‘Hard Edit’ – “The Genius,” Season 2: Doohee’s Story

Sangmin (상민) Oppa (오빠) and Hongchul (홍철) Oppa swore revenge on Doohee (두희), since Episode 2, when Doohee betrayed their alliance, in the Wang (King) Game. They let Jiwon (지원) and Yuyoon (유영) take hold of and hold on to Doohee’s ID plate token (sinbunjeung). I find it hard to believe that Jiwon and Yuyoon didn’t know that Doohee’s ID tag wasn’t the hidden immunity item – taken out of the safe, behind the James Dean Blvd. sign.

The hunt for the hidden immunity item was so all-consuming and the hidden immunity item was so overpowered – spring-boarding Yohwan into the Semifinals, and then Finals – that The Genius never used such an in-game mechanism ever again.

Sangmin Oppa was on the periphery of the Season 2 majority alliance (that’s why he was working with Jiwon, Yohwan (요환) and Yunseon (윤선) Eonni (언니), during the Blackout episode). The hidden immunity item was his only path to the win.

The Episode 6 Main Match was completely obscured by the desperate hunt for the hidden immunity item. Production probably didn’t like that, even if it made for an exciting edit, at the time. Jinho (진호) Oppa was always in the majority alliance. He was the one to beat, just like in Season 1. But the hidden immunity item gave that win to Sangmin Oppa.

Jeonghyun-ssi (정현-씨) led the charge, for justice for Doohee, but he was only one person, with limited social capital, in the young people’s game, himself. Earlier, in the season, Jeonghyun-ssi gave Sangmin Oppa the part of his die, with six pips on it, without even thinking about how valuable it was, or could be. Sangmin Oppa went on to win the die roll Main Match, of Episode 7.

It’s like when Esau sold his birthright, to his twin brother, Jacob, for a pot of stew. What’s ironic is that Jeonghyun-ssi was following Sangmin Oppa and Yohwan around, looking for an advantage, with the die. He knew so little about his own die, that Sangmin Oppa was able to easily relieve Jeonghyun-ssi of his one, actual advantage.

Sangmin Oppa acted like Doohee’s savior – but then he just lied to Doohee, and gave him a fake hidden immunity item. Doohee was hurt all over again. Insult to injury. No one was on Doohee’s side. And then he was simply evicted. I was so happy when Sangmin Oppa went to save Doohee, with his hidden immunity item. Turns out it was just the immunity item’s case – not the item itself.

Doohee, thought he was immune – so, he blew up his game, and targeted an actual ally, Jinho Oppa, for the Death Match. Doohee, was a Cochran; he played both sides, but Sangmin Oppa really played him – after the group already played him – completely destroying the poor guy. During the Blackout Death Match, Jiwon lies to Doohee, getting him eliminated. Three people told three major lies to him, in one episode. They all really ganged up on him.

Jiwon was such a bad liar too. But Doohee wanted to believe, needed to believe. His life, in the game, was on the line. This was the worst one reality TV game episode, for an individual, ever. It is a historic The Genius episode.

Comparing Seasons 1 and 2, of The Genius

The hacker, Doohee (두희), on The Genius: Rule Breaker, lost his ID – but eventually, he got it back again. Sangmin (상민) Oppa (오빠) had to make Doohee feel better about this debacle, by insuring him, with the hidden immunity wings, Sangmin Oppa had been searching for, all season. Sangmin Oppa also won the Main Match, in that episode, and received regular immunity.

Information asymmetry. Since so few contestants were even looking for this season’s hidden immunity item, and so few people even found the James Dean Blvd. safe – much less, opened it – Sangmin Oppa could be secure, in fooling the Hacker, by giving Doohee the hidden immunity item’s case, instead. He did not give Doohee the real, legitimate immunity item. Doohee lost the Death Match and went home.

Even though the broadcaster, Yooyung (유영), didn’t find the hidden immunity wings, she was deeply involved in the original plot, to hide Doohee’s token ID chip. Doohee was on the bottom of the pecking order, and Yooyung went up on the block, as a pawn – to use Big Brother terms. Doohee was the real target.

After Jinho (진호) Oppa was eliminated, in Week 8, the Season 1 guest cast-mates coalesced around Sangmin Oppa, solidifying his lead to win. Then Yooyung went home, in that episode. I liked Seonggyu (성규), from Season 1, way more than I liked Lim (임요환), even though Seonggyu was the craftier and meaner one, of the young guy archetype. Lim was just a bland contestant. His in-game weakness was one reason why Sangmin Oppa constantly dominated the Rule Breaker season.

When the eliminated Doohee, Jinho Oppa and Dahye (다혜) – the professional Go player – returned, in the Semifinals, they helped Sangmin Oppa win the elevator race Main Match, sending Lim and the older, former politician, Jeonghyun-ssi (정현-씨), to the Death Match. Lim was saved by Sangmin Oppa’s actual hidden immunity item – not the fake – that he gave Doohee, earlier on, in the season. Jiwon (지원), the rapper, went with Jeonghyun, to the Death Match, instead and Jiwon lost, thereby being eliminated.

Hongchul (홍철) Oppa – a comedian, of the Oppa Gangnam Style music video’s fame – was relying solely on luck, in his final Main Match. He didn’t know or didn’t utilize how the gambling die could be manipulated, to win. Hongchul Oppa did have a good run, though. He got rid of Eunkul (은결), the magician, by tricking him into thinking he was going to betray Jiwon, in an earlier Death Match.

During the memory conveyor belt Death Match, when Hongchul Oppa was eliminated, production played the Sherlock theme. Ironically, Hongchul Oppa couldn’t hack the mystery. He ran out of garnets, during the Main Match and lost that round. Like Sangmin Oppa, Hongchul Oppa doesn’t have a good memory – so Jeonghyun-ssi easily defeated him.

The last moments of Hongchul Oppa, on Season 2, were still entertaining to watch. He was a fun character throughout. Very good TV. The music reached a crescendo, in the Death Match. Jeonghyun-ssi had an ice solid poker face. Hongchul Oppa left the house. But good on The Genius for casting older people and a wide, diverse range of players. The show is a real slice of professional life.

Compared to Rule Breaker, one way The Genius: Season 1, Rules of the Game, was nice, was because of the variety of women, on the cast – Kyeongran (경란) Eonni (언니), Eunji (은지), Yuram (유람) Eonni, Jeongmun (정문), Minseo (민서) Eonni. They were all super smart, with different personal skills. They were all each their own person.