Cruel City – Episode 15

It’s so weird to be watching a series while it’s airing, but in a way it’s a good thing because Cruel City is too intense to be taken in all at once. I’m glad to have this time in between episodes to contemplate.

We’ve just left off with our OTP escaping the clutches of the big boss, and Doctor’s Son declaring war on Pusan.

When they meet again, Wooden Stick has just injected our heroine with enough meth to get 10 people high. So she spends the day detoxing with Doc’s Son, and he finally realizes who she is. Kudos to the writers for giving Gyu Ri a gritty monologue.

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I’ve been impressed with Jung Kyung Ho’s acting so far, but this is the scene where Nam Gyu Ri really shines. In fact, episode 15 really showcased both our female leads, and how they kick-ass in a man’s world. Love how Jin Sook totally trashes Eun Soo.
“As long as you’re going back into the field, why don’t you go pick some peppers for me?” Hahaha.

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When Soo Min begins to talk about why she can’t leave her work, Doc’s Son rolls his eyes. It’s a strange reaction, but I guess he made that choice because he’s frustrated with her for not listening to him. He wants her to quit poking around in his world, and he doesn’t want to get anymore emotionally invested than he already is in their relationship. She starts to repeat Kyung Mi’s motto, “The world is like a mirror.” Kyung Ho reacts a half second too quickly. I’m not sure if it was the actor’s performance or the editor that should be faulted, but realistically he wouldn’t have recognized this quote right away.  And if I want to get really nitpicky with production value – the make up artist failed to cover a pimple on his chin, which was very distracting during his close-ups. And wardrobe made the odd choice to dress him in a green suit. He’s fine with the blazer on, but when he’s wearing just the green pants and a white dress shirt, his upper body looks shrunken.

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Up until now, Soo Min has clung onto the hope that Shi Hyun would return her feelings. In this moment, she realizes that it’s time to make a clean break, and the way she does it is heartbreaking.

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“Mr. Gangster”

“Jung Shi Hyun”

“Shi Hyun”

“Shi Hyun oppa”

“There,  I’ve called you by everything now. Good-bye.”

She leaves and as the door closes we see our lead actor collapse onto the ground in emotional agony.  From the beginning, Soo Min has been the only person able to break down Shi Hyun’s barriers, from getting a genuine laugh out of him, to allowing him to experience real passion, and even prompting him to reveal his given name.  Of course, we know she hasn’t called him by everything yet, and we dread the moment when she realizes who he really is.

Also dreading the moment when this sisterly bond is tested. I hope they never have to feel betrayed by each other, because I don’t think I could handle that kind of tension … 5 more episodes to go!

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