Drama Recaps
Gaksital: Episode 9
by | June 27, 2012 | 66 Comments

There’s a new secret cover in town, and it’s not village idiot but… smiling, charming, singing, fun-loving guy? I suppose it makes sense, given that that’s essentially the opposite of glowery, shouty Kang-to, and it’s a refreshing change to see a different side to him—even if it’s faked. In the absence of actual happy Joo-won, I’ll definitely take the illusion of happy Joo-won.


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Shunji becomes a police officer and Kang-to’s superior. I don’t know whether I’m more worried that Shunji will fall to the dark side, or whether his good nature will get his heart trampled by the dirty politics of the police station. Which doesn’t mean it can’t be both.

Right away Shunji gets a bit of a jolt when his father warns him not to trust Kang-to; he’s Director Kono’s man through and through, and Kono wanted Kang-to to have Shunji’s position. Shunji replies naively that he and Kang-to are on the same side, and that Kono is his superior officer. Dad retorts that he’s been monitored by Kang-to on Kono’s orders. No trust, no same side.

Simple-minded Abe assumes that Kang-to’s friendship with Shunji will make their working relationship pleasant. Kang-to doesn’t look as convinced.

Shunji addresses the officers under his command as their new leader and makes his position clear: the police are an essential function of the Japanese empire, and while he is in command, he will uproot dissenters and rebels who disrupt public order. So he’s taking the hard line, Kimura style.

This new side of Shunji sends Kang-to into a flashback to their adolescent years, when they first met:

Young Kang-to is beaten by several students, led by Kenji, who kick him around and hit him with kendo swords. But Kang-to doesn’t fight back, nor is he angry; he desperately pleads for Kenji to teach him kendo. Shunji comes upon the scene and steps in, getting his brother to back off, and Kang-to goes from kneeling at Kenji’s feet to grabbing onto Shunji’s, begging to be taught.

Shunji tells Kang-to to seek out a proper dojo; this is a private club only meant for this school’s students. Kang-to cries that he can’t afford that, and offers to work doing laundry or cleaning. His brother has been captured by soldiers and there’s nobody left to provide for his family but him. At least if he’s good at kendo, he can take the police test and become an officer.

Shunji is moved, and thus begins his private instruction of Kang-to and their budding friendship.

On the day of the police kendo test, arranged tournament style, both Kang-to and Shunji are participants and root each other on as they move up the ranks. Then comes the finals, where they’re pitted against each other and come up evenly matched… until Kang-to surprises Shunji with a direct hit, sending Shunji sprawling. Kenji is shocked, but Shunji smiles up in congratulations.

Kang-to asks Shunji if he lost on purpose because it was him. Shunji smiles, “Don’t misunderstand. I just didn’t want to become an officer.” The flashback sequence is both heart-warming and -breaking, because it’s all in the past. Bygone days, bygone friendship?

Flashback over, Shunji concludes his speech by ordering his men to find all the rebels and arrest them. Dismissed.

Shunji sends Kang-to to his office for a one-on-one, and only then does he drop his hardass routine and smile, asking, “How’d I do? Did I overdo it?” Oh phew. I was nervous for a moment there. Kang-to smiles back, also relieved.

Shunji says he had to come out strong in the face of all the nepotism talk. Kang-to points out the absurdity of Shunji becoming a cop overnight, and guesses it was to save the girl. But before he can get a response, a peevish Koiso storms in to ask why Mok Dan was let go. Kang-to steps in to tell him to zip it; don’t question his superiors. I love that he plays bad cop (literally) to spare Shunji from answering, even as he wonders the same thing.

But Shunji answers that he hasn’t let that circus or the girl go; mobilize the unit. That shuts Koiso up, and Shunji confides to Kang-to that while his father agreed to let Mok Dan go this once, he won’t in the future.

Mok Dan is equally suspicious of the police’s motives for letting them go and insists that it’s another ruse to lure in Gaksital, whom she’s sure is still alive. Boss Jo speculates that the trap may be for Damsari; he’s probably on his way back here, in which case he’ll come looking for Mok Dan.

As we saw on the train, mustachioed Damsari has in fact returned, and is in the middle of some kind of operation. He arrives at a hotel lobby with his ladyfriend/accomplice and finds what he’s looking for: a note pinned to the bulletin board addressed to Choi Tae-gon. Inside is the message: “Kyungsung Girl’s School. Enter school.”

The circus bickers, as is their habit in all circumstances, about the mystery of their release from jail. Dong-nyun narrows her eyes at Kye-soon and wonders at her connection; the police came to get them right after she arrived.

Kye-soon plays the outrage card, that cow. Admittedly it’s the right reaction for someone who actually is innocent, but since we know she’s a big fat liar it just makes me want to slap her. More than usual, I mean. She counters that it’s probably Shunji who ratted them out.

And then, just as Boss Jo advises his crew not to lump Shunji in with the other Japanese, in comes the police, led by… Shunji. Oy.

Everyone gapes as he gives the order to keep the circus on 24-hour watch: “We merely lacked evidence that you are acting with Gaksital. The suspicion has not disappeared.” He declares that if one of the circus members is caught participating in rebellion, “Everybody here will die.”

Mok Dan thinks how just the other night, Shunji had pleaded with her not to surrender. He’d been so adamant about not letting her walk into certain death that she asks if he put on that unwanted officer’s uniform for her.

Poor Shunji, whose cover now forces him to freeze out the ones he cares about. He bites out that Gaksital killed his brother, and she refuses to say anything despite knowing who the guy is: “Why would I wear this for you? Don’t mistake anything. I put it on to avenge my brother’s killer.”

At the Angel Club, Kang-to and buddy Tamao chuckle over Shunji finally wising up and joining the police. Tamao smirks that Shunji stole away his promotion, but Kang-to waves that aside: “What’s the point of promotion? With my mother and brother dead, tomorrow holds no meaning.” It’s a gloomy thought but he says it with a reckless smile, adding, “Just today, this moment—that’s the best.” It’s carpe diem, twisted and backward—enjoy today ’cause life’s a bitch and then you die.

Tamao segues (awkwardly) into the topic of Lala (Rie), asking about their relationship. Kang-to boasts that she’s fallen head over heels for him, natch. Club madam Tasha wonders why hardworking Kang-to’s drinking here in the daytime, and guesses his new motto: “Que sera sera.” Bingo and wink. Aie, so playboy Kang-to is his new cover? Winks, smiles, and kisses galore? I could really get onboard this.

Kang-to emerges from the club, smug smile turning serious as he spots Baek Gun in disguise across the street. He gives him a secret-spy nod, and Baek Gun sets off towing a rickshaw.

The money-grubbing governor general, Wada, is busily drooling over his new bribes when Kono arrives. Their last meeting had been contentious, but to Kono’s surprise, Governor Wada chuckles over the show he’d put on. Chief Kimura was trying to get between himself and Kono, and he’d played along and took the council of five’s bribes. He laughs and calls it “cute.” Yes, dirty money and backdoor dealing, so adorable.

Kono points out, however, that this Gaksital problem is not over. The body hasn’t been found, and if the hero pops up again, “What happens to your reputation, hyung?”

So Governor Wada calls Chief Kimura, while the latter is worrying about his fellow council of five-r, bank president Jo. The man has been so busy carousing with his gisaeng ladylove that he has been completely out of touch. As we know, however, said gisaeng happens to be the woman Kang-to flirted with for information, so I’m smelling more to the story than simple lust.

Governor Wada makes very clear that the only reason Shunji was appointed to his office was because he killed Gaksital. Therefore, Gaksital must never be seen again in the city, got it?

Chief Kimura tries to cover his ass by saying that new Gaksitals may pop up, but that’s not the right answer either, and the governor barks at him angrily that that can’t happen, either. Kimura promises no further Gaksital incidents; he’ll vouch for that.

Wada gets off the phone and shoots a wink to Kono. He can act the hardass too, when it suits him.

Chief Kimura calls in Shunji and warns him that Gaksital’s reappearance will be the end of them both.

In the city, a wary crowd gathers around a lurching rickshaw—ah, Baek Gun has carried out his task. And then, out tumbles a blindfolded man, naked but for his drawers. Bank president Jo, so that’s where you’ve been.

On his chest are the words “retribution for wickedness”—the same warning used by Gaksital in the past. The townspeople perk up at the suggestion that their hero is still alive, and then they point up to the rooftop: “It’s Gaksital!”

It’s Kang-to, of course, and Abe draws his gun. But he’s outnumbered here and in enemy territory; a village boy bites Abe’s leg, and others join in the assault. Bank president Jo is recognized as the thief who stole the people’s money and runs, as does Abe.

Kang-to uses his cane/flute to launch a pellet at the retreating villain. It knocks Jo down, but he gets up and keeps fleeing the growing mob. Abe and Jo find asylum within the police station gates, and the officers hold the crowd at bay. But the people are satisfied having chased off the baddie with his tail between his legs, and cheer.

Abe helps President Jo inside, then gasps out to his colleagues, “Gaksital…” Shunji grabs his gun and darts outside, scanning the scene intently. But the only person in the yard is Kang-to, dressed in his snazzy suit, talking to a guard.

Kang-to manages a credible surprised-face at the news, though it’s markedly less outraged than before he was Gaksital. C’mon, can’t you shout louder than that? Shunji demands every single file on Gaksital to study.

Chief Kimura has to be sweating bullets, and he heads to President Jo’s hospital bedside with Shunji. Jo is drowning in mortification, though sadly, not drowning outright; he describes being kidnapped in the middle of the night and awakening to the crisis we all witnessed.

Shunji furrows his brow questioningly when his father asks Jo whether he can complete his task. Jo vows that yes, he must repay the bastard for this. Chief Kimura dismisses Jo from the operation, but But Jo blurts out that he has worked faithfully for Kishokai and requests to be left on the case.

Shunji wonders, “Kisho…kai?”

The countess presents Rie (as Lala) to the governor general as the star singer who will perform at the anniversary event. Rie clocks his interest in her, not that it’s hard, since he’s almost drooling literally. Oh, he’ll be so easy to manipulate.

Mok Dan performs her mask-changing act that night, and in the audience are several officers keeping an eye on the circus. Her final change reveals a bridal mask, which prompts circusgoers to exclaim, “It’s Gaksital!”

The officers overreact and pull guns on Mok Dan; it’s an act of defiance, and Koiso fumes while his officers search their quarters. But in come officers wearing different uniforms, announcing their arrival from army headquarters; they’ve been assigned to take over watching the circus.

Ah, but interestingly, we may recognize these men from an earlier scene; they’d been dressed as nondescript laborers then and recently took up rooms in the motel. The same motel that, as we know, has been friendly to circus refugees in the past. Hmm….

Koiso looks them over suspiciously, but Team 2 comes out strong; the leader kicks him down and growls that they’re on a mission, and he’d better not blow their operation. If he opens his mouth and they fail, he’s a goner. Koiso nervously salutes.

The leader orders Mok Dan and Boss Jo dragged off… to their rescues, of course. Because waiting in a hidden room is Damsari and his accomplice. Oh honey, do you seriously not recognize your own dear dad because of a measly fake mustache? That cracks me up.

Father and daughter reunite, and the lady accomplice greets “Comrade Jo.” They’re members of the independence army and longtime acquaintances.

At the Angel Club, Kang-to’s back onstage singin’ his oppa song, only today he’s able to finish the performance with the requisite carefree ‘tude. He’s informed that a guest awaits him in the VIP room, and finds President Jo here to confer about his kidnapping.

Gaksital has stolen important ledgers from him, “And if they find their way into [Kimura] Taro’s hands, I’m done for!” He’ll turn out just like his bank employees, whom he believes Chief Kimura killed (in the faked Gaksital attack.)

Kang-to asks for more information, but President Jo loses his nerve and suddenly shuts up, asking him to pretend tonight’s meeting never happened.

Baek Gun advises Kang-to to send those ledgers to Kono and nail Kimura. But Kang-to wants a bigger fish: “I didn’t wear the mask just to make Kono happy.” He needs to find the connection between Kimura and his father’s betrayers.

Damsari only now learns of his wife’s death in Manchuria, though it happened a decade ago, and grieves. Mok Dan asks to be allowed to help him now, and he takes her up on the offer: He needs her to put him into contact with Gaksital, because with his help they have a much better success rate. She promises to try.

Kang-to rides deep into the mountains and comes to a stop near the spot where Mok Dan had written her name (Boon-yi) in blood as a message to him. He takes down the makeshift flag and smiles to himself, just as he hears the sounds of running feet.

He ducks behind a tree as Mok Dan arrives, sees the cloth gone, and calls out, “Young master, you took it, didn’t you? You’ve recognized me, haven’t you? You know I’m Boon-yi. But why don’t you show me your face? I want to see you. I miss you, young master.”

Kang-to watches as she breaks down in tears, holding back his own. She takes out another message and ties it to the same limb.

As soon as she’s gone, he takes it down to read: “There is someone who wishes to meet you. I will wait here every day until the sun sets.”

Kono gathers his officers and declares that the governor general is ready to strip Shunji of his badge for lying about killing Gaksital. He uses this as leverage to pressure Chief Kimura into revealing his connection with the dead Judge Choi. If they want to capture Gaksital, the chief must reveal what the (Kishokai) mark on their uniforms means.

Kimura restates his earlier warning—that if Kono presses, he puts himself on the line. It worked back then, but not today: Kono orders Kang-to to arrest Chief Kimura immediately.

The order shocks both Kang-to and Shunji, but Chief Kimura stoically takes it, allowing himself to be cuffed. It’s Shunji who bolts upright as though to step in, but his father shakes his head no.

The count moans in bed, whining about his unrelenting insomnia. The reappearance of Gaksital has everyone on edge, and Dr. Oh confesses that he’s uneasy too, seeing what happened to President Jo.

Shunji arrives to request an urgent meeting with the count, alerting him of his father’s arrest. The only person to rein in Kono, Shunji says, is the governor general. For that, he requests the count’s aid.

To the men’s surprise, the countess speaks up to assure Shunji not to worry. Surely his father didn’t go into this without preparation: “The police chief has a hidden card.”

Cut to: Rie, Ms. Hidden Card. The countess enlists her help, which sends “Lala” bursting into the governor’s office in a state of distress. The governor is always eager to be of service to a pretty lady, and she cries over a man “who’s like a father to me.”

Next thing we know, Kono is being summoned by the upset governor. How could he arrest the sitting police chief? Kono feels perfectly justified given Gaksital’s return, though he’s chagrined that the arrest didn’t prod Kimura into talking about his secret group.

The governor confides that there’s this young lady who thinks of Kimura as her father. If Kono lets Kimura free, the governor will get the needed information from her.

Kang-to sits in an interrogation room with Chief Kimura, but after extended silence he figures this is going nowhere. He gives up on the interrogation and suggests chatting about more personal matters: “Why do you hate me so much? Is it because I’m Korean?” Kang-to tells him he’s Sato Hiroshi; after becoming an officer, he has never considered himself Korean.

Aw. He looks so sincere and hurt that I almost feel sorry for him, thinking maybe he could have used some paternal direction, too. Until he bows his head and requests, “Please acknowledge me. I wish to wear the same uniform as you.” Aha, so it’s another strategem to ingratiate himself with the enemy, though he declares that he just wants to prove his loyalty to Kimura and Kono.

Kimura smirks, “Don’t package your ambition for success as loyalty.” He says that if the country to annex Korea hadn’t been Japan but the States, “You would have become a John or a Michael. Whether I live or die, I am Kimura Taro.”

Shunji storms in and flings a document in Kang-to’s face: Kono has issued the order to release him. He asks, “Lee Kang-to, you’d handcuff my father? I won’t forget.”

Shunji reports to his father that all of Gaksital’s victims have been Kishokai members: “Let me into the organization.” His father declares him unready and Shunji still doesn’t seem to know what Kishokai is, but offers himself up anyway: “I will join Kishokai and become his target.” He’s deeply offended at Kono’s conduct and vows to receive his apology. Dad smiles, which can only mean bad things.

At the station, Shunji addresses his officers and lays it out: He got this position by killing Gaksital, but since the dead man has returned undead, some may believe Shunji unfit for the job. If so, speak now.

Nobody says a word, so Shunji accepts that as tacit approval: “I will, at all costs, kill Gaksital with my own hands.”


Frankly not the most exciting episode, though it had some nice moments, in particular the glimpse of the beginning of Kang-to and Shunji’s friendship. The other elements all seemed like extravagant setup for future episodes, which is well and all (action is most satisfying when it comes out of plot that’s adequately thought out), only it makes for one episode of sitting through all setup and no payoff. Sigh. Why do I only get the setup episodes?

I loved the flashback because it highlights just how deep and meaningful their friendship runs, just at a moment when its fracturing seems imminent. (The ending of this episode highlights this point, although I’d argue that it’s repetitive and therefore dulls its impact. ‘Cause really, once one of you has already thought to have killed the other, coming back to a vow to kill doesn’t quite feel so dramatic, does it?)

In any case, we’d seen teenage Kang-to only in the most briefest of flashes, so this episode gave our first explanation of how he turned from the carefree younger brother into the fierce workaholic he is today. There’s something heartbreaking about seeing him beg so earnestly for the only way out he could see, that he could have a prayer of achieving. As has been mentioned before, Kang-to was the dummy kid brother, all brawn with little care for brainpower, since they’d all assumed that Kang-san would go to university and be the successful provider. When Kang-to cried that this was the only way he could see to support his family, he wasn’t kidding; it was really his one lifeline to living above base poverty.

This explains a lot about his desperation, his fierce clinging to his choice, the strength of his devotion. This is a man who makes up for insensitivity with intensity; he’s all blazing emotion.

Timing-wise, it’s significant that we get this flashback now and not earlier, because an Episode 1 explanation would have seemed cute, but lacked the irony and bittersweet touch. Frankly, it hurts more now. Ow. Hold me.


66 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. kbap

    Thank you for the recap!

  2. dduk

    “Oh honey, do you seriously not recognize your own dear dad because of a measly fake mustache? ”

    He fooled Girlfriday~ ! LOL

    and true, today might not be the most exciting episode but it did tell us more about our characters and is an excellent build up for tomorrow’s episode.

    • 2.1 Maya

      I have to say that I get why she didn’t recognize his dad, she only met him that one time at the court. Just like the rest of us… 😀

      • 2.1.1 dduk

        REALLY? I immediately knew it was him…. weird

        • Maya

          I knew it was him too, but most of the people here didn’t recognize him since he only showed up in the first episode… 😀

        • QQ

          I didn’t know Dam Sa Ri was the guy from the train. I blame the LQ of live-streaming, somehow I thought he was Kang Ji Hwan. I got excited for nothing.

          • Luk

            Lol, funny. I knew it was Damsari, but yeah, I thought he looked like Kang Ji Hwan too the whole time, maybe it’s because of Kang Ji Hwan’s disguise as the ginger merchant in Hong Gil Dong. As for Mok Dan not recognizing her father, it’s plausible. She lost contact with him since age 7 and only met up with him briefly again during the court ruling in episode 1 after all that time, not enough time to take in his appearance, before he leaves her again and moved to Shanghai.

    • 2.2 janet

      Episode 9 aka The Moustache Episode

      Oh, the effect a simple fake moustache can have… even though I knew it was Damsari, I still couldn’t recognize him with that thing on!

      on another note, poor Shunji always gets stuck with lame transportation lol. First it was the bike, now it’s the stupid-looking motorcycle-with-sidecar.

  3. Maya

    First of all,  the HAIR. How many times does Kang To have to change his hairstyles in one day? The 2:8 parting combed back hair for office hour, the gaksital hair, and the ahjumma hair perm for a night out in da club? Aaand he managed to do all that while juggling his two identities. That is some awesome time-management skills!
    And how cute is it that both Kang To and Shunji always have the same haircuts. That boyish cut back in their kendo training days, the side bangs they had before, and now the combed back cut. Right after they got their couple outfits 😀
    And btw, the flashback is my favorite part from this episode. Kang To looked like 12 yo with that hairstyle!

    Btw, props to Kang To for making quite an entrance as Gaksital! 😀 That scene where he stands at the top of the roof with the people at the market cheering for him just oozed with awesomeness.. I can see that these people can be a threat once they unite. Like chasing out that half-nekkid bank director ( please no more nekkid scene from him, PD-nim…). I can’t wait to finally see the moment when they take up their own collective responsibility and shake off fear to depose their dictators… 
    However I’m a tad disappointed at the plot used by the writer to trigger the rift over Kang To and Shunji’s friendship though. I wish that the rift was sparked by another reason instead of just because Kang To was putting the handcuffs on Shunji’s dad. He was there when Kono ordered Kang To to arrest him and of course even if Kang To wanted to take their friendship into consideration, it’s still an order from his supervisor and he couldn’t go against it especially in the presence of other high-ranking officials… Unless that was his code word for Kang To’s investigation on his dad which led to his incarceration..

    “Kang-to was the dummy kid brother, all brawn with little care for brainpower, since they’d all assumed that Kang-san would go to university and be the successful provider. When Kang-to cried that this was the only way he could see to support his family, he wasn’t kidding; it was really his one lifeline to living above base poverty. This explains a lot about his desperation, his fierce clinging to his choice, the strength of his devotion. This is a man who makes up for insensitivity with intensity; he’s all blazing emotion.”

    Couldn’t agree more…

    • 3.1 mojobobo

      I don;t think Shunji meant it that way when he raged at Kangto for cuffing his father. Shunji needs to put on a show for his dad so he needs to show that he’s totally on Kishokai’s side. I’m so scared for Shunji, jumping into an organisation he knows NOTHING about.

      How does Kangto know where the message tree is???

      • 3.1.1 idless

        I agree. I’m gonna rage at Writer-nim if they just throw my Shunji into hormonal mode permanently.

        The actor playing Kimura Taro is also very good. The subtle changes in his body language after Kenji died, he ‘aged’ and became more vulnerable (still, evil). Also, a part of me believe that he’s trying to keep Shunji away from Kishokai to protect him, not because of distrust.

        • CM

          I have this theory about him finding the tree. He has to be Gaksital so he needs to know the mountain well in order to escape like his brother did. And yes, the horse might have stopped there because it was used to do that.

      • 3.1.2 Maya

        Yeah, I hope he was just putting up a show for his dad. It’s jst that his dad was out of the hearing distance that I thought that he was angry for real.

        And the treemail? I guess the horse led him there since stopped and left him there… I love that horse! 😀

        • MsB

          Maya, the horse led him? HAAHAHA! Thanks for that laugh!

  4. mastille


    That is all, until I watch the episode tomorrow and read this along with it =)

    Joo Won completely won me over with those death discovery scenes a few eps ago. I love how much backstory all these characters are getting though, even if I’m not sure if Kang-to will ever redeem himself enough to go from just a tragic hero to an actual hero who really cares about others (besides his ‘true love, etc). I like ‘figuring out’ the next chapters in stories, but I can’t figure out how this’ll truly happen…

    • 4.1 Maya

      I think he just need to rekindle any old compassions that he had before turning into the cruel, ruthless cop we know in previous episodes.
      And i hope that scene where people cheer for him while he is standing at the roof sparked something in him. Nothing big, but at least the warm feeling of being needed by others

  5. idless

    So now Kangto need to go against his best friend, brother AND mentor.

    And Shunji is becoming the old Kangto who furiously chased after Gaksital, consequences be damned.

  6. crazedlu

    you’re right. slower ep today, but necessary set-up. thaaanks for the recap. i’m still so curious when kangto will really start to get those pangs in the heart for people, his people, all people. whether he will at all. please, please, PLEASE, writers!

    gf will likely get a good one tomorrow. haha.

  7. chichiri

    Shunji has that kind of smile that you smile with, ‘no? ^__^

    • 7.1 Alysanne

      Indeed. So cute. *_*

      • 7.1.1 chichiri

        He seems to smile with his eyes as well, not very unlike Chun Jung Myung.

  8. mdee

    Okay, so Mok Dan want to set up a meeting between her dad, Mok Damsari and Kang To and his alter ego Gaksital.. Hmmm… Interesting.

    • 8.1 MsB

      With the Imperial Police watching? Should be interesting.

  9. Ivoire

    Thank you for the recap!

  10. 10 lordj

    Thank you!!! You made my day complete!!!

  11. 11 21

    I feel so sorry for Kang-to I need to give him a hug.

  12. 12 April

    “an Episode 1 explanation would have seemed cute, but lacked the irony and bittersweet touch. Frankly, it hurts more now. Ow. Hold me.”

    Ikr? Make me care about this bromance WHILE you’re splitting it up. Evil.

  13. 13 INFINITElySHINee

    SHUNJI! Don’t hate Kang-to! He was ordered to arrest Taro. He had no choice! 🙁

  14. 14 SS

    Kang To has too many appearances to upkeep not to mention that mind boggling number of hairstyles. Will these finally give him away?

    Like he meets D but in his excitement forgets the Gaksital wig and still has hair combed back or mistakenly wears his police boots together with his Gaksital clothes?

    Thanks javabeans for the recap. You wrote: ‘Kang-to rides deep into the mountains’ Nice…..I thought he was ‘walking’ the horse cuz I have no idea what he was doing, riding in the forest with the mask on. He wasn’t on the way or back from a mission, was he?

    • 14.1 Rose

      LOL!!! Police boots together with his Gaksital clothes. That’s awesome!

      Or… Kang To running out of time to meet Mok Dan, instead riding his masked horse, he take the sidecar.

  15. 15 stars4u

    I will cherish how Shunji smiles with Kang-to… I know it would be difficult to see those moments in future eps.

  16. 16 dara


  17. 17 bluemoon

    Aish! This friendship is killing me.

  18. 18 Miss rain ENgineer :P

    Uh so refreshing …finally I’m off to read 🙂
    Thannnks JB and GF too for recaping this amazing drama

  19. 19 Yeng

    man this is reminding me of spinderman…so sad for the friendship.

  20. 20 PensiveCynic

    I noticed shunji is starting to look a little more like his brother in his behavior and facial expressions, starting from right after kenji died… His expressions are rather more reminiscent of kenji than the sweet teacher he was at the beginning of the show.
    I love watching the nice guy transform out of thirst for revenge and the bad-guy-who’s-only-a-bad-guy-out-of-desperation turning into an independence symbol for the same reason. Both changing as a result of the loss of brothers, both in love with same girl (who is both their first love), friends turned mortal enemies.. It makes for an excellent setup because kang-to and shunji are connected in so many confounding ways; it makes it difficult to define their relationship, and it always seems to evolve as the plot progresses 😀

    sorry jb! Girlfriday seems to get all the action & plotmoving episodes, but hopefully most of the flashbacks and background fill-ins have settled so we can move on to the good stuff, the effects of all these intertwining conflicts.
    I must say, though, I’m rather disappointed in shunji for being so willing to take kenji’s place, even though I THOUGHT he was distanced from his family because he couldn’t condone their corrupt choices. Perhaps it’s just ignorance or naivety, a blind hope that his family wasn’t as bad as they seemed. Either way, I was hoping for a little more resilience in his earlier persona. The fact that he turned to ask kang-to if his speech was okay does leave me with my fingers crossed. Don’t go to the dark side, shunji! There’s no charities for you over there!

  21. 21 yammy

    did any of you guys catch shunji’s smirk at the end of the previews for tomorrow’s episode? it was sooo kenji-like it scared me. O.O! noooo no evil shunji. that will break my heart T.T

  22. 22 mirah

    Sigh. Why do I only get the setup episodes?

    haha. i guess you guys can recap 2 episodes at a time? poor jv 😛

  23. 23 cindy

    This episode just showed me more my OTP is Shunji and Kang To.


    They have more chesmitry than with the girls.

    Bromance fighting!

    A pity it is ending.

    But I know in the end it’ll come back.


    Sad that Shunji is getting blind by his revenge.

  24. 24 Stardust

    I was very touched at that bromance flashback… So so sad…. Poor Shunji… he was and is a good guy, trying his best to protect those he loves. Just sucks that his mortal enemy is his best bud… the romance rivals thing just adds the icing to the bitter cake. this is the first time I am watching Joo Won’s acting… I find it decent and likable… But the way he keeps furrowing his brows at everything hehehe isn’t that a big giveaway? hahah…

    I was watching and reading the recap to fill the details I missed… thank you so much for the recap =D

  25. 25 lemonysnicket

    not related to this episode but i burst out laughing everytime there’s a closeup of KT’s face (even if it’s a tense moment!) because i keep thinking “permanently furrowed brow”

  26. 26 tika

    how cute is kangto wearing headband and pulling the rickshaw he he he

  27. 27 fifi

    Wow! This guy should smile more. I like him when he is serious, in fact that`s what got my attention to him, that sad, tormented expression on his face, but when he smiles, he rocks!

  28. 28 Qua Trang

    “C’mon, can’t you shout louder than that?”

    Ah ha, now we miss all the shouting! 😀

  29. 29 dany

    A slower episode but still great. Thank you for the recap!

    • 29.1 dany

      And I just love the ost of this drama, Ulala Session is great.

  30. 30 Yue

    Oh just kill me already would you, drama? Is the bromance dead or alive? I can’t even tell and this is torture. Either way, everyone is walking down their own paths and had passed the point of no return. I don’t mind blood so much, but, the tears and heartbreak will eat me up. The way Mok Dan called out Young Master and how Kang To could only hide… I am dying here, this show is killing every ounce of friendship and loyalties and turning people into heartless monsterd with their own agendas…

  31. 31 hello.

    i agree it’s a nice set up for ep 10! the preview looks promising! i hope the rivalry between Kang to and Shunji gets more intense, even though it kills me a bit for their bromance xD.

    Side note: someone posted on tumblr the part where KangTo says bingo and winks…and i notice that he closes both eyes and opens one~~~~how damn lovable is he ahahaha

  32. 32 cincinn

    Has anyone noticed the blinds that are in the police station? I don’t remember brown blinds that u can close by turning the rod… hmmmm. my memory of back in the day blinds they had huge slats and you used a string to close them or raise them.

    • 32.1 chichiri

      Hmmm.. I remember when I was 12, my grandpa already has those kinds of blinds (turning the rod). I’m 24 now, so…

  33. 33 rain

    just saw war of the arrows today, and i kept wondering where i saw the actor playing the manchurian prince. what do you know! it’s shunji! it’s another great korean film, so satisfying even tho i really don’t like seeing character deaths, esp of the underlings.

    also started watching ojakyo brothers precisely bec of this drama and joo won. tho not sure if im gonna stick with it – it’s almost 60hrs kdrama watching w/c to my experience leads to a lot of headaches.

    so i’ve started to actively watch this drama again (dropped it by the 3rd ep and merely contented myself w/ DB recaps.) w/c i think is the best of 3 kshows i’ve been ff in the last several weeks. big and id2 r quite the disappointment. 🙁

    • 33.1 WeWe

      You should watch Park Ki Woong in Slingshot aka The Story of A Man. His acting is marvelous and I’m still amazed that it’s him. I think he likes different role to sharpen his acting skill.

    • 33.2 MsB

      I Started War of the Arrows, have not finished it but glad to hear its good.

  34. 34 namcha

    Love this drama. It keeps you on your toes! I’m bracing for the reveal btw the 2 friends. It’s gonna be sad.

  35. 35 bb

    seriously, i hv nvr hated the main actress for so long before. until now, i still cannot get myself to like mok dan’s character nor face. i just feel damn frustrated when there is her scene and i will skip it. howw? bridal mask is awesome, but for me, she just destroys it. *personal opinion*

  36. 36 Pinny

    I’m still laughing at that scene where bank manager Jo and Abe run away holding hands

  37. 37 ds

    shunji’s character really gets confusing, is he really jumping into kishokai with knowing or not knowing the darkness that lurks in that organization, just because he wants to catch gaksital for revenge, it seems kinda funky for him to turn evil overnight.

    this ep was a bit slow but i did enjoy the flashback of kangto and shunji’s friendship, and the mini cute kangto’s cheesy/greasy flirts and smiles (even tho its just an act)

    can’t wait til u guys recap ep 10 since i just finished streaming it xDD there’s so much more in ep 10! and can’t wait til next week~~

  38. 38 Cecile

    oppppssssssss……….on the first episode until 28 episodes i love to wait until the end……..
    now i understand why kang-to acted on the first episode as a bad guy ……coz of some reasons……means don’t judge the book on its cover only……..just watch what on the entire storyline of each person leads into in this situation……..
    oh! no bestfriend becomes enemy……….the truth reveals for some reasons…

  39. 39 Pitch

    If the scene with Mok Dan and her father is any indication, it will Mok Dan a looooooooooong while to figure out that Kang-to is Gaksital, lol.

    I´m so hooked on this show, it´s ridiculous.

  40. 40 jin

    Flashback, heartrendin’.

    Mok Dan by the tree, saying “Young Master, it’s you, right?…” over and over while Kangto’s hidden behind a tree? AW, CMON. CORNY, AI.

    And I’m hoping that the friendship survives.

  41. 41 beggar1015

    I’m probably the only one who noticed this but it continues to bug me. During the flashback as Kang To and Shunji are outside practicing their kendo, we see Kenji watching them from afar. I’m trying to puzzle out his expression. He wasn’t doing his usual evil smirk, yet it wasn’t a “my brother is helping out this poor sap so he can have a better life” smile of approval. I can’t figure out what he’s thinking.

    Maybe I’m just glad to see the smug bastard again. Miss you, bro. Goiso is just a pale comparison to you.

  42. 42 Mia

    in this episode it struck me how young and vulnerable Kang To looks when he wears the gaksital mask, isn’t that strange? so different from his brother, maybe it’s because you can’t see his fiery/cold/piercing eyes, seriously his eyes can be so scary
    but somehow that whole Kang To and Mok Dan in the woods scene seemed out of character for him, he’s not the sentimental, wet-eyed, mouth-quivering, longing-for-first-love type, or at least I don’t want him to be! and her neither! be more bad ass dude/girl! I wasn’t touched there, I was annoyed :/

    and please more singing and dancing from Joo Won! I don’t care if it’s somewhat artificially inserted into the plot…

  43. 43 hikari

    I think Boon-Yi had only seen her dad very few times (maybe I am wrong?) in her life , and the fact that she only has memories of being with her dad as a child and met him very rarely as an adult so far, might have something to do with the instant lack of recognition. To her, he is almost a stranger.

  44. 44 Vincy

    I’m really glad that this movie doesn’t have a huge romance plot, tbh and I am usually a rom-com person.
    But the bromance-turned-enemies-overnight is really killed me.
    It made sense that Kang-To did the flashback because right at the end of the episode, Shunji didn’t forgive his BFF for putting the handcuffs on his father, who he supposably hates. I wonder what will happen when Shunji finds out the Bridal Mask is his own BFF…? He will be hungry for blood-thirsty revenge.

    I’m quite amazed how this drama has played out so far! Kudos to the scriptwriter!

  45. 45 calgary

    javabeans and girlfriday should alternate reviewing double episodes then it would be fair.

    For example GF would review 10 and 11, JB 12 and 13, GF 14 and 15 and so on.. like a draft!!

    Because the even episodes are always better than the odd ones.

  46. 46 N

    wah. awesome ep, so stoked for ep 10!!!

    Joowon hwaiting!

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