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[Current Drama 2020] Forest of Secrets Season 2, 비밀의 숲 2 - Sat & Sun @ 21:00 KST

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1 hour ago, triplem said:

Finally an official confirmation

 I knew she will sign for the second season but it took some time to an official confirmation. I hope she/her side negotiated well her contract.

 

But July broadcast? Why do I have to wait for so long?

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Bae Doo-Na cast in tvN drama series “Stranger Season 2”

Strangers-S1sM1.jpg

According to tvN, Bae Doo-Na is now cast in tvN drama series “Stranger Season 2” co-starring Cho Seung-Woo. The duo will reprise their respective lead roles from season 1 of “Stranger.” Most the supporting cast from season 1 will also return for season 2, but specific names were not mentioned.

Brief plot synopsis from AsianWiki: Prosecutor Hwang Shi-Mok (Cho Seung-Woo) received a demotion and now works at the district prosecutor’s office in Tongyeong.

“Stranger Season 2” will air sometime next year in South Korea

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@triplem @bebebisous33 @ktcjdrama @ksb43 @larus Bae Doona gave a statement about her scrips for season 1 and said her script was so little. It had taken a lot of convincing to have her play the role. Guess what because of her talent she rocked it. Maybe she took a long time to decide because of either the script or her other projects. 

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5 hours ago, larus said:

But July broadcast? Why do I have to wait for so long?


Probably coz it’s pre-produced and it will fit into Netflix schedule then?  CSW won’t be available till end Jan-early Feb 2020.  Not sure what Bae Doona’s schedule is like.  And LJH as well. I am just glad the gang is back together again. :wub:
 

@UnniSarah

Re : Bae Doona. Yes she totally rocked her role.  Is she based overseas?  Or is she based in Korea?  If she resides overseas mainly then it’s understandable that she would have other things to consider if she were to film in Korea for a couple of months. 

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@triplem YESSS:glasses:. Finally, she confirms:smirk:

@UnniSarah Good to see you here:D.

 

So Bae Doona will have 2 drama released next year: Kingdom 2 and SF2. I'm glad SF2 is airing in summer. That means they have enough time to make the drama perfect.... I hope it stays strong just like the previous one:rolleyes:.

 

@nrllee Indeed, she was amazing as YJ. I hope the writer shows us her background story.

 

From what I know, she is known international but you would mostly see her in Kmovies. FS was the first Kdrama she did for a really long time. I remember when I started watching Kdrama, I saw her in one drama and I couldn't find her work afterwards. Ohh, and she is also a photographer.

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Bae Doona has done 3 Big major protects in America. She also doe modeling on the side. You should check out her instagram. She is always busy and still have time to travel to other countries for vacation. 
1. Cloud Atlas

2. Sense8

3. Jupiter Ascending 

@lu09  Glad to see you too :D 

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Yess Bae Doona with Cho Seung Wo, i love about the dynamic and rhytm of YJ and Shi Mok. They are strange, unique in good ways and absolutely compatible, even with their gang together. Hope this season also with good case. Welcome Back Stranger !!! 

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I found sf1 and its ending so singularly satisfying, that as much as I'm excited we get sf2, I'm also apprehensive. Very curious to see how scriptwriter-nim will continue to keep things fresh and surprise us! 

 

At the end of season 1, shimok was called back to head another special investigation. And I remember reading there's a new murder at/linked to the prosecutor office (writer-nim sure loves to start her stories with a murder)!

 

Who will shimok summon to aid him in the new investigation ? Is it possible for shimok to have made any meaningful connections during his 1year exile to farsville office? It would be fun if he has and can call on some of those. 

 

What role will the Lees and their corporation play in the continued corruption in sf2 ? What impact has LCJ's death had on his wife? They seemed so loving a couple, and she seemed so genuinely devastated to lose him, but where will her character go from there? As the new chairwoman, will she continue in her father's footsteps or will the pair butt heads? //the infamous USB key containing evidence of tax fraud - is it forever missing? 

 

Our favourite sly prosecutor SDJ - I cant wait to see what mess he's created - will he get a redeeming arc ? And I wonder how new Chief Prosecutor Kang has been handling things, will he remain an ally to shimok, or will his new position have changed him ?

 

Will the story feature another sponsor, perhaps this time linked to the blue house? Is there a new vigilante in the office ? I think that sf2, like sf1, will cover one overarching case, sprinkled with some murders/deaths. 

 

Regardless where the story takes us, I hope we can maintain world consistency and get some returning faces. I'm especially partial to shimok's secretary duo; theirs was a tough spot, working for the prosecution office's least popular man, yet still they are loyal and proud of shimok all the same :) (now that I think of it, CSW's character in Life also had a great secretary haha)! Hopefully SDJ didnt change the guard and transfer them out! On the police precinct side, will the jailed ex-police chief Kim have been released? Hope to see detectives geon, soon-chang and even soo-chan too ;) Yeojin needs some adversity to keep things tense! 

 

As for the leads' backstories... maybe we can catch a few glimpses but I'm not sure how we'll find out more, without the show veering into melodrama realm. In fact, I'm happy we've not been given more. Characters dont need a difficult childhood or traumatic experience to become interesting. Less flashback sob story = more development in the present! Shimok will likely continue to suffer stress-induced fainting spells, but I doubt he'll regain access to emotions. He is written as an incorruptible character with no desires, a whistleblower who doesnt care about social pressure. And he was written that way so the story can stay focused on the societal problem scriptwriter-nim wants to expose. 

 

As for yeojin, similarly we have an upright moral person who stands in for the audience. There's no necessity for the show to develop her motivations. While it could be fun, it would be tangential.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Xocopie88 said:

As for yeojin, similarly we have an upright moral person who stands in for the audience. There's no necessity for the show to develop her motivations. While it could be fun, it would be tangential.


Actually I want to know her motivations.  There was precious little of it in SF1 and she definitely had a backstory.  Her drawings.  It’s so much a part of who she is.  Her room is full of it.  She gifts it to others (not just SiMok)...why does she do that?  It’s not like they are works of art?  They mean something to her.  I don’t need a lot but just enough to give me an insight into what makes her tick.  I like the writer.  Her follow up drama Life was just as nuanced and gritty.  I just hope the PD does justice to her script.

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On 12/18/2019 at 1:36 AM, nrllee said:


Actually I want to know her motivations.  There was precious little of it in SF1 and she definitely had a backstory.  Her drawings.  It’s so much a part of who she is.  Her room is full of it.  She gifts it to others (not just SiMok)...why does she do that?  It’s not like they are works of art?  They mean something to her.  I don’t need a lot but just enough to give me an insight into what makes her tick.  I like the writer.  Her follow up drama Life was just as nuanced and gritty.  I just hope the PD does justice to her script.

 

I read that baedoona took a fair amount of convincing to take on the role of yeojin in sf1. Not only because she had comparatively fewer lines/less screen time, but also because the absence of backstory makes it difficult to interpret yeojin and portray her in a compelling way (our doona did it anyway)!

That being said, we do have a bit to go on...

Reading into the scene where she wistfully tells herself she should've been like those happy teenagers, we can infer that growing up, yeojin must not have had a typical student life. Not to say she was bullied/an outcast, but she likely didnt fit in and form many strong bonds with female peers. Perhaps being an outsider gave her the keen sensibility to accept people who, like her, are different.

The story didn't make any mention of her family, and yeojin claims to have not come from money. Is she an orphan/not on good terms with her family/her family lives far away? Nonetheless she seems to have been raised well - understanding family values, respectful of the elderly and taking care of younger people.

Now grown up, she's an independent woman, settled in her ways and confident in her identity. She watches variety shows (real men), knows the latest kpop songs (twice's TT), and she invests in herself. Aside from designer clothing and a nice car, yeojin has a large manga/manwha collection (anyone see what titles she had/was reading? I only glimpsed naoki urasawa's monster). That she spends a lot of her disposable income on herself reinforces the theory that she doesnt have a family to/that needs support.

So, the drawings in her room - unless there's a secret child in her life, we can safely assume they're all hers. She seems to draw in the manga-style, maybe she first picked up the pencil to draw her fandoms, or maybe her hand has always been busy doodling. Whatever it is, drawing seems to be her creative outlet, a healthy hobby. It's not strange she would put up her drawings, even if they're no van gogh :)

That she regularly gifts her doodles appears to be a fun character quirk. I dont believe theres more to it. She simply enjoys doodling. She draws things absentmindedly (like the sunchang bean paste as new trainee soonchang was being introduced at the precinct). She draws her thought process (when she was suspecting shimok of being the culprit). She draws diagrams as a communication tool (the fence, shimoks brain, shimoks frown). She keeps some, and casually gives others away. They're not deliberate gifts, theres no thought behind them, nor does she expect the gift-receivers to keep them. Detective geon sure doesnt! And she was surprised to find that shimok had kept his (although whether or not he meant to is debatable. Not sure if I saw correctly, didnt he use the back of the brain drawing to write out the list of suspects)?

//Through yeojin's drawings, shimok begins to wonder whether his emotions could be, not gone, but rather suppressed. I think maybe yeojin sensed that her drawings mean something to shimok. Which is why, despite his refusal, she still drew his smiling face. Unlike the other two, the smiling-shimok drawing is intended as a gift - she thought it out, spent time colouring it, and gave it to him as a parting gift. Whats more, she wanted him to keep it! This drawing is a token of her (platonic) affection. And this is not strange either. Friends/ good colleagues/ acquaintances do/give little things to each other.

Other things we know: yeojin graduated from police academy (which, from my limited understanding, having seen a few eps of Live, is no mean feat)! She spent two(?) years studying for the qualifying exam, then persevered and survived the training probation period. From her convo with her chief, her convo with shimok, and then finally the scene where she worked with the traffic division to zero-in on umbrella-man/eunsoo's murderer, we may infer that yeojin has worked in the traffic/admin division. But something made her switch, somewhere along the way she wanted to get on the field and cuff the bad guys. Something shook her out of complacency and stoked her thirst for action and justice. As it wasnt central to the story, we dont get to know the backstory. But this doesnt take anything away from her character. She feels real and whole as is.

Her set of values - fighting the difficult fight against institutional corruption, denouncing injustice at the risk of alienating herself to her colleagues... As much as she was intrigued by his personality, it was also natural for her to team up with shimok. Where they differ is - while yeojin is uncompromising in her integrity and was motivated to do right because it is the right thing to do, the same cant be said for shimok. It seems to me, that so long as he arrives at the truth, so long as he can solve the puzzle, he's willing to compromise on the methods. Where yeojin is about the journey, shimok is about the destination!

Some other thoughts...
One thing that stood out to me was her exchange with Lee's wife at the last supper scene. Why did yeojin butt in and say she also liked pretty women, and why did she make that remark about certain women being women's enemies? Was she trying to take the heat off shimok, was she simply musing aloud? She didn't seem to expect the awkward silence that followed, so perhaps she didn't intentionally antagonize lee...? But the whole thing lacked so much social finesse, I found it very out of character. Those are things we might expect shimok to say! Anyway, there seems to be something about yeojin and (pretty) females.

The other thing that was perplexing - why did yeojin take in PMS' mom? (First off, could someone help shine a light here - is it standard procedure for police to cordon off the house/crime scene until the trial is over? If that's the case, why didn't they return custody of the house after kangjinseob was convicted? If that's not the case, why did they return it midway, when the serial murders were still under active investigation?

So it's been over 2 months that PMS mom was displaced from her home, 2 months that she has been presumably working and sleeping at the jimjilbang. Why did yeojin suddenly become sympathetic to the mom, so much that she should take her in? Boundless compassion? Was she persuaded by shimok afterall, that the mom might be a suspect, and so decided to keep her close? It cant be that she wanted homemade meals?

Last thought -
Does anyone else think that the female leads in sf1 and Life are written similarly? Yeojin's character and dr leenoeul's are both warm humane female sidekicks. No backstory, pure good, kind, caring, righteous for the sake of goodness; patient goody-two-shoes acting as a moral compass for the male lead. Is this a limitation of the writer? Or did she believe that a non-conflicted morally-white character serves the story better? I believe it's the latter. By choosing to omit a (distracting) backstory, maybe the writer wanted to emphasize that good people dont need a reason to be good, that anyone can choose to be a good person regardless of their lived experience.

 

Woo! Thanks for your prompt @nrllee! Excuse the wall of text!

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1 hour ago, Xocopie88 said:

Reading into the scene where she wistfully tells herself she should've been like those happy teenagers, we can infer that growing up, yeojin must not have had a typical student life.


Yes I caught on to that too :)

 

1 hour ago, Xocopie88 said:

The story didn't make any mention of her family, and yeojin claims to have not come from money. Is she an orphan/not on good terms with her family/her family lives far away? Nonetheless she seems to have been raised well - understanding family values, respectful of the elderly and taking care of younger people.


Yup. I think she has no living family.

 

1 hour ago, Xocopie88 said:

The other thing that was perplexing - why did yeojin take in PMS' mom?


I think it has to do with her past.  She’s very empathetic to those “lost souls”.  I think she must’ve been one herself and she sees herself in them.  Not sure if someone extended that kindness to her when she was lost herself but she’s definitely decided that she will share what she has when she can to those who need a home to get back onto their feet.  She extended that courtesy to PMS’s son as well. And she was the one to comfort him when he talked about his regret about how mean he was to his dad before he died.  So whatever misfortune she encountered in life didn’t embitter her.  It made her kinder. :)

 

1 hour ago, Xocopie88 said:

From her convo with her chief, her convo with shimok, and then finally the scene where she worked with the traffic division to zero-in on umbrella-man/eunsoo's murderer, we may infer that yeojin has worked in the traffic/admin division. But something made her switch, somewhere along the way she wanted to get on the field and cuff the bad guys.


Yup. Picked that up too.  And the fact that she didn’t want to move from homicide.  She wanted to keep going with it to the end.  It’s personal.  
 

And finally there was that cryptic monologue she said to the high school girl who was a call girl.  She told her to live.  So that her final look at life wouldn’t be one of the terror and horror of being captured and knifed.  So it sounded like she spoke from experience?  Did she have a horrible experience like that too? Where she was faced with the prospect of death under similar circumstances?

 

I love her character because it shows us that no matter what life throws at you, you can still be responsible for your own choices.  There are too many who wallow and blame their sad lot in life, seeming to use that as an excuse for their own unkindness, bitterness or resentment to those around them.  She on the other hand has chosen to be kind, to be upright, to make a difference regardless.  She has never lost that resilience and belief that she can make  difference in this cruel and unfair world.  She may be one person, but she is one nonetheless.  Not one of the many who just go with the flow, but one who stands amid the flood waters to rise above and be counted.  A beacon. :wub:
 

 

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@nrllee @Xocopie88 I need to watch SF1 again LOL  Love reading your thoughts about Yeojin who was a few years ahead of #metoo in the way her character was written AND portrayed by Bae Doona.  I give Bae Doona full credit for bringing on this "modern/western" feel to Yeojin.. it was one of the first things I noticed about the female detective. I am curious at how she grew into the detective that we see but I agree that it would be exceptional to leave her as someone who is innately good.  I want to believe that ShiMok's uncompromising affinity for good was a man-made product (his surgery) whereas Yeongjin is who she is naturally because she was born that way.  There are people in the world who always live by a strong sense of justice and there are those who were thrusted into this way of life by circumstances.  ShiMok's surgery made him immune to emotions, so his life is not run by their highs and lows or are his actions triggered or controlled by anything other than facts.  I don't think he is aware that he can affect other people lives by his actions, like he has the power to impress on a person as to change him/her for the better.  I think ShiMok sees himself as the prosecutor tasked with the job to uncover corruption and wrongdoings.  Yeojin is more invested in understanding the reasons and motives to help  and intervene even prevent others from making the mistakes.

 

Just as Lee Chang Joon searched for the perfect prosecutor to help him,  ShiMok needed the perfect detective in Yeongjin.  I actually think Yeojin is similar to Life's Joo Kyung-Moon the CT surgeon in his lone altruistic fight to uphold the medical oath.^^

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1 hour ago, bedifferent said:

ShiMok's surgery made him immune to emotions, so his life is not run by their highs and lows or are his actions triggered or controlled by anything other than facts.  I don't think he is aware that he can affect other people lives by his actions, like he has the power to impress on a person as to change him/her for the better.  I think ShiMok sees himself as the prosecutor tasked with the job to uncover corruption and wrongdoings.  Yeojin is more invested in understanding the reasons and motives to help  and intervene even prevent others from making the mistakes.


Yes ShiMok is very black and white.  I look at him as I do an autistic child.  Once you teach them the set rule, they never deviate from it.  There are no “extenuating circumstances” which would make what is right, wrong.  If you tell them it’s not right to be late, it’s a rule they adhere to rigidly.   No such thing as being “fashionably late” or being late because the traffic was bad.  He has a strict set of rules he sticks to and unquestionably adheres to it.  He follows procedures to the letter...hence why he followed EunSoo upon her death...right through to the post mortem room.  None of the others could stomach it even though it was “procedure”.  He could because it was just what you did.  That’s why when I read in the old thread how questions were raised as to why he did that, it never occurred to me to ask why.  He was merely following process.  To find out cause of death real time, instead of sitting it out and waiting for the report to come out.  It actually makes sense to view him like that.  That’s why YeoJin’s pictures help him.  Autistic children are taught emotions by drawings.  They will get primary visceral emotions like anger, fear, happiness but compound ones like grief, which some fan girls of SHS seemed to want SM to experience because of how he treated her (?) would be impossible for him to grasp.  7 stages of grief?  SiMok won’t get it.  It’s too complex an emotion, because sometimes you’re sad, other times you’re angry and still others you’re in disbelief/denial?  I think he finds YJ fascinating to watch.  He often stands there trying to process what she’s feeling/experiencing because he can’t feel it himself.  

 

1 hour ago, bedifferent said:

Just as Lee Chang Joon searched for the perfect prosecutor to help him,  ShiMok needed the perfect detective in Yeongjin.  I actually think Yeojin is similar to Life's Joo Kyung-Moon the CT surgeon in his lone altruistic fight to uphold the medical oath.

 

I really like how YeoJin responds to the jaded police officers around her.  She never caved to their nonchalance about corruption and how the “system” worked.  She was buoyant and still held fast to the belief that it was worthwhile doing good despite all the evidence to the contrary.  NoEul in Life reminds me of YJ.  There’s a naïveté about her that is charming.  Neither are bitter.  Both are smack in the middle of all the corruption and evil...yet both choose not to waver in their belief in doing what is right whilst in their jobs.  Neither are defeatists in their attitudes.  Both trust their instincts about CSW’s character against the general tide and both act on it to befriend him.  :lol:.  They are both self giving and warm.  Both act buoyant in spite of all the weariness about them.  It does make them seem somehow otherworldly but there are people like that in this world.  It gives hope to humanity and inevitably boosts morale as a result.  Not everything is doom and gloom.  For SM, he is incorruptible because of his medical condition.  But for YJ, hers is one of choice.  She chooses not to be and swims against the tide.  So more power to her.  :wub:
 

PS I am rewatching Life right now.  Just enjoying all the intriguing questions the writer poses about non-profits Vs corporations.  There’s no right or wrong answer.  And I can see both sides of the arguments so it’s fascinating to see it play out.

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@nrllee @bedifferent I'm so grateful to join the discussion here! I'm new to the fandom, and happy to gush my appreciation for SF! I would never disagree on a rewatch ;)

I can understand why yeojin would choose to help a poor frail grieving woman, but she went above and beyond. It's not financial aid, it's opening the doors to your private oasis to a stranger. And not just any stranger, a witness/potential suspect! Even if I can wrap my head around her boundless compassion to lost souls, I question the timing and wisdom. Yeojin ought to know better than mixing private and professional.

Yes, she mustve lived through difficult times. To be fair, I would argue most people who live to be middle-aged are no stranger to hardship. As a paragon of pure goodness, we do expect her kindness to be in spite of whatever personal tragedy she's lived through. But I'm not interested in learning about a possible dark and troubled past. I feel that would be overdoing it - she's already plenty likable as is, no need to layer on a sob story. (Compare and contrast with eunsoo's character. She needed the melo-esque backstory for viewers to understand and empathize with her desparate go-for-broke my-honour-over-my-life character).

Yeojin is an example of the nice girl character trope done perfectly. She's wonderful, she's compassionate, we all want her as an unni, most importantly, she has a life and personality outside of 'just being nice'. She has hobbies and quirks, strong set of values, badass job, and baedoona knew how to breathe charm and sincerity to make her the compelling yeojin we know.

In the sf world of grey morality, her clean white character stands out as a fresh breeze.

Maybe I'm refusing to reading deeply. Yeojin's monologue, to me, seem to be an example of her ability to readily empathize. I dont think theres enough to say she herself went through a similar ordeal. I sure hope not! But I'll allow that maybe something tragic happened to someone she knew.

Yes, her character has a modern female edge feel to it! The last supper scene is a #metooBoner moment, we all cheer on as Yeojin shoots down wifeLee's outdated and sexist views, one after the other, polite niceties be damned.

You made an interesting parallel between yeojin and the CT surgeon in life. He's also a nice guy, but fell a bit flat to me because he was written with a side of noble idiocy (after transplanting his family to Seoul from suburbia, he's going to take on the blame for Dr. Ye and ragequit)?! That, and he seemed defeated and tired of life. He knew and could be an actor of change but (initially anyway?) lacked the burning conviction and initiative to step up. In contrast, Yeojin is an eternal font of optimism.

 

13 hours ago, nrllee said:

I think he finds YJ fascinating to watch.  He often stands there trying to process what she’s feeling/experiencing because he can’t feel it himself.

Yes! There are a few scenes where he just watches her. I enjoy reading your take on shimok, and likening his condition to high-functioning autism. To me, he's a version of the innocently insensitive hero.

 

I find him fascinating. He has a sense of superiority but is completely unassuming. He is very observant of people and surroundings but chooses to not observe social niceties.

I believe him entirely capable of acting and playing the social game - he was playing mind games with LCJ when he offered to exchange his silence for a promotion, and then using eunsoo to bait SDJ, in the scene where she lets on that shimok went fishing for the handphone in the river. To some extent, he's aware of intent behind actions and words, his own as much as others. He knows it's inappropriate for eunsoo to visit a man's house at night. He says things to gauge others' reactions (when he was walking behind eunsoo and casually remarked about a scorned woman's revenge). He knew to comfort yeojin when she was blaming herself for eunsoo's death. He even knows to lower his voice when he whispered to yeojin that the pojangmacha has changed owners. Like eunsoo says, he pretends to not know and understand when he knows everything.

Granted, it's not so much pretension as simply mindfulness of speech. Shimok is very exact with words and doesnt say more than necessary, when necessary. Which is what makes him fascinating to me: how aware is he? All his internal monologues revolve around the investigation and viewers are not privy to his emotional state/innermost thoughts. Consequently, there are no hairsplitting angsty sob scenes, which is great! But clearly there are things boiling underneath shimoks cold exterior, as evidenced by his stress-induced tinnitis/fainting spells. He may not experience and feel like a normal person, but he does experience and feel some things.

With respect to his commitment to justice, I feel that some of the motivation to solve the case comes from a selfish place. He told yeojin that he doesnt want to be used/he feels toyed by the true culprit. Is this pride?

But there's something I dont quite grasp.
From the get go, shimok has suspected LCJ of being the mastermind behind the PMS murder. Of course, he doesnt understand the motive, but his gut feeling and circumstantial evidence pointed to LCJ. My question - shimok believed LCJ to be capable of murder, so why wasnt shimok afraid of his own safety? Why did he directly threaten/ challenge/ accuse LCJ?

He played the media to stay on the job and survive potential internal investigations, he took out a gun from the evidence room to follow eunsoo to her confrontation with sdj, but he won't take any measures to ensure his personal safety? Even after a stranger entered his place and shredded his suit?

Wasnt he too nonchalant to question LCJ and accuse him of murder? It's similar to eunsoo's confrontation with sdj - accuse the suspect to their face to see the reaction. Shimok didn't do it once, he's been egging LCJ on throughout. Mentioning the incident at the resort, demanding to be promoted to the chief position, accusing LCJ of PMS murder, accusing LCJ of kimgayoung's assault. All the while reporting everything truthfully to LCJ - his surgery, development on the case, etc. Shimok is lucky that LCJ turned out to be on teamJustice. Were he truly the culprit, shimok would've paid for his recklessness.

 

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1 hour ago, Xocopie88 said:

You made an interesting parallel between yeojin and the CT surgeon in life. He's also a nice guy, but fell a bit flat to me because he was written with a side of noble idiocy (after transplanting his family to Seoul from suburbia, he's going to take on the blame for Dr. Ye and ragequit)?! That, and he seemed defeated and tired of life. He knew and could be an actor of change but (initially anyway?) lacked the burning conviction and initiative to step up. In contrast, Yeojin is an eternal font of optimism.


Yes that’s why I felt NoEul (the pediatrician) was more like YeoJin.  She didn’t seem as disillusioned and wearied as the CT surgeon that Joo KyungMoon portrayed.  And she stayed with her convictions right to the end and went rural to help out in the hospital there.  She remained optimistic and buoyant in spite of the entrenched corruption within the system.  
 

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I can understand why yeojin would choose to help a poor frail grieving woman, but she went above and beyond. It's not financial aid, it's opening the doors to your private oasis to a stranger. And not just any stranger, a witness/potential suspect! Even if I can wrap my head around her boundless compassion to lost souls, I question the timing and wisdom. Yeojin ought to know better than mixing private and professional.


Yeah she’s surprising like that.  And that’s one of the reasons I like her.  Totally out of the box.  Quirky AND smart.  Quirky without the smarts is just ODD :lol:.  She’s really spontaneous (she took in the grandson too and then opened up her place for their company dinner and invited stragglers and lost souls - the detective who did the “wrong thing”).  I think she puts being “human” above and beyond “duty”.  She forgives as long as there is true repentance.  That’s why I really like her.  SM and her need each other.  She provides the insights into the human condition (the emotions) and he in turn provides the stability and rudder when her emotions threaten to derail her.  I like how understated they are when it comes to their support of each other.  It’s never overt but it’s apparent enough for each of them to utilize when necessary.  It’s unspoken and that’s the beautiful thing about it.

 

1 hour ago, Xocopie88 said:

Yes, she mustve lived through difficult times. To be fair, I would argue most people who live to be middle-aged are no stranger to hardship. As a paragon of pure goodness, we do expect her kindness to be in spite of whatever personal tragedy she's lived through. But I'm not interested in learning about a possible dark and troubled past. I feel that would be overdoing it - she's already plenty likable as is, no need to layer on a sob story.


I concur.  Whilst my insatiable curiosity does tend to want to know more about her backstory I can live without it. :)  It’s not a deal breaker for me.
 

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(Compare and contrast with eunsoo's character. She needed the melo-esque backstory for viewers to understand and empathize with her desparate go-for-broke my-honour-over-my-life character).


Urgh...she was the one I liked least as a character.  Her dad too.  Mr Pontius Pilate.  Absolving responsibility for his daughter’s life and instead in cowardice palmed it off to SM. <_<  And then he had the gall to blame her death on SM at the funeral.  I clapped and shouted Bravo when SM let fly at him during the funeral (breaking all the rules of decorum but hey, SM doesn’t do niceties :lol:) and put the blame solely back on him (her father) for indulging her death defying ways.  It was only a matter of time before she ended up dead, that was a given.  And all the undertones of her crush on SM didn’t do her any favours when it came to holding her in esteem in my eyes.  :huh:  Initially I thought it was just her needing affirmation (mentee-mentor) but that incident at his apartment late at night?  That was not just affirmation she was after... <_<

 

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But there's something I dont quite grasp.
From the get go, shimok has suspected LCJ of being the mastermind behind the PMS murder. Of course, he doesnt understand the motive, but his gut feeling and circumstantial evidence pointed to LCJ. My question - shimok believed LCJ to be capable of murder, so why wasnt shimok afraid of his own safety? Why did he directly threaten/ challenge/ accuse LCJ?


I think we can get insights into LCJ’s motivations from SM’s speech on TV at the conclusion of the investigation?  LCJ believed it was okay to “do away” with the “bad people” in the pursuit of justice?  So PMS and the underage call girl were expendable?  SM called him a monster, a creation of the system which deemed some people’s lives less worthy than others.  So I think SM knew he wasn’t capable of killing him because LCJ deemed SM was doing the right thing.  LCJ was using SM as his pawn to enact justice on his behalf.  That or maybe SM was just so dogged in his pursuit of truth that he didn’t care for his own life.

 

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Like eunsoo says, he pretends to not know and understand when he knows everything.


Yeah hard to know what he does or doesn’t “get”.  He would definitely “get” what ES was insinuating when she came to his apartment.  He knows about prostitution and bribery.  There’s really nothing wrong in that department. I think he does “get” some things but other things he opts to ignore because for his standpoint, it’s not important.  He chooses not to answer many times when he is asked questions.  So I think he does see and pick these things up but he doesn’t deem them important in the grand scheme of his investigation so he ignores them.  That’s why he doesn’t do social things like eating with his colleagues (to build rapport).  It’s interesting that he bends this rule when it comes to YJ.  Initially I thought it was just because he wanted to talk through the case with her but in the last meet up it seemed purely for “social” reasons.  So I see character growth there.  That and the fact that he is smiling at the end as well.  He is learning to engage better with the world around him.  So guessing what he does get and what he doesn’t is hard because he isn’t static. He is growing in his understanding and perceptions as well so it’s hard to know what he does and does not pick up.  SM is fascinating for me too.  I read him like I do my high functioning autistic nephew.  The similarities are stark. :D

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4 hours ago, nrllee said:

So I think SM knew he wasn’t capable of killing him because LCJ deemed SM was doing the right thing.  LCJ was using SM as his pawn to enact justice on his behalf.  That or maybe SM was just so dogged in his pursuit of truth that he didn’t care for his own life.

This is only evident in retrospect. At the time of the investigation, shimok had no reason to believe LCJ was actually a twisted vigilante monster, using shimok as a pawn to clean up corruption. In LCJ's defence, to echo eunsoo's father's words: I dont believe that murder is LCJ's method of choice. It was Yoon who wanted blood, and LCJ directed him to PMS. I'm not sure what LCJ would've done if there were no Yoon. Simply publish all the evidence he's collected, then commit suicide? The man must've lived in dissonance for so long and been so depressed. 

 

Anyway, going back to shimok - maybe you're right. He's so absorbed with solving the case that he forgets that his life has value, much like how he skips meals to prioritize work. Although, if this were the case, why would he criticize others for taking lightly the value of life?

 

4 hours ago, nrllee said:

So I see character growth there.  That and the fact that he is smiling at the end as well.

Yes! I enjoy all of shimok's scenes to see how he vibes with different people. With people he's comfortable around, shimok shows his different sides. I love the natural progression of their relationship. Yeojin and shimok somehow understand each other and tacitly formed a team. Then through repeated exposures, began to trust one another, and dare I say, became friendly! 

 

I'm not sure how much is due to yeojin, but shimok is slowly changing. Through eunsoo, he's also decided to trust people/give them a chance. Ahh eunsoo... her character'll get a separate post lol

 

The last scene where he smiles, I'm not sure whether he's mastered smiling from diligent practice, or it was a genuine unconscious smile. But hey, we'll still take it! :)

 

//I'm conflicted with Life, I feel it's too ambitious and experimental in the way it saddles different genre-identities. I enjoy Gu's character, and the debate on privatization of health care system.

Spoiler

But then we have a tense melo-bromance, complete with physical and mental health problems, a love triangle, a murder-mystery bait, and an evil chaebol heir straight out of makjang land. 

 

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1 hour ago, Xocopie88 said:

Anyway, going back to shimok - maybe you're right. He's so absorbed with solving the case that he forgets that his life has value, much like how he skips meals to prioritize work. Although, if this were the case, why would he criticize others for taking lightly the value of life?


I think for him it’s a concept.  He pursues it dogmatically.  It’s almost purely academic?  If that makes any sense.  And I am not even sure he’s critical.  He just tells it like it is.  It’s a monster based on these parameters he’s set up in his mind.  It’s a very non-emotive way of dissecting a problem.  He is so fixated on the problem that he forgets to eat/sleep.  Geniuses are often like that.  Solving the problem takes precedence and stimulates them so much that they will forego basic things like eating and sleeping.  My nephew will forget to eat/sleep too if he’s fixated on something.  I think for SM, his version of Lady Justice truly wears a blindfold.  It can prove very harsh but at the same time it’s also very “comforting” to know that the rules will be adhered to...to the letter of the law.  It’s an absolute.
 

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 I dont believe that murder is LCJ's method of choice.


Yes I think that’s what SM knew too (or maybe only in retrospect as you suggest).  The duplicitous nature of LCJ stumped SM (I think it stumped a lot of us).  In his letter to his wife it sounded like he really thought he was doing the right thing.  That he was backed into a corner and this was his only way out.  He departed this world believing he left it a better place.  Which of course was hogwash.  Taking a swan dive off the building was a cop out.  Why not face the music if he felt like he was “doing the right thing”?  Dissonance is one thing but choosing to just run with it just because of one misstep isn’t right either?  If you know you’re on the wrong path, man up, admit to your mistake, take it on the chin and get back on the right path.  EunSoo’s father was the same.  Refusing to reveal those secrets in the USB drive.  For the sake of his family?  Really?  Surely his integrity mattered more to them than their safety?  That was what EunSoo was attempting to reclaim on his behalf?  Instead, she died trying?  He was so afraid to lose her respect for him that he took the cowardly option of asking SM to protect her on his behalf?  It was a smokescreen.  He wasn’t the victim. But he played the victim and it cost ES her life.  

 

1 hour ago, Xocopie88 said:

Ahh eunsoo... her character'll get a separate post lol


Maybe it’s best to let sleeping (dead ones) dogs lie.  If you go to read the old thread in SF1 you will see why...her fandom is...how should I put it politely...a tad...

 

Spoiler

extreme. :lol:


 

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//I'm conflicted with Life, I feel it's too ambitious and experimental in the way it saddles different genre-identities. I enjoy Gu's character, and the debate on privatization of health care system.


Yes that was where it was at really.  I was willing to give Life more leeway because for the general populace that debate would be over and beyond what they would want to ponder about for 16 episodes.  The other side plays acted as buffers/fillers to make it more palatable as a drama for them.  Unless you understand the system and how it works and the inherent pros and cons it’s an intellectual exercise that bears no relevance to the daily life of the general public.  SF was different because it had underlying themes that everyone understood so little was needed to flesh out the story.  That’s how I approached both stories anyway.  You only need to look at the discussions in SF1 Vs Life here in Soompi to get a feel as to how pertinent either stories were to people on the whole.


Re Life

Spoiler

I found LDW (both his acting and his character) unsettling.  I always felt bad watching him in scenes because he looked painfully gaunt (he looks like death warmed up) so I never felt completely comfortable watching him in scenes.  It was harder still because he was the main lead.  Actually of the pairings I liked Gu and his secretary best.  The few interactions that they had between them were just...pleasant.  It was just a nice working relationship with no histrionics.

 

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