Heartless City Episode 2 Recap


This episode takes things up another notch and raises the stakes by changing the game completely. What was a victory takes a downturn and a major setback, but our resident baddie Park Sa isn’t one to be deterred or taken down by such an attack. Gotta love the confidence on this guy! Moreover, we get to see more of him and understand his ambition just a bit more. In just one scene, you see the man both being loyal and cruel. And Hyung Min is another puzzle for whom many pieces start falling in place one by one so that even if you do not agree to his ideology, do not want to accept it, you can see the logic and the mind behind it and hence cannot bring yourself to totally hate or ostracize him for it. Except, it makes him one step closer to the point of losing control and turning down the wrong road. And for a man who stands for justice, this is a dangerous bet. Can’t wait to see what Heartless City unravels hereon!

Episode 2 Recap:

The episode begins a little behind where we left off in the first episode as we see how and when Chung Mo breaks down and reveals the location of Jo Oh. After all, he’d be assisting what Hyung Min calls ‘coup de etat’ so anything short of a threat to his life wouldn’t break him. Park Sa and Soo hang him from a building, cutting off his bloody rope and bringing him closer to his demise each moment he refuses to answer. Chung Mo keeps begging and begging, pleading his ignorance but finally breaks when Soo threatens to cut the last remaining rope.


Next, we see Park Sa confronting Jo Oh and asking him if his musical session was fun enough. I love the blandness of his tone and the whole cool as you please look! Jo Oh tells him he’s making a mistake but Park Sa curtly tells him they’ll finish their talk from earlier and I just LOVE the way Soo motions at Jo Oh to sit before they decide to turn abusive, like he’d be telling someone beneath him and Jo Oh’s son is ushered out of the room.

Park Sa’s terms are simple-Jo Oh retains his title and his position but Park Sa gets the reins, handles the business and Jo Oh sits at home like a trained pet and simply gets whatever money comes his way through Park Sa. While Jo Oh may scoff at the conditions, if he wants his son’s welfare, he’d better accept-that’s the silent threat Park Sa delivers with just one look. Jo Oh’s not sold that easily and claims he won’t change his mind even if Park Sa does kill his son. Well, that’s the second rotten parent we’ve witnessed so far. Park Sa’s threat goes deeper however-to reveal the true face of the father in front of his son-to beat him to death just like Jo Oh’s done to many others and give his son a memory he will never be able to erase. Oooff, that’s cruel!

As expected, the threat works and Jo Oh stops them from bringing out his son as collateral. His interest-how much will he be paid? In response, Park Sa has his own question.


A woman and man meet up with Park Sa and Soo-the woman’s name was once Soori but now warns the other man never to call her by that name again. The woman is Park Sa’s aunt but has them call her ‘noona’.  The man gets straight to the point-Did Park Sa capture Jo Oh. Park Sa agrees which has both persons looking troubled, but Park Sa’s aunt even more. Problem is, this won’t last long. Seems Jo Oh has backing from Busan and what Park Sa needs to do is continue the transaction in Jo Oh’s name and asks the two to give him all the info they have on the matter.


Meanwhile, in a hotel, a man goes to meet ‘Chairman’ who asks him about Park Sa and mutters the two must have a good relationship but the man denies it. The Chairman gives him the order to handle the matter with Park Sa. His verdict in his exact words: Finish his fate with Park Sa. Completely.

As the man is going away in a car, he smiles as he revisits a memory with Park Sa, his aunt and himself. Hmm, this is going to be fun. Park Sa’s real name was Chi Won and he was a pro at beating his aunt at Go Stop. The scene reveals a whole different façade for Park Sa-a child who is innocent and trusting and the origin of his current title ‘Park Sa’s son’. His aunt had asked to g on a friendly date with him over the weekend. His uncle had dubbed him as ‘Parksa’s Son’ which means ‘The Doctor’s son’.


Park Sa meanwhile heads out and instructs Soo to watch over their captives-Chung Mo and Jo Oh well. Soo offers to go in his stead-they can’t be sure if it’s a trap or not, but Park Sa sees that as all the more reason why he should go and tells Soo he’ll rest easier knowing Soo’s on the watch here.


Soo and party sit gambling when he gets a call from his girlfriend who happens to be in the same hotel and asks him to come over. At the same time, Park Sa discovers a cell phone on the seat in his car. Damn, this is gonna be bad, isn’t it? I don’t want to suspect the driver, but… The phone rings and it’s his uncle-the man who has just been ordered to handle him. Park Sa is stunned to hear his voice but wonders what to make of it. He turns around to make sure they’re not being followed as he listens to his uncle’s small talk. His uncle tells him to let Jo Oh go but he refuses. His uncle’s reply with a laugh, “Then die!” He adds that he’s only coming by to say hello for their old time sake so no need to be thankful.


Park Sa ponders his words for a moment before turning to his driver with a curt order, “Turn the car around. QUICKLY!” Soo reaches his girlfriend’s dictated room but doesn’t find her anywhere. As he’s about to leave, he’s attacked and held captive by two men just before he’s stabbed. By Chung Mo. Just then, Park Sa’s driver turns the car around, and it’s rammed straight in by a truck. Seeing the oncoming impact, Park Sa braces himself and manages to emerge from the crashed car unscathed. Just then, a police car passes the are and stops to help him but he directs them to the driver, saying there’s a man still inside the car. As the officers move to help his driver, he drives away in their car.


Soo’s girlfriend, standing in the next room, sobs as she sees him but panics when Chung Mo turns on her, begging, “But I did as you asked!” It gets her a knife in the gut nonetheless. That’s whay you get for siding with the bad guys dearie, though they’re all bad guys and its just a matter of who’s more and who’s less.

His head pounding and still not out of shock from the accident, Park Sa drives hurriedly to the hotel where he finds his men bloodied and abandoned-their hostages gone. He anxiously asks one of them-Soo’s man where Soo is and hurries off to find him. He arrives in the room to find both Soo and girlfriend lying bloody on the floor but barely spares the latter a glance. As he moves to help Soo, he feels a hand on his arm-it’s the girlfriend, barely hanging on to life, begging him, “Please save me!” Yanking his arm from her grip, he drags Soo out with him without a backward glance.


Arriving at a hospital, he hands Soo over to the doctor’s and gives them all the cash in his pocket-they HAVE to save his life!


Meanwhile, Jo Oh gets back to his home but has bad news in store for him as Chung Mo shoves him away from his ‘high’ chair and yanks the other chair from under him. Park Sa’s uncle (Okay, what’s his name?) comes in and takes the high chair. Jo Oh is offended and tells them he has the chairman’s backing but Uncle (shortest form I can think instead of Park Sa’s uncle every time) tells him it’s the Chairman’s very orders. Jo Oh takes less than a moment to change his tune- “Please, just spare my life!” Uncle promises to give him a road to survival. For now, we’re simply left to wonder at his words.


Hyung Min arrives at his office that night when it’s all dark and empty and broods in silence until he gets a call… From Jo Oh. He drives to a site in the morning where Jo Ohri is enjoying a meal and asks what the hell he thinks he’s doing. A flashback shows that last night, Jo had been offered a deal-life in return for being the bait to capture Park Sa. Moreover, hereon, Park Sa is the boss. I think this means they intend to implicate him on a larger scale. Jo Oh gives Hyung Min the evidence in a device but Hyung Min is furious. Why is Jo Oh doing this? Is it because of Park Sa? Jo Oh replies, “You’ve guessed it right! The reason I’m doing this is to run from him so he won’t kill me. It’s to live!”


Park Sa sits by Soo’s bedside devotedly and runs off with him the moment he sees the police come up to the hospital. He takes him somewhere safe. Meanwhile, the police discover that the ‘proof’ Jo Oh handed over has nothing other than investment records on narcotics deals and there is no apparent link between Jo Oh and the specific case they were investigating his involvement in. Everyone thinks its another setup-they won’t hand over everything just like that. Hyung Min simply orders his team-find out everything about Park Sa-he’s their top priority now since they know for a fact that he is out to get Jo Oh. Moreover, he orders Officer Lee off field duty. Lee battles it out with him-why can’t he think of what she wants instead of enforcing his own will but he throws the question back at her and tells her this is the only way he can protect her!


Soo is still unconscious and Park Sa takes off. Meanwhile, his aunt receives a visitor-Uncle. Must say, she already seems worried enough by something. Aunt reminds him he promised never to come here but he says he’ll leave after a drink. He tells her Chairman Cho is out to get Park Sa completely because of that day but aunt tells him not to mess with ‘Chi Won’ and asks for his promise. He touches her leg suggestively and tells her it depends on her. They’re cut off by the sound of a bell and the announcement of Park Sa’s arrival. She tells Uncle to get lost and he leaves through another door just as Park Sa comes in.


She affectionately calls him Chi Won but he tells her not to call her that and she asks if Soo’s dead-she heard he was hurt. He asks if Jo Oh has already surrendered to the police? She wonders what he’s on about-there’s no way Jo Oh would do something like that. He’s not fooled-it’s the work of Busan who don’t want to accept him and yet they have no choice since Jo Oh is already a dead power. So this is the best power play they can make-to frame him and expose him to the police.


Aunt is confused-they’re going to use the police to capture Park Sa? Park Sa laughs-yup, that’s the plan but tells her not to worry since the police won’t be able to catch him. She still panics and tells him to lie low for a while-go to Japan or somewhere else while she deals with things on this end. In response, Park Sa simply asks if she didn’t get a call from Uncle yet-the man who’ll take the stage behind Jo Oh. She laughs at the absurdity-she ended her contact with that man ages ago; perhaps, is he suspicious of her? He tells her that he went straight out to see her after he got Jo Oh and yet the word traveled straight o Uncle-it’s got to be someone close to Uncle who would’ve told him, ne? But then he returns her laugh-sure, there’s no way she would do it; nobody could do it so easily. He’s smiling as he’s saying it but without warning angrily smashes his glass into the table, causing aunt to shift even more uneasily. Calmly he tells her with the coldest look ever, “The ones who made Soo like that… whoever it is, I won’t forgive them!”

As he walks out, he tells her guard to keep a good watch on her.


Hyung Min interrogates Jo Oh with money laundering evidence but Jo Oh keeps saying he passed all the money onto Park Sa. When Hyung Min presents a picture as evidence, Jo Oh easily twists it out of character and again, shifts the blame to Park Sa. He tells Hyung Min to ask the other man in the picture, Park Chung Mo about it personally. During the investigation, he gets a call from his chief and his eyes widen at the news. At the very minute, a press conference is being given to announce the death of Park Chung Mo who hanged himself in his hospital room which is being categorized as a suicide thanks to a text he left on a tablet.


Hyung Min meets with Assistant Commissioner Min to debate the recent events. Hyung Min is convinced some guy is calling the shots behind Jo Oh and Chung Mo. Afterwards, Hyung Min goes on a lunch meeting with his father. The ties between the two seem to be strained-to say the least. Hyung Min wants to know why Jo Oh was never arrested even though there was loads of evidence. His father declines to answer, saying he’d reveal it to his son but not a police officer. He tells his son to come back as a son and he’ll know but Hyung Min declines. He asks angrily, “So what, do you want to make me the same as hyung?” Oooh, interesting comment! His father says ‘that person’ walked the road he choose himself and it wasn’t enforced by anyone but Hyung Min points out that a man who calls his own son ‘that person’ would hardly be expected to think otherwise! He leaves after a final word, “I’m a person who only believes in doing what is right… like my ‘old’ father once taught me.” (Old here means as is what he once was) His father simply tells him the prosecutors will be taking Jo Oh away.


As Hyung Min sits in the car outside and watches his father leave, he remembers going to the hospital where a patient is sitting on a wheel chair in the courtyard, attended by a nurse-obviously very sick. The person is his older brother and he apologizes to his brother for not being able to do anything for him but promises that he will kill all the people-drug abusers, responsible for making him this way; he’ll make them suffer, he vows. But his brother grabs his hand then and starts begging for medicine- ‘Just one syringe’ he begs, “Give me just one syringe!” It breaks Hyung Min’s heart to see his brother like this-you can see his pained expression, but he holds onto his brother as he continuously spasms and trembles.


Meanwhile, a man and woman come to meet Uncle. He hands them a stash of drugs that has them cackling in glee. Uncle lays out the situation-Park Sa is in charge but he doesn’t have the necessary supply he needs to meet that requirement. His aunt might as well try her hand in trying to ease things for him by acquiring deliveries. In flashes, we see him attending calls as phones ring off the hook and his aunt losing her temper with someone on the phone, giving instructions to find something fast. Meanwhile, Jo Oh is at his role in the police station.


What Uncle plans is to have the guy go in as a seller to Park Sa and have the woman go to the police as an informant. Their plan is to trap Park Sa during the deal so that the police can catch him in the act. Uncle then pays a visit to Chung Mo. His role is to convince Aunt to lead Park Sa into the deal. I’d say that’s a pretty slim chance, ahjusshi, considering what a sharp guy Park Sa is, but you never know! Chung Mo’s condition-to have the post Jo Oh had. Oooh, well, he’s got big ambitions! Ah, looks like it’s a deal!

At the very moment, Aunt is being given the intro to the said person-planted by Uncle by the person who she and Park Sa once met. Aunt seems sold out on the concept. Meanwhile at the police station, Lee is assigned a number of files to work through for her new desk job and shuffles through them until one report catches her eye and she investigates the case.

One woman was caught with drugs in her bag and she kept receiving calls from a contact on her phone from a certain ‘Doctor’s Son’. Said woman is brought in to investigation by the officers and Hyung Min rushes to work. It’s the woman Uncle paid off. In a flashback, she gets instructions from Uncle-act it out the best she can, fresh and innocent style! At present she sits in the police station, trembling in fear and looking pitiful and every bit believable!


She’s freaking out-she was told to prepare the ‘medicine’ and is now fearful for her life-she’s heard Park Sa is a monster. Moreover, she’s expecting a further call today. Before more can be said, Hyung Min walks in and asks to speak to Officer Lee first. He demands to know why she’s here when she’s already been removed from this duty but she says it was too important an info to just pass up and had to make sure about it herself.

Inside the cell, the phone rings. The officers instruct the woman to accept the call without fear and be calm but she’s too shaken up. Unable to think of what else to do, Officer Lee takes the call. On the other end is Chung Mo who introduces himself as Park Sa’s man and asks if she has the goods-they have to meet up.

Officer Lee insists on carrying out the role but Hyung Min refuses to allow her-they’ll send the real girl in with protection right behind her but Lee insists more-it’s the person who’s got Jo Oh so afraid and in their custody now, they have to catch him. Taking Hyung Min’s hand, she tells him she’s confident he’ll protect her.


Hyung Min doesn’t respond and heads off to make sure the woman’s tale is true by confronting Jo Oh. Hyung Min gives him a photograph and asks if its his lover. Jo Oh remembers being told that his lover is named Eun Su and immediately turns to the picture, calling her pretty and warning Hyung Min not to mess with her. As Hyung Min turns to leave, he tells Hyung Min to leave the photo behind and Hyung Min eyes it with a sparkle in his eyes-it’s of another police officer-Lee’s superior at the moment! Haha, what a fakeout! Good going, Hyung Min! And since Jo Oh never saw the woman, he didn’t know he was tricked! With a sneer, Hyung Min tells him he can just fantasize without the photograph!


Hyung Min calls the station immediately and tells them to monitor the woman carefully. No one but he himself will interrogate her now. As soon as he leaves, a guard walks in and hands Jo Oh his phone from where he makes a call to Uncle. The phone call makes Uncle realize the trick Hyung Min pulled off. Oh, please tell me that won’t bode bad!

At the moment, Hyung Min is confronting said woman Eun Soo-who sent her in? Who ordered Park Chung Mo’s death, Jo Oh’s confession and sent her in? Eun Soo seems surprised he plan was discovered and Hyung Min smiles mockingly-did they think they could hide it from him? D they think they can just use the police for their own purposes, have them wrapped around their fingers?!



You’ve got to love a smart baddie and Park Sa is just that-he’s wonderfully aware of each and every move that’s happening and would be in motion against him. Makes one wonder why he’d stayed the underdog for so long if he could’ve so easily risen above. And yet, after eight years as the underdog-why blow things to this proportion?

The plot goes full underway in this episode. I was cheering for Park Sa at the end of the last episode-Yaayyy, he got it, but this episode yanked it all from under his feet and turned the balance upside down again. Figures, the path to power isn’t an easy one. But however surprising it was to see Park Sa’s plan thwarted, it was equally satisfying watching him at the same footing as his enemies. He’s no fool who has started a coup without covering his bases. He knows and anticipates every move the opponents make. I think it is even more so because he knows his opponent- the ‘ahjussi’ from his childhood. But now that the trap has been fully laid and more than  one party is sold on it with loads at stake – aunt and Officer Lee, it’s going to be fun to watch how Park Sa dodges these moves. Moreover, he’s claimed the title of the area’s leader, but he has yet to prove himself and Busan and Chairman Cho are definitely making it worth his money to keep him from it. If he’s truly to ‘eat up the street’ as he put it, he’s going to need to not only defeat his enemies, but also crush them so they may never rise again.


I like Park Sa and Soo’s character dynamics. This episode gives us the chance to see that Soo is not just a right hand man or liability to Park Sa-they’ve a deeper bond than that. Soo is willing to bet his life on Park Sa and so he helps him carry out the coup knowing their enemy is Jo Oh and when the debt comes to claim Soo and he’s stabbed in retaliation, the first thing Park Sa does when he realizes the fact is to rush to his side. I like that he doesn’t even think it might be dangerous to his own cause, or stop to ask his man what happened-he already has an idea what may have happened since he knows the man behind the curtains. Rather, he goes straight to Soo’s side, concerned for him. And leaving Soo’s girlfriend behind while he carried him out? That’s the scene where you see his loyalty and cruelty at the same time. Seeing the girlfriend there, he can pretty much imagine what must’ve happened and so he doesn’t even spare her a glance since all he’s concerned with is helping Soo. He’s here for Soo out of loyalty and yet he leaves the woman behind because that;s what he is-cruelly unconcerned about anyone beyond his own group. And when he hands the money to the Doctor – think of it as if its your own life- that says droves about how he thinks of Soo. Soo’s the man he’ll consider an equal and as important as himself.

Hyung Min’s character is intense, to say the least. He’s a man touched by tragedy-losing his brother like that and then having his father change so much that he is almost alone. And that allows us a better understanding of his attitude towards Officer Lee. To her, and even to me, his decisions are selfish and self motivated-he wants her out of danger so he simply does it the way he knows best-order her off the field force even though its what she wants to do. So he ignores her wishes in the higher hopes of keeping her safe. He’s experienced first hand how dangerous the world can be and so he’s afraid of allowing her out into it lest he be left completely alone.

And knowing the premise, Officer Lee is going to die which is going to send Hyung Min completely down an obsessive path which will pit Park Sa and him against each other with no way out for either. Both are men who have their own codes of conduct and unless one of them sacrifices on his own, both opposites cannot exist in the same place. Hence that will become the central point of contention-man versus man on a personal level more than good versus bad.

About hitomiakiko

Architect and Aspiring Writer

Posted on June 1, 2013, in Asian Cinema, Entertainment, Korean Cinema, Potpourri, Recaps, Uncategorized, Written Excerpts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I was screaming at my TV screen the entire time that Soo can’t die! What would poor Park Sa do if he did? And…on a different note, HOW could Soo go into that hotel room after Park Sa’s big “only one I can trust to do the job” speech? Fooling around with your girl is NOT doing your job and watching the Jo Oh.

    I am now really curious to know how Park Sa went from that smiling, smart boy to this…cold, stoic and totally awesome man. And I’m happy we got a little more knowledge behind Mr. Fist Happy Detective. But at the same time…he really is close to snapping and if anything happens to Ms. Boring Female Detective he just might snap completely.

    I was cheering at his awesomeness when he realized that everything was all just an elaborate setup to catch Park Sa. Each episode just keeps getting more and more intense. I’m going to watch episodes 3 and 4 tonight hopefully. 🙂

    I love your recaps, btw, they are awesome!

    • Haha, I was also surprised when Soo decided to go when his girlfriend called, but you realize he was somewhat serious about her when he confronts Park Sa later so that’s got to be why. Anyway, I LOVE their bromance and I so hope it works till the end! I wouldn’t want Soo turning on Park Sa-that is one fight that’ll bleed us all! >_<

      Yup, each episode just gets better and better! Thankfully, the writers have made this one hell of an elaborate setup so there's always so much going on! I can't wait till they tell us more about Park Sa-the flashbacks had me curious, and if you've seen episode 3 and 4, you'll realize even more so why! N thanks a million for the feedback! It means a lot to a blogger like me! ^_^

  2. How much more bad-ass can he get! I tell you what, when Soo got stabbed, I literally screamed! Please, he can’t die, I just found you! Another great episode. I expect will see more of So Min starting next week as their relationship develops. Can I say, I am SO GLAD, no love triangle (so far), I hate those!

    • Haha, seriously, it’ll do great WITHOUT the love triangle-I’ll be happy enough with Gyu-ri x Park Sa pairing! It’s the kind of stories I love-two total opposites from different worlds coming together and falling in love! I so want to see where the story leads! Plus, Park Sa as a drug lord is just so awesome-he’s great at the role, you can imagine him as the real deal! Like i said, his soft tone and polised look is even more effective!!

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