Heartless City Episode 15 Recap
This episode kind of leaves a little to be desired-not that it’s lacking, but things don’t really move forward in a very compelling manner. From the beginning, Heartless City has delivered episode after episode with twist after twist that spins the story so that we’re left biting our nails in anticipation and nervousness. Today’s episode didn’t manage to deliver that well overall, but the end was another point where you’re forced to sit back up, tense your nerves and ask yourself-what now?
Episode 15 Recap:
A phone is ringing in the background but Park Sa isn’t answering it as he’s alone back at his place, alternating between sitting and walking around, deep in thought. Finally, he just ducks his police identity badge into a glass of alcohol (I guess it’s beer?) A glance at his reflection in the mirror draws his anger and he sends the glass and card smashing into it.
Back at the river, he thinks in voice over to his mother, asking her what he should do now and regrets that he should’ve just lived life like he had before-working hard at his studies and so. Finally he apologizes to her, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I was too young back then.”
Morning comes and Chairman Jo sits by his breakfast, staring at his son’s photograph while holding back his grief .He tells his minion it’s time to finally end their ‘fate’ with Safari and Park Sa. “Do whatever you need. Find them and totally finish it (their fate).”
As the minion’s leaving, he adds something about Hyung Min and asks him to pass on a message. I think the gist is that if he continues to interfere in their work, his fate will be similar.
Soo is on the run from thugs-Jo’s men, I presume and barely makes his getaway to Park Sa’s hideout.
When he arrives there though, Park Sa is nowhere to be found. Soo moves to get himself a drink and sees the broken mirror. Taking out his cell, he calls Park Sa who’s mobile just keeps ringing and he doesn’t pick.
At the moment, Park Sa is standing somewhere in a field, his mobile in the car. So Soo calls up Jin Suk telling her Jo has made his move and tells her not to head to the office. She tells him she’ll be headed his way and is on the way when she remembers something and places a call to Soo Min, calling her to get and deliver something from her office-documents of some sort. She warns Soo Min to just leave it if there are any ‘suspicious’ guys around as ‘You are more important to me than that.’
Soo Min heads down and doesn’t see anyone she goes to the office. Unfortunately, Jo’s minions arrive right behind and she’s caught. Outside, Park Sa drives up to the parking lot and heads inside, probably there to meet Jin Suk.
Inside, the minions start slapping Soo Min around, asking her to reveal where Jin Suk is. Voiceover shows Soo Min knows but tells the men she doesn’t. Of course, they don’t buy it and the head minion takes out a syringe. Eeek! He injects her with it and it immediately puts her into a drugged state. He forces her head back up and asks again. But then comes to a realization, “You are… from that time…”
Gosh, I thought he remembered her from Haneul’s last day but he remembers that she’s the girl Park Sa saved. Worse trouble, worse! And so he decides to take her along. As they’re about to leave, Park Sa beats his way in and knocks them all down one by one. As he sends the head minion-last standing, to the ground, his eyes widen as he sees Soo Min lying on the ground.
Safari and his team are also fighting their way out from a number of thugs. Safari’s phone rings-it’s Jo. Jo tells him he’ll see how long Safari can survive and promises to keep sending his thugs at him.
Everyone in the police station is stunned when Safari, aka Duk Bae drops by for a visit and wants to see Hyung Min. He’s come to keep his promise, he says, to help Hyung Min catch Park Sa. Hyung Min tells him he knows Safari/Duk Bae is Haneul’s killer but Safari points out that he has no proof of what he’s saying. As a result, since he can’t catch Safari, he’ll just use him to catch Park Sa and Busan. Hyung Min agrees but rubs in that Safari betrayed the police. Safari incredulously asks him if he still holds such ideals and muses that Hyung Min could die before him and tells him that he MUST stay alive, no matter what he has to do.
Safari then asks him what he thinks is the reason he keeps failing at his task, as he turns back and looks out at the officers sitting outside. Officer Kim, Officer Oh and the officer whose shot alerted Kyung Mi’s kidnappers to flee.
Hyung Min’s prosecutor friend and the reporter chit chat where the prosecutor realizes the latter’s been crying over Hyung Min. She tells her friend the reason Hyung Min liked Kyung Mi was because she gave him strength-as in added to his strength and the reason he’s running away from her is because she might cause him to lose his strength. The reporter realizes it’s because of who her father is. Just then, her phone rings and she ignores the call. It’s from her father.
Her father makes his first appearance as his driver opens the door of the car so he can step out while he’s staring at his mobile and the rejected call. He puts his phone in his pocket and heads inside the restaurant where he’s having lunch with Hyung Min’s dad. Her dad asks Hyung Min’s dad about Chairman Jo and gets the reply that he passed the message along.
At lunch himself, Chairman Jo is remembering Hyung Min’s dad’s words and asks his minion to deliver something to the room where the other two dads’ are having lunch. The reporter’s dad decides they should accept it gracefully and digs in. Then he brings up the topic of their kids meeting often these days and wonders if they may be in-laws soon. Then he adds it would be better if Hyung Min were to quit what he’s doing right now if that is the case.
Soo Min is tucked into a bed and shivering as if feverish due to the drugs effect. Park Sa is pacing the room and keeps vigil by her side, even hooking her onto an IV drip and wiping the sweat from her face with a towel. She reaches out and grabs his arm once and asks what will become of her now? “I’m really scared!”
He grips her hand reassuringly and tells her not to worry-nothing will happen to her. Jin Suk is going crazy with worry over Soo Min since she can’t get in touch with her and decides to head back herself.
Park Sa then asks Soo Min what the reason is that she can’t quit her work here. Soo Min begins to reply when a phone rings in the back and both turn to it. Soo Min turns to get up but Park Sa offers to get it for her. It’s Jin Suk, back at the club and worried about her. Soo Min says she’s fine and apologizes for not calling sooner and tells Jin Suk she did well to leave before the baddies came. She adds that she has the item and will definitely deliver it. Park Sa silently listens.
Once she hangs up, Soo Min asks Park Sa why he came and he angrily pleads with her again to let go of this work she came to do. “I told you already, this isn’t a world where a women like you can easily enter!” So she begins to tell him her story-she had an Unni, who taught her how to live in this world. Unknowingly, she replays Shi Hyun’s words to Kyung Mi as words Kyung Mi told her. “The world is like a mirror. If I curse at it, the world will follow and curse back but if I smile, the world will smile with me.”
Park Sa’s eyes widen but Soo Min is lost in Kyung Mi’s memories. He takes a few steps back and stumbles in shock but Soo Min barely notices as she continues that her Unni would always smile.
“But… But she died. The world’s a mirror? Huh. I don’t believe those cursed words. She always smiled but it made her die. She’d done nothing wrong. So I’ll take revenge for her.”
The truth hits home for Park Sa and he shakes his head in disbelief. Soo Min finally turns to look at him and tells him she can’t leave this place.
Much later, she’s leaving and turns back for a question and asks him to answer truthfully.
“If I continue to be here, it will be hard on you?”
Park Sa agrees but his tone is back to its usual gruff and cold self. Biting back tears, Soo Min asks for a final favor, “Don’t be hurt.” He finally turns to look at her and she continues, “Ahjusshi, Jung Shi Hyun, Shi Hyun ah, Shi Hyun Oppa.” Tears fall and she smiles that she’s called him every way she wanted. “Live well.” With that, she’s gone.
Park Sa lets his reaction show only once she’s left. He pants for breath and stumbles, falling to his knees and cries, as if he’s lost all strength.
Jin Suk’s in her office when Soo Min arrives and delivers the documents but Jin Suk’s been so worried she ignores them and heads in for a hug, holding Soo Min close and says she’s thankful Soo Min is alright. Soo Min stands there like a robot, but her expression betrays her emotions as she cries-finally letting her heartbreak over Shi Hyun show.
At the police station, Hyung Min brings in Joon Young and introduces her to Prosecutor Ahn as his ‘like a real sibling’. Ahn and Joon Young both do not let on that they know each other. Awkward much. Later, he sits her down and asks her who sent her to Ahn. She tries to play ignorant but he gently keeps persisting, citing that the person behind her could be the one who killed Kyung Mi. Ahn, meanwhile, is fidgeting up a storm and heads out, possibly to get to the two. Joon Young tells Hyung Min she knows nothing more than that his name is Jung.
Ahn calls Hyung Min aside and asks him what he wants. Hyung Min asks him to cut all ties with Joon Young and help him catch Park Sa. Hyung Min sees the needle marks on Ahn’s arms and it seems the latter will help, at least for a bit.
Somewhere, a lock is picked and someone steps into a house. It’s Park Sa and he’s broken into Kyung Mi and Soo Min’s house. He walks around the place slowly, as if reliving the moment he helped Kyung Mi buy it and comes upon the wall of evidence Hyung Min has hung up. The only missing piece is his picture. Soo Min’s words “Do you know Park Sa?”, “I’ll take revenge for Unni,” ring in his head. Shaking his head as if to stop the voices, he sees Kyung Mi and Soo Min’s picture and picks it up. After a while, he takes off the question mark Hyung Min had put up instead of his picture.
Hyung Min is still listening to Ahn’s pleas when his phone rings. It’s Park Sa. Please tell me hereon is the point where Hyung Min will listen to evidence and reason about Park Sa? Park Sa’s reason to call-immediately call out the undercover he sent to Lee Jin Suk. Oh my God! He continues, “Ji Hyung Min, are you in your right mind? That woman will die. Yoon Soo Min.” Oh oh oh! “Don’t make the same mistake twice. I beg you.” With that, Park Sa hangs up and puts the question mark back on the board.
Needless to say, Hyung Min rushes out that minute and asks IT to trace a cell number immediately. He then calls up Soo Min and asks her to come in immediately. Soo Min asks him why he tells her it’s because Park Sa knows who she is. Jin Suk comes up on her as she’s on the phone and tells her to rest and eat well-she’s off for a while.
Hyung Min anxiously waits for Soo Min at home. When she arrives though, few steps into the door and she collapses.
Hyung Min tends to her while she sleeps off the drug.
Jin Suk goes to see Safari, who stops Eun Soo from going for Jin Suk’s throat. Once everyone’s gone, she asks Safari if he’s begged Park Sa for his life yet. Safari lies that he has which makes Jin Suk relieved. She then tells him he had best help Park Sa. Safari argues that Park Sa decides whether he wants the help or not but she just tells him to do well. She tells him not to backstab Park Sa again. Safari in return asks her a question of his own: Did she tell Park Sa about Safari and his mother’s work relationship?
That is news to Jin Suk too.
As she’s heading out, Jin Suk is standing ready with a knife to confront Jin Suk. Hilariously, Jin Suk tells her to at least hold her knife properly otherwise she’ll end up hurting her own hand. Eun Soo adjusts her knife and retorts, “I’m a pro! I know how to hold the knife!” Jin Suk smirks at that-“Pro? Can’t you see Park Sa standing behind you?”
Eun Soo immediately turns back but there’s no one. Jin Suk takes advantage of the moment and overpowers Eun Soo, holding her pressed against the wall. And then she takes out her anger at Eun Soo for trying to kill Soo Min the first time and offers to redo her facial work. Safari puts an end to the fight though and Jin Suk warns Eun Soo against trying something this foolish again.
Hong Ki is in his office when Jin Suk comes to meet him and demands the truth-is he or isn’t he going to catch Busan? Hong Ki says they’re working hard at it and she asks him to hand the work to her then, isn’t that what he can do for her. He tells her to cut it out and leave that world. She retorts back that he’d better quit the jokes and she was the idiot for expecting something from him.
As she turns to leave he asks her what she’ll do for him if he does as she asks. When she asks what he wants, he doesn’t reply and just looks her over so she tells him matter of factly, as if looking down on him, “Now you know? You’re that kind of guy!”
Then she asks if he’s the one who lied to Shi Hyun about his mother and Safari. Hong Ki seems surprised Jin Suk knows but lies that he wasn’t involved. She knows he’s lying and asks him if he intended to use Shi Hyun like he used her and he appears baffled, “Me? Use Shi Hyun?” And then he laughs that he saw Shi Hyun ages ago when he was just a boy-how could he use a kid of that age.
But Jin Suk doesn’t buy it-she knows him too well, always using everyone.
Once she’s gone, Hong Ki sits in thought. Oh you bastard!
Hyung Min meets a sunbae who tells him about Safari/Duk Bae. He brings back a load of chicken to treat his colleagues and then calls Officer Oh to a side office and they both sit for a chat. Hyung Min asks him if he knows where the chicken is from-it’s from one of his old colleagues’s chicken shop. Most interestingly, the colleague told Hyung Min that Duk Bae and Officer Oh were once on the same team. So he asks Oh why he pretended he didn’t know him and wants the reason and the man behind them.
Before Oh can answer, Hong Ki interrupts them and wants to speak to Hyung Min alone. Once Oh is gone, he tells Hyung Min he’s the one who sent Duk Bae undercover. Hyung Min asks why he’s just revealing it now and Hong Ki says he didn’t want to admit the man he sent in had betrayed the police. However, Safari has helped bring Busan down to them by killing Haneul and they won’t have another chance like this. When Hyung Min asks him how many people he sent undercover, he adds that Hong Ki had better own up to things faster if another of his undercover guys turn out like Safari but leaves without waiting for an answer. Once he’s gone, Hong Ki closes his eyes momentarily as if in relief.
Hyung Min asks Oh not to hide anything from him anymore and wants to know more about Duk Bae but Oh says he knows little. He also wants to know if they knew Jin Suk from before. Oh says he didn’t but tells Hyung Min how Hong Ki was with her in the interrogation room the first time she was brought in. So Hyung Min sits in thought, a photo of each of them arranged in a triangle, wondering if they have any other connection.
Hong Ki makes a call, telling the other person they have to meet and that they’re both in danger.
He’s meeting with Park Sa and tells him Hyung Min is beginning to suspect him, aka Hong Ki. However, he twists it around by saying Hyung Min suspects he has undercover men and offers to reveal the truth, if that’s what Park Sa wants. But if he does that, Park Sa has to let go of both Jin Suk and Hyun Soo. Oh you manipulative bastard! When he asks if Park Sa can do that.
“I’ve stopped it until now with everything I could. But there’s really no time now.”
“The time’s enough! There’s no deal with Busan anymore.”
He promises to bring Busan down and tells Hong Ki to let him know everything they have on Busan.
Safari’s phone rings-it’s Park Sa and they meet up for dinner. Well, Safari eats while Park Sa just glares at him. Safari just tells him that they’ll never be able to catch Busan. It’s a fight where they will both, him and Park Sa end up dead by Busan’s hands. Park Sa asks once again-was Busan responsible for Kyung Mi’s death? Safari insists it was.
Jo Oh is beaten up by Jo’s minions. Jo Oh apologizes for being unable to protect Haneul and Jo demands to know where Park Sa would be. Jo Oh insists he knows nothing of the sort but Jo isn’t sold-if they aren’t such besties, why’d he stand up for Park Sa? Jo Oh says he just wanted to let the truth out into the open but Jo refuses to listen to any of his excuses and instead insists on the answer to a question: why did he listen to Park Sa’s words/wish? Jo Oh doesn’t let anything out n J orders his minion to take a club to Jo Oh’s head.
Park Sa returns to his hideout where his phone rings. It’s Jo Oh who asks him to come over and that he has something to say. Park Sa presses-what, and Jo Oh says that he knows where Chairman Jo’s drug factory is and asks him to come over. Park Sa immediately turns to go but an idea stops him and he puts the phone back to his ear.
“Is Chairman Jo next to you?”
Poor Jo Oh insists that he isn’t, but his fear is showing through. Park Sa pologizes, signaling he won’t come and Jo Oh smiles-of course, he isn’t so easy to fool. As Jo’s man moves in behind Jo Oh, Jo Oh adds to Park Sa, “I have a request. Take good care of my son!” Park Sa agrees just as the phone is passed to Jo.
Jo tells Park Sa that Jo Oh is dying because of him. “The sound of his throat splitting, listen to it.” With that, he holds the phone out. On the other end, Park Sa moves the phone away from his ear, unable to listen as Jo Oh’s throat is cut. He falls to his knees and his body tenses up in frustration and anger before he puts the phone back to his ear. Jo tells him they’ll meet each other soon. In his last moments, Jo Oh remembers the last time he’d seen his son and how his son had told him, “You’re the best dad!”
Park Sa sends his table smashing and shouts in angry frustration.
Park Sa goes to see Soo and Jin Suk and all three stand atop the same roof from before and look out at the bustling city. Soo asks him where he’s been and Park Sa replies, “We have to bring Busan out of that street! We’re going to fight Busan!”
Ahn is still in his office when his phone rings and he reaches out for it. It’s Park Sa and this time he asks who is the person (support) behind him?
Soo Min sits listlessly when Hyung Min brings her food. Just then, Hyung Min gets the call from Ahn that he’s going out to meet the Jung guy. Hyung Min takes leave from Soo Min, but only after making her promise to eat everything and to stay indoors.
Jo Oh briefs his colleagues and they prepare to head out undercover to catch Jung. Meanwhile, Park Sa is still contemplating but leaves. At the appointed restaurant, everyone is assembled together and security is tight with cops running the property under covert operation. Park Sa seems to be watching from somewhere. Hyung Min tells Ahn he will be in the adjacent room.
Park S easily makes out the police officers just from their behavior and recognizes Officer Oh as one of the men who had caught him once-before he’d turned Park Sa and was still working with Safari. Inside, Ahn waits on pins and needles.
Park Sa goes in along with a group of men and doesn’t take off his shoes, unlike the others. None of the officers watching see anything erratic about his behavior since he is good at using opportune moments when they’re concentration is elsewhere. He goes into a room and although Officer Kim sees him, he picks nothing strange.
Ahn’s phone rings. It’s Park Sa who asks him the room number. Ahn and the others wait but there is no movement. Until Park Sa literally reaches out and grabs Ahn through the door and holds him captive there and knife point. Hyung Min emerges but there’s nothing he can do.
He asks if he’s Park Sa and Park Sa moves ever so slightly so that Hyung Min can see half of his face through the slightly open door. Whoa, did he really just give himself up?
Okay, first off, I LOVE that ending. Period. Now that’s moving things forward!
However, like I said, today’s episode is giving the feeling of just being a filler episode-there are tense moments, great revelations but the pace and the movement of the story goes little further than that. Moreover, at this point, several of the story’s threads are falling short-not intentionally, mind you, but it’s becoming glaringly obvious nonetheless. Example, we see Soo in the first few moments of the episode after which he is again completely forgotten until Soo, Park Sa and Jin Suk meet up on the rooftop. Then again, Jin Suk leaves the office at Soo’s advice-good advice since thugs show up, bu then returns nevertheless and Jo’s minions, after being beat up by Park Sa have just given up and gone? Shouldn’t they rather be staking out the place, hoping to capture Jin Suk, Park Sa’s woman (Soo Min) or Park Sa himself. This isn’t being stuff and it’s probably not as obvious as I’m saying but it’s still there and it dimmed a bit of this episode’s thrills for me.
That being said, I also have another complaint because there’s one other thing that fell short for me. We’re never given enough time with Park Sa, not shown the journey that happens from the end of last episode-where he walks out on Hong Ki in anger, to the time they meet up in church again. Why is Park Sa back with Hong Ki like there’s nothing wrong? Why is he trusting the man? What is he thinking? Sure, he spent eight years out in the field with only Hong Ki to back him up-and Hong Ki has saved him numerous times, but that doesn’t mean it’s not for his own personal greed. Now that he knows Hong Ki lied about one thing, why not look deeper to see if the man is honest with you?
One way of looking at it would be to think that maybe Park Sa was angry at Hong Ki because he realized Safari wasn’t entirely to blame for his mother’s death and realizes Hong Ki lied to him but does not view it as a betrayal. In that context, his anger last time they meet is because he has let his belief of revenge justify everything he’s done so far, but now that the truth is out, he finds half his motivation and purpose suddenly no longer valid. However, I’m not much a believer of this theory. Park Sa’s smart-he should question Hong Ki more than anything now!
The scene where he learns the truth about Soo Min and she says goodbye-it was heartening! First off, the realization of who Soo Min is and the way he hides his reaction to her until she’s gone, stumbling and finally falling down-it’s one of those moments where you realize how human and frail Park Sa is. The tough guy, always getting back on his feet is just a facade he’s lived with for so long that it feels like the real him, but this-the broken and grieved person, that’s the real Park Sa-the man named Jung Shi Hyun.
Ah, before I forget, how awesome was it that Jin Suk kicked Eun Soo’s ass-just figuratively, but was it a fun watch! Moreover, I love that her reason to make Eun Soo squirm was mostly because of how the latter had tried to kill Soo Min. I so enjoy watching these two together. For Soo Min, without a doubt Jin Suk is an Unnie-if not the same as Kyung Mi, then almost equally so.
Posted on July 16, 2013, in Asian Cinema, Entertainment, Korean Cinema, Potpourri, Recaps, Uncategorized, Written Excerpts and tagged Busan, Chairman, Characters of Supernatural, heartless city, Jin Suk, Parksa, Safari, Soo, Soo Min. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.