You’ve heard of a field of dreams. This episode centers around a field of fish. Who will will the Fish Wars? Bong Sam or the Head Merchant & So Gae?
The Merchant Gaekju Episode 27 Recap
The Head Merchant won’t give So Sa (Han Chae Ah) back the baby, Yu Su. The Head Merchant declares his son deserves better than the shabby room Bong Sam can provide. He literally takes the baby and runs. Mae Wol (aka Gae Dong (Kim Min Jung)) stops So Sa’s pursuit. Mae Wol recommends that So Sa return to her husband to get her baby. So Sa runs after the Head Merchant. A strange caravan it is – Head Merchant, So Sa, then Mae Wol. Surprise, surprise, Man Chi declares the Head Merchant will not escape with his nephew. Never thought I’d say this – I’m thrilled to see Man Chi and hopeful his confident bluster can retrieve the baby from the Head Merchant. Man Chi threaten to throw the Head Merchant into the freezing river. Mae Wol recommends the Head Merchant give up. Thwarted, the Head Merchant hands over the baby to Mae Wol. Wanna bet this is only his first kidnapping attempt of the baby? So Sa grabs the baby from Mae Wol. She recommends again So Sa return to her husband. So Sa is tired of that refrain. Mae Wol declares if So Sa does not return to the Head Merchant Bong Sam is in danger. Ouch, So Sa has two Achilles heels – the baby and Bong Sam.
Sun Dol jokes that Bong Sam is acting like an adult now that he’s a father. Bong Sam (Jang Hyuk) quotes his father. He’s been thinking about his father since the baby was born. Sun Dol declares Bong Sam will be a great father. Bong Sam misses little Yu Su. So sweet!
“How can the baby be returned to me?” the Head Merchant asks Mae Wol. She recommends the Head Merchant bargain with So Sa. The stables returned to Bong Sam for the baby. Mae Wol recommends that Bong Sam’s merchant tag be taken. The Head Merchant tells the story of birds that live long because they are willing to renew themselves. He declares he will be like those birds.
At the pollack farm, Sung Joo welcomes Bong Sam and his team. He declares Bong Sam is the head of the pollack farm. Man, that is a lot of fish! Merchants have risked everything for this venture to work. Bong Sam is grateful for their support.
The Head Merchant and So Gae (Yu Oh Seong) want to know the location of the pollack farm but no one knows. Ex-assistant declares he will find the pollack farm.
Bong Sam et al need to decide the primary market for the fish. One merchant fret the snow is needed to keep the fish fresh after it dries.
The merchants are happy it hasn’t snowed yet. They want to destroy Bong Sam.
So Gae and ex-assistant giggle that the Head Merchant is vulnerable with Bong Sam’s business and personal impacts.
The fish need the cold temps. The fish are starting to smell. Not good, not good. Bong Sam begs the skies for snow.
Mae Wol is brought before royalty, the queen. She knows the prince is not well. The queen is surprised this little known fact. Mae Wol declares she learned this when the portrait of the king shed tears. The queen invites Mae Wol to visit her sick prince. The doctor are worried about the unstoppable nose bleeding. Mae Wol declares she will pray at a mountain for the prince’s health. She recommends lotus to stop the nose bleeding. Mae Wol knows she’s got a ticket to influence if the prince gets well.
So Gae arrives and visits Mae Wol. He’s impressed that Mae Wol got a royal audience. He wants to know how Mae Wol knew the prince was sick. She doesn’t tell him how but tells him she’s off to pray at the mountains for 3 months. So Gae correctly declares she’s leaving only to be close to Bong Sam. So Gae is worried for her. Mae Wol declares this is her path and her problem. She leaves. So Gae gives her props for drive.
The fish is rotting. Bong Sam is dismayed so many fish are rotting. They fret that more and more fish will continue to rot. What’s a fish monger to do but cover the rotten fish and sulk? It’s a fish funeral! Bong Sam is bummed.
Like a homing pigeon, Mae Wol prays her way to Bong Sam’s territory. She is predictable in that regard.
Did I mention Bong Sam is bummed? He asks the sky why isn’t it snowing? If not snow, why not wind? There are many families to feed. Bong Sam hangs his head. Wait a minute…white fluffy flakes fall from the sky…it’s snowing! Bong Sam is overjoyed and giddy as a kid on Christmas day. Inside the hut Bong Sam’s team are startled when Bong Sam produces snow. They are stoked! Find hills and slide down! I’m loving the music and giddy joy of the Bong Sam and his team.
The frozen fish look fabulous draped in a snowy blanket.
Bong Sam declares it is time for a fish party! Does anyone laugh with more relish than Jang Hyuk? They taste stews with the Bong Sam fish versus the leading national brand. LOL when they tell Gol Dae to cut off his tongue because his pallet is limited. The leading brand wins. Bong Sam sets his price at a half price rate to the leading brand, hoping the economics will have people select his fish.
Bo Hyun asks why the Head Merchant doesn’t show off his son. The Head Merchant declares he must be tender with his son and is keeping him in a more temperate climate. The assistant interrupts declaring Bong Sam and a bunch of fish have arrived.
Bo Hyun finds Bong Sam’s fish tasty. Ex-assistant thinks the fish looks good. The Head Merchant declares his superior fish will beat Bong Sam’s good but not great fish. The Head Merchant doesn’t think Bong Sam’s price will beat him.
So Sa and the baby, Yu Su, are happy that Bong Sam has returned. The happy family walks to their home. Bong Sam asks if she’s scared to be with him. So Sa assures him that by being with him, she’s not scared. Bong Sam coos over the baby. Smiles all around. So Sa tastes the fish. So Sa tells Bong Sam that his customer needs to know the taste of the fish before they will buy.
Bo Hyun asks So Gae if Bong Sam is the father of the baby. So Gae sputters he does not know. Bo Hyun charges So Gae to find out the truth. So Gae watches Bo Hyun leave and thinks the baby’s paterny is his weapon to use and no one else.
The fish sales are underway. The customer hesitate but once they get taste it they buy. It’s like Costco’s free samples!
Bong Sam learns that the leading brand of fish have cut their price to be lower than Bong Sam’s fish. He hurries to the market to find a crowd around the leading brand. So Gae gloats to their faces. He’s in it to win it. Man Chi tries to strangle So Gae. Go Man Chi Go! Bong Sam pulls Man Chi off and tells So Gae they need to talk.
Bong Sam asks what So Gae is doing selling the fish cheap. So Gae claims the Head Merchant set the new price. He tells Bong Sam he will not win. Bong Sam declares he cannot control the price of the leading brand. He asks why So Gae is trying to put him out of business and strip his merchant’s tag. So Gae declares he will end Bong Sam’s career and take his merchant tag as part of the prize. Bong Sam suggests they play fair and go head to head with merchant skills. So Gae can’t seem to wrap his mind around fair play and using merchant skills.
Bong Sam decides he must meet with the merchants who buy large volumes of fish.
The merchants wonder why the Head Merchant lowered his price. The Head Merchant claims the lower price is to celebrate the birth of his son.
Bong Sam waits to meet with the volume fish merchants. Gol Dae charms his way into the Head Merchant’s kitchen with Bong Sam’s fish. At the merchant’s gathering, Bong Sam appears with a bucket of fish. He introduces himself. He asks how his fish tasted. The Head Merchant is not happy. Bong Sam asks the Head Merchant to buy his pollacks. So Gae asks what he is doing, he doesn’t belong. Bong Sam declares if the Head Merchant’s buys his fish, Bong Sam’s business will flourish. The other merchants note that the Head Merchant should show kindnesses per the etiquette code of merchants. The Head Merchant is stuck, he can’t refuse Bong Sam’s request, or can he? He stares at Bong Sam – is it a check mate move?
Bong Sam got lucky with the snow to save his fish. Bong Sam has everything riding on the successful selling of the field of fish. I liked his pricing strategy to be half-price to the leading brand the Head Merchant sold. But bold as brass, the Head Merchant and So Gae undercut Bong Sam’s price. Classic move. Bong Sam countered with asking the Head Merchant to buy his fish according to the merchant’s kindness creed. If the Head Merchant does, he’s providing a stamp of approval for Bong Sam’s fish. If the Head Merchant does not, he loses face with the merchants for not observing the code of honor. What will the Head Merchant do?
* Bong Sam was giddy as a child granted a snow day when the snow fell to cool and save the fish. I enjoyed Bong Sam’s challenge to So Gae to battle by the merchant’s kills. That challenge alluded So Gae. I also enjoyed Bong Sam’s joy when he returned to So Sa and the baby. He was sweetly happy and content to have the woman he loved and his son under his roof.
* So Gae hides behind the Head Merchant’s choices and pretends he is merely the enforcer. So Gae would be making similar choices if forced to but relishes absolving himself of the responsibility for his actions by declares the Head Merchant is the puppet master.
* So Sa was lucky Man Chi intervenes to return the baby. Mae Wol is like a broken record – return to the Head Merchant. But his time she strengthened her argument that Bong Sam could avoid the Head Merchant’s wrath if So Sa returned to him. What will So Sa do? I also enjoyed the moment with So Sa suggested Bong Sam allow his potential customer to taste the fish to convince them of the quality. So Sa does have a brain though it isn’t highlighted often.
* Mae Wol tried to verbally strong arm So Sa into handing of the baby and / or returning to the Head Merchant. Mae Wol did not convince So Sa but she did manage to convince the Head Merchant that stripping Bong Sam of his merchant’s tag was the best way to break Bong Sam.