Drama Recaps
Gaksital: Episode 26
by | August 30, 2012 | 154 Comments

Is it safe to open my eyes? After yesterday, I’m a big ol’ scaredy… What if they hurt Kang-to again? Or worse? This close to the finale on a drama like this, I’m pretty much just clutching my heart and waiting for the other shoe to drop. Why is loving a hero such a painful thing? It’s the question of the day, and it’s on a collision course with our heroine, whether we like it or not.

As the tension ratchets up, so do the ratings, reaching yet another series high for the fifth episode in a row, clocking in at 21.4%.

SONG OF THE DAY

Gaksital OST – Joo Won “Love and Love” [ Download ]

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EPISODE 26 RECAP

Comrades Jin and Ahn break into the police station with their death squad elite, and free Kang-to from his box. Even from the tiny window to his standing coffin prison, nobody gives stare-down like Kang-to.

Shunji and Koiso go down, and they manage to barely make it to the getaway truck. Kang-to says they have to get the tailor out too, but they argue that there isn’t time.

They’re right, ’cause Shunji is nipping at their heels, and shoots as they load Kang-to onto the truck. They have to dodge bullets, but manage to get away.

Whew. I’m amazed they succeed, but mostly I’m just relieved they got him out before I had to recap any Kang-to torture. *whimper*

Shunji screams in their wake: “LEE KANG-TOOOOOOOOO!” Haha, now that we’ve unmasked him, are we changing the yell?

Thankfully, they were smart enough to bring Kang-to up into the mountains, where Dong-jin and Reporter Song tend to him. They worry about Yang Baek making it out of Kyungsung, because they’re clamping down on security—no one leaves the city, on account of the Gaksital jailbreak.

Shunji has of course moved on to his next target, and stands by as Koiso beats the living crap out of the tailor. And that’s not even a euphemism this time, because Shunji gets close to question him, and finds that he’s already dead. Damn.

Koiso worries that they got nothing out of him (Really, this is what worries you?) and Shunji decides to head to the tailor shop himself. Uh-ohs. Please tell me you guys moved somewhere else in the night…

And you’re SITTING RIGHT THERE? Arrrrgh. The good guys on this show sometimes! This is no time to be calmly packing your suitcases like you’re goin’ to the Poconos!

Comrade Ahn returns from his stakeout to say that getting the tailor out is impossible now. I hate to add useless, but you guys need to leave the dead behind and haul some ass. They worry that they’re sitting ducks, and Damsari is the first to speak up: he’ll divert them, while they get Teacher Yang Baek out.

It’s actually a good plan, because clumped together, they’re not getting far. Mok Dan looks over at Dad with worried eyes, and Comrade Ahn says he’ll go too. Circus boss Jo even says he’ll go in his place.

But Damsari argues that they have to protect Yang Baek, and he has to be the one to go, to give them the best chance. He’s right, which makes me really sad. I know Damsari is good, but alone against all those cops?

Yang Baek refuses to let him go, with tears in his eyes. But Damsari says when he was imprisoned at the age of nineteen and starving to death, Teacher was the one who sneaked him food, carrying it in his mouth like a mommy bird. “I was already supposed to die then, but you saved me.”

He says because of Teacher he got to live, have a beautiful daughter, and fight for the Independence. Okay, why does everything start sounding like a death speech when we’re this close to the finale? Stop making me so nervous!

Mok Dan turns to Dad, but he reassures her with a big smile, talking about it like running from the cops is a hobby of his, and he’ll punch his Break Out of Jail card for an even ten. She does the best thing she can do, and matches his positive attitude: “Of course. You’re the Independence General Damsari.”

He asks Yang Baek to be allowed to go, “And I’ll follow right behind you.” Crap. Daaaad! Don’t die! Or Gaksital’s girlfriend will never forgive you!

He gets up to bow to Teacher, who grabs his hand to say goodbye. This is bad… very bad…

Comrade Ahn insists on going with him, which is a huge relief. They prepare to go, and then Mok Dan runs in to give Dad a tearful hug. He tells her to hurry and go—someone’s waiting for her. He says Kang-to will need her care now more than ever, and she asks again, “You promise to return, right?” STOP ASKING THAT. The more times you say it, the more my stomach falls towards my knees.

“Boon-ah, I want you to be safe, and comfortable. The reason I fight to reclaim my country is for you. So that you can live freely and happily.” They embrace one last time, and Dad fights his tears.

Shunji arrives just outside the tailor shop… when Damsari and Comrade Ahn zoom past them in a car. They scramble after him. Trap set.

Mok Dan and the others lead Yang Baek safely out, disguised as two wealthy women and their servants.

But things start to get dicey for Damsari really fast, as Shunji catches up to him on a mountain road, and shoots his tire to stop him in a tunnel. They try to make a break for it, but Shunji shoots again, and Damsari gets hit in the leg. Aaaack!

He tells Comrade Ahn to go and leave him here. What? They argue, but Damsari tells him his job is to take Teacher Yang Baek to safety, and Ahn can’t argue with his general. He goes.

Shunji and his men come around the car with their guns raised. He lifts Damsari’s hat…

He laughs, “Because of you, I will have lied to Boon-yi.” Dad, don’t say that! Why are you saying that?

Damsari: Do you think this hide-and-seek will end if you capture Yang Baek and Dong-jin, and Gaksital? In Joseon, there are countless Yang Baeks, and Dong-jins… and as many grains of sand as there are on a beach, there are Gaksitals.

Oof, nobody’s speeches make me cry like Dad’s. He tells Shunji he’s wasting his effort, but Shunji sneers back at him that they’re the ones wasting their time dying for a ruined nation. Damsari just laughs with his knowing smile…

And then he raises his gun to his temple. WHAT. Dad… no…

He shoots and falls dead at Shunji’s feet.

Noooooooooooooooo!

Couldn’t you have waited… till they came back for you… which I know they can’t…. aaaaaaaugh. Damnit.

Mok Dan turns back one last time and lingers, but the others urge her onwards. They arrive at Dong-jin’s camp safely. Well at least they managed that.

Deuk-soo takes Mok Dan to see Kang-to, who’s up now, but can’t move without buckling in pain. She rushes to his side and he says he’s fine, and Deuk-soo tattles that he’s not fine—he pretty much died and came back to life. He toots his own horn, saying that he’s been tortured too, yunno, and I just love that he gets to be friends with Gaksital now.

Kang-to even sends him on a personal mission, to go retrieve Baek Gun. Thank goodness someone remembered him.

Mok Dan urges Kang-to not to pretend he’s fine around her—if he’s in pain, he should say so, because he can just lay it all down when he’s with her. I half expect him to just be like, really, ’cause I can’t feel my ass, but he’s a big ol’ hero and says he really is okay.

He says his body’s in some pain, but his heart feels free now that he doesn’t have to worry about keeping his cover all the time, always looking over his shoulder. He asks after Yang Baek and Damsari, and she says Dad’s on his way.

He hugs her and says he was so worried for all of them, and she doesn’t betray her fears.

Shunji and his men storm into the tailor shop looking for clues, and they discover the secret door, left ajar. As he steps down into the room covered with Korean flags, Damsari’s last words ring in his ears.

He shakes them out, “No, no, no, if I just catch the three of them, it ends. Yang Baek, Dong-jin, Gaksital. If I just kill them, it ends. It ends!” He tears the room apart, ripping the flags down in a rage.

Dong-jin finds out how they escaped the city, and they worry as they wait for Damsari’s arrival. Comrade Ahn finally arrives at basecamp, head hanging low. Yang Baek stands up in anticipation.

Comrade Ahn delivers the news—Damsari got shot, pushed him to go on, and then shot himself once he was captured. They stumble in shock. Boss Jo turns to Yang Baek, “How… will we tell Mok Dan?”

But she comes right into the tent with Kang-to… and one look at their faces tells them everything. Oof.

She stands there, numb, taking it in. Kang-to turns and hugs her before the tears come, like a shield. It’s so moving, that one gesture. She falls apart and cries on his shoulder.

Shunji kneels before Chairman Ueno, who is so livid with another failure that he immediately calls for Kinpei to draw his sword. But Shunji, balls of steel that he is, refuses to apologize or admit any fault.

He says he’s always done his best, and everyone gapes. Kimura urges him to beg for his life, but Shunji won’t, even with that samurai blade grazing the hairs on the back of his neck. Damn.

He simply says that he’s found Yang Baek’s hideout, and he’s the best man they have for the job. Ueno can’t really argue, and he gives him another chance, adding that the cost of failure will be his life. And that’s different from the past how?

I really do love that Shunji doesn’t give a rat’s behind about Kishokai. They’re as much a tool for him as the other way around, which makes their dynamic really interesting.

Rie finds him afterwards and says he’s a surprising man, to go up against the chairman like that. She asks how a person can find courage like that.

She suggests that perhaps it’s time they both give up. She tells him about Mok Dan coming to her for help, and that she offered her passports to run away with Kang-to.

Rie: “I didn’t understand why she turned me down, but then when I saw the woman who knelt before me, I knew. That woman not only loves Lee Kang-to, but Gaksital too.”

Well duh, she actually loved Gaksital first, technically. Though I guess it goes more like Young Master, then Gaksital, then Kang-to. So many loves, for just the one man.

She says she only loved the ambitious policeman Lee Kang-to. Shunji: “What if in the end I can’t catch the two of them? And Yang Baek, and Dong-jin? What if… my life were to end in wasted effort?”

She turns to him, surprised, and I wonder if maybe there’s a sliver of a chance in hell that they might walk away from this… but he shakes it off, convincing himself that a life dedicated to the Empire isn’t futile. He swears to end them. It’s like he’s still fighting Damsari from beyond the grave.

Shunji meets with Kimura and Murayama to discuss their next move. They start by putting a price on Kang-to’s head. Kimura guesses that the two leaders have joined up at Dong-jin’s headquarters, if Yang Baek’s camp was cleaned out.

Murayama starts putting all the pieces together—the burning of records, the money, the weapons—they must be planning an armed demonstration, which he calls a terrorist attack. Shunji guesses that the family records are being destroyed to stop the drafting of Koreans, which… I thought they already figured out.

Kimura says all they need to do is draw Yang Baek and Dong-jin out. Yes, but how? He says they just have to spread the word that if they don’t show themselves by a certain date, they’ll slaughter every single person who’s blacklisted. So anyone who has anything to do with the independence will get hauled out for a massacre. Whoa.

And then in the meantime, Kimura meets with the count’s friends—the ones who run the university—in order to fill the draft roster starting with registered students. Oh crud.

It goes into effect immediately, because Kye-soon goes to see her little brother, who says he got a scholarship this semester and wanted to buy his noona a meal. And then he delivers the news… that he’s been drafted, and so has every Korean at the university.

They’re already keeping the students under surveillance, and he says as brightly as he can that he’ll come back alive. He’s so young! Kye-soon tamps down her tears, as she says he was their family’s big hope, but what will she tell Mom and Dad?

He takes her hand and promises to return safely, and that he’ll graduate and get a great job, and give noona a comfortable life. He leaves their family in her care while he’s gone. I… can’t stop crying.

They can’t even afford more than one bowl of soup, and Kye-soon tells him she’s not hungry so he can eat. He calls her a liar and pleads, “I just want to buy the noona who’s going to take care of our family in my place, one bowl of soup.” Now I’m just a blubbering mess. Must you have all my tears, Show?

Wanted posters go up all over town with Kang-to’s face on them, offering a reward for a tip-off. The townspeople are happy to help with Kang-to’s demise. But Deuk-soo shows up and shouts, “Lee Kang-to isn’t a bad person!” They all look at him like he’s crazy, as he rips the notices off the wall.

He sees Sun-hwa passing through and runs after her with a huge smile, but she turns away, frightened by everything. He looks down at her little brother, who’s sporting bruises on his face.

He finds out that the kid’s new teacher hit him because he wouldn’t change his surname (therefore putting him back in the official registry) and said he couldn’t go back to school unless he changed it.

Deuk-soo stops them, insisting that all they’ll do is send him off to war when he’s old enough. He tells the kid he doesn’t have to go to school anymore, and Little Bro declares his approval of Deuk-soo, making Sun-hwa blush.

He tells her Mok Dan wants to see her and they skip away. He brings them up to camp and Mok Dan hugs Sun-hwa brightly.

Kang-to and Yang Baek watch from a distance and wonder how Mok Dan is keeping it together. Kang-to says he doesn’t know how to offer any comfort, knowing that she’s now lost both her parents. He worries that if something happens to him, she won’t be able to endure it. “I wonder if she’ll be better off if I leave her.”

Oh no you di’n’t. Kang-to-ya! Imma slap you!

Yang Baek: What do you think is the one thing in a grown man’s life so precious that he must protect it with his life? I believe it’s love. I love Joseon, I love my hometown, I love my mother, my wife, my son. Watching those that I love be violated by the Japanese, how could I not feel rage? If you truly love Mok Dan, you put your life on the line to stay by her side and protect her, and fight the ones who would torment her.

Goddamn, that’s a moving speech. And thank ye drama gods for someone who tells the hero that noble idiocy is for idiots.

Teacher turns to Kang-to to say that his wife was dying in a hospital not ten minutes from where he was, but he couldn’t go to her because of the Japanese. He swore he would never let his children, and the young people of Joseon suffer the same fate.

“And that’s why I fight to the death. But to hear you say such weak words…” Kang-to hangs his head, eyes brimming with tears, “I’m sorry, Teacher.” He pats Kang-to on the shoulder with a warm smile.

Mok Dan keeps her brave face on, but suddenly starts to cry and runs into a tent to hide. Kang-to follows her inside and sits down next to her, taking her hand in his.

He turns her words right back on her: “In front of me… you don’t have to pretend you’re not hurting, that you’re not having a hard time.” Damnit, will I ever stop crying?

She says she knows she can’t be weak, not now, but doesn’t know if they can do it anymore. Her resolve finally starts to break. Can they really fight Japan and win?

He repeats what her father once told him—that an egg can break a rock, and that a rock, no matter how strong, is dead and will turn to dust. But the egg is alive and someday will hatch a chick to walk upon that dust.

Kang-to: Be strong. You have to be strong. My strength to fight comes from you.

Beautiful. Ten points for Apt Pupil Boy. I’m crying again, by the way.

He holds her close.

At the station, Koiso beats poor Abe, accusing him of being in on Kang-to’s secret identity. Abe swears he didn’t know, raising his arms to yell, “Bansai! Bansai!” to the Empire.

Koiso asks where Kang-to sleeps, and Abe says sometimes here, and other times at a relative’s house in the mountains, but he doesn’t know where. But they get a tip-off from someone else who saw Kang-to leave a mountain house, and Koiso runs out to chase the lead.

Abe crumples in tears as soon as they leave. Aw, poor sweet pathetic Abe.

Deuk-soo marvels at his superhero’s hideout, as Baek Gun packs herbs for Kang-to’s recovery. Of course as soon as they’re ready to walk out the door, they hear someone approach.

Baek Gun grabs a chair and hurls it into the window, and they leap out head-first. I just hope that’s not a cliffside house.

Shunji and his men burst in just behind them, and they give chase. Shunji stops to look inside the house, and his eyes narrow at the Wall of Baddies, strung up with familiar faces. He flashes back to each of their deaths.

He brings everything to Dad, who finally puts the last piece of the puzzle in place: “Ah, so Gaksital is the son of Lee Sun.”

Seriously, I almost forgot about that storyline ’cause things had gotten so big. Shunji looks at him quizzically, as Kimura says it won’t be long before Gaksital comes for him. I’ll admit; it’s certainly in my calendar under “Things I’m Looking Forward To.”

Dong-jin says he has about 70,000 men trained in death squads around the country, at the ready. Yang Baek proposes that after the first armed uprising, he’ll go back to Shanghai and gather forces overseas.

The plan is for Dong-jin to work his way out from within and Yang Baek to work his way in from the outside. “Let’s rewrite an unlikely history.”

Everyone’s in good spirits except for Reporter Song, who hides a worried look. He finds an excuse to speak to Kang-to alone, and tells him what he found out: that if Yang Baek and Dong-jin don’t turn themselves in by the month’s end, Kimura has ordered the slaughter of every blacklisted comrade they have in custody.

Reporter Song knows that the teachers won’t stand idly by to let their comrades die in their place, but doesn’t know what to do to keep the news from them. Kang-to: “The time has come for me to deal with Kimura Taro.” Awwww yeah.

Reporter Song gasps—he’s going to take out the director of police? And how does he know that they won’t kill the independence agents anyway? Kang-to says that governor Wada doesn’t have the stones for this kind of thing—it’s Kimura who’s pulling the strings.

Deuk-soo arrives with Baek Gun, and Kang-to ribs him sarcastically, “You sure did bring him quickly,” and Deuk-soo shoots back, “I brought him, didn’t I?” I do love their friendship so.

Ajusshi asks if Kang-to’s okay, and has some bad news—Shunji has found their hideout, meaning he knows that Lee Kang-to is Lee Young. He worries that they’ll come after him. You mean as opposed to the coming after they’re already doing because he’s Gaksital, or Lee Kang-to? I think being pursued for all three identities doesn’t work cumulatively, which is frankly a relief.

Kang-to says he has to fight: “This was always a fight to the death, whether them or me.” Stop with the jinxy death talk!

Baek Gun tells him not to argue because from now on, he’s going to follow young master like a shadow. I like that idea. Reporter Song chimes in that he wants to help too. But Kang-to tells them both that he’ll go it alone. BAH. WHY? This is no time to play lone ranger.

Mok Dan tells Boss Jo that she’s okay, and he suggests that any time she and Kang-to want to run, they should. She tells him about Rie’s getaway offer and her refusal. “But when I heard that Father died… I regretted it. What if we’re fighting a losing battle? What if we all die this way? I should have said I’d leave… I should have left. But now, I’ve folded those thoughts. Father knew he might die but went anyway. And even if we lose, even if we have no chance of success, I too will live right here and do everything that I can.”

The next day, Deuk-soo jumps in to introduce Sun-hwa to his mother (aw) and tells Mok Dan to stop Kang-to from going into the city. It’s a death trap if he goes.

She sighs and walks up to him, and he says he’s just going to make a quick run into the city. She asks cautiously why, and he just says, “There’s something I have to do.”

Urg, first Dad, now you too? I guess this is what happens when you date someone who’s just like your father. I just want to like, tie him up, for her sake.

But she puts on her bravest smile and tells him to go. “I’ll wait for you.” She asks him to be back by dinner, and he promises. He gives her a kiss on the forehead and she watches him go with a stricken look.

Kimura gives Murayama and Shunji the full backstory, and says the same thing as Kang-to: “Whether him or me, this is a fight that ends in death.” Shunji tells him he’s put his two best swordsmen on protective detail, and Dad rests assured.

Governor Wada bursts in and kicks up a fuss about Yang Baek operating right under their noses, and Kimura just treats him like the pompous puppet that he is, noting that it’s not like anyone who works for the government went to tailor shop regularly, and never caught on. Ha. Wada blubbers and they walk out, ignoring him.

Kimura goes home and just sits stoically in front of his sword, preparing for battle. Kang-to hops the wall and sneaks into the house, and Kimura lowers his hand to his sword…

The doors open, and Kang-to approaches. But Kimura isn’t about to fight fair, and the two bodyguards appear on either side of Kang-to, swords drawn. He fights them with his throwing daggers, and quickly disarms them.

The last one goes down, and then Kang-to is left holding his sword. Nice. Properly armed Gaksital!

At the same time, Shunji races home…

Kang-to takes out the final punishment dagger and walks up to Kimura, who draws his sword and readies for battle…

The end. Aw, damnit, I wanna see the fiiiiiiiiiight!

 
COMMENTS

Augh, I can’t believe I have to wait another week to see Kimura meet his grisly death! That is what’s going to happen, right? RIGHT? I’m scared that Shunji will come home in time to muck it up, but with two episodes left, Kimura has to die. I feel like they’re doing the right thing in having the personal vendetta end with him, because the finale has to be about the larger movement, and not about avenging the family. By now it’s actually sort of a loose end rather than a driving force for the hero, which makes me feel like maybe they mishandled the whole revenge aspect of the story. But in the end it’s the less important thread, so I won’t cry over it, but I do feel like there’s a lot left to be desired in the father-hyung-Kang-to family honor vendetta because mostly, we’re left to fill in the pieces ourselves. It’s an aspect of Kang-to’s character that gets fleshed out the least, though I certainly wouldn’t trade it for any of the A-mazing nine thousand other aspects of the character that do get explored.

Let’s face it: we knew Damsari wouldn’t make it out of this drama alive. There was just no way. If there’s one thing they really got right with this character, it was his heroic speeches at pivotal moments in the story—he embodied the mission and the hope of the country in a way that brought Kang-to out from his very small world and into the bigger picture. And he was inspirational till the very end, even making Shunji question what he was fighting for all this time. To see Shunji’s moment of crumbling self-doubt was great too, because even till the bitter end we see the flicker of humanity that he purposely tamps down.

I do wish they had done a better job with Damsari’s chase, which to me seemed too quick and easy, and not befitting the death of an independence general. I wanted more fight from him, and I wish they could’ve plotted the getaway more intricately. It’s one of the show’s bigger flaws that maneuvers are very direct and lacking in twists and surprises, or heck, even some much-needed logic. But what they do get right is the big picture—he sacrifices himself for his teacher, for the movement, and gets to tell his daughter that he does all this for her.

I nearly throttled my screen when Kang-to mentioned being a noble idiot to save Mok Dan the grief of losing him too, and was SO relieved that he still has a good teacher in Yang Baek. Because can’t you imagine Damsari just turning over in his grave, all I died to send my daughter to you and that’s your friggin’ answer, boy? I love what Yang Baek tells him—that love extends from your family to your country, and you have to have that attachment in order to keep fighting.

A hero detached from everything is just one step closer to losing his humanity and becoming a monster, and I’m glad that what Yang Baek teaches him is that HE needs Mok Dan, and not the other way around. It’s a beautiful way to look at the relationship between a hero and the woman he loves—yes, you could see her as just the bait who gets used by his adversaries, and he could be noble and forsake his love. But the idea that she is the source of his fighting spirit, and the reason he goes on—the same way Damsari saw Mok Dan as his sole reason for fighting—when he understands that, it feels like we’re watching him mature in leaps and bounds on his hero’s journey, and it gives me hope that there’s future to be had for them. Ya hear me, Universe? A future! A long one! With babies! Or Damsari will never forgive youuuuuuuu!

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154 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. MeeisLee

    Oh My Gaksital! What an episode!!!

    • 1.1 MeeisLee

      Hot Ajussi Damsari, you will be missed.
      I’m surprised I didn’t cry through out this episode. I had to take many pauses and breaks to regain my composure that this is a drama, and the real world still has hope! I must have hope! Right?

      I think this drama has done a good job at allowing the viewers to understand were all the various characters come from. The Count selling out his country so his son can live a comfortable life, the same reason Damsari fights for his country. They’re on opposite ends but still have some similarities when separated from the country politics. It goes back to what Yang Baek was saying about love being the reason why people protect others and things with their lives. It’s just that they went two completely different ways about.

      Even Shunji and Kang To (family revenge, Shunji allowed it to engulf him to where he no longer is fighting because he loved his brother so dearly but because he started something he feels obliged to finish it and can’t see himself outside of that bubble, i.e. his death is guaranteed either way. KT’s revenge brought out his humanity in great contrast and is no longer fighting just for his family but for his extended love for what they represented)
      and Kang To and Rie (their identities: Rie rebelling against what she believed were the reason for the death of her parents by aligning herself with Kishokai and the Empire. KT starting off the same way but realizing he needed to live up to what his father and brother were fighting for and gave up their lives to).

      Sigh, the last episodes air the day before and the day I go back to school. Bigger Sigh. Starting off the school year a blubbering mess, properly scribbling “Don’t die Kang-to yaaaaa!!! I will never forgive you” all over my notes.

      • 1.1.1 SoyJade

        I was even crying while reading the recap. I had already watched the episode and still cried!

        Regarding what JB said about the revenge plot not being explored and expanded, I know it has been mentioned here by other people as well- About how that line was dropped. I do not have much of a problem with it, because I remember Kang To saying that his motives to fight had gone beyond revenge for his family. Like that was not what he was fighting for anymore. He was fighting for the bigger picture.
        Because of that line, I feel like they kind of tied up and moved on from the original storyline. Just like Kang To as Bridal Mask had transcended his brother. He really became a Bridal Mask 2.0

      • 1.1.2 SoyJade

        Meeeis lee,

        I like your character analysis. I agree with you. The little nuances and the big story line are some of the reasons why I love this show. I know it’s not perfect and there are some parts where logic is missing, but overall I love this show so, so much. Good luck in school :)

  2. Maya

    Thanks for the recap GF!
    Why do Kang To has to go by himself?! At least let the shoeshine ahjussi be his shadow for once…
    And so sad to see Damsari shot himself. So many people just ended up killing themselves in this show.
    And yes, Shunji is already at the point of no return. He definitely doesn’t deserve the redemption at this point. Well unless he died for Kang To… LOL. I’m so evil right now.

  3. kbap

    Thank you so much for the recap! :)

    • 3.1 kbap

      Please tell me I’m not the only one who wailed and bawled throughout the whole hour. I just cried like crazy and went to take a nap…And after I woke up I scared my mom by my swollen eyes and nose. :'( Gaksital is SUCH a tear-jerker.

      • 3.1.1 Maya

        I got teary eyes… But I’m sure I would bawl and wail too if I watched this alone… Just like when mom and Kang San died…

      • 3.1.2 Itoshi

        You’re not alone. I cried watching the episode, and again reading GF ‘s recap. Gaksital makes me cry harder, like, in every episode T_T

  4. muhloy

    i am so nervous for what is to come.

    i just…. i cant…

    i think i need an adult.

    • 4.1 muhloy

      heh .. i really liked the way kang to was all “ummm…should i maybe think about, perhaps trying to be a noble idiot…just a little?” and teacher slapped that idea out of his head right away like “the fuck you mean? no you dont! you cut that shit out!”

  5. queencircles

    Super anti climatic demise for Damsari. I’m disappointed. I saw it coming a mile away. Also Damsari, why did you not take out any officers at close range?! You had a perfect shot to kill shunji, wtf. Our at least koiso for good’s sake! And again, why did it take you guys sooo friggen long to leave that hideout. SO DUMB! Urrrrggg!!!

    He was a great character (and a super fine ajusshi lol), but I’m more mad than anything, not that he’s dead, but just how it all came about. It was lazy the way it happened. All the emotional bits regarding his death had no effect on me after that cause I’m like, it’s yall’s stupidity that killed him!!! GaaAahhh#>¥@)/&&#!!!!

    • 5.1 beggar1015

      I have to agree that Dam Sari’s death was kind of weak. And yes, like you I wondered why Sari – with Shunji standing right in front of him, back turned – didn’t try to at least shoot Shunji. Either that or fire the bullet into the gas tank of his car and cause a big ass explosion in the tunnel, taking out several policemen with him. (You can do that in DramaLand, ya know.)

      • 5.1.1 queencircles

        haha seriously. He needed to go out fighting.

    • 5.2 shapi

      Can’t agree more (but less the vulgarities so freely used in the cyber world). This show has many great moments, but time and again the writer has made the good guys look so so so stupid.

      First, I am ok with Gasital’s capture and torture, a hero would not be great without some excruciating pain suffered for his people, and he has to atone for his past sins too. But he should not be captured in the circumstances when they have just raided the ammunition store, can’t he use a grenade or two to facilitate their escape? Kangto ah, you might have a death wish but if you have use the grenades, you might have prevented the poor tailor from meeting his early demise if not totally sparing him his death.

      And why can’t the rescuing team use some grenades besides the smoke grenades in their rescue mission to bring down a few more baddies? No body is going to accuse them of wasting precious fire power.

      And why didn’t Ahn finish Shunji off when he has knocked the brain of this whole show unconscious? If for dramatic effect the great villain can only be finished off in the final episode, then they should not put Shunji there, unconscious.

      Likewise why didn’t kanto finish probably the most formidable sumurai of the show, kinpei, off when he has knocked him unconscious and his sumrai sword was right next to his body? Kangto ah, I understand you didn’t have the chance to learn to pick up ammunitions and weapons along the way and quickly finish off you enemies to move on to the next stage from computer games like kids these days have, what happen to your common sense and survivor instinct since you have grown up in a hostile background and a tough era? To hell with fair play when the baddies feels no qualm about using torture and underhand tactics on the very few good men.

      And why didn’t Tamsari bring down shunji and his troop with him after his necessary speech with the ammunition Ahn robbed, since hot pursue from the police should be expected in the escape of the figure head, faked or not, of the patriots.

      The other parts that frustrates me is that the freedom fighters are so careless about covering their tracks, thus providing more clues for the very intelligent shunji to piece thing together in a shorter time, and endangering the others who helped them, or making it more difficult for others to follow up on their mission. For example why did kangto need to tell shunji that his hyung was Gasital? Yes kangto’s confrontation with shunji is necessary to show the weight their friendship had on each other, and allow the viewers to revisit the issue on their friendship, but he should have just touched on their friendship and the cause of his mother’s death without letting shunji in more.

      Why didn’t Bai Gun remove all the news paper cuttings from his hut when the situation grow more tense, thus making it quick for Tairo to deduce that he would definitely be the final target now that the rest of the evil 5 are gone? No hideout is forever safe especially when the reckless kangto has frequented the hut during many of his escapes and has not been exactly careful about wiping off his trials.

      Why must yang beak leave the door to the secret closet ajar when they leave the tailor shop, thus confirming the tailor’s involvement and perhaps endangering the tailor’s family?

      And how can the village hot head shout to sunhua in such volume in a crowded market place to follow him to md’s (thus the patriots’) hideout, when he should be one of the most wanted man in shunji’s list?

      Korean history I know not. In such a era, many good men die fighting for their freedom. I am ok even if they fail and die in their mission if they are out-numbered and out-resourced but if they failed due to their own stupidity, then who’s to be blamed? Drama writers, it’s not your intention to portray your heros in such bad lights, right?

      As for Tairo, I seriously do not think he should be killed off by kangto. And yes “beggar 1015, poison in tea was in my thought too as it would be poetic justice if such an ambitious strongman is finished off by a ignorant and frail old lady, since Tairo’s sins against the people is lot more abysmal than selling out his friend for personal wealth and power.

      • 5.2.1 MsB

        I had not even read the comments until now and I posted the same thing about the old woman being responsible for Taro’s death. Please, make it so, writer-nim!

  6. Pepper Fish

    Man, I really wanted Kimura to die a slow, painful death via poisoning by the old nanny who would have been spiking his food with small bits of arsenic. *sign*

    • 6.1 aramint

      hah, every time the nanny appeared, that was my thought too..put some arsenic in his food!

    • 6.2 beggar1015

      Well remember, she did serve him some tea right before Gaksital showed up. I’m still hoping before the big fight even begins that Kimura suddenly doubles up in intense pain, foaming at the mouth.

      • 6.2.1 Pepper Fish

        That thought totally went through my head when she served him the tea.

  7. Ivoire

    Thank you!

  8. stars4u

    It’s not “Gaksitaaaaaaal!” anymore but ” Lee Kang-toooooooooo”
    I love how Kim Deuk-soo somehow become one of Kang-to’ close friends. They’re now throwing jokes instead of fists.

    • 8.1 hoochie

      My thoughts exactly. I was laughing when he was screaming Lee Kang-to instead of Gaksital.
      Lee Kang-to/Kim Deuk-soo friendship is just too cute. Now Deuk-soo is even defending Kang-to. Although seconds later after Sun-hwa passes by, he just totally drops the wanted posters. “Girls before bros” lols

      Only 2 episodes left. I’m anxious to see who survives and who gets added to the never ending list of people who are dead. Is Dr. Oh from the Kishokai still alive? I can’t seen to remember if he died or not.

      • 8.1.1 MsB

        I thought he survived the hanging outside the hospital. So I’m not sure.

  9. Maru

    Today, my favourites scenes were:

    1. The conversation between Lala and Shunji. Loved it because you can see Lala already giving up on everything and Shunji trying to justify what he’s doing and convincing himself he’s on the right path!

    And the conversation between the Yang Baek and Kang To when our darling hero was getting infected by that drama thing called noble idiocy! Let’s all have five minutes to thank God for Yang Baek words!!! Jesus, we need him in EVERY DRAMA!!!

    Two episodes left! :'(

    • 9.1 Maru

      Oh… and, even though I cried when Damsari suicide, I had to laugh at Shunji. Almost everyone he catch, ends killed by one of his people, or they suicide in front of him… poor Shunji… Ok, maybe not.

      • 9.1.1 sjsmn

        Can not believe Dam sari, Mok dan both are already in different drama. Rie’s father , too in Five fingers

  10. 10 Daisy

    LOLOLOL Lee Kang Toooo!

    • 10.1 Lilly

      favorite lol – so glad they did one more time for us

  11. 11 queencircles

    Oh yeah… Thanks for the recap gf! I was too frustrated and I needed to get that Damsari stuff off my chest ASAP. I forgot to say it in my first post lol.

    Anyway…
    I like the kimura/gaksital showdown cliffhanger. I’m excited to see that fight! !!!

    Poor Abe! :( lol. Such a sad lost puppy.

    Kang-to was too cute in this episode… I like seeing him in chill clothes, being all besties with deuk-soo. Love it.

    Lastly, that once-traitor girl’s bro is beyond adorable!

    • 11.1 MsB

      Yeah, the near drowning definitely made her see the light. I was satisfied with that but sad about her brother.

  12. 12 Lilly

    Is going to be really hard not to see Shunji when show ends. This has been really fun show.

  13. 13 Lemoncake

    OMG. I just <3 Deuksoo.

    • 13.1 h311ybean

      Hee! So do I. I’m still waiting for him to see the light on KBS World, but I can’t wait for when he and Kang-to become friends :D

      • 13.1.1 aramint

        Yup, it’s nice seeing Kang-to now has a new buddy. ^^

  14. 14 Autumn

    Nooo not our sexy Damsari ajusshi! /le cries
    This makes me wonder how many other characters will take a bullet to the head before the show is over.

    This episode took the intensity level down a notch in comparison to yesterday. I’m not exactly complaining though. It was nice to sit through most of the hour without having a heart attack every three minutes.

    Thanks for the recap! Off to read <3

    • 14.1 queencircles

      god, so sexy!!! I’ll miss that fine ass ajusshi.

      • 14.1.1 MsB

        That’s why I loved him in Family Honor! He was such a sweet and loving man in it; alas its 50 episodes! But very good!

  15. 15 muhloy

    i feel a little bit better now that gaksital is packing some proper weapons now…like sharp ones instead of just the little flute.

    although some of those crazy flute throat punches looked terrifying!

  16. 16 crazedlu

    BAAAAAHHH! soooo gooood. again, hilarious recap, with the side comments, for a very serious episode. much appreciated. ha.

    i wanted damsari’s death to have more umph, but i’m glad about how they handled his end for the same reasons you are. damsari’s speeches always leave me awed.

    i love how rie and shunji came together for what might likely be their last conversation and found themselves in very much the same position. gah. what’s going to happen?

    yang baek, thank you. dude, come on, kangto!

    gotta say though, my favorite part of this episode was kyesoon and her brother. wow. nice, writer. so really, kyesoon is kangto. guhhh. teeeears.*

    okay.

    NOW COME ON, BAEK GUN AJUSSHIIIII!!! DO NOT be dissuaded. be young master’s shadow! BE YOUNG MASTER’S SHADOW!

    • 16.1 tapioca pearl

      Kye-soon and her brother’s scene was quite sad. I actually love that about this drama. It makes us feel even the slightest sympathy for the characters we hated. Like with Taro when Kenji died, with the Count when Tamao died. It really does remind us of the time the drama and the circumstances the people lived under.

      • 16.1.1 h311ybean

        So true! The show has done a great job of putting the count’s and Kye-soon’s collaboration with the Japanese in a whole different light. I still don’t like them as characters, but you can definitely feel for their situations.

        • 16.1.1.1 MsB

          Yes, two families taking two different paths for the same results! That was well put in the comments and I never considered it that way until I read that. But my sadness for them went out the window after the comfort women episode! Them dying was poetic justice!

      • 16.1.2 aramint

        I agree. This is one of this show’s strengths. It gave depth in the side characters, they move along the story together with the leads, unlike some other shows where their side characters were just for the sake of being there.

    • 16.2 piaaa

      “so really, kyesoon is kangto. guhhh. teeeears.*”

      This is what I thought too when I saw that too. I hated her but finally understand her.

  17. 17 lenrasoon

    omg Damsari was one of my favorite characters and i kinda had hope that the drama would let him live :(

    i can’t believe that we have only two episodes left ugh i’m so anxious.

    thanks for the recaps gf.

  18. 18 Myeloid

    Awesome / hilarious facebook page for Gaksital guys:

    http://www.facebook.com/bridalmaskdrama

    Thank you so much for the recap! Off to read.

    • 18.1 OMG

      died of laughter from the pics!!!!!

  19. 19 Husnaa

    Kimura Taro must die in the next episode and let Kang-to fight Shunji with all glory of emotion and death glares.

  20. 20 Taiba

    i liked how they’re taking some of the tension away by inserting deuk soo and sun hwa moments. yay i want them married with kids lol. i used to not like deuk soo, but in the latest episodes he’s kinda adorable.

    i rolled my eyes when kang to mentioned leaving mok dan, i was like are you kidding me?! i was glad when the teacher convinced him otherwise.

    poor abe. he should just quit working as a policeman and become a teacher.

    i laughed when the yell changed to lee kang tooooo

    thanks for the recap!

    • 20.1 h311ybean

      Abe as a teacher would be perfect! (I want him to live happily ever after!) Ya know, especially since we’ve established that Shunji is no longer psychologically competent for the job.

    • 20.2 katiamon

      Abe is such a poor lost puppy! i hope he turns into a teacher… when i saw him crying for Kang To, I was like: “come here, i’ll give you a hug :(“

  21. 21 Bakachild

    I loved how as soon as Noble idiocy got mentioned Yang Baek was like “cut that shit out, right now”.
    Please put him in all the dramas.

    • 21.1 queencircles

      Hahaha! Yes please!

    • 21.2 tapioca pearl

      It’d be great if dramas just did away with Noble Idiocy. I hate that so freakin’ much. I can deal with all the drama cliches except this one. I just don’t get how the noble idiots think they’re helping. It’s not even logical to me. I could go on about how much I hate this, but I think I’ve already said enough. Simply put, noble idiocy does not equal noble, just idiotic.

      • 21.2.1 rearwindow

        YES. TOTALLY. I would gladly accept–nay, embrace–a birth secret in every one of my dramas if it meant no more idiocy. Hate hate hate this trope. It’s so hard to root for a hero (especially in the final throes of a drama!) who is completely illogical and completely disregards the opinions and feelings of the woman he supposedly loves.

        • 21.2.1.1 tapioca pearl

          Right? I mean, dude, her father just died. And the only way you can think of to console her is to leave her? Because we do that to the people we love? THAT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE! Kang-to, I love you, but don’t ever say shit like that again! There are only two episodes left. You can do it!

          • 21.2.1.1.1 rearwindow

            Hahaha seriously!

  22. 22 ella zala

    Goodness! Kang to ya~~~don’t die!

    on a different note, I dread the day the show is over…I’m so gonna need a Gaksital rehab…

  23. 23 Rashell

    OMG I sobbed through most of this hour. I can only imagine what next week is going to be. I think I’ll need a towel to mop up the tears.

    How much did I love someone FINALLY talking about how idiotic noble idiocy is? Thank you drama Gods for getting that right in this drama that certainly seemed ripe for that common drama turn. And they way he knocked sense into Kang To immediately was so moving.

    I’m not even going to try to hope that the OTP will get to live a long life together. I’m preparing for the worst. That way if either dies, or probably both, I’m most prepared.

    Can’t wait for next week when Kimura FINALLY get’s what’s been coming to him!!

    • 23.1 tapioca pearl

      Let’s all order Sham-Wows. Those ought to hold our tears throughout the finale.

      • 23.1.1 Rashell

        HA…do you think a week is enough time for shipping? ;)

        • 23.1.1.1 tapioca pearl

          If we choose express shipping, they should be here no later than Monday. Hopefully :)

          • 23.1.1.1.1 ella zala

            Sham-Wows? sounds intriguing. what izit?

    • 23.2 Maya

      Ikr! I hope the internet will already be installed in my apartment for next week’s finale. I really need to cry my eyes out properly without being labelled as the weird girl who gets teary eyes and shrieks in front of her laptop!
      And talking about being prepared, I always knew that Kang San would die in the end in order for Kang To to put on the mask. But when he actually died and mom too… I was definitely not prepared enough… And I think the same thing would happen too next week… T-T

      • 23.2.1 Rashell

        Yeah, don’t remind me about hyung’s death. Because we all knew it was coming and yet I sobbed when it actually happened. But I’m sure this will be different. I mean, I only love Kang To about 100 times more. So I’m sure i’ll be completely fine. Right?

  24. 24 tapioca pearl

    Thanks for the recap!

    And thank goodness for the Noble Idiocy diversion, drama! Was about to slap Kang-to on the wrist for such a stupid idea, because really, does leaving Mok Dan really spare her the loss she would feel anyway? At least Kang-to realized what a silly suggestion it was. Yang Baek, you the man.

    Another great episode. Damsari was the one character I knew would die. I also wished he had fought a little more, but I understand why he did what he did. The life of an independence fighter ain’t no picnic, you know? I’m sad we won’t get to hear any more of his speeches.

    I really loved Mok Dan in this episode. We finally got to see her doubt what they’re doing, although I wished it had been earlier and just a little longer. But still, some good characterization for her. I know I’ve voiced my concern that Kang-to will die before, but now I just need him to survive and not leave Mok Dan. I think I might get mad if they don’t get their happily-ever-after (not that it’d be too happy in this era). I’ve never seen a k-drama character who truyly, madly, deeply deserves a happy ending.

    Deuk-soo and Sun-hwa are too cute, so I’m glad we’ve got some cuteness going on to counter all the intensity.

    And yeah, the revenge plot does feel like an afterthought, but like girlfriday says, it doesn’t take away from the rest of the awesomeness that is this drama. Just one more week! Sobbing already, not ready to have this drama leave me. I really feel like I’ll be lost once it’s over.

    • 24.1 Laura

      In spite of all other very sad but interesting events, I agree that Mok Dan was also very good in this ep. When she’s hidden her sorrow and it just bursted out while eating, it was so so so sad. As if … because her father now can’t… After Kang-to and potatoes, even the food gains meaning …

  25. 25 KRush

    Gaksital: Now with babies!

    • 25.1 Itoshi

      Exactly. They are at the mountains, surrounded by forests, in a middle of nowhere, surely a few trips around the perimeter are warranted, right? Fanfic writers, where are you??

      • 25.1.1 picklemonster

        I actually started writing a fanfiction on Bridal Mask last night. It’s R-rated though…for it includes the (very detailed) process of how mini Gaksitals are made. >___< I don't know if anyone would bother to read it though, I mostly wrote it as a hobby to cure my Gaksital-withdrawal symptoms for another week.

        • 25.1.1.1 Itoshi

          Awesome. Can you give me a link so that I can read it? I need something to get by too. TQ :)

          • 25.1.1.1.1 picklemonster

            Really?? I’m so happy that someone actually wants to read it ^^. But I’m not finished yet. I’m also quiet scared to put it online because it’s kinda inappropriate…. But when I’m done, and if you still want to read it by then, I can send it to your email. =)

        • 25.1.1.2 Anabanana

          I want to read it tooo!
          Actually, any way you can post on Fanfiction.net and send us the link? I was looking for a fanfic on gaksital but seemed as if no one really has thought of this before.

          • 25.1.1.2.1 picklemonster

            Oh right! There’s that website too. I just happen to have an account there that I’ve abandoned. I’ll let you know when I’m done. =)

        • 25.1.1.3 Anabanana

          Thank you!

        • 25.1.1.4 sherryberryx

          I would love to read your bridal mask fanfic as well! ^^ I’ve been searching for some but it’s been hopeless so far -_-

    • 25.2 picklemonster

      Omg YES. Throughout the whole episode, everytime Kang-To hugged Mok Dan, I was just like DUDE, MAKE SOME BABIES WHILE YOU STILL CAN! YOU HAVE 2 EPISODES LEFT TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!

      >___< I will be very unhappy if a fine specimen such as Kang-To doesn't leave any descendants in this world.

      • 25.2.1 aramint

        “I will be very unhappy if a fine specimen such as Kang-To doesn’t leave any descendants in this world.”

        LOL :D Second that!

      • 25.2.2 katiamon

        i thought i was the only one expecting them to the nasty, I mean, they were alone at the tent and on the forest, and wherever! come on, make a move!!!! XD hahahaha.

  26. 26 Arhazivory

    Yosh. I’m glad this episode was less traumatic than yesterday (my heart can only take so much). This has been a great ride and I’m half nervous and half anticipating what’s next to come.

    • 26.1 MsB

      Calm before the storm! I was glad too! Spooky, my cat thanks the writers too!

  27. 27 Anabanana

    Could Rie and shunji finally get together now? Shunji is the kind of guy Rie wants anyway — ambitious and pursuing a meaningful life. All they did was talk but I felt way more chemistry between them than with any other couple on this show. if taro dies, shunji’s going to need to run to someone… Maybe Rie?

    I never shipped shunji/Rie until today since he always bullied her. But today… They actually had a connection… They share the same feelings and goals. It’s always interesting to see baddies interact

    • 27.1 MsB

      Rie must be with Katsuyama! That’s my ship!

  28. 28 Mai

    I’m glad you mentioned the show’s bigger flaws, as I like to read the good and the bad when I read reviews. In episode 25, the “good” guys left Kanpei, Rei and Katsumya alive, for what reason? Plus, Shunji suspected they were after the ammunition yet he left them there so they got stolen. When he was heading to the armory with his subordinates to catch Kang To, there was no sense of urgency in his chase. It was as though the writers were buying time for Kang To’s gang to escape. The count’s character was so ridiculously unbelievable and over-the-top I couldn’t take him seriously and I felt nothing when he died (tho I give him props for excellent crying). There are many other episodes that depict sloppy/lazy writing, which stops this series from being the masterpiece it could have been.

    Still, this show’s strengths cannot be denied. For starters, the conflicts and changes that Kang To and Shunji undergo and the amazingly layered rivalry between them, the movement that the “good” guys are fighting for, and the interesting characterization of Rie who admitted to loving only Kang To and not Bridal Mask — aspects such as these are brilliantly covered.

  29. 29 Aquila

    “Boon-ah, I want you to be safe, and comfortable. The reason I fight to reclaim my country is for you. So that you can live freely and happily.” They embrace one last time, and Dad fights his tears.

    My heart just died after reading that sentence… T_T

  30. 30 Itoshi

    Everybody important in the drama talks about dying in this episode-Kang To, Mok Dan, Shunji, Dam Sa Ri, and Taro, except for Rie. Is this a hint?

    It’s devastating that Dam Sa Ri died. I anticipated it but it didn’t lessen the effect. Especially when I love Mok Dan so much. I love it that DSR died with that awesome speech, and that he was able to move Shunji’s heart. That is so consistent of his character. I cried like a baby when he said ‘you made me tell a lie to my Boon-yi’

    And thank you writer-nim, for more scenes between Kang To and Mok Dan. And Mok Dan’s new hairdo makes her look like a married woman, and both of them look so much like each other,like husband and wife, that i was hoping that suddenly anybody would burst out and say ‘they’re married’ or something. Alas, it’s not so but we have 2 more episodes to look forward too.

    I love that they retained Abe’s character. He’s Japanese but he’s not EVIL. He’s like, just working to feed his family, i think.

    and Gye Soon’s brother being drafted is so sad. Gye Soon’s life not so much different than Kang To..

    And it’s interesting for me that although they are in the same boat, Rie’s all thinking about Kang To and Mok Dan, but Shunji is thinking is he on a sinking ship. They have come so far from where they are in the beginning.

    And Deuk Soo-Seon Hwa loveline is sweet-and both sides of their family approved lol

    and thank you Girlfriday. Your recaps made me cry and laugh at the same time. Awesome!

    • 30.1 Anabanana

      Regarding how MokDan looked like KangTo’s wife — I totally agree. Glad they decided to make her look a little more feminine this time around. She really is the source of his strength and his *everything.*

      There’s a war pending. How about a small intimate wedding before everything goes to hell?? :)
      Shunji and Rie could marry, too — they are totally compatible as well.

  31. 31 Vanessa

    Thank you GF for the recap!(: <3

  32. 32 picklemonster

    Oof….Thank you Girlfriday, for that last sentence. Ever since Kang-To decided to wear that mask, I’ve been all too fearful of his death. And I still am now, but what you said there about Damsari sacrificing himself for his daughter’s happiness gave me some hope.

    I’m almost 98% sure that Mok Dan would survive this drama, what with all these hot men risking their lives for her. But Kang-To? Yea not too sure about that one, especially since epic heroic deaths have always been (unfortunately) popular in these kind of dramas. But just knowing that such an important character gave his life so that his daughter could have a possible future with Kang-To is enough to keep the hope alive. *crosses fingers* Hope I won’t jinx it though, because I swear, EVERY SINGLE TIME Kang-To says “Don’t worry”, I get a mini-heart attack.

    PLEASE SHOW, STOP WITH ALL THE FORESHADOWING AND DEATH SPEECHES. PLEASE! *o* The part where Mok Dan tells Kang-To to be back for dinner, and how she’ll cook his favorite stew….ugh, need I say more?

  33. 33 Mary

    This is intense and after an intense ride so levity would be nice here me universe levity will be nice!!

  34. 34 h311ybean

    ATTENTION: NANNY

    Now is your cue to burst into the fight room and stick a chopstick in Kimura’s eye or something.

    • 34.1 edge

      Woo! Second that =D

  35. 35 dany

    This gets darker and darker and I am seriously in pain here. Thank you for the recap!

  36. 36 katiamon

    This episode made me cry an ocean!!! Damsari’s goodbye and death were too much from me. And when kang to said goodbye to mok dan i started to yell to the screen “NOOOOOOOO!!! Don’t go dude”
    I can’t wait for the final fight next week, kimuras you’re going down!!!!! (right?????)
    Thanks for the recap

  37. 37 cheekbones

    I’m sorry, but I can’t help wondering if we should play the drinking game while reading the recap for everytime Girlfriday says “damn” or its variation….. :D

    Thanks, by the way, gf and jb for the recaps.

  38. 38 dancingbella

    Am I the ONLY ONE who was hoping that the Nanny will poison the tea or like stab Kimura Taro in the back mid fight with Gaksital??????????????

    COME ON NANNY!!!!!!!
    FIGHT FOR YOUR GRAND DAUGHTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 38.1 katiamon

      yes, arsenic or whatever!!!! nanny must avenge her poor grand daughter!

  39. 39 X5

    i was like “what, swiss knife? vs samurais??” but i guess that was better than just the bladeless pipe. Kang-to beat the life off of them with it anyway.

    and that breakdown scene by Mok Dan, the one inside the tent with just KT, finally gave me the depth i’m looking from JSY. i was watching it unsubbed so i was only looking at her face. i really felt her this time.

  40. 40 Nan

    Maybe I’m just being sensitive but I get really annoyed at the hypocrisy in this drama. Yang Baek tells Kangto not to give up his love of Oh Mok Dan but waits foolishly in that tailor shop not moving a step until he sees Kangto. Other people getting shot and running around while Dam Sari just dies. There were soooooo many great part of this drama but the little things over time just irritate me. I find the romance line boring and it has become more and more useless. In this episode, I felt too much time went to kangto-mokdan, the tension free part of the drama, when it should have went to the kimuras / characters involved in upcoming plot twist.

    /annoyed

  41. 41 sophia

    Ugh I was also disappointed at the quick death of Damsari. I mean, come on now…he escaped 9 times and is an Independence general…At least let him have a last fight with Shunji. And plus, why can’t they at least show his body being buried or something, just to give a bit more emotional attachment -___- le sigh. But I do think his last words were so meaningful, not just for the drama but for Korea: That there are millions of Yang Baeks, Dong Jins, and Gaksitals that will continue to fight; that nothing will ever end this movement. It was such a moving line. And then to bring back his other line about the stone and the egg was brilliant as well.

    I hope Shunji has it in his conscience by now that not only did his family kill Gangto’s (or shall I now say Young?) father, mother and in part his brother as well. I hope that keeps some humane spirit within him. And I’d really like to see more of Ueno Rie as well. She kind of fell as a backdrop in this episode, which was sad to me :T I think she deserves more action and I’m disappointed that she’s just…stayed put and not done anything.

    And I completely agree. Yang Baek’s teaching to Gangto was too needed. He needed to realize that love is the center of everything. Love for one’s country, soul mate, and (although he didn’t mention it) his own life is the most important aspect of life. It just really ties into the Independence Movement, Damsari’s epic line about the continuance of it, and the never-ending willingness to fight. A very well written drama indeed.

  42. 42 aramint

    Joo Won has this calming effect whenever he asks “gwenchana?” or whenever he says he’s fine. I don’t know why, but in all his dramas and shows, hearing him asking that made me feel safe, like you know he really cares for you.

    As for Gaksital, don’t die Kang-to ya! Or I will never forgive youuuuuu!

  43. 43 ck1Oz

    Yeah, me too. I was dreading ep 26 today.
    Oh man… this drama is doing my head in. I don’t even know whether it should stay true to what happened to Koreans during the Occupation. Or be a scaredy cat and wish for a happy ending.
    The spoiler for today- was a total shock to me :-(

    One thing for sure, would remember this drama forever. Oh and I see ss are out on soompi.

    • 43.1 ck1Oz

      Ya hear me, Universe? A future! A long one! With babies! Or Damsari will never forgive youuuuuuuu!

      I’ll drink to that, me sick of being in tears and knots in almost every episode lately.

  44. 44 Apple

    Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending. Please have a happy ending.

    • 44.1 picklemonster

      Thank you for writing that statement 26 times to fully represent all our feelings. ^^ Hopefully the chances of that happening will increase each time we add another “Please have a happy ending.” *crosses fingers*

    • 44.2 ainslie

      like this!

    • 44.3 Rani Heriyani (@aiya_anie)

      it has to b a happy ending…. or Gaksital will never forgive u….:D

  45. 45 Rani Heriyani (@aiya_anie)

    is not Gaksitaaaaaaaaaallllll anymore but Lee Kang Toooooooo….. :D

    why i feel that Joo won so handsome in this episode?? with those scarfs ???

    only 2 epsodes to go… but have to wait one week more…gaaahhh…. i need my GAKSITAAAALLLLLLl….

  46. 46 hawaiianseoul

    DAMSARIIIIIIIIII NO! WHY!

    *drowns in my own tears*

  47. 47 Yuhotarubi

    at least in this episode we didn’t see Kang-to getting tortured again *phew* but DAMSARI the great ahjussi that we all love, why did he die ??? TT_TT I felt so sad when he died.
    and also, isn’t it interesting to see Mok Dan having doubts and second thoughts ?? I always thought that no matter what she will always keep the same beliefs, and it was really nice to see Kang-to comforting her.

    Yang Baek Teacher, thank you for being there for Kang-to just as girlfriday said noble idiocy is for idiots, and Kang-to you are NOT an idiot.

    the final two episodes, the final week, I’m hoping foe a happy ending, but that hope is slowly fading!!
    thnx girlfriday for the recap !!!
    GAKSITAL FIGHTING !!!!

  48. 48 missjb

    i will miss Park Ki Woong while Bridal Mask end. Such a roller coaster experience watching this show…
    The most part that I’m enjoying so much is the first part about Lee Kan Too, but since he become gakksital, my interest switch to Shunji’s character. Ki Woong, Your Shunji, I will never forget his character here and always one of my favourite villain. I just keep coming back to this drama because of him. I never mind if he would never be redeemed and get punishment death. But Despite his wrong doing, I think he deserves some love from KT. He is the one who teach JW Kendo, so he can fight. It helped him alot being his presence as gaksital. some people do bad thing and next do good think after that and vice versa. they maybe deserve some punishment from all the wrong doing he has been done. But u can’t forget a good thing he has Been either.
    Sorry for the rant, I just love this show for a different reason.

    • 48.1 Anabanana

      You’re not alone. He shot to the top of the list for my all-time favorite villains. Sometimes even I wonder if I keep watching Gaksital solely for PKW who is doing a phenomenal job.

      I don’t think a happy ending is in the works for Shunji. He doesn’t fully understand the significance of the Lee Sun backstory — other than what his dad told him. I’m sure he left out the bit about his dad killing KangTo’s dad.

      But I love how KangTo isn’t visiting Taro because of the whole “You killed my father, now prepare to die” reason. In fact, unlike City Hunter that hasn’t been a priority for the most part — he’s only revisiting Taro because Taro intends to slaughter all blacklisted criminals as if they’re on death row. He’s going after Taro for the same reason Kang San went after the council of 5.

      But yeah, back to Shunji — he seemed to finally understand why KangTo killed Kenji and may have even forgave him a bit. But Shunji will NEVER forgive Taro’s death. So sad.

      For awhile i thought Shunji would have a chance at living a normal life. I do pity him — he, like KT, has been forced to shoulder a burden that only he can carry out. He’ll either have to do or die. Same with KT. Damsari called him a hopeless guy — I think he’s starting to regret joining Kishokai now (not that he ever cared about this organization in the first place). Maybe if Rie had to save someone, she could save Shunji…

      • 48.1.1 Anabanana

        Replying to my own post (I know it’s lame).

        I know I shouldn’t feel bad for Shunji… but for the first time, I actually felt his fear. The gnawing fear he has that he WILL fail his mission. He is trying to convince himself that he is fighting for something that IS worth fighting for. But the other side not only has something worth fighting for, they are also like a hydra’s head — you cut down one Gaksital and three more will pop up. You cut down 3 and maybe 7 more will crop up. It’s the same fear the U.S. lives with — can we really and truly eradicate terrorism? That seems to be the Q that Shunji is grappling with. What’s the point of just bringing Dong Jin and Yang Baek’s heads if more of the same are going to come up? His efforts would be futile. And if he can’t succeed, his efforts are futile anyway. I love how Shunji isn’t afraid of death, but rather he’s more afraid his life and the way he lives is and has been meaningless… that’s got to be a sinking feeling

        Now I see why Rie looked at him so sympathetically…

        • 48.1.1.1 eny

          when i watch baker king kim tak gu i like joo won as villain too, that is the first time I like antagonist charracter more than protagonist because it ‘s reasonable, but for shunji i don’t have any sympathy anymore, when he know kenji kill kang to’s mother and kang to tell him he kill his own brother and his mother die too, he just cry a while and there’s no change in his heart

      • 48.1.2 missjb

        WHy My post is in the next page? I replied AnaBanana,s post but my post always ended up in the next page?

        It’s my post:
        @AnaBanana

        So glad I’m not the only one. So many Shunji haters (I know it’s reasonable to hate him so much. He is the villain)
        I just have a soft spot for villain character who have awsome character development. Some people say his transformation was absurb. At first i agree with them. But when I rewatch gaksital and try to seeing Shunji’s point of view, Can i just say, his transformation actually makes sense?
        Like you, I’m so guilty to find myself rooting for him and pity him so much. I’m not rooting for his happy ending, but I rooting for him to find something meaning full, what’s is wrong and what’s right. Realizing his father’s atrocities, etc… He just a japanese who has been misguided by his father and his hyung. He think with him devote his life to his family is the right thing to do. Shut down his humanity feeling to served his country in korea to maintain their occupation. He feel guilty he ever opposing his father.

        I’m abit dissapoint with Kang To though based on the way what he has done to Shunji. Makes me questioning if he really ever see Shunji as his best friend, or is he saw Shunji as someone who he feels obligated with. It’s seems always one side love.

    • 48.2 OMG

      if i had not watched K2H, Shunji woulda shot to the top of my list of horrible baddies!!!

    • 48.3 Mai

      You make a great point. I’m a bit conflicted on this. I feel like Kang -To doesn’t show Shunji enough love — in fact, he doesn’t seem to feel anything for the guy, although Shunji played such a pivotal role in his survival before all this mess started.

      Kang-To unrelentingly used their friendship to further his cause, and I understand why Shunji feels betrayed. Kang-To could have left the force but instead he stayed and continued to use their friendship; Shunji has a right to resent him for this. Not once did Kang-To seem conflicted about doing this and that bothered me a bit.

      However, Shunji’s descent into the dark side has led him to do some terrible things, some of which are arguably unforgivable. Although he didn’t show Kang-To any remorse about what Kenji did to his family, I think deep down he understands Kang-To’s pain. But does Kang-To understand Shunji’s pain? Not so much, I think. In the end, both guys are fighting for what they believe in, and if necessary, will kill each other for that cause.

      • 48.3.1 missjb

        @Mia: “You make a great point. I’m a bit conflicted on this. I feel like Kang -To doesn’t show Shunji enough love — in fact, he doesn’t seem to feel anything for the guy, although Shunji played such a pivotal role in his survival before all this mess started.” -> Thanks God I’m not the only one who felt this way… It bothered me so much when I rewatch Gaksital for the 2nd time… I don,t now if this is intended from the writers that indicated Kang To never saw Shunji as his best friend, or there is some plot holes here… I Admit, if in the end Shunji will died in KT’s arms, it will be out off place if KT feeling lost and cried for Shunji for me.

        Shunji indeed still cared for Kang To… Actually I believe He Loved Kang To so much way more than Kenji even Mok Dan I believe. Because He become possesive towards Mok Dan when he smell there is indicated Kang To did Betrayed him.

        He is not only understand KT’s Pain, He actually felt remorse, even he doesn’t want to admit it! He become softer after heard KT’s confession.

        I think Shunji didn’t felt remorse when knowing Kenji Killed KT’s mother because He has no connection with his mother. But Shunji has connection with Kang San.

        But yeah… what Shunji did is still unforgivable, and even convince himself he has choosen the right path..

        But I still believe beside his father and Kenji’s Death, Kang To’s action inderictly has cause Shunji’s tranformation.

      • 48.3.2 missjb

        @Mai:

        just want to add:
        another hint that Shunji still love Kang To was when he unmask him for the first time, the 2nd time when fake gaksital tried to attacked His Kang To, his hand without hestitate tried to shoot fake gaksital who have harmed KT as if he still want to believe KT is still in his side, even he knows KT’s identity, The 3rd time when in torture room, he tried to stop his father harmed Kang To without look too obvious. the 3rd time when he confessed to Rie What should he do if he fail to catch Dong Yi and Yang Baek? But he didn’t mention Gaksital / Kang To’s name, eventhough Rie is clearly talk about KT and MD. LOL
        I love this small detailed the writers gave to Shunji’s character, because it tell the viewers Shunji still has a soft spot for Kang To, eventhough they have went different path.

        But so little hint that indicated KT still care for Shunji.
        I’m not demand the screenwriters to make Kang To has to paid what he has done to Shunji. It will be too much for KT since he has been went through the most horrible thing in his life. I love Kang To’s character (though I admit I’m biased more towards Shunji) and admire him as a hero. In fact, I’m cheering him to achieve his goal.

        I just want the writers shown to us viewers a hint actually Kang To still has a soft spot for Shunji, and start to see Shunji’s point of view. If KT want Shunji understand him, he has to do the same thing for Shunji. I’m abit dissapointed not even once a hint KT felt conflicted and think about Shunji’s feeling when he plan to face Taro. He knew losing a whole family is a horrible thing. Writers, must you be so cruel? I know Shunji is the villain, but it doesn’t mean the protagonist has to ignoring him!

  49. 49 21

    I cried so much in this episode, just when I thought my mascara has finally stopped running another scene had me in tears all over again. Even though I knew at least one goodie would die I didn’t think it was Damsari and that he would take his own life. It was really sad. I keep telling myself that all my fav characters will probably die and that Kang-to is probably not going to live but I can’t help and hope that at least he will end up being alive and with Mok Dan!! I really hope this drama will end with hope. Thanks so much for the recap.

    • 49.1 picklemonster

      DO’S AND DON’T’S FOR WATCHING GAKSITAL:

      1) Don’t watch in public.
      2) Don’t eat dinner while watching, especially anything that’s red.
      3) Don’t wear make-up.
      4) Don’t watch before a date with le boyfriend.
      5) DO watch with a box of tissues at hand.

  50. 50 UJ

    My body needs good old antihypertensive drugs when i watch Gaksital!!

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