The Merchant Gaekju Episode 10 Recap

Bong Sam’s dream woman makes a move…what will he do?

The Merchant Gaekju Episode 10 Recap

So Gae (Yu Oh Seong) reads the letter from Bong Sam (Jang Hyuk) which instructs Sung Joo stay and not leave Kang Kyeong until Bong Sam determines the forces at play. Bong Sam warns Sung Joo to trust no one. His warning will never be heard because So Gae eats the letter. He recommends Sung Joo sneak into Kang Kyeong to kidnap Hak Joon. Sung Joo wants to wait until Bong Sam returns. So Gae tells Sung Joo timing is everything. He’ll think of a plan.

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Bong Sam and the other merchants read the Head Merchant’s trade restriction on hemp cloth. No one is happy with the Head Merchant. Bong Sam hears Sun Dol’s name and rushes to find him being dragged away for selling hemp cloth. Bong Sam and Sun Dol have a brief reunion to the irritation of the official. Bong Sam is hit several times before they drag Sun Dol away.

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Bong Sam is determined to save Sun Dol. The other merchants are skeptical. He asks for 1 day to figure a way. His friend tells Bong Sam, drop it, you can’t go against the Head Merchant. Bong Sam refuses to leave his friend.

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Gae Dong is giddy in anticipation of her reveal to Bong Sam that she’s a girl. She bathes. She dresses in a pretty gown. Yep, she’s all girl now. She is ready to get married! Holy smokes, she has big plans Bong Sam for this lunch! A lady messenger tells Gae Dong to meet Bong Sam at the stables.  She guesses it was Bong Sam’s friend that sent the message but the lady refutes this. Gae Dong can’t believe it, he promised her lunch, he’s breaking his promise? She faints.

Bong Sam is not happy to hear the false message his friend sent Gae Dong. Sun Dol has tried to escape and now he is in worse trouble. Bong Sam’s friend tells him the Head Merchant is about to be married to the most beautiful woman in the world. Bong Sam and his friend decide to kidnap So Sa.

That choice surprises me. I would have thought he’d save Sun Dol before So Sa.

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So Sa (Han Chae Ah) is not happy about her pending marriage to the Head Merchant. Her father, no surprise, is no help. Money is the only thing that matters. So Sa decides to commit her life to a temple. Her father blusters in shock. The family will be shunned if the marriage promise to the Head Merchant is broken. He declares they should die together if she won’t marry. So Sa calls his bluff, and agrees. Let’s die together father. Living as a puppet or dying, there is no difference to her. Her father asks for a moment before they die. Her father reminiscences. His parents died of starvation and he lived a penniless life for many years.  Then her father says let us die together. He plays the guilt card to perfection. So Sa changes her mind and agrees to marry the Head Merchant.

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The Head Merchant and his assistant make the marriage deal with So Sa’s father. 150,000 now and if So Sa bears him a daughter, the silk trade, and if So Sa bears him a son, the cotton trade. So Sa’s father is thrilled with the bargain. The Head Merchant assistant has the opposite reaction.

Bong Sam kidnaps So Sa. He slings the bag containing So Sa over his shoulder and takes off. His friend keeps So Sa’s maid from being able to sound the alarm. To his surprise, the maid recognized Bong Sam as the man that saved So Sa’s life. She wants them together!



So Sa struggles as Bong Sam unties her. He tells her that her kidnapping will facilitate Sun Dol’s release. Ah, now I understand why Bong Sam took So Sa. It was so save Sun Dol, not to stop her marriage so he could have her for himself. Bummer that he won’t take both options. So Sa tells him that if she can help save his friend, she happy to help. She turns and see Bong Sam. He sees So Sa. Both are stunned to see each other. I’m surprised again, I thought Bong Sam knew who he was kidnapping. Now he knows the woman he loves is the bride to be. Will this change anything? That was a perfect scene. I was surprised and So Sa and Bong Sam were surprised too.

Bong Sam tells So Sa he didn’t realize she was the Head Merchant’s bride . So Sa says she’s like a bird in cage sold to the highest bidder. So Sa asks why Bong Sam left her at the Inn. She was flattered he followed her, then he left. Nice, she knew he went after her when her father dragged her away. Bong Sam asks if it would have made any difference. Yes, it would have. So Sa sincerely tells him she would have left with him, if he’d asked her. Holy smokes, Bong Sam’s dream woman just confirmed she would be with him. What does our hero do? He tries to leave to get water.

But So Sa sees the braided fabric on his wrist, the fabric she left at the shrine. Bong Sam has revealed his feelings and So Sa knows it. They act like teenagers and ignore the elephant in the room. Boldly So Sa tells Bong Sam after meeting him, she saw the face of her husband. Go girl! Bong Sam, make a move. Your dream woman wants YOU to be her HUSBAND!  

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Amping up the bold moves, So Sa removes her outer gown. Holy Smokes! So Sa, you are taking charge! Bong Sam is stunned and says he didn’t kidnap her expecting a physical interlude. Amping up the bold again, So Sa tells him she’s revealed she loves him and offered herself. If he rejects her, death is her only option.  Why can’t she do what she wants, even if it is for just one night? She turns to Bong Sam, tears in her eyes. Why can’t she a have moment of love to hold onto for the rest of her life? Terrific argument, I’m convinced. What will Bong Sam do? 

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He can’t deny the woman he loves. He moves to her. He wipes the tears from her eyes. He hugs her. And the rest….

Terrible camera angle on the hug. I wanted to see the love shining from Bong Sam’s eyes. Thank goodness he did not pass up the opportunity. So Sa was awesome.

The next morning….So Sa’s father is livid when he learns she’s gone.

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Bong Sam tells So Sa he will finish his business then come back for her. She pulls away. “We cannot make promises. We both have to protect those we love. I may hate my father but I will protect him. Our fate ends here.” Bong Sam knows that is not how she really feels. So Sa declares they cannot see each other again. He tells her to forget about him. I love his tiny smile as he says that. He knows she won’t be able to erase him. Bong Sam declares even if they are apart, she’s in his thoughts and in his heart. Swoon! As he leaves he declares “I am Chun Bong Sam!” She watches him leave and thinks “Husband, in this lifetime, I cannot see you again, please be a good merchant.”

So Sa you lost me there, please be a good merchant? No, no, think, “I may never love again, for you Bong Sam are in my heart forever. Live well.”

Bong Sam goes to see So Sa’s father. Return my friend Sun Dol and I’ll return your daughter So Sa. He even demands money and hemp cloth to cover Sun Dol’s pain and suffering. So Sa’s father tries to get out of it. Bong Sam tries to leave. So Sa’s father caves and agrees to his demands. LOL, when Bong Sam even gets a meal out of the situation.

Gae Dong wakes from a fretful sleep.

The exchange of So Sa and Sun Dol is made.

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Gae Dong and So Sa spy each other as they pass on the road.

Bong Sam is thrilled at the return of Sun Dol. He tells Bong Sam he is a moron to give up the woman of his dreams. But he’s grateful too.

Gae Dong ends up at So Sa’s house and hears she’s marrying the Head Merchant.

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The Head Merchant and So Sa meet before the ceremony. They leave together.

Bong Sam sees the marriage procession and realizes his dream of a life with So Sa is over. He wishes her farewell.

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So Gae stuns Sung Joo with his disguise. He’s ready to go to meet Hak Joon at Kang Kyeong.


With Sung Joo watching from the fence, at the gate to Kang Kyeong, he meets So Rye (Park Eun Hye) who asks his household. They stare at each other.

My Thoughts

Another good episode. The tenth episode ended with two main characters to meeting again.  Do I think So Rye and So Gae recognize each other? No.

The tenth episode was centered around Bong Sam’s destiny with So Sa and Gae Dong. The romance was good even though it may be the only moment So Sa and Bong Sam ever have. I felt sorry for Gae Dong.

* Bong Sam hesitated but spent the night with the woman he loves. Bong Sam’s honor made me wonder if he would sleep with So Sa. Glad he decided to go for it. My favorite Jang Hyuk moment? The small knowing smile when Bong Sam told So Sa to forget about him. He wasn’t happy that he lost connection with Gae Dong, but didn’t do anything to change that. He felt that he had a bigger issue in rescuing Sun Dol.

* So Rye was in the last minute of the episode.  She and So Gae come face to face. I doubt they will recognize each other.

* So Gae ate Bong Sam’s letter. With that extra fiber, he convinced Sung Joo that he could take on Hak Joon. One hair cut and costume change later, he’s impersonating a nobleman.

* So Sa rocked this episode. She swayed Bong Sam into making a memory. He thought he was starting a romance, but she knew it would only be a memory. She was bold – declaring her feelings, removing her robe, and telling him this was their chance. Atta girl! Of course, her loyalty, which is a parallel trait to Bong Sam’s loyalty, wouldn’t allow her to ditch her father and default on a marriage to the Head Merchant. She made her choice, now she has to live with it.

* Gae Dong looked good as a girl. Too bad Bong Sam’s friend ditched her lying to the messenger he was Bong Sam. That is pure jealously in action. Gae Dong’s stare off with So Sa…did it represent a hand off moment of Bong Sam between the women?


Asian drama fan

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Posted in Merchant Gaekju, Recaps
23 comments on “The Merchant Gaekju Episode 10 Recap
  1. prettysup says:

    I wonder why did Gae Dong stare at So Sa? Did she realize its her love rival? Since Gae Dong is some sort of shaman so perhaps she has some foretelling power?

    Aaagh poor Bong Sam and So Sa got to part so soon after having a one night stand. Perhaps a baby was conceived and then So Sa’s old lecherous husband will think it is his child?

    • kjtamuser says:

      It appeared there was some kind of recognition between the women.
      The baby idea is an interesting one.

      • prettysup says:

        Then when the old lecherous husband discover the child is not his, he will be so angry and die of a heart failure … sorry just my imagination lol

      • prettysup says:

        That assistant Meng will surely try to prevent a consummation of the marriage – perhaps they will trick the old goat into thinking that he ‘did’ it but actually he didnt? In olden days they will do a blood test by dripping each one’s blood into a bowl of water to see whether they mix or not.

    • Beez says:

      @prettysup Verrrry interesting about the blood drops in water ancient paternity test. I had to Google that one. Thanks. 🙂

      • prettysup says:

        @Beez I learnt about the blood drops mixing thing from watching HK historical dramas lol.. not too sure about the authenticity of it.

        • Beez says:

          @prettysup While I only glanced over the google offerings (I did stick with scientific/medical sites),there does seem to be some SLIGHT merit to it similar to our medical methods results pre-DNA eras, meaning: You could (maybe) determine you were not the daddy, but not prove you were. Something to do with whether the blood drops merge into a chemical reaction or not. It could result in very bad information based on a number of things though (it mentioned mother’s RF blood factor plus a lot of things that could cause this to give disastrously wrong results for women and children). I’m just impressed that any method that bordered any where near scientific existed at all though.

  2. […] Episode 10   Episode 09   Episode 08   Episode 07   Episode 06   Episode 05   Episodes 03 & 04   Episode 02   Episode 01 […]

  3. Beez says:

    While I don’t think people should meddle in their friend’s business as Goofy did (sorry, I don’t remember his name), I get Goofy’s point. Does anyone else think Gae Dong is forcing marriage on Bong Sam? I know she’s desperate and has been waiting to meet a certain man for 10 years, but she doesn’t leave Bong Sam a choice of “once he sees I’m a woman, MAYBE he’ll fall in love with me”. She swore him to “whatever” on the spot. And Goofy thinks GaeDong is gay and is binding Bong Sam into a relationship or use of his body.*yum*

    I thought the innkeeper lady lied about who gave her the message but I see from ktamusing that Goofy said he was Bong Sam. But why didn’t she confirm the limp or say “I didn’t see him walking so don’t know if he limps”?

    I’m not a bad person but I laughed so hard at SoSa’s father laying it on soooo thick at the cliff. I wanted to push him over and SoSa along with him for falling for it.

    But both SoSa and Bong Sam were really cool in their respective responsibility/loyalty to Bong Sam’s imprisoned friend despite their feelings. (Love Bong Sam’s reaction at SoSa removing her top.)

    WTheck writers? Did I see another innocent woman get punched in the stomach…and by our heros no less? Was this a common thing in Goreyo/Joseon times to shut women up? If so, I’m glad it changed to the much tamer but oft-complained about “wrist grab”.

    • kjtamuser says:

      You make several good points. Yes Gae Dong does create “insta love” because she knows Bong Sam is the one. Because she’s a shaman I give her more latitude for sensing Bong Sam’s calming presence. I must say Bong Sam also had “insta love” (upon reflection) for So Sa.

      I thought So Sa used the same “laying it on thick” tactic with Bong Sam. Like father, like daughter. Of course, I did not mind the results.

      This writer likes to have the parallel plot points between characters during episodes. This episode is was the loyalty trait in So Sa and Bong Sam.

      Thanks for adding your thoughts!

      • Beez says:

        @ktamuser. Now see, So Sa seemed sincere to me. The complete opposite of her father. While she did guilt Bong Sam (into doing what he wants to deep down anyway), but her “manipulation” makes no long lasting consequence demands on him (unless we viewers get the baby we want out of it). Unlike her dad demanding a life-long sacrifice of freedom, possibly her dignity,and for sure nightly disgust.

        And she never once asked him to forego rescuing his friend and rescue her instead (which she had first dibs on).

        • kjtamuser says:

          I agree that her father’s motivation is selfish and he isn’t my idea of a decent dad. But they both used similar tactics. Tactics can be used for good or bad. Her father is the bad, So Sa is the good.

          • Beez says:

            @ktamuser Thanks for clarifying that. I’ve had differing opinions with people on this subject for years. I always thought of its sincere/legitimate that it’s not a “tactic” but your explanation is the first time I get it. I never thought of it in terms of there could be “good” manipulation. Manipulation always equalled evil in my book. But I guess that’s what I would call what I do to my adult kids when I know what I’m advising is for their own good. X-D

    • prettysup says:

      Oh thanks, i didnt realised Goofy impersonated himself as Bong Sam, I also thought the innkeeper lady who passed the message was lying.

      About shutting women up, why did he punch her stomach when his aim was to knock her unconscious? I would have thought of hitting her head instead.

      • Beez says:

        @prettysup I guess, maaaybe, hitting in the stomach is less likely to cause concussion? Although, did they know about concussion back then? Less visible bruising for sure.

        But one thing is obvious, SoSa’s plight is so bad that the maid isn’t even holding a grudge about that sock to the stomach. As long as she hopes they’ll rescue SoSa.

  4. Nao says:

    Wait, so did they sleep together? I wasn’t sure since he only hugs her. It would seem a little out of character for both of them, too rushed. They barely know each other!

  5. Nao says:

    I like the narrative idea of some kind of one night thing they will never forget but felt it was not timed well and introduced abruptly. I also thought that if they did indeed sleep together their next morning didn’t seem tender enough, which is what made me wonder if it even happened.

    • prettysup says:

      I would say they did, since So Sa sort of threatened Bong Sam that she will kill herself if he reject her after she revealed her feelings and body to a man. Although It did seem kind of rushed but she was supposed to marry an old goat soon, and I guess she wanted to give her first night to a man whom she loved rather than one she had no feelings for. She did said that a woman has the right to have good memories something like that.

      • Beez says:

        I agree & I’m not sure, but I think it would be her very “first time” because I think I heard her first husband’s servants say that he was mentally handicapped and never consummated their wedding. In which case, I certainly can’t blame her for looking for a Jang Hyuk memory to pull out when Ye Ol’ Merchant gets antsy.

      • prettysup says:

        Yeah she didn’t consummate the marriage with that mentally handicapped husband – I think they said he died on the day they got married.

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