Drama Recaps
Age of Feeling: Episode 10
by | February 15, 2014 | 111 Comments

Our hero finally comes face to face with the daddy issues he’s been battling all his life, and it’s no walk in the park finding out your dad was Superman to literally everyone but you. No one in this universe seems keen to listen to Jung-tae say “Daddy wasn’t there” when Daddy saved all the people, cleaned up all the streets, and on the seventh day he rested. Poor Jung-tae has some unrealistically large shoes to fill.

Despite the production woes going on behind the scenes, up to and including the sudden writer switch and actor Kim Jae-wook’s departure, this episode recorded its highest ratings yet at 11.4%. I’d be happier for them if I were less confused.


Kim Hyun-joong – “Please” [ Download ]

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Kaya is greeted upon her arrival to Shanghai by YAMAMOTO (Jung Jin), an Ilgookhwe member who claims to be in charge of the city.

But Kaya refutes that claim and admonishes him sharply for failing to completely take over Shanghai, giving him a hard slap across the face when she’d much prefer killing him. He has one more chance to prove himself.

While Kaya insists on riding in a rickshaw (her guards would rather her take the popemobile) to take in the bustling sights of the city, we find Jung-tae doing the same on foot. They just manage to miss each other among the sea of people.

A small girl bumps into Jung-tae and filches his wallet, but she doesn’t get to keep it for long—Jung-tae catches up to her and demands it and his badge (the round stone and tassel) back.

She reluctantly returns his things before warning him that he can’t be so derpy in a city like Shanghai, where everyone is waiting to pickpocket suckers just like him. Jung-tae takes a liking to her spunk and offers her some money in exchange for a place to stay.

Despite her posse’s concern for her safety, Kaya fearlessly struts into the heart of the Hwangbang Gang’s territory. This was her original destination, since she must presumably get rid of the Hwangbang Gang in order to take over Shanghai.

Perhaps that explains her cocky smile as she’s greeted by the mysterious man who told Jung-tae about his father’s death, Wang Baek-san. They exchanged forced not-so-pleasantries as Kaya hints at her ambition to take over Shanghai, after which Kaya extends an invitation to the party they’ll be holding tomorrow at the Shanghai Club.

When Baek-san says he’ll see her there, Kaya all but sneers—she wasn’t inviting a plebeian like him. She’s inviting their leader, Seol Du-sung. (Whom we first met advising Il-hwa on whether to save the Dobi guys or not.)

And just because she can, Kaya orders that two fires be set in the city before she reaches where she’ll be staying. They have to be large enough for her to see them from her window.

Baek-san finds Leader Seol spending some quality time with his granddaughter(?) YANG YANG—and though he’s loathe to interrupt, he has to tell his master of Ilgookhwe’s arrival.

Leader Seol is more furious than anything to be told so late, since he doesn’t want everyone thinking of him as a scaredy-cat who hides from annoying little girls. But of more importance is protecting the main thoroughfare they control (Bangsamtong) from Ilgookhwe, and the only person they can rely on to do so is Jung-tae.

While Jung-tae had given the pickpocketing girl money to show him a place where he could stay, she instead takes him to her small and humble home, figuring that she can make a few bucks off him lodging there. She’s SO-SO (Kim Ga-eun), and I love her already.

Jung-tae looks like a kid at Christmas when she brings home-cooked kimchi stew to the table, but she slaps his eager spoon away—he’ll have to pay if he wants some. Ha. He can only endure watching her eat it for so long before he finally forks over some cash.

And then she ups the price by one more won, which, HA. Their friendly rapport is instantaneous and super adorable, since Jung-tae ends up caving to the price hike. D’aww, I missed this side of him.

A disgruntled Yamamoto gains a private meeting with Kaya, where he intends to try to kill her. She picks up on this instantaneously, and saunters toward him like a seductress, all but cooing her goading words into his ear.

She spreads her arms out to show she’s unarmed, so if he wanted to take a stab at her, there’s no better time than the present. “Will you wield your sword against me? Or will you become my sword?” she asks, and Yamamoto ditches his revenge plan to instead pledge allegiance to Kaya. He even kisses her feet for added effect.

Kaya smirks victoriously as she leans in behind him: “You made the right choice. If you wielded the sword hidden inside your sleeve, you would be dead, Yamamoto-san.” Okay Feeling, we get that she’s a femme fatale badass already. How about making her even the teensiest bit more likable while you’re at it?

The next morning, after sleeping at So-so’s table, Jung-tae asks her if she’ll become his guide to the city. She agrees—but only for a price. Even Jung-tae knows he’s getting the raw end of the deal but hands over the cash anyway, noting, “You’ve really found your meal ticket, haven’t you?” Ha. Why yes, yes she has.

She shows him to the expensive restaurant he wanted to see, though she knows they’ll never get inside such an exclusive place. Jung-tae needs only to show the badge Baek-san gave him to gain entry for the two of them. While they wait inside, So-so marvels over the expensive dishes, though she’s forced to cough up a silver spoon she tried to steal since nothing escapes Jung-tae’s eye. I luff them already.

Jung-tae has So-so sent home, since he’ll be a while… considering that this is the place where his father’s memorial has been set up. He changes into mourning clothes to pay solemn, but tearless, respects.

That’s when Leader Seol and Baek-san make their entrance, and after paying their respects, Leader Seol notes how Jung-tae’s eyes are dry. “The reason why I came is to forget about my father,” Jung-tae says in his defense.

Leader Seol admonishes him about trying to forget, since he’ll forget Shineuijoo and eventually Chung-ah if he forgets his father. Since Chung-ah is Jung-tae’s trigger warning, Baek-san has to bring him back in line with a few masterful martial arts moves. Jung-tae is forced to stand down when he realizes he’s outmatched.

He decides to follow Leader Seol when he tells him that he’ll show him who his father really was. The story he tells is one of gang warfare, and how their gang (Hwangbang) had been cornered by the Yakuza. They were saved and Shanghai was returned to them by one man—Daddy Shin.

For the longest time Daddy Shin didn’t ask for anything in return, until he asked for the Bangsamtong street, which had once been a home for the dregs of society. Under Daddy Shin, it turned into a refuge for persecuted Joseon people without a home—but now that he’s gone, Leader Seol notes sadly that Bangsamtong is returning to its old ways.

When Leader Seol reveals to a kindly old grandmother that Jung-tae is Daddy Shin’s son, her eyes fill with tears. Though she has nothing, she presses a coin into Jung-tae’s hand for his father’s death and calls to the rest of the people to come see the son of their savior.

A crowd of grateful people soon gather around Jung-tae, and they each press money into his hands. Only now is Jung-tae realizing that the impression he had of his father was so, so wrong. I have goosebumps for some reason.

Jae-hwa (Daddy Shin’s former nefarious lackey, now the king of Bangsamtong) is reluctantly forced out of his drunken stupor to meet with Leader Seol and Jung-tae, even though he’s loathe to unwrap himself from the tangle of female limbs he’s been sleeping in. Did anyone else get Ajusshi vibes?

Jae-hwa’s first introduction to Jung-tae is short and curt, likely because Jae-hwa doesn’t seem to give a shit. Leader Seol knows that Jae-hwa has his eyes set on taking over Shanghai, before he gives Jung-tae an invitation to the party Ilgookhwe is throwing that night. He plans to attend, and knows Jung-tae will too. (Btdubbs, the fires that Kaya wanted were set, we just didn’t see them.)

It’s hard to believe that Ilgookhwe even knows how to throw a party without serving razor blade drinks or poisonous cakes, but there you have it—Kaya, decked out in her ornate finest, is throwing a hoppin’ party at the Angel Shanghai Club.

After Leader Seol is let into the party after he and Kaya exchange veiled unpleasantries, Yamamoto makes some nefarious plans to draw Leader Seol into a fight—because if he dies, war will break out.

So Yamamoto sends his lackey to deliver a severed pig’s tail to Leader Seol, which he takes as the ultimate insult (as Yamamoto intended). Leader Seol knows that Kaya isn’t behind this, and knows that he should be able to hold back his anger—but he’d rather throw his reputation away to duke it out and defend his honor.

Jung-tae ends up stopping Leader Seol from falling into Yamamoto’s trap by fighting in his place, since he knows Leader Seol wouldn’t have survived it on his own. The party crowd screams and parts as Jung-tae and the lackey fight in the middle of the club, with the lackey swinging his samurai sword and Jung-tae unarmed, as usual.

The fight goes pretty well, considering that Jung-tae is having to use whatever he can find for his defense. He almost chokes the lackey to death with a tablecloth (though he has to grab the guy’s blade with his bare hands), but in the end he just earns another superficial cut to the cheek. Stop hurting his face!

He downs his opponent just as Kaya and her men arrive to break things up. She and Jung-tae lock eyes for a moment in surprised recognition before she demands to know who the lackey took his orders from.

The lackey tries to stab himself before he can answer, but Kaya’s much too quick for that—she grabs one of her minions’ swords and deftly disarms him. Yamamoto watches from a distance and curses his luck as Kaya has the lackey taken away to be questioned later.

Kaya apologizes sincerely to Leader Seol, and he brushes the whole thing off. But he does ask her to let Jung-tae off the hook for defending him, which finally makes her turn around and look at him.

Her face softens. “It’s been a long time, Shin Jung-tae,” she says. “It’s been a long time, Kaya,” he replies.

After the party resumes, Jung-tae approaches Kaya in a more private setting to tell her that his father is dead. “And?” Kaya replies. “What if I was the one who killed your father?” She leaves him with that, and poor Jung-tae looks like he hadn’t even considered it until now.

Jung-tae is rerouted from So-so’s house by a note she left telling him to find her at his father’s funeral proceedings. (Huh?) He tries to get her to hand her house key over, but she plays coy in an effort to see him for more than five seconds.

It’s only until he asks her what her relation is to his father, the man whose funeral they’re at, that So-so replies, “He’s my dad!” Are they half-siblings? Jung-tae isn’t even surprised, and thinks aloud that his father probably had a ton of kids he couldn’t be responsible for during his globe-trotting days.

This earns him a hard slap from So-so, who does reveal that she was lying about Daddy Shin being her real father, but that figuratively, he was a father to all the people of Bangsamtong.

She tears into Jung-tae about him having no right to talk the way he was about such a great man, and Jung-tae immediately lowers his head in apology. But she stays mad enough at him to revoke his invitation to her house.

Jae-hwa and his minions gloat about how they earned more money renting Club Shanghai out to Ilgookhwe than they make in an entire year, but their buzz is killed upon Leader Seol’s arrival. Especially when he slaps Jae-hwa across the face for renting the club out like it actually belongs to him.

Jae-hwa argues that he had the right to rent the club when it was left in his care and that he was just trying to make a little extra money, but Leader Seol retorts that Club Shanghai wasn’t created for Jae-hwa’s profiteering. It was created as an escape and refuge for the displaced people of Joseon, and definitely was not created to be sold to Ilgookhwe.

It’s kind of funny how Jae-hwa’s all, I didn’t SELL it, I RENTED it! but all to no avail. Leader Seol declares that a new manager for the club will be chosen to replace him. Jae-hwa’s expression grows dark as he yells after the elder that he won’t be taken down so easily.

Outside, Baek-san updates Leader Seol on the whereabouts of Daddy Shin’s body, and that it’ll finally arrive tomorrow. Leader Seol wants to make Daddy Shin’s funeral the most public of events, and orders Baek-san to post notices everywhere.

But when Baek-san asks if this means Leader Seol will be managing Club Shanghai from now on, the elder smiles and shakes his head. That’s something he’ll leave to Jung-tae.

I was starting to worry about Ok-ryun, but she finally makes her reappearance as a delivery-girl for hot water. She and Jung-tae barely miss each other as she leaves the inn right as he approaches to ask for a room, only to be coldly refused.

The reason behind his refusal has to do with Jae-hwa, since the shady man works for him and reports on Jung-tae’s whereabouts. Jae-hwa has been preparing for battle against Leader Seol’s gang, rather than solving the issue by returning the silver to Ilgookhwe and kicking them out of the club.

Now Jae-hwa realizes that Leader Seol brought Jung-tae into the picture in order to replace him. And he is not having it.

Ok-ryun and So-so know each other, and in the course of telling Ok-ryun about her day, Jung-tae’s name comes up. Ok-ryun immediately latches onto it and asks So-so to clarify his name, and again she says, “Shin Jung-tae.”

She gets a little scared by Ok-ryun’s intensity when Ok-ryun all but screams, “Where did he go?!”

Jae- hwa’s men find Jung-tae still waiting outside the inn in the hopes of finding a place to sleep. They accuse him of trying to take over Bangsamtong, which of course Jung-tae knows nothing about. This is all Leader Seol’s unintentional fault.

Of course, no matter how much Jung-tae protests his innocence, he can’t ever stop a fight from happening. He tries to appeal to them by asking if their form of greeting is the kind that Daddy Shin passed down, but it still doesn’t work. The fight is on.

Meanwhile, Ok-ryun bikes to where So-so claims she saw Jung-tae last, her eyes filled with unshed tears. She arrives at the scene of the fight and screams, grabbing everyone’s attention.

She glares accusatory darts into Jung-tae as she asks him if he’s really still fighting, even now. Unfortunately, Jae-hwa uses Jung-tae’s momentary distraction to his advantage by ordering his men to attack, forcing Ok-ryun to throw herself in front of Jung-tae to protect him.

The innkeeper is the one to finally break things up, by using her hot water as a weapon against Jae-hwa’s thugs. She knows Jae-hwa, and declares that she won’t abide by fights in front of her inn.

Jae-hwa doesn’t even question her and leaves with his men, promising to pay Jung-tae’s bill tomorrow. Huh. That was easy.

Instead, he focuses his attention on finding the town’s informal coroner, who they call Old Man Fly—Jung-tae would know him as the man who gave him his first ride in Shanghai in a truck full of corpses.


I kept waiting for some meaning to be applied to the five years everyone spent apart from each other this episode, sure that they couldn’t continue to avoid it, but it’s almost like the skip never happened at all. I’d be more willing to ignore it if it wasn’t such a deliberate choice and such an arbitrary span of time—you don’t just have a hand spasm and write in a time skip. It had to be done for a reason, though that reason seems to be eluding everyone at the moment.

And if there wasn’t going to be an explanation for the exact number of years, I at least thought that the only possible reason behind Jung-tae’s long stint in Manchuria was because he was hiding from Ilgookhwe. But then he didn’t seem at all concerned about attending their prom in Shanghai, so, that was that. I mostly just want to know why the story is unfolding the way it is, because everyone’s motivations . Now it just feels like Jung-tae took a hiatus from searching for his sister, and that Kaya is in Ilgookhwe to win it instead of just using it as a means for her revenge-y ends.

But onto what we actually saw, which can only be described as a lot. This feeling of initial who-what-why confusion is far too familiar a sensation for this show, especially when it keeps chucking new characters at us as if we didn’t already have dozens of them we were still getting to know. And that’s not even including all the people we didn’t see: Aoki, Shinichi, Dokku, Il-hwa, the Dobi Gang, etc. I’m going to hope for now that their stories are just being temporarily placed on the back burner rather than being completely eradicated, because believing anything else puts me in a dark and lonely place. (Why, Kim Jae-wook? Why?)

Having Jung-tae confront the truth about his father was the most emotionally satisfying story line explored this episode, even if he’s still left with more questions than answers. I can’t begrudge him for holding onto his bitterness even in the face of all the good deeds his father was responsible for, because at the end of the day he still wasn’t there when Jung-tae and Chung-ah needed him most. Jung-tae has to digest the idea that his father was a legendary hero to many, but nothing changes the fact that he was a crappy father. Everyone but Jung-tae can be happy that Daddy Shin put the greater good before his family, and maybe Jung-tae will make peace with that some day—but he’s entitled to that little bit of resentment he’s got left, isn’t he? Or is the lesson of the hour that he isn’t entitled those feelings when his dad was a national treasure?

What’s maybe worse for Jung-tae is that people like Leader Seol expect him to all but become his father, and all of course without ever asking him if that’s what he’d like to do. Then again, I’m not really sure even Jung-tae knows what Jung-tae wants to do, especially now that he’s been set adrift in a foreign (but no less violent) land. I’m just glad Ok-ryun’s back in his orbit, but mostly that she’s back in ours. I want all our familiar faces back, actually.


111 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Orion

    The time skip is not confusing to me, really. It happened in order for the shift to Shanghai to make sense. You don’t just become a master of fighting in a couple of months. Jung Tae had to train and become good enough to be someone who even has a chance at winning against the baddies. And Mo probably had to rebuild his forces too. Building up skills and reforming a group does not happen in a day.

    Since the previous area was taken by Ilgookhwe, they too would have to spend some time planting their roots there and making the place 100% their own. Then slowly preparing the ground to take on Shanghai too. Conquering whole areas with individual gangs running them does not happen in a day either.

    So I don’t think we need to actually be given a reason for the time skip, since it makes plenty sense already. That said, it seems the next episode will show us how Mo trained Jung Tae and probably how everyone ended up in the present. I hope they don’t take too much time with that though, because what happens from now on is more important.

    • 1.1 Silverteem

      I think in a general perspective, yes it makes sense, but in the context of the plot and character development, it is moot. There has been no real change to Jung Tae or Gaya and what they ought to be doing and the things that they ought to know, at all. Five years just flew by with no real development in plot, it was merely used as a sofr-reset button to shift the story into Shanghai, and I think it’s a rather amateurish way of doing so, in a writing-sense.

      • 1.1.1 Orion

        It is, at the moment, yes and some backstory to how they got here too would be nice. But what I am saying is it makes sense within the world they exist. Meaning major plot related things might not have happened and they might have spent their time developing skills, conquering, raising money etc, but it is not like there was some next plot-relative step they could take 5 years ago.

        There was nowhere to go 5 years ago. The good guys had to regroup, bad guys get bigger, so that the stakes are higher. This could not have worked without a time jump and reset, as you say, but maybe this “What they were doing” montage could have been given before that time jump, rather than going back to it in the next episode. Although that can work too, if done well. If not done at all, then we can call it badly handled.

        But with the writer switch and a character who could have many scenes filmed leaving, this could very well be the least of our problems from now on.

    • 1.2 Cheezeemelt

      I agree with you. The time skip isn’t that confusing to me either. If the viewers were just good in remembering the characters then they will not have a hard time on following the pace. As for the happenings, we should also consider that this is the 1930s. They don’t have that much of equipments to get things done unlike what we have in our era now hehe so things then were a little slow and time consuming. To them 5 years is like 1 year to us. Hehe And I’m sure in the next episodes, everything will make sense. I have faith in the new writer (well except for kicking Kim Jae Wook out!).

    • 1.3 nada

      Agree with you…this just episode 10,long way to go and the story line doesn’t confuse me either.Watching the drama need to enjoy and don’t try to hard to be logic because this is drama.☆☆☆☆

  2. Denise

    I found the scene in the street where the grandmother and others gave Shin Jung-tae money to be very touching. It’s sad that Jung-tae has such a different view of his father than what others saw.

    • 2.1 Adal

      @Denise – in real life, I know of men who are so busy with business and philanthropy but never have time for their families. These men are known as hereos to the world but are viewed with pain and resentment by their children and families. I found Jung tae’s portrayal to be true to life. Because at the end of the day, there is no replacement for the bonds between father and son. And his father was never really there for him. My heart bleeds.

      To be fair to Jung tae’s dad, he wanted to see his kids on numerous occassions but was denied by the organization he works for (as we saw in some of the past episodes). So sad. I hope one day Jung tae realizes how much his dad really loved him. Hopefully he can put the past behind him and move forward.

      This episode seemed to come full circle from the first episode and bring closure and explanations to some of the issues that were raised. The series is only getting better. Hope it continues this way.

  3. mysterious

    Hey it’s swear-like-a-sailor Go Sung-bin/Kim Ga-eun from I Hear Your Voice. It’s nice seeing her again in what appears to be yet another funny-yet-endearing role.

    • 3.1 ilikemangos

      Was just going to say the same thing about her. She is quite the charming swindler. The fact that our hero even gets to smile with her makes me happy. I’m glad they added in her character.

    • 3.2 pogo

      yeah, I’m always glad to see her 🙂

    • 3.3 TS

      Squeee! I thought she looked familiar! She’s cute: I really like her.

  4. wahid


  5. ricky

    Anyone else feel Jung-tae’s hatred for his father is justified? I know that he’s supposed to be a hero to the people of Shanghai, but he failed his family in a big way. I don’t blame Jung-tae for being angry. He was just a kid and tried his best to raise his sick little sister on his own. And after what happened to Chung-ah (whatever it may be), I wouldn’t expect him to ever forgive his father. I know in Korean culture elders are supposed to be respected, but I wouldn’t mind if Shin Jung-tae gave the fortuneteller elder an uppercut.

    • 5.1 Orion

      I agree. When you choose to bring children into this world, they should be the top priority. You don’t get a cookie for taking care of everyone else but them. Yes, many need help, yes, your country needs you, but your family should always come first. Their father failed them, even if they might due to culture somehow automatically be expected to respect him.

      And I hope they don’t have Jung Tae suddenly love him, just perhaps forgive him. Then again, this is KBS and I saw how progressively they handled the birth parent issue on ‘Prime Minister And I’ last, so we might get Jung Tae eventually weeping and apologizing to his sweet abandoning father for being such a mean little boy. 😛

    • 5.2 belle2010

      I can not blame JT for hatred his father. The man calls ” father” had never been there for him and his sister. The last time he met his father he made his father promised that he would never disappear again. Unfortunately his father had never showed up since.

    • 5.3 TS

      Ricky, I totally feel it. I just can’t appreciate JT’s dad as a hero when his child needed surgery, his son was risking his life for that money, and he, the dad, didn’t at least keep them fed and clothed decently.

  6. Link

    I miss Il-hwa SO MUCH!! He needs to come back next episode and STAY in every episode!

    I feel like the story keeps veering to different directions in each time skip, as if it doesn’t know what it’s central conflict is. What is Jung Tae’s goal? He’s really just been bumbling about this whole time, fighting-for-hire and going to Shanghai to find more about his father but he really doesn’t have a main focus as of yet. Find the guy who killed Gaya’s dad? Soo.. how’s that going for him? Nowhere. As it is with Gaya too. I agree with Heads on how our main characters are just literally waiting for information to be fed to them in order to accelerate the plot rather than them finding the clues themselves.

    Here’s a random question, why does everybody introduce themselves as lastnamefirstname and Gaya just calls herself GAYA. IS SHE TOO COOL TO HAVE A LAST NAME? XD Does she just not have one? o.O

    I, too, am missing Kim Jae Wook and am very intrigued on Ok Ryun’s 5 years in Shanghai and how they’ll explain writing out Jae Wook’s character.

    Also, how many episodes are there again because if it’s only 20 then i feel like we’re really not in the right (fast enough) pace for a drama with this much characters and plot stories.

    • 6.1 Elmo

      Gaya’s last name is Dekuchi. Dekuchi Gaya:)

      oh, yeah, and I miss Il-hwa tooㅠㅠ

      • 6.1.1 TS

        But her dad was Korean, right? So, Dekuchi seems new.

        • thea

          on that period time change name from korean to Japan its proof that youre loyal to japanese, Gaya’s father change his name to be Dekuchi Shinjo. remember that he betrayed all his patriot friends? and join to japanese side. it happen too on Bridal Mask when Kang To change his name to be Sato Hiroshi to proof that he’s totally japanese not korean anymore.

          • Cheezeemelt

            This just made sense! 🙂 Thanks!

    • 6.2 belle2010

      I think the reason JT decided to come to Shainghai was the letter from Dok Goo that said If he wants to find Chung Ha then go to Shainghai.

    • 6.3 Mrs.Jang Guem Suk

      I’m kinda confused about that too isn’t she supposed to be a singer because of Kjw isn’t that the point of her storyline no maybe not……. Confused Help !!!! Pleasezzzzzzz !!!!!!!

      • 6.3.1 Yimmi

        Ahh! I was just thinking that too! I thought during this time skip she’d have found her destiny as a singer. I was half expecting that they’d all run into each other at Club Shanghai but maybe they had to change that because of the write out of KJW? Or was this the original storyline? Eh, well it surprised me to find her as a watergirl and left me wondering where all this is going…

        • Mrs.Jang Guem Suk

          Thnxs I thought I was the only 1 smh ………

    • 6.4 TS

      Gaya is too cool to use her last name. 😉

      That said, all the yakuza seem to go with single word names.

  7. tata

    Why Kim Jae Wook? WHYY?? I literally said that. And up until now. Still doesn’t sink in. I just caaaaant TT How could they do thaaat to us. :(((( I hate when dramas do that, make you fall in love with the characters and they just cut them off. UNFAIR!!! TT

    And I miss Il Hwa too. TT And the dobi gang. Were are all the other old characters?? They have to bring them back, asap. Its hard to hold on without them.

    • 7.1 atz

      Yes, yes, yes, as if they want to make Kim Hyun Joon shine so badly that anyone who has some threats to outshine him was killed off/cast off or is going to be killed off soon.
      I have noticed that prior to the drama( preproduction period), I hardly saw anything about Kim Jae Wook,,, he was cast the second lead but no official picture until very late,,,, that itself was a bad sign to begin with.

      I think that the whole thing about gang territory wars in this drama is beautified. The truth of yakuza or any gang war is so brute and awful. The territory was set up for not just trafficking for items,, they were for drug trafficking and its distribution and prostitution. They portray Yakuza and its function as if they were in ‘Ninkyo’ world( Help the weak and in order to help those, they do not mind sacrificing their lives). But the fact is that Ninkyou is nothing to do with Yakuza as the famous historical novelist( japanese) clarifies. the caring act( saving the weak) by JT and his father is very much of the principal of Ninkyou ( sorry I do not know how to describe this act in English) but nothing to do with Yakuza or Chinese gang’s principal.

      Some viewers have some doubts about Kaya’s ability as a killer in kimono. So I thought I can give my thought…
      To wear a fanciful kimono, we need a helper or two. I recall my grandmother used to wear kimono on daily base but since she was a wife, her kimono style was not fancy and since she was brought up in a very traditional household, she knew how to wear kimono by herself. My grandma is exception. Most of us nowadays do not know how to wear kimono and fancy style of obi requires some skills and practice. My mom one time decided to attend a Kimono School but she was struggling to wear kimono by her self and she always asked her maid for a help.( I must confess she is rather crumsy). She eventually dropped out from the school out of frustration. When we wear kimono and its shoes, we cannot walk fast, each foot step is short because kimono restrict our waist down and the sandal for sure restrict the way we walk. I remember the first time I wore a pair of shoes( sandal), I needed to use different part of foot muscle and it gave me some pains.(big toe felt very sore). If we force ourselves to walk faster in kimono, kimono often flaps and show the inside( sort of undergarment) the main kimono layer, that is considered somewhat vulgar. Those fancy kimono is very heavy if I wear those kimono and run, I would easily stumble and fall. No doubt about that!!

      Anyway, if you( female, I assume) were born into a well off family in Japan back then, you were somehow restricted to see men. So Kaya’s set up: she is surrounded with men: is some what unreal even she is the leader of Yakuza( that itself is unreal by the way because she is a female and their world is very male driven).

      Of course it is a drama so anything goes but while I was watching this show, so many things were mistakenly portrayed that gave me frustration and agony.

      • 7.1.1 TS

        Thank you!!! I’ve been so curious about that (and kind of want to go to kimono school now too).

        Gaya must have special fighting kimonos designed for her.

        I still think she would’ve had a ladies’ maid, fighting kimono or not.

      • 7.1.2 blue skies and coffee

        Look. No matter your love for Kim Jae Wook, it was him who decided to leave the drama.
        In the middle of its filming.
        While all the other actors/actresses are giving their all.

        I actually find it highly irresponsible of him.
        Once you sign on to a drama (with a huge ensemble cast that you were well aware of) + you have an ongoing story arc (no matter your feelings towards how the story arc *might* progress), you should at least work with it.

        That’s what all the other actors are also doing. Working hard for the drama. They also don’t know their story progression but they are still on-board. (I also just read an article where Kim Hyun Joong mentioned that they receive their script and film even to Thurs, the morning of the day the episode airs).

        It just seems unprofessional to me. Unless they’re making you do scenes that completely goes against your moral compass for example, I still think that an actor can make a character his own and shine even if you get less minutes or development that what you deem a second male lead should get.

        Even if you have 5 mins on screen, you can make a difference if you want to. I think about all the other side characters like the Dobi sidekick who drove Boss Huang on the night of Poongcha’s death and delivered the news to him -> he’s got even less of a role than Kim Jae Wook but he delivered a very impactful scene and I remember him no less than other “greater” characters like Shinichi or Leader Mo.

        So stop blaming others. Stop saying it’s so-and-so’s fault that Kim Jae Wook left. It was his personal decision in the end, and something that is undoubtedly affecting the team: whether it’s the production crew or viewers or his fans or even viewers on Team Soo who wanted him to end up with Ok Ryun, which he should have considered.

        And stop putting down people like Kim Hyun Joong, who to me has shown his tenacity, acting ability and willpower. There have been so many episodes where he also had less scenes compared to some of the *non-main* characters.
        But he has been getting nothing but praise from the production team, from senior actors, from everyone around him. Go google the articles where Jo Dal Hwan (the actor who played Poongcha) praised him highly, and said many senior actors around him feel the same way too.
        The dude didn’t just step up his game, acting-wise. He also shows himself to be a mature person that people genuinely like. And that’s extremely respectable.

        We’re just slightly less than halfway-in the show, so I really hope the drama continues its awesome momentum (please, drama gods, please!). It registered double-digit ratings for both episodes 9 and 10 and I’m sure the entire ensemble cast and team are working hard towards greater success.
        I also feel cautious about where the drama is headed after the head writer change. But let’s not give up hope yet!! A big thank you to Heads 2 and the whole team (whether subbing or producing etc), I’ve been truly enjoying the drama (one of the top 10 k-dramas in my book now!) and cannot wait to see how it progresses!

        • Jane

          Agree with you. Really hate other actor’s fan who always blame KHJ for an unnecessary reason. it’s not like KHJ or production team force KJW quite the drama.some people are just ignorant.KHJ gt praised for his acting through hard work. He ‘s shine by his own.well, they can’t put him down… no matter how hard they hate him.

          • atz

            I am sorry that you got offended with my light hearted comment. I believe that there are some issues in the drama and whatever reason KJW decided to quit.
            One can never know the real reason. If this were a real ‘quitting’ rather than ‘fired’, he may appear to be unprofessional to some because he quits in the middle but an actor quitting in the middle means that there must be a big enough reason. Breaking a contract is not an easy issue for an actor( big money is often involved. quitting also lose his credit/trust to anyone who was willing to cast him ) so we have to respect his decision.
            I am not a huge fan of KHJ but I liked him in Barefoot Friends since the show showed his manly aspect. So honestly I do not think that KHJ put every good actors into chopping block out of his jealously… ( Sorry this was my bad joke.)that is very unlike his character. I think KHJ has a good heart and his acting got better and his action scene is very good. But his lines are quite limited so far so that I cannot convince myself to believe that he is a fine actor. But I bet that he can be a fine action actor in future. Now some good actors in the drama are gone, he really has to carry the whole drama. This is going to be KHJ’s time. Let us see how he is going to act.

        • TS

          Look, maybe KJW’s character was written off and instead of saying, “he’s fired,” he was allowed to save face by saying he was leaving on his own.

          • blue skies and coffee

            Why would they write him off when he still has an on-going story arc? That doesn’t make sense. He still had secrets about his real identity, and his storyline with Ok Ryun.

            The hunter ahjusshi who got gunned down by Aoki has also not reappeared yet. Let’s see how they tie up that part of the story.
            Let’s be real here, not biased.

          • belle2010

            I think if KJW’s character was written off it should be a scene to show what’s happening to Soo Ok . It should not just disappear from the scene because Soo Ok is also important character.

            However I don’t think the production just can easily fire the actor like that . I’m sure KJW has a good reason and we will miss him.

            Whatever reason IG need to move on and keep the story line strong and interesting. I believe in the rest of the casts and looking forward to the next episode.

          • Bingo

            TS has a big point ^^, there are many things going on behind the scenes that not even the staff members know. These are all decisions made from very high up the ladder. It was a very complicated decision made by KJW, and I respect him for that.

        • Maisie

          @Blue skies and coffee – good points all. You give a convincing argument. I find it hard to understand netizens dislike of KHJ and conversely their blind love for their favorite actors. We can speculate at what went on behind the scenes based on press reports and rumors, but in the end we really don’t know how things went down. Here’s hoping that everyone lands back on their feet regardless of what happened.

        • Carole McDonnell

          I’m not sure that KJW is entirely at fault. We really don’t know the backstory and so far he’s being very honorable and not saying anything…which only makes whatever anyone else says (true or not) seem true.

          The five year jump just when it looked as if a serious rivalry was brewing after episode 8…kinda smells fishy to me. I suspect flaky plot machinations and heavy plot changes since both the writer and one of the main actors “left.”

          I don’t think it’s KHJ’s fault though. One day truth will out.

          • ilikemangos

            Yeah, you never know what truly happened behind scenes to assign blame, even if it’s what you think is logical in drama production. So much shit happens during live-shooting, which im assuming they’re in now that they have the writer switch..
            Also wanted to point out that KJW did play a role in Who Are You where his character didn’t say a single word for most of the run and was barely on screen. But he killed every scene. So i hardly think he just up and went at his whim. These situations are rather complex and include a multitude of factors.

          • belle2010

            I really can not understand the ones who think that KJW left IG because of KHJ.The world is really crazy.

        • Krystal.Anne

          You’re the one blindly blaming him that he is highly irresponsible for quitting when we don’t even know the whole truth. For all we know he could have been ‘written out’ by the new writer since he have diff. story or scenario on his mind. And your all blaming him and concluding things already, nobody said it was Kim Hyun Joong’s fault. I like KHJ because he’s JJ’s bestfriend and JYJ’s friend but some of his fans really over reacted over this. I haven’t even seen one KJW fans blaming KHJ for anything. You should actually say your own words to yourself, no matter how much you love Kim Hyun Joong do not turn against someone just to defend him.

          If he really quits out of the blue he would have been sued by now for breaching contracts. The production will not have let him out especially if they intended for him as the 2nd lead and has script written already or a storyline prepared, but they just let him go like that, isn’t that fishy?! And this all happen at the same time the main writer of this drama was said to have ‘quit’. That too was very fishy as well, do you really think a writer who works so hard to come up with his own plots, storyline for the drama and all his hard work & hardship he encounters for this drama will just throw away and leave the drama he works hard for, especially if he is a relatively new writer? Even top writers can’t just leave their dramas like that even if the ratings are so low, and a relatively new writer can? So who knows what really happened behind the scene, let’s not quick to judge on the actor or writer. Kim Jae Wook has acted in ‘Who Are You’ before where he doesn’t even have a script or a line and barely even had screen time when he’s suppose to be the 2nd lead and he didn’t quit, neither in any of his productions before. He did not even had his official statement, nor did he said he quits himself. And you’re jumping on him, don’t you think we should wait for him to say he did quit and explain why.

      • 7.1.3 belle2010

        By the way , the actor who portraits Shin Jung Tae is Kim Hyun Joong not Kim Hyun Joon.

  8. ilikemangos

    Our hero finally comes face to face with the daddy issues he’s been battling all his life, and it’s no walk in the park finding out your dad was Superman to literally everyone but you.

    Well put, Heads. I find this to be one of the more interesting aspects of Jung-Tae’s journey. I don’t blame Jung-Tae at all because of the hardships that he had to go through, especially caring for a sick chung ah when they were barely scrapping by– in fact i completely understand and expect that reaction from him. Certainly more realistic than shedding tears at his funeral. Dad really wasn’t there their whole lives. And to suddenly find out that he’s everyone’s hero — i mean that’s a tough pill to swallow. Can you imagine his feels? Bitterness, envy, maybe even a small amount of pride? How did daddy manage to be everyone’s hero but his own children. It’s hard not to resent him but he’s done so much saving for the unfortunate that i’m sure Jung-Tae someday down the road will understand his dad a little bit more once he fills his shoes (tough shoes to fill indeed).
    The scene where the poor grandma gave him a coin with tears in her eyes, i teared. And it just kept coming once the rest of the people followed.

    • 8.1 Carole McDonnell

      So true. His first purpose was to get money to help his sister (because Daddy –with all his gang friends– somehow didn’t have money to send to the family.)

      But then sis disappears and now Jung Tae has to come to grips with the loss of his first purpose (even though he hasn’t given up on her existence) and with Sainted Daddy being the cause of the loss of that purpose. I like that emotional morass. Am so hoping KHJ manages to do the story justice. He’s trying to hard not to be pretty boy. Trying to be true (but nevertheless-buffed) actor. Love him for that.

      • 8.1.1 snickers

        KHJ’s looks are definitely not emphasized here:

        He has a few great angles, which have been mostly avoided.

        No one in the show mentions how good looking he is, although no one in the show commented on any of the male cast’s good looks.

        I don’t think his face has been without injuries since when he appeared at the end of ep. 4.

  9. ilikemangos

    Also, sometimes i find it hard to distinguish Kim Sung Oh Aka Jae-Hwa from his role in Secret garden where he played clumsy and goofy Secretary Kim. That makes it even harder to take these gangs seriously because they don’t quite live up to their threat. lol I love dobi gang but they were the nicest gang ever, too.

    “It’s hard to believe that Ilgookhwe even knows how to throw a party without serving razor blade drinks or poisonous cakes, but there you have it—Kaya, decked out in her ornate finest, is throwing a hoppin’ party at the [Angel] Shanghai Club.”

    Another lol from a headsno2 recap. You never fail us!

    • 9.1 tata

      He was also a gangster in When a Man Falls in Love.

      • 9.1.1 thea

        and he played one of drug lord on ‘Man From Nowhere’ / ‘Ahjussi’

        • tata

          He was pretty convincing to me.

    • 9.2 YaniahSahm

      I found his acting in When a man loves excellent…He is a very talented actor. Without any doubt

  10. 10 August

    From my point of view, the feel of Episodes 9 & 10 was a bit off. Is it due to the five (5) year time skip or a consequence of recently changing the Head Writer? Either way, it’s obvious that this drama is leading in a different direction away from Episodes 1 – 8.

    “(Why, Kim Jae-wook? Why?)”—HeadsNo2

    Obviously due to all the backstage machinations that have dominated this Kdrama production, I found myself going through the motions of starting over and trying to adapt and figure out something that was new to me.

    In terms of the be-all & end-all female lead(s)…At this moment, I do not feel inclined to join the bandwagon of Gaya Teguchi haters. Nor have I settled on glorifying Kim Ok-Ryeon as Miss Perfection (or bestowing her with sainthood).

    As another alternative to Age of Feeling and Inspiring Generation, maybe this drama should have been entitled “Lessons From An Absent Father.”

    “Let no one be willing to speak ill of the absent.”—Sextus Propertius

    “It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.”—Anne Sexton

    “Fatherlessness didn’t strike me as being as event. It was a state of life.”—Tom Stoppard

    Oh the irony…for many of the characters now crossing paths in Shin Jung-Tae’s life – all they want to do is maintain the status quo and memorialize the legacy of his father Shin Young-Chool.

    “Life is too ironic. It takes sadness to know what happiness is, noise to appreciate silence, & absence to value presence.”—Unknown

    Full credit for exploring the issue of a man/father figure/legend that was deeply loved by a community that was justifiably proud of his great achievements for their political and social causes. However, in his private life, most of the time Shin Young-Chool was an absentee father in the lives of his children Shin Jung-Tae and Shin Chung-A. Instead of providing, nuturing, and guiding them as the sole living parent, he subjected them to feelings of abandonment.

    “…comes face to face with the daddy issues he’s been battling all his life, and it’s no walk in the park finding out your dad was Superman to literally everyone but you. No one in this universe seems keen to listen to Jung-tae say “Daddy wasn’t there” when Daddy saved all the people, cleaned up all the streets…”—HeadsNo2

    “…Jung-tae realizing that the impression he had of his father was so, so wrong.”—HeadsNo2

    “Jung-tae isn’t even surprised, and thinks aloud that his father probably had a ton of kids he couldn’t be responsible for during his globe-trotting days.”—HeadsNo2

    “I can’t begrudge him for holding onto his bitterness even in the face of all the good deeds his father was responsible for, because at the end of the day he still wasn’t there when Jung-tae and Chung-ah needed him most. Jung-tae has to digest the idea that his father was a legendary hero to many, but nothing changes the fact that he was a crappy father.”—HeadsNo2

    Now apparently the journey of Shin Jung-Tae will focus on and lead him toward answers for the following questions: Why was father mostly absent from our lives? How can a man just walk away from his family?

    Will Shin Jung-Tae survive against all that he encounters just as he survived an absent father?

    • 10.1 TS

      Nice analysis and the quotes are so on point.

    • 10.2 Carole McDonnell

      I wonder if Jung Tae will have his own version of this. No kids, that’s true…but he has a sister …and who knows? Could be he’ll have to choose one day. Of course he’ll choose his sister. He’s a sucker for wounded children. But we shall see! They better not do a lotta crap to let hm “forgive” his father.

      Love the quotes.

      • 10.2.1 August

        Thanks TS and Carole!

  11. 11 belle2010

    I slowly try to get to know news character . There are a few interesting characters that seem to tie with JT’s life.

    I noticed a shock in JT ‘s eyes when he saw OR. It made me think what he was told about OR during the past 5 years. His reaction was like he can not believe his own eyes.ally

    It’s disappointed that KJW left the drama.I love to see him around OR and be friend with her . i think his role adds some spices to the drama. His chemistry with KHJ is also good. They could be an equal love rivals.

    I wonder if Il-Hwa is still alive . Hope what we see in the ep 11 ‘s preview was not a flashback.. I would like to see brotherly relationship between JT-Il Hwa.

    Can’t wait to see how JT and OR will develop after 5 years separation.

  12. 12 sbo

    Keep this going please, great job!

  13. 13 John

    Heads ~

    Thanks for the recap. I’m back to actively watching after reading the recaps for Eps 5-8.

    Seol Du-sung can’t be much of a leader if he’s let Jae-hwa run amok. Was he too busy playing with Yang Yang to notice ?

    I suspect Jae-hwa is going to cause some trouble at the funeral.

    Princess Gaya has her own personnel issues with Yamamoto’s machinations. Off with his head !

    I look forward to seeing Ok-ryun, So-So and Hot Water Unni in future episodes.

    Five years just as well could have been five months, however, if the Drama Random Separation Time Span Generator says it’s five years, it’s five years.

    • 13.1 John

      Oh, another thing. Leader (?) Seol Du-sung says he’s going to turn over the Shanghai Club to Jung-tae. As a figure head? Head bouncer? Enforcer ? I see a steep learning curve for Jung-tae.

      I suggest that Jung-tae run out and get the Gangster Club Management Guide For Dummies (Shanghai Edition) pronto.

    • 13.2 John

      I loved the snippet of the song Goody Goody, please include more Big Band music.

      Goody Goody, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Mercer was quite a character, with extraordinary talent. Hollywood should do a bio-pic, the soundtrack would be awesome.

  14. 14 TS

    So, frankly, I watched this episode about 3 times just to admire Gaya’s clothes and general badassery.

    First, impressed she says straight up, “What if I killed him?” to JT. In a culture of blood feuds, that’s impressive. (Even though Gaya & JT both seem a bit tired out at that point.)

    Second, imaginary ladies’ maid for Gaya thoughts: I’m thinking it should be someone handy with a knife too, like the one Attia of the Julii had in Rome. You know, who sat there sewing while Attia met that hot general and was ready to stab if their fights got physical in a violent way.

  15. 15 TS

    Oh, and I wonder who that innkeeper is to Jae-Hwa? Noona or crush?

    • 15.1 Valerie

      Yes. He has crush on her. Her role in AoF is a doctor.

    • 15.2 belle2010

      He is quite interesting. I think he is a kind of person that you can not really hate him. Something in his character shows that he is not really a bad person.

  16. 16 Peridot

    A lot of people have already expressed some of the thoughts I had regarding Jungtae’s father. I have a hard time accepting people who are national heroes, martyrs, etc., but neglect their own children. If the Cause is so much greater, then why bring children into this world? Jungtae’s entitled to feel angry. He can’t simply jump on the “we all love daddy” bandwagon and follow in his father’s footsteps. If he does eventually forgive him, it will take time. But his anger and hurt should not be criticized. I understand the cultural expectations, but I can’t help but be upset.

    I do hope that at least some of the gaps (created by the five year time skip) are filled. And I hope that we see some of the cast from the previous episodes again. Hopefully they have not been forgotten :).

    • 16.1 TS

      The other thing is, that Korean gangster head is totally using Jung Tae to consolidate his own position which Jung Tae will see. So, there’s not really that great an incentive to follow in Daddy’s footsteps.

    • 16.2 dramanut

      As I recalled. JT’s father was in jail for long time. May be that is the reason he was unable to take care of JT and his sister. After the father was in Shanghai, the future teller lied to the father that JT and his sister were doing well too.

  17. 17 magnus

    I honestly wanted Jung Tae to snap so badly and tell these people that all his heroics didn’t make him a good father. I was angry for him. He wasn’t there for them. Period. His daughter was sick and dying and his son worked to the bone to try and save her and he didn’t help. He told his son he would find the killer and wouldn’t abandon him again and then he never returned. Not a word given to him.
    He doesn’t deserve his love or appreciation quite honestly and if Jung Tae forgives him this show better show the struggle to get there. This is a sore point for me.

    • 17.1 TS

      But would they have listened?

  18. 18 TS

    I have one more question: who is the actor who becomes Gaya’s new secretary, for want of a better word, when she arrives in Shanghai? Later, he goes to tell her there’s trouble in the club. He looks familiar.

  19. 19 Quiet Thought

    I give this show credit for consistency. Every episode seems to feature our hero getting the s*** beat out of him. I really need to get caught up.

    • 19.1 ilikemangos

      Not a single episode goes by where our hero doesn’t have a scratch on him.
      No wonder Ok-Ryun is so mad to see him again while he is fighting.

  20. 20 Silverteem

    Finally, I have been waiting for this recap, so now I can properly express my questions and opinions regarding the timeskip.

    As I have mentioned before, the timeskip seems to be just a random plot device especially when there has been no real change in the status quo. Jung Tae is still clueless and I assume Gaya is as well, with both of them seemingly sidetracked to what they were supposed to be doing and just flowing along the machinations of their respective gangs. Well, at the very least Gaya found Jung Tae’s father, but it took her 5 years just to get that point, and still no solid lead to the real killer.

    Jung Tae, oh Jung Tae, I don’t even know what he’s doing, and I’m positive he himself doesn’t know what to do either. I just still cannot believe that for 5 years he deferred his sister quest, (heck he even totally forgot about finding about Gaya’s father’s real killer too, whatever happened to that promise?) and no effort at all to even reconnect with his own adoptive family (why on earth he was totally clueless to what happened to Okryeon and her mother is bothering me a lot).

    And then there was Okryeon, the writers are really making her feel the short stick of the KJW boot as they have totally derailed her development (here’s to hoping that she’s actually a singer, a spy or whatever, just something, and not just been lying low for the past 5 years), I just wish that they properly wrap up So Ok’s story and give her the proper female lead treatment.

    Also, there is this tiny mystery of whatever happened to Shinichi, is he dead? Bedridden? Why was the bodyguard 4 lyf not with Gaya? Does Gaya no longer own his sword? Has she thrown it away, or just stabbed him with it? Where art thou Shinichi-san?

    Another gripe will be the entire illusion of Jung Tae’s father not knowing anything about his children, I swear he was all over the place from China to Korea and he hasn’t had a single clue that Jung Tae was under Hwangbang’s care all this time? That Jung Tae almost died, and Chung Ah is missing. Jung Tae ought to give that old man who feeds lie a smack, but that doesn’t lessen the sin of his father though in my eyes.

  21. 21 Carole McDonnell

    Thanks, Heads!
    Am I fool to expect either
    A) KJW will return later after more behind the scene machinations?


    B) A KJW “substitute” will appear in the future to be another rival for Ok Ryeon?

    Hey, it could happen.

    • 21.1 Silverteem

      Lol, KJW somehow got his face burned but got a plastic surgery and returns with a totally different face, thus enabling him to become an undercover spy! For country and revenge! 😀

      • 21.1.1 Peridot

        Well, if American soap operas could do it…. 🙂

      • 21.1.2 belle2010

        Or there will be an under cover resistance activist that work secretly for Chosorn Government come to Shainghai . Ha ha ha just my wild imagination. I think the woman doctor in ep # 10 can be a resistance activist as well.

        However we need a reasonable explanation why Soo Ok disappeared .

  22. 22 Leslie

    Sigh for the first time no Gaya insult !!! Nice change

    • 22.1 ilikemangos

      LOL, i think people have said their fair share and she isn’t as frustrating anymore when she’s not all about “kill jung-tae’s father for revenge!”
      Actually, im starting to like her again because she’s badass and she has honor. But still vulnerable because of her love for Jung-Tae. Im waiting for the day Gaya lets her guard down to protect the one she loves.

      • 22.1.1 TS

        Ah, but she did that when she let Mo Il-hwa win their fight. 🙂

  23. 23 ilikemangos

    Did anyone get curious as to how Ok Ryun ended up being a water delivery girl? In the preview for a past episode she was clearly decked out in fancy singer’s clothes at what appears to be Club Shanghai… And AoF previews are usually on point with what will happen in the next episode since they’re starting to fall behind in production.
    Maybe the fact that KJW’s character got written off that changes her path in life? Or maybe this writer decided Ok-Ryun should be another poor candy. To which i say, hell no.
    I like Ok-Ryun and she deserves more, but i guess the writer thought hey, if both her parents have died (which im assuming based on the fact that Aoki is alive and her mother got shot), then becoming a famed singer is a far stretch..

    • 23.1 KenyanKorean

      I was just surprised that hot water delivery was a legit occupation.

      • 23.1.1 hohliu

        Me too. I was surprised at how one can have a shop and business that sells hot water. So interesting and entrepreneur.

  24. 24 senjananda

    Finally, it turn when JT in Shanghai. I already curious what will happen to him when he arrive at Shanghai. And this time the time skip is ended. And finally Gaya killed Daddy Shin, and I hate her more. She turn into famme fatale. Totally famme fatale.
    And Jung-tae finally know what his daddy doing all this time, maybe if Daddy Shin didn’t killed by Gaya they can be the most powerfull gang. And Jung-tae left alone. Even his sister position is nowhere to know. All this 5 years did Jung-tae still looking for Chung-ah ? Ah, and one more thing, did he keep his promise to found for the one who killed Gaya’s father ? The guy with one-weird eyes? Should he broken that promise now, because Gaya already killed Daddy Shin??

    And this time we have another new character, and that’s a lot, when the remain character is still unknown. I really want to know how Ok-ryeon ends up being delivery girl in Shanghai, and how about the others? Is her mother died? The last time I see her, she was shoot by the gun and accross the river run away from Aoki with the other. Ah, and who is that ahjussi who shoot againts Aoki? At first I mistook him as Daddy Shin.

    Who will be the replacement for Kim Jae-wook ?
    My mind still blank when thinking about KJW quit this drama. Hope his character didn’t dissapear. Ok-ryeon deserve to get another love line. Its poor thing to see Gaya have 3 guys (Jung-tae, Shinichi, Aoki) which Ok-ryeon only had Jung-tae. But then, where did Shinichi-san go? He usually standing right next to Gaya. Did he died? Or he back to japan to serve the Heads? But Gaya still have his loyalty-knife right?

    Another curious is about Month Il-hwa, what he is doing for 5 years and when will he be come to Shanghai. I really like the way he speak ^^ iam glad that the good people in debt with daddy Shin and attached to Jung-tae

  25. 25 kat

    This show is working for me and I don’t find it confusing. I like the complexity. I like the multiple characters and how they are all coming together. It’s a good foundation.

    I do think that soon the characters are going to be further centralized and developed since we are now in Shanghai. I like the unknowns. And I hope the writers are able to present the answers in a smart unified way.

    I like Il haw as a character a lot. And I do think we will see a lot more of him. I hope. (Fingers crossed.)

    To me Gaya early on had more dimensions but now she seems one note (and it makes sense from a character perspective) except when she confronts JT.

    • 25.1 kat

      And KHJ is going a solid good job as JT…

  26. 26 CrazilyAddicted

    freaking come back, kim jae wook. WAAAAAAAAAAH.

  27. 27 Ivoire

    I like the drama much more in the previous episode.I watch it for KHJ, but this drama introduce me to new actor, Young JT. Well…and turn my love into this young Jung Tae, coz the young actor can bring his brave brash and determination attitudes plus a heart on screen.

    #sigh…when Jae Wook drop…….the only smiling moment that I have…..WHYYY ? He is the light of this drama, his presences is like a ray of light in this drama darkness. I want him back…….STAT !!

    Now, I becomes much more confusing about this drama heading ? Which one which? the revenges ? the Inspiring generation theme ? the dark world of those 1930 years ? Looks like the drama begin losing their major goals . Didn’t the Inspiring Generation are for the New Generation that inspires everybody ? or make a changes ? and I didn’t see it here. Where the path of Ok Ryeon Singing career ? and Gaya now become those modern ruthless chaebol type of character ??? …#sigh

    The production losing themselves in the many ambitious production goals that they are now dangerously in a way to Not SO Inspiring Generation, Generation that Fist first rather than use their smart brain .

    In Princess Aurora, we have those everybody sudden death to the point that the actors singing their own OST : Let me Live ( this is hilarious…..because noone knew their fate in this Makjang drama ). I heard that the writer got a promotion in another tv station….way to make it bigger. Write a crazy storyline, got so many posting from angry netizen, and then Voilla !! you got promotion.

    In Inspiring Generation : we have one of those : Everyones got hit, beat and shit happen all the times. But, the head writer quit, another actor quit…..hmm…curious and wondering which way this drama will end ????

  28. 28 luvKHJ

    I guess the five year span showed Jung Tae leading a life without much direction. Not sure though …but there were hints, at least for me, that he resorted to drinking and street fighting to earn a living. Losing the people he loved, his sister, his Dobi brothers …. everyone he cared for.

  29. 29 mayiya

    I can’t keep watching Inspiring Generation anymore. This show has disappointed me on so many levels And you know something? Nobody gets excited about the same old tale of love triangle. We all know that the male lead choose to the female lead. I thought this show would be different but apparently is the same as always.

    But what made me decide was that Shin Jung Tae is a fucking hypocrite. Jung Tae is a crappy crappy men/friend/lover… Whatever… When he woke up on the last episode never asked about Ok Ryeon or where is she. He doesn’t nothing to find her. Completely unfair and illogical. She is your friend…. Anyway. I’m done with this k-drama.

    • 29.1 belle2010

      Hi, Don’t be so upset the drama is not yet half of the story. There are still many points that are unrevealed yet. Please be patient I’m sure we will find all the answer soon.

      Regarding JT-Gaya I think I can understand why he was asking about Gaya right after recovered from losing consciousness. The last thing he remembered before he collapsed…. he was ( fighting ) in Gaya place .

      JT-OR I think we don’t know yet what he was told about OR during those 5 years because the directer decided not to show to the viewers. This is similar to Chung Ah ‘s death which is now we knew she just disappeared. However I expect this point will be revealed in the next episode. I noticed JT was shocking when he suddenly saw OR as if he saw her come back from dead.

      Please be patient I think IG have a lot to offer. I must admit I enjoy so much this drama especially the fighting with fists.

      • 29.1.1 mayiya

        Sorry for this. I’m not angry with you or something but…

        I can’t finish watching a drama that sucks so much. Sorry. Don’t blame me ’cause I can’t just see the same old story. Male protagonist chooses female lead … because they are the protagonists. That’s the best reason of the kdramas to make their partners.

        If I have to watch the same old story I’m gonna kill myself. Honestly … I don’t feel sympathy for Gaya. I don’t feel bad for her. She chose the path of darkness and revenge so suck it and deal with it. I don’t believe for one second the “endless love” of JT&G. I think that is the most fake thing created in this story. And I don’t think she is the heroine only because after a few years she can fight with swords and suddenly is Wonder Woman.

        For me.. Gaya is only the Mary Sue of this story. And Mary Sues makes me sick.

        • belle2010

          Hi, Hope you are not serious about stop watching this drama. I think there are a lot of things that this drama has been offered rather than just love lines between JT-OR-GAYA.

          I agree with you at some points. However I feel sympathy to Gaya in the way that she make her own choice to put herself in darkness. I see as this is what a weak person will do. And hope to see more development in her character.

          I see OR as a strong one as she is more straight forward and willing to confront with reality. She is dealing thing according to her heart and her own sense. I hope the story will show that a strong one don’t need to fight well but the one who know how to be happy.

          Concerning relationship IG has shown us many kinds of love such as the love of Poong Cha toward JT. The commitment the royalty the respect among friends and senior in Gangsters ect. Actually this king of love is also heart warming. You find yourself appreciate their love and their friendship.

          Don’t give up yet. I believe ep # 11 will disclosed some mysterious points and the drama will go better and better.

          • mayiya

            Hi… BTW I respect your point of view but don’t share.

            (Note: Because: Speaking/Writing to you is so different. I respect that)

            This is not a problem of ships. This is basically because the female lead didn’t transmit anything to me. I don’t feel sorry for her or a bad thought. She is completely indifferent to me because I didn’t buy his story from the beginning of his revenge.

            She is a strong character. She is … But: I should love her? No, this is not a good reason to me. I don’t want to understand her because she is the typical tough protagonist who will be forgiven all your sins and then she have to be against her grandfather because she was always very good but had a very bad childhood. She is a character that doesn’t surprise me. All in her character is a big cliche

            It’s true that the production of this drama is good and I’m sure everyone should be making an effort to do the best but this drama has a epic fail … His story. This has so many characters that I don’t even remember all their names and I seem all them with inconsistencies. Starting from the main character. I do not see what the goal in the life of Jung Tae. First was his sister, Second: He wants find to murderer who killed the father of Gaya after wasting his best years as a smuggler … Now seeking revenge for the death of Poong Cha. Well Jung Tae … You know something? You should get a compass soon because you lost the North.

            Anyway, I’m not encouraging others to not continue watching the drama. Who wants to stay then they should stay.

            But my strength is finished trying to understand characters in this drama because they are contradicting all the time.

          • greengrass

            @Belle2010 Totally agree with you that this is story is so much more than just the main love line.

            I wonder if people would dislike Gaya’s character as much if she were the male protagonist…To me, it seems unfair to dislike her solely because she’s a woman seeking revenge. Her character is cold and heartless because she has to survive, among men who are even more cold and heartless, nonetheless. Just because she isn’t willing to throw away all her ambitions and motivations, even we don’t agree with them, doesn’t mean she loves Jung Tae any less than Ok Ryeon…he just isn’t the center of her universe and that’s fine with me!

            To me, this is as atypical kdrama as you can get and I’m really enjoying watching all the stories/mysteries/secrets unfold.

        • TS

          I can see why you wouldn’t have sympathy for Gaya as a person. Blood feuds and seeking revenge are rather horrid.

          That said, I like her otherwise as a character a lot. I would actually like her to be a complete and total Dark Lady, no remorse whatsoever, just like a DC comic villian. That would rock!

          True that not every analysis is a matter of ships. But the shippers are violent! Unfortunately, a person who just analyzes the drama and the characters and then comes to the conclusion JT like Gaya more, will get unfairly flamed as pushing the JT-Gaya ship, when of course it must be JT-OR or the world will end. And that kind of thing is just off-putting for those just enjoying the story.

          So, my feeling is: if the drama isn’t doing anything for you, and if you don’t care to see any particular character much, then you absolutely should spend your precious free time doing something you enjoy.

          • mayiya

            “So, my feeling is: if the drama isn’t doing anything for you, and if you don’t care to see any particular character much, then you absolutely should spend your precious free time doing something you enjoy.”


            I believe that each person is free to watch and enjoy the show that they want. And each person is free to say this.

            That’s why I said it.

            Because the show has disappointed me. That’s my true.

            I know some people might not feel the same and there are others who feel like me so I think I’m free to express what I think.

    • 29.2 Jane

      LOL ~You keep saying the samething. I’m glad you don’t watch this drama anymore. Such an ignorant people. Do you think you’re the writer, know the whole story/ending?which Jung Tae loves?
      As the director said, Jung Tae is a man who doesn’t know how to confess his feeling, so, nobody know who he will end up be.
      For me, Ok Ryeon don’t deserve him too. she don’t understand him.She know his job well, but she keep blaming him for fight… Seriously, even their first meet in Shanghai ,she still blaming him for the fight when she doesn’t knw the real situation that he’s not the one who started the fight.

      • 29.2.1 mayiya

        If you have only insults for defending your point of view then your views doesn’t matter to me.


  30. 30 KC

    I’m just wondering, this drama is based on a manhwa/ comic series right? So for those who have read this comic series, they know already what the ending would be. So i don’t understand why people would say they don’t know the future of this drama since they switched the main writer and KJW quit. Do u guys mean the script right? If this new writer will be able to deliver an awesome script that would not make us confused? Or will he stick to the original story of the manhwa itself? I know in a manhwa or comic series the fight scenes are really brutal or violent and they already reduced the fight scenes since it was not deemed appropriate by korean netizens. I just hope they would not change the plot of the story since it supposed to be based on this comic series.

    • 30.1 Silverteem

      It is an adaptation, and the writer has made many liberties already on writing his own story. Firstly, the main lead in the manhwa wasn’t shin jung tae, in fact jung tae was like the rival of the main lead. Gaya was also present in the manhwa and was the main female lead, as far as what happens to the rest of them i completely don’t know, it’s hard to find the manhwa online.

  31. 31 smhelen

    Me thinks they want to take us in a tour around Asia. Also, don’t miss out on the hate fest. against Japan. My pandora’s box tells me that Kaya/Gaya is going to end up dead in Jung Tae’s arms and he will marry the childhood friend of his.

    • 31.1 DRAMANUT

      If Gaya end up dead in JT’s arm and JT will marry the childhood friend of his. It is a logical ending of this drama. May be that is the reason they have to write off Soo-Ok (Jae Wook) to give this ending. whatever the ending is. In the historical view point. Shanghai was taking over by the Japanese in 1937 that was one year after JT went to Shanghai. Will this drama over the time frame after 1937. For me I don’t like the logical ending. I want a shocking type of ending to JT, Gaya and OR.

      • 31.1.1 smhelen

        @DRAMANUT, let us not forget they have demonstrated the death confession of characters (after it was really too late) I think Gaya/Kaya will confess her love and that she did not kill his Dad. Having said that, I don’t know how will have it in his heart to forgive her after his gang mentor got literally slaughtered while saving his (JT) life.

      • 31.1.2 belle2010

        I think we know since the beginning that Soo Ok character will die long before the drama start airing and definitely before he announced his withdrawal.

        I try to be patient and just go along to see what the story will offer. I would rather don’t know anything much and wait for the story to reveal on its own.

        Got excite for the next episode . Don’t know what to expect.

        • nada

          Yes belle you are right…always make me exited every episode. The story line is smooth , not confused when you really follow the story with your heart, right?♡♡♡♥♥♥

  32. 32 SMhelen


    Just read this on Shanghai. I can’t stop thinking and contemplating over this city. This is one reason I am watching this drama with the over the top story and all.

  33. 33 Wendy

    I’m still very worried about the show bc of the writer change… But anyways I was kinda bored with these eps it feels everything is the same and it all goes back to kaya and jungtae.. In all honesty I really don’t want these two together kaya her character is cool but the person playing her doesn’t play her well! Yes ep ten we have ok ryeon back thank goodness!!! Missed her a little too much bc at least when she was around the show is worth watching she brings light to the show! And I also want to see some old faces :/

  34. 34 nada

    This drama is action drama,there is kick..beat…punch and bla bla bla…but is not only that,IG also deliver such an emotional between lover,brotherhood and friendship.So don’t surprise if always see jung tae fight or got beaten up.This drama just getting hotter.

  35. 35 Amastris

    Again, I’ll point out that the day IG first aired, KHJ gave an interview where he predicted the show to start with 6.5% ratings and end with about 16%… It started at high 7% and, with Lover From Another Star still running but coming to a close next week, mid way through IG is now at 11-12% ratings. So, it looks like KHJ predictions could come true….

    So…. with that said, I expect what happens with just about every K-Drama that you fall in love with initially… and very rarely see otherwise… that production, Execs, writers do EVERYTHING in their power to screw it all about and destroy it into a hot-mess of MELO with a 5 minute patch of possible *happiness* at the end of the final episode. Maybe we’ll even get a *handshake* from a Prime Minister or some such nonsense.

    I really do feel bad for the actors who invest so much and KJW simply needs to put himself in a *LEAD* role. He’s ready for it no matter what the reasons are for the craziness that’s happening now. I don’t blame the actors when they’re doing their best to portray their characters… past that, the only one’s sucking it up are everyone else behind the scenes…. STOP TRYING TO FILM YOUR ON KING OF DRAMA SERIES AND STICK TO WHAT’S WORKING DAMMNIT!

  36. 36 Shinubi Wang

    So five years had passed and they are now in Shanghai or some semblance of it. I would love to see some changes, hairstyles perhaps. Jung-Tae hardly looked macho in that Beatle like haircut. Still, it was better then those man-bangs that we see in many K dramas. They make the men look effeminate and gay.

    Hairstyles, especially man-bangs and wrist/hand grabbings, are among the things that K dramas need to fix. Man-bangs make their men took gay while wrist/hand grabbing of their women is disgusting behaviour and must stop.

  37. 37 Shinubi Wang

    So this is the new era (new head writer) but episode 10 is a let down. It would have been great to see Gaya became more ruthless, becoming like a real head of gangsters. The opening scene should have been Yamamoto doing a ‘hara kiri’, for his failure to capture Shanghai, on the order of Gaya.

    This would have set the tone for the 2nd half of the series. New writer new directions, instead of more of the same.

    People would have changed in the 5 years since. More battle hardened, Jung-Tae with a more macho haircut and Gaya, more butch looking, with tattoos thrown in.

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