Stranger (Secret Forest) season 2, episode 8 recap and breakdown A lot of interviews.

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Summary

Episode 8 keeps the story in limbo and not necessarily in a bad way; it rewards itself by deepening the intriguing and leaving it on a cliffhanger.

This recap of K-drama Netflix series Stranger season 2, episode 8 (Secret Forest) contains spoilers.

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The opening

Chief Choi is questioning why Yeo-jin is spending time with Si-mok. Yeo-jin claims she’s trying to get information from the enemy so that they can win. Chief Choi is concerned that before he went missing, Dong-jae was looking into her. Episode 8 shows a genuine concern on her face as Yeo-jin brushes it off as normal news.

An awful experience

While at the office, Si-mok suddenly has a nauseating experience as he hears a high pitched whistle that pierces through his head. He desperately opens a window to get fresh air and eventually, the experience he was having wears off. This looked like an awful experience, especially afterward when the event dissipated and he could finally breathe at a normal pace.

A trip to Hanjo Group

Si-mok heads over to Hanjo Group with his usual confidence. While waiting for his meeting, he receives an email of a list of indictments Dong-jae was looking into. He then meets Ms. Lee Yeon-jae and explains how he is trying to retrace Dong-jae’s steps. Si-mok drops the call history and shows how Dong-jae repeatedly was taking calls from Hanjo Group. Ms. Lee admits she was receiving help from Dong-jae. One of Ms. Lee’s assistants admits calling Dong-jae to gather dirt for a lawsuit against the Eastern Office, however, he never received intel from him before he disappeared.

This scene was particularly interesting; it reeked of corporate secrets and privileged privacy as Ms. Lee insists she has little to do with Dong-jae’s disappearance.

Marriage problems

Due to the public investigation, Dong-jae’s wife is concerned about her family’s privacy; Si-mok decides to ask her questions — he asks her how long she and her husband have been separated and queries the set up with their children and custody. The questioning is put up a notch and he asks if there have been affairs in their marriage. Si-mok’s keen eye on body language works a treat in this scene.

Preparation

Yeo-jin prepares her team for the investigation and she asks one of the squads to look into Segok Station — she implies to the team that Sergeant Song and Dong-jae are connected. The police force has a lot of theories that are far lighter than Yeo-jin and Si-mok’s ideas of what’s happened. The cynicism can be felt in the room. Regardless, the team heads out to put the investigation into full swing.

More interviewing

Stranger season 2, episode 8 presents many interviews — more than usual it seems.

Yeo-jin interviews Officer Kim. The conversation looks into Kim’s whereabouts and activities. He admits he was out of his mind back then and he feels partly to blame for Song’s suicide. Si-mok is also interviewing Captain Baek — the man gets slightly touchy when it is implied that he’s a suspect and puts the onus back to the interviewers, suggesting their seniors made a mistake.

Yeo-jin asks Officer Kim if he had any influence on the Segok case and asks if lying is a trait in the family. Si-mok continues to imply to Baek that he had a motive but the captain gets angry, claiming he was only demoted because he failed to manage the team. Si-mok accuses Captain Baek of lying and micro-analyses his body language. This is Si-mok at his best. He can get under a person’s skin with ease when he puts another character under a microscope.

Emotional appeal

Dong-jae’s wife participates in a video plea, explaining that her husband is missing and asks for help to find him. It’s an emotional appeal but its easy to assume there’s more behind the family’s personal life which will impact the case.

An impromptu meeting

Chief Choi meets Woo privately. They talk about Dong-jae digging up the dirt and what information was exchanged. Chief Choi states that Dong-jae has been missing for two days so it’s likely that he may be dead. There was plenty of tension in the room here, especially on the subject of Park Gwang-su, the lawyer that supposedly died of a heart attack. Chief Choi has many interested people in her, including Ms. Lee Yeon-jae.

Woo tells Chief Choi that Dong-jae went to Hanjo Group and wonders if they are behind the disappearance. The conversation turns strange as Chief Choi asks Woo if he suspects her. Woo was already assuming that Chief Choi suspected him. It’s like a cold war between both characters. Woo states that they need to be quiet about Hanjo so neither of them is taken down. But then Woo confesses if they don’t look into Hanjo, they’ll never find Dong-jae. Woo then provides context to his working relationship with Choi, stating that she always shoulders people’s problems, including him, and implying she always took his pain in the past.

What would you like to know?

Lawyer Oh Ju-seon meets Choi. The lawyer references that Choi worked at Namyangju Station before she worked in her current position when the Director was supposedly leaking confidential information. She claims she wasn’t working there during that time. Choi then gets a call from Yeo-jin who is wanting to give her information to who the lawyer is — “The Oh Ju-seon from the Tongyeong case. The former presiding judge who received special treatment as a senior”.

The ending

Chief Choi puts the phone down and asks Oh Ju-Seon bluntly what he’d like to know. This catches Oh Ju-seon off guard and he smiles. Yeo-jin then gets a call from Detective Jang and she seems panicked at what she hears. In the media, there is a new story running — “Active Police Officer named a suspect in the kidnapping case”. Phones are going crazy in the offices. Chief Choi rings Woo as she wants to know who leaked the investigation of an officer. Woo then enters the Deputy Prosecutor General’s Office.

Kang Won-chul tells Si-mok that if it turns out to be true that a police officer is involved in the kidnapping, then the police’s fight for investigative rights is over. Yeo-jin then calls Si-mok and he rushes out of the building. Yeo-jin has learned that they’ve received a message from the culprit.

Stranger season 2, episode 8 keeps the story in limbo and not necessarily in a bad way; it rewards itself by deepening the intriguing and leaving it on a cliffhanger. There’s much at stake as we reach the halfway point of the K-drama series.

Additional points
  • A few characters tell Si-mok that he worked with the missing prosecutor and that he should be aware of his feelings of the investigation.
  • Yeo-jin has been assigned as leader in the Dong-jae disappearance investigation.

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Daniel Hart

Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.

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