Upset. The blue screen of death destroyed my highlights for episode 5 & 6. And I didn’t save a copy. T____T So you guys bear with me this week, as I’m going to be posting screen shots and thoughts for these two episodes only. No highlights. 🙁
After robbing the corrupt bank and passing out wad of bills back to the innocent citizens (the heartless bunch also burns down his house later, what irony), Kang San flies home. I mean he literally descends from the sky and scares the life out of his mother. What a way to be discreet Gaksital. Unlike me, Mom finds nothing weird with his grand entrance and instead worries about possible injuries of jumping from such heights. Kang San jumps into his idiot character immediately and remains quiet. Unfortunately, his bridal mask is lying on the ground, next to his white flimsy costume.
Mother picks up the mask curiously. When it dawns on her what this mask means, she looks up at Kang San, her eyes trying to make some sense out of this. Could he..be…? She gasps in shock.
Their charged moment is interrupted as Kenji marches in the place with his men, a plastered smug on his face. He believes he has connected the final clue to solving the mystery around Gaksital. Lee Kang San, the idiot, is Gaksital. I’m surprised his pea-sized brain works. But in this moment? GAH.
Kang San stays rigid behind his mother. I do not like the hopeless look on his face. Deny! Start acting dumb! No. No words come to his throat, leaving his mother barking at Kenji about the cruel past, “He was fine until you guys cracked him! And now you want to frame him as Bridal Mask and kill him?!!”
Kenji steps closer, determined to make Kang San talk. He points a gun at Mom’s head, which immediately rips a jerky response out of Kang San. He tries to step up but mother turns around and puts a firm hold on his arms. At this point, she knows the truth already. She mumbles to him, “Don’t be afraid..Don’t be afraid. You’re the first born of the Lee Family.”
She continues to stare at his face and says a coded message, “I’m proud of you.” Kang San glimpses at her solemn face and slowly shakes his head, as if trying to beg her to stop any risky intervention. Her mouth forms a thin line, and she shakes her head quietly, screaming mentally for her son to let her protect the seeds of the Lee Family.
When Kenji counts to 3, she jumps in his direction, letting the triggered bullet hit her instead.
Grief, shock, and guilt creep across Kang San’s face, he continues his dumb act, stumbling toward his mother’s wounded body. What’s worst is that all his superb martial art skill renders useless in this important instance, knowing that Mom sacrifices her life for his. So he holds her close to his heart. The inability to kill the gaping policemen pierces through him. Helpless, he begins slapping his face, and I think he does so for two reasons: 1) Perfect the act 2) Punish his incompetency. Both reasons kill me.
Kenji and his boys are hurled away upon hearing the appearance of Bridal Mask elsewhere. Kang San promptly drops his foolish act and calls out “Mother, mother…” Her last words in this world: “My son….Kang To…your brother, you must take care of him.” The limping of her head shakes him and he screams a long, pained sob, releasing all his pent-up anger and misery towards the heavens.
The bridal mask temporarily steals Kang San’s attention away from Mom’s face and his eyes speak volume of the self-loathe he feels. For the people, for the country, he fights. But where’s the end? Does country pride worth it all? His family? His mother?
He carries her lifeless body back into her room. Then slowly he lifts the blanket to cover her body. This warm gesture kills me too. T___T
Dazed, Kang San sits beside her, recounting his cowardice to Baek Gun. Detail by detail. Instead of bravely announcing his secret identity to Kenji, he was contemplating his next move, he was reasoning, he was caring about HIMSELF. He turns to Baek Gun, shaking, “Even so, am I a son? AM I EVEN a PERSON?”
With that, he rushes out, intent on revenge. Unfortunately, he’s stopped by none other than his own brother, Kang To.
While battling head-to-head with Kang To, he pleads in his head, “Kang To-ah, please don’t do this!”
Just when he successfully knocks down Kang To and heads for Kenji…..
Kang To pulls out his gun and shoots….
A creepy smile sweeps across Kang To’s face…and I just can’t….tears! Stop flowing!!
Baek Gun comes to the rescue and brings Kang San back to the household. Knowing that he has limited time now, Kang San is prepared for the worst (death) and urges Baek Gun to escape…
Kang To approaches his house and enters, whispering his trademark word, “Bingo” and demands Gaksital to take off his mask…
“How can you be Gaksital? How? You’re the village idiot!!”
“My brother, I’m going to miss you….” He raises his hand to touch Kang To’s face one last time. “What should I do?” His hand drops…..
Scared like a little boy, Kang To pushes his brother’s body away and sits back, terrified. The world around him becomes a dead silence, memories of his battles with Gaksital flood back before his vision. How Gaksital also disarms him but never carries an ounce of detrimental menace.
The truth settles in and he calls for his mother, asking her to punish him because “Hyung seems to be dead…”
Enraged at her silence, he barges inside and flips over the blanket…just to find another bloody, cold body. He shrieks out a long, excruciating bellow. I think I stop breathing at this point and just cry. And cry some more.
He clutches her head and cries harder.
And then he flounces outside to grab his brother’s shirt, asking, “You’re Gakistal?! You couldn’t even protect mother!! How could save Joseon people!! Don’t make me laugh you bastard!! It’s you right? Mother died because of you!!”
In his unstoppable rage, he wants to carry the corpse to the police station. Baek Gun reappears and tells Kang To the truth.
Avenging angel, Kang To, in the name of Gaksital, ends Kenji’s pathetic life. Just as Kenji collapses, Shunji enters…and witnesses everything.
Alice: Here’s my jumbled thoughts after collecting scattered tissues….
The writer is cruel to Kang To, that boy who tries so hard to set everything right. He doesn’t have any breathing ground to properly mourn at all. I, for one, really dislike the notion of one hero – one City Hunter, now one Gaksital. It’s not like the production lacks flimsy white costume or mask. Wouldn’t it be better to have more than one? Cause distraction and disperse the police force? I don’t want to say bye to the fabulous Shin Hyun Joon yet. I expected Kang San to perish at some points in the drama (say, episode 19 or 23) but at episode 6 is too much, not to forget he went with Mama Lee.
How ironic is Kang To’s life? He joined the Japanese side, hoping to provide life necessities for his family, but now that said side took everything he cherished and he’s pushed to become the next avenging angel. Plus the fact that he killed his own brother in order to protect the person who shot his mother. Oh. my. gosh. The guilt continues to climb at exponential rate. Everything turns out to be a twisted, tragic circle. You really can’t blame him for siding with the enemies (or so we think, the line is clearly blurrrred) because given the same two choices: being beaten or beat others, it’s obvious which choice is going to win. The fabulous factor that this drama has established so far is that no one is completely good or bad. They all have shades of whites and blacks, buried deep within.
Shunji. I never thought that his path would converge with Kang To’s when it comes to family matters (this extreme). His reaction at the end is understandable as the drama has been telling us repeatedly. That despite the unpleasant actions, families will always be there for you. The end sets up the course of this painful road for the pair of best friends. Although Shunji has great sympathy for Korean people, deep down he still wants to be accepted by his corrupt dad and brother, hence we see how Kenji’s accusing words bother him from time to time. His heart wants to stand in the same side as his family but his brain wouldn’t let family ties shadows his morals and beliefs of the truth/justice. Now, that has all changed when his brother died and he’s forced to step up to care and protect his only family member left, very much like Kang To.
From what I see, Kang To should be undergoing another transformation to bring out the goals and ambitions that his brothers set out to achieve. Right now he’s driven by personal revenge so before he sees the big picture, a dark road awaits him. Much like Shunji who would be joining the twisty road, though I don’t expect him to fully become a villain. They may do vile things but these two boys are good people deep down.
Mok Dan. I swear if she gets tortured again by some other officials, I’m going to root for Rie and Kang To. What’s with the constant damsel-in-distress mode? I understand that she’s powerless and poor but at least stop being so reckless. If the dagger is so important to her, KEEP IT SOMEWHERE SAFE! Why this girl carry the holy dagger around to murder people (Kang To, no less) is mind-boggling. If she were gonna use a flashlight, a person with a brain would only flash it on the floor, why would she go and FLASH it on the wall to have it seen by others? *slams head into laptop*