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Falsify: Episodes 31-32 (Final)

Falsify was an ambitious show about reporters and prosecutors trying to tackle systemic corruption from within. The heart of the drama remained true to this purpose until the very end, and we have the satisfaction of walking away from some very well executed climactic sequences as our heroes defeat the powerful men who have plagued their lives for years. But will they be able to stop the larger threat of the elders in time to save the city?

 
EPISODE 31 RECAP

Moo-young and Seok-min drive to the meeting spot where their mysterious contact promised to help them. They walk up to a man and are shocked to see that it’s the tattooed cop, Detective Min, who’d seemed to know Killer well.

He hands them an envelope, but before they can ask him anything, So-ra arrives to arrest him. Seok-min and Moo-young instantly protest that there must be a misunderstanding, but So-ra tells them that the detective is guilty of covering up a murder for Prosecutor Im and helping Nam Kang-myung escape.

Almost angry at this betrayal from the contact he’d pinned his hopes on, Moo-young catches Detective Min’s arm and demands to know why. The detective looks resigned and asks if he would believe him if he said he’d been forced.

Just as the inspectors from the prosecutor’s office begin to drag him away, Moo-young grabs his arm again, but this time, it’s because something on Detective Min’s wrist catches his attention: the globe tattoo. Everyone stares at it as realization dawns.

At the Prosecutor’s Office, Moo-young asks So-ra if they can interrogate the man first, since he’d contacted them as an informant.

So-ra agrees, and the first thing Moo-young asks is who asked Detective Min to help Nam Kang-myung.

“I wasn’t asked… I was ordered,” answers the detective. Seok-min guesses that it was the “elders” and Dectective Min confirms with a nod. He says that he doesn’t know who these people are, but that Nam Kang-myung called them “the black devil.” They founded the Sahae Foundation, which in turn created the Faith Center, he tells them.

Moo-young takes out a thumb drive (which must have been inside the envelope he’d handed them) and asks where he got it. Detective Min says that a reporter had collected the data inside and he stole it. He reveals that he had been part of the Faith Center—hand-selected by Nam Kang-myung as a child to become a soldier.

When the detective explains the elders’ “project”—to create brainwashed assassins who’d topple the government at their word—Seok-min wonders how a mere foundation could do such a thing. Detective Min asks if he knows what the globe tattoo means and tells them to examine the logos of the National Security Planning Agency and the Sahae Foundation.

Paralegal Park pulls up the logos and sketches them on a paper. He quickly realizes that parts of the logos align perfectly together and draws them both together to form the globe tattoo. The detective says that the Faith Center project “was aided and condoned by their own country,” and was not a mere foundation.

Seok-min asks what happened to the project and Detective Min tells them that it failed. Despite the brainwashing and the drugs, they couldn’t control the children completely. And since the children were otherwise useless to Faith Center, they used a fire to erase the evidence. Moo-young asks where the other children are, and the detective looks heartbroken as he admits that only two of them managed to escape the fire.

Moo-young shows the detective Killer’s picture and asks if he was the other child to escape. Seeing the admission on his face, Moo-young asks where Killer is now. Detective Min doesn’t know, admitting that while he was useless to the elders, “Jin-woo” was different. He says they gave each other names while at Faith Center, since they had no other identities.

When Seok-min asks why he’s only telling them all this now, Detective Min gets angry and says he tried years ago to write a letter to Daehan Daily, but Nam Kang-myung had silenced them and then the fire happened. He yells, “You were the ones to betray us!”

He says he lost trust in reporters after that, yet when he found the thumb drive five years ago, he decided to wait for someone trustworthy to show up. Moo-young is struck by the timeline.

When they check the thumb drive, they find information on Sahae Foundation and Faith Center, as well as the evidence of money flow to Chairman Min. They wonder which reporter gathered this info, and Moo-young clicks on a video file in the drive.

At first there is only an empty chair, then as they watch, Chul-ho comes into the frame and settles into it. Tears spring into Moo-young’s eyes as he looks at his brother again after five years.

“My name is Han Chul-ho,” his brother says in the video. “I’m a reporter on Daehan Daily’s Splash Team. Many of you might not understand what I’m saying right now, but what I’m about to reveal to you right now is a record of our country’s criminal act, covered up by Daehan Daily.” Moo-young breaks down in tears, and Seok-min and So-ra comfort him.

Meanwhile, Prosecutor Cha has Lawyer Jo cooling his heals in the prosecutor’s conference room as she takes care of her own work. When Lawyer Jo demands to speak to her superior, she tells him to make the call himself. But when he asks for his phone, she says that he can have it when he’s free to walk out. Hehehe.

Then, Lawyer Park (the specialist who loses cases for Noah) walks in and tells Lawyer Jo that he’ll be representing him. Prosecutor Cha reminds Lawyer Jo that he’d said during Seon-woo’s case that Lawyer Park only takes on their most important cases. Ooh, zing.

She smiles at Lawyer Jo and tells him that in thirty minutes, a witness will prove the lawyer’s involvement with Nam Kang-myung. “Congratulations,” she tells him, “you’ll be getting indicted soon.”

At Daehan Daily, Editor Jung tells Chief Gu that he’s hushed up the reaction to the full page ad by Splash Team. But two of his senior reporters are dissatisfied and ask if the chief really tried to silence Splash Team. Chief Gu makes excuses, but it doesn’t work and they walk out of the meeting, ignoring Editor Jung’s yells for them to stop.

Chief Gu gets a call, asking him to attend a meeting of Daehan Daily’s directors. On the way, he calls his wife, who’s about to go into surgery. Once he hangs up, Chief Gu’s wife looks up to find Yoo-kyung standing at the door.

When Chief Gu arrives at the conference room, he finds only Moo-young waiting for him. He recognizes him as the Patriot News reporter, but then Moo-young adds that he’s also Chul-ho’s brother. Chief Gu looks at him thoughtfully, then says that it’s an odd fate that would make Chul-ho’s brother a reporter at Patriot News. Moo-young corrects him and says that it’s an unfortunate fate that would never have happened if not for Chief Gu.

Moo-young says he’s been looking into Chul-ho’s final investigation for five years and finally found out about the Faith Center. When Chief Gu looks a bit concerned, Moo-young comments that it’s only fair that he feel flustered since he was instrumental in covering up the matter.

Moo-young says that Prosecutor Im already named him as the mastermind behind Boss Park’s case, which he tries to deny. As Chief Gu smiles coldly at him, Moo-young says that he had Boss Park killed to keep him silent. Then, he asks if the chief felt the need to silence his brother too.

This, finally, gets a reaction out of Chief Gu, as Moo-young pushes him to admit that he ordered Chul-ho killed. He points out Chief Gu’s hand in all these coverups and asks if he was also directly involved in whatever happened at Faith Center. At this, Chief Gu slams his hands on the table and tries to stalk out of the room.

Moo-young blocks his way and asks again if he knew about what was happening at Faith Center, and why he kept silent while those children suffered. Then, suddenly growing cold, Moo-young demands that Chief Gu answer him if he wants his loved one to live.

Chief Gu stills at this threat, then gets a call. It’s Lawyer Jo telling him to remain silent unless he wants his wife dead. The lawyer asks if the chief didn’t guess that Nam Kang-myung’s death was a result of him hacking into his artificial heart and shutting down the system remotely.

Chief Gu remembers the recording of Lawyer Jo telling someone to hack into something and he pales. He tries to push past, but Moo-young is determined to keep him in the room. Moo-young explains his options clearly: Either Chief Gu admits his crimes and Moo-young’s accomplice stops his wife’s surgery, or he refuses and loses his wife.

Chief Gu is gripped with fear, and he ends up begging Moo-young to let him leave. Moo-young says that he’s capable of being just as corrupt as the chief. He asks why Chief Gu can’t muster up some courage to answer his questions when even Chul-ho found some integrity to try and atone for what he’d done.

Trembling with urgency, Chief Gu yells that he wasn’t the one to order Chul-ho’s death—it was a decision by the elders who saw him as a liability. Moo-young grabs his collar and tells him that he should have protected Chul-ho anyway.

He asks the chief how he could stand by and watch those children die in the fire. Defeated now, Chief Gu says that he wasn’t directly connected with Faith Center; it was Lawyer Jo who was the elders’ spokesperson, while his role was to use Daehan Daily to manipulate the media.

The chief asks Moo-young to stop the surgery now, and Moo-young tells him that there is no need, since the surgery never began. The chief looks at Moo-young, stunned, then silently leaves the room.

But as he turns the corner, he finds the corridor blocked by his own reporters. From the speaker above, Moo-young’s voice comes through from inside the conference room, loud and clear. The chief realizes that Moo-young had recorded and played their entire conversation live all over Daehan Daily.

Seok-min steps forward and tells Chief Gu that they found the last article that Chul-ho was working on, and they intend to finish his work. He asks Chief Gu to take responsibility for Chul-ho’s death and testify against Lawyer Jo so he can be punished too. The chief looks around the corridor and sees condemnation on the faces of all his employees.

At Chief Gu’s home, his wife unlocks a safe and takes out documents stored inside. In one box, she and Yoo-kyung find an old letter by a young Detective Min begging Chief Gu for his help. The chief’s wife observes that she lived in the place of the young children who died in that fire, and clutches her heart in grief.

Chief Gu walks across the corridor to the officers from the prosecutor’s office waiting on the other end. He passes under a plaque that reminds Daehan Daily’s reporters to know right from wrong.

Chief Yang emerges from the crowd and confronts Editor Jung about his paper helping Sahae Foundation all this while. He asks for a front-page apology, and when the editor blusters, Chief Yang reminds him to uphold the dignity and integrity of Daehan Daily before looking down on tabloids like Patriot News.

When Moo-young comes out of the conference room, the hallway falls silent, and the reporters make way for him to walk past them. He turns into an empty corridor and finds So-ra waiting. They smile at each other, then Moo-young moves past her.

Framed along the hallway are exemplary articles by journalists of the paper, and Moo-young pauses at one written by his brother. He smiles and caresses the picture of Chul-ho on the byline. Then, with tears falling down his face, Moo-young keeps walking.

 
EPISODE 32 RECAP

The Splash Team sits in the office with Detective Min’s letter, and Ji-won wonders how anyone could cover up such cruelties.

The two senior reporters who’d walked out of Chief Gu’s meeting enter the room, while outside, many more reporters gather and wait. They ask the team if it’s true that Chul-ho had been murdered while pursuing this story. Seok-min nods, and the reporters ask to work together to finish what Chul-ho started.

So Reporter Na briefs all the reporters who have volunteered to help with the case.

One senior journalist asks when they’ll be publishing the first article and Chul-ho’s recording, since they must protect their scoop. Seok-min dampens the man’s enthusiasm by informing him that Patriot News will break the story.

He points out that while that so-called trash newspaper worked to uncover this scoop for the past five years, Daehan Daily kept quiet and followed Chief Gu’s orders. The senior reporters pipe down at that.

At Patriot News, Moo-young adds the title to the article, “The Truth About Faith Center that a Reporter Revealed Through His Death,” and takes a deep breath before pressing publish. The entire Patriot News team stands behind him, their hands on his shoulder, as he releases his brother’s atonement into the world.

In the recording, Chul-ho says that in his ten years as a journalist he’d been part of several fabricated articles in Daehan Daily. As he speaks, we see a flashback of Chief Gu handing Chul-ho a folder, and Chul-ho’s resignation as he accepted another assignment to falsify facts. He says it was easier to manipulate the truth than he’d imagined—to turn the innocent into guilty (Seon-woo) and the living into dead (Nam Kang-myung). And at the center of it all was Chief Gu.

But when Chul-ho found out about the fire at Faith Center, he began to feel agitated. He says that he didn’t want to believe what he was uncovering, but soon, he realized that all the false articles that he’d written had been crafted to hide all traces of Faith Center and Sahae Foundation.

Finally, Chul-ho says that if they’re watching this video, then he’s probably dead. He tells them that he’s the biggest evidence of this conspiracy, and begs for the journalists he admires to uncover the truth by using his work and his death as a stepping stone.

In the prosecutor’s interrogation room, Chief Gu watches the video as well, and on the table lies that morning’s Daehan Daily with a front-page apology for fabricating articles.

Chief Gu pauses the video and looks away, and So-ra asks him if Sahae Foundation ordered him to falsify the statute of limitation in Boss Park’s case. She reminds him that he no longer has a reputation to protect and tells him to think things over.

Once she walks out of the room, the chief looks down at Chul-ho’s face and observes that he knew that he was going to die. Cursing Chul-ho as a “crazy idiot,” Chief Gu looks near tears. When So-ra returns, he says, “Let’s begin.”

Predictably, the news of Chief Gu’s compliance with Sahae Foundation’s insurgent goals becomes a national scandal. By the time prosecutors seize the foundation’s files and papers, they find that most of the data has been destroyed and the top executives have fled the country.

Moo-young begins to take down all the articles and photographs pinned to his wall. He only leaves up the globe tattoo and holds up Killer’s picture beside it. Just then, he gets a call from Boss Yang, who asks why he’s cleaning out Nam Kang-myung’s remaining vaults when he refused to let the gang touch a single bill.

Moo-young says that he handed the keys over to the prosecutors, then pauses as he realizes who could be taking out the money. He looks down at the picture of Killer.

Paralegal Park walks in as Detective Min is escorted out by the police. He hands So-ra the letter that the young detective had sent Chief Gu, but when So-ra looks at the handwriting beside the statement of confession he had just submitted, she frowns. Asking for the envelope Detective Min had handed over to Seok-min, she examines the writing. It matches the child’s hand but not the adult Detective Min’s. That’s when Moo-young calls So-ra and tells her that he knows where they can find Killer. So-ra informs the police and sets out with her men.

Seok-min visits Chief Gu in prison and tells him that his wife refused the heart transplant and returned to her hometown. He asks Chief Gu why he helped Sahae Foundation and tells him not to claim he did it for his wife.

“I did it for me. Because I wanted to,” says Chief Gu. He admits that once he was one of them, his life was easier, and it was impossible to leave. Seok-min asks why he didn’t protect Chul-ho, and guesses the true reason Chief Gu covered up the fire at Faith Center.

“You were there on the day of the fire,” he tells the chief. Someone had spotted him there, and when the fire had started, Chief Gu had run away, leaving the children to die. The chief admits that he had regretted that cowardly moment all his life. So, when he found out that the elders planned something far worse than the Faith Center in the future, he found that his buried conscience wouldn’t stay silent.

Seok-min asks what the elders have planned, and Chief Gu leans closer to the glass dividing them and says, “It’s not over yet.”

Moo-young searches all the vaults, and when he’s at the last one he calls to tell So-ra that Killer isn’t there. So-ra tells him that the police will arrive before her. At that moment, Moo-young spots Killer and follows him into the stairwell. As he looks down, Killer looks up from the steps below.

Killer makes a run for it, and when Moo-young reaches the ground floor, the cops arrive, and they chase after Killer together. When So-ra texts Seok-min about spotting Killer, Seok-min calls and tells her that Sahae Foundation is planning a terror attack, so whatever is in that vault may be crucial to that plot.

Moo-young shows the officers the picture of Killer before they split up in different directions. A few cops close in on him, but Killer beats them up so badly that they can’t get up.

Moo-young hears the radio report and his group turns towards the area where Killer was spotted. Another police group gets there first and Killer swipes a baton from a cop before dispatching the rest with a few well-placed blows.

When her team reaches the building, So-ra sends Paralegal Park after Killer with some men, while the rest go up to the vault with her. Seok-min goes up with her too, and they open the vault to find a single briefcase. So-ra orders bomb specialists to be called.

Moo-young finally finds a trace of Killer by following the downed cops in his wake. He follows into the subway, where cops block Killer’s exit on the other end. Before Killer can retreat, Moo-young is on him, and the two engage in a deadly dance one more time.

With fluid grace, Moo-young evades the killer’s blows, until Killer gets under his block and lands a punch. Staggering from it, Moo-young falls back, as Killer lands hit after hit until he has Moo-young pinned to the subway wall.

The cops raise their guns, but Paralegal Park stops them as Killer pulls out a syringe and drives the needle towards Moo-young’s neck. Caught in his stranglehold, Moo-young struggles but forces back the arm with the syringe and asks him why he did it.

He says that it wasn’t Detective Min who’d informed Chief Gu about Faith Center all those years ago—it had been Killer. Moo-young also guesses that it had been Killer who’d sent back the articles he’d stolen from Chul-ho’s office and warned Seok-min to stay away from the docks the night Nam Kang-myung arrived.

“If you were that desperate to escape them, why did you become the monster they wanted you to be?” Moo-young asks Killer. “That… was the order I was given,” he answers, his face showing his long-suppressed pain. “I had no other way to live except obeying their orders.”

Then, suddenly breaking their struggle, Killer steps back. “But I regretted killing Chul-ho,” he tells Moo-young, “I didn’t know that he was preparing to write that article.” He raises the syringe to his own neck, and everyone takes a step forward.

“What are you doing? Stop, Kim Jin-woo!” says Moo-young, using the name Killer and Detective Min had made up for him as a child. “I’m not saying I’ll forgive you, but please stop.” “Sixteen years ago, what would have happened if you guys came instead of Chief Gu?” wonders Killer. Moo-young yells at him to put down the syringe and talk.

“‘Commit suicide when your identity is exposed’… this is all I have,” says Killer, his face losing all emotions again. “That is the order I was given.” He empties the syringe into his own neck and stumbles back against the wall, dying within seconds. Moo-young sighs, his eyes brimming with tears as he looks down at the dead assassin, who was once a helpless child.

Lawyer Jo gets visited by a legal representative of the elders with a message. He refuses to hear it since he hadn’t been charged with any felony and could still get out of prison with some help. The representation smiles and pushes forward a box containing the drug Killer had used to kill the doctor under Lawyer Jo’s orders. (Ooh, poetic justice!)

The man makes the same offer to Chief Gu, adding that the elders’ plans have been cancelled. The chief tells him that he hasn’t revealed the names of the elders. The representative smiles and says that he wouldn’t be making this offer if he had gone that far. He reminds the chief of the family he has outside and assures him that it’ll look like a heart attack.

Chief Gu thinks of Chul-ho’s recording and the part where he’d said, “I could not fight against injustice and despise evil deeds, so I’m not a respectable reporter. But I didn’t want to remain silent until the very end.”

The chief smiles self-deprecatingly in the present and wonders why he could never despise the elders and all that they represented. He takes the box.

Killer’s body is carted out of the subway as So-ra and Seok-min arrive.

Sometime later, So-ra says her goodbyes to Paralegal Park and her team, and heads out of the office with her belongings. She finds Moo-young waiting for her. He takes her box and says he’s there to escort her to the Special Prosecutor’s office.

On the way there, she asks if he really intends to leave. Moo-young says he needs to find out who he is beyond being Chul-ho’s brother. So-ra says that she wants to stop him from going. When he looks at her, she adds that clues are sparse in the Sahae Foundation case and they could use his help.

He says that there are better reporters out there, and she reminds him that he’s the reason they found out everything. So-ra tells Moo-young that being a Patriot News reporter suits him, so he should come back and be that again: “I’ll wait for you.” Moo-young smiles and agrees.

After he drops her off, So-ra briefs Prosecutor Cha and her team that their key witnesses are dead and Sahae’s data has been destroyed. She pins Chairman Min’s picture on the board and says that she intends to begin again from the case that started all of this.

Repoter Na walks into a busy, crowded Splash Team office and asks if Seok-min knows that Editor Jung managed to keep his job. Ji-won wonders if they’ll start getting pressured again, while Yoo-kyung rants about the regeneration powers of scum.

Seok-min launches into a slightly boastful treatise on how “a true reporter has to rot in a dark corner for five years” to much eye-rolling from his loyal team, who seem to have heard this speech before. On his desk is a plaque with his new title: Team Leader.

Seok-min’s speech is interrupted by a text that reads, “It’s over. I think he’s set his mind to it.” He looks subdued after that, and when he walks into the lobby of the building, he remembers Chief Gu praising him for his reckless courage the day he brought him onto the Splash Team.

The Patriot News team takes pictures of Boss Yang, and he demands the interview he was promised by Moo-young when he helped the team clean out the vaults. Moo-young agrees that they owe him a story “that will make Oprah Winfrey cry.” Hee.

Chief Yang grumbles at Moo-young, spilling the beans about his resignation from the paper. Everyone exclaims in disappointment, and Moo-young promises to visit often. Even Boss Yang’s henchman looks sad, and Moo-young assures him that he’ll visit them too. Aww.

“I became a proper person thanks to you people,” Moo-young tells them. ” I think I can see my brother’s face while smiling now.”

He visits Chul-ho’s memorial with flowers later, and tells his brother that it’s all over now. “Who says that it’s over?” asks Seok-min, coming up behind him. He points out that they have yet to uncover the people behind Faith Center and Sahae Foundation.

Moo-young says that he did all he could, and it was difficult doing something that he wasn’t suited to do. Just then, his phone rings. Seok-min asks why he isn’t taking the call, and Moo-young says that it’s his informant tip line for Patriot News. Seok-min takes the phone from Moo-young and talks to the informant himself.

As Moo-young stands back, trying to feign indifference, Seok-min pitches the qualifications of the Splash Team, insisting that they’re better suited than Patriot News for this sort of thing. He refuses to tell Moo-young what it was about, then reminds him that he no longer works for Patriot News, and runs off with the phone. Moo-young chases after him, of course.

The two arrive together in a darkened office building, where the informant shows them the office of the President of Sahae Foundation. Pink Panther style, the two reporters tiptoe into the room with their flashlights on and search through the debris left behind.

Finally, they spot a desk and both race to get to it first. They open a drawer and find a tablet inside. “Are we doing this?” asks Seok-min. “We can’t turn back now,” says Moo-young. Seok-min grins and asks if he’s confident. Moo-young smiles back at him. The two turn to look down at the tablet, and Moo-young says in voiceover:

Moo-young: “As long as we fight injustice and have the courage to hate evil, the world will give us at least one chance to right a wrong.”

 
COMMENTS

Chief Gu and Killer remain my favorite characters in Falsify. What little I saw of them was more compelling than the three white knights leading the charge against them. Ultimately, I’m glad that they didn’t turn Chief Gu into an anti-hero, nor did they partially redeem him by turning him into a man compelled by circumstances. He was driven by his greed and his growing hunger for power. This is at once a more human and empathetic motivation for the ruthless newspaperman we met early on in the show. I’m happy that even at the end, he wasn’t wallowing in guilt. Instead, he wondered why he still couldn’t find it in himself to hate the people who pulled his strings for so long.

And then there was Killer, who managed to hook my sympathy despite being a supposedly emotionless robot. A lifetime of servitude and silencing his own conscience made it impossible for his story to end in any other way. Personally, I don’t think his death was a result of following the elders’ orders. I believe that following the elders’ final edict was a free choice he made, instead of killing Moo-young and being arrested. He wasn’t the brainwashed slave they had wanted. Some part of him still catalogued right and wrong, since we know he felt guilt for killing Chul-ho. And taking his own life while the choice was still his was the only free action he had left. It was tragic, but it was also an independent decision, unlike the death by fake heart-attack that Chief Gu and Lawyer Jo had to suffer under the elders’ orders.

The drama really pushed the bond between Seok-min and Moo-young, but I never quite felt it. Despite admiring the actors in their own right, I didn’t think the plot ever sufficiently dealt with Seok-min’s abandonment of Moo-young after his brother’s death, and the sudden moments of brotherly cameraderie stuck out like a sore thumb for me. I’m really glad Seok-min got Moo-young to come back to the world of reporting, but I wish the end scene hadn’t turned quite so chirpy.

As tineybeanie pointed out, So-ra was secondary to the high drama of the men’s struggle to take down Daehan Daily. What gumption she possessed in the first half of the show seemed to fade away into a good-little-soldier disposition that made her follow the plans and orders of civilians instead of taking charge of the case herself. Case in point, she allowed Moo-young and Seok-min to interrogate Detective Min before she spoke to the man herself. As far as I knew, journalists weren’t trained in interrogation techniques. So turning your key witness over to inexperienced reporters to question seems like a massive breach of professionalism to me.

The only saving grace of So-ra’s arc was her relationship with Prosecutor Cha, who had continued to care for So-ra even when she couldn’t directly help her. It speaks well of the senior prosecutor that she waited for a chance to pull So-ra back up after her downfall instead of abandoning her. In a field dominated by men, it’s good to see the women standing up for each other.

I was surprised by several reveals in the last two episodes, and not in a way that thrilled me. When they pointed out that Moo-young had come across these cases related to the Faith Center by following his brother’s articles, the implication was that all the fake articles his brother ever wrote were for the sake of hiding that one evil project. That seems unrealistic for several reasons. For over ten years, Chief Gu only had one man write all of the articles related to Faith Center? In all that time, nobody from Sahae Foundation asked the chief to cover up any other crimes?

However, if the show meant that Killer had only sent back those articles by Chul-ho that were directly related to the center, then why was this mysterious benefactor kept a secret until the last few episodes? Not once did Moo-young mention receiving the articles from an anonymous source after watching them taken away by Killer. There seems to be a blatant logical fallacy here. Not to mention, I don’t see how Chul-ho could have expected anyone to follow his footsteps when he never told anyone about his investigation! Also, what exactly was Chief Gu’s great crime of conscience? That he ran away from a blazing fire? It’s not a good sign that I’m still confused about so many key points.

In the end, this is what kept me from fully immersing myself in the beautifully choreographed action sequences, slickly edited flashbacks, and the attacks and counterattacks between the two sides. The connecting tissues between these cinematic moments were weak and frayed. What should have been a set of puzzle pieces settling easily into place in my mind as the plot unfolded became lost in a web of poorly thought-out conflicts that relied on overly simplistic narrative devices. The reason I had high hopes for Falsify (and held on to that hope for a long time) was because of the interesting ideas in play in each character’s backstory. However, the writer failed to fulfill the potential of their own script, lavishing attention on short bursts of action instead of the underlying connections that truly make the story. I’m going to mourn the what-could-have-beens for a long time to come.

 
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