Cruel City: Ep 7
I’ve been waiting and waiting for
Shi Hyun episodes 7-8 of Cruel City to air since last week, and so far episode 7 has met up to my expectations. This episode is very dialogue heavy, has less Shi Hyun-fan service, and doesn’t emphasize the shock-factor as much. I actually really enjoy this change because the dialogue is great and Hyung Min is actually CALM and sorta cool-headed for once! (BIG SHOCK, I know!)
Shi Hyun’s character development felt a bit stunted in this episode. Maybe it’s because there is only so much they can cram into this one episode, or because we are still mainly seeing the gentle and caring side of Shi Hyun. And when we do see Shi Hyun’s darker side or his work as an undercover cop, it’s almost like the drama is scared to show too much of it. It doesn’t take the next step and show us the tricky business & the moral dilemma of being an undercover cop. In particular, there’s this one part in the episode when Shi Hyun reports a drug transaction to his handler and then personally goes in to stop it. (in other words, he wipes out all of the people involved in the transaction) This scene felt like a really random fan service attempt for all the Doctor’s Son fans because all it does is show Shi Hyun single-handedly defeating all of the baddies and then tiredly going “I’m ok” when his handler asks if he was hurt. Total fan service, eh. It doesn’t show anything beyond the action!
Anyways I am glad that Shi Hyun cares immensely about both Hyun Soo and Jin Sook, even to the point where he is playing the mediator between the two of them as he tries to stop them from literally getting at each others’ throats. Sure, Shi Hyun also needs to consider the stability of his organization, since an internal conflict will only hurt him in the end, but there is more to it than just that. Shi Hyun is letting his personal connections to both Hyun Soo & Jin Sook influence his decisions.
I guess I should’ve seen the whole Hyun Soo vs. Jin Sook rivalry coming, but I actually didn’t predict it at all. T_T” I guess I had this misconception that the hierarchy between these three had already been established and that they were content that way. Big mistake on my part because Hyun Soo and Jin Sook will inevitably vie for power no matter what their position is, they cannot just be sitting ducks in this ever-changing system of rankings. Also, I’m kinda confused about just what Hyun Soo/Jin Sook/Doctor’s Son’s positions are in their gang. I know Shi Hyun is the boss, but what exactly do Hyun Soo and Jin Sook do? I thought that Jin Sook was more like a business partner, whereas Hyun Soo was Doctor’s Son’s right-hand man, but now I’m not so sure.
Ok I KNOW I’m gonna sound really weird saying this, and I KNOW that Shi Hyun & Jin Sook only have a noona/younger bro relationship but….they have SUCH good chemistry together. I’m not saying that I’m shipping them or anything but…omg. Whenever they are together, they just ooze of amazing chemistry. Their scenes are so charged and intense in this episode that I couldn’t help but rethink what their relationship is. Shi Hyun and Jin Sook view each other as family–Shi Hyun views Jin Sook as his auntie that he must protect and make happy, whereas Jin Sook views Shi Hyun almost like her child, whom she will support and do anything for. But are they ever anything more than family? I also find it interesting how Jin Sook & Shi Hyun are both really protective over each other, but it is exactly this protectiveness which makes them butt heads with each other. Jin Sook will not back down from attacking Hyun Soo because she is determined to protect Shi Hyun.
Anyways my favorite scenes in this episode are 1) when Shi Hyun asks Jin Sook to leave the business again. 2) when Jin Sook confronts Shi Hyun about Hyun Soo’s involvement in her hit. Both scenes are really sad because Shi Hyun and Jin Sook are just trying to protect each other but they are also hurting each other in the arguments. In the first scene I love the moment when Jin Sook asks if Shi Hyun thinks she is holding him back. She says it out of anger and disappointment, but at the same time it seems like there is a niggling fear that maybe someday, it could come true. In the second scene my favorite part is when Jin Sook tearfully says that Shi Hyun knew all along that it was Hyun Soo who ordered the hit on her. It is like she is asking him if he is siding with Hyun Soo or with her. Also it is a big thing for Jin Sook to show her tears to someone because of her pride, so she is obviously really hurt in this scene.
^Jin Sook is so gorgeous, and I especially love her earrings.
So I’m sure it is not secret by now that I am a huge fan of Jin Sook. I have a big girl crush on her, ahaha! I know I was harping on and on about how no character is totally good or evil in my previous post but……..I admit it, I am totally biased towards Jin Sook. T_T” I just can’t help it. I love her strong personality, her loyalty to Shi Hyun, the way she talks, the way she holds herself..I just love everything about Jin Sook. There is a strong emphasis on how Jin Sook is the one who makes her own decisions, she answers to herself and no one else, and she will do things her own way. She is strong even though we also see her vulnerable side. It seems like she sees remnants of her younger self in Soo Min, which is why she wants to take Soo Min under her wing and help her. At the same time though, I know Jin Sook has a darker side and it seems like it will be revealed more in episode 8.
^Wow Soo Min looks so different with her bangs tied back! I love her earrings.
Soo Min is now Jin Sook’s underling and she has some great moments in this episode, so she’s actually kinda growing on me. O_O I was really happy when she set Hyung Min back in his place by exploding at him and kicking him out of her house, HAHA. Ok maybe it was just because I really needed a character to vent out my frustrations on Hyung Min, but I totally basked in that moment! Even though Soo Min only has one side of the story (Hyung Min actually helped her get out of jail too) I think she is still getting at something when she says that Hyung Min didn’t really help her, nor does he show that he cares about her. Now Soo Min knows that maybe she cannot trust 100% in her handler and that she cannot always depend on Hyung Min to help her out in a tough situation. Also Hyung Min cannot just expect Soo Min to be at his every call, he too has to make concessions and cultivate trust in their partnership. If these two want to survive in this undercover operation, they’re gonna have to learn to work together and trust each other.
I think Soo Min is more emotionally invested in the underworld/this undercover operation than she thinks she is. She may view herself as an outsider, an undercover agent whose only goal is to infiltrate the organization and gather information to get to Doctor’s Son but…she is becoming more of an insider as time goes on. Her whole spiel about being an orphan and being stuck in her circumstances could just be an act, but something says otherwise; she is actually showing genuine parts of herself to Jin Sook. Also she has now found acceptance and belonging by Jin Sook’s side…she must feel some sense of loyalty to Jin Sook even though she knows that Jin Sook is one of her targets. Hopefully we get to see more of Soo Min’s growing conflict between her loyalty to Hyung Min vs. Jin Sook.
Another revolutionary thing happened in this episode….Soo Min hit on Shi Hyun, and it kinda worked. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! First of all she recognizes him and chases him down so that she can ask if he’s all better. Then she pokes where his wound is out of curiosity. And she gets into his car, uninvited, demanding a ride. The most infuriating thing?!!? SHE GETS HIS NUMBER. OMG!!!!!! I COMMEND YOU, SOO MIN! I have new found respect for this girl! Ok ok, on a more serious note, I think they just forced in this random Soo Min & Shi Hyun scene to remind us that they will be an OTP in the future. Totally unnecessary! And really, is Shi Hyun really gonna let a random stranger get into his car? Is he really just gonna hand over his cellphone and let her get his number? I THINK NOT. (Maybe I’m just being too protective AHAHA)
Oh and I forgot Hyung Min. AHAHA. Thankfully there was not that much of Hyung Min in this episode, otherwise I would’ve been much more annoyed with him. There are no grandiose “Imma get revenge” claims and no cringe-worthy interrogation scenes. So, Hyung Min is alright for now. Also I think it helped that his scenes have a lot of humorous dialogue (maybe it’s just me but I thought they were funny). I like the scene when he eats out with the lady reporter. He just sits there with this deadpan expression while she drunkenly blabs on and on, AHAHA.
I found this review to be hard to write because there was so much packed into this one episode! I actually had to rewrite my review again because my first draft was not up to par with what I wanted to say. Anyways I guess it is good that I wrote a separate review for ep7 rather than combining an episodes 7-8 post because there was just so much to talk about in ep7 alone!
I am curious about episode 8 because it seems like things are gonna go down between Jin Sook and Hyun Soo. Also it shows Soo Min getting dangerously close to Hyung Min while she gazes at his sleeping face. HMM.
On a side note, first of all me being the stalker I am, I looked up the ages of Jung Kyung Ho (Shi Hyun) and Kim Yu-Mi (Jin Sook) and they actually are only a few years apart. O_O I thought that Jin Sook was supposed to be in her 40’s but the actress herself is only in her early 30’s. So props to Kim Yu-Mi because she really does give the feel of a more mature noona! Also is there anyone else who is really enjoying seeing all of Jin Sook’s pretty dresses, jewelry, and shoes? *w* I’m not that into fashion but I really like seeing Jin Sook’s clothes!