Gaksital aka Bridal mask Episode 11 Recap
Yaaay to clever Kang To. He’s come a long way from the younger brother with whom all had no expectations to the guy who’s got everyone fearful. Yes it has the bad effect of having even all the good guys railing to kill you but hey, Kang To can hold his ground well enough! But there’s angst in this episode where characters try to make choices and end up facing the consequences-from guilt and regret to anger and heartbreak. Most of all its the emotional drama that Kang To now has to face as he makes choices and finds himself helpless in the worst of situations-wanting to do something else but forced into committing acts that wrench his gut with even more guilt.
Episode 11 Recap:
Gaksital confronts Jo when he comes to retrieve the land deeds and striking him down, makes his getaway with the deeds. He’s confronted with Shunji’s men but easily shrugs them all off. As he’s about to get away, Shunji leaps out at him, his eyes screaming vengeance and blood, “It’s been a while, Gaksital!”
It develops into a full fledged fight between the two. Here, we see a replica of the dynamics between Kang To and Kang San when the latter was Gaksital. Kang To would always strike him viciously, just like Shunji is doing now but Kang San would always hold back, just like Kang To now. From afar, Koiso aims a gun at them. As Kang To moves to strike, he finds himself face to face with Shunji’s blade. The latter has bested him. He’s still standing there in shock when a gunshot rings out and the bullet hits a tree behind them. However, it’s enough of a distraction and Kang To uses that to knock Shunji down and escape.
Shunji and Koiso run and chase after him as Shunji draws his gun. But Kang To is faster and gets away. Shunji fires at his retreating back. As Shunji and Koiso search for him in the streets, Kang To whizzes away on the rooftop. They catch sight of him and pose to fire but he’s long gone. Shunji suddenly has an idea-go to the marketplace.
At the marketplace, people are lamenting their misfortune and wonder how they will live now. Despair has completely taken them. The man who burned down Kang To’s house (What was his name? Alright, I’m just calling him the fire-man!) tries to get the people to stand and rise from their misery-what’s they use lamenting? Shouldn’t they go down fighting? A boy catches sight of something in the background and shouts, “It’s Gaksital!” Everyone turns to see Gaksital standing on a rooftop and they shout out in joy.
Kang To, as Gaksital, is taken aback. Clearly this is a response he’s never really had from these people and it’s a surprise how much the people love the man in the white suit who has helped them time and again. Kang To runs down the rooftop and continues to run through the crowd. In the middle, he stops and hands the deeds to fire-man before running past the people and away. They stare after him in amazement and open the documents-it’s their land deeds. Everyone sighs in relief and joy. Fire-man catches sight of Gaksital on a rooftop ahead, watching them and everyone starts shouting out their thanks to him. Even fire-man cries as he whispers thank you over and over again.
Gaksital turns and leaves a moment before Shunji and Koiso run up to the people. Shunji fires a shot in the air and everyone scrambles to a side. Gosh, how much anger and hatred is in his expression here. At home, Shunji walks in to Dad’s room and kneeling in front of him, admits he has lost Gaksital. Dad is needless to say, not happy and tells Shunji the best way to catch Gaksital is ‘that girl’ and orders him to catch her immediately. Shunji panics, telling his father she is of no use.
That angers Kimura and he slaps Shunji-has he not come to his senses yet? Gaksital killed his brother! Kishokai is in danger because of him and he can’t bring that girl in? In a fit of anger, he draws his sword at Shunji-if he cannot remove that girl in his heart, he will never be able to catch Gaksital-either cut Dan’s neck, or cut her out of his heart. I’d say both amount to the same thing but, well. He puts the sword down on the table in front of him. Dad won’t be so forgiving again, Shunji dear.
That night, Kang To sits with Baek Gun and relates that Shunji was there, how he ambushed him and predicted his movements. Baek Gun tells him he must take care of himself.
Damsari arrives at the hotel lounge and looks around in case Kang To is lurking. Satisfied that Kang To isn’t there, he checks the notice board but finds nothing. He calls up Dan and Jo who are already fraught with worry. Dan scrambles to the phone and asks if there isn’t any contact from Gaksital yet. Her father worries if Gaksital decided against coming seeing Lee Kang To here a few days ago. That worries Dan and she asks if Dad is alright. Dad assures her that Kang To hasn’t recognized him yet and is telling her not to worry when his gaze lands on the stairs and he stops mid sentence. Kang To is walking up.
He averts Kang To’s gaze and hurriedly hangs up. As he’s saying farewell, Kang To takes a look around and quickly puts up a letter on the notice board. Before Damsari can hang up, Kang To walks away and down the steps. Damsari quickly hangs up and heads to the notice board where he finds the note. His eyes widen at the note addressed to him.
Damsari and his cohorts decide what to do with Lee Kang To and the other man suggests getting rid of him but Damsari points out it’s Kang To-their worst enemy. Damsari is worried-their disguise hasn’t been found out yet, that is, their false identities, so how did Kang To know he is trying to meet up with Gaksital? His cohort has an idea-can it be, he’s Gaksital? Yaay for the smarty pants! After all, they’ve got another comrade at the police station who’s undercover for the independence movement. Now who is that, I wonder! The lady friend suggests looking into the theory that Kang To is Gaksital. That sends them all thinking but Damsari cuts them off soon-he’s definitely not Gaksital, he was there the day Gaksital helped them escape from the court and Kang To fought Gaksital. He tells them they must focus on their mission-they took six years to get where they are now. His cohort still vows to kill Kang To for the sake of the independence movement.
Under a sunny sky, Kang To walks towards the circus, all smiles and hip hopping. Hehe, too cute. He actually dances! Dan meanwhile decides she must keep Kang To stuck to her side so she can help her father by having him out of the way. Jo tells her she must be careful, they all know what a hateful person he is. Meanwhile at the circus, Abe and Nande engage in a battle of strength by arm wrestling. Only Gye Sook is on Nande’s side while the rest are on Abe’s side and surprisingly, Abe wins!
And who would walk in to witness that scene but Kang To, except, Kang To is also smiling as he watches all the circus ladies congratulate and dance around happily with Abe. He watches them fondly for a minute before realizing someone’s missing-Dan and heads out. Said person is at the moment, cleaning some mirrors as she stares off into space and wonders-how do I keep Lee Kang To stuck to me?
As if on cue, the curtain from the door rises and Kang To walks in behind her. She turns around in half surprise and half relief when she sees him but quickly contains her reaction. Kang To smiles as he approaches her-everyone’s having fun but what is she up to? Dan’s reaction knocks off his smile and a surprised look comes into his eyes. “You were supposed to be watching me 24/7! Where are you coming from?” Even Abe stayed with them all night.
Kang To approaches her as she goes on and she makes an excuse about being curious. That makes him smile-“You were curious. About me?” Gosh, in such a cute voice and expression, I wonder why Dan isn’t melting already! Please writers, no heartbreak again!!! She turns back to her cleaning and he watches her through the mirror. It’s unsettling and she’s like-is this the first time he’s seen her face?
He takes a seat by her side and mutters that he’s too tired from dancing all night. He makes her an offer-she’s never seen him dance, has she? Does she want to go with him? She turns to him-isn’t he tired? Just go to sleep already! He smiles at that and agrees, telling her he’ll just get some rest for ten minutes. With a smile, he closes his eyes and seems to doze off.
Dan gets lost in her trail of thoughts again-Why was Lee Kang To at Asuka Hotel? Suddenly, she catches sight of him watching her through the mirror and freezes. He smiles and approaches her, handcuffing her. She bursts out at that and he smiles, “Bingo. Now this is like Oh Mok Dan!” Gosh, I love how good he is! He cuffs her to a chair with him and tells her to just stay by his side. As she scowls, he smiles at her. She calls him a mongrel who fraternizes with the enemy, and he asks with that same careless smile on his face, “So what if I’m a mongrel? I’m going to wipe out the Joseon bastards who killed my mother and my brother.” Asking her to wake him in ten minutes, he leans back and closes his eyes.
Meanwhile, who is approaching the circus but Shunji and Koiso. As Dan watches Kang To sleep, she thinks to herself this is a wonderful chance to kill Kang To and reaches her pockets for her dagger but doesn’t find it. It’s on a table a few feet away and she reaches out, trying to grab it, careful to not make any noise as to awaken Kang To. She finally has it in her hand and raises it to strike him down but he catches her arm.
She’s stunned that he’s awake but more than that, Kang To simply stares at her as he leans in and there is an expression of hurt on his face and tears in his eyes. That unnerves her and she stares back with a frown. As they sit there, Koiso and Shunji walk in, taking notice of the atmosphere. Shunji’s eyes widen as Kang To gets up and tells Dan sternly not to mess with him-“You’ll get hurt.”
Shunji heads out as Koiso tells Kang To to convene with the rest of the circus. Kang To wonders if something new has happened and Koiso tsks tsks at that, musing he must be worried about Dan after all. After Koiso leaves, Kang To uncuffs Dan who quickly pockets her knife and stares at him in surprise. Shunji addresses the whole circus, watching Dan directly-Gaksital appeared last night and killed President Jo. He tells everyone to speak up immediately if anyone has any idea who the criminal is. Dong Nyeo takes a few steps ahead and addresses Shunji-is he really Shunji? No matter how much a person may change- but her words are cut short when Shunji hits her with his stick, sending her reeling in pain and everyone scrambling to help her. Dan faces Shunji-no one in the circus knows Gaksital’s identity. Kang To watches with a worried expression and Shunji scoffs, they don’t know? She swears by the heavens-they don’t know.
Shunji takes his sword to Dan- does she still not know? She screams that she doesn’t. Kang To stares in shock. Shunji moves to strike Dan who closes her eyes. Kang To reaches into his jacket pocket for his gun. Before he can retrieve it, Shunji cuts down Dan’s hair instead. Koiso notes Kang To’s reaction as he puts his gun back with a smirk. Damn, that’s trouble. Shunji addresses Kang To but as Sato Hiroshi and it takes Kang To a few moments to realize Shunji is addressing him. Shunji orders Dan’s arrest.
As Kang To and Dan are driven to the police station by Abe behind Shunji’s vehicle, Kang To watches her grimly as she fists her hands in cuffs but stares out the window dispassionately. In the front, Shunji rides with a heavy heart. Rie is on the phone with Ueno and in a frightened mode. Ueno smiles at the other end. He gives her another chance and she calls out-father. He agrees, he’s her father and no parent kills their own flesh and blood but warns her that victory is within their reach, and if she lets that opportunity fly by they’re both as good as dead. They’d better not lose any more of their members.. She promises to do her best. Once she hangs up, she calls Kachiyama and asks for Kimura Taro to be called.
Kimura walks up to her just as she is slipping on the Kishokai ring into her hand although she does not slip it through her finger all the way. Kimura walks in and begs forgiveness for the mistake. She turns and slaps him, her ring grazing his cheek. She wants to know why Dan hasn’t been caught yet. He tells her she’s already been caught and on her way. This time, she wants to go in herself and watch over things. Kachiyama tells her Lee Kang To is watching her 24/7- and that she sometimes visits the church to pray.
As Abe cuffs Dan for questioning, he turns to Kang To who is watching her, the same tortured expression on his face. Kang To sends Abe out and Dan braces herself for the torture. Kang To approaches her and tells her “Look me in the eye. Look at me. Don’t you know me? Talk. Even if you say everything you know about Gaksital…” Gosh, he’s pleading with her to say everything so she can escape the torture and the pain! He doesn’t care what she says as long as it helps her and as Gaksital, it is a lot but she doesn’t know him as the man behind the mask and considers it a betrayal-even though she has little evidence that would even implicate Gaksital/Kang To. She tells him he’d better kill her since she won’t talk. He turns away to try and control his tears. Kang To, you just went a hundred up in my like meter!
Koiso comes to see Shunji and says he has something to report. He tells her it is about Dan and cannot wait: army headquarters is keeping a close eye on circus boss Jo and Mok Dan. He refers to the soldiers who pulled rank on him at the circus. The officers had arrested Jo and Mok Dan, and yet the next day they were freed. Could this have something to do with Damsari? Shunji asks if he reported it to Dad but Koiso says he hasn’t for fear of his life. As Shunji heads out to question Dan, Koiso adds with a smile, there’s something else too. Damn! I just hate him more and more!
Shunji approaches the interrogation room and remembers Koiso’s words-that Kang To almost drew his gun today. That brings Shunji to the flashback where Kang To had asked him if he could protect Dan to the very end and also the scene he witnessed today.
Inside the interrogation room, he’s greeted by a strange sight. Dan is cuffed but Kang To is sitting in a corner, head in his hands. He approaches them with a new perspective, more and more puzzled by the two.
He approaches Dan and begins to search her while she shouts at him to get his hands off her. Shunji finds the knife and holds it out at her-the person who gave her this knife is Gaksital, right? Kang To stares at Shunji in surprise. Dan doesn’t reply as Shunji shouts at her-who is he? Does she think he can’t find her if she doesn’t say anything. He reads the engraving on the knife-it says Young so guesses that must be a part of his name. Dan, however, remains silent and Shunji slaps her hard, sending her reeling. Even Kang To looks at Shunji in surprise; he is too angered and cruel.
Involuntarily, Kang To takes a step forward as Dan turns back to face Shunji. Shunji turns to him-torture her until she says the name of the guy who is Gaksital. Then he hands him a whip. Kang To looks at the whip and then Dan. Dan also looks at him. Having no other choice, Kang To takes off his coat and Dan averts her gaze, trembling already for the pain to come. All the while, Kang To watches her with pained eyes.
Kang To picks the whip and moves to take his position. Shunji watches. I hate you more by the minute boy! He watches with sharp eyes as Kang To deals blow by blow to Dan. Seriously, this was a test to see if Kang To cared about her and would refuse?! Damn, you’re cold blooded Shunji! Dan doubles over in pain with each blow and Shunji finally seems to regain his senses and walks forward, hoping to stop Kang To until he sees Dad coming down. Dad stops Kang To and orders Dan to be put in a cell. When Dan moans in pain, Kang To turns to look at her sharply, regret etched in his expression.
In that cell sits a bruised and battered woman-Rie. Rie helps Dan and Dan breaks down at the sight of her-a nun. Rie tells her to be strong. Dan bursts out crying and asks-will they really be able to win. Rie comforts her as she breaks down, her eyes turning steely, lips twisted in a smirk as she holds Dan.
In his office, a tortured Kang To is shaking in horror at himself-he’d whip Mok Dan to hide his identity from Shunji. I’d remind you that was the same heartless you once were buddy, but you’ve plenty reformed since then, although you still have to go some ways to make it up to the girl! Koiso takes that moment to burst in and tease him about him and Dan, mimicking him drawing his gun. Seriously dude, worst timing ever. He insults Dan, mimicking Kang To’s actions, rubbing into him for being in love with her and an angry Kang To kicks him down.
Kang To turns to his table and seemingly getting an idea. Shunji is brooding in his own office when Kang To walks in with his resignation. And I love the way he turns it all around on Shunji. “Do you think I came this far just to keep watch over some girl? Did I come here to torture the girl you love for you? Do you think this is what I gave up my mother and my brother to the empire for?! So this is the payment I get for my loyalty to the empire.” Mimicking a Japanese salute, Kang To does a mocking salute to the emperor and turns to leave. As he’s leaving, Shunji calls out, “Kang To ya, will you help me?” Shunji says he’s having a hard time chasing after Gaksital alone. He wants Kang To’s help. Kang To turns back at him and grabs his collar-is he playing with him? While Shunji says sorry, Kang To clocks him in the face. And may I just say, Bingo!
Dan is asleep and Rie watches over her when she sees Kang To approaching and averts her face. Kang To sits outside the bars and stares at Dan with a regretful expression and teary eyes-Rie clocks it. Although he gets up and walks away in his usual gruff manner, she puts the pieces together and stews as she sees Dan. Uh Oh! Now Evil has the excuse to be even more evil! Besides, did she actually expect Kang To to like her when he didnt even remember her!? And you’re on the wrong side of the war anyway, Rie darling!
Kang To approaches the notice board in Asuka Hotel after hours when it is dark and finds his note still pinned there. From behind, Damsari’s cohort watches and Kang To watches sight of him, giving chase as the other man makes a run for it. Kang To comes outside just as Damsari and cohorts make a getaway in a taxi. Meanwhile, Shunji assures his father he’ll find a way to catch both Gaksital and Damsari. Dad tells him to let the girl go-they’ll only be able to catch Damsari if Dan is free. Rie approaches Dan as she sleeps and frets over her when she wakes. A guard comes to release Rie and she tells Dan if she ever needs help, she can come to her, telling her the way to find her. Dan thanks her for her kindness.
Shunji and Koiso approach the jail cells as Rie is led out. Dan doesn’t look at Shunji and seats herself in a corner. Koiso leads Dan out and dumps her in a car. Shunji drives and asks her why she can’t live a simpler life—she knows how he feels about her, and he could protect her. Oh, you mean if she weren’t determined to fight for her country and her people. Really? And then mutters why she’s making him this way-making him hurt her. Dan ignores him and his attempts to talk to her. He wants to take her to the hospital but she tells him to stop the car. He doesn’t comply so she opens the door, forcing him to stop. She tells him “Even though you were Japanese, because you loved Joseon’s children, I could be your friend. Now to me, you’re just a Japanese.” He stares after her in shock as she leaves. Karma boy! You’re the one who ordered her to be whipped. Or as your mentality puts it-she made you order her whipped?!
At her place, Rie strips immediately and in anger, slapping Kachiyama. How could he not tell her Kang To loved Dan? She demands to know where Kang To is at the moment. At Angel Club with Shunji. Shunji is super depressed while Kang To doesn’t betray any emotion. Shunji tells Kang To he’s the one who can understand what Shunji has become because of that guy ‘Gaksital’. Kang To points out he said he won’t give up on Dan even if she were the one who killed Kenji; does he really love her?
Shunji says he no longer knows-the only thing he wants is to catch that guy and kill him in front of Dan. Dude, you’re wrong in the head-very very wrong. Kang To doesn’t say anything but looks horrified at Shunji’s reaction. And on the stage comes Rie, singing a song while watching Kang To who smiles back at her.
As Kang To drinks, Damsari and cohorts watch from the mezzanine floor, giving the go ahead for the assassination attempt on Kang To. Rie catches sight of the killer before he is about to attack and shouts out a warning. Shunji and Kang To fight off the attackers together as Damsari watches his plan fail in dismay and motions his men to run off. Kang To is about to give chase but stops. Damsari leaves and Shunji offers to take the man he caught to the police station.
It isn’t until they’re gone that Kang To remembers the guy as the one he had chased earlier. He looks around him, hoping to see Damsari but finds no one and runs outside, looking around anxiously. Shunji is in the car right behind him and motions to him to join him. With a final glance around, Kang To joins him. Shunji tortures the man as Kang To watches. Unable to take anymore, Kang To tells Shunji to hand over the investigation to him-the came to kill him after all. Shunji wonders if he’ll be okay and Kang To assures him he will.
Once Shunji is gone, he approaches the man, asking him where his leader is, telling him someone wants to meet him. The man smirks before breaking into the independence song. Kang To grabs his collar demanding an answer but the man doesn’t budge. Kang To asks him again and again but he doesn’t break from his song to reply. Finally, Kang To punches him, effectively knocking him out as he thinks of what to do next. Shunji closes up, ready to leave.
The man regains consciousness and looks around to come face to face with a figure- it’s Gaksital. As Gaksital carries the man out after downing the guards, he is confronted by Shunji. Shunji calls Gaksital to stop, clocking a gun at his retreating form.
Yaaaayyyyyy to all the best parts of today!!! I love the new developments we get to see on all ends-Shunji, Dan, Kang To and the freedom fighters including Damsari! The conflict is building up even more because now Kang To is one step closer to helping the Joseon freedom fighters. And his identity as Gaksital is safe for now but soon, someone might put the pieces together especially when he’s absent every time Gaksital makes an appearance.
Shunji has fallen more into the ‘darkness’ and his Kimura lineage than before. Torturing the girl you love so you can kill the person she loves is so not healthy behavior boy! He’s obviously still head over heels for her in his own way but the uniform he wears now is more than just a means to protect Dan. Considering the torture scene today, it’s not even a means to protect her anymore. He’s becoming more and more obsessed with Gaksital and although Dan and Kenji both are the cause of it-he is now completely driven in his ambitions by vengeance and the quest for blood-completely Kimura style. And unfortunately, he’s the best brains in Kimura. The ground is now even more slippery for Kang To/Gaksital.How symbolic is it that the moment he comes to arrest Dan, he is carrying the sword his father put before him after Gaksital slipped through his fingers, telling Shunji there’s only two ways around this.
And telling Dan to live a simple life and that she’s the reason he’s like this is just his twisted way of defending himself as he sees things. In his eyes, the hunt for Gaksital has double meaning-it eliminates his hyung’s killer and it leaves Dan free of her ‘Young Master’. Still, my thoughts resonate Kang To’s question today-he said he wouldn’t be able to give up on Dan even if she were the one who killed Kenji but does that really mean he loves her? And killing the person she definitely loves is not love-it’s just plain twisted.
I love how this drama isn’t afraid to tread that line in the middle where everything is rather shades of grey-good and bad both! Kang To was already sent to the brink when he inadvertently became the man who shot his own brother but now making him take a whip to the woman he loves is beyond all that. In the past, he’d already been the cause for Dan’s torture but that only proves another point here-while he didn’t love her then and hence had no reason to feel regret (Unless of course, you count compassion which he lacked beneath that stony cold ambition), now he did not choose to do the same. He even pleads with her to reveal everything she knows about Gaksital so she can be absolved of all the pain that would come otherwise. Here, he truly differs from Shunji- while the latter would use any means, even the woman he loves as a means to an end, Kang To would never go down the same path. And that is just what makes him, Kang To, the man suitable behind the mask.
That isn’t to say that his other actions are just as good and he stands completely for the ideology of Gaksital but this is the start. Even as he stands there looking at the whip Shunji threw at his feet and Mok Dan’s face, you can see the anguish he has to go through written clearly in his eyes. And his self battering later proves to be the true focal of his character. He knows what he did was wrong and did it seeing no other way out but that doesn’t mean he can live with making that choice-he’s horrified at himself and beats himself up over taking that road. He could excuse himself, saying it was an order he was following but that excuse doesn’t work for him. He may have been helpless at that time but that doesn’t justify his actions to himself, not in the least. And that’s what makes him even better-a man who feels regret and remorse even if he weren’t truly the one to blame and who questions his own choices, his own actions when it lands someone in pain. He’s not the hardhearted bastard Lee Kang To anymore-he’s Lee Kang To the younger brother of Kang San, he’s Lee Young, the little boy who’d tended to the little girl who’d lost her mother, who’d played with her and had finally given her the promise that he’ll always find her as long as she was alive.
Posted on July 6, 2012, in Asian Cinema, Asian Comics, Entertainment, Korean Cinema, Manhwas, Potpourri, Recaps, Uncategorized, Written Excerpts and tagged best bud, bridal mask recaps, diary, Drama, entertainment, friends, Gaksital, gaksital recaps, kdrama, Korean drama, life, love, misc, miscellaneous, musings, personal, random, reflections, Relationships, Romance, stories, story, thoughts, Writers Resources, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.