Gaksital aka Bridal Mask Episode 24 Recap
Just one persons loss is so gut wrenching at times! Our hero and allies are getting smarter and more adept at outsmarting the enemy-moreover, they are together as comrades and ready to lay down their lives for the cause. We get to see fighters who are better than the enemy, even when outgunned. We get the satisfaction of seeing the enemy at a loss for once. And we finally get the definite picture of just how much our villain is gone onto the bad side and just how manipulative, how evil he truly is when it comes to taking what he wants.
Episode 24 Recap:
Gaksital is already burning the fourth building when Shunji, Kang To and the rest of the police force make their way to it. Kang To, ordered by Shunji, jumps into the fray and attacks Gaksital but his blows aren’t effective-he allows the other man the upper hand. Shunji captures one of the masked men who helps Gaksital and comes back, only to find Kang To being knocked out. He shoots at Gaksital, but the latter gets away and he stares at the unconscious Kang To on the ground.
At the police station, Shunji puts an ice pack to Kang To’s back of the neck and asks, “Are you alright?” To himself, he mutters, “You bastard!” As they face each other, Shunji wonders aloud-why did all the Gaksital’s show up at once. Voiceover- “Don’t tell me, you didn’t realize I took off your mask, did you?” Kang To reminds him he already said there was more than one. But Shunji counters-there is only one real Gaksital-the one who killed his hyung and the rest are just fakes-like the one that blew himself up at Damsari’s execution. I love the way Kang To’s alert the moment Shunji says those first words.
Shunji starts to speculate-why would they burn the registry offices? It is a seemingly unconnected matter. Kang To says the same-he wonders why and Shunji tells himself in voiceover, “Yang Baek, Dong Jin and you, whatever you’re planning together, you think I won’t find out.” Kang To asks Shunji a favor-let him question the man they caught. He never had evidence so there’s nothing he could do but he’s sure that man is the one who lit the fire on his house. Shunji asks why he let a man like that be and Kang To asks for ten minutes. Shunji agrees-however much time he wants. Kang To thanks him and heads to the interrogation room.
Shunji eyes him and follows. He stands in the room next door and watches through the screen. Kang To beats down on the man immediately. “It was you, wasn’t it? You were the one who killed my mom and hyung!” Fire-man retorts-they put his house on fire because they hated him but never killed anyone. “You think I am like you?” He shouts at Kang To. Kang To continues to beat him and Shunji watches. Shunji’s convinced that Kang To doesn’t know he’s taken off his mask yet. He leaves.
Kang To picks up the guy, puts him back in his seat and asks him where Dong Jin is but he retorts that he won’t talk. Kang To turns back to the other officer in the room and tells him he’s about to beat the guy and might even kill him since he might overdo the torture. Would it be okay, especially if he stands by and watches. The officer understands and leaves-he doesn’t want to be caught in a mess but tells Kang To not to overdo it.
Kang To turns back to fire-man, discreetly making sure Shunji is not watching and lays out the paper Yang Baek had given him in front of him. Fire-man stares at the paper, eyes wide. Kang To tells him, “Thanks to you I was able to meet Teacher Dong Jin and show him this. Thank you.” Fire-man stares at him, totally flabbergasted-what did he say? The only man he remembers taking was Gaksital and Kang To asks him if he could help him, Yang Baek and Dong Jin? The man’s still reeling and asks Kang To to relay where they met, before going to meet Dong Jin. Kang To narrates the place and even what the man had said before taking him to meet Dong Jin. “You said you liked Gaksital. That you didn’t know if it was a dream or reality.”
The man is totally in shock and looking around once more, Kang To turns back to him, slapping his face lightly, reminding him there is no time to lose. Before the others realize what’s happening, Kang To tells him, he has to misdirect them during investigation. The man asks how and Kang To tells him, but we are unable to hear it.
Taro calls up Shunji and tells him to catch the culprits for the registry burning incident-Dong Jin and Yang Baek are definitely together in this so Shunji needs to catch them all! Shunji darts back out of his office.
Kang To tells fire-man Shunji will want to know where Dong Jin is and instructs him to act as if he’s caved and tell Shunji lies and he has to make Shunji believe him. Just then, Shunji backs out around the corner and sees the officer who was supposed to be inside standing outside the room.
Suspicious at once, Shunji darts in to the room and finds Kang To strangling fire-man against the wall. Takeda immediately draws Kang To off at Shunji’s order and fire-man gasps for air, watching Kang To with hatred. Shunji orders the man taken away immediately and asks Kang To if he admitted to the deed. Kang To says he said he wouldn’t admit is since there was no evidence and Kang To lets out a deep breath once Shunji’s gone.
Governor Wada goes a verbal round at Taro for the debacle with Gaksitals burning up the registries. Yoshio suggests they should just kill them all to keep that from happening but Taro argues-they are the people the Empire needs to use for their war-how can they just kill them without making use of them? Wada suggests making new registries and to give them Japanese names. Yoshio argues again but Taro agrees with the governor-to make use of the people, this is what they need to do.
Yang Baek and his comrades hold a meeting to deal with the new registry matter. Dan proposes using the circus people’s help with it-warning the people against registering themselves. Their plan is to keep Koreans from ending up as sacrificial lambs on the war front, and instead recruit them to be trained by Dong Jin’s squads in secret.
The biggest need then, is money—to go on a grand scale, they need more funds to sustain them. Tasha suggests the empire’s defense funds.
Meanwhile, the Count finally gets a certificate from the governor in gratitude of the plane they have donated to the Empire. Wada assures the two that the time has come when Koreans will also be rewarded for services to the Empire.
At the Police Station, fire-man is being tortured by Shunji. With a passive and somewhat lost look, Shunji keeps burning the man. Shunji asks him about the fire and he says he doesn’t know anything about it. Shunji simply continues to burn the guy and takes pleasure in imagining it is Kang To screaming out in pain instead. As he imagines it is Kang To, he even smirks, probably relishing the thought of doing it once he has captured Kang To as Gaksital once and for all. And that my dear, is why you are a true psychopath!
Much later, Shunji’s still at it and asks the guy-will he still not talk? As if balking under the torture, fire-man ekes out that he will talk, he will tell them everything. Elsewhere in the police station, Kang To sits at his table, anxiously tapping the table and wondering about the investigation. Fire-man lays out the details-to blow up the central headquarters. Shunji wants to know where Dong Jin is but fire-man tells him Dong Jin would always come to meet himself and reveals that Yang Baek and Dong Jin have already met.
Shunji orders Kang To to be called and fire-man balks, as if in fear-why? Shunji tsks tsks, telling fire-man Kang To has it in for him. Kang To arrives and reels to see the guy tortured so much. Shunji turns back to him-does he feel better now? Shunji says he tortured him just for that. Kang To asks if Shunji was able to find something out but Shunji shakes his head and smiles, as he did last time with Jo-it was a waste of time, he says, but at least he made fire-man suffer.
He orders Takeda to put fire-man into a holding cell and walks out. Kang To looks at fireman in worry but he nods and slightly smiles in Kang To’s direction. Gathering himself, Kang To leaves.
Shunji reports to Ueno in the presence of Taro and Yoshio. Daddy Kimura backs Shunji’s information-since Damsari tried blowing up the anniversary ceremony, it makes sense that their next attack would be on such a large scale. Ueno tells them to guard the building well.
As they file out, Rie is walking up to the room. While the others bow to her and go ahead, Shunji holds her back. Taking her aside again, he turns to her. “Remember when I said you were a pitiful woman? You really are an indescribably pitiful woman. You told me that I was crazy over a girl so my judgment was wrong but why are YOU like this? You are in love with a guy who has another girl in his heart! You didn’t even know that and how tormented you must’ve been when I guessed Kang To was Gaksital. You put me down for loving Oh Mok Dan, but you love a Korean guy? Do you think he can protect you? If you need a place to run away, to come to me and I will save you.”
She scoffs at that-who does he think he is to save her-She’s Ueno Rie. Ueno Rie, she repeats and Shunji looks at her pitifully, telling her he never knew she was such a weak woman. He leaves with that, leaving a shaken Rie behind.
Kang To boards the cable car where Dan is already sitting. They take each others hands and what visibly seems just a gesture of holding hands is actually a method to pass a note. Yet I love the way they squeeze each other’s hands, as if reassuring each other. Once she’s passed the note, Dan exits just as Takeda draws up, hoping to board and tail Shunji. Recognizing him, Dan immediately starts chatting with him, asking about Abe and the others in a cheerful manner, causing the guy to miss the car. Poor guy, I feel sorry for him since he’s got to face Shunji’s wrath.
Song and Dong Jin deliver a speech to their men-it truly is time for war now. “We may have lost our country, but we did not give them our hearts!” Dong Jin leads them in a roaring chant: “Our home! The strength of unity! Our home! The strength of unity!”
Kang To, as Gaksital draws up. Song thanks Kang To for saving his life and relays the note from Yang Baek. Dong Jin reads the letter and thanks Kang To. In it, Yang Baek offers all of his support for Dong Jin to raise an army, and stop Japan from drafting Korean soldiers, and in planning for the second manseh movement. The first thing they need to do is raise money, and he offers everything he has to back Dong Jin.
Kang To asks if they know fireman (whose name is Deuksu, yaay!) has been caught. Dong Jin says he knows and knowing how he must be tortured, he wishes to rescue him even a day earlier than possible. Kang To tells them this isn’t the time-at the moment, Deuksu is feeding the police false information-that Yang Baek and Dong Jin mean to bomb Chongdo. Since Damsari’s last attempt was at the anniversary party, Kang To reasons that the police will easily believe the lie.
Dong Jin wonders why they need the lie. The reason-funds. Like Yang Baek said, they need capital to support their cause and what better way than to take it from the Empire itself. Kang To tells Dong Jin there’s money headed to Kyungsung because the government is gathering funds for their military defense and promises to relay to Deuksu that the date of the bombing will be the day the money is transported. That way, security will be less tight on the transported money and they can strike easily. Dong Jin agrees at that and wishes Kang To luck, telling him he will believe in him… with a smile! Awww!
Shunji reports to Wada about the bombing and relays that since the rebels raided the police armory last time, this time too, they must stay on alert. This is the first time Wada’s hearing of it but Taro breezes it over by blaming Kono and Shunji says they need to guard the armories of the five precincts well. Wada tells them he will make a request for outside help but Yoshio balks-he’ll take care of it. Wada tells him to just focus on his job-capturing Yang Baek and Dong Jin!
Kang To goes to see Deuksu but Takeda is standing there. Kang To calls Deuksu over and as per the act, Deuksu balks, calling Kang To ‘a mutt’-same as he did in the old days. Kang To reacts to that as he should, asking Deuksu if he wants to die! The only reason Kang To came, he says, was because Deuksu’s mother kept begging him to pass something onto him. Deuksu runs forward and asks Kang To what it is and to hand it over. Kang To hands one of the packs to Takeda and the other to Deuksu. Deuksu opens it to find cakes along with a note.
Deuksu reads the note-Shunji will ask him what the date is so tell him he doesn’t know but can find out and with that excuse, ask to be set free. Deuksu eats the cakes Kang To has brought him along with the note. Just then, Shunji walks up.
He has Deuksu taken to the interrogation room and gives him food. When he asks what the date is, Deuksu says he doesn’t know-only the higher ups would know but he could find out. As for being suspected of spying, he tells Shunji the members of Dong Jin group don’t know each others faces since Dong Jin visits each member himself-meaning even if he did spy, the guy wouldn’t be in any danger. Shunji agrees to let him go but warns him against trying to double cross. Deuksu just asks that something be done about Kang To, since he would be bothering him regarding his mother and hyung’s death.
Abe sticks a sticker onto a box-a donation and asks around the police station to gather money for it. When he calls for everyone’s attention, Koiso barks at him and Abe stiffens. Kang To walks up and stands by his side, telling everyone to listen to him. That seems to give the guy courage and smiling, he tells them about the donation, asking them to be a part of it. Koiso shrugs it off at once and starts scolding Abe.
When he’s still scolding, Kang To turns to Abe and asks if change is okay-that’s all he has. He gives the money and Abe smiles-so sweetly! Kang To turns to Koiso, telling him he was recently promoted so he should give some money too. Shunji walks in and Abe asks him for some money too, citing only Kang To has given money yet. Shunji hands him over a wad of bills, but only after a totally disdainful look in Kang To’s direction.
He heads into his office, calling Kang To’s tailing officer and the poor guy braces himself for pain before heading in. Inside, he gets a kick for losing Kang To. Kang To goes out and tells Koiso to call over Gye Soon. He watches as Kang To makes a phone call, Abe by his side, asking for money for the charity. Awww.
Gye Soon comes and this time, she’s totally freaked out and I love that she’s actually listened to Dan, despite her nonchalance last time. Shunji asks her if Kang To meets with Mok Dan these days and she denies any meetings. He asks her again-she says the same. And again-she says the same. This time, he grabs her by the hair, leads her to the tub and dunks her head under water. Grabbing her out later, he turns at her, “So you’re lying? It’s not enough that those two are deceiving me but now you too? Who do you think you are that even you?” He dunks her in again-as he flashes back to the moment he asked Dan why she kept supporting Gaksital and she’d told him that he had no relation to her but still saved her father twice. Shouting in pure psycho rage, he draws her out and holds his gun to her head-she saw him kill Dong Nyeo, didn’t she? Cocking it, he asks her, “Should I kill you too? Should I?” Warning her what would happen the next time and telling her to watch Dan well, he leaves. Once he’s gone, Gye Soon starts crying while Kosio looks her up and down. Fearful, she runs off immediately.
Dan passes cards to the girls from the circus, telling them to show them to people and warn them against signing up for new registries. The papers are what Yang Baek shares with comrades and tells the girls to spread the word that Yang Baek is in Korea. She’s about to leave when Nanda bursts in and tells her Gye Soon is acting strange. Dan goes to see her.
Gye Soon is lying in bed, crying. Dan goes to her and asks what happened. Gye Soon tells her she’s afraid-more afraid than ever and asks Dan to help her. She tells Dan the reason she started spying was to make money for her family but now, now she’s too scared-she feels like she’ll die if she took one step wrong. Dan understands her fear and correctly guessing the reason for it, tells the girl to talk slowly and tell her everything.
As Dan draws up to the police station, she thinks back to Gye Soon’s words-“Suddenly he got angry that I deceived him and put my head in the water.” Determinedly, she walks in. Kang To’s stunned to see her and she smiles, telling him she came to see Shunji. He takes her to Shunji’s office, worriedly looking at her. Shunji’s surprised to see her. And I totally love the look of hate in her eyes!
Kang To leaves the two in the office and Shunji wonders why she’s here, saying it must be something really important.
“Not just an officer but you had Gye Soon spying on me too? I won’t go anywhere. I will stay by your side. I will try to give you my heart. Can’t you just please leave me alone?”
Scoffing, he asks her, “Are you really going to try and give me your heart?”
She agrees but can’t stop herself from backing away when he moves in for a hug. Backing up, she asks him to close the blinds. Turning, Shunji looks through the blinds to see Kang To watching. He turns back to Dan.
“To be honest I am having a crazy hard time. You don’t know how hard I am trying to endure and bear it. If you hid something from me, I told you I will definitely find and destroy it, remember? I am hanging on till that moment -to see what face you make-I am enduring, looking forward to that. Just for that one thing I am enduring it.”
And that makes Dan think, “He knows Young Master is Gaksital!”
Shunji tells her to leave and not come here again.
Dan walks out in a daze, passing by Kang To without a look as he stands there worriedly, watching her leave. Shunji watches him through the blinds and Kang To turns back to see Shunji watching him.
Tamao drinks at Angel Club (anybody ever wonder what it is he really does, like a job or something?) when Tasha walks in and places a newspaper in front of him. It’s the news about his father’s recent patriotic act for the Empire. He ignores it and asks her if she wants a drink. She gets straight to the point-as he must have guessed already, she doesn’t love him and was simply using him. It was thanks to him that Tasha knew Count Lee’s schedule and had him meet up with Damsari/Tae Gun on the train.
Although he laughs it off, there’s such wistfulness behind his voice. Tasha thanks him for his help. He asks her what she meant when she told her comrades he was no one to be worried about. She tells him he’s the person who will do nothing. At that, he tells her, “I have a conscience too” and that sometimes it hurts more than a toothache. Gosh, there’s so much desperation and heartbreak in his voice and the way his jaw trembles, his eyes flutter! She tells him that’s good to hear and relates that his father is selling his own people and country to the empire-they ought to donate some planes to their side too!
Tamao: “Do you need money? Is that why you put water in the alcohol? No matter how much I drink, however much I drink, I can’t get drunk.”
With that, he leaves a wad of bills on the table and leaves.
At home, the Count and Countess are sitting around when Tamao comes in drunk. He pretends to be drunk and sleeping. The Count frets over him and his wife points out he is already grown up. She suggests making him a member of Kishokai and Daddy Count dances around in joy, wondering why he never thought of it earlier. The Countess says she plans to collect the donation funds gathered around the country and hand them over to Chairman Ueno tomorrow. Tamao opens his eyes slightly, having heard it all.
Tasha gets a phone call from him and relays the info to her. She thanks him and calls up Dan. Dan calls up Kang To and relays the news and the warning-Shunji knows Kang To is Gaksital. She relays what he said to Gye Soon-that Kang To was deceiving him. Kang To thanks her for the words, as if on a normal call and asks her for a favor.
Dan heads to Deuksu’s restaurant and passes him a note. At the police station, the next day, Deuksu reports to Shunji-the headquarters will be blown up tonight at 8 o’ clock.
Shunji comes into the police station and sees Kang To cleaning. He thinks to himself, “Gaksital, you know too, right, what Yang Baek and Dong Jin have planned tonight. Who knows, we might meet tonight.” With that, he heads inside his office and Kang To watches him go. Kang To thinks to himself, “Kimura Shunji, did you finally find out who I am? Tonight, who will win, shall we start and see?”
That night, Kishokai meets to induct a new member- Park’s son and Tamao. Ueno tells the two to forget everything about their Joseon heritage and live as Japanese people now.
Shunji and the police force drive off to the location of the bombing. Once there, Shunji looks at the surrounding silence and seems to realize something is off. Meanwhile, Gaksital, Ahn and the female comrade make their way to the real goods.
Tamao, Park’s son and the others sit for dinner and a drink when the Countess brings in the money and Jun presents it to her. Ueno praises Jun and Rie looks relieved. Tamao watches it all unfold. At the end, he makes his exit.
Masako comes in and relays something to the Count-it’s a note. It’s Tamao’s suicide note. At the moment, Tamao sits with a gun as his father reads the letter. Tamao has written that the money will go to the Independence movement and “Even though I was ashamed to be born your son… I love you, Father. Please forgive me, for lacking the courage, for only knowing to handle it this way…” Drawing the gun, he holds it to his forehead, closes his eyes and pulls the trigger just as his father finishes the letter. When the gunshot sounds, everyone wonders at it, except the Count who starts calling out his son’s name in a panic and turns to rise.
Just then, a dagger with a tag attached is thrown at the table. Everyone reels-in the doorway stands Gaksital. As Gaksital turns away, Ueno directs his samurai after him and the Count faints.
Once he’s gone, the corner wall falls and Ahn and the female comrade march in. Ahn knocks off Jun, grabs the suitcase of money and the two make their getaway.
Rie grabs a sword and orders Kachiyama after them and follows herself. Jun cuts off Ahn’s route while Rie faces the woman. Oooh, now this is a fight I’ve been itching to see-Rie meeting her match. And I’d probably be a lot more hyper were my heart not doing double takes worrying over Gaksital! A fight breaks out and even bare handed, Ahn is better than a match for Jun and the woman comrade easily knocks Rie around.
Outside, Gaksital draws up to an open courtyard and stops, turning to face Kinpei. Kinpei draws his sword and Gaksital readies his flute.
P.S. In case you haven’t read the lyrics yet, the song playing in the background is in Italian and goes-
God, come down on us,
Ray of eternal light,
Get your justice,
The vengeance of heaven will fall anathema… (Just including it because I think it is totally befitting of Gaksital!)
One thing I love-the unconditional way Kang To is accepted as Gaksital-his slate wiped clean. Even Deuksu, the man who hates Kang To and who’s always called him a mutt, accepts Kang To’s words at once as soon as he realizes he is Gaksital. There is no grudges against him for past misdeeds, no payments wanted for his earlier actions-there’s just the fact that Kang To is Gaksital and Gaksital is someone the people love, whom they look up to and who represents their hope! That’s the best part about the whole series, redemption and that redemption gives Kang To a new purpose and a new family-not the mother and brother he has lost, no one can replicate that but he gets a new family, a new sense of loyalty and comradeship!
Kang To asked Kang San when he sat at his grave, referring to the mask, is it more important than family? The answer to it is so totally obvious now-in the way that he’s forsaken his and Dan’s happiness together by not leaving and staying on as Gaksital. Now, the mask and the man Gaksital are a part of him that he cannot bring himself to let go of. I’m not saying Dan and Kang To won’t get a happy ever after, but that just like Kang San, the mask is as important to him as family and he, like hyung, is putting himself in to death’s path for the sake of the mask every time he dons it.
The scene where Shunji imagines burning Kang To is, I think, a very good indicator that Shunji is beyond a redeemable line now and he will not end up as a good person in the end. His humanity totally has left him and he’s without a doubt, pure evil. And the way he went at Gye Soon, totally like a madman-he is beyond human! His mind won’t even register that what he’s doing is only taking Dan farther away from him and never does he stand a chance with her. And needless to say, he is scaring me!
I’m sad that we didn’t get to see much of Rie in this episode-I hope her dilemma gets brought back soon!
I hate the Tamao died-there was so much hurt, so much potential within the guy! But it all feels too realistic as well. Some people need others to guide them, give them a hand but once the time for it is past, they are simply list. Tamao is a perfect example of it-if he hadn’t been let out, treated so harshly-being told he was a man of no action and all he was ever worth was information, he would never have sun and despaired so low! The man had so much potential, so much growth he could have gone to if only his unsaid cries were heard!
Posted on August 24, 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, friends, Gaksital, gaksital recaps, Kang To, kdrama, Korean drama, life, love, misc, miscellaneous, musings, personal, random, recaps, reflections, Relationships, Romance, Shunji, stories, story, thoughts, Writers Resources, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.