Gaksital aka Bridal Mask Episode 6 Recap

Heartbreak x Infinity! Kang To faces loss in unbelievable proportions and finally dons white, except, there is still a long way for him to go before he understands the true meaning of the white clothes his brother died for and the mask he adorned. A journey is one step at a time and Uri Kang To takes that first step. So satisfying to see him wear that mask and fight just the way his brother did! Gaksital lives!

Episode 6 Recap:

So Kenji confronts Kang San about being Gaksital-as per his calculations and nothing more, threatening to kill Mom. When Kang San moves to come forward, mom holds him back, looking him in the eye and tells him, “Don’t be afraid. You are the eldest son of this Lee family. Your mother is so proud of you.” He shakes his head at her almost imperceptibly but mom shakes her head back. She doesn’t want him to reveal himself. And so he stands there, tears trickling down his cheeks, rooted to the spot, his face expressionless but his eyes shouting out with helplessness and guilt.

Kenji tells them he’ll shoot at mom on the count of three but mum doesn’t budge. When the count is over, she turns to Kenji, grabbing his hand, “Go Ahead! Shoot!” and the gun goes off, quite by accident though. Mum collapses on the ground as Kenji backs away in shock, looking horrified. Kang San, trembling, approaches mother’s figure, his sobs now loud and yet finding no words. He settles down next to her, cradling her and crying, even as he slaps himself again and again, his sobs turning into screams. Kenji watches with wide eyes until Koiso comes to tell him Gaksital was just seen robbing the bank again.

Kenji is surprised but has more pressing matters than guilt at having killed an innocent since his father is calling for him so the entire force leaves. Kang San sits there in grief, holding mother close as she whispers to him, “K-kang To, your brother… our Young… look after him…” Within moments, her eyes close. Kang San calls out to her, “Mother!”

Baek Gun is returning towards Kang San’s house when he sees Kenji and his troupe pass. Making the connection, he heads to Kang San’s house. There, Kang San is entreating his mother in a soft voice, “Wake up Mother! Mother! Wake up, Mother. The ground is cold. That your son isn’t an idiot… and for Kang-to to know that his hyung isn’t an idiot, to stop being a foreign stoolpigeon so that Mother can live a long, long life… after I avenged Father, I was going to tell you everything… everything. Mother, wake up. Wake up. It’s cold here. It’s cold. It’s cold. Let’s get up, Mother.” Ooof, his confessions one by one break the heart and he cries so hard even as he tells her everything and asks her, pleads with her again and again to wake up.

When he spots his robes and mask, now having fallen out from his mother’s robes, his face takes a grim expression, as if suddenly seeing everything as it is and realizing the price being Gaksital has cost him. He turns back to mother, looking at her face as he cries, no longer entreating her. He lays her out on her blanket inside and touches her face one last time as Baek Gun comes in and finds his mother dead. He places his hand over mothers and Baek Gun collapses near him, addressing mother, introducing himself but seeing no reaction, turns to Kang San and asks what happened. Kang San whispers, “I let go of her hand. Ajusshi, even when he held a gun to Mother… to hide the fact that I am Gaksital… even when she ran into him… I measured and calculated: what if I were discovered like this, what about Father’s revenge, and Kang To?” Baek Gun tears up and with a grim expression and a threatening voice, Kang San turns to Baek Gun, “Can I still be called her son like this? Am I even a human?” He gets up, mask in his hand, determined but Baek Gun tries to stop him. Kang San simply runs out, vying for revenge against those who killed his mother. Baek Gun follows him to try and stop him.

The men taking the car who were accosted by Gaksital decide to wait till the police gets there and see someone walking towards them in a police officers uniform. They call for help but it is Ueno’s right hand man who slays them all with one slash of his sword. Kenji hears Gaksital killed those men. Koiso and he laugh over killing Kang To’s mother and Kenji is like, “I should have killed that dimwit too!” Gosh, I wish those words bite you in the ass soon, maybe with a sword to your throat.

Ueno has a visitor-Kimura. He tells her the morning papers will read the story as “Gaksital stole the banknotes AND killed those men.” The whole idea was hers and meant to cause trouble for Kono. Kimura is all praises for her until she tells him to refill the bank’s funds. “Gaksital can no longer be a hero to the Joseon people.” She tells him.

The police survey the area where the men were killed and the annoying reporter (Park) prepares for a headline blaming Gaksital for it all. Kang To walks up just as they are about to clean up the area. He gets to survey the bodies as the reporter tells him it’s Gaksital who killed these men. He checks the blood on the wounds and without turning, asks, “Who said Gaksital did this?” They’re all like-it’s all obvious, who else has the guts to do this but he turns back to them and tells them he recognizes the wounds-they are from a sword and this is definitely not Gaksital’s handiwork and warns the reporter against making a false story before walking away.

Kenji takes Koiso aside and asks him to go to Kang To’s house. Before they can smile too much about their evil plans, sounds of a fight originate and lo and behold, Gaksital is there to fight them. The reporter watches as Gaksital takes a beating to Kenji. Koiso tries to shoot him but fails. Only, the sound of the bullet alerts Kang To who rushes back.

Just as Gaksital has Kenji cornered and is about to strike his fatal blow, Kang To cuts in. Kang San doesn’t say anything but with a few swift blows, knocks Kang To to the ground before heading off to pursue Kenji again. Except, at the last minute, a gunshot rings out.

Kang San turns around as blood oozes from a wound and faces Kang To who fired the shot! Dammit, dammit, dammit! I so expected this to happen but I hoped it wouldn’t! This is so taking heartbreak to a new level! If only Kang To knew, if only Kang San told him! Panting, Kang San stares at Kang To who smirks to have finally gotten a shot at Gaksital. Before he can do more, Baek Gun comes in, knocking Kang To unconscious with a few swift blows and taking Gaksital aka Kang San, runs away. Kenji collapses.

Kang To awakens and follows the trail of blood, smirking, “Bingo.” Kang San finally collapses once inside the house. Baek Gun wants to take him away but Kang San can’t and already, his bleeding is coming in gasps. Kang San asks Baek Gun to definitely let Kang To know how their father died and why he became Gaksital. Following the blood trails leads Kang To to his own house. When they hear Kang To approaching, Kang San urges Baek Gun to hide.

Kang To walks in, facing Gaksital and smirking at his success. When Kang To moves to remove his mask, Kang San holds up a bloodied hand to stop him and then takes it off himself. The smirk leaves Kang To’s face as he stands there in surprise, shock and horror to see Kang San in front of him-eyes bloody and color fading. He looks at him, “Hyung?” He stares at the mask and back at his brother, his eyes tearing up, “It can’t be! It was you? You were Gaksital?”

Hyung apologizes, “I’m sorry. I wanted to tell you everything. I didn’t want to burden you. I wanted to take care of it myself.” Kang To kneels by his side, shaking him and shouting, “How? How could you be Gaksital? How? How? You were an idiot! You were a dimwit!” his face contorting in pain-as if saying that were the reality would take this reality away. Kang San touches his face and smiles, “Our Kang To is really good looking! My younger brother… Our Young… I missed you.” Kang To cries as Kang San gasps for his last breaths.

Tears streaming down his face, Kang To backs away in terror when hyung finally closes his eyes and collapses. He stares in horror at his brother and the mask, flashing back to all the times he had fought Gaksital and when Gaksital had saved him, how hyung had pretended to be an idiot when he’d confronted him, how they’d played with each other before hyung had turned, how he’d fed him breakfast, how he’d beat up hyung that day when he was looking for Gaksital, how hyung had happily bid him farewell, violently shaking his head as if in denial. Gosh, I feel so much for him right now. Break time! I need to cry it out!

He turns to look around. “Mother! Mother! Come out! Hyung… hyung seems to be dead! Come out! Come out!” he shouts out in pain, gasping for breaths as he looks around for mother. He heads inside to find her in her bed and asks her to get up, drawing her blanket away-only to find her dead and covered in her own blood.

He collapses there, by her side, shouting and crying in shock and disbelief and finally screams out a tormented cry.

In a restaurant, everyone toasts to Gaksital’s heroics. The man who had beat up his brother leads the toast. As he sits down, two men facing him nod their heads at him. He takes a bite of something and eats it with a solemn expression.

Kang To holds on to his mother and cries out calling to her. Rushing out in anger, he grabs Kang San’s collar.

“Gaksital! You couldn’t protect mom and you went to protect the people of Joseon? Don’t kid with me! Don’t kid with me, you bastard! It was you, right? Mum died because of you, right? She died because of you, right? She died because you were Gaksital, right? Let’s go. Let’s go to the police station.”

As he moves to drag hyung, Baek Gun walks up to him and calls him, “Young Master” and introduces himself.  He grabs his collar and asks if Baek Gun was the one who made hyung into Gaksital. Baek Gun promises to tell him everything-from beginning to end. Kang To: “From the beginning to end? Did you see it? Did you see who killed my mother? Tell me! TELL ME!” Baek Gun tells him he can’t tell him yet, Kang San is already dead-Kang To shouldn’t be like this. But Kang To flashes back to tonight, when Kang San was beating up Kenji and realizes the truth. Muttering his name with a curse, Kang To grabs his gun and runs out. Baek Gun picks the mask and runs after him, intercepting him on the way.

Kang To threatens to shoot him if he won’t move so Baek Gun moves. However, as he passes by, Baek Gun renders him unconscious by a single blow to the back of the neck.

The men from the restaurant put Kang To’s house on fire. As Baek Gun carries Kang To back, he sees the flames and people scrambling to put it out. Kang To, waking just then, tries to run in but Baek Gun holds him back. He screams and kicks his mother and brothers name but Baek Gun doesn’t loosen his hold.

Shunji brings lunch at the hospital and walks up to see Abe asleep outside her door. He wakes him up by imitating Kang To’s voice. He tells him to share the lunch with everyone and turns to head back but learns Kang To isn’t there. He asks Abe to go away for a bit and bring him a newspaper, promising he’ll take care of Dan and heads inside, giving her the lunch she made. Since she can’t reach it with her own hands, one is tied and the other has a drip on it, he feeds her. They both look adorable. When Abe walks back with the paper, he asks Abe to open her cuffs so she can eat.

He then relates the story in the papers: “Gaksital kills bank employees, shot by Lee Kang-to while trying to escape.” Shunji stares in shock and taking the paper, Dan scans the headlines, her own worry widening. She turns to ask a favor of Shunji but then stops herself short. However, he knows what she wants so promises to help her find out whether Gaksital survived or not. She wants to know about him because as she says, maybe its someone she knows- maybe it’s the young master, she whispers to herself in voiceover.

Kang To sits at his mother and brother’s grave with the bridal mask and Baek Gun stands behind him, telling him Kang San did it all to avenge their father’s death-he had escaped torture and been let out of prison by pretending to be a dimwit and had to carry that persona on thereon. Kang To cries silently, finally telling Baek Gun “I wish to be alone!”

He walks away and Kang To stares at the mask and graves, remembering all the times with family, when he and hyung had played together, when mum had hit him but Kang San had stopped him, when he’d beat up hyung and when hyung had ran after him, beginning him to come back, mum’s prayers for him, the time he’d slept behind hyung and poured out his heart before crying himself to sleep, the last family breakfast and how hyung had looked at him with love even in his final moments. Losing control, he shouts out, “Hyung! Hyung! HYUUUNNNGGG!”

At the police station, Kono worries over Kang To who has been MIA for over twelve hours but Kimura takes this chance to press his own suit for taking over the Gaksital case. As it is, the most wanted man-Gaksital was shot but is missing and so is the man who shot him so Kono has no way to argue with Kimura. However, he goes to see another man next-the governor-general Wada Ryo. Once they are alone, Kono calls him hyung and gripes about having to put up with Kimura.

And the Council of Evil meets again. As usual, the others fret but Kimura shuts them up, telling them he’s in charge now so they have no reason to worry anymore. Lol, really? Daddy tells Kenji he is in charge of the Gaksital investigation now and must do everything he can to find Gaksital and Lee Kang To. Kenji’s first stop-to pick up Dan. They get to her room and find Abe stripped to his underwear and Dan missing.

Dan is still inside the building when the alarm sounds so changes into a nurses uniform, safely getting out until Kenji catches sight of her outside. He turns back but Gye Sook calls out at that moment, “Mok Dan!” She’s caught and Kenji interrogates her, pressing his staff to her wound to torture her. She retorts that he should ask Kang To about Gaksital-wasn’t he intent on catching him?

Gye Sook tells the circus people, with the perfect tears in her eyes that Dan has been taken. Sun Hwa runs to ask Shunji for help as Gye Sook collapses on the ground, moaning “Mok Dan!” Shunji stares at a mask as he remembers Dan’s words. Sun Hwa arrives and tells him the news about Dan’s arrest and he rushes out.

Koiso tells Kenji Kang To’s house caught fire and his mother and brother perished in the fire and tells him not to worry since now Kang To would never know. Kenji’s like, “Oh I was just worried for naught.” At that moment, sounds of a fight sound and they look up to the balcony to see– Gaksital? Gaksital beats all the officers down one by one and heads for Kenji. And under the mask, you can see it is Kang To-here for bloodthirsty revenge.

Inside the interrogation room, Dan is somewhat semi conscious as the guard on duty moves around her and looks at her curiously at the end. Shunji drives up to the police station.  Gaksital proceeds to beat the hell out of Kenji, giving a final blow to his neck, drawing blood and sounding the crack of bones, just as Shunji walks in.

Kang To freezes when he sees Shunji and the latter stands stunned for a moment as he takes it all in-Gaksital standing with blood on his hands, hyung lying on the ground in blood. Shouting “Hyung!”, Shunji launches at Gaksital and takes a sword at him but Gaksital holds his own in the fight.

At the very end, both stand locked arm to arm, Kang To dodging more than fighting and Shunji on the offensive; a perfect picture of the new dynamics-best friends, yet irrevocably mortal enemies.


Yes, I feared it would happen and so it did. The reason is that this gives Kang To te reason to look at and understand Gaksital. Why had his brother chosen this path? What was so important about it that he put family in danger? Why did his whole family cling to their ideals and die so cruelly? Now he has the chance to go back and see, feel and know those ideals. Knowing it was something his brother chose to do till the very end would force him to rethink his own views.

Hyung and mom’s death was heartbreaking and i brings Kang To’s world crashing down in a jiffy. That gives him even more reason to look beyond what he usually does. One thing I like though, is that even though hyung and mom are no longer here, Kang To has something else he will strive to protect-Mok Dan.

Make no mistake, Kang To is a long ways still from becoming Gaksital but here, he has taken that one step by shredding his loyalty to the Japanese and going for revenge-the very principle his brother worked on. Hereon, Kang To has many trials to overcome so he can finally be Gaksital in spirit and sense, but let’s keep our fingers crossed that it’ll be a journey as awesome as the one we’ve already completed so far!

About hitomiakiko

Architect and Aspiring Writer

Posted on June 20, 2012, in Asian Cinema, Entertainment, Korean Cinema, Potpourri, Recaps, Uncategorized, Written Excerpts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Finally our hero becomes the HERO though the path was one of the harshest.

    When Kang To came to the scene where Gaksital was about to kill Kenji. WHY DO YOU INTERFERED? and stop saying BINGO and wipe the smirk or smile whatever it is on your face. And please somebody take the gun from him, he likes it to point it to everyone and shoots but regrets later.

    But when his brother died in front of him revealing who he actually is, oh my poor heart wept with Kang To and when he called his mom I was literally crying and when he cried after he saw his mom I literally had to pause and blinked my tears away only to turn the faucet on.

    Damn those people why burn the house, if only they knew the truth.

    The grave scene was one of the heartbreaking scenes.

    Kang To lost everything in one day and that stupid son of a bitch Kenji…its good that he died.

    and here i thought that Kang To and Shunji would only be love rivals.

    • Lol, it’s always a pleasure reading your comments Sara, seriously! 😀

      And it was total heartbreak for me in this episode, poor Kang To-he loses everything he’s ever had, everything he’s ever held dear. I love the way they did the scene-how he finds out its hyung and then sees mom dead. And how awesome that he realizes who killed mom without having to force it out of BG! Kang To may have been the idolizing younger brother who didn’t have the abilities before but he’s grown and made himself truly too capable! If only Kang San had more faith in him… 😥

      Lol, I also thought Kang To and Shunji would be just love rivals… N I’m not sure I like it the other way around! Shunji is way worse than Kenji and even Dad at times.

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