Secret Forest S1 ep 4-6

ep 4: I remember this scene where the three West troublemakers left the room, each following one another. And I also remember how this was one twist that caught me off guard when I was first watching the show, because ‘what another twist to Park Moo Sung’s murder?’ and then I thought, ‘No it can’t be Eun Soo since she was the trial prosecutor and was caught off guard.’

I particularly loved and hated that the writer knew this train of thought in having Yeo Jin, ever the romanticist, talk about how she would do it on her own.

Si Mok’s curious “So this thing called love, can make people murder?” makes me at times, wonder if Si Mok is new. Since I know he is not at all, and surely he would have seen cases of passion.

What broke my heart this episode was the way Si Mok wanted to give Assistant Kim the picture to get him to help his research, only to witness Seo Dong Jae giving him money. Like I said, the two assistants did not inspire confidence.

But we do start seeing the bits and pieces of where the hierarchy lie. Kang Won Cheol is subordinate to LCJ, and he’s actually Si Mok’s direct head. Which makes one wonder in logic, how is it that Dong Jae and Si Mok are being called on by Chang Joon one after another.

To see his fellow division head (sorry, I never got his name) physically restraining him from running after Si Mok, and seeing that he is ready to throw away tact for some reason that we don’t know. Kang-bujang cares in that odd manner, enough to not prioritise what leaving the press conference will look like to his boss.

It’s obviously foreshadowing when we see the three jjajiangmyeon restaurant faces in the same screen, Yoon-gwajang (investigator? chief? some with regards to internal affairs) nods politely at Si Mok, but what sort of recognition is that, in comparison to when everyone else looks at Si Mok when LCJ shades him?

Also the way that Lee-chajang smiled in the car reading the comments under the article. Him being pleased at the compliments, and the way his face fell when his Police Chief friend (??) called him.

Speaking of said Police Chief, I hate to say it but when you know the rest of the plot, you can begin to strongly dislike him very early on.

Yeo Jin’s direct team leader who says those things out of concern for her – and you see that Yeo Jin accepts it is concern, albeit mixed with sexism, doesn’t reject the emotion. Choi-teamjang understands and also doesn’t that Yeo Jin wants to strike more ‘goals’, but he is ready to support her.

And for once, we see a character who is pressured by their superior, being uncomfortable about it.

Has it already been two days?

Hm, I was supposed to watch one episode a day, but it’s odd that I’m tired so easily now that it is the holidays. Keeping later nights than ever must be taking its toll, especially since it’s been so hot these few days.

I can’t remember for certain, but when the opening twist of the 5th episode was revealed (when Min-ah was alive) I must have been very surprised.

Now, knowing that and waiting for it to be revealed, I can’t believe that they only found she was alive when she gave out that great shuddering breath – out of a desire to live.

Yeo Jin and the doctor, just before Min-ah’s surgery. For her to reuse and live those words

And the way that the A&E doctor delivered his line flawlessly, down to the look on Yeo Jin’s face when he said “I should try my best, of course, witness or not.”

Next, to our most corrupt cop on the scene, to be fair, his suspicions would be valid. And it’s not like he was particularly wrong about Si Mok’s motives when they both came in through the window. Obviously Si Mok on some level wanted to hide the fact that he had been in Min-ah’s room before.

Anyone can find it suspicious, and in 90% of the cases which make it this far, those fingerprints on the knife should be decisive, because it is the truth. In the pursuit of not jailing one innocent, would they let the other guilty hunderd go?

So if Stranger had been narrated from the angle of Yeo Jin instead, or the cops side in fact, Si Mok would have been a suspect we continually doubted and listed over and over again.

This is one of the episodes that I renew my dislike for Seo Dong Jae, he really rubs me the wrong way.

I still don’t really see the significance of Min-ah being called ‘Bell’, since if LCJ’s analogy is interpreted as he says it, she’s the door, not the doorbell.

It’s one of the more visceral scenes we’ve had so far, maybe more so than the murder re-enactments, when Deputy Lee all but slaps Si Mok with the stack of papers. Considering that for a large part of the scene, we could see Young Eun Soo hiding just beside the door, peeping through the blinds, now I don’t see how she would have been able to slip out before crooked cop came to confront Si Mok.

Chang Joon calls Si Mok one of his people, though those are really empty words. It’s again not reassuring that Ms Choi pretended to go to the post office but waited at the door. To me, I felt, the leaving was what would have hurt the most.

Eun Soo was also definitely being sarcastic when she asked Si Mok if he would behave this round – not in the least because she said that Si Mok would not be wounded by such things, but because she was trying to get some emotional rise out of him.

The small groupie outside the door, waiting for the confrontation to be over, what use did they serve for Si Mok? I turn over the thought of this scene, devoid of warmth, or even support.

It was also odd that the voiceover for Detective Jang’s message sounded like Si Mok, not him but I can’t make sense of why I’d think that, or what purpose it would serve.

Over this period of ‘drama time’ as well, is the reveal of the dynamic between LCJ and his wife, the daughter of the Hanjo chairman who obviously has a leash on LCJ. Can we say that he loves her, what do we make of his confession to Si Mok that he was tempted?

When he hugs his wife, or when he slammed his laptop shut, that emotion and the air of suspicion, what is it telling us? Over time, the things that he is telling Si Mok are also changing. At the very beginning, he denied even knowing Park Moo Sung, and now he confesses that he even knew that Min-ah was sent as a trap.

Among other thoughts, in Singapore, sex with an underaged person is a strict liability offence. Looking at the cases for which there is case law, as unsympathetic as one can be, if there is a good fake ID, is there truly culpa?

Love, or what it could be, in that household where a son-in-law bows deeper than to a president as an evening greeting? The way the wife listens to the job and political problems, but if just that, is she a trophy? She’s dressed like one, certainly, and she cooked as well, it seemed. She protected him with those words, but was that her doting father? There’s something really weird with that family dynamic.

Finally, we also saw threads tying themselves together as each person develops their own understanding. I remembered the different angles of the school coats when Si Mok gave Yeo Jin the picture. It was also symbolic in that that picture was the one Si Mok couldn’t give to his assistant.

It’s been another two days, I watched the whole of Designated Survivor 60 Days in that time. It was quite good, but too many unanswered questions to make me want to rewatch it. Some oddly subtle points, but also the occasional volte-face.

I guess the main thing that saddened me was the way the whole thing unfurled, the female lead and the boyfriend who died twice – the male lead who was betrayed over and over and was still a ‘good person’. If season 2 comes out, I would like to see that world, where people win because they are good.

Personally, I found the arc with the general written in the best manner, down to the reluctant agreement and grudging respect in the old general’s eyes.

I didn’t start this show for the longest time, because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to look past Seo Dong Jae playing another villain role. As it did turn out, his colour underneath was very, very ugly.

But if we tried a bit, I think we would have been able to see that he wasn’t all bad – he was one of those villains trying to use the other villains for a twisted sense of good, closer to good than bad. Not as bad as the Chief Secretary who killed his closest friend.

I’m really curious to see the true VIP. I hope they don’t pull off a Sketch-style ‘group of powerful people’.

Again, the way that Stranger surprises me! In the opening of Ep 6, picking up on what I had felt was odd from the previous episode. As it turns out, Eun Soo left the room in that rush just as the police officer entered, the odd way we imagined it in order to rationalise it.

In that case, that police officer knows, as well as the people who must have gathered outside the room due to the noise. Ms Choi, for one, would know that Eun Soo had been eavesdropping.

Si Mok is not a warm person, in that even when Eun Soo confessed, he jumps straight to the worst scenario. She knew he was getting onto her, and confession was the only route? If she didn’t and she simply kept silent, wouldn’t that look even worse on her? I like to think that Si Mok is only pushing her further to prove his point that it’s not her, and that she’s now being narrow-minded and determined to pin everything on Lee-chajang.

For it to be Yeo Jin who only partially exonerates him in fact, was able to exonerate him in its entirety because Si Mok didn’t say that Yeo Jin had seen him re-enacting the crime in Park Moo Sung’s home.

While they commented that if Si Mok had just said so, this tangent wouldn’t have happened, it might still have. And then people would suspect him of using Yeo Jin. Someday, I wonder whether a drama will be created such that the lead investigator is the true criminal.

I also loved Yeo Jin’s sass, when she twisted Dong Jae’s words back on him. I loved the close-ups of how pleased the rest of the police team was. Also, the way everyone followed Yeo Jin’s eyes to chase Seo Dong Jae away.

And we hear Seo Dong Jae’s ringtone, the ‘TT’ song that Si Mok heard the other night when calling Ga Young’s (Min-ah) phone. While I enjoy the little foreshadow egg and hint, really, the number of coincidences it took for these to happen is truly astronomical.

We also saw the reveal of the Lee-chajang and Chairman’s daughter’s relationship when said powerful man isn’t around. Really, the way her hands would pause – and the way that he said ‘if you weren’t his daughter, I would have left him a long time ago.’

Was she pleased? She is suspicious of her husband, but she’s prettier than Ga Young. She’s really pretty.

Finally, a small comment on the reveal that the police chief (Chajang’s friend) is one of the bads. Si Mok says ‘she smiled’, but honestly, Ga Young was smiling the entire way, was she not? Since it’s a service.

Ah, and Yeo Jin also realises that she served that use for him, because she was the one who said it to the rest of her team. Almost in exchange, Si Mok shows her the video.

They made a good duo, grilling the bar owner. Also the way Yeo Jin strode ahead when the lady who hailed the cab for Si Mok said hello. (And the very first ‘seonmul’. With such fitting music.)

“Everyone is just after the person they want to slay.” And in other news, I was surprised to see the minister recovering so well. Great foreshadowing, by the way, since Si Mok said that he couldn’t protect Eun Soo for him. He said that he would take a knife for her, but couldn’t control her.

(there’s also something wrong with Si Mok’s family dynamic. But Si Mok rumbles along suspecting Jung Bom whom we prophetically know is harmless. We see Eun Soo’s quick wittedness and also, Yoon-gwajang’s social aptitude. The ‘speciality’ that Kang-bujang mentioned, but he’s reporting to Lee-chajang. Was that to mean that the two superiors were of the same mind?)

Also, nothing makes a statement like a man who waits in the car for his door to be opened. These conglomerate bosses are really a piece of work.

I have to leave a comment regarding the piece of work that Seo Dong Jae is – and Si Mok is right, it’s workplace violence. What was he intending to do with Eun Soo, had they entered the room?

I didn’t miss the way that Ms Choi smirked when she saw Lee-chajang in the background. She too, pleased that Dong Jae will get his just deserts.

Unfortunately, Division Head Kang Won Cheol there to save the day, reading the atmosphere and buttoning his coat like he’s going to court.

If just his raised voice like that could get everyone out of their doors, I wondered how much of each other’s arguments everyone on the floor would know.

Is Kang-bujang the real leader of the divisions here? Since it looks like Lee-chajang keeps only Dong Jae.

This episode closed with Si Mok’s eventual bow. Kang-bujang would have been scowling if he saw the lag time that it took from Si Mok. I thought it was a fitting ending, the way that Lee-chajang was now moving up, would that mean that Si Mok is freed up?

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