Not too sure if I will continue to watch Secret, cos though it’s a police thriller, I’m not really keen when they mix in bigger issues like corruption, etc.Main cast:
- Cho Seung-woo as Prosecutor Hwang Shi-mok. Part of his brain was surgically removed? clamped? when he was a teenager, owing to some congenital defect. The brain surgery has the side effect of leaving Shi-mok emotion-less. (I suppose he can still feel pain, juz that he can’t feel “feelings”) However, he makes up for the lack of emotions with a high IQ and strong analytical skills. Both of which are useful when it comes to solving crimes.
- Bae Doo-na as Detective Han Yeo-jin. She will play the foil to the emotionless male lead. Yeo-jin is someone who relies largely on her gut instincts, even in police work. She may not be able to connect the dots yet, but that doesn’t stop her from acting on her sixth sense when it comes to apprehending criminals.
- Lee Joon-hyuk as Prosecutor Seo Dong-jae. One of the corrupted lackeys working under (yet another) corrupted Chief Prosecutor. He decides to use Shi-mok’s young and gullible hoobae as a tool against Shi-mok.
- Shin Hye-sun (from Blue Sea) as Young Eun-soo. Shi-mok’s gullible, but ambitious hoobae. When told that she will be give Moo-sung’s murder case as her first assignment, she is overjoyed. Not knowing that she is selected precisely cos of her inexperience.
(I only managed to catch ep1)
We open into the first case of the day, which may be the start of a series of bigger issues – including a serial murderer and a corruption in the judicial system. Shi-mok (who we learnt had a brain surgery which affected his ability to emote) works as a prosecutor, and had refused a token of bribe by Moo-sung, a rich businessman. In a short series of flashback, we later see from Shi-mok’s pov that Moo-sung (now close to bankruptcy) seems angered and scared about being made the scapegoat for an incident. Moo-sung vows to “bring him down” as well.
And the next time Shi-mok checks on Moo-sung – he is found stabbed to death in his home. A TV repairman, who was supposed to repair the antenna at Moo-sung’s home happen to chance on Moo-sung’s dead body, but instead of reporting it to the cops, he stole the valuables in Moo-sung’s house. Bad idea. Cos Shi-mok lists him as the prime suspect and together with Yeo-jin (one of the police team called by Shi-mok when he discovered Moo-sung’s body), manage to capture the petty thief.
The suspect (Jin-sub) claims that Moo-sung is already dead when he enters the house. And although he had a record for violent crimes and break-ins, he insisted he is “clean” now, since he has a family to feed. Shi-mok gives him the benefit of doubt, and investigates his claims. He finds a video recording of Jin-sub…but it shows Jin-sub in the house with Moo-sung when the latter was alive (and not dead, as claimed). Eun-soo, who is Shi-mok’s hoobae, and has been assigned the case pleads with her superior to give her a copy of the video for the trial.
To Eun-soo, handling a high profile case like Moo-sung’s murder, is a big break for her. And she is glad that Shi-mok’s colleague, Dong-jae, is guiding her along (unlike her stiff-faced boss). Unknown to her though, Dong-jae has other plans. Moo-sung’s death appears to be linked to the Chief Prosecutor, and dirty dealings the prosecutors have with politicians and businessmen. Dong-jae is merely using an inexperienced and ambitious Eun-soo to cover up…something.
The insidious corruption has not spared the police force either. When Yeo-jin returns to Moo-sung’s neighbourhood to investigate further, she notices that his neighbour’s fence has blood on it. But her corrupted colleague, Soo-chan, insists on “helping” her send the sample to forensics. (I bet it will be conveniently lost or switched out)
The trial for Jin-sub comes around, and he loses the case based on the incriminating evidence on the video. His wife and young child are devastated. Jin-sub eventually hangs himself in his cell as a protest for being wrongly accused.
I am not so inclined to follow up with Secret, mainly cos I feel quite inundated with police thrillers + corrupted prosecutors narratives. And unlike say, Suspicious Partners, Secret is much slower paced. It’s also pretty depressing when everyone seems to be hiding dirty secrets that only our leads are the cleanest of the lot. The slightly gloomy and dark setting of Secret doesn’t help alleviate the mood too.
Ep1 itself also doesn’t give us much backstory or insights into our 2 leads. Other than knowing about Shi-mok’s partial lobotomy and the side effect arising from the op, we don’t see how he has coped since his teens to deal with the lack of emotions or ability to feel them. As for Yeo-jin, we don’t know her yet besides the superficial info – that she is a police officer, and is quick on her feet and responses. However, the contrast between the two is apparent as early as ep1. Shi-mok will likely play the cool, detached, brainy role, while Yeo-jin will be the one who does the legwork, relies on her instincts, and connects with witnesses/ victims.
Had it not all “been there, done that”, Secret may be watchable. However, with so many currently airing (or juz completed) dramas (Suspicious Partner, Lookout and Queen of Mystery) that have the same theme, I really can’t find an X-factor that will entice me to continue watching.