Drama Recaps
City Hall: Episode 3
by | July 12, 2009 | 51 Comments

(written by Samsooki, editing, layout, design and many many late nights by 0timelost, cleown, and mead33)

City Hall: Episode 3 – Of Baendaengis and Men

We left off Episode 2 with Jo Gook and BB discussing the future of Inju as one would discuss buying or selling a condo. BB asked Jo Gook to take over Inju and become its mayor, but Jo Gook has apparently set his sights higher. For reasons only a son abandoned by a father would understand, Jo Gook wishes for something more from BB, and declines to take over Inju. Jo Gook’s path upward is clear in his mind – municipal government, then provincial government, then the National Assembly, and then finally, the Blue House; there shouldn’t be any reason for a detour through Inju City.

But BB mocks Jo Gook’s lack of understanding, and laughing a very harsh laugh (well, he tries to laugh – it is clear that BB has never laughed a day in his life as a Sith Lord). BB’s wheezing laughter shreds Jo Gook’s pride, as it slowly becomes clear that BB doesn’t seem to have Jo Gook’s long-term interests at heart at all.

BB reveals that he wants to build his political base at Inju (as a first step in BB’s path to the Blue House), and to do that, he wanted Jo Gook to take over Inju by becoming the mayor. Disappointed at Jo Gook’s lack of interest, BB gives Jo Gook a final warning. If Jo Gook doesn’t want Inju, then he should put a puppet into that spot instead. Jo Gook leaves BB’s compound, finally understanding that maybe he isn’t the heir-apparent, after all.

After a rough visit with BB, and feeling beaten down and humiliated, Jo Gook heads to the one place where he feels he can get some comfort and solace. He goes to his fiancée’s apartment.

Wait. Fiancée?!

Meet Go Go Hae, the very elegant. Go Hae, the very beautiful. Go Hae of the flawless skin, perfect hair and warm smile. Go Hae, daughter of one of the richest men in Korea, and engaged to be married to Jo Gook. If Jo Gook is Korea’s Renaissance Man, then Go Hae is Korea’s Mona Lisa, with a smile that usually means anything but content or happy.

And, in this case, Go Hae is not too happy with Jo Gook. Her smile barely changes though, as she discusses her disappointment that her very own fiancé didn’t tell her that he went from the provincial government to deputy mayor of Inju City. But Go Hae reveals that she isn’t upset at him for not telling her what happened; rather, she is upset because it looks like he has taken a backwards step away from their ultimate goal, which is to become the President and First Lady of Korea. Way to kick a Jo Gook when he’s down…

In a coy fashion, Go Hae then asks if Jo Gook will head back down to Inju in the morning, which surprises Jo Gook, who remarks that she seem willing to do things that shouldn’t be done. In a rather telling reply, Go Hae admits that it was her dad that told her to up the level of her charms on Jo Gook. Interesting.

Meanwhile, at some secret hotel room, it is business as usual for the local Inju politicians. The Mayor, his Chief of Staff, and Council Member Min Joo Hwa are busy at work, transferring the budget money appropriated for the Miss Baendaengi Beauty Contest to a golf bag, which will then be put into the car of Boo Jung Han, the Mayor’s crony friend and incumbent National Assembly member.

Morning comes to Inju, and we find two developments at City Hall: They are trying to move City Hall’s physical location, building to a new site, which is causing certain landowners to profit nicely. And Mi Rae has not shown up for work- she is using up her vacation days, location unknown.


As Jo Gook slips away from another pointless City Hall meeting, he is met outside by reporters asking about the Miss Baendaengi contest and the issues of sexism inherent in beauty contests. Jo Gook steals the show, using all of Mi Rae’s arguments that she used on Jo Gook when she was pleading her case to be allowed to participate. “Is beauty only skin deep? Is beauty just about physical appearance?” Jo Gook asks rhetorically and breaks out his Janet Jackson X move saying, “That’s not what I believe.”

In a slight twist of irony, Jo Gook might actually begin to believe the nonsense he was spouting. While he was just hamming it for the reporters, the fact that he quoted Mi Rae word for word indicates that her words may have indeed affected him to some degree. Something to watch for.

Meanwhile, the final 15 Baedaengi contestants are sequestered in a hotel to ensure that the rules are being kept. Mi Rae struggles to learn the dance routines and is generally making a rather big nuisance of herself, as she is a half-generation, few sizes, and more than few inches of flexibility set apart from the other contestants. To the other Baedaengi’s, Mi Rae is just a big embarrassment.

Meanwhile, Jung Do and Jo Gook keep butting heads as the former keeps trying to make a real event out of this rigged contest, while the latter (despite his statements to the press) cannot understand why he is constantly being asked to participate in a meaningless activity. In a fit of anger against Jo Gook’s two-faced ways, Jung Do excuses himself from his supervisory role and cancels all of the planned events leading up to the contest.

Jo Gook is now at a loss, having no connections in Inju and no idea what to do. Jo Gook tries to rope in Mi Rae for help by asking to talk to her privately. Mi Rae has other ideas, however, and plays the exasperated girlfriend of Jo Gook to impress the other contestants and to stop them from continuing to look down on her.

Which leads to this classic scene:

(Of course, given that one of the judges will be Jo Gook, Mi Rae is really just asking for trouble by pretending to have a relationship with Jo Gook, but the priceless looks on the other contestants’ faces make any potential storm clouds a LOT easier to handle. Oh yes, it was quite worth it.)

Jo Gook is able to enlist Mi Rae’s help in coming up with new activities for the contestants, arguing that he helped Mi Rae out by pretending to be her ex-boyfriend in front of the crying Baendaengi’s. But the apparent Mi Rae-Jo Gook conspiracy brings out Council Member Min Joo Hwa out from under her slimy rock, and back to the sequester hotel room where Jung Do is, to gain information and somehow block Mi Rae.

Unfortunately, Joo Hwa has no ability to move her husband around like a chess piece and both of them know it. Jung Do and Joo Hwa are a beaten couple, and even their attempt to pick at each other’s weaknesses – Jung Do’s lack of ambition, and Joo Hwa’s complete lack of integrity – has grown tired and weak even to their own ears.

Joo Hwa starts to walk out of the hotel room, but then realizes it is the same room that, years ago, they had rented when they were still in love. It is a sobering moment for each as they realize how far from love they have gone. Is it wistfulness in the eyes of Joo Hwa?

Here’s what they used to look like, together as newlyweds, during a flashback sequence. Of all the scenes of City Hall so far, this is by far my favorite scene. They are soooooo cute here!

Back in Jo Gook’s room, the bottles of beer grow empty as Jo Gook and Mi Rae continue working on the Baedaengi Contest activities long into the night, and talk moves from the contest activities to Mayor Go. Jo Gook tries to get Mi Rae drunk to obtain the dirt on Mayor Go’s illegal activities.

Jo Gook moves closer to receive the secret information from a drunk Mi Rae…

…only to find out that Mi Rae’s “big secret” is that Mayor Go wears wigs. Mi Rae isn’t so easy to crack, even drunk. Jo Gook is further irritated when he has to carry a passed-out Mi Rae out of his hotel room. He dumps Mi Rae on the hotel lobby couch.

The next morning, after the usual accusatory stares of the other contestants, and Mi Rae playing it up for all it is worth, the contestants are hustled off to the fishing boat (per Mi Rae’s proposal), to help the fishermen catch the baendaengi in nets.

The contestants are dying of seasickness, the smell of fish and diesel, but this is nothing for Mi Rae. She proves her heart for service by helping to pull in the heavy nets, carrying the boxes of raw fish, and then even passing out raw baendaengi dipped in hot pepper sauce while the other contestants remain useless.

It is a triumphant moment for Mi Rae, who shows that she is more than an airhead beauty, more than a secretary who can only make coffee. She is part of Inju’s industry, she is one with the common people of Inju City. And what is that look on Jo Gook’s face? Is it admiration? Is it budding respect? Is it something more…?

Normally, I would have ended the recap here with a hint of a budding romance, but in one of those “Let’s introduce a new character for the heroine to overcome when things are going well,” a former resident not seen in many years has come back to Salem, I mean, Inju City.

Jo Gook’s mom is back in town – Jo Yong Hee. Her name itself, like many of the names of the City Hall characters, is a play on words. Her name means silence, and she has suffered her betrayal by the mysterious man in the car for many years, in silence. Will she remain quiet?

And in another shocking revelation we learn Jo Gook’s mom didn’t come alone, but with a cute tyke named Jo Rang who calls Jo Guk “Daddy!” OMG. Jo Gook is a father?!

Who’s the mother?


A step… sideways? This episode figures to be the last of the City Hall introduction episodes, as there really aren’t any more characters to introduce. Still, the editing and the story lines seem to be going in random directions. My feeling after the first 3 episodes is one of relative disappointment. There simply isn’t enough of a story to hold onto… yet.

Still, for all flaws City Hall has presented up until now, including the apparent lack of an over-arching story line, the drama series is improving minute by minute, and not least because of Kim Sun Ah’s and Cha Seung Won’s entertaining performances and the beginnings of some really good on-screen chemistry.

Let’s see what the next episode will bring.

THE ONES TO WATCH FOR IN THIS EPISODE: Go Go Hae and a flashback of a young newlywed named Min Joo Hwa.

Go Go Hae and Min Joo Hwa are two intelligent, power-hungry women with a ton of money and connections. They are women used to getting what they want, albeit on different levels.

Go Hae is truly a stunning beauty, with a softness, refinement and elegance that is almost too good to be true. But what was with that admission that her dad told her to use her charms on Jo Gook? Is Jo Gook her fiancé in name only?

And Jung Do’s memory of how he and Joo Hwa used to be was so cute! The burning question, then, is what happened to Joo Hwa to turn her into the raging sociopath that she is now?

And finally, now we have 3 really interesting, really different, and really strong women characters; Go Hae, Joo Hwa and Mi Rae. I wonder what would happen if you placed them all in the same battlefield and told them to square off….?

On To Episode 4!!


51 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Cha

    Am I the first one here? 🙂

    Thanks for the recap. I am currently watching Triple but will definitely watch this. Though I don’t find Jo Gook as handsome as Lee Dong Wook or the guy from He who can’t Married and of course Yoo Kye Sang 🙂

  2. eljay

    Thank you Samsooki and your awesome “cronies,” 0timelost, cleown, and mead33, for doing these wonderful recaps. I usually wait until all subs are done so I can enjoy a show uninterrupted, but with all the rave comments I decided to start it much earlier…and I’m glad I did. I will be starting ep. 8 as soon as I post this comment!

    KSA has always been one of my favorite actresses and CSW is a revelation, never saw him before, but wow! As for the actor portraying BB, so different from his “Coffee Prince” role but much more similar to his role in “Lovers” with Lee Seo-jin.

    I’ve seen many dramas and movies (110+, lost actual count somewhere along the way!) over my 2 1/2 years of this “addiction,” but this one resonates with a sophistication that is not seen enough of in the kdrama world.

    Again, thanks to you and your team for the terrific recaps.

  3. mzpakipot

    I love the last part of this episode and unto beginning of ep. 4! Mi-rae grabbing Jo Guk’s leg like a little girl, is so hilarious! Especially when Jo-guk’s trying to shake her off his leg! LOL

    Wow! The Samsooki’s Team are so fast! Thank you so much! Will check back here later to read everyone’s comments.


  4. langdon813

    Samsooki, you had me at “Sith Lord”. But then you also mentioned Salem…which has me VERY intrigued. Might this be a reference to a certain US daytime soap? 🙂

    Three episodes in, and from this point on we’ll really start getting down to business!

    One thing about City Hall that I think is really unique is that this group of actors is particularly talented at letting their facial expressions say so much more than the words they actually speak. The writing is very subtle, and because it’s political in nature, very often what a character says and how they truly feel are completely opposite. As time goes by, and the stakes get higher and higher and emotions become more and more intense, we should pay just as much (if not more) attention to what we see as to what we hear.

    Great job as always!

  5. AnitaLotti

    Same here: “Sith Lord” LOL

    Mi Rae presenting Jo Gook as her “pestering” boyfriend… Ha, take that you evil Miss Baendaengi competitors!

  6. Molly

    Thanks so much for the speedy, wonderful recaps!

  7. Chocolatetree

    YAY!!! Recap! 😀 I like these fast updates but I’m holding down my eagerness for more since I know it takes a LONG time to do these recaps! SO thank you for the recapping, Samsooki, and Javabeans, for your amazing site, and all the other wonderful people who had a hand in this! 😀

  8. ockoala

    Hooray, episode 3 recaps are here, what a wonderful treat for us all! Thanks Samsookie recapping team! I laughed so hard when Jo Gook shows up the next day after his dinner and Baendaengi scheduling session with Mirae and he’s walking with a bad back, and it’s due to his dumping MR outside in the lobby sofa, but the misconception is that it’s due to his nocturnal activities with MR of the non-PG variety, so the other contestants are even more flabbergasted and jealous. And MR, planning non-fluff activites for the contestants, both of which benefit Inju, but also means that she can shine in those activities. Smart girl. And the juxtaposition with Go Hae, so feminine, calm and elegant, is veru striking in this episode. I initally missed GH’s introduction as I started watching in episode 4, but JG’s interaction with her is very telling even from the beginning. It’s a strategic partnership. HHmm, but one can’t live on political partnerships along, love is the ultimate prize, and it’s heading towards our CH main couple. Sooo can’t wait for the next episode.

  9. CrimemasterGogo

    I shall call this day 3 of the invasion of the City Hallers:P

  10. 10 Z

    One of the funniest moments of the series was in this episode when Jo Gook calls to rent the fishing boat and Mirea, who is sitting right next to him, answers the phone then looks at him, registers his shocked facial expression, and says “You should be used to this by now.”

  11. 11 Rong

    Samsooki, i absolutely agrees that there’s nothing to hold onto at this point in time. in fact, i only realised how important are all these setups at eps 11 to make me FEEL the connection between MR and JG. so readers, hang on tight and i really advise that you go and watch the show. it’s really worth it. the lines are really classic. those of us who have watched it know something: there’s that pot of gold at the end of the drama. 😉

  12. 12 Samsooki

    @11 Rong –

    Shhh! No spoilers! 🙂

  13. 13 all4movies

    Great recap.

    Spot on comments as usual.

    Team, Fighting!!!

  14. 14 pinkii

    thanks for the re-cap guys, it was cos of ur recap that i started to watch city hall nad i must say im loving it….i LOVE jo guk!!!!not the best looking but the best character…..u guys did such a great job that i ended up watching all 11 eps in one night and now is hanging on for more…

  15. 15 kitty

    LOL, Samsooki, you’re on a roll! I’m enjoying these recaps even though I haven’t watched City Hall. I do like your tongue-in-cheek pop/film references ([email protected] Jackson X and Sith) and the pictures can be so funny. Looking forward to more!

  16. 16 Meg

    I love this Drama. I have seen many, many dramas, and this is far and away my favorite. I followed it while it was airing. I thought it was romantic and heartfelt. I most especially thought it was hilarious. I could (and prob. will) watch this drama again.

  17. 17 omo

    Once again, a big thank you to the entire team for their tireless effort!

    I love how you have kept it suspenseful and comical even in the face of these few seemingly mundane episodes! You have stayed true to the original intent of the writer’s storytelling which is by no means an easy task.

    I might add that after the fishing boat trip, while Jo Gook and the rest of the contestants were trying to recover from seasickness, Mi-rae was jabbering away with the local fishing villagers in a heavily, village-accented manner. (This is something one would not pick up just by reading the subs.) It shows how well she can blend in with the local fishermen/fisherwomen. Jo Gook’s gaze at that point : admiration? respect? And/or sheer amazement at Mi-rae’s ability to mix well with this group of people. This scene does say a lot about Mi-rae’s character….no airs whatsoever.

    Back to re-watching. 🙂

  18. 18 rambutan

    To me, episode 3 is the funniest episode. It is the episode where I laughed from beginning to end, especially at the end. I ROARED with laughter, even my tears came out. The look on the faces of those who peered through the door, from Jung Do to the Mayor, of Mi-Rae clutching Jo Guk’s leg, is beyond description. This is the point where I concluded that everyone – from leading actors to supporting – was brilliant. Perfect casting. Masterful direction and writing. This is the point I felt the series must be continued. As a drama addict of nearly five years, I smelt it. So @2 eljay, I understand what you mean when you say: “I’ve seen many dramas and movies (110+, lost actual count somewhere along the way!) over my 2 1/2 years of this “addiction,” but this one resonates with a sophistication that is not seen enough of in the kdrama world”.

    This is one drama where after watching, I felt glorious and smart, not stupid or guilty. (oops! Samsooki, is this a spoilier?)

  19. 19 xkiku

    The recaps make me understand and flashback more about the previous eps. Thanks guys for the great works. FIGHTING~! 🙂

  20. 20 jusash

    WOW! o~O
    Samsooki and CH team – you guys are so fast and punctual with your daily recaps!!

    MUCH THANKS for all the efforts and captivating spot-on comments.

    For someone who’s already finished this drama, and has moved on to PARTNER…. these daily episodical updates keep me going back for more CH rewatches!!!
    THANKS again! AJA! 🙂

    p/s: found Mi Rae’s baendaengi portfolio really hilarious and all her attempts to offload it on Jo Guk.

  21. 21 Sueyip

    You did it again, Samsooki and team, thank you. This episode’s recap is
    simply delightfully written. Will definitely rewatch this episode – especially
    the scene at breakfast when JoGuk limped in and Mirae acted like they
    really have had a “rough” night – that was real hilarious – good acting on
    the part of Kim Suna and CSW. Love the look on the faces of the other contestants …. hahaha.

  22. 22 birdscout

    Dear Samsooki, 0timelost, cleown, mead33,

    Many thanks for another great re-cap. I can’t believe how much more I am appreciating City Hall after reading these informative and delightful recaps!

    You guys ROCK!

  23. 23 Jessica

    Was this the episode with the farting scene? Heehee 🙂 That was the funniest thing ever (well, actually the funniest was the one in Sweet 18, but this was a close 2nd).

  24. 24 epyc

    Like the drama itself, the recap is getting better and better. A BIG THANKYOU again to the team of Samsooki, 0timelost, cleown, and mead33!

    Love the screen cap of the Can Can rehearsal – KSA is briliant there. (You guys will do a similar re-cap of another classic scene – the leg hugging one at the end of Ep3/beginning of Ep 4, won’t you?)

    I guess we all benefit from this re-cap done after the airing, and Samsooki has so skillfully and humorously brought out the key points and characters without giving away the story – a job well done indeed!

    This is actually a very full on episode (without your realising it). It is so fun-filled with all the hooha of the baendaengi contest which I enjoy every minute of it. What’s more are the revelation of the relationships between JG and BB, JG and GH, and JD and JW. This is also the episode where MR’s wit and real self is on full display -that leads to that puzzle look on JG’s face….

    Watching City Hall is like savouring a superb full course dinner craftly put together by a Master Chef, a degustation journey that I have not experienced from any other dramas before. I think we are now about to finish the entree and onto the main course.

  25. 25 MEIKO**** ^-^

    I actually skipped this episode and went straight to ep4….
    i guess ill try and watch this ep…
    thanks for the recap!

  26. 26 mika

    hurray, episode 3 recap. awaiting for episode 4 recap.

  27. 27 alodia

    Another wonderful work from Samsooki and team. (Gosh! Guys, I’d run out of adjectives for you until Episode 20. I might start using Korean adjectives then…)

    Going back to May 6th when Episode 3 was aired, I can remember a tiny bit of disappointment. I was confused and I still don’t know where the drama is heading. Plus the fact that I know some viewers would give a drama the first 2 episodes to decided whether to continue with it or not. It’s the 3rd episode, and still no sparks.

    But Episode 3’s saving grace was the fun and laughter (plus of course the major points i missed out that Samsooki etal pointed out here)! Despite being confused and concerned, I ended up laughing out loud and enjoying every bit of it. I don’t know where these funny scenes are heading or what they are trying to imply and what are their purpose. But, to me, it established the blooming-going-to-be-oozing KSA-CSW chemistry (at least on their comedic timing as far as this episode is concerned). A good way to make people hold on to this drama until episode 4 – when the “real ride” begins!

    Can’t wait for episode 4 then~ Assa!

  28. 28 cleown

    @ 1 Cha & 14 pinkii: “Though I don’t find Jo Gook as handsome as Lee Dong Wook or the guy from He who can’t Married and of course Yoo Kye Sang” & “i LOVE jo guk!!!!not the best looking but the best character…”
    Don’t say that, CSW as JG will capture your heart sooner than you think – and like, hehe. Trust me. After CH there won’t be a character/actor so attractive for quite a while 😀

  29. 29 alodia

    I agree! Though I’m not the type who swoon over Korean actors on Dramas, Ihave my share of favorite cuties (ie: Hyun Bin, Gong Yoo, Kye Sang, etc). But after knowing Cha Seung Won, it makes it difficult for me to watch other actors… 🙁

    Kdrama watching will never be the same after City Hall… sigh!

  30. 30 s21783

    I also thought Jo Gook was not as charming; watched the drama with a little apprehension. Wait…. wait, Cha Seung Won has not shown his charms yet, in the beginning episodes. He was really good……….like wine, needs a little ‘breathing’, so charming and sexy later on. Please watch it…….(Cha) and you will not regret. Drama got really nice from 8 onwards, really romantic in the camping scenes and subsequent recalls. Director is very good in connecting the scenes. Well…. I shall not spoil it for you. Also watching Triple but feeling a little bewilder with the story line, weird.

  31. 31 celestialorigin

    You guys are AWWWSOME!!! Thank you for this. I’m re-living my “city hall” experiences. And yes, Cha Seung Won is absolutely absolutely the MAN, now I’m renting everything avilable of him from Netflix(which is not much). I’m swept away! Anyway, I’m so looking forward for the next recap. Thank you soooooooooo much.

  32. 32 Samsooki

    @24 epyc –

    “Love the screen cap of the Can Can rehearsal – KSA is briliant there. (You guys will do a similar re-cap of another classic scene – the leg hugging one at the end of Ep3/beginning of Ep 4, won’t you?)”

    Heh. I guess you’ll have to wait and see? 🙂 But you realize the problem, right?

    As the episodes get more involved, and as the story line gets more pronounced and tied in together with everything else, then everything becomes important, and everything becomes a classic, brilliant scene. For those who have already seen the whole series, you know that certain episodes don’t leave much space for blinking or breathing. much less grabbing a drink or going to the bathroom.

    So, the draft recaps have been getting longer, and editing lengthy recaps becomes an exercise in brutality, as favorite scene after favorite scene gets chopped and brutally cut from the final version.

    As you can guess, we are drafting and editing far in advance of actual presenting on dramabeans, and there was an episode or two where we had to cut a dozen pictures and hundreds of words, analysis, and commentary.

    Recaps aren’t going to make everyone happy, because there will always be something that we have left out, intentionally or unintentionally. Cleown, mead33 and 0timelost and I have running commentaries stretching 10 emails deep of questioning and defending edits, or having comments running every which way.

    There are a myriad of ways to recap, and much of what we have learned, obviously, comes from JB herself. But in the end, our style of recap is a just story to be told, hopefully that summarizes what has happened, gives insight and commentary, and a bit of humor/enjoyment. Not every fun scene will make it in, but I hope that each recap will capture the spirit of its respective episode.

    We just hope you enjoy them as much as we have enjoyed making them.

  33. 33 Malomars

    Thanks so much for the recaps — I’ve been convinced by your funny funny summaries to start watching this drama, and WHOA, am I glad i did.

    To be sure, I only watched the first ep, which many have said is ‘boring,’ and I think I split my side laughing (muffled) most of the way through. It’s hilarious — (not needing the subs helps. Knowing something about local Korean politics, oh yeah, that really piles it on too,)

    And knowing that it only gets better after the beginning, well, this is going to be fun!

    Thanks again! Am looking forward to catching up on the first three, and watching the rest along with your recaps after that.

  34. 34 j_d_b

    This chapter is the turning point for me to continue watching this drama. It was so funny and I couldn’t stop laughing on Mi Rae unsophisticated and unending tactics. Though sometimes it’s over the top and it was hilarious but I end up loving it. I must admit I got to watched not much on the story itself, unlike coffee prince which is near to reality comedy CH strongest point is the actors themselves, it’s new to me to see the not so young man capture his character as much as Cha Seung Won and that I couldn’t fine a better actor for Jo Gook part, but Cha Seung Won and as always Kim Sun Ah’s cup of tea is comedy, its unquestionable. I love the way she mention Hyun Bin in one her dialogues (I missed the two of them, wish they make another drama) The building chemistry of the two lead actors is starting to register and it became a pleasure to watch though there are some loopholes in the story but it doesn’t bother me at all coz compare to the totality of the series, its nothing but a minor details to cracked your brain up.

    I must put big credit to Samsookii and the rest of the gang ( 0timelost, cleown, and mead33) for doing the recap. It’s a pleasure going to the same old feeling while watching the series. It’s a bold moved to do this. We know the feeling of putting all the good stuff on the table and let us know how good the taste is. But it well never be enough simply because we know were individually different from each other that we cant please all the readers, but we assure you, we CH lovers are thankful of your effort and kindness for doing so. KEEP IT UP AND A MILLION THANKS. We do love your recaps.

  35. 35 nycgrl

    Ok I didn’t like episode 3 too much. I pretty much disliked all the pageant scenes to tell you the truth and the show picked up for me when that was over. Episode 3 like for some of you had me wondering where are all these random points were going and I thought the physical comedy was a bit forced and therefore not funny to me.

    Here are the scenes I enjoyed amongst the camp.

    1) JG and BB scenes. Two very capable actors playing a psychological war on power. A theme I love whether it is in Queen of housewives, Resurrection or White Tower etc. Who is the master? Who is the servant? BB’s is the evil emperor to JG’s budding Darth Vader. Will JG go to the dark side? Stay tuned.

    2) JG rehashing Mirae’s spiel to the reporters about what the Miss Herring beauty contest should be. I just found this scene hilarious because it reveals JG’s genius in re-spinning a simple message and repackaging it for public consumption on grander scale–he is a true salesman/politician. Mirae’s views and convictions are also filtering through to him but only when he needs material to poach and can make the idea his own but at least he understands their resonance to the public regardless of whether he believes it or not.

    3) Introduction of GH. I know what many of you think of her but I found her to be a interesting mystery because a) she is the gf/fiancee of CSW who is also a huge mystery. b) she seem to play no real role in JG’s life since the first two episodes make no mention of her

    When you first meet her she is this strikingly beautiful woman with a wide warm smile in this very domestic setting and she appears to be a refuge for him in the political storm he lives in, however, looks are deceiving which becomes apparent to the viewer when she relates why she is really angry with him. She is part of political storm. You realize that she may be her father’s puppet but she is not an unwilling one and that her beauty and smile hides a lot of ambition, pride and coldness.

    4) Introduction of his mother. Like GH, here is the other women in JG’s life. She is totally not what I think of a mom especially korean moms who can be overbearingly protective and dotting in a “milksop” way. She is another mysterious character like GH. You totally want to know what makes her tick and how she evolved to become a human freezer. Her coldness seems even more severe than GH. At this point I’m feeling pretty sorry for JG. Is there any wonder why he falls for MR?

  36. 36 ockoala

    I keep refreshing looking for ep.4, I thought my City Hall obsession would wane by now, but oblivously Samsookie’s awesomely insightful recaps are an entirely new experience and a treat in and of itself.

    For those of you who were not immediately mesmerized and charms by CSW’s turn as the genious proud Jo Gook (I admit, I was, and I’m usually loving the pretty BOYs like Lee Junki, Jo In Sung and Kim Bum – so this is weird I am so in love with CSW’s Jo Gook), I definitely agree with the earlier comment that he’s definitely like red wine, a mature, sophisticated pinot noir that has depth and body. And he’s so mighty fine in his suits, and it’s pretty hilarious that everyone in the show is constantly mentioning how cute he looks. The dialogue has so many wink wink reference and self-awareness at times, I so wish I was a native Korean speaker.

    I wanted to reference some of my fave dialogue, so will refrain and just comment on this episode, which is in my opinion the end of the set-up.

  37. 37 nycgrl

    I’m sure I wasn’t the only one, but I compared CSW to fine red wine back in one of the open threads. He would be a pinot or old world borolo. He is most definitely NOT a beaujolais nouveau like some of the pretty boys.

    I also love him in suits. My local cable channel is showing CH and we are on episode 6 I think. Everytime CSW comes on screen, I squeal and tell my husband how fine he looks in a suit etc. My husband who is not the jealous type is getting a little weary of my fan girl antics. But even hubby said CSW is manlier, taller, better dressed and different than the average Kdrama guy. I think he is used to pretty boys with girly pastel clothes. Its the first time I didn’t hear “What is that guy wearing” Haha.

  38. 38 ockoala

    @37 nycgirl

    OMG, did your husband and my husband attend the same school of dutiful drama watching sidekick to drama obsessed wife? My husband makes the same commentary (I think I mentioned in an open thread once that my husband watched one episode of Goong Princess Hours and was horrified, mortified at the way the men/boys dressed in that show), and in CH, hubby is refusing to acknowledge how smoking hot CSW looks dressed as Jo Gook. Hubby says JG looks like a NJ pimp, but it’s just jealousy talking now because of my CH devotion, as when we started watching CH, he remarked that JG looked very well-dressed.

    On the flip side, I think Mirae’s ensemble in the first three eps.3 is all over the place, from professional attire as the mayoral secretary to country-bumpkin casual, that it reinforces the haphazard comedy-political drama dichotemy that is these early episodes, and makes one hard pressed to really understand MR and her true nature and motivations. Samsookie does a great job analyzing it and synthesizing multiple scenes to explain MR, but I was not a very thorough watcher of the first few episodes so I really missed a lot of MR’s depth. So much more rewarding to rewatch and understand her better. SMR fighting to become Ms. Baendengi!

  39. 39 sera

    I agree with everyone about how fine CSW look. He is the most handsome guy in South korea I guess. I did not know about him until the CH. I found him late, I will cherish him till the end. 🙂
    I agree with nycgrl @ 35. I am also not fan of physical comedy. I prefer her sarcastic remarks over her grabing Jo Gook’s leg.

  40. 40 sera

    I forgot to thank to Samsooki and the CH team for doing an amazing job again. Love you guys. I am under alot of stress these days and your recaps give me a break from my endless problems. Thank you.

  41. 41 sera

    17 more recaps. Counting down

  42. 42 mzpakipot

    me too! i’m camping out here at DB and keep refreshing the site to check if ep 4 is up…^^

  43. 43 Eeefu

    Way to go, Team City Hall!

    Love your “To Watch For” sections – wonderfully highlighted!

    I also find the flashback of Director Lee and Councilor Min lovely. Tho it looks like the couple has many problems now; it still looks like to me that Director Lee is patiently waiting for his wife to return to him (or to return to herself). I hope to see a good ending for this couple.

    I agree with Samsooki’s comment in the first episode that JG doesn’t seem to be a good “politician” – Lord, help me change my stereotype on politicians that only those who are smart, heartless and cunning but have a mouthfull of honey with no intention to fulfill any of their promises (unless they are in their favour) will make outstanding politicians.

  44. 44 epyc

    @ 43 Eeefu

    “I agree with Samsooki’s comment in the first episode that JG doesn’t seem to be a good “politician” – Lord, help me change my stereotype on politicians that only those who are smart, heartless and cunning but have a mouthfull of honey with no intention to fulfill any of their promises (unless they are in their favour) will make outstanding politicians”

    This is exactly why City Hal is so speical as a drama – keep watching, this is a story about both MR and JG as a person and as a politician. You will feel so rewarded and satisfied when you finish it.

  45. 45 epyc

    @ 32 Samsooki

    I note that my wish had been granted in the Ep 4 re-cap…many thanks 😀

    You people have a very difficult task indeed especially in the later episodes as each dialogue and scene become so intense. That choice of what to cut and include is no easy feat. As someone has already said, Ep 15 – which is also the BEST episode of all Kdramas I’ve seen – is a killer to re-cap. Look forward to that!

    Once again, my SALUTE to you and the team for doing a fantastic job here for the love of City Hall. You have no idea how much we fans appreciate your efforts.

    Onto Ep 4 re-cap now.

  46. 46 Janie

    I like how you guys described Go Go Hae’s beauty; sounds adorably barbie- like; I just love her beautiful and fluffy hair, so womanly and yes she is elegant and beautiful..

    I think the scriptwriter like Ms Yoon Se Ah alot; she casted her in Lovers in Prague too – another really great drama to watch. Seems like the scripter loves Blue House and politic as the backdrop of Prague was on Blue House as well.

    Thanks for the recapping… each epi is such a treat and a teaser for the next one!

    Now that the 3 epi have been put to perspective, I can enjoy the first 3 epi of CH now — downloading BON’s version 🙂

    Will catch up with epi 4 recap soon.

    Thank you!

    ith a smile that usually means anything but content or happy.

  47. 47 mtoenlob

    Thank you, Samsooki and team. Your recap is such a delight to read.

    Cha Seung Won might not fall within the category of pretty face actors that lately proliferate the drama scene but that is what sets him apart from the majority. His charm is that he grows on you. He is a class of his own. What with his height, physique and natural good looks (not pretty, not handsome by usual standard but good looking), he draws attention. And those expressive eyes, saying so much yet maintaining an aura of mystery. He is manly compared to those boyish sometimes androgynous looking actors. And his background as a model helped a lot in bringing Jo Gook’s character to the fore. Jo Gook in suits is an epitome of a man in power. Never an outfit looks so sensual as when Jo Gook wears them. Talk about men in power – sexy and dangerous, a lethal combination.

    The first 4 episodes gives us a glimpse of the different qualities of SMR’s character, the very same qualities that would propel her to the highest seat in the city hall. And Jo Gook is beginning to see Mi Rae in a different light now.

    I, too, like that scene of Jung Do and Joo Hwa when once they were still so in love with each other. I think the love is still there after all the years. Something must have happened. Wonder what happen that put a divide between them?

    Keep it up, Samsooki!

  48. 48 shin mi rae


    i remember someone mentioned about sam soon’s stuff pig selling all over the streets of korea. same here where i live. after msikss was finished and i was missing ksa and hyun bin so much, i actually got myself sam soon’s piggy and called it samsooki!

    i think manager lee was trying so hard to get jo gook involved in the ms bendaengi beauty contest so he will discover all the irregularities and corruptions going on in the contest (like the unpaid stage hands and fully paid mayor’s brother). i think manager lee actually believed that unlike himself and his staff, jo gook has the ability to do something about the corruption in inju.

    by the way, cha seung won really did a great job as jo gook. iam so happy the first actor who signed for the role decided to cancel. i also think the chemistry and awesome talent of cha seung won and kim sun ah (and all the actors and actresses in city hall) made this drama a huge success.

  49. 49 lover

    i love you kimsunah please send for me .your email

  50. 50 everlastingsong

    I wonder if I’m the only one who finds Mi Rae annoying >.<

    But considering the good things I've heard about this show, I'm going to hold onto the hope that it'll go up.

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