Update: Congratulations! The winners are Amelia, Awesomeduck, and Ivoire. I’ve sent emails to you guys so please make sure to check your inbox.
Yes. I am giving away Choi Jin Hyuk!
I kid, but hey, I can imagine he is mine to give away, right?
The phrase, “Biting off more than you can chew,” applies here. Days before “Gu Family Book” began, I sat down with Softy and she encouraged me to recap again because my puppy Lee Seung Gi would be back on the small screen. I knew it might not be a good idea because I just started a new job and moved into a new home, but she was very convincing, saying things like, “As a Lee Seung Gi fan, you have to do this because it’s his first sageuk after he didn’t get ‘Iljmae,’ and you have neglected your blog for too long. Also, you weren’t sure at the beginning but remember how good and fun recapping ‘Faith’ turned out to be.” When all that had not fully sold me she finally added, ” Just think about Sung Joon’s main of glory.”
Pinch hitting for Joonni tonight. After watching from the sidelines all these weeks, I hope I can get all their names straight. It’s been an unusual ride for me so far cuz I got to enjoy the drama kicking back and relaxing instead of hovering over the keyboard. Truth be told, I got to fixate on certain plot points and scenes – stuff I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. I’ve been worried cuz KC and CJ’s love seemed pretty solid, but recent episodes have proven that there is some wiggle room yet for YW’s love to be a contender. Unlike how KC’s mom’s behaved towards WR’s true identity, I love how selfless YW’s reaction has been ever since she found out. She has suffered in silence and went through all the gamut of emotions from fear to acceptance like any sane person should, but is using one to keep justifying her actions to herself and to others. The same excuse she has been telling Gon – the fact that KC saved her life twice. She won’t admit what keeps her tied to KC is not that debt of gratitude – it’s her growing feelings for him. If you count how many times she has saved KC lately, I would say that debt has been paid double already. Throw in the scenes we are getting tonight where the two of them are trapped inside that hidden room and that accidental grab from last night, I would say KC is getting the better end of the bargain all around.
Written before airing: These new stills excite me. I am holding out hope that Tae Seo will snap out of his hypnosis soon and it seems from the stills he is fighting off GW’s men. Kang Chi also looks uninjured, getting cozy with Yeo Wol. My heart weeps for Chung Jo who has been left at the Choon Hall but I am glad that Kang Chi and Yeo Wol have been given time to get to know each other better.
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
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.
KC reaches out to TS. TS asks how Kang Chi could have killed his father so cruelly. “I will not forgive you. Die!” Kang Chi falls and TS moves to deliver the final blow but YW blocks him. TS tells her to move but she refuses. TS grows angry at YW but Gon knocks out TS. YW rushes to KC and holds him. KC faints in her arms.
WS is angry at CJ’s audacity. CJ asks if the best gisaeng in Choon wastes her energy bullying the helpless. Infuriated, WS asks if CJ is not afraid of anything. CJ says she has no pride anymore so she has nothing to be afraid of. WS gets up and undresses. The other gisaengs follow. WS wants CJ to wash all the clothes.
PJ wants to know why TS tried to kill KC. TS asks how PJ can protect KC- he killed MS! Gon thinks TS must be confused a bit but PJ suspects more because TS keeps saying he saw the murder with his own two eyes. PJ asks TS to look him straight in the eye. He asks, “Who else was there?” Confusion and doubt flashes across TS’s face because he can’t remember but he insists that he say KC killed MS. PJ tells TS seems to be under some trance.
PJ explains the situation to YW. This trance is especially more powerful because it was done while TS was unconscious. The one who put him under it can only break it. Otherwise it will end only when TS finally kills KC.
Senior student is treating KC. He is worried that KC is spilling too much blood. KC dreams. He and TS are sitting under a tree one fine day. TS asks KC, “What is your dream?” KC replies, “I just want everyone to live happily together at the inn.” TS tells KC his dream. “I want to be like my father and be acknowledged by him.”
KC asks why TS keeps declining all the marriage offers. “Are you really afraid of women like CJ said you are? Or do you have someone in your heart already?” TS smiles a knowing smile. KC notices and immediately wants to know who it is. TS refuses to tell him. Uh-oh, I remember how he looked at YW.
CJ hangs the hanboks dry. Gisaeng arrives and says they are not clean enough and pulls the clothes off, dropping them on the floor. CJ is horrified. WS watches and smirks.
Maid reports to SR. SR orders her to ignore it. She says, “Life is not just sweet. It is bitter too. She needs to experience the bitterness to learn how to survive.”
CJ’s eyes fill with tears as she stares as the hanboks on the dirt ground. Gritting her teeth, she picks them up. She takes a deep breath and gathers herself. Stay strong, CJ. Stay strong.
YW paces outside worried about KC. Senior student tells her that KC might not live past this night if he keeps spilling so much blood.
YW enters the room. She sits by KC and feels his forehead and sighs. She notices the scars on KC’s forearms. She traces them gently, knowing he must have gotten them trying to save her those both times.
YW enters the room. She sits by KC and feels his forehead and sighs. She notices the scars on KC’s forearms. She traces them gently, knowing he must have gotten them trying to save her those both times. YW sees the red bracelet on KC’s wrist and remembers that KC heals quickly without it on. She starts to take it off but remembers SJ’s warning. He warned her against meddling with KC’s fate. YW protests. She wants to help KC become human. She tells SJ not to worry about their pre-destined fate. She just wants to help him as a friend and KC thinks she is boy. SJ asks her to promise to only be his friend and not meddle in matters of KC’s life and death.
YW looks down at KC. She thinks to herself, “But this guy is dying and I can’t just standby and watch.” She apologizes out loud to SJ and yanks the bracelet off, keeping her eyes closed in fear. She opens them and sees that KC is still unconscious. She removes the bandage to check the wound. Nothing has happened! Suddenly blue lights start to float in the air and settle in KC’s open wound. It heals instantly! YW gives a sigh of relief.
Suddenly, KC’s eyes flare open, revealing that Beastly KC is back. He knocks YW over, choking her. KC growls at YW, “What did you do?” YW carefully shows him the bracelet. She says, “I was just trying to help you heal.” KC remembers that he was stabbed earlier. YW, who has been wounded by KC, holds out the bracelet to KC. “It’s okay. Here. You need to put it back on. Give me you hand, Kang Chi. Give me your hand.” KC stops growling, mollified by YW’s gentle voice. He slowly extends his hand bracelet and YW slides closer. She puts the bracelet back on him. He lets her do so quietly and his eyes change back. Human KC faints on top of her. Of course Gon comes in at this very awkward moment. YW asks for Gon’s help.
Gon is holding up unconscious KC while YW is wrapping a bandage around KC’s stomach. Gon asks why she is putting bandage back on KC when the wound has healed. YW replies, “To keep his identity a secret from the other students.” Gon tells her that some people already know. YW wants to keep the numbers small. Gon notices the wound on YW’s arm. Angry, Gon drops KC and leaves as soon as YW is done with KC.
YW follows Gon outside. She says, “You’re not going to tell father, right?” Gon angrily replies, “What? That you took off the bracelet or that you almost died?” YW explains that her wound was just from knocking over the candlestick. Gon swears that he will kill KC if she gets hurt because of him and leaves. YW crouches on the ground in weariness. TS has seen this scene from afar. KC snores in his sleep, blissfully unaware.
SR finds CJ leaning against the beam in exhaustion. She warmly says, “You must be tired.” CJ denies it. SR tells her to follow her and takes CJ to a room with the drums that SR played in the beginning of the drama. She says to CJ (I didn’t catch this dialogue fast enough), “Living as a gisaeng can be degrading. But I don’t think it just that. You can learn a lot. Taking care of the household is not the only way a woman can live. You can pursue your dream.” SR tells CJ to become a yae–gi (a gisaeng learned in the arts) and live her life again. CJ stares meaningfully at the drums.
Student reports to PJ and YW that KC has disappeared. PJ asks how an injured person can disappear. Another student called Sung runs into KC, who is eating ravenously in the kitchen.
KC asks Sung if there is meat. Sung replies, “I can’t take food on my own.” He tells KC that there is someone else who takes manages the food at the school. KC, for some reason, is sure that the man will be stingy. Unfortunately, that “stingy” old man has entered the KC. Sung sees him but KC doesn’t. The grandpa hits KC in the head. Ha! Reminds me of YW. Of course, KC’s temper gets the best of him so Gong-dal (GD) uses his skills to bring KC to his knees. GD says to KC, “You need to say your greetings properly first.” Suddenly, KC gets another slap. It’s YW. GD limps away, making you doubt he was the just man who moved like the wind, beating up KC. YW pulls KC out of the kitchen by the ear. Sung wonders how KC can be so fine after yesterday.
YW asks if KC has a brain. “How can you appear so fine after last night?” Other people can’t know about KC’s real identity. After some of the usual bickering, KC suddenly grows sincere. He asks YW if she took off the bracelet. YW replies that she did it to help him live. He was going to die from blood loss. KC surprisingly says thank you but he tells her to not do it again because she can get hurt.
Gon appears (with new hair that I don’t like). PJ is looking for him. KC reads motto of the school. Totally missed this hard line. YW teaches him to call him Master. PJ asks if KC is okay. KC says he is okay too readily. YW slaps him. KC quickly feigns pain. Gon appears with TS who is blindfolded. Seriously, it’s just seeing him that makes him want to kill him? Way to make up your own arbitrary trance rules, writer.
KC and TS sit side by side in front of PJ. PJ says to them, “You two are here because of my friendship with MS. But to stay here, you need to prove yourself. If either one of you is judged unworthy to be a student here, you will be expelled.” KC asks who will do the evaluation. PJ tells him that there are four other teachers- virtuous men- in this school who will make that decision.
PJ tells TS to fight to keep his murderous desire down through his own will. PJ tells KC to not to appear in front of TS often or provoke him. KC stares at TS. He yells, “Are you saying you tried to kill me because of a mere trance? That I have to avoid you?” KC declares that he won’t. TS tells KC to do as he is told by PJ. KC replies, “They didn’t save you just so you can be underneath some trance. CJ and Han-no didn’t risk their lives to save you just for this. So you conquer the trance. Whether you stab me again or if that is not your will, I won’t avoid you.” Ooh, I liked this reaction from KC. Dangerous and dumb, perhaps, but I still like it.
KC kicks open the door cursing GW. GD, who has been sitting outside, surprises him. GD tells him it’s time to eat and limps away again, complaining about his aching joints.
PJ says to TS that KC sure is stubborn. TS says KC has always been headstrong like that. “That is why I advised you to take him out of the revolt. PJ stops TS saying, “Let’s talk about this other place.”
TS shows YW and Gon a map of inn. He tells her of the secret room filled with 5000 nyang. The plan is to take the money out of the room with GW knowing.
In MS’s room, carpenter says to GW it will take one or two days to fix the hole. He looks around the room, saying the room is so old and suggesting that GW fix the whole place up. NO!!! He says it will take seven to eight days. GW orders him to finish in four. GW looks at the picture on the wall. He says, “I am drawn to the picture the more I look at it.”
Choi is brought into room. GW asks if Choi has thought about his crimes. Beaten up and starved, Choi fearfully answer yes. GW threatens Choi, saying his life is in his hands so he must answer everything truthfully. GW asks if MS had some other money. Choi replies, “What?” GW throws Choi the account books. MS’s wealth is well known. How come the books record so little? Choi doesn’t know what GW is talking about even though GW threatens him again. Choi trembles. “I really don’t know anything!” GW believes him. Oh. Thank. Goodness.
TS says that there is only one entrance to the secret storage room and it is in MS’s room. Carpenter is called in by PJ. SS planted the carpenter because he knew that GW would ask for repairs to his floor. Carpenter reports that GW wants the room repaired in four days. TS asks the guy if he can be trusted. Carpenter replies that he owes MS. YW ask how PJ knew GW would want repairs.
Flashback to SS telling PJ that KC made the hole in the ground. “I have a feeling that KC is going to be good variable to us.” PJ asks if SS believes in KC. SS says, “He wants to be human. The world is full of people who give up being human when they are human. KC sincerely desires and hopes to becoming human is world that is full of evil. Aren’t curious to know what kind of human KC wants to be?”
KC opens the door. Tables of food are lined up in front of him. The other students rush in. Senior student asks how KC is. KC asks, “Do you know me?” Senior students says, “I treated you.” KC thanks him but when guy looks at his stomach curiously, KC feigns pain. Guy remarks that KC healed fast. KC replies that it is due to his skills. Guy tells him that rookies eat food on the last table. KC runs in anticipation to his seat but unlike the other tables, there is only porridge and soy sauce. KC clenches his fist, trying to keep his temper down. Sung comes in and tells him that GD ordered the food for him since KC is still ill. KC roars in hungry anger, “That old codger!!!!”
KC finds GD eating a nice whole hen in the kitchen. KC is furious that GD is eating so well while giving him so little. GD remarks that KC must not be human. GD jabs him in stomach. “Humans can’t heal this fast.” KC passes it off and they start to bicker. GD says if you can take this broom from me, you can have the chicken. KC attacks but he is completely foiled by gramps. GD giggles in glee. KC says that GD can’t just be the kitchen servant. GD reveals that he is one of the four teachers. He is called Teacher Jook-dal and is represented by the bamboo symbol.
YW puts medicine on her wound. It looks infected. Notably, YW uses the jar with her father’s symbol on it, the dragon with a bow of its tail. Gon calls her out. Outside, YW asks where KC is. TS says that PJ and he decided that KC will left out of this plan. YW protests, saying that KC knows the inn inside and out. TS says he doesn’t want YW to go either since it is dangerous. YW asks, “Do you see me as a girl? It would be unfair if I couldn’t help admiral because I am a girl.” Gon smiles. Aww, Gon is proud of his lady! TS apologies. YW says it would probably be the same for KC. He would have wanted to help. “I don’t know what it’s like to be under a trance but I hope you don’t lose a good friend because of it.”
KC is cleaning the dishes. GD wants him to scrub harder. KC complains to GD, “You have starved me since this morning.” GD asks, “Do you not want to stay here?” KC immediately puts his tail between his legs. GD want to make a bet with Kc. He asks if KC and SS is close. KC says of course- SS even risked his position for him. GD wants a token of their friendship then. KC wants GD to grant him one wish if he succeeds in getting that token. GD gives his terms. “If you can’t, you will be expelled from the school.” KC nervously asks, “What kind of token?”
GW has come to stay at Choon Hall because his room is undergoing repairs. GW sees CJ cleaning. His eyes stay on her even when WS asks him if he want to go inside. He steps toward her. CJ tries to walks away but GW tells her to stop. He moves draws her face toward him and says, “You are truly like the moon and beautiful as a flower.” Basically, she is a beauty. SR observes from afar.
KC puts on a mask, following other workers into the inn. GW’s henchmen are also there. KC thinks the main evil guy is calling him but he is actually calling another worker. He asks, “What is the curtain doing here?” The curtain has covered the entrance to MS’s room. Repair guy explains it’s because of the dust. Gon and YW are also there with masks on. They go into the room. Something makes evil guy suspicious.
Gon and YW are surprised to see KC in the room. KC tells them that PJ doesn’t know he is here. YW tells him to return but KC hasn’t heard her because he was too focused on the sweat on YW’s forehead. He feels her head. Gon pushes his hand off. “What are you doing?!” KC retorts, “What are you doing? Didn’t you notice the fever?” YW says nothing. KC feels her forehead again and Gon knocks his hand off again. KC yells at Gon, “ Are you angry because you didn’t notice first?” The two boiling pots of testosterone start to fight again so YW tries to calm them down, warning them of their current situation. Suddenly, they hear the voice of carpenter. Evil dude is coming in. Carpenter tries to stop him with cute little headbutts but evil guy pushes past. Thankfully, only Gon is in the room with the mask on. Evil guys asks carpenter, “What is the picture still doing there?” GW treasures the picture so they need to remove it to keep it safe.
KC and YW are actually hiding in the back. They try to move but YW trips, making a sound. KC catches her before she falls but evil guy heard the sound. Uh-oh. And double Uh-oh. KC has his hand on YW’s chest. Outside, evil guy orders Gon to move out of his way.
Preview for Episode 10
PJ: What do you mean that YW and KC are (can’t here) together?
KC: Oy, Dam-goon, are you really okay?
YW: It’s Yeo Wol. My name is Yeo Wol.
GW: Did you say Park Mu Sol’s secret storage room? Bring me information regarding the Mu-hyung dojo and the 5000 nyang. If you don’t obey, your sister will suffer the consequences.
PJ: How could it have ended so fruitlessly?
Carpenter: I think it’s too early to conclude.
KC: Let’s get started!
Judging from the preview with KC’s dialogue, yes, KC is that dense. Or YW’s chest is very flat. I bet YW becomes offended that KC couldn’t tell. Ha! Poor YW. She ends up having to tell him herself. It seems her hair will fall like a shampoo commercial again. Prepare for slow motion approached from all angles, people.
I like the analogy drawn between KC being prejudiced against by TS because of his temper and YW because of her gender. While TS doesn’t know that KC is half-beast, in the story, KC’s wild and stubborn side is portrayed as something that sets him apart from other rational and civilized people. That side of him can be attributed to him being half-beast. YW sees that connection, which explains her empathy and sympathy for KC’s plight. Her gender defines what she is allowed or not allowed to do in society. If she didn’t go parading around like a boy, she wouldn’t be able to be part of society the way she wants to. This is similar to KC’s situation, first as a person abandoned by his parents and now as half-beast. We don’t know how YW came to be a cross-dressing martial artist but she overcame her obstacles and found a way to make a place for herself in the world. We can only wish for the same for KC.
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.