Watching this episode on Viki with only 74% English subbed did not help me love it…and I was watching this episode 2 days after it aired!
The Merchant Gaekju Episode 1 Recap
We meet Chun Bong Sam’s father a successful merchant getting ready to go on a long sales trip. His young son Chun Bong Sam isn’t interested in taking over his father’s business…yet. Gil So Gae’s father is Bong Sam’s father’s best friend and they work together. Gil So Gae is sweet on Bong Sam’s sister. Gil So Gae’s father has a secret. He has made a deal with the devil, a greedy politician, and he’s late on paying back the loan. This pushes him to urge Bom Sam’s father to illegally trade cow hides, which the honorable merchant rejects. The episode ends with the greedy politician offering Gil So Gae’s father 3 options – pay the loan, become an opium trader, or kill him to erase the evidence of the debt.
The stage is set in this first episode: honor versus greed, a best friend that has a deal with the devil, and a son that doesn’t want to take over his father’s business…but will. Did this episode draw me in? Nope, but often first episodes don’t grab me. Let’s see what happens in episode 2. Frankly until Jang Hyuk shows up…it just doesn’t matter.
The cast is studded with actors recognizable for their historical drama pedigree.
* The cinematography was good.I appreciated the sweeping vistas as they cross the narrow trial on the mountains.
* The story was ok. The writer is setting the stage to make our two leads Bong Sam and So Gae walk the paths they will travel as adults.
* The child Bong Sam was cute.
Clunky title doesn’t evoke any feeling. The story is based on a novel by Kim Joo Young and written for this series by Jung Sung Hee.
English subs are slow to come…must be patient. I hope they are quicker for future episodes. As I stated above I watched this episode 2 days after it aired and English sub was just 74%. Two days later from when I watched it, it is at 88%. The second episode is at 69%. I’m not going to watch episode 2 until the English sub is further along.
This show is 36 episodes and runs September 23, 2015 – January 21, 2016…holy smokes!