Heartless City Episode 8 Recap



Caption for the Photo: How truly lonely is the path Shi Hyun/Park Sa walks!

I finally got to the episode! Yesss! Unfortunately, my recovery has gone back to square one thanks to a out of town visit today where I had to act as the designated driver. Consequently, I am back to drinking loads of tea! The weekend does look like a good prospect for resting but there’s a traditional wedding coming up starting Friday and I might find myself having to go there too. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed and hope to get whatever rest I can! Besides, flu always completes its course and I’m so hoping mine has decided it’s time is done and over! Once again, apologies for the delay, but hopefully, the post will make up for it, especially the lengthy comments section! I went a little crazy doing that! 😉 😛

This was one hell of an episode and I have literally loved every minute of it! The face off has come so much sooner than I expected and it gives us a wonderful peek into Park Sa’s life that goes beyond the surface and explores the relationship between him, Jin Suk and Safari ever more. The ending scene had me wanting to cry-there’s so much going on behind the simple chat between him and Safari and it is just heartbreaking to see the badass Park Sa helpless and confronting the end! *Heartbreak*

Episode 8 Recap:

Soo Min and Hyung Min sit quietly on their own, passing time through drinking. He finally passes her a check and is about to leave when Jin Suk’s minion comes by to drop a room key for them. Hyung Min denies to use it but Soo Min takes it so Hyung Min follows.

On the other hand, Jin Suk and Park Sa argue about Soo and he shouts at her to end the fight she started. But she tells him that if they leave Soo be, things will only get worse for Park Sa and while she may let go of her own grudge, she won’t let it go for his sake.


In the room meanwhile, Hyung Min is showing Soo Min the same footage and telling her about Soo. After that, he turns to the bed and heads off for a nap, telling her she can go after two hours. She simply watches him sleep for a while before extracting another drink from the fridge. In truth though, he’s not asleep and opens his eyes when she’s not looking. Soo Min calls out to him but he won’t respond so closes the lights on her own before sitting down and just thinking.

Getting an idea, she approaches the bed from the other side and gets on, leaning down to kiss him. He opens his eyes and watches her at the last minute so she stops. He asks her what she thinks she’s doing but she tells him she’ll be continuing this work with Jin Suk and she doesn’t want her ‘first’ to be with some unknown guy. But Hyung Min tells her, “Those guys will like it even better… if it’s your first time!” *WHAT? How heartless is this guy? He really doesn’t have a conscience! Scratch it all, he’s a monster!*

With that he leaves, telling her to report to Jin Suk that he left right after. As he’s waiting for the elevator, he remembers her actions and the way she looked. She sits listlessly on the bed.


Jin Suk sits with Soo Min later and Jin Suk asks if she slept with him. Soo Min says not yet and Jin Suk applauds her anyway-at least they went to the room. Besides, Hyung Min’s not the kind of guy to change overnight anyway. Not giving the impression that she knew him beforehand, Soo Min asks Jin Suk more about him.


At home, Soo Min packs up her suitcase and as she’s leaving, she remembers little snippets of her life with Kyung Mi-with the latter looking out for her from one end to another like watching out for her eating habits to her sleeping times and the time she’d come home. Before leaving though, she deposits the picture she has of them onto the dining table and leaves with a backward glance. And so she moves into the same room she had almost shared with Hyung Min last night and calls up Jin Suk to let her know. Jin Suk simply instructs her not to come to the office today under any circumstances and also not to ask the reason.


She’s currently sitting with a number of thugs and tells them “Begin!” They head off to ambush Soo in his office. While it’s all unfolding, she nervously keeps drinking. Soo fights off his attackers and asks if it was Jin Suk. At the same time, news reaches Park Sa who rushes off.


Soo brings Jin Suk her minion and holds out a knife at her just as Park Sa comes up. He simply slices open Jin Suk’s blouse and tells her they should end it here. “I… I was wrong, Noonim!” He shouts it at her. With that, he turns to leave but tells Park Sa, “I gave in for you!” Park Sa thanks him as he leaves and turns to Jin Suk. “This is the end, right?” She simply says, “I understand.” But her smirk when they’ve gone doesn’t make me happy.


Outside, Soo and Park Sa  stand before Soo asks if he wants to drink and Park Sa suggests makgeolli.


At the meet with Busan-or the chairman, whoever it is, he tells Safari to sit down-but there’s no seat. So he sits down on the ground and is strangled from the back while Busan talks to him-he must have lost much of his stamina since he wasted Busan’s resources and ended up killing the Commissioner which was definitely not on the plan. Moreover, why is Park Sa still living happily and well. He threatens Safari before ordering his man to release him telling him it’s a new chance for him to prove himself. Another guy in the back-the Chairman’s son almost wrings Safari’s neck again telling him to do it well. Now that’s one insane family.


On the way out from there, Safari keeps his head out of the window drinking in all the fresh air but tells fake Eun Soo it is nothing when she asks why.

Jin Suk orders his minion to replace all the gangsters under her. When her phone rings, she answers it with a smile-it’s Safari on the other end. She confronts him asking if he used her but he denies it and she tells him there;s no need to act, she knows it all between him and Nangman. He offers to catch Nangman for her and bring him to justice, “Will you believe my intentions then?”


And so Eun Soo chases Nangman down to catch the guy who in turn calls up Soo to save him. Soo tells Park Sa he has to go but on the location, Nangman has already been caught. Before Soo leaves, Park Sa tells him to call him back-it might already be too late. And he’s right. Safari answers the phone and tells him he’s one step too late. “After Nangman, it’s your turn. Till then, live well!


That night, Jin Suk goes to meet Safari in an underground parking lot where Safari shows her Nangman’s dead body in the trunk. Safari tells her not to doubt his sincerity now. He hands over a pack of drugs when they’re seated inside the car but she doesn’t take it. She asks him when things will end and Safari tells her Busan knows Park Sa’s name-he went too far this time and “You know what it means for his name to be on Busan’s lips, right?” She’s bothered by that but doesn’et let on and tells him she’ll make sure that never happens. He tells her to stop Park Sa then. “I’ll take care of Soo, just tell me where he is!” NO YOU DON’T! Please don’t tell me Jin Suk will betray him?! Safari tells her this is the only way for her and Park Sa to survive.

Damn it, she goes for it! She tells him they need to make a deal first and once they are clear on their terms, she’ll ‘think over’ telling him about Soo.

As they drive away, fake Eun Soo asks him if he’s really going to work with Jin Suk. All he tells her is that this time, ‘the deal is real’.


Park Sa and Soo go over the recent turn of events and wonder what’s going on. Park Sa muses Chung Mo would know. Soo

Park Sa goes to meet Jin Suk and tells her Nangman is dead and Safari did it. She would know the reason, right? She says she doesn’t but he tells her it would be his way ‘to make sure you believed him and dealed with him on this’. She acknowledges he’s right but that they have to do this his way-because it’s for Park Sa and the only way they can live. Park Sa disagrees, “It’s not for me, it’s your own greed!”
He gives her a warning and makes a plea at the same time-Don’t make the deal!


She tells him Chairman Jo from Busan knows his name-he knows what that means and whatever happens, she can’t watch him die. He refers to an old photograph cum poster she used to look at all time and asks her if she remembers the way she’d always wish she could be as happy as the couple in the picture kissing-it’s his wish she go and be happy like she wanted. She asks him if he could come with her if she went back. If he did, she could go back, any time he asked. Park Sa, “Noona, I just want you to be happy!” Holding back tears, Jin Suk simply turns to her drink.


As Park Sa’s leaving, Soo Min catches sight of him but doesn’t think much of it. Back at his place, Park Sa is lost in thought and finally he calls up Safari. He requests Safari that he let go of Jin Suk but Safari says he can’t. There’s many doors to enter this business, but none to leave. Safari, Jin Suk and Park Sa are all the same he says, none of them will ever be able to leave. Park Sa offers to make the deal in Jin Suk’s stead but Safari tells him that won’t be a deal, it would be war and it can only end when he-Park Sa dies.


Park Sa approaches the dirty prosecutor again and asks for the location of Chung Mo. At the same time, Hyung Min, going through evidence photos thinks back to the day he almost came face to face with Park Sa and that he had also dragged Chung Mo. Hence he would know more about Park Sa. He asks Hong Ki to find out where Chung Mo is being held. Before Hong Ki can ask around, Hyung Min gets his location from his prosecutor friend.


At the same time, Safari and fake Eun Soo make the move to get Chung Mo out. Park Sa is also at the office to try and get to him but Chung Mo and Eun Soo get to him before and he catches sight of them just as their elevator door is closing up. He rushes down to another level and in the elevator, Safari seems to get an idea. Park Sa reaches a lower level and pushes the elevator buttons, willing them to open and takes out his signature knife. But the elevator doors open to reveal a surprise. There’s no Safari, Eun Soo or Chung Mo there. Rather, he comes face to face with Hyung Min.


He freezes in shock but Hyung Min is too engrossed in his thoughts to notice. He looks up once just to ask Park Sa if he’s getting in but Park Sa’s still in suprise and doesn’t answer. Hyung Min presses the button for the higher level and the door closes up. He reaches up to the room but finds Chung Mo gone. Safari and his team make their getaway while Park Sa mulls over what to do now.

Soo and his minion reach a parking garage and are heading somewhere when they are ambushed by fake Eun Soo and Chung Mo. Oh no, Jin Suk you didn’t! The minion is hit on the head by Safari from the back who then tells Soo, “I told you it’d be your turn next!” Next thing we know, Soo’s minion is still unconscious and bloody on the ground as a car drives away. Park Sa gets the call.

He calls up Safari immediately who tells him he knows what to do if he wants to save his friend-come alone and quietly. Safari threatens to kill Soo but Park Sa tells him, “Don’t touch him!


Park Sa sits there for moments contemplating what to do. Hong Ki’s words ring in his ears- “He’s one of the people you’re supposed to catch!” along with Jin Suk’s warning, “Ji Hyung Min found out about Soo”. Before he can come to any decision, one of his phones rings with a message. It’s from Hong Ki and Park Sa calls him up.

Hong Ki asks him if something’s happened and tells him that Chung Mo got away from the hospital. Park Sa replies in simple voice intonations of ‘yes’ or just tells Hong Ki ‘no’ when he asks if Park Sa did it. All the while, he’s still halfway lost in thought. Hong Ki catches on to the fact that he’s bothered and asks what happened. Park Sa turns to him, “Ahjusshi, help me!”


When he realizes what Park Sa is asking help for, Hong Ki tells him he can’t help him and asks him not to take the bait. Agitated and frustrated, Park Sa begins pacing the room, promising Hong Ki he can catch Safari today but Hong Ki isn’t sold-if something goes wrong, Park Sa could end up blowing his cover.

“Give up on Kim Hyun Soo!”

“I have to go!”

“You could be in danger because of Soo!”

“I HAVE TO GO!” Park Sa shouts at the phone.

Hong Ki tries to argue that he can’t put himself on the line for Soo but Park Sa tells him, calmly now, “I will go!… Honestly, it’s too hard/difficult.”

With that, he stops responding to Hong Ki. And so he heads out alone with just his signature knife despite loyal minion’s objections. How much do I love that he just keeps going-there’s no second thoughts, no regrets, just the simple fact in his mind-I have to save Soo!


He arrives at the designated place to find Soo still unconscious and bloody on the ground. Even when he’s surrounded by Safari’s men on all sides, armed with sticks just to beat him up, Park Sa’s first words are, “Let Soo go.” Safari muses that coming alone here means he’s ready to die and yet he’s worried for his friend. He adds that he hadn’t planned on killing Park Sa due to their age old friendship. But Park Sa’s own actions have changed that. I think he refers to his own initial plan to have Park Sa captured by the police rather than killed but since Park Sa foiled that and caused a huge mess, he has no choice but to kill him now unless he wants to die by Busan’s hands himself. Park Sa again tells him to let Soo go and then they’ll talk.


Safari shouts at him that no one can leave once they enter-it’s literal and figurative, meaning he never meant to let Soo go even if Park Sa came, as he did, and also another way of saying what he told Park Sa earlier-in this business, you only go in, no one goes out. Park Sa retrieves his knife and prepares for battle, telling Safari to bring it on. And so the fight begins as Safari’s men all attack at once.

Thankfully, Park Sa is able enough in fighting and knocks out most of Safari’s men as skillfully as ever. Growing uneasy with the fight, fake Eun Soo and Chung Mo jump in. She manages to make a cut in Park Sa’s right arm-the one he’s fighting with while Chung Mo comes from the side and breaks a damn stick on Park Sa by hitting him.


And they discover Park Sa isn’t that easy to take down after all as he’s still standing. Safari watches from the sidelines with a somewhat passive expression. Park Sa fights off more men, this time not as skillfully as he gets hit himself multiple times but is still able to hold his own ground well, even after Chung mo breaks another stick by hitting his leg hard. Another man hits Park Sa on the head and this time, it takes him more than a few moments to down the pain and get back in the fight. Safari averts his eyes, his expression sombre and clearly showing he is unable to stomach inflicting this on Park Sa, however indifferent he may claim to be.

Park Sa manages to stay on his feet despite repeated blows and knocks out most of the enemy’s men. In the end, it’s Chung Mo and him locked into a fight and Park Sa seems to have the upper hand easily. Safari looks up, makes a decision and steps forward, hitting Park Sa, delivering a decisive blow to Park Sa with his small iron/steel narrow pipe.


Park Sa falls to the ground in pain, turning back to see who hit him. He struggles to get up but falls back every time, his mouth open in a silent scream of pain. Safari looks away, unable to meet his eyes. Park Sa finally lets out a scream. Chung Mo and fake Eun Soo look on with a smile.


Safari kneels by Park Sa, who is still trying to regain his senses and fighting pain. As he lies there looking at Safari, his mind flashes back to many of the happier memories of him and Safari from his childhood.


Safari calls him by his name, Shi Hyun and asks him, “I’ll ask one last favor of you! Let’s go to China!” Park Sa in return, calls him by his name, Duk Bae and reminds him, “You said one of us has to die!

Safari closes his eyes for a moment and composes himself before turning back to Park Sa. “Of course, I was talking nonsense. I’m sorry!” he says, referring to his last offer. From his expression, you can see that Park Sa’s refusal and the fact that he now has to kill Par Sa has deep effect on him.


Park Sa asks for his own favor-for Soo to be let go but Safari says he can’t do that and his expression says he really is sorry for being unable to do that. He promises Park Sa to take care of Jin Suk instead-he can keep that promise. As a last favor, Safari asks ‘Shi Hyun’ not to resist as it will only  be more painful. Park Sa tells him to get it over with then and stop being sentimental.

Thanking Park Sa for understanding, Safari turns and walks away. Fake Eun Soo takes out a knife and walks forward. Safari turns back for a glance, his expression deep and sorrowful.


Park Sa tries to level himself and rise.



Gosh that was an intense-VERY intense episode! There’s so much going on in every episode of this drama that it’s no wonder it is as good as it is. I’m totally in awe of the writer, for whom this is apparently his/her first project! Kudos! This truly is a wonderful drama, not about good or bad but rather the grey’s that fall in between and it reflects reality so perfectly! Just because you’re on the good side doesn’t mean you ARE good-being on the bad side won’t make you a bad guy. It’s your choices that determine who you are-and that’s exactly how we see both main characters-Park Sa/Shi Hyun and Hyung Min-their decisions and choices define who they are-good or bad!

This episode gives us another reason to hate Hyung Min and I’m surprised that my hatred for him and anger towards him could fall to this level. That guy is a monster-no word for him otherwise. However much he wants revenge, however much he wants to kill Park Sa, how can he be so cruel? Soo Min is someone Kyung Mi cared about as much as a person could care for someone else-they literally were sisters to each other-Kyung Mi spent all those years looking after her. The least he could do, to honor her memory would be to make sure Soo Min is safe and happy and ON A GOOD PATH! But for the sake of his revenge, he has sent her to the enemy’s camp and is allowing her to degrade herself as a prostitute and is so damn cruel that he wants her to let her ‘first’ be one of the very people he wants to catch and kill?! Seriously, I didn’t think he could fall any lower or that I could hate him any more!

I enjoyed the Park Sa x Safari interaction so much especially because we get a deeper glimpse at our villain in question-Safari. We previously saw him as someone who was doggedly pursuing Park Sa so that he would get caught but today, we get the real reasons behind his action and it suddenly gives everything a deeper meaning. Clearly all the flashbacks we saw to their past in the previous episodes through Safari’s eyes showed that Safari still cared about Shi Hyun and in the end, he tried his best to keep Park Sa safe without going for all out war. Despite all his talk of ‘killing’ Park Sa and finishing the game, in the end, he was still unable to go through with it and tried a last ditch effort to save him by offering to let him go if only he would leave-hell, they’d go together and make another life. But Park Sa’s motives are too clear for him to fall for anything like this-we already know him as the do or die guy and he already has a focus-catch Safari and Busan and those are goals he wouldn’t compromise on, even if it means giving up his life! In the end, for Park Sa, there’s still the concept of honor above it all.


Jin Suk-I love her character because she’s so deep at the best of times even if I hate her for betraying Soo although I can understand why she’d do that. I really want to hear the answer to Soo’s question about the relationship between Park Sa and Jin Suk. It’s obvious that her only purpose in anything and everything she does that involves Park Sa is in an attempt to help him rise further. Her implication-that she’d let the grudge go for herself but not for him was one of the best things she’s said. And when she asks him to leave the world of gangsters and drugs and that she’ll only follow if he leaves-that was just <3!

The same way, I love Park Sa/Shi Hyun’s devotion to Soo. Hopefully we’ll see more of their past revealed for us in the future to give us an idea of how these two got to be so close and loyal to each other but it clearly shows that to Park Sa, Soo is as important as, if not more than Jin Suk. He’s unwilling to sacrifice any one of them for any reason. Even at the end, he could probably have let Soo die and found some other anchor somewhere to help him with his mission to bring down Safari and Busan but he chose that friendship over his ‘revenge’ or ‘mission’. This is one place you see the clear difference between him and Hyung Min. Where Hyung Min will sacrifice anyone and everyone for his revenge against Park Sa-in the moment of conflict, Park Sa chooses to save his ‘important people’ rather than to let ‘revenge above all’ rule him. He’s no good guy, nor is he an angel-he doesn’t care about people who have no connection to him and won’t bat an eyelash to see them fall prey, but he’d rather put himself on the line, sacrifice himself than let his concerned people be hurt. Dare I call them his ‘loved ones’?


I’m looking forward to Park Sa x Soo Min relationship for many reasons. Most of all, it’s because in that little time the two have spent together, you realize that Soo Min allows Park Sa-rather, forces him to be who he really is, or who he would have been were it not for his ‘undercover act’. He’d be a normal person who doesn’t have to be scary, who doesn’t have to be worried about every person’s intentions in approaching him, who won’t have to keep a gruff, business like approach to everything. The difference between Jin Suk/Soo and Soo Min in Park Sa’s life would be tremendous. With the former two, Park Sa always has to be Park Sa and has to maintain that life, that facade of his whereas with Soo Min, who’ll literally know nothing about him, he can stop pretending. It’s not going to be a relationship like he had over the years with Kyung Mi-as her oppa, her first love, her constant supporter, but just as important.


About hitomiakiko

Architect and Aspiring Writer

Posted on June 20, 2013, in Entertainment, Korean Cinema, Potpourri, Recaps, Uncategorized, Written Excerpts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. finally i found there pic. together !! doctor son nd hyun soo,. ❤

  2. Hi, just discovered this place and can i say your recaps are great, read and reread them, thank you so much. i specially love your thoughts on each ep. and i agree with them. this show is so addicting can’t help but keep thinking about it even at work. so a few random thoughts on it-
    would really like to know who shot/ordered to kill kyung mi. the thing has been bothering me, dont think i missed out on a reveal. coz whoever shot her didnt kill Park sa or hyung min even when clearly in sight so i hope they resolve that with logic.

    cant really sympathize with soo min’s portrayal of a friend/sister out for revenge, while i had connected with her pre trauma bright personalty, one that had teased an intriguing man into giving her a lift and his phone number. so i hope to see more of her thought process and emotional struggle from now on.

    try as i might i still cant look with much favour on Hyung min (sigh). if i think about it the man has all the makings of being a good villain- driven, ruthless, tendency to override his conscience, tendency for tunnel vision in his quest for the goal, intelligent but not discerning (as yet) and a little unemotional even with all the revenge thing (at least that’s the feeling i get when i watch him). so i am hoping i get more invested in his character but hasn’t happened yet.

    and PARK SA (moony eyes)….besides everything that makes his character beautiful to behold a big appreciation goes to the wardrobe dept. of the show. the man works the three piece suit like none other. i love his attires and his carriage, so effortlessly competent.

    LOL for a first post this has become too long. thanks again for the recaps and hope your health improves.

  3. delicatecloud

    Just want to say a BIG THANK YOU for the wonderful recaps. Glad to read that you are feeling much better now. Like you said can’t wait for the next episode – who is going to save Park Sa? Is it Hyung-Min or Jin-Sook? or he’s gonna save himself? I agree that Park Sa will be the “first” with Soo=-Min’.

  4. Hyung Min, who has only recently lost the woman he wanted to marry in a shocking and traumatizing way, is embarking on his investigation into those who he believes are responsible for fiancée’s death. He is driven, but also probably overwhelmed by emotions – rage, sadness, frustration, loss. He is right on the edge of flying apart.

    He is right in the midst of the lion’s den when Hyung Min and Soo Min go to the room. This is when you should keep your wits about you. Add the fact that he has been drinking and is completely exhausted. Closing his eyes and getting 2 hours rest now is all he wants.

    Soo Min, his fiancée’s best friend, chooses this moment to try to seduce him? Talk about bad taste!

    So Hyung Min pushed back hard, just to keep Soo Min at a distance (which any professional or even a halfway decent friend of the deceased would do). I do not think Hyung Min was a monster to reject Soo Min.

    Actually, Soo Min hasn’t really committed to the police and Hyung Min … and she is thinking about having sex with strangers (not in the job description of a police officer I assume). I want to be somewhat sympathetic to her plight, but Soo Min is walking into this undercover assignment with her own agenda. Soo Min with that throat slash murder attempt in jail has shown herself capable of criminal acts. I’m not sure she won’t follow Auntie down the path of criminal enterprise. Soo Min seems a character capable of going to the dark side.jmho

    I suppose we all are capable of terrible things given the right circumstances. Exploring the struggle between dark and light while inhabiting this drug and sex underworld is fascinating. I’m not against Soo Min, I just feel in the “Let’s have sex” conflict between Hyung Min and Soo Min I just fall on Hyung Min’s side.

  5. Luvnilife_Sara

    Thanks for the awesome recap. It is so nice to be able to watch the show and then read your recaps. You are point on with so many of the scenes. i love it. Hope you feel better soon!

  6. Thank you so very much for the wonderful recap. If I have any doubts about my love for Park Sa and this drama. Ep 8 took all that away. There was pain in my heart and lump in my throat when he plead to Hong Ki for help. It was heartbreaking to see the all time composed fearless Park Sa pleading for help to save Soo and ready to die for him. Your comments hit the points so well that I felt so much better after reading them. As much as I love Park Sa I despise Hyung Min that much. Maybe its me but I get the feeling Aunty Jin Suk is in love with Park Sa.
    One last thing Park Sa better be Soo Min’s first or I am gonna be…@#$//^&.. thank you again for the recap and comments.

    • Lol @ your last comment! :p I’m sure things will work out exactly as you hope! I’d say Park Sa and Soo Min are totally made for each other and they just go so well together! *_*

  7. omg, amazing. I can’t wait to watch this, but reading your recaps always give me a whole lot more understanding. THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!

  8. newkdramaaddict

    I was totally emotionally watching this. My poor Soo!! I saw the previews afterwards but how in the HELL?!! Guess we will find out next week.Damn this crack show is DAMN GOOD!!

  9. Thanks so much for the recap, I throughly enjoyed reading!! I seriously can’t wait for episode 9, that trailer…. *fans herself* I don’t think I’ve ever looked more forward to Monday!

    Hope you’re feeling better, drink lots of ginger tea!

  10. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 😀 I agree on everything you said… about Shi Hyun, Soo Min, Hyung Min (gah what is with this guy?!), Auntie, Soo and so on and on… ❤

    Can't wait for episode 9 and 10!

    Please get well soon! Rest a lot and keep drinking tea. 🙂

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