City Hunter: Episode 13
I feel like this show stabs me and then bleeds me dry, every single episode. Is this what dating a vampire is like? Because the rush, the addiction… I know it’s bad for my health, but I can’t stop. Show, I know you’re just going to love me, then leave me, but why can’t I quit you?
EPISODE 13 RECAP
With Yoon-sung locked inside the market and Nana standing outside, Dad comes screeching towards her on a motorcycle. Yoon-sung sees his face, and acting quickly, he shatters the glass to get to Nana first.
He knocks her out of the way and Dad stops…
…And pulls out a gun. Whoa.
Yoon-sung puts himself between Dad and Nana, as if to say You gotta shoot me first. But… um… remember that time you stood on the car, and he hit you anyway? With a semi?
Dad knows he’s lost his advantage, so he zooms away. Nana trembles as she asks, “Is that your father?” Makes you grateful that you walked away from that tea party with your life, doesn’t it?
On the way home, Yoon-sung explains that this is Dad’s way of retaliating because he disposed of Target No. 3’s money in his own way. You should just tell her that when other kids got grounded, you got shot at. That pretty much tells her what she needs to know.
He swears to protect the people around him—Ajusshi, Mom, and Nana. But Nana’s not having any of that, and tells him that next time, he shouldn’t jump in the line of fire to protect her.
Nana: “I don’t like it when you’re in danger because of me. I don’t like it when you’re hurt because of me. I don’t like it when you’re struggling because of me.”
But he just yells at her to stop, refusing to listen and getting angry at her instead. He walks into the house all silent and pissy, and Ajusshi wonders if they fought at the market. Nana tells him that they ran into Dad.
Ajusshi starts stuttering immediately at the mention of Dad, and asks if they’re okay. She nods, and he just gapes, “But that’s not likely…” He describes Boss as the kind of person who stole Yoon-sung from his blood to raise him.
Dad sits in his office, calmly cleaning his gun. Sang-gook asks what he’s going to do now. Dad says matter-of-factly that Yoon-sung is the kid who ran guns-a-blazin’ when his surrogate mother was killed. “I just have to make him like that.” Shivers, meet Spine.
This is so messed up, but so genius too. He’s realized that threatening Yoon-sung with his people’s lives isn’t really getting him anywhere, but he knows the trigger to lure him into hell. I believe that Dad, despite his coldness, has a soft spot for Ajusshi and Mom. But Nana? She’s just in the way.
Nana confronts Yoon-sung right away (which I love), and he asks how he’s supposed to just pretend not to notice if her life is in danger.
Nana: I know better than anyone that every single day is a war for you, and every moment is a struggle, so how can I lean on you? How can I ask you to protect me too? I’m going to become someone that you can lean on. I’m going to become stronger. So I can protect you.
I. LOVE. HER.
He sighs, wondering what on earth she eats to make her so plucky. She smiles, “You just thought, ‘That woman is really cool,’ didn’t you? You thought, ‘I have a good eye when it comes to women,’ right?” Pwahahaha.
He gets mad again, mostly out of embarrassment, “What kind of woman just pops into a man’s room all the time?” The kind who wants your bacon. Duh. He tells her to stop saying stuff like that, or he won’t leave her alone. Rawr?
Target Kim Jong-shik tries to do some damage control by telling the press that the City Hunter is the one who stole university funds. When asked why the money was found at his house then, he says that the banks are unsafe, and he therefore was keeping the money safe for the school personally.
HA. Oh, okay then. Surely people will believe THAT story. Why it’s perfectly logical.
Yoon-sung sets a tiny spy camera in a book, and prepares to plant it in Kim Jong-shik’s office. He thinks he’s going alone, but once he gets in the car, Nana pops out of the backseat, grinning from ear to ear. She’s basically not going to take no for answer, so he finally gives in.
City Hunter and his Girl Friday, on the case. God, I love this drama.
Kim Jong-shik’s minion tells him that they’ve lost the City Hunter and Bae Man-duk to the wind, but they’ll keep trying the Nana angle. He orders them all killed, for stealing from him. Wow. Apparently this man really loves his money.
Young-ju heartbreakingly watches as his father’s name gets smeared all over the news. Nana’s aunt worries that she’s been unable to reach her, and at work they say that an uncle called in sick for her, which is highly unlikely.
But Young-ju’s day is about to get worse. The City Hunter case gets handed off to a different prosecutor, right out from under him. He storms into his boss’ office, only to be told flat out that he is to wash his hands of all the City Hunter cases because of his father.
Young-ju understands that he can’t handle his own father’s case, but pleads to continue his work on the City Hunter. His boss tells him that all it takes is one wrong move to taint a prosecutor’s good name, but what he really means is that he’ll bring the whole office down with him, which is not okay.
He takes a hard line and adds, “I’m not suspecting you or anything, but did you really not know about the money?” Oh. Oh, poor Young-ju. You are having a really bad day.
Yoon-sung and Nana pose as Kim Jong-shik’s bug sweeping team and distract the secretary long enough to plant their camera. Problem is, Young-ju is on his way to see Dad unannounced.
Nana steps outside for a cup of water and sees Young-ju walk in. He plows straight into the office and insists on waiting inside. Yoon-sung freezes, trapped behind nothing but a glass divider with some venetian blinds.
Young-ju is immediately suspicious of all things, which I love because it’s fitting for his character and awesome for the story. So he cautiously approaches the man standing in the corner, in an attempt to get a good look at him…
Yoon-sung steels himself, for what I don’t know—to attack, to run, maybe all of the above…
I really wish you had a face mask on right now…
And then just in the nick of time, Young-ju’s phone rings. It’s Nana, hilariously faking bad reception in an attempt to draw him out of the room. Smart girl. It’s such an instinctive thing we all do with cell phones—walk around to find a better signal, even if we can hear clearly while the other person insists they can’t.
She manages to draw him completely out of the office to give Yoon-sung an exit, and also assuage his concerns that she’s out sick and unreachable. She turns around to leave, and nearly runs right into Kim Jong-shik, on his way in.
She hides behind a pillar and Yoon-sung pulls her out of sight before she gets discovered. He notes the license plate on Kim Jong-shik’s car. Nana wonders what Young-ju is doing here (still in the dark about the daddy-son connection), and realizes that he must be here to investigate the money, like the awesome prosecutor that he is.
Yoon-sung spits jealously that he’s not being cool; he’s just doing his job. Heh. I love that you’re a big enough person to keep Young-ju’s family connection a secret, but petty enough to remind her that he’s not such hot stuff.
Young-ju pleads with Dad to turn himself in. But Dad is just as insistent as ever that he DESERVES that money, because he built this school up from nothing. He wonders why he’s the only one who has to abide by the law when no one else does. Uh, what now?
Young-ju calls him out for being so far gone that he’s made himself believe in his own innocence. He tells him how much pain he felt the day he realized what Dad had done after the accident, and that as his son, he wanted to somehow right his father’s wrongs.
Dad declares that he’s innocent by law, since the statute of limitations has expired. Young-ju asks how he can really feel no guilt, when someone died, and another has been a vegetable for ten years.
His eyes widen, “What a relief… that one died and the other became a vegetable. The dead can’t talk, and the vegetable won’t likely wake up. What a relief… that those people are taking my sins in my place.”
WHAT THE… ?
Young-ju’s jaw drops as he murmurs in disbelief, “Father…” Oh my god. He’s a loon. A proper sociopath. Oh my god.
He goes even further: “So what if those people pay for my sins? Do you think all lives are equal? I’m different from them.”
SAID THE PSYCHOPATH.
Oh god, he’s far scarier than Jin-pyo. I know, one’s got guns, but this guy is actually a nut job. He insists that the accident was nothing but bad luck. Young-ju hangs his head, his last drop of hope in his father shattered before his eyes. He draws the line in the sand:
Young-ju: It should have been you who died in that accident. At least then I wouldn’t have come to hate you like I do now. I resent being born as your son. Will sin really disappear in time? October 1983. What happened that day? Why is the City Hunter after you? I don’t think I’ll be able to protect you this time, Father. Take care of yourself.
Daddy vs. Son all around it is.
Young-ju comes back to the office ready to glue himself to the City Hunter case, rules be damned, but finds that his staff is not with him. He realizes that he’s on his own now if he’s going to go rogue. I like you much better this way. Rogue prosecutor is much cooler, even if you’re still a rule-stickler at heart.
He decides to track Lee Kyung-hee first, and goes to her snack shop to ask around in the neighborhood. One of the nearby ajummas tells him that she doesn’t know where she is, and that she has no family because her son was taken from her. In 1983.
He comes back up the steps and lo and behold, Yoon-sung is sitting there in front of Kyung-hee’s store. Young-ju hides, his mind rapidly piecing together what he knows: Lee Yoon-sung, Lee Kyung-hee. 1983. He had his blood test when she went into the hospital needing a bone marrow transplant.
He thinks back to earlier at the man in his father’s office. The City Hunter used hidden cameras to trap both Targets 1 and 2. If it was Yoon-sung…
Oh man, I love that he’s smart. I hate it, and I love it.
He goes right back to Dad’s office, and I totally expect him to tear the place apart looking for the camera, but he coolly pretends to just answer his phone and loudly exclaims, “You’ve found Lee Kyung-hee?” and repeats the location, for Yoon-sung to hear.
Hot damn, you’re even smarter than I thought.
He leads him to a convent and tells a nun to lead the man who arrives into the chapel. He waits inside, trap set.
Yoon-sung speeds over and the nun takes him to the chapel and opens the door…
He looks in and then halts, just an inch outside the door. He baits the nun with a trick question, asking if Kyung-hee’s leg has healed, and she lies that yes, her leg has healed and she’s doing well here. And with that, he disappears, trap averted not a moment too soon.
I love this cat and mouse game.
Young-ju runs out but he’s gone. He refuses to let it go and arrives at Yoon-sung’s house just two seconds behind him.
Yoon-sung plays it cool, musing that the good prosecutor seems mighty interested in his affairs with no evidence, and Young-ju tosses back with a smile that he knows Yoon-sung was at the convent. He even picks up on the dirt smudge on Yoon-sung’s back, noting that children were playing soccer in the field just outside the chapel. Okay Sherlock Holmes. Was it also a rare kind of dirt only to be found at that specific location, imported from India or something?
He reminds him that checking traffic cameras will confirm that he went there, though he guesses that Yoon-sung’s already changed his plates. He’s got nothing for now, and both men know it. Yoon-sung goes inside, and Young-ju texts his father with one last plea to turn himself in before things get ugly.
Ajusshi tries Kyung-hee’s house, to see if she’s come home at all. She hasn’t, but the mail is piling up, and he shuffles through it and lands on letters from a temple. He heads up there and finds that it’s where she’s been staying, but she’s gone on a trip to visit cancer patients and pray for them.
He tells the woman at the temple that she has a son, Lee Yoon-sung, who’s alive and well and looking for her. He leaves Yoon-sung’s number and begs her to have Kyung-hee call the second she arrives. On his way out he notes some green tea that the monks at the temple harvest themselves.
Young-ju cleans out his desk of all the City Hunter files he’s to turn over, and comes across an old mp3 player that he got as a gift from his father. He’s kept it all these years because it has a recording of Dad, telling him to become the kind of prosecutor who upholds justice and truth. He listens to it now, the emptiness of Dad’s words ringing in his ears.
He shows up at Yoon-sung’s gym, insisting that it’s pure coincidence. Yoon-sung doesn’t skip a beat and says sure, why not, since he grew up with a silver spoon too. He is Kim Jong-shik’s son after all. Oof.
He wonders that since Young-ju’s outed himself as Nana’s Daddy Long Legs, when he plans on coming out with the truth that he’s the son of the man who killed her mother. Eep. Young-ju spots another weakness and counters that he sure seems to know a lot about Nana.
Yoon-sung challenges, “Walk away from her cleanly. If you really want to remain a Daddy Long Legs.” Young-ju asks saucily, “Is that why you saved her? At the broadcast station, he let Seo Yong-hak go to save Kim Nana, the City Hunter.”
Oh you two and your dancing around each other. Is it prom night up in here?
Ajusshi visits the Blue House to give Nana’s partner Eun-ah the green tea that he bought at the temple. His pipedream crush on her is so cute. He even plays she-loves-me-she-loves-me-not with some leaves while he waits for her in the garden.
She accepts the tea happily thinking it’s from Yoon-sung, and Ajusshi sighs, his gesture totally misunderstood. Aw.
At home Yoon-sung frets that Ajusshi isn’t answering his phone (because he dropped it in water up at the temple), but then he gets a call from Eun-ah, thanking him for the tea. Nana’s eyes widen. “The Blue House? You mean where Kim Jong-shik sent a bunch of lookouts for me?”
They book it over to the Blue House, and find Ajusshi on their way, crossing the road. Yoon-sung stops the car and waves, just as another car zooms right past him…
…And straight for Ajusshi. NO!
Yoon-sung and Nana realize what’s happening, but in a split second, the car speeds up, and hits him dead on. Ajusshi smashes right into the front windshield and gets thrown over the car. He lands on the ground.
They race over to him and try to wake him up. Yoon-sung looks up at the car with a ferocious look in his eye. It’s Kim Jong-shik’s license plate. The driver sees Yoon-sung and Nana in the rearview mirror and drives away, as Yoon-sung mutters his name aloud.
They race Ajusshi to the hospital and the doctor begins CPR to try and revive him. No heartbeat.
OH SHIT. OHSHITOHSHITOHSHITOHSHITOHSHITOHSHIT.
Yoon-sung pleads, “Ajusshi, open your eyes! Ajusshi, get up!”
The doc keeps pumping his chest, but still no heartbeat. Yoon-sung starts to cry. Trembling, he whispers, “Ajusshi…don’t die. Please. Don’t die.”
He screams, “AJUSSHI!”
Don’t die. Don’t die. Please don’t die. Don’t die. Don’t die. Don’t die.
And then finally… a pulse. Oh THANK GOD. I nearly had a heart attack waiting for that heartbeat. Yoon-sung cries tears of relief, and even in this moment, he tries to hold back his tears, which just crushes my heart even more.
Ajusshi gets through surgery, but he remains in a coma. Yoon-sung sits by his bedside silently, not answering his phone. But it might be your mother! Aaaaugh!
Nana looks over at him warily, telling him that she knows what he’s thinking right now.
Nana: When my father was lying in a coma, I thought about it hundreds of times every day. If I weren’t a powerless high school student… If I could only drive… I could repay Kim Jong-shik in the exact same way… Your eyes right now are just like mine back then. It makes me nervous.
Yoon-sung: I finally understand my father’s heart now. He might even be going easy… Those people…
He asks her to take care of Ajusshi and walks out before she can stop him. He looks at himself in the mirror like an animal hungry to kill, his eyes piercing with rage and darkness.
God, it kills me inside, and yet… the City Hunter, finally coming to war with his own darkness… It’s the BEST. THING. EVER.
He shatters the mirror with his bare fist. And in turn his reflection fractures, the Yoon-sung we know, broken and no longer whole.
Ironically, Young-ju is up for a commendation, just when his career is on the cusp of landing in the toilet with one false move. His boss hands him an invite list, and he wryly crosses off the first name – his father’s.
But Dad gets the invitation anyway and smiles, thinking that his son still wants him to be proud of him, despite everything. So he shows up happily, right next to Young-ju.
But Young-ju’s lightning fast on the uptake, and guesses right away that the City Hunter is behind his dad’s appearance. He tells his assistant to look around, and plants the mp3 voice recorder in Dad’s pocket.
Yoon-sung arrives, noting Kim Jong-shik’s car parked downstairs, fixed up like new.
Nana shows up too, flowers in hand, after hearing from her aunt about Young-ju’s award. She sits eagerly, applauding along with everyone else as Young-ju receives his award and trembles, giving his speech using his father’s own righteous but empty words about what it means to uphold the law, beyond words in books.
Dad smiles proudly. But then the screen comes up behind Young-ju, and he hangs his head, knowing what’s about to come. And sure enough, there’s the video of his conversation with Dad, incriminating the both of them—Dad for his crimes and Young-ju for knowing.
Nana watches in shock, the truth dropped on her like a ton of bricks.
Kim Jong-shik turns to see all judgment pointed his way, and walks out. Young-ju’s boss is the only one to break everyone out of their stupor when he declares that this must be the work of the City Hunter.
Both Nana and Young-ju bolt at those words.
She cuts off his path, for Yoon-sung’s sake but also for her own, asking Young-ju: “Are those words true? You’re Kim Jong-shik’s son? So the father commits the crime, and the son feels sorry, so he becomes a Daddy Long Legs? All this time, I’ve been encouraged by letters and gifts, even living with hope. What was it? Pity? Guilt?”
He apologizes for not being able to tell her sooner, and promises to take all of her hatred later, but she refuses any apology. He runs, more concerned with finding his father before the City Hunter gets to him.
But he’s too late of course. Kim Jong-shik runs to his car, but the second he gets in, Yoon-sung is there waiting for him, knife to throat. He orders him to drive, unless he’d like to die in front of his son.
As Kim Jong-shik drives, Yoon-sung plays a recording of Young-ju’s voice saying, “I shouldn’t have let it go that day when I found that 200 billion won.” Oh, nice. And dark. You’re threatening him with his son.
Kim Jong-shik guesses that this is all because of October ’83, and Yoon-sung muses that he’s lived nicely after killing those men, living off students’ tuition, and committing murder and getting away with it. But he’s going to send him to be captured, by Young-ju. He shows him evidence of his embezzlement, the bow on the present when he delivers dad to son.
“Being caught by your own son’s hand… ought to be fun.” Kim Jong-shik pleads for him to leave Young-ju out of it. In a fit of desperation, he swerves the car and runs out with the documents.
Yoon-sung chases him in that creepy serial killer slow walk, knife at his side and in no hurry whatsoever.
Kim Jong-shik stumbles up onto a pedestrian bridge over the road, out of his mind with fear. He trips and the papers go flying out of his hand, and crazed with that single-minded pursuit of keeping them from getting out, he jumps up to try and catch them, hurling himself over the ledge.
He barely grabs onto the rail, hanging over the traffic down below. Yoon-sung stops in his tracks, and then…
…He turns around and walks away. *GASP*
But! Your soul! You’ll lose your soul!
But in that moment, he remembers the same pain when his surrogate mother was killed, and his father’s sacrifice to save him. And then Nana’s words, that what she wanted was not blood spilling blood, but for the City Hunter to bring Kim Jong-shik’s sins to light, to make it known that he is not someone to be upheld and respected.
Her words shake him, and he drops the knife.
Young-ju arrives and sees Dad hanging from the bridge. He cries out, “Father!” It startles Yoon-sung into action, and he turns around, running towards Kim Jong-shik.
Kim Jong-shik hears his son below and sees the City Hunter running towards him. He realizes what’s to come, and unable to face it, he closes his eyes… and lets go.
He falls to what is surely his death. Young-ju looks up and sees the City Hunter, standing there in the place where his father fell. He screams and runs over to Dad.
Yoon-sung trembles, feet locked in that place, looking over the ledge as it dawns on him what just happened.
No! It’s so unfair! Some people flirt with their dark side for years with little or no consequence to anyone but themselves, but Yoon-sung goes dark for a day, and THIS is what happens? WAH.
This show makes me so bipolar because I LOVE this turn in the story — that Yoon-sung gets pushed over the edge, that he makes the conscious choice to turn his back on Kim Jong-shik, and that his one split-second decision has immediate and grave consequences. He didn’t pull the trigger, but he chose not to save him, and that changes the very makeup of a hero’s soul. But I HATE what it means for him, what he’ll have to face, what Young-ju and even Nana will think of him.
Will anyone believe that he didn’t kill him? Will he ever believe it himself?
I was really hoping this drama would take his hero’s journey to the dark side, and I’m glad that they didn’t necessarily have to kill off Nana or Ajusshi (fully) to do it. It may have been a short jaunt to his darker side, but what’s important is that it bears a massive consequence as a result.
From here on out, he bears the weight of Kim Jong-shik’s death, which changes everything, and seals his fate with Young-ju as well. There’s a chance he didn’t die, but I actually hope that’s not the case, because this would be a pivotal change and a narrative goldmine. It pains me, but I want to see him go through this and have a life-altering mistake on his conscience, to suffer through the Light vs. Dark within himself, and to struggle with what it means to be a hero in a world where the consequences are life and death.
- City Hunter: Episode 12
- City Hunter: Episode 11
- City Hunter: Episode 10
- City Hunter: Episode 9
- City Hunter: Episode 8
- City Hunter: Episode 7
- Lee Min-ho gets into a car accident, escapes injury
- City Hunter: Episode 6
- City Hunter: Episode 5
- Lee Jun-hyuk for Bazaar
- Behind the scenes with City Hunter
- City Hunter: Episode 4
- City Hunter: Episode 3
- City Hunter: Episode 2
- City Hunter: Episode 1