Drama Recaps
City Hunter: Episode 16
by | July 14, 2011 | 887 Comments

Ooh, the big secret’s out — to us, at least, not to the characters — and the story takes a bit of a twist accordingly. It’s a point I thought I’d hate, but which actually turns out to work pretty nicely, in a symbolic and thematic sense. I think. I’m still waiting on full confirmation before I decide that I like it.


Vodka Rain – “지워지지 않을 것 같아” (Something that can’t be erased) [ Download ]

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Young-ju’s use of Yoon-sung’s Thai name stops the latter in his tracks. He doesn’t expressly deny Young-ju’s assertion, just evades it by telling him to bring proof if he’s so sure he’s the City Hunter. Young-ju vows to catch him in the act.

Yoon-sung maintains his composure until he’s out of sight, then collapses, weakened from the toxic exposure. He awakens in bed with Shik-joong tending to him, and with the memory of recent dangerous events impressed firmly in his mind, he hands over his bank books and house deed to Ajusshi.

He speaks as though his death is a foregone conclusion, advising Shik-joong to use the money to return to his hometown and asking him to check in on Nana and his mother periodically. His matter-of-fact words unnerve Shik-joong, but Yoon-sung tells him, “I’d forgotten who I was for a moment.”

It occurs to Nana later that night that something may have happened to Yoon-sung, so it’s with relief that she takes in his arrival at her apartment. He looks at her with a grim expression, and asks if she could ever throw away the kitchen table and chairs left her by her parents. Not understanding the meaning behind it, Nana wonders why she’d do that, since she’d rather treasure it forever. That both proves his point and upsets him.

He asks, “How long are you going to dwell on the memories of people who are no longer with you?” Oh, so sad — the thought of Nana never getting over him pains him, and makes him lash out at her. Noooo, don’t be cruel to be kind! That is just about the stupidest way to be “kind” that man ever devised.

He tells her in his firm, sad way that he’s never once imagined falling in love, but that he can’t bear the thought of her hurting because of him: “I don’t even want to leave you with any memories of me. Kim Nana — I like you. But I don’t think I could let you go.” (Then don’t doooo it!) “So you let go of me first.”

With that, he grabs his bullet necklace from her neck: “You know who I am, and how I lived.”

She hurriedly tells him to forget what she said if her words are too burdensome for him. But he says he can’t do that, because he likes her: “This is my first and last request.”

She refuses to accept that request, but he asks her with a heartfelt “Please.” He adds that if he ever goes looking for her, he wants her to reject him. If they’re to meet in the street, she should pretend not to know him. Yeah, this is an insane request, but how can she resist when he says so sincerely, “I’m sorry…that you had to know me”?

Yoon-sung: “I’ve realized with a certainty why Father warned me not to love.”

Aw, man. I can’t even hate him for doing this, because he’s being so candid and open about it — it’s not so much noble idiocy as just good-old-fashioned noble. Yes, he could just choose to embrace happiness — but he seems so sure of his death that I suppose he’s trying to do the responsible thing.

Nana cries for a bit, then pulls herself together and tells herself she won’t cry. And since Yoon-sung asked her to forget him because their feelings are causing him such turmoil, she decides to abide by his wishes, “Because instead of him hurting, it’s better that I hurt.”

Young-ju studies his City Hunter chart, which is alarmingly accurate. Nana’s aunt comes by to give him words of encouragement, telling him that she’s made the decision to wipe the slate clean. She’s still upset that her brother and sister-in-law were victims of his father’s accident — interesting, so she knew the truth, but kept that from Nana — but she’s not going to hold that against Young-ju. Given that Nana’s aunt has been quite friendly and warm all this time, this is a tacit admission that she’s harbored resentment, which she now has let go of. She adds that Nana probably feels just like her, suggesting that she doesn’t really hate him but is keeping her distance out of hurt.

Assistant Pil-jae delivers the startling news that the confidential file on the 1983 incident has disappeared, right from under the NIS’s nose.

Setback No. 2: They receive a report from the Thai police confirming the identity of the drug lord from the Triangle, and it’s not Jin-pyo. Young-ju had had confirmation from those arrested drug runners that Jin-pyo is the guy, but they’re no longer around for questioning, because they’ve been sent back home to face trial in Thailand.

Unsurprisingly, Jin-pyo has a hand in this, and exerts his pull with the Thai police to stall Young-ju. Minion Sang-gook points out that the mere fact that Young-ju is on the Thai drug trail means he’s sniffing close to the truth. He urges Jin-pyo to make the confidential file public, now that they know who all five targets are and have the proof. He reminds Jin-pyo that he joined up with him partly for revenge, but mostly to restore his brother’s good name.

Jin-pyo says it’s not time yet to play the hidden card — because Yoon-sung has to finish this off.

At the Blue House, Nana’s decision holds firm when she runs into Yoon-sung in the hallway. Per his request, she ignores him and walks by.

Jin-pyo (posing as investor Steve Lee) meets with Chun Jae-man, and asks about the TV interview Chun had given about the 1983 incident. Chun asserts that those men were thoughtless traitors out to sell their country, unaware that he’s just dug his grave a little bit deeper.

Jin-pyo asks about the sit-in at the Haewon Chemicals factory, since the protest is causing a stir; they’re demanding that the company acknowledge the hazardous conditions, to declare them victims of an industrial accident. This would, at the very least, allow them certain legal rights and protections, but it’s no wonder that money-grubbing Chun is loath to part with a single penny to pay for their medical bills.

He declares himself a cool-headed businessmen, not one to irrationally give away money, and plans to skirt that responsibility by pushing through a bill privatizing health care. And here we were, calling socialized medicine the devil.

The president, on the other hand, urges Chun to do the right thing and declare the site hazardous, get his factories up to code, and let his employees work in safe conditions. Chun doesn’t want to deal with the endless lawsuits (he’s lazy and greedy!), since that would lead to his ruin. One can hope.

Chun declares that he has not flouted one bit of the law. Famous last words. You mean aside from the toxic dumping, right? He tells President Choi that if he continues to oppose him, he’ll not only hold Operation Clean Sweep over his head, but also the president’s Big Secret, the one that nobody knows but him.

Nana visits Mom in the hospital, who wonders why she’s not with Yoon-sung. Not wanting to upset her, Nana just says that he’s been so busy that they haven’t been able to coordinate schedules, and Mom tells her how thankful she is to have Nana with Yoon-sung. Words to inspire guilt.

She finds the boy Yoon-shik crying outside his mother’s room as doctors rush in to revive her, and Nana puts on a smile to assure him that Mom will be fine. She accompanies him to buy his mother a gift with the coins he’d been saving for months; he wants to give her cosmetics, to brighten her up.

They pick out a blush and present the jar of coins, but the cashier rejects payment, saying that it’s too time-consuming to count out what are essentially a pile of dimes. At first she’s polite about it, but when Nana offers to count it all out for her, her attitude turns snooty, as though their store is above selling dime products. Nana gently corrects her, reminding her that 100 won coins are still money, which gets the cashier muttering under her breath.

Yoon-sung walks by the store window — he’s just completed reconnaissance work of his own, following around Chun Jae-man — and assesses the scene. He steps in and presents a bill to pay for the purchase, and the cashier’s polite facade falls back into place.

However, she doesn’t have the change for such a huge banknote — 10 million won, or about $8,000. I love the point this makes, which Yoon-sung articulates:

Yoon-sung: “You look down your nose at pennies and dimes, when you can’t even make change for this? Before you take offense, start by apologizing. If you can’t even bother to consider what the boy’s buying this for, why sell the product? It seems to me the quality of your service doesn’t amount to a dime’s worth. There’s no such thing as a dime-value person in this world. Discriminating among people is cowardly and pathetic.”

The woman apologizes immediately, but he means to the child. With a little less enthusiasm, she apologizes to him as well.

They make the purchase after all, and Yoon-sung takes the boy back with him, but tells Nana not to visit the hospital anymore.

Chun’s minion Mr. Creepy returns to terrorize Cancer Mom. If we weren’t convinced yet that he was evil, that sentence sure does it, no?

She refuses to betray her colleagues and sign the form giving up her complaint against the company, though she’s shocked when he tells her that all her so-called friends have already signed, and she’s the last holdout. Man, I don’t know if that’s the truth, but if he’s lying to get her to sign, it’s a pretty clever tactic. He adds that her misplaced loyalty will get her dead and make her poor son poorer, when she could ensure his safe future instead.

He guides her hand in sealing the contract with her thumbprint, and she doesn’t have the heart to resist.

But no, it was a lie, and the demonstration continues at the factory. Not for long, though, since Mr. Creepy orders a team of thugs to wipe out the protest, which they do with cruel efficiency. How sad am I that the ensuing riot — more like slaughter, though the aim is maiming rather than outright murder (glass half full!) — is altogether too familiar a scene in Korean history.

Into the fray stalks the City Hunter (yay!), who beats up the offenders with ease. In fact, it’s almost so easy that I’m a little disappointed…until he turns around and sees Mr. Creepy standing there in his head-to-toe black and guyliner, ready to face off. Awwww, yeah!

Creepy’s got a baton/nightstick/pipe, so empty-handed Yoon-sung picks up the first thing he gets his hands on — a water bottle — and beats him furiously with it. Korea must not have switched over to those leaky bottles that collapse under the weight of air. Enjoy that while you can.

This should not be so cool, but it is — and how much do I love that even with bodies strewn on the ground, the injured protestors still look up with moony eyes at His Hotness?

Yoon-sung delivers the final blow directly to the head, which isn’t enough to knock out the guy, but does get him down for the count. Yoon-sung plucks the signed contract from Creepy’s pocket, and tells him to convey the message to Chun Jae-man that he’s gonna have to give in on the whole my-factory-is-a-toxic-wasteland point.

Da-hae goes shopping for her father’s birthday present, and worries about the anti-fan cafe that sprang up after her public fight with the girls who insulted her father. Apparently they’ve declared that they’ll come after her, and Da-hae’s elevated profile makes her fairly easy to locate.

Sure enough, a mob of anti-fans greets the ladies when they pull up at the cafe, who are here for a study session with Yoon-sung, who’s waiting inside. They’re armed with eggs, and start slinging them Da-hae’s way.

Nana leaps in front of Da-hae and takes the brunt of the assault, being pelted with eggs and fruit, until Eun-ah and Yoon-sung both arrive and interrupt the disturbance. Yoon-sung asks worriedly if she’s okay, but Nana maintains their distance and rejects his help, saying curtly that she’ll clean herself up.

How does it feel to get what you asked for, Mr. Noble (Okay, Possibly A Bit Of An Idiot)? All throughout his tutoring session, Yoon-sung can’t keep his gaze from straying over to Nana, who stands a distance away.

At the hospital, Yoon-sung puts on a cheery front for his mother’s sake, but she’s attuned to his moods and knows that something is troubling him. He says he can tell her once it’s all over, and assures her that it’s not that big a deal. Oh, you know, moonlighting as a vengeful vigilante, taking on society’s corrupt, wreaking justice with the cold fury with which others wreak havoc…ho-hum. All in a day’s work.

He evades her concerned questions, then muses to himself, “Mom, liking somebody isn’t always a happy thing, I think.”

Yoon-shik asks Yoon-sung to read to him, which turns out to be a bedtime story about an elephant. That makes him think back to the comment he’d made about Nana resembling his Thai “friend” who liked skinship — turns out he DID mean his elephant, ha.

Surveillance time: Yoon-sung spies on Chun Jae-man meeting with Jin-pyo and a couple other men, then texts the photos to Young-ju. Immediately, Young-ju smells something fishy — why would Chun be meeting with two Seoul district prosecutors?

As the men dine, Yoon-sung sits in the next room, listening through the (literally) paper-thin walls. It’s an old boys’ club in the making, with Chun treating them to the lavish meal and greasing the wheels. The prosecutors are flattered and basically agree to sweep his problems under the rug, and Chun gives them gifts of some premium seaweed as thanks.

Into this scene of budding corruption flies Young-ju, who turns his righteous indignation on his superiors. One of them keeps his head down in chagrin, but the other hotheaded prosecutor takes the offense-as-defense tack and loses his temper, saying that Young-ju’s hardly one to lecture them on propriety, He Who Covered Up His Father’s Corruption.

Now the prosecutors are suspicious, wondering if Chun arranged this meeting to set them up for a fall. Mood soured, they walk out — and Young-ju orders them to leave behind the seaweed gift lest they also leave behind their sense of justice.

Chun blusters that he’s being pretty high-and-mighty over some seaweed, but Young-ju spills the contents of the box on the ground, revealing the wads of cash stuffed inside. He lets Chun know he’s wise to his attempt to kill him: “Faked suicide — that’s no fun.”

Chun feigns ignorance, but Young-ju’s next words have both Chun and Jin-pyo on alert: “1983. Operation Clean Sweep. You said in your interview that they’d all been shot to death in open waters. When I brought up the Nampo incident you’d tried to hide, it must have been very uncomfortable for you.”

Young-ju shares a theory, that perhaps not everyone had died. With a look at Jin-pyo, he asks Chun if it’s possible someone could have survived. He leaves him with a warning: “I’ll be waiting to see if you’re still this confident once I’ve uncovered the full truth of Operation Clean Sweep.” Damn, Young-ju really does get the best exits, all righteous passion.

This incident gets him in hot water with his boss, though, who has heard the account and reprimands Young-ju for hiding his tipoff by the City Hunter. Young-ju is ordered off the Chun Jae-man case, and told that his future will be decided at an upcoming meeting.

It’s the opposite for Nana, who gets promoted at work. With recent events and a recommendation working in her favor, Nana is assigned to presidential guard duty. Ah, let the final face-off begin! City Hunter vs. City Hunter’s One True Love, as she guards his Target No. 5!

…who may just be the City Hunter’s father?

Yoon-sung has lunch with the President and Da-hae, and the three of them all pick out the beans from their rice. (Ahh, I knew those beans would have to mean something! I was hoping against birth secrets, but sigh. I suppose it works, since it points to an epic final conflict.) President Choi asks Yoon-sung if he thinks Da-hae has a shot at going to university, and Yoon-sung truthfully answers that it doesn’t look likely.

That gives Da-hae the opening to admit that she hasn’t the head for studying, and that she’d rather work. She was afraid of disappointing him, but she’d rather come clean now than embarrass him by going to a third-rate school.

President Choi accepts that, and apologizes to Yoon-sung for wasting his time with the tutoring lessons, even as he praises his ballsiness for being frank with his assessment of Da-hae. (From aluminum… back to steel, then?)

The president muses that he was quite like Yoon-sung in his youth, but that living in the political world has curbed that side of him. Oh, this birth secret’s gonna hurt, isn’t it?

In another hallway encounter at work, Nana tries to walk by without a word, but Yoon-sung stops her to give her grief about the scrape on her face, and for not taking care of her appearance. Aw, they’re back to the overcompensating assiness, which is mitigated a very tiny bit by the knowledge that they’re both forcing themselves to act this way. But only a very little bit. Mostly it just makes me sad.

It’s harder to deny his feelings than he’d like, and Yoon-sung broods at home, taking out the photo he totally didn’t throw away, and then going out for a walk.

That takes him to the public park where he’d once run through fountains, where he sees Nana sitting, alone.

To his chagrin, she spots him and approaches, so he warns her to keep her distance: “Coming here to reminisce pathetically on old memories — I’ll do it alone. No need for you to do it too.” He tells her to be her usual plucky self rather than playing the naif, which doesn’t suit her.

Yoon-sung: “Every day I blame myself hundreds, thousands of times. Why did I meet you? Why did it have to be you? To me, you’re someone who makes me hate, blame, and regret myself. You’re like a nightmare I don’t want to remember. I told you to go back to the time before you knew me. Go back and meet a better man, and live every day joyfully. Forget me, and live happily.”

He turns to go, and Nana splashes into the fountain between them, mindless of the water, to catch up to him: “Is that all you can say to me? Telling me to break up, to let go of you, to forget you, to disappear from your life — I could understand that. But how could you say this to me? How could you tell me to meet another man?”

Voice trembling, Nana says she’ll wait till this is over, “So can’t you come back to me? I’ll forget these words you’ve just said. It’s not a difficult thing — can’t you just say you’ll come back? If you don’t answer now, even if you come back to me later, I won’t take you. I really, really won’t. So can’t you tell me that you’ll finish this and come back to me? Please.”

With tears in his own eyes, he turns silently and walks away.

Young-ju hears that the NIS employee who’d been in charge of the lost confidential book has since resigned and is preparing to leave the country. They put a flight ban on him and track him to his home, where he lies in a daze. The man, fading fast, says that the file is with Chun Jae-man and Steve Lee.

Sang-gook expresses more misgivings about this continued revenge plan, which shows that he’s growing balls of his own. Now that they have the records, why are they conspiring with Chun Jae-man? Doesn’t this suggest that they’re no better — that they’re contributing to the corruption in Korea?

Jin-pyo is displeased to have his orders questioned by yet another subordinate, and says that if the tarnished agents were ever going to have their good names restored, it would’ve happened ages ago: “The last enemy is someone you can’t even imagine.” He tells Sang-gook to leave if he can’t work with him.

Instead, Sang-gook calls Yoon-sung to tip him off about Jin-pyo possessing the confidential file, which contains info on Operation Clean Sweep as well as the last target. Sang-gook admits that he’s tired of this revenge, and gives Yoon-sung his chance to steal the file: Dad is out in a meeting, and Sang-gook will buy some time. But he must move quickly.

Yoon-sung arrives at Dad’s lair and gets to work unscrambling the safe’s code, which takes some time to decode.

Pulling a plug from under the car’s hood gets the car to stall, but Jin-pyo is sharp enough to see that the problem is stupidly simple to correct, which makes him immediately suspect that Sang-gook did this on purpose. Hurrying home, Jin-pyo mutters, “Yoon-sung can’t know yet.” Frankly, I’m just glad he didn’t kill Sang-gook on the spot for insubordination.

The safe-cracker unscrambles the passcode, and Yoon-sung clicks opens the safe just as a suited figure steps into the room behind him. Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.

But it’s the prosecutor’s voice, not Dad’s, that asks, “Shall we look together?”

Yoon-sung faces Young-ju and assumes his cover, saying smoothly that he’s here to find the contract he signed with Steve Lee, because he feels he’s getting scammed. Young-ju tells him his days of slipping away with those excuses are over, and lays out what he knows: Jin-pyo is the sole survivor of Operation Clean Sweep, and Yoon-sung is the City Hunter who delivered Senator Lee into his hands.

Yoon-sung reminds him that he has no proof, and Young-ju returns that the proof is in that safe. If it contains the NIS file on Operation Clean Sweep, he’s proven himself correct. Oh crap, he has a point.

And then…Jin-pyo’s angry voice booms, “What the hell are you doing in here?” Oh good lord, I didn’t think his arrival would ever make me happy, but I’m simultaneously relieved that Yoon-sung has slipped out of the prosecutor’s clutches, AND disappointed that Young-ju has failed to capture his quarry. Oh man, this is like the Dokko Jin/Pil-joo quandary all over again: How can we get both men to win, when one man’s victory necessitates the other’s defeat?

Jin-pyo points out that Young-ju’s currently on probation, and asks pointedly whether he’s come armed with a search warrant. He addresses Yoon-sung as a business partner — a lie that Young-ju refuses to let distract him.

Young-ju declares that he will prove right now that all his allegations are true, and heads for the safe, shoving Yoon-sung out of his way, which sends Jin-pyo reaching for his sword-cane.

Except…the safe is empty. And from the shock on all three men’s faces, this was not a part of the plan. Although it’s a lucky thing for Young-ju’s own safety that it wasn’t here, judging from Jin-pyo’s response.

The book turns out to be in the hands of…Chun Jae-man? Wut now?

It turns out Chun isn’t quite such a blind fool for money, because he’d smelled something fishy about Steve Lee from the start, and now he has his confirmation that he’s involved in all this. He tells Creepy Minion to research Steve Lee, because he’s likely to be related to the dead agents — or may even be that survivor Young-ju mentioned. If he’s the City Hunter, he’ll be back to recover the confidential file.

Not surprisingly, Chun’s also responsible for the dead NIS employee. Young-ju had arrived in time to talk to him, but the man died before the ambulance arrived.

Dayum. I kind of like that Chun Jae-man’s a slippery fish. The only alarm he displays is upon hearing that Kyung-hee appears to have been sent abroad. He orders Mr. Creepy to find her, explaining merely that she’s “my last hidden card.”

Secret affair alert!

At home, Yoon-sung muses that Chun is behind the theft, and also the NIS employee’s murder. He admits being disappointed that he wasn’t able to see the file, because he’d been curious to read about his bio-dad. He asks Shik-joong to buy a picture frame off home shopping so he can frame a photo of his father to give to Mom. She’d said she had no pictures of him left, and he figures he can find some in the Secret Service records.

Jin-pyo decides that people see him as weak, which makes me shudder to think what he thinks he’s capable of, if we’re all underestimating him. He declares that it’s better that the confidential book disappear than fall into Yoon-sung’s hands.

Yoon-sung goes to the Blue House library in search of the appropriate Secret Service facebook, only to find 1983’s volume missing from the shelves. A man asks, “Are you looking for this?”


I’m not the hugest fan of birth secrets. Even when they’re used well, I feel like they’re such a familiar trope in K-dramas that they’ve lost their narrative punch. So when the hints of Yoon-sung’s paternity finally crystallized in this episode — all but confirming President Choi to be the true bio-dad — I was partly disappointed. It’s not set in stone, but in addition to the bean aversion and Kyung-hee’s shiftiness when Yoon-sung asks about his father, we have the two “hidden cards”: Chun’s card against the President is Kyung-hee, and Jin-pyo’s card against Yoon-sung is the President’s identity as the next target. It adds up.

That said, if we must have birth secrets, I appreciate the narrative purpose this one serves. It’s not mere makjang twist, because the hints have been laid into the story along the way, and the revelation actually heightens the conflict as we approach the climax. I’d always assumed that the final battle for Target No. 5 would culminate in a fraught father-son struggle. I just had the wrong father.

Now that President Choi is (almost assuredly) Dad, that means Yoon-sung is his greatest weakness. And while we know that Yoon-sung is unable to kill, he’s been satisfied with bringing corrupt men to their own ruin. Will he be able to do the same with President Choi? Especially since it seems, from what we’ve seen, that he probably doesn’t have a closet full of embezzling, backdoor-dealing, toxic-waste-dumping skeletons as the others did. He’s a good man who collapsed under pressure, who “missed his timing” to do the right thing, as he explained in the last episode.

Jin-pyo has been determined to keep Target No. 5’s identity from Yoon-sung all series long, which made me wonder whether it was to shelter him, or if there was a darker purpose. I’m not convinced Jin-pyo still has a heart — he’s got trace remnants of it, maybe, but he’s mostly cut it out or let it blacken into a rage-filled rock of vengeance — so I’m going with the latter. Especially since he’s equally insistent that Yoon-sung must take out the last target with his own two hands.

Perhaps Jin-pyo is just saving the best (i.e., the cruelest) for last, so he can destroy the president using his very own son, revealed at just the right time for maximum hurty impact. It would probably destroy Yoon-sung, too, of whom I do believe he is genuinely fond — but seeing his willingness to run him over to make a point makes me think he’d get over that. He’s raised Yoon-sung with single-minded purpose, perhaps intending all along that he should die at the critical moment, like a tool. Sort of like Dumbledore, without the soul or the good intentions.

This is also why I’m not actually annoyed at Yoon-sung for pushing Nana away, or with her for abiding by his wishes. In most other dramas, the reasoning is pretty weak and doesn’t quite support the act, but in this one, Yoon-sung’s all but convinced he’s headed toward death. He knows it would hurt Nana to be left behind loving him, but it’s also for his own sake that he has to keep his distance, because it’s like he feels it would be selfish to be with her now, only to ditch her later. I don’t like them apart and depressed, but I get why they’re doing it. Urg! Why do you hurt me so, City Hunter?


887 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Dalena

    finally here! thank you! 😀

    • 1.1 hazel

      watch City Hunter Episode 16 English Subbed here: http://www.kimchidramas.net/2011/07/city-hunter-episode-16.html

    • 1.2 nana

      i always read first your recaps before watching the series ( because im still downloading the episode i wach )…thanks a lot for recaps !!!

      • 1.2.1 Lana

        why must almost all kdramas that aren’t rom com have a freaking birth secret…

        i think this drama would’ve been fine without one.

        but…i think jin pyo wants yoon sung to kill his own father (president) with his whole hands because then it would be the kind of revenge that jin pyo wanted so badly in the first place…

        • Lauren

          Another effect of the birth secret: If/When Da Hye figures this out, she will FLIP. The girl likes her biological brother! 🙂 haha

          • peony

            That fits the kdrama norm. someone always falls in love with a brother or half brother. I like this spin because now Yoon-sung and Young-ju are in the same boat. They both have father’s that commited the same crime. Both men are fighting a battle that they will both eventually lose because both of them are emotionally invested.

            It looks as if no one will win in the end. So far everyone has lost something important to them. City hunter punishing the bad people will also hurt him in the end. So it only makes sense that Da Hye will lose something too.

            So sad. I want Yoon-sung and Nana to be happy.

        • YBisTOP

          what?! The president is Yoon Sung’s father? No, he isn’t.

      • 1.2.2 YBisTOP

        Reading the recaps before watching the episode isn’t good. When your watching the episode, the scenes that are meant to have people’s gasps and surprises are already ruined. Then your just going to be all like, “”okay, saw this coming”..”blahblah”..”thats it?”” lol.

  2. makk

    I kept thinking there was only 16 episodes in the series..so the ending was a bit of a shocker because I though it was the last(must be crazy).

    • 2.1 cHeL~

      i thought so too, so how many episodes is this??

      • 2.1.1 Steph

        I believe it’s 20. I hope there are more.

        Oh man, gosh, I love this drama.

        Did not read recap. Must watch last 4 eps.

        • denza

          Four more!!!…. nooooooo!!!!! I want city hunter all year long!! :S … etheir do I like the idea of the birth thing… I am getting tired of the birth secrets… I think they should create more original endings… they kill a good drama with poor connections btw characters… :S ….

    • 2.2 obsidian

      Haha. I thought the exact same thing, but the way that episodes 15 and 16 were going, I was like this is definitely a longer drama.

      I still don’t know why I thought it was only 16. 😛

  3. JK

    Great!!! I am going to read now.

  4. Maymay

    Yay! Recap is here! Thank you so much!

  5. intern

    Yay! So excited to read your thoughts on this, since i watched it raw yesterday haha 😀

  6. tuqaz

    Thanks for the quick recaps!!

    This was what I did when I saw it RAW:

    Lots of “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!”

    A few “Yes!”

    A “HAhaha!! A facial. Hahaha!!”

    Lots of “OMG!! OMG!! OMG!!”

    Than, “Beans!”

    More, “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”s and “OMG!!”s


  7. Ebonini

    thank you!

  8. stratosphere

    Thanks for the recap!

  9. dorothy07

    whoa!!! thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this recap…i’m kind of checking evry 3 hours to see if the subbed version’s been uploaded already! your recaps keep my nerves calm! thanks so much! God bless!

  10. 10 ck1Oz

    Thanks for the recap.
    I actually liked ep 16 a lot.We all knew the angst was coming but it’s been written well.Na Na is consistently not a walkover.I love a decisive woman.So she cried but she had a legitimate reason.

    I still don’t know how it’s going to pan out.I had a mini heart attack when I saw the cliffhanger.Wow,is he going to admit responsibility and tell YS what really went down?

  11. 11 soserious

    Ohmygad! Yoon-sung, she loves you. And you love her! Why are you pushing her away??!!
    This drama is driving me crazy.

    My favorite scene in this episode was definitely Yoon-sung’s fight with Mr. Creepy. Just as the water bottle exploded, I had my hands over my mouth repeating out the word DAMN~

  12. 12 Cynthia

    This really was excellent and It’s hard to believe the end is fast approaching!

    It’s frustrating to see YS in the “Noble Idiot” mode, particularly when NaNa gives him an out in their last scene together and he refuses to take it, walking away crying (in that manly way of his) while NaNa sobs.

    But, I understand it from the direction the story is taking now. NaNa has to be separated from YS. His father is the President, Nana is now assigned to guard him, the President is the final target and JP is determined to get the ultimate revenge by having YS kill his own father.

    So, as close as I can figure, the last episode will have YS, JP, Nana, the President and probably Mr. Prosecuter in the ultimate end game.

  13. 13 Han

    Thank you!!!!!

  14. 14 souji

    thanks a lot……:-)

  15. 15 79%

    Another week without City Hunter pains me to no end! Come hither Wednesday!

  16. 16 stars4u

    WHATTTTT??? was written all over my face at the last scene… ooohhh birth secrets…

    Nana is granting Yoon-sung’s wishes… it’s sad.
    Nana’s great gesture of crossing through waters to hold on to him and to ask him to tell her that he’ll be back…

  17. 17 tammu

    I love you so much for the Dumbledore reference!!!!! HP 7.2 FTW!

    • 17.1 Kelly

      I am already in my post-Potter depression. Seeing this reference just makes me even sadder. 🙁

      • 17.1.1 Natalie

        I know same here 🙁 soo sad I love that reference T_T depression follows me every where!

  18. 18 green kimchi

    waiting for 17..

  19. 19 HELP ME!

    I’m a little dense at times so while I watched this episode WITH subs, I don’t get how this episode concluded the fact that the president is yoon sung’s real dad. Someone explain to me the evidence. And if so, that means kyung hee is a cheater (shocking!)

    • 19.1 liz

      The part where Da Hae, Yoon Sung, and the President were eating- they all picked out their beans. In a previous episode, Kyung Hee noted that Yoon Sung was “just like his father” by picking out his beans.

      • 19.1.1 HELP ME!

        thankssssss so much liz LOL xD

        • HELP ME!

          and then again, I too pick out the beans in my rice haha

    • 19.2 Senris

      There’ve been suspicions for a while that Mu Yeol was not Yoon Sung’s bio-dad: beginning in episode 1 Mu Yeol and Kyung Hee were curiously restrained for a couple who should be celebrating the birth of their first child, and when Yoon Sung asked Kyung Hee about his father she hesitated a little before giving him only scraps of information. She mentioned that he was warm, a gentleman, who saved her and Yoon Sung. (I think this is referring to Mu Yeol, not his bio-dad.) Later, when she noticed Yoon Sung picking the beans out of his rice, she mentioned that his father did that. Yoon Sung pounced on the info, and she grew evasive again.

      Cheon Jae Mun has twice referred to a piece of dirt he holds on the President, that no one else knows about: an illegitimate child, hidden quickly by marrying off the mistress, would fit the bill. Think John Edwards…

      Then in this episode we have two important pieces of information: Kyung Hee doesn’t have a photograph of Mu Yeol (although she still wore her wedding ring, up until she gave it to Yoon Sung to give to Nana), and neither the President nor his daughter eat the beans in their rice. (I’m guessing something like the ‘super-taster’ gene here, which makes, for example, broccoli taste very bitter. Perhaps explains why Yoon Sung dislikes vegetables so much?)

    • 19.3 azir

      Maybe Kyung Hee fell inlove with the president not knowing that he was married and the president fell inlove with her as well and did nothing to stop his feelings for Kyung Hee which resulted for them to make love and she became pregnant. Then the problem arose because the president was married and he can’t marry Kyung Hee then enter Muyeol who was as well in love with Kyung Hee. In one of the episode Kyung Hee said to YS that his father saved her and him. That was how Muyeol saved them by marrying her and giving name to YS. Which is Jin Pyo know very well because he was the bestfriend of Muyeol. I think when he kidnapped YS, the main reason was to avenge his bestfriend in a most cruel way, the president to die in the hands of his own son. I don’t know if JP cares for YS even a little bit because he is always pushing YS to kill to prepare him for the final showdown between the father and son. Just my two cents.

      • 19.3.1 koreandramalover/kdl

        @azir 😉

        wow, your theory (and two cents) is intriguing!!

        im waiting to see if it will turn out like you said… 😉

        • azir

          I have another theory that the president doesn’t know he has a child with Kyung Hee because when he talked with her in the car he didn’t ask for their child. For a very warm man and who love Kyung Hee he will want to know what happen to their child.

          • koreandramalover / kdl / kaye

            @azir 😉

            i think you are right! the President does not know YS is his bio son…

            so looking forward to how everything will be unravelled…

      • 19.3.2 trisha

        I was so mad at JP for taking YS away from her mother in the first place when his best friend clearly told him to take care of them. With your comment, I now realized why he did that.

        • indigowine

          but i still want jin pyo to be the real dad..


    • 19.4 bunny

      I’m right there with you. I watched the episode and caught nothing about this birth secret. I came here to read this recap and was like “WHAT!???” lol.

      I found it REALLY weird in the beginning how unaffectionate Muyeol was to his wife. I guess it makes sense now. heh.

  20. 20 Senris

    I’m only half-pleased to see my theory that President is Yoon Sung’s bio-dad is vindicated, because now I’m feeling awfully bad for Mu Yeol: he married Kyung Hee to cover up President’s illegitimate child (which she makes pretty clear by telling Yoon Sung “He saved me, and he saved you”) and it’s fairly clear that there wasn’t a great deal of real feeling between them: Kyung Hee mourned the loss of her child much more than the loss of her husband. I guess Mu Yeol’s got Jin Pyo to mourn him, but, uh, that doesn’t seem to be going so well.

    Also, does anyone know exactly what office the President held in 1982-83? We know he had power, but what was his connection with Mu Yeol? Why would a Blue House Secret Service agent marry his mistress in order to conceal his illegitimate child? (Why did he have the authority to command Mu Yeol and Jin Pyo on the sweep mission in the first place?) I hope we’ve got a lot more backstory coming up…

    • 20.1 jas

      remember… ys’s real father the president… in ep 1 when ys is born, his father is not a president yet… this drama so mystery..

    • 20.2 Niklaus

      most likely director of secret service since he is the direct superior of MY and JP.

  21. 21 Nonny

    The prosecutor’s smartness has got me so pissed. DANG IT, just give poor Yoon-sung a break. This show has got me permanently on edge.

    • 21.1 Duh-duh

      I dislike him. His logic is f**ked up.

      Revealing others’ corruption except his own father ? Somebody explains to me !!

      These ppl are all noble idiots.

  22. 22 liz

    So..Jin Pyo knows that Yoon Sung is the President’s son? And he lied to Yoon Sung to get revenge for Mu Yeol, who’s actually a complete stranger to him??

    • 22.1 Cynthia

      Yes, JP has known all along that the (now) President fathered YS.
      From the torn up photo that JP kept and YS took, it’s apparent that they were all friends back in the day.
      Something happened with Mom & Prez, she got pregnant and for some reason (Maybe Prez was married at that time?) MY stepped up and married her even though it looks like JP loved her, too.
      JP and MY were best friends and brothers-in-arms. JP, knowing of the circumstances surrounding YS’s birth knew that the best weapon against the betrayers and killers of his team and MY was YS – and that’s why he stole the baby and told Mom to begin a new, free life. JP was ruthless in forming the weapon that YS has become. Good thing the kid had an ingrained morality core that JP couldn’t beat out of him. This is what sets up the ending to be EPIC.

      • 22.1.1 jessybee

        Interesting theory, and it fits because Jin Pyo has mentioned a few times through the series about how important Yoon Sung is, he always says Yoon Sung has to be the one who finishes this. Maybe this is why his role is so significant in this revenge plan.

        • omg

          so what you’re saying is that the torned up picture that yoon sung has and that one piece was missing was actually…the president? omg… it all makes sense now…you guys are so smart thank you!!!

      • 22.1.2 bishbash

        the “sins of the fathers” in this recap had me going WTF all the while.

        OMG. We have the bio dad, the protector dad who died, and the surrogate dad. BAH! poor YS 🙁

        now come to think of it, when the president and Kyung Hee met in his car many episodes back, it WAS kind of fishy that they actually knew each other. there was some kind of hostility, no? =X

      • 22.1.3 Webfoot

        Agreed. But here is an alternative theory as to why JP is exacting revenge.
        Kyung Hee was unwillingly impregnated by current President. Maybe he was drunk. Maybe he forced himself on her. And only the guards were witness to this event. MY (out of love? friendship?) married her. But President wanted to wipe out any chance that his indiscretion would be discovered, hence the order to kill the entire team at sea. He never knew about the son. But Daddy JP survives, and chooses to exact vengeance by having the son that President fathered that night be the President’s killer. It’s the David and Bathsheba story.
        This will lead to an even darker and sadder ending.
        Like so:
        During the showdown, CH will be forced to choose between the life he might have had (with Daddy president and family and Nana who is the president’s bodyguard) and the life he currently has (lonely justice). Between happiness and principles. Nasty, just nasty.

        • MsScorpion

          I don’t think this last theory fits, coz the current president at that time wasn’t yet Mr. President.
          Also he was the only one from the 5 targets to be AGAINST the sweep.

          What I keep thinking about since the real daddy was reviled to us was “Poor YS, you’re gonna feel exactly what Prosecutor YJ felt when you wanted the father to be captured by the hands of his own son” 🙁

    • 22.2 Joy

      This might also explain what felt like logical fallacy when he was trying to avenge his friend’s death even though he might need to kill MY’s son along the way. Now that we know that YS is the president’s son and not his friend’s, I understand why JP is OK with YS being collateral damage in his grand scheme.

      • 22.2.1 Bloom

        I agree with all of you guys and sadly, I also think that JP wants to avenge his friend by having the president killed by the hands of his own son …
        However, I have the feeling that JP is attached to YS despite everything that happened and what he is planning to do with him (remember how he looked shocked when YS stabbed his own hand? Also, I don’t think he saved YS’s life in episode 1 only for the sake of his revenge…)
        My theory is that he will still go on with his revenge, but will somehow change it in the very end when he will realize how awful he treated YS in the first place (like sacrificing his life once again to save YS from a deadly situation for example).

        Well, i do hope he’ll eventually feel guilty about it. It would make him more HUMAN for god’s sake.

        • vibs110

          My theory is this: YS will discover that the President is his father and will find the reasons behind his birth and the issues surrounding his relationship with YK & PMY. He will then back out (bec he’s just not the cold-blooded killer JP wants him to be) at the last minute. JP will now be the one to finish the President off. YS may try to stop JP and may have to fight it out. Then comes YJ who will try to kill YS…only for JP to save YS. In the end, JP will take the fall as the CH (i really think his character has to die) so YS will be free to live a normal life with NN.

          I think JP really loves YS as if he were his own flesh & blood. He still has a tender side (when he saved YS from the landmines, sending YK a radio during the bone marrow operation, and not killing NN when she went to see him) but just likes to use force and intimidation to control/manipulate people, esp YS.

  23. 23 Ace

    Ah, noble idiots. But I still love you, Yoon-sung!

    Well, so is it really true that the President is the real biological father?

  24. 24 Irish J

    Great cliff-hangers!!

  25. 25 L

    Although I hate this turn of events, it sorta explains the way Jin pyo has been treating Yoon sung.


    Please don’t leave me heart broken at the end T_T

    • 25.1 Molly

      It’s absolutely horrible; I still regarded him as a father to Yoon-sung, loving in a hard, badass way. But now, basically, the ones who have/will continue to suffer are solely Kyung-hee, Mu-yeol, and Yoon-sung. It’s almost fated…and I thought City Hunter didn’t do fate! Argh, I trust the writers to do a good job with the birth secret, but it still doesn’t feel right.

      And javabeans, thanks for the allusion to Harry Potter #7. 😉

  26. 26 Cathyrrn

    But was I the only one who wanted to slap his steadfast (yet *gorgeous*) face for not reciprocating NaNa’s love? And saying that he wants to even hold a sliver of hope that he’ll get out of all of this alive?

    I dunno…I’m a romantic…so sue me 😛

    What does pique my curiosity is the secret book from the 1983 scandal thing. Surely, it doesn’t detail the love affair between the President and Yoon Sung’s mum…right..?

    Uhhhh….I don’t know…this episode confused me…I didn’t like that :S

  27. 27 Taskina

    I am really confused, how is Yoon sung’s real dad the President, and how is Javabeans so sure of it..?

  28. 28 koreandramalover/kdl

    Javabeans, i can’t thank you enough for this super-swift recap…

    and i can’t agree with you more on EVERY SINGLE POINT you made in your comments at the end…

    please excuse me, but my heart is breaking, shattering into a billion pieces right now and so i can’t continue typing…

    *heartrending, heartbreaking, heartcrushing sobs*

  29. 29 Dream

    how can you be so efficient! Your recap is fantastic, as it always has been. Thank you so much!

  30. 30 SweetiePie54

    Damn this show is good. Thanks for the recap!

  31. 31 Fall

    Oh….brother. Now City Hunter has 3 fathers. That’s a new record.

    • 31.1 Amanda

      hahahahah LOL at your comment! this show is THAT good the main actor has to have 3 dads ^_________^

      • 31.1.1 ahjummabunny

        err the last show with 3 dads ( 3 dads 1 mom) wasn’t that great. It did have jae hee and the man still fondly referred to as Kangah!

    • 31.2 tuqaz

      Next drama… Three Dads, One Mom. No, wait, we alrerady have that one. 🙂

      • 31.2.1 Venus

        LOOOOOOOOOOL@ 3 dads….so rite own! …..however how ironic is it that YS at one point had 3 dads, yet the poor conflicted soul got all his maternal/paternal love from Ajussi.

        I declared Ajussi MOM and DAD of the YEAR for YS!!!……

    • 31.3 Grace Lee


  32. 32 Dominique

    This was the worst episode ever of the series. The one-hour episode felt more like six hours. Vapid dialogues, derivative plot turns, acted robotically by everyone (except Mr. Prosecutor). City Hunter has now become a protypical daytime soap, a common fate for virtually all Korean dramas that came before it. Whatever happened to the entire creative team?

    The only silver lining is that the role of Mr. Prosecutor, not to mention his acting, is now finally worth watching. He looked good out of suit and tie in Episode 15, and looks good without jacket in Episode 16, judging from the way his pants fit his butt. This actor makes a far better fashion plate than Lee Min Ho.

    I had hopes that City Hunter might prove to be the long-waited exception to the cliche Korean soaps. But Episode 15 brought me strong doubts, and Episode 16 now confirms them. It still makes a good yarn, but our wait continues for a Korean drama that finally transcends all its cliches.

    • 32.1 S

      Wow, you have to realize that everything has its cliches; all Korean drama–almost all books, shows, or anything in this world contain some form of cliche. And while City Hunter contains some cliche elements, they are incorporated seamlessly into the plot and offer a clear purpose. I actually thought this episode was better than the previous few, as it added more tension and drama into the storyline. Perhaps your expectations were too high? These dramas are for enjoyment, so they should be enjoyed.

    • 32.2 ringo

      I agree.

      I won’t be AS harsh because while I think this episode is disappointing and the whole daddy issues the most frustrating thing of all, there was still 15 episodes that were great and no show can run for this long without a couple of down ones here and again (this goes for American shows as well).

      What’s so disappointing about the daddy issue is that IT DIDN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. It feels so superfluous.

      @32.1–Yes, the drama should be enjoyed but these plot elements aren’t… enjoyable.

    • 32.3 la fureur de Jacqueline...

      Agreed! I thought both eps were quite bad…and it’s really becoming a love story. It’s the only drama, I’m watching besides Ripley. Even w/ Ripley, I’m disappointed right now…
      Heartstrings is boring and too cliche, so was Lie To Me and Romance Town is a mess. These dramas are grating my last nerve…I’m hoping next week will be much better but I’m not so sure…hopefully I’m wrong.

  33. 33 purexorange

    and the birth secret thing.
    i was kkinda hoping it was JP…

  34. 34 queer

    Thanks so much….

    gonna wait for 6 more days… *sobs*

  35. 35 pink blush

    wow, what a crappy life for yoon-sung!

  36. 36 rumba lumba

    good gawd, let the love story die already. geezus christ. it’s so corny and cheesy. i just roll my eyes everytime he says “forget me! forget everything!” to her. ugh, puhlease!

    • 36.1 marin

      lmaoo i know right how long is he going to say the same line “forget me i don’t want to hurt you”, tired of hearing the same bull crap every episodes, they should just hurry up with the romance thing because its taking my focus away from the actual plot.

  37. 37 rumba lumba

    gawd, let the love story die already. geezus christ. it’s so corny and cheesy. i just roll my eyes everytime he says “forget me! forget everything!” to her. ugh, puhlease!

  38. 38 dorothy07

    done reading..it’s just that, I’m confused..how can President Choi be Yoon-sung’s dad..? I mean,whatever… i’ll just read again…but, how?I was kind of lost in that part. (@@)

    • 38.1 Cynthia

      Try 22.1 – it might help. 🙂

  39. 39 outofcontrol

    Ack. What’s with the secret genealogy trope? I hope it is reaaaalllly necessary in the story.

  40. 40 kixicat

    wait, the president might be yoonsung’s father? I thought Yoonsung’s father was muyeol.

  41. 41 dorothy07

    I mean, *just a follow up for my comment a while ago.. Kyung-hee doesn’t strike me as a woman who’d love two men at the same time,,and have one as a bio-dad to her son..and the other as the adopting dad. @@,

  42. 42 nonski

    just awesome! thanks for the recaps! you are really wonderful!

  43. 43 anais

    Sigh. I had really hoped against the Pres being YS’s dad, primarily because I wanted there to be a means to redeem Jinpyo. Call me biased but the actor portrayed my favorite Jeongjo evah! And because Jinpyo just becomes so flat now. The only way this could turn out interesting for me is if Jinpyo changes his mind at the last minute for YS, preferably with self-sacrifice involved. But I didn’t want that. I wanted some heartfelt father-son bonding. Not gonna get it now…

    I don’t want to witness YS’s trauma when he learns that he’s been used this entire time by the only man he’s known as his father for most of his life.

    Not sure if 4 episodes will be enough to build up any substantive bond between YS and his new bio-dad. Although this Show has managed to move along at a good pace, so who knows…

    But yes, this episode felt as if CH was trudging through the mud flats of Kdrama cliches, with the exceptions being:

    1. Fight with Chun’s evil musa
    2. The slap down of the uppity cosmetics store employee
    3. Yongju. Period. He’s been, so far, far more interesting consistently than the hero/heroine.

  44. 44 cb

    thanks for the recap! i hope it’ll be a happy ending.

  45. 45 MINOZarmy

    Gahhh,,, this ep is soo sad..
    why do u have to push her away??
    u just make another trouble for yourselves –”

    but it’s just left 4 ep then we have to say goodbye to CITY HUNTER :'(
    can’t help it 🙁

  46. 46 celest1al

    Hmm. Even though the noble idiocy and birth secret makes some narrative sense and “heightens the conflict,” I’m still not fond of it at all. SIGH and here I thought that City Hunter would be a bit different. I am officially more anxious and weary than excited for the last 4 episodes. Hopefully I am proved wrong. On a brighter note, points for references to Dokko/Piljoo and Harry Potter. Hahaha

    And the Creepy minion totally reminds me of Creepy Thin Man from Charlie’s Angels. LOL

    • 46.1 love 49

      so its not only me uh….. he looked so familiar the first time i saw him… and after thinking for a while realized the c.a. connection…”great minds think alike ” 😉

  47. 47 Raine

    sad episode ;_; especially for our OTP
    *sigh* when can they finally get to be together…? I’m not asking for much now, just give our OTP a happy ending please ;_; YS deserves to be happy after all he’s been through.. Nana too..
    the scene near the fountain is so heart-wrenching even though I understand why they’re doing the things they do.. I wonder how the love line will develop from now onwards? it’s highly unlikely that it’ll stall in the current situation for the last 4 episodes right?

  48. 48 Trixie

    If Mr. President is indeed Daddy-O, which I agree that it’ll be most likely… oh the heartbreak it will be for Da-hae!!!

    Imagine crushing on someone, stalker-like status, just to find out that he’s you’re brother?!?! oh the heartache!

    • 48.1 Hermione

      that would be just disgusting slash yay because come on you have lee yoon sung as you’re brother? i would still be happy…

      • 48.1.1 widy

        i think its the best that da hye could get. she knew that yoon sung doesnt have any interest for her, right? and it turns out she could have him as her half brother! if i were her i’ll be more than happy haha 😉

      • 48.1.2 Trixie

        hahaha… good point guys!

  49. 49 koreandramalover/kdl

    After watching Young-ju for 16 episodes now, i can’t help but feel that his character is so one-dimensional and cardboard-like…

    the first scene between him and Yoon-sung where he was positively GLEEFUL when he used YS’s childhood nickname just proved my point…

    why does he come across as more interested on one-upmanship with YS instead of being a cool Prosecutor who brings people to justice WITHOUT coming across as insipid, petty and childish?

    i have never liked him from the beginning and i believe i never will…

  50. 50 Ojou_Belle

    I am speechless! SPEECHLESS!

    This show is so great! SOOO GREAT!!

    Thanks for the recap!

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