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Forest of Secrets 2: Episode 8

The search for our missing prosecutor ramps up, but clues are still scarce. The list of suspects seems to grow rather than shrink, and there’s no shortage of cases that could prove relevant to the kidnapping, making progress frustratingly slow. Although our lead is as stoic as ever, the investigation is taking a toll on him as his colleague’s chances of survival get slimmer by the day.

 
EPISODE 8

Yeo-jin drops Shi-mok back at his car and reassures him that Dong-jae will be okay – having two colleagues die like this isn’t a thing that happens. As she drives away, she watches Shi-mok stand there, staring at the bloodstain on the asphalt.

On the phone, Chief Choi can’t believe Yeo-jin took a prosecutor along with her to see the ex-chief. Yeo-jin says it was to keep an eye on the prosecution, but Chief Choi accuses her of just wanting some quality time with Shi-mok. Ha.

Yeo-jin whines at her for suspecting there’s something going on between them. She assures Chief Choi that the ex-chief’s alibi was solid; he worked until 11 P.M. that night. As an afterthought, she mentions that Dong-jae had been asking around about Chief Choi.

Chief Choi goes still and takes a second to compose herself as Yeo-jin continues that he visited the Tongyeong case victims. She’ll let her know more after talking to them the next day. Once they hang up, Chief Choi stands lost in thought until her daughter calls to her.

While filling out a report, Shi-mok recalls Chief Choi complaining about how difficult it is for police to get a warrant. Sa-hyun is surprised to see Shi-mok there so late, but he guesses he wouldn’t be able to get much done at the dorms.

He shares that he and Chang-joon were roommates in one of those dorms in their early years. Over a decade later, he heard that Chang-joon committed suicide. Since Shi-mok has worked with Dong-jae, he’ll be the most determined to find him. But it was hard for Sa-hyun to deal with Chang-joon’s death even after not seeing him for 13 years.

Sa-hyun cautions that suppressing emotions isn’t always for the best and encourages Shi-mok to tell Tae-ha if this is too hard for him to handle. (That’s surprisingly thoughtful.) Shi-mok says he’s fine and asks if Sa-hyun thinks Tae-ha would get someone to dig up dirt on Chief Choi.

Sa-hyun remarks that the commissioner general was arrested during the last investigative authority fight, and this time, the director of the Intelligence Bureau was arrested. Tae-ha would definitely try to get dirt on Chief Choi.

Shi-mok brings up the possibility of planting false information. Sa-hyun asserts that the police make things up too. Chief Choi is now overseeing the whole Intelligence Bureau, so they need to be prepared. Sa-hyun finds it odd that Shi-mok is asking him about this rather than searching like crazy for Dong-jae.

After he leaves, Shi-mok gets one of his attacks. He grabs his head in pain and barely manages to stay conscious as he stumbles over to the window. He pushes it open and gasps for air, wondering, “Why?”

The following day, Shi-mok makes a trip to Hanjo. While he waits, he peruses a list of cases Dong-jae decided to indict. Yeo-jin lets him in her office, and he explains he’s investigating Dong-jae’s disappearance. There are several calls and texts to and from Hanjo in Dong-jae’s phone’s history.

A week ago, they exchange five calls in a day. Shi-mok outright asks if she kidnapped him. If not, don’t waste his time – it’s already been two days since Dong-jae went missing. Yeon-jae honestly admits that she had Dong-jae look into her father’s condition as a personal favor.

When Shi-mok asks why she called him the day he went missing, her assistant enters and explains he was the one who contacted Dong-jae without Yeon-jae’s knowledge. He’d asked Dong-jae to get them intel on the Eastern Prosecution Office (Chief Prosecutor Kang’s district) that’s been after them about their tax lawsuit.

He clarifies the intel was for “reference” not blackmail, and he hasn’t received anything yet. On that last phone call, Dong-jae told him he needed more time. Shi-mok looks suspiciously between Yeon-jae and her assistant.

Her assistant states he didn’t meet Dong-jae in person that day and is willing to provide evidence of his alibi. Before Shi-mok leaves, Yeon-jae asks him to find Dong-jae so she can fulfill her promise to treat him to a meal.

Once he leaves, Yeon-jae berates her assistant for turning Dong-jae into a traitor to his colleagues after he, Shi-mok, and Chief Prosecutor Kang went through everything together back then. And that lie is probably worthless with Shi-mok on the case. Her assistant thinks Shi-mok understood him, but Yeon-jae muses that Chang-joon wouldn’t have left everything to him if he were that kind of person.

Shi-mok thinks of the assistant’s claim and recalls Dong-jae telling him they should visit Chief Prosecutor Kang together. He gets a call from the office telling him the warrant he requested was denied. Tae-ha grabs the phone in alarm when he hears Shi-mok stopped by Hanjo.

Sa-hyun clocks his odd reaction and speculates that maybe Dong-jae was merely greeting his senior’s wife – he heard he and Chang-joon were close. Sa-hyun notes that Shi-mok has his work cut out for him, meeting with Hanjo and the National Police Agency. Tae-ha is confused what the National Police Agency has to do with anything and again looks alarmed when Sa-hyun says he thought Dong-jae was looking into Chief Choi for him.

At Yongsan, Gun interviews Dong-jae’s wife. She anxiously fidgets and asks in a shaky voice if a public investigation means her kids’ info will be exposed. She knows about the 48-hour “golden time” principle, but Gun assures her that’s just the average. He gets her to consent to a public investigation.

When he steps out, Shi-mok enters. He asks how long they’ve been living apart; it’s too far for Dong-jae to commute daily. She explains that Dong-jae sleeps in the night duty room at his office when he works late.

Gun comes back in as Shi-mok says Dong-jae told him he doesn’t see his kids much. She gets defensive and tells him not to make assumptions about their marriage. Pressing on, Shi-mok asks when she last saw Dong-jae, making her even more defensive.

Why isn’t the kidnapper asking for a ransom? Who was she texting? Dong-jae’s wife angrily shoves her phone at him and says she was texting her mom. He then asks if she’s having an affair. Outraged, she snaps that they should be looking into what Dong-jae’s been up to instead. Her lip trembles like she’s about to cry as Gun asks what that means.

As Team Leader Choi briefs the officers and begins handing out assignments, two officers from the National Police Agency show up with Yeo-jin. All the Yongsan cops are happy to see her, but when the Agency announces they’re putting Yeo-jin in charge, Team Leader Choi’s face falls.

Things are awkward as Yeo-jin divides them into two teams and asks Team Leader Choi to lead the team that will retrace Dong-jae’s steps. She then announces the second team will investigate Segok Station with her and puts up a picture of Ki-hyun.

Shi-mok walks in, and everyone is less than enthused. The cops start grumbling about how they don’t usually register adult males as missing so fast and suggest Dong-jae might’ve just run away. Shi-mok points out that Dong-jae worked hard to make connections with the Supreme Office and went missing right before a meeting with Tae-ha.

Gun pipes up that he could’ve orchestrated it for the attention – everyone knows what Dong-jae is like. (Hey, now!) He comments that he was relieved when Dong-jae was transferred, but now he even accused a cop of murder and took off. Shi-mok takes issue with that wording.

Yeo-jin orders them to do their jobs and stop judging. Soon-chang suggests they get Dong-jae’s wife to make a video calling for witnesses to step forward. Yeo-jin okays it so long as she agrees.

After telling Team Leader Choi about meeting with Yeon-jae, Shi-mok asks Yeo-jin about Soo-hang. She explains he’s coming to meet her at the station. Yeo-jin is frustrated she’s not doing more. She’d rather be out there looking for Dong-jae herself.

Shi-mok notes that’s what a field officer would feel. Yeo-jin looks up at him in surprise. Did she not want to be in administration? She looks away without responding.

Whether or not Ki-hyun was murdered, investigating the officers helps narrow down their suspects. How else will they convince them that Dong-jae has really been missing for three days? Yeo-jin asks who needs convincing, but Shi-mok just says he’s heading to meet Joong-gi. She double-checks that he brought his car and laughs when he says he won’t take a cab all the way to Dong-jae’s office.

Meanwhile, Gun meets with Soo-hang’s employer who describes Soo-hang as a hard worker who volunteers frequently and is liked by the elders. At Yongsan, Soo-hang is like a different person, demure and cooperative.

On the day of Dong-jae’s kidnapping, he was at the public bath. He seems to work for a care facility, and the residents go as a group twice a month. Soo-hang cries as he expresses regret for how he treated Ki-hyun back then, saying even Joong-gi told him to lay off.

Shi-mok sits in on Joong-gi’s interview where he again says they tried to help Ki-hyun. Shi-mok notices his nervous hand movements as the prosecutor asks him when he last saw Dong-jae and where he was the day he disappeared.

Joong-gi asserts he went straight home after work and starts getting angry when she refers to him as a suspect. Why would he hurt Dong-jae when he wasn’t a part of the bribery? Shi-mok wonders if Joong-gi thought he should sacrifice Ki-hyun for the sake of his team.

Soo-hang claims to have gotten all religious and repentant in jail, but Yeo-jin isn’t buying it. She proposes his uncle warned him after they met. Soo-hang even got a lesser sentence due to his uncle’s influence, so it doesn’t make sense that they aren’t in touch anymore.

Shi-mok also accuses Joong-gi of lying, as evidenced by his constant fiddling with his fingers and rubbing his nose. When Soo-hang and Joong-gi leave, officers tail them in hopes that they could lead them to Dong-jae.

Outside, the prosecutor asks if Shi-mok took a particular law class; he quoted from Crime and Punishment earlier, like that professor does. Shi-mok says he did take that class and stares at her oddly.

Dong-jae’s wife records a plea for people to come forward with information. They include a photo from CCTV footage on the day of his disappearance. Yeon-jae watches the video in her office and fiddles with her collar anxiously. She heads out, instructing her assistant to stay behind.

He’s not happy with that arrangement, so he secretly follows her. It looks like she’s meeting with judge-turned-lawyer Joo-seon at a house.

Elsewhere, Tae-ha and Chief Choi meet. She asks what Dong-jae dug up on her, but Tae-ha claims he didn’t order him or anyone to find dirt on her. He wouldn’t have told her about the Park Kwang-soo case (the former chief prosecutor who died) if that had been his plan. Oooh.

Shouldn’t she be trying to find out who told Dong-jae she covered it up and what else they told him? She already went through Dong-jae’s call records and found the snitch. The officer claims he only said that she pressured him to close the case quickly. Tae-ha guesses he said more but doesn’t want to own up to it.

Chief Choi says he can ask Dong-jae when he finds him, although she thinks he’s probably already dead. She steps out to take a call from Yeo-jin, and we see Joo-seon sitting nearby. In a flashback, Yeon-jae orders him to find out about Chief Choi’s relationship with Kwang-soo. She dangles the idea of him starting his own firm with Hanjo as an exclusive client.

Joo-seon ponders how to get that kind of information about Chief Choi when he doesn’t know her. Off to a great start, he doesn’t even notice as she passes right by him. At their private table, Tae-ha shares that Dong-jae went to Hanjo. Chief Choi is worried about how much Dong-jae knows, but Tae-ha is sure Hanjo won’t talk.

Chief Choi wonders if Hanjo could have kidnapped Dong-jae. She claims she’d never have been so flashy had she been the culprit. Chief Choi knows Tae-ha suspects her, but Tae-ha is aware she also suspects him. The case they both thought was closed forever was brought back, and now Dong-jae is missing.

They each insist it wasn’t them, and Chief Choi observes that if one of them goes down, so does the other. Tae-ha assures her no one will ever know so long as they and Hanjo keep quiet. But if Hanjo did kidnap Dong-jae, keeping quiet means they’ll never find him, Tae-ha observes heavily.

Chief Choi points out he just told a cop, and he laughs she hasn’t changed. She’s still shouldering everything, including his guilt, just like before.

In a dark room, someone watches the video of Dong-jae’s wife. They start to leave the comment, “Because of people like you who have no conscience …” but delete it without posting.

The next day, Joo-seon meets with Director Kim of the Intelligence Bureau in prison and offers to represent him. He says “higher ups” feel bad and sent him. Since this is unofficial, though, it should stay between them.

Director Kim agrees, so Joo-seon asks if any of his colleagues knew he was hiring people to write comments. Director Kim says there’s someone. Chief Choi gets a call from Director Kim, telling her his lawyer will come to meet her.

While Yeo-jin reports on the meetings with the Tongyeong victims’ family and Soo-hang, she spots a note with Joo-seon’s name on Chief Choi’s desk. As she walks out, she almost runs into the man himself and tries to recall where she’s heard his name.

Joo-seon and Chief Choi sit to talk, and he asks if she was stationed in Namyangju when Director Kim was supposedly leaking intel. He’s relieved to hear she wasn’t – she was in her current position. Joo-seon goes on about Namyangju bringing back bad memories since his friend died in an accident. Pfft, this is his strategy?

Yeo-jin remembers Joo-seon now and calls Chief Choi to let her know he was the one on the Tongyeong case. Chief Choi hangs up and asks Joo-seon to get to the point, much colder now.

Yeo-jin gets a call that sends her running. Yongsan’s phones are ringing off the hook, and we see a published article stating a suspect in the kidnapping is an active police officer. Chief Choi calls Tae-ha to blame him, but he insists it wasn’t his doing. Tae-ha enters the deputy prosecutor general’s office.

At the Supreme Office, Sa-hyun comments that if a police officer really is responsible for what happened to Dong-jae, the investigative authority fight is over. As they sit to eat, Shi-mok gets a call from Yeo-jin and goes flying out the door.

The culprit sent them a message. A new picture is posted on the board for Dong-jae’s case at Yongsan. There’s a piece of a bloody tie with a note that reads, “I will do the dishes. It’s too late now.”

 
COMMENTS

Okay, what is up with Tae-ha and Chief Choi? I didn’t expect them to be in this together. Now I’m super curious about their backstory and how they’re involved in Kwang-soo’s strange death case. Tae-ha is the real question mark here. Dong-jae didn’t appear to know Tae-ha was linked to the case when he brought it to him, so he must not have been officially involved. Tae-ha mentioned Chief Choi bearing his guilt back then, so I’m guessing she handled whatever went down. Their relationship is interesting in that despite being suspicious of each other, they seem to have a sense of comradery. These two have so many secrets that I bet it’s hard to really trust anyone.

We’ve spent so much time on the Segok case that I’d almost forgotten about the Kwang-soo case. I wonder why Yeon-jae has been so interested in Chief Choi lately. From what we’ve heard, Hanjo is at the center of this case, and Yeon-jae knows the details, even if she wasn’t leading the company at the time; I honestly can’t remember the exact timeline to know if she was directly involved or not. Either way, I’m not sure why she’d need more info on Chief Choi now. Is she afraid she’ll talk or that she’s vulnerable in some way?

Hanjo is looking even shadier with those lies about Dong-jae. Yeon-jae was honest about her other discussions with Dong-jae, so why hide whatever that last call was about? Add that to her seemingly nervous reaction to Dong-jae’s wife’s video, and it definitely casts her in a more suspicious light. While Yeon-jae may be cold, I don’t see her as a killer or a kidnapper. Her assistant, on the other hand … he’s one shady dude. I doubt he’d do something so severe without her permission, but I’m not putting it past him.

Even Dong-jae’s wife is acting suspicious. I don’t think she did anything to him, but she’s got something to hide. She was too defensive, and her anxiety seemed tinged with guilt. Then there’s that shadowy commenter who claims she has “no conscience.” It could just be that she’s having an affair, like Shi-mok threw out there, but this isn’t the time to be keeping secrets.

I’m missing the levity that Dong-jae brings to the proceedings. Without him, everything feels pretty heavy. And poor Shi-mok is even getting his stress neurological pain again. He may think all this doesn’t bother him, but his brain begs to differ, just like when he investigated Eun-soo’s death. Shi-mok may not realize it, but Dong-jae kind of is his friend. I’m glad he has Yeo-jin working the case with him. The other cops have such a grudge against Dong-jae that I’d worry it’d affect the search if Yeo-jin weren’t in charge. Hopefully, this message from the kidnapper will stop them from questioning whether it’s a serious case or not. I’m still holding out hope Dong-jae is alive since there’s no reason for them to send that message if he’s dead (or so I’m telling myself). The kidnappers obviously have a goal, but they’re taking their time making it known. Sending that message to the police suggests they want this to be public, so I have a feeling things will be intensifying soon.

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Yikes! What the heck does" I will do the dishes. It's too late now", mean? The kidnapper is cleaning up a mess? The waters are sure getting muddier. Poor Shi-mok, is he starting to lose it?

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Someone pointed out that Netflix’s translation was not accurate. The correct one should be
“What I did was wash the dishes” —-> should be past tense.
“Too late” ——> no subject here. It could mean he/she is to late or you are too late.

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thank you! i think it conveys the same thing but since there is a different do people know if in that instance the present/past tense matters? (i did = already done, i will do = going to but the too late implies it will be done at some point so would the syntax matter? bc everything in this effin show matters!!)

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Honestly, so often watching K-Dramas, I wonder how much of my understanding of plot is hampered by my inability to speak Korean. Because so much speech is idiomatic, and Netflix sometimes does a meh job of translating...this is too complex to be missing anything.

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Another thing I noticed was at the end of Ep 7. When Shi-mok received the call from Pros. Kang to meet him at night, you could hear Shi-mok's roommate washing the dishes outside his door. While I don't think the two are related, I love how the show foreshadowed the culprit's message with that seemly minor detail

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woah.....#galaxybrain

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I think the saddest thing about this eps is knowing that Shi-mok never even realized that he has became friends with Dong-jae until he felt his head splitting with the stress, anger, sadness, helplessness, and I don't know what else because of the kidnapping. And probably not even after his spectular headache he fully understood that Dong-jae is one of the important people in his life nowadays. (Though from Yeo-jin's worried glances, at least she has guessed the truth.)

If someone suggested that Shi-mok could be good friends with Dong-jae last season, I would laughed myself to death. Dong-jae was too much of an annoying weasel at the time and Shi-mok has more people close to him who could understand his lack of (expressed) emotion. But in this season, he has no one. He couldn't even met with Yeo-jin all that often. And everyone else in his vicinity expected him to react "normally", with judgmental stares that would feel uncomfortable even for him. Then there's Dong-jae who has mellowed down a bit, and while he is just as weaselly and annoying as ever, they knew each other and he didn't even bat an eyelash when Shi-mok reacted a bit peculiarly. And I guess it must be some sort of comfort for him. Which is why I hope with all my being that Dong-jae is going to be okay.

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I agree so much with your comment!
I think its because of their differences they are able to mesh well together.

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The way you described Dong Jae here... makes me wish harder that he will be okay. 😭 The show did a good job of tweaking SDJ's character this season that we're all attached to him now. Heck even HSM's attached to him now, too. Be safe our weasel!!!

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I think Dong Jae like Eun Soo is a colleague to Shi Mok, not a friend. Only Yeo Jin imo can be characterised as his friend. Ofcourse one can be as disturbed by a kidnapping of a colleague as by a kidnapping of a friend. Like Sa Hyun said, even though he hadn't seen or contacted Lee Sunbae in 13 years, he was still very shook by his death.

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i do agree with this. i was gonna say important person isn't really a friend but i didn't want to discredit anyone. also there's diff types of rships.

lmao what sahyun said fucked me up tbh

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didn't even think of that. i was like why is this bitch dying rn lmao. wow the human mind!

what i like about this season is that his circle has expanded it just seems as if things are falling apart for everyone and that's because of the collapse from s1. i think that's why KWC fucked him up, too. it's clear these particular set of people respect him, admire him, in their own ways want to protect him. two years of isolation and them still dealing with this massive trauma has given them such a hit. i don't know if i hope that he's okay (for the d-r-a-m-a) but i think that this is a perfect timing for us as viewers and emotionally for him to just vanish. this also becomes something he can't make sense of. i havent thought of this too much but maybe i underestimate our confusion as viewers is just as much as theirs (hsm, hyj—reliable outsiders) since they are mostly reliable narrators...we know what they know and it's almost empty.

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"Shi-mok says he did take that class and stares at her oddly."

When that happened, my wife grabbed my arm and near-shouted "That's definitely non-prosecutorial interest!" But my thought is that the show is way too committed to Shi-mok being asexual in a "I wouldn't where to start understanding this sh*t" kind of way.

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*I wouldn't know where*

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Definitely same on Shimok being aromantic and asexual here

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Someone pointed out in social media that Shimok stares at her because she knows they graduated from the same school without ever asking him. As if she did a background check on Shimok. But then again, isn't almost all prosecutor SNU graduates? Seo Dongjae is an outlier for not graduated from there.
I myself don't know what to take from that scene..

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I see two options.
She unintentionally made a mistake that we are not aware of but that he is or
She reminds him of Eun-soo

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Oh! Then I vote for the first one.

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I was yelling, "she said something wrong" - Shimok's looking suspiciously at her. No romantic interest - uff - no - that's not Shimok.
Specifically, I thought maybe the teacher might have retired before her time, so he's wondering how she knows, or something like that.

Eun-soo redux did not cross my mind. That's a slim(mer) possibility too.

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Like you, I immediately assumed that was SM's suspicious face. Romantic interest didn't even occur to me till I read this thread. I thought the reference to the teacher might signify something like Min-ha being closer to Dong-jae than she'd claimed.

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She has been an interesting study to him, the way she was relieved that they didn’t have to investigate the disappearance, or that she was over eager. She does remind me of Eun Soo though.

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I thought she'd correctly deduced from SM's allusion to Crime and Punishment that they'd both been taught by the same teacher. But I guess the way she phrased it sounded like she was already presupposing that they'd gone to the same school: i.e. not "Were you in so-and-so's class at SNU?", but "did you take so-and-so's class in your first year".

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She's demonstrating how observant she is, and she's also making the usual connections that are so common between the elite prosecutors.
It could go in many different ways:
-she's unusually bright and helpful
-she's trying to make an alliance with him, for her own sake or for Dong jae's sake, or because she is ambitious
-she's more than professionally involved with Dong jae
-she's more than professionally interested in Shi-mok
He has noticed her now and seems puzzled. I wonder too if she's unintentionally made a mistake.

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The female prosecutor pinged on my radar because out of all the people involved with Dong-jae, she seems extra worried for him, enough even to badger Shi-mok. Not sure how to take that; were they having an affair, was is a subterfuge when she's actually involved with the kidnapping, or is she just an extra sincere person..?

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re: "That's definitely non-prosecutorial interest!"

That was kind of my first thought too. But not that Shimok is *romantically* interested. More like that's what the show wants us to think, they're planting that thought in our minds.

Something about her (what she said?) drew his attention. Is he impressed that she caught his reference? Is he suspicious that she keeps trying to relate to him?
I for one did find how the camera just lingered on her in ep.7 a bit shady (reminiscent of Mr. Yoon in s1).

I don't know what to make of that look yet

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I AM GONNA REWATCH THE PART AND SHE IS SHADY TBQH BUT THEYRE BEING MORE OVERT why am i yelling lmao

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i want to know. what's in the war and peace statement itself and what is her issue (also our first introduction to her was sdj waving in the hallway.) i have to rewatch.

re: hsm's sexuality ugh this topic is so fascinating for me. half of this is my annoying Female Feminist Mind but he has "urges" as men are supposed to have so to speak (vom) but just like his other emotions they're locked up. in s1 with jeongbun looking at skirts (i get it but ew and it was there purposefully) people are confused at HIM for not engaging in it (do you like sports, do you have a gf) these are all passive things he does but it doesn't mean he doesn't understand sexuality. he's so similar to lcj in so many ways but they show it so differently ("fastidious to the point of people questioning my sexuality") and at the end of the day even with his sexuality repressed or in the back of his mind or simply not important he still has the capacity to a) feel it and b) subjugate women

(encounter with eun soo @ his apartment "you came to a man's house this late" one of my fav scenes)

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Time to list our suspects:

- Woo and Choi
-Hanjo including Mr. Secretary
-Segok shady police + ex-chief big guy
-Wife
-college student from ep1
- delinquent HS
-DJ's hoobae
-police officer driver that got abused

Who else is missing?

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Everyone except Yeo-jin and Shi-mok.
Or rather I suspect most of them are guilty of something, if not necessarily the kidnapping.

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Yes I agree! Everyone is suspicious. Except poor Yeojin and Simok.

And maybe the Yongsan guys. I hope they are less shady this time around.

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all these bitches catchin a charge

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Can I add another one to your long list of suspects? ;)
I wrote about this suspect in Soompi forum. I joined all kinds of forums just to discuss about this drama!
In episode 4, they mentioned an unknown female prosecutor who talked to a radio about being ordered to remove some evidence when she was handling a case of an Assemblyman. She was then demoted from Seoul to Taeyoung where Shi-mok used to work. They only show the back of this prosecutor, no name but giving a fair bit of details about the case. It must be important.
The hand under the hoodie looks quite feminine. And the message sounds like someone who thinks she is wronged by the system or suffered from injustice. I think she fits some criteria to be put on the list.
I also think there are at least two people involved in the kidnapping.

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Oh you're bringing her back. She does fit the criteria especially the m.o. of DJ's disappearance. And the desire to unravel the corruption within the agency.

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Ooooh!!! I like where you're going with this. I was thinking the same thing after the necktie message. If the culprit wants to shut DJ up for weaseling around a "closed case", it'd be easier to just kill him off and be done with it already.

But since DJ was kept alive, and the culprit making a fuss about giving the police hints about the abduction with that necktie... I thought there must be a different motive here. Maybe DJ's abduction is more similar to Kwon Min-A / Kim Ga-Young's case in S1 where it was intended to bring to surface information she has direct knowledge of? A way to attain poetic justice of some sort from whatever the culprit suffered from those involved?? Let's see..

(I'm loving the intelligent theories down here in the comment box!!)

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i think it is the prosecutor in the show at least that's what i deduced because of the back shots and also because of the first time we meet her which is when sdj waves at her, she walks, then looks back at him

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The maid at Lee Yeon-beom's residence? Just because she's scary...

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She could be an accomplice if it was done by Hanjo xD

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Yess..She was just INTENSE staring at SDJ's retreating back after his failed attempt to sneak into the Lee household. She seemed to have too strong a screen presence to be just brought on for those few scenes? Andd the hands typing the comments did seem feminine so I've been listing all the ladies in the show apart from YJ.
That person seemed triggered by the way DJ was being described and the tone of the deleted comment suggests they are aware of DJ's shady nature but is also grouping him to a collective that they seem to despise ..Is it the league of shady prosecutors? the police? I had initially thought if it was DJ's wife drawing ire but they did use the plural form in the comment 🤷

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“Because of people like you who have no conscience … about digging my trash cans!" ><

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Lol...now that's a vigilante I can get behind 😂
I was thinking more in lines of her being a spy and a plant in the Lee household but your take is definitely superior

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The trigger I felt was Shimok losing someone he was protecting: Sahyun's leadup about having known Changjoon before makes me crave a domestic AU with Shimok navigating his four dads but we will shelve that in favor of mentioning that Sahyun most likely triggered the episode by mentioning that he wasn't able to see Changjoon in his final moments

As for the message: Dongjae was a distant and largely absent father due to being forced to move constantly. It could be a mockery of what he'd ended up doing with neglecting his family, so yeah, I'm in the vein of this being someone who knew his family doing this. Then again, octopus Dongjae with all his fingers in the plot pies has offended nearly everyone opening his weaselly mouth, so who knows?

I'm thirdly also on the "Hangjo (or Yeonjae's side) wasn't involved" train. Yeonjae seemed very taken by Dongjae's help, and it makes no narrative sense for her to harm one of her husband's proteges, considering she let Shimok in without incident despite having made an open declaration of war to him 2 years ago. What I DO subscribe to, though, is Sungjae being involved in this and trying to pin it on Hangjo itself :P

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Sungjae Sungjae Sungjae!! Top of my list for now. Somehow he's involved. For sure.

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dongjae was also a cheater lol i mean he fucked up so badly and given what happened in season oneeeee but im like why would they wait that long after kim ga young

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but again this is something to do with the treatment of women. their rship isn't broken just because of moving it's because of the demands he gives in to and the power he exerts. he's haughty, insecure, privileged, but lost everything. so he's already suffering—why now? if it was a family member or friend why now

remembering season 1 of him at the bar with the bar woman and the fear gayoung faced; if they didn't condemn him them (even though they "kept it secret" but i doubt it) then why the wait? i think the timing is imperative.

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Yeah that case from S1 coming back to bite him: like I said, Dongjae's in the hotseat so this happened to be convenient, it's just an afterthought lol

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True, SDJ is one thing that connects everything in the plot lol. I am sad it is SDJ but the writer chose the best person to be sacrificed.

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So many great moments in this episode, up to and including Kim Sa-hyun's unexpectedly empathetic moment with Shi-mok and Sketchy Secretary's unintentionally hilarious, "I think he got the message".
NARRATOR: He did not get the message.

But I have to posit the theory that in Choi Bit and Tae-ha what we're seeing, surprisingly, is a kind of Yeo-jin and Shi-mok relationship. A buddy-cop partnership, longstanding. But I haven't decided if it's a dark mirror or a 'there but for the grace of God' situation. But certainly I could easily imagine Shi-mok in a decade telling Yeo-jin that she shoulders everything, including his guilt. She already shoulders most of his emotions because she's the only one that recognises that he has them.

No wonder Choi Bit and Yeo-jin have a connection if on some level they recognise kindred spirits.

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Agree on CB and WTH. The same thought has crossed my mind since the early episodes, when they picked up the phone to call each other fairly easily and often. In this business, you will always make friends / frenemies on the other side, some you will trust more than others.

Although if CB recognizes a kindred spirit, she wouldn't rag Yeo-jin about her meeting Shimok. She got too personal there, I thought.

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she's also annoying (cb) so. i srsly took that as a "this woman has at least kissed woo tae ha" cue when she asked her that lmao

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It has become clear what the writer said about creating Shimok-Yeojin being one axis and Chobit-Taeha being another axis. One is built on trust and honesty, another is carrying mistrust and suspicion despite their connection or possibly friendship in the past.

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At the moment I can't see Yeo-jin shouldering anyone's guilt. Even if it were Shi-mok, I think she'd prefer everything to be open and above-board. But in view of Choi Bit's ominous remark about YJ never having been dragged into things, it's not impossible that some unimaginable crisis, something with astronomically high stakes, might force YJ to do something against her conscience, close her heart and transform into another CB. In fact the more passionate and open-hearted she is now, the more likely she is to run headlong into difficult situations that might change her irrevocably. Perhaps CB was like YJ in her younger days too.

Shi-mok is another matter entirely. I simply cannot see him letting anyone shoulder his guilt, ever. In fact, he seems literally physically incapable of compromising: to me, the recurrence of his headaches is less about Dong-jae than it is about the stress of constantly being reminded to "do as he's told", "stop bothering others", etc, especially in relation to the dirt-digging part of the council work, which must be anathema to him. In short, I think it'd be mainly down to SM that his professional relationship with YJ is more likely to end than to go the way of the CB-WTH relationship.

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imo the shouldering the guilt thing is just another consequence of womanhood in these situations. all of them have a lot to bear, whether they are right or wrong, they still have the mistakes on their back. i think it's truly commenting on them just existing and doing what "must be done." the sad part is, just like with young jae, there's no freedom from that and you kind of made your own mistakes. it's nice that people are compassionate to see it, or there for you, or something, but she's also active in these choices (so we feel bad at the pressure but also like gorl...)

but i think that hyj is too old (not in a bad way) for this huge shift to happen in her life. not because it is impossible but because age and their abilities play a strong part...

there's the junior / senior dichotomy but the seniors are constantly fucking up by deluding themselves or getting mixed up in the wrong thing. and there's the concept of their intellect and emotional life. hyj and hsm are still people who i think will become fortified after being put through the ringer (ESPECIALLY after witnessing lcj's suicide and death which is clearly still massively traumatic) because they have to in order to survive and in some way just see a joy in life. corruption doesn't just fall into your lap—choi bit bases it on ambition. when hsm asked her about field work it's clear that's where she wants to be bc that's her belief of a difference and ambition is the last part of it (also shown in s1) that's just truly not her bag and she is so emotional but a full fledged adult and knows that's actually the way she will be.

i disagree about hsm on a micro level: hsm was willing to "compromise" when it came to park kyung wan and hyj absolutely refused. there was the time where i realized she would always be the one to do what she felt was right for other people. but their first situation (s1) was intense and even if it hurt them, they're still there (unfortunately.) the words of their colleagues and even the older people ring true but they represent a new generation anyway (which is why they talk abt past/present and used tos and yada yada plus the evolving legislation)

i think the show makes it a point that this is your own decision and that your situation and circumstance greatly affects how you deal but if you get into a mess, you must get yourself out of it and face the consequences. the rest run while they try to mitigate it.

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and i DEFINITELY believe that choi bit wanted to pull the ambition out regardless of what she went through but clearly her ambition gets the best of her. whether because following a man, money, her kid, whatever. but choi bit knew what hyj did to the kim woo gyun, no way she didn't, which is why in the encounter on the 2nd (?) episode with the dude with the horrendous wig did choi bit ask about blowing the whistle.

hyj did that thing she does where she answers the question but allows you to think she's being defiant or teetering. of course she is, somehow, some way constantly asking her "what would you do?" means they are worried. i think part of what i'm learning about the show is hyj's and hsm's desire for a normal life and their own personal freedom. authority is fine but not if it's used to oppress then they feel not only coerced but complicit. but what people tell them that looks like is lack of ambition and their own selfishness (also ambition is mentioned so many times in this show, in s1 that's how yoon beom describes lcj's suicide in a way, and young il jae's existence.)

everyone knows these people just are not going to fall in line. maybe they have a false sense of thinking they will or that they're scared. but as conflicted as hyj was with kim woo gyun she couldn't do it. it doesn't mean she can't look him in the eye it just means that he didn't just make a "mistake" and it meant nothing that he was a police officer to shield him. that's seen as betrayal in these sort of places esp makeshift fraternities but frankly, everyone should just not expect a damn thing from them (hyj and hsm) if they feel they will ever be a part of the problem. in a way it's like...benevolent selfishness lmao

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*except i do think they are part of the problem in a global sense and do not believe in the systems of law and order!!!!!!!!!

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I agree that Yeo-jin is in some ways more steadfast than Choi Bit - partly because she’s not ambitious in a self-interested way, as you said, and partly because she doesn't have the kind of attachments that CB has. The problem is that we don't know when CB developed that scorched earth approach to her work - did it define her response to The Incident That Must Not Be Named, or did it develop as a result of it?

We all hope we’ll do the right thing when it comes to the crunch, and some seem fully equipped to do so, like the Yeo-jin who was willing to expose the colleagues that she loved for abusing Park Kyung-wan, or the Shi-mok who told the truth about LCJ against his wishes and called him a monster. (BTW I don't think SM was compromising when he stopped YJ from reporting her Yongsan colleagues - he just thought it was the wrong method at the wrong time.)

But YJ is human enough to refuse to look at Shi-mok after the first council meeting even though he'd said nothing wrong. And sometimes you might be put in a compromising position by your good intentions, or even by your principles or conscience, e.g. you might believe you're doing what's best for whatever reason, but the best might be a compromise, and/or you might end up concealing something or hurting someone inadvertently. So no matter how steadfast Yeo-jin is at the moment, there's no guarantee that she'll remain untainted by compromise, especially in the hazardous place that is the Forestverse.

I agree that CB and Woo Tae-ha know all about YJ and SM’s joint whistle-blowing past, but that’s what I’ve been wondering about since ep1 - why would you recruit two such people when there so many other eligible candidates? I’m probably reading too much into it, but when CB asks YJ questions like “What would you do?” I don’t think she’s worried about YJ per se. I think she’s warning YJ that the longer she stays in the job, the knottier the situations will become. And even though CB and WTH’s meeting is the result of YJ and SM’s digging, neither of them mentions YJ or SM. What appears to be weighing on their minds, other than their own “ruin”, is the terrible possibility that Dong-jae has become collateral damage.

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Am loving the reveal of Choi Bit - Woo Tae-ha connection and the complications it bring! Already get that they are kinda casually connected, but who would have thought they go so deep together? This also totally changes the dynamic of the Police-Prosecutor Council. Isn't it funny that these two became the lead for the 2 sides of the council? If we can say there's no coincidence, then they must somehow have some plans on which way the council will go.

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I can easily picture Choi Bit was like Yeo Jin when she was young - a top smart cop. She and YTH were likely the great cop-prosecutor combo solving cases after cases, until certain incidents that turned them into the calculative selves today. In the case of Choi who’s now following the dogma a small sacrifice is the justified price for the greater good. Whereas WTH, he’s still a very closed book but yet sometime very transparent in his temper outburst. This pair is a fascinating contrast to SM-YJ.

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That's a great analysis of Bit-Taeha vs. Yeojin-Shimok relationship. There's definitely a parallel there

I wonder if the similarities will be clear to Shimok & Yeojin once they find out that their bosses have a connection, and whether that will make them reflect on their own relationship.

But I agree with @knewbie 's above comment that Shimok isn't one to let anyone shoulder his guilt. He'd view that as being a burden. Which is why he didn't even call Yeojin when he had his attack even though she offered to be his support in exactly that situation.
That's not to mean Yeojin wouldn't take on his emotions anyways, because she is the kind of person who empathizes with people deeply (e.g. Mr Yoon) and she's aware of Shimok's emotions anyways.
I think if she were to shoulder any emotions for him, it would be on her terms and not Shimok's.

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There's something about Choi Bit that keeps me from dismissing her as just some evil character. This episode most especially makes me keep doubting my suspicions of her. I somehow get a feeling that whatever mess she's in is because of pragmatic choices she had to make to maintain her position. And the fact that Yeo Jin gravitates to her all the more makes me want to give her character a chance.

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i love wth and cb and frankly want them to have a past (s*xual :P) but yes i agree. from the beginning you could tell they knew each other in a deep way so i really am expecting something. but they did every single thing with each other in the know which is something i am going to have to look back on.

i think they are both what they are NOT to be (hsm and hyj) but embody the values enough to respect them. also they're fucked up but in their own supremely stupid cop way they believe it's right too.

the guilt line saddened me but it was perfect especially when we find out she has a child and i wonder if she is a single mother. she's always had a lot to burden, yeo jin's selflessness she realizes as a woman doesn't help. but it seems like she takes on the responsibilities to get things done but still succumbs to the weight of being a ~~~**woman~*~* i also like her rship w. director shin, instead of something hostile it mirrors hyj and her yongsan chief in a way

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I agree that Choi Bit's sex is an important part of who she is and what she has done in the story. That this high-ranking, much feared police officer has to drag laundry around at home and is at her child's beck and call is such a telling detail. Woo Tae-ha, Kim Sa-hyun and Dong-jae have mouths to feed and school fees to pay, but they have much more freedom to do their jobs than Choi Bit. Maybe that's why she set her sights on Yeo-jin in spite of YJ's lack of conventional ambition: on top of being highly competent etc, YJ is unattached and utterly independent, and thus has the potential to soar higher than CB.

Also agree about CB's relationship with Shin, and would love to see more of them together. I'm not sure about this, but she seems to be one of the few female characters in K-drama who get along very well with their bosses. Though a lot of us - including Yeo-jin - suspect her of getting the Intelligence Bureau Director banged up for her own benefit, I'm starting to think that she really did it for the sake of the council, and that the banged-up Director gave his full consent. If not, she wouldn't have been so cordial and accommodating with Oh Joo-seon (i.e. before she realised who he really was).

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so well put! for HYJ i think (and i'd like to know ur thoughts) that she also just has a much sunnier outlook on life. i don't think cb would do half the things hyj would do. the convo with yoon se won really pushed her to another level for me. maybe cb thinks her respect and genuine care for others is tenacity. knowing what you need to do to get ahead but mistaking her respect for cb as her wanting to follow her?

omg you hit the nail on the HEADDDD about a rship with their bosses (trying very hard to not take out my red card and be like eff th eboss lmao) but you're so right. and he genuinely respects her and her ideas. i think this is another thing about hierarchy in the show like the oppressive ones are "evil" and the ones who respect are more human which means they do great things but also make mistakes (IE her taking over a case and chief being visibly sad/hurt lmao that would hurt my pride too)

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I have been thinking from the start that CB and WTH have a kindly outlook towards their respective hoobaes. Yes,they shady as hell but they seem to recognise and even admire certain qualities in SM and YJ. There is a definitive tone of masked indulgence esp Choi with YJ in multiple scenes so that episode when she admitted to manoevouring YJ to the political games they have been playing was simultaneously a nod that she valued YJ's obvious skills/potential and an indication that she didn't really get what makes YJ tick.
I hav been super suspicious of WTH bringing SM onboard while CB's preference for YJ seemed based on the talent/attitude she had been seeing since YJ moved to a team under her. I initially thought WTH dragged SM to his team coz he wanted to use his image as a morally upright prosecutor to color public perception. He even admitted those very reasons while talking to SH last episode. But I am still not 💯 sold that was his only reason. It could b that he really did misjudge SM's crusade as ambition for public office but something about the way he's being played makes me hope for more around the decision to bring SM into his circle.
It's safe to say both bosses know their underlings are special but they are ascribing their own ambitions and world view to them and fail to see what makes these two truly special. Or it could also be that they see their younger selves in these two and are subconsciously respectful of the integrity these two have, but are trying to justify their own choices by trying to push the hoobaes to make similar compromising decisions.

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I also think WTH has something planed other than for prosecutor image only. The way he looked pleased when SM confronted him. WTH once told KSH that SM could be a politician and I was thinking no way, anyone but SM. But thinking again he could be a perfect candidate to be in the Legislation and Judiciary Commitee or replace Assemblyman’s Nam, you think so? Someone who is unbiased, intelligent with strong morals and no fear who can withstand pressure from different parties. Just a thought....🤔

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Ooh.. wouldn't that be a great world if the ones in higher office were as impenetrable to corruption as SM is and actually work in service of justice and people....ah we can dream 😅

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I'm in complete denial that Dong-jae has been "finished off", although he did take a severe beating. There's no doubt that he has found out something that warrants his kidnapping.

This week was really complex, totally muddying things:
1. the interwoven interviews with the ex-chief and his nephew, Soo-hang. They seem brazen, totally calculating, and well-prepared.
2. Dong jae's wife is strangely conflicted and cold. Does she think he was having an affair? That would explain her comment about finding out what he was up to.
3. Dong jae's prosecutor colleague is over helpful and familiar, and was she to be seen flirting with Dong jae in the cctv footage?
4. Then there is that confusing conversation between Choi Bit and Woo Tae-ha where they were feeling each other out and acknowledging their mutual indebtedness.
5. Why conclude that if they and Hanjo keep quiet, Dong jae won't be found? Does that mean what Dong jae has stumbled upon something that connects them all?
6. Ex-judge Oh Joo-seon may be doing his own sleuthing. He may not be wholly what Hanjo expect him to be, hence his half-hearted/incompetent shadowing of Choi Bit. Perhaps he wants to delve into the Park Kwang-soo case too.
7. I wonder who, if anyone, has authorised his approach to Director Kim of the Intelligence Bureau.
8. It seems to that at the every least Lee Yeon-jae is displeased with assistant Park and may even suspect him of something more. Suddenly and for the moment, he is out of the loop.

At this stage it all seems to be finding a focus around the case of the prosecutor Park Kwang-soo. We know so little about this case, but it has been mentioned from the very beginning. Was he murdered? if so why? Is his death like a thread that you pull that brings everything else undone?

BTW The conversation between Sa-hyun and Shi-mok was interesting and made Sa-hyun seem more human, with a degree of empathy, although it triggered Shi-mok's attack.

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We need Hwang Shimok's chart. My head hurts lol

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omg not the chart x___x

we rly do lmao

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🤣🤣🤣

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Correction: "interwoven interviews with the ex-chief and his nephew, Soo-hang" I meant Joong-gi and Soo-hang, the two police from when Ki-hyun was murdered, not the ex-chief. Oh dear...

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7. LYJ asked the former judge to represent the director Kim.I think also by doing that to find out more about Choi-bit.
8. She started to suspect Director Park after he walked in and told Shi-mok that he called Dong-jae on the same night. Neither she or Shi-mok believes his reason for making that phone call. Another thing I find it strange, how could he hear Shi-mok's question to LYJ? Even if he eavesdropped from the door, it's impossible to hear their conversation. Did he bug her? SM asked him "how did you know what I asked" and LYJ expression changed immediately. That's why she exclude him from following her to meet Judge Oh.

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I missed both of those moments. Thanks.

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I agree with you that the wife suspected Dong-jae to have an affair. But I personally think he doesn't have time for that seeing how many case he's involved in. Dong-jae does mellow a bit and I want to think he stopped accepting bribes at some point before season 2 starts. Trying to be promoted quickly is not a crime tho, and in that aspect he hasn't changed.

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I agree. I just want him to be discovered and taken to the hospital. It's too cruel to hurt his beautiful face.

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The face that looks waaaay too young for a supposedly 43 years old guy. If they do make season 3 it will be difficult to accept Dong-jae as a 45-46 years old.

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given the culture of working men in sk and his bar affinities he def has had one. he's an annoying man-child who is gross. so he def has hurt her lmao (remember the Phone)

i wish i had more to say about the rest but alas i cannot answer that :'( the kwang-soo case is fuckin me up WHO IS SHE

loved the convo w/ sa hyun and shi mok but it just solidified what an important part he (lcj) played. and it's great writing that he will live on and continue to influence

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5. "Why conclude that if they and Hanjo keep quiet, Dong jae won't be found?" I think that's just one possible scenario, based on the assumption that DJ had been kidnapped by Hanjo because of what he knew about the incident involving Woo Tae-ha, Choi Bit and Hanjo. Since WTH and CB wouldn't talk about the incident, Hanjo's motive for rubbing DJ out would never see light of day, and DJ's disappearance would remain unsolved.

But that's only if Hanjo really did do it, and I don't think they did. I don't think DJ even knows that much about the incident. My own theory is that DJ has been kidnapped for other reasons (either by the Segok crew or - more makjangly - by his wife's lover or his lover's boyfriend or something), but WTH, CB and Yeon-jae collectively having kittens about DJ's kidnapping is going to look very suspicious to Shi-mok and Yeo-jin.

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I don't think it's Hanjo either, but I can't see why the hypothetical wife's lover or lover's boyfriend would go to such violent lengths. It seems excessive. I think it's either the Segok crew or the shadowy Lee Sung-jae. DJ may have found out something about Lee Yun-beom (who may be seriously ailing or even dead). The latter two have more at stake. I'm also still suspicious over the driver's role that he was needed for. What was the point of that? What happened?

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Oops, I'd completely forgotten about Lee Sung-jae and his rubbish bins. I get so easily distracted by new details in each episode!

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Honestly, after that S1 conversation (ep 15?) between our two favourite people, I expected Shimok to call Yeojin and tell her when he had the episode here. I was half disappointed he didn't.

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Well, the fact that Yeojin had to give him social cues to say hi and ask bout Jang Gun’s kids means our dear Simok probably didn’t think about calling Yeojin 😂😂😂

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That crossed my mind too.
But I'm not surprised Shimok didn't call her. He probably didn't see the need to, since he regained control of himself.
He might mention it in passing, but I highly doubt that. He probably doesn't want to alarm her (although I doubt she's react alarmingly), and to him it probably feel like he'd be burdening her.
He's probably make that phone call on his deathbed, as I see it 😂

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omg excuse all the typos!

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Hello fellow Beanies who are a bit (read: a lot!) more perceptive than me: I am not sure if it was in this or the last episode where they played the CCTV-tape showing Dong Jae at the restaurant. Was that woman next to him the female prosecutor who may or may not be hitting on Shi Mok at the moment? And should I be able to understand what that means?

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I thought it was.

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It was her at the restaurant. I don’t think she is hitting on Shimok, more like trying to impress him to me. There is a theory that Dong-jae might have had an affair with her. But we don’t know for sure...

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Hmm, I am curious. Somehow I don't see him having an affair, he seems to be so focused on pursuing his career. Perhaps if that helps him achieve some professional goal... I wonder if I would have suspected him having an affair with her before we were told that he had a wife and children. Season 1 Dong Jae seemd capable of everything to me. Now he is just so hard to pin down.

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I believe the CCTV footage was to plant seeds of doubt about a possible affair in our minds. This comes after we hear his wife insinuate that it's DJs straying ways they should be looking into.
The SDJ in season 2 doesn't seem like the type who'd cheat. He seems worried about the possible deterioration of his marriage and longs to spend more time with his kids. now S1 SDJ though, I won't put adultery past him. Recall his whole episode with the madam of the bar and how he was lording his position of power over her for info. And he got really unpleasant with her if I remember correctly.
Back to the new junior prosecutor and him... Their body language in the CCTV footage seemed to be of a primping senior and a deferential/slightly coy junior. Now I do suspect that she may hav had ulterior motives and anyone with half a brain cell can see that deference and flattery is the way to go if you need SDJ to spill some beans.

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Poor ShiMok getting all stressed out. And
Poor Seo Dong Jae, hopefully they will find him alive soon.

I am not surprised that Woo Tae Ha and Choi Bit are working together. I wonder what they have done in the KwangSoo case. And what other secrets that they are hiding. I also want ro know how this two got together and how far they will go to protect their secrets. Obviously Hanjo is involved since Yeon Jae is also acting suspicious.

I rolled out my eyes when Oh Jun Seo missed seeing Choi Bit was right behind him. If he was only aware of his surroundings then he wouldve been able to catch CB with WTH. It wouldve been a good juicy he couldve shared with Yeon Jae. Plus that maneuvering he did to get an intro to Choi Bit. The man is not wily enough to play the game, I expect that he will get himself in a pickle soon.

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hes the worst kind of person like he has a sense of justice but just loves money too much. reminds me of some1...

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I know right..I was impressed with his wily ways when he was gently goading CP Kang to come out and support YJ in the second episode. But the way he went about gaining CB was pfftt.. I was kind glad he didn't clock CB though. That kind co-incidence would be easy to swallow in a show of lesser caliber. Now if he had tailed her and uncovered the CB-WTH connect, that'd have been interesting.

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Strongly suspect that the culprit is somebody from police side, due to the inside knowledge of "no CCTV nearby" where Dong-jae's car & blood was found, as the Yongsan squad remarked on their investigation.
Really thought they should elaborate more on that particular place, like maybe do a crosscheck of people around Dong-jae who live/work/have a connection to that area. Because if the investigation is based on motive, seems there's too many to choose from!

The person who hit the tied and taped up man (who may or may not be Dong-jae) is not the same with the person in hoodie posting a comment, are they..?

And most importantly, where do I need to sign up for Dong-jae's prayer circle?

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🤣🤣🤣🤣

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The more we move forwards, the more the first episode makes sense. Especially the fog, because trying to pinpoint the suspect(s) is headsplitting. There's the Hanjo x Taeha x Choi Bit triple threat, but everyone else is suspicious too.

SDJ's disappearance is really doing a number on Shimok, and he's starting to realize it. I don't think he's wish death even upon his enemies, but Donjae was his friends of sorts, a colleague and a sunbae. Despite all their differences, they've been through a lot and are fond of each other in the way frenemies are.

Everyone keeps reprimanding Shimok and dictating how he should feel, but he's quite stressed and anxious already; as exemplified by his attack. There was such an urgency and raw panic to it (even more than in season 1) 😔💔
Dongjae better turn out alive, bc I don't know if Shimok can handle another death in his close circle.

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i cant wait til we get to like ep 12 and to do a collective rewatch lmao i dont want it to end but we need to Know

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Now when I saw SM having his first panic attack of the season, I thought it was brought on coz SH kept going on an on about LCJ's death and that might have triggered the unfortunate incident again in SM's psyche. I also did think how he had his last big attack after EunSoo's death in S2 and wondered if he also suddenly imagined SDJ to eventually come to a similar horrifying end. But reading the comments over here, it also makes sense it was also triggered by his subsumed worry over SDJ.

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I think it was all those things. SDJ had just disappeared and everyone was on his case about how he should behave, while also constantly reminding him of LCJ and Eun-soo.

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I wish Dong Jae is alive but I have a foreshadowing that it might not end up well. His ambition ended in this situation.

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I've just had this overwhelming, exhausting feeling from the very beginning of the show. Like a pressure in my chest. The feeling I'm walking in the middle of the fog not knowing where I'm going.
I "blamed" it (blame it in the good sense) to the writer, because this drama is written beautifully, but I was just rewatching some scenes and suddenly I recognize the feeling.

Because I had the same feeling, that frustration of being lost and of having my beloved characters drawn from one side to the other. It was in Just Dance, so I recognize director's signature here. I remember having this desperate feeling while watching Just Dance: let these girls breathe, give them a break, they need air, they want to make the world a better place!! Let them!!

Let ShiMok and YeoJin breathe, let them take a break, let them make the world a better place (and let them find Dong Jae alive, please!).

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That's a great point about the similarities between the tone of this piece and Just Dance. The claustrophobia of the environment those kids were stuck in was such a stressful thing to watch at times. I think Just Dance was the last thing that made me truly cry at the ordinary tragedy of it all. When they announced this director I was concerned because the two shoes are just so different, but when seen through this lens they're surprisingly similar.

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"shoes" 🤦

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Just dance was one of the hardest dramas to watch, because everything felt so claustrophobic (this is the most accurate word, thank you!), and I’m having it now.

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I am so missing Dong-jae. What i love about this drama is its depictions of friendship. Despite his oddness, Shi-mok has friends, admirers, colleagues, toleraters. Some of them understand him, some merely understand his ways, some truly like him even if they don't understand him, some treat him as an ally, some treat him as the loyal opposition. When i see all these friendships/relationships/colleagues on both team, i think of what Shi-mok's superior from the Western Bureau said about friends/colleagues and one hand washing the other. I also think about what the other prosecutor said about his shock at his friend dying. Helping each other out and talking to friends or others on behalf of another friend is the human thing to do. In short, humans who work together can't help but like, know, and understand each other...even if they don't quite know, like, or understand each other. We humans can't help but like each other. It's complicated this world.

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GUYSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

ok idg the hanjo stuff. but i have a lot to say. surprise. i just cant really think in words. but fuck im excited for the weekend

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reading comments i think my aversion to law enforcement makes me not feel particularly bad. though i think they're empty and in a pressure cooker, i keep thinking that they did this to themselves. i am sure other people have these thoughts but i can't get to the emotional side of it so much because of how futile this all is. how misguided hsm and hyj are even if they're Good or represent the People.

the reason why lcj's death hit so hard is because, to him, his eradication was necessary. he felt like part of the rotten roots. for hyj and hsm i want them to get peace and solve things but i do not think they will ever find true satisfaction—actually i believe they can't doing what they do. it makes me sad for them and what they go through, sad that others try to tell them what to be, but i don't feel as if they need to be released. a happy ending would mean walking away. private work, human rights lawyer, something not here but they can't see any other option. and if you can't, then you won't be able to breathe correctly. the show keeps reiterating that the work both do is hard. it isn't for us to feel pity exactly but just adds and to show that it never ends, it won't end, it can't end.

this makes me wonder if su hang's contrition is real. anyway i think the relief they get is when they realize, ESPECIALLY han yeo jin, that if they are there they just have to do everything they can to fight but they can't keep getting so down when the very thing that ruins peoples lives under the guise of protection does what it's supposed to do.

i get that they may think it's the only way (and there's an issue there) but then they just have to release themselves from this idea of a society of true benevolence. the rights/the wrongs as they are told. they will continue to do something about it until they are thrown out and that's all they can do.

also i want to know about the subs actually i am curious; are the people not allowed in the spa because they are physically impaired as in they aren't in control of their faculties? it's ableist regardless but they really confused me.

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I got the impression that the disabled weren't allowed in the spa because others would be uncomfortable. My take was clear cut discrimination.

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I was confused but thought it may be because of incontinence issues, which is sad but also would be a real health and sanitation concern for a public spa. Maybe I'm giving them too much credit, though.

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Honestly, with the way kdrama writes disability, my first assumption was that people didn't want to see and share space with imperfect people. Maybe I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong.

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Yes, even the lady who was being interviewed gave me that impression.

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by society i mean the System (lol) not like the world

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woo tae ha and choi bit have at least gotten to second base change my mind

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I.... I can't.

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Also, damn. Thank you for the making me snort my drink up my nose. LOL

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;)

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I wouldn't mind! I kinda like them together. But if the purpose of CB/WTH is to mirror YJ/SM and - more importantly - to make a point about the system and its problems, then it might be more interesting for their strong connection to be based on factors other than romance.

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that's true. i guess i like the idea of these romantic pairings in the show because they're strong bonds but they're fucked up. lcj/lyj is one of my fav couples (like i've discussed before) and cb/wth reminds me of them in a diff way. but i don't necessarily see cb/wth as a mirror to hyj/hsm in a direct way. anyway ofc it's totally plausible for them to have intense respect for each other (cb/wth) without the romance factor! they have chemistry honestly just the minute she talked to him on the phone i was like THEYRE TOGETHER UR HONOR

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They both are magnetic characters, and seeing them interact at that lunch was very very interesting. That you get the weight of their shared history, whatever personal and professional combinations that might be, oozing through that one scene had me wanting more.

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One if my favourite of the minor characters is Detective Chief Choi of Yongsan Station. I loved that he greeted HSM in such a genuine, friendly way and walked him through all the evidence. Of course HSM did not/cannot reciprocate, but it was nice to see. Then later, while I was excited at YSJ's opportunity to lead the search, I was sad at Choi's crestfallen expression at being pushed aside. I just think he's a good guy character and the actor that plays him does a good job!

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Finally I can post my deduction without spoiling anything.

My two key suspects are:
1. Prosecutor Woo
He is somehow linked to the Park Kwang-soo case. And Seo Dong-Jae dug this case up again, not knowing that Prosecutor Woo's involvement in it. Prosecutor Woo had a motive to silence him. Prosecutor Woo had another goal to achieve too, which was to retain all of the prosecution rights and power. One of the ways to do it is to show to the public that without prosecution's control over the police, the police might abuse their power and commit crimes which would never be uncovered. In order to do so, Prosecutor Woo might have threatened to arrest the brutal police gang. In exchange, they would kidnap Seo Dong Jae. This was also possible because the last person Dong Jae called was Prosecutor Woo and he might lead Dong Jae to appear in that area.

2. University student (the sole survivor)
The message which came along with the bloody tie is the reason why I think he is a key suspect. He might be blaming himself for doing the dishes while his friends went out to the beach and play, and that's why he survived. He probably wanted to take revenge on the judicial system in Korea as Choi Bit had made use of this case to show how the prosecution didn't do justice to the victims. And his way of revenge is to kidnap a prosecutor.

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I am also thinking that it is the university student since the motive could be to drag both police and judiciary.
But, I thought he was sleeping when his friends went out to the beach?

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I always thought that he looked a little too scared for someone who lost two of his friends. Especially when he walked backwards and knocked onto Shi Mok.

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The only theory I can come up with is Park Kwang-soo was in some shady dealings with Hanjo when Lee Yoon-beom was CEO. He must have wanted to tell all and LYB secretary (who killed Eun-soo) silenced him. CB and WTH must have been given a promotion after they conspired with Hanjo to pass Kwang-soo’s death as a heart attack. So that’s how all parties are involved and keeping quiet benefits them. Its just a thot. Cant wait to see how this saga unfold.

I still have no clue who took poor Dong-jae. I just hope he survives this. 🙏🏻

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Yup they have definitely switched to 4th gear now . Dong Jae 's kidnap was a lynchpin and the last few episodes was a build up and now every single of the big players seems like a suspect. This is what Stranger is really good at doing, tou cant trust anyone. In the last season I even suspected Shi Mok 😅.

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So far, I found season 1 exciting than this season. At the season 1 epi. 1, I was already rooted to my seat. Season 2, epi. 8 shows a promise though. And Shimok, I understand now, is not as emotionless as he is projected. In the season 1, he had an illness attack after seeing the dead body of Eun-soo in the morgue. Then now, after the disappearance of Dong-jae, he has an attack again of hearing sharp noises. It's like when the doctor said in season 1, that when he holds back his emotion, it would explode. Therefore, he must not look friendly with Don-jae, but he cares for him, thus he is sad/worried by his disapperance. What I liked in Season 2 epi 8, was when Choi Bit, teased Yeo-jin's if the latter just want to spend time with Shimok. I would have wanted a love story between the two, but not really hoping because of Shimok's character. Can there be a miracle?
Who could be the kidnapper? The male assistant of Hanjo looks suspicious. He might have put a bugger inside office of Mrs. Lee, why did he intrude when Shimok asked Mrs. Lee about the calls? Well, well, well, someone out there find ways to make the prosecutor's and police' organizatons fight each other.

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It bugs me that I have no clue who kidnaped Dong-jae so I went back to last ep when he tried to wiggle free from the kidnapper. I found that theres big boxes in the house. I pause to get a closer look when Dong-jae blood spatter at the box and it said KMS synthesizer musical and the other shows a piano keyboard. Do you guys think thats a big clue to who the kidnapper is?

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I thought Seo Dong Jae was kidnapped because he dug deep into the shady people and one of them was too aggressive or irrational to kidnap an incumbent Prosecutor.
But the fact the kidnapper is making things public could mean that he is on the opposite side of both Prosecution and Police. So even if the power struggle between the two organizations is what the public would see actually there is an arrangement going between the two. I think the kidnapper wants to drag the dirty linens out of their closet. It could be the kid from the Tongyang case or someone from the other two cases mentioned.
Also, could someone put that prosecutor's death case in perspective? I don't know where to place it.
So that secretary dude was lying about the late prosecutor not drinking??
Actually it should be someone from the Hanjo at least her brother whose face we haven't seen otherwise Hanjo storyline is waste of time. But on other hand, it is so tragic if Lee Yeon Jae is involved in this when her husband went to great length to prevent these corruption and such.
Also, what are the chances that the second season is also about vigilant playing cat and mouse with the system? Won't that be repetitive?

The father is said to be having anger management issues and strangely enough, we have many characters who seem to have an uncontrollable temper. (The kidnapper also have some control issues he was even giving water to him first but then suddenly turned violent)
Could it be that the medicine was not for the father but the son?

Anyways so in the Sageuk Police officer death case, the Prosecution helped Police and in the Park Kwangsoo Prosecutor case, Police helped the prosecution?

I know I am quite late to this recap so people may not visit here but if anyone is here when did the Sageuk Police station case and Prosecutor death case happened? Was Lee Yon Jae in power at that time?

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Segeuk Case was in September 2017 and Prosecutor Park was in April 2018. I think LYJ was in power since the end of Season 1, so probably before these two happened. She definitely know about Prosecutor Park working for Hanjo as an advisor (lawyer) after he retired as a Chief Prosecutor. Choi Bit was a Chief Police at the station where the prosecutor had that accident. She moved to Intelligent Agent after that. We don’t know exactly what was the connection between this prosecutor and WTH but they knew each other.

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Thanks.

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I also miss the bonding time of Yeo-jin and Shimok. In season 1, of the best episode for me, was their bonding time in episode 13, along with the rest of their team. And there were other times that they met and ate together, In this season, there was one scene only so far. They are still people, they go hungry, can we have those moments again? Just hoping but not expecting, I believe the episodes were already shot months, if not more than a year ago.

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