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Forest of Secrets 2: Episode 7

Our snooping prosecutor takes center stage this hour as both the police and prosecution rush to locate him. Time is of the essence, but the frustrating lack of evidence makes it hard to know where to look. Thankfully, our favorite investigative duo come together, pooling their knowledge and brainpower to find their (kind of) friend. If anyone can save him, it’s these two. Let’s just hope it’s not too late.

 
EPISODE 7

Shi-mok meets Chief Prosecutor Kang who chides him for dredging up the past (i.e. looking into Assemblyman Nam), but Shi-mok is firm in his conviction. When Chief Prosecutor Kang says it’ll hurt “your Chief Woo,” Shi-mok baldly states Tae-ha isn’t “his” anything.

Chief Prosecutor Kang warns him he’s in over his head; the prosecution has not only let cases like this slide, but they’ve sided with the people in power against their own prosecutors. He says Shi-mok shouldn’t come running to him if things go bad, to which Shi-mok replies he already knows that.

Chief Prosecutor Kang exasperatedly asks when he’s going to stop causing problems for the people around him. Shi-mok blinks and notes that he must’ve been bothering Chief Prosecutor Kang all this time. Was it like that back then, too? Chief Prosecutor Kang looks a little abashed and admits they’re in different positions now.

Shi-mok says he’ll probably never understand the things he’s supposed to as he matures. It’s not like he enjoys this either. Chief Prosecutor Kang argues he should stop doing these things, then. He sighs and downs a glass of soju as he watches Shi-mok leave.

Elsewhere, Byung-hyun sighs as he recalls his conversation with Yeon-jae. He voted in her favor, claiming it wasn’t for her but for the business opportunity. The vote on Sung-jae’s proposal was close: about 42% for and 44% against while the rest abstained. In her office, Yeon-jae studies Chief Choi’s personnel file.

The next morning, Tae-ha rants to Shi-mok about Dong-jae standing him up and not answering his calls. He’s surprised to get a call from Gun who informs him Dong-jae is missing. At the National Policy Agency, Yeo-jin hears about Dong-jae from Gun and slips out once Chief Choi leaves.

Tae-ha angrily asks Shi-mok what Dong-jae has been up to and gets even angrier when Shi-mok wants to know what Tae-ha talked to Dong-jae about the day prior. Sa-hyun follows them into Tae-ha’s office where Tae-ha accuses Shi-mok of knowing something. How else could he be so calm at a time like this?

Shi-mok skips over that and asks when Tae-ha and Dong-jae were supposed to meet. Tae-ha finally gives in and snaps that they were supposed to meet at 10 P.M. He’s been having Dong-jae brief him on the side.

Tae-ha is pretty worked up, but Shi-mok is cool as a cucumber, like always. He asks if Dong-jae just didn’t answer Tae-ha’s calls or if his phone was off. That gives Tae-ha pause, and he realizes the phone was off.

Shi-mok observes, as Tae-ha earlier speculated, maybe this has nothing to do with Ki-hyun’s case and is related to a different case he’s working. Tae-ha orders Shi-mok to Dong-jae’s office, but Shi-mok protests he has no authority since the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office isn’t allowed to investigate. Tae-ha yells at him to go anyway. When Sa-hyun suggests he should have someone besides Shi-mok handle it, Tae-ha yells at him too.

As he calls Dong-jae’s phone, Shi-mok thinks of Dong-jae’s discovery about Joong-gi taking bribes and his determination to find Soo-hang. He heads to Dong-jae’s office and calls Gun on the way out to ask that all the info on Dong-jae’s disappearance be sent to their office. The Criminal Legislation Division is taking the case.

The police talk to the couple who found Dong-jae’s car parked in front of their house and noticed the bloodstain on the ground. Gun is currently with Dong-jae’s wife and kid; they’re taking a DNA sample from Dong-jae’s son to see if the blood matches. His wife is tense but relatively calm, although she worries about the effect of all this on her son.

Dong-jae’s colleagues haven’t noticed anything off about him lately, but they claim he mostly keeps to himself. Yeo-jin is at the crime scene when she hears from Gun that the blood is Dong-jae’s. She asks him for pictures of the scene and heads over to Yongsan Station.

The Yongsan team tries to figure out where the crime took place and how the perpetrator managed to move Dong-jae’s body; there are no drag marks. They didn’t find anything useful at the scene, but they take it as a good sign that they haven’t found a body.

Dong-jae’s phone turned off at 8:50 P.M., almost two hours after he left work. He was supposed to meet Tae-ha elsewhere at 10:00, so why was he even in that neighborhood his car was found in? Gun sneakily leaves the case file and crime scene photos on his desk for Yeo-jin before he heads to the scene.

Later, Yeo-jin goes through the file and joins maknae Soon-chang as they track Dong-jae’s route. Unfortunately, the alleys leading to where his car was found don’t have cameras. A call from Chief Choi sends Yeo-jin running back to her office.

At the Uijeongbu Prosecutors’ Office, Shi-mok asks for a rundown of Dong-jae’s activities the previous day. We flash back to Dong-jae trying to elicit some empathy and remorse from an infuriating junior high school kid who severely bullied his classmate. Afterward, Dong-jae left for an appointment after saying he’d look into Soo-hang’s whereabouts himself since his investigator couldn’t find anything. He left the office around 7:00 P.M.

Shi-mok notices all the files on Ki-hyun’s case were from the previous prosecutor. Did Dong-jae write any new reports? The colleagues hesitantly note Ki-hyun’s case hasn’t officially been reopened. The higher ups wanted to find concrete evidence before alerting the police, so they didn’t even mention the case to the Yongsan team when they came.

They break into Dong-jae’s computer and see that he recently watched Chief Choi’s interview from after the drowning case. Shi-mok is interrupted by a call from Team Leader Choi who says Shi-mok’s number was in Dong-jae’s call history. Does he remember what they talked about?

Instead of answering, Shi-mok asks if he sent the files to his office yet and surprises Team Leader Choi by saying he’ll stop by Yongsan Station. He instructs Dong-jae’s colleagues to check his web history, the officers from the bribery case, and any connection Dong-jae has with the neighborhood in which his car was found. Shi-mok also orders them to summon Joong-gi.

One prosecutor follows him out and suggests requesting a search warrant for the cops involved in the bribery, but Shi-mok doubts the courts would issue it with insufficient evidence. She says she’ll request additional evidence and asks if the Supreme Office is taking both cases.

When Shi-mok says they’re taking both Ki-hyun’s case and Dong-jae’s disappearance, she’s relieved. She was worried that the Dongducheon Police Station would get involved and try to interfere since Segok is their substation. She questions if it’d be different with any police precinct, though. Before he leaves, she says her probationary period was spent under Dong-jae. “Me too,” Shi-mok states. (Wait, so I’m supposed to believe Dong-jae is old enough to have trained Shi-mok in his newbie days? Either that or Shi-mok is way younger than he looks…)

At the crime scene, Gun notifies Team Leader Choi that they’ve found a probable weapon. The woman who discovered Dong-jae’s car insists a brick is missing from the pile nearby. Back at the National Police Agency, Yeo-jin meets with Chief Choi who asks if it was a kidnapping. Was he attacked?

Yeo-jin confirms both and hands her the case report and photos. Chief Choi sighs that it’s a crazy world, but this seems a little too coincidental. She tosses out that the prosecution could’ve orchestrated it to trap them, but even she knows that’s too far-fetched.

Chief Choi tasks Yeo-jin with proving the police aren’t involved in Ki-hyun’s death or Dong-jae’s disappearance. Yeo-jin hopes they’re not connected, but what if they are? They’re interrupted by a phone call letting Chief Choi know Tae-ha wants to reschedule the Police-Prosecution Council meeting, but she’s not having that.

Resuming their conversation, Yeo-jin firmly states that, even if Segok turns out to be involved in Dong-jae’s disappearance, they can’t wait until after the meeting or until they win the investigative authority fight to do something. Chief Choi demands Yeo-jin immediately report her if she ever orders nonsense like that. No one who does something that could cost a life is worthy of respect.

After Yeo-jin leaves, Chief Choi calls Tae-ha about the meeting postponement. Her face changes as she listens to him, and she asks, “When?” Her eyes narrow as she stares at Yeo-jin through her office window.

Shi-mok arrives at Yongsan where Team Leader Choi worries that it’s happening again (a repeat of poor Eun-soo) and shares the info they’ve gathered so far in Dong-jae’s case. The area in which the car was found has the fewest cameras in the district, so it could’ve been chosen intentionally by someone who knows the neighborhood.

Team Leader Choi shows him Dong-jae’s call history and asks what Shi-mok and Dong-jae talked about. Shi-mok ambiguously responds that they talked about work and investigative authority issues. He details Dong-jae’s complaining about being transferred too often and not seeing his family.

Shi-mok is surprised to see a Tongyeong number on the call history, and Team Leader Choi explains that it’s the student who survived the drowning case. Dong-jae talked to him multiple times. (I knew that case would come back!)

The student says Dong-jae called him and talked “nonsense,” saying the prosecution wasn’t at fault and asking if Chief Choi had ever visited him. Dong-jae also called one of the victim’s parents and asked if Chief Choi disparaged the prosecution and pressured him to do an interview.

Gun thought he must have been trying to discredit Chief Choi, making Soon-chang question whether Chief Choi was involved in his kidnapping. Team Lead Choi had told him off, but he looked concerned.

Team Leader Choi asks Shi-mok if he can get in touch with Hanjo – Dong-jae talked with them multiple times, but they’re rejecting the police’s calls. Lastly, he shares that there’s no GPS history from the previous day. Maybe Dong-jae just didn’t use his GPS, but an address also could’ve been erased.

Before he leaves, Shi-mok sees a doodled note, presumably from Yeo-jin, on Soon-chang’s desk and thinks of the prosecutor speculating that all the police precincts would be the same and try to protect Segok.

Shi-mok finds Yeo-jin at the scene, and they dive right into analyzing the scene together. Based on the haphazard parking and bloodstain, she wonders if Dong-jae wasn’t visiting a house nearby but instead met someone in the alley.

We get the scene imagined in different ways as Shi-mok and Yeo-jin theorize back and forth. If he met the culprit coincidentally, they’d have known the neighborhood and would’ve ditched his car. Maybe someone lured him there.

Yeo-jin has a thought. What if he gave someone a ride and dropped them off here? Shi-mok brings up the bad parking, so Yeo-jin suggests he could’ve been angry and stopped suddenly. That still leaves the question of the car. They either would’ve used it to move his body or drove it somewhere after moving him to one of the houses nearby.

Yeo-jin points out that any of those scenarios would work if there was an accomplice. Shi-mok shares that Dong-jae might’ve met with the former chief of Dongducheon Station (from Ki-hyun’s case).

Meanwhile, Chief Choi sketchily makes a copy of Dong-jae’s call history (with a crossed-out doodle, so it must be Yeo-jin’s copy) and looks through it. She gets startled when Yeo-jin calls and rejects it, after which she replaces the case file on Yeo-jin’s desk.

At the scene, Shi-mok trustingly hops in Yeo-jin’s car without even knowing where they’re going. Ha. She informs him they’re heading to Dongducheon and tries to call Chief Choi again to get the ex-chief’s current station, but she can’t get through.

Shi-mok guesses Chief Choi is the one who told Yeo-jin about Soo-hang being related to the ex-chief and comments on how quickly Chief Choi gets her info. Yeo-jin starts to brag about Chief Choi’s capability, but she suddenly realizes something.

In a flashback, we see Yeo-jin quickly covering her doodle (ha, is that supposed to be Chief Choi?) on the call history when Chief Choi walks up and hands her Soo-hang’s address. In the present, Yeo-jin notes that Dong-jae would’ve called ahead and tells Shi-mok to check his office call history for the ex-chief’s current precinct.

While they wait at the station, Shi-mok tries to get ahold of Yeon-jae to no avail. A man walks up and abruptly asks if they’re the ones who wanted to meet him. They introduce themselves and follow the ex-chief inside. Yeo-jin comments to Shi-mok about the ex-chief’s build: he looks strong enough to take Dong-jae.

The ex-chief has a nasty temper. He tosses a chair across the room and yells that he didn’t get Ki-hyun transferred to Segok. Yeo-jin asks if he said the same thing to Dong-jae on the phone two days ago. The ex-chief claims he doesn’t remember, but Yeo-jin doesn’t buy it since it’d be rare in his division to get a direct call from a prosecutor.

He yells again when she brings up his demotion and tries to pull rank with her. Shi-mok starts to speak up, but Yeo-jin stops him. When she threatens the ex-chief with the National Police Agency, he sneers she must’ve learned her ways from “Choi Bit.” Yeo-jin stands in anger and berates him for not respectfully using Chief Choi’s title.

Shi-mok cuts in to say that Dong-jae has likely been kidnapped, and the ex-chief looks frightened as he realizes the implication. So, of course, he starts yelling again. Yeo-jin brings up Ki-hyun, and Shi-mok remarks that he did think the ex-chief had less motive for murder than Soo-hang’s colleagues.

Yeo-jin asks what if he learned that Ki-hyun, the officer he transferred to be bullied, discovered that his nephew was taking bribes, and that nephew then killed him? Making matters worse, a prosecutor starts digging two years down the line.

As they continue speculating, the ex-chief gets so mad that he overturns the table. We see a speculative scene of him hitting Dong-jae over the head with a brick. The irate ex-chief tells them to wait while he brings his alibi, whatever that means. In the hallway, he acts all shifty … well, shiftier and makes a call.

We cut to Dong-jae, bound and gagged (but alive, thank goodness) in a closet. A man checks on him, and after he leaves, Dong-jae kicks open the door. He manages to scoot out into the main room – he’s in a house, it seems – but the man comes back. Eek!

When he steps close, Dong-jae gives him a good kick, but it’s not enough. The man approaches and raises something that’s hard to make out (it almost looks like a tripod) and strikes Dong-jae over and over as blood sprays the walls. Noooo. The man drags Dong-jae’s limp body, leaving a trail of blood.

COMMENTS

Seriously?! We get to see Dong-jae alive and conscious for like two seconds and then he gets bludgeoned. Despite how bad that looked, I don’t know that he’s dead. Why would they kidnap him, keep him alive for a day, and then kill him? I’m assuming the person who checked on him in the closet is the same person who came in and attacked him when he tried to escape, but I guess we don’t know that for sure. I’m leaning toward the idea that there’s at least one accomplice. Regardless, if the kidnapper(s) didn’t kill him right away, they must either not intend to kill him at all or need him for something. Hopefully, that means Yeo-jin and Shi-mok will have time to track him down before it’s too late. He was in a house, which could mean he was stashed in the neighborhood like Yeo-jin and Shi-mok speculated.

I’ve been impatiently waiting for Shi-mok and Yeo-jin to work together again, but I didn’t expect it would come at Dong-jae’s expense. Yeo-jin seemed so much more in her element this episode, working (unofficially) alongside her Yongsan colleagues. Watching her investigate, it looked like she got some of her spark back. She’s a field officer at heart, and I can’t imagine her being happy behind a desk and embroiled in politics like Chief Choi. I think Chief Choi is the type who can’t imagine anyone being satisfied in a “lower” or less powerful position, so she views Yeo-jin’s lack of “ambition” as a shortcoming rather than an indication that Yeo-jin might just know where she’s best suited.

Chief Choi is being super shady. What was with that sketchy photocopying? Yeo-jin gave her a copy of – or at least showed her – the case file, so she wasn’t just trying to look through it. Seeing as she copied Yeo-jin’s version with her notes on it, I’m assuming she’s after something specific. Maybe it has something to do with whatever Tae-ha told her on the phone that seemed to worry her and make her look over suspiciously at Yeo-jin.

Although I trust Chief Choi about as far as I can throw her, I’m not sure she’d go as far as to personally order Dong-jae’s kidnapping. She’s smart and cautious, so I can’t see her doing anything so reckless; it doesn’t seem like her style. The ex-chief was acting really suspicious, but he looked surprised when Shi-mok mentioned Dong-jae being kidnapped. He did make that scared phone call, though, immediately after he talked to them. Of course, there’s still Hanjo and the other Segok cops to consider. The dirty cops are probably the most suspicious at this point, but I can’t discount Hanjo since Yeon-jae has been looking into Chief Choi and is somehow involved (or Hanjo is) in that chief prosecutor’s weird death coverup Dong-jae was looking into. Oh, and now we also know that Dong-jae was digging into the drowning case and talking to the survivor and the victims’ families about Chief Choi.

How is he involved in so many cases at once? He certainly gets around. It all does kind of circle back to Chief Choi, though, doesn’t it? If she is involved, I’d imagine she took advantage of the situation from behind the scenes to instigate other people to act so as to avoid liability. Still, all signs are pointing to her in a way that makes me think she’s too obvious of a villain. If I learned anything from season one, it’s that things are rarely as they seem. There’s a lot more to this story yet, and it better include an alive Dong-jae.

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this season is something that i cannot predict at all...there are still many unfold cases connected together..the appearance of new characters are all suspicious..i can't even tell who's the villain..i guess i need to check out shimok's expressions to see potential villain

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Even Shi-mok is still lost and everyone is a potential suspect.

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shimok side eyeing that minha girl and dongjae's wife hahaha and looks like he don't really trust woo taeha too

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It's hard to earn Shi-mok's trust.

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I do sort of found Dong Jae’s wife suspicious at first. And then she recorded the video, and I was back to being confused

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same lol after watching ep10 i can't tell anymore..it's one of police but who?

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Oh, Dong Jae better be alive. I'm in total denial of him being dead. It would be so useless, and I don't know how that it would affect our already exhausted and disenchanted duo. It may be too much.

Having said this, I don't know if Choi Bit is really behind the kidnapping (it seems too dirty for her to be involved directly) but I don't trust her. I don't trust either WTH... how many times have I said this? There's something shady about them, and it ties them to Hanjo. How? I'm still trying to figure it out.

I loved seeing YeoJin and ShiMok back in the field, even if it is because of this case.

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I feel both CB and WTH are playing a bigger game, and that SDJ is too inconsequential for them. I don't suspect them, tbh

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Exactly. They don't really care for an ordinary criminal prosecutor. Not their thing. Not their direct order, I'm totally convinced. It doesn't mean they are not involved, though (even if they are not fully aware).

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I never thought Dong-jae would be dead even from last weeks episode, I don’t know I feel like if they killed Dong-jae off it would be much more dramatic, but they’re stringing us along with his kidnapping so he’s definitely going to come out of this alive! I’m really curious as to who kidnapped him and why considering he’s involved in so many cases, there’s too many suspects!

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One of the most interesting things about this episode for me was that even as Shimok was basically panicking (in an extremely Shimok way), there was an audible sigh of relief from both Shimok and Yeojin that finally they have something to do; something for them to marshal their troops and get to work on. Something easy and uncomplicated where they can stand at crime scenes and do proper investigating. Not all of this endless muddy internecine in-fighting and back stabbing and politics. Gone is the paralysis of the first few episodes, the standing around and trying to work out what action to take.
Someone is missing. Go and find them. It's so comparatively uncomplicated.

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Also, just to be a teeny bit controversial: "We cut to Dong-jae, bound and gagged (but alive, thank goodness) in a closet"

With how that scene was filmed (and if you look at those stills), we don't know that is Dong-jae. We're guessing it is from context but we don't see his face - just a man bound and gagged that could be him but may not be.

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The netizens even looked at the pictures and said this one has got a mole on his nose, and SDJ does not. 😂😂

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ooh red herring. I like the idea. But doesn't seem like it. In any case, the BTS video for this episode is out, and negates this presumption? I'm actually also a little concerned that the BTS video gives away the identity of the culprit.

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Oh really,that sucks if there are spoilers!I am barely getting to follow the show as-is so hasn't been BTS hunting but sounds like may be I should continue to stay away??
The way he was gagged/bound,I couldn't tell it was SDJ and the camera placement was also leading me to believe it wasn't really him! I had gasped when they put that icky sound effects when that person was being hit and was offering up prayers it wasn't our weasel . Coz that sounded uncannily like something plunging through the flesh and I am not here for the insinuations,show..

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I don't think the BTS contains any spoilers about the culprit. The kidnapping scene they included seems to be one of Shi-mok and/or Yeo-jin's hypotheses.

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maybe they filmed the scene with multiple actors in the kidnapped victim role to throw the audience off?

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I couldn't decide if it would have been more Dong-jae-ish to have risked the kidnapper's anger by attempting to escape while wiggling or if he would calmly bide his time for the right moment (since the kidnapper was keeping him somewhat alive by giving him water).

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I can't wait to see how everything ties together. There was (a lot) of groundwork that needed to be laid down, but I think we're finally at the part where things are able to connect with one another.
I like how all the characters are vulnerable in some way. Last season, I had the impression that some characters were indestructible (at least until the last episode). However, in this season, I feel as if the stakes are higher for each character. As if each step is a make or break moment.
More episodes like this one please!

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Choi Bit and Woo Tae Ha has always been suspicious, but almost every single additional cast is suspicious. That female prosecutor that was Dong Jae's hoobae is suspicious, Dong Jae's wife is suspicious, that ex-Chief (and his nephew) is suspicious, Yeon Jae's secretary is suspicious... and I also am not discounting that Lee Yeon Boom and his explosive anger issues may also have a play at this. Where is he anyway? This show.. 🤯

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Oh forgot about Chairman Lee!

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I'm still suspecting the possibility of an as-yet-unrevealed culprit, that is, someone from Lee Sung-Jae's household.

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Yes yes SAME! I'm suspecting everyone @drinkurwater mentioned, with the possibility that there's a third party we don't know about!

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Totally possible on the unrevealed third party. Can't totally forget how Yoon Se Woon blindsided us last season. We never know what'll hit us this time around.

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I’m starting to suspect Dong-jae’s hoobae prosecutor too, but of what I’m not sure 😅 It’s just the way the camera lingered on the back of her head when Shi-mok enters the elevator felt off to me (The scene was around 26:18)

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She's definitely sus.We also got a shot of her looking after SM in one of the previous episodes,I thought? Nd the shot you mentioned...call it S1 PTSD..I froze it to look for telltale tattoo/insignia/birth mole signs 😫...She looks to be tattoo free but with this show,ye never know

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I am also leaning toward a third party kidnapper or accomplice. We would get more of the connection between WH, CB and Hanjo after the kidnapping case, possibly toward the final episodes.

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That ex-chief, Kim Su-hang's uncle, is another masterpiece of odiousness. It was such a pleasure to see Yeo-jin and Shi-mok working him over. Someone on social media pointed out that it's about a 2-hour drive from Dong-jae's car to Uijeongbu Station, and demanded to know everything YJ and SM talked about during the journey. I second that demand!

I think Choi Bit looks particularly suspicious for the simple reason that Dong-jae's efforts to get a foot in the door of the Supreme Prosecutors' Office mainly involve undermining her Team Cop in the council. But initially Choi Bit didn't even seem interested enough In DJ's disappearance to read the case notes. To her, he was just the guy who had made inquiries about the Segok affair. It was only after Woo Tae-ha's phone call that she was forced to backtrack and filch the notes from Yeo-jin's desk.

When he was talking to Shi-mok after the phone call from Jang Gun, I think Woo Tae-ha kind of stopped in the middle of a sentence when Kim Sa-hyun came into his office. To me he sounded like he changed his mind about what he was going to say because of Sa-hyun's entrance, but I may be wrong cos I don't know Korean. Can anyone confirm or refute this?

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Now that you mentioned it, Choi Bit was indifferent about DJ's disappearance until that call with WTH. With ep 8 in mind, I don't know but I feel like I'm vibing a LCJ character with Choi Bit.

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One of the reasons why I've found CB and WTH interesting from the start is that they look like joint LCJ figures for Season 2. But I doubt the writer will repeat herself like that, and I guess they are different from LCJ in one significant way - LCJ had obvious personal links with the chaebol, while CB and WTH seem to be civil servants through and through. In a way, this makes their predicament more tragic than LCJ's. Whereas LCJ had a wider view of corruption and an external big bad like Hanjo to target, the corruption that CB and WTH have to face is within the very nature of their respective jobs.

This difference between LCJ and CB/WTH also has implications for Yeo-jin and Shi-mok. In season 1, LCJ's special circumstances allowed YJ and SM to distance themselves from him. But CB and WTH could represent a glimpse of their future, if they are unlucky or get "dragged into things".

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I demand that too! And also how cute it was, Yeojin took an hour detour just to drop him back :')
About Woo Taeha, I don't think Kim Sahyun's entrance interrupted his questions to Shimok. It wasn't cut mid sentence.

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Thanks!

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Wow - 2-hour drive from Dong-jae's car to Uijeongbu Station? Then it's two ways right? Didn't she drop him back too? I third the demand :D

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It was 32km one way, eta 1 hour, estimated taxi fare ₩30k 😆

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Thanks for the exact figures. I loved the whole sequence. When he got into her car,I was all,dude didntchoo drive here and then YJ told him she's not driving him back. He was all I'll just catch a cab and when she gleefully told him where they were headed,his slight oh-noes moment...Arghh I just love their chemistry. How his no-nonsense attitude always gets smacked in the face by YJ's lively jabs and how he's always a li'l out of sync with her,but because she gets him like no other, there isn't that innate rush to wrap up the convo and dart that SM has with every other person he comes across... 😍 #bestiegoals #oddcouple

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Great description of the SM-YJ relationship!

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Shi-mok was willing to pay for two hour taxi fare just to ride with Yeo-jin 😂 He pays a lot more attention to her this season.

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Even the way he looks at her this season is slightly different! Like he wants to say something or he's a little surprised to see her (at first he was looking at her hair bc he hadn't seen her for while).
I think it's that he misses hanging out with her, but can't verbalize it as such? It probably just registers to him as liking spending time with her.

(PS: I'm not a shipper)

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I have also detected the beginnings of faint smiles when she speaks to him (noticeably in ep8). I'm not a shipper either (puh-lease, no), but I love their friendship. They've got each other's back, come what may, and they work so well together, as if they were of one mind. Ah. Perfect partners indeed, like CSW described them to be in an interview recently.

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Talking about Shimok’s smiles. We haven’t seen one, have we? 😕 But I remember CSW said he smiles a few times this season! Can’t wait....they are really teasing us!

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Waiting to read the recaps and beanie comments for ep 8 to know more about this!

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I wonder if she's like his first real friend. I feel like others find him too frustrating to hang out with. Yeo-jin takes his quirks in stride. I'm sure he knows that he can be frustrating even though he doesn't appear to feel offended or hurt by others' opinions of him.

I sort of want them to grow old and single together.

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"Someone on social media pointed out that it's about a 2-hour drive from Dong-jae's car to Uijeongbu Station, and demanded to know everything YJ and SM talked about during the journey" Love this and yah i fourth this demand!!

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Dong-jae's kidnapping has now become the 'central case' that will somehow connect all the cases, he's perfect since he's been sniffing around at everything. Which makes everyone a suspect. Even the wife seems fishy.

Seeing Yeo-jin and Shi-mok working on the case together was satisfying, that back-and-forth talk about what happened? missed that a lot! Also, it was cute that he rode YJ's car, was willing to pay taxi to go back but then YJ's dropped him off with an assurance that this doesn't always happen! TT__TT

Back to Dong-jae, there's too many suspects that I cannot for the life of me narrow it down. It could be Woo that planned it all and made it seem like it's done by the Segok police. It could also be solely the Segok police + chief big guy to cover up everything, they couldn't possibly consider the police-prosecution council. It could also be the wife. And of course Hanjo, not Yeon-jae, but that secretary since Dong-jae looked into Chief Park's death. And I saw on YT, the college student from episode 1 was mentioned as one of the suspects too.

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add to this list SDJ's hoobae prosecutor!

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yes, her! Too many to keep notes!

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Soo leaving out the teenage delinquent he had just reprimanded, are we? 😉

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The teenager’s motive was not strong enough to do such thing to DJ IMO. But why they spent decent time talking about his case and the way they also focused on his shoes 🤔 to emphasise the issue of bullying? 🤔 never ending list of suspects 😭

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There's a new player in the mix as well - the actor Kim Hyun Mok (who played Yong-gyu in INTO THE RING - another ITR appearance along with Pros. Kang!) makes a brief appearance as a cop-driver in ep3.

At the time, I kept wondering why he'd made a blink-and-miss appearance in the show, when clearly, otherwise, he's a fairly well-regarded supporting cast-type actor.

Someone on YT has put up a theory that there may be more to his backstory than we know at the moment, and the second half may contain a reveal on this front.

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Actually have been wondering about the driver too (and yeah he caught my eyes because of Young-gyu!), he is supposed to be from a powerful family, why make no move to help Song Ki-hyun? It should be natural since Ki-hyun got into the mess because of standing up for him, so either he is a sucky human being or yea, there's a yet unrevealed backstory.

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Sigh! 📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝📝🤯🤯🤯

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The list just keeps on getting longer eh

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On a diff note: Yeo-jin's name on Shi-mok's phone has a suffix -nim while the rest just states their position. I love how we're seeing physical evidences of Shi-mok's respect towards her.

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I have another one to add to the list, but will wait till the next episode recap 😁

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I wonder if we have the same suspect in mind

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Looking forward to exchanging note 📝 We need a kidnapper’s board!

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with photos and those threads that connects everyone!

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…at least we get our favorite Police-Prosecutor duo teaming up again?

CP Kang is admonishing his ‘son’, SM but I think it hurt SM when he realized he might be bothering his mentor.

DJ’s wife and the female prosecutor are hella suspicious. On top of being a prosecutor and being a weasel that he is, there is along line of suspects for DJ. I wonder what the motive is – if it is to cover up a crime, he would’ve been killed and not kidnapped.

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I was disapointed by Chief Kang. Shi Mok did a great job and was punished for it and sent away. Chief Kang knew it was unfair. But he knows how upright is Shi Mok and how is important for their job, so asking him to give up was really sad to see.

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I know we're all on Shimok's side. But I also sensed frustration and exasperation on Kang's part - his comments also come from a place of wanting to
"protect" Shimok, as a parent would (as dee23 points out). if we see it as a parent-child thing, it becomes easier to consider.

That said, I wonder if we will get to see Shimok's mother in this season, since she lives in Seoul too? Other than mentioning to WTH that she's in the same city, there's been no other reference so far. I am expecting something there.

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I also think CP Kang was just protecting SM. Given the unexpected opportunities that come to SM, it would be easier for SM to just ride along and be in Chief Woo'd good side.

Just like SM and YJ's disillusionment this season, I think CP Kang would follow the easier path if he could help it. It's sad but realistic.

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Kang had already mentioned in S1 that being a CP had already changed his outlook and he now wanted to keep the position. Ofc he is one of the good guys and that's why he was vocal about that honest human instinct with the one guy who probably wouldn't get it. I think Kang sees SM as a favoured nephew, there's love and admiration there,but he's also looking out for himself first. After loosing LCJ and ES last season, Kang knows all too well about the dangers of getting on the wrong side of the wealthy and connected and so he can't help but try to dissuade SM even when he knows it's a futile effort. I love that he still sticks up for SM in his own way. The way he told SH to learn at his own expense if he thinks SM is 'just a prosecutor'... Shows us that despite bending for the job, there's still bursts of the old Kang who lead a suicide mission by corralling his deputies to do one last huzzah by properly investigating Hanjo in S1's last episodes.

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The first season made me becoming parano, everybody is lying (Dr House's words) and can be a suspect.

For the kidnapping, I think Choi Bit and Taeha are too smart for this kind of move.

The cops from the suicide case could be a possibility, it looks it was not necessarily premeditated.

Dong Jae had connection with Hanjo group and in the past they were pretty shady (they killed a prosecutor!) but Lee Yeon-Jae looks nicer than her father.

His wife doesn't really look to care about him...

Yeo Jin and Shi Mok investigating together was the best part !

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As I posted above, my money is on the unseen Lee Sung-jae as the brains trust for the current developments. I agree with your assessment on CB and WTH, and the wife! The cops are probably too scared to pull off anything again now.

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The fact that we still haven't even SEEN this infamous Lee Sungjae, they've built this up so much since season 1!!!

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Yeah, the mysterious half brother. It's weird we heard about him but not never actually saw him.

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Last eps, I thought it a bit of an overkill for someone to kidnap Dong-jae for just one case he investigated (I assumed the kidnapping has something to do with the Segok case). But then judging from what we saw this eps, it was quite clear that Dong-jae has been the person who was connected to a lot of cases from this season, and it really doesn't bode well for his survival. (Yes, I know the last scene is terrible in capital letter, but I refuse to give up! I believe that our weasel will find a way to weasel out from this super sticky situation.)

I'm not sure Dong-jae understood how precarious his safety was because of all his snooping. Because individually, those were just small cases. But the fact that he investigated everything all at once (and with a slightly different angle than Shi-mok, what's with his snooping on Choi), he is probably the one most likely to stumble onto something very important that will connect all these seemingly disparating cases. Choi's panicky reaction around Yeo-jin made her highly suspicious too. And the fact that she reacted right after her call to Woo just made it all the more worrying, I swear. Also, I'm probably just worrying about something insignificant, but I couldn't help the niggling feeling that Shi-mok's lie to the police about his conversation with Dong-jae will so going to bite him in the a** later. Hopefully it won't implicate him too badly.

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I also thought about his white lie. They did talk about kids and family but not over the phone.

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To be fair,SM wasn't exactly truthful with the whole following the girl and ransacking her deserted apartment in S1. So this season's been pretty tame in comparison 😅 Excellent point about weasel finding out bigger secrets than he bargained for. Although in keeping with the S1 trend, I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't catch on to the significance.this guy with his 1+1=11 (Ukrainian cranes foreva)

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Dongjae is not a weasel but an octopus with all the fingers he's stuck into the pies of every case thus far

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LOL! 🤣 What a perfect character to go missing to stir up literally everyone in the story.

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Waiting for your illustration on this!! :D

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Ok the show has started to up the gear.. this episode is foreshadowing that it will start to speed up now but would start to show the connections between all the stuffs they have been building in the last few episodes.
My fav part is obviously our duo coming back together. They are so in their element when they are investigating , they are sort of like sherlock and watson who takes turn becoming sherlock and watson 😅. Although things ar getting complicated and there are big powers at play but if these two joins hands , even the most powerful foe wont be untouchable for long because they dont give sh#t about buecracy or hierarchy , all they believe in is truth.

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Yes, our heroes have proved to us that they'll keep walking straight no matter how thick the forest is.

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Omg.. Sherlock-Watson energy's right. I loved how they both took in the shady ex Chief's build and nodded at each other that yup,this guy fits the bill.
BennyC-MartyF vibes were strong with that scene. 😀

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All I remember from this episode is gripping my monitor and yelling no, no, NO on that last scene T_T

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When I said this was Young Eunsoo... They said nope, we're more cruel than that. You get to see him actually BREATHING then smacked his head on screen.

I was on cloud nine for finally getting Yeojin and Shimok working together again, like actually working together until all that happen....

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You're so right, this was way more gruesome than I expected (and darker than Eunsoo). It went dark real quick here.

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At least with Eunsoo we didn't see her being alive before her murder.............. God I can't believe I feel THIS bad and disturbed for Dongjae

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Poor weasel. All he wants is to go work at the supreme prosecutor office so he can really be of a rank and stay in Seoul. Last season he followed LCJ around hoping LCJ can promote him.

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I'm wondering about
1. the significance of Yeon-jae having Choi Bit's file. Is that about Park Gwang-su of the alcohol-related death, or is it about something else? Has Choi Bit been useful to Hanjo or is she a threat to them?
2. the significance of the call to Dong-jae to be a driver for his boss - was that simply in the story to highlight Dong-jae's sense of marginalization or was there something more to it? Did he learn something when he went to pick up the boss at the drunken alumni gathering?
3. Has Dong-jae discovered something about Lee Yun-beom? Is that why he has been kidnapped? (But that doesn't explain why the car was found where it is)
As beanies have already pointed out, everyone seems suspicious. For a moment there, I thought the wife had him bumped off because she/he was having an affair, and it even looked as if the other prosecutor was flirting with him. But kidnapping in that instance seems excessive. Divorce is a better option.🤣🤣

Can anyone enlighten me on the matter of some key characters that we never get to see. For example,
1. Lee Sung-jae?? Will he forever be a shadowy puppet master?
2. Prosecutor Ryu who is key to covering up the nepotism and who also quickly closed the drowning case.
3. The drug dealer that the police used to set the Assemblyman's son.
The plot thickens. It's so good to have both the police vs prosecution debates up front and then the focus on solving the kidnapping and saving Dong-jae take over. The shift is perfect and ramps up the tension.

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On 2. I've been wondering too. Why has that issue not come up in the investigations about SDJ so far? They're tracing all calls on his mobile and landline, so this should have shown up. Why has nobody spoken to the drunk sunbae yet?

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I'm with you on that. I think that call was partly to humanize SDJ more and have us empathize with him, so that the shock of his kidnapping is even greater to us.
But I keep thinking there's more to it. Could it really just be a coincidence that he disappeared after that?

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On Cho Bit file, there is a part saying her’s husband is working or owning an Enterprise which has had business with Hanjo since 2014. It was not translated, not sure if it’s important. I think we will have better ideas once Shimok or Yeojin finds out about this connection between their boss and Hanjo.

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Oh dear. With Choi Bit's husband, Dong-jae's kids, Woo Tae-ha's kids' expensive private schools and - last but certainly not the least - Lee Chang-joon's chaebol wife, is Forest of Secrets trying to tell us that the more attachments one has, the easier it is to become compromised? After all, neither Shi-mok nor Yeo-jin appears to have any close family member or friend.

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I remember wanting to know more about Yeo-jin's family background in S1.

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I don't think we have Yeo-jin background this season either. In the recent interview, BND said she initially received a script with some family story but after discussing with the production team a couple of times, they all agreed to remove that part.

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@blacksesame Smart choice. Though I wished for it 3 yrs ago, after finishing S1, knowing YJ's family background wouldn't fit into the narrative and same here.

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It seems like that. The current Justice Minister is now in the hot seat because of her son. People don't seem to be able to resist furthering family members. Everyone's vulnerability.
s

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That would surely be significant, I wonder why it's not translated.

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Episode 7 reminds me of why I love Season 1 so much. Episodes 1 to 6 appear to be unrelated but episode 7 just strings them all up. And how are they related? It's for the audience to guess and figure out.

Who is the kidnapper? The brutal group of police? Prosecutor Woo? Choi Bit? Prosecutor Seo's wife? Prosecutor Seo's trainee prosecutor? Han Jo group?

However, if you think about it, some of them may have the motive to kill, but Prosecutor Seo is being kidnapped. Its different from just murdering him. Kidnap means that Prosecutor Seo is being used a token to exchange for something. And the kidnapper doesn't want him to die. So the question to ask is: Why is Prosecutor Seo the one being kidnapped? What does the kidnapper truly wants?

As a FYI, Prosecutor Seo is technically 5 years older than Shi Mok in the drama.

(totally laughed when Shi Mok insisted to take Yeo Jin's car and got into her car so naturally.)

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Good points. They could have also kidnapped him to threaten and not make any further moves or investigations or snooping xD

Shi-mok got on very naturally like it has always been his seat.

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Thinking it over, wasn't that car scene a nice call back to S1 when YJ first got into Sam's personal realm? I believe YJ and SM were talking and YJ naturally got into the passenger seat then. After a micro second's hesitation,SM handed his case files that YJ put in the backseat as if they've done this many times before. It was the first time in S1, I remember seeing SM in a 'normal' context and I knew these 2 were special.

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I just love this show. There are so many elements that make everyone believably suspicious. It is doubtful that it is Choi Bit or Tae ha or even Hanjo, but at the same time it could be any of them. The lack of predictability, at least for me makes for good watching. As for SDJ, idk whether he is alive because this writer is about telling the story even if it means removing or killing characters.( I love it)

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You guys, do you know what I thought when I looked at the restaurant where Chief Kang invited Shi Mok to have the little talk? I thought this restaurant would be a perfect replacement for the pojangmacha that our favourite police/prosecutor duo frequented in the last season!

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*raises hand* I thought *exactly* the same thing!! Actually, before they showed Kang, I thought Shimok/Yeojin had discovered a substitute hangout, and he was heading for a rendezvous. I was kinda disappointed when the camera panned to Kang...

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There is smth so inviting about that restaurant that we want our favourite duo to hangout there!

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I am happy to see Shi Mok and Yeo Jin with more scenes together. I am sad that its because of the missing weasel. But their scenes are most welcome since I missed them together.

It just took a moment for me to take in that Seo Dong Jae is a husband and father. Never took him for a family man, but I get it.

That last scene was painful to watch. I sure hope he is still alive.

Seo Dong Jae sure is working on a lot of cases. Also got a few people worried on him digging around. I still suspect everyone, Choi Bit, Woo Tae Ha and even Hanjo. They all have something to do with the cases he has been digging around in. Now just have to figure out who has the most to lose if their secret came to light.

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Yeojin and Shimok's back and forth on the scene was music to my ears!😍 How I missed that 😭

Oooh Dongjae, our poor weasel! I hope our duo finds him soon. I also think he's not dead, bc that's too obvious a way to go and not at all how this show operates. But I'm also really just in denial and holding onto that logic.

Whoever kidnapped SDJ obviously didn't want him digging up the Segok case again, but the case being closed could benefit so many people, it's hard to pinpoint my suspicions... so I'm just suspicious of everyone now, even though a lot seems to point towards Choi Bit, but I *think* she wouldn't cross that line.

Lastly, Shimok seems to break my heart every episode this season 😭
I think he was disappointed by his discussion with Chief Kang when he said "I guess I've been bothering you." and I'm kinda mad at Chief Kang for berating him for doing the right thing 💔
Shimok doesn't really seek-out anyone, and Chief Kang is one of the few people he trusts and does seek-out. I think he doesn't put it past Chief Kang to veer off the right path, but that talk was a bit of blow to him. We can see he's desperately hoping there won't be another Lee Changjun.

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man hes so emo nowadays and im like tin man feels....so i feel......... ;-;

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I want Dong-Jae alive. I always knew i loved him but now i know i really love him. I was hoping his wife loved him too. It'd all be too pathetic if his wife didn't love him. He better not return with any brain damage.
I do love the prosecutors though. All of them. They all have interesting personalities, shady and crooked though they be. They do their jobs for the most part and serve the community...except when money and payback and back-washing is involved. No women prosecutors in the office? Is the female assistant who works with Dong-Jae a prosecutor? She seems awfully sketchy. Is she there to give us info on his work or could she be a suspect? I don't think he was cheating with her, but maybe she has a crush on him. Thanks for the recap.

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Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

Yes, she's a prosecutor and currently under Dong-jae's, I think. You could say, she has the same position with Eun-soo in S1.

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I keep wondering which woman our protag might fall for. So far, we have three possibilities. Well, there's also the possibility of none but that wouldn't be kdrama to have no love affair. Maybe it'll be this woman. We shall see.

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I don't think Shi-mok will have a love line. There was something with Eun-soo but that was because we saw it in her perspective that seemed like he was interested. There was something in the next episode though but I wouldn't call it the start of a love line xD or maybe I just don't see him interested in those.

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yes, we don't see his heart. And he doesn't see his heart. He only realized he liked her or that she liked him or maybe both when he had those memories after she died. And we know his love for her (as a friend or as a potential love object) when he fell down in the hallway. Remember when Dong-jae reminded him of a time they shared together and Shi-mok didn't remember it? I suspect these two are good friends, even if one doesn't know it and the other wouldn't acknowledge it. Shi-mok's pain after the other prosecutor challenged his lack of vehemence and his question "Why?" implies our hero probably has a great affection for our little sleazy prosecutor ...who better not be dead.

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@scifiwritir I think if someone I’ve worked with even mentored suddenly dies, I’d collapse too, esp after knowing that she tried to contact me and I brushed it off because it started getting annoying. Personally, I don’t think Shi-mok saw Eun-soo as a love interest. Yes, he was protective in his own ways but not in a love-interest sort but more on him as a sunbae that knows his junior could get into trouble if she starts digging around. And that’s probably how he feels with Dong-jae now. A colleague, who he has worked with for years and was even a mentor at one point. And DJ better be alive because who will bring out those hilarious expressions from SM other than him??

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I recently resaw some of the old episodes. He liked Eun Soo, but he didn't know he liked her. That's the issue with alexithymia. They feel emotions but they don't know they feel emotions. So, definitely, ouri prosecutor didn't see Eun Soo as a love interest. He was unable to see that. But his brain loved her anyway. My opinion, anyway.

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Shi-mok and Yeo-jin working together is lighting up my screen.The way they finish each other sentence 😍 I am still in the thick fog but I have them to guide me so i am feeling good.
For some reasons, I can’t seems to hate Choi-bit. I like the conversations between Yeo-jin and her. The way she talked about people who mess with thing that could cost lives don’t deserved the be treated with respect. It reminds me of the speech LCJ gave to Shi-mok about the role of the prosecutors. I have no doubt she has done some unlawful act. Still some of the things she said to Yeo-jin sound a bit like testing Yeo-jin to me.

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I can't hate Choi Bit either. She has his sort of utilitarian morality- she will do her best to maximize the good for a lot of people. Sacrificing 1 to save 10 is morally justifiable.

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I think killing Dongjae is not on the kidnapper agenda. They cover not just his mouth but also his eyes indicating that they don't want him to identify them later or describe the place where he was held. Dongjae never got see his kidnapper from the start which means the crime scene left for the police is fabricated. It match with the absence of the navigation history. Although if there is an accomplice, it's possible the culprit cover Dongjae's eyes to protect his/her identity if things didn't go as planned. But I can't explain how the kidnapper so confident not to accidentally kill him after striking him like that... Umm... playing detective is hard lol

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I feel as as long as you have a system where quid pro quo is being heavily used, all cases are connected - from slap-on-the-hand cases to capital cases.

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Ah! Late to the FoS party. Real life is keeping me from my drama watching. This episode saw a shift in tone with our duo being active and doing what they do best - investigating and being thorns in their superiors behinds.

I still sense a hesitancy in our lead characters actions as if they are not sure if they are allowed to do what they want to do. Their positions in the Supreme Prosecutors Office and the Police HQ respectively removes them from the direct action and it was reflected in their demeanor as if they are rusty. Of course once they started they were in their element.

It was difficult to watch the final scene as it was a lot more violent than I was expecting. I still have hope for DongJae’s survival but a very slim one. As to who is behind all of this, I’m completely in the dark.

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When season 1 came out, I was not in the mood for a drama like this so I did not watch but I definitely noticed the hype. So, when they announced season 2, I watched S1 and boy, it was worth every hype. I was so engrossed that I finished the whole season in 2 days. I loved every single character and was so excited for S2.

This may not be a popular opinion but I really feel very disappointed by this season. Everything feels convoluted and not at all compelling. Sure, there is a big political fight about investigative rights or what not. But I am not sure as a viewer, why I should care.

I need someone to care for and root for. Our main leads are just investigators and have no skin in the game. Give me a definite villain or something.

I will keep watching because I like these characters/actors but I feel bad for the writing.

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Apart from the most greedy and corrupt in the top echelon, there is deliberately no definite villain among the lead characters, as demonstrated by LCJ’s character in S1.

And S2 follow the same route in what we have seen in Choi and Tae. Looking back, the fog on ep 1 is the most metaphorical I’ve seen in recent years. People are layered with self-conflicting beliefs and behaviour with some justifiable rationale.

I think this is the world that writer LSY wants to portray - close to the real world. And if you watch her second drama, Life, the murkiness is even stronger.

Apart from SM, YJ and our weasel-in-residence, I care a lot about the other two female leads - CB and LYJ. I cant help but think they have to behave the way they did to survive and come out on top.

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In S2, while Choi was not definite villain, it was very clearly implied very early that there is infact a villain - because people were getting murdered, they were all connected and there was a mystery to solve.

The complexity every episode added was quite compelling.

Perhaps what I am missing in this season is that driving force. Like, what is propelling this plot and why should we care. That part feels missing currently.

But, in the short term, I need Dongjae alive and back. So, I guess, I will wait for them to show some urgency to find the dude.

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i hated the evolution in life. but i think here that murkiness really works bc that's how i feel about the law. the villain is the false sense of protection. i love it ! i like the female leads but i would never respect them and i think the writing cinches that tbh.

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i love...this...show....

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without a season 1 there would be no season 2 so i feel no ill will between the vast differences but also similarities. in fact i am really grateful. it may not be the same for a rewatch and seem disconnected but i think i will be in for a shock at the end. and a good one. i'm just pleased, bc s2 really gives us a look into these people and their livelihoods that we wouldnt know without s1. it is genuinely a continuation instead of a renewal or anthology type thing. pretty great imo

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“And it better include an alive Dong Jae”.

Very well said! I kind of really disliked his character in season 1, because arrrrghh, he was just too much.
But with the death of his mentor, he’s become a bit like able, especially his banter with Si mok. So, writer-nim better let him be alive, because I’m all for the bromance between those two

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