Recap: Gu Family Book Episode 8 [Complete]
Written before aired: I keep forgetting that Kang Chi doesn’t know that Yeo Wol is a girl because she is so obviously one. I suppose it speaks volumes to how defining gender roles in Joseon can be, with no one suspecting that Dam do-ryung is a girl. A girl would never be caught running around like Yeo Wol does, possessing those type of martial arts skills. The mistaken gender does not play a huge role in the story now because I think even if Kang Chi knew, he would still have no space in his heart for Yeo Wol.
Putting this here because the composition is so beautiful.
Beast Kang Chi leaving a trail of blood…
Character Abbreviations for live recap:
Choi Kang Chi- KC
Dam Yeo Wool- YW
Park Tae Seo- TS
Park Chung Jo- CJ
Jo Gwan Woong- GW
So Jung priest/monk- SJ
Dam Pyung Joon (the gumiho hunter)- PJ
Lee Soon Shin- SS
Chun Soo Ryun- SR
Wol Sun- WS
Yoon Seo Hwa- SH
Gu Wol Ryung- WR
GW says to KC, “I will give you one last chance. Become my person and I will save your life.” KC snorts, “What is this bulls**t?! I don’t want anything but your life.” GW sighs, “How unfortunate.” He orders KC’s beheading to proceed. Suddenly, SS calls out, “Stop!”
GW asks, “Who are you?” SS introduces himself and the chief asks him why he is here. SS replies, “I heard my person is being held here and I came in a hurry.” Chief asks, “Who?” SS turns to KC. He says to him gently, “Have you been doing well? I came to get you.” KC looks at him in surprise. YW smiles.
SS remembers MS complimenting KC, saying he is like his son. SS had also vowed to kill KC with his own hands if KC became dangerous.
GW asks SS if he has really come to take a murderer way. SS stares at GW and asks, “Who are you? Chief tells him. SS asks why GW, who has retired, is here getting involved in governmental affairs. GW replies that he is just helping put away a murderer who killed a traitor. KC yells that GW framed MS as a traitor. He rushes at KC in anger but guards stop him.
SS asks if MS was really a traitor. If he was, then why is KC tied up. Chief confirms that while MS was really a traitor, and evidence was found, he was popular among the citizens and they were concerned with the citizens’ feelings. They had to bring in KC to appease them. SS wonders if MS was framed. If MS was really a traitor and KC really did kill him, KC should be awarded, not punished. Yeah! GW has been back into a corner.
Gon and YW smile. Gon leaves, saying there is nothing to watch. YW pumps her fist in glee.
SS has his hands on KC’s shoulder. KC remembers MS doing the same thing to him as a child. He looks up at SS with tears in his eyes. SS looks down at him firmly but warmly.
In GW’s room, chief asks GW what to they should do. Everything SS said is right. GW screams that seven of his men have disappeared because of KC. How can they let someone like that just go? He scares the chief, saying “What if KC comes back for your neck?” Chief suggests that they get SS to swear an oath, or write an indemnity oath, that he will take all responsibility if KC does something wrong.
KC is in prison. SS tells KC to come out. KC is angry doesn’t want to be branded as someone who killed a traitor. MS was like his father. “I would rather die.” SS asks if dying is that easy. KC replies that it is because he is nothing- not an animal god, not a human. SS hands KC three nyang. SS tells KC to spend this day and give one nyang to three people he wants to say goodbye too and then come back to him. KC demands to know why he should do as SS says. SS replies, “I was asked the favor by MS and I also saved your life.”
KC is leaving the police bureau. BC and villagers moves out of his way, scared. GW watches and so does SS. SS thinks to himself, “Just one day. Keep your promise man-to-man.”
Chief wonders if it will be okay. GW reassures him that it will be since the got the oath from SS.
Flashback to GW getting the indemnity oath out of SS. SS must take responsibility if KC does something wrong and give up his position. SS writes the oath and stamps it with his blood. The music is kind of loud and overdramatic, isn’t it? SS demands to GW, “Let KC go free now.”
PJ asks why SS made such a rash decision. KC is unstable right now. SS says humans can only do what they think is best at the moment. That is what he did.
GW wonders what is about KC that SS will risk all for. He really wants to know. He is pleased with the oath as SS is going to be trouble for him in the future so it is better to get rid of him now. Also if KC can’t be his, he is better off dead. GW asks his man if the hypnosis has been put on. Man confirms.
Flashback to man hypnotizing TS that KC killed MS. So TS should kill KC as soon as he sees him.
At PJ’s school, a student is sweeping the courtyard. TS stumbles out of one of the rooms. He can barely walk. He remembers CJ being taken away. He remembers his mother screaming for him. TS struggles to get up. TS remember what man said about KC. TS screams out KC’s name in anger. Uh-oh.
Villagers point and stare at KC. YW is secretly trying to follow him but he knows. He asks why she is following him. YW replies, “I am not following. I’m watching you.” She needs to make sure that KC isn’t going to do anything to GW. KC asks, “Can you stop me if I do?” YW retorts, “You don’t think I can.” KC tells her to try and starts to walk away. YW blocks him. “You made promise to SS, person to person.” KC says it doesn’t matter since he is not human. His warns YW that his animal side can come out at anytime.
Villagers come to throw things at KC. They are angry that KC killed MS. KC doesn’t stop them or say anything. YW tries to stop the villager but they ask if she is on his side and starts to throw things at her. KC takes her away.
YW tries to comfort KC, saying that the villagers are just mistaken. KC is angry. If MS’ name is not cleared, he will live forever branded as killer of a traitor. He angrily tells YW to go. He turns but YW calls out to him- “She is at Choon Hall. CJ is. She is person you want to meet the most right now, right?”
CJ and other girls are receiving lessons from WS on how to pour alcohol. The other young student gisaengs (called dong-gi) pour the drink as told but CJ doesn’t. WS yells at her and at last, CJ does so as she is told. WS also instructs the girls to drink the alcohol. She tells them it is something that only she teaches to help the girls out since they must keep their decorum even when drinking. The other adult gisaengs giggle. Obviously no such lesson was part of the original plan. Other girls drink but CJ doesn’t. WS sees this. She orders CJ to drink. CJ replies, “I don’t this joke is very funny.” WS angrily insists that this is lesson. “Is it too bitter for you?” She orders the other gisaengs to help CJ. They spit into CJ’s alcohol. WS says to CJ, “Now the taste will be less bitter. CJ continues to look at WS straight in the eye. WS reminds CJ that she is just a gisaeng now, not a yangban. WS threatens her, “Then we will teach you first about taking off your clothes.” At this, CJ throws the drink in WS’ face. The other gisaengs grab her.
CJ, WS, and other gisaengs sit in front of SR. SR asks who started first. WS lies that she was just giving the girls a drink during break. The other gisaengs go along. CJ says nothing. SR tells CJ to lift her skirt. SR hits her calves with a stick. CJ silently bears it.
KC enters the room. He sees CJ and her red calves. CJ, seeing KC, quickly lets go of her skirt. SR asks, “Who are you?” but KC just grabs CJ. SR orders him to let CJ go. KC replies that CJ shouldn’t be here so he will take her. KC leads her out of the room, holding her hand.
Guards come to stop KC. SR warns that KC and CJ will be beaten until dead if they are caught. KC says to CJ, “Don’t worry. It’s no problem for me to take you out of here.” SR says, “If you leave, you will continue to be chased, living as criminals.” KC holds CJ’s hand tighter. SR demands that KC let CJ go. KC swears, “I won’t. I never will.” He warns the guards, “If you touch us, you will die.” To CJ he says, “Don’t worry, I won’t leave you alone here any longer. Trust me.”
CJ pulls her hand out of KC’s grip. KC tries to grab it again. CJ says, “Go away.” KC replies in surprise, “I came to get you.” CJ tells KC, “Before you come to get me, clear father’s name. Come back righteously. I won’t leave until you do.” CJ leaves KC.
SR says to KC, “If you want to really take that child out, think first about what you need to do.” Man, I can’t hate CJ at all.
KC leaves the hall and CJ cries by herself. YW watches KC. KC looks at the three nyang in his hands.
YW remembers that PJ warned her that she must not hesitate to kill KC if he takes one wrong step. If she doesn’t, SS will be in danger. Gon volunteers to do it if YW doesn’t want to but YW says she will. PJ warns her that it’s not just about SS but also about the Jeolla waters. By the time YW comes back from her flashback, KC has disappeared from her sight.
Guy reports to Gon that YW has lost KC. Gon asks if KC is coming this way (to the inn). He is. Gon sees KC and readies his bow to shoot KC. YW sees Gon like that. She takes out her own bow. YW doesn’t know what to do- to hit KC or Gon. She decides to strike Gon’s arrow with her own. So. Cool.
KC enters the inn and all the servants exclaim to see him. He doesn’t stop but heads straight to GW.
Out with YW, Gon is sure that KC will do something. YW tells Gon that KC made a promise for today. She asks Gon to believe here and believe KC’s promise.
TS’s manservant reports to Choi that KC has come to the inn.
KC enters GW’s room. He is holding a large and thick bamboo stick. GW asks why he is here. KC replies, “You asked me to become yours. I came to answer again.” Henchman wants to stop KC but GW lets KC come close. KC jams the stick into the floor in front of GW, breaking the table. He says to GW, “I will take back this inn with my own hands. I will take your life with me then too. That is my answer.” KC leaves.
SS is practicing his archery. He has good aim. PJ asks if SS think KC will come back. SS replies that if his judgments serve him right, KC will keep his promise. PJ asks, “Then what.” SS replies, “It will depend on his answer.” PJ- “What answer?” Before SS can reply, man reports that KC has gone to the inn.
SS in GW’s room, a mess because of KC. GW says, “See what KC has done.” SS asks if it is true that KC came. GW retorts, “Who else?” SS asks who else saw. GW says everyone at the inn saw. SS asks to see the servants.
SS questions the servants but none say that they saw KC. GW gets angry so Choi steps out. Surprising GW, Choi says, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” He never saw KC after GW came back. All the servants agree. Ha! This is how you can own the inn but it will never really be yours.
SS says to GW, “If you want me to lose my position, you need present more concrete evidence.” SS leaves. GW orders Choi and TS and CJ’s servants to be beaten just before the point of death and starved for five days. Choi and others are led away and they cry out that they didn’t see anything.
GW is angry. Man assures him that TS has been hypnotized. He will definitely kill KC.
Back at PJ’s school, TS finds a sword.
KC has come to SS. SS asks KC, “Have you used the three nyangs to say your last goodbyes.” KC gives back the nyang. “I need to live a little more so I am pushing back the last goodbyes.” SS asks why KC changed his mind. KC replies, “First, I need to clear MS’ name. Second, I need to return the inn to TS and CJ. And third, if I can, I want to become human.” He continues, “Me right now, I am not neither this or that- really just half-beast, half-human. I don’t know when I might turn into an animal god and lose myself. I can’t say I am a proper person like this.” SS replies, “I have seen people born human but do more horrible things than animals. What makes you human is not birth but your heart.” KC says, “Still, I can’t go back to the inn and my family like this.” SS asks then if there anything he can do to become human. KC replies, “Yes, I heard there is. The Gu Family Book.”
SJ told KC about the Gu Family Book. WR tried to obtain that “book” too. “But luck didn’t follow him.” KC excitedly asks how he can get the book. SJ says he can’t tell KC right now. WR who lived for a thousand years couldn’t. How could someone as hot-tempered as Kang Chi wait out the hundred years? “No way. I don’t want to lose you too. Forget the Gu Family Book. KC gets on his knees and begs. “What can I do for you to help me?” SJ replies, “Develop the skills to stay human without the help of the bracelet.” SJ is in fact making the bracelet right now. But SJ doubts KC can do it. It took WR hundreds of years. “It probably won’t happen before I die.” KC won’t be deterred, however. He declares, “I can do it!” SJ adds, “Also, don’t keep a woman next to you. Don’t give her your heart or be moved by useless sympathy. But since an unavoidable destined person is already next to you, this is probably too hard for you too.” KC is frustrated with SJ. “Do you really want to see me die?” SJ says, “You won’t die if you don’t try to become human.” KC says he doesn’t want an immortal live. He just wants to become human. “Please help me find the Gu Family Book.”
SS to PJ- I want to have KC stay at your place, the Mu Hyung Do Gwan. KC gets on his knees and promises to repay PJ’s graciousness if he teaches him patience, tolerance, and strength of mind. SS says to PJ, “It’s a good thing that KC has decided to stay on our side.”
YW smiles. “Good.” Gon is not pleased. “We could have lost SS.” YW says Gon underrates SS. “Do you still not know? When I shot the arrow at you, I believed in SS at that moment, not KC. SS would not have let KC alone like that or risk his position if he didn’t have confidence in his own decision. I hope through this chance, the ability to believe in people grows in you a bit.
KC asks what SS would have done if he had returned after spending the three nyang. SS tells him, “I was going to kill you without hesitation. Someone who doesn’t value his won life doesn’t value anything else. We can’t put hope in that kind of person.” KC nervously laughs. “You joke like it’s real.” SS smiles. YW has come to get KC. KC says he will come to visit again. SS says, “Come back anytime. I will welcome you.” KC bows and leaves with YW.
Gisaeng says to CJ that the guy who came yesterday came at dawn to give her this. He wants her to use the medicine for her wounds. Darn, it is YW’s gift to KC. CJ clasps the container tight.
PJ, YW, Gon, and KC are walking. YW says to KC, “Do I now have to see you face every day.” KC teases her, “Why, are you so happy so you can die?” YW replies, “Absolutely not.” KC smiles. “Don’t worry. I will leave once I reach my goal.” YW asks, “What goal?” KC turns to YW. “Kids don’t need to know, Dam do-ryung.” He ruffles YW’s hair. YW is offended. “Kid? Did you say kid?!” She chases after him and they play around, smiling.
SJ watches, wishing, “I hope that the steps you are taking right now, Kang Chi, will lead you to good fortune. You too, Yeo Wol.”
CJ shows up in front of WS with alcohol. She pours herself a drink. WS asks, “What are you doing?” CJ keeps drinking. When WS starts to say, “You girl,” CJ slams the bowl down. She says, “My name is CJ. Say my name properly from now on.” SR watches from afar, pleased.
KC is impressed with PJ’s dojo/school. Students line up. PJ tells KC to say his greetings. KC awkwardly starts. YW tells him to do it properly. KC introduces himself as Choi’s son. YW pushes KC’s head down so he is bowing to the other students. YW tells the other people to accept KC’s greeting. They do as they are told. KC is impressed with YW’s power.
TS comes out of a room carrying a sword. KC is happy to see him. He rushes over but TS stabs him. Blood spills out of KC’s mouth.
GW sits in his room, stewing. Why has he not cleaned up the place yet? GW declares, “If I can’t have, I will steal. If I can’t steal, then I will get rid of. That is my rule.”
KC reaches out to TS. TS screams. “Die. Die!” and pushes the sword even deeper into KC.
Kang Chi finally snaps out of it and realizes why he must live. Pitying himself and whining won’t solve anything and Kang Chi, who sincerely loves his family, decides to pursue being human. It seems, though, from the flashback, that KC learned about the Gu Family Book before he came down into the village as a beast to kill GW. The acting and writing are a bit off, with Kang Chi being too bright and energetic at the Moonlight Garden. He was completely sulking when YW found him there back in episode seven.
Chung Jo continues to surprise me over and over with her courage and rational mind. She chooses to stay at the gisaeng house so that KC won’t be chased down. She cares more that her father’s name is cleared than giving up her last bit of pride. She is smarter than SH ever was. Where that kind of mind will lead CJ, though, I can’t predict. CJ and KC seem to really love each other, despite SJ insisting that KC can’t tell apart his feelings of sympathy.
Kang Chi has a lot to do now. He must train to keep himself human without the bracelet, find a way to clear MS’s name, rescue CJ and TS, and keep GW in line. He will come up against so many instances where he will need to or want to change into the animal god. Thank goodness YW is there with her soothing ability.