Liar Game (tvN): Episode 10 Recap


I’m kind of glad they wrap up the Smuggling game in this episode. They cut out a lot of things compared to the Japanese drama version, which helps it be a little tighter and more focused. It does end up being a little ridiculous and convenient towards the end though because things get confusing when there are a lot of cards at hand.

Woo Jin confronts Dal Goo on his treachery, and the poor man sinks to his knees. Jamie can’t believe that of all people, he’s the one who works with Do Young. When Da Jung returns, they discover that Dal Goo and Do Young were sending secret messages through the windows, holding up the fingers to their face so both can accurately guess how much is going through each suitcase. Woo Jin had suspected either Jamie or Dal Goo, and so he told Da Jung to only take 500,000 more than the amount decided by the team. Da Jung was so shocked by the revelation of a betrayer that she took the risk and took out the full 1 million won in the suitcase!

I had suspected Jamie myself, mainly because her huge necklace could have hidden a listening device, but the Japanese drama had also dictated that the last person you’d expect to be the traitor is the traitor.

Dal Goo fesses up that when he had been pit against Do Young, the mastermind had offered to give all the winnings to Da Jung so that she’d be able to get enough to forfeit and live out her life safely without debt. Jamie is so frustrated at the sound of it, especially when Da Jung apologizes for making him go to such lengths. Poor Dal Goo, he breaks down completely at the apology, hitting himself for being such an idiot. But the team needs to re-focus: the real enemy here is clearly Do Young.

Woo Jin’s plan? To truly smuggle this time and win.

It’s not the normal smuggling plan though. Each smuggler has the freedom to go to his/her own country’s ATM before crossing the border and entering the other country’s ATM. To take advantage of this, the West nation smugglers will cross to the East, withdraw their money and hide it, and then work with the East nation members to bring that money over to the West side when it’s their turn to smuggle. By having the other team get it for them, the money won’t have to pass through the inspection hall, and it will all end up with the West nation in the end for them to win. In order to do this, they will also have to give the other team their bank cards!

Jamie likes the plan but doesn’t like giving up her bank card. Since they only have to convince three members on the opposite team, Woo Jin lets her keep her own card, and the rest will hand over their cards. However all future transactions will have to be made on her card. As for who will convince the other team members? The answer is obviously Da Jung – the one everyone can trust.

Meanwhile, Do Young isn’t too happy with the results. When Da Jung is announced to be the inspector this time around (instead of Dal Goo), Do Young lets the others go in and smuggle money as planned. He knows something is up, but he needs time to think of a new counter-attack to whatever Woo Jin is planning.

Da Jung successfully convinces In Gi, Bulldog and Sung Joon to get on board with the smuggling plan and promises to hand over Dal Goo, Woo Jin and her cards by the next round when she’s a smuggler again. At the end of the round, Bulldog sends Da Jung a signal that they’re on board by scratching his neck with a three fingers.

Do Young notices! Nothing gets past that guy. He then heads off to be the inspector this time around. Is it because he’s caught on to the West Nation’s plan?

Woo Jin decides to go in first. With only about ten minutes, he quickly takes all of his teammates’ cards and withdraws 1 million on each account. Then he stashes all the money into a vent next to the ATM and grabs the suitcase to meet with Do Young.

He’s a bit late, and Woo Jin explains that he wanted to try controlling his own facial expressions for once to see if it’d be easy. He asks why Do Young eliminated Pippi in the first round of the President Game. Was it because she had read his fortune as a man who had a good chart at birth but eventually became a traitor who ate his parents (metaphorically, of course)? Do Young dismissed her because he disliked superstition, but Woo Jin wonders if it’s because Do Young is an orphan.

Now Woo Jin gets a microcosm of an expression of fear from Do Young.

Woo Jin goes further to say that Do Young must have grown up in Walden Two – in an experiment where children were forced to betray and hate each other. It would explain why Do Young has a childlike fascination with people tricking each other.

Suddenly Do Young stands up and screams, “Ha Woo Jin!” An emotion has finally been elicited from the emotionless man. Do Young stops the smuggling and states that there’s 1 million in the suitcase. There’s actually nothing. Woo Jin gets up and coolly says, “Nice to meet you, Kang Do Young.”

It’s hard to say whether Do Young is actually angry or amused at the moment. I personally feel like he lost his cool on purpose, to make Woo Jin think he’s winning the game at the moment. But at the same time, it’s possible that Do Young does not like it when a spotlight is put on his past instead.

In any case, Do Young returns to the East quite furious (throwing one of the television’s speakers against the wall) and leaves the next round all up to Sung Joon, In Gi, and Bulldog to handle. Well that makes the plan a go, and the three men bring over as much money as they can to the West side. Bulldog is the last to go, and he returns his own card to Do Young as usual, like they’ve always done.

Do Young: “Why are you giving me Jo Dal Goo’s?” Bulldog looks confused for a moment and then pats his pants down to find the other one. But he takes out… Jo Dal Goo’s card. Do Young’s caught him in a lie by pretending that Bulldog had mistakenly given Dal Goo’s card. He had tricked Sung Joon and In Gi the same way as well and got all the other cards.

Now that he has all the cards in his hands (heh), Do Young returns to inspection duties. And to get all that money back, he plans to use Jamie. It just works out that no one on the West wants to deal with him but Jamie, so she goes in as smuggler. In the room, Do Young reveals all the cards that he confiscated from his teammates, which pisses Jamie off. Woo Jin’s plan has failed!

So Do Young offers her a way out: if she can smuggle all that money back to his side, he will give her two cards, which will have a total balance that is worth more than what her team will end up with in the end even if they win. Giving her time to think about it, he then passes her smuggling. She has an empty suitcase, and Do Young slams the table in anger.

West nation rejoices that Do Young’s been foiled again, but even with his face hidden in the shadows of the room Woo Jin can tell that Do Young is actually doing his best to control his laughter. Why is he laughing so much?!

When Jamie returns, she reports back that nothing strange happened in her chat with Do Young. But Woo Jin clearly doesn’t believe her. Meanwhile Do Young returns to his team and threatens to destroy their cards yet again for their act of betrayal. Finally he does it – by demagnetizing their card strips with one of the parts from the broken speaker. In Gi falls to his knees, pleading with him, but it does nothing to Do Young. Once the cards have been destroyed though, a production assistant comes in to reissue new cards for In Gi, Sung Joon, and Bulldog. This also means that Do Young has three useless cards in his hands as well…

Since the only (working) bank card in the West belongs to Jamie, she offers to go smuggle again. She opens up the vent on her side and sees all the money that In Gi, Sung Joon, and Bulldog had transferred over. Using a tablecloth she takes all of that bundled money, and then grabs the suitcase. She’s going to betray her team!!

Do Young smiles when he sees Jamie rubbing her sore shoulders, as it’s a signal that she moved the money to his side. He hands over her teammates’ cards – all three of them – to her possession and then suggests that they reveal their betrayal to the cameras. Cue smiley face!

The West is stunned by Jamie’s betrayal, and Yoon Joo and Director Jang are stunned by Do Young’s betrayal as he just gave Jamie his teammates’ destroyed cards. Do Young has won the game – or has he?

Yoon Joo immediately sends a camera crew out to film the hallway, where the border gate lies. Do Young thinks it’s to interview him, but when he realizes the cameras are looking past him, he turns around. The pile of money that was supposed to be in the East is still behind the gate… in the West side.

Jamie never brought the money over to him! She never betrayed her group! Everyone else watching from the television in their respective sides is shocked and super happy; never did they think they’d see the day where Jamie would betray Do Young!

But the game is not over yet. The East now has a chance to smuggle for the very last time for the last round. Do Young realizes this and hurries back to his home base. Woo Jin as well realizes this and quickly spells out a message to the other East members: “Commit treason.”

Sung Joon, good ol’ smartie, realizes what this means and runs to the door in time to stop Do Young from entering. This is what treason is: they won’t let Do Young come back to get their cards and try to smuggle. Do Young hurries back to use his own card to smuggle funds, but finds the gate blocked by Jamie and the money. Since West also doesn’t send in an inspector, a smuggler can’t be sent to the West bank to withdraw money. The time limit ticks by, and they just let the time for all three opportunities to smuggle to run out, thus forcing East to forfeit the last round.

A flashback reveals that Woo Jin had confronted Jamie about her plan to smuggle. He knew from the East team’s body language that Do Young had found out about the plan, and it was only logical from there that Do Young would try to get Jamie’s help. Added with the fact that Do Young was sniggering in the shadows of the room, he was sure that Jamie would betray the West. Instead of trying to convince her to not betray like everyone else, Da Jung lets Jamie do what she wants. The decision to betray or not will be her own decision in the end anyways. “When you go, make a decision on what kind of person you want to be,” Da Jung says. That line hits home, and it’s enough for Jamie to finally rethink her methods and perhaps, just once, not betray her teammates.

The West wins, and everyone gathers at the studio stage one more time. Everyone stands apart from Do Young, and when the West is announced as the winner even In Gi, Bulldog, and Sung Joon cheer. There is more unity than ever for the team.

But Do Young, still trying to be the winner, reveals that he gave Jamie the bad, demagnetized cards of his teammates instead. He still holds Da Jung, Dal Goo and Woo Jin’s real cards in his hands, which makes 3/4 of the winnings his. That makes him the one winner with the most money. While his declaration certainly puts a damper on celebrations, Da Jung notes that despite Do Young having the most money, no one is gravitating towards him to get a piece of that pie. Money moves people? Psh.

In any case, Do Young enters the cards into the ATM machine to claim his winnings. But the card is invalid! In fact, all three cards are invalid! Woo Jin whips out his final card: he too knew about the card reissuing trick, and so he had his team’s cards reissued and gave the East team fake cards to begin with. Woo Jin then hands off In Gi, Bulldog, and Sung Joon’s shares, keeping his end of the bargain.

And Do Young. Well…


But it’s not the end! Do Young warns Woo Jin that even if they’ve won this round, he’s implanted a ticking bomb in Da Jung’s head, and it could backfire on Woo Jin any time. (That bomb being the idea that Woo Jin caused her father’s demise.) On top of that, Yoon Joo is pressured to edit in her talk with Da Jung’s father into the show because it adds a lot more controversy for the show. Though she only has a voice recording of what he went through, it’s solid enough to use and corroborate Do Young’s statement in the inspection room.

But before the show can air, everyone goes home a little happier and a little more united. Woo Jin gives his friends and even Jamie a lift home after the broadcast, and In Gi, Bulldog, and Sung Joon go out for drinks. The latter three are ready to forfeit, especially since they have enough winnings to do so safely without additional debt. But Sung Joon scoffs at such cowardice. They’re so close to beating Do Young once and for all! Besides, if any one of them forfeits then Do Young automatically can move to the next round, and they shouldn’t let that happen! So the three band together to join the next round as well, even though they don’t like the game anymore.

Except… when Sung Joon returns home after a night of drinking, he gets a call from Do Young who says, “Have you heard of Pandora’s Box?” Suddenly his elevator stops climbing, shifts gears, and crashes all the way down to the basement. Holy crap there’s murder in this show!!!

At the same time, Woo Jin borrows Da Jung’s computer to check out the USB Sung Joon had given him. It has all the files about Do Young’s past, and shows that all of his immigration records and high school records are all fake. It also showed that his company in Wall Street had a hidden subsidiary company that was supposedly the one who was rumored to buy JVN station, and was rumored to buy L Company (leading to the stock price collapse). What’s worse is there’s also a picture of Do Young as a young child with Woo Jin’s mother, in the orphanage that his mother ran.

This freaks out Woo Jin even more and he quickly realizes that Do Young may have mentioned Woo Jin’s involvement with L Company to Da Jung. He tells her that he wants to see her the following night so that he can properly explain how his past links to hers and Do Young’s. And here I am tearing my hair out on why you can’t just tell her now!

The following night at the cafe, Da Jung’s coworker turns on the show on her phone to check out what happens. Da Jung initially doesn’t want to watch, since she knows what happens, but then hears her father’s voice playing on the phone. She hears him reveal how he tried to commit suicide, and suddenly the tears start flowing.

Woo Jin arrives just at that time, and seeing the expression on her face he knows that she now knows the truth. So instead of going in and trying to explain things further, he just leaves! He calls up Do Young instead and snarls, “What do you have to do with me and my mother?”

Do Young: “You don’t remember? You still can’t remember that moment where you saw the true face of your angelic mother, and that’s why you erased it from your memory.”

The heck?! Things just got super personal here!


While I appreciate that the show wrapped up the smuggling game quickly, I also felt more confused on the outcome of the game. There’s too much bait and switch going on that I’m not sure who has whose cards, and it doesn’t help that the names aren’t always shown on the cards. So I got really confused on who had the real or the fake cards. By keeping me confused though, I think I gave the show a lot of pass whenever it said, “Oh hey I got the real cards because I gave you the fake ones way back when.” And the thing is I don’t want to give the show so much leeway because it feels more like lazy writing.

I have to say it was fun seeing Do Young lose his cool a little more, and show how crazy he can get when he doesn’t get his way. Woo Jin likened him to a 10-year old kid who sees life as a game, and it was cool to see him channel that a bit. I also really liked the shot of Shin Sung Rok breaking the fourth wall in the very end and looking right at the audience as he threatens Do Young on the phone.

The Reinstatement Game is coming up next, something I wish that was done away with. I don’t want anymore games! I can’t believe I’m saying this but I want the drama! The exposition and the battle to happen off the stage and in real life! I want to see serious ramifications of Do Young and Woo Jin’s battle to affect everyone in their real lives outside of the lens of the show, and I want to see the two of them battle it out in a cliched scene on a rooftop.



3 thoughts on “Liar Game (tvN): Episode 10 Recap

  1. Just wanted to ask…have you finished the series or you are recapping after completing it? And why are you taking so much time to do so when the series is already finished long time back!

    • I have not finished watching the series, and am recapping as I watch it. I stopped watching after I went on vacation for about two weeks in the middle of broadcast, and then a lot of things started happening to me personally that it was hard to catch up in a timely manner. Add on other shows I was watching at the same time, and you end up with very delayed recaps! But I’m continuing to do it because I want to finish it, no matter how long it takes me.

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