Drama Recaps
City Hall: Episode 7
by | July 20, 2009 | 76 Comments

(written by Samsooki, editing, layout, design and CH love by 0timelost, cleown, and mead33)

Panoramic and beautiful Inju City on a warm spring day.

City Hall: Episode 7 – A Bright Future (미래) For Inju City

As we start Episode 7, I feel like a new drama series has started, and a new series that in some ways has very little to do with the first six episodes. Now, we are seeing main story arcs developing, like Mi Rae and her battle against abuse of power and corruption, and how far she is willing to go. The other big story line is the evolution of the relationship between Mi Rae and Jo Gook.

At the porridge shop, Jo Gook offers his help to Mi Rae.

MR: What’s your goal, Deputy Major?

JG: Oust Mayor Go, and then conduct a by-election. Is your goal the same, or is it different?

Jo Gook notes that the Mayor is responsible for all sorts of corruption and criminal activities. Inju’s citizens are suffering with stagnant economic growth, and Inju’s unemployment rate is the highest in the country and growing. As Mi Rae ponders Jo Gook’s reasons, Jo Gook says that he is prepared to force the mayor to take responsibility.

Mi Rae is not so easily swayed by Jo Gook’s words, and she retorts, “Then YOU should go do it.” Jo Gook lets slip a surprised expression ever so slightly, perhaps thinking that his silky words should have been able to persuade Mi Rae. Another surprise awaits Jo Gook as Mi Rae claims that she only wants to get her prize money and nothing more. After all, she is only what Jo Gook said that she was – a Level 10 Civil Servant and now she isn’t even that. So, he should just take his plans and work his magic by himself. She wants no part of it.

Mi Rae looks up at Jo Gook using her “I’m naïve” look, but her rather harsh words belie her innocence. Jo Gook responds equally coldly, telling her that he thought she was a realistic person, but it turns out that he misjudged her. Mi Rae, in her parting words, reveals why she refused to be a part of Jo Gook’s plans:

Mi Rae: No, you judged me correctly. But it is a pity that I’ve changed a lot over the last few days, enough not to be used by anyone else.

You can almost hear the gears grinding in Jo Gook’s head, as the noggin computer spits out the rather obvious calculation: “Must… reevaluate… Shin Mi Rae.”

The following day, as Mi Rae sets up her one-woman protest placards, she finds Jung Do standing in front of her. Jung Do repeats the question that he had asked her earlier, back when he first told her that the contest was rigged and there would be no money for her.

Jung Do: Do you have the courage to be the upstanding witness? Do you have the confidence to stay with it until the end? Do you have the confidence to stick with it and not give up and run half-way through?

Mi Rae pauses, and then tears up as she nods yes – it looks like Jung Do will help, even if Jo Gook won’t help her without adding conditions. (When I grow up, I want to be just like Jung Do, but without the pama hair.) It is no longer a one-person protest, now that Jung Do is there.

But just as Mi Rae’s support has grown, so have the obstacles. News reports start to come out, with various people lying about Mi Rae and backing the story that there was no diversion of money. It is all Joo Hwa’s doing. Mi Rae’s public support looks shaky now.

Mi Rae finally meets with Boo Mi, as she is trudging back home from another failed job interview. Boo Mi is even more upset than before, the public now sees Mi Rae as a lunatic and a liar. The concern for her friend is evident on Boo Mi’s face, along with the bitterness of having to face all this trouble because of Mi Rae’s stubborness. But hey, at least they are talking again. Mi Rae is deflated now, unsure of what to do.

When it rains, it pours. Joo Hwa has more tricks up her sleeve. The lease of Mi Rae’s mother’s tiny little baendaengi fish store has been revoked, along with all of her neighbors’. Also, the Mayor has filed charges of defamation against Jung Do and Mi Rae. The obstacles are now immense and multiplying, as more and more people are being affected by Mi Rae’s protest, and Mi Rae knows of only one person who can actually do something.

So Mi Rae swallows her pride and goes to ask for Jo Gook’s help. Who is, predictably, in a gloating kind of mood. He asks Mi Rae to wait outside his house as he goes inside to change, and then they will go out to dinner. Mi Rae has no choice but to agree, feeling humiliated that she has to beg Jo Gook after having rebuffed his initial offer.

Flush with the sense of victory over the stubborn Mi Rae, Jo Gook changes in his room and notices the Baedaengi crystal hairclip on his desk. Jo Gook’s smirk disappears as his thoughts go backwards in time…

…to the night before the Baendaengi Pageant finals. It looks like on the night before Jo Gook dismisses Mi Rae from the contest, he was not just watching from the car, but he was at the Habitat for Humanity house. But it was unclear at that point why he was there. Was he merely driving by? Now, more light is being shed on this seemingly minor incident: Jo Gook wasn’t just driving by Mi Rae’s house that night, it seems that he followed Mi Rae back to the house after dinner! He was right there, 30 feet away!

So what now? Is Jo Gook just longing for a warm and honest friendship? If so, why is he treating Mi Rae (and Jung Do) so poorly? What is Jo Gook’s major malfunction?

So, Mi Rae has agreed to Jo Gook’s help, and the two of them have dinner at a fancy hotel restaurant. Mi Rae is assured by Jo Gook’s confidence that she will be able to redress all the injustices done, Mi Rae is unconvinced as this is clearly for Jo Gook’s benefit more than anything for her. As Jo Gook gets up to pay, Mi Rae asks him to wait. She wants dessert first (lol)! In that moment, we can see the little girl who always wanted to come to a place like this but was never asked. Though Mi Rae has no illusions about what this dinner is for Jo Gook, it doesn’t mean that Mi Rae can’t at least enjoy the food and the atmosphere. It is a window to Mi Rae’s personality – she can be as strong as any person alive, but inside she is still a woman who wants dessert especially if someone else is paying.

After dinner as they walk out of the hotel restaurant, Jo Gook admits he has never seen a woman like Mi Rae before. Mi Rae stops cold, and shyly asks Jo Gook what kind of woman does he thinks she is.

Jo Gook: The kind of woman who doesn’t eat her food, but inhales it.

(LOL. Somewhere, Binnie is trying to high-five a television set.)

Is Mi Rae going to let that kind of comment go without adequate response? Heck no! Mi Rae fires back:

I wasn’t going to bring this up before, but I had an ex-boyfriend once looked exactly like Hyun Bin! And he told me that just like Thumbelina, he wanted to keep me in his pocket and carry me around everywhere!

(And the huge surprised roar of delight from Kim Sam Soon fans everywhere could be heard all around the world).

Right then and there, from across the hotel lobby, Mi Rae spots an ex-boyfriend of hers, the one who had dumped her and skipped out on his debts, which forced Mi Rae to cover them. And this dead-beat ex-bf is with another woman. Mi Rae asks Jo Gook to wait while she gives her ex-bf a piece of her mind.

Jo Gook comes over to help and demands that the ex-bf pay up the money he owed. Mi Rae grabs Jo Gook’s arm and does what every dumped girlfriend in history dreams of doing: “Hey loser! I’m with a better man now.” Jo Gook, wise to the ways of Mi Rae, plays along:

JG: Shall we go up now? I’ve already reserved a room.

MR: (glaring at her ex) Yes, let’s go. (Turns to JG in shock as her brain registers his words) What?

JG: (in a husky sexy voice) I can’t wait any longer.

MR: (pausing, then shyly hugs Jo Gook) Oppa, I can’t wait any longer, either. (Leaving the dumbfounded ex-boyfriend behind)

(Okay, so I have to admit. It can be kind of cool to know people like Jo Gook. I think every girl should have one friend like Jo Gook.)

Back in the hotel room that Jo Gook did really reserve, Jo Gook hands Mi Rae the evidentiary documents that can drop the Mayor in a single blow. As Mi Rae is about to leave, Jo Gook gives her one more thing: the Baendaengi hairclip that he found. Jo Gook gently pins the clip into heir hair. Mi Rae is surprised by how gentle and touching Jo Gook can be.

The next day, Mi Rae meets with Jung Do, who asks her what she will do with those documents, telling her that even if the Mayor falls, it will not be her victory, but Jo Gook’s victory. Mi Rae agrees, but after having read the documents, she cannot sit still and do nothing.

This forces Jung Do aback a little (and I can see why, considering that is exactly what Jung Do did – sit back and do nothing for so many years). Mi Rae’s friends suggest going to the police or to the media.

But Mi Rae wants to finish this battle her way. She makes hundreds of copies of the documents and then starts passing them out to everyone in Inju by hand.

In an emergency meeting brought on by Mi Rae’s actions, the Mayor calls together his advisors, but they are useless. Jo Gook stops by, smiles, pokes a few tender spots, and then leaves after tendering his resignation. The Mayoral ship is sinking, and both Joo Hwa and the Mayor’s political ally, Assemblyman Boo Jung Han, have made plans to dump him. When the ruling party’s City Council members wash their hands off of the Mayor, he knows that he has no out-strategy left. He is about to be arrested and will go to prison. It is over.

For Mi Rae, though, it is not over. She has planned a 2 p.m. gathering in front of City Hall, the place where she spent the hellish week with her protest, as a symbolic show of vindication and proof that a person can make a difference in Inju. But it is past 3 p.m., and nobody has shown up. It looks like Mi Rae’s battle has resulted in a Mayor falling, but no gain as the citizens of Inju just don’t seem to care.

As Mi Rae starts to despair, a mother and a child show up. The mother tells Mi Rae, “For my child, I want to make a brighter future.” The word for future in Korean is “mi-rae” (미래), and so, the mother has come to make Mi Rae brighter, for her child.

It looks like it is just them… but then four more people show up.

Then more come, in small groups and in pairs. They are starting to come to stand with Mi Rae.

And they keep coming.

Because of the support of the people of Inju, her one-person protest has been vindicated. She can see the good it has done, as people gather with her leaflets in hand. They come for a reason, not just for a show. Mi Rae is filled with pride that she has done something good for the people.

Oh, and Jung Do is proud of her, proud to be standing with her.

And… so, actually, is this guy (even though he is watching from like 50 yards away, from behind a tree).

The following day, Mi Rae is sitting on her bench outside her home. Cherry tree flower petals are raining down, as it is a warm spring day. Spring has shown up in earnest in Inju City, and it is a new beginning for more than just the trees.

Mi Rae is deep in thought when the person who is probably on her mind shows up in front of her.

Jo Gook is carrying flowers for Mi Rae and stops in front of her. For a while, they gaze at each other, trying to see what truth they can find in each other’s eyes.

Mi Rae: Why did you come?

Jo Gook: Because I missed you.

Comments –

Wow….let’s let that last bit of dialogue sink in….. Okay!

First, I am totally pumped that Jo Gook has fallen for Mi Rae. But is it love? Is it just because he’s never met a woman like Mi Rae before? Is it because Jo Gook is desperately lonely and tired of just being surrounded by people he cannot trust?

And on the other side, what is Mi Rae really thinking? How many times has Jo Gook treated her like crap and humiliated her in front of other people? How many times has he hurt her pride already? Jo Gook has done some pretty cool things for her too, but a person with a hidden agenda is not someone you can give your love and trust to entirely. Mi Rae is no fool and she knows that. However, she can’t stop what she feels and that feeling is strong for this man.

For those keeping score, then – Jo Gook likes Mi Rae. To what extent and whether he loves her is unknown, but it is enough to follow her around, to think about her even as he is hugging someone else, and to do things for her that he did not have to do. And Mi Rae likes Jo Gook, undeniably, but she is also scared of him since she cannot trust him. It isn’t like Mi Rae is this innocent young woman. She knows that Jo Gook has a woman, and she knows that Jo Gook has ulterior motives whenever he is dealing with her. Oh, and just for the record, nobody loves the Mayor, except for the wart-faced secretary of his whom I detest even more than the Mayor.

One last point about this episode. The soundtrack songs that are used in this episode are just so perfect. What a fantastic job by the CH production team to match the mood, the songs and the lyrics to this episode. Wonderful. If you are just reading the recaps, you have no idea how good the music and the scenes go together.

The one to watch for in this Episode but who didn’t show up, after all: Hyun Bin.

Hyun Bin, Kim Sun Ah’s co-star in the mega-hit drama series, My Name Is Kim Sam Soon, was rumored to make a cameo appearance as Mi Rae’s ex-bf, but did not, and instead it was just some dialogue about how Mi Rae’s ex-bf looks exactly like Hyun Bin. I would have blown a gasket if Binnie actually did show up. It would be like picking between your children. Binnie or Cha Seung Won for Kim Sun Ah? OMG, later later later. Later… that conversation is for later.

On To Episode 8!


76 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Surf City chick

    OMG – when he said “Because I missed you”. Omo, omo, what a line to say to a girl! I nearly had a “what did you just say look”. Okay now I cannot wait for next episode. Thank you for your review Samsooki and others.

  2. questions987

    I love this drama. Starting it again!

  3. cecee

    You can almost hear the gears grinding in Jo Gook’s head, as the noggin computer spits out the rather obvious calculation: “Must… reevaluate… Shin Mi Rae.”

    OMG! ROFL! that was the funniest Samsooki! Great work guys. Loving your recaps and looking for more! Feed the C R A V E.

  4. ockoala

    To Samsooki et al City Hall recap team:

    I am running out of superlatives for the quality of the recaps, and we still have 13 more episodes to go! Once again, you summarized the plot succinctly with all your witty asides peppered throughout, but you have more importantly captured the mood and the emotional highs and lows of this episode perfectly.

    This episode was a lovely respite from the drama, the heavy hitting (all necessary to propel our heroine forward) of episode 6. Here we have laugh out loud scenes (from the second JG and MR exit the restaurant after that meal until they go up to the hotel room where neither can “take it anymore”, I was rolling on the floor chortling – these 2 insane fools are perfect for each other)! To inspirational gatherings such as when the citizens come out to support MR (it was to be expected, this is a k-drama after all, but boy was it done well). And the tender hair clipping scene was the opening knock of acknowledgment we fans have been waiting for. And when MR spies JG walking into her line of vision as she is sitting pensively in her front yard, I yelped, it was so romantic and lovely. And JG, you sly dog, “I missed you.” God, how does 3 little words mean so much coming from him. Coupled with the musical score (thanks for the props on the music, Samsooki – I can’t stop listening to the OST), if anyone at that moment can control themselves and not immediately scour the web to watch episode 8, you have way more will-power than I.

    Thank you for the hard work so that we can enjoy these amazing recaps, and allow us to dicuss even further at length our insights and love for City Hall episode by episode.

  5. Bolt

    Why is her hair style looks so strange? Kind of like Susan Boyle?

  6. Shin Anna

    I almost fell out of my chair laughing when she said her ex-boyfriend looked llike Hyun Bin. It was really a great moment!

  7. Jill4675

    Another great recap of a great episode with many hilarious moments, and I loved the way 7 ended ~ total and complete knockout! 😆

  8. celestialorigin

    Aww! That last scene was so eloquently/elegantly presented! Especially, growing up in Japan, I’m sooo partial to Sakura, an annual gift from mother nature for us to experience it’s beauty. So evocative… the air is filled up with full of anticipations and what not…. I had to go back and watch it again just now… The thing about City Hall is that there are so many beautiful moments like this through out the series. What more can we ask for? Thank you so much for this timely recap again! Better get back to work.

  9. Biscuit

    Thanks for the recap Samsooki (oh, what’s this feeling as I say that sentence?) It’s always been JB, and I’m so new to having Samsooki do recaps! But I like the recaps and your recaps are really pleasant to read.

    Another good episode, and I’m enjoying it more and more!

    PS. The black sandals in the last image… heheh… my mom had a pair of those last year that she bought at the Dollar Store >.< I dont know why I have to mention that….

  10. 10 katwoman

    “I would have blown a gasket if Binnie actually did show up.”

    I know how you feel…I would be torn between two lovers. But at this point, it would have to be Binnie! Jo Gook still has to prove himself worthy.

    Thanks for the recap. I love the first screenshot you have up there. One of my favorite scenes is still Mi Rae sitting under the plum (cherry?) tree as the blossoms are blowing. That was just beautiful.

    I don’t know why…but I thought the “I miss you” line came out of nowhere. I wasn’t ready for it so I didn’t “feel” it as much.

  11. 11 Jean

    Mi Rae’s One-Person Protest reminded me of my version of on-line protest. I hope good things turn out at the end.

    I am loving every bit of this drama. Thank you for recapping, Samsooki and friends – article beautifully written and screen caps nicely selected – and you are correct, Samsooki, the songs made the drama so much more powerful!

    In your opinion, at what point did JG start to fall for SMR?

  12. 12 coffee princess

    im really loving this show, up until ep 7 i liked it but didnt see what all the fuss was about as everyone seemed to have over hyped it…but im now on ep18 after only a few days, totally addicted. to be honest i didnt find Cha Seung Won attractive at all when i started watching this, but with his cute and funny scenes he has really grown on me.

  13. 13 michelle

    i love this drama and i love GUMI couples.
    Thank for recaps Samsoonki and your teams
    When he said “because i miss you” my heart stop,the view around so nice and the music always match with the scene.is the small element made this drama successfully.

    I’d like to thank you again Samsoonki’s team.Love

  14. 14 mtoenlob

    Thank you for the wonderful recap. You and your team are doing a great job. I just chance upon this when I did some skimming on the articles. Great to know a recap is being made for this great drama. Will have to search for your recaps on the earlier episodes. Am sure they would be as fantastic as this one. Your reference to Binnie and your side comments blew me with laughter. (LOL. Somewhere, Binnie is trying to high-five a television set.) (And the huge surprised roar of delight from Kim Sam Soon fans everywhere could be heard all around the world). (Okay, so I have to admit. It can be kind of cool to know people like Jo Gook. I think every girl should have one friend like Jo Gook.)

    At this point, it’s really hard to digest Jo Gook’s real intentions. Is he feeling something for Mi Rae now or it there some ulterior motives? And I’m glad Mi Rae is realistic enough to know that in spite of her growing feelings for Jo Gook she is wary of his real purpose.

    Keep it coming, Samsooki!

  15. 15 mtoenlob

    And, yes, the sound track perfectly set the mood of the scene under that cherry blossom. I just love the poignant rendition of Horan. Her haunting voice did justice to the song and the feelings it evoke.

  16. 16 tombrady

    eeeeeiiiii….by episode 7, i was squealing and giggling like a school girl… hehehe. Episode 7 is when CH turned me into a mush…eagerly awaiting each and every Mirae and Joguk interaction.

    Totally agree about the music used in this episode and succeeding ones. I really, really love all the music chosen for CH. My favorite is Booranhan Sarang which played during the last scene when JoGuk turned up at Mirae’s house.

    For those who have not seen the show yet or have but do not know the English lyrics to the song, check out below…. (the scenes become even more meaningful once you know what the song means):

    Booranhan Sarang

    ireokhe joahdo dhwelkkayo (Can I really fall in love with you?)
    waenji nan booranhaeyo (Why do I feel so anxious)

    han beondo ireon jeok eopseoyo (I have never felt this way before)
    keudaega teukbyeolhaeyo (You must be special)

    sarangi dooryeopjin anhayo (I do not fear love)
    kod ibyeori onda haedo (even if separation will come soon)

    keureona i sarang sireohyo (However I do not want this love)
    deo katgo shipeunikka (because I will keep yearning for more)

    maeumdaero mool heureudeushi (Like water flowing freely in the stream)
    nae mameul matkyeobwayo (I will entrust my heart to you)

    harooga jinamyeon hanasshik (As each day passes)
    beoril ke saengkikeodeunyo (I’ll find something that needs to be thrown away one at a time.)

    kyeote doomyeon (If I have you by my side)
    Saenggak hamyeon (If I think about you)
    Sarang hamyeon (If I love you)
    dojeohi an dhwel keot kateun saram (You seem like a person that wont stay long)

    bonaen damyeon (If I let you go),
    Tteonan damyeon (If I leave you),
    keuddae deo saranghal keot kateun saram (You seem like a person that will love me more)

    booranhan sarang (Anxious love)
    keuraeseo i sarangeul naneun bootjapayo (Even so, I like this love).

    Beautiful lyrics, beautiful melody… and so apt for Shin Mirae and Jo Guk.

  17. 17 all4movies

    Lovely recap.

    Things are percolating along swimmingly.

  18. 18 omo

    Another awesome recap. Thanks for the CH love – Samsooki, 0timelost, cleown, and mead33. (I have noticed a different description for the team in each recap and love every description you choose).

    It’s one thing to be addicted to City Hall the series, but I’m addicted to the recaps too.
    Anyone else? *waves*

    In the morning, MR buys JG breakfast because MR says her mum is not making any breakfast for her since MR is not “bringing back the dough”. I wonder if she was serious when she said that. In the evening, JG buys MR dinner. I also wondered if MR hadn’t eaten all day (too busy with her protest), Poor girl. Boy, what a contrast of circumstances. I love it to death.

    Oh…the hair clip. When MR asked JG where he found the clip, I noticed JG never answered her directly. Would have been so telling about everything if JG had told MR the truth. This writer is so “wicked”. The whole audience knows except MR. If I were MR, I would have wrecked my brains thinking when/where have I lost the clip.

    @10 katwoman
    I don’t know why…but I thought the “I miss you” line came out of nowhere. I wasn’t ready for it so I didn’t “feel” it as much.

    I’m with you….only because I don’t see a MR jumping up and down the minute JG said that. It was a moment filled with friction to last till the next episode is out.

    I think 2 recaps back, there was a lot of talk about the color purple. Incidentally, KSA’s favorite color is purple/pink. Watch out for these details. Ms Kim, the writer, likes to use details from the actors’ real life/reel life personalities. Hyun Bin is one such case.

    • 18.1 birdscout

      This is splitting hairs, but I think the more literal translation, “I wanted to see you” might work better than “I missed you” in this scene.

      • 18.1.1 samsooki

        It certainly might, but literal translations don’t really work from Korean to English. “Bo-go ship-eusseo yo” can really only be translated as “I missed you.”

  19. 19 Ally

    Thank you for all of your hard work! Always great to read! I wish I could think of something witty to say, but my brain’s not being creative at the moment… 🙂

  20. 20 langdon813

    @18, omo

    Another recap addict here! **waves back**

    What must it feel like to be sitting outside on a beautiful day, flowers flying all around you in the breeze, daydreaming about a certain someone…only to have that someone show up and say something absolutely perfect that tells you they’ve been thinking about you, too. Talk about butterflies in your tummy!!

    That’s why I love this show so much…so many moments that just really get you where you live, you know?

  21. 21 alodia

    Hell, no! Samsooki, how were you able to capture the drama as it is with just your words and screencaps?
    Dang! I was caught off guard and I just found tears welling in my eyes while reading the part when the people slowly show up in front of city hall. Just like how i cried when i watched that scene a month ago(?).
    Again,hats off to Samsooki and his awesome girls 0timelost, cleown, and mead33.

    Of course being a Samsoonie Looney myself, this episode is unforgettable – with all the Hyun Bin – Jin Hun – MNIKSS references. But apart from that and all the other good scenes in between, it’s the final sequence that makes this episode really powerful.

    I am running out of superlatives for the quality of the recaps, and we still have 13 more episodes to go!
    >>Me too.

    @11 Jean
    “In your opinion, at what point did JG start to fall for SMR?”
    >>The biggest question. Can someone really answer it? I’m even wondering if this question was asked to Jo Guk, can he pinpoint exactly when? If we asked Writer Kim Eun Sook, can she tell exactly when?
    At this point no one knows. Though of course, as we move forward to the next episodes, it can give us a clearer picture. But still, I don’t think we can say “Hey at this point Jo Guk fell for Mi Rae”. Well if someone can tell me, the better. ^_^

    It’s one thing to be addicted to City Hall the series, but I’m addicted to the recaps too.Anyone else? *waves*
    >> *waves back* ME! I never knew that recaps can be addicting too… hahaha
    argh I’m suppose to finish some work – deadlines are pounding at my door, but what am I doing? Squealed with delight when I saw CITY HALL: EPISODE 7. And now smiling foolishly while reading and re-reading ep7’s recaps – and rambling once again. Help! I need help!

    This writer is so “wicked”. The whole audience knows except MR. If I were MR, I would have wrecked my brains thinking when/where have I lost the clip.

    >>Agree! Thinking back, there’s a lot of things mi rae and jo guk never found out, but we, the audience know… i would love to meet mi rae in person and tell her everything i know… lol
    but i think that’s their magic, not knowing everything about each other… not even knowing how they… ok that’s for episode 20… :p

  22. 22 birdscout

    @18 omo

    *waves back* I’m a certified City Hall Recap by Team Samsooki addict as well!

    This is seriously hilarious and intelligent recapping! Many thanks!

  23. 23 mems

    Thank you Samsooki and Team for your awesome (as usual) recaps! I have now officially jumped on the CH bandwagon. Love the Hyun Bin comments, they made me burst out laughing.

    I am currently going to start on ep 17 and I have to say, waiting patiently for the first four eps to go by was totally worth it. Boy, when this drama grabs you, it really GRABS you.

    The only thing about this ep that I though could have been shortened a bit was the scene where people begin joining MR on her one-person protest. Maybe I’m the only one, but I felt like it went on a little too long, even though it was a good scene. Only a minor detail, though.

    Great episode, great recaps. Samsooki and Team, FIGHTING! =)

  24. 24 Molly

    “I would have blown a gasket if Binnie actually did show up. It would be like picking between your children.”

    Great recap as usual! Love the humor. I started watching this drama (in full!) a few days ago and have been hooked. 🙂 It’s been too long living without KSA…(and Hyun Bin for that matter, but alas, there are only so many hours in a day…)

  25. 25 celestialorigin

    @16 tombrady thank you for the lylics! it adds a lot to the scene!

    @18 omo Me, too. I come here just check in and read everybody else’s comments.

    it’s a bit insane!!! What a great drama and great recaps! Thank you.

  26. 26 alodia

    @23 mems
    The only thing about this ep that I though could have been shortened a bit was the scene where people begin joining MR on her one-person protest.
    >> you’re not alone. i also think they could shorten it just a bit… maybe a few seconds less would do.

  27. 27 eeD

    omg, this show drives me crazy.

    everything about this drama is so attractive and appealing that I just can’t stop watching. Everyone is just so good at acting!

    a very special drama <3

  28. 28 budsdiana

    To Samsooki and team


    Will it be asking too much if you can also attached the OST, like what JB does sometimes? I know you have given as a “hand” and now I am asking for an “arm.” Really sorry if I am asking too much. Just a thought. PRETTY PLEASSSSS.

  29. 29 Samsooki

    @28 budsdiana

    I think if you check out the CH soompi thread, there might be ways for you to listen to the City Hall soundtrack.

    http://www.soompi.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=266165 (post #3)

  30. 30 kait


    count me in too, as an addicted recaps reader ….*WAVES BACK*

    Thanks Samsooki and team for good recaps!

  31. 31 blahhh

    Ok, so I finished watching City Hall last week after initially putting it aside because I felt that it wasn’t my cup tea…I love Kim Sun-ah but after her last drama “When Its at Night” i didn’t know what to expect….not acting wise because she is always amazing, just story wise…

    But after reading the recaps of the first few episodes I had to give it a shot…and I must agree with the intro in the first recap, this was one of the greatest dramas I watched…dare I say..period?? Well ok. In a long while.Honestly I’ve watched a lot to the point where I can watch the first few episodes and already see the plot unfold especially the really heavily melodramatic ones. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the recent series but this one really renewed my faith in actually good series plot and acting wise.

    City Halls is a breath of fresh air. Nothing is rushed, pushed or wasted. Everything just feels natural and exciting to watch. No pointless angst and drama..I especially love that the relationship between Jo Gook and Mi Rae is something quite different from the typical love stories. Its not a love triangle first of all…and as the story progress there is no unnecessary angst or questions about their feelings for one another..just difficult circumstances…especially with BB, I don’t know how to explain it but once you guys finish you’ll understand…

    And the side story of Jung Do and his wife is also really sweet…City Hall really only gets better after this….I absolutely loved this series….and thanks to Samsooki for helping me get into it!

  32. 32 ockoala

    *waves* *waves* *waves* Here, I am. Jumping up and down, card-carrying member of the Samsooki team City Hall recap addicts. This is such a warm, insightful community, it’s so so nice to chill here at the end of the day, it’s like a book club, but better! Our very own City Hall drama club, and all thanks to the generosity of Javabeans allowing City Hall recaps to be hosted on her blog. If Ms. Javabeans is reading these recaps, I hope she is enjoying them as much as we all are.

    Sigh, my sister finished CH last night, she powered through the last 4 episodes, she was like a woman possessed, couldn’t stop (no spoilers: but the intensity of a casual CH watcher getting sucked into the CH orbit by the end of the drama – actions speak louder than our reviews, it’s that good!). She’s still digesting it, too much to absorb before we discuss.

    What is startling for me is how ordinary Mirae is, no special schooling, no connections, a bottom rung job, really, as a brush-stroke k-drama heroine, she’s easy to dismiss, as JG does initally. But each interaction between them, she always renders him speechless/off-kilter/surprised, and I love it. As a political genius/savant, I love how MR just calls him on his political manuvering and agenda. I hate shows when the leads are on unequal footing, and from the very beginning, MR and JR are equals, she is fearless and direct, he is powerful and savvy, which is why their attraction makes so much sense. And their connection is on such a visceral level for us viewers, my gut hurted watching and waiting for them to acknowledge their feelings.

    So, that final scene, it was…..indescribable, from the scene selection, to the music, to the dialogue – I was not taken aback by his “I missed you” at all.
    @16 tombrady, THANK YOU for the translation of the lyrics, it’s a beautiful song and melody, and is perfect for the scene. And JG, he is sooooo handsome and dashing, how can MR not be attracted to him.

    Love this show! Must stop now, as husband is very disgruntled with my devotion to things CH.

  33. 33 alodia

    I first thought that JB only puts SONG OF THE DAY on posts she wrote. But I checked old recaps and some of the guest blogger’s recaps like Mararu’s “World’s Within” and heejae’s “Painter Of The Wind” have SONG OF THE DAYs too.
    It would be awesome if City Hall recaps will have SONG OF THE DAY too.
    Episode 1 actually would look lovely with “Kurae Nareul Mitja”, Episode 4 with “One Dream” – though we can reserve “One Dream” on Ep 11 too. Episode 6 with “I Sarang” and Episode 7 definitely with “Booranhan Sarang”. (ep8 can be Useobwa?, ep14 saranghago saranghamnida? ep20 moonriver?).
    Same with what budsdiana said, you have given us your hands already, yet we are asking for your arms. But if it’s not too much to ask… *Waves at Samsooki and JB* 부탁합니다

  34. 34 Joshee

    Samsooki…much as I like Jo Gook, for me its Sam Shik, Sam Shik, Sam Shik all the way!! 🙂

  35. 35 Jnie

    I just finish this drama yesterday, it left me pretty giddy.

    lol, i detest the wart-faced secretary too. And I have to agree the soundtrack goes very well with the scenes. Thanks for reviewing this drama, its what made me watch it in the first place. 😉

  36. 36 CSW

    Samsooki – about that dinner scene you wrote:

    “She wants dessert first (lol)! In that moment, we can see the little girl who always wanted to come to a place like this but was never asked. Though Mi Rae has no illusions about what this dinner is for Jo Gook, it doesn’t mean that Mi Rae can’t at least enjoy the food and the atmosphere. It is a window to Mi Rae’s personality – she can be as strong as any person alive, but inside she is still a woman who wants dessert especially if someone else is paying.”

    I have a different interpretation of that scene: MR is always ready to eat and wont miss out on a desert, but in this particular scene it wasn’t the love of food driving her but something else – and JG also sensed it . That is why he told her not to force herself while eating. Because for once, MR wasn’t enjoying the food and it was plain to see.
    that was also the reason why JG asked MR if she needs time to calm herself: MR knows whats going to happen after they finish eating dinner: she is going to get all the dirty info on Mayor Go. She knows she has no other way to save the people she cares about but she still has a conscience and if she could, she would have found a better way to help the people close to her.

    But MR is realistic and knows she hasn’t got the power to fight the Mayor the way JD wants to – after all, that’s why she went to see JG! So IMO, by ordering desert MR is prosponing the moment of truth and preparing herself mentally to the moment when the “bomb” that will bring the downfall of Mayor Go will be in her hands.

    and as always, thanks Samsooki and the whole team of City Hall for bringing us another good recap. any chance to you could make them longer 🙂

  37. 37 trihok

    Becos or ur wonderful recaps….i ve rewatched this drama again! love how the last scene ended and the flower petals raining down are simple beautiful! Thanks for the hardwork 🙂

  38. 38 hanjanman

    I’m waving, I’m waving!!!! I’m a City Hall recaps addict too!!! Samsooki, you are a gentleman, sir. Thank you for sharing your wonderful insights on each episode of this drama that gripped us CH addicts to our very core. This drama is what I used to live every Thursdays and Fridays(had to wait for it to be uploaded with subs online) for. I missed it badly when it ended but now that your doing the recaps I feel like I’m reliving the joy all over again. Again, thank you. Can’t wait till you get to ep.15, the best drama episode in the history of the universe!

    @ tombrady

    Thank you for sharing the lyrics of the song. No wonder Samsooki has been going on about how the music seems to be so sweetly apt for every scene. Remembering that last scene and knowing the lyrics to the song in the background now makes my heart swell even more than when I first saw it.

    @ omo

    I know you’ve been a big driving force in the subbing of this drama in Viikii so please receive my heartfelt thank yous, and a big HIGH FIVE!

  39. 39 sleeplessinwgtn

    I have watched and re-watched CH and still find gems in reading the recaps. They fill in gaps that I may have missed from watching and reading the subs or may have been lost in the translation.

    As to the 10M won question on when JG started to like SMR…

    My guess is he’s started to look at her in a different light when she was trying to get herself qualified to join the contest. He started seeing there’s more to this ‘lunatic’ lady than meets the eye and her ‘uniqueness’ makes her ‘attractive’ to someone like JG who’s only been with prim and proper ladies.

    You know, we become ‘intested’ then eventually ‘attracted’ to the opposite … someone who’ll challenge us… not just get along.

    Keep recapping, you’re making our day!


  40. 40 bspanda

    *wave* to fellow CH recap addicts! (and also to CH addicts as well – I am a newbie to CH but catching up fast!)

    Oh my god!

    It just keeps getting better and better (series and recaps!). I had read about the Hyun Bin ex-BF comment previously – and even with the semi coherent subtitles on my DVD they managed to get ‘Hyun BIn’ correct. But hey even I made it out without the subs! I wonder how KSA kept a straight face, or rather how many takes it took to get footage of her with a straight face! 🙂 Geez if Binnie HAD shown up i might have had a simultaeous nose bleed/heart attack from the suprise, joy and hotness! If only…..I’d would have been willing to suffer for THAT experience.

    OST – had gotten it awhile ago, when once again my fellow DB gave it postive reviews. With a few episodes under my belt, finally loaded it to my itunes. Such a ‘happy’ OST in general. The theme makes me smile and bop my head like the Taco Bell dog. LOL And one of my fav ballads is sung by Horan (at least according to my track listing). Perfect. Eventually I’ll hunt for the English translations to the lyrics.Then it would probably be Heavenly Perfect.
    (must remind self to read soompi CH thread in search of lyrics once I finish!)

    Fav scenes –
    Hairclip – the flashbacks and when he gently placed it in her hair. *sigh*
    Hotel scene with ex-BF – hilarious. And hot when JG spoke in a husky sexy voice “I can’t wait any longer” *nose bleed*
    Public support of Mi-Rae (after mayor resigned)
    Final Scene *squeal-faint-squeal*

    Visually I loved the last scene with the petals! This even before the dialogue. So gentle. A new beginning and so ‘fresh’ feeling. Then when JG showed up with FLOWERS. Mr Smug Face meanie with flowers?! OMG @_@ Add THAT last dialogue (thank god subtitles were good then)….. I squealed like how i imagine a tween @ a Jonas Bros Concert would if ALL of the Jonas Brothers walked out topless! Thank God I had a pillow handy to dampen the noise. It was so damn cute, ‘honest’ and suprising! Then of course had to rewind it again…for further enjoyment. Then after a few watches only did cynical self go ‘hmm OMG! OMG! what is his motive? Is there one? Does he really mean it? Is it true?’ Then rushed for the next DVD!

    At the beginning of the ep I thought JG you slimeball to be so smug to Mi-Rae. Of course by end of ep…ALL was forgiven.

    Hey fellow ‘defender’ of KJH from certain forces of evil (hehe) – long time not see! Hope you are well!
    Notice you are now addressing Samsooki as a ‘gentleman’ and ‘sir’.
    Hmmmm…..have to say when the recaps are this awesome I am beginning to weaken my defence and considering allowing Samsooki limited (very very limited) access to KJH! Who would have thought eh? Dangerous what really awesome recaps can do! What do you think? 🙂 I am afraid by end of CH recaps my defenses will be very very weak, if not completely gone. Very clever plotting this Darth Samsooki!
    (hjkomo if you are reading this – I hope you can defend KJH when I get too weak!! PS hope you are well too!)

  41. 41 icesiren

    @ CSW: totally agree with you on the dinner scene. i thought she was trying to prolong her “innocence” as long as she possibly could, hence eating her dinner AND his (HAHHAHA), not to mention dessert. I thought it was particularly poignant when JG asked her: “do you need more time?” because he recognizes that she is scared of using less savory tactics to achieve her political agenda.

    before this point, i think MR was very idealistic about how politics operated, in the sense that she had a very “it SHOULD be like this___” attitude. But the whole experience with the Bendenggi Ahgahsshi Pageant has showed her the darker side of politics, dosing her with some harsh reality. and that’s what this dinner represented… the end of her age of innocence, to a certain extent.

    in any case, Samsooki, as always, your recaps are much appreciated. =)

  42. 42 mzpakipot

    Hello City Hallers!

    Another Masterpiece by Samsooki and Team (cleown,mead33, and 0timelost). Thank you so much!

    I love the recaps because there some scenes that we (at soompi) haven’t analyzed yet. Like their dinner(/business?) date, I thought it was so sweet of Jo Guk to change his clothes to match Mi-rae’s attire (the color). I think everyone can analyze it in any ways, I think she was trying to prolong the dinner so she can think some more about her decision. She doesn’t wanna hurt anybody, maybe even Mayor Go. Coz Mi-rae is such a nice person, she’s having second thoughts.

    When I was reading this recap yesterday, I was literally laughing. Thank you Samsooki for catching the essence of watching it LIVE.

    I’m not good in expressing myself, but I trully enjoy everyone’s comments. It’s like you guys take the words out of my mind and mouth. No copying intended! lol

    *raises both hands* I’m also a CCHRA (Certified City Hall Recap Addict!).

    Thank you Javabeans for letting us use your wonderful blog as our Rehabilitation Haven.

    I wish JB’s faithful readers will consider watching CH after all the craziness we made in here. 😛

  43. 43 Samsooki

    I like the scene with the mass of people who have gathered to support Mi Rae. You can see that they come from all walks of life and backgrounds. Young people and old people. Some soldiers. Soccer players. Cooks from a restaurant. Business people. Farmers. Nuns and priests from a church. Teachers. TaeKwonDo people. Sanitation workers. It isn’t just one special interest group that is supporting Mi Rae, but every part of Inju is there.

    Reminds me of the scene in Braveheart, when all of Scotland comes down to support William Wallace. All the finest and bravest of Scotland shows up to defend their land and their freedom.

    City Hall is really like a mini-epic, isn’t it?

  44. 44 hanjanman

    @ bspanda

    I shall try to remain steadfast, but as the recaps keeps getting better and better my resolve might eventually crumble. It’s like his writing is almost hypnotic and it’s making me relinquish MINE claiming rights to KJH slowly but surely. If he does an excellent job with ep.15 I might just hand him KJH on a plate.

    So, for the love of KJH, stay firm!

  45. 45 epyc

    One of the joys of watching City Hall is the space and imagination that the writer has given us. The best comes from the unsaid. The most powerful scenes are those without words. Even when something is said, there is much more than what is said. Credits to KSA and CSW for their superb interpretation of MR and JG – we get so much as a viewer to be part of that amazing journey in unfolding their story.

    Think the jacket-wrapping scene, the tenderness and physical intimacy with which JG wraps his jacket around MR. You really want to get into his head to know ‘what are you thinking, man?’ Then his watching quietly in his car MR’s dancing with his jacket – that look on his face betrays the jerk he has been. I love, love, and love the hair clip recall moment – one of the finest in the drama. Why he follows MR back to the house, why he just watches from outside and not joining them, what’s that bitter look on his face (every second of CSW’s expression in that scene needs to be closely observed), and why keeping the hairclip?

    Then the dinner scene: the talk between them is about how much she can eat and her love of dessert. But is it really what they are talking about?

    There are so many levels at which you can enjoy this drama. In fact, the more you watch and re-watch, the more you appreciate and love this drama. It is like peeling off an onion, each peel brings out a new sensation and emotion.

    Yes, we do run of superlatives to praise and thank the re-cap team. Please take your time as the story is getting more intense and complex, and we will be patiently waiting – Aja fighting!

    Just an aside, the character of Director Chi always intriques me because he is not a total baddy like the Mayor’s secretary but more like a jaded civil servant that could once have integrity like JD. In Ep 6, not only is he a reluctant participant to pull MR during her one-person protest, he even tries to stop one of those egg-pelting guys.

  46. 46 nycgrl

    I loved loved the last scene. I actually gasped at the beauty of the cherry blossoms floating down all around her. What other accessory does a girl need to look her absolute most beautiful? I even forgave the CGI since it captured the lazy feeling of lying under cherry blossoms–perfect timing for a dashing guy to appear.

    I think several people mentioned that JG reminds them of Mr Darcy and to me this scene visually captures that. With his long coat and boots he just looked like he stepped out of another era presenting flowers for someone he intends to court which is exactly what he is doing though maybe not of the purely romantic kind. I have to say I think the writer or director must be a huge Jane Austen fan to get that visual just right.

    Also the other thing I really love about this scene is it contrasts JG’s fiancee versus Mirae. Go Hae is someone who is impeccabily made up and well dressed at all times. She is someone who looks more like a living doll who may be better suited to living in a museum that is perfectly temperature controlled and clean versus someone who lives in the real world. She even comments to JG in the earlier introductory scene that she doesn’t like flowers because they wither and die [who the hell hates flowers]? Mirae on the other hand is usually physically unkempt, a bit strange, and a bit wild. She interacts freely with the people around her with no pretensions or artifice which allows her to be free to experience life and also allows the people around her to be free as well. Her sitting there barefoot and unprotected with the flowers falling around her encapsulates who she is. You can be sure JG never bought his fiancee flowers.

    ok people I fear getting cyber flogged but am I the only one who didn’t like the hyunbin reference? Mostly because I thought it was a cheap way of getting more interest/ratings. You can call me a cynic since I am. I just feel CH has it’s own merit and unique charm that it doesn’t need to reference another hugely successful iconic KSA drama to get attention.

  47. 47 epyc

    @ 46 nycgirl

    We all love Darcy, don’t we?!

    I take the Hyun Bin reference a humurous act on the part of the scriptwriter rather than a rating booster (in which case a real Hyun Bin cameo is needed). She does quite a bit of this in the drama. In a later episode, there is a reference to Shining Inheritance too.

  48. 48 ockoala

    @36 CSW and all others who had the same takeaway from the dinner scene:

    I also credit Mirae’s reluactance to leave the dinner table, and her extra-effort to eat hearty, as a way for her to postpone the inevitable, which is to do what she loathes to do, which is to hurt people (even Mayor Go to MR is a person that she doesn’t want to hurt, even if he is corrupt, mistreated her, and is now trying to destroy her).

    Another reason why JG’s “I missed you” approach to MR at the end of the episode didn’t seem out of the blue is because I’ve been adding up all the small gestures between them, and it’s all added up to this moment (and I concur with each *squeal* and “squee* from all you ladies out there, JG was at the top of his game when he showed up with flowers – I would have swooned dead away). In ep. 7, if one realizes that JG manufactured a dinner with MR (he didn’t need to go to dinner with her to offer her the envelope of dirt, he could have given it to her ANYWHERE, it wasn’t like he needed to be alone with her to instruct her on how to use it), and JG changed for her first, and he went back to using the old cologne that Go Hae threw away instead of the one she placed on the table for him in episode 6, guys, JG went on a date with MR!

    And the hair clip pinning scene, nuff said by everyone, I just love the poignancy of the moment as the viewers are led back through our own memories of just how he got the clip.

    City Hall is k-drama at it’s finest, it never insults the viewers, throws manufactured plot devices just to create false tension, crafts a genuine, believable and a true fairy tale love story, my god, I can watch new dramas, enjoy old dramas, but I will be waiting a long long time before I feel this way again about something so magical. Just like the cherry blossoms falling in Inju, City Hall was a bright future for me that fulfilled no expectations and became a typhoon at shattered all the teacups.

  49. 49 Janie

    Just managed to glance through the page… haven’t had the chance to watch epi 7 nor read another enthralling recapping… that panoramic pic of Inju City up there is so tempting… looks like a great romantic-get-away place…, oh no Hyun Bin??? can’t wait to see Hyun Bin look-alike then…

  50. 50 sera

    How about a new drama with Binie, KSA and CSW. Love triangle? I would never watch it.

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