tvN’s Liar Game (kdrama) episode 10

Over six minutes of a recap about an episode that happened just the day before. I just don’t get it.

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Since it is six minutes I’ll comment on Da Jung taking the mic and telling the East Nation that they should fight and the West will help them. I thought it was a bit spunky for her to do this and definitely seemed like the Nam Da Jung I liked. I still think she’s being stupid here, only because this is a team game and I don’t see her saving everyone in East. She still wants to win the game, so people have to lose.

To be honest, I’m wondering why everyone is okay with her still being there in the first place. If I was part of the Liar Game, I’d be annoyed that Da Jung has three chances at winning while I have only one. If Woo Jin wins then he’d give the money to Da Jung. If Dal Goo wins, he’ll probably give the money to Da Jung as well. I don’t think that’s really all that fair. I’d probably even target her for that reason alone. The fact that everyone doesn’t seem to mind it is troubling. These are the same people who are desperate for money and want to be saved instead of getting voted off or eliminated. Plus, even if they split the money with everyone Da Jung will still get the most.

Speaking of the show, Dal Goo cries because he betrayed Da Jung but says it was because he was tricked. Da Jung and Woo Jin forgive him though. I kind of feel bad for Jamie, because when she betrayed people everyone hated her, but when Dal Goo does the same its okay because he’s their friend.

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Woo Jin says that they’re finally a team and thinks of a plan for his team to win. Whenever someone is smuggling, they take all of the cards and get the money out of the atm. Then they get someone from the Eastside to smuggle the money over to the West. Jamie wonders why the other team would help since this plan would clearly make them lose. Dal Goo just says that they’ll share the money so it’s okay. But is it really? This is a game show where you have a chance to win big money. Why would anyone agree to losing just so they could get a share of a small prize when they still have a chance to go big?

Nam Da Jung doesn’t seem to realize this so when she asks Sung Joon to come over to their side, she pretty much says, “Help us by helping yourself get out of Do Young’s dictatorship. It doesn’t matter that he’s smuggled more money and is currently winning, help us and we’ll share a fraction of what you could have gotten. Is winning more important? Do you want to be a lackey for Do Young?”

I promised I wouldn’t make comparisons to the original jdrama, because I feel like the shows are completely different even though they’re based off of the same source material. In the original Liar Game, the game contestants will go into major debt and probably be sold to human trafficking people if they lose. Nao wants to save everyone, even her “enemies’ because the consequences of letting someone lose is too big. If she said, “Is winning more important.” There’s more weight to her words.

In the kdrama, they’re in a reality TV show. The players may go into debt, but it’s not as heavy as the other show. Plus, they all want to win. Losing on purpose so someone else can win the ultimate prize is stupid. It’s just bad gameplay. Da Jung does promise to share the big prize with everyone if they help and tells them that the prize money in this game will be given to them.

Might be a good idea, but I’d still try to go to the very end. Why share 10 million when you can get it all for yourself? If the three players from the East are smart, they’d get all of the cards from the East and then never fulfill your side of the deal. Then you’d win all the money and have a better shot at getting the 10mil in the end.

It seems like the other side agrees though. Woo Jin goes to initiate the plan and goads Do Young into yelling at him. Is it really all that nice getting an orphan who had a horrible childhood to break like that? They all act like he’s a bad guy, but he did help Assistant Kim out and give him a lot of money.

He quickly catches on and tries to recruit Jamie to help him out. Will she betray him or join with Da Jung? Woo Jin seems to have figured out everything, so he’ll easily beat Do Young and I don’t think Jamie would easily help Do Young. Speaking of him, he’s like a completely new character here. I don’t remember him being this mean or cray cray.

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Jamie betrayed Do Young and not Da Jung’s team. As Do Young is coming back to his base, the others commit treason after listening to Woo Jin. Their rational is that they wouldn’t be able to get any money from Do Young if they won anyways. Again, nothing has even shown this. He did give them money in the President’s Game after they helped them out. The only one he didn’t was Jamie, because she betrayed him. It’s like these guys forgot everything that happened in the last game.

So why didn’t Jamie betray her team? It’s because Da Jung told her, “When you walk out of these doors, what kind of person do you want to be?” Someone who wins obviously, but I guess she wants to be a good person now even though this is a reality show.

So Jamie holds the money hostage, causing Do Young’s team to run out of time to make the last and final smuggling attempt. With the game over, The West Team got 3.412 million while the East got 588k. The West team wins.

Do Young thinks he’s won since he has all of the cards, but Woo Jin planned ahead and beat him at his own game. Do Young is now all alone, while everyone is happening on the other side. Again, they act so smug against someone who suffered from severe mental trauma. I can’t root for that. I don’t get why Woo Jin hates him so much when it just seems like an ego thing.

Jamie becomes friends with Da Jung’s team. They even ride together in a car.

The three remaining members of the East team, Sung Joon, Bulldog, and the former actor, were going to quit but decided that they’d rather just continue on with the game and make more money.

Woo Jin gets a chance to read the USB that Sung Joon gave him in the beginning of the episode. We learn that everything about Do Young’s life is a lie, but we also get to see a picture from the orphanage that he lived in. It’s the same one Woo Jin’s mother worked at. There’s a picture of Do Young with Woo Jin’s mother and I think the other kid is Woo Jin as well.

Looks like Sung Joon is dead.

Da Jung found out that Do Young was telling the truth after watching the episode and hearing her father speak about what happened. Her father was secretly recorded by someone with the Producer, showing us why she’s pretty much useless when she’s doesn’t have Do Young by her side. She initially didn’t want to play the clip, but the Director overruled her decision.

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Woo Jin gets a call from Do Young and we learn that his mother may not have been as nice as we were lead to believe. Maybe she was the one who sold Do Young to that Walden Two experiment. Maybe they wanted Woo Jin, so she gave up Do Young instead. If that’s the case then he’s even more sympathetic since his life was ruined because of Woo Jin and his mom.

Next week is the final week! The ratings has been fairly decent, so this might get a second season.

I know I’ve complained about the show, but I do still enjoy it. It’s just that as a fan of reality TV, it’s hard for me to watch players who are not actually playing the game for themselves. If this was an actual reality show, then I’d be rooting for Woo Jin, Jamie, and Do Young, because they’re actually playing the game while everyone else seems to be out of it.

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14 thoughts on “tvN’s Liar Game (kdrama) episode 10

  1. Pingback: LIAR GAME. TVN. | IKurate

  2. Steven

    Thanks for the recap. You picked up some things that I missed 😀

    It’s actually quite amusing (and disappointing) how Do-young back-story as an experiment child amounts just that little. So that ‘forbidden’ experiment just created this guy, who can make people betray and hurt each other, but still has emotions enough to get riled when someone pokes on their background? You can find some people just like him in this world, without needing any experiment. What’s the purpose of introducing it then if not to create artificial tension/drama? *rolls eyes*

    I can’t root for anybody anymore in this drama. Do-young (after watching this episode my sister now dubs him Jokoya :D) unnecessary back-story goes flat and makes him just a pitiable your-average-villain. Jamie.. why you have a change of heart just because what a ‘stupid, naive’ girl said.. Woo-jin still has an uncharismatic (and increasingly boring) performance. Da-jung.. no more needs to be said about why it’s stupid for the other contestants to support Da-jung, when she has no more noble purpose to keep competing, because of “I’m short on money and if I win I will share the money equally”.. *rolls eyes again*

    Reply
    1. mochirochi Post author

      I like when Da Jung is spunky and actually does things, but it still doesn’t make sense for the others to support her so much. The players in Do Young’s team had no reason to betray him at all. He showed in the last game that he’s willing to give money to those loyal to him. Each of them got 600k, even the lawyer, and Assistant Kim got even more. He’s not greedy, but the players are and were taken in by cheap words. I don’t understand how they never considered the fact that Da Jung has three ways to win.

      I’m still confused about Do Young though. Is he meant to be Yokoyo or the head of the Liar Game? Did he create the game just to pay back Woo Jin who hurt him in the past? I don’t get it. Do Young was my favourite character on the show, but the reveal and the last two episodes really didn’t do him any favours. I like your sister’s name for him though hehe.

      I feel bad for Woo Jin though, because I know I’m meant to like him but I just can’t. I think the actor is capable, but there’s something missing. I don’t know if it’s the writing, the directing, or the acting that is causing this. It may be a mixture of the three, but I’m not sure. There’s just something that isn’t translating well for me.

      What do you think will happen in the final two episodes?

      Reply
    2. Steven

      Eh.. I don’t really like what Da-jung did in this week’s episodes though.. I feel like her sudden outburst is out of character (it’s like “Boom, here’s character development!”), and like you said, her words are pretty shallow. When she said to refuse the suggestion to forfeit doesn’t help either..

      Yeah, Do-young goes from a decent character to a fake Jokoya (I said it again :D). If he created this reality show just to get back at Woo-jin, the grandeur goal that he stated back in episode 6 will amount just as a petty excuse. But if it’s true that the mother saved Woo-jin and threw Do-young to the wolves, I give him more sympathy than Da-jung or Woo-jin because he will become a tragic villain.. albeit a stupidly written one. About Woo-jin, I’m biased toward Matsuda Shota’s Akiyama, so I don’t like this guy (although some scenes are good).

      About the closing episodes.. Well, if they go second season, I think it’s better if Do-young wins spectacularly (and breaking Da-jung and Woo-jin the process).. Purely because I don’t like Da-jung and Woo-jin. 😀 The inclusion of other villains in this drama is already too late, except if they go Producer-going-evil route. The game itself will likely be given little of the screentime, a drama between Da-jung and Woo-jin that ends with Da-jung easily forgives Woo-jin (rolls eyes), Woo-jin and Do-young quarrel with each other.. In other words, it’s same old same old. 😀

      Reply
      1. mochirochi Post author

        That’s what I’m trying to figure out though. What is the difference between Matsuda Shota’s Akiyama and Woo Jin? Akiyama also had this smug confident air around him and he constantly called the other players baka this and baka that. And yet I loved it and sometimes wished he would say it to me….Despite this, he was still sympathetic and an all round nice guy.

        I don’t know why I’m not getting the same thing from Woo Jin. Instead of confident and cool, I just find him insufferable and smug.

        Reply
      2. junny

        @mochirochi

        It’s probably cuz Woojin is too in-your-face and doesn’t come across as a secretly nice guy. Lee Sang-yoon took a tough alpha male approach to Woojin and that made him unlikeable. Woojin seems loud and crude, a total contrast to Akiyama’s smooth, quiet confidence. Akiyama knows he’s smart, but he doesn’t need to flaunt it.

        Also cuz Matsuda Shota was just brilliant in the role and nobody can top his Akiyama 😀

        And LOL about Jokoya. Good one, Steven.

        Reply
      3. Steven

        Maybe it’s the writing and directing fault? We are shown that Matsuda Shota’s Akiyama is a nice guy. He showed regret when Nao decided to continue competing in the reinstatement game. He also broke down believably (although it’s fake) against Yokoya. He can be astonished, angry, or surprised when the Jdrama needs him to, giving more impact in his scenes. We can root for him, and we are given proofs of why we should root for him.

        Woo-jin’s quite.. inadequate in comparison. Looking back, I don’t know why I’m supposed to root for him. The main reason he continue competing is to find out the truth about his mother, and he views Da-jung as a necessary tool to reach that goal. He can’t sell the smug face either. When he’s mad, it’s only because of Do-young, and Shin Sung-rok gives more entertaining performance. It’s also quite weird that he didn’t show any change of expression when he hugged Dal-goo and said now they are a team… Dude just tried to betray you man, you’re like ‘okay’. When Do-young beat him in the coin’s game, he’s mad, not depressed. When his team almost got beaten in the smuggling game, in the entire game he just like, I got this man, it’s alright we’ll win, or something like that. Just like Da-jung, he also can’t sell depressed face.. Except that Da-jung is weirder. Nao cried when Fukunaga almost won, Da-jung just smugly retorted back to Jamie. Is this how you would portray a kind but stupid girl that deserves all of other players’ support?

        Reply
        1. mochirochi Post author

          Da Jung isn’t Nao, not even close. I feel like the writers had to change her character to fit her into the normal kdrama role for females. I see the two as separate entities who don’t really share any similarities. We’re told Da Jung is nice and caring, but we haven’t really seen that. With Nao, Toda Erika really made her exude niceness. You don’t really get the same thing with Da Jung.

          With Woo Jin, I feel like even though they changed some things they still tried to make him as close to Akiyama as possible only it isn’t really working all that great. Like Junny said, he’s coming off more as an alpha type instead of the quiet confidence that we all know and love.

          Reply
          1. Steven

            True, true 😀 Please forgive me if my rant sounds very annoying.. Some discussions I heard about this Kdrama focus instead on the ‘greatness’ of Da-jung, Woo-jin’s puppy eyes, and Do-young maniacal laughing, so my fuse kinda blew.. I’m so sorry.

          2. mochirochi Post author

            Don’t worry about it! I’m glad that I have someone to talk to about this, since it seems like most people really love this and don’t seem to see the flaws like us. If you wish to rant, then by all means please do!

          3. junny

            From what little I saw of Woojin, I thought he was a typical k-drama male lead and the choice of actor was along those lines too. Matsuda Shota’s Akiyama made you want to root for him to win no matter what (I know I did!), but one look at Woojin’s face and I know I don’t want this abrasive guy on my team. And looking at your first screencap, I think I take back my words about Shin Sung-rok as a possible choice to play an Akiyama-type character – he doesn’t fit either.

            I could totally believe Toda Erika as an honestly nice girl with not a mean bone in her body. I’d thought Kim So-eun would be passable as Dajung, but it seems the writing for this character isn’t working out too well as well, from your comments. I think once they temper with the absolute niceness of Nao, it just won’t work as it did in the original.

            Still don’t understand why they thought this would have worked as a reality show with a much reduced “debt” premise. The impact just isn’t there.

          4. mochirochi Post author

            Since this is a reality game show, I think they had to change Da Jung and not make her like Nao. We also don’t really see her as ‘nice’ but we hear the other characters say it a lot. I’ll provide an example. During the first round, Nao gives her money to her teacher and tells him to never stop believing in people. What she did was a true act of kindness and it never felt forced or contrived.

            With Da Jung, it’s a game show and she’s in debt so she actually needs the money. After she beats her teacher, she goes back to see him and instead of just giving him the money like Nao did. She only agrees after he’s beaten up by some gangsters who tell her that they’re going to sell his body parts to the black market. Any sane person, no matter how evil you may seem to be, wouldn’t just stand around and do nothing. So Da Jung gives the money so that his body parts remain intact.

            It’s a nice act, but it’s a forced one that I feel like anyone would do in that circumstance.

            The show has been trying to introduce elements of Nao’s character in her, but it doesn’t make sense since it is a reality show. There’s no debt. There’s no secrecy. So when she tries to get everyone to work together, it doesn’t really make much sense.

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