Drama Recaps
Gaksital: Episode 6
by | June 14, 2012 | 244 Comments

You’d think it’s an exaggeration to say that this is the episode in which EVERYTHING happens ever, but it’s not. Greatly in need of hugs. Also a new heart. Anyone got a spare?


Kenji shoots Mom, who crumples to the ground. And then as soon as he gets word that Gaksital is currently committing crimes elsewhere, he turns tail, not caring that he then shot a woman FOR NO APPARENT REASON. Hate you.

Kang-san falls apart, wailing and pleading for Mom to wake up.

Baek Gun is on his way to the house when he sees Kenji and his troops march past. He rushes to Kang-san, worried. Kang-san sits, cradling Mom in the yard.

Kang-san: Wake up, Mother. The ground is cold. That your son isn’t an idiot… and for Kang-to to know that his hyung isn’t an idiot, to stop being a foreign stoolpigeon so that Mother can live a long, long life… after I avenged Father, I was going to tell you everything… everything. Mother, wake up. Wake up. It’s cold here. It’s cold. It’s cold. Let’s get up, Mom.

Mrrrrmph. *tears* He looks over at the mask that Mom had hidden in her skirt to protect him. He glares at it now with hurt, angry tears. I think it’s this moment when I really connect with Kang-san as Gaksital. It brings him down to earth to see him resent the mask for what it cost him.

He moves her inside and lays her down, as Baek Gun comes running in. He asks frantically if it was Kenji, and why?

Kang-san tucks Mom into bed and admits, “I let go of her hand. Ajusshi, even when he held a gun to Mother… to hide the fact that I am Gaksital… even when she ran into him… I measured and calculated: what if I were discovered like this, what about Father’s revenge, and Kang-to? Can I still be called her child? Am I still a human being?”

He tamps down his tears and gets up in a furious rage, clasping his mask. Baek Gun stops him—she will have died in vain. But he screams that this is the guy who killed Mother, and goes running out. Oh crap.

At the sight of the robbery, the bank workers wait for the police. But it’s Jun who arrives first, dressed in police uniform. He slashes their throats in two seconds flat. Huh. What’s that about?

Kenji’s lackey tells us what—they believe that Gaksital stole the money AND killed the innocent bank workers. Double crap.

Kimura visits Rie to tell her that the police and the newspaper (the reporter she strip-pokered) have been sent to the scene and by press time, the world will think that Gaksital murdered those men to steal the banknotes.

It turns out this is her idea, to make things difficult for Kono. Kimura lavishes praise, that is, until she tells him to refill the bank’s funds. He doesn’t so much like that idea, but bankrupting the bank isn’t part of the plan. He complies because he really has no choice. I do love watching him squirm.

Rie makes one thing clear: “Gaksital can no longer be a hero to the Joseon people.”

Kenji and Reporter Park stand around the crime scene going over the story that is to appear in tomorrow’s headlines. Why even bother going to the crime scene if you’re just going to invent the story anyway?

Kang-to arrives just in time to see the bodies before they get hauled away, and figures out with one look that this is the work of a skilled swordsman, which doesn’t fit Gaksital’s M.O.

He gives Reporter Park a quick reminder of his temper, if such details were to be ignored in the press. Park gives a hilarious attempt at saying something like “the pen is mightier than the sword,” but even he knows that’s a dumb thing to say to Lee Kang-to, and trails off.

Kenji fumes and sends Lackey to kill Kang-san after all, just to see if Kang-to will stay loyal to the government that killed his mother and brother. Just to see?! You sick son of a bitch.

But Gaksital arrives on the scene to attack first, and gets Kenji beaten down and cornered. He raises his stick, screaming in furious rage…

…when Kang-to attacks. OH NOES.

Kang-san says to himself in voiceover for Kang-to not to do this, as they fight. Fists go flying, and Kenji sees the opportunity to run away. Kang-san can’t let him go, so he beats Kang-to down and stops Kenji.

He raises his stick again, and Kenji shuts his eyes in terror…

A shot rings out.

FUCK. Nononononononono! Kang-san bleeds, shot right through the torso, and turns around to see Kang-to with his gun aimed right at him. Kang-to smiles like he’s finally caught the white whale. Damn, that smile is haunting.

He runs to capture Gaksital, when Baek Gun flies down from the shadows and knocks Kang-to out. They run off before the two cops can get back up. Auuuugh, Kang-san is bleeding profusely from the gut.

Kang-to gets up like the dogged cop that he is and quickly finds the blood trail. “Bingo.” Stop that! This is horrible. And awesome. Our hero is hunting down his own brother!

The trail leads… to home. Kang-san has collapsed in the yard. Baek Gun pleads with him to run away, but Kang-san says he can’t leave Mother. He asks Baek Gun to tell Kang-to about how their father died, and why he put on the mask.

They hear Kang-to arrive outside, and Kang-san tells Baek Gun to run.

Kang-to comes in with that smile on his face, laughing that Gaksital’s big plan was to run right into the lion’s lair. He goes to remove the mask, and Kang-san puts his hand up—he’ll do it himself.

He starts to untie the strings. Even in this moment, I’m half expecting Baek Gun to come flying back and knock Kang-to unconscious. But he doesn’t. Kang-san lowers the mask…

His head is bowed, but Kang-to sees enough that the smile disappears from his face. Kang-san starts to raise his head, as Kang-to teeters backward in shock. “Hyung?”

Hyung says yes, it’s him. Kang-to looks down at the mask and back up at Hyung, back and forth, back and forth, as he starts to breathe again. “It makes no sense. It was you? You’re… Gaksital?”

Hyung: “I’m sorry. I wanted to tell you everything. I didn’t want to burden you. I wanted to take care of it myself.”

Kang-to kneels down and clutches Hyung by the collar, “How can you—how can you be Gaksital? How? HOW?!” Now crying and pleading in desperation, he screams, “You were an idiot! A fool! A retard!”

Hyung just raises his hand to Kang-to’s face. He caresses his cheek. Hyung starts to cry, as Kang-to trembles. Hyung: “Our Kang-to is very handsome. My little brother… your hyung… missed you. What do we do?”

And those are his last words, as his head sinks down. Kang-to lets go of Hyung’s collar in terror, falling backward as Hyung’s limp body drops to the ground.

He inches backward, the tears tumbling out. He looks down at the mask again. Flashback to his fights with Gaksital, the time he was saved by him, and watching Hyung break down, playing the fool to keep his cover.

Kang-to starts to shake his head no, as the flashbacks turn to happy childhood memories of Hyung, and then that breakfast where Hyung had given him all the fish. And ohgod, the time he beat Hyung to a pulp in the street. Oof.

Finally, words come out, “Mom… Mom…” OH NO. Just kill me now.

He screams through his tears for Mom to come out, breaking down as he says the words, “Hyung is dead.” He starts to get angry that there’s no answer, and goes tearing inside…

He yells, “Can’t you hear me?” and yanks on the covers, to find her covered in blood, long dead. He falls to the floor with a thud. He lets out this silent wail of horror, and his voice belatedly catches up, in a piercing cry.

*curls up in fetal position, rocks back and forth* It’s gonna be okay… It’s gonna be okay…

We cut to a restaurant, where the locals toast to Gaksital. The guy who beat Kang-san up in the marketplace eyes his buddies with Evil Plan Face, likely plotting something against Kang-to.

Back to Kang-to, lying down to hold Mom’s head to his, crying and crying, and breaking my heart. His tears turn angry and then he storms back out to Hyung. (Could this BE any more horrifying, to go back and forth from dead body to dead body?)

He grabs Hyung’s limp body by the collar, screaming, “You’re Gakstital? You couldn’t even protect Mom, and you call yourself the protector of the Joseon people?! Don’t kid yourself! Don’t kid yourself, you bastard!” Ouch. Hurts because it’s true.

“It’s because of you isn’t it? She was shot because of you?! BECAUSE YOU’RE GAKSITAL?!” He starts to drag him across the yard, intent on taking him down to the station. Omg, the denial is killing me. He’d dead!

But Baek Gun arrives just in time to stop him. He introduces himself, and Kang-to has to search his memory to recognize him. He grabs Baek Gun, accusing him of turning his innocent hyung into Gaksital, twisting him for his own purposes.

It’s like he hasn’t fully processed yet that Hyung was never the sweet idiot. He asks who killed Mom, and Baek Gun says he can’t, not with Kang-san lying there like this. But Kang-to’s no dummy—if Hyung had discovered who killed Mom, he’d have done the same… and when Kang-to found him, he was tearing into Kenji, thirsty for blood.

He lets out his own blood-curdling cry, “KIMURA KENJI!” He picks up his gun and goes running. Oh no. My heart can’t take this!

Baek Gun sees the mask on the ground and picks it up, and goes running after Kang-to. He flies across rooftops and cuts him off with ease. Kang-to raises his gun to order him out of the way. He complies, only to knock him out with one swift move. Ha. Okay, thank goodness for you.

But while they’re gone, the scheming guys from the restaurant show up at the house, intent on getting their petty revenge on Traitor Kang-to. They light bottles on fire, and throw them into the house and the yard. Holy… are you freaking kidding me? I need new words for: Worst Day Ever.

The fire engulfs both Mom and Hyung, and by the time Baek Gun arrives carrying Kang-to on his back, the house is up in flames.

Neighbors run around, throwing futile buckets of water at the house, and Kang-to comes to from the commotion. He freaks out and lurches forward to run into the flames to save Mom and Hyung, but Baek Gun holds him back as he screams and flails.

And then finally, the most horrible night ever comes to an end.

Shunji shows up at the hospital in the morning and laughs at sleeping guard Abe. He doesn’t wake up, so Shunji does his best Kang-to impression, and Abe darts to attention. That’s some fear.

Shunji gives him a lunch he packed for Kang-to, but Abe tells him that he hasn’t returned since going out last night to catch Gaksital. Shunji asks Abe to go fetch him a newspaper, and Abe tells him not to let anyone else into Mok Dan’s room. Ha. Nevermind that you’ve let the one person that Kang-to didn’t want inside, inside.

Shunji presents Mok Dan with lunch, only she’s got one hand cuffed to the bed and the other hooked up to an IV. He offers to feed her, smiling from ear to ear.

Abe comes running in with today’s news sheet with the headline: “Gaksital kills bank employees, shot by Lee Kang-to while trying to escape.”

Mok Dan grabs the paper to see for herself, trembling. She starts to ask Shunji for a favor but stops, and he knows what she’s asking—whether Gaksital survived. He tells her he’ll find out.

She says that Gaksital is probably someone who knows her. She thinks to herself that it’s the young master.

Kang-to and Baek Gun bury Mom and Hyung on a hilltop, and Kang-to kneels by the graves, looking hollowed out. Baek Gun explains that Kang-san had to avenge their father’s death, and got released from prison by pretending to be crazy. He had to maintain that cover from then on.

He tells Kang-to that his hyung was always heartbroken over his little brother, knowing he was after Gaksital, but never able to tell him the truth. Kang-to asks to be alone, not ready to hear it all.

More painful flashbacks, of how horribly he treated Mom and Hyung, and how each time, they still showed him love. Now the memories of the sweet idiot brother take on a new light, as he thinks of all the times Hyung had taken all of his hateful vitriol and pretended to be an oblivious fool who knew nothing but love for Little Bro.

He cries as thoughts turn to their last night together as a family: Mom’s prayer for him, crying into Hyung’s shoulder, and then that breakfast that made me cry the first time, and now it’s just The Breakfast of Pain.

His cries ring out from the hilltop: “Hyung. Hyung! HYUUUUUUUUUNG!”

Police Director Kono worries after Kang-to, who’s been MIA for over twelve hours. Kimura scoffs—shouldn’t their worry be about whether or not Gaksital survived?

Public Enemy Number One is missing, and the guy who shot him is also missing—does the Director really think that Kang-to should still be heading the investigation? Kimura declares that he’s taking over the case himself, and Kono can’t argue this time.

Kono goes directly to see Wada Ryo, the governor-general of Joseon. He’s an interesting character—our introduction to him is watching him inhale his lunch and then pick up every last grain of rice with a toothpick. So… cheap and greedy?

Kono is surprisingly casual with him. Behind closed doors they talk in banmal and Kono calls him hyung, griping about Kimura and nagging the governor about his gambling habit. He’s desperate to get rid of that thorn Kimura, but doesn’t have enough to oust him yet.

Kishokai meets, and the council flutters about with worry that Gaksital is still out there and passing along information about their organization to Lee Kang-to. But Kimura shuts them up in annoyance and declares that he’s in charge of catching Gaksital now, so they needn’t worry.

Only, what he really does is hand the investigation over to Kenji of course, which just makes me laugh. This is you Big Plan? Tell Kenji to kill Kang-to and Gaksital… again? For realsies this time? No, really really? And Kenji, is your arm seriously broken AGAIN?

Kenji struts down the hospital corridor and bursts into Mok Dan’s room… and finds a gagged and naked Abe, cuffed to the bed. HA.

Mok Dan doesn’t make it far in the police uniform before the alarm sounds, so she quickly changes into a nurse’s uniform. She’s juuuuust about to make it out right under Kenji’s nose, when that weasel Kye-soon sees her and calls out her name. Drat!

Cut to the torture room, where Kenji has Mok Dan strung up and pokes at her gunshot wound. He asks where Gaksital is, and she in turn breathes a sigh of relief to hear that he’s still alive.

Kye-soon comes running back to the circus to tell them she “happened to see” Mok Dan try to escape and get hauled away. She breaks down in fake tears. URG. I hate you most of all!

Shunji stops to look at a bride’s mask from a collection of old masks donated for his charity. He ponders it as he thinks back to Mok Dan’s guess that Gaksital was someone who knew her.

Sun-hwa comes bursting in with the news of Mok Dan’s capture, and Shunji bicycles to the station in a panic. Can we get him a motorcycle or something slightly more badass?

Kenji asks his lackey for an update on Kang-to, and smirks to find out that his house burned to the ground last night, taking Mom and Hyung with it. They figure he’s MIA because he’s at their funeral, and Kenji smiles at the convenience of having Kang-san die and Mom’s death covered up, all without lifting a finger.

Suddenly a crash from above as an officer is sent flying. And then another. They look up.


He comes flying down and quickly disarms everyone, and knocks Kenji into rail behind him.

I’m cheering, but as he attacks and then keeps wailing on Kenji, it starts to dawn on me that he’s not here to rescue Mok Dan or be the hero at all. He’s here for bloodthirsty revenge.

He hits Kenji over and over and over again, with a rage and a force so strong that he literally BREAKS HIS NECK with his bare hands. Holy crap!

Kenji spits a mouthful of blood with his last breath and falls dead. Whoa, I hated him, but that was traumatizing.

At the same time, Shunji comes running in to save Mok Dan, and instead finds Gaksital in the act of dealing the deathblow to his brother. And here I thought the worst day ended yesterday. Shit.

Shunji: “Hyuuuuuuuung!”

He runs at Gaksital full-speed ahead, drawing his sword. Kang-to panics at Shunji’s sudden arrival and defends himself, barely dodging being skewered alive.

Their arms lock as they growl and charge at each other. Two best friends, turned mortal enemies in one instant.


Wow. Just… wow. Did we really kill off all those people and set up the epic rivalry of Shunji vs. Kang-to? All in one episode? And how scary is Shunji when he’s not the gentle loverboy?

Man, I totally fell for the heroic fakeout. Mok Dan gets captured, heroic music plays as Kang-to arrives in the mask… but then you realize that you never actually saw him become the hero. Because he hasn’t. He’s not Gaksital. He’s Kang-to, using Hyung’s disguise to avenge Mom’s murder. And they pulled no punches to glorify it—Kenji’s death was gruesome. And he was clearly begging for his life, which Kang-to squarely ignored.

There’s such a darkness to this character and the show that I love. I had a feeling that with a character so far gone to the dark side, Kang-to would have to suffer immense trauma in order to ever transform into Gaksital. I thought that the gutsiest thing to do would be to have him kill Hyung by his own hand, but I honestly didn’t think the drama would go there. I’m impressed. (And in pain.) But mostly impressed.

I would’ve played along, if for instance Kenji killed Kang-san and Kang-to were to avenge his death. But for Kang-to to take up the mantle of a hero requires a profound sense of responsibility that he doesn’t have otherwise, so I’m grateful for the proper motivation that’s as dark and twisted as it needs to be. It was horrible and I’m gutted, but it feels right, and therefore really satisfying.

And there are certainly weak moments in Joo-won’s acting, but nobody cries that from-the-pit-of-his-soul wail like he does. I thought he was gut-wrenching in Ojakkyo, but this time he ripped my heart out and nailed it to the wall. At least I know where to send my therapy bill?

I can’t wait to see every moment of Kang-to’s development from here on out. And why does he look like such a little kid in that mask? I guess it’s because we’ve gotten so used to Hyung’s grizzled chin underneath (when it wasn’t a stunt double, hello confusing!) so now Kang-to seems like he doesn’t fit the mask yet, like his face hasn’t grown into it. I rather like that it’s ill-fitting now, because I want to feel that rush when he does it right—when we feel like he’s really become Gaksital.

I knew Hyung had to go, but taking Mom too, all at once—leaving Kang-to all alone in the world!— was harrowing. But Mom had to die for Kang-san to express his regrets and question his choices, and at least for me, make him seem more human. I had struggled with how cold and calculating he’d have to be to lie for so long, knowing how much Kang-to struggled with what he had to become to support his family. I know that ultimately Kang-san would still have chosen the cause over his loved ones, just as Mom did, but it still gave me that connection I needed, to see him wonder if that made him less than human. But his defining characteristic will always be his love for Kang-to, which I hope will save Little Bro from himself.


244 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. javabeans

    This episode broke me. Like it broke Kang-to.

    Kangtoyaaaaaaa, why you always shooting the ones you love??

    • 1.1 Lizzie

      lol true that.

    • 1.2 dduk

      LOL I was shouting somebody PLEASE get the gun of out Kangto’s hands he will clearly shoot someone he loves!!! while watching this episode.

      • 1.2.1 trixicopper

        Seriously, the boy needs to stay the hell away from firearms!

    • 1.3 alicia

      Shunji is the only one left. Can we assume that he’s going to get shot eventually by Kang-to, too?

      • 1.3.1 Arhazivory


      • 1.3.2 Toya

        I bet he is going to join the police force after his brother’s death and be like Kenji/Kang-to-lite; Be under daddy’s thumb and be driven mad by hunting down bridal mask. At least that’s how I’d do it if I was writing it. I’d keep his morals in tact, and slowly corrupt him until all he can see is gray in his little black and white world.

        Shunji’s Character reminds me of the Preacher in “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” only in reverse. Rather than a killer trying to pretend he’s a good person, he’s a good person who keeps trying to pretend that his family ain’t evil and that it doesn’t affect him what they do around him. It’s what makes me bored of his character until this point.

        You know your family is bad, but you don’t do anything to help people unrelated to you or your goals, and all of a sudden your sociopath brother finally gets what’s coming to him and you want to draw your sword and be bad ass now?

        The only interesting part about this is seeing how this will effect his very standard character until this point.

        • Arhazivory

          He might not know to what extent his brother went and even if he did know that he was bad, he’s still his brother and there’s no way he can stand by and watch his murderer walk away. He certainly wouldn’t have shaken Gaksitaaaaaal’s hand or offered congratulations.

        • MsB

          “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”? Wasn’t it “Pale Rider”? From someone who has watched every movie that Clint Eastwood has made. I will cry buckets when he dies! But back to Gaksital, its funny how Shunji kind of glosses over his hyung’s sadistic nature!

          • Biscuit

            It’s the “I don’t respect what you do, but I still love you”.

            Fits Shunji perfectly, just as he dealt with Kang-to about the Mokdan/Esther problem. Shunji never supported his brother and was active in protecting the ones he loved. But Kenji is still his brother so I don’t see how it’s amusing for him to attack Kang-to/Gaksital.

      • 1.3.3 MsB

        I have a feeling that scene will probably play out!

    • 1.4 Rashell

      I’m betting you’re grateful it was Girlfriday’s turn to re-cap this show.

      • 1.4.1 javabeans

        You have no idea. I told GF earlier it’s a good thing she did this ep since mine would have been a mess of brainmelty and ALLCAPSLOCK HORROR.

    • 1.5 CupCake

      I was a BIG mess watching this ep. I had never cry this much watching a drama. I was glad I was by myself. Otherwise my husband and kid will think I am crazy.

      • 1.5.1 INFINITElySHINee

        Same for me. I cried bucket loads. This episode broke me down.

      • 1.5.2 tosin

        I was on a bus when I was reading this… It was so hard trying not to cry!

      • 1.5.3 MsB

        I cried but my action mind took over! Love extreme fight scenes!

      • 1.5.4 Gab

        I cried buckets just reading this recap… oh my goodness. Drama, you’re so cruel yet so satisfying..

    • 1.6 ladida

      Someone needs to take his gun away!

      And thanks for the awesome recap, gf!

    • 1.7 Noala

      I’m hoping he’s developed a gun-phobia or something (I love details like that) and maybe that’s why when he’s in his Gaksital disguise he didn’t just use a gun, or even the metal flute. But I’m probably just reading too much into it since his hyung never used a gun either. Overall, awesome drama!

  2. HK

    WOW. sooooooo much happens

  3. uden

    Loved it! Thank you for the recap!!!

  4. chichiri

    And then, tomorrow comes your 1n2d recap. Good luck not breaking your head, JB and GF! hihihi

    • 4.1 Rashell

      I KNOW! It’s so hard to see him in 1N2D. It just too much of a difference from his character. He’s so sweet and aeygo there. It’s a brain twister for sure.

      • 4.1.1 ladida

        I’ve decided to stop watching clips and reading the recaps for 1n2d while Gaksital is on. Just…too distracting. Instead of just watching the show I’m focusing solely on Joo Won’s acting, which isn’t as satisfying as being able to appreciate the entire show.

        • nine

          This and that show is having a bipolar effect on me..haha!

          He surely could cry a helluvalot. That scene with his mother lying there, damn, that was crippling. My face would’ve have been swollen and bloated up until now if had not seen 1n2d prior to this episode (which I am not so sure if it’s the right move or not). I mean, while I was watching Kang To’s scenes, Joo won’s boyish side who’s afraid of bugs and crawly creepers keeps popping up in my head. It acted as a sort of a shock absorber so I was able to be calm and collected (say what now?haha).

  5. lordj

    gahhhhhh… tears are streaming down my face… and im in the office.

    • 5.1 lordj

      just when you thought things can’t go from worse to worst, another blow hits our hero. and i so love the concept that Kang To is not your typical goody two shoes hero. i mean his motivation at the beginning is purely for his own self interest (revenge).

      • 5.1.1 ladida

        But the original Gaksital’s was, too, right? Or am I getting that wrong?

      • 5.1.2 beggar1015

        But isn’t that how Batman got started, wanting to avenge his parents murders? Or Spiderman avenging his uncle being killed? Gaksitaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal wouldn’t be the first “hero” who began out of selfish reasons.

        • ladida

          That’s true. Haha, his name should officially be changed to include the screaming part.

    • 5.2 katiamon

      i was reading the recap in my office and you have no idea of how difficult is to keep silent, i wanted to scream: NO KANG SAN!… DAMN KENJI’S GONE!!! (mixed feelings) … NO THE END OF BROMANCE!!!!!! ;_;
      this is the drama of the season for me, the rest are not so interesting for me… even Big seem kind of flawed =S
      thanx for the recap GF!

    • 5.3 MsB

      I saw the scene when the mother got shocked and gasped out loud. My friend asked me what happened and she is clear across the other side of our office!

      • 5.3.1 MsB

        shot not shocked. Server disappeared for a second.

  6. kewbie

    Yikes! I’m glad I’m reading this first before watching. Thanks for recapping!

  7. Bigspacestar

    This show has turned me into a blubbering mess. Kangto’s wail when he realized his mom died…epic.

    • 7.1 CKDexter

      I have never heard such a horrific sound come out of a human being’s throat. Good god. Blubbering mess doesn’t even begin to describe it – goosebumps, tears and snot flying everywhere. Is my heart going to survive the rest of this series?

  8. idless

    Last night episode was like epic Greek tragedy. Damn it, if I was Kangto I would have massacred the whole police station and burn it down.

    I will miss KangTo’s


    • 8.1 Arhazivory

      Oh my! You’re right. We won’t hear him screaming it again. *sniffles* Now I feel like another character has died – the voice of GAKSITAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL!!

  9. Bandi

    BAAAAAAH D: was super sad!! but so good..also watched this episode instead of studying for orgo 😀

  10. 10 Yimm


  11. 11 kyellee

    i was traumatized JUST by reading the recaps, i haven’t even watched it yet..but i think i’m going to have to.

  12. 12 nikhapi

    Kang-to killed his own hyung! I didn’t see it coming! In Wednesday preview I never thought that the shot is infact by Kang-to’s gun… Gosh writer-nim! You are doing a great job here! And all the City Hunter comparison finally stops here.

    • 12.1 Jesse

      “And all the City Hunter comparison finally stops here.”
      This is exactly what I thought after I watched this episode.

      • 12.1.1 ladida

        You can say that again. I’m looking forward to Chun Ho Jin’s character *actually* being killed this time.

    • 12.2 queenofhearts

      I’m sorry City Hunter never even compared to this epicness of a drama. This drama is too dark, a line City Hunter never crossed. I don’t blame City Hunter, because the revenge was never his own..but this show takes revenge to a whole other meaning.

      BTW Joo Won deserves all the praise he is getting. Finally an actor who is not obsessed with crying pretty for the camera. He has no barriers in his acting skills because he doesn’t see the camera. He just immerses himself in the role and becomes that character.

      • 12.2.1 missjb

        I think is nothing to do with in City hunter, the theme is different. They focus solely on Justice.. SO the hero never take a real revenge

      • 12.2.2 SS

        oooooh. I love what you said about Joowon.

        During a SIU interview, he said that he doesnt’ care how he looks when he is filming. It was quite hard to believe cos he always look so darn good. But last night’s wail..that was so ugly yet so amazingly real. And the only way an actor can do that is to throw yourself into the character just like what you said

        • MsB

          The ugliness made it SO REAL!! I don’t know what thoughts he had to pull to bring those agonizing wails from but they were intense!

    • 12.3 gg

      exactly. especially for people who have never watched city hunter, it’s a little annoying to be always doing the comparison >.<

  13. 13 cv

    This is definitely a sad episode for Kangto. Losing his brother–who he killed and his mom who Kenji killed. IF this doesn’t turn him to be gaksital and take revenge, then I don’t know what will.

    • 13.1 Noala

      The even more horrible thing about the episode was that Kangto killed his brother while trying to SAVE the guy who killed his mom. It was the most twisted thing I’ve ever seen in a drama. I liked Kenji’s character, but I felt really relieved that he died because he deserved to die, haha T__T

  14. 14 Maya

    An epic episode! It’s so high on emotions, and also unexpected turns. Joo Woon’s acting really tugged my heart, esp the scene where he bawls at the sight of his dead mom. And when I thought that the actings from Joo Woon and Shin Hyun Jung are enough to dry my tear ducts, they just have to bring out the montages of Kang To with mom and hyung. I was crying a river…

    As I’ve commented in previous episode, I’m mentally prepared for Kang San to be killed off, but when it was Kang To who pulls the trigger, man it’s just so freaking tragic. And to think that it’s all resulting from his choice of being a mutt in order to protect his life and his family. It just adds that extra layer of irony to the story.

    But the bright side is he finally becomes the Gaksital! I’m pretty sure -at this point- that he just dons the mask to avenge his mom’s death and not (yet) doing it for the sake of Joseon’s people. So it’s definitely going to be interesting to see the gradual changes in his motivation. And that last scene with Shunji kind of reminds me a bit of Spiderman. Where Harry thought that Spiderman has killed his dad (Green Goblin) and then seeks revenge and becomes obsessed with finding the true identity of Spiderman to kill him. So then Kang To’s transformation to Gaksital bears more meaning, since it means he could also lose his friendship with Shunji (when he finds out his true identity). But I sincerely hope that this drama won’t turn adorable Shunji to the dark side.

    Anw, I’m hooked by this point and can’t wait for the next episode! Especially since I won’t have to see Kenji curling up his lips when he’s threatening somebody..

    • 14.1 Maya

      Btw, that last screencap! Kangtoyaaaaaa… *fanning eyes to keep tears away*

  15. 15 Musings

    That wail will freaking haunt me for days. It was so ugly and otherworldly. Shit really really hit the fan. When he shot his brother I thought NOOOO THIS IS BAD. then WOW THIS IS GOOOOOD.

    Am I a bad person for being excited about the two friends becoming mortal enemies from here on?

    • 15.1 MsB

      Enemies on two fronts. Over a woman and over the death of family! A dynamic I’ve never seen before!

      • 15.1.1 Musings

        Watch Princess’ Man 😉

  16. 16 kelinci biru

    I’m not sure I will have the guts to watch this episode. Maybe the solution will be watching this marathon with 1n2d. Just so I realize this drama and Joo Won is acting.

  17. 17 crazedlu

    this episode was AUUGGGHHH.


    just man…

  18. 18 r4tu

    i think i’ll never able to watch it with sub in KBS world, cos it’s too dark and angsty for me:(, i love joowon but i think i’ll stick with reading the awesome recap here, my heart can’t take it soo much pain hahaha

  19. 19 cheli

    I will miss Kang-san so much T_T

  20. 20 Kei

    Crying again while reading. Every episode gets better. Kang To loses all he wants to protect, rotten luck :'(

  21. 21 -K

    Ugh, every body is gonna die in the end I just know it.

    • 21.1 -K

      Oh, but you know what I love, that the whole world is going to sh*t and homeboy has to get there by bicycle. Classic.

      • 21.1.1 Arhazivory

        lol. Homeboy needs a car.

      • 21.1.2 ladida

        Bahahahahaha! I love the little touches of comedy in this how–like Kenji’s arm being broken over and over again. I would have been ok with him staying alive just so we could have seen his entire arm and shoulder in a cast. One of those huge ones that keeps your arm up at a right angle–and then he would’ve tried to get his gun with it! Haha, falling off my seat at the thought.

        • queenofhearts

          I totally agree. Sometimes I am so immersed with the emotions and then suddenly, the little moments of comedy crack me up. Mainly the circus crew..they add some fun sans that betrayer. God I want to kill her. Oh and I started cracking up at the guy who was eating every last drop..he took a toothpick out LOL. And also Konno (I really like this character), I love how frustrated he was about Taro..he just started saying his name in frustration over and over. I love when he has his guard down.

        • beggar1015

          That was why Kang To/Gaksital was able to get to Kenji, because Kenji couldn’t get his gun out of the holster for the cast on his hand. Of course, why he didn’t try to get the gun out with his left hand is cuz the writers wouldn’t let him.

          Poor Kenji seems to have gotten beat up by someone (Gaksital, Rie, Shunji, Dad, etc.) at least once in every episode. No wonder he had a cast. While I knew he would have to die sooner or later, I will miss the sorry bastard.

    • 21.2 chichiri

      Honestly, at this point, I don’t really think this is far from happening.

  22. 22 Mai

    Joo Won impresses me more and more with each episode. Fast becoming one of the greatest actors I’ve seen. I can’t wait to see more now that he has started the role of Gaksital. My gosh, why did he have to shoot his brother though, thank goodness MD didn’t die too otherwise, the guilt would never go away.

  23. 23 trixicopper

    I’m traumatized. I admit it.

    I wonder if group rates are available for the therapy we’re all gonna need by the end of this drama?

    • 23.1 mojobobo

      Maybe they can hold a fan meet where we can meet the actors in person for therapy. hahahah!

      • 23.1.1 mary

        Great idea!

        The session would involve Joo Won doing aegyo and saying “Bee…. King bee~~~~” repeatedly.

        • chichiri

          Bbyong~~ will do for me.

          • Arhazivory

            lol. It would work for me too.

  24. 24 kbap

    God the tears would not stop :'( Thank you for the recap! I think I will go drown in my tears now…

  25. 25 comradeS

    Until this episode, I wasn’t totally invested in this show… until the gut wrenching wail. I’m totally now a fan of Joo Won. Before I was kind of iffy, but man… that horrifying emotion. Seriously, I think this was one of the most horrifying hours of television I’ve ever watched.

    I think I’m still in shock from watching this episode… I keep thinking that I’ll watch next week’s episodes and Kang-san, Mum, and Kenji will all still be alive.

    It also wasn’t until this episode that I hated Kenji. Before I just pitied him, found him amusing, and loved the actor, Park Joo-hyung. But when he got up from killing Kang-to’s mother like it was nothing, I hated him. However, I am sad that the actor will no longer be in the show. Hopefully, Park Joo-hyung will get casted in another drama soon, because he was one the highlights for me so far, and I look forward to seeing what he will do.

    We all knew that Shimji and Kang-to were going to become enemies, but I figured it would be because of their mutual love for Mok Dam, and I was very satisfied that isn’t how it happened. Instead, it was because Kang-to killed Shimji’s hyung. I’m so excited to see where this drama will go now, though I kind of wish this episode had never happened. Only kind of.

    Still upset that three of my favorite characters were killed off, but now I’m definitely in this drama until the very end. Even if it kills me… which it probably will.

  26. 26 L-V

    poor kang to…T.T

    He is lonely now….hope Mok Dan will know the truth soon…

    • 26.1 anduril

      not too soon. maybe she can for sure find out that young master is behind the mask. But as someone else put it, I love the concept of Lois Lane loving Superman but loathing Clark Kent. The dichotomy is so fun.

      • 26.1.1 ilikemangos

        BINGO 😉

      • 26.1.2 Tyme

        Lol. Kang-To drops by as gaksital to rescue her, then shows up moments later as Kang-To in a police uniform. She glares at him and asks what he did to gaksital. xD I can already imagine Kang-To’s frustration…

  27. 27 KRush

    Wring from me such bloody tears!


    I’m not going to lie, I chickened out like a little baby and read the recap first because I KNEW IT WAS COMING AND, OH GOD, IT WAS SO MUCH WORSE THAN I GUESSED.

  28. 28 alicia

    He’s getting closer and closer to accepting the Gaksital role, and I can’t wait! It still tears me up everytime Kang-to and Mok Dan have a scene together. Can you guys figure it out already??? I’m waiting for that passionate kiss that’s just itching to happen.

  29. 29 Mary

    Wow! Wow! Just wow! I should have bought stock in Kleenex.

    • 29.1 queenofhearts

      Well in King2Hearts times, we decided that using a towel was most efficient for both the environment and our kdrama emotions. Kleenex just doesn’t cut it with this episode.

      • 29.1.1 ilikemangos


        so do hearties have environmental-friendly towels layin’ around somewhere? 😉

        • Hearties/Maskfan MsB

          Cleaned and never left my side 😀

  30. 30 Maggie70

    I just saw the first 5 minutes last night without subs… and now the recap… thanks! i think i need a hug even before I start watching the whole thing.

    a big group hug for our group therapy…

  31. 31 anabella

    Wow, i highly praise Joowon & SHJ acting here, extremely WOW!!!! What an epic sadness episode so far & i shed bucket of tears & box of tissue reading your recap. I think this tears will stop may be later.
    Thanks, anyway.

  32. 32 Rashell

    I just….don’t even have words. OMG! Seriously show? WHY are you trying to kill me too?

    I can’t even believe how much happened in one episode. Poor Kang To. My heart really does go out to him, but part of me does say that you reap what you sow. It’s so sad that it takes killing his own brother to make him see the light. Well, I assume. Since as GF pointed out at the end of this episode he was just seeking angry revenge not taking up the cause of the people.

    This show just breaks my heart, but it’s sooo good. Can’t wait until next week.

  33. 33 bluemoon

    WOW. JUST. WOW. This episode was EPIC. I don’t think I ever saw so many death (of the main supporting casts) in just one episode in any of the Korean Dramas before.

    It was very painful to see Kang To cried when he found out his mother is also dead. Heartbreaking scene!!!! With the death of his mother and brother, it’s like everything he has been working hard for means nothing at all now. His goal in life, at least, was to be able to provide for his family and take his brother to get treatment in Japan…that’s why he’s working so hard.

    Overall, this is a painfully awesome episode.

  34. 34 Cinderella

    I’m telling you… Joo Won’s wails in this drama (and other dramas) are going to be his signature, whether they’re wails of anguish or anger…

  35. 35 21

    So many deaths in one episode. I was almost in tears reading this recap, this drama is really not for the faint hearted! Kind of excited for how Joo-won will become the heroic Gaksital and the his first love’s heart once again! Thankyou!!

  36. 36 Brenda

    Thank you so much for the recap. This drama is so dark and emotion-heavy that it drives me nuts while making me love it een more.
    When I saw Shunji biking his way over to the police station I had te same thought about whether or not someone shoul get him a car or somethig since it looked off if he’s stuck pedalling everywhere but maybe that wil change once the turns to the dark side.
    On a different note, it honestly scared me when Kang-to busted into the police station since it was obvious he would be out for revenge since he doesn’t know that Mok Dan was captured.
    Like you Girlfriday, I will look forward to watching him grow into the mask and accept the responsibilities that will be handed to him to protect everyone since he isn’t ready yet.

    Joo Won continues to impress me with his acting. I could feel my heart breaking as he wailed out of loss an sorrow today.

  37. 37 Alysanne

    Oh gawd.

    I think I should go watch back episodes of 1N2D now.


  38. 38 missjb


    My love for this is show is no joke. It’s getting better and better! Oo Gaksital I love u full!

  39. 39 FireOnIce

    It’s not too early to say that Joowon deserves an award – one and even more – for his portrayal of this complex character. His cries… You can feel his pain and guilt and it pierces your heart. It must’ve been both exhausting and heartwrenching for Joowon himself to do that scene. He definitely possesses the makings of a good actor and it doesn’t make sense if this drama doesn’t achieve at least a rating of 35-40%.

    This episode is a massive tearjerker. I couldn’t bear the number of deaths in just a short span of time – mother, hyung and then Kenji (though he had it coming). The hyung-dongsaeng confrontation was intense and hands down the climax of everything; though yes, this episode is filled with EVERYTHING. Emotions, flashbacks, betrayals, love, hate.

    Boon Yi’s theory came true – Gaksital is Kangto now. He will never undo his doings, but he can learn to, at long last, face the world and do his family proud. And live as a person should.

    You can never ever hate someone who cries like that. Even in the form of Lee Kangto.

    • 39.1 bishbash

      luckily he has 1N2D to turn to.

      • 39.1.1 Alysanne

        I am curious to know what his castmates in 1N2D (especially UTW and KSW) think of Gaksital. 😉

        • L-V

          me too… I always wanna know what his 1N2D hyung said about his act.. ^^

          • SS

            me three…but I think there’s like 2 weeks gap between filming and broadcast. Unless you are talking about the show in general, for this particular episode, you can only hear their views 1 or 2 weeks later.

  40. 40 dian

    Omi seriously. Seeing him crying his heart out infront of his grandma in Ojakgyo Brothers hurts me. I cry a bucket during that scene.

    But here.. It hurts even more!

    Looking forward for his new transformation… Gaksitaaaaaaaaaaaal. Sad that both their hyungs now gone. I love the two Hyungs.. Shin Hyun Joon and Park Joo Hyung.

    So now, Kenji is dead. Kang To will be the head now?

    • 40.1 Rose

      … Aaa also the breakup scene with Uee and kneeling for forgiveness from Dad. Argh. It’s killing me. Ooohh sorry, talk to much about Ojakkyo Brothers here 🙂

      But, yesterday’s episode was daebak. I dunno wether we will be able to watch him cry like that after this.. Losing mom and hyung is unbearable. Lonely Kang To.

      Now, I’m dying to know when and how will Shunji transform into the bad guy… Can’t wait.

      He must be not acting harsh like his crazy bro Kenji, but I sense that Shunji type of evil is more dangerous than Kenji.

      • 40.1.1 houstontwin

        I’m so sad that sweet Shunji will become a bad guy!

  41. 41 bishbash

    Gaksital is SO GOOD that it’s immensely bad for health, period.

    It’s like last year’s summer with City Hunter; this year’s summer is with Gaktisal~~~~~~~

    • 41.1 SS

      Ahh…so we are not done with the comparisons with City Hunter yet, are we?

      But since I totally agree with you that this show is bad for health then may I say City Hunter is like a prick of a needle on your pinkie while Gaksital is like taking the sword and doing a Harakiri.

      No wonder I feel much much worse

      • 41.1.1 queenofhearts

        LOL. I feel the pain.

      • 41.1.2 Chapsali

        Doing a Harakiri..I know what you’re trying to say, but still I don’t think that analogy is appropriate for this drama based on Korean history in the early 20th century. This scene is more painful for Koreans whose relatives might have been slain by Japanese in that period..

  42. 42 stars4u

    And most of the bad things happened in just one night…
    Family lost and bromance broken all in a blink of an eye.

  43. 43 nikeeda

    Seriously twisted… and pretty cool actually. You can definitely see the hero going down the path of no return with all these events occurring. Thanks GF for the wonderful recap!

  44. 44 iDK

    I’m shell-shocked. I’m so shell-shocked, I laughed at bits of the recap like a crazy person. Oh my heart…

    I was mentally prepared for Mom & hyung to die this early, so oddly enough, I think I’m going to miss Kenji the most. The actor did a good job embodying his character and I expected him to stick around and occupy Lee Kang-to’s time for a little longer. But he’s gone, the easy target is gone. Shunji and Ueno Rie are going to have to step it up next week.

    But for now I think I’m going to sit in a corner and mourn. TT^TT

  45. 45 reglest

    LOVE IT!
    I know they will kill Kang-San, but to take big step of Kang To who kill Kang-San need thumbs up!

  46. 46 KDrama Fan

    Full-on! Thanks GF!

  47. 47 red

    Just wow, this episode was epic, just reading the recap made me well up again. There were many moments in this episode that had me frozen, I could hardly breathe when that shot rang out, and in that moment when the camera panned back I was desperately hoping someone else had jumped into the fray. For Kang to to shoot his brother just makes it more than just avenging his death, as much as it kills me, its just pure dark awesomeness.

    But the moment that broke me was when he falls back after Kang San dies in his arms and he calls for his mother. The fear and vulnerability in his voice just broke my heart. I was always a Joo Won fan- and his crying scenes in ojakgyo brothers had me sobbing but this brought it to a whole new level.

  48. 48 Aquila

    Joo Won – You’re killing me… I went through a box of tissue and then another box when I re-watched the tragic scene. Why do you do this to me?!!!

    …and then laugh my head off while watching a re-run of 1N2D… The many faces of Joo Won!!!

    But… my poor heart… can’t handle anymore its too heart wrenching…

  49. 49 Arhazivory

    I love how the show blew all our expectations out of the water. We expected Kang San to die and maybe Kang To would angrily avenge his death. Um…not much avenging you can do when the killer is you. So….twisted.

    That wail. I had to reduce the volume because I thought my father in the other room would get worried and because it was just so….wow. Actually from he started to cry over his hyung’s body as the memories floated through his mind, I was already fighting tears. Then he started to scream for her and then….that wail. What kind of torment and sadness did Joo Won tap into to get him to wail like that. It’s a little frightening and my love for him as an actor grew. (Yeah, I totally need some 1N2D therapy).

    I…honestly did not expect Kenji to die. I’ve gotten so used to the kdrama ‘hero’ who exacts revenge but never really kills or hurts anybody seriously. Actually would put them in prison or something. This completely shocked me and the fact that he used his bare hands to kill him really shocked me.

    On another note. Kyaaa~! He looks all cute and skinny in his Gaksital outfit. I read that Joo Won refuses to use a stunt double so we shouldn’t be seeing any odd doubles again. He neds to change his yell, because when he yelled at Kenji, it was a dead giveaway that he’s Kang To. lol

    • 49.1 SS

      heee, that’s what I thought about the yell too. I know we’ll never get to hear GaksitAAAAAAAAAAAAAl!!!! again but that yell is quite a giveaway, isn’t it?

      However, even if he keeps his mouth shut, there’s another problem. Who else in Joseon or even Korea now possess that cute little pout?

      • 49.1.1 anabella

        The one & only Kangto—yahhh!!!!

      • 49.1.2 Arhazivory

        Oh that pout~! Cute. But everyone in Joseon hates him so I guess they never really took note. Maybe the Spy Girl will figure him out. 😀

    • 49.2 missjb

      actually, based on his attitude that has been develop so far, I already expected he is the one who will kill his hyung. and IMO that’s the only thing that will make him turn into gaksital, and of the reason is to pay his sin.

      • 49.2.1 SS

        maybe i had too little sleep and my head pretty messed up but how did this attitude lead him to kill his hyung? Sure, his attitude led him to hate Gaksital and kill him but he definitely wouldn’t have if he knew it was his hyung.

        He turns to Gaksital primarily not to pay for his sin but to revenge his family and perhaps new level of hatred for the japanese. And in being Gaksital, because he hated himself for what he has done and has nothing to live for anyway, his life would matter little to him. Probably he will think that only his death will atone for his sins.

        • missjb

          What I mean is his attitude to shoot a gun very easily, I already know that soon The drama will take that road… he will shoot his Hyung like he did with Mok Dan without knowing he shoot the one he love…

          Off course One of his main reason is to take revenge for his family, But I believe, one of the reason he take Gaksital roles is he feels guilty towards his Hyung, and want to continue His hyung roles. But It just my perceptions… don’t be mad 🙂

          • SS

            Hee…i am not mad at you, just mad. After watching and rewatching and now still thinking and writing about it here, what sanity do I have left?

        • ladida

          Hmmm…I agree: I don’t think he ever would have knowingly killed his brother. I can definitely see him turning him into the police and throwing him in jail, though, especially since he would have felt so betrayed that he’d been lied to about his mental condition for so many years. But missjb probably means that narratively they saw that the character would have to kill his brother in a tragic hero archetype sort of thing?

    • 49.3 queenofhearts

      LOL I was half-expecting him to say BINGO after killing Kenji…that would be a dead giveaway as well.

      • 49.3.1 Arhazivory

        lol. I wonder if we’ll ever hear ‘bingo’ again. You can see his transformation in the previews. The look in his eye is that of controlled anger and even the change in hairstyle just adds a new dimension to the character.

  50. 50 luci8le

    This drama is going where City Hunter never dared to go. Killing its heroes and its baddies in one episode. It’s not just flirting with the dark side! It’s embracing it!
    Joo Won is doing an amazing job!
    omo I need smiling Joo Won right now : 1n2d therapy NOW!

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