Finally had time to sit down and watch this, and let me just say, I was not disappointed! Liar game gets things rolling in its second episode, keeping things suspenseful and enjoyable.
The second episode begins with Cha Woo-Jin (Lee Sang-Yoon) being released from prison while Nam Da-Jung (Kim So-Eun) seeks him out as a potential aid in the game. He rejects her, believing that she is too trusting and kind-hearted to make it through such a diabolical game. She reminds him of his mother, who apparently had a similar selfless personality, and couldn’t understand how it could be wrong to believe in mankind. We see that his mother passed, hanging off of a building while holding onto her son’s hand. She eventually lets go and plummets to her death, as Woo-Jin cries out in agony. Da-Jung follows Woo-Jin around in the hopes that he’ll change his mind or at least hear her out. She even waits hours upon end for him alone in the streets, believing that he was truthful when telling her he’d be back after using the restroom. Though he never really intended to come back or hear her out, he eventually saves her from a group of sketchy men, looking for night time prey. After doing so, he gives her a verbal lashing, telling her she is stupid and foolish to continue the game or think he’d help her. She cries and walks away, subconsciously dropping her game manual in the street.
Woo-Jin picks up the manual and reads it later that night. When Da-Jung returns home the next day, a crowd of angry people surround her and her house. They are people her father owed debt to, and she isn’t sure what to do about the angry mob. Woo-Jin swoops in just in time, cleverly saving her from having to sign any contracts with them that would give them claim to her prize money were she to win. After their escape, he listens to Da-Jung’s emotional explanation of her wish to win the game in order to share a meal with her father. Clearly touched by this confession, Woo-Jin decides to assist her. The two make a deal, Da-Jung promising to quit the game if she gets the 500K back from her snake of a teacher and split the money, and Woo-Jin pinky promising that he will not betray her.
Most of the episode focuses around the two plotting a way to get Da-Jung’s money back from the old goat of a teacher. Woo-Jin’s genius serves the two well as he’s able to psychologically manipulate the teacher into subconsciously exposing where the money is hidden. The two keep a 24/7 watch out on the house creating massive paranoia in the teacher’s mind. He never leaves the house, which makes it quite clear that that’s where he’s hiding the money. Woo-Jin thinks of a way to enter the house by starting a fake fire, and switching out the teacher’s “game cellphone” (the one provided by the Liar Game TV crew) with an identical one that he uses to trick the teacher by setting it back an hour. He also organizes a fake TV crew to be the game’s money collectors, who tell you that you’ve won and verify your money is valid. The professor is tricked into giving his money to the fake collectors, believing that the time is 5:00 and that he’s won. He celebrates, spouting off sickening insults to Da-Jung. Da-Jung even believes that she failed, not knowing that Woo-Jin was actually setting back her watch’s time instead of admiring it. When Woo-Jin and the Real money recruiting team arrive, Da-Jung is shocked, and so is the teacher who can’t believe his loss. He immediately falls to his knees crying as Da-Jung is given the prize money.
Meanwhile, Woo-Jin’s participation as Da-Jung’s helper in the game has sparked some controversy not only with the audience, but the bankrupt production company as well. There are a few internal fights between the PD, host, and CEO about whether he should be allowed to remain a part of the show. However, host Kang Do-Young (Shin Sung-Rok) seems to take interest in Woo-Jin, a very young professor, supposed murderer, and genius of psychology. He cleverly advocates for Woo-Jin’s continuation on the show and digs up all the information he can find on the man.
After Da-Jung wins the money, she gives Woo-Jin his promised half. Woo-Jin takes the money and leaves, with the intention of using his half to pay off the penalty Da-Jung must pay for quitting the game. She is unaware of this penalty and Woo-Jin’s intentions. Woo-Jin is stopped by a black van containing host Kang Do-Young who has other plans for Woo-Jin. He’s clearly done his research and uses Woo-Jin’s bitterness about his mother’s death to try and talk him into joining the game as a regular contestant rather than Da-Jung’s helper. His bribe material is the supposed ‘truth’ about the death of Woo-Jin’s mother. Woo-Jin strongly rejects this proposition at first. As he sits in the van, Kang Do-Young beckons him to stay and watch the interesting scene that is about to unfold between Da-Young and the teacher. Kang Do-Young has set up a scene where three angry men come to collect the Teacher’s debts, and they violently try forcing him to sign a contract stating that they can remove one of his body parts while his wife and son are forced to watch via phone. The PD, who was clearly unaware of Kang Do-Young’s tactic watches in shock, yet forces the camera crew to film the moment. Da-Jung, stricken with horror, offers to pay of the teachers debts. The episode ends with Kang Do-Young redelivering his proposition, and Woo-Jin now rethinking this proposal.
I thought this episode was very good. It was fast paced and interesting to watch. Some things are a little predictable, such as Da-Young’s character always choosing to do the right thing—like handing over her money to the teacher despite his foul treatment toward her. But other things are less predictable, like Woo-Jin’s character who I find very interesting. I’m also extremely intrigued by Kang Do-Young’s character. He’s evil, but why? What’s his story? I’m wanting to find out more about it. The drama is definitely suspenseful, but there is also a little romance mixed in between Da-young, who is clearly starting to crush on Woo-Jin. Let’s just say things are about to get veeeery interesting if Woo-Jin decides to join this game as a full time player.