Drama Recaps
Gaksital: Episode 10
by | June 28, 2012 | 95 Comments

Woot, an episode packed with payoffs and some nice momentum for the romance, which finally starts to gain some traction when Kang-to gets reassigned as Mok Dan’s watchdog. I think it’s time she yanks on that invisible leash and gives Kang-to a little payback. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of her hating him while loving his alter ego.


Gaksital OST – 4men “I Couldn’t Do It” [ Download ]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


We backtrack a little, to Shunji’s initiation into super-secret society Kishokai. Dad sits by with a smile, while Rie conducts the ceremony from behind a screen.

She tells Shunji that he must pledge his allegiance with his life, and to that end, he must sign “ki” in his own blood. What, no hazing, no secret handshake? You people need to up your secret ritual game.

So by the time Shunji is leading the meeting where he declares that he will kill Gaksital with his own hands, he’s already a shiny new member of the Bad News Bears.

He assigns new Gaksital-related assignments to everyone, and puts Kang-to and Abe on circus watch, which is blatantly like putting your head detective on the traffic beat.

Kang-to doesn’t seem to like that, judging from the WTF-eyebrows that he’s sporting today. He follows Shunji into his office and apologizes for yesterday—arresting Kimura was just about following orders, nothing personal.

But Shunji returns the gesture with an icy cold stare. He tells Kang-to not to come into this office whenever he pleases. Surprised, Kang-to tries to soften the tension, “Shunji…”

But he’s not having any of that bros-are-thicker-than-blood, not anymore, and challenges Kang-to not to cross the professional line: he’s the boss and Kang-to should keep personal feelings aside.

Kang-to bows respectfully and assures him that he won’t be crossing that line anymore, but counters that Shunji should keep personal feelings aside too, and not reassign detectives off Gaksital cases because of them. Touché.

But Shunji has made up his mind, and Kang-to is to stay on circus watch 24 hours a day. Kang-to gets the message loud and clear: Don’t even bother coming into the office. He storms out.

He sends Abe ahead of him and takes a detour to shine his shoes and check in with Baek Gun. Kang-to sighs that Shunji’s going all commando on Gaksital, “but he’s the only friend I have.” That… just makes my heart bleed, for the both of you.

Baek Gun worries and asks if he’ll be okay going up against his only friend, and Kang-to just says resignedly, “I started it. I have to finish it.” At the same time, Shunji is reporting to Dad and saying the same about Gaksital: that he started it and has to finish it himself.

Kimura asks what the plan is to catch Gaksital, and Shunji says they’ve always been chasing his tail, so it’s inevitable that they’d always lose him. But if they set up someone to become a target for Gaksital, then they’ll be ahead of him for the first time.

Shunji says that bank president Jo is the perfect bait. He was caught once for cheating Koreans out of their money, but let go. If he were to cheat them yet again, Gaksital would surely seek revenge and kill Jo. And they’ll be ready when he does.

Oh man, this is why Shunji is scarier than Kenji – he’s got the brains. He asks Dad about Jo’s latest scheme, to wipe out the Korean marketplace so that Kishokai Chairman Ueno can raise up a giant mall there.

On the ONE tiny stretch of land where Koreans are allowed to earn their measly living?? Gah, my blood pressure’s skyrocketing.

Jo puts on a disguise, thinking it’ll keep him safe, and then phase one of his plan begins. The marketplace people get slapped with fines for receiving stolen goods–the money that Gaksital took from Kimura and gave to the people.

Then phase two: Jo sets up shop as a nice new loan shark, here to give the people loans in these troubled times. I hope you get staked. Many times.

Meanwhile Abe gives himself a little pep talk before facing the circus folk, and announces with a very shaky voice that he and Kang-to will be taking responsibility for the circus troop from here on out.

Dong-nyun steps up to coo that the troop’s got an awful lot of pretty single girls – how are the two of them going to take responsibility for them all? Hee. Abe stammers that that’s not the kind of responsibility he meant, and I love Abe, but I’m seriously wondering how he ever passed the police exam.

And then Shin Nan-da asks how that bite on his leg is, clucking that the child was recently bit by a rabid dog… he’s not displaying any symptoms, is he? This whole thing cracks me up, mostly because Abe falls for it hook, line and sinker.

Before they know it, he’s puling down his pants in a panic to have them look at the bite. He falls flat on his face, with his pants down. Literally. While this is for their amusement, it’s also a diversion to give Mok Dan and Boss Jo a chance to sneak away.

They call Damsari, but get no answer, and worry that he’s already on his way to see them. His mustache disguise might fool anyone else (me included, heh), but not Kang-to, the man who put him away.

Boss Jo decides to try and cut him off, but Mok Dan says it’ll be more noticeable if the boss isn’t around, so she’ll go instead. Little do you know that Kang-to would notice your absence more than anyone’s.

She packs a bundle of laundry as her cover and heads down the mountain road… and right into Kang-to’s path. So much for stealth, eh? He asks where she’s running off to, and she says in her most hateful tone that it’s her turn to do laundry, and keeps walking.

He snatches the bundle out of her hand and grabs her by the wrist, reminding her that it’s now his job to stick by her side 24 hours a day. Is that… a smile on your face? She of course reads it as a cat-put-on-mouse-duty kind of smile, but we know it’s real. Okay, that’s cute.

She grabs the bundle and pulls away, and he runs after her like a little boy. She runs, he runs; she walks, he walks. I think I’m going to like this new assignment of his.

They get to the pension and the manager is hilariously taken aback to see Mok Dan walk in with Kang-to, and all it takes is one silent mouth-snarl from Kang-to to make the man nearly pee his pants. Sometimes, Evil Kang-to is funny.

She’s really here to try and send a message to her father via the men posing as soldiers, but they’re out, so she asks the manager to tell her if they return.

Kang-to watches Mok Dan do laundry with a smile, and then notices her knife. (The last time he saw it, he lost it at the bottom of the river, so he’d be surprised to see it back in her possession.)

The memories of Boon-yi bring tears to his eyes, and Mok Dan nervously registers his gaze and turns to look at him, completely thrown by the strangeness of his intense look.

It’s just a split second, and then he recovers by sniping at her to wash faster, which sets the world back on its axis. But only for a moment, because then he gets annoyed that she’s washing one article of clothing at a time, and steps in to wash them for her.

She stares at him, totally confused. I find his tiny acts of sweetness cute, even though obviously, not going to make up for the massive amounts of evil on his rap sheet.

At the Angel Club, Reporter Park declares that he’s going to abide by his journalistic integrity (When did he get some of that?) and report the truth about Gaksital being alive. Tasha gets a message from a man, and she opens the letter to find it completely blank. She asks to meet him in the VIP room, and walks in to find… Damsari? Whoa, suddenly very interested in Tasha. Is she a spy for the Independence?

Apparently she’s been waiting a long time for the blank-page message to arrive, and gives him a package from someone named Yang Baek. It’s a fancy cane, but he opens it to find papers wrapped inside: police station blueprints. The plot thickens.

He also asks after Kang-to and whether or not he still frequents the place. Curious.

Kang-to watches Mok Dan hang the laundry out to dry, and the way he keeps smiling at her, he’s gonna blow his cover in no time.

She keeps looking at him like he’s a freakshow, which I honestly would too, given the strangeness of the man she most hates, going googly-eyed at her.

Suddenly they’re interrupted by Shunji, who stomps up to Mok Dan full of purpose… and then yells at Kang-to to watch her ’round the clock if they’re going to capture Gaksital. Um, did you come all the way over here just to yell that at her? Do you cops have some kind of evil outburst per diem quota to fulfill or something?

Mok Dan’s eyes fill with hurt tears, and Kang-to notes the sadness and tension between them, and it strikes a nerve.

Shunji storms off and gets back in his car, and then watches Mok Dan from the distance, his face changing to the sweet Shunji who’s still in love with her. She sees him looking back at her, and quickly wipes away the tears.

Kang-to can do nothing but watch, her tears for another man just stabbing him in the heart.

She runs inside to tell the manager that she has to be somewhere by sunset, and Kang-to overhears her. At the same time, Damsari’s accomplice trio walks in. Thinking quickly, Mok Dan yells at Kang-to, asking if he’s going to keep watching her 24 hours a day.

The men give a little nod that they understand and keep walking past… but Kang-to calls out for them to stop. Oh no. I thought her shouting was a little obvious. Did she give herself away?

But she doesn’t give him time to find out, and takes off running. Oh, because you know he has to follow? Nice. He does, and then decides to just let her go.

He heads to his tree and changes into Gaksital. Okay, I can’t be the only one thinking this, but where does he find the time to shampoo his hair between every costume change? I suppose his superhero costume isn’t as time-consuming as squeezing into tights and then underwear or anything, but it’s definitely a mystery. What, these questions plague me, okay?

Mok Dan runs to her spot to wait for Gaksital and sees her message still hanging from the tree, disappointed that he didn’t read it. But he surprises her by galloping up, just in time.

They finally stand face-to-face, well face-to-mask, and she asks if he’s okay and not hurt. She thanks him for being alive, and says that she scoured the whole river looking for him, afraid that she would never be able to thank him for saving her life over and over.

She takes out her knife and tells him that’s where she found it, and now she knows who he is. He starts to turn away from her, but she stops him and says that it doesn’t matter to her whether he’s the young master or not.

Mok Dan: The Joseon people, and I… because of you, because of Gaksital… we find the strength to keep on living. Thank you.

Tears fall from her eyes. She tells him that her father is like him, fighting for their people, and wants desperately to meet him, just once. She gives him instructions to leave a note for Choi Tae-gon at his hotel, for when and where to meet.

He leaps onto his horse (still so cool) and she pleads with him to help her father just once. He rides away.

Nightfall at Gaksital’s hideaway. Baek Gun comes in to find Kang-to just sitting numbly, not having touched his food. I love this. I really wish we could see more of Kang-to’s inner turmoil, because suddenly being thanked as a hero for the people, well that’s gotta spin him around.

Meanwhile, Damsari and associates wait for contact, but wonder if Mok Dan even managed to get away from Kang-to long enough to get the message to Gaksital, let alone whether Gaksital would be willing to help them.

They wonder if they need to take care of Kang-to… but the phone rings and Mok Dan (under a sleeping Abe’s watch, heh) tells Dad that she got the message to Gaksital. They breathe a sigh of relief.

Damsari looks over the police station blueprints and lays out the plan—if Gaksital can keep the cops distracted, they can sneak into the armory and get what they need…

The plan is to set off an explosion during the big anniversary event to celebrate the colonization (and the establishment of the government general, hence the statue of Wada for the occasion). And bombs? Whoa. Talk about upping the stakes.

Kang-to is still sitting in the same spot late into the night, as he ponders Mok Dan’s request to meet Damsari. He sighs, not knowing what he should do.

Kimura reports to Rie about the plan to take over the Korean marketplace, with only a few last holdouts remaining. You mean the last few people you didn’t manage to bankrupt? She’s mighty pleased that both things are within grasp—taking over the market, and killing Gaksital.

They’re interrupted by a phone call from Chairman Ueno, and Rie excitedly tells him about the marketplace. But contrary to expectation, he blows up at her for losing sight of her mission. She’s provided zero results since she’s been in Kyungsung, and she’s still playing hide and seek with Gaksital.

Ueno warns her that if she does not succeed in this mission, she will have to go back to being Chae Hong-joo. That sends shivers down her spine, and she firmly replies, “Until the day I die, no even if I die and become bone dust, I am your daughter, Ueno Rie.”

Kimura watches all this with a curious eye. Ueno smiles to hear her answer, and his minion asks if he needed to scare Rie like that. Ueno chuckles and says that in order to control a person’s heart, one must grab hold of their weakness. And Rie’s weakness is her Korean heritage.

Bank-president-turned-loan-shark Jo gives loans left and right with favorable interest rates… the catch of course being that the collateral for said loan is the deed to each shopkeeper’s shop.

But with no options left, they sign the contracts and hand over their deeds, and walk out with bundles of cash. Jo just sits back and crosses off each shop on the map, one by one.

Suddenly, a man covering his face with a large hat gets up from his seat in the waiting area and snatches the map out of Jo’s hand. He looks up, startled, and then jumps again to find Kang-to smiling back at him.

Kang-to wonders what he’s doing with all these Joseon people coming in and out of here all day, and then decides he feels an itch to call Kimura and tell him about their secret meeting if he doesn’t start talking.

Jo quickly changes his mind and whispers the scheme into Kang-to’s ear. His face grows dark. Can we get to the stabby part now?

The problem is, Shunji’s already got his eye on Jo as Gaksital’s next target, and has the place surrounded. He sees Kang-to walk out, and we think he’s in the clear with that big hat, but a near-collision with a car sends his face right into Shunji’s line of sight. Damn.

Shunji drives up, fuming, and they move elsewhere to talk. He demands to know what Kang-to was doing there dressed like that, instead of watching Mok Dan. Kang-to scoffs at being put on sentry duty and says that Gaksital was HIS case.

I like this argument because it’s most consistent with Past Kang-to – that everyone chased Damsari for years, but Kang-to caught him in months, and he’s been on Gaksital’s trail longer than anyone.

He asks if Shunji really thinks that he, a cop for all of a week, can do a better job catching Gaksital. Shunji agrees that he thought Kang-to would be his ace in the hole when it came to catching him.

That is, until he realized that Kang-to was Kono’s right hand, and that they are in league against his father. He says he finally understands now why Kenji accused him of putting a knife to Dad’s throat when he chose to side with his friend Kang-to.

Kang-to just lets out a sigh. “Perhaps you and I were always, from the beginning, unable to be friends. If that moment comes when I put a knife to your father’s throat… don’t hesitate.” Damn. He leaves Shunji in shock.

The Count and Countess squeal in shock at the news that “Choi Tae-gon” (aka mustachioed Damsari) is shutting down his gold mine to go open a school.

He gifts them some wild ginseng he dug up at the mine, and then asks them for the clinch favor—an invite to the Colonization Anniversary party, so they can pay their respects to the governor general.

Kang-to saunters into a hotel in a snazzy suit (rawr) and takes a seat with a vantage point of the message board. He watches as Damsari comes in and checks it, saddened that it contains no word from Gaksital.

Kang-to holds a note in his hand, still contemplating whether or not to do it, when Damsari comes down again to check one more time. Still nothing. His face falls.

But just then, Abe comes running in and calls out to Kang-to. Drat. Alarmed, Damsari makes a stealthy exit and Kang-to sighs, the opportunity now gone.

Abe whines that the whole police force is being taken out tonight, without them. The dinner will be at the gisaeng house. The location piques Kang-to’s interest, and he sends Abe along and picks up the phone.

He calls Masako (Jo’s favorite gisaeng) to ask for a date. She says that she can’t tonight, and tells him what he called to hear: because President Jo has collected all of the shopkeepers’ deeds, Kimura is coming to throw him a dinner. “Bingo.”

But this is a game of bingo that worries me, because at the same time, Shunji is working on his master plan to catch Gaksital at this very event. He asks if the rumors have been spread thoroughly, and Kye-soon comes to report that she told everyone that the loan shark and the bank president are one and the same, and that everyone will lose their shops.

Well, the snitch is a good snitch, because the shopkeepers are crying over the news in no time. Shunji asks if Koiso has prepared for every contingency, and Koiso assures him that they have men in every position.

At the gisaeng house that night, ninjas (or police officers dressed as such) arrive on the rooftops. Kimura congratulates Jo on a job well done, and a drunk and happy Jo just wants what he asked for—sanctuary in Japan, since he has no business future here.

Kimura assures him it’ll all be taken care of, and Jo goes to get the contracts, pleased as punch. It always cracks me up that evil villains never stop to think that their evil cohorts are… EVIL.

Jo grabs the contracts from his room and turns around to find Gaksital glowering over him. He immediately drops to the ground and offers up the papers in exchange for his life.

Gaksital points his stick at Jo and scoffs that he already spared his life once. “I am here to punish you for your evil deeds!”

He swings and delivers one massive blow to the head, and Jo falls dead instantly.

Gaksital pockets the papers and runs out, only to be ambushed by black-clad assassins. He fights off their swords with nothing but his stick and manages to get past them…

Where Shunji is waiting with his sword drawn. Crap. He makes a terrifying and badass leap, blade over his head, straight at Gaksital.

They clash and lock, and Shunji smiles.


That look in Shunji’s eyes in the last moment is eerily similar to Kenji’s bloodthirsty look. It sends proper chills down my spine. The fracturing of his friendship with Kang-to has so many shades, and it’s really interesting to see Shunji grow belatedly empathetic towards his brother and his father. I like that he’s got some Kimura darkness creeping out at the seams, even though he’s still clearly torn between his heart (for Mok Dan and Kang-to) and his duty.

I loved the culmination of the bank president’s evil scheme and the way each character’s path converged there for different reasons. That was fantastic stuff. Kang-to gets there starting from the Gaksital frame job the night his hyung died, all the way through Jo’s string of crimes. And Shunji goes at it the back way, joining Kishokai to learn who Gaksital’s targets are, and then offering up Jo’s neck on the chopping block as bait. It’s smart and thrilling, and best of all, dark. In this world, everyone’s out for blood.

But here’s the thing. I still want to know what Kang-to-as-Gaksital is thinking, way more than what we’re being given. In my mind he’s doing all this for revenge, and to finish his brother’s mission out of duty and guilt. But it’s not something we’re explicitly told. We want to be with his thought process, but as Gaksital we’re only privy to his actions. As Kang-to, we get much more entry into his thoughts, but Kang-to is someone we know through and through. It’s Kang-to as the supposed hero that’s new and needs explaining.

I want to know if playing Gaksital and punishing people like Jo for his sins is something that he’s doing because that’s Gaksital’s role, or as a cover for revenge (but if so, why not kill him the first time?) and I want to know if he’s buying into the ideology. Does he think that Jo was wrong because he’s a liar and a con artist, or is it because he cheated the Joseon people?

My sense is that Mok Dan’s speech about what Gaksital means to the people and to her probably shook him up, because that’s not necessarily what he’s fighting for. (I think he might be okay with that being a side effect or even the perception since he took up his brother’s persona.) But I want more transparency in that respect, because I’m still not convinced that the drama isn’t just copping out and landing Kang-to in the hero suit without the proper transformation. If we’re on the slow and dark path to redemption, then great. But if we somehow skipped it and went straight to hero, I’ll cry.

And the problem is, I don’t know for sure. That’s an oversight in the writing that I thought would get addressed sooner, but I’m scared it might not. I still have faith that we’re on the right trajectory, but I honestly need a little more from the writing when it comes to Kang-to behind the mask. Does he believe in what he’s doing, or is he just walking in his hyung’s shoes because that’s his only connection to anything in this world? Right now it’s just a gaping hole in the show, and I feel like it would take very little to assure me that the hole is there by design, and that Kang-to is asking himself these questions that I’m asking of him. Just throw me a bone, Show. That’s all I ask.


95 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. kbap

    Thank you for the recap, off to read now~ 🙂

  2. 21

    So excited to see this updated during lunch!~ Thanks!

  3. lordj

    Thanks gf, you made my day! Off to read!

    • 3.1 lordj

      Finally, I can see Mokdan and Kang To’s chemistry. I mean, the previous episodes are a bit bland for me on the lovestory part. I just love to see how Kang To’s actions confuse her. And I do hope that Mokdan will love Kang To before she discovers him as Gaksital or “Young Master”.

      On the downside, the bromance is going downhill. Which I don’t like. Shinji’s drastic change of heart is a bit… abrupt.

      I can’t wait for next week!!! Thanks again jb and gf for the recaps.

  4. innit

    Thanks for the recap… been refreshing all morning…
    *runs off to read*

  5. Maya

    So Kang To handcuffing Shunji’s dad is really the start of the rift in their friendship, although him being on Kono’s side is a better reasoning. I can accept that logic. However, I still feel that Shunji’s transformation is too abrupt. Not to mention that the ruse to capture Gaksital was his idea, which means that he is also one of the masterminds behind swindling the market people out of their precious properties. I’m sure he is well aware of the outcomes, right? People losing their stores and to think that maybe some of them are the parents of his former students? *shudder* Too abrupt. And disturbing.

    Serious discussion aside, somehow during that scene in the hotel room when Dam Sa Ri and comrades were talking about Mok Dan who is unable to reach them because she is under surveillance, Dam Sa Ri does resemble Kang Ji Hwan in Capital Scandal to a certain extent (without the ridiculous moustache and glasses just as mentioned by QQ), and the man looks a tad like Kim Nam Gil… But maybe it’s just the lighting, false hope, and lack of sleep that were conspiring to play a trick on my eyes

    And why did Kang To have to put his mask in slo mo while overlooking the city when he was in a hurry to meet Mok Dan? And is that tree going to be his changing space now just like phone booth is to Superman?

    • 5.1 mojobobo

      i agree Shunji’s transition isn’t as smooth as it was for Kangto!

  6. ilikemangos

    I’m glad how this episode had some cute scenes between our OTP when they’re not actually fighting over gaksital. It amazes me though, how mok dan is able to work under the close supervision of mr.oogly eyes.
    also liked where kang to shows traces of his humanity in public – when he tells the owner of the inn to never kick out other joseon people from the inn. Adorbs.
    &When shunji was all ordering kang-to to guard mok dan 24 hrs thouroughly i was all ‘don’t mind if he do! 😉 ‘
    Previews got me pumped for next week!

    • 6.1 glace

      For some reason I have zero interest in the “OTP” and think that Mok Dan gets too much air time for what she contributes to the plot.

      I just want to learn more about Rie and see her have more scenes with Kang To. I think it was hinted at in this ep that she could be betrayed and might switch sides; that’s my hope anyway.

  7. Rashell

    GF you seem to get the best episodes. I too was excited to FINALLY see some forward movement in the romance department. But I have to say that it’s going to be difficult to have a relationship if you can’t even speak to the other person.

    The end of the bromance is what’s getting me in my heart right now though. So sad when Kang To admitted that Shunji is his only friend. And to see Shunji grow closer and closer to the darkside is sad too. I also need to understand more of what is motivating Kang To. I’m not ready to see him as the straight hero, and I hope the drama knows that he still has a LONG way to go to make up for his past mistakes.

    • 7.1 ilikemangos

      Tell me about it.. in some instances i see kenji in shunji’s facial expressions…especially when it’s all madness and evil. 🙁 i miss the old shunji, the sweet, adorable elementary school teacher who rode bicycles.
      I swear if not for the girl their bromance is all they have..

      • 7.1.1 Arhazivory

        Its eerie, how he smirks like Kenji. I also see Kenji in him.

        • mojobobo

          i think Park Ki woong is a genius to incorporate Kenji’s expressions! But it make it all the more heartbreaking to have him go over to the dark side since he was so lovable at the start 🙁

      • 7.1.2 Sonia

        yeah. I see that too. I see Kenji on Shunji’s facial expressions and on his smile. It scared me. I hate that 🙁

      • 7.1.3 tosin

        I also totally saw kenji in shunji!! So scary!! Glad I am not the only one!!

    • 7.2 janet

      I’ve seen a couple people commenting about this, so here’s my two cents:

      Episodes air in pairs, so the even-numbered episodes are the last to air before the viewers need to wait another week for new episodes. Waiting for a week is harder than waiting a day, so the production team has a vested interest in making the even episodes more dramatic/suspenseful/action-packed/generally better since they know that viewers will be more likely to tune in next week if they are interested in the material. So this results in a general pattern of even episodes being more interesting. This holds true for most other dramas as well, since they too air in pairs.

      tl;dr All this to say, since GF recaps the even episodes, she doesn’t just coincidentally get the more interesting ones, it should be a given (e.g. the finale).

  8. Ivoire

    Thank you so much for the recap!

  9. shl

    Thank you, Girlfriday! Enjoying your recaps tremendously. Hoping that we learn more of what’s going on inside Kang-to’s head as well.

  10. 10 Stardust

    I just watched it and now the recap comes piping hot to fill in my gaps again! weeeee…. I was slow to start liking this show, and though I am not yet at the I looove this show part… ( my QIHM withdrawal is taking waaaay longer than I thought…. ) I really enjoy the exciting pace this show is going at…. Thanks for the recaps Girl Friday and Javabeans! You two make my day with…Gaksitaaaaaal!!

  11. 11 ilikemangos

    Damsari is actually a very good-looking man.

    • 11.1 ilikemangos

      He can totally pass for kang ji hwan’s older bro.

      • 11.1.1 mojobobo

        that was what i was thinking too!! Older version of Kang Ji Hwan XD

    • 11.2 chichiri

      LOL. Right there with you, sister. DILF

  12. 12 Maya

    I still have faith that we’re on the right trajectory, but I honestly need a little more from the writing when it comes to Kang-to behind the mask. Does he believe in what he’s doing, or is he just walking in his hyung’s shoes because that’s his only connection to anything in this world?

    Yeah I would also see some transparency with his gaksital character. Because I also think that if it is because of revenge then he should have killed him the first time. Unless he was thinking that public humiliation would be a bigger revenge than just killing him. As we see, president Jo cannot step outside anymore without disguise and just like he said towards the end, it would be impossible for him to live in Joseon anymore. He’s as good as dead in Joseon. But him pulling this trick is like the final straw. I do still feel that he’s doing this to fill his brother’s shoes, out of his guilt of killing him. But just like I said in previous episode, maybe his heart has started to warm up to the idea of helping these hopeless people who clearly need him. With him starting to lose his only friend, I guess having people who need him kinda compensate that? But still this is just my two cents, still need the writing to clarify that…

    • 12.1 mojobobo

      I thought the writer was hinting at it by showing Kangto struggle with whether he should help Damsari. If he still has to think twice, it really can’t be that he identifies with the whole independence ideology, at least not now but possibly on the way. It’s like if you keep doing good, one day you see value in it and you then identify with it and your intentions and actions algn. But right now, it would be too much of a stretch for us to believe that Kangto totally buys the whole hero thing.

      He’s struggling with the fact that he became Gaksital for his own personal vendetta, both for his brother and mother and also for Kangsan’s mission (i.e. killing father’s killers).He may also want to help because of Mok Dan. But for Mok Dan to tell him that he’s Joseon’s hero; that is too ironic when we see that Lee Kangto is viewed by the same people as Joseon’s traitor.

      He’s hesitating because the Independence movement was not what he signed up for and he may nto be ready to step up. So no, I don’t think Lee Kangto has become the idealistic hero but he’s certainly on the way there.

      • 12.1.1 Maya

        I agree with you mojobobo. I’m not saying that he’s a hero right now, i’m just saying that he’s trying to fill his brother’s shoes. He’s not doing it for the sake of the Joseon people yet, but he’s doing it while thinking what would hyung do in this situation. I think that plays the biggest portion when he was weighing the decision of helping Dam sa ri, aside from being swayed by his personal feelings. 
        In addition to what you said mojobobo, that if you keep doing good then someday you will see the value in it, I also think that his heart might started to warm up (a bit) to the idea of helping these people. I just feel that there’s something with that scene where he stands on the top of the roof in previous episode and having people cheer for him. At least something, even just a little bit, must have tugged his heart. And I think since he is in a situation where he has lost his mom and brother, and in the verge of losing his only best friend, I think that warm, tingly feeling of being needed might starts to gradually change his mindset. However, I don’t want him to have that mindset yet, but I think few more episodes with him helping the Joseon people (the way his brother would have done) would get us there. 
        And the thing with Kang To is, and I’m sure I’ll be the minority when I’m saying this, but I honestly think that he was not a bad guy through and through. He was just a ruthless cop, and he’s doing all those bad things within the corridor of his work. I wrote long explanation last week on this, so I won’t go into details here. But I think he has the compassion for these people deep deep inside. Like how he saved Rie from that samurai during his early year as a cop. He didn’t know her back then, but he stood up for her against the high ranking official from Japan. But I think during his course of work, he must have buried that compassions since he needed to aim for higher position and having that sort of compassion would only thwart his goal. So I really want to see clarification from the writers on how he changed before, because I think that would help making his transformation as a hero smoother.

        • Maya

          Arrrgh… I wrote way too many “I think”… 😀

          • mojobobo

            Hehe that’s ok! I ageee with you too. I don’t think he’s at hero-dom yet. And seeing the same group of pple who had earlier been cussing at you suddenly cheer for you, that’s gonna play with Kangto’s mind!

            I also agree that Kangto wasn’t downright evil. The flashback only shows that he was good in nature but along the way,he came upon a goal and lost sight of the means. Only the end mattered ad we all know how crazy things get when you only focus on your goal and not the process.

            I wish there was a better transition for Shunji 🙁

          • Maya

            I agree. I wish the writing showed some more internal conflicts in him before letting him go to the dark side. And it’s really him taking part in scheming the ruse that caused those people lose their properties that makes me feel that his transformation is too abrupt. He used to love these people. One or two episodes wouldn’t do justice to his transformation.

  13. 13 Z

    wow! love this episode!!! can’t wait for nest week!

  14. 14 crazedlu

    I know. I’m not so sure what he’s fighting for. Kangto doesn’t seem to have inherited Kangsan’s fire to avenge the death of their father. To me, it’s still making more sense that he’s doing it for his mother, brother, and himself.

    I’m eager to see his inner turmoil. That moment of contemplation after Mok Dan’s expression of gratitude was something I’ve been waiting for, but it doesn’t seem enough. I hope they build on it because I see the hole. I FEEL the hole. We’ve got almost twenty episodes left, so I hope they fill it soon. Pleeeease.

    Otherwise, I’ll cry too.

    • 14.1 Maya

      Twenty more episodes? Has the extension finalized yet?

      • 14.1.1 crazedlu

        just my guess. i’m down for 24 though.

        • Maya

          Yeah, I’m torn though. I’m hooked by this point so the longer the happier I’ll be. Esp since it was slated as 30 episode drama anyway. But I’ll be busy by the time it reaches the final part, so 24 would be good too…

  15. 15 ricky

    Is it just me or does it seem the writers are setting up a love story with kang-to before the identity reveal? Not sure if mok-dan is confused at the way kang-to is acting. Although, admittedly, it would be interesting for her to fall for kang-to the imperial officer, Though, I think it would be a bit predictable. I still want her to hate him. I’m looking forward to her reaction when she finds out the person she hates is actually the person she’s been looking for and the hero she admires.

    • 15.1 SS

      I love the idea of Mok Dan playing along to humour Kang To and Kang To falling for it hook, line and sinker. This may allow MD to slowly fall for KT.
      To me, I can’t buy their love if she just love KT when she finds out he is Gaksital. And I also want KT to fall in love with MD now, instead of just his memories of Boon Yi.
      Angsty or ‘furrowed brows’ Kang To is much less entertaining than hopelessly in love Kang To. If anyone can play the part of a cute, love puppy to a tee, it’s none other than Joowon.

      • 15.1.1 Maya

        Yup! Now we can see his cutesy side on 1n2d here… 😀

        • SS

          Even weirder is Aegyo Lee Kang To, watch how he says “Noona”


          • Maya

            Haha. Noona~~~ 😀 while he still wearing his Lee Kang To outfits. And a blushing Lee Kang To too…

            Oh man, I saw a glimpse the evil Shunji scene there… 🙁
            And Mok Dan does resemble Song Hye Gyo to a certain extent..

            Thanks for this SS!

          • ricky

            Han chae ah — super pretty! Thanks for posting this video ss. And I agree, it would be interesting to see “hoplessly in love” kang-to.

          • kdj

            is it just me, but the way JW crosses his legs is just so weird.

  16. 16 bluemoon

    I am so confused about who Mok Dan really love. Is it the young master Lee Kang To? Is it Bridal Mask Lee Kang San? Did she even have feelings for Shunji? It seems like she does…

    It seems to me like she have some sort of feelings for Lee Kang San bridal mask but then he died and so now Lee Kang To becomes Bridal Mask? She doesn’t know that. Did her feeling for Lee Kang San’s bridal mask transfer to Lee Kang to bridal mask now? Would Lee Kang To as Bridal Mask realized that Mok Dan did have some sort of feeling for his brother’s Bridal Mask, perhaps just a little romantically or not? That scene when Bridal Mask save Mok Dan and took her to the forest, it seems to me like she have some sort of feelings for him? Is it just a feeling of appreciation, it seems like the aroma during that scene displays romantic?

    sorry, i’m just blabbling away…don’t know if i’m making any sense…..i just want to know who she is really in love with………….perhaps it’s the Young Master Lee Kang To because she has been waiting for him all these years….

    • 16.1 SS

      Thank you for raising those questions. Now, I am even more positive I want Mok Dan to love Kang To for who he is. If she is not going to find out soon, then I want her to fall in love with Kang To not knowing he is Gaksital or Lee Young. If she is going to find out soon, then I want her to be shocked but gradually falling in love with Kang To, not because he is Gaksital but for who he is.

      You are right to be confused and she should be too. It should not be her love for Lee Young(that’s the past), or for Gaksital(then does that mean Kang San who has saved her more times than Kang To). The childhood memories, love, appreciation and admiration for the hero Gaksital can only be a basis but not for the blooming of their romance.

      As for Shunji, she just feels hurt that he has become so cold and curt given that they were friends and also childhood ones at that.

    • 16.2 beggar1015

      My two cents are Mok Dan/Boon Yi/Esther/She Of Many Names had childhood love for young master, grateful love for Kang-San Gakistal, and just friendship love for Shunji. I never caught the vibe that Mok Dan felt anything more for Shunji than just friendship. His feelings are a lot deeper than hers. As for Kang-san Gaksital, if someone saved my life on numerous occasions, I would be all googly-eyed for them out of appreciation and perhaps a dab of hero worship.

    • 16.3 Pitch

      I think Mok Dan is infatuated with Gaksital, but that´s not love. She is now also projecting her feelings for the “Young Master” onto him, making it even worse. Poor Kang-to, doesn´t stand a chance against himself, lol.

      I might have shipper goggles on, but I think Mok Dan feels a bit too much hate for Kang-to than necessary, loves o bitch him out, etc., which means…..something.

  17. 17 MenCallMeBacon

    Two great episodes for and equally epic recaps from girlfriday!

    It’s okay that you were fooled by Damsari’s disguise. I had recognized him when I watched the episode, but your recap had me convinced that I was mistaken. Oh, the power you wield, writers of dramabeans.

    And Kang-to is wrong about Shunji being his only friend. He has Abe. Abe is awesome! Okay, so maybe Kang-to is looking for a more intellectually and emotionally fulfilling friendship than puppy-dog adoration…but Abe is awesome!

  18. 18 JadedJei

    “Perhaps you and I were always, from the beginning, unable to be friends. If that moment comes when I put a knife to your father’s throat… don’t hesitate.”

    To be clear… when Kang To said that… he meant that Shunji should kill him right? Is this foreshadowing for the finale? My heart is bleeding!

    To be honest, as much as I love KT (even when he was on evil mode) I can NOT see this drama having a happy ending. Just… can’t. Despite feeling for KT and understanding what made him into the man we met in episode one he still has a whole HECK OF A LOT of sins under his belt! Not to mention the guilt and emotional turmoil? Simply taking on the mask and helping others is not enough to erase that reality… nor diffuse his own self loathing. I think that the writers have a long way to go to have the viewers feel that KT deserves a second chance. If there isnt enough closure and proper growth I will feel that they copped out at the end and that would feel like such a betrayal. Ive been burned too many times before by other dramas, right at the last episode.

    Its nothing against wanting a downer finale for the sake of it – its just that I would take a bittersweet poignant ending over a fanservice, flowery/fluffy one any day. Hence why “49 Days” still has such an impact on me. I want “Gaksital” to resound with me long after the series wraps up.

    As much as it might seem I dislike Kang To’s character I can swear I seriously dont… I love hating him… And am excited how his character is changing, allowing us to learn to love him. But I sense much more darkness in the near future. A twisted ex-best friend and an assassin admirer, amongst others.

    Cant wait to see where this show will take us!

    • 18.1 booboo

      Well-said JadedJei! Kang-to is just one of those characters that you’d love to see ’em die. If indeed all of these vengeance, warrior and fighting spirits are in him, he’d fight to the very last drop of his blood.

      Plus, even if he does find the love of his life, the happily-ever-after ending just won’t do. I don’t see him as someone who can forgive himself for killing his hyung. He should want to die along too (LOL! I think I sound crazy)

      I’m praying reeeeaaaaallly hard for the writers not to succumb to fanservice and try too hard to keep up the ratings with all the lovey dovey stuff. Just stay true to the essence of this drama no matter how dark and depressing it will be.

      • 18.1.1 Maya

        Somehow, I also feel that a tragic end would fit the story more. Seeing how dark and twisted it is. He’s a Japanese cop who also fight for independence. I can’t see a way out from that. Unless the story actually focus on Kang To’s transformation, like a prologue to how he become the True hero to the Joseon people. So he will remain as gaksital even after avenging his dad’s death

  19. 19 Bengbeng

    Gosh, the 2 lead actors have both the cutest boyish smile and badass smirk. Great actors they are =)

  20. 20 lenrasoon

    I agree with GF, the show should address if Kang To sees himself now as a Joseon person, does he regret his past actions? it’s hard to “believe” in him as a hero because of that and the writers could clear this issue in one episode and i hope it comes sooner than later.

    Also Shunji is falling fast doesn’t he? didn’t expect him to go to the dark side just like that, i mean the show doesn’t focuse on internal conflicts as i think they should but with same “transformation” of character that Kang To being through and Shunji i think that the lack of internal struggle left me stunned.

    Anyway changing topic i’m rooting for a collaboration between Dam Sa Ri and Gaksital how awesome would that be since Kang To chased after him so much lol and i wonder if they would trust him if he revels himself.

    thanks for the recaps.

  21. 21 Farpavilions

    Gaksital’s being subbed insanely fast … subs were out overnight!

    It says so much about the quality of the recap writing and their humor/snarkiness/insightfulness that I like watching the episodes alongside the recaps even when I can understand them!

    Gomawo! ^^

  22. 22 rosi

    I think that Kang To still confused. He need guidance, Baek Gun alone is not enough. It will be better if Kang San hyung still alive and be the one who tell him who Gaksital is and why Gaksital help the Joseon. He never had a chance to explain it to Kang To… Now, Kang To have to figure it himself.

    And.. I also think that Mok Damsari never had a chance to know Gaksital Kang San and have no idea behind the main reason why Gaksital Kang San do such thing. Gaksital Kang San wants to take down the 5 Kishokai members, and I don’t think Mok Damsari aware of this secret association Kishokai.

    Omi, awkward and dorky Kang To (Joo Won) is cute. He’s not using his playboy persona on Mok Dan 🙂

  23. 23 1lostbear

    Shunji is breaking my heart. Save for Kang-to, he’s the only other character I care about. I’m getting sick of Mok-dan to be honest, and it may be unfair given she hasn’t really done anything. But that’s it. I feel like she’s just set up to be a helpless (mostly) love interest. I want more depth to her! Sigh…

    I’m also confused about Kang-to’s motivations at this point. I really hope the writers clear it up.

    • 23.1 bella

      me too
      honestly speaking..i’m getting boring with D’expressions face..JW already did a great job,,portraying someone who in falling in love with his tender eyes..
      JSY’s acting is weak…so i still feel a good chemistry between K & D

      • 23.1.1 bella

        typo*so i still can’t feel chemistry between K & D*

  24. 24 lemonysnicket

    the episode of furrowed brows

  25. 25 sweetspring

    I’m pretty glad Kang To the tyrant in the earlier episodes has passed & sweet smiling, puppy in love Kang To is appearing more & more coz I just saw some stills of Joo Won snuggling up to his big hyung having a snooze on his chest on 1n2d & that is more of a head spinner than the bee moment when I think of Kang To the character & Joo Won the actor.
    For the Joo Won fangirl in me the wink from Wednesday’s episode & the snazzy suit from this episode (my drool cup runneth over) made my week. Gaksital fighting!

  26. 26 jyyjc

    I think i’m seeing a pattern here. The second episode of each week is always more exciting. Maybe gf could switch days with jb some time just cuz jb gets all the less exciting episodes.

    • 26.1 chichiri

      You can say that again.

      Odd-numbered episodes (recapped by JB) serve as set-up for even-numbered episodes (recapped by GF), coz ya know, 2nd episode-of-the-week cliffhangers should be epic-er to fuel our anticipation for the next ep (the following week).

      I think. LOL

  27. 27 April

    Kang-to acting like a school girl with a crush was cracking me up. Like he’s happy as soon as he sees her just because she’s aliiive ^^.

  28. 28 dany

    Thank you so much for the recap, I really loved the laundry scene when Kang -to is just like a puppy in love.

    • 28.1 dany

      Does anyone know the name of the song at the end of the episode? Sounds really interesting, it matches the series perfectly.

  29. 29 mdee

    Kang To should see his new assignment as blessing in disguise. Watching over circus troupe meaning more time with Mok Dan. Mok Dan already sense that Gaksital is her beloved Young Master and Kang To already knew Mok Dan is Boon Yi. Shunji still don’t know any of these secrets. Nice.

    I guess that Mok Dan and Kang To will soon share even deeper secret.. Mok Dan will know that Kang To is Gaksital, of course she will be in denial mode but not for long. Come on, love conquers all!

    Mok Dan will protect Kang To from her own dad and his people who hates Kang To so much.

  30. 30 tika

    Oh god, shunji last smirk is so frigthening. It’s exactly his brother’s!

  31. 31 Miss rain ENgineer :P

    God I’m in love with this drama …cnt wait till the next episode >_< I even read the recaps even b4 watching the episode which ofcourse ruin the excitment of watching the episode itself 😛

    Gaksital fighting!!!! 2D1N fighting!!! Entertaiment weekly Fighting!!! Hhhhhhhh

  32. 32 Stacey

    I love this drama so much!
    It breaks my heart seeing Kang To staring at Mok Dan with that cute smile, he loves her and she doesn’t even know it.

    • 32.1 SS

      I think he will break our hearts more when he realises in the upcoming episodes that Mok Dan is only playing along with him. Did you see that happy skip in the preview? He will come crashing down from the high when he knows that Mok Dan has only hate for him. Unless, in the process of ‘playing along’ , Mok Dan gets smitten that gorgeous, hot, cute guy with killer smile, dimples and all. Then she will have to dunk herself into her bathtub longer.

  33. 33 tuktuk

    random but am i the only one who think mok dan’s voice is so sexy and I’m a girl lol

    • 33.1 dany

      she does have an interesting voice

    • 33.2 SS

      Thank goodness for her voice. She already looks very tiny beside Kang To. Imagine if she has a little girl’s voice, then we might have to check another item under Kang To’s long list of sins.

    • 33.3 Pitch

      Yeah, it is a quite surprising voice, lol. I think the actress is only 19, so it really helps to make her seem more mature.

    • 33.4 sohe

      yes..thanks to her voice
      because tell you the truth..i dont like her face
      it’s kind of a boring’ face……

  34. 34 Ivy

    “Okay, I can’t be the only one thinking this, but where does he find the time to shampoo his hair between every costume change?….What, these questions plague me, okay?”

    LOL…me too!! glad to hear I’m not the only one…

  35. 35 april

    “where does he find the time to shampoo his hair between every costume change?”
    I keep on laughing reading your comment, lol
    thank you for the recaps girlfriday, it isn’t complete without reading your recaps guys, waiting for the next episode.. 😀

  36. 36 Mikunda

    Great writing, as always, Love your style!

  37. 37 infiniti512

    It’s just like straight haired top knotted Chilwoo turning so quickly into wavy permed Zorric (Eric + Zorro). I kept noticing the hair also.

    I too wonder what’s Kangto’s movitation. He can’t have grown a heart and sympathy for the people so quickly, especially when their hatred for him grows.

  38. 38 Kotakinabalu

    Ok I just hope that shunji will die . DIE . Idc if he’s cute or adorable but because he’s Japanese . He should go DIE .

    Actually I want him to die cause he’s ugly lol -_-

    • 38.1 kokla

      so mean lol. I don’t like him too. his character is a bit boring tbh and I can’t sense any chemistry between him and mokdan in spite of how much scene they have together. too easily influenced too >< I want to skip everytime he's on screen. It's too boring lol. I like the other three character more

    • 38.2 gaeran.mari

      I find him better looking than kang-to/Joo-won.

  39. 39 kdj

    why is Kang-To so gorgeous? *sigh*

  40. 40 JJ

    Ok, maybe a little random, but is anyone else curious about the guy with Rie? I think his name is Katsuyama? For some reason he really interests me, like there might be more to him than just a bodyguard/manservant. Or maybe I just really like his hair…

    • 40.1 SS

      I think it depends on how you define manservant. I am curious too. His job scope is probably quite wide, otherwise why did Rie drop her clothes in front of him in the preview?

  41. 41 Moosh

    Just realized that Kang-San died without actually telling anyone why he saved Mok Dan those 3 times. Was it because he remembered Mok Dan as lil bro’s friend?

    • 41.1 SS

      eh…isn’t it part of a hero’s job? to save damsels in distress?

      Plus, Mok Dan seems to be the only girl in Joseon who dares to get into trouble.

      Poor Kang San, he didn’t have any opportunity to date. So, this may be his type of “blind date” , sort of.

  42. 42 SS

    “where does he find the time to shampoo his hair between every costume change?”

    isn’t Kang To wearing a wig? Like it’s part of the Gaksital disguise? In the scene where he was sitting down in Baek’s house,still in Gaksital’s clothes, contemplating if he should help Damsari, his hair wasn’t like Gaksital’s, it was more like Kang To’s old hairstyle.

  43. 43 Pitch

    In my head it is pretty clear why Kang-to is Gaksital, but I would like to see it confirmed too. I never thought that Kang-to was loyal to the Japanese, his only reason for joining the police was to provide for his family, he is, more than anything, an opportunist. Now that they are gone (*sniff*), he has no reason to stick by them, and can live a reckless life avenging his father and brother. I´m not really sure why Kang-san was Gaksial. Was it only to avenge their father and supporting the Independence was a side-effect of it or was it both? I think what is missing is a scene between Kang-to and the bodyguard/spy dude, where he explains Kang-san´s motivations and provides some more background information on what the plan is. But I´m pretty confident that the future episodes will provide that *knock on wood*

  44. 44 SS

    I was wondering why I did not quite enjoy Kang To taking down Jo as much as I had when watching Yoon Sung(City Hunter)take down each of the evil council.

    For Yoon Sung, he could expose and shame them in public and hand them over to the Prosecutor. Only his ‘father’ was bloodthirsty.

    For Kang To, he had to kill them in order to bring them to justice cuz there is no Prosecutor to complete the job for him, no courts to bring these people to trial.

    We have all seen Kang To in his worst in the earlier episodes where he beat up and tortured his own people. But that does not mean he had killed any of them. Most likely, Kenji was the first person he killed(besides an assassin who tried to shoot him). As he continues KS mission, he is going to get more blood on his hands. Perhaps that’s why KS said he didnt want to burden his younger brother with the revenge agenda. I have little optimisim that Kang To is going to live at the end of it all.

  45. 45 SS

    There a new interview on Gaksital which shows Shunji and Kangto in the torture chamber. Mok Dan is shackled up. Seems like Shunji ran after Mok Dan, caught her, threw her into the torture chamber and ordered Kangto to interrogate her.

    Looks really really bad, doesn’t it?

  46. 46 Lily Anne

    Great drama, but I just can’t stand how Shunji likes Mok Dan, but always gets so violent on her. I hope Mok Dan developes feelings for Lee Kang- to, like the way Kang- to likes her. I’d rather it be Kang- to than Shunji.

  47. 47 MBMD

    Since when did the word “bingo” becomes sexy? 🙂

  48. 48 Boba

    Is it just me or joo woo is extremely and extra ordinary HOT to the degree of melting real flesh!!! Waaaa3 I love him !

  49. 49 Cheryl

    I am *loving* the character of Sunji. Park Ki-Woong does a great job in the part, I think, and I go between rooting for Sunji to get his ass kicked because he’s being a heartless jackass and feeling terrible for him because I can see all he truly wants is to be a schoolteacher and play the organ again. Watching the divide between Sunji and Kang-to grow is heartbreaking.

  50. 50 zeroseven

    i like it 🙂

Add a Comment

Stay civil, don't spoil, and don't feed the trolls! Read the commenting policy here.

 characters available. Comments will be truncated at the word limit.