Stranger 2 Review: Episode 7

The more Shi-mok (Cho Seung-woo) tries to dig into various cases, the more he is dissuaded by his own department. Yeo-jin (Bae Doo-na) and Shi-mok finally get a chance to be on field together, but the reason for it is rather worrisome. Hanjo, Tongyeong drowning, Park Gwang-su, Assemblyman Nam, the Police-Prosecution council—on the face of it, these cases appear unconnected, but the show is hinting that they might be related. Are we finally starting to discover hidden links? Could Seo Dong-jae (Lee Joon-hyuk) be the link between them, and that is why he is in danger?

Dong-jae is officially declared missing, and it looks rather ominous as his blood is also found at the scene, along with his car. The last Shi-mok heard from him was a cryptic text message where Dong-jae thanked him for “putting in a good word for him,” without specifying with who, leaving Shi-mok confused. In his characteristic unbothered fashion, Shi-mok interrogates his own boss Woo Tae-ha (Choi Moo-sung) about his supposed meeting with Dong-jae that was going to happen on the same night he went missing. Woo asks Shi-mok to investigate the case from the prosecutor’s side just as Choi Bit (Jeon Hye-jin) hands it over to Yeo-jin on the police side.

We FINALLY get to see our favorite duo together on the field again, investigating the case. I’m so excited to watch their impeccable teamwork again. Despite the slight friction between them because of the police-prosecution reformation meetings, they immediately get down to brainstorming and bouncing their theories off of each other, with Shi-mok reconstructing the scene of Dong-jae’s kidnapping in his trademark fashion. I have been waiting for this collaboration for six episodes!

Together, they discover quite a few interesting things about the cases Dong-jae was dealing with before his disappearance. One of them was a bullying case involving a middle schooler—his last case before leaving office. He was also trying to track down Kim Su-hang, and was supposed to meet up with his uncle, the former police chief of Dongducheon station and the man who got Sergeant Song transferred. This leads to Shi-mok and Yeo-jin digging up a connection between the Segok case and Dong-jae’s disappearance.

They also find out that Dong-jae was secretly contacting the families of the victims of the Tongyeong drowning case. He was looking for confirmation that Choi Bit pressured the victims to blame the prosecutor and essentially digging up dirt on Choi. He had even watched a video of her before going missing. To add to that, the police also find that he had been in touch with Hanjo Group multiple times the week before. At this point, I’m really starting to think that Dong-jae might have discovered a link between these cases that no one wanted to come out. If we think about who has the motive to kidnap him, quite a few names come to mind.

When Shi-mok and Yeo-jin meet the former chief and Kim Su-hang’s uncle, the man is loud, violent, and refuses to cooperate. He repeatedly yells that he wasn’t the one who sent Sergeant Song to Segok police station, but reveals that Dong-jae had spoken to him a few days ago. Amazingly, Yeo-jin isn’t bothered by the guy’s outburst at all, and together, her and Shi-mok manage to confuse and fluster him into talking. The only time Yeo-jin loses her cool is when he disrespects Choi Bit. Despite my misgivings about Choi herself, it’s cute to see Yeo-jin being so loyal to her.

Shi-mok looks like he’s reading something into the fact that it was Chief Choi who told Yeo-jin about Kim Suhang and the former police chief of Dongducheon being related, but we don’t find out what. When Yeo-jin relays information to Choi Bit, she hopes that Choi won’t use Dong-jae’s case for her own gains, like she has been doing with other cases. Choi makes it clear that she doesn’t mess with cases that can cost someone’s life. However, she seems inordinately nervous since Dong-jae’s disappearance and goes as far as surreptitiously copying call records from Yeo-jin’s desk. What are you so worried about, Chief Choi?

Over at Hanjo, Yeon-jae (Yoon Se-ah) has managed to win over Kim Byung-hyun, Sangmoon Daily’s CEO. As a result, she also wins the company-wide vote that seeks to push her out in favor of a new chairman. In a surprising twist, however, it seems that she’s keeping tabs on Choi Bit. And it doesn’t seem to be related to company matters but due to her ties with Park Gwang-su, the lawyer whose death Dong-jae was investigating. First, Dong-jae accused Choi Bit of hushing up the death, then Yeon-jae revealed that she was going to hire him. I wonder if the two are working together.

One of the people doing the most to keep Shi-mok from digging too deeply into Assemblyman Nam’s case is none other than his senior, Western Seoul Prosecutor office’s Chief Prosecutor Kang Won-chul (Park Seung-geun). It is very suspicious how much Kang wants Shi-mok to back off. He says it’s for Shi-mok’s own good, and that if he gets himself into a mess, even the prosecution won’t be able to save him. What remains to be seen is whether Kang Won-chul is genuinely worried for Shi-mok or if he just wants Shi-mok to not find something he is involved in. Or could it be both? 

The episode ends with a chilling peek into where Dong-jae is being held captive by his kidnapper. He gets beaten bloody when he makes an attempt to escape. With the way the kidnapper mercilessly hits him, I suspect that this kidnapping is a result of past grudge or maybe someone getting scared of Dong-jae’s recent investigations. Whatever the reason might be, it hurts to see someone as relentless as Dong-jae end up beaten up and defeated, despite him not being the nicest character on the show. Now that Shi-mok and Yeo-jin are working together to trace him, I hope they get to him in time. Fingers crossed, both for Seo Dong-jae and the reveals this show is about to drop on us.

Indoor Enthusiast

Indoor Enthusiast (Esha) is usually found going on rants about how Ji Hae-soo from It's Okay That's Love and Sung Bora from Reply 1988 are the best heroines to grace our screens. Thrillers like Secret Forest and rom-coms with sprinklings of feminism à la Because This Life Is My First hold a special place in her heart. She can be reached at [email protected]

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