152

Forest of Secrets 2: Episode 3

The battle continues as both sides prep for the first council meeting, hoping to secure power for their institutions. In addition, our favorite prosecutor is forced to team up with his slippery friend-adjacent colleague as they attempt to get to the bottom of the suspicious “suicide” case the higher ups hope will provide ammunition against the police. If things are already this tense before both sides even meet, I can only imagine how these talks will go.

 
EPISODE 3

As Dong-jae leaves, KIM SA-HYUN (Kim Young-jae) arrives, and Tae-ha formally introduces him to Shi-mok. The old friends are friendly toward Shi-mok but barely let him get a word in edgewise. They answer for him, tell him how to eat his food … you know the type. Per usual, Shi-mok doesn’t drink, and Tae-ha gets oddly tense when Sa-hyun asks if Shi-mok can’t handle alcohol.

Meanwhile, Yeo-jin goes to visit Gun at her old precinct. She’s going to recruit him, isn’t she? Yep, she is. But Gun doesn’t think he’s a good fit for the council.

Yeo-jin shares that the prosecution is arguing Police Academy graduates are the ones with all the power, so they need someone like Gun to prove it’s not true. He’s high-ranking enough, not a Police Academy graduate, and young enough to satisfy Chief Choi’s requirements. He’s resistant until she starts flattering him about how good he is at his job and how he’s the perfect candidate for this.

Now their hurdle is Team Leader Choi who doesn’t want to lose him. They’re already understaffed. Team maknae Soon-chang thinks it’d be nice to have a field officer on the council to provide a different perspective. Team Leader Choi offers up newbie Soon-chang instead.

They’re interrupted by a radio call about a suspect, and Yeo-jin rushes out with them. She almost hops in the van like old times before recalling herself. She stares at the station nostalgically and vows, “See you again,” before walking away.

In the van, Team Leader Choi gives Gun permission to join the council. He’s hopeful they’ll be able to get results this time, arguing it’ll be great for Gun to have on his resume. Gun doesn’t want to leave the team, but Team Leader Choi thinks he should do it for Yeo-jin. She must’ve been lonely all this time and needs someone she can trust.

He implies this could help Gun advance beyond lieutenant. Team Leader Choi only asks that he bring Yeo-jin back with him when they’re done.

Poor Shi-mok is still stuck at the dinner, looking like he’s done as Sa-hyun drunkenly complains about how he was robbed of his promotion right when he should’ve gone to the National Assembly. Tae-ha encourages him to do well on the council not only for himself but because all their careers depend on it.

Sa-hyun tells Shi-mok to compile a list of all assembly members who used to be prosecutors or judges. He signals to Tae-ha for a smoke break, and they both get up. Sa-hyun adds former police officers to the list while Tae-ha orders Shi-mok to get ahold of the most recent proposal on police autonomy.

He starts to tell him to do yet another report, but he recalls Shi-mok will be “there” in the morning. Sa-hyun asks about it, but Tae-ha says he doesn’t need to know. Outside, Sa-hyun asks what’s bothering Tae-ha.

They’re surprised to see Shi-mok joining them, but he’s actually leaving early. Sa-hyun gets angry he’s disrespectfully leaving before his seniors, but Shi-mok just tells Tae-ha he’ll see him tomorrow and walks away.

Shi-mok looks exhausted as he works late and compiles the information they requested. He pulls out the case file on the police officer’s suicide and goes through the report. In flashback, we see two cops slide into another team’s police car and slip money into the seatback pockets.

Shi-mok narrates that there were seven officers in the Segok night patrol team in the summer of 2017. Two have since been convicted of accepting bribes, two resigned, another was transferred, one kept his position, and the newest member of the team Song Ki-hyun was found dead in the precinct shower.

In a flashback, we see the rest of Tae-ha, Shi-mok, and Dong-jae’s conversation. Tae-ha had argued that an officer killing another officer would be great for them but terrible for the police. He’d had an unwilling Dong-jae fill Shi-mok in on the case.

Six patrol officers had been accepting bribes for years, but then Ki-hyun joined their unit. His final investigation was on his team members. Dong-jae heard from the bars and clubs bribing the officers that Ki-hyun was trying to handle the case on his own.

Shi-mok is surprised no one was suspicious when Ki-hyun suddenly hanged himself at the precinct, but Dong-jae discloses that he was suffering from depression. Tae-ha summarizes that, if he was murdered, it means his teammates whom he was investigating conspired to kill him and managed to conceal it.

Dong-jae explains that the bribery charges surfaced shortly after his death, so people got distracted. Shi-mok rolls his eyes when Dong-jae says he’d have immediately brought this to Tae-ha had he known the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office did investigations. Tae-ha says they don’t do investigations, so Dong-jae helpfully suggests he and Shi-mok showcase their great teamwork on this. Pfft.

Shi-mok stays silent, and after a beat, Tae-ha allows Dong-jae to handle the case on the condition that Shi-mok accompanies him wherever he goes. Ha, so Shi-mok is his babysitter.

Shi-mok asks if the case is related to their division, and Dong-jae chimes in that the struggle over investigatory power is about emotion not logic. Tae-ha intervenes to ensure Dong-jae keeps them out of this whole business. No one can know he’s affiliated with their office or division.

Tae-ha tells Shi-mok to keep an eye on Dong-jae but not to do any of the work. He’s not ordering a prosecutor to dig up dirt – a prosecutor from another division is conducting a reinvestigation. If it’s truly a suicide, then there was no reinvestigation. Dong-jae leaves after giving Shi-mok this look.

Tae-ha asks Shi-mok to make sure Dong-jae doesn’t use Tae-ha’s name to get ahead. He’s the type who pokes around everywhere, so the police are bound to notice him. He tasks Shi-mok with keeping him on track and reporting back daily so they can back out if necessary.

In the present, Shi-mok muses on the fact that homicide was never brought up back then, so what changed? The following morning, Tae-ha chuckles in appreciate to see the labeled reports from Shi-mok on his desk.

Meanwhile, the sole remaining officer from that bribery-happy patrol team Baek Joong-gi gets a call that makes his eyes go all shifty, and he heads upstairs. As he passes through the hallway, we rewind to 2017 where an officer hears a sound coming from the shower.

Joong-gi runs inside when he hears the officer scream and finds Ki-hyun with a rope around his neck. Other officers rush in, and they panic as they attempt to untie him. They aren’t able to resuscitate him. One of the officers seems pretty sketchy; Joong-gi stares at him almost knowingly, as do some of the others, as he walks away.

Although no autopsy was done, the medical examiner discovered a bruise on Ki-hyun’s chest – attributed to CPR – and blood and skin under his fingernails. Once everyone leaves, Joong-gi uncovers his hand to reveal three long scratches.

As he and Dong-jae discuss the case, Shi-mok wonders how the clear signs of struggle were ignored, but Dong-jae guesses they had no reason to distrust the six cops who gave the same story of trying to revive Ki-hyun. Plus, his depression made suicide seem more likely.

Shi-mok speculates Ki-hyun could’ve transferred there because of his depression since transfers like his are unusual. Dong-jae is surprised (then smug) that Tae-ha didn’t share the other report Dong-jae provided explaining that very thing.

Shi-mok snaps him out of it, and Dong-jae says it’s the opposite: he experienced depression because of the transfer. He’d found out that a higher-up beat an officer merely for driving poorly. Ki-hyun had lodged a complaint and gotten transferred, and then he’d investigated his new colleagues.

“Doesn’t he remind you of someone?” Dong-jae prods. “Who?” Shi-mok asks cluelessly. Ha. Dong-jae takes it back since he wouldn’t even wish that on Shi-mok.

Shi-mok asks who first suggested homicide when the signs didn’t point that direction. Dong-jae dramatically states that the question should be who discovered it. And that was the former lead prosecutor on the case.

A bar owner had gotten some waiters who worked for him charged with assault after they’d gotten into a physical altercation, so they’d spilled the beans to the prosecution about him bribing police officers. That led to the discovery that the patrol team was taking bribes from lots of others.

Interestingly, that bar owner was the first one to say the Ki-hyun’s “suicide” a few months prior was actually murder. All business owners in the neighborhood knew he’d been killed by his colleagues. He alleged they bribed the officers out of fear since they were the types to even kill their colleagues.

They all knew Ki-hyun had been asking around about the bribes, so his colleagues must have known too. The prosecution assumed the business owners were saying that so they could claim they were forced to bribe the officers, and the “suicide” wasn’t reinvestigated. Presently, Shi-mok watches from behind the glass as Dong-jae goes in to interview Joong-gi.

Elsewhere, Chief Prosecutor Kang meets with judge-turned-lawyer Oh Joo-seon who apologizes for the mess surrounding the drowning case. He simply paid Chief Prosecutor Kang a visit since it involved the son of his law firm’s VIP client and didn’t expect the backlash. Chief Prosecutor Kang assures him they followed protocol.

Joo-seon mentions the firm’s president Kim Min-woo who Chief Prosecutor Kang met once years ago. He passes along the message that Chief Prosecutor Kang is welcome to join the firm whenever he leaves the prosecution.

He brings up the Sungmoon Daily article, wondering if they can’t do anything about it. Chief Prosecutor Kang notes that, if they did, they’d be involving themselves in Hanjo’s management rights battle.

Joo-seon observes that Lee Sung-jae must be upset he didn’t take over right when his father got arrested, but Chief Prosecutor Kang thinks he must’ve assumed he could lay low and easily take back the company from his sister.

As much as Chief Prosecutor Kang wants to defend Lee Chang-joon, it’d involving going against Sung-jae – he’s behind the Sungmoon Daily article – and backing Yeon-jae’s claims, thereby strengthening her legitimacy in the management rights battle. Joo-seon comments on how similar Sung-jae is to his father and that the affiliates of Hanjo are backing Sung-jae.

He dismisses Yeon-jae as a woman who doesn’t know anything and just took over while the men were away *gag*. Either way, Chief Prosecutor Kang has the deciding vote on who takes over Hanjo. Wouldn’t it be easier to deal with just one of them? Chief Prosecutor Kang looks troubled.

Afterwards, Joo-seon meets with Yeon-jae (Ah, so they’re in cahoots.) and reports that Chief Prosecutor Kang will likely refute the article since he got to where he is through Yeon-jae’s husband. If the article is deemed true, his own legitimacy would be questioned. If Chang-joon goes down, so does Chief Prosecutor Kang.

Sung-jae is pitting himself against the prosecution out of desperation to inherit Hanjo. Making matters worse, the prosecutor he accused of cutting a deal with Chang-joon is now at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office. Yeon-jae doesn’t look thrilled at that news.

Yeon-jae asks him to be an internal advisor for Hanjo, and he agrees. Outside, her assistant suggests contracting the illegal hires rather than officially hiring them. She needs to prove to the stakeholders that she has a solution to the tax issues, though. Anyway, Sung-jae has more former officials than she does on the payroll. Yeon-jae is more concerned about Shi-mok’s new position.

Shi-mok pays a visit to Segok Police Station to check out the scene of Ki-hyun’s death. He even goes so far as to turn his necktie into a noose and wrap it around his neck to test the spot where Ki-hyun supposedly hung himself.

As he pulls, he envisions the police officers assisting while Joong-gi chokes Ki-hyun who scratches him on the hand as he tries to pry him off. Shi-mok startles an officer when he comes out of the shower room, and the officer follows him to find out what he’s doing there.

Joong-gi, meanwhile, makes a secretive phone call and happens to pass by at that same time on his way to the roof. He asks the person on the other end if he’s been summoned yet and complains that Ki-hyun is still causing problems. The officer following Shi-mok bursts onto the roof, but it doesn’t seem like he overheard anything, although Joong-gi watches him suspiciously.

Elsewhere, a nervous, bumbling Gun shows up for a pre-council meeting detailing the police and prosecution’s major conflicts starting in 1998 when the courts sided with the prosecution and wouldn’t allow the police independent investigation rights.

It came up again in 2005, but nothing changed. Then, in 2011, they revised the law stating police had to obey the prosecution’s orders, but the prosecution retained the rights to oversee investigations and close them.

What makes this time different is that the prosecution has lost the public’s trust and support in this fight. Now, the prosecution is willing to negotiate, but they have conditions. One is the proposal of an autonomous police force, where officers would be “lent” to local governments, alongside the National Police Agency.

Director Shin interrupts to ask Gun what officers think since this would mean officers might be local officials instead of state officials. Gun haltingly answers that the response is positive; it’d give them a chance to rework their image as more citizen focused. One of the Reformation Unit members snickers.

Direction Shin signals to move on, but Gun cuts in to ask if he meant “real” officers in the field. From field officers’ standpoint, there are more pressing problems than just the overarching issue of investigative rights such as self-defense, quicker warrants that don’t have to go through the prosecution, and stronger internal regulations to prevent corruption.

Chief Choi tells him to stay on topic and reminds him they’ve all been in the field at one point. Yeo-jin fist bumps him under the table. Elsewhere, Shi-mok briefs Tae-ha on the case, explaining that Joong-gi claims he had no knowledge of the bribes despite being the team leader.

We flashback to the interview where Joong-gi went on about the team’s comradery and how he’d tried to help Ki-hyun who didn’t fit in. When Dong-jae had commented on the unbelievability of his being unaware of the bribery, Joong-gi got worked up. He yelled that Ki-hyun really did commit suicide, and his true colors show as he spit out that Ki-hyun caused them all trouble with his “victim mentality” and depression.

Shi-mok next plans to visit the sketchy-looking ex-cop in prison. Tae-ha notes that regardless of their issues, the police and prosecution have never had a colleague murder before. If it’s true, the public will completely turn their backs on the police.

At work, Yeo-jin’s jealous Reformation Unit colleague (the one who snickered at Gun) gives her dirty looks as she readies for the Police-Prosecution Council meeting. Tae-ha continues it’d give them the power to stop these pushbacks over investigative rights.

He calls it the “perfect weapon” and states they won’t give way in anything during the meeting. It’s their power in the first place. Both sides head to the council meeting determined.

 
COMMENTS

All the talk of investigative authority in this drama made me so interested in the real fight over investigative authority that I had to look it up. I really like that they’re using an actual political conflict as the centerpiece. Incorporating real situations, arguments, and public dissatisfaction grounds it and lends it realism that these types of shows sometimes lack. The fight in real life over this issue seems pretty much as dramatic as it is here. I don’t know how much they’ll follow the real-life outcomes here, but it’ll be interesting to see.

It looks like we’ll finally get into the Police-Prosecution Council stuff next episode, and I anticipate it to be rife with tension and drama. I think poor Gun might be in over his head. He looked so nervous and out of place at that meeting, much to Yeo-jin’s enjoyment. Everyone does seem to look down on the field officers, so I don’t blame him. I like that we’re getting to see the internal conflicts as well, though, since it seems the higher ups and field officers have differing perspectives. Not that the higher ups will listen, necessarily. They’ve already decided what they want out of all this, and Chief Choi wanted Gun there seemingly just for optics. But I expect Gun and Yeo-jin are going to cause their own kinds of trouble on the Council.

There was too little Yeo-jin this hour, but I do enjoy the Shi-mok and Dong-jae combination. No one exasperates Shi-mok quite like Dong-jae, and it’s oh so fun to watch. Dong-jae is weirdly lovable despite his morally questionable ways. I think it’s because he comes across as too ridiculous to take seriously, even when he’s trying to be nefarious. You can’t help but be amused. Well, I can’t, at least. I’m looking forward to more eye-rolling and shenanigans through this forced partnership as they investigate.

The prosecution looks like they might really be onto something with this “suicide” case. Something is definitely fishy about Ki-hyun’s death, and while it’s kind of cold that it’s being used as ammunition, I do hope that awful cop Baek Joong-gi gets his comeuppance. Even if he didn’t kill Ki-hyun, he just seems like a nasty dude and not someone who should be a cop. I have a feeling Yeo-jin will get involved in solving this case, but that’ll put her in a terrible position with her superiors. Yet some more drama to sprinkle onto these Council proceedings.

While the police aren’t exactly behind the Sungmoon Daily articles besmirching the prosecution through it’s indirect links with Hanjo, they’re certainly happy to use it to their advantage. Now, Hanjo is coming to the fore, and it looks like Chief Prosecutor Kang is going to be caught up in the sibling fight over who gets to control the company. I imagine the police will latch onto that and call corruption, and it’ll become an even bigger mess. Since Sung-jae is attacking the prosecution, I’m assuming the police are quietly supporting him for the position. This Hanjo fight seems to be yet another tool in this war between the police and prosecution. At this point, both sides are playing with fire, and if they’re not careful, everyone will get burned.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , , ,

152

Required fields are marked *

So many dodgy people in this episode: smarmy prosecutor Kim Sa-hyun; smooth-talking ex-judge Oh Joo-seon leading Kang Won-chul astray; and a whole mob of corrupt and/or nasty cops sniffed out by Dong-jae. And judging from Woo Tae-ha’s reaction to the mere mention of alcohol intolerance, the other case DJ brought him, the one of the chief prosecutor dying of a heart attack in his car, must be significant too.

Am I imagining things, or is Woo exhibiting the slightest hint of affection towards Shi-mok - defending him against Kim Sa-hyun’s jibes and chuckling when he saw all the work he’d done the following day?

10
17
reply

Required fields are marked *

totally agree with your assessment of all the questionable people involved. There are too many issues and twists that can bring our duo down.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I expected more from that ex-judge Oh Joo-seon. :(

Yes, Chief Woo definitely is liking Shimok more and more.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

As much as I wish Woo to be on Team SM, I still don’t trust him. Solely on the fact that he chose Kim Sa-hyun to be part of the council.

15
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Other than Shimok I don't trust the other prosecutors. I like the composition on the police side.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't like he chooses someone because he's his colleague.
When they were choosing the third member, ShiMok pointed out he could be involved in sort some of scandal but Woo just dismissed it.
I mean, he's been good reading DongJae (well, isn't he easy to read) but why is he trusting a guy like Kim SaHyun that shouts all around "I'm not trust worthy".
So, I'm with you. Don't like him.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

There's definitely a lot of chumminess between Woo and Kim Sa-hyun, but it's hard to tell whether they really trust or even like each other very much. Also, while Woo talks in a more familiar way with Kim about stuff like their personal lives and career paths, when it comes to matters of the council he seems more open with Shi-mok so far. Eps3-4 give me the impression that he's always telling Kim that something or other isn't his concern (maybe because he knows Kim is too shallow to care anyway).

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Maybe this is one of the reasons why Dong-jae is endearing; he's always and only about saving his own skin, so at least no dodginess there!
Woo Tae-ha is definitely appreciating Shi-mok's capability, he noted that Shi-mok knew about the tie between him and Kim Sa-hyun without being told. They were being so chummy, I wonder why he didn't just flat out say, "Hey, let's just pick this close pal of mine" while they were choosing the team's last member...

9
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

DJ is capable enough to gain progress on cases but not competent enough to cause derailments / cover ups.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

We were right!! Remember we suspected that Taeha knew that Prosecutor. Even Kin Sahuyn knew about the alcohol intolerance and how upset Taeha was, that prosecutor must be someone special to Taeha. The question is why Taeha didn’t want to investigate that case if it was a suspicious death? I think the case was linked to him, not Choi bit. That’s why he didn’t want Dongjae to touch it 🤔
I can also see little affection from Taeha to Shimok. He is loyal and caring to only people he knows and trusts. And I think he considers Shimok as part of his circle of trust :)

5
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was also shocked by his reaction. It was as if he had skipped a breath just by remembering.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

It explains a short scene of Tae-ha lost in thought for a moment at the meeting after seeing Dong-jae. What I love about FoS is no wasted scene. If we pay attention, we would be able to connect the dot.

8
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm honestly more curious about the non-alcohol drinking prosecutor's death case. More so with all the hints in ep4, too. Feels like there's a whole lot more people and connections involved to it, I wonder how that arc plays out.

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Same, I think we basically know about the motivation and killer(s) of the police case. But the prosecutor case is the mystery. Who wanted to kill him and why it was covered up? It will be the main case linked to many higher up player.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

i didnt like assistant director Kim Sa Hyun either. He was acting entitled somehow and I know the type also. But I am not quick to trust Woo Tae Ha either. I like that he appreciates Shi Mok but still dont know much about him.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Affection? Maybe not. Interest? Yes. I'm getting that vibe. Shi-mok is just so different from everyone he's probably ever met. Every time he does something unexpected Woo gives him this look like he's just seeing him for the first time.

Kim Sa-hyun is so oblivious, the kind of obliviousness that comes from extreme privilege. He's kind of a douche but so unbelievably shallow that he can't even aspire to substantial douchehood.

19
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree with you. Woo is intrigued by ShiMok. I think he brought him in to his own purpose, but now he's finding out that he can't be "lead". As you said, he looks at him in astonishment every time ShiMok is ShiMok.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Perfect characterization of Kim SaHyun.

I didn’t think the Woo was affectionate towards ShiMok. I interpreted his smile when he saw the reports in the morning as self satisfaction that as expected he has a very competent staff person. He seemed like the cat that got the cream or the guy with the sharp knife (ShiMok) that he can wield.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm happy that we have a murder because Shi-mok is good at solving murders not in politics. He always looks like a lost puppy when people are not talking about a case :p

I don't really understand (and don't really care) all the Yeon-jae's stuff about her compagny, how is it relevant to the main story.

11
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agree with the Shi-mok's lost puppy look hahaha
I also find myself tuning out when the plot moved to the corporate side. I know it will play a role to tie back to the main plot but I'm more interested with the police vs prosecutor issue :)

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I tune out during the corporate stuff.

The Yeon-jae stuff will be something to be used by the police to highlight the corruption on the prosecution side.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I guess it will have something to do with the dead prosecutor and the alcohol and how he died and how everybody covered it up.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

And please, can I get Yoon Se-Ah lipstick, please!!!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

NICE! Thank you Quirkycase for your, oh so titillating recap. I love it. What does Tae-ha have up his sleeve, why have his buddy on the council, is it just nepotism?

2
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

I assumed he wanted someone he could easily control, plus the other stuff about Kim Sa-hyun having some influence with the National Assembly. But the guy doesn't seem terribly impressive, compared to Yeo-jin and Jang Gun whom I think were quite carefully handpicked by Choi Bit and Director Shin, and Woo doesn't seem like the kind of guy who'd risk giving his buddy a leg-up in such a sensitive situation. So yeah I suspect he has another reason for choosing him.

6
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agreed. The police council members are picked more thoughtfully. Chief Choi seemed to be the shrewder between our chiefs. Note that Shimok was initially picked by the police as an adviser. The prosecution team just snatched him as a permanent member because of this.

9
reply

Required fields are marked *

One of the issues with the prosecutors is cronyism - that they're a highly-educated elite who all went to the same schools and go to the same clubs and all know the same people. It's a web of influence that leads to corruption even without the people involved consciously realising it. He chose Kim Sa-hyun because choosing your school chum is the kind of thing you do in this situation. He will in return then choose you.

13
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

This probably has something to do with my fondness for Choi Moo-sung, but I can't help thinking Woo is playing a deeper game. Of course he really could just be scratching his junior's back and/or including Shi-mok to stick it to the police. But I can't help thinking that even if he usually does the old boys' club thing, the stakes are far too high here for him to be so careless.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

You talked about this in this in your review in Dramas over Flowers, and you are quite right. It's not important to know the right people, it is important to know the people who know the right people. When you're at a certain position that's all that matters and WTH hasn't reached his position only by his hard work,

7
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

That’s why our Dong-jae works so hard trying to get to know the right people to advance his career especially when he was not from elite group. I sometimes feel sorry for him.

13

Oh I also felt super bad for DJ in that restaurant scene. How WTH dismissively told him to say his piece quickly and leave before the actual dinnermate arrives. That was uncalled for! No matter how weasley he is, it sucks to be invited to a restaurant and then be asked to not join the dinner,esp in a society like Korea which places a lot of cultural value in the act of sharing food,it was a not so subtle sign from WT that he may be allowed to do the dirty work for them,but he literally can't sit with them 🙄 The look DJ gave while leaving, in that moment I get why he resents ShiMok. here's a guy who's being provided a free meal while DJ had to claw through to get in but leaves empty. I also think post LCJ, he's looking for a mentor figure precisely because he knows he needs one to help him move up and to see WT talk kindly to SM when they both know ShiMok has no use for godfathers.
It must be infuriating to be smart enough to know you're not smart enough! Despite all the resentment he has for ShiMok I did go aww when he rhetorically asked our fave prosecutor if the dead cop reminded him of someone but had enough affection for him to take back the comparison. despite all his pettiness, he doesn't want Shimok to end up in a similar state. #WeaselWithAHeart

11

Please remind me again when SDJ said "Doesn't he reminded you of someone?" and "and after seeing it 2 times, ... wait is it 3 times?", he was referring to Young Eun Soo and Lee Chang Jun right? 3 times? Who's the other one?

So glad that the investigation on Segok case has started. Seeing Shi Mok's re-enacting the crime scene+the main theme being played in the background was my fav part of this eps. Although, I'm still a tad bit confused about Hanjo's stuff, so I might need to rewatch and pause to better understand Hanjo's case. The only downside of this episode is NOT ENOUGH YEO JIN! WHERE'S MY GIRLLLLL? And also I need Yeo Jin to doodles in every episode to be satisfied!

7
10
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think DJ meant Shimok. Shimok went against their higher ups that many times.

11
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh I actually thought he was referring to LCJ and Eun-soo but you could be right. For the life me, I can’t count how many times SM went against higher than him xD

3
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

If I'm right, Shimok's reaction to DJ allusion to him is doubly funny. He did not recognized DJ is talking about him.

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

And how DJ stopped himself from explaining so as not to hurt him

3

I totally agree with you: I think he was talking about ShiMok and that made the scene even funnier because ShiMok didn't have a clue of who he was talking about and to me (as well as to DongJae) it was so obvious, hahahaha

3

That makes so much sense! I thought since he was talking about the cop who commited "suicide", SDJ was referring to Young Eun soo and Lee Chang Joon since they (sadly) died.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hmm,I had a similar read on the scene: He was definitely trying to needle SM but drawing parallels between him and the cop who stood up to his superiors and notably was investigating his colleagues. I love that ShiMok is still so clueless to completely miss the similarity of his last big job assignment. But then DJ retracted the statement precisely because he has seen the tragedy of death last season - ES and LCJ and doesn't want to ascribe the same fate to SM.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agree about Yeo Jin, her 'presents', and more!

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Right! What happened with those? Admittedly, the two are not working closely this season yet. 😔

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

i'm pretty sure he meant shimok hahaha no one rebelled higher ups as much as shimok

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I never thought I’d laugh so much in an FoS episode and here we are. Comedy-duo Dongjae-Shimok is amazing.

I need the recap to understand the awkward dinner conversation with the new council member – Kim Sanghyun (don’t like him… at all!). I guess the comment on alcohol will relate with the DUI case that Dongjae raised to Chief Choi. The prosecutor who died must have been close to Chief Choi.

The duality of Shimok’s attitude towards his seniors though… he does not follow the expected social protocols (drinking alcohol as offered, being the last to leave during team dinners) but subservient enough to be polite to seniors, follow orders (reports, baby-sit Dongjae, and agree to put the suicide investigation in the down low), etc.

The close case we revisited this ep is truly interesting. Although I think the transfer cop was killed by his teammates but not by all 6 of them did it. Let’s not test the gods, Shimok! There are already too many parallelisms with you and the dead cop.

Shimok might have gained another difficult senior but Yeojin gained Gun. I really felt the warmth of Yongsan Police Station, like going home, and having people on your side. That fist bump is so cute. Gun in dress uniform looks so good. Will we have another running joke of having Gun not informed of the dress code?

I don’t worry about Yeojin going against her higher ups. We’ve been there before. However, I dread seeing Shimok and Yeojin in different sides.

For now, I am leaning towards the Police Team’s arguments. That transition to Yongsan Police answer on behalf of Gun was more impactful than having Gun explain his argument himself. They really need officers in the field to have this perspective.

I mentioned how I think eps 1-2 were slow. I re-watched both (as we ought to do 😊) after eps 3-4 and I never realized how I liked it – especially ep 1. FoS eps improves really during re-watch. One request though – can we solve the cases now?

17
28
reply

Required fields are marked *

Damn you're right about Shi-mok and the dead cop. Eps 3-4 made me realise how lucky Shi-mok and Yeo-jin have been so far. They would probably have done what the cop did in the same situation, but so far they haven't encountered anyone as terrible as the shin-kicking police chief and the murderous gang of patrolmen within their own organisations.

7
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Right? Our leads started in teams that have equal parts mentors and rivals, and they have progressed in their fields gaining people on their side.

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I wasn't expecting to miss the police squad this much.Certainly wasn't expecting Team Leader Choi to have clocked in on YJ's loneliness..he has been a veteran cop and astutely pointed out the subtle discriminations YJ must be facing in the HQ confirming the hint of jealousy and snobbishness that I sensed from the younger guys in the reformation team in EP 1&2. I loved that he openly acknowledged the power of connections in their career path and let Gun know he can use them and even outrank Choi in the near future. And that final line about making sure to come back to the team with YJ♥️. YJ has found her tribe.

9
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I miss the Yongsan squad. 😭😭😭 At least YJ now has Gun.

2

I cringed while ShiMok was reenacting what probably happened in that shower room. It was obvious it couldnt have been suicide but come on, does he really have to pretend to hang himself with his necktie. 🤷‍♀️

8
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

That's why we like him. He needs to check the facts himself and not rely on reports given to him. But the suicide re-enactment was a little too much given that Writer-nim is not conscious of happy endings..

6
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yup, I was happy he did it because I was trying to picture how it could have been suicide, he settled in my mind that it clearly wasn't.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah, as soon as he walked into the room, I knew we were in for a veryy real re-inactment. The original scene was bad enough. I couldn't tell if the one cop who was holding the rope was keeping it steady to reduce strain on his colleague's neck or increasing the tension to the noose.Yikes...
I was also worried that cop would walk in on SM in the mid erm experiment, and our fave prosecutor might be in for a very awkward q&a session.Hey,not every cop can be cool like our girl YJ and let the weird guy reliving deaths slide 😅

4

These parts of HSM re-enacting the crime scenes are my favorite parts of FoS. I find it helps the audience follow HSM's logic in trying to analyze how the facts should be appreciated to form a conclusion we can agree with.

In FOS1, the show took time to get us through HSM's line of thinking in the first murder while HSM also pointed out how his theory does not add up, thus trying out another theory. Because some detective shows can just really be somewhat unbelievable with how the oh-so-smart detective just brilliantly figures out everything.

8
reply

Required fields are marked *

Maybe Shi-mok was trying to test how much weight the shower could bear, or whether it was possible for someone of the dead cop's height to hang himself in that position. I think he discovered something but isn't certain enough about it to tell anyone. Obviously he needs to work with the cops to get the full picture, instead of arguing with them in a conference room... sigh...

4
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm really curious on what he discovered

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree he needs to talk with cops to get the full picture. But he already has a good grasp of what possibly happened and need to just verify a few things for himself. I think what that council should realize is that cops and prosecutors should be working together. But that will be another discussion for the next episode.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

This was a callback to the knife scene in S1, except there Yeo-Jin was around to make sure he didn't make the wrong moves. I really appreciate how, through these minor scenes, the two seasons are being cross-referenced, and how character growth is being shown!

7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Right now I'm convinced that we're gonna lose somebody by the end of this season. And right now SDJ and HSM is on top of the list. God I hope the conversation netween SDJ and HSM is not some kind of sinister foreshadowing. I agree with you the parallelisms between HSM and the dead cop is strikingly close.

7
13
reply

Required fields are marked *

There was a similar foreshadowing in S1, too.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I get the same sense too with all the foreshadowing. I would be seriously uoset if it was either of the two. SDJ is growing on me this season, but my money is on him being the most likely candidate

3
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

💔 on thr possibility

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Exactly. He feels too much like an "easily used pawn" this season, what's with Woo Tae-ha playing into Dong-jae's desire for better position. He kinda reminded me of Eun-soo from last season. I'm afraid he'll stumble onto something important and dangerous without meaning to while doing all his snooping. Hopefully Shi-mok is there so they can watch each other's back.

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

But but SDJ can't die...he has cockroach like survival skills.😱 The probability is high that he might end up on the wrong side of a weapon given how many lives he used up past season. But I was thinking it might be the police squad that might be in danger this season.I am side eyeing Team led Choi who's grown leaps and bounds and is being all selfless and ISH what with giving career advice to hoobaes,empathising with victims and all...Gun is obviously not an option, he just had a second baby.Soo no deaths of the main cast this season,we don't want to be predictable.Do we,show? 😫

0

@ashes2ashes Geon actually came to mind and him having a 2nd kid raises the possibility :(

6

I'm feeling that too. This writer does not hesitate to go that route. But if we're going to have more seasons, killing either of them isn't ideal xD

3
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

As long as the script continues to be great I would love to have FOS as seasonal drama but I have a feeling that this will be the final season. Based on press conference, Jo Seung Woo (jokingly, i wish) said that he regret wishing FOS to be seasonal during his acceptamce speech and he's scared that the viewers will think that FOS is no longer fun. He got a point, I mean better ending it on a high note, right? Based on that I think it's (highly) possible that the writer will killed off even the main leads.

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

The fact that FoS got a 2nd season is rare in kdramaland and I hope that changes the viewpoint of the audiences. Based on the ratings, it has a solid fan base. But if this is the final season, then one of the main could die. ;(

2

I'm ok with another season if this one is solved as first season was in such a solid way. There's no need to a third sloppy season. We don't need that. And the truth is that the second season was announce just when first season ended. Let's see how everything goes with this one.
And I don't think there can be any other season without ShiMok or YeoJin.

3

@eazal True. But if I remember correctly though, season 2 was announced around 2019. There were talks about it in 2018 but became official in 2019 ;)

More seasons without the main cast is just dragging FOS' name.

2

Yes that was uncomfortable. But it would be too obvious for a smart writer to kill off either of them after this dialogue. Some major character will die, I agree, but I'm confident there's a twist coming. SDJ is too much of a self-preservationist to get into a mess like this, and HYJ has HSM's back, so all is good on both fronts, IMO.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

saw theory from kfans something might happen to dongjae..because in one of teasers, there this scene of dongjae's car and there are few police with torchlight around it

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm also laughing so much! I wasn't expecting it.
I think it's all writer-nim is doing for the fans.
We know the characters, we know how they are going to react, so when the whole scene is set we know the reaction and laugh (Shimok being interrupted while eating, Shimok looking at their sunbaes as if they were aliens, DongJae teasing ShiMok and being an adorable weasel...)

7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh! That’s where Hanjo comes in! To expose the corruption within the prosecutors side. I was actually worried that Kang would be swayed by that lawyer. And it looks like he will be.

It’s our first time meeting Sa-Hyun and I don’t feel good about him. Loved how SM just left despite him shouting angrily. I’m expecting more of SM shutting him down. The look he gives every time SH speaks during the council meeting, go SM!

Our resident dedicated police officer Geon-ie, he looked great in his uniform. That fist bump 👊🏽!

It will always amaze me how the writer keeps me focus. On paper, this could come out boring will all the political and power fight but it’s so interesting still!

11
14
reply

Required fields are marked *

I truly agree although I tune out during the Hanjo scenes if our prosecutors aren't there. In ep 4, there was a chase scene by the police, I just want it to finish so I can continue with people talking... which is so against what usually interests me.

4
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hanjo will probably get interesting once we know what the bro looks like and if Dad is alive or not.

That tension in the council was so palpable you want to know more!

4
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

I wonder who's gonna play Lee Sung Jae? The characters chart didn't include photos of him and SDJ's wife

3
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Seo Dong Jae has a wife?!

0

@dee23 he does! It was briefly mentioned in season 1 too during the scene when he choked eun soo. This season we got a character description for SDJ's wife meaning that we might see her this season. He also has kids too! It's still unbelievable that SDJ is HSM sunbae😅

8

I would love to search around but I wanna be surprised on the reveal so I won't xD

1

where did you see the character chart? I'm curious about this too! Have been since S1!

0

i saw the character chart on korean site..they really didn't have any actor's name/pic that would play lee sung jae i thought he's kinda important character in this season..and yes dongjae's wife also blank..i can't believe they said dongjae already has kids hahaha he looks so young

1

Kang is surely smarter than that :/ I want him to be one of the good guys, for some reason. HSM (still) needs a mentor and a role model in the service, and Kang fits that bill for now.

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really wished he wouldn’t fall for Oh’s manipulation, but he did.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

The weapon the prosecution has (bribery-suicide) is very deadly for the police. I think having Chief Kang involved in the Hanjo debacle will bring it more weight vs Prosecution (...and to us viewers).

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

And to SM as well. Having his mentor-like be part of it.

3

This is a show where every line of dialogue matters. I had to rewatch if someone or something interrupted me. The hubby was given a firm “Do not disturb” warning. 😀

I am amazed at the writer, director, and actors to weave a complex story with multiple threads so effectively.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

True!! And rewatching makes you discover new layer of the conversations.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I truly ship Shi-mok and Dong-jae at this episode... He's a quite balance to clueless Shi-mok..

And poor Shi-mok's expression when Kim Sa-hyun was trying to tell how to eat the foods, LoL. I guess he failed again to enjoy his meal....

7
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

The way SM held up wasabi dollop for SH's approval and how SH looked just a little bit puzzled if he was being trolled but is vain enough to nod approval.... 😂 I bet SM's inner monologue must have been,these dudes are not gonna let me eat in peace,so lemme just deflect future shouts by following these dumb instructions so I can get outta dodge.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was like nooo when he put too much wasabi. His face trying to swallow that thing had me in stitches 😂

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I actually felt bad for Seo Dong Jae when he realized that he was not officially in the team. Those looks he was giving to Shi Mok. And Shi Mok studying him closely and like telling him "Don't look at me. You got yourself into this. Talk to my boss". 😆

What I liked in that whole exchange was when Seo Dong Jae tried to get Shi Mok's confirmation to his statement that they both worked well in the past. Shi Mok was looking everywhere but him. 😆 Shi Mok pretending not to hear the question. 😂🤣😂

13
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

That glance behind his shoulder was classic. After watching it for the first time, like Shi-Mok, even I was lost, until someone on the fanwall broke that scene down for me. :D

7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Mok-Jae FTW!
I rest my case.

12
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Do you think Yeo-jin is ok with us shipping Mok Jae? I can’t help feeling guilty 😬

4
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

For all we know, she might be totally 100% behind this ><

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

This is so entirely possible!!

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

😂 i love their scenes together. I will not be opposed to seeing a whole episode of just them. Dong Jae being all smarmy and frustrating Shi Mok to no end. Shi Mok being noncommittal and deadpan to whatever DJ spews from his mouth. 😂

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

They should make Rom com movie as a Stranger spinoff with our characters just being adorable doing mundane everyday things. Imagine CSW BDN and LJH in a rom com 😍

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

So, I have the feeling that all the speculations we had about the drowning in the first two episodes was just a set up for the real conflict: the police / prosecution fight. We may not have a "real" one case, although it seems the probably-not-suicide may be used, but I'm glad about this.

I also read some articles about this important issue in SK. It's quite interesting to find how other legal systems work. I'm not a lawyer, but I have a degree in Law and I work constantly with lawyers and have my knowledge of the legal system in my country. I've always found the power prosecution has in SK quite excessive compared to my country in which mainly the power belongs to the Judge. So I'm really enjoying all this insight. I said before I love the Life-ish tone this drama is getting. We have all the politics involved so well explained... I'm hooked.

And what about our team? I'm glad Gun is back and I'm sure he'll be a valuable piece of it, and I love ShiMok dealing with DongJae as a penitence... oh, my, I find the humor in this season so funny... mainly because we know how every old character is, and we anticipate their reactions with delight.

ShiMok has this exhausted look: his hair, his expression, he doesn't hide his annoyance at almost every one. He's not just a wooden face, you can see how tired he is of the whole situation. I need him to interact more with YeoJin so we can see a glimpse of his smile.

16
34
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh good thing we have you. I have questions on warrants once we reached Ep 4. :)

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I’ll do my best!! Hahaha

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

When I watched S1, I was wondering why persecutor could hold a suspect, investigate the crime scene and act like a police. I didn’t try to find out more then :)
I read somewhere the reason prosecutor holding so much power in SK was due to political situation in 1987 when police abuse their power, interrogated and killed student protestors. Demoralization after that had shifted power to prosecutor to weaken police and intelligent agent role to avoid the same thing happenning again. Something like that...

6
23
reply

Required fields are marked *

Are the police and prosecutors there to keep each other in check? I'm thinking of the film 1984: The Day Will Come where the police kill a student while they are interrogating him and the prosecutor refuses to waiver the autopsy, and so the cover-up of the death of the student is exposed. In so many of these dramas, police and prosecution are constantly at odds with each other. Both are as prone to corruption as each other too. The powers of the prosecutor in SK seem similar to those of the prosecutor in France.

OK, I've just found an article that compares the roles of the prosecutors in various countries and the relationship to the police, in the context of SK. I'll be back with more information when I read it.

6
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Please tell. I don’t know in details, saw someone posted on twitter the other day, might not be accurate.
I watched that movie 1987 the day will come. I think it’s based on the true event. Do prosecutors act like police in France?

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

1987 is based on true stories! the characters are real life persons..the students who were killed, the higher up and police who got jailed after that, the prosecutor, the doctor, the reporter, prison warden all of them are based on real stories ... i read that they did interviews with these people when the movie was released

2

In Switzerland, prosecutors have the power to hand down verdict. They have the power to impose prison sentences of up to six month, fines and penalties.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

i thought i'm the only who got reminded to movie 1987 ..it was ridiculous that time like ha jungwoo character as prosecutor couldn't do anything against police and higher up...but i love how everyone helping each other behind police's back

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

That was a time when the whole regime, which was a dictatorship, was paranoid about communist infiltration from the North. The police division that interrogated and murdered the student were a special anti-communist group that had licence to cut corners and do whatever they deemed necessary to stop any threats to the SK dictatorship. They arrested, interrogated, and killed with impunity until the events depicted in the film when a few people of integrity, like the prosecutor, played by Ha Jung-woo, publicly exposed what everyone knew, and the people rose up because they refused to sanction the dictatorship any longer. It was at least in part a student uprising. I know someone who spent his student years demonstrating.

5

@jorobertson we've seen this in so many dramas: When my love blooms, or Men are Men to mention the latest that come to mind.

1

As far as I know, “real” democracy didn’t exist in Sk until 1987. After WW2 and the American occupation the country suffered from at least two military dictatorships until 1987. So if you know or have lived in a dictatorship, you know that civil rights are not precisely a priority and usually the armed forces (usually police or similar) are the ones who carry out the oppression.
We’ve seen so many dramas where a cop says “we no longer do that” like beating a prisioner to obtain a confession (as in S1).
When I was born in my country there was still a dictatorship and even now, more than 40 years later there are lots of people who would never trust the police.
This is another angle I can really understand as I’ve lived it (as coming from a family that was repressed during those old days).

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

This is the article. Dae-Hyun Choe, “Prosecutors’ role and their relationship with the police in South Korea: In a comparative perspective,” International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice 55 (2018), 88-96.
I'm going to post chunks of text. I might fall foul of everyone because there is quite a lot, but it helped me.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

p. 92
In the hierarchical and investigative model, the police are subordinate to prosecutors who directly control the investigation and form a belief in guilt of the suspects before charging. The South Korean system of public prosecution is a typical example of this model. The prosecutors in South Korea, as are their counterparts in Germany, are often called a ruler of the investigation. Almost all criminal offences are investigated by the police under the supervision of the prosecutors. The relationship between the police and prosecutors, as in France and Germany, is legally structured on a hierarchical basis (Mosler, 2018).

However, the South Korean prosecution service does not have the limits to the prosecutorial involvement which have been seen in French and German proceedings. For example, the South Korean system does not have investigating judges who deal with the investigations of serious crimes as in France. Serious crimes are investigated by the police under the supervision of the prosecutors. Indeed, supervision occurs from an early stage because, as in Germany, most coercive measures can be taken only on the authority of the prosecutors. However, unlike Germany, prosecutorial discretion is not limited to the issue of evidential sufficiency.
Dae-Hyun Choe, “Prosecutors’ role and their relationship with the police in South Korea: In a comparative perspective,” International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice 55 (2018), 92

8
reply

Required fields are marked *

A South Korean prosecutor will carry out a thorough investigation until they are certain about the guilt of the suspect (Kim, 2001). The investigative role of the Korean prosecutors is similar to that of their counterparts in Japan. In both jurisdictions, prosecutors investigate a crime themselves after receiving the files from the police and before making a decision to charge (Mosler, 2018). However, there are three main differences between the Japanese and South Korean system.
Firstly, the South Korean prosecutors have the power at any stage to direct police investigations. However, their counterparts in Japan cannot intervene until the police investigation ends and the case is sent to their office. As a result, the Japanese police in general seek advice from the prosecutors (Parker, 2015). Secondly, unlike South Korea, the investigative dossiers written by the Japanese police and those written by prosecutors have the same evidentiary impact at the trial. The police interview documents as well as the prosecutorial are accepted into evidence in courts. As Johnson (2002: 126) argued, the investigation by the prosecutors is ‘to confirm the details of confessions gained by the police, filling in holes, and painting over problems, and, in the argot insiders employ, wiping police butts as necessary.’
However, in South Korea there is a significant difference in the admissibility of the investigative dossiers. Documents written by the prosecutors have much greater impact on the trial than those written by the police. Thus, unlike their counterparts in Japan, the South Korean prosecutors must interview the suspects to obtain confessions and record these in their own dossiers. As a result, this means that South Korean prosecutors concentrate on their investigative rather than the adjudicative role (Kim, 2004).
Finally, all public prosecutors' offices in South Korea, unlike other jurisdictions, have their own investigative units. Japanese prosecutors have their own investigative units but only thirteen out of fifty prosecutor's offices have the special departments for investigation (Quah, 2015). Furthermore investigations, unlike in Japan, are not limited to particular crimes such as corruption and organized crime, but instead, may be carried out for almost all kinds of offences (Mosler, 2018).
Dae-Hyun Choe, “Prosecutors’ role and their relationship with the police in South Korea: In a comparative perspective,” International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice 55 (2018), 88-96.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

p. 93
In England and Wales, the USA, Germany, Japan, and France, the role of prosecution service is more limited to the trial process itself. Most prosecution services focus their attention on reviewing rather than repeating the police investigation. In all jurisdictions, a person under investigation generally has fundamental rights as follows: the right not to be tortured; privilege against self-incrimination; the right to counsel; the right to remain silence; the right to be informed of the reason of arrest or detention; the right to request judicial hearing for arrest or detention. These measures should “safeguard against attempts to manipulate or even falsify the results of the investigation and should at the same time enhance its reliability and comprehensiveness” (Weigend, 2012: 380). To ensure the measures to be properly defended, the prosecutors have a role as a supervisory body with a right to be informed of police actions and the power to intervene when the police overstep the boundaries of the law.
The prosecutorial role can be classified as a ‘filter’. The police, as a gate keeper, play a filtering role so that where there is insufficient evidence, the case will be discontinued by the police themselves. The prosecution act as a second filter, screening cases to ensure that there is sufficient evidence of the requisite quality but often to take a view as to whether there is sufficient public interest in pursuing the prosecution (Uglow, 2002). There are inevitable differences between jurisdictions in how this occurs, e.g. in France, it is the investigating judge rather than the prosecutor who has the filtering role in serious criminal cases and in Germany, the prosecution service acts as a key rather than supplementary filter in terms of sufficiency but does not exercise discretion in relation to the public interest.
The roles of the South Korean prosecution service do not correspond to such international standards. The wide ranging powers and functions of the South Korean prosecutor over the whole of the investigation means that they can be described as ‘investigating prosecutors’. Their role is very different from that in other representative systems. In particular, direct investigation using the prosecutors' own investigation units is a very distinctive feature.

Dae-Hyun Choe, “Prosecutors’ role and their relationship with the police in South Korea: In a comparative perspective,” International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice 55 (2018), 88-96.

9
reply

Required fields are marked *

There are weaknesses in such a system as the prosecutor's direct and extensive involvement in the investigation means that there is no independent and neutral filter to review the results of the investigation including the protection of the defendant's rights. As a result, a safeguard has disappeared from the South Korean criminal process. Research and practical experience have shown that police and prosecutors may unintentionally focus their attention on evidence which is compatible with their beliefs and ignore other evidence to the contrary (Phillips, 1981; Martin, 2001; State of Illinois, 2002; Leo and Davis, 2009). Criminal proceedings need independent monitoring to review the investigation in order to counteract this. Unlike any other jurisdiction, the South Korean system of prosecutorial investigation eliminates the separation of the functions between the investigation and prosecution and results in the loss of a safeguard and filter. As we have seen earlier, the structure of the CPS in the English system and their statutory relationship with the police provides for this filter and demonstrates its significance for a balanced criminal justice system.
In addition, the prosecutor's complete control over the investigation also means monopoly over information. The prosecutors have much easier access to information and evidence than the defendants. More importantly, they control the disclosure of such information from the beginning of the investigation. This inevitably increases the inequality of arms between the state and defendants. The principle of equality of arms is one of the important elements for a fair trial. The right to access information is one of the important elements to guarantee the equality of arms. This right implies that the defendants should have the same access to the records and other documents pertaining to the case (Gardner and Anderson, 2015).

Dae-Hyun Choe, “Prosecutors’ role and their relationship with the police in South Korea: In a comparative perspective,” International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice 55 (2018), 88-96.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

[…]
But a prosecutor's direct involvement in the investigation leads them to focus on obtaining a conviction from the early stage of investigation process. Information which should be disclosed to the defense is withheld. The career ladder for a prosecutor in South Korea is very steep - acquittals have an adverse impact on the prosecutor's reputation. Thus career ambition can lead the prosecutors to focus too heavily on the need to achieve convictions. In this context, it is clear that the South Korean criminal justice system does not have an effective method to ensure the objectivity of the prosecutors as well as disclosure of evidence nor any appropriate mechanism to monitor prosecutorial misconduct caused by such direct involvement in the investigation.
The investigations by the prosecutors in South Korea are reviewed only internally by the superiors through the ‘Kyuljae’ system of consultation and approval. Unlike police investigations which are monitored independently by the prosecutors, the prosecutorial investigations move on to the court without an appropriate review. Additionally the decisions not to charge are taken by the prosecution service without further review. Only the prosecutors can review their actions and inspect their misconducts.
Such lack of monitoring mechanism results in lack of confidence in the prosecution service, and consequently, causes distrust in the criminal justice system. In the recent survey on the reliability of the government agencies in the criminal justice system, the reliability of the prosecution service was reported as the lowest level. 51.3 per cent of respondents stated that the operations by the public prosecution service are unreliable. Only 16.3 per cent considered the prosecution service to be trustworthy (Park et al., 2015; Mosler, 2018).

Dae-Hyun Choe, “Prosecutors’ role and their relationship with the police in South Korea: In a comparative perspective,” International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice 55 (2018), 88-96.

10
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

🖒

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This was fascinating and very useful! Thank you! Someone posted previously on the latest amendments to prosecutorial and police powers in investigations from earlier this year, so there seems to have been some change (and closure) to this debate. I will be curious to see if the drama aligns with the official position, or takes a polarizing stance, or leaves it open-ended.

5
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

BDN said the script was amended around E 11 E12 while filming. Hmm...wondering if it reflects the new legislation passed this year. 🤔

2

@blacksesame SesaME the timing sounds about right!

0

It's amazing that the writer has used such a complex issue for a "ripped from the headlines" role in her show. I'm betting on the open-ended option - e.g. amidst some reservations, the fictional council comes up with a proposal that leans towards the real-life official position, but none of them knows whether it will really make a difference. (But that's mainly because I can't see how a real-life event can be attributed to fictional characters so soon after its occurrence.)

4

@knewbie yeah I'm leaning towards open-ended too. I think the writer is going to do a cop out. I think the drama will end - storytelling time-wise - just before the actual changes have taken place - so no commitments either way.

3

Ahh, this could also explain why in the drama verse we are in March 2019

2

I think we'll end with the powers of the prosecution trimmed and Shi-mok having to bear the shame of enabling that change. This is all leading up to a Prosecution crisis, I'm sure. I'm thinking of Prosecutor Kang's words to him about the new position and why he thought he was unsuitable. He will be the knife that is put back in the drawer or thrown away.

3

Thanks so much for sharing this.
In Spain we have a more similar system as in France, as mentioned here. It is the Judge the one who is the one investigating. There are certain causes that need the prosecutor's intervention, by all means and the so called "public" offenses (those who can affect the public and not only one single person) are the ones among them.
The Prosecution Ministry (that's how we call it) is defined in our Constitutionas part of the Judiciary with full autonomy and whose main aim is to defend the rights of the citizents and the public interest as well as watch over the independence of the courts of justice. And even so, Judge is always over them.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I actually read up some articles on the legal system in SK as I find it interesting that the Prosecutors can have such power over the police which is rather different from where I'm from. Their system on the on-set is about check & balance within the 2 factions to prevent abuse and the warrant issue is actually an on going debate based on a piece I read in 2019.

Can't believe K-drama made me read all these legal stuff that have nothing to do with me :P

9
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think a bill regarding warrant issued has passed in Jan 20
We would know so much about juridical system not only in SK but around the world. Who says watching kdrama is a waste of time? 😜

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

One of the things I liked the most while studying was to learn about Comparative Law, because it's always interesting to learn how matters are dealt in other legal systems. That's why my heart skipped a beat when I saw Shi Mok reading about German Law while he waited in the parking lot. Isn't he perfect?

9
reply

Required fields are marked *

As always twining. I am actually a lawyer in my country. This is so weird😅. I also totally agree with what you said.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

OMG! Separated at birth! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I see a few of us are lawyers / trained in the law here on DB ;)

Besides the unique enforcement and prosecution procedures. that SK seems to have, for me, what is fascinating is the negotiation process. I've been a ringside observer of meetings discussing such issues (not much on criminal law, but other high impact legislation) in my part of the world, and it's hilarious to see that the body language, the passive-aggressive behaviour, the cards on the table, etc., are so similar and relatable. Of course, it is exaggerated here for dramatic effect, but the realistic (and universal) portrayal of these debates tells me that this writer has done a fine job with her research. (I'd love to read and learn more about her creative process in using raw material and coming up with a project like this.)

13
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

That kind of language / communication is universal. Usually called politics. Hate it.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Can’t express how brilliant I think she is. Not only she studies her subject well, she has very sharp observation about social context and human psychology.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Shimok navigates his two new dads in a mukbang episode. It's interesting to note that Sahyun and Taeha are eating innards (mmm delicious foreshadowing) but Shimok disliked them and even put the slice he was offered back :P Food for thought, maybe?

I don't like Lawyer Oh, that's all there is to the matter. He's really shady and I'm frankly not feeling people who try to "bat for both sides" to benefit. Only one weasel does it well and he looked so hurt and upset about being excluded from the old boy's club :P

11
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Meals as symbolism? Great way to look at this drama! So, HSM basically never gets to partake of any of the winnings, because he's the worker ant. HYJ, on the other hand, is smarter, and makes sure she is well fed before moving on to the next job.

4
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeojin is also shown as the foodie and taking initiative in getting Shimok food, which also highlights her go-getter personality and dogged pursuit to ensure Shimok doesn't accidentally diet, while Shimok's focus on his work makes him block out and neglect important aspects of his life...including food :3

7
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I like this!! You should weave this into your next set of illustrations :D

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Wow wow wow! I absolutely love your food analysis!

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Contrary to my expectation, Shi-mok and Dong-jae actually worked quite well together. And I need more of their amusing dynamic. They couldn't be more different and they both knew it, but there's this whole grudging acknowledgment for each other's tenacity that balanced it well. They aggravated each other with their respective work and investigating style, but despite all the sniping and eye rolling, they are both predictable in their doggedness and they clearly have a good read on each other. I know it's impossible for them to be real partner, but maybe this temporary alliance could benefit them both in staying safe under the upcoming huge reform.

I'm not sure my suspicion is warranted, but the fact that Dong-jae accidentally stumbled onto this suicidal case that could help prosecutor office along made me wary. It was an old case nobody talked about, and I don't think Dong-jae is in the habit of unearthing closed cases just to further his position. For now, it seems plausible that he approached Woo Tae-ha for purely selfish gain, but isn't it also equally possible that there's someone else pulling the string behind him? Maybe even without him knowing about it. After all, that's how Shi-mok got roped into the whole conspiracy back in season 1.

14
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah, that is a possibility. SDJ is weasel-y, but not necessarily the brightest spark on the horizon. Someone else being the puppeteer already or someone taking over the reins in the future is likely, with SDJ being drawn in unbeknownst.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

In season 1 ShiMok considered DongJae an opportunist but not a bad prosecutor. I mean, he's made his way out to the prosecution and is now in Seoul when he never attended one of the best Law Schools in SK, just because he comes from a working class family, which makes his efforts to reach to his position even more valuable.
He's a hard worker. And even if he's a weasel, he knows what he's doing. Lee Chang Joon kept him by his side, not because he was servile, but because he was useful and hard worker.

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Exactly. Seo Dong-jae is the king of weasel, but he is very much predictable in his weaselyness. And I think that fact comforted Shi-mok somewhat even when he has to work together with the exasperating man. I just hope that Dong-jae wouldn't stumble onto something too dangerous in his persistent snooping. I suddenly have a bad feeling, especially after this whole suicide case.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

The Prosecution v. Police fight is a very new thing to me and I had to look into it a little bit more for myself!

Season 2 is starting off a bit slow for my liking, but I'm mostly through episode 4 and at least it's starting to pick up a little, I think 😬

1
0
reply