The popularity of this drama is rising and I’m loving it with every step forward. Odd things occur but nothing too serious…yet and everything is anything but heartless. Which reminds me, my drama buddy has started her own writing venture on loreinstonescities! E-kun is guest blogging about this noir, with that little bit of “extra” her name suggests. Stop over and give her some support. You may just laugh yourself to tears. Believe me— her delivery is hilarious! So take a peek, for a fresh perspective and get a giggle to shake off some of the intensity this drama dishes out.
Ninth City Sweep
Police arrive and Safari skedaddles, as the Doctor grabs an embarrassed Soo and splits. So, when the Unit plus Hyung-min enter, no one’s to be found. Hyung-min races to catch the Doctor at the impass but the Doctor stops, shines his bright and barrels ahead. This tactic doesn’t go unnoticed by Soo who perplexed Hyung-min’s constantly spared— is it cause he’s 5-0 or 5-0’s girl is dead?
Home, Soo puffs, more men and he could’ve taken Safari, which along with a confirmation “Jingjung” is fairly infamous phrase for Soo. For when they met, he’d made the same complaint after being bullied. Back then, the Doctor offered his services and was turned down, only to show up, when Soo was cornered again and they took down the crew together. But in the scuffle, Soo took a knife in the Doctor’s place. On their release Soo’s mother gave the Doctor money to fund his education, explaining Soo’d been framed and assumed he had too. Soo chuckled surprised he stayed but the Doctor apologizes for not using the money well.
Min meets his boys; one for reinstatement, the other for a pow-wow. Min’s pulled some strings for Hyung-min, while he tells the Doctor to focus on the big dogs (Pusan and Safari) while he shuts down the wholesalers. Hyung-min needs Soo-min to be self-sufficient, so he gives her lesson on unlocking handcuffs, and admits he saw the Doctor’s profile, but his attempt to sketch it out is a massive fail.
The Doctor gives Soo the option leave but his embarrassment is fueling his fervor to stay in. As the crew assess their barely there goods, Safari gets a backwards pep talk from Safari Jr., who reiterates the fifteen day deadline. Safari then learns Emo’s in the dark about the Doctor’s near death experience and realizes the Doctor’s using Emo too. Therefore, Emo’s deal is the way to trap him. Leaving Emo’s, the Doctor runs into an elated Soo-min who tries to chat him up again. He’s caught off guard, with no interest in small talk, so when she best lying skills wane, he leaves.
Hyung-min’s become a regular at Scale University and lays out the idea, he’s just a distributor and pawn to tamp down the Doctor, by a higher power. He offers to deal but Scale doesn’t budge, schooling him that no one acts based on loyalty, only survival
Scale: In our world, the word loyalty has never existed. We’re all enemies doing this knowing death is imminent. We’re all trying to survive. We are obedient to the one who has the power to kill us. Can you kill me dongsaeng?
He continues that fire is dangerous and Hyung-min won’t be the only one burnt but he snatches him up and seethes it’s Scale who going up in flames and being discarded. His is business that’s being sold and distributed but he’s seen no profit. When Hyung-min leaves Scale tries to get Pusan Jr. on the line, who relays, a message that patience is sweet.
Min shows up at Emo’s with a fruit basket and questions about Safari. Distance is best, if she wants out but Emo has no plans for legitimacy. For she’s bought into Safari’s spiel about there being no way out. Plus there’s nothing he can do for her anymore— “It’s too late.”
Hyung-min surprises and pisses off Pros Ahn with an accusation of bribery, when his Pros Buddy disappoints with no new Donghae Construction leads, then dupes him into another “date” with Drunk Reporter (Cha Hyo-joo), who also happens to be Congressman Cha’s little girl. Also doesn’t hurt Reporter digs him. So it’s no surprise she hoodwinks him with info on Donghae (the take over could be a shell company), then fake drunkenness. Only this time, they end up at her place where Hyung-min gets his second sexual invitation in under a week.
But while he was out, Soo-min gets ditched by Joo-young for Ahn and sees them together. But when Hyung-min ignores her, stems and leaves in a huff. Hyung-min comes home with snacks and Soo-min demands answers, using Kyung-mi as an excuse. But Hyung-min’s grown, with nothing to tell, yet wants the opposite from Soo-min, who refuses, then storms out to cry and wail.
Emo replays Safari’s proposal and goes for a drive that lands her at Soo-min’s door with a bottle in hand. They have girl talk over drinks about their loves, which both are, as Soo-min puts it— “A love that can never be.”
Hyung-min is surprised to find his dad visiting his brother but isn’t swayed by is apparent concern. He blames Daddy Ji for Hyung’s current condition, believing if he’d approved his musician dream he’d never done drugs. But Ji disagrees.
Commissioner Ji: Then what about you? It’s a shame you didn’t become a prosecutor, but you are no doubt and amazing police officer. You chose your own path and no one told you what to do.
Hyung-min scoffs at this coming from someone thwarting his investigation at every turn, but Daddy reminds that all he did was save his son’s career, cause well, he did shoot a colleague. Then he leaves him with a piece of advice, that people are multifaceted, there’s always more to them than what’s visible.
Commissioner Ji checks on Ahn’s progress with the Unit, while his son reports to Min, Ahn’s in bed with the Doctor’s Son,citing Emo’s release. But Min strategically plants, the opposite could also be true; releasing Emo equals a Prosecutor Doctor’s Son trap. A cooped up Soo-min’s apologetic call interrupts them but later Min wants the deets on his informant but Hyung-min keeps mum with a small. Since a Hyung-min date was a bust, Soo-min tries to hook up with Joo-young but she’s busy. As a last resort, she phones Pororo (the Doctor) during his workout, which he ignores, then returns.
Soo-min’s waiting ready to share drinks , when the Doctor arrive but he has a “If Strangers, No Drink” policy. This makes her huffy, to his amusement, but she interrupts his mirth as mockery and admits self-consciously to looking different. However, the Doctor hasn’t noticed, to him, she’s exactly the same. She wants to know his name, so he beckons her closer and smirks it’s a national secret. She calls him lame and renames him “gangster” in her phone. He has all the signs: random stab wounds,humorless and brooding, with pearls of approach wisdom. She facetiously offers to beat up his bullies for him, then mimics him briefly and laughs he’s breaking his rules and pokes him a few times. The Doctor watches amused but his eyes darken as he watches her, then grabs her wrist mid-poke, for a kiss.
Ripgal: Episode 8 set the bar so high in terms of intensity and awesomeness this episode felt a lot less happening and gritty to me. There were lots of conversations and interactions between our main players, but none of them were as powerful as effective as those in Ep 8. Even the last meeting between our OTP didn’t get me all high and excited as Safari and Shi-hyun’s earlier. Still reeling in too much excitement over the last I guess. Nevertheless, a solid episode.
Unnichan: We should be used to this tactic at this point— the high, then the resolution. I welcome it, given what we dealt with in the last episode. I’m actually pretty glad we have episodes like this one. It sets the stage for the next event without throwing too much information at us. The kiss was fine but not nearly as much fun as the random meets before then, the Doctor’s distraction, her effect on him.
Ripgal: One of the better things that I loved in this ep, Shi-hyun and Soo’s past. Now we know and understand Shi-hyun’s emotional attachment to Soo, in that his feelings for Soo are perfectly reasonable and justified. It’s a very interesting theme, the theme of gratitude/owing someone, because it touches on Shi-hyun’s inner world, as a human, and not how and what he’s supposed to do as an undercover or a gangster. It all started off as an undercover mission, but gradually grew into something more affectionate. Feelings oh feelings, they are not logical, dangerous is one who tries to rationalize.
Unnichan: Me and feelings are — eck! But it does come back to what I said earlier about the things we experience with a person. It creates a bond, that no one else can break. An experience like jail changes the way you see the world and interact with people, what you expect from others etc.
Ripgal: And a friend like Soo who walks in when everyone else deserts Shi-hyun, a true friend indeed, who sticks through thick and thin with the man.
Unnichan: This is why I love Soo. For me, there’s no pretense with him. He can be trusted as much as this world allows and on top of that he respects the Doctor. And there’s no one else that does all of these things wholeheartedly. I’d even go far enough to say that Soo doesn’t want anything else in return, because the Doctor has already given it all. I adore that.
Ripgal: Absolutely loved the brief comforting moment between Shi-hyun and Soo in the covert lair of theirs. Though half the time I was like thinking, shouldn’t he send Soo to the hospital or tend to his wounds or something? His injury looked mighty serious to me. lol But Shi-hyun’s reiteration and recollection of how Soo’s mom warned him off in tears when they first got out of prison, that was an excellent flashback sequence.The bitterness in his tone, the genuine apology arhh, I wanted to give him a teddy bear hug! Awwww..
Unnichan: Ha! They were both injured but Soo looked half dead. Jingjung. Lol. But I’d hoped we’d see that Mom again and we did! I’m sure it was supposed to reveal more about the Doctor but for me, it was more about Soo and who he was before jail. That he has a mother out there that truly loves him. Wants the best for him, thinks the best of him. She believed his innocence and knew her son would only befriend someone who was decent like himself. It was nice to see.
Ripgal: So I giggled a bit when Shi-hyun responded about Soo’s mom having given him the money, and that he’d wanted more! It was a perfect reliever to what could have been a stressful walk down memory lane. Loved it. Our resident Doctor can be funny even without trying to be! lol
Unnichan: You’re right. I chuckled. It’s also another indicator of what type of relationship these two have. He can lighten his load slightly with Soo. He’s as transparent as he can be in this situation with him and it’s always nice to see.
Ripgal: My major gripe with this episode? No Safari and Shi-hyun scenes or convos T__T I think I’ve grown too attached to these characters I don’t get kicks if I don’t see them battling wits against each other. I think I was hoping for a lot more from them after what’d transpired between them in 8. The follow up just didn’t feel as charged or as intense. Felt that writer could have dealt with the aftermath of the whole sequence better. I am such a nitpick of things.
Unnichan: Clearly. I didn’t really care, though I found Safari’s reaction to the police and his disappearance rather comical. If you remember, episode 8 was their first face to face meeting and they didn’t actually speak every episode. Also, it worked for me, because at this point, there’s nothing that can truly be said between them. What would Safari say? “Pak Sa! I’m really going to get you—- next time”? No, at this point, there needs to be nothing but action from both sides.
Ripgal: Emo and Safari’s meeting, I think Shi-hyun knows? Or he suspects all this while that she’s been in connection with him. But it’s rather not so logic that he can never find Safari (he could just follow Emo or probe her further), or do you think he’s just pretending not to? Could he be also using Emo the way Safari is using her? I dunno, I wish we can pry into his heart.
Unnichan: Don’t you know the Doctor knows everything? And it’s not because he omniscient, it’s because Jin-sook’s a liar and a dummy. She makes the same mistakes over and over and over again. How can you do the same thing and expect a different result? Bonkers. I know they say the Doctor is looking for Safari, but that’s not actually the case, is it? He’s in search of how to take him down. How to get to Pusan. He’s not trying to kill him (unlike some). And with Emo constantly under-minding him, he’s forced to use her. She makes it easy. Then he uses their interactions as more time to figure out Safari’s next move.
Ripgal: I agree with your earlier view on Emo, that she wants to go higher, for her sake. But I also stand by my view that she’s also doing it because she’s already in this too deep to be able to retract anymore. If she doesn’t do anything, Shi-hyun won’t get anywhere and may risk being busted soon enough by Hyung-min. Might as well go all out to elevate Shi-hyun further, gain access to Busan. I am that positive, that she’s not in this merely for her own greedy selfish reasons.
Unnichan: No, see, this is exactly why she shouldn’t do anything. Because she’s not capable of winning. She doesn’t have what it takes. I wish she did. Then she’d be badass. then, I’d love her. But instead she’s complete disappointment. She can’t go all out because she doesn’t actually know what she’s doing or who she’s working with. If she was savvy, I could agree but she’s not, so I can’t. Also she isn’t in too deep but I will agree, she’s bought into the idea (thanks to Safari and her inability to know her own mind) that she has. Prime example, her relationship (er past), with Min.
Ripgal: Actually, her meeting with Min confused me, I don’t know what writer is trying to tell us. One of the earlier complaints I had with this connection was that everything seemed to coincidental, that Min’s actually in the picture all this while. Maybe yes, Min still loves Emo, to want her to get away from Safari as soon as possible. Maybe they were lovers, from Emo’s reaction to his constant urging pleas. But I wonder why he hasn’t made an effort before? Just because he’s a cop? I now wonder if Min placed Shi-hyun there to look after Emo lol who knows.
Unnichan: He hasn’t just been waiting and doing nothing, he gave an option years ago. But I do think with everything so raw at the moment, it caused him to put a foot forward once again. I got the impression that they once dated, maybe she knew he was cop, maybe she was his informant but when he left her beat or perhaps the undercover world, he wanted her to as well and she didn’t. They seemed to both want something the other couldn’t give at the time. He seems to never have forgotten her and possibly regrets how they parted. She on the other hand, continued to live her life. In regards to that, I think she definitely feels they’ve made their choices. Also I wouldn’t denounce Min’s involvement from the beginning just yet, because I have a suspicion it will all be apart of a cohesive whole in the end.
Ripgal: Maybe it’s just Min! He bothers me. I still like the guy for wanting to protect Shi-hyun and Hyung-min at the same time, but I’m starting to have doubts about him and his motivations after watching this episode. It seems like he’s hiding a lot more than we know, and has other intentions that we might not want to know about. We all know how he found out about the deal (through Shi-hyun), but there was something in his eyes and the way he responded to Hyung-mi, that just made me go, hmmm, there might be more than what tells the eye here. I hope I’m not jumping to conclusions.
Unnichan: Ha! Is there anyone that you don’t like? I’ve always been hesitant concerning, ever since he trashed his award in the first episode. Not because he did it, I actually understood that, it’s the way he did it. He’s been shady from the beginning but that doesn’t negate the other attempts he makes for the our other players. There’s not a person living that doesn’t have their own agenda, so it won’t be surprising to find out he’s got more going on. I even have an inkling what it may be, but time will tell. For now, we wait and remain on guard. Dongsaeng, that’s the name of our game.
Ripgal: Soo-min’s friendship with Emo, I like it. I dunno why but I find Emo and Soo-min lonely people. They have people and acquaintances around them, but they have nobody to confide in. Emo has Shi-hyun but he barely says more than required, she still keeps things from him. Soo-min has Hyung-min but he’s always so busy on Shi-hyun’s heels. It’s comforting to see Emo and Soo-min talk about life and about little things. It doesn’t matter what you say, but it does feel good when you have someone to hear you out.
Unnichan: In a perfect world, they’d be good friends. They are similar and I don’t believe they truly have anyone else in the world. For Soo-min, now with the undercover thing, it sets her apart and for Emo it’s a corner, she’s put herself in. However, everyone needs someone they can confide in if they want.
Ripgal: I dunno if I’m thinking ahead, I have a feeling Emo’s lover might not be Shi-hyun? I guess it’s just a bit complicated if writer decides to go there.
Unnichan: Ever the hopeless Emo supporter, eh? Ha. But that makes no sense because she clearly referred to him as such in a previous episode when he called. The moniker isn’t factual, though she and everyone I know, would love for it to be true (for them). It’d be interesting if you were right, that she wasn’t caught up in that fantasy, over a kid she raised. I doubt it though. Soo-min’s assessment of her relationship with Hyung-min sent off too much flicker of understanding for me to buy that. But if I’m wrong, I’ll be relieved.
Ripgal: Soo-min and Joo Young, it looks like they will cross paths in the dark world soon enough, buddies or not. I wonder why she’s still providing the prosecutor service though, it’s not like he didn’t know she was the culprit behind the drug infusion? Or being the corrupted mind he is, he’s just going along with Shi-hyun’s plan? Wonder if Hyung-min’s dad is kept in the loop? Hmmmm.
Unnichan: Seems like a similar situation to Tooth. When he showed up and saw the Doctor and Driver there, he didn’t believe he was setup by Joo-young, he assumed she was used as well. I’m certain that’s the case here. Ahn isn’t the sharpest, therefore, I doubt he believes she’s an actual plant. And as long as they use Ahn, Joo-young will be by his side. He can’t be trusted but he’ll let his guard down around her. It also helps them keep tabs on him (where to find him, etc.). He’s corrupt but he’s a character similar to Emo in my book. The great thing is, no one is tied emotionally to him, so disposal won’t be an issue on either side.
Ripgal: And Soo-min’s crush, I can only rationalize the one as Hyung-min. If it’s Shi-hyun, I am not sold and it doesn’t make much sense to me.
Unnichan: She was talking about Hyung-min, no doubt. She doesn’t know the Doctor well enough to make any type of statements about him. Plus she’d use different phrasing to describe him.
Ripgal: I was quite irritated by Soo-min’s outburst at Hyung-min, though I understood her position as Kyung-mi’s sister, and possibly her having a crush on him. But if I were Hyung-min and I was doing my job (or just meeting someone for drinks), and I get trashed on like that, I’d be just as furious.Yes, Soo-min’s young and the world is in her hands, but not my way of dealing with things. She’s got some growing up to do.
Unnichan: Soo-min is treading on very thin ice in this area with me. She wasn’t upset because she’s Kyung-mi’s sister. If she were, I might have more patience with her. She was angry because she was pissed he might be moving on with someone that isn’t her. I’m not in the mood for that. Hyung-min doesn’t have to explain ANYTHING to her. Whether he’s dating, doing his job, whatever. They aren’t friends, they aren’t family, they’re not even colleagues. She’s an asset that happens to be his dead almost fiance’s faux kid sister. There’s nothing between them and she needs to get a grip.
Ripgal: My like for Hyung-min is growing by each episode. Not just because he’s collected himself a lil bit more, he’s doing his best to help Soo-min the way he can. Although his using of Soo-min earlier was pretty rash, it was also a choice taken up by Soo-min. I think writer is pretty consistent with his dominant and chauvinistic character, hasn’t made him a softie after Kyung-mi’s death.
Unnichan: Hyung-min has always been likable (and I still like him). And it’s true, he’s softening a little, joking around, letting a little light in. But I won’t let him using Soo-min go that easily, he’s very prejudice and I don’t like that. There are consequences for every action and I hope this one bites him a bit. His initial interpretation of Soo-min is slowly dissolving and that will probably hurt him more. It’s important not to judge too harshly, too quickly and Hyung-min hasn’t learned that lesson in life yet.
Ripgal: He also appeared in a lot more in this episode, with different characters which may be crucial to the bigger and real picture. Admittedly I loved his scenes more in here (than let’s say Shi-hyun’s) because they gave insight to what may be hidden behind the veil, and how resolved he is in wanting to solve the case altogether.
Unnichan: His connection to all the characters is key and hopefully will get the results we all want. Whether through the cops, prosecutors, or the gangsters themselves. I appreciate this aspect about him. He has a superior air, I don’t care for, but he’s unafraid to step to anyone that may have the answers he needs.
Ripgal: In particular his conversation with Scale, I think it was one of his smartest and most thought out in this episode. Granted Scale is also a force to be reckoned with, it is always exciting to see them play around with words that are so true and which reach right into the heart. They both are very aware of what is happening, and who is the mastermind, but we can always trust writer to make us want more by not putting things out in clear yet. Best Line award goes to Scale for his utterance of how he can be alive – because of his fear of the one who controls him. How sickening but true, you only live because you fear.
Unnichan: Isn’t that true for all of us? Fear is a great motivator, especially if it’s channeled positively. Scale hit it on the head. It’s funny but I’ve grown to like him more and more. Though cruel, he’s straightforward. He has this way of being pretentious and purposely evasive or condescending without actually being offensive. I loved when he said, “You thought we have some pitiful kind of loyalty…” Hyung-min has a lot of prejudices and hangups, so I like that he attends Scale School every couple episodes. It really works to give him the insight and understanding he lacks. Hyung-min walks around with alot of machismo but he doesn’t know the half. That no matter what, the core of a person, is the same. We are all slave to something. We all sell out in some way. It’s life, we’re human. There’s very little difference between one person and next.
Ripgal: His convo with Prosecutor Dad also makes me think, Dad is fishy. Very fishy. Granted his words and actions earlier may have been entirely genuine and were for the sake of Hyung-min, I still believe his role isn’t as simple as daddy wanting son to be safe and sound. Either he’s one of them, or that he’s also been plotting to catch Busan for ages.
Unnichan: Daddy Ji is by no means on the up and up but he knows his son better than anyone. It’s Hyung-min that doesn’t know what’s going on. I loved the conversation between he and Dad because his assessment of Hyung-min is so very true. And he gave him great advice. Hyung-min sees everything one-sided (or perhaps its more that he compartmentalizes everything?) and that hurts his personal life. We saw it with Kyung-mi and Soo-min but it’s startlingly, damaging with his brother and father.
Ripgal: Hyung-min and busybody reporter HAHA. I think this ep gave me quite some relief with all the occasional stuff that aren’t heartless and cruel. Confirmed girl has some huge crush on Hyung-min, is tempting him with tid-bits of privileged info, and wants to sleep with him?! I am interested! Not that I’m shipping, but Hyung-min seems a lot less guarded when he’s with her? And seems to be easing into the “friendly zone” slowly? I don’t want him to forget Kyung-mi this soon, but at least, guy’s got someone to talk to? Or say, at least he’s got a friend.
Unnichan: He won’t ever forget Kyung-mi and that’s not my issue. Drunk Reporter is just not my speed. I don’t like that she uses work to get sex. She pretends to be drunk to get a man to her house(in her bed). What kind of sleaze of a woman? You don’t even know this man. It’s true he finds her cute and for him, that’s nice. To have someone outside his tragedy to bring a little laughter, I just don’t care for her approach. Can’t women be upstanding anymore? There’s nothing wrong with being direct or even indirect but manipulation just isn’t for me. But doesn’t the actress remind you of Nam Sang-mi?
Ripgal: That leads to the last scene, the final scene that everyone has been anticipating (not me because I want the man to myself grrrr lol). It was good one, but hmmm, not very convincing or compelling to me. Maybe because there’s just no reason for him to just go for the kiss like that IMO. It felt… I dunno… lame? Why do you think Shi-hyun did that? I don’t think he likes her…yet. Maybe it’s a temporary lust thing? Or he’s attracted but doesn’t show it? Anyway, I don’t buy them atm.
Unnichan: Lame? Poor Doctor! But if that’s how you truly feel, I’d say that’s a good thing. He isn’t versed in wining and dining women. He’s new to that type of thing, I’m certain. But, for me, I was surprised, but ok with it. It’s an aspect of himself that we never see. I interpreted it as him wanting a taste of what she has, that bright, flirtatious joy. It’s lust certainly but he’s been interested in her since the Pororo band-aid. He gets easily distracted by that interest too, so this was definitely happening soon. It was only a matter of time. Perhaps, I’m just glad he didn’t waste any? It’s an intriguing moment because he’s a deliberator but he didn’t take much time to mull that over. He thought it, he decided, he did it. His eyes told us as much. It was pretty classic really— Stop, stare, lean, result! Lol. When I look at it that way… It’s kinda hot.
Ripgal: Don’t get me wrong, I liked their cute conversation in the beginning, about his job and his name. Shi-hyun’s such an awful pretender, I could almost see him wanting to break holding his laughter in. His joke was awfully lame and cold too LOL I now see thru the real Soo Min, in just wanting to be friends with this interesting ajusshi, she’s a lonely girl and she wants someone to talk to. I get it.
Unnichan: Cold? Hmm. It was lame but true. That’s what I found interesting. It’s one of those things that no one believes if you say it. Yet, it actually applies to him, though he was only being half serious. For Soo-min, she’s attracted to him but what I loved was her “gangster” assessment. It was also something that she was only half serious about but is an actual fact (sorta) where he’s concerned.
Ripgal: You know maybe I’m just giving myself an excuse not to like Soo-min here because the man just went for the kill after giving her those irresistible sexy gazes. I want one too… *sulk*
Unnichan: Heh. Well, I made a decision long ago to live vicariously through Soo-min where it comes to the Doctor (which I rarely do) and I plan to do just that. I’m not the envious type. My suggestion? Chinggu, you gotta learn to enjoy it.