Drama Recaps
Gu Family Book: Episode 3
by | April 15, 2013 | 234 Comments

Now that our hearts have been thoroughly broken by the beautifully sad love story of our story’s prologue (seriously, I was pretty wrecked over it, having grown so invested in their relationship), it’s time to start mending them with the introduction of our actual main characters.

I was so sucked into the world of the parents that I wondered how the “real” storyline would match it. I wasn’t afraid that it would be bad, just curious to know how much the tone would shift. I’m happy to report that while the mood lifts, it retains that sense of romantic whimsy that I loved about the opening, as well as that line of pathos running through the show.


Lee Seung-gi – “숲” (Forest) [ Download ]

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Backtracking from the river scene that saw our baby hero’s adoption by a nobleman, we return to the scene of his birth. As Seo-hwa goes into labor in the cave at Moonlight Garden, our friendly monk So-jung sees the blue lights in the air.

This sign of Wol-ryung’s existence sends him dashing for the cave, but it’s Seo-hwa and her newborn that he finds instead. She sits in lifeless silence, and when he comments on the boy resembling his father, she answers dully that she doesn’t know; she hardly remembers Wol-ryung’s face.

At that, So-jung hands her the wooden dagger that was to be Wol-ryung’s rescue, if only he’d thrust it into her heart. She asks why he didn’t, and the monk replies that this was the extent of Wol-ryung’s love for her—immense and whole-hearted , and without desire to kill her and spend the rest of his days alone. Seo-hwa takes the dagger in tears.

Seo-hwa returns to the village, thinking about the weakness and foolishness of humankind, and how one only realizes the value of what is lost after losing it. She arrives at the estate of Jo Gwan-woong and emerges from the crowd with the wooden dagger.

She thinks, “Don’t forgive me” as she raises the dagger to strike. She slashes him across the face, a nonfatal wound, and he looks up at her in shock. She adds, “This foolish woman who dropped her beloved down a bottomless cliff and thought to kill his child—do not forgive me.”

In rage, she raises the dagger again to strike a deathblow.. and gets cut down by his many guards. She falls dead at his feet.

Ah, the narration comes from the contents of the letter she has left behind with the baby, asking monk So-jung to look after her child, knowing she’s on a suicide mission. She pleads for him to spare the child a lonely life like his father’s, and allow him to grow up among people like an ordinary person.

Hence the riverside outing, where So-jung strategically floats the baby to be discovered by nobleman Park Mu-sol. I have to say, either So-jung did his research or we got awfully lucky, because we can surmise that Lord Park is a decent man from the way he just jumps into the water to retrieve the baby, and how he accepts him as his own. Sure, there’s a bit of fake fortunetelling by the monk to assure him the boy is a luck magnet, but it seems safe to suppose he’s in good hands.

So-jung puts a beaded bracelet on the baby’s wrist and makes Lord Park promise not to remove it before the boy reaches the age of twenty. It’s similar to the bracelet he had once thrown onto Wol-ryung, which had blocked his supernatural powers—insurance that the boy will have as normal a life as he can as a half-spiritual being, I presume. So-jung’s explanation is that the bracelet is a charm warding off evils, and as long as he raises the child with the bracelet until he’s twenty, he will receive much good fortune.

Lord Park is, naturally, skeptical. So-jung declares that the forest, wind, and trees will provide proof of his words—and then a sudden gust of wind blows through the area.

Thus begins the life of Choi Kang-chi.

Some time later, this tale has become a myth unto itself, recounted in the marketplace to a crowd of rapt listeners. The storyteller assures the crowd that the man did indeed raise the child, and everything he did prospered, and he became the richest of rich men. His estate grew to palatial proportions, his coffers flourished, and he even set up his own establishment housing foreign ambassadors and travelers, called Hundred Year Inn.

Furthermore, Park Mu-sol was a benevolent man who treated even thieves with understanding, helping rather than punishing, and the people grew to respect him as a great man.

A question comes from the crowd—it’s DAM YEO-WOOL (Suzy), asking what became of that baby. The storyteller hems and haws: “Well, about that…”

Cut to: Hundred Year Inn (the Park estate), where Lord Park’s faithful servant bursts into the yard shouting for Kang-chi, who has caused yet another accident.

In the main courtyard, an angry man stands with two beat-up underlings, demanding Kang-chi to present himself. Ha, did those three bruisers get pummeled by a teenage pretty boy?

It’s a different young man who steps forward to take charge: PARK TAE-SEO (Yoo Yeon-seok), Mu-sol’s serious and competent son. Tae-seo diplomatically agrees to look into the matter, but the victims aren’t willing to be pushed aside another minute. Kang-chi! Here! Now!

Time to actually meet Kang-chi, who’s busy playing… Peeping Tom? Oh, you. He sneaks up to the house where a young girl sits with her maidservant—it’s PARK CHUNG-JO (Lee Yubi), Mu-sol’s daughter and Tae-seo’s little sis.

Kang-chi creeps into the room, grinning to himself as he anticipates scaring Chung-jo like a little boy out to play a prank… but she just turns to him and doesn’t bat an eyelash. His face falls hilariously.

He’s also nursing an obvious crush on her, and when she mentions her upcoming wedding, he overcompensates with forced laughter.

They all freeze up to hear that Chung-jo’s mother is outside with an important guest, and the music turns dire. Chung-jo urges Kang-chi to slip out the back window, because it would look pretty bad in front of future mother-in-law. Kang-chi turns serious, realizing that she’s actually considering the marriage set up by their families, looking aggrieved.

Mom is Lady Yoon (Korean women keep their surname upon marriage, so she isn’t Lady Park) and she knows something’s fishy even though Kang-chi’s gone when she enters. She asks, “Was it Kang-chi again?” They may have been raised like siblings, but Kang-chi is of low birth and it’s important that Chung-jo remember that, she warns. These marriage arrangements (to the son of a government minister) are very important and she can’t risk any impropriety to ruin those plans.

Kang-chi sits on the roof, having heard the exchange, and heaves a sigh.

Tae-seo finds him on his way out, stern and disapproving. Kang-chi lies that he wasn’t actually inside, he was totally just passing by. But there’s a more pressing issue at hand, and he takes him back to deal with the men in the courtyard.

Tae-seo mutters under his breath for them to take care of this quietly and cleanly, but Kang-chi the hothead just stomps up and growls, “HEY! YOU! Who d’you think you are?” Words are exchanged, tempers flare, and Kang-chi ends up kicking the leader down.

Tae-seo struggles to keep order, worried that a disturbance will ruin things for their very important event today. He quickly offers to pay off the brawlers, and the leader tries to extort a few more coins out of him, which gets Kang-chi even madder.

Tae-seo agrees to the exorbitant 30 nyang offer, ordering Kang-chi to shut up when he protests the indignity of being made to pay up. But Kang-chi can’t stand for that, and he increases the amount to 50 nyang—with a catch, of course.

He grabs a wooden broom and SLAAAAMS it down—his beaded bracelet glows red—through the stones paving the ground. Catch him and he’ll pay up, and throw in an apology on his knees while he’s at it.

Tae-seo glowers in frustration as the ruffians take the deal and start the chase. Aie, this isn’t going to end well is it?

The melee travels across the property and toward the pavilion where Chung-jo sits with her mother and serves their guest tea. The fight comes crashing right into their courtyard, and although Kang-chi evades deftly, he ends up crashing right into the tea table while the thugs yell, “Get him! Fifty nyang!”

Even in the midst of the furor, when Chung-jo asks if he’s okay he looks up at her dazzled for a moment: She’s preeeeetty. Ha, boys.

But then Tae-seo leads a retinue of armed guards into the courtyard, followed by his stern father, and the sight of Lord Park has everybody on their best behavior (even the thugs).

Under Lord Park’s eye, Kang-chi kneels in the courtyard and the gang of thugs is given their promised cash. Kang-chi stews to see them get what they want, but his shame in front of his surrogate Dad is greater and he bows his head penitently.

Lord Park asks “which side” drove him today—Kang-chi only ever fights for two reasons, either when somebody troubles the household or when he sees the weak and underprivileged being tormented. Kang-chi answers miserably that this was all his own fault for being bad-tempered and inadequate and apologizes for it.

But Lord Park responds open-mindedly, saying that a young man exerting some physicality is no great flaw—but he is an adult now and ought to have dealt with the fuss in a more responsible manner. He tells Kang-chi to remain kneeling and reflect on his wrongs quietly.

So already we can tell that Dad is awesome, although his wife is a little less awesome in that she’s itching to kick Kang-chi out for good. Lord Park reminds her that there’s only a month left until he turns twenty, which barely placates her. You can’t really blame her for it since he is a rabble-rouser, but her dislike goes back to Day 1 when her husband brought home the baby while she was pregnant with Tae-seo.

In a flashback, we see that day when Lady Yoon objects to raising the child. Her fears grow when the child is accidentally injured—and when his bracelet falls off, they see the wound heal over right before their eyes.

The shock sends her into painful early labor, and Lord Park contemplates the “evil-warding” bracelet. He asks the child whether he’s truly good fortune, or a cursed being. As he places the bracelet back on Kang-chi’s wrist, a wind blows through the house. Almost immediately, he gets good news: He has a healthy son, and his wife is safe. Hot on the heels of that fortune, he receives word that his ships that were believed sunk at sea have returned safe and sound.

Another fierce wind blows through the house to confirm that his suspicions are correct: Kang-chi is good luck, not bad.

Out in the yard, Kang-chi kneels all night, his stomach growling just as Chung-jo appears to offer an apple.

She asks why he did it, telling him that kicking up that fuss wouldn’t be enough to break her engagement. Ah, so his fighting wasn’t driven by selfless or heroic desires today.

There are things in life you have to just accept and endure, she tells him, and this marriage is one of them. He grumbles that she shouldn’t marry if she doesn’t want to, but she points out that protecting something requires sacrifice and patience. He asks what she’s protecting. Chung-jo: “Family.” She knows she has no power as an aristocratic lady, but if she can help her family through marriage, it’s worth it to her.

Kang-chi offers to do all the protectorin’ around here, reminding her how strong he is. She answers that there are things brute strength can’t solve, like politics.

He asks point-blank, “Then when you take away all that politics, what are your feelings? Do you like me?” He does his trademark count-to-three maneuver to get her to answer, and looks adorably confused when it doesn’t work on her. Aw. He starts counting to three again, and that’s when she leans in to kiss him on the cheek.

Kang-chi freezes in shock, disbelieving, and then it sinks in and he leaps up to howl in victory. He’s so cute.

But standing in the shadows to ruin this sweet moment is Lady Yoon, looking incredibly displeased. A flashback to her last conversation with Lord Park tells us that she was worried about this very thing, even though Lord Park had told her she was worrying for no reason because the kids grew up as siblings. You can’t argue with a woman’s intuition on this one. She vows to herself that if her husband won’t cast Kang-chi out, she will.

In the village, Yeo-wool gets her palm read by a grandma fortuneteller who gives her a disapproving once-over and cluck-clucks that Yeo-wool is doomed in love because (s)he is a weak little stick-man, not broad and strong like all the girls like. Yeo-wool has to correct her by saying she’s female, and granny clucks even harder—what man will like her, looking all manly like she is?

Yeo-wool’s silent bodyguard GON (Sung Joon), suppresses a smirk, and it’s to him that she complains afterward, worried that she’ll die alone. Are arrow-shooting, sword-wielding women really so unappealing to men? Gon hesitates a moment too long and she assumes that’s a yes, though from the way he tries to explain himself I’d say Gon’s nursing a big fat crush on her.

So-jung happens to be drinking at the table over and he pipes up that everybody’s got a mate somewhere, and that’s enough encouragement for Yeo-wool to thrust her hand in his face and ask for a reading.

But the moment he sees her hand, he sobers up and says that although she is destined to meet her mate soon, it’s a match that she’d be better off escaping if she can. She doesn’t understand how she’s supposed to avoid a match fated for her by heaven, and So-jung sighs that fate involves choice—she can choose not to pursue that match, and the relationship can stop there.

She grumbles that he’s just telling her to die old and alone, then, and turns to go. So-jung leaves her with one last warning: The one she meets under the peach blossom tree with a crescent moon is an incompatible match—she must avoid him at all costs.

Lord Park receives a letter stamped with a bow-and-arrow design; the message inside has him looking alarmed. He rushes out immediately on an overnight trip. I reaaaaally don’t like the shrewd look that comes into Lady Yoon’s eye the moment her husband is gone…

Tae-seo sits Kang-chi down to go through mounds of inn records, which has Kang-chi moaning and groaning. It’s all, Punish me with physical labor instead! Make me clean! Anything! Don’t make me use my brain!

Lady Yoon has her maid deliver Kang-chi a note. He reads it, his face darkening immediately.

Lord Park arrives at a mountain stronghold, where warriors are trained with military precision. The leader of this establishment is Dam Pyung-joon, the same skilled soldier who once led the manhunt for Seo-hwa and the gumiho. The men greet each other as longtime friends.

Tae-seo chuckles to think of all the brain-pain Kang-chi will have endured with the inn books, only to find the room empty. He just sighs, thinking Kang-chi shirked work.

Kang-chi is actually outside, thinking he’s been called by Chung-jo for help, and he looks for her near a dark shed just as we see shadowy figures advancing from afar. Ack, so Lady Yoon didn’t just want Kang-chi away-gone, she wanted him dead-gone?! That takes her from pissy mom figure to evil, as far as I’m concerned.

The maidservant emerges and tells him that Chung-jo’s waiting for him inside. He enters the dark shed and makes his way through it, and finds Lady Yoon glaring at him. She accuses him of daring to harbor base feelings for Chung-jo.

Kang-chi apologizes, but assures her that his feelings are honorable. That doesn’t make her any happier, and she calls forth her guards.

Meanwhile, Dam Pyung-joon briefs Lord Park on the reason for calling him: a rash of brutal murders. His investigators were also killed while on the job, and Dam Pyung-joon warns that Lord Park may be next.

Elsewhere, a large and armed entourage travels along a road, and arrives at its destination. The nobleman inside the palanquin looks out, revealing his face: Jo Gwan-woong, our hateful rapist-murderer, out for more evil-doing.

Back to Kang-chi, who is tied up and beaten. Lady Yoon gives him the choice to voluntarily leave and never return, or be made to never return. The guards are reluctant, but she gives the order and they have to obey.

But Kang-chi manages to use his strength to knock them aside, and as his bracelet glows red, he bursts free of his ropes. He runs away, with the guards chasing.

A short distance away from Jo Gwan-woong’s entourage, Yeo-wool and Gon keep watch, having been sent out as scouts. They head back home after getting the info they need, but hear a sound in the woods nearby and split up.

It’s Kang-chi, pleading with his hyungnims not to keep attacking—he doesn’t want to hurt them. They toss powder at him and wonder whether he’s a beast from the way he’s so hard to take down, and their leader (Park Joo-hyung, aw, playing a nice guy for once instead of Gakistal and Jeon Woo-chi’s antagonists) gives the order to subdue Kang-chi without harming him. Hm, so they’re not robots under Lady Yoon, good to know.

Kang-chi keeps fighting, and then a veiled figure flies in to challenge the crew. It’s Yeo-wool, who chides them for fighting an unarmed man. The tell her to step out of it, but she wonders whether this is her troop of serial killers and won’t back down.

Yeo-wool takes them all on easily with her sword skills, and Kang-chi can only watch in his drugged daze. She holds them off, then grabs his hand and leads him away, while Gon jumps in to finish off the fight.

As they run, Yeo-wool’s hat falls off and Kang-chi gets a glimpse of her face, blurry in his daze. He wonders, “Chung-jo… is that you?”

Just then they’re stopped by one of the guards, who charges with sword raised. In a flash, Kang-chi whirls them around, protecting Yeo-wool with his body and catching the guard with the blunt hilt of his sword.

They stand there staring intently at each other, and Kang-chi assures her not to worry, because he’ll protect her. And then he passes out in her arms.

Blue lights rise in the air surrounding them, and as she looks up at the sky, she sees a crescent moon, suspended over a peach blossom tree. The monk’s warning echoes in her ears.


As I said, the show keeps that touch of romantic pathos, which hits a really wonderful balance of emotion. We’ve only just met these characters—it almost felt like watching a second pilot—but already I like them and feel for them. We’ve barely even gotten to the issues that’ll crop up in the future (given that our hero doesn’t even know anything about his true nature) but what we’ve got is a firm foundation for him as a normal guy who feels the full range of human emotion (as his mother wished for him)—and it’s always that humanity that gives us our emotional groundedness, despite all the fantasy/supernatural/whimsical elements also in play.

Kang-chi’s unknown parentage is both a boon and a stigma in his current world, because while he has to bear the burden of being low-born (and therefore unfit to marry Chung-jo), at least he’s spared the ostracism that would come with being a known half-breed. People whisper that his superhuman strength can’t be normal, but it would be so much worse if they knew he really was (to use their term) a monster.

I like that while Kang-chi feels fully human in this way, that doesn’t immediately make him accepted; he’s got his own barriers to overcome even as he has to deal with the biggest one of all. You know, once he finds out there’s a whole other process to go through to be fully human. And Lee Seung-gi does a really nice job of adding a layer of yearning to his expressions that really gets me; there’s depth to his reading of the character. I mean, we’re all already on Kang-chi’s side, but it’s always rewarding to get more layers.

The setup with Kang-chi being taken in with the Park family totally tugs at my heartstrings, and it’s a great one because he’s been given this amazing life and a great best friend in Tae-seo, and a sweet first love in Chung-jo, and a wise surrogate father in Park Mu-sol. Really, that should outweigh the bitterness of Lady Yoon, murder attempt notwithstanding.

So while I can see where certain love triangles/squares are being set up and how conflicts are being planned for the future, the development of these characters feels full of enough real emotion that I’m in it for their journey.


234 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. dubokki

    whoot off to read <3 thanks javabeans ^^

    • 1.1 Ivoire

      I am off to read as well, thanks JB!

      • 1.1.1 Ivoire

        Was I the only one who thought of a hair commercial when Suzy was running (in the woods) and her hat came off? It reminded me of the scene in Faith where the doctor was on the horse (to go stop the general’s fight) and I think her hat came off as well, and she looked like she was shooting a hair commercial too. It was just a thought that occurred to me.

        I thought LSG was cute in this episode (and funny at times), and I like the cast so far. I also like the chemistry between Lee Yoo-Bi and LSG here, it is believable. I haven’t seen Sung Joon in many dramas (only a little bit in Lie to Me), and based on this episode, I can see why people rave about him. I too, love his quiet, gentle nature and the way (it seems) he is protective of Suzy’s character.

        Thank you again, for the recap!

        • pogo

          Ivoire – the way she’s styled and presented does come off a little model-y in here, you’re not the only one to think that!

          And I really like the chemistry between Lee Yoo Bi and LSG too.

        • Andrea

          Haha yea I thought that too!!! It was all in slow motion too keke ^_^ lol

        • Ivoire

          Thank you guys, (Pogo and Andrea), I am glad to see that I am not the only one who saw what I saw and thought what I thought :-).

          • pabo ceo reom

            You should watch Sung Joon in Shut Up. That’s where he turned me into a fan!

            As for the hair, it reminded me of Moon Geun-young in Cinderella’s Sister. Very slo-mo and pretty. I liked it!

            Anyhow, I’m totally invested in this drama. I can’t wait to see how things play out.

  2. snow_white

    thanks for the recap…..

  3. Penny

    Its here! yay. Thanks jb.

  4. Mawiie

    From the long preview I was scared that Seung Gi will overact (I totally love him, but he does it sometimes, expecially in the first few episodes of any of his dramas), so I’m happy to see that he’s well nuanced here ^-^

    This show is so freaking gorgeous, I just want to use those screencaps as wallpaper LOL

    • 4.1 april

      Me too.. it’s so beautifull ^^

    • 4.2 slfowie

      That last screencaps… its GORGEOUS! Even if the show was crappy ( which it isn’t) i would put it in mute n just watch them….

      Hope Tae-seo and Kang-chi’s bond continue to grow, and have a similar dynamic like the prince n Earnest bot- with one saying something and the other thinking its something else….

      • 4.2.1 crazyajummafan

        Yeah, the two of them kinda reminded me of Jaeha and Earnest Bot.

        • Ivoire

          Hello crazyajummafan,
          Just wanted to let you know that I just saw your response to my comment in episode 2 (comment number 50-ish, bottom of first page) and that I left you a response to comment 109 (3rd page, recap of 2nd episode). My comment is currently awaiting moderation, so it is probably not posted yet. Thank you for reading all my comments and responding.

      • 4.2.2 Ivoire

        Hey slfowie,
        I just wanted to let you that I saw your response in the episode 2 recap (your response to me, on the 1st page). Although I did not comment on it, I just wanted to say thank you and I look forward to more conversations/discussions with you about this drama 🙂

  5. otchosais


    off to read! 🙂

  6. liz

    I think Suzi improved. Yay! I’m relieved, she can emote more than blank face she did on Big. thank god.

    • 6.1 miranda

      Except she emoted for like a second and than went back to blank face!

    • 6.2 Misty

      Yeah!! and I like her character too. Sweet but badass

  7. Florentine Lily

    JB, thanks for the recap.

  8. mika

    Thanks for the recap!

    Did anyone notice the change in Chung-jo’s expression as soon as she turns around from giving Kang-cho a kiss on the cheek? I feel like there’s more dark layers to her…I can see Kang-cho getting hurt much, much more in the future.

    • 8.1 milkteanlsg

      Yeah, Chung-jo’s expression is a

      “!!? WHAT did I do…”

      • 8.1.1 Stardust

        I thought that she was being strong and sweet in his presence but she is sad because she needs to continue in her marriage to the other man? Of cos a girl isn’t supposed to just kiss a guy, especially being a proper lady… so that look could be a look of sadness… or secret revulsion? EEEEK I dun wanna go there…

        I really hope that its not a facade that she is doing to keep the ‘strange animal’ in check in her house, as a twisted way to protect her family… That would really break Kang Chi’s heart… *squirms*

        Now that you mention it, if everything was really so perfect, the writing and characters will be very 1-dimensional…

        We can see that yes, people in the household from servants to the guards, are all aware that Kang Chi is…different… Lord Park IS aware that something is not quite right with the baby, and the way he wants to keep him in his household is because of the prophecy of the monk, since he witnessed first hand how keeping Kang Chi seemingly miraculously saved his first born, his wife, and his trade ships… But I hoped that he really cared for the child, but he wanted to keep his wife happy, so he kept saying…1 more month… he never DID promise her to kick Kang Chi out…

        His son seemingly does like Kang Chi, and wants to train him into his future steward, there seems to be no malice there…

        • lemondoodle

          “I really hope that its not a facade that she is doing to keep the ‘strange animal’ in check in her house, as a twisted way to protect her family…”

          I hadn’t thought of that until you said that, but it does make sense considering her character’s desire to whatever it takes to help her family. That and her mother being the same. I feel poor Kangchi is going to have a lot of heartbreak coming from courtesy of that family.

          • awkwardpause

            That’s why he needs super-Suzy! ^_^

    • 8.2 Ivoire

      Hello Mika,

      I noticed as well (right away) that CJ stopped smiling once KC was out of sight. It felt to me as though she was just manipulating him because she knows he has a crush on her. Her smile totally disappeared once she looked straight ahead (scary).
      CJ feels manipulative to me, and calculating. Her character’s description indicates that she knows that KC loves her, or has a crush on her, and she uses it when it suits her, which to me seems to go with what we saw in that scene. She is young, and yet she already knows that to advance politically, one needs to have certain alliances, at times earned by marrying off one’s daughter to the right family. That to me is calculating and manipulative, and she has no problem going along with it.

      I will be honest and say that I do not trust her. I guess we will find out what she is made of, as the show continues.

      • 8.2.1 crazyajummafan

        Actually, I had a different impression. When she turned to walk off, I thought her expression was like, “Oh dear, what have I done? Was I too forward?”

      • 8.2.2 Ivoire

        Interesting observation crazyajummafan,
        I guess (and I hope) we will find out soon how she really feels about KC…

        • Ivoire

          I just wanted to add that there was something about the way she stopped smiling that made me feel like her smile and kiss were not genuine in the first place. I also thought that maybe, she wanted to see how he would react.

          • joybells

            Wow so many ways to interpret the kiss…Well, I got more of the impression that,she knows that KC likes her and even she has feelings for him,but since she’s been brought up a proper yabang lady and what her mom has been telling her against him her whole life,she knows she dosn’t have a future with him as social order was quite strict in those days.So the kiss was more like her acting on her feelings on spur-of-the-moment,but after that moment passes and she turns away,she feels sad and defected(her change in expression?) coz she knows that things are never going to work for them.

      • 8.2.3 mika

        You took the words right out of my mouth, Ivoire. That’s the exact impression I got. All I know is that I’m really, really glad about the bromance thus far.

  9. lemondoodle

    Nice episode. Aww Seunggi finally playing a character I don’t have to force myself to like the first episode. Kangchi really is adorable.

    Everyone did a good job. Liking all the characters, minus evil mother. I can actually understand her feelings (somewhat), but maybe you should talk to him before you try to kill him? Just saying… I don’t think the happy family fun times will last and when things go down they’ll turn on him, but it’s nice to see he had a good childhood at least.

  10. 10 MIKAN

    I like it. Nice second pilot episode 😀 It’s manwha-ish feels on me and I’m so excited for their journey! I hope Gu family book will be awesome throughout the drama!

  11. 11 chandra

    Yay! Thank you for the recap! First time commenting…

  12. 12 april

    yeiiiii….Thanks javabeans.. ^_^

  13. 13 Mosmo

    Thanks for the great recap javabeans!! Why do moms’ gotta be bitchy in k-dramas >.<!! Everyone seems to be doing a decent job so far. The drama sure is really pretty. Loving the camerawork and the directing. I have to brace myself for the upcoming betrayals and breakups coming up because I suspect there will be a lot. Hopefully it won't take too long for the Kangchi and Dam Yeol to fall in love. It seems like Dam Yeol is already somewhat in love and hopefully Kangchi won't be too oblivious of this.

  14. 14 foulou

    Not convinced with Suzy just yet.

    • 14.1 miranda

      That poor girl is trying so hard but it`s not working! I tried to like her but why does she have only two facial expressions?

    • 14.2 pogo

      Neither am I tbh

      There’s just something off about her speech and her expressions/body language, it doesn’t nake for a super convincing performance even if that last shot was GORGEOUS.

  15. 15 crazedlu

    i don’t enjoy suzy, so this will be hard for me to watch, but seunggi i like. his story is the one i want to follow. if they had casted any other girl (okay some and not others), i would’ve enjoyed this watch so much more. but i’ll just bear it and extend some toleration suzy’s way.

    • 15.1 fateme.r

      idols always ruin everything
      i hate them

      • 15.1.1 awkwardpause

        Gee, you must hate Seunggi too then, since he started out as an idol singer. Or are you just a giant hypocrite? :3

        • foulou

          Seung gi wasn’t an idol. Does he sing 5 seconds for each song? No, he sings the whole 3 minutes. Does he dance on stage while singing his songs, or are his songs meant to go along with a dance number? No, they don’t. He dances sometimes, but an overwhelming amount of his songs are ballads. Does he put on extravagant and flashy out-of-this-world costumes? No. You can make the case that his clothing are sometimes questionable, but it’s not supposed to mirror anything that an idol would wear.

          • tieuyeunu

            A solo singer whole mainly sings ballads doesn’t automatically mean he is not idol

            IU is an idol even though she is a solo artist who sing mainly ballads rarely dances in her songs and doesn’t wear extravagant clothing.

            You’re criteria for being an idol is questionable.

            Lee Seung Gi is an idol. That has never been questioned.

            He is one of the few idol actors that I like.

          • foulou

            LOL your criteria is the one which is twisted. Go to Korea and ask people if Seung Gi is an idol or not. He is referred to as a 가수 = singer. You’re the one who is confusing him as an idol just because of his age. LOL at “Lee Seung Gi being an idol has never been questioned.” Such misinformation do indeed lead to ignorance.

          • PM

            Seung Gi is never an idol. And that has never been questioned before.

          • O_O

            I actually considered him an idol. A soloist at that like BoA, Ailee, IU, Rain, etc..

          • cd

            No, in Korea, idols refer to girl/boybands. The meaning of idol in KPop has been narrowed to girl/boyband. So, based on that meaning, Seung Gi, IU, BOA, K-Will, and other soloists are definitely not idols.

          • LOL

            IU is definitely an idol. And how can you think of sticking K.Will’s name in there? He’s on a different level.

          • imho

            Excuse me. Could you please tell me why IU is an idol and k.will is not? They’re both solo singers and, imho, great at singing. What makes them on different level? I’m seriously want to know because to my understanding, idols are like what #foulou and #cd said.

          • :P

            from what i know, idols are folks little kids/teens look up to and they do lot of pop music.
            if you want to base singers on their singing ability, then yes, i agree that k.will is a much better singer. he is so stable during live performances whereas iu always have trouble when she does her 3 high notes. i think everybody who is familiar with kpop and most k-netizens know that k.will is, like LOL said, “on another level” but lee bum soo is still the best hehehe

        • fateme.r

          do you think i like seunggi? i don’t even watch dramas for the guys. if the female lead is good, THEN i watch it.

    • 15.2 bd

      Some people don’t enjoy Suzy; others can’t stand LSG.

      • 15.2.1 scbound

        Just as we were hoping you lost your internet access, you show up again.

        • crazyajummafan

          Hahahahaha! Love u scbound!!! Same sentiment!

        • bd

          Oh, boohoo!!

          How dare someone give his/her OPINION on an actor, actress, show, etc.

          Get a grip…

          • scbound

            well its gotten a little old , your comments, we got your point , since you have been kind enough to re post your hate for him a hundred or so times over the lat 18 months or so. We are pretty smart. We heard you the first time.

      • 15.2.2 Sasa

        I understand you, I don’t like either Suzy or LSG (or Sung Joon). Only watching this for Lee Yoo Bi! I hope she has a big role in this drama or else I will die of boredom.

  16. 16 Dominique

    Now we can compare the Book of Family Goo and Jang Ok Jeong. Both are fusion costume dramas taking generous liberty with historical accuracy.

    Lee Seung Gi & Suzy vs. Yoo Ah In & Kim Tae Hee.

    Without question, the Jang Ok Jeong couple wins hands down. There just is no way for Lee Seung Gi to come anywhere near Yoo Ah In’s mesmerizing presence, sexual magnetism and depths/shades of acting. Whereas, Lee Seung Gi is exactly where he was in the previous Gu Mi Ho version, oh so lightweight and dismissible. I love Kim Tae Hee, who shines like a goddess without even trying. But Suzy looks like a freak. The poor girl can barely speak her lines but swishes like a runway model without the least bit looking like one. Need I say more?

    The story.

    Here again, Jang Ok Jeong wins the contest. What with royals, aristocrats, beautifully dressed and coiffed ladies and geishas, power play between a boy Crown Prince and his Machiavellian future father-in-law, a talented girl with ambition, and interplay between several girls who are fated to take turns to occupy a place in the future King’s bed (as in Henry V), Jang Ok Jeong makes the inhabitants and their lives in the Book of Family Goo look downright pedestrian and low-rent. So the half-fox, half-human wants to be a 100% human and is fast with his fists and feet. He can tell his story in two hours at most.

    The entertainment quotient.

    Jang Ok Jeong is almost British in its looks, witticism and sensibilities. I love it. Except when the drama takes us back to her childhood, which consisted of not one but a series of life-and-death traumas, that is when the drama becomes suddenly makjang Korean. But otherwise, it is brisk, unsentimental and fun. On the other hand, the Book of Family Goo has been a train wreck of extreme tragedies (made even worse by their victims), senseless sacrifices (like the girl’s final suicidal act today on top of all the bad choices she has made, which accomplishes nothing), yawn-inducing tempests in the teapot (like the lady of the guesthouse who wants to evict the goose that lays golden eggs), etc. The Book is faithfully makjang.

    • 16.1 lemondoodle

      You don’t sound biased at all.

      • 16.1.1 Rashell

        Ha! My reaction as well. Clearly a completely unbiased opinion.

      • 16.1.2 ilikemangos


      • 16.1.3 Snowman

        I don’t think she claimed to be unbiased in her post. It’s her opinion.

        • lemondoodle

          Obviously, but it’s pretty laughable to post that…. nobody asked and it has nothing to do with the post.

          • Snowman

            To Dominique, maybe she feels the two shows are comparable. Being direct competitors, sageuk-ish and all.
            I don’t find it laughable at all.

          • Rashell

            While it may be her opinion this comment section is for the drama being re-capped. Posting a direct comparison between this drama and another, that may be unfamiliar for anyone watching this drama, seems a bit out of place.

            But that’s just my opinion as well.

      • 16.1.4 sur

        so true not biased at all and when she says shines like a goddess it makes me think she travels with a halo always
        and well both the actresses are not that good in acting department

    • 16.2 elle

      Depressing but true. I’m not hooked by GFB at all, mostly because the characters seem like puppets forced by the writer to march according to what melodrama dictates. I don’t feel like they’re real people, hence my lack of interest in their fortunes.

      I’m not going to compare GFB to JOJ point by point as they’re different genres. Suffice to say GFB disappointed me while JOJ far exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations.

    • 16.3 Mawiie

      I think that I prefer Jang Ok Jung as well, but your comparison can sometimes be unfair.

      I don’t think it’s fair to compare Seung Gi’s performance to Yoo Ah In, because the role are so different. Yes, Yoo Ah In is mesmerizing and I think that he’s the better actor of the two, but you are using criteria such as sexy magnetism to make a point. While it’s true that Lee Soon (YAI) is one hell of a sexy king, how can Kang Chi have that kind of presence when his role is one of a playful young man and not a royal who’s been taught all his life to have poise and gravitas (but if you want to see Seung Gi like that, go check his previous drama)?

      • 16.3.1 ilikemangos

        Totally agree with you Mawiie.
        I may prefer Jang Ok Jang narratively and chemistry wise — but it’s true that you have to consider with what roles they were given. Yoo Ah In is the crown prince on the path of King — of course he has to be mesmerizing and exuding confidence to rule the country. Kim Tae Hee is a sex symbol and that’ll obviously translate onto the screen.
        Kang Chi is adorable, and so is lee seung gi’s portrayal of him. Suzy is still a newcomer, so it may take a while before we’re comfortable with her.
        It all boils down to which shows is your cup of tea. I like watching both. Gu Family Book is beautiful to watch and JOJ keeps me hooked.

        • Lo202

          i agree, and it doesn’t help that yoo ah in is better looking than lee seung gi.

          • Whatever

            Sorry, I have never thought Yoo Ah In good looking. Always switch to another channel when he appears.

          • Guest

            Much better than LSG with his large nostrils !

          • sur

            i don’t think any of them is that good looking they maybe cute or something

        • anneakemi

          I think it’s okay to compare dramas – they are, after all, competing in the same time slot. However in terms of acting, I see more acting growth in the leads of JOJ, then Book of Gu. I actually liked LSG in King 2 Hearts and Shining Inheritance, but not in MGIG. I’m a bit disappointed that his character here seems a bit recycled from MGIG (although it may change as the story moves on). As for Suzy… is it really fair to still call her a “newcomer” – she’s already had one main lead role and a second lead role already…. how long do we have to wait for her to improve?

          I actually liked the first two episodes of Book of Gu (the earlier cast gave much more than I expected!), but so far both Book of Gu and JOJ still haven’t pulled me away from Nine: Nine Times Time Travel yet.

    • 16.4 Meghan

      Was anyone asking for a comparison for two unrelated dramas, with the exception that they’re both sageuk? One is a made up fantasy drama, the other based on real historical figures.

      I don’t even understand why you would compare the two.

      • 16.4.1 KDaddict

        If sb compares JOJ with Cruel Palace, I might understand as both r abt known femme fatales in Korean history. But how does one compare a romantic fantasy with a fusion sageuk, Convincingly, in the space of 100 words? And with a lead-in such as: “Without question, the JOJ couple wins hands down”?

    • 16.5 orochi

      Sorry but your opinion is true bias and I bet you didnt watch GFB at all. So please dont compare. I dont watch JOJ at all, but I dont go around spreading bad words about it or compare 2 dramas either. If you dont like it, dont watch! Simple enough!

      • 16.5.1 Snowman

        If you dont like it, dont watch! Simple enough!

        Same can be said about if you don’t like her comment, scroll down. Simple enough, right?

        • orochi

          Its her opinion, what’s mater if I like or dont like it? I just disagree wih her idea of comparing the 2 dramas in such a bias way like that. Well, moreover, whats the” reply” button for?

          • Snowman

            Well, it’s her choice to watch a show she doesn’t like. Why does it matter to you to tell her not to watch something she doesn’t enjoy? Personal choices. Simple, enough. No need to advise people on what to watch or not to watch.

            Just pointing the parallel between your original advice to her and your reply to her. Having it both ways.

        • KDaddict

          Except it is hard to know whether you’ll like a comment without reading it first, no?

          • Snowman

            Absolutely. Same can be said about deciding whether a show is to your liking after you watch it first, no? 🙂

          • KDaddict

            There is No Reply button below Snowman’s comment So I can only reply to it here:
            With a show, you can stop watching at any point when you decide that you can’t stand it anymore, ep 2, 5, 7, whatever. With a comment, you need to read it first. At what point do you say, I don’t like this comment, and I’m going to stop reading it now, and don’t let it bother me? I don’t think comments give us the same duration to decide to stop as shows do, no?

    • 16.6 Quiet Thought

      Jeepers, it is really neat how detailed that analysis is without noting that one of the two shows is a historical drama and the other one is a romantic fantasy.

      Next up: Which is the better military drama, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ or ‘Predator?’

      • 16.6.1 ilikemangos

        Ha, i like your reference there.

      • 16.6.2 sur

        ha so true

      • 16.6.3 tieuyeunu

        I love you’re comparison.

      • 16.6.4 pogo


    • 16.7 Shaista Melora

      My sentiment exactly.

    • 16.8 Stardust

      well to each their own…. I myself is loving this drama so far.. hehehehe

      But I did have a laugh at this first line, ( no offense ) but
      :Both are fusion costume dramas taking generous liberty with historical accuracy

      Gu Family Book is a sageuk FANTASY. I don’t think they used any historical characters? I mean, hello, gumihos… Unless you are telling me a gumiho is an extinct species of fox, can you even say its historically accurate? heh..

      But alot of people are having issues with the way JoJ is being written, because now THAT, I agree, is really “taking generous liberty with historical accuracy”…

    • 16.9 crazyajummafan

      Then don’t watch it anymore. And while you are free to express your opinions, I don’t think it’s polite or in good taste to post your dislike of the drama here in this thread. It’s like going to visit a friend’s home and then criticise it and comparing it to the other guests.

      A good place to post these comments would be in the JOJ thread.

      • 16.9.1 lemondoodle

        There’s no JOJ recap for them to talk in. Ha, It’s probably the problem.

        @ Snowman

        Since I can’t reply… It’s laughable because of the use of words like ~sexual magnetism~ and gushing about KTH’s rather tragic acting and calling Suzy ugly (seriously?). Sorry, I laughed.

        • awkwardpause

          Yup. KTH has never been a stellar performer, even her fans know that deep down. If she was even a half-decent actor, I’m sure Dominique could have come up with something more substantive than “shines like a goddess.”

          It doesn’t get any more trite than that. I’m surprised Dominique didn’t call her “Korea’s representative beauty,” or some other ridiculous title.

          • tieuyeunu

            Korea’s representative beauty is bestowed so liberally I can’t keep track of them anymore.

        • crazyajummafan

          Well there are other sites recapping JOJ. They can go there if they love the show that much.

        • HaibaraChristie

          A Koala’s Playground is doing JOJ Recaps

      • 16.9.2 anneakemi

        I think people should have the right to post their like or dislike in a drama – as long as they give an explanation why. Criticism is okay, but bashing is not. Anyways, if everyone wrote the same thing, with the same point of view, reading comments would be boring.

        Also, it’s really interesting how the rules about “no criticizing” or posting “dislike” applies here out of respect to people who like the drama, but does not seem to apply in let’s say… drama recaps such as “Dr. Jin” or “7 Level Civil Servant.” If you are gonna make rules, let it apply everywhere.

    • 16.10 Ace

      If we’re gonna compare Mon-Tue dramas, then Nine wins of course.

      I do agree that JOJ was surprisingly better than expected compared to GFB, but I feel that some of your comments are out of place here.

      Just waiting for subs to be out for this episode so I could enjoy Seung-gi, Suzy, and Sung-joon. Skipped last week’s episodes. 😉

      • 16.10.1 anneakemi

        Totally agree with you there – Nine is great! I’d also probably be watching Queen of the Workplace if it was subbed (since it’s a remake of one of my fave jdramas), before BOG or JOJ. English subs are pretty much determine which dramas to watch LOL!

    • 16.11 sayit

      Hasn’t anyone wise up to Dominique?

      She writes as if she is not biased giving lengthy explanations and arguments. But it’s clear that she is. And of course like some of you pointed out, she has her right of speech and opinion. So you will continue to read her vitriol remarks when she is lamblasting actors or actress she dislikes.

      I am not shocked she called Suzy a freak although I find Suzy beautiful because she was the same person who said Joo Won needed cosmetic surgery to “slim” down that big face of his.

      So far, I know she thinks highly of Lee Min Ho, now I know she finds YAI sexy.

      • 16.11.1 chocolatecheesecake

        I know what you mean my friend. I was really affected by what she said about Joo Won! I mean, sure, he’s my bias, but I don’t go around spewing crap about other actors! There’s a fine line between freedom of speech and outright insulting/ looking down on others.

        • tynk

          Agree with your last line!
          “There’s a fine line between freedom of speech and outright insulting… “

    • 16.12 Jackeline

      While I respect your opinion, I have to point out a few problems with your comment.

      First of all, what you’ve said is solely your opinion. Others are free to agree with it, but please don’t force it on people by using terms such as “without question”, “hands down”, etc. Because I definitely do not agree and I do not appreciate basically being told “this is the truth and you need to accept it”.

      So onto the content:

      1. Seung Gi is “dismissible”? Suzy is a “freak”? Please don’t make me laugh. Seung Gi isn’t the best actor out there and Suzy isn’t the most beautiful, sure, but they’re a far cry from what you described them as. And that’s a fact.

      2. The story. What people think of the plot line really depends on their personal taste. I haven’t watched JOJ, so I’m not going to comment on it, but GFB’s plot has me hooked. I can’t wait to find out how Seung Gi’s going to overcome his gumiho side in this drama; despite it being done before, this is an entirely whole new world with new rules. I’m excited for its development.

      3. I don’t think GFB is a makjang drama at all. Seo Hwa’s plight isn’t just misery for the sake of misery (going to give a nod to I Miss You here) but it reflects the life an ill-fated woman in the Joseon Dynasty might have had. Traitorous plotting and betrayal? Executions? Prostitution? We know for a fact history had tons of that. It’s not really far-fetched.

      If DB decides to recap JOJ, maybe you can bring your “discussion” (though this really isn’t much of one) there.

    • 16.13 sur

      where the hell is there a comparison between the two its like comparing the other boleyn girl with twilight
      not that i’m saying Gu family book is like twilight but the genre is same supernatural……….
      i know they are competing in the same slot but to compare its story and actors too much….
      and if you are comparing then maybe you should not compare kim tae hee and suzy cuz both can’t act…..
      maybe kim tae hee is more beautiful… so what one actor can be more beautiful than another
      as far as the lead actors go both characters are so different and as for their credibility go watch both their last dramas and then say then maybe you’ll change your opinion about who’s more charismatic and what not because we all know what a mess of character yoo ah in played in his last role…………
      as for my opinion i don’t like politics so i prefer gu family book the only interesting saeguk politics i’ve ever seen is in princess’s man
      so the basic point we all have preferences but you should not compare the actors……
      oh n by the way Gu is better in ratings too 😉

      • 16.13.1 moochi2000

        LOLL comparing boleyn girl and twillight…sorry that made me laugh. I wasn’t even going to comment, but you made my day

        • sur

          thnx i know but when she compared joj with gfb it felt like she was comparing boleyn girl with twilight heh heh

    • 16.14 chocolatecheesecake

      Ignore her guys. Apparently she’s made it a hobby of bashing other actors who she thinks threatens her bias. I’ve seen her degrading comments on jb’s bridal mask posts as well.
      I bet you don’t even know half of what’s going on in the k-ent business! Jeez, I’m not even Suzy’s fan, but calling her a freak is just so wrong:/ Just because she’s a celebrity doesn’t give you the right to judge her like that.

      • 16.14.1 Lilly

        Wow ! There are some Seungi freak fanatics here 😮 ! If you want them angry now, sure post here Jang Ok Jung is better qualitywise and criticize seungi acting

      • 16.14.2 reglest

        @chocolatecheesecake: this one I love the most! * too tired to oick a fight* everybody has their own preference, and thay’s why there is mania term while it doesn’t receive much rating. As for me, it’s good to give the show that I love support, it’s wiser to give it in the appropriate place 🙂

        • crazyajummafan

          Wise words, reglest!

    • 16.15 bd

      Haven’t gotten to the LSG part yet, but I’ll give you YAI over LSG in the looks, charisma and acting depts. but you are off on all the rest.

      The ill-fated love story of the parents in “Gu” felt real – meaning the emotions felt real while in “Jang”, it seems like the characters were just going thru the typical cliché-filled plot-line.

      Felt sad when Dam, the maidservant, in “Gu” killed herself but felt nothing when Hong Joo killed herself in “Jang.”

      And despite the fantastical elements of “Gu” w/ the whole Gumiho thing, it felt more “real” and authentic (at least for the 1st 2 eps) than “Jang” w/ the Crown Prince ridiculously being some super warrior taking out a cadre of assassins by himself.

      Thus far, “Jang” has been pretty much a sageuk “by the numbers” w/ respect to the plotline and machinations – not very interesting; and furthermore, one is wanting in terms of actually caring for any of the characters, even the main ones.

      While in “Gu” – actually cared for the ill-fated lovers, as well as the brother and Dam (despite their small screen time).

      If “Jang” doesn’t improve (esp. the writing) – I’ll probably drop it soon, but as long as “Gu” continues the quality it has shown over the 1st 2 eps, I’ll probably continue it despite by distaste for LSG (Choi Jin Hyuk as the father/Gumiho makes LSG as the “hero” even more ridiculous).

      • 16.15.1 crazyajummafan

        “I’ll give you YAI over LSG in the looks, charisma and acting depts. but you are off on all the rest.”
        I beg to differ and I think so would many people, esp in the charisma dept. but then you’re entitled to your views.

        What I don’t understand is why you’re even watching the drama as you’re so obviously not a LSG fan. I know this for a fact from your disparaging comments about him in other write ups and your “distaste” for him. Why do you even participate in these threads when you don’t like him? Do you get pleasure in writing negative and insulting things about celebs you don’t like?

        • Meme

          I don’t get that some people think YAI is good looking….well we are all have different taste, thank goodness.

          • Guest

            I especially don’t get how people think LSG is good looking, even k-netizens think he is average and they love that guy!

            Check out Yoo Ah In in Sungkyunkwan, he pulls off the long hair so well unlike LSG here. Just compare the two in their ugly wigs, who wins? Yoo Ah In. If they switched wigs, LSG will still look worse. LSG is basically competing with Kim Hyun Joong in the looks department.

          • bd

            I wouldn’t exactly say YAI is good-looking like any no. of matinee idol-type actors, but his looks have improved a bit since he filled out some.

            Nonetheless, he does have better overall facial features than LSG (which frankly, isn’t hard to do).

          • Guest

            I don’t think Yoo Ah In is good looking either but he is much much better than LSG in terms of looks and during Sungkyunkwan he looked like Kim Hyun Joong that’s why I referenced that guy.

        • bd

          Why do you care what I watch?

          If I like the other actors, actresses, the writing, the direction, I’ll give the show a shot even if LSG is in it (same applies to any other actor/actress I don’t care for).

          Since I really like Shin Min-ah and her role as Mi-ho in MGIAG, I watched it.

          Otoh, Ha Ji-won really hasn’t struck me in any role that I have seen her so didn’t bother w/ King2Hearts, much less the other LSG shows.

          LSG fans really need to get a grip – I’m hardly the only person to ever write disparaging comments about an actor or actress.

      • 16.15.2 justjen

        Actually, I’m as curious about this as crazyajummafan!! I’ve noticed your intense dislike of LSG too, and I don’t even come to dramabeans very often. Did LSG kick you in the nads or something? haha. No, really, I’m just curious.

      • 16.15.3 bellaluna

        I guess you dont have enough bad things to say about him, so now even bring up his look? Some people just have a weird hobby of hating others for no reason and posting negative comments in very posts or articles about them. Thats pretty unhealthy hobby for both yourself and others, you know? You dont have to follow him since you hate him, how simple is that?

    • 16.16 elle

      Kim Tae Hee can’t act, though. And the whole story of Jang Ok Jung is ridiculous – it’s not even revisionist history, it’s more of an entirely new story.

      • 16.16.1 bd

        KTH did a good job of acting in “My Princess”, however, I’d say she not doing as good of a job in JOJ (some of which can be attributed to the subpar writing/material).

        Thus far, not impressed w/ JOJ at all – it’s full of clichés and has zero emotional pull with any of the characters.

      • 16.16.2 anon2

        but she is much better than suzy, no?

        • lemondoodle

          Not saying much? Especially given KTH’s long career and the fact that Suzy is a teenager. KTH is getting a lot more beaten up in the press for her low ratings and bad acting than Suzy is though.

          • LOL

            it’s called media play. they gotta hype up suzy since she’s the breadwinner for her company.

    • 16.17 O_O

      I’m an avid fan of DONG YI and I watched the first episode of JOJ and I don’t like how they twisted some characters like making Sukbin a thief or Queen In hyeon a sort of a bully. It annoyed me so I stopped. Only Yoo Ah In and Lee Sang Yeob are pleasing for me there but even their action scenes are kinda awkward for me.

      • 16.17.1 lemondoodle

        Given the declining ratings a lot of people seem to agree with you. Not sure they enjoy watching their beloved icons be twisted into villains.

    • 16.18 jayk

      Well, I think Gu Family Book is a far better show because it really has an original story line and its execution/production so far has been superb. Jang Ok Jung is, even though it takes a different view on the whole famous saga, still essentially is a play on palatial politics with some romance. I think it’s a kind of a story that has been told many times before, and I can easily imagine where the story would go, so it’s definitely not as interesting to me as Gu Family Book, which keeps me excited to see how the story unfolds.

  17. 17 Rashell

    This show just LOOKS beautiful. I love the romantic, mystical, whimsical feel of the drama just by the way it’s shot. So pretty.

    I thought this was an excellent start to the second love story. And I like it that Chung Jo isn’t a bitch. She’s just a practical girl doing the only thing she knows to help her family. And I’m a sucker for the silent bodyguard, so I already know that Gon is going to break my heart. But I think that Suzy and Seung Gi could have cute chemistry as well. I’m excited to see where this drama goes.

    Thanks for the re-cap as always!

    • 17.1 KDaddict

      Chung Jo isn’t a bitch at all. She is a sweet girl, properly brought up to do the right thing, for her family. But she is all wrong for Kang Chi. These yabang girls are all good to behold, but break easily under pressure. I fear she’ll bring ruin to him, just as his mother brought ruin to his dad. That kiss on the cheek could be the ruin of him.
      I like the swordswoman tho. She just might be badass enough to be a good match for our supernatural but oh so cute Oppa Ho Jr. when the going gets tough.
      Not many men, K actors included, look good with upswept hair away fr the forehead. Sung Joon IMO looks way better w other hairdos.
      But that ending shot, of KC slumped over her shoulder, their silhouette against the plum tree under the new moon……. Wow, I’m all yours, show.

  18. 18 topper

    This episode seems to be a get over and done with set up to the story, but I am enjoying the appearance of the leads especially Kang Chi. Hope next episode gets more depth and character growth.

  19. 19 Joy

    I haven’t watched this episode or read the recap yet but judging from the very first paragraph, the episode was great. I was scared to watch this episode because I had a fear that when LSG and Suzy came on, the drama would just flop :C

    Although it sounds like JB is enjoying it so phew. Off to watch the episode now!

  20. 20 tadaima

    Like the episode so far. I can’t wait for the adventures.
    I like Suzy’s character. Yeo Wool is refreshing. I always see main leads as noble, prim and proper in the sageuk so it’s nice to see a swordswoman. I really like the directing in this drama. The only one that confuses me is why KC automatically thought of CJ as his saviour? I mean although it’s blurry, he can actually assume that his saviour is fighting the bad guys…that’s where I’m confuse…

    • 20.1 Revoot

      Well KC originally thought that he was meeting up with CJ, so he was somewhat expecting her, not DW.

    • 20.2 lemondoodle

      Wishful thinking? Or KC isn’t the smartest half gumiho in the world. His parents never showed much intelligence. He never had much of a chance… At least he’s cute.

      • 20.2.1 tadaima

        The bad genes…oh lawd..

        • sur

          ha ha true we all lament the bad genes

    • 20.3 asdfhhjkl

      Somehow, because KC has this blurry vision, he mistakenly thought CJ, which i must say has a similar feauture to DW face esp with the hair down.

      Thats my interpretation you know

  21. 21 cd

    “And Lee Seung-gi does a really nice job of adding a layer of yearning to his expressions that really gets me; there’s depth to his reading of the character. I mean, we’re all already on Kang-chi’s side, but it’s always rewarding to get more layers.”
    Agree wholeheartedly…that’s my baby… 😉
    Thank you for the recap and for putting his song above, now I’m listening to his soothing voice that I love.
    And Kang Chi, so cute and adorable.

    • 21.1 ilikemangos

      It’s the yearning and the expressions that got me in the heart for K2H.
      Agh! this boy. You just can’t hate him.

      • 21.1.1 Mawiie

        Ha! I can count on our maknae from the days to bring back old memories 😛

        I missed the crazy comment section from last year. I wonder if Book can revive that trend.

        • ilikemangos

          Im predicting that it’s not going to be as crazy since the story didn’t own my heart right off the bat like K2H did, but I can definitely see alot of raving and tears for our Kang Chi if anything bad ever happened to him. ha
          I replied to your comment above without realizing you were a heartie!
          Hi Mawiie and nice to see you here! 🙂

          • sur

            i just finished watching k2h and have to say i was floored it was awesome i laughed with it and cried with it
            it was awesome

      • 21.1.2 cd

        Right. I was at first skeptical of him in K2H. I’m glad that I ate my words. Hahaha. Now, I’m a fan, and the more I know about him, the more I love him. I can’t help but to love him.

        • sur

          true true i was the same i had only watched his mgig before k2h and was worried and his character was quite annoying in the start of k2h…. but i’m glad i turned out wrong

      • 21.1.3 sur

        me too i was mesmerized by his heartfelt expressions

      • 21.1.4 lemondoodle

        He’s always been pretty good at that. He even got me to feel bad for Hwan crying in jail in BL. Getting anyone to feel for Hwan has to be some sort of miracle only Seunggi could achieve.

  22. 22 orochi

    Whats wrong with the moms in this drama? They all turn bad & bitchy, haizz. But anyway, I love love love this ep!! Bc I can both see adorable baby Kang Chi and baby Seung Gi :D, they are so cuteeeee, evil mom, how come you hate Kang Chi?? He’s that adorable!! Hehe, btw, the action scenes look awesome,SG doesnt look like he does action the 1st time at all. This drama is getting better and better, cant wait for tomorrow ep!

    • 22.1 crazyajummafan

      At this point of time, although mum seems ‘evil’, I wouldn’t term her as such. Put yourself in her shoes. She’s sceptical from the onset of taking KC in – don’t know his parentage. Then she sees the strange way in which baby KC’s wounds miraculously heals itself. Can be pretty creepy. When KC grows up, he’s not a quiet and submissive guy, but a rebel-vigilante. Then you notice that he likes your daughter who happens to like him back. Protective mum instincts come out. Also remember that daughter needs to marry well for the family sake. Won’t do to have them fall in love and …horror of horrors, elope!

      Since her husband doesn’t see KC as a threat – Men sometimes brush aside these notions – he’s either not as perceptive as his wife or doesn’t think there’s any harm in it – mum feels that she has to do something esp after she sees the kiss.

      This is a situation can happen anywhere actually, except for the gumiho bit. My in-laws were once very upset with my sis-in-law, because the boy she liked was quite a hellion. He wasn’t bookish and was quite a rebel. Furthermore, they didn’t quite like his family background. Tried everything to break them up. I was taken aback. Didn’t think it could happen in modern day S’pore, but it did. What more Joseon era mother?

      So let’s not be so quick to judge. In any case, if there was no fiction, there won’t be drama, right?

      • 22.1.1 Amore

        totally agree with your thinking…however, I was hoping that she’ll be different, more on a loving mother to Kang Chi since his birth mom was a tad bit disappointing…but oh well, like father like son, Kang Chi’s dad picked that kind of girl and now KC picked CJ…another heart break I don’t want to see but I’m pretty sure it’s coming soon 🙁

  23. 23 exquisitemelody

    WAHHHHH SUCH A TEEEEASSSEEE i got so excited that the recap was up i thought perhaps the episode was subbed somewhere…but no…sighs.

    *pouts and waits*

    • 23.1 Meghan


  24. 24 Opal

    I am sorry but I will only give this drama another shot to convince me before I drop it. I have some expectation to begin with but all are over the place from the writing to the acting.

    I love LSG but he is a bit overact and Suzy… She should just stick as an idol, her acting is so bland…and bleh..

    JOJ, I watched with nonexpectation amd so far it surprises me. YAI is just awesome..

    • 24.1 crazyajummafan

      Haha! That was why I was worried when there was so much hype over GFB. I knew that some people will end up disappointed. Thankfully, except for seeing Seunggi in screen again, I didn’t expect much, from Suzy to the writers. And I like it so far.

  25. 25 fuzzymogwai

    was really enjoying myself…

    and then sung joon appeared on my screen…

    and i made this really really fangirly squee noise =D

    gah his voice….so manly ^.^

    but im actually really liking suzy in this…when she was headdesking while drinking(?) it was jus like her hye-mi thinking pose kekekeke

    moar moar moar!

    and as always, thanks jb for this recap!!

    • 25.1 Roggy

      Bahaha you noted that too?

      Ugh. I squeeled to when I saw Sung Joon. His character better have a big role. Because I know he ain’t the second lead but…still! They can change things right? I mean…DID YOU SEE THE MAN?? And he has already been in a lead role twice!

  26. 26 noonkey

    the story reminds me of Japanese manga Inuyasha also a half demon fox.. and I think I’ve the screencap of the couple hugging with a tree and moon in the background somewhere in the Inuyasha cartoon version..hmmm..

    • 26.1 Toystar

      Me 2!

    • 26.2 LOL

      Korea just love the Japanese stuff, don’t they?

      • 26.2.1 reglest

        Both country have their own prefence to love something from others 🙂 japan also remake korean drama like ‘the devil'(forgot what the korean name, the one with uhm tae woong). And it’s not their fault too that many japanese manga adapted into or being inspiration to another work

    • 26.3 Amore

      You kinda right…now I’m hoping that KC will see YW as his Kagome 😀

  27. 27 Abbie

    So wonderful. I already feel invested in these characters, and many of them we’ve just met. I’m really liking the way Seung-gi plays his character, and Suzy is also wonderful.

    I’m looking forward to more. Thanks for the recap, Javabeans!

  28. 28 Stardust

    Thanks javabeans for the recap!! Its only ep 3 and whilst I was afraid I wouldn’t like the story, I am glad to say that ALL the characters are sitting so well with me! hahahahha And omo Sung Joon is in this? I didn’t pay much attention to the cast so seeing him in here was a welcome surprise, though he is probably cursed as the 2nd lead… also, in love with his obliviously cute but capable missy hahahah

    Save for the momma who distrusts the strange child who is brought into her home, and now the ultimate evil baddie has arrived in their town, and Yeo Wool whose daddy ‘killed’ his PapaHo ( though he was on the evil baddie’s orders, he DID inflict the kill blow), …. conflict conflict… but what a nicely paced set up in ep3!

    Good writing of the characters, that Kang Chi isn’t just a silly mischievous young man trying to fight for fighting’s sake, he actually plotted to escalate the fight to want to get his crush out of a loveless marriage… And the young missy is a level hearted sweet young thing, not silly or naive but so mature and caring… makes everything so lovely hahahha

    and Suzy, lol 10min on screen and I already love her… its so funny to see that she is so insecure in her loveline that she pays money for strangers to tell her about her future, but then resignedly tells people not to tell her words of comfort..hahahaha And her switch later into the calm level headed swordswoman who jumps into the fray to rescue the dude in distress? SO.AWESOME.

    I can’t wait for the new ep tonight!! ♥♥♥

    • 28.1 Lurker

      The wrist grabbing is so cute :3 I thought only guys have the right to grab someone in kdramas.

      • 28.1.1 Stardust

        ehehehehehe oh yeah that! lol it really is right! hahaha

      • 28.1.2 Roggy

        OMG I KNOW RIGHT!!! Not just the wrist grabbing but it was the GUY that was our damsel in distress soo made my day!!!

  29. 29 mywhiteyasmin

    Aaaaaw, our puppy is adorable I want to pinch and hug him.
    The last pic when they hug under crescent moon totally preeeeety, feels like some anime. Already swoon for this OTP

  30. 30 AIreN

    lol! what with the comparison and stuff~

    btw, thanks JB for another awesome recap! i watch it with no sub and even w’out sub, somehow i can connect those doted line and your recap just complete it. thanks a lot!

    like JB, i curious how they will continue the ‘heavy’- heart wrenching the first two ep, and no doubt, they nailed it in this ep. all the characters are well-played! looking forward for next ep!

    for the one who is making close analytical comparison, i hope you enjoy your findings. All the best in digging! you can say anything, but you cannot expect people to agree with you ^^

    Gugaeuiso/Kang Chi, The Beginning FIGHTING! ^^

  31. 31 Kitzeekat

    Off to read 🙂 Thanks JB!

  32. 32 milkteanlsg

    Kang Chi’s adventure is finally beginning~

    Seung Gi is so cute and precious~ I love his acting as he just seems to be able to fit into his character very well each time~

    And it makes me anxious to learn about how the story will develop…

    Can’t wait for today’s episode~~~

  33. 33 orenji

    Suzy oh Suzy~ So handsome and pretty at the same time. This drama is gorgeous from the cast to the cinematography. My eyes are purified….lol

    Tbh, after i watched the long preview i was a little unconvinced with Seunggi and Suzy’s portrayal of their characters. I thought he’s overreacting and she a little stiff and bland. So i kept my expectation very low on this couple. But after today’s episode,they left me with very good impression. Yeowool is pretty close from what i imagined she would be. She has that boyish feel when she’s all serious foing investigating stuffs yet her girlish side come out when she’s thinking about her love life. I hope she stay that way till the end. Don’t want another Seohwa. Kangchi is deeper than i thought which is very good. I thought he was just a rebel and mischievous young guy but actually he had a reason for his actions.

    I definitely can feel the chemistry between Seunggi and Suzy as well as Seunggi and Lee Yoobi. So excited to see the next episode. Let the adventures begin! ^^

  34. 34 hpn88

    Holy crap that camera and the sets. they are stunning
    LSG smiling face is like magic seriously – i luv him. kangchi is a cute character, but he has depth and issues that he doesn’t even know he has to deal with going on.
    i don’t really have a problem with suzy. she’s not exploding off the screen but she’s not bringing anyone down. i’ll judge more later when she has lines with seunggi…

    but seriously why is no one discussing the MOST IMPORTANT THING – why does sung joon have tragic hair?????????????

    • 34.1 Stardust

      his mane of glory appears more conditioned in the poster, and tied up handsomely hahahaha

      Dun forget, he had been travelling- wind, dust, and conditioner would have been in short supply…

    • 34.2 D

      exactly… im glad someone finally voice it out.. was so disappointed *shallow mode*

  35. 35 Stardust

    oh oh oh, did anyone else feel that was it too obvious/weird the way the camera kept cutting close ups to the (japanese ninja) fellow the evil Lord Jo was greeting when Kang Chi’s mum was attempting her very badly planned revenge? ( i guess she WAS raked by grief and guilt, and probably wasn’t thinking straight )

    But the way the closeups to that good looking guy (Otani Ryohei?), I wondered if he felt something for this young woman, and maybe she didn’t die from the injuries, he will nurse her back to health and later on she will emerge again somehow? I think its weird that the kill blow seemed very clean and no real blood spatter was seen, considering the earlier shows where blood spraying were clearly no issue hahahah

    • 35.1 reglest

      Tbh, I’m afraid that is possible…since in the last drama from this writer, the mother comeback without solid background *pray so hard for it to not happen*

  36. 36 yamapisukii


  37. 37 SistAr


    i think i would prefer LSG with Chun-jo and Suzy with the bodyguard…

    • 37.1 Roggy

      ^totally ship Suzy and Sung Joon

      • 37.1.1 Meme

        Not for me.

      • 37.1.2 tynk

        I dont think so. Hehe

    • 37.2 lemondoodle

      I find it funny when people say that since then they could just write Suzy out of the story since she’s not really necessary if she’s not going to be his love interest. So, hey I’m all for it.

      • 37.2.1 O_O

        they could be friends you know? or comrades..it’s much better for me I think. It would be nice to see a drama not so romantically focused but I guess GFB is so serious in going in the love route.

      • 37.2.2 SistAr

        i wanted to but i didn’t want to offend suzy fans so i’m giving her the bodyguard

  38. 38 Lurker

    I’m lurking Gu family book for awhile now and to be honest I was not invested in the parents story. I don’t like love at first sight story. I hope KC and YW will not be like those parents story. It’s nice if they just gradually develop each others feelings. I want that kind of romance. Anyway, I like the cinematography of this drama. The camera angles are amazing! I also like the new generation casts and though my heart will be broken, I actually ship Sung Joon and Suzy. They look hot w/ each other. Seunggi-Suzy is adorable also. It makes me smile when I saw Yeowool grabbed Kangchi’s wrist. It’s so cute! I think I needed to see more from them before I’ll jump in their ship. Gu Family Book Fighting!

  39. 39 bd

    Haven’t finished this ep., so more a synopsis of what I thought about the previous 2 eps.

    Overall, really well done in telling the story of the ill-fated love btwn Wol Ryung and Seo Hwa – the writing was concise and the dialogue rang pretty true.

    While I, of course, had hoped for a happier ending for the couple (as well as for Seo Hwa’s brother and servant), their sad/ill-fates rang true.

    While I didn’t like Seo Hwa betraying Wol Ryung after all he had gone thru in saving her (again), I can totally see how a typical person from that time period would be all freaked out being in contact with a mystical creature, much less having a relationship and possibly giving birth to a “monster.”

    Now for comments about the cast.

    Choi Jin Hyuk not only has the acting chops, but the looks and charisma to a big time leading man. Not familiar w/ his previous work, but I hope he attains leading man status.

    Was pretty impressed by Lee Yeon-hee’s acting overall. While there were a few moments when LYH would resort to that “wide-eyed look” to display emotion, she did a much better job displaying varying emotions realistically.

    Now, I wouldn’t say that I LYH blew me away w/ her thespian skills (still needs to work on the small facial changes/changes in the eyes which can show emotions more powerfully than overdoing things as so many actors/actresses tend to do), but she definitely did well enough where I could buy into her character.

    I disagree w/ those who have stated that LYH couldn’t carry the series if she had a lead role and had to act for 18-20 eps. LYH was able to realistically emote (for the most part) for 2 eps w/ her character undergoing some powerful emotions so if she was able to do that, think she would be able to continue it for a full series.

    Lee Sung Jae’s “bad guy” is a little too one-dimensional for me right now (hope the writer peels back more layers to this character), but LSJ does a great job w/ the little he has had to work w/ thus far, giving his character the gravity a lesser actor would not be able to.

    One actor/actress who really stood out for me was Kim Bo Mi who played Dam. KBM did an excellent job in portraying her character’s emotions (while LYH did a good job, she hasn’t quite reached that “next level” which one can see in KBM’s acting).

    KBM has the talent and is cute enough (looking younger than her 25 years) – so I hope she goes on to bigger and better roles.

    • 39.1 pogo

      One actor/actress who really stood out for me was Kim Bo Mi who played Dam.

      Oh yes. She was fantastic, and far more effective at making me feel for her at times than Seo-hwa.

  40. 40 mongoose

    Slight correction: in the last scene, what actually happens is that as the guard charges the pair, Yeo-Wool tries to draw her sword. However, Kang-Chi steps in front of her and spins her counterclockwise around so that her sword (which is on her left hip) is facing the other direction, then draws her sword’s *sheath* away from her still-undrawn sword and uses the butt of the sheath to punch the guard behind him — all while staring into Yeo-Wool’s eyes. It’s actually a really slick no-look move, and the shot is done in side silhouette, making it all the more awesome. I wish there was a screenshot of it above (hint, hint?).

    • 40.1 mongoose

      Oh, he ends up with one arm around her waist, while taking out the guard, too. Like I said, slick.

  41. 41 JenJen

    Now that prologue is done, I would like to say that I liked Lee YeonHee’s portrayal of SeoHwa but I did not like the character of SeoHwa. I’m pretty sure that it is a bit unhealthy that SeoHwa seems to think that the answer to almost everything is to kill it.
    As for the transition to KangChi’s story, I thought it would have been better if episode 2 had stopped at SeoHwa’s wailing realization then picked up there. I felt that the backtracking made the tone shift more abrupt than I’d prefer.
    Sung Joon’s portrayal of Gon feels an awful lot like his JiHyuk character in Shut Up. o.0
    gah~ SeungKi’s dimples <3 and the show's pretty scenes <3

    • 41.1 pogo

      haha, I agree – I appreciated that Lee Yeon-hee was actually playing Seo-hwa there and not just being Lee Yeon-hee and saying Seo-hwa’s lines, if that makes sense.

      And frankly, I don’t think we get much of an idea of Seo-hwa’s character beyond her pride, which is why so much of what she does seems crazy/wrong.

  42. 42 thay

    I don’t know what happen with you guys who comparing GFB and JOJ..I guess each drama has its own strength. I myself watch GFB and I find it quite engaging from the first episode. Despite not yet watching JOJ and only follow it from forums, I never want to bash or compare them especially in a recap section of another one’s drama. It’s up to you guys which one you prefer, GFB or JOJ. Bashing or comparing another drama is not cool anymore. It looks un-professional. Just enjoy the drama as it is..FYI, I plan to watch not only GFB,but also JOJ and God of Workplace because I think three of them are worth watching. So please just stop putting words against each other here.It’s tiring for me to read it..Why can’t we just hugging each other?Hehe..

  43. 43 fee

    This drama is so gorgeous. And Seung Gi is so cute!! Love it so far..

    Thanks jb for the recap!

  44. 44 foulou

    What the hell is this fuss about Jang Ok Jung and Gu Family Book?

    The only thing that you can really compare is which lead actress has the bigger front teeth which would make you dodge if the shows were in 3D.

    • 44.1 tynk

      This made my day hahahaha

    • 44.2 sur

      loll omg so funny it made my day

  45. 45 elena

    This drama has really beautiful settings and stunning camerawork. I really love it and look forward to the next episode!

    Thanks for the recap!

  46. 46 DebbieChang

    Suggest Dramabeans to recap JOJ too. So we all can realize and talk in fact and detail more. I enjoy watching both GFB and JOJ. In my opinion, JOJ is so far doing much better than my expectation. I like its fresh story and main leads. That’s all!!

  47. 47 Lulla

    Hi guys!

    I like the show, hopefully it wont disappoint me. It looks romantic and had a good material, so excited.

    And, for those who wonder why KC thought that he was saved by CJ, well..I think, when you are in a half-conscious state, you cant use your brain completely and correctly. The only thing that comes into mind is the one who is deeply kept in your heart. And this proves that KC really loves CJ and..yeah..I can see how she will hurt him badly in the future.

    Thanks for the recaps and keep up the good work!

  48. 48 sur

    ok i loveeeeeeee it
    the actors are not the best but they are good i’m liking thee chemistry the story the characters and everything else except mommy dearest ……..
    the look on kang chi’s face whenever he sees chung jo omg sooo awesome……..
    i’m like oh i used to make that face in middle school over a guy the school captain, good in sports good in studies… totally out of my reach the only thing that i ever beat him at was studies so naturally he hated me… he heh
    oh lord back to gfb i loved the prologue and i’m enjoying this story as well its good so far and my expectations are normal so i’m getting what i wanted and then some so yup gonna continue watching this and hope its as good as the prologue

  49. 49 tynk

    The ost, Love Hurts is q delight to my ears whenever it is played in Gu.But, it breaks my heart, true to its title. Honestly, i dont understand the lyrics bec i havent learned hangul but the feels sheez, //wrist.

    Though in ep3 its played where chung jo kissed kang chi’s cheek, i always remember the heartbreaking story of kc’s parents

  50. 50 sarah

    oh my.. Thanks Javabeans!!:D ILOVE ur recap!!^^ still waiting for subs and this just got serve my thirst to know what is happening..^^ Thank You! ang Im on this journey too!!;)

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