Exploring Korean Dramas: City Hunter

city hunter promo

It is evening and the young mother and unknowing widow, Lee Kyung Hee, is drying laundry.  A sheet temporarily blocks her view of her son.  Jin Pyo lurks in the shadows.  A dog starts barking; Kyung Hee feels a shiver run up her spine, and moves around the sheet to look for her son.  He’s gone, with a note left in his place.  It’s signed by Jin Pyo, whom Kyung Hee knows.  She immediately starts screaming, running through the streets in pursuit of her son.

poor kyung hee. evil jin pyo.

Evil Jin Pyo lurks evilly in shadows. Urge to kill rising…

Angela: incoherent sobbing.
Angela’s husband, known as Boy: “Are you watching Pet Cops again?  You know you’re not allowed to watch that show.”
Angela: recovers enough to hit “Play.”

We’re given the contents of the note in voice-over from Jin Pyo: “Mu Yeol is dead.  I will take the child and raise him well.  You can only be happy without this child.  Move on and start a new life.  You must be happy.”  This last line is read over the image of Kyung Hee, bent double against a wall weeping in agony.

Angelaincoherent rage, of which a few words are discernible: “Monster, Insane, Poor Mother, Live without Child, Evil Man, Gahhh!”  Looks for things to toss at Jin Pyo’s head.
On the screen: Jin Pyo peers at the grief-stricken Kyung Hee from around a corner, her son in his arms.
Angela: Begins looking for rocks. Is possibly still screaming at the screen.
Boy’s mild voice floating in from the other room: “Don’t throw rocks at the television.”

Twenty-eight years later the baby, named Yoon Sung, returns to Korea.  He procures a job in computer security at the Blue House, the residence of Korea’s president.  Yoon Sung’s poised in the perfect position for his takedown of the officials responsible for his father’s murder.  He’s been brainwashed by Jin Pyo’s particular version of events from 30 years ago, but not so much so that he’s just an assassination machine.

lee yoon sung pants and hair

Vigilante style tip: Bieber hair and pink pants

Yoon Sung doesn’t believe that he can have a true life until he avenges his father, but once that happens he’s desperate to live normally.  Much of the conflict of the story, in fact, comes from Yoon Sung and Jin Pyo’s divergent revenge plans: Yoon Sung wants to turn the crooks over to the authorities, and Jin Pyo wants them dead.

Jin Pyo is a fabulous villain, full of complexities.  Thirty years before he was a young man driven by pride in his country; losing that in the worst way possible caused him to snap.  Jin Pyo loves Yoon Sung, but he’s willing to emotionally abuse the man who is as much a weapon to him as a son to get what he wants.

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