28 June 2013

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Heartless City (Moojung Doshi) - Episode 10 (A SqueeCap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on June 28, 2013
kakashi: And repeat ... the silly-cute-stupid girl is meeting the sleeping tiger and pokes, pokes, pokes him (has nobody told her that you do not touch strangers?! orphans, ts...), until he bites her head off. Or rather, kisses her. Close lipped. BUT they both have their eyes shut, which is NOT a given in KDrama. They part, slowly ... they look into each other's eyes ... and she leans back in. GO FOR IT GIRL! Is what I scream (sorry, neighbors).
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."
 
kakashi: And cut. Ouch. Too soon, too soon!! He stands there, fully dressed, and switches off the light on the nightstand. Then he leaves, without looking back, while she is sleeping peacefully (exhausted?) in the big bed. Naughty boy, you. But out in the hallway, he slows down his steps, and turns ... lost in thought. He is clearly rattled. I like this very much and so don't like it at the same time.
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.
kakashi: Classic KDrama moment, when he enters one elevator to the right just as the other to the left spits out Jin-sook. Who is on her way to see her new girlfriend. Who is fast asleep (it was that good, huh?). The persistent knocking finally manages to wake her, but she lies, lies, lies to Jin-sook (about not being asleep, about not having had a guy in the room, etc.). The underwear that is scattered all over the floor is a dead giveaway though ... and so is the money lying on the table! WTF! He put money there?!
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.
kakashi: Jin-sook suspects it was Ji Hyung-min (aka known as Neanderthal around here) (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? 
kakashi: Baksa, riding home in his car, also remembers. How he sits on the bed for a long time, watching her sleep. Carefully and slowly, he moves his hands towards her hair, hesitates ... but then brushes the hair out of her eyes without waking her. Only after this gesture, he gets up, switches off the light and leaves. He is doomed.
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.
kakashi: Secret meet-up between Cutie-Soo and Bad-Cop-what's-His-Name. Cutie-Soo wants to know what Neanderthal is up to. Probation and stuff is the answer. But Cutie-Soo is not satisfied ... he thinks something is amiss. I am not entirely sure what, but that's probably due to very tight white trousers he is wearing. I notice them, and almost only them. And a piece of paper he gives to the bad cop. We don't know what's in it, though.
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!
kakashi: Neanderthal, who has really well-manicured hands, is looking at pictures of his dead (boring) lover. And smiles. And is kinda cute when he does. Soo-min gets home, looking all gorgeous in a green-see-through-dress. He is very friendly to her all of a sudden and even bought her a microwave dish! Lol. True love. She blows him off, he doesn't get it. She wants to storm out and he wants to know what's wrong (has he eaten some kind of feel-me-pills?). And oh no, she completely breaks down, screaming at him that it's all because he is not giving his heart to her.
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.
kakashi: Puzzled looks all around. But, wahoo, a flashback! It's Soo-min and her friend, in their rebel-phase. Soo-min spots her sister with Neanderthal, talking to a nun. Neanderthal has the hair out of the way and looks marginally hot. Soo-min is noticeably smitten ... until he introduces himself as boyfriend of her sister and her face falls. She switches to being ultra rude with him. It's a well known defensive mechanism.
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.
kakashi: This is the episode of the parallel flashbacks, it seems ... because Neanderthal also has one, while he broodily sits at the kitchen tables. He remembers an episode in the garden, when the two of them had a little head-butting. When she gets in (quickly arranging her hair when she sees him), he scolds her for always giving her sister heartache. And she ... gets some money from him (to buy "books") by blackmailing him about telling her sister about him not being nice to her! Awesome and well done. 
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.
kakashi: And this is followed by a scene in which he instructs her in self-defense. Not sure whether that's also a flashback or not. He floors her again and again. When it's her turn, she struggles at first ... but then, whoossa! She throws him down pretty hard and several times at that. I fantasize about doing that to him, too, and am not sure what it might mean. When they share a drink together after the work-out, they start talking about Baksa-Adeul. She wonders what kind of person he is, and he says: certainly no longer a human being. If you want to get to that position, you have to give up your human heart. And ... he is the one who killed boooooring Kyung-mi. Who else senses massive misunderstandings ahead?
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.
kakashi: And next up, we have a very cute Cutie-Soo, who is very much interested in why Baksa Adeul asks him for advice about gifts for women. Love his very incredulous "WTF you have a girl?????"-look. It even gets me over the slight annoyance I feel about his constant 진정? 진정?
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.
 
kakashi: We all do know which girl Baksa was talking about, but the woman who gets a gift next is Jin-sook. She looks puzzled when he says he was too shy to get just one and wishes her a happy birthday. She is giddy (who wouldn't be after getting a hug from him) but I am not quite sure this is the best way to cover up a developing crush?
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]
kakashi: Soo-min is walking somewhere in the dark after having met her friend for a drink. She wants to call her Pororo ... but doesn't. And then does. He picks up right when Jin-sook comes back into the room, having changed into the new dress. He compliments her on looking very pretty (I personally don't like the dress at all), but then excuses himself and rushes out. But when he calls Soo-min back, he cannot reach her, because she is also on the phone ... with Jin-sook. And passes by Baksa, without noticing him, to go in where he just left Jin-sook.
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.
 
kakashi: It is kinda cute how Jin-sook wants to get over the disappointment and heartache she feels for being left by him so quickly with her - and kinda chilling that these two women have no clue that a mighty storm is brewing right behind them. While they drink, she gets a phone call from Safari about a meeting. When she says "Don't come here. Baksa can never find out about this", Soo-min's ears grow as big as satellite dishes.
kakashi: Baksa watches Soo-min leave ... is it doubt in his face? Weariness? He grabs Jin-sook, who also wants to leave, by the arm and demands to know who that woman is. Jin-sook tells him that she saved her life in prison - and he wants to know whether she plans to turn her into another Hye-soo (The woman Cutie-soo was sleeping with). But she, once again, doesn't take well to him meddling with her affairs and life and tells him to butt out. And doesn't he know? They cannot leave this life. Never.
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.
kakashi: Her meeting with Safari is once again about the distributor/wholesaler issue. She will help, if he leaves Baksa alone. And then, curious Safari asks what we all want to know (cause he's jeeeeealous!): What is Baksa to her? A little brother? Probably not, right? A man she wants to have in her bed? Not your fucking problem, is what she says, and they agree to a deal involving three kilos of drugs.
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.
kakashi: After the meeting, she sits in her red dragon lair and thinks deep thoughts. About Soo-min. Flashbacks to all the moments when Soo-min was a tough cookie. Not liking this ... she calls the girl and goes to see her. With a backpack full of money. And she tells her its her birthday ... and she wants her to run this errand for her: "just" exchange bags (and I've learned a new Korean word by now, which is 거래). When Soo-min opens the bag and sees the amount of money in it, she understands what this is about.
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.
kakashi: Slightly panicked, our girl calls her handler - who goes back to the Special Unit, to ask for their help (aka known as special location tracing equipment). And OF COURSE he insists to go alone. Bleh.
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.
kakashi: And off she goes, our new drug-courier ... wearing tight black clothes and heels so high I cringe from the pain I feel just from watching this. Of all places, the handover is going to happen in... a zoo. Mean of you, Jin-sook. Poor girl has a zoo-trauma after all!
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...
kakashi: At the Special Affairs Offices, things go awry. Prosecutor Ahn has arrived, being a dick as always (I love how this is not a one-dimensional character either) - and telling them that HE is in charge of the whole Special Affairs Team now. Oh, great. And OF COURSE he gets wind of the operation that is currently underway (secretly).
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??
kakashi: Our chopstickleg-lady spots Meth Kim. Safari realizes that it's not Jin-sook who's coming to the deal ... and clearly doesn't like this. Safari calls Meth Kim. Baksa will not be coming - just get the money and kill the courier. And Jin-sook, in the safety of her room, seems to be suspecting just this. She calls Soo-min ... but the line is busy. Jin-sook gets a look of slight panic on her face. A bit late, but better late than never, I'd say.
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.
kakashi: Soo-min is currently on the phone with Neanderthal, who tells her to take the battery out. Just as she wants to comply, "Mr Gangster" calls. She picks up and lets him know that now is not the most opportune moment ... but he is on top of things. He warns her that she is in danger and tells her to run towards the building to her right!
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.
kakashi: Too bad she runs into Knife-lady once inside. Soo-min is no match for her and it doesn't look good for chicken-legs, but here comes Baksa! And saves her from the blurry knives of doom. They take cover in one of the offices and I once again admire her heels. Why are they not blurred-out? They are clearly weapon-material! He tells her to stay put for about 20 minutes, while he goes out and draws them on his trail.
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!
kakashi: She may be under slight shock, but she still grabs his arm and demands to know, once again, who he is. He tells her that he is working for the drug lords, but she isn't satisfied. Why did he save her? He tells her she has no place in this world (this line is getting just a liiiittle bit old I think). When he leaves, he pauses ... and tells her his name: Shi-hyun. Jung Shi-hyun.
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?
kakashi: Her phone rings, it's Neanderthal. Who is pissed that she hasn't taken the battery out yet. Safari meets the knife-lady, who is still down from being hit by Baksa ... Meth Kim (who still has the drugs) goes up the stairs, just as Baksa comes down. Meth Kim turns, and almost runs into the police, who run after Meth Kim, while Baksa keeps very quiet on the stairs. And in comes Reporter Cha, excited to get exclusive material, when, unfortunately, Meth Kim takes her hostage. But Baksa appears and beats Meth Kim up - and gets the drugs. With me, so far?
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.
kakashi: Meth Kim starts shooting wildly with a machine gun and is just about to kill the Reporter lady, when someone shoots him in the arm. Neanderthal, of course. Meth Kim, the sleaze, tries to save himself by telling Neanderthal that Baksa was just here. Of course, Neanderthal storms out, but ... I must admit I am surprised, he stops, looks at the shaking and traumatized reporter, and takes care of her first.
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.
kakashi: Baksa, his knife drawn (Safari lost his), takes a step towards Safari, to finish him off once and for all (or maybe not), when he ... draws a fucking gun. WTF? Okay, I have recently learned something about guns in Korea and that is that ... okay, let's wait. Only a few seconds until the big reveal, anyway. Before Safari can shoot our slender hero, Neanderthal barges in. He really has the most wonderful timing when it comes to saving Baksa!
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?
kakashi: Neanderthal, who cannot see Baksa behind the shelf, tells Safari to drop his gun! Now! Safari, having a defeated look on his face, gets up and puts his hand into the air. But then, he starts reaching for something in his jacket. Opens it. I'm thinking: is he carrying a huge bomb? But no ... the bomb is this: he pulls out a police ID tag! It reads: Moon Duk-bae, Busan Regional Police.
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.
 
kakashi: See this face? This is me.
JoAnne: And that was my face too, but my mouth was open wider and noises were coming out.

Final Thoughts: 

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!!

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