LET’S WATCH (SEASON 1, EPISODE 2): CAFE MINAMDANG
ANDDDDDD, we’re back! We’re picking back up with Episode 2 so, like always, beware.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD – READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
We’re picking up directly after Episode 1, as you’d expect with the ending being what it was. “The Ghost” was chased to the rooftop from the alleyway (although they all still think she’s Looney), besties left Han-jun to deal with her alone (in a hilarious fashion, let’s be real, because that hair pull was peak), and now we deal with the stand-off.
… Whichhhhh. Okay, alright. Ended in a very Han-jun style fashion.
Although I do wonder how those photos he took of her back will come back later on.
I have to say, I love the rag-tag team of police investigators. Super Baby Rookie is such a sweet munchkin and I love Jae-hui casually correcting or proving points immediately after they’re stated. She’s not written as this overly obnoxious ‘I’m a strong female lead and I’m going to be annoying while I prove it’; she’s just calm in her power and it just makes me more and more endeared to her as the show goes on. I hope her character continues to grow and evolve in this way!
I am also enjoying the meeting of ‘tired, fed-up, sick-of-money-talking, experienced’ detective and ‘bright, excited, ready-to-punch-justice-down-your-throat’ optimism. I can’t even say rookie, because only one of those characters is. It will be interesting to see if any corruption follows, since Gyeong-ho is a (teensy tiny bit?) unhinged but also hella loaded. I mean, the man named his car Sebastian and doesn’t want to give it up because it got him over 100k subs on social media? After he just tried to hide an almost murder? B EST I E. Get it toGETHER.
jkuhSDNASD THE OST DROPPING WHEN HAN-JUN WALKED IN ON GYEONG-HO COMPLAINING ABOUT THAT? TATTOO THE SPOTIFY QR CODE ON MY FOREHEAD.
GOD, THAT MOMENT HIT ME SO HARD IN THE FACE OUT OF NOWHERE? Also, why am I like this @ god and the universe.
Literally timestamping 4:50 as a highlight for me, I cannot let this moment go.
BUT OKAY. Time for me to, once again, wonder why I must love the morally ambiguous characters so much. Anti-heroes, villains, morally confused; usually my go-to faves. And I have not yet determined where Han-jun falls. But I have to say, this attempt to “help” Gyeong-ho is not great, although I feel like it’ll be a trap of some kind since he’s still catching criminals and doing good-guy, good-cop things, even with a morally-questionable front.
Speaking of Han-jun. Roll out the banners, because it’s time forrrrrrrrrr
SEO IN GUK: POINTS OF AN ACTOR EXTRAORDINAIRE!
I need to take this time to note some things about his performance, specifically things I’ve noticed from the first episode to now in Episode 2.
This man can emote with the best of ‘em, from microexpressions to the most minimal portrayals of emotion that makes his characters seem more human. What I mean by that last thing is he bridges that final gap from pretend to reality.
Have you run into characters that you feel are good but not great, not absolutely fantastic, because it felt like something was missing? Because it felt like the character wasn’t all the way present? Seo In Guk adds that extra layer in making his characters fleshed out and real. He makes and portrays characters that, no matter how outlandish and ridiculous and obviously unrealistic (because they have magical powers or something), they still feel familiar and like someone you could know in real life. He gets better and better at doing this with each project he takes on and Han-jun is, truly, one of his best portrayals yet.
He’s alive. He gave this character such intention. Even when he’s being ridiculous and the biggest asshole in the room, Seo In Guk is doing it so well that you can forget Han-jun isn’t a real person.
Now, I say all of this, but where am I meaning specifically if I’m not just talking out of my ass?
When Han-jun leans into Gyeong-ho’s face and tells him he’s being followed by the girl he killed.
The way he tracks Gyeong-ho’s eyes, even though we only see Han-jun.
The way he softens his voice when he makes eye contact.
The curl of his smile when he realizes he’s won.
The face scrunch when he further explains about Gyeong-ho being followed, holding direct eye contact and not blinking.
The jaw clench after he’s pulled back and is staring Gyeong-ho down.
The smirk and the huff of laughter as he reaches into his jacket for his muryeong.
After he begins his “exorcism”, he does this comical little side eye over his shoulder to see if his act is still being bought.
The way he slides into the different characters of Han-jun - the jester/shaman, the con man, the detective, the brother, the man. Each of these roles are fully developed in their own right and yet look slightly different from each other.
As the jester/shaman, he’s brighter. He has a wider, more open stance about him to appear more welcoming.
As the con man, he’s darker. Shadier. His eyes are more hooded and he appears more dangerous.
As the detective, he’s pensive and tall. His eyes dart around a lot and he’s skimming and touching everything.
As the brother, he’s sillier. He’s boisterous, playful, loud, and maternal, in a way.
As a man, he’s cocky but also a hidden romantic. He’s sensitive but would rather put on a front than show his heart. But he’s also severe when it comes to justice, as we see him react to men who have harmed women. This definitely could also fall under the detective/police side of him, but I definitely see this more in his character as a man and a human rather than just being a good cop.
For those who need it, this episode does contain some violence in the beginning as Han-jun is trying to determine how Gyeong-ho killed his first victim. I do love the way they filmed all of that, though, because it reminded me of Hannibal (the TV series), when Will would utilize his empathy to go through the crime scenes.
Now, Han-jun says he can make it go away, but it will be the last time and should he mess up again, he’s SOL. But is he referring to the murder of his mistress? Or of the almost murder of the hit-and-run? If he’s assisting in burying evidence, I’m going to be disappointed but not surprised, really.
THE WAY I STARTED WHEEZING AT THE INTRODUCTION OF THE CHATTERBOX. Is he a new favorite?
NOT HIM SLIDING OUT FROM UNDER THE TABLE KMFIOELASFFSKI
This show is such a beautiful blend of comedy, real shit, cinematography, romance, twists, and crime. I’ve been in but I’m really in in.
STREAM-OF-CONSCIOUS BULLET POINT TIME, LETS GO:
Honestly, the face slap? A mood.
WAIT. Okay. WAIT. If they got the blackbox before a warrant was issued, is it going to be inadmissible?
Someone please punch Gyeong-ho in the throat, thanks.
oh my god, Han-jun did it on purpose. He made sure the blackbox was delivered as evidence before the warrant was issued. MORALLY GRAY. GODDAMMIT.
JAE-HUI, THANK YOU FOR KICKING HIM IN THE LEG! ALSO CANNOT WITH HIM.
M I NAAAAAAAAAAAA. SHE LOOKS INCREDIBLE PLEASE.
“Fabricating evidence? This isn’t our first rodeo anyway.” The face I made.
The background music when Han-jun makes an appearance is really just. Everything to me.
YEP, I KNEW IT. I KNEW IT WAS GOING TO BE INADMISSIBLE BECAUSE IT WAS RECEIVED BEFORE THE WARRANT WAS ISSUED. And he is blaming Super Baby Rookie omg no he doesn’t know any better jundfmnaisda
God, I can’t wait for Gyeong-ho to go down.
Han-jun, this better be the last time you be this shitty, I swear. At least you’re kicking him. BUT STILL.
Same, Jae-hui, I’m super disappointed in him, too.
uJNDUIJWSND YOUNG HAN-JUN THAT SMILE THAT SKIN GLOW
oH SHIT, his world got reckt emotionally and physically.
“Merely a lieutenant” LOOOL WHAT
This police chief is FIOASDOJD
NO BESTIE NO SUPER BABY ROOKIE ITS OKAY STOP PROTECT HIM HE’S SMOL
Not half the squad completely misunderstanding Han-jun being nice for once
Why is Han-jun me, yelling and talking to myself when I’m bored or frustrated?
HAN-JUN WAS SET UP!!!!! HE DIDN’T ACTUALLY MESS WITH THE EVIDENCE OH MY GODNJU FJAH OKAY OPKAY OKAY SO HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Oh god, she saw where they hid the key. Here we go.
The music got sad and she looks like she’s gonna cry, why? OADSSADJDAKIS HER BROTHER IS INVOLVED NOW?
I hope they find her in their house tbh
HAN-JUN, YOU KNOW SHE’S IN THERE, STOP BEING STUPID NDUISAHND THE CLOSE UP OF HIS BUTT AND HIM SHAKING IT PLEASE
TGHE WAY HE TURNED FIKJMOSA AND THE MUSIC omg
It’s going to end when he finds her, isn’t it.
IKJAOLSFSDF omg his face when he read the card, I actually can’t with him
WHEW. EPISODE 2 IS IN THE BOOKS. Let’s discuss so far!
OKAY, so now we know Nam Han-jun didn’t actually fabricate or mess with the evidence and was set up. We also know how Han-jun and Jae-hui knew each other (and why Han-jun kind of recognized her but couldn’t place it). Jae-hui’s brother is somehow involved in all of this and she clearly still thinks Han-jun is up to no good. Knowing that Han-jun was set up and wasn’t actually guilty of his crime, he’s definitely not morally gray to me anymore. His belief of “cops are to protect everyone and everyone needs to receive justice under the law, criminals and victims alike” makes way more sense to how he operates as a shaman.
We also notice he's quite a bit older than her and had a girlfriend when she had a crush on him as a kid. I wonder if that girlfriend has a part to play later?
One last thing I noticed, all of the “supernatural” style things haven’t shown back up at all this episode. It looks like they were just stylized elements to move the story along in an entertaining way, which I’m totally fine with!
Episode 3 looks like we’re gonna get into more of the tangled web that was… woven? So it’s gonna start getting complicated, me thinks.
Until then, y’all!