Heartless City: Episode 3 Thoughts


There’s no doubt that Heartless City is THE BEAST of the current lineup – though I fear my heart may be stolen by Empire of Gold tomorrow aaack! – and whitecarrot and I cannot get enough of it.  Or of Jung Kyung-ho.  But we’ve fallen behind to the point where it’s nearly impossible to catch up recap-wise, so we’re just gonna chug along in our own fashion, throwing out what we can.  We’re hoping that the recaps for Episodes 1 and 2 were enough to convince you to watch the show, and that you’re waaay past Episode 3 and all caught up. 😉  This show, after all, is just beyond what words – or at least what my greatly lacking words – can do.  Thus we’ve settled on just sharing our thoughts and comments about each episode.

But!  If you have ANY questions or comments or inquiries – whether it be about a translation, a conversation, a cultural thing, or anything at all – the floor is yours.  I’ve realized through my time at the Patch that I absolutely looove sharing things about the more nuanced or overlooked aspects of Korean culture that are just passed by while watching Korean dramas.  I feel like such a nerd, but Kdrama-nerdiness is what our Patch is all about, so please please pleeease ask away.  Though we’re now only posting about Episode 3, we’re gonna jump back to real-time episodes with a post tomorrow for Episode 11.  I’ll share my thoughts, whitecarrot will add hers later (after subs come out), and the comments section will always be open for any spazzing or questions or whatever your heart desires.  I’ll continue to update the post with answers to questions, so please take advantage of our collective Kdrama-nerdiness! 😀


Episode 3 Thoughts


As usual, I am a blubbering mess. This stuff is too good to respond to coherently and I can only ramble about how awesome this show is. The plot twists and turns. When I think about it, the story line hasn’t really advanced, yet I feel like the plot has catapulted straight forward and so many things have happened.

For the record, I want to apologize for not using the same names for the characters as pinkblossom does. I’m not Korean so it’s hard for me to remember the characters’ Korean names. So I’m going to go by the translation’s druggie nicknames and awkward descriptors for our characters. Hope this doesn’t get too confusing.

I’d like to point out some events that weren’t really believable in this episode, as awesome as it was.

1. One thing I don’t completely understand is why Doc and the other gangsters don’t finish the job aka kill people completely. Soo was as good as dead, yet Doc managed to carry him to a hospital and nurse him back to health? If I were the gangsters that “killed” Soo I would have checked for a pulse and a final breath. These guys are sure not thorough. Not really realistic on this aspect (ok I know it’s a drama but this is stretching believability to its limits).

2. Also Doc carjacks Tooth’s car which still has Scale’s fake girlfriend (I totally forgot her name) in it. Doc, shouldn’t you be aware that this chick is your enemy? She’s going to try to fight back. Don’t underestimate a crazy girl. You deserved that stab cause you let your guard down. 

3. Why didn’t anyone get rid of Scale’s fake girlfriend after she led them to Safari’s hangout (even though only Meth King was there)? We see that she is able to escape from the car. The foreshadowing of more to come from this girl is a little too blatant here. Could have done it more smoothly.

4. One thing that did annoy me was the way too Kdrama-y “building of love moment” between Doc and Soo-min. Soo-min, you are so dumb. When a man holds a gun to your head, you just give him the money. Not the time for heroics, girlfriend. Doc did not have to chivalrously save the day. I am so not rooting for this couple. Soo-min’s plastic face does not allow for the range of emotions to demonstrate a tormented relationship with our show’s main man. 

What I loved!!!!

1. Thank you Doc for not falling in Safari’s blatant trap for the police to arrest you. I didn’t want to see you in the doomed hero role in this episode. Finally a K-hero that thinks about all the signs! I guess he’s not your average K-hero though.

2. Auntie, you are so cool. Thank you for being a strong female character. Loved the scene where she was beating her would-be rapist with her stiletto. Taking charge!

3. Ok the real cliffy/shocker of the day is Kyung-mi knows Doc? WTF. And she addresses him as Shi-hyun Oppa at that. Oooohhhh, they must have been close. I like this turn of events. This would explain why she seems less into Hyung-min than he is into her. I’d love to see the back story to this one. Writers, please deftly insert flashback into your plot as you did in episode 2. It was great that way.

4. Jung Kyung-ho is killing this role. The intensity of his eyes never die. The closeups are great, and you can see the calculations and myriad of emotions running in his mind. We really get to see where he comes from, and how much good is left in this once-innocent boy. The flashback to good times with Auntie and Safari as a child just made me want to cry. They used to be so happy! This completely makes me root for this anti-hero. I also loved the part where Soo demands to know how his girl died, and we see a flicker of guilt in Doc’s eyes as he had left the girl for dead.

Episode 4, I’m ready for you!




I LOVE the way that Safari and Shi-hyun play this intricate game of chess with one another.  It’s just… gah, I have no words.  Though I love me my Korean dramas, I ain’t blind to its faults, and one thing that always – ALWAYS – drives me up the wall is the inability of supposedly smart characters to use that giant thing hiding behind their beautiful faces.  B. R. A. I. N.  It’s there for a reason, people.  Use it.

Episode 3, as seen by moi:

Hyung-min man-handles Kim Eun-soo and demands to know who was behind her: Okay, great job using that fake picture and figuring out that she’s part of a plan, but GAH you seriously think she’s gonna cave to your brute force handling and screaming?!  My eyeballs hurt from the rollin’.  It’s all about subtlety, man, subtlety.

Kyung-mi sweetly kisses Hyung-min goodbye and heads out to go undercover as Eun-soo… and then turns around one last time: Oh noes.  This is really goodbye, isn’t it?  Noooooo.

Meth Kim’s man – who turns out to be working for Safari – leaves the car in the intersection… and it gets slammed by a semi: AAACK!!

Flashback to heartbreakingly sweet times, when Auntie doted on little Shi-hyun, and Safari really was like a “Sam-chon”: *crack* goes the heart.  How sweet is it that little Shi-hyun was stealing money (well that part’s not cute but whatevs *flips hair*) to pay off Auntie’s debt?  What in the world happened to break apart this family?

Shi-hyun steals the car Teeth and Eun-soo were about to drive: Are you aware that there’s a person next to you?  Hello?  Hello?!?!  I’m telling you, there’s a freaky chick waiting to do horrible things to you!  Forget the car chase!  Gah gah gaaah *covers eyes* aaaack *covers eyes again* I told you *covers eyes again again* to look out for *covers eyes again again again* that chick!

A wounded Shi-hyun stops by at Soo-min’s convenience store (again!) and rescues her from a gunman: Okay, of all the convenience stores in Korea – they’re on every freaking corner, sometimes even 2 on one corner! – you visit the same one every single time?  And always when she’s working?  And she just happens to find herself at the mercy of a gunman and in need of dramatic Legolas-in-shining-armor rescuing?  Boo.  And if you’re gonna be dropping the C-note anyway, why bother asking how much the stuff is?

Shi-hyun semi-cauterizes his own knife wound, flashing us his lovely abs and pecs in the process: Okay, is it wrong that we’re deriving so much enjoyment from a painful scene?  And why do I think of Won Bin and his bullet-removal scene in Ajusshi (The Man from Nowhere) when hottie Jung Kyung-ho is right in front of me?  And seriously, you think that little band-aid comment from Soo-min was cute?  Lemme show you how much aegyo I can pour on.  Okay, fine, your glance over at Soo to see whether he saw your smile and your nonchalant ripping off of the band-aid was cute.  But I still don’t approve of you + Soo-min.

Annoying Detective Kim puts a gun to bad guy’s head, which is nothing but an empty threat.  But Hyung-min walks in and actually shoots the guy in the leg: Hahahaa ohmygawsh I don’t know whether to laugh or flinch or cringe that I’m laughing.  Because for seriously?  The whole gun-to-the-bad-guy’s-head happens in every drama ever, and the cop can never pull the trigger.  Ever.  Which is why I always wonder why they even bother, and Bad Guy here calls Detective Kim on it.  He knows Kim can’t actually hurt him.  And then Hyung-min coolly wraps his leather jacket around the gun and shoots him.  Talk about calling his bluff!

Big showdown time as Shi-hyun’s guys face down Meth Kim’s, and the cops arrive as well.  Shi-hyun finally tracks down Meth Kim, whom Kyung-mi also followed.  La dee dah fight fight fight la la la, and Kyung-mi finally trains a gun on Shi-hyun.  “Are you Bak-sa Ah-deul?” she demands.  He coolly strides towards her, asking who the heck she is, and she yells, “Don’t move!  I’m Special Forces Detective Lee Kyung-mi!”  And… he freezes in his tracks, hundreds of emotions crossing his face.  As she reads him the K-version of the Miranda rights, Shi-hyun steps into the light… and Kyung-mi stares in shock, as recognition dawns.  “Shi-hyun Oppa…” : GAAAAAH!!!!

I read the character descriptions beforehand, but man oh man what a way to bring these two together!  So many feels, but we’ll save the spazz for one huge spazz for the epic Episode 4.


Once again, please don’t hesitate to ask away, rant, spazz, or whatever tickles your fancy.  This is your place to do it! 😀



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