Tsk, Tsk, Kang To is far from chivalry, close enough to be a complete A$$ at this point. He needs a lot of wooing to do to make mine and Mok Dan’s heart waver.
Kang To: “What? You’re Boon, the little girl I risked my life to save?! Crap! I even attempted to execute you?
Mok Dan *mimics his creepy smile*: “B-I-N-G-O! Bingo!”
Kang To: “………o.o……..”
Mok Dan: “Now let me cut you!”
1. Failed Assassination & Kang To’s interrogation
While the fake Gaksital levels a gun at Kang To’s head, the real Gaksital knocks his gun away with a flying stone, unaware that his rescue leads Chief Taro and his evil son to a telling assumption: that Kang To may be a double agent. If not, why would the mighty and secretive Gaksital appears exactly in that moment to save him?
Chief Taro has dinner with his cohorts, they’re members of a secret organization working for the Japanese called Kyungsung. Over a table of fine food, they fret and worry about Gaksital’s declaration of war against them but Chief Taro assures everyone in a dark, intimidating tone, “It took me 30 years to get to this spot, you think I would fall because of Gaksital’s attack?”
Armed with a useful assumption, Kenji heads out with a group of policemen to haul Kang To in for an interrogation. Let me tell you it’s far from a civil one because Kenji uses this golden chance to beat the crap out of Kang To, releasing all his supposed anger and talentless frustration with each whack.
Kang To doesn’t sit there like a lamb though, spitting out fact after fact that he knows Kenji is behind the assassination because “Gaksital using a German pistol only distributed to high-ranked police officers? Don’t you know the basics (you dumb moron!)?” More beating. Tsk, tsk. Who says saying the right thing doesn’t hurt!
2. Esther and Shunji’s backstory
Elsewhere happily reading the letter her father sent is Mok Dan, revealing that he has made it safe to Shanghai. The ajuhmma, Dong Nyun, enters the room and reports a curious case of a thief in the circus, her urinal pot is missing.
Cut to a young girl, Sun Ha, bringing the said pot to Shunji for his project. Judging from her timid behavior, she’s crushing on our boy-next door Shunji as she scurries away the moment he insists to pay for the pot. The pot makes sharp, banging sounds when it’s being lifted so Shunji opens the lid and finds Mok Dan’s dagger in there. He remembers seeing Esther holding the same knife while praying years ago. Kids in drama has amazing memory. If only they use it for schools!
And off he goes, bicycling up a hill just in time to fetch a freaked out Sun Ha being chased down the road by Mok Dan. They ride away and Mok Dan screams out in desperation, “Sun ha-ah! Give me back the dagger! I need it to find him! I need it to find my young master again!”
Shunji stops his bicycle immediately and flashbacks to their childhood memories.
They met the day his nanny was kicked out of the house brutally by dad (Chief Taro) for being sick and a growing burden. Fear of losing her, he sought help and stumbled upon Esther, who gracefully pleaded with the Doctor to perform a surgery on nanny. He refused, explaining that time is tough and they don’t have the money to do surgeries. Shunji sobs like a little boy while Esther explains her ideals to him, “Everyone’s life is precious, each is equally important, so we must do something to help.” Her words encouraged the naive boy to steal his Dad’s expensive sword in order to raise money for Nanny’s surgery.
In the following post-surgery days, Esther nursed Nanny back to good health. But Shunji’s puppy-eyed days were shortly interrupted when his dad barged into the hospital room, breaking his arm and foot. Dumb old man. You just gave him the perfect chance to stay with Esther. ha!
Flashback ends and the two old friends walk side-by-side, happy to have met once again. He’s happier though.
3. Kang To’s Escape
Unbeknownst to everyone, Kang To is still being tortured and held in the police station. His mother sighs and sends Kang San to fetch his brother so he can pay respect to dad’s death anniversary. Unfortunately, Kang San’s trip to Shunji’s place is in vain because Kang To is not there, so Shunji promises to find his best friend and deliver him back to the house on time.
Still behind bars, Kang To comes up with a new plan by taunting Kenji’s inferior complex. He pretends to have the photo of Lee and Choi together in his pocket, challenging Kenji to go in and get it himself. The muscles on Kenji’s face twitch furiously at Kang To’s mocking words, “What? Are you scared to come in? Are you scared that you’re going to die?”
As expected, with a couple of quick moves, Kenji is disarmed and held as hostage. Shunji, the kind-hearted person that he is, steps in between the battle field, begging that everyone calm down. In the midst of talking, Kenji breaks free from Kang To’s grasp and Kang To proceeds to jump out of the window…..landing on the ground. Kenji aims his gun at him but is stopped by Shunji, buying his friend enough time to run away without another injury. Whew. Close call.
Chief Taro is informed of the break out and his decision is made right on the spot: “Lee Kang To – kill on sight.” He speaks with another member of Kyungsung as they try to come up with a name – who might know of this secret organization. A name, Lee Sun (Kang To’s father), comes to mind, who refused to join the organization thirteen years ago and was assumed to be killed by Judge Choi not long after. Fear sweeps across their faces as they realize that the Bridal Mask might be Lee Sun’s servant, the one who knows martial arts. He’s back for revenge? Oh! The villains in here are not dumb after all.
As they speak, a hooded figure jumps on the Lee’s rooftop. He has come to pay respect to his fallen master, Lee Sun.
Now that Kang To is on the kill-on-sight hit list, the safest place to go to is Director Kono’s house. A wise choice because the next day, Kono dismisses all the written evidence by Chief Taro, noting them as insufficient. Then, Chief Taro reveals that he has captured the fake Gaksital and it turns out to be a criminal bearing a revenge for Kang To, which means Chief Taro has nothing to do with the attempted murder. Next, he proves he’s impartial by saying that he’s even locked up his own son for helping out Kang To. A smile spreads on Director Kono as he calls Shunji in for further interrogation.
Standing before his best friend and father, Shunji sides with the truth that he knows, staying rigid on Kang To’s camp, “He’s loyal to the emperor despite the hatred he’s been receiving from fellow Koreans and his family. How could I stand aside and let him be framed? If we kill him, a Korean, who would work for the emperor?” Director Kono claps his hand, “You have a great son Taro!” 😀
His decision? Catch Bridal Mask before labeling Kang To as an accomplice. Kang To raises his voice, “I’ll catch him in three days!”
4. Kang To’s ingenious way to lure Gaksital
After being saved twice by Gaksital, our heroine develops a small crush on the masked hero. Even when she’s bathing, she’s smiling at their brief encounters. Unfortunately, money has a pull on those with a weak heart because a young girl who knows Mok Dan has reported her whereabouts to Kang To. And our girl is caught after showing a beautiful flip to the ground, where men level their guns to her head.
….they torture her. Really? Gah! When Kang To bends low enough to her face, she aims a spit directly at his face for good measure. Ugh, you guys are nasty! He wipes the spit off his face and grabs her chin, “WHAT? Are you scared for Gaksital? Are you two in love or something?” Joo Won does the creepy eyes so well. I just want to smack him.
Bloodied and bruised, Kang To has her paraded around the city, with snipers lined up in the rooftop, ready to shoot at any flying objects that resembles Gaksital. They place her on a platform in the center of the marketplace, ready to persecute her on the spot. Oh gosh.
As he announces her crimes to the public, Gaksital has already disarmed the snipers. So when he belatedly looks up to check, anger burns in Kang To’s eyes. Gaksital then flips down to the ground, leading Kang To and his men to different direction, only leaving Kang To’s lackey, Abe, behind to watch Mok Dan. But the dude is a chicken and gets easily knocked down by Gaksital. He picks Mok Dan up and away they ride, with Kang To chasing closely a few feet in the back. The people in the market march out to block the road, making it hard for the lackeys to cross, unlike Kang To who steps on a man’s chest to make it over the man-made hurdle.
You guess it. A horse with four legs versus a human with two. Who’s gonna win the race?
They make it safely to the forest and while Gaksital unwraps the rope, Mok Dan stares into his face with admiration. When he’s about to leave, she holds his arm, wondering why he always shows up to save her. He doesn’t answer that nor the follow-up question, “What’s your name?” He leaves her hanging as their fingers graze against each other, creating a growing gap until he mounts the horse and disappears.
Alone, Gaksital takes off the mask —– > Lee Kang San.
Alice: Oh! Gosh! The meter of badassery keeps rising at an unstoppable rate for this drama! No one is a pretty vase, so I won’t be surprised if Lee Mama flips out a whip from her hair or something. Everyone is carefully layered at this point that it’s hard to pick a favorite. Add the second-lead female spy and we have an undefeated cast.
I’m so on the wrong ship again. Kang To better start gathering his act together because Shunji is miles ahead already. I don’t want him to be sad… T_T I like Shunji. I love that he’s level-headed and kind but isn’t afraid to spice up some moves when necessary. This just means he is more than capable of his own badassery when the time comes. As for our OTP, I really can’t imagine how their romance is going to develop knowing how dysfunctional and stubborn their relationship is right off the bat. They’re so messed up I’m excited for what to come.