Forest of Secrets: (aka Stranger) Episode 16
February 1, 2018 6:32 PM - Season 1, Episode 16 - Subscribe

Sorry I flaked on posting individual episode threads, I ended up not being able to watch them on any regular schedule, and the structure of the plot/character twists didn't seem to lend itself to episodic discussion. (I mean, it totally would if this was a currently broadcasting show where we had a week between episodes to speculate, but, not so much for streaming where people don't have to wonder what happens next.) Anyway, I just finally made it to the ending today, so, I wanted to have one thread up for finale/full season talk.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:31 PM on February 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

I won the will-they-kiss bet! When the lipstick appeared it was looking very bad for Team No Kiss, but a stunning victory was snatched from the literal jaws of defeat.

I really liked Chief Secretary Lee (aka Drac-in-law) as a villain. Even though he tries to do good at the end, our boy Prosecutor Shi-Mok is quick to correct that to that he's still a crap monster.

I like the scene where Lee calls his big oligarch dad out of the blue and tries to trick him into confessing to the murder of Eun-Soo. It doesn't work, and he's like, welp it was worth a shot, and then he kicks off his final plan.

But the moment with him I really love with that character is on the building just before his death. It's the setup we've seen a million times, where some guy will jump to his death instead of letting himself get caught. After Lee and Shi-Mok have talked it out, Shi-Mok says Lee needs to come with him and advances, and Lee says something like, "You don't have to go so fast."

It's such a great line. It would be a good line in any story, but it's a really great line here because it's delivered to Shi-Mok, the inexorable clod, in the same chiding tone that everyone who knows Shi-Mok has been using the whole show. Like, "You don't have to be QUITE so hasty forcing me to die, you know."

This show has never given us the slightest whiff of preachy-ness

They say this, but a couple screens up Doona Bae is ready to binder-whip the prostitute who doesn't appreciate her suffering mother, which seemed preachy to me FWIW.
posted by fleacircus at 5:38 AM on February 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

Even though he tries to do good at the end, our boy Prosecutor Shi-Mok is quick to correct that to that he's still a crap monster.

I think that was what I was most impressed with in the end, the thing that really distinguished the series from what I'm used to in a lot of (US) procedurals--that it was firmly on the side of the ends NOT justifying the means. I wasn't sure how they would fill the time left in the finale once there were no more plot twists left to the crime plot, and every killer and motive had been revealed. But then we got that heart wrenching scene between Yoon and Park's son, where Yoon had to really face that for as much he felt that Park had earned his death for causing the death of his son, by killing Park Yoon had created an orphan. And then Si-Mok's "he was a monster" speech about Lee at the news station just caught me completely by surprise--not that it wasn't completely in character for Si-Mok not to allow Lee's intended public fiction to stand (of having collected all the evidence as blackmail material in case of betrayal, so that people wouldn't discount him like the whistleblower) but also to deny his believed fiction/rationalization of being a righteous martyr.

And it's not like the show is saying that the law will bring justice for all, even Si-Mok acknowledges that despite all their work and evidence, who knows how many of the cases will be overturned due to powerful influences. But that they have to continue to try to make the system work anyway. I don't know, I can't quite get my thoughts put into words, but I was just really blown away by that finale.

Of course, I also just adored Si-Mok/Han. I don't think I'm on Team Kiss or Team No Kiss - definitely Team Smile though, that last one was spectacular. And I really enjoyed Si-Mok's glasses-wearing clerk - I got a very 'queer-coded guy in a Doris Day movie' vibe off him. And Lee's wife was spectacularly creepy at the start, I could believe her capable of anything after that team dinner scene. Anyway, I both hope and don't hope that there is a second season - I worry that it would only be a let-down, but I'd love to see more of these characters and whatever new ones they created.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:29 AM on February 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yeah the legal assistants were great, they were their own little comedy team. I wanted to see more of them though they kind of faded into the background a bit towards the end. (The glasses guy less so.)

Lee's wife was great, there were some good scenes where she was definitely doing the very polite and deadly social chess moves. And it's clear that at the beginning of the show, neither she nor her father have any respect at all for her husband.
posted by fleacircus at 11:34 PM on February 7, 2018

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