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Stealer: The Treasure Keeper: Episodes 3-4

So many rich bad guys to punish, so little time! While our vigilante thief faces down new foes and tracks down new (to him) treasures, he’s also being tracked down himself. But for what purpose, and to what end?

 
EPISODES 3-4

Stealer: The Treasure Keeper: Episodes 3-4 Stealer: The Treasure Keeper: Episodes 3-4

With his gun to Dae-myung’s (well, Skunk’s) head, Tae-in first confirms that Skunk didn’t kill Chairman Yang, and then demands to know his identity and intentions. Dae-myung dodges both questions and gun alike, informing Tae-in through a voice modulator that he’ll receive another “gift” tomorrow and recommending he notify the press immediately upon receipt. The gift, of course, is the manuscript Dae-myung stole from Song-chul’s secret room. As the people rejoice at the finding of such a precious piece of history, Song-chul pays the ultimate price for having lost it.

Meanwhile, Choon-ja celebrates by presenting Dae-myung with the newest iteration of his Skunk suit. Turns out, she’s led a wildly eventful life that has ultimately landed her in possession of great wealth. It’s no fun buying cultural artifacts back from the evil, undeserving collectors, though — especially not when “vigilante hacker and financier” is an option.

Stealer: The Treasure Keeper: Episodes 3-4

Confused by the surfacing of the manuscript she knows Song-chul had, Min-woo drags Dae-myung along to investigate Song-chul’s house. Dae-myung pretends to be the biggest scaredy-cat there ever was to keep her from discovering the cameras he hasn’t yet had time to retrieve.

Min-woo happens to be the first person to tell Dae-myung what name they’ve given his alter ego. He’s utterly mortified that they’ve chosen a moniker with such an unsavory connotation versus something more elegant. Like, say, a panther. (Choon-ja, inspired, promptly adds knockout gas to his suit, to be expelled from the rear end in emergencies.)

Stealer: The Treasure Keeper: Episodes 3-4

Having wrapped up the manuscript job, our heroes target the next cultural treasure in need of recovery. This one’s an ancient celadon vase, and to everyone’s consternation, its legal owner is auctioning it off. If the previous collectors were evil, this one — CHAIRMAN KIM YOUNG-SOO (Lee Deok-hwa) — is basically the devil incarnate. Remember the terrifying, pen-wielding killer, Hwin-dal? Chairman Kim took him in off the streets as a desperate teenager and raised him into the killing machine he is today, dangling his sick sister’s life in front of him to keep him obedient.

Most people don’t know that part, of course, but our Cultural Heritage unit does know that the vase belongs in a museum, not an auction. After Min-woo muses that it’d be nice if Skunk could steal it for them, Tae-in decides to let her in on his big secret: he has no intention of actually arresting Skunk. Instead, he wants to cast him. He’s always dreamed of putting together a team to do exactly what Skunk does.

What’s more, Tae-in intentionally poached Min-woo from her previous team because he wanted her for his dream team, too. Their other colleague, SHIN CHANG-HOON (Kim Jae-won), is already on board. Tae-in calls the team “Karma,” hoping to bring retribution on those who hoard the nation’s treasures for their own gain.

As a representative of the Cultural Heritage Administration, Dae-myung is tasked with attending the auction and attempting to buy the vase with what little funds the organization managed to scrape together. He spends most of the time playing his bumbling idiot act to the hilt, letting slip the exact amount of money he’s working with so his bidding rival can save back just enough to outbid him.

…which in turn allows Choon-ja to swoop in with the winning bid. Then, once the vase is secured, Dae-myung dons his new and improved Skunk suit and steals Choon-ja’s money back in a very long, dramatic fight sequence involving an electrified whip, guns (good thing he’s bulletproof now!), and of course the new knockout gas. That accomplished, Choon-ja donates the vase anonymously to the Cultural Heritage Administration.

This entire incident makes Tae-in and Min-woo more determined than ever to contact Skunk, but they have a more urgent matter to attend to first: someone is hunting down seven Joseon coins and murdering the coins’ owners. According to the diaries of the legendary Admiral Lee Soon-shin, the coins were the only remnants of a vast cultural treasure stolen by Japanese raiders and never seen again. So far, five coin collectors — including Chairman Yang — have been murdered and their coins stolen, which means those orphaned kids Min-woo bonded with are next on the list.

Thankfully, someone else gets to them first. An infamous artifact thief with the dual personas “Chameleon” and “DR. GO” (Choi Jung-woo) poses as a priest and takes the coin, dropping the kids off at a nearby convent for safekeeping.

Stealer: The Treasure Keeper: Episodes 3-4

That crisis averted, Tae-in orders Min-woo to arrest Dae-myung, certain that Dae-myung is in league with Skunk. Min-woo stakes out his apartment all night with no luck (he’s off punishing a group of collectors who have decked themselves out like kings to cackle over their ill-gotten goods), and ventures inside the next day. By this time, Dae-myung is back home (and disrobed), and after an awkward back-and-forth, she drags him away — not to the police station, but to a deserted classroom somewhere.

With a grin, Tae-in explains to Dae-myung that they’ve all broken the law now, so they’re all in the same boat, and that includes Skunk. So if Dae-myung will ask Skunk to meet with them, they can all carry out another illegal job together. It’s weird logic, but they won’t tell Dae-myung any details without Skunk present, so he levels with them: he’s Skunk. Except, none of them believes him, so in the end he sets a time for the meeting and invents a business trip so “Dae-myung” doesn’t have to be present.

Meanwhile, the evil Chairman Kim enjoys a steaming bath, showing off his horrific abdominal scars while salivating over the thought of a legendary treasure that’s described in the long-lost Lee Soon-shin diary he’s got stashed away. This treasure may or may not involve a prophecy and a magic glowing stone, and let me tell you: I am here for it.

Am I particularly emotionally invested in any of our characters? Not necessarily. Do I completely follow the logic of why it’s so important to steal these artifacts from the collectors and store most of them in a secret room at the police station instead? Nope. And does any of that diminish my enjoyment of Stealer? Not in the slightest! It’s exactly the sort of not-so-guilty-pleasure show I didn’t realize I was craving, and I’m excited to see what weird twists are waiting up ahead — be they down into yet another elaborate secret lair or off on a fantastical treasure hunt.

Stealer: The Treasure Keeper: Episodes 3-4

 
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I'm enjoying this too! As long as I don't think too much 😅.

Joo Won certainly seems to be having fun with the role and that shines through to make the drama more fun too. I do hope we keep the graphic violence to a minimum though.

By the way, I don't think Chairman Kim has Admiral Lee Soon-shin's diary. It seemed to be written in Hiragana script and was written from the perspective of those who stole the treasure, which makes sense since the Chairman is a descendant of pro-Japanese collaborators.

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Fortunately, it quite clearly doesn't want you to think about it too much either. This is more and more obvious the more it parodies the superhero genre.
Long may it continue and not abandon itself 😂

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Great coz I'm totally not thinking about the Chairman's actual age and that red bead of eternal youth 🙊.

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Indiana Jones: Korean Edition.
Will it have an Ark of the Covenant ending, or will it all be a hoax 😂😂😂

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I mean I think his face is already melting 🤣

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When people don't believe your secret identity because you're deathly annoying.
Dae Myung is such a brat, I quite love him.

This show is hitting more and more checkboxes of the classic Adventure Story, on top of the comic book super hero, which I'm not complaining about, because I quite like the Adventure Story model, and also, it's self aware about being both;

"I think I'm having an identity crisis, I don't know who I really am."
"갑자기??"

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This week's episodes were such a romp, I've always thought Joo Won was delightful in a particularly self-aware way that works for this. He's probably the reason I like 7th Grade Civil Servant so much despite it being terrible.

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For lack of other interesting current dramas, I looked in on STEALER and got hooked.

Like mistyisles, I'm not particularly emotionally invested in any of the characters, but I like the dynamic of the Skung/Hacker duo.

The highlight of the last two episodes was when Skunk learned what nickname he had been given. And then of course the modification of his suit.

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I started watching this after reading the "recommendation" of @leetennant in last weeks comments, and found the first two episodes really fun--a superhero crusading for the mantra "there's no future for a nation that has forgotten its history." Like @mistyisles, though, I wonder why the Cultural Heritage team is keeping all those precious historical artifacts in the basement, where they risk being forgotten? Oh well--the world of collecting national heritage objects is a mysterious one!

These two episodes let the history crusader theme go in favor of intentionally cliched motivations-- buried treasure and eternal life, but that's okay. Joo won is very funny at playing the irritating and apparently foolish civil servant and shifting into the alter ego, Skunk, especially since Skunk is hardly a grim superhero but more playful, like Spiderman was. In fact, I'm finding this unabashedly silly show more in the spirit of the earlier comic superheros I grew up on, rather than the current portentous and pretentious Marvel and DC Comic "universe." I'm hoping it will keep it up the fun in future episodes!

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Skunk reminds me a little of Deadpool.

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A little bit--certainly in terms of wisecracking--but even Deadpool has a really violent streak that makes him "edgy" rather than totally fun. But I don't really think this show aspires to create a lasting superhero, and that's a good thing, in my (comic) book!

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It's very much influenced by Deadpool, from his suit to the love hearts to the scenes of him dancing across rooftops with a giant moon behind him. I even started a whole post about the similarities between it and Deadpool and may even finish it one of these days.
Obviously Healer and Good Thief, Bad Thief as well.

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Do you have, "Deadpool was originally a parody of DC's Deathstroke, and Skunk is some freak joke parody/reference of several things, including also Deadpool" on that list? 🤣

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It was more going to be like, "how do you make a parody of a satire and if you do does that in itself make it satirical?"

I think it's kind of getting away with it by including a hefty dose of its own cultural tradition to parody as well.

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😂😂
How many levels down of parody can you go before everything breaks. The true meta question.

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It says something about my unfortunate brain that I've asked this question before.

As much as I loved the sheer gleeful silliness of the first week, I was a bit worried the show's selections of back-to-back parody elements would turn it into some kind of directionless farce by this week - kind of like how Forbidden Marriage stopped having its own story and just did homage after homage to other Sageuks instead and ended up a hard drop.

But this week was great. Bearing in mind that the Superman allusions have come into the show through Healer and so the show is closer to that than Superman itself, the progression of Marvel and DC references were grounded by local homages and references.

It seems to be managing to bring everything together into its own show. Cross fingers.

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Also we have to add for the list the obvious Bond references - especially with Hacker Ahjumma also being Q - and even the outright use of a Bond-esque theme song.

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I'm so glad I could recruit more people into the "wonder" that is this show! I only hope it keeps it up.

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The show does not take itself seriously--oh my gosh the dream sequence--and it leans to the ridiculous, but I am never rolling my eyes. I am quite happy to roll with the story as it is.
The topic of antiquities is my childhood--I even went to uni with the initial dream of becoming an archaeologist --so it sits in that place of childlike wonder for me.
The thing that I love about our hero is that he IS Clark Kent and Superman, so to speak, is his disguise (as compared to Healer for example where his Clark Kent was the disguise). He is that goofy and quirky naturally--though you can feel deep waters underneath.
My favorite character is Choon Ja--she is a delightful force of nature and I want more of her backstory. The peek was enough to want her to have her own drama.
I just hope the show continues with this tone and doesn't take itself seriously in the back half. Please.

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Is there anyone in the US watching this and where? I was looking forward to it!

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There might be a way to do it via a VPN. I don't have the technical abilities to configure a VPN for my old "smart in the early 2000s but approaching senility now" T.V.

So following the spirit of this show, I have bent the law in order to achieve justice for a viewer interested in recovering cultural resources for public viewing. I am watching it from California on a site we'll just call "unauthorized." I've been able to configure my computer browser so it blocks messages from "local" women who want to send me pictures of their derrière, but if you don't want to do that extra work, I'm afraid its a no go.

When its promos appeared, someone on DB said that since VIU had it, it would appear on Viki, eventually. I hope its sooner rather than later, just in case the "local" women discover my browser subterfuge and start besieging my email box with sweet promises of intimacy that I will have to decline, hurting their feelings.

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I have a vpn, just don’t know what streaming site has it that I have a subscription to. I don’t have VIU.

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d****c*** dot see waii
i have a mac, have AdBlock so i don't get the popup and nastygrams.

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Yeah, looks like I’ll have to resort to that too. I have a couple good blockers.

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This is my experience as well including the "local" women who would be sadly disappointed that I am not one whit interested in their derrière. This or the amiable invitation to clean up my Mac.
The lengths to which D+ sends up.

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Caught up with all the episodes and I'm glad that I decided to stick with this drama just after watching EP 1. Also, I would be so mad if they decided to turn on the serious mode in the second half after giving us all the fun in the first few episodes.

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Thanks @mistyisles! I'm glad I get to follow this show via weecaps if nothing else. It sounds amazing! I totally thought "Skunk" was an unconventional but self-chosen nickname, but it's so much better that other people started calling him that first! Looking forward to more, and to it eventually landing on a streaming service I have.

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this is probably now my favorite watch! so fun, it's the modern day Hong Gil Dong -- ohhh, now i miss Kang Ji Hwan....

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