Drama Recaps
Gaksital: Episode 8
by | June 21, 2012 | 174 Comments

Is it… don’t tell me… is it time for the up-do? Awwww yeah. I always get the best episodes. *mehrong at javabeans* Kang-to gets hardcore, throwing himself headlong into revenge. He goes even further to create his cover, becoming an even bigger bastard than he was before (if that’s even possible). And yet, I just keep swooning at the hair. The Episode in Which Kang-to Gets a Hairdo, and I go weak in the knees.


We open on Kang-to’s morning routine, as he shaves intensely. Mrawr.

He goes to put on his uniform, and then rips the nametag off furiously. He heads straight to the tailor to get a new one stitched, for his Japanese name: Sato Hiroshi. Goddamnit. Now he has ANOTHER name? He’s trying to break me, is what.

He marches into the central government building and salutes to Kono, reporting for duty by his new name. Kono is as pleased as ever to see his ace return, and brings him up to speed: Kimura has prematurely announced Gaksital’s death to cover up his own suspicious activity.

Kang-to: “Gaksital is not dead. He will return.” Kono promises him Kenji’s position if he figures out Kimura’s weakness.

Kang-to walks into the police station to find it bustling with Koreans being questioned. He launches himself at Fire Starter, grabbing him by the collar to ask if he’s the one who lit his house on fire and killed his mother.

He asks Koiso why these people are being questioned, and scoffs at the answer: because they were given the bank’s money by Gaksital, and are now being charged as accomplices.

Kang-to demands to know why no one’s prosecuting this man for killing his family, and why no one is investigating that murder. Koiso challenges him, wondering why anyone should care about two Koreans who died, and Kang-to punches him to the ground.

He pulls out his gun while Koiso reaches for his, and makes it clear that it’s the death of a police officer’s family he’s talking about, not just two Koreans. He announces himself as Sato Hiroshi, and makes his anti-Korean position even clearer, for all to see.

Kang-to: “How much Korean blood I will get on my hands…” he swivels his gun at Fire Starter, “Shall I start with you?”

The crowd stirs in fear, and Abe rushes to Kang-to, begging him to calm down. There’s no evidence yet that this man is responsible. Koiso scoffs for him to go ahead and shoot, so he does, right past Koiso’s head and into the wall behind him. Yeesh.

But the argument comes to a screeching halt at the arrival of one disapproving Chief Kimura, who calls him to his office. Kang-to braces himself (and I’m hoping that it’s an indication that this is all an act) and goes inside.

As soon as he steps into the office, something comes flying at his head, and he catches it in midair. Badass. Let’s watch that again!

He opens his hand to see a badook piece, and hides it as he bows. Kimura sits calmly continuing his game with another piece, as if nothing happened. Kimura: “You can catch a badook stone flying at you, but you lost a bullet-wounded Gaksital?”

Touché, old man. But Kang-to already has an explanation prepared: Gaksital was not acting alone that night. Kimura calls Koiso in, and he confirms having seen Gaksital’s accomplice once knock Kang-to out.

Kang-to paints Gaksital as a terrorist organization with many agents posing as the hero. See, I think that’s cooler. In any case, it’s fiction, but now he’s got Kimura quaking in his boots at the thought.

Kimura orders Mok Dan to be interrogated at once, and Koiso nervously informs them that she kinda sorta escaped… and Shunji told him not to pursue it. Kang-to fumes and asks Kimura to let him handle this, because he’s the only one who can go up against Shunji. Kimura complies, and orders the rest of the Koreans to be freed.

Shunji blankly leads his class in a song pledging allegiance to Japan, and Sun-hwa’s little brother gets up to ask—Teacher didn’t kill Gaksital, right? Shunji flares up in anger, and when the kid asks why they’re singing the song today when they never did before, he loses his temper outright.

He yells at the boy to put his hands out and whips them. The boy cries, and then finally Shunji snaps out of it and stumbles out of the room. That’s scarier I think, than the conscious kind of anger and violence.

It’s starting to show more and more, that Shunji was not immune to growing up in the Kimura household. He stumbles down the hall, and Mok Dan watches from the window. She brings him a lunch packed by Sun-hwa, and he hangs his head, feeling guiltier than ever at treating her brother like that.

Mok Dan turns to go, and Shunji asks why she’s not asking about Gaksital—that’s why she’s here, isn’t it? He tells her to just be angry at him. She admits to coming here because of Gaksital, but says she can’t ask because she sees that he’s having a hard time.

She reminds him of how much his students love him and walks away. He runs after her and throws his arms around her in a backhug. She squirms at first, but then he tells her that Gaksital might still be alive. She sighs in relief and thanks him.

And from the distance, Kang-to watches with a furrowed brow. Not that… his brow does anything other than furrow. It’s sort of permanently in furrow mode.

He drowns his pain in whiskey at the Angel Club, and Rie sidles up to his table with a smile. She asks if he doesn’t remember her, and Kang-to just grabs her onto his lap, “Do you like this oppa?”

She gives him a kiss, drawing the attention of everyone in the room. She whispers that her name is Lala (her stage name) and tells him not to forget her this time. Yeah I don’t think he will. Sizzle.

Mok Dan runs to her Gaksital tree and rips the lining from her skirt and draws her knife. She slices her finger and uses her blood to write “Boon-yi,” and hangs it from the tree. And…the reason you couldn’t have done that with ink is?

The Count and Countess ride along on a train when a man storms into their dining car wielding a bundle of dynamite and a lighter. He’s apparently trying to cross the border illegally, and says that if they help him, he’ll get off quietly at the next stop. Otherwise, they all blow up.

He takes his spot next to the Count when the soldiers walk in to check everyone’s papers. All it would take is one smooth lie from the Count, except he’s the biggest spazz there was, and totally blows the cover.

The man grabs the Count as his hostage and lights the dynamite in his face… when another passenger, Mysterious Mustache Man, trips him and tosses the dynamite out the window, just in time to save the day.

Mustache Man has a name: Choi Tae-gon, president of a gold mine. You can literally see the cartoon dollar/won/yen signs coming out of their eyes. The Count and Countess become fast friends with the gold miner and they come out of the train station together.

But as they make their goodbyes, a curious thing: Dynamite Man gets hauled away, and then winks at Mustache Man, who nods back. A grifter, perhaps? I like the twist.

Kang-to gets his shoes shined in the street, leisurely reading the paper. After a while the shoe-shiner looks up… and it’s Baek Gun. Nice. Love the super secret spy stuff.

Baek Gun instructs him that his first order of business is to clean up the frame job on Gaksital—he would never have killed innocent bank workers. Kang-to says bingo, confirming his guess that Gaksital wouldn’t have done it, and storms off.

He starts at the newspaper to look at the crime scene photos.

Meanwhile bank president Jo is choking on his own gold filling while frolicking with his favorite gisaeng in the middle of the afternoon, and the doctor has to rush over to heimlich it out of him.

For his trouble he gets a good financial tip: the Joseon marketplace will go bankrupt soon. They all have a good laugh about it. Kimura comes by to make sure that Jo isn’t blabbing their organization’s secrets, and Jo insists he’s very careful. You mean like you were two minutes ago?

Kang-to waits on a bridge when a woman arrives to meet him. He smiles devilishly.

Cut to: Kang-to, making time with Jo’s favorite gisaeng. Omg, is he Bruce-Wayne-ing his way through town? This is both hilarious and awesome.

It seems from their interaction that their relationship isn’t new—she’s clearly head-over-heels for Kang-to, who just romances the secrets right out of her. Ha.

He reports to Kono, who laughs in glee. Kang-to’s plan is to follow the money. It went from the bank to Gaksital to the marketplace people, and back to Kimura. So wherever it goes next is how they’ll catch him red-handed in whatever nefarious plot he’s cooking up.

Kono calls his hyung, the governor general, to tell him that he’s found Kenji’s replacement. Only at the same time, Rie tells Kimura that Kishokai would like to see Shunji in that position.

Kimura says it’ll be hard to get approved—Shunji is a schoolteacher after all. But Rie assures him that if Shunji agrees, she can get the necessary approval. He swears by Shunji’s Kimura blood, but Rie wonders if the man who lives among the Joseon people, teaches them, and is in love with a Joseon woman, will in fact pledge allegiance to the state.

Kimura’s eyes widen at the part about his son being in love with a Korean, and she clocks his surprise. She adds that Kishokai has collected the funds to erect a statue in the governor general’s honor, so “You will soon have what you want.” Hm.

Kimura storms into his office and calls Kang-to in. He now repeats his words earlier about being the only one to handle Shunji when it comes to Mok Dan. What does he know about his son and that girl?

Kang-to tells him the backstory, and Kimura fills in the blanks—his stolen sword, that girl in the hospital, Shunji’s betrayal.

Shunji is deep in the throes of his own angst, as he thinks back to his conversation with Mok Dan. He’s come to the same conclusion that she has—that Gaksital is her first love, the one who gave her that knife.

He grabs the costume version of the bride’s mask sitting in the classroom and throws it to the ground. He stomps it to pieces in a rage.

Kang-to arrives to see the mask smashed to bits, and warns Shunji that his father knows about his relationship with Mok Dan. Kang-to says that he’s going to live more tenaciously than ever before—if they tell him to kill, he’ll kill, and if they tell him to die, he’ll die.

He ends with, “This is the last of my friendship with you.” Aw, is his warning about Mok Dan the last ounce of bromance? Say it ain’t so!

Kang-to walks out, and Shunji runs after him. He demands to know if Kang-to is going to throw Mok Dan at Dad’s feet. Kang-to: “Then should I report that I can’t, because it’s the girl you like?”

Shunji asks if there’s no other way to catch Gaksital without Mok Dan. Dad comes bursting into the school and then stops when he overhears their conversation.

He watches as Shunji insists that Mok Dan knows nothing about Gaksital. Kang-to: “Gaksital killed your hyung. Even if it’s not me, that girl will be captured. Can you protect her till the end?”

Shunji: “Even if Mok Dan killed Hyung, I cannot give her up.” Dayum. How many ways can this war be waged? Kang-to stalks off and Shunji turns around… to see Dad standing there.

Dad approaches slowly… and then TAKES OUT A GUN? He cocks it, and shoots. Eek! The bullet flies right past Shunji’s head and takes out a sign behind him. Kimura: “From now on, Shunji’s last name is not Kimura!” He storms off.

Kang-to goes to see bank president Jo and shows him the pictures of his dead employees. He points out that this is the work of a skilled swordsman, and that Gaksital was framed for the crime. Jo insists that’s ridiculous.

But when alone, he stops to think over that night’s events. His employees were robbed, and then they contacted him. He called Kimura, who ordered them to stay put while officers were sent to the scene. And then they were killed.

He makes the connection and runs off, and Kang-to watches with a smile. Could he look any hotter in that white suit? That up-do is doing weird things to me. Humona.

Jo runs to the bank to empty out his emergency safe and make a run for it, when Gaksital comes charging in. He fights off the guards and chases Jo down. (How does a horse beat a car?)

Gaksital quickly gets the upper hand, and Jo gets backed into a corner. Gaksital raises his stick to strike… Jo screams…

Meanwhile Abe searches everywhere for Kang-to, like a puppy who lost his master. Koiso gets a visit from Kye-soon, who asks for the payment that Kenji owes her. Instead he threatens her for new information on Mok Dan’s whereabouts. I don’t even feel sorry for you.

She returns to the circus in time for that night’s show, and Koiso and his men storm into the tent to arrest the whole troop in the middle of the performance. Sun-hwa’s little brother runs home crying to Mok Dan. She races out after them, and finds Shunji loitering outside.

She tells him what’s happening and he tries to stop her from turning herself in. She’ll get killed that way. But she tells him that Sun-hwa is both Mom and Dad to that little boy, and she can’t take that away from him.

He panics, screaming that he can’t ever let her go. Mok Dan: “Kimura Shunji! You and I are different. Do you still not know that?” She tells him that this is the end of their friendship (aw, rough day for Shunji) and walks away.

The circus troop gets hauled into the station and Koiso orders them to give up Mok Dan. Kye-soon leads him to Shin Nan-da, which gets him to Sun-hwa, and he scares the life out of her. She cries, trembling in terror.

Just in time, Mok Dan marches right in and gives herself up, ordering Koiso to let the others go. I love her sass. He reports to Kimura, who says he’ll question her himself.

He gets ready to leave, when Shunji comes home and kneels in front of Dad. He agrees to do as Dad wants—to live as a Kimura now.

Dad is still fuming with anger that he’s in love with a Joseon girl, in league with the man who killed his brother no less. He yells at him to get out and never return.

But Shunji says, “I know it now. I knew only after Hyung died. That I am, to the bone, Japanese.” It doesn’t sound like Shunji, but it must be his concession to Dad, a way to convince him that he’s willing to be the dutiful son.

Shunji bows his head and promises to wear the uniform proudly, just as Father and Kenji did. Only, he has a request…

“Just let that girl go, just this once. The moment I put on the uniform, I will erase all memory of her.”

Damn, that’s a good reason to get him into uniform. Next thing we know, Koiso is muttering to himself as he and Abe open the door to tell the entire circus troop that they can go.

They’re so disbelieving (and wanting to stay with Mok Dan in solidarity) that he literally has to drag them out of jail.

Kang-to arrives at the station just in time to see the circus troop walking out, and starts to run in at the news that Mok Dan was captured. But she walks out first, right into his path.

She gets in his face and asks why he’s letting them go. Aw, Shunji made the sacrifice but Kang-to gets the credit? She asks angrily if it’s because Gaksital is dead and he no longer needs her as bait.

He warns, “If you come here one more time, you’ll die by my hand.” Mok Dan: “A bastard like you should be dead, and Gaksital should be alive.”

Kang-to asks Abe why she was freed and finds out that it was Chief Kimura’s order. He wonders what the hell is going on.

Kono gets the certificate for Kang-to’s promotion ready, but the ink hasn’t even dried by the time he finds out that Shunji will be taking the position instead. He fumes.

He storms into the governor general’s office, blathering to hyung about nepotism, only to realize belatedly that Kimura is sitting right there. He’s there with the Count and Countess, the doctor, and their new gold mine friend, all there to give the governor a generous donation—a box of gold bars, among other things.

They’ve clearly bought his loyalty, and quite easily at that. They present themselves as part of the committee in charge of the government-general’s anniversary and stroke his ego about the size of the statue to be made in his image. The important fact is that these Kishokai members will be in charge of the government’s money for the project, which we can assume will not quite reach its intended purpose?

Then it’s time for Shunji’s induction into the police force, skipping rank right up to Kenji’s position.

He salutes in front of the flag and the crowd cheers. He comes down and greets Kang-to as Sato Hiroshi, and Kang-to salutes him as his superior officer.

This. Is. Bad.


The more and more Shunji gets pitted against Kang-to, the more intense and exciting the story gets. But I’m torn because I want their friendship to survive. That’s not gonna happen, is it? Waaah.

I like the twist in Shunji’s motivation to join the police force—he doesn’t just flip an evil switch overnight or something—he does it to save the girl. I like the conundrum of Shunji’s character as much as Kang-to’s, in that he’s not the bad guy, but he’s playing the bad guy. Just as Kang-to isn’t the good guy, but he’s playing the good guy. It’s actually kind of perfect, as far as symmetry goes. And you get the sense that despite each being in his position for other reasons, they will end up the villain and the hero anyway, against all odds.

I actually rather like that Kang-to doesn’t have some epiphany that sends him to heroland either. He’s using Gaksital as a means to an end, and that end is in no way heroic, at least not yet. He’s a bad guy using a good guy’s disguise to get his pound of flesh, because he’s pretty much clinging to his family’s revenge as his last purpose in life.

I do wish we got to see more of Kang-to’s inner turmoil though, because we know that Sato Hiroshi is his cover for Gaksital—the more hateful he becomes, the stronger the cover. And yet, it’s confusingly believable that he harbors that much hate against his own people, after what happened to his family. I firmly believe his personal guilt outweighs that and it’s definitely an exaggerated persona, but damn if it doesn’t seem real a lot of the time. He certainly walks that fine line. Or dances on it dangerously is more like it.

I’m dying for more scenes between Kang-to and Rie. So much snap crackle and pop. Can he please have to seduce HER for secrets? Or the other way around? Whichever. Gah, what is wrong with me?! Is it the hair? It’s probably the change in his persona, not so much the hair itself, that’s got me excited. He’s charging forward with purpose and getting things done, which is insanely hot. Though for now, everything is motivated by revenge, so he’s no hero, that’s for sure.

I love the idea that Kang-to is in no way a good guy, but that taking up the mantle of a hero will put him on the path to becoming one. It’s the notion that he’ll be changed from the outside-in, because of the mask, not for it. Which, if true, is perfect. There’s pretty much nothing better than a reluctant hero’s journey to finding a mission and a purpose, and I really, really hope that’s where we’re going. Don’t fail me now, grasshopper.


174 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Maya

    So.. Shunji is a cop now, I can see that coming from last episode, but he is also Kang To’s supervisor? Now that’s something.. I guess you don’t have to go to police academy/climb the rank to get the position if daddy and friends can buy it for you. Despite me disliking Shunji’s new moody character (him shouting at the kids and punishing that little kid) I gotta say that he looks so damn cool in that white uniform. It’s gonna be interesting to see their dynamics. Them “working together” to catch Gaksital, and fighting against each other.
    And gaksital-transformation-wise, Kang To looks more composed now towards the Joseon people. I know part of it is because he knows who the real culprit is, but that guy is still the one who burnt down his house. Old Kang To will definitely beat that guy like there’s no tomorrow, but him restraining might be a sign of him feeling partly (or a little bit) guilty with these people for his actions in the past
    Btw, I also like the dynamics between Kang To and the bodyguard ahjussi. Giving him the tip off while polishing his shoes, so top secrety. I think he’ll act as the informant from now on? Or Alfred to Kang To’s “Batman”?
    Ooo… And Mok Dan’s dad is back! I bet he will work together with Gaksital later on. And he needs to be more secretive when exchanging looks and smiles with his accomplice next time or else his cover will be blown.
    Btw, that opening scene… Someone please get Joo Woon some electric shaver/razor CF! 😀

    • 1.1 Maya

      Whoaaa… I’m first?! 😀

      • 1.1.1 Nana

        Congrats! 😀

        • Maya

          Thank you! *fanning eyes to keep tears away*

      • 1.1.2 Heidi

        I’ve just heard this:
        “[OBS플러스 이예지 기자] KBS2 수목드라마 ‘각시탈’이 연장방송을 결정했다 KBS 2 Kdrama @kbsgaksital has decided to extend the broadcast.
        26일 KBS측의 한 관계자는 OBS플러스와의 전화통화에서 “최근 ‘각시탈’이 4회 연장을 결정했다. 이로써 총 28회로 종영할 예정이다”라고 알렸다.
        On June 26, a call from KBS representative confirms OBS that Bridal Mask will extend from 24 episodes to 28, and will end on September 28.”

        If it is true then we’ll have 2 more episodes to watch our hero as a badass Gaksital! 🙂

        • Heidi

          oh I was too excited about the extension that I wrote 2 more but its actually 4 more episodes

    • 1.2 Maya

      I like how you say Shunji is playing the bad guy and Kang To playing the good guy. Although I have to say that once Shunji gets into his obssesive-gaksital-hater mode, he could be one scary guy. And like Kang To who will be changed outside-in, I’m kinda wary that Shunji’s transformation will happen from inside out (His hatred towards Gaksital and his jealousy too). I really can see a complicated plot in the future…

      -I need to stop replying to my own post *still on first comment high*-

    • 1.3 ladida

      “but he is also Kang To’s supervisor?”

      I know, so interesting, right? And the way he became his supervisor wasn’t just through nepotism, but through a deal with his father that saved Mok Dan. It was strategic on his part. It was his decision, not (just) his father’s, and he knew about the situation before Kang To did. Everyone had already left Shunji–Kang To, his father, and Mok Dan–but he makes this one (supposedly) last gesture to her, even after she has cut off ties with him. I like his transformation more than Kang To’s. Kang To’s was full of angst, but it was so abrupt. I don’t really know what he’s thinking right now. But with Shunji we are actually getting a kind of Jekyll and Hyde theme, which I think is just fabulous/ingenious because since the beginning he’s been this character stuck in the middle: his family works for the imperialists, but he’s in love with a Joseon girl; he’s a gentle teacher, but he’s teaching Joseon students Japanese stuff. He’s always had this tension in his life, even when he was all mild mannered and smiling all the time, and Jekyll/Hyde is all about tension and control. He isn’t over to the dark side yet, and I don’t think he’ll be completely there till the end of the series because of how he feels about Mok Dan. I have a feeling he’s always going to try to spare her.

      And it shows how Kang To’s priorities have changed, too. He used to be all about bureaucracy and the career possibilities it afforded, but now he has other things to worry about, other things he cares more about. How awesome is it that when he finally “officially” adopts the Japanese name that he threw in his mother’s face, the name that gives him more credence and power in his public profession/life, he doesn’t really want it any more?

      • 1.3.1 Maya

        That is so eloquently written, ladida! 🙂 Just like you said, his transformation is indeed more interesting than Kang To, although for me it’s something I didn’t see coming. I used to assume that he’ll be the silent sufferer second lead, but this this really change the game. And it’s interesting how different their motives of transformation. One to protect the woman he loves, while the other is to avenge his family. And I totally get that Hyde and Jekill vibe from him. When he chase off Kang To from the police station or when he got lost in his thoughts on Gaksital. I can see it coming.
        And to think that they now fill an opposing role to the previous Kang To as the cop chasing Kang San as Gaksital, and now it’s Shunji as the cop chasing Kang To as Gaksital. He used to be watching from the side line, but now he’s one of the main players.

      • 1.3.2 Maya

        Someone (BelleBrunette) brought a good point about how Kang To is also playing the bad guy in the beginning (and eventually turning out as the bad guy) because he chose to protect and provide for his family. Just like Shunji is doing it to protect the woman he loves.
        After a quick rewatch of episode 1, I can feel that Kang To is actually not that bad. The scene where he was going to give  sweets to the children made me think that he still have compassions for the Joseon people. It just that his image as the cruel Japanese cop (the bad guy at least for Joseon people) has been emphasized and implanted throughout the series. He doesn’t really enjoy doing the job, but because of his love and good intentions for his family, he works so hard on his work to gain credits and promotions. So he can buy a new house for his mom and to take his hyung for treatment in Tokyo. And him being so caught up in his job came across as cruel and heartless but that is what the job expects him to be. He abuses people because he needs to get information from them, and that is the fastest way to do it. If he ever fails his job then there goes his hopes for healing his hyung and protecting his family.

        And that’s how his priorities change in the end. Now that mom is gone and so does hyung (and realizing that hyung was never mentally disabled on top of killing him). He doesn’t see the need for promotion anymore. Who needs money and position when you have no one to protect or to provide for anymore. Now he is just doing his job as his cover for his revenge (his only purpose now). He got Kono on his side to investigate the secret organization and he is not in charge of catching Gaksital anymore, so that works to his benefit as well.

        The more I think about Kang To character, the more I feel that life has really screwed him. He sacrificed his own education and worked through his teen years to provide for his hyung’s education only to have hyung gone bonkers in prison because of his involvement in the independence movement. That required him to be the breadwinner for the family and the only job available for him that could give him good money to provide his family without formal education is to become a Japanese cop. But that estranged him from his mom and other Joseon people. Which prolly contributed to his short temper. And then, he killed his own brother just because he was trying so hard to do his job and finds out that the reason he has to take the job in the first place is really for nothing, hyung was never ill after all! Really screwed him.

        Side note: I also find it fascinating that once someone dons the white uniforms, it’s like immediate sign that he will turn to be the bad guy…

        • BelleBrunette

          “Side note: I also find it fascinating that once someone dons the white uniforms, it’s like immediate sign that he will turn to be the bad guy…” Interesting point, especially considering gaksital’s uniform (trademark?) is also white.

    • 1.4 mojobobo

      I have to agree Shunji looks very good in his uniform ahahah. I still find the change in his character too abrupt and him doing this for Mok Dan makes him seem like a lovelorn puppy. I could have done without that. T_T

    • 1.5 CM

      How on earth have you managed to see that the moustache guy is Mok Dan’s father!? You’ve got some eagle eyes! His first appearance was in episode 1, so many things happened since then that everyone might have forgotten about him.

      • 1.5.1 Maya

        Haha… It just that I always thought that Mok Dan’s dad looks a bit (okay, a lot) like that guy who played the dad in High Kick 2. So I just knew immediately when I spot him on the train. 😀

      • 1.5.2 Maya

        Haha… It just that I always thought that Mok Dan’s dad looks a bit (okay, a lot) like that guy who played the dad in High Kick 2. So I just knew immediately when I spot him on the train. 😀

    • 1.6 DarknessEyes

      whoa you caught that that is her dad????? You have some amazing memory + eyes! I didn’t notice at all, and that would be the last person I would think it would be! O.o

      • 1.6.1 linda macy

        I caught that is was her Dad, because I liked him so much in The Great Queen SeonDeok. He is such a calm, quiet talent. love him! He smiles with his eyes.

        • Maya

          Ah, now I remember him. He was one of Mishil’s husbands right? Is he the same guy who also played the Dad in High Kick 2? I checked DramaWiki, but High Kick 2 was not listed there. However DramaWiki can be a bit off with the list sometimes.

  2. stars4u

    the ending…

    The end of bromance?

  3. lordj

    hahaha. gf is right jb. It seems she always gets the “better” episodes.
    Thanks for the recap. Off to read

  4. Rashell

    HA..as soon as he put on that new nametag I thought of you and JB, GF. This show seriously does like to give it’s characters a new name every episode it seems.

    I’m sad that the end of the bromance is coming. And the good guy is going to go bad, while the bad guy is going to become good. It’s like you can see it’s inevitable.

    And how HOT is Joo Won this episode. OMG. And I completely agree about the chemistry with Rie. When he pulled her into his lap and she kissed him….RAWR!

    This show continues to be awesome.

    • 4.1 queencircles

      I laughed out loud when I saw him changing nametags! I just thought thought of jb and gf, how many names does this dude have??!! lol

    • 4.2 diorama

      That scene between Rie and Kang-to…well, I had to fan myself. That is some chemistry, and it’s kind of made me switch ships.

      • 4.2.1 JoAnne

        Ne oppa-ga, maeumi tro?

        *fans self*

        DE, oppa.

  5. ladida

    It’s here, yay! Thanks for the recap!

  6. idless

    Mmmmmmm at the shaving screenshot. Now where’s that gratuitous shower/bathtub scene of our badass Kangto?

  7. Stardust

    a horse beats a car? With more horsepower of course! hahahha Thanks GirlFriday for a wonderfully exciting recap!

    • 7.1 h311ybean

      Bwahaha! Winner! 😀

    • 7.2 mojobobo

      LOLLLLLL more horsepower!!!! XD

  8. N

    Dang girlfriday, you DO get the awesome episodes to recap…were you saint in another life? LOL

    The hair-do and white suit. *full on swoooooonnnn/melting*

    is it hot in here, or is it just me? haha^^

  9. diorama

    Can I swoon now? Dammit, I LOVE a man in a smart uniform.

    But the thing that still gets me is why a bridal mask, out of all possible folk masks? Does it have some traditional significance?

    • 9.1 Antic

      Heh, so I was wondering about that too, (particularly after having my sister laugh at the silly sounding title when I tried to describe the drama to her) so I wasted some time trying to look up information on the traditional masks. Best I could find was that the bride character originally represented a young woman who’d killed herself for love, and thus become a local protective deity. (So maybe the circus guy’s trying to hold a memorial for Bridal Mask wasn’t quite as ridiculous as it looked?) The Bride was supposed to represent, like, struggling against one’s circumstances to overcome adversity – which would match reasonably well for a hero fighting against the occupying government.

      Of course, the manhwa/drama writers could have had something else in mind entirely…

  10. 10 h311ybean

    Thanks for the recap! I had been waiting for this all morning.

    Re: Kang-to’s new identity, I think he mentioned his Japanese name in a previous episode so this didn’t really come as a surprise to me. I agree, though, that all of these multiple names are crazy!

    Also, thank goodness for the new ‘do. The scraggy asymmetrical bang thing was driving me nuts… and did not look good with the suits. Joo-won definitely carries those off well.

    The bromance is getting curiouser and curiouser! I can’t wait to see what happens next week 🙂

    • 10.1 linda macy

      If you Google the history of this time period…they were forced to have Japanese names.

      • 10.1.1 h311ybean

        Yes, the dramabeans recaps have mentioned that, too. It’s just that I was under the impression that GF was surprised by Kang-to unveiling his Japanese name in this ep, and I was pointing out that his Japanese name had already been mentioned in a previous recap.

        Of course, I am probably under the wrong impression because I know that both JB and GF are pretty much on point when it comes to drama details!

  11. 11 dduk

    I thought that goldminer-mustache guy was MokDan’s dad!?
    WAS that just me!??!?

    • 11.1 Mawiie

      I knew he looked familiar!

    • 11.2 girlfriday

      Pffft. Well consider me fooled! Apparently all it takes to throw me off track is a pair of glasses and a fluffier mustache!

      • 11.2.1 Rashell

        It’s all those names you’re trying to remember. How can you possibly keep track of disguises too?

        • Jesse

          Heh, that actor is quite easily recognisable though if you like sageuks. He acted in Queen Seondeok, Gye Baek and a very short role in God of War!

      • 11.2.2 INFINITElySHINee

        Haha I was wondering why you didn’t say anything about Mr. Mustache Man being Damsari/Mok Dan’s dad! I thought I had thought that whole thing up in my own head because you didn’t menion him lol. Yay for me not being crazy!

    • 11.3 mojobobo

      yes it is hehehe. We have more new names into the mix!

    • 11.4 crazedlu

      that… is hilarious. geez! i totally missed this! must’ve been distracted by kangto’s new do. ha. can’t wait for the next ep.

      • 11.4.1 girlfriday

        You and me both, sister. You and me both. *runs off to dream about dreamboat and his new dream hair*

        • mojobobo

          How about a Cf with Joo Won wearing his new hair and shaving?

          • Alysanne


            *waves at mojobobo* We meet again! LOL

          • Arhazivory

            That. Would. Be. Awesome. *faints*

          • mojobobo

            *waves* Haha I’m pretty sure shaver companies will be scrambling for him!!!

            *imagines joo won in towel around waist shaving*


  12. 12 crazedlu

    dude, i laughed so hard at the woven in commentary in this recap. HAHAHA. maybe because i felt the same as i was watching. ha. and i sooo did watch the badook scene again. HAHA.

    anyways, i really appreciate these recaps from the both of you because the words i’m reading are exactly my thoughts. except, the sizzle of rie’s got me nervous and loathing her. can’t help it. i’m on team mok dan even though the blood writing was a bit much. like, seriously?

    well, here’s to the crazy we’re going to watch play out in the upcoming episodes. cheers.

    • 12.1 mojobobo

      when the episode first started I was squealing at the hotness of it all. And then there was the kiss and I was squealing again lol

    • 12.2 Maya

      After last episode, I’m on team Shunji. But I guess that ship ain’t gonna sail for long.

      Btw Rie also gave me the chills in that scene. Not because I’m on team Shunji. Ok maybe partly because of that. But just the way she’s approaching Kang To. All sultry and… Smh

  13. 13 Mawiie

    You know what’s great about action dramas set in the 30’s? No fancy hidden cameras, bugs or shiny gadgets. Just awesome human tricks 😀 Oh and no crazy idol hair and fashion, Kang-To’s look is timeless and classy!

  14. 14 hipployta

    Okay…so they are going to all die in some horrible fashion together just as Kangto completes his revenge and there will be an epilogue about how the occupation ends…calling it.

    • 14.1 mojobobo

      Nooooooooooooo. Andwaeeeeeeee. Can I hope for a happy ending? =X

      • 14.1.1 DarknessEyes

        Happy ending? Sadly, with the way this drama feels, I really doubt that. T_T It’s just that I think it feels too dark for that to happen. And I mean, with all the stuff that’s gotten messed up already (and probably all the stuff that’s going to get messed up) I don’t think that a happy ending will be possible.

        • Sonia

          I agree with you. this kind of drama to have a happy ending, I really doubt it. but it doesn’t mean that I do not wish for it. everything’s so complicated now. and after I watched new episodes every week, I always have this kind of feeling that one day, one of the main characters (Kang To, Shunji or Mok Dan) is going to end up dead T_T

  15. 15 MsB

    This episode had fire and ice! It sizzled! Have to watch again! Kang To and Rie, hot, hot, hot! Man, I have to watch that again! WHo knew watching a man shave could be sensual! Okay, let me stop now!

  16. 16 hanie

    Thanks for the recap, girlfriday!!!

    Kangto is even hotter in his new hairdo, so is Shunji in uniform. I shall save more pictures of this to sonn-to-be-former-bff. I’m liking that Kangto is using whatever underhand method ( seducing a giseang) to achieve his objective and i like how they didn’t miraculously gives Kangto a new hero personality. That the way it should be. One doesn’t become hero overnight you know. But I hope Dan and Kangto stop hurting each other with their biting words. Dan’s world will be turn upside down when she finally know Kangto is the young master and Gaksital. And, I hope Rie & Kangto will try seduce-and-spill secret with each other can I love seeing them togehter.

    And…the reason you couldn’t have done that with ink is? meh.. GF, it is more dramatic that way. this drama is all about dramatic & bigger than life action!!! Who need ink when you can just cut your finger and voila, natural (albeit unhygienic) ink!! Ha!

  17. 17 myo

    I’ve been waiting all day for this ep and now that I read it I can’t wait for next wk. This is one awesome drama, it makes me excited and dreaded it the same time bc I know there won’t be anymore bromance between these two friends. For some reason I can’t wait to see a jealous kang to I think he’ll be so HOT. I totally agree that the hair make him look so fine in this ep. Btw thx for this week recaps girlfriday and java beans…u girls rock!!

  18. 18 mojobobo

    Hmmm on the contrary I didn’t like Shunji’s change. I felt that it was too sudden. I can appreciate that he saw Gaksital kill his brother and saw his father break down. But he knows that his family is no saint. That’s part of the reason why he left home to go teach kids at a school. And isn’t it logical for him to ask himself why Gaksital was after his brother? Yes he’s inherently Japanese but he was the one who thought that Koreans are equal. Otherwise, why bother showing how much affection he has for his nanny and the school kids? if they had played up the part where he felt guilty for not showing his affection to Kenji and going against his father whom he thought had no feelings, that would have been a better catalyst for Shunji’s change in my opinion.

    I wish his change came a bit slower or they had payed up other aspect if his character, rather then make him agree to joining his father to save Mok Dan.

  19. 19 sorrysarah

    Omg, the hair. Soooo much better, sooo much hotter. His weird swoopy bangs were so anachronistic they were KILLING me. I’m back on board solely because of The Hair.

    • 19.1 h311ybean

      Totally agree! I keep telling myself that the look of the drama is stylized rather than period accurate because it’s based on a manhwa (right?), but I just couldn’t buy Joo-won’s hair. Hurray for the cleaner, more old school look!

  20. 20 idless

    “Mok Dan runs to her Gaksital tree and rips the lining from her skirt and draws her knife. She slices her finger and uses her blood to write “Boon-yi,” and hangs it from the tree. And…the reason you couldn’t have done that with ink is?”

    In modern day, she will be certified stalker for writing a bloody fanmail.

    • 20.1 Maya


    • 20.2 AJ

      Oh! Bwhahahaha! XD XD

    • 20.3 Alysanne

      *mental images of stalky girls sending Gaksital bloody fanmail and underwear and sweets and…*

      I. Can’t. Even… *ROFL*

    • 20.4 MsB


  21. 21 Sadie

    Omo. The hair. Hotness.

    He always change his hairstyle in his 3 dramas. But the hair in Gaksital is the best. But once he put the mask, the hair become like 1N2D Choi PD aka Bird PD’s hair. Cutie is lucky to have such a manly handsome figure that can pull of any hairstyle.

  22. 22 Dennis Quiad

    Damn, shunji’s ears are so gorgeous.

  23. 23 Star

    O M G … that hair. wow ………. SWOONNNN~~~~~

  24. 24 Cass

    Thanks Girl for the recap and ehemmm hot screencap of new Kang To.

    If only Joo Won can be that badass catching bugs! Lol.

    Love the transformation of both Kang To and Shunji. I know that Shunji will be more evil than his Kenji hyung.

    • 24.1 Arhazivory

      lol. Damn, I almost forgot about the bugs and now you reminded me.

    • 24.2 mojobobo

      HAHAHAHAH now that you mention the bugs…..

    • 24.3 Rashell

      I have to seperate Kang To Joo Won from 1N2D Joo Won because my brain just cannot compute that they are the same guy.

  25. 25 Cam

    (my head tilted) OH. MY. GO-O-O-O-O-OSH. (drops my jaws)

    Ooo. Ooo. (fans my hands) It’s reaaaally HOT in here! Umm…Can’t you all tell me what’s going on with THIS esisode…?


    • 25.1 Cam

      My baaaad, I meant, *episode” ^_^

  26. 26 Fabmari

    “Not that… his brow does anything other than furrow. It’s sort of permanently in furrow mode.”

    Hahahahaahhahaha…..i am floored LOL

  27. 27 pohonphee

    Kang to why so hot? Where’s the boy who screamed “It’s king beee..” go? Not that I’m complaining. 😀 Love the hair do

  28. 28 briseis

    I think it is possible for the horse to be faster than the car because the average speed of horse is around 48 km/h while the average speed of cars used in the 1930’s was around 50 km/h so it’s not so far fetched.

  29. 29 Rossi

    Man, the thing that break my heart the most is the end of the bromance and Shunji having to turn into a bad guy. He’s just so good and sweet before! I don’t him to be an example of the whole nurture vs. nature thing. Just because his family is a whole lot of rot that doesn’t mean he has to be one too!

  30. 30 SS

    No one got distracted by the goody accentuated by those tight white pants?
    No screen cap of it here but if u watch the episode, it’s where he was taking his jacket out from the wardrobe.
    Great! Then can I mine it? All to me self

  31. 31 Lizzie

    You can say Shunji did it for the girl, but deep down Shunji must have some dark side he was trying to held in/hide it.

    Guess he really tried to be different from his family but deep down he isn’t that different, it is just this side of shunji have been sleeping all this time and something finally woke it up.

    And this is scary because you don’t know what to expect.

    I don’t believe it is just for the girl.

    • 31.1 Alysanne

      Maybe he really did just snap. It was traumatizing to see Gaksital kill his hyung just like that, and considering Gaksital is the champion of the Joseon people, he probably took it as a Joseons against the Japanese thing. I can believe it may be that, but I wish we heard it from him or hear it from him in the future. I, too, hope that it’s more than just for Mok Dan’s sake. But I guess we’ll see in his future interactions just how much he’s in this just to save Dan or if there’s more.

  32. 32 MJ

    Just think about it Joo Won & Park Ki Woong. These 2 actors doing military service in the Republic of Korea Military branch of service of his choice.

    The hair-do and the Republic of Korea Military Formal Dress Uniform in the following branch of service:

    Republic of Korea Army
    Republic of Korea Navy
    Republic of Korea Marine Corps
    Republic of Korea Air Force

    All the fan girls would be swooning & melting too.

    Just picture these 2 actors wearing their Formal Dress Uniform. 2 handsome military sharp dress man.

    • 32.1 Alysanne

      But all the girls would be crying first, as we won’t see them on our screens for several years. :S

  33. 33 Farpavilions

    “Damn, that’s a good reason to get him into uniform.”

    Now, if only the screenwriter gods will provide an equally compelling narrative reason to get him out of it. 😉

  34. 34 Arhazivory

    Oh my goodness! *fans self* Never have I felt the need to pause an episode so much to take in hawtness. Wow~ Joo Won should permanently be in a white suit with that hairstyle and smoldering stare. When he walked in after Shunji broke the mask….that downward look and then that look towards Shunji was just so hot.

    White suit….oldies hairstyle. The image is now forever burned in my mind. To think, we have 16 more episodes of this hairstyle left! Even if all he does is stand and watch birds, I’m on board.

    Oh yeah….the episode was great too. Hehe. Shunji badass is so much hotter than the sweet big-eared Teacher. The dynamic that has now been set up between the two will be so exciting to watch. Sato Hiroshi will have it harder than Kang San though, because as someone who’s supposed to be catching Gaksitaaaaaaaaaal, his absence will be noted. Sato Hiroshi – fighting~!!

    • 34.1 Briseis

      I am really curious how he is going to deal with this big hole in his cover. Maybe he will find someone who will take his place as Gaksital as a part of his cover.

    • 34.2 CM

      They kinda already made a hint at that with Abe asking around where did he disappeared WHILE he was in action. That some serious problem our ‘hero’ has to solve.

    • 34.3 Sonia

      “To think, we have 16 more episodes of this hairstyle left! Even if all he does is stand and watch birds, I’m on board.”

      yeaaahhh! me too! at first, I felt it weird to see that new hairstyle, but……. he looks hotter.
      it looks good with the white suit XD

  35. 35 Farpavilions

    I read the recap before actually watching the episode …

    Kang-to’s new hairdo is heralded by a Wagnerian operatic chorus? On top of the intense furrowing?


    • 35.1 ladida

      bahahahahaha! the music was ridiculous.

  36. 36 Bengbeng

    will Shunji get his updo too? now that he’s an officer? i hope so. PKW’s hair is the one thing i hate in this drama =)

    • 36.1 mojobobo

      his hair is much better when he’s in uniform XD

      • 36.1.1 Bengbeng

        really?! so looking forward to that =)

  37. 37 JustJen

    “As soon as he steps into the office, something comes flying at his head, and he catches it in midair. Badass. Let’s watch that again!”

    Haha, I knew there was a reason I come here. Thanks for the recap, I haven’t had a chance to watch yet, and was dying to find out what happened.

    I think Rie is my favourite character, I can’t help it, she just oozes awesome.

  38. 38 Lulla

    You know what..one of the thing I dont like in gaksital is mok dan. while others are busy thinking about how to get revenge, how they have killed theor own brother, how to look goo in front of others while secrectly being a spy, how to avenge hyung.., she gets running around missing for the lost first love and waiting for someone whom she is convinced as the first love *it’s not even confirmed whether gaksital is the young master or not*, even draws blood from herself only to write a message on a tree. I think that’s overly dramatic for something not too important *compared with the problems that others have to deal with*. And honestly, I’m getting bored with her character. I’m beginning to skip her scenes as I dont find any important story line on her

    • 38.1 Lyla

      mee to..tell you the true
      i was frustrated with her attitudes!!like you said
      she just like running in the circles
      i though i was soo excited with her character for the early of episodes..she was brave and independent
      but now…arggghhh she has the same expression’s face !! and she dont have a though character..just longing for her first love and being caught any time!!!

    • 38.2 Noa

      I agree. I wish they would make her secretly try to find out Gaksital’s identity instead of moping around and putting bloody messages up on trees. I feel like the writers were too busy developing Kangto’s character that they forgot about Mok Dan halfway through.

    • 38.3 whimsyful

      I like her and I think her character has potential, but I agree that she’s the least developed of the main characters so far. She’s arguably the most well adjusted of the main four and definitely the most idealistic. I wish we could see her ideology and beliefs being challenged as they clash with the rest of the cast–that’s great fodder for conflict and character development. As for the romance, I think the writer wanted someone relatively sane and normal to balance out Kang-to’s dysfunction.

      • 38.3.1 ladida

        I like her, too. I think it’s pretty awesome that she’s managed to survive all these years with a dead mother and an absent father. The resistance has taken her family away from her, too, but she has a different reaction to it than Kang To, and I want to see more of the ideology that allows her to do so. Everyone else in this show wears a mask and plays a role, meaning they have covers and are trying to fool people, but Mok Dan isn’t trying to fool anyone. She walks right up to Kang To and point blank asks him whatever she wants. I’m actually fascinated by her feelings for “the boy with the knife”/Gaksital, ’cause it’s something she’s been keeping alive in her head this entire time, something she’s developed with her imagination. It’s probably the same ability to make and maintain this passion for so long that allows her to be so stalwart in her support for the resistance. I wonder if when she finds out Gaksital is Kang To, if that will shake her ideology. Also I think she has plenty of “real” problems, considering the state (the police) are always after her and have tortured her twice now.

    • 38.4 Aden01

      LOL. i agree. i dont like Mok dan ever since she always thinking about finding her first love. and How the drama always plotting to catch Mok Dan as id she is the ONLY way to get information about the gaksital whereabout. How many times we got to see Mok dan being catch-free-catch-free ?? it’s getting annoyed.
      and for the Love line, i prefer Kang to w/Nara(lala). that’s gonna be… epic! and thrill!

    • 38.5 Aden01

      LOL. i agree. i dont like Mok dan ever since she always thinking about finding her first love. and How the drama always plotting to catch Mok Dan as if she is the ONLY way to get information about the gaksital whereabout. How many times we got to see Mok dan being catch-free-catch-free ?? it’s getting annoyed.
      and for the Love line, i prefer Kang to w/Nara(lala). that’s gonna be… epic! and thrill!

  39. 39 Lulla

    You know what..one of the thing I dont like in gaksital is mok dan. while others are busy thinking about how to get revenge, how they have killed theor own brother, how to look goo in front of others while secrectly being a spy, how to avenge hyung.., she gets running around missing for the lost first love and waiting for someone whom she is convinced as the first love *it’s not even confirmed whether gaksital is the young master or not*, even draws blood from herself only to write a message on a tree. I think that’s overly dramatic for something not too important *compared with the problems that others have to deal with*. And honestly, I’m getting bored with her character. I’m beginning to skip her scenes as I dont find any important story line on her. And I dont understand why 2 cool guys must fall in love with her *sigh..

    Hope her character improves during the show.n

    • 39.1 booboo

      LOL! I ALWAYS skipped her scenes. She’s a snooze. It’s a wonder how the writer even bothered to have this character in the drama to begin with. He could’ve just stir up the whole romance conflict with Rie who is waaaay better than Mok Dan.

    • 39.2 bella

      after ep 2..i always skipped her ( MD ) scenes
      she is the worst female lead i ever seen in K-drama
      Kang to is too HOT for her..even she didn’t deserve for Shunji’s love

      • 39.2.1 ladida

        Mok Dan is pretty hot herself.

        • Lazy Goose

          Rie is hotter.

          • Luna

            Rie looks like an ajumma due to her heavy make up.
            If she needs THAT much make up to be sexy… xD

            Mok Dan isn’t dressing up to be sexy nor does she move like a snail to be “graceful”, but I bet if Jin Sae-yeon would dress up like Han Chae-ah, she would be just as ‘hot’.

      • 39.2.2 Sonia

        don’t know if it’s because she’s just 19 years old. she needs a lot of experiment.

      • 39.2.3 whimsyful

        …and being hot is more important than being a decent human being who doesn’t torture and shoot other ppl?

        If Mok Dan is the worst female lead you’ve seen, you must have watch some awesomely feminist kdramas thus far. My basis for bad female leads are Go Mi Nam and the main girl from Dream High 2.

        I get the feeling that if Kang-to was female and/or wasn’t played by an attractive actor, there wouldn’t be nearly as much sympathy shown for his character. Remember Lee Da Hae’s Jang Miri character in Miss Ripley? Her character got a ton of hate for being evil but her crimes were nowhere near as bad as those Kang-to has committed thus far. I mean, she lied and stole and forged a diploma and gets called an evil b*tch who can never be redeemed. He’s tortured and killed ppl, and would have felt no remorse at all if they didn’t turn out to be ppl he cares for.

      • 39.2.4 Aden01

        Nothing worse than Lee ga young character in Kdrama History (Fashion King). she won.

  40. 40 KDrama Fan

    Thanks GF. JUst love your recaps!

  41. 41 Lulla

    sorry, double post 🙁

  42. 42 dany

    Great episode, great recap! Thank you.

  43. 43 Luna

    I’m really tempted to drop Bridal Mask.
    As much as a I like Han Chae-ah, I hate Rie.
    (And not because she kissed KT. xD)
    I mean we all know she is sexy and all, so why does she still need to show that she is by moving like a snail.
    Rie is like a very cheap version of Cha Song Joo (Capital Scandal). I loved Han Go Eun as Song Joo, because she never overdid it like Han Chae-ah.

    • 43.1 Amirah

      i agree.. i dont know why but i hate her character… and i dont feel any chemistry at all like other people said. lol maybe its just me. and yeay to mok dan’s dad coming back! ahhh i have to wait

    • 43.2 L-V

      I don’t know why..I prefer Mok Dan to Rie…. It doesn’t mean I hate Han Chae-ah..hhe…Just her character…

  44. 44 beggar1015

    I’m kinda shaking my head that so few people caught on that the mysterious man on the train is Mok Dan’s dad wearing the Worst Fake Mustache Known To Man. Also, GF, that wasn’t him in the meeting to buy the governor general, that was another mustache man. I’m thinking it’s the big guy over the newspaper.

    I’m glad to see Dam Sa Ri is back in town. Now he can join forces with his daughter and create all sorts of havoc. But will he work with Gaksital or against him?

    • 44.1 Sonia

      well, not anyone have good eyes. I also didn’t recognize him as Mok Dan’s dad -__-
      but now I know and super excited!
      Mok Dan’s storyline these days is getting boring but now his dad is back and I’m hoping for a fun development for Mok Dan.
      and for them to join with Gaksital? I guess it’s not going to come quick. ’cause if it is, that means they’ll know Kang To is behind the mask. It will create difficulty to Kang To because he needs to keep an act as ‘the bad Kang To’.

    • 44.2 Sonia

      oh and yeah,you’re right!

      GF, the man who was with the others in the meeting with the governer general isn’t the Mustache Man (or Mok Dan’s dad), but it is the Kyeong Seong Ilbo newspaper owner. I forget his name.

    • 44.3 crazedlu

      we were distracted.

      • 44.3.1 Arhazivory

        I thought first he looked familiar then by the time he got off the train, I knew. But you’re right, Joo Won was far too distracting in this episode.

  45. 45 bb

    i only like the guys in this drama. they are all so HOT *-*
    mok dan still cant convince me with her acting, and rie is just trying to look more sexy.

    • 45.1 sohe

      yes i. agree
      Jin seyeon doesn’t have a strong acting!!!
      it’s too bad..the 2 man leads are so HOT and very good in acting especially JW..he is sooooo amazing
      her expressions always same in the different situations
      sorry…but i get bored by looking her face!!!

  46. 46 Rovi

    Who’s betting all the lead guys in here look so delicious in uniforms, moreso white uniforms? *pervert mode*

    And we know what happens when white outifts + water, right??? *eyebrow dance*

  47. 47 Mary

    Wow this one is super intense!

  48. 48 Lulla

    Well..I’m actually really looking forward to the love relationship. I love mok dan in the beginning, but I agree with someone saying that the writer is too busy with kang to’s character dev. I’m really looking forward for the moments when mok dan finds the truth about kang to, that her dying-to-meet-first-love is her arch enemy.Before that, I expect to see lots of failed assasination attempt by her on kang to, or other conflict as a result if her hatred and kang to’s act of japanese loyals. Buut, after 8 episodes, there are none like that *sigh*.. while Rie is slowly stealing the attention..

    Please, writer! Please give mok dan a good story line! 🙁

  49. 49 BelleBrunette

    I love the white suit!!!!!!! The hair doesn’t do it for me, like it down better. I disagree with the whole “Shunji’s character as much as Kang-to’s, in that he’s not the bad guy, but he’s playing the bad guy. Just as Kang-to isn’t the good guy, but he’s playing the good guy. It’s actually kind of perfect, as far as symmetry goes.” Kang-to became an officer for his family just as much as Shunji became one for Mok Dan. When he cried to his brother’s back that was shown to the audience that he didn’t enjoy doing it, but he did what he had to. Is he the best person? No. But I definitely wouldn’t say bad either. The only people we have seen him shoot are Gaksital, and Mok Dan (who was trying to kill him). Beat people, again yes, but they didn’t even break a bone. So did he do his job to the best of his abilities while hurting the least amount of people? Yes. There are others in this show just like hurting people and others still who would go above and beyond what was nesscessary.

    • 49.1 Maya

      Ooo… Good point. Yes he did that to provide for his family, which brought back the memory from episode 1. After the kendo session with Shunji, he said that as long as he can buy a new house for his mom and bring his Hyung to the best hospital in Tokyo then it will be okay for him to be the bad guy. So because of his family, he first play the bad guy. But by choosing to play the bad guy, to be a Japanese cop, he got so caught up in his work to gain promotion (promotion means more money for mom and hyung) that he gradually change into the Kang To we see at the beginning and mostly throughout this drama. He only abuses people because that what his work dictates him to do or when someone mess with the people he loves. He won’t just kill/abuse them for no reason. And I think his image as the bad guy is also emphasized by his job. He’s a Japanese cop, so he is obviously the bad guy, at least in the eyes of Joseon people. But he really should do something to curb that temper of his.

    • 49.2 ladida

      I love the suit, too! But hmm…”did he do his job to the best of his abilities while hurting the least amount of people?” I’m gonna have to say no. It’s hard for me to put into words what I’m processing in my mind, so I’m going to use numbers to help me organize things:

      1) He did not simply do his job to the best of his abilities. He went above and beyond. He used fear, intimidation, and physical brutality to coerce and subdue the Joseon people. He wanted to be the absolute best police officer in the Japanese police department, better than Kenji, better than everyone, not simply one who’s working to get by to support his family.

      2) Kang To enjoyed his job. He smiled after he shot Gaksital. He said “Bingo” triumphantly whenever he figured something out. He was proud of his promotion.

      3) He did not hurt the least amount of people, either in severity or in number. He used his power as the state police officer in charge of finding Gaksital to beat up the Joseon people. He tortured Mok Dan. He shot Mok Dan. He beat up his brother. Furthermore, he rounded up helpless old men who were clearly not Gaksital and beat them. His actions in episode 3 lead to the death of another man after he’s denied treatment at the hospital.

      4) He also shot and killed one of the prisoners who got caught with Damsari in episode 1. He then tells his subordinate officers to shoot the rest on sight because they are to be executed anyway.

      5) Mok Dan was trying to kill him because he is willingly working with the imperialists to subjugate the Joseon people. He also tortured her. He also tried to kill her father.

      6) He claims he’s doing all this for his family, yet when he tries to give his mother money his mother doesn’t take it. His family wants nothing to do with how he’s going about trying to protect them. He cannot buy a house for his mother because his mother would never consent to live in a house bought with money she considers so dirty. His mother and brother preferred living in poverty to his making money working as a Japanese cop. So the only person who ended up benefitting socially and monetarily from his job is himself. In fact, his becoming a cop made life worse for his family, because it turned the other Joseon people against them, too.

      I think now he’s using his position as a cop strategically to get revenge for his father’s death, but I’m not so sure that’s what he was doing before.

      • 49.2.1 Maya

        Ooo.. This is interesting, ladida. It’s great that I can find someone here who keeps making me delving deeper and deeper into Kang To’s onion-like character. 🙂
        First of all, I don’t condone his cruel acts, but I still feel that he’s doing all of that because that is what his job dictates him to do. Japanese occupation era was one of the most oppressive era in Korea where one false move can lead you into tortures, arbitrary arrest or execution. It’s common for people who are involved in independent movements to experience these treatments from the officials. And Kang To operates under this condition. He feels justified in taking whatever measures necessary to get his job done. Even Kono, who comes across as a gentle character, also consent those cruel acts because those are common at that time.
        Anyway I try to see this from your points, and by the way these are just how I perceive his characters
        1. Torture is a common method to get information/confession from someone as fast as possible. We even see this often in sangeuk. So, i guess it also comes with the job? He wants to be the best Japanese cop because higher position equal more money. More money means (as he assumed) he can take Kang San to the best hospital in Tokyo.
        2. He smiled triumphantly because he has captured the bad guy (bad guy as perceived by the japanese government. Although as viewers, we identify them as the good guy). He was proud of his promotion because it means that he is closer to his goal of getting higher position. Furthermore, I feel that he is proud of his promotion because maybe it is the first time ever in his life that he has received such achievement? Kang San’s achievement is graduating from college and I feel that he wants to have that same proud moment of achieving something in his life. But he couldn’t share it with his family because they are at the opposite side of the spectrum.
        3. Again he used torture as the fastest means of getting information/confessions. He shot Mok Dan because of self defense. Mok Dan was coming down to him with knife and all he can think at that moment is to shoot the assassin. It’s not until he open her mask that he realized that he has made a big mistake. He rounded up only the men who have calluses in their hands because they fit the description of Gaksital. And I think he kicked one of the cops for arresting an old man (which doesn’t fit the description) and ordered him to be taken out. The man who died during the ambush was actually hit by his subordinate but yes admittedly it’s indirectly caused by him.
        4. Again, IMHO, he assumed that he can kill them because they already received death sentence. Still just doing his job.
        6. I still feel that he was doing all of that because of his family though. I think he knew mom wouldn’t want anything to do with his money, but I still feel that deep inside he’s hoping that one day mom will understand why he’s doing what he’s doing. Just like teenagers hoping for their parents to understand them. That time has changed, parents should see the matter from different perspective. He meant well but he did it in condescending manner as he threw the money at his mom. And I have no doubt that he really wants his brother to be sane again, on top of that he knows that his treatment would cost him fortune that is why he tries so hard at his job and even willing to take extreme measures to get the job done, and to gain that promotion. And that’s why when he lose his mom and hyung, he also lose the purpose of getting promotions, because what’s the point. And I assume he is not always there? That’s why he is so enraged when he found his brother getting beat up by that guy at the market. But he can’t stop his job right then too, because what else can he do? He can’t work at the market because obviously the people there won’t accept him. Point in case: ep 7 market scene. He thought that he will suffer greater loss if he caved in to mom’s will now since he operates under this assumption that as long as his brother is sane again, then everything will be okay. And I think Kang San actually understood his actions, although maybe partly it comes from his guilt of pushing Kang To into these circumstances. That’s why he kept standing up for him and kept saying that he is not a bad guy.

        That said, I agree that he went too far on some occasions such as trying to execute Mok Dan as a bait to capture Gaksital. Because what would’ve happened if Gaksital just didn’t feel like he wanted to show up that day?
        He also went overboard when he’s beating his brother. Although I think it because he was so fired up that day. He spotted the guy who beat his brother, his anger just spilt out, and started beating the guy. Kang San was trying to stop him but he was so enraged that he needed someone else as his punching bag to let out his pent up emotions. His temper -he should really work on it!

        Again I don’t condone his cruel acts,  but I’m sure that he becomes what he is today because that is what his job dictates him to do. At least at one point during his early years as a cop, he did stand up for someone he barely knew. He saved Rie when she was almost killed by the samurai at the gisaeng house, which could be seen as an act of opposing the Japanese government? So I think the more he got involved in the field, the more he realized that sympathizing with these people would only thwart him from doing his job.

        IMHO, when we see it from the Japanese government’s perspective at that time, he is a damn good cop. But the people he subdued are the people that we as viewers sympathized with that’s why he comes across as the bad guy ~

        • ladida

          Hi again, Maya! I don’t know anything about the Japanese occupation of Korea and have been going only on what has been written here on Dramabeans and in the comments, what is shown on the show, and my small knowledge of imperialism and anti-imperialism in general.

          I’ve never seen Kono as a reliable source because he is collaborating with the imperialists and is more interested in politics and power than justice. Kang San is more reliable. I agree with you that he understood Kang To’s actions, but I think this came from his knowing what he used to be like and his believing once he revealed his true mental state Kang To would stop. And Kang San always tried to stop Kang To’s actions.

          In the end (of the occupation, not the show) he’ll have to go down, too. What I was trying to say about Kang To’s smiling is that it shows us that he takes a certain pleasure from his job, pleasure derived from just the act of doing it in itself and not from the money he will get for doing it. I don’t know if I’m explaining it properly…What I mean is that I feel he is attracted to power and the exercise of it, and that had as much to do in his working so hard at his job as his desire to support his family, and I’m pretty sure those attractions had more sway over him towards the end than his initial, more idealistic intentions.

          Speaking of intentions, intent does not override consequences. Also, the ends don’t justify the means. This is the same perspective his mother took. I guess the problem I’m having is that I’m coming from a 21st century perspective. Torture…I just cannot justify it, whether the job calls for it or not. And even if the job calls for it, (which itself is debatable because in none of the torture scenes did Mok Dan or anyone else give up any information, let alone anything reliable) that doesn’t absolve him of his actions. He still chooses to do all those things. I think it’s pretty clear that in the first 6 episodes of the show Kang To is a villain. I don’t think he just comes across as the bad guy–in those first few episodes he is the bad guy.

          I don’t know. I guess I’m just a Purity Sue? But I hadn’t remembered that part about saving Rie, thanks for pointing that out. I agree with you that the more time he spent collaborating with the Japanese the less sympathetic to the Joseon people he was, but I think where we disagree is that I don’t think he did it just for his job. I can understand him doing those things because he’s descending more and more into the belly of the beast, thereby loosing touch with his humanity, but I don’t see how he would do those things just to fulfill requirements of the job.

          • ladida

            Oops, I made a mistake, sorry! By “In the end (of the occupation, not the show) he’ll have to go down, too,” I am referring to Kono, not Kang San.

  50. 50 J

    The characterization of Mok Dan is not the problem. It’s just that she has not been given much (or anything at all) to do but get captured and later escape -_-

    I want the kickass Mok Dan returning! Plotting around, spying around, spitting-on-Kangto around, anything! Hope that the return of his dad will mark the return of the badass MD I knew and loved. Yeah, i’m still firmly and irrevocably on the KT/MD ship <3

    P.S. I must be the only one who is uninterested in Shunji's downward spiral. I mean, Park Ki Woong is a terrific actor and all but somehow I just feel like his character's…. lame. Personal opinion here.

    • 50.1 panshel

      Shunji as a character is pretty vanilla. I couldn’t believe his father would just give in to his request to free Mok Dan. Like, that’s it? It’s that easy?

      I love Ki Woong, and I think he is a fantastic actor, but his crying scenes in the previous episode were unconvincing. I couldn’t sympathize when he was crying (tears-free) at his hyung’s deathbed. As for the best-friends’-bicycle-back-crying, my heart broke for Kang To who looked utterly defeated by life, yet I felt nothing for Shunji who didn’t seem that changed even after losing his hyung.

      • 50.1.1 SS

        Oh my, you felt that way too? I have been replaying several times that Kang To-Shunji bicycle scene cuz the cinematography was amazing and the scene so heartbreaking.

        But somehow PKW didn’t get to me as much as Joowon did when they both cried. I didnt dare to say out loud as I felt I have not seen enough of PKW’s shows to comment on his acting. However, if based on that scene alone, his crying felt quite contrived whereas Joowon nailed it, although in a totally different way compared to his outburst in episode 6.

        I hope Shunji will get more interesting now that he is in the police force and the conflicts between these 2 ex-friends get intense.

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