Drama Recaps
City Hall: Episode 12
by | December 6, 2009 | 88 Comments

(written by samsooki, with 0timelost, cleown, and mead33)

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Episode 12 – “Onward and Upward, the Return of City Hall Recaps, Episode 12.”

I have to begin this episode recap with an apology. I had every intention of trying to stay with the production schedule of about 1-2 recaps per week until completion, but a certain Mrs. Samsooki got herself all preggers and then out popped our first child, and that really put a kibosh on my plans to finish quickly.  So I have to apologize first to my wonderfully patient and talented team of editors - 0timelost, cleown, and mead33 for sticking with this project, as well as to javabeans, who never stopped supporting this effort.  Finally, I deeply and from my heart apologize to everyone who has waited so long for these recaps to resume. Hopefully, I am ready to begin anew and to finish this wonderful drama.  As many times as I have watched and re-watched this drama, I know that it that deserves my undivided attention and effort to do the best job I can do. 

Given the time that has gone by since our last recap, I think we should refresh our minds with all that has happened so far. Luckily, soompi’s own (and dramabeans frequent visitor) Alodia had very coincidentally created a beautifully done MV clip of parts of the first dozen episodes. With her permission, we get a treat for this recap. Enjoy! 

And now, we can begin Episode 12!

Mi Rae has just given her oath of office as Mayor of Inju City, and she gives her first speech.  Her words are good and warming to the heart, balancing folksy talk with a kind of stirring poetry that stirs the tear ducts in your eyes.

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Mayor Shin Mi Rae (in her very first speech to Inju City): I may be someone who doesn’t know a lot about politics (“jung-chi“), but I will still strive to be a mayor who has a lot of “jung” for you.

In a way, this speech sort of represents the whole drama series in a single sentence. Mi Rae takes a concept (“jung”) that the people of Inju consider to be dirty, opaque, unreachable, unknowable and ultimately, unwinnable (i.e., politics), and she flips its meaning into something that the people of Inju City can actually believe in: her own heart. The Korean word for politics is “jung-chi,” and the root of the word is “jung” (Chinese character – 政), but the Korean word “jung” has plenty of other meanings: “jung” can also mean passion, affection, compassion, and love (Chinese character – 情), faithfulness (Chinese character – 貞), order (Chinese character – 整), vigor and vitality (Chinese character – 精), and justice (Chinese character – 正).  Each of those concepts starts with the word “jung,” and Mi Rae has just flipped the script – no longer will the Mayor’s office be politics as usual, but will be a place for justice, faithfulness, vitality, and compassion. How cool is this woman?

Jo Gook is bright with pride, and you can see it on his face plain as day.  He IS impressed.  Maybe he can learn something from this strange woman who has ascended to the highest seat in Inju City without the benefit of even a college education.  As Mi Rae and Jo Gook make eye contact, Mi Rae beams at Jo Gook.  But as Mi Rae turns away, Jo Gook’s warm mien turns from happy to concerned.

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Outside, Mi Rae sincerely thanks Jo Gook, not for making her the Mayor, but for teaching her that she can be other people’s hopes, echoing Jo Gook’s lessons from the campaign.  Jo Gook smiles and acknowledges how perfectly awesome he is.  There are few who can pull it off without appearing cocky, but Jo Gook is the man and does it with panache.  They shake hands.  For the first time in their relationship, Jo Gook and Mi Rae are equals.

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Unlike previous Mayors who might have strutted around as victors, Mi Rae celebrates her ascendancy to Inju City’s highest civil position by serving dduk (rice cakes) to everyone.  Jo Gook gets the first box of dduk, and then it is off to City Hall for Mi Rae.  She greets her new staff members with dduk rather than shaking hands.  Everything that Mi Rae does seems to be the opposite of what they are used to. It is a confusing time for the permanent staff of City Hall.  With the Directors tailing her to see what she will do next, Mi Rae starts her tour of City Hall, stopping at various offices. One stop leads her to meet the folks at the Union of Municipal Employees, and she delivers her best lines yet:

Mi Rae: I didn’t come here to expect your unconditional support. I want to reward those who perform their duties well, and I will punish those who do not. And in the same way, when I do something well, I expect you to support me with your strength, and likewise if I take unjust actions, I want you to know that you can feel free to criticize me.

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Director (honestly touched): We welcome your election to Mayor, and we sincerely give you our congratulations.

If only all meetings could go that well! Not surprisingly, Mi Rae’s first contact with her former boss, the head secretary, is a disaster as the wart-faced grease monkey treats Mayor Shin with open disdain.  (If you guys are wondering why Mi Rae just doesn’t fire him, it is because in Korea, it is rather difficult to lose a permanent employment position.  And it is even more difficult to lose a career civil service position that is attained through taking exams and working your way up the administrative ladder.

Mi Rae would basically have to accuse the Secretariat of doing terrible things (sorta ironically, the accusations would all be true), just like Joo Hwa did to Mi Rae and Boo Mi.  But since Mi Rae does not have the support of anyone in City Hall yet, Mi Rae’s job security is far less certain than the “lifers” who remain in place even as Mayors come and go.  For now, Mi Rae is stuck with everyone at City Hall.

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While Mi Rae is acclimating herself to her environs, the Directors, the Secretariat, the Deputy Mayor and Joo Hwa are scheming to ensure that Mi Rae finds her term of office to be as unpleasant as possible.  They refuse a direct order to meet with Mi Rae, and laugh at her behind her back in the Deputy Mayor’s office.  It looks like these guys really haven’t gotten the message. Every single time they have attempted to look down on Mi Rae, they ended up getting burned. This time is no exception. Mi Rae crashes the party at the Deputy Mayor’s office, and drops the biggest bomb she has in her arsenal: she is not going to give a dime of funding to the pet project that the previous Mayor had been developing for more than two years – City Hall relocation project.

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The reaction from everyone in the office is immediate – this is the project on which all of their political capital is based.  Mi Rae certainly has their attention now!

Meanwhile, Jo Gook has disruptive plans of his own.  Jo Gook informs the provincial Governor that Jo Gook does not plan to run for the National Assembly under their party, but plans to run as an independent.  Thereafter, Jo Gook meets up with a group of potential backers and gives the exact opposite speech that he gave to Mi Rae when Mi Rae fired him.

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Jo Gook: What I hope to give to you, and what I hope to receive from you, is just one thing: the heart.

The potential backers: Heart??!

Jo Gook: Do you know the kind of person I despise the most? Those people who say that “politics requires power, money and brains, and what good can the heart do for a politician?” What can a sincere heart achieve? What kind of miracles can it create? Do you guys want to stand with me and find out? Don’t you guys want to become Inju City’s new blood, to become my men, to walk together with me down this exciting path? How about it, everyone??!! Raaaaaaaaaaawrrrr!!

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50% crazy man Howard Dean, 50% William Wallace from Braveheart, Jo Gook seems to have dumped all his hard-nosed win-at-all-costs mentality and has become 100% thief of Mi Rae’s most basic principles.  Jo Gook is no fool, as he realizes that even if he doesn’t yet have the moral fortitude of Mi Rae, he can still take her entire political playbook. Jo Gook has taken to stealing every sincere comment that Mi Rae made during her campaign.  It is one thing if Jo Gook believes it sincerely, but at this point, I am not sure what he believes.

Back at City Hall, Mi Rae is at a loss for how to get things done, since nobody is willing to help her.  But slowly, she might be winning backers.  The secretary who tossed out all of Mi Rae’s things upside down onto the ground when Mi Rae was fired, comes to meet with Mi Rae and offers to secretly help her.  It is a small start, and even the longest, most difficult journey must begin with that first, tiny step.

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Back and forth we go. On the other side of town, Jo Gook apparently is not content to just “borrow” Mi Rae’s words (*cough* thief!), Jo Gook stops by the Mexico and Chicken Restaurant to see if he can’t enlist the aid of Mi Rae’s loyal friends to be his campaign staff. Jo Gook offers money, but Mi Rae’s friends aren’t that interested.  Doesn’t he know what motivates Mi Rae and Mi Rae’s friends by now? Probing a bit, Jo Gook figures out that what Mi Rae’s friends want… is to know is the relationship between him and Mi Rae.  His targets now set, Jo Gook launches into his own fairy tale weaving.

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Jo Gook: Wowee…. When I first met her, she was the kind of woman who could clear my head in a split-second, she was! This kind of feeling, could this be love?

Mi Rae’s (gullible) friends: OMGOMGOMG!

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Jo Gook: Yes, friends, this weird woman and I have fallen into the Sea of Love…!

Mi Rae’s friends: And if you could describe Mi Rae in a single word, what would that be?

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Jo Gook: Let’s see, how shall I put it? Should I compare Shin Mi Rae to a doll…

Mi Rae (walking in unnoticed): What kind of doll? Shrek? King Kong, Alien??

Jo Gook: Ahh, of course, that would be King Kong… wahh??!

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Haha! Mi Rae is not so quick to let Jo Gook off the hook, and plays with Jo Gook, asking for a designer handbag in front of multiple witnesses. Jo Gook takes a pint of bitter and downs it like a man on his last bender. Dude, it is only fair. Man up and get her the handbag!

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Jo Gook gets Mi Rae to talk outside, and reneges on the handbag (booo!), but agrees to give Mi Rae lessons municipal politics. Before driving Mi Rae home for the night, Jo Gook takes her to the top of a mountain bluff that overlooks Inju City. The lessons on being a Mayor start this very night. Mi Rae is too tired to walk up the stairs, but Jo Gook offers his hand. It is more than a gesture to help her up the stairs, and Mi Rae recognizes the symbolism inherent in Jo Gook’s outstretched hand.

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Mi Rae slowly and cautiously reaches out and holds Jo Gook’s hand. Jo Gook takes her to the top of the bluff.

Jo Gook: What do you see, out there in Inju City?

Mi Rae: Well, I guess my house is over there. And over there is the house where the person that I like lives.

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Jo Gook is touched and a little surprised by Mi Rae’s forthrightness. But the lesson still comes first. He holds her, and asks her to envision the kind of city that she would like to build for her people.

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With that guidance, Mi Rae begins to understand why Jo Gook has brought her to this place. Her mind expands and she begins to dream of the Inju City she wants to have.

Mi Rae: Over there, I would like to see a municipal hospital. Right now, if you get really sick, it is a 90 minute drive to get to a general hospital in the province capital. And over there, I’d like to see a college library whose lights do not go off during the night, so that the smart people of Inju won’t have to leave to get an education…

And Mi Rae isn’t done, as her mind’s eye draws out a coal plant to help keep Inju City warm in the winter, and a daycare center designed like Disneyland. The future buildings of Inju City glow and sparkle in the night, and both can begin to see a new world that would benefit the people of Inju City.

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Mi Rae and Jo Gook revel in the dream of a better world, but Jo Gook sees more than just the future of Inju City in front of him. Jo Gook’s right arm hooks around Mi Rae and he draws her close to him, as they continue to look out over the bluff.

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A magical moment. Mi Rae is frozen with fear at first, unable to decide what to do. The man she has fallen for, the man whose jacket she dances with at night when she is alone, this beautiful man has just wrapped his arm around her. Can he feel her heart pounding like a drum?

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But Mi Rae makes up her mind to be brave – it is not like her to remain afraid of anything for long. And after an eternity in a moment, Mi Rae’s hand rises over and touches Jo Gook’s hands. Some people who are brave enough can live a lifetime in a moment, and in this moment, there is no one else in their world, no one else in history but them.

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And in that moment, both realize the gravity but not the full consequences of love. There is nothing fair, nothing just, nothing simple about it. And neither of them is quite sure whether the admission to each other of this love will be worth it in the end. In a frozen scene like this, pages and pages can be written about their fears, their hopes, and the love that may never find its way to fruition. But really, all you need to do is look in their eyes. Wondeful acting.

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I would have loved to have left off this episode like this, but recapping duty calls and so we must move on.

Mi Rae’s first official act is to get Boo Mi her job back. Boo Mi, working as a part-time waitress, feels the love from her best friend. Boo Mi is back, baby!!!

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With her team of Jung Do as her chief of staff and Boo Mi as her chief assistant, Mayor Mi Rae holds her very first official meeting as Mayor and receives her first appointment of the day. It is the entire group of directors. Looks like they have some demands to be heard.

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In unison, the directors open up their jackets and drop bombs on Mayor Mi Rae’s desk.

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Each of the envelopes read, “Letter of Resignation.” With this single, devastating blow, the municipal government has just ground to a complete halt on the first day of Mi Rae’s first full week in office. It looks like the Directors and the Vice Mayor have fired the first shot of this war between Inju City’s Tammany Hall and Mi Rae!

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Comments -

Before getting into the structural elements of this episode, I just wanted to add one more point about Mi Rae being a game-changer for Inju City. Her inauguration speech given after her oath was just brilliant, and not just because she was able to get in a few plays on words. Mi Rae may not have Jo Gook’s brilliant mind for strategy and tactics, but instinctively Mi Rae knows that in order to change people’s attitudes and mindset, she has to change people’s vocabulary. In order for people to believe that politics can be more than just a game for corrupt and power-hungry people, people have to change the way they define the term – not something inscrutable and opaque, but open, just, affectionate and fair. Politics is for the people, and Mi Rae, whether she knew it or not, with her speech, she put politics back within reach of the common people of Inju City.

OKAY! We are now gathering momentum towards the last act of the drama, and the setup pieces for the last act are finally being set into motion. While this is clearly a foundational episode, and so not much actually happens here, a lot of ground work has now been laid and important questions now need answers:

1. The battle lines are drawn between the corrupt political machine anchored by the Vice Mayor, Joo Hwa, and the Directors, and Mi Rae and her forces. Can Mi Rae really overcome the corrupt political machine with just Boo Mi and Jung Do having her back?

2. The love between Mi Rae and Jo Gook is now out in the open, at least between the two of them, but so many things have yet to be resolved, not the least of which is, what in the name of Inju City is Jo Gook going to do about his fiancé???

3. Jo Gook has decided to throw his considerable skill into the political arena at last, and he is about to run for the National Assembly seat. Gaining the National Assembly seat is the next logical step in his ambitions to sit in the Blue House (the Presidential palace), and he has been preparing for this advancement all of his adult life. Can he beat all comers in this upcoming political campaign, and what would happen if he were discovered to be engaged to be married to one woman, but secretly dating a certain Mayor???

4. Jo Gook has severed ties with his former teacher, his absentee father who once abandoned him and his mother, Big Brother, and so he must figure out how to capture lightning in a bottle, much the same way as Mi Rae did in her rise to power. Can Jo Gook do it without BB’s help? And what about his fiancé’s help??

5. Finally, what will Big Brother’s response be, to all of this? Why did he send Jo Gook to Inju City in the first place? It is like waiting for the other shoe (albeit an extremely heavy, steel-toed boot) to drop…

The scene to watch for in this Episode: Mi Rae and Jo Gook, together at last. (Yay!)

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The scene alone is worth the price of admission.

Mi Rae’s emotions are so evident on her face – fear, longing, happiness, and uncertainty that she is doing the right thing by letting Jo Gook wrap his arms around her. Jo Gook cannot help himself, and his face reveals only sadness, as if he is watching a tragedy unfold from the inside out. Both actors are just brilliant here, and together with the music and the acting, it is a lifetime to be lived.

One of the things that makes City Hall such an great drama to be watched and enjoyed over and over again is the fact that the main characters are living, breathing adults, and so they are painfully aware that their actions and their decisions have real and serious consequences.

Jo Gook, he who is as smart as any, surely understands that he cannot hold onto his fiancé who holds the key to his future advancement in politics, and hold onto Mi Rae, who has stolen the key to his heart. And Mi Rae, who may not have the worldly intelligence of Jo Gook, but she knows enough to know that she has fallen for someone who has a fiance, for someone who can definitely break her heart, and for someone who might someday be an enemy to her own principles.

All they can do is hold onto each other, to live the moment and to cherish the moment even as their fears are evident on their faces.

Scenes like these are the reason why City Hall rocks.

On To Episode 13! (I mean it this time!)

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88 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. langdon813

    I had to blink a couple of times to make sure that what I thought I was seeing was real!

    Welcome back samsooki (and CH Dream Team)…how you managed to offer up such an awesome recap on very little sleep and so many (sweet and cuddly) demands on your personal time is beyond me.

    Great job! Every word makes me miss and appreciate City Hall in equal measure.

     (1)


  2. GreenFreak

    No need to apologize… I know I’m just grateful that you along with your team never gave up. What a wonderful recap, such a powerful episode.

    Thanks! :D

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  3. Agent Darwin

    Samsooki: I just spoke to my nephew who is 6-year old. He asked me a question: Are you a kid or adult? Hahaha…I said a kid!! Then he asked again: Why the God is so nice to you? (I guess, I told him I am going to buy him a bicycle for Christmas).

    Now, the question to you, Samsooki: Are you a boy or a girl? ^_________^

     (0)


  4. Samsooki

    @ Agent Darwin -

    me? I’m a boy who never grew up. =)

     (0)


  5. smileyou

    The scene outside the restaurant with Mi Rae’s oppa was hilarious! I’m disappointed it was left out of the review.

     (0)


  6. Agent Darwin

    Same here too!! Hahaha…if you never grew up, one of these days, you may get exactly the same question (from your baby) as I got today from my nephew!! Hahhaha….I really think he buys the answer that I am a kid and the God is super nice to me!!
    ^_________^

    Congratulations for being a dad!!

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  7. Linda

    woohoo! welcome back! love ur recaps and this drama! and congrats on being a father ^^

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  8. May

    Aww, congratulations!!
    There’s no need to apologize, after all real life should always come first.
    Is the baby a boy or a girl? :D

    Thanks for these recaps!! I’ve actually started to watch City Hall, and I like it so far (:

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  9. smiley263

    welcome back samsooki and congratulations on your first born…i just couldn’t believe it…like langdon813 i had to check the date and made sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me..it felt like xmas morning… great job!!

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  10. 10 robotmatsuri

    Thank you so much Samsooki! It was worth the wait… oh yes, and congratulations on becoming a father!

    And now… to watch the episode again for the nth time. ;D

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  11. 11 Molly

    Welcome back, Samsooki, and congrats on your baby! :) The recap was more wonderful than all the past ones combined, perhaps because the break gave us Cityhallers a chance to rethink, reanalyze, and pine for the amazing chemistry between the leads.

     (0)


  12. 12 Molly

    This is the sweetest, most squeal-worthy recap and episode yet. *jumps in seat*

     (0)


  13. 13 ockoala

    Didn’t I just say today must be my lucky day? And this cements it, baby. Thank you, samsooki and the recap team. It’s like falling back into the warmest, softest blanket and curling up with your favorite book, just bliss to read the recap.

    Episode 12, with just a simple extended hand and one back hug, provided more intense attraction than I imagined possible. Will have more later, when I have time to re-read and savor the recap in depth.

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  14. 14 jtinma

    Thank you! Samsooki. I was so excited when I saw your recap. I have missed this show like crazy and have been tempted again to go back and watch it for the 3rd time. What you said was so true about how both of them are adults who are smart enough (esp. Jo Gook) that falling in love with each other is sort of a train wreck waiting to happen but they just can’t help showing it . I have to admit that in the beginning Jo Gook didn’t quite strike me as a good looking leading man, but boy, did I change my mind by this episod. I am just amazed at his ability to show the killer combination of tenderness with a touch of “this is really going to hurt” when he look at Mi Rae.

    Anyhow, THANK YOU again for your recap!

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  15. 15 Lucille

    Thanks for the recap. Eventhough I have finished the drama, I love to read other’s insight. You brought out some things I didn’t notice. Thank you for that. You just gave me a reason to watch the drama again!!! I needed one. I don’t want my friends to think I am obsesses :)

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  16. 16 lanlan

    There were many times that I had tried to watch this drama at least 4 times because I like Kim Sun Ah in My name is Kim Sam Soon. I also heard that the script writing was good but I could not finish the 2nd episode. On top of that, the lead guy does not appeal to me from his appearance, from the way he looks. Sorry, can not try it one more time

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  17. 17 momosan

    SQUEEEE! (sorry about that Javabeans)

    Sorry. Just had to do that. I think “what in the name of Inju City?” may replace certain other queries I’ve been known to utter. It will confuse the peons, but I’m all for that as well.

    And you picked the best place to start up the recaps as well. 8-) I think I may have to put in a marathon rewatching session. City Hall was so grown up, I kind of miss that right now.

    Oh, and since I never mentioned it before – mazel tov!

     (0)


  18. 18 mzpakipot

    *scratching eyes* I couldnt’ believe my eyes!!!! ! Episode 12 recap is here!!!! I thought I was looking at the wrong website! hahaha
    Off to Read……thank you Mr. & Mrs Samsooki and team!

     (0)


  19. 19 mzpakipot

    Oh and a special Thank You to Javabeans for everything. :)

     (0)


  20. 20 all4movies

    Samsooki, congrats on being a new father.
    No worries about the recaps.

    City Hall is worth the wait. You’ve just put the excitement back into my life as I can now look forward to more CH recaps again.

    I feel like re-watching episode 12 again for the umpteenth time.

    Have fun changing diapers and keeping the new mother and baby happy.

     (0)


  21. 21 Anonymous

    Congratulations, Samsooki! All is forgiven.

     (0)


  22. 22 Stephen

    Thanks for the recaps! I haven’t finished watching City Hall, but reading this makes me want to finish the series. I just finished all 54 episodes of The Sons of Sol Pharmacy House in about 1 month, so I’m pretty exhausted. And congratulations to you and your family! =D

     (0)


  23. 23 Artemis

    Samsooki! Yay, you are back! And congratulations on becoming a dad! Hope all is well with your little family! :-)

    I have watched City Hall during your break and finished it in record time. What an awesome show! It moved me like no other drama, really! Reading your recaps is like watching it all over again. Thank you for a wonderful recap – you are so funny and insightful! I’m looking forward to the next ones of episodes I loved to death!

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  24. 24 angryparsnip

    WOW !
    What a great Sunday for me. . .
    So excited to see your name and City Hall re-cap.

    Congratulations to you and Mrs Samsooki. . . : )

    plus anyone who uses the word “kibosh” is all good in my book !

    cheers, parsnip

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  25. 25 lovenyc52

    Thank you Samsooki + team! I was so excited to see CH recaps back. Wonderful job as always :)

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  26. 26 Carrie

    Samsooki… yay for the recap. That makes me happy. Especially since I just finished the drama and immediately wanted to pick it back up and watch it again.

    The scene in this ep between Jo-gook and Mi-rae over looking the city of Inju literally made my heart ache. You’re right in that this scene is worth the price of admission. Seriously, those two actors are absolutely brilliant in this whole drama with the way they act out their relationship.

    The photo with Mi-rae looking at Inju and Jo-gook looking at her with nothing but sadness summed up for me the poignancy and bittersweetness of their relationship. He knows she’s the best thing for him and yet there is so much in their way.

    While I had loved City Hall through the first 11 episodes, this one cemented it as one of my most favorite dramas of all time. Can’t wait to see your thoughts on ep 13!!!

    And congrats to you and Mrs. Samsooki. Hope your family is doing well! :)

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  27. 27 mina

    thanks for the recaps, I just finished watching the entire series 2 days ago and what a blast! But reading your insightful recaps is altogether a different experience, so thank you! I’m really saddened that a lot of kdrama fans tend to overlook this wonder drama and i do admit I was one of those people until i finally convinced myself to watch this seemingly boring drama. That’s why we should never judge a book by it’s cover! This is my 2nd favorite drama this year, because despite it’s seemingly boring, un-trendy setting and modest budget, it still managed to captivate all of my senses and bring out a lot of warmth on these cold rainy days, this drama has a lot of heart invested on it!

     (0)


  28. 28 pabo ceo reom

    totally forgot about this lol

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  29. 29 deannadsc

    glad to see you’re back & a new Dad, to boot..Samsooki!!! +++ i get to re-live CITY HALL all over again w/ your detailed & awesome recaps!!!
    a lot of good dramas, such as YAB, Shining Inheritance,IRIS, Smile, you- have been shown or are still running…yet, City Hall still remains( at least on my list) as the BEST KDRAMA this year!!! It tugs your…HEART w/ the beautifully written script…& CSW & KSA played their characters to utmost perfection!!!
    Thanks for the recaps!!! Love ‘em!!!

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  30. 30 Norma

    Oh my gosh….and I thought I had gotten over CITY HALL!!! I was so surprised to see episode 12 posted and had to laugh…..because its been traumatic having to say goodbye to YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL….then seeing it being aired on our local station….and here we go on a roller coaster ride once again except this is gonna be more of a thriller with your analysis!!!!

    I will say one thing for sure….Kim Sun Ah and Cha Seung Won were meant to take on the roles in City Hall! You talk about chemistry…..THAT IS CHEMISTRY WORKING FULL TIME!!!

    That scene where he is putting his coat around her? YIKES!!!! If that doesn’t say a thousand words and make you get giddy all over…..you’re DEAD!

    I really feel and believe that in this drama…..those 2 actors were really living the part of their characters! They were really in love throughout the whole drama and that’s why their performance was waaaay over the top!

    When you look at some of the behind the scenes clips….there’s real emotion coming from 2 beautiful people. Award winning acting.

    I would love to see them again in another drama…..

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  31. 31 Anonymous

    thank you. believe if or not. i put off city hall until this recap came out.

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  32. 32 thunderbolt

    Congrats, Samsooki! You do such an awesome job!!

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  33. 33 jossy

    Wow thanks for the delightful recap! and no need to apologize samsooki (and City Hall Squad!) it was well worth the wait :D

    Cheers!

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  34. 34 s21783

    Thanks for the wonderful recap. REALLY enjoyed reading it. Your recap brought back fond memories of the series. I will put CIty Hall my drama for the year. It has everything in balance – love, values, comic, tears and absolutely FINE acting. This was my first time watching Cha Seung Won – wonderful acting as an iron man (for politics) who has a soft spot for the woman he loves. Really well-balanced drama.

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  35. 35 cate

    Congrats on the baby!!!

    i love this drama and ive already watched it…but now im thinking of watching it again =P

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  36. 36 onemorepls

    Yay City Hall is back. Couldn’t believe my eyes. hehe. Thank You.

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  37. 37 cate

    jo gook reminds me of what machiavelli wrote in the prince…something about how an action for the good of the people cannot be morally judged to be gd or right

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  38. 38 Z

    That guys eyes make the whole show. I’ll be honest… that’s why I watched it.

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  39. 39 frac

    Good to have City Hall back in the spotlights !
    Many thanks to you and the team, and congratulations for your family.

    The “jung” thing is really interesting, completely new for me.
    I had to check the episode immediately and the translation was like “I will be a friendly mayor”, which was a little bit short for a new mayor. “Jungeun manheun shijang” sounds, now, much more promising.

    The whole restaurant scene was a treat for me.
    Mi Rae childishly teasing Jo Gook, Jo Gook forced to keep up with her scene, the friends shivering as they become more and more “sappy”. It was just hilarious, as was the “tongnae oppa” scene.

    Then Mi Rae says a little line which I like a lot.
    Jo Gook drives the car, she complains at how he ruined everything with Dr Tak.
    He asks what’s so good about that oppa. Is he (Jo Gook) not good looking, is he not smart? After seing his face for so long already, how can she still think that this oppa is good looking?
    Mi Rae (with a compassionate eye) : “Sorry. I never knew that narcissim is infectious.”

    What a thing to say! And Kim Sun Ah makes it work…Both of them are so deliciously narcissistic.

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  40. 40 Ash

    Hooray , City Hall recap is back . Thank you so much . Wonderful , wonderful job .
    Thank you ….Somehow it helps me with the severe widthdrawal symptons of YAB because City Hall is such a COOL drama that once you are in it , you will fall head over heels in love with Gookie and Mirae helplessly .

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  41. 41 Taohua

    What a lovely surprise! Wonderful recap as usual! Thank you Samsooki and team! Mi-rae and Jo Gook’s moment overlooking Inju City is probably one of my favorite scenes in this drama and both KSA and CSW impress with their emotional acting.

    By the way, thank you for explaining the meaning for “jung” and how it relates to Chinese characters, it was really interesting!

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  42. 42 Icarusfalls

    Love this show.. !!!! Mi-rae!!! Kurae nareul midja…

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  43. 43 sueyip

    Been popping in here daily and was real surprised and happy to see this recap. Been waiting for a long long time. Thank you Samsooki and team. You and your team are real amazing. This is a beautiful recap. Love to see JoGuk finally showing his affection to MiRae. That was indeed a very heartwarming hug and you can really hear Mirae’s heart beating real fast. Gosh …. what superb acting!
    Thanks again for the recap, Samsooki, and congratulations.

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  44. 44 sueyip

    Oh, ya, wish you had written something about the oppa’s meeting. Just love to see the “jealous” JoGuk and was wondering what you would have said …..

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  45. 45 Goldie

    You know what …
    I have a sense that Seung Won might read your blog !

    As he gave an interview with 10asia
    appear as http://www.asiae.co.kr/news/view.htm?idxno=2009120217321018754

    10: I don’t know if it’s because of that then but the character Kim Sung-yeol that you play in “Secret” is different from the detectives we usually see in Korean movies. Kim is just outright cool.

    Cha: I completely intended on it. My understanding of this film was that it was a thriller with an artificial vibe to it rather than a thriller based on reality so I too didn’t want to let my character look like the detectives we usually see in other movies. I read a review somewhere saying that Kim Sung-yeol is not a detective who uses his brain intensely but more like a guy from the fashion magazine so that’s what I intended on portraying.

    You may Happy about it ^^

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  46. 46 Tarits

    How wonderlful it is to read your recap which I have been awaiting for! I have been rewatching and rewatching CH and reading your recap always brings me back to the drama, opens images in my mind as if I were in the actual scenes described; as if I am seeing for real the two lead actors right before my eyes! I have been re-reading your previous recaps savoring what you wrote each time that gives me a better understanding of each episode. As expected, your recap for episode 12 is excellent and the wait is very much worth it. Congratulations to you and your wife on the birth of your first baby. Thanks to you and your team for the efforts and time you put in making the recap. I eagerly look forward to what you will write for the rest of the episodes. God bless you and your family.

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  47. 47 Anonymous

    welcome back!! at last!!!

    WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

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  48. 48 ockoala

    Wow, it’s so nice to see so many Hallers here, old and new (since the last recap was posted). Whereas, the comments section in the previous recaps used to be filled with 1000 word posts as we dissected both the drama and the recap together (man, that was exhilirating), it feels like a whole new experience for me after taking such break from the drama and recap.

    While the fall-down-laughing-so-hard sequence at the Mexico and Chicken, with JG parodying MR from episode 4, plus the appearance of the neighborhood oppa and JG’s juvenile and totally appropriate display of jealousy, totally would have needed to be recapped when I first saw the scene, now I feel like samsooki really, really captured the perfect tone of the episode. While every episode has comedic moments, some more than others, episode 12 really culminates in that moment on the cliff overlooking Inju, everything else is cute but like the fireflies swirling around MR-JG as they longingly, tenderly, painfully hold/be held by each other, we viewers are the fireflies in that moment is what we have been waiting 12 episodes for, and it does not disappoint. Perfect from beginning to end, the way MR-JG cross that final line. You guys know what I think about his fiance, and in that moment, MR-JG’s heart leads the way, and my heart just went thump, thump, thump, splat (I dies inside). So, so romantic.

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  49. 49 Samsooki

    @39 frac -

    “Jungeun manheun shijang” sounds, now, much more promising.

    Yeah, what’s interesting is that the BON translation project for City Hall (which I was a part of, way back when), also has the translation as “I will be a very friendly mayor.” This translation is technically correct. You can translate what she said as “I will be a mayor who has alot of affection (for you).”

    But part of the problem with editing subtitles is that you have to choose how much information to pass on. A typical drama episode might have more than 800 lines of subtitles, and each line might be on the screen for less than a second. It wasn’t really possible to try to explain the whole definition flipping that Mi Rae was doing there.

    The cool thing about recaps is that you have the time to sit back and think and reflect on the little interesting tidbits of dramas, and decide what to include and what not to include.

    @5,

    You are right, of course. The oppa scene outside the restaurant was very funny, and originally, it was in draft recap. But, in editing, I cut the scene and my commentary to cut the length of the recap. You should see the draft recaps I write before it finally makes it onto dramabeans. Some of them are twice as long as what people read. Editing is hard! Sometimes, we end up keeping something too long, and cutting things that should remain in. Overall though, I think we’ve done a pretty good job. You are entitled to your own opinion, of course. :)

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  50. 50 sunah

    Finally, finally, the recap is back, Samsooki you are back and what news?? A new father??? Marvellous!!! Congratulations!! I must say I’ve waited impatiently for this recaps to continue but I guessed I waited not very long compared to some as I am a late comer of CH fan.

    To be honest with you, I didn’t expect you to be a man….hahahha…as you are very descriptive and also brings out the emotional elements of the series so well…but anyway, thanks for doing this…I can’t wait for the rest of the Chapters as to me the drama really flew after Chap 12 (after both SMR & JG declared their love for each other)….the real stuff are coming!! Chapter 14 & 15 were mind boggling and the emotional ups and downs…wow…love the actors to bits…they are so so good, dun you agree fans of CH????

    I have one favourite scene in Chap 18 (break-up scene) where my heart really broke watching KSA in action….I think no one can hold that scene so well and so magnificent as Miss Kim….I really sallute her…each time I rewind back that scene, I will cry with her!!! Will wait for your recap on that with anticipation.

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