The Merchant Gaekju Episode 30 Recap

The Head Merchant takes a direct hit courtesy of So Gae and Mae Wol. He staggers and stumbles. Is he defeated?

The Merchant Gaekju Episode 30 Recap

So Sa (Han Chae Ah) asks Mae Wol (aka Gae Dong (Kim Min Jung)) if she had a hand in the death of her sister in law (Bang Geum). Mae Wol’s assistant is shocked and over pours the tea. So Sa recognizes this slip as confirmation. So Sa accuses Mae Wol of killing Bang Geum when she was really the target.  So Sa demands answers. Mae Wol goes on the counter attack. “I’ve saved Bong Sam’s life and your life many times! How dare you accuse me of murder.” As she leaves So Sa declares she only want the truth. Mae Wol is relieved that she avoided admitting the truth.

Wol advises So Sa to talk to Bong Sam about this issue. So Sa agrees.

Mae Wol’s assistant worries that So Sa will tell the Head Merchant. Mae Wol believes So Sa’s lifespan is shrinking every day.

So Sa tells Bong Sam (Jang Hyuk) she needs to talk to him.

mg_ep30_2Sellers are swapping an inferior off brand fish for their Chun Fish. Bong Sam declare they need to find the culprit or Chun Fish brand will go down in flames.

Bong Sam tells So Sa he’ll need to take a road trip to find the culprit that is selling an inferior product as Chun Fish. Bong Sam asks what So Sa needed to discuss with him. She hesitates. He prods. So Sa lies that she needed to talk to him about Bang Geum’s funeral. Honey, Bong Sam is your partner, share your burdens!

The Head Merchant’s former assistants meets with So Gae. He declares they need to directly attack the Head Merchant. They all realize this bold move could be fatal. So Gae assures them his plan is solid.

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Mae Wol is stunned that So Gae (Yu Oh Seong) wants her to “borrow” Bong Sam’s baby for a day. Exactly how can she do that? So Gae says So Sa’s death comes with a price.

Mae Wol prays. How can I steal that baby and not get caught? How can I avoid getting caught for my part in Bang Geum’s death? Her assistant tells her Bong Sam is going on a road trip. Mae Wol springs into action.

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Bong Sam chides his child for sleeping as he prepares to leave. Bong Sam tells So Sa he’ll be back soon. Ah, sweet back hugs from So Sa. She admits she’s afraid their happiness is fragile. Bong Sam asks if she wants to go on the business trip with him. Gol Dae breaks the moment when he yells for Bong Sam to come. So Sa, once again, subverts her needs and reassures Bong Sam she’ll be fine at home.

As Bong Sam prepares to leave Mae Wol arrives. Mae Wol tells Bong Sam that she’s here to discusss Bang Geum’s funeral. Bong Sam asks Mae Wol to take care of So Sa while he is gone. So Sa states that Mae Wol isn’t someone that should take care of her. She realizes that seems harsh. Bong Sam asks what is wrong. So Sa lies that Mae Wol is too busy to care for her. Bong Sam still asks Mae Wol to take care of Mae Wol. He leaves. She two women stare at each other.

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Privately Mae Wol tells So Sa that she knew Bang Guem back in the day. She’s upset too that Bang Guem was killed. Mae Wol stares at the baby. She asks So Sa for soup. So Sa tells Mae Wol she’d love to be wrong about her suspicions. She leaves the room to make the soup. Mae Wol stares at the baby. Will she cross this line? Is there any doubt?

Mae Wol’s assistant watches So Sa and Wol be engrossed in making the soup and reports this to Mae Wol. She springs into action and takes the baby. She runs into someone and declares she’s taking the baby to get vaccinated. She hurries away. Mae Wol tells her men to make haste as they leave.

So Sa freaks out. The baby is missing! Wol brings the woman that saw Mae Wol take the baby. Man Chi believes that Mae Wol will hand the baby over to the Head Merchant. So Sa freaks out more.

It’s a foot race.

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So Gae is thrilled Mae Wol has brought the baby. She gives the baby to the Head Merchant’s assitant. So Gae grins in glee. Time for the big move!

The Head Merchant is stunned to learn that baby has arrived. The Head Merchant tells his former assistant to hand him over. He’s thrilled to have “his son” home.

He plays peek a boo with the baby. His assistant recommend that the Head Merchant hold a meeting for formally introduce his son. The Head Merchant loves the idea! His assistant asks if people will find it strange that his wife is absent. The Head Merchant doesn’t care.

Bo Hyun and So Gae savor that the day of the Head Merchant’s downfall has finally arrived.

When So Sa and the stable team arrive, they are blocked by soldiers, at Mae Wol’s shrine.

Mae Wol’s assistant frets to Mae Wol that the stable team is there, and with clubs! Mae Wol directs her to bring So Sa to her.

The assistants tells So Sa to come with her. Man Chi blocks her path. So Sa promises she’ll return shortly with the baby. Wol follows So Sa into Mae Wol’s quarters.  Mae Wol tells them the baby isn’t there. Wol quickly realizes that Mae Wol handed the baby over to the Head Merchant. Mae Wol confirms them when she states the Head Merchant’s 70th birthday is soon. Who knows how long he’ll live? Shouldn’t he be able to see his baby? So Sa runs out. Wol warns Mae Wol she’ll tell Bong Sam about this low down move. That hits the mark.

Sun Dol and Gol Dae asks what is preoccupying Bong Sam. He states something happened between So Sa and Mae Wol. Sun Dol counsels patience.

The Head Merchant is thrilled to introduce his son to his fellow merchants. He declares the baby is the heir apparent. Bo Hyun compliments that baby. They ask about So Sa. The Head Merchant’s assistants claim So Sa is recovering from a difficult birth and unable to join them. The Merchants accept the statement as truth.

Oops, the stable team have arrived. The Head Merchant’s team tells them to calm down. Man Chi demands the baby be brought to them. So Sa tries to go to the a baby. The men block her. A scuffle breaks out and So Sa slips away.

mg_ep30_shockmg_ep30_8b mg_ep30_83At the meeting the merchants hear calls for the baby. Bo Hyun asks what is going on. The Head Merchant is not excited to see Man Chi and So Sa burst into the room. So Sa declares she’s hear to take the baby back. Bo Hyun notes that So Sa looks well. The Head Merchant sputters that big name officials are there. He asks her to come back later. Man Chi declares they don’t care about the meeting. So Sa begs for the baby. Man Chi declares the baby isn’t even the Head Merchant’s biological son. The cat is out of the bag! The Head Merchant is horrified at his statement.  Man Chi says it again. Another moment in this series that Man Chi helps NOT hurts the situation! The Head Merchant declares the baby is his. So Sa tells him to stop deceiving himself. She tries to take the baby. The Head Merchant freaks out yelling the baby is the heir. He and So Sa scuffle over the baby. They stare at each other. The Head Merchant is realizes how unhinged he looks to the others in the room. He is humiliated. So Sa grabs the baby and runs. The Head Merchant’s secret enemies are thrilled, barely suppressing grins. No, I don’t feel sorry for the Head Merchant in the least. 

The Government office leaves the meeting. Bo Hyun declares another man fathered the baby. He declares everyone else should leave. They do. The Head Merchant collapses onto the table. He then falls against the wall.

So Gae and Mae Wol sit in silence. So Gae leaves.

The Head Merchant is weak but functional. He grabs his head. His former assistants and So Gae arrive. So Gae declares the Head Merchant had to know this day would come. The Head Merchant’s current assistant is livid that they stabbed their former master in the back. He begs So Gae to be kind to the Head Merchant. So Gae stares at him.

Mae Wol’s assistant frets that Mae Wol will be blamed for this incident. Mae Wol believes there is no other option. So Sa must be killed.

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The former assistants bow to the Head Merchant. What do they want? Time to hand over the reigns to So Gae. The Head Merchant looks like he’ll combust. He is livid. So Gae calmly tells the Head Merchant that he created the situation they were able to take advantage of. His shameless lust over So Sa was his major misstep. So Gae calmly states he has no allies any more. He tells the Head Merchant to step aside. They leave. The Head Merchant has a temper tantrum. He’s down…but is he out?

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Meanwhile Bong Sam is doing a live demonstration of Chun Fish versus the knockoff brand. Bong Sam asks who did this. One denies it but the other looks guilty. Sun Dol is outraged the merchant sold painted rotten fish as Chun Fish. Bong Sam puts the press on the merchant to reveal who made the painted rotten fish. The merchant cracks and tells them it was So Gae’s merchant buddies that forced him to sell the rotten fish as Chun Fish. Bong Sam isn’t all that surprised that So Gae is part of this mess. Bong Sam is livid that the merchant sold rotten fish to people. The merchant promises to remove the rotten fish and tell everyone that the Chun Fish is good fish. Bong Sam tells him not to bother.

Team Bong Sam enjoys dinner. The merchant that betrayed them promises to let Bong Sam meet with the merchants once they return from the meeting at the Head Merchant’s. When the merchants return they learn that the baby was at the Head Merchants’s. Team Bong Sam is relieved that they left Man Chi behind to handle things. They quickly pack to return home.

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Mae Wol is freaking out. So Gae tells her he can’t kill So Sa when she’s under heavy guard.

Bong Sam runs for his wife and child. He remembers So Sa’s back hug and concern. He runs ahead of the rest of the team.

The Head Merchant asks his assitant what the other merchants said. There’s an report that the rotten fish are being blamed on the Head Merchant. The government asks the Head Merchant to resign. He’s not a happy man.

So Gae is a happy man. He tells the Government official that while hard, the time has come for the Head Merchant to resign. So Gae pushes the ledger detailing the Head Merchant’s secret assets to the Government official. So Gae declares without an heir, the Government official should decide how to disperse the Head Merchant’s assets . The Government official is thrilled. He’s won the lottery funded by the Head Merchant!

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Mae Wol arrives at the stables. Man Chi stops her. So Sa agrees to talk to Mae Wol. So Sa asks if there are misunderstanding that need clarification. So Sa must think “you again” every time she sees Mae Wol. Mae Wol feels badly for the Head Merchant. He’s ruined. So Sa feels bad about that. Mae Wol declares So Sa pushed the Head Merchant to the edge of sanity. So Sa counters that if Mae Wol hadn’t kidnapped the baby, So Sa wouldn’t have had to confront the Head Merchant.

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Bong Sam bursts into the room.

So Sa stands to greet him.

Mae Wol can’t believe he’s there.

Bong Sam asks Mae Wol if she kidnapped the baby. Why? Why did she do this?

Mae Wol is living her nightmare.

So Sa stares at Bong Sam. How did he know?

Bong Sam stares daggers at Mae Wol.

Mae Wol gather her courage and looks at Bong Sam.

My Thoughts

The rug is pulled out from under the Head Merchant. His former assistant’s saw the opportunity and struck. The Head Merchant was publicly humiliated. The Government has called for him to step down. He may be down, but I don’t think he’s out…not yet.

So Sa can’t quite believe that Mae Wol is evil. Mae Wol can easily distract So Sa’s charge by reminding her of past actions that were not blood thirsty. So Sa fell for it and then fell for it again. Mae Wol demonstrates that a good defense is the best offense.

* Bong Sam unmasked the fish swap culprits. Glad when the merchant caved to Bong Sam’s pressure he named So Sa as the instigator.  Bong Sam ran hard once her hard his family was in a bad position. Then to hear So Sa accuse Mae Wol when he returned home, that got him riled up. I hope that he finally sees Mae Wol for who she is – someone blinded by an obsession for him willing to do anything to be the woman in his life. Didn’t you want to rap Bong Sam on the head when he asked Mae Wol to take care of So Sa? He doesn’t read faces well. Both women’s horror at the suggestion was evident. One other thought, Bong Sam and So Sa are sweet but don’t really have the “greatest love” vibe.

* So Gae met his goal of getting the upper hand with the Head Merchant and is on the verge of pushing him out.  He loved it. His plan came together. The Government wants the Head Merchant out and So Gae in. I really liked the moment when So Gae and Mae Wol sat in tense silence. They are two peas in a pod, but they were nervous and scared things would fall apart..

* So Sa can get distracted easily and protects Bong Sam by omitting details.  So Sa is an idiot for not sharing the truth about Mae Wol. Who is she trying to protect? I get guilt about throwing Mae Wol under the bus but this is a eat or be eaten situation. Unfortunately So Sa doesn’t see that clearly.

* Mae Wol was caught red handed. How is she going to wiggle out of this situation? Kidnapping the baby, another moment where Mae Wol’s crossed the line.

Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on

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Posted in Merchant Gaekju, Recaps
9 comments on “The Merchant Gaekju Episode 30 Recap
  1. […] Episode 30   Episode 29   Episode 28   Episode 27   Episode 26   Episode 25   Episode 24   Episode 23   Episode 22   Episode 21   Episode 20   Episode 19   Episode 18   Episode 17   Episode 16   Episode 15   Episode 14   Episode 13   Episode 12   Episode 11   Episode 10   Episode 09   Episode 08   Episode 07   Episode 06   Episode 05   Episodes 03 & 04   Episode 02   Episode 01 […]


  2. prettysup says:

    Woohoo you are back! And yeah SoSa is really an idiot for not telling her husband the truth, that which resulted in many repercussions later.


  3. Drama Fan says:

    Reblogged this on Stuck on Hyuk.


  4. Beez says:

    “Bong Sam and So Sa are sweet but don’t really have the “greatest love” vibe.”

    The whole relationship seems based only on SoSa’s rescue from her two bad marriages (mentally challenged groom to old fogey groom). While that’s a lot to be grateful for, there’s an aura of sadness.Even in the worst of times,a loving couple enjoys a smile and chuckle here and there, even about mundane things. Yes, life is hard but it’s not like their child, or each other, has a deathly illness. Then I could accept the bleakness.

    Their relationship is horrible because it’s so sad and worst of all – BORING! If you can’t show happiness (I know SoSa SAYS she’s happy),then how about some intensity? And I don’t mean passion because she did just have a baby so I understand weeks of no sexual activity but there can be affection. Not that Bong Sam doesn’t have affection for SoSa, but I don’t FEEEEEEEEEL it. Am I perhaps trying to describe a lack of chemistry?


    • kjtamuser says:

      You articulated it well. While they had a soft vibe there was not a sense of passion. Could another actress brought more zest to an essentially wimpy bland character? I think so. Then would the chemistry increase between our core couple? I believe so.


  5. Jane Tilly says:

    While I like Bong Sam and So Sa, I have to admit they don’t exactly sizzle. Maybe another actress would have been better, but maybe the part should have been written a little differently. Too bad we didn’t see the moxy So Sa had in the last episode, when confronting the old goat about divorce, while retrieving Yu Su or confronting Mae Wol.

    So Gae really pulled a good one on the old goat–I guess the old goat was a bit delusional about being able to hang on to Yu Su. I hope he is not out yet…he’s kinda growing on me.

    How in the world can Mae Wol think she could kidnap Yu Su and not have repercussions with Bong Sam? She has crossed the line so many times, I am beginning to hope she suffers on Earth and in Hades for eternity!


    • kjtamuser says:

      I agree with each of your points. So Sa was given only brief interspersed moments of moxy. Mae Wol…how does she keep getting away without repercussions?


    • Beez says:

      @Jane Tilly, as you move through the episodes and recaps, you’ll see one of my biggest frustrations with this show is the unrealistic way that everyone ignores the fact that they caught Mae Wol RED-HANDED and proceed in all the remaining episodes as if that didn’t happen. If this was not a Jang Hyuk project I would have dropped it a long time ago. I rate this mess a 4 out of 10 because of it’s lack of logic and not caring that the audience would find it stupid or assuming we’re stupid. The “live shoot” system is no excuse! I’m sorry but I’ve decided after weeks of bring distanced from it that I really hate this show. Especially because when actors’ shows flop, it reduces their chances for another series as producers think they don’t have the draw for audiences anymore.


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January 2016

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