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Recap: Gu Family Book Episode 5 [Complete]

Written before airing: There is a lot I want to know about Yeo Wool. If Kang Chi and Yeo Wool’s love story might end up mirroring his father’s or not, as we hope, I want to know what it is about Yeo Wool and Kang Chi that will make their love different, stronger, and more able to withstand all obstacles. Kang Chi is different from his father in that he has lived among humans and have experienced life in a way his father didn’t despite his thousand years. What about Yeo Wool? Who is she, why does she live her life this way, and what is she made of? Seo Hwa, despite her strength and will that made her refuse to become a gisaeng, was ultimately weak. She showed that she would rather end her life than become a gisaeng, even though it would leave her brother alone in the world. She also gave Wol Ryung in and betrayed him despite all the love he gave her. What about Yeo Wool? What strength of body and mind does she possess? What kind of love is she capable of? I’m so excited~~!

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Character Abbreviations for live recap:

Screen shot 2013-04-09 at 8.47.25 PM

Choi Kang Chi- KC

Screen shot 2013-04-09 at 8.47.30 PM

Dam Yeo Wool- YW

Screen shot 2013-04-09 at 8.50.04 PM

Park Tae Seo- TS

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Park Chung Jo- CJ

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Gon- Gon


Jo Gwan Woong- GW


So Jung priest/monk- SJ


Dam Pyung Joon (the gumiho hunter)- PJ

Screen shot 2013-04-22 at 10.01.05 PM

Lee Soon Shin- SS


Yoon Seo Hwa- SH


Gu Wol Ryung- WR

Episode 5


GW lays down the chess piece. “It’s slowly beginning to start.” Gisaeng asks what. GW replies, “An exciting hunt.”

Assassins multiply and surround KC and YW.

Another assassin holds MS at knifepoint.

KC and YW fight and when they deliver a strong blow, the ninjas disappear like mist. Yet when attacks, KC is hurt by the knife. YW reminds him what she said. Although they are only apparitions, they can hurt you.

The lone assassin wants MS to finish his story about KC but head guard appears to MS’ aide and so do they rest of the guards. They fight.

KC complains that there is no end to the ninjas so YW tells him there is only one real person and they have to find him.

The guards fight MS’s attackers outside the room now.

YW is hurt on the arm like KC by the assassins.

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One of the assassins is about to stab YW but KC blocks him with his bare arm. As if time has stopped, YW remembers her childhood when little KC saved her from a wild dog. Little KC tells her to stay still and don’t avoid the dog’s eyes in fear. He assures her, “I will protect you by your side.” But YW is scared so she screams as she ducks her head and the dog attacks. Little KC blocks the dog with his bare arm and the dog bites him on the arm and keeps his grip on it.

In the present, KC grabs the assassin’s sword and sneers. “I got you.” It’s the real ninja and he knocks him out. All the other apparitions disappear.


KC sees YW looking at his wound so he says to her, “Don’t worry. It’s nothing.” YW remembers little KC saying the same thing. YW slaps him on the head and reprimands him for doing a stupid thing. It was too dangerous. KC can’t believe this is the way she is saying thanks. “Why don’t you just say thank you if you are?” YW retorts, “I never asked you to save me.” When KC replies, “Anyway, I am your life-saver,” she slaps him again and exclaims, “I am not that weak for you to have to save me.” She leaves him.

Alone, YW remembers little KC telling her to not be afraid and calming the dog down, despite his arm still in the dog’s mouth and bleeding. After KC sends the dog away, YW sees the blood and cries. Little KC tries to comfort her but doesn’t really know what to do with a crying girl.

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Little YW had calmed down a bit and little KC brings her a leaf filled with water. She asks KC if his wound hurts. KC says it doesn’t but when he tries to move it, he winces. He asks YW why she is here. YW says she staying at inn for a while. KC tells her that he lives at the inn but plays in the mountains all day. YW asks if he isn’t afraid. KC claims no but when a large, black spider falls in front of him, KC is scared witless. In contrast, YW isn’t afraid at all so she scares him by exclaiming that there is another spider by him. KC starts to jumps up and down in fear and ends up falling on top of her. KC and YW get up from the fall, embarrassed. KC asks her to not tell anyone else that he is afraid of spiders or else. “Or else what?” YW asks. KC replies, “Or I will make you my wife” and get all embarrassed. Aww, he was such a little playboy back then.

In the present, YW kicks the cherry blossom tree, muttering, “Darn, darn, darn.” She is unhappy that the person that she must avoid is the little boy from her childhood. Gon, who has come from behind without her noticing, asks her what she is doing. Embarrassed, YW says, “Nothing.” He notices her wound and is worried. She tells him about the assassins and says, “I only got hurt because I have never fought them before.” She is about to walk away, still maintaining her pride, but she stops and says to Gon, “Truthfully, I lived because of him.”

CJ’s maidservant tells CJ that KC is hurt. CJ reacts in alarm.


Choi takes care of KC’s wound while he gently reprimands him for not calling for help. KC assures him that he wasn’t alone. He was with that guy…Ah! KC realizes that he doesn’t even know that guy’s (YW) name. Gon appears from behind (What, is this is special skill or something?) and tells him that the name is Dam do-ryung (“do-ryung” is an old Korean term for bachelor of high status). Gon hands him medicine and tells KC it is from Dam do-ryung. KC is pleased but thinks its pretty girly of Dam to send him medicine. He speaks in a casual manner about Dam do-ryung, as if thanking him sarcastically. Gon is offended by the way KC speaks about his master/lady.


Gon comes back to YW’s room and he turns from seeing her with her hair down and top off to put medicine on her wound. YW acts as if nothing is special or awkward about this. YW asks if Gon delivered her thanks to KC. Gon thinks back to the previous scene with KC. After KC had called YW a girl (which she really is, haha), Gon had gotten angry. So when KC told Gon to send his thanks to Dam do-ryung, Gon had basically cursed him out. Gon lies and tells YW that he did relay her thanks to KC so YW asks if KC said anything in return. Gon remembers KC throwing an angry fit at Gon so he just tells YW that KC didn’t say anything and leaves the room. YW is upset and disappointed that KC didn’t say anything in return.

Head guard tells MS that they didn’t catch any of the assassins except the one that KC brought back. Flashback to guard asking the assassin who sent him but the assassin doesn’t answer. KC steps in and says he knows. He recognizes the assassin from the previous encounter with GW.

Head guard also tells MS that a monk came to the inn earlier and told him the night had a weird energy in the air and told him to go to MS immediately. Head guard tells MS that is why he was able to get to him on time.

MS suspects it is SJ since there are only ten days left to the twentieth anniversary of KC’s arrival to the inn.

Outside, SJ thinks out loud. “Only ten days till the twentieth year. Not much time left, Kang Chi.”

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KC sits outside in the inn courtyard and takes out YW’s medicine. The case has the same arrow as the one on PJ’s message to MS drawn on it. He smiles. CJ comes and sees his wound. Upset, she tells him to get more medicine. KC assures her, “I’m okay.” CJ gets angry and tells him to stop suppressing his feelings and keeping things inside even if it hurts. At least not in front of her. KC smiles and says he is really okay because she is the best medicine to him. Her feelings for KC overflowing, CJ tightly hugs him and asks, “Will I be able to leave you? Will I be able to live after leaving you?” Although hesitant at first, KC hugs her back.


YW has walked upon this scene a bit off ways. It almost seems like she is about to grab put her hand over her heart but she pulls back at the last minute and just walks away. Her medicine lays forgotten by KC on the bench.

A message arrives to PJ that there were assassins using illusions attacked the inn.

TS has come to see GW. He declares that the inn is holding the assassin GW sent last night at the inn. GW pretends ignorance but TS continues to demand that GW come to the inn, apologize and provide an explanation. He says he would have gone straight to the government and king to report GW but MS didn’t want to out of respect for GW status.

Preparations to receive the ham are going on at the inn. (Ham, pronounced hahm is a box of wedding fits sent by the bridegroom to his bride before the wedding and in older Korean rituals, the bride’s friends and family had to coax the bridegroom’s friends carrying the ham into the house by offering them gifts or money. That is why you see the man carrying the ham refuse to go into the inn at first.) CJ sits sadly in her room. Her maidservant comes in all excited by CJ, irritable, wants to be alone. With her girl gone, CJ remembers the night when she hugged CJ. She had said to KC, while still hugging him, “I want the world to end. If that can’t happen, I want to become dust and disappear. KC asks her, “What can I do? I will do anything you want.” CJ asks, “Will you be able to betray father and turn your back on TS?” KC doesn’t answer but CJ already knows. “Of course you can’t. Just like I can’t.” She starts to leave. KC calls out to her but CJ says, “Forget what I said. It’s probably just cold feet.”


KC sits outside also thinking about that night as SJ approaches him. KC asks him who he is and SJ says he is just visiting the inn. SJ looks at KC’s bracelet, which KC notices. He feels uncomfortable and gets up to leave. SJ calls out to KC, “Will it be ten days until the twentieth year since you came here?” KC says no, it is eleven days. SJ remembers WR saying a similar thing when SJ had asked him about the days left until he turned human. KC curiously asks how SJ knew. SJ just tells him to not be in the inn tonight. He feels the same energy as the day twenty years ago. SJ tells him not to step foot inside the inn until next day. SJ grabs KC’s arm with the bracelet in firm warning before he leaves.

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MS has called for TS. TS sees YW and Gon outside his father’s room. TS is happy to see her, calling her nang-ja (old Korean term for a maiden). So TS knows YW is a girl! Gon, of course, is not happy at all, at this other male sniffing around his lady.

MS is talking to PJ about the assassins. PJ tells him they are ninjas from Japan. MS asks PJ if he thinks GW is joining hands with Japan. PJ replies that it makes sense with all the other evidence. He also tells him that the new official in charge of the investigation, a naval commander has come to see him to see him to ask for his help.


Lee Soon Shin enters MS’ room. He says to MS, “Nice to meet you. I am Lee Soon Shin.” (Lee Soon Shin is a famous admiral from Korean history who defeated a Japanese invasion with his famous “turtle” boat.)

KC is out in the village looking for SJ because SJ seems to know something about him. TS’ manservant tells him that the naval commander has come to the inn.


SS tells MS that he needs funding from him and MS asks for what. When PJ tells him that he is being rude, MS says the blood of a merchant runs through him so he is careful about these things. SS says it is money to help build a boat if an invasion from Japan occurs. MS asks for specifics and PJ once again warns him for going too far. SS stares at MS for a while before showing him the design for the famous turtle boat. (The dramatic music and cut in scenes kinda made me giggle. So serious for such a simple picture.) MS asks, “Do you plan to really make this boat?” SS replies, “That is why I came to you personally.” PJ tells MS that the government has refused to fund it. SS adds, “The money is to protect Joseon and Joseon’s seas.”


MS calls for TS and orders him to secure the building. YW and Gon wait outside. KC has come to MS too. He asks why YW and Gon why they are here. YW, still miffed, talks to KC through Gon. “Mind your own business.” KC replies, “It’s my business to know what goes on in this inn.” YW through Gon: “Keep your mouth shut.” KC gets angry at Gon again and moves closer aggressively so Gon says, “Keep away or I will cut your arm off.” KC and Gon are about to go at it again when YW says stop. Head guard also comes and breaks the two apart, saying he can’t allow fighting here. If they don’t stop, he will hang both upsides down a tree for four days. YW is impressed with the head guard.


With all the doors and windows closed, MS and TS open door to the inn’s secret storage room behind MS’ screen. MS asks SS and PJ to follow him. They go downstairs to a dark room. MS shows them a chest filled with gold/silver bars and tells SS that all the money here will be used for him to build his ship. TS lights the rest of the room and SS and PJ see that the walls are lined with chests filled with bars. MS says to SS, “Please take this and make the boat that will protect Joseon and Joseon’s seas.”

GW gets the report that MS and SS have met. GW says, “It seems this time it is my turn to move.”

GW goes to local police and declares that one of his men is missing. That man was investing a possible rebellion at the inn.

Servant runs inside the inn to say that the groom’s ham is coming. Lady wants to know why MS hasn’t come yet to greet the guests.

MS is sees SS off. SS sees KC standing behind and looks at him curiously. MS notices and calls KC forward. SS asks if he is MS’s son. MS, to the surprise of everyone, says yes. He is like a son to him. He says KC is good person and think it would be good if SS will take him under his wing. KC protests, saying he doesn’t want to leave MS or the inn.  He wants to help TS take care of the inn. SS asks KC for his name and KC introduces himself, making that point that he is Choi’s son. At that point, Choi arrives at the scene to report that the ham has come. Hearing the news, KC’s face immediately falls, which YW notices.


Gon and YW are seeing PJ off.  He asks YW what kind of person KC is. YW says KC is immature but quickly adds that he is a good and innocent person. PJ asks if YW has become friendly with him. YW adamantly replies, “No! If I can avoid him, I want to.” YW asks why PJ asks. PJ replies that there is something about KC that makes him worry. PJ tells YW to be careful. Separately and away from YW, he tells Gon to keep an eye on KC and report to him if Gon notices anything weird.

The ham party makes its way to the inn as soldiers also rush over. CJ sits in her room with her ears covered. KC silently watches the ham happening outside the inn.


The groom’s people place the ham on the table but the table breaks, like a bad omen. At that moment, soldiers rush into the inn to search for any signs of GW’s man and rebellion too. When MS demands to know what is going on, the head police tells MS that GW tipped them off. A soldier announces that they found GW’s man.

Choi tells KC what happened and as KC is about to rush off to help, he hears SJ’s voice calling him back. KC remembers SJ’s words about staying away from the inn for the night. He looks about at the sky and see that the sun is about to set. SJ waits for KC outside the inn. “KC. Please come outside now.”


Soldiers trash MS’s room and finds PJ’s note to him with the arrow drawn on the envelope.

Soldiers bring GW’s man outside. TS tells the head police that the man is an assassin sent to kill MS by GW. GW shrewdly asks, if what they are saying is true, why TS and MS didn’t report this to the government immediately. At this, TS is about to blow his top but MS stops him from reacting any further. He calmly asks GW what is GW doing with ninjas.


A soldier brings PJ’s note that they found in MS’ room. GW takes it and declares that the arrow symbol is used by rebels and so is the name for him written in the note, Bi-jou. GW wants MS arrested immediately for treason. TS calls out to his father as both he and MS are tried up. Head guards moves to help but MS tells him to stay back. CJ and Mom rush over. GW sees CJ and leans in toward MS. He says the same thing he told SH’s father. “Don’t worry. After she is sold as a gisaeng, I will make her my woman often.” Argh, I can’t even express how much I hate this guy.

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KC appears on scene and yells, “Not if I can help it!” He shoves the soldiers holding MS and TS away and tells them to leave by the count of three. Head police says tells him that MS and TS are being accused of rebellion. KC declares that MS is no traitor. Is a traitor someone who properly pays taxes and also feeds the poor. No, it is someone like GW who feeds off hard-working people. Angry, GW calls for his man to attack but KC holds him back by holding him by his neck. Ooh, reminds me of WR. Another assassin grabs a sword to attack KC but MS blocks him and gets stabbed instead.  Everyone is in shock. KC punches out the assassins and holds the dying MS in his arms. Tears fills his eyes. MS asks KC, while sputtering up blood, “Did you get hurt?” KC calls out “Naeuri.” (A term that KC has been using to refer to MS, meaning “My lord”). MS struggles for his last words, “Don’t forget. You were like my son. Please protect my TS and CJ.” He dies. TS screams out, “Father!” Head guard is also in shock. Lady falls. Tears fall from CJ. KC begs, “No, please come back. My lord!” The wind starts to violently gust and clouds cover the moon. SJ stands outside the inn, looking grave. YW, who is in another part of the inn practicing her martial arts, also sense something.  GW sees KC’s eyes glow green as he glares at him. KC growls, “I will kill you.”

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Preview for Episode 6

YW: That doesn’t make sense. How can KC be a murder?

Gon: Why do you pay so much attention to him?

SJ: There is nothing you can do. Even if you go back, there is nothing you can turn back.

Someone struggling to say: What about Kang Chi? What happened to Kang Chi?

KC: I will protect them with my life. I will risk my life to protect TS and CJ.

GW: Tonight, KC will come.

KC: Just a bit. Wait just a bit. I will go to you.


Man, why do things only seem to get worse when Kang Chi step in? His hot-blooded, straight-forward temper always seem to outweigh his good and loyal intentions, especially when he is dealing with people he can’t just beat with strength alone. As CJ said before, there are problems you can’t solve by strength alone and Kang Chi has yet to truly understand that.

As with the last two episodes, I find that plot has not moved far in this episode. Yet, the hour went by fast. It feels fast because there are so many different plot points going on at the same time- CJ’s marriage, CJ and KC’s relationship, Gon and KC’s bickering, KC and YW’s past, KC and YS’ present, MS and PJ, SS and MS, GW and MS, and SJ and KC. The writer is doing a great job keeping all these people and different layers of conflict and emotions essential to the main plot line but it does seem like everyone is just jumping in one place up and down instead of actually going anywhere. One relationship seems to particularly be moving at a snail’s pace- KC and YW. KC has such a powerful and tragic story line with CJ that I am finding it hard to root for the KC and YW couple except for the reason that I should be just because they are the main leads. KC has not shown any real interest in YW at all and I wonder if it due to his love for CJ or because he thinks YW is a boy.

In some ways, KC and CJ’s love story seems so adult-like when KC and YW’s story seems very infantile. I honestly giggled during the flashback scenes with the dog and spider, as well as when everything went into slow-motion when KC saves YW in the present. This may be the director’s fault for overdoing the dramatic slow rotation. It’s so obvious that the actors are standing there struggling to remain still while the camera swivels around and that just makes me laugh. The director is force-feeding us the importance of the scene instead of letting it organically sink in. Maybe the director feels like he has to do this because he also noticed how childish KC and YW’s story seems in comparison to CJ and he feels he needs to make their scenes more dramatic to make up for the lack of tension. Except it doesn’t work. At least for me.

On the other hand, maybe it is better that KC and CJ’s love story seems to be mirroring WR and SH story. With CJ’s father dying and CJ about to be sold off as a slave, her story seems to be the same as SH’s. Will CJ also fear KC once she finds out what he really is? I don’t know if I know enough about her character to make any predictions. How about you guys?

There are many parts of the drama where the writing style and directing tends to treat its audience like it was a child with a short attention span, with all the scenes cut with flashbacks to the night before, instead of the letting the whole scene happen at once uninterrupted. Perhaps this is why the drama feels like it is moving fast but isn’t really. I love the story but it leaves me wanting some serious sageuk carnage and tragedy to propel the drama forward fast. Maybe MS’ death is just what we needed. I guess we will find out tomorrow.

It goes without saying that I am tickle-me-elmo about Gon and KC’s constant bickering but I know I’m going to be screaming at him through my screen pretty soon for cutting my OTP time. I will only forgive  him if the writer gives us some good bromance. Please.

Lastly, a disclaimer. I am finding that I barely have time and energy to rewatch the drama and fill in the recaps before my self-appointed end time at 3 a.m. So what you guys are getting is basically the first draft of the recap written as I watched and then just filled in and corrected by memory and a quick screencap run through with some select rewatching of important scenes. I am sorry that I can’t go back to correct mistakes, typos, or incompletes but I really need my sleep for work the next day. I thought I would be able to correct my recaps during the weekend but I barely have time then too. My sincerest apologies for being unable to bring my best to you.

47 Comments Post a comment
  1. tessieroo #

    I read this late last night and forgot to leave a comment. Great recap, thank you so much! 🙂

    April 24, 2013
  2. Joonni & Softy..I’m so grateful that your both able to comment on this Kdrama. I love all the comments & remarks..and all the other extra screen shot’s. It will always entice other’s to make that extra comments and indulge into the rhythm of the story. Take care of your healthy, we want you
    for the long run..

    April 24, 2013

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