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

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On 12/20/2019 at 11:16 PM, nrllee said:

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.

Ah, I was rather alluding to his being critical of eunsoo  - he is frustrated by her recklessness and calls out her craziness for putting her own life in danger (did I read that scene correctly? I'm actually not too sure why he yelled and shook her. She did help to apprehend the escaping deliveryman). But to me, it's the pot calling the kettle black. Why cant shimok accept that she puts honour over life, when he himself can put certain things over his own safety. I understand forgetting sleep and food, but personal safety... I mean shimok picked up a hammer when he saw the body at PMS' home, so safety is not a foreign concept. 

 

On 12/20/2019 at 11:16 PM, nrllee said:

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.

Yes. Well, we're all the hero in our own story. I think he couldnt face what he'd become nor stand to live with himself anymore, and chose to go out guns blazing. Eunsoo's father was right about LCJ - he had given up on himself and thrown his talents away. 

 

On 12/20/2019 at 11:16 PM, nrllee said:

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?

Yes, therein laid the irony! I think it's a tragedy. He not only chose silence, from my understanding, he also shunned his own family for 3 years. Eunsoo only saw the inside of his home-office after she'd passed the bar. While I do understand his choice (he's not wrong - LYB/Hanjo is indeed capable of murder. What sane person would trade a vague concept like honour with the lives of his family members?), he should've communicated the risks and explained his decision to remain silent with his family. Because he played victim, eunsoo took it upon herself to restore the family honour (which is a testament to her esteem and pride in her father). He grossly misunderstood and underestimated eunsoo - she was never going to lay low and accept this injustice.

 

That being said, I think eunsoo died an absurd death. She was eliminated because LYB didnt like the possibility that she'd seen umbrella-man's face at shimok's apt. (Edit: I am mistaken! Her death was unplanned, and somehow linked with LYB's recovery of the usb). And she was by shimoks apt to deliver mail from the office. (I suppose she didnt want to drop by the cdo to get told off again. And when we consider that both secretary choi and assistant kim were working at the cdo, it's reasonable that she, as his former mentee, would deliver his mail). The fact she died in possession of the usb key was entirely incidental, a nice bonus for LYB. I'm not sure her death was entirely necessary, but it did start the chain reaction and led shimok to the real culprit - yoon. (I found the story relied on brute luck here... the way everything was solved so quickly and neatly) What do we learn from eunsoo's death? Dont be a nice busybody and deliver mail to your busy colleague? Dont be seen hanging around people (shimok) who rock the boat? No, I think she just had rotten luck. Wrong place wrong time wrong person.

 

I didnt go through the whole SF1 thread... Apologies if I'm repeating things that've already been discussed. 

I really enjoyed all the characters! Though she didnt annoy me, I initially found eunsoo's character to be confusing (to be fair, sdj and lcj were also confusing, albeit in different ways). I would say I appreciated her character and understood her much more upon rewatch. Objectively, she does crazy things, but her actions are consistent with her character motivations. She didnt grate me as much because I dont believe she was actively coming on to shimok. Sure, theirs was a strange tense relationship, and yes she is an awkward kid, but nothing she did can be construed as overt flirting (perhaps I'm oblivious)? I only see a lonely kid trying to lean on someone she deemed trustworthy, a desparate kid wanting an ally, a competent kid wanting to be acknowledged/accepted, a persistent kid wanting to be cleared of suspicions, a proud kid wanting to restore her family honour. 

 

Re Life

On 12/20/2019 at 11:16 PM, nrllee said:

The other side plays acted as buffers/fillers to make it more palatable as a drama for them.

This would make sense, but I didnt think the writer to be one to compromise the vision of her story for the mass. Maybe she believed in the importance of the side plots - stories of 'Life'? I still dont know, but those fillers broke my immersion in the show.

 

Spoiler

I too disliked Ye. The writer/PD said LDW played his character perfectly, but I dont understand what that character is. A gloomy, pessimistic, unnecessarily vindictive renegade? Gu-Kang pairing best, followed by Gu-Oh, and Gu-Oh-Joo. 

 

Edited by Xocopie88
I was mistaken
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so this time Shi Mok will handling Prime Minister case.... I wonder if Yoon Se Ah character will be his friend or foe this time. Since she still have unfinished business due to her husband death. 

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1 hour ago, Xocopie88 said:

That being said, I think eunsoo died an absurd death. She was eliminated because LYB didnt like the possibility that she'd seen umbrella-man's face at shimok's apt.


I was of the impression that she was killed for the USB she stole from her father’s drawer?  Or did I get that wrong?  I must admit I switched off when it came to her scenes.  She annoyed me too much. 

 

1 hour ago, Xocopie88 said:

he is frustrated by her recklessness and calls out her craziness for putting her own life in danger (did I read that scene correctly? I'm actually not too sure why he yelled and shook her.


Because she was illogical in her approach.  That was what annoyed me most.  And I think that annoyed SM as well.  She was hellbent on pinning the blame on LCJ.  She wasn’t objective.  She’s too close to the action.  I completely understand why SM would exclude her from the investigation.  You can’t have someone who’s already decided who should be prosecuted from the get go.  It wouldn’t be a fair starting point.  Lady Justice is blindfolded for a reason.  ES was a liability to him and she kept getting herself into trouble.  Look how she tried to establish that LJH’s character wasn’t capable of killing someone?  She provoked him enough for him to strangle her?  Then acted like it was nothing?  That’s not “normal”.  SM can handle himself, she is defenseless?  So it irked him that she wouldn’t think things through.  Rationally. Logically.  I think the fact that YJ is rational made ES’s character worse for me.  I just kept wanting to shake her too.  Just as well SM did it for me. :lol:

 

1 hour ago, Xocopie88 said:

 I don’t believe she was actively coming on to shimok. Sure, theirs was a strange tense relationship, and yes she is an awkward kid, but nothing she did can be construed as overt flirting (perhaps I'm oblivious)?


She flirted at his apartment.  He told her tomorrow.  She insisted on coming into his apartment.  He kept telling her to leave as it was  inappropriate.  She kept coming back.  She asked for his sweater.  Her lame excuse was that she didn’t want her folks seeing the marks on her neck.  So she’s fine with them seeing her coming home in a man’s sweater instead?  :blink: Hey if my daughter came home at night in a man’s sweater I would want answers.  She sent him a song...why?  She buys him a new sweater.  These are all over and beyond mentee-mentor affirmation seeking behavior.  She wanted more.    Initially I thought she was just looking for a father figure. Her father was MIA for 3 years.  I thought all she wanted was for someone to affirm that she was doing well but the apartment incident just sealed it beyond doubt for me that she was flirting. 

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19 hours ago, nrllee said:

I was of the impression that she was killed for the USB she stole from her father’s drawer?

I stand corrected! I went back to check the scenes and you are right! However the mechanics behind eunsoo's death are murky. Her murder was never planned and a bit unclear: did woo kill her because she had seen him loitering around one too many times (and subsequently recovered the evidence)? Or did woo have reasons to believe she was in possession of evidence (and consequently killed her)?

 

Regardless, I dont think it fair to impute her death on recklessness. Searching her own home for evidence that would further the investigation is not reckless. We can hardly expect her to idle after she's learned her father has been hiding evidence under her nose. That would be inconsistent with her character.

 

19 hours ago, nrllee said:

Because she was illogical in her approach.

 

Eunsoo is the first to admit she is crazy and out of her mind. Her confrontation with sdj revealed a lot about her character - she prefers death over dishonour, and in her quest to restore family honour, she is not above throwing her enemy under the bus. Keep in mind, her whole life was fractured from the moment her father fell from grace. Her parents lived like criminals, her dad sequestered himself in his room, shunning his own family for 3 whole years. You bet she harbours intense bitterness and resentment towards LCJ. It completely warped her personality, there is no way she can be rational about this. 

Eunsoo, rightly or not, was convinced LCJ is the mastermind. To that end, she took a calculated, but no less reckless, approach. She had a lot to gain from the confrontation : either sdj is indeed the culprit/accomplice, and would flip and frame LCJ, or sdj is not the culprit. She had to try to confirm either way.

19 hours ago, nrllee said:

Look how she tried to establish that LJH’s character wasn’t capable of killing someone?  She provoked him enough for him to strangle her?  Then acted like it was nothing?  That’s not “normal”.


I'm not sure she 'acted' like it was nothing. It truly is nothing to her! We can disagree on her method, but it's consistent with her crazy character.


But shimok wasnt angry about this incident. He was angry to find her chasing the escaping deliveryman.

19 hours ago, nrllee said:

ES was a liability to him and she kept getting herself into trouble.

Is there reason to believe shimok feels liable for her safety? I dont think he does, which is why I'm not sure why he reacted so angrily. He already knows how absorbed she is in her personal quest, to the point that death is nothing to her. What's more, eunsoo had every reason to give chase. She's running against the statute of limitations(?), and with PMS dead, only the deliveryman can conceivably clear her dad's name. So yes, she did think things through, and in apprehending the deliveryman, she wound up (clumsily) helping the investigation, but she did it first and foremost for her own agenda.

 

Once I began to understand how much she wanted to reclaim her family honour, I saw that her every reckless move was calculated to further her objective. I'm not saying she did the correct calculations, but there is deliberate intent behind her actions.

 

 

19 hours ago, nrllee said:

She flirted at his apartment.

19 hours ago, nrllee said:

These are all over and beyond mentee-mentor affirmation seeking behavior.  She wanted more.  

I know koreans are very conservative, so visiting men's homes at night is shocking. But cant we take eunsoo's words as face value? She knows shimok is particular, and wouldnt/doesnt care about these things. And since he wouldnt take her visit the wrong way, why would she start to give these things consideration? Another way to look at it, eunsoo is unafraid of even death, so why would she worry about what shimok thinks? I could be wrong, but I cant see how flirting/seduction serves her purpose? It doesnt. And in any case, shimok the one to turn the conversation in the personal direction.

We recall that eunsoo didnt randomly visit. Earlier in the day, shimok had accepted her help in searching sdj's office for the phone. She even covered for shimok when his phone rung. So it follows that eunsoo had questions. And she is relentless - shimok left the office to search the river, so yes she will intercept him at home to interrogate him, gender considerations be damned.

I'm not sure shimok's telling her to leave was due to any propriety. It's just the brusque way he is with people. Recall his early interactions with yeojin - shimok was also evasive, choosing to ignore her, to selectively answer questions, etc. And yeojin was also relentless, cornering shimok at the courthouse, barging into his car. There doesn't seem to be any other way to get answers out of shimok - you gotta corner him!

Eunsoo's second visit to shimok's was right after she picked herself up from the dumpster alley and confirmed sdj was not the culprit. Recall that earlier the same day, shimok and eunsoo had a convo where he dismissed her theory about lcj and told her sdj was the culprit. Now armed with confirmation of the contrary, she's come to share the news.

 

You know when you find discover something and have to tell your friend right away? Like how, when news broke about the sponsorship scandal, and shimok got a revelation about the culprit, he called and told yeojin right away. That must be how it was for eunsoo too. 

 

Borrowing his clothes was incidental to the reason of the visit, and she wasnt pushy when shimok first refused. Cant it actually be because she didnt want to worry her mom? Id rather my mother question me for wearing men's clothes and suspect a hidden lover than to have her constantly worry for my safety and view my profession negatively. We can see how much she values her family, she's just being a good kid. If shimok thought they were crossing a line, why would he lend the sweater? Despite what it looks like, it's really not a big deal for either of them.

 

20 hours ago, nrllee said:

She buys him a new sweater.

Because she ruined his. It's as simple as that. I know I would do the same. For clothes you borrow, you wash/dry clean before returning, and buy new ones if they're beyond repair. What's the alternative - return the ruined sweater and apologize? That's something you might do with close friends or family, and shimok is neither to her. I mean, if there was a cheesy note or something extra along with the new sweater, then yes I would believe it to be an romantic overture. As is, given their characters, and their knowledge of the other's character, I dont see anything suspicious.

 

20 hours ago, nrllee said:

She sent him a song...why?

I think, like how we find shimok curious and fascinating, so too does eunsoo. She wondered why shimok would sit alone in the dark at home, why he doesnt even put on music. So as she was listening to music at home, she casually sent him a song along with a thank you text. That's not too strange. It's similar to yeojin's random candy gift, her treating him to pollack soup, the casual drawing gifts. Wanting to get to know/to get close to the other person doesnt imply romantic interest.

 

Above all, I believe eunsoo to be so consumed by her personal quest that in no way would she allow herself to entertain any romantic interest in any one.

 

This kid has 11/10 initiative. Dad shuns her? Np, she will work her way into the seoul prosecution office and restore family honour by herself. Shimok dismissing her theory and believing sdj to be the culprit? Np, she will go confirm her suspicions herself. Shimok sidelining her from the investigation? Np, she will chase down key witnesses by herself. Everyone is keeping her in the dark about existing evidence at her own house? Again np, she will find it herself. The only time eunsoo broke was when the retrial appeal was blocked - even then she barged into the blue house and gave LCJ a piece of her mind.

 

If she really believed romancing shimok would get her closer to restoring family honour, I'm certain she would be way more forward and try something aggressive. 


Some other considerations -
Gender workplace inequality is the norm in korea - much like yeojin has trouble getting accepted by all her colleagues, eunsoo too faces some of that. Recall the first scene when shimok dragged kangjinseob back to the office. He sidelined eunsoo and instead called in assistant kim to help with the interrogation. Un/intentional mysoginy? Eunsoo's competence is also questioned by people like PMS. For being born female. Of course she would want to prove to others that she/women too are competent.

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I see your points @Xocopie88 but there is no doubt in my mind that she flirted (Not overtly but it was all suggested).  She was fishing.  I watched that particular scene a few times to work out where she was taking the conversation.  I was also trying to work out how much SM knew or pretended not to know about all the signals she was throwing his way.  He doesn’t say so it’s pure guesswork based on what I can see from his words and also his reactions to her responses.   You could read it your way for sure.  That she didn’t want anything other than affirmation from him (she idolized him as her mentor, he had rescued her once before by taking the heat from the TV repairman incident.  And then later he cleared her father’s name.).  
 

3 hours ago, Xocopie88 said:

Borrowing his clothes was incidental to the reason of the visit, and she wasnt pushy when shimok first refused. Cant it actually be because she didnt want to worry her mom? Id rather my mother question me for wearing men's clothes and suspect a hidden lover than to have her constantly worry for my safety and view my profession negatively.


That was exactly my point.  She didn’t mind her parents thinking there was something between SM and her.  In fact it would appear she welcomed it.  And that was where I question her motives.  Yes it is open to interpretation for sure.  I still think it was full of innuendo.  
 

Quote

Because she ruined his.(sweater)


Where did you see that?  I don’t think she did?  She washed it and returned it perfectly whole to him?  She just bought him another one when she returned his original?  There was nothing that suggested that the original was ruined?  It looked perfectly fine to me.  No holes, nothing.  If it was ruined then the normal procedure would be to throw away the ruined sweater and gift him with a new one?  Why return the original “ruined” one with the new one?  And the original sweater was used to drape over him when she came in to return it to him.  If it was ruined, why use that one?

 

The fact that everyone else picked up on it (office gossip which was why she got invited to the rooftop party in the first place) and SM seemed to be the only one oblivious seals it for me.  If they can see it and it’s already on the grapevine, it means it was very obvious.  And she did nothing to deny it.  If she wasn’t wanting any misunderstanding she would’ve vehemently denied all efforts to bring them together.  So she secretly didn’t mind it.  She was fishing because she wanted to see if it would eventuate.  Unfortunately for her SM probably wouldn’t have  entertained it.  Morally and ethically it’s not “right” for mentor-mentee relationships.  I would have an issue with it.  It’s like a student-teacher relationship.  There’s a line.  And SM being such a stickler for rules and routines would know that it’s a no go zone.  There’s that potential for predatory/grooming undertones so it’s not somewhere someone like him would go to flippantly.  ES is used to overstepping lines.  I understand her character and why she would do what she would but I do not agree with her process.  
 

As for misogyny 

Spoiler

Misogyny is one thing but then why cry foul only when it doesn’t go your way?  Do what YeoJin does.  She is the poster girl for what to do to gain the respect of being in a male dominated system.  Don’t buck the system.  Do your job well.  Don’t ask for favours because you’re “female” or “male” for that matter.  You can see how her responses to LCJ’s wife is what earns her the respect of her colleagues.  Don’t even bring in gender into the conversation (that’s YJ’s strength in her argument) - it’s based on merit.  Yes you can read misogyny into SM’s action of shutting ES out but was it really intentional?  As soon as you bring out the misogyny card you have already lost the battle.  You lose the respect of your male colleagues and put them on the defensive.  I find it counterproductive.  Just let your work do all the talking for you.  Don’t whine about being sidelined.  Prove your worth by doing your job well.  Respect is earnt that way.  Not by complaining.  YJ’s way is how it should be done.  That’s how I roll.  

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I enjoy our discussion @nrllee :) thanks for reading me!

Spoiler

I hope I dont sound like an extreme eunsoo fan! 

I collapsed things so as to not overwhelm the thread with my wall of text.

 

5 hours ago, nrllee said:

 I watched that particular scene a few times to work out where she was taking the conversation.  I was also trying to work out how much SM knew or pretended not to know

So have I, and I agree with you there is a strange tension in that scene, but I admit I dont fully understand what I'm seeing/ the intent behind what is said / their reactions. Perhaps I lack the life experience to see what you're seeing.

 

5 hours ago, nrllee said:

she idolized him as her mentor, he had rescued her once before by taking the heat from the TV repairman incident.  And then later he cleared her father’s name

Eunsoo knows he's not intentionally helping her, but it's only natural she would be grateful when he does things that are helpful, even if only incidentally. She didn't send him flowers nor given him any favours, nor even offered to buy him coffee or treat him to a meal. She only verbally expressed her gratitude. 

Spoiler

 

Certainly she respects him as a competent senior prosecutor, but I'm not sure she idolized him (am I missing something)?

We dont know what kind of mentor shimok was to eunsoo. But I think it's fair to say he was lacking. He's not the nurturing kind to teach his juniors and show them the ropes. By the end of her probation period, he was still not allowing her to be present during interrogations. Why would such a mentor be liked, much less idolized? 

 

I can only say she idolizes her father, and he forms a pillar of her identity.

 

5 hours ago, nrllee said:

She didn’t mind her parents thinking there was something between SM and her.  In fact it would appear she welcomed it.  And that was where I question her motives.  Yes it is open to interpretation for sure.  I still think it was full of innuendo.  

Why are we assuming she would tell her folks that shimok lent her the sweater?

 

Spoiler

We know her mom likes shimok, and she's expressed her gratitude to him for taking the heat off eunsoo. Yes, he was only telling the media the truth, but not everyone would have, which is why she is not taking what shimok did for granted. She approves him, but that's a wishful thinking mom thing - pairing up your daughter with whichever competent eligible bachelor. Even so, she only got that idea because she misinterpreted shimok's intent behind his line of questioning, when he came to visit her husband. Theres nothing that leads us to believe eunsoo was fueling mom's fantasies behind the scenes. 

 

Re ruined sweater
This is going to be incredibly boring and technical...

Spoiler

 

Sweater knits like that type should be laid flat to dry. Eunsoo hung it, and then one of the sleeves dropped down. In this way, when dried, the sweater would have one sleeve longer than the other due to stretching. 

 

When shimok examined his returned sweater, he held the sleeve up and saw that it had stretched. Again, after her death, shimok also picked up that sweater and the longer sleeve dropped lower. 

 

It is possible to fix it, but we assume eunsoo doesnt know how, as she didnt know how to dry it properly in the first place.

 

She returned it anyway because maybe shimok would want to fix it? It's his to dispose of however he wishes. Why draping it over him? Yes, that point is very suspicious. It's what mothers would do for their child. Definitely hints at affection and caring, but not necessarily romantic ?

 

 

5 hours ago, nrllee said:

The fact that everyone else picked up on it (office gossip which was why she got invited to the rooftop party in the first place) and SM seemed to be the only one oblivious

This interpretation is interesting, I had never considered it from this angle!

Spoiler

 

As it was childhood classmate kimjungbeom who drops this rumour, I didnt read too much into it. His character was previously shown to be rather clueless - he switches to banmal when he speaking to shimok, in front of everyone, and treats shimok casually - tearing off a piece of shimok's bun. I thought he was making the rumour up on the fly, to make it seem like he was closer to shimok than he actually is.

 

Kimjungbeom doesnt know eunsoo, nor does he know the office dynamics at the prosecutors office. He's never stepped foot inside. He only saw eunsoo once briefly at the cdo. And he totally imagined the wrong idea/ is making things up to churn the gossip mill.

 

All the team members were present during the sweater returning aftermath scene, saw eusoo leaving (in tears?), and saw the sweater. I'm sure they had questions, but it's not obvious, to yeojin at least, that eunsoo and shimok could be dating. 

 

 

5 hours ago, nrllee said:

If they can see it and it’s already on the grapevine, it means it was very obvious.  And she did nothing to deny it.  If she wasn’t wanting any misunderstanding she would’ve vehemently denied all efforts to bring them together.  So she secretly didn’t mind it.

I'm grasping to see it. What could be on the grapevine?

SpoilerThe sweater returning scene maybe ? It's tenuous at best.

 

Is there anyone other than kimjungbeom talking about them being an item? Eunsoo cant reasonably deny it if no one brings it up during her presence.  

 

Efforts to bring them together, was there such a thing? You mean she should have vehemently refused to attend the garden party? Refused to sit next to shimok at the garden party? Refused shimok's offer to drive her back?

 

I think that's too much. We know eunsoo is a lonely lost soul, and she's wanted to be a part of the special investigation since day 1. Cant a kid attend a party without being perceived as wanting to chase men? If anything, she had to come to get intel on the investigation! But I think she really just wanted to belong. She sincerely thanked yeojin for inviting her when they were chopping fruits. 

...the only empty seat was the one closest to the stairwell, and shimok just happened to be her seat neighbor, it wasnt planned.

...I guess she could've refused the ride, and maybe she would've, had she known there was a misunderstanding. We cant say. 

 

I found yeojin overstepped, for answering shimoks phone, inviting a kid she doesnt know at all on the sole basis of a rumour, and then putting shimok on the spot and having him drive eunsoo back. (Although, we have no idea where the group members live relative to each other, so maybe that arrangement made the most sense?!) But shimok didnt appear to mind/wasnt visibly annoyed, so I suppose all is well.

 

Certainly there are romantic undertones to their relationship, and I won't rule out that maybe eunsoo is subconsciously attracted to shimok. It's hard to say how their relationship could've developed, after eunsoo clears her family honour and can actively pursue other interests, romantic or otherwise. But we'll never know!

 

 

5 hours ago, nrllee said:

Don’t whine about being sidelined.  Prove your worth by doing your job well.

Spoiler

 

Thats what I believe eunsoo's trying to do. The problem is, she cant prove anything if she is not given the opportunity. If shimok doesnt even allow her to be present during suspect interrogation for something as mundane as informing right of silence, how is she expected to learn/improve/prove? Was eunsoo's work performance lacking? We dont know, but theres no reason to assume so. She seemed to be doing fine thereafter as a full-fledged prosecutor.

 

Shimok prefers to work alone, so we dont know whether he was intentionally excluding trainee-eunsoo or not, and for what reasons. I'm just pointing out that, whether you're competent or not, workplace gender inequality is the average korean female worker's experience. And this could be a factor in why eunsoo is motivated to want to prove her worth to shimok.

 

I absolutely agree with on most points. But you can denounce systematic inequality while doing your job well. They're not mutually exclusive :)

Society wants us to believe hard work alone solves all problems, but it's not so clear cut. 

 

Did she ever whine? She did question why she cant participate in the special investigation. Though here, its not a question of competence, but lack of objectivity. Thing is, eunsoo doesnt know that shimok saw her confrontation with sdj/ knows the depths of her impartiality. So she protests his decision to exclude her, but unbeknownst to her, there is nothing she could do that would change his mind.

 

 

Perhaps I need to do a rewatch specifically to pay attention to all eunsoo scenes. It's mindboggling to me how we could have such vastly different interpretation of one character!

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Wow, the thread is moving lol:lol:. @nrllee @Xocopie88  I love reading other people's point of view:rolleyes:. Apparently, I wasn't involved with SF1 thread because I binged watched the whole drama after it finished lol:sweatingbullets:

 

So I rewatched SF1 during summer this year with my cousin. She kept it in her watchlist :scream:(I found out she was Kdrama addict like me lol. First one in the family:lol:). I have to say, by the end of the first episode, ES was not her favorite:ph34r:. And don't get me started on when ES got killed lol. I was relieved when she said she didn't have a Soompi account cuz god knows what she would have said about her Imao:sweatingbullets::lol:.

 

But I have to say, rewatching the drama did open my eyes to ES actions. Girl was desperate to clear her family name no matter what. She was emotional and reckless and SM knew it; however, she didn't deserve to die. She was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong guy. If only she didn't come to SM apartment that night and didn't see the secretary with his umbrella, would things be different? I still don't think so. She was bound to get killed due to her father keeping that USB and not talking to her properly about it. SM was right in her funeral, her death is on her father's hands and that's something he will have to live with it for the rest of his life. 

 

As for her relationship with SM, even to this day, I don't know what her intentions were with SM. Sometimes, it looked like she looks up to him as her mentor; sometimes, as someone who will help and clear her family name; and sometimes, someone she is interested in. I don't know and I don't think we will ever get to find out. 

 

As for the way SM handled ES and made her excluded from the investigation, he had every right to call the shots. He knew what her goal was and what she would do to get there. He knew that she made up her mind about LCJ being the killer. He knew she hid the fact that she met the sponsor the night before he got murdered. Too many lies and didn't care about the consequences of her actions. If she wanted to get him to help clear her family name which by the way, wasn't any of his business, she should have been honest from the beginning. 

 

PS. I was really relieved when it was revealed that it wasn't Yoon who killed her. And don't get me started on LCJ plan of using a grieving father for his plans:crazy:. If only Yoon met SM earlier, would things be different?:tears:

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5 hours ago, lu09 said:

I was really relieved when it was revealed that it wasn't Yoon who killed her. And don't get me started on LCJ plan of using a grieving father for his plans:crazy:. If only Yoon met SM earlier, would things be different?


I never doubted that it was someone else who killed ES.  Not Yoon.  Modus operandi was totally different.  ES’s death was too messy.  And Yoon’s reaction at the scene was genuine shock and horror.  He could not have killed her.  But yes his story was very sad.

 

And yes I would’ve sidelined ES as well.  She was a liability because she had already fixed in her mind who the culprit should be.  She’s not objective.  Just as anyone with vested interests are left out of investigations as a rule of thumb, ES was justifiably so.  I don’t doubt why she relentlessly pursued her version of the truth for the sake of her family name.  It was an issue of pride, but she had no one to blame but herself (and her indulgent father) for her death.  Was she at the wrong place at the wrong time?  Yeah.  But she got herself to the wrong place in the first place.

 

And with my misogyny statement it was directed to the general audience.  ES never pulled that card out so we shouldn’t either.  

 

@Xocopie88 Yeah I can totally see your points too but because it’s all implied and never verbalized or overt, ES and SM will always be a case subject to interpretation so I will leave it at that (as @lu09 has intimated).  As for the sweater yes it should’ve been laid flat to dry.  But to go as far as to say it was totally out of shape as a result (ruined) and therefore the reason why she decided to buy him a new sweater would be a “stretch” :lol:.  I saw the dropped sleeve as the PD paralleling the scenes not as an indication that one sleeve was longer than the other... implying that ES was in SM’s thoughts as he looked at the sweater.  Your analysis is just as speculative as my interpretation of her buying one for him to hint at suggestive innuendo.  I take my cues from the interpretations of those around SM.  The side eyes from staff, YJ’s and everyone else who read her actions as over and beyond “proper etiquette”.  So I rest my case here and leave it up to anyone who wants to read to judge for themselves.  I guess it’s a moot point anyway because she’s dead.  She’s taken her secret with her to her grave.

 

EDIT - I think I am very similar to SM in my response to ES and her actions.  He obviously finds her annoying (he constantly rolls his eyes when with her) because she gets herself into situations she can’t get herself out of.  And he has to bail her out.  The first case she took up...she couldn’t take the heat from the reporters and he had to step in to remedy the situation.  He followed her with a gun to witness the strangling by LJH’s character.  He loaned her his sweater to help her “cover it up”.  She hopped into his car for a lift (uninvited mind you) after she clung onto the suspect’s van in pursuit (cue eye roll from SM).  She is incapable of following it through to the end. I had to laugh at his whole take home point from the apartment/sweater incident which we are debating here... he is jogging at night and running through the events in his head and says this to himself, “ES emphasised that DS couldn’t be the culprit, but by doing so she actually ended up revealing how much she wants Mr Lee’s family to be the culprit.  If she can throw her own life out there as bait, how would she feel about someone else’s life?  Between the probability that DJ isn’t the culprit and the probability that ES is a suspect, which is higher now?”  And then as if to answer that question for him, she sends him the text and the cryptic song with lyrics of “you and I...we...” which he listens in part but never finishes. :lol:.  She was still on his suspect list regardless.  Didn’t matter to him whatsoever if she was hitting on him or not, irrelevant to the case at hand.  So I will take his interpretation on the matter.  :lol:  Stick to the facts.

 

EDIT2 - I missed your post @Yippeun_eonnie.

Quote

so this time Shi Mok will handling Prime Minister case.... I wonder if Yoon Se Ah character will be his friend or foe this time. Since she still have unfinished business due to her husband death.


Yes.  And I think her father got a reprieve as well?  So he may be out of prison?  Again it was implied...one phone call at the end to update her on his case.

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2 hours ago, lu09 said:

I love reading other people's point of view:rolleyes:

Me too :D 

Spoiler

watching and discussing during its live-air would have been such a different experience, I doubt I would have had anything insightful to say as I'm not good at forming theories. Probably going to disappear during sf2's live-air!

 

2 hours ago, lu09 said:

She was emotional and reckless and SM knew it; however, she didn't deserve to die.

My opinion as well. I'm quite shocked to hear suggestions she deserved death. That would be like saying shimok deserved death for going against the establishment and kicking the hornet's nest. No, he's just doing his job to expose the internal corruption. And so too was she.

 

Spoiler

Her brand of justice is more personal, but she is entirely justified in wanting vengeance. LCJ didnt kill her dad, but the concept of honour in korea is so strong, that stripping it from someone is akin to social murder (this is exactly why kanginseob committed suicide for being wrongfully convicted, and why LCJ committed suicide - neither can bear to live with dishonour). It's utterly humiliating, to descend from esteemed professor and minister of justice to greedy corrupted exofficial. The way her parents lived thereafter was tantamount to social suicide. 

 

2 hours ago, lu09 said:

SM was right in her funeral, her death is on her father's hands

Yes, the beautiful tragic irony. It echoes the gift of the magi.

Spoiler

 

Her dad did the ultimate sacrifice - forsake his personal integrity to protect the lives of his family. And his daughter also did the ultimate sacrifice - stake her life to restore his honour. They both loved each other so much, it's heartbreaking.

 

Her dad completely broke down at the funeral, blaming shimok, stick-whacking LCJ. Or course he's furious! He thought he had an agreement with LCJ - leave my family alone and I'll leave your family alone (tax fraud reveal would've sent LCJ's wife and inlaws to jail). 

 

At least his character redeemed himself. Instead of indefinitely blaming the world, he came forward and broke silence after eunsoo's death. I also loved that he apologized for whacking sdj, I can see why he was so respected. Not easy for an elder to admit fault.

 

 

2 hours ago, lu09 said:

As for her relationship with SM

I guess it's up for interpretation! I dislike female characters who exist to pine over the male lead. So if thats what eunsoo was doing, thankfully it's not painfully obvious, because I sure as heck wouldve been majorly annoyed too.

 

More on the sweater scene:

Spoiler

Even in the highly incriminating scene where she drapes the sweater over shimok, she didnt do it publically, nor openly with his knowledge. I see the romantic undertone, but cant we also normalize non-romantically motivated caring gestures? A person's sleeping face is such a vulnerable and private thing, maybe seeing shimok's triggered eunsoo's maternal/caring instincts? Am I too naive? Though, even if we believe her to have mixed feelings for shimok, at least she is keeping it to herself. I think that she is also careful to not cause misunderstandings. At the garden party, she couldve told shimok, in front of everyone that she'd been by his apt. Instead, she chose to tell him privately in the car ride about the potential break-in. 

 

Shimok is completely justified in the way he handled eunsoo. However, I dont understand why he never talked about his suspicions about eunsoo to yeojin. And because he didnt, yeojin wound up unwittingly inviting a suspect (eunsoo) to the garden party where they discussed the special investigation. 

 

Spoiler

Could it be, much like how shimok didnt tell yeojin about sdj (sense of superiority towards a non-graduate of SNU), he's not telling yeojin about eunsoo, because he feels superior to her (why? Because she's a female prosecutor)? We don't know. We dont know how he personally felt about eunso, and how that might help with his character growth.

 

2 hours ago, lu09 said:

Too many lies and didn't care about the consequences of her actions. If she wanted to get him to help clear her family name which by the way, wasn't any of his business, she should have been honest from the beginning. 

Agreed, her dishonesty was what made her suspicious. However, consider this:

Spoiler

 

the office is a hotbed of the corruption eunsoo wants to expose. She's working under the enemy, alongside minions, and there is not one person she can trust. The moment she confesses to meeting PMS, she'll have to explain that she's out to restore her family name. There's no way she can out herself. What if LCJ catches wind of her secret agenda and makes life difficult for her/transfers her out/suspends her?

 

No, she could not be honest, not until she eavesdropped the convo and realized shimok could be a potential ally. Yes, their motives are entirely different, but the end goals are the same : shimok wants to clean up the corruption, eunsoo wants to restore honour - both involve taking down LCJ on charges of bribery, if not murder. Eunsoo isn't exactly using shimok. She simply wants to help shimok reach his goal, so that she may reach hers - in her mind, it's a mutually beneficial partnership.

 

 

2 hours ago, lu09 said:

Yoon

Ah, this guy. I loved the way he was written. He's very similar to eunsoo.

Spoiler

 

Both on a vengeance mission to right a wrong. Both throwing their lives away. Both so terribly lonely. You're absolutely right, had he met and surrounded himself with good supportive people, he wouldve been able to breathe sooner, and move on from his grief. I loved his prison scenes with yeojin and PMS son. The sobbed apologies were beautiful.

 

Few questions: yoon probably felt justified knifing PMS, but how did he justify abducting and attacking kimgayoung? She was completely unrelated to his son's death. The horror he inflicted on her, and moreover, the pain he caused kimgayoung's mother. As a parent himself, how was he ok with this? Was her assault necessary to the plan?

 

 

5 hours ago, lu09 said:

And don't get me started on LCJ

I loved shimok's speech at the end.

Spoiler

 

It's easy to romanticize a villain like LCJ (he did it for the greater good!), but LCJ was still a monster. He had collected all the evidence over the years. Why cant he expose the corruption without killing pms/harming kimgayoung? Shock value? Media play? 

 

His relationship with his wife... he threw away his personal integrity for love? His wife wouldnt have left her dad for him? Divorce not an option? And didnt he love his daughter abroad? Was honourable death the only way?

 

 

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3 hours ago, nrllee said:

Your analysis is just as speculative as my interpretation of her buying one for him to hint at suggestive innuendo.

Completely agree! What was eunsoo really thinking, only she can really know! But I feel it disingenuous to suggest she was secretly hoping/ misleading everyone - her family, the office - about the nature of her relationship with shimok. 

3 hours ago, nrllee said:

And he has to bail her out

He never had to, nor was it ever his responsibility. Moreover, I dont believe he ever went out of his way for her...

Spoiler

 

He talked to the media to save himself. LCJ had suggested there would be an internal audit and someone would get axed, and the whole PMS murder affair would be buried. Shimok intentionally gave the interview as a media play to ensure favourable public opinion - so that he can stay on the job and continue investigations. LYB had even remarked how brilliant it was.

 

Was is really eunsoo's fault how it played out? She's a newly minted prosecutor, and she was only responsible for the trial, on evidence shimok had presented. It's unfair to expect her alone to take all the heat. No one predicted kangjinseob would commit suicide.

 

Following her with a gun... actually I have no idea why this happened. How did he suspect, immediately after their convo, that she would do something drastic? In any case... shimoks worry(?) was unfounded. Eunsoo, fluke or not, was right about sdj, and she did handle herself / never relied on him for her safety.

 

Even if he believed her to be a liability... she is reckless, so let her have it! She'll learn as she falls. Let her make her own choices. Why take the paternalistic overprotective approach in following her? Was that what he was doing? He felt he had to baby her? I dont think so. He said as much to her father - noone can control any other person. He will not look after eunsoo.

 

He could just as easily have refused to lend the sweater. Rather than irked, I'm instead, again, confused at the situation - we know he's perfectly capable of ignoring questions/requests - so why lend the sweater? Sure she made the request, but he gave in. It takes two hands to clap. If you chose to help a person, dont get high and mighty afterwards because you had to help. It was his choice.

(Last bit on the sweater - The final straw for me is: if shimok felt the sweater gift was inappropriate/crossing boundaries/unwarranted - why keep it, why not return it? We know he's more than capable of returning inappropriate gifts - pms' credit card at their introductory meeting. So the fact he kept it in spite of all considerations must mean there really is nothing).

 

 

The van pursuit.... it was Yoon who was in charge of apprehending the deliveryman. It was also Yoon who requested shimok come as backup. We see that eunsoo, yoon, and the suspect were all fine even before shimok arrived.

 

I really fail to see in which way shimok was terribly inconvenienced. Do you mean Yoon wouldnt have called shimok to come had he not seen eusoo perched on the truck? Did shimok feel obligated to go because he was worried about eunsoo? I'm not sure!

 

She barged into his car uninvited, not because she didnt have a ride (yoon had offered her a lift back). Of course shimoks annoyed. Shimok just doesnt naturally offer rides. Recall yeojin's surprise when she was left stranded as well in an earlier scene. It's nothing personal. Recall also that yeojin has barged into shimoks car and tagged along during the PMS reopen investigation. Is it that big a deal?

 

 

3 hours ago, nrllee said:

Didn’t matter to him whatsoever if she was hitting on him or not, irrelevant to the case at hand.

Absolutely agreed! If I'm understanding correctly, you find eunsoo annoying because her hypothetical romantic fixation on shimok inconveniences/ burdens him? That is completely fair. I was just curious to understand reasons for the hypothesis :) and there seems to be a consensus that it's up for interpretation! 

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41 minutes ago, Xocopie88 said:

Absolutely agreed! If I'm understanding correctly, you find eunsoo annoying because her hypothetical romantic fixation on shimok inconveniences/ burdens him? That is completely fair. I was just curious to understand reasons for the hypothesis :) and there seems to be a consensus that it's up for interpretation! 


I don’t know if it’s merely her fixations (or her “crush” on him, the innuendo there just made her more annoying to me :lol:), it’s more the fact that she kept pursuing the case despite SM keeping her out of the loop and imposing herself on him...that’s what I found the most annoying.  He obviously didn’t want to talk to her about it but she just kept going out of her way and pressing him for answers or wanting in on the action.  I understand where she is coming from but it doesn’t make her any less annoying to me. :lol:.  It’s like children who keep pestering and asking, “why?”.    That’s how she comes across to me.  An annoying child playing in a very adult world, out of her depth and not realising it.  
 

As for him bailing her out, yes to all your points and he kept explaining that everything was totally above board and it was purely business on his part (no innuendo - even the hand gripping harassment by DJ).  I just wish her father didn’t sully it by telling SM to protect her.  Whilst SM did say he couldn’t do it (protect her), I always wonder how much that weighed on his mind.  And her mother/father interpreted the TV interview as him rescuing her.  So whilst he explained it the way he did, I look at her actions as impositions and stepping in where she was not wanted.  As for the scene after the van chase, for me it was a big deal because SM was obviously annoyed.  She could’ve taken the bus?  Or if that wasn’t an option, she could’ve done the polite thing and asked first before just jumping in the passenger seat?  And then giving him no option in the matter and telling him, “just drop me anywhere along the way” when he was obviously going to another meeting?  It’s selfish on her part, everything was about her vendetta, her quest to clear her father’s name, nothing else mattered, not her life, not her dignity, everything revolves around her.  I think that’s the crux of it for me and why I look at her like a child playing in an adult world.  It was personal justice she was after, not justice in its purest form.  Having a preconceived idea as to who the culprit HAD to be, meant that it wasn’t real justice she was after.  Yes she annoyed me.  I understand many find her character pitiful and heroic in death almost, but for me she just irked me.  It’s just a personal opinion.

 

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1 hour ago, nrllee said:

it’s more the fact that she kept pursuing the case despite SM keeping her out of the loop and imposing herself on him

 

1 hour ago, nrllee said:

It’s selfish on her part, everything was about her vendetta, her quest to clear her father’s name, nothing else mattered, not her life, not her dignity, everything revolves around her.

I see your point! And I totally agree.

 

Though I think it's precisely her relentlessness, her singleminded pursuit of her personal cause in spite of all, that made her character compelling. A weaker willed character would have accepted her powerlessness and given up, but eunsoo is just tireless. And rather than finding her recklessness offputting, I'm just in awe with her commitment. She is so deeply invested in her goal that she's simply beyond reasoning with. Ultimately, she's an underdog, and I cant bring myself to dislike her, flaws and all, because she gave her best.

 

! Or course you're entitled to your opinion, thanks for sharing :) 

 

I didnt feel strongly one way or another about her death, to me it was just confusing and absurd. I certainly empathized with her, for the way she's lived her life and dying before achieving anything meaningful, and absolutely feel for her parents. Unlike PMS mom, who at least has her grandson to look after her in old age, eunsoo's parents will have no one. ...Anyone notice just how many broken families there are in this show? :') 

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Enjoyed reading all the analysis, particularly on Eun-soo, thanks all.

 

I think above all, she was the symbolic rookie. Through her mistakes (and yes, she made many), her naivety, but also her determination, we felt the dog-eat-dog atmosphere of the Prosecutor's Office. As with many fast-moving organisations full of ambitious people, everyone must form cliques and have patrons to survive. In the course of the show, we saw many dimensions of being the 'outsider' or dare I say, 'stranger' ;). The fascinating part was how the characters reacted differently to being outcast.

  • Yeo-jin because of her background and gender, but it made her spunky and strongly principled.
  • Prosecutor Yoon with his family tragedy, which turned him bitter and fatalistic.
  • Dong-jae, who was from 'the wrong school' and therefore slavishly clung to Lee Chang-jun as his patron.
  • Lee Chang-jun, perversely, because his wife's family set him apart from prosecutors without moneyed connections.
  • Eun-soo because she was so new, yet who also had her father's history hanging over her head.
    • I think it was telling that she started off taking Dong-jae's advice because she was too fresh to know better.
    • I agree that the colleagues did speculate whether she and Shi-mok had some romantic sparks, but that's what work colleagues do regardless, right? :PThink Eun-soo primarily felt gratitude and professional admiration towards Shi-mok; there did seem to be some frisson of attraction but it was still nascent on her part. Of course, if she had survived, who knows how it would have developed? But for her time onscreen, many of her impulses, I think, could be explained from wanting to have a partner in bringing Lee Chang-jun to justice, to have a friend in the hostile office environment, and escape her isolation.
  • Shi-mok was an interesting case because his brain condition desensitized him to being an outcast. Those who didn't know his medical history would think he was courageous, brazen even. I feel Eun-soo derived strength from seeing someone not pandering to the system. This is why I think she gravitated towards him. 

I liked the side discussion above on the meaning of 'honour' in the modern day. You get people willing to do very extreme and irrational things for the so-called greater good. It took a hyper-objective character like Shi-mok to tear down that illusion.

 

 

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10 hours ago, AC95 said:

In the course of the show, we saw many dimensions of being the 'outsider' or dare I say, 'stranger'


I always wondered about that title change.  From Forest of Secrets to Stranger.  Is that Stranger the noun or Stranger the verb?  The literal translation from the Hangul is Forest of Secrets or Secret Forest.  The original poster for SF1 looked like a tree.  With SM and YJ as the canopy and where the roots should be (underground) are where LCJ and LYB are (in a scene which looks like they are heading to courts to be prosecuted).  Implying that all the dirt would come to the open and be revealed.  The buildings are mirrored.  Upside down where LCJ/LYB are as if to imply their version of society is corrupt and upturned but SM is the one to bring it right side up again (using his brain).  Not sure what the Korean reads (where the trunk of the tree should be).  I guess it if I searched hard enough I will find it. 

 

Secret-Forest-Poster-1.jpg?ssl=1

 

10 hours ago, AC95 said:

Think Eun-soo primarily felt gratitude and professional admiration towards Shi-mok; there did seem to be some frisson of attraction but it was still nascent on her part.


Yeah I think that’s the most reasonable conclusion (despite my rantings about her “flirting”).  I had a massive crush on a Uni professor who was scary smart.  I fell in love with his brain and intellect.  I knew nothing would eventuate from it but it still didn’t curb my admiration.  The way he dissected a case and listed all the probables during lectures and tutorials was just a thing of beauty. :wub:  Goodness, when he even looked my way or singled my answer out as correct, it was downright exhilarating.  And I believe even Shin HyeSun in her post drama interview declared that there was no “love-line” on her part so I probably misread her like her colleagues did. :lol:

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@nrllee I actually never noticed the tree motif in the poster before, and now that you point it out, it makes it even more gorgeous and layered. Looking forward to the promotional art for Season 2 *rubs hands*

 

My reference to 'stranger' was just bad punning, but maybe if someone knows the official origin for the English title, would love to see it posted.

 

7 hours ago, nrllee said:

it was downright exhilarating

 

We've all been there, and thank you so much for sharing.

 

Gah, the wait for this show is torture :P

 

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@AC95 Yes! The show excelled in characterization! Each stranger is driven by something unique, and their eventual collisions made for epic tension!

 

On 12/23/2019 at 5:51 AM, AC95 said:

It took a hyper-objective character like Shi-mok to tear down that illusion

Food for thought. We accept that it forms a pillar in a just and modern society, but I would argue that justice is also an illusion! :sweatingbullets: What remedies exist for those whom justice has failed? 

 

I enjoyed shimok's scene with eunsoo's dad, where they deliberated on the meaning of justice. The latter squarely explained that justice to him meant his family being safe. How can we argue with that? Justice exists to serve people, not the other way round. It's a catch22- who cares about being right if you're dead? 

 

Why is it admirable to stake life in the name of justice? Is the pursuit of personal justice any less noble? How far can we bend the law before being labelled a monster?

 

I wonder how sf2 will continue to play with these themes :)

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Hmm...saw some tweets saying Script reading happening today?  It has begun... :)

 

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@Xocopie88 @nrllee Jeon Hyejin was so goood in Misty!  That’s a +++ for this drama.  I think she alternates her work schedule with hubby Lee Sun Kyun to take care of her 2 kids.  He’s currently shooting his drama so a little surprise to see her working but then again SF2 is preproduced.  It may work around her needs.  She didn’t work for a while when her children were little, good to see her busy again.  Like a good spouse, LSK mentioned before his wife is one of the best actresses that he knows, even a better thespian than him.  :D

 

I am rewatching SF1.  There’s a conversation between SM and YJ right after she discovered victim’s blood on the railing outside the house, indicating the cable man is not the killer since he never was in the vicinity.  SM asked YJ whether she would reveal the evidence to exonerate the dead man or cover up the police mistake. He said they (meaning prosecutors and police) are meant to search for facts.  What she will do with the facts (whether to expose the DNA finding) shouldn’t be based on the current situation but on the person that  she is.  How she has lived her life up till now.  Yeo Jin didn’t say anything, just stepped out of the car and pondered about his words.

 

I missed this small scene the first time I saw the drama.  For YJ, who is fresh out of the academy trying to get a detective position in the force, it mustn’t come easy, the decision to do the right thing.  It takes courage. Meeting Shi Mok is fortunate for the young policewoman as she too could have been another Eun Soo if not for him making things clear for her in his own factual perspective.

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45 minutes ago, bedifferent said:

For YJ, who is fresh out of the academy trying to get a detective position in the force, it mustn’t come easy, the decision to do the right thing.  It takes courage. Meeting Shi Mok is fortunate for the young policewoman as she too could have been another Eun Soo if not for him making things clear for her in his own factual perspective.


That’s what I love about the 2 of them.  They are synergistic.  She provides the empathy and emotions that he lacks (that’s why he’s always watching her).  She has it in spades compared to most people.  He is just very black and white, dogmatic, driven, unwavering and blunt.  They make a great team.  SM is my spirit animal :lol:.
 

We are the product of our circumstances AND the sum of our choices.

 

SF1 and Life are the only 2 dramas I have rewatched and I enjoyed the second viewing just as much (if not more because I can savor little details missed when I rushed the first time).  

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