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Forest of Secrets: Episode 9

After spending all this time having to walk on eggshells around the prosecutor’s office, Shi-mok is suddenly handed more than enough power to push his investigation forward. And with what seems to be a solid team forming behind him, things are truly starting to look up. But even in his new position, Shi-mok can’t intimidate those he needs to bring down — he’s still got quite a long way before he can reach the top of the pack.

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

To everyone’s surprise, Chief Prosecutor Lee announces that the investigation for corruption within the prosecutor’s office will be led by Shi-mok. Lee continues that he holds much regret for leading an organization constantly getting involved with scandals and that in order to take responsibility, he’ll be resigning.

Amongst the shocked whispers, a voice notes that Chief Prosecutor Lee hasn’t even been inaugurated yet. Section Chief Kang rises and asks if Lee takes his position that lightly – if he wants to take responsibility, he should do so as the chief prosecutor. Behind the section chief, Shi-mok stands up with a question of his own: “Does my authority as the prosecutor in charge begin as of now?”

Section Chief Kang storms out with a huff, sending the rest of the room the signal to start piling out as well. Shi-mok is the only one left standing, still waiting for his answer. While it’s not official on paper yet, Chief Prosecutor Lee says that his job does begin now and that he’ll need to assemble a team for the investigation.

Before he can leave, Shi-mok asks to be granted access to Dong-jae’s possessions, as well as a warrant in case Dong-jae were to destroy any evidence. Lee accusingly asks if there’s anyone else Shi-mok is just dying to look into, to which Shi-mok just answers, “Not yet.”

Shi-mok finds Eun-soo waiting for him outside, eager to start helping him out right now. But he just walks past her and tells her to do nothing.

As soon as a panicked Dong-jae reaches his office, he grabs any incriminating evidence hidden within the room. It isn’t long before Shi-mok arrives at the door with staff ready to confiscate Dong-jae’s belongings. When his knocks go unanswered, Shi-mok orders Dong-jae’s clerk to unlock the door.

Dong-jae opens the door first, having regained his composure. He asks if Shi-mok has some kind of death wish to be challenging him, and Shi-mok merely gestures his staff inside.

Shi-mok returns to his office to fill out a request form for an investigation team, contemplating the words “Chief Prosecutor.” With Lee’s resignation in mind, Shi-mok deletes the name.

Dong-jae sneaks off to the bathroom and, after making sure it’s empty, he enters a stall and dumps his bag of evidence into the toilet tank. He quickly stumbles into the next stall when he hears someone come in, and then nonchalantly comes out.

Dong-jae smirks as he watches Shi-mok’s staff futilely search the wrong stall. (Oh, you think you’re so slick.)

Shi-mok’s male clerk comes running into the office, frantically calling for his boss. We don’t see the exchange, but the two later exit with all of their belongings. Shi-mok and his clerks head outside, ready to move into their new office.

As he gets everything into his car, Shi-mok glances back at the prosecutor’s office up above.

Yeo-jin’s team leader reports to Chief Kim that Shi-mok requested two of their own for his team. Team Leader asks if he should find out the reason, but Chief Kim merely tells him to go ahead and send them over.

It turns out that the two people requested from Yongsan were Yeo-jin (of course) and Gun. The two arrive at the new office just as Jung-bon does, and Gun seems taken aback to see him there. Yeo-jin glances at Jung-bon as well, and we see in flashback that Shi-mok had asked her to look into his peculiar old friend.

Once everyone is gathered, we’re introduced to the rest of the team and the reasons why Shi-mok chose them: the female clerk, Clerk Choi (the least sketchy from his office); the male clerk, Clerk Kim (Shi-mok had seen him take money from Dong-jae); Section Chief Yoon (Shi-mok had heard from his mother that Yoon now knew about his surgery). As for the sketchier members of the team, Shi-mok is of the “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” mind.

Shi-mok reminds his team of a similar case of corruption within the prosecutor’s office. This case had one major difference: The person handing out bribes survived, while in their case, the person handing out bribes (CEO Park) died.

With that said, Shi-mok states that it’s understandable if anyone wants to quit now. When no one makes a move to leave, Shi-mok pulls out Dong-jae’s photo. He explains that Dong-jae helped clear CEO Park’s charges for a DUI hit-and-run in 2013.

He places the picture on the blank suspect board and calls Dong-jae their official starting point.

Dong-jae has his clerk lie to a reporter on the phone that Kyung-wan had put up a fight when he’d gotten arrested and that the bruises definitely weren’t a result of torture. When Dong-jae learns that his arrest warrant has been dismissed, he shoos his clerk away and takes over the phone.

Back at Yongsan Police Station, the team leader is panicking over Dong-jae’s tip to the reporters. Chief Kim knows that this is a result of Dong-jae’s fear of going down with them and that either way, Dong-jae will be the first arrested when Shi-mok’s investigation begins. Since the police can’t refute the claim, Chief Kim sighs that it’d be better for them if Dong-jae didn’t get caught.

While Dong-jae confirms that the evidence he’d hidden in the bathroom is still there and fully intact, Shi-mok’s special investigation is in full swing. As Yeo-jin and the others go out to obtain more information, someone snaps photos of them from afar.

As Shi-mok appoints Jung-bon as the spokesperson, the team takes a major hit when they discover that Dong-jae’s arrest was dismissed. Shi-mok merely hands out more assignments and urges them to keep moving forward. However, they’re interrupted by the arrival of Chief Prosecutor Lee.

Lee takes this chance to greet Shi-mok’s new team. Yeo-jin eyes the chief prosecutor warily but bows and shakes his hand politely. When Lee reaches Jung-bon, Jung-bon accidentally says something in banmal to Shi-mok, catching everyone’s attention. (It has to be revealed that they were old middle school friends, since otherwise, it would be considered disrespectful for Jung-bon to talk to his superior that way.)

Chief Prosecutor Lee is really here to escort Shi-mok to the prosecutor general. He tells Shi-mok to roll down his sleeves to look presentable before walking over to help. The room is fraught with tension as Lee straightens Shi-mok’s tie.

When the two leave, the team immediately gets back to work. As Gun leaves with Yeo-jin, he asks how they can work with Jung-bon when he screwed them over. He shuts his mouth when Jung-bon appears behind them with news: The police are accusing Kyung-wan of lying.

On the car ride to the prosecutor general, Shi-mok brings up Dong-jae’s dismissal from arrest. Lee replies that if Shi-mok’s team shows some decent results, they’ll surely get Dong-jae arrested.

Shi-mok greets the prosecutor general and thanks him for the promotion. The prosecutor general asks if Shi-mok knows why he was given this position, and he replies, “I don’t know why it had to be me, but I know what I must do.”

The prosecutor general nods with approval and says that the character in the word “prosecutor” means “work.” Because of this, prosecutors could be thought to be inhumane, but the prosecutor general believes that the character embodies a person holding a flag high, guiding the way forward.

He tells Shi-mok to prove to everyone else that that is the true image of a prosecutor. Turning to Chief Prosecutor Lee, the prosecutor general chides him for thinking that resigning was his only solution.

Afterward, Lee invites Shi-mok over dinner, informing him that his team members have already gathered at the house. He tells Shi-mok to relax, since it’s only a dinner, after all.

Dinner is incredibly awkward as Lee’s wife tries to keep up the small talk. Yeon-jae asks the team if anyone is married or has children, and Section Chief Yoon suddenly gets this strange look on his face. Yeon-jae turns to Shi-mok and, assuming he’s single, she insists on introducing him to some pretty ladies.

Yeo-jin says that she likes pretty ladies too, making Yeon-jae laugh before saying that women are usually their own enemies.

“Don’t people who say that women are other women’s enemies consider the other women they’ve dealt with in their lives as enemies?” Yeo-jin points out. Oh snap.

Yeon-jae’s million dollar smile immediately drops, and for a second, it looks like she’s about to spit fire. Yeo-jin just keeps staring at her as if she said nothing wrong, and Yeon-jae forces the smile back on her face.

Just then, Chairman Lee makes an entrance, and Yeon-jae jumps up to introduce her father to the team. Chairman Lee saunters straight over to Shi-mok, noting that he’s much better looking than he was on TV.

Shi-mok accepts the chairman’s outstretched hand, and they just stay there like that, staring at each other for an overlong, heated moment. Chairman Lee then leaves them alone, not wanting to join them for dinner. Either way, Shi-mok says, the team should be leaving as well. Yeon-jae: “But we’re not done yet.” Shi-mok: “I think we are.”

Chief Prosecutor Lee begins to argue, but Yeon-jae flashes another one of her smiles and lets them all go. Once they’re all gone, Lee grabs his wife’s arm and tells her not to let Shi-mok get to her. She shakes him off and condescendingly says that “chief prosecutor” is only one character away from “prosecutor.”

Shi-mok turns in for the night, but the rest of the team decide to have dinner together (since they didn’t get to eat much at the Lee household).

Yeo-jin turns to Jung-bon and asks about Kyung-wan’s situation, though apparently there’s no way to refute it. He wonders if there’s anyone who can prove what Kyung-wan went through and Yeo-jin quickly changes the subject, asking how long he’s known Shi-mok.

Jung-bon looks at his hands and thinks back to an incident in middle school – he had been playing the piano and a pre-surgery Shi-mok, unable to bear the noise, had slammed the fallboard onto Jung-bon’s fingers.

Clerk Kim joins them, and Jung-bon asks him about Section Chief Yoon’s reaction to the subject of children. Clerk Kim reveals that Yoon had lost a child to a car accident two years ago.

Shi-mok returns to the office and prints out another picture for the suspect board: Yeon-jae. He looks over the complicated web of people listed on the board, all the way from Kyung-wan to Yeon-jae and her father.

Shi-mok stays at the office rather late and ends up dozing off at his desk. Eun-soo comes in with a bag, and after seeing that he’s asleep, she takes out the sweater she’d borrowed from him and drapes it over his shoulders. She tries to quietly look over the team’s case files – only to drop them on the ground and wake Shi-mok, ha.

Eun-soo clumsily cleans up her mess, but Shi-mok merely tells her to get out. Instead, she approaches his desk, wondering why she can’t be a part of his team. Shi-mok knows that she’d work harder than anyone else, but only because she’s desperate to take down Chief Prosecutor Lee.

He tells her that this isn’t a place to be seeking revenge and orders her out – just as Yeo-jin walks in. Yeo-jin sees Shi-mok talking to a woman and immediately tries to backtrack as if she forgot something. But Clerk Kim and the rest of the gang waltz in with food, ushering her back inside. Clerk Kim calls Eun-soo’s name, but she just whirls around and walks past them, looking genuinely embarrassed.

Clerk Choi points out the sweater Shi-mok had dropped on the floor and he checks it out, earning stares from Yeo-jin. He also notices the bag left by Eun-soo, finding a brand new sweater inside.

As the team reports their findings to Shi-mok over dinner, Clerk Choi finds Jung-bon writing out his draft for his statement to the reporters. He starts to read it out loud for practice, but Shi-mok cuts him off short, telling him not to include too many details on their investigation.

The next day, Jung-bon reads his statement to the press, keeping it short and sweet like Shi-mok had asked and merely stating that the team are making preparations.

Eun-soo’s mom meets with Shi-mok to explain that during the holidays, they’d received a gift and she’d left it out, thinking it was fruit. Later, she was shocked to discover that it was cash. She insists that they called the person on the business card and returned the money, and that was that.

Section Chief Yoon interrogates Dong-jae, who’s still acting as smug as ever. Yoon goes over the facts, stating that in 2013, the company Dong-jae’s brother-in-law worked at made a contract with CEO Park for a reduced price – right after they’d met at a hit-and-run case. As a result, Dong-jae took the difference of 400 million won.

Dong-jae is ready to call it all ridiculous when Yoon whips out photos of the evidence Dong-jae had hidden in the bathroom. Dong-jae’s eyes widen. In flashback, we see that Clerk Kim had found the evidence, amazed that Shi-mok’s assumption had been right.

With this evidence, the special investigation team now has enough to arrest Dong-jae – and to reveal every other crime he committed. Suddenly realizing his predicament, Dong-jae opens his mouth again, but Yoon cuts in that according to Shi-mok’s orders, they’re to make no negotiations. He suggests Dong-jae just stay home and await his arrest.

Clerk Kim escorts Dong-jae out, and Dong-jae insists that they take the stairs to avoid the reporters. He then overhears Eun-soo meet up with her mom and turns back to the stairs ominously. He takes a few careful steps with Clerk Kim close behind, and then feigns dizziness before tumbling down the stairs.

Shi-mok and Yoon watch the ruckus as reporters capture an unconscious Dong-jae getting wheeled into an ambulance.

Meanwhile, Chief Prosecutor Lee bolts up when he sees that Eun-soo’s father, Il-jae, has come to his office. He immediately bows in respect, but Il-jae coldly tells him not to mess with his family. Il-jae says that he’s going to keep his mouth shut, so he suggests that Lee and his people keep their end of the bargain.

Lee isn’t sure what he means, so Il-jae fumes that Shi-mok summoned his wife as a tactic to make him reveal what he knows. However, Il-jae has no intentions of opening his mouth, so he tells Lee not to do anything either.

“Be sure to tell your father-in-law that,” he finishes.

Il-jae takes one look at Lee’s packed-up office and sighs with disappointment that Lee was foolish to have given up on himself – he didn’t know how to use his strengths. Lee insists that they’ve been used enough here and that he’ll be using them for other purposes now.

In his own office, Chairman Lee looks over the photos his secretary had taken of Shi-mok’s team, noting that they’re heading in the right direction. He picks up a photo of Shi-mok, intrigued that this man hadn’t acted surprised when he gripped his hand for so long during their handshake.

Yeo-jin and Gun find the taxi driver that had driven Kim Ga-young around to ask where he would take her. After learning that Ga-young had made a call in a hotel lobby, they visit the hotel to obtain her records.

Shi-mok and Section Chief Yoon head over to their office to join the others. Yoon pulls them aside for a moment and reveals that he’d investigated Shi-mok and relayed his findings to Chief Prosecutor Lee. Shi-mok accepts his apology, though in turn, he reveals that he already knew.

The team reassembles, and Gun reports that Ga-young had stayed at the hotel two to three times a month, always on a Monday. But since it was so long ago, the hotel no longer has footage of her or her men.

The topic changes as the group contemplates who the informant that reported to Sungmoon Daily could be. Shi-mok watches them with intrigue as they note that Sungmoon Daily and Hanjo Group (Chairman Lee’s company) are both big corporations and possible rivals. The team doesn’t notice Yeo-jin sneak off.

Moments later, Shi-mok gets a text from her telling him to follow. He joins her in a separate room, where she asks about Eun-soo’s mother. He explains that he had to keep that meeting confidential to hide it from Chief Prosecutor Lee and Hanjo Group.

CEO Parks’s total shares in Hanjo Group were worth billions of won, Shi-mok continues. And all of that was distributed between Chairman Lee, Chief Prosecutor Lee, and Young Il-jae. Yeo-jin wonders if Shi-mok plans to uproot them all by himself. “Someone will have to do it sooner or later,” he answers.

Yeo-jin suggests they put up a good fight, then. She says she looked into Jung-bon with no problem and asks if they can trust the others. Shi-mok says that Clerk Kim found the hidden evidence and that Section Chief Yoon confessed about his investigation, so they’re clear as well.

“What about me?” she asks. “Can you trust me?” Shi-mok says that there’s no need to look into her, which she accepts with a faint smile. And I swear that he almost smiles too as he watches her head out.

Clerk Kim is still looking after Dong-jae at the hospital, and dozes off as he waits for the results. When he comes to, Clerk Kim freaks out to find Dong-jae’s bed empty.

Dong-jae has run over to Chairman Lee’s side, getting on his knees and desperately begging to be saved. As he’s being dragged out, Dong-jae shouts that there’s something Chief Prosecutor Lee hasn’t told him, making Chairman Lee turn to face him.

Section Chief Kang is called in for interrogation, much to his coworker’s anger. His coworker wonders why he would be called in while Kang starts to look mighty suspicious.

Shi-mok gets the call that Dong-jae fled and immediately heads out. He runs into Yeo-jin, who happens to have other news from the hospital.

Shi-mok and Yeo-jin rush to the hospital and head straight to Ga-young’s hospital bed. They reach her side and see that her eyes are now open.

 
COMMENTS

So much in those last few minutes! (So much in the whole episode, really.) Where do I even begin? Each episode always feels better than the last, but this was definitely one of my favorites. It was so great to see Shi-mok reach a position where he could gain so much more freedom. While Chief Prosecutor Lee’s announcement of his promotion seemed more like a trap than an offering, it was the perfect Big Moment to segue into the second half of the drama.

And now that we’ve settled into our bright and shiny new setting for the second half, Shi-mok and Yeo-jin are finally able to investigate with an official team. While the team is filled with members we should remain wary of, I have to agree that Shi-mok chose all the right people. Clerk Kim and Section Chief Yoon really proved themselves to be loyal, but at the same time, there’s still a bit of suspicion there. As Shi-mok said, it’s always best to keep his enemies closer. I’d rather not get too attached to this team since there’s only so much trust you can give, but I think I’m already doomed – they’re such a great little Scooby gang!

It was especially satisfying to see everyone working together to bring Dong-jae to his knees. Out of all the baddies we’ve dealt with so far, Dong-jae was always the most unstable, so it’s no surprise that after Shi-mok climbed up, Dong-jae was the first to get kicked down. He had too much piling up against him and he, frankly, just wasn’t smart enough to weasel his way out of it. But to his credit, I think anyone would have trouble trying to outsmart Shi-mok. After last week, I was worried that Dong-jae might’ve been smarter than we thought – perhaps acting all crazy and spazzy on Eun-soo to get her off track – but his true colors came out in this episode, and they weren’t too different from what we initially expected.

I am curious as to what dirt he may have on Chief Prosecutor Lee that he believes could “save” him. Dong-jae may be at rock bottom now, but that look that Chairman Lee gave him at the end made me nervous. Would Chairman Lee really help Dong-jae get back up again?

It’s always interesting to see how Forest of Secrets plays with the idea of power, because it gives us certain character dynamics we would’ve never expected in our average drama. Despite their ranking, one character can gain the upper hand depending on the situation. Sometimes Eun-soo may surprise Shi-mok with her abrasiveness, and other times, Shi-mok may surprise her with his. Last week, we were nervous to have Section Chief Yoon know all about Shi-mok’s past, and this week, he softened up a bit when he apologized.

And then there was Chief Prosecutor Lee with Eun-soo’s father. Wow, was that an intense scene. Here we have the man that had betrayed Il-jae, the man that Eun-soo is so dying to seek revenge on, and yet, he seems to shrink in size when in the presence of Il-jae himself. There’s obviously a lot of history between the two and the two actors portrayed that amazingly – Il-jae’s utter disappointment in Lee was palpable. Lee looked so adamant on shattering that disappointment that I wonder if it’s Il-jae who’s been keeping whatever morals Lee has left intact. Lee has made it clear that he knows what a good prosecutor is and that he wants to be that kind of prosecutor. Now I see that he may be trying so hard because he disappointed the one man he wanted approval from. Only now, he’s trying in all the wrong ways.

I think we’re actually getting somewhat of a love triangle on our hands. It’s a very subtle one but I’ll take what I can get. I honestly like that the romance here (if we can call it that at this point) isn’t very prominent. We’re given little hints of it every now and then, which is just the perfect amount to leave us craving more. It’s definitely a welcome light in the 99.9% of darkness that this show is. However, it’s far from the main point of the show and I kind of like the idea that we’re getting glimpses of it when an actual romance (with either Yeo-jin or Eun-soo) might not be possible. It keeps that tragic thought of Shi-mok’s loneliness alive and it hurts in all the right ways. I want him to feel love, but I’m also happy with the smaller steps we get with his character development, such as his increase in smiles. Or his increase in annoyance.

 
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Shi Mok's head tilt.

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Omgg yess. That was so freaking cute and kinda sexy! SWOON

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That dinner was so awkard. I thought at first that Yeon Jae was a typical Stepford wife type but as the episodes progressed she actually scarier. That mask she puts up when infront of people must crumble at some point. This episode has shown the cracks already. I wonder if it was her all along.

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You thought Yeon Jae a silly girl? She is syster of K2-Ahjumma.When a character or even a real life person acts so calm with wide joker like smile - be ready to run. The team couldn't even properly eat. After all the hard work you want a pieceful meal and even then you have to suffer aggression of your superiors wife.

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I marathoned this show. So my comment is my observations from the first episodes until the most recent. she seemed harmless at first but never silly. And as the series progressed she is anything but. I am really interested in her character. Her husband and father seem really wary of her.

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The show has always shown Yeon Jae as a character of immense power. The flaw we as viewers make is to read this show through the normal Kdrama tropes and the typical emotional reactions.

The most critical example was the Ep06 exchange where Chief Lee said 'he would have left Yeon Jae's father long before if it was not for her'... Through our "normal" lens this is a statement of affection...However, in this show it was always a statement of his fear and her control of Chief Lee.

The dinner scene was interesting for so many details:
-- Its the first moment the show has indicated a weakness in Yeon Jae...she has also misread the team.
-- Yeo-Jin is revealed as far more powerful than shown previously. She has always been subtle but wily in her investigations. But here she turns up the power with a very deliberate brutal matter-of-factness.

I commented on Ep02
"...as [Shi mok] has no emotional filter, he would have had to develop a rational mechanism to survive in the world.
The interesting thing may be watching how the typical "baddie" characters handle this. Usually power is exerted via emotional (or variant) manipulation. How will they fair against someone indifferent to them and almost immune to their methods."

We now get to see how this plays out

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this cold smile is killing me!

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Most awkward dinner ever. Yoon Se-ah who played Yeon-jae first made an impression with me in City Hall where she was fun to hate, and is arguably the best in the industry when it comes to portraying someone with a fake sweet smile and shimmering evil underneath. She was perfectly cast here, just like everyone else in this drama, really.

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Omgg Yeo-jin! What a badass.
And I love her silent communication with Shi-mok. It was like he could hear her thoughts!

Also about those tension-laden moments with the entire team, I love how Jung-bon always hilariously breaks the tension by blabbering out something when everyone else is trying to act cool. (Still don't trust him though)

And am I the only one who doesn't trust Detective Jang? He was totally eavesdropping on Yeo-jin and Jung-bon's conversation about Kyung-wan. And it seemed like YJ caught up on it, since she opted for a change of subject

Lastly, that last scene with YJ and SM walking into the hospital room in slow-mo was freaking cool. I had to replay it

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Forgot to say that I totally want YJ's leather jacket.

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<He was totally eavesdropping on Yeo-jin and Jung-bon's conversation about Kyung-wan.

There are a lot of conversations that happen when people are walking in public places... sometimes I think that that's on purpose – like they want someone to overhear them.

I think the whole 'keep your enemies closer' includes that. When you keep them that close and provide them with information and have them search for information for you, it might seem like you're giving information away that your enemies will get the upper hand, but really sometimes it complicates everything as everything gets more tangled and harder to cover up. That's when people make mistakes – mistakes that get you closer to the truth.

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I love YJ - she is SO unlike all the usual k-pop idol looking and acting heroines. In some ways this is a little like a Japanese drama.

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É lindo como Shi mok olha para Yeo Yin se sentindo preocupado com a expressão e o silêncio dela. Logo em seguida, depois da conversa particular, a felicidade dos dois por terem resolvido as coisas foi bem bacana de se ver. Veja como ele fica todo diferente com a presença dela. Se isso não é gostar de alguém não sei o que pode ser. Eles só não percebem que gostam um do outro, ainda.

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SM must really trust YJ since he told her that he did not do a background check. (or did he?)

YJ was also pretty smooth the way she was watching SM handling the sweaters, ES is probably now on her radar.

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I can't imagine him not doing a background check. No matter how much he trusts her, the moment you make one exception, you'll start making others – and it'll all go downhill from there.

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Alua has said it right. In initial episodes Shi Mok had Yeo Jin in other list. He didn't share crucial information with Yeo Jin in earlier episodes and used Yeo jin's profession to gather more information.
2nd - I don't think Shi Mok does through check of people. He doesn't create complete profile of what they were and what they are now. He uses logic and his observation skills to reach a certain confident outcome.

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I love SO much the idea of Shi-mok having a Scooby Gang!!!!!

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The gang made me so happy but like @sailorjumun said I'm afriad to let my guard down. Especially, because everyone is a suspect! everyone! I noticed that in this episode they mentioned that Mr. Yoon daughter died in a car accident two years ago. Didn't Park Mong Soo had a hit and run 3 years ago? Could those things be realted?!?!!! I'm talking about this because Shi Mok said something in episode 8 that made me think about this.

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Me too! I think perhaps the child of Prosecutor Yoon might be the victim of that hit-and-run incident caused by CEO Park. If that's the case, I don't wanna imagine how angry he would have been and how utterly devoted he will be to this investigating team. But if that's the case, what is the explanation for him working for Chief Pros. Lee in the former episodes? hmmmm

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Probably similar with shi mok? Friends closer, enemies closest. Anyway, after this and next episode, I really cannot predict it anymore. It just blow my mind to the next level.

And that dinner scene, even I got indigestion by watching their banter from my laptop.

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Maybe he decided to work close to Chief Lee to keep his enemies closer like Shi Mok said?...

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And as always in this episode I had to pause and replay to be sure I connected the right dots. I need a huge Badass Glass board at home to organize everything!!! There are so many connections, my brain hurts.

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I actually had a suspect notebook and I tossed it in the trash after I saw Shi-mok's suspect board lol.
I took a picture of it with my phone for reference.
This show does hurt your brain.

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This is the best comment, seriously. Tosses it after seeing the better one onscreen, haha!!

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I legit was thinking about this at work. Our meeting rooms have white writable walls. But sadly, I am the only Korean drama addict in my work :(

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I have a word document on my office computer listing all the suspects. I thought it was just me who is so obsessed I can't stop thinking about the drama even at work! ??

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Omg you guys are so cute. I thought I was the only one who is so obsessed about FoS too. I don't do the notebook stuff but just keep thinking about all the characters and the meaning of their doings.

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How awesome it'd be if your colleagues at office are all addicted to k-dramas and you guys discuss about all the suspects on your whiteboard ?

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It would be awesome to be co-workers with all the beanies! no one at works understand my love for korean dramas :(

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What a fantastic ep and thanks for the recap SailorJumun.

This show is so tightly written, and it never dumbs down anything for the viewer. There is so much conveyed just in facial expressions and looks and it never feels like the plot is just spinning its wheels or going in circles.

I loved how quickly the newly form team bonded, especially after that awkward as hell non-dinner. I think them going back to work afterwards was such a great little moment, to show that they do in fact take this as serious as Shi-mok, even if not all of them might do it for the right reasons. I have high hopes though!

And Yeo-jin continues to be her best badass self. Her low-key clapping back at Yeon-jae was fantastic, especially since Yeon-jae's frozen smile was the cherry on top. (Also, man I wish Yeo-jin saying she also likes pretty women meant she was at least bisexual, but since this is a Kdrama I doubt it)

I don't know if I want a love triangle though, I really don't like Eun-soo, her weird desperation is very off-putting and she doesn't seem to do anything but try and push her own revenge, come what may. Her motivation is not incomprehensible, but something about the way she tries to appeal to Shi-mok just doesn't fly with me. I'd love a Shi-mok/Yeo-jin couple, but that'd take at least twice the length of the show to develop properly I think. I'll just imagine it happening in the second season that's never going to happen >.>.

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<And Yeo-jin continues to be her best badass self. Her low-key clapping back at Yeon-jae was fantastic, especially since Yeon-jae's frozen smile was the cherry on top.

I felt Yeo-jin was partly protecting Shi-mok, like kick-boxing away any lady-suitors that Yeon-jae might send Shi-mok's way (her own daughter?!) because she knew it would make Shi-mok uncomfortable (not that he would really care – I mean uncomfortable in the way when someone unexpectedly touches him). And maybe there was a wee bit of Yeo-jin staking claim ;-)

<(Also, man I wish Yeo-jin saying she also likes pretty women meant she was at least bisexual, but since this is a Kdrama I doubt it)

I am going to permit myself to think that, in part of because Bae Doona played a gay character in a film before, so I'm taking this as an allusion from this scriptwriter to that character (which incidentally was also a policewoman).

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Hee, I would pay money to see Yeo-jin kickbox Yeon-jae tbh. That'd be one exciting cagematch!

Ohh, I did not know that, I've only seen Bae Doona in Sense8, which ofc was also chock full of gay, but I might have to check that out now :D

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I must have misunderstood the after dinner conversation, but I thought it was Yeon-jae's daughter who died in the car accident? I've been assuming her obsession with her 'daughter' has been a clue towards her mental state, but maybe I'm wrong

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It was Mr Yoon's child that died. But it would be an interesting twist if Yeon Jae suffers from a mental illness.

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I'm now confused about the dinner conversation. I thought Yeon-Jae specifically asked Yeo-Jin if it's okay for her to introduce Shi-Mok to other women. I interpreted the dialogue as Yeon-Jae trying to suss out what kind of relationship Yeo-Jin has with Shi-Mok. Am I wrong?
I could be projecting since I crazy ship Yeo-Jin and Shi-Mok ??

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@wonid2017 That's how I read it as well that she was trying to poke holes and check out what their relationship might be and by extension check the team's loyalties to each other.

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I don't think Yeon-Jae had caught on before about Shi-Mok and Yeo-Jin's special relationship. The question was directly for Shi-mok – there was also a scene just before with her husband, when it was suggested by the prosecutor general that CP Lee should make Shi-mok his son-in-law.

I don't want to suggest this is all planned out (between the prosecutor general, Lee & Yeon-Jae), but different people might have overlapping plans here, for whatever reason (obviously some power play of course – I'm getting vibes of "Whisper" and Lee Dong-Joon being forced into a marriage & this complicating everything).

Of course, I also think people that want to play matchmaker for Shi-mok just don't understand him at all but think they are dealing with an ordinary Korean person. But Shi-mok is carved from a different kind of wood, and the only way you can 'get' to him, is if you're like Yeo-Jin and just embrace him fully as he is, not pushing him into the things that Korean society is still pushy about (I mean everything from social drinking to matchmaking).

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I agree with your last paragraph. I think Shi-Mok now is no longer an unknown prosecutor. He's become famous because of his TV appearance and now he's considered powerful because of his appointment as the special prosecutor. So there is more interest in his marital status. I saw the Prosecutor General's comment as more directed to Lee. Since Lee appointed Shi-Mok and seems to have taken him under his wing (the whole straightening the tie scene was super weird and indicative), the PG could have been seeing marrying into the family as the next step.
On the Yeon-Jae comment, she should have definitely known that Shi-Mok and Yeo-Jin have some kind of relationship. Not necessarily a romance but at least that they've been investigating together. It's common knowledge among the cops and prosecutors at this point. So I thought Yeon-Jae was trying to see if there was a deeper relationship.
I really hope they don't go the Whisper route. I did not really like that plot too much.

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I have no worries that they'll go the Whisper route. That would be an ordinary drama and would also ruin Shi-mok's character – but this writer knows better than that. If Shi-mok ends up being a bad guy, it won't be because he was corrupted by what characters are normally corrupted by (as Lee Dong-Jae was) but some twist that is impossible to predict right now.

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That's what I thought too. I think YJ was irritated at the low-key subtle sexism going on.

Earlier, Chief Prosecutor Lee did not extend his hand first to YJ, even though he did it for all the guys. It's like he was reluctant to shake her hand. And there was Yeon-jae making that condescending comment about YJ being the first homicide detective she's ever met. Then pointing that question about whether it's okay to introduce SM to some pretty ladies to YJ as if
YJ, as a woman, has some responsibility for being SM's caretaker somehow or possibly just digging around to see if they're in some sort of romantic relationship.

And then that comment about women being enemies. I can see YJ being irritated enough to make a retort to Yeo-jin's vapid comment.

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Agreed - and the best part is that they left out ALL of those stupid overused tropes, such as the hero having a useless idiotic sidekick. And the dialogue is LIKE REAL PEOPLE TALK!! This is one of the best dramas I have watched in the past 2-3 years.

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Haha I really like your comment that if we want to expect a normal romance progress between Shi Mok and Yeo-jin I think we need another 16 episodes to do so.

About the dinner and Yeon-jae, I used to have a thought that she might be the reason why CEO Park had to die. I think I read her as a very mentally-fragile, strong-willed person who devotes her life to protect her husband and his future. I think that's why everything which could harm Chief Pros. Lee had to be destroyed. I don't really know who was the one who gave order or did it but I think everything was in order to protect Chief Pros. Lee and his future. This guess also supports a statement made by Shi Mok that .. everything revolves around Chief Pros. Lee. I think Lee might know that his enemies and all obstructions have been destroyed by someone close to him.

For the love triangle, am I the only one who enjoys it? hehe I think I understand Eun Soo pretty well and I'm not bit annoyed by her character excepts from certain scenes when she acts too childish. I think her advance on Shi Mok has nothing to do with her intention to get revenge on Chief Pros. Lee but her pure romantic advancement on Shi Mok whom she likes or begins to like. I also love the natural tendency of both Shi Mok and Yeo Jin to start to like one another. I think the way Shi Mok began to smile so often and Yeo Jin took the suggestion by Yeon Jae as a direct attack to her shows their beginning interest in one another.

I can't praise in show enough. <3<3<3

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It would be kind of amazing if Yeon-jae turned out to be some kind of stone-cold serial killer. Otoh that would probably be a very different show, but then again she has no problem with murdering Ga Young, so who knows what she's capable of.

To me she seems like someone who has a very definite picture in her head of who she and her family are and is all about Status and Image. If I think about who her family is and where she comes from that is not very surprising, but she does not deal well with anything that threatens that image.

If you don't mind Eun-soo I guess a triangle is more palateable and I can see how Eun-soo's advances to Shi-mok might be genuine, but still most of her scenes annoy me so I can't overlook that xD.

And yes, one of the best things this show does is show how easily Yeo-jin makes Shi-mok smile. At first there was special attention paid to the fact that he smiles, and now we just see it happening ~in the background, but considering he still doesn't smile with anyone else that is such a monumental shift for him, and it makes me so happy as a viewer (and pay special attention whenever the two of them are in a scene together). The editing and directing is such a treat in this show and compliments the writing so well.

I wouldn't say it's the easiest show to get into and I can totally see why some people wouldn't like it, but considering how many shows that could have been great have been ruined or even just hampered by incompetent editing/directing and writing even recently it's such a treat to find a show like this, which isn't flashy or dependent on big name stars to pull in the views.

(So ... uh #same xD)

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I utterly adore this show. I was iffy in episode 1, but it has surpassed my expectations. Also standing ovation for Yeo-Jin's shade and clapback game, she was not here for the shenanigans. Also, as always watching Shi-mok evolve so beautifully feels me with joy.

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YJ is just totally badass - and all without saying much. Those looks on her face that make people think they are seconds from a horrible death I just love.

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Thanks for the recap SailorJumun!

Important stuff first: If there's to be a loveline in this show, I ship Yeo Jin with Shi Mok. Ha! I've said it! :-D

Yeo Jin just GETS him, and I love that in their dynamics. As others have said before, they are yin and yang. Yeo Jin getting into Shi Mok's personal space never felt invasive. And he lets her in, following along when she grabbed his arm to dinner in an earlier episode or letting her modify his udon when she poured some water in. I especially loved that pojangmacha scene, they looked so comfortable with each other, like a long established couple. Familiar. With Yeo Jin, whenever Shi Mok reacts, its always about HIM. HE smiled, or HE's angry, with not a word about her action that prompted the reaction. Unlike with EunSoo, whenever Shi Mok shows some reaction, it's because of HER. He can't stand to be touched by her, he interfered with Dong Jae to protect her or he felt uncomfortable in his home because of her. Eun Soo is always trying to push Shi Mok's buttons, just to get a reaction from him, the supposedly unfeeling man. Eun Soo getting into Shi Mok's personal space is intrusive because she's doing it for selfish reasons, to see how much of an effect SHE has on him.

On to other stuff: Eun Soo trying to weasel her way into the team is irritating and she should never be let in. She's got her blinders on and all she can see is the downfall of the Lee family. She's out for their blood and her emotional attachment to her father's case will prejudice a fair and unbiased investigation process. And to think that her goals are different from her father's, who only now is shown to know more than he's been letting on.

It's also good that Yeon Jae is underestimating the investigation team, dismissing them as 'nothing special'. I doubt that view will last long though, as she seems to have a pulse on a lot of the things that are going on.

Waiting for the next recap. Thanks again, SailorJumun.

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I so agree. Shi-mok was shown pouring water into his own soup in the first or second episode, so when Yeo-jin did it for him at the pojangmacha I was a goner.

I have to say, I do feel for Eun-soo though. It's like she's a student with a crush on her teacher - it's understandable, but totally inappropriate. I liked the sweater subplot (even though as a knitter I cringed, the way she hung up that sweater to dry was SO WRONG), when she returned the sweater with the one super long stretched sleeve it shows that even when she tries to help with things, she just creates more problems and it backfires.

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Fellow Knitter, I noticed that too. The small details in the writing and directing are wonderful.

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I dont knit but I know she shouldnt dry knitwear that way. I also cringed when she hang it up to dry.

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<It's like she's a student with a crush on her teacher - it's understandable, but totally inappropriate.

I'm not convinced she's that innocent.

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@dramaspresso I had the same impression of Eun so in the first couple of episodes but I have since reevaluated my opinion on her. I don't think she has a crush on him anymore, more likely than not her actions point to her purposely playing the damsel in distress to get Shi-mok on her side. She is so consumed by revenge that she's blind to everything else. And I feel like her interactions with him show that she's trying to get him to trust and help her. After all her damsel in distress routine has always helped before now. Just not with Shi-mok. And I think that's partly the reason why she guessed that he does not have emotions like other men since he hasn't fallen for her charms.

Since this way isn't working she's now desperately pushing into his space which I find very uncomfortable tbh. His body language is so uncomfortable when he's interacting with her that it makes me cringe while watching.

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I think at first Eun so was just desperate to uncover any information to clear her father and expose the perpetrator, the chief prosecutor, as she assumed him to be. Having trained under Shi mok, she knew he was a straight arrow who didn't jockey for political and financial advantages. But once he intervened for her the first time when she screwed up the trial of the TV repairman, she began to see him as someone who could actively assist her agenda and she seeks any means to get close to him. Her father, who she seems to love and admire very much, has just given up to depression and passive anger. Shi mok, on the other hand, is charging ahead for justice unburdened it seems by weighty emotions. It doesn't seem to matter that he tells her he has a different objective for his actions than she wants to believe.
One of the themes of this drama is emotions versus rationality and we see that play out differently in all the characters. The characters that have a good balance like Yeo jin have their moral compass intact

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Oh sweater Beanies.. could I ask what is the right way to dry knitwear? I got an implied message from the show but I don't know how she did wrong when she dried that sweater. I love your comment that it subtly shows that even when she wants to do it properly, she just doesn't.

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You don't hang it, but you lay it out flat. If you hang it, the fabric will stretch because of the heavy water (since proper woolen knitwear just soaks up water like a sponge).

...meaning if that sleeve was hanging down, the sweater no longer fits properly.

Eun-soo buying a new sweater could be seen as a kind gesture (maybe saying 'your sweater is worn out, you need a new one') or as a manipulative one, forcing Shi-mok into new clothes – clothes chosen by Eun-soo. But buying someone clothes can be pretty invasive in terms of personal sphere. It's not like they are friends, family or lovers. A sweater is too expensive as a gift for no occasion at all (unlike, say, a collective office present for someone's birthday). It's still an outer layer, but already more intimate than a scarf or tie. And Eun-soo is also claiming she knows what Shi-mok likes to wear – either that, or forcing her taste in clothing on him.

Maybe I'm overreacting, but I don't like it when others buy clothes for me, because even people who know me very well (like my Mom) don't really manage to get my tastes in clothes right. Because somehow what they buy always has something of what they would you to wear, something of their taste, rather than yours. I doubt Shi-mok is going to comfortably wear that gift... it's just a bit too much, just like when she sets up situations to get into Shi-mok's hoe – forcing herself in.

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Thanks for your sweet reply regarding how knitwear should be washed and dried.

I really had no idea that buying clothes for someone could be seen as being manipulative in terms of clothes - But I think I can understand pretty well why some would have such feeling. The only reason for me not to buy clothes for others is because it's impossible to know one's taste and preference in clothes. That's why I normally buy something more 'general' and 'usable' for anybody.

You've pointed out something I also failed to notice: that buying a new sweater for him is such a manipulative act on her part. He is many years older than her. And provided that she is only appointed a real prosecutor a while ago it's just inappropriate to buy such thing to your superior. I do also agree that sweater is quite personal, it's really inappropriate.

Though I understand why Shi Mok is uncomfortable around her, my wish is that she's only impulsive because she is still a kid. I'll be somewhat devastated if she turns out to have more to do with those killings or if she turns out to be not as innocent as she seems to be.

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Yes and buying his a sweater, whatever her motive, implies a kind of intimacy/ closeness that they don't really share. Hence Yeo jin giving Shi-mok the side eye since it implies Eun-so is close to him where all interactions Yeo-jin has had with Shi-mok implied that he doesn't have that kind of friends. So in a way again Eun-so is forcing friendship onto Shi-mok and this whole thing makes me uncomfortable

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I saw it as her buying a sweater to replace the one she ruined - once a sweater is stretched like that, there's no fixing it. HOWEVER, she totally left the price tag on the sweater she gave him, which is absolutely manipulative, and immediately proceeded to invade his personal space by draping the old one over his shoulders and poking around the files on the table. She's really good at toeing the line between thoughtful and overbearing (and therefore free from being called out on it).

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Wow!! This show is full of layers and your comment about the sweater was very insightful. Since I was watching a Kdrama I forgot how intrusive someone buying clothes for you really is in real life.
Also, I just realized that Yeo-Jin observing his reactions to the sweater gift ties in well with the scene in episode 8 where he tells her "no more gifts" when she starts drawing his smile. She looked disappointed and its natural that she would be curious to see how he reacts to this gift from Eun-Soo. Very interesting!
Also, I learned how to properly dry a sweater :)

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I think it even started with her borrowing his sweater.

You don't normally borrow people's clothes unless you're close – you might borrow from family or long-time friends, but from your superior, and your MALE superior at that? It just seems very unprofessional and too-close-for-comfort, which Eun-soo surely knows. Girl running around with a guy's sweater always gives off vibes of "boyfriend's clothes", especially in more conservative Korea. Maybe no one saw her – but her mom might have, and YJ certainly did when she returned the sweater.

Gifting him a sweater was the next step, but I was bothered by the whole situation from the get-go. Why did she run to Shi-mok's house in such a disshelved state to begin with? I felt like she made herself look worse than she actually was, like she purposefully wanted him to see her like that. But would you not, in Korea where shops are open till late, have bought clean clothes before showing up at your superior's house? It's not like she coincidentally ran into Shi-mok on the street right after Dong-jae assaulted her, she very purposefully went to see him when she could have a) sorted herself out first b) just given him a call to report her findings c) waited until the next morning to tell him in person.

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@patinalee YES!! As much as I love Yeo jin, I equally hate Eun-so. It makes me physically uncomfortable the way she keeps pushing into Shi-mok's personal space like you can tell from his body language he is uncomfortable and would just like her to move/go away. I find her to be very manipulative at this point with her damsel in distress act like she is personally angling to get inside Shi-mok's inner circle and gain his trust so she can then use that to help her father. But seriously though it pisses me off that she makes literally every single thing he does about her! Like no! He does not have time for your petty romance thing that you are trying for just no! I wish Yeo jin actually claps backs to Eun-so the way she did with Yeon-Jae! *rubs hands gleefully*

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<Yeo Jin just GETS him, and I love that in their dynamics.

Yes, and I love that in every single episode. The drinking scene (I think in the previous episode) is still an absolute highlight for me, because it breaks from all k-drama norms and all real-life Korean norms – I want Yeo Jin as a my friend.

Yes to everything you say about Eun-Soo as well. I find her very manipulative and don't trust her at all. Even if she actually has a crush/admires Eun-Soo (I still think there's a good chance she's just pretending), it's all about her, she doesn't consider his feelings at all. Which means I just can't ship them at all.

<Yeon Jae is underestimating the investigation team

I'm not sure she is... that's what she said aloud, but it seemed more a protest than what she really believed...

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I'd like to change some words here so this is a new version:
It's also good that Yeon Jae is underestimating the investigation team, dismissing them as 'nothing special'. I doubt that everyone (in the team)'s life will last long if she thinks otherwise.

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Ha! Best edit ever! ??

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“women who agree with that saying must have been treating other women as their enemy don’t you think?“ - I love the way Yeo Jin shut down Lee’s wife at the dinner table. And based on her facial reaction she has always been that type of women who viewed other women as threats.. probably because of her husband…
(That whole dinner table scene was so awkward)

That last scene where everyone was gathered and we the only thing heard was the heart machine beeping was executed so beautifully

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Loved it when Gun moved to block Jungbon from Yoejin. He looked so confused about why someone would be smiling at her. Why are you smiling at her? Don't look at her! Hee.

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Yes!!! Me too. I love Yeo-Jin so much. She's such a badass but she's usually the strong one taking care of other folks. It was nice to see Gun protecting her. I like their relationship and I really hope he doesn't go over to the dark side.

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Ahahahahahha that was hilarious. Thanks for pointing it out.

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1st of all i've dropped all shows i watching because of Stranger. Right now i'm craving Stranger and any good romance show. I believe romance lies in acts. So far there hasn't been any happening of romance in this show. More of buildup of strong affection.

2nd - I should reprimand myself. For a seconds i actually suspected Yeo Jin. No matter the content, Whenever a character says - Trust me or Believe me or do you trust me, More often there lies something strange there. This is a show where you heart and mind shake hands and decide whom to trust or not. Still, My bad for looking at our Heroine that way.
I put Yeo jin on pedestal. one of the rare Korean Drama Female able to won my heart.

Don Jae and Eun Soo - Both are capable of being smart but their impulsive nature is what puts both in troubles. Both try to control things and achieve their objectives and both have nothing much to show. Dong Jae specifically depends upon others doing mistakes.
Eun Soo is doing all that to get revenge as well as putting efforts to mae Shi Mok accept or acknowledge her. She is unable to win his trust and that hurts and upsets her the most. You can see all that in her desperate moves. She needs to clean her mind and come up with a proper plan.

Mr. Lee is good as usual and i think he feels suffocated and burdened around his wife and Father in Law. He has given up on his morals to live a better and quiet life but the surely feels regret over the choices he made in his life.

All those eye interactions, stern voices, tense atmosphere and specially no annoying loud songs make this show great.

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CatoCat.

Love, love, love your comments.

I did a similar mental SWOT on each character at the end of this episode and came to very similar observations.

For me, it is too early to make a call on Yeo Jin. The show casts her in 2 lights:
1 - Lieutenant without a political faction in the organisation and sidelined...Many of the conversations with her Detective squad chief show her as early in her career and green...
2 - A very subtle but effective detective.

I am wary of her but willing to side on the positive at the moment. The writer has not yet been deceptive about any character's motivations and Yeo Jin’s lines on Human rights and turning a blind eye to evil appear too well formed to be a ruse.
On the flip side, Yeo Jin is far more adept and experienced than would be expected of her conversations with her section chief. The dinner scene is a demonstration of her ability and potentially her true stature in the organisation (She is too adept at facing such social/economic power) Her back story is yet to be revealed...

I just wanted to leave the following quote:
“Justice is what love looks like in public”

How wonderful is a world where someone cares for you even without it being based on romance.

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I don't think I can emotionally handle Yeo Jin being the villain

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Is it just me or was this eps actually felt a lot tenser than usual? There are so many loaded stares, silent handshakes, and furtive glances that while there weren't that many conversation going on, what was unsaid left a niggling and uncomfortable beats in its wake. Shi-mok was certainly highly suspicious of his new team (sans Yeo-jin as usual, of course). I couldn't help but paid an even closer attention to all of our good guy member with all those background check from his POV. And I even freaked out a bit when he provided no backstory for Geon, whom I'm sure he kept sending calculated glance to.

It didn't help that Yeo-jin also has her own share of silent, meaningful gaze. Some of it she even send to our hero, which in turn made me questioning Shi-mok's suspicious behavior. I'm not sure whether she just tried to make sure that Shi-mok is trustworthy and honest with her, or she just wanted to gauge how Shi-mok usually is with people other than her. (I'm not the only one who felt how tense it was when she watched him with Eun-soo's sweater closely, am I?)

I also hope that Jung-bon is legit because his seemingly tactless and no subtleties act kept bothering me. I'm still not sure whether he really is a bit socially (politically??) clueless, or he was hiding his true self behind an innocent mask. And knowing that what Shi-mok did to him in their younger days was much worse than what I imagined, I can't help but think that it would be perfectly understandable if he was still holding grudge.

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I don't trust Jung bon as well, with his history with Shi Mok and all. He acts too good natured for my peace of mind.

I dont think we are supposed to trust everyone in the group. Shi Mok chose them for their specific skills but he also send that he intends to keep his enemies close. So he obviously is suspicious of some of them, if not all (excluding YeoJin).

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<I'm not sure whether she just tried to make sure that Shi-mok is trustworthy and honest with her, or she just wanted to gauge how Shi-mok usually is with people other than her. (I'm not the only one who felt how tense it was when she watched him with Eun-soo's sweater closely, am I?)

To be honest, I don't think we should trust anyone in this show, including Yeo-jin and Shi-mok. Of course I want those two to be the ultimate good guys and warriors for truth & justice (and I want them together too, LOL)... but they themselves say to each other that you should never just trust anyone. That doesn't mean that Yeo-jin thinks Shi-mok is guilty of something or vice versa, but just that in an investigation like that you can't take anything for granted, because that's where you'll make costly mistakes.

I think watching Shi-mok isn't her being suspicious about him, but her being observant about everything. It might tell her something about Shi-mok, but at the same time there may be clues to Eun-Soo that she can pick up. Not sure if I'm explaining myself well here, but Yeo-jin is just being observant of everything and everyone, because that's simply how you find the answer. It's not about being suspicious but collecting the tiniest pieces to the puzzle – b/c maybe the culprit is someone else entirely but something in the way Shi-mok reacts or something Eun-soo does or somethign Jeon-bon says is what gives a vital clue to lead to that culprit even if they themselves don't know it. Maybe there are even two culprits for the murder and the murder attempt – the cases overlap and are part of a bigger mess of corruption, but there may be several criminals.

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This drama is making me suspicious of everything. I think the only person I probably don't suspect is Shi Mok, but there are times I find myself suspecting Yeo-jin of having something to do with the overall conspiracy even if she isn't shedding someone's blood.

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It was indeed a lot tenser than any other episode. This Show just gets better by each episode and I'm a happy camper!

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DAMN. WOW. AWKWARD.

That 'Last Supper' scene was I.N.T.E.N.S.E. (idk if I was sweating from the intensity or from the heat of summer)!!
Tension so thick you can cut it with a knife ?
(Which looks like what Yeon jae wanted to do to Yeo Jin and probably .. did to Ga Young)

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Yeo Jin gives me life! I love her sass and absolute honesty.

I think I trust Shi Mok, or maybe I just want to, but he is full of guile. What a great character!

Everyone else is shadiness personified.

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I love your comment. I've never loved a character as much as I love Yeo-Jin. Yeo-Jin=❤️

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This episode was fantastic and horrible in the best of ways. I was so tense and couldn't look away because I didn't know what was coming next.
That dinner . . . what was that? They did such an outstanding job making us feel the strange, twisted, awkward dynamics in the room.
Besides Yeo-jin's comeback in response to the wife, I also loved when Shi-mok ended the waking nightmare by announcing the party was over and getting his team out of there.

The show continues to remind us to be wary and expect the unexpected. I trust no one and it makes each new episode even more stressful to watch. What new secrets will we discover today?

Like others have commented, I don't like Eun-soo's aggressiveness in trying to get Shi-mok's attention. If she does truly have romantic feelings or him, isn't this the wrong time to be making a play? Unless, of course, her motives are much more complicated.

I don't look forward to the betrayals that are coming from within the investigative team, but I also know it's going to be amazingly terrible to see and feel what happens next.

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<That dinner . . . what was that?

I confess I did think 'What a waste of food!' I would have totally stuck it out and made superficialest of superficial conversation just to finish eating... but of course Shi-mok doesn't do social bullshitting like that. :-D

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And I love him for it ;)

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Eun-soo's action may make her a bit unlikable but I think she genuinely wants to help even if it comes with revenge. At least she has a clear motive unlike the rest of Shi-mok's team.
Maybe just maybe Shi-mok is underestimating her usefulness. She might end up cracking this case wide open. (I kind of want her to)
Her father clearly have hardcore evidence to bring down Lee and Co. Eun-soo might be the one to uncover it because her dad is not going to willing hand it over to Shi-mok.

I feel bad for her for being left out but I also understand why Shi-mok did it.

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Hmm I agree. Maybe I'm one of the few people who doesn't hate Eun-soo's guts.
Yes, she's quite invasive of Shi-mok's personal space...and whether that's because she's pushing for him to trust her, genuinely has a crush on him or both, we know all she wants is CP Lee's downfall.
Whatever the case though(crush or no crush), she always puts her interests first regardless of what HE might want, which makes her abrasive....and ultimately, that's what makes her character off-putting for me, but I really like the dynamic between her and SM. Her emotional and impulsive side vs. SM's rational and unfeeling side. And as has been said by others, I like the contrast with his relationship with YJ.

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A female character who doesn't do what the male character wants, follow her thoughts and put her interest first, i call her an independent women, not an abrasive person.

That works even more in their case: theres' no attachment or engagment between them and he does his fair part of manipulation. She should only to survive and to protect herself.

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I have no doubt that she is indeed an independent woman, and I completely agree with you on that. However, I also think that her being independent isn't mutually exclusive from her being abrasive. She's independent AND abrasive.
The way she continually disregards SM's wishes is what irks me.

I admire her pervasiveness though, it is just that she uses it for the wrong purposes. She is a flawed character, but with depth and her own conflicts...which is what makes her fascinating to me.

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I wonder what makes her so unlikable for the fandom in general?
There's something inconsistent for me in the comments i can read in the way she's presented as being manipulative when she lies about her connection to the victim Park Moo Sung but also when she reveals the truth about it? She's being suspected of wanting to control Shi Mok when she offers help, when she puts her life at risk, she serves as a bait (with or without her knowledge), when she returns the sweater and buy a new one to replace it...
Seems everything she does or says comfort the idea that she can't be trusted.

That works also for Shi Mok: he cleared his suspicions about her for Park's murder and Ga-Young's attack, so trust isn't anymore an issue between them. At this stage, he could have take her back under his wing as his ancient junior whom he was in charge of training during 6 months and integrate her to the team to help her keep in check her impulsiveness and obsession, but he isn't interested in being her mentor. He could also have make her join the team to avoid any missteps she could make to derail the investigation if left on her own, in the same spirit that keeping his enemies closer help him to be the one in control. But he doesn't seem either to want to take responsibility for her.

The truth is that she's been promoted as a full prosecutor who can take cases to court and should be considered as a professional doing her job, in the same as way Yeo Jin. However, each time she offers help, he doesn't seem to consider it as cooperation, collaborative work with mutual benefice as he does with Yeo Jin but as something he gives in to. Something that he might not control, something that could have so much power over him that it could lead him to talk and act in a way that he isn't used to, that can influence him to change his attitude or his thoughts. And apparently, because of that, working with her, close to her is something that it's dangerous for him and that he fears. All the more so as she has a clear motive like you rightly said for wanting to be a part of this investigation, and as she's strong willed and very determined like she proved it in ep8, to the point to leave him powerless, a simple witness when she put her life at risk.

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<However, each time she offers help, he doesn't seem to consider it as cooperation, collaborative work with mutual benefice as he does with Yeo Jin but as something he gives in to.

His own suspicions about Eun-soo may have been cleared (at least for now), so he might not need to keep her close as an 'enemy' as with some of the others. I'm not sure he trusts her – I don't think he trusts anyone, except for Yeo-jin perhaps, so 'no longer suspicious' I don't think equates to 'I trust you' for Shi-mok.

But I think there are also other things – his sort of promise to Eun-soo's Dad and the fact that he knows that even if Eun-soo isn't part of his Scooby gang, she's still going to pop up anyhow (see ep. 10).

But also, Shi-mok knows very well that Eun-soo wants to bring someone down at all cost. So it may simply be that he's actually teaching her – by excluding her from the team – that that's a huge mistake for a prosecutor to make in an investigation: she's going in with foregone conclusions of who the culprit is. But a good prosecutor observes everyone and doesn't assume anything from the outset.

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@gem28, your point about how he treats Eun-Soo differently from other suspects is correct. As other beanies have pointed out Shi-Mok does seem to care about Eun-Soo and treats her differently. In fact, I think even within the drama it is not shown clearly why he treats her differently. You can see that Yeo-Jin realized that he does not share information about Eun-Soo with the rest of the team which is why she questioned him in the conference room. Her chat with him was after her walking in on Shi-Mok and Eun-Soo and also noticing the sweater gift. At this point though, I'm not sure whether it's due to romantic interest or not. I think the writers are keeping us (and the other characters in the drama) intentionally guessing.

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I don't dislike Eun-Soo but I do find her actions inappropriate. I see Shi-Mok not including her in the team as more a professional reason rather than a personal one. She is not qualified (she is a relatively green prosecutor) and she has her own (obsessive) personal agenda and someone like that can damage the investigation rather than being helpful. He assembled his team with those people he could have some measure of confidence both in their abilities and too some extent motivations. He's worked with almost all the team members (except for prosecutor Yoon and Jung-Bon) before and is to some extent aware of their iffy spots. They are all also people with more experience than Eun-Soo, even Yoon. And with Jung-Bon you can see he's limiting his responsibilities to be a spokesperson.
The problem with Eun-Soo is that she is impulsive, stubborn and obsessive, both in her pursuit of revenge and Shi-Mok. Nothing wrong with being that way, makes her an interesting and real character but also makes her unqualified to be part of an high-profile, high-stakes investigation.

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Actually something regards to Eun Soo keeps bugging me or atleast Shi Mok's logic in excluding her which is not clear to be honest and it keeps bugging me. So we're assuming, Eun Soo is being kept in the dark and out of bounds due to her impulsive nature and her unpredictable behavior and being green. But here's the thing, Shi Mok is surrounded by people he suspects on some level to be the suspect or related to the suspect or with ulterior motive with the exception of Yeo Jin. So my main gripe here is, he is keeping people that he considers shady around him and giving them full access to each and every move knowing full well that these people can influence the outcome from within but he refuses to keep Eun Soo although he knows what she seeks. Does that make sense?? I don't think that's adequate reasoning. Also, for somebody who suspects Eun Soo, why hasn't he disclosed this information beyond his "accomplice is a boyfriend theory" with Yeo Jin. Why not keep her openly as a potential suspect and share the information with her? Why does he not share one additional information about Eun Soo with Yeo Jin?? What's the main reason for keeping her sheltered from everybody else and even the woman, the only woman he trusts enough to not ask for a background check. I don't know, am I the only one who finds it strange?

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I do think that trust is STILL very much an issue between them. Even if SM cleared his suspicion of her involvement in CEO Park's murder or Ga-young case, he still doesn't trust her to not be blindsided by her desire to punish CP Lee. And even though SM is quite smart and has demonstrated that he can manipulate her, I don't think he can control her at all times. Eun-soo is also her own person, and I think sometimes we overestimate SM's ability to control situations/people. He's not omnipresent.
Plus, I think Eun-soo gets easily provoked, who knows what being around the investigative team might bring out in her?

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That dinner scene! I actually loved it, despite how painfully awkward it was. Coming on the heels of the revelation that CP Lee's own descent into corruption started with a single dinner, I was really worried for Shi-mok. I still am worried, but the way he was able to bear the awkwardness and just end the dinner without getting wrapped up in the grey area of social obligation was something only someone with his condition could do, and really contrasted him against CP Lee.

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Ep 9 ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤...

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May I ask how can I make these red hearts? They're cute.

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You can just install the emoticon in your smart phone, if you access DB from your phone. But I'm not sure how to do it from your PC.

❤❤❤❤❤

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Thanks @seralovestteobokki! I'll try this on my phone later on!

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Does it work? ?

??????❤️⭐️?☺️?

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All I can say about this show is ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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Its not surprising that this show suprises me every episode with their writing. Ahh so many good scenes in this episode.
The recap doesnt mention it but there is a cute scene where Shi Mok realizes that Ye Jin hasnt spoken at all to him so he tries to ask her what she found out but at that moment she had a sandwich in her mouth and couldnt. Lol.. i found it cute that he cares that she hasnt spoken to him.
Shimok is a badass in being master tactician.. letting dong jae know He summoned Eun So's mom. Touche
My favourite scenes : Yeo Jins low key diss to lee's scary wife which wiped her smile off .*was clapping my hand* and obviously when Shimok tells her that he didn't , He doesnt need to check her ( meaning he trusts her )....

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That scene you mentioned is fascinating. It's again a small reminder of how Shi-Mok is always checking on where Yeo-Jin is emotionally relative to him. He does that in many episodes. He watches for her reactions in a more emotional way than with others where it's more calculated and intellectual. It's as if he's curious about her.

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Yes I saw those scenes too. I love this type of romantic gestures more than those explicit advancement normally used in many Kdramas. I think the way Shi Mok begins to 'feel' something really interests me and all viewers. Because of Yeo Jin he now becomes less of a robot and more like a human-being.

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Ya .. they are doing it in such a nice way. Although i wish they have more scenes together but i think these moment are so rare thats why we find it so powerful. At this moment the only person i think Shi Mok cares and trusts is probably Ye Jin.

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I saw that too, it was cute because he even hesitated before speaking to her.
??

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Lol.. ya !! I found both of them very cute in that scene.

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I also love how YJ discreetly left the conference room and sent SM a text so they could talk privately without getting anyone's attention, instead of putting him on the spot.

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To me, that scene is like they're an old married couple. She's not talking to him, he can tell she's upset with him, she walks out and tells him they need to talk, and then they make up.

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Awww.. that's such a sweet comparison you made.

Isn't it super sweet that the leads are just like that?

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I have so many thoughts about this incredible show but I only want to say that I cannot find it in myself to hate or be annoyed by Eun-soo, haha. I get that she's bothering Shi-mok (and apparently a lot of other people here, too), but their interactions are just as fun as his and Yeo-jin's IMO. Love love love. (Even if her embarrassment at being driven out made me cringe hardcore.)

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I thought I was the only one enjoying Shi-mok and Eun-soo's interactions! It's interesting to see how he ends up helping her even when he may not want to and also how he shuts her out. She may have been more annoying in this episode, but I still like watching her.

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I feel bad for her. Shi Mok was brutal to her. He wasn't out of line but I still felt bad. Atleast we know what she wants, why she wants it and I can't hate her for it.

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are there other shows like forest of secrets? most other prosecutor dramas are too cheesy or try to be rom coms

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You might like Punch! No cheese, no lovelines.

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or have vampires

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Thanks SailorJumun

I initially did not think I'd watch this show because it was about rooting out corruption (which means there might be a suffering underdog and definitely means evil authority figures) which is not the genre I care for. However when I finally read about it and got around to Episode 1 then marathoned all the way to the end, I realised what a gem I might have missed. Thanks to all who reviewed it and said how good this show is! This is not the stereotypical 'against-all-odds-fight-against-flat,-evil-characters-show' I had feared.

Kudos to the writer who has succeeded in marrying the most intense moments with human and lighter moments seamlessly, and has consistently made practically every character so real and rounded in their actions and conversations that they feel like people we could meet.

I am blown away by this show's masterful control over what gets revealed and when (to our shock, usually) and how that gets a new ball rolling and moves us apace. And yet, even though so much happens and there's so much to think about, there's time for person-to-person moments. The best moments apart from the action, is the development of Shi Mok who has started to consider how he is being perceived and whether he wants to remain the same or not. I watch for every tiny indication of a change with glee.

A question: I gathered that Clerk Kim had been tasked to leave the interrogation with Dong Jae at the same as Eun Soo's mum exited, and that he was therefore dismayed when Dong Jae wanted to take the stairs instead and might miss seeing her, is this interpretation correct? However, he did hear her being called and probably saw her as well and then he probably (I guess) deliberately fell down the stairs to buy some time.

Side note: It's quite a thing to see such a good looking Lee Joon Hyuk as the miserable worm, Dong Jae. He's doing a fine job in making us feel mostly contempt for him, but I'll be interested to know, (since this writer has given us more for the other villains), if there'll be a turn that may enable us to feel just a bit of pity for this character.

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@ GB - Your interpretation is correct GB. Shi Mok wants Dong Jae to know that Eun Soo's mom has been summoned. Clerk Kim's task was completed when Dong Jae became aware of that summoning even though he did not see her then. Shi Mok pushes button A to get a reaction out of B. Dong Jae ran over to Chairman Lee with the info of Shi Mok meeting Eun Soo's mom causing Lee to act which will hopefully causes him to show his hand. It's similar to how Shi Mok manipulated Eun Soo to confront Dong Jae which forced the confession of no murder (of Ga Yong) from the latter in an earlier episode.

On your side note, Dong Jae is more like a cockroach rather than a worm, to me. A survivor, adapting to the rapid changes of the situation as the show progresses.

Nice to read you, GB. ☺

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Thanks my dear patinalee. So good to see you here!

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You know it's true love if their smiles are more precious than any kdrama's kisses :D

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True :D .. their smiles are so precious !!

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I want to upvote this comment of yours everytime I see this comment but sadly I'm allowed to vote only once. *missing the smiles*

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There are some scenes that so surreal sometimes that they made me pause for a moment and wonder whether I should read Freud to understand them. Before there's the scene of the rows of prosecutors bowing down to Chief Prosecutor Lee, now there's the tie scene, the handshakes, and the dinner. And the bread! Section chief brought bread that Shi-mok and Jung-bon found tasted bad. Is there a deeper meaning behind them breads? Am I thinking too much? *ouch my head*
Was very surprised that Chief Prosecutor Lee resigned, wouldn't it negate whatever hold he has in the prosecutor world? I doubt Shi-nok will feel any obligation of reporting to him about the investigation, just because he owes the position to Lee. Was confused about what the dinner is all about; they're not even his subordinates anymore. His resignation seems like a planned move supported by his wife and father in law, wonder whether he will go to politics after this coz he seems to be all about gaining power.
Dong-jae and Eun-soo is getting so desperate it's sad. That was some crazy move, throwing himself from the stairs, unless he knows some martial art and have learn how to fall properly. Or maybe aiming for amnesia ^^ I still like Eun-soo a lot, am feeling she still got more layers to peel. I don't mind her antics coz latching herself to Shi-mok is pretty much her only way to get info on the investigation. And totally think she dropped those papers on purpose!

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I wondered about the bread thing too. Oh, how were are parsing these episodes! Did Jung bon want to emphasize that he had a close relationship to Shi mok in their school days- close enough to know his taste in bread and to take a bit of his food? He did knowledge that Shi mok's middle school attack on him turned him from a bullied student to a sympathic figure. Like Eun soo, he recognizes some peculiar magnetism and drive about Shi mok and wants to make use of it for him own benefit.

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You know what I love about this drama? Everyone feels like whole characters. Each person feels like they have their own goals and plans for things. I think that's also why it keeps me on edge and why I can't figure out who the big baddie is. There is no black or white, everyone is grey...and real...and awesome.

Also, Yeo Jin and Si Mok I ship so much. I want Si Mok to realize there might just be one person who would stay by his side and make him smile.

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I've said this before and will say it again. I wish I can clone the standard of writing, directing, acting...everything about this drama!

The story is not just good or clever, much of its success lies in the way it is told. There is no weak link in acting either. This is the first time I am interested in so many characters and each are played very well by the respective actors. I've seen most of the actors before but this shows that given a good script and directing, an actor can bring forth so much more.

The flip side is that it as made me even more critical of other dramas especially those of the same genre or similar. Maybe this was the reason why I fell behind Lookout. It has also made recent thrillers like Voice, Defendant and Tunnel look juvenile in terms of writing. I'm already casting a critical eye on Criminal Minds.

Now all that remains is whether this drama will continue to amaze us till finish. I don't know if I am exaggerating if I say 99% of kdramas don't end well, most start to peter out in the last leg.

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@outofthisworld I agree with everything you said! This drama is so good that makes me want to dump every other dramas I'm watching or had a special sopt in my heart... everything about this drama is so compelling, every character is so interesting... Now I'm worried that I can't enjoy upcoming dramas (specially Criminal Mind as my most anticipated upcoming show)

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This show has made me think a lot about money, power, and politics lately. I keep paying attention to my senior staff behavior and attitudes since this show started. Everyone was to move to the top and people will try to do anything to stay afloat and climb that ladder. No matter who we are, a Chebol in Korea or a senior staff in your regular corporate world. There is one thing that this show has taught me so far, I need to become cool as cucumber like Shik Mok :p Nothing gets to him (well sometimes). I think what is going to bring the corrupt baddies down is their impulsive emotions. I don't know, but sometimes it seems like Shi Mok is playing everyone or saying something or letting them do something so they can the way they do, like Dong-Jae and some people in episode 8.

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One thing I want to know:
SM returned to the office after that dinner fiasco and is that when ES comes in with the sweater? SM's watch tells its 12.20 (am?) so is it that ES is keeping track of the team's workings and stays up till late night waiting on them / SM?
She comes in knowing SM is all alone, how does she how? If this is the case, this woman is unhinged and completely in need of advice and counselling. It was terrifying what she did, waiting..

As well, outside the conference room she knows SM will come out from the front door rather than the back as all left from the back except LEE and SM. Man, she is so knowing.

Its obvious her blinkers attitude towards her father is going to come undone and dose of reality will make her see her father and his workings more critically, but will she be able to take or completely break down?

ES needs help and there simply is no one who is willing to help her mental state, guide her even if there are ppl who know how she is - her father and the manipulator SM.

OTOH, YJ is interested in SM. Her curiousity about ES, the sweater, the talk about trust, she is definitely attracted to SM. Although keeping in line with the series' low key romance, it is evident.

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Actually, she noticed but brushed it off. I am not sure if Yeo Jin romantically feels anything for Shi Mok, we've yet to see such indication. She cares for him and trusts him.... beyond that she is an enigma.

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At least Shi Mok knows that Eun Soo is unhinged, he pretty much call her out for her behavior.

Eun Soo is sharp. If she cannot see her father's involvement, then it's by choice. I wonder how she will react when the truth is out in her face and her father isn't what she thinks he is.

About YJ noticing SM and ES, I don't know if it is anything more than curiosity. If I were her, I'd definitely take an interest because it impacts the investigation. SM and ES romantically involved in a relationship is not good if her father is a key figure in the case.

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Certamente Yeo Yin já está interessada em Shi Mok, sua expressão facial e comportamentos dizem tudo! e Shi Mok já percebeu e está gostando do que está vendo. Na cena do suéter, não havia necessidade de ele ficar mostrando a roupa e o presente tão explicitamente. Ele vez isso para ver a reação de Yeo Yin e, olha, ele gostou. Seu sorriso já fala por si. Não havia motivos para aquela expressão em seu rosto. Ele definitivamente está gostando desta sensação.

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I really need to shift to a new time zone....to sync my clock with this particular recap. But I would ask you to withhold judgement on the episodes and character's till episode 10. Yeo Jin is my favorite character as a female cop right now. Capable, self-reliant, has integrity, doesn't take bullshit from others and Shi Mok's true friend and ally. I agree that the romantic undertones are there. It appears to be mostly to bait people. It might not go anywhere significant. This was a set-up episode for the 2nd half of the show to shake up and reintroduce key players. The actual fun begins from next episode. I still don't trust a soul in Shi Mok's scooby gang other than our charming leads. I think at this point Shi Mok is both protecting his investigation and Eun Soo by keeping her out. Because if he can keep all his other enemies close that can derail his entire investigation then Eun Soo couldn't do much damage. I still think Jang Bon is a hyena in sheep's disguise. Prime suspect list is now pointing towards Yeon Jae, that woman is crazy it seems.

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" I think at this point Shi Mok is both protecting his investigation and Eun Soo by keeping her out."
Is there more to this than meets the eye? Both are manipulators but Shi Mok has the upper hand at the moment. Eun Soo knows only as far as Shi Mok allows it but the girl isn't stupid so I won't rule out that she blind sides Shi Mok.

I agree on Jung Bon or the show is making us suspect him when we really shouldn't. Why show Jung Bon's memory of Shi Mok slamming the piano cover on his hands? Does Jung Bon bear a grudge against Shi Mok all these years? At least Shi Mok isn't ignorant. I was glad that he spoke what we viewers had in mind - running into Jung Bon too often to be a coincidence.

The more they cast suspicion on Yeon Jae, the more I feel it's unlikely to be her. She is involved somewhat but I don't think she's the culprit. I would like to know why didn't she kill Ga Young when she could in the hospital?

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About your point of blindsiding Shi Mok, I agree that is one of the reasons. He trained Eun Soo after all and she is intelligent by all means and equally manipulative. About Yeon Jae, I have a theory but I'll hold it till episode 10 recap. I'll tag when I write it.

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Ha. :)

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How did this come at the end. This was meant for the first comment. Apple's 'SM's head tilt'.

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i admit i burst out laughing when dong jae fell down the stairs :P

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I had a flashback to My Girl.

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I think I'm the one at the moment who didn't like YJ and Lee's wife's banter about pretty girls. It really came down to the typical cliche of women catfighting.
And it was off for YJ to reply such, come to SM's defense. Her usual self would have brushed it off , but by replying she deliberately set foot into the world of SM and his women.
Until now she was pretty confident that SM and women , nah, there couldnt be anything. But soon after this, she comes face to face with ES and SM having an intense scene (from YJ's POV) that simply takes her aback. She didn't expect this.
Hence that immense curiousity about the sweater. She simply cannot take her eyes of that whole episode while SM doesn't even look at YJ. for the first time, in a conversation / situation he simply has excluded YJ.

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I hate to say this of my gender but women do fight. It's not cliche, it's real.
The men in real life also slink back because they don't want to be caught in the crossfire just like what Shi Mok and Chief Lee did in this scene.
I'm not sure if I'm interpreting you correctly, are you saying that she's defending SM because she believes he isn't interested in women? I just thought that Yeo Jin intuitively dislike Yeon Jae. YJ is an exceptionally observant person, she was immediately cued in on how uncomfortable Yeon Jae was making everyone at the table feel especially Yoon. Then Yeon Jae shifted her attention to Shi Mok. Maybe you are right that she felt compelled to come to SM's defense but I think it's more of irritation than anything else.

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No, its not that she believes he is disinterested in women. Its about her getting involved in the whole matching agenda of Lee's wife. From what YJ is (shown so far) she'd just brush it off, on the heels of heck lady do what you like and by doing so she'd assert that shes not into this petty games.
But she does and rather gives it back to the wife by stepping to the same petty game . And then both brought it down to the same level.
Of course women do fight, men as well. Dramas have always taken advantage of this catfighting streak in women exaggerating it. I did not expect the writer of this series to do it as well. Hence.

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A
I agree with you that the exchange is out of character for YJ usual modus operandi. However, if this is not a mistake, is this a ruse by YJ+Shi mok?

I suspect it was this conversation that fully tipped Lee’s wife into thinking the team was no threat. (i.e. it was base, lacked subtlety, and not in her league)

Shi mok’s greatest weapon at the moment is surprise. Most of the antagonists have underestimated him/his team...keeping them in the dark and underestimating him for as long as possible will be important.

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I don't think SM and YJ are together at all in work. He just gathers all info and when no one is there, he creates that board of all suspects. If he trusted her he would involve her in his thinking and working. He doesn't. YJ trusts him more and pretty much became soft when he says she need not be investigated. She fell for it, the smile and the arm slapping. I wanted to whack him then. Show her the board and all that SM if you really trust her.
He does the same with ES.

The wife says it out of spite because the team didn't toe her line. She knows better than that. She just gets back at her husband ruthlessly.

Liked the acting though here. The upward tilt of the head , the polite spewing of venomous words, her husband is just frozen. He simply cannot handle her.
The actress who plays Mrs. Lee is actually younger than Bae Doona. Such a surprise.

Seeing Ep 11 preview, man they are going to make her a medicated hyper rich wife. Eye roll. They could have her to be such a better interesting character. She follows K drama land tropes. Not sure how the final 6 episodes are going to pan out, in narrative and character strength I mean.

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As well, he tells YJ that he didnt want to inform them beforehand about the witness or whatever of ES's mom because Lee will find out / can find out.
If he trusted her she could have just told her of his move knowing it'll be with her. He doesn't. He loves this power in his hands and the surprise moves that he makes, as you say, he awalys springs a surprise. Gosh, this guy is revelling in his role like one who is all set to accomplish the removal of corruption. Considering that this show is giving liberal doses of reality am seriously wondering whether all the ends will be neatly tied up and SM the hero? That'd be quite off then. Am not sure where this series is headed.

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Ya i agree.. it felt more like coming to Her friends defense because she knows Lee's wife is making him uncomfortable. Plus kinda letting her know that she is not scared of her.

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She is alway protective of him, so I think it's consistent. She feeds him, dilutes his soup, tells him not to slouch and he has real feelings ("You're a real boy!").

Related, seems to me she's feeling a tad possessive, as she looks a bit askance at Eun Soo's moves.

Also, she doesn't like bullies and never backs down.

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Oh, she does, she definitely does. YJ is attracted to SM and all her interactions, her little smiles (after the trust issue the conscious smile from her) show she is well in that world. Its the writing and the acting that make this low key yet intense. Its not lost on the viewers :).

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The reply button isnt working? The above was for gem8's comment that YJ brushed it off, the sweater episode.

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Concordo que Yeo Yin já está gostado do Shi Mok. Ela é mulher e ele um homem que sempre estão juntinhos. Não tem como não se interessar um pelo outro, já que ambos estão sozinhos. Há uma química entre eles e não é amizade simplesmente.

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This episode gives me great hope the show will make it to the end without that dreaded 2nd half drop off.

I was a little worried at the end of Episode 08 that the investigation was a plot device that would lead to simplification of the story (Think 2nd half curse of shows like SKL, FtLY, W)...Instead this new structure has brought about an intensification.

1st half - Shi mok was stuck in a den of rats,
2nd half - Stuck in an isolated house with a murderer (trust no-one)

From this new isolated office, Shi mok now has to both guard his back (office) and put the cat amongst the pigeons (main players).

Previously the main power brokers did not have to reveal themselves. Any risk to them was luck or poor planning. However, the glare of the public spotlight means now each player is forced into actions as their skeletons are no longer hidden. Shi-mok only chance of success is forcing actions and lie in wait to catch each player as they attempt to cover their tracks.

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As opposed to the above comments, I honestly understand if SM didn't bother to do background check on YJ. The show seems to imply that SM has never met anyone quite like YJ such that he was able to recognize his emotions for the first time (post surgery). It makes sense if he would want to hold on to that connection with YJ, mutual trust and the bond of friendship.

However, I couldn't help but notice YJ's slight relief when he told her he did not check her, or was I reading too much into that scene? My suspect radar is tingling... I don't want her to be the bad guy in the end but because we are in the second half of the drama, if the writer is setting her up to be somehow related to the murders, we're bound to see bread crumbs from here onwards..

And ugh... Jong bun. That guy acting all chummy with SM as if their highschool "friendship" ended at a good note, I find it unnerving and YJ seemed to sense it too.

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The “There is no need to” background YJ can be read several ways.

1 - I trust you
2 - I already know what you did
3 - I have no other option

The show has not revealed which is correct yet.

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If you are implying that she did something bad and he already knows about it. I doubt that. Its already evident from past few episodes, he genuinely likes hanging around her. So after knowing that she did something, he still smiled thats unlikely....

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I see it as a sign of affection. For Shi Mok, "You are not under suspicion" counts as flirting.

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I agree with many of your points here.

1. I, too, noticed that Yeo Jin was slightly relieved when Shi Mok said that he didn't do the background check on her. I might be a little too pessimistic but I think YJ seems to worry a little bit too much about these background checking things. When I read that scene, though, I just thought that she wanted SM to trust her as much as she trusts him so she was relieved when he didn't do her background check (at least from what he said). However, thinking about a scene when they were eating noodles together outside she replied to SM's question so immediately that she didn't trust him at all, which led to his smile. Another thing which bothers me is that YJ seems to have so high expectation of the police in general. She shows many remorse when something bad is done by the police officers or when her boss is found involved in crimes.

In all, I just think that she is a good police officer, the one too good to be true and can always be found in dramaland. I hope she won't ever break my man's heart (what? lol) or else I'm not going to forgive her.

Jong bun oh Jong bun, I won't believe that his intention is pure. To be hurt like that while playing piano I don't think he will ever forget that. He's acting too good to be true too. I am very positive that he has some hidden intentions.

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I love her character.. she is the only character who seems to have any ulterior motive at the moment and is genuinely good. Shi mok is really good at reading a people and maybe he sensed that so she might be the only person he actually trusts. ...But also i will be relieved if they show her background, because she is one of the few characters who we dont know anything about.

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In one of the earlier episodes, when they found out that Ga-young was still alive, something about Yeo-jin's reaction made think that she had been a victim of crime as well...

She seemed to the take the situation at heart, and somehow on a personal level. She even said something along the lines of "You can't let this be your last memory of this world (referring to the murder's face)" when Ga-young was in surgery. The way she was rooting for Ga-young's recovery was as if she herself had at some point fought the same fight of trying to stay alive.

Idk, maybe I'm just reading too much into things and it's just that she is unconditionally warm and compassionate.

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