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[Drama 2020] Forest of Secrets Season 2, 비밀의 숲 2


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I can`t believed how fast the subtitles come. YAY!   I also missed Shi Mok and Yeo Jin. Just seing them work or live like ordinary people was enough.   The case just started. Somet

My heart is full of joy      All well that ends well.   Truly an excellent second season.  True friends will find each other      The End.    Till S

Can we stop loving them even behind the scenes?

And YJ's smile too! It is so sad that we see how life or their positions have taken a toll on them this season. As they grow and get entrenched deeper into the mysteries and roots of corruption, the weight seem to be on their shoulders. While in S1, it was SM-YJ's 'us' against the world, we are just barely starting to get a glimpse of that in E6 where SM was once again YJ's rational voice of reason, reigniting what was always within her.

21 minutes ago, pompyavi said:

Keeping the mystery and cases aside. Will we get to see ShiMok's smile in this season? Writer was kind enough to give us that 3 times in S1. 

 

 

CB, i cannot say that I hate the character. She, similar to LCJ, are victims of their circumstances. It is easy to fall into the bottomless pit of "closing one eye" to a simple matter that eventually turns into a big deal. Just like how LCJ described in S1. WTH is another. They justify their actions by saying they see the bigger picture, more than a tiny triumph now, they may get something way bigger for their respective sides.

 

I cant believe we are almost reaching the halfway mark in this season. I don't think SDJ will die, i pray he will not!! He has a lot more to offer here and i havent had enough of his growth. I wonder what happened to him and yes, what LYJ meant when she refered to him as 'another one'. 

 

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Hi everyone! This is my first post on this forum and I figured I would start my adventure in the thread of one of my favorite Korean dramas. I am relatively new to the K-dramas and I haven't watched that many of them, but I am hoping to broaden my horizons soon :D And I hope I will be able to participate in some of the discussions :) 

 

Now, is the second season of the show as good as the first one was???

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Welcome @Ania!  How are you finding S2 so far?:)

 

Rewatching CB-YJ's talk, i am so proud of YJ for standing her ground! The way CB justified her way through to say police have waited 70 years to get investigative rights, after this council is over and nam jae ik steps down as commitee head, YJ can go ahead to catch his son for drug charges if she so desires to. We are watching as 3rd party viewers but if i were in her place, i wonder if i would stay silent. The magic of this writer once again. How she makes us see things from different persepective. Where a villian is not  a plain evil monster but is a normal human being like you and I.

 

Rewatched the scene in S1 where YJ wanted to report the case of kyungwan being beaten up by her colleagues while SM was asking her to keep silent on that and let prosecution detain him for the 2 weeks or risk having him detained for months when it becomes a human rights issue. Love how they are each others anchors to not compromise on their beliefs. In many cases, i do believe it may all start off with a small moment of keeping silent or closing an eye and letting people get away with doing something wrong, leading to a slippery slope.

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14 hours ago, bedifferent said:

 

@chickfactor Hello, not sure if you have caught up.  Was wondering if I can ask for your interpretation of Yeon-Jare after reading Dong Jae's fighting text.  Netflix translation have her said "There was one more".  I am confused at what it means? 

 

 

 

Ooooh, good question. I don't know.

 

It could mean, "Here's another thing I have to get rid of."

 

Or, "Here's another useful person."

 

Based on what happened at the end of the episode, maybe the former? But since she seemed to have manipulated Kim Byeong-Heon's proxy voter, maybe the latter.

 

I don't know.

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Haven't logged in for more than a year, but couldn't resist not commenting on this extremely well written script (and which I already feel surpassing S1)

 

Regarding the conversation between CB and YJ, it seems many of you think she was threatening YJ about whistle blowing, which didn't sound like that to me.

 

Here are some quote's from the conversation:

 

CB: "I can't stop you from doing what you think is right. Go for it". 

After a pause she adds "Intelligence police reports are confidential. Whoever the new Director is, I have to act as one until they come." It felt she is actually assuring YJ to report it without worries if that's what she wants.

But she also reminds her "In several years, you could be the one sitting here. I thought I had finally found the right person…" This is not a threat, but more of saying "if you choose to stay as righteous as you are, you'll never make it to the top"

 

This whole situation was actually a test for YJ's character, "I wasn't dragging you into this. I was trying to guide you. Set your own goals." Whether she stays the righteous person who lacks the power to create any change, or dirties her hand and climbs the ladder where she can make greater changes.

 

 

I don't feel CB is aiming to win this debate for her own personal agenda, or just career promotion like many assumes. In fact, I believe she was once like YJ, trying to do the right things only. But as many of you mention above, for the sake of the bigger picture, to change the corrupted system from the root, she is sacrificing the small things. I actually don't remember her doing any indirect injustice or corruption, but rather just delaying the justice (like the assemblyman's son's drug case) or simply using a right case for her benefit. This is sure morally questionable, but not the same as doing it. 

 

 

So far, she is one my favourite characters in this series. All my speculations about her might turn out to be wrong, she could indeed end up being just a devil woman. But the journey to discover the so many layers of character is worth it. It is not often we get to see such a well written semi anti-hero female character of power.

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About all the talk about what right and wrong doing , we all agree here that the beautiful  of this drama that it was never about abouslty  evil it all about the grey area, where you hate something  but it still make sense to you, where you love something  but it  still dont fit fully  with your logic  or thinking 

 

 

Two weeks ago I wrote even if Choi  and woo was a good people   I am still not sure they can agree to let the true about the death officer police out if it will cost them what they where fighting about  for 70 years, a fight that will affect the future  of everyone. so I know it will never an easy choice or right or wrong choice here and anyone can make it ( that why YJ  and SM  special) 

 

 

It still the same here, it not about one case but about many cases that was buried  and used for that the good picture goal, it start with thinking we cant allowed  one small accident  to destroy  everything  we worked hard to have or to protect,  I understand but is there an end for that ??? 

 

One small accident  has already  make victims  and injustice, thinking it okay to let go to save many other later or we can deal with it later.  but even If we think it okay, in the end small accident  becomes  two, three and then so much that you lose your feeling over fixing  it later  ( or even tou ability  to see it not small  anymore)

 

They doing it even before this fight under the thinking to save the pride and the honor  of police  or prosecutors they did many wrong doing in the past , just like season 1,  one true isn't  important  in exchange  of the trust of the public  on us and here where all the evil things start happening cause or for so many selfish  reasons and the organization  protect them since it related  to it  honor 

 

 

I still understand  the grey area but as SM  said someone has to make sure to keep eyes on that lines cause there no ending when people  cross that, they lost it once they cross it and   no matter what the reason  was it get to same results 

 

And here we have Choi and woo if I believe  they really fight  cause they believe  it really for the big good or for everyone, they still in the middle  of this fight  using their power to gain something  for themselves , win over their work rivers  not against the big case river, protection  themselves  from paying  the price for their selfish  wrong doing In the past,  where they exchange  the big case itself  to gain something for themselves- as we said no ending for that

 

Choi do you really think she can  arrested  that drug son after everything  ending ? If the Congressman join hand he going  to be involved  in so much other things with them then just pass the bill and there no return  later to hunt him cause he can hunt them back and no higher  up will agree ( they have to protect themselves not just the winning the figh) ,

 

And even after they win the fight can the police  fast admit  that was a case  where  police  officer had being builed and killing others??? Can they just  destroy the image  when they just starting to have power and gain public  trust ??? Nooo there will be someone saying "we cant destroy everything   for small case again"  so the justice  for the police  officer  is buried  again

 

 

So there no ending, power and public  trust has no ending fight, always  someone  will try to fight you and take it back so is it okay to always  survive by doing what they doing? 

 

 

It not just about the silence , it start with silence and move to helping to cover up and even moving to twisted  true to your benefit and then moving to you being the same person  who bury and dig people  right and justice as it suit you 

 

 As I said it  a grey area  so we can't hate or say someone  is totally  hated or evil  but even when it grey area we know the results  from life and from season  1 where the writer  was directly showing us the results  of the grey area how even a good people  become the most twisted  one cause of it 

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@Seiran029 That’s a very interesting perspective of Choi Bit and her conversation with Yeo Jin. I recently finished a show where it was not just the “bad” characters who manipulated the system, but even the “good” characters felt that they needed to go around it and turn a blind eye or two to achieve the greater cause. As a viewer, I understood their reasons, but it still left me questioning whether their actions were morally justified or not. I mean, could they still have obtained the desired outcome the righteous way? Anyway, your take on Choi Bit reminded me of that story. If your speculations about her pan out to be true, the part that I am trying to understand is why she specifically needs Yeo Jin (who is by nature, righteous) and feels the need to guide her. In the end, does Choi Bit eventually plan to take responsibility for “dirtying” her hands in the process whereby Yeo Jin would take her place to further the cause? At the moment, I have a hard time accepting that Yeo Jin will “dirty” her hands with her. To me, I feel that it would be out of character. Maybe…I can wrap my head around her temporarily staying silent for the sake of reform.

 

Note - Regardless of Choi Bit's reasons, I consider her to have “dirtied” her hands at least in the handling of Nam’s son’s case. Otherwise, she would not have brought up whistle-blowing to Yeo Jin.

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1 hour ago, taeunfighting said:Anyway, your take on Choi Bit reminded me of that story. If your speculations about her pan out to be true, the part that I am trying to understand is why she specifically needs Yeo Jin (who is by nature, righteous) and feels the need to guide her. In the end, does Choi Bit eventually plan to take responsibility for “dirtying” her hands in the process whereby Yeo Jin would take her place to further the cause? At the moment, I have a hard time accepting that Yeo Jin will “dirty” her hands with her. To me, I feel that it would be out of character. Maybe…I can wrap my head around her temporarily staying silent for the sake of reform.

 

Choi bit said she “hate to see capable people who lack ambition” I think she saw quality in YJ and wanted to guide her so that she can hold important position to do good for the police.

YJ can’t do much because those document were acquired illegally so they don’t hold value in the court. 

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You know what we miss the most in this season

1. The strong and cheerful  YJ  who she was like a queen acting without caring about what other will think just what she believes, it was hard to see her like this even when it realistic but still she was the happy feeling in this drama, she was the Energy of the show 

 

2. We miss the sharp Sm , his strong face and killing eyes when he think or investigation something or when he facing others, he had two side one the soft and clueless face when he in his original work or talk and the other is the freak and murder styles when he work on something ( he could scare,kill  and freak anyone with a look)  right now even when he serious and facing other it keep that soft face more then the sharp one

 

3. We miss more scenes between  SM  and Yj, their partnership, trust, comfortable and the most important  the  existing and amazing feeling of seeing their minds talking  together( I just live the story when they talk and connected with their thoughts) two smart minded people just talking as one 

 

The change here in YJ  and SM  is natural  and realistic, they both had going through so much but I think it also related to both of them being away from each other where they back to feel like strangers  in this forest, I really think them back to work together will change a lot and will be turn  point in this story 

 

Yeh I miss all that but I think the writer was showing something important  the past 6 episodes so we waiting for ep 7 with so much hope , at least  i have faith in the writer she treat her characters with enough  respect  for me to trust her

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Thank you guys for a nice welcome! I am not watching season 2 yet! To be honest, I am not very knowledgeable when it comes to current and ucoming dramas, as I have always watched already finished shows! I didn't even know about the 2nd season of this show until someone told me a few days ago :D I am a little afraid of starting to watch as I am sooo used to binge watching that I'm not sure I will be able to watch a show episode by episode with all this waiting in between :P But we'll see, maybe I will break :D 

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12 hours ago, nona88 said:

I still understand  the grey area but as SM  said someone has to make sure to keep eyes on that lines cause there no ending when people  cross that, they lost it once they cross it and   no matter what the reason  was it get to same results 

 

Indeed, as you pointed out, This whole series is about trying to not cross the line of good and bad, which keeps getting blurrier the more complex the situation gets. Usually people cross this for either logical reasons (like the bigger picture for CB), or for human emotional weakness (like the wealthy couple who wants to save their face in ep 1).

 

In SM's case, his lacks of emotions means that he probably doesn't feel jealousy, desire for power or wealth, insecurities, anger and affection that the rest feel. That's why, his judgment of things never gets cloudy with feelings, whether positively or negatively. For him everything goes by logic: right or wrong, that's all there is. This worked in the first season easily, but now in the complex situation where even right and wrong is questionable, logic is no longer enough to draw the line.

 

Here are quotes from the very interesting conversation between CP and SM in ep5:

 

HSM: "I guess I, too, tried to use my connections and reach out to someone who had an influential position there."

KWC: "Why are you beating yourself up all of a sudden? It's not like you were doing this for your personal gain."

HSM: "But I'm sure others thought the same thing when they hired a former judge as their lawyer after removing the restriction line, I'm sure they didn't think they were doing something wrong. I bet they just wanted to hire a lawyer who could help them win the case. Just like how I came here."

KWC: "Did you believe that you'd never do such a thing?"

HSM: "The thought itself had never occurred to me. I've never considered a situation where I'd try to change the outcome by pulling strings."

 

In the situation above, the right and wrong were very clear, but imagine it in a more complex situation, such as the prosecution vs police debate. SM sure would never pull any strings for the sake of pride or power and whatever the excuses the rest of the prosecutors are thinking. But what if, upon thinking and measuring by logic, his conclusion was that prosecutors are the "one that can prevent such misuse of authority" and thus "should be exercised by them". Would he "try to change the outcome by pulling strings" for what he thinks is more closer to white between two grey areas? 

 

I have my faith in both SM and YJ's decision making. In the situation the are in this season, it seems there isn't actually any "line" to not cross, rather it is an all grey area, and they have to draw the line in it.

 

 

 

 

13 hours ago, taeunfighting said:

If your speculations about her pan out to be true, the part that I am trying to understand is why she specifically needs Yeo Jin (who is by nature, righteous) and feels the need to guide her. In the end, does Choi Bit eventually plan to take responsibility for “dirtying” her hands in the process whereby Yeo Jin would take her place to further the cause?

 

So far, CB doesn't seem to think of her questionable actions as wrong, but justified, thus I don't see her feeling the need to take responsibility. She seems quite like KWC, who doesn't really side with the bad, but does turn a blind eye for the sake of the organisation. However, this might change in the upcoming episodes as she makes more darker decision, and end up like LCJ (although I doubt the writer will repeat the same characterisation again).

 

YJ's righteous nature is the reason CB wants her to be her successor. For all the fight and dirt she is putting herself in, she sure doesn't want it to go to vain with another corrupted officer who put his personal gain over organisation. But she has mistaken in reading YJ' character, YJ's sense of justice is not for the sake of applying law and and serving the system, but to protect and serve people, while for CB, justice is the organisation, the police.

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1 hour ago, Seiran029 said:

In the situation the are in this season, it seems there isn't actually any "line" to not cross, rather it is an all grey area, and they have to draw the line in it.

That's a very nice point. Thank you for sharing it. From where I see, Shimok understands that both police and prosecution will misuse their rights for their own benefits and sake of the organization. It would be interesting to see what his answer would be for this conflict as he views everything as either white or black. In 2nd episode he told KWC, that this time he may able to find the answer, which makes me wonder what is his question?

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On 9/1/2020 at 7:07 AM, Seiran029 said:

So far, CB doesn't seem to think of her questionable actions as wrong, but justified, thus I don't see her feeling the need to take responsibility. She seems quite like KWC, who doesn't really side with the bad, but does turn a blind eye for the sake of the organisation. However, this might change in the upcoming episodes as she makes more darker decision, and end up like LCJ (although I doubt the writer will repeat the same characterisation again).

 

YJ's righteous nature is the reason CB wants her to be her successor. For all the fight and dirt she is putting herself in, she sure doesn't want it to go to vain with another corrupted officer who put his personal gain over organisation. But she has mistaken in reading YJ' character, YJ's sense of justice is not for the sake of applying law and and serving the system, but to protect and serve people, while for CB, justice is the organisation, the police.

 

I guess the way I was looking at it, as humans, we have a conscience and so Choi Bit’s actions were outcomes of moral dilemmas. Though justified, she recognized when abandoning one cause for the sake of the other, the one forgone – by default – resulted in some kind of wrong. But, I understand that her character was written to serve a purpose in the story so I may need to separate my thoughts on this part from it.

 

From the beginning, I liked her and hoped there was more to her than meets the eye. Also, I could tell that she likes Yeo Jin, but her style/delivery in their latest conversation threw me off. Viewing it at a different angle (as you laid out), I can kind of see her ambitions for Yeo Jin in a positive light. On another note, when she had told Shi Mok that she was glad that he had a good rapport with Yeo Jin and Detective Jang, I got a vibe that she likes Shi Mok as well. That maybe with Yeo Jin in police and Shi Mok in prosecution, change for the better can happen. Possibly proving that the systems do work with the right people in charge.

 

And, I agree with you and others here that season 2 should not expected to be a repeat of season 1. Despite the need to have seen 1, I think 2 is standing well on its own so far. Though going into it, I had the impression that Shi Mok and Yeo Jin would stay exactly the same, but it seems that they may have their epiphanies – I trust all for growth.

 

With 10 more episodes to go, Choi Bit and the others are bound to be faced with more difficult decisions. Should be interesting to see how they continue to navigate the fight for power/authority. I just keep wondering if it should be held absolutely on one side (as each leader views it) or if some kind of common ground should be reached. Am curious to find out how it all will be resolved.

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Welcome @Ania @Seiran029


Great points everyone.  It’s the beauty in this writer’s characters.  They are very human.  Our choices define us.  Whether we choose to remain silent or act as spectators and watch or just opt to reveal it later to benefit us.  Sins of omission (as opposed to sins of commission).  Both sit on your conscience.  One is far easier to bury in your conscience than the other.  I just stood aside and let it happen.  I didn’t actually commit the crime so I am not to blame.  I have a family to support.  If I lose my job, they’ll starve. 
 

And as with most dilemmas, with some choices, it’s a fork in the road and once you begin that journey, it’s easier to keep going down that path than to take a u-turn and start afresh.  By that time, it’s so entrenched in your thinking that it’s just “how life is”, that you convince yourself that you’re just a “victim of the system”, just like everybody else.  And everybody else can’t possibly be wrong...right?

 

Lee ChangJoon was the same?  He started off with similar ideals.  Somewhere along the way, he began to compromise.  And then it was a slippery slope in a downhill slide, something he felt he couldn’t get himself out of in the end.  I think with a lot of choices in life, the lines between what’s right and wrong is never as defined.  It’s foggy.  A lot of times it’s a choice between what’s right and what’s expedient.  It’s a lonely and exhausting road choosing the path of the righteous.


I loved how SM teased the information out of her (YJ).  He didn’t ask her straight up to tell him what she knew. Ultimately it was her decision whether to speak (and start the u-turn process or stay silent).  Up on the rooftop.  A bird’s eye view of things.  Big picture.  Not just looking at individual cases.  Away from the humdrum and fogginess of life.  Where there is clarity. Macroscopic talk.  He gave her all the cases he had looked up and outlined his suspicions, then asked,

Spoiler

SM - It’s not one of those cases?

SM looks at her and she stays silent and avoids his gaze.  
(One would’ve expected after all that work to be met with nothing would’ve dampened his spirits but maybe because he lacks that ability to process emotions, he was undeterred)

SM - I guess I should do another search.  I’ve only made it through last year’s reports. I’ll do another search.

(He remained doggedly determined).  
YJ - How far back are you going to search?

SM - Not sure.   
YJ (she sounds almost frustrated now as if to ask him to bug someone else, why is he making things hard for her?  As if to say, it’s not MY problem to solve?) - why did you come to me? You should’ve gone to your boss.  Nam JaeIk clearly committed the bribery to get his son the job.  And the Police didn’t cover it up for him.  So why was he acquitted?  You should’ve met with your boss to ask him first.

SM - I did ask him. 
YJ (she sounds defensive now) - I didn’t.  I didn’t ask her about it today.  And I won’t ask her tomorrow.

SM - you don’t draw these days?  (Ahh SM...cutting to the chase...that would’ve hurt.  It’s like him asking where is the YJ of old?  Long pause before he recounts) When I saw the restriction line was gone, I thought an accident might happen.  But I just drove by that spot, without doing anything about it.

(note to self.  When teaching someone, it’s always better coming from a place of vulnerability. That you’ve made bad choices too.  You’re not just a sanctimonious insufferable know it all :lol:)

YJ - why?

SM - because it was foggy and dark.  And I thought, “only those who want to die would go swimming on a night like this.  A restriction line wouldn’t stop them.”  I remember thinking that for a moment.  (In other words, not my problem.  Their responsibility.  They should know better)
YJ - didn’t that thought make you think you should do something about it?

SM (playing Devil’s Advocate here, justifying his actions) - I can’t prevent every suicide. 
YJ - but it turned out it wasn’t suicide.

SM - right.  I knew something had gone wrong. I could see something had gone wrong, but I did nothing. 
YJ - are you trying to say that it’s our job to keep an eye on the restriction lines?

SM (nods) - I guess you could say that.

YJ (shakes her head, still unconvinced and trying to justify her position, that it’s a fruitless endeavour) - no matter how you look at it, you can’t stop the fog.  And no matter how many criminals you catch, they never disappear.  If I catch one here, 2 others pop up in a different place. 
SM - is that why you left the Violent Crimes Division? (So she left of her own volition?  It wasn’t the promotion that forced her into the Intelligence Bureau?)

YJ (defensively) - I didn’t leave. My desk is still there.

SM (nods) - Right.  (Then he makes to leave)

YJ - Mr Hwang, you already have the answer.

SM (nods his thanks, acknowledges her offer of the can of Coke as he walks down the stairs).


YJ spoke.  She didn’t stay silent.  SM stirred her innate moral code back to life again.
 

I think this is what the writer is trying to get across.  That no one is perfect.  Everybody makes mistakes in life.  But it’s what you do when you’re confronted with your mistakes that matters.  It’s about that U-turn.  CB and WTH have made choices in their life which they’ve buried or sought to justify as it just being “part of the process”.  They’ve just accepted that it’s just how it is.  Their silence is in fact aiding and abetting the whole criminal process.  Until someone actually asks the question (like SM is...with everyone he encounters), you just choose to avoid the issue and stay on the same path.  The writer is raising the moral dilemma questions.  Just like she did with Life.  

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@chickfactor your qn about her comment ‘there is one more’ . SMSes were coming in but I take it that the Sms she really hoping yo receive is from the newspaper chaebol. She really needed him to swing vote in her favour since he holed 7% of company shares . So she was waiting for his sms to confirm he is supporting her.  That’s the Sms she needed. 

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@nrllee

 

Thanks for the blow by blow breakdown of SM-YJ's rooftop conversation and catching all the nuances in their simple words. How a simple sentence had deeper underlying meanings! I loved it! This scene represented much more than just what it seems on surface, i agree that it represented a U-turn for YJ. She hadnt done anything wrong, but she was slowly trudging down that muddy road with CB's guidance. Of course, we wouldnt know if YJ would eventually speak up once her conscience bites even without SM's gentle nudge. But I do believe SM made it so much clearer for her, what the right thing to do was and how he still believes in her to "keep an eye on the restriction lines" with him. I love so much how he did it without an ounce of judgement. Perhaps due to his lack of emotions, but we only see this soft approach with YJ. With anyone else he would have been harsh.

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  • Jillia changed the title to [Drama 2020] Forest of Secrets Season 2, 비밀의 숲 2

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