Recap: Gu Family Book Episode 4 [Complete]
Written before aired: As I commented yesterday, the drama feels wholly populated with interesting characters and relationships that are layered and nuanced. Although I didn’t get to mention it yesterday, I was really surprised by Lee Seung Gi’s acting in his scenes with Chung Jo, where I could see restrain, love, hurt, longing, and earnestness in his expressions when he looks at her. He seems to be easily moving from being the mischievous little puppy to the sad, lovelorn low-born. Suzy was also a pleasant surprise, delivering her sageuk lines with more gravity than I expected from her experience with playing more contemporary and somewhat bratty characters in her previous dramas. All the actors are really bringing it to the screen and I find myself absorbed in their world and emotions. The beautiful cinematography is also a plus.
Character Abbreviations for live recap:
Choi Kang Chi- KC
Dam Yeo Wool- YW
Park Tae Seo- TS
Park Chung Jo- CJ
Jo Gwan Woong (the man who killed SH’s father)- GW
Priest is WR’s friend. So Jung priest/monk- SJ
Dam Pyung Joon (the gumiho hunter)- PJ
Yoon Seo Hwa (Lee Seung Gi’s future mother)- SH
Gu Wol Ryung (Lee Seung Gi’s future father)- WR
Scenes of WR and SH. *Wails* Why make me miss them more, show? WHY?????
As YW and KC run through the forest, YW’s hat falls and her hair becomes loose. In his confused state, KC thinks YW is CJ. SJ’s voice is in the background saying, “Avoid that person if you can.”
The guard has caught up to YW and CJ and he moves to strike YW with his sword. KC swiftly turns YW around, protecting her and stabbing the guard. The guard falls and KC has his arm around YW. He caresses her cheek as he says, “Don’t worry. I, Kang Chi, will protect you.” KC then faints in YW’s arms. Blue lights start to float around them.
YW thinks to herself, “When did I hear this before?” We see a memory from her past when boy protected from a dog attack. Ooh, KC was her childhood love?
We see that GW has arrived at the inn. We also see PJ saying to MS that MS is next on GW’s target list.
TS comes out to greet GW’s caravan and sevants. GW’s lead henchman demands rooms for the large party but TS says there is not enough rooms for everyone. Henchman demands that TS kick out other customers to make room. GW lifts his carriage curtain and asks if TS heard of Jo Gwan-woong. He reveals himself at that Jo Gwan-woong.
TS and others have tried to see if there is some way they can make room but there really isn’t without chasing out other customers. TS looks worried and asks for KC. KC hasn’t been seen around so TS’s manservant says he will go look for him.
YW has transported the unconscious KC to a shelter. SJ’s words about avoiding the person you meet at the tree with the hanging crescent repeats inside her head. YW calls out to him, “Hey you!” but KC doesn’t wake up. She pokes his cheek cautiously at first but later just stabs him yet he still won’t wake up. He just surprises her by snorting really loudly and scratching himself. YW finds this unbecoming and says, “Shoo. I don’t want someone like you.”
Gon comes in to report that the men are gone. YW tells him that KC has been sleeping this whole time. Gon kicks KC to wake him up but KC is a stone. Gon takes out his sword and stabs into KC. Fortunately, KC wakes up and quickly moves out of the way.
GW demands to know who YW and Gon are but Gon says KC should introduce himself before he asks about someone else. “Oh?” says KC’s face. How dumb and cute, puppy! KC tells Gon that he is the son of MS and demands to know who Gon is. Gon smiles at KC’s gullibility and replies that he doesn’t like to give his name to strangers because he is really shy. KC gets angry at Gon who is obviously playing around with him and Gon goads him alone. Aw, these two are going to be adorable. KC tries to hit Gon but Gon deftly moves out of the way. YW steps in to stop KC and asks how he can act this way to the people who saved his life. Unfortunately, KC doesn’t remember YW and asks if she is playing around. YW kicks him in the face and asks, “Do I look like I am playing around now?”
YW and Gon have tied KC up like a dog on a leash, telling him to lead the way to the inn since he said he is from there. KC begs to be untied; is he some kind of dog? YW replies that she can’t trust him. Why would a son of MS be running around in the forest being chased like that. Gon replies that it must be one of two things; either KC is running away as a thief or it a girl problem. YW asks if KC is living a “loose” life. Hehehe. KC adamantly denies it and begs to be untied. Unfortunately, TS’s manservant has found him. KC wants to crawl into a hole but YW pushes him forward. The manservant asks what happened and who are those people. KC lies and says he met these two today and became fast friends. To demonstrate he wraps his tied up arms around YW’s neck, which has the advantage of also being able to strangle her. Gon tries to remove KC’s hold but the manservant exclaims that there is no time to be fooling around now.
TS is telling GW that there is no room. GW wants TS to chase the other customers out if need be. TS responds that he can’t do that to the other customers. GW is offended and wants to know if he is being placed on the same level as all those other lowly customers. TS replies that all the customers are treated equally hear at the inn. This is the rule that MS has kept all these years. He adds that even the king would be treated the same way here at the inn. GW’s henchman pulls out his sword and points it at TS’s neck.
CJ’s maidservant is reporting to mom and CJ what is happening at the inn. CJ wants to know where KC and the guards are. CJ can’t answer and mom shifts her eyes. She knows where they are and why.
KC is remembering what CJ’s mom told him about staying away. TS’s manservant wonders why KC is not hurrying back to the inn right now. Gon replies, “That girl problem must really be serious.” Oh, don’t you know it Gon. Don’t you know it. KC turns to YW and begs to be untied so he can go back to the inn. As KC stares at her with pleading and earnest eyes, YW thinks to herself, “I’ve seen this gaze before.”
GW, who is now infamous for making traitors out of people and taking their positions, demands for TS to repeat what he just said. Did he say that even the king would be denied here at the inn if there was no room? Is MS’s standard higher than that of the king? He declares TS’s statement to be traitorous to which TS denies. GW asks again is TS really meant that everyone is equal here at the inn. TS struggles to answer.
Right then mom arrives and she begs for GW’s forgiveness. She asks him to wait while they make room but GW is out for blood now and won’t stop calling TS traitorous. Mom gets on her knees to ask for forgiveness. At that moment, GW sees CJ coming down into the crowd to see what is happening. He sees SH’s similarity in her. Oh no, no, no, no, no, no!
GW is staring at CJ when KC steps right in front of his gaze. The wind suddenly gusts around them. CJ calls outs KC’s name looking relieved.Everyone else does too. Our hero! KC bows to Mom who looks conflicted. KC says to TS, “Sorry I’m late.” TS smiles and replies, “Oh well, you’re always like that..” Oh, such a cute bromance!
YW and Gon are watching this play out from the roof of the inn. She asks Gon, “Isn’t that Bi Joo (What GW is called now)? I didn’t think he would come so quickly to the inn.”
GW demands to know who KC is. KC replies that he is someone who protects the inn from troublesome people. GW is angered by this reference. He asks the same thing he asks TS before, “Do you know who I am?” I do! The Devil Incarnate!!! KC replies that it doesn’t matter who he is. “You’re just a customer.” He wants to know if GW will go away quietly or if he will feel KC’s wrath.
GW calls for his men to kill KC. YW wants to help but Gon stops her. KC quickly and easily takes down all the men who surrounded him. Choi, CJ, and TS all look relieved and happy. KC bracelet glows and GW’s henchman notices.
YW looks at KC with a smile on her face while Gon stares seriously.
KC asks GW, “Shall we continue?” GW starts to laugh saying KC is interesting. He wants to know his name. KC repeats his name again. GW says he heard a lot of things about the inn and wanted to see it for himself. He stares as KC, TS, and CJ and says that this place has a lot of interesting things. *Shiver* Die, creep. The local police head arrives and leads GW to a gisaeng house. His henchman stares at KC’s bracelet again, which is not glowing anymore.
GW had left smiling but inside his carriage, he glowers. Who is the real monster in this drama? You!
YW is staring intently at KC from the rooftop and Gon can’t get her attention.
It’s the next morning now and MS, who has returned from his meeting with PJ, demands to know where the guards were when all of these things were going down last night. The head guard can’t answer as he makes eye contact with the mom. KC butts in and exclaims that it was his fault. He left the inn without permission last night and the guards came to look for him and they must have just missed each other. MS asks why seven guards need to look for him so KC hurriedly adds to his lie, saying that he got drunk and the guards had a hard time dealing with him. MS has caught KC in a lie however as he just said that he and guards missed each other. MS angrily demands to know why KC is lying. Sighing, the head guard exclaims that it is his fault. No, KC interrupts, it is his! TS realizing that KC and the head guard are just digging a deeper grave interrupts loudly that it is more important now to find out more about GW rather than deciding whose fault it is. Mom adds that actually, KC should go to GW and ask for forgiveness for his rude behavior last night. Mom, please join GW in hell.
GW is at gisaeng house, enjoying his time. We can clearly see the scar on his face left from SH. His henchman announces visitors. It is MS and TS.
Mom is asking KC why he came back. KC replies that it is because the inn was in trouble. Mom says it would have been better if KC didn’t come back since MS would not be in the situation he is in right now. Uhm, lady, you’re son would be in prison as a traitor right now if it wasn’t for KC.
KC wants to know why mom hates him so much, ever since he was a child. Mom replies that she always felt an ominous presence about him. She is worried what harm he will bring to TS and CJ. KC exclaims that he will never harm TS and CJ. He swears! But mom can’t trust him when she is unsure whether he is even really human. KC is surprised by this. What does she mean? But before mom could say more, she is called out.
KC is walking out of the inner quarters despondently when he sees CJ and mom choosing fabric for her wedding clothes. KC can only stare before he leaves. CJ sees him last minute leaving the area.
KC is standing disheartened in the courtyard when YW comes up from behind exclaiming, “Ah so that was it. You were almost chased out because you like your owner’s daughter and her mother found out.” KC is annoyed and asked why she is here. She tells him she is staying at the inn now. KC tells her to just mind her own business then. He starts to walk away but YW hits him right on the head with a bamboo stick. Ow!
YW apologizes but KC grabs the stick. “What do you think you are doing?” Do you want to die?” YW explains, “I thought you would certainly avoid it. Why didn’t you?” KC replies, “It’s not that I didn’t. I couldn’t!” YW doesn’t think this makes sense. How can someone who appeared so nimble last night be unable to avoid this stick today. KC replies that it’s because he smelled blood on them (not literally). He needs to dominate them first or else he will die. YW says, “Then you mean your skill changes in accordance to your opponent?” KC replies, “Let’s just say that I only fight with people I want to fight.” YW comments, “Now I am more curious about you.”
YW folds her arms across her chest. “How about it? Let’s duel.” KC laughs and says YW was only able to beat him because he was drugged last night but seeing her now, in terms of strength, she is not even worth half of an opponent. He turns around to leave when YW calls out, “King (large) spider!” KC turns around, curious. YW asks, “The thing you are most afraid of in this world is the king spider, right?” KC denies it but when YW pulls a fake-out on him, KC freaks out, grabbing onto YW. What puppy? Were you going to jump in her lap if she was sitting down? Hee. YW asks, “You still aren’t afraid of king spiders?” KC continues to deny it, puffing up his chest.
KC, now alone, asks himself, “How did she know? Who is she?”
YW thinks to herself, “So it was you.” Ah, so that boy from the flashback was KC!
The gisaeng comments that GW’s guests have been waiting a long time. GW replies that the song hasn’t ended yet. But with the mood interrupted, GW orders the music to stop and MS and TS come in.
We see a butterfly settle itself right in front a large, ugly toad. Real subtle imagery, show. Real subtle.
MS says he came to beg for forgiveness for his children’s actions last night. GW asks what MS things of 200 beatings for KC. MS says KC is like his son. While he is hot-tempered, the child does not have a bad heart. It is true that KC was rude to GW but 200 beatings is usually the punishment for murderers. GW says he has never let anyone who talked back to him live. He adds that TS also said something traitorous. MS begs for forgiveness. He says he will give GW anything else that he asks for. No MS, no! GW asks if MS will give him the inn. No? Too hard? “If not, then your daughter.” DIE, CREEP. GW taunts MS again. “No, right? Still too hard? Then just give me KC”
Toad swallows butterfly. Yes, show, I get it. I get it.
MS remembers what PJ told him about GW did to the Yoon family (SH’s family). PJ to MS, “You must not give allow him any pretext to come after you.” GW demands to know what MS will do. MS gets on his knees and says he will take the 200 beating instead.
TS and MS leave GW. GW’s henchman asks if GW is just going to let them go like this. GW replies that MS is more respected here in this region than the king. He can’t openly punish him. He orders his henchman to kill MS and make it seem like KC is the killer. NO!!!!!!!!!
KC is trying to follow Gon and YW covertly through the village but Gon and YW already know. Using a road block, they disappear from his sight. KC scratches his head, unable to figure out how they did that and YW and Gon watch him from afar. YW asks, “Is he an idiot or a genius? Is this the same guy from yesterday night?” HA! Gon replies, “The only thing we know for sure is that he accurately responds to people with murderous intent.” She says, “Let’s just go. He will be waiting.”
KC is still pondering how YW and Gon were able to disappear when he see the gang from before taking money from a shop owner. They freeze when they see KC, who gives them a wide smile. Gotcha!
YW meets someone she addresses as “Lord.” YW hands him her notes and a map of the murders. They seem to coincide with GW’s movements downward, gaining district control. The man thinks these murders can’t be for greed alone. GW must have something bigger planned.
YW hears something. It is KC pulling one of the gang members off the ground and draggin him off. The Lord asks YW who he is and she tells him that KC is someone from the inn.
KC has all the members kneeling on the ground. He demands the money from them. The lead guy grudgingly takes his money but it is only a few coins. KC snorts and declares that he will hit them three times for ever extra coin he finds when he shakes them upside down. All the guys quickly take out all their money. The Lord thinks KC is a bully stealing from the guys so YW says she will stop him. But at that moment, KC calls forth all the villagers to had their money taken from the gang. The villagers line up and all praise him and say he is a bundle of fortune. Uh no, this is going to hurt so much in the future.
KC says the gang members, “Why do you steal from helpless and poor people? If you are going to steal, steal from rich people.” The villagers chant KC’s name and SJ is in the crowd, looking pleased with KC. YW spots him and chases after him when he starts to leave.
She asks if SJ remembers her. Of course he does. He never forgets a face. YW asks him, “What if I don’t avoid that fated relationship? What if I am unable to?” SJ replies, “Then either one of you might die.” YW asks which person, “Me? Or him?” SJ says that is up to the heavens and he can’t tell her anymore.
YW goes back to where KC is and everyone is still chanting his name. She stares at him and sighs. Please don’t break my heart you two!
It is night now and KC has returned to the inn. Choi worriedly asks, “Where were you?” KC offers Choi a jar of alcohol given to him by a villager, calling him “Father.” KC tells him he took care of some hooligans. KC asks if MS came back.
MS is having family time. He drinks the tea prepared by CJ and laments that he won’t be able to drink her tea for much longer. TS says that his father shouldn’t be sad since he will bring home a nice girl to take CJ’s place soon. CJ teases TS, asking him, “Aren’t you afraid of girls?” TS adamantly denies it. Mom chimes that MS was also very shy back then. He couldn’t even look her in the face.
KC watches this family that he can’t belong too from afar. The head guard approaches him and says, “Don’t even dream about it. You don’t belong there.” KC sadly replies that he is just happy watching them from afar. He feels like a part of the family even from just watching. The head guard asks if KC is okay with CJ’s wedding only two weeks away. KC just smiles and hands him the bundle of rice cakes. He tells the guard to go and rest; he will do the evening security check tonight.
YW is having a moonlit sword practice in the inn courtyard. She is also thinking about KC and what SJ said about either person dying. She also remembers what KC said to her- “I will protect you.” It is the same thing he said when they were kids. She thinks to herself, “Why him of all people? Why?” In her final move, she releases enough force to make the tree blossoms ruffle nearby.
KC claps from behind. He is amazed at her skill! He is impressed that the tree shook when she didn’t even touch it.
KC wants to know how YW knew he was afraid of king/large spider. He has never told anyone this. He asks, “Do you know me or have we met before?” YW ask him the same questions; does he know her and have they met before? KC replies that he can’t remember. Disappointed, YW says, “Then we never met before. If it was a meeting that left no memory, then there is no meaning to that meeting.” She starts to leave but KC calls out to her, “If I remember, will it become meaningful?” KC and YW stare at each other.
Suddenly, KC pushes YW out of the way as a ninja star comes flying at them. YW and KC see a ninja climb away on the roof and KC yells out. They chase after him. The head guard hears KC’s scream and runs toward it. More ninjas are climbing the roof.
MS is alone in his room. He sense something so he opens his window to check. The wind blows out his candle.
Elsewhere, the ninja is leading KS and YW somewhere.
MS relights the candle and he sees SJ in his room.
GW is playing chess with the head gisaeng, Wol-sun. He says out loud, “The hunt has started. A very exciting hunt.”
YW and KC watch as the single ninja that there were chasing multiplies into at least three dozen more. Man, this drama spent a lot of money of CG. KC exclaims, “What is this?” YW tells him that they are apparitions.
MS asks if SJ came so suddenly because that promised date is approaching. SJ replies yes so MS says he wants to know the truth now- what is KC really and what strength does that bracelet have? MS says he saw what happened when KC wasn’t wearing his bracelet on that night KC was brought home. SJ asks MS to explain in exact detail what happened that night. MS starts to tell him about the KC getting a small wound on his head but before he says more, he sense something and stops. He suddenly demands, “Who are you?” to the person in front of him. The person who looks like SJ claims he is SJ but when MS calls for guards, SJ illusion pulls out his sword. We can now see he is really a ninja.
The ninjas surrounding YW and KC pull out their swords. YW tells KC that even if they are apparitions, the swords can hurt them.
The ninja demands that MS finish what he was saying about KC and the bracelet.
KC, who doesn’t know how serious this is, just throws out, “I guess we live or die tonight.” YW corrects him, emphasizing the seriousness of the situation, “You have to fight to live!”
Episode 5 Preview
Little KC: Don’t worry. I will protect you at your side.
Grown-up KC: Don’t worry. It’s nothing.
GW: It seems that I am have to make my move now.
KC: Do you know me by any chance?
KC: Idiot. I’m all better now that I’ve seen you. You are the best medicine in the world for me.
CJ: Will I be albe to leave you here? Will I be able to live after leaving you here?
Gon: Why are you paying so much attention to him?
YW: Of course I would pay attention to him.
KC: What can I do for me? I will do as you say. So just tell me.
YW: Choi Kang Chi!
KC: What can I do for you?
A repeat of lines from episode 4 here.
I think the pace has slowed down a bit from the first two episodes and while I enjoyed getting to know the the new characters yesterday, today felt a little more slow. This might be due to the overuse of voice-overs and frequent flashback scenes. The director and writer seem to really like to hammer the point into viewers’ head, don’t they? *giggles at the toad scene* The director also likes to emphasize the significance of a scene with the use of slow-motion and the closeup of the characters’ faces from all different angles. He also seems to enjoy swiveling his camera around a lot. I really have to give credit here to the actors for keeping the subtly in their acting despite this director’s tendencies. Perhaps he is better at working with the actors in their delivery than in scene composition. Don’t get me wrong. I still like how beautiful everything is and after all the other bad experiences I had with dramas just cutting things together last minute, I appreciate the care and time that was put into each scene to create a certain mood. But I can foresee myself getting tired of it soon.
Even with the slower pace, I really enjoyed this episode due to how already invested I was in the characters and their storyline. There is just enough tension and conflict in this episode to keep the viewer’s attention while taking time to slowly let all the elements come together for one epic and heart-breaking ride. And as you may already know, I love my epic and heart-breaking.
It hurt to see KC so well-loved by the villagers when they are probably going to turn their backs on him when they find out he is half-beast. They are going to be examples of how the human spirit is easily turned and good deeds quickly forgotten in the face of fear and suspicion. But perhaps the lesson is that the human spirit is about forgiveness and love, and Kang Chi, with his kind heart, will be able to forgive those that forsook him and the villagers will once again accept him.
I think GW’s larger plan is a Japanese invasion. Remember he was talking to a Japanese visitor when SH tried to stab him. GW is probably committing those murders to gather power under him so that when Japan invades, much of Joseon is under his influence and he can easily subdue any resistance. Seeing that even GW’s henchmen appear to be ninjas, I think it is likely that GW is holding hands with the Japanese right now.
Can we start counting all the male-male bonding in this drama? KC with head guard, KC with Choi, KC with MS, KC with TS, KC with TS…Man, KC is loved isn’t he? But how many will remain by his side when they find out who he really is?
Question. How did the ninja know to impersonate SJ? Or did MS just see what he wanted to see?