The Merchant Gaekju Episode 2 Recap

Our adult leads make choices that directly impact their children and alter their life paths. 

The Merchant Gaekju Episode 2 Recap


Chun Bong Sam, his friend Gil So Gae, and his sister start the episode happy and carefree. Little do they know their happy and carefree days will come to a close this episode because of the actions of So Gae’s father and the evil men who want to assume control of Bong Sam’s father’s merchant consortium. Last episode we learned that So Gae’s father made a deal with the devil, an evil politician, and he’s late on paying back the loan. Evil politician offered Gil So Gae’s father 3 options – pay the loan, become an opium trader, or kill him to erase the evidence of the debt. This episode So Gae’s father is unable to kill him, so trading opium, an illegal activity, is his only option. Chinese police drug sniffing dogs find the opium. In the flurry, So Gae’s father begs Bong Sam to run and dump the opium in the river. Bong Sam’s foot is injured jumping, so he hands the parcel of opium to So Gae who is unable to elude the police. So Gae’s father is tortured and pressured by the Evil politician and the Evil police to lie and name Bong Sam’s father as the opium supplier. Bong Sam’s father invokes the merchant council to demand his friend and partner reveal why he got mixed up in the opium. To So Gae’s father’s credit his does not lie and name Bong Sam’s father as the opium supplier. Unfortunately, Bong Sam’s father must declare So Gae’s father must die per the merchant rules. So Gae is beside himself and begs his father not to drink the poisonous lye. His father drinks the lye and as he writhes in agony he admonishes So Gae to make as much money as possible and become the most powerful trader of them all. To put his friend out of agony, Bong Sam’s father knifes So Gae’s father. So Gae does not see this as an act of mercy but rather murder. At the end of the episode going through customs, Bong Sam’s father takes So Gae’s bag and passes it to the custom inspector. The bag has opium in it. Bong Sam’s father is sentenced to death for opium trading by the custom officials.

My Thoughts

The second episode impacts the future of Bong Sam and So Gae as their father’s actions play out. Bong Sam’s father must order the death of the So Gae’s father who was caught with the illegal opium. This definitely causes anguish and the desire for revenge in So Gae. Bong Sam’s father is in  a heap of trouble claiming So Gae’s bag with opium was his. Will this honorable act cost his life? It certainly seems like episode 3 will include Bong Sam’s father’s death. Did this episode draw me in? More than the first episode. Let’s see what happens in episode 3 where I hope the adult actors will take over. Frankly until Jang Hyuk shows up…it just doesn’t matter.

Other items:
* Greed and coveting Bong Sam’s father’s merchant consortium by a couple of evil powerful men are the basis for the misery in this episode.
* So Gae’s father admitted he wanted the merchant consortium to move up to elite status and that’s why he took the money for bribing the right officials to achieve that goal. To his credit, he did not implicate Bong Sam’s father. However his last words to his son showed his first priority was money and the associated power it provides. What a terrible burden to put on his son So Gae. Who can blame a young So Gae for blaming Bong Sam’s father for his father’s death sentence and literally delivering the death blow. So Gae could not see that the death blow was to end his father’s suffering. Now So Gae burns with need for revenge against Bong Sam’s father. I don’t think he planned Bong Sam’s father getting caught by the customs official with the opium but I doubt he is sorry either.
* Why is it that evil dudes in historical dramas come in multiples? Good guys always have an uphill battle against greedy amoral officials more interested in lining their personal stash of cash and increasing their status/power base.


Asian drama fan

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Posted in Merchant Gaekju, Recaps
8 comments on “The Merchant Gaekju Episode 2 Recap
  1. Nao says:

    This episode was so intense! I teared during the death scene. I was moved by the utter sadness of Bong Sam’s father. You could tell he hated sentencing So Gae’s father to death. Such powerful acting. I can’t wait till Jang Hyuk shows up!

    • kjtamuser says:

      I had tears during the death scene too. I felt sorry for all parties involved. I believe sadness lies ahead next episode too. But the upside is clear…Jang Hyuk!

  2. prettysup says:

    Can’t wait for Jang Hyuk to appear! This drama makes me cry buckets.

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