A snapshot of the opening scenes of episode one offers the viewer a glimpse into the various and often times strained relationships that occur throughout the series.
In the k-drama, City Hunter, numerous kinds of relationships between characters come into play that essentially shape how the series turns out. These initial relationships shown in the first episode include father-son and husband-wife.
The first scene opens up with Lee Yoon Sung’s mother in labor delivering him. While this is happening, her husband is at the attempted bombing of the president so he misses the birth of his only son. After things settle down, he goes to the hospital to see his wife and son.
However, one thing that struck me as odd in this scene was the interaction, or lack thereof, between husband and wife. Here we have a woman who just had to deliver a child with by herself and a husband security agent who missed the birth protecting the president after an attack, yet they don’t seem all that happy to see each other again; they don’t even embrace or share a kiss. Lee Yoon Sung’s father only ends up seeing him for a few moments before leaving the hospital again for a secret mission; little did they know it was the last time they’d ever see each other.
This interaction between the new parents seemed cold and distant, not one that comes to mind of an excited couple that just had their first child. When Lee Yoon Sung’s father says that he has to go he just pats his wife on the shoulder, never once getting into close contact with her. Also, the relationship between the infant Lee Yoon Sung and his father, although brief, was sweet. Although he seemed excited to see the infant, and held him for a few minutes, he didn’t seem all that disappointed to leave him so soon.
Another relationship seen in the first episode is a different kind of father-son relationship. After Lee Yoon Sung’s biological father dies in the secret mission, Lee Jin Pyo promises to take care of his family and vows to get revenge for the death of his close friend. He begins the long task of revenge by “stealing” the infant Lee Yoon Sung from his mother when she is distracted. He says “I will call the child Lee Yoon Sung, and I will commit the world’s worst vengeance, because that will be the only reason for living.”
He then raises the boy to become adept at shooting and fighting. It appears as if he never creates an emotional attachment to Lee Yoon Sung because he is always so harsh on him, wanting him to be the best at everything. However, after loosing his foot saving his adopted son from a land mine, he decides to share the real story to Lee Yoon Sung about his biological father.
After learning the real story, Lee Yoon Sung feels the same urge to exact revenge on the men that killed his father. This bond, even though he never met his real father, is so strong that Lee Yoon Sung devotes the rest of his life in making sure revenge is followed through.
All these relationships are essentially the basis for the show. Lee Yoon Sung’s family was torn apart, so Lee Jin Pyo informally adopts the boy to raise him to get revenge for the loss of his friend. Lee Jin Pyo feels he needs to be less of a father figure to Lee Yoon Sung and more of an authoritative figure to make this happen. Finally, when Lee Yoon Sung finds out what happened to his biological father, he feels the same need to avenge his father’s death, even though he never met him.
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