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Forest of Secrets 2: Episode 10

We focus on our lead prosecutor’s investigation into the suspicious death case our missing prosecutor was so interested in. So many things in this case don’t add up, yet there’s no solid evidence to prove anything was wrong. Even our lead starts to wonder if he’s grasping at straws, a notion his boss is more than happy to encourage.

 
EPISODE 10

Tae-ha thinks about Dong-jae and Shi-mok digging into the Kwang-soo case as he heads back to his car after meeting with who I’m assuming is Kwang-soo’s wife. Shi-mok is currently going through the slim case file with Dong-jae’s colleagues, but none of them are sure why Dong-jae personally visited the scene.

He chides them for not doing their due diligence and following up on the missing dashcam footage. An open and shut case is not an excuse to be sloppy. The prosecutor who trained under Dong-jae handled the case, and she apologizes for not being thorough. She takes full responsibility and even starts to defend Dong-jae, which doesn’t go unnoticed by Shi-mok.

Shi-mok is surprised to hear Dong-jae recently asked for a copy of the case file. The assistant explains that she copied two other files for him at the same time, one of which is in Shi-mok’s possession. The other is on the ex-chief.

They’re all flustered when Shi-mok asks why he’s only hearing about this now, and he doesn’t buy their excuse that they forgot. Dong-jae’s trainee slips out to make a call to the chief of the Namyangju Station traffic division. Well, that’s sketchy.

Meanwhile, Yeo-jin and Gun stop by Soo-hang’s little family restaurant and talk to his aunt. They casually strike up conversation, and she shares that the cooking smells don’t carry to nearby residences as they’re all separated. Yeo-jin looks at Gun meaningfully.

Swiping some keys on her way out, Yeo-jin uses going to the restroom as an excuse to snoop around. She notices a padlocked storage room out back and rushes in when she hears a sound from inside. In the restaurant, Soo-hang’s aunt realizes Yeo-jin took the wrong keys. She runs to find Yeo-jin with Gun trailing behind.

She panics that they’ve seen the storage room where it looks like she’s keeping meat. There are even rats in the room. Her conciliatory tone disappears when they insist on reporting her due to the unsanitary conditions, and she brags that she has a police officer in the family who has her back.

Outside, Yeo-jin recalls the last time she saw Dong-jae and remarks that she could think of him as just one of thousands who go missing every year if she didn’t know him. Gun feels bad for his children, noting that Dong-jae must miss them.

Yeo-jin is frustrated they’ve found nothing, but Gun encourages her optimistically. He jokes that too many people hate Dong-jae for him to die so soon.

Meanwhile, Dong-jae’s trainee catches up with Shi-mok in the hallway and says she wasn’t able to obtain information on the missing dashcam footage or Kwang-soo’s route that day – it’s been too long. She tells him which division at Namyangju Station is in charge of the case.

She shares that Dong-jae seemed to be affected by this case. He’d sadly observed that even someone as successful as Kwang-soo was stressed enough to have a heart attack. Dong-jae desperately wanted the promotion to chief but worried about the fact that he’d investigated by someone who was his junior.

Jung Min-ah (a name!) starts peppering Shi-mok with questions about whether the Kwang-soo case is related to Dong-jae’s disappearance. Clearly irritated, Shi-mok tells her he doesn’t know. He finds it odd that she was so quick to contact the police for the missing information since most prosecutors are hesitant to reveal their mistakes and lessen their credibility.

Shi-mok calls Tae-ha to ask about the third file. Did Dong-jae give him anything else besides the Segok case file? Tae-ha denies it, and we see he’s at the scene of Dong-jae’s kidnapping.

In the car, Shi-mok recalls Dong-jae telling him that he gave Tae-ha two reports. Shi-mok visits the spot where Kwang-soo died and reenacts the scene, examining the tire tracks he leaves when stopping at various points.

Shi-mok goes to Namyangju Station to discuss the case with the chief. He questions why Kwang-soo would simply stop in the middle of the road rather than pulling over when he started to feel pain. If the pain had come on suddenly, he would’ve slammed on his brakes and left tire tracks. But he didn’t.

The division chief claims Kwang-soo called emergency services himself, so he was likely in control enough not to slam on the brakes. Plus, he was probably tipsy from the drinks and didn’t think to pull over.

Shi-mok finds it odd that he didn’t need to use his GPS, despite the fact that he lived and worked in Seoul. He then brings up Dong-jae and pulls out phone records that show he spoke with the chief shortly before his disappearance. What did they talk about?

The chief starts acting shifty and says they probably talked about the accident that happened the previous day. He denies they discussed the Kwang-soo case, but Shi-mok points out that Dong-jae visited the scene of the accident right after they spoke.

Before he leaves, Shi-mok comments on the small amount of alcohol in Kwang-soo’s system. You’d think he’d have managed to put his hazard lights on. The chief lets out a sigh once Shi-mok exits the room.

Tae-ha and Chief Choi discuss the situation, worried about how much Shi-mok knows. Isn’t that chief the one who told Dong-jae that Chief Choi closed the investigation too quickly? Chief Choi isn’t concerned about that. Based on his questions, she thinks it may be worse having Shi-mok on the case than Dong-jae.

Tae-ha wants to remove Shi-mok from the investigation, but Chief Choi thinks that would look too suspicious. Tae-ha’s beyond caring at this point. Yeo-jin pops in to let Chief Choi know someone is there from Dong-jae’s office. After she leaves, Chief Choi tells Tae-ha that she thinks she can get “those kids” off the case. (I doubt it’ll be that easy to deter those two.)

Shi-mok goes to see Kwang-soo’s wife who looks hesitant to talk to him. She tells him there’s a guest inside and won’t let him in. She claims she doesn’t know why her husband was in Namyangju that day and is quick to deny that her husband was in the area often. She describes his drinking as “normal.” He didn’t talk about work much at home, so she can’t offer help there.

She’s aware of Dong-jae’s disappearance and hopes he’s okay. They met when he came to her husband’s funeral, but she says she can’t remember much of what they talked about. She’s confused when Shi-mok asks if her husband used a GPS regularly.

Was he stressed working at the law firm? More so than at the prosecution, she asserts. Inside, a baby begins to cry. She suggests he visit her husband’s law firm and speak to his old secretary; she’ll have things to tell him.

So that’s just what he does. The secretary reveals that Kwang-soo took the day off the day he went to Namyangju, so she’s not sure why he was there either. It was the only day off he ever took from the law firm.

Shi-mok asks about the missing dashcam footage. She explains that clients sometimes ask lawyers to turn off the dashcam if they’re sensitive to being filmed. The secretary starts fidgeting nervously when Shi-mok asks how the law firm reacted to his death. She says everyone was sad.

Shi-mok wonders why Kwang-soo would need to take the day off to meet a client. She looks away self-consciously. Isn’t that why she wanted to meet him outside the office today?

There are rumors the client was a VIP. Kwang-soo was known not to drink, even when their CEO asked him. Shi-mok confirms that not even the CEO knew who Kwang-soo was meeting. Was he stealing a client? The secretary thinks it’s a possibility; his family was going through financial troubles.

In the car, Shi-mok ruminates over what he’s learned and wonders if he’s trying too hard to link it all to Dong-jae. All the oddities he’s noticed could amount to nothing. Is it a coincidence that Chief Choi was the chief of the precinct in charge of the case? He’s worried that he’s wasting time when Dong-jae has already been missing for five days.

The second he gets back to the office, Tae-ha pretends to be nonchalant in asking what he’s found so far. Shi-mok explains that he hasn’t found a concrete link between the Kwang-soo case and Dong-jae’s disappearance. When Tae-ha realizes he hasn’t found any clues yet, he wonders if he overestimated Shi-mok’s abilities.

He uses this is an opportunity to get Shi-mok off the trail and tells him the most important thing is to see if Dong-jae’s disappearance is linked to the cops. If not, the case is a normal missing persons case, and they can take their hands off it. He wants Shi-mok to keep looking into the Segok cops.

Tae-ha pretends to forget Kwang-soo’s name and says he’ll look into that himself. He starts asking questions about who he should talk to, trying to get a sense of how much Shi-mok knows. Shi-mok seems to sense something is off.

Shi-mok gets a text from his mom asking if he’s in Seoul. (Dude, you still haven’t told your mom?!) She chides him for letting her find out through the news and tells him to come home when he has time.

Shi-mok passes over Dong-jae’s files to Tae-ha since he said he’d look into the Kwang-soo case. He asks again if Dong-jae told him anything else when they first met, which Tae-ha angrily denies. Shi-mok recalls Tae-ha yelling at Dong-jae that they weren’t at a casino and assumed that they weren’t talking about the Segok case.

Tae-ha suddenly pretends to remember and halfheartedly looks through his file cabinet. Shi-mok walks over and plucks the file right out. Ha. He tells Tae-ha it’s a file on the ex-chief, and Tae-ha acts like he’s just realizing it’s related to the Segok case.

Tae-ha accuses Dong-jae of spending all his time trying to gain his favor rather than investigating. On his way out, Shi-mok grabs the files Tae-ha declares irrelevant and comments that Tae-ha doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to investigate.

Meanwhile, the ex-chief storms into the National Police Agency where he meets privately with Yeo-jin and Chief Choi. There’s a long stretch of silence as Chief Choi glares, the animosity between them apparent. Chief Choi accuses him of faking overtime hours, which he responds to with snide remarks.

Yeo-jin begins recording and asks where he was the night of Dong-jae’s kidnapping. He screams at her, and Chief Choi screams right back, startling him and Yeo-jin both. Yeo-jin brings out photos of the ex-chief leaving his office while he was supposedly working overtime and coming back later that night.

The three hours he was missing from the precinct provided ample time for him to make it to the crime scene and back. A phone call he made earlier to Yongsan complaining about the frequent theft near his sister’s shop means he’s familiar enough with the area to know there’s no CCTV in the alley.

Yeo-jin continues that the evidence of his faking overtime means he gave a false alibi for the night of Dong-jae’s kidnapping. The ex-chief finally admits that he met Dong-jae a few days before he went missing. Yes, he was angry at Dong-jae for bringing up the Segok case, but that doesn’t mean he’d kill him to protect his nephew.

As he fights with Chief Choi, Yeo-jin receives a text and goes out to check the comments under the video. Someone claims to have been a witness. Over at the Supreme Office, Sa-hyun reads over the comment with Shi-mok. The witness claims to have seen a man putting a body in the trunk of a car at around 10:00 PM the night of the kidnapping. He even saw the culprit’s face.

After securing the cooperation of the video platform and obtaining a warrant from the Supreme Office, the Yongsan team rushes to the Internet café where the comment was posted. They discover the commenter’s identity from his payment information: Jeon Ki-hyuk.

He has a criminal record for gambling and scamming, so they’re worried he’ll run if they approach him directly. Maknae Soon-chang is forced to call, pretending to have a delivery, but it doesn’t work. They decide to stake out his place instead.

Elsewhere, Team Leader Choi is with forensics who are analyzing the photo. The object Shi-mok noticed turns out to be a watch, and the writing he thought he saw is a pattern on its face. Team Leader Choi pulls up his sleeve to reveal an identical watch on his wrist. He sends Yeo-jin a text revealing that what they thought was a ceiling light was actually a watch – a police watch. Oh, snap.

Yeo-jin gets the text while she’s on the phone updating Shi-mok on the witness. She says she’ll call him back and hangs up to call Team Leader Choi. While Director Shin yells at Chief Choi to summon the Segok cops, Shi-mok makes his way to the National Police Agency.

 
COMMENTS

Even though we were heavily focused on Shi-mok’s investigation into the Kwang-soo case this hour, we did get a few important discoveries about Dong-jae’s disappearance. Thanks to Shi-mok’s keen eyesight, forensics discovered that police watch in the photo. While that obviously doesn’t look good for the Segok cops and the ex-chief, it doesn’t necessarily mean the culprit is police – the watch could belong to someone other than the culprit. Of course, it doesn’t help that the ex-chief did meet with Dong-jae shortly before he disappeared. But if we factor in the Kwang-soo case, things aren’t looking so good for Chief Choi either. Then we have the sudden appearance of this witness who claims to have seen the culprit’s face. Fingers crossed he’s reliable and we’ll actually start getting somewhere.

It’s now been five days since Dong-jae’s went missing, which does not bode well for his safety. Whoever took him has done too good of a job covering their tracks. How are there so many suspicious people around Dong-jae? Even his office colleagues were acting shifty when Shi-mok was questioning them. And I’m not sure if Dong-jae was having an affair with Min-ah, but it does seem like she has feelings for him at the very least. I’m with Shi-mok that it’s a bit suspect that she called the traffic division chief so quickly after Shi-mok brought up the problems with the case, although it could just signify how worried she is about Dong-jae. I swear, besides Yeo-jin and Shi-mok, everyone in this drama comes off as suspicious at some point or another. So while I’m keeping my eye on Min-ah, she’s in the mildly suspicious category for now.

I loved watching Shi-mok throwing everyone into a panic by just asking questions and being his unrelenting self. There are so many oddities and red flags about the Kwang-soo case, but it’s just possible to explain everything away. Kwang-soo’s wife seemed so nervous talking to Shi-mok, but the fact that she sent him to her husband’s old secretary makes me think she’s not wholly against him digging into this. I wonder if she knows what went down and has made some sort of deal with Tae-ha and the others, or if she’s been kept in the dark. The weird discrepancy over Kwang-soo’s drinking behavior does make me suspicious of his wife who said he drank a normal amount, while his secretary and colleagues say he was known for never drinking. It’s all such a mess, and I understand why Shi-mok started questioning if he was on the wrong track. Thankfully, Tae-ha gets jittery pretty easily, and it seemed to clue Shi-mok in to the fact that he wanted him off the case. I doubt Shi-mok will let it go so easily now. Although this case may turn out not to have anything to do with Dong-jae’s disappearance, the conspiracy surrounding it is obviously far-reaching, and I’m looking forward to Shi-mok blowing it open.

I know Shi-mok isn’t close to his mom, but I can’t believe he still hadn’t told her he was in Seoul. From what we saw in season one, their relationship is awkward and somewhat strained. It looks like that hasn’t changed in the intervening years. Come to think of it, we really know very little about our leads’ personal lives or backgrounds. I don’t think there’s even been a single mention of Yeo-jin’s family. Not that it’s particularly necessary to our story, but it would be nice to learn a little bit more about them outside of work. You know, in between detailing turf wars between the prosecution and police, all the different cases we’ve got going on, and searching for Dong-jae.

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Its quite sad that ShiMok has not reached out to his Mom yet. Their relationship must be really strained that he has not initiated any contact at all.
Things are not so looking well for Chief Choi so I wonder if we are looking into her and Woo Tae Ha too much. There could be another player that is pulling strings. There are a few suspicious people around SDJ that could be culprits to his disappearance that does not appear to have any connections to Chief Choi or even Woo Tae Ha.
Its also too quiet at the Hanjo front. I will just watch and leave the speculation to others. 😉

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Given all that we know, I find it believable that Shimok didn't reach out to his mom actually. It didn't look like she kept in touch with him either. So they're reciprocally on bad terms

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I may be losing track of time, but Shi-mok had already been in Seoul for at least 2 weeks so she wasn't calling weekly or biweekly. I feel like if I had a kid who had a condition terrible enough to get a part of the brain removed, I feel like I would be nagging him weekly even if he's 40.

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I think that is one of the reasons I liked this episode so much - the quiet at the Hanjo front. Somehow the scenes there always feel a bit strenuos to me. I also don't like that the Chairwoman is always portrayed as being on the edge of a nervous breakdown, throwing "mini tantrums" in front of her sketchy secretary. I want to see more layers, this can't be all she is capable of. A little more complexity on her character would be much more interesting.

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"Thankfully, Tae-ha gets jittery pretty easily"

I am beginning to think one of the few holes in the script is how Tae-Ha obtained his position, much less held onto it, when the chief (pun not intended) job requirements appear to be plotting and assuming a poker face. I can't really see Tae-Ha and Chief Choi as counterparts since I would expect the latter to chew up the former like so much soft jerky.

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Yup Choi does seem much more formidable than Woo is, which could be one reason why she's always 'shouldering' stuff for others. She is also getting a lot more to do in the script than he is. Then again, till near the end of season 1, even Lee Chang-joon didn't seem to have much going for him besides his father-in-law.

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Not sure if it's writing or acting, but Woo definitely needs to chill. But he did have Choi Bit's help in the past, so maybe that's how he was able to not out himself for shady dealings.

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I forget from which podcast it was but I heard that Yeojin's familiy was supposed to be mentioned in Season 1, but after Bae Doona discussed it with the production team, they agreed to take that part out.

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It's going to sound like an odd comparison but I remember when I watched One Spring night, I compared the social manoeuvrings of the show's characters to a game. That working within the framework of a culture like this is like being in a large board game. Everyone has their designated set of moves and each moves sparks other moves. And it's as though someone has made an unexpected move and it has sparked a cascade of resulting actions from other players in relation to each other. I sad that OPN was like watching an intricate dance in a confined space and that's very much the feeling I got from this these episodes of FoS.

And that's what a system is really. It's a framework of rules whereby everyone has their distinct role and each one of the moves is bound by that role. But also it's when the system is disrupted by a new or illegal move that we really see the game for what it is, and the players too.

Shi-mok's role is Relentless Justice Warrior and his indefatigable efforts this episode were almost exhausting to watch. But he won't leave this dance floor until the music stops.

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Your comment is always insightful and beautifully written. I really enjoy reading comments from you and other beanies. This drama is so layered that I sometimes couldn’t fully understand some of its context without reading the discussion here.

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Agreed, and I think Dong-jae has inadvertently been as disruptive as Shi-mok this season. The cursory way in which many prosecutors deal with cases such as Park Gwang-soo's can be relied upon to keep lots of suspicious stuff buried. But in his zeal to sling mud at the police in general and Choi Bit in particular, Dong-jae not only dug deeper but brought his findings to Woo Tae-ha, triggering investigations and panic and (I think) his own abduction.

Among all the things that DJ has brought to light (but hasn't himself fully understood), the collusion between Choi and Woo is the most ironic, highlighting as it does the hollowness of all that teeth-baring and mud-slinging of the council. The Park affair notwithstanding, I've got a feeling police and prosecution might also work together to hush up the facts of DJ's kidnapping if they turn out to be damaging to both sides.

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And the sad thing is not many people are genuinely concerned about Dong-jae's well being after the abduction. Woo Tae-ha and Choi Bit are apparent in saving their own self. Even Dong-jae's office workers seems to just help She-mok half-heartedly. And I like that the writer touches on this kind of situation that does happens in a workplace, where people's selfishness get the best of them.

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I couldn't help wondering how Woo Tae-ha managed to hold any of his shady dealings before. He's just so transparent and cagey about the whole thing, it's ridiculous. He clearly doesn't have a chance against Shi-mok's unnerving gaze as he tried to determine the truthfulness of people he sussed out. And even Sa-hyun seemed to almost puzzle it out already. Choi is so much better at this despite her constant onslaught of panic. Tsk... tsk...

I know we've made significant progress about the kidnapping case. But at the same time, it's clear that we don't have the key puzzle that would make everything made sense. There's just something a little off about every case in this season. It's not enough suspicion to say for sure that the original assesment was fabricated, but it's enough for me to squint at it, trying to find another (and more sensible) explanation.

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Why do I feel Tae-ha is acting sometimes? 🤔 He is more composed when he is with other people or it’s just Shi-mok way of getting on people nerves. I still think he has another motive when bringing Shi-mok in his team.
It is possible that there is no killer aside from the Segouk case, but rather how the police and prosecutor handled each case and why they covered and closed them quickly which was setting a motion in Dong-jae kidnapping.

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I also agree that it feels like DJ's kidnapping just serves to set in motion something - that is has nothing to do with any of the 3 cases he dug up. Like it could be something as random and left-field as being kidnapped by someone with a grudge against prosecutors of Dong-jae's stripe in general. But what it has set in motion is fascinating.

(Reminds me how this hong kong guy killed his girlfriend while they're on vacation in taiwan - a tragedy, but also, tragically, domestic homicide is not that rare in the grand scheme of things - and it led to the hong kong protests and affected international relations)

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I get the feeling that Woo Taeha is not a veteran baddie and that's why he's so jittery. I feel like he engaged in shady business this one instance and doesn't know how to get out of it.

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It’s official: I hate Choi Bit and Woo TaeHa. I mean, I can buy they are not the ones who directly abducted Dong Jae, but I’m convinced it’s whatever they’re hiding and covering that led him to this situation. So I hate them because our weasel is suffering because of them. And it’s not only them: every single person seems to be withholding information. I’m quite sure that that information alone doesn’t explain anything, but when we put all the pieces of information together we would be able to learn the truth. It’s just like Dr. House always said: “patients always lie”. Well, here everyone is lying: Choi Bit, Woo TaeHa, Prosecutor Jung, police traffic officer, DongJae’s wife, the dead prosecutor wife’s, the supposed witness, even the two jerks in National Police Agency are surely hiding things from YeoJin. I’m so glad Cap. Choi didn’t hide the fact that it was a police watch…

Regarding ShiMok and his mum, it did hurt when she answered her messages and then left the phone on his desk, looking at it, as if he was waiting something else.

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I'm not sure what Shi-mok's mother's expectation of him. She should be the one that knows his condition the best. And seeing from season 1, we know Shi-mok is quite aware of the norm in the society, but doesn't always respond accordingly. And that's what I expect his mother to understand, because in the text she seems pissed. I kind of compared his mother and Kim Dong-wook's mother in Find me in your memory. Both have kids with conditions that they need to accommodate.

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Shimok has no good relations with his mum but gained 4 whole dads so who's the winner here? Obviously Shimok :3

To be honest, I'm glad he actually started second-guessing himself. It strips him down from the unflappable crusador against justice he's been assigned to as an audience to a concerned man trying to find his friend, and it's very humanising. He obviously doesn't want to commit the same mistake he did with Eunsoo (especially with the similarities that both Dongjae and Eunsoo met with a tragedy investigating cases independently) and due to that switched tracks and became much more careful with being led along instead.

Truth be told, I enjoy Taeha as a character because of how reactive he is. He's been shown (and also mentioned) from the get-go that he is a highly controlling person, and to see someone who'd had everything planned out consistently lose his composure due to Shimok is very entertaining and fascinating. It's a good foil to Shimok and Sahyun (who is team Shimok yay), and truth be told, we just need everything to converge to know more :3

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I just wished we saw this highly controlling personality from WTH first before the jittery, reactive version.

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ikr, I was hoping for more calm and controlled shady Woo Tae-ha. I got the feeling that he makes people stop questioning his decision by sheer power of his status alone. Just like when Shi-mok questioned the pink file for the second time in his office. Woo Tae-ha got Shi-mok admit that maybe his memory was wrong just by staring at him. And it won't be shocking if he got to his current position by collusion or nepotism.

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I'm sure he got to his position more easily than Choi Bit got to hers, and there's that cryptocurrency business too, but personally I don't think someone like Choi Bit would help or even associate with anyone who is truly corrupt or incompetent. The meeting in ep8 (?) suggests that there's more to their relationship than just collusion.

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Agree! I also sense they go way back to even before Park Gwang-soo's case, for whatever shady things regarding police and prosecutor lol

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I enjoy almost all the characters tremendously, even the nasty ones, because they are so real and recognisable and in some cases strangely sympathetic. Even without knowing their true motives, I find Woo Tae-ha and Choi Bit fascinating, separately as well as in comparison with each other. For instance, it makes sense that Woo is less sharp than Choi, because as a man and a prosecutor he’s probably had things much easier than she has. On his own, Woo seems like he could be a good boss, willing to ignore protocol and trust competent subordinates like Shi-mok.

IMO, Choi and Woo are trying their best to rescue Dong-jae within the limits imposed on them by the police-prosecution war and the Park Gwang-soo affair. I think this show is mainly concerned with the various reasons why they have to be thus limited, and why their best isn’t good enough.

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I agree! Besides, as much as we love to hate Bit and Taeha, they definitely are competent enough to come to their positions and probably are not people who would jeopardise themselves committing murder by proxy. That's what's fascinating about them, they're all human in a way and not some idealised projection(s).

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i know dongjae and his wife married not because of love but i hope he's not having affair with his own colleague...he looks like he loves his children..i wonder who ordered that traffic chief to cover up about kwangsoo's case..is it choi bit? woo taeha and choi bit want to stop shimok from investigate the case increased suspicion level i had on them..the police watch is the hardest hint tho

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I actually think they did get married out of love!! I remember reading SDJ's wife character bio released by the show, and it said they loved each other but now their marriage is facing problems

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oh really????? that's good to know! too bad we don't get to see more of their family..his son is so cute

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I thought about how Yeojin said about if she didn’t know Dong Jae it would have just been another missing person’s case. I wondered if this gives her a bit more drive to be even more back in the field or at least knowing how to reform the police again.

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It's heartbreaking really knowing those missing person are not found. ☹

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It was a good episode but it's just confirmed what we already knew : everyboy is hidding something! But what? We still have no clue >_<

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Even Yeo-jin wondered why they cannot find anything while usually clues appear when police investigates the people related to the victim. It's possible that the culprit is highly involved in the investigation so that he/she could prevent the police for advancing ahead in the investigation.

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I think we can't blame Shi Mok for not being close to his mum. His mum tried to kill him when he was young right?

When Shi Mok was questioning Dong Jae's intern and staff, I felt so stressed too. He pointed out all the mistakes and there was no way to cover themselves.

Anyways, the only interaction between our favourite leads is only a telephone call in the very last minute of the episode?? Shi Mok was clearly worried about Yeo Jin when she just ended the call abruptly. And he still asked how is worrying like? YOU RIGHT NOW DUDE.

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Yes, I also wasn't surprised that Shimok hadn't contacted his mother yet. Thinking about it, his family situation is very melo. His parent's marriage was broken because of his condition. His flashback of his childhood was portrayal of his mother's resentment. His stepfather doesn't like him at all. His father apparently lost contact with him. The last time we saw him with his mother, her offer was only "at least come over on your birthday".

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First and perhaps most importantly, Shimok's brief interaction with his mother got me so EXCITED. I was hoping their relationship would be further addressed this season, because there's just so much to explore! I mean the woman literally wanted them to commit suicide together ffs! I'm sure he's internalized that. That scene at the rest stop in ep.2 already showed us that Shimok longs for a normal, functional family. I'm sure the lack thereof is a source of hurt and disappointment. He almost looked close to tears after those text messages (and was still out of it when he entered WTH's office), and his whole body language changed. I don't think we've seen him that apprehensive and vulnerable before?😔😭

Second, wow things are starting to unravel properly!
I think Dong-jae's coworkers are hiding something about the case? They were awfully nervous when Shimok was asking questions about it.
And I wonder if Min-ha really contacted the traffic division captain to ask for more info or warn him about Shimok! She's too eager to help (reminiscent of Eun-soo), which is suspicious. But I find the way Shimok treats her very interesting! I think she irritates him with how talkative she is, and maybe he's even a little suspicious of her, but he doesn't dismiss her altogether. After what happened to Eun-soo, he regretted how harsh he was with her, and I think he's made a silent promise to himself to go a bit easier on his juniors without sacrificing his high standards.

Lastly, seems like the client Park Gwang-su met incognito was Hanjo? The case is getting even more intricate. Everyone Shimok met from from SDJ's colleagues, to the police captain, to Park Gwang-su's wife seemed to be hiding something. I especially wonder what the deal with his wife is. From that conversation, I think Park Gwangsu DID frequent Namyangju and that there's evidence of his shady business there? I wonder how Choi Bit and Woo Taeha fit into all this.
Shimok is already getting suspicious of them, and I find his shifting dynamic with WTH especially interesting, because it's still tinged with humour. I wonder what Shimok's strategy is/will be, because he's cautious of WTH but also blatantly honest to his face. I love WTH's reactions though! 😂

PS: That show-down between Choi Bit and the ex Dongducheon chief, with Yeo-jin as the sidekick was kinda satisfying. He came on a high horse, and I loved how they turned him into a bumbling fool.

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Did they ever tell us why his mother wanted them both to commit suicide?

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I'm guessing it must be mentally taxing to raise Shi-mok. Until he got this surgery, she had to raise a kid who was painfully super sensitive. In season 1, it was brought up that he broke Jung-bon's finger when they were kids because Jung-bon was too noisy. After the surgery - which must have cost a ton - he no longer expressed emotions. I'm sure she got some harassment and shaming from people who didn't understand his condition.

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After reading what Koreans are saying about Ep 10, I feel like I have Min-ah figured out. From the scene where Shi-mok is criticizing Min-ah for not be thorough the with Park Kwang-soo case (and he was clearly annoyed too), Min-ah defends SDJ. However Shi-mok asks why she's protecting him. Apparently in Korean, it can be inferred that Shi-mok is basically saying "Why do you think I'm criticizing SDJ, I'm actually criticizing YOU". Since Min-ha didn't realize that at first, her internal thoughts just revealed itself. Min-ha secretly looked down on SDJ. This relates to the elevator scene between Shi-mok and Min-ha as well , when Min-ha brings up that a colleague of hers said that she wouldn't learn a single thing from SDJ.

Contrast this to how she looks at Shi-mok. Min-ha definitely respects Shi-mok, and is eager to ask him questions and to see him again. Also, if you remember back in Ep 8, Min-ah comments that Shi-mok quoted from "Crime and Punishment", and they had the same professor at Seoul National University (the prestigious school where I assume most prosecutors attended, except for SDJ).

Based on these two things, I really don't believe SDJ and Min-ha were having an affair. Whether Min-ah now feels genuinely feels guilty or has other ulterior motives, I'm still unsure.

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That's really interesting! I initially thought she was having an affair with SDJ because of how she seemed to freeze when she was asked about him and other women but this potentially changes things a bit

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Oh! thank you for the new perspective. When Shimok visited Dongjae's office before, Minha was passing by and Dongjae barely looked at her direction. On the restaurant CCTV, when Minha talking to Dongjae, her hand position was too polite to indicate they're having an affair. I thought Minha maybe has a feeling for him, but reading your comment it actually make sense. It might be the opposite, she looked down on him.

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Thanks for the info @shunsheng! I had no idea Shi-mok was getting snippy with Min-ha for reasons other than her failure to see the case through properly.

The problem with this writer, however, is that all these details might still be an act. I completely agree with everyone here that she has been making critical remarks about DJ, and taking a rather admiring attitude towards SM. Yes her behaviour, plus her shifty phone call to the traffic cop, might indicate that she actually has it in for DJ. But what if she's just trying to butter SM up, and to get him to believe that she isn't close to DJ? Perhaps she had to be formal at the restaurant because other colleagues were present? What if SM is starting to notice that she's trying too hard in both areas?

Argh, I don't know what to think any more!

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I've been trying really hard to get into this drama, but no matter how hard I try I fall asleep while watching it. I've watched early in the morning, and in the afternoon, and at night. I guess I'm just not that interested in the storyline.

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On my list of suspicious fellows at the moment include:
Chief Choi Bit: woman is all shades of shady, I can’t seem to cross her off my list.
Woo Tae Ha: his jitters and strong gaze is all that I need to put him on this list. Plus he has a relationship (which the show better reveal later) with Choi Bit.
Min Ha: the optimistic side of me just wants this to be a hoobae-sunbae crush. But as it is, she stays on the list.
Segok officers: especially the Chief, who I think should be kept under lock for now.
Seo Dong Jae’s wife: just like Heo Jin and her Yongsan officers have frequently mentioned, “families turn out to be the assailants”; and coupled with her shady acts, she just has to be suspicious.

If the kidnapper turns out to not be one of these (which I mostly doubt, but then I saw what season 1 did to me), then I’m being played a second time. Fingers crossed.

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I agree with you. I was thinking that the culprit should know 3 things at least: Segok case, Park Gwang-soo's case, and Dong-jae reinvestigating those 2 cases. So far people in high enough position to know these things are Woo-Tae ha and Choi Bit. But they seem to want Park Gwang-soo's case buried forever and Dong-jae's kidnapping just increase the spotlight to this case. My main suspect is the Dongdukcheon Chief (we still didn't know who he called right after Dong-jae interrogated him) or Hanjo's Director Park (he seems to know a lot about Park-Gwang soo). But yeah, I'm prepared to be played for the second time as well.

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Oh, and I almost forgot the Hanjo group chairwoman!

After watching Sky Castle with the actress playing the twins’ mom, I hoped that she’ll not be a villain in this one. But I guess my hopes are crushing as I’m seeing her character turn into a bad girl day by day😞. The cost of the position, yeah?

So yep, she’s also included, together with her secretary/PA.

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So quiet here recently 😞 everyone has given up on political thrillers and moved to Brahms? 😛 I need to keep this thread alive with my broken English 😛
There is a lot to like in this episode.
SM re-enacting the crime scene always gives me goosebumps
Smooth transition from aerial to close shot and day/night scene. Directing is really good, not sure why he was criticised.
Shimok text with his mum 😕 He didn’t want to be a burden to her.
Love the BGM in this season.
Scene between Choi-bit and the ex chief police speaks volumes about the hierarchy and sexism in the police organisation and SK in general.
This episode is so intense but somehow I feel like I could breathe.

More questions after this episode:?
1. Why WTHkeep the pink folder about the Ex Police Chief ?
2. Someone visited prosecutor Park’s wife when SM went to see her. And a crying baby?
3. They keep telling us about the expensive shoes. How could the drown students afford to buy? Someone mentioned the possibility of them connected to the drug dealer of the Assemblyman’s son. Or the survivor was bullied by his friends. Thats why he didn’t smile in the photo.
It is interesting to find out how both sides the police and prosecutor would handle the new evidence pointing at the police wrongdoing.
More of SM and YJ investing the crime scene at night. They should have a meal after, right?

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I love how this season we get to see or hear something of the private lives of some of the characters who are professionals. FOS seems to be making a case about the difficulties of the job, its impact on families, the toll it takes on people's lives, and also and most importantly, that family is the weak spot when it comes to corruption.

We've already seen in season 1 our leads in their domestic setting and how they live alone. But we're seeing more this time. Shi-mok has been effectively homeless and close to living out of a car, in the beginning, at least. And as everyone has mentioned, in this episode we see the tenuous relationship with his mother. Shi-mok and Yeo-jin don't have a personal life. Their job is their life.

But we are also getting more of a perspective on those with families too: It started with Dong-jae when he spoke about the difficulties of being a prosecutor with a family. Then we get to see Choi Bit doing the laundry. It's hard for people in both the police and the prosecution to do it all and to live normal lives.

On top of that family certainly complicates things and makes people vulnerable: We know that in Hanjo’s opinion ex-Prosecutor Park Gwang-su was indiscrete. He boasted to his family about working for Hanjo. In addition, the wife seems vulnerable to the extent that WTH can coerce her. Then, as has been mentioned, there was the baby crying in the apartment. Also the Assemblyman's nepotism and vulnerability to manipulation is due to his son's drug habit. We know too that Woo Tae-ha is compromised because of his family's cryptocurrency insider trading. Families are the weak spots or fracture lines.

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One of the commenters here said that Woo Tae Ha is not mean (something like that) because if he is, then Choi Bit would have not covered for him. I so agree with you. Their secret may be illegal, that it does not mean it is evil. Just a hunch, though. As of this posting, season 12 was already shown, and I would say I love that episode. My guess, no one among Woo Tae Ha, Choi Bit and Hanjo lady boss is the kidnapper. I guess it is the male assistant of the Hanjo boss. And it is the error of judgment of Hanjo group to hire Oh Ju-seon, he could be the kidnapper too, because on the night SDJ was kidnapped, someone who was drinking called him to drive the former because they were drunk. In episode 12, who was shown as drinking? They were Oh Ju-seon and Kang Wuchul (?), the former boss of Shimok. And Shimok's former boss refused to meet SDJ when the latter asked him to.

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Binge-watched my way up to Ep 10: Intelligent writing, feels great when a show treats its audience as intelligent. Ideologically different from S1, kinda reminds me of a British tv show called Babylon. Anyways, love how each and every character big or small is given an important scene/characterizations.

The way women are written on this show is amazing, all of them different and varied. I love that the writer interjects moments of normality, with showing various characters juggling mom/work/etc, but in one scene. See, you can add background/context to a character separate from their job in one scene, writers!

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