As loan shark Jo Dal Goo (Jo Jae Yoon) sneaks away with Nam Da Jung’s winnings from “Liar Game” in order to pay back her debt, he gets a call from genius convict Ha Woo Jin (Lee Sang Yoon). Woo Jin quickly figures out what Dal Goo has done and shows up at his office to confront him. They argue over who is screwing over Da Jung more, but Woo Jin is taken aback to find out that Da Jung’s current situation is a result of her father borrowing money to invest in L Company.
The next morning, Da Jung wakes up in a panic, only to find that Dal Goo has locked up the money case more securely. As she gets ready for work at the coffee shop, “Liar Game” host Kang Do Young (Shin Sung Rok) calls Da Jung, and forces her to do a magazine photo shoot instead, as promotion for “Liar Game”.
Do Young not only manages every aspect of the photo shoot (Da Jung ends up in a very innocent looking dress), but also gives her the clothes from the shoot. Da Jung finally gets suspicious of his intentions when he invites her to dinner at his house, but it turns out that he’s also invited Woo Jin. At dinner, Da Jung is flabbergasted to discover that her wine costs $13,000 a bottle, but Do Young explains that this vintage was the result of a deadly heat wave in France in 1947. When Da Jung nervously questions Woo Jin’s absence, Do Young urges her to call him.
Woo Jin is, of course, not at dinner, but instead meeting reporter Goo Ja Young (Choi Yoon So) on a rooftop, where she reveals that Da Jung’s father’s debt was a result of Woo Jin’s revenge. They speculate on Do Young’s motives in uniting them in “Liar Game”, but their conversation is cut short by a call from Da Jung. Woo Jin is surprised to find that she’s at Do Young’s and Do Young readily admits that this was his method of getting Woo Jin to come to dinner.
Do Young goes on to reveal Woo Jin’s past, including Da Jung’s own similarity to Woo Jin’s empathetic mother. Before Da Jung can get properly weepy about this sad story, Woo Jin walks in, and sits down. His eye is caught by a painting in the corner, but he asks Do Young about the criteria for selecting contestants instead. Do Young bluntly points out that they took into account the contestants’ dire circumstances, since the more desperate they are for money, the more entertaining the show.
Walking back from dinner, Woo Jin asks Da Jung how she would feel if someone was responsible for her father’s situation. Da Jung, thinking of Woo Jin’s reaction to his mother’s suicide, responds that she’d be angry enough to want revenge. Woo Jin is visibly stricken, but says nothing.
At the next taping of the show, Dal Goo shows up and cuts the line for joining the audience. He’s recognized by one of Da Jung’s fans, and steals the fan’s handmade sign. At the taping, Do Young reintroduces the remaining nine players. Woo Jin, for his part, is in a car with Ja Young, looking for the eliminated players from the last round. They decide to meet up with Lee Myun Jin, one of the players who has disappeared since the last round.
The game site turns out to be a shopping mall, where Do Young explains the rules of the Reinstatement Game. Each player must accumulate the highest number of stars from other players. After ten rounds, the player with the lowest number is eliminated. Players must give three stars per round to someone other than themselves, and are allowed to use $300,000 in game money to buy objects in the mall, or make deals with other players. Back in the show audience, Dal Goo is busy texting the game details to Woo Jin.
At the game site, Da Jung is already helpless without Woo Jin, and decides to make a deal with the other contestants to share the winnings at the end of the game. She includes Woo Jin in this pact, and they agree to start in the next round, since they’ve already decided to throw out Jamie (Lee El), the villain from the last game.
Woo Jin and Ja Young go to the dilapidated apartment block that Lee Myun Jin lives in, and find her apartment mostly empty, her dog abandoned. The local security guard spins them a story about how she packed up and took off, but Woo Jin sees through the lie, and demands to see the record of cars entering and leaving the apartment block. He spots one that has no record of leaving, and sends Ja Young to the police to find out to whom the vehicle is registered. As they leave, Woo Jin gets a text from Dal Goo, reporting on the game.
Back at the game, Jamie is already sowing discord among the players that have agreed to cooperate. She suggests they all make speeches about their circumstances, and when it’s Da Jung’s turn, she shows them photographs of what appears to be Da Jung receiving special favours from Do Young. The players turn on Da Jung, as Jamie laughs in her face.
Woo Jin meanwhile, has tracked down the mysterious car to an abandoned office. He finds a paper sticking out of the shredder with the logo of L Company. Before he can do anything about it, he’s knocked unconscious.
Back at the game site, Da Jung is ostracized by the rest of the group. Jamie proposes a deal to get the two of them through to the next round. Both of them will give each other three stars every round, thus ensuring their final survival. Da Jung immediately decides to trust her and agrees.
At the studio, “Liar Game” PD, Lee Yoon Joo (Cha Soo Yun), asks Do Young if he had anything to do with the photographs in Jamie’s possession, and he easily admits that he gave them to her, because it made the game more fun. As he walks away for a phone call, Yoon Joo nervously watches him through the camera as he laughs creepily.
At the first evaluation, Da Jung gives her stars to Jamie, only to realize she’s been betrayed again when Jamie gets six stars and she gets none. Jamie reminds her that it’s the “Liar Game”, after all, and that she gave her stars to Choi Sung Joon (Lee Shi Hoo) instead.
At the police station, Ja Young asks about Woo Jin’s case, his actions with the CEO of L Company. According to the detective, Woo Jin dangled the CEO off a cliff to give him a taste of his mother’s despair.
Woo Jin awakens to find himself in the same situation, held up by a rope as he dangles off the edge of a building in a chair. At the same time, the reinstatement game continues as Da Jung fails to accumulate any stars, and Jamie remains in the lead.
As Da Jung despairs over her fate, she’s approached by one of the other players, who explains that the rest of them all made the same deal she did with Jamie, but Jamie agreed to betray Da Jung so that Da Jung would lose for sure. In exchange, the other players each gave her $50,000, and signed a contract with their “Liar Game” app, thus ensuring that they were bound to do as Jamie said.
Dal Goo attempts to call Woo Jin, but since he’s hanging off the side of a building, he’s unavailable. Lucky for Da Jung, Woo Jin manages to escape his predicament, and finally answers the phone.
Back at the game site, Jamie makes a bet with Da Jung to give her all of her stars if she can win a simple card game. Da Jung agrees to play, putting up half of her prize money as her side of the bet. Since everyone on the planet except for Da Jung knows this is going to end badly, the fact that she wins a few rounds is a bit of a surprise. Regardless, Da Jung loses the last round, just as Woo Jin arrives at the entrance of the game site.
Da Jung’s stupidity has long passed the point of comical, and it’s hard not to want to smack her upside her head, when she repeatedly makes the same mistakes. Instead of learning the lesson that Jamie is not to be trusted, Da Jung continues to get into situations that anyone with any sense would avoid. When she agreed to play the card game with Jamie, I almost threw something at my screen.
Leaving Da Jung aside, given that Woo Jin is supposed to be a genius at understanding human nature, it seems a bit weird that he appears to be dancing to Do Young’s tune. It’s almost as if Woo Jin is a really smart mouse trapped in Do Young’s maze (which I guess makes Da Jung the cheese? You’ll have to pardon my tortured metaphors here).
That said, given that I have little sympathy for either of our main characters, it’s pretty impressive that I continue to find “Liar Game” interesting. The games themselves are neither here nor there, but figuring out the mystery and watching twists as they come is pretty entertaining, as is the blandly psychopathic Do Young and scheming villainess, Jamie.
Keep it up, “Liar Game”!
In the meantime, here are a few pictures of gloomy Woo Jin being gloomy.