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Class of Lies: Episodes 9-10 Open Thread

Boooyyyy does the plot thicken in the School of Sinners. SO MUCH went down this week, did everyone survive the tension? Big happenings push up the stakes and everyone’s got an agenda that they’ll do whatever it takes to protect. Our team fight to uncover how far exactly the villains are willing to go, and the Class of Liars sure is full of villains⁠—scheming, delightfully bad villains! The only question is, who’s the worst?

 
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP

Our first hour focus is on the adults, and Moo-hyuk is still working closely with Prosecutor Cha. He gets deep into fieldwork for his original investigation: Who killed Soo-ah, and who was using her for sexual favors? He discovers a hidden shortcut that would’ve allowed someone to enter or leave her house undetected. Together with loyal hacker friend WON-SEOK (Lee Soon-won), they scour hours and hours of CCTV footage which finally gives them one tiny clue: Beom-jin getting into a taxi a bare minute’s jog away from that spot, a week before Soo-ah was killed. Why was he there?

We left off last week with Moo-hyuk about to be caught by Beom-jin while hacking his phone. He manages to evade being caught outright, but Beom-jin’s pretty much onto him. More interestingly, hacker Won-seok discovers a surveillance app Beom-jin has hidden on his phone, with which he’s spying on an unknown person. Beom-jin has an agency photo-spread of Soo-ah on his phone that’s been mined from the one he’s spying on. They guess that whoever he’s spying on has got to be “Speed Dial 0”.

Meanwhile, So-hyun’s been chasing up shuttle Byung-ho to find out what he said to Han-soo that made him try to kill himself. She takes him to visit his friend in hospital, where he’s still in a coma, and Byung-ho breaks down sobbing. She learns how Lee Tae-seok groomed the vulnerable boy, but the message isn’t openly incriminating like they hoped.

I dunno, seems clear enough to me as Byung-ho finally realizes that his message about The Little Mermaid was an ultimatum to Han-soo, to choose his life or Soo-ah’s. Of course, we know what he chose. At that critical moment, though, Beom-jin appears and tells him he doesn’t need to tell anyone anything.

It’s really hard to tell exactly what Beom-jin’s game is with Byung-ho. He’s also been pulling bully Joon-jae’s strings, saving him and his mom from loan sharks, and I can’t see yet what the reason for that is. He clearly has some kind of long game, but what? At least by this point, everyone can see through his carefully curated image. I mean, if innocent, pure-hearted So-hyun thinks you’re up to something, you are definitely bad.

Moo-hyuk knows the information they need about “0” is in Lee Tae-seok’s safe at school, and he and Won-seok go to raid it that night. To their shock (and mine!!!), they stumble onto the man strung from the ceiling in what they quickly realize is a murder staged as suicide. Moreover, the notebook with the damning information is gone.

The police shut the case with alarming alacrity and Prosecutor Cha can’t do a thing about it because some much bigger fish have called the shots on this one. With Lee’s death, the stakes have suddenly shot wayyy up for everyone, but it’s become easier to rule out the lower-hanging fruit like Lee Do-jin (Ki-hoon’s dad).

Speaking of Ki-hoon, there’s a character who really has me torn. He’s the only one I really believe right now. He wants just two things: to know who killed Soo-ah, and for that person to be punished. He was probably the last person to see Lee Tae-seok alive, after he went to confront him with a baseball bat, and if we didn’t have any other evidence, just the way Lee beat the crap out of him and threw him out would tell us that that was not a suicidal man, but a man who believed he was about to get everything he ever wanted.

But more significant than that is the way Ki-hoon confronts and stands up to his dad, in a way that is either terribly brave, or terribly foolish (or both). But just as I’m beginning to warm to him, we get the full flashback of his sexual assault on Soo-ah where he is just utter scum-of-the-earth.

Maybe that’s what makes his character arc so compelling, because you can see him reassessing himself and finding himself lacking. But he is also still himself: short of fuse and prone to violent outbursts. That makes watching his internal moral conflict play out in such a transparent way equal parts painful and exciting.

I’m not sure if it’s an anti-climax to finally show the hidden face of Congressman YOO YANG-GI (Kim Min-sang), aka Beom-jin’s powerful dad, as “0”: the person in secret cahoots with Lee Tae-seok, the person buying Soo-ah’s services, the person in possession of the missing notebook, and, we can only assume, Lee’s killer, or at least the person who ordered the hit.

As for why Beom-jin is surveilling his dad, what’s everyone else’s guesses? This case has several threads: Let’s say Congressman Yoo is “0”—he’s definitely not the one who murdered Soo-ah. The strongest suspect for now is only Beom-jin. We also know he disappeared from his date with Tae-ra the night Soo-ah was killed, and came back smelling of smoke, and he lied about being with her the whole time. That’s shady.

Moo-hyuk’s cover is totally blown with the quartet, though, as Byung-ho reveals his true identity to Beom-jin. Beom-jin warns the quartet them to stay away from Moo-hyuk, and not to rock the damn boat if they want to keep a clean record.

But the kids are increasingly at odds with each other as their individual suspicions and secrets make them act out according to their own interests—which of course are against everyone else’s. Ye-ri is particularly furious about Moo-hyuk’s identity and nearly reveals all to a reporter until Beom-jin intercepts her. His hold on the group has become a palpable force, which is a fascinating change, because he’s always maintained control with an almost invisible touch.

The fact that his control is showing says to me that it’s also fraying. I feel like he’s become a dangerously predictable wildcard, which is a far cry from his buttoned-up beginning. There’s just so much about Beom-jin we don’t know, though the horrible cliffhanger ending seems to have revealed his hand with Joon-jae. I am downright scared of this diabolical trap Moo-hyuk just walked into, as the girl he saved from Joon-jae rips off her shirt and starts screaming. I just KNEW that was coming, but I didn’t think cynical, mistrustful Moo-hyuk who never underestimates the kids would so naively walk into it. Come on Moo-hyuk, run away! Save yourself!

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I am curious how he is going to get out of this. I was shocked when he didn't take the other teacher with him, so this should be interesting.

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Maybe because the student told him to come alone, but at least Moo Hyuk told Teacher So Hyun that there's something strange about that call so maybe she will be the one who help Moo Hyuk to clear up his name from the trap (I don't know.. In next week preview, Moo Hyuk is still at school threatening back Beom Jin 😅)

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The girl called him on his phone minutes before the incident - she'll have to explain that first. I don't think MH is in serious trouble because SH can back him up this time.

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I have more and more difficulties with Teacher So-hyun. Her naivity is so frustrating. She said to Byung Ho it wasn't his fault for Han Soo. Han Soo was not the best of his class, so if he knew the end of the Mermaid, Byung Ho should know too. He didn't want Han Soo's death but he played a role in his suicide, he didn't assume and tell the truth. Nobody would know if Moo-hyuk didn't search for the basket's owner.

It's interesting to see the students to be forced to see Beom Jin's true nature.

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I can’t deal with the stupidity of this teacher🤦🏻‍♀️.

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I'm with you on this. One of my biggest pet peeves is stupidity being disguised as naiveté, and they are pretty close with Teacher So-Hyun.

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@kurama I'm finding her a bit frustrating as well, but I think the story needs a beacon like her to keep reminding us that the kids are still kids. Anyway, I'm curious to see what they will do with her character. Will she continue as annoying Pollyanna till the end, or will she have some sort of breakdown/realization? I admit, I hope it's the latter.

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I thought at one point she came to some realization, but I was wrong. 🤦🏻‍♀️

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I agree about her naivete being at times unbearable, but then I think about it from her point of view: she can only approach the situation with her own experiences and frame of reference, and the fact is, she's not a cut-throat lawyer or even a dangerously ambitious teacher. She's a caregiver who takes her pastoral duties really seriously, and Moo-hyuk's world is so far removed from hers that it takes a paradigm shift in her thinking to actually comprehend it. And credit to her, she *is* catching up, albeit slowly.

I also got really annoyed at her acting like she's better than Moo-hyuk, especially the lecture she gave him about how only results matter to him and not the kids. but all it means is she's doing her job, and he's doing his - his job IS results, it's to administrate and implement legal outcomes, hers is to raise kids to adults who can make good decisions and don't become monsters. He's what happens when that fails. They're two stages on a continuum where the application of justice is the last stage, but acquiring morality is the first. In sum, both of them are right and neither of them are wrong, but I must admit that So-hyun might just have the edge here given that Moo-hyuk is there AS a teacher. So even if he's a fake and has his own agenda, he *should* be reminded that there are consequences to everything he's doing, and could hurt vulnerable kids. Because don't forget they're minors, even if a handful are monsters, and the school has a legal duty of care towards them.

So basically, I tried to understand So-hyun because she was annoying me, haha. And then I realised she had a point.

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can you tell I have been thinking about this way too long

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hahahaha, yes, we totally can.

Though I can't really be wholly mad at so-hyun for the same reasons you mentioned because she is not moo-hyuk and that's why she reacts that way.

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I get her compassion. But she’s still stupid. Not only is she stupid, she also thinks she’s a better person than others. Standing on moral high grounds and looking down on a lawyer and a prosecutor. Yet she’s done very little to help her school all these years. Having high morals is pointless if she’s oblivious to so many things happening around her.

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me too. I felt really frustrated because she practically did nothing useful to help Moo-hyuk, but then I realised that she doesn't have to. As in, she's her own character, and it isn't to be Moo-hyuk' s sidekick nor a plot device to move the story along. She has a story to tell, and hers is one of care and compassion towards the students despite the cruelty that surrounds them. She humanizes the students to see them beyond victims, attackers and witnesses and also poses us a question about the extent of obligation of teachers to protect students.

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I agree that the story needs someone taking care of the children. But she is a teacher in High School and she is acting like her students were in elementary school.

She saw nothing about what is happening in her school because she believes that all kids are kind. She always critized Moo-Hyuk when she's the one who failed the most. She agreed with that but she didn't really change neither.

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@saya dead-on with your description of Ki-hoon. I was really starting to get behind him, and it was pretty compelling to see him reach that breaking point where he was standing up to his father, confronting Butler Lee, etc. The way they did flashback to the assault almost at the same time lost me for a few milliseconds and has got me wondering... did they intentionally disempower us to like and root for him? (rhetorical question). Why won't this show let me root for anyone! I guess the thing to root for is not a person at all, and instead that thing called the truth.

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I think that's exactly what the scene intends - to give you that emotional whiplash and moral dissonance. But if you take a step back, I think you can still root for him. Yes, he has serious, serious problems, but you know what, he's beginning to see them. And people are a mix of their good and bad, even if one seems to eclipse the other. He still has a glimmer of sincerity in him that makes me willing to root for him to really turn around and I refuse to write him off.

On the other hand, someone like Beom-jin could actually be irredeemable, for all that he clearly knows better - or maybe *because* he so evidently knows better, but chooses worse. Whereas with Ki-hoon (and I would say bully Joon-jae too), they never learnt about how to be better than they are, but they *can* learn.

But yes! The truth! I root for that too! (So does Ki-hoon!)

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I was a bit irritated by the last part because I thought Moo-hyuk is supposed to be smarter than this and he should have seen that trap coming before the girl even screamed but oh well, I'll be waiting for how he handles this.

and also can't wait to figure out where Beom-jin is in all of this. And I want everyone to see his true nature behind that calm student mask of his.

Also, can I just spazz how awesome Ki-hoon's actor is, I can't tear away my eyes from the screen whenever he is on!!!

I can't believe he played the sweet Hee-soo in Avengers Social Club!

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Ki-hoon has a sort of charm to him that I can't help rooting for him

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ikr, he's a bad character but...

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But he's still a vulnerable kid.. (And a dangerous one..)

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i know that's why I'm looking forward whether in the following episodes he will work with Moo-hyuk to uncover the mystery of Soo-ah's death.

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I guess maybe Beom Jin burnt the evidence from Soo Ah's place that night..

And I'm scared for Cha Hyun Jung's safety for next week episode, the preview looks brutal. I hope nothing really serious will happen to Moo Hyuk's team ㅠㅠ

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Prosecutor Cha needs to be protected. We couldn't even protect her in Age of Youth (as Moon Hyo-jin). I am going to be sad if something happens to her :(

I have this motherly love for Ki-hoon. It might be because I was so protective of him in Avengers Social Club when he was still a lovable high school kid. HAHAHA. I really really hope we get a redemption arc at least for him.

I am thinking Beom-jin's Dad is involved deeply in the Soo-ah case and that Beom-jin was investigating him. BUT Beom-jin himself is evil as hell so it is also possible that he might be the one involved in Soo-ah's death, as my gut feeling says so.

I am still invested in this show but can I just rant that Moo-hyuk isn't so smart when the plot needs him not to. Inconsistencies like this makes me love the show less. I hope he has a plan.

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ikr, all of a sudden in this latest episode it seems Moo-hyuk has used up all his remaining intelligence and didn't even bother running away as soon as the girl stripped.

i'm so excited to see how he'll defend himself this time.

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I'm looking forward to see how he defends himself this time but I just hoped that the way show gave him this obstacle isn't this way... I'll gladly give him my remaining brain cell. He needs to use that to make the right decisions...

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hahahahahaha, well, we should give it to him or better yet to the writers of this episode XD

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I love the first image with Beom-jin twisting the arm of Ki-hoon. It is Hitckockian. Is Ki-hoon redeamiable? Is his conscience still operating?

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