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City Hunter (2011) Episode 10 Recap
AGH, so good. Yun Seung is facing a crossroads now – Jin Pyo or Kyeong Hee. If he chooses Jin Pyo, his mother dies. And if his choice is his mother, he himself will die. The stakes are up all around, and the drama’s better than ever.
Yun Seung is furious at Jin Pyo’s move to kill Lee Kyeong Wan. He storms out, as Myeong Ju sets a tail on his movements. Myeong Ju and his assistant Jang Pil Jae end up following Yun Seung straight to Steve Lee’s building. Confirmation number one!
Yun Seung strides in and demands why Lee and the two policemen were killed. That wasn’t revenge, that was murder. Jin Pyo coldly reminds him of the 20 men who died that day in the sea, shot by their comrades. Yun Seung retorts with matching coolness: Is he sure it’s a desire for revenge he’s feeling? Or just survivor’s guilt? This last one seems to hit a nerve, but Jin Pyo’s too set to budge; if Yun Seung opposes him, he’ll have to kill him too. Yun Seung’s prepared for this, “Because I’m the only one who can stop you.”
He leaves the building, only to run straight into Myeong Ju. The Prosecutor asks him about Steve Lee; Yun Seung brushes it off as an investment interest. This isn’t fooling Myeong Ju, who tells him to his face that he thinks he’s the City Hunter. There’s still no concrete proof, though, so Yun Seung can still get away with flippancy.
Myeong Ju, poor guy, heads straight back to his office to work on proof. His long-suffering assistants have combed through Yun Seung’s alibi and found that it checks: at each of the four incidences, Lee Yun Seung had checked into a hotel with a different girl (Na Na’s aunt expresses admiration at this last point). The only time there isn’t an alibi is the sniper incident. Myeong Ju, though, has a map of Seoul with all the four event locations mapped out. He hits on a suspicious point: when Lee Kyeong Wan’s event was hijacked, Yun Seung was in a hotel 7 miles away. Same for all the other places – so, in fact, each time Yun Seung was providing a fake alibi in a close-by location.
At home, Yun Seung and Shik Joon are conferencing on Jin Pyo’s recent murderous turn. Shik Joon’s worried about Yun Seung first and foremost, but Yun Seung’s determined to stop Jin Pyo, even if it ends up killing him. To this end, he’s determined to get Kim Jong Shik first. There must be some sort of evidence on him. His research has turned up a curious anomaly: the students of the University sponsored by Kim are protesting at high tuition fees, yet the endowment fund runs into the millions. Where’s all that money going?
When a pleading, moaning Shik Joon enters, he gets busy defending his Na Na-given drink. This unusual possessiveness raises Shik Joon’s curiosity, and he guesses: was it someone special who gave it to him? Was it Na Na? Yun Seung’s face is enough to confirm it, and Shik Joon breaks out into cackles of glee.
Na Na, meanwhile, is at home doing laundry when the news on Lee’s death breaks, with the culprit though to be the City Hunter. With her new discovery, Na Na’s shaken at the thought that Yun Seung might be a killer, and enters his empty room, chanting: “It will never be him. Never, never, never.” A colorful scrap under the dresser catches her eye – it’s the photo of Yun Seung’s parents. She recognizes Kyeong Hee, and Jin Pyo from yesterday. Startled, she recalls Yun Seung’s odd behavior around Kyeong Hee and starts connecting the dots. Smart girl.
The next day, Kyeong Hee’s at the hospital to get some funny bruises checked up. The doctor’s questions make her (and us) uneasy: She didn’t get hit somewhere? Does she have family? The worst is comfirmed – she has leukemia. The poor woman’s first question, though, is for her son: is leukemia hereditary?
She arrives home, worn out. Going into her spare bedroom, she reaches into her cabinet to pull out an old package. She unfolds an old white baby shirt, the only momento she has of her son. Clutching it and curling up on the floor, she cries: “I’ve lived only to see you; will I be able to now? I miss you, I miss you…” Oh, this is so sad.
Yun Seung is standing outside the café where Na Na’s taken up a part-time job. He’s practicing some lines about Kim Jong Shik, but methinks he’s going to have to eat a whole lotta humble pie. But Na Na’s much nicer than I thought, because she starts by scolding a customer who taps Yun Seung on his (injured) shoulder. Seated, Yun Seung brings out his icebreaker, the Kim Jong Shik file.
Na Na explains that he’s the man who caused her parents’ accident. Her dad had originally been the victim, but some Bae Man Duk had changed his testimony. She’d collected info on Kim in hopes of reinvestigating the case, and has found some fishy details. Yun Seung’s curious about Bae Man Duk; Na Na describes him as chubby, bald with curly hair on the sides. Dead ringer for Shik Joon. She runs to get him his parents’ photo from her locker, but he’s left already.
He’s at home to suss out the accident details from Shik Joon. Caught, Shik Joon starts his narrative: He’d been on the side of the road when he saw the accident. Kim Jong Shik’s black car had been weaving wildly when it crashed into Na Na’s parents’ car. He’d seen Na Na crying at the crime scene when he’d given his testimony. A few days later, though, he’d been called to Kim Jong Shik’s room. Kim offered some very thinly veiled blackmail: either he changes his testimony, or Kim will frame him for gambling, enough to get him off probation and back in jail.
Shik Joon is somber as he finishes his narrative to Yun Seung. With tears in his eyes, he expresses his remorse over the years, and promises to pay for it once they take Kim down.
Na Na herself is receiving happy news. For the second time, she’s been taken off probation and back to guarding Da Hye; no VIP’s this time round, and she still gets a pay cut. She’s nevertheless on top of the world as she and Eun Ha leave for judo practice.
Eun Ha is, as usual, flirting with/thrashing Ki Jun, in a somewhat cute reversal of the usual pigtail-pulling dynamic. Next to them, Na Na’s having a hard time laying hands on Yun Seung. I’m guessing it’s part self-consciousness, and part worry for his injury. Yun Seung solves this by demonstrating his move, the same one he’d used during the sniper incident. The closeness gets to them, and Yun Seung leaves abruptly.
At his usual garden spot, Na Na finds him, carrying coffee for him. Brightly, she prods him to congratulate her, and even offers up her coffee recipe. Yun Seung is having a hard time pushing her away, so as usual he goes to the extreme, slapping the coffee away. He again reiterates: “Don’t you have pride? You’re just one girl out of many to me.” She knows it, but admits: “I like you. I know I’m not your style, and you’re not mine, but I still like you. Even though you’re weird and talk harshly, I keep wanting to see you.” Yun Seung’s had enough of this and walks off. Even though she’s got tears in her eyes, Na Na tells herself: “That’s good, Kim Na Na. Liking someone is a good thing.”
Yun Seung’s not feeling too good himself either, back at his office. He’s so morose that Ki Jun picks up on it, and immediately guesses that he’s gotten dumped. Well, he’s only halfway right.
Yun Seung and Da Hye, plus the two bodyguards, visit Seoul University. Their attention is attracted by a rally, where the students are protesting against high tuition fees. Even Da Hye gets the message; you can’t pay the fees and pay for food and rent at the same time. As Eun Ha notes, it’s getting so that if you’re poor, you have no chance at education.
That night at home, Yun Seung searches frantically for his parents’ photo, which is nowhere to be found. Emerging for dinner, he sees that Shik Joon’s cooked the same meal that Na Na made for him. Losing his appetite, he leaves. Na Na gets a sudden text from him: come immediately to drive him somewhere.
Na Na’s all excited to see him, even stopping by a makeup store on the way to primp with the samples. She arrives at the car, happily anticipating meeting him, when he shows up complete with another girl. Oh, no.
Things get worse in the car, as Yun Seung and his girlfriend start getting handsy. Going further, Yun Seung lets drop some pointed remarks on clingy naïve lovestruck girls and starts kissing her. Na Na’s had enough of this. She brakes sharply and drags the girl out herself and shoves her in a taxi (oh, I love this). Spinning around, she confronts Yun Seung, who demands if she’s jealous. She replies: “No. That girl isn’t worth getting jealous of. If you want me to feel jealous, date a girl who’s worth it. And my feelings aren’t your business anyway; I’ve never forced you. Right now, your parents would be ashamed.” With this, she hands him back his photo and leaves him stranded.
Having reached home, Yun Seung’s in a sober mood. Lying morosely on his bed, he murmurs: “Kim Na Na. Don’t fall for me. You must be happy.”
Kyeong Hee’s been disobeying the doctor and has remained behind at her restaurant, where Na Na finds her the next day. Na Na cautiously asks about Ajumoni’s family. Does she not have any children? Kyeong Hee denies it, and turns to make Na Na a dish. She’s seriously ill, though, and faints on the steps.
Yun Seung and Shik Joon conference in the car on the University situation; some directors had used Kim’s fund to invest, and lost a lot of money. To make up for it, they slashed scholarships and changed rules. It’s a mess. Just then, they receive Na Na’s frantic call. Yun Seung’s not wanting to pick up, but does so at Shik Joon’s urging. Na Na’s calling from the hospital, and urges him to come as well. Yun Seung asks why; she replies: “She is your mother, isn’t she?” Oh, how I love Na Na.
Yun Seung makes a screeching U-turn right across three lanes of traffic and speeds towards the hospital, finding Kyeong Hee lying unconscious in a bed. Shik Joon whips out of sight as Na Na walks toward them, introducing Yun Seung as Kyeong Hee’s guardian and son to the doctors. Yun Seung protests, but shuts up when the doctor tells the news: Kyeong Hee’s got leukemia, and they need Yun Seung to get tested for bone marrow donations. Family donations are the only way to save her.
Outside on a park bench with Na Na, he finally spits out his problem: “Why should I help a mother who abandoned me?” Na Na counters: “Then do you still want to see her die? Of course not. Lee Yun Seung, you have a mother you can talk to.”
It’s enough for Yun Seung to claim responsibility and install his mother in a private suite. Tailing him is Pil Jae, who reports back to his boss. Tailing him is Sang Gook, who reports back to Jin Pyo. So both Myeong Ju and Jin Pyo get the info that Lee Yun Seung is helping out leukemia patient Lee Kyeong Hee, and will probably be undergoing tests with blood samples. Uh-oh. Myeong Ju’s excited that nabbing the blood sample will catch their culprit; Jin Pyo’s at the same conclusion, grimly determined to stop Yun Seung from doing the tests. I sense some major conflict coming up.
Kyeong Hee awakens in her plush hospital room, with Na Na and Yun Seung looking on. She’s not happy about being hospitalized and being a burden, but Yun Seung brusquely tells her that it’s more trouble if she collapses again, so she should just get well soon. After he leaves, Kyeong Hee wonders at this strange young man.
He’s currently stamping up the stairs to the roof, and emerges roaring “Damn!” When Shik Joon tries to calm him down, he yells: “Does it make any sense? Since she abandoned me to live her own life, she should be living a good life. Why is she sick then, in front of me?” Oh, Lee Min Ho is so good here, shaking with resentment and longing for his mother. “She’s really bad. She’s really a bad person.”
He ‘explains’ to the doctor that he’s not really her son, it’s just a misunderstanding. The doctor’s unhappy: they need a bone marrow donor urgently, or else Kyeong Hee could die soon waiting for someone that matches. That’s enough for Yun Seung, who agrees to a blood testing for a match. He’s led out toward the lab, where he runs smack into Jin Pyo.
As usual, Jin Pyo is furious that Yun Seung’s giving up the plan for his own emotional reasons, knowing that the blood sample is being trailed by Myeong Ju. It seems like Jin Pyo’s propagated the abandonment story to detach him from his mother, but Yun Seung’s firm. Even so, Sang Gook takes precautionary measures by locking Pil Jae in the bathroom.
Jin Pyo leaves with a stern warning – if he chooses Kyeong Hee, he’ll have jeopardized his life. Yun Seung heads straight for the lab, only to be stopped by Sang Gook. Cue a knock-down fistfight between the two, plus two more of Jin Pyo’s men. Yun Seung, however, has been trained by Jin Pyo himself and leaves without a scratch.
In the lab, they’ve just finished bottling up the blood when Myeong Ju enters, having rescued Pil Jae. Yun Seung: “You’d better stop following me, or else people will think you like me.” lol. Myeong Ju gets right to the point, producing a warrant to claim the test tube of blood. They need consent, to which Yun Seung cheerily agrees.
Myeong Ju leaves with the blood sample, headed for a research lab. Pil Jae’s been set onto Yun Seung, but suddenly gets spotted by Na Na, who overhears him talking about blood samples. Putting the information together, she runs out to interrupt his car as he’s set to follow Yun Seung. Babbling about her own case, she manages to delay him until Yun Seung’s out of sight.
Yun Seung, in fact, is actually tailing Myeong Ju to the research center. (I knew he couldn’t be that blasé about giving up his blood). The senior lab analyst is an indignant woman who screeches that the Prosecutor’s office must think she’s their servant, and they can wait their turn at analysis just like everyone else. She stomps off to yell at Myeong Ju in person, but turns syrupy sweet when she sees that the Prosecutor is a tall, handsome young man.
Yun Seung’s method of entry is to sneak into an empty ambulance and zip himself up neatly inside a body bag. The staff load him into the morgue, from where he sneaks out once it’s all clear. Next step to getting inside the lab: clamber down the outside of the building, jumping from ledge to ledge by his hands, without a rope. Oh God. Someone tell him he’s not Spiderman. He finds the window opening into the lab, and spots the analyst putting his sample in a rack. Carefully ducking down between the rows, he snatches his tube and substitutes another, and swings out the window.
The sudden movement catches Myeong Ju’s eye, and he slowly approaches the window. Yun Seung’s dangling from the ledge, with nowhere to go. (I know how this will turn out, but it’s tense nonetheless). Myeong Ju sticks his head out, and spots nobody there.
Yun Seung’s striding coolly down the hospital corridors, unaware that Myeong Ju is just a few moments behind him (also unaware). Just as he emerges into an open space, sure to be caught, a hand snatches him into a doorway. Myeong Ju passes by.
In the dark room, Yun Seung’s knife snicks out as he pins his savior to the wall – Na Na.
What can I say about a first half this good? It looks like now the players have shifted again – Na Na is an ally and Jin Pyo probably an enemy now. I do love that Myeong Ju is almost as capable as Yun Seung himself, and always just half a step behind. If he does confirm the City Hunter’s identity soon, it’ll be curious to see his reaction. At this midpoint in the drama, the story has constantly been shifting, adding twists, upping stakes, and keeping true to the emotional core. Here’s hoping the second half is as good! On to Episode 11!
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