K-Drama Premiere: “Stranger 2” Kicks Off With A Looming Rift To Be Challenged By Cho Seung Woo & Bae Doo Na

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Stranger 2 notched its opening episodes over the weekend, and it definitely settled the viewers with its polished and well-contrived storytelling.

A quick catching up to the characters of Cho Seung Woo, Bae Doo Na, Lee Joon Hyuk and Yoon Se Ah reeled a familiar feeling for anticipating Stranger 2 audience. At the same time, new faces portrayed by Choi Moo Sung, Jeon Hye Jin, Park Sung Geun and Lee Hae Young build intrigue.

Decking quite an impressive viewership numbers, Stranger 2 scored 7.6 and 6.4 nationwide viewership ratings. So far, it nicked the highest premiere for tvN drama this season and across all OTT platforms. The series is globally streamed on Netflix.

Premiere Week Rating:

Stranger 2

Premiere Week Recap

Two Years After…

While driving to the place where his send-off party is being held, Prosecutor Hwang Si-mok (Cho Seung Woo) notices something off in the danger zone line of Tongyeong beach in the area. Amidst the foggy night, it evokes ominous feel, which later translated to reality when police car sirens fill the air.

Instead of attending his party, he swerves his direction and joins the police team investigating the crime scene.  Three Seoul friends went on to a celebratory drive as one of the friends received a car gift from his parents. While resting, his other two drunk friends crossed the forbidden line, and unfortunately drowned.

While the case, appeared to be a sad accident, things take a different turn when Senior Inspector Han Yeo-jin realized something odd. It connects to the incident and someone that she follows on social media.

The person she has been following shares the same penchant for figure collections that she has. While browsing on his page, Yeo-jin saw a post of pictures at Tongyeong beach around the same time of the drowning incident. In the pictures, the restriction line was nowhere to be seen.

Accidental Deaths from a mindless act

A question of whether the careless removal of the line happened before the drunk friends entered the beach was raised. Smartly eluding the inadvertent mindless act because of a strong lawyer who used to be a presiding judge, the case was closed by the prosecution without further delving.

Deducing something is off to Tongyeong beach case, Si-mok analyzes the photos and testimonies from the police. He learns a key information from the police report was not regarded as an important piece of investigation.

Meanwhile, Intelligence Bureau Chief Choi Bit wages war with the Prosecution organization  by inciting a news directed to the easy closure of the drowning incident case. Obliging to reporter interviews, she notes how even with a complaint for the decision filed by Si-mok, it can’t be denied how the case was rushed. She fuels her statement with how the lawyer who handled the case is a former judge.

Thanks to Chief Choi’s words, the media is on a field day, while the prosecutors are in a pandemonium.

Police-Prosecution Council

Engaged in a turf war, the police and the prosecution have been switching from subtle and strong attacks to each other owing to investigative rights. Hence, a police-prosecution council is formed. Si-mok was tapped to join the team and was briefed by Chief Prosecutor Kang Wan Chul that he was specifically requested for the task force. He will also be under the Supreme Prosecutor, and will work directly with Assistant Chief Prosecutor Woo Tae Ha (Choi Moo Sung).

After talking with Chief Kang, Si-mok takes the opportunity to ask about the drowning case. He goes on a rant of how the case was hurried and not properly investigated. Unable to refute Si-mok’s words, he counters it with a news report related to Hanjo group couple; a case he really can be looped in.

Devising strategies, both the prosecution and police camps settle their delegates for the council. Meanwhile, Seo Dong Jae (Lee Joon Hyuk) meets Assistant Chief Woo Tae Ha and proposes about the line of actions to subdue Chief Bit. That is to destroy her credibility by using a case where she also disregarded key details to investigation report submitted by the police.

Yeo-jin obliges to Si-mok’s dinner request, but he unfortunately was summoned by Assistant Chief Woo Tae Ha for a dinner meeting. Noticing another pair of shoes at the door of  the reserved room, Si-mok sees Seo Dong Jae. Proclaiming he can work on the case he presented alone, Assistant Chief Woo Tae Ha responds that since he brought it in his office, they will do it together.

Premiere Week Afterthoughts

Highlighting its trademark mood of deftly written story and engagingly nuanced portrayals, Stranger 2 made me realized how I miss my favorite Prosecutor-Detective duo. Going straight to the point of its plot route, criminal procedure rights would fuel the conflicts of the series.

While the opening case presented appears petty, I appreciate its piercing lesson about overlooked misgivings – the kind that would even cause death.

Leaving insightful words of how the prosecution closing the case fast for the couple who mindlessly cut of a beach restriction line without regard to its purpose left irreparable damage. He points out that people who think it is easy to get away with everything needs to understand the essence of remorse.

Additionally, the divided views regarding investigative rights speak a lot about the greed of society organizations. Using weaknesses as a leverage to weaken the structure of supposedly linked organizations.

Standing at the opposing sides of the territorial dispute between their organizations, the main leads of Stranger 2 is up for a big challenge.

Stranger 2 airs on tvN and exclusively available on Netflix for global audience every Saturday and Sunday.

Photos: tvN | Netflix