I didn't know that there are only 12 episodes in this season! I guess it kinda makes sense because Japanese dramas are all around this length, but I was expecting another 4 episodes or so. Nevertheless, it has a nice ending, not wishy-washy in any sense.
I love the Japanese version (two dramas and live-action movie, all of it), but I think this Korean remake has a really interesting take on it. It introduces a back story that not only solves the question of WHO is the twisted mind behind Liar Game (if I recall correctly, the Japanese version just depicts it as a twisted organisation?) and also allows us to identify with the characters more. I like it that the three main players of the game are so intimately related, especially Do Young and Woo Jin, and that the fact that they are so similar when they are young also touches on the Nature vs Nurture issue. How much of how Do Young is now is due to the fact that he was part of Walden Two project? If Woo Jin had been the one sold in place of Do Young, would he have become as twisted as Do Young?
Summary of what happened in the last episode:
Do Young tells Woo Jin to shoot at Da Jung, because Da Jung's father is watching the finale and if Woo Jin doesn't follow Do Young's orders, then the father will die. However, if Woo Jin decides to shoot at Da Jung, then he will never know the truth. The truth is told out in patches to provoke Woo Jin throughout the last round of Liar Game. Turns out that as kids from the orphanage, Do Young and Woo Jin were pretty similar. They were both smart and were attracted to dangerous games. One fake philanthropist came along and wanted to buy Do Young and Woo Jin. In return, he would give the orphanage a large sum of money. Woo Jin's mother was unable to sell Woo Jin since he's her biological son, so Do Young and a couple of other kids got 'adopted' by this broker, who in turn sold them to a professor in the States (Walden Two project). Da Jung was a young girl who was left at the orphanage and played with the two boys for a while, but her father eventually came and picked her up again.
Da Jung shoots at Woo Jin initially, due to her shock at seeing Woo Jin shoot at herself. However, she decides to trust Woo Jin again and starts shooting at Do Young. (Rules of the game being each player has 15 hearts, and they must all decide whether to shoot or load their bullets in each turn of the game. No one can avoid the bullets now – it's a pretty straightforward game and ultimately meant as a backdrop to Do Young's reveal.)
Dal Goo manages to rescue Da Jung's father and Jamie crashes the stage to signal to Woo Jin that the father is safe. He understands the signal and instructs Da Jung to come forward. In our very last turn of the game, where each player has 5 bullets in his or her gun (they all decide to load in the previous turns), and where one player has a real bullet in his or her gun (Do Young places a real bullet in someone else's stash of fake bullets) – how will it all turn out?
At the insistence of the detective who knows that there's a real bullet in the game, since there's one missing from his own gun, the producer re-looks at the footage during the commericlal break. This is done in between Woo Jin firing shots at Do Young, Do Young firing at Woo Jin and Da Jung firing at Do Young. In a delicious turn of events, the producer realises that Do Young has placed the real bullet in Da Jung's stash, and that Da Jung is ready to fire her last bullet.
She stands up in shock and Woo Jin notices her expression, leading to my favourite scene of the last episode:
It might be just more practical to lunge towards Do Young since he's nearer, but I like it anyway, that he decides to save Do Young. It's sort of compensating him for what he has gone through I guess.
I wish that the Mother is depicted in a darker manner. Right now, I feel like theoretically what the Mother has done is wrong, but practically, it shouldn't churn out a character such as Do Young. In that sense, the reveal lacks that last punch. Da Jung is also not very linked to the two boys but since it has always been a relationship between Do Young and Woo Jin that is driving this Liar Game, I guess I'm not too picky about it. I also like it that Da Jung conveniently becomes the winner of Liar Game hahaha.
In one of the last scenes where Woo Jin and Da Jung visit the orphanage, Woo Jin reaches out for Da Jung's hand, and this is intentionally similar to the scene when Da Jung first asked for help when Woo Jin came out of prison. I love parallel scenes because it emphasises so much on the differences between then and now. And I like it that Woo Jin is now so closely linked to Da Jung, when he didn't want anything to do with her in the first place.
You might wonder what has happened to the other characters? Thankfully, Sung Joon didn't die but suffers from multiple fractures and broken bones from the lift incident. Dal Goo starts having this romantic fling with Jamie HAHA. Da Jung lives with her dad once more but is not used to her new found fame. Woo Jin decides to burn all the materials that has to do with Kang Young. In voice overs, Da Jung proposes the idea that when you want to trust someone, you just have to trust someone. It is not about credit, it is about faith. Woo Jin wonders if someone tells him not to trust anyone, "Should I believe that? Or should I suspect everyone else in order to believe that one person?" At that moment, it's revealed that Do Young, who has been jailed for stock manipulation, has disappeared in a car accident during transfer. Woo Jin receives a phone call from his Liar Game phone and then we jump straight to a scene where Do Young sits in a chair and tells the viewers that this is THE real Liar Game.
While all the contestants look around in despair, a voice rings out from behind, "I know a way to win."
And secondly, Woo Jin + Da Jung make such a good pair, I really wish that Kim So Eun will pick up this character again if there's a Season 2! Thirdly, if there's season 2, I think they need to show us more about what happened during the Walden Two project in order to sustain the back story.
This is indeed not my usual style of recap. It was actually just meant to be a review but I decided to turn it into a quick recap of sorts. What do you guys think about this last episode? Overall, I enjoyed the drama and I like the character development in various characters. The back story was spread out in a bait-and-hook manner, which I enjoyed, but I wished that it was a little more disturbing if you know what I mean. To warrant Do Young's revenge and twisted mind, I felt like the back story should have been even darker.
It's my first time watching Lee Sang Yoon but I really enjoyed his portrayl of Woo Jin – a very attractive guy because of his inteligence and confidence, but also has his flaws and insecurities.
I think I won't have drama blues, maybe because it has been a really short journey. But I enjoyed it nevertheless and I hope to hear news of Season 2 soon!(: