Drama Recaps
City Hall: Episode 13
by | December 8, 2009 | 57 Comments

(written by cleown, with 0timelost and samsooki)


Episode 13 – To Be Properly Treated and Valued as a Woman.

Hi, my name is cleown and I’m one of the editors for the City Hall recaps, although this time I am writing an episode recap of City Hall. I’ve tried my best though I’m not a native speaker of either English or Korean. I’m a subber though (of Japanese dramas), and a long-time sucker of Korean dramas (they are just better :D). As you guys probably know, samsooki is a big fan of My Name Is Kim Sam Soon and Kim Sun Ah, and while I’ve seen MNIKSS as well, honestly, I belong to the group of people who think City Hall beats ALL dramas. One last warning: I’m super biased when it comes to Jo Gook.

Enough said, let’s get to the actual recap of Episode 13!


To show their opposition to Mayor Shin Mi Rae’s plans on not relocating City Hall, all bureau directors are turning in their resignation letters at once.

samsooki’s note.  In Korean municipal governance, there are the elected and administrative officials. Elected city officials like Mayor Mi Rae decide policy, but once their term is over, unless they are re-elected, they are done.  Other city officials are appointed (like the deputy Mayor) are appointed by the provincial government, and those positions come with tenure.  Finally, there are the civil service positions that are based on seniority and test-taking. These positions are tenured so it is difficult to be fired, and really, the Directors aren’t resigning. They are saying that they are going to sit on their hands and Mi Rae will be the mayor of nothing until Mi Rae agrees to put the relocation project back on track.

While Jung Do tries to persuade his colleagues to rethink their strategy, Boo Mi tries her best to cheer Mi Rae up – but our newbie mayor remains devastated. To distract herself from the first obstacle thrown at her, Mi Rae goes out to do some charity work – turning the mayoral residence into a study hall for little children. But she doesn’t seem to be the only good-natured person in Inju. The kindergarten’s new financial sponsor shows up. No, it’s not Jo Gook. It’s his dear mother.


Admittedly, the second meeting of Mi Rae and Jo Gook’s mom is not much warmer than their first. As Jo Gook’s mom walks off, the kindergarten teacher reassures Mi Rae that the cold fish of a lady, deep down, is really a nice person. Mi Rae has to add with a smirk, “He’s turned out to be exactly like his mother.”

Inside the house, Mi Rae is no longer Mayor of anything, but merely a prospective daughter-in-law, and she tries to impress Jo Gook’s mom with her skills concerning housework…


…which, frankly, are not really making a lasting impression. So Mi Rae tries to engage Jo Gook’s mom by talking about Jo Rang, Jo Gook’s little son; commenting on how alike father and son are. Jo Yong Hee then reveals that Rang is adopted by Jo Gook, and so the two of them are in fact not blood-related. Mi Rae is left without anything else to say.


(samsooki’s note: the dynamic here is really something. Mi Rae is a MAYOR. The converted mayoral house Mi Rae is cleaning is technically Mi Rae’s. And Jo Gook’s mom is really nobody special, but Mi Rae wants to be a good daughter-in-law. Korean moms are as tough as they come, and Mi Rae would have better luck running for President of Korea than being accepted by Jo Gook’s mom if she doesn’t properly behave in front of her. hehe.)

In the meantime, Go Hae has arrived in Inju City by direction from BB, to find potential sites where BB can build his “house.” Curious, Jo Gook takes her out to one of the potential sites, which happens to be where the new city hall might be located. While Jo Gook is trying to figure out what it is that BB wants to build in Inju City, he overhears a conversation among passer-bys that the new Mayor of Inju has overturned the relocation indefinitely, which would upset quite a few wealthy and connected people. This is big news and Jo Gook is now at a loss what to do.


Back at City Hall, Mi Rae learns that all documents regarding the relocation are now at the Deputy Mayor’s desk and she can’t do anything that lies within her responsibility. Mi Rae can make no headway into getting information, as the deputy mayor has told all the administrative staff to pretend that the City Hall mayor’s office is empty. It is the low point for Mi Rae, who is left to sit outside and wonder why Jo Gook made her believe in herself, if the result would be like this.


But Mi Rae still has Boo Mi and Jung Do who are right beside her, helping her to find a way out. Together they search through documents and make anonymous phone calls to various offices within City Hall, tediously pulling together bits and pieces of information..

As Mi Rae takes a short break, the person she’s been thinking of, knocks at her door.


Mi Rae (shyly): Oh! What brings you here?

Jo Gook: I wanted to pay the new Mayor a visit. I heard people saying that she’s a really pretty lady…

Mi Rae (blushing):

Jo Gook: …but it seems like she’s not in..

Har! They go out for dinner. Mi Rae tries to offer her first bite to Jo Gook but gets rebuffed. Mi Rae feels let down, but before she can take a bite…


… she looks up to see that Jo Gook has offered her HIS first bite.


Here comes another of Jo Gook’s lessons for life; this time it is a very cute one all girls (and guys!) should remember.

Jo Gook: These are things that the man has to do. So don’t get into a car if your man doesn’t open the door for you, nor should you sit down somewhere unless he put a towel down on your seat, and don’t even think about eating unless he has set down utensils for you…

Mi Rae (touched): …

Jo Gook: You’ve… not experienced this yet, have you?

Mi Rae (shakes her head): …

Jo Gook: In the future, these things are things you should remember. Women need to learn to be properly treated, to be valued as precious.


Awww, am I the only one that melted away?

(samsooki’s note: I’m not melted (yet). O, Be Thou Careful of Thy Heart, Mi Rae! This is where any BFF would yank her up off the table, drag her aside and say, “Girl, get that lovey-dovey look off your face. All he is saying is that women IN GENERAL should learn to value herself properly!”)

Dinner over, they arrive at Jo Gook’s car. But Mi Rae is a fast learner, and so stays just where she is at. Which leaves Jo Gook a little surprised.


And then he (finally!) remembers.


They stop at a park to take a walk, and one thing leads to another, and lo and behold, they start holding hands.


But the date-to-end-all-first-dates must end, as all dates must end eventually, and Mi Rae reveals that she has caused a bit of a flare-up at City Hall, cancelling the relocation project. Jo Gook’s fears are confirmed, and he is deflated. This is a battle that Mi Rae, even with years of further experience under her belt, may not be able to fight and win. And what’s more, even if Mi Rae wins, something even worse might be coming to take its place, in the form of BB and his mysterious ‘house.’

While Mi Rae has her battle with the Directors in mind, Jo Gook advises her to find her opponents’ weaknesses. Weakness in a guy? No problem. Mi Rae understands right away, so she invites the Directors’ wives over for lunch the next day.


After she had informed all the ladies of the happenings (“Can kids as cute as rabbits grow up by drinking air?”), they all have a “good talk” with their husbands. Ahjumma-power!


But even after their respective beatings from their wives, when the Directors meet with Mi Rae again, they still do not seem to willing to give in. Instead, they call Mi Rae a “temporary guest,” while the Directors will remain long after she is gone. But Mi Rae calmly replies that she has not become mayor just to stay for two years; she has real ideas and plans for Inju City, and she will be there for four more years after her interim term, and then four years after that. Oh, and those resignations? Accepted! Mi Rae dismisses the stunned Directors and orders the remaining staff to bring her all documents regarding the relocation project. Talk about miscalculations…


Meanwhile, we have our first look at the candidates who are running in regular election for a National Assembly seat. The candidates in the running, clockwise from the left: Candidate #1 (the Victory Party), Candidate #2 (Purification Party guy and current Governor), Candidate #3 (the loudmouth from the last mayoral election), Candidate #4 – some copycat candidate claiming to the next Shin Mi Rae, and Candidate #6 (Father Time makes a re-appearance, running as an independent).


Oh, and there’s one more guy, Candidate #5, running as an Independent:


Fancy that! National Assembly candidate Jo Gook has the same number as Mi Rae, when she ran for Inju City Mayor. Jo Gook finds Mi Rae stopped by a poster kiosk on the street, staring at his campaign poster.


Mi Rae: I think it’s amazing that we both got the same candidate number.

Jo Gook: Isn’t it? But of course, I don’t like being No. 5. I was first in academics and first in sports. I have always been No. 1.

Mi Rae: Mi Rae: How funny that no one sees 5 is a good number! You have five fingers. You also have five toes. “Oppa” starts with “oh” (“oh” is the Korean word for “five”).

Basically, all good things in Mi Rae’s opinion start with “oh.” It is a good thing that Jo Gook has found Mi Rae though, as he has serious issues to talk about – the City Hall relocation project, and whether it should be cancelled at all. Though Jo Gook appears in favor of the relocation project (for reasons he doesn’t tell Mi Rae), he does tells her that there are only two ways to kill the project: a) an error in the documents (not likely) or b) the budget not being passed by the City Council (also unlikely). In a cryptic attempt to warn Mi Rae though, Jo Gook notes that even if she manages to kill the project, it is possible that something even worse may take its place. When Mi Rae is confused, Jo Gook can only say, “That’s all I can tell you.”


The following day starts off with an ambush by certain wealthy land-owners, tipped off by Joo Hwa as to the possible cancellation of the project, who then proceed to assault Mi Rae in her very own office.


But again, this only light the fire inside Mi Rae, and she orders all documents relating to the City Hall relocation project to be brought to her. She will not let this one go, not now! Mi Rae is determined to find a way to kill the project, now at any and all cost.


On the other side of town, Jo Gook is busily campaigning as Jung Do pays him a visit. When Jung Do mentions the relocation project, Jo Gook urges his political academy classmate to talk the Mayor into letting it all pass. Instead of giving an answer, Jung Do wants to know from Candidate No. 5, “Why Inju? Why did you choose Inju? There are far more spectacular places. Did you choose it because it’s your hometown… or because of other plans?”


The question remains unanswered. (The growing tension, the expression on Jo Gook’s face, combined with the effective use of the music, is just fantastic!!)


Mi Rae remains at her office till late in the night, trying to find the loophole in the documents, ad interim Jo Gook is trying to get a hold of her. To no avail. Which drives him nuts. “Why aren’t you answering your phone? Are you on a date with that neighborhood oppa? Or did you break your fingers? Can’t even text me?”


But deep in the early hours of the morning, Mi Rae has found what she has been looking for, and in something of a reversal, she goes to the place where she was once the biggest loser. This time though, unlike the last time, she shouts victory at the ocean; and this time, unlike the last time, she actually notices that someone is there waiting for her. Jo Gook is upset, but Mi Rae is in such high spirits that she just bursts out at how well she did – Mi Rae found the smoking gun, the document that proves the the former Mayor Go Boo Shil (whose handwriting looks like a first-grader’s) didn’t sign off the budget for the relocation; it was actually signed by ex-Head Secretary Park.


In the car, ready to go back home, Mi Rae is exultant. But because Jo Gook continues being sulky, Mi Rae has to fasten her seat belt on her own, mumbling, “In movies, the guy always does this for the girl.”


With a sigh, Jo Gook unfastens his seat belt and reaches over.



Jo Gook, the wolf: I still have the body contract. You know that I can do all I want from now on, right?



So here we are. A woman and a man. Alone in a car. By the super fateful seawall of Inju City.

My heart did jump of excitement when I saw this, while my brain just screamed, “CLICHÉ!!” But hey, a drama needs some clichéd parts that make you keep watching just because they are so predictable. We lie in wait for clichés. (And everyone who was not anticipating a scene like this at this point and time shall be banned from the drama world.)

Yes, the drama has dropped a couple of hints but we haven’t seen real romance yet, haven’t we…? But this is exactly were City Hall gets really, really interesting, and if you have gone this far, it will not get go of you until the very last frame of the closing credits. Not a single boring second. I promise.

The one to watch for in this episode: Jo Gook.


Jo Gook remains the most twisted figure in this drama. As a viewer, you have no clue what’s going through his mind. Jo Gook had been sent originally to Inju City by BB, who has his own secret plan in mind that he has not shared with Jo Gook. Jo Gook fails to do what he was told, and drops ties with BB. Now it looks like Jo Gook running for the National Assembly seat for himself now, but how does he deal with the fact he KNOWS that BB sent him to Inju City for a reason, and that reason probably does not bode well for Inju City? How does he deal with his own ambitions for political power and office, now that he has fallen for Mi Rae? Jo Gook certainly will not be able to work toward both his desires, can he? His heart beats for Mi Rae but will he be able to protect her if he runs for National Assembly? And certainly, his heart ambivalent, Jo Gook really seems conflicted here in this episode. He advised Mi Rae to find the loophole in the relocation documents if she was sincere about it, although he knew that calling off this project will equal an invitation to BB to come to Inju. But he also asked Jung Do to stop Mi Rae from overturning the relocation. This is the only scene where he actually shows a vulnerable side: Mi Rae has turned into his soft spot and he doesn’t he a clue (yet?) how he can protect her. Interestingly, it’s Jung Do who looks behind Jo Gook’s masquerading.

The overall feeling to this episode was again one of a calm day before the hurricane hits the shore. The general idea has been set: Mi Rae won’t back down to anyone for the well-being of the citizens of Inju, and Jo Gook has (yet) to pick a side to stand on. He is torn between his love to Mi Rae and his own ambition which is tied to Go Hae and BB. Their paths and plans may one day clash.

(samsooki note: first off, I have to give a huge thank you to mead33, who is taking time off as she juggles family, life and work. Mead33 might not be listed at the top of the recaps anymore (then again… she might jump back in??? hopefully??), but without her razor sharp insights and edits, without her editing scalpel that cut away tons of stuff that didn’t need to be in these recaps, this whole project would never have worked. THANK YOU mead33!!! Second, wonderful recap by cleown! Thanks so much to her as well, for pinch-hitting while I was swamped by diapers and figuring out how to stop baby pee from behaving like a water fountain. It is a testament to how much City Hall has affected people positively, that we can have such awesome people giving their time and effort toward producing this labor of love.)

On To Episode 14! 🙂


57 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. samsooki

    Interestingly, I am sort of at odds with my recap team, and probably the rest of the City Hallers: I got two minds about Jo Gook. Is this guy reliable or what?

    I know that there are guys out there who can say all the right things, and be this perfect gentleman, etc., and then change his mind about a woman, LONG AFTER the woman has committed herself to him. As much as I think Jo Gook is this great guy, at this point in their relationship, he would lose NOTHING if he dumped Mi Rae like a sack of potatoes and went back to Go Hae, while Mi Rae would be devastated. Jo Gook could just justify it to himself or explain it away using his fancy talk and big words, and meanwhile Mi Rae would have had her heart broken in twain.

    Yes, Jay-gookie likes Mi Rae, perhaps even loves her. He constantly looks out for her and gives her good advice. But that didn’t really cost him anything yet. What is he willing to sacrifice for her? He tells her that she should value herself highly, but I’m like, “yeah, and goes for ALL women, not just Mi Rae.” I can give good advice to a ton of people too. That don’t amount to a hill of baengdaengi’s, in my view (at least, not yet).

    (Great job by the way, cleown!!!)

  2. quesitons987

    I love this Drama, Cleown, I’m with you – this is an all time favoriate, I would say one of my top three at least. (I think I’ve watched it like 6 times).

    I thought the dinner scene between Jo Gok and Mi Rae was the best scene ever. It had my falling over, having to pause the video, laughing so hard my sides hurt for some odd reason. The transistion from sweet to hilarious was typical Mi Rae. It makes me kinda sad that you didn’t mention him mocking her.

    Keep up with the good work on the recaps guys! and if you need help, EMAIL ME I’m so in on anything I can help with on this.

    **Edit: Samsooki, I have to disagree with you. Jo Gok might be a selfish jerk but I think he’s really confused. he doesn’t have the typical “I was hurt so I act this way” attitude, I just think he honestly doesn’t know what it’s like to really care for someone. I mean even his son was a product of not care but convience. and I do think that it’s his complexity that leads to his charm. It makes me love him more, because we can’t figure him now…unlike a certain :cough Gu Jun Pyo ::cough::

  3. robotmatsuri

    Thank you so much Samsooki, cleown and 0timelost!

    I loved this episode because it was a big turning point for the new Mayor Mi-Rae and with her relationship with Jo-Guk. We have to thank the Bureau Directors, Joo-Hwa and the rich land owners for being such jerks–thanks for lighting that blazing fire under Mi-Rae! 😛

    Oh, and we also have to thank “neighbor Oppa” for showing up, after all these years and making Jo-Guk crazy. “Are you on a date with that neighbor Oppa?” “How come you’re not home? Why is there no bike where your bike should be? Are you spending the night outside?” Despite how smart and charismatic Jo-Guk is, all of that goes down the drain once he gets jealous. 😛 I love it.

    Car scene: Oh boy did I scream when he brought up the “Body Contact” again. hee!

  4. langdon813

    Great recap, cleown & samsooki!

    To me, this is where the drama really starts to work up a head of steam, and everything that happens from now on builds from here. I totally agree that Jo Gook isn’t in love with Mi-rae yet, but he recognizes that she’s a force to be reckoned with now that she’s attained her goal. He’s attracted to her, he knows there’s a lot more to her than meets the eye, and he sure likes her a lot (giving the stinkeye to the neighborhood oppa, LOL!), but yeah, right now I feel like he could end the relationship and emerge relatively unscathed should he choose to do so.

    Jo Gook has an agenda…we’re not 100% sure what it is yet, but we’re starting to get a pretty good idea that ambition and romance are going to clash sometime in the near future.

    Love how the recap ends with such palpable sexual tension, just like the episode does! Can’t wait for the next one!

  5. shaz81

    YAY I love this episode and the next, you guys did perfect justice in the recap, i just love the look on Mi Rae’s face when he mentions the body contract and what she says afterwards just kills me with laughter !!!!

    Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories.

    Shari Xx

  6. Madita

    Thank you for the great recap.

    I loved this episode very much, espacially JG impatient phone calls when she did not pick up her phone.

    And I laughed too at cleowns JO GOOK, THE WOLF …so true 😀

    Jo Gook, the wolf: I still have the body contract. You know that I can do all I want from now on, right?

    I was like awwwww…I cant believe it yessss finally *^^*

    Rrrrrr yummy bite her 😛 …but you have to wait for Ep.13 LOL

  7. ockoala

    All I know is, if I watched CH live, if the final scene of this episode had been at an even numbered episode, and I had to wait until a week later to find out exactly what is going to transpire in that love-mobile, I would have imploded. Seriously, I would have been the bitchiest wife and meanest mommy on the planet while I moped around to find out whether those two would make out or not.

    But thankfully, I needed to wait only like…..1 minute (hee, because I started watching CH after episode 18 aired, and so I could immediately jump from 13 to 14 and feel less like a serial killer after drama blood to sate my needs).

    Thank you, cleown, for your wonderful recap and it was a pleasure to hear your recap voice. (and thank you Mead33 for all your hard work leading up to it). Mayhap we’ll hear from 0timelost before the recaps are done? 😉

    samsooki – another factor of time away from CH and recaps is that I’ve had time to come down from the high and re-assess Jo Gook, and yes, I concede that the man is indeed scary for a woman’s emotional soul. Because it feels like he didn’t have one, and when it does pop up, he doesn’t yet know the power it holds over MR and what to do with it yet. Episode 13 was spectacular in that we got the *date* we’ve been dying for, and the drama never fails in continuing to move the political story forward, weave it in and out of the romance, and focus all the viewers attention on a myriad of issues surrounding the lead characters.

    I miss Jung-do, every scene he is in is priceless for me, if Boo-mi is the heart of Inju, Jung-do is it’s purest soul. (Hardest part of watching On Air is seeing Jung-do as the villian of the drama, the smarmy, evil, rapacious former manager of KHN’s character).

    When I watched episode 13, I went back to re-watch the final 6 minutes over and over again, and died laughing and ended with the lump in my gut from the tension each time.

  8. kaedejun

    i’m so glad the city hall recaps are back. after episode 12’s recap, i just watched the entire series straight, but having these recaps up again lets me relive every moment (without going through an additional 20 hours without sleep – heh…)

    this is a great recap!!

    @1 – Samsooki

    It’s true – it doesn’t look like Jo Gook has much to gain or lose with his romance with Mi Rae.

    But he may be giving the advice because that’s his way of showing his love for her – since he can’t exactly hold her hand in public and kiss her. it’s like, he’s saying all the right things as an older brother/good friend – and so that still is some sort of love (and so mi rae doesn’t have to be completely heartbroken). even if he rejected mi rae as a lover, he can still be one of those other types of men who likes to be with her (remember earlier in the series he said that men like to do different things with women? or something like that?). it’s just that, with the end of the episode – it’s clear he wants mi rae as his gf/wife. his actions are pointing towards that, and mi rae is merely reading every action/advice thus far as pointing towards “yes mi rae, i want to marry you despite all obstacles”

    if he did dump her, he could lose the one person who sees him for who he is – and not a political tool for their own personal gain. his mother already thinks he is beyond hope (in being the “human” she wanted him to be).

  9. ockoala

    @ 6 madita

    “Rrrrrr yummy bite her.”

    My sentiments exactly, but you are too cute, sayin’ it out loud. 🙂

  10. 10 Samsooki

    I just feel like Jo Gook (thus far) is that guy that you don’t want to date if you think he’s The One. He might BE, in fact, The One, but just because he is that way to you, doesn’t mean he feels that way himself about you.

    JG is the guy that you tell your parents about, about how great he is, how smart and articulate, good education, successful, wealthy, polite, compassionate, smart, funny, tall, good looking, etc. In short, he is soooo great.

    But a guy like that can justify anything. He can talk his way out of a gun fight, he can sell ice to eskimo’s. If there is a guy like that, he can even convince himself that him dumping you is a good idea for BOTH of you. That kind of guy…. is the kind of guy you gotta be careful of. Just my opinion. I’m not sold on JG yet.

  11. 11 jastinel

    Thanks for taking time to finish episode 13 recap!
    I`m still very much addicted to City Hall and the only time I can move on, is when Suna will make another drama or CSW.
    Keep supporting CH in every POLL!

  12. 12 Nancy

    Thanks for the recap, I really appreciate it. At this point, I don’t know what Jo Gook is cooking in his mind. It’s clear that he is slowly falling for her but it’s like something bad is in the air and you can’t really tell if he’s genuine or not since he has an agenda of his own. It will be interesting to see how he will balance his desires and protect her later in the series.

  13. 13 giddygirl108

    Thanks to all of you for the recap! And best of luck with your continuing struggles of baby-raising 😉

    I have to admit, I enjoy reading the team’s recaps on Dramabeans rather than watching it. Maybe it’s because I’ve read all of the synopses up ’til Ep. 11 and tried to watch Ep. 12 without watching the other episodes first? I dunno…I just wasn’t feeling it. But reading the synopses definitely moves me so I’m thoroughly confused with myself lol.

  14. 14 jtinma

    I am in agreement with Samsooki on Jo Gook at this point in time. M Rae is in a really tough position. How can she not like a person such as Jo Gook but when she really thinks about it she can become something he toss aside in order to accomplish his goals… which he has already told her he’ll do. That’s the conflict I think with Jo Gook. We can’t say he hasn’t been honest with Mi Rae about what he is but of course the cruel fact is that his action is such that Mi Rae is pretty much hopeless in falling in love with him.

    I love the OST “Anxious Love” because it really describe the feeling they have for each other. Can’t stop from falling in love, while knowing it will go no where but a whole world of hurt.

  15. 15 wandergirl

    Thanks for the recap!

    Like giddygirl108, I tried to watch the next ep after reading the recap for Ep13 but it wasn’t the same. I guess I’m used to reading recaps first before watching — at least for this drama.

    I’m confused with Jo Gook’s behavior. So far his character has beefed up a male stereotype for me, but I can’t wait to see what he does next and prove my speculations wrong.

  16. 16 Icarusfalls


    About the advice Gookie have to Mirae, all I can say is, “Kurae Nareul Midja!!” ^_^

  17. 17 liion

    Ahhh, my day is complete 🙂

    thank you so much for the recap, it’s wonderful! It’s the Jo-Gukie ep!

  18. 18 liion

    oh my goodness, i was editing my previous comment but i ran out of time :l

    oh well, i guess i’ll have to repeat what i just typed.


    I agree on you on how you think that it’s not a very good idea to trust/ get too attached to JoGuk. But then that kind of perspective won’t really ring a bell to our Mayor Shin. Mirae doesn’t like to weigh and calculate things in her head. She is easily moved by words and simple gestures and she likes to treasure the good things people tell her. Their relationship may not be stable now, but one thing, in my opinion, is definite– they are attracted to each other. Attracted in a way that they like being together even though they are very aware that things might not work out. This attraction tends to make JG do things he doesn’t usually do and makes Mirae’s heart flutter that she forgets her fears.

    So in my opinion, JoGook may not like/love Mirae unconditionally, but their relationship has enough foundation for them to at least try to make things work out. I think the last scene is enough explanation for my view. lol

  19. 19 sueyip

    Thanks for yet another lovely recap, cleown, 0timelost and samsooki.
    How can any girl resist the charms of JoGuk ? The beef eating scene –
    gosh, he’ll melt any girl’s heart and I just love the sweet sweet look on
    MiRae’s face. Real fine acting. And I do love that walk in the park with
    them holding hands – what a fine couple – both are tall and lanky and
    the smile on JoGuk’s face and the shy but happy MiRae. Will definitely
    be rewatching this episode. The love relationship is really blossoming.

  20. 20 Rovi

    the one that I’d watched out for…


  21. 21 RSzeto

    Thanks to all of you for continuing with this recap although I was left hanging at the precipice when the recaps stopped coming for the longest time!!!! But CityHall I totally agree is a gem!!! It fills the heart with warmth & excitement. Warmth that tickles all the way to the toes!! I’m still enjoying this. The chemistry of the leads is so great and strong. KSA is at her prime still… Thanks team!! I’m a faithful follower.

  22. 22 thirty

    Waaaaaaahhhhhhhh!! The recaps are back!! I love you guys 😛
    Jo Guk is such a gentleman, all his gestures, his actions, his words (OMG, those lines *^^*) towards Mi Rae..so protective, sweet and manly…and..and (Am I the only one melting?:)
    At this point I didn’t know his “agenda”, if he was trying to use her anyway…but one detail make me realize he was sincere (even if he didn’t want to be sincere)..”his eyes”, check out the park scene, at the beginning the way he looks at her when she was not looking back..he’s so into her. My grandma used to say “that stare” is the key clue to know if any guy likes you.
    Aww and I love the jealousy-calls, he’s sooo jealous, it’s so weird in a man like him, always so secure and confident.. to be so incredible insecure and posesive in love affairs..and adorable

  23. 23 Norma

    All I can say is Jo Guk is SCARY! MiRae is gullible and naive…and swept up in the charms of Gukie! He doesn’t love his fiancee who is providing the $$$$ for his ambitious political motives….and will play along in having her by his side to get to the Blue House. AND…..he expects Go Hae to be the one to let go because he won’t let go of Mi Rae? HUH? And you know folks…it DOES happen in real life!
    Dontcha wonder what is going on in that handsome head of Gukie? 🙂

  24. 24 epyc

    cleown, 0timeslot, and Samsooki – thanks for the Ep 13 re-cap! (And mead33 – your great support for this project from day one is truly appreciated by us all.)

    Love the JG discussion above. He is danger and caramel at the same time. The kind of man women can’t help fall for despite all warning signs. At this point in time of the drama, we still can’t quite figure out who he is and what his next action will be. We simply can’t entrust MR to him. And this is the fascinating part of this drama: is he or is he not? He may not have made up his mind yet but MR is his perfect foil. He is now in an unfamiliar territory (of falling for real perhaps for the first time without any pre-determined objectives). Gearing the mind and heart towards the same direction is proving something new and a challenge to him.

    As we all swoon for the blossoming romance in Ep 13 and wait to see what the ending of this episode will lead to. I gather we viewers are less prepared for the emotional and political roller coaster to come. Indeed, not a boring second from now till the last frame of the closing credits!! I love City Hall.

  25. 25 mememomo

    Thanks to cleown, 0timelost and samsooki for yet another great recap. It was amazing to see them come back consecutively and swiftly. Thanks also to Mead33 for your hard work.

    I agreed with Samsooki, JG is the great guy you want to bring home but almost too good to be true. That’s exactly why MR has no chance in hell in escaping his charm. He had encouraged her and believed in her while most people didn’t and that is something she doesn’t see everyday and coming from a great guy like him..how can a girl not fall for him!?! MR probably struggles herself not to be tempted because she knows well that they belong to different worlds.

  26. 26 31pop

    all I can say is Maraming Salamat mula sa kaibuturan ng aking puso, (Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart) for this recap….reading them is a source of delight for me….

  27. 27 alodia

    Cleown! I’m so proud of you girl! My partner-in-crime for the City Hall photobook! You rock! Great job!
    And as always, thanks to Samsooki & 0timelost. And mead33, I miss you! Thanks for everything and I’m hoping you’ll be back before you conclude the recaps.

    Oh, one thing that I miss too is the way you used to credit yourselves in the past recaps. Am I the only one enjoying it? Or they just didn’t notice it? It was a wonderful appetizer before digging into the main course. If it’s not too much to ask, I wish it will be back (oh, and I hope I’m not preempting something)…


    Sigh this recap brings me back to the evening of June 10th! Remember when the original bunch of City Hallers watched this episode live? I can still hear the “virtual” squeals the final scene generated. And who among us was able to sleep peacefully that night? No one!

    And if I’m not mistaken, this is the record-breaking episode for our viikii subbers. When I wake up the following day, the episode has been fully subbed.


    I melted away with cleown… but if what Samsooki was saying (ㅠㅠ) is right, then every girl needs a BFF that can drag us out of our seats fast enough before we all melt away… sigh…

    @ 3 robotmatsuri,
    I’m screaming behind you! Can you hear me?

    @ 4 langdon813
    I agree. Everything that will happen will build up from here. Indeed the calm before the typhoon. Looking forward to the next recap and the next and the next and the next…

    @ 5 shaz81
    You nailed it right… the return of the recaps brings back great summer memories during these cold Christmas days!

    @ 7 ockoala
    Good for you! Although we didn’t have to wait for a week, we waited for 23 hours! 23 HOURS!!! (and imagine after watching Ep14, we have to wait one week for episode 15! – those were crazy days indeed!)
    I just started watching On Air and every time I see Jin Sang Woo i feel a bit disturbed and i have to pause for bit and tell myself it’s not Jung Do.
    (another hard thing to do (or NOT to do) is to change the disc on my player from On Air to City Hall. I was doing just fine until the recaps returned lol)
    And I guess it’s not just you and me who rewind the last minutes (before the NGs) of this episode every time we are re-watching.

    @ 13 giddygirl108
    lol, you’re weird girl. but i’m glad you are enjoying the racaps nonetheless.

    @ 15 wandergirl
    wow! it’s feels refreshing to see someone who is still in the process of watching… get ready for the big loops of our roller coaster.

    @ 16 Icarusfalls
    lol “kue mideumeuro salja”

    @ 24 epyc
    i love reading – and re-reading what you wrote.

    And I love all the Jo Guk and blossoming love discussions.

    I also like the part when Mi Rae told Jo Guk that she met his mother.

    Thanks again! *^^*

  28. 28 alodia

    Sigh, I was initially planning on continue watching On Air after I put in my comments (I just successfully finished Soul last night)… but the initial excitement I had in watching On Air was suddenly lost after reading this recap. And I wanted to put City Hall DVD instead on my player…

    Plus knowing the fact that today “Jo Guk” and “Mi Rae” (along with Writer Eun Sook and PD Shin – and probably some other cast) are together to tape the commentaries for the City Hall DVD Director’s Cut doesn’t help at all.

    I was doing just fine… now I’m back to square one… :p

  29. 29 touchmails

    i watched this drama a couple of months ago and i simply loved the acting. Don’t know why it was rated a ‘flop’ when it aired.

    they are so easy and natural in their acting and so easy to fall in love with the 2 leads.


  30. 30 alodia

    @ 29 touchmails
    Who said City Hall was a flop?
    Though it did not receive the Queen-Seon-Deok-40-ish ratings, it ranked 1 on it’s time slot from Episode 1-20

  31. 31 Flossie

    Thanks to the City Hall team for continuing with the recaps. I’ve been checking it daily after episode 11. Although I also like MNIKSS, I think City Hall surpasses it in many ways. The storyline is more mature and the two leads do have excellent chemistry between them. I don’t like CSW at first but his acting is really superb, and am now a devoted fan. City Hall is certainly the best drama in 2009, and I’ve re-watched it many many times. Really looking forward to another drama with CSW and KSA together.

  32. 32 ockoala

    My 2 cents on Jo Gook:

    No matter what happens in the future, MR understands that she has to take a chance on him. And I agree with her choice, She’s 36, his arrival has transformed her purpose and entirety of her life, and she’s (most likely) never felt this way about any man before. His actions clearly indicate that she affects him (we can see how profoundly, as can MR), and his one moment of honesty in episode 9, when he told her that he’s never done anything like this before, that is the one honesty of JG that gives MR the conviction to go forward with him.

    Life and love may change, but a grand love (affair) may only come around once (in a lifetime). I’m being both romantic and pragmatic. MR simply must take that leap of faith with JG, because otherwise, she will ALWAYS wonder whether she let her soulmate walk away. And if it doesn’t work out in the end for any variety of reasons (JG changes his mind, circumstances interfere, GGH sneezes), at least MR will have known that she took it to the very end.

    I would in her shoes (and I have in mine). Your heart can heal after being hurt, but your heart will never be satisfied if you are left wondering whether you let the perfect person go.

    With that, I have no problems trusting JG. Cliche talk 101: It’s better to have love and lost than to never have loved at all.

  33. 33 gra

    I learned something on this episode, about Women need to learn to be properly treated, thanks for the writer.

    Everything so natural … 2 thumbs for KSA.

  34. 34 yen_nguyen

    You made my day!
    I’m one of the person who think City Hall beat all other dramas too.
    I voted for City hall in 2 previous posts of this page, it’s really a nice, warm and mature-love drama.

  35. 35 mtoenlob

    Thank you for resuming the recap, samsooki and team!

    As @9 langdon813 said, this is where the drama starts to heat up. We now witness the gradual transformation of both. This episode is the crossroad for both Jo Guk and Shin Mi Rae.

    Here, we are not yet convinced of the real motive of Jo Guk. Is he really harboring a blossoming feeling towards Mi Rae or is it a part of the game plan which is the reason why he is in Inju in the first place in spite of his initial dissentment? Your so right, Samsooki. Jo Guk is The One you would want to brag about. “…he is soooo great…yet is the kind of guy you gotta be careful of. “ And as epyc described him – “He is danger and caramel at the same time.” This ambivalent feel about him, an aura of mystery, is what makes him desirable – sexy and dangerous, a lethal combination. Scary indeed! But, at the same breath, his eyes betray his innermost feeling which at this point he himself is not sure of. Agree with you @22 thirty. In that unguarded moment at the park, Jo Guk gives us a glimpse of what is in his heart. The cerebral Jo Guk is not thinking at that moment but rather allowing his sentiment gets the better of him.

    In this episode, we see the other side of Shin Mi Rae, that beneath that seemingly unrefined and naïve features is a woman of strength and determination. When she sets her heart and mind into something, there is no stopping her as evidenced by her acceptance of the directors’ resignation, to everyone’s surprise, and a resolved mind to dig deep into the mire of the relocation documents. In so doing, she has up the ante causing Jo Guk to be anxious.

    @32 ockoala
    I love that Cliché talk 101. I guess, getting hurt is more bearable than going through life with regrets. The “what if” will forever plague you for the rest of your life. Yes, ockoala, taking that bold step might just be worth it.

    @27 alodia
    The last 2 frames sealed this episode for me in terms of ecstatic thrill. Who wouldn’t? I agree, “I can still hear the “virtual” squeals the final scene generated. And who among us was able to sleep peacefully that night? No one!” None indeed until the next episode commenced the week after.

  36. 36 Rovi


    wouldn’t you love it if either ABS or GMA acquired this series (maybe next year?)??

    Magkakaroon agad ng mga instant City Hall-ers sa ‘Pinas!! (There will be instant City Hall-ers in the Philippines!!)
    WEEE!!! 😀 😀 😀

  37. 37 Ariel

    You scare me guys with your wonderful and often razor sharp insight into this series. All I’m hoping for is that they end up together and that Mi Rae defeats those snooty officials. That’s why I try to get out of watching this series its just too gut twisting. Your right Mr. Samsooki JG is the perfect man and no matter how much you try to warn us, to pull us back from the abyss we have already fallen with an idiotic smile on our face.
    You know what? I still haven’t watched the end of this series, why??? you ask because I’m waiting for your recaps. If it does not end the way that I envision it to end I WILL GO COMPLETELY INSANE, and I need you guys to bring me back into the light.
    Over-reaction but I got to hand it to the writer/director team, they’ve created Mi Rae to be so organic as to be part of you and me and yet so complete in her character as to be her own true person. She’s fast becoming a good, strong and memorable character and JG he’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde the most unreadable, delicious and frustrating lead to come out of K-drama land.

  38. 38 funkster316

    Thanks for the awesome recap. I have not finished the drama I still have 3 episodes to go. You guys are awesome to do this! I LOVE Kim Sunah and I am watching her other dramas because I love her so much. I appreciate the great notes and insights.

  39. 39 Samsooki

    @37 Ariel –

    Thank you so much for reading our recaps. We will definitely finish the recaps, so please don’t worry. 🙂

    @32 ockoala –

    No matter what happens in the future, MR understands that she has to take a chance on him. And I agree with her choice… I’m being both romantic and pragmatic. MR simply must take that leap of faith with JG, because otherwise, she will ALWAYS wonder whether she let her soulmate walk away. And if it doesn’t work out…), at least MR will have known that she took it to the very end… Cliche talk 101: It’s better to have love and lost than to never have loved at all.


    Hmmm… I dunno.

    I don’t want to tie this into anything that might or might not have happened recently (cough *LBH* cough)… but no, you know what? I WILL tie this in. Is what that woman in the LBH case, what she is going through now, worth the trust and heart that she put into LBH when she first started falling for him?

    Every situation is different, and I don’t want to paint LBH as this 나쁜 놈 (bad guy) even though he played one in the big screen. I don’t know the facts and so I am only using this as a hypothetical example.

    Taking a risk and leaping for your soulmate is all fine and good. I did it. I got lucky, but I did it. I could have been burned but I wasn’t.

    But in THIS case, with Shin Mi Rae, I think she is TOO brave, too strong, too trusting, too willing to put her heart and soul on the line. Where’s Boo Mi to splash cold water on her face? Where’s Shin Mi Rae’s mom to shake some sense into a love-addled Mi Rae?

    How come all of Mi Rae’s friends are so awestruck by Jo Gook that they don’t see that he could literally ruin her life? WE’RE COMING TO SAVE YOU MI RAE!!! Don’t kiss him back until we do an internet background check on him!!

  40. 40 ockoala

    @ recap team

    No pressure or anything, but poor @ Ariel:

    “You know what? I still haven’t watched the end of this series, why??? you ask because I’m waiting for your recaps. If it does not end the way that I envision it to end I WILL GO COMPLETELY INSANE”


    Dear @ Ariel, mindful of spoilers, respectful of your decision to read the recaps prior to watching an episode – I must say that you have more restraint and control than I can effectively muster in a time like this. From episode 13 onward, I was an unstoppable watching machine, I simply *could* *not* *stop* *watching*.

    All I can say you, the ending of CH may/may not make you go completely insane, depending on what things induce insanity. Sheer happiness induces insanity for me. 😉

    @ samsooki

    Ah, I see, now we are in agreement. I agree that EVERYONE around MR needed to get her to re-assess the situation with JG in a more critical light. Because she sure as heck isn’t able to. What I refer to is MR herself taking the risk because she’s lost her heart (who hasn’t done that? I did once and I got burned big time – took me a few months to get out of bed/sofa/room. I too the chance again and got here. That’s taking a chance at love). But for the lovelorn, like MR, there is no objectively, there is only the chance in front of her. And she must take it.

    But she definitely needed her Boo-mi and Jung-do to pull her back, and maybe they will later? But if they did, would we get MR-JG in a car at dawn in front of the seawall? No siree, we viewers would be demanding our money back for the lack of romantic development.

  41. 41 yvree

    it seems good, i must see this soon.

  42. 42 skelly

    One of the reasons that this drama inevitably keeps watchers up until 2,3,4 in the morning (I did it the first time I watched it, then AGAIN when I watched it with my husband) is the feeling of inexorability – like in a great tragedy, where once the wheels are set in motion there is nothing you can do but wait and watch as the train wreck takes place.
    Mi Rae and Jo Guk are not a train wreck, necessarily, but there is this feeling of inevitability I get from them. Of course, Mi Rae is going to fall for him, after all he has done for her and all that he is. Of course, he is going to realize that she can give him all of the things that have been lacking in his life, and be compelled to keep her at his side even though it is political suicide to do so.
    But is he going to change his ways or not? He’s been fabulously successful as a shallow manipulator, a front man for BB, a Machiavellian at home as well as at work. Can a leopard change its spots? – only if it was never really a leopard, to begin with…
    Love, love this show, and all my fellow City Hallers. Thanks so much, recappers, subbers (B.O.N., your subs are the best!) , alodia and the magic soompi thread (that never stops because somebody is always there to pick it up). Thanks to dramabeans for providing this space where we can all get together, once again, for intelligent discourse, thoughtful analysis, and a little fangirl squee now and then. Thanks to everyone.

  43. 43 cleown

    Awww… didn’t I warn you beforehand that was, and probably still am, completey unable to make a rational decision when it comes to Jo Guk. Furthermore, I don’t really know what I wrote exactly – like I wrote this two months ago or so – but… I assume that from a girl’s point of view, Jo Guk is THE man, while from a guy’s standpoint he sure is… a wolf. Hehe. (We debated about this within the group a lot. No conclusion still.)

    Lastly, please give a hand to Samsooki for adding so much stuff to my draft (:
    Samsooki is one modest guy, he only credits himself in 30% of the cases in which he is supposed to be thanked for!

    Will write more later. Like after I have re-watched it, haha.

  44. 44 Samsooki

    I think many City Hallers (maybe cleown too, lol) are blinded by Jo Gook’s good looks. For instance, my wife’s mom saw this drama and I asked what she thought. She paused, nodded and gave me only two words. Those two words were: “몸짱” (in english “mohm jjang” – the literal translation is “best body” but the rough translation is “drool”). hehe.

  45. 45 frac

    Mmm… I agree that Jo Gook is not completely reliable. In a certain way, he reminds me of Kang Tae Joo in Que Sera, Sera : the prince attitude. And we know what the prince did to her princess…

    But I also agree with that :
    @32 ockoala
    his one moment of honesty in episode 9, when he told her that he’s never done anything like this before, that is the one honesty of JG that gives MR the conviction to go forward with him.

    And remember that decisive line in episode 8:
    JG to MR: “I didn’t use the trip as an excuse to ask you about this [run for mayor]. I used this as an excuse to go on a trip with you.”
    It proves that concerning Mi Rae, it’s the heart that leads, not the mind.
    Jo Gook may not be completely reliable, but for sure he’s already far beyond simply liking or desiring Mi Rae.
    His acting may seem logic but it is not. In the first place why choose Mi Rae as a puppet mayor – when he should already know that she’s uncontrollable – if not simply to be close to her? As he said himself in a fit of honesty, it’s only an excuse.

    It’s a great pleasure to dive again in City Hall. Thanks again for providing these recaps.

  46. 46 mzpakipot

    cleown, you go girl!!!
    Thank you Samsooki Team for a wonderful recap.
    I simply love their little date! The writer really knows how to touch a woman’s heart and CSW delivered those lines with sincerity that made me fell off my chair! LOL He’s the MAN!

  47. 47 Ariel

    @40 ockoala

    It is not a matter of self-restraint, believe me I have none, it’s because I have no more vacation leave left, argh!!! Its a known fact in our office that when I take a leave I would not be saving the world (or doing anything constructive) but would be glued on to the TV watching my current addiction.
    The way City Hall is disturbing my psych I would need around 6 days to finish watching ep. 11 onwards, then going back over all my favorite parts, memorizing favorite lines, swooning over JG, crying with MR, squeeling, screaming and general lunatic behaviour that could get me into an insane asylum.
    Reading the recaps keeps me sane and employed, thanks a million to all recappers.

  48. 48 skelly

    My husband agrees with you – at first he disliked Jo Guk, as one of those guys who thinks he’s “all that,” then he distrusted him, and in the end he grudgingly respected him, but he never felt that Jo Guk was good enough for Mi Rae, even with the over-the-top ending.

  49. 49 ockoala

    @ frac

    How I could have forgotten the decisive line in episode 8, and then he ruffled her hair. 1-2-3-cue-awwwwww…….I melts. MR was a goner after that pretty much.

    When I re-read the recaps and re-visit awesome scenes, I’m really taken anew each time with the wonderful dialogue in CH. The writer’s dialogue in LIP never really struck me, I was too immersed into the “Oh, it’s Prince Charming over there” to see anything special about the dialogue.

    And the dailogue in On Air, what episodes I have seen, are sharp, but too razor sharp, making it straddle too close to the line where the actors are not speaking naturally but becoming mouthpieces for the writer’s exceptionally witty dialogue – it doesn’t flow naturally.

    But in CH, the dialogue is exquisite, but darn it if KSA and CSW are just that million shades of awesome that they take the hard dialogue and just deliver it like they own it. And it’s like lightning in a bottle – sheer magic to see and hear.

  50. 50 sueyip

    Yes, KSA is just so naturally natural and with CSW, that’s just awesome,
    They just sizzle on screen and you’ll just want to hear their dialogues again and again. AND, the scenes when they just look at each other …. gosh … no dialogue is needed …. such superb acting ….. wow … is that REAL?

Add a Comment

Stay civil, don't spoil, and don't feed the trolls! Read the commenting policy here.

 characters available. Comments will be truncated at the word limit.