The Daily Drama

Liar Game

Episode 6

In this hour, Da Jung comes to a few realizations on her own that make me smile because it feels like we are making progress, finally. And it is the start of an uphill development to rival that of her male counterparts, hopefully. Because for her to stand toe to toe with someone like Do Young, she will need all of her wits about her, including new information that may turn the tide of the game in her favor. He will not be one to let her plan come to fruition with his own goals in mind, so it will be a fierce battle that may test everything Da Jung has. That is why, I hope the writers are building upon these key moments from every game to have her throw a wrench in to his plans. Woo Jin cannot take on Do Young by himself, he will need an ace in the hole. And I believe that is Da Jung’s key role.

Woo Jin and Dal Goo know they have to get inside the mall to Da Jung, but it will be complicated with all of the security guards around. Never fear, though, because Dal Goo simply drives around like a lunatic and has the guards chasing after him. Woo Jin takes this opportunity to slip in to the mall and make his way to the power box where he flips a switch. Lights go out and everyone looks around in confusion. Yoon Joo goes to check on the contestants and has someone look into why the power went out. The poor girl has no clue Woo Jin is dressed as a crew member.

He slips by and makes his way to Da Jung, camera in hand to use the light to shield his face. He manages to get Da Jung’s normal camera guy to leave before addressing her. At first, she thinks he is just another crew member, but it doesn’t take her long to catch on. Woo Jin instructs her to go somewhere where there will be no cameras and to act natural. She leads him down to what appears to be a basement or boiler room.

In normal Woo Jin fashion, he is blunt about what he thinks of Da Jung’s playing. She knows and asks, “Is it fun for the network to see me suffer?” Of course, Woo Jin agrees and Da Jung tries not to be bothered by his response. He goes on to ask her how she came to be in the predicament with Jaime. After she tells, Woo Jin informs her she lost form the very beginning. Of course, Da Jung does not understand how that is possible seeing as how the card game was 50/50. But it wasn’t even because Da Jung would have to put her card back in the bag and draw again every time she pulled her card face up while Jaime never had that problem as she had the defective card. Therefore, the odds were stacked against Da Jung.

“I’m really an idiot, aren’t I?” Da Jung asks after she understands what happened.

Oh baby.

It is good, though, that she acknowledges how she is perceived. Da Jung comes from a place of trust and wants to do right by everyone. And I wish we could get a little bit more background on how she can stay so trusting considering everything that happened with her father and the things taking place in the game. It would give great insight into what makes Da Jung tick and why she comes from such a place to allow herself to be tricked over and over. Maybe before all is said and done, we will get something?

Woo Jin, in a shocking twist of character, does not go for the opening that Da Jung gave with her statement. Instead, he comments that her plan is not without merit, but she cannot continue to blindly trust. She questions what he means and he replies, “Teach them what betrayal means.”

That is a lesson I am torn about when it comes to Da Jung. Trusting people is a good attribute to have and it gives a better outlook on life, I fully believe that. However, when that trust is betrayed, it can affect you and your belief in people. Woo Jin is a prime example of that. For Da Jung, however, betrayal equals hurt but it also leads to a second chance. And a third. And a fourth. She appears limitless on her ability to forgive and trust. For her to betray people to show them that her trust is of greater value, I fear it will change her. There is a balance that needs to be found for Da Jung (along with Woo Jin, but on the opposite end of the spectrum) in order for her character to continue to develop accordingly without appearing as if the writers completely lost their minds. Teaching the remaining contestants that she will no longer be submissive to their treatment is something I fully believe she needs to do. But hurting them in the process of teaching them that lesson? I do not know. It does not seem to mesh well with the idea of what her character represents, which is the foil to Woo Jin and Do Young.

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Da Jung starts her plan by challenging Jaime for a rematch. If Da Jung win, she gets half of Jaime’s stars. If she loses, Jaime gets the rest of her money. Of course, Jaime as well as Yoon Joo think Da Jung is a glutton for punishment and the rematch starts. Do Young, however, does not seem as bothered as his partner. Instead, he believes things have just gotten interesting. Something tells me he knows about Woo Jin having entered the premises.

Unlike last time, Da Jung wins the game by marking Jaime’s card with her fingernail. Jaime does not seem to suspect a thing, which I can only laugh at. Her cockiness is her downfall.

Due to the contract that was written before, Jaime is forced to give Da Jung half of her stars at the next voting round. That sends everyone into a raging mess as they all seemed agree to oust Da Jung. Some even appear surprised that stars are capable of being sold, to which Do Young reminds them that anything is for sale. Jaime does not appear too concerned, however. So what if she and Da Jung are even? There are not enough rounds for her to make a comeback.

Da Jung returns to the basement with her cheerful expression and Woo Jin is reassured that she won. She is happy she managed to fool Jaime, but now she is curious as to how she can win with only the stars she received from Jaime. Woo Jin assures her there is a way for her to win. All she has to do is follow his plan.

At the next voting round, Do Young questions Da Jung about how she will manage to save herself. If she does not think of something quick, she will be the one layoffed from the company. We all know Do Young refuses to let that happen. He has big plans for Da Jung and she has to make it through for those plans to work. She stands up and argues back, asking “Why does one person have to be laid off? Why are you making people choose between each other?” He has the power after all, can’t he do something different?

I am not sure if that quick moment of surprise on Do Young’s face is real. But either way, I am glad she stood up and vocalized some of her thoughts. One, it is a good move to show the rest of her competitors that she still believes in her earlier plan on working together. Two, it reveals to Do Young she is not this meek little girl that will obey his every whim. She is capable of throwing a surprise here and there, and I want the show to follow up with this. Have her surprise everyone more and more in key moments, this way it is set up for her to be the one to throw a hindrance into Do Young’s scheme that he would not have predicted.

Jaime, of course, sees Da Jung’s statement as an act of desperation and taunts our heroine about how Woo Jin will not be able to swoop in and save her now. The other contestants, however, seem a little rattled by Da Jung’s fight. Sung Joon even apologizes to her before he leaves and Director Jung stares at her for a moment before walking away. Da Jung has that kind of power to make desperate people look twice. Now, if the show would use it more, I would be one happy camper.

Dal Goo is being a cutie and worries over Da Jung outside. He is annoying the security guards, but he could care less. That is his Da Jung in there and he needs to make sure she is alright. Please do not turn out to be some evil conspirator for Do Young. I think it would break my heart.

Da Jung starts her next plan of attack by approaching the political aide, Bong Geun. At first, he is hesitant to take her deal to seek revenge on Jaime for her. But with the added topping of money, he succumbs and agrees to give her nine stars in exchange for her remaining money. Nine stars won’t do much, he believes, but does want to reward her sacrifice. That is, until the next voting round comes about.

Do Young pretends to be worried the game is becoming too simple. He hopes Da Jung can shake things up a bit. It is right there you know he knows what is going on. How does this man know everything? Is he psychic or something? I need to know because this character is killing me and I love it.

He points up to the screen and it shows the first place contestant. To everyone’s shock, it is Da Jung with seventy-five stars. Everyone makes an uproar, not able to believe what they are seeing. Turns out, Da Jung promised money to every contestant for an exchange of nine stars. And they all believed they were the only one. Do Young appears pleased by the turn of events (as if he didn’t already know something like this would happen.) The audience members and production staff cheer, as well. Da Jung is clearly the favorite. And I love the show for showcasing how powerful her reach. Her kindness is her power. Use it accordingly writers, and the ending of this series will be amazing.

The broadcast president is angry by the turn of events. He cannot fathom how someone he believes to be so incompetent could make such a turn around. Which is the exact same sentiment that everyone at the game site seems to share. Jaime looks at everyone’s contracts and sees what Da Jung did. She wants to know what Da Jung was thinking promising everyone money that she cannot repay, as that will only lead to her eviction from the game.

“She can repay it,” someone says from behin them.

Out steps Woo Jin to everyone’s shock but Do Young’s. He just looks like a kid on Christmas right now. That sly devil.

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He reveals the entire thing was his plan and he made Da Jung lie to everyone. After all, she is not capable of thinking up a lie on her own and carrying it out. The rest of the contestants want to know what he is doing here, especially Jaime. After all, he is the only one capable of besting her at this game, so she would want him gone. Do Young just shrugs after she rages at him and I cackled. That man is enjoying every bit of this!

Woo Jin, however, finds the loophole in the rules that claim a contestant can bring any item into the game area. He asks them to just him consider him property. “I’m just a dog right now,” he says as he maneuvers Da Jung behind him. “Nam Da Jung’s faithful and vicious dog. I’ll show you what happens when you mess with my master.”

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I want one.

Also, can I say I am proud he is showing this amount of worry over her? It is great character development. And, I love that he calls her his “master” because in a sense, she is. She controls the way he plays the game by not allowing him to outright destroy everyone with his capabilities. She encourages and wants him to look out for others that can be helped. It grates on him, but he does it. A relationship trope where the powerful beast is controlled by a good-hearted master is a favorite of mine.

Jaime does not believe he can use that rule to his advantage and tries to get him kicked out. Do Young, however, is doing nothing. This is good entertainment for him. Woo Jin reminds the contestants that the power now lies with Da Jung as they are all tied for last place with thirty one stars compared to her seventy-five. That only causes more problems. It is Yoon Joo that halts filming and pulls Do Young aside to discuss what to do about Woo Jin.

The broadcast president is calling Yoon Joo, clearly wanting everything that has just taken place to be overrided. Yoon Joo wants to know what Do Young plans on doing about it. Nothing because “they are all now realizing their parts to play,” and he will not be messing with that. It is creepy the way he talks about the contestants and the way everything has finally fallen into place. But it takes me back to the opening credits where Do Young is playing chess with himself. He has set up the board according to a strategy and he needs his pieces to move as their particular parts allow. And if I understand chess correctly, the queen is the most powerful piece on a chessboard and the most guarded. Da Jung is the queen in Do Young’s mind because she would result in the most damage to Woo Jin, and to the audience with her contrasting disposition in the game. Woo Jin guards Da Jung, but also moves of his own free will, which would appear to make him a rook. Now that Do Young has his board set up and his major pieces are acting in their respective roles, he has filled the board with pawns. Jaime, with her ability, may be of higher level. Depending on how she handles the rest of the game, her piece correspondence could change in my mind.

‘Liar Game’ appears to be nothing more than a giant chess game that Do Young is playing. And when you sit back and think of how smart you have to be to play out this kind of strategy, you realize how powerful Do Young really is. And you start to wonder if Woo Jin will be capable of going up against someone with that level of power because he is more than Woo Jin knows him to be. Probably far more than what Woo Jin could expect.

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Do Young does not want Yoon Joo to get involved, but she needs to know what to do about the president. He says he chose her to be his partner and walks off. After a moment of deliberation, Yoon Joo takes the battery out of her phone. I love her.

While Yoon Joo and Do Young pretend to deliberate over Woo Jin’s involvement, the rest of the contestants argue spending money on the stars that Da Jung has. Bulldog voices that he won’t buy and if the broadcast company thinks they will get his money back, they are wrong. He will hold on to it. Woo Jin tells him and the rest of the contestants the problem with that: you will go missing. He explains of the investigation he undertook about the last female contestant from the previous round. The lawyer perks up and realizes that was why she came to him for legal advice. Woo Jin strikes home that you cannot escape this game unaffected. That has everyone rattled, even Jaime it appears.

Do Young returns at this time and reveals that have decided to allow Woo Jin to stay as Da Jung’s personal belonging. Woo Jin takes Da Jung to go set up shop. The contestants claim they won’t fall, but the first to come running are Bong Geun and Director Jung. Woo Jin does all the negotiating and it appears to take everything Da Jung has not to say anything about his harsh tactics. He notices and tries to explain to her that she gave them a chance to all share the money, but they backstabbed her because of greed. She is teaching them what betrayal earns them. Da Jung does not see how they will agree to trust her or her plan now after what is happening. Woo Jin offers another life lesson with this: “Compensate trust. Punish betrayal.”

Again, it is a nice lesson, but can it carry over to the core of Da Jung’s character? She is not someone that punishes betrayal. Should she exercise caution? Yes. But punish those that hurt her? It is not a path I can see Da Jung walking. It is too cynical and broken for someone as cheerful and hopeful as our heroine.

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But it would help her in the long run, I guess.

More and more people fall and Woo Jin keeps raising the price. The price of freedom and the ability to continue on in the game is extremely high. And Da Jung is feeling everything and I just want to hold her. Director Jung returns to buy more and the price has risen form what it original was. He complains about it to Da Jung, wanting to know why she is being cruel to him after he talked to her. Da Jung tries to vouch for him to Woo Jin, but Woo Jin will not hear it. He asks Director Jung, “What about you? Why did you do all of that to Da Jung?” Which is a good point to present because Director Jung is just as guilty for conspiring to oust Da Jung as the others.

The time for the final round has come and Woo Jin reminds Da Jung that she has the power in her hands. He asks if she can do it and she replies with a yes. The pair, along with the rest of the contestants, are returned to the studio where Do Young hosts. Do Young reminds the contestants that the outcome of the game is already known by Woo Jin and Da Jung as she has to give three stars away to someone. The participants beg her to help them, but she stays firm and says her decision has already been made.

One by one, the survivors are announced with Da Jung still in the lead and the rest following until it comes down to Jaime and Director Jung. Everyone believes Jaime has been let go, but in a surprise twist, it is Director Jung that loses. Jaime celebrates while Director Jung stands in shock. The rest of the contestants seem just as surprised.

Director Jung cries and wants to know why it is him that has to be let go. By the time he finishes his speech, there are tears. He turns on Da Jung, who thanks him for being the only one to talk to her. He does not see how she could let him go if she is so grateful. But she explains that it is not the prize money he needs, but to be with his family. She knows he has spent most of his money on medical expenses and she does not want him to suffer anymore. So, in a twist that no one but Woo Jin, Do Young, and me, did not see coming, she promises to repay his debt.

Even with the money she gives him to repay his debt, Da Jung has money left over. She splits it evenly between the rest of the contestants, further flooring them. Do Young asks, “Does this mean you will participate in the next round?”

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As if you did not already know this.

Da Jung replies, “Yes.  I thought about it while playing Liar Game; was this show made for us to trick and be tricked? It’s possible, but if you think of it another way, I think it might be a test to see if we can really trust each other. I trust you all… no, I want to trust you. So I’m going to divide the money.”

The key phrase here is, “I want to trust you.” Da Jung is growing and realizing that she cannot go into something blindly. Her wishful thinking in being able to trust everyone is still there, but she no longer puts faith in their words. Or, at least, is beginning to learn not to. Whether this means she will need to see people prove themselves to her or something else. But I feel good about her declaring her desire to trust people opposed to automatically trusting them.

Director Jung says a few sweet words about being eliminated. Do Young cries, or at least tries to appear affected by Da Jung’s kind gesture and the eliminated contestant’s sweet words. Then, he turns his attention back to Da Jung and asks where she sees herself in the future. She isn’t sure, to which he replies it doesn’t have to be far, just five or ten years from now. She still seems unsure so Do Young says, “I see you doing well in running a non-profit organization,” and looks dead at Woo Jin.

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If intentions were not stated explicitly before, they are now. Do Young is making it known how he plans to use Da Jung to Woo Jin. And he is bringing out the pain over the loss of Woo Jin’s mother. All under the guise of being a genuine person. I felt a chill.

Woo Jin and Do Young have a staredown for a brief moment before Woo Jin walks off stage. The rest of the participants, minus Jaime, gather around Director Jung and wish him well. It is a cute bonding moment that I hope transfers over to the next round.

Later on, Do Young and Yoon Joo have a meeting. She questions him about his intentions with ‘Liar Game’ as it appears he is becoming obsessed with Woo Jin and Da Jung. He laughs at the idea and tries to walk away, but Yoon Joo grabs his arm and swings him around.

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Let me take a moment to bask in the gloriousness. I do believe this is the first time a woman has done that to a man in a drama.

Yoon Joo demands he look at her when she is talking. He agrees to her request and stares directly into her eyes while saying, “Were my intentions for creating this show pure? No, ‘pure’ isn’t enough to describe it. They were noble. Next to that, my personal ambitions are as small and pathetic as dust. Do you need any further explanation?”

Again, chills.

Do Young admitting his intentions for this program are “noble,” sends up red flags for me. And it brings me back to his intention of showing the world how people become their true selves when it comes to money. There is a correlation here, but the picture is not clear enough for me to make sense of it. All I know is that he has designed this game specifically for Woo Jin and Da Jung, and his intentions for this are “noble” for a very specific reason. In the upcoming episodes, hopefully things will get a bit clearer.

Da Jung is spending a day at work when she checks out some information online about Woo Jin’s mother. Turns out it is the one year anniversary of her death and she goes to see Woo Jin. He obviously is somewhat surprised to see her outside of his house, but moves along down the street as if nothing has happened. The two go to his mother’s memorial and Da Jung tries to get some information about his mother, but Woo Jin is reluctant to answer.

That is, until he brings her to a dilapidated orphanage that she use to run. There, he describes his mother that was hard-working and kind. He always was forced to go with her to the orphanage while she took care of whatever it needed herself. Da Jung thinks he might have been sad having to share his mother, but Woo Jin can’t really remember. He doesn’t want to remember his time spent here as he hated his mother during that period.

He only remembers her as someone like Da Jung, trusting and always being taken advantage. It made his blood boil to see her in such situations. This makes Da Jung think he studied psychology to protect his mother, but Woo Jin replies it won’t protect anyone, only help understand people better. He admits, though, it did not help him understand his mother. Just as it is not helping him understand Da Jung. He does not understand why she did not walk away with all of the money she gained in the last round.

Da Jung admits she could have survived, but she couldn’t leave other people to suffer debt. It makes her wonder if she is a fool.

Depends on how you look at it. You could be a fool for risking your life for strangers that betray you and giving up all of that money. Or you could be a hero that these people do not realize they need. I believe it is the latter, but she does have her moments where I want to shake her and say, “Wise up!”

Woo Jin asks Da Jung if she remembers what she said to him when they first met. It was the same sentence his mother uttered before she killed herself. He hates that he had to hear those words right after he got out of jail. He tells Da Jung she is a burden to him. A dispensable burden.

Ouch.

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Woo Jin and Da Jung return to the studio for Woo Jin to be interviewed by Do Young. Our host questions our hero about the uproar over his taking advantage of the personal belonging clause in the previous round. Woo Jin turns the tables on Do Young and the audience and asks if that clause was not set in place for this very specific reason. Do Young, of course, acts bewildered by such an accusation before moving on to asking why Woo Jin is going to such lengths to help Da Jung.

Yes, I would like the full truth to this question, sir.

Instead of answering, Woo Jin asks for a break. Yoon Joo gives them five minutes while she is pulled away to answer a phone call. Woo Jin and Do Young turns off their mics and Woo Jin takes this opportunity to ask our host about ‘L’ Company. He gives the standard answer that can be found in any headline about the scandal, but that is not good enough for Woo Jin. He pushes for more, asking about the connection the contestants share with the fallen company. Do You laughs at his paranoia. Woo Jin isn’t laughing.

Yoon Joo steps out in the hall to take the phone call from, who she assumes, is an anti-fan. But as the call proceeds, she realizes something about this call is different. Especially as the person on the other end keeps calling Da Jung, “his Da Jungie.” She wants to know if it is Da Jung’s father.

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I would like to know, too! I am positive it is, but I want to hear the rest of this conversation!

Back to Woo Jin and Do Young, the two continue their verbal sparring until Do Young appears to have enough. He asks Woo Jin to trust him before approaching the other man and saying the exact same line his mother uttered before she committed suicide. Woo Jin snatches up Do Young’s arm and asks, “You know me?”

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War is upon us. The gauntlet has been thrown!

This episode is much better than last in terms to Da Jung. She is taking steps in character development that should continue until she becomes something of a stronger force to be reckoned with. Yoon Joo also got a bit more development as her suspicions of Do Young grow as well as her clear desire to defend her program from those that wish to use it for their own gains. The ladies are stealing my heart in this series and I want dramaland to take note. It does not matter how big or small the role is, each female can bring something important to the table to make the show what it needs to be. Kudos to you writers!

Also, the battle between Do Young and Woo Jin has me on pins and needles. Woo Jin knows for sure now that Do Young is messing with all of them and this is all his doing. He may not know what exactly the game plan is, but at least his suspicions on who the mastermind is, is confirmed. Let the battle of titans commence because I am sure it will be explosive!

The Daily Drama

(I do apologize for the lateness. Technical difficulties.)

Liar Game

Episode 5

Steps were taken in the right direction in this episode. And revelations came to light that changed some things, but also led to a few possibilities that have me particularly excited. The way the writers of this version of the manga are handling everything has me feeling some type of way. I do not know if I will ever remove myself from the edge of my seat with all these new twists and turns the show is taking. I may even start biting my nails! Woo Jin digs deeper into the mystery that is Liar Game while Da Jung struggles to not only get her plan off the ground, but stay afloat in a game she is not built to survive. An exciting hour is ahead of us, so let us get started!

Dal Goo hurries away from Da Jung’s house, briefcase of money in his hand. My heart breaks for him because that did not look like an easy decision. The way he treats Da Jung really proves he cares and I do not believe he wants to see her suffer. And as he stands outside her house, his phone rings. It is Woo Jin. Dal Goo knows he has to try and throw Woo Jin off the scent of something being wrong, but of course he cannot fool the man. Woo Jin is waiting for Dal Goo at his apartment, where he planned to hide to the money. Dal Goo tries to justify it, but when he learns that Do Young was the one to call the debt collectors on Da Jung’s former teacher, he gets a picture of how lethal the man can be. This turns him against Woo Jin, claiming the man said he would help her. Of course, Woo Jin doesn’t see it that. He and Da Jung are enemies in the game, therefore she must survive on her own.

When Woo Jin starts to walk away, he overhears Dal Goo blabbering about Da Jung’s father and how he invested in L Company, which led to his spiral into debt. At the mention of this, Woo Jin pauses. He wants Dal Goo to repeat himself. Da Jung’s father invested borrowed money in L Company after he got a tip that the stocks were going to take a high rise. Basically, her father was trying to get rich quick. But it backfired because the stocks plummeted instead. The way Woo Jin is acting, I wonder if this company is the one that swindled his mother. And the one he screwed over with stock manipulation.

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Uh oh.

Da Jung wakes up and realizes the suitcase is gone. She panics for a moment before seeing the suitcase locked way more securely on her kitchen counter. Dal Goo even left a note for her. This is so sweet and it makes me love Dal Goo even more. He knows what this will mean job wise, but he couldn’t do that to his Da Jung. The way this relationship is written, it really does breathe fresh life into the cliché of heroine owing money to a debt collector. Their relationship is so interesting and cute, I hope we get more and more as the episodes go.

However, the cute moment is ruined when Da Jung receives a call from Do Young. He plans to meet with her, even going so far as to cancel her work schedule for the day. Does this man have that much power? It honestly scares me.  He claims she is needed for a photoshoot because the original model had to cancel at the last minute (yeah, right) and she has become one of the biggest stars in Liar Game. Da Jung is skeptical of the whole thing, but Do Young throws out the key word: contract. It is clear Da Jung has not yet read the contract, which I am going to need her to do. Not only because it is the smart thing to do, but also this may become vital later on.

At the photoshoot, it is clear Do Young is in control. He chooses her outfit, how her hair is styled, and I bet he even chose her makeup. This side of him is nothing new, as he is the puppet master controlling the events in the game. And he does not like it when something does not go according to plan or someone steps out of line. His battle with the company director is clear proof. However, these simple things put me on edge. A man that in control does not handle unplanned chaos well. If there is even one tiny slip up, his rigid control could snap and he would turn into a loose cannon. These types of villains always, to me, present the most trouble for the hero/heroine as well as the best entertainment for the story. For now, Do Young believes he has everything set up according to his plan. But, I believe Da Jung will prove to be the wildcard in the game that throws everything into limbo and the real viciousness of his character will come to light.

After the photoshoot, Do Young brings Da Jung to his place for dinner. She is immediately suspects he wants her to kiss up to him since Woo Jin will not be involved in the next round. Of course, Da Jung refuses and says she wants to try playing on her own. Do Young puts her at ease and claims Woo Jin will be joining them soon and this is only a congratulatory dinner for making it so far. However, from what we have seen of Do Young thus far, it feels as if he is manipulating her for something. Everything feels too practiced about this entire dinner. And Woo Jin has yet to arrive, which Da Jung picks up on. Do Young suggests she call him.

Woo Jin is currently meeting with Reporter Gu about what he learned from Dal Goo earlier. L Company is the company that scammed Woo Jin’s mother and caused her to commit suicide. Which means it is also the company that he took down with stock manipulation. Because of his revenge, Da Jung’s father lost his money and was forced to run from debt collectors. This leads Woo Jin to suspect that he and Da Jung are involved in Liar Game by more the coincidence.

That makes me look at Dal Goo in an odd manner, once again. He was the one to suggest Da Jung ask for Woo Jin’s help in the first place. I could pass it off as coincidence or even the story that Dal Goo gave about he and Woo Jin sharing a cell. But the way this story is coming together, nothing appears to happen by chance. Each event is connected or a part of a carefully laid out plan. And if I had to place money down on who is the creator, it would be Do Young. So, does that mean Do Young and Dal Goo know each other? Dal Goo may not necessarily be in direct connection with Do Young, but the possibility of him having a run in with the other man is high. Especially if Do Young saw a chance to draw Woo Jin into the game.

Woo Jin answers his phone when he sees it is Da Jung calling. And it becomes clear that he has no idea of the three of them having dinner together. Da Jung seems to pick up on the same thing after she hangs up. Do Young says he knew Woo Jin would not come if he called because “he only does what Da Jung wants.” He then proceeds to ask Da Jung if she knows why Woo Jin is helping her. Of course, it is a question that has bothered our heroine and she listens as Do Young explains how she shares similarities with Woo Jin’s mother. He believes Woo Jin is helping her because, “Having you ruined in front of his eyes would be like going through the same pain twice.”

That sentence gave me chills.

Do Young speaks with a small amount of sadness, as if feeling remorse for the pain Woo Jin suffered with the loss of his mother. Yet, the look in his eyes as he stares at Da Jung creates this tension that makes you think of that sentence differently. This could very well be Do Young’s plan. In the beginning, I thought Do Young was using Woo Jin to seek revenge. But with this sentence, that theory has been flipped. Woo Jin is still a weapon that Do Young uses, but now I believe it is for Woo Jin’s own destruction. Da Jung is the bait to keep Woo Jin in line until Do Young’s plan is fulfilled.

If my prediction is correct, I need the writers to do one thing for me. Have Da Jung dismantle this plan. Woo Jin is the weapon in the game. Whoever controls him will win it. Right now, he is on Da Jung’s side. But, by Do Young bringing Da Jung to dinner and then having her call Woo Jin, he is showing that he ultimately controls the con artist through Da Jung. But I need Da Jung to break free of Do Young’s control and formulate her own plan. Because it would be predictable for Woo Jin to be the one to solely defeat Do Young. No, I need Da Jung to show Do Young just how powerful her ways can be. He only sees her as the mirror of Woo Jin’s mother, not a capable foe. I want the show to throw in the twist of Do Young realizing Da Jung is the one he should fear, not Woo Jin.

Speaking of Woo Jin, he arrives to dinner after the phone call from Da Jung. Clearly, he is not happy with the arrangement. As he and Do Young talk, which is nothing more than their usual mind games, Woo Jin notices a painting that catches his attention. It is only a brief stare, but something about that painting holds importance. And it may just be the most important clue for Woo Jin to unravel the mystery that is Do Young.

Woo Jin does not stay long, and he takes Da Jung with him. As they walk together, both are lost in their thoughts concerning each other. Woo Jin surprises Da Jung by asking what she would do if she learned her father’s problem was a result of someone else. She replies, “I would hate that person.” That catches Woo Jin off guard and he asks, “Is that all?” Knowing Da Jung’s character, this type of response does not surprise me. However, her response to his latest question does.

“I may want to take revenge because it would be a hard thing to forgive.”

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For her sweetness and naivety, Da Jung has hidden characteristics that always surprise me. With her stating she “may take revenge,” she shows an inner viciousness that catches me off guard. Could she really do it? I don’t know. From previous actions and personality, I would say no. But for her to look at someone she knows can tell when she lies and give off the impression that she may take revenge, it means it is a possibly venture she would consider. And I can believe that when you think of how close she is with her father and the struggles she has faced because of her father.

The question is, will she still think the same thing when it is revealed Woo Jin caused her father’s downfall?

(Of course, with the way Do Young has been playing puppet master, something tells me there is more to the story than we know.)

The Reinstatement Round has started and Dal Goo arrives to sit in the audience and watch Da Jung. The contestants are introduced with Da Jung receiving the loudest cheers and Jaime getting the loudest boos. This just goes to show that Da Jung has the power to persuade people to her side without trickery or threat. And I want it to grow with each episode.

Dal Goo is relaying information about the round to Woo Jin, who is with Reporter Gu following up on a lead. Since he already has a ticket to the next stage for winning the Minority Voting round, and he gave his winnings to Sung Joon, he did not have to be present for this round. They are tracking the last female contestant from the previous round, Woo Jin starting to suspect that every participant in the game is connected to L Company. While the pair are searching for their only lead, Reporter Gu tells Woo Jin of her findings concerning the other contestants that participated in the game. Some were able to give back the required payout amount easily. A few were forced to go to loan sharks to pay the termination fees, which only put them in more debt. However, three of the contestants were unable to pay the money back and disappeared. The contestant Reporter Gu and Woo Jin are searching for is a part of the last category.

This twist in the story gives it a darker sense. In the Japanese version, ‘Liar Game’ was a secret society. Therefore, you suspected something nefarious would go down. But the fact that Korea’s version made ‘Liar Game’ into a reality show, the darker aspect of the show from the Japanese version and manga appeared to be cut. Oh no, it is very much there. The audience, with the reveal of the three contestants having gone missing, is now left to wonder if they are merely missing or worse? Does this show, in particular Do Young, have that much power? Is someone else pulling these strings? All these questions bombard me, but also I found myself fearing for Da Jung even more than before. Not only could she go into debt or have debt collectors dropped on her, she could be kidnapped or killed. A show that is meant to only be about money has a much darker purpose that is being exposed with every episode.

The contestants participating in the Reinstatement Round arrive at their destination. Do Young explains the rules of the game, and apparently in this game you can bring one item into it from home. Also, he emphasizes that anything can be bought and sold between the players. Most of the players think this will be an easy game, as they only have to pick one person to eliminate. Da Jung, however, does not want to eliminate anyone. She brings up the idea of forming a plan to keep everyone a life and splitting the money, therefore keeping people out of debt. The rest of the group appears to like the idea, but claims they will start next round. Da Jung wants to do it this round, but everyone has their mind set on eliminating Jamie for betraying them in the previous round.

Woo Jin and Reporter Gu arrive at the missing participant’s home. Immediately, he notices something strange. He manages to get them into the woman’s apartment with a lock pick he keeps hidden in his phone. I think that is a good scene because it reminds the audience Woo Jin just recently came from prison. And you learn things in prison that may shock people in the outside world. A nice little touch to showcase that Woo Jin is not only different because of his brain, but because he spent time in prison where knowledge comes in different forms.

After searching through the house, the pair discover a picture of the missing contestant with a dog. The same dog that they found outside rummaging around in the trash bags. Woo Jin knows the scene looks as if she ran away in the middle of the night, but she would never leave her dog. This prompts the two to talk to the security guard at the gate. But it does not take Woo Jin long to realize the man has been paid to keep quiet. Of course, when he calls him out on it, the guard hands over the license plate number without much of a fuss. Woo Jin directs Report Gu to go see his detective buddy that owes him a few favors for helping solve all those crimes while in prison. Dal Goo calls at that moment and relays the current situation with Da Jung. He believes she may have an advantage with everyone wanting to get rid of Jaime. Woo Jin, however, knows how good Jaime is at manipulating situations and thinks she has the advantage here.

Ever the clever manipulator, Jaime gets the contestants to talk about themselves to everyone. When Da Jung tries to speak, Jaime cuts in and questions how someone like her got Woo Jin on her side. She even brings up Dal Goo helping her in the first stage. Jaime believes Da Jung is sleeping with them in order to get their cooperation. Sung Joon and the others step up to Da Jung’s defense, which makes me squeal. But then Jaime throws out pictures of Da Jung with Do Young.

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Jaime is a villain that enjoys acting the part. She takes great joy in watching the others turn on Da Jung for believing she would sleep around to get what she wants. A master manipulator, Jaime seems capable of getting everything. Woo Jin is the only threat to her in the game, but as he is not present, she is the one to fear this round. And I enjoy villains like that. She knows her strengths. She figures out the weaknesses of others and exploits them. And she will come back hitting harder than the first time because you will know she is the one to fear in this game. I root for her while at the same time wishing she would go somewhere else.

At first, the broadcast president is the likely suspect of Jaime getting those photos. But no, it is Do Young which Yoon Joo realizes. She calls him out on it, only for him to say, “It makes it more fun.” Do Young takes the crown as ultimate villain, though. Sorry Jaime. But this is one man I would never want to cross. He is ten steps ahead of everyone it seems.

With those pictures, Da Jung’s plan crumbles. Those that defended her now believe she is not to be trusted and the nation even seems to feel betrayed. I wish I could save her from this, but her fate will only get much worse I am afraid.

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And Woo Jin finds himself in trouble, as well. He locates a key piece of evidence in the disappearance of the former contestant. But unbeknown to him, someone is behind him. And like that, he is hit in the back of the head and knocked unconscious. I am positive I gasped because I am not use to someone getting the drop on Woo Jin like that. He is a character that you believe knows everything and cannot be bested. Yet, here is proof that he is still human. And he will not be able to defeat everyone he encounters.

Back to Da Jung, our heroine is trying to get someone to listen to her. But alas, no one feels inclined to do so because they feel betrayed. Jaime, ever the vulture, sees an opportunity to swoop in and does. She promises to save Da Jung and formulates a plan where both with survive. I got frustrated at this part because Da Jung accepts the deal even though Jaime caused her to be in this mess earlier. The problem, I find, with writing innocent characters like Da Jung is knowing when enough false belief is too much. Da Jung, having been betrayed by Jaime before, stills trusts her to hold up her end of the contract. I may have accepted it if she did not jump right into the deal, but debated it for a little bit. Weigh her pros and cons of accepting such a bargain with someone that is known to double cross. But no, she dives right into the mess with Jaime.

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Da Jung, I love you, but be a little bit more cautious.

Which, if she had been, she would not be sitting in last place right now. After the reveal that Jaime did not hold up her end of the bargain, Da Jung is confused. She fully believed Jaime would do as she said. And I just want to grab her and shake her and say, “People will lie. Not everyone is as kind-hearted as you. They are weak when it comes to money.” And this makes me frustrated with the writer because they are backing her in a corner and I doubt they will have her come out swinging. Instead, Woo Jin will find a way to rescue her.

I love that Da Jung controls Woo Jin’s impulses and he will guard her. But I want Da Jung to do things on her own from time to time. I know, from a character and writing standpoint, she is not at the point where she can defeat Jaime on her own. Nor is she at the point where she will be able to figure out the game on her own. She still needs help. But Da Jung is at a point where she is capable of exercising her brain to create plans to help get her out of this situation. Would her plans work? No. But to show her actively trying to figure her way out of her situation without betraying anyone would have been a nice development.

Reporter Gu is talking with the detective that Woo Jin helped out while in prison. Though they were supposed to be discussing the missing participant, instead they are talking about the case that landed Woo Jin in jail. Is this not against the law? Still, the most interesting detail about the case? The CEO of L Company tried to take off right after the stocks plummeted. Instead, he found himself waking up tied to a chair and dangling by a rope off a roof. Woo Jin wanted the CEO to know what his mother felt in her last moments.

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A vengeful son that has the power to take down your corrupt company? Sounds like someone I would fear.

Woo Jin, however, finds himself waking up to the very same scenario. My heart is pounding as I watch him struggle to somehow free himself from this predicament. And while he struggles to break free of this death trap, Da Jung struggles to find a way to get herself out of last place in the Reinstatement Game. Both of our heroes are struggling in different ways, but it still leaves a heart pounding impression upon you. And both face death if they fail. Woo Jin falling to his death while Da Jung dies due to debt. Nice parallel in the montage.

Da Jung is sitting alone, on the stairs, feeling the effects of everyone’s betrayal. Director Jung, the man that needs to earn money to care for his ailing mother, comes to see about her. He explains how Jaime convinced them all to sign a contract with her to earn stars and she would double cross Da Jung. He wants to help her, but can’t do to being expelled from the game if he were to break his contract with Jaime. Da Jung, in her sweetness, has no hard feelings towards Director Jung and understands why he cannot help her.

Jaime appears at this time and scolds the man for talking to Da Jung. But then, she is all smiles again as she talks to Da Jung. Jaime knows there is no way for our heroine to win, but offers her a chance at gaining stars. They will play a card game which Jaime reassures Da Jung is fair, even going so far as to demonstrate how it cannot in anyway be to her advantage. Da Jung agrees.

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Once again, I wish our heroine would be more cautious about things. Even though she knows how dirty Jaime plays, she still agrees to this game because she sees it as fair. Do I think she would be able to spot the problem with this “fair” card game? No. That is not how her minds works and she is not at that level development wise. But it would be nice if she at least inspected the cards, hesitated in agreeing to the game, and questioned Jaime about her intentions. Then, as Da Jung is prone to do, believe in what she sees and go ahead with the game. I am hoping next episode, she starts to become a little more assertive and cautious in how she plays this game.

When we return to Woo Jin, he is still dangling midair and I think I have forgotten how to breathe. I do not see a way out of this except down, which is not good. But he surprises me as he manages to swing himself backwards, forcing the rope to snap, and he lands on the roof. Once clear of his bindings, Woo Jin escapes from the roof. On his way down, he receives a call from Reporter Gu, who tells him of what she learned from her talk with the detective. Woo Jin informs her he experienced the same trap he set for the CEO of L Company a year before, which gives both of them pause. They seem to be thinking the same thing, which Woo Jin says out loud.

“They know me. And this was a warning to watch my boundaries.”

Yes, I would agree.

While Woo Jin deals with that revelation, Da Jung and Jaime play the card game. I bury my face in my hands as this scene plays out because I already know the end result. Da Jung loses, thus handing over half of her money to Jaime. And the weight on her shoulders only grows heavier.

Oh sweetheart.

Fear not, Woo Jin has arrived. Dal Goo frets about his late arrival as well as Da Jung. Woo Jin, of course, appears unfazed. He merely states, “We have to get in.”

This episode, to me, lacked advancement for Da Jung. That is the main thing this show needs right now because everything else feels on point. The mystery surrounding L Company and the connection with the contestants has me hooked. Woo Jin being shown as human instead of this always capable superman was good development. Watching feeble connections be broken by simple manipulation and the power of money. Do Young and his entire enjoyment of this situation. Everything feels as if it is coming together, forming a intriguing picture, but Da Jung’s stilted character development is the key piece missing.

Our heroine should remain sweet and good. She should still want to save everyone and push for the plan of winning the game together. But I need her to start using caution in this game. Start looking for things to show if someone is betraying her, even if she does not get them correct on the first guess. Fight harder to get people to see how her way of doing things would be better in the long run. As of now, she is still the Da Jung she was in the beginning of the show and that is not fair to the audience as well as Kim So Eun, who I have full faith could breathe life into a growing and maturing Da Jung.

Here is to hoping next episode we get motion in her moving in the right direction and realizing people are not simple creatures. It takes effort and maneuvering to get the result you want out of people easily moved by money and threats. I understand it is not her way of doing things, but she needs to learn how to make something out of those traits if she wants to survive. Because this open book personality she has now does nothing for her in this situation.

A Notice

I hate the fact that I have to do this. But I feel that I should inform everyone (no matter how few) that reads my blog for my reviews that I do not plan to continue to review ‘My Lovely Girl.’ After watching the latest episodes and seeing the mess that things have become, my love for that show has all but died. I especially cannot find it in myself to root for Hyun Wook and Se Na to be together considering he kept the ruse up until she figured it out for herself.

So, it is with much regret, I have discontinued that review category and will now only focus on ‘Liar Game.’ I do plan on adding a few other interesting articles and categories to this blog, so please stay tuned for those.

I love you all.

The Daily Drama

Liar Game

Episode 4

Can you feel the tension in the room? See the fear or cockiness invade our contestants? People are dwindling and my excitement grows. This hour is jammed with battles waged between MC and President, betrayer and con-artist, and hope versus doubt. Blink, and you may miss a key moment. Needless to say, I had my eyes wide open the entire time. And sat on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what new twists or revelations would be made.

Sung Joon asks the question, “I am Betrayer X,” which seems to throw everyone off kilter. Do you say yes to this and risk being labeled the traitor? Do you say no and chance everyone else answering the same way, thus eliminating you from the game? Decisions, decisions.

Here, Do Young leaves the contestants and walks off the stage. When he steps out into the hallway, he spies the president speaking with someone. When the president turns around to face the MC, both trade a look that speaks a thousand things all at once. The president appears smug, and I bet it has everything to do with his key player being involved in the game. Do Young may also be considering the special player the president has in place, and I bet it eats at his nerves that such a thing has happened. Do Young questions the president on possibly leaking the rules of the game to his player. Must mean his player made it to the next round.

The president has a nonchalant attitude about him as he wonders how the pictures of his contestant were leaked. Well then, Betrayer X is your secret weapon Mr. President? Somehow that does not surprise me. Think you can win the game with an underhanded trick to gain back the power in the relationship between you and Do Young? I won’t say Betrayer X isn’t a threat, but Do Young is backing Woo Jin. And that is not an easy opponent to defeat. And this little, “friendly” conversation you two just had? Clearly a declaration of war. So, let the battle rage on.

Do Young and Yoon Joo discuss this turn of events in the game. She wonders if Woo Jin will be able to sniff out the Betrayer X. Do Young will be disappointed if Woo Jin fails at finding out who traitor is. Something in the way he says that catches Yoon Joo’s attention. She wonders why he seems to be taking this a little too personal. He isn’t the one that brought Woo Jin into the game, Da Jung is. Do Young agrees, but he says, “Woo Jin was born for this show.” Why does that sound eerie to me? Almost as if Do Young is saying he built this entire premise around Woo Jin?

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Woo Jin pulls Da Jung aside and the two discuss the fact that Betrayer X is among them. He has realized that their team is not the sole team in the game. It appears there are three teams and Betrayer X is a part of each one. And through a whole mess of math talk that makes my head hurt, he reveals to her that no matter what, Betrayer X will be the sole victor. Da Jung seems to understand, but questions how Betrayer X could get away with winning if they signed a contract. However, Betrayer X can easily manipulate a contract considering how they got on the show in the first place Woo Jin notes. He also makes it known that the possibility of Betrayer X being one of the four teammates that passed on to the next round is high.

Of course, sweet Da Jung does not want to believe any of her teammates could betray them. After all, it could just be one other team instead of the three. Woo Jin responds that “In order to trust, you have to first suspect.”  It is a statement that does not sit well with Da Jung, but it has logic to it. If you have seen the ugly side of humanity, would you not have to always put them to a test in order to prove their worthy to be trusted? Of course, we could have the eternal optimism that Da Jung has and always believe in a person. And while I love that about Da Jung, in this scenario I have to go with Woo Jin.

The teammates that were eliminated in the earlier round gather in the security room with Da Jung and Woo Jin. He explains his theory to them and needs them to keep an eye on the teammates that made it through. Each one is assigned a certain member to watch over while Da Jung is tasked with watching through the security cameras. This is all because Betrayer X will have to approach their other teammates in person due to the phones being switched and locked.

While all of this takes place, Woo Jin approaches Sung Joon. He tries to see if the other boy is Betrayer X. Sung Joon believes Woo Jin’s abilities lie in seeing one’s eyes, which is why he doesn’t take of his sunglasses. However, I don’t believe Woo Jin needs to see someone’s eye to discern if they are friend or foe. He claims Sung Joon isn’t Betrayer X. Sung Joon neither confirms nor denies, only tells him to “believe what he wants.” But before he walks off, he tells Woo Jin “not everything is as it appears.”

Oh sweetheart, we got that understanding. But thank you for the warning.

After his meeting with Sung Joon, Woo Jin returns to the security room where he awaits the rest of the team. With each one, he is told that nothing interesting happened to make it clear which teammate of theirs could be Betrayer X. Da Jung didn’t see anything on the security feed, either. Maybe she is right and it isn’t one of their teammates?

The remaining players decide how to vote. Of course, they all want to vote how Woo Jin votes, which leads to an argument. Jung Ah steps in and claims she will change her vote, she doesn’t care. That seems to settle the argument. She and Woo Jin will vote yes while the other two will vote no.

Everyone returns to the main room to deliver their votes before time runs out. Afterwards, the voting results are revealed. Woo Jin and Jung Ah continue on to the next round along with Sung Joon and another female competitor. Bulldog is angry about the results and takes it out on Sung Joon. What can you expect from a greedy gangster? However, without his sunglasses, Sung Joon seems more childlike. It kind of hurts my heart to see him caught up in such a game. And he seems rattled as well from not only the punch Bulldog delivered but the fact his face has been exposed. Gets rid of his mysterious aura.

Our next question is given by Jung Ah. It takes her a moment, but she stutters out, “I will be the winner.” Good question. But does it contain a double meaning? You never know with this show. And from the look Woo Jin has, it seems that could very well be the possibility. The group is only given thirty minutes this time to cast their votes, so he believes he and Jung Ah should go ahead and decide which way to vote now. He says he will vote “no” so that means she will vote “yes.” After that, he leaves with Da Jung, following after Sung Joon. Da Jung is confident they will win no matter what Sung Joon votes, but Woo Jin isn’t so sure.

“The key to victory lies with [Sung Joon].”

I do believe things are about to get interesting.

Once Do Young finishes with the voting results, he cuts the feed and leaves the broadcast building. Awaiting him outside is a helicopter. Of course it is a helicopter because what else can a man of his power and mystery take to whatever location he is going? And it appears he will be present for the final round of voting. The intense stare downs between he and Woo Jin are giving me so much life right now. You can practically feel the energy crackling between them.

Time is dwindling and the remaining contestants file their votes. Once time is up, Do Young reads out the results. Sung Joon voted no. After reading that, he asks Sung Joon if he is Betrayer X. But the young player stays coy and answers vaguely. Oh, I like him. Can we keep him?

Do Young continues with the next vote and the unnamed female player also voted no. However, she does not appear upset at such a result. Do Young notices and asks her about it, but then answers she is probably hoping for a tie. In that case, there will be a revote.

He moves on to Jung Ah’s vote and it is yes. Do Young gets her to talk about her feelings considering she is the possible winner. She starts to cry and speaks of her mother and her hopes of becoming a better daughter. It is all very cute and touching. So why does it feel a little too…perfect? She sits down and continues to sniffle. Now, Do Young turns his attention to Woo Jin and wants to know his thoughts since Woo Jin knows the final results with him being the last vote to read.

Woo Jin simply says, “We won, Jung Ah.”

That sends Jung Ah from a sniffling mess to a laughing woman. Turns out, she is the real Betrayer X. She pulls off her wig while speaking of how she fooled her friend and gained entry into the game. Da Jung cries out in shock, to which Jung Ah replies, “Don’t call me that. Call me Jaime,” and produces her ID card. With this revelation, it makes it clear all of her contracts are null and void since she used a fake name. That stirs everyone up.

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I have to give it to her. That was some awesome trickery.

She even taunts Da Jung about her betrayal. Da Jung sits there with a stoic face, letting everything happen. But then surprise of surpises, Da Jung says, “I already knew.” That catches Jaime’s attention. And Do Young produces Woo Jin’s vote and reveals it is also a “yes” therefore causing a revote. Jaime freaks out at that realization. She yells at Woo Jin because he told her he would vote no. And he also said they won. Girl, this is called the Liar Game. And this is also Woo Jin we are talking about. You have to be watchful of him.

Woo Jin explains how he had always been suspicious of Jung Ah. She came on to his radar when she immediately threw suspicion on to Sung Joon for being Betrayer X. However, he didn’t believe her to be Betrayer X until she appeared nonchalant about which way she voted in the earlier round. The only way she could act such a way was as if she already knew she would be the winner. That is why he tricked her into voting a certain way.

Now it is time for a revote. Jamie doesn’t think it will be so easy a victory because each contestant only has a 25% chance of winning now. Woo Jin doesn’t think so. He is chosen to ask the final question which turns out to be, “Is money the most valuable thing in life?” And in a surprise move, he not only goes ahead and votes, he reveals his response.

No.

Da Jung and the rest of the team wonder why he would do such a thing. But the lawyer manages to explain it good enough for the others to follow. By revealing his answer, Woo Jin has thrown the other four contestants for a loop. It adds the pressure on them to figure out which answer best to give. There is only one way for Woo Jin to lose.

Jaime realizes this and suggests forming a team between her, Sung Joon, and the unnamed female competitor. They can choose the winner among themselves and split the money. Sung Joon, however, is not about to let that happen. He reminds Jaime and the other woman how Jaime fooled everyone and planned to take the money for herself. This causes turmoil between the three, which is exactly what Woo Jin wanted. It is a thing of beauty to see.

With time running out, Sung Joon decides he will vote for all three of them and they will discuss money arrangements afterwards. After the votes have been cast, Do Young starts to read them off. And we have another surprise because Woo Jin is declared the winner! Sung Joon voted with all three ‘yes’ cards. What in the world?

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In a flashback, it is revealed that Woo Jin had Da Jung approach Sung Joon after the earlier round where Bulldog attacked him. He knew Sung Joon would never speak with him because of his reputation, but Da Jung has the likeability factor that people seem to fall into. I don’t think it bothered Da Jung all that much to be used because she helped bandage up Sung Joon. The two had a cute scene and I hope they get to have more in the future. Da Jung also dropped the bomb that she knew he wasn’t Betrayer X.

That is where Woo Jin stepped in and explained how he knew Sung Joon wasn’t the one they had to watch out for. He also explained Betrayer X’s strategy, which would result in them being the sole winner. With Da Jung’s helpfulness plus the information of being double-crossed, they managed to secure Sung Joon’s help in defeating Jaime as well as making Woo Jin the winner.

Back in the present, the eight briefcases are brought in. Jaime lashes out and must be taken away to the room where Bulldog is being held after his attack on Sung Joon. I think Do Young is pleased to give her a warning, too. However, before everyone can celebrate a successful plan, Do Yong receives an emergency call and must halt filming. He goes out into the hallway to take it. And wouldn’t you know it, it is the broadcast president. He wants Jaime’s part of the contract to be counted as valid.

Oh. I get it. She is the sponsored participant.

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Yoon Joo is fully against this idea and tries to get Do Young to keep to the original plan. However, the president comes back that the contract is valid because nicknames are allowed in this program. Jaime signed with a nickname, so therefore she has not broken any rules. I find it interesting that he has been against every underhanded move Do Young has taken since the inception of the show, but he will do just that to keep his player in the game. This isn’t about Jaime winning. This is about the president winning. He refuses to acknowledge defeat to Do Young. Do Young, getting fed up with the squabbling between his PD and president, suggest getting his lawyer involved. That catches the president off guard, who calms down somewhat and claims such measures do not need to be taken.

Do Young finally agrees to keep the contract valid, though he does not seem all that pleased with the idea. However, that little smirk at the end tells me he may enjoy watching Woo Jin go head to head with Jaime once more. He announces that decision on camera and this saves Jaime from a thrashing by Bulldog. Look, I want this gangster gone. His desire for physical violence will only lead to more trouble. But I will not be getting my wish because Jaime tells him she will save him.

Back in the main room, Da Jung considers what this means for Sung Joon, since it was planned for him to receive Jaime’s share. The other teammates are not about to consider anymore sharing, however. But like the angel she is, Da Jung moves to offer him her share. Woo Jin, though, steps in and gives him his. Since Woo Jin won, he would not have necessarily had to play in the next round since it is only a reinstatement round. He could have just moved right on ahead.

But does that mean he has to play in the next round?

Jaime and Bulldog reenter the room and she makes a beeline for her suitcase. She pulls out a small stack and hands it to Bulldog. I want to hit her with that suitcase. This man hit you earlier and you are going to keep him around? Seriously?

Do Young concludes the game and says the remaining players may leave the building to be returned back to their homes. To do this, they have to walk back the former players pleading for money. Most ignore them, but Da Jung is bothered by the display. Woo Jin has to drag her down the carpet to the bush in order to make sure she does not give any bit of her money away.

On the bus back to the city, Jaime manages to get a tidbit of information out of a backstage hand. Apparently, only one contestant will be eliminated next round. My fingers are crossed that it is Bulldog because I need him to go. I just know he will be up to no good these next few episodes.

The bus drops them off at a station. Da Jung manages to snag Woo Jin and the two sit down to have a snack together. And did my eyes see things or did he give her a cute look while she slurped up her ramen? Be still my heart. I am rooting for you two as a couple, but I am totally okay with you being friends. You just have that kind of flexible chemistry to me. (Unlike the Japanese version where I was desperate for Nao and Shinichi to get together.) After she finishes eating, she approaches Woo Jin with an idea. “What if we all agreed to share the prize money? Then there would be no need for fighting or fear of debt?”

I am glad the show is starting to move Da Jung along in thinking of things for herself instead of relying on Woo Jin. Is it a sound plan? No, not really. Too many liabilities. But it is a start for her to figure out how to win the game. Of course, she will always have the others in mind when she thinks of plans. She does not want to leave anyone in debt. So her ideas will probably be more on the unhelpful side for a little bit longer. Yet, if she manages to sway the other competitors to her side with her desire to help, her plans could actually work. I want that from the show now, for her to start becoming more active in her gathering a backing instead of always relying on Woo Jin. From here on out, it has to be a partner deal because that will be the only way to win.

Woo Jin, like always, thinks it is a dumb idea. Da Jung wants to know why and he reminds her that all it takes is for one person to betray for her plan to crumble. It is hard to hear, but it is something she needs to hear. And I want her to grow from this and that way she can start participating in gaining allies because of this. Woo Jin is the best ally to have, yes, but he cannot be the only one for her plan to work.

Still, Da Jung continues to question him. She wants to know why he doubts people before trusting them and what made him such a way. It hits to close to home for Woo Jin, who gets rough and tells her to mind her own business. He stomps away and Da Jung stares after him in sadness.

Dal Goo calls up Da Jung later and congratulates her on her winnings. And he tells her to stick as close as possible to Woo Jin. Unfortunately for him, his boss overheard him and attacks him. He wants to know why Dal Goo is acting in such a supportive manner when Da Jung owes them money. The fact that she now has that much money in her possession, Dal Goo should be taking it from her as they speak. The boss continues to beat on the poor guy and I just find myself wanting to shield him. He is caught in between a rock and hard place here.

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Later on, he shows up at Da Jung’s house and tries to act as if nothing is different. Da Jung is trying to find a good spot to hide her money. Eventually she settles on securing it with a bike chain to a piece of furniture. And the way Dal Goo keeps eyeing it has me feeling uneasy. He is not about to take that money right? But from the way he talks to Da Jung about paying back her loan, I think he is. When he sees she has fallen asleep, a look of heartbreak crosses his face and my stomach plummets.

This relationship right here goes to show you that you can take a cliched relationship and make it something unique. Dramas nowadays have a young heroine dealing with a debt collector. Most of the time the debt collector is either really rude and scary or just plain dumb. Dal Goo is neither. He treats Da Jung with respect and seems to try and protect her like a big brother. He is smart, capable of seeing a person more for what they are than Da Jung can at times. The fact that he struggls with the idea of taking Da Jung’s money and trying to find a way to justify it to her shows real character depth as well as how connected he is to her. It makes the whole idea of him seeing no other way to save his job and possibly keep an eye on her except for stealing her money all the more heartbreaking. Their relationship is a breath of fresh air in dramaland and I hope writers are taking note of how to take something that is already a trope in dramas and turn it on its head.

Dal Goo steals the money and runs out into the night.

Woo Jin turns around as if he knows something is up.

And that preview has my heart racing.

Another fantastic episode that is moving the story right along. We see different sides to people we thought we already had pegged, such as “Jung Ah” and the president. Money and power will make a person do anything, it seems. And the mystery surrounding Do Young only grows by the minute, all through little moments here and there. Shin Sung Rok does not need a whole lot of dialogue or a long scene to make you interested in a character, for sure.

Speaking of character, I want the writers to expand on Da Jung’s active participant in the games. Keep her innocent, trusting self because that is who she is at her core, but have her become a bit of a fighter in her own unique way. Relying on Woo Jin throughout the entire program will not only be a weakness, but a disservice to character development. Besides, I believe there is a gold mine in her character with how a person can become the most lethal weapon without actual use of violence or fear.

‘Liar Game’ continue to make me proud!

The Daily Drama

Liar Game

Welcome back one and all to another exciting review of ‘Liar Game.’ After that intense cliffhanger, I have to say, I was desperate for Monday to roll around. And let me just add, I am not a fan of Mondays. Worst day of the week if you ask me. So, the fact that this drama has me all excited for the start of the week is really messing with my head. My long tradition of being anti-Monday is being tested in the worst way imaginable. It is not a fun feeling, I tell you. But it is something I will suffer through until this drama is over, mark my words.

Episode 3

After we rewind the tape a little and rewatch the ending of the second episode, we are back in the saddle and I am ready to get going. Yoon Joo interviews Da Jung about what she just did, helping out her former teacher. She cuts the camera after Da Jung asks and approaches her in concern. This is a shocker to me because I thought Yoon Joo had lost any form of heart she had earlier. She wants to know if Da Jung knows what she just did by sacrificing her money like that. She has to go on to the next round without Woo Jin and if she loses (which Yoon Joo knows is the likely outcome) then she will be in debt to the broadcast company. Da Jung admits that she does and she has such a sad expression on her face. I bet all she is thinking about is her father right now. Which is what Yoon Joo seems to be thinking too because she mentions him. She tells Da Jung she will try to help her get in contact with her father. Da Jung thanks her and Yoon Joo walks away. And my poor heroine lays her head on her knees and I just want to hold her.

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Da Jung walks home in a daze, obviously still stuck on the fact that she gave away her only chance of getting her father back. When she gets inside, she grabs a picture of her and her father. Crying, she asks her father in the picture to tell her she did the right thing by giving away her money to her former teacher. I am so happy the show took her in this direction with her choice of giving away her money. Yes, it is nice and good to be kind and self-sacrificing. But that can come at a high price for the one doing all the sacrificing and saving. Especially when the thing you give up is the thing you need to fix your own situation. In many stories, we always find our hero or heroine happy they gave something away to make another person’s day/week/month/life better. The fact that ‘Liar Game’ is showing the negative side of always being the good one to help others is fresh and makes me not only love the show more, but appreciate Da Jung more.

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The episode is aired and all the various reactions are interesting. I think it is not only ironic but adorable that the criminals all love Da Jung. They even call her ‘theirs.’ There still seems to be major support for Da Jung, especially after she gave away her earnings to the teacher. When Woo Jin appears on screen, Do Young spins the story as him being a knight in shining armor for Da Jung. Then, he goes on to reveal Woo Jin’s past and interview several people that knew Woo Jin, or at least of him. This is all part of Do Young’s plan to have Woo Jin the center of the story and increase ‘Liar Game’ ratings.

Do Young is the mystery to me for this entire show. I can’t decide if he is using Woo Jin for something more personal or setting up Woo Jin for something more horrific to come. Just what secrets are you hiding behind that charming face, sir?

The reveal of Da Jung’s father watching the show from wherever he is has me feeling a few different things. First, by his appearance, it looks as if he has been living on the streets. That kind of gets to me. But then, I think of the fact that he ran off and left his daughter in the hands of debt collectors and I get a little angry with him. Just what have you been doing all this time, sir? Also, the whole trope of “the child of the debtor goes on national television to reassure their parent they are okay and promises to find them again,” is a slippery slope with me. Mainly because I just can’t understand a parent hiding away from their child for this long, no matter the reason. You would think they would check on them. Also, it can be a cheesy plot line that drags the story if the central character does nothing but angst about it. So far, I am indifferent to the plotline because it was a good reason to get Da Jung to stay on the show and the producers use it to their advantage, which I think real-life producers do all the time on reality shows. And it is used in spare moments that showcase character, such as Da Jung crying to the picture of her father, worried she may have messed up by giving away the money. Just keep doing this ‘Liar Game,’ and I will be fine.

Cut to Dal Goo and Da Jung enjoying a drink together with the former clearly drunk. He berates Da Jung for being too kind and worries she won’t survive. Da Jung understands his fears, but knows she did the right thing by giving her money away. Poor thing has to repeat that thought to an angry Woo Jin that shows up at their drinking spot. He accuses Da Jung of betraying him since she broke her promise of not going back to the game program. Da Jung is hurt he would think she betrayed him and tries to explain herself. Woo Jin is not really believing it. This gets Da Jung angry and she questions his supposedly amazing abilities to see into people’s hearts. She knows her former teacher would have suffered, unable to see his family. Much like she is suffering unable to see her father. She thought Woo Jin would have known that because of how smart he is, but she guesses not.

You tell him, Da Jung.

Woo Jin takes offense and claims she is even dumber than he thought. With that, he walks away and leaves Da Jung standing there, looking dejected. This poor girl, though. She tries to do the right thing, even though it weighs on her heavily, and she still gets yelled at about it. Honestly, I see her having the most courage out of everyone on this show. If you can willingly give away something you earned to ease another’s pains as well still believe people are good after they have betrayed you, there is something within you that is made of the greatest strength. No one can touch that.

The reporter that was the sole antagonist against the game’s concept at the press conference thinks the situation with the teacher was a set up. She talks about this with her boss, but he leans more towards the show’s side then hers. Of course, he isn’t against making money off the conspiracy she brings with a catchy headline. After he leaves, the reporter receives a call from someone and we see on her computer screen articles about Woo Jin. Is she researching him? Her boss did ask her to look into him since the two went to the same school. Well that explains why they seem to have an eye for catching lies.

Not only did these two attend the same school, they apparently know each other. Woo Jin was the one that called the reporter and the two meet on a rooftop. She is surprised he contacted her, especially with his request, and proceeds to give him a red folder with information in it.  She laments about having to work for a gossip magazine now instead of a major newspaper. But I think she believes she has a way of getting back on track to being a real reporter with Woo Jin. She wants him to provide her with any inside information about ‘Liar Game’ since she provided him with information.

Of course, she is curious as to why he wanted that information. She talks of Woo Jin’s mother and how she was the CEO of a non-profit organization that was scammed. Because of this, she committed suicide. Woo Jin, seeking revenge, took down the company responsible for swindling his mother through manipulation of stocks. Apparently, after that, the CEO of the company was murdered. (So, is that the muder Woo Jin spoke of in the first episode or was he talking about his mother that he watched die?) He was found innocent of the murder charge, which we already knew, but still sentenced to prison. Now he is out of jail and involved with ‘Liar Game.’ Does any of this have to do with his mother, the reporter wonders.

Instead of answering her, Woo Jin states the rooftop they are on is the one his mother jumped from. He claims this is his starting point. Sounds like he has decided to enter the game, like Do Young wanted in the previous episode. And I know if he does enter the game, it will primarily be about his mother. However, I have a special place in my heart that says he also is worried about Da Jung.

Former contestants are being interviewed about the game. Mixed reviews, though most seem to be on the side that this show isn’t what it appears. Or something you can step into lightly. Yoon Joo worries that contestants will start dropping off midway after they secure a bit of cash. Do Young isn’t concerned because he knows most of the contestants won’t leave just like that, not with the promise of bigger money. But, he also isn’t afraid if they do drop out midway because it only means more advertisement for them. After all, to him, any press is good press, whether negative, positive, or neutral.

Of course, the broadcast president does not share the same sentiments. He didn’t approve of the show airing the footage of the debt collectors swarming on Da Jung’s former teacher. Due to that, he claims higher ups either want the show cancelled or a change in producers to occur. As if Do Young will let that happen. He defends Yoon Joo and claims the company’s stock has risen to 60% because of this show. But he wants to know what needs to be done in order for disciplinary action not to be taken. It seems like a great show of concern, but this is Do Young. He is manipulating this situation with ease.

The president reveals he has a special player in place that he wants to win the show. Yoon Joo is totally against that idea because that means the show would be rigged. She is becoming more and more interesting with every episode. The president sees no problem with that because the “nation’s angel” Da Jung will not be able to survive the next round and Woo Jin is no longer a part of the show. Do Young hints at the possibility of Woo Jin returning, which throws the president for a bit. However, he still wants his special participant to be involved. Do Young seems to consider this option, but he never vocally says he will go along with what the president wants. Only makes it sound that way.

This whole scene, though, interests me because of who these three are backing. The president has his own special participant within the game. And he wants to rig the show in order for that participant to win the game. It is the president’s way of asserting control over the situation. There is clear animosity between he and Do Young, as both try to out maneuver each other. He thinks he has won this round because of the higher ups threatening cancellation or disciplinary action against the producers. Therefore, Do Young must do what the president wants to keep the show going as it is. And if his participant wins, it is a declaration of him winning over Do Young.

However, Do Young is not that easily controlled. He does not care that the president has a special participant in the game and even pretends to go along with the idea of securing this participant in an elevated status. But, he favors Woo Jin in this game. Do Young is using Woo Jin for something, I do not know what that is yet, but it has to be something big. He will not allow the president to crumble his perfectly sculpted plan with his special participant or rigging of the game. He will make it seem as if the president is in control, but we all know who the real puppet master is.

Yoon Joo, though, surprises me. Though she did not come right out and say it, I get the feeling she is backing Da Jung in this situation. Her wanting the game not to be rigged as well as showing concern for our heroine earlier in the episode are all signs, to me at least, that Da Jung is her favorite. She wants an entertaining show and Da Jung brings in the audience. But she wants that show to be fair, without favoring anyone. Obviously, Da Jung would not be able to win on her own, but she would have a far better chance at somehow managing to slip through to the next round if the game stays fair instead of stacked in one participant’s favor.

But this whole scene brings one major question to mind. Is Do Young not the character I thought he was going to be? Is this special participant the president favors going to turn out to be the character I thought Do Young would parallel from the manga? Time will tell, but I kind of hope Do Young stays who I hope him to be.

Afterwards, Yoon Joo and Do Young enjoy a drink together after the president reveals who his special participant is. Yoon Joo questions Do Young about why he protected her and he claims “colleague loyalty.” I don’t buy it and neither does she. She digs deeper, but Do Young dances out of the way of answering with his clever responses. Then, he makes an interesting connection that takes me by surprise. He claims ‘Liar Game’ will be this era’s ‘Coliseum.’ Yoon Joo replies that the, “Coliseum led to the ruin of the Roman Empire.” Instead of negating this statement, Do Young instead goes, “Is that so? Well, film everything up to that ruin yourself.” That only raises Yoon Joo’s suspicions of Do Young.

That analogy can be taken in two ways. The first is the more direct. Romans enjoyed watching the gladiators decimate each other in the Coliseum for sport. This was their entertainment. Watching human beings, mainly slaves I believe, destroy each other for freedom or power or whatever prize they were promised roused the crowd. Now, in modern day Korea, the citizens watch people on this show lie and cheat their way to winning money, not caring that they are sentencing other human beings to a lifetime of debt. These are modern day gladiators, but their brains are their weapons instead of fighting skill.

On the other hand, we can look at that analogy in this way. Now, as I am not a very big history fanatic, I cannot say for certain the Coliseum is what led to the ruin of the Roman Empire. But I believe it probably played a major part. At the beginning of the series, when it was revealed Do Young created the idea behind ‘Liar Game,’ I thought this was his play at gaining power at the broadcast station. This show has been a hit for the company and he knows it. He also has manipulated every situation in the favor of the show, making sure its popularity would grow. That is the traditional route of a man greedy for power. Let us not even delve into the symbolism of the money and how that is where the audience is given the first glimpse of Do Young without his mask. It would take too long.

Yet, with each scene that he manipulates, my belief in his desire for power at the company dwindles. Especially in his first real confrontation with Woo Jin and the talk of his mother. Do Young wanted to keep Woo Jin in the game for a specific reason and it deals with what happened to his mother and the company that conned her. That whole scene left so much in question, but gave us a piece of the clue that is Do Young. He had something to do with the company that messed with Woo Jin’s mother. Whether he worked there, knew someone that was scammed like she was, or he was the one to kill the CEO, I am not sure. But I feel certain he and Woo Jin share a connection through that company. Which is why Do Young is determined to keep Woo Jin in this game.

It also makes me wonder if he wanted Woo Jin from the start. And if he did, does that mean he purposefully ensnared Da Jung because she would remind Woo Jin of his mother with her kindness? If that is the case, is Dal Goo a puppet of Do Young’s since he was the one that brought up seeking Woo Jin’s help in the first place? There are so many questions that keep being raised by this man.

But I no longer belief he wants to rule the company. Instead, it feels as if Do Young is preparing to destroy it and show it to the world. He knows people change when it comes to money. Greed is the creed, as they say. If we were to go with his analogy, then he created ‘Liar Game’ to be the catalyst for someone’ or something’s destruction. Is he seeking revenge against the company for something their greed did to him? Or is he a character that resolves to destroy all people that choose money over morality?

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Just who are you Do Young and what are your intentions?

Cut to Da Jung working her part-time job while her manager gushes about her to the camera crew. It is sweet, but I wonder how much of it is sincere. Anyone will say or do anything for fifteen minutes of fame, no? Da Jung’s co-worker gushes to her about Woo Jin and how handsome he is. She wants to know if Woo Jin will continue to help Da Jung in the game. Our heroine does not think so, but steps away anyways and considers calling him. Just then, she receives a call from ‘Liar Game’ and is told to meet at the broadcast station to play the next round.

Here, we find out twenty-two participants are continuing on to the next round. But there is only twenty-one on the stage. This is when Woo Jin makes his dramatic entrance and it is announced he is the last participant. Da Jung seems happy that he has joined, maybe because she thinks he is here to help her. She tries to ask him, but he cuts her off quick and tells her “we are enemies now.”

Ouch.

Still, Da Jung is the determined sort and tries again to talk to her former partner as all of the contestants are led outside. But Woo Jin just gives her the cold shoulder instead. She follows him on to the bus and sees there are several seats empty around him. Apparently, people are scared of him. Who would of thought with that sunny disposition of his? Instead, Da Jung decides to give him his space and sits beside a bespectacled, unassuming woman named Oh Jung Ah. Apparently, she managed to advance to this round due to her opponent physically striking her, which is against the official rules. Of course, Jung Ah is not that bothered because it was one of her plans.

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Oh this will be interesting. She seems to be a cunning little thing.

She warns Da Jung about Betrayer X after Da Jung mentions how everyone is cold towards each other. It seems an assistant betrayed the person they were helping in the first round to secure their spot in the second round. Da Jung looks around the bus and notices a boy sitting way in the back with dark sunglasses on. Could this be the mysterious Betrayer X?

I doubt it since it is so obvious, but one never knows with this show.

The group arrive at their destination and through a live feed, Do Young tells them the game they will be playing. It is Minority Voting. A person will be randomly selected from the group and they have to ask a question that can be answered with either ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ The winners of this game will be those that vote on the side that has the least amount. For example, the group has a practice round where Do Young asks “Are you a woman?” Da Jung realizes women are the minority and thinks she will be on the winning side. But after votes are cast, she is actually on the losing side. Oh poor, honest Da Jung.

It does not matter if you tell the truth, as long as you manage to guess the side which most people are likely to lean towards in voting. This seems like a game based more on luck than any real skill from a standard point of view. But Woo Jin is involved as well as a few other good cons, so skill may play a key factor here.

A gangster by the name of Bulldog is selected to be the first questioner. He asks, “Have you killed someone?” Way to be morbid. But what can I expect from a man of your profession?

The group has six hours to deliberate over an answer and Do Young advises they use that time wisely. With that, the group disperse to the lobby area as they are not allowed to leave the actual building. Da Jung notices how everyone is on guard and trying to either trick or coerce people into answering certain ways. Jung Ah approaches her and seems to try and help before suggesting to ask what Woo Jin’s strategy is. Could this girl be attempting to use Da Jung to get close to Woo Jin? I wouldn’t put it past her.

Da Jung says she wants to win this on her own. I thought I couldn’t smile any harder. Oh sweetheart, we all know you wouldn’t win at this stage in your character development. However, I am happy you still have a little bit of faith in yourself and do not want to use others for your own gain. Makes me so proud.

Jung Ah leaves her alone after that and this is where Da Jung has a self-doubting moment. But like the dark knight he is, Woo Jin comes across her. The two talk and Woo Jin admits there is a way to win this game. Da Jung, however, wants to know if he still sees her as an enemy or not. He tries to dodge answering, but she is persistent. After a moment, he admits that she is not an enemy at the moment. That seems to satisfy Da Jung, who listens to the plan Woo Jin has concocted.

A team of eight can win the game. However, the ones chosen have to be trustworthy enough not to betray everyone else in the team. In order to do this, he needs Da Jung to make rounds and speak with people. He will watch from a distance to see if they are good enough or not to join the team. She wants to know why she has to be the one to make rounds and he states it is because no one will approach him. They are always on their guard when he is around. With her, however, they will be more open.

Show, you are amazing. This is how you use Da Jung as a weapon in this game. Woo Jin is built for these types of games. He has the brain for it. However, he does not have the heart for people. Da Jung, however, does. Her kindness and easy-to-approach nature make people less guarded than with someone they know will be constantly reading them for clues. Without Da Jung, Woo Jin would have a harder time in this game. I do not necessarily believe he would fail because he seems to be too gifted to suffer that fate. But the obstacles he face are lessened with Da Jung. Same goes for Da Jung. She does not have the brain nor skill to trick people in order to win. However, her ability to draw people in is needed in games like this. That is why this pair is lethal. They complete each other. He is the cold, calculating protector while she is the warm-hearted, trusting, princess that earns protection.

After the explanation of the plan, Da Jung walks around and talks to the other players. With each signal from Woo Jin, she either moves on or keeps talking. All the while we get a voice over of Woo Jin describing the personality and weakness of some of the characters she talks to. See how great of a team they are?

Da Jung, her attempt to talk to one contestant, is flustered when he confronts her on her plan. He decides he wants to be a part of it and reveals interesting information about Betrayer X to get her and Woo Jin to agree to include him. I wonder why this character is all of a sudden stepping into the limelight. Is he the mysterious participant that the president of the company is backing?

Da Jung also wants to include Jung Ah in her talks and goes in search for her. Instead, she gets cornered by Bulldog who notices he is the only one she has not approached. He attempts to attack her, but she is saved by Jung Ah. She tries to bluff that he can’t touch them since violence is against the rules, however he knows no one will notice. Oh, but they will because Woo Jin appears with a camera man, ready to film Bulldog striking Jung Ah. Jung Ah rescuing Da Jung feels staged and I wonder if this is Jung Ah’s attempt to get close to Woo Jin. And Woo Jin always manages to appear when Da Jung needs him the most. I know I keep saying that Woo Jin and Da Jung can have any type of bond they want as long as it is a well-developed one. But part of me kind of hopes they go the romantic route.

The eight members of the team are gathered in the security room. Here is where Woo Jin explains why he has gathered them all together and how this specific team can win this game. With every vote, the team will be split. That way someone from the team is guaranteed to be on the winning side each round and finally declared the winner. However, the winner has to agree to split the earnings with each member of the team and this way they all can go on to the reinstatement round. The winner can bypass the reinstatement round and go straight on to the next stage.

It all sounds good, but some of the members worry about being betrayed. Also, they fear Betrayer X is among them. To keep everything legal and to squash all doubts of betrayal, the suggestion of a contract is brought up. Since there is an actual lawyer among their group, they send him off to draw up the contract. Everything seems to be going smoothly until the lawyer leaves the office and is spotted by Bulldog, unbeknownst to him. Woo Jin, however, catches it on the security feed and tries to alert the lawyer.

The lawyer gets right at the door before his phone rings. It is Woo Jin, telling him that Bulldog is following and he needs to make sure the secret of the team is kept. The lawyer tries to act, but it is clear Bulldog isn’t buy the false conversation on the phone. The lawyer decides to leave and Bulldog attempts to follow him before turning back to the security door. He manages to pull it open after a few seconds, only to be greeted by the washed up actor trying to steer Bulldog away. However, the gangster pushes himself in and finds Jung Ah sitting in a chair, attempting to button up her shirt. Thinking these two hooked up, Bulldog leaves. The rest of the group pop up from their hiding corner and of course, Woo Jin has Da Jung with him.

After everyone is settled, they sign the contract. Because it is on camera, it becomes binding. The ‘Liar Game’ producers acknowledge this contract with a phone call to each member of the team. Woo Jin, eliminating any attempts of betrayal, has everyone use their thumb prints as the access key to their respective phones. Then, he gathers the phones together and switches them around. No one will be able to dial out on the phones because they do not have access to it, but they can receive calls and texts.

Everyone leaves afterwards, but we cut back to Bulldog who stumbles across someone. Oh dear.

Da Jung follows Woo Jin back towards the main room because it is time for everyone to cast their votes. She passes by the boy with sunglasses. He stares at her as she passes, but when she looks back, he is nowhere to be found. Just who is this guy?

In the main room, everyone casts their votes. It is revealed that people voted 10-12. Everything seems to be going according to Woo Jin’s plan, but when he looks around the room, he notices something off. Da Jung approaches him afterwards and the two talk. He reveals that everyone seemed too relieved with the results of the vote. There should have been some kind of reaction. He believes that there is another team among them. If that is the case, he thinks their way or winning is already ruined.

Another contestant is chosen to ask a question. It is the boy wearing the sunglasses. His name is Choi Sung Joon. His question is, “I am the notorious Betrayer X,” which everyone reacts to.

Is that a question sir, or are you revealing yourself?

This episode presented new hurdles for our hero and heroine while also presenting new twists. It also added mystery to a few things I once thought I had figured out. But this show is called ‘Liar Game,’ so you cannot take everything at face value. With the nice pacing we have, I would think many of our questions should be answered within the next two episodes. However, with how amazing these writers are developing this story, it wouldn’t surprise me if more twists and questions are now a result of our answers. Because once you think you have something figured out, a wrench is thrown to screw you all up.

But I like that. I enjoy a good mystery and I enjoy having to sit here and pay attention to the minor details. Shows like this always use the minor details to explain the greater things. Woo Jin is the voice explaining most of this usually, but I try to watch for clues here and there to see if I can find out what avenue our writers are taking with this story. So far, I think I have a few things figured out. However, Do Young remains the biggest mystery and Shin Sung Rok is killing it in this role.

Episode Four, let’s go!

The Daily Drama

My Lovely Girl

This week, we only have one episode of ‘My Lovely Girl.’ Is it sad that I think that is a good thing? Because watching two episodes after having watched last week’s mess just sounds strenuous right now. However, I fear this may be due to Krystal’s fainting spell at the most recent. Get better Krystal and come back to wow us as Se Na! She and Shi Woo are the only two main characters that have really earned my heart and part of me is wishing they would get together. I doubt it, but one can always hope a K-Drama will go against the norm.

Episode 11

The episode starts off where we left off last week with Hyun Wook revealing that he likes Se Na and won’t care what others think. On one hand, I am glad he no longer will listen to those that keep pushing him towards Hae Yoon. On the other hand, you have a company full of people to think about Hyun Wook. Even though Se Na is no longer a contracted trainee under your management, she is still working with Shi Woo for the week. If it were to get out about your feelings for her and that you two are together, not only will you be in trouble, but so will she. Also, it will give the company a bad light because people will wonder if you two did anything while she was a trainee, especially since all the other trainees saw you give her some form of special treatment. Save yourself serious trouble and reveal the entire truth now.

But does he? No. Hyun Wook pulls Se Na into a hug and this poor girl is still confused on the whole personality switch. I would be too and my heart feels for her. She does question him about everything as they walk across the bridge, presumably back to her place. This is when he reveals why Hae Yoon was at his place to begin with: it’s his birthday. With that information, Se Na drags Hyun Wook off somewhere. It turns out to be a shabby little store and the two are sitting extremely close together in front of something. This is cute. Se Na is trying to get Hyun Wook a prize from one of those twenty-five cent machines that you turn the handle and you receive a little container with a mystery prize inside. Apparently, she has wasted most of her money, but finally manages to get him something.

She places the prize on Hyun Wook’s pinky because it is a small flower ring and there is no way it will fit any other finger. She thinks it glows in the dark and leans in close to test it. Hyun Wook notices how her hands feel clammy and comments on it, but of course Se Na says nothing is wrong. He checks for a fever and confirms one. She tries to justify it, but we all know the truth. This whole mess with Hyun Wook has made her sick. He decides to take her home. She tries to fight, but the minute he holds out his hand, she is all for it. Oh sweetheart.

Se Na will not let him take her home right away. Instead, she drags him to a nearby shelter with picnic tables set up beneath. Hyun Wook wants to know what is going on and she explains she is going to throw him an impromptu party. All these little, thrown together things for his birthday are cute and fit Se Na’s character well. As someone that took care of herself for years after her sister left, and learned to live with barely knowing the last three years, she knows how to make even the smallest things become valuable. It is an important part of her characterization that I hope never changes.

Hyun Wook, while Se Na is off drawing something in the dirt, is staring at the ring with a wide grin. He looks so much happier compared to earlier with Hae Yoon. And while that is all great, he still needs to come clean to Se Na. But the way he appears as if he is as light as air, I don’t think it will be anytime soon. Oh well, he is writing his own tragedy because the one person Hyun Wook would never want to know, does. And everyone knows he will use that bomb against Hyun Wook without a care.

Se Na finishes her drawing in the sand and it turns out to be a cake. She sings to Hyun Wook and the two are playful together. It really is cute. Next, they are walking down the street and Se Na starts to worry her made up cake and tiny ring aren’t good enough for him. He reassures her that this is the best present he has received since his seventh birthday. At that, she reveals neither of those were her presents. They stop and he questions her. Instead of answering, she rises up and kisses him.

Se Na is staying true the character of knowing what she wants and going for it. She never shows any form of shyness or unsureness when it comes to her feelings for Hyun Wook. I appreciate that and am thankful the writers continue to deliver this key characterization. However, after what just transpired with Hyun Wook trying to play noble idiot last week and confusing her, I think it would be good to see Se Na question everything a little bit more. We know her feelings for Hyun Wook are there, but what about his? I need her to question him more, figure out what all is going through his head. Because what he did is not something to be dismissed after a brief moment of interrogation. No, I need her to be a hound dog and really find out what his game is so she doesn’t get hurt again.

Will I get that? Probably not.

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The two separate and go back to their homes. Each appear as if they are on cloud nine. Hyun Wook does have a brief moment of regret when he spots the presents Hae Yoon and Sung Jin left. However, it doesn’t diminish his enjoyment in spending time with Se Na. And like a couple of teenagers together for the first time, they call each other while in bed. This is too cute, and yet, I can’t really feel any major happiness for them knowing Hyun Wook is still lying. Dragging this out this particular secret is making everything else horrible.

Hyun Wook, unfortunately, seems to have caught Se Na’s cold from the kiss earlier. How she got over it that quick and how he starting showing signs that quick, I will never understand. But that is a K-Drama for you. However, both look fine the next day when Hyun Wook catches up to Se Na, who is walking to ANA. He offers her a ride and she is still full of questions today. Her curious nature is adorable. She asks when he started liking her and lists all of their key moments. Hyun Wook, however, tries to talk business. She promises they will do well and goes back to asking questions. Something tells me this will be good material for her songwriting later today.

They arrive at the company separately, Hyun Wook appearing first and going to his office. And there sits Sung Jin, reading a magazine. I can actually feel the awkwardness of this scene right now. The conversation is brief, but Sung Jin now realizes that he can’t stop Hyun Wook’s feelings. I still say, that if you were a real best friend, you would have realized that. I get why Sung Jin did what he did in trying to push Hyun Wook towards Hae Yoon, hoping she will be the one to ease the pain of losing So Eun. But, to me, that felt more like something he did for Hae Yoon instead of Hyun Wook. Also, if the writers had included a scene where these two actually sat down and talked about his feelings for Se Na, this entire scene may have felt differently. I am firmly on Hyun Wook’s side, even though he is a jerk for not telling Se Na the truth. And then, before Sung Jin leaves, he asks Hyun Wook to look after Hae Yoon.

Sung Jin, do you like Hae Yoon? Because that is the feeling I am getting here. And if that is the case, why not go for her? Also, why keep making it Hyun Wook’s job to look after her? You confuse me.

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Hyun Wook goes to Hae Yoon’s office and finds it empty. But no worries, because she is right behind him. The two go outside of the company to talk. Hyun Wook apologizes for last night and explains that he won’t be keeping his promise to stay away from Se Na. Of course this gets Hae Yoon riled up and she threatens to tell Se Na the truth since he hasn’t. You really don’t need to worry about that sweetheart since you already told Jae Young. I wish I knew if you remembered that or not. Hyun Wook tells her he wouldn’t resent her for it, but he would no longer see her along with Se Na if she spilled the beans. She thinks he is crazy and he doesn’t deny because all he is thinking of right now is Se Na.

Yes, let us just forget you have a company to run for a little bit longer.

Se Na encounters three employees and they make it clear they still don’t like her. She reassures them she is only here to write a song for Shi Woo before leaving. She handles situations like that better than me. I would either come right back at them with some snarky comments or completely ignore them. But no, she treats them with politeness before going on her merry way. Which leads her to cross paths with Hae Yoon. The two have a tense encounter that leaves Hae Yoon upset. She goes to the rooftop to cry.

I do feel a touch of sympathy for her. Having liked someone for so long only for them to continuously look over you for someone else hurts. However, I need her to cut her losses and leave at this point. It would be bad for the company, yes, but she needs to get away from this environment and away from seeing Hyun Wook and Se Na. She needs to get her bearings back together and find herself. She has wrapped herself so much into Hyun Wook, I don’t think Hae Yoon knows who she really is anymore.

Shi Woo and Se Na are relaxing in the music room, talking about the song that needs to be written. They want it to touch people’s hearts. But of course, Shi Woo turns it sarcastic and says his face can do that. This leads to Se Na trying to get to know her partner a little better. He isn’t all that forthcoming, naturally, but still she tries. She explains that in order to write a good song for him, she has to know him. Which he spins to claim she needs to stick by him to get to know him since he won’t talk about himself. He gets up to leave and she follows, claiming he told her to “stay close to him.”

When they leave the music room, they run into Hyun Wook and the guy the stepmother is plotting something with. He is concerned they are leaving the company together, but Hyun Wook is fine with it. He and Se Na keep sneaking glances at it each other. You two need to quit because you are not alone and you are in the company building. Do you not realize how much trouble you can get into?

Wait. Of course they don’t. Hyun Wook, I would have thought you would have at least thought about the troubles this could cause. But no, you are like a teenager without any cares. This is going to bite you in the butt.

Hae Yoon and Jae Young meet at the coffee shop near the company. He offers her a position at his company because he knows seeing Hyun Wook everyday will be difficult. She, of course, doesn’t really remember what she said the night before due to how much she drank. But a few prodding statements from Jae Young and she does. She goes into a panic and wants him not to do anything with what she said. He agrees and I find myself laughing. You are a good liar, but we all know your hatred for Hyun Wook outweighs anything else. So, he will find some way to use the secret to his advantage. He refers back to the position he is offering her and wants her to think about it and let him know.

Alright, when I said Hae Yoon needs a break from Hyun Wook and Se Na, I did not mean go to Jae Young. That is nowhere on the list of things I believe she should do. He is not healthy for her. He will only use her to further his agenda. And while I do not believe, if she were to go to him, she would do it to hurt Hyun Wook, I doubt she would complain if he hurt a little at her choice. I think, if she chooses to accept the position, it will be as a spy. Which I do not want either. I just don’t want Hae Yoon anywhere near Jae Young. This can only spell disaster and she doesn’t deserve to be pulled even further into Jae Young’s twisted mess. It looks like she might be considering it though.

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Shi Woo and Se Na arrive at a purse store and Se Na keeps telling him not to buy her a gift. Turns out, it isn’t for her but his mother. That is super cute. Shi Woo, you are so adorable. The two leave the store and arrive at a junior high, where in a surprising twist, we learn Shi Woo’s mother is a student here. She apparently only got an elementary education, but thanks to Shi Woo’s money, she is able to go back to school.  That is so sweet.

What isn’t so sweet is Shi Woo walking into the classroom and finding a reporter bothering his mother. The reporter wants to writer an article on his mother being a student here, but neither Shi Woo nor the mother seem comfortable with the idea. However, when the reporter starts insinuating threats to Shi Woo and degrading his floundering solo career, his mother agrees to do the interview. It is too late, though, and the reporter leaves. Shi Woo and his mother argue. He can’t understand why she grovels to people to take care of him, but she comes back and says it is the only thing she can do. She feels like a failure as a mom since he is the one giving her a good life, so she tries to help in the only way she knows how.

This is breaking my heart.

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Shi Woo leaves after that and Se Na goes after him. She confronts him about his treatment of his mother and why the two always argue. She reminds him that he is lucky to have his mother because she no longer has hers. He has plenty of time to make up for the things he says and does, unlike her. So, he shouldn’t waste his opportunity by being mad and fighting with his mother.

With Se Na reminding the audience along with Shi Woo that she does not have a mother, it makes me want a flashback. How was her last conversation with her mother? What about her sister? It feels as if she said something that she regrets because she no longer can apologize for her words. Writers, please give me a flashback soon.

Hyun Wook is pretending to be working at his desk, but he keeps looking at his phone. Unable to take it any longer, he calls up Se Na to find out where she is. Turns out she had already returned to the company and was hiding in the music room. Hyun Wook questions her about what all she did with Shi Woo. She pokes at him, knowing he is jealous right now. But it appears spending the day with Shi Woo was a good idea because she has a song written for him. All she needs to do is get the melody and everything will be set. Hyun Wook tells her to work all night because he plans on taking up all her time tomorrow.

Yeah, with the way you just coughed, I doubt that.

Hyun Wook, of course, is too sick to go out on their first day. He caught Se Na’s cold from the kiss she gave him. No worries though, Se Na decides to stay at his place and take care of him. She cooks him something to eat, but judging by Hyun Wook’s expression, her cooking is not that great. The poor girl only had so much to work with here, Hyun Wook. You need to go grocery shopping more. When Se Na tasted it, she seemed to realize how horrible it is too. But that didn’t deter either of them spending the rest of the afternoon together. You two are really cute. Too bad I am starting to wish Se Na would be with Shi Woo.

Hae Yoon and Sung Jin spend their lunch together. He tries to cheer her up, but she drops the bomb of possibly quitting. He doesn’t know why she would, but she knows seeing Hyun Wook all the time would be difficult. All I have to say is, if you quit, do not go to Jae Young. I am begging you Hae Yoon. Do not put herself in that kind of mess. Go travel. Relax at Jeju. Just do not go to Jae Young.

The stepmother mess is still the same, I see. And Hyun Wook’s father keeps saying he will explain things. This whole mess is draining.

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Se Na seems to have finished her song and she listens to it with Hyun Wook and Shi Woo. Oh no, this is just the melody I think. Hyun Wook likes it, but thinks there needs to be something more. He and Shi Woo have a nice back and forth that clearly confuses Se Na. Hyun Wook finally leaves, still coughing, and Se Na chases after him. She gives him an organ with a heart drawn on it before running back to Shi Woo. Shi Woo tells her that she needs to be only focused on him right now due to the song. Se Na is fine with that and produces the concept of the song she believes would be good for him. It is the style of a letter being written to his mother.

I squealed a little.

Anyways, Shi Woo jumps in and tries to help write some of the lyrics. It is a big step for him because he never thought he could write a song before. But he believes working with Se Na brings out things in him he never thought possible. And that is what I like most about this relationship. Se Na brings out the good qualities in Shi Woo and makes him think of his actions. He can’t always be the arrogant boy that hides behind sarcasm. He is learning to let go of his defenses and grow confident in the person he can be.

Of course, my good mood has to be ruined. Hae Yoon hands over her resignation to Hyun Wook. I am glad she realizes that seeing him every day would not be good for her. She needs her space from him to find herself again. However, I do like that Hyun Wook brought up important moments the two have shared, showing he doesn’t want to just end all contact. She is an important person in his life, even if he can’t feel for her what she wants him to. I still think it would be better if she left all together because only taking a few days away would be a quick relief and not the healing that she needs.

When I say healing, that doesn’t mean she should run to Jae Young, though. Hae Yoon, don’t agree to work for him. Please, realize he is not the kind of company you want to keep. And praise Jesus, she knows because she tells him she won’t go to work for him.

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She also wants him to forget about Se Na being So Eun’s sister. Jae Young can’t believe she would still try to protect Hyun Wook after everything, but she says, “Just because I’m miserable doesn’t mean everyone else should be.” She also wants to know if Jae Young doesn’t at least feel sorry towards Se Na, considering “her sister’s death is partly your fault.”

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Do what now? I know this has been hinted at before, but I need to know everything. And the response Jae Young gives tells me he doesn’t see it the way everyone else does. It also tells me he planted seeds of doubt in both of Hyun Wook and So Eun’s heads about their relationship. And to think, I was positive you couldn’t slip lower on the horrible scale.

Se Na and Hyun Wook are still at the company late that night. She tries to get him to help her with the song, but of course he finds himself struggling with it. The thought of making music still sends him into pain. Se Na doesn’t know the whole reason for his reluctance to write and tries to encourage him. She wants them to be able to write a song that commemorates the start of them liking each other. And she points out something that catches my attention.

Hyun Wook writes when he is in love.

Now, I think he likes Se Na. And I think his feelings for are deep. But are they on the love scale? No, I do not believe they have reached that point. If so, he wouldn’t back away from the idea of writing a song with her, or at least tempting music again. I think he won’t realize he is in love with her till it is too late. I do give Hyun Wook credit for trying, though. After Se Na left to go home, he goes back to the music room and tries to play a few keys on the keyboard. Still, his hands shake and he can’t seem to get anything out.

The big day for Shi Woo and Se Na has arrived. Both are nervous, but try to provide comfort for each other. And Shi Woo’s manager actually brings good news this time when he comes running into the dressing room. Shi Woo’s mother is in the audience.

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My heart just did a flip. He is going to sing the song to his mother! That is so cute and sweet. Shi Woo my darling, stay amazing. This is the kind of character that I wish was more prevalent in lead roles in K-Dramas. You do not always need a jerk or someone mysterious to draw an audience in to the romance building between the hero and heroine. The way Shi Woo is becoming comfortable in shedding his Infinite Power image and becoming this new and refined person makes me smile. And it only enhances the chemistry between Se Na and him.

Se Na, in an effort to calm herself after giving a pep talk to Shi Woo, wanders backstage. Where, unfortunately, she has a run in with Jae Young. He plays with her, revealing he knew her sister. She is shocked and he insinuates that they may have more to talk about. He also seems to believe they will work together one day. Can I throw something at him? He is a great villain, knowing how and when to manipulate those around him to get what he wants. I fear for Se Na and her upcoming meetings with him. He will continue to toy with her even more.

The song Shi Woo sings is beautiful. And it touches the audience enough that some even cry. I think I clapped right along with them because finally, Shi Woo has shed his Infinite Power image and become this stand out solo artist. I want to see more of him solo singing and watch the faces of his former members crumble as they realize just how gifted he really is. Give it to me show!

Se Na and Shi Woo celebrate in the waiting room. But the atomosphere turns serious when Shi Woo reveals he wants to find a way to keep seeing Se Na. This boys is gone for her. But at that moment, Hyun Wook calls to congratulate them on a job well done. He even asks about Shi Woo. There is a cute moment between all three. However, things go back to being serious as Hyun Wook wants Se Na to come back to the company. Shi Woo doesn’t want her to go, but she knows she has to. He eventually asks if she likes Hyun Wook. Shi Woo, I think you know.

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Instead of answering, Se Na promises they will celebrate another time, but she has to go back to the company. Shi Woo is disappointed and I think he knows, by Se Na not answering, that she does like Hyun Wook. My heart hurts a little for him.

Hyun Wook has apparently bought Se Na a gift for her song being a hit. We get this hilarious montage of Hyun Wook trying to place the gift somewhere in the recording studio. It doesn’t matter because Se Na only notices her music notebook, even though the gift is right beside it. Hyun Wook finally points it out and she opens it up to find a pretty necklace inside. After that, Hyun Wook takes Se Na to a nice restaurant to have their date. Everything is going good until Se Na mentions her sister. Hyun Wook’s face falls.

This is your perfect moment to tell Se Na everything. But judging by that preview, not only do you not, but you get even more desperate to keep it hidden.

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The Daily Drama

Liar Game

Can I just say that Lee Sang Yoon is hot? I believe this is the first drama I am watching that he stars in, so he is a breath of fresh air for me in dramaland. Though episode one did not have as much of him, he still delivered a good performance. In episode two, he proves just how versatile he can be. And Kim So Eun plays the innocent, trusting character well. Not only through her delivery of lines, but her facial expressions and emotions. Really has me feeling some type of way about this poor girl. Shin Sung Rok, I do not believe I have seen in a drama before. But let me just say, this man is talented. He is captures you with his good looks, but then you wonder if you should be worried because this character gives you chills. I am so excited for the match-up between Woo Jin and Do Young because Sang Yoon and Sung Rok will be explosive. And I think So Eun will play a wildcard that will leave a lasting impression with this drama.

Now on to episode two!

Episode 2

The first meeting between Woo Jin and Da Jung does not go as well as Da Jung hopes. When he recognizes who she is, he knows exactly why she is in the area. Retracting his offered hand, Woo Jin starts to leave a confused Da Jung sitting where he found her. Da Jung, however, gets up and follows him to a nearby bus stop. Nervous, she approaches him and asks if he knows of anyone called Professor Ha. So, she doesn’t know that she is speaking to the man she is hunting for, huh? This should be an interesting conversation.

At first, Woo Jin questions Da Jung, wondering if she should know what his crime was that landed him in prison. I have to admit, if I am about to sit next to someone that just got out of prison, I would be slightly curious too. The world is a scary place and people are even scarier. This seems to make our heroine a little cautious, but she still persists in her questioning. Da Jung tries to get a location or some form of information about ‘Professor Ha’ out of Woo Jin. Instead, she gets a scary warning about how it would be better for her to “make a deal with the devil instead of [Professor Ha].” Woo Jin, that is honestly a creepy way to describe yourself. Do you really see yourself as that bad? Still, Da Jung continues and finally, when the bus arrives, Woo Jin tells her that Professor “hates people like her.” Of course, she demands to know “what type of person am I?” and he replies, “A type of person that mistakes being an idiot as nice.”

Ouch. Way to be harsh, Woo Jin.

After the bus leaves with our hero, Da Jung receives a phone call from Dal Goo. He tells her the guy he was chasing wasn’t Woo Jin and if there was someone else that came out of the prison. She asks him to describe their target and it is the mention of the prayer beads bracelet that catches her attention. And oh my gosh, she is actually chasing after the bus! Please bus driver, feel some sympathy for the girl because it does not look she is stopping any time soon. And thankfully, the driver does because he stops and lets her on much to Woo Jin’s displeasure. It has to be tiring to be hounded because of your brain. I feel a little bad for the guy.

Da Jung approaches him on the bus and tries to talk to him about helping her, but he wants nothing to do with her. She is not even able to get out her question before he declines her because he already knows what she wants. But does his rejection deter Da Jung? Nope. Not a bit. She follows him off the bus and to his neighborhood, determined to make him hear her out. He seems to cave and tells her to wait for him at this particular spot while he does something real quick. Of course, Da Jung believes him and stays put even though we all know he is lying to her. Woo Jin leaves her there and goes to visit a temple and stares at a tablet that is for mothers? Or his mother?

This is when it would be helpful to know Hangul. (Let me learn Spanish first.)

He comes back later that night and finds Da Jung still waiting for him. Woo Jin keeps walking and I find myself wanting to shake my fist at him. Dude, I get that her waiting for you is stupid and she should have left by now, but the girl wants to trust you. Should that at least not pique your interest as to why she can still be trusting even after getting tricked by someone she knew? Of course, you may have already made up your mind about her. In which case, I hope she surprises you.

Da Jung, meanwhile, is forced to endure harassment from two drunks that come stumbling out of the bar. They even attempt to drag her off with them. Get your hands off of her! I don’t care if you are drunk, you cannot force someone to go with you that clearly wants nothing to do with you. But thankfully Woo Jin comes back after hearing the shouts and saves Da Jung. However, he scolds her once the drunks leave. Da Jung tries to defend herself, but Woo Jin won’t hear it. And I have to say, his logic is sound. If, after a few hours, someone hasn’t returned like they promise, you should just walk away. Da Jung, however, cannot seem to understand this and asks, “Is it so wrong to trust another person?”

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Oh sweetie, you are making me feel sad.

Besides that, I think we get our first taste of the two things. One, we get to see a real-life example of optimism and pessimism.  I know some people may argue that Woo Jin is a realist, not a pessimist, but to have the belief that no one is to be trusted screams pessimist to me. Anyways, Da Jung is our optimist. No one can do wrong and everyone should be trusted. People look at her and call her dumb and weak for this outlook on life. People will use her and abuse her, but still she continues on in the hopes that she makes someone’s life better and always does the right thing. And as I have stated before, I see this as both her weakness and strength. Woo Jin, on the opposite end with his pessimism, only has himself to rely on. Not only is that a cold life, but it puts him at a disadvantage in the world where allies are essential to getting through the day. Does his brain make up for the lack of friends? Sure, it does. No one will ever be able to best him. But his belief to “never trust anyone” hinders him because here is someone that would never betray him and he can’t see that. He thinks her innocence is an act, when the audience knows it isn’t. Because he has cast doubt on everyone and their intentions, he does not recognize sincerity.

The next thing we get is the power of Da Jung’s innocence. When she utters those words, “Is it so wrong to trust another person,” Woo Jin has a flashback. It is to the time he tried to save his mother from killing herself. Before she falls, she asks the same question that Da Jung did. In the present, Woo Jin is shaken for a moment and Da Jung spills her story to him. Then, she pleads for him to help her get her money back. But her plea falls on deaf ears and Woo Jin sends her running away, but not before he spots her contract laying on the ground where it fell earlier. He picks it up and takes it back with him to his house. Judging by his expression, this contract is nothing of the good sort.

Da Jung, the next day, confronts her teacher about him tricking her. The teacher feels no remorse and even gloats about it to her face. He intended to play from the very beginning, it seems. And he mocks her for her stupidity and hopes that the rest of the contestants will be as stupid as her. Because if that is the case, he will win easily. Well, aren’t you just a sweet old man.

To make matters worse, Dal Goo learns from his boss that because of Da Jung going on national television, all those owed money by her father know where to find her. And yep, people are crowded outside of her house waiting for her to arrive. Once she does, they swarm around her like bees demanding to know where her father is and for her to sign contracts stating she will pay them their money when she wins.

Now, let us be honest here. The entire nation knows Da Jung is losing right now. Do these people really expect her to win? My money would be no they don’t expect her to win, but they will make her sign their contracts no matter what. Because they will get the money that is owed to them, no matter what. And poor Da Jung just looks so scared and confused right now while one man visibly tries to force her to sign.

But once again, Woo Jin saves the day. He snatches her hand away before her thumbprint can be signed on the paper and pulls her away from the crowd. They all demand to know what is he is doing and did he just call Da Jung his? That only deters the crowd for a moment before they start questioning who he is and what he wants. Woo Jin gives this long spiel about Da Jung’s contract and how she can sue anyone that tries to take it from her. He claims to be the only one she can give the money to because they signed a contract first. Then he mentions how the camera footage of this moment can be used in court to arrest those in the crowd. That sends everyone in a panic as they try to get the tape from the cameramen and Woo Jin tries to lead Da Jung away. But one brave soul questions the contract Woo Jin has, and like that, those two start running.

They stop at the bottom of a set of stairs, trying to catch their breath. Woo Jin questions Da Jung about her contract, the one he found on the street and was using to dupe the crowd. He thinks she either didn’t read the contract fully or they didn’t give her enough time. She tries to argue that she did, but it is weak. Something tells me she didn’t fully read it. Woo Jin believes she doesn’t know what she is getting herself into, but she comes right back at him. She knows it will be hard, but she has to get that money back. She just wants to be able to spend time with her father and live an ordinary life. I wonder if her heartfelt speech stirred even more emotions inside of Woo Jin?

Seems so because he tells her he will help her, but only on two conditions: he gets half the prize money and she doesn’t enter anymore games. Da Jung has no problem with that, but she has a condition herself. Sticking her hand out, pinky and thumb spread, she makes him promise her he won’t betray her. Of course, Woo Jin thinks this is silly, but she means business. So, the two pinky promise. I died from the cuteness.

The next day, the team behind our ‘Liar Game’ is having a meeting, Do Young attending through video chat. The team discuss Da Jung’s request for outside help. It seems they have already done research on Woo Jin. But when Yoon Joo learns Woo Jin recently got out of prison, it looks like she wants to put the brakes on it. But in comes sly Do Young who spins the idea to their advantage a.k.a ratings. Of course, he leaves the decision up to her, but Yoon Joo knows he only lets her think she is pulling the strings. I salute you girl. You know something is up with him and won’t let him believe he has the wool completely over you eyes. And of course, when she makes her statement, Do Young cuts the video. He stares out a window while the camera shows the computer screen behind him.

Seems Do Young has an intense interest in Woo Jin. I am so ready for their showdown!

And we catch a glimpse of what an epic showdown the two will have the next day. Woo Jin and Da Jung come to the studio so Woo Jin can be interviewed by Do Young. These two men go back and forth, trying to figure each other out. But what gets me? Woo Jin smiles at times during this interview. For someone that doesn’t seem to remember how, he manages to pull it off nicely. And it is unnerving because it makes you feel as if he knows a secret you don’t. But on the other hand, Do Young’s smile never dims or changes. He stays in character throughout the interview. Neither man succeeds in breaking the other, but I have no doubt they are watching each other like hawks.

And I am starting to get an impression of who Do Young’s character may be based off.

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Later that night, Da Jung and Woo Jin are at her place. She questions him about something Do Young said earlier, but he doesn’t want to answer. He tries to leave, but at that moment Dal Goo arrives with tofu. It seems Da Jung is going to cook everyone supper. The two bicker like siblings while Woo Jin looks on in interest, even going so far as to commenting their relationship does not feel like a usual debt collector/debt owner. Dal Goo passes it off as this being the new trend nowadays. I wonder if that is true. Maybe Dal Goo really cares for Da Jung and wants to look out for her.

Woo Jin decides to include Dal Goo in their plans, knowing there will be limitations due to being on air. And Dal Goo looks so happy to be a part of the scheme my face splits into a grin. Okay, you are slowly winning my heart here. After that, they all start to dig in to their food, Woo Jin taking a moment to observe the other two with an expression of contentment. Is that brain of yours telling you these people are the real deal? Because this is a character that wouldn’t relax in such a way unless he saw something worth relaxing for. Or maybe he thinks the two bickering like siblings is cute. Who knows?

Unfortuanlety, not everyone is having a good time. Yoon Joo is scolded by the company president for agreeing to let Woo Jin play. It will bring enough bad pubilicity that the company will be forced to shut down. She tries to defend herself, citing the good things that Woo Jin’s involvement can bring, but the president is having none of it. When it looks like Yoon Joo might cave, in comes Do Young. He argues with all the calmness of a man knowing he will win that Woo Jin will be a ratings hit. He thinks he will even surpass Da Jung in popularity with the viewers. And ratings is what will save the company. But like the mastermind he is, Do Young flips it and says they don’t have to use Woo Jin, but if he wants to take on someone that took down a corporation with just the manipulation of stocks, by all means go ahead. That gets the president’s attention. It would certainly get mine.

Also, the fact that Do Young says all this in such a calm manner freaks me out. If you learned someone was able to take down an entire corporation with just manipulating stocks, wouldn’t you be a little in awe? Or fear? Something? Do Young, however, only seems excited.

Back with Da Jung and Woo Jin, he is wants her to lay out the groundwork to get the plan rolling. First, she has to declare war on her teacher. Second, they have to observe his house twenty-four/seven. This will not only give them clues, but help them snatch the money from the teacher when he has to withdraw it from the bank. Meanwhile, Woo Jin has Dal Goo dig a little into Do Young’s life in order to find out all he can about the MC for the show. Dal Goo gives him the folder of information, and boy is it good. Seems Do Young is hiding his own secrets. But that is only the tip of the iceberg, I bet.

Woo Jin returns to Da Jung and they have a cute moment of fighting about her phone. She was trying to defend herself online against haters when he caught her. She plays keep away with her phone, but both get a shock when the police arrive. The teacher called them, hoping to scare Da Jung and Woo Jin away. Thinking fast, Woo Jin pulls Da Jung in close and pretends to be kissing her. Poor thing looks like she is about to have a heart attack from the shock alone. And once again, Woo Jin pulls out that adorable smile and plays the cops like fiddles. They leave the two alone. Woo Jin notices Da Jung’s silence and turns, finding her still in her frozen state. He snaps his fingers and like that, she comes back to reality. He tells her she can go home for the night and she scrambles out of that car. Did you get that big of a shock, darling?

But all the spying seems to have paid off as Woo Jin knows where the money is: inside the teacher’s house. He fakes a fire to sneak into the house and plays the teacher like a fiddle. Da Jung comes in with a silver briefcase and for a split second, the teacher looks to his hiding spot, fearing his money has been taken. Woo Jin notices all of it. Da Jung reveals the briefcase is empty, but that is okay. Woo Jin has learned all the information he needs. He boasts to the teacher that the money is as good as theirs.

The final day has arrive and the two still don’t have the money. Da Jung is a little worried, but so far she believes in Woo Jin. The two have a cute moment in the car when he fixes the watch her father bought her. Of course, he ruins the cute moment by saying he doesn’t really have a plan for getting the money. He was only bluffing. That sends Da Jung into a panic. He gets upset when she doubts him and leaves the car. Hours tick by and still no sign of him. Da Jung receives a phone call alerting her to the time when the game will end. She races to the gates of her teacher’s house and pleads with him one more time to help her. It doesn’t matter because the teacher won’t help and at that moment, two men from the production group arrive to collect the money. Da Jung tries to plead that the teacher help with some of her father’s debt, but he refuses and even shoves her to the ground.

Excuse you, no need to get rough.

The teacher goes inside to show the retrieval team where the money is and while they count, he continues to gloat to a broken Da Jung out of his window. However, a surprise neither of them are aware of, is that Yoon Joo is watching this entire thing and has yet to send in the real retrieval team. But it starts to become clear when the fake team hands the money over to Da Jung, the real retrieval team appears, and Woo Jin pops up and claims the teacher lost. Of course, the teacher rails against that idea and turns his anger on the real team, thinking they were late.

Oh but no, they were right on time. The game didn’t end until an hour later than what the phone message told both Da Jung and the teacher. Woo Jin, during the fake fire, snatched the production phone and replaced it with a duplicate. He recorded the message the production team sent out about the end of the game and changed the times. And he had two guys ready to pretend to be the retrieval team, one of them being Dal Goo himself.

The teacher sinks to his knees and suddenly, I find myself feeling a little sorry for him. Da Jung is declared the winner and Woo Jin fixes the time on her watch because he actually set it one hour ahead when he pretended to correct in the car. He did that to ensure she gave a real performance, which is what they needed to completely trick the teacher. To prove how horrible she is at lying and holding her composure, he holds her shoulders and leans in real close. And she tries to lean as far back as possible. Though this is cute, no need to be all up in her personal bubble Woo Jin. We all get the picture.

Da Jung hands him half of the prize money like she promised and Woo Jin walks away, Dal Goo chasing after him. Of course that man will want a cut of the money since he helped. But Dal Goo won’t be getting any money because Woo Jin reveals that, in order for Da Jung to leave the game, she has to hand over half of her prize money. So, when she keeps her promise to leave the game, he will give her the share he was promised in the beginning.

I need a moment to absorb that magnitude of kindness.

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Da Jung, in the meantime, keeps looking back at the teacher. He sits there on his lawn, sad and in a state of shock. This really tugs at my heartstrings and I hate that because this man has been cruel the entire time. But our Da Jung, sweet Da Jung, picks up her half of the money and walks up the steps to his house. Yoon Joo and the production crew notice and follow after her. It seems Do Young, who is waiting in his van, does too because he puts his phone to his ear. Who are you calling?

So you called the pack of debt collectors, huh? These men swarm on the teacher like vultures. Yoon Joo and Da Jung watch as he is shoved to the ground of his home while one man trashes the place. That same man places a video call to the teacher’s son and wife, showcasing the torture their father and husband is about to endure. Please don’t make them watch this. But they do, as the debt collectors taunt the teacher with his debt and how he will now have to sign away his organs to pay for everything.

That has to be the scariest part of this game. From what it looks like, all the contestants that are in this game already owe debts. And here is the chance for them to win the money to either pay off those debts, or to live comfortably compared to before. As we see with the teacher, losing does not only mean going into debt, it can mean death. Or a life that is comparable to death because if Da Jung were to lose, she really would struggle to survive. There would be no hope of her escaping her situation. It puts the threat of defeat in a much more grim perspective.

One of the camera men suggests calling the police and for a moment, I think Yoon Joo will agree. But no, she tells him to start rolling the camera. Ratings and money mean more than human life, after all. It makes my skin crawl.

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Do Young, by this point, has pulled up to Woo Jin and Dal Goo. He tells Woo Jin to get in the van, and that is where he makes Woo Jin watch everything that is happening inside the house. It doesn’t take long for Woo Jin to figure out Do Young is the one that called the debt collectors. And he knows Do Young has something else up his sleeve.

Sure enough, the two in the van watch as Da Jung can’t take anymore and confronts the debt collectors. They laugh and taunt her about his debt and if she will pay it. There is a quiet moment before Da Jung declares that yes, she will pay his debt and gives the money she won to the debt collectors. Yoon Joo seems to be in shock, but not Woo Jin or Do Young. Woo Jin calls out the other man for setting this entire situation up. Do Young does not deny nor confirm. Thinking there is nothing to be done, Woo Jin hands over his share of the money to pay for Da Jung quitting the show.

But Do Young won’t have that. He, instead, suggests Woo Jin enter the game as an actual participant, not a helper. Of course, Woo Jin doesn’t want to. That is, until Do Young mentions his mother and how she died. I think my heart stopped for a moment. This is going to get ugly. And it does, with Woo Jin getting physical with Do Young. But instead of being bothered, the latter simply laughs. He also continues to talk about Woo Jin’s mother and her death, egging the other man own. He asks Woo Jin, “Do you save Da Jung or avenge your mother?” Oh, that is cold.

This scene right here reminds me of fire and ice clashing. One man is all passion and righteous fury, while the other man is as calm as can be. It is an epic clash that rivets me to my seat. Sang Yoon and Sung Rok know what they are doing with these characters and it is so good. And the fact that this clash is only a brief one? I can only wait for more.

I am actually looking forward to Monday.

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