Stranger (Secret Forest) season 2, episode 13 recap and breakdown Si-mok looks deeper for the truth.

3.5

Summary

Episode 13 is incredibly in-depth and it probably requires a rewatch to get the full sense of what’s happening but at the same time, it truly platforms Si-mok as a character and what he’s capable of.

This recap of K-drama Netflix series Stranger season 2, episode 13 (Secret Forest) contains spoilers.

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The opening

We are back where we left it. Woo asks Ms. Lee Yeon-jae about Park Gwang-su and how the lawyer knew about the Hanjo lawsuit. It’s a tense conversation but the concern still seems to be about Si-mok and Yeo-jin investigating. Meanwhile, Kang Won-chul is sat with lawyer Ju-seon and the fraud he has found with Hanjo Engineering. The pair seem to be planning.

Awkward line of questioning

Choi asks Lee Yeon-jae questions next. Her first question is why did she send Ju-seon to look into her. She claims Dong-jae put her in that direction. Ms Lee Yeon-jae then claims that Hanjo had nothing to do with the meeting in Namyangju which subsequently led to Park Gwang-su’s death — she says Mr Park arranged it himself. Woo then tells Ms Lee that there doesn’t seem to be a connection at all and assures her that Si-mok won’t be involved from now on.

Si-mok is vital more than ever in episode 13; there’s a fear when characters think about him digging into things. This is truly Si-mok’s chapter as he goes full throttle with his theories.

The recording

When the meeting ends, both sides read into each other’s words and what they meant. Ms Lee Yeon-jae then watches a recording of a meeting between Kang Won-chul and Oh Ju-seon. The lawyer tells Won-chul to make his decision over his findings over Hanjo Engineering. As Won-chul leaves, the lawyer asks him who will be next on the chopping block — him or Lee Sung-jae.

Si-mok can’t help himself

Despite being asked to move his attention elsewhere, Si-mok is continuing to investigate. He enters Chief Choi’s boss’s office and looks at a photo. The boss enters and he has caught him in the act. Si-mok is nervous and keeps apologizing. He then raises that the boss worked at the Seongnam Branch Office two years ago and asks if he was in the criminal division. The boss continues to be defensive and is angry at Si-mok for being invasive.

This is why Si-mok is a great character; he is the kind of person that is so analytical and straight to the point that if you have done something wrong, he’s the last person you’d want to show up. Stranger season 2, episode 13 truly platforms him as a character.

I’ve succeeded

Ju-seon texts Ms Lee Yeon-jae and tells her he has succeeded. On the news, it’s revealed that Hanjo Engineering will be investigated for fraud. Looks like the plans are in motion.

Digging deeper

Si-mok visits Kang Won-chul in his office. Kang Won-chul tells him that Lee Sung-jae is next with the investigation. Si-mok asks if he knew Park Gwang-su and  if they were in the same class. Si-mok keeps pressing Won-chul about the deceased lawyer who looks increasingly uncomfortable. The subject of lawyer Oh Ju-seon comes up and Si-mok senses that Won-chul has just got off the phone to him — he knows that lawyer brought something to him to take down Lee Sung-jae. Won-chul doesn’t want to answer any more questions but Si-mok states he’ll find out himself.

Si-mok does not seem to care in episode 13 — he’s desperate for the truth now, despite other characters throwing him obstacles.

What did Dong-jae know?

Si-mok then meets the lawyer who used to work with Park Gwang-su. He asks her if she found out about Mr Park’s financial troubles from Oh Ju-seon. Si-mok then realises that this lawyer has met Oh Ju-seon recently which alarms him. When his meeting ends, Si-mok wonders if Oh Ju-seon is trying to understand what happened with Mr Park and Hanjo without trying to get killed himself. He also wonders how much Dong-jae knows about this which has gotten him into trouble.

Did the students do it?

Jung Min-ha tells Si-mok that she has something about Dong-jae’s missing case. They decide to meet each other. She explains how Dong-jae took on a middle school violence case; the same students were charged again for assault a few days ago. She explains how both cases were similar. Jung Min-ha shows Si-mok photos of the crime scene. There’s a photo from the school where the bullies are stood with the victim smiling. She reckons the assault is similar to what’s happened to Dong-jae. Jung Min-ha wonders if the students were capable of this. Si-mok wonders if there’s a strong enough connection.

When they finish their meeting, Si-mok asks Jung Min-ha how old she is — it’s not obvious why he asked her this until the ending. He asks her for the photos of middle school students.

The ending

Si-mok speaks to Yeo-jin about the student assault case. He explains Dong-jae looked at school violence cases for two years — he also rang the victim Kim Hu-jeong to check if he was okay. Si-mok notes how Dong-jae and Jung Min-ha were the same age and suggests a romance between them.

Si-mok raises how simple it is to be living and dying. Later on, Yeo-jin checks the residence registry and learns that Kim Hu-jeong used to live in Bogwang-dong. She then goes to meet Kim Hu-jeong . He closes the garage door but then Si-mok turns up — it’s lucky he did as it looked like he was about to attack Yeo-jin. Kim Hu-jeong is the same character whose friends died on the beach at the start of the second season. With suspicions now on him, he runs off.

Stranger season 2, episode 13 is incredibly in-depth and it probably requires a rewatch to get the full sense of what’s happening but at the same time, it truly platforms Si-mok as a character and what he’s capable of.

Additional points
  • Chief Choi asks Yeo-jin if she’s interested in Si-mok. She denies it and gets shy. Choi tells Yeo-jin not to trust him as he’s a prosecutor.

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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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