol, the delusion is real with this one! I cannot.

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I think Shi mok will be the Chief Pros . After solved the cases ... revealed everything . He will be promoted as Chief Pros.

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In some comical, predictable and cliche way Dong Jae can be the last man standing. But not here.
I like the Cards analogy of @merisoo. Every main player knows Dong-Jae isn't loyal or trustworthy at all. Actually noone has much use of him yet Dong-Jae comes up with something and attracts main players attention and gets tiny leverages. They all are always ready to through Dong-Jae out of the running bus but they can't. That's the type of annoyingly lovely relationship Dong-Jae has build with them.
Dong-Jae is smart enough to know that he needs to be useful and be a participant on both sides to survive and maybe this guys watches too many survival shows. His persistence is admirable. It always looks like Dong-Jae is done for and bang Dong-Jae makes a return. He has become a comical shady hero himself.

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Omg I love your comment because it made me think of Dong Jae on one of the American survival shows where you have to vote people off the island.

And for even though he's the sketchiest person there and you keep thinking "okay this episode he's definitely out" but no one votes him.

Amazing.

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me too! He is a horrible guy, but I will be really sad for the day when he gets killed or jailed. I feel like his tenacity and as, technicat, so aptly puts it, his optimism deserves to be rewarded somehow. I can't tell if he's too in touch with reality or completely out of touch.

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I really want to see how the show will construct his downfall because he's a character that Shi Mok has caught twice now but he's still managed to wiggle his way out of the figurative handcuffs.

It's interesting how one person can be full of so much hot air. Amazing.

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He'll probably get a lighter sentence for helping the investigation.

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If he does I'll be really disappointed. I want him rooted out with the rest of them. He's a stain that needs to be scrubbed out.

I can also honestly see him taking his own life if it came down to it. He's has this desperation about him when it comes to being held accountable for his actions. We've seen that from the two times Shi Mok caught him.

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OK, so literally juuuust caught up with this drama, and dang, I'm glad I caught up this week, cause if I'd have seen this recap before watching the ep I'd be so mad at myself. That was unexpected! Thanks for putting me onto this one @gadis :)

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So glad that you like it. Apparently, my shameless promotion is successful. ? Haha..

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I started on the weekend and I'm all caught up as of midnight yesterday! YAY! (lol #kdramaMarathon)

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Ga-young was panicking at the sight of Dong-jae but not of Yoon (they were both in the rooftop scene, no?).

That 07 is kind of hard to read... looks more like DJ to me. Not saying it isn't a 07 but if I was held captive and saw that, unless someone told me, I wouldn't think those are numbers but letters. Or is that script that is commonly used in Korea? Or maybe this isn't the 07 and we're just being misled for a moment?

Not trying to suggst that I'm not suspicious of Yoon, I'm suspicious of them all, Yoon, Dong-jae, whoever. Actually, I don't feel there's one culprit, but that there's an overlap of crimes (though the criminals may not know each other).

Wondering how others are interpreting Yeo-jin inviting Eun-soo? I think in some ways Yeo-jin is selfless and just kind (that's my overwhelming feeling). I'm not sure she necessarily believes there is something going on between Eun-soo and Shi-mok, more like if there is she doesn't want to stand in their way, but help them (knowing Shi-mok's personality only too well). I don't feel however that Yeo-jin would be the one to pay attention to the kind of gossiping co-workers (in this case the Scooby gang) do, so, another part of me thinks she's simply using the opportunity to observe Eun-soo. She did notice the sweater gift, and may be unsure how to interpret it: a genuine romantic gesture or perhaps a potentially suspicious act (someone trying to manipulate Shi-mok somehow). I don't think she's judging Eun-soo at this point, just observing and collecting details.

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Ga Young saw Dong Jae's face but had never seen Chief Yoon's face which explains why she would panick at seeing one and not the other.

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Yeah, I was wondering (I didn't go back to replaying the rooftop scene).

Though even if she saw him at the rooftop, it's well possible he had his face covered/masked when they met before and that his should was exposed accidentally only.

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Ga-young did have convulsions when Yoon had her stashed in the basement before the rooftop scene, which they attributed to her being in the basement, but that did make me wonder if it was because of Yoon. Although it was Yoon who reported that.

Another possibility with the tattoo is that it’s actually DJ but Ga-young interpreted it as 07.

I think that’s a good take on Yeo-Jin, like when she invited Chief Park’s mother and son to stay at her place, it seemed at first just her altruistic nature, but then later it seemed really smart. When she invited Eun-Soo to the party, at first it seemed like just a nice thing to do, and when she hesitantly didn’t quite ask about her relationship with Shi-mok it seemed like a hint of rival interest, but at most I’d say it’s 1% jealousy vs. 99% cop instinct.

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RE: Yeo-jin and Eun-soo, I think she was just trying to be nice. I didn't read into it that much. I want those two to be friends though -- I want it with every fiber of my being!! Haha

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I could get on board with that. Eun-soo should transfer whatever interest she has in Shi-mok to Yeo-jin, who'd actually respond kindly. Yeo-jin would be a good "unni" to have.

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I didn't read that much into it either. If anything, I felt a little like she was likely considering helping to steer the Eun-soo x Shi-mok ship. WIth Shi-mok being the way he is, I would be platonically curious too about what kind of romantic relationship he can possibly be in.

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Could be, but as soon as Eun-soo sat down I felt like the group was already talking too freely in front of her considering she’s not on the team and she’s on the whiteboard network of suspicion. Inviting her there just to be friendly seems more of a Jung-Bon move and Yeo-Jin is smarter and more careful than that.

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Yeo-Jin is all about being a detective. She is straight forward so I think her question was more from a detective's eyes than anything personal.

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Agree ~~~

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I completely agree with you ALUA on the "Yeo-jin Eun-soo" interaction. While my heart is definitely rooting for even a HINT of a YJ-SM ship sailing (I could settle for eternal friendship too), I agree that Yoe-Jin looked like she was just giving the Eun-Soo/Shi-Mok ship a hand, all while observing.

as @technicat so aptly observed, " like when she invited Chief Park’s mother and son to stay at her place, it seemed at first just her altruistic nature, but then later it seemed really smart. "

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She seems so much smarter than the rest of the police force. She never has to beat a confession out of anyone.

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I love love love the way this drama keeps out doling it's plot, that twist at the end was *amazing* oh my god, especially because probably like most we did not expect a "betrayal" from the scooby gang people. Ah what a great reveal, exactly at the right time too.

There were so many great moments in this episode. That one with the Doomed Team Dinner, where Yeo-jin was basically designated to be the Shi-mok!whisperer by the others xD.

Or that confrontation in the courtroom. I thought the writing was a bit on the nose, or maybe the directing was, but other than that it was *so* great to see them face off in the courtroom, and I hope that we get to see it again, but this time with a ~proper audience.

And Kyung-wan breaking down. I mean *damn* Korean actors know how to do crying scenes, that was so well done. And I loved that shot with the picture as well because you could see that Kyung-wan was not at all happy to take a picture with his dad and yet that's probably one of the few mementos he has left of him now.

And the scene with the other prosecutors, stepping in to help Shi-mok. There is hope for good people in the Seoul West Office :D. It was such a nice touch to see that Shi-mok's fight, while pretty much alone and removed from the prosecutors so far, actually garnered him some semblance of... companionship??? from the other prosecutors. Something he didn't have before I'm pretty sure.

Honestly I could keep going, almost every scene this ep was fantastic and gave new information or stuff to talk about.

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Thumbs up to all your points!

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I really loved the scene with the prosecutors entreating the general prosecutor not to shut down the team. I think that was one of the best scenes in this episode for me particularly because I was quite disgusted with how corrupt the prosecutors in Shi-mok's office seemed to be.

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Same. It felt like everyone was on the take from CEO Park and his gross pimping of teenage girls, since I kind of doubt Ga-young wa san isolated case.

Now at least there are some people who want the corruption to stop and who stand behind Shi-mok. And I loved that little bit afterwards, with them admitting how scared they were xD.

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It takes a good leader to set the examples and the rest will follow even those who were part of the corruptions. Some of them were unwilling participants.

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me too! In a drama, it's like 1 or 2 upstanding guys in the prosecutor's office (or any office) and a whole lot of bad eggs. I'm glad to see a whole heard of them tell their superior that they are beholden to justice.

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I was so pleasantly surprised by Shi-Mok getting support from the other prosecutors !

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I loved that scene too! It was such a throwback to earlier Joseon times when the ministers would kneel en masse chanting for the king to change his mind.

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I loved that “this guy’s hopeless” look she gives after Shi Mok initially shows no interest in the team dinner. And then her gleeful smiles when the dinner is on. She has the greatest expressions in this episode.

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I mean *damn* Korean actors know how to do crying scenes,

A cynic might say Korean actors are good at crying, begging on their knees for forgiveness, etc, etc, because they get so much practice at it in real life.

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Reading @sailorjumun's comment about the Yoon's child dying from a car accident and that case the Shi-mok dug about a car accident being covered up....... I need to rewatch that episode. That might be the reason why he (Yoon) wants a revenge. Maybe. I can never be sure with this Show except that it gets better and better EVERY second!

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I agree....and I wonder if the number 07 on his back is related to his son? maybe part of date of death, or birthday?

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I initially thought it was DJ as well, but it could be read as 07 too. I feel like the tattoo's style was that way to confuse us on purpose.

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And to confuse Ga-young as well. I definitely think she misread it, and I think there's an additional hidden character (a "Y", which would make sense if you consider that they might stand for the initials of his dead child).

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Yes, it could be DJ, Dong-Jae(?) ? That would be polar opposites kinda of bromance.

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To me it looks more like a D.J. but highly stylised? But it could be 0 and 7

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I am still not sure that it IS "07", though it could easily be read that way.

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The Park guy who was killed bribed to cover up the case.
Lets say this is revenge scenario - Its also possible Mr. Yoon isacting as double spy as well as working on his revenge. There is no Justice here. I completely agree with Alua's previous comments that there might be multiple people acting independently but their acts overlapped. So we can More 3 parties into this game.

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Eun-soo is not the only one who seeks justice for her family. Yoon is probably seeking one for his child.
I can't blame them for going off on their own. The prosecution's office is corrupted from the top.
How the heck are they ever going to get any fair trial when crimes can be easily covered up with bribes.

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I also suspected some foul play regarding his child's death. Especially since Yeon-jae pointedly look at him when she asked about family when the team having dinner in Chief Lee's house. At that time, I deemed it unrelated to Park Moo-sung and Ga-young's case. But now with his tattoo reveal, I think there must be something more about that than just a possible hit-and-run.

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I kinda like Yoon ... I hope he didn't kill Park

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Okay, so here's my thought, I always knew Yoon wasn't totally clean. He is a UDT, means intense training and strength to murder and abduct somebody. But he isn't working alone. Like you said, nobody can be at two places at the same time and he had to cover a whole lot of his tracks too. That requires meticulous assistance. Also, his son's death is a mystery I am sure is tied to the whole case or cases related to our first victim CEO Park. Secondly, his accomplice knows a lot. He knew Sungmoon still holds deep seated resentment for Hanjo having lost his bid to take over the group by loosing Yeon Jae's hand in marriage. These are not information that you know unless you are privy to confident dinner time gossip of chaebols. So, all I can say is
1. Yoon is possible suspect, I am not sure if he is the killer or an accomplice in the abduction of Ga Young or both. That part is hazy.
2. Lee Yeon Bom's or Chief Lee's secretary both make excellent partner in their crime being close to the inner circle of Hanjo or Chief Secretary Lee for all the years.
3. Jang Bon, he is still in my suspect list. Its too much of a coincidence that a free lancer that works in the court house only notices Shi Mok when CEO Park dies and chooses to approach him only then. Plus, why did he assume Shi Mok is seeing Eun Soo. Just seeing her walking out of his office once sad is not reason enough to assume that. If his office assistants assumed that having seen Shi Mok helping Eun Soo dramatically it'd make sense. Does he know that Eun Soo has visited him at home which means is he spying on him possibly? Did he want to lure Eun Soo away from Shi Mok's home, is that why he suggested that to Yeo Jin as a bait in hopes she'll bite. In short, I don't buy his innocent, naive act.
It was nice seeing how Section Chief Kang came with his band of prosecutors to uphold the honor of their office. Its a marked change from an office that is painted as filled with corruption. And I think, it is pretty safe to say that battle lines have been drawn and Chang Joon has fully embraced his dark side. He is willing to go forward by whatever means necessary and has given up his morality completely. The fight will intensify. Blue house will constantly put Shi Mok in disadvantage especially since Shi Mok is going to dig around whatever happened 3 years ago which freaks them out to date. Makes one wonder, dear God what happened to be honest and who did it?? Eun Soo is going to either die or get hurt in the process judging the text preview since she'll figure out about Yoon Gomsa being the criminal first. So, I cannot wait for next week.

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I was suprised by that group show of support by the prosecutors, but once again that reversal of expections was set up well by the writers, who have so far dragged us into this cynical and fatalistic view that everyone’s dirty, for example when Yoon asked if they had to follow up on everyone who took a free meal, and right up to that moment as the supreme prosecutor is asking Shi Mok whether he wants to empty out the whole division.

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The only reason I might have suspected him was after the apprehended Chief Kim on the rooftop; the way he spoke about the whole situation (wishing that he had been there to help, agreeing to stop interrogating her so that she could rest) didn't sit well with me. It didn't feel like it was coming from a sincere place, although it certainly LOOKED that way. And I don't know if it was a characteristic of her symptoms (looking dazed), but when Shi-mok was showing her the picture it was as if she was looking right at Yoon, trying to remember something. Even the reason her convulsion occurred seemed a little suspicious too... but I thought I was just thinking crazy thoughts. Jokes on me though. LMAO :'(

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I think the reason ga young was left alive is because to bring to light the corruption of all the higher ups. Because I have a nagging feeling, that the murderer is a victim of their corruption (like eun soo). But at the same time, I am not sure why CEO park was murdered. Because, if he was left alive in the same way ga young was (in the way that it would get a lot of public attention), he could have told a lot of information about the corruption than ga young could have. So, maybe, the murderer personally had something against CEO park? I have no idea if Yoon is the murderer or if the drama is setting a trap for us. Either way, I can't wait for Saturday to come!

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Definitely not Dong-Jae at the apartment - he wouldn't have needed to hear her phone call to know who she was there for? He's such a great character - his face when he realised Shi-Mok joined his odd dots. He's like a rubber ball/cockroach - can't be put down. I think they missed the bit where LCJ sees Age of Shadows by trying the old 'tell the 2 suspects 2 different places and see who bites' trick.

At this pt I'm guessing someone is going to turn up dead with Shi-Mok tagged and Eun-Soo seems the likeliest candidate. I think Yoon gave the info on him to LCJ? So likely with FiL.

I guess it has to be linked to the dead child but it's odd, given they said how much time off he had, that someone in the office wouldn't think of a possible link to the case (a prosecutor who didn't get justice for a child - they'd know?).

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I will feel bad if Eun-Soo ends up dead. She is pretty naive and apparently has no real inkling of what she is involved in. But I kind of blame the team for not at least filling her in enough to warn her.

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The investigation team has no obligation to inform her about anything though. Why would they?
Isn't that technically leaking information, since she's not part of the team anyways? And how could they have foreseen her actions?

But like you, I really hope she doesn't die. That would be sad, considering how hard she wants to prove her family's innocence. Not only that, but also the fact that she could play a key role in revealing important information that is still unknown to the investigation team: (a) the 07 or DJ as Mr Yoon and (b) whatever is on that USB drive she once caught her father sneaking into a drawer...that is if she can overcome her naiveté and disillusion of her father's total innocence.

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I think she knows a lot more about the corruption than that given her dad was the victim so I'd say she's impulsively sneaky, rather than naive in that context (which is a big part of how annoying I've found her as a character) (although, as above, wilfully blind to the idea her dad has done wrong). And her life in play is possibly the only thing that will get her dad to hand over that USB stick?

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I think it is Chairman Lee's secretary Woo who was in Shi-Mok's apartment. Chairman Lee pretty much orders him to do something with his comment "...young people these days don't have too much fear..."
So I think Mr. Woo went to leave Shi-Mok something threatening.

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I would guess it was the secretary, since there was a previous scene where the camera focused on the secretary looking like a real mean dude, and I wondered what he would be up to. Or maybe the writers just want me to think that.

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+1 on betting on the secretary mean dude

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This show is a perfect triumvirate of acting, directing and writing..but right now it is the plotting that has me gasping..... Could it be that Chief Prosecutor Lee Jang-Joon is one of the good guys, and he is trying to bring down his evil father- in-law?? I feel he is the only one truly capable of leaking the info to Sungwoon News, and his interaction in the courtroom with Shi Mok has me weirdly hopeful that he is a good guy. I was especially caught by his reaction to the grandfather pulling cardboard.
I am on the edge of my seat....can't wait til next weekend - bring it on!

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I've been wondering the same thing. Earlier in the drama a point was made that one other person besides Shi Mok didn't accept the "favor" or bribe. I might have missed it, but I don't recall if that name was ever brought forward. I feel like LJJ might be a deep deep cover guy but who knows.

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I thought the other person who didn't accept the bribe was Eun-soo's dad, but it would be a better twist if it was Chang-Joon.

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I think LCJ has taken favours bribes, else he'd already been beheaded by his FIL and wouldn't be alive to tell us this tale :)

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I keep flipflopping on Chief Prosecutor Lee too. Some moments, I'm like he's playing the perfect deep game and other times, I'm like Shi-mok needs to take him down.

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I'm inclined to think that way too, because although he's being shown to become shadier with every promotion (like seriously, how many different job titles has he got now? is he going to be President by the end of this drama?), I can't help but go back to that scene where he paper-slapped Shi-mok and denied being a murderer. His long rant of a speech about his belief that prosecutors are different from the criminals that they punish really struck me as sincere.

The delivery was so good that I keep replaying it, hats off to Yoo Jae-myung, he's killing it. Here's an actor who can play funny and goofy (AM1988), timid and loving (SWDBS) and so ambiguously layered you don't know where he really stands (FOS). He's got so much range and I look forward to seeing more of his works. I think he's expanding to Chungmuro as well with a recent role in A Day and I couldn't be happier.

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I like that when a secoundry role can shine this bright. He has indeed a complicated layerd charachter! One minute he seems sincere while he looks shady and villain another moment! Neither a simple villian nor a upright prosecutor... And he is also too TALL ?

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@m3lon4 Agree! Yoo Jae Myung has been amazing. I've grown to really respect him as an actor. He made me cry in SWDBS. That sweet protective Dad to this character. I think he is the whistleblower. Tired of the corruption and willing to self implode for the benefit of bringing it all to light. Why else would he have chosen ShiMok to lead the investigation team?

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I will forever have #trustissues! ?

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:) :).

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I knowww! #betrayed

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We all are turned into Cynics now.

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I'm happy that I've finally caught up, but gah, the cliff hangers for the next 2 weeks!

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I think it was UDT written on his back with part of the emblem of ROKN UDT that resemble wings below the words, The D and T appear like 0 and 7 to the dazed Ga Young.

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The symbol under the letters is Korean UDT/SEAL emblem, but still no idea what the significance of the DT/07 is.

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Well, Yoon Gomsa was in UDT so he could've tattooed that emblem with the words on his back when he left service. I've heard that having unit identifying tattoo is discouraged and even banned in some cases as it puts you in disadvantage while in active duty. But he is no longer in SEAL so maybe he tattooed it as a memorabilia on his body.

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Glad to see that Shi-Mok has Section Chief Kang and the Prosecutors on his side, even if its only temporary but I hope its for the long term. Yeo Jin and the team finally got a chance to hangout and have some fun but now I'm curios about section Chief Yoon, what is he up too?

I guess just like the rest of us Yeo-Jin is curious about Shi-mok and Eun-soo's relationship.

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I think they are multiple players pulling the strings. One who wants to cover everything up and one who wants everything to be revealed. Because many things are happening at the same time and it doesn't make sense that one person would be doing all of this and I'm dying to know Eun Soo's father role in all of this.

Shi Mok really does not give a flying Fxxk about Chief Lee. His demeanor in the last scene between him and chief Lee really had me hollering at the top of my lungs; hands in the pocket, suit jacket was open, feet apart. And in the previous episode, he poured champagne with one hand, refused to drink when chief Lee offered him the drink. I was screaming!!!

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I really like(d) Mr Yoon, so I'm still on the fence-ish about this whole business. The show could be misleading us just like it did with Eun-soo, Dong-jae and Yeon-jae.
For all we know, Mr Yoon's tattoo might be from his military days in the marine. And perhaps he didn't mention anything about it, because he was afraid of being targeted as a suspect.

But then again, why wouldn't he mention it if he was truly innocent? He does have a pretty solid motive, assuming that his child was the one who died due to the Park Moosung hit-and-run. Also, it would explain why he came back to work after taking a long break...was he masterminding his great plan through that time?

Kim Ga-young did not recognize Mr Yoon when he was in the hospital room, probably bc she never saw his face...but how the hell did she see that tattoo instead? I doubt Mr Yoon was a client of Park Moosung and therefore met Ga-young as a client. Consorting with the man who (supposedly) killed his child seems a bit too much, and also I think the whole story about Park Moosung "sponsoring" the prosecution started after the hit-and-run, hence after Mr Yoon's break probably...so he wouldn't have been there.

And about that man in Shi-mok's house, how did he know Shi-mok wouldn't be home at exactly that time? The only ones who knew were the investigation team. So is he in cahoots with Mr Yoon or someone else?
Also, he kind of looked like Chairman Lee's secretary. It was sort of implied in previous episodes that he does the dirty work, and the way Chairman Lee said that "young people these days are fearless" implied some retribution for said young people a.k.a Shi-mok. Are they trying to frame him too?
Coincidentally, when Chairman Lee made that statement, his secretary was present (and had a shady look on his face).

Thanks for the recap!

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Different times for the hit and runs I think - Park's was 3 years ago, Yoon 2 years. And the whole office would know if it was that one?

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I was thinking his child might have been injured in the hit and run (3 years ago) but died a year later (2 years ago)

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<might be from his military days in the marine

I don't think tattooing is a military thing, it's, as far as I know, taboo and associated with crime/gangs in Korea. Given how 'prized' serving in the armed forces is Korea, I'm just not seeing any tattooing there...

<Are they trying to frame him too?

Well, yeah. Remember that in the early episodes Shi-mok *was* framed and he was very much pondering whether he was seeing actually crimes or whether he was specifically being led to them... I don't know what the big picture of the forest is, someone trying to frame Shi-mok (for whatever reason) is likely. Of course, is he being framed to uncover the truth or framed so that the truth remains covered?

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The eagle under the letters is the ROK UDT/SEAL symbol. But you bring up a good question about where Eun-Soo could have possibly seen it. But then he did seem a bit peeved that she saw it the kitchen... Too many twists and turns, but I suspect this is a partial red herring.

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Yeah, his demanour was too weird and telling to simply cross off.

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My guess is Mr. Yoon has a revenge plan..probably one of the Hanju group or Chief Lee , Kang had to do something with his daughter death...

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I just finish doing marathon watching this drama from episode 1 to 12 for 2 days and i really2 regret it!i should have wait until this drama finish then watch it.now,how am i supposed to wait for the next and next episode?shi-mok is really adorable one with his stone face and that liutenant han is really charming in her own way.love all the cast even the bad one.everyone have their own roles and motive here.even shi-mok long-time-ni-see friend is also suspicious to me?

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I marathoned the show in 4 days and finished last night !
and, don't regret it! NOW you can join the hundreds of comments each week on Dramabeans !
LOL
#ontheupside

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The fact that I caught this recap before heading to bed means it's way past my bedtime but there's no way I am going to bed without writing something even if it's going to be incoherent
Briefly, just some thoughts in points:
1. I don't think it's 07 but D.J. Maybe the initials of Yoon's child's name?
2. I think his child was the victim in the hit and run accident caused by Park who got away because of corruption. Hence Yoon was bent on revenge.
3. Yoon killed Park and incriminate his son for the crime.
4. He also wanted to expose the corruption because that was what led to Park going scot-free. Ga Young was just used to expose the men who are involved or corrupted or both.
5. I think the corruption runs so deep and wide that even those who aren't directly related to Yoon's revenge on Park are entangled and will be exposed. This applies to Eun Soo's father's case.

I'll check in and read all your comments when I wake up.

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The fact that I caught this recap before heading to bed means it's way past my bedtime but there's no way I am going to bed without writing something even if it's going to be incoherent

Ditto here. :)

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I also thought of 07 to be DJ and the child's name, but it didn't occur to me that Yoon's child could have been the victim of Park hit and run accident, it's likely possible and would explain Yoon's absence for a year partly due to his grief but also to prepare his revenge ?

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1. Hmmm initials of Yoon's child is possible, but also... DJ = Dong-Jae? Wahhhh. That makes no sense but I willing to consider anything, just in case it leads to an answer.

2. That child (Kyung-wan) is innocent though. I'm not sure that fits into the modus operandi – revenging the one who killed Yoon's (innocent) child yes but then getting more revenge by blaming an (innocent) child? Unless Kyung-wan was involved in the accident too? But why then not kill him as well?

5. Absolutely. There are people who perhaps committed no crime but that know *something* and are saying nothing or actively covering up. Eun-soo's father very likely being one these individuals.

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I'm liking these hypotheses.

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I also thought Mr. Yoon seeking revenge on his daughter death... there is a reason that they mentined both CEO Park hit and run and Yoon daughter accident... However I still think he did not kill CEO Park himself but maybe help it to happen

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Okie,
1. Who is the actor who plays SM's assistant, Ms Choi's work partner? He has his own designed attires, with expensive sweaters appropriate for each outfit. For a side character I found this very eye-catching.

2. SDJ, dude you are going to be caught soon with your recklessness. Why couldnt you wait for Lee to leave for the day / for lunch and then recover your phone? For all the violence you heap on women, they startle you don't they?
ES recovering from attempted murder and GJ making SDJ literally jump - I laughed how this guy really gets so nervous in such situations

3. WHo would have thought that the first smile from ES would be at SDJ's beset rather than SM. She has an attractive smile.

4. The way she gears up to climb up to YJ's place, this girl has guts. Even though YJ knows a little about ES , ES on the other hand knows nothing of her. She comes because the team is there, SM is there.

5. ES saying thank you for the invitation was heartbreaking. She has been so alone by herself because if her father and the case , it was genuine gratitude that she could hang out with 'friends' like this.

6. YJ asking ES about SM raising her eyebrows and ES responding by raising eyebrows. Enough said. For now.

7. Yooooon , I swoooooned over you and now you have this tacky tattoo of D J. Sweetie , I know its a red herring but the writing made you suddenly turn into a maniac standing like one in YJ's house, I felt so disconnected.

8. ES, are you mothering SM, reminding to take care of his taxes? Give him a kick and find a better guy, more passionate than you, who reciprocates your love with more love, more passion.

9. Doona's round eyes, when she watches SM and ES sitting was so amusing and sweet. She is curious about the woman who likes the man she likes.

For now, Ill stop here. :)

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I am starting to feel bad for Eun-Soo. I know she is rather naive and prone to her own agenda, but I think she is getting very close to putting herself in danger and would be much safer as part of the team.

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Yeah, her dad needs to come clean to her. Eun Soo will probably catch on the culprit on her own given she is smart and acts fast on her own. That may speak highly for her intelligence but doesn't help her survival rate in this case. She'll most certainly get hurt in the best possible scenario or die in the worst case scenario.

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eun soo knowing the truth will only put her in more danger, she acts too fast to understand what she is doing i.e with dong jae and that guy who delivered the money and also given she is desperate to clear her father's name i think things will ultimately end fatal for her.
she needs to back off.
Ps; she doesn't share information untill it's too late.

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Agreed. The less time her father spends actually communicating what's going on, the more likely she is to get into some actual trouble. Whatever he tells her might be disappointing and heartbreaking to hear (my theory is that he was the one who asked to cancel the appeal), but I think it'll be safer for her in the long run. And he acts as if he doesn't know how tenacious she is... smh. Frustrating!

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indeed. he underestimates her too much which makes her want to prove herself even more.

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This is probably one of the best paced k-dramas I've ever watched. I like that the drama doesn't skimp on answering our questions while asking new ones. It is doing what a good suspense drama should do, and I credit the writer, director and music guru for building and holding tension in what could be boring corruption conversations.

This is one of the few times I actually trust that the writer knew exactly how the drama was going to end when he or she started writing it. It reminds me of a good mystery novel where the writer knows who done it and why before writing the first word.

I would be fine with no romance at all but oddly I see the detective as kind of the work wife who really gets Shi Mok but maybe Eun Soo as more romantic. Of course I don't think SM sees either in a romantic light at all so it might be a mute point.

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I mean I love the mystery of the show , it's obvious that no romance is needed to add excitement but I'd love if Shi Mok and the detective got together romantically. That would just be the icing on the cake for me.

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Agree best thing on TV! Shi-Mok and Yeo-Jin are friends. I would love more, but not enough episodes for that much growth. They respect each other and trust one another, something so hard to find in both their situations. Eun Soo was hero worshipping.. not realistic in the long run. She needed help in her path for revenge, someone to battle with her. Having the last meal with the team was Eun Soo finally getting to be part of something. I think Yeo-Jin recognised sparks might not fly and asking her about it would make the girl uncomfortable. Yeo Jin ultimate MamaBear. Taking care of everyone.

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WHATTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!! No way!!!!! Damn it I was just starting to like him???. I can’t even deny that I’m somewhat attracted to him and I can’t wait to see how he fits in to all of this. And I’ll just go back to not trusting anyone in this show. This way I can’t get hurt by a character. (not gonna lie but his tattoo looks like it says DJ)

Poor Eun Soo. Girl everyone is out to get you because you’re continuously at the wrong spot at the wrong time. I need for her to get some kind of police protection ASAP. Why didn’t she mention to Shi Mok that there was someone in his apartment????

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I know what you feel. Mr. Yoon is a very fine looking man. Just prior to the reveal of the tattoo I was admiring him taking off his white shirt. ?

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That last reveal..Mr. Yoon! I agree to everything you said, @sailorjumun! Getting to know the scooby gang and see them get along would just twist that knife a little deeper once they know who was among them all along. If he is really the culprit which looks more like it at this point.

I knew ShiMok suspected him from the start and now cant wait for more info to be revealed. They are all looking for that one incident that started all the cover ups. It may be closer than they all anticipated.

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Considering the twists and allusions in this drama, I'm not ready to believe with certainty that Yoon is the culprit. Hopefully the next two episodes will make things clearer as we get to the end.

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This episode blew my mind. After the Yoon reveal anything can happen. My suspicion now is that this show is going to break my heart by making Yeo-Jin a bad person. There is a part where Shi-Mok notices the drawings in Yeo-Jin's home. The drawings were much better than Yeo-Jin's previous attempts to draw Shi-Mok. In fact it's almost a running gag that though she keeps trying to draw she's not very good at it. So I'm thinking that there is going to be some big reveal there.
I'm wondering (hoping)if Chief Yoon's tattoo is a misdirection. The tattoo did not look like 07 but more like letters DT. So either it's a misdirection for the audience (he's not the culprit) or for Shi-Mok and Co. because they are chasing a number when they should be chasing letters.
I enjoyed the interaction between Dong-Jae and Eun-Soo. They are similar in some ways- both are very single-minded, him on survival at any cost and her on proving her father's innocence.
The whole Shi-Mok/Eun-Soo/Yeo-Jin thing is kind of bumming me out. Not sure why. Maybe I'm just mentally preparing for Yeo-Jin to be the bad guy ?
Last thing, the music during Kyung-wan's conversation with Yeo-Jin was lovely.

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Preparing for Yeojin to be the bad guy in this threesome or in this story? Do you mean in the story? As in, she's the murderer? O.O

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In the story. At this point I'm kind of over the love triangle itself.

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Well tvn is sure aiming for more ratings milking that very subtle love-triangle with their OST MV, what a mean trick!

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I saw that too. I was shipping Yeo-Jin and Shi-Mok hard but as the show progressed (and my appreciation for Yeo-Jin grew) I wanted more for her character. I didn't want her to become just Shi-Mok's romantic interest or the means by which he grows. I want Yeo-Jin to have her own story and growth/change/impact. I don't think there is enough time for that now with only 4 episodes left.

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I really really hope Yeo-Jin is not the murderer or accomplice. It's just too sad for me to think about.

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Me too. I hope she doesn't die trying to save anyone either.

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I'm also really worried that Yeo-jin may be one of the "bad guys". We know so little about her and she's been so good and so-not-suspicious, that I'm nervous. If she ends up being a murderer, I'm sure it would be for a good reason, but then I'll feel bad for all those times people like Shi-mok trusted her.

The Yoon reveal blew my freaking mind (I'm guessing in her terror, Ga-young read the DJ as 07 due to the font and the bad lighting).. Wow, way to give us this cute rooftop party of all the "good guys" together and then sledgehammer us with this. When Eun Soo bumped into Yoon, it looked like a meet-cute (can't remember if Yoon is still married to his wife..) only for it to be a potentially deadly meeting since now Yoon is worried about Eun-Soo seeing the tattoo.

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That Gayoung flashback doesn't make sense to me. We've been told that she was kept in a cold and damp place. For what reason would Yoon take his shirt off for her to see his back tattoo? And how do the scripted letters D and J look like 0 zero and 7? Also, Yoon has been in the hospital room in full view of Gayoung, and she didn't recognize him. He was on the roof also. That means what, he had his shirt off but his face covered when he held her captive?

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The more I think about it, the tattoo may be a red herring and is not the "07" they are looking for. He did act pretty suspicious when Eun-Soo saw, but that might be for other reasons that have not come to light yet.

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The scene where Yoon was looking at his own tattoo in the bright bathroom, they mixed in a shot of his shoulder in a darker setting with shadows, suggesting it was a memory that Gayoung had. But yeah, they're probably messing with us.

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Do they have the time though, we're 4 episodes away from the end. Bae Doona said 14 was when she knew who was the killer for sure so red herring is unlikely.

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"For what reason would Yoon take his shirt off for her to see his back tattoo?"

Assuming he's the killer: he stabbed her and blood was spattered on his shirt. He obviously couldn't walk around covered in blood, so he turned away from her and changed into another shirt?
But I'm assuming that since Ga-young didn't recognize his face, he was wearing a mask...so he wouldn't have needed to turn away.

What really bothers me though is how could he have disregarded a detail like his tattoo which could make him identifiable? He's a prosecutor, so he should know how to go about making sure he never gets caught.
But well, they say there's no such thing as a perfect crime.

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Blood splatter--that works! Now I'm even more confused.

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Yoon to tatoo artist: "I need you to remove this 07 / DJ"
Artist: "Why, it looks nice"
Yoon: "There's this witn.... forget it"

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Should have said "Why? You said it was really meaningful to you when you had me put it on."

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The tattoo isn't zero seven. It's OJ. Not orange juice. Or is it? If the convenient plot devices don't fit, you must acquit.

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Oh my.

Chief Kang, thank you for standing up for the team.

The conversation between Park's son and Yeo Jin had me sobbing.

Eun Soo, I know I should be more sympathetic, but you bother me. Please redeem yourself by being trustworthy and don't make me hate you.

The class politics are fascinating in this drama.

The end reveal. I don't know what to think. I'm going to hang tight for Monday.

Shi mok and Yeo Jin: I'm so worried about these guys.

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Tae Inho as the newspaper CEO in the scene with Shimok was electric. He's such a charismatic actor, I don't know whether he seeks out complex characters, or his layered acting makes his characters seem so, because I'm always left wanting to know more. I mean his small roles in I Remember You and Man to Man. And now here, he's on screen for maybe 5 minutes total in two scenes and I want to know more about his character.

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Noo, not Section Chief Yoon. ??

I know I shouldn't fully trust any characters in this drama, but I've warmed up to him a lot even since he came clear to Shi-mok about digging our hero's past for Chief Lee. I got shiver down my spine the moment Eun-soo asked about his tattoo. I'm still holding out hope that he isn't our big baddie, though. After all, Dong-jae also played a part in hiding Ga-young's phone and he isn't our murderer. I'm pretty sure Yoon isn't the one who sneaked to Shi-mok's apartement, so maybe we really is dealing with more than 1 perpetrator with overlapped interest.

I have to say that I was afraid the revelation would be a letdown like what happened in many other thriller dramas. But here, it actually showcased just how brilliant this writer is. Every action our big baddie did had been through very meticuluous preparation and thorough calculation. Everything has meanings and what at first seemed like a mistake turned out to be something pre-planned (Ga-young's phone found at the side of street, Park Moo-sung's figure got captured on car's black box, Ga-young who is still alive after that stabbing).

With all that in mind, I thought it was highly unlikely that Yoon would carelessly showing his tattooed shoulder to Ga-young if he is indeed the mastermind of all this. After all, the culprit went through so much trouble to make sure Ga-young stayed alive as a punishment for his target, so they must have took into account that she might remember the detail of her kidnapping and murder attempt. So either there's bigger purpose for that particular action (if Yoon really IS our bad guy) or he just happened to be on the kidnapping site for whatever reason. And tbh, none of those options were comforting.

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I'm thinking Yoon, with that tattoo is a red herring. I mentioned why below. ?

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Where is that Tyra Banks .gif when you need it? Section Chief Yoon. We were ROOTING FOR YOU! ???

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im getting more confused by the episode...

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Ya kinda already knew that he was upto something.. Never trusted him .. and our Shimok is also changing a and Also more reasons to love ye jin.. so sweet of him to invite Eun Soo also.... ugh again have to wait till next saturday..
The thing that was interesting the camera panned on Ye Jins drawing and knowing this drama , there must be some reason behind it or maybe i am overthinking it but i love the look that it seemed like Shimok was scared of her drawing ...lol
and maybe i am biased towards Shimok and Yejins friendship but is it me that everyone kinda notices that Shimok kinda always agrees with Ye Jin, thats why they were making Ye Jin ask him
and CANT WAIT FOR that HIGH FIVE in the next episodeeeeee !!!

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This series is very well written. By the end of it, I was still thinking whaaatttt/waaaeeeeeeyooo??? *mindblown*. Yoon's smile is menacing!

Towards the end, the preview said that there has been a death... eeeeeekkk?!!

I have a niggling feeling that Yoon is working for Lee Chang Jun. He dug up some intel for him and it looks like LCJ places a level of trust with him. Just a thought, LCJ comes across as, want for a better word, somewhat of a martyr. Is he laying the chess pieces, albeit not without sacrifice, for a nice finale? Kim Ga-young's incident is one of LCJ's chess pieces? Just pondering :p

In the scene where LCJ and Shi-Mok were standing in the courtroom, LCJ spoke with so much conviction that he will never stand in the accused box.... is it because he will stand alongside Shi-mok in the end?

I don't personally think a romance will kick off: Shi-mok + Eun-soo / Shi-mok + Yeo-jin ... and rightly so because from the get go this series' theme has been set. Running with romance may somewhat detract it from its path. Reminds me of Tvn's Misaeng which had a fantastic plot about personal growth and adversity, hinted very slightly about a romance but didn't run with it.

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This.

LCJ, what is his plan?..

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It looks like LCJ is on his own mission of exposing corruption and collusion.

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Neat how the pieces fit together.
You might think it was dangerous having Yoon keeping Ga-young hidden in the prior episode until it was time to bring her up, but...
... assume for a minute that Shi-mok already suspected Yoon was the kidnapper/stabber. He had already guessed that the kidnapper had a grudge against someone else and wanted to expose their crimes, and didn't necessarily want to kill Ga-young. Once wheelchair Ga-young was about to expose one of the original bad guys, the kidnapper wouldn't have wanted to kill her. Shi-mok would have figured that out and could have assigned Yoon to guard her even if he suspected Yoon.

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The only thing is... if Yoon really was the kidnapper and if Ga Yong had really seen the tattoo, then she could possibly have had a fit of fear at seeing him again and that would have alerted her mother. Actually I'm tending to think that it's not Yoon.

For one thing, it's unlikely he'd go around without his shirt so that she'd see that tattoo. Also the tattoo was "D.J." and not "07" although it did look similar. Well, we'll see.... ?

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While watching this episode a second time ('cause that's what I do), I thought about folks' observation that Shi mok looked so closely at Yeo Jin's pictures. I noticed the way he watches her follow Kyung wan into his room. Generally he watches her very closely, he follows her movements, as though he were trying to figure her out. I don't know if he sees her as a puzzle to be solved or if he wants to learn from her. I hadn't realized before how much we watch him watching her.

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This is my first week at work, so because of having to wake up soooo early in the morning and getting back pretty late it was difficult to catch up with all the threads of FoS! ?

Anyway, these are my thoughts.

I was totally caught off-guard when the show revealed that the Yoon had the tattoo 07 on his back.. come to think of it, I wasn't that surprised since his child was killed by CEO Park and he didn't receive justice for the case he had the most compelling reason to kill CEO Park. This point is well-written. The motive is even stronger than Eun Soo who thinks her father was politically affected by the higher-ups and CEO Park.

However, isn't there anyone who thinks that it's a bit too soon to conclude that everything was done by Yoon? There are 4 episodes left and the show clearly painted Yoon as the culprit.. I think it's too early to conclude that he did everything, and/or by himself.

As much as I think Yoon had the reason to hope for CEO Park's death and the uprooting of the prosecution office, it kept bugging me why DJ was and is still alive. Wasn't it DJ that helped CEO Park with Yoon's child's case? So then why didn't he do anything with DJ when his revenge was so strong that he could kill Park?

Other questions for me:

Why did Yeo-Jin invite Eun Soo to the rooftop dinner? Yeo-Jin is like a nice person but I think of her as also being clever as a detective. So I don't think her reason was wanting to include Eun Soo in the group alone but also to check something related to those cases. She is and has always been a good detective, why inviting a person NOT included in the investigation team to have dinner with the Snooby gang? It should have been because of her suspect Jon of the relationship between SHi Mok and Eun Soo alone to make her do that. As a detective and part of the special investigation team with Eun Soo's picture and name on that board, Eun Soo shouldn't have been invited.

Who is that person Yeon-Jin always speak to on the phone? Could that be Yoon? If that has been Yoon he could have well known about Yeon-Jin's past relationship with that person working at that newspaper's branch office. And why Yeon-Jin specifically asked if anyone had children when she and her husband invited the team to dinner? which intentionally/unintentionally disturbed Yoon? Why why why..

I'm pretty sure at this point that Eun Soo's father's regrets have something to do with what happened with Yoon's child's case as both incidents happened like 3 years ago. Perhaps that's why he wasn't so eager to have his name cleared of all those 'false' allegations. He knows that Eun Soo will be disappointed by the thing/things he did in the past.

What is it that Chief Secretary Lee want from appointing Chi Mok as the head of the special investigation team? What exactly does he want? And the reasons for that? If my memory serves me right ( ooh I just learned that phrase ?), Shi Mok told DJ to tell his boss that the...

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the team was going to be disbanded and suddenly the prosecutor team came to rescue him? Is it too simple to take that the pure intention of Pros. Kang and his hoobaes was really to help prevent the team from being disbanded or was he asked from someone to come to the rescue of Shi Mok?

Hahaha .. I am very suspicious of almost everyone and everything in this show. So there are my thoughts for now.

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The prosecutors banding together in support of Shi Mok did surprise me. In a good way. And to me, believable. The theme running through the show seems to be the bad are not all bad and the good not all the way good, there's a mixture of both in all the chars. Chief Kim may bed underaged girls but he can't kill. Dong Jae is corrupted but he's no murderer. The police captain may have beaten up a suspect, but he's sorry for it. Shi Mok may be the good guy, but he can be manipulative. They're all human.

So yeah, maybe some of the prosecutors are corrupted, in varying degrees but at their core they are still prosecutors proud of their profession, charged with upholding the law. So when someone comes along, fighting the good fight for their institution and is seen to be holding out, achieving something which they themselves have been unable to achieve, it's believable that they would band up to back him. Shi Mok the emotional handicap that he is, is the prosecution's proxy for doing what they are all supposed to do but have been unable to: uproot corruption and restore pride in and public trust for, the prosecutorial institution.

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That’s an interesting point, I now realize it is suspicious how quickly the other prosecutors found out about the order to disband the special team and got organized to protest.

Aside from that, I see it as a relatively low-risk move by the prosecutors. They’re not on the special team so they’re not in the line of fire, and they didn’t exactly threaten to resign, so even if the protest was denied, they still looked damn righteous.

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hahahaha I love your 'damn righteous'.

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Agree. The band coop with SM was very WTH an episode. It kinda redeems itself when Kang says he did it for himself but still ...or I'm thinking if LCJ is working for SM to unearth the corruption he might have hinted to Kang and then Kang then comes with his team to SM's rescue...

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<And why Yeon-Jin specifically asked if anyone had children when she and her husband invited the team to dinner?

She (Yeon-jae, I think you're getting names confused) asked if everyone was married and had kids. To be honest, with Koreans, after asking how old you are, asking about marriage status is usually the next thing... It's a nosy, almost rude question to me, but I don't think that's the case in Korea.

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Hahaha you're right my apology for confusing the names. That was when I typed too early in the morning so I think I got everything mixed up. Still those are my thoughts for this ep.

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It's common table talk in some parts of Asia where the host might be an Ahjumma (or even Ahjusshi) of sorts. Not so much considered nosy but more as topics in making conversation and giving the 'youngsters' a chance to speak.

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First time commenting here, but this deserves a comment.

In the end, I was like: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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Ughhhh I'm so late to this recap! D;

I wasn't expecting that reveal about Yoon!! Gahhhhh. I wanted to like his character and was gradually getting there. I was not really suspecting him these past few episodes after he confessed to Shi Mok about his snooping. His sudden change in the bathroom was sooooo creepy!

I did pause for a moment in the previous episode when Yoon had made a comment about him being uninformed of the secret plan in catching Chief Kim.

I'm getting worried for the safety of our good guys now that they are digging deeper and going after big targets like Hanjo group.

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I read the recap when the comments were only 7, now i came back to read insights from other beanies.

The end got me WHATTTTTT??!! But i guess it hurts more when we trust the person more. Still, i'm sure Yoon doesn't work alone, and i'm still on my stand that Seo Dongjae has the gut to kill. I don't trust that guy, but he's fun to watch.

I agree on many people doubting about Lee Chang Joon. He's too grey. One cycle of thinking gets me to agree he's the end of Shimok's chase, another cycle gets me think he's fighting another war that isn't that far from Shimok.

Love the scene with YeoJin and Park's son. Heart-wrenching.

I watch again ep12 and preview for next ep. The preview left me gasping. Things doesn't smell good in a crime drama, when someone stand still looking above for long time.

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Lee Chang Joon is sure the most interesting guy here. Seems approachable and righteous, but he doesn't. Looks like he's the main villain of all these crimes, but apparently he doesn't.

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So it's most probable that Yoon is a prosecutor with a personal vigilante agenda. Um, ok, that sounds familiar...

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If Yoon kidnapped Go-Young, why didn't she react to him when she was in the same room as him? There was some point where Si-Mok showed pictures of suspects with Yoon in the room. Maybe she hasn't remembered yet or wasn't paying attention to the people in the room. Also, I don't see Yoon doing this completely on his own. I don't know how everything weaves together, but I think Yoon is just a small part of it.

Also, did anyone see the preview of the high five?!?!?! I need that scene now! STAT!!!