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Witch’s Court: Episode 13

Our team really starts to work together today, and help comes from unlikely sources throughout. It brings me joy to see Yi-deum sharing her plans and devious mind with other people, and the good guys finally nab a win against the bad guys. It was a long time coming, but at least it’s here, and hopefully it will be the first step to ultimate success.

 
EPISODE 13 RECAP

On a small island, a local festival impedes Jo Gap-soo’s journey to a secret meeting with the prime minister. A woman is jostled in the crowd and to his disgust, her bags fall to the floor in front of his car. Jo Gao-soo’s driver gets out to help the woman… and it’s Mom. Jo Gap-soo and Mom’s eyes meet, and they pause, but neither seems to recognize the other.

Jo Gap-soo’s illicit meeting takes place on a golf course (naturally) with the prime minister and the chancellor of a university, where Jo fawns over the prime minister’s skill. Jo exclaims that it’s wonderful the prime minister’s grandson will attend the same university they all went to, although the prime minister genially says that his attendance still depends on Mayor Jo’s luck.

The trio laugh conspiratorially… completely unaware that their meeting is being photographed. In an interesting twist, it looks like the mystery snapper all this time has been Reporter Han.

At Hyungjae Hotel, Yun-hee dresses up to go undercover again, wearing a recording device cleverly disguised as an ornate earring. Before she can enter the inner sanctum, however, the security guards pause as the detector beeps as it passes her head. Nervous, Yun-hee manages to stealthily remove the earring and throw it away, and the guard waves her through. In a heart-stopping moment, he does notice Yun-hee’s earring missing, but merely advises her to change them.

Inside, Yun-hee keeps her ears sharp and smile bland as she serves Jo Gap-soo and the prime minister. The chancellor thanks Jo Gap-soo for all his help in bolstering the image of his university, and laughs that having Ahn Tae-gyu and Chief Secretary Min’s daughter has allowed him to pay for refurbishments at the university.

Jo Gap-soo demurs that he is only doing what he can to make South Korea as great as it should be, but looks pleased as the chancellor promises to build a new campus in Yeongpa. The prime minister warns that this will be difficult to achieve, but Jo Gap-soo respectfully says this is why they are asking him to help.

Jo adds that if the prime minister would allow Hyungjae group to build their White Town near the school, the university could service even his “grandchild’s grandchild.” The prime minister crows that he likes the sound of that.

Eager to cover her tracks, Yun-hee sneaks out while the guards take a break to hunt for her discarded earring. Although she finds it, the moment turns tense as Yun-hee hears the security guard approaching, and she ducks under the table to hide. Luckily, a phone call diverts his attention, and Yun-hee manages to get away unseen.

Lawyer Min and Yi-deum discuss their strategy for catching Jo Gap-soo, and Min declares that his first big break holds the key to his downfall. In 2004, when Jo was commissioner general, Sang-ho used bribes he received from hostess bars to create a slush fund for political lobbying. Jo Gap-soo was able to leverage this into his political career.

Yun-hee makes her entrance, and brings Yi-deum up to speed on why she is helping—the woman originally involved in the 2004 case was her sister. Furthermore, Yun-hee explains that she has already been to Kingdom—located at Hyungjae Hotel, Level K.

Yi-deum mulls over the name, before she realizes that was where Soo-ah was taken before she was murdered. Lawyer Min is regretful that she didn’t know until recently, because the Soo-ah case would have been decided differently. Yi-deum scorns, “Lobbying, sexual favors and concealing a murder? All of Jo’s weaknesses are there.”

Yun-hee says that she witnessed one of those crimes last night, and presents the earring to add that the whole conversation was recorded on there. The three conspirators share a loaded stare at the revelation.

Not only is Reporter Han the mystery photographer, but she has been in league with Jin-wook as well. Reporter Han explains that Jo Gap-soo is acting for the university chancellor and organizing illicit admissions.

After following Jo Gap-soo around, Reporter Han also knows about the missing dash-cam footage from outside Baek Sang-ho’s house, and speculates that someone must be hiding something about his death.

An exuberant Mi-young interrupts the meeting to declare that Jung Young-ho has been arrested. She explains to Hoon-so that this is the man who forged the weapon evidence in Soo-ah’s case.

In the interrogation room, Jung Young-ho insists he doesn’t know anything. In response, Jin-wook calmly lays out all the evidence stacked against him, which includes deleted files and a large sum of money deposited into his account the day before he resigned. Jin-wook demands, “Who hired you?”

Composed, Jung Young-ho promises to confess everything if Jin-wook can negotiate his sentence down to one without detention.

Lawyer Min is absolutely furious that Yun-hee placed herself in harm’s way by going back to Kingdom, while Yun-hee insists there was no other way to get evidence.

Engrossed in their argument, neither notice Yi-deum’s itchy fingers as she tries to stop herself from listening to the evidence straightaway, and Lawyer Min orders Yun-hee to leave and take her recording with her.

Yi-deum immediately objects, but Yun-hee exits in tears, and Lawyer Min stops Yi-deum from chasing after. Antsy, Yi-deum breathes a sigh of relief when Yun-hee slinks back in after collecting herself. Yun-hee apologizes to Lawyer Min, who asks Yun-hee to promise never to act without Min’s advice first. Yun-hee solemnly nods.

Seeing her chance (and not caring much for social niceties), Yi-deum pops her head between the two and enthusiastically grabs the jewelry box. Yi-deum asks, “You two are okay now, right? Can we listen to this?”

It turns out the earring was still recording after Yun-hee dropped it, and caught the security guards discussing a very important video—one that Jo Gap-soo would kill them for if he found out they had it.

At the prison, Jin-wook explains to Baek Min-ho that they have discovered forged evidence in the Soo-ah case, so all the evidence has to be thrown out. This makes Min-ho’s video the most crucial key to success in the trial right now. Min-ho refuses to hand it over, and asks, “How can I trust anyone right now?”

Jin-wook sighs, but merely answers that there isn’t much time left until trial, and asks Min-ho to come forward if he remembers anything else. He adds, “I went to your brother’s house to find the video. But Jo Gap-soo got rid of the house.”

Dismayed, Min-ho flashes back to a meeting he had with Jo Gap-soo after his brother’s death. Jo tried to sweet-talk Min-ho by offering him a job once he was released from prison, but Min-ho was more concerned with what happened to his brother’s beloved house and belongings. Jo Gap-soo faltered before promising, “Don’t worry about a thing. I kept everything exactly the same.”

Min-ho asks the guard to let him tell Jin-wook one more thing, but the guard refuses and pushes Min-ho into his cell.

Yi-deum, Lawyer Min and Yun-hee discuss their battle plan over takeout and Yi-deum decides that the best way forward is for her to seduce one of the guards into revealing the contents of the video. She is too busy bragging about her effect on men to notice Lawyer Min and Yun-hee’s incredulous stares…

…and sure enough, the “seduction” doesn’t start well, as the guard Dong-shik is completely oblivious to Yi-deum’s attempts to catch his eye (and she even unbuttons her shirt!). Which could be explained by the fact that Yi-deum’s idea of flirting is to send over a drink and enthusiastically down her own when Dong-shik looks over. Yi-deum mimes that Dong-shik should do the same. Aaaand he doesn’t.

Not about to give up, Yi-deum shimmies over to him, and seductively lays her head on her arm… and Dong-shik moves away. In a humiliating game of cat and mouse, Yi-deum follows Dong-shik from bar stool to bar stool, until she purrs, “You should drink with me, considering all my effort.”

Dong-shik: “Check, please!”

Yi-deum is totally baffled at Dong-shik’s rejection of her, and even follows him outside to essentially whine at him, “I said, let’s get a drink!”

Totally uninterested, Dong-shik tries to shake her off. His face lights up at the sight of Yun-hee, and he literally pushes Yi-deum away in his haste to get to Yun-hee and pretend that she is his girlfriend. Yun-he takes his hint and hilariously digs the knife in, asking Dong-shik, “Who is that ajumma? Are you cheating on me?”

Yi-deum yells after their retreating backs that of course he was cheating with her, indignant at how easily that’s dismissed. In a turn of bad luck, Mi-young and Investigator Gu come upon the scene, and Yi-deum rushes away from the pair, mumbling excuses.

Dong-shik apologizes for putting her on the spot, but Yun-hee softly reassures Dong-shik that she liked being his girlfriend for those few minutes, confessing that she has liked him from the start. Dong-shik is delighted and answers that he liked Yun-hee too.

Meanwhile, Lawyer Heo meets with Chairman Ahn to tell him that Tae-gyu’s defense case is very strong now. Curious, the chairman asks how long Lawyer Heo has worked for Jo Gap-soo, and seems intrigued that she has worked for him for five years. Lawyer Heo smiles at Chairman Ahn’s offer to work for him instead.

The next day, Jo Gap-soo receives a phone call from a prison guard to inform him that it looks like Min-ho is going to spill the beans to Jin-wook. Face twisted, Jo orders the guard to take care of it.

Right away, Min-ho is moved to solitary after a planted shiv is found in his room.

Meanwhile, Dong-shik pleads with his friend, chief guard Young-woon, to release Yun-hee from working at Kingdom, because they’re in love and she wants to quit. Young-woon refuses, saying that both of them will get in trouble with Jo Gap-soo, especially since the prime minister has taken a shine to Yun-hee.

Unfortunately, while looking through the CCTV footage of Kingdom, Young-woon spots Yun-hee on the night she recorded the conversation. Young-woon’s eyes widen at Yun-hee’s suspicious behavior.

At that very moment, Yun-hee tries to persuade a resistant Lawyer Min that it’s safe enough for her to go over to Dong-shik’s house and snoop around for the video. Lawyer Min refuses, and both Yun-hee and Lawyer Min look askance at Yi-deum as she switches sides and fervently tells Yun-hee this is too dangerous as well.

Which is a ruse, of course. Afterward, Yi-deum assures Yun-hee that she knows other ways to use government power to their advantage, and instructs Yun-hee to text when she is going over to Dong-shik’s. Yi-deum grins, “I’m sure you can tell my style is very different to Lawyer Min’s.”

Chief guard Young-woon’s suspicions pan out as he discovers that Yun-hee had a sister who used to work for Jo Gap-soo, but killed herself in 2004. Jo Gap-soo’s face hardens at the news, and he growls, “A rat snuck in.” Jo calculates that there must be someone behind Yun-hee, and orders the guard to find out who it is first.

Young-woon receives a phone call from Dong-shik, and tries to warn him as a friend that Yun-hee doesn’t really like him. Dong-shik won’t hear it and Young-woon hangs up in frustration, though he keeps his mouth shut about the secret.

Young-woon isn’t done though, as he waves Yun-hee into his car after work. He informs Yun-hee that she doesn’t have to work at Kingdom anymore, explaining that Dong-shik has been begging him to let her go. His gaze sharpens as Yun-hee asks him to reconsider because she’s fine to continue working there, adding that she and Dong-shik aren’t even that serious yet. He agrees to the request, and Yun-hee is relieved.

After Yun-hee leaves, Young-woon picks up his phone, which was connected the whole time. He asks Dong-shik on the other end, “See? She has just been using you.” Overcome with anger, Dong-shik lets his phone drop to the ground.

At the prison, Min-ho is released from solitary by Jo Gap-soo’s inside man, who grins, “Don’t tell me you thought there was hope? Don’t say anything stupid and just stay quiet if you want to stay alive.”

This ploy seems to have backfired though, as Min-ho goes straight to Jin-wook and says that he will confess everything. Min-ho defeatedly says, “If I die whether or not I talk, I should talk.” Min-ho informs a shocked Jin-wook of the existence of Kingdom, which was where the video of Soo-ah was taken on the night she was murdered.

Teaming up, Yi-deum and Yun-hee stand outside Dong-shik’s apartment and plan for Yun-hee to plant evidence that would incriminate him for secretly filming women. Yi-deum tells Yun-hee she has ten minutes, after which Yi-deum will call the police, who will come to confiscate the planted recorders as well as Jo’s video.

Once inside Dong-shik’s apartment, Yun-hee beelines for the bathroom to plant the recording devices. A wave of regret hits Yun-hee, and she pulls out her phone to text Lawyer Min, “I’ll find the video. I’m with Yi-deum.”

Yun-hee distracts Dong-shik and steals away to the bedroom to plant more… but gets caught by Dong-shik. Yun-hee lies that she was looking for the bathroom, and Dong-shik’s face drops as he utters, “But you just went to the bathroom.”

Bad news for Yun-hee: Jo Gap-soo discovered before she arrived at Dong-shik’s apartment that she was working with Yi-deum and Lawyer Min. Uh-oh.

Concerned at the length of time Yun-hee is taking, Yi-deum rings her phone… but Yun-hee can’t answer as Dong-shik snatches it and throws it to the ground. Dong-shik asks, “Did you think I was an idiot?” Yun-hee uneasily backs away, and Dong-shik’s eye twitches creepily as he backs her into a corner. When Yun-hee tries to run past him, Dong-shik grabs her by the throat and muffles her screams.

Seriously worried now, Yi-deum prowls around the perimeter trying to find a way in. Just as she glimpses Dong-shik attacking Yun-hee, Yi-deum is grabbed by Young-woon and dragged away, kicking and screaming.

In flashback, we see Jo Gap-soo’s orders to Young-woon upon learning of Yun-hee and Yi-deum’s duplicity. He says menacingly, “They walked in on their own, so cut off their feet. Put a weapon on them after you kill them, and you can say it was self-defense.”

Clued in that there may be a problem by Yun-hee’s text, Lawyer Min tries to phone Yi-deum but can’t get through. At the same time, Jin-wook rushes over to inform Lawyer Min of Kingdom, but Lawyer Min alerts him to the larger issue—that something may have happened to Yi-deum. Panicked, Jin-wook races off to find Yi-deum.

Who is, at that very moment, trussed up on Dong-shik’s floor alongside Yun-hee. Young-woon looms over them to ask Yi-deum what she wants, and sighs when she says that they came for the video of Jo Gap-soo. Yi-deum warns Young-woon to let them go, but Young-woon just laughs at Yi-deum’s misplaced confidence and sneers, “Do you guys think you’ll walk out of here alive?”

Yi-deum blusters, “What, did you think we’d tremble in fear?” Yi-deum scoffs that she has been a prosecutor for seven years, and has seen too many punks like him to be scared right now. At the sound of police sirens, Yi-deum hollers so loudly that Young-woon has to gag her.

Dong-shik escorts Yun-hee outside, who lies weakly to the police that she called in the report as a prank. Just as they are about to leave, she blurts out for them to wait… and nervously flinches at the knife Dong-shik presses into her back.

Young-woon scours through his belongings to find the tablet with the incriminating video. At the same time, Yi-deum desperately thrashes against her ties to free herself.

Jin-wook finally arrives on the scene, catching the police just as they are about to leave. Jin-wook orders the police to search the house for an abducted woman, and all three rush inside. When confronted, Dong-shik tries to fight his way through, and struggles with Jin-wook before he is subdued.

Jin-wook spies Yi-deum’s bag, and at his frantic calls, Yi-deum kicks a hole in the slatted door of the room she is locked in. Jin-wook rushes to Yi-deum’s side to free her, and she wastes no time as she orders Jin-wook to follow Young-woon, who is escaping with the video.

Young-woon races through the darkly lit streets, with Jin-wook in hot pursuit. Jin-wook ducks aside to cut Young-woon off from a different avenue, and the two come to blows, with the much larger Young-woon swinging wildly at Jin-wook. His focus sharp though, Jin-wook manages to wrangle the bag from Young-woon’s hands and refuses to let go even as Young-woon savagely beats him.

The police finally come to the rescue, and Young-woon flees into the night.

Yi-deum, feeling responsible, apologizes to the shaken Yun-hee for the impulsive plan before she runs over to check that Jin-wook is unharmed and the video has been found. Noticing the bruise on Yi-deum’s hand triggers Jin-wook’s anger, and he reprimands her for her recklessness. Yi-deum protests that she really is sorry, and in turn, yells at Jin-wook for getting hurt.

Awww, they were just worried, and the pair fuss over each other’s wounds.

Yi-deum and Jin-wook take the video to Lawyer Min, and all three sit around to watch in horror at the brutality of Soo-ah’s beating.

In court, Jin-wook successfully argues that the evidence of Min-ho’s glove should be thrown out, but Lawyer Heo smiles in triumph as she points out that the evidence of Tae-gyu’s glove was obtained by a now disgraced employee. The judge throws both pieces of evidence out, and Jin-wook looks downcast when the judge asks if he has any more evidence to submit.

Cue: Yi-deum’s swagger into court, her grin smug as she greets the court, “Hello. I’m Min-ho’s new lawyer. My name is Ma Yi-deum.”

 
COMMENTS

D’awww. This was a nice episode for Yi-deum and Jin-wook, as their nascent relationship looks set to get back on track again. I have missed their interactions, which were the highlight for most of the drama, and my interest in the show immediately spikes any time these two are together. They also make a surprisingly effective team, probably because they cover each other’s weaknesses. They both have had an influence though, and I’d like to think that Jin-wook working with Reporter Han was inspired at least partially by Yi-deum’s love of a good underhand tactic. This definitely isn’t the strait-laced, po-faced Jin-wook from the beginning of the drama, and I’m liking it.

That said, I do have misgivings about how we are going to resolve their problems with the finale coming next week. These two have some talkin’ to be doin’ and not much time to do it in. Have both Yi-deum and Jin-wook forgotten that she has sworn vengeance against his mom? Should they not be connecting on an emotional level after the fallout of Soo-ah’s death and Sang-ho’s suicide? And I would love it if they could actually admit that they like each other (though it’s blindingly clear that they do, so I’m not too unhappy about that). I just wish we had more depth to the relationship at this point, given it was what kept me invested for so long. I love the cute, I love the affection, I just want mooooore.

Jin-wook did succumb to the age-old trope of yelling because you care too much, but in this case, I thought his anger was fully warranted. Yi-deum’s recklessness came out today, and unlike other times, there was no smart move to get her out of it. I find Yi-deum’s recklessness an interesting trait, especially for a female character, but she is usually quick-witted enough to have a back-up or turn the situation to her advantage. Today, without Jin-wook having his big damn hero moment, Yi-deum would have been in a whole world of trouble. And she would have brought Yun-hee down with her. Yi-deum clearly felt regret over her actions and Yun-hee did choose to put herself in danger, but Yi-deum also abandoned Yun-hee for the video (and Jin-wook) a tad too quickly for my liking. Unlike the situation with Soo-ah’s missed phone call, this would squarely have been Yi-deum’s fault, and it felt like something we should have explored a bit more.

Can I say though, I was genuinely surprised that it turns out Jin-wook and Reporter Han have been working together, and she was the one who has been taking the photographs. It makes complete sense, and I’m impressed that the show was finally able to pull out a twist that I didn’t see coming—and more importantly, one that was actually earned for once. I thought Reporter Han was a great character the first time I saw her, and I’m glad that she pops up here again. It was uplifting to see her not just as a victim but a fully realized person who continued to pursue their work, and she even looks set to be a major part of Jo Gap-soo’s downfall (which I wouldn’t mind if it came tomorrow. More Mom and kisses for next week!).

Jo Gap-soo continues to stay on top through a series of coincidences and an unbelievably large network of people working for him. For a pair of low-level stooges though, I quite liked Young-woon and Dong-shik as characters. They had a nice little friendship going, which made them seem a lot more real than most of the other big baddies on the show. I was even a bit sad when Dong-shik turned on Yun-hee so quickly.

Finally, I loved seeing Yi-deum bond with Lawyer Min and Yun-hee. I didn’t even know that I wanted to see those three women chill out with takeout, but when it happened, I was absolutely delighted. It was more like watching three girlfriends, especially when Yi-deum started to boast about how good she is at seducing men. Lawyer Min still doesn’t seem like a particularly effective mentor, but she has got game with the side-eye. More of that too, please.

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Yi-deum and Jin-wook, please date XD

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tbh im 99% sure cho gap-soo is going to get heavily punished as all kdrama endings go, so can we have yi-deum and jin-wook actually talk about their feelings and get together???? at this point in time the entire cho gap-soo revenge plot has kind of lost steam for me already, and i would take 59min of yi-deum x jin-wook and 1min of the revenge plot

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More interactions between Yi-deum and Jin-wook please

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They've got great chemistry, right?

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Exactly.

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The drama is about to end and I feel like there have been fewer YD and JW scenes in recent weeks. I need more YD and JW scenes! They don't have to be romantic. They just need to be in the same space together - bantering, re-enacting crime scenes, or just looking through paperwork.

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Thanks for your recap @helcat! Yi-deum is incorrigible but I love her, with all her swagge and that smirk. It's so pleasurable seeing her at her best when she works with her scrappy team.

I have no idea if Yi-deum has the maturity for a romance with Jin-wook. At the very least, I want them to recognize their bond and pledge to be on the same side forever and ever.

Jo Gap-soo's shenanigans are exhausting. Can someone to clock him with a potted plant and be done with it? It will be satisfying to finally see him in prison beige. The biggest emotional payoff will likely be mother and daughter reuniting. That better happen!

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*swagger

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First of all...YI DEUM SEDUCING THE GUY I CAN'T EVEN...! I couldn't stop laughing and feeling embarrassed for her. I love her self-confidence though LOL.

I guess they feel like they have to finish Gap Soo (+ everyone involved in mom's disappearance) to even go back to talking about their feelings for each other (because they're definitely there!!!!!).

Although, hmm. YD already acknowledged that JW isn't the one who should be apologizing. I don't think I ever mentioned it but I liked how she didn't push his mom's crimes onto him just for being his son. Granted she was angry at him for hiding things from her, which was warranted. But with the 3 month time lapse, I think she cooled off significantly re:her anger towards him. And even then, when she came back she has continuously told him to stay out of it. Ohh! I didn't have time to comment last week but I LOVE when YD said she could accept an apology but she couldn't forgive. That's something sooo real.

So they HAVE had small moments where they've talked about the tensions between them. Maybe not a long conversation but they've let each other aware of their feelings, at least regarding her mom/his mom/forgiveness. (+ next ep JW voices a more clear stance) And yet I need more OTP 😭😭😭 Come on show!!!!

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YD's seduction scene - I had to watch between my fingers and pause every few seconds to recollect myself. I cringed so hard.

I would love to see a BTS of that scene.

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I finally understood what Beanies meant by "secondhand embarrassment" while watching the failed seduction.

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I was pretty pissed at Yi Deum for agreeing with Yun-hee's plan behind Lawyer Min's back, and doubly so when there was no backup plan so Jin Wook had to go save them. YD's allure is that she doesn't undergo a transformation to become a more compassionate and just person - she is an unapologetic asshole- but I thought she'd be more cautious.

YD is truly a witch though. That gleeful smile at the end charmed me out of my anger. There's going to be more annoying nonsensical courtroom stuff, but I really want to know what YD will say or do next to tear down Tae-kyu!

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While I'm personally kind of disappointed with the main plot, seeing as Jo Gap Soo is such a dull antagonist, I still love this show and Ma Yi Deum's spunk and personality and I seriously have a girl-crush on her lol.
It was pretty cute when Yi Deum and Jin Wook were fussing over each other's injuries. Even though I'm guessing the final two episodes will be more about Gap Soo's demise, I'd love to see more cute from these two pretty please~
Thanks for the recap Helcat!

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I don't understand what Jo Gap-Soo wants out of all this evilness, like what's his end game? Power? The Presidency? Money and Glory? If he keeps constantly trying and failing to murder everyone he comes into contact with, someone is eventually going to notice before he gets that far.

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