Heartless City Episode 20 Recap [Final]


Wow, ten weeks of a roller coaster ride with our resident baddie Park Sa is just one of a kind experience. I still remember the feeling I had the first time he strolled through Jo Oh’s mansion-ready for a coup, calm as you please while the world fought on around him. ‘Now that’s BADASS!’ is what I thought, and the subsequent episodes took things to levels that I didn’t even think of! And now it’s time to bid it goodbye!

I’m going into this episode not knowing what to expect since I didn’t get the chance to check out the preview. Now I just hope the ending leaves me satisfied, if not happy! But seriously, after 19 episodes of having such close brushes with death and danger, doesn’t our hero deserve a happy ending?

Note after watching: SERIOUSLY WRITER?! Or as Soo said it, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!”

Episode 20 Recap:

Jin Suk, Chung Mo and the others get together, mourning Safari’s death. Jin Suk fingers the urn containing Safari’s ashes. Later, she goes to Park Sa. She begins to say something about Safari but Park Sa cuts her off by reaching out and holding her arm. She looks at him to see he has closed his eyes and sorrow is evident in his expressions. No words needed to mourn and let out the pain.



Soo Min shows Hyung Min one of Kyung Mi’s old albums where there are several pictures of her with Park Sa/Shi Hyun. She tells Hyung Min about Park Sa and moreover-that he’s a cop. She saw his ID at the office and mutters, “How hard it must’ve been on him all that time. To live like Park Sa, how hard must it be for him? To live as Kyung Mi’s killer, unable to say it hurts even when it hurts…” Hyung Min begins to say something, perhaps comfort her but she continues.

“I love that person… Jung Shi Hyun. That’s why, I’m definitely going to make it so he can come back to the police! Help me, Ahjusshi!”

He agrees.

A search through police records at the office turns up no record of Shi Hyun though. When Hyung Min muses he must be another undercover, Hyung Min darts out of the office. Yes, that’s the right thought! He meets up with Park Sa and asks about Safari. Park Sa is somewhat listless and doesn’t respond much. So Hyung Min continues-Safari, that sniper and Kyung Mi, each and every one of them was a police officer.

“And you… Park Sa Adeul, Jung Shi Hyun… you’re also a police officer!”

Park Sa turns to look at him in surprise. Hyung Min wants to know who sent him undercover and reveals that he knows all about his relation to Kyung Mi. He points out that whoever was the one behind Kyung Mi’s death was ready to kill Soo Min right in front of him just like Kyung Mi.

“Who’s the one who sent you undercover? He’s the one who killed Kyung Mi! But you already knew that, didn’t you? Who’s the person who sent you?”

Park Sa asks him what he means to do if he knows. Hyung Min promises to kill the man by his own hands. Park Sa argues, telling him to stay where and how he is-Park Sa will spill whatever blood needs to be split.

But as Park Sa’s leaving, Hyung Min speaks up, “It’s Commissioner Min, isn’t it?” Park Sa doesn’t reply, but that is answer enough for Hyung Min.


Hyung Min meets with Officer Oh and the female officer and asks them if they’ll follow him onto dangerous ground-against a baddie inside the police force. Both agree to it and ask who the person is. Hyung Min tells him, “It’s Commissioner Min.”

Park Sa finds Soo at his place who wants to know what they’ll do next. Is this really the end? Park Sa tells him he doesn’t think they can win and asks Soo to leave-America or Japan, anywhere. Soo refuses flat out and promises to follow Park Sa to the depths of hell. They achieved so much together, he points out and it was all because he trusted Park Sa.

“That street outside… Let’s eat it all up, you’re the one who said that!” he points out.

Park Sa begins to say something but Soo tells him “Jung Shi Hyun… let’s go to the end.”

Park Sa apologizes and Soo storms out in a huff.


Jo and Hong Ki have a bit of an argument where Jo points out Hyung Min knows a lot more than Hong Ki gives him credit for and that he won’t catch Park Sa. Hong Ki tells him to leave police matters to him and that he’ll resolve things on his end. Jo adds that there’s one more thing he doesn’t know.

Hong Ki storms his office and uploads Soo Min’s police profile onto his computer. It’s unclear what he does next.

He then meets up with Jin Suk… and he;s got a file with him which he hands over to her and asks her to ‘remove that kid from Park Sa’s side.’ He says it’s best for everyone and asks that she not try and take things into her own hands. Jin Suk doesn’t know what he’s talking about and opens the folder to view the papers-it’s Soo Min’s police profile.

And so he twists the truth to his favor-that Hyung Min sent Soo Min undercover to catch Park Sa. He asks Jin Suk a favor-to let Soo Min go and just remove her from her side, no more. “I can’t catch you with my own hands!” he pleads. And I cringe!

Soo Min is at home when her phone rings-it’s Jin Suk who asks her to come over immediately. Soo Min is visibly glad to hear from her and heads over. However, Jin Suk then calls her up and tells her she’s outside the office (while she is actually there) and sends Soo Min somewhere else, saying she’s there. Soo Min turns to go but finds herself surrounded by the baddie minions who then start beating her up, asking for Jin Suk’s whereabouts.

She promises she doesn’t know and then they take her to a room, where Jin Suk is sitting. Soo Min’s barely able to stand up and is stunned to find Jin Suk there. Jin Suk asks her why she never told the baddies where she was. Soo Min says she couldn’t do that-what if something bad happened to Jin Suk? Jin Suk doesn’t buy any of it and throws the police profile at her.


A tear falls as Soo Min looks back at Jin Suk and whispers, “I really liked Unni. All the time, every day, I felt so sorry. Deceiving Unni was too hard. I’m really sorry.”

Jin Suk asks her if she knew Shi Hyun was Park Sa. Soo Min confirms it.

“You knew it and you still love him?” Her answer is yes again. Jin Suk tells her she has a last request and asks Soo Min to leave. “Let’s not see each other again.”


With that, she drops a number of checks at Soo Min and walks away.

Outside, she lets her real reaction come out and she turns to look back, crying.


Hong Ki then recruits Officer Kim-seriously man, there’s definitely a time to just quit! His bait-he knows Soo and Officer Kim have been in contact. What Hong Ki needs-call up Soo and arrange a meetup!

And so Soo and Hong Ki come face to face. Hong Ki offers him a hand-which Soo doesn’t take and I smirk in glee. Hong Ki asks Soo how long he thinks his relationship with Park Sa will last. Soo isn’t in the mood for chit chat and tells him to get to the point.

“I heard you were curious about how I came to find Jo’s drug factory, no?” Hong Ki asks as he slides a paper to him.
It’s Shi Hyun’s police profile.

Soo barks at Hong Ki- “Are you messing with me?!” But Hong Ki says he was the one who sent Park Sa in as an undercover agent and says Shi Hyun has gone against his order and used Soo all the time-even used Lee Jin Suk. He offers to let him and Jin Suk go. His demand, “Remove Park Sa and you take his place! I’ll help you!

Thankfully, watching Hong Ki and then Soo leave is Hyung Min.


Hong Ki then comes to see Jin Suk because he was curious how she handled the Soo Min case. She asks what his ulterior motive was in letting her handle it? So Hong Ki drops another bomb-why did Soo Min still let Park Sa go and fell in love with him? “Because she knew Shi Hyun was also a police officer!”

His version here-that Shi Hyun wanted revenge on his mother’s death and came begging Hong Ki to make him a police officer, so Hong Ki helped him and sent him undercover. Jin Suk doesn’t believe him but Hong Ki asks her to go confirm it herself and tells her to remove herself from Park Sa’s side.

With all the pieces set into place like a chessboard, a triumphant Hong Ki returns to his office.

Soo is drinking away when Park Sa comes to find him.

“You came, my friend? A real friend, right?” Soo calls out to him in a theres-a-problem-but-I’m-pretending-there’s-no-problem voice. Park Sa asks him if something happened.

Soo says something did happen and offers Park Sa a drink. When Park Sa begins to say something, he tells him to shut up and gives him a drink. When Park Sa doesn’t take it, Soo asks why he came if he wont drink? To gather intel.


“Ah, Police!” Soo mutters and Park Sa turns to look at him, stunned. Soo keeps going-it’s a great thing to be a police officer. Is that why he he used him, Soo asks. When Park Sa asks what he’s talking about, Soo shouts at him again to shut up. He slams the drink down on the table and tells Park Sa to leave. “If you don’t go right now… I think I’ll kill you!” he tells Park Sa with tears in his eyes.

Park Sa doesn’t budge so Soo decides he’ll leave instead. Park Sa grabs his arm, wanting to explain but Soo tells him, “Park Sa, we’ll never be seeing each other again.”


So Park Sa sits alone at his place that night when Hyung Min calls.

They meet up and he tells Park Sa he found out the truth about everything and asks Park Sa to be careful-Hong Ki has already approached Soo. Park Sa tells Hyung Min he’ll deal with Hong Ki, “So you leave the police force now. Even if it’s for Kyung Mi, you have to do that!” After that, he asks for one request, “Don’t bother/mess with Kim Hyun Soo.

Jin Suk is still trying to come to terms with the news about Park Sa and approaches him that night.She tells him she’s sorry and moves in to hug him, asking him, “Why’d you do it? Why didn’t you tell me? Noona couldn’t even congratulate you!” Crying, she tells him, “It’s good. It’s good news… that you’re a police officer.”


He’s stunned that she knows and visibly touched by her reaction. She continues, “Shi Hyun, I’m sorry. If I wasn’t here, you’d have lesser hardships. I… My Shi Hyun, I like to see you wear a police officer’s uniform.”


Her last words make Shi Hyun let out all his emotions and he starts crying-making such raw noises, totally like a child, so pure and such poignant emotion in his sobs as he clings to her.


Soo Min and Hyung Min go to visit Kyung Mi’s grave-only to find Park Sa already there. Soo Min talks with her ‘sister’ while Hyung Min and Park Sa have a chat of their own. Park Sa points out that HM’s dad will oppose his new decision but Hyung Min couldn’t care any less and asks Park Sa not to talk about him anymore. Park Sa apologizes-he hasn’t a father so doesn’t know what he might be feeling. Then he hands over the usb Safafri gave him to Hyung Min.


As he’s leaving, Soo Min rushes after him and asks where he’s going. He turns back to her, “I was thankful… You’ll become a good police officer.”

With that, he leaves.


Soo comes to see Jin Suk and gives me the first laugh throughout this episode.

Soo: “Noona, did you know?”

Jin Suk: “What? That I’m pretty?”

Soo: “That Park Sa’s a police officer! Did you really know?”

She turns to him and tells him, “Soo, let’s hug Shi Hyun.”

He scoffs that he was the only one who didn’t know and she asks if his informant on this matter is Hong Ki. She tells him to go deeper in his thinking-why would Hong Ki turn to him? “Because Shi Hyun threw him away! Shi Hyun… chose us both. He abandoned the police and chose us… How hard must it have been for him? All that time..” Her words ring with him and he takes a deep breath. She asks him again, “This once, just this once… you accept Shi Hyun.”

She tells him that even if Shi Hyun were a police officer, he wouldn’t abandon Soo. But Soo tells her he can’t… rather, he won’t.


Hyung Min and Soo Min go through the data on the usb. It’s a list of transactions… and one name that comes up is HM’s father. He puts the computer down just as he tells Soo Min they’ll make sure to catch each and every bad guy.

Just then, Hyung Min gets taken in for questioning by the prosecutors-for alleged involvement with Park Sa. And the usb is also confiscated… and taken to Hong Ki. Soo Min calls up Shi Hyun.

Jo and Hong Ki celebrate their ‘success’ over lunch. Here, Hong Ki offers to introduce a guy for distribution of the drugs. And in comes Soo. Jo asks Soo if he broke up with Park Sa and Hong Ki and Jo both laugh as he says, “I don’t want to hear anything about that bastard anymore.”


Park Sa goes to see HM’s dad because of Hyung Min and tells him that Hyung Min was taken in but only his dad can help him. He asks him to bring out the truth so he can save his son-does he want to do it himself or should Park Sa make it so that Hong Ki does it? He gives the man time to think it over and says he hopes he’ll make the right decision. He hopes Ji Hyung Min won’t have to live like him-always hating his father.


The reporter bursts into the police station to know what happened and Soo Min wonders if Hong Ki orchestrated the whole deal to get their hands on the usb. So she goes looking for it. When Hong Ki’s on his way back, the reporter distracts him, allowing Soo Min to make her getaway.

Jo gives Soo his men so that he may catch and deliver Park Sa. Soo gives the men a location and tells them, “See you there!”

Park Sa gets a call and panics, “Alone?” Whatever the other person tells him, he heads out.

Soo is meanwhile leading his own men to Jo’s place. Jo seems to have anticipated the move and is ready. Soo declares that Jo has to die for Park Sa and Jin Suk noona to survive this. But soon, he and his men-only three of them are surrounded. A fight breaks out as Park Sa barrels towards the location.

Soo is badly hurt but still fighting until he falls to the ground and one of the men stabs him in the gut. Another knife gets him in the back. Just then, Park Sa arrives and fires at some of the men. He allows Jo to get away when he sees Soo on the ground and moves to help him.


Soo is breathing his last as he lies there and tells Park Sa, “Park Sa… Shi Hyun… It was really fun for me by your side.” Park Sa holds onto him but Soo tells him, “Really. Just hurry and go finish off Jo.”

But Park Sa doesn’t want to leave him and tries to pick Soo up, but Soo’s hand goes limp before he even gets a hold on him. Unable to let go, Park Sa grabs his hand again and again, placing it over his shoulder but it would go limp every time. And so he just sits there sobbing his heart out.


Hong Ki flips his head when he hears what Jo has done and Jo says all he did was keep his promise to Park Sa that someone he loves will die by Jo’s hands. While Hong Ki’s still on the phone, Park Sa comes barreling into Jo’s place and starts taking out his men one by one.

Hong Ki hears the commotion and leaves his office determinedly. Soo Min is on the watch for it though and calls up Hyung Min. Hyung Min readies the police.

On the other end, Jo is the only man left and Park Sa points his gun at him.


“Park Sa. What will change if you kill me? Try it! Sit on this seat and see, you will become just like me! Nothing will change.”

Park Sa tells him, “I’ll finish it.” With that, he fires.

And then he turns to leave, a lone man walking away from a pile of dead bodies at his feet.


Hong Ki arrives and is rushing in when Park Sa calls out to him to stop. Hong Ki turns to reach for his gun but Park Sa levels his at Hong Ki and motions for him to stand straight.

“Why’d you do it to me?”


Hong Ki starts telling Park Sa he can return to the police, he can finish it all but to remember, he is a police officer above it all. All his words are resonating like empty promises and it has no effect on Park Sa. But Hong Ki continues that he should think of Jin Suk. When she heard about Park Sa being a police officer, she cried and begged Hong Ki. “You can do it. You, me and Jin Suk, we can laugh together.”


Park Sa is overcome with emotions, trying to hold back his tears and his resolve.

“I thought of you as a son.” He tells Park Sa, but those words act as the catalyst to bring Park Sa’s rage back and he focuses back on Hong Ki, ready to fire.

Just then, another voice cuts in-it’s Hyung Min and Soo Min in the back, the former aiming his gun at Park Sa. He tells Park Sa to lower his gun-everything has ended now. Soo Min also shakes her head at Park Sa, as if begging him to stop.


Hong Ki calls out to Hyung Min, telling him he caught Park Sa and orders him to arrest the guy. But Hyung Min retorts back at him, “SHUT UP!”

Hong Ki realizes the odds are against him and Hyung Min calls out to Park Sa. The reason he’s here is for him, Jung Shi Hyun, and tells him he can come back to the police force. But Park Sa strengthens his resolve and tells Hyung Min he won’t return to the police.

“Ahjusshi. What you started, you finish it.” He tells Hong Ki.

Hong Ki nods and says he will, kneeling to the ground. Park Sa tells him to apologize to Hyung Min and with a straight face, Hong Ki says he will. But just as Park Sa lowers his gun, Hong Ki takes his out and shoots Park Sa in the chest-twice. Park Sa stands there, frozen, looking at his wounded chest.

Hyung Min shoots Hong Ki just as Soo Min runs past him to get to Park Sa. She kneels by his side, cradling his head in her hands, sobbing. He reaches out with precious seconds left before he closes his eyes and takes her hand into his own. Hyung Min watches and tears up.


Soo Min cries and holds Park Sa close, his eyes now closed.


Jin Suk is holding back tears as she thinks to Shi Hyun in voice over-talking about the place she really wanted to go with him once. “Shi Hyun, I love you.” As she says that, a hand holds out a handkerchief to her to wipe out her tears. It’s Soo Min in her police uniform and Jin Suk tells her it really suits her. Soo Min thanks her.


Once Jin Suk’s gone, Soo Min looks around the place-it’s Park Sa’s house and she imagines him standing there with her and she calls him all the names she’d once called him before.


“I became a police officer. I did well, right?” He reaches out to cradle her face as she cries and she reaches up to hold his hand, only to be jolted back to the reality that she is alone.


Hyung Min gets a visit from his father who seems to be trying to make amends in their relationship and decides to turn himself in. He’s taken aback by the change and demands to know why he’s doing it. He says, “I went too far. I just want to come back.”


At the orphanage, Soo Min goes to meet her kid friends wearing her new uniform and distributes presents. In the distance, she imagines a young Kyung Mi and Park Sa beckoning to her, telling her she did great. She waves back at them as they fade away and smiles.


After the prologue, showing scenes from throughout the series along with voiceover dialogues, we intervut to see a man standing somwhere in a street, talking on the phone, his back to us. The profile is Shi Hyun’s.


Okay, short form: the finale was lacking as bad as the series was awesome. :/ Detail Comments come tomorrow. They’re going to be long but they have to wait until after I get some sleep! See you guys then!

About hitomiakiko

Architect and Aspiring Writer

Posted on July 30, 2013, in Asian Cinema, Entertainment, Korean Cinema, Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 77 Comments.

  1. I believe he alive. But none jin sook and hyung min did not knee about him

  2. Way late commenting as it’s 2017 and I just finished watching Heartless City on Netflix (to be removed on Feb 26); so major cramming! I haven’t cried like this since the Titanic. Shi Hyun is such a beatifully thought out character and how he was treated by Min in the end was devastating. We even had to say good by to the loyal Soo! It was almost too much in one episode. I know the profile of Shi Hyun at the end was kinda ridiculous, but much needed as kinda helped me to cope. I will pretend I’m my mind that he is alive, well and happy. Yep, denile is way more comforting!

  3. I watched this drama now so I am posting late

    Wonderful drama with worst ending…. I really cried when Shi won oppa was shot… I mean why?? What writer was thinking at the end…!!! Atleasthe don’t deserve to be dead…!!! Sad ending is OK but was there any need to make oppa dead…!!!

  4. Its good that it have a sad ending.. I dont want my Jung Kyung Ho oppa end up with Nam gyu ri they dont have chemistry!!! She didnt look good for him…

    • I think falling for innocence is the only drama of jung kyung ho oppa that had a better romantic happy ending… he had a better chemistry with his leadibg lady there actress kim so yeon..

      Sorry if I wrote it here.. its just that I DONT LIKE NAM GYU RI.

  5. I know I’m late to the party, but I believe park son is alive and well. It makes sense he wouldn’t just go back to normal society after all he knows,and all the criminals he would know. I feel bad hyung-min does not get much closure. I guess he has that woman reporter and now he can start fresh with his father.

    I’m probably in the minority, but I always hoped kyung-mi was really alive, but under a witness protection program and park son is living with her in secret,lol. I just feel he always loved her, he let her go because of the commissioner, and did all this after for her. Idk, either way I did enjoy this and I love Jung kyung-ho in this and in Beating Again. It’s funny because I saw that first and then when watching this is realized the man playing soo played Jungs’ characters’ enemy in Beating Again lol. Those two guys have great chemistry.

  6. scene meant that hyun soo is still alive (although the last few scenes made it kinda obvious that he’s gone…), he deserves way much more credit than this and the feelings between him and soo-min really needs to be developed…. It’s such a pity that they finally fell in love, she lost her virginity to him(and argueably his to her as well), but lost each other like that without actually explicitly expressing their love for each other

  7. ugh the ending sucks ;'( i wish they would at least make the ending more detailed and not sad like this ! ugh how dissapointing T_T

  8. Omg Writer Yoo Sung-Yeol, how can you be so cruel?! After all the hard work Shi Hyun had done and you’re just gonna make him die like that? Can’t you at least give him a “Happily Ever After” after all the hardworking he’d done finding for the truth and evidence but how can you make him just die like that especially by the one who had been using him and deserve to burn in hell the most, Min Hong Ki? Shi Hyun should’ve killed Hong Ki with his own hands or at least catch that bastard with his own hands and let him rot him jail for his whole life! If it was Safari or Hyung Min who killed Shi Hyun, it wouldn’t have been that bad. But why that bastard?! This is too unfair! Shi Hyun even risk his own life! He deserve a better ending! How can you make him die with just 2 gun shots? Yoo Sung-Yeol-ssi, you have to be responsible! Be responsible and give us a Cruel City 2! WE NEED A SEASON 2! Bring Shi Hyun back and this time, please, more about Shi Hyun and Soo Min’s love story. No more drugs, drugs and drugs always.

    • Hehe, ZhangQiao, if you want more Shi Hyun x Soo Min with an amazing storyline, search here on Akiko’s and you’ll find the story – Endless Night, or go to Lyse’s official site for it. She’s doing a fan sequel for the story (which is just AMAZING AWESOME) so check it out and give yourself a real treat regarding these two! 🙂

  9. I’m really bother because Parksa and Soo Min never had a chance to confess their love for one another. We know she love him but what about him for her. I mean at least right before he fake his death say something meaningful! This is such a stupid ending. Soo survive all those times then die after two stabs!!!!! :(. Please some one tell me that Parksa really did love Soo Min? Please? If I was Soo min, I would at least want the closure that he did love me. Also, what sup with that “leaving the money after they made love”. I want to think he love her but he just so cold. Maybe I’m just not reading between the lines. Someone help me please?????? And why did he had to fake his death and leave, the only people he had left are Soo Min and Jin Suk.

  10. Oh, forgot one thing: does anyone else think it’s awesome how Hyung Min doesn’t sit down in his father’s presence for the first time since the beginning of the drama. It’s such a small and simple detail, but so significant.

  11. Btw, I don’t think he’s abroad, because all of those people around him seem to be Korean.
    And he could be calling Soo Min, even if it isn’t his old phone. If he’s smart enough to survive in the criminal underworld for 8 years and climb as high as he did, he should be able to remember a number.
    Ah, now I’m sad all over again that this drama is over… Damn it.

  12. Ahhhhh, I want to kill everyone now. Damn. So he is not dead. But how come no one knows. I mean, did his body just disappear. What the hell… Well, I will just suppose he is going to show up again after he composes himself. Eight years undercover and losing both his sort of father figure-Safari and best friend Soo, and maybe even Min, who he lost in more ways than one, being betrayed by him and all, I am guessing he needs some time off. But he will wander into Soo Mins life again, I am sure of it. He has to.
    But that said, the ending for such a great drama could have been better. It did make me cry, though, and I do not think I ever cried for a drama…

    • Yup, after eight years as Park Sa, he couldn’t just go back to being Shi Hyun like nothing ever happened. And that’s why I’m also leaning towards the ending where he is alive and stumbles back into Soo Min and Jin Suk’s life years later-finally over his past as Park Sa and totally living as Shi Hyun.

    • what that means is not dead SH?????? and how the rest of the story soon love yoo min with shi hyun?????? please let me know

      • Didn’t you see the final final scene, after all those “memories”? There is a scene where Paksa is standing in the middle of a busy street somewhere, holding a cell phone to his ear. Now, since that scene wasn’t shown in the drama, we can only assume that that means he’s still alive. Not sure if it means there is going to be a second season, or if it’s just there to screw with our minds, but the fact remains that he doesn’t seem to be dead.

  13. thanks for the recap, I so agree. this ending was terrible compared to what it could’ve been. I know realistically bad endings happen but it would have been much better had they added a few more episodes. The end g was truly a bit lacking!!!

  14. First of all thank you so much for recapping this show 🙂 Really enjoyed reading your thoughts. Its nice to see another Pakistani Kdrama fan *jhappi* LOL
    After watching epi 19, i knew the makers wouldn’t be able to wrap up everything neatly in just one more episode. Newbie writer kept a lot of stuff very vague :l Hong Ki is one normal looking twisted b*****d! After using all those innocent men as under covers he has the audacity to remind them that they are cops and he’s only doing it for the greater good?! *strangles him repeatedly in her head* How badly i wanted to wipe that smirk from his and chairman Jo’s face *pleased at the thought* ^__^
    This show started out really well but like you all said the ending does not leave the viewers delighted. Personally, i’m okay with open ended endings as long as they make sense and are well thought out.
    Jung Kyung Ho portrayed Park Sa’s character with panache.Without a word he managed to convey so many emotions! Whether it was his silent scream or a frustrated one, each broke my heart. How much can a man take? I was hooked to this show because of his character & I do not regret watching this show. Park Sa’s character will always be special ❤ Foolish makers did not make use of the awesome lead couple in their hands. Both were capable of setting our screens on fire. Teasers and overview were misleading. There were very less interactions between our lead couple. Still, i loved the tender moments between them 🙂

    I want to know wht exactly was going on in the writer's head? Surely there was a better way of showing Park Sa still alive n healthy continuing to do his job…

    • Heeeeyyyyy, another Pakistani! This is fun! *claps in glee* Where are you from? 😀

      I’ve read that the ending was supposed to be more detailed than this-that Park Sa is alive but Hyung Min gets him a new identity before going to America while Soo Min becomes a cop and believes Park Sa is dead. So it’s a happy end as in Park Sa is alive, but sad in that the leads do not get to be together. But that’s the fun about open endings-life’s long enough and they probably meet up someplace, someway! I like open endings too, as long as they make sense because they give you plenty food for thought!

      • *grins* Yes, rarely do i see a Pakistani kdrama fan *another jhappi* I’m living in Dubai 🙂 (from Lahore) Wht abt you?

        I knew the makers wouldnt make Park Sa end up with Soo min because they never gave in to fans demand to show more scenes between them. Their focus was never that. They should’ve made use of the awesome leads and their onscreen chemistry *shaking head*

        “But that’s the fun about open endings-life’s long enough and they probably meet up someplace, someway! I”
        I agree. But i still wish the makers had planned the ending in a better way and make it more believable. Even 3 minutes would have been enough to show Park Sa continuing to do his bit to make the world a better place.

      • *Double jhappi* Blogging is doing me good because I get to make so many new friends! ^^

        I’m settled in Rawalpindi, but originally from a village in D.G. Khan. I’ll soon be moving to an academy in Lahore though (This October, IA)! 😀

        I’m fine with the OTP time that we did get. Truth be told, anymore would have cut back the time we got with the main storyline *Park Sa’s Journey* but I am disappointed that they didn’t get proper time towards the end-especially in the last episode.

        You’re right-3 mins, heck 2 mins would have been enough to just give us the clear idea about how and where Park Sa is and what he’s up to.All we needed was a little hope *sob sob*

      • Akiko, do watch the taiwanese show Black and white 🙂 You’ll love it. Another zabardust show. It is police based. Romance jaye teil leynay, the bromance will keep you hooked. The plot and pace will leave you on the edge of your seat. Promise 🙂

      • I have heard a lot of rave reviews about B & W but somehow never got around to checking it out. Now that I’m not watching any other TW series, n I still want to check out something badass, I think I’ll download it after all! 😉 Thanks for the recommend! ^^

      • I cant see the “reply button” under your latest reply. Anyway, thanks for writing back! Wow! Rawalpindi?! 🙂 Its so nice to meet & share your thoughts with people from all walks of life via blogs/forums.

        “cut back the time we got with the main storyline *Park Sa’s Journey*”

        yes, you have a point. I guess i was more disappointed, since the overview/teasers focused on Park Sa and Soo min.

        “proper time towards the end.”

        Exactly! The makers made us wait for 20 episodes!

        “heck 2 mins would have been enough”

        *sobbing together* *offers tissues* ah we’re fasting, so lets not cry buckets 😦

        “rave reviews about B & W”

        oh you’ll LOVE it Akiko 😀 The characters are not as badass as Park Sa but the storyline, pace, acting, music, the bromance… e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g will leave you delighted as a viewer 🙂 Happy watching!

      • I’ve discovered that some of the best friends you have in life are your virtual friends-halfway across the world from you, but totally there for you in spirit and love! 🙂

        Maybe I wasn’t that disappointed with the less OTP time since I hadn’t seen a single preview! 😛

        I’ve found B&W at Doramax (the HD files at D-addicts are too large) so I’ll be putting it on download starting tomorrow. When I get to start it will be another story since there’s a few reviews I’d like to get out and I’ll need all the time I can for them-considering its the final days of Ramadan n prayers n Quran to read! N then it’ll be eid soon-just a few days left now! When I do watch it though, I’ll definitely let you know how I enjoy it! 😉

      • Also, you guys are settled in Dubai, right? However many Pakistani’s I’ve met online, they’re all settled abroad somewhere! 😛

  15. Wonderful show, worst ending.
    Is the writter a man? That would explain everything, because men don’t know how to write dramas…

  16. So HongKi placed Doc’s Son, Safari, and Doc’s Son’s assistant as undercover to get Chairman Jo’s list to blackmail the DA’s office to get equal rights with the DA’s office and the police? Also… I don’t think Doc’s Son loved Soo Min. I think he liked her and was maybe falling in love with her but I think he still really loved Kyung Mi. Which kinda sucks. I wanted Ji Sook/Safari together and Doc’s Son/Soo Min together with Soo either living a normal life away from that drug life or have them having a huge business of drugs and them ruling everything with Ji Hyung Min covering for them. Anyhow I just wanted a happy ending. But honestly with this kind of a story, happy endings aren’t realistic. But still… Sad to see Doc’s Son’s death, Soo’s, and Safari’s ;((((

    • Happy endings aren’t realistic yes, but after a certain amount of realistic watching, it’s okay to veer off from the expected outcome and deliver something fresh and probably hopeful! After all, there’s no law against hoping and a positive end would give you the hope that things can change if you want them too-nothing’s written in stone, we just have to realize that and work towards defining our own fates.

  17. Thank you very much for all the wonderful recaps and your time:)
    I am kind of sad, for all the characters, for what they have been through and for what i have been through(and it is not an easy journey,i would say) I felt their sorrow and agony toward the end. No body is perfect, i understand toward the end shi yun was feeling so hopeless and nearly having a breakdown before ajushi save him, he was on a thin ice,very thin,which perilously shortend his life, in fact i certainly understand the ending with him faking his death(what i believed). He is indeed in need of a long vacation outside cruel city,hence the beige coat.very suited for partying and vacationing. Cruel city where there are never ending crimes and its exhausted every good cops because there are also bad cops to tamper every possible lead. So a guy can only take that much. And enough is enough. So he heed what the doctors said and of he went.

    He can’t take soo min,because soo min has to finish her studying first, so he let her be,so her mind can concentrate on finishing the task ahead.

    He can’t tell auntie, because auntie too have to have vacation,to her dream place and she can’t go, if he is there, always worrying about him. So he kept silent. Let the time pass.
    After a while, he appeared, totally renew, superhero style, fresh from long vacation, ready to fight again in cruel city as a real cop this time with soo min by his side and auntie as his back up. So there end my cruel city ep 21 as i dreamt it. 😉

    • Luvnlife_Sara

      Love your analysis. It made me feel a little better. ❤

      • :)You and me too, i felt better already just thinking about all kinds of happy ending. Such a cruel city, a cruel place, a cruel writer and cruel director for making us decide for ourself and leaving a very hugh whole in our heart.

    • haha..your dream is my dream too. Let’s hope there will be Heartless CIty season 2. And the most important thing, let’s hope Jung Kyung Ho get well soon from his injury.

      • He must get well soon 😉 i bet there are a lot of directors, lining up dramas just for him. I think they have to rush finishing cruel city, because of his health condition and other things(this i would like to know, mr.director,what happened behind the scene..hmm so curious) but overall cruel city is a drama not to be miss,that for sure 🙂

      • More JKH with guyliner, dark suits and guns and violence? I’m totally game for it! 😀

    • You know what, that would’ve been such an amazing episode 21-because we get to see Park Sa as Shi Hyun again, and there would’ve been a befitting end to the story!

  18. Thanks Akiko!!! ❤

  19. I’m crying buckets… but yet why do I feel so unsatisfied? In looking around on the internet, fans in Korea are feeling the same way. Why such a rushed ending?

    1. Well done scene between ParkSa and JM… hands down the highlight of the episode.
    2. If Parksa needed to die, why not a hero’s death? Why so rushed… it was like 15 seconds of death and skip to the next scene. (Now Safari died a true hereos death).
    3. SooMin saying at the end “Didn’t I do well (becoming a police officer)”.. just doesn’t make sense. It wasn’t like she shared her dreams of becoming a police officer with him. If nothing else, HM should have died and she could have said that to him.
    4. The purpose of Soo dying? Again another rushed death.
    5. Are we going to hear from the writer on what his intent was?
    6. Finally… I guess it is a Heartless City. You live and you die… even without a Hereos death.

    I can’t wait to hear others thoughts. It’ll be like group therapy on here.

    Thank you so very much Akiko for all your hard work in posting. I can’t wait to follow more of the dramas you decide to recap.

    • Yes,totally agreed with you, they should at least extend it to ep 21, to fill the loose end.

    • It feels really rushed without proper closure to any characters. I just can’t understand the writers train of thoughts why did Parksa had to die. His character deserved an happy ending or at least an Epic farewell but none of them was given. what are they trying to say even if you are a good person just because you became an undercover you have to die. finally how many undercover agents can Hongki have ?

      • Lol, Hong Ki’s favorite line was “You’re a Police Officer!” God knows he had good practice with it! 😛

        I would’ve been fine if they killed Park Sa, but only if it were done in a good manner where it felt like there was no other choice n like you said, if it were epic. Alas, the drama forgot that towards the end! 😦

    • Yup, Safari’s death was well done and we were given enough time in the aftermath to feel and deal with it. Alas, with ParkSa, the drama just dived there and went forward without anything else much.
      I think the reason Soo Min says, “Didn’t I do well?” is because of his last words to her-that she’d become a good police officer. So it’s like she’s living up to the hopes he seemed to have for her future.
      Soo’s death seemed like a waste of a good character and even better bromance! 😦

  20. Huhuhu! T___T

    Shi hyun oppa! Poor baby! All that suffering??? For what? So many unanswered questions and loose ends!

    I think he is alive….Hyung Min probably got him reinstated as police and he’s working undercover somewhere, unbeknownst to Jin sook and Soo min. Hence the beige suit scene in the end!

    I won’t believe he’s dead unless I see his ashes…

    There should be a CC 2.

    Thanks, Akiko, for your diligent work with the recapping this series.

    • The true ending was apparently as you said-that Hyung Min gets him a new identity somewhere else (not as a police officer though) before going to America himself and Soo Min and Jin Suk don’t know he’s alive.

      A CC2 would be fun-and has quite a lot of potential!

  21. Thank you for the recaps. I haven’t watched the last four episodes yet. I wanted to read the recaps before I did. For such a great drama, the ending sounds incomplete. Too many unanswered questions. I really dislike Soo and ParkSa dying, but did ParkSa die? I am so confused.

    • I think it’s all a matter of how you take the ending. Ive got a theory I’ll share in my comments tomorrow and it’s leaning towards bittersweet-with ParkSa alive.

      • I wondered if he was still alive and is now choosing to just live as a normal human being. The switch from dark suits to a lighter suit would have me believe he got out of undercover and that whole lifestyle. He stepped into the light. I still have to watch this and maybe I’ll get a better feel for it.

      • Also forgot to add, that would be the perfect way to make everyone (except a few) believe he died so he can live another life.

  22. How could the OTP part this way in the cimetery?

    But…he looked for her hand…this OTP has something with holding hands, that was effin sad!

  23. Thank you so much for this wonderful recap and that I was able to follow you on this way until episode 20! 😀 *hugs*

    Episode 20 was definitely lacking… it started off great but the end was just not satisfying and felt rushed. Not because Shi Hyun died… (the fangirl in me of course wanted him to survive but knew it wouldn’t be the case) but for god’s sake HOW he died. O.o I mean what happened there with the writing, the execution and the editing!?

    And what I hate the most.. they gave us this blurry beige jacket scene. So what do they want!? That Shi Hyun is dead or that he survived and lives somewhere? I’m confused!

    Now I’m waiting for Jung Kyung-ho to recover from his injury and choose a new project soon. 😀

    • *huuuggggsss back* Thanks a lot for following me all the way through to the … not quite happy end?

      There’s so many things about episode 20 that are nagging at me (more in comments tomorrow) but overall, it felt like such a letdown after every awesome point we’d been through with Park Sa. 😦 There’s some points that warmed my heart and made me wanna cry (Jin Suk going to Park Sa/Soo’s reaction and subsequent actions) but otherwise, it was such a letdown!

      P.S. I should read news more often I guess. How’d JKH get hurt? Filming the drama, but when and how?

      • Apparently Jung Kyung-Ho got hurt pretty serious while filming. He could only finish this drama taking painkillers. He has a herniated disc and this led to him cancelling all his upcoming events for this year. 😦 He wants to recover before choosing a new project.

        I thought the beginning of this episode was pretty strong but the latter half was just disappointing – except for those emotional moments with Shi Hyun and Auntie and Soo. 😦

  24. Thanks for the recap!!

    Ahahaha, all I have to say is Cruel City just drove me to write fanfic, seriously.
    First. Ever.

    • Where can we read it!? 😀

      • Give me a day, I’ve written 5 of 10 pages?

        It’s set four years in the future. Written from Soo-min’s perspective, I decided she needed a proper voice.

        I’m actually not sure where to post…. Thoughts?

      • hehe, good thought! We definitely needed a perspective on Soo Min’s thoughts!
        If you want, I can make a separate post up for it in your name at the blog!! ^_^

      • Yaih can’t wait! :3

      • Hahaha I’m used it (almost getting run over). I work in the fashion industry so I’m always on my phone. Way too much multitasking, I’m pretty sure i walk around talking to myself, I’ve turned into that person.

        And will email tonight NYC time!

    • we would love to read your fanfic (if possible xd)

      • On mys…. The pressure, lol. You almost made me run into a car here in NYC.

        How about this? I’ll send a teaser tonight, you decide if you want it up or not :).

        Nowwww…. How do I send?

      • Lol, now now, we can’t have anything bad happening to our new writer with the fanfic around here! 😛 For now, get to your destination safely!

        Sure, send it to me and I’ll give it a read-my email address is given on the widgets on the right hand corner of the blog but for reference it’s mariahnq@gmail.com.

        P.S. New York City, is it as amazing as it looks?

      • Back home, although I still don’t think I’ve mastered how to reply in the proper section.

        Aaaaand I just sent the excerpt to you so…. yeah.. *bites nails*

    • Lol, that is quite the drive the show induced in you! Which characters/plot point is the fanfic about? And yup, would love a read! ^_^

      • Read above, sorry I’m on my phone and haven’t mastered this proper section to reply thing.

  25. The ending was lacking something not because it was’t a happy ending but because a lot of questions were left unanswered. i don’t know i don’t feel satisfied

    • Oh yes, it was. 😦

      I’m sad. Of course half is because there was no happy ever after, but another half is because of how dissatisfied this ending has left us. It’s such a pity-for such an amazing and wonderfully thought out plot-you get this end that defies ever awesome thing about the show! WAAAEEEEEE!!! 😥

      • I feel really sad too. This isn’t a story about a guy who was hell bent on revenge and did pretty bad things so in the end he has to die but this is a story about a guy who is good and is one fault was trusting a bad person and doing everything he says believing he doing it for His country.

        The ending was really sad. I thought Soo will die because i can’t see a happy ending for Him but parksa if he had to die what are they trying to show someone can manipulate you and in the end even if your are a good person you need to die.

        The fact is i tuned into this show hoping to see how they gave parksa character farewell. It breaks my heart to know they haven’t thought it through till the end. it feels like they thought write a story and kill the lead to finish the story without giving him a proper closure

      • Park Sa deserved an epic farewell if he was to die-a true hero’s moment to die, so he died as Shi Hyun and not Park Sa but the show seems to have forgotten that towards the end.

    • I think that means there’s a Season two ahhhh

      • My question is, what is the significance of that cellphone in his hand? If he’s planning on starting a new life, who was he calling anyway? Plus, that cellphone looks like his old flip phone that he can only contact soo min with? I can’t zoom in on the cellphone so I’m not too sure. But, if it was the old cellphone then that would have mean that he must be calling soo min. That means, happy ending!

      • Avarachika, he’s not holding the flip phone-it’s just a normal phone he’s holding but that’s also hopeful-he gave up everything from his past but decides to go back there for Soo Min and Jin Suk.

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