Just a text dump of some thoughts. In the card scene i also think Sangwoo was testing Bum’s trust and intelligence, too. He gives him the right cards and then indicates the wrong one at the most critical moment. It doesn’t even occur to Bum that he’s being set up for a long hard fall. You’d think someone in his position would be suspicious of anything Sangwoo tells him to pick or do, but Bum is pretty trusting:
He says that one’s ‘definitely’ the right card, that is… /not/ the joker. But of course he’s wrong lol. And then in this following scene, i actually think the laughter belongs to Glasses Guy? Bum does ask ‘why is he laughing?’ I could be wrong! But regardless you see Sangwoo looking exasperated, amused, and disappointed all at once as if to say how could you fall for that, how could you trust me.
Sangwoo recognises that Bum’s level of trust in him can be so fucking dumb. It’s a different scenario, but it reminds me of the previous scene where he asks Bum why he didn’t run away when he had the chance: “are you stupid? you could have gotten out if you just crawled…or are you starting to like it here?” That’s what’s interesting about Sangwoo: he is messed up but he has 100% control over his state of mind. He is rational and intelligent - and that’s a part of why he has been so ‘successful’ with all his killings.
I definitely think that Sangwoo always intended for Bum to live in that whole card scene, but i think it’s the small moments that showcase Bum’s naivety and mindless trust in him that appeal to Sangwoo’s warped mine. He’s getting attached to him because of things like this lol. What i like is that Bum gives little morsels of trust that are pretty innocent and endearing, even though he holistically doesnt trust Sangwoo with his life yet. And it’s whenever Bum feels like he has received special attention from Sangwoo that he allows his mind get blurry with poor judgment, or rather, that he loses sight of himself. At first Bum was like ‘Is he helping me…?’ He seemed wary, but then after he pulled all the right cards he was so excited by the knowledge that Sangwoo was taking care of him that he totally overlooked the trap. He says himself he felt giddy and happy.
I think in some ways Sangwoo and Yoonbum mirror each other, but my thoughts on this aren’t fully developed yet so i’ll have to think about it some more lol. But I fully expect for Sangwoo to soon have a level of dependence on Bum too, or atleast a powerfully unstable emotional attachment.