Gaksital aka Bridal mask Episode 16 Recap

Alliances are made on the basis of faith and while our hero saves the day by actually divulging the truth-or a bit of it and spinning his web so intricately that not even the smartest Shunji can find fault with it. Kang To bleeds but for him, the end results are worth it. While one man further descends down the dark path, Kang To finds himself drawn more and more to righteousness and this time, he’s not walking down that path unknown to all. Damsari finds an unlikely ally in Kang To that surprises even him but its enough to make him tell Dan to trust Kang To. And while she still finds him hateful, she’s stumped to think he harbors other feelings for her. Our hero and villain clash again-for love and for ideology but the hero’s still got a major advantage over the other-he isn’t alone anymore and feels the pain of others. When push comes to shove, Kang To presses forward to achieve the best results but without sacrificing others.

Episode 16 Recap:

Shunji and company of troops head to the location while Kang To, making a decision while pacing the interrogation room heads out. Dan finally decides to leave when Kang To walks in and tries to drag her out, only to be stopped short by a gun in the face by Shunji. He mutters, “So it was you, after all! Nice to see you again. Gaksital!Yup, expressions evil as ever!

Kang To remains silent while Dan stares at him in surprise and shock. “It’s you, right? It’s you, you’re Gaksital, right?” Shunji goes on. Kang To addresses him and asks him to lower the gun-the only reason he came is because he was worried about Dan. Shunji shouts at him while Dan stares in surprise and forces her hand free. Shunji watches with a confused frown and scoffs “Lee Kang To? Sato Hiroshi is worried about Mok Dan?”

Kang To nods-he couldn’t help but worry, not after Shunji declared he’ll catch Mok Dan and kill her-Kang To wanted to take her away from that, no matter what. Shunji shouts, “Because you’re Gaksital!” Kang To declares, “Because I really love this woman!” Yaaayyyyy!!! Happy dance time people! Can you believe it, this is exactly what I thought Kang To would do-mix enough of the truth and make Shunji confuse his own conclusions-after all, if Kang To says he loves Dan, it justifies all his actions without him being Gaksital!

Dan stares in shock and Shunji’s expression twists even more-“What? What did you say?” Shunji moves the gun forward and dares Kang To to say it again. Kang To yells it out “I. LOVE. This. Woman!” Shunji lowers the gun finally in wrath and calls Koiso-arrest these two immediately. Koiso moves to handcuff Kang To but Kang To tells him “I’ll walk in on my own two feet! Loving a woman isn’t against the law, is it?” Shunji scoffs but Kang To persists.

Shunji moves to cuff Kang To and Dan himself. She looks at him but he averts his gaze and orders them taken away.

Interrogation time. Kang To is taken to an interrogation room and Koiso takes the chance to deliver bodily harm to Kang To, beating him to a bloody pulp. Kang To says nothing while Shunji watches from another room with a passive and angry expression. Boy, you never cease to amaze with your heartlessness.

Rie hears the news of Kang To’s arrest and laughs-its even more fun than having Gaksital caught. But she remembers the moment Kang To watched Dan through the bars and she realized he’s in love with her. She deduces the reason he went there was to protect Dan from being hurt. That makes her angry, “Idiot! Stupid!” she mutters and then in voice-over thinks to herself, he already got so up in this world and he’s ready to throw it all away. She tamps down her frustration when she sees Katsuyama watching her and going to the bathroom, just thinks to herself, “Ueno Rie, why are you acting like this, after coming this far?” She reminds herself that killing Lee Kang To should be nothing to her.

Dan is put in a cell and she goes over Kang To’s words again and again. And she remembers Shunji’s accusation that Kang To is Gaksital. Her mind refuses to accept it but she wonders why Shunji made that deduction. Shunji watches her as she sits in the cell.

Having an idea, he heads to see Kang To who is beaten up. Koiso looks happy at his handiwork but Shunji rails at him for it. Yeah, like you weren’t secretly watching it quietly? I hope Kang To’s bland expression means he thinks the same as me! He orders Kang To to be put in a chair and then tells everyone to get out.

He sits down to face his friend/foe and Kang To watches him silently. Shunji offers his handkerchief but Kang To doesn’t take it. He asks Kang To, “Since when?” He points out Kang To shot Dan; how could he fall in love with her? Kang To agrees-“Yes. I shot that woman in the chest.” He was going crazy in order to catch Gaksital. Shunji knows how much Kang To wanted to get his hands on Gaksital-“I shot that woman in the chest. But as I carried her bleeding body to the hospital, all I could think the whole time was, ‘If she dies like this, how will I catch him?’

Shunji looks bothered with his confession since it all rings true to his ears-Kang To was desperate to catch Gaksital and he himself was witness to it. Kang To admits that when she woke up, he couldn’t have been happier. He didn’t care about all the names she called him or what she thought of him—he was just so grateful that she was alive. By this point, Kang To’s eyes are wet, tears sliding down his cheeks.

He told himself he shouldn’t feel this way-she was Damsari’s daughter, she was the woman Shunji loved but however much he told himself he couldn’t stop his heart from feeling for her. Shunji looks away, as if willing himself not to listen or believe Kang To and finally leaves without a word. Once outside,  he stands, reeling from the shock of Kang To’s words, remorse at his actions. He scolds himself in voiceover-“Kimura Shunji, have you gone mad? How could you think that Kang To was Gaksital? No matter how crazy you are because of Gaksital…. How?”

Meanwhile, Jo stands in his office when his comrades pay him a visit, dressed and talking as Chinese. They knock out and kill the guards, then station themselves there while the woman meets with Jo. He tells her he was waiting for her. He has no words to defend himself and hands over the funds he had promised them-the last he can do for them, ready for his punishment-death. She asks him the reason-why did he betray them? He doesn’t reply and she takes out a knife. Across the hallway, Nanda comes to eat with Jo but the guards don’t allow him in.

Nanda recognizes the guards just as the female comrade finds herself unable to bring herself to kill Jo and turns around to leave. Nanda faints as he watches her leave. Jo rushes after them, giving them the money. They leave without a word.

Shunji paces outside the interrogation room, still at conflict with his thoughts and remembers the governor general’s secretary telling him Kang To asked for Choi Tae Gun’s number the morning of the commemoration party. He immediately heads inside and asks Kang To why he asked for Damsari’s number-the answer, Kang To was just checking up on the name. Shunji isn’t sold- what about missing Damsari in disguise at the party, even seeming like he kept Shunji away to protect him. Kang To just sneers that it seems that way in his head because he’s suspicious now.

It’s a wonderful talk to watch-the battle of wits and whoever can outwit the other, answer in the best way emerges the winner. Shunji puts all else aside, willing to buy it but for one thing-how could Kang To know Dan’s name was Boon Yi? Kang To puts the question back and him and asks how Shunji knows Kang To knew the name? “Did you hear me ask Damsari to save Boon Yi? And THAT’s why you thought I was Gaksital?”  Kang To scoffs at him-so that’s why Shunji set up the whole trap to catch Kang To whom he thought was Gaksital?! So badass! Shunji may be a suspicious bastard with conclusions too close to the home run but Kang To has been a cop longer than him and knows the wordplay much better and is no doubt the fast thinker of the two. 

He shouts out Koiso’s name who runs in without a thought and then realizes it was Kang To who called. Kang To tells him to uncuff him but Shunji says they’ve yet to clear all suspicion to let him go. Kang To laughs at that and asks Shunji, “Kimura Shunji, you’ve really lost your mind, haven’t you?” He’ll say it one more time, Kang To declares, he’s the man who caught Damsari. He investigated every friend, relative, and semi-acquaintance that he ever had. “Do you think I wouldn’t know something like his daughter’s name when she was young?!” Man, I love how Kang To is spinning the wheel! However brainy Shunji is, he’s no match for Kang To!

Kang To continues-Shunji thought Kang To and Damsari were on the same side? Would he have to beg and plead to know where Boon Yi is, to save her? Remember the attack on his life in Angel Club, Kang To asks-that was Damsari’s doing. Shunji finally hits an expression of realization and Kang To, leaning forward tells him, “Kimura Shunji, come to your senses! Do you know Damsari’s the man who tried to KILL me?” Shunji orders Koiso-head to Angel Club and confirm it. Once Koiso’s gone, Kang To and Shunji both lean back-the ball now in middle court. If Kang To’s word prevails, he goes free, if not, Shunji will be even more convinced Kang To is Gaksital.

At Angel’s, life is same as ever, dancing and drinking going on all around. Tasha is sitting with the Count’s son and the reporter Park when soldiers storm in and Koiso demands to see Tasha and take her, along with all the club’s workers and the waiter along to the police station, leaving reporter Park and the Count’s son fuming after insulting them for being ‘Joseon’ people.

Shunji approaches them-Tasha tells him they’ve done nothing wrong but he cuts her off, “Madam, shut up!” The men hold up posters and ask-are these the ones who tried to kill Kang To? Everyone, especially the waiter and the manager squirm and look away. Tasha speaks up quickly, asking if the other’s have seen them but they don’t say much. One of the girls tells the waiter to speak up-those were independence fighters, no? He balks. Shunji just sighs and lets them go, then turns to Koiso who drags the waiter back.

Poor guy is taken to see Damsari who is still hanging by the chains, tortured and bloody. Koiso holds him in front of Damsari and Shunji asks if he’s the one who ordered Kang To’s assassination attempt. The waiter balks at little pressure and Damsari sighs-his associations out now. Shunji fumes and turns to Damsari, ordering the man let go. He turns to Koiso and tells him to let Kang To to go and bring Dan. And Kang To wins this battle! *fist pump*

Koiso walks in and grudgingly opens Kang To’s cuffs, then holds the door open for him. Kang To gives Koiso a glare before heading out. Hehe. He runs into Dan on his way down-she’s being brought to Shunji and averts her gaze from his. From his office, Shunji watches Kang To looking at her. When she’s taken in, Kang To sees the two until Shunji closes the shutters. Kang To’s eyes narrow.

Shunji approaches Dan and touches her but she balks at his touch. He asks if she’s not hurt but she shakes off his hands. He asks her if she doesn’t want to save her father? Damn you, you manipulative bastard! And he continues to act all considerate and silky, trying to blackmail her-if she had to choose between Gaksital and her father, what would she do? Her tears fall but she remains silent. He begs her to give up her father’s comrades, because right now it’s the only way to save her father. He adds that he wants to save her, and asks for her to save him by remaining alive. But catching Gaksital is the only way that Damsari will ever have a chance to walk free.

He tells her he’ll take her and gives her the night to think about it, holding the door open for her. She leaves with a final look at him. As they walk out, Kang To watches her go to meet her father. Shunji tells Kang To he’s taken off Damsari’s case, since he loves his daughter, you know. But Kang To argues back-he loves the daughter of a rebel, does that make him a rebel? Why should he be taken off the case?

Kang To reminds him he once asked Shunji-“Didn’t I ask you if you could protect that woman till the end? I folded when you said that you couldn’t give her up even if she had killed your brother. But you couldn’t protect her. Hands off. From now on, I’M going to protect her.” This case is his till the end, he declares and heads off. Shunji’s heart falls at the words and he closes his eyes, the truth hitting him. Me-smiling wide!

Dan’s eyes widen when she sees her father but Abe doesn’t let her get close. Kang To arrives behind and orders Koiso out. Abe frets over his injuries when he walks forward, asking what happened and Kang To asks him to leave too. Kang To proceeds to uncuff Damsari and lets him down, helping him lie down on the floor. Damsari is unconscious and a worried Dan calls out to him, crying into her hand at seeing him like this.

Kang To stands behind, watching them with tears in his own eyes but unable to approach.

The Count goes to lunch with wifey and son. Yup, the annoying voice is still there. The son brings up news of the waiter being taken in to identify Damsari and mum and dad ask him to talk about something pleasant. While the Count and Countess tell him to believe in Japanese Empire, he tells them “Then why do I feel so dirty? I almost wish Gaksital would hit me on the back of the head with his iron flute.” The count fumes at that. Kono asks for an update on the Damsari case. Shunji reports they found his daughter and would get results soon. He is mid sentence when he sees the bruises on Kang To and asks what happened. Kang To replies it was nothing and asks him not to worry himself over it. Shunji seems surprised at his answer. Yeah, he didn’t sell you out although he totally should have! Kono thinks he must’ve got in a fight and Kang To simply apologizes. Kono fumes at them for the delay in getting results and declares he’ll participate in the questioning himself.

Dan lies side by side with her father and they both reminisce over their olden days. Her father takes her hand in his and asks for forgiveness-because he’s her father, he’s truly sorry. She hugs his hand and tells him she’s really happy, because he is her father, she’s really happy. They’re brought out of their reverie when Kono, Shunji and Kang To walk in. They place Damsari on a chair and Kono addresses them-if they just tell them who Gaksital is, he promises Damsari can live the rest of his life happily with his daughter. Damsari scoffs at that.

Kono threatens to kill Dan which sends both Kang To and Shunji into a frenzy.  Kang To tells Damsari to reveal everything, how he met Gaksital, reveal it all! Aww, its doubly poignant since he gives up the right as Gaksital. Shunji asks Dan to reveal it but she turns on him-she never promised that. So she won’t say a word. Kono threatens to have Dan killed in front of his very eyes and orders her put in the nail cage. While everyone else panics, Dan remains calm.

Kang To grabs Dan’s arm and begs her, “Do you want to die? Are you going to die like this? Say what you know! Please! Talk! Talk!” Damsari cries and Dan tells him to be strong “Father, don’t cry. We promised all night that we wouldn’t cry. We promised… that we wouldn’t submit before beasts.” She turns to Kang To with a request-cover her father’s eyes. If he’s at least a human, he should do that much. Seeing the inaction from all sides, Kono moves to do the deed himself but Dan frees her hand and declares, she’ll do it herself. Kang To looks at Kono in horror. Steeling herself, Dan walks toward the cage while Shunji balls his hand into a fist.

Damsari calls out to her again and again while Kang To watches her go. Shunji stands immobile. Damsari cries and Dan, closing her eyes for a brief second, opens the cage door. Kono grabs her back-doesn’t she have any fear? How can she just give her life away like that? She retorts back “Should I beg for my life to beasts who would kill a child in front of her parents? If I die, I die, but I will not kneel before beasts.” Aaaaaaaand I breathe a sigh of relief. Kono knows they won’t talk if they didn’t give in already and knows he has to look for another way to get the results he wants.

Kono composes himself and barks an order before leaving-transfer Damsari immediately and capture Dan. Kang To immediately nods in relief. Once Kono’s gone, Shunji lets out the breath he was holding and Dan rushes back to her father. Damsari holds her in relief. Shunji walks out in shock while Kang To stands there looking at the father-daughter pair.

Shunji sits in his office when Kang To walks in to get the keys to unlock Damsari—they have to move him per Kono’s orders. But Shunji asks why he’s in such a hurry, wanting to wait another day to get more information out of him. Kang To knows Shunji is upto something but the latter won’t say. He rushes to Kono’s office and is outside the door when he hears Kono’s shouts and stops midway. Kono calls Shunji no different from his father—they can’t behave that way. But Shunji argues that giving up Damsari like this means everything is in vain and they are no closer to finding Gaksital.

He says that they’ve just witnessed the lengths to which father and daughter will go—they’ll die before they talk. It’s a dead end. The only way to draw Damsari’s accomplices and Gaksital out all in one blow… is to publicly execute Damsari.

Kang To rushes back and heads to the interrogation room where Damsari is telling Dan the only person who can help her is Kang To. She’s surprised to hear him say that-he should know better than anyone what kind of person Kang To is but Damsari sticks to his instincts that Kang To is a Joseon person at heart: “He showed tears in front of me as he begged that he wanted to save you, that he had to save you.” She wonders why he’d do that and thinks back to his confession at the restaurant.

Just then, Kang To rushes in, followed by Abe who orders Damsari taken. Dan asks why-what will they do to him there? Will he be executed right away? Kang To can’t reply and averts her gaze. Abe carries Damsari out and Kang To stops Dan from following. He whispers to her before leaving, “Listen well, before we arrive at the prison, I’m going to help your father escape.” A stunned Dan watches him walk away.

Outside the station, the freedom fighters sit in a car and watch Damsari being taken away in a truck. They give chase. Shunji returns to his office and makes a call to his father who balks at the order as well-has Kono gone mad to kill the man without finding out what he knows. Kimura reports it to Rie who is standing close by. Rie orders them to go ahead with the plan anyway, and Shunji calls the station into action: they have to stop that truck from reaching the prison.

The police truck carrying Damsari is driving away. Kang To and Damsari watch each other. The truck comes across a car parked in the middle of the road. The driver and passenger get off to investigate but are shot dead. So are the other soldiers who stand. The comrades then decide to kill Kang To as well. Don’t tell me Damsari dies here or Kang To? Damsari shrugs off Kang To and jumps off but Kang To’s right behind him and holds him down behind a tree, asking him to stay still.

Seeing one of the Japanese about to shoot the freedom fighter, Kang To turns his gun on him and shoots him in the arm. Awesome. That has Damsari surprised and he turns to look at Kang To. One by one, all the soldiers fall.

Right behind on the tracks a distance away, Shunji and cohorts are coming. Uh oh! In the forest, the freedom fighter and Kang To and Damsari approach each other. While their guns are pointed towards Kang To, his is raised to the air. Damsari smiles at his comrades. The woman levels her gun at Kang To-demanding he hand over Damsari.

He turns to look at Damsari who looks back at him and then lets go. He turns back to Kang To while his comrade readies to fire at him. Damsari bursts out, “No!” and a shot is fired but the comrade falls down-shot at by Shunji and the police force in the back, their guns leveled at the freedom fighters with Kang To caught in the middle.


First thoughts first-how one earth is anyone going to survive that sure massacre the cliffhanger ending is proposing may happen?! Also, why isn’t the ending theme released yet, I so LOVE it!

One of the best things about this episode was the reaction of Tamao and the way he then approached his father. His words, that he feels dirty and would rather be hit by Gaksital show that no matter the perks and enjoyments you get from being the elite-the fact always remains that you are not true to yourself or by your very ideals as Joseon people. However much the Count or Countess may groom themselves, from within, they will always be people with Joseon blood and their true land-no matter their claim will still be Joseon. What Tamao feels is exactly that-yes, his father betrayed his country for a better future but is it really better or is it just a matter of perspective? How can you justify yourself as the better off person when you are a traitor to what can be called yours?!

I love the battle of wits between Kang To and Shunji. It brings Kang To back into the foray he is so well versed in-being the bad guy! While he’s no longer the man he once was, his persona from then is becoming his perfect alibi against Gaksital. And it’s the return of the Kang To we saw in the beginning-the man whom everyone feared because he was too shrewd and he knew all too well! Smart ass Kang To, welcome back! ^^

One of the plus points in this drama is that it doesn’t have to exaggerate tension and conflict! The situations and the stakes don’t need exaggerations to make us squirm in our seats, they are so poignant and loaded in themselves!

And I loved that Kang To is finally starting to eke out the truth in bleak amounts. For him, the stakes as Gaksital and Kang To are much much higher and even more so now that Shunji suspects him of being Gaksital, so the best thing he could do at that time was to tell the truth-or a half version of it anyway because that one sentence was enough to justify his actions without bringing him to spotlight in the wrong way. It’s like he’s realized the less he lies, the less he’ll have to cover up his tracks with more deceit. It seems the more Kang To is backed into a corner, the more ingenious and clever he gets! And the way he completely floors Shunji *Double triple fistpump* Yaaayyyy!!!

Kang To and Damsari-I so hope this is a bromance in the making and all signs point to it as such. After the way Kang To turns to Damsari the last time with his ‘question’, I loved Damsari telling Dan to trust Kang To even though at that time, he had no solid reason to believe Kang To was reformed except for his gut instinct. And the way he looks at Kang To in the forest which Kang To doesn’t notice-he’s finally seeing proof that Kang To indeed is a ‘Joseon’ person. I really want him to be the first person to place the Gaksital connection since after all, he has the most reason to suspect the connection apart from Shunji. He saw Kang To and the note from him to his alias ‘Tae Gun’ and Kang To came to warn him of the danger at the commemoration party, albeit indirectly; Kang To let him pass through at the event and after it, when he was caught, Kang To has done his best to keep Damsari from being tortured more and the question Kang To asked him shows genuine curiosity. It would be even more poignant watching him become a figure of guidance for Kang To. Kang To’s question and mannerisms mirrored his sentiments when he used to look up to hyung! If that happens, it’ll be as if Kang To is finding family-the one thing he lost when hyung and mom were killed.

And Dan! Yaaayyyyy to her guts when she went to the torture box on her own feet! She’s been somewhat passive throughout the series but there have been moments when she’s shone as well and this is one of those moments! It conveys a great message-loyalty may cause you pain but its a worthy sentiment! Still, that doesn’t forgive her older mishaps-the girl seriously needs some training both in maintaining a disguise AND fighting-at least to the point of defending herself! She needs to be stronger and tougher than she already is, which is also good, but just not *Gaksital* awesome!

As it is, I can’t wait to see more of Kang To! ^^


About hitomiakiko

Architect and Aspiring Writer

Posted on July 20, 2012, in Asian Cinema, Asian Comics, Entertainment, Korean Cinema, Manhwas, Potpourri, Recaps, Uncategorized, Written Excerpts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. OHMYGOD, my heart almost stopped breathing. YAY for an awesome episode.

    When Kang To said that he loved Mok Dan my jaw literally fell, what are you saying but then I thought its perfect because its true.

    Koiso you son of a bitch and Shunji you are such a bastard, he is your childhood best friend.

    Somebody is falling hard for Kang To (and no its not me) its Rie.

    I m sure Shunji was the one who ordered Koiso but is pretending now. DIE
    Stupid Shunji instead of offering a handkerchief give him a COMB.

    Ack its almost true what Kang To is telling Shunji and THANK GOD for the cover not being blown.

    Yes, Shunji how can you even think that Kang To is Gaksital, you dont even believe your best friend, shame on you.

    Jo was a good guy after all.

    Loved the scene when Kang To turned the table on Shunji. YAY for smart Kang To.

    So funny when Koiso came running only to realize that it was Kang To who called.

    YAY again for Kang to being the smart and bad ass guy.

    Kang To found not guilty -phew safe-

    Kang To should punched or kicked Koiso (for destroying his hair style), i mean for hitting him that badly.

    When Shunji closed the blinds and stepped closer and closer that was super creepy and not comfortable for me and as well as for Mok Dan too.

    Lovely scene between Kang To and Shunji. YAY for Kang To

    Then that means Tamao is a good guy.

    Yup Shunji, Kang To is a true friend not like you at all.

    Everbody was in panic in the interrogation room me too and I was screaming STOP her Kang To or even Shunji….. and its Kono, well whoever it is she is safe.

    Shunji has gone completely EVIL.

    Thank you Damsari for knowing that Kang To is a good guy now hurry up and connect the dots that he is Gaksital too.

    Oh you freedom fighters cant you wait, you are going to spoil his plan.

    YAY Damsari is believing more and more in Kang To.


    another CLIFFHANGER

    oh noes they are not going to air Gaksital for two weeks, TWO WEEKS, if its for Olympics I dont care, I have no interest in that, I want to watch Gaksital.

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