Cruel City: Ep 9
The pacing of episode 9 is much slower and there are not that many emotionally gripping scenes. I’m not completely satisfied with some parts of this episode (which I will discuss later) but I’m glad that the drama is finally transitioning into the Pusan story arc. I used this analogy before in one of my previous posts, but oftentimes it feels like we have only seen a drop in the ocean so far. It is like Doctor’s Son & Co., and Hyung Min & Co. have only seen a small glimpse of a much larger and formidable organization. The fun with the Pusan story is that there is the sense of discovering the unknown and delving into an organization that truly operates in the shadows. Doctor’s Son is like this phantom that no one can catch, but Pusan seems to be on a whole different level. Yep, I want to see the big sharks! There is not much fun watching Hyung Min & Co. running around in circles trying to catch Shi Hyun…there is barely any suspense whenever Hyung Min almost catches Doctor’s Son (but fails), and I am not feeling Soo Min’s undercover operation yet either. But Pusan is IT, Pusan is where the stakes will be raised. Even Safari and Scale are scared of the higher ups at Pusan…how can Shi Hyun, Jin Sook, and Hyung Min take on this challenge?
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the bromance in this episode but I feel like the opening scene did not live up to my expectations. Here are Hyun Soo and Shi Hyun on the verge of death, and then all of a sudden the police come, Safari jumps ship, and Hyun Soo & Shi Hyun run away to safety. The end. It all just felt too rushed and too easy, especially after all of the build up in the ending scene of episode 8. Also what in the world is Hyung Min thinking when he stands in front of Shi Hyun’s car? Did he really think that they wouldn’t just run him over!?!? T___T Anyways I like the flashbacks to Hyun Soo & Shi Hyun’s bromance back in the day. These two have really been through thick & thin together. It seems like Hyun Soo has a fairly good family background (his mom gives this feeling of being wealthy). This makes me wonder why he got back into crime after serving his sentence, even though his family could’ve offered him a way out.
Unfortunately this episode gave Hyung Min more screentime. UGHHH. Sure, he is not doing as extreme things as shooting his coworkers or beating up witnesses, but he still gets on my nerves. How does Hyung Min have this magical ability to make girls fall for him? I have no clue. But this guy really has NO IDEA that he has this sort of effect on the ladies. I mean, his friend has to point it out to him that the Reporter Cha has a thing for him. And he still doesn’t get that Soo Min is crushing on him too. I think Soo Min/Reporter Cha will literally have to spell it out for him “I-LIKE-YOU-ROMANTICALLY” until he gets it. I think Hyung Min is paired well with Reporter Cha but I can also see why Soo Min has fallen for him–for instance, the scene where he teaches her how to pick the lock on handcuffs (am I the only one thinking that it is worrisome that handcuffs’ locks can be picked?!? O_O) shows his gentler side. Also part of me wonders….if Soo Min really does like Hyung Min this much, then did that influence her decision to go undercover?
As for the non-romantic aspect of Hyung Min’s character, I really love how not one, but TWO characters give him a really good talking to in this episode! First of all is Hyung Min’s dad, who harshly says that Hyung Min does not see things from multiple perspectives and that he does not care for others. SO TRUE! Hyung Min fails to look at people from multiple perspectives and once he makes someone out to be the criminal, he will stop at nothing to bring them down. Case in point: Remember Suh Young, the police officer/informant for Kang whom Hyung Min SHOT IN THE LEG?!?!
Secondly I love how Scale (another awesome character!!) epicly tells Hyung Min that he is not bound by blind loyalty, but rather by his will to survive and his obedience to the higher ups who have the power to take away his life. I wonder if Scale is perhaps foreshadowing when he says that if Hyung Min gets too deep into this, he himself or the people around him will get hurt. HMMM. I also wonder if this has any connection to Kyung Mi’s death. Did Pusan or a higher up in the police force not want Kyung Mi to discover Doctor’s Son? Did Pusan want to take out Doctor’s Son themselves, so they wiped out Kyung Mi instead?
My favorite scene in this episode is the scene with Jin Sook and Min (Shi hyun’s handler; I will refer to him by last name). I’ve been waiting to find out more about the past between these two and this scene only made me even more curious!! Throughout the whole entire scene I was all, what the heck!?!? I can’t figure out what happened!!!! Back in the day, Min asked Jin Sook to spy on Safari. But the bigger question is, DID SHE? Was she an informant for the police who later broke ties with them? Why was Min trying to get Jin Sook ‘out’ (as he put it); does it mean he was trying to pull an undercover agent out of the field or that he was trying to save the one he loved? I think Jin Sook might’ve worked as an informant since it sounds like there is more to the story than just Min asking her to spy on Safari and getting rejected. Anyways ironically, when Jin Sook asks “what can you do for me?” she doesn’t realize that Min actually can do something for her–he can protect Shi Hyun!!! And he has been protecting Shi Hyun, perhaps not just out of his duty as his handler, but also out of his love for Jin Sook!! OMG!! Also I wonder if Min’s connection to Jin Sook has any relation to his decision to send Shi Hyun to infiltrate Pusan. That way Jin Sook will not be going to Pusan alone–she can have Shi Hyun’s (and thus Min’s as well) support.
Too bad there are no Jin Sook & Shi Hyun scenes. Honestly in the beginning I was hesitant to actually ship Jin Sook x Shi Hyun as a romantic OTP because I knew they are more like noona & little bro. But lately I’ve been thinking more and more..omg should I just ship them anyways even though they are not gonna end up together as an OTP!?!?!? Their chemistry is just so freaking good, I don’t know how the writer can pass up such a great opportunity to explore Jin Sook & Shi Hyun’s sexual tension even more. I think I will harbor this futile hope in my heart…I mean even though it won’t happen I can always dream right?
Anyways I was reading another review for Cruel City and one thing that was brought up was how Soo Min’s romantic involvement with Shi Hyun will probably result in 1) Jin Sook and Shi Hyun finally having to define what their relationship; in other words, they will have to clarify that it is not a romantic one. 2) Jin Sook & Shi Hyun separating. This really hit me hard because I never even thought about this before. But it is so true!!! Omg I really hope that Soo Min will not put a rift between Jin Sook and Shi Hyun!!!
And lastly, we have the first kiss between Soo Min & Shi Hyun at the end of the episode! I don’t really know what to think about this kiss. I guess Shi Hyun found himself attracted to Soo Min, he got lost in the moment, and he ended up giving into his desire. But from what the previews show, it seems like he will take this a step further and get into a relationship with Soo Min….which is a bad move on his part because as long as Soo Min is close to him, she will only be in more danger. Also am I the only one kinda disappointed that Soo Min pretty much did nothing to get Shi Hyun to fall for her? I mean, her whole mission is to get close to Jin Sook in order to get close to Doctor’s Son. Sure she went through a lot to get to Jin Sook in the first place, but other than that Shi Hyun just falls into her hands on a silver platter. I guess Cruel City is taking the long route by having them fall for each other before they find out each others’ identities. ‘Cuz you know, that way it’ll be TRUE LOVE and they can have a shocking revelation where they find out the truth about each other later on! (I admit, I was a bit sarcastic in that last sentence.)
Also I don’t get why Soo Min is going around contacting her old friends when she is UNDERCOVER. What part of UNDERCOVER is that? I understand she is lonely and that she still cares about her friends, but Soo Min should’ve cut off all of her prior relations before going undercover. If she keeps in touch with her old pals that will only make it easier for potential enemies to trace her background/identity. And if she does get deeper into Jin Sook’s business, her old friends could be implicated too. This part made me feel like Soo Min is still not yet fully aware of the costs of being an undercover cop. Even though she understands that she will be giving up her virginity and that her life is in danger, it is not reality for her yet. Also I know that Soo Min is supposed to seem all cutesy and open-minded towards Shi Hyun when she starts teasing him about being a dangerous gangster, but it only makes it seem like she is still unaware of the real danger at hand here. I don’t see the cuteness when she’s all “SO YOU’RE A DANGEROUS GANGSTER HUH?” *NUDGE NUDGE* Girl, what are you gonna do when the gangsters who aren’t undercover cops are with you? Are you gonna go in from the side?
I think this episode could’ve been better but it seems like we’re gearing up for the new story arc of Pusan, which I’m quite excited for. Although there is more of a focus on the romance, thankfully it doesn’t cloud over the entire episode. I’m still wary over the romance especially after the preview (SHI HYUN WILL TAKE SOO MIN’S VIRGINITY!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!) so I will have to wait ’til episode 10 to talk more about that!
I’ve been listening to one of the theme songs on repeat, “Hurt” by Kim Yong Jin. My favorite part is the beginning of the song. *w*