Episode 3 delves deeper into the suicide report of an officer but lurking beneath it all is the fight for investigative rights.
This recap of K-drama Netflix series Stranger (Secret Forest) season 2, episode 3 contains spoilers.
Si-mok is introduced to assistant Chief Kim Sa-hyun by Woo Tae-ha. They are presented with a set of delicacies to eat. Both men teach Si-mok how to eat the meals. Si-mok clearly doesn’t fit into this environment. At the end of the meal, Si-mok is asked to find out which assemblymen used to be prosecutors and police. His tasks are assigned quickly in episode 3 — things are moving at pace.
Recruiting Detective Hang
Yeo-jin has a private conversation with Detective Hang and tries to recruit him for the Police-Prosecution Council. He doesn’t seem up for it but Yeo-jin works her magic. He has to clear it with his boss first but he declares they are too short-staffed. While out on a field assignment, Hang’s superior seems to suggest that he’s allowed to join the Council. Everyone is looking to take advantage of this situation.
Checking out the report
Si-mok gets to work on his assignment for the former police and prosecutors who are now assemblymen. He looks into the report of the suicide of the sergeant at Segok Police Station. He narrates about the night shift at the station and that it consisted of seven officers; three of the officers have been convicted of accepting bribes from businesses — two of the officers resigned and one officer was transferred. Only one of them managed to keep his position after they got caught but then there’s the one officer who died — Sergeant Song Gi-hyeon.
Flashbacks show Woo Tae-ha asking Dong-jae to fill in the details. Dong-jae explains how a new officer joined the team; at the time it felt sudden because the officer supposedly had depression — Dong-jae wants to work with Si-mok to unearth the truth; Woo Tae-ha asks them both to work together but to keep it low. There’s clearly motives here for the Police-Prosecution Council.
The day of the suicide
We are then presented a scene where Woo Tae-ha briefly looks at a 2019 proposal for Autonomous Police System. In Segok police station, captain Baek Jung-gi answers the phone. As he makes his way upstairs, the scenes flashback to a poster that says “Recruiting officers. September 1 — October 31, 2017”. Kim Su-hang is in the changing rooms and he hears a noise from the men’s shower room — Song Gi-hyeon looks to have killed himself with the shower hose — officers try and save him. There was no autopsy required and it was noted that Song Gi-hyeon was on anti-depressants.
Why the transfer?
Stranger season 2, episode 3 shows Si-mok dig deeper into the supposed suicide.
In the present day, Si-mok notes that Song Gi-hyeon showed clear signs of physical confrontation. He was also transferred, which rarely happens. Dong-jae states it was the transfer that triggered his depression. Song Gi-hyeon did not want corruption at his new station. Dong-jae starts an interview with Baek Jung-gi to get new information. You always sense that this is a phase of cat and mouse.
Updating Ms. Lee
Mr. Oh meets Chief Prosecutor Kang Won-chul; he will refute the article by Sungmoon Daily and he has no choice but to deny the claims. Ms. Lee is happy with the news. Mr. Oh talks about the legitimacy of Kang Won-chul and how he was able to gain his current position thanks to Ms. Lee’s late husband so if it turns out that he was the murderer, Kang Won-chul’s position arose purely because of that — a by-product of a crime. Ms. Lee asks Mr. Oh to be her internal advisor and states that no-one needs to know he works for Hanjo. As Ms. Lee leaves, she asks her assistant to look into it if Si-mok works at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office.
Checking out the shower room
Si-mok checks out the shower room that Song Gi-hyeon supposedly killed himself in and make some measurements. He tests out the theory and it does look like there was not enough height for Song Gi-hyeon to kill himself so the plot thickens here.
Detective Jang attends a briefing with Yeo-jin about investigative rights and the autonomous police system. Jang is asked his opinion about the prospect of becoming local officers. He states that they wish officers could defend themselves in the field even if they can’t do things as they do in the States — “If we’re careful, they call us idle. If we do anything they call it police brutality”. He raises issues within the system that stops them from doing their job effectively. Yeo-jin is happy with his input. There’s certain governance that is felt in the scene that makes it rather effective for the audience.
Si-mok updates Woo Tae-ha about his findings; the captain claims to have no knowledge of the bribes his team received and he was demoted one rank for being irresponsible and kept his position. In the interview with Dong-jae, Baek Jung-gin claims he and the other officers were like siblings. He stated he was friendly towards Mr. Song but he didn’t fit in. Dong-jae raises skepticism that Bark Jung-gin knew nothing of the bribes — the captain raises how he was charged with nothing and gets angry.
Si-mok tells Woo Tae-ha that he plans on visiting another member of that team, the top senior of the station — the senior received a jail sentence for the bribes and is serving time in Anyang. Woo Tae-ha states that they cannot stop the police but they can stop their requests for investigative rights. Stranger season 2, episode 3 delves deeper into the suicide report of an officer but lurking beneath it all is the fight for investigative rights.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.