Rating:
Average user rating 4.7
194

Gaksital: Episode 24

This show takes dark to some new heights. Is there a black blacker than black? A black hole of evil so dark that it makes you question whether your eyes are open or closed? I can’t promise happy things. But you will be moved. To what end, I can’t even say. Plot-wise, it’s an episode that sets up stuff for the future, but character-wise, we get some gut-wrenching turns, including a glimpse into the mind of our villain. Hint: It’s not pretty in there.

 
EPISODE 24 RECAP

The simultaneous attacks on government offices are in full swing by the time the police catch up to the last comrade dressed as Gaksital, and Shunji captures one the death squad soldier—Village Hothead—and returns to the fray just in time to see Gaksital knock Kang-to out.

In the aftermath, Shunji ices the back of Kang-to’s head back at the station, saying (outwardly): “Are you okay?” and (inwardly): “You son of a bitch.” Shunji does secretly surly so well.

He asks Kang-to why Gaksital is suddenly a group of people and not just one. He wonders to himself: Have you figured out that I’ve unmasked you?

Kang-to says it’s been this way all along—that Gaksital is not one man, but an organized syndicate. Shunji disagrees: “No, the one who killed my hyung, the real one, is just one man.” He says it with laser beams burning from his eyes.

Kang-to asks to interrogate Village Hothead himself, saying that he’s pretty sure this is the guy who killed his mom and brother. He just didn’t have the evidence, but doesn’t want to lose this opportunity.

Shunji agrees and watches curiously, as Kang-to kicks and beats Village Hothead in a fury, screaming in a rage that he killed his family. The man admits to setting the house on fire, a little triumphantly at that, but insists he killed no one.

Shunji deduces from the show that Kang-to doesn’t know that Shunji has unmasked him after all, and walks away, confident with that assessment. Damn.

Kang-to pulls Hothead up into a chair and asks where Dong-jin is. He shouts back a mantra: “No Name, No Trace, No Mission!” You do not give up who you are, where you’ve been, or what you’re doing—it’s what they learned from Teacher Dong-jin. Impressive.

Kang-to asks if he’s willing to be tortured and die. Village Hothead: “It’s to recover our country. How can it be done without being willing to die?”

Kang-to turns to his fellow officer in the room and says this man likely killed his family—he might take the torture a bit far and accidentally kill him. Is he okay being witness to that (and therefore partially responsible)? Takeda scrams pretty quickly.

Once they’re alone, Kang-to takes out the “Solidarity” note from Yang Baek. “Thanks to you, I was able to show this to Teacher Dong-jin.”

Cue biggest shockface ever. “What?!” He starts to put it together… Gaksital? Aaaah, so great. We can see his brain exploding in real time: Lee Kang-to… is Gaksital?!

Kang-to just barrels ahead and asks if he can help him, Yang Baek, and Dong-jin. But Hothead is still reeling: “Waitaminute…” He asks if they met each other before going to see Dong-jin.

Kang-to not only tells him where, but what he said—that he loved Gaksital, that he didn’t know if it was a dream. Mind. Blown. I love this!

Kang-to literally has to slap him out of it to say there isn’t much time. They have to disrupt the investigation if they’re going to be of help to the others. This is a Gaksital fanboy’s dream. He gets to help his hero?

He says that Shunji will torture him for information on the death squads… and he has to act like he breaks and give them false leads. Kang-to warns, “Kimura Shunji must believe you.” *shudder* I’m so scared for you…

Shunji marches in and notes with alarm that Takeda is standing outside the interrogation room. He bursts in to find Kang-to strangling the man and screaming that he killed his family. Phew. Shunji orders him moved to the torture room, and holds Kang-to back. He’ll handle this.

Governor Wada rips everyone a new one for the latest Gaksital attacks, and fears what’ll happen if all the Koreans rise up in revolt. Murayama says they should just kill them all to keep that from happening.

Kimura disagrees entirely—they should be put on the front lines of battle, and die serving the Empire. So basically, Murayama is for genocide while Kimura is for indentured servitude and humans as war supplies. Gee guys, you sure do make it hard to pick a side.

Governor Wada agrees with Kimura and plans to go ahead with drafting Koreans into the army, which leaves Murayama stammering in disbelief. They realize they can’t force them to fight for Japan, so they’ll work on propaganda—like popularizing a term for the citizenry that doesn’t distinguish between race (effectively wiping out the idea that they are Korean), and focuses on being people of one Empire.

Teacher Yang Baek says their next move is to warn the Joseon people not to put their names on any new registries, and Mok Dan volunteers the circus to spread the word. Their plan is to keep Koreans from ending up as bullet-shields on the front lines, and instead recruit them to be trained by the Dong-jin squads in secret.

The biggest need then, is capital—they have to find a way to fund their operation if they’re going to succeed on a large scale. Tasha suggests the empire’s defense funds.

The count and countess get a grand ceremony in honor of the plane they’ve donated to the army, and the governor assures them the day has come when Koreans will be duly rewarded for their patriotism, and share in the empire’s prosperity. They applaud, thinking their choice has finally paid off.

Torture room. Shunji hot-pokers Village Hothead with this utterly bored and indifferent look on his face, even as the guy screams and screams in pain. He asks, barely lifting an eyelid, “Why did you start the fire?”

At first I think he means Kang-to’s house, but it must be the government offices he’s asking about, because I can’t fathom why he’d care about Kang-to’s house burning down at this point.

The smoke circles around him as his clothes and skin burn. And then as he screams, the image changes to Kang-to, strung up and being tortured in his place.

Ohhhhhhh, is this what Shunji is envisioning? That is just… wow, well-played, Show. I’m pretty sure I never want to be in Shunji’s head ever again, but that was brilliant.

Kang-to screeeeams in pain as the smoke from his burning skin sears his eyes. Shunji’s eyes change to hate as he envisions Kang-to looking back at him. *shiver*

And then we switch back to Village Hothead, who finally breaks, “I’ll talk, I’ll talk…”

He says he doesn’t know where Dong-jin’s headquarters are, but he does know that the big plan with Yang Baek is to blow up the government general—Wada’s central headquarters.

Kang-to waits nervously and Shunji calls him to the torture room… just so he can show off what a good job he did in torturing the guy. He says he got no useful information from him, but Kang-to ought to be satisfied that he caused a bunch of pain.

He orders Takeda to move him to holding, and Kang-to cringes at the burn marks. But Village Hothead just gives him a smile, indicating that he’s succeeded with his mission.

Shunji reports to Kishokai and Dad backs up the believability of the information—Damsari failed in an attack on the government general not long ago, so now Yang Baek and Dong-jin must be planning a large-scale attack, to blow the entire building to the ground. Ueno orders them to guard the building carefully.

They cross paths with Rie on their way out and Shunji stops her with a hand to her wrist, and drags her into a room. He asks if she remembers when he called her a pathetic woman, and says he didn’t know then just how pathetic she really was.

He calls her out on her bald-faced lies, saying he had no idea how childish she was, insinuating that he was blinded by his love for a Korean woman when she herself has been in love with a Korean man.

He taunts her for how difficult it must have been when he accused Kang-to of being Gaksital. “You derided me for loving Oh Mok Dan, and you love a Korean? Do you think that bastard can protect you?!”

She reels and he takes a step closer, “If you need a place to run to, come to me. I’ll take you in.” Why so creepy, Shunji?

That’s enough to break her silence. She scoffs, “Kimura Shunji, what the hell are you that you’d take ME in? You arrogant little… I am Ueno Rie. Ueno Rie!” Her entire body shakes as she says her name.

He just looks at her like a pitiful little thing and says he didn’t know just what a weak woman she was and walks out, leaving her trembling in rage and fear. Okay, Shunji wins that round.

Kang-to gets on the streetcar and sits down next to Mok Dan. He takes her hand again, but this time it’s to pass along a note. Well, I suppose if you’re going to just willy-nilly hold hands in public, might as well get some spy mileage out of it.

Mok Dan gives him the note and gets off, and sees an officer on Kang-to’s tail, about to get on. She blocks his path and pretends to be happy to see him, asking after Abe and saying the circus is well… just long enough for the streetcar to leave without him. Nice move. Can you be like this all the time? This time Kang-to sees the guy on his tail.

Dong-jin gives his men a rousing speech: “We may have lost our country, but we did not give them our hearts!” They vow to be seeds until the day of independence, and he leads them in a roaring chant: “Our home! The strength of unity! Our home! The strength of unity!”

You can see how this man raises armies, fuels an entire movement.

Gaksital rides into the camp and once alone with Dong-jin and Reporter Song, Kang-to takes off the mask. Song thanks him for saving his life, calling him comrade. He’s here to deliver a letter from Yang Baek.

In it, Yang Baek offers all of his support for Dong-jin to raise an army, with the goal of stopping Japan from drafting Korean soldiers, and in planning for the second manseh movement. The first thing they need to do is raise money, and he offers everything he has to back Dong-jin.

Kang-to tells them about Village Hothead and the false information they fed to the police. Dong-jin asks why they leaked false info. What, sir, do you not watch any movies?

Kang-to explains that there’s a giant load o’ money headed to Kyungsung because the government is collecting funds to shore up their military defense. Dong-jin says that’s the very thing they need—if they can intercept that money, they can fund their mission.

Kang-to says that security will be extremely tight when the funds arrive by train… but he plans to leak the information that the bombing on the government general is set to happen that very same day, diverting all their attention that way.

Dong-jin thanks him with a handshake and a huge smile. Aw, he got a smile! From the gruff general! I don’t know why but that feels so hard-earned and worth it. Dong-jin says he’ll just trust in Kang-to.

Shunji reports to governor Wada that the last time there was an attack on this building, Damsari used the police’s own weapons against them. That’s news to him and he demands to know who’s responsible. Kimura, the man who let Damsari slip through his fingers that day, has the gall to blame it on Kono.

Wada wants to call in the military to defend the building, but Murayama insists that the police can handle it. Wada asks Shunji if he can find out when the attack is set to happen. Well funny you should ask…

Kang-to comes into the holding area with package in hand. He gets to Village Hothead’s cell and calls out, “Hey, Kim Deuk-soo!” Great scott, he has a name! Look at that!

Deuk-soo shouts back, calling Kang-to a mutt, and Kang-to taunts him with rice cakes that his mother pleaded with him to deliver. He hands one to Takeda who’s standing guard, and the other to Deuk-soo, who scrambles to the corner to open it.

Inside the newspaper wrapping he finds rice cakes and a tiny note, instructing him that they’ll ask when the attack will take place, and he should ask to be released so he can be their informant and find out. Deuk-soo takes a bite with the note and swallows it whole. Nice.

Shunji calls him out to feed him, and asks the expected question. Deuk-soo says he’ll find out if they let him go, and Shunji wonders if the death squad won’t suspect him. But Deuk-soo says that’s not how it works—Dong-jin communicates with each comrade directly, so no one knows who the others are.

That’s convincing enough for Shunji, who agrees to let him loose, and warns him not to try anything stupid. Deuk-soo in turn asks him to do something about Lee Kang-to, and swears he didn’t kill his family. Shunji tells him not to worry about Kang-to.

Abe starts a donation box for the movement to recruit volunteer troops (the same money collected across the country that the independence is planning to take), and asks that they all give their support.

Koiso sneers, but Kang-to drops some money in and tells Koiso he should donate; didn’t he get a raise with that promotion? Touché. Abe runs over to Shunji and asks him to give too, saying that so far Kang-to’s the only one.

Shunji looks over at Kang-to with the most derisive look and throws some money in too. And then he calls the officer tasked with tailing Kang-to into his office. Kang-to, please be suspicious!

Shunji asks where Kang-to went, and the guy meekly says he followed him to the streetcar… but got cut off my Mok Dan. Shunji fumes and has Kye-soon brought in for questioning.

He sits calmly in the torture room and asks if Mok Dan has been meeting Kang-to lately. Stammering, Kye-soon says no. He growls, “Again.” She shakes even more, but gives the same answer. He says, “Again,” growing more and more terrifying each time.

She gives the same answer, and then he finally breaks into a rage, screaming that something like her dare lie to him, and throws her head into a tub of water.

“It’s not enough to have those two fooling me, but you’re lying to me too?!” You’re seriously starting to scare me more than I thought possible.

He drowns her again, his face breaking into this horrifying grimace as he thinks back to Mok Dan, and how she swore she didn’t know who Gaksital was, but was on his side because he was Joseon’s hero, who saved her father twice.

He screams this horrifying, ugly rage, as Kye-soon splashes and struggles for her life. I’m seriously scared he’ll kill her, and in Mok Dan’s place at that.

He finally lifts her up out of the water and she gasps for her breath. And then he raises his gun…

“You saw me kill Dong-nyun, didn’t you?” Her entire body shakes. He cocks the gun and presses it to her temple. This is scaring me shitless. It’s worse than anything he’s done before—it’s brutality, power, misogyny—the ugliest we’ve ever seen him.

“Do you want me to kill you too? Shall I kill you?” He phrases it like he’d be doing her the favor. He uses the barrel of the gun to gently sweep the hair out of her face, which is possibly the creepiest thing ever. “If you lie to me again…” and tells her to watch Mok Dan carefully.

As if that weren’t bad enough, he leaves Koiso alone in the room with her to leer and try to touch her. She pushes him away and runs out, and I finally get to let out a giant sigh of relief. Please, skip town. I hated you, but nobody deserves that. No one. Please be safe.

Mok Dan hands out stacks of Yang Baek’s solidarity notes to her circus friends to help spread the word for people not to sign any new registers with the government, and to let them know Teacher Yang Baek is in country.

Shin Nanda bursts in worried about Kye-soon—he’s never seen her this way before. Mok Dan goes to check on her, and finds her sobbing in bed. She asks what happened, and Kye-soon cries that she’s scared for her life.

She confesses that she became an informant because of the money. She has nine people to feed at home, and just did it because it was easy money. But now… now she’s scared she’ll probably die, and then who’ll feed her family?

Mok Dan calms her down and asks her to tell her everything, from the beginning…

I can guarantee you don’t want to know. Though to Mok Dan’s credit, the first thing she does after Kye-soon tells her the terrifying tale is head straight over to the station, to confront the bastard herself.

She braces herself and we flashback to Kye-soon recounting Shunji’s words that it’s not enough that the “two of them” were fooling him, but her too. OH. Does this mean she’ll know first—that Shunji knows who Gaksital is? Man, I didn’t even think of that!

She marches into the station, which throws Kang-to for a loop. Even more so when she asks to see Shunji, with no explanation. He takes her to Shunji’s office and then leaves them, watching through the window with worried eyes.

She tells Shunji to stop getting Kye-soon to tail her—and in exchange she won’t go anywhere, and she’ll try to accept his feelings. What? Don’t do that! I know you don’t mean it for real, but even the illusion of him getting what he wants through that disgusting display makes me furious!

He looks at her in surprise, and then challenges her by taking a step closer with his arms outstretched. She instinctively shrinks back in disgust. Okay, that’s more like it. Even Shunji knows she’s lying.

But then she asks him to close the blinds, which he does while staring out at Kang-to. That of course leaves Kang-to reeling in panic.

And then Shunji has the nerve to say that he’s having a crazy hard time, barely hanging on. To your sanity? Or your soul? ‘Cause I think those ships have sailed, my friend.

He reminds her of what he swore—that if she were hiding something from him, he’d uncover it and destroy everything—”Do you remember? The anticipation of what face you’ll wear in that instant… is the only thing that keeps me going.”

That confirms it for her, and she thinks to herself that he knows that Kang-to is Gaksital. He tells her to leave and stop coming here, and I’m just screaming at her to get the hell out before he changes his mind.

She walks past Kang-to without a look or a word, and Shunji peers out from behind his creepy-ass blinds. He and Kang-to exchange an awesome stare-down.

Tamao pours himself a drink and Tasha comes in the room and tosses today’s paper on the table, featuring his parents, and their generous gift of a plane to the military. She apologizes: “I never loved you.”

He laughs, already having guessed the truth—that she pretended to love him for information, like his father’s schedule. He chuckles that Dad is still obsessed with how Damsari ever found out his travel plans to insert himself into the count’s inner circle. Ah, so Tasha was the one who provided that info.

She thanks him and he tosses back this childish smile that kills me. He’s trying so hard to cover up his hurt. He asks now what she meant by the words that he’s “someone they don’t need to worry about.”

Tasha: “Because you’re someone who won’t do anything.” Ouuuuuuuch. Ow, that hurts my heart. Poor Tamao. Just when you’re hoping that someone will give him a chance. She meant literally that he wouldn’t ever get off his ass to do anything in life.

He takes it in while letting out a long breath, like a deflating balloon. Voice shaking, he says, “I have a conscience too.” He says sometimes it hurts him more than a toothache, and she says she’s happy to hear it.

She points out how much his parents have taken from the people and given to Japan, and suggests bitterly that they ought to donate some planes to their side too. He’s on the verge of tears but fights them back and puts on his sarcastic façade, asking if she’s short on cash these days, and empties out his wallet on the table and walks out.

Aw, somebody hug him. Also, I really hope this actor gets more work. He’s doing an amazing job.

He stumbles home drunk and passed out, making Dad cluck in worry, calling him by his Korean name, Hae-seok. Mom and Dad discuss plans for his future, and Mom says first priority is getting him into Kishokai.

She plans to collect the donation funds collected from around the country and hand them over to Chairman Ueno to earn some brownie points. She figures if it all ends up being used for the military, what’s the difference?

They celebrate, and then Tamao opens his eyes, having heard it all. Yes! Please, do something!

Tasha gets a phone call—it’s Tamao, who feeds her the information. Awesome. She thanks him, and calls Mok Dan, who then calls Kang-to at the station.

She tells him that the military donation money will be handed over to Kishokai at the gisaeng house tomorrow night at eight. She adds that she thinks Shunji knows that he’s Gaksital, repeating what he said to Kye-soon.

Kang-to says he understands and then asks for a favor. She passes a note (the time and place of the money hand-off) to Deok-soo, so he can match his story. He comes to inform Shunji that the bombing is scheduled for tonight at eight.

Shunji sees Kang-to and thinks to himself that Gaksital must know what Yang Baek and Dong-jin are planning too, and that perhaps they’ll meet tonight.

Not to be outdone, Kang-to throws down his own interior monologue challenge: “Kimura Shunji, have you finally discovered who I am? Let’s see who wins tonight. Shall we begin?”

Kishokai holds a ceremony that night to induct two new members: Reporter Park, and Tamao. OOH, do the good guys now have an informant on the inside?

Shunji takes his men to the government general, while Kang-to and his comrades run toward the gisaeng house.

The countess arrives with the military defense donation money, and hands it off to Chairman Ueno. At the same time, Tamao quietly slips away. A few minutes later, a note gets slipped to the count.

Tamao writes to his father that the money will end up going to the Independence. We cut to him in another room of the gisaeng house… staring down at a gun. NO!

The letter continues: “I was ashamed to be born your son…” He cocks the gun. “…But I love you, Father.”

He raises the gun to his temple. “Please forgive me, for lacking the courage, for only knowing to handle it this way…” Ohgodohgod, don’t do it!

Dad reads the letter, trembling, and then the shot rings out, making him jump.

I… can’t… believe it…

Dad screams his name, “Hae-seok-ah! Hae-seok-ah!” and gets up, but then a familiar dagger lands right in front of him. It’s Gaksital!

He stares right at Ueno, who waves his assassin to get to work. Crud.

The two (only two?) comrades who came with him burst through the side to steal the bag of money, and Rie and Katsuyama run after them. They surround the pair with swords at the ready, and Comrade Ahn battles Katsuyama unarmed. People! Weapons!

At least the lady has sticks, though against Rie’s sword, I’m a little concerned.

And outside, Gaksital runs and runs, drawing Scary Assassin Kinpei away from the fray. And then… he stops. Ah, WHY?

He turns. Kinpei draws his sword and points it at Kang-to, with a murderous gleam in his eye.

Oh. Crap.

 
COMMENTS

Okay, that’s an effective cliffhanger for me, ’cause that guy scares the beans outta me. Though compared to last week, of course, it packs less of a punch—it’s hard to compete with the outing of the secret identity.

I… still can’t believe that Tamao killed himself. I loved him so. He was so pathetic, but had so much room to grow, change, make up for who he had been. His loneliness was already at the brink, and then to be told by Tasha that she never loved him, that her expectations for him amounted to zero? I know it broke his heart, but I hoped that it would trigger a change in him to try and make something of himself. Why wasn’t there anyone to tell him that he wasn’t his parents, and that he could’ve made it right? What a terrible, tragic, waste of a young life.

I was so looking forward to his transformation, and he’s been building up to such an interesting conflicted character. It made it all the more heartbreaking to think he was on the path to redemption, and then have him give up like that? AUGH. Such sadness. I have to say, I wouldn’t have cared nearly as much if it wasn’t for Choi Dae-hoon’s performance. He had those perfect tiny nuances of vulnerability, shame, loneliness, and all under this big bravado and devil-may-care attitude. Many of the side characters are one-note and just functional, but he did amazing things with such a small part.

And then SHUNJI, aaaaack, his torture of Kye-soon crossed a line that blew me away. I’m still kind of reeling from it. It’s been building with him over time—the way he began to treat Mok Dan like a possession he had to have, the way he creepily invaded her personal space all the time, the way he talked down to Rie when even his father would bow to her. And yes, he’s already snapped, tortured so many independence agents, and even Mok Dan. But that was for information, because they were soldiers on the opposite side. It was still horrific, but felt different.

But Kye-soon is not a soldier—she’s just a girl. She has no cause, no allegiances. She’s in fact on his side, as long as he pays her. And he tortured her for kicks. To get his rage out. To punish her in Mok Dan’s stead. That… is so powerfully… so hugely… WRONG. Just wrong. I would almost applaud the show for taking him so dark, if I wasn’t so horrified by it. I wasn’t planning to forgive him before or anything, but now I might be dissatisfied if Kang-to shows him mercy in the end. I don’t need his redemption. I don’t even want it.

I am glad that Shunji’s one weakness—Mok Dan—proved to be useful and that she could use it to figure out what Shunji knows about Gaksital. They glean that one major bit of information from Kye-soon that changes things, so I’m glad that at least Kang-to knows the score. I do think it was great to put us in Shunji’s head and show us Kang-to being tortured in Deok-soo’s place. It’s a way to get at Shunji’s feelings about the betrayal in a way that’s simple and direct, but doesn’t need them to out each other’s secrets. That’s a face-off I’m dying to see, and now that we’re barreling toward the end of the series, I feel like a kid waiting for Santa. Want. Epic. Battle. Now.

 
RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , ,

194

Required fields are marked *

thank you for this drama ~cry with joo woo ^^

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think Shunji finally feels some sympathy for Rie! He's the only one who knows how fragile and weak she is and what it is like to be a dark person loving their adversary.
For the first time, I hope that the emotion grow to be a love. That could be a kind of love, comparing to his feeling to MD which is creepy attachment.

0
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Sad to say, but I don't think it's sympathy that he's feeling. u___u

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think it's more pity than anything. If this happened earlier in the drama I'd be questioning how their relationship would progress, but since it's happening close to the end there is little to no time for his character to develop any feelings for her other than pity.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

He sees himself superior to her because he is a true Japanese. Earlier he just found out that 1) the president doesn't care for her as much and 2) her And then he scoffed and walked out after she tried to assert herself as the Japanese Ueno Rie.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

*2) he knows she is actually Korean.

Actually I do get what you mean by sympathize. I think you mean he pities her to the point of "Oh, poor you. You're not Japanese after all. You just pretend to be, yet you love Lee KangTo, hence you're weak, etc." But not for a second does he actually care or feel her anguish of loving someone who doesn't love her back. Too selfish for that, the bastard.

For a second there, I almost felt like he was almost propositioning her by feeding her the "Come to me if you need someone" line.
Totally tried (and succeeded?) to make her feel like a worthless gisaeng :( :( :(
I hope KangTo does save her. She needs some saving right now -- but not by or from Shunji. Eugh.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

SYMPATHY! Did we watch the same episode?!! I'm just saying!!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

WHY GIRLFRIDAY WHY ???? WHY did you put Kang-to's picture being torturd in the top ???? I was so scared that it might've actually happenned T___T

Shunji, I hope the opne who kills you is Mok Dan, that's how I want it, she hoots you while Kang-To standing by her side , cause to me you are far far away from redemption. but I applaud the writers for making Shunji's character so amazing to hate, and of course Park Ki Wong's acting is amazing, he deserves an award for making me that scared.

Tamao, I was really sad, why did he kill himself ??? I actually thought that he's going to join in independence movement and help Kang-to and the others, and find his way of life as a korean not, ok maybe he didn't really kill himself, maybe someone came and stoped and the bullet went elswhere ( me keeping the bits of hope )

this episode was amazing, and I like that mokdan was smart eneough to find out that Shunji knows about Kang-to

waithing for episode 25 is oing to be torturing as always, but I'll just berepeating every episode of this week until then

THnx girlfriday for the recap !!!!!

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Same here. Thought for sure Shunji was going to torture Kangto and was getting torture weapons ready to go after Shunji.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I understand where Tasha is coming from and she's totally right, but Im kind of hating the girl right now. Couldn't she see that Tamao was breaking? Yeah I know she has more things to worry about like a REVOLUTION..but right now all I'm seeing is Tamao's heartbreak and loneliness. Poor boy had nobody to turn to. BTW why didn't he go find Kangto? Weren't these two friends? I wanted at least one scene with them together. GRRRRRRRRR I both love and hate Gaksital's pacing. I just feel like Konno's and Tamao's deaths were a little too rushed.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Don't kill me for this, but I kind of wish that the new girl Comrade played the role of Mokdan. She's more of an equal match for Rie, and she seems more badass. Am I the only not convinced by Mokdan's attempt to be badass? The girl can't even look over her shoulder and notice somebody is following her. And I want Kangto to go back to being 10 steps ahead of everybody else. Boy can't keep his hormones in check and is making sloppy mistakes. Shunji, just die. And I hope that Tamao has the same shooting skills as Shunji and missed because seriously I was waiting for him to join the cause with Kangto. What happened to their bromance?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

You're definitely NOT the only one grieving from the loss of Hae-Seok. So sad and am totally hoping that he's not dead... and that at the last minute he couldn't shoot himself and he just heard a gunshot but that he's still alive.... ohhhhh, I really wish this was the truth. THIS EP was so dark, it could already be the death of me. But I totally understand the writers for doing that to the character.. so people just can't find the way to redemption and that they are not courageous enough... this gives us a glimpse of their 'dying' heart and soul... it's just sooo tragic. I am still mourning.

And kudos to our awesome minor characters. They were sooo good and they made a good setup from this ep. I mean love Village Hothead, who's Mr. Kim... turning out to be Gaksital's sidekick. I also have come to understand Gye Soon and her circumstances.. Rie and her fear and love..

Oh just so many goodies from this ep. Gaksital is one of the most satisfying dramas indeed. Kudos Show.

GF, thank you and Javabeans for faithfully recapping and sharing your thoughts for every ep. I deeply appreciate and love every single recap. More power!

And oh Shunji, Shunji-the-teacher-I-used-to-love, ooooh I have to agree... full redemption is not what you deserve at this point. My heart bleeds for you. Did you really bury your good heart? ooooh...
I still love the actor so I might rewatch Story of a Man/Slingshot just to remind me that Park Ki-woong is not Shunji.

Epic battle, come soon! I'll be a good girl and will patiently wait for you~~

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Still over here in my little corner, where I still don't like Faith, and now I boldly admit - I never really cared for Tamao one way or the other. He was such a minor character, I won't miss him at all. Then again, remember: No Body, No Death. We just heard the shot. We didn't see Tamao's corpse.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Really hoping Tamaos "suicide" was just a fake out, for a symbolism to show that, the old Tamao is dead, and a new transformed Tamao will now show up.

*as in he shot the gun, but he shot it to the ceiling or somewhere that is obviously not his body.

The ending is a cliff hanger, but I honestly do not see how Super Assassin Kinpei can lose to Gaksital/LKT. This guy has beaten KT twice almost without problems. He was better again Gaksital in terms of Sword vs Metal Stick, and even in martial arts.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Shunji becomes a real disgusting monster when he tortured that girl. It just proves that what Mok Dan said to her is true. Shunji can kill an innocent woman in a blink, so he also can kill her.
I am still hoping that Tamao fake the suicidal, so he can join independence movement without makes a burden to his parents.
It is great that Kang To comes back to the smart Kang To because lately he's being a little careless. But, by this episode we know that Gaksital indeed a hero with smart move.
Kang To revenges for his father by fighting for Korea independence, this way he can destroy Kishokai and also helping Joseon people.
Oh, I can't wait for the finale!! It must be EPIC!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

another intense episode, wow. looking at shunji evilness, i think he's more evil than kangto was pre gaksital days. seriously, shunji gives me the creepes more with each episode n now he's beyond by taking his rage to kye soon. don't want any redemption for him n hoping this drama will end as the manhwa where kangto kills kimura.

so sad for tamao, i thought he would at least beef up and took parts in the independence movement. but maybe, by killing him off, it will be an eye-opener for his parents to switch sides.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Maybe for the Count. I get the impression that the Countess doesn't give a damn about Tamao

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm a bit confused about one thing -- did Shunji actually and finally break off with MokDan?
He said he could never give her up, but in the scene in the office, he's like "Don't ever come see me again"

Maybe it's just like saying "Don't come near me in the future -- I don't know what I'll do to you if you do..." I could be wrong though...

0
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

He doesn't want to see her until he breaks Gaksital...he wants to see her face then. Until that time, he's got work to do... I think that's what he means.

After learning who Gaksital is, he feels betrayed by the girl he loves...so the joy of seeing her for the sake of seeing her (as normal lovers do) is now twisted into a revenge thing. He wants to possess her still...but in a twisted form. It's about power and victory more than hugs and kisses.

He'll see her on his terms, not the other way around. It's just like when he gets upset when Rie drops in to see him without an invitation....it's a power thing.

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

That's an interesting and insightful response. Good interpretation.

Yeah I agree -- like GirlFriday said -- he's finally embracing power and misogynistic thinking. He wasn't like that in earlier episodes, even when he was already mid-way into becoming a full-fledged monster. We can all agree Shunji became a new monster species today. I think he feels he can really do anything to anyone he wants. He already started toying with Rie and Kye-Soon. Even if he has set aside Mok-Dan for now, I can't shake off the feeling that he's going to do something even more horrible to anyone he feels given today's episode. There's only a downward trajectory with his character...

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I kinda felt bad for Rie today. He totally degraded her for being Korean. I'm sure he called her out for scoffing at him for loving a Korean . But come to think of it, it now seems he called her weak because he now knows her true ethnicity and past. He sees her as someone who just aspires to be something she's not whereas he is proud to be a true-born Japanese. Thus he sees himself in a higher position to help *her* out. That little scene with Rie rattled me a little more today than her earlier scene with him (when we thought she was a heartless, cold woman).

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'd go a step further...not only does he feel that he can do anything, he feels justified in doing so. in his mind, he is the one who is betrayed - by his best friend for killing his brother and being Gaksital, by the girl he "loved" for hiding the truth and dismissing him. In a world that is "us" versus "them", he has to draw a clear distinction in order to operate. It enables him to treat his targets as less than human therefore easier to harm.... People have less trouble taking a life of a bug than another person. Dehumanize your target and you can do all sorts of horrible things.

If reality and identity are a construct, he's created himself one where he is righteous and justified.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

When I watched it raw and Shunji was torturing the village hothead and suddenly I saw Kang-to I was scared I went crazy, seeing our hero everywhere. Your recap reassured me I am still sane and the mad one here is our second lead.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

In all fairness we're going mad *because* of the mad man.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Tamao's death was extremely sad to, i had so much hope for him and i thought that he would a important key to bring Kishokai down, ugh he doesn't even know that Gaksital was his friend Kang To.

About Shunji it's hard to forgive him since we don't get to see much of his inner struggles he's completely on the dark side now and his obsession with Gaksital and Mok Dan is crazy, he doesn't for anything and anyone.

Thanks for the recaps!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Why is everyone saying my Lee Kang To will die @ the end??? Why???????

0
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have yet to see an action-type Kdrama that killed off the main lead (cancer plots do not count here).

Oh wait. Darn. Does... "Iris" count...? I never saw the end of that.

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

What about Damo?

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Haha, I haven't seen that either. Yeah I figure other people can comment on heroes' deaths in drama endings better than I can.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

the stupidest hero ending from my book is definitely Bad Guy

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Awesome writing, as always. Love the choice of words, and the emotions that you are sharing with us in such a visually-thought-provoking way. What can I say, always admired people who are great at expressing their feelings and thoughts so well.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Tamao, so sad! I too hoped that he would switch sides to help redeem his family. I hated that he took the easy way out. WHo knows, if he had, he probably would have earned Tasha's love. Yeah, that was so harsh things that she said. Man, talk about bursting a man's ego! There was nothing left after that!

My absolute best part was Village Hothead finding out that Kang To was Gaksital!! I replayed that scene at least 3-4 times! The actor captured the shock and awe fantastically! I was so waiting for that moment when he found out because I knew it would be monumental because of their history! WOW! It was amazing to watch; over and over again.

Now let's get to the scary dude! OMO! Oh My God! I never, NEVER thought we could see Shunji actually getting worse. Practically every scene lead you to the ultimate madness; his torture of the Village Hothead; his confortations with Mok Dan; the constant beat downs of poor Takeda. I bet his wishes Ishida was still alive!! The near drowning of Hye Soon, I think I am going to skip.

On a side note; can I drool and fangirl a minute over Comrade Ahn and Reporter Song; especially Comrade Ahn! Quoting a line from a song: What a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man!! Great editions to the drama! Hope to see more in the future!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Mok dan seems to be a very smart character. I like how she found out kang-to's indentity was revealed. People complain about her a lot, but her character always seems to be good at figuring things out (rie as the nun and the guy following kang-to).

Tamao surprised me this episode. Can't believe he did that. I think it's great, for a moment the revolution had a mole in kishokai, but it sucks that he was so ashamed of his family that he took his life. I wonder if this will change his father in any way.

This cliffhanger is so intense. The fight between the guard and gaksital will be so epic. Wednesday can't get here sooner!

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, Wednesday should come sooner and I hope Gaksital will have an upper hand in this battle. Love if he could kill Kenpei.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

why did tamao commit suicide? and can somebody explain that whole money for federation of ____?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

and why did kishokai allow joseon members? i thought it was for japanese only? how did count lee si young get to such a high rank? he is not japanese right?

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

In a previous episode it is explained that they are merely to be used as bullets to further their cause

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I am HOPING BEYOND HOPE THAT Hae sok didn't kill himself. After all, we didn't see a body and considering how indecisive and heart breakingly cowardly his personality is, there is a CHANCE that he chickened out. It wouldn't be out of his character if it did, in fact it would make more sense that he couldn't go through with it. Then again, maybe the point is that his suicide/turning is the first and last act of "courage" to actually do something. (as he sees it, i don't find suicide courageous)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

why did tamao commit suicide? and can somebody explain that whole money for federation of ____?
and why did kishokai allow joseon members? i thought it was for japanese only? how did count lee si young get to such a high rank? he is not japanese right?

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Japanese sympathizers donating money to continue to stay on the good side of the Japanese occupiers. Why Tamao committed suicide? Tasha said it best, he was a coward. He knew what his parents were doing was wrong but refused to do anything about it. He preferred to sit on the side lines and do nothing. If you remember, only weak and Joseon people would be controlled were allowed to be members. How else to influence Joseon people but with Joseon people. As far as the Count being so high, ever heard of a token? Plus he is a count, just their way of not really showing him any respect but letting him think so.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

thank you for the recap GF <3

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm looking forward to Koiso getting murdered. He was always a creep, but in the Han Kye-Soo scene it was just too much.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Must say I agree with almost everything in all the above posts, which I have just read. I do think that Shunji and Kang to are like two sides of a coin. They almost mirror each other from the beginning when they are both almost in a good position. Shunji so sweet and hoping he can teach the Korean children how to be good Japanese for the future and Kangto trying to be a good Police officer and earn enough money to help his family. He almost has to be against the Joseon, and they almost naturally hate him for it. I think the psychological switch for them both is not only possible , but it is also done just the right way. Sadness and violence for them both, enough to turn them in their thoughts.We have to remember that this is not Korea any more. That country ceased to exist in 1910 when Japan took it over and colonized it completely. The intent being to teach everyone to speak Japanese and turn them all into lawabiding and totally ruled people. Shunji was doing his job as a teacher. Even tho he loved that job he was completely Japanese.His rapid character change was not all that strange. He was Japanese and he was never going to be softhearted once he saw what could happen if the Korean Freedom fighters began to act.I really do think he lost his mind and went slightly crazy and he did not regain his balance at all. It was not difficult for him to be vile and torture people and he certainly did not shrink from even hurting the girl he said he loved. I don't think that was love from the start. Obsession and the need to have a person in order to subdue her I think. To prove he was right and that he was indeed building a new Japan.

I have been in awe of the acting of Jo Won. He has had a tremendous role to play, and at times he completely fooled me when he was only putting Shunji off the track.He certainly has had some rough treatment but he manages to revive himself and still carry on with the Gaksital role. How does he get his uniform on so fast?
Someone will die but I hope it is not Kang to. It really has to be Shunji. I don't care much what happens to MokDan. she is so nothing as an actress and her support for the Freedom cause has been almost nil. The story only needed her becuse of Shunji and his infatuation. I just can't accept any romance between her and Kangto to. No warmth there at all. It has been a very difficult drama to watch. It takes courage to think of what that time was like for the people in Korea right up until 1945 abd then even afterwards between north and south.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

After watching 24 episodes, hoping that I'm wrong..., I can not-express how much I loath Mok-Dan character and the actress portraying it.

She sucks so badly. Stiff, and the only "act" she does is opening her eyes wide... Well, besides that... she runs well, which is pretty much the only thing she does that is right.

The feeling started to manifest since episode 5. I did not even try to analyze or pin point the character/actress. But, she sticks up so much,... and in a bad way.

Many scenes that require her to portray the character showing urgency in life-or-death situation isn't there. She plays it as if it's a game of chess or PC game where you can load the save game when you die. And in numerous occasion involving her father, lee kang to, circus member, etc. She just can't convey that dire situation well through her acting. Her only expression when she is angry is 'eyes wide open'.... like gosh Ueno Rie acts so much better for being supporting actress.

I enjoy the drama very much, minus the scenes where mok-dan acts like bamboo pole, which is pretty much in most of her scenes. I do hope that she will improve when she does more acting work in the future.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't understand how some people made their comment on Shunji. As if they never watched the episodes, skipping episode, or fast forwarding.

I don't get how so many posters demonize shunji for all the wrong reason that's not even being told in the story, or being told but totally missed.

You know in the early episodes the story says that the children like Shunji because he never hits anyone. His class is the only one that does not sing kimigayo (Japan National Anthem)... so some of you talking about those hidden quality and conspiracy theory of the Shunji character is... totally off the mark...as if you are watching 2 different shows at the same time missing/adding stuff that's not even in the story.

His intent to becomming a teacher is pure not a fake pretend to be nice japanese to culturally integrate the children. The story shows how he was when he was young and how he learn what compassion is when his nanny was sick. He has good nature since he was a kid.

Shunji was the one who taught Kangto kendo, pleaded so that he could join the highschool club, shared his lunch when kangto work pulling rickshaw, shared his room, comforting kangto when kang-san passed away, yielded win during championship so kangto could join imperial force because he knew kangto needed to join to improve his family situation, and more.

Yet, kangto killed his brother, lied to him numerous of times, purposely deceive him, tried to do harm towards his father, and more... all of which prior to Shunji learning about kangto's mother death.

Shunji transformation makes sense. What does not make sense is when you think it does not make sense, because the transformation were laid down in so many episodes... so clearly. How so many posters miss those and only recall the part relating to Shunji liking mok-dan. While I understand that drama is entertainment, how can the selective reading, or I should say selective viewing, problem be THIS severe?

Drop your girly infatuation toward cute actors, and try to see things for what they are, relevant to the story presentation. When it comes to Kangto vs korea-japan war context, Kangto is not the evil one. But, when it comes to Kangto vs Shunji relationship, Kangto IS the evil one and the pinnacle of evil at that.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Another thing that everyone overlooked when trying to hard to look at Shunji.

Shunji decision to become officer was made to safe mokdan's live. It was a trade made by him and his father. <---It is such an important information, how can it be so easily overlooked?

Numerous times the drama also shows that he uses his officer spot to save her life, along with numbers of bargaining and sacrifices he had to make.

Why do you think Mokdan becomes so bold as if she has 9 lives? As if she is immortal and no one can harm her? Do you think she is in any bargaining position when it comes to sparing circus members lives? Pew Pew, she's dead. Only reason she can act like queen and afraid to death is because of Shunji. MokDan is a very arrogant character (which the actress fails to convey as well, she portrays it as ignorant character who lives in LALA land).

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I know this is a bit late but I was reading the recaps again and realized that Tamao killed himself wearing shirt and vest, and we all know he wore the white Kishokai uniform moments before that to bow to the Chairman. It's somewhat saying that he didn't want to die in the Kishokai uniform; he refused to be known as a Kishokai member after his death so he changed his clothes before committing suicide. It's like his last act of rebellion to the Japanese. Tamao :(

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

All I can say about the end of the episode: it's about to go down.

That said, I have to say I'm a little bored with the middle of the episode these days. When did Kang-to become as predictable as Mok Dan? Shunji makes me sit up and pay attention (out of fear), but the political plotting scenes are a snooze-fest, whether it's the Japanese or Koreans plotting.

Things I'm loving: that Kang-to knows that Shunji knows, that trolley, Tamao, Katsuyama's forever love for Rie, the Rie-Shunji dynamic, and Rie's lipstick. Okay, girl-crush.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

i was like, WHOA TAMAO! you're getting AWESOMER by the minute! Aaand then i go like, OOH YOU'D BE SPY IN KISHOKAI? :D then all of a sudden, a letter showed up out of no where and came in the friggin gun... WHY!?! WAS SO ENJOYING YOUR PERFORMANCE THUS FAR! But now i know who is HE :D Choi Dae Hoon eh, i will definitely be looking out for his new project cause i was never so impressed by a side role like this :D

btw,EPIC episode! Love the tension the drama the heroic moments, the stares the threats the murderous inner thoughts :D Thanks again dramabeans!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Did I speak too soon for Shunji? Oddly enough, I still haven't given up on him. Maybe he started off too sweet for me to forget. Maybe I go too easy on them.

I don't find his sudden plummet into darkness unbelievable. For a while there, he was afraid of what he was becoming, which shows a bit of conscience. But I think that can always be the start of something dark.
He saw his own brother get murdered by the person the nation saw as a terrorist. (And I can't accept him putting on the uniform ONLY for Mok Dan). That has to stir in him something. After that, it's compromise after comprise. It's like any extremist view where he eventually does see the Joseon people as being harmful. The end justifies the means. You torture someone to get information to protect your country. For most people it's unimaginable. We see Gaksital as the good guy. To them, he was simply a terrorist.

ah...One thing I don't understand is how Kang-to suddenly has become less-smart. He used to be so crafty. So quick. Remember when he was still half-bad and he went to talk to Mok Dan and the circus people tried to listen in on him? Now it seems he gets listened in on all the time. And followed. I know it's to drive the plot but still. :(

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

TAMAO!!!! WHYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!?! You weren't alone! I was here all along! Dammit I still love you, but couldn't you become a mole in Kishokai!? I would have been so proud and now I'm just sad :(

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ok. ok. I'm good. Drama, you killed my favorite side character so you better not go and kill my second fav! Village Hothead must survive!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Currently Airing

Prime-Time Shows This Week
Monday-Tuesday (May 25-26) Wednesday-Thursday (May 27-28) Weekend (May 29-31)