Drama Recaps
Gaksital: Episode 16
by | July 19, 2012 | 207 Comments

Three little words change everything, for hero and villain alike. It’s as frightening to watch Shunji’s descent into darkness as it is uplifting to watch Kang-to finally become a human being. That their mutual paths happen to collide where love and ideology live—well that’s just the cherry on top of my Gaksital sundae.


Kang-to runs in to save Mok Dan, falling right into Shunji’s trap. It’s not a good day for the good guys. He leads her out by the hand, only to walk right into Shunji.

Shunji levels his gun at Kang-to with a smug little smirk, “It was you. Nice to see you, Gaksital.” I’ve been holding my breath since yesterday…

But Kang-to’s expression doesn’t change. Whew, have you been practicing your double identity acting skills? Because we were worried for a while.

Shunji asks again if he’s Gaksital, and Kang-to just tells him to put down his gun and move aside. “I only came because I was worried about Mok Dan.” She yanks her hand out of Kang-to’s grasp.

Now it’s Shunji’s turn to be surprised – why on earth should Kang-to care about Mok Dan?

Kang-to: “Because you might kill her at any moment. I couldn’t take it. Knowing plainly that you were going to kill her, I had to do anything I could to get her out of here.”

Shunji: “Because you’re Gaksital?” Kang-to: “No! Because I love her!” Whoa. Okay, now Mok Dan is like, whatchoo talkin’ ’bout? I kind of love that he’s confessing his big love and her skin is probably crawling.

It’s the only thing Kang-to can say in this moment short of outing his secret identity, because he’s certainly caught red-handed in the damsel-saving department. And I think it brilliantly satisfies Shunji’s suspicion and betrayal, because if everything Kang-to had done in the name of protecting his buddy’s girl was really because he loved her too… well then that answers a hell of a lot of Shunji’s questions. Well played.

Shunji glares, no less hurt and betrayed than if Kang-to had donned the mask right then and there, and tells him to say it again. Kang-to yells it this time: “I. Love. This. Woman!” Shunji yells in return, for Koiso and his men to come and arrest these two at once. Aw man.

But Kang-to protests, “I’ll walk in on my own two feet! Loving a woman isn’t against the law, is it?” Hee. Well technically, loverboy, you trying to escape with a fugitive is the part where the handcuffs come in, but thanks for the adorable.

He takes Mok Dan’s hand again and screams at Koiso to get out of the way. But Shunji isn’t having any more heroes run off holding her hand, and cuffs Kang-to right then and there.

He cuffs Mok Dan with a pained look on his face, and then orders them to be taken away.

Kang-to gets tossed into an interrogation room, where Koiso beats the living crap out of him for sport. Shunji watches creepily from the other room.

Rie finds out that Kang-to ran in to save Mok Dan, ruining the plan to catch Gaksital, and throwing his whole career away at that. She laughs bitterly, calling him an idiot for being blinded by his love.

But it’s really jealousy that fuels her anger too, wondering what that girl is to him, to risk everything he’s worked so hard to build. Her reaction doesn’t go lost on Katsuyama, and she catches herself.

She turns her own words onto herself, as she thinks, “Ueno Rie, why are you acting like this, after coming this far?” She reminds herself that killing Lee Kang-to should be nothing to her.

Mok Dan gets locked away, thankfully without the same welcome treatment that Kang-to is getting. She crouches in her cell and mulls over the two giant bombs that just exploded in her face: Lee Kang-to l-l-loves her? Shunji called Kang-to Gaksital?

She shakes the thoughts loose—there’s no way. And I don’t blame her for not believing either, as they are legitimately crazy from her point of view. Kang-to is the devil, not the hero.

Shunji watches her, fraught with angst. Koiso continues to terrorize Kang-to, scoffing that he had the gall to love the woman Shunji “licked.” Ew, like this-is-my-cupcake? That’s offensive AND gross.

Shunji comes in and yells at Koiso for beating Kang-to before they’ve even interrogated him. WUT. Oh no you di’n’t just pretend that you weren’t watching that beatdown from the beginning and ordered it yourself! You can’t be bad cop AND good cop!

But that’s exactly what he does, coming in like the sensitive friend and offering a handkerchief to wipe the blood from his brow. Evil!

He sits down and gets to the point: “Since when?” It’s telling that when all is said and done, that’s what Shunji cares about. He reminds Kang-to that he’s the one who shot Mok Dan.

Kang-to: “Yes. I shot that woman in the chest.” He calls himself a raving lunatic who did anything to catch Gaksital, running all over town just to catch one rat—almost catching him every time, going madder and madder every time he got close. It’s believable because it’s true.

He caught a bug thinking he’d use it as bait to catch the rat, and says again, “I shot that woman in the chest. But as I carried her bleeding body to the hospital, all I could think the whole time was, ‘If she dies like this, how will I catch him?'”

Oof, that’s twisted. Not true, but not far from the truth of who he was. And then with tears streaming down his face, he admits that when she woke up, he couldn’t have been happier. He didn’t care about all the names she called him or what she thought of him—he was just so grateful that she was alive.

He told himself it couldn’t be—she was Damsari’s daughter and Shunji’s girl. But no matter how much he knew he couldn’t, there was no controlling his heart.

He says that Shunji is in exactly the same position now, going mad trying to catch Gaksital, and ready to kill Mok Dan to do it. He couldn’t just stand by and let that happen, to Mok Dan or to his friend.

That rattles Shunji enough that he goes clamoring out of the room. He thinks to himself as he shakes, “Kimura Shunji, have you gone mad? How could you think that Kang-to was Gaksital? No matter how crazy you are because of Gaksital…. How?”

Phew. Who knew that a confession of love would turn out to be the perfect cover?

Meanwhile, Boss Jo paces nervously in his room at the inn. Damsari’s associates barge in posing as Chinese tourists, and knock out the two police guards swiftly, taking their places. Nice.

Damsari’s cover wife comes into the room and announces that she’s here to mete out Jo’s punishment. Oh no. Are you here to kill him? She asks how he could betray the movement, and Mok Dan, who was a daughter to him.

But he’s prepared to pay the price, and refuses to give excuses for what he did. He hands over an envelope of money to get them out safely, and shuts his eyes, ready for death. She obliges and takes out her knife…

She swings, but stops in midair. She tries again, but can’t bring herself to do it. Boss Jo opens his eyes and she turns to go. Shin Nanda, who has pushed his way into the room to share a bowl of noodles, faints. Ha.

Jo runs after them and tucks the envelope of money into one of the comrades’ pockets, and sees them off with a grateful smile.

Back to Shunji, still reeling in the hallway. One dangling thread comes back to him though—on the morning of the anniversary, he got a phone call from Governor Wada’s office saying that Kang-to asked for Choi Tae-gon’s contact information. Uh-oh.

He storms back in to ask about it, and Kang-to just says he was checking up on the name. Shunji presses him about missing Damsari in disguise at the party, even seeming like he kept Shunji away to protect him.

Kang-to just sneers that it seems that way in his head because he’s suspicious now. I do enjoy that he’s playing mind games with Shunji, to dish a little of what he’s been served.

Shunji says fine (a point he can’t argue too harshly, since he missed Damsari in disguise as well), but what about knowing Mok Dan’s name… Boon-yi? How does he know it?

Kang-to turns the tables and interrogates Shunji in return: “How do YOU know that I know it?” Nice. See, this is what I’ve been dying to see. Shunji can’t out-cop Kang-to, not when push comes to shove.

He smiles and asks accusingly, “Did you hear me ask Damsari to save Boon-yi? And THAT’s why you thought I was Gaksital?” He laughs at that ridiculous line of reasoning and blows up at Shunji for setting up that whole show, just to trap him.

He yells, “Koiso!” And then hilariously, Koiso comes running in on command, like the obedient dog that he is. Even he realizes he’s come in on Kang-to’s command without thinking, and kicks himself.

Kang-to demands he take these cuffs off at once, and orders it so fiercely that Koiso almost does it. But Shunji says he won’t be freed till the suspicions are cleared. Kang-to: “Kimura Shunji, have you really gone mad?”

He reminds Shunji that he’s the one who caught Damsari—he investigated every friend, relative, and semi-acquaintance that he ever had. “Do you think I wouldn’t know something like his daughter’s name when she was young?!” Man, Kang-to is so much hotter when he’s being smart.

He sits back and says fine—let’s say he’s on Damsari’s side. Would he have to beg and plead to know where Boon-yi is, to save her? Good point. And why are the men who tried to kill him at the Angel Club that night on wanted posters all over town as Damsari’s accomplices?

He slams his cuffed hands on the table. “Kimura Shunji! Get it together! Damsari tried to have me killed!” Shunji orders Koiso to bring the Angel Club employees down to the station at once, to confirm the story.

Koiso has the staff dragged in, and Tasha asks that the others be let go, thinking they’re here because they opened the club against the new laws. But Shunji shows the pictures of Damsari’s men and asks if they’re the ones who attacked Kang-to at the club.

Tasha keeps her mouth shut, since as we know, she’s a part of the independence. But one of the girls tells the waiter to fess up—”You know that the men who tried to kill Kang-to oppa were independence army!”

Shunji lets the others go and drags the waiter down to the torture cellar. The guy is scared witless, and Shunji makes him look directly into Damsari’s eyes—was this man there when the attempt was taken on Kang-to’s life? Were they his associates?

It doesn’t take much to make him break, and the waiter confesses to seeing them all that night: the two men on the wanted posters, and Damsari there, along with the woman too. He knew they were independence when they attacked Kang-to.

Well thank goodness for you. Damsari sighs to have his comrades outed, but that’s nothing compared to the sigh of relief from me that Kang-to’s story checks out. Shunji tells Koiso to let Kang-to go.

Koiso uncuffs Kang-to with a scowl, and Kang-to just saunters out without a word. Aw man, you couldn’t have shoved his head through a door, just for the satisfaction? Sometimes I miss Evil Kang-to.

He comes out just in time to see Mok Dan being led into Shunji’s office. They lock eyes for a moment, and then Kang-to watches with alarm as Shunji shuts the blinds with her inside. Oh that’s creepy. Stop creeping me out, Shunji!

It gets worse, as he steps closer and closer to her, reaching out to touch her face. But she steps back, and his hand lingers, unable to make contact. He puts his hands on her shoulders and asks with concern if she isn’t hurt, if she’s okay. Dude, that is WAY creepier than just beating her up. What are you, Jekyll and Hyde?

She pushes him away with disgust, “Let go of me.” He pleads with her to give up the location of Damsari’s comrades, saying that he doesn’t want to torture her or her father. But what, they’re making you do it? Don’t you do it, Shunji. Don’t you go there! Gah, I can feel his soul slipping through my fingers like sand.

He begs her to give them up, because right now it’s the only way to save her father. It’s with sincerity that he says he wants to save her, and asks for her to save him by remaining alive. But catching Gaksital is the only way that Damsari will ever have a chance to walk free.

Mok Dan starts to cry, not knowing what to do, and asks to see her father. Shunji agrees to let them be together, and asks her to think it over carefully.

Kang-to watches with a hairy eyeball as Shunji has her taken to the torture room. He tells Kang-to that he’s off the Damsari case, the reason for which should be obvious. But Kang-to takes issue with that—aren’t they two peas in a pod, as far as conflict of interest goes?

Kang-to: “Didn’t I ask you if you could protect that woman till the end? I folded when you said that you couldn’t give her up even if she had killed your brother. But you couldn’t protect her. Hands off. From now on, I’M going to protect her.”

Oooh, them’s fightin’ words. He adds defiantly that he’s going to stay on this case and see it through to the end, and walks off. I like this dynamic SO much better. Yay for the return of badass Kang-to!

Mok Dan gets led inside to see her father, and she gasps at the sight of him, hanging there bloody and unconscious. Kang-to comes in and orders Koiso and Abe out, and unchains Damsari.

He lays him down on the ground, and he opens his eyes to see Mok Dan crying over him.

Tamao has dinner with his parents, the count and countess, and starts to ask some really interesting questions, after being privy to the events of the day (in particular being belittled by Koiso for being Korean, and hearing about Damsari’s condition). He asks Dad if he never regrets choosing to betray his Joseon heritage to be pro-Japanese.

Dad says he made the decision with tears of blood, knowing that Japan was the future, but Tamao gives a little chuckle, knowing that Dad is not the type to cry tears of blood over anything.

He asks if they know how much he was hated in school for being a traitor to his country, but his parents cluck that those people will regret it, and they made the right choice because Japan will never be defeated.

Tamao sighs, “Then why do I feel so dirty? I almost wish Gaksital would hit me on the back of the head with his iron flute.”

It’s so interesting to see Tamao’s development alongside Kang-to’s, independent of the other. They were always buddies because of that shared choice to be hated, in choosing a life of success and comfort at the cost of becoming traitors to their own people. But the independence movement’s stand, and Damsari—it’s shaking their foundations.

Kono asks for a report in the morning, and asks why Kang-to’s face is cut up. To Shunji’s surprise, he says it’s nothing. Kono gets impatient with the boys for giving Mok Dan the night to think it over like saying no is an option, and goes to interrogate her himself. Shunji and Kang-to follow with worried eyes.

Mok Dan lies next to Dad in the torture room, reminiscing about the date tree in their yard, and how she’d climb atop his shoulders to pick the dates, and how his face would turn white with worry that she’d fall.

He takes her hand in his, “Boon-ah, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I’m your father.” She smiles back, “I’m happy. I’m really happy that you’re my father.” He cries a tear.

Kono comes charging in with Kang-to and Shunji in tow. They sit Damsari up and Kono plays good cop, tsk-tsking the underlings for treating Damsari this way. He offers a sweet, comfy life for him and his daughter—all he has to do is tell them who Gaksital is.

Damsari laughs that he’ll stop fighting when he’s dead. Kono: “Will you have to watch your daughter die to wake up?!” Kang-to freaks out and pleads with Damsari to tell them what he knows.

Shunji in turn asks Mok Dan to give up her father’s accomplices, like she agreed. She turns to him coldly, “I never made that kind of promise with you.” Kono orders the boys to throw Mok Dan in the box. Of nails? Nooooo!

They’re both like, shitshitshitshitshitshit.

Kang-to tries again, the desperation crackling in his voice, “Do you want to die? Are you going to die like this? Say what you know! Please! Talk! Talk!”

She remains stoic, until Dad starts to cry.

Mok Dan: “Father, don’t cry. We promised all night that we wouldn’t cry. We promised… that we wouldn’t submit before beasts.” Damn. She stares right into Kang-to’s eyes as she says the words.

And then she adds, “Lee Kang-to, I’ll request one thing of you. Please, cover my father’s eyes. If you’re a human being, please cover my father’s eyes!” Oof, the look in Kang-to’s eyes guts me.

Kono goes to grab her, and she pulls free, shouting, “I’ll go in there! With my own two feet!” Damn, balls of steel. Kang-to and Shunji both stand there, frozen, as she walks to her certain death.

Damsari screams, “Boon-ah! Boon-ah!” She stands in front of the box and takes one final shaky breath. Kang-to’s eyes fill with tears and I keep looking back and forth at him and Shunji, wondering who’ll be the one to break rank and stop her.

She opens the door…

But it’s Kono who stops her just in time. Ohthankgod. Proving that it was just a threat to get them to talk, he grabs her in disbelief, asking how a girl with her entire life ahead of her could be so reckless.

Or I dunno—maybe she believes in something? She spits back fiercely, “Should I beg for my life to beasts who would kill a child in front of her parents? If I die, I die, but I will not kneel before beasts.” *fistpump*

Kono orders Damsari transferred and Mok Dan locked up, and father and daughter embrace in a flood of tears and relief.

Shunji lets out a little sigh and stumbles out, leaving Kang-to shaken up.

Kang-to barges into Shunji’s office to get the keys to unlock Damsari—they have to move him per Kono’s orders. But Shunji asks why he’s in such a hurry, wanting to wait another day to get more information out of him.

He clearly knows something that Kang-to doesn’t, because Shunji is sure that he’ll be dead as soon as he’s transferred. But Kang-to’s probably thinking of the transfer as the perfect opportunity for a rescue, and fights back that he’s following Kono’s orders.

Shunji storms into Kono’s office to propose a plan, and Kono calls him no different from his father—they can’t behave that way. But Shunji argues that giving up Damsari like this means everything is in vain and they are no closer to finding Gaksital.

He says that they’ve just witnessed the lengths to which father and daughter will go—they’ll die before they talk. It’s a dead end. The only way to draw Damsari’s accomplices and Gaksital out all in one blow… is to publicly execute Damsari.

Holy hell, Shunji! Somebody tell me he’s kidding. He’s not kidding, is he? Kang-to overhears the conversation, and goes running off in horror.

At the same time, Damsari tells Mok Dan that after he gets transferred, the only person who can help her is Lee Kang-to. She looks at Dad like he’s been sniffing glue—he should know better than anyone what kind of monster Kang-to is.

But Damsari sticks to his instincts that Kang-to is a Korean at heart: “He showed tears in front of me as he begged that he wanted to save you, that he had to save you.”

She looks at him in shock. Kang-to’s confession that he loves her rings in her ears, confusing her more than ever.

Just then, Kang-to and Abe burst into the room, and Kang-to orders Damsari to be moved to the penitentiary. Mok Dan panics—what will they do to him there? Will he be executed right away? But Kang-to just shouts at Abe to hurry.

Abe carries Damsari out on his back, and Mok Dan runs to follow. Kang-to stops her. “Listen closely. Before we arrive at the prison, I’m going to help your father escape.”

She’s like, Is it opposite day?

But just outside the police station, Damsari’s associates are keeping an eye on their activity from their car. They see their leader being driven away for his transfer, and decide to follow. Oh no. You people are going to muck things up, aren’t you?

Shunji comes out of his meeting with Kono huffing and puffing. He calls Dad to tell him that Wada and Kono are just going to execute Damsari without gleaning anything useful from him first.

Rie orders them to go ahead with the plan anyway, and Shunji calls the station into action: they have to stop that truck from reaching the prison. Manhunt!

Kang-to rides along next to Damsari, when they reach a car on the narrow mountain pass. He orders two men to inspect it before moving it out of the way, when Damsari’s comrades open fire from behind the trees, killing the officers left and right.

Bullets come flying, and Damsari tries to use the opportunity to push Kang-to away and make a run for it. But Kang-to follows right on his heels.

Only… what he thinks is Kang-to running to catch him is really Kang-to running to shield him from bullets. They hide behind a tree, and then Kang-to shoots… one of his own policemen. Damsari looks over at him, floored.


That moment when Damsari realizes that Kang-to isn’t a traitor… that look on his face? So. Good.

Shunji and his men race toward them.

The comrades surround Kang-to and Damsari, and order him to release their leader. He complies, and Damsari turns to look back at him, as if to say thanks.

But his accomplice draws his weapon on Kang-to. Damsari shouts “No!” and moves to stop him…

When a shot rings out.

The comrade gets hit and slumps to the ground. And behind him stands Shunji with his gun drawn. Oh noes.

And of course: Face-Off. The end.


I’ll give Show a cookie if we can get one episode that doesn’t end with Shunji pointing his gun at Kang-to. JUST ONE. But I’ll take tension over nothing any day, and at least this time there’s more to be found out, if Kang-to can’t explain why he looks like he’s handing Damsari over without a fight.

I really like where we’re going with Damsari and Kang-to’s relationship. When Damsari told Mok Dan to ask Kang-to for help, it was so moving to think that he’s the one person who would have faith that Kang-to had a heart beneath it all. And then he alone witnesses Kang-to’s actions to help him escape, which is just that perfect hero discovery moment that has me cheering on the edge of my seat. He sees proof of that faith before his very eyes, which is so gratifying for us.

I hope that eventually he’ll be the one to know that Kang-to is Gaksital. I want Damsari to find out without telling Mok Dan, not only to acknowledge him, but to give him some guidance and purpose. Until then, the fact that he’s the one to change Lee Kang-to the person is so perfect. By the end of the episode, I don’t even know if Kang-to is saving Damsari because he’s Mok Dan’s father or because he’s the leader of the independence.

The fact that he’s willing to show a little more of his true nature without the mask on in front of Mok Dan and her father is a huge step for Kang-to. I love it for the moment of utter confusion from the good guys, and for the connection that it gives Kang-to in the real world. Perhaps from here on out, everything about the Bruce Wayne half of his life won’t be a total lie. Maybe he can be honest and question the side that he’s chosen, and not be hated, even if it’s just by one other person in the world.

And though Mok Dan will always get caught and will always be the pawn in this game, I do appreciate that she has strength and conviction. I love her vitriol at her oppressors, her refusal to kneel or beg. And for Kang-to to witness it must shake him to his core. He’d do anything to save her, but she’d die for the cause. And that conflict, without even bringing Gaksital into the equation, is a fantastic way to uproot the two boys’ battle over who will protect her.

I was so glad to see the return of smart, calculating Kang-to, though he is still arguably less of a shark than when he was evil. But his counter-moves to Shunji in this episode were pitch-perfect, in giving Shunji just enough to make his suspicions true (loving Mok Dan all this while behind his back), while making him feel like an idiot for jumping to wild conclusions about being Gaksital. I just love any point at which our hero’s back is up against a wall and he has to think on his feet.

I can’t wait for the Kang-to/Mok Dan/Gaksital love triangle to get going in earnest, because her WTF reactions to Kang-to being in love with her pretty much make my day. And it’s just going to get better and better the more confusingly good Kang-to becomes. I just know it’s going to break my heart when she rejects him and goes running into Gaksital’s arms, which he can’t blame her for, and yet will crush him. Now that’s good angst.


207 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Lemonade

    Thx 4 recap~!

  2. Ivoire

    Thank you!

    • 2.1 Ivoire

      So I have a question: a few people explained to me yesterday what a “fake out ending” is. I watched this episode and I was wondering, considering how KT got out of confirming he was Gaksital, do you guys think yesterday’s ending was a “fake out ending?” I am still a little confused about that.
      KT didn’t admit to anything and he managed to have Shunji doubt that he was Gaksital. What do you guys think of how that was handle? Do you think KT’s explanations and Shunji buying them was lame? I welcome your views on this, thanks!
      BTW, I haven’t read the recap yet, so I don’t know if GF has addressed this. I will read it soon.

      Also, I missed Gaksital (the hero in his clothes) in this episode. I thought maybe Mr. Shoeshine would show up as Gaksital, to confuse Shunji and his camp but that didn’t happen, Oh well…

      • 2.1.1 Airyn

        This isn’t so much a fakeout as an actual result of Kang-to being clever enough to manipulate the situation. 🙂

      • 2.1.2 ilikemangos

        I believe it was a fake-out ending.
        It was a does he really know? does he not?
        I was for sure kang-to couldn’t get out of this one yesterday, but then after watching today’s, i realized it’s possible.
        So technically, it was a fake out, since the audience believed his identity as gaksital is revealed.
        I didn’t think shunji bought his explanation too easily, because kang-to appealed to his own emotions. Shunji also loves mok-dan, so he’d understand that kang-to would be willing to risk his life to save mok dan. Plus, that would answer alot of his suspicions and questions about kang-to.
        I thought kang-to should have saved mok dan at the beginning of this episode while in gaksital’s clothes, but i quite like how he’s becoming hero in kang-to’s suit because the freedom fighters are beginning to see his good intentions as kang-to, not as gaksital only.

      • 2.1.3 Maya

        I personally think that this isn’t really a fake-out ending. Yes, it led us into the assumption that Kang To’s cover has been blown off, however both him and Mok Dan did not escape the situation right away. Shunji was still a bit suspicious of him, and Kang To did have to go through a whole deal of beatings and interrogation before he’s finally set free while Mok Dan was almost tortured inside that nail box. So although his cover isn’t blown yet, we were still kept in the edge of the seat with the the tension.

      • 2.1.4 Maya

        Oooh btw Ivoire, related to your comment about the lack of appearance of Gaksital. I just realized that the absence of Gaksital is palpable when Kang To is around. The ending especially, with Shunji assuming that Gaksital is working with Damsari, wouldnt this situation be the perfect time for Gaksital to butt in and save the day? Eek. I hope Shunji won’t notice it.

      • 2.1.5 Awe

        good Q, Ivoire.

        to me, it didn’t seem like a 100% fake out because shunji is still highly suspicious of kang-to.

        kang-to is so smexy when he has to think on his feet and he gave a convincing performance. but i still think shunji is suspicious.

        • Ivoire

          Hi Awe,

          So do you think KT’s confession and what he shared in the cell (after he had been beaten up) with Shunji was a performance to throw Shunji off? (although a part of me could see why you would say that).
          You know, I would like to know this: what does”smexy” mean? I have seen this word used a lot and I have smiled when I have seen it, but I am not sure I fully understand it. Is that word very different from “sexy” or is it just a fun way to say “sexy,” so it basically means the same thing? Or, 2nd option, is being “smexy” a higher level than being sexy (like a notch above)? (as you can tell, I am not that hip:-))

          • Da Vu

            it means “smart & sexy” 🙂

          • Ivoire

            Hi Da Vu, thanks for explaining! I am learning so many things by participating on blogs like this one 🙂

      • 2.1.6 jessa

        i was thinking of that too..i thought there will be a fight at the Chinese restaurant to save Mok Dan..well, MokDan knowing Lee Kang To is a actually the good one satisfies me..i hope she will realize soon that Lee Kang To is actually the young master whom she loves since she was young..

      • 2.1.7 jessica

        what is a fake out ending? sorry i didnt understand…pls help me..

        • Byul

          An ending in which you think everything has been revealed, but our awesome hero manages to outsmart the eeeevil people…:)

  3. lordj

    thanks off to read

  4. Jenjen

    I love this drama!

  5. ilikemangos

    Oh snaaaps! That ending.
    I really hope for some holy miracle someone comes to save them because I cannot stand another round of torture for these freedom fighters. -__- Let’s not go back there, show.
    We’ve had enough of that bait and torture tug-o-war.
    But it’s good to know that kang-to’s good intentions are starting to be recognized, cause I was starting to think people can’t read plain ol’ emotions/small gestures.

    • 5.1 ilikemangos

      And like you girlfriday, I was totally yippee the moment dam sari saw kang to fighting on their side.

  6. Maya

    Thanks for the recap,  girlfriday! I love this episode!
    Btw, I heard that there would be no airing of Gaksital at all for the next 2 weeks due to Olympics (instead of airing only one episode)?! I hope that isn’t the case. It’d be like metaphorically locking me up in the nail box that’s slowly rocked back and forth by Shunji!

    Anyway off to read…

    • 6.1 Maya

      One thing I realize from Gaksital is that the story has always been played out straight, without twists (CMIIW). So as much as I hope for a twist to happen in this episode and with all of the assumptions I made in my mind, I actually prefer how it played out here. And how it’s Kang To’s honesty that saved him in the end (granted, it’s a tad fabricated, but at least it’s his true feelings). I didn’t see this confession coming AT ALL. So I’m loving it even more. Plus him making the connection with the scene where he’s almost murdered is brilliant. It’s not lame at all, in fact it came off like he has meticulously plan this excuse all along.
      And obviously, the moment Damsari is finally convinced that Kang To has been on his good side all along! It’s so awesome! I hope that from this point on he could be the source of guidance for Kang To in place of Kang San.
      And as much as I hope that Mok Dan could have more layers to her character, I have to say that this girl just has so much guts and how she firmly stands on her conviction, and I admire that from her in this episode. Just be more wary and shrewder next time girl, and I’ll love you… And I hope she won’t find out about Kang To’s secret identity yet. Now that she knows about his feelings, I want her to at least sympathize with his Lee Kang To’s character she always knew, so that at the end she can really accept Gaksital/Young Master that she always puts on pedestal along with his flaws (Kang To).
      I also love this episode for having the younger generation (Tamao and that reporter) second-guessing their identities and their parents’ decisions to be on Japan’s good side. I hope that this side of the story would be developed further.

    • 6.2 yukiii0691

      First thanks for the wonderful recaps girlfriday, I always wait for you and javabeans recap, much love for both of you :DD
      whaaaa nooo, I already wonder which show KBS will put on halt for the olympics, my biggest fear is it will be Gaksital…
      2 shows (this and Arang), I really wait for will be canceled for the olympics? And facts that I have nothing to do this holiday… *fall to the pit of darkness

      It’s mind game all over the episode, I was like WTF when Kang To confessed for his love and hope that he has a good plan to follow that.
      But really. It’s nice to see that he can make shunji doubt himself, and go back to old-crazy in love-shunji.
      Another point is Konno (no torture for fun) and Tamao (still joseon people after all) human side, maybe later it will develop to be a real help for the freedom movement *If the story goes that far.

      Also, I really like how the story build up step by step from every side and hopefully will never let every little detail slipped.

      Btw, about shunji jekyll and hyde problem, I’ve read somewhere that there was a research that put volunteer into a prison to do a play role. Half of the volunteer as police and half as prisoner. Being in the prison environment really affect all of the volunteer psychologically, to the point that they tortured the prisoner brutally, maybe even more than the real police *I might need a correction here, if anybody also read this. Maybe that was a little factor that affect Shunji (and affected Kang To) beside the family matters. Environment really did affect…

      Sorry for the long-long rambling, I just love this show very much and has nobody to talk about it…..
      P.s: Sorry for grammar error, english isn’t my first language

      • 6.2.1 Maya

        Ooo yes. I agree with your point regarding Kono. Finally we have a sensible leader who won’t justify torture just like that. And props for him for reminding Shunji of his old job. Really how an obsession can lead you so far to the dark side. And also about the experiment you talk about, I thought that way too. I think I wrote about this way back, how Kang To was ruthless because the job called him to be ruthless. He deals with tortures and beatings almost everyday, so thats why he became the way he was. The same also goes with Shunji’s father. They are used to the violence because it’s normal for them to do that. Meanwhile Kono is different. He graduated from Tokyo University and that probably earned him the “upper” position. So he is one of the elite (as Shunji’s father called it). He most likely never dealt directly with tortures and beatings, the way most police officers have to gone through. So I guess this is why he’s not fully on board/probably against the tortures. Which brings me back to your point about how environment can affect your character.

      • 6.2.2 yammy

        I really hope Gaksital doesn’t get pushed for the Olympics. For ep 17, however, there is some hope. At the end of ep 16, “Ep 17 will be aired at 9:55pm next Wednesday” was written in on the screen in Korean. Of course, things might change with Olympics and all, but I’m hoping Gaksital retains the regular airing schedule. ( this is coming from someone who has been looking forward to the Olympics for a while now, Gaksital, what have you done to me a my priorities?)

        • Maya

          Thanks for the assurance! 😀
          The priorities for Wed/Thursday night should be Gaksital > everything else. 😀

          • yammy

            my Olympics-loving side complains that I’ve waited for the Olympics for two years. And the Olympics is a beautiful world-wide celebration of the world!

            But then my Gaksital/Joo won fan side just smirks like Kang-to and says, “Oh really?” 😀

            Hmmm…odd that it seems like KBS hasn’t changed the airing time. Wouldn’t 9:55pm be prime time for Olympics coverage? Oh well, I hope for the best of the two worlds: Gaksital continues in regular schedule AND the Olympics are covered ( so I can cheer for the S. Korean team as wells as the American)

      • 6.2.3 bluemoon

        Yes, you are right. That study was done at Stanford University by Dr. Philip Zimbardo. It is called the Stanford Prison Experiment. I learned about it in college. I still feel that underneath it all, Shunji is still a good guy somewhere. He is becoming even more worse than Lee Kang To when he was chasing Bridal Mask, but we all see how Kang To was able to change and slowly becoming a hero. I hope that in the end, Shunji will turn around, go against his dad and the secret organization, and help Kang To with the Independent Movement even though he’s Japanese.

        • Maya

          I also think Shunji still has that good side to him deep inside. Just like after he interrogated Kang To the first time. He kinda second guessing himself for doubting Kang To and when he was confronted by Kang To about his promise to protect Mok Dan, his old feelings started rushing back. However, with him “trusting” Kang To’s words now, I’m afraid that the effect when he finally figures out the identity of Gaksital would be tenfold

      • 6.2.4 meecheellee

        I actually think the story will go that far (about your point about Kono), considering the extension up to 28 episodes. We are gonna have a lot of Gakistal this summer. (:

    • 6.3 MsB

      Yup, with Shunji rolling his eyes as he rocked the boxed! My sentiments exactly!

      • 6.3.1 Maya

        and he keeps saying in that cold tone of his: No gaksital next week, no gaksital…” . Eeek.

  7. Maru

    In this episode I started to belive that Shunji is a psychopath… those mood swings are not from someone mentally stable.

    • 7.1 muhloy

      oh there is definitely something very very wrong with him deep down inside.

      • 7.1.1 Maru


        I mean, he’s manipulative, egocentric and has a fucked up antisocial behavior. And when he’s in a rage trip? The moment he scares me the most.

        He makes an excuse for the way he acts… like is not his fault, everyone makes him do the things he does.

        I mean, Kang-To was more than an ass in the beginning… but Shunji is in a whole other level in the evil/creepy department. You never know what personality you’re gonna get next time he’s in front of you! When he ask Mok-Dan to save him I was thinking, “Boy, you are too far gone. I don’t know if the old you can return” Of course, that thought comes from deep inside me. I was never too sold on his good nature. He just needed a little push… and look who he is now.

    • 7.2 meecheellee

      Yup. Back in episode 13… the glare and the bug eyes sorta became… really normal. Psychopath. Not uncommon in Korean dramas at all.

    • 7.3 Awe

      mentally stable?

      dudes…think back to the whooping he got when he sold the family sword to pay for nanny’s surgery.

      this guy is gonna be living on a shrink couch well into the next lifetime due to his father.

    • 7.4 Maya

      What’s weird is that I got chills now when he smiles.

      • 7.4.1 Stardust

        Me too!! Its like…. brrrrrr…

    • 7.5 Penguin

      It’s like he’s pregnant. LOL

      • 7.5.1 Star

        He’s going to give birth to a really weird baby.

    • 7.6 Star

      he’s gone insane & needs something/someone to take him out of that psychotic mental state he’s in & remind him what matters to him the most.

  8. muhloy

    ohh so tense!!

    i was having heart palpitations through the whole damn episode!

    and when kang to had to repeat that he loves her ahhhhh it gave me goosebumps!

    • 8.1 Star

      & she just gives him a big WTF look. lol … wonder how she’ll react once she finds out he’s gaksital

  9. Dominique

    By definition, a hero who only reacts to unfolding events out of his control, and is therefore forced to stop being proactive, lacks a plan and is no longer a leader or a hero.

    This is what Lee Gang To has now become. In Episodes 15 & 16, Lee Gang To is too busy responding to crises he cannot foresee or is helpless to prevent that he resorts to spinning impromptu web of cheap lies as he goes. I do admire his ability to think fast on his feet while running, but these thin lies do not befit a hero. Oh, and throwing in a spur-of-the-moment action sequence saving clueless Koreans who appear in white clothes against the police edict? Truly distasteful.

    In contrast, the original Gaksital, his dead brother, operated with a principled, single goal, i.e., exacting revenge on the Korean compatriot traitors inside Kishokai who had murdered his father. Viewers can agree or disagree on the merits of such a goal, but the fact remains that the dead brother remained faithful to his mission till the last moment.

    In even greater contrast, how Lee Gang To’s blatant lies nevertheless move Shunji to struggle to reflect and regain his humanity is simply admirable.

    Then there is the issue of terrorism. In nearly identical situation, Mahatma Ghandi preached & practiced non-violence & non-coorperation, rather than violence or terrorism. But here, as I watch the drama unfold, the members of the Korean Independence Movement in this drama make me uneasy for their resemblance to Jihadists of today. Moral indignations do not justify violence. Unfortunately, just like Islamic terrorists of today, Damsari, Mokdan and their colleagues are big on moral indignation, when it suits them, but do not hesitate to commit acts of terrorism. In the end, can these members of the Korean Independence Movement, as depicted by this drama, claim moral or legal high ground against their Japanese enemies? How can these rebels be any better than the Japanese aggressors?

    I applaud the drama for its unflinching account of the subject matter, even at the expense of its Korean protagonists, and for making me struggle with such thorny issues.

    • 9.1 Airyn

      You have a good point with regard to the reactive non-hero. I think, though, that we are not yet at that point where Kang-to is the hero in the true sense of the word. This is the story of his journey to become a hero, after all. He’s still grappling with his own purpose and beliefs, and it’ll take a few more episodes for him to be the hero that Gaksital was when it was Kang-san under the mask. 🙂

    • 9.2 정남

      In the situation of the Japanese occupation non violence & non cooperation would have amounted to nothing. Ghandi banked on the message that it would send which is not an option that was open to Korea. Terrorism is such a broad term that is a fine line war or battle there is no right. The Japanese Kamikaze pilots can obviously be seen as akin to terrorists but the question is raised that regardless of the cause what constitutes terrorism and what is fueling that action.

    • 9.3 dewaanifordrama (@dewaanifordrama)

      For the record, I am a pacifist – and I really don’t think violence solves problems permanently. But I am not sure if you are aware, but alongside Gandhi there were violent freedom fighters (Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad, Shivaram, Rajguru, Ashfaqulla Khan, Ram Prasad Bismil, and their supporters. They were caught and executed, but they committed acts of “terrorism” – Gandhi knew them, and actually spoke out against their execution.

      There is also the saying – “One man’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist” – it’s all about perspective. The French Revolution (which killed more peasants than nobility) was long and bloody, yet it’s lauded as a turning point for democracy. The US War of Independence was certainly no peaceful affair, and the British would have classified the guerilla warfare of the Revolutionaries as “terrorism”.

      I am also glad that drama is not shying away from the violence of the struggle – and I think it is right to say – hey this resembles other terror attacks in the news, but when all is said and done, it did happen. And perhaps it’s a good thing that it makes us uncomfortable because violence (whether justified by a noble cause or not) should always be distasteful. Well, at least to me it is.

      • 9.3.1 Nerdypanda

        My first time commenting. YAY! I agree with you so much dewaanifordrama. It was never Black and white for any independence movements and remember Koreans are fighting for their land that was colonized by Imperial Japan. They had to use “acts of terrorism” because they didn’t have the same resources as the Imperial Japanese army. Remember that during this time, Japan was one of the most powerful countries in terms of military strength. I would suggest the original commentator read some history books rather then skimming the internet.

        • Nerdypanda

          i meant g/irlfriday’s awesome recap. But, I love her commentary too 😀

        • Ella Zala

          uh uh~ sure.

          yet every history books differ from one to another: each dictating its own POV; based on its BEST interest.

      • 9.3.2 Byul

        Just saying, sorry for butting in, but i friggin love your name, deewanifordrama. It explains my situation perfectely:)

    • 9.4 SS

      Now I know why every time I read your post, I feel the my head splitting like Dr Jin.

      I couldn’t pin it down but I think I am seeing it clearer now. You hate this show. And dare I say, you have something against Korea? I have read your comments over the last few posts on this show and I think you have veiled your distaste for them in convoluted arguments, circular reasoning and always you finish your post with short sentences that seemed to be the exact opposite of what you have been writing earlier or opposite of what you truly feel.

      And today’s post just made me eyeroll so bad. Pray, tell me what do you suppose the Koreans should do when the Japanese occupied their land and commit all those atrocities? Take the picket fences and demonstrate on the streets or go on a hunger strike? And how can you compare the Korean Independence Movement’s morals against the Japanese Aggressors. Heh, you did write an apt description after all. Yes, that’s the whole point, isnt it? The Japanese were the Aggressors, the Occupiers and the Rebels were the Korean people defending their own land or fighting on their OWN soil. Where the Japanese Occupiers and soldiers kill civilians in the countries they occupy, these rebels only aim to kill the Occupiers/Aggressors.

      I cannot believe I need to write such a post. And I am not even Korean but nothing gets me more than logic like this or rather the lack of it.

      • 9.4.1 t


      • 9.4.2 Dominique

        I hope this might help.

        First, I don’t believe that two wrongs make one right.

        Next, I would like to remind everyone that, in the end, the freedom-fighters of the Korean Independence Movement (the eggs in the analogy) did not liberate Korea from Japan (the rock). It was the US and its two A-bombs.

    • 9.5 AuntieMame

      However valid your perspective may be, there is one characteristic that distinguishes the action(s) of the independence fighters versus the terrorists. And, the word is ‘sovereignty’. The independence fighter’s goal is for sovereignty of THEIR land, THEIR people, THEIR nation.

      And, using Ghandi as an example may not be valid because the global political and economic situations in the two time periods, i.e. 1930’s Korea and late 1940’s India, was vastly different. One of the reasons that Ghandi’s non-violent approach was successful was because the British Empire, after fighting WWII, was in no position, economically or militarily, to fight anyone or anything.

      I don’t profess to know all of the world’s history. But, I can’t recall any people recovering their homeland from conquerors without going to battle, i.e. killing. Even Julius Caesar only left Britannia and Gaul after being unable to subdue the natives. And, the Moors left Spain after being defeated in multiple battles.

      • 9.5.1 yammy

        But what is sovereignty? Who should have sovereignty and who shouldn’t? Should we allow/ find it morally right for every group who feels like they have a tie to a location/territory to fight? Weren’t there couple nations/ minorities groups who wanted the UN to acknowledge their own country (ie, their sovereignty) recently but UN was reluctant because the acknowledgement would basically meant that UN agreed to the opinion that different groups of people can’t live peacefully with one another ( I don’t pretend to know all about world history/political science either)? And the question of Native Americans in the United States. Shouldn’t they have sovereignty? How far back in history do the group of people have to “own” a territory to be able to call sovereignty? To be morally correct when fighting for ‘their’ land? I’m just bringing up a political science issue/ debate here. I’m actually ethnically Korean, so really, I owe it to the Independence fighters for being able to have a mother country.

        • Maru

          OK. My two cents.

          The UN is not a good example, they hand opinion and decisions based on political influences, believe me. I’m from a not sovereign country because United States invented a new meaning in my country political situation, feed that crap to the UN, and they ate it.

          There are two things they teach you in an internationals affairs class, 1. power and control has a pivotal rol; 2. Nobody does anything out of good gesture. No country’s goverment is that good hearted, and the UN is the same.

          On the other hand, we are talking about Joseon peninsula here. A land and a civilization for more than 500 years in the making… I think they earned the right to call Korea their land and to fight when someone try to steal it. If someone comes tomorow to your house and says, “From now on, I’m the landlord. I don’t care if you have been paying this house for 15 years, is mine now, and you and your family can only live in one room of the house… oh, and pay me the rent every month.” Would you take it easy and do nothing about it?

          The same goes for the Native Americans, I think they have the right to say they are the true owners of United States… I would back them up in that claim. The only problem is that now there is a new nation in the US, what do you do with that? From what I’ve learn from the quick reading, Koreans fought to preserve their culture, language and history, Korea did not become a whole different country, with another culture, language, values, etc. The assimilation process was not succesfull… And that’s completely diferent from what happen in, not just the US, but America as a whole.

          A nation is considered one when the group of people who live there share a comon culture, language and history, although is true that this definition is currently under debate, and rightly so. But again, this is in the 1930.

          In the end, as most things in life, except maybe science (and that’s debatable too) politics and the terms like terrorism, rights and nation will depend in which side and from what glass you are looking. Live is full of greys, there is no black and white.

          • Nerdypanda

            Er, Um according to the Taliban (yup, the bad guys), they are fighting for sovereignty of Afghanistan against “evil American Imperialists. So, the sovereignty issue doesn’t really distinguish them. In my polsci class, we read the origins of Al Qaeda and one of the reasons was that American military base in Saudi Arabia which Bin Laden could not stand. He felt it desecrated the holy land and it was a sign of Evil Imperial West. I do agree that modern day terrorism is very different from independence day struggles. For one, modern day terrorism, at least global jihad is working more like a political/religious ideology and it has a transnational characteristic.

            But, enough with Pol Sci. How awesome was Lee Kang To in this episode. I just wanna thank girlfriday for her awesome comments and all the smart commentators who prompted me to comment. Even if I disagree with you, I agree with your awesome drama taste.

          • Maru


            I agree with what you said. The Taliban has a different meaning and has religion involve… which always makes people a little bit more crazy in my book. Look at Israel or Palestine (however you want to call it), for christ sake, everyone wants control of the ‘Holy Land’ and they’ve been fighting for more than 30 years.

            What I try to say in the end is that I think perspecticve has a lot to do when your are judging history or seeing social or political conflicts. I would NEVER say that 9/11 was an act of patriotism, NEVER. For me is a horrible, despicable act of terrorism forever engraved in US history and in my memory. But I say the same thing about the invasion and ocupation of Irak. Not because the US military has a uniform makes what they do right and legal.

            That’s why I can’t put on people or groups labels of bad guys, good guys, everyone have their share of culpability in the wars going on today and no goverment is in a war because they want justice. And for the record, half of my family is in the US army and I still love them to death.

            Today’s world has become a lot more complicated in the political and social aspects!

            I also agree with your awsome drama taste!

    • 9.6 meecheellee

      Guys, it’s a (freaking?) drama. Now chill, so people who aren’t bothered by these nuances can enjoy it.

      • 9.6.1 Awe


        i’m glad people are bringing up these kinds of issues. it’s exactly what the drama is supposed to do.

        food for thought should be welcomed, no? and if you’re not hungry to read a post…skip it.

        just saying.

        • meecheellee

          Haha. Okay. I will chill. I do go through these posts, and agree with most of them. And this one came up and I sorta… yea, my head sorta hurt. The long words. Oh, what stress will do to a person. Hahhaha, sorry. I made a rash comment. Lol.

    • 9.7 mojobobo

      i dont think Kangto can be considered a hero as yet which is probably why he’s only being reactive as opposed to proactive.

      I won’t liken the Independence fighters as terrorists too…I agree that violence should not be used to harm innocent lives but there is no way a peaceful protest could have ended the occupation.

      • 9.7.1 Yuhotarubi

        hi; first of all, I just want to say that I’m loving this drama more & more after every episode. Kang-to’s evolution to become the hero and to understand his brother’s motives is really interesting.

        one more thing I want to say, which is not related to the drama, even though I don’t agree on violence and eveything related to it; but once someone comes and takes your land and treats you as a slave, then everyone should now that freedom is taken, not given. I read about a lot of freedom fighters in different countries like France, Korea, etc, and maybe you should read about them and understand their motives, take the Algerian history for example, when France colonized Algeria, and let me know what you think.

    • 9.8 aramint

      waahh..who knows I’d learnt a lot about world’s history from a korean drama blog? Thanks a lot guys, a very thoughtful discussion. ^^

    • 9.9 shelly

      who says a hero should always have a plan, and is she or he just react to events unfolding, she or he are no longer heroes?? that doesn’t make sense to me. so let’s say… if someone goes into a fire and saves people he never knew, is it less heroical because he never planned it? i consider a hero the person who disregards their own safety despite everything (knowledge of real danger for example and not just human instincts) and still does something to save another. so in that sense, kang-to’s turning into a hero each time he does something so against his initial character, just to save someone (and yes, especially in the matter of the white-dressing people, because it had no immediate or discernible gain for him to act like that… if he only acted to save someone when it was interesting to him or just furthered his own purposes / cause, then it’s not necessarily heroic behaviour all the time…)

      as for the ghandi matter…
      i think the difference between freedom fighters and terrorists is blatant. terror is done upon unsuspecting people, the main reason being political or religious reasoning of the attacker(s), mainly in other countries than the attacker’s country. fighting for one country’s freedom has usually been called “resistance fighting”. look at the french for example, in WWII. if they hadn’t employed underhanded measures against the german, europe might be a reich now. no one, nowhere, at no time in history, ever regained independence with no bloodshed. it just doesn’t happen. if a certain country invaded another and managed to get a toehold in, after years of occupation, it doesn’t negate the first country’s people right to fight to get it back, even if it means using weapons against the occupants. imagine india under the british – a huge part of the world, with a long standing culture, being kept under occupation for centuries. does that mean india should have remained a british colony?! peaceful resistance only works in fiction and political declarations. if peaceful resistance is not presented with armed resistance, there won’t be anything to show for it aside nice speeches.

      this does not include civil war. that is another nest of snakes. but resistance fighting used to be a lot more clear cut some decades ago than it is now, given the globalisation and intermingling of all types of cultures, in all types of environments. this drama deals with clearer issues than we would have today… and it’s not a political statement over something happening now. i can’t recall how many fictionalized accounts of fighting for independence and freedom i’ve seen or read over the years – from every people ever involved in such a fight (that means, all, basically.)

      one last matter: if freedom fighters wouldn’t self-justify their armed actions, they couldn’t go on with it. people don’t just naturally feel inclined to kill other people and not care and torment themselves over it. if they have justification – even if it’s personal – they can do it. if not, they don’t. it takes certain types of people to fight at all. not everybody can do it, or all the people in a country that was occupied would be freedom fighters.

      • 9.9.1 mojobobo

        finally!! Someone articulate with sense!

      • 9.9.2 hellopanda

        Shelly (this isn’t directly to you, but just thoughts that arose on reading your comment)

        But what does this mean for countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and to some extent, Pakistan*? These countries are in near enough the same situation, though now it’s the US and UK supposedly fighting for peace. And you may say that the situations are completely different, Japan colonised Korea for control, US/K is fighting for peace, but in my eyes, it’s exactly the same. The US/K is also seeking control. There is no need whatsoever for Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan to be invaded, with more civilians killed than any supposed hiding terrorists.

        And who are the terrorists that are there, anyway? In the eyes of their respective people, these terrorists are their heroes, they’re fighting against foreign invaders who are pillaging and plundering their lands.

        I think also that to the British at the time, Ghandi himself was a terrorist and his peaceful protests were an act of war and disobedience. Why else would the British have reacted in such violent manners? The same goes with MLK and the civil rights movement, which was always met with violence, mental as well physical. Malcolm X though is still seen as the bad to MLK’s good which really irritates me.

        To Dominique: I think it’s incredibly difficult to pass judgement on people and places when you are too removed from the situation, especially here, where it’s a TV show 50 + years later and we all like Japan now so don’t want to say anything against them really… I’m really confused as to how the Korean’s shouldn’t claim the moral high-ground. If someone is purposefully stomping on you, should you apologise for being in the way and allow them to stomp on you? No, if someone did that you’d push them off and give them what way.

        The moral high-ground isn’t whether you fight back or not, it’s what you fight for.

        • shelly

          @hellopanda: in my opinion, people in afghanistan / pakistan / iraq and other countries where there is fighting right now, have the right – and even the moral grounds – to fight against any outsiders occupying their countries, even the “peace-keeping” armies, when the peace-keepers actions defeat their stated reasons for being in those countries (and at this point, it’s safe to say that most of what happens in those countries is not peace keeping but making sure certain factions control the status-quo, and that they are of the “approved” factions).
          this is not a declaration of support for terrorism (even if fighting for freedom nowadays is very much presented in the rest of the world as being forms of terrorism; some of it really IS terrorism, some of it, NOT).
          but there’s a huge difference in trying to get rid of foreign combatants and intentionally killing one’s own people. (sadly, in a lot of the armed incidents in these countries, the civilian victims outnumber the military ones.) this part, where people are using a just cause but hitting the wrong targets falls into the “civil war” area and things aren’t always so clear on that side (especially when part of civil war includes settling personal feuds, revenge for personally received / perceived wrongs, and especially when it’s a racially or religion-motivated conflict.)
          such civil wars are best seen in perspective, and it’s nigh impossible to do that right when they’re taking place. once the dust settles, things might be easier to understand – though i have to admit, the victors will get to decide (at least officially) who were the terrorists and who were the righteous fighters.

          this being said, that period of korean history is in perspective now, and in the interests of this drama, things a bit murkier in reality get to be presented in the black / white contrast. what might be justified for the people then living through the japanese occupation would be loathsome for most of us, more non-conflict oriented people. but that doesn’t mean that, if any of us would be involved in a conflict, it would be impossible to pick a side and justify most of what it does. it’s human nature.

          p. s. i also like japan culture and japanese people, and despite the actions of japan during WWII i consider the bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki to be atrocities. at the time, though, people all over the world rejoiced over those atrocities, just because it ended the conflict. there are no righteous moral stands on that, either.
          history has always been versatile, and only a long time paassing will allow for non-interested points of view.
          for the present, though, at least in the dramas (i admit to not being informed on the actual social and political take on this period from either the korean or the japanese people’s respective points of view), korea seems to be really friendly with both japan and china, another historical frequent enemy. that might mean they’re dealing well with the memory of the occupation, and good for them. the only meaningful way of taking revenge is making a great life out of everything despite the past.

    • 9.10 KK

      What’s a bigger issue?
      a) The Japanese invading Korea using methods of violence and torture to control them and their culture or
      b) A group of Koreans fighting for freedom?

      The Japanese were violent to the Koreans as well…I doubt some of it was included in this drama. In other areas of Korea in this period of time, the Japanese tortured the Koreans in such horrible ways!

    • 9.11 far

      do note that Kangsan (Kangto’s brother) does not have to pretend to be a supporter to the Japanese when he was Gaksital. he does not have to make excuses to anyone for being MIA, no one even looked for him. no one hangs around him to notice his peculiar behavior, questions his absences, etc. Kangto, on the other hand, is so opposite to his brother. he had to pretend to carry out his duties as a police officer, carry out orders that opposes his wishes but had to pretend to execute those orders, etc. while at the same time, finding out more about Kishokai’s members. he had to plan properly, while making sure he wasnt found out so he can remain an officer as a spy for the independence. also, no one knows his real identity (apart form BaekGun) who can cover up for him.

      sp basically, Kangsan’s pretence was his crazy mind, whereas Kangto had to be an officer, a freedom fighter, a ‘researcher’ and ‘planner’ and saviour.

      in this case of colonization, it’s kind of hard to fight with reason when the opposing side refuses to listen, and only resort to violence. they must have been left with no choice but to fight violence with violence, unless they want to be labelled as traitors.

      my country was colonized too, for several years by British and by Japan for only ONE year. that ONE year, equals to so much more violence than the several years by British’s colonization. it was definitely the darkest period of my country. our freedom fighters are executed regardless of violence, logic, etc. just as long as they’re fighters, they’re executed, period. so who would want to sit down and discuss when the other side is beating you up?

      i can relate to this drama, thinking Gaksital is one of my country’s freedom fighters, and their supporters as comrades, etc.

  10. 10 crazedlu

    it didn’t look like kangto was handing him over without a fight to me. it could’ve easily passed as the comrades cornering kangto. and i think that’s what shunji might’ve taken it as. the one comrade cocked his gun back too.

    i just love the damsari-kangto relationship. i think damsari will be the first to know kangto is gaksital, but i also think that’s when we say farewell to damsari. guh.

    and i don’t think she WILL reject kangto. hee. fine by me!

    • 10.1 ilikemangos

      crazedlu, i was hoping it would seem like that in Shunji’s eyes as well.
      He was cornered with 3 people pointing their guns at him to release.
      He’d have no choice. Plus, that guy who got shot looked like he was just about ready to shoot kang-to, where shunji steps in and shoots to prevent it.
      Can we have more dam sari/kang to scenes? Love em.
      He’s like a fatherly figure to him already.
      And the first to still have hope left in him.

    • 10.2 mary

      Well I hope the rebels manage to “abduct” Kang To this time around and give him more time to talk with Damsari.

    • 10.3 shelly

      yup, it could turn either way. it will probably be taken as shunji saving kang-to from the rebels, for the sake of the rest of the drama lol. but now i’m wondering if damsari will make it out alive to let anyone know about kang-to switching sides. what if he dies in the mess and there’s no one to be a witness for kang-to’s actions? what if this turns into yet another reason for him to be hated by the joseon people?
      i wouldn’t be surprised to see that happening.

  11. 11 Penguin

    …does that mean Damsari died or some comrade dude died? Sometimes I get totally confused…

    • 11.1 ilikemangos

      At the end scene a comrade that was about to shoot kang-to got shot by Shunji. Dam sari did not get shot.

  12. 12 Lemonade

    So exciting!!

  13. 13 Rashell

    This episode was fabulous! Finally Kang-To was smart and wiley again. And Mok Dan actually seemed kind of badass too. If they’re going to keep using her as a pawn at least she’s mentally tough enough to take it. Shunji just gets more and more crazy with each episode. It still kind of breaks my heart and now we know that really for him it’s Mok Dan’s love for Gaksital that truly cuts the deepest.

    I love Damasari with all my heart. The actor has been a favorite of mine since Family’s Honor and he continues to be pitch perfect in this role. He’s noble in his cause, but still has a heart for his daughter and a misguided Kang To.

    I’m also a little tired of each episode ending with Kang To and Shunji facing off. But since I suppose that really is the conflict that’s going to keep driving this drama it does make sense. Still one episode with something different would be nice.

  14. 14 chichiri


    • 14.1 ilikemangos

      I have an ahjussi crush on him.
      Quite the good-looking man. With that chilling speech with egg/stone metaphor, i’m bought!

      • 14.1.1 Arhazivory

        LOL. It’s so funny how every Gaksitaaaaaaaaal post has a spot for our ahjussi crush. 😀

        • chichiri

          Yeah.. and not enough of Han Chae ah. Solid girl crush.

          • aramint

            yep, ahjusshi and han chae ah..my 2 new favorite actors, thanks to Gaksital… ^^

          • Quiet Thought

            I can’t say that I’m a fan of the series . . . too repetitive for me . . . but Han Chae Ah is good looking and obviously enjoying herself hugely. My favorite action shot, of all the acrobatics thus far is Rie dropping Mak Don with that last kick and then sapping to attention in her spike heels, shoulders back and every fold in her gown and every pin and accessory still in place.

        • Jesse

          Haha, I love him too. One of my favourite actors!

    • 14.2 Awe

      i forgot about how kewl he was in Family Honor. long ass drama, but totally worth it.

      • 14.2.1 linda macy

        Family’s Honor…your right it’s long but worth the watch. Think it one of the best dramas out there. Ahjusshi, is beyond wonderful in this series…loved it.

  15. 15 stellar

    I was holding my breath the whole time…..man, that was probably one of the most stressful 15 minutes of my life.@_@

  16. 16 Lise

    Po-po-po poker face…Lee Kang To, i salute u!!!

    • 16.1 Byul

      Hahahahah yup:) nice work kang to ya!

  17. 17 ilikemangos

    I was really wondering how kang-to would get his ass out of that hole he built for himself in the last episode, but then I thought about why Shunji would buy his explanation and it does make sense, to Shunji, anyhow. Love can blind you, even to the point of risking your life to protect someone you love, and who better to know this than Shunji himself, who’s in the same dilemma. Nicely played, kang-to.
    Anywho, Shunji’s bipolarness is creepy.
    And koiso made me laugh for the 2nd time in this episode. The first when he got that blank ink poured over him and the image was so fitting.

    • 17.1 Link

      OMG Koiso getting ink poured over him last episode was SOOO SATISFYING!! That greasy little @#$% how dare he beat up our handsome Kang to!! Everytime I see him on my screen, I feel like punching the guts out of him. Can’t believe Kang to just walked out of that interrogation room without even a kick to Koiso’s leg.

      • 17.1.1 muchadoboutlove

        I was hoping Kangto would give him a few good beatings but he’s exercising good control over his mind. Goiso is lucky this time, but there’s no guarantee for the future. Hmmm

    • 17.2 Star

      i thought kang-to’s explanation was very smart 🙂

  18. 18 Iced Tea

    OMG SHUNJI IS SO CREEPY, i was like, *gasp* and “Oh my god! AHHH!” the whole time 🙂
    But i’m so glad that the badass Kang-To’s back! And i wish Mok Dan won’t be so confused. I wish she’d understand stuff more quickly ^^
    Stop trying to kill Kang-To and his friends, Shunji ㅠ^ㅠ that’s not nice.

  19. 19 21

    This show is so action jam-pact that I get worry I might miss something with the blink of an eye! I cannot wait until next week!! Bring it on Gakisital!!!!!! Thanks for the recap!

  20. 20 mojobobo

    Shunji’s shooting skills have finally improved!

    • 20.1 Alysanne

      LOL. Indeed.

    • 20.2 Maya

      LOL! 😀

    • 20.3 Hanna


    • 20.4 shelly

      he can shoot people that don’t matter in the long run. i bet the next time he takes a shot at gaksital, he misses again. this one was a fluke 😀

  21. 21 Arhazivory

    Dayummmm…that was good. I loved how Kang To cornered Shunji and I can hardly believe that I rightly deduced that he’d use a loveliness to escape. Hehe. When he laughed at the meagre evidence of ‘Boon Yi’, I couldn’t help laughing too.

    And man…that ending. Honestly, I don’t mind that it ends with that kind of scene again. This show is really a game of cat and mouse between our characters so we’ll always see the push and pull of a chase, but kudos to the show for keeping me excited and holding my breath each week. Loving it.

    • 21.1 ilikemangos

      Arhazivory, you have great predictions skills, my fellow comrade. 😉

      • 21.1.1 Arhazivory

        *loveline* to escape. Damn you autocorrect!

        Fellow comrade, this is rare for me… I hardly ever rightly deduce the next plot movement so I’m a little pleased with myself.

    • 21.2 yammy

      wow, did you really predict that? Because I was totally surprised today when Kang to used his love to escape out of the tight spot. Am I the only person who was really surprised/ didn’t think about that way out at all? Or am I just really bad at predicting? hmmm… I neverd guessed that Kang-san was the original gaksital until i read recaps either. Maybe I am less perceptive. oh well, makes the drama more heart-wrenching/fun for me 😀

      • 21.2.1 Maya

        Me too! I didnt predict that at all, so it was a lovely surprise. 🙂

      • 21.2.2 Arhazivory

        Rare moment my friend…rare moment. Hehe.

        It was said the synopsis somewhere that Kang San was Gaksital and so some persons knew he’d die so Kang To would become Gaksitaaaaaaaaal.

        • yammy

          Yeah, but I avoided the synopsis/pretended to forget about it because I want to keep the surprises as surprises and get spoiled.

          In the subject of spoilers, everyone who doesn’t want to get spoiled, don’t go and read the character descriptions/ and themes of the drama at the kbs website ( or the translations). They contain spoilers. I am in the progress of not-reading/not-remembering them.

      • 21.2.3 Awe

        totally blown away with Kang-To coming out and confessing and further blown away with the interrogation and his smooth response to shunji’s Qs.


    • 21.3 aramint

      heh, I was racking my brains whole night on how will Kang-To escape and not even once I thought about the loveline. Guess that’s why I’m not a scriptwriter. LOL

  22. 22 ilikemangos

    Tamao is a character i’m beginning to have some interest in.
    It’s cool how he’s starting to question his family’s choice in life, because he’s the first jap i’ve seen yet to question their way of living.
    And earlier out in the day when they were grabbing tasha and the performers i could have sworn i saw a curious gleam in his eye for being called a joseon person.

    • 22.1 Arhazivory

      I loved seeing that too. Yay for development of other characters. It would be nice to see him joining the movement. It was mentioned already in another post, but I would like to believe that the Countess is secretly on the side of Joseon as well.

    • 22.2 Maru

      Actually, he is not a Japanese, he’/s Korean… tha’s why Koiso called him joseon person.

      I like this too. The fact that, no matter how rich you are and how deep you can sell yourself and betray your country and your people, for the ones invading you, you are no more than a colonized.

      Is the same when daddy Kimura says that Kang To’s loyalty to the Japanese Empire means nothing to him, because it doesn’t come from conviction. For people like Koiso, Kimura and more, it’s impossible to believe a ‘joseon person’ giving his life for Japan, because they think that their loyalty has to be bought, it comes from a desire for ‘security’ and ‘comodity’ in life.

    • 22.3 shelly

      maybe tamao will become involved in the resistance. that would make their lives easier for a spell.

  23. 23 ilikemangos

    “Kono goes to grab her, and she pulls free, shouting, “I’ll go in there! With my own two feet!” Damn, balls of steel.”

    GF, i believe it should be boobs of steel.

  24. 24 stars4u

    And I thought we just crossed that river safely.
    Damsari is like Kang-to’s dad to him now. Kang-to is wearing his smarty pants again! But Shunji is really scaring me.
    Kang-to’s eyes… when he thought Mok-dan would die right then and there.

  25. 25 lemonicricket

    Oh man, just reading the recaps for this show get my heart pumping! ~so tense~

  26. 26 MsB

    I can’t even comment yet! I’m still basking in what was the best save in the world! bravo Kang-To! If I did not already know, I would have believed the half truths/embellishments/truths that your were telling to Shunji! well played!

  27. 27 my view on the drama

    well done , in my thoughts there is something i wanna write that maybe Konno is also a part of independence movement or may be the ,,,,,,,,,,

  28. 28 redfox

    three things:
    1. Koiso is an octopus. An octopus hoping to grow a dick by beating people lots and lots. False hope. Never will you become a man
    2. Shunji will actually go insane. I mean, not just evil. He will lose his mind and become the village idiot. I bet.
    3. I really do like the acting of that ahjussi (Count). he is everywhere, in Big and in here, and I am not surprised why. He is really colorful. He doesn´t get paid in vain. I am becoming kind of a fan.

    but there is too much in Gaksital. They should scrape down on the side dishes a bit.

    • 28.1 muhloy

      haha octopus.

  29. 29 ajj

    Im speechless..I want to give this episode a standing ovation inside my cubicle. The writer is awesome, I couldn’t guess what happens next.Kang to confessing his love to protect his cover is pure genius. Joo Won is
    truly something else, this guy got a good future ahead of him.A superstar in the making.

    • 29.1 Awe

      standing ovation with an oxygen mask—i kinda forgot to breath during this episode.

      cubicle? you watch this at *ah-hem* work? LOL

  30. 30 yammy

    oh, episode 16, you saved the drama after the a bit disappointing ep 15. Gaksital, you are redeemed for now. Ep 17, please be good.

    Am I bad/weird that it is now possible that it seems like it is possible that Mok Dan will come to love/or at least appreciate/hate Lee Kang to less before she finds out that he’s gakistal? Ooo.. complexity.

    I wonder what Konno’s end going to be. Even though he is obviously against the Independence Movement and Gaksital, he was arguably the father figure for Kang to in the earlier episodes. And he seems to have more soul/ less evil than Kimuras since he stopped Mok Dan from the nail box. Would Konno meet the same destiny as the Kimuras and other Kishokai members? Would he be able to kill Lee Kang to readily when/if he finds out? Is that a yes, because damsari is now stepping up to be the father figure to Kang to?

    and yes! to the Count Lee’s son. Maybe he would do something really small for the Independence before the drama ends? Somehow, he seems similar to the hot-head in the market who hit Kang to with the wood on ep 15…

    And when Mok Dan was stepping towards to the nail box herself. Kang-to and shunji must be thinking, “grrrr why is it so hard to love this girl?” 😀 And yay! for Mok Dan being awesome again. Maybe this is fitting for her character. I mean, maybe she is too inexperienced to be smart/sly and kick-ass in action. I mean, even in episode one, when she was running away from Kang to, she didn’t display a lot of good fighting skills, it was more like she was running hard and trying really hard to escape. Also, because she’s less experienced/ more sheltered than the other three main characters ( let’s remember, although she knew her father was an independence fighter, she herself never really was part of the group until the whole ceremony thing/ep 13/ep 14 and before, she was just part of a circus) it makes sense that she is slower than other main characters. It is just her awesome courage from today’s episode wanting me to defend Mok Dan. But please, stay this awesome in the future!

    • 30.1 Msb

      Yup. I believe she will have a conflict of feelings between Kang To and Gaksital before realizing they are the same person! It will be fun to watch!

    • 30.2 JNB

      I actually want her to fall in love with Kang To before she realizes he’s Gaksital. If that happens, it’s her appreciating him for the person, not just the mask.

      • 30.2.1 Penguin

        Exactly. 😀

  31. 31 diw

    Go Team Gaksital! beat Koiso to a pulp please.. and put him on the nail box and let him drink the black dye. Finally, execute him in front of Joeson people. When this does happen I would put Gaksital on the pedestal and would be forever my number 1 K-drama.

    • 31.1 redfox

      he is a mollusk. squish him. but dont waste time hating an insignificant bug. prrrh. those beatings make it hard to watch. I can take all the tension but when Koiso again starts kicking people in the guts out of the blue I just die inside. Brutal.

      • 31.1.1 redfox

        and I wanna do what Charles Chaplin did in silent films: crash a large flower pot on Koisos head to stop him

  32. 32 musings

    When Kang To was uncuffed and was walking out of the interrogation room I thought he was going to beat up Koiso. Sadly and dissapointingly he didn’t even growl at him 🙁 I really want to have Koiso beat up. 🙁

    • 32.1 fang to

      HAHAH DITTO! i wanted Evil Kangto to beat Koiso!

    • 32.2 Msb

      I wanted to kick his ass! Screamed it out loud for all my neighbors to hear!

  33. 33 Awe


    when i’m overwhelmed, i make lists…so here goes:

    1-thanks for the recap. gj gj.

    2-i think i took 4 breaths the entire episode. so much happened. so many reveals. and the acting was stellar.

    3-the whole “i’ll get into the box o’nails by myself’ and konno putting a stop to the torture had me bawling my eyes out. it was a heart-wrenching scene, no doubt. but i was suddenly overwhelmed by WAR. this conflict actually occurred and it got me thinking about all the countries that beat up korea. sigh. i’m crying now just thinking about it. i’m not korean but i’m feeling their pain.

    when the power of love overcomes the love of power, peace will be achieved.

    4-very cleaver how the writers have ‘awakened’ secondary cast members to start questioning the occupation.

    5-unlike his brother, kang-to has a day job that is getting in the way of his hero work. kang-to walking in to save boon-yi in his day clothes was ubber ballsey. and his explanation about all of it to shunji made me start ‘loving him 1000 times’.

    6-can someone confer if the olympic games are going to interfere with airtime

    thanks–sorry for babbling

  34. 34 fang to

    My guess is that Kangto will let Damsari use him as a hostage to escape!

  35. 35 Star

    damn …. i did not expect the episode to end like this & i’m glad… i wonder how kang-to is gonna get himself out of this one ><

    olympics is starting … are there episodes next week???

  36. 36 patrice

    its pretty terrifying to see Shunji descend further and further into evil as Kang-to steadily redeems him self with each episode. I can’t wait for the Mok Dan-Kang To romance to get started in earnest!

  37. 37 Jace

    Thanks for your recap.

    Seeing how Korean dramas go….by adding more drama…I’m hoping that next episode doesn’t pick up with Damsari getting killed with all his other comrades to protect Kang-to with his dying words to Kang-to, asking him to take care of Mok Dan. Then it goes on for a few episodes of Mok Dan hating Kang-to even more for “breaking” the confusing promise he made at the end of the episode to help her father escape. This whole misunderstanding and Damsari’s death strengthen Kang-to’s resolve to fight for the independence while protecting Mok Dan.

    Just a conjecture…but I think it’s entirely possible.

    • 37.1 Awe

      i’m with you on that. the show better not script Ahjusshi’s death for the next episode, otherwise….

  38. 38 dany

    Hurrah for badass Kang-to!
    such an intense episode! Thank you. At the end, was is really Shunji’s shooting? because, as we know, he’s pretty bad at it and this one was a clear shot.

  39. 39 becca_boo

    Thanks for the recap, girlfriday!

    I think I can guess what Mok Dan is thinking: “Why do I get all the nutcases?” Instead, she gets a guy in a mask and two creeps who keep torturing her, then saying they love her, and then arguing with each other over who is going to protect her… as they kill time torturing her dad. It’s hilarious, creepy, and totally awesome.

    The writers definitely need some new ideas for the cliff-hangers, but I can’t complain too much because Shunji leveling a gun at Kang-to still makes me freak out. And episode 1, I never would have imagined that Shunji would be the one to make my skin crawl.

    • 39.1 becca_boo

      Whoops – correction: I meant to say, “instead of a normal guy….”

    • 39.2 Isi

      HAHAHAH your summary of Kang To and Shunji in Mokdan’s point of view made me laugh. Well said.

    • 39.3 Ivoire

      Hi, well said and very funny! LOL at your comments in the 1st paragraph.

  40. 40 jen

    what if damsari die in order to avoid kang to from shunji suspicion and mok dan hate kang to after that??
    Fuh..what an episodes…Kang to…yah…fighting…

  41. 41 Ds

    I dunno why but the whole love cover reminds me of the perfect song, I Love You by 2NE1 because of the lines “when you’ve got no way out, love is the only way”~~~ ahahahah smack me >D

    But gosh it’s complete torment to way another week… I can’t do it, dunno how you guys can…

    • 41.1 Hanna

      I can’t too, but preserve, for the sake of being sane… and try to watch 1n2d to get Joo Won fix

    • 41.2 Roxy

      Wow 2NE1 got mentioned in a recap, that’s a first. And you’re so right about that I LOL’d.

  42. 42 Boo

    You are clearly not Korean if you’re gonna question Korea’s sovereignty. Do you really think non violent protests wouldn’t have resulted in the death or genocide of the Korean people? If you truly are korean, do your research please. And like you said, you wouldnt even have a motherland if it weren’t for the independence movement nor the US for that matter. You seem to be an extreme Japanese sympathizer which makes me think you’re actually a Japanese who can’t take the fact that a Korean drama dealing w the Japanese occupation. Might I add, this drama doesn’t even touch on the atrocities the Japanese committed in korea and to the korean people

    • 42.1 yammy

      I am actually ethnically Korean, born and raised at Seoul for about half of my life. I can’t really think of a way to prove my ethnicity online, but I guess if you are unwilling to believe me, then there is nothing else I can do to validate my identity.

      On the other hand, I guess I do have to apologize if I had been a bit hasty over bringing up the sovereignty issue. I was, however, not really questioning whether Koreans had sovereignty over Korea, as I do know my Korean history and know that Koreans have been in fact in the Korean peninsula for ages. I also have heard/studied stories of all the atrocities that Koreans have faced under the Japanese rule. I had no intentions except to look at the issue of righteous rebellion in an unbiased, philosophical point of view as I always welcome such foods of thought. If it had offended anyone in the process, however, I apologize.

  43. 43 Irian

    I still believe, that what ultimately saved Kang-to, was those independence fighters not knowing that he is Gaksital. Shunji is smart one, so with just one look from Damsari, he would have known the truth. And the murder attempt was what really saved him.

    I was also looking at Shunji, lookin at Mok Dan in her cell, worried for his father but not anxious for Kang-to at all. Had her lover Gaksital been in the interrogation room, would she have been so calm? It seems that Shunji can’t imagine that no one knows, who Gaksital is. That was what Kang-to was begging Mok Dan and his father to confess. And love Shunji’s tactics: With Kang-to standin next to him, so had they known anything about Gaksital’s identity, that would have been the end of Kang-to the way his face was showing his concern, horror and anxiousness. Brilliant!

    Hope that Damsari will walk away healthy after next week. I’m quite worried about his safety now that he knows. For plotwise, I mean.

  44. 44 78910

    i was actually confused about the love excuse. when shunji was questioning kangto, the latter said that the moment mokdan woke up after he shot her was when he realized how happy he was for her to be alive. so he’s saying that’s when he knew he loved her, right? but i’m thinking: kangto arrested this girl, tortured her and stuff, and then when he shoots her, it dawned on him like, oh shoot, i love her. hmmm…really?? how? like for shunji, he met mokdan when he was little and was smitten. that’s reasonable. how did shunji buy kangto’s excuse? did it make sense? haha, i might have misunderstood something, but if someone could enlighten me, many thanks!

    • 44.1 Stardust

      LOL is this the idea of there is a fine line between love and hate? hehehehe Actually Shunji suspected something was brewing between them when he caught them staring at each other after Mok dan’s stabbing attempt.

    • 44.2 shelly

      there was that moment, episodes back, with kang-to getting all drunk and violent over “that woman” and letting shunji (in his school teacher persona) know about how he would kill her if need be, despite her being his long-lost love. i don’t think shunji make the link yet, but when he will, there will be a “huh” moment for him… so kang-to just happened to love someone and then decide to kill her because she’s on the wrong side? and then weeks later he’s all over mok dan, because he can’t help himself? his explanation over when he really started caring stand for long for a suspicious mind.
      i think shunji is still reeling right now – this is esther, the girl he liked when he was a teen, now an enemy who rejected him for his arch-enemy gaksital, who is now loved by his best friend kang-to… he’s getting hit from all sides and can’t find a firm ground to stand on. he’s probably going to go mad – he certainly acts like he’s not all there anymore.

  45. 45 Stardust

    Just when I thought Kang To was getting soft and sloppy… I actually doubted him when he went tearing into safe Mok Dan…he actually already when in with a clear plan in mind : To tell the half truth. Cos as they say, the best lie is half true hahaha…. He managed to guilt trap? Shunji ( whose gone off the deep end… I am not sure if he can redeem himself after this… short of dying…why sucks too… IF he kills Kang To AND THEN takes up the mask… I will throw a GIANT hissy fit!! )

    It is now his turn to make a veiled warning to Shunji at how crazy he was in the past…making him feel doubt…
    The ending was awesome. Damsari finally realised Kang To is no longer the same.. But ARGH..another ep which ends with someone pointing a gun at poor Kangto / Gaksital. How impressed am I when Joo Won uses those puppy eyes in pain at Damsari…

    I guess this makes the ep where Gaksital FINALLY gets to hug BoonYi/ Mok dan in the sunset is really special LOL

    Thank you so much for your recap girlfriday! =D

  46. 46 Sonia

    It’s really FUN seeing 3 roles was trying to save Damsari at the end (Kang To, Damsari’s comrades & Shunji+police officers).
    I hope it’s not just me that realized they’re all trying to stop that truck from reaching the prison (even if with different purposes).

    Also, I think Shunji didn’t suspects Kang To as Damsari’s helper at the ending. He was seeing Kang To can’t do anything except turned Damsari over to his comrades ’cause the 3 were pointing their gun at him. So,, it could be Kang To’s alibi. And Shunji killed 1 of them ’cause he was seeing Kang To’s in trouble.

    I really hope Shunji could stop his suspicion to Kang To.

  47. 47 Karolyn

    Every episode of Gaksital is so packed and crammed that at the end of it all, I’m just left stunned and slightly confused and horrified.

    At this moment my heart’s just beating and hoping time will fly a little faster so episode 17 can come.

    • 47.1 Stardust

      I am already silently screaming because after reading the posts I realised there could very well be NO GAKSITAL until Olympics is over…AAAAAAARRRGGHH…..

  48. 48 Isi

    wait, can someone please confirm whether this will be postponed until the olympic games are over? If it’s true…I don’t think my heart will take it very well…

    • 48.1 Ana

      Yeah — CAN someone confirm whether Gaksital is delayed? This doesn’t make sense! not in my world!!

  49. 49 Felix

    Epic declaration. This episode have a lot of romance element indirectly. That’s why this episode seems so memorable. I watch ep 16 many time and did not get bored.

  50. 50 SopHEE

    With all the tension and heart stopping scenes all i can think of in the end is JOO WON~ SOOOOOO FREAKING HOOOTTTTTT~~~ ♥♥♥

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