Gaksital aka Bridal mask Episode 15 Recap
Stakes get higher and truths get more messed up so that it’s harder for Kang To to stay below the radar while Shunji finds it easier to connect the dots once his mind settles on a suspicion and he knows Kang To is Gaksital. He’s ruthless, calculating and hard pressed when it comes to achieving a goal and sets the perfect trap to catch Gaksital, aka Kang To and Kang To seems to fall straight into the trap… or does he?
Episode 15 Recap:
Shunji is walking in thought when he hears Kang To begging Damsari to reveal Dan’s location. Damsari cannot understand Kang To’s reasons for being worried for Dan and Kang To grabs his shoulder, begging him, “I’m saying your daughter is in danger! Boon Yi… Boon Yi is in danger! ”
That sparks Shunji’s memory-Dan had signed her letter to Gaksital as Boon Yi. He turns back to see Kang To begging, “Please. PLEASE! Don’t you want to save Boon Yi?” Damsari looks at him gravely.
Shunji sits in his office, pondering the letter and Kang To’s words. He realizes Kang To knows Boon Yi and wants to save Dan. He remembers the time he had tortured Dan and asked her if the person who gave her the knife was Gaksital. He wonders, “Can it be… Kang To is the one who gave her the knife? Kang To is then…” he completes the thought in voiceover- “Gaksital?” Uh Oh. Damn but you are a smart guy, Shunji! He flashes back to his hyung’s death and thinks to himself, “Kang To killed my hyung?”
But he can’t believe it-to him, it makes no sense and looks as if he’s trying to convince himself but then he also flashes back to Kang To’s rescue mission of Damsari’s man-he had moved around the police station with ease and had easily evaded them. He already suspected Gaksital knew their police station well from the inside and in view of his new found knowledge, it seems just as plausible that Kang To was the one. He heads outside and asks everyone if anyone was with Kang To during the hospital Gaksital incident. The answer-no one. Uh oh. Shunji calls Koiso to his office. He orders surveillance on Kang To-24/7! Koiso perks up-is there something irregular going on? Shunji tells him to find out where circus master Jo is. His eyes turn steely and evil.
Circus master Jo is meanwhile, back at the circus and the people are fretting over his injured condition. Gye Soon points out he was taken because of Dan, right? A visitor arrives with a knock on the door. Everyone is surprised and none too pleased to see Shunji walk in, except Gye Soon. Well, she is the evil one here. He asks to speak to Jo alone.
He approaches Jo and tells him Kang To may come to see him today and he must act in front of Kang To-give him the correct rendezvous location with Dan and act as if he didn’t tell Shunji anything. Jo balks-why should he? Kang To is on the same side as the police, isn’t he? Shunji smiles his evil smile-Jo will accept his request, right?! Jo scoffs at it being called ‘request’. When he refuses to comply, Shunji threatens the whole circus will pay for it… one by one, with their lives. And you certainly can’t get any more evil, right, right? Jo is furious, but it is obvious he cannot refuse. Shunji gives him some medicine-can’t have him catching tetanus from all that torture nails and tells him to take care. Yeah, right! And then he walks out.
Downstairs, Kang To walks in just then and runs into the startled and trembling manager of the place and asks him which room Jo is staying in. Shunji hears him shout the order and hides in Gye Soon’s room just before Kang To is shown up. Please tell me Kang To isn’t digging his own grave with this! Shunji watches Kang To enter the room.
Kang To approaches Jo and tells him Dan is about to be set up to be caught so that they can get a confession out of Damsari and if she is-she’ll get ten times, fifty times, even a hundred times the torture Jo received today. He knows his brother became a simpleton, a retard because of that doesn’t he? He asks Jo.
“I’m well aware that I’ve been condemned by the Joseon people, and I’ve done enough bad things deserving the names I’m called. I’m the person who captured Damsari and led to his death sentence. That’s why I want to help. At the very least I want to prevent Leader Damsari from seeing his child torn to pieces in front of his eyes. Please help me.”
His words touch Jo but his expression remains impassive of sorts-as if he is willing himself to go through with Shunji’s words. Kang To’s words are so honest, so telling of his feelings-he turned a blind eye before and would never care but now, now he doesn’t want anyone to suffer-not the way his family and his hyung suffered.
Jo asks him if he really thinks he can save Dan. Kang To asks him to believe in him. Outside the door, Gye Soon listens. Jo tells him the meeting point for 6 o clock tomorrow at a certain restaurant. Kang To asks him if Shunji really does not know about this. That reminds Jo of Shunji’s warning and he lies- why would he ever betray Dan? Relieved, Kang To thanks him. Kang To’s thanks nags at his conscience and he looks away, unable to face him.
Gye Soon gets paid for her hard work by an impassive Shunji who watches Kang To leave. Outside, Kang To looks around before getting in his car and driving away. A car standing much behind follows him. Shunji arrives to meet his father and Rie. Shunji is surprised to see Rie-he remembers her as Lala. She invites him to sit.
He gets straight to the point-she and Kang To were too cozy at Angel’s. What would Ueno’s daughter want with Lee Kang To? Dad cuts him off-it’s Ueno’s daughter but Shunji persists. Rie smirks, if they want Kono taken apart, they have to start eliminating his limbs. She asks him if the answer is enough. Kimura tells her not to take Shunji’s words personally-it is just that Kang To is under surveillance. She is surprised but keeps it to herself although Katsuyama sees her reaction. Shunji asks why she was summoned here and she tells him to divulge her identity.
“Seeing Gaksital challenge dozens of imperial policemen with nothing more than an iron flute shows he has astonishing fighting spirit. Officer Kimura, the only person who can cut down that spirit of Gaksital’s is you.”
Well, since he shot at Gaksital even with his father in the line of fire, it does make him pretty hard hearted for the job! Her father is coming to Joseon soon, she reveals. That brings Kimura to attention and she bribes him even more-when her father comes, Kono is out, that means his seat goes to Kimura. That makes Kimura remember a Kishokai meeting from his own early days. Ueno had addressed all the younger members then. Reminding them that Kishokai was responsible for killing the Joseon king and queen, he declares that their goal is to move the empire’s capitol to Kyungsung, from which point they’ll be in position to claim Asian/Pacific dominance.
Rie and company have a toast to Kishokai and their dream of expanding the Japanese empire.
At the police academy, the governor general meets with Kono, the Count and the newspaper man Park and they discuss how to handle the situation since rumors of the explosion at the commemoration gala are running amok and more rebellions might be set off thanks to it. The governor opts for strict and totalitarian measures. He wants to keep them under tight control: hence outdoor gatherings outlawed, indoor meetings requiring police presence, all loans are to be denied. Furthermore, all Koreans are forbidden to wear all-white clothing, like Gaksital’s.
A truck full of troops arrives at the marketplace and starts pasting wanted posters for Damsari’s cohorts. They then start asking for people’s identification tags, beating up whoever has none. Kang To meets Baek Gun again at their rendezvous spot. He tells her Dan might be meeting up with her father’s comrades today and hence he has hopes to be able to meet them too. Baek Gun perks at that but tells him he must be careful and gives Kang To medicines for his wound.
Shunji gets the detail of surveillance on Kang To. Koiso brings in Ishida, a special interrogator who is smart and well trained-he’s been following Kang To undetected. At the marketplace, whoever is wearing white is doused with ink. An old man, given that treatment, fights with Koiso who starts beating the man up. The man’s grandson begs him to be let go when Kang drives by and witnesses the commotion. For a moment, he is almost ready to head out and stop Koiso but stops himself and drives away determinedly. Koiso continues beating the old man while the others around helplessly watch, wanting to step in but unable to. Fire-man picks a log, ready to hurl it at Koiso but stops when he sees the gun the other police officer has.
Just then, people shout out “It’s Gaksital!” And I go, yaaaayyyyy!!! Kang To/Gaksital runs up and knocks the soldiers down, one by one, not even flinching when Koiso attacks him. He then proceeds to savagely beat him up, just as he beat up the old man. Around him, the people cheer. He knocks Koiso down and helps the old man up. What’s most gratifying is seeing the fireman pour all the ink over Koiso. After all, he’s wearing white too! The other people do the same to the other soldiers. As they limp away in embarrassment, Kang To watches the people cheer around him and it seems to strike a nerve in him as he smiles at that too.
Koiso and company reach the police station where Shunji asks what happened and learns Gaksital appeared. He’s stumped-what? And heads in another direction, to the interrogation room where Damsari is tied up. Abe is there, but Kang To isn’t. Shunji learns he left a while ago to change after having spent all night at the office and heads out at a thought. He runs down and asks what happened to the man watching Lee Kang To. Hahaha, turns out, Kang To managed to fool them all as he shook off his lead easily. Guy didn’t even realize Kang To had left the station! Yaaayyyyyyy!!! *Double fist pump!*
At the very moment, Kang To is in the washroom, rebandageing his wound. When he exits the stall, Katsuyama is there. He notices Kang To washing blood off of his hands. Uh oh. Kang To catches him staring and remembers the fight at the commemoration party. Yup, that was one hell of a fight! Doing some quick thinking, Kang To mutters “how embarrassing!” and pretends his nose bled. He turns to Katsuyama, muttering he’s seen him somewhere and wonders aloud where. Kang To follows him out but hides when he seems to notice. He watches the man enter a room-501. When he leaves, Katsuyama exits and looks in the direction Kang To disappeared.
Shunji sits in his office-and he’s wearing the Kishokai ring. Kang To comes-Shunji called him? Shunji smiles at him and asks him to take a seat. Shunji twists the ring in his hand before sitting down to face Kang To. He knows Kang To’s been using the night watch room at the station nowadays and hands him a key. A key-to his rented room he wants Kang To to use. Kang To refuses but he says its an order so Kang To pockets the key. Shunji asks if there’s been any progress with Damsari. Kang To tells him none.
Shunji suggests catching and using Dan. Kang To bluffs-hasn’t she left Kyungsung already? She’s not at the circus or anywhere around. The way he sees it, she’s already gone. All the while in the conversation, from the moment Shunji asks about Mok Dan, there’s a fast heartbeat that can be heard in the background. I’m guessing it’s Kang To’s because it shows the perfect contrast between his calm expression and not so calm inner turmoil. Shunji says it doesn’t make sense-why’d she leave when her father is still in danger. She’s not the kind to leave him behind and live on her own. Kang To mutters dispassionately, “She isn’t?” The hearbeat quickens. Shunji tells him to start with searching for Dan but then says he ought to do it himself and leaves. Kang To watches him. Once Shunji’s gone, his expression turns worried.
Shunji and Kang To come to Damsari. Shunji asks who Gaksital is again and Damsari tells him–“Want me to tell you how to get him? Return Joseon to us. Then Gaksital will take off that mask himself.” Shunji laughs at his answer. The full creepy evil laugh before punching Damsari. Kang To watches in horror. He holds up the grenade he tried to blow up and asks who helped him in the police station? Damsari retorts, you mean there’s an independence fighter within the police? Damn, I like your guts Damsari!
Shunji grabs the whip. Is it just me or is Shunji becoming too much like Kenji with the whole whip thing? I mean, Kenji’s specialty was the whip torture too n Shunji seems to take it as the answer to all! He starts whipping Damsari while Kang To stares away at a distance, trying to ignore the sounds. Shunji wonders if Damsari can protect his man to the end and in front of Damsari orders Kang To to catch Damsari’s daughter and wants Damsari to watch his daughter suffer this torture. “Let’s see if he still has no reaction to watching his daughter’s breath choked out of her.” Kang To is frozen at the order but agrees. Shunji walks away but turns back to see Kang To looking at Damsari.
Dan sees the wanted posters in the village and runs away to avoid being caught by the authorities. Just then, Kang To happens to drive by the neighborhood and he catches sight of her as she’s running away. The men aim to fire at her but Kang To stops them, running after her and ordering them to follow. They follow her through the market until she disappears behind a building. Kang To sees her heading that way and orders his men in the opposite directions before following the area where she went.
She freezes for a moment when she runs into him but then runs away and he gives chase. In voiceover, he whispers, “Right now, You have to get caught by me to remain safe. Please. PLEASE!” Drama writers, do not let this backfire! He finally catches up to her and grabs her but before he can say or do anything, he is knocked out by a blow to the back of his head-by the fire-man. Gosh, I knew you watching the chase would end in bad news. Another chance for Kang To gone! Kang To watches her run away as he loses consciousness.
Shunji hears the news as Kang To puts an icebag to his neck and rails at him-how could he lose her? If they have her in their hands they can get to Gaksital. While his words are so, his tone is a little flat, indicating he doesn’t believe she got away on her own. Kang To mutters, again dispassionately, “I’m going crazy too!” Shunji tells him he was right-she didn’t leave Kyungsung and shows him Dan’s letter to Gaksital. Kang To doesn’t know what it is at first but his eyes widen upon seeing it.
Shunji tells him she meant it for Gaksital and Kang To wonders where Shunji got it, putting the icepack away to look at the letter closely. Shunji watches Kang To as he continues speaking-Dan put a gun to his face and ran away with Gaksital. The two ran away, hand in hand, Shunji tells Kang To, right in front of his eyes! “In front of my eyes, Kang To ya!” Umm, jealous much? Shunji tells him Boon Yi must be her name as a kid and says the person who gave her the knife is Gaksital. Kang To reels at knowing how much Shunji has put together. When he catches her, Shunji says, he will kill Dan. “I will find that girl and kill her. I’ll kill her and hang her in Gwanghwamun Square, so that bastard can clearly see! So his heart can rip apart!” He watches Kang To’s reactions as he says those words and then heads outside, as if in an angry fit and calling out to Kosio. But from his earlier reaction, we can guess it is all just an act.
As soon as he’s gone, Kang To checks the time on his watch-it’s almost three o clock. Outside, Shunji turns back to see Kang To in his office, his head in his hands and scoffs-Kang To ‘lost’ Dan! Dan reaches her comrades and tells them the police has their faces and wanted posters are already out. The woman points out the only person who could have done that is Jo. Dan says Jo would never do so but the woman isn’t too convinced. Dan tells the others they must put the plan at hold for now and instead of everyone, she’ll go to collect the money. The woman wants to put the plan on hold but Dan disagrees. The others finally agree and she heads off.
Rie exits Asuka Hotel just as Dan comes and they both pass each other on the street in slow motion. Dan is too preoccupied but Rie turns back when she recognizes the girl and heads inside, bent on revenge. Ummm, not good timing Rie. Dan approaches the phone as Rie follows her up and makes a call to Jo. He debated before picking the phone but does and then doesn’t warn her of any danger or what has happened to him. From behind, Rie hears the conversation. Dan asks if she can come meet him and he agrees. Damn you! When he puts the phone down, he seems regretful of his decision but we see the real reason for his deceit a moment later as we see the circus folk sitting behind him-at gunpoint by soldiers. Okay, poor guy’s got it rough too-one life or many lives, which to save?! 😐
When Dan turns around, she recognizes Rie who addresses her and asks to have tea together, trying to drag Dan out but she runs away. Rie manages to outrun her and knocks her down again and again. Dan tries to fight back but doesn’t land many blows. What she does land is insignificant compared to how Rie hits her. Umm, I hate Rie for this but if it means Dan doesn’t get caught and Kang To doesn’t get exposed, I can like it!
Shunji and Kang To report to Kono about Damsari who has come to Kimura’s office. Shunji says Kang To will be reporting and Kono tells him to leave. He then rips into Kang To for letting Damsari through and then threatens him-another mistake and he’s a goner. Meanwhile, Shunji checks his watch-5 o clock and motions to his men-time to make a move. He calls Kang To into his office.
He tells Kang To Dan will be appearing and they will catch her today-giving him the same details Jo gave him. Kang To’s eyes widen at that. Shunji keeps his smile, telling Kang To not to exert himself too much, once they catch Dan, they can get Damsari to talk. Kang To laughs at that, praising him for his work, wondering aloud how he managed and tells him he did well. Once he’s out of sight, Shunji’s eyes turn cold, his expression calculating.
Everyone assembles for a meeting and Kang To closes his eyes for a brief moment as Shunji hands out the orders-kill anyone who gets in the way but Dan. Shunji watches Kang To as he continues, “To catch Gaksital, we need just Dan alive!” and he tells Kang To to watch over Damsari.
Shunji watches Kang To head out and thinks to himself, “If you’re Gaksital, you will definitely appear!” He tells Koiso they must definitely find out if Kang To leaves the police station or not. Just then he gets a call from Lala, Rie who tells him she’s caught Dan. He’s like-what the hell?! Let her go immediately! Whatever president’s daughter she is, he barks at her, he won’t forgive her for interfering in his work! She takes offense at that-“You say I’m interfering?” but he tells her he’s set a trap for Gaksital and orders her released. Rie retorts, “But if you fail this time, you’ll have to give up your neck.” Shunji fires back, “If my plan fails because of you, you’ll have to give up yours too.” She stares at the phone in disbelief before hurling it to the ground.
Rie slaps Dan but then orders her let go. Shunji and minions get the go ahead. Kang To paces Damsari’s interrogation cell. Wherever he looks, he sees torture devices and can hear them ringing in his head when inflicted. He remembers the moment Shunji told him to catch Dan and how he vowed to kill her.
Making up his mind, he rushes out-the man assigned to watch him following him. Not good! Dan arrives at the location and a waiter walks in-it’s a police officer. Dan checks her watch again and again. Kang To drives off while Dan waits.
Dan finally heads to walk out when Kang To walks in and tries to lead Dan out. She objects just as Shunji walks up and puts a gun to them. Dan instinctively backs away, behind Kang To. How I am thankful Kang To didn’t come as Gaksital.
“It was you, after all!” Shunji retorts, “Nice to see you again. Gaksital!” Kang To remains silent while Dan turns to look at him in surprise.
First of all, what an ending! I was hip hopping with joy when Kang To appeared as Kang To and not Gaksital-makes it easier to defend himself and wriggle out of the mess. And secondly, why haven’t they released the ending theme in OST yet? I want it!!! ^^
I love that Shunji’s made the connection and quite easily without even wracking his brain-that shows just how smart the guy is. While he was trying to deny the possibility-deep down, he’s still Kang To’s friend and maybe wanted to believe that bond of theirs had no secrets but his mind kept pointing out all the irregularities in his defense. And the fact that he then pursues that idea relentlessly shows his determination-the cruel and harsh side of him. Even when he nails Kang To at the end, there is no remorse for having lost a friend, no need to understand what and why the ruthless Kang To became Gaksital but rather just the need and want for revenge.
And that revenge is first and foremost because of Dan. However much he may say its because of hyung’s death, or his father’s humiliation, his driving force even now is Oh Mok Dan and the one reason why he’s so relentless is her rejection of him and her unyielding loyalty and feelings for Gaksital.
Kang To-I love that he’s not a perfect do it all who has everything under his control at all time. A hero is only too human and Kang To is living proof of that. He’s got even higher and more dangerous stakes than hyung ever had-hyung was the simpleton, nobody who’s absence was never noticed but Kang To is the man of focus on both ends-the Japanese police and the Joseon people. The Japanese expect him to err any minute, even more will him to (The Kimura duo) while the Joseon people hate him because of the deeds he admits were too cruel to them. He has to maintain a persona that both ends would buy and not sell out his hidden persona but the line he must abide by is getting thinner and thinner, thereby increasing all the dangers he faces.
In this drama, there’s no hero who can vanquish it all and no villain who can’t tell A apart from B-there’s no fake outs that annoy you, rather there’s twists and plots that bring you to the edge of your seat! And that is why, I love it! This drama intricately weaves its plot points and twists together and gives them such depths and raises the stakes to the point where it isn’t just something you watch and enjoy, rather it’s something you feel deep down in your heart and something you can relate to and feel for. It’s not just the story of a villain in the people’s eyes turning hero (Kang To), it’s also about a man who loses himself because of his own obsessions and choices (Shunji). We see more than a man fighting for an ideal, we grow to see why that ideal matters and how people respond to it; how watching the people a man begins to softens his heart and feel for others! Gaksital is about a lot of things-from freedom to personal demons and it is doing a wonderful job of carrying that point across.
I’ve one thing to say about Dan-she needs lessons from Kang To/Gaksital, both in disguise and in fighting! If she’s to be a freedom fighter, she needs to go the extra mile ahead! Her character isn’t as layered as Shunji or Kang To’s, or even as much as Rie’s so she’s more like the catalyst that simply waits to be lit up! Can’t she be a bit more active?
Posted on July 19, 2012, in Asian Cinema, Asian Comics, Entertainment, Korean Cinema, Manhwas, Potpourri, Recaps, Uncategorized, Written Excerpts and tagged best bud, bridal mask recaps, Dan, diary, Drama, entertainment, Gaksital, gaksital recaps, Joseon Dynasty, Kang, kdrama, Korean drama, life, love, misc, miscellaneous, musings, personal, random, reflections, Relationships, Romance, Shunji, stories, story, thoughts, Writers Resources, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.