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Forest of Secrets 2: Episode 4

The Police-Prosecution Council finally meets, and it goes about as well as you’d expect given the enmity on both sides. Complicating matters, the police catch wind of a prosecutor asking around about an old case, and that very prosecutor is doing some sneaking behind his unofficial partners’ backs. With everyone scheming and working towards their own goals, the situation is becoming increasingly complex. A little teamwork would go a long way.

 
EPISODE 4

The prosecutor gang arrives at the Board of Audit and Inspections for the council meeting, and Tae-ha and Sa-hyun foist their bags on Shi-mok like he’s the bellboy as they head to meet the Chairman. While Shi-mok waits for everyone to arrive, he pulls up an article about Chief Kang criticizing Sungmoon Daily. Guess he made his choice.

The police members arrive, and Yeo-jin introduces Shi-mok and Chief Choi. Gun greets Shi-mok pleasantly, and Yeo-jin good-naturedly reprimands Shi-mok for not at the very least asking about Gun’s kids or something. Chief Choi looks surprised by how comfortable they are with each other.

Shi-mok obediently asks about Gun’s kids, which makes Yeo-jin laugh, but she and Gun sober when they look at Chief Choi. Despite saying she’s glad they have a good rapport, Chief Choi looks angry. Looks like someone doesn’t appreciate fun.

Tae-ha and Sa-hyun run into Director Shin on their way to the room, so they head in together. After being forced to take a group photo, they begin. Oh my gosh, the posturing has already started as Tae-ha butts in while Director Shin kicks things off.

Director Shin lists their concerns: who holds the power to lead and close investigations, who requests warrants, and the establishment of the Senior Civil Servant Corruption Investigation Unit (rolls right off the tongue). Sa-hyun thinks the warrant issue should be left out since the government already decided not to change anything.

Chief Choi asserts that they wouldn’t be here if they were going to accept the government’s proposals as is. Sa-hyun pompously recites the relevant article and asks if they’re amending the Constitution now. Yeo-jin never thought that article made much sense and argues the prosecution must’ve been powerful enough to have their rights protected in the Constitution.

Chief Choi gives a history lesson, noting that police used to also have the power to request warrants before the May 16 military coup and cites the removal as legally problematic. Shi-mok has looked neutral but seems irritated now. Sa-hyun argues that historically problematic laws don’t equate to legally problematic ones.

Yeo-jin brings up a case where a lawyer – formerly of the prosecution – repeatedly reported illegal gambling businesses and collected a settlement in exchange for dropping the charges. He then sued the police for unfairly targeting him, claiming bias since he always took the prosecution’s side in arguments over investigatory power.

He may have lost his suit, but the police’s warrants were continually rejected by the prosecution. Chief Choi thinks they should be embarrassed for protecting one of their own like that. Tae-ha contends that the warrants were eventually issued, but Director Shin reminds him the lawyer got off with an acquittal from the prosecution.

Well, this is going swimmingly so far. Tae-ha complains about the focus on the past, so Gun relates a current rental scam case. The victim lost 10 years’ worth of savings, even though she went through a realtor and did everything right.

We flashback to when the Yongsan team rushed out of the station after the suspect. After hours of staking out the area where he was supposed to be, Gun spotted him, and everyone gave chase. Gun took a nasty tumble and hurt his leg, but he followed the rest into a subway station.

As they hopped barriers and ran though the station trying to find the suspect, Soon-chang received a call that the prosecution wanted someone in their holding cell transferred to them. Team Leader Choi had yelled that they’re busy, and the prosecution can come get him themselves. It’s their responsibility anyway.

They caught sight of the man again, and off they went – this time, they got him. But the prosecution still hasn’t requested the warrant, even after the police submitted an extra report with all the evidence. Six people fell victim and lost everything. If the warrant isn’t issued by midnight, they’ll have to release the suspect.

Chief Choi thinks nothing has changed. 15 years ago, an officer could be jailed for refusing to obey the prosecution’s orders. Although that law has been changed in name, there isn’t a difference in practice.

Sa-hyun addresses Gun and calls it a “misunderstanding” – they don’t order the police around anymore and aren’t petty enough to refuse a warrant for disobedience. Tae-ha doesn’t appreciate how they’re framing the prosecution as the bad guys for following the law.

Director Shin comments on how difficult it is to get warrants, yet the prosecution wants to hang onto their authority. Shi-mok silently recalls a prosecutor who was demoted for revealing that she got on the bad side of an assemblyman and was ordered by her superiors to delete evidence off the list. She pushed back, but it was removed anyway.

Shi-mok interrupts Sa-hyun and Chief Choi’s arguing to state that the prosecution’s authority is in not prosecuting cases. Whoever can best prevent misuse of authority in the process should be responsible for warrants. How would the police handle the pressure to decide whether or not to prosecute a case?

Director Shin replies he wants to bring in legal experts, but Shi-mok argues that’s not the issue. They need to demonstrate at least one difference between their organizations for this debate to result in change. Yeo-jin likens it to seeing different doctors for different treatments. Sa-hyun equates the police to “quacks,” and both sides start fighting.

Yeo-jin interjects that they’re not asking to issue warrants but to directly request them from the courts. Sa-hyun is heated now and claims the police will abuse their power and want to arrest everyone they’ve investigated.

Chief Choi says the courts will reject the warrant if there’s a problem, but Shi-mok points out the courts’ procedure for warrants is lax. There needs to be a third party to review the requests. Yeo-jin calls bull and says the prosecution have abused their power and aren’t exactly humanitarian.

Tae-ha asserts it’s easier for police to abuse power since there’s a lot of them, and they aren’t in the public eye like prosecutors. Gun counters that people can get hurt by waiting on warrants too, but Sa-hyun snaps they can take it up with the Constitutional Court, then.

They’re getting nowhere, so they call it a day. No one leaves happy. Tae-ha explodes once they’re in the hall, asking what’s going on with that withheld warrant. He plans to get in touch with someone at the prosecution office in that district (Shi-mok’s old office).

Meanwhile, Yeon-jae sits in a meeting regarding Sung-jae’s rising stake in the company – he’s been purchasing shares in addition to what their father left him. Their other concern is Kim Byung-hun, the CEO of Sungmoon Daily who’s the third-largest shareholder after the siblings and is on Sung-jae’s team.

Sung-jae is trying to change the company bylaw that allows the same person to serve as CEO and chair of the board. As CEO, Yeon-jae would be ousted as chairperson, and the new chair would be elected from among the current board members. Joo-seon mentions a similar case where the CEO and chair positions were split to push out the owner.

They don’t have the money to purchase more shares, so their only recourse is to figure out who Sung-jae is backing for chair and make a move. Yeon-jae realizes the only person it could be is her father which would be a disaster for her since he has support from the board.

In a flashback, Yeon-jae goes to her father’s house (guess he’s out of prison), but he refuses to speak with her. The housekeeper relays Sung-jae’s message: their father no longer considers Yeon-jae his daughter, and Sung-jae doesn’t consider her his sister.

In her office, Yeon-jae sees that Dong-jae tried to call multiple times hoping to meet. (What is this boy scheming now?)

The prosecutors go out to eat, and Tae-ha and Sa-hyun get really into the soccer game on TV. They can’t believe that Shi-mok doesn’t follow any sports, and Sa-hyun jokes that he must just hang out with his girlfriend in his free time.

Shi-mok gets a call, and it sounds like someone wants to meet. He gets a strange look after he hangs up. Elsewhere, the police officers eat out, and Chief Choi compliments Yeo-jin and Gun for their contributions during the meeting.

After getting a text from a police chief informing her that a prosecutor asked about an officer who served time, Chief Choi calls for more info. She asks for the name of the prosecutor.

At Yongsan Station, Team Leader Choi asks Gun about the meeting and if he asked Shi-mok for help with the warrant. Gun didn’t bother since he didn’t think he’d listen, alleging he’s just like the other prosecutors. He doesn’t think Team Leader Choi should bother asking Yeo-jin for help either.

None of the National Police Agency officers offered to help with the warrant, anyway. Gun thinks about Yeo-jin’s colleagues complaining about how she’s the outsider, yet she gets to be on the council and invite her old colleague along. He sighs to himself she’s got it hard enough.

Shi-mok is dropped off on the street by Tae-ha and promptly picked up by Yeon-jae. She wonders if he’s found “his place” now and suggests they correct the article. When Shi-mok encourages her to go through legal channels, she asks if he doesn’t feel at all indebted to Chang-joon. “What about you?” he counters.

Dong-jae calls Shi-mok to abruptly reschedule their sleuthing, so Shi-mok goes back to the office. And it turns out Dong-jae skipped out to meet with Yeon-jae. He grabs her hands enthusiastically – her assistant narrows his eyes, ha – and professes his excitement at hearing she was made chairwoman.

Dong-jae gets to the point and asks if she knows of Choi Bit and Park Kwang-soo, the prosecutor-turned-lawyer Hanjo wanted to recruit under the table years ago. Kwang-soo’s wife told Dong-jae that he’d bragged about the unofficial appointment to those around him.

Yeon-jae’s assistant cuts in that he died of illness before he could be onboarded. “Did I kill him?” she asks. The prosecution loves stories like that. Dong-jae explains the oddness of the alcohol situation and coverup.

Ha! Her assistant very intentionally steals his thunder again by naming Choi Bit as the instigator and asserts that Kwang-soo drank a lot when he met him the once. Hmm. Yeon-jae cuts Dong-jae off when he asks if her assistant knows who he met the day he died.

Dong-jae insists Yeon-jae must’ve agreed to meet with him for a reason (assistant rolls his eyes to the heavens). Dong-jae offers to help her any way he can. He might lie to others, but not to Lee Chang-joon’s wife.

Yeon-jae signals her assistant to leave and after confirming Dong-jae knew her father, asks if he would visit him. Since he believes she collaborated with Chang-joon to send him to prison, her father refuses to see her or any of her associates.

Dong-jae butters her up, and she laughs that she gets why Chang-joon kept him near. She entrusts him with an envelope to give her father and sends him there immediately. Once he leaves, she calls her assistant to ask if Choi Bit was mentioned back then.

She wasn’t, but she did move to the Intelligence Bureau right after the incident. Yeon-jae deduces it was connected and orders him to ensure Joo-seon doesn’t even tell his wife he’s working for Hanjo.

Dong-jae shows up at Lee Yoon-beom’s place and gets in the grounds, but the wary housekeeper informs him Yoon-beom isn’t home and won’t let him inside. He’s forced to leave his gift with her and go, although not before he annoys the housekeeper by asking for a glass of water in a failed attempt to snoop.

He reports back to Yeon-jae and returns the letter. He didn’t want to risk it falling into the wrong hands by putting it inside the gift. Dong-jae asks if there’s an ill person in the house. He found unlabeled bottles in the recycling bin and passes over a ripped up medicine label from the trash.

Yeon-jae commends his dedication, and Dong-jae admits that he doesn’t often receive praise. Chang-joon will probably yell at him when they meet again for not completing the tasks he was supposed to, but now he can at least say he helped Yeon-jae.

On the verge of tears, Yeon-jae snaps that Chang-joon doesn’t have the right to get angry when he should’ve stayed and protected his juniors and the people he cared about. Dong-jae says he’s rooting for her and encourages her to show the naysayers what she’s made of. She smiles and says they’ll meet again for a meal. Dong-jae walks out self-satisfied.

Chief Choi meets with Yeo-jin to see if she knows Dong-jae and wonders why he’s interested in that old case. She wants Yeo-jin to meet with Kim Soo-hang, the ex-officer Dong-jae was hoping to contact. He’s been AWOL since his release, but Chief Choi will try to locate him.

She gives Yeo-jin contact info for Baek Joong-gi and asks her to find out why the prosecution is snooping around. Outside the door, Yeo-jin remembers Shi-mok asking her something about the Segok Station and the shower room. She starts to go back inside to tell Chief Choi but thinks better of it.

Since Joong-gi is taking some time off, she meets with a terrified young officer who was listed as a witness instead. She asks if Ki-hyun got along well with his team, particularly Soo-hang.

He tells her about the time one of the teammates “spilled” boiling water on Ki-hyun intentionally. When Ki-hyun had poured cold water over his burn, Joong-gi chided him for getting water on the floor and made him clean it up. The rest of the team watched silently. The witness later overheard Soo-hang telling Ki-hyun no one wanted him there.

Yeo-jin is incensed that his police colleagues bullied him and asks who was there when Ki-hyun died. Who found his body? The witness tries to dodge the question by stating Ki-hyun was severely depressed.

Yeo-jin reports back to Chief Choi that Ki-hyun was bullied and found dead in the station with no one present but those very bullies. Soo-hang was the one who found him. Chief Choi lets out a frustrated cry. “It was suicide, but it’s homicide,” Yeo-jin states.

 
COMMENTS

That was outed pretty quickly. Now that Chief Choi knows, what will the cops do? They can’t directly involve themselves or it will look like corruption, but I can’t imagine the higher ups will just let this be. Whether or not the officers outright murdered Ki-hyun, like Yeo-jin said, they still played a part in his death. Their treatment of him was vile, particularly since the team leader actively encouraged it. This case will rile up the public anyway you slice it, and it paints the police in a horrible light.

And since Shi-mok mentioned the case to Yeo-jin, she knows the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office is connected with Dong-jae’s “reinvestigation.” She seems to be keeping quiet about Shi-mok’s involvement for now. Hopefully, she’ll talk to him about it directly. Knowing her, she will. Tae-ha will not be happy if their involvement is discovered, and I don’t want Shi-mok to get in trouble with his superiors again. He needs a break.

I still don’t quite know what to think of Tae-ha, but I do know that I severely dislike Sa-hyun. That dude is annoying. He’s immature, arrogant, and a hothead. If he hadn’t been so aggressive in the Police-Prosecution Council meeting, things might not have turned out so poorly. Not that they would’ve gotten anything done, but they might’ve all left feeling less hostile. It wasn’t even a meeting, really – more a professional brawl. Sa-hyun and Chief Choi are clearly the hotheads of their groups, and I don’t see how they’ll make any progress with them constantly going at it. Maybe Tae-ha will be able to reign in Sa-hyun, although he seems a little lenient with his friend.

The Hanjo storyline is converging more with our main plot, and I expect it will continue to get more tangled as we go. From what Dong-jae said, the former chief prosecutor who died under suspicious circumstances was advising Hanjo. I’m not sure exactly how the potential coverup of his death is related, but Yeon-jae’s comment to her assistant about Chief Choi’s transfer being connected suggests Dong-jae is once again onto something. I’ve got to hand it to him, he’s good at ferreting out information. Like with the medication evidence he found. I’m guessing Yoon-beom is sick, and Sung-jae is taking advantage of the situation to speak for him. Only Sung-jae and the housekeeper seem to have access to Yoon-beom, which is suspicious. And from what we saw of Yoon-beom last season, I can’t imagine him being content with someone else acting as his spokesperson.

Yeon-jae’s assistant’s palpable exasperation with Dong-jae cracked me up; he seems a little overly protective of his boss. Methinks he may be catching feelings. Then again, Dong-jae really does bring out the frustration in people. Although he’s clearly using Yeon-jae in his constant bid to level up, I do think Dong-jae was being sincere about wanting her to succeed. He did care about and respect Chang-joon, and although he may not be the most loyal of the bunch, I don’t think he’s cold enough to be entirely ungrateful. Now that he’s in some sort of alliance with Yeon-jae, who knows what trouble he’ll get into with all his sneaking.

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First, this show is every bit as good as I had hoped. Second, the only good news I have come across in a horrible couple of news days is that filming of FOS 2 (and Record of Youth for us PBG and PSD fans) have been completed so unlikely to be affected by the new production shut-downs.

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I was reading somewhere that CSW will start filming for his next drama (Sisyphus?) sometime immediately after FoS2 finishes filming. And since it's pre-produced, CSW is probably at work already? He doesn't do too many dramas, so I'm curious to know what it'll be like, although I groaned a little when I heard it had a sci-fi angle.

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I read that that drama has postponed filming due to the recent outbreak in the industry.

Also glad that FOS2 has finished filming.

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The drama must be very interesting for CSW to accept it. We know very little about the story and what role he will be playing. I like sci-fi and it's my crack with thriller but it's hard to find a good Kdrama done right in this genre.

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production shut-downs? what happened?

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Covid-19 surge in S. Korea

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Thank you Quirkycase for your recap and thank you for being so quick. It is hard to wait for your excellent review and assessments. Things are getting off to a bad start and it looks like the waters will get muddier before it clears. Will Chief Choi shut down Yeo-jin and cover up the homicide for the overall "good" of the police department? Poor Shi-mok looks like he is doing to be the goat again. And is Dong-jae painting a bullseye on his back?

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I am rather afraid that Dong Jae will get into a bit of trouble this season that he will not be able to easily weasel his way out of. But he is a smart one so I sure hope he will be okay.

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I second that. Uri Dong-Jae: Please don't do anything super-stupid and ruin your weasel-y self. We want to see you on screen in every episode.

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I'm a faithful believer in DongJae weasel-y powers... but then I also have that feeling.

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I dunno if it's just me but I'm just a little weary with SDJ snooping around way too close with the Hanjo business... he might get a whiff of something that might cause him trouble [like Eun-soo... T_T ] I hope I'm wrong. I'm rooting for you weasel!!!

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Dong Jae is definitely pointing a bullseye on his back, but much like my twin I believe in his powers of to get out of dire situations.

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Random fun fact for Dongjae's scene with Yeonjae: the scene of him clasping Yeonjae's hands with both of his was a suggestion from the director, Lee Joonhyuk had only taken Yoon Se-ah's hand with one of his own because he's a shy boy jkddfh

Either way, storywise I'd expected Dongjae to fumble already at this point, and judging from the teaser for the next episode, Shimok and Yeojin would probably be forced to look into this again together just to figure out where to go from there. They're both under a huge amount of pressure from their superiors, and I do have a fleeting feeling that this investigation will make or break their friendship :')

As for Sahyun, I agree that he's annoying, but I like how stereotypically "dad" he is about everything. He's like a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stiff and unforthcoming setting (amongst the prosecutors), and I feel Taeha deliberately chose his friend because he knew he could use Sahyun to dilute and diminish the police family's points.

(Also can we just discuss how soft police fam was in letting their chief choose the spicy food and then collectively dying because they can't handle spicy? And how Yeojin was so caring in suggesting ice-cream afterwards? <3)

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such a cute tidbit about LJH's shyness with YSA. But it was a nice touch for him to clasp her hand with both of his. If only to see that micro wince from her assistant.

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I have cried enough about Yeonjae being isolated and alone so I will refrain, but yes, they have a cute rapport (probably because they're under the same company, AceFactory) so I'm really looking forward to Dongjae and Yeonjae working together :3

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I would love to see that happen. But hopefully he will not see LCJ anytime soon that he can brag on how much he helped YeonJae.

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Lee Changjoon, beating him with a rolled-up Heaven issued newspaper:

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LHJ and YSA have awesome energy together - that scene between the two of them was as good as, if not better, that LHJ with Choi Moo-Sung (WTH). I hope the show capitalises on this!

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I loved that scene too. So many emotions underlying. None of them openly recognizing their pain. That glimpse where we could see DongJae still remembers Chang Joon words and have them in his weasel heart. YeonJae being devastated by the absence of his beloved husband. It was powerful.

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My suspicion that any breaches between Shi-Mok and Yeo-Jin that may occur can be healed upon revealing the true selves of their respective superiors. I suspect Chief Choi has more blood and crap on her shoes than shown thus far and I get a strong vibe of decency from Tae-Ha that is only faintly suggested at this point. My big prediction is that Sa-Hyun is extorting Tae-Ha either overtly or blackmailing him emotionally through guilt about something.

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I definitely think there is more to the unpleasantly lighthearted facade that we see from Sa-hyun. I think it's a front to make us understimate him!

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I’m leaning towards Team Cop at the moment, but it's interesting how the two senior cops just sighed and groaned over the real estate scam issue, while Woo Tae-ha was practically having kittens trying to solve it even though they all knew it couldn’t be used against the prosecution. His outrage and shame seemed pretty genuine to me.

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I wouldn't be shocked if either occurred: they were classmates, and probably have dirt on each other. Taeha and Sahyun most definitely are holding each other hostage (it doesn't go one way, or they wouldn't be THIS relaxed with each other) and I'm sure Bit has something that hasn't quite been revealed yet.

Though. If they pull a Life situation and give me a platonic frenemy relationship between Bit and Taeha, I'm down too :3

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There's definitely going to be more to Bit and Taeha - I saw it coming last week with the phone call between the two. The other two - Shin and Sahyun - are bit players in comparison. I'm looking forward.

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There was a scene when Taeha said he didn't want to receive the group photo and then camera zoomed in Choibit. I can't tell what her expression means but they seem to have a history.

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I'm getting a whiff of decency from Tae-Ha, too. I was relieved that he was so concerned about the warrant being withheld. He has enough pride to not show that to the police, but it was his first concern once they got out of the meeting. I'm hoping in the next episode we'll discover that he found a way to get it issued without stepping on any toes or admitting to any wrong doing. Is it too much to ask that he and Shi-mok could actually see eye-to-eye and make a good team?? I wonder if having Sa-Hyun on the team is a clever move on his part, so that Sa-Hyun can be the hot head and Tae-Ha can be the "good cop" to his "bad cop" by reigning him and taking the more cooperative stance.

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Yes this ep has made me think that Woo Tae-ha is using Kim Sa-hyun to rile the opposition, and I'm afraid it seems to have worked on Yeo-jin, who was so angry she wouldn’t look at Shi-mok at the end of the meeting. In fact I felt she was a little more aggressive than Choi Bit. Not that I blame her, though. That's just who she is. I remember how Shi-mok had to stop her from reporting her Yongsan colleagues for beating up the murder victim's son in Season 1. Anyway, when she remembered that SM had mentioned Segok Station, I hope she understood that he was sharing information rather than pumping her for it.

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Died at the "collectively dying" over spicy food! Director Shin venting frustration using spicy food is endearingly human.

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Regardless what side they are, they all seek comfort in food :) I love little detail like this, make characters so human.

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Except for....

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LOL. He wants to, but damn that phone does not stop ringing.

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Will someone (writer-nim, I'm directly looking at you!!!) let him finish a meal he enjoys? Please? Pleeeeeasseeeeeeeeeeee?

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He did mention 40 minutes on the phone, so crossing fingers he managed to eat something before his "girlfriend" picked him up ^^

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I was laughing so hard when his phone rang! We've seen him sit down for so many meals already and he hardly ever gets to take a bite - except the one bit he'd rather not take. :D

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I'm dying of laughter at Shi Mok doing a maknae job of recommending restaurants😂😂

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ikr?! If only Sanghyun knew who he brought down last season. *tsk* *tsk*

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It's so emotionally detached and analytic too. "There is a burger restaurant. If you moved 20 degrees to the right, there is a soup restaurant..."

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Yes that was hilarious! And he just kept going on with his list... And the way he described the coordinates of the restaurants !

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Let me begin this by talking about that "Shit" of Yeon-jae!
Beside it being incredibly sexy coming from Yoon Se-ah, I thought it was such a genius detail from the script, to denote a kind of "sophistication" particular to South Korean chaebols (and anyone who aspires to their lifestyle). And by that I mean the value attached to English, because its origin (in this case the USA) is seen as aspirational and speaking English is seen as a proximity to it. I loved it, because it said so much with just one word!

I also felt quite bad for Yeon-jae this episode. She has no one left on her side, and it was very insightful to see that she's actually mad at Lee Chang-joon for what he did, because it shows that maybe unlike him she has a potential for redemption? Idk, but I'm rooting for her to win the management rights of Hanjo and see where she takes it.

The council meeting was so full of tension! I liked that it especially highlighted the prosecution's own corruption because so far we've heard a lot about police misbehaviors. I was really incredulous and pissed at the blaze attitude of Woo Tae-ha and Kim Saa-hyun to all the accusations, and it's clear that for them this as much a fight for their personal authority as it is for the prosecution in general. And as much as a lot was said, it was very interesting that Shi-mok didn't actually say much. But his non-verbal behaviour was much more telling. There were moments of restlessness where his discomfort and disapproval of what his side was saying was quite evident. I did not like him being in opposition to Yeo-jin, the tension of them throwing arguments at each other almost killed me, but I know that they're not taking it personally. I loved how Yeo-jin was pulling Shi-mok's leg before the meeting began (hahahah) and I miss those lighthearted moments between them!

Lastly, it seems that this season the cases will be used to illustrate the dispute between the police and prosecution. I already suspected as much in ep.2 when it became clear that the drowning case wasn't a murder.
I'm interested in seeing how the rest unfolds, because I'm sure some of our main players will be personally implicated! The Segok case is obviously not a suicide, so there could also be more to the Drunk Prosecutor case.
Can't wait to have our fantastic Shimok-Yeojin duo back in the field to find out!!

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That was definitely surprising but welcome to hear her say "Shit" and you explained it so well.
I know our main players will have a hand on some of the cases they are tackling. It will all be revealed on the reason and each le el of involvement.
I do want Shi Mok and Yeo Jin to team up again. They are looking really isolated and left at the whims of their superiors for now.

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Loved the low-key interactions between Yeo-jin and Shi-mok so far, as well. But the biggest awww moment for me was when Yeo-jin began to put two and two together about the Segok station case and Shi-mok's prior inquiry on the matter, that pause she had before reporting it to Choi Bit, and then deciding otherwise. I guess as much as Yeo-jin is loyal to the police's cause, she's also loyal to who she believes Shi-mok is that she had to figure out for herself what's going on.

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I watched a video of YSA practicing how to pronounce "shit" properly - she said it over and over like a dozen times - it was hilarious.

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Is it on youtube?

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I have no recollection! I think I saw it on the beanie wall? I tried looking for it on YT just now, but no luck. Also it was all in Korean, no subs, so I didn't really understand anything

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I tried looking for it on yt too but nothing came up. Will try the beanie wall

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@jillian and @neener Found it! Thanks for the clue, @faraway! At the 3.18 mark.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMeq6y8cndQ

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Yey! Thanks @pickleddragon!

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Ohmy, I thought my comment went through. Damn internet!

I posted it on my wall xD Anyways, you found the vid. The double handshake as mentioned above is also in the vid.

Eventually, the team consulted Naver xD

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I think I watched it on AceFactory instagram, don't reaaly remember though

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Loved how cast&crew consulted Naver how to pronounce shit. xD

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Ya! This is the video - if you find the link, please add it to the thread :D

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I loved that "Shit!" because it was perfect.

And I will never stop repeating I NEED Yoon Se-Ah rouge lipstick!!!

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That was a really lovely shade!

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This analysis is so great. It highlights how excellent the writer is. The "shit" was perfect, first because it is a great curse word, but second because it encapsulated her predicament. Yeon Jae said it so perfectly that even if it wasn't in English, you knew how she felt.

I agree also with the rest of what you said.

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There is too much antagonism on the seniors from both camps. Plus it does not make it any more pleasant that Assistant Director Kim is a smug SOB. They have too much that they want to protect for their respective groups that I worry that this is all wasted effort.

The Hanjo drama is proving to be really interesting for me. It looks like Yeon Jae's half brother is a bigger scoundrel than their father. Is Honorary Chairman even in his right mind or health? It looks really shady that he even refuses to see his own daughter. I wonder what her brother did to him and to what extent he is willing to go to grab the helm from his sister. I do want to see Lee Yoon beom and hope to see him butt heads with his children.

I can sense a vulnerability to Seo Dong Jae this season or is it just me? He appears to be striving to belong and be accepted somewhere. I dont know what was real from all the nonsense he spewed in Chairwoman Lee's office but I am left with that feeling that there is a level of truth when he said he likes compliments. At least his support and well wishes for her appear genuine. But you can never really tell with this guy.

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I'm so invested in the Hanjo drama as well! Lee Yoon-beom's absence is definitely suspicious, and I think he's being kept in check by his son. Either they're drugging him or they have something hanging over his head, because if he really thinks Yeon-jae colluded with LCJ, I don't think he would outright refuse to talk to her, he's not even seeking an explanation.

And whether it was the truth, lie or half-truth SDJ was so cute cheering on Yeon-jae! I find it very apt that his love language is compliments. 😂 It must be hard sucking up to people, without so much as a simple thank you in return, he's often just dismissed.

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I dont think LYB would miss a chance to yell at Yeon Jae if he finds fault at her and seek explanation. So LSJ must be controlling him somehow.

Yes it must be hard for him since I dont think any of his previous superiors were the type to compliment.

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I'm looking forward to the big reveal on the half-brother! The show has built up a lot of tension towards this - enough already!

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me too, need to see him and curious to know who is the actor that will play Lee Seung Jae

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Yes, me too!!

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I just spent some time trying to look on the internet and was disappointed to come away empty handed. I'm hoping it's someone good! I can't wait to see who they got to play Lee Seung Jae.

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In season 1, Chang Joon made Yeon Jae transfer her actions to the Foundation, and she was clueless about the motive (well, it was because he was supposed to be investigated as a member of the Blue House, which we know wasn't). The moment Chairman Lee found out he was pretty sure it was a Chang Joon thing, but he also knows his daughter has always been by his husband's side... even so, I don't think Chairman Lee considers YeonJae smart enough to be part of the plan, and that's something that makes me mad (in season one he always treated her like a babygirl, always patronizing her), so I'm more inclined to think he's being drugged or is ill or something like that. Not that I feel sorry for him, though.

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I'm with you on Seo Dong Jae. Since the first season, he seemed like a stray cat flailing around offering his loyalty for whoever will give him a semblance of protection. I mean he's a weasel and all but he was loyal. I remember how hurt he was when he overheard Lee Chang-Jun referring to him as his right arm he can just cut and another will grow. But in the end he stood by Lee Chang-jun. Huhu can someone in this show just please show this poor weasel some affection. Because like what other's have been saying here, I'm also starting to get a bad feeling for SDJ this season.

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I do want him to find a place where he is accepted and be given lots of compliments. So maybe we can just love him and not love to hate him. 😉
Yes I remember when LCJ said that, poor guy was crushed.

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The thing is - someone as smart as LCJ needs to come along to know how to use SDJ well. Is Yoon-jae it? The show is teasing us with whom he's going to go with finally - Tae-Ha or Yoon-Jae, or Shi-mok even, or someone new altogether?

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I like him with Shi Mok just because they are hilarious together

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But of course, that is the real OTP - MokJae foreva!

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Would be awesome if he gets some major character development and become his own person who can come to terms with where exactly he stands, tho! I'd love that. Cause so far SDJ has shown great loyalty, but can be a little on the gray on what he's capable of doing to prove loyalty.

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You're right - so far, most of SDJ has been used for either comic relief or plot development. He himself has not been portrayed as a fully rounded person. Maybe S2 is when this happens!

But uri weasel is still special.

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I dislike Sa-hyun, but boyyy... it's funny that he's suspecting Shi-mok to have a girlfriend, LoL.

What's missing between Yeon-jae and her father during his time serving his sentence? What happened back then... So that she didn't have an access to her father anymore... and it's more interesting to see if her half-brother is hand in hand with her ex - the Sungmoon Daily's chief. I feel bad for Yeon-jae... She's pretending so strong but I know, she's as fragile as ever as she's still mourning her late husband...

During the first meeting and heated discussion, I love the way Shi-mok positioned himself by just sitting quietly, then when the time was right... he spoke his mind up...

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The way that Kim Sahyun seems to think that Shi-mok is a regular shmegular guy is just hilarious. Those conspiratorial looks he gives Shi-mok, and the dumbfounded looks Shi-mok gives him back are comedy gold. 😂😂😂
Honestly never thought I's laugh this much in this show.

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If he only knew who the woman he was with.. it will boggle his mind at the connections ShiMok has. 😂

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That scene honestly killed me.

"Why are you back so early?"
Smirk. Smirk. Super smirk.

Shimok gives him a surprisingly animated look of pure dumbfounded confusion.

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Shi Mok's confusion had me in stitches.. 😂

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After Sahyun's comments, I kept thinking, what if it were really true, and that had me in splits too!

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not likely to happen with YJ though, another woman maybe

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Exactly! I'm laughing so much with ShiMok reactions.
Because this season he's not just neutral as always. I've already said that I can see how tired he is, so mainly his looks are of annoyance, because no one seems to let him be.

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You're right! But I'd like to see more range than annoyance and poker-face. This is why he needs to hang out more with his friends.

I'd love if if the show switch the parallel tables in the meeting room to a round one, with HSM, HYJ and JG all seated together, allowing them to gang up in a bipartisan faction. Seating arrangements can be such game changers in negotiations and so much signaling is done through that!

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I'd love that symbolism.

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Well observed about Shi-mok speaking up only when he felt it was necessary to. It was so in character - he spent the majority of the meeting time soaking up the conversation and analysing everyone's positions and arguments - you could almost visualize a chess game playing in his head - who was posturing, who was being sincere, who just didn't care, etc. - the whole scene was very well-stitched together!

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Indeed, it was so Shi-mok... Nothing has changed since season 1. His character is so consistent.

But when we watched the BTS scenes, it's no longer Shi-mok, but the witty Cho Seung-woo who's always joking around. It feels like he's releasing the character, LoL. He needs to laugh and play around, LoL.

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One complaint, where is the rooftop scene of SM and YJ in the preview? I feel cheated 😒😕🧐
Thanks for a quick and detailed recap.

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OMG right. I've been waiting for that scene forever!

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They may show in on a later episode ..🤔

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I waited till the last second of this ep but nothing TT__TT

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Same, I was distracted in the last 10 minutes of the episode cos I keep thinking how they were going to show that scene when there was little time left :(

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We'll have to be patient :(

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I join your complain. I was waiting for it! Why didn't we have it???

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My guess is because TVN knew that if they use a clip of Yeo Jin and Shi Mok in the same frame it will attract more viewers... still we got preview-baited

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Thank you @quirkycase for the recap~!!

When I read in the promotionals that the major conflict S2 will be tackling is between the police and the prosecution, I actually did not understand where the conflict was even coming from. But this episode's first Police-Prosecution Council meeting, was really effective in breaking down the legitimate issues both parties are trying to raise in the existing system and I'm now slowly appreciating Korea's criminal process and how different is. Where I'm from, the police can bypass the prosecution to request arrest warrants for crimes with relatively lower penalties (like that rental scammer Geon was concerned about). While those with higher penalties (say, murder or rape charges) must go through the prosecution. Search warrants on the other hand can be requested directly from the Courts, without need for the prosecution's authority. I guess because I have a point of comparison, I'm finding myself deeply intrigued how the show will try to resolve the conflict it bravely chose to attack. And whether or not the show can reflect or maybe even influence public sentiment on the matter since the issue can be a little too legalese if left on its own.

Guess it's going to be a season of turf wars, between the police and prosecution, and as well as within Hanjo.

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I'm today years old when I learned that warrants infringe on human rights; hence, must be handled sensitively and appropriately.

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They do, that's why it's handled by two separate branches of the government — the executive branch and the judiciary. This was what was emphasized by Yeo-Jin in the meeting that the police are not asking to issue the warrants, but the power to request the warrants. Since the authority the issue ultimately lies with the judiciary who must decide on its own merits [based on the complete data from the investigations] whether or not an arrest warrant shall be issued.

The power struggle here is within the executive branch. Since the executive is generally tasked with making sure all the laws created by the legislature are followed, investigations on whether or not there is probable cause that a law was violated start with them. Both police and prosecution fall under the executive [the President] hence the power struggle within the branch on who gets superior power having the last say whether to terminate an investigation due to lack of probable cause or if the investigations satisfy probable cause, only then can they formally submit a request for a warrant. So it's more like who between the police or the prosecution gets to decide if there is probable cause?

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Thanks for further clarification. 😁

Before this, I never linked warrants with human rights. It was just for me a BAU activity by police/prosecution.

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That's why I also appreciate the show for diving into this very legal conflict. I'm a lawyer in my country so it was easy for me to get a grasp at the get go the foundational structure of the conflict but I can imagine how confusing it can be for someone who is not so accustomed to the justice system. Thus the way writer-nim was able to illustrate the conflicts in the council meeting in a more practical sense was really brilliant. Makes the issue more relate-able to the public.

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The whole council proceeding this hour left a sour taste in my mouth. If the first meeting was any indication, we would see these people determinedly dig out the worst about each other in the I-don't-know-how-many upcoming meeting, and it wouldn't be pretty. I have a feeling it soon would leave us questioning whether any of these organization actually deserved to have whatever authority or power now in their hands because like what @quirkycase said before, so far this is just another scrabbling of power for either of them. There was minimal to zero talk about what the citizens would benefit from all this. Besides, before they could make some real progress about new dynamic and rules between the two, they probably should deal with the unhealthy strata that's prevalent within their own organization first. Geon's presence alone has brought that fact under harsh light. With all the derision and feeling of superiority pulsed strongly between a different jurisdiction within one organization, it would be a miracle for any real forward step to be achieved from this Council meeting.

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The biggest problem here is that prosecution is happy with the way things are. It's the police lobbying for change and the succession of scandals involving the prosecution has given them the leverage they need to push for it. But when you have one party happy with the status quo and the other asking for power to be handed over it's always going to get messy.

Nobody wants to give up power even if the public would be better served by it. In the case of Geon's rental scammer, for example, it would make sense for the police to be able to ask for a warrant under certain circumstances with sufficient safeguards. But prosecutors like Sa-hyun who are the height of elite privilege would see this as a challenge to their implied superiority - smarter, better educated, more conversant with the law and therefore more capable of ascertaining if a warrant should be issued in a case at all. Someone like him is never going to accept a diminution in his authority.

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Totally agree. Sa hyun represents privilege and that's why he is there.
It doesn't only happen in SK, but everywhere in the world where a legal career "runs in the family". Total privilege. Sa Hyun comes from an elite family full of judges, prosecutors and lawyers, he's always had the easy way. I don't doubt he studied hard and is good at his job, but it is his attitude that kills me. Because the world is also full of Shi Moks and DongJaes who have made their way in that legal career through hard work and that don't have that privilege.
SaHyun doesn't know anything about the real world.

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I once again admire the characterisation in Lee Soo Yeon's script. She treats her characters with respect, even supporting roles. We usually don't have a scene or a third person explaining to us who they are but we still get some ideas about the character's personality and possible background. They could walked through the screen and become a real person.

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Your vocabulary in your comment gave me feelings of warmth and joy. "Dimunition in his authority," Yasssss. I love words😅

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I think there will definitely eventually be some moral high ground discussion on how citizens will benefit, etc - that's what we have our prosecutor and our cop and her homie for.

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Another great episode. FoS2 is more a philosophical discourse than a murder mystery which is really fascinating. The back and forth between the prosecutors and cops and the constant jostling to gain leverage was interesting.
The whole warrant discussion was so well done and I find myself supporting the cops. I remember the scene in FoS1 where DongJae catches YeoJin following him and pulls over on the bridge and basically verbally abuses her and her just stands there quietly and submissively. The writer does a great job the inherent hierarchy and power imbalance between the allegedly more elite prosecutors and the more common cops. What was interesting is that there is an hierarchy and pecking order within the cops to as seen by how the cops in HQ treat YeoJin and Geon because he’s in the field.

I also wonder how much of the Hanjo group fight too is because YeonJae is younger and female. It does look like the old chairman is being drugged. It will be interesting how all these power struggles play out.

Loved YeoJin threatening information out of the puppy office with just a few sentences. She wasn’t even menacing. I don’t want YeoJin and ShiMok to fight. At this point YeoJin has taken a stand I don’t know if ShiMok has, he seemed to be following the arguments and not yet ready to take a stand. I think we are going to have Choi Bit and Woo TaeHa pit our frearless cop and prosecutor against each other.

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I loved how YJ very quickly discovered a whole bunch of stuff that SM and Dong-jae had only been able to speculate about. It pretty much demonstrated the necessity for the police and the prosecution to work together.

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Well for one, it happened within their station and the puppy officer is her subordinate. If a case happened involving prosecutors, our prosecutors will know of it easier than the police. :)

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Shimok is in a difficult position because he's so extremely logical and he's unaffected by the issues of status the other prosecutors are (although I'm still not sure about Woo). His position seems to be that if certain powers are handed over to the police then they would need sufficient safeguards in place to ensure they didn't fall prey to the same corrupting influences. And that seems -- completely reasonable to me.

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I agree. ShiMok is in a unique position. He’s an outsider in his own organization and among his peers - he doesn’t smoke or drink or socialize! YeoJin is the same way and I think that’s why they bonded. My hope is that they work together to illustrate that prosecutors and the police can be focused on the outcomes of a case rather than career advancement or leverage or bragging rights.

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I also found Shi-mok's arguments to be compelling. Whoever issues the warrants is going to be the subject of pressure and interference. There should be a layer of oversight and there should be processes in place within the police to stop that external pressure from leading to the same corruption we've seen in the prosecution. Without that, they'll just be shifting the problem.

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Philosophical discourse is an interesting term to use. I have just begun watching Life, and like some others have pointed out, this show is doing something very similar with law enforcement as the writer did with hospital administration there. There's also some Wire-like similarities I am seeing in the writer's work generally over the three shows she has penned, in their commentary on various aspects of governance and city administration. I can only hope she keeps at this over the years, because it's so fabulously done. All of her shows have invited introspection in the minds of the audience as to what all is wrong with the system, and what it will take to fix it.

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"invite introspection in the minds of the audience", something I wanted to say but could't find words to express. Philosophical discourse is another interesting word to learn :) By the end of this show, I would know so much about SK legal system and be able to improve my English from discussing with other beanies. Not sure about "better world" like the writer mentioned, but definitely a "better me" :D

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I'm glad you're enjoying Life. It's so good.
That's why I keep saying this S2 has a Life-ish touch I really, really love.

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It takes talent to turn something mundane into an interesting and intense story telling. My main issue was LDW's acting, more obvious when acting alongside seasoned actors. Directing was not smooth and distracting bgm sometimes.

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Obviously directing quality was different and affected the show. I agree about the BGM - I was thinking the exact same thing in the last episode I watched! (I'm not yet halfway through). Considering how much of the cast overlapped, I missed LJH in Life :D And the repeat references to LDW as "greek god" have been guffaw-inducing.

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LDW was probably the weakest part, but I loved his character so much I didn’t care.
My all time favourite will always be Secretary Kang!

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CSW said there remains some regrets (they could have done a few things better?) but Life was a meaningful work.

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I love a good The Wire reference, shout out to good TV across nations.

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Hear hear! Yes, it's one of those in my GOAT list of TV shows!

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Me too!!!

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GOAT?

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@leetennant, are you questioning the GOAT status of The Wire, or questioning what is GOAT? If the latter, it is Greatest of All time. If the former, for why wouldn't it be GOAT status.

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I didn't know what GOAT was. I would never question The Wire's GOAT status, it's one of the best shows of all time.

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@leetennant You remind me of myself - I've been learning a new word or acronym practically every week here on DB! urbandictionary is my friend :D

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@leetennant, apologies. I learned what GOAT was recently too. @pickleddragon, be careful with urban dictionary, a friend of mine uses it and sometimes the definitions are hmmmm, lol.

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@kafiyah-bello Haha - thanks for the heads up about urbandictionary - reading some of those entries is entertainment in itself. But don't worry, I have a backup real-life person who's fairly "with it" in these matters, and whom I verify things with :D

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Dong-jae called multiple times trying hard to squirm his way to Yeon-jae, imagine how spitting mad he'll be if he ever learns she actually went to pick Shi-mok up for a chat, LOL. Yeon-jae outburst about her late husband in front of Dong-jae surprised me, that's a very unguarded moment. Unless, of course, she did it on purpose... These two seem to bond over the memory of Lee Chang-joon, but I wouldn't put it past them to use this to their advantage.

The meeting felt so pointless. Choi Bit side-eyeing Yeo-jin & Geon for being chummy with Shi-mok, aka fraternizing with the enemy, even before the meeting started was such a telltale. What is the purpose if right from the beginning the bosses never even entertain the thought of working together...?

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I dunno. I had the feeling Choi Bit was at first astonished at the way Shi-mok did exactly what Yeo-jin told him to do, then immediately started thinking of ways in which she could make use of it.

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I interpreted it the way meowingme did - that they weren't taking it seriously enough when they were clearly AT WAR.

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I could see both sides trying to use the connection between YeoJin and ShiMok to their respective advantage. The question I have is if YeoJin and ShiMok have sufficient trust between them to not let themselves be manipulated by either side.

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I agree. In fact I sometimes wonder if they had been picked precisely because they had worked together. The funny thing is that they are both so right for such a council, objectively so very perfect, that it's a wonder that they got picked at all. In my experience, such teams tend to be mainly populated by Kim Sa-hyuns...

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Damn, I just pictured Dong-jae's reaction and LOLed!! I wanna see that!

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His reaction will depend on who's watching LOL

If it's Yeon-jae he'll probably say, "Thank you for letting me visit you instead of inconveniencing you with a ride. I like to stretch my legs. Walking is good for my health."

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I could totally imagine him saying that!

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This may warrant a spoiler alert, but I've been reading the Korean newspapers about the results of the actual showdown between police and prosecutors, and as the Minister who was the architect of the reforms was quoted by the Yonhap News Agency at the beginning of this year, "A master-servant relationship between prosecution and police, maintained since the introduction of criminal procedure law in 1954, has been removed and restructured into a cooperative one."

What is really interesting in this is that Cho Kuk, the ex-Justice Minister and his family were subjected to an intense investigation by the prosecution. He and his wife were charged with corruption and academic fraud. No doubt this was warranted (I didn't check to see if they were actually charged) but it occurred at a time when the prosecution was trying to defend its authority. Clearly they turned on the Minister and brought him down, not only because of his alleged illegality, but also because of his proposed reforms. It's a vicious game with much at stake.

So if FOS goes anywhere near what actually happened (and it seems to be at least skirting that), then this is not only about the police and prosecution but also about the Ministers and the Government. Even the Blue House got involved.

I have to say, I love all of this political intrigue, especially as it is so wide ranging. All the key institutions are involved, and at the same time it has real world implications for the little powerless people too. Kudos to the writer.

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I feel for Choi Bit and her devastation. Will she seek justice for the bullied police or stay silence for the "greater cause" and become an accomplice, I think it is the latter.
A bribery case briefly mentioned in E1 to Choi Bit has now linked to a homicide. A heart attached cased in E2 has shown connecting to Hanjo and possibly both Prosecutor and police. Like Choi Bit said, everything is connected. Can't wait to find out more about the intricate web of secrets amidst prosecutor and police war.
Why do I think there are more to the assistant Park than being a loyal supporter of Yeon-Jae? Why did he lie about the prosecutor and his drinking? His expression can be hard to read.
I would like some explanation about the drowning case later on.

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"His expression can be hard to read." >>> except when eyerolling about Dong-jae's antics ><
It's true tho, interesting what he said about Park Kwang-soo and his drinking. If he usually doesn't drink, maybe it meant he was meeting with someone so senior/high-up so couldn't refuse when poured a drink (cause he ain't no Shi-mok)?

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Wow... look at all these people manifesting that Weasel will die. *scribbles furiously in her hate-book*

(jk I love y'all and appreciate your concern for Weasel King.)

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We don't want him to die. But he goes around saying stupid things like what he did. We want to un-jinx that :D

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We dont want to happen of course. Can't help but be very concerned for the weasel though.

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Maybe mentioning it more would give us a different outcome??? xD

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We need to find the unluckiest beanie and make them say the opposite of what we wanna happen.

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No, no, no, no.
LJH had already an stupid and meaningless death as a prosecutor in City Hunter. No repeating. No way.

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Why do you have to remind me T_T

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I know 😭😭😭😭

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Sa-hyun is not my favourite character but I don't dislike him neither. He's very protective about his job and he doesn't want to be the one who looses against the Police. It's a big responsability. But he felt bad after Gun's story.

I'm curious about the decision of Chief Choi. She didn't hesitate to change the narrative in the past and now there is this big issue...

I need more Shi-mok - Yeo-jin's scenes!

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Yes Sa-hyun handwaved the real estate scam thing during the meeting, but later he did seem pretty worried that the conman would be released if the cops didn't get the warrant on time.

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Thank you for the recap! During the meeting I saw the points of both sides (especially the prosecutors abusing warrant power vs the need to have a tiered system that properly vets warrants) but the fact that the seniors are more preoccupied with placing blame than finding a solution was highly frustrating,,,,,and very true to life lol. If this is based off real-life frictions, I'm curious what solutions have been proposed if any

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