38 is one show which I find myself backtracking to re-watch segments. It is living up to central motif of scams — the narrative can be as convoluted as some of Jung-do’s best ideas. And you can experience a succession of emotions ranging from shock, nervousness, to being utterly impressed with the scammers’ level of details.
You can say it is good writing — or bad. Good, since Writer-nim keeps us on our toes guessing and second guessing Jung-do & gang’s intention, only to be played out by them again and again. Bad, cos you need to pay 300% attention to get the nuances — and that can be tiring.
In ep12, we assume Mi-joo has betrayed them, out of self-preservation, or jealousy over her unrequited love for Jung-do…but no. She ends up being the vital role in ensuring the whole scam (or burglary in this case) against President Bang is successful. Similarly, when Jung-do and Sung-il are arrested for trying to con Chairman Choi, I’d thought that their bromance will end after Sung-il testifies against Jung-do. Thankfully no. Jung-do immediately scopes out their situation, and persuades Sung-il with juz one sentence to continue with the background checks on Chairman Choi, while he allows himself to be arrested. And Sung-il kept a really low profile (to the point of being subservient) for the next 2 years.
Funnily though, juz as I complained last week about Sung-hee being utterly wallpaper-flower-vase type, she suddenly has an about turn and decides to (almost) join the scam artists. Tbh, I don’t really buy her “I-feel-so-bad-about-Team-Leader-Baek” explanation for her change of heart. Cos all along, she has been very against Sung-il mixing with Jung-do. And even when she knows Jung-do did love her previously and wasn’t a cad as she’d assume, she hasn’t shown much emotions over the fact.
But what is even more surprising is the return of an arch nemesis — Ma Jin-seok. I am on Sung-il’s side when he questions about Ma Jin-seok’s trust worthiness. Cos someone definitely has tipped off Supervisor Ahn about Jung-do/ Sung-il’s latest scam against Chairman Choi, leading the halbae to pay a visit to their lair himself.
Or maybe, Chairman Choi ferreting them out is also part of the grander scheme of things.