Drama Recaps
Gaksital: Episode 23
by | August 22, 2012 | 127 Comments

With the revelation of some secrets, it’s time for the cat to play with mouse… or is it cat pretending to be mouse, playing with cat? It’s a merry-go-round of feigned ignorance and false senses of security… and my nerves are at a fraying point.

It’s also time for the grand plan to be revealed, as forces are drawn together and the independence ups the ante. And here you thought the stakes couldn’t be upped any further.

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EPISODE 23 RECAP

Gaksital rescues Reporter Song from police imprisonment, not knowing this is a trap: Kishokai’s scary samurai assassin attacks, injuring him badly enough that he collapses… giving Shunji the opportunity to confirm his suspicions.

Off comes the mask. Shunji: “So it was you after all. Lee Kang-to, it was you.”

He thinks back to all the times Kang-to deflected suspicion, seeing those encounters in a new light. Oof. I know Shunji doesn’t really get to play the betrayal card here in light of his own catalogue of misdeeds, and yet, the fact remains that his best friend lied to him, over and over, and made Shunji feel he was the crazy one. Not an intentional Gaslighting, but an effective show of mindfuckery all the same.

Shunji practically vibrates with hurt and rage: “How could you…?”

He thinks back to Gaskital murdering his brother, and holding his father hostage… What a dangerous thing a memory without context is.

Samurai Assassin joins Shunji and raises his sword for the deathblow. But Shunji does something more ominous than stepping aside: He puts the mask back on Kang-to’s face, and stops the assassin.

Mok Dan paces in her room at the inn, worried sick at the lack of an “All clear” phone call. Boss Jo tells her to be patient, and she tries to tamp down her uneasiness.

She steps out into the hall and stops short at the unexpected visitor. Rie.

Rie doesn’t look murderous today — could this mean… a change of heart? She gives Mok Dan a set of passports and tickets, along with a stack of cash. Citing the Japan route as the safest, she urges her to flee on a boat there, then onward to refuge in the West — with Kang-to.

Altogether now: Awwww. I love this.

Mok Dan is understandably suspicious: Why? Rie admits, “It’s ridiculous, but I’ve fallen in love with Lee Kang-to.” She can hardly believe it herself, and she expects to be ordered by her organization to kill Kang-to directly. “For the past two days, all I’ve thought about was whether I would be able to kill him. That is why I’ve come to this decision.”

The admission shocks Mok Dan — could Rie know that he’s Gaksital? She isn’t going to tip her hand, so she says coldly, “Why are you telling me this? What do I care about Lee Kang-to?”

Rie’s stunned at that reaction. She asks, “Don’t you want to leave with him? With this money and these tickets, you could live happily without worries.”

Mok Dan thinks to herself, “He says he cannot take off the mask, because of the suffering he sees all around him. That intention, that will—I support and love it.” She tells Rie she understands how she feels, but asks her to leave.

Rie leaves reeling.

Shunji reports to Chairman Ueno, confirming that Gaksital is Kang-to. Nooo! And this is what we call a point of no return; you just don’t get to backtrack from here. Samurai Man confirms that Kang-to is the Joseon officer who saved Rie five years ago, which suggest that Rie knew Kang-to’s identity and hid it from them. The chairman muses, “Lala is a Korean after all.”

Shunji’s surprised to realize Rie’s Korean, but it explains why the chairman wasn’t angered by his request to kill his daughter — which he admits to himself that he’d expected the chairman to balk at.

Chairman Ueno asks if Gaksital was killed. Shunji explains that killing him on the spot would have made it impossible for them to track down Yang Baek. And if Yang Baek remains alive, the people’s spirit will live on. It’s an answer that impresses Ueno and says proudly, “That conviction is the future of the great Japanese empire.”

He tells Shunji not to tell Rie about him knowing Gaksital’s identity. Shunji asks for a promise in return: “Permit me to be the one to take Lee Kang-to’s life with my own hands.”

Mok Dan slips out to the hospital to see Kang-to, where Comrade Ahn brought him after finding him in the street. I don’t know if it’s worse that she’s seen by Shunji from across the street, or that she looked and still missed him. I mean, at least if she were careless I could understand; but to just be that terrible at watching your back? It’s a wonder you’re still alive.

Mok Dan takes over Kang-to Watch while the comrade exits… and is spotted by Shunji. Damn damn damn.

Comrade Ahn clocks his follower, however, darting out of sight and losing his tail. Phew, crisis averted. For now.

He returns to the hideout in a backroom of Club Angel, where they treat Reporter Song’s injuries. Tasha uses a mirror disguised as a door to return to the club, just in time to greet Shunji loudly and usher him to a room.

Tamao arrives moments later and gives a chipper hello, only to be ignored by Tasha. Aw. You’ll need more than that to make up for your drunken assiness the night before.

Tamao joins Shunji in his room, either disregarding Shunji’s dark mood or trying foolishly to lighten it with chatter. He nostalgically reminds them of the old days when he, Kang-to, and Shunji were a tight trio of friends. Shunji cuts him off to order him out.

There’s this fleeting look that crosses Tamao’s face that kills me — this lonely look of a guy who misses his friends and doggedly tries to revive that memory, even though Shunji is clearly nearing the end of his patience.

Tamao pushes aside the emotion and continues with his story. Shunji leaps up, enraged, and slaps him across the face.

As if that’s not enough, he picks up his pistol and levels it at Tamao’s forehead. “This son of a bitch laughs? Friend? Me, with a damn Korean?”

Shunji storms out in a fury. Tamao slumps in shock, and Tasha — with Tamao still in the room — knocks on the mirror-door, telling her comrades the coast is clear. Whoaaa.

The comrades look sharply at him, but Tasha says pointedly, “You do not have to worry about him.” Awesome! What a sign of trust, and just when he was feeling the most lost.

Mok Dan tends to Kang-to, who finally stirs. He’s uneasy about recent events and wonders why Samurai Man showed up — is Kishokai out to get him?

Mok Dan informs him that Lala stopped by and offered them help to flee the country. She wonders, does Lala know he’s Gaksital? And despite their history, she could feel the sincerity of Lala’s feelings for Kang-to.

Kang-to tells her of saving Lala’s life — and that she’s actually Korean. He thanks Mok Dan for rejecting the offer, and she reminds him that they’d travel this path together.

Rie is summoned by her father… who tells her he’s decided to accept Sato Hiroshi into Kishokai. What in the WHAT. Ohhhh crap.

Rie protests, saying that she was too hasty in recommending him. Chairman Ueno smiles like a cat toying with a mouse before the kill, and asks why — does she agree with Chief Kimura that he may be Gaksital?

Katsuyama, with his hand on his sword, sees Samurai Man slowly preparing his own. Both bodyguards tense, waiting to strike.

But Rie shocks them all by saying yes, that she is now suspicious of Kang-to being Gaksital. Therefore the matter needs further exploration.

It’s enough to make Ueno back down, and he tells his man, “It is not time yet.” Samurai Man releases his sword, as does Katsuyama. Oh phew. Not to say the samurai clash wouldn’t be thrilling. I’m just not ready for Rie to face her doom yet.

Comrade Ahn and Reporter Song reunite with Teacher Dong-jin, who welcomes them back. He is eager to make contact with Yang Baek and find out what large-scale plan is in the works.

The comrades listen closely to an American radio report of the war. They believe that more Western powers — the U.S. and U.K. among them — will soon join the Pacific conflict, which will mean Japan’s defeat. Dong-jin: “This means the time of our independence is drawing near.”

(History note: The drama began in 1932, so we’re still 13 years off from Korean independence. But Japan’s imperialistic aggression was decades in the making, and the Sino-Japanese War would officially break out in 1937.)

Shunji reports to Chief Murayama, who is furious at the failure to capture Dong-jin. Not generous with patience to begin with (or, face it, sanity), he demands that Shunji reveal his larger plan now.

Shunji actually looks bored, which strikes me as incredibly ballsy. He gives his regrets — he won’t spill. Murayama punches him in the face and threatens him. Only to get Shunji’s warning, “Don’t do something you’ll regret later.”

Shunji declares that he’ll catch Yang Baek, Dong-jin, and Gaksital and hand-deliver them all to Murayama in due time: “How will you look me in the face then, treating me like this now?” Guh. Did you really say that?

But the thing about such confidence is that it’s convincing. Murayama backs off, asking if he’s that sure of himself. Shunji answers yes, that there’s a time to kill and a time not to: “But a prepared strategem can kill even the enemies who are invisible.” And this is why you are the smart Kimura.

Koiso reports that Kang-to hasn’t shown up today either — can’t they fire him? Shunji tells him not to be so harsh, since they’re all one family. Understandably, Koiso is confused at the leniency.

When Kang-to reports for duty, he apologizes to Shunji and cites an accident yesterday that gave him minor injuries. Kang-to doesn’t mention Gaksital’s interference yesterday, so Shunji informs him about it — hadn’t he heard?

Kang-to feigns surprise, and Shunji plays along, and all this acting and hiding is doing a number on my nerves. Shunji draws the conclusion that Gaksital is connected to Dong-jin, and says, “Instead of working separately, we’ll have to investigate this together.”

Did your heart just drop into your stomach? ‘Cause mine just did. They both act pleased to be working together, and Kang-to says it’ll increase the odds of catching him.

Murayama calls his officers together, instructing them to ferret out the sources of groundless rumors sweeping through the Korean populace. He declares that the loss of Dong-jin’s disciple (Reporter Song) to Gaksital is a result of the officers being lax in their “Japanese spirit.”

To everyone surprise, Shunji interrupts to contradict the boss: Who could develop loyalty to a system that demotes or promotes without grounds? It’s only right, he argues, that Sato Hiroshi be re-instated to his rightful rank.

Murayama clocks Shunji in the face. How dare he challenge him?

Kang-to offers Shunji a hand. Aghhh, why is he so crafty? What better way to earn Kang-to’s trust than to stand up for him and be punished for it?

Murayama reports this to Kimura, who’s alarmed to hear it. Murayama refers to Shunji’s own nepotism-based promotion, and asks Kimura to remember the line between personal and professional.

Nanny hesitantly approaches Kimura to ask after her granddaughter Soon-yi — she’s okay, right? Ack, what a question. She shows a letter that was sent to the wrong place, so now she’s worried about Soon-yi. Kimura barks at her, and she meekly removes herself with an apology. I hope she never finds out what happened to the girl, poor thing. Sometimes the truth sets you free, and sometimes you really just can’t handle the truth.

The pressing concern for the empire now is the escalating conflict between China and Japan. Kimura proposes the use of Korean soldiers — something Murayama violently protests: “You mean to give those Koreans guns?”

Kimura argues that it takes years to grow and develop soldiers, and in the meantime their Japanese soldiers are dying on the battlefield. The answer: “Refashion those Koreans into imperial soldiers.” Governor Wada approves this idea, and gives his officials the go-ahead.

Kimura shares Operation: Brainwashing with his usual cronies, the count and countess and the parliamentarian couple. Suggestions: set up Shinto shrines and force the Koreans to worship, and outlaw the use of the Korean language. Most of all, they must begin teaching Japanese history in earnest, to get them to forget their own Korean history.

The countess brings up the rumors of Yang Baek’s return to Korea, which is an unpleasant surprise for Kimura and Murayama — the people know this too? She takes a little dig at the police chief, asking how they’ll handle this when they’ve let Gaksital slip through their fingers so many times. Murayama growls that spreading baseless rumors is an arrestable offense, and that has her glaring at him. Innnteresting. A fracturing in the Council of Evil?

Yang Baek tells his comrades of the empire’s plan to enlist Joseon men, and warns that soon they’ll be drafted by force. He desperately wants to spare the lives of their young men and keep them out of the enemy’s hands.

Shunji sits in a strategy session with Kang-to, both pretending to know far less than they do. Shunji’s argument: Yang Baek, Damsari, and Gakistal are all related, but since they don’t know who Gaksital is, the key to unlocking the secret is… wait for it… Mok Dan.

Shunji makes a show of sighing that he’ll have to pressure Mok Dan for info, which will be difficult given how tough she was before. He asks Kang-to for his opinion on what’ll make her talk: “We have to find a way to make her cry out in manseh for the emperor.”

Kang-to calls the inn to warn Mok Dan of Shunji’s arrival, urging her to evade him. She argues that running away will just endanger others, and stays put.

Enter Shunji. The thinks of a previous conversation where she’d lied that she was mistaken about Kang-to being her Young Master. Now he asks, “Shall I find him for you? The young master you want to meet.”

She tells him to forget it: “I don’t want to be indebted to you.”

Shunji: “Because of him, you can’t give your heart to me.” Well, technically I suppose that’s one reason… though maybe a lot less of one than you suppose. Mok Dan says incredulously, “Do you think you can buy my heart?”

He gets that ugly look on his face and moves in close, hovering over her: “I can’t give you up, not even if I die. I can’t give you up to anybody.”

Later that evening, Mok Dan joins Kang-to in a trolley bus, telling him that all is fine; Shunji merely asked after her father. He takes her hand, which, ack! You’re in public! What did I tell you? Mission, then hormones!

He gets up to exit at the next stop… and a fellow passenger follows him off. Kang-to senses his pursuer right away and darts in front of the trolley, gaining him enough time to escape. I don’t recognize his face, but since he turns out to be a police officer, I trust that Kang-to knows who he is.

Kang-to hails a cab to the tailor’s shop, so I guess they’re clinging to the illusion that Kyungung isn’t a single street of backlot. Ha.

He joins his comrades for the momentous meeting as Dong-jin enters, accompanied by Reporter Song and Comrade Ahn, and offers his bow to Yang Baek. The older man envelops him in a warm hug.

Chairman Ueno addresses Kishokai regarding the growing crisis: Japan’s clash with China is escalating. He orders them to begin form a private agency and Kimura promises a central agency, with regional outlets, all to promote patriotism to the empire. They’ll enforce Japanese as the national language, in preparation for a draft.

Yang Baek recounts being a part of the March 1 Movement (a nationwide uprising in the name of independence that occurred in 1919). He finally reveals his reason for returning to Korea: to engage another movement of its kind. But this one will be bigger, systematically organized, hitting every part of the country. They’re beyond peaceful protest now: “We will fight in armed battle.”

The sheer magnitude of what he proposes is weighty, but they are all with him to hasten the day of independence. Even now, Dong-jin is training and gathering more followers into his death squads all across the country.

They’re both aware of the ticking clock before their young men are dragged off to fight Japan’s war. Thus it’s even more crucial that they stop the draft, because those are young men needed in the revolution. But how will they resist such a thing?

Kang-to speaks up with a solution: Burn the family registers. Eep! Not just individual ones, but all court records and government registries — if the empire can’t identify those they intend to draft, they’ll stay one step ahead of them. Dong-jin will take the lead on that, and Damsari volunteers to join him.

Then Kang-to adds, “I have a good idea. While we’re at it, how about we send the enemy into more chaos?” Yes, go chaos fairy, go!

They’re swift in implementing the plan, because the next day Koiso bursts in to report that Gakistal has been seen, and he’s burning public records.

Shunji bolts out of his office… and comes face to face with Kang-to, innocently holding cleaning supplies. Whaaaa? I love the blank look on Kang-to’s face, contrasted with Shunji’s confusion.

Abe mans the ringing phones and reports that Gaksital is at a government building, burning it up at this very moment. Another call reports the same thing, at a different office. There’s one office that’s not burning, and Shunji directs them all to move out asap. Kang-to included.

When they arrive, Comrade Gaksital is already at work hurling firebombs at the building. The officers jump in to fight him, and Shunji orders Kang-to into the fray.

Kang-to complies, leaping at Comrade Ahn, though he carefully misses and strikes a split-second too late. Then a few masked death squad members join in to hurl daggers into officers. Shunji fires at them, sending them scattering, then chases.

Shunji catches up to Village Hothead, who’s no match for him. Shunji grabs him by the throat and takes the mask off, revealing his face. He has the chance to kill him easily, but that isn’t what he wants; he grabs Hothead by the hair and shoves him back to the scene of the fight — just in time to see Gaksital knocking Kang-to down.

Shunji fires at Gaksital, who flees safely. And there Kang-to is, lying unconscious.

 
COMMENTS

No, I don’t suppose Shunji is back on the uncertainty train because of this latest twist — he saw him wearing the mask, and there’s no doubting that. But it rattles him; he thinks he’s got the upper hand, only to realize he doesn’t have the truth after all. I do enjoy when his smug of satisfaction turns to confusion, because in the absence of being able to take him out physically, a good old mindfuck is just the thing.

One of my favorite things in this episode was Rie’s turnaround: we’ve seen her struggling with the truth, but she’s kept it bottled up till now. This is the first time she takes action, and I loved seeing her urge Mok Dan to flee with Kang-to — it’s the very opposite reaction to Shunji, who belongs to the “If I can’t have you, no one can” school of love.

His version of love is jealous and territorial, more about possession than affection or sacrifice. Whereas Rie’s big concern is to save his life, whether or not he’s hers to have. She has reason enough to hate Mok Dan without her being Kang-to’s sweetheart, but her care for Kang-to encompasses the rival as well. That’s such an awesome turn for Rie.

She’s not ready yet to renounce her identity, but her change is happening by degrees, which makes sense. I do fear that her gradual turnaround may be too slow to save her own life in the end, which is a sad prospect since she’s probably my favorite character. But if she’s got to go, I don’t doubt she’ll do so in spectacular fashion.

I do wonder what that’ll mean for Katsuyama, whose devotion to Rie is so apparent in every look he shoots her way that I’m amazed she remains oblivious to her. It’s very Sandglass-esque, this dark swordsman bodyguard who speaks little in words but so much with eyes, as he protects his headstrong young mistress. I’m steeling myself for the possibility of a similar ending, and wondering how that figures into the whole motif of cross-cultural love running through the drama.

Nationalism actually has a degrading effect in Shunji’s love; it goes from a pure adoration to this ugly, violent desire to claim. In Rie’s case, it’s the key to recovering herself. Initially she can’t abide the thought of falling for a Joseon man, presumably because it’s a step down for her, the refined Japanese lady. But I think it’s just as much about a fear of reconnecting with her own Korean roots; she’s severed ties and can’t afford to taint her new identity with the old one. Yet that’s the thing that causes her allegiance to Kishokai to crumble, as Kang-to asks if she’s doing this for herself or for the chairman — the man who sees her more as an expendable puppet than a daughter.

Tamao’s scene was my other favorite, because HOLY COW was that a huge leap of faith Tasha took, letting him in on the secret. We’re starting to see cracks in the facades of the Count and Countess, who are just as obsequious to their Japanese overlords but starting to display signs of unease and wariness. I’ve been itching for more Tamao development ever since he began voicing misgivings about the status quo, and seeing his hurt at Tasha’s dismissal of him as a privileged, Japan-loving playboy.

I’ve always thought he had it in him to connect with his fellow Koreans (Tamao, it was noted early on, is of Korean birth though he chose to use his Japanese name); he just needed a hand to lead him in the right direction and show him how. So he’s been made aware of the comrades operating right under his nose, and all but accepted into their midst by Tasha. Now it’s time to see what he’s made of.

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127 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ivoire

    Thanks!

    • 1.1 Ivoire

      Off to watch and read the recap later. Then I will comment… Thank you so much for the recap JB, I really appreciate it.

  2. Hi

    Thanks for the recap! Love this!

  3. Maya

    Thank you! Off to read it…

  4. stars4u

    I am loving Rei more and more, too bad my Kang-to-Rei ship is destined to sink.

  5. lordj

    Thanks! Off to read… :)

  6. aramint

    Can we please give Rie and Katsuyama a happy ending? Since Kang To-Rie pair is not gonna be together. Plus, Katsuyama is very charming in the BTS clips, laughing and joking around… ^.^

    • 6.1 b1

      exactly my wish — when ends break loose for rei .. i just hope katsuyama would just abduct her and take her away — with that hot dead-pan face of him —

      why is he so hot even if he almost doesn’t speak a thing ??

      ::my heart::..awww

      • 6.1.1 Bio

        23 episodes in and people still misspell Rie. I am confused.

    • 6.2 VB

      Wouldn’t it be awesome if Katsuyama were to save Rie’s life, and defy orders of someone like Chairman Ueno, just because of his devotion to her? Then Rie suddenly notices him.. and BAM! happy ending..of sorts..

      Also, are the BTS scenes you mention on youtube? I can’t seem to find them.

  7. Mary

    i was at the edge of my seat watching this one they are setting up for something epic i know

  8. chichiri

    They’ll just all gonna drop dead in the end, won’t they?

    Also..
    Could we have gotten to this part of the story earlier (if, at all) without the extension? As much as I love Gaksitaaaal, this could have been a pretty lame pre-finale.

    *insert happy dance for Rie*

    • 8.1 Maru

      “They’ll just all gonna drop dead in the end, won’t they?”

      I think so… I mean, maybe not ALL of them, the Independence Movement needs to keep going so, I don’t think they will kill ALL the character, just to keep the hope alive. But Kang-to… Since the first episodes, I always thought I need to get used to the fact of his possible death!

      • 8.1.1 Maya

        At earlier episodes, that’s what I was thinking also, but ever since Mok Dan said that Gaksital’s the beacon of hope for Joseon people, I’m thinking now that he’ll continue to live, because the people still need someone they can look up to and draw courage from, IMHO. But maybe that’s just me still not wanting to accept the fact that everyone will die in the end. :D
        Anyway if the show is going to end up tragically, I do hope it will end with the similar tone as Hong Gil Dong, even though they all dead, at least the hope lives on.

        • 8.1.1.1 scarlett

          i agree…it’s not the man but the principle and hope that he stands and represents for that matters thus, though kang to may die in the end there will always be a gaksital that will live to continue the fire burning…

        • 8.1.1.2 chichiri

          Hah. If most of them do die in the end (it’s a war after all), here’s how I would like it to happen:

          1) Chairman Ueno orders Lala killed, samurai attempts to kill her, Katsuyama fights samurai to save Lala, Katsuyama dies saving Lala (taking samurai with him), Lala gets revenge by killing Chairman Ueno. Lala joins independence mov’t intel/strategic department. Kishokai group lives on headed by Chief Kimura. Casualties: Chairman, samurai, Katsuyama

          2) Shunji attempts to kill Kang-to, shoots Mok Dan instead (she catches the bullet to save Kang-to), Shunji gets so shocked that he killed Mok Dan, freezes in place while he regrets all his misdeeds, gets shot in the middle of chaos. But before he dies, his last act of friendship is to share with Kang-to all that he knows about Kishokai and wishes him luck with the independence movement. OR 2.1) Shunji shoots Kang-to, Mok Dan, or Lala, shoots Shunji. Both Kang-to and Shunji die. (holding hands would be ideal. or same position back when they mock-battled in kendo)
          Casualties: Shunji, Kang-to

          3) All these happen with the independence movement armed uprising as backdrop. And then epilogue to transition to 2nd Sino-Japanese War/WWII. Independence movement lives on.
          Possible casualties: Damsari, Abe, Koiso

          Yeah.. so pretty much everyone I care about dies. I think this is the only outcome I can accept, if only to make the bigger picture more real, that this was really what war is like.. that we fall in love, we hate, we fight, heroes are born and enemies are made, but despite all these, they/we were none the wiser. To focus on the bigger context will make me forget that the individuals (their unique stories and ideals) are all part of the war. And Gaksital the hero serves as the vehicle for this message: that war is ugly, and so they had to die. Still there’ll be enough redemption and retribution for our characters.

          Everybody comes into full circle.

          Ooops sorry got carried away. hohoho

          • 8.1.1.2.1 chichiri

            Sorry, I meant if they focus on the war, it would make me forget that I care more about the individuals than the bigger picture. I apologise for the verbal vomit.

          • 8.1.1.2.2 tapioca pearl

            #1 is pretty similar to what I want. Rie killing Ueno would make me happy. I hope she doesn’t die because by now, I think that might be pointless. She’s already proven her loyalty to Kang-to, and her redemption would be to join the cause and continue over the next few years to fight. #2, just reading it is breaking my heart a little (actually, a lot) because I very much believe Kang-to won’t get his happy ending, which leads to pretty much what you said at the end. It is war, casualties will occur on both sides. Kang-to’s story is just one of the many throughout this time. But a small part of me still hopes he’ll survive.

          • 8.1.1.2.3 Sirena

            As much as I would like a happy ending (i.e. Kang To and Mok Dan survive and live happily ever after), this drama is leading me to agree with some of your possible scenarios. Sigh… this drama is making me crazy!

          • 8.1.1.2.4 Saa

            Every time Kang To dons the Gaksital mask to dsjkfbskdjgbskd the people on the Japanese’s side, I think of Abe…who really was never much of an evil menace and more of a loyal puppy to Kang To. I hope Abe doesn’t get owned too badly, if at all. =[

    • 8.2 tapioca pearl

      I’m sure the writer edited the story when the extension was announced. Maybe she prolonged the cat and mouse game between Kang-to and Shunji because that certainly took a few rounds. Or maybe she added more freedom fighting characters than she intended. I love it all the same, but to think, tomorrow’s episode would’ve been the last…

      • 8.2.1 chichiri

        We’ll hold each other in the finale. Hugs everywhere

    • 8.3 Jessica

      “They’ll just all gonna drop dead in the end, won’t they?”

      I don’t think they’ll all die, this isn’t a TVB drama ;)

  9. Maru

    YES! I loooooooove this episode.

    In the beggining it was nerve wracking, I hept shouting at Kang-to, “Stop being so naive!”. He needs to start distrusting EVERYTHING Shunji does.

    Shunji, sigh… for me he was looong go waaaay back so, no, no chance of redemption. IF you want redemption, you are welcome to read Snape guide book on how to become a martyr! Want a copy? No? Aw, too bad!

    Seriously, five more episodes to go… and a started my master degree this week! No luck.

    • 9.1 tapioca pearl

      Aww, why’d you have to mention Snape? Any mention of Harry Potter, I turn to mush.

      • 9.1.1 KK

        Same here! expecially when someone mentions Snape TT.TT
        Too bad Snape wouldn’t be around during this time I think?

      • 9.1.2 Maru

        Snape will forever be my favourite character… EVER. Every character could learn a thing or two about redemption from him! =P

        I disliked him so much, and then… he make me beg for forgiveness… on.my.knees.

        I don’t know what’s gonna happen when Gaksital ends… I’m gonna cry. I thought Faith could fill the whole, but that drama is NOT what I expected. I’m still enjoying it, but not enough to make me happy and wait impatiently every week!

  10. 10 itoshi

    and that’s what differentiate Shunji’s love for Mokdan from Rie’s(or MD) love for Kangto. Rie’s love isn’t selfish. It’s an obsession in the beginning, so does Shunji’s but Rie’s obsession turns to love and hoping for the best and happiness of the person she loves. Shunji’s love turns into obsession and this wretched possession-he must have MD by all means, even if MD may burn in the end. And when he can’t get her, his obsession turned to the obstacle of his want, and since Gaksital conveniently killed his brother, he puts all his motivations on him, deluding himself that once Gaksital, now KT, is removed, MD would naturally return to him.
    We thought once Shunji captures Gaksital, he’ll stop, like he claims to MD. But he doesn’t. He had where he wants him and he lets him go, letting KT be a timebomb for the freedom fighters.Is it ego, or now he just can’t be satisfied with Gaksital? Capture all of them and finally MD is his or what?

    oh, and finally freedom fighters on the move. about time, i must say, *KangTo’s smirk*

    • 10.1 DarknessEyes

      well i would argue that what Shunji feels for MD isn’t love. KT loves Mok Dan, MD loves KT, and Lala loves, KT, but Shunji simply has an obsession for MD.

  11. 11 eunshil

    I’m pretty sure Tamao will end up dead in some glorious way.

    • 11.1 muhloy

      i hope he goes out smiling…cause that grin is fantastic!

  12. 12 Rashell

    Oh, what a great episode. Everyone is so smart and watching the moves and counter moves is mind boggling. Rie is also my favorite character. Her love for Kang To is a pure and beautiful thing. It matters more to her that he is living well then that he is living with her. And you’re right in pointing out that Shunji is the exact opposite. You either live with me, or you don’t live is his motto.

    I also adore the silent love of Katsuyama for Rie. Once again that completely unselfish kind. You know that he will gladly lay down his life for her and expect nothing in return. It is SO Sandgless-esque that it’s scary for me. I worry that he’ll follow that same path.

    Really, I feel bad saying it, but Mok Dan is kind of the only weak link for me. She’s devoted to her cause and to her man, but for some reason the layers that everyone else has just don’t seem to be there with her. She’s just too vanilla in a drama filled with so many rich flavors. I really, really want to love her, because I know that my hero does. But she’s just so bland.

    • 12.1 linda macy

      Agree with you totally about Mok Dan. I have tried to connect with her role and it just doesn’t happen. She is truly the weak link in this drama. Everyone else has given an award winning performance. Mok Dan and Gakistal have no sizzle together….they needed an older actress that looks young to play this role. This is a terrific series but would have been spectacular with a different Mok Dan.

      • 12.1.1 Rashell

        I’m not sure if the problem is the actress or the character, but since every other character is AWESOME, heck even Katsuyama who says practically nothing makes my heart skip a beat, I lean toward the issue being with the actress as well.

        She’s young and this is her first drama so I guess it makes sense that all the nuances wouldn’t be there on the first go. I just feel bad. Because Mok Dan is supposed to be the love interest your most rooting for, and I’m just not.

  13. 13 Jilly

    Katsuyama’s scene in Ueno’s room was so awesome. I can’t wait for that fight to really happen.

  14. 14 Maya

    “Whereas Rie’s big concern is to save his life, whether or not he’s hers to have. She has reason enough to hate Mok Dan without her being Kang-to’s sweetheart, but her care for Kang-to encompasses the rival as well. That’s such an awesome turn for Rie.”

    Yes, talking about polar opposite. It’s interesting the parallel of their characters on how they treat their loved ones. At the beginning of the episode, you get to see Rie’s sincerity, who came prepared with cash and the tickets for Mok Dan to flee together with Kang To, while nearing the end we get to see (yet another) Shunji’s jealousy, who threatened to never let Mok Dan be together with Kang To.
    Anyway, when I wait for this episode, I was kinda hoping that this revelation would really shake Shunji, but nothing happens except that the revelation just fueled his hatred even more. And I get that he also feels betrayed by his friend, but how come during that flashback moment he has at the beginning of episode, he only remembers the things that Kang To did wrong? Is he really in denial that his brother has killed his best friend mom? -ok I’ve ranting about this for the last 3 episodes, but I seriously don’t get why Shunji could easily ignored that fact. I just don’t know anymore the kind of situation that would really bring him back to his sense (as in his old self). And I have this uneasy feeling that it’s gonna be Mok Dan’s death esp with Jin Se Young already starting filming for her new drama….

    Btw, I’m so shipping Katsuyama and Rie! :D

    • 14.1 Rashell

      Ohhh that’s my ship too. But I’m afraid it’s a sinking one since like JB mentioned it very much has that Sandglass feel to it. I don’t think one, or even both, will survive in the end. :(

      • 14.1.1 Maya

        :( then maybe we can all group hug when our ship sinks while we’re still on the ship…

        • 14.1.1.1 Rashell

          Yes, we’ll Titanic it together, right?

          • 14.1.1.1.1 Maya

            yup! you jump.. I jump!

          • 14.1.1.1.2 Maya

            uh hang on, I dont mean jumping ship though :D

  15. 15 Star

    Weeks ago I was wondering if this drama will be City Hunter v2 where our hero kills off one enemy at a time. Well it turns out they didn’t. Guess our hero and his allies are going to take them down all at once in the last couple of episodes?

    Anyways, I was holding my breath in the scene of Lala with President Ueno. It was so tense with the samurais ready to draw their swords! A showdown would’ve been so awesome. Perhaps in the last week? It’s too early for Rie to die. Either she’s going to die, or Katsuyama will save her & die. Or they both die. No way both of them are going to make it out alive….

    Anyone else shipping Kangto-Lala more than Kangto-Mok Dan? I find mok dan a little dull … or maybe it’s the actress? I dont know…

    • 15.1 DarknessEyes

      haha i am totally on the KT Lala train too. I missed the KT MD train right about when MD figured out that KT was Gaksital. I expected so much more from her character, and totally did not expect her just to be cool with it. I mean, that guy. Whipped you. Tortured you. Beat you. That’s not something you just get over like that. I was very disappointed with the sudden change and I just feel that ever since then, MD just feels like a necessary tool to keep the plot moving, or Shunji mad. She doesn’t have any depth at all as a character, and is just, as you said boring.

      And plus, i think that not only is the character not that exciting, neither is the actress really interesting. Granted, she is a rookie and it might not be her fault, but her acting is simply not on par with the rest of the leads…

      • 15.1.1 tapioca pearl

        Kang-to also saved her a few times, not to mention the fact that he’s fighting for something she’s passionate about. That, more than anything, is something that would make a person like Mok Dan forgiving. Also, you don’t just push away a badly injured person who’s badly injured because he was saving YOU. That would be mean. And she’d already learned that Kang-to was her young master. And her hate for Kang-to has gradually been shifting to Shunji, so I totally bought her acceptance of Kang-to.

        I do agree that she’s done little since, which is a pity because I do like Mok Dan. I like that she’s a support for Kang-to, but man, do I want her out there training to fight and such. And as much as I love her conviction, I want to see her break under that and struggle to support Kang-to. Stand up for your man’s life! Take Rie’s tickets and run away! That would throw a little depth her way, but of course, take away meaning from the drama as well.

        • 15.1.1.1 beggar1015

          This is also how I feel about Mok Dan’s character. For the last few episodes she’s really done nothing but hang around the hotel, fretting and worrying about other people who are out doing something.

          I had the same rant about Nana’s character towards the end of City Hunter. It’s like once the female protagonist learns the secret identity of the hero, the writers just don’t know what to do with her anymore so they shove her to the back.

          I blame the writers more than the actress. They’re the ones dropping the ball. Give Mok Dan something to do. Have her make some bombs, or eavesdrop on the police, or do some reconnaissance around town. Anything!

      • 15.1.2 X5

        i didn’t see it at first because honestly i was too distracted at finding JSY really pretty (haha). then came the weighty episodes – MD and DS in the torture chamber, KT telling MD he’s the Young Master,etc. it hit me then that may be someone older or senior should’ve been casted bec. there’s certainly a depth in MD’s character that i feel only someone with experience can tap into.

        • 15.1.2.1 delicatecloud

          MD’s character is pretty “one dimensional” – the pure and idealistic persona who believes full heartedly and passionately the independence movement (she is an “indie baby” – brought up in the movement, having to run with her mom when she was very young and search for her father who was then and still is fighting against the occupation/japanese). There is no conflict for her – it is pretty cut and dried. I guess the drama needs this character, like it needs the other characters to make it more complete. I agree that if the character is in the hands of a more exprienced actor the nuances would be more heartwarming and we will “feel” her more. Unfortunately, we are only getting a rather flat, one dimensional potray of the character of MD.

  16. 16 tapioca pearl

    Thanks for the recap!

    (The first few minutes scared me. I’ve watched too much Deadliest Warrior, but I’ve seen what swords like Kinpei’s can do to pig carcasses–so relieved that didn’t happen to our Kang-to!)

    Shunji’s too smart, and that’ll be his downfall. He thinks he’s one step ahead, but he doesn’t realize that his enemies are as well. I love how Rie and Shunji have kind of switched views regarding the Japanese Empire. I kept thinking back to their conversation where Shunji basically scoffed at Japan’s goal to dominate East Asia. Now the tables have turned, with Shunji announcing his allegiance to the Empire (although I’m not sure if he was just saying that to get on Ueno’s good side, but his treatment of Tamao because he’s Korean would support his allegiance) and Rie choosing her heart over Kishokai. I love this reversal, and yes, let Rie live, Drama. Don’t kill her! I so badly want Katsuyama to cut Kinpei down. I’m eagerly anticipating that match-up.

    Poor Tamao. He just wants things back to the way they were :( (So do we, so do we!) I’m glad to see Tasha let him in on their espionage. Finally!

    Why do I suddenly have this nagging, un-going away feeling that Mok Dan will die, what with her promise to go to the end with Kang-to and her pride in being Damsari’s daughter? I want a happy ending for Kang-to (which, I fear, might not happen). But if he gets a happy ending, it’ll only be with Mok Dan. He can’t be alone if he survives this drama. AAAARRGGHH! Just two more weeks…two more weeks…

    • 16.1 kdramapedia

      I agree, Shinji is too smart for his own good. Just because you have all of the pieces doesn’t mean you’ve completed the puzzle.

      Like you said, he thinks he’s one step ahead, when in reality, the other side is also one step ahead, basically making it a level playing field.

      He’s become cocky with all that he thinks he knows (he’s right about Gaksital/Kang-to, yes, but he came to that conclusion in some haphazard ways, not necessarily based on what really happened). And we all know that villains who are overconfident lose in the end.

      • 16.1.1 jellybeaniebaby

        and then I loved the dumb look on KT’s face while holding the mop and bucket when he heard about the BM attacks. Priceless!

        • 16.1.1.1 Maya

          I loved that too! Although admittedly, it’s Shunji’s confused/shocked expression that instantly got me in stitches… :D

  17. 17 muhloy

    all throughout the episodes when everyone was all “ohhh damsari, hot ajusshi!!” i was like ‘really?….him?’

    but once he took off those silly mustaches and beards and was just like….sitting there, clean shaved i was like ‘DAMN DAMSARI! HOT AJUSSHI!’

    • 17.1 Rashell

      Aww I’m so glad you finally sight the light! But that does mean you’re in the back of the line for him. LOL :)

    • 17.2 delicatecloud

      Check him out in “Family Honor” – he was great in that family drama….

  18. 18 ajj

    I’m totally shipping Rie/Katsuyama, but I know they wont have their happy ending. I was really off in my predictions thinking Shunji still has a heart and he didn’t even cry mourning his friendship with BFF. Now I welcome another mind boggler for Shunji,Kang To sure strategizes well.

  19. 19 muhloy

    also i just want to flaaaaaaaaaaten the top of kang to’s hair.

    it’s just still so big!

    • 19.1 muhloy

      and 80s the wave that shunji’s bangs are doing! gah! what is GOING ON with their hair lately?!

  20. 20 chesquared

    Ah I love that scene with Ra Ra, her father and their bodyguards. That was the only stand out scene in this episode.

    This was basically a filler ep, much to my dismay. I was hoping for more angst between Shunji and Kangto. Like putting kangto in the torture chamber, stripped and getting whipped. Hah (would be so hot). But noooo. They continued playing cat and mouse, which left me confused. Like I said in the last ep, Kangto-yah!! Where is the old bad ass Kangto? I miss you. Please come back.

    • 20.1 tapioca pearl

      If Kang-to had been taken in, that would’ve been the end of the drama. ‘Cause the only person who could’ve saved Kang-to is…GAKSITAAAALLL!

      • 20.1.1 chesquared

        I don’t think so. Imo, If he was taken in, Dong Jin, Yang Baek, Damsari would conspire the most epic rescue scene.

        • 20.1.1.1 tapioca pearl

          Ooh, I would love that scenario. But their all-or-nothing mentality might just get them killed in the act.

          • 20.1.1.1.1 chesquared

            True, true. But I can’t help it. Gaksital keeps raising the bars, and then they just drop it flat. I know they are getting somewhere, hopefully, but in a way it’s becoming predictable. They have the same execution each time. I hope it goes back to the awesome, because 3/4 was wonderful, but sometimes the ending and the last EPS can totally ruin the drama

  21. 21 DarknessEyes

    sigh… i feel like they are all going to die in the end. As Javabeans said its obvious that they wont be earning their independence now. And if they dont, the only thing that i can assume is they die..

    well on another, Katsyama was pretty cool in this episode. Within a confrontation between Kishokai and Lala, I was wondering which side he would choose, and i’m happy to see that my suspicions were right. But somehow I really do feel like Katsuyama is going to die at the end trying to protect Lala… and for some reason, that’s the love story that makes me sad the most. And I really think that Ahn Hyung Joon(Katsuyama) is SUCH a good actor. He doesn’t even say anything, and his role is conveyed perfectly. I feel like he is like the best actor in the show after Park Ki Woong and Joo Won.

    as for Mok Dan, i really wish that someone else had been cast. Her acting, while isnt terribly bad, isn’t too great, and for some of the emotional scenes, she’s just sooo BORING.. I literally fast forrward through the KT and MD scenes… On the other hand, KT’s scenes with Lala are always great. Makes me wish that they would have switched characters. But then again I don’t think that Jin Sae Yeon could have handled that role at all… I know she’s a rookie actress and she’s going to improve, but I really wish that they cast a more experienced actor for this role. It would have made the love story between KT and MD just so much more interesting.

    and Park Ki Woong!!! He is just SO amazing. his acting is unbelievable.

    • 21.1 chesquared

      Ever since MoK Dan found out who Kangto was, her character no longer had a purpose, except to raise the men’s testosterone level. It is boring. I think she did have her moments in this show, but her character is such a waste. Not different at all from the typical damsel in distress.

    • 21.2 tapioca pearl

      As we all know, this was a risky project for any actor, so there’s that. Plus, hiring a well-known or experienced actress wouldn’t have allowed room in the budget for other things. So you gotta sacrifice in some areas to achieve bigger things elsewhere. Plus, more experience doesn’t always equal better acting. For example, Joo Won is still pretty early in his career, but he’s out-acted a few actors I’ve seen for years (in my opinion). Not saying that other actresses wouldn’t have done a better job, but what’s done is done.

      And yes, Park Ki-woong is amazing. I want to see a drama where he’s the lead. Correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t think he’s ever done a leading role, which flabbergasts me.

      • 21.2.1 chesquared

        Hahaha. You should see park kiwoong in My Tutor Friend 2. You’s be shocked. But he was really adorable in it. He was the main ^^.

    • 21.3 Rashell

      I just wanted to say that I love and adore Kasuyama, and the man has maybe said 10 words during the entire series. But you absolutely can see that he would lay down his life for Rie in an instant. He ADORES her, and it doesn’t need to be conveyed in words. That is fabulous acting. And it is very much remincient of Lee Jung Jae in Sandglass, although I hope for a different ending for him.

      I also agree about Mok Dan and posted above a similar feeling. I really want to love her, but I can’t engage for some reason. I don’t know if it’s bad acting or just not as interesting of a character as the others.

  22. 22 kbap

    Thank you for the recap! I honestly cannot wait for Tamao to join the movement. It’s great character development for him, who has only been a side character up till now. :)

    • 22.1 DarknessEyes

      watch the next episode…. and then u will cry. T_T

  23. 23 Maggie

    I just realized…. that this drama most likely won’t have a true happy ending since it’s nowhere near the Korean independence, as JB stated. So how will this drama end in a way that makes its viewers very satisfied? I guess that’s what I’m looking forward to… and the journey to it.

    • 23.1 jellybeaniebaby

      I’m wondering about the prospect of a Princess’s Man ending where KT is injured in a way that forces his retirement, but allows him to live on and someone else then puts on the mask.

      Thoughts?

  24. 24 mariel

    While it would break my heart, as a story development I would want the nanny to find out what really happened to her grand daughter, and have her kill Kimura.

    • 24.1 h311ybean

      LOL I didn’t read this before posting my own comment further down. You are not alone!

    • 24.2 pigtookie

      I don’t think they stuck that in there just for the irony…

    • 24.3 Ruru

      Yes, it would be sweet justice to see her go all nannital on Kimura….

      • 24.3.1 mariel

        hahahaha … NANNNNITAAAAAAL!!!

    • 24.4 jellybeaniebaby

      I’m just waiting for SHUNJI to find out about nanny’s granddaughter.

      I suspect the girl might be a little like a niece to him. And he obviously has a deep love for nanny. Then to top it off, his daddy let it happen knowingly. Not good for daddy, methinks.

      • 24.4.1 Ana

        Unfortunately, i don’t think Shunji even cares about Nanny anymore — even if she and Esther were like the one link to his childhood self. Shunji only has eyes for MokDan and not even necessarily for her own well being.

    • 24.5 MsB

      I hope she finds out and poisons Taro with his meal; put him to sleep and slit his throat! Too much?! Nah! That would be a easy death!

  25. 25 Mira

    Thanks for the recap. Another awesome episode. A wonderful thing with this drama is that so many characters are interesting, not only the hero ! I love all the scenes with Rie in this episode. I also have a feeling that “something” will happen to Mok Dan soon… This is the second time in the drama she repeats to Kang-to that she will be with him until the well…I prefer Kang-to with Rie but i know my hero only loves Mok Dan and it will break my heart if he loses again someone he loves :(…

  26. 26 saranga

    i really, really want to watch this drama. i’ve been following recaps since the first episode. but i wouldn’t be able to handle all the violence. the blood, gore, whips, nail boxes of death… just reading reduces me into a mess of nerves.

  27. 27 crazedlu

    loved the moments you chose as your fave. they were mine too. 23 down, 5 more to go. scared but excited for the end!

  28. 28 h311ybean

    Thanks for the recap! I love that Tamao now gets a shot at doing something truly substantial with his life. I also hope there’s some follow-through with the cracks in the Countess’ facade, because her and the count’s fawning over the Japanese was one of the most boring parts of this drama.

    It is probably too much to wish that Nanny finds out about her granddaughter’s fate and kills Kimura :p

    • 28.1 jellybeaniebaby

      What if Shunji kills Kimura for her?

      • 28.1.1 Ana

        Not going to happen. Shunji pretty much has severed ties with all things Korean — except for Mokdan — starting with this episode.

        Earlier Shunji didn’t care about power and success, but now I think he does… even if he won’t admit it. And he doesn’t even love MD for real. It’s just selfish/territorial/jealous kind of love like Javabeans said. Shunji — he hasn’t Japanese background — he has only used his Japanese identity as an excuse to descend into his dark side.

        There are good Japanese people everywhere as well as bad (though the show has yet to at least show one good character, with the exception of Shunji in ep1-6). People sometimes just choose to do bad deeds, no matter where they come from, because they are driven by extreme circumstances and/or have no choice. On the other hand, Damsari/DongJin/YangBaek — their actions aren’t really heroic (mostly violent), but they are good, kind people even in spite of what they do for a living. But foreigners (mostly Japanese) — never mind why their goals are — might see them as just evil because of how their organization operates and what they are prepared to do to take what they want.
        It’s all about perception.

        Yeah, bottom line — Shunji we used to know died in episode 12 after he whipped Mokdan. He is gone for good.

  29. 29 Seorori

    Thank you for the recap.
    So far it’s been a great ride for me. Hope it ends well. :)

  30. 30 KK

    Love that end scene! How Kang-to tried his *cough*best*cough* to attack ‘Gaksital’!! I also love how he faked to be knocked out XD

    • 30.1 MsB

      I don’t think it was fake; I think they planned it that way.

  31. 31 dany

    This story is so good and the actors are so talented too, this is perfect
    I had a dilemma last night, watching Arang or Gaksital first? They are both so damn good.

  32. 32 Joanne

    some hilarious stuff on this facebook page for gaksital in case anyone is interested: http://www.facebook.com/bridalmaskdrama

    Thanks for the recap!

  33. 33 tortoise

    ugh. rie, you’re seriously my favorite and i hate that you can’t have your happy lovey scenes cause kangto is mokdan’s and yadda.
    but dangit, i love katsuyama in this drama too. he hasn’t said a word but his eyes. ugh.ugh.ugh.
    i’m curious as to how shunji’s gonna go with this now. the last thing i wanna see is kangto in the interrogation room.

  34. 34 b1

    Of all the love teams — it seems that REI <3 KATSUYAMA is really winning this time .. lol screwed the main couples if we got this hot pairing ..

    and again DAMSARI is hawwwt ^______^

  35. 35 Farpavilions

    “Nationalism actually has a degrading effect in Shunji’s love; it goes from a pure adoration to this ugly, violent desire to claim.”

    Brilliant.

    And the reason why like so many others I’m part of the Dramabeans fandom: you just pulled a lit crit move and elevated a really, really good drama into a universal insight. Love!

    • 35.1 chichiri

      You and me both :)

    • 35.2 dramabliss

      Me three!

  36. 36 pigtookie

    awesome. kang to and shunji’s dynamic has been kicked up a meaningful notch now that shunji is calmly assessing kang to’s every move. and while that remains the most interesting relationship onscreen, i love that the side characters tamao, rie, even katsuyama are interesting. it’s no longer just about kang to and mok dan’s fellow rebels, there’s the emerging rebellion taking definite steps and side characters begin to switch ships, which could be useful since some of them haven’t completely been written off by kishokai as “rivals,” though they aren’t trusted either. i’m waiting for kye soon the spy to do something like give shunji false information because she’s consistently been helpful to him. and shunji changing ship would be the trumping satisfying card, though i question if shunji will stick to his conviction that kang to is his greatest enemy. he’s fallen beyond any hope of return… or is he? i’d have forgotten about the sweet teacher if there weren’t videos/recaps of old episodes.

  37. 37 faranak

    thank you so much javabeans for recao, i love joo won he is a great actor :) ;)

  38. 38 edge

    thank you~~ ^^
    joowon is best! :D
    katsuyama is second best! :D
    and shunji is the worst! D; so evil- how could such a mean devil rip out of an innocent elementary school teacher?! ><

  39. 39 Lise

    Hadn’t watched this ep but when i read ur intro i figured i didnt have the heart to watch it without losing my mind! Wow! Just wow! I’ve started doing the body count cuz i think from here on out, people be starting to drop one by one, but pls leave Kang To for last, thats all i ask dramagods!

  40. 40 Yuhotarubi

    I am speechless, I have no idea how this show is going to end or where its taking us, and I’m loving it even more like this.

    I like what Rie did the most, I’m very glad that she’s changing and that she accepted the fact that she can’t kill Kang-to and that he can’t love her, on the other hand, Mok Dan, I want her to try and lift a gun at shunji and tell him why she will never love him or how she’s sad at his transformatio or maybe how she wishes he would come back to his old self, that’ll make me love her a lot.

    the Kang-to vs Shunji rivalry is really compelling, I love every minute of it

    I think at the end either Shunji or Rie will commit suicide, those are just my thoughts to avoid thinking that Kang-to is going to die u_u

    Anyway , thnx for the great recap Javabeans, I’ll be waiting for Girlfriday’s recap tomorrow!!!

    P.S: please Gaksital writers let Rie and Katsuyama live happily ever after Y_Y

  41. 41 Village Mrembo

    Now that Rie-Katsuyama shippers are popping up everywhere here’s a few more…village hothead-circus girl(the cute one in love with Shunji), Tamao-glitter madame, Koiso-circus mole(they deserve each other he he!) and somebody get Abe a girl, hes so lonely without his master!

    • 41.1 MsB

      Poor Abe, he deserves a girl for being so loyal to KT! Now if he dies, there will a slew of gnashing of the teeth and crying here on DB!

  42. 42 deedee

    i LOVE the scene when shunji is telling kang-to about how mok dan is the connecting factor amongst the three men. the way that the camera pans right in front of their faces, as if you’re watching them, is such a wonderful touch. and kang-to’s expression is priceless–he’s suspicious and catching on!

  43. 43 Cindy

    THANKS FOR THE RECAPS!!!

    p.s Is it just me, or is Kang-to’s fringe getting combed higher and higher with each episode XD

  44. 44 chula

    Katsuyama is the new Yi Saeng (Hwang Jin Yi’s bodyguard).

  45. 45 Rui

    No matter what I think MD does nothing. All she does is make things worse.

    Shunji is already like that and instead of making him calm MD has to piss him off more. Girl, you are so stupid!

    I really wished MD could do more than follow KT around and piss off Shunji.

  46. 46 katiamon

    Yes Shunji boy, burn with uncertainly! muahaha
    I love this show so much! it’s sad that there are few episodes left :S
    thanks for the recap :)

  47. 47 Hi

    whoa, this episode was one of the mind-bending ones for shunji! kangto really confused him with the gaksital thing.

  48. 48 Sho

    It’s very interesting to see the development for Katsuyama and Tamao now. With 5 Episodes to go, I think it is about the right time, they had a story development as it will or should perfectly make some good ending for Gaksital in 3 weeks.

    *Well I guess we kinda knew with Katsuyama’s relation with Rie but who would have thought he would try and protect her against Super Assassin Kinpei when she was brought to her dad.

    • 48.1 Maya

      If I put his love for her out of the equation, I would think that maybe when Katsuyama was assigned as Rie’s bodyguard, he sorta became one package with her (okay weird analogy, but dunno how else I can convey that), and his only task/job is protect her. So if Ueno really carries out the order to kill her one day, he would still have to protect her, even if it means going against Kishokai.

    • 48.2 beggar1015

      Ooh, what if Bossman Ueno orders Katsuyama to be the one to kill Rie?

  49. 49 jb

    when will we ever get a cliffhanger that doesnt leave kang-to unconscious?

  50. 50 Andy

    I dunno…

    I think we were all expecting Kang-To to use a decoy gakstial card earlier in the series to avoid suspicion (using the old family retainer for the trick). Seems a bit useless now. Shunji knows Kang-To is Gaksital..or at least one of many. What does it matter how many Gaksital there are… Shunji is trying to stop a movement, not just a man.

    As for Mok Dan….I’m starting to be convinced by the detractors. I wish she would show more emotion/anger, especially when Shunji is talking about loving her. His actions are repugnant…MD shouldn’t be so reserved. Her acting out or not doesn’t protect anyone she loves anyway… I hope the writers have something spectacular for MD before it’s all said and done.

    • 50.1 MsB

      Yeah, what’s ahjussi been doing? I never understood why he was never there to protect KT at all times! He always was there for KS when he was Gaksital!

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