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Forest: Episodes 21-24 Open Thread

Our lovey dovey couple faces some outside circumstances that shake them up this week — things like arsenic poisoning, data theft, traumatic near-drownings, potholes, and thunderstorms. While I’m glad to see the drama is working hard to pull together its many tangents, nothing truly interesting is actually happening. But we soldier on.

 
EPISODES 21-24 WEECAP

Our forest confession scene turns out to be the real deal, only further cemented by the fact that their first kiss as a couple is chaste and off-screen. It’s funny how K-dramas work. Both of them are under a love spell, though, and are paragons of smiling kindness and goodwill towards mankind as they go through their day.

While I’m all for this in real life, in a drama, it’s kind of boring. In fact, the most excitement they experience is a pothole (yes), which a) terrifies Young-jae, and b) causes San-hyuk to lovingly fill in the hole. Funny thing is, if this scene took place in a drama like I’ll Find You on A Beautiful Day it would be beautiful and watchable; here, it’s straight-up boring.

Anyway, long story short, our couple is busy existing in the forest like Adam and Eve for the better part of this week’s episodes. They enjoy the flora and fauna, bike around endlessly, go camping, and eat what they can collect and cook from the forest. It looks yummy, but I’m waiting for the forest to bite back.

But what bites back instead, are San-hyuk’s opponents. I’d be lying if I said I was paying full attention to all the corporate shenanigans that are going on with Choi Chang’s father, the filing cabinet theft, Taesung, and all the conniving executives who are blending into one at this point.

Luckily, Director Jo makes it easy for us to distinguish him as a Baddie, what with his arrival at the hospital in the middle of night during a “terrifying” thunderstorm, and his disproportionate interest in Young-jae, her water testing results, and Miryeong Hospital. Director Jo who is highly invested, overtly suspicious, but has such a nice face I’m struggling to believe his badness.

But he is bad, and even tortures San-hyuk’s right-hand man and forces him to sign a contract. But wait, there’s a Taesung baddie behind him that’s even higher up, and what’s next on his plate? Using Young-jae as the next victim to get what they want out of San-hyuk, since they failed with the first torture session.

What’s actually interesting this week is the rescue unit’s TEAM LEADER BONG (Ryu Seung-soo). I’ve sadly neglected mentioning him in these weecaps only because his role is a such a sad waste of an actor I’ve really enjoyed in other dramas (most recently in Secret Boutique). But I digress.

This week, he’s actually quite entertaining when he starts “malfunctioning,” from his usual robotic/boring self and is hot and bothered, always yanking at his collar and “Aishhh-ing,” has no mental clarity… and who else thinks something suspicious is afoot? Drink the mountain water, perchance? Outside of not wishing this character harm, I’m actually enjoying him for the first time.

Finally, as if one lovey dovey couple wasn’t enough, this week our secondary couple of Chang and Bo-mi are also loving it up in the forest. While they’re going for walks and calling chipmunks, making out in his father’s house, and being generally giddy, they’re also the only ones that seem committed to solving the mystery around the fire, explosion, and hypothetical arsonists.

At least Young-jae’s water testing part two comes back with some results: dangerously high levels of arsenic, and a whole lot of suspicion around who already knows about this, and for how long. Can they really be poisoning people on purpose!? Stay tuned!

 
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I know we were only semi-joking about the second couple being the real OTP but going by these recaps they're the ones with the believable romance and connection to the plot while our leads are basically frolicking like a bunch of narcissists.

Generally db is rated G so I'll resist any jokes about Oppa filling her hole...

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LT!

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*chokes*
I've really been corrupted.....

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BEA, cover your eyes!

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*does the GregO eye covering move*
*turns around*
I'm running out of this Forest now!

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Um... Bea... you just called him GregO...

For this I blame the Chaos Channel. You know who you are.

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to be fair LT, I'm not sure our bea fully understood what the O in GregO really meant until recently.

When I explained to her what all the "everyday" memes were about for Untamed, I believe there was a very audible lightbulb moment heard all around the world. That channel has thoroughly corrupted this young mind.

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Egads is right. E explained it just a couple days ago. And GregO is stuck. I can't go back and call him plain old Greg!

I was too busy choking on a wonton when that lightbulb went off. Poor wonton.

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I always imagine your face is something like Lan Jingyi's when he drops his food in shock when LZ brings the liquor upstairs to WY.

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A little late to this conversation, but want to add that 'everyday ' has a whole new meaning to me since the Untamed...

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For this I blame the Chaos Channel. You know who you are.

I have no clue what you are speaking of 😇

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wHAT ARE You PEOPLE DOING TO OUR MAKNAE

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🤣

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🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

You know, there *is* a hole that *does* get filled in these episodes! In a Rated G way, of course. Ahem.

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That's what I was referring to! He filled her hole!

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#OppaFillsEachHole

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I wish I could unsee this hashtag.

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@leetennant

Oppa is a man. Check.

Oppa is a filler of holes. Check.

Oppa is a manholer. Check.

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A synopsis of The Pothole Scenel

OPPA FILLED THE HOLES LOVINGLY AND PATIENTLY THROUGH THE DARK NIGHT WHILE THE WOMAN HE LOVED SLEPT, EXHAUSTED FROM A DAY OF SCREAMING.

THE NEXT MORNING, SHE RODE SMOOTHLY ALONG HIS FILLED HOLES WITH A BIG SMILE ON HER FACE.

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I guess we can add 'roadworks' to 'tuning forks' and 'stethoscopes' on the list of weirdass things this drama thinks is necessary for romance. As if it needed more metaphors around thumping.

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Perhaps we can come up with a scale of weirdness using these things as a code...?

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Exquisite idea, FlyingTool! So, what would be the levels? Fire hands would rank above land clams...

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You started it, Elle, the hole thing. Just like the clams.

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She certainly did! But we fanned the flames.

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You know I was gonna draw a zombie clam...

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This comment alone is what will get me to watch this drama. You've peaked by interests 😏 not even @yyishere talking about oppa's fiery balls peaked my interest, so well played LT, well played..

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...” frolicking like a bunch of narcissists.”

I think that they are zombies, clam zombies to be precise, trying to emulate the behavior of human couples in love. The virus that is animating the couple has incomplete control and incomplete access to the host body’s memories. That is why their behavior is a bit OFF.

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Chang-choi and Bo-mi are definitely the real OTP.

I know that I should ignore the joke but as an Old Sailor I have to give you a thumbs up on that one.

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“ Chang-choi and Bo-mi are definitely the real OTP.”

Yes, and the drama that could have been, as you’ve written elsewhere!

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I hate you all oh gosh...

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This is the least coherent drama I've watched in a long time, the sheer absurdity has me straight-up cackling.

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Lol! The absurdity is kinda keeping me going through with it. It feels like it's trying to be something good and different but it's not reaching anything 😅.

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Maybe it's deliberate? Making something so bad it's funny?

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... has dramaland reached that level of self awareness yet?

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Are you kidding?

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@hebang exactly!!!! It hasn't!!! So it's not on purpose!

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Gahhhh. I have 8 or 4 more episodes to catch up! I can do this!

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Be brave. Be strong. Bring a strong liquid fortifier, maybe with arsenic.

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I could not get over all the screaming Jo Boa is doing. My ears are still ringing from her prolonged scream at naked roommate, and in these episodes there was much more screaming. They hit a water-filled pothole and the spray splashes the windshield and she screams and flails. The thunder rumbles outside, there is a flash of lightning and she screams and flails. She falls into a pool and REALLY screams and flails. Instead of feeling for her, I wonder a) how she managed to function in the real world until now (outside a safe room) and b) what thunder and lightning have to do with the car suicide plunge and c) why the rainstorm, where they cheerily biked amidst the droplets and then smooched under a bridge, did not seem to phase her at all.
But there I go again, trying to make sense of it all.

I do have a new theory, though: the writer has been drinking arsenic-laced water. Somebody check his knees, quick.

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And another thing, that was the lamest "camping trip" ever. He rolls up in a PPL camper van. He drives down the road while she rolls around on the fold-out bed and fondles the microwave. They sit in chairs and fall asleep. He catches a firefly in a meaty grab (they die when you do that, BTW) and then they are home. The camper people are hopping mad because of the millions of won they spent on this ep.

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That screaming was so awful. She was like a banshee. She was so, so bad. Almost zzzz in the camper scene. I was hoping for a bear to charge out of the trees and gobble her up, but knowing the show, she's probably scream to high heaven and the bear would drop down, dead from fright.

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You see, what made the camper scene so interesting was that it was so much like the massage chair PPL parody in The Last Empress, only it took itself seriously - I mean she was fondling all of the appliances as if the camper was behind Door #3 in Let's Make a Deal - so it was interesting because it was so egregiously Bad.

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The writer drinking arsenic laced water (or elderberry wine?) - not a bad hypothesis.

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The Producers scenario? Hmmm... but the ratings...it fits!

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There are people still watching this drama?

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As the line goes in so many kdramas... SAVE US!

Not really, we’re too far gone, past the incubation period, and are now symptomatic and infectious. You need to get out of here before you too are infected....or you’ll end up watching this too!

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Have to admit, I do fast forward thru the episodes.

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If you checked to ratings- this show is actually outperforming the competition. What is a shame is that more people are watching it than are watching I’LL FIND YOU ON A BEAUTIFUL DAY which is beautifully written, well directed and has actors who a delivering great performances.

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Actually I do watch it and am enjoying it simply because of the stupidity of the plot. It's so much fun to think of all the notes on the wall here as I watch and laugh.
But Oppa is always so fine to look at - yes, I am that shallow.

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These two episodes almost drove me over the edge.

I knew Dr. YJ was a screecher, but, boy, oh boy, she outdid herself this time. She shrieked at the start of Episode 23, and the screeching continued all the way to that bizarre fall in the pool. The fakest, most contrived stumble-and-fall scene ever. Oppa had to jump in and rescue her, and pull her up, screaming, of course. There was a miniscule second where she had to take a breath because she had screamed so much, and whoa, next second, she's recharged and screaming her lungs out. Again. She screeched in the car when he ran over a pothole. Screeched again in the thunderstorm when she spotted the bad guy. So. Much. Screaming.

The dating scenes almost did me in.

The good doctor , a grown woman, who has had a live-in relationship with her ex, acts like a bashful little Candy, hops off her bike, totters cutely to Oppa and kisses him oh-so-coyly on his cheek. Runs off shyly, leaps back on her bike and goes WHEEEEE - ing down the path. That's when I started screaming.

I had a bad feeling when Oppa woke up and smiled at the sun in his cleavage-baring green tee. True enough, it was a prelude to the forest walks. It was bad enough when she walked about alone, talking to the trees with an inane smile pasted on her face. Now, we have Oppa doing the same thing, except Oppa was talking in his head. They kept walking. And walking. And then they started cycling. And smiling. By the time they fell asleep, my mind was numb. Numb from disbelief at the aimlessness of the whole thing.

Don't even get me started on the supermarket shopping. The way she hopped on the trolley, and ran like a maniac to the samples, and the way they tossed stuff into the trolley, the cutesy voice, the eyelash batting...oh, man. I just...it was hard to watch. Again, who does this???? Who acts like this?

The kiss in the rain was good, though. Oppa's a great kisser. My heart fluttered, and I thought, This show could have been so much better. Then they go home, and Oppa is exercising madly to contain his raging hormones, while she's doing the same thing, bug eyes and all, in the next room. Wow. A grown adult couple, acting like a pair of horny teenagers. Just. Bizzare.

The pothole scene was...bizarre. And then Oppa proceeded to fill them up. I was like, what???? AND...next scene, she rides PAST them with a blissful smile on her face. I can't even.

Wildlife Count: All living.

1. Chipmunks. Three. The first in the trees. The second on the tree roots. The third on a patch of fallen leaves. May be siblings, or the same chipmunk in varying shots. Sex: Undetermined.

2. Butterfly. One. Black. Fluttering.

3. Dragonfly. One. White. Resting.

4. Fireflies. Ten. Bright yellow-orange. Glowing.

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I actually blocked the aegyo from my brain. I can handle much badness, but this wasn't great badness, like Plan 9 from Outer Space, it was just bad badness. I was embarrassed for everyone, the actors, the writers, the hapless supermarket extras, even my eyeballs and ears for being exposed. Ugh.

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Actually, what made it worse is that this was apparently an aegyo competition to our Official OTP. And our FL really does not do aegyo well.

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Is it the actress? I’ve only seen a few of her dramas, and I can’t say I recall her attempting aegyo...

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Some actresses can do it really well- others just should not try. Jo BoA is obviously in the later group.

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There were some birds too. I don't know what they were- maybe a wren of some kind. But I was definitely shocked!

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So, arsenic ... where does that lead us?

Well, arsenic leads me to the movie “Arsenic and Old Lace” which actually fits our story! A key plot element involves the baddies making holes in the ground and filling it to hide their evil deeds. A second key plot point is an old kdrama favorite, a birth secret.

Forest certainly has at least one mysterious hole that was filled...with something. The prosaic might point to the use of arsenic in semiconductor manufacturing which would fit the Hi-Tech part of the baddies’ corporate name. Assuming we aren’t prosaic, what else could it be? I think it May well be the mutant squirrels hiding their cache of land clams. Of course, it could be a hole the clams made to hide from the mutant squirrels and their ToD. Hmmm...either way, it’s clams in that hole!

So, the question begs itself - which of our characters has a birth secret? In the movie, the OTP are able to be together only because of the birth secret. Who is it in Forest? And what is the nature of the secret? Does it involve the OTP - the lovely forest warden and her handsome 119 rescuer and heir to the forestry company? Or are the secondary couple of the Screechy Doctor and the M&A wizard who looks like a hero? Could one (or Gasp both of them) be Clam Zombies? Oh, the waiting, the waiting!

Aaaarrrrrggghhhh!

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This is what I believe will happen.

Oppa and Dr. YJ will have an intimate scene in the tree hole.

Dr. YJ will run, shrieking through the trees, and leap into the tree hole, and hide from Oppa.

Oppa will locate her, and crawl into the hole.

He will produce a tin of ready-mix concrete, left over from the pothole-filling.

He will slap the mix all over the hole in the tree, as she shrieks coyly, "What are you doing?"

They make out all night.

They sleep.

When dawn breaks, they have run out of oxygen.

They never wake up.

A search party looks for them, but in vain.

The chipmunks know, but they're not talking.

The End.

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Epilogue...

Our couple reanimate as dryads and take care of the villains poisoning the forest. And then continue their nymph ways forever...

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I actually played the part of Teddy in ARSENIC AND OLD LACE back in High School. It was a hoot- a great comedy. There is a movie version- Netflix might have it. You are right about there being a birth secret. Still, I rather hope that it was not an inspiration for this mess. ARSENIC AND OLD LACE is a very well written play- this show would be a very poor tribute to it.

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I only ever saw the movie...

Are there substantive differences from the play?

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The movie is fairly faithful to the play.

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I LOVED that movie. Well, actually I just love anything Cary Grant was in. But that story was a hoot.

off to look for it on Netflix now

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I have seen many movies starring Cary Grant- and this was one where he was in top form.

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For this week’s totally physically impossible event we see that Evil Big Corporation has workers show up at San-hyuk’s headquarters, use a rotating saw to cut a square hole in the building- 3 stories up at that-and then use a forklift to lift the wall and the safe out in order to steal it. My first thought was: No one was going to notice what was happening? Now let us get into the physical problems with this:

First, that safe was not palletized- how do you get the tungs of the forklift under it?

Second, and more to the point, the safe is also attached to the floor- and it is very heavy. Cutting the walls does not cut the floor, assuming that you get the tungs of the forklift under both safe and floor you are still talking about trying to rip it out of there- which means a huge amount of force that you simply cannot apply this way (instead you just end up pulling the tungs back out). Assuming that you can keep the tungs in place then when the floor give way there is a backlash as the energy is released and the forklift flips backwards with the wall and the safe- probably killing the workers but also hopelessly damaging the safe- it would be bent into an impossible shape and you can never get it open, assuming that the police would allow you to cart it off after arriving at the scene of this fatal accident.

I know that K-dramaland has cash problems these days but the controller who zeroed out the budget for technical consultants for this show should be fired.

The writers took a lot of time in these episode showing us our Official OTP being in love. And I just do not feel it. They gave us just a few minutes of Choi Chang and Bo-mi trying to make out- and getting caught by Choi Chang’s father: This was totally believable and funny. Choi Chang and Bo-mi may not be the Official OTP in this show but they are definitely the real OTP. As for Chang-choi’s father's opposition to Bo-mi I have to think that is really because of her job. If my son met a girl like Bo-mi you can just bet that I would be encouraging him to marry her before someone else does.

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