66

Forest of Secrets: Episode 3

Oh, these two are great together. Shi-mok is most definitely the yin to Yeo-jin’s yang, and though they’re still taking their sweet time learning to trust each other, I’m already liking what I’m seeing with them. With barely any time on his hands, Shi-mok has no choice but to display his suspicions regarding the case to the public. Those above him will do whatever it takes to hinder his efforts, but he may come to find that his superiors aren’t the only ones he should be watching out for.

 
EPISODE 3 RECAP

Stunned by Shi-mok’s suggestion for him to lead the way and drag him along, Deputy Chief Lee wonders if Shi-mok has been this power hungry all along.

“Once the audit begins,” Shi-mok says, “I’ll need to find a way to survive too.” Deputy Chief Lee tells him to shoulder this case then, since he’s the one who started it.

As soon as Shi-mok nods in compliance and heads out, the deputy chief swipes the contents from his desk in frustration.

Shi-mok walks by a pojangmacha, noticing Eun-soo drinking alone. He almost turns away, but hearing her order another soju makes him stop and approach her. She stares him down accusingly, asking if he gave her the CEO Park case on Deputy Chief Lee’s orders. When she asks if he even gave her manipulated footage, Shi-mok bluntly says that she’s exaggerating because of her own self-pity.

Eun-soo finds it hard to believe this was all a misunderstanding, especially knowing that her sunbae never makes mistakes. However, Shi-mok admits that he really is unsure of what’s going on around him. (That makes two of us.)

That admission breaks a bit of Eun-soo’s defensive wall. She drops her gaze and admits that she couldn’t even tell her father where she worked when she became a junior prosecutor, because just hearing the name “Lee Chang-joon” would make his blood boil. Tears fill her eyes as she tells Shi-mok that she can’t get fired, because her family depends on her.

She asks for him to help her, but he just gets up to leave. As he walks away, Eun-soo’s expression turns grave and she mutters, “They should’ve committed the perfect crime. Why did they have to kill that bastard?” Hearing this, Shi-mok glances back at her for a second.

At home, Shi-mok considers his possibilities as Deputy Chief Lee’s words weigh down on him. Finally, he comes to a decision, and the next thing we know, he’s entering a broadcasting studio. He’s clearly uncomfortable in this setting, but the host gets him to relax before they’re put on the air.

Once the cameras are all on them, the host reads through Kang Jin-sub’s suicide letter and asks if Shi-mok is the prosecutor Kang mentioned – the prosecutor who ignored him when he swore he was innocent. Without hesitation, Shi-mok says that he is.

The host, as well as the audience, are shocked to hear this, so Shi-mok explains that he was the initial prosecutor while his co-worker was the prosecutor that stood in court. Eun-soo watches hopefully as she sits by her mother and father in the hospital.

Moving right along, Shi-mok says that he volunteered to be on this program because of Kang Jin-sub’s testimony. He informs everyone that Kang Jin-sub’s claim was that CEO Park was dead by the time he reached the house.

Switching on the black box footage, he points out the figure by the window. The host figures that Kang Jin-sub’s claim was false then, but Shi-mok reveals that they found evidence of the victim’s blood in a place that Kang Jin-sub never went.

Therefore, Shi-mok explains his conclusion that the person by the window wasn’t CEO Park, but the culprit. In his home, Deputy Chief Lee watches Shi-mok elaborate that the culprit put on a show to make it seem like the victim was alive. Shi-mok admits that he should’ve listened to the defendant instead of relying on the footage.

With the culprit still out there, clearly playing games with the law enforcement, Shi-mok states that the culprit must be found within two months. Shi-mok turns toward the camera and vows to find this person himself – if he doesn’t, he’ll resign.

After a moment of silence, Shi-mok is showered with applause from the studio’s audience.

The police station welcomes an eager new recruit named PARK SOON-CHANG. Once everyone gives their greetings and piles out, leaving Yeo-jin alone, she hops on the internet to find Shi-mok’s name as the #1 searched item. His popularity has blown up since the television broadcast.

Shi-mok surprises Yeo-jin by appearing behind her (nice ninja skills there, sir), and he asks where CEO Park’s mother is. Yeo-jin smiles, knowing that today marks the first day of his self-imposed two-month search, and gets up to escort him to the jimjilbang Mom is staying at.

He keeps insisting on going alone until Yeo-jin shuts him up by saying, “She’ll be in the women-only section though.” As they leave together, a shady-looking officer spots them from behind.

Yeo-jin tries to make small talk in the car, though she’s only given dead-serious answers from Shi-mok. When she questions his old-fashioned manner of speaking, Shi-mok genuinely wonders if the way he speaks is that strange. Aww.

Yeo-jin also questions why Shi-mok didn’t reveal who CEO Park really was. He answers with another question: Why didn’t she reveal that Officer Kim Soo-chan tried to conceal the blood sample?

She sighs that Soo-chan has a wife and kid overseas, so he must’ve had his reasons. In return, Shi-mok explains that two people in the prosecutor’s office were once caught for their corruption — but the two still went off to have rather comfortable careers.

Yeo-jin scoffs at the fact that they got off so easy – surely all people aren’t like that. “Right?” she asks hesitantly. Shi-mok says that in all of CEO Park’s years of corruption, only two people refused his offers, and Yeo-jin correctly guesses Shi-mok was one of the two.

The duo finds CEO Park’s mother at the jimjilbang and pull her aside to talk. She’s noticeably comfortable with Yeo-jin but anxious with Shi-mok, specifically with his rapid-fire questions. When he asks if there was any suspicious activity the day before her son’s death, Mom does remember one thing: “He fought with someone.”

Mom thinks back to when CEO Park had received and ignored several calls in the middle of the night. Irritated, he’d finally answered, only to start yelling at the person on the other line. Mom had even caught him cursing at the person for trying to blackmail him. She tells Shi-mok and Yeo-jin that he’d briefly went out after that, probably to meet that person.

Still noticing Mom’s fidgeting, Shi-mok asks why she’d be so affectionate toward her son when he left her in a pile of debt, earning him a mixed look from Mom. Shi-mok tells her that he called her younger brother (who she’d claimed she’d been with the day her son died), and according to him, her alibi was false. Still unable to look Shi-mok in the eye, Mom admits that she’d been working elsewhere.

Horrified by his line of questioning, Yeo-jin yanks Shi-mok outside and chides him for saying those things. But he merely states that nowadays, it’s not at all rare for parents to kill their children, or vice versa.

Yeo-jin argues that he should concentrate on catching the culprit instead of accusing the victim’s family, especially an old woman who can’t even walk well, despite his claim that this is him trying to catch the culprit. “The murdered one isn’t the only victim. Everyone who’s been wounded by the crime is a victim,” she adds.

In an attempt to get her point across to an unresponsive Shi-mok, she likens his actions to a hit-and-run: “Suppose she [Mom] had a hit-and-run incident on the street, and you just hit her again with a car, saying that you’re doing it to catch the culprit. Get it?” In response, Shi-mok cites alarming statistics about family violence, finally adding, “Not everyone feels pain just because their family member died.”

Yeo-jin rejoins Mom inside, all smiles and in full jimjilbang attire. She notices Mom sulking over her food and blurts out that she’s craving a home-cooked meal, so she takes Mom all the way to her rooftop apartment. (Mom sees Yeo-jin’s drawings on the walls and assumes she has a child, heh.)

But to Mom’s surprise, Yeo-jin leaves her the key and tells her not to wait up before hurrying out. Yeo-jin peeks into the window, relieved to see Mom unwind inside. Aww.

Shi-mok is called in by the section chief, who gives him an earful for humiliating the prosecutor’s office on national television. As always, Shi-mok politely apologizes.

He’s called in to see Deputy Chief Lee next, but he finds himself waiting patiently by the secretary’s desk for what must be hours.

It’s not until the secretary gets a call that the deputy chief will meet him sometime later that Shi-mok finally leaves, though he expresses zero frustration at having been made to wait in vain.

To top it all off, he finds an impossible amount of work piled on his desk when he returns to his office — but again, he doesn’t react to this newest form of punishment and just dutifully gets to work.

Eventually, Shi-mok heads out to lunch, ending up in the same restaurant as Dong-jae and the Special Regulatory Team. He eats alone while Dong-jae’s team scoffs at his shamelessness from afar, none of them aware that Shi-mok literally cannot care less. Eun-soo, however, can’t help but watch Shi-mok with pity.

Afterwards, Eun-soo finds Shi-mok back at the office and apologizes for her team’s immature behavior. She offers him a warm smile, saying that she heard her father had been impressed with Shi-mok as a law student.

Shi-mok gets a call from Yeo-jin just then – she’s tracked down the last phone call CEO Park had and discovered that it came from the Civil Affairs section of the prosecutor’s office. Upon hearing this, Shi-mok races to Civil Affairs with Eun-soo right behind him.

They spot a CCTV right across from the phone used and ask security for the footage. But the guard informs them that the footage was deleted after fifteen days (despite proper protocol requiring that they wait sixty days).

Eun-soo tries to stop Shi-mok before he hurries out, wondering if he thinks that the person who called CEO Park last is the culprit. Shi-mok says that he’s just a suspect for now, but one who used an office phone so as not to expose his phone number. And, he adds, that suspect is the last person to have seen CEO Park alive.

Shi-mok sits in his car to sift through all the black box footage from the night before the murder. He pauses when he lands on footage of CEO Park throwing a coffee cup into the trash while passing by. Upon zooming in, he sees that the logo on the cup is a rabbit.

And the hunt is on. Shi-mok starts at CEO Park’s house, calculating that the shop must be around sixteen minutes away, since CEO Park was out for a total of thirty-two minutes.

He tries to retrace the steps until he lands on the sixteen minute mark, and then he goes through every coffee shop in the area to find the exact logo. (The directing here is pretty cool, with the map Shi-mok’s using being superimposed on walls and roads as he goes from shop to shop.)

After a while, he finds the right place and gets a hold of the owner. While the owner doesn’t have CCTV footage from that far back, she is willing to have him meet with the employee who’d been working that night.

As the owner tries and fails to reach the employee, Shi-mok turns to the back, envisioning CEO Park arguing with someone. He wonders who that someone could be, though the figure in his imagination resembles Deputy Chief Lee.

We see Deputy Chief Lee with his head down for once, apologizing to his father-in-law (ah, is this the chief prosecutor?) for allowing Shi-mok to appear on TV. His father-in-law thinks he should be sorrier for missing his chance of going on TV himself and becoming a hero, acknowledging that Shi-mok was smarter than his son-in-law for doing so.

His father-in-law says that what happened to CEO Park is Deputy Chief Lee’s doing, though his son-in-law refuses to agree. Hm, is he in denial, or is he telling the truth?

Either way, his father-in-law wants him to take care of this the old-fashioned way: by blaming someone else. His father-in-law knows that Shi-mok is untouchable right now because of the broadcast, and knows that’s exactly why Shi-mok did it. He orders Deputy Chief Lee to create a criminal for Shi-mok to catch, but adds that he has to make sure that the true criminal isn’t caught alive, otherwise, they’ll spill everyone’s corrupt ties to CEO Park.

His voice a mixture of disappointment and annoyance, the father-in-law swears to cut Deputy Chief Lee out of the picture if he can’t clean up his own mess.

And if things go wrong, his father-in-law suggests he get Shi-mok back on the broadcast and start all over, so that Shi-mok will lose the trust of the public he’s just cultivated. His father-in-law adds that Young Il-jae (Eun-soo’s father) collapsed recently, which gets Deputy Chief Lee’s attention.

Deputy Chief Lee visits the hospital, watching Eun-soo and her father casually look over a case file together. He thinks back to when her father had first been appointed as Minister of Justice – Deputy Chief Lee had come to the ceremony with a bouquet, smiling proudly. He bows to her father before leaving, though Eun-soo catches his retreating figure.

Deputy Chief Lee grabs a few drinks with the officer who’d spotted Shi-mok and Yeo-jin at the station. The officer teases him that he could’ve avoided his situation if he’d just married a girl from their hometown. (Deputy Chief Lee reminds him that he had to change his identity.)

The officer brings up Shi-mok, and Deputy Chief Lee simply downs his drink, saying he’ll do whatever it takes to step over the prosecutor. “It took me too long to reach this point,” he mutters. The officer advises him to dig up some dirt on Shi-mok, bringing up what he saw at the station. Deputy Chief Lee is surprised to hear that Shi-mok might be working with someone else, since he always works alone.

While working at home, Shi-mok gets a call from Eun-soo urging him to watch the TV special covering CEO Park’s murder. Shi-mok switches it on to hear the host bring up an anonymous post to their forum that claimed to know Shi-mok from middle school.

And according to the post, Shi-mok had actually been expelled from middle school for being a violent student who would hit kids for no explicable reason. The person making the claims, their face blurred for the camera, goes into detail about Shi-mok’s violent tendencies, repeatedly calling him a “psycho.”

Yeo-jin watches the report in shock as the reporter continues that they visited Shi-mok’s school and even his relatives, only to be turned away. But they did receive one statement from a relative (from behind a locked door) that Shi-mok had already been “fully treated.”

Late that night, Shi-mok visits the very relatives shown in the broadcast. He sits down with his mother and apologizes for the ruckus, though all she’s worried about is him and whether or not his past blowing up will harm his career. “I told you to live quietly!” she stresses.

Shi-mok merely tells her to pretend she doesn’t know him if the reporters return. Mom looks up at him and asks about his hearing pain, and he answers that he’s fine now. But before Shi-mok leaves, Mom asks about his father, though he says he hasn’t heard from him. He gestures to the man behind them – presumably his stepfather, and the one who said he was “fully treated” – and urges her inside.

As Shi-mok heads over to his car, Stepdad tells Mom that it’s not safe to be around a “psycho” like him. Mom storms off, saying that her son isn’t like that.

Once he gets home, Shi-mok’s hearing suddenly goes haywire – he clutches his ears in pain as a high-pitched noise pierces through them. He collapses to the floor, unconscious.

Yeo-jin returns home after work and rests outside as she recalls the broadcast earlier. She scoffs, thinking the post must belong to someone who was jealous of Shi-mok’s instant fame. But she can’t shake the image of Shi-mok when he’d tried to re-enact CEO Park’s murder, though she quickly shakes it off when CEO Park’s mother comes out to greet her.

Shi-mok wakes up some time later, back to his old self. And elsewhere, in a PC bang, we see the classmate Shi-mok had run into in the first episode typing out a new anonymous post.

The next day, Shi-mok quickly learns that the news of his past spread fast, which earns him stares all the way to work. As usual, he doesn’t react to any of it.

Dong-jae is absolutely ecstatic about the news as he tells Deputy Chief Lee all about it, though the deputy chief is having a difficult time believing that the claims of violence are true. If they are true, however, he thinks it could be portrayed both negatively and positively – the public could see it as a touching story about a troublemaker who overcame his flaws to become a prosecutor.

“I pushed him off a cliff,” Deputy Chief Lee states, “but he fell onto a gold mine.”

This seems like nonsense to Dong-jae, but the deputy chief just chides him for not managing his own team well. Dong-jae promises that he can handle any task he’s given, but this time, the deputy chief orders him out… just as Shi-mok comes in. Dong-jae reluctantly leaves, only to whirl around and enter a nearby conference room.

Deputy Chief Lee cuts right to the chase and asks Shi-mok if the report was true. Shi-mok easily admits that it was, even revealing that he had surgery to fix the issue, though the deputy chief seems skeptical that surgery can fix the issues Shi-mok had.

Regardless, Deputy Chief Lee urges him to fulfill his mission in two months, making Shi-mok remind him that he intends to take the deputy chief’s position. He asks if all he has to do is follow orders, starting with pushing Dong-jae out of his position.

With that in mind, Shi-mok asks why he’s trying so hard to get rid of his right-hand man anyway. Deputy Chief Lee explains that he needs to cut his right hand off in order for a newer and better one to grow.

So, Shi-mok figures that Dong-jae knows something that could hurt Deputy Chief Lee, making him (Shi-mok) the only resourceful option. The deputy chief just tells him to do his job and to catch the real culprit this time.

As Shi-mok exits the office, he notices Dong-jae hastily leave the conference room right next door. He steps into the conference room, freezing when he realizes he can hear Deputy Chief Lee’s voice through the open window. “Seo Dong-jae heard everything,” he thinks.

Dong-jae marches into his office for a file he has hidden under his desk and folds a photo of a young woman in his jacket pocket.

Shi-mok finally gets in contact with the coffee shop employee and heads over to the shop to hopefully get a face to go with his suspect. He shows the employee Deputy Chief Lee’s picture first, followed by Dong-jae’s, but the employee doesn’t recognize either of them.

But when he zooms out of the group photo, the employee is able to point out the suspect. And Shi-mok actually looks shocked as he turns around to envision the meeting – it was Eun-soo.

 
COMMENTS

Um… what?? That was one twist I did not see coming. Sure, there were plenty of warning signs that I should’ve caught onto, such as Eun-soo’s drunken words in the beginning and her sullen reaction to Shi-mok discovering CEO Park’s last call. But in all honesty, I’d fallen into the trap this episode set up – it had me thinking that I’d misjudged Eun-soo.

After coming out as a naive prosecutor craving success and then crumbling down along with the consequences, there was a lot of instant sympathy there. I thought that perhaps she’d just gotten involved with the wrong people and that with the right person willing to help – Shi-mok – she could be steered back to the right path. But this I was not expecting. Now I’m not sure where the lies begin or end with her – clearly, she plays some part in CEO Park’s downfall, but just how much of a role does she play? Is she truly just an innocent prosecutor trying her best to survive, or is she just as corrupt as the others? One thing’s for sure: She’s quickly becoming one of the most interesting characters thus far. The fact that the detail-oriented Shi-mok can’t seem to read her makes her all the more fascinating.

With that said, I love how much depth these characters are given. Not just our good guys, but the villains, too. Deputy Chief Lee seemed like the Big Bad of the bunch, and yet we’ve come to realize – this early, no less – that he may just be another victim of the manipulation of the prosecutor’s office. He’s certainly a player in all of this, but it was interesting to see the man who’s been toying with our hero show a sliver of his weak side.

I want to know more about his story with Eun-soo’s father, because there seems to be so much history there. And surely Eun-soo herself is included in that history. It would be so easy to make characters like the deputy chief, Eun-soo, and even Dong-jae disposable villains, but they’re each given just enough humanity for me to understand why they might’ve stepped into the dark side (and maybe got a little too cozy over there). I don’t approve of their actions in any way, but I understand them. And what Forest of Secrets is doing so well is that it makes me want to understand everyone’s actions the darker they seem to get.

We got to hear just a little more on Shi-mok’s past, and it was just enough to leave me satisfied but craving for more. His childhood is piecing together to what seems like a rather disturbing picture – I mean, that story with the little girl who’d gotten scared in class and screamed? And little Shi-mok was most likely in so much pain that there was nothing he could think of to do but hit her repeatedly? Just thinking about it sends a shiver down my spine, but it’s little details like that that draw me even closer to this character.

But I must say that after this episode’s reveal, I’m truly at a loss for who to put my trust in. I totally thought it was safe to trust Eun-soo again, and that backfired. I thought it was safe to trust CEO Park’s mother, but now Shi-mok’s made me doubtful. Hell, when Shi-mok discusses his plan to rise to power with Deputy Chief Lee, I sometimes doubt him. I know he may not be able to feel greed, but the overwhelming desire to reach the top can be a tricky thing. I’m crossing my fingers that I won’t ever have to worry about our hero truly stepping over to the dark side — especially since Yeo-jin is there to balance out the light and the dark around him — but at this point, I think anything is possible.

 
RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , ,

66

Required fields are marked *

Shi Mok is super mysterious but I like that he lets Yeo Jin join in on the investigating. So far they make a great team.

6
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Mhmm I actually have a lot of faith in Shi-mok, it feels to me like he isn't even capable of being corrupted...
Which is weird considering that he is supposedly unable to feel and with that I wonder....how far can he have empathy for the people around him? I don't know, all his actions just seem to like he DOES feel empathy and cares a lot in his own ways so I'm interested in knowing more about his "disability".

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

He and Yeo Jin are the cutest thing to me. ^^ I just love to see them both together on screen.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

He can't feel right now but I feel like his memories of being a victim are helping him to emphatize with people. Like when he mentioned about domestic abuse and that family does not necessarily feel loss to Yeo-jin, he sounded like a person who had experience growing up in an unsettling home environment.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

@sailorjumun I don't think anyone saw that coming!!! What a great twist of events. I questioned her morals, she seemed like she might be corruptable given the way she manipulated turning over the video, but to actually be part of the murder plot? Had. No. Idea. This creates a whole new dynamic for her character. How and why was she involved in CEO parks life?? I can assume she wasn't being bribed with prostitutes, so what is the connection? The plot thickens....

3
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

nobody saw that coming!

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

But when it comes, suddenly it make sense. Little detail like in episode 1 where she seem to recognize CEO Park name but then pretend to not know....

Actually there's still a lot of loose string in the drama, like the real reason for Kang's suicide or the one who ask inspector Kim to steal the laptop. Even the son of victim looks suspicious. Man... Like Sailorjumun said, everyone looks suspicious. Even Shi Mok. This drama really hold up to its title, secret of forest

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

the son and the mother of victim are suspicious, but still, I can't predict anything with that twist

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

YES been waiting on this recap because I NEED PEOPLE TO DISCUSS THIS SHOW WITH. I'm seriously so invested and trying to figure the plot out because as we now know, every little detail counts, and just like the tagline: Nothing is as it seems.

Some observations:
1.) Interesting how Deputy Chief Lee seemed disappointed when Shi-mok first said that he'd follow him. As though he'd hoped for Shi-mok to be different from everyone else, including himself.
2.) From the way Jo Seung-woo plays Shi-mok, it appears that he does feel emotions, but perhaps just at a lower level than the average person. He is also very good at controlling his emotions, so that adds to the apparently cold and emotionless impression. Case in point of when he felt things - frustration at all the work getting piled onto him, his sadness with his mother (and trying way too hard to not be a bother to her) + the ensuing stress-induced headache, and his smile at his old classmate. It seems like he genuinely likes the dude, especially his naivete.
3.) Turns out, both Shi-mok and Yeo-jin both discuss important information with random people. It's interesting because even though they both work in places that they know to be corrupt, they seem to still try to trust people. An example is Shi-mok sharing info with Eun-soo. He also seemed to genuinely care about her before the suspicion. I find this fascinating because both Shi-mok and Yeo-jin are not stupid people. This effort to see people as potentially trustworthy until proven otherwise is either a conscious choice or a subconscious compulsion. It's hard to tell what the writer/director means at the moment, but I look forward to finding out.

Some questions:
1.) Who's the other person who never took bribes? Maybe Eun-soo's dad?
2.) Is that part-timer even legit? Or was he planted?
3.) Did Deputy Chief Lee intend for Dong-jae to hear all of that?

7
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

In re/ to 3), it did strike me how odd it was for Deputy Chief Lee not to be aware his voice would carry over to the next office since his character has been portrayed as calculating and meticulous. The fact that he was standing right next to a open window most adjacent to the conference room makes me think that it was intentional.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't think the surgery was 100% successful, as the stress induced ear pain suggests. I also find it interesting that he lied to his mother about the ear pain so she wouldn't have to worry (remember the same kind of black-out in episode one). Yeah, there are still emotions in there, if only seriously dulled by the surgery.

BTW Q2 is a wonderful indicator of how far in this show has pulled us all into the kind of question everything paranoia that it wants us to experience; however, given how Eun-soo followed Shi-mok around "investigating" this meeting, I think she was the person in question and she was trying to both control how much information Shi-mok got and to determine how much he actually knew.

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah I'm basically just waiting for a morsel of a scene where Shi-mok and Yeo-jin have a heart-to-heart and Shi-mok is finally able to express some of his emotions.

Also waiting on more backstory for Yeo-jin. Thus far, both the plot and the emotional core has been around Shi-mok. Yeo-jin is largely a cipher - a cipher who happens to be nice to old ladies, yes, but still one nonetheless. It would be nice for her story and character to be rounded out as well.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Also love the little detail on the characters house. It feels like those people really live there while showing their characters.

Shi Mok's apartment is just big enough for him with only basic necessity. I bet after he bought that apartment, he immediately move in just like that, no need for interior or stuff. His kitchen basically empty and it really shows how uncaring he is about his house. But what intrigued me most is the location of his apartment, the window exactly in front of prosecutor's office. Why?

In other hand, Yeo Jin house looks humble. It have a high stairs, probably cheap, but the view is beautiful and full of sunshine. The moment it shows her room full of drawing, suddenly Yeo Jin seems different in my eyes. I don't know, she just feel human for me. Like she have life beyond this drama and her story just as important as our male lead.

Man, what this drama do to me. I just write a short essay now (-_-)

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah I love that scene where the grandma finally struggles up the stairs and the view just opens up before her. The city, the wind in their hair, it was beautiful.

3

I am loving this show. Everybody has their own agenda. Nobody is faithful deep down to anybody. All are trying to survive and bring other's down for their own selfish reason. I was surprised at Eun Soo but it makes sense. If her father truly is the kind of honest, hard working human being that still inspires some form of respect from evil-doers.... it'd be painful for his only child to let go and not seek revenge. Although I doubt Eun Soo got her hands dirty. At best she possibly directly or indirectly facilitated the murder. I have a feeling, she had an idea as to what was coming to Park and just let it happen. Which makes Shi-Mok, the only possible target for our corrupt gang at the Prosecutors office. He is not driven by money, greed or passion. He is driven perhaps by curiosity. Or the more ressons as to why he needs Yeo Jin. She has what he lacks.
I also must add I appreciate all the actors here. From Bae Doona, Jo Seung Woo to Shin Hye -Sun. All of them are doing so well. It makes watching the show rewarding experience as we get great acting from all. TVN lucked out. They should thank their lucky stars.
Shi-Mok also keeps reminding me of Jang Hyuk's Young-Oh. Is it just me?

9
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

raising my hand here ??

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

umm, LYO is natural-born genius which more like show his "arrogant" and capability also give sarcastic comments to everything, tend to hurt/challenge people around him with his words without he meant to lol.
But Shi Mok more like quiet type, obedient and strict to the ''right" thing.
both are my favourite. I can't choose lol

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the recap, SailorJumun. With a drama like this, recaps help so much to understand the details. I love that this drama demands all my attention and that in turn makes me forget about all other things in my life. I love yeo Jin took CEO park's mother under her care, I love how she empathizes with people. I am itching to know some back story on her.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love the fact that after every episode I am finding myself saying "WOW!" SailorJumun you are so right when you credit these writers and the show for taking the time to make everybody human. It makes the impact of every decision, both good and bad, that much more dramatic because we understand not only why the decision is made but all the various ways that it affects everyone, including the bad guys.

The other aspect of this show that I am loving is the fact that I don't believe this is simply a good guy/bad guy kind of show. I think there are factions and individuals all trying to vie for power/influence/revenge etc. Some of their interests will align and therefore they will ally and take advantage, but not everybody is on the same page, let alone team. For example, at this point in time I don't think Eun-soo is part of the conspiracy, I think she was trying to take advantage of it for her own (or her father's) gain. The beauty of this show, however, is that I don't know because our two main leads don't know. Again, I can't say enough about the confidence that this show has in its story!

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Jo Seung Woo does microexpressions so well.

11
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

He is so talented. I'm sad I discovered him so late. A true chungmuro actor...

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

yup...his microexpressions are on point. he's a talented handsome ahjussi

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes. We can really tell when he isn't just 'looking' at a character, he's observing them, studying them for the slightest change in facial expression and body language. He's really a brilliant actor love him!

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I’d love to see another version of this show where we can hear all of his thoughts during each of these scenes

OKAY WOW I WAS NOT EXPECTING THAT ENDING. I’m gonna need to stop feeling bad for Eun Soo. It clearly seems that she’s been on the dark side for a while

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I am only willing trust Yeo-jin and Shi-mok right now. And I confess I totally ship them, although this is a show that doesn't at all need a romance. It's just that they are so well matched. And I just don't think anyone else would ever understand Shi-mok as well as Yeo-jin – they just seem to be able to be themselves in each other's presence, with none of the judgment or questioning or doubts that seems to come when they are with others.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Just sad that only so few people are commenting on the recaps of this show. I want to read more comments on it. >-<

5
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

My two favorite things on this show apart from the plot/characters' depth : the cinematography and the way Seoul's dark alleys, sleepless nights and poor areas are filmed. There is something that feels very realistic about the way it is portrayed, and at the same time, along with the music, I feel like in this show the city is its own character. Amazing work, in my opinion, because it's very subtil and the plans are beautiful.
The other thing : goddamnit the main actor's expressions are literally perfect.
Anyway, my favorite show of 2017 so far.

10
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

annnsow

I was wondering if someone else would comment on the delicious cinematic work this show is treating us to. I must add...WOW. This is one of best visually constructed character thematic visuals I have seen in Kdrama.

THE VISUAL WORLD
Each character is given a tight visual language and motivations are subtly enhanced through their deliberate visual framing

Shi-mok's shots could be subject of a thesis. They are deliberately framed to fill his scenes with detail—this is further amplified by using a long lens and/or large depth of field to exaggerate and bring forward the detail so it almost smothers him. (eg, his office, the walk from the prison through the mesh, the intensely beautiful waiting scene in this episode...even basic shots of driving or standing in an office of are a joy in this show).

His apartment shots are uncomfortably intense, not only does he live across from the prosecutor's office, looking down on his work world from external and afar. This space that is typically "home", is constructed as a place that is so unhomely. Visually the room is almost rejecting him, where he is either shot melting into the shadows or placed jarringly awkward in the room. This is not a place of solace. (oh that wall paper)

Our Detective Yeo-Jin's visual language is contrasted to Shi-mok's detail rich world. She is typically framed against simple textured backgrounds and shallow depth of field to further downplay detail. In her world, complexity is placed in front of her out of shot. In this spatial world she is able to navigate calmly (seriously, her office seat location is the only one with no paper stacks in the background). It is only when she is with Shi-mok and the intensity of his world impacts her does her visual world approach Shi-mok's complexity of structure.

Eun-Soo is tightly framed and slightly claustrophobic. In her scenes, it is hard to read her or her context. Detail is often stripped away not to simplify her world but isolate and obscure her relation to others. However, events enter her frame awkwardly and she is often unsighted from what is coming at her. This enhances the feeling of unease surrounding the character.

Deputy Chief Lee & his right arm Dong-Jae. Their shots are nearly always awkwardly angled and at certain points even physical tilting the camera off vertical. Both these characters are framed where they dominate their scenes but never in control of it. Here all the typical hierarchy tropes are subverted.

Eg When the camera is looking up at Deputy Chief Lee—a typically dominant construction—this is subverted by him not looking down to close out the power relationship, instead, he is looking up and angled (think lower-rank drinking soju) or short-sighted against the frame. Its subtle, but they maintain this even when Deputy Chief and Shi-mok are standing face to face. Although Deputy Chief Lee is taller than Shi-mok, Deputy Chief Lee’s eyes...

10
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Cont..

Deputy Chief Lee’s eyes are slightly angled upward)

Also a shout out to the show for its handling of phone screen information. The intelligently superimposed map on the city surfaces just added another layer detail to Shi-mok’s world instead of taking us out of frame and focusing on the small screen capture insert.

CHARACTERS
The twist of Eun-Soo was deliciously foreshadowed from her very first scene in episode 1. That moment played with our typical (and simplistic) expectations that she deserved our sympathy because of treatment by our awkward prosecutor. Instead of viewing the scene through the lens that Shi-mok’s actions are never random.
Given the story’s revelation that she is the daughter of the Minister at the heart of his earlier career mishap, it is possible Shi-mok was already aware of the risks. The show is making it very clear that in this world falling for the usual emotional cues when we have a player with no/diminished emotional filter is a potential mis-step on our part.

Yeo-Jin is revealing a subtle and subversive investigation technique where she disarmingly plays on the typically social behaviours to patiently wait for people to expose their own secrets.

The victim’s mother is an enigma at present and all the signs are that all is not as it seams.

This may be a show where no one is wholly good or bad. Everyone is equally calculating in his or her own way and each is playing out their hand to survive.

At present, I think this is the best drama of the year so far- hands down. I don't know how many episodes of this quality we will be treated to but I thank the creators for this luscious word they created and I am happy to revel in whatever amount of this we are blessed with.

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

More evidence about how awesome this show is! Great observations...I expressed it in terms of how the show was making me see the world through the character's eyes (especially the two leads) and these observations just cement that notion...

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Is anyone else worried about the two month deadline that Shi-monk has given himself? Between the intense pain he's experiencing and that deadline, I feel like he is expecting not to be around much longer and that belief is motivating his drive for this investigation.

I hope I'm wrong, but I'm still pretty raw from that twist at the end of Jo Seung-woo's drama, God's Gift.

4
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Darn you, auto-correct! It's Shi-mok!

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

That twist broke me. I once rewatched the entire drama and deliberately skipped the last 10 mins.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

First of all, thank you sailorjumun for recapping this show! Now it's time for me to crawl out of my cave because I love this show so much! I love legal drama, but the last k-drama within the theme I watched was pride and Prejudice. (didn't watch defendant and Whisper) and honestly I didn't even know that this drama is legal in the first place? Lol. I jumped into the bandwagon as soon as I see Bae Doona and Jo Seungwoo.

I am hooked! The suspense and all those cliffhangers and slowly unraveling mysteries which are somehow becoming more tangled than ever. Same with you, just when I start to warm up to Eunsoo, the ending totally shatter it. Dang, they really stuck to everyone is suspicious premise.

I love the dynamics between our prosecutor and lieutenant. Their acting is one thing, but their chemistry is awesome. Its interesting how they are so in tune I finding the answer but their personalities are polar opposites. That makes them complement each other so well.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Weeee I love this cast! I hope D.Chief Lee's father in law is the real villain here. Lee Gyeung-young is pretty awesome in this kind of role. Jo Seung-woo and Bae Doona needs to go head to head with someone of his caliber.

This show is not what I expected it to be. It's so much better and I can't be happier that I was so so wrong but I should've known better with these many talents in one show.

This is corruptions at it's worse with every man for himself. I don't find Shi-mok uncaring just because he shows no emotions. He is just one man and he needs to save himself first before he could save anyone else.
I like it that he doesn't pity people held them responsible so they can try harder.

Thank you so much for the informative recap SailorJumun <3. I feel like dropping every show that I'm watching and just concentrate on this.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you so much for the recaps!! :D
The show continues to amaze me and I'm delighted to sit through the hour watching events unfolding onscreen even though I have to constantly rewind to catch everything that the characters say for fear of missing anything important. The conversations feel real and rich in details. Unlike many other crime shows, getting through a scene without paying attention in FoS might result in missing one link in the chain of events.
I've got a few questions after finishing this ep and ep 4, though I won't be spoiling anything in the next episode:
1) Why does Shi-mok choose to trust Yeo-jin while I've got the impression that he's naturally suspicious of people at the slightest detection of something amiss (case in point: the old lady)? He gladly shares her information and sometimes even thinks aloud in her presence when he seems guarded around other people, familiar to him or no.
2) Why does Deputy Chief Lee decide all of a sudden to promote Shi-mok when he knows that the latter is a man with one hell of a brain and not easy to manipulate? I might have to read the recaps or watch the episodes again but at this point in time I still haven't figured out their relationship and DC Lee's sudden interest in Shi-mok.
3) What is Shi-mok's motive in aiming for the DC position? I admittedly don't work in the field so I'm pretty unfamiliar to this. Does this mean it will give him more authority and power? I actually think that it will hinder him in some way because he can't work directly in the case, as in he cannot go freely around collecting evidence. For a crime this meticulous in nature and for a corruption running that deep, my intuition would be to trust no one but myself in collecting and making sense of clues and information. Would this new position, then, be a curse or blessing for Shi-mok?

1
10
reply

Required fields are marked *

I am wondering if he actually does think they are suspicious and is only feeding them the information that he wants them to know to trigger a reaction.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm also inclined to think so too - he's got the tendency to do that with all the suspicious people so far. However I've also got the impression that he trusted Eun-Soo a little bit, at least up to the revelation we're allowed to see in this episode. Despite him not sharing with her as much as he is with Yeo-jin, I sense his sympathy towards her during the drinking scene, and some trust (though mixed with reluctance) when he was doing some mentoring for her before the trial. Or is my impression wrong?

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

2. I wonder if they are trying to set him up like Eun-soo's dad? He's too perfect and I want smarter villains.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

You've got a point. That can be DC Lee's motive. I'm curious about their past relationship and what placed them at two sides of the battle. I know the show will reveal it bit by bit, but at the same time I've got the feeling that despite his distrust and personal beef against Shi-mok, part of DC Lee also wants Shi-mok on his side because he admires his brain/ intellect. If he simply wants Shi-mok gone it's easy to place all the blame on him after Kang Jin-Sub's supposed suicide, but his intention now makes me think he's up to something more than that. He's scrambling for Shi-mok's moral weakness makes me think that he really wants to control him rather than just getting rid of him. I'm surprised that even though Shi-mok blew it in his face by going on TV on his own accord didn't result in any severe discipline from DC Lee. Also, that scene where DC Lee silently visited Eun-soo's dad and bowed to him shows that he respected the man, and considering Shi-mok is Eun-soo's dad's favourite, I think there might be some sort of link or connection between DC Lee's relationship with Eun-Soo's dad and that with Shi-mok.

Do I even make sense haha XD?

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

*His scrambling for Shi-mok's moral weakness

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Re 1: I think it's because she's shown herself to be very straightforward so far. In her words and ways. She speaks her thoughts out loud, questions him persistently even when he doesn't answer, and her actions show a drive to get to the truth, which I think is also something that is valued by Shi-mok. While others may be offended by his perceived coldness and lack of care for social norms of politeness, Yeo-jin mostly shrugs it off, for the pursuit of truth - she still follows him around instead of leaving him alone. So that is an underlying binding glue between them that builds trust I think. That he can tell that she isn't overly affected by him because the search for the truth takes priority. She also shows this value of truth and honesty very clearly as she didn't hide the truth about the DNA results despite the consequences it would have: reflecting badly on the police department, and also on Shi-mok as the one who did the initial investigations. So her words and actions tally (:

Not to mention how she's pretty helpful (: I think all of this, plus the fact that she definitely thinks on her feet, much better than how Eun-soo did when she was preparing for her court case under Shi-mok's questioning, earns her some respect. I think he can sense and also tell from concrete evidence that this woman is his partner ((: Shared value of the pursuit of truth, someone who can keep up with his wavelength, who is resourceful both in the physical sense (access to police records) and the emotional sense (empathy towards other humans), and who is not turned off by him but sticks around to work together and share information.

5
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wow that's a very plausible explanation :D Thank you so much for this.

I absolutely adore Yeo-jin too. She's very genuine and is smart without having to try too hard to look dangerous and witty. I love that about the actress' portrayal of Yeo-jin.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agree with this. :)

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I meant the agree for rhapsophie's comment.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

"Unlike many other crime shows, getting through a scene without paying attention in FoS might result in missing one link in the chain of events."
- It's like if you miss a detail, you would get lost in the forest :)

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I am starting to wonder if Eun-soo has her own agenda, such as revenge.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

That's what I'm starting to think!! She could be getting closer to the bad guys to get back at them for what happened with her father

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

On the other hand I don't think her father is completely innocent. Why doesn't he get back at them on his own and spare his daughter from being involved in it.
Everyone has secrets and I guess that's the point of the show?

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

when you like this kind of genre, this show truly the best!
everything just make sense, I love how they made the main lead imperfect but in perfect ways.
Bae Doona and Cho Seung Woo are my love right now

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

All the questions we have about this show, it's like because we are only seeing the trees. Were Shi-mok's violent tendencies in the past true or an exaggeration from those who disliked him for being different? If they were true, was it due to his disorder, or also from something else: A troubled family background, or his inherent personality? (Of course we'd choose to believe in the best case because he's our hero ❤️ but the show only gives us bits and pieces of possibilities.) Why is Deputy Chief Lee giving support to Shi-mok only now? What is his secret agenda? Is it another cat-and-mouse game to get Shi-mok to fail in finding the true murderer, so that Shi-mok will be fired? Or a way to get rid of Dong-Jae, who probably knows many of his secrets? Or both? Or is it just because he can't risk Shi-mok telling on him in the event of the audit, hence the bribe? What's up with Eun-Soo? Even if she did something shady in murder case, she's shown drive and ambition in her job. Was it all for ambition and none for the pursuit of truth? And we can't deny that she does show care for Shi-mok sometimes, or were those all just out of politeness?

So many trees of secret. ??? Can't wait till we see the forest!! ☺️

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Shi-mok walks by a pojangmacha, noticing Eun-soo drinking alone. He almost turns away, but hearing her order another soju makes him stop and approach her.

I'm not entirely sure, but based on what I heard and observed, I think Eun-soo didn't order another soju bottle, but rather, asked the pojangmacha ahjumma for another of those soju glass cups. (She asked for another soju 잔, and there were already two bottles of soju on her table both before Shi-mok approached, which remained as two bottles after he joined her.)

I'm only pointing this out because I remember thinking at that point that Eun-soo was incredibly observant to have noticed Shi-mok's presence without looking up, and to say that knowing that because it's him, he would be able to hear her even though she wasn't technically speaking to him, since it was a super indirect request, no, confident assumption that he was going to join her, based on her indirect request to him for conversation.

Now given the way this episode ended, I just feel like Eun-soo has been way more perceptive and observant than I have been giving her credit for. Because from the way she stumbled through her reasonings during her mock court trial before Shi-mok, and the way she seemed to gullibly believe in Dong-jae's advice, I'd had the impression that she was more like a Candy in distress.

Yup that's all ^_^ Or it could just be another way the show is showing us how subtle a show this show is. Through another one of its super subtle and indirect dialogues.

3
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Dont know why people cannot even ask Shi-mok to join them for a drink verbally, nicely enough.
Doesn't that school classmate throw the bottle cork at Shi-mok's feet to get him into the pojangmacha when he is drunk as well? Atleast he has a complex against Shi-mok, but Eun-soo, man, she wasn't drunk enough and she was very curt. That was rude. But the ensuing conversation, Shi mok did give it back to her and how! What he says about seniors not noticing her it echoes in ep 4 when Bae Doona's senior tells her the same, that she is just a rookie who the chief wouldn't even know. When both Shimok and this sunbae know otherwise.

Speaking of subs, I thought when Eun Soo spoke about the perfect crime, it was like -' he shouldnt have killed the dog' - but here in this recap its a different take altogether. What is this. subs are not accurate...and it was the netflix subs.

There is a lot to write and love about this series (which I found quite boring in first 2 ep, now I see the complete approach and motive for the story different) but my real life work is priority so just wanted to say this.

Also seeing Bae Doona in ep 4 , she is adorable!! Her character, how she makes her to be. The way she goes about yesssss and nooooo and her facial expressions , love!

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

About that pojangmacha scene, even i read the subs that said, why was the crime not perfect and why did he leave a trace behind? Also, about the conversation that followed, I felt both annoyed and amused by it. Eun Soo was in no position to make those claims which thankfully Shi Mok pointed out to her in a direct manner. But amusing part was the fact that she came into the conclusion thinking her seemingly cold sunbae is perfect and immune to making mistakes. So, this case is different even for Shi Mok as he made a mistake which he has never done on his own so far. If the synopsis is actually right then there's a serial killer angle here. I am waiting for that to start.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Dont think its a serial killer angle in the usual sense of serial killings. It is killing all those who will provide a lead to the case, especially Shi-mok who is after the case murderer.
Hence that line in the end of ep 4 which I really liked - Shi-mok says ' Are they after me or am I leading them on'? This for me made sense because the second murder in ep 4 was because the murderer who is controlled by the real guy who wants this case buried (the father in law?) is informed to kill her as she is now the lead for the case. It will go on and whoever Shi mok considers a lead will be dead.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

But the drama synopsis says there is one. And the Stranger/killer is far less dangerous than those who sorround Shi-Mok. I am curious too. I have a feeling there is a serial killer and his MO will be quite interesting given he is targeting people who are directly related to perhaps the most powerful lawyers and law-makers. Sort of a powerplay with the nation's most powerful and elite people who are tasked with putting serial killers in jail.

0

I was first skeptical at the title, thinking surely that not everybody here are indecipherable, but then I became spooked at how Eun-soo could be double-edged.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Can I just say that it's a delight to read everyone's analysis and interpretation of the characters, shots and storyline? Thank you guys for all that you share :D

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The drama's a brain exercise. It's the only one i'm watching rn and it calls for my whole attention. Unfortunate that beanies are sleepin on it, like what happened to The Defendant.

JSW is great! He seems to really like doing dramas with lots of twists and turns, like god's gift. After watching him in god's gift, I binged watched his old movies. I really fell for the guy so hard.

The whodunnit mystery of the drama is really taking center stage for me. The political subplot and shi mok's emotional deprivation takes a backseat when our characters are investigating the case. Plus the interactions of our MMC and FMC are really good, this is further proved by a certain scene in ep 4..

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Interesting thing to point out because both Defendant and Forest of Secrets are made by the same production company.

Thank you SailorJumum for the awesome❤️ recaps. ??

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Guys, please don't feel bad for over analysing this drama. I love reading your theories! I'd like to give all my attention to this drama while watching it but since I come back home tired everyday, I usually watch it in two-sessions: the first 30 minutes before sleep and the last 30 minutes before I go to work. I admit I am kinda lost in the 'forest' while watching so I missed a looottt of clues so this review thread has been a great help!
I still have lots of question unanswered but that will be for episode 4 recap :)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh I'm so late here. I am just catching up and now three episodes have passed! What a good drama omg! The quality of the drama is beyond my expectation. If the time is not almost 2 a.m. here I would definitely keep watching.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

After watching WYWS I found out that in prosecutor offices apparently there is a culture for a team to always have a lunch together. So I finally understand what really happened when Shimok back to his office after Deputi Chief Lee stood him out. When his clerk asked if he's going out for lunch, he checked the team's group chat and no one said anything yet so he said he's going out later. But then he check his watch and assumed they must have gone for lunch without him. When he coincidentally chose the same restaurant, his team members were the one who felt uncomfortable ha. You guys can't outcast him, he couldn't care less, and we have Detective Han <3

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

A year later and I'm finally watching this amazing show. Thank goodness recaps exist because after episode 3's surprise twist with Eun-soo, I definitely will need to go through therapy with the Beanies who commented during the show's airing. This is a smart show and one that makes me wrack my brain for theories all the time!

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *