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City Hunter (2011) Episode 19 Recap

What a prelude to a finale – our City Hunter finally encounters some truths, and the courage to fight for them.

Episode 19

Kim Myeong Ju and Lee Yun Seung face each other, unmasked. Softly, Yun Seung asks, “Kim Myeong Ju, are you satisfied now?” Myeong Ju is silent as police cars follow up the road. Just as quietly, he replies, “Go.” He turns around as the City Hunter escapes.

Yun Seung strides off into the office complex as SWAT teams swarm around looking for men in black jackets. This is easily remedied - Yun Seung flings off his jacket and mask, one by one, into nearby bushes and then casually saunters away right in front of a search team.

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In a holding cell, Cheon Jae Man smiles as someone unseen unties his ropes. Myeong Ju comes in five minutes too late, seeing only the empty room and the dog tags on the table. Furious, he orders his men to up the search for Cheon, as well as a mole within the Prosecutor’s office.

Back at home, Shik Joon is passing the time by reading self-help books to his prisoner (“Do not let anger override your senses or justify your wrongs”), prodding him with a stick every time he falls asleep (HA. Omg, I’m dying of laughter. I can’t imagine a more frustrating punishment for Ninja). In fact, he’s even got the man trained; whenever Ninja cranks up the glare, Shik Joon points the stick with a stern “Eyes! Eyes!”

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He gets a call from Yun Seung and then immediately freaks out to hear that Prosecutor Kim saw his face. Frantically, he runs through the options: leave the country immediately, find transport, get Kyeong Hee, etc, when Yun Seung breaks it to him that the Prosecutor let him go.

The news breaks about Cheon’s capture and re-escape, as both Na Na and Yun Seung watch. Each have a photo of themselves together close by, and finger their phones; but now’s not the time.

In the Prosecutor’s office, Myeong Ju gets a thorough grilling by his boss. By letting the City Hunter capture their target, and then losing him to boot, has pretty much knocked down their reputation. Boss finally calms down, but has a question: did Prosecutor Kim really not see the City Hunter’s face? Face flat, Myeong Ju denies it; the City Hunter held him at gunpoint and escaped masked.

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He walks outside to run into Lee Yun Seung in ordinary clothes. Yun Seung asks why he didn’t turn him in that time. Myeong Ju replies: “If it were Kim Jong Shik’s son there, I would definitely have caught you. But I thought about it. How you’ve done our job for us, and I thought that I don’t have the right to catch you.” Yun Seung seems touched, but covers it up quickly. “Next time, don’t be sentimental. Do what a prosecutor should do.”

Myeong Ju also has a question: “Why did you not shoot me that time?”

Yun Seung: “The same reason you gave.”

That night, he paces the basement where he’s tied Ninja, until he finally receives a call from Cheon. He’s hiding in a dark warehouse, but ready to deal – he’ll offer the 1983 record in exchange for escape. Yun Seung only scoffs that he can get both the book and Cheon without help, and hangs up.

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Unexpectedly, Ninja speaks up. Cheon Jae Man definitely hid the book in a secret place, but he can guess where it is. There’s one condition, though: he wants to be the one to kill Cheon. Yun Seung agrees, and the man continues. The way to catch Cheon is to get the thing he was tracking, in this case a woman – Lee Kyeong Hee. Shocked, Yun Seung can only repeat her name.

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Pil Jae comes into Myeong Ju’s office carrying boxes of Cheon’s confiscated documents. One in particular was hidden in a secure vault, a yellow envelope. Myeong Ju opens it to find a stack labeled “Sunflower”, with a traditional painting stamped in red, plus a document containing Lee Kyeong Hee’s name. Curious.

In the Blue House, the President ( guarded by Na Na) is painting, stamping his work with the exact same red stamp. Oh, this is going to come back and bite you. For the moment, though, Choe is pleased, happily planning to put it up on his blog. Happy, that is, until he gets a phone call from Cheon. Sending Na Na out of the room, he refuses Cheon’s request for help getting out of the country. But Cheon still has his big card: “Remember Lee Kyeong Hee? That woman gave birth to your son 28 years ago.” Oh, this is big. Even disregarding the huge scandal the news will cause, Cheon’s lifelong dream of government reform for the people will probably never go through.

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Stunned, Choe calls Na Na in and quietly pulls out Kyeong Hee’s embroidered handkerchief. Na Na only watches in surprise as he asks her to contact the woman again, the one who meant so much to him.

She’s currently having a fond lunch with her son. The clues keep rolling in, though; Yun Seung hands her his handkerchief when she has a coughing fit. She notices with a smile that he’s got her handkerchief, “I only give it to people I like.” Of course Yun Seung asks if his father had one; Kyeong Hee coughs into her cup as she mutters yes. As he turns to leave, she hesitantly stammers out, "If your father were alive, would that be a good thing?" Yun Seung only asks her about the funny question, but she brushes it off.

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Outside, Yun Seung leans against the wall and wonders again why Cheon Jae Man was looking for his mother. Oh, if only you knew.

To this end, he goes to visit one of her old acquaintances. The woman’s reluctant, but capitulates when she gets an envelope of money. There’s only rumors, but, “I’ve heard that Lee Kyeong Hee was pregnant with another man’s child when she married. The man knew, and still accepted her. And then afterward both the man and the baby disappeared.”

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Outside, Yun Seung digests this information…and then gets a call from Na Na. She gets straight to the point: “The President had one of the handkerchiefs that Kyeong Hee made. He wanted to find her, but I pretended I didn’t know.”

Now he puts together all the little pieces, the President’s eating habits so like his own, and Kyeong Hee’s shiftiness.

He goes straight to Kyeong Hee, but with gentleness instead of anger. He doesn’t blame her, but, instead says, “I’m sorry, I knew all along. That I wasn’t Park Mu Yeol’s son. I’m President Choe Eung Chan’s son, aren’t I?” She shakily nods yes, but Choe hadn’t known. It was Cheon Jae Man who’d threatened her, and she’d then been saved by Park Mu Yeol. She looks afraid that now he’s going to be disappointed in her. But instead he pulls his mother in for a hug, reassuring her that he understands. He has one question, though: did Jin Pyo know? Kyeong Hee nods yes, and finally Yun Seung looks shocked to the core.

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This is a big betrayal. His new ‘family’, Na Na and Kyeong Hee and now the President, are fairly new in his life. But Jin Pyo’s the man who is really his father, the one who raised him all his life and taught him everything he knows. And now he finds that this was the man who deliberately lied to him all this time.

Yun Seung approaches him slowly in his office, asking, “Why did you take it to this extent? Why did you raise me, and lie about my real father? I am Choe Eung Chan’s son.” Jin Pyo makes no reply. Yun Seung yanks out the bullet necklace and smacks it down on the table. “You fragmented my life. I will make you pay the price.” Jin Pyo only clenches the necklace after he leaves.

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Yun Seung’s still stunned long later, as sits in his car in the Blue House parking lot. Ki Jun pulls in with his new car, the exact model of Yun Seung’s, except orange. Eun Ha’s derisive, but Na Na picks up something in Yun Seung’s mood as he ignores them to stride away.

Myeong Ju goes to visit Su Hee to prod her about Yun Seung’s injuries. She denies knowing anything, even after he spills the details about Yun Seung’s City Hunter background. Myeong Ju’s upset, but mostly at himself: “I’m realizing that his methods may be correct. I’m angry, but I haven’t accomplished anything.”

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Su Hee says, comfortingly, “Lee Yun Seung is just like you – lonely. He went through so much alone, even manually removing the bullet from his back.” With a smile, she adds that she couldn’t resist him, just as if he were an abandoned puppy. “Myeong Ju…aren’t you the same as him?”

Changing the subject, she shows him the sunflowers she’d bought recently, as they’d reminded her of their happier married times. Myeong Ju smiles too, but then something clicks. “Sunflower…” Rushing back to his office, he runs a search. What he finds is pictures of sunflower paintings on the President’s blog, exactly like the one in Cheon’s file.

In the Blue House, Yun Seung is listening to his phone conversation with Cheon, trying to figure out where the man is. He gets a text from the Prosecutor, wanting to meet up.

They sit down at Da Hye’s café, and Myeong Ju starts with a question. “All those things you did for revenge, they also corrected the injustices of society. If it wasn’t just for revenge, would you still have done it?” Yun Seung replies that he would; he can’t ignore the people in pain. Myeong Ju looks happy at this answer, but far less at his next meeting – Jin Pyo.

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Myeong Ju goes straight to the point – the City Hunter fights for injustice, but Jin Pyo’s actions, stealing a child and raising him to be a killer, embarking on a killing quest, is just pure bloodlust and is punishable by the law. Jin Pyo’s furious; like his comrades, he was meant to be slaughtered by a motherland they trusted. And the men who decided to cover it up were the worst criminals. (He has a point; as a soldier, he put his life in risk knowing only that he could trust the country he fought for. If you take that away, there’s nothing that’s worth his life and his comrades’).

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He lays down the challenge: find the 1983 file. But be warned, it’s got details of every crime in there, even his father’s. Myeong Ju might end up having to prosecute the country itself.

As straight as ever, Myeong Ju replies that if it’s necessary, he will prosecute his father, his country, and Jin Pyo too. “I’ll see you in court.”

There’s another married-couple spat when Shik Joon comes over to nag about the prisoner while Yun Seung is listening to the phone recording over and over again. Yun Seung snaps, shouting that he’s desperately trying to find the man with no idea where to start. They cool down soon, but Yun Seung’s stuck.

Cheon Jae Man is actually in the process of hiding in a junkyard. He’s still got a group of thugs and a plan, though, which includes a package that he sent to Myeong Ju’s place and that he wants retrieved.

Uh-oh. Su Hee’s at Myeong Ju’s apartment and on the phone with him. She’s here to pick up her jacket, but Myeong Ju seems happy to be around her and proposes lunch together. She’s just agreeing when the doorbell rings; it’s a special package. Still on the phone, Su Hee tears it open to find an old record, labeled 1983. Myeong Ju’s eyes widen at this and he floors the accelerator.

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Hanging up, Su Hee turns around to a message about “a gas leak” from behind the door. This time it’s the much more sinister gang of thugs. Su Hee grabs the book and backs up, but she has guts: she firmly tells the gangsters that they’re trespassing on her husband’s property and that they’re going to have to leave. It’s futile and earns her a blow across the face. Head gang takes the file and coolly gives an order, “Kill her.”

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Myeong Ju enters the empty apartment, sensing something is wrong. He walks from room to room, calling Su Hee’s name, until he finds her in a closet, bound and gagged. Even after the incident, Su Hee can see that he wants to chase the men, and tells him to leave. But Myeong Ju hugs her instead, saying only, “I’m sorry for dragging you in like this.”

At home, Yun Seung finally hits on something – the sounds in the background sound like a junkyard. He turns on the TV in the living room to the news broadcast on Cheon’s escape. Right behind the reporter was a car pulling away from the street, where Cheon had hidden himself in the trunk. Yun Seung punches in the license number and finds that the car’s located in a certain junkyard in Seoul.

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Jin Pyo, in his office, gets a text from Cheon: “If you want to find the file, come to the junkyard.”

At the hospital, Su Hee insists that she’s fine to Myeong Ju, even as he receives the exact same text from Yun Seung. She knows him well, and says that she can see that he desperately wants to find the file. Smiling sadly, she says that she’s going to do it again – she’s going to let him go. There’s one thing, though. “If I give you one more chance to fix this, will you do your best?” Myeong Ju puts his hand on top of hers and makes a promise. He leaves, turning around one last time to smile at her. Oh my. Why do I have a bad feeling?

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Na Na’s also investigating as she goes to visit Kyeong Hee. Kyeong Hee’s worried about Yun Seung, but Na Na has a question: “Ahjumma, the President had the exact same handkerchief you gave me. Can you explain?” Later, she stands outside, stunned, as Kyeong Hee sits desolately alone.

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Myeong Ju makes his way carefully into the junkyard warehouse, noticing the thugs that are filtering through the aisles. Coming out to face Cheon, he demands the files. Cheon dismisses it, saying that it’s going to be scrapped in the car. Grimly, Myeong Ju attempts to leave; the thugs gang up on him and start to beat him. He fights with all he’s got, but they’ve got metal poles and there are too many of them. He does manage to get back on his feet, though, buying himself time with a metal pole. Backed up in a corner, he holds off the thugs long enough to send a text.

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It goes to Yun Seung, who’s fought his way into the junkyard. “The file is in the car going to be flattened.” He immediately turns around and finds the car right under the flattener. The ‘stop’ button won’t work, so there’s only one thing for it - Yun Seung dives right into the car, finding the file in the nick of time.

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In the warehouse, Myeong Ju is now beaten bloody on the floor. But as Cheon passes, he grabs his legs. Shakily, he hauls himself upright and recites his lines, prosecutor to the last, “Cheon Jae Man, I arrest you for the counts of tax evasion, fraud, and attempted murder. The maximum penalty is 22 years…” Cheon nods, and the head thug swings a vicious pole right at Myeong Ju’s head.

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Oh no. Myeong Ju crumples as blood streams from his head, making a pool on the floor. Yun Seung approaches the warehouse to see Cheon, clutching the file. But he makes his choice: he runs into the warehouse as he sees Myeong Ju lying in a pool of his own blood.

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Myeong Ju whispers, “You use the top secret file, to reveal all to your fellow countrymen.” Struggling for breath now, “Cheon Jae Man is heading for Hwa Chun harbor. Hurry and catch him. I can’t go now. ” With tears in his eyes now, he holds out his hand, and Yun Seung desperately holds on to it. “City Hunter…Lee Yun Seung. My father…please forgive him. I’m sorry.”

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And with that, Prosecutor Kim Myeong Ju dies.

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What an ending. I’m devastated that Myeong Ju’s dead, but this may be the one last thing that spurs Yun Seung on to complete his quest, to make it all necessary. Now Yun Seung’s fighting not for himself, but for the Prosecutor who died trying to fight corruption and crime. The last request may foreshadow Yun Seung’s own father issues coming up. After all, Myeong Ju and Yun Seung are really just two sides of the same coin – sons of errant fathers, but strong people themselves. On a slightly shallow note, I’m glad Da Hye’s given up on her crush, now that we know he’s her half-brother. How will Yun Seung handle the last two men on his list? On to the finale!



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