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Gu Family Book: Episode 20

Okay, I’m happier with this episode. There’s a nice balance of character development, epic face-offs, cute couple moments, and emotional payoffs for conflicts that we’ve been circling for a while. And no, I’m not just happier because there are nekkid hijinks. At least… not entirely.

 
EPISODE 20 RECAP

As per her arrangement with Tae-seo, Seo-hwa sends her assassin to kill Jo Gwan-woong that night. The killer gets the jump on him, and he’s sooo close to getting a sword through his skull… when someone else shows up and kills the killer before he can kill. Dammit.

The second killer steps into the light… and it’s Trusty Minion Numero Uno, back from the nearly-dead. I don’t know why, but I’m happy for you two. You seemed lonely without each other. Jo Gwan-woong just yells at the poor faithful minion for taking so long. Oh just admit that you missed him, you big evil lug.

They run for safety, but things go from bad to worse when they discover that their dead guards have been sucked dry—this is no ninja-killing. And then as the wind blows through, an ominous dark figure approaches.

Minion knows exactly what they’re dealing with, but this is the first time Jo Gwan-woong has seen Wol-ryung in twenty years, and he goes slackjawed. “I saw you die…”

At the same time, Master Dam points his sword at Kang-chi and yells at him to take his bracelet off because he’s going to attack. Kang-chi just stands there dumbfounded.

Wol-ryung knocks out all of Jo Gwan-woong’s remaining men without so much as batting an eyelash, and asks how he knows him—is he the person who made him this way? Jo Gwan-woong is confused that Wol-ryung can’t remember, but he’s quick to point the blame where it belongs: “Yoon Seo-hwa! She did this to you!” Wol-ryung repeats the name to himself and then demands to know who she is.

Yeo-wool goes to see Seo-hwa that night and just asks outright if Seo-hwa can’t return to Kang-chi: “You’re his mother, aren’t you? I don’t know the reasons behind why you left him in the river, but can’t you return to him as his mother now?” She says that Kang-chi has so many scars from his youth, but couldn’t they start over now, to try and mend them?

Back at school, Kang-chi refuses to fight Master Dam. He doesn’t have much of a choice though, because he just attacks sword-first and Kang-chi has to fight back defensively.

Master Dam: “Defeat me. If you can’t, I will cut you down.” Waitaminute. You mean that figuratively, right?

Teacher Gong tells little Sung that Kang-chi is about to face Master Dam’s Extreme Sword Training—the kind that only ends when one sword cuts down the other… and only one man is left alive.

Wut. Dad, there’s no need to be suicidal about it! Whatever happened to teaching a grasshopper the ways of the sword, yunno, with schooling? Teacher Gong explains that a master’s job is to make his disciples strong, and risking his life to do so is the height of what a master can do, and something he can only do but once in his lifetime. Yeaaaah… could it be because of the DYING?

Flashback to Master Dam making his decision; Gon protests. Master says it’s his fault that Kang-chi’s father ended up this way, and the only thing he can do is to make Kang-chi stronger. He apologizes to Gon that his final training will not be for him, and asks him to bring Kang-chi here.

Back to the fight, where Kang-chi looks up at Master Dam, hurt and confused. Master Dam just continues to provoke him without explanation, even slicing him in the arm to spill blood.

Kang-chi finally accepts that he’s serious and takes off his bracelet and tosses it to Gon. Master Dam grips his sword and both men growl as they get ready to charge.

Seo-hwa admits plainly to her associates that she sent assassins to kill Jo Gwan-woong last night, and declares that Tae-seo will take over Jo Gwan-woong’s role in their plans. But Pil-mok argues that she’s jeopardizing political gain for her personal vendetta.

He tells her to step outside, where she’s shocked to find Jo Gwan-woong alive and well. Clearly you underestimated his cockroachy abilities. She still doesn’t realize how things have shifted during the night, and orders her men to kill Jo Gwan-woong right now.

They surround the pair of them and draw their swords… but when she looks, they’re all pointed at her. Pil-mok steps over to Jo Gwan-woong’s side, which isn’t even a surprise to anyone but Seo-hwa, and asks her to recant her order.

Yeo-wool sneaks back into her room in the morning, where her teacher is standing there waiting to catch her red-handed. She asks if Teacher ratted her out to Dad, and she sighs that she couldn’t even if she wanted to—he’s been training all night without rest.

At that, Yeo-wool comes tearing out to the courtyard, where Kang-chi and Dad are running themselves ragged in a fight. Teacher Gong stops her from intervening—this is Master Dam’s decision.

Inside Thunderdome, Kang-chi is busy running and spinning and hiding, and we find out that he’s basically spent the whole night dodging, but not fighting back. Master Dam calls him out on it, but Kang-chi says he doesn’t want to fight him.

Master Dam: “If you can’t fight me, how do you expect to fight your father?” It’s only THEN that Kang-chi realizes what all this is for. He’s not exactly the brightest bulb, our Gumiho Baby.

Master Dam isn’t wrong—he asks how Kang-chi plans to defeat his father when he can’t even fight him. Gon tells Kang-chi to use all his strength. He says no one here really knows the full extent of Kang-chi’s abilities, and it’s up to him to bring that to the surface.

Gon: “Master is trying to awaken that in you. Use your full potential strength. Anything less than your sincerity in that is an affront to Master.” So Kang-chi finally fights back, but Master Dam tells him he’s still weak, and orders him to remember the things that brought out his full strength.

Kang-chi thinks, and realizes that all the times when Yeo-wool was in danger, or his father was being attacked, he had called up an inner strength. He draws that out and attacks Master Dam, and gains the upper hand.

But when the moment comes to strike, Kang-chi hesitates. And seeing that window of opportunity, Master Dam skewers him right through the middle with his sword. Aaack. “Never hesitate. The moment you hesitate, you die, and so do the people you wish to protect.”

Master Dam: “Strength is compassion fighting against cruelty. Strength is simultaneously carrying warm ties of friendship and cold duty. That is why—to be strong is to be lonely. And only when you can bear those things, can you win.”

He tells Kang-chi to return when his wound is healed, and they take a break.

Pil-mok gives Jo Gwan-woong a gift to try and mend bridges, and he lights up as he peeks inside the box. A gun? We’re giving the evil bastard rapist sociopath A GUN? And in exchange, Jo Gwan-woong tells him all about Lee Soon-shin’s turtle ship plans.

Yeo-wool comes to check on Kang-chi and brings him a change of clothes. She totally undresses him to check his stab wound, in the most innocent clinical way—but it leaves him completely flustered. Her lack of awareness isn’t exactly believable, but it is cute.

She asks why he’s putting the shirt back on when she brought him the new one to change into, so he takes a deep breath and gets ready to undress, and then decides he’ll turn around to do it, only to feel even weirder that she’s still watching him.

He has to instruct her to turn around before taking his shirt off, and then realizes he has to reach over to get the other shirt. She fumbles to help him, and they end up touching hands in the middle… so she ends up seeing him nekkid anyway. Ha.

He hurriedly puts the shirt on while she bursts into laughter, and then he sidles up behind her to tease that she likes half-naked men. She says defensively that she doesn’t like ALL half-naked men, to which he coos, “So do you like it because it’s me?”

He squishes her face in his hands and gives her a cute little kiss, and he either kisses her three times or the director’s got another case of repeato fever.

He hugs her and asks if she thinks he can be strong, worried that he can’t handle what’s to come. Yeo-wool: “You’re already strong. You’re the only one who doesn’t know it yet.” Aw.

Gon comes by to check on Kang-chi, and when there’s no answer at the door, he swings it open… but Kang-chi and Yeo-wool are sitting at a desk like good little kids, pretending like there wasn’t just a mad scramble to un-hug.

He announces a visitor, and Chung-jo comes in to say that Seo-hwa is in danger, and planning to leave. We see that Pil-mok secured her a boat and left her no choice but to go, arguing that she was the one who betrayed them, and not the other way around.

Kang-chi says he doesn’t care to see her, Yeo-wool urges him to reconsider—this might be his last chance to see his mother and she doesn’t want him to have regrets.

He whirls around with tears firing up, and says she’s a woman who threw him away in a river because he was so disgusting, and then when she met him twenty years later, said it wasn’t any of her concern whether he was stomped to death. “What kind of mother is that?”

He cries that she’s long been erased from his life, since the moment he was thrown in a river. He says the word mother is wasted on her, and begs Yeo-wool to never mention her again.

He stalks off, almost turns back because he feels bad, but just walks away. Chung-jo leaves behind the shirt she’s been sewing for Kang-chi and goes without a word.

Tae-seo gets a mystery letter, and it’s really too bad that his character has been reduced to Pensive Stare Man, because that’s all he’s been doing for entire episodes.

Wol-ryung meets Jo Gwan-woong at the inn and demands to be told where Seo-hwa is, per their agreement. Jo Gwan-woong wants something in exchange for the information so Wol-ryung just grabs his throat and says he won’t kill him then. Serves you right for thinking you can make a deal with a demon.

Kang-chi goes to see Bong-chul, and as they share a chicken he asks how Bong-chul’s mother is doing. He smiles forlornly as Bong-chul chatters away about his nagging mom, and muses, “That’s what mothers are like, huh? They worry, and nag.”

Bong-chul wonders why he’s so long in the face, and guesses that he must’ve had his heart broken by that flower-young-master he’s always with. Pffffft. Kang-chi: “Who?” Bong-chul: “That pretty boy you’re always with.”

Yeo-wool pops up behind him: “Who me?” Kang-chi laughs and feels justified that Yeo-wool looks like a boy to other people, and Bong-chul gapes, “What? Is he going around pretending to be a girl?” Hee.

I love that Kang-chi is more concerned about being right than actually correcting Bong-chul about his liking boys. Yeo-wool punishes them both by yanking them up by their ears.

On their way back home, Yeo-wool says she came to tell him something, and admits that she went to go see his mother last night.

We watch Seo-hwa leave the Hundred Year Inn, and exchange a knowing nod with Tae-seo before making her exit. Pil-mok the Backstabber does as expected and orders his men to “take care of it” without mistakes.

Back at school, it’s time for Kang-chi to face off with Master Dam, and this time he comes prepared for battle. He says he’ll finish this quickly.

In voiceover we hear what Yeo-wool told him about her meeting with Seo-hwa. “She said she’s a sinner.” Flashback to last night: Seo-hwa tells her that she hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in twenty years because of what she did to Wol-ryung and Kang-chi. Seo-hwa: “I cannot ask for that child’s forgiveness. I cannot return.”

Yeo-wool tells Kang-chi that he needs to first forgive her, for his mother to be able to return to him.

Back to the fight, where Kang-chi asks what the sword is to Master Dam. His answer is simple: “Everything.” They run at each other full force, and this time Kang-chi doesn’t hold back.

He gets in close and raises his hand… and takes a swipe. Everyone gasps. Blood trickles down, and Master Dam’s sword falls to the ground.

When we pull back we see that it’s just his arm that’s covered in blood, and Kang-chi says he’s defeated his sword, so he wins. Kang-chi breaks into a smile, and Master Dam’s face changes too—he looks surprised.

Kang-chi hurriedly runs out to catch up to his mother, and Yeo-wool looks back at Dad as if to ask for permission. Dad lets her go (yay) and sends Gon with them.

Teacher Gong bandages up his arm and asks what it was he saw after the fight that surprised him, and Master Dam says Kang-chi has figured it out.

This time we see what Master Dam saw—Kang-chi won the fight and smiled, and then changed back to his human face without his bracelet and without Yeo-wool. He says it might be time to send him off on his quest to find the Gu Family Book. Oh that thing. Are we still doing that?

Meanwhile Seo-hwa’s entourage doesn’t get very far before they’re ambushed. The woman who played her decoy is her last line of defense, and when they come for Seo-hwa, she dies protecting her.

The assassins have her surrounded, which is the perfect timing for the Three Musketeers to come to her rescue. They stand there surveying the scene for a hilariously long time, arguing about how to divide up the opponents evenly.

Yeo-wool tells Kang-chi that she and Gon can handle the baddies, and tells him to get Mom out of here. I love this trio of avengers stuff. They’re so cute.

Fight! A few men drag Seo-hwa away in the fray, but Kang-chi swoops in with a flying kick and saves her. Aw, he’s so much like Old Wol-ryung right now. Speak of the devil—Wol-ryung arrives and finds the empty sedan but no sign of Seo-hwa.

Kang-chi puts out a hand to help Seo-hwa up, but she grabs a sword instead and starts to walk away, saying that she has things to do, and people to kill. He begs her to come with him, but she screams in a murderous rage that she has to kill the people who did this to her family, to his father and to her.

Kang-chi: “WHAT ABOUT ME?!” *whimper*

He grabs her arm and asks with pleading eyes, “Do you only see the people you have to kill? Do you not see me?!” Waaaah.

“Do you not see the person who ran for his life to save you? Do you not see your son? I’m your son. But I’m your son, Mother!” She breaks down in tears at his words, and finally drops the sword.

She clasps his face in her hands and weeps, crying that she’s sorry that he has a mother like her. He cries and says it one more time: “Mother.” She calls his name and hugs him close, as they both cry.

Things start to get sticky for Yeo-wool and Gon, because the ninjas just keep coming. Are they magically multiplying or something? I’m worried that Gon is so busy protecting Yeo-wool that he’s going to miss something, but suddenly a masked swordsman comes flying in to join them on their side.

Gon immediately recognizes Tae-seo by his moves, and they make a plan to get Yeo-wool out safely.

Kang-chi brings Seo-hwa to So-jung’s house where he’s supposed to meet up with the others, and turns to go check on them. She grabs his hand and tells him to be careful, and he smiles at the first word of motherly concern he’s ever heard in his whole life.

He leaves, and now I’m terrified she’s going to die. He takes a few steps, when suddenly something makes him stop. Oh crap, can he feel Wol-ryung coming?

Seo-hwa looks up at the sound of footsteps, and gasps to see Wol-ryung walking toward her. Her eyes fill with tears and she trembles as she asks, “Wol-ryung? Wol-ryung, is that you?”

He just looks back at her coldly, curiously, and asks who she is. “Do you know me?” She just repeats his name as tears fall. And then… Kang-chi steps in between them. Oh noes.

He looks up at Wol-ryung defiantly. “No. No more. Don’t kill anyone else. I won’t let you kill anymore. I… am going to stop you… Wol-ryung.”

Wol-ryung narrows his eyes at the challenge, as Seo-hwa looks from father to son. Kang-chi’s eyes fill with tears, but he stands his ground.

 
COMMENTS

Okay, that was a pretty awesome cliffhanger. It was nice to have Kang-chi reunite with Seo-hwa before facing off with Wol-ryung because now there are bigger emotional stakes in the showdown, and even though I don’t think Seo-hwa is long for this world now that she’s served her story purpose, I find myself concerned for her survival. The ending really plays up the idea of the brave kid standing up to his tyrannical father, and I think the emotional weight of that comes from the reunion with Mom. Go figure, what one tearful outburst of mommy-longing can do to make you care.

I don’t find Wol-ryung nearly as interesting since he got black-veined and became Amnesiac the Destroyer, but I’m hoping for a turnaround late in the game. I still expect Kang-chi to have to kill him, but wouldn’t it be more epic if he had to do it knowing the old Wol-ryung was still in there somewhere? I know, I’m a sadist. But that’s how you get the real emotional punch out of the situation.

Though Master Dam’s epic training session didn’t have to go on for as long as it did, I’m glad that he finally got to do something useful on this show other than ground his daughter. I was starting to forget that he’s the real teacher around here. I’ve never disliked Dad, but he always just seemed like an oversight—a character you move around like a chess piece but don’t give any layer or personality to. But there was finally something to root for in him when he took it upon himself to train Kang-chi for battle. I didn’t expect him to die, but I believed he was ready to, which is the more important part. Because killing your father-in-law is no way to start a relationship, and I’m pretty sure Kang-chi knows that. I do wish the sequence had just gone on without a break though, because what was the point of losing all the tension you had built up from two weary men who fought all night until daybreak? Shooting yourself the foot for no reason.

The thing I like about the way this show doles out angst is that between Kang-chi and Yeo-wool, someone always says the thing you want them to say. If Kang-chi’s having a pity party, Yeo-wool puts a stop to it. And when Seo-hwa is so blind with vengeance and self-loathing that she pushes her own son away, he just says out loud the thing we’re all thinking: And what about the son you could love now, instead of just adding him to the list of regrets and things that went wrong in your life? A hero who kicks ass is great, but a hero who speaks his mind is better. That quiet suffering? It’s for the birds.

 
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Thanks!

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You asked previously why they called SH Gonbun:
Far as I can tell, Gonbun is the family name of her dead-husband, and therefore the name of the merchant group.

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Thanks KDaddict! I would like to rewatch the drama, and I hope to see if more info (or clearer info) was given about that name.

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Adding to this, Gongbun's just a different pronounciation for Miyamoto in Chinese. LOL used google translate to double check since I've been feeling it was that.

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No

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Thank you GF for the recap, as always! I really loved this ep., so emotional, and deep on many fronts.

I will start with my questions:

1--Does anyone know how time was told in the period the drama is taking place? I saw in one (past) ep. that the hour of the horse was mentioned, and in this ep., it was the hour of the monkey which was translated (on viki) as 3pm. That was an interesting fact.

2--I am curious about the shirt CJ left for KC, the one with the bird sewn on it. It is at least the 2nd time that we are seeing that shirt (and the bird), and I can't help but wonder if it will show up again and its significance (if it has any) in the drama. And why did she sew a bird (and not a fox, for example)?
I guess watching the drama till the end will answer that question.

3--I am wondering, if the final training was supposed to be for Gon (per DPJ's words), does that mean that Gon is supposed to take over the Martial Arts SChool, if something happened to DPJ? (him dying, specifically)? Although, his daughter is there as well, wouldn't she qualify to be the director of the school?

4--I know we are discovering KC's powers, and his figuring out how they work as we watch the drama, however, when DPJ said that KC found a way, I couldn't help but think, "KC found a way? How?"

5--I didn't understand why KC was fanning himself once he turned around. It's not because he was hot, right? I mean, he wasn't hot before she came into the room (maybe that was the point?) I understood the scene as a whole, but I didn't understand that part. It seemed that he was obviously trying to tell her something, but I can't figure out what... Was he trying to let her know that he was uncomfortable because of her?

On to my thoughts... (part 1)

My 1st thought when I saw GW hold that gun was, "I hope he dies by that gun," though I still prefer a slow and painful death GW.

I remember asking about SB a few ep. ago, and we had assumed that he was dead or that the actor was done with his role, I guess we were wrong...

I love how YW has been consistent (as a character) so far in the drama, and she has had some of the best lines. I also love how her relationship with KC has evolved over the course of the drama, from someone he did not take seriously to someone he turns to for support and understanding, whether it be emotional, psychological or fighting to save someone (like his mom), or mental (she is more of the brain between the two of them, at least when it comes to certain things).
I love how he naturally opens up to her with his concerns and fears, and how she challenges him in many ways, including confronting him when it comes to sensitive issues (I don't know that she is not afraid to go there, but I like that she is bold enough, and cares enough as well to go there, like she talked about his mom). I also like the fact that KC is willing to get angry in front of YW, fight with her, and show his vulnerable and hurt side in her presence (actually, he couldn't help how he felt. It just came out, because CJ and Gon witnessed it as well).

I will be back later with more of my thoughts...

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1. Because of LSS and the turtle ships it would be safe to assume it is happening during the 1590s.
2. Not sure
3. I think it might have to do with gender issues during the Joseon times. It is usually the male who inherits, not the female.
4. I'm not too sure either.
5. I think he was just shy or he understood that he has a hot body and wants to cool off some of the hottness he was emanating.
Im sorry for not being too insightful, but that's all I could think of.

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2- She sewed a blue bird because I think that's the meaning of her name as a gisaeng which means blue bird, if I'm not wrong. It was on episode 13, if you want to check it out. Why she sewed the symbol of her gisaeng name to Kang Chi's vest, I'm not too sure, either. Maybe she wants to show Kang Chi that she's still into him?

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If you're right and that's her name, embroidering on other people's clothes might be Joseon-speak for "dibs".

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4 - What I got from that comment was that KC won without killing him, which must mean that KC will do the same when he is confronted with fighting to the death with his father - KC will figure out how to disarm his father without killing him.

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Time was broken up into 2 hour segments. So for example. 3- 5 PM would be the hour of the monkey. Perhaps the hours are labeled by the Chinese zodiac? I don't remember exactly where I read about this, but Google or Wiki should be able to help.

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5–I didn’t understand why KC was fanning himself once he turned around. It’s not because he was hot, right?

I will try to word this politely.

When confronted with certain stimuli, a sudden rush of hormones can make one flush. It is why "you make me hot" is said.

Alone, with a person of the opposite sex and that person is asking you to take your clothes off, that is enough stimuli to get a healthy young man to respond. Restraint was taking place on his part, and she was being a lot less aware of the implications (oblivious?) until their hands touched and she suddenly got on the same wave length.

So fanning himself made perfect sense to me.

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Well put! I was wondering if anyone would respond to this! Haha!
Ivoire, you've obliviously not been in a similiar situation?

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Part 2 of my thoughts...

Question: I have noticed in the drama, that JGW has 2 names (or is referred to with 2 names), one of them is the 1st name we are given in the drama, JGW and the 2nd one is Bi Jo (sp?) and I think I remember SH calling him that. I know that SH had/has two names because she was trying to hide her real identity from JGW, and so in her case, it made/makes sense that she would have two names.
I don't understand why JGW would do it, as he does not need to hide from anybody. Did he (JGW) not want the Japanese merchants to know who he was? And more importantly, did he (JGW) think that the Japanese merchants would not find out who he was? I am puzzled by that.

Like many, I really loved the scene between KC and SH. That was a loooooong time coming, however when it came, it was so emotional and so good (and well acted). I rewatched that scene and I realized how necessary the confrontation was, both for the mother and for the son. So much pent up anger, hurt and regret. I never thought all along that SH was a bad person. I did think that she had made some really bad choices when she was younger, and that those bad choices came out of circumstances that had overwhelmed her. She was also very young at the time, and she probably believed the rumors that went around regarding gumihos.

As Crazyajummafan explained in some of the previous recaps' comments section, there was probably not much SH could have done for KC after she was killed/slashed, and in the following 20 years. She was a slave, she was wanted by the state (I think) and she had nothing to her name, not a penny. KC would have probably been in danger if he had been with her.

I know that in the drama, KC tells his mother that she abandoned him in the river, however I have a different read on it. It might just be me nitpicking, and I am not trying to diminish KC's pain and feelings of betrayal and abandonment. I understand those, and I feel that he is totally entitled to feel that way. That being said, I think (and I remember) that SH had left KC (as a baby) in the care of the monk and she had asked him to (please) make sure that he lived among humans, that was her wish for her son. It would be fair to say (or assume) that SH was hoping that KC would have a good and happy life, knowing and experiencing love, joy, feelings of belonging with others, etc... just things that humans experience and take for granted.

I believe that the monk then was the one who put KC in the water, when he saw PMS, and he knew who PMS was, since he (lord Park) was a beloved and well respected man in the town. As the monk suspected, KC's basket was discovered by Choi (who was part of lord Park's party/people) and I feel that is how KC ended up living at the 100 Year Inn, with the Park family. So yeah, SH abandoned KC, but what else could she do (at that time)? And maybe she needed time to heal (from her wounds), time to build wealth, get older (so she could look a little different) and figure out a way to come back to Korea, and some reasons why. Hence what happens 20 years later (her coming to Korea, specifically dealing with JGW, knowing who he was, her wanting to visit the gisaeng house, etc...)

When I saw Sh reject KC in front of JGW in ep. 19, I had two thoughts: 1--she is trying to protect her cover, and 2-- (especially in front of KC, when he is leaving the Inn and when she is in his room, thinking he is sleeping), she is being a Noble Idiot. Noble in that in rejecting him, she was thinking that she was shielding him from the "horrible" mother she had been, and protecting him and doing it for his own good. After all, who would want a mother like that (I think that was the self loathing GF referred to).

She was being an Idiot because unlike YW (for example), she didn't think and couldn't see how much pain and angst and suffering KC felt at the thought of having been abandoned since he was a baby. And to see his mother do it again 20 years later (when he was in chains), probably felt like a knife was being twisted in his wound. I also don't think KC was the only one who suffered. I believe that SH was suffering as well. As she said to YW, she had not slept in the last 20 years (not properly), and as a mother, I would think that she must have missed seeing her child grow up, holding him, and doing for him things that mothers normally do. That was how I explained her long and tight hug to KC. All those missed times and opportunities between the two of them, deeply felt by both... heartbreaking. And to hear KC call a woman for the first time in his life, "mother" (twice) was heartwarming. And the way she held his face, with trembling hands, and later his hand, before she let him go look for his friends... That scene was so good!

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@ivoire:
It's not two name, it's JGW's nickname from his opposing party. If you see closer, you'll see the one who call him so is Lee Soon Shin, yeo wool, it's like his code name, it's like voldemort's name, unspoken. And then, CMIIW, bijo itself means 'beast'(or monster?) in japanese. Which I'm sure referring to his act. Hope it helps :)

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@ reglest,
Thank you! That actually helped a lot. I had not noticed that Lee Soon Shin was the one who called him that, along with YW. I think SH called him that as well, if I am not mistaken (I could be wrong).
reglest, do you remember if LSS calls him to his face (in front of him?) or does he do that mostly when JGW is not around (and when he, LSS is talking to others?)

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thanks!!! T_T

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Thanks, gf! Can't wait to read!

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YAY~ Can't believe it's the ep. 20 already :(. I will gather up my final thoughts when I watch these last two episodes! And I totally spent my time refreshing and not watching after I got home with the hopes that being an early commenter will leads to solving some mysteries!

Ok, so maybe not "mysteries" but just things I was curious about:
1) Is it out of the norm that Kang Chi and Wol Ryung are gumihos? I previously had the idea that gumihos were female most of the time. The gumiho references I can come up with also seem to follow the female-gumiho idea but this is with my extremely limited knowledge.

2) I'm really curious about the way Head Gisaeng Chun sits, kinda with one leg up (similar to Usher on the Voice, if anyone is following, haha). Is it a personal form or something with more cultureal significance? I ask because it seems like gisaengs are trained to follow this idea of femininity and grace and I wouldn't categorize her way of sitting as following such.

I appreciate any answers as I'm looking to educate myself by asking the DB community :)!

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I'm pretty sure 1) is what makes this drama so unusual - gumihos ARE usually female (from my understanding), not male. ^__^

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I think you're right about the unusual part! I just re-consulted the Dramabeans Pop Culture post on Gumihos and the tradition is that they're beautiful women. I'm super glad I ended up re-reading that because now I'm even more curious about the cultural implication of gumihos and the significance of this drama having male gumihos. Interesting. Interesting.

Thanks so much for answering though!

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That was one of the first unique qualities of the show -- the fact that it was about male gumihos rather than the usual female ones. Seeing as how Seunggi already dated one in another drama, it would have just been treading familiar ground to have another female gumiho story. I think the twist is one of the things that piqued javabeans and girlfriday's interest in the first place!

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I like that they are inventing their own version of the mythology. The concept theyve developed ties in most closely with the oldest forms of the mythology, whereby the gumiho can be a benevolent being. In the dramas mythology, WR is a benevolent and moral guardian spirit. The townsfolk call him a gumiho; perhaps out of suspicion and ignorance.

Also, the drama has also woven in aspects of both Korean gumiho and Japanese kitsune mythologies in how it has shaped its mythologies.

When the show started, the main song they used repeatedly referenced a stone and suggested that they may try to weave in Asian dragon mythology in how it defines WR's mythology. A pearl is a dragon's most cherished possession. If a dragon loses its pearl it loses it also loses its soul. In this case his 'pearl' could have been SH.

The floaty blue lights are probably also the dramas version of gumiho fox beads. The foxbead is a gumiho's lifeforce and source of regenerative power. When WR was struck down he lost his foxbeads and thus his regenerative power (now his touch can only make plants and people die).

I sure do hope this is the case as I'm hoping little KC can give Papa-ho a fox bead transfusion and bring him back to the world of the living. And that he also regains his pearl, SH.

I know, I know...wishful thinking.

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Hi Gidget!

Thanks for explaining, this helps me understand better a lot of things in this drama. I loved your take on the foxbeads/blue lights. Question then: what do you think that meant, when they showed up when KC and YW were kissing, and when they were under the crescent moon (after YW saved KC and he passed out in her arms). Did the blue lights show up (I think they showed up) to confirm the prophesy the monk had mentioned to YW?
And when they were kissing, there were no regenerative power needed, or were there? (KC was hurt on the lip, I think, come to think of it). I guess I am just wondering if the blue lights would show up for more than when generative power is needed... Do you know?

I also wanted to say that I share your wishful thinking. I wish it could happen as well :-).

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Hi Ivoire,

Good question about the emergence of the blue lights during the initial romantic scenes. It happened to WR and SH too. Interesting idea that it had to do with their desitiny to be together. To connect it with the broader mythology, maybe their appearance is symbolic of the protective and healing/regenerative power of genuine love?

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Hello Gidget,

I just rewatched ep. 2, and you were right, SH and WR do have their own lights who I found out (I didn't remember that fact) were green, and not blue like the ones for KC. Now I am curious as to what that means, that daddyho gets the green lights, and babbyho gets the blue ones.

I loved what you said here, "To connect it with the broader mythology, maybe their appearance is symbolic of the protective and healing/regenerative power of genuine love?" except we know it worked for KC, but not so much for WR, so I don't know if that really applies. In times like this, I wish the writer would give us more clues or tell us more about how we are to read things. Your theory totally makes sense though, except (again) for WR and I really want to know why the green lights showed up :-)

Well, our explanations (or our attempts at explaining things away) were worth a try. Thanks again Gidget!

OK, I just had a thought: maybe there are there to show love, its healing power and maybe fate, good (KC and YW) or bad (WR and SH). The main important thing is that the gumiho happen to be in love at the time the lights (blue or green) show. After that, it's anyone's guess.

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I think it's not actually gumiho, as So Jung never call Wolryung as gumiho. It's Gwan Woong and his minion who call him so.

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So, I have some questions about that as well, and I am a little confused, because even though WR and KC are considered and called gumihos (1/2 in KC's case), by the rest of the people (the town people, JGW, etc...) and called monsters as well, WR has been referring to himself as a divine creature, and so has KC at times.
Also, remember that in ep. 1, when we are introduced to WR, we are told that he is a spirit, a god who protects the mountains? And when he is betrayed by SH and subsequently slashed, he eventually turns into a 1,000 year demon. Do gumihos do that? Turn into demons if they are betrayed by humans?

So my question is, what are WR and KC, exactly? Because, like zuanie says below, they (WR and KC) are never given any tails in this drama, whereas in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, the female character had nine tails. And I agree that even So Jung referred to WR as a spiritual being, not necessarily a gumiho (I think). Are the scriptwriters blurring the lines in this drama, making WR and KC both gumihos AND spiritual and divine beings? Because I have also seen/read (in the subtitles) WR and KC being referred to as divine beings. KC has used both terms, gumiho and "divine creature" to refer to himself, and WR has said "divine creature," when he was asking SJ who KC was. And yet, we also see KC struggling with his "beastly" side in the Moonlight Garden, and when he controls it, we are made to understand (is what I assumed) that KC has figured out ways for his "beastly side" not to show itself or come out. So yeah, I am little confused, to say the least.
Could they (WR and KC) realistically be both? Could a divine creature (following the mythology of the drama, the way it is presented to us) also be a gumiho? (A divine creature also being an animal?)

Like MeeisLee, I would appreciate any answers and thoughts on this...

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It's a bit hard to explain but let me try.

In many different parts of Asia, it's believed that the land - whether that's forests, lakes, rivers, mountains or whatever else you can think of - are protected by divine beings. Some countries believe that these beings are divine creatures and that in return for protecting the land they have otherworldly powers much like the ones that have been subscribed to WR and KC - the power to heal, the power to ask of nature to do what they wish of it etc. In countries like Japan, they respect these divine beings as sacred - if you follow Japanese manga, it's pretty easy to pick up on this because they talk about it all the time. It's part of their history and culture. So for instance a "Mountain God" could be a boar.

The idea that these sacred creatures could turn into demons is also cultural. A good example of a Japanese anime movie that does this well is called Princess Mononoke. The Mountain God was 'betrayed' by his people and his hatred turned him dark and ugly into a thoughtless demon. Again, very similar to what happens to WR.

There are a lot of Asian myths relating to foxes so it wouldn't be surprising for the "Forest God" (so to speak) to be a nine-tailed fox and a divine being, which having lost its way, turned demonic. Sounds just about right to me in fact. Hope that helps!

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Hello rainerust and thank you so much! That totally helped and totally made sense and as you said in your last paragraph, a lot of what you said applies to GFB, and " sounds just about right."

I am not familiar with Japanese anime (I have never watched one, not fully) and I think that it would be fair to say that GFB is the first drama I am watching that deals specifically with the themes of gumihos and spiritual beings (in Kdramas), to the extent that it does. I did read the thread that JB posted a few years ago on gumihos, and I read the info on the link posted in that thread. However, I am not well versed in Asian mythology.

Your explanations were very clear and logical, I could follow what you were saying. Thanks again rainerust, I appreciate it.

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Great explanation,

It initially seemed to me that this story is saying that there was an disconnect between the reality of those protective spiritual beings and the common understanding of them amongst the population. The common mans understanding was a cartoonish version of what a gumiho actually was. The reality was a protective spirit which could be transformed into a ki/life force sucking demons. This had been superstitiously dumbed down by the ill educated, into a popular myth of a nine tailed fox that ate livers (in eastern thought the liver is the source of a persons ki, or lifeforce).

Even in MGIAG her foxbead could absorb a mans ki. She did not eat his liver. But in that drama, they chose to keep the nine tails as it served the purpose of the storyline.

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My understanding is that living beings endowed with special power for some purpose accept that bodily form which is more suitable and convenient for that specific task. So, say, for the protection of a mountain/forest the best form of existence would be that of a fox. Foxes are the best cunning tricksters, fastest movers in circles (lol!), intricate mental attackers and seducers. As tricksters, they can assume other forms (e.g. human) as well.
See how they run! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9aj_JXnago
So, gumihos are basically super creatures in Vulpes form.

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Hi Ivoire, sorry for the late reply
as @rainerust has explained, in Asia, especially in east Asia, there always be legend, myth, story about a god who protects the mountains, usually in form of spirit or animal. The form can be different, it may take fox, weasel, bear, anything, according the region of the story it self.

and @gidget has said it "this story is saying that there was an disconnect between the reality of those protective spiritual beings and the common understanding of them amongst the population", I believe it so. What makes people a worse person is when we hold prejudice against other, being aware is okay, but prejudice is blinding the reality.

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I think it's not actually gumiho, as So Jung never call Wolryung as gumiho. It's Gwan Woong and his minion who call him so.

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Gumihos, or nine-tailed foxes, are basically shape-shifters. In mythology, they are often said to disguise themselves as beautiful women to seduce men, but sometimes they take the form of men too. While it's true kdrama has never had a male gumiho character before, they're not rare in other medium, such as Japanese manga, novels, etc...

In GFB, the scriptwriters seem to create Wol Ryung with the idea that he is a gumiho. Choi Jin Hyuk said the reason he took the project because of the fact Wol Ryun is a male gumiho.

I always wonder why they don't give Wol Ryung and Kang Chi any tails. In other dramas, they always have 9 giant, swishing, fluffy tails.

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It's a bit different apparently, since Seung Gi's agency give some explanation before the drama, that his role isn't a male gumiho...or maybe it's me get the wrong meaning? :)

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There are male gumiho obviously, since they still need to procreate (besides doing it with human males XD). It's just that the female ones are the ones mostly having the whole spotlight in the 'fall in love with humans, getting betrayed when tried to become humans and getting into the path of revenge' folk legend.

So far, the only other korean dramas that I watched that had a male gumiho shown was on the gumiho episode of Korean Ghost Story 2009 version. And even 'that' was just a short scene.

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Wow! Thanks for all the amazing comments guys! Totally helped me to see the show a little bit differently and improve my understanding of what's going on here!

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This is late, but I believe most gisaeng in dramas sit that way. If you look up Hwang Ji Ni posters (both SHG and HJW) they are sitting in that position. It makes them look more powerful, and I've always thought it was to distinguish themselves from other woman.

Their brand of "feminity and grace" is different from what noblemen would be getting from their wives after all. ;)

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Remember Park Dong Ju (played by oh-so-hot No In-woo, which is why i remember this) played a vetrinarian in MGISG and was half human half supernatural being - but not sure if the term gumiho applied to him in any way. Gu Mi ho becomes fully human in the end and is no longer a gumiho, but Park Dong ju was 1/2 human and 1/2 supernatural.

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"he either kisses her three times or the director’s got another case of repeato fever."

Ah, that's what I was thinking! 3 times?! xD

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It's 3 times. I heard 3 different smooches. But ahh director's repeato fever really annoys me sometimes.

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Thanks for the recap! ♥ nekkid ♥

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Great~~~~

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Thanks for the recap GF!!

BTW. I'm loving how Gon and Kang Chi's "relationship" is progressing, Gon is still a grumpypants but you can see he does care for Kang Chi. Yay for bromance!!

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LSG nekkid squueeeeeel :-) happy camper here! Lol

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It's here! Can't believe it's here so early. Thanks.

Evil Lord has so many minions. I wish WR would squeeze the living daylights out of every one of them in his view, and then him, ever so slowly.

No like the editing at the beginning that gives us 2 mins. of this, 2 mins of the fight. It just feels choppy.

The 2 training/fighting scenes w Master Dam n KC seem long to me. We get it that KC is reluctant to fight Sabonim w all his might, but does the scene have to be that long?

KC changing in front of YW (n us) is obviously fan-service. But it is Adorable.

When Gon opens that door to KC's room, I half expect him to find the lovebirds smooching. I'd like to see the look on his face then. But it's a domestic scene he finds, w him studying n YW SEWING?! That signifies a sealed deal in their relationship even more, don't u think? CJ should know there is no use being jealous anymore.

At long last, we get a scene of them as the 3 Musketeers, setting out together to save KC's mom. It's so satisfying to see them that way.

Finally, finally, WR, SH n KC come face to face. WOW! My heart skips a beat.
Now, how r we supposed to wait a whole long week for the next shot? Mercy!

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Oh yes, KC squishing her face to pucker up her lips and kiss them as if it's a baby's is plain cute. 3 times! Ha ha ha.

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The fact that Evil Lord gets a gun pretty much precludes a happy ending. He's going to shoot SH for sure. Or would the writers actually have the gumption to let him kill KC or YW, to confirm Monk SJ's prophesy of one of them dying if they become a couple?

Happy Ending? I doubt.

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WHeee!!! THanks you!

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Ive been waiting for this! thanks!

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Thanks for the recap!

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THANKSS :)

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Lovely episode.

1. Love Yeo-wool and Kang chi together. Those two aren't in a relationship, they have long begun their marriage and it will be a good one. I love that she made her commitment and has never allowed anyone to keep her from Kang chi's side. And I love it that she is always beside him without being clingy or suffocating. She supports him, bolsters his confidence when her needs it, believes in him unquestioningly, and gives him room to grow.

2. I loved every moment of them together in the clothes changing scene.

3. I love the fact that Kang chi treats Yeo-wool as an equal. He never tries to protect her just because she is a woman. He recognize her as a woman and respects her as a warrior. In fact most of the time it is Yeo-wool who mounts a rescue mission to save Kang chi. And I love the fact that when Yeo-wool feels Kang chi needs rescuing, no one can stop her from mounting a mission.
Additionally, I love that by this episode, everyone has given up on trying.

4. "He grabs her arm and asks with pleading eyes, “Do you only see the people you have to kill? Do you not see me?!” Waaaah. " This moment was beautifully done. It broke my heart.

5. There are many reason to hate Jo Gwan-woong, but the greatest one for me is that he makes me vicious, which is not how I like to think of myself. I would like to see [rather know] that he died in the slowest most painful way possible. From my perspective Wol-ryung sucking his life force would not make him suffer enough. I need him to be fully conscious and suffer from unbearable pain for days before he actually dies. The actor playing Jo Gwang-woong made a brilliant choice when he decided on a character voice. [I am assuming it is a choice] That character just makes me want to be mean.

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@ yumi
I love this episode too. There's tension, suspense, revelation, sweet and cute moments. humour and best of all A. VERY. HOT. BOD!!!

My two favourite scenes:
1) The one where YW brings KC his clothes. I laughed, I squealed and I even cried.
I don't know about the rest of you, but when YW pulled open KC's shirt, I gasped at her 'audacity/boldness/lack of shyness', but more so because I get to see Seunggi's manly chest again - and this time with NO bandages blocking my view. Then when she asked him why he was wearing his shirt back, my heart went, "da thump, da thump" - are we getting FULL EXPOSURE????? Please, director and writer! I'll promise not to complain anymore about the writing and directing! PLEASE!

THEN, KC the tease, opens his shirt, only to close it again! KC ah.....!!!!! Don't do this to your crazy ahjumma fan! There's only so much teasing an ahjumma can take! But SG looked soooo cute when he turned round and asked YW to turn around. THEN, he strips! Thank goodness, everyone else was in their rooms, or else they would have seen me hyperventilating!!!! Thank you writer, director and Seunggi! Seunggi, I know it must have been difficult for you to do that, so thanks for the fan service!

I would like to include that SG did a swell job of being flustered and shy. And Suzy's "matter of fact- I've seen bare bodies all the time" demeanour was nicely done. Her giggles had me laughing too. And I LOVED their conversation - the way KC teased her and the way YW replied - they are the cutest OTP! (I have to admit, even cuter than DW and MH).

But what got me crying after all that squealing and giggling, was how YW comforted KC. He was so vulnerable, and I love that she had such faith in him. It was a very sweet and tender moment for me.

2) My second favourite scene was the one between KC and mum. I love KC - I love that he forgives divinely. In this aspect, he transcends human pettiness and vindictiveness to find it within his heart to forgive his mum. For this, I love him. And I'm glad that the writer placed this scene before WR meets SH. KC fights best when the people he loves are in danger and in need of his protection. Even way back before he knew that he was only have human, this was clearly evident. And KC needs this reconciliation with his mum to be able to take on his father.

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eonni, you should join twitter...when he was nekkid...all scream, including me who just read the live tweet.
All hail to Seung Gi's hot bod!!
*biceps, triceps, trapezius, deltoid, pectoralis major kkkk

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Reglest, I don't think my old ahjumma heart can take all the screamimg and squealing in twitter!

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Thanks.....I'm on ep 7 right now.....can't wait to watch the rest....

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This show has reached the point of no amount of cute will make up for how much doing nothing it has done.

SHOW I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU!

You are lucky your main couple is so damn cute other wise you would have been sent to the corner with Big...

The more I think about it the more it feels like they didnt actually storyboard this show out or really know where they wanted to go with it. Which makes me sad since it has some really great potential.

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Too much cute is its downfall in my eyes. So much more could have been explored and answered instead of the fluff filler which comes across as adoration and buddy buddy more than a romantic love..
As usual the best scenes acting wise emotional wise and plot movement were between KC and someone else other than YW. KC and his father last episode and with his mom and even his dad today stole the show.

I still like CJ and I am glad to know that she really does and did care for KC, she has been stepping up and doing the right thing and trying to help KC and I see no malice from her at all. I hope that they give us some more of her story she is being under used for a lead yet she is the one with the acting talent.

and LSG he blows me away as usual, he is a pure joy to watch.

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I almost feel like the show has introduced too many characters to handle all of them satisfyingly. I still have very little investment in TS's character (the supposed 2nd lead) due to his casual appearances and dropped plot threads, I'm waiting by the tether-hooks to see how CJ continues to learn from SR and accomplish her promised revenge on GW, I'm hoping WR is really more than just an empty-shell demon (because we already have a 1D villain in GW), and I want a little more from YW in terms of character exploration (she has to have more in her interest than KC). There were few filler episodes throughout the drama that could have been dedicated better... out of the aforementioned characters though, I really hope CJ is the who gets her fleshed out more because she is the most well-layered and interesting character aside from KC/YW.

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I agree. Just too much teen cute for an action drama. A little at the start was enough. Replaying shy over and over is too much.

Enjoyed the rest much more.

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Many ppl were wondering why there has been no more mention of the Gu Family Book. In this ep, Master Dam finally mentions it, saying that he has seen KC return to his human form without the bracelet or YW, so they should now have him to go for the book. Like LSS said: Everything in its own good time.

So maybe there is a real book after all, and in Dam's estimation, KC is now ready for the quest.

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But this is wayy lost on the viewers.. It's like the suddenly remember that the Gu Fam Book was the reason Kang Chi was there in the 1st place... Bah, either way I'm glad it's getting back on track and I cant wait to see what these last 4 ep bring!

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In episode 8 the monk told kang chi how to get the gu family book. One of the requirements was to build up his mental power and spirituality enough to stay in human form without the bracelet. Apparently it took wol ryung a few hundred years to do so. Kang chi attended the school and trained under master dam (with the request from the admiral) so he can learn how to control himself.

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or maybe there ISN'T a Gu Family Book.
implying it's all in your mind and heart, whether you want to be human or animal, and KC learning to exercise self-control even with extreme provocation was actually finding the Book.

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Ya, if he has his gumiho side under control even w extreme provocation, what need is there for an actual book?

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Even if he controls his gumiho side to stay human, he would still be immortal. When he first found out he was a gumiho he wanted to be human because he saw himself as a monster. Later, I think, his motivation changed. As what drove wol ryung to become human was to live and die with seo hwa, kang chi wanted to do so with yeo wool.

That last bit is my speculation. He said he wanted to be human after hearing her words in ep12&13. Also, he said he wanted to live with his family at the 100year inn.

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Ah shirtless Seunggi... Thank you writer and director for forcing him to take his shirt off. And he kissed her 3 times. There has been detailed analysis already. :)

Yeo-wool and Kangchi remain wonderful as usual. I just really adore their relationship with each other. It's refreshing to see. Call me crazy, but I'm not worry about their relationship at all. Usually in kdrama when the OTP is too happy that means bad things soon, but they just seem stronger than your average couple.

GW with a gun is more frightening than demon WR. I don't even want to think about who he's going to shoot with it. Hopefully himself.

I don't see Kangchi actually killing his father, but I really don't think he's going to live either. Same with his mother. I hope they at least get a family moment (Is it too much for Kangchi to call him dad once?) before it's all over.

They Gu Family Book mentioned!? People should be happy with that. And since Master Dam let Yeo-wool go with Kangchi does this hopefully mean the sham of an engagement that nobody actually cares about is about over?

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Maybe.... maybe WR and KC will fight (with much angst etc...) and KC will mortally wound his father. They may have SH bring out the hawthorne knife and commit suicide to save WR from dying as a demon? That would be interesting.

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Thank you GF!

And I am so with you in worrying about Seo Hwa survival rite now. I don't care if it defies logic or anything, can't the writer just let Mommy live so Kangchi does not have to be sad anymore? And better yet, add Daddy to the list. Let the three of them live and be the super family and fight the Evil Lord and help Lee Soon Shin and live happily ever after. How about that? Yes? Yes?

I just want them to be happy *whimper*

But I kinda have this feeling that Seo Hwa is going to die next week *pout* Please prove me wrong, Drama.

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if SH dies because of the situation at the end of the episode, than there will never be a happy ending between KC and WR.
And I refuse to believe that they will make KC kill WR.
They have been careful to shield us from any of KC's encounters, and I don't think he killed anyone just wounded them. So I don't think they will go there.

But what happens after the reunion plays out?? that's the big question.

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Yes... Surely the writers know that viewers want the 3 of them to be reunited!!!!! No one shall kill each other!! That will be exactly what JGW wants.

On a side note: Don't you think the only reason why Yeo Wool is the only one who didn't suffer a bad fate is because Master Dam allowed her to go around in man's clothing?

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Hey, Jude! Don't make it bad. ;)

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I have a feeling someone will die or get hurt in the next episode. It's either one of Power Rangers or Kang Chi's parents. I enjoy this show because of KC and YW I enjoyed their romance. However, I would have loved more excitement like the gu family book quest or the war between the admiral and GW.

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I really love the fact that Kang Chi is always honest about his feelings. Also, i'm glad he hasn't fallen into the noble idiocy trap of staying away from his beloved because she is engaged to his friend. In the meantime I'm hoping for a miracle for his mom and dad. I would love to see Wol Ryung and Kang Chi trying to become human together.

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Me too. I swear humans can only aspire to be as good and forgiving a person as Kang Chi, and Kang Chi isn't even human!! I'm always in awe of his character.

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that is what I am hoping for KC and WR to try and find the Gu Family Book together and finally be a FAMILY!!!

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Maybe there's a way for WR to return to the way he was if he finds out Seo-Hwa still loves him?? It would be nice if the 3 lived happily ever after but something tells me one or both of the parents may die.

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Probably both.

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Omo 2 more weeks!

Thank you for the recaps :D

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Thanks very much, girlfriday, for another wonderful recap of today's episode.

I always look forward to your recaps as they are always lively and thorough. You have a talent for wit and smart remarks that make me chuckle in full enjoyment. Please keep going...

A Fan,

G

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On a shallow note, I really liked Seo-hwa and Yeo-wool's outfits in this episode. They had similar green tones.

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Thanks for the recap!!

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*crosses fingers* Please end epically. Please end epically.

I felt like these were filler episodes to set us up for later. I have faith in the writers that Seo Hwa will last long enough to somewhat reconcile with Wol Ryung. I also think somehow, some humanity or goodness left with Wol Ryung will come out before he dies. I want them to die together!!! That's my wish!!

I agree that WR isn't as interesting when he's all demon-like because it takes away a layer. It's much more heartwrenching when you see that he's fighting the two sides of him. Bring it back!!

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I actually think that's how the writers will end it for WR and SH..

But the eternal optimist in me is still hoping that somehow baby gumiho will be able to save daddy gumiho from evil and they'll have a big happy family reunion (I'm a sucker for happy endings). Especially seeing how Master Dam's training didn't end with any deaths.

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Yeah, I know! I hope this ends well! I'm pretty into the action right now, but if something lame happens, like if Evil Jo lives in the end, I'll be really mad. I might even turn into a demon myself and kill him.
My personal theory is that Seo Hwa will kill herself with the mystical wooden dagger to save Wol-Ryung from being a demon forever. That way she atones for her earlier wrongs, and can be forgiven without having it feel forced. Then she would die in Wol-Ryung's arms, and it would be so perfect.
But who knows. As long as Wol Ryung gets at least one sane moment to tell Seo Hwa and Kang Chi that he loves them, I'll be happy.

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VERY much agreed and well said!!!!

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Why this show is titled Gu Family Book when it got mentioned only 3-4 times in 20 episodes?
I thought there would be a quest for finding the book and it would be of much importance like it was geumdeungjisa in Sungkyunkwan Scandal.

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Well, you can call it "The Legend Of The Half-Blood" then.

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That title looks appropriate for an epic drama, which this drama is not :-)
And i don't have any problem with title Gu Family Book, its just that i wish they give more importance to 'book' storyline.

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It's not really. The English title is Kangchi, the Beginning.

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Okay.
Will there be another season like Kangchi The Rising?

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its actually called KANG CHI -THE BEGINNING not gfb

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Really? On Korean sites it was always Gugaseio (i'm probably spelling this incorrectly) which I assume to be Gu Family Book. I thought Kangchi the Beginning was just the english name for the drama, like KHD's Neighborhood Fine Arts is Cool Kidz on the Block or something like that.

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It's Guga Ui Seo

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Thanks for the recap!
I should have woken up early to watch it with subs and comment here properly.

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thanks for the recap! cant wait for next week's episode

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oh no don't remind me that its only few more episodes...
am still relishing all the new facts about gumiho and the scriptwriter....i'll miss them...terribly when this is over...****sigh***fsigh

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seems hard to make a supernatural show

I dunnow. for the 3rd time I see one, it doesn´t really work. why not decide whether you are action or magic or drama or comedy.

and I dont like how important characters just loiter around when it is not their scene. what are they doing in between???? it is like, hey, I am gonna fight him to death, but I´ll just sit here on the stairs and throw pebbles in the meantime

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Omg this episode is really a blast! Cant wait to watch it..
But the cliff hanger sighs the wait for next monday will kill me..

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Watching the last minutes of this episodes made me feel fearful of somebody's life. I think WR and SH are lost causes, as in I think both of them are going to die anyway in the end, but seeing TS come wielding a sword had me worried for a while. I don't really care for his character, but I don't want any of the Power Rangers to die. Gumiho Baby's going to be devastated. Hypothetically, if SH is going to die, wouldn't it give KC extra motivation to kill WR since WR end up killing his love anyways in his demon form (point of no return)?

It's a nice episode, and there is actually progress with LSS's turtle ships (with his mini cannons) and JGW with his Big Bad Plan (I wonder if the gun can kill a gumiho). It's getting darker and finally more exciting. Can't wait for next week.

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TS seems safe to me. He's not half the man his father was and so his character has room to grow, plus he has no heirs to take over as a new master.

I think that one Japanese guard will come to SH's aid and help out the trio. He seemed more loyal to her than the rest. I don't think any of the kids will die. The parents are a total lost cause though I agree. They are so dead.

You know, I don't see WR killing SH. They are pretty much wussing out on him being a demon. He kills nameless fodder nobody cares about. So, I don't think they'd go far enough to have him kill SH. At worst I could see her giving her life for WR and really pissing KC off.

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I wonder if here they are observing the rule of "Chekhov's gun" in a drama: the sight of the gun means it's eventual use.

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well we know it cannot kill a 1000 year demon

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Well, isn't that the happiest family reunion. @[email protected]

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looks not so different from a family reunion I went to actually

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LOL

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cool!

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Did anyone else think of the Power Rangers when Tae-seo and Gon were "escorting" Yeo-wool? Coolest. Thing. Ever! So glad Tae-seo looked cool for once ;p

And Kang-chi. NEKKID. 'nuff said. TwT

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Except her standing with her back to the guys with the swords and them doing nothing looked more than a little goofy

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too bad the stunt double does not do close ups

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Yeah! Go Go Power Rangers! Love the moment when TS entered the scene. When Gon and him had similiar sword moments, YW smiled - so did I! So cute!

I really think that the four of them are going to be the new generation of honourable men - and add CJ in too!

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So glad someone finally mentooned that. TaeSeo has seemed a little wimpy. I was glad to know there was a badassed reason for him to be a master because I was beginning to think it was just his father's money. The choreography of the scene was cute aswere the lines.

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I am enjoying this drama and enjoy reading everyone's comments and thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

I digress from the story for awhile...

I have a question to ask from you folks... have you ever thought about living for a thousand years or beyond? Have you imagined what that will be like?
Right now the oldest person now is about 110 years old? and then we die.
I am just curious what you guys think about life after.

Why would a Gumiho want to become human and live a very short life when he can live for a thousand years?

I am just directing these questions to anyone out there - I want to know if these thoughts have occured to you while watching this drama.

or perhaps you are too distracted by Lee Seung gi's cuteness , hehe.

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Why would a Gumiho want to become human and live a very short life when he can live for a thousand years? You ask.

I think early on in the drama, WR said to Monk SJ sth along this line: "Why would I want to live forever when all it gives me is loneliness and the pain of seeing friends die?" I'm paraphrasing.

I think the same has been said in many Dracula movies. Everlasting life on earth isn't what it's cracked up to be. It is an endless repetition of the mundane, which renders everything meaningless. Given that in every movie of that type, there r no mates, no kids, no parents, i.e. no love, it's not surprising that they r lonely.

Both WR and KC have chosen to live a short life with THE ONE they LOVE, rather than a very long life of little warmth. I guess the pt then is Love makes life meaningful/worthwhile.

I for one wouldn't want to live for a 1000 yrs. It'd be too tiresome. ;)

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I would like to live eternally, but not here. I'm choosing eternal meaningful life in a better place with my friends and the loved ones, who don't die as well. :)

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Yup, eternal life on earth - no way.
I prefer to have my eternal life in paradise with my God and loved ones.

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@crazyahjumma fan
hello again, I wonder where is this paradise?
I've read all the "holy books" - Bible, Koran, Bagavad Ghita etc... looking for this paradise--- where is it?
The only that tells me where it is - is in the Bible...
It is actually on "Earth" Matthew, Revelation and other places in the Bible tells us that that the meek will inherit the earth and that Jesus Christ will return to Earth to reign for a thousand years.

I like to live for a thousand years on this planet earth (it's beautiful) but under a different condition- when all evil is gone and there is no injustice and corruption and there is peace and love everywhere. When mankind learns to love and gets along with each other.
I would like to have this much time to meet all the great people and people like you in person ---- I think a thousand years is enough.
The planet earth is beautiful too - I would like to visit every nook and cranny of it... and lets get more ambitious - what about eternity? to visit outer space and see the vastness of the universe?
Is this at all possible?
I have thoughts like these...

The answer has to be somewhere...

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@kaddict and @Kumi
thanks for sharing your thoughts on this too

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Hi luvs
I would so love to share and discuss with you this idea of 'paradise'. But this thread may not be the right place to do so. If you're still interested, perhaps you could email me at [email protected] and we could continue our discussion.

Hope to hear from you!

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"Your comment is awaiting moderation." Huh? Don't know how this statement got into my comment. I know I didn't type it in.

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@luvs,
That place you r looking for, where all evil is gone, where there is no injustice or corruption, and there is peace and love everywhere, is called heaven. On earth, there are ppl who don't mind hurting others for their selfish gain, or even just hurting others just to spite them or to seek revenge for the smallest transgressions, there'll never be that kind of peace and love for everyone. This kind of ppl not only exist in K-drams, they exist in reality too, tho in less dramatic situations n manners.
@crazyahjummafan is right. It is a very worthy discussion, but this may not be the right place for it. Take her up on her invitation, to share some thoughts n insights.

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somehow, your question reminds me with "green Line", a movie starred by Tom Hanks. At the later story, the main cast live longer than his friends, his surrounding. He turn out to be lonely, since all people he knows approaching death one by one.

I don't think living for thousand years is happy. What is the purpose whwn I don't live it with someone I beloved? Just like Kang Chi says, live alone? I can't bear that

About life after, I believe in that. I believe in God's heaven. It's something unexplainable where it belong, beyond our knowledge, and keep safe in our brain and heart, and that's faith (and belief)

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And now that's what I call family meeting!kekeke

It's down to the last four episodes and i'm only hoping they will wrap it up nicely.I'm hoping they will give a meaningful end to what the Gu book is really all about because it has kept me wondering the whole time.

Thanks for the recap!

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can't wait to start watching again... i stopped at ep 16.. because i know this will happen.. waiting time for the next episodes.. hmmm i think i should watch again.. haha

can anyone tell me how many episodes is GU FAMILY BOOK? was it until 24?

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Why I thought KC won't kill WR, since he never killed anybody before.

The next four episodes will be seem to short to explain the whole things we guess about and SR's homework have not yet done by KC.

YW n KC romance is the cutest things ever when watching this drama. Is that the first time LSG topless shirt on TV? I really curious bcos He looked like very shy person to me. its really make his fangirls screaming. :D

Thankss for recap GF ^^

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I actually haven't been reading the recaps because I want to marathon this drama after its all said n' done, but I couldn't resist LSG shirtless.... why does this puppy zap my will power?

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Can't wait to see the outcome of the showdown. I can kind of see what will happen though. My first thought is SH doing the most motherly thing and thats protecting her child. I'm preparing for the waterworks.

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i really enjoyed reading the recaps because of your side comments. they add color to the already colorful story =) Thanks a lot!

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There is just no way for his parents to have a happy ending.. ALIVE right? :( Is ~love going to conquer all~? Poor Kang-chi, I hope he doesn't lose both his parents in the end.

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Is love going to conquer all? You ask.
Not when a very bad person has been given a GUN!

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I really don't think so. Okay, not in the happily ever after going to live in Moonlight Garden being grandparents to YW and KC's kids kind of way anyway. You can get a happy end for them in more ways than one.

The WR and SH of ep. 1 and 2 are already dead. What they need is closure more than anything. That's what KC needs as well with his parents. They shouldn't have had ep. 19 showing the true meaning of what family was if he was just going to get his birth parents back. He knows his mom loves him and is sorry for what she did to him. I guess he'll find out soon about his father.

If love conquers all it'll be reserved for the main OTP.

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I love this ep, the plot seems to be progressing a lot
Glad this story is a abt male gumiho, if it was otherwise, the plot around a female would not be much, what being pretty and saying "Oi oi"
Think abt this is refreshing as it is

I don't think papa or baby gumiho will kill ea other, at least not right now. First, mom wouldn't allow that to happen, let alone to the child she just gained; there's gonna be a sacrifice from her part somewhere. Second lets say there's an imminent battle, LSS could get a use of these two Mr brute here to save joseon
Like LSS said "Everything in its own right time"

To the GFB, we seem to forget SoJung convo when KC had just found that there was a way to turn human. SJ did explain KC's way to fasting was different fron WR. KC needs to master& control his strength, even though the latter became strength is also needed to fight another divine creature. Like most said before the GFB will appear when KC naturally becomes human

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i asked this the last recap but very late, i'm the last rant.
so i'm asking the same question...how come kang chi isn't able to heal himself from the poison w/his bracelet off? where was the blue lights?

thanks for a wonderful recap!

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Because he healed from within, it makes it that much more difficult for his gumiho cells &tissue to reproduce quickly alongside poison. Remember he is half human.

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Thanks for the recaps this week... always so fun to read them. I have to say I was moved to tears.

Also, is it just me or does Lee Seung Gi hug and kiss really well? I mean that it looks so very natural and real.

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@Soyonb

It' s not just you who thinks LSG hugs and kisses really well... I dare to assume that he seems to enjoy being an "oppa" to a leading lady for a change... He seems to be extra charming and swoony in this drama :-)

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@sachel,
i noticed that too, LSG really is aaffectionate person. If you watch other dramas where there is kissing, they are often standing apart - but LSG's kissing scenes are different - he gets really close to the girl as in close. He puts his arms around the girl and pulls her really close for the kiss and hugs. What girl doesn't want to be hugged and kisssed like that? It is very warm and affectionate and I think that is LSG's personality and it shows in the intimate scenes. also he is shy at the same time. either that or he is really a great actor.

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100% agree that it's his personality and it's showing onscreen. Just checkout the way he gives his hugs on 1N2D :)

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Maybe it's both. I feel that KC is so much like LSG in person. Not in every aspect of course, but in personality. Like KC, he's warm and friendly; cute and loving; loyal and earnest. I can see KC's shyness (in disrobing in front of YW) and his teasing and playfulness in Seunggi too. Then of course, there's the heodang-ness as well.

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@luvs

I don't know but i keep seeing this protective, affectionate, playful vibe from LSG in his scenes with Suzy. Isn't that the very meaning of what an "oppa" is to a girl? I've seen LSG dramas from Brilliant Legacy onwards, and there is something extra sweet in the way LSG potrays KC's love for YW... Is he turning on the charm full blast? Oh well... I am completely falling for it then :-)

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who says he is her oppa, he is her sunbea. he is always this way he is acting the scenes he is given here they just replay lots of hugging. please don't read more into it than that.

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I'm a fan of choi jin hyuk, after discovering him in this drama, i have fall in love with this man, his acting is so good and potrays the character the way he should. I have seen a lot of work the main actor does and he is pretty good at his job. this is one of the best dramas i have watched. its also my first time seeing suzy act and she can do it so well, i'm hoping to god that they all have a happy ending and that the father does not die :( this drama has to win many awards man :D i want that old man to die, he always gets his way :( someone stop him, anyways he also acts good :D

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Quote:"... i want that old man (JGW) to die..."

Indeed. I agree with you.

*Does some pensive staring*

*Catches eye of scriptwriter*

*Exchange knowing nods*

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