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City Hunter (2011) Final Episode (20) Recap

Coming to an end of a thrill-ride of a series is not easy when it’s as good as this one. Action, romance, plot twists, thrills, this show has everything. Who’s up for a Season 2?

Episode 20

Yun Seung shakes Myeong Ju, shouting his name desperately. There’s no answer. Myeong Ju is dead.

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With tears in his eyes, Yun Seung straightens the man’s jacket, picks up the package and the phone, and leaves. In the hospital room for coma, Kim Jong Shik opens his eyes.

In the car, Yun Seung checks Myeong Ju’s phone and finds the text from ‘City Hunter’ telling him to go to the junkyard. We now know who it’s really from; Yun Seung calls up Jin Pyo, asking furiously why he sent the Prosecutor to his death. Jin Pyo ruthlessly disregards it, calling it only a fated death. He’s now going to go and kill Cheon Jae Man.

Cheon himself is sneaking into Hwa Chun dock with his bodyguards, where he runs into a grim Jin Pyo. With efficient swipes of his cane, Jin Pyo knocks out the bodyguards and advances on Cheon. CHeon stammers out a plea for his life: “Back then…I didn’t have a choice.”

Jin Pyo: “You don’t have a choice now either…you’re going to die.”

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Cheon runs staggering onto the boat, up the stairs and down again, begging for his life, with Jin Pyo stalking coolly behind. Finally he’s backed up on the edge of the boat, with the bright harbor lights throwing the men’s shadows on the other boat. One man falls to his knees. The other raises a long blade and stabs once, then twice.

Yun Seung races onto the dock, checking the boats until he finds the one with Cheon’s corpse stretched out cold on deck. He lets out a roar of frustration.

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Later in the car, he thinks back to Myeong Ju’s last request, to punish the criminals in the record. He opens the book and reads: Lee Kyeong Wan, Seo Yong Hak, Kim Jong Shik, Cheon Jae Man, all leaving a trail of crime and corruption in their wake. Finally, he comes upon the last name – Choe Eung Chan. His father. His last target.

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Now Yun Seung’s in shock, leaning against the railing of the dock with tears in his eyes. He whispers, “So this is what it comes down to”, realizing now the extent of Jin Pyo’s revenge.

He walks into Jin Pyo’s office just as he’s cleaning the blood off his sword. This symbolism isn’t lost on Yun Seung, who tells him to clean Myeong Ju’s as well as Cheon’s blood. Jin Pyo points out that it was Cheon who killed Myeong Ju, but Yun Seung isn’t having it: “You’re as bad as Cheon. He too killed the men in Nampo, only he used other’s hands to do it.”

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This gets Jin Pyo’s goat, and he swipes out the blade to point at Yun Seung’s throat. Yun Seung continues: “The last target is President Choe Eung Chan, isn’t it? This was your revenge, to have me kill my father with my own hands. ” Jin Pyo stares in shock as Yun Seung says that now he wants no more of this revenge. Jin Pyo asks if this is because Choe is his biological father; Yun Seung says no. But Jin Pyo has one more sinister warning – all the four men were corrupt. Choe isn’t so clean himself either.

Elsewhere, Seo Yong Hak prepares for a press conference in his prisoner’s garb. He’s just as repugnant as ever, as he announces that he and his three colleagues were scapegoats of the 1983 mission, and that the full responsibility is President Choe Eung Chan’s.

It’s a serious accusation, and the President immediately holds an emergency press conference. Once there, he flatly denies any knowledge of or participation in the 1983 sweep mission. Ooh. This is your weakness coming out, President. One last question, which has Eung Chan wide-eyed in shock – what about the young Prosecutor who died on the trail of the 1983 record?

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The conference is broadcast, watched by Yun Seung as well as both Jin Pyo and Sang Gook. Sang Gook is shocked that this is their last target, and now the full significance of Jin Pyo’s scheming hits him. Jin Pyo’s spent the past few months laying a network of bribes around Choe, and now it’s surely going to rock the nation when it’s revealed. “Shaking the nation isn’t what I wanted. Please, just return the honor of those dead soldiers! And then let’s end it all, General.”

Myeong Ju’s funeral gets underway. Su Hee collapses on her knees, sobbing in front of his photo. Kim Jong Shik is there too, in a wheelchair, shaking with grief for his son.

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At the tables, Mi Ok cries while Boss shows a quieter grief: “Idiot…dead or alive, you were like my own son. That justice you were fighting for, I’ll see it done.” President Choe Eung Chan enters with his retinue of guards, trading a long glance with his old friend. It’s full of regret, as it should be – both of their sins had caused the death of the young man.

Now Yun Seung enters, quietly dressed in black. This is too much for Pil Jae. Reckless with grief and soju, he grabs Yun Seung by the lapels: “Lee Yun Seung…City Hunter! It’s because of you. Because our prosecutor was chasing after you, that’s why he ended up like this! You killer!” Still shouting, he’s hauled out by the bodyguards, but everyone relevant in the room gazes at Yun Seung curiously.

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Sang Gook goes over to Yun Seung’s apartment to confer with his team. He tells them the tricky situation surrounding the President. Cheon Jae Man had financed his election, and after the ascension to Presidency, Choe had granted Cheon’s company some special contracts.

In his own office, President Choe goes over Yun Seung’s ID papers. He flashes back to Pil Jae’s outburst, and starts to put the pieces together, remembering that the City Hunter had used a Blue House IP address. He calls Pil Jae in to hear his results.

Pil Jae shares what Myeong Ju had found out: there were two suspects. Lee Jin Pyo had once been a Blue House security agent who disappeared in 1983. He reappeared as Steve Lee, but he’d really spent his time building a drug empire in the Triangle. Lee Yun Seung, the other, was Park Mu Yeol and Lee Kyeong Hee’s son. Choe looks rocked by the news, as Pil Jae continues. Yun Seung had been taken by Jin Pyo at the age of one month and had been raised by him.

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Yun Seung himself has been called in, and on the way runs into Na Na, who’s guarding the door outside. She stops him with a warning; the President seems to have noticed something, and had asked for Yun Seung’s ID papers.
Yun Seung enters quietly, and both men eye each other carefully. Yun Seung finally breaks the silence with a question about the blog, and moves to his father’s side. Choe mentions the press conference; Yun Seung admits that he’s seen it, but has only one question: “The things you said, are they all true?”

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There’s silence for a moment, then Choe says, “Yes. In my job, I have to make decisions and choose and focus. I decided to focus only on two things: the citizen’s health and education. I’ll protect those things with everything I have. That’s why I’m going to try and push my Education Reform bill through the Assembly.” All this time, though, he’s unable to look his son in the face.

At home, Shik Joon is video-conferencing with a reluctant Eun Ha, which he snaps off just as Yun Seung enters. There’s news – Na Na’s here. Yun Seung goes to find her standing in his office. She gets right out with the news. She knows that the President is Yun Seung’s real father, then asks the important question: “Are you going to punish your father?” Slowly, Yun Seung admits that yes, if he is corrupt. Na Na reiterates that Choe is his father, but Yun Seung interrupts her, “Prosecutor Kim Myeong Ju did the same thing. Because Kim Jong Shik was his father, he covered for him. But was that good for his father?”

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Na Na only says that they may end up on opposite sides again then; “Don’t do something that you’ll regret.”

The action picks up the next morning, as Yun Seung gets briefed by Yun Seung. One of the Assemblymen being investigated for bribery is Lee Young Taek, who’s incidentally important for the passing of the President’s reform bill. Even though they’re political rivals, ten to one the President will try to convince him for backing sometime soon.

Predictably, Choe shows up to conference with Lee. He sends his guards out, which has them unhappy, but compromises on 30 minutes.

He settles down to a meeting with the Assemblyman and gets right to the point. He wants help to pass his education bill, and he’s willing to grant amnesty in return. Assemblyman Lee happily agrees to the deal, while Choe clenches his hands under the table.

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The man leaves, and the side panel to the room opens, to reveal Yun Seung standing in utter disappointment. He notes that the President’s gotten good at back-door dealing, which Choe acknowledges. But he adds that he doesn’t regret it if it helps even one person; there’s no other way he can do this, no other cleaner way.

Yun Seung isn’t convinced, and hotly contests that corruption should not be condoned and practiced no matter the circumstances. You can see the pain in his eyes as he prepares to take his father down: “I have the 1983 record. That decision you don’t regret – I’ll make you regret it now.”

He disappears just before Na Na bursts in, having spotted something suspicious outside.

Getting down to work, Yun Seung tracks down one of Choe’s election aides, and learns that Choe kept a financial record of all his dealings during election time. Choe receives this report on Yun Seung from that colleague, getting a forewarning of what’s about to come.

Yun Seung gets entrance to the President’s home on the excuse that he’s here to tutor Da Hye, but once inside heads straight for the study and starts ransacking the shelves. He’s in the midst of it when he hears a familiar, “Looking for this?” Choe stands in the doorway, holding out a black notebook. He asks why Yun Seung is doing this.

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Yun Seung: “Because of trust. The trust of the citizens, the workers, the laborers, the students. And the trust of the 21 soldiers who were promised to be met at Nampo Bay. I’m here to protect that trust.”

Choe replies that in all the 28 years, he’s never forgotten the soldiers; he understands how Jin Pyo feels. Holding out the book, he gives it to Yun Seung. Oh, this is a decent man. He’s definitely weak, but at his core he’s good.

As Yun Seung goes out to leave, Choe calls out, “Yun Seung-ah. For making you live this way…your father is sorry.” Agh! Yun Seung’s face shows his pain, but he walks out without a word.

Na Na stops him outside, asking if he’s really going through with this; the person getting hurt most here is him. Yun Seung says bleakly that there’s no one else to do it but him.

Just as bleakly, he prepares photocopies of the 1983 papers and Choe’s financial records and slides them into envelopes headed toward the media. The packages go out just as the Assembly votes on Choe’s bill. The bill passes, but just then the newspapers break out the big news, and immediately a vote for impeachment comes up.

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Choe is weary but strangely relieved, “It’s a relief. That’s how it should have been from the start.”

The Prosecutor’s office receives a six-pack this time, of the same corrupt Assemblymen that took bribes for the bill.
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Yun Seung watches this on the news, and prepares for the inevitable confrontation.

He prepares his revolver, just as Jin Pyo loads the magazine of his semiautomatic. At the Blue House, Na Na finds that she’s been removed from tomorrow’s duty…strange. She realizes it’s Yun Seung trying to keep her out of harm’s way, and of course right away grabs her gun to go. Oh no. All these guns cannot mean something good.

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At the building with hours to go before impeachment, Choe gets a call from Jin Pyo that his judgement day has come. Choe’s resigned to his fate, and instructs his guards to let ‘a guest’ in without frisking. Meanwhile, Na Na has sneaked in too, unseen by everyone.

Jin Pyo arrives, stepping into the hall – and meets Yun Seung. Jin Pyo growls that he’s going to finish this revenge 28 years in the making, son or no; Yun Seung replies that he’ll take care of this.

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At the same moment, both of them pull out their guns. OH #$%@. It’s like Yun Seung’s dream with Na Na, only this time it’s deadly real.

Yun Seung : “The cruel revenge that requires me to shoot my biological father — do you think I could carry that out and live well? Having to point a gun at the woman I love — do you think I could do that without a care? Having to fight the father who lost his leg for me — how do you think I’d feel? I wanted you to think just once of me, and stop. I…just want to live an ordinary life happily with you. But…that was all a dream.”

And he points the gun at his own head. Hand shaking, he pulls the trigger…

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And Na Na jumps out, gun trained on Jin Pyo, begging them both to stop. Choe stands behind her, staring at the showdown.

Choe looks straight at Jin Pyo and says that he’s been waiting for him; Jin Pyo replies that he’s here for the life he has to take.

Choe apologizes to Na Na and shoves her out of the way. Jin Pyo fires.

Yun Seung watches in horror as one of his fathers sends a bullet to another. He springs forward in front of Choe – and takes the bullet straight in the chest.

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Jin Pyo finally looks shocked to see his son stagger, then fall to the ground. Na Na wheels around and shoots him, and he too falls to his knees, blood dripping down his shirt.

The bodyguards rush and take Choe away; Na Na runs to Yun Seung’s side and kneels next to him, weeping.

Jin Pyo pulls out his gun and forces out through the pain: “I am the last survivor of the 1983 sweep mission. I came back to exact revenge and so I killed Lee Kyeong Wan and Cheon Jae Man, and sent Seo Yong Hak to prison. I am the City Hunter.”

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OH. He’s taking the blame to save his son. He releases the magazine and wheels around to face the bodyguards.

They shoot reflexively, and Yun Seung watches as Jin Pyo’s body shudders with the impact of so many bullets, then falls.

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Father and son gaze at each other. Slowly, painfully, Yun Seung reaches his hand out towards his father and grasps it. Jin Pyo manages a faint smile.

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Some time later, Na Na visits Da Hye in a café, where she’s doing well. Na Na herself looks cheerful despite the recent death of her father. Eun Ha and Ki Jun enter as a couple, to hand out wedding invitations. Eun Ha in particular is put out that life in the Blue House is dull now that both Na Na and Lee Yun Seung are ‘gone.’

In the apartment, Kyeong Hee and Shik Joon prepare for their flight to the U.S. Kyeong Hee’s recovered, and fingers a congratulatory bouquet from the President.

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Na Na herself is heading to the airport with packed bags, when she spots a familiar figure. Hurrying to the spot, she finds no one…but the camera pans around and Yun Seung’s right there, come back as promised. She smiles to see him, and he smiles back.

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We see a memorial erected to honor the 21 soldiers who died for their country, the first name being Lee Jin Pyo.
That night, Lee Yun Seung, City Hunter, drives through his city.

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What do I say? It was heartbreaking when Jin Pyo died, although I had a feeling that his character couldn’t survive. Because at heart the biggest love story and conflict in this drama was between Yun Seung and the man who was really his father, and I’m glad they didn’t drop it even after the real paternity secret was out. The revenge plot required shady morals, but worst of all it would have ruined Yun Seung’s life afterward, as Yun Seung says in his final speech. Jin Pyo loved Yun Seung all along, and it’s too bad that he had to sacrifice his life to demonstrate it. And again, even after Myeong Ju’s death, I feel that he lives on in the City Hunter. Now Yun Seung fights injustice not for himself, but for the brave, passionate man who died. Oh, man. This show was so good. Great acting, gorgeous visuals, kickass OST, twists and thrills, laughs and romance, plus a great deal of heart and emotional heft. It’ll be a while before we get another this good.


I love this drama. Lee Min Ho is just sooooooo handsome. :panda_celebrate:
I am curious about the ending (about city hunter drive through the city). is it a sign there will be city hunter session 2?

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