23 June 2013

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Heartless City (Moojung Doshi) - Episode 8 (A SqueeCap)

Posted by CM Shukmeister on June 23, 2013

EPISODE 8

Shuk: Soo-min and Hyung-min are sharing a bottle of Something’s Awry with Awkward Silence Anju, and a little Golbaengi Muchim Trouble on the side. It gets worse when Jin-sook’s minion comes in with an electronic key for one of the rooms upstairs. Soo-min is the first one to move, determined to follow through on her mission.
kakashi: I am liking how uncomfortable he is about it all (cause I like to see him suffer). Hm.  I wonder what kinda history these two have? And let's see how they develop this storyline ... he is feeling a bit too uncomfortable for somebody who is just supposed to be a handler.
JoAnne: There's an elephant in that room. I know which pair of thighs it hides between, too.
 
Shuk: In the Madam’s boudoir, Baksa has just found out that Cutie-soo has been ratted out to Detective Ji by Scale. Jin-sook tells him his life hangs on the balance against his friend.
kakashi: ... shit. 
JoAnne: It's dawning on me that calm, cool, smoooooooooooth as silk Baksa is actually the biggest mushy teddy bear of all time. It doesn't make me love him less. It does make me worry more.

Shuk: The video is now watched by the avid call-girl wannabe, and I can’t help but ask again what I ask on the last SqueeCap – are they even worried about cameras and bugs when chatting up their mission in the lioness’ den??
kakashi: Yes. That. Let's just file it under "another-thing-to-graciously-overlook".
JoAnne:  Oh but come ON...because now they're just LAUGHING at us.
Shuk: Hyung-min decides to take a nap on the opulent bed, leaving Soo-min to have a beer and think. I really really like her earrings.She does a magical Flip-o-rama and pops off her strappy high heels like they weren’t even strapped, and climbs into bed.  She leans down close to his face; maybe, like a cat, she intended to suck out his soul, but in any case, he turns and asks her what she is doing. She tells him she intends to work completely for Jin-sook and she doesn't want any old john as her first lover. Detective Douchbag tells her the clients would love to be her first, and jumps off the bed to head out.
kakashi: Oh ......... sexual TENSION my goodness. 
JoAnne: I would just throw myself down on the floor and yell do me do me do me. Sexily, of course
Shuk: He’s at the elevator, though, and having a brief thought about her hovering over him in the bed. Two things: he’s having lustful thoughts about his late girlfriend’s dongsaeng, and he’s not doing anything to help her situation. I’ll say it again. Ass.
kakashi: I still hate him and he really is a dick-deluxe, but this whole I'm-digging-the-dongsaeng-in-a-dirty-way makes him much more interesting.
JoAnne:  He thinks the end justifies the means, but he's mean to ignore her end. Even aliens have needs!

Shuk: Still, are they going to try for a love triangle between our three main leads? Chincha?
kakashi: With a variation maybe? I.e. Neanderthal falls in love with Baksa. Or Cutie-Soo with Neanderthal?
JoAnne:  I call problems for Safari-Jin Sook-Baksa, also Baksa-Jin Sook-Soo Min, also Soo Min-Baksa-Hyung Min.  And perhaps a little Safari-Jin Sook-Superintendant Mi.  Finally,  for Baksa-Jin Sook-Cutie Soo but sadly, not in a sexual way.

Shuk: Soo-min checks in with Madam Lee, who tells her she did well for a first try, and that room will be her new living quarters.
kakashi: I'd take it, too. But only if it has WLAN.
JoAnne: I knew it. Secretly, the Swiss desire nothing more than not being NEUTRAL.
Shuk: If I laugh, does that mean I can't be Swiss?
kakashi: Not anyone can be Swiss. 
Shuk: The next morning, Soo-min goes home to pack a few items, and we get another hallucinatory memory as she relives some of the times between her and her unni. She leaves a pic of the two of them on the kitchen table and says goodbye.
kakashi: Let's hope this also marks the last of the ghost-appearances. We know that she's dead. And we've completely forgotten her, the most boring of possible boring female characters.
JoAnne: Until the final episode, when we find out that Soo Min is actually the daughter she bore Baksa.
kakashi: Or Safari. Oh wait ... do we know WHO Baksa's father is? Of course not.
Shuk: Outside her place, Hyung-min watches her go. Anyone wanna guess a reason? I’m out of ideas.
kakashi: He wants sex? 
JoAnne:  *Raises hand eagerly, mostly because Baksa isn't around*

Shuk: Back at the entertainment establishment, Soo-min settles in and calls her mentor. Jin-sook asks her to stay in her room, and we find out she is planning a Honor Guard with her black-suited thugs. Uh-oh, this can’t be good ... They show up at the Kring building – dammit, they going after Cutie-soo! His assistant goes down with one blow, but Hyun-soo manages to beat up the rest, but not without sustaining a little damage on his face.
kakashi: But not a stain on his white suit. And let's just say ... a very angry Cutie-soo? So hot I almost burned. 
JoAnne:  That scar will add character to his face but the white linen suit with the random embroidered garden patches is a mistake of nearly libido-crushing proportion.
kakashi: JoAnne, he put it on so that people would want to desperately take it off. 
Shuk: Baksa hears about the hit from his assistant, and immediately heads for Jin-sook's place, catching Cutie-soo in the act of kicking her main minion on the floor and threatening her with a knife. She’s cool, though, and just turns her head when he slices a button of her blouse. He gives an angry apology and calls it done between them; she agrees. Leaving, he touches Baksa’s shoulder and tells him he gave in because of their friendship.
kakashi: The bond between these two men is so strong that I need an explanation for why it is so. What happened in prison?
JoAnne:  What DIDN'T happen in prison?
Shuk: Our guy-in-the-middle looks Jin-sook in the eye to confirm that the problems between his two family members is over, then heads out to meet Cutie-soo. They lean against the car for a moment, and then, with the same thought out loud, head out for makgeolli. That made me laugh and sigh at their cuteness.
kakashi: Such a wonderful scene :)
JoAnne:  It was, indeed.  That rush to agree, that so-evident relief. I luff them. I will bring them home and keep them on my bed and feed them snacks and give them couple boxer-briefs to wear.
Shuk: At the Hotel Commodore in Busan, Safari gets a little chastising from The Chairman in the form of a list of his faults while being garroted.  Probably not fun for him, but I’m wishing they pull it juuuuuuust a little bit tighter.  The Chairman’s weak-chin but cruel son also shows up, happy to hurt him a little bit more. He wants to clean sweep the entire Seoul organization, but the Chairman says no. Safari gets an ultimatum of 15 days to get the situation under control. On the way back to Seoul, he sticks his head out the car window to cool his throat. Eun-soo is concerned; the driver drives.
kakashi: Aaaaaaand ... we have a new character! Curious to see how they'll use the son. Very well casted, he looks like a flabby accountant and I was super surprised by how he enjoyed strangling Safari. As for Safari ... wow, this character and this actor ... I am almost tempted to say he is my favorite character in this drama.
JoAnne:  He's Arthur the Aardvark come to life.  And their giggles were fucking creepy as shit. Meantime, I continue to be AMAZED at Safari - the actor's name is Choi Moo Sung.  He's been in a ton of stuff you've seen, I guarantee it...but this is his role.
Shuk: At Casa de Lee, Jin-sook dismisses all but her chief thug. I guess minions who get their butt handed to them by one man aren't exactly the shock troop a Vice Vixen wants. She receives a call from Safari sounding pretty normal for someone who almost got a smile below the smile. She’s blunt; did he use her to get to Baksa. On the other side, his face registers surprise, but there’s nothing in his voice but a little pouting. She’s onto his BS, though, she knows he put Nang Mahn (that’s the older guy with the ponytail and goatee) up to the checkmate attempt. He promises to bring the guy to her to prove differently.
kakashi: Will they include him into one of their sex tapes? (though one of our readers was nice enough to point out that there probably ARE no sex tapes)
JoAnne: I'll kill the guy who helped me betray you - won't that make you trust me?
Shuk: Which he does, except Nang-Mahn is dead, so Colonel Sanders and he will bond over chicken and goatees in the afterlife.  Before he was taken, though, Nang Mahn manages to get a phone call to Cutie-soo. Baksa is with him, and he convinces him it’s too late to rescue the guy. Cutie-soo calls the phone back, but Safari answers and warns the younger man he is next.
kakashi: Why is Cutie-Soo so concerned about Nang Mahn? Another connection between two of our characters that hints at an unknown back story.
JoAnne:  They both did seem alarmed, and it was odd enough for me to note. I also notice that nobody has realized that Halibut has been missing for several episodes. Cruel City, indeed.
Shuk: But look, they are also on elbow-touching terms! Cute City, indeed.
Shuk: Jin-sook is not impressed with either the dead guy in Safari’s trunk or the baggie of token blow. They talk in her car; when he puts moves on her, she rebuffs. He waxes nostalgic; she doesn't care. Finally the brass tacks: the Chairman has all but called for Baksa Adeul’s demise. She needs to stop Baksa from any further actions and get out of the business herself, Safari will eliminate Hyun-soo, and the family of three will survive.
kakashi: Safari is such a great character because I actually believe that he cares for certain people (like Baksa and Jin-sook) - but I also believe that he would kill them with a sigh if necessary. Completely unpredictable, this one. 
JoAnne: He's going to die. His only value in that organization is that if you give him a job, he will find a way to do it. The minute he starts thinking of ways to give his boss 'sort of' what he wants, he's useless. But it makes very compelling viewing.
Shuk: She tells him she will think about it, but only if he helps her to Busan and the drug deal. Once they separate, Safari and Eun-soo leave in the same vehicle, and our Little Psychotic openly scoffs at the idea of working with Jin-sook. In her mind, you kill the competition, you take over, it’s done. Or is he sympathetic because of pillow politics with Jin-sook? He tells her to shut up. Hey Safari, it’s time to invest in a metal neck collar.
kakashi: She is a goner. I give her 2-4 more episodes. Then she croacks.
JoAnne:  In an American show, Safari would totally be doing Eun-Soo, too.  I think Eun Soo is disappointed that it's not happening, so add this triangle to the list:  Safari-Jin Sook-Eun Soo.
Shuk: The boys are at Cutie-soo’s place, discussing the untimely demise of Uncle Goatee. They speculate that Meth Kim might know where Safari is. They just need to find Meth Kim, who is in the Prosecutor's hands right now. Short scene, but Cutie-soo is hot in neon, so let's just pause and admire.
kakashi: (*admiring*)
JoAnne:  Right?  He totally rocks the neon yellow.  Or is that green?  I'm a little bit blinded.
Shuk: Baksa shows up at Jin-sook’s place and surprises her as she is returning from seeing Safari. He realizes she was probably with him tonight, and rightfully guesses the entire scenario as it went down. She finally admits it, but tells him they have to make the deal in order to keep him alive. He accuses her of greed, and she tells him that Chairman Jo is gunning for him, and she needs this deal in order to protect him.
kakashi: Do we trust her? 
JoAnne: There are three things that Jin Sook values highly. Baksa, Safari, and personal power/wealth. In a pinch, she would sacrifice Safari. I have not yet decided whether she would choose Baksa over personal power. Sadly, I think not - she would make the decision to betray him, but it would eat at her forever.

Shuk:  They take a quick moment to pull back from the argument, and he quietly tells her that she can leave the country and do all the things she talked about when they were poor.  In a low voice, she asks him if he would be willing to go with her, just the two of them. He tells her, “Noona, I just want you to be happy.” Tears well up in her eyes when she tells him she is trying. They both know the other won't budge.
kakashi: Ah ... these two. Wow. This is a kind of love that is so sad, but also very beautiful. 
JoAnne:  It's twisted and full of lies and deceit, but it's definitely love.
Shuk: He leaves her building, lost in thought, and doesn't see Soo-min walking down a cross-hall. She stops and pauses, then turns and sees him. She doesn't recognize him, but, then, she's only seen him in Baksa-mode when he disarmed the robber.
kakashi: I hope this is the first and last of those "near-misses" that we get in KDrama so often. I don't like them. Too predictable, not exciting at all.
JoAnne:  I prefer to think that all of her hormones went into overdrive as they nearly crossed paths, and she's merely scenting prey.
Shuk: At his safe house, he calls Safari and begs him to let Jin-sook go and allow him to finish the deal. Safari is adamant, though, that he must die.  It's easy to enter the business, but impossible to leave.
kakashi: One of the big lessons of this drama. Another: if you get close to somebody, you will get hurt. 
JoAnne:  He's right, but he certainly doesn't seem happy to say it.

Shuk: Manager Ahn enjoying a facial mask and a young girl when he receives a phone call from President Jung. Baksa meets him and bluntly asks for Meth Kim's whereabouts.
kakashi: Cute.
JoAnne: Oppa wore it better.

Shuk: Hyung-min is sitting at Kyung-mi's kitchen table looking through his evidence. Wait, is he living in the house that Soo-min was forced to leave?! He sighs in frustration. I grit my teeth in anger. He thinks back to the day in the rain when Baksa Adeul was in his crosshairs, and realizes the Meth Kim connection to his elusive nemesis..
kakashi: He may be just waiting at her house in case she shows up, for, you know ... sex. 
JoAnne: Didn't get this. He already KNEW the Meth Kim/Baksa connection. Sloppy.
kakashi: He has been too distracted by surges of hormones I guess. 

Shuk: He runs to Superintendent Mi and tells him that Meth Kim needs to be located. Mi will try and get Meth Kim's whereabouts. Soon enough, he gets a call that the criminal is at the hospital, but apparently everyone must have gotten a blast email at the same time: Safari, Eun-soo, Shi-hyun, and Hyung-min are all converging on the hospital. Guess who is first! Guest who is last!
JoAnne:  Yawwwwwwn

Shuk: Shi-hyun sees Safari escort Meth Kim into an elevator, and quickly runs down the stairs to overtake the lift. He gets to the next floor and pops his trusty knife in his hand, ready for action. Except it's not the drug guys, it's the bad cop.
 
Shuk: Shi-hyun freezes as he stares into the eyes of Hyung-min.  A moment later, the doors close. Shi-hyun hurries to the parking deck but it's too late.
kakashi: Of course, Neanderthal doesn't know his face (yet)! But still ... heart attack moment. 
JoAnne: Yes, indeed.
Shuk: Hyung-min finds the unconscious guard and the missing crook, and calls Mi, but there's nothing they can do. Herman, of course, believes Baksa took him.
JoAnne:  Well, that's a reasonable assumption.
Shuk: Cutie-soo and his assistant are leaving their vehicle just as Safari and gang show up. The assistant gets knocked out (again!) and Baksa's BFF gets taken. Damn, this might be checkmate, what else does Baksa have to bargain with???  He hears the news of the kidnapping from Hyun-soo's assistant.
kakashi: Oh no, oh no, not Cutie-soo! Don't mess with his face, please, hear me? 
JoAnne: This really felt like the next to last episode all of a sudden.

Shuk: Shi-hun thinks over recent conversations: Mi telling him Hyun-soo is the enemy; Jin-sook telling him the cops are onto Hyun-soo. He calls Mi, who realizes something is wrong with his mole. He tells him point blank to give up on his friend, but Shi-hyun refuses, even as his head falls, defeated for a moment. Then, decision made, Shi-hyun asks Hong-gi to take care of Jin-sook, and hangs up to don his Baksa persona.
kakashi: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
JoAnne: Barring some kind of genius Hail-Mary play coming to him at the last minute, Baksa has decided to die for his friend. I cannot breathe.
kakashi: Why, why, why, WHY! 
Shuk: He calmly and confidently walks through the hallways of the drug castle to the Throne Room. It's like a scene from a Wagner opera: Hyun-soo lying unconscious on the floor with blood trickling from his temple, a smiley happy Safari, Meth Kim leaning against the wall looking bored Eun-soo standing with a little smile playing across her lips. Then enter thugs with wooden bats. He pulls out his knife.
kakashi: Happy Birthday, Wagner, by the way. 
JoAnne: The conversation here, the tension in the setting... everything is perfect.
Shuk: Baksa fights and manages to take most of them out (without killing them, mind you), until our little bloodthirsty kitten cuts his arm with her claw. He continues to fight, but clearly, since he won't kill, it gets harder and harder to defend himself. (What happened to the dude who dropped Blue Star Tattoo off a roof?) Cowardly Lion Meth Kim tries a swipe, and while they grapple, Safari Asp's him from behind. As he writhes on the floor, there's a serious of flashbacks between Shi-hyun, Yisul and Duk-bae, back before all the shenanigans began.
kakashi: I'm guessing Safari broke his arm with the steel rod. But the whimpers and cries that come from Baksa (*cringe*) have much more to do with psychological pain ... betrayal. He is feeling this even more than the physical pain. 
JoAnne:  His face.  His crab floppy thing.  I'm like...practically on top of the back of my chair trying to get away from this.
Shuk: Safari leans over to him and gives him a final offer of transport to China. Shi-hyun counters with didn't Uncle say one of them had to die? Safari shakes his head and seems really regretful. Shi-hyun grits out one last request to spare Hyun-soo, but all Safari will promise is that he will protect Jin-sook.
kakashi: Can't get enough of Safari's facial expressions. Wow. This guy is so good. 
JoAnne: He hates having to do it, won't hesitate to do it for minute, but yet hopes like hell a miracle will happen. How did Safari become sympathetic, TOO?
Shuk: Shi-hyun tells Safari not to be sentimental, and Eun-soo is sent in for the deathblow, as Baksa tries to rise from the floor.

FINAL THOUGHTs

Shuk: Well, this episode certainly punched me in the solar plexus. There is nobody and nothing to back our boy up; almost everyone wants him gone. Hyun-soo is unconscious, and Jin-sook is passive to Safari's need to kill him (she has to know that's what her old lover intended), Mi appears to be just sitting like a big ole' spider waiting. The police bring a new level to the word "useless",  and who is left?  Halibut? We know
Baksa can't die because there are many many episodes to come, but damn. Exactly what else can we pile on those post-army shoulders??
kakashi: Well, I think I know who will rescue him. Think who's still out there, running around, trying to find certain people?
JoAnne:  Listen, people.  *rustle rustle rustle*  Is that the sound of two muscular thighs rubbing together as they rush to inadvertently save the life of a colleague who you think is a drug dealer that killed your girl who really wasn't actually your girl, but his, at least once upon a time?

Shuk:  Soo-min's character has developed a bit now as well. Her decision, good or bad, has sent her down a path that, like Shi-hyun, will lead to a loss of self and a world of hurt. But hopefully this is where they will find each other.
kakashi: I bet this will be a very, very unhappy love. They will fall in love, and when they're ready to love each other, she will find out who he is. And she will try to kill him. 
JoAnne: But she won't be able to do it, and in the end she'll find out who he REALLY is, just as he dies. Possibly at her hands, if she gets a second chance. Well it's not like they can go off and grow watermelons together, is it?
Probably not a realist hope for our couple
Shuk: Safari is an enigma to me, and I can tell what's real and what's fake. Does he regret killing his ersatz son, knowing that this will break the heart of the woman he loves? Or is it just a business deal only slightly tinged with nostalgia?
kakashi: As I said above, Safari is one of the best characters I have ever seen in KDrama. So many layers. So many questions. Such superb acting. Just WOW.
JoAnne: I think EVERYthing you see with Safari is real. He is the simplest organism out there, driven by a need to survive. What he feels is never going to interfere with what he sees, and he sees very clearly.

Shuk: The biggest and best badass babe is Jin-sook. She holds her own in a male-dominated and often violent business, has links to everybody and everything involved, good and bad. I am so looking forward to what her mother bear instincts will do.
kakashi: Hmm ... mother instincts?! She would jump Baksa if she could. From all possible sides. 
JoAnne:  I will lend her my Worst Mother of the Year shirt.

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