Drama Recaps
Gaksital: Episode 12
by | July 5, 2012 | 148 Comments

We’re back, baby! Yesterday was no fluke. I don’t know who lit a fire under Gaksital’s ass, but imma send a fruit basket. We’re on a roll with heart-stopping action, fantastic angst for our hero, a terrifying breakdown for his best friend, and some fist-pumping badassery from our heroine. I can literally say I couldn’t ask for more. Please always be this way!


Gaksital comes out of the torture room with the radical insurgent slung over his shoulder, just in time for Shunji to spot them down the hall. He screams, “Gaksitaaal!” and draws his gun, which just makes me laugh. You’re getting the guy’s attention why?

But it’s the agent, Damsari’s man, who reacts first. He swings down and pushes Gaksital out of the way, to take the bullet in his place. DAMN.

That is some loyalty, to a guy you’ve never met before. But it’s awfully moving too – this guy knows that Gaksital is more important to the movement than one soldier.

It stuns Kang-to, and he freezes for a moment behind the wall. But there’s no time for reflection when an entire precinct full of cops is on your tail. He fights his way through everyone and ends up just one step ahead of Shunji.

As Shunji tiptoes near with his gun drawn, Gaksital comes up from behind and knocks him squarely on the back of the head, with just enough force to put the lights out. He pauses for a moment, clearly not thrilled at having to attack Shunji to make his escape.

He makes his way back around to the man who took a bullet for him, now covered in blood. He ekes out, “There’s… someone… you have to meet…”

Shunji wakes up and runs through the building towards them…

The man hands Gaksital a card and gives him instructions on how to contact Damsari. He barely gets the words out when Shunji finds them and fires. The man screams for Gaksital to run, insisting that he save himself.

He runs out and gets away on his horse as Shunji shoots wildly in his wake. It must just be a natural reaction to the job to screeeeeeam whenever you lose Gaksital, and who could blame you?

He races back to the man bleeding out in the precinct, and carries him to the hospital. He pleads with the doctor to revive him for just one minute, so the doc jams a friggin’ monstrosity of a needle right into his heart and the man gasps for air.

Shunji demands to know who Gaksital is, which seems to me like a waste of medical resources. This is the man who took a bullet for Gaksital, so why would he give him up now? Silly cop.

But this isn’t logic talking, because Shunji is out of control with rage. When the man just smiles, he grabs the second needle and stabs him again, screaming in utter fury.

He finally speaks, “You should stop. The dying should be left to die.” Shunji screams and reaches to stab him again, but this time the doc restrains him, and the man falls dead.

Shunji lets out this harrowing rage that terrifies me, and with the needle in his hand, he stabs the dead man over and over and over again. Holy crap, Shunji. Any time you want to stop making my blood curdle is fine with me.

Damsari and his comrades meet in the park, and they worry that it’s too risky to remain in Kyungsung now. But Damsari refuses to leave without carrying out his mission, and orders the rest to return to headquarters while he remains here alone. It doesn’t matter if his mission might fail; they must do what they can and keep fighting, even if they’re doomed to lose.

Just then, Gaksital rides into the park, and they look up at him in shock and awe. How did he know they were here? He says nothing, but hands Damsari the card – their comrade’s identification papers, covered in his blood. They reel from the news.

Then Damsari fills Gaksital in on their mission. The comrades who attempted explosions before them failed because they had to use homemade bombs. But this time they plan to use the empire’s own weapons against them.

The plan is to set off an explosion during the government general’s anniversary celebration in two days, to vent Joseon’s grievances. He asks Gaksital to distract the police force to give them the chance to clean out their armory.

Damsari asks for his help and puts out his hand. They shake.

Shunji makes his way back to the police station, totally spent. It’s only then that he thinks over the events and realizes something. Oh no. You remembered that Kang-to was the one guarding him, didn’t you?

He runs down to the torture room… and finds Kang-to lying on the ground, unconscious. Ohthankgod. I was holding my breath for those ten seconds. How you got all the way back there in time is beyond me, but thank goodness you did.

Shunji wakes him up and Kang-to looks around, asking what happened. Did they catch Gaksital? Shunji says no, he slipped through their fingers again.

But Shunji is sure that Gaksital knows the police station inside and out—he knew every crevice of the place, to avoid being caught. Kang-to feigns frustration, but looks down warily.

They lie awake in Shunji’s room (Aw, are they bunkmates again?) and Shunji confesses, “I think I’m going to go crazy this way. Today I… killed someone.” He tells Kang-to what he did, stabbing a dying man in the heart, just to know who Gaksital was.

Kang-to listens silently with pained eyes. His lips trembling, Shunji says, “I think I’m becoming a monster. If I could just catch Gaksital, I’d immediately take off the uniform and return to the children, like I had planned. That’s why I didn’t even say goodbye to them.”

He admits to putting on the uniform to save Mok Dan. But then he just ended up putting a knife to her throat in the end. “I don’t know what I might end up doing. Kang-to-ya, what do I do? What should I do?”

He starts to cry and turns his back. Kang-to’s eyes fill with tears and he turns away too. And there, with their backs to each other, they each cry, Shunji stifling his heaving sobs.

Just rip out my heart and put it on a stake why don’t you. Beautiful, heartbreaking, so moving – Show, when you’re good, you’re GOOD.

And then, to follow that, Kang-to sits in his Gaksital lair and speaks to Hyung. FINALLY. It’s like you heard me!

Kang-to: Hyung, Shunji is just like me. When I didn’t know it was you, desperately trying to capture Gaksital—it’s like looking at myself in the past. You couldn’t say anything, but watched over me… what must you have felt? Hyung, someday Shunji will see Gaksital’s face too, right? Like you, the day will come when I must take off the mask in front of Shunji… No, perhaps before then, the day will come when I have to kill Shunji first.

Hyung, I’m really scared. Last night, a man I don’t know died to save my life. For Lee Kang-to, the Joseon people only gnash their teeth. But to save me… because I wore the gaksital… to save me… he died…

Hyung, will I be able to wear this, like you, till the end?

He hugs his knees and sobs, breaking my heart.

Mok Dan meets her father and asks him to take her out of Kyungsung once the mission is complete. He fears for her safety, but she says that being here will only prove more dangerous for Gaksital—as long as she’s around, they’ll always use her as bait.

It’s not wrong, and you can’t help but admire her for putting his safety above her feelings. Damsari agrees to take her away. He tells her not to say goodbye to anyone except Boss Jo, and they plan to meet after the anniversary.

But of course Kye-soon has overheard their conversation. Can we tie a bell around her neck?

Mok Dan writes a letter to Gaksital as she cries, thanking him for helping her father, and saying goodbye.

Meanwhile, the governor general prepares for the big colonization anniversary by having Park In-sam (the Kishokai member who owns the newspaper Kyungsung Ilbo) write a big fluff piece on how the great empire saved Joseon from itself ever so graciously.

Kono comes tearing in to announce that bank president Jo was killed, and he knows who did it: Kimura Taro. Well this time you’re wrong, but it doesn’t matter, because the governor general doesn’t give a horse’s patootie about who killed whom. Kono fumes.

Kang-to enters the station going over Damsari’s plan in his head. He asked Gaksital to draw the officers out during lunch, when the staff is at its smallest. He looks around and decides to go down to check out the armory.

But Kye-soon comes running in declaring that she has news about Mok Dan. That stops him in his tracks, and he watches as Koiso takes her to see Shunji.

She milks her informant money from them shrewdly and tells Shunji that Mok Dan’s father is planning something with Gaksital, and that Mok Dan will leave Kyungsung soon, to help Gaksital. Kang-to watches as Shunji storms upstairs.

He follows Kye-soon outside and pulls her into an alley. I know he’s leaning in to be threatening, but why is my heart skipping a beat? Anyway, he guesses that she’s Shunji’s spy and offers to sweeten the pot.

He holds out some bills and smiles. How about adding him to her roster? She smiles and nods, always eager to make another cent. He asks for the same information, whatever she told Shunji.

At the same time, Shunji reports what he found out to his father—that Damsari and Gaksital are planning something together. Even Kimura wonders why they didn’t catch onto them working together before, since Gaksital aided in Damsari’s escape.

Shunji says that he’ll bring Kang-to in to capture Damsari, since he caught him the first time. Dad reminds him not to trust Kang-to, but Shunji says he’s being careful and that Damsari is their first priority because he leads to Gaksital.

Dad agrees and gives him the green light. He then calls Rie to report, and asks her to find out exactly what the plan is, though they’ve already pieced together that it’s been timed for the anniversary, which is tomorrow. She smiles devilishly.

Kang-to marches into the pension looking for Mok Dan, and finds her on her way out. He drags her back into the room as the circus folk gape in fear.

I love that once he closes the door they creep up to eavesdrop anyway. But Kang-to’s smarter than they are and pops back out to send them scattering with one menacing glare.

Never one to waste an opportunity, Mok Dan comes at Kang-to with her knife. He pins her to the wall and forces the knife from her grip with ease. “You’re leaving Kyungsung? Do you really think you can escape from my grasp?”

He asks what her father is doing in town, and what he’s planning for the anniversary with Gaksital. He sneers, boasting that finding out was easy once he put a spy on her tail. In his head he thinks, “You understood me, right? You understood?”

Augh, I love it—he finds a way to warn her while still keeping his hateful cover.

Shunji tells his officers that their job is to stop Damsari and Gaksital from succeeding in their terrorist attack, and is about to announce that Kang-to will lead the charge… only he notices that Kang-to is nowhere to be found. Ruh-roh.

Rie comes to the pension in her nun’s habit, but runs right into Kang-to on his way out. She quickly turns away to hide her face, and Kang-to walks right by in slow motion… without giving her a second glance. She breathes a sigh of relief.

She finds the circus family surrounding Mok Dan with worry over Kang-to’s latest threats, and Shin Nan-da is the only one to wonder if Kang-to doesn’t like Mok Dan. The women all say that’s crazy and shoo him out.

Mok Dan greets the nun warmly, surprised to see her come out of her way. Rie says that she was worried so she went back to the station and found out about her release. Mok Dan thanks her for her concern and humbly offers her tea.

Mok Dan makes a cross on her chest before drinking, but notices that the nun does not, and drinks without giving thanks. It’s a red flag for her, which Rie doesn’t even register. And then to be sure, Mok Dan asks congenially about Sister Lucia at her convent.

Rie says she’s doing well. And that’s when Mok Dan knows. She thinks to herself, “Sister Lucia died…” Nice. Rie asks for prayer requests, and Mok Dan sighs, “They have to succeed…” Aw yeah. Are you feeding her false information? I love that the women on this show are so consistently badass.

Kimura and Son wait on pins and needles for word from Rie, and she finally calls. She gives them the veiled message to bring the whole family to the hospital at noon. Kimura asks if the doc is the target and Rie confirms it and tells them to hurry.

Rie leaves, thinking she swallowed that canary whole. But Mok Dan peers out, having heard her make the call. She rushes to pack a bag.

Shunji runs down to tell everyone that they’re going to hospital. He asks where Kang-to’s been, and he quickly makes up the excuse that he was investigating the Angel Club because his attacker the other night was dressed as a waiter.

He looks down at his watch: twenty minutes till noon, and the whole police force clears out. Happy timing.

Damsari’s cover wife meets the countess to get their invitations to the ball. She plies her with compliments, and the countess says it’s her patriotic duty to look posh at the event, so that everyone can know how much Joseon has prospered due to the colonization.

The Kyungsung Ilbo staff loads a truck full of the day’s newssheets, with Park’s propaganda piece on the front page. Suddenly, Gaksital swoops in and douses the papers in gasoline and lights them on fire. He hero-walks away from the blaze, drawing his stick for his next attack. Bad. Ass.

Inside, Park brags to his son about the governor general’s praise over the article, especially at the part where he used the colonization metaphor about a man with desire and a woman who submits.

Oh gross. Barf. I need a shower. Or twenty.

He thinks the headline was too soft though, and suggests that next year they go with something more like “The Downfall of Joseon.” Dad and Son cluck away at their ingenious ideas.

But their laughter is cut short at a dagger that narrowly misses Park’s face, and father and son both scream for their lives. Gaksital flies through the air to knock out Son, as Father turns into a blubbering mess. He strikes.

Shunji and his men creep into the hospital, guns at the ready. They charge into Doctor Woo’s office, only to find him in the middle of lunch without a care in the world. They realize right away that they’ve been misled.

Shunji reports to Dad, who takes the remaining men out with him.

At the same time, Damsari has sneaked into the precinct dressed as a postman. He clears out the armory and fills his bag, and starts to make his exit…

Where he runs right into Kimura. He keeps walking, but Kimura stops him, wondering why he’s headed in the wrong direction to make a delivery. Damsari says that he has a package for Lee Kang-to that he must hand-deliver.

Kimura asks to see the package. Ack! But thankfully, another officer runs up to interrupt them with the news: Gaksital has attacked the newspaper. Kimura turns to go.

Phew, crisis averted.

Or so we think for about half a second, until Kimura calls out for Damsari to stop. Oh noes. He grabs the bag and turns it upside-down, and out fall… letters and packages. Fakeout! Whew again.

He has the men open the boxes, but they’re full of dried food. He lets the suspicious postman go. Meanwhile, Damsari’s associates are hauling the weapons over the wall and out into the street undetected.

Kimura charges into the newspaper to find the Parks tied back-to-back, each with a newssheet stuffed into their mouths to shut them up. Hahahahaha. Love. It. That’s comedy.

Kimura’s face turns from annoyance to alarm when he sees the dagger with the message from Gaksital, that the misfortune from one’s evil deeds will befall descendants as well.

He tells Rie about the day’s events, and she refuses to believe it. Kimura takes a little jab that anyone could be fooled by a little girl once in their lives. Rie pounds her fist on the table, seething at being outsmarted by Mok Dan.

Kimura says the problem is they still know nothing of Gaksital’s plan, and Rie says that Mok Dan is planning to skip town tonight. I’m guessing that means you’re going to stop her?

Mok Dan says goodbye to Boss Jo, and promises to return someday. Her eyes fill with tears at the thought that she can’t say goodbye to any of the circus folk, but Jo says it’s safer that they know nothing. She bows to the ground to thank him, and takes her leave.

Shunji storms into his office with Kang-to on his heels. He fumes at being sent on a wild goose chase and says that there’s only one way to ensnare both Damsari and Gaksital: capture Mok Dan and make them believe her life is in danger.

Just out of curiosity, how many times are you guys gonna use the Mok-Dan-as-bait trick? ‘Cause you sure use a lot of manpower capturing her, letting her go, capturing her, letting her go. Just seems inefficient is all.

Kang-to agrees that it’s the best plan, but will Shunji be okay going that far? You mean opposed to the last time where he ordered you to whip her? Shunji: “To that woman, I’m nothing but a Japanese.”

He heads to the circus and sends Kang-to to the pension. While they search for her, Mok Dan walks down the mountain road, and Sun-hwa chases after her crying. She grabs Mok Dan in a hug and pleads with her not to go. Aw.

Mok Dan sits down with her and promises to come back, and says that’s why she didn’t say goodbye. Sun-hwa asks if maybe that’s why Shunji didn’t say goodbye to the children either—because he’s coming back? Mok Dan just sighs, not wanting to break her heart.

But that time spent talking to Sun-hwa was just enough for Shunji and his men to catch up to Mok Dan. For some stupid reason, she waits all the way till they get in her face to make a run for it.

She takes off into the woods and the officers give chase. Sun-hwa tries to stop Shunji, pleading with him to just let unni go, and Shunji SLAPS her across the face. Oh shit. You did NOT just hit sweet adoring Sun-hwa! And also, if this is you acting out because Mok Dan has packed a bag to leave town, you suck.

Mok Dan runs for her life and Shunji and the men follow. It’s a pretty heart-pounding chase, especially since Shunji is firing his damn gun at her the entire time. Are you really going to shoot her?

Kang-to come tearing up the road and finds Sun-hwa still crying. He asks what happened and goes running after them.

Mok Dan manages to hide for a moment but then gets discovered again, and Shunji levels his gun and hits a tree beside her. She falls down.

He picks her up and starts to haul her away, when Gaksital catches up to them and knocks the other men out. He leaps up to attack Shunji, who fires up at him, but misses.

Gaksital hits the gun out of his hand, but not to be outdone in the badassery department, Shunji kicks his sword up to his hands and sends the scabbard flying past Gaksital’s head.

They battle it out furiously. Mok Dan watches, not knowing what to do, and then sees Shunji’s gun on the ground. She picks it up…

And fires up at the sky. Both boys halt mid-swing. Well that’s a way to get their attention.

They look at her, and she slowly lowers the gun, and points it at Shunji with a fire in her eye. Hell yeah.

She moves slowly over to Gaksital’s side, which makes me do an ill-timed happy dance (inappropriate I know, but I need Kang-to to have his tiny victories).

Shunji’s eyes fill with hurt and angry tears that she’d point a gun at him, which YOU DON’T GET TO DO, because you just spent the last few bullets aimed right at her!

He drops his sword and can do nothing but watch, as Gaksital takes her by the hand and they flee. He races her away on horseback.

A tear falls as Shunji screams in rage at losing the girl to his mortal enemy.

He finds something on the ground that was left behind—the letter that Mok Dan wrote for Gaksital. Uh oh. Thankfully, it doesn’t contain any new information, but just thanks him for helping her father and tells him that she’s leaving and asks that he be well. She signs it “Boon-yi.”

Shunji clutches it with an angry fire burning in his eyes.

Gaksital rides Mok Dan away to safety, and they stop in an open field. He carries her down from the horse and they look at each other in a charged moment.

She runs up and throws her arms around him, and clutches him tightly.

He slowly wraps his arms around her and caresses her hair as she cries into his shoulder.

They stand there, holding each other, until the sun sets.


AUGH. What a perfect episode. I’m so glad the show feels like it’s settling into its britches. We were worried for a spell that it would just spin its wheels trying to set up all the baddies that Gaksital has to knock down, at the expense of emotional pull. Thankfully we’re back on track this week, with two phenomenal episodes back-to-back.

There were so many great relationship beats in this episode, starting with the two best friends. When they cried silently with their backs turned to one another, my ill will towards Shunji crumbled all over again. By the end of the episode he’s back to being hateful, but I love that he’s more terrified than anyone of what he’s becoming. I’m grateful to have him say it—that he thinks he’s turning into a monster. Because just the fact that he’s terrified and clinging to his humanity makes me remember who he was and keeps us connected to him. I appreciate the mirroring (as Kang-to points out to Hyung) that Shunji is waging a war with his dark side much like Kang-to did when he traded patriotism and loyalty for putting food on the table, and only now does he see how his brother must have felt in this position, needing to protect his identity, but at war with a brother he loves.

I’m so grateful that we’re finally (Finally!) given a window into what Kang-to thinks and feels about putting on the mask. I still honestly can’t believe the drama left us hanging on that score from Episode 7 till now, because I’m still hungry for more, and can’t fathom why an origin story of a hero would be so stingy with the key hero beats. But seeing his conflicted and tearful reaction at someone dying to save his life—a man who would be spat on without the mask—is exactly the turmoil and the angst that I want him to go through. Everything about that rescue and Kang-to’s disbelief at such unflinching loyalty was pitch-perfect.

I really enjoy how Mok Dan and Rie have upped their game as well, getting involved in all the cloak and dagger stuff. And for all of Mok Dan’s lack of conflict (she’s never going to have the layered torment that Kang-to or Shunji has), she’s been fiercely loyal to the cause and thankfully always quick to act. I wish she wasn’t always bait (only because that makes the cops seem unimaginative, which I guess they are), but it’s just a fact of the love triangle that she will always be in that pivotal center, whether between Kang-to and Shunji in the last episode, or between Gaksital and Shunji here. But how great is it that the heroine doesn’t stand idly by as the men duke it out, but raises a gun to save herself? And when she outsmarted Rie? I think girl deserves some kisses, Mr. Hero!

Everything about the current dynamic between the characters just makes my day. The tenuous friendship still holding on while Kang-to struggles with the same guilt that Hyung had towards him; Mok Dan and Gaksital’s love growing while her hate for Kang-to rages on; and Kang-to struggling with the loyalty and hero worship that comes with wearing the mask. Let’s keep the gears here and go full steam ahead!


148 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. annashee

    what an amazing episode. thanks for the recap. the emotions speak in the eyes

  2. Oonpa


  3. kbap

    Thank you for the great recap! (the hug! THE HUG!) 🙂

    • 3.1 9to5

      my thoughts exactly! i wanted MOAR of that! kisses next time please? 😀

      • 3.1.1 Hello

        yeah EXACTLY!!! Go Gaksital!! 😀

  4. Beng-Beng

    thanks for the recap! I’m so loving this kdrama, specially JoWoon =)

    • 4.1 Beng-Beng

      may i know the name of the actor who died for Gaksital?

  5. myo

    Been waiting all day for this…started refreshing this page since 10…hehe. So excited for this week episodes so thx for the recaps girls. Ok off to read this baby..:)

  6. TheJu

    It’s so funny. I have already watched the episode and I still refresh the page every minute for the recaps. Haha I look forward to the recaps just as much as the actual show ><

    • 6.1 piggy

      I totally understand that feeling!!

  7. ally bell

    Yay! Thanks!

  8. lordj

    Thanks for the recap gf! Off to read!

  9. saema

    WOW! Just.Amazing! 😀

  10. 10 JenJen

    I wonder how soon Shunji will realize that at the end of Mok Dan’s letter to Gaksital (the one she dropped and Shunji picked up at the end), Mak Dan wrote her original name (Boon Yi).
    I also loved how Kangto warned Mok Dan of nearby moles and how this has helped change her character just a bit.

    • 10.1 steadystrike

      I think that letter that was written by Mok Dan at the end of the episode, and the lighter Gaksital left behind in the newspaper carriage is gonna haunt Kangto in the later episodes.

  11. 11 crazedlu

    FINALLYYYY. loved what they did in this episode. it took a while, but i didn’t mind the wait too much.

    next week, bombs and explosions? high tension and conflict? monster and hero?

    cannot WAIT.

  12. 12 xiaoSxin

    Does anybody know what was that new song at the end of this ep? Was it Lim Jae Bum?

  13. 13 reallycool

    Really amazing acting from Shunji this episode. Especially the part where Bridal Mask knocks him out in the police station. Amazing facial expressions when he got knocked out ^^

    • 13.1 Ivoire

      Hi and yes, I agree, I was thinking the same thing! South Korea has such good actors and actresses!!!!

    • 13.2 Awe

      Anyone, besides me, a little creeped out at Shunji’s brilliant performance of “raged crazy”? Quite the transformation, neh? TBH, I was shocked at the believability — my dear Shunji has a monster in him. /cry

      Thanks for recap and I agree, this episode finally put fires in everyone’s pants. HOT PANTS, ftw!

      And I’m loving the reveals too. The mole in the circus is now known and Mok Dan is onto Rie and finally Dam Sa Ri and Gaksital make the meet. YAY.

      OK so who do we talk to in order to get daily episodes? Having to wait until next week isn’t working for me. 😉

  14. 14 Rashell

    This episode was FABULOUS! I loved everything about it. We finally see that both Kang To and Shunji know exactly what’s happening to them, and yet neither can find a way to change it. It’s that pesky kdrama FATE we always run into. My heart went out to Shunji for the first time in many episodes during his breakdown. But his anger and disbelief at the end killed that empathy immediately. I can’t believe he felt betrayed by Mok Dan after he continues to use her life as bait for his traps.

    And finally Mok Dan was interesting. She outsmarted Rei and showed some strength in picking up that weapon to save herself and our hero.

    And our hero was wondeful this episode. So fierce and conflicted. So sweet and tender in that last scene. His conversation with hyung was simply perfect and finally expressed his knowledge of what he was and the trauma that is likely in his future. Soo good.

    I just hope this drama stays at this level because this week’s episodes ROCKED!

  15. 15 Dara

    Totally blown away by this episode! So worth the wait every week! Thankyou so much for the recap!

  16. 16 bluemoon

    Again, this bromance is KILLING me. OH MY GOSH

    Anyway, what a great episode. All the characters really delivered on this episode.

    • 16.1 Awe

      agreed. good post.

  17. 17 Eternal

    Mokdan badassery was so satisfying to watch. Her character is still pretty one-dimensional, but boy oh boy do I appreciate a badass heroine

    I must say Park Ki-woong’s performance thus far has been electrifying – the sort of mad man look he gets in his eyes when he’s on the hunt for Gaksital literally creeps me out. Joo-won, I’m starting to appreciate more and more.

    Thanks for the recap!

  18. 18 stars4u

    The roomies crying the night away was such a heart breaker! And it was leveled up when Kang-to was talking to his hyung… he needs a hug!

    Finally Kang-to now fully understands the weight of putting on the mask. First he felt it slightly with the people thanking him but now a total stranger sacrificed his life to save Kang-to as Gaksital.

    I was cheering for Mok-dan to take the clue from Kang-to until when Rei tried to get info from her…

    Definitely one of the best episodes!

  19. 19 chichiri

    What a rollercoaster ride.

  20. 20 BelleBrunette

    Is it bad that I love everything about this show but mok dan? I really cant pin-point what it is either.

    • 20.1 shell

      there’s nothing, that’s what it is… she’s just there for gaksital and shunji to fight over… she fixated on gaksital but doesn’t know who he is – and even if gaksital is now kang-to, she was attracted to gaksital when he was kang-san so that’s a bit… umm.

      • 20.1.1 Person

        lol yeah. I agree 😛 and by the way, how can he change into his Gaksital clothes so quickly? And then change back in the blink of an eye? Or smooth his hair down in a different hairstyle? That would take more than a few minutes, or even a few seconds. And how does he carry around his Gaksital costume around? Is it like he hides it in his underwear or something????

  21. 21 Dream-Petals

    Amazing episode!!!!

    I guess now that shunji knows her name is bong-yi all he needs to find out or atleast have high suspision that kang-to is gaksital is for him to mention that the girl her told shunji about is named bong-yi.

  22. 22 jinkzz

    this is an amazing episode, no doubt about it… I can’t help but laugh hysterically though in the digoxin scene…digoxin is not going to revive anyone who is dead but will kill the patient if given that fast and directly to the heart…hehehe

  23. 23 ilikemangos

    Shunji scared the crap out of me in this episode.
    where he constantly stabs that dying man to revive him?! and that yell? How the hell can shunji change so fast before our eyes.
    Okay, this is the first episode in which i am fist pumping mok dan. clever, clever girl for figuring out that the “mother” was not really a nun. yeaaah. and then the first heroine ever to not sit and watch during a rival’s fight and actually pick up a gun&intervene. Fist pump to the maxxx.
    Kang-to breaks my heart. everytime he’s forced to hurt the people he cares about, you can really see that pain in his eyes, and yet, for some reason, NOBODY in the show freaking sees it.
    GF, totally agree with you on how great it was for us to see kang-to’s emotions about what it means to be gaksital. i love how they included that comrade’s sacrifice in order for kang-to to begin to understand what the joseon people stand/fight for.
    I hope every episode from now on is as good as this weeks!

    • 23.1 ilikemangos

      btw, the whole sleeping-with-the-enemies scene got me, and then shunji effed it up by returning to his once hateful self.
      Yeah, so basically, he’s in kang-to’s original predicament.

    • 23.2 ilikemangos

      lemme correct that. the SECOND heroine ever to not sit and watching during a fight.
      first would be hang-ah. 😉 all you hearties know what im talkin’ bout

      • 23.2.1 chichiri

        Be careful.

        Those CH fundamentalist might come on full force against you and say it’s Nana. LOL

        • ilikemangos

          oh yes. can’t forget nana bear.
          she’s up on that list too. there’s room for moore!
          then again. if there’s a list then this shouldn’t be new.. but why does it feel like it?! ahah Anyways, glad mok dan is doing good since her character does not have many layers

      • 23.2.2 Arhazivory

        lol. I SECOND that.

      • 23.2.3 Jasmine

        Don’t forget Seryung from the Princess Man. Fighting your own father and your fiancee with your morals and willpower alone, deserves some praising.

        • GasitalPpyong

          Seryung was so amazing in how she guilt-tripped her father, and would use Shin Myun’s love to her advantage. I would say she kicks ass intellectually. Hangah kicked ass literally. LOL.

        • ilikemangos

          oh yes! se ryung is one of my favorite heroines too.
          you guys are bringin’ it with the kick-ass heroines!

      • 23.2.4 Hafy

        Oh… Oh… Oh… Are we playing this game that who is the ass-kicking heroine? If we are…. I’m going for Princess Sun Hwa of Shilla from Ballad of Suh Dong. xDDD She is the first one for me… Way before the others… kekeke

      • 23.2.5 Hafy

        Oh… Oh… Oh… Are we playing this game that who is the ass-kicking heroine? If we are…. I’m going for Princess Sun Hwa of Shilla from Ballad of Suh Dong. xDDD She is the first one for me… Way before the others… kekeke I mean she rather let go of her princess title for a mere Slave and willing to sacrifice her life for him.

      • 23.2.6 Awe

        go King 2 Hearts!

  24. 24 Stardust

    I really really LOOOVE this ep to bits… I watched half assed through RAW last night. There are so many powerful moments and I was torn between being sad for Shunji when he was stifling his sobs when Kang to was also sobbing silently… ARRRGH…. But that evaporated when he repeated started to lose it and start stabing a corpse with adrenaline… eeek…

    I love Joowon and all… but is it only me to find the Gaksital dash through town really funny LOL and when the circus ppl crowded behind the door I was like “open the door! Open it! ” and he opened it…kekekeke

    The ending of the episode was a great relief, because FINALLY our boy Kang to is not in life threatening danger but on a hill, hugging his beloved until the sun goes down? AWESOME.

    Thank you for the wonderful recap!

  25. 25 tapioca pearl

    This is my favorite week of Gaksital so far. I think my heart broke 10 billion times during these two episodes, but my love for this drama has never been stronger!

    Dear Gaksital Writer(s),
    Keep it coming. My heart is prepared for the next 16 episodes, so don’t worry about holding back. The heart is a muscle, after all.

  26. 26 Star

    when i watched the episode earlier I knew you would be happy GF 🙂

    • 26.1 addylovesbwood

      ikr!! finally what we’ve been waiting for since ep7

  27. 27 Brenda

    I really love how Kang-To and Shunji are perfect foils to each other and basically have been throughout their entire lives. To support his family, Kang-to joined the Japanese so that they could survive when they had nothing. In contrast, Shunji grew up with everything and defied his family to follow his passion with teaching.
    Now that they are set on their own courses, that foil is displayed even more prominently since Kang-to is a man who’s spent his entire career being bad when his innate goodness is fighting to get to the surface.
    In contrast, Shunji tried so desperately to be good but in the end, his bad nature as a Kimura is slowly winning out with each passing episode.

    At this point, i don’t really care about what happens to Mok Dan as long as Kang-to and Shunji come out together in one piece. . . which probably won’t happen. =(

    • 27.1 shell

      my thoughts exactly… what makes this drama great is not the one-sided predictable romance… but the friends-to-enemies transformation. that they were able to have such strong actors to play those parts is the merit of the producers. this wouldn’t be the same if they couldn’t make me believe it… and boy do they make me believe it! (despite the few weak points of the plot – like when kang-to came to be in the only-for-japanese hospital for shunji to recognize, even if they didn’t know who he was and he was found on the street… suddenly they decided to admit joseon people too lol.)

  28. 28 Jean

    Hmmmmm, the last part when kang to ran to the forest to find mok dan, wasn’t he in his suit? And he didn’t bring any bag. But once he met shun ji and mok dan, he was in his gaksital suit. I think I know how he managed to change to his gaksital outfit in the police station and in the forest!!!! He stuffed it in his pants! That’s why he has such nice butt when he’s in his suit!! I mean no man can have such beautiful, firm, perfectly sculptured butt right?!!

    • 28.1 ilikemangos

      HAHAHA very interesting how you point that out, about kang-to’s scrumdiddlyumptious booty. must be because that’s where he keeps his suit
      I have sacrificed logic at times in this show just because im always rooting for bridal mask. ahha.
      like when his horse happens to be roaming around and magically appears right when he needs a ride, im like hey little fella, where’d you come from? very convenient indeed.

    • 28.2 SS

      maybe you should watch 1N2D to find out. Just need to check episode 393. No suits, no tight pants there…just loose and very thin ones. And don’t forget to breathe.

    • 28.3 Alysanne

      Maybe the family bodyguard is on call for costume changes and transportation needs, like Jarvis’ Iron Man in the 1930’s. LOL

    • 28.4 Alysanne

      Maybe the family bodyguard is on call for costume changes and transportation needs, like Jarvis’ Iron Man in the 1930’s. All heroes must have an on-call butler/sidekick! LOL

    • 28.5 efa

      hahahahaa…. love “He stuffed it in his pants”…. it very much. Thank God I’m not the only one who cannot get my eyes off his damn hottie butt… I was so thrilled seeing mokdan and gaksital huggie lovey dovey.. but feel kind a sad.. because it took them 12 episodes for god sake just to see these two lovers hugging while in other dramas OTP usually started their firs kiss in episode 5 or 6.

    • 28.6 Maya

      LOL! I think if we try to make Kang To’s transformation logically possible, I would be content with this idea… 😀

  29. 29 ilikemangos

    GF, you must get the best episodes. lol

  30. 30 Cate

    I feel like im the only one who loves Mok Dan…….Lol

    • 30.1 Lilith

      I adore her (& Jin Sae Yeon). xD
      I think it’s not fair to compare her with Rie.

      Rie has a Japanese ‘big boss’ behind her back. No one would even dare to raise a finger against her. So of course she has no fear to behave like a bitch and superior to anyone.

      She was trained as a spy, while Mok Dan had to survive without her parents as a child and lived in a cloister until who knows when.

      I think for her background, it’s amazing how brave and good at fighting she is. Even DamSari stood no chance against Kang To in a combat, so it’s no wonder that Mok Dan can’t do anything against him either. (I bet Rie couldn’t do anything against Kang To without help either.)

      Maybe I missed something, but I still don’t even know how Boon Yi survived the attack which Kang To (or Lee Young xD) saw in the past.

      • 30.1.1 pigtookie

        I bet she stabbed the guy with the knife 🙂

        I’ve thought Jin Se Yeon was very pretty since Ep. 1, and she reminds me of Eugene looks-wise, but maybe that’s the Joo Won reference. I’ve wondered why she was chosen as the female lead with few past works, but she held her own these last two episodes. Then again, they could have gone with a more seasoned actor as Gaksital, but Joo Won (though I guess he has experience from musicals) is wonderful and I enjoy his take on the role, he has some talent at portraying emotion, especially those eyes.

        Mok Dan is rash. She is headstrong and hasn’t proven to be the most careful person in keeping herself and her loved ones safe, but you could argue the police are particularly interested in her. She hasn’t had much to do except as bait and trying to assassinate Kang To, but I applaud her alertness this episode to successfully drive her father’s plan and distancing herself away from Gaksital. She is also caught up on Gaksital as this hero figure, but how will she react when she finds out the person she hates is the one she idolizes?

        Sure, arrogant Sato Hiroshi is a disguise, but I see Kang To in this middle ground between someone who unflinchingly tortures his neighbors and family in hot pursuit of Gaksital for recognition/promotion as a top police officer… and this other guy who puts on the mask to exact revenge on his family, but also serves as Gaksital the Joseon hero. This episode brings him a step closer to the hero, but he’s far from how Mok Dan pictures him. I’d say she’s in love with Kang San’s Gaksital (and how is he related to her?), but I think it’s more of an infatuation with Gaksital the figure molded with her first love of Kang To the protective figure.

      • 30.1.2 Gom

        I know I’m late for this, but you’re not alone, sister.

        I. LOVE. MOK-DAN. Right from the very first episode when she stood up to Kang-to, the girl really got my respect. I have a lot to say about her character but I’ll probably hold that in until I catch up with the current episodes. 🙂

        But yes, I love Mok-dan.

        I was surprised that upon reading the comments here, a lot of people don’t seem to like her character.

  31. 31 ally bell

    for some reason this episode didn’t have a precap…??

  32. 32 ck1Oz

    Thank you, I have been waiting for the recap even though I’ve watched it.

    MAN!! The beginning scenes were heart thumping stuff and it just went on and on.

    Mok Dan, normally I don’t care about her. Today, watching the actress run all over the place and in the forest- I kept thinking ” whew, lucky you’re young girl” The amount of actions scenes for the cast in this drama…. would make an older actor have angina 🙂

    Another week gone, but sweet. It was fantastic, these 2 episodes this week.

  33. 33 Ivoire

    Thank you so much for the recap, Girlfriday! We always appreciate them!

  34. 34 Dukdam

    Did anyone else cringe when Kangto THREW his lighter into the petrol + newspapers? Methinks ZIPPO lighters were not that widely owned in Japanese occupied Korea.. At what temperature do metal lighters melt away into nothingness? Oh why oh why could you not have just used matches?

    • 34.1 Brandi

      LOL. I cringed too. Zippo lighters at that time would’ve been made out of brass or steel, so “melting away” would required a high temperature and/or a long time.

      This show has a lot of anachronisms, like the jazz band playing with a modern electric guitar, Kang-to’s haircut, “Bingo!”, etc. But the good overshadows the bad.

      I try not to think of it.

  35. 35 Uj

    this drama has me at the edge of my seat!! love it!

    p.s. Shunji is scaring me T^T

    • 35.1 유나

      Yeah totally!! 😀

  36. 36 Toya

    my only question…. his brother was way taller… she naw notice her man shrunk???

    • 36.1 sweetlites

      actually shin hyun joon (the actor who played his brother) is 184cm and joo won is 185cm so technically the height difference is minimal

  37. 37 cindy

    I have to say the actor who does Shunji deserves some award too for his acting. The last scene when he felt betrayed by BY/MD wow his eyes……. he can do bad and good guy very well. IMO he acts better than JW sometimes.

    But JW is also killing his role.

    I just feel that sometimes the second guys don’t get the praise they deserve… and the main guy gets it all.

    It is a bit unfair, no?

    • 37.1 missjb

      Agree, Park Ki Woong has been awsome since the 1st episode.

    • 37.2 bluemoon

      Agreed! PKW is so good in this drama. Yes, I feel that he deserves as much praise as JW. They both are phenomenal in their respective roles.

      • 37.2.1 eny

        sorry to say, for me PKW acting good when he show his anger beside that he still weak but joo won’s acting really good in expressed all emotion and he good since first ep, and this ep joo won doesn’t need to show a lot of emotion it’s PKW turn that’s why PKW really shine in this ep, but i agree sometimes second lead didn’t get attention,….

    • 37.3 mojobobo

      I think Joo Won and Park Ki Woong are both very excellent actors. Park Ki Woong has been around longer so his screeen presence is much stronger than Joo Won’s I think. Joo Won has potential 🙂

      I think Park Ki woong deserves an award. He’s madddddddd!

      • 37.3.1 Airyn

        Madddd is the word! 😉

      • 37.3.2 idless

        Yeap, it was PKW excellent acting that keep me feeling for Shunji, despite the madness he descended to in recent episodes.

    • 37.4 Lilly

      was clued in to watch Viki comments on Shunji and Bridal Mask in top of screen

      was worth rewatching, funniest stuff ever

      crazy Shunji now a favorite villain for me

  38. 38 Mas

    Thanks for the recap. What an awesome episode.

    I guess Mok Dan /Boon yi next move is quit the circus and be a full time comrade and maybe a spy too.

    Rie thinks that Mok Dan is stupid, after being used as a bait numerous time and can easily manipulate her but this time, Mok Dan outsmarted her. Good girl.

    I hope that the time she was slapped by Shunji will open her eyes now, not to end up in the torture room AGAIN. You get that girl. DON’T END UP IN THERE. AGAIN. Huh.

  39. 39 Arhazivory

    Wow. So last episode blew me away and this one just killed me. I loved it.

    His expression when the man took the bullet for him was priceless. The shock reverberated through his mask and through my screen. Shunji going crazy was painful to watch. I think I closed my eyes at one time while he was stabbing the guy. It was like whoa.

    The scene when the two friends cried with their back turned was….*sighs*…so poignant. But the scene that produced tears was when Kang To finally voiced his feelings out loud while talking to his hyung. *sniffles* Oh Kang To, its painful how you’re now able to empathize with your hyung.

    Really a great episode and damn you producers. Where’s my preview?! *bawls*

  40. 40 f1yh1gh10

    this episode was so good! i’m dying for wednesday to come…augh the angst!!!!

    i wish mokdan would take a really good look at gaksital’s face during the next episode..maybe she needs some quality happy time with gaksital so she can study him a bit more.. i know that their time together wont be too long because that would be too risky, but i can’t help wishing she got some kind of feeling or epiphany that gaksital and kang to could actually be…GASP…the same person? OH HEO NO!

    hahaha. i am sooooo looking forward to the romance.. i need some time away from shunji’s pscycho-ness and the gloominess and see some cute and happy scenes, you know? get some joyful squeals in there before the horrific angst arrives once again.

  41. 41 Rica

    Oh all I wanted to say is already being said by every one. I am so glad that I decide to watch this drama. I want to give big thanks to girlfriday. I was waiting to see what your reaction would be after that podcast. I really love this episode and this two episodes were by far the best episodes of this drama. And this drama rocks big time!!!!!

  42. 42 Miss rain ENgineer :P

    Hi five hhhhhhhhhhh i laughed hard of your comment
    “I think I know how he managed to change to his gaksital outfit in the police station and in the forest!!!! He stuffed it in his pants! That’s why he has such nice butt when he’s in his suit!! I mean no man can have such beautiful, firm, perfectly sculptured butt right?!!”

  43. 43 L-V

    yay…gaksital fighting…!!! ^^

  44. 44 graceface

    GAHHH. I died a few times throughout this episode! But I love how the bromance is more intriguing than the love lines 🙂 Joo won and Park Ki Woong have some intense eyes… love them both!!! And nice battle between the two women… they both stepped up their game.
    I may just have to watch this episode again… I missed some parts while I was freaking out/hyperventilating. But freaking out means the drama is doing its job… so MORE PLEASE 🙂

  45. 45 h311ybean

    I am loving this drama even though it can get gory in some parts and my mom says she doesn’t understand it.

    And can I just say that I wish Kye-soon gets her comeuppance in the end, for being such an evil little tattletale? Grr, she’s so annoying!

  46. 46 SS

    “He follows Kye-soon outside and pulls her into an alley. I know he’s leaning in to be threatening, but why is my heart skipping a beat?”

    Me too!!!!

    If a man like Kangto were to lean in on me and stare with those piercing eyes, I will melt like faster than an ice-cube in this weather.

    No need to give me cash, Kangto. Whatever you want, I will give more & much more. Gulp!

    • 46.1 red

      haha I didn’t see this comment when I made mine, but I said exactly the same thing lol. Joo Won is smok’n hot, and with that suit and hair how can these girls actually lean away from him????…I know what I would do 😉

  47. 47 BB

    The star of this episode is PKW! Going into this drama I was a JW fan but I’m absolutely loving PKW. What a revelation!

  48. 48 mojobobo

    “And fires up at the sky. Both boys halt mid-swing. Well that’s a way to get their attention.”

    AHHAHA you made them sound like children fighting over a toy!

    So ironic that Kangto has to hide behind a mask to show his true self to Mok Dan.

    And yeah to Mok Dan for finally being awesome again.

    Thanks for the recaps!!!!

    • 48.1 ilikemangos

      lol i was chuckling when she fired the bullet because it totally seemed like they WERE two kids fighting!
      halting once someone yelled “stop”
      but in this case, a gun shot.
      they’re adorable.

  49. 49 Jasmine

    The mirroring of conflicts, and setting up the parallelism between Shunji and old Kang-to is just so beautiful. Maybe Kangto is not ready to fully embrace Gaksital in its entirety because Shunji may play a big part in this. I mean Shunji has always been a brother to Kangto, the one who gave him a chance and had faith in his humanity when everybody else saw him as a monster. He never had this recognition from his brother because although Kang-san understood him, he could not show his faith in Kangto because of his identity as Gaksital. Yet, Shunji was the one Kangto ran to when he questioned himself, and Shunji gave him faith in Kangto as a person. Once Kangto fully becomes Gaksital (and to an extent he already has) that’s the end…he betrays all Shunji gave to him. I love how now Kangto is there understanding Shunji because he has actually been in his shoes before, yet not being able to save him for falling to the dark side. And not being able to provide faith in Shunji as a person because he has to consider to bigger cause.The scene when Kangsan turns his back to Kangto, and Kangto pleads his brother to understand his decision was all sorts of epicness. And to parallel that with the best friends hesitatingly turning their backs to one another? Wow Im amazed. Kangto turns his back on Shunji the same way Kangsan turns his back on Kangto: they don’t have the luxury to consider one man’s feelings over a nation’s. And yet it hurts more with Kangto because he sees history repeating itself, and as it unravels and Shunji steps towards the dark side more and more, Kangto is unable to prevent it. It was what he feared the most..sacrificing family for the cause, yet this time he can’t choose family (Shunji) over the cause because all of Joseon is depending on him. Why show must you be this epic? I hate that we have to go through an episode 6 again..this time Shunji’s version LOL.

    • 49.1 chichiri

      Straight out of my mouth.

  50. 50 KDrama Fan

    Thanks GF for the recap.

    What an exciting episode!

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