Money and power go hand in hand. Bong Sam doesn’t have the money and must determine if he’s willing to beg for it.
The Merchant Gaekju Episode 13 Recap
Gae Dong (Kim Min Jung) says she wants to marry Bong Sam (Jang Hyuk). He thinks she’s joking. With sincerity she asks him to marry her. Bong Sam realizes she is serious and is speechless. Gently he tells her he knows she saved him but he sees her as a little sister and not a woman. He confesses someone else is already in his heart. Gae Dong pleads. Bong Sam is her destiny. Bong Sam says the other woman is his destiny. He tells her to rest and turns to leave. Gae Dong cries and tells him a loveless marriage is ok too. Bong Sam pats her shoulder, tells her to rest and leaves. Stunned, Gae Dong cries alone. Gae Dong declares she cannot give him up.
Hak Joon’s brother, Bo Hyun, asks the Head Merchant to sell the stables for him. I stand corrected. Last episode I thought Gae Dong bought the stables.
Gae Dong straddles a sleeping Bong Sam who wakes to find a knife at his throat. Gae Dong reminds him his promise was to grant a wish or die. What does he want? To marry her or die? Holy smokes, Gae Dong has moxy! Bong Sam tells her to do what she must, but not saving the stables before he dies would be a bummer. She raises the knife but cannot kill him. Love the thunder and lightning in the background.
Gae Dong walks in the rain dumbfounded that she’s been completely rejected.
Hak Joon’s brother, his assistant and the Head Merchant’s assistant watch Gae Dong trudge through the rain. She falls to the ground. She asks the heavens why Bong Sam was sent to her. Why is his heart closed to her and open to another woman? She screams kill me and kill Bong Sam. She is struck by lightning! The men are shocked.
The stables assets are being seized by the Head Merchant’s assistant acting as broker for the new owner, the Head Merchant. Bong Sam is stunned. The Head Merchant Assistant says Man Chi sold the stables. Bong Sam retorts Man Chi stole the stable’s deed. The Head Merchant’s assistant advises Bong Sam to try legal channels to get the stable back. He tells Bong Sam he has 5 days to vacate the stables.
Trying to figure out a solution, Bong Sam stares at So Sa’s bracelet. Sun Dol and Gol Dae listen to Bong Sam say they’ll have to get cash from another cattle broker. Sun Dol tells Bong Sam to see the obvious solution, get money from the Head Merchant. Bong Sam doesn’t want to do that. Sun Dol asks if the Head Merchant’s new wife is why Bong Sam hesitates. Bong Sam tells him to leave it alone. Sun Dol pushes Bong Sam to swallow his pride and save the stables by going to the Head Merchant. Bong Sam gets angry and grabs Sun Dol. They stare at each other. Bong Sam tells Sun Dol he can be the stable broker and go to get money from the Head Merchant. He leaves.
Bong Sam gets drunk. Sun Dol and Gol Dae find him. Sun Dol says Sung Joo must be ashamed that Bong Sam refuses to take the necessary actions. Bong Sam drunkenly states he doesn’t have the skill to be the broker. Disgusted Sun Dol has the others put Bong Sam to bed.
The Head Merchant tells So Sa (Han Chae Ah) his heart flutters for her. So Sa admits she’d like to be a mother. The Head Merchant promises to raise their son to be the next god of merchants. Oops, looks like the Head Merchant has performance issues to his shame and surprise of So Sa. Her maid recommends professional help. So Sa snaps the Head Merchant has too much business on his mind. I’m confused. I assumed So Sa was pregnant with Bong Sam’s child but the time is lengthening since her marriage to the Head Merchant. Is she not pregnant?
Bong Sam wakes up to find a vision of his father. He’s not happy when his father’s vision orders him to see the Head Merchant. Bong Sam says he cannot. The Head Merchant has his woman as his wife. His father doesn’t care. This is business not personal. Do what you must as a merchant and make the effort to save the stable. He disappears as Bong Sam pleads with him not to leave. Now Bong Sam really wakes up. The vision of his father was part of a dream.
The next day, Bong Sam surprises Sun Dol and Gol Dae by declaring they need to leave to see the Head Merchant straight away.
When they arrive, the Head Merchant assistant warns them the Head Merchant probably will not see them.
So Gae (Yu Oh Seong) stops Hak Joon’s brother’s entourage by kneeling in the road. The men recognize each other.
So Sa’s maid recognizes Gol Dae, Sun Dol and Bong Sam among those waiting to see the Head Merchant. She drags Gol Dae off to the side and tells him to leave or her mistress could be hurt. The assistant Head Merchant sees them talking. Gol Dae pretends he was asking her for the location of the restroom. At the end of a long day, the assistant Head Merchant tells them they won’t see the Head Merchant. Bong Sam busts into the Head Merchant’s chamber and kneels as he requests 200,000 for the stables. The Head Merchant sweeps past Bong Sam and tells him a single request won’t get him to open his moneybag. He leaves.
Bong Sam follows and pleads that it takes all kinds of merchants to make the economy flow. The Head Merchant asks what collateral Bong Sam has. My life, is Bong Sam’s response. The Head Merchant laughs. He advises Bong Sam to bring him something he would want. He leaves.
They throw Bong Sam, Sun Dol and Gol Dae out. That didn’t go according to plan.
The Head Merchant tells So Sa that the stable broker forced a meeting and offered his life for 200,000. So Sa asks if he took that deal. The Head Merchant said he declined the offer.
Bong Sam wonders what the Head Merchant could possibly be interested in to make him lend the money.
Hak Joon’s brother is thrilled to see the offered gold from So Gae. He reads the accompanying letter which states he saved his life. So Gae kneels before Hak Joon’s brother. He wants to know how So Gae saved him. So Gae recalls how he burned the embezzlement ledger. Hak Joon’s brother recalls. He asks why So Gae was expelled by the Head Merchant. So Gae lies and says he was not expelled. Why hand over gold? So Gae needs help to rise and become the next Head Merchant. Hak Joon’s brother laughs in his face. So Gae asks what if the Head Merchant turned on him? Does he have another benefactor? That resonates with Hak Joon’s brother. He puts him up for the night. So Gae tells himself this is the first step to going up the ladder.
Gae Dong wakes in a room and doesn’t know how she got there. A servant enters and says she’s at a shrine. She cries. Ten years of avoiding her shaman destiny and now she’s at a shrine. She declares she will break Bong Sam’s spirit, the woman he loves’ spirit, even at her own expense to avoid her shaman destiny. The servant arrives with clothing from Mae Wol, the former shaman. Gae Dong acquiesces. If this will give her what is needed to win Bong Sam, so be it. Shaman powers activate!
They are out of grain at the stables. Bong Sam can’t figure out what the Head Merchant wants. He decides to ask again. Men burst in and say the new ower of the stable has arrived.
They rush to see the Head Merchant being granted more power. So Sa and Bong Sam see each other and lock eyes. So Sa is shocked, flustered and leaves. Bong Sam longs for her. So Sa can’t believe the her maid didn’t tell her that Bong Sam was in the area. So Sa shakes her head in disbelief.
Hak Joon’s brother is not happy that the Head Merchant has more power. The Head Merchant promises to follow the King’s orders.
So Sa’s maid passes Bong Sam a note. The assistant head merchant spots this transaction. Bong Sam heads to a location where So Sa is. He asks why she asked to see him. She asks why he came to this location. He tells her not to be confused. She cuts him off. You have to forget about our night together. Bong Sam asks So Sa if she can eradicate it from her memory. She tells him to leave and not come back. He stops her exit and tells her he isn’t here because he wants to be. They stare into each other’s eyes while the Head Merchant assistant watching from afar.
This episode focused on our leads being desperate enough to beg. So Gae begged Hak Joon’s brother to help him rise in status. Bong Sam begged the Head Merchant for a loan to keep the stables. Gae Dong begged the heavens to give her Bong Sam or give her death. Finally So Sa begged Bong Sam to leave and not come back.
* Bong Sam swallowed his pride and asked the Head Merchant for a loan. The answer was a swift no. The Head Merchant was clear, bring me something I’d want in collateral then I might consider a loan. Bong Sam racked his brains but could not determine anything he could offer the Head Merchant.
* So Gae begged Hak Joon’s brother for help. He was only in a couple of scenes. Rising from the ashes to become powerful is his goal. Handing over the gold in his possession to bribe Hak Joon’s brother to help him was part of the strategy.
* So Sa decided to sleep with the Head Merchant but he was unable to seal the deal. Much to the Head Merchant’s horror he was unable to perform. When So Sa saw Bong Sam she assumed he came to claim her or insinuate himself in her life. That is a smidge self centered. At the end of the episode, he told her she wasn’t the draw that brought him. Is So Sa pregnant? I thought she was but now I’m not so sure.
* Gae Dong bared her heart to Bong Sam but was rejected. I must say she was bold to straddle and threaten to kill Bong Sam if he didn’t marry her. Bold play, but it fell flat. I felt sorry for Gae Dong. Her desperation at seeing her ordered future snatched from her when Bong Sam said he loved another felt honest and raw. She railed to the heavens and received a bolt of lightning as her answer. When she woke at the temple and was brought the former shaman’s outfit, she realized running away from her destiny might stop her from getting the man of her dreams. If she can’t win his heart, why not invoke some magic?