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Forest of Secrets 2: Episode 2

Pieces are falling into place this hour as we delve further into the fight over investigative authority between the police and prosecution. Our intrepid prosecutor is swept up into the proceedings, and not everyone is happy about it. The upside: he gets to hang out with his cop bestie! But the power struggle between their organizations is getting out of hand, and like it or not, both sides are going to have to work together to sort it out. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’ll be done harmoniously.

 
EPISODE 2

Shi-mok goes through the case file on the drowning. Yong-ho’s Insta photos were taken mere minutes before the estimated time of death. A local cop told Shi-mok that an elderly lady who lives nearby heard the college kids leaving the guesthouse right before her favorite drama started at 8:06 P.M. That means the rope would’ve already been cut since the photos were taken about 10 minutes prior.

Notably, although the officer wrote this in his report, it’s missing from the case file. When Shi-mok tries to get in touch with the prosecutor in charge, they give him the runaround. In Seoul, Yeo-jin is stunned when it’s announced on the news that the high-ranking official who leaked information is Director Kim of the Intelligence Bureau.

She rushes into the National Police Agency and sees officers carrying evidence boxes out of Director Kim’s office and leading him out. Yeo-jin asks Chief Choi (who’s also with the Intelligence Bureau) if she’s okay. Chief Choi notes that Director Kim’s position is the highest an officer can go and claims he’s an easy target for the prosecution.

Yeo-jin wasn’t born yesterday and observes that the people who took him were their people, not the prosecution. Chief Choi asserts that they couldn’t allow the prosecution to take him. Would Yeo-jin just wait around if Chief Choi were caught by them?

Yeo-jin responds she wouldn’t do anything because no one would dare to take Chief Choi. Once Yeo-jin leaves, Chief Choi calls prosecutor Woo Tae-ha to “inform” him (i.e. rub it in) that he won’t get to summon Director Kim.

Yeo-jin returns Shi-mok’s call and learns that the case was closed without indictment. She’s frustrated that the judge-turned-lawyer got the case closed so easily, citing special treatment due to his status. Shi-mok plans to file a complaint, but Yeo-jin worries he’ll upset his superiors. Like that’s ever stopped him.

After they hang up, Yeo-jin recalls Chief Choi telling her to let her know of any developments with their Reformation Unit. She mutters “special treatment,” looking like she has an idea.

The following day, Chief Choi visits the father of one of the students who drowned. She returns his son’s shoes. Did no one tell him that the rope barrier had been removed? He cries as he says his son had to pay for these shoes himself since he couldn’t afford to buy them for him.

Chief Choi brings the conversation back by saying she’s sorry the prosecution didn’t try hard enough to bring justice. Ah, so that’s why she’s here. He asks if the police can reinvestigate, but she claims that’d be difficult. He briefly shows her a picture of his son with his friends from the afternoon of the incident. She asks him to send her the picture.

Outside, she addresses the reporters and shows the picture to the crowd, shaping the narrative into a filial son who’s tragic death is being painted as his own fault. His father wasn’t even aware someone had cut the rope line. Oh, she’s good.

She turns the tide, inciting criticism of the prosecution by further claiming that, despite the complaint filed by the original prosecutor involved in the case, they closed the case days after a judge-turned-lawyer took it on. “If no change is made to the prosecution’s investigative authority, such special treatment will continue to be given to its former and current officials.” Gauntlet thrown.

The Commissioner General and Minister of Justice begin talks to have the police and prosecution cooperate to resolve the issue of investigative authority. Chief Prosecutor Kang makes a statement that the cut rope line didn’t cause the accident, but they’ll try to resolve the concern of the bereaved if their decision is challenged.

They ask about the complaint, but he downplays it, claiming it was simply an inquiry from a prosecutor not even assigned that case. Inside, he grumbles that Chief Choi likely gathered the reporters herself. The news is filled with criticism of the prosecution and curiosity about Shi-mok, much to Chief Prosecutor Kang’s annoyance. He calls the Tongyeong branch chief.

On his way to his new office, Shi-mok gets a call from his Tongyeong colleague who tells him to hold off on going to Wonju. Shi-mok pulls off to call the branch chief who’s just as confused. He tells Shi-mok to go home for now; he’ll let him know once they tell him what’s going on.

Shi-mok kills time at a rest stop and is confused to receive a text with a photo of a business card for prosecutor WOO TAE-HA (Choi Moo-sung) immediately followed by a call from the man himself. He asks Shi-mok to meet him that night, so off he heads to Seoul.

He arrives at Tae-ha’s office and is ushered inside where Tae-ha comments on the “rushed decision.” Shi-mok has no idea what he’s talking about, so Tae-ha starts from scratch. Does he know what the Criminal Legislation Division does? Shi-mok rattles off that they’re a long-term “temporary” division that studies prosecution reform and reports directly to the prosecutor general.

Tae-ha shares that a Police-Prosecution Council is about to be formed. Despite the prosecution’s history of “fairly overseeing investigations,” the police are always making an issue out of it. It’s blown up publicly, so they can’t ignore it as they usually do.

Shi-mok doesn’t understand why it’s necessary since the government has already proposed a reform bill, but Tae-ha snaps that they’re not just going to accept that “ridiculous” bill. Shi-mok asks straightforwardly if he’ll be part of this council, then.

Tae-ha confirms it, making Shi-mok wonder why he’s receiving this huge promotion to the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office. Tae-ha doesn’t know and admits that some were strongly against it. Shi-mok leaves the office bewildered but now part of the Criminal Legislation Division.

Once in his car, Shi-mok opens his navigation but can’t think of anywhere to go for the night. Aw. He ends up at a hotel and does some research on Tae-ha.

The next day, he goes to visit Chief Prosecutor Kang and asks why he was against Shi-mok’s promotion. Chief Prosecutor Kang chuckles and just as bluntly states that the police requested Shi-mok as an advisor to help make the council’s eventual proposal into a bill. He speculates Chief Choi is behind the move.

So why is he a full member of the Criminal Legislation Division instead? Chief Prosecutor Kang replies that they had to do something since the police interfered. (This fight is so petty.) Shi-mok is a bad fit on their side since the prosecution needs someone who will protect their authority wholeheartedly.

They’ve never yielded on this issue, so if he gives in, “you’ll be the biggest disgrace in the prosecution’s 70-year history.” Well. Shi-mok brings up the 2011 reform that gave police the right to initiate and conduct investigations, but Chief Prosecutor Kang argues they didn’t lose anything since police have to do that anyway.

Now, the police want to get out from under the prosecution and have the right to close cases as well. If the Criminal Legislation Division fails to win this fight, they’ll have to resign. Chief Prosecutor Kang likens Shi-mok to a sharp knife that everyone swings around, calling it dangerous when it cuts them and shoving it back in the drawer.

Shi-mok knows all too well, but he might be able to “find the answer” this time. Chief Prosecutor Kang wonders what he’s looking for, but Shi-mok pivots to ask, “Was it special treatment?”

Chief Prosecutor Kang denies it, saying the outcome would’ve been the same no matter how long they’d spent investigating. To indict, they’d have to prove cutting the rope caused the deaths which is impossible to prove. Shi-mok isn’t contesting the ruling but the sidestepping of the process.

Chief Prosecutor Kang gets riled up, thinking he’s accusing him of corruption. Shi-mok clarifies that by ignoring the process, the couple was robbed of the chance to reflect on their wrongdoing. They must think they can get away with anything now. Chief Prosecutor Kang has no rebuttal.

He shows Shi-mok the Sungmoon Daily article that accuses him of striking a deal with Lee Chang-joon. Chief Prosecutor Kang is angry at their disrespecting of the deceased and vows to take Hanjo and Sungmoon Daily down himself. Shi-mok remarks that Sungmoon Daily‘s CEO hasn’t learned his lesson.

Before Shi-mok leaves, he explains that Tae-ha didn’t expose Chief Prosecutor Kang. Shi-mok figured out he opposed his appointment on his own. Alone, Chief Prosecutor Kang complains that Shi-mok is too “high and mighty” to listen.

Elsewhere, CEO of Hanjo LEE YEON-JAE (Yoon Se-ah) deliberates over the illegal hiring – due to their previous government positions and company connections – of advisers for tax exemption issues.

Yeon-jae asks about the “special treatment” judge-turned-lawyer Oh Joo-seon whose work is connected to her father’s trial. She frustratedly exclaims they need a lawyer to stave off the prosecution. There’s also a lawsuit in the works that seems to involve Hanjo Distribution who is siding with someone named Lee Sung-jae.

After the meeting, a man I’m assuming is her assistant updates her about the Sungmoon Daily articles. The paper’s CEO met with Lee Sung-jae the day prior.

Yeon-jae calmly confirms no one is outside the door before screaming complaints about the idiot company presidents and how she’ll get rid of them once her shares are secured. Despite the death glare she throws his way, her assistant respectfully encourages her to consider meeting with the CEO Sungmoon Daily. Instead, she asks him to contact Chief Prosecutor Kang.

Meanwhile, Tae-ha is visited by prosecutor SEO DONG-JAE (Lee Jun-hyuk) who claims to have information for him about Chief Choi Bit. Ah, the ever-consistent, favor-currying Dong-jae. Chief Choi previously worked in the police station under the jurisdiction of the prosecution branch he currently works for.

Dong-jae brings up a former chief prosecutor Park Kwang-joo who died of a heart attack supposedly after drinking and driving. However, he never drank since his body couldn’t handle alcohol. His wife raised a formal objection, but that was missing from the report Dong-jae received and no further investigation occurred.

As the prosecutor in charge, Dong-jae followed up with the police station and asserts Chief Choi covered up the death of a prosecutor. What makes it particularly odd is that he likely died naturally of illness. If Tae-ha wishes, Dong-jae would be happy to get to the bottom of it.

At his desk, Shi-mok hears Tae-ha screaming at Dong-jae for failing to investigate earlier and calling this a good “card” to play. Dong-jae argues that the police are using the media to turn the public against them, and it’s demoralizing to the junior prosecutors. The situation puts Tae-ha at a disadvantage.

Dong-jae is here to help (altruistically, I’m sure…) by digging up dirt. He’ll take responsibility if things go wrong. Tae-ha considers his words as Dong-jae works to convince him that they need to discredit the police in the eyes of the public.

Is Dong-jae certain the former chief prosecutor died of a heart attack? If so, where is the corruption? Dong-jae is positive and responds Chief Choi is the one who criticized them for closing the case too quickly. Dong-jae pulls out other case files of potential police corruption.

Tae-ha wants to focus on Director Kim not Chief Choi but keeps the files and consents to Dong-jae keeping him updated, although he looks put off by his weasel-y ways. Outside, Dong-jae gets a shock when he discovers Shi-mok works there. Tae-ha peeks out as they exchange pleasantries.

The prosecution and police prepare for the upcoming council meeting. Each side can only have three to four members, and they can’t belong to the teams that have been investigating the issue. Chief Choi and Yeo-jin both officially belong to other teams, so they get seats on the council. The same goes for Tae-ha and Shi-mok at the prosecution.

The police will bring in a high-ranking officer, and Chief Choi tasks Yeo-jin with finding someone in the field as well. Tae-ha rounds their team out with someone named Kim Sa-hyun who works with the National Assembly. Shi-mok is against the pick because of a link with a lobbying scandal, but Tae-ha is insistent. Shi-mok silently recalls that Sa-hyun and Tae-ha are from the same graduating class.

At the National Police Agency, Director Shin tells Chief Choi that the prosecution is determined to arrest Director Kim. He thinks they’re “overreacting,” seeing as similar cases have gotten a slap on the wrist. He wonders if someone has a grudge against Director Kim. Chief Choi gets a little shifty and shrugs it off.

Meanwhile, Tae-ha asks Shi-mok privately how well he knows Dong-jae. Is he trustworthy? Shi-mok says it depends on the situation and asks what work he intends to give him, but Tae-ha dismisses him without answering. Shi-mok caught a glimpse of the case file on a police officer’s suicide, though, and looks into it.

Yeo-jin gets a call from Shi-mok and is surprised to learn he’s at the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office now. Elsewhere, Dong-jae gets a call from Tae-ha right as he’s mulling over Tae-ha telling him to leave Chief Choi out of his scheme. Dong-jae does an excited fist pump after the call.

Tae-ha finds out Shi-mok doesn’t have a place to stay and is applying for a room in the dorms used by investigators. Shi-mok, meanwhile, meets up with Yeo-jin who looks excited to see him and welcomes him back. Their old spot is gone, so they’re meeting in an incredibly noisy restaurant.

She freezes when he says he’s working for the Criminal Legislative Division and will be on the council. Yeo-jin recalls Chief Choi saying the prosecution is more concerned than they let on and something about a younger prosecutor. Shi-mok brings up the drowning case, and Yeo-jin shares that the victims’ families don’t want to reinvestigate.

Shi-mok guesses they received settlement money from the couple. Judging from the news instigated by Chief Choi, the families weren’t wealthy. Yeo-jin admits that she reported the special treatment, but Shi-mok comments she didn’t say anything untrue.

Yeo-jin looks uncomfortable and starts to say something else, but they’re interrupted by the server. Shi-mok starts to ask her about the case file he saw of the suicide, but he gets a phone call from Tae-ha asking him to come meet him and a colleague.

Shi-mok is hesitant to leave, but Yeo-jin tells him it’s fine. They’ll be seeing each other more often now anyway. When Shi-mok gets to the restaurant, Tae-ha is sitting with Dong-jae who is decidedly unhappy to see Shi-mok. He insists he can handle this alone, but Tae-ha says his team should handle it since Dong-jae brought it to them. Dong-jae is not happy about that.

 
COMMENTS

Now we’re getting somewhere. The bigger picture is taking shape, and all our players are converging. The drowning case served as a springboard to set up the Police-Prosecution Council, although I doubt we’re entirely finished with that case. Now we’ve got those cases Dong-jae brought to Tae-ha’s attention too, so maybe we won’t be getting one central case this season.

And Dong-jae is back in all his shameless, weasel-y glory. You almost have to respect the consistency and dedication to his cause. I’m sure he’s not going to let go of his cases and chance to move up the ladder so easily, but Tae-ha clearly doesn’t trust him. If Dong-jae wasn’t already afraid of Shi-mok cramping his style, he certainly is now. Dong-jae looked nervous when he saw Shi-mok was back in Seoul, so maybe he’ll play things a little more carefully now. Then again, Dong-jae has never been one to play things too safe.

Poor Shi-mok with his bafflingly sudden promotion. You know if he actually looks bewildered, it’s serious. Using him as a pawn never seems to go well, though, so I have no doubt he can turn whatever schemes they try to rope him into to his advantage. Now it looks like Tae-ha is bringing Shi-mok into his and Dong-jae’s little dirt-digging operation by putting him on this police suicide case, but I’m not entirely sure what Tae-ha plans to do. He’s kind of hard to get a read on, but he comes across as someone who is willing to cross the line when he feels it’s necessary. His willingness to work with Dong-jae and his insistence on hiring his problematic classmate suggests he’s not squeaky clean, but I can’t tell how far he’s willing to go.

This council is going to be interesting and super tense, I imagine. How they’re going to manage to come out of it with an agreed upon plan is a mystery. No one is interested in actually reforming procedure to get the best results for citizens; it’s strictly a political battle as these things unfortunately often are. This power struggle is bringing out the worst in both sides with each determined to win at all costs. Thank goodness for Shi-mok and Yeo-jin who aren’t the types to be blinded by a power struggle – each side needs someone who cares about the truth and the people, and I hope our dogged duo can bring some much needed balance to the proceedings.

That being said, it won’t be easy for them on this council. Yeo-jin looked bothered to hear Shi-mok will be part of it. I took it as concern over the prosecution’s motives and tactics rather than questioning Shi-mok himself, but still. Yeo-jin seems to have a pretty good relationship with Chief Choi, even though she doesn’t always agree with her methods. And we haven’t heard her personal views on how this investigative authority fight should shake out, but since she reported the prosecution’s “special treatment” to Chief Choi to use, I’m guessing she’s more on the side of the police.

Added to all that, we’ve got Hanjo still being sketchy and probably influencing things behind the scenes. Not much has changed, it seems, even though Yeon-jae is in charge now. She appears just as willing as her father to get her hands dirty for Hanjo. Last season, I found Yeon-jae simultaneously annoying and interesting. She seemed caged behind that fake smile and laugh, always on the edge of losing it. It was clear she was more capable than she was allowed to be, and now she’s unleashed. I have a feeling that lawsuit that was mentioned will come into play, as will Sungmoon Daily which is still making waves. There’s never a shortage of corruption and power mongering, is there?

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We finally had Shi-mok and Yeo-jin in one screen together and ahh the amount of times they got interrupted! and then Shi-mok had to leave,, It's interesting how they're both on the opposite side but hopefully they can work together considering there's corruption present on both ends. I found the set up for the drowning case really interesting because when watching the first episode I thought there might more to it thinking it was actually a murder case, but I'm finally seeing how it's falling into place, setting it up for even larger corruption cases as a result of both the Prosecution and Police's doing.

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Yes I think the conversation between Shi-mok and Kang Won-chul kind of confirms that the drowning case is more an indictment of shoddy prosecutorial processes than of any serious crime.

I'm a bit sad that the police-prosecution war has thrown a shadow over SM and Yeo-jin's reunion, but I'm also hopeful that their honesty with each other will prevail. At the moment I'm more intrigued by Choi Bit and Woo Tae-ha. Both seem dodgy as hell, but why did they pick YJ and SM for the committee when they probably have a pretty good idea what kind of people those tw

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two are? And I think it was Woo that Kang was calling high and mighty, i.e. Woo recruited SM even though Kang believed it was a bad idea.

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I also think Kang was referring to WTH.

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Yess on Woo Tae-ha and Choi Bit.
The recaps says Woo Tae-ha "comes across as someone who is willing to cross the line when he feels it’s necessary" and I have to agree with that. It also very much sounds like Choi Bit and this is something those two have in common.

I actually wonder if they aren't accomplices of sorts? Woo Tae-ha warned Dongjae "not to touch" Choi Bit and that made me kinda suspicious. I feel like they both have personal stakes in this game and might want to target the same person/people. The way Choi Bit threw her own Director under the bus almost felt like a personal vendetta (or maybe an opportunity to increase her chances of moving up the ladder?)

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Yes I was taken aback by what Woo Tae-ha said to Dong-jae, which is at odds with what everyone else seems to think of Choi Bit. And by everyone else I don't just mean the likes of Kang Won-chul - I bet even Choi's boss and subordinates think she's dangerous.

So yes I do agree that there's something going on between those two. Even if they're not accomplices, even if it isn't personal, their professional ties might be closer and more complicated than they appear to be.

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That phone call between WTH and CB - while it was just CB informing him of the Director's arrest, they have definitely had a history which will be unravelled over time. Some kind of a frenemy relationship, maybe.

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I was squealing silently when Shi-mok and Yeo-jin finally came on screen together. I felt that the awkward formality in their in-person meeting was at odds with the (relative) familiarity in their phone calls. I thought the last scene from Season 1 was the ice-breaker for what we'd see going forward. But it feels like it's regressed a little. Maybe the police-prosecution council meetings will change things around.

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I was most excited to see Seo Dong Jae back in his element. It will be interesting to see how well he and Shi Mok play together.
Plus it is interesting to see where Lee Yong Jae is after the death of her husband. She has shed her stepford wife veneer of season past and we see her a seemingly capable and possibly ruthless new Chairwoman of Hanjo Group. I think she still has major clout in the prosecution side - from her husband's cronies and power of her new role in Hanjo Group. So she is definitely someone to watch out for.

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*Lee Yeon Jae
I don't particularly like Chief Choi. Chief Woo Tae Ha is hard to read but will not hesitate to get his hands dirty if need be.
I still can't shake thinking Choi Moo Sung as Taekkie's dad. He will always be that cuddly and silent teddy bear.

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Yes! Taekkie's dad. He will always be that, but I love that he is in this role. Although, his facial expressions definitely take me back to Reply 1988.

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Yep same facial expressions. that is why its also hard to shake off seeing him other than Taekkie's dad

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He can be very comedic with that same facial expression. My first time seeing him was the 2011 drama I Live in Cheongdam-Dong. He can make you laugh in one minute and then in tears next with those same expressions. He is that good but he didn't get more roles until the last few years.

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Was that why I see the him "acting" as Chief Kang because he'll be forever be Taekkie Appa?

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It's interesting that two apa's from Reply 1988 - YJm and CMS - are playing lead roles in FOS S1 and FOS S2 respectively and in fact, the biggest role ever in their drama career. Just show the smart casting of the FOS team that it's not about big names only.

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Wow I actually forgot he's Dongryong's dad.

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Yep, he was! Hard to connect him with same actor since LCJ is such a serious and always put together prosecutor.

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Yup, the comedic school principal in Reply 1988. He’s also the long suffering dad in Strong Woman BDS. Just show YJM’s acting prowess and versatility.

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This gets funnier because in one of the earlier Secret Forest 2 Vlives, Choi Moosung mentioned Yoo Jaemyung called him after he got the role of Woo Taeha and whined about them both being old now ;~;

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As for me, I still think of Moo Sung as Kim Min Cheol in PP, the same way I still kept seeing Lee Kyu Hyung in season1 as Looney battling with my brains that doesn't want to accept he was the murderer. 🤣

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As much as II have waited for Cho Seung Woo and Bae Doo Na, I have been even more impatient for Lee Joon Hyuk and Yoon Se Ah to reprise their roles! Lee Yeon Jae seems like a very different person now, though - I almost couldn't recognize her character. Also, I am not sure I understood - but what exactly happened to her father? Is he still alive (and in prison) or something else?

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Dont remember if it was mentioned in passing. I assume he is still alive but passed on the chairmanship to his daughter.
I dunno why, i was happy to see CSW and BDN on the screen but this two showing up got me more excited. Maybe its because they will be the movers and shakers, and hopefully mess up the plans of whoever is behind the political fight between police and prosecutors.

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Father wasn't mentioned but from the sounds of it she's competing with Lee seong jaw,her half oppa who was mentioned in S1. Given that it was his indictment that caused her to meet cute with LCJ, oppa seems to be very much belong to their father's school of corruption and intimidation. I am also super keen to see if her husband's death has caused any fundamental changes in her attitude or have caused rifts with her father which lead to oppa getting more control of premium assets?

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Ya oppa was also on my mind. But they never showed him in S1, did they? They only showed the trial and the meet cute. I think family dynamics are going to be very interesting. I also really like the actor who played Lee Yeon-Beom (Lee Kyung Yung), and would like to see him make a reappearance!

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I would like to see Chairman Lee back too and hopefully see the brother so can explore the family dynamics and power struggle.

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Yes, Lee Sung-Jae is her brother (not sure if it's half brother) - whose court case brought together LYJ and LCJ. Despite LCJ was prosecuting against her brother, it was a love at first sight for the two of them. We never got to meet the brother in S1 although towards the end, the father was passing a lot of assets to the brother via a Swiss acount.

Guess the brother may finally make an appearance in S2. I think LYJ is showing her real character in this season because she was willing to play second fiddle to her beloved husband. And now it's revenge time and that may even include avenging her own father.

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Yoobeom killed Changjoon by proxy due to all the illicit affairs he'd had Changjoon participate in for 19 years (and also had a hand in having Eunsoo killed), I seriously don't think Yeonjae would want anything to do with the family afterwards unless it's to shiv them in the ribs for taking her husband from her lol

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I would love to see her get her revenge. Grab control of the company and put her father and half brother in jail.

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I've read somewhere he had died, so I took it for granted. In the last episode of season 1 he was in wheelchair, I thought it was all pretending he was ill, but maybe he really was.
I also found Yeon Hae totally changed. Not only her attitude, but also her looks: from a more aggressive outfit and her wavy hair, in opposition to her formal dresses and straight hair. She's changing from perfect wife who looks like a pretty vase for flowers to a business shark. I love it, because she's always had a shark inside her.
As for LJH, I'm totally devoted to him. Always, so the minute Dong Jae and his fake smile stepped in, I was totally sold to this scoundrel.

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I like LJH and like his portrayal of Dong Jae very much. I am very much excited what mess Dong Jae will get to this season.

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Sharks purr and are playful + shut down if you boop their noses so :P

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Due to the situation she is in, she has to fight multiple fronts, brother in law, prosecutors and handling Hanjo while making difficult decision. She has to act tough and competent while still showing internal struggle. Hope the actress will be able to pull it off as it's not an easy role.

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Yoon Se-ah is getting better and better. Still remember first seeing her in Lovers in Prague and over the years, she has proved herself more than a beautiful vase. And she is great in City Hall, A Gentleman's Dignity .. and then winning universal acclaim for her performance in Sky Castle.

Looking forward to see the duality and complexity of her LYJ in S2.

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And Just Between Lovers! That's when I first flipped. I couldn't take my eyes off her whenever she was on screen. The rest could go fly kites for all I cared. I was trying to recall - isn't the actor playing her romantic interest in JBL also the actor who played the editor/owner of Sungmoon Daily?

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Yes, Just Between Lovers - the warm-hearted noona! And it was the Sungmoon CEO who plays Yoon Se-ah's lover in JBL. He usually plays those less than nice roles and hence, my admiration of the-mole-but-great-guy he did in Life.

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Yeonjae voice: Don't mess with me, I have the power of God (Changjoon) and anime (Hangjo) on my side

I still love how every time Dongjae sees Shimok he looks like a deer in the headlights: and actually, I feel that final scene at the restaurant feels more like a warning from Taeha to Dongjae? Taeha himself didn't seem keen at all with Dongjae's elevator pitch (if the elevator was going from the 1st to the 50th floor), so I felt that him asking after Dongjae's ethics to Shimok and then inviting Shimok to a meal to touch base felt more to me like he was very obviously posturing to Dongjae that "this is a trusted ally of mine for now, you're nothing"

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I had a hard time following what was going on with everyone but I too had the sense that Taeha was saying to Dongjae "I trust Shimok and not you - so watch yourself!"

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I laughed at Dongjae's Windows-shutting-down face. To me it was an obvious power move, why invite an unrelated prosecutor to a private meeting otherwise? He also seemed worried and confused when one of the team members asked him to approve Shimok living in the dorm, and I feel that while he had Shimok in mind as a pawn, Shimok is growing on him like fuzzy emotionless lichen.

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Windows-shutting-down face! - what an awesome phrase! ROFL

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Oh it was definitely a move but I am not sure if he was signaling DJ to stand down? To me,it looked like the dude's trying to hav his cake and eat it too. He knows DJ is bad news bear but also do seem mighty tempted with the potentiak dirt he could get for the council. So he sees to be planning to use SM's reputation to make DJ toe the line from being too slimey but also wanting SM to work with DJ to get whatever intel they can. I am mighty Interested like Kang to know why SM ...I have a suspicion they are trying to use his incorruptible persona to claim moral superiority coz ultimately these kinda councils are a PR game

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I liked this episode better, things started to feel more fleshed-out. A number of things stood out to me: the re-introduction of our formidable foes Seo Dongjae and Lee Yeonjae, the long-awaited reunion of our favorite duo, the continued starvation that Shimok faces (damn those bosses!), etc. But I won't go into those moments. I want to talk about something that stood out to me MORE.

That quiet scene in the parking lot after Shi-mok met Woo Tae-ha for the first time. I really wondered what that was all about at first. Shi-mok seemed to be stuck in a dilemma, contemplating something. Then it clicked immediately when we cut to the next scene of him in the hotel room! He'd been wondering whether to "visit his mother" and stay there as Woo Tae-ha had suggested. That was particulary heartbreaking given the nature of his relationship with his "family" and we could see all his conflicting emotions play out on his face in that parking lot. For me, it was even more stricking because moments earlier at the rest stop, we saw how much he looked to other families and loved ones together with longing and sadness. His desire for that same normalcy was palpable. And I think it's no doubt that, that's a change brought on from the support and cameraderie he received in 2017. I think its absence in the current timeline is also part of what causes him loneliness, since he basically has no support system (thank god he met Yeojin at the end).

I also liked the scene in Chief Prosecutor Kang's office when he showed Shimok the Sungmoon report that was soon-to-be published. He was almost shaking in fury, and idk how CSW managed to convey that when he was literally sitting so immobile!

These subtle and quiet scenes really worked nicely to showcase some of Shi-mok's growth since season 1 and were a really good character study. The acting was superb and the directing was gorgeous. I really like this visual storytelling technique, and it also shows us that the production trusts our intelligence to interpret things. I hate when shows spoonfeed us information, so it's reassuring and nice to see that the core elements of this show are present this season (for now).

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AND CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE SEXUAL TENSION BETWEEN YEON-JAE AND HER ADVISER/ASSISTANT? 🔥
What the hell is going on there? Pls tell me I'm not the only one who sensed that?

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Gotta channel that angry widow energy somewhere eh

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No, you're not the only one, you and me both ;)
the actor was in the drama Woman of 9,9billion, his character there was a bit plot-twist-like, but he was good in that drama that made my love for Kim Kang Woo has shaken a bit when he shows up :D
I'll assume here he has an important role too, eventhough that may or may not related to the *ahem* tension you mentioned above :p

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I actually expected him to embrace her and they have a moment.

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Actually I thought that with the reappearance of Sungmoon Daily as a key player, there would be a reunion between Yeon-Jae and her ex sometime down the line.

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Yes, for sure. That's why she hesitated when the assistant suggest they meet. There could be a triangle on the horizon.

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Oooh I felt it too.. When he came back to her office, I was fully expecting them to discuss their covert plan to throw off all those judgey executives and seize power from the shady oppa. NGL,a bit disappointed to see her throw a mini tantrum when I was expecting her to be all sharp and subterfuge-y but it is in keeping with her S1 spoiled character. The dude definitely has some agenda going ,whether it's in service of Yeong Jae or of his own...🤷

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When the assistant came back in I thought they were going to start making out and I was a bit disappointed. 😂

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Oh, yes. It was there.
They have something going on and I bet they are using each other to their own benefit, which is the definition of true love in real life.

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lol! I sensed it and thought I was just crazy from all the quarantining and social distancing. I'm glad others sensed it too!

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Lollll yessss. The assistant is HOT. The only other time I've seen him was in Woman of 9.9 Billion where he was also hot, haha. He didn't have a major role, but he left an impact. I'm sure he will have a bigger presence here than like compared to Mr. Woo from the first season.

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That parking scene and then when he clicked the navigation and paused, my heart broke into pieces. He has no place to call home TT_TT

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I kept thinking he'd call Yeo-jin and take her up on her offer from Season 1 (even though she no longer has that cool rooftop apartment)

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Yesss..I was doing a silent chant to call up YJ. He won't even have to freeze anymore

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It might yet happen. Yeo-jin will find out he's applied to stay in the dorm, and insist that he move in to her place, even if temporarily, until his tenants move out.

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Imagine our neat tidy prosecutor at our messy detective’s home. He will be so confused! It’s so cute.

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I think you could read my mind @yuyuu!!! Agree to everything you said. The scene at the rest stop showed family and couple passing by doing everyday things and here Shimok reading a book about children law. Like all of his life was just about law and work. He didn't know how to enjoy himself when he had that free time. Then we had him not knowing where to go in that parking lot, just sad. I love the way they show glimpse of character's complex feeling without forcing on us with multiple scenes of emotional breakdown. It's all in the details like season 1.
The dialogue between Shimok and Chief Kang is my favourite. How they closed the case quickly took away the opportunity for the couple to reflect on their behaviour. Since they had powerful connection, they could get away with anything. Yes the result would be the same due to lack of evidence (for now) but does it mean we all should cut corner to get to the end faster? It made me pause for a while to think if I had done something similar? The writing is sooo good. We normally don't get this kind of social commentary in a crime thriller show.
I am afraid the drowning case will definitely cause problem to Chief Kang later on.

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I like the idea of Chief Kang being an important player in this season. He was never in the black or white camp IMO in the first round, although I viewed him as one of the good guys. He also never seemed the sort who would take on a mentoring role for Shimok. But this scene gave me the impression that there could be an interesting friend-mentor-competitor-greyguy tension that is building up here.

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I don't know if this is likely to be the case, but Shi-mok reading the juvenile law text suggested that he might have suspicions about the young man who survived the drowning incident? (would he be considered a juvenile in SK criminal law? He already had a driving license though).

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...and why on German juvenile law? Is there a connection/reference I missed?

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I read that SK legal system was modelled after European system, particularly influenced by German and French juridical structure. Juvenile law? May be because of the case, he wanted to understand more? 🤔 By the end of this season, I would know more about SK legal system than my own country’s. 😅

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I don't think so, it was supposed to be German Law.

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I agree about the quiet scenes with him. They reveal a lot without needing dialogue. I also like that they made him look worn out, and sad with softer expressions and mannerisms (even the hairstyle change plays a part)...it's honestly heartbreaking. It adds to this loneliness and confusion and change in his characters over these two years.

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I said this in the previous recaps as well - I really really like how the show is showing their age and weariness - it's subtle non-vocal signalling of how time has flown (like the Yeo-jin and her ex partner were singing :/) and people have grown and changed.

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I admit it took me one episode to get used to the new look but I respect the team to go with the less glamorous look. One thing I notice from a lot of Korean actors, they seem conscious of their appearance when acting. Yes, they play different roles, doing all sort of diverse performance but I still can see they try to show their best angle, oh don't forget that beautiful smile to the camera. Some don't even change their hair style! I am not talking about their acting skills but the fear of looking ugly unless the role is really called for.

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Agree! It's interesting that they both changed because of essentially the same reasons but in different, almost opposite, ways.

I realllyyy hope we could get deep conversations between them about this. About their feelings and thoughts about their situation.

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"I hate when shows spoonfeed us information" THIS! The biggest reason why I love this show is that it never treats the audience as stupid, and doesn't always break things down for us - it wants us to use our heads as much as the characters in the show are. Crime is my crack genre but I have dropped many shows precisely because they have spoon-fed the audience.

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@yuyuu, I love your thoughts on the car park scene. It was quite a normal suggestion to 'see your mom' but it hits where it hurts for our Shi-mok. On that, I really like Cho Seung-Woo's performance in S2. There is a subtle change to his character while on the surface he is still as stoic as he could be. I would love to see an interview of him about 'how' he plays Shi-mok this time.

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In the interview, CSW said Shimok would never change. Nothing about how he played but he find it’s even more challenging this time.

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Why am so excited welcoming Seo Dong-jae?! With a bunch of serious people - prosecutors, police, etc - Seo Dong-jae characters is super entertaining... We know so well that he's an opportunist to save himself and climb the power ladder.... But, he's so entertaining.... Seeing Lee Jun-hyuk's playing Seo Dong-jae, I tries to brush off his other characters.... He's the best when he's Seo Dong-jae.. :D

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When Dongjae appeared all I could think was "Weasel is back!!!"
He was the character we (okay I) all loved and hated at the same time.
sigh.......

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exactly! the moment he appeared in Woo Tae-ha's office, and bowed while introducing himself.. I was like.. "He's back... he's back.." I'm curious what he's going to do in season 2 with he and Shi-mok are probably going to work together.. what are his motives to see Tae-ha? Will he change to be better like when he asked Shi-mok to give him second chance.

I hope he'll bring lots of fun in the show... In season 1, we enjoyed him being back and forth saving his ass from Lee Chang-Jun to Lee Yeon-beom, and then to Shi-mok, while he's also super shocked seeing Lee Chang-jun died in front of his eyes....

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He can't change, at least that's what I think.
I loved that when asked by WTH if DongJae can be trusted, ShiMok's answer was "it depends on the task". Because that's exactly what it is.
We know because we've already seen it that there's a certain line DongJae wouldn't cross, but there are lots of lines he's already crossed so many times.

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I don't think he changed either... We can see when he's surprising seeing Shi-mok in Tae-hae's office (then later he's cursing on his way out), and when Tae-ha said that he'd be working with Shi-mok. It was written all over his face that he doesn't like it. Shi-mok is one of the person who knows Dong-jae very well...

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The last time I saw LJH was in Designated Survivor and he was super duper serious and dark in there, so it's kind of a shocking revelation when I saw this wily Dong Jae ~~

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In A Poem a Day and in 365: Repeat the year he's so adorable!
(I'm never objective about him).

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LoL... His fate was "ended" just like that in "Designated Survivor." I love him "365: Year Repeat", when he had a really great chemistry with Nam Ji-Hyun.

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I thought watching a drama where you can't trust anyone in it, much like the first season of FOS, is already bad. But apparently it's getting worse when you have to watch people you already knew and could predict quite well being thrown under the power of people you knew nothing about. I couldn't help getting jittery whenever I saw Choi Bit and Woo Tae-ha interacted with any of the old faces (even with the king of weasel Seo Dong-jae, which say something about these 2 newest addition). Because I knew practically nothing about them except for the fact that they have their own agenda.

It was disconcerting to see the police and prosecutor office stood on warring sides under the guise of coalition and cooperation. Especially since we knew that neither Yeo-jin nor Shi-mok is the blindly loyal type who would defend their respective organization with no regard whatsoever to wrong conduct within. In a way, they are both a bit of a loose cannon, which I'm sure isn't something their new bosses have predicted before. The Chief Prosecutor Kang is probably the "wisest" one for adamantly refusing to use Shi-mok for this upcoming reform battle, however desperately they needed their sharp knife.

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This turf war between the prosecution and police is becoming more interesting to me and I wonder how far it'll go. Shit- of the murder kind- is bound to happen, and I wonder if both sides will wake up from their singular focus of serving their own interests to serving the interests of the people.

Although I suppose that's exactly what this show is setting out to critique in general.

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SM and YJ will be there to remind the council what’s exactly their purpose— the people they serve.

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Agree that YJ and SM are far from blindly loyal. However, their new bosses cannot be unaware that neither of them has any qualms about going after people on their own side. YJ and SM's records speak for themselves. Kang has already warned Woo Tae-ha of SM's attitude towards the organisation. Moreover, Choi Bit knows very well that YJ doesn't approve of her methods. Yet Choi and Woo chose YJ and SM. Either they're very sure that they're able to manipulate their two subordinates, or they have other ideas for these "sharp knives".

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I agree. Choi Bit may think she has got SM under control with the news article smearing his reputation, but she is underestimating him. Who is using YJ and SM for what they know of them and who is using them because they think they are manageable?

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And also who is setting them up to take the blame?

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Yes, exactly! And how are they going to push back?

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Yes, that's why I'm afraid. That this whole thing is just a big set up and somehow our favorite couple would be in danger.

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I am looking forward to the final product of the police-prosecution battle, if they ever show it - how are the two camps going to reconcile their differences? will there be a 'winner'?

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If Dong-jae were to sell something, no matter how ridiculous it is, I’d probably buy it. He’s so perfect for sales! It’s good to know that our resident weasel is still as consistent as ever.

Choi Bit’s reaction about the grudge of the prosecution team towards the Director makes me think that she’s working with Woo Tae-ha. WTH also warned Dong-jae to not touch Choi Bit. I could be totally wrong and these two just so happen to hold each other’s dark side so somehow they’re working together.

It was nice to see Yeo-Jin and Shi-mok together! I do have a feeling SM knows that YJ will be part of the council. It’s a little impossible for him to miss that part.

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Watch Dongjae making sales pitch
1. At first you though this guy is a complete BS
2. But then you asked yourself "why this guy is so shamelessly convincing?"
3. You started to doubt yourself "hmmm he must offer something good, doesn't he?"
4. We mulled over different possibilities, pros and cons, should i or shouldn't I?
5. Eventually we all know how this ends....;) (still can't shake that feeling of doubt but there is no harm to try right right???) :))
I rewinded the scene between Donjae and Woo Taeha coz it was so funny. How could Choi Moo sung keep his face straight?
Can't wait to watch Dongjae's antics and Shimok 's slightly annoyed poker face.

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Loved that scene, and how the staff outside were treated to Woo Tae-ha's sudden, rather bizarre bellow: "Do you think this is a casino?!" Dong-jae was really on a roll, wasn't he? Even Woo, I think, was kind of giving a performance. At certain points he seemed to be feigning suspicion or dismissiveness, when I suspect he was actually on high alert with regard to everything Dong-jae was saying.

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The look WTH gave DJ in one part was so funny that I rewatched it a few times!

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Dong-jae: YOU need me!
Woo Tae-ha side eyed face was just priceless. Like Really... Do I? You mean YOU???
All three of them are in now the same team. We are in for a treat!

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A weasel, a casino owner, and a prosecutor walk into a bar...

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Yeap! That doubt would stay but you'd still buy. He's that good!

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Every interaction between Dong Jae and Shi Mok is perfect. They remind me of a lioness trying to rest by the shadow and her cub playing around her, biting her ears, tails, and annoying her to get her attention.

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Is SM the lioness and DJ the cub???? xD

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you get it 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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'he can sell an airconditioner to an eskimo' - Dong-jae is that kind of guy. If I needed to hire a salesman, he'd be my first choice.
"I do have a feeling SM knows that YJ will be part of the council. " - I agree. He's too smart not to know.

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DJ is like the cat with seven lives...Althrough S1 I was surprised at how he continued to survive despite getting caught red handed by both sides on multiple occasions. After a certain point you have to begrudgingly admire that level of shameless self preservation. Last season,he basically wore us and SM down.
I LOL'd at his face when he was exiting from WTH all slick and ran smack into his worst night mare ,and that whispery aside about how SM always has it easy when he's trying to claw his way into the special prosecution office 😂

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Him cursing SM on his way out was such a sight to see!

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Ah, this one was exponentially better than the first (though it still is a set up episode) and it's much better already that we finally get Shimok and Yeojin together on screen! With how they work in each department I totally didn't remember how their dynamic was but then the moment they meet they are back! And I do think one of the most interesting part from Secret Forest is Shimok and Yeonjin working together.

I am definitely up for the ride no matter what they throw us because I trust this writer given how GOOD Secret Forest were, but I do think I get less and less interested in this whole Police-Prosecution situation because it doesn't entirely threat any of our beloved characters in a direct way. It doesn't pique my curiosity either a la that murder in season 1. Or maybe I just have to wait longer.

Talking bout these characters though! God Dongjae is as he was, he just looks like a walking trouble. And I want to find out more what's the deal with Chief Choi and Taeha. They're shady, but Eunsoo was so shady, yet we ended up CRYING because of her. And I love how they potrayed Yeonjae post all the season 1 mess. She does seem as hard as she was before trying to keep calm and everything but instead the camera shows us her messy emotional side too now.

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Is it going to be about how the police and prosecution tear each other apart in a turf war, at the neglect of the justice system? Or is that only what is happening on the surface?

I'm intrigued by the prosecution in South Korea. In reality it seems a deeply problematic space. There are ongoing issues if you read the Korean news. I wonder what its checks and balances are. I want to know if it is as problematic as these dramas indicate, given that they so often take on contemporary issues. I want to know more..

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I absolutely loved this episode! I actually had to stop myself from rewatching it because of the (gigantic) stack of work I had. I find both of our main leads adorable together, and I think both the police and prosecutor teams have formidable members (and amazing actors!). I can't wait to see more interaction between our season 1 characters. Strangely, this episode actually made me appreciate the first episode a lot more. All in all, welcome back FOS!

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Same here! I desperately want to rewatch but I'm holding back because of work :( I hope I manage to do it before ep 3 is up! Along with Ep 1, this was a great introductory set up - all our characters are in place - now let the fun and games begin.

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The high-ups in both police & prosecutor are squabbling about whose job is which, but do they care at all about doing the job right? It's sadly true about how it's just a political battle for them.

Am loving Shi-mok's fair answer of "depends on what you tell him to do" about Dong-jae's reliability, even he admits that Dong-jae is good at something in his "weasel-y glory", LOL. Have always on-board of Shi-mok + Yeo-jin ship, but Shi-mok + Dong-jae is totally shipworthy too ><

If Choi Bit comes across as ruthlessly efficient, Woo Tae-ha's first impression is... sort of cute and bumbling? But guess he'll turn as scary as her somewhere in the middle, it's Choi Moo-sung after all. Can't wait to have all these people in one room!

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In a rom-com, Shi-mok and Dong-jae would be lead characters who are diametrically opposed yet can't resist each other. SM, all measured speech and movements; DJ, all flowery speeches and wild gestures. SM, who always tells the truth; DJ, for whom lying is second nature.

After @neener and @blacksesame highlighted the fantastic scene between DJ and Woo Tae-ha, I re-watched it for the LOLs. But although Woo is like an adorably annoyed teddy bear in that scene, at times Choi Moo-sung's eyes tell a different story, like he's genuinely wary of DJ and worried about something he said. DJ, as usual, is completely unaware of the deeper implications of his own information...

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Tae-ha is hard to read. Tell me which character is easy to understand in FoS? When Dong-jae mentioned the prosecutor who had a heart attach, I have a feeling Tae-ha pretend not to know about him. Same when he gave reason not to go after Choi Bit (after the director instead). May be I am just reading to much into it :D

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Yes I had that feeling too. And the way he responded - "Now why does [name of heart attack guy] sound familiar" - was interesting. It was as if he was testing whether Dong-jae already knew that he knew the guy. If DJ didn't, then fine. But if DJ had known something and was trying to catch Woo out, then Woo could just pretend he'd forgotten who the guy was.

Now look who's reading too much into things! :D

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Only two episodes in, here we already discussed hundred of theories. Hope my tiny brain cell could survive by the end

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Yep, I have many ships here. Apart from Shimok Yeo-jin, I have Shimok + Dong-jae, Dong-jae + Tae-ha, Yeo-jin + Choi Bit, Yeon-Jae + her assistant. I know many of my ships will sink and have my heart broken but I can't help. I am weak.
I am really intrigued by Choi Moo-sung. He comes across as laid back almost caring type but definitely authoritarian. Between the two, Choi Bit is more scheming and manipulative.

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Yeon-jae and her assistant give off a really strange vibe. Eminently shippable, but disturbing nonetheless.

Yup at the moment Choi Bit does seem more scheming, but I think Woo Tae-ha will catch up very soon. I don't like how he'd obviously already planned to put his old pal Kim Sa-hyun in the committee. (Though when Choi Bit described the kind of person she wanted for her committee's final member - late 30s, working in the field, not from the Police University - I shouted "Just say Jang Gun, woman!")

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Bit, waving a hand to Yeojin: I need you and a copy of yourself that didn't go to Police U, now step to it

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Hehe...yeah that was funny. YJ was all like but I am a police academy graduate and how CB was all yeah,I noes make sure the other one isn't 😅. I am super apprehensive about CB and WTH's motives in bringing our heroes into the committes and I suspect nefarious power plays in the background,I am also kinda waiting to see how these 2 would do in opposing teams..
I dunno why,I also kinda gloated at the other two dudes who seemed jelly that YJ was being brought into the super select council when they were left doing the grunt work..they haven't done anything to earn my ire but something about that scene was very reminiscent of the old boy's gang that is so prevalent that I cackled when the lady at the top picked the only other woman in the room.

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Yah, I'm waiting for Jang Gun to join the party too!!

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Same! I was like that's Gun!

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Me too!!!

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I wonder if Choi Bit + Tae-ha will get added to this list too, somehow. I think they have more of a history than we are being told.

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I was thinking of putting them on the list but it's too risky. I know there is something going on between them. Not sure my heart can take many hits by the end. Being a shipper is tough.

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Hehe. Yes, you're going to have to steel yourself. These ships are walking into a disaster zone.

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Having lots of ships is good, surely there'll be one that truly sails!

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The only ship I’m fascinated by is DongJae and his hair! The man’s hair is a piece of art! My ship is sailing ⛵️ 😂

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Thanks @quirkycase for the recap.

Poor Shimok being dragged everywhere. Good thing he is who he is. I'll be mighty pissed and would tell everyone about it. How can he be so calm?

No worries. You can rely on Yeojin... and possibly Chief Prosecutor Kang. Despite the grayness of his moral code, I still interpret his reluctance to have Shimok in the council and his knife metaphor as an advice and veiled concern for our favorite prosecutor. I trust you Chief Kang!

Most of our players are introduced now (who would've thought I'll be excited to see Dongjae again?). We can see how some seamlessly take on their roles (Shimok, Yeojin, Chief Choi, Chief Kang and Dongjae) while some... not so much (Chief Woo and Yeonjae).

You know that feeling that actors are acting? When you notice they are following directions? I see that on Yeonjae's outburst and Chief Woo's looking distracted. It's weird but hopefully they'll be more comfortable with their characters.

I have questions:
- who is the young prosecutor in Chief Choi's story? I doubt its Shimok
- what really happened in the drowning incident?
- what was Yeojin about to say to Shimok? She already said that she reported the special treatment. What else is she about to tell him?

The premier week is a little bit underwhelming for me. It was pointed out how petty the police vs prosecution argument is. Will this sustain the story for the next 14 episodes? I hope we return to the procedural element of FoS with the reopening of the old cases.

I'll still be here. The characters really are the ones holding up the show. They are so interesting. I am even interested with Yeojin's male colleagues in the National Police Agency (why are they are so eager to join the council) and the newly chosen Kim Sa-hyun. Weekends can't come sooner.

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I think YJ wanted to tell him that she's also part of the council.

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Ahh, makes sense.

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Totally agree about Chief Kang. He's one of the goddies.

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This episode brought the prosecution side into focus spending time showing us the key players and some of their motivations. Just like Chief Choi, ShiMok’s new boss did not give me the warm fuzzies. I loved ShiMok’s visit to his old boss and his thoughts on why he filed his complaint. His point about how the process could have been used to get the couple to reflect and maybe even feel remorse really resonated with me.

ShiMok and YeoJin trying to have dinner was so cute.

ShiMok is still the same but somehow more mature, deeper, maybe wiser. He seems to have more patience and an acceptance that the system/bureaucracy is always going to need fixing. YeoJin too seems to be feeling the weight of the constant grind of being in a bureaucracy, she’s still the same but maybe a little harder and slightly more cynical. Her expressions when Chief Choi was making her decisions on who should be in the council were of someone who is very aware of how her place in the council is the result of political calculations and not necessarily her competence. But these developments track because of how these characters have spent the past two years. To me it also explains the slower pace of the episodes. The characters have a sense of weariness to them which also tracks with the way season 1 ended where inspite of everything they did nothing really changed. I also wondered if ShiMok was as planning to move abroad since he was reading about laws in Germany.

DongJae was DongJae and at his weasely best but YeonJae was a revelation and badass. Almost as if without her father and husband to dim her light she is shining. Her boss lady outfit was awesome but her decision making was well interesting.
So far I’m loving it but I do have to agree with other beanies that if the show might be a little hard to get into if you hadn’t watched season 1. After two episodes I’m cautiously optimistic. If not nothing I think I can watch ShiMok and YeoJin eat and talk.

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Why they always interrupt Shi Mok's eating scenes? 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️...poor him for having almost food into his mouth but couldn't even taste it.

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A member in Soompi forum posted two articles about the current debate of investigation rights in SK.
I copied them here, may be useful to understand more about this topic.
Credit: nrlle. Thanks

1) Prosecutors Police debate
http://m.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20190709000553

2) Parliment passed bills in Jan 20
http://www.koreatimesus.com/parliament-passes-bills-to-rebalance-investigative-power-between-prosecution-police/

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Thanks for this, it's nice to learn more about SK system.
I can see the main problem is that only prosecution can fill charges, close probes. Different countries, different systems.

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This was very useful! Thank you @nrllee if you are reading this! So we now know who the winner of the debate is IRL. Will the show go down the same path, or offer something controversially different (and re-start the debate IRL!), or play it safe and not resolve it all? I am looking forward!

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Thank you, @SesaME Just what I needed to read. I think this might play into the drama:
"The ruling Democratic Party (DP) and its three smaller rivals put those bills on a fast track in April, along with an electoral reform bill and a measure to set up a non-prosecution agency to look into corruption by high-ranking public officials." I remember noticing as I was skimming through Korean news that investigations into high-ranking officials was a hot topic. I'm not sure in the end if it had any teeth.

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Now that two episodes are over. I can't help but think the writer is pulling a 'Life' into FOS S2. The police vs prosecution is not dissimilar to the financial conglomerate vs the hospital professional.

That is a direction I can embrace because while Life is no FOS, I enjoy it as much as FOS and seeing Cho Seung-woo as the crack smart CEO is just wonderful. I especially love the tug of war on both sides. Moon So-ri's neurologist chief is a memorable female fighter. Having seen her ambiguity and how she plays her card fills me with anticipation to watch how FOS unfolds especially through the two female characters of CB and LYJ. Bring it on!

Also, I hope Tae In-ho (Cho Seung-Woo's best friend in Life and CEO of Sungmoon in FOS) will have a bigger role here. His performance in Life is exceptional albeit a side character.

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Wow the writer seems keen on casting actors she's already worked with.

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Totally agree with you about this Life-ish touch in FOS.

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Wonderful start. To take the luxury of time and really use the first two episodes to really introduce only two new characters while getting us up to speed with the core ones was impressive and done with great skill. And the utterly gobsmacked look of speechless horror on superspy Dong-Jae was just a joy. I particularly loved the series started with our old antagonist to remind us of the why in what he did and also the scene with Chief Kang discussing the ins and outs of those 3 months. Consideration not glibness - something so many writers could learn from.

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And all the characters, old as well as new, are organically woven into the depiction of why and how the committee is being set up. In substance I guess this is hardly original in K-drama, but for me the devil was in the detail: stuff like Chief Kang's lofty disdain for both Choi Bit and Woo Tae-ha, or Choi and Woo's various tactics, or the way Shi-mok, Yeo-jin and Dong-jae got involved in this war of attrition.

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I'm one of those who were late to the FoS part. Only started watching it when it was available on Netflix, after being spoiled by Lee Kyu-hyung's guesting in Lifebar where he mentioned he was the murderer. So I watched S1 knowing who to watch out for but despite knowing that, I still couldn't help but throw suspicions on every. single. character.

So now, I don't know what I'm more excited about: watching the FoS2 as it airs or the fact that I can now join the discussions here on Dramabeans as we make theories together and start again with the game of being suspicious with everyone. 🥺😂

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Hope that they step it up for episode 3. So far the episodes are not as strong as the first season. Hopefully things change

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So, I'm late to the party of comments, so I'll just say a couple of things:
- Please, let the man eat his meals!
- I love Dong Jae is still Dong Jae. He's up to nothing good, for sure.
- I don't trust either Chief Choi or Prosecutor Woo.
- I love ShiMok and YeoJin together. Is cohabitation too much to ask to this writer, isn't it? She's never the trope-y type. *sighs*

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" Is cohabitation too much to ask to this writer, isn't it? " - :/ - my thoughts too... I was hoping that would happen. Still am, actually - it will be such entertainment!

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I was disappointed with how her apartment was really just a studio apartment. No spare room for Shi-Mok. Maybe he'll live in the same building.

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Testament to the skills of the entire production that they're getting me excited to watch a political turf war between prosecutors and the police! Choi Bit's maneuvering reminds me a little of Veep, where the characters are always playing these political games and doing things for the PR.

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huzzah its back!

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So no big villain, just a battle between Police and Prosecution? How can we choose a side? Both are bad and our heroes are not on the same side...

I'm still intrigued by the beach case. It's weird that Shi Mok didn't hear the young boys.

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