Drama Recaps
Gaksital: Episode 2
by | May 31, 2012 | 159 Comments

LOVE. This show’s got the goods, and then some—badass action, gripping intrigue, dark and layered characterization, and a style straight out of my favorite era of Hollywood cinema. It’s Bogart-meets-Batman, set in the political wasps’ nest of the occupation era. Be still my heart.


Kang-to goes to his car late at night, when someone dressed as Gaksital cocks a gun right at his head. He freezes.

And then, from a rooftop high above them, the real Gaksital launches a pellet at the gunman, knocking him down. Kang-to uses that split-second opportunity to attack, and after losing the gun in the fight, the assassin runs off.

He returns to Kimura Kenji, reporting that the assassination attempt went awry because of Gaksital. Well then maybe you shouldn’t go around impersonating other people’s carefully-planned superhero personas then!

But here’s where the villains have something to gain from the encounter: Why would Gaksital protect Lee Kang-to? Kenji immediately jumps to the conclusion that this secret partnership is why Kang-to has risen in the ranks. And not because he’s better than you, of course.

The nefarious organization Kishokai (the slashes made by Gaksital in the last episode mark “Ki,” for this name) meets to discuss their precarious situation—already two of their members are dead and Gaksital remains at large. At this rate, he’ll lead the people in a rebellion.

As expected, the group consists of the corrupt heads of every branch of society (banks, newspapers, law enforcement) and Kimura Taro is the boss. (Also worth noting: they all conspicuously wear the same ring.)

Kenji interrupts the meeting to report to Dad, and gets a gruff, “Do I have to tell you what to do?!” Sheesh, I know you’re evil, but damn, he just wants your approval! His cohorts worry, but Kimura tells them it’s taken thirty years to get where they are today, and he won’t cave to a masked avenger. They toast.

Kang-to runs out into the street still chasing his attacker, who’s long disappeared. He stops to look down at the gun in his hand—it’s an expensive one and a particular make, which gives him pause.

But before he can get any further, Kenji comes up (in a sidecar, pffft) and has Kang-to surrounded by officers. He’s ordered to lower his weapon, and when he argues, Kenji shoots it out of his hand. Yikes.

He gets hauled off to the station, kicking and screaming. Opening credits.

They throw Kang-to into an interrogation room, cuffed and battered. Then Kenji walks in and beats the living crap out of him with a baton, rage lighting up his eyes. Kang-to screams that he is a police officer, but Kenji just screams back, asking how long he thought he could fool them all.

He finally stops beating him (ohthankgod) and presents him with the charge—conspiring with Gaksital AND Damsari. Hahaha, it cracks me up that Kenji jumps to this conclusion: Kang-to could never have caught Damsari on his own (because Kenji failed, natch) so they staged his capture and his rescue mid-trial.

Kang-to in turn laughs at Kenji like he’s a simpleton. He points out some glaring inconsistencies (rubbing salt in the wound by calling the puppetmaster a novice) – the “Gaksital” that attacked him used a gun, which the real Gaksital has never done, and a gun specifically licensed to police officers at that.

“If you’re going to put on a show, do it right!” Dayum. I love that he’s a smartypants. Kenji responds by beating him to a pulp. AGAIN.

Circus boss Jo brings Dan a letter from her dad, saying that he escaped safely and will continue to fight. He asks her to be strong until the day they can be together.

The circus family interrupts and the curly-haired ajumma from the opening, Oh Dong-nyun, says that there might be a thief among them, because her chamber pot has gone missing. Shin Nan-da guesses that she either broke it with her ass, or it ran away to greener (and firmer) pastures. HA.

But then we see Sun-hwa carrying said pot furtively down the hall. She brings it to Shunji, who thanks her for yet another donation for his charity project (collecting household items). Heh, so she steals from the circus family and donates to Shunji because she has a crush? So cute.

She runs out and then Shunji notices that there’s something inside the pot. Eeew, did she bring it after use? Don’t open it! He opens it. But it’s not what we think—he finds Dan’s knife inside, which he recognizes immediately.

Dan realizes that her knife is missing, and starts to panic. Feeling guilty, Sun-hwa cops to taking it and counters that she’ll buy her a new one, much better than that old thing. Dan ends up chasing her down the road screaming for her knife back.

At the same time, Shunji is riding his bicycle towards them, and Sun-hwa begs him for a getaway ride. He obliges, but then hearing Dan’s screams of “Give it back! I need it to find the young master!” makes him stop in his tracks. Is this the girl he’s been looking for?

Flashback to thirteen years ago, in Pyongyang. Daddy Kimura comes home to his two sons—Kenji is the obedient one, while Shunji is ever the nanny’s boy. When their nanny collapses coughing up blood, Kenji coldly tosses her belongings out into the street, while Shunji races her to the hospital.

It’s then that he met Dan, who it seems was taken in by an orphanage/hospital run by nuns, hence the habit. She was called Esther then.

Shunji witnesses Esther begging for the doctor to save his nanny’s life, promising to work the rest of her life to pay for the surgery. But she gets turned down. He thanks Esther for saving Nanny’s life, but she tells him to wake up—she needs surgery to live.

He starts to cry, but she tells him to get it together and start being useful, because a person dying from lack of money shouldn’t happen. She tells him that all lives are equally precious.

That night, he sneaks into his father’s room and steals his samurai sword. Oh crap. No wonder he’s been pissed at you for thirteen years. He sells it for the surgery money, and Esther nurses Nanny back to health.

Dad comes bursting into the hospital room and beats Shunji in a fury, and soon he’s laid up in the hospital bed, casts on his limbs. Aw. But he’s totally blissed out since that just means more time with Esther. So cute. If he were a little older, he’d have been like, Worth it.

Back in the present, Dan and Shunji walk together as they catch up, Sun-hwa pouting at them from afar. He had always thought that Dan might have gone to America with the doctor, but she says she had to stay to meet someone.

He guesses, “The person who gave you that knife?” She wonders how he knows, as if anyone wouldn’t notice her clutching her preciousssss every day. He asks who it is, but gets no response.

Meanwhile Kang-to’s interrogation turns to straight-up torture. He gets strung up and whipped, as Kenji watches with a sadistic smile. Kang-to shoots daggers from his eyes, as the blood pours down his face.

Mom and Kang-san prepare for Father’s memorial, and she sighs, heartbroken that Kang-to forgot this day. Kang-san offers to go get Little Bro, since he’s probably just at Shunji’s house anyway. He waddles away happily.

Shunji gets dressed to go to the circus, chastising himself for not having gone earlier. Aw, his crush is already breaking my heart. Kang-san bursts in looking for Kang-to, and Shunji promises to stop by the police station to remind him what day it is.

Kang-san looks Shunji up and down, “You look pretty. Are you going to meet a girl?” Haha, I love that trademark line of his, any time someone else is dressed up. This time he adds, “That girl… is her butt big?” HAHAHA. Wut?

Shunji promises to send Kang-to home, and Hyung says he misses Kang-to and hasn’t seen him for days and days… “But… that girl… is her chest big too?” Pffft. Shunji ushers him out with embarrassed laughter.

Kang-to lies in a jail cell, beaten to a lifeless pulp. His partner/sidekick Abe comes running up in a panic, and at the sight of a familiar face, Kang-to scrambles to get up. He clutches the bars, pleading for Abe to get him out of here.

But Kenji’s right-hand man is standing guard, and laughs in their faces. Abe defends Kang-to, and gets beaten for his trouble. Kang-to screams for them to stop, fuming impotently as Abe gets dragged away.

Shunji rides his bike toward the police station, grinning from ear to ear, bouquet of flowers prepared for Dan. But he arrives at the station just as Abe is being thrown out on his ass. He asks in a panic what’s going on.

Inside, Kenji reads Kang-to the charges that he’s up against, and Kang-to just smirks, leaning back in his jail cell. I love that even in this scenario, Kang-to’s more confident than Kenji.

He comes up to the bars to say that they ought to take a look at something curious he found. He reaches a hand in his pocket. Pause for effect.

He describes the picture he found in the judge’s office—the one of Police Chief Kimura and Judge Choi, wearing the same outfit, with the same initial. What could it mean? How close were they? He smiles devilishly.

Kenji starts to panic and tells his minion to go in there and get it. Still with his hand in his pocket, Kang-to tells Kenji to come get it himself. “Are you scared? Afraid you might die?” Fish? Meet bait.

Kenji demands the door be opened at once, and goes in there with his gun drawn. Kang-to fidgets in his pocket long enough to turn Kenji’s gaze, and then attacks.

He disarms Kenji with a few swift moves, cornering him in a rage. The minions return with guns, but by then Kang-to has taken Kenji as hostage. Nice.

He tells them to back the hell up, pistol pressed up against Kenji’s temple. They inch backward.

At the same time, the alarm sounds and more officers run up. Shunji follows. He comes up to find Kang-to holding his hyung at gunpoint, surrounded by officers.

Shunji pleads with everyone to stop, and stands between Kang-to and the guns. He announces that he is Chief Kimura’s son, and everyone needs to put their guns down before someone gets hurt.

He urges Kang-to to put down his gun too, but Kang-to growls that this is the only way to clear his name. Both Kang-to and Kenji tell Shunji to stay out of it, which is cute even in this very tense moment.

Kenji uses his brother’s interruption to break free from Kang-to’s grasp, and on instinct, Shunji fights off the officers headed for Kang-to. He buys his friend a moment, and Kang-to screams as he launches himself into the window at full force. Damn.

He goes crashing through. He falls two stories and tumbles to the ground, and Kenji comes racing to the window with a gun at the ready. He has enough time to aim right at Kang-to while he’s still on the ground…


Kang-to looks up… just in time to see Shunji grab his brother’s hands and pull them up to the sky so he can’t shoot. The friends lock eyes for a moment, and then Kang-to runs off.

Inside, the brothers struggle and then Kenji socks his brother in the face for his interference, declaring that he has put a blade to his and Father’s throats in doing this. Shunji insists that Kang-to is a patriot—how can anyone accuse him of being on the same side as Gasital?

He asks if Father knows what Hyung is doing, but then realizes that of course he does: “You would never act without his orders. Because you are Father’s puppet!”

Kenji calls Dad and then totally tattles on Little Bro. You weasel! Don’t you guys have a bro code? Shunji gapes in disbelief, and then Kenji pointedly asks Father what they should do with Lee Kang-to. He turns the receiver to Shunji so he can hear Father say the words: “Kill him.”

He orders his officers to go after Kang-to, and then puts Shunji in handcuffs for aiding and abetting a fugitive.

Kimura Taro meets with a member of Kishokai, Woo Byung-joon, who worries that there might be someone else out there who knows of their organization. He recalls that thirteen years ago, there was a man, LEE SUN (Kang-to and Kang-san’s father), who knew of their existence but was reportedly killed by Justice Choi. But what if he wasn’t?

Kimura recalls that according to Choi, he killed Lee Sun by his own sword. Flashback shows the battle according to Choi’s account. Woo wonders if maybe someone survived that battle—if not Lee Sun himself, then someone who knew of their existence. What if this is Gaksital?

Elsewhere, a man leaps onto a roof. (We’re not told yet, but this is BAEK GUN.) He looks down at Kang-to’s mother, and then when she steps away, he somersaults down to the ground.

He’s here to pay his respects to Lee Sun. He bows down to the ground, and then disappears before Mom comes back. She notices a cup of liquor left on the table and looks around, but no one is there.

Police affairs director Kono Koji gets a call from Chief Kimura, who tells him that they’ve found evidence that Lee Kang-to is in league with Gaksital. Kono fumes, but Kimura tells him smugly that he’ll present the evidence tomorrow. Oh, with a whole night of guys running around trying to kill him in the meantime? Gee, that’s not transparent or anything.

Kono is clearly opposed to Kimura, but it looks like his hands are tied at the moment. Kono hangs up in a rage, and then Kang-to bursts through his door, bloodied and gasping for breath.

Sometime later, Kimura walks down the hall dressed in uniform. He braces himself and opens the door to Kono’s office, where Kang-to is standing by his side, back in his uniform. Nice.

Kimura and Kang-to exchange hostile looks and then Kimura sits down tensely. Kono laughs at the so-called evidence against Kang-to, while Kimura challenges Kang-to’s devotion to a nation that turned his brother into an idiot.

Kono counters with the evidence against the assassin and the police-issue gun, but Kimura already has an answer at the ready: they’ve captured him. Both Kono and Kang-to look at each other in surprise.

The assassin gets dragged in, and Kang-to recognizes him as a thug he’s put away on more than one occasion. Kenji says the guy had beef with Kang-to, and so attacked him dressed as Gaksital. Well that makes no sense at all.

But the point is that in ‘fessing up to the attempted killing, logic behind costuming be damned, the would-be assassin gets to testify that he saw it with his own two eyes—the real Gaksital, saving Kang-to’s life.

Kimura urges Kono to see the cold hard facts. He even put his own son in jail for aiding Kang-to’s escape. That just makes Kono chuckle, “Do you have a son like that? I’d like to meet him.”

So Shunji gets brought out from his cell. Kono asks why he helped Kang-to, and he eyes Dad and Hyung warily… and then answers truthfully that Kang-to is someone who gets called a traitor by his own people because of his loyalty to the new regime. That such a man would be on the same side as Gaksital makes no sense.

He says that he couldn’t stand by as Kang-to got framed. “If Lee Kang-to were to be killed by the national police simply because he is of Joseon descent, who would be loyal to such a government from that point on?”

Kang-to lets out a sigh of relief, and Kono claps, declaring his surprise that Kimura has such a respectable son. HA. Such a backhanded insult at Kenji.

Kimura asks what he plans to do, and Kono says that it’s not enough evidence to convict Kang-to. He’ll let Gaksital’s capture speak for itself. Kimura counters that he’ll have to stand by that—if Kang-to cannot capture Gaksital, it means they’re in cahoots.

That is totally illogical, but obviously, that’s the point in trying to back them into a corner. Kono agrees, and tells Kang-to to use whatever means necessary to capture Gaksital. Kang-to swears to capture him and uncover the truth behind the fake Gaksital as well. Kimura father and son sweat a little.

The search is on. The first order of business: wanted posters all over town, with Dan’s face on them. A young woman (GYE-SOON) stops to look at the flyer, eyeing the reward money, and then gasps to realize that she recognizes the face—it’s Dan.

As they do laundry, Dan tells Sun-hwa to stop pouting, pinky-swearing that she and Shunji aren’t romantically involved. Sun-hwa finally believes her and perks up.

She asks if Dan has ever gotten a good look at Gaksital’s face, but she says no—he swooshes in, drops her off, then disappears. No one ever said being Lois Lane was a good gig. Sun-hwa asks if she’s ever even said thank you, and Dan realizes she hasn’t.

Meanwhile, Kang-to tells Abe that they’ll use the wanted poster girl as bait to lure Gaksital. He’s saved her twice; he’ll surely come for her again. Urg, stop being evil! And then on cue, his phone rings. It’s Gye-soon, calling about the girl in the posters. Oh noes.

Dan takes a leisurely soak in the tub, thinking back to Gaksital’s heroic rescue and swooning all over again.

Kang-to arrives at the dormitory where the circus troop is staying, and bursts in with the wanted notice. Dong-nyun tries to warn Dan, but Kang-to finds her right away. That devilish smile of his, damn.

She runs back into the washroom and jumps out the window, hopping from roof to roof down to the ground. But she cringes as she stands up…

The yard is surrounded by cops, and they have her covered on all sides with guns. Kang-to peers down from the window and smiles. Her knife is hanging on the wall just behind him. Did he see it? Did he not? Imma go with not.

Shunji drinks alone at the club in the middle of the afternoon. Not a good sign. But you totally get a free pass, seeing has how your father and brother are EEEEEVIL. Poor buddy.

Dan is bloodied, having been strung up and tortured. What?! Lee Kang-to! Did you do this to her? Holy crap!

He saunters into the room, having charged his underlings to do the dirty work, and Abe says she won’t talk about Gaksital or Damsari. Kang-to says of course she won’t, but that’s okay, since Gaksital won’t leave her be. He’ll come charging in to save her.

Dan gets fired up at that, realizing that she’s being used as bait. She spits in his eye. Again. Man, I love how feisty she is.

He wipes the spit from his face with a sigh and then grabs her by the throat, leaning in close. He glares with that menacing smile. Voice trembling, “Why? Are you afraid? Because Gaksital might get caught? Are you two in love?

He notes her reaction. He sneers, “Bingo,” and orders her hauled outside.

He then literally has her marched through the streets in a big procession, to draw attention. His men kick out street vendors and take over a town square, and they place her in the center, with snipers at the ready from every side.

The townspeople gather, and Kang-san appears in the crowd, distracted by his pinwheel.

From atop his horse, Kang-to charges Dan with all of her crimes against the government.

And then Gaksital appears on a rooftop. Woot! He takes out one sniper, and then another.

All this goes unnoticed by Kang-to, who declares that everyone should witness what happens to traitors, and orders Dan to be executed. The firing squad lines up. He orders them to raise their guns.

Dan closes her eyes and braces herself. Kang-to pauses between each order, waiting for Gaksital to show himself. He looks up, and then sees that none of his snipers are at their positions. One of them comes tumbling down from the roof.

They look back and forth, and then Gaksital comes leaping down from a rooftop behind them. So badass. The crowd cheers.

He draws them away from the square. Kang-to orders Abe to guard Dan and takes off after him, though a townsperson makes sure to throw obstacles in his path.

Gaksital loops back around, and then comes bounding up on his horse, kicking Abe away easily, and swooping Dan onto his horse.

Kang-to comes running after them, and as the officers charge, the townspeople rush to pull their carts in the way. I just love the people rallying to Gaksital’s defense.

Kang-to leaps over the carts and shoots furiously at Gaksital and Dan, but they manage to ride away unscathed. Kang-to lets out a guttural screeeeeeam of frustration. How can it be so satisfying to watch the hero fail?

Gaksital drops Dan off again in the woods, and this time she grabs his arm when he turns to go. She thanks him and asks why time and again, he puts himself in danger to save her.

She tells him her name and asks for his, but he says nothing. He pulls his arm out of her grasp, letting his fingers touch hers for just a moment.

And then he rides off.

Kang-to gets torn a new one for letting Gaksital slip through his fingers yet again. Now even Kono asks if he’s really not in league with him. Kang-to swears that he’s not and asks for one more chance.

Gaksital stops at a tree on top of a hill. He raises a hand to his mask, and pulls it from his face…

It’s Kang-san, wearing a grave expression on his face.

Kang-to: “Without fail, I will capture Gaksital by my own hand!”


Man, I SO LOVE that we start the series with the hero as the villain. So good. So good. I mean, even when I spend half the episode on his side when he’s framed, I’m back to hating him when he ruthlessly tortures Dan and uses her to catch Gaksital. I love you! No, I hate you with the fire of a thousand suns! Aaaaaaah! Kang-to really pushes that fine line an anti-hero can walk before we lose all faith in him completely, which sets up one really, really satisfying character arc.

I actually didn’t expect the Hyung-as-Gaksital vs. Kang-to war to play out as a long-term story arc (I thought we’d get a cursory battle and then a quick dramatic reversal) but I’m so excited to see that the story is taking its time with Kang-to’s transformation. It’s all the more riveting to watch him be the bad guy, knowing that he’s fighting against the one person he loves unconditionally. It doesn’t get any better than pitting brother against brother, with Kang-to so squarely in the dark, and yet so sure that he’s in the right.

Now that Kang-san has been revealed as Gaksital, it raises a mountain of questions. By the by, how hardcore is it that the entire Village Idiot persona is a cover for being a superhero? That’s no Clark Kenting with a pair of damned glasses, I’ll tell you that. It’s both epically heroic and yet also deeply hurtful, since Kang-to has no idea that his brother is actually not brain-damaged at all. His entire motivation for letting people call him a traitor is to provide for his family and fix Hyung! Waaaah. I know that Gaksital lives for a higher purpose, but what of the family and the little brother in the wake of it all? You can see why Kang-to chose to live differently from his father, who did the same and sacrificed his life for the cause… leaving them abandoned.

Is Gaksital a figure created by the movement and fulfilled by many (like Damsari and Baek Gun)? Or is Kang-san Gaksital alone? Is he doing this on Father’s orders? Is Father still alive? (Because seriously, if Hyung can dupe his family into thinking he’s an idiot, how hard would it be for Father to let them think he’s dead?) Is it actually Kang-san who gave Dan the knife? I think it’s Kang-to anyway, but clearly Kang-san has some connection to her, if he keeps saving her time and again. Will Kang-to change his tune when faced with the truth, or will each brother stand his ground and shed the other’s blood??

GAH. I love that this show leaves me with more questions than answers. I just want MOAR. Is it too early to ask for a fifty-episode extension?


159 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Noonajumma

    I am SO in for this ride. Thanks for the recap!

  2. c_gunawan541

    I’m so so pleasantly surprised by how far the writers made Kang To such a bad guy to even torture Mok Dan, our female lead. Boy, he’s gonna regret it in the future.
    They got a really interesting dynamic, definitely not romantic yet but i find myself finding Shunji’s crush on Mok Dan super cute.

    • 2.1 July

      I too am surprised with the level of complexity Kang To’s character is given. Like girlfriday, I find myself rooting for him one moment and cursing him the next. Torturing Dan?! Really? I mean I kind of understand since he sees her as been involved with the enemy, essentially a terrorist, but damn. Yet at the same time, this will all make his redeeming moments even more powerful.

      I already feel bad for Shunji. He is so cute and his crush on Dan is adorable. I hope he doesn’t end up dying, but I forsee a sacrifice in the future, either to save corrupt Dad or best-friend-soon-to-be-enemy Kang To (because isn’t that how it usually ends with the pitiful male second lead in a historical drama?)

    • 2.2 Jessica

      Was it just me or did Dan’s “injuries” not match with her blood?

      I mean, with the amount of blood we see, it seems like she should have had more bruises!

      • 2.2.1 July

        Nope, I noticed that too. I thought where are the cuts and bruises? I had a similar reaction to when Kang To was beaten to a pulp by Shinju’s brother. How he was still able to get up and run around without so much as a limp here and there, I just don’t know. But I just suspend belief in those type of scenes just like I do with Hollywood movies that have the leads get up like nothing after a beat down while, for the most part, the bad guy goes down with one hit.

        • kyla

          Just is what i’m thinking. How can Kang To still stand up and fight with all the beatings he got. The beatings he got could make someone cripple or paralyze for life or even die but I’m quite surprised that Kang To only got tiny bruises and his face and body not swollen at all. And what about those high jumps their doing as if they have supernatural powers to jump without having no injuries at all.

          I really want to like this drama but this is so unrealistic and quite impossible so I don’t know if I’ll continue to watch this.

          • far

            erm, well….he does get beaten up a lot on his body. and after that beat-up scene, he wears long sleeves only. so we didnt get to see his beaten up body, all the bruises and cuts n all.

            also, he needs to escape when he attempts to lure Kenji into the cell. he cant be showing how painful he is when it’s his only chance of escape. and his adrenaline must have been high at the moment, which keeps his mind away from the pain and to focus on the main task at hand: ESCAPE.

            he must also have endured a lot of beating. a man’s pride is to not show their weakness. pity if u didnt continue to watch this drama just coz of this simple issue.

    • 2.3 Vira

      Uri female lead is hurt by the male actor.
      It really remains me so much with what happen to Hang Ah. When Jae Ha shoots her, and then she faints. How hurting it is!

      Kang To should feel the same later. When he finally becomes a good guy he will keep reminding not to let anyone to hurt Mok Dan anymore.

  3. Yushi

    I’m definitely going to check this out this weekend. I dont’ think Dan and Kangto should have a love line ’cause their relationship is pretty messed up. > <

    • 3.1 Yannie

      lol I know what you mean. I hope they change the love lines up too. Give us something totally out of left field.

    • 3.2 missjb

      Until this episode, yes I agree with u….
      Their relationship is pretty mess up… I don’t know How the writers handle their relationship in the future, and bring them to end up together

  4. Sunshine

    whoa i knew the village idiot was not idiot….cant wait for the next ep!

  5. Hagar

    Can you guys answer me!!
    Will you recap AGD or not??????????? coz I really liked your first recap.

    • 5.1 birdscout

      Tsk, tsk. Someone, and by someone I mean Hagar, needs to learn some manners.

      • 5.1.1 Hagar

        omg I don’t even think that this was “manner-less” so I don’t understand your comment…
        I just need to know if they will recap the drama or not what’s so wrong about that?!!!

        • 9to5

          maybe you are just excited, but saying “Can you guys answer me?? Will you recap AGD or not?????????? .. the tone of your comment comes off as really demanding, instead of just appreciative of the fact we get to read Dramabeans recaps because of the recappers hard work. i believe that is what Birdscout means, since there are more respectful ways to word your request.

        • birdscout


          Read the FAQ section and you will find your answer.

      • 5.1.2 jaime

        I understand your message. But still, you sound pretty passive aggressive and manner less yourself.

  6. missjb

    I’m a sucker for anti-hero story when it comes to dark / action / thriller drama… This setup will add more layer to the story if the writers capable of handle it with great ingredients. Bring it on, DRAMA!

  7. Yannie

    OMG perfection at it’s BEST!!! This is such a nice reprieve from the typical kdramas that we so often see.

  8. whimsyful

    I personally am not a fan of the way the action scenes are shot (don’t like slo-mo), but other than that? SO IN.

    I was also surprised Kang-to actually tortured Dan, though it makes sense narrative-wise. Since the romance is inevitable, I really hope he falls for her first.

    But if they do survive and have a happy ending *fingers crossed* , can you imagine the stories they’d tell the kids? “The first few times your mother and I met, she tried to stab me, kicked me in the crotch and spat me in the face, and I hunted her down, had her tortured and almost executed…”

    • 8.1 c_gunawan541

      I LOLed at the story they tell their kids part…. HAHAHAHA
      That just made my day.. i guess their kids will have a confused look in their face.

    • 8.2 ilikemangos

      literally LOLed at this.
      ah, it would take a lifetime to tell their stories.
      I’m already rooting for this couple, despite them being total enemies atm.

  9. crazedlu

    OH. MY. GOSH. I. LOOOOVE THE PREMIIIISSSEE! Gotta tune in! Can’t wait for him to switch sides. Muahahahahhah.

  10. 10 jollyroger

    Damn I’m hooked.

  11. 11 trixicopper

    I will take an anti hero over some generic perfect white bread hero any day of the week and twice on Sunday!

    Bring it show! 🙂 Thanks GF!

    • 11.1 megels7719

      I totally agree with you! I’m so excited that i’m watching a drama were i love then hate then love the male lead!

  12. 12 JenJen

    wah~ loving it 🙂

  13. 13 chichiri

    After watching both episodes, I must say.. I can’t wait for the coming 1n2d recap. I need to see Joo-won aegyo-ing in exchange for all his evil in this drama!

    • 13.1 Faye

      I have to admit that I’m looking forward to that. Evil Joo-won is so different from Aegyo Joo-won. He’s so child-like in 1n2d that it’s kinda hard to believe he’s so bad ass in Bridal Mask.

      • 13.1.1 Alysanne

        Now that you mention it, it’s gonna be fun to find out what the other 1N2D boys think of Gaksital. Some of them mentioned watching Tae-woong in Equator Man before. It’s great to see them being supportive of each other’s projects. And I can’t wait for the Gaksital-related captions that the crew will eventually have to come up with whenever they refer to Joo-won. LOL

  14. 14 kiongna

    WOW, I’m so in…. thanks again dear GF !

  15. 15 Ivoire

    Thank you, girlfriday!

  16. 16 Brenda

    This show is so intense . . .

    I LOVE IT!!!
    I love Joo Won. No matter which project he chooses, he continually shows growth as an actor.
    Can’t wait for the next episode!!

  17. 17 Anvesha

    I wonder why Hyung never told Kang-to about his principles.. I think somewhere he feels guilty that Kang-to became like that because of him. He is essentially in the wrong side and fighting his Hyung in a misguided goal to cure that said Hyung… Isn’t he going to feel betrayed?

    I’m so damn curious about his transformation!!

    The romantic pairings are also interesting.. So Dan (may be) likes Hyung.. which I find a little weird but it’s more admiration than anything. I’m alps pretty sure the little boy was Kang-to and not Kang-San.

  18. 18 panshel

    That good, huh? I haven’t watched episode 2, yet, but I’m loving the badassery in episode 1. I wonder exactly how many Gaksitals exist. Can’t just be Kang San, can it?

  19. 19 TiaC

    Already this drama is everything I wanted City Hunter to be last year that it never quite lived up to. I like the leading lady more (Na Na could be kick-ass sometimes, but others she was a little too oblivious to danger, and oftentimes fell into the quietly suffering yet perky heroine cliche.) Dan is sweet, yet more assertive and take charge when she needs to be. And the history of the period makes it more believable that such a hero would arise.

    • 19.1 missjb

      So true.. while I loved City Hunter to bits, It still didn’t lived up my expectation that I hope for an action / thriller genre… in Bridal mask, so far they have build up the conflict, the complexity pretty well that I’m looking for a genre like this.. I hope they will keep the quality high..

      I trust the director / writers combo..

      • 19.1.1 Lazy Goose

        I know, right? I wasn’t able to get pass City Hunter’s 4th episode and had to pass forward a lot in the beginning. But THIS drama, oh man. It’s sweeping and addictive! I barely noticed 2 hours have passed. Can Wednesday be here faster?

    • 19.2 Pitch

      I´m already a lot more into this than I ever was into City Hunter. SO MANY LAYERS, GAH!

  20. 20 iDK

    Kang-to being an anti-hero is saving this show. I love that he’s not just being a villain: he’s a big bad with freaking minions to do his business.

    I’m so excited to see how his arc goes, and for Shunji’s too. <3

  21. 21 Arhazivory

    How do I know I’ve fallen in love with this show?
    – I use precious battery life while on a road trip to see if the recaps out.
    – I got shivers looking at the headline pic (real good choice GF)
    – I don’t want to spoil so I barely skim through the recap and read the comments

    From the extended preview, I already knew that hyung was Gaksital. It’s going to hurt like he’ll when our hero figures it out. I still can’t help but be tickled at a villain becoming a hero. He’s doesn’t even hesitate to torture a woman…*shivers* what kinda hero is this???!

    • 21.1 ilikemangos

      Yeah. i can just imagine the epic moment when kang to realizes that his brother was gaksital this whole time… and never brain-dead.
      like girlfriday said, part of the reason he’s working so hard is to help “cure” his older brother.
      betrayal will hit him like a ton of bricks.
      It’s gonna be a rough moment, but i am so looking forward to the dramatic reversals….
      Why do i feel like someone important is gonna die?!

      • 21.1.1 Lazy Goose

        I am speculating that the hyung will die and joo won’s character will take over his hyung’s role as gaksital while remaining “loyal” to the imperialists on the outside. Nobody will know about this so the heroine would still think gaksital as the one who saved her 3 times and heroic and all that. She will continue to treat him like always. Joo won’s character will fall for her through this interaction.

  22. 22 Mena

    Hahahahaha and no GF its not too early, it just gives the production team more time to start writing the episodes and we get more of a great story. Great story so far.

  23. 23 JoAnne

    This show. Is so GOOD. It’s gorgeous, it’s exciting, it’s funny, it’s gonna be heartbreaking…oh, I’m so happy. *does the Joannie dance*

    *remembers that the curtains are open and blushes*

  24. 24 wanderlust

    so cute that you and jb always love the same shows.

    this is shaping up to be so angsty i dont think i can handle it ><

    ps girlfriday, any chance youd weigh in for an episode of queen inhyuns man? the more the merrier!!!

    ..not that im obsessed or anything.

  25. 25 angie602

    Thanks for the recaps!

    Well, I am not surprised that Kang-san is Gaksital. BUT, what will happen if Kang-to will to know about it in the future? He turned into a traitor in everyone else’s eyes so as to earn money to treat Hyung. Only to find that Hyung doesn’t need any treatment in the first place. Poor Kang-to. He doesn’t have to be a ‘traitor’ in the first place at all.
    So, I’m super interested as to how the writers are going to continue with this. 🙂

    Bridal Mask, FIGHTING!

  26. 26 Beng-Beng

    hahaha, 50 episodes extension? and half of it as Kang-to continues being a villain. He is such a fine actor, and an intelligent one coz he knows how to chose roles, love it!

  27. 27 shl

    Thank you! This is shaping up to be another great show. Ii wish there wasn’t a love line to complicate matters (i am assuming there will be one) as there’s so much going on here already!

  28. 28 Rovi

    Oh my~!!! I just knew from instinct from Ep.1 (pseudo-)mentally-challenged Kang-san is Gakshital after all…ergo, the saving incident…

  29. 29 Stardust

    LOOOOOVE!! Thank you girlfriday! =D It tickles me that Joo won is such a serious kickass character here and his real self ( or the 1N2D variety self ) is quite goofy hehehe Looking forward to mooore!

  30. 30 bee

    thanks!! really liking this drama and also GHOST!! surprisingly REALLYg good too. my wed/thurs are gonna be really busy 🙂

  31. 31 lenrasoon

    omg your’re right i was totally rooting for Kang To at the beginning then went to hate him again when he started searching and torturing Dan, but yeah i like the fact that he’s a complex character and i’m curious to see how will be his transition as the next Gaksital (i’m sure his hyung will die eventually and my heart’s already breaking).

    Also about Shunji i have a feeling that his character will change greatly just like Kang To but i really hope they continue to be friends.

    anyway i wasn’t surprise with the revelation about who was Gaksital but like GF i wondered if there are more than one person using the mask.

    I can’t wait to watch the next episode 🙂

    Thank you for the recaps.

  32. 32 yammy

    i’m purely speculating, but i don’t think Kang-to gets together with Dan. I watched some pre-broadcast interviews of the drama and the actors/actresses, and kang-to was paired off with another lady (chae hong joo, who hasn’t come out yet) during the post shooting of the drama. Idk how accurate this is though…I’m personally wanting Kang-to to get together with Dan, because they look amazing together (and have a good chemistry, all that glaring and spitting!). although, I’m a bit queasy about the fact that the actress playing Dan is only a 93er and joo won is a 87er…

    • 32.1 yammy

      nvm, i just did more research, and it seems like kang-to and Dan do get together? maybe not. ahahah oh drama, you are already confusing me 😀

      btw, don’t read the character profiles posted on the official drama site in KBS (or the translations) if you don’t want to be spoiled…>.>

  33. 33 Yeng

    wow,I also have not seen a movie that made me develop this love-hate relationship with the male lead so well. There are too much going on with him. I hope the plot could keep on doing this complex unwinding with this great setup…really am surprised by this! The male lead is also doing a fantastic job portraying the villain. He is just so perfect for this. I have seen him once in Baker King, and knew he would make the best villain with those evil glare. SO SO SO in LOVE with this!

  34. 34 Meow

    Thanks for the recap..wow amazing episode and truly awesome action.. This summer surely is going all action packed for me here…

  35. 35 vere

    It’s pretty good so far. My only qualms are that the action scenes are fairly cheesy and Joo Won tends to scream/shout everything, which makes it awkward to watch him sometimes. It seems like he hasn’t eased into the role yet. Also, his brother is adorable, even if it is an act.

    • 35.1 ilikemangos

      Yeah. I’m definitely looking forward to the future when kang to begins his disguise as gaksital. Definitely less yelling, more calm/composed badassery.
      He’s got a long way.
      I have faith he’ll ease into his role. Who else is super excited when our main couple beings to fall in love?! swoon…
      I always have to awww when his older brother is acting. It’s still so cute, despite the whole facade.

    • 35.2 Lazy Goose

      I feel the opposite. I think the screaming and yelling are intense and in line with the character. He’s not supposed to be a calm and collect badass. And those devilish glares? Dark and smexy!

  36. 36 Rovi

    But you know, seeing Lee Sun (Kang-san & Kang-to’s father)’s memorial photo, I can’t help but think, did they have connections with royalty? I mean:
    -the clan name’s Lee
    -Lee Sun is wearing Imperial Joseon attire (the Empire was proclaimed 1897)

    My theory postulates that they may be related to the royal-turned-imperial Jeonju Yi clan through an illegitemate Prince (Gun before 1897, Chinwang after the 1897) as an ancestor, since sons of Princes (legitimate (Daegun) or illegitimate) do not necessarily inherit their father’s titles, and just automatically become Princes (just Gun), and that their line had become so obscure or whatever; but their father luckily became a royal government official, since Princes can also take up a post…

  37. 37 Rashell

    Yay, it looks like new drama crack for me. Seriously this one looks to be awesome if the first two episodes are any indication. Thanks for the re-cap.

  38. 38 Yumi

    I’mthinking Kang-san put on the village idiot persona to protect himself from the villains knowing that whatever information they killed his father to protect, he now has.

  39. 39 Rita (Tarits)

    First episode alone, I knew I was going to like the drama. It has the looks of being an epic drama. It reminded me a lot of the movie “Ip Man”. Joo Won is brilliant. I am excited to watch all the episodes of this drama.

  40. 40 Emily

    Ah, this show is amazing!
    I’ve been anticipating it so much for so long, that I was worried it wouldn’t meet my high expectations, but it has in fact surpassed them.
    Of course it has some minor flaws, but damn if this isn’t one of the most flawless (so far) dramas to come out in recent years.
    To be honest, when I first read about the drama, I thought Joo Won/Kang To would be Gaksital, because he’s the main lead. Yet the plot synopsis/character profiles say he will be Gaksital.
    I’m beginning to think that somewhere in the middle, Kang-san will need to die in order for Kang-to to take over as Gaksital, ah damn!

  41. 41 bishbash

    i can’t believe how kickass-y good this drama is! and it’s just the first two eps! OMG OMG OMG.

    i had an inkling that kang-san is gaksital, simply based on the hair, but i didn’t think it really IS kang-san.

    now i wonder what goes on in kang-san’s head, ya know, working against little bro like that.

    good bromances are a definite plus.

  42. 42 Faye

    I wish there was a like button for sentence. “Like” for the fifty episode extension idea!

  43. 43 neemcha

    if kang san is not the village idiot then he will be a dead idiot for being a traitor…. ah, so complicated.
    i hope kang to will not hate his brother when he finds out.
    and i sure hope that kang to doesn’t kill his brother… it’s where it seems this drama is heading to… Loving the actors and the action.

  44. 44 reglest

    I love the pace of this drama, and the cinematography seem great too.

    I think I’m in for this one!
    but oh…Hyung as Gaksital, I’m sorry i can recognize and guess it’s you since first…I shouldn’t have stare the pic for too long! *blame self*

    • 44.1 reglest

      Just realize the first one was written by JB and the 2nd is GF…this means..your collaboration?!!

      Hooo yeaaa~ so yeah!!

  45. 45 L-V

    Love Joo Won eyes…^^

    • 45.1 shikyungfaith

      BINGO! lol

    • 45.2 ilikemangos

      Yup. ever since i first saw him in baker king i knew this guy was one of those actors that would have me be completely compelled whenever he emotes with his eyes.
      I always love that.

      • 45.2.1 Lazy Goose

        Yes! This is the first time I’ve seen Joo Won in anything and omg, his eyes are just so urg. They’re captivating.

  46. 46 queenjade

    OMG girlfriday. I friggin LOVE your recaps! <3
    always so insightful and spot on!!! 😀 😀 😀

  47. 47 Jasmine

    OMGGGGGGGGG. Can this drama even get more epic? I got all bipolar this episode, like gf, cursing Joo Won one second, sympathesizing him the next. And it definetely does not help that when he’s being evil, he has to be all cute about it. I mean when he captured Dan I was so pissed off, then that smile came and melted me haha.

    BTW we should come up with a name for ourselves..you know the ones that are crazy for some Bridal Mask. I remember in the K2H craze we called ourselves Hearties. Any suggestions?

    • 47.1 Quiescent

      the brides XD

      • 47.1.1 ilikemangos

        +1 buahahahha.

        • shikyungfaith

          +1 LOL. The BRIDES it is. Hi Brides LOL!!!

    • 47.2 ilikemangos

      I love how i see some of you hearties here. makes me sho happy. =) Miss you guys! Glad you’re enjoying this show as much as i am so far!

  48. 48 lolly

    stunned at choi ji woo’s brother in stairway to heaven. so cool to have le brother actually all normal and badass, the circumstances of all these is the real devil.

  49. 49 sujeans

    I know where this is going…. here’s my theory as to what will happen…. *SKIP AHEAD IF YOU”D LIKE*

    Kang-to will capture Gaksital and eventually find out that it’s his brother. So I think Kang-san will eventually get really hurt, die, or be captured, and kang-to will become the “new” gaksital in order to live on his brothers wishes/ambitions or to clear his brother’s name.

  50. 50 Noelle

    Damn! And to think I wasn’t gonna watch this. How many episodes is this? I would dedicate myself to 100 if it stays this awesome. I found my new drama crack! Woot!

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