Highlights: “Liar Game,” Episode 2
No regrets. I have absolutely no regrets on sacrificing an hour of beauty sleep to watch the second episode of “Liar Game.” It’s everything I had hoped for, but they actually delivered so much more. I’m on the verge of sounding like a spastic fangirl, so let’s move on to the top five moments in episode 2 before I completely lose it!
1. A touch of humor.
Jo Dal Goo, the loan shark, is determined to help Nam Da Jung and takes her to meet Professor Ha Woo Jin on the day of his prison release. When a heavily clothed man steps out, the crowd standing outside waiting for Ha Woo Jin brushes him off – that is, until Jo Dal Goo takes off running after him. The chain reaction is immediate as everyone, even Nam Da Jung, begins chasing after the poor man as well. One man actually shoves Nam Da Jung aside like a brute and she hurts her ankle. Unable to stand, much less run, she’s left with little choice but to take a breather in the grass, cradling her injury.
Hysterically enough, we then see Ha Woo Jin exiting the prison to an empty lot and off he goes in the same direction as the decoy Ha Woo Jin, but what would it be if not coincidence that he would happen to stumble upon Nam Da Jung and extend his hand to help? And what would it be if not utterly amusing that he would also recall who she was at the last moment, retract his hand just as she reached out for it, and then leave her there as she stares at him completely flabbergasted?
Of course, they couldn’t just end it there and Nam Da Jung is seen following Cha Woo Jin everywhere once she realized who he was, much to his exasperation. But luckily enough for him and not so fortunate for her, Nam Da Jung falls for the same “I’m going to the restroom and I’ll be right back” trick. Ha!
Except, it’s not supposed to come across as humorous as it did for me, since the purpose of these scenes was to expose Nam Da Jung‘s flaw – her wholesome trust in everyone and the inability to realize when she’s being deceived, even when it should have been staggeringly obvious.
2. “Is it so wrong for one person to believe another?”
When Nam Da Jung tearfully utters this question, we finally see the first glimpse of something more than stoicism from Ha Woo Jin. The change is subtle and easy to miss, but it’s present. Vulnerability. A past pain buried deep within his heart. It’s a memory he probably wants to forget and yet, Nam Da Jung managed to unintentionally strike that chord. Good thing too, because I was wondering if Ha Woo Jin would remain stone faced and grim the entire time, not that there was anything particularly wrong about his intensity.
But he’s so taken aback at the similarities between his mother and Nam Da Jung that when she explains her situation about losing her $500k, Ha Woo Jin immediately replies, “I saw it.” Maybe she’ll be able to add two and two together and realize why he’s particularly cold towards her.
3. The subtle romance.
I had to make sure it wasn’t cardiac arrest I was experiencing when Ha Woo Jin suddenly makes a move on Nam Da Jung. Unfortunately, it’s nothing but an act, a plan to escape unscathed from the police officers suddenly arriving at the scene of their stakeout. Fortunately… well, there’s no fortunately yet because while Nam Da Jung is busy trying to stop her heart from skipping away, Ha Woo Jin felt… absolutely nothing.
To be honest, I couldn’t see Kim So Eun and Lee Sang Yoon having good romantic chemistry together, which translates to being unable to see compatibility between Nam Da Jung and Ha Woo Jin. Luckily, that, very obviously, isn’t the case as they’ve been doing nothing but brightening the screen whenever they are together.
I’m swallowing my own words now and putting my foot in my mouth to prevent any further humiliation from judging far too quickly. Excuse me while I gush about how Nam Da Jung and Ha Woo Jin are actually completely adorable together!
4. Oh, the games we play.
I’m glad I watched this episode alone and late at night where there isn’t even a remote chance my family will walk by and see me clapping my hands in glee at how utterly delicious it is to see Ha Woo Jin playing his psychology mind games on people – particularly Teacher Hyun. The way his silent confidence and slow simmering intensity rolls off of him in waves is completely captivating. With just a few words, he gets Teacher Hyun to slip up and without effort, he’s slowly building a confidence in Nam Da Jung.
He doesn’t just tell her what to do, he teaches her and offers guidance so that she can reach the correct conclusion on her own. Ha Woo Jin is sly in that he creates a sense of paranoia in Teacher Hyun, which, as we all know, will only create holes for his slip-up in the near future. In the blink of an eye, Teacher Hyun may just lose that $1 million he has stashed away at home.
But how? The possibilities are endless when it comes to Ha Woo Jin. His mind works in such a remarkable way that I can only find more and more reasons as to why he is easily my favorite character.
5. When there’s no escape…
There is nothing more infuriating than coming face to face with a man who thinks he’s got you backed into a corner and isn’t afraid to be smug about it. Ha Woo Jin may be on top of the game when it comes to helping Nam Da Jung, but in the process, he unknowingly allows himself to become susceptible to Kang Do Young‘s manipulations. It seems like both men are quite skilled at playing with people like puppets.
Kang Do Young already has Nam Da Jung all figured out, but it would be difficult not to since she reads like an opened book. As he presents Ha Woo Jin with the question, “Rescuing Nam Da Jung… or getting revenge for your mother. What will you choose?” I am wondering the same. To join the game as a contestant means betraying Nam Da Jung, but would he be able to let his mother go just like that? Is there a way for him to juggle both and come out alive?
Could this get any better? The excitement is pouring out of me by the bucketful! I love the multidimensional Jo Dal Goo, the polar opposites of Teacher Hyun, the consistency of Nam Da Jung despite her recent exposure to the toxicity of the real world, and the layers that make up Ha Woo Jin.
Those layers, in particular, are now slowly being peeled back and exposed. We saw the stoic exterior, the intelligent brain, the manipulative abilities, the tender kindness, and even the amused smile. I would really love to know what facet Ha Woo Jin will show us next and determine how will that affect Nam Da Jung and Liar Game.
The pacing of this drama, so far, has been right on target and I found myself on the edge of my seat again. If I keep this up, I may just sit on the floor next time! Both my nerves and my heart were on a crazy rollercoaster ride, but it was worth every minute of the heart stopping thrill. I found every aspect of the first two episodes to be both well thought out and well executed. To say the least, I am very, very impressed.
It’s going to be so difficult enduring the next several days as I wait for episode three and four to come around, but at least I won’t be alone when I get tossed in the asylum for turning into a “Liar Game” crazed maniac during this waiting period… right?
What did you think about the first two episodes this week? Who is your favorite character so far? What’s your favorite scene? Let us know in the comments below!