KDRAMAGUK : Korean Drama Soup

a landing site for quick, completely biased, and totally snarky korean drama reviews


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Episode 3 of a Heartless City

The 1-2-3 A drama introduction
recap part 3 of 3 | the first 3 episodes 
of a drama in words and pictures

Episode 3 :
Where past and present collide...
the future begins.
The second most powerful man in the police force…is a dirty cop. Of course.
It’s the middle of nowhere, the kind of place suited for an evil clandestine meeting (a black car in an empty field by a river), and Safari’s in a car with a man dressed in an impressively medaled police uniform. We learn his name is Deputy Commissioner Kang. Safari’s somewhat disappointed that their dirty official still hasn’t become the top dog Commissioner even after 20 years. Anyhow, he’s got a job for Kang to take care of, and he better do it right.
HyungMin has his no-nonsense forearm pressed up against EunSoo’s windpipe and he’s spitting mad that she’s dared to play the cops for fools. He wants names, specifically one, the name of the person at the top of the food chain. Still, the woman won’t crack, she insists she has no idea what he’s talking about. Being an excellent sociopath, EunSoo is fully committed to her part.
Suddenly, in a roaring display of false moral indignation, Deputy Commissioner Kang storms in, bitch slaps a surprised HyungMin across the face, and yanks him out of the room. It’s difficult to say who’s more furious between the two men, but since HyungMin is outrageously outranked, he takes the physical and verbal abuse mostly in seething silence. Deputy Kang claims he was just dropping by to check on how things were progressing at the Special Unit only to find a police officer brutally attacking a witness? Kang orders HyungMin to get his act together, find an undercover female cop to throw in place of the witness, and bring down that Doctor’s Son. Or he’ll shut this whole special unit operation down!

Again, that melancholy. Why does this girl fight so hard?
KyungMi confronts HyungMin after Deputy Commissioner Kang has left. She’s already dressed in costume. She comes to him wearing a hot pink clubbing number, all ready to go undercover to meet the Doctor’s Son to hand off the drugs. She argues that even if Kim EunSoo is lying about her identity, it doesn’t change the fact that they would be idiots not to take this opportunity. This is a chance to not only bring to justice the Doctor’s Son, but also the person behind the entire drug cartel. KyungMi makes her most convincing argument: “I’m police. Not only do I want to do this, I need to do this.”
Outside the club chosen as the meeting place, HyungMin offers his detective and girlfriend one last chance to back out. “You’re more important to me than catching these guys,” he tells her seriously. She kisses him and tells him that after their success tonight, they’ll go have that potato stew that they never enjoyed because of SooMin.
With little choice but to go through with their plan now, HyungMin gives her a tracking device disguised as a lipstick and tells her to activate it when she’s on the move.
As she walks toward the club, she turns back to look at HyungMin one last time before the charade begins. He gazes back at her from the car. And the distance between them feels infinite. There is again that sadness on KyungMi’s face, and it feels too much like a good-bye in this moment.

Love, Big Sis
At home—a home that KyungMi and SooMin share—there’s a breakfast table waiting for SooMin. Laid out is a yummy looking kimchi fried rice with a heart-shaped fried egg on top. The note that accompanies this surprise is from KyungMi, who’s sorry that she’d misunderstood the night club incident earlier. She’s heard from JooYoung that SooMin had really only been there returning a phone. The letter ends with “Love, Big Sis.” SooMin happily digs into her apology breakfast.

From the very start, everything goes wrong.
Our undercover cop pins the identifying “rose” to her hot pink leather jacket. As soon as she’s inside, a waiter roughly yanks her into a private room and through a trick door. KyungMi pulls out her lipstick tracking device. The waiter-henchman grumbles that this is no time to be putting on makeup. Playing the ditzy female angle, she disagrees that it’s exactly the right time to pretty up and surreptitiously activates the tracker. Back inside the main areas of the club, HyungMin and newbie Detective Shin now have audio on what’s going on with KyungMi, but only seconds later, they panic when the sound cuts out.
They rush into the room where she was pulled into and realize too late that KyungMi’s been secreted off through a series of tunnels leading to an underground hideout below the club, so their fancy tracker’s radio signal isn’t able to reach the light of day.
Proving that she is definitely a thinking police officer and not just a reckless pretty face, KyungMi marks her passage through the winding corridors with pink lipstick slashes. It’s her equivalent of breadcrumbs for HyungMin to follow.
The fake waiter/henchman finally brings her to a room where Meth Kim is waiting. She recognizes him from her very first Special Unit briefing: Kim ChoongSup, aka Meth Kim, one of the real organizational leaders of Scale’s drug trade. A tiny look of satisfaction crosses her face.

When a yarn unravels,
it is rarely without a tangle.
Back in the throne room, Safari watches as Tooth fails to get in touch with Meth Kim. That’s because, across town, Kim sends the ringing phone shattering into the concrete floor, seething. Safari figures out immediately that Meth Kim has decided to go off script when the phone call isn’t answered. Tooth wonders if their entire plan is in the dumps since the Doctor will never show up now, smelling the obvious trap. No, Safari assures, the Doctor will most definitely show up precisely because it is so obviously a trap—to save his little auntie.
Elsewhere, as Safari suspects, the Doc does seem to suspect a trap...and appears to be mulling over his next move in their game of criminal chess, a game where real lives are at stake.
But Safari does look genuinely troubled that his plan is dismantling at the very last minute. And like the Doctor’s Son, his break in complete composure, while subtle, seems exceptional even in its minute slippage because when those who are always so rigidly in control get rattled, it means it is very bad news. Truth is, Safari is also the only one that fully understands all the pieces at play and how they fit. He knows the real EunSoo has been replaced by an undercover cop. Meth Kim is not aware of this yet. He also knows that this Meth Kim hiccup means that either the cops will arrive to the arranged meeting site only to find no drugs in connection to the Doctor’s Son, or they may not show up at all, being too busy chasing after their undercover officer.
Back in the basement under the club, undercover Detective KyungMi is also beginning to sense something is not right. What she doesn’t realize is that the train is going way off the rails. The real EunSoo would probably have simply killed Meth Kim right then and there. KyungMi, however, can only blindly play along.

Once again, Meth Kim stays true to his selfish bastardly self and screws the whole thing up. This is not a big picture sort of guy, but an in-the-moment type of moron.
As the waiting drags on and Meth Kim continues to behave erratically, KyungMi wants to know why the Doctor’s Son isn’t with them. Meth Kim chuckles and informs her bitterly that they’re both being played for fools. He tells her, “Sister-in-law, you and I, we’re here as the bait to lure out the Doctor’s Son.” He laughs humorlessly thinking about Safari’s offer that he voluntarily put himself at the Doctor’s mercy, then at the police’s mercy, with some slim promise of taking Scale’s high chair when he gets out of jail. Basically, Kim has decided that, no, that’s a crap business prospect. He’ll take the 3 kilos for himself and make his own way.
Outside, HyungMin and Detective Shin have reached the guarded door. Seemingly out of the blue, Detective Shin bursts forward and shoots at the two thugs standing watch, alerting the men inside to their police presence.
HyungMin takes only a moment to show Shin his anger before running into the room, but unfortunately that was enough notice for the bad guys to clear out. Is Detective Shin just an idiot rookie, or a plant?

Oh, the car crashes!
As they rush to the parking garage, Meth Kim is beginning to wonder if the lady with him is actually a cop. How and why are the police here breathing down his neck? But KyungMi produces the sample of powder in her purse and tells him she needs to stay alive if he wants the rest. It’s a good enough reason for now to keep her breathing, but Kim promises that he’ll tear her pretty little face apart if she’s lying to him.
As they drive away, Meth Kim’s wheelman is secretly texting someone. It becomes obvious to who when suddenly the driver abruptly stops the car in the middle of an intersection and runs off. Before Kim can even be properly confused, a big truck comes smashing into the side of their car, knocking both KyungMi and Meth Kim unconscious.

Now what, Safari?
Back at the club, HyungMin finds himself seconds too late and sees Meth Kim tear away in a car with KyungMi. Once the getaway car is out of the basement garage, however, the GPS and audio surveillance from KyungMi’s lipstick tracker goes online again. HyungMin is following the signal, when suddenly, HyungMin hears the horrible sound of metal being crushed through his earpiece.
By the time he arrives at the scene of the crash, the only thing left is the lipstick tracker and some broken glass. He barks orders to track Detective Lee’s cell phone, but unsurprisingly, Safari is yet again one step ahead of him.
Safely driving away, Safari glances at his backseat where Meth Kim and KyungMi are still in sleepyland. He takes the battery out of KyungMi’s cell phone and they drive on.

A plain wood baseball bat is too good for Meth Kim, metal baton it is!
Safari’s people have arrived at Kim’s favorite abandoned factory. His men dump an unconscious KyungMi on a dirty mattress in a small room. It is disturbing to see the amount of blood that has poured down her leg. She is clutching her stomach even in her sleeping state. It doesn’t take much of a genius to figure out that she has suffered some sort of internal injury, and it looks suspiciously pregnancy-related.
In another room, Safari unfolds a metal baton and proceeds to beat Meth Kim into a bloody mess. “Taste good? Does it taste good or not?!” Of course Kim is too busy gurgling blood on the floor to properly answer the question.
Tooth steps away in distaste as blood splatters on his red snakeskin jacket. Unlike Soo and Doc, these criminals have a far more tackier fashion sense. On the cold hard floor, lying in a pool of his own blood, Meth Kim can barely manage enough voice to beg for mercy.
Safari stops just short of killing him and tells him that he is to stay here and watch over the lady cop. If she escapes, or if anything remotely bad happens to her, Safari promises to personally grind him up into pig slop.

The drug exchange finally gets a time and place.
JinSook is waiting in a lobby café at the Flora Hotel when she calls Tooth to tell him the time and place of their drug exchange. He has exactly one hour to bring the goods to her. Safari gives another minion yet another briefcase full of packaged snow and offers him the deal originally offered to Meth Kim: do a few years in prison, come out, and then take over the Seoul branch, sit on Scale’s old throne. This is a guy who looks like he knows how to follow orders, although frankly, the promise sounds just as empty as it did when offered to Meth Kim.

No words. *drool*
ShiHyun is alone, and unlike Soo’s fancy pad, his home base is a middle-of-nowhere dump of an office-suite. He is taking a steaming hot shower. He’s nekkid—wiry, all muscle, and his entire back is the story of his credentials: his tattoos. Even dressed in nothing but his birthday suit, he looks menacing.
He seems tired, weary, and he takes a long drink while he waits. The call finally comes in: “It’s me, boss. Flora Hotel.” ShiHyun’s Second-in-Command is already waiting in the parking garage with the car but ShiHyun announces “I’m going alone,” and takes the driver seat before his man can even finish objecting.
He doesn’t get too far before he’s forced to slam on his brakes. Another car comes screeching at him in the cramped garage, blocking his way.

Doc, don’t go. This SERIOUSLY stinks. 
A bandaged, unbalanced Soo gets out of the other vehicle. He charges toward ShiHyun’s car, clearly furious. He shoves off his own Second who tries to help him walk.
When ShiHyun lowers his driver side window, Soo immediately demands, “How did my HyeSoo die!?” ShiHyun doesn’t answer, but he does frown. He recalls coldly brushing off the dying girl. Wisely, he doesn’t tell his friend that part of her death. He instead tells Soo to go back and rest. “HOW DID MY HYESOO DIE? You know who did it, don’t you?” he accuses.
ShiHyun insists he’s still looking into it and again tells Soo to go rest. He starts to close the window but Soo places a hand on it. This time, the anger has drained out, and he’s imploring, “Doc, don’t go. It stinks. Seriously stinks.” And more importantly, “I don’t trust Lee JinSook.” ShiHyun insists that’s exactly why he needs to go. Even if it is a trap, he needs to see for himself who’s behind it. Soo challenges, “Are you sure this isn’t just about JinSook?”
ShiHyun’s non-answer is to start closing the window again, and Soo lets his hand fall. ShiHyun’s expression is again at grim. But this guy is also always resolved.

How do you give up on the one person who built you?
As ShiHyun drives to the meet location, he can’t stop himself from remembering his long ago past with JinSook, one of the few maternal and caring figures in his life. We go far back in time again to when he was a young boy, back when JinSook went by the name “YiSeul.” Still feisty, but younger, JinSook is in a sexy slinky dress, but she’s standing in a local market at the moment. Her flashy is out of place in the homespun setting.
ShiHyun is standing beside her watching while she shoves and shouts at an older market woman, “Did you see that it was my ShiHyun? Did you?!” The lady responds viciously that one does not need to actually taste shit to know it is shit. “Shit!?” JinSook spits at the other woman like a viper. Literally spits at her. Fine, how much of the money in the woman’s raggedy little money box did ShiHyun supposedly steal? It was $30. Ha! JinSook says she’ll give her $50. But just so they’re both on the same page as to who’s the bigger deal in this neighborhood, does the market lady know who she is? Cheongyang’s Ace YiSeul! 
The lady most definitely recognizes the name and changes her tune immediately. She says in an ingratiatingly apologetic tone, “It was my fault for not locking it. People aren’t people if they don’t make mistakes, right?!” JinSook tells her to shut up and get them some ice cream.

Even a childhood without much innocence
…is still a childhood handled tenderly by its owner. 
It looks like a very hot, drizzly summer day. But a bright and hopeful one. You can almost smell the fresh rain washing the humidity away. JinSook and the heartbreakingly young ShiHyun sit side by side eating their free ice creams. Seeing that the kid is still feeling down, she offers to let him cop a feel. 
He looks at her for a moment, too seriously, then smiles innocently, “I don’t have any money.” She teases that he’s the richest man in Cheongyang. “We’ve got a long way to go,” he responds gravely. That confuses her. He clarifies, “Aunt’s debt.” 
She stares at him, surprised, and moved beyond words. After a long moment, she laughs brightly to break the serious mood. She teases, “I wish you would grow up faster so I can love you!”
She starts hugging and tickling him…and ends up finding the stolen money. He looks abashed, but she assures him kindly, with love, “You did good. Being nice will get you nowhere.”

This one is a love triangle of a different variety...it’s not really about sex or romance, but about knowing there’s a person out there who cares about you...just because it’s you. 
Safari catches JinSook and ShiHyun hugging and tickling and giggling. He’s all smiles, too, as he joins them in their play. He jokes that JinSook’s been caught in the act this time, her dallying with another man behind her hubby’s back. “Who’re you calling my hubby?” she snarks back. 
Safari wants to settle it right then and there with ShiHyun, man to man, as to who gets to be JinSook’s husband. The grown boy and the pint-sized boy playfully wrestle and fake fight in the rain, all the while JinSook runs around after them with an unbrella trying to stop the mock-scuffle before someone gets mock-hurt.

This may not be about Lee JinSook, but about Safari. 
Back in the present, Safari uses KyungMi’s phone to text Team Leader HyungMin that the Doctor’s Son is at Flora Hotel making the drug deal. As far as HyungMin knows, the text is from KyungMi. He really has no reason to disbelieve it, but also, even if he doubts her the actual sender, he has no choice but to go. All the SIU cops and SWAT head for the hotel. In the lobby at Flora, JinSook gets up from her table and heads for the room designated for the trade. 
Nearby, ShiHyun is also playing the waiting game. He flips open his phone to see the room number texted by JinSook’s bodyguard slash/informant. ShiHyun gets up to follow. 
He knows Safari must be at the hotel somewhere watching as the events of his planning unfold—because that’s how ShiHyun would do it. When the elevator arrives to the designated floor, he doesn’t step out. He realizes that if Safari isn’t in the hotel watching, that means he’s outside the hotel watching. 
The elevator doors close again and ShiHyun heads back down.

Oh, men, so predictable. 
JinSook’s bodyguard frisks Safari’s man when he arrives, allows him into JinSook’s hotel room, and then promptly leaves. This is not Safari’s doing. We learn that the bodyguard has already been ordered by ShiHyun to take himself out of the equation after the exchange starts. It seems odd ShiHyun would remove JinSook’s single line of protection and her ability to be warned for when the police start coming down the hall. Because as Safari already supposed, the Doctor does know it’s some sort of elaborate trap. Or perhaps her abandonment is by design, by a man who no longer trusts the woman who tried to kill his friend. 
Eitherway, JinSook is now alone with Safari’s man, completely without a shield. Inside JinSook wants to know where Tooth is, but the new guy, already knowing he has to stall until the cops arrive, decide he’d rather have some play time with his host than listen to her chatter. He pushes himself onto her and gives her a few good slaps to make his point clear that’ll he’ll be the one calling the shots.

Hey now, Safari, wasn’t the Doctor’s Son supposed to get arrested in the hotel tonight with JinSook? What is Safari’s real game? 
ShiHyun is walking out of the hotel’s revolving doors just as SWAT is running into it. He hesitates, but his hesitation is only for a second, and he turns back. The reason why he moves to head back into the hotel is unclear—to save JinSook? Why leave her unguarded in the first place? Is it a change of heart? Or does he go back to see if the man behind the trap is really in there watching? Or, does he simply want to watch the arrest?
As ShiHyun suspected, Safari is indeed outside the hotel eagerly monitoring the progress of the script from his car. When he sees ShiHyun come outside only to turn back around, intending to head back into the scene of the bust, Safari quickly starts his engine and guns right for him. 
ShiHyun stares at the oncoming car and jumps out of the way at the very last minute. From the ground, he locks eyes with the driver. It’s his old pal Safari. A genuine grin lights up ShiHyun’s face. Game on.  
He grabs the next car that he sees with a key in the ignition, which is a bad stroke of luck for him. The owners of the car are actually EunSoo and Tooth. But he doesn’t know them yet, doesn’t know they work for Safari. In a hurry, ShiHyun yanks Tooth out from the driver’s seat and takes off after Safari with the female passenger still in the seat beside him.

Yep, ballbuster. 
By the time the Special Unit and SWAT officers break through the doors of the hotel suite, JinSook has things well under control. The cops come in to see a briefcase gaping open with a whole lotta powder, but there is some kind of strange ruckus going on in the bedroom. It’s JinSook on top of some guy beating the shit out of his face with the heel of her shoe. 
When she sees the detectives, she drops the weaponized shoe and automatically raises her hands over her head. They arrest her and the heel-smacked man, but the cops realize this bust has been way too easy. It’s suspicious. There’s no Doctor’s Son, but more importantly, there’s no KyungMi.
HyungMin, always suspicious, and smarter than the average narc, thinks back to the moments leading up to the arrest. He recalls that outside the hotel a car had sped by just as police had been arriving, and his memory comes through for him. He remembers seeing a familiar woman’s face—the witness Kim EunSoo’s face! The woman who had claimed to be Scale’s lover! But she should still be in police detention. However, through a quick call, he learns that Deputy Commissioner Kang had shown up at the station a while ago and set her free. HyungMin orders the car to be traced!

Some people get couple rings, gangster boyfriends get matching stab wounds. 
The car in question is, at that precise moment, weaving through [thankfully] sparce late night Seoul traffic in a high speed car chase. When the two playing cars are forced to a screeching stop by interfering vehicles, Safari and ShiHyun lock eyes. 
And catching sight of who’s sitting right beside ShiHyun, Safari starts laughing before speeding off again. Forgotten until now, EunSoo makes her move and shoves a shiv right into ShiHyun’s side. He instinctively reacts, twisting her wrist free of the blade, then pounding her head into the dashboard. 
She’s a vixen and puts up a credible fight, getting a few good hits into his injured side, but in the end, she slumps unconscious in her seat. Holding his side in agony, he gets out of the car and comes around to yank open the passenger door. Before he can throw her out, or perhaps slap her awake for an impromptu question and answer session, he sees a whole lot of flashing red and blues coming his way. 
Sirens scream through the night. He shoots one last dirty look at the unconscious woman before limping away as casually and quickly as possible, considering the circumstances.

The Second Meeting between the Fated: it’s a little more memorable this time for both of them, with a lot more blood as well. 
At the 24-hour convenience store, SooMin is behind the register and appears to be studying something. A textbook is open on the counter. The store doorbells jingle, announcing a customer, but before she can finish her obligatory greeting, a guy has some sort of gun shoved into her face. He wants all of the money in the cash drawer. “No!” she says stubbornly, to the guy’s amazement. He grabs her hair and viciously yanks it back, “Do you want to die? I’ll shoot!” He’s twitchy and nervous, and clearly an amateur. The door jingles again. Still locked in their aggressive embrace, both crane their necks toward the new arrival. It’s a man in a suit. 
It’s ShiHyun, in fact, and he’s clenching his side, scowling. He stares right back at them, observes the gun shoved into the girl’s face. SooMin looks at him with desperately pleading eyes.
But this new arrival is the picture of uncaring irritation, and he purposely turns away, and goes about his business, continuing on into the back of the store. Back at the register the thief becomes even more agitated, knowing there’s an unknown contingent wandering around somewhere in the small store, but instead of giving up like he should, he’s still insisting on the money. 
But SooMin, very much like her big sis and thereby gifted with more bravery than brains, also stands her ground, insisting the thief can get the money himself if he wants it so bad.

Again, guys, if the person you are threatening isn’t afraid of you, he’s very likely a bigger badass than yourself. Turn around and go home, and count yourself lucky your liver is still inside your stomach. 
They’re interupted again by ShiHyun, who’s now walking toward the counter. “Let me just buy this first, huh?” he says grumpily, dropping a soju bottle and a package of firecrackers on the countertop.
SooMin looks at him in wide-eyed disbelief. The unluckiest thief in Seoul is now in full on panic mode and he’s foolishly decided to point his little gun into ShiHyun’s face, rattling words like a fool, “Are you blind? I’m going to shoot! I really am! Who the hell are you?” ShiHyun’s expression is a pained scowl-grimace. 
Stabbed in the gut, in excruciating pain, and irritated beyond measure, and probably feeling a little faint due to all the blood loss—he can’t stand it anymore. Without warning, he snaps away the gun waving under his nose and smacks the thief across the face with it. ONCE. Hard. The other man is still standing. TWICE. Even harder. And the guy goes down and crawls out the door. 
ShiHyun turns back to the register as if nothing happened, asking, “How much?” He’s pulling out bills even as SooMin stares horrified at the massive amount of blood drenching the front of her savior’s white shirt. Without waiting for an answer, ShiHyun tosses bills on the counter and turns to leave.

Girl, he’s a hot boy, yes, but you really do have more bravery than sense. That’s no biking wound, that’s a dangerous-person wound, and the fact that he’s there buying soju and not at a hospital should tell you to stay the hell away from him. 
“Customer!” she cries out after him as he stumbles toward the door. She rushes over and holds out a package that appears to be medical supplies. He stares at her and the offered bag. 
He looks sufficiently irritated so she hurries to explain that she also hurt herself while biking but it looks like he needs this more than she does. He kind of snorts at that, but grabs it anyway. “Thanks,” he mutters as he moves past her.

He’s a guy with lots of people who want to kill him, including having just been stabbed by a pretty girl. Excuse him if he’s a little touchy about women grabbing him from behind.
ShiHyun doesn’t get very far outside before collapsing to his knees on the sidewalk. SooMin has been watching from inside the store and as soon as she sees him fall, she rushes out and grabs him from behind, throwing her arms around his shoulders. 
He instinctively recoils at the unexpected contact and swivels around with a drawn blade. She yelps at the sharp edge inches from her face, but is held in place by her own arm wrapping him close to her. “What do you want?” he demands suspiciously. She manages to eek out that she only wants to help him because he seems so hurt. 
He absorbs her words, lets them sink in, calms down some. He lowers his weapon, but he’s still irritated. And she still has her arm around him. He shoves her off and she falls to the ground. 
He collects his fallen belongings and limps away, but issues a warning about tangling up with strangers: “You shouldn’t come at someone from behind…without permission.” He’s also telling her to mind her own damn business. She stares after his back as his walks away.

Where else can he get some information? 
HyungMin arrives at the crash scene where ShiHyun has left behind the unconscious EunSoo. The detective with a missing girlfriend has far surpassed worry, fear, and fury. He’s completely irrational at this point. He wants to smack awake the impostor witness as she’s being wheeled into the ambulance but the paramedics (barely) manage to pull him off.

Soo commendably refrains from saying “I told you so.” Or maybe he already got that part out of the way with his “Hello.”
Pulled over to the side on an overpass, Soo is standing by his car, staring out at the cars below. He’s personally come to pick up ShiHyun, who is currently tending to himself in the backseat. 
Soo glances at his friend through the rearview window and shakes his head, wondering at the mess they’ve gotten themselves into this time. 
Inside, ShiHyun stitches himself up nicely (with his sexy capable hands) and sprinkles firecracker propellant over his injury. 
After taking a deep swig of the soju, he lights himself up to cauterize the wound. He grimaces and clenches his jaw, but does not pass out, nor does he scream at what must be an amazing amount of pain.

The Doc doesn’t like yellow band-aids with happy faces. 
They’re back on the road and Soo’s at the wheel. The mood in the car is serious. ShiHyun is in the passenger seat, still scowling. His frustration is showing. He raises a hand to rub at his temple and really notices the band-aid on his knuckle for the first time. It’s a yellow girlie thing with cartoons on it. “I fell off my bike earlier today…” the convenience store clerk’s words come back to him. 
He sorta grins, catches himself, then frowns again. After glancing at Soo, he rips it off, as if any act of kindness is something he can’t have on him as a reminder of his weakness. 
He says aloud to Soo, “Look into the hospitals.” He’s thinking of a different girl now, the bitch that stabbed him, the one working with Safari. “That woman probably isn’t dead yet.”

Dress shoes never looked so threatening. 
The hospital elevator announces its arrival and slides open its doors. Two pairs of leather loafers step out, one simple and functional, the other flashy and steel-tipped. Even their paired footfalls are ominous. 
ShiHyun and Soo stroll through the medical corridors, their progress heralds a soft countdown—tap, tap, tap—in the empty hospital. It’s late at night, as always, for this is when the predators roam the streets, and the way is clear for them. Our two recently stabbed men appear to be in fine health, or they would rather get on with the revenging than take any time to heal. 
They don’t skulk, they don’t look behind them, they simply stroll on through, plainly and without any trouble. They pass a board with patient names matched to rooms. 
They exchange a brief glance, a silent understanding between them. Game on. Serious.

Where is Safari?
They find the door with the police detail. They shove the cop inside before anyone sees them making a scene. Soo takes the police officer into the bathroom and takes care of it. As ShiHyun approaches EunSoo, the ensuing beatdown can be heard going on around the corner. EunSoo tries to reach the nurse’s emergency call button but ShiHyun calmly grabs her wrist. She squeals in pain but he’s unmoved by the display.
He eases himself down onto the edge of her bed, like an old friend. Soo comes out and leans against the wall. In a strange combination of soothing and threatening, ShiHyun explains, “Your answers will determine how this will go for you.” If he likes her answers, he’ll help her out. On the other hand, if he doesn’t, things will get worse for her, far beyond her imagination. Does she understand? She looks away. 
Soo stalks over and roughly grabs her bandaged head. He squeezes viciously, “Answer him!” When she’s managed her pain and settles down, ShiHyun asks, always so much more menacing because he is seemingly so polite, so soft-spoken: “Where is Safari right now?”

Everyone loves a good cop that goes rogue.
HyungMin gets more bad news, this time he’s told that the guard posted at witness Kim EunSoo’s door was knocked out and the woman gone. In the police interrogation room, Safari’s Man appears to have recovered from getting his head whacked by JinSook’s high heels and is in the middle of being interviewed. HyungMin essentially loses his mind on him. The criminal doesn’t believe that the cops can actually do him any physical harm, they’re always only bluff. Under ordinary circumstances, he’d probably be correct. Of course, what this guy doesn’t get is that ‘ordinary circumstances’ was yesterday. Today, there is a fellow cop’s life on the line, and she’s not just any cop, but the woman HyungMin wants to marry. He wraps a jacket around the muzzle of a gun and assures, “Don’t worry, I’ve turned off all the cameras.” And shoots Safari’s Man in the leg! 
The guy can’t believe it and takes a few long seconds before he starts screaming in pain and disbelief. Seems he’s more shocked than anything. 
The other two Special Unit officers in the room can’t believe it either and seem just as stunned as the guy who got illegally shot while in police custody. HyungMin wants to know where his lady cop is or else…HyungMin suggests a possible scenario for the evening: it’s quite possible they had to shoot down a criminal tonight when the bad guy tried to escape. 
Safari’s Man finally gets the picture that this cop is no poker player, that bluffing is not his thing. This crazy cop really will shoot him in the head. He promptly sings, tells them that their female cop is being held at Meth Kim’s factory.
Elsewhere, Soo and ShiHyun are also on the move. With their stolen witness, they are heading for the very same location. As he drives, Soo tells the tied up EunSoo, “If he’s not there, seriously, you’re dead. You get me?”

Even in the middle of a brutal bloody melee about to go down, someone still takes a moment to remember that they have to open the Doctor’s car door for him. Heh.
KyungMi is alive and awake, and she looks okay. Meth Kim is on the move, possibly figuring it’s not safe anymore to stay in one place. As their entourage is heading for their cars, KyungMi makes a valiant attempt at escape but she only gets as far as the dirt road when a cavalry of cars pull up to block her way
They are in a secluded, wooded area, more dark than lit, and the headlights from the new arrivals beam a spotlight on her. ShiHyun and Soo step out of the first car. Behind them, an entire mob of suited men pour out holding steel pipes. KyungMi stands frozen in the middle of a battleground about to explode.
Behind her is Meth Kim and his men, ahead of her an unknown party of equally dangerous-looking thugs. This is not the kind of situation where the enemy of one’s enemy is not one’s enemy—these are ALL her enemies. 
ShiHyun sees only Meth Kim on the far side, doesn’t even acknowledge the unknown woman in the road. “Go,” he says. Soo lurches forward, shouting, “Hit them!”

Every time a bad guy sneaks away, it means trouble to come in the plot ahead. Can someone please tell that to the good guys? 
As the two forces collide in a sea of black and white and blood, KyungMi in her hot pink undercover outfit does her best to get out of the way. Likewise, EunSoo, forgotten in Soo’s car, takes the opportunity to untie herself and slip away as well. Meth Kim looks across the struggle of bodies to see the Doctor’s Son, not fighting, but just watching him. And waiting. 
Kim can clearly tell that his men are outmatched and pretty soon the Doctor’s Son will come for him. This, afterall, is the bastard that took out more than a dozen of his men all by himself. At the urging of a henchman, he makes the choice to flee. 
KyungMi is hiding behind a tree and watches Meth Kim take off. She, of course, yet again more bravery than brains, can’t help herself but follow.

Is this the right place? 
The Special Unit squad have arrived to a wooded area host to an abandoned warehouse. It’s quiet and empty. Either they’re at the wrong location, or they’re too late. HyungMin yells out directives and they all scatter to investigate the area.
They knock down the door and enter the building to see a bunch of bruised and beaten men all tied up and waiting for them, but there is no sign of the winners who did the tying.

More bravery than brains...and that melancholy somewhere inside her…and a reckless disregard for her own life… this feels not good...
KyungMi is still in a lot pain judging by the way she clutches at her lower abdomen as she skulks around, yet she continues to foolishly pursue Meth Kim and follow him deeper into the dark corners of the property. Unfortunately, Kim sneaks up on her first and puts a gun to her head. He can’t understand why she’s so dogged in chasing after him when he’s got such an honest face. He yanks her to a standing position and they shuffle out into the open. 
It’s very, very black, everywhere in obscurity. There is light, but it is only in places, and the large crates scattered all around create pockets of shadow that conceal dangerous men. Suddenly there’s a commotion behind one. It’s the Doctor’s Son and he dispatches Kim’s bodyguards in seconds. Kim fires a shot in the dark at the approaching shadow, who takes no effort at all to dodge it. Shooting and actually hitting his hunter a fail prospect, Kim presses the gun to KyungMi’s head instead. ShiHyun is still standing between the shadows. Kim warns, “Don’t come any closer, or I’ll really pull he trigger!” ShiHyun doesn’t think the woman’s life is of any interest to him. He tosses out, “If you want to kill her, go ahead.” Kim shouts, “You bastard!” He swings the gun back toward the Doctor’s Son.

I’m afraid the cops are always destined to be minutes too late in a crime thriller…until they team up with the baddies. 
HyungMin and the crew hear the gunshots fired somewhere nearby. “Where is that?” he yells. In the building next door! They all rush over. SWAT joins them in pounding through the warehouse. 
Director Min is now a part of the night’s events. He’s at the command center monitoring the raid remotely. “What’s the situation?” he asks anxiously.

Doesn’t Kim ever get tired of being such a weasel? 
Before Meth Kim can fire at the Doctor’s Son again, KyungMi elbows him in the stomach and makes a run for it. ShiHyun moves quick to take advantage of the distraction. He’s on Meth Kim immediately, tripping him into the dirt, pounding his face and slapping him down. Kim begs, “Doctor! Please spare me! Just this once!” ShiHyun doesn’t even think twice about pulling his fist back for a killing punch.

KyungMi has found Meth Kim’s dropped gun and she’s pointing it at ShiHyun’s back. She asks, “You’re the Doctor’s Son? Are you him?” She’s got the gun firmly held, and she sounds commanding enough, but she’s jittery, her sweat, blood, and fear are clinging all over her. ShiHyun is hunched over Kim’s form, but he does stop his attack. He straightens up and turns around to face her, but his features stay shrouded in shadow. 
They are standing several feet apart, separated by an entire length of night between them, faces still hidden. “What are you?” he asks. She’s a new player that he hasn’t been introduced to yet in their games, but she seems to know his name. “Don’t move!” she shouts in warning when he takes a step toward her. Behind ShiHyun, self-preservation kicks in and sensing his betters are currently occupied, Meth Kim scrambles away unnoticed. ShiHyun has his head angled, and he’s squinting in the woman’s direction. Something about the moment has him…bothered. 
The woman announces, “I am Detective Lee KyungMi of the Special Investigation Unit. I’m arresting you for possession and for suspicion of drug trafficking!” ShiHyun, the Doctor’s Son, the man who doesn’t even break a sweat taking down a squad of killers, always so composed and unflappable, completely loses his mask of indifference. 
His expression shifts, slightly yes, but again, even the smallest change on his face feels like a shout, as it does when a man always in control becomes rattled. His face is a frozen mixture of shock, confusion, and horror. He steps forward. She keeps warning him to stay back. But he takes another step. And then another…and steps out of the darkness completely.


KyungMi is clenching at the gun in her hand, still aimed at him. The Doctor’s Son is now only paces away from where she stands. She gets her first clear look at his face. Her aim falters, lowers slightly. Her own expression crumbles completely. Her face mirrors the one on ShiHyun’s: shock, confusion, horror. She whispers fearfully, “ShiHyun-oppa? Oppa? Why are you…?
They stare at each other. Frozen.

Stop reading this and just go watch it already! Ha! A drama so thrilling, it got me to actually recap three of its episodes in order to share the love! Check out this great JTBC Monday/Tuesday drama. JTBC, you are killing me with your artistry. You keep surprising me like this, I might have to check out every drama you air, and that’s an intimidating prospect...


  1. Your recaps are wonderful, I'm addicted to this show and now I wish there was a novel version of this story.

    Are planning to do more?

    1. Are *you* planning to do more

    2. Hey Chimera! Thanks! I'm completely in love with this show too. In theory, I would LOVE to do more recaps, but I know I won't be able to finish it because of my time contraints, so unfortunately, there will only be these three. Sorry!


A Jerk-Free Zone: this is a site for friendly debate, please be respectful and courteous to others. Comments that violate that spirit will be removed. This will be strictly enforced. Thank you.

Recent Posts

A Year End Review
Biased & Worst of 2013

Badasses & Bromances

First Impressions
Let’s Eat (2014)
식샤를 합시다
(Nov 2013 – Mar 2014)

JTBC, Monday -Tuesday
Aired May- July 2013

Marry Me Yoo AhIn!
Dramas and drama-ish show I talk about after the jump: WINMaster’s Sun and Good Doctor.

The Girl Who Cried Wolf
Dramas I talk about after the jump: Master’s Sun (eps 11-12). If you haven’t watched Master’s Sun yet, don’t read on. Major ass spoilers ahead...because major ass things went down!

Funny Mathematics
Master’s Sun (eps 9 & 10) is the only drama I chat about after the jump. But I am pretty sure I am going to start Good Doctor this week.

Heartless City (2013)
무정도시 / Cruel City
(May – July 2013)

Crossing Imaginary Lines
Dramas I will spoil after the jump: Master’s Sun (Eps 7-8). I am still watching Who Are You, but I have little to say on it, other than Kim JaeWook continues to be a handsome spectral figure. Oh, and I had to officially drop Goddess of Fire.

More fangirling over JiSub and HyoJin after the jump, and Master’s Sun (Episode 5 and 6) will be the only drama I yap about and spoil. It was the only one I managed to watch this week.

I Can Hear Your Voice (2013)
너의 목소리가 들려
(Jun – Jul 2013)

Bright Bright Taeyang
Dramas I will talk about and spoil after the  jump: Master’s Sun (until Ep 4). And some more thoughts on The Blade and the Petal (up to Ep6), and Who Are You (up to Ep6). And also, the craziest thing I saw this weekend: Kim WooBin fighting killer female robots.