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City Hunter (2011) Episode 4 Recap
Lots of emotional conflict in this episode, even if there’s not as much action. The cast of characters is pretty set now, and it looks like revenge is a-comin’…
In the car, President Choe carefully asks Kyeong Hee if she has heard anything about Jin Pyo. She’s sharp, and picks up that Mu Yeol’s death wasn’t an MIA as she was told. She shares what she knows – that Jin Pyo disappeared years ago after taking her baby son. Kyeong Hee breaks down in tears as she begs the President to find her boy.
Some distance away, Jin Pyo is furious at Yun Seong for not killing the Congressman when he had the chance, and threatens to take him off the scheme. Yun Seong argues that killing the men would just bring their children after him, and create a cycle of revenge. Jin Pyo compromises: “If you can find the second man before me, you can deal with it as you like. But if I find him first, I’ll kill him.” With that, he leaves.
Yun Seong turns around to find Kyeong Hee drinking. She notices him and addresses him as a customer, which is kind of sad. He orders ramyun, and quietly watches her as she cooks. The silence is broken by a gang of girls: Na Na, Eun Ha, and Da Hye. Da Hye immediately drags her chair over to pester him, calling him ‘Professor’. Na Na, though, is concerned about Kyeong Hee (she’s a regular here), who looks tired. Unable to take this anymore, Yun Seong pays and leaves without eating. He vents his feelings by driving at a furious rate on the highway, remembering his mother over and over again.
At home that night, Na Na is just tucking in to dinner when she gets a text from Yun Seong, demanding that she come to a bar to drive him home. Coincidentally, it’s also the same bar where Myeong Ju is drinking with his boss. Looks like the law cannot tolerate trussing up fraudulent Congressmen in boxes. Myeong Ju: “So you want me to arrest the City Hunter?” Boss: “What can we do? A crime is a crime.” (Anyone who’s watched Spiderman knows this is a familiar moral quandary for anonymous heroes).
Yun Seong listens in, and it seems to worsen his mood. So when Na Na rushes in and greets Myeong Ju, he calls her over brusquely. She takes him by the arm to get him to the car, but in the process drops her wallet, and coins roll everywhere. It’s Myeong Ju who crouches down to help her, and Yun Seong who just walks through, muttering “Such losers.” Na Na rushes after him, which doesn’t please Myeong Ju.
On the way back, Na Na scolds Yun Seung thoroughly – he spends his nights drinking or womanizing, he’s rude and has no manners. How did his parents raise him? Ahh, he must be one of those spoiled rich kids who were petted and indulged all his life. Does he talk to his mother this rudely? This last remark hits Yun Seung where it hurts and he angrily retorts: “I don’t have a mother who’ll listen to me talk. I’m rude because I haven’t had a mother since I was born, all right?” This is enough to quiet her, and they get off at a roadside walkway. Leaning against the railing, Yun Seung addresses his mother: “Shouldn’t you be happy? Shouldn’t you live well? I hate that you’ve become pitiful, and aged.”
Na Na comes up and brings him a conciliatory drink and an apology. She mentions that they’ve both lost their mothers, but this sets him off again: he doesn’t want to be close, and (jealousy spilling over) he can’t understand why she’s so friendly to strange guys. Na Na says she’ll let him nag this once – but after that she’ll beat him. This makes them both laugh, and they look at the city in peace.
Shik Joon susses out the competition between father and son, and wonders why Yun Seung doesn’t just take the easy assassination route. Yun Seung: “After all this, I want to live like ordinary people. If I become a murderer, who kills people’s fathers and husbands, will I be happy?” Alone, his thoughts drift to Na Na and the scene in the bar.
To make reparations, he heads to a ladies handbag shop, and who should he meet but Prosecutor Kim Myeong Ju. Both men trade barbs after bumping into each other; Yun Seung prods the other about slacking off work, and Myeong Ju rebuts with a dig at womanizers. They really start squabbling, though, when they reach for the same pink purse. Locked in a tug-of-war, they trade glares until the salesperson breaks them apart with another copy of the purse. They stomp off with identical pink-ribboned bags; Myeong Ju has the additional asset of a cute teddy bear keychain. (I can’t wait for when they both present the exact same item to Na Na.)
At his office, Myeong Ju is explaining their court plans to snare the Congressman, while his boss keeps insinuating that the real work has been done by the mysterious City Hunter. At another meeting, the Three now meet to discuss the worsening situation – there have been national protests and outrage against Lee. They’re unsure of what action to take, but agree to keep their distance from the disgraced Lee. To round out the montage of difficult scenarios, Da Hye has refused to go to summer school (she failed college entrance exams and needs to retake them) until she gets Yun Seung as a tutor.
At a beach location, Jin Pyo is reliving memories of his comrades, when he is approached by Kim Sang Gook. As a police
officer, he had accessed police and NIS intelligence data, which was why he got fired. He’s not interested and starts to walk off, when Jin Pyo calls out a name – Sergeant Kim Sang Jin, the reason why Sang Gook hacked into the records. (So Sang Gook and Sang Jin were brothers.) Jin Pyo was the man who trained Sang Jin and the only one who knows how he died. That’s enough to get Sang Gook recruited to Jin Pyo’s plan.
Meanwhile, Yun Seung’s team is assigned by the President to find the guy who caught Lee’s video – he had been using a Blue House IP address to stream the video. After the team leaves, Seo Young Hak (Choe Sang Hoon) , also one of the Four, enters; both discuss increasing security for the upcoming elections.
Na Na rushes out of the office because of an auction notice, piquing Yun Seung’s curiosity. Using an excuse, he asks Shik Joon about Na Na’s situation. It’s not good, as she learns at the court, as it’s possible for the bidder to forcefully evict her. Desperate, she goes to plead with the bidder, but gets flatly turned down and kicked out of the restaurant.
Back at home, Yun Seung has assembled a board of 30 close associates of Congressman Lee – the other Four must be among these. He receives a call from Shik Joon (who had followed Na Na), and turns up outside the restaurant. Of course, it would be much too obvious to offer her a lift home right there, so he calls her to meet him, offering to write off her debt if she gets there fast. She tells him that she’s extremely busy, but he insists. Once there, Na Na finds that he isn’t even drunk; Yun Seung has no idea how to show that he cares, and settles for being flippant. This is too much for an upset Na Na, and she tells him: “At first I thought you were a bad person. I started to think otherwise lately, but now I know my first impression was right.” Needless to say, it’s an awkward ride home.
Yun Seung, though, drives out again to follow the bus she takes home. Driving alongside, he watches Na Na tenderly as she leans against the window and cries. He follows her home, but only stands outside her building. Inside, Na Na talks to the photo of her parents; she tries to be cheerful, but gradually breaks down in tears: “Without you…it’s just too scary and tiring.”
On the way home, Yun Seung stops at an altercation going on in a vet’s office. It’s Su Hee (Myeong Ju’s ex), facing down an irate customer. As he starts to strike out, Yun Seung walks in and takes care of him. Su Hee thanks him and shakes hands, as they eye each other with interest.
At work, Na Na and Eun Ha are assigned another job – as bodyguards to Seo Yong Hak, the upcoming election candidate. He’s a bluff old fellow who asks Na Na to pick a song for his wedding anniversary. Jin Pyo and Sang Gook are doing research on his role in the 1983 killings; likewise, Yun Seung and Shik Joon are considering him the most important of the Five. Yun Seung hatches a plan to worm information out on him – send Shik Joon to question Lee Kyeong Wan. When he hears that Na Na is Yong Hak’s bodyguard, he is even more determined to handle this guy before Jin Pyo gets to him. Shik Joon fervently agrees with the protect-Na Na plan, as he’s picked up a thing in Yun Seung’s attitude toward her.
At work, Na Na is looking up songs and asks to borrow Eun Ha’s computer as her own is unresponsive. Eun Ha sweetly calls Yun Seung’s nerdy sunbae Go Ki Jun (Lee Kwang Su) for his help; he in turn plays you-be-the-technician with Yun Seung for a while, until he mentions that it’s Kim Na Na’s computer. Bingo! Glancing at Na Na’s present in his drawer, Yun Seung happily trots off to her office. He’s in a good mood, joking about MIT grads being lowly tech guys, but Na Na’s face is still impassive. He’s a little miffed that she chats happily to Eun Ha but gives him only a formal “Thank you.” He stalks off.
Just then, Na Na gets a package from Myeong Ju – whom she calls “Long Legs Ahjusshi”. It’s the purse and keychain, and both she and Eun Ha squeal at how pretty and cute they are. She gets a text from Yun Seung, demanding coffee. He’s sitting outside happily, holding the gift bag in anticipation. Na Na’s not happy, though, and she shows it. She reminds him that he has to erase the debt, and asks for the little stamp back (which he stamped in her notebook for every errand). She moves to put it in her new wallet, and he suddenly notices. “That wallet…where did you get it?” Na Na: “It’s a gift…from Long Legs Ahjusshi. The person I like most in the world, except for my dad.” She walks off.
Yun Seung rants on the way back to his office. He just bought that wallet because he thought she looked so poor with that tattered old one, not because he wanted to give her something, oh no, he just felt sorry for her...Long Legs Ahjusshi indeed.
Shik Joon gets the news from the jail that the prisoner is in transit. Yun Seung, waiting outside in his car, receives this news and spots the bus. Lee Kyeong Wan sits behind a grill, and security guard behind the driver is – Jin Pyo. Yun Seung immediately screeches into a U-turn and goes after the bus. Jin Pyo quietly takes out a gun and takes the driver’s seat, tossing the driver out of the moving bus. Yun Seung zooms ahead to drive side-by-side with the bus, where father and son spot each other.
Then it’s a high speed chase with both bus and car swerving around traffic and across lanes, upsetting other vehicles and causing havoc behind them. Both drivers floor the accelerator, each trying to get ahead of the other. When Yun Seung’s in the lead, Jin Pyo doesn’t hesitate to smash his fender and get ahead. Yun Seung’s sporty car is faster, though and zooms far ahead on a deserted road. Yun Seung screeches to a halt horizontally across the road, and then stands on top, arms outstretched. The meaning is clear for the approaching Jin Pyo – if he wants to keep going, he’ll have to go over Yun Seung. Jin Pyo’s face is grim, but he keeps going. At the last moment, he swings the bus so that instead of hitting the car head-on, he just smashes it aside. The bus moves on, and an unharmed Yun Seung looks after, growing smaller in the rearview mirror. Still, Jin Pyo breathes a sigh of relief.
He parks the bus in a lonely spot and proceeds to interrogate Lee Kyeong Wan. The Congressman pleads, but Jin Pyo is adamant: “28 years ago, 20 youths of the Republic of Korea were killed by friendly fire. I am here to avenge them.” He does offer a deal though – in exchange for his cronies’ names, Jin Pyo will leave the Congressman’s family alone. He confirms Seo Yong Hak, and reaches for his gun. However, he’s stopped by the sudden sound of police sirens. Furious, he makes a quick getaway in Sang Gook’s car.
In another car with Shik Joon, Yun Seung is highly agitated, and even goes so far as to propose putting a tracker on Jin Pyo. Shik Joon points out that this is Jin Pyo they’re talking about; if they oppose him, both of them could end up dead. Yun Seung, though is still wary.
In a swanky restaurant, Na Na is helping Eun Ha and the waiters set up the anniversary dinner, with music, cake, and flowers. Seo Yong Hak and his wife dine with several aides, and the party’s going well. That is, until a waiter appears behind a glass panel – Jin Pyo. He calls Yun Seung to let him know the game is up. Yun Seung pleads for him to rethink his method, but Jin Pyo just reminds him of their deal. The background music is still floating through, and Yun Seung remembers it playing from Na Na’s computer.
He makes the connection - Na Na is also likely to become collateral damage, and he floors the accelerator. Na Na receives his call. Yun Seung recalls the restaurant details from Na Na’s conversation with Eun Ha, and drives grimly.
On the rooftop of a nearby building, Jin Pyo has assembled a sniper rifle. He carefully aims at Yong Hak through the window, who’s brightly backlit by the restaurant lights. Yun Seung arrives and spots the miniscule figure on top of the building, and starts to run. Just as Jin Pyo’s finger is tightening on the trigger, the restaurant lights go out. Na Na takes charge of the situation, telling everyone to get underneath the table. Unfortunately, Jin Pyo’s still got his aim, and now a small red light is focused on her forehead. Just before the glass explodes, Yun Seung flings her to the floor.
Wow. I have to say, the action scenes of City Hunter as tight and tense as you could want. The director is really good, because what makes the last scene really work is the clarity and set-up of the nighttime shots (pun! haha). I like the added intensity that Jin Pyo brings to the story. This guy is hardcore – I mean, he carried that bullet in his shoulder for 17 years to remind him of Mu Yeol. I say he’s entitled to shoot a few old frauds. I also like that Na Na and Yun Seung’s relationship is moving on, and it’s quite clear that he feels for her. What we have now to look forward to is how she’ll feel for him, given that he intends to incarcerate the people she protects. On to Episode 5!
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