25 July 2013

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Heartless City (Moojung Doshi) - Episode 17 (A SqueeCap)

Posted by CM Shukmeister on July 25, 2013
Shuk: The Gryffyndor Goons have overrun Jin-sook’s Pleasure Palace, and Soo-min gets her first tangible proof that Baksa is part of her unni’s inner circle. Let the name dropping begin!
JoAnne:  Look at that face.  Judgement Mode:  Activate!

Episode 17

Shuk: Jin-sook steps out in front of the Chairman’s mooks, asking them to stop messing up her business. Just then Cutie-soo shows up and starts plowing through them, looking hot and manly in spite of that silly scarf.
kakashi: Wow. Totally Cutie-Soo's moment. So hawt. And I'd be very, very happy if we did get some hot sex scene between these two. He is made for it. Would she complain? Probably not. 
JoAnne: There is a lot of throat kicking when Korean gangsters fight.

Shuk: Jin-sook, who palmed the car keys, meets him outside, and they both take off. However, their escape gets blocked by the goon’s van. Without Hand Towel behind the wheel, I guess they can’t execute a fast reverse. Either that, or woman can’t K-turn? Anyway, it appears they have been taken.
kakashi: ... or they just wanted a bit of happy time with the Toothpick, who does his utmost to look scary when he exits said van. I'd like to see him die a miserable death.
JoAnne: I find him annoying, like pretty much every other twelve-year-old on the planet.
Shuk: It’s quiet inside, as Soo-min ponders the last words of Jin-sook. She makes the connection, but rejects the idea that her pretty gangster is Baksa Adeul. Rather than call, she texts him, calling him “Gangster Ahjusshi” and asking him to call her. He dials her, but neither speaks at first. Soo-min finally breaks the silence, and tells him Jin-sook gave her the number, and that unni had been taken by the Chairman’s troops. In total, Baksa only says five words, but the communication is much, much deeper. There’s another charged moment before they both disconnect.
kakashi. She totally knows. She is in denial. I don't blame her. BUT she could have gone and talked to the Neanderthal. Then we wouldn't have all that drama.
Shuk: [looking at show description where it says "drama"]
JoAnne: I loved how clearly he did not want her to know his connection to all of this. And I think it proves that he wasn't throwing her to the wolves the other day.  He didn't expect her to get called, and I was right, and you were wrong.

Shuk: There is no plastic on the floor, but somehow that doesn’t make me feel better as Jin-sook is brought before the Chairman. He gives her a creepy hug, and they both sit down. He compliments her and asks if she sees him as benevolent. She coolly states he’s a lot like his son.
kakashi: OMG the creepiness of that hug. Gah, gross monster.
JoAnne: I wonder if he realized how neatly she insulted him, our Jin-Sookie?  I kind of think he did. He was totally sniffing her neck. Ugh.
Shuk: The goons bring in Cutie-soo, restrained, silenced, and wrapped in what appears to be an anaconda of cocaine. Or flour? He offers her a choice: Play Let’s Make A Deal with him, or save Hyun-soo. They pull off his white powdery gag, and he immediately demands they kill him. Toothpick just gives him a Blurry Knife bicep cut, and this is the first time I see a tat on Cutie. No time to speculate if he’s got a bromance wolf on his back, as the Chairman quietly says she doesn’t have much time to make a decision.
kakashi: That's a lot of drugs to waste on Cutie Soo. I'd be honored. And hello! Shuk! The tattoo!! That's been there all the time. I think you need to rewatch every single Cutie Soo scene.
Shuk:  I guess I was paying too much attention to his butt. I'll do better, dongsaeng, I promise.
JoAnne:  Sheesh, you two. Shuk, when you started off the sentence with Cutie Soo restrained and silenced my mind went places. Then you mentioned an anaconda and all I could think of was 'I Like Big Butts' - it seemed appropriate. Sigh. He looks good bloody. What is WRONG with me? 
Shuk: She asks him to spare Hyun-soo. Oh, Jin-sook, you know this is gonna backfire. Chairman just chuckles and says the deal is over. He tells her to call Baksa Adeul and tell him she was kidnapped. She dials, yells she’s about to die, and hangs up. It turns out she called Min Hong-ki. The Chairman is onto her, though, and checks her phone, where Min is identified as “Bullshit”.
kakashi: Which is really funny.
JoAnne: I was so proud of her. 

Shuk: Baksa calls Jin-sook’s phone, and asks the Chairman not to mess with his colleagues until he gets there. After he hangs up, he tell Jin-sook he intends to send her back to her roots in the prostitute trade in Cheongnyangri, and Toothpick starts a face-slapfest with his good hand.
kakashi: Because prostitutes are slapped non-stop? I kinda failed to see the connection there.
Shuk: CORRECTION - Google Fu shows that area of Seoul as predominantly financial companies and one of the biggest hospitals in the area. Hmm, so what so bad about it? We might need another flashback or something.
JoAnne: Still wondering if it was 'the elder of Cheongnyangri' that they mentioned or some other Cheon-place. Because if they did, one more mention and we know it's the BIG DUDE. Or lady. I'm all about the equal opportunity.
Shuk: Min is still in his office, but leaps to action and mobilizes the Inept Squad, just as Baksa arrives. Baksa is held back as Jin-sook is slapped to the table. Chairman states he keeps his promises, and Baksa has to watch his loved ones die. Baksa tries to fight but his efforts come up short, and he takes a couple of knife wounds.
kakashi: So ... Busan has conveniently forgotten about Soo-min? He is the pragmatic type, I guess: Any loved one will do. And even better if it's a whole bunch!
JoAnne:  Jo looks like a very evil man in the moon.
Shuk: As Toothpick pulls back for the Blurry Knife Death Blow, Thighs shows up in his usual milieu: by himself with no protection and no backup. It’s enough to start the fight scene; two against, well, almost everybody else.
kakashi: I was a bit surprised to see Neanderthal there, but I could have known. So, Baksa called him before he went there. Smart move. And very bromancey. D'awwwwwwz.
JoAnne: This is a very good episode for Thighs. He got his hair trimmed back a little and he looks GOOD. I definitely squealed at the reveal that he was there by invitation of Baksa. Or were we denoued there? I kinda wished they were nude there.
Shuk: Sheesh, you one.
Shuk: Baksa works his way to Cutie-soo, wraps the wound with the handy bandanna, and the three make their way out of the room. He throws Cutie in the car, and orders Jin-sook to get them both out of there; he’s going to stay behind and deal with The Chairman.
kakashi: Fascinating lack of blood at the scene. Maybe the Chairman has a special floor, that sucks blood right in. Like at the dentist, you know, those sucking tubes they put into your mouth?
Shuk: "Vampire" high pile by Karastan.
JoAnne: There's this special concrete that absorbs water, I watched a video about it the other day. Maybe it's like that. *snickers at Vampire High Pile* We do crack me up.
 
Shuk: It’s still Lone Ranger versus Goons, and the fight has spilled out into the trees when Baksa comes back. They end up back to back; Hyung-min reminds him to keep the Chairman alive, but Baksa tells him sorry, he’s killing the psycho.
kakashi: More unexpected bromance!!! *swooooon*. Hey, and Neanderthal looks kinda good in this episode. Or have I just gotten used to him?!
JoAnne: No, he looks good. Did they actually link arms at the elbows or was that just my wishful thinking? When do we get to wish FULFILLMENT, boys? Hmm? Plot twist:  Baksa gets a job as the world's most badass accountant, and Thighs stays home with the kids. He proves surprisingly good at cooking. Cutie pops over every now and again, but Jin Sook usually keeps him pretty busy. Also handcuffed to a bed, but that's beside the point.
Shuk: He ends up giving Toothpick a severe drubbing, choking and punching him into unconsciousness. Don’t mess with a man’s noona! Chairman is the only one left standing, and he chats, offering Baksa the late Scale’s old position. It must have been a ploy to waste time as Thighs shows up behind the drug leader to arrest him.
kakashi: Good, cause we don't want Baksa to murder (more?) people. Bad, cause we know what's going to happen, right?
JoAnne: My first thought: why does he just stand there waiting? My second thought: Fuck you, Scale's position. He's taking YOUR job, old man. Third thought: Why bother bringing him to the station? Tell him he's arrested and let him walk away right now. Because that's exactly what's going to happen later, except you'll have wasted gas on him.
Shuk: Our ServiceMaster Inept Cleanup Team is processing the throne room and arresting all the people they arrested previously. They managed to find Scale in a meat locker, but no other new information.
kakashi: Yeah, smart move, Busan, to leave Scale's rotting body lying around.
JoAnne: He worked for them for 13 years, you know. And bodies don't rot when frozen.

Shuk: Baksa is in his car pulling non-Pororo bandages out of the glove box to deal with his cuts.
kakashi: I was hoping for another hope self-operation, but, alas ... not getting much skin these days, are we.
JoAnne: Come ON. He took off his shirt when he got stabbed in the ribs. Why are the pants not coming off? This is not fair. How can we properly be awed by the grossness of the wound if you do not show us the perfection of the flesh for comparison?
Shuk: Word, unni, for realz.
Shuk: Soo-min is pacing at Jin-sook’s, when Neanderthal calls her and tells her that it’s over. We still have three more episodes, so unless the gang is heading to an onsen or noraebang club, I’m guessing he’s a bit premature. Still, he tells her he had it wrong, and apologizes for getting her involved. He tells her to quit and meet him at the house.
kakashi: Which she of course does not, cause ... drama. And 3 more episodes.
JoAnne: Plus she fell for that thing Kitteh talks about. Duplicity, doubt...dumplings? No. What's the third D? Darkness. Right. She has doubt.

Shuk: There’s a reunion of our trio at a hospital; Hyun-soo is still unconscious but out of danger. The two banter who is going to kill Chairman Jo.
kakashi: Cutie-Soo is hot, even when he is just lying in bed.
JoAnne: But look how cute Baksa is right there with his uneven eyebrows and his Pororo Worried Face.  Shuk - did you even check to see if Cutie was actually hooked up to any of the machines?  [Shuk: Yes. He has a pulse oximeter on his finger, but no EKG leads, so the machine that goes "ping" is pinging against nothing. And the oxygen is attached.] Oh, and You know what I wish?  I wish that the next room was Eyes, and that Baksa and Oppa ran into each other in the hallway after meeting their manly loves. Baksa and Oppa turn out to have posed for the same Gangsters of 98 Calendar - Baksa was February and Oppa was March, so that's how they met - they got their hand towels confused in the men's dressing room. 
Shuk: The media goes into a frenzy over the story; dead bodies and drugs and a CEO, oh my! Detective Ji and Superintendent Min have a little tete-a-tete in his office. Min tells him he got the tip from his informant, and Thighs wants to personally meet the informant to speed up the flow of information. Min just smiles.
kakashi: And Neanderthal, when asked how HE got the tip, says "from his informant". Which is kinda funny. But Min has an army of informants, while Neanderthal has just one, measly one.
JoAnne: Yes but Thighs has been having play dates with Min's favorite, and that's really going to piss Min off.
Shuk: Chairman Jo is back in the interrogation room, this time with a fan (Beware Fan Death!) The detective talks; the evildoer yawns. Inevitably the call comes in, this time from his prosecutor friend; they have to yet again release Chairman Jo and his employees for insufficient evidence. But the (semi)great news is that he will be remanded to Prosecutor custody. So a dead guy with a disco shirt and an extra smile under his chin doesn’t qualify as evidence. [sigh]. Hyung-min is now convinced that someone in the Prosecutor’s Office is protecting the drug cartel.
kakashi: You don't say, Neanderthal. Really?
JoAnne: Someone, Mr. Big and Yummy? Gee, I wonder who.
Shuk: Chief Prosecutor Ji assigns our doll-less druggie Fishy Ahn as lead investigator of the Chairman Jo case. Should I be surprised? [thinks for a moment] Nah.
kakashi: This is going in circles, right? Or is it the effect of the beer and the heat and the exhaustion I'm feeling?
JoAnne: No, I feel it too.  
Shuk: At the Church of Kept Secrets, Baksa and Min meet, and I wonder: when was the last time he was Shi-hyun with the tousled hair and black leather? At least he’s tieless. Anyway, the two talk, and Min warns him that the Chairman will be released again, and, unless they find his weakness, attrition will destroy them. He again reiterates that Baksa can return to the police force any time he wants. Yeah, like anyone with an IQ higher than a bowl of gelatin believes that.
kakashi: More circles. More churches.
JoAnne: More LIES from faithless Min! Go away you bad Min! Go away! The other bad guys don't like you EITHER.
Shuk: Jin-sook is back, and Soo-min fixes them both a drink. Jin-sook guesses that her protégé called Shi-hyun, and tells her to only follow what she tells her. Soo-min cautiously probes for more information, but freaks out a bit when unni calls him her lover.
kakashi: Oh man, Soo-min is such a pea-brain...
JoAnne: But I freaked out too, so it's not that. It's just gross when she says it.

Shuk: She ends up on her bed, thinking. Baksa is also thinking, pacing next to the grimy blue window. He calls Thighs, and they meet at kakashi’s SqueePoint Lookout (in lieu of rooftop). They have a fairly civil convo, discussing Chairman Jo and who used a police-issued sniper rifle to take out DeadBoringGirlfriend. The Detective says outloud, “Let’s try and together catch Pusan”. I get happy until he follows up with a question – Did Baksa Adeul know both Kyung-mi and Soo-min previously? Baksa turns his back to Thighs and says aniyo. Hyung-min asks him again who he really is, but he doesn’t get a straight answer as both sides retire for the night.
kakashi: Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Rooooooftoooooooop!
JoAnne: They look good in Nighttime Skyline, don't they? Oh, for the picture of Soo Min below - every time I see it I think of an exercise in acting class: I'm butter, and I'm melllllllltingggggg...Sad Butter.
Shuk: Our Axis of Evil is sharing more Japanese food, and Ji freely admits he wanted to get Chairman Jo out of the picture, using Safari, and then use Baksa to take out Safari if he gets too big for his britches. Cha wonders about that move, since Baksa is a big part of the recent troubles. Ji says it’s just young person’s hijinks and shows his ambition to be the best. Yay, so that weird misstep with Daddy Ji at the restaurant was calculated on his part. Cha tells Ji that the best way to deal with nosy Min Hong-ki is to promote him up to the Police Commissioner position and then make him take a fall.
kakashi: Interesting plan. *takes notes and thinks about how to put in action herself*
JoAnne: I'm wondering if it's a political statement that bad people and unwanted wedding meetings always happen at the Japanese restaurant in a drama.
Shuk: Toothpick is enjoying Hyung-min's Bad Cop routine, but he won't tell them where the drug manufacturing facility is located. Through the CCTV, it appears like he's talking to himself. To me, it looks like he's saying "Thank you, donsaeng". Anyway, the team is discussing the investigation when he gets some bad news.
kakashi: I think he is talking to his lost finger.
JoAnne: Oh God, like Danny in The Shining? Well, his finger wasn't lost, though. But still.
Shuk: Hyung-min runs to hear straight from the Fishy mouth that Chairman Jo is being released from custody to go the hospital. He argues that it's just a delaying tactic, but Ahn says he was checked out and illness was confirmed by a consulting doctor. Hyung Min's Whiskey Tango Foxtrot expression says it all:
JoAnne: Come to me, my delicious Rock Wall of Love.

Shuk: He decides to ask his dad directly interrupting a meeting, and goes straight to the point - how much is Daddy Ji manipulating the investigation? Oh ho, so Hyung-min is already aware that his dad is not exactly a star employee. He tells his dad to stop behaving like this and return to being someone he can respect.
kakashi: Yeah, sure. Get over it, Neanderthal. Therapy may help. Your dad is an evil one.
JoAnne: Did I mention I recently became a therapist, Thighs?
I know what Dad should get for his birthday.
Shuk: Instead, Prosecutor Ji meets up with Safari at a movie theater and gives him a task - get rid of Chairman Jo. Ji also meets up with Baksa, and tells him to get rid of Chairman Jo.
kakashi: Another great way of handling things *takes more notes, files it under "Management skills"*
JoAnne: This man has certainly mastered the delicate art of delegation.
Shuk: At the church, Baksa gets the Chairman news from Min. Baksa lets him know he would prefer Jo dead, but Min assures him that won't fix the problem.
kakashi: It's like a Lernaean Hydra. And it's about the position, not the person, stupid.
JoAnne: Yeah, didn't we learn ANYTHING last week?

Shuk: Chairman Jo is on the way to the hospital, but his nurse is Eun-soo, and his driver is Safari. Baksa arrives at the hospital just in time to meet eyes with Safari, who gives him a smile as he drives off with Chairman Jo. Later, the two talk, and Safari makes it clear that the elder (Daddy Ji??) was testing both of them, and that he intends to do what needs to be done to survive.
kakashi: Yeah, Daddy Ji is "The Elder". How can I get that title? I like it. "Kakashi, The Elder". wow.
JoAnne: You just have to live a long time, and find someone else named Kakashi to follow you around. I wonder how many speaking gigs Kakashi, The Elder would get.
Shuk: Soo-min is still clumsily trying to get Jung Shi-hyun information from Jin-sook, when the man himself arrives, and she is sent out of the room. Inside, Jin-sook asks if Baksa knows her dongsaeng, and offers to introduce the two of them, and admits she called him "lover". He asks her to not get Soo-min any more involved, but she says it's too late.
kakashi: She is already in, and who is in, will stay in. CCity Lesson. They're all dooooooomed!
JoAnne: Not quite sure what's she is up to here. I think she's trying to test the water.

Shuk: In her room, Soo-min concludes that her unni had taken her to Baksa Adeul's inner sanctum, and, for the first time, appropriately dressed in sleuthing gear and sneakers. I wonder how much dust she had to blow off the laces.
kakashi. Okay. The outfit. I rolled my eyes in annoyance. Does she have clothes labelled "escort", "drug courier" and "stalker"? And does the stalker outfit come with a user manual that says: "Pull hoodie up as soon as you can?" But ... whatdoyouknow ... she can actually walk in flat shoes.
JoAnne: Forget the freaky eyes. Girl's got freaky LEGS.
Shuk: Outside the cave, she sees her friend and the chauffeur talking, and secretly asks her friend to distract the man, which she does by poking a hole in her tire, and playing Damsel In Distress.
kakashi: She cutely apologizes to him for lying after hanging up the phone.
JoAnne: I so want Drama's Cutest Couple to be ok in the end.

Shuk: Meanwhile, Soo-min manages to get past all Bak Cave security safeguards, including defeating the main lock with a bobbie pin. She really has those Amazing Instant Cat-burglar Abilities down to a science.
kakashi: Yeah. Well. Humpf. Let's just go with it. Also her little tiny wheeny flashlight. I guess it's meant to look "professional". *giggles*
JoAnne: If that's all she can fit in her mouth...
Shuk: Unaware that his personal stuff was being fondled, Baksa is sharing information and alcohol with Jin-sook. She wants to leave Chairman Jo with Safari. She also asks him flat-out if he killed the female detective. I wonder why she asked?
kakashi: To fill 60 minutes?
JoAnne: Someone's been talking to Ansony.

Shuk: He arrives at the Bak Cave while Soo-min is still snooping around. She quickly hides as he pours a drink, but he receives a phone call from Hyun-soo before he finishes. He absentmindedly straightens out telltale signs of her sweep before leaving to meet Cutie
kakashi: But he does get suspicious and goes and checks out his bedroom. But I think he drank too much, cause he doesn't see anything amiss. And he definitely shouldn't be driving after all this drinking.
Shuk: While hiding, she finds a metal suitcase, and finds his sniper rifle. The popping noise is all her positive feelings towards him sucked into a vacuum of hate. Well, crap.
kakashi: Communication, people. Communication!
JoAnne: Hopeful his Baksa Power will convince her otherwise, but not until she backs him onto the bed at the point of her gun and they have angry sex.
Shuk: Whether he feels her stormy emotions or suddenly comes to his senses, he realizes that some strange happened at his home and abandons Cutie-soo. She is gone by the time he gets there, but apparently he has CCTVs secreted about his Cave, and they clearly pick out exactly who was there.
kakashi: Yes. Crap.
JoAnne: He has known for a while who she is, and for even longer, he's known what she wants. A day or two ago in Cruel City, he learned that she has a connection to Kyung Mi, too. Earlier in THIS EPISODE, he knew that by talking to her on the phone he was showing her his connection to the drug business. So what is he lost in thought about, here?

Shuk: In her room, she relives those great moments with a great man, and cries tears of betrayal.
kakashi: Shag flashback. I learned that expression from Bridget Jones, the Movie.
JoAnne: Good movie. And thank you, Drama, for the Shag Flashback. Thank you VERY much.

Shuk: He tries to call her, but she's not picking up the phone.
kakashi: Cause she's a "bit" distressed right now. I understand.
JoAnne: How is that conversation going to go?  'It's not mine! I was holding it for a friend!' 'It came with the place!' 'Gee, I don't know how that got there.' 'I bought it for YOU, sweetie!' 'Dammit... Cutie is always 'forgetting' stuff when he spends the night!'
FINAL THOUGHTS

Shuk: This was an episode filled with a lot of stuff on all sides of the storyline. Brushing aside the romance thing (which was pretty predictable in my book thanks to the obvious "look at the rifle look at the rifle" in previous episodes), the stakes are clearly ramping up for both sides of the drug equation. I'm not convinced that Safari and Baksa are squared off against each other in some gladatorial battle, but it's clear that Pusan wants it to be that way.
kakashi: Quite a lot of dénouement, yes. Where is the story going? I am not sure. It feels as if we were going in circles, while little information packages are dropped in the middle for us to see. But still in circles. Have we actually made bets who is going to die next? 
JoAnne: We are circling the drain, it's true.  

Shuk: Our Baddies: Is Chairman Jo better off alive or dead? Knowing the people that Safari has already killed, I'm not sure why Baksa objects to Safari, unless it's to kill the slimeball himself. As for Pusan, I'm confused - is this whole mess a power move between the Triumvirate at the top of the food chain? Their behavior and language each time any two of them meet at the House of the Yakuza Blossom Restaurant is quicksilver changing: Ji and Jo are equals, Jo bullies Ji, Ji and Cha are equals, etc. etc. It makes it unclear to me as a watcher, nevermind uri Baksa trying to pull the fangs of the organization and keep himself and his family alive.
kakashi: Yeah, well, let's say this story is crap in the details but really good when considering the big picture. Especially when it has Baksa, Jin-sook, and Cutie-Soo in it, that picture.  
JoAnne: I had a thought. It was pithy, too. Hope it comes back to me.

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