Secret Forest S1 ep 7-9

There are things in this opening which caught me off guard, not in the least because of how cruel the writer is.

For one, is the work and connection between Yoon-gwajang and Lee-geomsajangnim a secret? Nevermind that he had to have been messaged by Kang-bujang to come from another level, to be introduced again.

Does that mean that Kang-bujang doesn’t know that Yoon-gwajang already reports to Chang Joon?

Also the way that Kang-bujang got Eun Soo to organise the alumni gathering, and targetted Si Mok to make sure he would attend. Since we recently learnt that Dong Jae didn’t come from the same university as most of the others, that means a bit more. His look of being excluded, means a bit more.

I was a bit disappointed that even though Yoon-gwajang remained silently there as Kang-bujang reprimanded the three troublemakers, there was no follow up scene between the two.

The way LCJ ripped apart the wallet must have been satisfying to him, to know he was in a position now to discard that kind of money. But even though Park Moo Sung’s name appeared, I haven’t seen the link to the man who bought the wallet for him. Is that just a perpetuity point? That there were alway sponsors?

And even if he roots out the corruption, it’s for him to use as blackmail. That kind of corruption exposure, is that good or bad? Or better than not at all.

Ah! And the follow-up scene between Yoon-gwajang and Kang-bujang. It definitely looks like a secret, so much so that Yoon-gwajang didn’t even report on Si Mok’s surgery. I’m not sure I like where this is going. Since they looked like fairly good friends.

He even made him coffee.

Also, the smile on Dong Jae’s face at the top of the bridge when Yeo Jin got the cigarettes. I really hate that look on his face.

This is one of the scenes that I think, ruined Dong Jae for me. You can be corrupt and try to get into your superiors good books and talk down to people, that’s quite enough for an unlikeable character, if common enough. But shoving people around is not… acceptable. Not tolerable.

Even the other driver stopped by. Even if it’s a prosecutor. Even if it’s the police.

(And the Eun Soo-does-like-him arc. One of the scenes I had to skip forward and back with, because Si Mok is too good at being cold, and I only feel a sense of apologeticness to Eun Soo. Particularly since Si Mok practices his faces with Yeo Jin’s present immediately after.)

Right, now that that scene in particular is over, I’m not waiting on unhappyhooks. I’ll come back to writing only when the episode ends. Since that’s the better way to enjoy it.

When they kicked Kyung Wan while apprehending him, why did it feel different from the beginning when Yeo Jin kicked the man who died?

Was it the way his character had been set up, or because I know what they are going to do to him later?

It felt different, but fundamentally it was the same, use of force during arrest, quite a reasonable thing.

That two-star general about sums up my feelings regarding Dong Jae. I can’t look at him and feel very much sympathy.

And again with the man-handling. Good on Eun Soo to raise her voice in the forum, since she understands well that Dong Jae places high regard on his reputation. I wonder if this was what Si Mok got her to do? Still, she looked like she had been crying. Knowing what happens to her, I wish she had a better time. Or maybe it is knowing that ending which makes her that much more sympathetic?

Yep, saw her smirk. That’s definitely what Si Mok put her up to check. To find his motive in turning on the phone, and find the answer.

Did not remember the trap being sprung so fast, but if Dong Jae’s face painted white by Si Mok’s flashlight wasn’t satisfying, I’m not sure what would be.

It would, however, have been more cathartic if Yeo Jin managed to cuff him and haul him about in exchange for the shoves and jabs he gave her.

And there, we saw a bit of Kyung Wan really being beaten. That was on a different scale. Was that the room that that bad cop was leaving? Sometimes all these little things in the show, it really haunts you moving forward.

Ep 8:

Well, finally something is coming about to bite some people in the ass.

It’s 3.44 am literally and my little sister is eating potatoes and beef while watching the middle of this drama.

We just got through the scene where LCJ snaps his fingers to get Si Mok to stay – I can’t snap my fingers at all. Hers mimic his perfectly. Ah, see now these two ‘friends’ covering for each other.

Si Mok’s frown already tells you, this won’t work out for anyone.

And he nods and says ‘yes, sir’ but as Chang Joon knows, he doesn’t mean it from his heart at all. To be frank, just pointing out such a verbal difference doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with how you process emotion. It could just be a comment.

But did he mean it sincerely? Why does Lee-geomsajang even ask?

It’s just like Yeo Jin to refuse to compromise. And I am surprised that Si Mok presents Jung Bon as the alternative, rather than the original choice to just shut up. Since to him, there’s the practical effect.

I never saw Si Mok as a person to just ‘shut up’ if the outcome was the same. He’s a principled person. Then why was the order not precise?


But also the way Eun Soo decided to test Dong Jae. Honestly, killing a prosecutor is different from killing just any random person on the street. Not a foolproof method. And most fools would die in that test.

Even though I know that Dong Jae isn’t the culprit, I also wonder how much would it have taken for him to kill? He nearly did kill Eun Soo, after all.

And had she died, Si Mok would have been too late.

In the end, Si Mok ended the song and ran on in silence. I wonder why they gave him a running scene?

But also, the way that the link between Park Moo Sung and the prosecution was drawn. I remember Sungmoon Daily and the background, it’s probably in the next episode, but it was the guy at the top and his arranged marriage sort of.

One of the things, again that no one ever explained. Until now, is the position of Deputy Chief (LCJ’s old position) still vacant? Since he had six people called to his office and none took much lead. It’s probably my Won Cheol-bias and the fact that he is the main people’s person among the Division Heads, leading to me thinking that he took a stronger role. Is Yoon-gwajang on that scale, then?

If he is, then how would it be that Lee Chang Joon, as a deputy, had to be introduced to him at his promotion? This, at least, didn’t make sense – even if I was happy to see Se Won and Won Cheol.

And finally, a huge segment on reasons why Lee Chang Joon is truly pitiable. His father in law has his boss under his thumb, and also degrades him in front of said boss, and his lovely wife knows and tries to protect him. The way his shoulders are drawn in, and he is cowed – really, truly pitiable. Or maybe it’s just one reason. He married for love and got too much.

I appreciate the fact that whenever Si Mok sits down and gets to eat, Yeo Jin is there too. Maybe that’s reading too much into it, but she’s comforting.

Si Mok nodded in approval at the less salty soup, and Yeo Jin didn’t pressure him to drink. To me, that’s good.

In the midst of all this, I remembered again and wondered. How many days has it been? Since Si Mok made his promise?

And again with the grand speeches, though I don’t understand what is a grade 4 in particular, Eun Soo is around, and she was only recently made a full prosecutor.

Kang Won Cheol was at the head again, of the group of Division heads. How did they even gather together before coming to the assembly hall? Were they having their own meeting?

It’s still exciting, knowing that Si Mok will be appointed. Waiting to hear Lee-geomsajang say it himself with the reverb of the mic, his voice even but unmatching his eyes which are full of an unspoken emotion.

Kang-bujang with his slightly disgruntled look, knowing where it’s going – Dong Jae’s eyes just thinking ‘doomed’ and down to the way that the camera shifted to Yoon-gwajang who is for once looking very stern, at the same time catching Eun Soo with her hair down.

Does letting your hair down mean something in particular?

Or does being framed together in the same view mean something?

Why is Yoon-gwajang at the back, if he is on the same level as Kang-bujang in terms of importance?

It’s too dramatic for people to be shifting in their seats after the announcement, though the music is nice. I think only Kang-bujang was natural in that scene, rooted to his chair and resigned. Since Si Mok is notorious enough.

Ep 9:

Among the things that I am a bit miffed by, is the way that Seo Dong Jae managed to make his way to season 2, and in the theoretical universe continued being a prosecutor.

In any case, Si Mok can read the atmosphere, but he doesn’t particularly care. One however, can imagine that if he knew how to use it better, the situation might not be so terrible. The problem with Si Mok’s brain doesn’t help in making him not feel and taste awkwardness in the air.

That aside, three cheers and three cheers for Kang-bujang, making Lee-geomsajang stay in his position. Since if we don’t do that, then Si Mok can’t search him any more.

At this point it’s obviously not clear what really motivates him, since he’s worried (like his fellow division heads) about Si Mok turning the whole place upside down.

Si Mok on the other hand looks at the e-coffee like it’s a bribe. Is it?

And Yeo Jin appears! I wonder if she’s ever seen Jung Bon with Kyung Wan? Or is she, reading the mood and not acknowledging him because it is awkward?

Happy to see Se Won around, of course, and excited to see Si Mok grow to trust this team full of enemies that he’s keeping close – though we know the eventual outcome and problems.

Since the rest of the team (sans Jung Bon) can read the air, what do they see in Lee Chang Joon grooming Si Mok’s appearance?

Obviously LCJ was stirring trouble. Did he also assume that Jang Geon was more senior than Yeo Jin? Or what did not extending his hand for a handshake mean in that context?

How did going out and splitting up to work become end up with Yeon Jae at dinner?

Yeo Jin’s unwarm reception is not what I thought she would say, though Yeon Jae was rude. I’m glad the team waited for Si Mok to sit.

Yeon Jae stepped on a mine with marriage talk, though it’s such a normal thing. Se Won’s stone expression and Investigator Kim’s half-panic – I didn’t understand this the first time, but now knowing the end and his backstory, I felt the same horror as Yeon Jae’s melodic voice rang out in the room.

Was Jang Geon talking about his child good, or bad in that scenario? How would Se Won have felt? He pulled up a smile to reply the next polite dinner conversation question, seeing it hurt a little.

Hwejangnim came in maybe ten seconds late to save Yeo Jin. I wonder, why did she pick a fight there with Yeon Jae after rolling so smoothly with her “I like pretty ladies too…”

It’s also odd seeing that Si Mok let go as the chairman squeezed his hand harder. Was that surrender? Or was that, ‘I will not hold your hand’.

The team is starting to look like a team, eating bossam together in the office, and talking about one another. Se Won is good at acting like he’s alright. Or would it be compartmentalising?

I can’t tell, let’s think again when we see his home at the end of the season.

(they found the stuff hidden in the water cistern -> this is one the reasons especially, that despite there being a deal and all sorts. Why did Dong Jae get to move on and still be a prosecutor?)

Investigator Kim earns his keep with it, and Assistant Choi vindicates him. Did that mean he was loyal? In some ways yes, and in many other ways, Si Mok learnt how to move people around.

Dong Jae collapsed down the stairs – I didn’t feel my heart move, at all. Yoon-gwajang was very good delivering Si Mok’s lines and their spirit.

The look that the two of them shared, watching the ambulance, what did it mean? (And how did the reporters not swarm to their side, instead?)

I can’t remember the point of why Dong Jae had to see Eun Soo, since it was coodinated so well, but we’ll see soon.

My little sister likes Eun Soo, so I told her in advance that Eun Soo dies. The problem is Dong Jae surviving to (and in fact, through) the second season. I really, really take issue with that. (At the same time, I’m really sad he turned out to be such a nasty piece of work. Even Oh Young Seok wasn’t this bad, or did he choose to take less ‘like-that’ characters after crafting a unique Seo Dong Jae?)

Chairman Lee Yun Beom has his own thoughts about Si Mok and the hand grip test, sure. He definitely looks like he wished Si Mok was his person.

Yeo Jin’s ‘Oppa’ is sassy but not quite in her character, Jang Geon however is going straight to the things they said the police weren’t supposed to do.

“Well, they wanted some snacks.” The explanation in reply to Si Mok’s curious gaze, but that’s not actually what he asked, at all.

Se Won, running down the corridor to speak to Si Mok, is one of the small scenes that later on, we really regret not treasuring more. For one, that question of, still, why did Si Mok trust him over Eun Soo’s confession? Was it because knowing it and suspecting that of him was not important – unlike Eun Soo being a culprit?

I saw the faintest hint of Haerongyi in the way he frowned and half-pouted in confusion. I do wish Lee Kyu Hyung would take happy characters. Se Won is an incredibly intuitive character. Did he then understand, that the reason to his unanswered question was “because I suspected you, that’s why I picked you for the team.”

The way his bread plastic wrapper crackled as Assistant Choi made open the secret about the money Dong Jae was giving Investigator Kim, for it to be his bread, was it also for him to realise that Si Mok kept people of what would surely look like that same type?

When Jung Bon had that piece off Si Mok’s bread – sharing food is a sacred thing, it broke the conversation, yet when it cut to Yeo Jin, eating uncomfortably, and then Se Won who looked sad as the two middle school friends commented on the bread he had brought back.

Is that being too sensitive? The same way Yoon-gwajang and Jung Bon bat the key questions about Sungmoon between one another, and how Jang Geon has eased up to our human righter.

The way Yeo Jin got to see, slowly that Si Mok is learning and testing in steps to check if he can trust the team.

The way that department head got angry on behalf of Kang-bujang. That he had to ask Won Cheol if he knew, did that mean he would expect Won Cheol to have some dark marks?

The way the beeps of the machine broke up the Overture soundtrack gave me goosebumps. A heart stopping end to another good episode.


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