Drama Recaps
City Hall: Episode 4
by | July 13, 2009 | 68 Comments

(written by Samsooki, editing, layout, design and tireless efforts by 0timelost, cleown, and mead33)

City Hall: Episode 4 – Who Will Be Inju City’s Miss Baendaengi 2009?

Episode 4 begins with the Baendaengi contestants working on a Habitat for Humanity type of project for an old woman – another one of Mi Rae’s ideas. Smelling a good photo opportunity, Mayor Go Boo Shil comes to visit. An anxious Mi Rae tries to hide from the Mayor so as not to get into trouble. But of course, she is discovered… hiding behind the floor mat covering wrapped around Jo Gook’s extremely long legs. No harm no foul, however, just confirmation that one of the Baendaengis is not like the others.

That afternoon, Boo Jung Han, the incumbent National Assembly member throws a dinner for all the Baendaengis. After dinner, Mi Rae drops by the project home to bring leftovers to the old lady and to finish up the wallpapering, but finds Jung Do and fellow handyman Yang there instead. Together, the three of them finish the job late into the evening, laughing and chatting away. As Jung Do takes trash outside, he sees Jo Gook’s car stopped outside of the house. Jo Gook is inside the car, watching, with a very pensive and somewhat sullen look on his face.

Jo Gook looks like a hungry child watching other people eat. After being spotted by Jung Do, Jo Gook drives away. What is the story here? What was Jo Gook doing there?

Early the following morning, it is final preparation time for the Miss Baendaengi finals, and Mi Rae is nowhere to be found. Jo Gook is not surprised to find that Mi Rae has violated the contest rules by not returning to the hotel after the dinner. Mi Rae then runs in, explaining that she had to finish all of the work that the other Baendaengis did not finish. It is an adequate explanation…

Not to Jo Gook, however, who coldly disqualifies Mi Rae from the competition. Mi Rae is stunned, hurt and humiliated, with a heart-breaking-ly cute smile frozen on her face. Jung Do is also stunned – he SAW Jo Gook watching them work the night before. Why is Jo Gook acting this way?

Jo Gook then gives Mi Rae some advice on how the game of life is played. Mi Rae broke the rules, and the rules are there to be kept. (This is a lesson on life that I think that Jo Gook is giving sincerely, although from all manner of appearances, this is an extremely harsh outcome.)

In any case, Jung Do has had enough of Jo Gook waltzing in and out of the contest, and promptly announces that he should also be fired since he was there too helping with the wallpapering. Jo Gook is incredulous, but now he has to run the pageant by himself.

As Mi Rae leaves the hotel, Jung Do is waiting for Mi Rae outside the hotel. Jung Do tries to console Mi Rae, and gives her a little insight into Jo Gook’s history. It seems that Jo Gook was the best at everything at the academy – studying, sports, and even in tango dancing. It appears that Jung Do and Jo Gook have had a long past together.

Jung Do even mentions to Mi Rae that if Jo Gook tried hard enough to remember, he would remember a certain special night that he and Jung Do spent together. Special night? Mi Rae perks up at the mention of a special night that Jung Do and Jo Gook had spent together, and her imagination goes wild… cue the Spanish music!

Meanwhile, as Mi Rae is day-dreaming of hugging-crying men in robes, back at the Mayor’s office, a call comes through from the National Ministry of Gender Equality! The Mayor receives another shock when he hears that the Minister’s deepest regret is not being able to participate in a beauty contest. She is proud that Shin Mi Rae is competing in the contest! The Minister’s encouragement of Shin Mi Rae is pointed and the meaning is obvious.

The Mayor is no fool. Shin Mi Rae must win the contest! Council Member Min Joo Hwa is immediately against the idea. Didn’t they already decide that her accomplice would win, and more importantly, WHY her accomplice should win? The Mayor responds that Shin Mi Rae is an even better accomplice, because she is part of the Mayoral staff and would be even easier to control (or so he thinks).

At the hotel, the Baendaengis are preparing for their evening gown walkthroughs, and Mi Rae is of course not there. The Mayor is outraged at Jo Gook’s dismissal of Mi Rae and demands that she is to be brought back at once!

Outside, Jo Gook calls his friend to thank him for getting the Minister of Gender Equality to make the phone call. Hey… what? Jo Gook planned to bring Mi Rae back in after all! Then why did he humiliate her and dismiss her in the first place? Why go through all that effort if he was going to bring her back in anyway? (Note: we had pages and pages of debate over why Jo Gook dismisses Mi Rae, while all along planning to bring her back by getting the National Minister of Gender Equality to call the Mayor. Literally, each of us had different notions as to why Jo Gook did what he did. In the end, none of our interpretations made the episode recap, mostly because I felt that all of our viewpoints were valid and therefore we had no consensus. What do you guys think? Why did Jo Gook dismiss Mi Rae in the first place?)

Now, he just has to get Mi Rae to come back…

Well, that’s one way.

Finally, it is time for a mini-showdown between Shin Mi Rae and Jo Gook. And this scene is brilliant. Jo Gook tells Mi Rae that she can get back into the contest, but doesn’t apologize for his harsh dismissal. This sets Mi Rae off, turning her into Kim Sam Soon, yelling at Jo Gook, whom is taken down a million pegs, and is speechless. Somewhere, Binnie is smiling.

But then Mi Rae abruptly stops yelling as she has said what needed to be said to wipe the smugness from Jo Gook’s face. She’s a kind-hearted person, after all! Classic scene.

Mi Rae runs back to the hotel / convention center. Shin Mi Rae is back in the contest! It is now time for the pageant, and the crowds are out in force.

It is time for the talent competition, and with the other Baendaengis’ mediocre, Mi Rae is in the mood for tango to wow the audience.

Who else do we know that dances the tango?

(Shin Mi Rae looks soooooo good here… standing in front of a Jo Gook, holding a rose out to him.)

Which leads to this:

Now comes the final decision… and Mi Rae makes it into the final two. And who will take it? Which Baendaengi will reign as the First Miss Baendaengi of Inju City?

Yes, Shin Mi Rae is Inju City’s Miss Baendaengi!!! Being the ungracious loser, the runner-up accuses Mi Rae of spending the night with several pageant officials. Mi Rae is at a loss. She acknowledges that this is true, but it was only to help put together the contest and make it a success. But, if her actions were to give the contest a bad name, she willingly gives up the title. But as she sticks out her hand to give up the trophy, Mi Rae collapses from exhaustion!

And Jo Gook comes to the rescue! Hilarious and triumphant! And for once, I am happy to the see the “carry the sick girl on back” routine, even though medically speaking, it probably is a terrible idea to carry a sick person like that. Jo Gook’s weak back seems to be holding up well – the potential severity of the collapse has turned Jo Gook into a superhero! (But did Mi Rae really faint or did she feign her fainting spell to get out of a difficult situation? Clever girl if she did!)

Mi Rae is now a minor celebrity, and she now makes her way through various meets and greets as Inju City’s 2009 Miss Baendaengi. The Mayor tags along with Mi Rae, basking in her glow.

Meanwhile, Jung Do’s working late into the night, trying to wrap up the contest, and he knows that he is going to have to tell Mi Rae that the contest was rigged, and that she will get no prize money at all.

Blissfully unaware of the problems to come, Mi Rae parties with her friends with cake, beer and the absolutely delicious looking Korean-style fried chicken. Her friends start asking her about the rumors of her and Deputy Mayor Jo Gook. Boo Mi joins the fun, noting that Mi Rae was drunk that night, and guess whose back was hurting in the morning? Boo Mi guesses that Mi Rae got Jo Gook drunk, then jumped his bones.

Mi Rae: Who was the one who jumped whom? I kept telling him that I didn’t want to, but he kept telling me to come to his room. Telling me to come after I had washed up. And as for how he hurt his back, I was taking a short nap and he lifted me up…

Mi Rae’s friends (Pandemonium as they all scream and talk all at once): Then what happened?

Not content to just tell the boring truth, Mi Rae begins weaving a tale to satisfy her audience.

Mi Rae: Then I said, “Omo, what art thou doing, sir? Oh, please don’t be like this…” His breathing started to get heavy, but then I said to him in a tragically heroic fashion, “This is as far as I can go with you, I have to go.”

Mi Rae looks around, and realizes she cannot stop there. She continues her harlequin recitation.

Mi Rae: When I said that, he grabbed me by my shoulders and spun me around, and said to me, “Do you really have that little clue, as to why I asked that you come to my room? …don’t say a word… if your words end up causing pain to my soul and to your soul, I’d rather not listen… There is only one thing I want to hear from your pretty lips…”

Boo Mi (interrupting): What was it?

Mi Rae (annoyed): Let me tell the story!!

Mi Rae: We stared into each other’s eyes for a long, long time. Thereafter, he said in a soft voice to me…

Jo Gook (in real life): You are drinking again?

Mi Rae could not be less excited to see Jo Gook, suggesting that he sits at another table, or a different bar, but Jo Gook plops right down and is ready to eat, drink, and talk. Mi Rae’s friends launch right into the questions. Any second now, and the romance story will be shown to be a mere imagination. Mi Rae has no choice left.

She must commit assault & battery against a respected Deputy Mayor by slapping him in the back of the head. Hard. Look at that hair flying and the head swinging back and forth; this is even more brutal in slow motion! For those who wished for Mi Rae to get back at Jo Gook for the King Kong comment, well, this is your revenge. *chortle*

But that’s not all. Mi Rae leaps to her feet and shouts, “WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU’RE TOUCHING?” grabbing Jo Gook’s hands and motions that he was stroking her thighs.

Jo Gook is understandably, shocked.

With that Mi Rae storms out. And as she hoped, Jo Gook chases after her for explanation. Mi Rae’s attempt to hide behind a sign fails.

Mi Rae: You know… (about the hitting on the head), well, you see, there were rumors about us, dating and all. (Jo Gook looks shocked) Well, of course, I was the one who started those rumors.

Jo Gook: What?!!

Mi Rae: Well, anyway, things got all twisted and then you showed up, and the only method I had to stop you from talking was that. It was either that or (starts making kissy faces) you know… in dramas, in order to stop people from talking. But what I did was better, right?

Mi Rae notices her friends peeking, and so she starts being rough again, grabbing Jo Gook by the lapels and threatening him.

But Jo Gook is not to be outfoxed by Mi Rae again. He grabs her before she gets away, and now Shin Mi Rae is pleading with her eyes not to make her look like a fool in front of her friends. And Jo Gook, with all the power, laughs and notes that Mi Rae said there was one method that dramas use to stop people from talking, right? And then…



*CHEER* Finally! This is more like it. The Kim Sun Ah that we all know and love, back to her old bag of tricks, being so cute and beautiful in one moment, a tragic heroine with unbelievable heart and integrity in the next moment, and finally a comic genius in the final moment, making me smile so much that my cheeks hurt. What a fun episode. Fun, cheery, delightful to watch.

And what’s more, the tenor of series has definitely changed. City Hall started to turn substantial as characters are beginning to be fleshed out. We are still missing an over-arching story line, but at least now we have our main characters and the chemistry between the two is just wonderful to watch. It was like the City Hall writers decided to get serious. A light bulb went off, and they figured out how to go from the chaotic introductory episodes to an episode befitting a romantic comedy drama with Kim Sun Ah and Cha Seung Won.

On the other hand, where do we go from here? The lack of a concrete over-arching story line is glaring now that the Miss Baendaengi Contest is over. The one negative for the drama series so far is that the chaotic whirlwind of the first four episodes has run its course and in its wake, it is difficult to find something to hold onto, amid the fun-filled debris strewn about. I feel like the main story for City Hall has YET to show itself, which means that Episodes 1-4 are not the sum total of the Introduction. And in a 20 episode series, a good 20-25% of the show has passed and we still don’t really know what the series is about yet. If there is criticism to be given, it is that.

THE ONE TO WATCH FOR IN THIS EPISODE: Isn’t it obvious? Kim Sun Ah!

I was beginning to wonder when we would see the real Kim Sun Ah with her brilliant comic timing, her soul-rending stares, and her perky, never-say-die attitude. Well, it took a few episodes, but Shin Mi Rae officially rocks. Just love her to pieces.

On To Episode 5!


68 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. jj

    I LOVE this drama and the chemistry btwn kim sun ah and cha seung won. They are SO cute.
    I’ve seen the whole drama already but I would totally watch it again! For now, recaps will do =)
    thank you

  2. Chocolatetree

    Thank you for the recap!! It’s delightfully fun reading them. 😀

  3. hiii

    yes this is the best part.. when KSA smack CSW’s head… gosh, when i saw that, i felt CSW’s pain.. LOL…

  4. iwul

    yes this drama very..very ok..i like acting kim suh-ah with cha seung-won…kim suh-ah briliant actres and cha seung won the best actor ..and him very-very sexy ..cool and handsome….

  5. simplesim

    To samsooki and your awesome team, thank you so much for doing this. I am going to make a book of this to treasure. I have watch uncountable kdramas but City Hall is the first to make me have so many types of feelings, happy, sad, proud, love, embarrassed lol.. etc. My heart sometimes feel like exploding with all these emotions.

    Words cannot express how much @jj- I LOVE this drama and the chemistry btwn kim sun ah and cha seung won. They are SUPER CUTE!

    I find it hard to write but have been always eagerly reading all the city hallers views and comments here and at soompi and I just love them. Its like we are sharing One Dream…one feeling…one love… like the soundtrack.

    Thanks javabeans for your amazing blog, I never fail to visit before going to work and after coming home.

  6. jusash

    HAHahahaha! Your recaps totally brought the LOL moments back to life for me (the head slapping one and Jo Gook’s never missing a beat quick uptakes to any situation – roflmao. they so match each other in audacity!)


    {What do you guys think? Why did Jo Gook dismiss Mi Rae in the first place?}

    My take: plain and simple ==> jealousy.

  7. dodie

    Thank you very much for the recaps! You captured the essence and underlying messages in the drama. This drama is really and truly wonderful. It kept me online waiting for the english subbed episodes to be uploaded. I have been wishing and hoping that kim sun ah will be partnered with someone who is mature and equal to her talent- i got my wish! CSW and KSA both have great screen presence and wonderful chemistry together. I hope this will not be the last of their pairing-maybe a movie? I hope and pray!

  8. mzpakipot

    OMG!!! I CAN’T STOP SMILING/LAUGHING while typing this. It’s like watching episode 4, you really didn’t miss the good parts! I just read the translation of the BTS “Hit in the Head” scene. Suna apologize first thing to Cha Seung Won that she’s really going to hit him hard so there will be no re-take of that scene! I felt really bad for Mr. Cha…hahahahaha
    There just so many laugh out loud scenes in this episode, like the “cucumber dip”

    *still giggling like crazy*

    I also thought that Jo Guk was simply JEALOUS.

    thank you Samsooki Team and Javabeans!

  9. Nom_Kitteh

    ooooh, we have a gif this time around in addition to the screencaps. Nice.

    Thanks for the recap, Samsooki, and the help 0timelost, cleown, and mead33!

    PUT YOUR SEAT BELTS ON, EVERYONE — the ride starts with Ep 5. Put down your drinks and brace yourself ’cause we are starting our ascent 🙂 .

    It’s interesting to see just how flawed the first four episodes are. While the kernels of the larger story are embedded throughout the first four episodes, it is mind boggling how uneven and spastic these episodes are. I enjoyed them, but it’s really like the writer sat down to write two completely different shows. I wonder how high the ratings would have been if these opening episodes had been less messy.

    “What do you guys think? Why did Jo Gook dismiss Mi Rae in the first place?”

    I didn’t give it much thought. It just seems to be part and parcel of the uneven writing of the first few episodes. Maybe JG wanted to demonstrate his power, his ability to control a situation in which he has none?

    I sensed jealousy, but on second thought, don’t think there is jealousy involved even though he looks on enviously while MR puts up wallpaper with JD. I think this is a flaw in the storytelling, in that in order for us to understand why JG is starting to watch MR, we needed to get more glimpses into his childhood, his relationship with his mother, his lack of experience with someone like MR, who is without pretensions, wholly wide open, and inviting. The people we have met who are around JG are all closed off, shuttered, manipulative, and scarred so it makes sense that MR would fascinate JG. I can see why he would react to her seemingly unprofessional behavior by firing her and then in a moment of contrition try to undo that by calling in a favor.

    How fitting that his gesture of power does come from getting these elite people in government to interfere.

    I love, love, love this scene: http://i679.photobucket.com/albums/vv152/DBCityHall/04/27.jpg

  10. 10 MEIKO**** ^-^

    Yeeeee!!!! this is the best episode yet…. ^-^
    I was laughing the whole ep!

    I started falling for yummy Jo Gook here *grinning*..

    When I saw MiRae clinging onto his leg, i was lol and exclaiming, “My! that’s one long, long leg… I would love to cling onto the other leg myself!!!”

    and that Bromance scene… OMG!!!!!! I was shrieking!!!! (and it was 2am that time!)

    and i was feeling the sparks between JoGook and MiRae everytime they do a scene together…especially the TANGO scene…ooooohhhhhh……*drooling*…

    I have to say, It has crept in my mind that “MAYBE THESE TWO HAS SOMETHING GOING ON IN REALITY!!!!” They look soooo into each other….. better than Hyun Bin actually.


    be waiting for the next one!!!

  11. 11 sallycc

    the scene where mirae suddenly hit jo gook on the back of the head at her friend’s restaurant was one of the funniest moments in this drama (or any korean drama i’ve seen). i read somewhere that kim suna really hit cha seung won VERY HARD in this scene–but guess what csw said in the end? he actually asked kim suna if her hand was ok 🙂

  12. 12 mzpakipot

    btw! KSA is stunning!!
    “but guess what csw said in the end? he actually asked kim suna if her hand was ok”

    oh that’s right i missed that part of translation..real sweet of Mr. Cha.

  13. 13 rambutan

    @ 6 jusash. Jo Guk fired her from the competition so that her two nights out of the dormitory (against the contest rules) with him, then Jung Do, would not be seen as conflict of interest. This firing most likely saved the day when the first runner up did accuse her of sleeping with the two guys in order to get the Miss Baendaengi crown.

    Samsooki, another fabulous recap! I didn’t realise how much Jo Guk would hurt from that slap on the head until you put the scene in slow motion.

  14. 14 etsy

    I watched all of the hardsubbed episodes that are out so far after reading the recap for episode 3. The drama really has been a pleasant surprise. I don’t think I like it nearly as much as most people here, but I stayed up until 6 this morning watching the series, which I haven’t done for a kdrama in a long time. This series is a feel-good, catchy drama without resorting to angsty, heart-wrenching love triangles. It manages to take something heavy like politics and still make it light and accessible.

  15. 15 sari

    Thanks for the daily recap (?).They truly good together in scene.Next episode pleaseee…(Hey!not everybody have read this recap!sorry my bad).

  16. 16 ockoala

    City Hallers, the appetizer is over, here comes the main course of our 12 course meal! Sweet, Samsookie, I take the babies swimming for 2 hours and come back to City Hall eps. 4 recaps, thank you, thank you, for the hard work and dedication in giving us new recaps so quickly (in my mind) and done so exquisitely. I read it in one breathe and swooned (cue my own harlequin romance images)……I almost couldn’t watch the JG/JD imaginary love scene courtesy of Mirae’s overactive imagination, it was sooooo embarassing. But freaking funny that MR is such a kooky girl.

    Can I add one subtle detail (not a dig on your recapping, of course):

    When MR slaps JG on the head (wow, what a slap – totally thought Kim Sam Soon showed up in the wrong show there) and accuses him of groping her thigh, she grabs his hand and rubs it over her thigh to demonstrate to the entire table what exactly JG supposedly did. Then JG looks at Mirae in shock and says “I did?” And then he looks at his hand like it’s grown claws and sprouted hair – i.e. in horror and shock, and says “It did?” Seriously, his expression and line reading was impeccable, and goes to show how much MR totally makes this suave, unflappable perfect guy totally flustered and discombobulated each and every time. Plus, this scene from JG is important because there is a parallel scene later on that is just…….words can’t describe it, funny, poignant, adorable.

    Can you guys tell I LOVE this show, or am I being too subtle here? Hee hee, the cucumber dip scene is great, so many small gems thrown into every nook and cranny of this show. Plus, no Go Hae in this episode, an episode without GH and her icy smile is a winner already, but eps. 4 truly introduces the sum of all the parts that make Shin Mirae so special, she’s tough, determined, the opposite of insipid (inspite her sometimes silly anticsin the early episodes – those are all for a reason, people), and so caring and genuine. Her going back to finish that house renovation is case in point. I love her, and JG is a worthy man for her because even in these early episodes, her sees her as a diamond in the rough.

  17. 17 sari

    Off topic @rambutan why you prefer rambutan than manggis?hehe just kidding dude^^

  18. 18 Samsooki

    This was sure a fun episode to watch, wasn’t it?

    @6 jusash
    @8 mzpakipot
    @9 Nom_Kitteh
    @13 rambutan –

    So here’s what happened:

    1. Jo Gook sees Mi Rae violate the rules.
    2, Jo Gook thinks about things all night.
    3. In the morning, Jo Gook does two things. One, make a phone call to the Minister’s office. Two, coldly dismisses Mi Rae from the competition, knowing that he will get her back in just a few hours.
    4. The Minister calls the Mayor, and Mi Rae is now not only back in, but the contest is no longer 100% rigged so that the accomplice wins.


    I think that Jo Gook did what he did because he wanted to make sure that Mi Rae would have a fair shot at winning the contest, and, that Mi Rae (and him) would not be seen as having conspired together.

    If he hadn’t called the Minister, then even if Mi Rae hadn’t been dismissed, she would have lost because the accomplice would have won. If he hadn’t dismissed Mi Rae, then even if Mi Rae did win, she would be looked at as having cheated to win. So, by dimissing and arranging the Minister’s call, Jo Gook really did make things fair and tried his best to get rid of any taint.

    What is ironic, obviously, are that Jo Gook had to cheat to make things fair, and, even though the real cheater was the runner-up, she was the one who was accusing Mi Rae of benefiting from corruption that she was supposed to receive! LOL.

    Oh, yes, and the bro-mance scene was hilarious. It was hard to watch because I was a little embarrassed by how over-the-top it was with Jung Do using his thumb to wipe away Jo Gook’s tears…. just too much. Haha!

  19. 19 all4movies

    I think Mi Rae came back because Jo Guk was jealous and was power tripping, but he really does want Mi Rae to compete because he’s starting to like her. Hence, the string pulling.

    Kim Sun Ah’s “I Love Lucy” character is really hitting her stride now.

  20. 20 huongthusan

    I think this drama is a very romantic, emotional and hilarious one.
    watch it everybody!

  21. 21 Surf City chick

    Thank you so much for recapping this drama. I wanted to watch it but I never can find a review on this show. I am loving it by reading your review and then go and watch the drama. I love this actress and have been following her since I watched Kim Sam Soon.

    I can’t wait for your review on Ep. 5

  22. 22 huongthusan

    I made a fake “falling down” like SMR when I was at high school. My teacher criticize me for standing up welcome her not strictly, politely, so I pretended to fall down.
    I especially love this funny scene from this episode.

  23. 23 Molly

    I couldn’t help laughing throughout this recap. Maybe I’ll give in and allow myself a few hours to actually watch some episodes of City Hall. 🙂 But until then, I have your speedy recaps to look forward to! Thanks so much!

  24. 24 Nom_Kitteh

    @16 ockoala,
    Thank you for recapping that hand scene because you are right, it is significant. After these episodes and particularly after that scene, I looked up CSW because his comic timing is fantastic (sorry, sometimes his timing is even better than our sweetheart KSA — so far, at least). I didn’t know anything about him and thought he was some action star or something and found out that he had been in hit comedies. MAKES PERFECT SENSE!

    In Ep 1 (I think it’s was ep 1) when he asks KSA to repaint the house, his timing and expressions are fantastic, and when he goes on to call the toilet fixtures people and then pauses to ask if MR would be taking that call too are so funny. Oh, oh, also the scene when he comes upon MR putting up wallpaper and his expressions as he listens to MR’s pal telling her to take extra wallpaper home are spot on terrific.
    “So, by dimissing and arranging the Minister’s call, Jo Gook really did make things fair and tried his best to get rid of any taint.”

    I don’t mean to argue…but I don’t know if I can get on board with this. I do think you make good sense though! I hesitate only because JG seems like someone who wouldn’t give a damn about appearances of fairness, especially since he finds the whole enterprise of the beauty contest completely beneath him and smacking of provincial tackiness. He is an arrogant prick (which makes his melting heart and forthcoming passion that much more endearing and intoxicating) so maybe he realized that he needed JD back on the team. Also, he called the Minister so as to get MR back for sure so it seems more an act coming from confusing feelings developing? We will know more when this is alluded to by the fiancee later on…and I don’t want to throw out any spoilers.

    Did he call the Minister before he fired MR? If he did…then I guess I agree that he was trying to give this rigged show a semblance of fairness.

    @12 mzpakipot,
    Is there a BTS of this scene? I want to see CSW asking after KSA’s hand!!!!

  25. 25 mzpakipot


    my mistake, i shouldn’t have said BTS….it was an interview with KSA, she was explaining that scene, how she really hit Cha Seung Won real hard that it also hurt her hand.

    here’s the short clip for that interview.
    [no sub] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvqp3T3YMps

  26. 26 mzpakipot

    I think CSW is more effective in comic timing because of his facial expressions especially his eyes. Just looking at his eyes, you can already tell his reaction.

    @samsooki, thanks for your analysis, and you do make a good point. Now I just need to explain to my friend.

  27. 27 ockoala

    City Hall has so many unique and quirky secondary characters that sadly, recaps can’t do them justice. I love how Soo-In is like a baby/mini Jo Gook (he’s adorable). A non-plot advancing tangent has Soo-In planning Deputy Mayor Jo Gook’s schedule to meet and greet various Inju residents, and one place JG goes is to serve lunch at the school cafeteria. And when JG gets to the plate of a plump little girl, he dumps a ton of rice on her plate and tells her to eat up. And when the little girl says she can’t eat it all, JG tells her she reminds him of someone he knows. Totally laught out loud funny, he thinks of MR a lot more than he lets on. And it’s kinda mean and non-PG, but shows that JG doesn’t relate to regular folks, he’s can be such a total ass.

    I’ve extolled the chemistry of veteran actors KSA and CSW, to continue everyone’s discussion on this subject, I find that it’s both physical (they are both quite tall for their respective sexes, and match up very well visually and so gorgeous to behold), and it’s emotional (they can both convey the entire world of emotions through their eyes and sighs). Part of why I didn’t love MNIKSS, I didn’t get the connection that KSA and Binnie was supposed to convey, the great acting and story of that drama notwithstanding.

    And a final call-out to Ms. KSA’s musicality, she really does dance very well. I can tell CSW is not as adept at dancing, he was really a foil for Ms. KSA to shine and win her Baendaengi crown.

  28. 28 ruthie

    my classic fave scene is the showdown between jo gook and mi rae..
    omg! jo gook’s reaction after mi rae’s yelling is priceless.
    amazing episode! wootwoot! im finish with the drama..
    i love until the end. amazingly well done.

  29. 29 rambutan

    @ 14 etsy. Welcome to the club! I sense a real addict being made. You’ve watched all the hardsubbed episodes that are out so far (12 ep). You did it over 24 hours, and maybe in one sitting, because you stayed up till 6 this morning (12 episodes translate to 14 hours). On the other hand, you said you don’t think you like it nearly as much as most people here. Well, ep. 12 is only the tip of the iceberg. The show gets better from here. Enjoy the ride!

  30. 30 yhang

    The moving picture is really funny!

    It is ssooo cool of you to include it there.

  31. 31 Carolin

    thank you so much for that little video. I think this would be a cool thing to add in to other recaps-say triple for example? I know this would mean more work for you-but I really think it helped in reading the scene over.

  32. 32 hyunnie

    when i first watch this drama
    i thought i made a mistake downloaded
    but from epi 4 up it was really funny
    and the chemistry between the main characters is so amazing
    the gif is just too funny
    anyway thanks for the recaps

  33. 33 epyc

    Another brilliant re-cap – it is as GREAT as seeing the episode itself!

    I love the leg hugging scene because it is done so in the classic Lucy Ball fashion. It is a scene so visually hilarious that can go without dialogues – just the sight of JG taller than the ceiling cracks me up! We are all stunned by the electrifying chemistry between KSA and CSW but I think they will be a perfect pair for a comedy sitcom or for rom-com movies in the Hepburn-Spencer tradition (a much much hotter Spencer though).

    Soompiers haver dicussed to death with no definitive conclusion the reason behind JG’s dismisall of MR. It’d therefore be interesting to see what people think here. We never see WHEN JG made that phone call to his political friend but only the thankyou call after the Mayor’s demand to reinstate MR. And don’t forget the scene of his brooding in his garden gazing MR’s dog house the night before. I’m more into the argument that this is not pre-meditated. When he walked into that reheasal hall, his eagle eyes searching MR on stage is very telling. The minute those girls complaining MR away from camp with men two nights in a row, the ever clever politician JG senses and grabs this political opportunity to kill many birds in one stone. His dismissal is a combination of consciously: political maneuver, exonerating himself from the JG-MR scandal, teaching MR a lesson, showing her who is the boss (ie him being the key in this contest, not JD with whom she spent the night) AND unconsciously: jealousy. At this point of the drama, it is not a stage where he would acknowlege his having any feeling for MR but rather, he LIKES to think he is doing so for political gains. I also think that the scriptwriter has deliberately made it ambiguous for our imagination.

    I love, love, and love the scene when JG told MR to return to the contest. KSA as the actress and MR as the smug-stopper is brilliant here! I love how she doesn’t miss a beat to shoot JG with her scatter-gun spats before taking a 180 degree turnaround: oh yey I’m back in the race!

    And OMG, I never realise how BRUTAL that back head striking is until seeing this slow motion gif! This is another beloved scence of mine, and, Yes, the ‘ne ge yo ye ge yo’ is all so important for a later episode 😀

    One fascinating experience in watching CH is: you don’t see the overarching story until very, very later on. This is so different from other dramas where you pretty much know how the story will play out from day one and, as a viewer, you don’t have to guess much. Here in CH, all you have is a vague idea and you have to guess along each step of the drama (and more often than not, the development is beyond your expectation).

    @ 14 etsy

    “. This series is a feel-good, catchy drama without resorting to angsty, heart-wrenching love triangles.”

    Yes, it doesn’t have a love triangle per se – but sit tight for the most sumptuous, delectable and consummate angsty and heart-wrenching romance to be served out..

  34. 34 omo

    I sort of feel compelled to defend these few messy and haphazard episodes. I would like to think that under the leadership of Mayor Go and his cronies, nothing is running orderly. If these few early episodes have been not be disarrayed, I am inclined to think and feel that Mayor Go may be quite efficient after all!

    OK, and now for the million dollar question : Why did Jo Gook dismiss Mi-rae from the pageant in the first place?

    I’ll taking my stand purely from JG’s point of view. JG is a master planner and he is a decisive person for all things non personal. And he is not one person who would even let jealousy cloud his judgment.

    At the beginning of Ep 3, he has received clear instruction from BB to GET RID OF THE MAYOR. This objective is most important to him at this point in time. From his conversation with Soo-In, he knew that the Mayor and his cronies are out to make him an accomplice for their money laundering scam. By letting the runner-up/accomplice win, it does nothing for JG, and certainly will not help him achieve his foremost objective. On the contrary, JG will get into a lot of trouble for it if Mayor Go’s pageant accomplice wins.

    Therefore, the thinking and smart JG has to come up with a plan to outwit and outsmart Mayor Go. Knowing that the contest is rigged from the beginning, JG has to get Mayor Go (specifically) to be on his side. There are 4 main judges, and 3 of them out of the 4 are involved in the scam. The remaining judges (presumably) are not involved in the scam, so they will be fair in their votes. Hence, I do agree with @18 Samsooki and all the points and comments he made in that post.

    The jealousy argument holds if and only if JG did not intentionally reinstate MR back into the contest.

    Again, thank you all for the recaps. Made my day. 🙂

  35. 35 Samsooki

    Just a reminder:

    I know most ppl reading this have seen City Hall, all of it.

    But let’s try to avoid hints and even minor spoilers as to what is to come, as the recaps are written from the point of view of contemporaneous watching. We’ve tried to keep our analyses based on what we’ve seen so far, rather than what will be coming.

    This is in deference to:

    1. People who haven’t yet seen it or seen it all yet.

    2. Recapping in general. As a general principal, recapping is done to keep pace with the dramas. Otherwise, recaps are just reviews and I might as well just skip to episode 20 and review the series and my favorite scenes.


    If you guys have seen the recaps for Triple, you know already that this already an issue, with ppl giving hints as to what does and does not happen with various storylines. This is sucking the fun out of watching for those who are just starting Triple (like me and my wife), and it also sucks the fun out of spending the energy, time and dedication it takes to make a single recap.

    I know that the vast majority of CH watchers aare already finished. But if everybody were done watching, then we would not have asked JB to allow us to recap. I would have just written a review.

    :). Let’s do our best to keep discussions on only those things that ha e been revealed, in all of JB’s threads.

    Oh, and thank you so much to all who given such a warm reception to our recaps. 0timelost, cleown, mead33 and I are so thrilled you guys are enjoying them!


  36. 36 Samsooki

    (BTW, I’m not pointing fingers at anyone, honestly. This is just a reminder. Also, we should keep in mind whose website this is – even the Power That Be, the mighty one herself, Javabeans, may or may not have seen City Hall past the first few episodes.. So in the off chance she will finish City Hall, and in the more remote chance she will read these recaps, I am hopeful that we can continue being spoiler free.)

  37. 37 sleeplessinwgtn

    @18 Samsooki

    Agree with your points. JG wanted SMR to win and to make sure that happens, he orchestrated it so that even the Mayor would be on his side.

    I have the benefit of hindsight having watched the entire series in Viikii so I can see some other possible rationale why JG did what he did but to reveal them at this point would spoil the fun so I’ll stop right here.

    Having watched the entire series, I still take a lot of pleasure reading your recaps as they explain the finer points and some dialogue that got “lost in the translation”.

    My first motivator in watching CH is KSA; loved her in MNIKSS. However the KSA/CSW pair really blew me away. They have, by far, the greatest chemistry on-screen, in all the Kdramas I’ve watched. And their comic and drama scenes made me laugh then cry.

    Looking forward to future recaps.


  38. 38 bspanda

    To CH recappers – ie the awesome gang of Samsooki, 0timelost, cleown, and mead33

    Oh in case you have not heard it enough – THANK YOU x million!! Daily recaps! Fantastic!

    At the moment my schedule has been crazy so I have not managed to watch any of my CH DVD (aside from 30 sec of ep 1 to check quality of subs) – but bet yr ass I am gonna ASAP! These recaps have been a great gift to the time poor me. You guys are totally rescuing me from having no sleep at all. Even managed to eat a late dnr reading this! Mutlitasking at it’s best!

    And much appreciated note about comments which contain spoilers – as one who has not yet watched CH it would be good to read recaps as they unfold! (of course if/when I watch it I’ll have to remind myself of that too LOL)

  39. 39 sugarpunch

    again, great acting:) but firstly, the woman in me wants to say that Jo Gook dismissed Mi Rae because of jealousy. He was jealous when he saw that close relationship between Mi Rae and Jung Do, so he got pissed and used the “rules” excuse against her. Wasn’t he the one who needed her at night to organise the rest of the Ms Herring contest as well? If he wanted to teach her about following the rules, why were his actions so contradictory?
    and I think Mi Rae pretended to faint. would a 10th grade civil servant who could stand up to Joo Hwa, and give Deputy Mayor Jo Gook a piece of her mind give up the place that she won fair and square? haha… no. when Jo Gook was carrying her on his back, she opened her eyes to give a wry smile…. but poor Jo Gook’s back!

    In general, Mirae has proven herself to be gutsy in the presence of Jo Gook while Jo Gook has proven to be as crazy as Mirae when it comes to antics. Can’t wait to see the sparks fly:D

  40. 40 jastinel

    Most of my favorite scene are in this episode, I got to see MR looking pitifully, angry, sad, running wild in the market, being beaten by Boomi. Then the transformation of MR that I`ve been waiting for, from being an ugly duckling, she transformed into a beautiful swan. KSA danced the Tango again and I love the way they looked at each other.
    The scene in the chicken resto made me laughed so hard, I don`t understand why MR hit JG in the head, but after watching the scene with sub, I find it more hilarious add to that, their conversation outside. KSA is totally awesome in her facial expression and acting childish. cute…cute KSA!

    Thanks guys for the recap!
    I wish they (KSA and Cha) will act together again….soon!

  41. 41 j_d_b

    I don’t know what to say but I really love this part. Its really getting better. Oh before I forget thanks Samsookii for stating the basic fact and your feeling about some spoilers. Some of us might not realized that and we’re happy to hear your thoughts and feelings about it. I personally want to be extra careful taking consideration the kdrama lovers who haven’t watched the series. Nevertheless I do hope that your review could penetrate java’s consciousness to watch or maybe its on her list already? I for one want to know her thoughts about CT.
    Again….many.. many thanks!

  42. 42 ockoala

    I laughed from beginning to end of this episode, it was that funny and charming from scene to scene. Did anyone catch JungHwa’s face when the runner-up went from accusing MR of sleeping with the Deputy Mayor JG, and the next night she spent the night with Director Lee Jung Do? Too bad we never saw how might pissed she was that MR “spent the night” with her husband!

    I like to think that JG up until now, even with MR an x-factor and always acting outside his expectations, has been formulating and executing a plan. Kicking MR out and getting her reinstated has always been part of his plan. But that doesn’t mean that JG wasn’t peeved that MR and Jung Do had a nice time renovating the house together. He wasn’t happy about it, I see that little jealousy streak.

  43. 43 theMuse

    oh that sounds so great 😀 been reading your recaps since day 1! Can’t wait to get it in the US!

  44. 44 Mel

    I love the chemistry between Shin Mi Rae and Jo Gook! LOVE IT!! This Ep. is so funny!

  45. 45 Sueyip

    Wow, what can I say. This is again another amazingly witty
    recap of City Hall – beautifully written as usual. Thanks for
    that scene of Mirae hitting JoGuk’s head. Did not realize that
    it was that hard – poor CSW. And yes, I do love that tango scene.
    Suna was totally transformed into a real beautiful lady – she’s not
    that usual Mirae. Love her gown and hairdo too. And that dance
    was so romantically filmed – wow, their eye contact! This sure
    is a lovely couple. Love all their scenes together – they sizzle!
    Thank you, samsooki and team, you did it again! Looking forward to
    the next episode.

  46. 46 sallycc

    this is the 2nd time i am reading eps 1~4 re-caps (THANK YOU again, Samsooki & Co.)–i thought i could slowly get rid of my “city hall” withdrawal syndrome if i read the re-caps, but i am getting more addicted now…i am considering seeing a psychiatrist if things get worse from here on (j/k)

    peace ^_^

  47. 47 langdon813

    We made it to Ep 4! Man, it’s like Christmas every day around here!

    I would say this is one of my favorite episodes, but let’s face it; from this point on, they’re ALL my favorite episodes. I guess what I like most about this one is that to me, this is really where we start to see the sparks fly between Jo Gook and Mi-rae. There’s a whole lot of touchy-feely going on here, what with all the leg grabbing, hoodie-pulling, piggybacking, head-hitting, leg-rubbing, the OMG HOW HOT WAS THAT TANGO…only to be capped off by the “Will they, won’t they?” scene at the end.

    Oh, I love this show so much, I want to marry it and have its little City Hall babies.


    “Harlequin recitation”…great turn of phrase, Samsooki! 🙂

  48. 48 elaineD

    ROFL. i have to say that this show is very very entertaining to watch and very very addictive too <3 hehe.

    I've seen the whole entire series and I loved the ride. In the end, I found myself sitting there and being slowly halted to a stop. It was a "fun fun fun fun fun" (haha, like randy and evan said on sytycd) ride. But in the end, it was just a fun adventure, nothing more. It was steps above the fluffy level, but only one step below the best drama level.

    This isn't the super intriguing, memorable, and morally challenging drama. It is the fun drama with a bit of seriousness, enough to make you addicted.

    As a conclusion after watching this entire drama, the beginning was like diving into something I had no idea about: level 0. As I went on, it climbed on to 3,4,5,6,7,8 and it basically stopped there. It is dissapointing in a way that it never reaches that 9, or an A in a sense.

  49. 49 birdscout

    Samsooki & crew,

    You have outdone yourselves with this recap of episode 4! Each recap gets better and better! THANK YOU!

    “Omo, what art thou doing, sir?” I love how you mixed the “omo” with old -fashioned Harlequin Romance-speak!

    I laughed until I cried watching the hit on the head in slo-mo a dozen times in a row. As you pointed out, the slo-mo makes the hit seem so much more painful, and I’m a bit embarrassed that I’m having so much fun at Jo Gook’s expense! LOL!

    I’m sure I’m not he only one waiting with much anticipation for the next installment. (no pressure:)

    @16 ockoala

    Thank you for detailing the “Jo Gook’s hand” scene. It was hilarious. Although I’ve finished the whole City Hall drama, I can’t recall the parallel scene that you’ve alluded to. In order to prevent any spoilers, can you please mention it in a later post, in the appropriate episode? Thanks, if you remember. I”m really curious.

  50. 50 hotfuzz

    fantastic recaps!!
    hope to see episode 5 recaps soon.

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