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Stranger 2: Episodes 9-10 Review

As time keeps passing and our missing prosecutor’s chances of survival fall, those who are searching for him feel increasingly desperate. But the lies that surround this case are becoming very obvious, at least to our resident laser-eyed prosecutor, and it’s only a matter of time before this cover-up begins to crumble. As some troubling new clues emerge, Shi-mok and Yeo-jin must race to decode them before it’s too late for Dong-jae.

Anisa: This week was a doozy, even though we don’t yet know what’s become of our beloved Weasel, and I swear my blood is drying up (does that expression work in English?).

Lee: We say freeze the blood in your veins but it still works.

Yunah: Guys. Dong-jae’s been missing for 5 days. FIVE. And his wife is so inscrutable. I don’t get her!

Lee: Our poor Weasel. I like to think he takes comfort from the fact he knows that Shi-mok is on the case!

Anisa: Hold me. 😭 But we need to discuss actual plot-related stuff, I know. *pulls on big girl pants*

Lee: I want to talk a bit about Shi-mok’s condition because I think this episode showcased both how worried he is about Dong-jae but also how his brain simply doesn’t know how to process that emotion. “What is worry? What are its signs and symptoms? How do you know if someone is worried?” 

*gets call* *runs*

Anisa: So great!

Yeah, this is the first time this season the show is really delving into that aspect of his personality. I think it took longer this time because he doesn’t have Yeo-jin next to him, observing and telling him what he’s feeling with her drawings and matter-of-fact announcements. 

Yunah: So true. Yeo-jin knows how to read him. They’re just on the same wavelength.

Lee: He relaxes so much around her because she’ll step up and speak for him. Even something as simple as “what do you want to eat” is a difficult question for him and she knows that. I just wish they had more scenes like that because she is his safe space.

Anisa: I am really feeling the absence of their comfy, honest talks with each other, because this season is STRESSING ME OUT and we—and they—need that space to get some relief from all the masks they’re having to wear in the various roles they’ve undertaken.

Yunah: I felt like by Episode 10, everyone’s starting to lose their cool. They’re at their wit’s end, and everyone is screaming.

Anisa: Yeah, and everyone is just flat out lying to Shi-mok’s face now, which on one hand is a signal to him that he’s getting close, but on the other I imagine the stress is building up, especially as the days pass and it gets likelier that Dong-jae is dead. And the poor man has no emotional release valve, because while he has emotions, he can’t quite make the leap to expressing them.

Lee: As someone who cares for a stroke sufferer I have some experience in people whose brains no longer have the ability to process emotion properly. And after their cognitive skills have been affected, one of the few ways the brain has left to communicate emotion is pain.

Anisa: That’s interesting, Lee. It makes me think of how Shi-mok often visualises brutal physical injury in the moments when he’s emotionally disturbed, which is a connection I hadn’t made before.

Lee: One thing I really liked about this episode was that Kim Sa-hyun was revealed to be a surprisingly empathetic and kind man under his swagger and entitlement. He’s one of the few people who tries to understand and empathise with Shi-mok.

Yunah: Yes, and we also see him very suspicious of Chief Woo’s behavior. He knows something’s up, and I don’t think he’s the type to overlook things.

Lee: Also Sa-hyun’s question, “Did you think I was an idiot” reminded me of the discussion Shi-mok and Yeo-jin had in Season 1 about Shi-mok’s sense of superiority. He does think he’s better and smarter than other people.

Anisa: I hated Sa-hyun when we first met him, but he’s actually turning out to be one of the most interesting new characters. Because not only does he provide Shi-mok with some much-needed camaraderie—even though Shi-mok absolutely does look down on him 😂—the very nepotism that’s the source of Shi-mok’s disdain also makes Sa-hyun a perfect person to notice how shady Woo is being. And despite being close to Woo, Sa-hyun isn’t actually a bad guy. Or he has a line, at least.

Lee: Yes I think Sa-hyun’s problem is just his sense of entitlement. Wait, did I already type that? I need another phrase. There’s an obliviousness that comes from money, wealth, connections and social status. But dig underneath that and he does seem to care. He just needs to strip that away a little.

Yunah: How spine-chilling was that reveal of the police watch? I didn’t think there was more to that photograph, but I loved that new development. Things do not look good for the Police, and I know it’s less Police vs. Prosecution now because Dong-jae’s missing and that council has sort of taken a backseat, but it’s looking like whatever edge the Police had, they’ve immediately lost.

Anisa: My sister was yelling, “That’s not how forensics work!” when they magically produced that reflection, but I didn’t hate it. I feel like the plot development was enough that I can forgive the wonky science.

Lee: Should we float theories? Do we dare float theories? We’re still in the fog.

Yunah: Oh I got no theories yet, but that uncle with the anger management issues is screaming “guilty”.

Anisa: Yeah, he’s super shady. But then Chiefs Woo and Choi also definitely know something, even if they’re not directly involved in the kidnapping, and it’s only a matter of time before their colleagues catch on, if they haven’t already.

Lee: My theory is that someone wants to shed light on corruption around one (or all?) of these cases. And they’ve taken Dong-jae and set up the scene to implicate the police officers involved in Sergeant Song’s murder.

Yunah: Oooh, so do you think there’s another mastermind/Lee Chang-joon equivalent weaving this intricate web to ensnare all the corrupt peeps?

Lee: That’s the only thing I can think of to explain why Dong-jae was taken rather than killed, what the reference to “washing the dishes” means, and why evidence was found near the restaurant owned by one of the suspects’ sister.

Anisa: I hope you’re right, Lee, because that might mean that the whole thing with the Weasel is a misdirect and he’s alive and well—although I’ve had a bad feeling all along that he’s gone. I also feel like Dong-jae’s wife knows something but is being threatened by someone, because her being responsible would be too obvious. And she does seem upset, even if her reactions are all over the place.

Lee: My current main suspect is that young cop who witnessed the bullying. Of course that means everything