Forest of Secrets: Season 2 (aka Stranger 2, Forest of Secrets 2) - all episodes
October 4, 2020 11:34 AM - Season 2 (Full Season) - Subscribe

The prosecutor's office and the police find themselves on opposing sides. The prosecutors, including elite prosecutor Woo Tae Ha, want discretionary power over investigations. Meanwhile, the police, including Choi Bit, tries to get complete investigative authority that is independent of the prosecutor's office. Under this tense situation, Prosecutor Hwang Shi Mok and Detective Han Yeo Jin chase after the truth in a hidden case. (Netflix, tvN Korea)

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Finale narration: "Doggedly chasing after the truth and marching towards what's right is a never-ending process. To stop, even for a moment, is to fail. Marching towards change is like having two needles as your feet with an invisible thread trailing after you, never stopping for a breath as you march on. In the belief that a handful of hope is better than immeasurable despair, we move forward with unwavering determination once again."
posted by oh yeah! (4 comments total)
Just finished watching the finale, love that they squeezed one last S1 character cameo in at the very end. And I have to go back at some point to read all the 'Dramas Over Flowers' recaps, I kinda forgot about that site while I was watching the weekly drops.

Overall, I was happy with the season. The first 6 episodes or so felt pretty slow - the Hanjo corporate in-fighting stuff wasn't particularly interesting, the drowning case and the mysterious circumstances around lawyer Park's roadside death didn't seem super compelling compared to the stakes of the cases in season 1, but, I had faith that it would all lead somewhere eventually. But then once the kidnapping happened the suspense ramped way up, and there was more interaction between Shi Mok & Yeo Jin.

I love that, once again, Lee Yeon Jae of Hanjo projects such "I am the psycho villainess" energy but for the most part turned out to not be a culprit. (I mean, even in the corruption of Chief Prosecutor Kang, it was her underling delivering the ultimatum.)

I'm so glad that Seo Dong Jae survived (though, is he secretly crossing over from the X-Men franchise? He's gotta be a mutant to have survived that many days without water after losing who knows how much blood and blunt force trauma).
posted by oh yeah! at 12:25 PM on October 4, 2020

We just finished watching, and I’m so glad you started this thread! I agree with everything you said. Although I liked the first episode, I did think it kind of ground down to a laggy slow pace after that...until Dong Jae got kidnapped, which brought the action level right up. I was like, wow, this is really something, because I was so exasperated by him in the first season, but I felt terrible for him in this one! I honestly thought they might let him die, because they’d killed off a main character in the first season, so it wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility for this show. And honestly, I’m with you—how on earth *did* he survive that? He looked pretty good at the end for someone who had been through what he had.

I really was happiest when Yeo Jin and Shi Mok were together, and when Yeo Jin was with her awesome colleagues from her old office. I was stressed for her at the end when she started at the new place and no one would talk to her, though it was better after the higher up came in and said Choi Bit had said good things about her. But still, she’s so sensitive I worry for her.

Choi I really thought Woo was a piece of work and disliked him throughout, even before we found out the extent of his corruption, but Choi Bit...I did feel kind of bad for her; she made some bad choices but I really could see how boxed in she had been. She did redeem herself at the end somewhat.

The very end was awesome though. I loved Glasses Guy from Shi Mok’s old office, and seeing him smile at the end! My heart!

I guess everything is up in the air with COVID, but if they do make a third season I’ll definitely watch it.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:52 AM on October 5, 2020

Oh! Two more things. One: the whole season I kept saying to my partner, why is Yeo Jin’s hair so long?? It looked better short. Then at the end—bam! Back to her perfect season one bob! And looking great (IMO). Even Shi Mok commented on it...

Second, the flashbacks to when Hoo Jung were getting bullied were so disturbing. Not that I think it was okay that he murdered his bullies, but holy crap that must have been horribly traumatizing. They were AWFUL.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:19 AM on October 5, 2020

Choi I really thought Woo was a piece of work and disliked him throughout, even before we found out the extent of his corruption, but Choi Bit...I did feel kind of bad for her; she made some bad choices but I really could see how boxed in she had been.

It's interesting how so many of the characters in this season were shown to have slid into corruption with ostensibly good intentions. The Segok police started accepting bribes in order to pay for expensive medication. Choi Bit's misdeeds were in service of her senior, or for gaining greater investigative powers for the police. Woo was more nakedly ambitious, though I'm sure he probably rationalized his plans of going into politics as being for the greater good, even if it's clear that he would throw everyone else under the bus to get there. And while I'm used to seeing crime/legal procedurals show the unequal justice of the poor and the wealthy, this season of the show kept coming back to how the Korean cultural norms of deference to one's seniors or loyalty to classmates/colleagues could pervert the process.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:44 PM on October 5, 2020

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