JoAnne: I think I just made random noises of support and appreciation.
Shuk: I spun around in my chair and squealed, which got the guy in the next office poking their head in. "Everything okay?", he asked, and I happily replied, "Nope, a fictional character just got some." They think I am a bit eccentric at work. Still...
kakashi: And now, the kissing isn't so close lipped anymore. Okay, sorry for ever doubting you show, cause this is getting hotter by the second. They are in her room and clothes come off. He stops, cupping her face in his hands. But no ... there is no stopping or questioning this, cause ... once certain hormones take over, they take over. And the most tender of all KDrama bed scenes I have ever seen follows. How can this be so sweet? He kisses her forehead, her eyebrow, the tip of her nose, her cheek, finally her mouth ...
JoAnne: After exhaustive research, I can tell you quite definitively that no matter how often you watch it and no matter how oddly you crane your head, there's very little but kissing to see. Bright side: Dems some damn good kisses. I think MY mouth moved, which, ok, it's a little creepy but I know I'm not the only one. It was incredibly tender, yes. Do people really have sex like that with hookers? I don't think so. Be strong, Soo Min.
Shuk: In the back of his mind, she is one of Jin-sook's girls, but remember: his BFF's girl worked for Jin-sook too. So I don't see him treating them any differently from any other girl. He's just a guy reaching out to the one woman who treats him like a human. Really, he is just saying 'Thank you."
JoAnne: If I could breathe (or think coherently) I would like it very much, but I will admit that I would be crushed to wake up and find him gone.
Shuk: He's thinking how Cutie-soo's relationship ended, but he is tempted to take the same path.
JoAnne: How do I feel about Baksa with Cutie Soo on his mind as he gets out of a woman's bed? Hmmmm.
Shuk: I'm talking about the walk down the hallway, unni. Silly.
JoAnne: That son of a BITCH. Oh I WILL make you love me, now. Wait. I'm not in this. *sighs*
Shuk: Don't be hating. That's how it's done in Jin-sook's Pleasure Palace.
(and Thighs) (and Detective Dick) and Soo-min doesn't contradict her. The poor girl doesn't get the meaning of the money ... until Jin-sook spells it out to her. It's a tip! And a clear indication that he hasn't given his heart to her yet. She must try harder. Jin-sook leaves ... and Soo-min is immensely pissed. And we see why in a flashback. She is on top of him, caressing one of his many scars. Her voice is full of pity when she says: "You've been hurt a lot". And they kiss more, oh so tenderly. They really had a moment there, it seems ... and she feels utterly betrayed by the money. I cannot blame her!
JoAnne: But oddly, I am comforted by Jin Sook's explanation of the psychology because it means he's TRYING to keep distance. Which must mean he doesn't WANT distance. Oh right. I'm not in this.
Shuk: He knows he can't afford the distraction. He doesn't know she's not a real hostess. He also believes her primary loyalty is to Jin-sook, and is thinking about his noona's reaction if he took up with one of her girls. All that in a split-second in that sharp mind. He's that good. Plus, she's kind of stupid - she's supposed to be earning her keep on her back, seducing Thighs, so why is she upset that someone believes her role?
JoAnne: Actual Moment of Squee.
Shuk: It pained my heart, now that he's found his pyrocant. She's going to shred him, but I believe she will heal him in the end, too.
JoAnne: That's Do Hoon and if I get any more frustrated by my inability to remember who he reminds me of - no, it's not So Ji Sub - I may have to quit this show. Right. Like that would happen. I'm considering flying to Yes Asia HQ to pick up my DVD.
Shuk: Um, is anyone thinking that Cutie-soo may be another cop-in-disguise? Passing stuff to the team? or [fists clenched] is he working for the Chairman and is going to betray uri Baksa? I feel one of those anime veinpops coming on. I just don't know who to believe anymore. Damn you, Show, for twisting me up in knots! Well done, Show for the same reason!
JoAnne: Here's where I realize that she actually has strong feelings for Thighs. Ah, this poor girl. The man she can't have - who treats her like she's actually a gangster - and the man she substitutes for him, who treats her like a hooker. For now. That moment when she looked at him and began to cry because of what had just gone on between her and Baksa...I felt for her. I think Nam Gyu Ri is doing a decent job, and I almost don't mind her alien freaky-eyes anymore. She's very cute.
Shuk: I think she needs one of those anime veinpops too. Poor thing,, thinking she is attracted to such a clueless wonder.
JoAnne: Marginally hot, my ass.
Shuk: The hair! OMG what a difference! Heck, I would have probably tripped him and beat him to the floor if he looked like that the first time.
JoAnne: He was a bossy, nosy kind of boyfriend. I actually like those. Mostly because I enjoy thwarting them.
Shuk: It does establish her brat status in his mind, at least until last episode.
JoAnne: The moment when she figures out that Pororo/Mister Gangster is actually Baksa Adeul...I'm already preloading with ibuprofen for the heart ache there.
Shuk: And blinders. What kind of person throws someone like her into this mess? Let's check Thigh's humanity too.
JoAnne: What I loved is that exasperated 'forget I even mentioned this' walk away that Baksa does. These guys are perfect together. Also: Am very glad that Baksa wasn't a ho.
Shuk: It will take a strong woman to keep him happy. With moral fiber too.
JoAnne: I am just so icked out by her actual desire to bed the man that used to be the boy she raised. But I keep telling myself we just saw them hanging out. It's not necessarily true that she took him as her own child - I mean, he did live at the orphanage, right? So if he was just this cute younger boy...I'm trying. I'm trying. At least it's clear that he's not interested in HER that way.
Shuk: I wonder what he did for her on other birthdays, for her to be so surprised at this one. I'm guessing it didn't involve anything she could take off for him before...ugh, I just creeped myself out at that thought. [rubs goosebumps]
JoAnne: So he got her all dressed up and he was going to take her out for a drink to what - distract himself from Soo Min? But then Soo Min calls and he suddenly leaves because he's dying to find out what she had to say? He is so hooked.
Shuk: Since the majority of his actions have been around her and with her, she has to wonder why he would blow her off after giving her a dress and a hug.
JoAnne: I think he's puzzled and wary. Like a dog that's been abandoned and is half-feral, but remembers that some humans used to be nice to him, once upon a time. His tail wags even as he growls at you.
Shuk: "Come to me little lost puppy, and I will treat you to milkbones and let you sleep on my bed." But he should be worried; after all, he already knows his noona has no intention of changing her ways.
JoAnne: So they used to be a couple, right? What happened? He's kind of like a puppy around her. I enjoy lovesick Safari, but these last couple episodes we've seen regretfully mean Safari and not nearly enough truly freaking scary Safari.
Shuk: She has some powerful men at her beck and call, and yet it appears that she is still fairly small time. Why is this? Has she never ever been able to escape the petty criminal she was back then? I'm somewhat disappointed in her continuous "Don't hurt Baksa" when we all know how ineffectual it is. And yes, smart psychopath Safari is the greatest.
JoAnne: Yeah, that word stuck with me too. What do you think is going on here? Do you think she is suspicious of Soo Min?
Shuk: I think she sees the possibility that Soo-min is a mole; after all, their meeting was a bit too pat. So this would test both her loyalty and her abilities.
Shuk: I don't get Herman's status in all this. In? Out? Self-employed? Self-delusional? Government-sanctioned loose cannon?
kakashi: Superintendent Min gets a little visit from Baksa, who is waiting for him in his car. He has been watching the exchange between Soo-min and Jin-sook (could it be he has bugs in the rooms? Yes? YES?) and wants Min to track a cell-phone for him. And I am sure at this moment that Baksa absolutely wants to be found out, cause ... why else would he go to the police headquarters like this?!
JoAnne: As he said: I'm a policeman, too! The life of a crimelord is getting weary, methinks. The chinks in his armor are so big you could drive a truck through them. Why did I mention truck? Shit. *knocks on wood*
Shuk: I think he's ready for this whole thing to be over, so he can forget about it and sleep for a month. Preferably not alone.
JoAnne: Right? I'm not sure of Jin-Sook at this moment. Also: way to blend in, Ditz.
Shuk: Because everyone wears black in the summer to go to the zoo...
JoAnne: This is going to be awesome.
Shuk: I call shenanigans!
kakashi: The whole gang of baddies is at the zoo, waiting ... for what they think is Jin-sook. Also there: Neanderthal. Who is, once again, doing a lousy job in protecting his informant. Also there: Prosecutor Ahn with an entire swat team and the rest of the Incapable-Squad. Of course, Neanderthal and Ahn (who wants the informant! Like really bad!) bicker about who gets to move where and why. Soon there: Baksa, who gets a phone-call from Min (who tells him not to get involved, but who ever listens to him, anyway).
JoAnne: Without the subs, I was truly puzzled by that long moment of inaction where everyone is in sight but no one moves to connect. Made a whole lot more sense this time around.
Shuk: Lemme count the bodies: 5 bad guys, 8 balaclava'd SWAT members, 3 Scooby team members, Prosecutor Ahn, Hyung-min, Baksa (who must be on his way), and our high-heeled chippy mule. So we got a nice group of twenty wandering around a park filled with hundreds of children, parents, and smartphones with cameras. Anyone else think this is a bad idea??
JoAnne: So she was using her, but not in a 'kill the bitch' kind of way. Ok. Just the normal 'this is how we treat our friends' in the drug world. I feel better now, actually. Because I still want to like Jin Sook and I'm really struggling with her wanting to sleep with Baksa. If she also wants to betray Soo Min, I might have to quit her.
Shuk: What a cluster-f**k.
JoAnne: Squeeeeeeeeee! My Hero!
Shuk: Is it a telling moment, that Baksa is leading her to safety but Detective Dick is running after Meth Kim and essentially abandoning her to her own devices? I want to say it again. Ass.
JoAnne: So the heels: they should have snapped like twigs when she was running. For that matter, her legs should have, too. I loved the extra moment they took filming him grabbing her hand, and how they took time to really lace fingers and get a firm grip. We're meant to understand that no matter what, they're together. Solid. Right?
Shuk: SQUEEE! Entwined fingers of love in the midst of hostility!
JoAnne: It was very Bond, James Bond. I LOVED it.
Shuk: And his real name to boot. WOOT!! Another important step for them. Possibly another nail in his coffin. Or another letter on his jar. I had hoped he would stroke her cheek. Does she think he might be Baksa?
JoAnne: What movie was it where the guy calls and gets mad because she answers and she gets mad and says she wouldn't answer, but he keeps calling? Is it Pretty Woman? I think it is. Ah, Richard Gere. He would have been a good Baksa, back in the day.
Shuk: Everybody's plans have gone to shit: Jin-sook's, Safari's, Hyung-min's, the task force; heck, I think Baksa has the best of it; he's just going by the gorgeous seat of his pants. Thinking on the fly is the better way to go.
JoAnne: He's learning?
Shuk: Pah, he didn't think about Soo-min before. If he's thinking, it's only with his glands. Athough it's nice that he knows how to shoot other parts of the body besides the leg.
kakashi: Baksa, who is running around with a suitcase full of drugs in a building swarming with police, spots Safari and goes after him. The scene that follows has forever changed the way I look at libraries. Using the book shelves as cover, the two men talk about their intertwined destinies, women, the past, the killing of the boring cop-lady (it wasn't Safari either), and the killing of each other. They stab through the book shelves without harming a single book and end up on the floor.
JoAnne: First of all: why is there a library this big at the zoo? Second of all: I've been laughing for almost this entire scene at the image of this building swarming with cops and bad guys playing Running Man. And third: these guys are so fabulous.
Shuk: I liked the library scenes in QIHM too, but I loved this one. It really highlighted their cat-and-mouse adult relationship, even as they talked but the past.
JoAnne: I know what you're going to say, and if we follow that logic then someone else has a gun, too.
Shuk: At least this time, Hyung-min is a good thing. And where's the briefcase?
JoAnne: I had the bomb thought, too. I loved the decision-making process that played over Safari's face. This guy really gets into character. I love watching him.
Shuk: Whut? I categorically refuse to believe he is a cop, even if he is, short of Shi-hyun, the smartest and most capable of any character sporting a weapon so far. I yelled and threw a slipper-sock at the television. Yeah, I know, but I did pay a lot for my flat-screen.
JoAnne: And that was my face too, but my mouth was open wider and noises were coming out.
kakashi: Well, well, well. Surprise, surprise, surprise. So ... who is NOT an undercover agent in this drama? We could have known, though. Before they changed the title to Cruel or Heartless City, this show was called Undercover. Says it all, I guess. There are several possibilities now. I was at first hoping that it could be a fake-out, but doubt it now, cause of the gun. There are few of them and almost only law enforcement carries them around. If it is not a fake-out, the big question is of course who of all the undercover agents can still "get out", the big topic of this show. We keep hearing again and again how leaving this life is impossible; once you're in, you're in. And they definitely ARE in. All of them. Baksa, Safari, Jin-sook ... and increasingly, chopsticklegs.
That said, we have reached the half-time mark now and I want to have it on record that I am utterly, utterly satisfied with this drama until now. And even if it goes the way so many KDramas go in the second half, it is the surprise hit of 2013 for me and I doubt that anything else will be able to beat it.
JoAnne: Yes but the one who's been saying once you're in you can't get out is a COP. Ok, he's been undercover for something like 20 years, but still. I think he could be, at least nominally, an actual cop. But I fail to see what compelling reason he had for outing himself at this point. He could have just surrendered to Hyung Min and cleared it up privately at the station. And what happens next? Does Baksa confess too, and then all 3 cops go out for coffee and donuts? This show is well on its way to being my favorite drama of all time. Certainly of 2013.
Shuk: For the record, my guys prefer chocolate chip cookies to doughnuts. Bring on 11!!