Drama Recaps
City Hall: Episode 20 (Final)
by | January 25, 2010 | 177 Comments

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

Episode 20 – The Greatest Ending Ever.


Last episode, Mayor Shin Mi Rae faced BB’s awesome threat of literally destroying Inju City and everyone in it. And so Mi Rae had no choice but to sign the MOU and Authorization, the documents that would allow the building of a toxic waste recycling plant in Inju City – an act condemning the city to a slow death rather than a quick one. Mi Rae worked out a deal prior to the signing however, resigning her position as Mayor and only going through the motions of signing even though she had no authority to sign anything. This allowed Jo Gook the time he needed to secure hard evidence of the Dae Han Group’s intentions as well as getting legislation passed to prevent future toxic waste recycling plants from being built on Korean soil. The combined actions of Mi Rae and Jo Gook have saved Inju City, but the cost was steep. Mi Rae is no longer Mayor and is probably going to jail for fraud, losing everything she owns including her freedom.

Jo Gook looks at Mi Rae with profound sadness. Why couldn’t she have just hung on for just a little while longer? Mi Rae notes, eyeing Go Hae, that she had no choice as there were too many lives on the line. She had to act.


Park Sang-woo – “사랑하고 사랑합니다” (I love you and I love you) [ Download ]

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Go Hae might be beaten, but she is not through. She swears that she will follow through with the criminal complaint, and make sure that Mi Rae will pay dearly for her actions. Jo Gook stops Go Hae and tells her to stop; if she doesn’t stop, then he will have to continue as well, and ultimately, the Dae Han Group will be forced to take responsibility. This makes Go Hae flip out.

Go Hae: Responsibility?! Responsibility??! I may not know what is inside these documents, but you should damn well know that this isn’t yet the time for those kinds of words. Don’t you know that I haven’t confirmed anything yet? You should have waited and given me a chance to find out what is going on!


Go Hae is actually right. Jo Gook said that he would not let go of her hand until she let go of his hand. Saying those words means something. If you hold someone’s hand, you better well mean it, and that means that Jo Gook has to take responsibility for Go Hae. Not only did he fail to do that, but he outright betrayed her, all the while, holding her hand. If Go Hae files the criminal complaint and Mi Rae goes to jail, will Jo Gook still hold Mi Rae’s hand through the jail cell during visiting hours?

And yet, through it all, Mi Rae has won. Despite not having an education, despite having no money, despite being attacked at every turn, Mi Rae has beaten every single opponent she has faced. Just look at everyone she had to overcome:

All of the younger women at the Miss Baendaengi Pageant. Then Joo Hwa. Then the Bureau Directors, the Secretariat and fellow assistant. A bunch of thugs throwing eggs. Then the corrupt Mayor Go. Then she had to overcome her own lack of confidence in herself.


Then Mi Rae had to beat all of the candidates for the mayoral by-election, including more gangsters assaulting her. Then the Deputy Mayor, Joo Hwa, and the Bureau Directors again. Then the landowners opposing her. And then BB and Go Hae…


What does Mi Rae want, now that the end is here? Mi Rae still wants an expensive handbag from Jo Gook. Jo Gook might see it as an attempt at humor, but I see this as both an attempt at humor, and something that touches on truth. After all, getting a brand name handbag from a boyfriend who cares about her is the only thing that Mi Rae hasn’t done yet in her life. In less than a year, Mi Rae has done more than most people do in a lifetime, except she still hasn’t gotten that name brand handbag that every other girl has gotten from their beaus. Jo Gook, you idiot, you could have at least gotten her a bag!


It’s time to get back to City Hall and say goodbye. Mi Rae waves bravely and starts to walk away but Jo Gook grabs her and holds her tight. At last, Mi Rae loses her composure and weeps in Jo Gook’s arms. Jo Gook is out of bright ideas, and the only thing he can do is just hold a sobbing Mi Rae.


Mi Rae appears before the entire staff of City Hall, stating only that she has tendered her resignation. Her entire staff, all of whom are now behind her, cannot believe their ears. Resign? Why? Boo Mi, Jung Do, all the Bureau Directors, everyone who has finally seen the light and supported Mi Rae, they all feel the huge loss that this is.


But Mi Rae won’t get into the details about how everyone’s very livelihoods were threatened by BB and how she had no choice, but merely states that this is the best thing she has ever done. She merely asks that they give her a cool send-off, but before she can finish the thought, the tears again come unbidden. She cannot finish her thought.


The next day, Mi Rae speaks before the landowners and announces that there will be no purchase. Most of the landowners are angry and depart without listening to the reasoning, but a few remain behind and cheer for Mi Rae… including, I really REALLY hate to say it, but the two shop-keeper “friends” who betrayed Mi Rae by signing affidavits charging her of corruption. They apologize to Mi Rae, saying they had no idea of how much burden that all of this had caused her. I am less than moved. In fact, I am angered. Are they trying to excuse their felony perjury because they weren’t aware of what a teensy charge of corruption would do? I won’t spend any more time thinking about them, they are a waste of breath to talk about. But they and many others stand and cheer for Mi Rae, knowing in their hearts that whatever it was that Mi Rae did, she did to protect them.


Miles away, Go Hae has finally confronted her father, showing him the contracts that Jo Gook brought back from Europe. The contracts detail the toxic waste to be imported into Korea. Go Hae’s father, the chairman of the Dae Han Group, doesn’t even look. He ignores the question completely, saying that his company will be just fine – a few “The Environment is Important to the Dae Han Group” commercials and all will be better.


Go Hae is horrified. What about everything she learned from him, about business ethics, fairness, responsibility and morality? Were they just lies? Go Hae’s father ignores her questions, arguing instead that he and the Dae Han Group have been feeding Korea for decades, and now it is time for Korea to spoon-feed the Dae Han Group a little. Isn’t THAT what is fair? Go Hae cannot believe what she is hearing.


The biggest loser in this whole drama, since about mid-way through, has been Go Hae. She was played by Jo Gook from the start, but at least she knew that it was him using her and vice versa. That was the deal. And while she was played by BB, she could tolerate this since it meant having a man like Jo Gook. Again, that was the deal. But then Jo Gook betrays Go Hae for “true love,” and breaks the bargain they had struck and deep-sixes the arrangement with BB. And now, Go Hae learns that her own father had betrayed her and her principles for mere money. Chairman Go shrugs off Go Hae’s emotional response and tells her to go get married to Jo Gook, to solidify the deal with BB. Go Hae responds.

Go Hae: No, that won’t ever happen. I can’t go now. I can’t go to that man. Even if I wanted to, I can’t go now. Because of you, I cannot go!


Actually, Go Hae is mistaken here, since Jo Gook wouldn’t take Go Hae even if the Dae Han Group was going to build an environmentally sound rainforest populated entirely by cute baby pandas in Inju City. But Go Hae is physically unable to see beyond her frame of reference, and that frame of reference has never included “love” as a reason to do anything. This last part is perhaps the biggest betrayal of a father to a daughter, as Chairman Go never taught his own daughter that love can mean more than all the money and power in the world. BB never taught his son that you can climb high while protecting others, like a true man. And likewise, Chairman Go never taught his daughter that living can be about more than accumulating, be it money, power or people.

And again, we find ourselves in BB’s office. Jo Gook has given BB one last chance to change his ways and try to be a father to his son, but BB refuses to consider it. He has never once lived his life as a father, only as a leader. And so, Jo Gook can be BB’s successor, but he will never be BB’s son.


Jo Gook: No, you are mistaken. You will not live as a legend or as a leader, but only as a father!

Jo Gook turns around and calls in the press, and announces that he is the son of BB, and BB is retiring from public service to devote his time to learning to become a father to his estranged son, whom he had fathered but never raised. It is a death blow to BB, who sees his entire career evaporate before his eyes. BB never saw it coming. In the beginning, I just thought that BB was amoral. But BB turned out to be worse than amoral – he turned out to be immoral. With his intelligence and work ethic, BB could have been a great father and husband. He could have been President. And in the end, he gets nothing. It is a fitting end.


As her last act, Mi Rae writes a letter to the next Mayor, a tradition for politicians that crosses all cultures and history. The letter finished, she gathers up Boo Mi and Jung Do to escort her to the police station. It is time to go, but Shin Mi Rae lingers for just a little bit, looking around at this office of hers that she held so briefly, where she accomplished so much but left unfinished so many of her dreams to make Inju City into a great place to live and work.


As they head out, they are surprised to be met by a group of Mi Rae supporters holding signs, asking her to stay on. It is a tender moment, indeed. Mi Rae is overcome by emotion, as her supporters literally cheer her to stay and continue to protect them as she promised that she would. They chant various slogans in unison, pumping their fists in the air, as Mi Rae watches with tears in her eyes.


Eraser and Cat: Wonder Woman Shin Mi Rae! Take care of our Inju City!

Honey and Jessica: Shade of a rose, Shin Mi Rae, you are our only Mayor!


(Note: Korea, after the Korean War, had a series of increasingly corrupt governments that did not represent the people nor follow the rule of law. But as a reflexive response, Korean citizens developed an obsession with mass protests to effect democratic change. These protests proved effective, even as many were brutally put down. At one point, unified and synchronized demonstrations were so popular that they were called the “national sport” of Korea. These days, however, Korea tends to be much more relaxed, maybe sedated by relative wealth, comfort and technology. I think City Hall, with its heart-breaking one-woman protest all the way to this little gathering of Inju City’s citizens, is a little reminder of that legacy – that ordinary people can change their destiny, and change their world.)

At that moment, Go Hae appears. In a surprise move, perhaps, Go Hae announces that she and Dae Han Group are not going to sue! She gives back the MOU to Mi Rae. Mi Rae stares at the document and then at Go Hae. Go Hae has a response waiting for Mi Rae:

Go Hae: I cannot lose to you, Shin Mi Rae. In my whole life, I’ve never lost to anyone. It would be a terrible thing, if I had to lose to a person like you. And so, you should give me the victory. Let’s start over from the beginning…. We aren’t going to import toxic waste from Europe. Rather, we will build you a great factory which will use only our own country’s recycled products. And of course, there still will be the municipal hospital. The only thing that I have left to protect is my pride.


Go Hae’s determination to see a positive project through, complete with a factory and a hospital, is noteworthy. Go Hae’s action here is undoubtedly against what her father would have wished to have happen, and so it actually completes and ends the cycle of betrayal. Go Hae has “betrayed” her father’s principles, destroying what is left of Dae Han Group’s ambition for profit at the expense of innocents. Go Hae has learned that she alone can protect her own pride – nobody else can do it for her, not Jo Gook, not BB, and certainly not her father.

Mi Rae responds that this kind of good news should be given to the deputy Mayor of Inju City, since she had resigned. But in a surprise, the deputy Mayor also appears out of nowhere, and rips up Mi Rae’s resignation! And the weasel of a secretariat has even washed the mayor’s car for transport back to City Hall! (Again, I’m not moved. You mistreated Mi Rae from the beginning and you think a car-wash is going to make up for it? Still, it’s a start…)


Woo-hoo! Shin Mi Rae is Mayor of Inju City again!!


Epilogues –

Mi Rae and Go Hae!


Mi Rae and Go Hae sign their new agreement, and then they shake hands. This is the second time we’ve seen Mi Rae offer her hand in mutual respect. First it was to Jo Gook, as one politician to another as equals, when she was elected Mayor. And now, to Go Hae, it is as one woman to another, again as equals. By offering her hand first, Mi Rae is proclaiming that she is no one’s pawn and no one’s inferior. By accepting Mi Rae’s hand, Go Hae (and Jo Gook, way back when) is acknowledging this truth. Way to go, Mi Rae!


Joo Hwa and Jung Do!

And the Mi Rae / Go Hae relationship isn’t the only one being mended. Thanks to Mi Rae’s remarkable sacrifice, career criminal Joo Hwa has finally understood what it means to be a public servant. And with that realization, she has understood why Jung Do had worked so hard for Mi Rae. Joo Hwa shows up at the government center to process her divorce documentation, but inside her folder, she finds a love letter written by Jung Do.


Jung Do expresses his deep love for her, acknowledging his own faults and hopes that whatever happens, she must be happy. It is enough to turn a reformed career criminal like Joo Hwa into a bucket of tears.


Joo Hwa doesn’t file divorce papers, and instead goes to a batting cage where she goes when she is sad. It looks like she has finally started seeing things as they really are, and she realizes how hollow her life has been. Jung Do finds her, though, and brings her back home. In a symbolic moment, Jung Do cleans Joo Hwa, scrubbing away all of Joo Hwa’s mis-deeds from her, and then they have the best make-up sex in the history of k-drama.

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It is so good, that the next day, Jung Do is still smiling and chuckling about it the next day, grinning like a fool.


Months later, Jung Do is running the Miss Baedaengi pageant again, and this time he finds that his own wife is there submitting her entrance form! LOL! Jung Do is VERY surprised, but Joo Hwa is game. She has brought food… and the delicious aroma…. *urk*

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In a k-drama staple (what IS it about a throw-up face that indicates “I’m preggers!” to Korean people? see also Goong, Full House), Joo Hwa who had been unable to conceive, is nauseated by the smell… omg? A jubilant Jung Do then announces that his wife is preggers to everyone within earshot (extremely presumptively, I might add). I was going to ignore this part, but I include it for Jung Do’s sake. He deserves to be happy.


Jo Rang and Jo Yong Hee (Jo Gook’s son and mom)!

Jo Gook visits the flower shop in Inju City that he bought for his mom. With BB’s dreams shattered, Jo Gook’s mom feels more at peace knowing at least that her pain that BB did not ultimately profit from the pain that he caused her. Jo Gook is glowing with happiness, and Jo Gook’s mom is apparently naturally perky, so unlike her dour self throughout the series.


Jo Gook gets a pink rose to give to Mi Rae from the cutie Rang, no charge. Jo Gook, in turn, takes a white rose and gives it to Rang for him to give it to that girl…


Rang: Oh, you mean Kyung Hee? Dad, didn’t I already tell you that she’s not my style?

Jo Gook: Ahh, is that so… but you even know her name!

Caught by Dad! Rang gives a small smirk. Ah, the smitten kitten…

Jo Yong Hee, the woman who gave birth to an illegitimate son named Jo Gook, and had to live her entire life as a whore with no surname of a father to give to her son, smiles as well. Being in this place, freed from the stigma by BB’s resignation (which acknowledged that BB is the father), and watching her own son grow up to be nothing like BB, now… she can breathe a little. Now, she can live a little.


And Rang and Kyung Hee? Could they be the next cute couple?


Mi Rae and Her City Hall!

Mayor Mi Rae learns from Jung Do of a World Cities Festival being held in Korea. The Festival hosts a talent competition and first place is a new car! Mi Rae leaps to action, recruiting all Bureau Directors and Joo Hwa.


They do their interpretation of the “Sorry, Sorry” music video dance by the Korean boy-band group, Super Junior.



And then winner is announced: it is Inju City’s City Hall!


Here’s Mayor Shin Mi Rae making the “sarang hamnida” (“I lub you”) pose with her hand.


(Rating their performances, Mi Rae looked outstanding! Most impressive! However, I am very sorry to say that Boo Mi did not keep the beat the entire time. Joo Hwa’s complete lack of coordination, I can understand, but Boo Mi is a Republic of Korea Ahjumma, and she should have been able to do it. I know, I know, let’s see how well I can dance if I give birth to three kids… but I’m not buying it. Boo Mi just isn’t a very good dancer.)

At the celebration dinner at Mexico and the Chicken, everyone is there, except for Soo In (glaring absence! grrrrrr.) Jo Gook gets up early, however, he has stuff he must attend to, telling Mi Rae not to stay too late. And Mi Rae surveys the table. These are her people now. It is good to be Mayor.


And lastly, Mi Rae and Jo Gook!

Mi Rae walks home from the Mexico and the Chicken dinner, singing and happy. She turns off the street lamps one by one as they flip on as she nears. But as one of the lamps turns on, she sees a sign hanging from the post.

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The sign says, “I am someone who pays rent to live in Shin Mi Rae’s heart.” And then, the next lamp turns on as she nears, and this one says, “But instead of paying overdue rent, please accept this brand-name bag instead.”

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Another lamp turns on, and Mi Rae sees the biggest bouquet of roses, wrapped up in a bow.


Mi Rae carries her huge “bag” to her house, but there is another surprise waiting for her. Jo Gook is there, with a candle-lit table in the yard. They look at each other, with smiling eyes, in the darkness.

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But then Jo Gook flips the switch. This is so cool.


Jo Gook, okay. I didn’t support you for 19 episodes. But I think this is the most romantic thing I’ve ever seen, and so in all fairness, I have to change my mind. You rock.

Jo Gook has brought a stereo system, and plays “Moon River” as he dances with Mi Rae.

Jo Gook: I have had a dream form inside of me. I want to become President of Korea one day. And on my inauguration day when I become President, just like tonight, I will be dancing with my wife…

Mi Rae (unsure where this is going): …


Jo Gook: On that inauguration day… won’t you dance with me?


How awesome is that!!

In Korean dramas, there tends to be a recurrent theme of fate, about how people who are charged to meet, will meet, and those who are destined to never be together, will go their whole lives never being whole. In this instance, we learn of events that happened 8 years prior to Mi Rae being Mayor, when Jo Gook and Jung Do were still in school. On that night when Jung Do had carried a wasted Jo Gook to Jung Do’s bedroom, their phones were switched and Jo Gook thought he was calling BB, but ended up calling Mi Rae, both of whom were #5 on the speed dial.


And so, from that chance “meeting,” we are finally at the end of the episode. With the wedding between Jo Gook and Shin Mi Rae. If there is a more beautiful and elegant bride than Mi Rae, I’ve not yet seen it. After all the buckets of tears and heartache, after all of the struggles and the breakup, after everything that these two had to go through, we have the happiest ending in a k-drama ever.




Last Comments –

First off, I’d like to thank javabeans for graciously giving space for me to have fun with these recaps and to share that fun with you. And I’d like to thank everyone for being patient with me, as I had to take a break from recapping to attend to a preggers wife of my own (and no, she didn’t make throw-up faces like Joo-Hwa! But if I were living in k-drama land, how could I tell if she were pregnant?! Out pops a baby, and I would be like, “where did that baby come from, you never made the throw-up face…?”). Also, I am so thankful for mead33, 0timelost and cleown, who have helped me with these recaps, editing, commenting and writing, and without whom I would not have been able to start or finish.

City Hall turned out to be an unusual drama for me. I only started watching it after I heard some buzz about it from dramabeans Open Thread, and the beginning was a little bit rough. But starting with about Episode 4 or 5, I really started getting into it, and I couldn’t watch it in the same manner as I had watched most of the other k-dramas that I had seen. Instead of just watching the drama, as the episodes came and went, I basically lived the drama, one hour episode at a time. I lived and died with Mi Rae, and with every obstacle that she faced and overcame, with every stab in her heart, and with every victory she won for herself and for her people, I felt like I was right there with her. And all praise must go to Kim Sun Ah, who made this drama into an experience to had to be lived, and not just watched. And that’s really why I picked this drama as my Dramabeans 2009 Drama of the Year, and that’s why, despite issues with directing and editing and some choppiness, I have no hesitation putting this near the top of my list of favorite dramas ever.

Lastly, I know I said that I wanted to do a special section for the “Best Of” City Hall, but going through each episode, one at a time, picking out the best scenes… in the end, I had about 24 awesome scenes (The Proposal, The Kiss, Jo Gook Eating Alone At The Porridge Shop, The Gazebo, The Taxi Scene After The Gazebo, Mi Rae’s Bedroom After The Gazebo, Dancing With The Jacket, The Seawall, The Staircase Breakup, The First Time They Hug, The Tango Dance, The Tent Sleeping Scene, The Back Of The Head Slap, BB’s Threat To Destroy Inju City, among many others), and I couldn’t pick just 5. And so, in the end, I think the way to end this recap series is just to say thank you. I really hope you all enjoyed this Cityhall Journey with me, and on behalf of mead33, 0timelost and cleown, I want to thank everyone for watching the series and following along with Soompi City Hall and these recaps! *wave*



177 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. moana

    sigh . . . i loved city hall and samsooki i enjoyed ‘watching’ it again through your fun and perceptive recaps. thank you.

    question for you or anyone else, what is the name of the opening song and is there anywhere to download it?

  2. ockoala

    I can just stare at every screen cap for hours, the GuMi couple is glorious, so beautiful it just makes my heart clench.

    Thank you, samsooki, mead33, cleown and 0timelost. For working so tirelessly on City Hall recaps, where every ounce of love you feel towards this drama comes through in each word.

    It’s been a honor to read these recaps, and to experience City Hall with all the Hallers here at DB.

    I’ll remember this drama and the feeling of watching it for a very long time. I’m still tearing up here remembering the ending, and reading samsooki’s words that so perfectly sums it all up.

    City Hall is magical.

  3. shaz81

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart. The recapping of City hall has been a delight to read. The drama has only grown more special in my heart thanks to your wonderful recaps, and i wish to thank all of the team, it really has been a labour or love and you all deserve a medal AND BIG thanks. !!!!

  4. Lahmongnese

    This is the best drama I have seen yet! I hope that there is a drama that is this good coming out soon, but if not I can always watch it again.

  5. Maggi

    Truthfully said, i havent watched this drama but i have been following your review from episode 1 and it has been exciting with its ups and downs. later i just might watched the whole drama from the beginning and no, im sure its still be worth the time ^^ Thank you for all your hard work!

  6. asianromance

    Thank you for the recap! I loved the ending episode of City Hall. It didn’t feel rushed nor did it feel like it dragged on. It just felt like a natural progression to the end. And you have chosen some wonderful pics to go with your equally wonderful recap!

    I love your comment abt the throw-up-face: I would hate to get food poisoning in a kdramaland and have everyone think i’m pregnant.

  7. MEIKO**** ^-^

    I loved their “sorry2x” dance and the ending was so cute…. *sigh*

  8. simon

    I think you’d have to be female to support JG from the first ep. One look at his eyes and you go *swoon*, baby – and then everything he does and did becomes kind of OKish. ^-^;
    And that definitely was the most romantic proposal EVA! ^o^

    I also loved it how they toyed around with the names, again. When, in the 8 years earlier scene, JG speed-dials 5, asks who’s there and she goes: “I’m the future!” or something. I had a little happy-fit complete with giggles. ^^;

    And last but not least, it’s so cool how in the end, esp. the wedding-scene, she looks like this total goddess. From a country-bumbkin who’d pick her feet and then eat without washing her hands to a competent, beautiful and strong woman who just looks like the perfect future first lady of Korea. 🙂

  9. thunderbolt

    CONGRATS on wrapping up the series. Awesome job!!

  10. 10 su-pah

    Thanks for recapping this drama! Loved this episode, filled with so many special moments. I especially remember the speed dial 5 part – very ‘Soulmatey’, no?

    Aah, so THAT’s where I’d seen the chef guy in Pasta with blue necktie before, he’s Jung Do from City Hall, I’ve been wracking my brains for days wondering where he was from.

  11. 11 samsooki

    @1 moana –

    Which song are you referring to when you say “opening song”? Of the whole series or just this episode?

    If you want to get the music from this drama, I think you should be able to find whatever you are looking for, if you go to http://www.soompi.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=266165

    Post #5 of the City Hall Thread on Soompi has the songs, OST info, mp3 downloads, album rips, where to purchase the CD, DVDs, and plenty of other goodies (including fan performed songs, OST ring tones, album art, links to MVs, etc.).


  12. 12 charlie

    Thank you so much Samsooki for your recap of City Hall!
    Even though I watched the series a while ago, I was pretty much squee-ing throughout this entire recap and I could not agree with you more BEST ENDING EVER! And I love love loved the proposal scene and the wedding picture montage! I remember after watching the last ep having to sit for few minutes taking in all the happiness I was feeling from this drama.
    In the version that I watched, the ending had a little extra bit (after the wedding pictures) showing Jo Gook talking to a crowd for his presidential campaign and sees Mi Rae in the crowd… but it’s not in the recap.. is there a reason why??? (I really liked this scene too:) )

  13. 13 langdon813

    Sigh…and now it’s REALLY over. 🙁

    Thank you samsooki! It’s been so much fun reliving all the City Hall fun and heartbreak all over again. This is one Kdrama experience I won’t ever forget; and sharing it with so many DB and Soompi friends made it even more special. And yes, this is the best Kdrama ending EVER. Such a beautiful couple! And just look at all the great things that happened in your life while City Hall was such a huge part of it. For that reason alone I know it will always be at or near the top of your faves list.

    I’d tell you to relax and take a well-deserved break, but you DID sign on for Chuno, so…get back to work! 😀

  14. 14 cans

    Thank you so much for your recaps.

    I started watching City Hall after reading your year end review. If it wasn’t for you, I would have missed my favorite drama of 2009. I would have also missed the most romantic proposal.

    This drama was smart, well thought out, and executed beautifully — just like your recaps.

    Thank you.

  15. 15 cate

    Thanks for doing the reviews! They’ve been a joy to read….i love city hall too..will miss it greatly!!

  16. 16 all4movies

    Samsooki, you are my City Hall hero. Without your sensitive and delightful recaps (especially from a male perspective), I relived every exciting and drama fraught moment in Mi Rae and Jo Gook’s lives.

    City Hall has surpassed my all time favourite, MNIKSS, and it is so cool to witness the amazing Kim Sun Ah evolving into a major acting force to be reckoned with. Also, this series has introduced Cha Seung Won to an every widening audience, even though I secretly hoped he would remain my “secret love” forever.

    Just as much as you have been discovering the joys of fatherhood, your recaps have felt like a labour of love. Kudos to you and your hardworking team.

    I look forward to following a future series yet to ignite that same ardor and passion.

  17. 17 Anonymous

    Humming Kurae Nareul Mudja..

    Man, I loved this series!! I still miss Mirae and Gookie..

    P.S – You forgot to recap that Soo In is running as the next politician form something… I don’t really recall clearly what it was.. but at least my Soo In appeared for 5 secs!! ^_^

  18. 18 robotmatsuri

    I cannot thank you all enough for the recaps of this wonderful series! Thank you, thank you, thank you Samsooki, mead33, 0timelost and cleown!

    Go Hae: No, that won’t ever happen. I can’t go now. I can’t go to that man. Even if I wanted to, I can’t go now. Because of you, I cannot go!

    Actually, Go Hae is mistaken here, since Jo Gook wouldn’t take Go Hae even if the Dae Han Group was going to build an environmentally sound rainforest populated entirely by cute baby pandas in Inju City.

    But you know, if Go Hae’s father didn’t have the plan to build this evil waste plant center, she would have had Jo Guk to herself, probably forever. It was this plan that brought Jo Guk to Inju City and into Mi Rae’s world, so in my opinion Go Hae is correct that it was because of dear old daddy that she couldn’t marry Jo Guk in the end.

    And the proposal… KYAAAAAA! Love love love it. Everything after that is just plain fanservice. 😀

    *sighs* I can’t believe the recaps are finished! Now I only have the Director’s Cut DVD to look forward to and once it’s here, the City Hall rollercoaster is over. 🙁

  19. 19 samsooki

    @12 charlie –

    It was an editing decision. I had to cut out a lot, move things around, and then in the end, I couldn’t make everything fit properly. As it is, I wish I could included more scenes, but the length of the recap was getting way too long. At one point, I planned for three (3) mp3 songs, an embedded youtube video, almost 150 screen caps… nuts! The ability to edit and make it all work would have been beyond me. At some point, all things must end. 🙂

    @17 anon –

    Yeah, I didn’t forget. I just couldn’t fit it anywhere. It was kind of random. I think Soo In was already a National Assembly representative, and he speaking as the appointed speaker of an existing political party… like Jo Gook was when he was a National Assembly representative.

    @18 robotmatsuri –

    Very true! But I’m not sure that that was what Go Hae was referring to. hehe!

  20. 20 robotmatsuri

    Ah, whoops. haha. 🙂

  21. 21 Sarah

    City Hall recap team,

    Samsooki, thank you for the passion for this drama as such the readers could feel it through your writing.

    The cover picture is simply breathtaking. If I were Cha Seung Won’s wife, I’d be so jealous ^__^.

    I used to not be a big fan of Kim Sun Ah but now I AM and Cha Seung Won..can I say more? the man is super HOT.

    Since you brought up the best of scenes, I want to share my 2 cents:
    the funniest – so hard to decide..but ..my vote goes to the “touching boobs” scene
    the most romantic – proposal scene
    the most touching – the part when Mi Rae said that Jo Gook will always have a home in her heart
    the most heart breaking – mirae chasing Jo Gook’s car after he broke up with her

    The OST..ahh…Loving Loving You…is so appropriate for the last recap.

  22. 22 Sherrie in HB

    I really appreciate your recap. It really help me reading each episode because when watching with sub, something are missed and by reading your recap, it really clear up any misunderstanding.

    Again congratulations on your new baby and for all your hard work.

  23. 23 Anonymous

    Humming Kurae Nareul Mudja..

    Man, I loved this series!! I still miss Mirae and Gookie..

    P.S – You forgot to recap that Soo In is running as the next politician form something… I don’t really recall clearly

  24. 24 Madita

    Thank you very very very much samsooki, mead33, cleown and 0timelost for those beautiful recaps of City Hall. It was a joy reading every sentence and looking at the well selected pictures of this drama, again.

    I loved this drama – and its City Halls fault that you have to endure me as commenter, too. It made me to discover this beautiful and high qualitiy website in the net.

    For me City Hall is one of best dramas I have watched so far and will always have a special place in my heart and mind of the rest of my life. CH is like the dramas you watched in your childhood you will never forget, like for me, when I was watching as a little kid blake Edwards “The Great Race (1965)”

    City Hall has branded itself too my heart and soul and I know, that I will love this drama forever. It charme, its clever-witty plot, also the joy, the tears and laugthers it had made living me, and then espacially the astonishing performance of Kim Sun Ah, which made me speechless and adoring her, the incredible great, convincing and sensible sensitve acting of Cha Seung Won, whom I never heard before….all this together in summa sumarum made this drama the best I have watched in 2009
    (In fact 2009 was such a bad year for me, this drama made it a little bit more bearable)

    Now I am a huge Cha Seung Won and Kim Sun Ah Fan. I wish we can see them one day in a new drama again, because their great chemistry. This chemistry was sor great and in their acting, whatching them passing to each other was a sheer delectation.

    Well I could write endlessly praising words for City Hall…
    I am sad that it ended just with 20 Episodes, it could have been 20 Episodes more, for mee…becausu KSA and CSW are so great in acting.

    Well, at least they could make a sequel based on GO HAE – altough she was the villain. At the end JG’s words, that he wish her to find her own true love, gave me the wish to see how this beautiful, cold woman GoHae would meet her own match, a fine and intelligent man who would teach her true love………

    Ah I should stop it now.

    Thanks a lot again. Also to all commenters. I loved to read your opinions, remarks, from time to time funny comments about CH a lot, too.

    대단히 고맙습니다. 🙂

  25. 25 questions987

    Samsooki! You forgot the best part! The very end when jo gook is running for president and Mi Rae shows up to support him..AS MAYOR and wife 5 years later!

  26. 26 samsooki

    @20 robotmatsuri –

    I think what Go Hae meant was that because her dad as Chairman of the Dae Han Group made deals in Europe to bring in toxic waste into Inju City, Jo Gook had to go and betray her, BB and the Dae Han Group with the legislation to prevent that from happening. That forced them to be on opposite sides.

    In Go Hae’s opinion, if the DHG had really only wanted to bring good things to Inju City, then everything would have been okay. Jo Gook would be at BB’s side, and at Go Hae’s side. And Mi Rae would have been just a footnote in Jo Gook’s history.

    @25 questions987 –

    You are right! Wow, good point about the ending, and about Mi Rae being MAYOR 5 years later, which means that Mi Rae was re-elected as Mayor just as she intended. Ack. Sorry everyone!

  27. 27 Brenda

    Yes Charlie I too saw that version where he was talking in front of many people and she was in the audience. Why was it not pn the recaps?

  28. 28 ockoala

    @ questions987 and Brenda

    samsooki didn’t forget anything, like he so graciously explained in the comments section, he had to make a subjective decision on which parts to recap in order to make it a manageable read.

    But to defer any further comments on this missing part, and this is no attempt to add to samsooki’s recap, but really, this part of the drama is pure fan service.

    Before the wedding pictures montage (*swoon*), it says 5 years later, and Jo Gook is at a political rally as Candidate #5, running for President (squees in happiness!), and gives a stirring speech about his candidacy.

    After the wedding pictures montage, and once we all get our collective breath back, the scene shifts back to the above mentioned political rally, and this time after Jo Gook’s rousing speech, he looks into the crowd and sees a gorgeous lady in movie-star oversized sunglasses standing in the crowd cheering him on. He hurridly parts the crowd and reaches her and tells her she shouldn’t be here. She takes off her sunglasses, its gorgeous Mirae with a glamorous new hair part, and she OPW to JG that she’s here to support him.

    Then government crony #1 comes up to JG and MR, and tells Mayor Shin Mirae that she has violated election laws by attending a political rally, and that MR needs to come with him. JG blocks his path and tells MR “honey, run, run!” and turns around to introduce himself as Jo Gook, Candidate of the Future (Mirae), #5! While Mirae runs off and says “honey, come home early, m’kay?” And then we see JG jumping up and down in the crowd waving at his wifey with a giant grin on his face, and MR blows kisses and waves to her hubby with a mile-wide smile on her face. The End! Perfection.

    Sorry I can’t write as eloquently as samsooki and have utterly nothing of value to add as commentary. But all you City Hallers should comment away, this was an awesome episode and recap!!!

  29. 29 Sere

    Actually, Go Hae is mistaken here, since Jo Gook wouldn’t take Go Hae even if the Dae Han Group was going to build an environmentally sound rainforest populated entirely by cute baby pandas in Inju City

    Cute baby pandas, Samsooki? You do know I love you, yes?

    Re: Soo In. Oh, how I wish we’d seen more of him. I’d really like to know more about his backstory, more about his future…how he becomes such a popular politician, is he Gukie’s BFF now? Does he talk regularly with Boo Mi (in my personal canon they are BFF)? I could’ve done without the Sorry Sorry performance (although Jo Gook was too cute when he was watching it) in favor of more Soo In.

    Thank you for the recaps. Reading them was as much fun as watching the eps. I’m sorry if this comment is neither very articulate nor long, but when I talk about City Hall and most especially about Jo Gook/Mrae I tend to become a babbling mess. I want to spare you.

  30. 30 ockoala

    @ Sere

    Hee hee, at least you’re not cyberstalking this drama recap, like I am, since I’m so loathe to say goodbye to CH.

    All that talk of the hottest kissing scene ever in Episode 14, I kinda want to out it out there that every single kiss, from the passionate to the tender, btw this couple was truly special. Sometimes (okay, 98% of the time) k-drama kisses leave me feeling embarassed for the kissers, cuz it was so damn awkward, I kinda avert my eyes.

    But if you look at the screenshot samsooki posted above after the proposal, what a *perfect* kiss, intimate, engaged and tender, just like this love story. And that kiss on the steps, wow, took my breathe away, again!

    Sigh, what can I say, CH melts me each and everytime. It may not be chock full of my lovely melodrama, but it delivered a love story I can whimsically recollect anything and feel content about.

  31. 31 hanguk-drama-luver:D

    omg thakyou for the recap of the last ep i loved it a lot this drama was the best 😀

  32. 32 charlie

    Thanks for explaining samsooki! I had read that there was in one airing of CH (forget where…..) that didn’t include the little bit in the future and thought perhaps that some viewers had missed out on it :O

    @ockoala- fanservice or not if it’s has something to do with CH then I’m for it hehehe!
    And I definitely agree with you about the kisses in this drama, they were WOW! When I’m watching other dramas, sometimes I’m horrified when they kiss because they look like they’re sucking the life out of each other EEP!

  33. 33 Molly

    Noooo! It’s finally over?! Thank you so much, Samsooki, for the thoughtful recaps. I started watching this around your episode 6 recap and watched it in full the rest of the way through. Easily one of the best dramas EVER. Congratulations on your own son!

  34. 34 reluctantbutaddicted

    Thank you! Great recap… It’s fun to see all the editorializing on what’s going on.

    You know, I have to confess, I don’t even remember the wedding photos. Just the bit where Mirae’s (illegally) in the audience support Jo Gook giving an election speech. Hmmm, I guess I’ll have to watch it again!

  35. 35 robotmatsuri

    @26 samsooki

    In Go Hae’s opinion, if the DHG had really only wanted to bring good things to Inju City, then everything would have been okay. Jo Gook would be at BB’s side, and at Go Hae’s side. And Mi Rae would have been just a footnote in Jo Gook’s history.

    That makes perfect sense… thanks so much for the clarification! 🙂

  36. 36 Taohua

    Wonderful recap! And thank you samsooki, mead33, 0timelost and cleown for doing the recaps! It was fun to live through the series again by reading the recaps and I loved reading your analysis and explanation of the things that happened in the series! KSA and CSW had awesome chemistry and while I’m not sure about the realism of the plot line, their attraction and the development of their relationship definitely did feel real. KSA is one of my favorite actresses and she really did shine in this. Thank you again!

  37. 37 jastinel

    Thank you very much samsooki, mead33, cleown and 0timelost!
    I can`t find the right words to express how much I love this drama and your recap.
    I just wish that all the excitement that I felt when this drama was airing would be the same, when i watch another drama, but still can`t find any, that would reach my expectation.
    So, I will remain addicted to this drama. i`m not good in words, so , thanks again for all the hard work. Best regards to your wife and baby samsooki!

  38. 38 Rita

    I am both sad and happy reading this last episode. The drama is finished and I will miss Samsooki and his team’s wonderful recaps. I am sure all City Hallers are feeling the same. It was a wonderful journey with everyone!

    Can we have more when the director’s cut has been viewed?

    Thank so so much Samsooki and same goes to your wonderful team!

    Love to all City Hallers, Tarits

  39. 39 momosan

    Waves back at ya! applause, applause!

    >Jo Gook wouldn’t take Go Hae even if the Dae Han Group was going to build an environmentally sound rainforest populated entirely by cute baby pandas in Inju City

    and from a previous post

    >what in the name of Inju City

    cracked me up big time!

    applause, applause ::reaches for hanky:: applause, applause

    This really did end up in my top 10 all time k-dramas, and probably in my top 5 depending on my mood when I list them. ::walks off humming Mi Rae’s Waltz::

  40. 40 wulanastasiaz

    love this…


    i’m going to watch this drama again tonite…

    thank u so much for the recaps..

    love yaaa…

  41. 41 sueyip

    I really can’t believe that this is the end …. the last episode.
    No more news of City Hall? Can’t read anything more about
    City Hall? Just can’t believe that? BUT

    What a beautiful recap!
    What a beautiful couple!
    What a beautiful ending!
    What a beautiful proposal scene!
    What a beautiful bride!
    There are more ….. but I guess you all know what they are …..

    Thank you, Samsooki and team.

  42. 42 doug

    Let’s not forget the development of another character-Boo Mi. She went from a downtrodden,abused worker to a confident Chief of Staff. I always enjoyed seeing her in these episodes.

  43. 43 serendipity

    Great Recap! Thanks!

    I thought you made a very good editing choice in not giving a blow-by-blow account o the last episode as things happened, but wrapping up individual story arcs. That works really well. Highlights the coherence of the series.

    Just as JG is not without his faults (not by a long shot), City Hall is not without its faults. (Though Goddess Mi Rae was well-night faultless, eh?) But for all its faults (some glaring, even), City Hall is just so full of heart, I just have to love it!

    I wasn’t really blown away by the proposal, actually. The most moving part of the last episode for me was when Mi Rae announced to the City Hall employees that she had resigned as mayor. I cried shamelessly! I guess there’s something for everyone. Mi Rae’s romantic triumph, or Mi Rae’s personal professional triumph? Take your pick!

  44. 44 rambutan

    Samsooki and recap team, you rock! I’ve enjoyed your recaps and read everyone of them. Thank you for spending so much time in this labor of love, giving me insights that I had not thought of! I especially dig your wit and humor. Before we sign off City Hall, Samsooki, allow me to reiterate that it was a pleasure working with you in the B.O.N. subbing team. Hope we meet again. Ciao!

  45. 45 K

    Thanks for your hard work on this! I was turned onto City Hall from Samsooki’s glowing recommendations and boy, FANFREAKINGTABULOUS! City Hall has zipped its way to being one of my top favorite K-Dramas. So thank you for the recommendation. I also enjoyed reading and living through City Hall again through the recaps. To me, this was definately one of the best of 2009 and KSA & CSW couldn’t have been more on fire.

    Thanks again and congrats on little samsooki!

  46. 46 midgee

    Great job Samsooki. I do admit I was not really invested in this show as you were but since it seems you were so passionate about it I gave it a try. I enjoyed it for the most part. By far, I think as far as endings go, this had the best and most satisfying ending I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t leave you hanging and saying to yourself “That’s it?” It was great overall, nothing cheesy or lame. Love the last episode, the proposal was awesome. Best proposal ever as far as kdramas go in my book. It just oozed with romance. I guess it’s all about the delivery.

    Good job!

  47. 47 Show2007

    Thank you very much Samsooki and the team. I love your recap and it brought back a lots of memories. City Hall is one of the best K-drama ever, great actors and actress, great chemistry, great performances, great romance and most importantly, best ending ever. I guess it is time for me to rewatch the whole thing again.

  48. 48 birdscout

    If javabeans ever starts a “Dramabeans’ Hall of Fame”, I nominate samsooki to be inducted. Thanks to you and your team for these awesome recaps. You’ll go down in dramabeans history as recapper extraordinaire!

    • 48.1 Menci

      I second that. Oh, I may be too late since @48 birscout nominated you, samsooki, to “Dramabeans’ Hall of Fame” if there is one on 25 January and it’s now 09 August, but hey, better late than never. I love City Hall and I love your recaps. Is there a chance you will recap another classic drama, the MNIKSS?

  49. 49 xiaoSxin

    samsooki thanks for the recaps! to be honest i was not at all interested in watching this drama.. even after all the buzz on the OT when this drama was aired. Only after reading the end of year reviews and the editor’s picks did i felt the urge to watch this.

    I am a fan now of Kim Sun Ah.. i liked her in Samsoon, but I am definitely a BIG fan! I actually preordered my DVD for City Hall already! Thanks!!!

  50. 50 Andromytta

    All I have to say about this episode is: Best. Proposal. EVER! What else can you say?

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