Gaksital aka Bridal Mask Episode 22 Recap
The above is a scene I totally loved from this episode because it is such a poignant moment where Kang To faces his loss once more and t is as fresh and as hurting as before but here, he shares it with the freedom fighting comrades and its like in this moment, he takes their outstretched hand and they offer him support without question and without hesitation. After Damsari accepted him and the others gave his life for him because of him as Gaksital, this is the moment where he is Lee Kang To and seen and accepted for that by everyone else as well!
I’ll put in screencaps later since I saw the episode online and couldn’t get screencaps so they’ll be up maybe tomorrow, maybe over the weekend but till then, enjoy the recap! 😉 See you tomorrow hopefully with Arang Episode 1’s Recap!
Episode 22 Recap:
Gaksital strikes down President of the Newspaper Park for his crimes and makes his getaway before the police arrive to the scene. Back at the police station, Kang To sneaks in and wipes at his sweat. Finally making his way downstairs, he runs into Shunji, lying in wait for him. Uh oh!
Shunji gets up to face Kang To and Kang To visibly swallows-his expression of surprise and shock. Shunji walks forward to face Kang To who apologizes for being late and asks if everyone has gone somewhere. Somehow the smile on Shunji’s face made me laugh! He nods, saying everyone went out on a task and asks for some iced coffee. Again, Kang To asks if he wants lots of ice and Shunji nods, smiling. Going back into his office, Shunji mutters to himself in voiceover as he watches Kang To leave-“Do you think you can deceive me to the end? Just wait and see! I will take off that mask of yours with my own hands!”
Shunji sit sitting contemplating when Kang to brings back his iced coffee and he invites the latter to sit, while drinking and asks Kang To to help him a bit-take over Gaksital’s case. Kang To asks what he’s going to do then since Gaksital is his case but Shunji makes the excuse of already having too much on his hands because of yesterday’s incident with the athlete and because there are rumors of another rebellion beginning so he has to deal with that. Kang To points out Koiso is now higher by rank but Shunji counters-don’t you want your old position back? Kang To agrees and only asks that Koiso is taken off his back from the case.
Just then, Koiso bursts in and relates that Park is dead. Shunji takes it in stride, telling him Sato Hiroshi will be in charge now and tells him to stay out of the case. Kang To says he’ll head to the scene first and Shunji gives the go ahead. As he walks away, Kang To turns back to see Shunji and Koiso in discussion, frowning over the sudden change. Just then, the phone rings and Kang To answers. It’s Dan on the other end, asking him to come over to the tailor shop immediately-there is a guest waiting to meet him.
Shunji exits his office as he sees Kang To leaving. Koiso begins to ask Ishida to follow but Shunji orders him not to. He says its more important to make Kang To feel secure right now.
At the Tailors, Kang To arrives and finds Damsari there. Both meet gladly and with smiles and the tailor is surprised to see Kang To being led inside to their secret place. Downstairs, they are met by a woman who tells him Teacher is waiting. Damsari tells Kang To Teacher has been waiting and quite anxious to meet him. Kang To follows them inside to another room where Yang Baek is at a table and practicing calligraphy.
He gets up gladly and Kang To bows his head to him, introducing himself. Coming around the table, he stops Kang To from bowing to him fully and thanks him with a hug. He then asks the woman to bring them tea. Along with tea, they are given potatoes. Kang To looks surprised at the potatoes and Yang tells him that he was told to present him with potatoes when he met him. They were specifically boiled by his mother and he starts peeling them up. Damsari also comments that all the way here, Yang Baek had been itching to reach and be able to do this very task.
Yang gives one of the potatoes to Kang To who finally takes a bite, tears in his eyes. Chewing slowly, he is reminded of the last time he and his mother and hyung had eaten boiled potatoes. At that time, Kang San had been in university and Kang To had been clutching hyung’s shoes which were torn and refused to give them up, citing their state and commented that they’ll have to buy hyung new shoes foremost now. Laughingly, they had played with the potatoes, playfully shoving them into each other’s mouth.
Reminded of that scene, Kang To cannot hold back his tears and silently sits there, chewing and crying. Yang Baek places a cup of water in front of him with another smile, understanding his pain and silently allowing him the chance for grief. Kang To accepts the cup and continues his silent eat and cry while Damsari also looks at him fondly.
At Angel Club, Tamao, or is it Tomoe-I’m lost, I’ll use Tamao is in a reckless mood and keeps drinking away his frustration at being slapped by Tasha. Everyone around is already tired of his childish behavior and he rants-are they looking down on him too? So what if he’s cowardly? The waiter rightfully points out “Is that something to brag about? Being cowardly and thoughtless? Everyone’s afraid, but you have to do what you have to do!” He tells Tamao to quiet down-Tasha is meeting an important guest right now. That perks him up-an important guest? Of course, he takes it in the she is entertaining an important guest sort of way.
In reality, she is meeting the new freedom fighter who has come with Damsari. She relates the news of the reporters arrest and he worries that his arrest means he probably didn’t pass on the letter to Dong Jin. They wonder what to do if it wasn’t passed on but the guy asks her which police station he’s being kept at. Before she can persist, Tamao bursts in to crash the party. Drunk, he asks if he’s Tasha’s new lover and getting in the guy’s face, asks what their relationship is. The guy easily knocks him out with one hit just as the waiter rushes up. The guy gets ready to leave and shakes hands with the waiter, telling him they’ll meet again soon! The waiter vows to do anything he can to help them. When he’s gone, Tasha tells the waiter to get rid of Tamao first.
At the meeting, Kang To reveals that the police already know Yang Baek is headed here. “If you get caught you will be killed. Why come here facing such danger?” Yang Baek tells him he came to meet Dong Jin and Kang To recognizes the name, just like Taro did. The woman adds that Yang Baek came because he didn’t want more young people dying in his stead. Every time he sent a messenger to Dong Jin, they would be killed before they could to their destination so Baek had no choice but to come.
Damsari adds that he also tried to meet him before but there were too many enemies so they couldn’t meet and Yang Baek tells Kang To, “We have to find him. Finding him, with my strength and his, there is something we must definitely do together!” Just then their new comrade returns with the news that the letter hasn’t been able to reach Dong Jin since the reporter was captured.
The captured reporter-Reporter Song is currently being whipped by Koiso as Shunji watches. Finally calling a stop to the torture Shunji tells him he’s a reporter so he should know very well when people should start speaking. Shunji accuses him of being the one who distributed the flags and timed it so that it would be when the athlete was passing. Song laughs in his face-is that what you think? Seeing as how Song refuses to cooperate, Shunji orders him to be stripped. Stripping him to his undergarments, Shunji finds the letter tucked away in his sleeve and reads it.
It says to let ahjusshi know that grandfather is coming. It takes Shunji mere moments to deduce that grandfather is Yang Baek and ahjusshi is Dong Jin. Song closes his eyes in mortification for having lost the secret.
The letter gets passed to Taro who crumples it up. In the meeting of the police officers, they wonder what the two could be up to and Yoshio also exclaims he is uneasy about the two meeting up. Yang Baek is responsible for troubles they have experienced overseas while Dong Jin has stirred numerous rebellions here at Joseon. Taro tells Shunji to catch Yang Baek or Dong Jin soon and to prevent a meeting at all costs. Shunji agrees.
At the meeting spot, all the comrades are lost in thought when Kang To proposes trying to talk to Song and finding out what he can about where Dong Jin is based. Damsari rightly points out that Song would never talk to Lee Kang To because he thinks he is the enemy. At that, Yang Baek gives him a note with the word “cohesion” on it. He tells Kang To to show the note to Song and he will know Kang To is not the enemy. The woman explains it is a note Baek uses when communicating with comrades so Song will recognize it. The new comrade points out that Song might not believe it since Yang’s writing has changed. Damsari tells Kang To to tell Song it is because of a bullet. Baek had gotten shot but the bullet could not be removed and that is why his writing has been affected. Kang To picks the note and promises to find out about Dong Jin ASAP.
At the police station, Kang To is stopped from going into the interrogation room and Shunji walks up, asking him why he’d want to go in and offers to ask up whatever info he needs but Kang To points out-didn’t you say you’d leave it up to me? Still, Kang To is denied access so he makes his way to the records room where Shunji spies him looking through a file. Once Kang To leaves, Shunji goes in and looks up the file name, realizing he looked up Dong Jin’s file. He whispers all the clues to himself-trying to meet Song, looking uo Dong Jin’s information, “Is Lee Kang To really on Yang Baek’s side? Then, is he really Gaksital?” Putting the file back, he heads out.
At Ueno’s place, Park’s son is here to demand justice against his father’s killer Gaksital. He offers to give everything up to Kishokai as long as they get his revenge. Ueno turns to Rie who apologizes. Ueno tells her if another Kishokai member dies, her life would be over. Her eyes widen and Kachiyama looks at her in alarm. Ueno promises Park’s son they will get revenge for him and he promises to put his life on the line for them then. After he’s gone, Ueno turns to Rie and tells her to perform better in her task.
Kang To approaches the interrogation room again since there are no guards around but when he goes in, Song is not there. Ah, Shunji, you move fast. Speaking of the devil, Shunji goes to see Rie and confronts her once more.
“Ueno Rie, I will ask you one last time. You know I can go straight to your father as soon as I leave this room, that I won’t be lenient on you, right? Lee Kang To is Gaksital, right?”
She smirks in response and says he really has lost his mind because of a girl. The last time they fought Gaksital he was hurt on his arm and thigh so she already checked Kang To when Shunji said he was suspicious of him but there were no scars there. It was all clean. Shunji can’t believe it-how did she confirm it? She asks-why, think I’m lying again? “Of course, this is the level of your judgment.” She turns to leave with that retort but he shouts at her-how did she find out? She tells him to go and ask Masako.
Which he promptly does. Masako tells him Lala and Rie met sometime back and that Kang To got drunk so Rie left him with Masako and left. Unable to believe he can be so wrong, Shunji turns to Angel Club where he goes on a drinking spree. Most of all, he is bothered by Rie’s words that he has lost his judgment because of Dan.
Kang To sits with Baek Gun and tells him there is no way to contact Dong Jin and he can’t find Song either. Baek Gun asks if he has family but Kang To tells him they died when his house was blown up. Baek Gun points out the baddies are people who killed the King and Queen, they wouldn’t hesitate over anything. He tells Baek they have to do their best to try and find Dong Jin. “Yang Baek said there is something he needs to do with Dong Jin, so we have to make sure they meet!”
The Count and Countess go to meet Taro and lament about how the Count is not given any responsible position. A good decision on the baddies part, I’d say! Who’d want to hear the Count shrieking all day? And I didn’t wait to hear the whole conversation.
Shunji asks Koiso to call Gye Soon. She’s about to leave when she spies Kang To coming and hides behind a desk. Inside, Sun Hwa, Nanda and Dan are doing laundry. Sun Hwa is still ecstatic over their adventure of raising the Joseon flag the other day and shares the details with Dan who smiles back at her. Nanda is not feeling so optimistic but Dan asks Sun Hwa to show her the flag again.
Dan is looking at the flag and overcome with emotion as she sees it too when Sun Hwa reveals that the person who gave it to her was from the ‘Dong Jin’ group just as the door opens-it’s Kang To. Nanda hurriedly grabs the flag away and stuffs it into his shirt. Haha! So obvious. Kang To tells Dan to come with him and heads away as Sun Hwa worries that he’s probably seen the flag but Dan tells her not to worry and follows Kang To out.
In her room, they sit face to face and he tells her he really wants to help Yang Baek but there’s not much he can do. Dan asks what the favor was that Yang Baek asked and Kang To tells her it was to find a way to contact Dong Jin. The name resonates with her and she tells him Sun Hwa met someone who was from Dong Jin’s group. She offers to ask around and find out but he worries she’ll be in danger. She points out that what he does is a lot more dangerous. Taking her hand in his, they sit there, smiling at each other.
Gye Soon sits with Shunji who asks if she’s seen Damsari yet since its likely he’s back in Kyungsung. She hasn’t and he tells her to keep a close eye on Dan-who she meets, where she goes, be her shadow. Gye Soon tells him she saw Kang To coming to the dorm a while ago and he comes a lot. And the evil frown’s back! Yup, evil mode ON! Even Gye Soon is trembling. Shunji wonders if he’s going there to get info on Dong Jin. He offers her money and tells her to report everything to him-when she meets Kang To, what they talk about, where Dan goes, who she meets? Once Gye Soon’s gone, Shunji puts on his Kishokai ring.
Gye Soon arrives back at the dorm to find Sun Hwa and Dan headed out and follows them. Sun Hwa says she can recognize the man when she sees him and runs around looking for him. While searching, Dan catches sight of Gye Soon spying on them and goes to confirm if its her. Gye Soon makes a run for it but Dan’s fast and she corners him from another end. She points out how much Shunji has already hurt people-Jo and Dong Nyeo! Does she think she’ll be fine? However much she likes money, is it better than her life? What would have happened to the girls if Gaksital hadn’t helped them. Throughout the exchange, Gye Soon looks conflicted but sinally shouts at Dan “I’ll take care of my matters!” and stomps off. Still, she seems half conflicted by Dan’s words.
Sun Hwa is still on the lookout and its fire-man who catches sight of her first. Recognizing her, he comes up to her and asks her name. She’s too happy at having found him to notice that and starts cheering and gesturing to Dan, exclaiming, “I found him! I found him!” Dan comes up and they exchange greetings and ask him if he’s from Dong Jin’s group. He remembers her from the day he saved her from Kang To.
Dan calls up Kang To and he thanks her for her hard work, asking where ‘friends’ currently are. Jo watches as she makes the call, commenting at how he’s still surprised Kang To is helping them but since the day he came here to ask for his help in saving her, he’s felt Kang To was totally different. Dan jokes with him-if Shunji bothers you again, Kang To won’t sit still! Jo comments that it is good to have support in the police.
Shunji walks down the corridor and comes to meet Ueno. Damn! After bowing, he gets straight to the topic.
Shunji: “Is it ok if I kill your daughter?”
Shunji: “Ueno Rie definitely knows Gaksital is but she still won’t reveal it so this is the only way.”
Ueno: “I told you to catch Yang, didn’t I?”
Shunji: “Yang is connected with Gaksital. If we just catch Gaksital, we can catch Yang and Dong Jin all together.”
Ueno (thoughtful): “What you said about Ueno Rie knowing who Gaksital is, that isn’t a lie right?”
Shunji: “I would stake my life on it. Gaksital will for sure help Dong Jin’s group member escape. This is the chance to catch the guy.”
Ueno: “How can I help?”
Shunji: “I need your samurai.”
Kang To and the comrades sit in a meeting and the new comrade proposes to go and meet Dong Jin since Dong Jin knows his face but Kang To says he will go instead. He wants to go and make sure all will be well. When Yang points out Dong Jin won’t know him, Kang To says he will know Gaksital. And so Gaksital rides through the forest to the rendezvous point with fire-man. As he’s wondering who is coming, Gaksital rides up to him.
He’s surprised to see Gaksital but happily so and moves in for a hug-“Gaksital! You don’t know how much I like you, do you?” Backing away, he still gapes at Gaksital, wondering if it’s a dream. He takes Gaksital’s hand and thanks him over and over. Gaksital/Kang To asks for Dong Jin so the man takes him to a training camp where Dong Jin is watching as men are training.
Kang To shows him the note by Yang Baek and for a few moments, the man looks away, eyes filled with emotion. He says he understands what Yang Baek means but if they are to work together, they need to get Reporter Song out first. If they get Song out, Dong Jin will work with Yang Baek. Gaksital tells him he will make sure to help Song escape but Dong Jin says Yang Baek should do it. Gaksital disagrees-Yang Baek said he and Dong Jin had a bigger purpose to serve. “In this, please trust me and leave it to me.” Dong Jin silently holds his hand out for a shake.
Kang To distributes papers for a meeting and when Abe takes his, he winks at Kang To, thanking him with his former title. Aww, why you so cutie?! Shunji walks out but coughs as if sick and turning to Koiso, asking about Song’s transfer and tells him to take responsibility and do it himself. Kang To’s eyes perk at that-to Gaksital, it’s an opportunity to strike. NO! It’s a trap, dammit! Shunji says he’ll be taking the day off and announces he is going to see Yoshio. Everyone walks away from the table and Kang To thoughtfully watches Shunji go up, walking dazedly as if sick.
Upstairs, he straightens and walks straight. Going to see Yoshio he reveals he’s put a plan into motion to catchYang Baek and his group today which is why he wants the rest of the day off. Yoshio asks what the plan is but Shunji doesn’t reveal it and Yoshio, calling him insolent, tells him he had better succeed at it-he won’t let it go if he fails.
Kang To calls up the comrades to let them know Song will be moved today. He runs into Shunji who bids him goodbye for the day and coughs some more, pretending to be sick. Away from Kang To, his eyes harden and he walks away with another signature evil smile.
Koiso and his minions put Song into a truck and zoom out of the police station. Just a few turns away down the road, Kang To/Gaksital is waiting. Koiso orders his minion to driver over Gaksital but Gaksital runs to the side in time, uses the wall as leverage jumps up, knocking the driver out with his flute. He knocks the gun out of Koiso’s hand with a single blow and beats him some more. As he fights the soldiers who get off the truck, the freedom fighter Gaksital called up jumps down from the bridge above and knocks out the soldiers in the truck. Badass fight on two ends!
Releasing Song, the two make their getaway while Gaksital fights the last man. As soon as he knocks the last man out, a sword comes flashing at him from the side-it’s Ueno’s Samurai. Damn! I knew it! Shunji!! Kang To fights the samurai but like in his fights with Kachiyama, his skills aren’t enough. He gets cut first on his arms and then on his waist. *hands fisted in frustration* The fight goes hand to hand when Kang To knocks the sword out of the samurai’s hands but even then, baddie’s pretty badass and Gaksital simply gets knocked down. He makes his getaway in a distracted moment and Samurai doesn’t give chase. Which gets my spidey sense tingling that worse is just around the corner.
Kang To limps away, weak and weaker by the moment until he finally falls to the ground unconscious. As he lies there in the street, Shunji walks out from the corner and approaches him. Kneeling by the unconscious figure, Shunji braces himself and takes Gaksital’s mask off. Beneath it is Kang To. Shunji’s face contorts with astonished disbelief that gradually turns to a mask of furiousness at betrayal and finally, what seems to be anger.
The new preview will be out on Monday guys, so till then, let’s all hope no one goes crazy wondering what’ll happen next, hehe! Although truth be told, you guys would be surprised to know I am not freaking out and not even worried about what might happen-weirdly, I am quite calm. Today’s probably my ‘carefree attitude’ day so I’m not the least bit anxious or my nails are still intact! Happens most of the time and just at the best moments or I’d be losing my sanity right now. Epic stories tend to do that to me. Every time ! ! !
How awesome was that ending?! Gaksital knows the meaning of cliffhangers and it totally leaves us at them every episode every week! I loved the ending scene-it was beautiful with such detail-Shunji walking out the corner but slowly, gradually making his way towards Gaksital on the ground, not even in a straight path headed straight for him. And when he finally does reach, for a moment, he stands there, looking at him. All the while, he’s breathing visibly. Finally, with a look around him and a visible setting of the jaw, he leans down over the unconscious figure. Even after he unties the mask, for a moment, his breathing quickens and he visibly braces himself, once more before putting his hand down to remove it.
How slowly, and in a slightly trembling manner does his hand move! And slowly, inch by inch, he removes the mask rather than taking it off in one sweep. And once it’s off and the recognition and realization hits him, his face slowly contorts-first from astonishment and disbelief to a slight scowl with wide eyes evident the way his brows furrow together slightly and then in the way he purses his lips. Finally comes the anger-lips open and yet jaw tight with brows furrowed together furiously and the slight quivering of his lower lip. In this expression, behind his evident anger, I’d wager there is actually hurt as well. And the way his body trembles slightly throughout it, as soon as he removes the mask and recognizes Kang To? It’s like facing a fact that you’d really not wish to face-something you anticipated but wished and prayed wouldn’t be true.
I still hate Shunji and don’t believe there’s much chance for him at redemption-hell, there’s no way he’s letting Gaksital live, if not for anything else than for the fact that it is the man Dan loves and in that matter, Shunji, like Rie said has totally lost his objectivity! But sometimes, you look at him and he lets you glimpse his vulnerable side, his human side-his conscience. The way Dan’s words pricked at him regarding her loved ones in episode 21 was just such an example! The guy does feel remorse, even if it’s just a tiny bit and deep, very deep down. The way he braces himself in that last scene speaks volumes and reminds you of the Shunji that once used to be.
I think the reason why Shunji is alone in this scene is because of the very fact that while he truly believed Kang To was Gaksital, he never really thought of the consequences of the fact if that were true. Right now that he’s facing the fact alone, it’s doing the same thing to him what finding out about Dan did to Kang To-shake him to his core. He has to face the fact that his suspicions were true and that Kang To is indeed Gaksital. More than that, it’s like a final stamp on the fact that he and Kang To are truly enemies. To this day, I love Kang To’s comment to Shunji-maybe they should never have been friends in the first place. But it’s that very friendship that stands between the two right now. Maybe Shunji was afraid of the very fact that it was Kang To as Gaksital but until he saw it for himself, he couldn’t decide what that made him feel and until then, he couldn’t decide what his fate would be. Somehow, in this scene, Shunji was more about finding out who Gaksital was rather than to have him captured. If it meant to capture him, he would have had his men around and ready. Maybe, like Rie couldn’t bring herself to shoot Kang To in the forest, Shunji isn’t so ruthless he’d send Kang To straight into the lion’s den without a thought.
That is not to say he won’t send Kang To to the lion’s den. With Shunji, he’s usually been the bad guy with no remorse or conscience and yet there’s no telling what might come next and that is exactly what makes him so captivating even when he is evil. Because even in those dark moments, his humanity seeps through at times and you’re left feeling for the man that he once was. Yet even in his most humane state, there were times when he wasn’t above using all for the sake of his own ambition-example-he had Dan whipped in the very beginning when he became a police officer.
Rie is also in deep waters now because Ueno has reason to doubt her loyalty while Shunji has no plans to be easy on her either. The ‘Kill Ueno Rie’ plan will make its reappearance, I think because face it or not, Rie is no longer a trusted member of Kishokai because Ueno will distrust her. He already holds her weakness as a Joseon against her and rather than thinking of her as a daughter, he uses her as a pawn. Maybe this will give her the realization that she truly needs to change her decisions in life herself and not, like Kang To said, for someone else.
The whole Yang Baek-Dong Jin-Damsari angle is being set up quite well and I wonder if this will continue to the end. It would be good and I can’t wait to see what it is that Baek-Jin-Damsari actually do. And as usual, I’d totally totally totally die for a happy ending! After all this angst, please! It HAS to be happy!
Kang To has finally slipped and this is one mess he cannot get out of. But danger is a part of his life now and let’s see what happens now that the two friends have been posed for the epic battle amongst them!
Alright enough ranting! It’s half past two am here already and I have to head off for Sehri preps so see you guys later! If I manage to come up with more to comment on, I’ll probably add it to the upcoming preview post! 😉
Posted on August 16, 2012, in Asian Cinema, Asian Comics, Entertainment, Korean Cinema, Manhwas, Potpourri, Recaps, Uncategorized, Written Excerpts and tagged Bridal Mask episode 22 recap, bridal mask recaps, Dan, diary, Drama, entertainment, friends, Gaksital, gaksital recaps, Kang, Kang To, kdrama, Korean drama, life, love, misc, miscellaneous, musings, personal, random, random thoughts, recaps, reflections, Relationships, Romance, Shunji, stories, story, thoughts, Writers Resources, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.