18 June 2013


Heartless City (Moojung Doshi) - Episode 5 (A SqueeCap)

Posted by JoAnne on June 18, 2013

“Stab the body and it heals, but injure the heart and the wound lasts a lifetime.”― Mineko Iwasaki

JoAnne: Are we all still reeling from the news last episode. I feel like I should have known. The cop's daughter in me is embarrassed about that.  But whatever, I didn't know, and it hit me like a ton of bricks, and now I understand what I was picking up on all that time. (Side note: Am impressed by the layered acting going on here.) Kakashi did say how awesome it would have been if he was just a plain ol' bad guy and we still fell head over in heels in love with him and I began to think about that and now I want to see that drama, too. Jung Kyung Oh plays a bad guy.  He's just a gangster, there's no excusing it, but we love him, and we never stop loving him because, like all humans, he has good points and he loves people, right along with the bad shit. Anthony, where are you? We need you.
Shuk: Oh, what a teeny teeny fine line he has to walk between all the hateful people out to kill him.
kakashi: Did I corrupt you, daughter of a cop? Sorry. NOT. I guess there's still room for him falling off the good-waggon completely. If he has to die in the end (it is possible, even likely at this point), let him go out with a bang. No remorse stuff.

Episode 5

JoAnne: It's young Baksa, being chased by cops. One of them looks like Yang, pre-perm? Oooh, it is.  Interesting - if he ever sees Baksa he'll know immediately who it is because dude hasn't changed a lick in 8 plus years, except to get awesomer and upgrade his wardrobe. But... what is this shit Safari's pulling? Man, the look of betrayal in Baksa's eyes. 
Shuk:  It's clear Shin-hyun did not learn his loyalty skills from Safari, and maybe that's why he protects Jin-sook so much - as the anchor amongst the backstabbers in his childhood.  It's gonna bite that beautiful butt in the long run, I think.
kakashi: Good. We're getting Safari backstory. What a scumbag. Though we still don't know why he turned from nice, family-like to betraying asshole. Though I have a feeling it might be related to a certain woman ... it's always related to women in the end, no? 

JoAnne: Younger Yang brings younger Baksa to a younger Mi, currently working on the streets like a regular cop, and in his frustration younger Mi finally lets slip what everyone else must always have known:  Safari is the dealer who supplied the drugs that killed Shi-Hyun's mom all those years ago.  Now we know why Baksa joins the force and goes undercover. We also learn that Hyung Min's half-assed plan for Soo Min isn't original, and that the amusement park has been abandoned for a REALLY long time. I'm a little confused by the connections here - Baksa meets Halibut and Cutie-Soo back then, in prison. How do they (or he) later connect up with Safari, who appears to have been pretty small-time, back then.
Shuk: We still have 15 episodes to insert backstory.  There's also the mystery of how Yi Sul became so successful as Lee Jin-sook.  It does serve to show the current cartel administration is interconnected in ways beyond mere business.  That makes it harder to destroy.
kakashi: I was hoping to get a little bit more on Cutie-Soo and Baksa. So they bonded in prison? Why? And it is interesting that Cutie-Soo has a mother. Haha, I kinda thought they were all orphans. Something that annoyed me? How Baksa barely walks five steps before he calls in the report about his success in prison. Just stupid. Cutie-Soo is right behind him. He is also infested with this "police-is-so-stupid"-bug. 
JoAnne: Back in the present, Mi and Baksa talk about the next steps. Mi looks confused to discover that there's someone on the force helping the drug dealers.  I'm confused that he's confused because duh. (In a side note of  WAMLtude, I will mention that Baksa didn't attend the academy and no one ever knew he was a cop, BUT he has a parade-dress uniform AND a police ID badge.)
Shuk: Also, Mi looks surprised that there might be corruption in the police force, which, in my humble opinion, would be the first place if the baddies are always one step ahead of the constabulary. Baksa is setting himself like Robin Hood - shadowy figure much-maligned by both good and evil until events are made public. I'm guessing it was Mi's plan all along to have Shi-hyun infiltrate, so he would have enrolled him in a different academy outside his jurisdiction. Still, I thought the uniform was adorable.
kakashi: I vow here that I will no longer complain about stuff that doesn't make sense. Or maybe I will. Cause there's a lot!
JoAnne: We have a much-needed bromantic moment when Cutie-Soo visits Baksa at home and they bitch about how it's been so busy they can't even manage a drink together.  Cutie's worried about the choked-off supply chain and Baksa's worried about getting Jin Sook out of the business - in fact, he encourages Cutie to just get out. Baksa's starting to worry about his end game, I think.
Shuk: He doesn't want his family to get hurt.
kakashi: And Baksa is careless once again. Putting that police stuff he is fondly looking at into a mere box? Right as Cutie-Soo comes in? For anyone to look at??! Does he want to be found out?!
JoAnne: Do Hoon tries to quit and Hyung Min tells him to channel his rage and hate into the mission, but he's really talking to himself. I pretty much hate the sight of Do Hoon because it bugs me so much not to be able to remember who it is he reminds me of.  He does do one useful thing though:  He points out that it couldn't have been Baksa who killed Kyung Mi, but Thighs of Little Brain dismisses it.  No one could even agree on what he looked like at the scene, so you can't trust reports of where he was, either. Hyung Min says no matter what, ultimately this death is on Baksa's hands, period.
Shuk: His blinders are setting him up for the ultimate humiliation, hopefully while wearing shorts.
kakashi: I think the point is that Thighs also knows it probably wasn't Baksa - but that Baksa is now a symbol for anything that is bad in Herman Munster's world. I.e. drugs and a dead almost wife. And one terrible hair day after the other. 

JoAnne: Soo Min gets her work assignment in the prison:  to 'clean a file room'. Except it's REALLY her classroom. It takes me a minute to realize that Hyung Min isn't really there, just talking in her memory. She's minding her own business memorizing the penal code out in the yard when a woman who must have wandered off the set of a horror movie drops a dead mouse in her lap.  Like Soo Min, I'm waiting for bad shit to happen as they wander through empty rooms. Finally, Soo Min decides to attack first - only to discover she was just being invited to have some fried chicken with the girls.  Way to make friends, chickie. Still, I'm impressed by her attack on that chicken drumstick once she eats - she even gets chicken in her hair.
Shuk: That threw me off but made me smile. First, the trope that the weakest in prison always gets bullied - FAIL. Second, that it was going to take a lot of setup for Soo-min to get chummy with Jin-sook. Nope, almost all it took was a bucket of cluck. Then again, Cherkell and I bonded over this in NYC:
kakashi: All I could think about was how well groomed these women look. So there's a constant supply of make-up and hair conditioner in prison? Maybe I want to go there, too! And even though I can see that Nam Gyu-ri isn't bad, that chicken-leg attack? Seriously. That was so overdone. She obviously hasn't been starved for days and days and days.

JoAnne: Hyung Min starts laying a trap for Detective Soo. Since his dark pants fade into his dark chair, I can only drool over his lovely biceps and square jaw. It's true, though, Kakashi has me doubting the hair cut.  Detective Soo takes less time than I needed to write those sentences to completely unveil herself and her co-conspirator by making an ill-advised phone call.  Deputy Commissioner Kang, you ignorant slut.
Shuk: [smirk]
kakashi: They.Are.So.Stupid. Save them from themselves, please! And the hair is almost criminal. I am sure he is breaking some laws there. 
JoAnne: Hair aside, come on. That's a pretty face. I wanna do stuff to it, like shave it and bite its chin and nibble its ear and stuff.
kakashi: Have him. Forever. I don't even blink. 
JoAnne: In prison, Jin Sook and Soo Min bond over hair dos, and Crazy Biotch gets a visit from... CUTIE-SOO? What's he doing?
Shuk: She's definitely part of his network. Information or action?
kakashi: Cuti-Soo is being cute ...
JoAnne: Back in the cell - are they watching Padam Padam? - Soo Min is suspicious of Crazy, and rightfully so - she narrowly saves Jin Sook's life when Crazy attacks her. So Cutie Soo paid this woman to kill Jin Sook... interesting! A guard hears the commotion and comes running, and it looks like it will be covered up - but then Crazy attacks Soo Min. I think it's because she knows if she stays in that cell with Jin Sook she's a dead woman. Soo Min's a tough little cookie. I like her.
Shuk:  Hmm, I want to make a shiv out of a battery too!
kakashi: Huh?! WTF. Cutie-Soo! I do not like what I am seeing! You are supposed to be one of the good ... I mean bad-good guys! Good-bad guys? Anyway, stop going behind Baksa's back!! Not good, not good! (oh no ......... I think he will die .........)

JoAnne: Jeez, now Cutie is meeting up with Do HOON. He's been using him to wipe out the lower levels of Scale's organization. Smart! Do Hoon is over the relationship, pretty much, since he figures Cutie must know who Baksa is, and Baksa is the demon who killed Kyung Mi (So far I haven't given any real thought to whom that sniper might have been. You?) Turns out, Cutie and Do Hoon have known each other since highschool, and back in the day Cutie took the fall for something Do Hoon did.  That, plus the fact that Do Hoon is the one who begged Cutie for money, means that Do Hoon will continue to jump when Cutie says how high, no matter how he feels about it.
kakashi: Shuk, now is time for that relationship chart you mentioned. Is there anybody that isn't connected to another major character in weird ways? No? Also, enz is convinced the sniper is Do Hoon. Could be, it looked like him. Or at least not unlike him.
Shuk: I think the sniper is Do-hoon. He's a character already established as being on the take, and Cutie-soo mentioned his money needs for his family members. Plus, Young Cutie took the fall for Young Kim in High School. Plus, as a detective, he probably has sniper status anyway. Everyone does.
JoAnne: OMG. IT DOES. That would totally explain his despair now, too, probably better than the one-sided love I imagined.

JoAnne:  That cute girl Jin Sook used to hook Tooth is back for a minute - bait to get Tooth into her apartment where he can be questioned by Baksa and his good-looking driver.  Tooth had a feeling though, so he brought a friend. Awesome dead-eyed Baksa is back and when his driver looks like he's going to jump early, he gives him this 'wait for it' gesture that is just so casual and cool I giggle. Did you smile throughout the rest of this scene? I did. 'Are you left-handed? Did you join a morning soccer team? You like women, don't you?' See, for Jin Sookie, Baksa WILL get his hair messy. Tooth sacrifices a hand and a knee before he catches on, but he manages to save his balls by giving up the name of Director Nang Mahn as the guy who betrayed Jin Sook.  That's the pony-tailed dude. Baksa is adding two and two and coming up with Safari, I'm pretty sure.
Shuk: I think his driver is sweet on the girl.  Which of the two will he protect first if shit goes down?
kakashi: Good, but brutal scene. I liked it a lot. Baksa is corrupting me. I'll be a bad girl soon. 
JoAnne: Safari, Nang Mahn, and Kim Eun Soo show up at the most garishly decorated place I've ever seen.  It's out-uglied only by Safari's outfit. He's wearing 80's hotel curtains for a jacket and early Shabby Chic for a shirt, put together with vintage-70's maroon Sansabelt slacks. He had those same pants back when Baksa was a kid. I remember them because they frame his junk in a way that is impossible to miss and makes me long for blindness. They're here to see Meth Kim - explains the decor - and it strikes me that Meth Kim is entirely too flippant for the situation. Apparently, Safari agrees. A more respectful Kim fills Safari in on the events of the night in the warehouse and seems surprised that Kyung Mi is dead. So the gangsters - this level, anyway - did NOT arrange for the sniper. Hm.
kakashi: I laugh long and hard at your description of Safari's outfit. And I am surprised that Meth Kim is still alive. And I don't think the gangsters had anything to do with the shooting. That discussion about the rifle/ammunition was clearly meant to give us the impression that it was somebody from inside the police. Or inside-outside the police. Cause who know how many more undercover agents there are! Safari could be one! Meth Kim! Anybody! Everybody!
Shuk: That sniper order came from either the Commissioner or the Chief  Prosecutor, whoever signed off Shi-hyun's order to infiltrate Scale's organization eight years ago. And was done by Do-hoon. I call it.
kakashi: What if you are wrong? Two bottles of soju? 

JoAnne: Safari is thinking, which is always frightening. He calls Tooth, but Baksa picks up. Baby Boy doesn't say a word, and Safari realizes that it's him nearly immediately. They have this insanely normal, friendly, polite conversation. It's the first time I've ever heard 'Hello!  Long time no see!  How are you? Eat well! I'll see you soon!' and understood it to mean 'You fucker, you're dead.  No, YOU'RE dead.' As soon as Safari hangs up he calls his backpocket police commissioner and asks for a phone trace, but Baksa is always thinking, too. Tooth is going to have to turn himself in to the police.
Shuk: He's pretty smart with the exception of his execrable fashion sense.
kakashi: I am still very impressed by Safari. That is both the character and the actor, that plays him in such a nonchalant way and still brings across the deadliness of this guy. 
JoAnne: Not entirely sure of Baksa's aim, here, but I think the confusion of this next bit has to do with Hyung Min piggybacking punishment of Detective Suh onto the windfall of Tooth. Is he flat out lying when he says Tooth is a woman? He must be.  DC Kang's first call is to Safari, of course. I love this:  Undercover cop calls cop, cop calls cop, cop calls Gangster. The flow of info is very efficient.
kakashi: Didn't understand why he lies about Tooth being a woman. To make Suh feel more secure? 
JoAnne: Suh's the only woman left on the team, ergo, it has to be her that goes.
kakashi: Uh ... because they want to kill all the women? I don't get this logic. 
JoAnne: I am pretty certain this is the place where Kyung Mi died. Here's something that doesn't make sense: Tooth is supposed to be turning himself in, Baksa, so what did he do? Tape himself to the pole and then somehow tape his own mouth shut? Oh this is good - Thighs knows Tooth isn't the real draw, here. Well, of course, I mean.. the tape should have clued him in. So was that a message from Baksa, sort of, to be looking for the REAL draw? Are the boys communicating without words?  They must be brothers.
Shuk: I think, like Dokko Jin, he wants to leave some proof of being on the good side, in case things go south and can't be stopped by Superintendent Mi.
kakashi: Oh please let them not be brothers. Or I will have to drink an entire bottle of soju in one go.
JoAnne: I can down a bottle of soju in pretty short order - more than one, in fact - but I've never guzzled one. Are you talking about guzzling?
Shuk: She promised one-shot if they are related. I'm looking forward to it!
JoAnne: Hyung Min sets up with a sniper rifle and Kang starts calling around looking for someone to scream at.  He gets Yang, who listens and then does the exact opposite of what he's been told.  I love this little dude. He looks miserable. Suh goes in to do her 'search' of Tooth and I spend valuable time wondering why she's carrying her purse. The minute she sees the guy, of course, she knows the deal, but she tries to lie her way out with Hyung Min. Note: It does not pay to f*** with the guy with the gun.
kakashi: A small, but potentially lifesaving tip, you police. Those earpieces you have dangling off your head? They kinda give you away immediately. It's not well suited for "undercover" work. 
Shuk: You are also caught if you talk into the cuff of your shirt or your wristwatch. Still I'd feel a bit better if ANYBODY WORE BODY ARMOR!
JoAnne: Kim shows as clean up detail on behalf of Safari and just as he's about to kill the unexpected Suh, Hyung Min shoots the knife out of his hand and then shoots him in the leg. I think this is the new rooftop - what does that make? Three so far that he's shot in the leg? What's Thighs got against thighs, anyway? Oop, make that four - Kim just became a two-fer. Every time I see Kim I just think 'Where the heck is Halibut these days?'
kakashi: Hey, me too! But then, I thought I might have forgotten what happened to him. Didn't he go to prison? Ah, no, that was Scale. So maybe he's on a holiday.
Shuk: Maybe they threw him back for being undersize. 
kakashi: Or maybe they put him on the grill. 

JoAnne: Meanwhile Yang must have called Mi and let him know what Kang ordered - Mi's instructions are to stay the course. Good for you, dude. I still can't believe you're stupid enough not to have known or suspected that there was corruption on the force, but whatever.  Forty-five cops in full combat gear swarm the building to take down the passed-out informant, the crippled drug dealer, and his two henchmen.  Oh wait.  Scratch that passed-out informant.  So while the entire precinct is in the next room taking down the two thugs, Kim Eun Soo pays Tooth a little visit.  She and her perfectly manicured toes are scary. (Don't worry, you'll understand it when you see the scene.)
kakashi: Once again imagined her in IRIS2 and felt a rush of joy. But alas ... 
JoAnne: I tried to mentally draw a map of this goddamn confusing building because it could help explain away some of the stupidity of the cops here but I gave up.  Let's just leave it that the building warps time and dimension because the cops cannot be that stupid.  I know this because they are walking upright and have opposable thumbs, so my first guess that Seoul just puts monkeys in flak suits can't possibly be right.  Hyung Min tears ass out of some magical doorway into another dimension of sun-shiney rain and bloody trail markers which lead him to a nearly unconscious Kim and the discovery that Baksa Adeul is nearby.
Shuk: I think it's the Expositional Defence Force troops. That's the only reason they exist.
kakashi: Meth Kim is still alive? Is this WAML? Does he have seven lives? Is he, maybe, an alien too? 
JoAnne: Baksa, meanwhile, is out for a casual stroll in the rain, admiring all the pallets stacked neatly around. I have no idea why. Did he forget where he put his car? WHY THE FUCK IS HE THERE? In a charming moment of restraint, Hyung Min merely shoots at the ground near Baksa's foot.  Baksa stops for a second but then begins to walk forward because that's just what you do when someone is shooting at you, right?  Hyung Min shoots the ground again and starts screaming questions at him:  Is he Baksa?
kakashi: Oh, but he said something earlier about having to make it clear to the police he didn't kill that boring woman. I think this is all part of his awesome plan. How tiny he looks! He has such a tiny-weeny little ass. And don't forget: He also has the "the-police-is-so-stupid"-bug.

JoAnne: Baksa puts his hands up and the look on his face... is he resigned? Is he figuring out his next move? Is this what he WANTED? He couldn't have known about the Suh bit because Mi didn't know about the Suh bit.  Is he going to unveil himself???? We don't know. You know why we don't know?  Because the sadistic sonofabitch who edited this show stopped it right there, causing me to practically tear my hair out with frustration.
Shuk: I get it! It's a stop for a dramatic pose to see the BOF hair in all it's glory, and put the WTF hair so far away it's blurry.
kakashi: We don't know, but let me guess. There are 15 more episodes so he will NOT reveal himself. If I am mistaken I will drink an entire bottle of makgeolli.
JoAnne: You just want to get drunk. I get it now.

Final thoughts

JoAnne: I spend a lot of time insulting the police work. The thing is, I guess it's serviceable as far as gathering clues about the ongoing operation goes - where these cops fail is in personal safety measures and respect for due process. They're always playing catch up, which makes sense because they don't have any secrets - if your co-workers are selling you out, your opponent is always going to be a step ahead. When you put it in that framework, Thighs  - who has had some real flashes of insight - and his crew are kind of working against a stacked deck. But this episode's WTF goes to Baksa, really, because I have no idea what he's doing in that field, or why.
kakashi: I was annoyed often in this episode, because there were tons of little mistakes. I.e. the band-aid on Baksa's hand (I guess it is a real one?). It was there in the Baksa-younger scenes and it was there in the Baksa-present scenes. Yes, I care about such details. Maybe I'm a bit anal.
JoAnne: Perhaps it covers a blue star tattoo and the twist is that everyone is already dead!
Shuk: LOL. I think a lot of what we saw was just to maintain the tension of the interaction, since the biggest trump card so far (the Shi-hyun / Baksa good guy reveal) was at the beginning of the episode. Still, there's lots more time to coo over Cutie, sweat over Baksa, and shake heads at the police. On to the next episode!

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