The Genius: Black Garnet


Starts 1st October.

And so we come to the long awaited third season of Korean amaze-o-show The Genius, this time with an (almost) all new cast and a lovely looking set.

If you’re new to The Genius, it’s a reality game based around games of logic, guile and game theory. It’s not always brilliant, but when it hits it really hits.

This time round the theme is Black Garnet. Garnets are the show’s currency – the more you have the more power you potentially have as you can buy advantages in the games. But each garnet also represents prize money so there is a balance to be struck. Evidently there is a twist to come.

We recommend following @bumdidlyump on Twitter for updates as she has subtitled the previous two seasons of the show. Links will likely appear on her Tumblr and if you want to catch up on Seasons 1 and 2, and you should, here is a big list of episodes. It seems to be going out on Wednesdays this time round which is a change from the usual Saturdays. We discussed the last series here. Edit: Links to Series 3 eps.

A note to our international friends – please don’t comment on episodes here until they’ve been subbed. We’re a UK site with a mainly UK audience. Once the English translations are up then it’s fair game.

So you can avoid spoilers, links to discussion based on specific episodes can be found below.

392 thoughts on “The Genius: Black Garnet

  1. Brig Bother Post author

    What an amazing episode. I think the Constellation Game would work as a proper thing to play at parties with a bit of tweakage, as it is the high drama came from Hyunmin giving the strategy away and then having it used against him, whilst Dongmin attempting to use psychology to put them off. It was a *brilliant* bit of television, even if it came from the meta-narrative rather than the game itself.

    The black mission seemed rock hard but it would have been properly heroic if he managed it, and it looked at one stage like his system might have worked.

    This episode might have had the highest use of slo-mo action replay of some cards turning than any single episode. I liked the apparatus they used for the cards.

    I enjoyed the shogi deathmatch. Really great episode, probably in my top three.

    1. xr

      A thoroughly entertaining episode. Oh, the drama of it all: very expected, but still played out deliciously. And we finally got a deathmatch with actual skill involved! Hooray!

      Also, it’s surprising they aren’t all bald by now with all the abuse they put their hair through.

      Far as Genius party games go, the monopoly game feels like a better setup, since this one would need a central display to enforce the no trading rules, and holding stuff in hand always feels better to just looking at it. It can also be played amidst other party activity, whilst turn choosing and star pickup keep people close by necessity.

      Lets tweak anyway so game is less like coming across a pack of laughing hyenas, I suggest:
      -Drop the red constellation’s value to 1, to allow for more disentanglement of causing game end and winning.
      -Replace bombs with a black constellation (Puppis?), which scores even when incomplete as follows. Stars/Points: 1/2, 2/6, 3/0+game end (but you do get your garnet for completion).Introduces a push your luck element, motivates avoiding an early game end, requires expressly forbidding conversions involving black.

      Then there are scarcity plays and conversion: In the original setup, the worst case star picks for a single constellation of that colour to be complete are 15,22,29 and 36. For different numbers, (ConstellationSize-1)*PlayerCount + 1 gives you the requirement. So 13 chips in excess for the first two colours, and -4 and -11 for the others. At the offered 3:1 conversion rate, you can get 4 more chips to add to the 5 wilds, but odds are they won’t land where needed. If players can keep unusable stars, it’s not impossible to end up emptying the bag without hitting game end.

      You may not want that to happen, by using more chips per constellation, or an additional large constellation (a 7/9 Phoenix?) whose main purpose would be to provide more convertible stars, or a one-of-each-colour constellation (a 4/1 Chamaeleon?). Or you may do, because it is a natural game end-point and can function as an appropriate timer. Timing’s also affected by dibs order collisions, but I’m not touching the delicate interplay between number of players, size of display and number of dibs choices without playtests and pay, although to make it work well for groups of different size you may need to anyway.

  2. Chris M. Dickson

    If the Main Match does end up being played 5-on-2, do the 2 have a better chance of getting one of the 5 to get three bombs if the 2 deliberately pick the same number each time and thus 4, not 3, of the 5 end up taking stars and maybe the bomb? I do reckon that the 2 have a very difficult time if the members of the 5 only need to get three signs completed to win the game.

    Very solid episode, though not quite magical, and maybe the Dark Mission was a bit too hard.

    1. Jason

      To force the bomb pick, the unique bids must be 8 or more. As the five bids add up to 15, the minority should only block bids of 7 or less.

      The blocked bids are shown in [brackets]:

      [5] 1, 2, 3, 4 -> eighth pick is #4
      [4] 1, 2, 3, 5 -> #5
      [3] 1, 2, 4, 5 -> #5
      [2;2+5] 1, 3, 4… -> #4
      [1;1+5] 2, 3, 4… -> #4
      [3+4] 1, 2, 5 -> #5
      [2+4] 1, 3, 5 -> #5
      [1+4] 2, 3, 5 -> #5
      [2+3] 1, 4, 5 -> #5
      [1+3] 2, 4, 5 -> #5
      [1+2] 3, 4, 5 -> #5

      Assuming the majority always uniquely pick 1 to 5, they can play at least 9 rounds before they have to consider a player with two bombs bidding 4 or 5 – those with two bombs will always pick 1, 2 or 3. At that stage 63 stars would be in play and distributed between the five majority players, which should be ample for a win.

      In the unlikely event the majority hasn’t won, they can identify the player closest to victory, get them to pick 1, 2 or 3 each time, and the four majority players pair up on 4 and 5 – preventing more bombs entering the game, and minimising the number of stars the minority can start to acquire. At this stage, the minority hold the play advantage, but having acquired no stars to date they should be so far behind they would need a miracle to recover.

      While it is a “better” strategy to pick one number than two as the minority (to distribute the stars more evenly), it will only delay the inevitable. To win, they would need to convince one of the two-bomb players to turn and pick up a third bomb… but that could be difficult to orchestrate without being obvious *and* require a leap of faith (or pile of garnets).

  3. Alvin W

    Just a side comment. Is Kim Yoo Hyun’s hand injured badly? I saw the bandage around his hand.

  4. Clive of Legend

    For some reason, this week’s death match’s strategy really clicked for me in a way the other games haven’t. Maybe it’s just because chess is a little more familiar than the others, but I was actually working out strategies and screaming at some of Jongbum’s more boneheaded plays, while I’m normally just completely baffled until one of the cleverer players spells the tactis out for me.

    1. Alvin W

      I played this game online and it was so difficult to play.

      I made wrong moves all over the place, it is actually quite impressive that the game lasted that long.

      On my first game, I lost on my second move. LOL.

    2. Brian Duddy

      At first I thought “This simple little game?!” but it’s actually a great balance between being easy to understand for home viewers, even on first viewing, and having enough strategic depth to be interesting.

  5. Poochy.EXE

    I had mixed feelings about the Main Match this time around. I would’ve liked to see more clever gambits in the game itself, which got overshadowed by the metagame this time around, although the metagame made for some good dramatic moments this time (unlike the S2 episodes where the same happened and the metagame wasn’t very interesting either). But I thought it was rather poor design for there to be a Nash equilibrium majority strategy with absolutely no counter whatsoever for the minority.

    I absolutely ADORED the Death Match though. Without a doubt my favorite Death Match of the season, and second only to Laser Chess for my favorite overall. I was in the same boat as Clive, trying to figure out the best moves at every turn and wanting to facepalm at Jongbum’s tactical blunders. I really hope the returning games in the finals are this and Laser Chess, assuming the usual new game in the second slot.

    Also, is it just my imagination, or does this Black Mission seem significantly harder than the Gyul! Hap! one? 100 seconds to solve a board seemed reasonable, but 12 items felt like way too much to memorize in 30 seconds. Or to put it another way, I think the former would feel right at home at the £20K level on The Cube, while the latter seems more like jackpot-level difficulty.

  6. David

    And I don’t believe it ever came up, but I wonder if the white stars were locked into a constellation once they were placed or if they could be moved if you could place a natural star where you had the white one…

  7. Brian Duddy

    Dongmin is not a man I would want to be on the wrong side of, and that includes real life. I love, though, how he and Hyunmin are so obviously different, yet they’re united by their shared ultra-competitiveness and love of the games – and I don’t think anymore that Dongmin is going to betray Hyunmin, there’s too much mutual respect there.

      1. Brig Bother Post author

        I think you’re right in that I don’t think it changes the strategy, but if the losing two kept on freezing out the same two people from the big alliance, it might have panicked them into changing their strategy. I think it’s been shown that the females at least come across as fairly malleable.

        1. David B

          If it was going to be one of those “all joint losers go to the deathmatch” situations, it would have made it more interesting.

    1. Chris M. Dickson

      Totally agreed. I don’t normally watch the BTS videos but this does make a difference (for the even better!) to the way I feel about the game, even if it might not have affected the strategy.

    2. David


      It makes sense now that they alternated the order people placed their cards each round…if someone had noticed it, I suspect it would have been highlighted in the regular show…I agree I don’t think because of the strategies used it would have mattered too much, but in the right circumstances it would be a big advantage…

    3. Jason

      It wouldn’t have affected the 5/2 strategy, but it would have opened up an opportunity to change it to 4/3…

      Firstly, let me post the player order:
      Yoohyun, Ahyoung, *Hyunmin, Jongbum, *Dongmin, Yeonseung, Yeonjoo

      With that in mind, the minority have an obvious target – Jongbum.

      For six of the seven rotations, Dongmin will know Jongbum’s card and can act accordingly. For the seventh rotation, Hyunmin will know the other five players and assuming the majority four have uniquely picked, he will always be able to block Jongbum.

      Alternatively, Hyunmin will be able to counter Ahyoung in any round he isn’t first to act (6 out of 7 rotations).

      With that in mind, they can attack Jongbum and/or Ahyoung round after round, and pressure them to switch sides. This would have worked better if *everyone* in last place went to the death match, but alas.

      If one of them does, the minority now have a 3v4 position *and* prior knowledge of many of the majority cards for at least 6 rounds out of 7. They can then try to pressure another player and make it 4v3 or start to formulate a strategy where they could win – such as victimising the 4 and 5 pickers.

  8. Deo

    Why Dongmin and Hyumin can’t just pick 4 and 5 consecutively?

    If they blocked 4 and 5.

    After R1. 1 bomb and 1 star left. Add 7 stars and 1 bomb
    After R2. 2 bomb and 2 star left.
    After R3. 3 bomb and 3 star left.
    After R4. 4 bomb and 4 star left.
    and so on until R.6, where they literally ‘drop the bomb’.

    One important key to remember is it takes 12 correct stars to end the game. If they fail to notice and decided to ‘switcheroo’, it takes at least 7 round assuming that the stars cooperate with them. If not, the game will lasts longer and the bomb will kill a guy eventually.

    1. Jason

      Only picked stars or bombs would be replenished, so there will always be 7 stars and 1 bomb at the start of each round.

  9. Alvin W

    Have you guys heard to the new Liar Game drama on tvn? It is a remake of the japanese version of Liar Game, which is the inspiration of The Genius Game.

    For the past few weeks, I have been watching the drama on Monday and Tuesday, then The Genius on Wednesday!

    The Korean drama is, in my opinion, as good as the Japanese dorama and the manga version. ( I watched and read all three).

  10. Brian J

    Maybe I am getting soft, but I thought Dongmin haranguing the women was pretty uncomfortable; I get that it was ostensibly under the guise of ‘strategy’ but there was definitely an element of “I didn’t get my way so I’m going to be a petulant dick” about it. Trying to rule by fear didn’t work for Lawyer Kang so I don’t think it was even a particularly smart play.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Yes I do know what you mean, it doesn’t help that the women come across as a bit meek – I doubt Sunji would have put up with it if she was still around.

    2. Chris M. Dickson

      Agreed, and your opinion shows humanity rather than softness. The politest thing that might be said about the motivation for the attitude is “desperation”, and it’s not as if he hasn’t shown past form. (Which is a pity, because he is at least one of the more interesting, creative and proactive players.)

    3. Ronald


      Didn’t he say earlier in the episode that nobody would pick the women for the Deathmatch because that would lack style?

      I found that statement uncomfortable on its own; designed to suggest that women were weak players. I was hoping one of the women would push back on that point after the tables turned.

      1. Rivet

        Those parts when he was alone with the women definitely made me uncomfortable too because he wasn’t joking.

        Though I’m sure he didn’t mean to imply that the women were weak with that comment. What he meant was that most of the men there have a foolish pride and want to to be seen as chivalrous and so wouldn’t pick a woman if they went to the death match! Which doesn’t have anything to do with the women it’s just a pride thing. So Dongmin was actually looking down on the men not the women. And I think at this stage of the game he is right most of them wouldnt, but they will be forced to later on as the numbers dwindle. I don’t know if this is something that translates well.

        This makes think back and wonder exactly how many Women have been picked for the death match by men in The Genius. Not many. If the gender balance was more equal this wouldn’t be a big thing.
        There is Yeonseung of course this year but I think we can all agree that he is probably the person there with the most maturity so it’s not surprising that he wouldn’t think like that.

        Jinho did pick Eunji in season one but that doesn’t count because he was forced to choose between her and Kim Kyungran.

  11. Clicky

    I think the Main Match actually DID have a hidden trick to it…

    If it’s 5 vs. 2, the two players *can* manipulate who gets the Bomb.

    Let me verify one quick rule: Whoever goes last must pick the bomb correct? The players that go before them can’t choose the bomb? If that is correct than the 2 players can choose who gets the bomb of the 5 players. If that assumption is not correct, then scratch that idea.

    Example: Let’s say the 2 in the minority have the idea that the player with 2 bombs is picking “1” or “2”

    They can choose the numbers 3 & 5 if they think that player will select a “1”

    1, 2, 4, 1 … 1 will be stuck with the Bomb

    They can choose the numbers 4 & 5 if they think that player will select “2”

    1, 2, 3, 1, 2 … 2 gets stuck with the Bomb

    Someone correct me on my assumption that the other players can’t elect to take the bomb. This obviously has the chance to not work if they don’t have an idea of what number the player will choose. Alternatively, I’m fairly sure the number 3 is the only safe number guaranteed not to get the bomb under my assumption.

    1. Ronald

      There wasn’t a cycle, so if they picked 3 & 5
      it would go: 1, 2, 4, end: the bomb is left on the table.

      It also seemed that the other players could elect to take the bomb early.

    2. Jason

      Each player could take stars “of their choosing” so an earlier player could take the black star (i.e. bomb) – Yoohyun did this in Round 3 to protect Jongbum.

      If there were insufficient bids to cover all 8 stars, “any leftover stars and bomb will remain” – they weren’t distributed further. The “remaining players will take stars in order” refers to when the duplicate bids had been discounted from the round.

      The minority could influence the bomb, but only as far as position 4 and 5. Even then, the majority could take the bomb earlier to protect a later player.

  12. Alvin W

    I did some research about men choosing women in DM from the three seasons. Of all the DMs that at least a female player played (up to Season 3 Episode 7 inclusive), 16 out of 29 played DMs had at least 1 female player. And within the 16 DMs, 6 have seen a female player chosen by male player in compete in the DM.

    1) Season 1 Episode 7 – Open, Pass – Kim Poong chose Park Eun Ji
    2) Season 1 Episode 9 – Number Auction – Hong Jin Ho chose Park Eun Ji
    3) Season 2 Episode 1 – Food Chain – Nam Hwee Jong chose Im Yoon Sun
    4) Season 2 Episode 2 – Seat Exchange – Noh Hong Chul chose Jae Kyung
    5) Season 2 Episode 6 – Monopoly Game – Lee Do Hee chose Cho Yoo Young
    6) Season 3 Episode 5 – Miners Game – Choi Yeon Seung chose Yoo Su Jin

    However, you can argue that for 2, Hong Jin Ho was forced to choose between Kim Kyung Ran and Park Eun Ji, who are both girls. Also, for 5, Lee Do Hee chose Yoo Young under the fake impression that he got the token of immortality.

    Also, 5 of the 16 DMs were a battle between two females. The remainder 5 DMs were a female player choosing a male opponent.

    If you analyze the data statistically, 55% of the death matches had a female player, wish could be read as “the female did not get special treatment”. But, keep in mind that 8 of the 16 DMs that had a female participant was from Season 1, therefore, as we tend to remember recent things more promin ently, we think that females rarely go to DMs, which is totally true, especially in this season, Season 3. ( The females only went a combined of 2 DMs out of a potential 7).

    Moreover, 37.5% of the DMs that female players participated, 37.5% of those were female opponents chosen by males. This does show and support the tendency that males do not generally choose females in DM. Being proud and chivalrous might be a possible explanation.

    According to data, 8 of the 11 DMs in Season 1 had a female participant.
    Only, 6 of 11 in Season 2; 2 out of 7 in Season 3.

    Does this suggest that the female players were stronger in Season 1, which explains why we feel more of a “presence” in that season? Or is it just the men with their foolish pride?

    1. David B

      There’s a datum point missing from your analysis that series 2 and 3 had fewer female players than series 1.

      1. Alvin W

        I do understand that there is 5 female contestants in season 1 and only 4 in season 2 and 3, however, especially in this season, if we scale it proportionally-wise, the females this season went to the DM less.

  13. Ronald

    I got nerd-sniped and did the male/female Deathmatch analysis again in a slightly different way.

    I just considered the two Deathmatch players to have both been “chosen”, since the other players usually have an influence on both the losing player and the selected player. I did not consider specifically who had chosen who, which I thought could hide bias stemming from the Mainmatch.

    I made a probability model that assumed every Deathmatch was chosen from the remaining players in the series at random. I did my best to look up the results correctly; any mistakes are my own alone.

    I planned to look at the first two seasons individually and together, so let’s do that:

    If the Deathmatch players in Season 1 had been chosen at random from the remaining players, women should have been chosen an average of 8.6 times.
    In fact, women played 11 times. This number (or more) occurred in 17.4% of random simulations.

    For Season 1, it appears that women were chosen more often than chance suggests, but perhaps not in a statistically meaningful way.

    If the Deathmatch players in Season 2 had been chosen at random from the remaining players, women should have been chosen an average of 3.9 times. This is worthy of some comment alone – that there were so few opportunities to pick women for the 22 places in Deathmatches.
    In fact, women played 7 times. This number (or more) occurred in 6.0% of random simulations.

    For Season 2, we’re in a region of technicality about whether this statistically proves a bias. You would usually say this is not significant, but to reach the borderline on a small sample size is pretty bad IMO.

    Across the first two seasons considered together, the probability of women playing Deathmatches so many times by chance is 2.9% – there is now no question; this is statistically significant.

    In conclusion, it’s proven that women are more likely to find themselves in the Deathmatch than men are.

    On the other hand, women are *not* more likely to lose Deathmatches… in female player vs male player Deathmatches across the 2 seasons, women lead 6v4. So it doesn’t appear that they should be picked as easier or weaker targets.

  14. Alvin W

    Maybe it is just me, but why do I feel that the female contestants in S3 are so much weaker that S1 and S2?

    I feel like even Park Eun Ji from S1 is stronger than Yeon Joo and Ah Young form S3. I felt that she actually vents her anger or expresses herself when something bad is done to her (i.e. Bean’s Dilemma when Sung Gyu betrayed her) or she actually stands up for herself (i.e. Scamming Horse Race when she spread fake information and Number Auction when she bargains with Sang Min using garnets to stop Sang Min from obstructing her).

    Strong players like Kim Kyung Ran and I’m Yoon Sun sometimes take the leader position is their respective seasons. (i.e. Bean’s Dilemma when Kyung Ran leads the Red Team’s strategy and Seven Commandments when Im Yoon Sun fights her lonely battle against the majority)

    I felt that weaker players such as Choi Jung Moon, Cha Yu Ram, and Jae Kyung at least “had a mind” to give some form of resistance or contribute to strategies, which is contrary to this season.

    I expected Yoo Su Jin to be like Kyung Ran or Yoon Sun, however, possibly due to her alliance with Dong Min and having Dong Min gaining the leadership, it seems that her does not contribute as much and is only a do-er, not a thinker.

    Ha Yeon Joo and Shin Ah Young are quite self-explanatory that they just follow the crowd. This might be a good strategy, as it is evident that they got carried to Top 6 without showing much skill or strategy. (Not saying that they do not deserve to be in the Top 6, because there is always a reason why something happens the way it does, and being obedient and in opposing might just be the ticket to their survival in this season; well I mean natural selection is the survival of the fittest ACCORDING TO THE ENVIRONMENT right? Therefore, in society and our general view, they might be considered “weak”, but in the environment of S3, they might be the most suitable to survival? Perhaps?)

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I agree, but I think it will be a bit disappointing if they made the final, one of them is already giving up with regards to Black Missions, the grand final tends to be more mental agility based so it would feel like an anticlimax before it even starts. I’m hoping for a capacity to surprise though.

      1. Ronald

        Hm, I tend to disagree. I hope we will see a woman in the final.

        If you can pass Harvard admissions, you can pass a Black Mission for sure. But why would you choose to put yourself in danger?

        Ahyoung’s claim to weakness was a half-truth at best, and it was an effective one. Since the other players were ready to hand her three black garnets, she avoided a bad situation by feigning weakness – more likely she would be one of the stronger players in Black Missions.

        Both of the remaining women have effectively avoided trouble with great (but quiet) strategising and good gameplay.

        On the other side, the Dongmin/Hyunmin alliance is very visible at this stage and they’re still vulnerable to the much larger majority – this is a strategic weakness for them now. This coming episode is crucial to their chances of survival, and they will still be at risk in the following episode.

        Dongmin in particular is in trouble… although he is charming and a fun/boisterous player, which may earn him some production team protection, he most likely lost the sympathy of the other players with his fruitless sharking behaviour.

        1. Alvin W

          I don’t disagree with your statement. However, the two women had not proven themselves strong in games independently, and the games have not been able to provide that aspect ( this season’s games seems to have a larger social component to it ). So in the limited scope of abilities that we see with them in the social skills-leaning games, they are not the strongest.

          I dislike using the word “deserve” in this game because, as I stated above, things happen the way it does for a reason, just like Big Brother U.S. Version , sometimes the “floaters” end up winning because they control the votes and evict all the “strategists” when they prove to be a threat.

          In the US version, unlike the UK counterpart, the “houseguests” control the vote for eviction, not the public. For example, if there are 10 houseguests in the house, one will be the current Head of Household(HOH) and he/she controls the nominations and has immunity for that week’s eviction. He/She nominates 2 houseguests for eviction and at the end of the week, the remaining houseguests (7 of them excluding HOH, who doesn’t have the right to vote) must vote to evict 1 of the 2 houseguests.

          Therefore, a “floater” is someone who just “floats” their way past evictions because the HOHs can manipulate their vote and they are not a threat, strategically or physically (in competitions).

          1. Brig Bother Post author

            Absolutely, but in things like that you can win by being the least worst option which can be a valid strategy, on The Genius you will eventually get found out if you’re not up to scratch.

        2. Alvin W

          I also agree that Dong Min’s “wrath” and “anger” is not the nicest per say, however, he did show more of the conventional Genius-like side.

          I deliberately said “conventional” because many people might think that Yeon Joo and Ah Young mastered the art of “playing dumb” and playing both sides. Not getting on anyone’s nerves is not an easy task if you think about it.

  15. David

    Interesting Main Match- seemed like the expectation was that a group would try and force someone into the last-place position- but they turned it a bit and set it up to force someone OUT of the last-place position to avoid that player having a shot at the last Black Mission! Earning biggest investor status (and regular garnets) was secondary in either case….

    Liked the Death Match somewhat- though instead of 2 double-moves I’d have done one double-move and one safety marker (instead of moving, you’d place it where you were, then if you hit a wall later on you’d go back to that point instead of the start; it wouldn’t punish you as much late in the game should you hit a wall near the finish).

    And we’ve got the guests coming in next week with Middle Race…should be interesting to see the changes in strategy since (I’m assuming) that the players know that not only do they have to avoid coming in first or last, but they have to help their guest avoid coming in first or last as well..

    1. Alvin W

      I believe next week’s Middle Race objective is to come in at 5th and 6th place (the middle of 10 people) instead of avoiding the first and last place.

      This means that people need to be more assertive and strategic to ensure that they come in at 5th or 6th. There should be a different dynamic in gameplay as you are not trying to survive by making someone first or last, but to win by placing 5th and 6th.

  16. Brig Bother Post author

    Enjoyed that, a fun game that played off the meta-game somewhat (I was convinced Dongmin was going around collecting garnets to then hold everyone to ransom later on – which would have made him the REALITY VILLAIN OF THE YEAR as far as I’m concerned), enjoyed the idea of the Death MAtch more than the execution I think, I’m glad they decided to speed it up because it would have become so IMMENSELY frustating to watch in real time. It was like a long form version of that game from Dog Eat Dog.

    Result probably the least surprising in the history of The Genius deathmatches – Ahyoung was entertaining but like I say, in The Genius you’ll get found out sooner or later.

    I really like Yoohyun, he’s got brains AND smarts and tends to be a bit more understated. I think a Yoohyun/Dongmin final would be hugely entertaining. Yeonseung and Yeonjoo are going to have to stop following and start leading if they want a chance, I think. I don’t think Hyunmin has the necessary killer instinct, although he’s certainly got the best grasp of the games – this might be enough to see him though as they tend to get a bit more pure mental agility from this point.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      ACTUALLY, and here’s a thought, if the final takes the same format as the last few seasons with the other players determining who would get Mario Kart style items, will anyone pledge allegiance to Dongmin? Can’t wait to maybe find out!

      This has been such a brilliant series, much better games in the main than series two and a great cast. Would be fascinated to see how these games would have played out under different circumstances.

  17. David

    Well you have to also think there’s at most two more chances for the last Black Mission to be used (at F4)…and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Memory Maze is one of the games used in the final (I’d think Double-Sided Poker would be the other known game used- if it is those two and I had the choice? I’d play Double-Sided Poker first and Memory Maze last)…

  18. xr

    It’s good there was an interesting metagame, because the main match was entirely forgettable. Dongmin looks like he has figured out that making it to the finals isn’t worth much with a pittance for a prize, though he hasn’t made much progress yet. And being this obnoxious won’t help his cause any.

    Losing player’s Deathmatch performance annoyed me; I’m not sure if it was the preposterous incompetence or the stereotype feeding. We never got to find out what happens when the players get close to each other. Can they go through the other occupied cell or end their move there? Do they get pushed or switch places perchance? If there are interesting interaction rules, giving players each one half of a portal they have to drop within their first n moves may force the issue. And, since I’m in a giving mood, a wall to drop near them may add to the fun.

    I’m not sure about the finals, but I suspect both Memory maze and Animal Shogi will see another play, which is nice.

  19. Jason

    I suspect the main match had more potential than the execution suggested – particularly as the last four rounds were almost academic.

    With Hyunmin getting to three wins in the first 4 rounds, by the time people realised he was essentially there already.

    I suspect some of the Hweejong magic rubbed off on Dongmin in round 4 and 5 – he spent so much time focusing on his perfect win that he missed what was going on around him.

    As for the deathmatch, it was a horrible game for Ahyoung, Yoohyun played some very clever tactics that made a bad situation worse for her. I liked the game but as xr mentioned, I would have liked to see the more interesting mid-game cases that we didn’t see.

    Yoohyun has done well to survive the last couple of weeks given the deck has been truly stacked against him.

    Next week should be very interesting! Yeonjoo should wield a lot of power with the Dongmin/Hyunmin vs Yoohyun/Yeonseung battle likely to reach a conclusion.

    1. Jenny

      Yeonjoo will go with Yoohyun and Yeonseung as Hyunmin and Dongmin have already formed a tight alliance which includes no one else. Dongmin has got on some nerves by being so brash and aggressive. Well, I have watched many Korean variety with Dongmin in it, and his variety identity is all about being loud and arrogant. In fact, I find it already more toned down in The Genius.

  20. Brian Duddy

    The editors of this show should be given an award for getting their 80 minutes of TV out of that. I do think the DM wasn’t quite as one-sided as it was presented – if you look during a few of the quick cuts, Ahyoung was quite a bit further forward than she was shown being. Also, her side looked quite a bit harder (zigzags in both directions!). Not exactly a surprise, though…

    1. Jason

      While I’d agree that the edit was a little harsh in that respect, I think the entire cut would have reinforced that she’d lost her way.

      At the start of the quick cuts, we see her in the snake zig-zag at the bottom, 6 steps in – with 12 to go.

      In the quick cut, we see her one or two steps further north – but there is no direct path there. She must have given up on the snake route and used the left hand side zig-zag instead (optimal at 16 steps).

      Switching would have been the terminal mistake. At the start of the quick edit, she has at least the first 6 steps along the snake route, and between them they have exposed almost all of the walls in that bottom right quadrant.

      If she had been able to put the two together, a further two or three mistakes and she would have merged onto his path – gained four or five steps progress relatively cheaply and be potentially three from home.

      At that point, she goes from being underdog to massive favourite.

      1. Matt Clemson

        One flaw with that DM, I think, is that unless the maze has a very unusual design, a player’s first few wall-hits don’t offer much useful information to their opponent. I’m thinking that it could be a more interesting challenge if the maze was symmetrical along a line between the starts and finishes, so the exploration the blue player does at the start would give useful information to the yellow player at the end and vice-versa.

        1. Poochy.EXE

          I agree. I was actually expecting them to briefly flash the map on the in-studio screen (a la Pathfinder on The Cube but briefer) and was puzzled when they didn’t. Without giving the player some sort of clue, the early stages are just blindly bumping into invisible walls at random, purely based on luck, and pretty dull. One of the weaker DMs of the season, if you ask me.

          1. Brig Bother Post author

            I think a potential issue with that is that it would give too much of an advantage to the person playing first, assuming the maze can only be so complex it’d be quite possible to blaze through first go, especially if you used both your double chances at the beginning.

  21. Kain

    Hello, “World”.

    I’m from your future. Well, I mean S. Korea. I’ve watched EP. 9, just now, and can’t find the way out of this shocked.

    For not spoiling, but this must be told. 9th episode what you will watch with English traslated sub is… will be LEGENDARY. On Literally. All Korean community may shows approval for that. They almost break their mental down with admiration now. Especially me too. Guess why I am here thread now. It can’t be endured what my affection be expressed.

    You can expect EP. 9, no, have to do it. I can vouch to you all LOVE this episode. About your life has rest of this episode’s fun, I envy to you.

    (Yes, this is the torture for you. :D)

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Kain: I will approve your message for public consumption after the ep has been translated, thanks for your enthusiasm!

    2. Jason

      Thankfully we only had to wait 4 days between the subtitled Episode 8 and Episode 9 then!

      You were right – it was a cracking episode.

  22. Chris M. Dickson

    Extremely enjoyable episode, though the story it told felt rather confused. (I don’t think it could have been done better.)

    I think I am far more convinced than not that Dongmin was playing a Br’er Rabbit “please don’t throw me into the briar patch” reverse psychology game, rather than that he genuinely did want to be nominated for the Death Match – though, yes, being nominated for the Death Match and then winning a Black Mission would be the only way to effectively pick both nominees for a Death Match and guarantee one of them becomes eliminated.

    The first series had a really good soundtrack and I think I am comfortable with recommending series one ahead of the others for the soundtrack and for the pace of the show alone, as well as for the highest high spots, even if it had a few misfiring games that series three has, so far, largely avoided.

    1. David B

      I certainly agree that it would have been nice to have had more updates on the score. The general thrust of it was ‘obvious’ but some confirmation wouldn’t have hurt.

    2. Brig Bother Post author

      I don’t think you’ll ever be able to recreate the magic of the first series, so subsequent series can only really be judged on a) quality of tasks and b) quality of cast. The current series is succeeding on both, and although I prefer the iconic soundtrack of the original I can live with what we have. Everyone on the show is bringing something to the table, even if that is entertaining uselessness (and that’s not meant as a dig at someone like Ahyoung who knows four languages and is Harvard educated, but that’s not the sort of cleverness that this show really requires).

      The first series is very variable in its quality (I said that at the time and stand by it now) and this has been consistently decent on a weekly basis. Unless they did the same games with a different cast we’ll probably never really know if it’s by luck or judgement.

      I think we can all agree series two is a bit of a come down, but even that was largely watchable.

      1. Brian J

        I’m in the minority of thinking S2 > S3. This series is too much of a one-man show – as much as I like Dongmin, I prefer having a range of personalities. S2’s successes were more as a reality show than as a game show (though I do think there are some very strong challenges in it, and nothing as bad as Sword and Shield, or the poorly done Resistance clone).

        S1’s weakest part was the post-Gura middle-stretch that seemed to really drag (until they whittled off some of the deadweight Gura followers & invisible women)
        S2’s weakest part was the endgame (post-Jinho, when nobody seemed to know how to play the games intelligently)
        S3 seemed to be weakest at the beginning with a really slow start that involved ganging up on all the obvious targets (in some very dull deathmatches)

    3. Alvin W

      I liked the Season 1 background music better too. Season 2 was good too, but not as good as S1. I am not sure what is lacking in this season’s music. I cannot exactly pinpoint the problem.

  23. Alvin W

    Good news! Lee Sang Min and Hong Jin Ho will return as guests in episode 10 as past champions!

  24. Kevin G.

    It does seem like this is setting up for a grandstand finish. Yeonjoo might be the only one left with no shot to win it. It’s hard to pick a favorite.

    There’s always a lot of praise for the “clever hidden trap” games like Open Pass, but several games this season are easily replayable. I always thought you could play the S1 Expression Auction every season, just change the players and the auction lots, and still get really interesting games. Every game from Miner Game forward, especially Stormy Stock Market, could be replayed with different numbers of items or different numbers of players, and completely change the dynamic.

    1. David B

      In order for the show to be resellable as a format to foreign territories, it had to move away from ‘one trick’ games to things that could be replayed even if you knew what was coming.

      1. Brian Duddy

        I mean, foreign versions don’t necessarily have to use the same games, right? Certainly any American producers would reject half of these out of hand, if not more…

    1. Brian Duddy

      It appears that, if both nominees turn in black garnets, they both play the game (separately, surely) and, if both succeed, only the one with a faster time is pardoned.

  25. Lefty

    I’ve read a few comments that refer to the dichotomy of brains and smarts. Can you give some examples that illustrate how these are differentiated?

    I really like Dongmin. The Memory Maze was great. I agree that we will see the jungle chess game and this one in the finals, and probably Two Sided Poker, although S1 and S2 had a new game in the middle round of the last episode, right?

    I can’t believe they made a design clue on the back of the star cards so subtle that even players looking for them couldn’t find them. That seems too bad but I’m glad we the viewers got to see.

    Cheers to you all, and happy Thanksgiving to those who observe it.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Smarts: People and situations, shrewdness, adaptability. Brains: mental agility, strategy. In the context of The Genius at any rate.

  26. Ronald

    Ahyoung was very well beaten in the Deathmatch, alas. It seems from her final position that she gave up on her original route while Yeonjoo was heading across the top of the board.

    This was the psychological win: if Ahyoung had kept to her line, she was maybe 1 or 2 (shorter distance) attempts away from Yeonjoo’s start – and his path led to her goal.

  27. Lewis

    Episode 9 is up!

    A real highlight for me. The modified Middle Race and the teams that formed made for a properly good game, with appropriate twists. The deathmatch was a stonker of a game, especially for a repeat. And the episode 10 preview… I’m glad I didn’t read Alvin’s above comment before seeing it, so excited to see Jinho and Sangmin make a return!

    I’ll make a more spoilery post a little later, since this will be some people’s notice of episode 9 itself.

    1. Jason

      Agreed – I would say this was the best episode of the season so far.

      With the reduced utility of sabotaging a single person, it added a proper dynamic to the main match. I was pleased to see Yeonseung not only up his game, but avenge his previous death. It was a pity the miscalculation at the end meant it didn’t quite work for the alliance, but it’s the strongest performance I’ve seen from him so far.

      I think this was a pivotal week – the Dongmin alliance was again on the ropes and nearly crumbled as one or even both of them stared a DM in the face. Nice to see the edit include Yoohyun’s attempts to join the Dongmin alliance – I called it wrong last week when I thought Yeonseung would sacrifice Yeonjoo.

      The DM itself was much more enjoyable this time – and we got to see two scenarios we discussed last week – the same-square waltz, and the idea I floated with exploiting the opposition route. I expected the strategy to give Yeonjoo a decent edge but I didn’t expect Yoohyun to completely crumble psychologically from it!

      As for the teaser – fantastic news! I wanted to see how Dongmin reacted and he didn’t disappoint – the clip suggesting he doesn’t rate them (“retired folk”, “season 3 is stronger” and so on…). How easily he forgets that Sangmin gained a mammoth advantage in the Season 2 encounter because he made it a win-win scenario for the guests when the other players wanted to make it win-lose.

      Sangmin battle-crying “Winning season 3 should be your ultimate goal” said it all – Jinho and Sangmin exploit the situation, and some of the season 3 players gain an edge – the win-win scenario 🙂 I wonder how big the prize on offer will be…

  28. xr

    So much win. Well, except from the priceless snatching of defeat from the jaws of victory at main match’s end of course 🙂 Who’d have thought that an episode focused on Yoohyun could have been so much fun?

    Game design wise, I’m surprised Delete made the cut, while the 5-card one (Run?) didn’t. This game relies crucially on periodicity breaks for variety in strategy, and Delete is both dull and powerful. If you have to have a huge take-that role, may I suggest the very chaotic Swap?(You may exchange your role with another player’s at end of turn).

    Deathmatch was played to potential, so I’d be surprised were it to repeat without major retouching. Yoohyun’s mental collapse there was a bit unexpected, but it did work so very well drama-wise.

  29. Chris M. Dickson

    What everybody else said, though I suspect it might have made a bigger impact if you were familiar with (at least some of) the guests from Korean TV already. Mind you, there was some thought that one of the players from the boy band in the counterpart guest episode last season had stamped their ticket to appear in season three, and that didn’t happen. Fingers crossed that that door might still be open for a later season. (Fingers crossed for a later season!)

    Much better than the first playing of Middle Race, though still not a game where I could really play along at home. (Perhaps players with more experience in combo-building games might do better.) Very satisfying conclusions, too. Excellent Death Match; again, we’ve drawn all the fun that there is to be had out from it, so time to put it back in its box. (Some variant for a version two might work next season, though.)

    Slightly disappointing that we didn’t get to find out what the mathematical Black Mission was, mostly to see just quite how ba*d hard it actually was. It would be delightful and thematic if one of the three games to be played in the final episode was “Right, here are the three Black Missions, let’s keep playing them over and over again until someone actually cracks one”.

    1. Deo

      I was thinking the same too. Could it be possible that the new game is called ‘Black Mission’? I was thinking that to win the game, they have to win 2 out of 3. A game in a game. =/

    2. Jason

      In addition to the outstanding black mission, I don’t think they announced what happened to the black garnets at the end? [I recall a direct question earlier on was declined by the dealer]

      If we still have some loose ends to tie up, you never know…

        1. David

          I agree- It’ll be one of two things I suspect:

          -The Black Garnets are worth money to the winner, in a larger amount than normal red ones (say 3 million each)

          -They’re used in the finals in some way; say they still do the item picks, but each Black Garnet can be used to buy one of the three regular advantages in each game (not the Double or the Item Delete), and they can use them at any time during the game..

  30. Chris M. Dickson

    Random point I forgot to make: I do like the way that some of the footage in the preview of next week’s episode at the end of the show doesn’t seem to come up in the episode itself; certainly there have been at least a couple of funny or excited remarks in the preview that I think were exclusive to the preview. Oddly enough, that works for me, and makes it all feel rather less spoiler-y.

  31. Lewis

    Argh! The ending to that deathmatch was so disappointing!

    Also, I like how Hyunmin basically beat the main match game, but then Jinho kind of accidentally used the mirror of the same method too and won overall.

  32. Clive of Legend

    Oooooooooooh, that was really, really painful to watch! She’d been playing so well the last few weeks, I was confident she’d be the one to finally take Dongmin out.

  33. David

    I think it was just a brain fart, pure and simple- I think she just forgot that they didn’t have to use all the tiles.

  34. Ronald

    That was a poor ending. What a shame.

    I was anticipating a twist, but I thought it would be that played tiles did not have to be used, and therefore that Dongmin’s move was indeed still possible.

    1. Jason

      That was mentioned in the introduction, so was unlikely to be a twist there – “There is no need to use all 16 tiles to complete the track, but all the tracks that are used must end up connected.”

      When the dealer said “please place your tiles”, it eluded her that she could call impossible as well… and as soon as she placed another piece she was finished. Such a shame 🙁

  35. Tom F

    The first thing I noticed about that mainmatch was that it by doing uneven back-and-forth trades you could transfer coins between players. Personally, I’m suprised kong and sangmin didn’t just pile all their coins together to get one of them a near-certain first. (Although it looked like maybe jinho was confident in his own.) The sneakiness with the decimal places was a great built-in exploit, both very helpful and very well hidden. Overall a very good mainmatch, with a good mix of personal flair and group interaction required to do well. I also liked as a one-off the (quite random) restriction of the game to such a small area and hope we might see something like that again in a future series.

    The Deathmatch, I will probably make and play with my friends at some point, but looks like it could be a good brainteaser, although it looks like it *could* be so simple as to be solveable. As quite a personal fan of [deathmatch winner] throughout the series, I was pleased by the result, although unquestionably it was the ultimate in an ugly victory, and I was surprised there wasn’t more general outrage at the result (maybe the editors didn’t want to emphasise that angle). The sequence when [deathmatch looser] was about to make the fatal mistake was genuinely heartstopping.

    Also, regarding the preview, finally a mainmatch where garnets are very useful. The new garnet rules really needed more of these to compound the idea that garnets are a must-be-held commodity.

  36. Jason

    I was disappointed with the DM result… they talk about ugly victories, this was certainly one. As we’ve seen before – one momentary lapse of concentration and you can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. On the flip side, it does mean 23 garnets remain in the game that would have disappeared otherwise.

    Like Tom F, I was a little surprised that Sangmin didn’t just gift all his coins to Jinho (or some inane trade that did the same thing). Saying that, Jinho had probably done the sums and realised he had a strong chance already – he won by 10 points even with Dongmin sacrificing himself for Hyunmin.

    My only issues with the DM game itself was that it felt quite short – 18 pieces (2 stations + 16 straights/corners) where you can play up to 3 per turn concludes pretty quickly. As played, it could have been technically over in two moves, and I would be surprised if many games had more than 8 moves…

    While not quite the same (Monorail would be a simplification of it), the DM reminded me of a game I saw years ago called Trax –

    It is good to see we will finally have some garnet-driven games to focus the players. With the removal of garnet-derived benefits in the DM, their worth (financial value aside) seems to have diminished a lot this season.

  37. Alvin W

    I feel that this season’s background music is lacking. I literally had the chills when I heard “Young and Beautiful” and “Freedom” etc. from Season 1 when the players were eliminated. But this season, the only song that rang for me was “Bedroom Hymns?” By Florence and the Machine during Ep 3.

  38. Jenny

    Jinho might have won the MM, but I thought Hyunmin did the best coming up with a foolproof formula. Jinho would have gotten only 15 pts instead of 20, but got lucky when Yeonseung not only exchanged something he wanted but gifted him with extra chips. Also, as a guest, Jinho had less at stake and more to gain, and coupled with his usual game acumen and sharpness, he cruised to a comfortable victory,

    I am surprised not many gave Dongmin credit for pulling that bluff over Yeonjoo’s almost certain victory in DM. He was already at the brink of defeat, and while most people would have just given up in dejection in that situation, he chose to give a last ditch effort, which Yeonjoo fell for because of her lack of self-confidence. That alone attested the man’s fortitude even though he looked like he was physically unwell in that whole episode.

    1. Alvin W

      But Jinho’s plan all along was to get 15 points, as he stated in the interview. I believe his plan was to make sure no one can guess his hidden number as people would assume he will go for the 10 (which is 20 points) instead of the 11 (which is 15 points).

      His original equation before the change should be: 12/3+7 which equals 11 and 15 points.

      The benefit of this is that he will safely keep his 15 points instead of losing it back like Dong Min and Yeon Sung, who both lost 9 and 12 points from the guessing. Also, he was not active in the bidding to save up his chips. According to his logic, he will safely secure:

      15 points from the equation + 20 points from chips – 0 points from losing the guess + minimum 6 points from guessing others (SangMin and Yeon Sung’s number for sure)= minimum of 41 points.

      And from the results, we can see that Jinho will win with making a 15 point equation.

      You may argue that if he didn’t get the extra 5 chips from Yeon Sung, he would have 5 points less from the chip count, but he ultimately guessed 3 correctly, which means: (if Jinho did not trade)

      15 points from the equation + 16 points from chips + 9 points from guessing = 40 points.

      This means he will tie with Hyun Min, but still secure joint 1st place.

      But it is still amazing that he figured out how to make a 10 with a stroke of luck with his trade with Yeon Sung that brought him the tile and the extra 5 chips.

    2. Brig Bother Post author

      Exactly this. Dongmin isn’t the best player there in terms of working out how to make the game mechanics work for him (although he’s not bad at it), but he understands how to play the player. Most people in that position would just concede, and doubtless that threw Yeonjoo.

      I hope Doubting Yutnori is more fun than Tactical Yutnori.

  39. Clicky

    I 100% agree with Jenny. I don’t think people are giving Dongmin enough credit.

    As soon as it looked like Yeonjoo was guaranteed victory I was hoping Dongmin wouldn’t give up (as Jenny already mentioned, many people would give up at that point) and was really hoping he’d try to pull out a bluff. And it clearly paid off ^_^. I don’t think it’s a lack of “self-confidence”… if she was “genius” enough to see that it was impossible she would have won. But she was not … plain and simple…

    Also I would have went with a very similiar strategy to Jinho’s at the beginning: I really don’t see a need to bet ANY coins for the first few auctions… with the amount of numbers and various signs given, you really don’t need anything in particular from the first two auctions.

    1. TC

      True genius is rendered meaningless without confidence in your own abilities. Yeonjoo was smart enough to set herself up for the win with the end pieces so I’m sure she’s smart enough to figure out the impossible call.

      The same thing happened with Ahyoung two weeks ago (and Yoohyun last week for that matter). They both had the smarts to figure out how to finish the maze yet crumbled due the pressure of the match plus the mindgames of the opponents.

      That’s Dongmin’s advantage. He doesn’t crumble under pressure. Ever. Even when he makes critical mistakes, he is always able to make a smart recovery attempt. Yeonseung is very similar in the sense that he’s calm, collected and very sure of himself.

    2. Jason

      With all the questions she asked – three-forked roads, surplus track – and checking the remaining tiles, I believe she knew it could not be completed.

      The hesitation followed by “I have to go. It’s my turn” suggests she’d completely forgotten the declaration was available… Dongmin introduced enough confusion that she missed the winning move.

      I think that DM summed up Dongmin perfectly – weak with the pure mechanics of the game, but way ahead on reading the player and composure under pressure.

  40. Alvin W

    Side comment. Is it just me or are the players not using the boiler room? Because I feel like that the boiler room scenes show up relatively less than other rooms by far.

    1. Jenny

      Perhaps the boiler room feels stifling? PS: I saw someone comment before that the DM players who had used the boiler room for DM deliberation had always won the DM.

  41. Poochy.EXE

    I loved this episode, the games really showed several players’ strengths and were generally very well-played. I think Hyunmin has been this season’s closest analogue to Jinho, but there’s a noticeable difference in their approaches: Hyunmin takes the game, analyzes it quickly in the inevitable break between the rules spiel and the start of the actual game, comes up with a solid plan, and plays it out as best as he can, as seen before in his information-gathering and timing in Stormy Stock Market and his attempt at forming a 5-man team in the constellation game.

    Jinho, on the other hand, tends to come up with a rough strategy, but he’s better at rolling with the punches if he notices his strategy starting to fail or some other detail that he can leverage to his advantage. Case in point, the way he noticed the asymmetry of the backs of the cards in Open Pass and used that to his advantage, or when he realized he could just give the guests in 5:5 information to parrot back to him later. He comes up with an initial plan but doesn’t commit to it as heavily, instead staying on the lookout for something even better.

    And this episode showcased that perfectly. Hyunmin had a plan from the start that would be foolproof provided he could get the division sign and either 11- or +9, but he had to bank on getting those tiles in the first 3 rounds. Meanwhile, Jinho started with the basic strategy of getting 15 points to keep his number unguessable, but when he realized he could leverage the decimal truncation rule to get 20 points, he fully took advantage of it.

    And then there’s Dongmin, who had already shown us that he’s unflappable even in the face of near-certain defeat, and he won’t give up until the game is over, as seen in the constellation game. It didn’t quite work out that time, but in this Death Match, it paid off big-time.

    I’m not sure what to actually think of the DM result though. I thought Dongmin was the most deserving of elimination out of the 4 remaining players going into the episode. I don’t particularly dislike him (although his loud hamminess gets a bit grating at times, like a terrible Brian Blessed impersonator), but the final 4 are all very strong players and I think he’s the weakest in comparison. Even though Dongmin has shown plenty of cleverness in the Main Matches, he’s also pretty terrible at the metagame and keeps painting a big target on his own back. But on the other hand, the way he won the DM made for a spectacular and pretty unexpected twist at the end, and there are a bunch more garnets in circulation as a result.

    I’m hoping the finals come down to Hyunmin vs. Yeonseung, as I have been for the past couple weeks. Hyunmin, as I said before, is the most Jinho-like. He’s very clever at the games, and while he stands out, he does it in a way that shows he’s a highly valuable ally to anyone who works with him, and I think that has made the others avoid targeting him. And Yeonseung has shown his brilliance at Death Matches, both as a player and in his commentary when he’s on the sidelines, and the finals are probably going to be best of 3 DM games again. A final round between the two of them is practically guaranteed to give us many moments worthy of Extreme Ways, if the editors ever bring that back.

  42. Chris M. Dickson

    So much discussion, so little to add that hasn’t been said already…

    One difference between this season and previous ones is that this season seems to have had much less of the hyperactive editing that cropped up in previous ones – for instance, taking six seconds and three camera angles to turn over the decisive card in a card game, that sort of thing. On balance, I welcome that as an improvement.


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