Uncle Samsik – Season 1 Episode 13 Recap & Review


Uncle Samsik Episode 13 lands us in 1954 Busan, where Samsik grills for a gathering with the Ahn family, including Kang. Min-chul offers to trade Kang’s horse for his district, kicking off Kang’s career as an assemblyman. He later squeezes Kang for his shares in an oil company, a gift Kang isn’t happy to make.

Instead, Kang offers his shares to Samsik – paired with his own, it’s enough to join the Federation. If he’ll help him get rid of Min-chul. During his final speech, Min-chul had been corralling enthusiasm to make Korea a global exporter. Then moments later he’s blown up.

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Ki-chul wonders whether San could be more helpful than Kang, especially if Choi becomes President. After the conversation, San hurries to Samsik to report, encouraging him to meet Ki-chul.

Seoul, March 19, 1960, days after election day, Samsik meets Ki-chul, noting an abundance of foreigners in the building who Rachel says are UN Investigators. He gives Ki-chul the signed Sineui document, swearing he had nothing to do with his brother’s murder, but merely delivered Palbong to Kang. Ki-chul flatly confirms that Kang will be executed legally after the coup and that Samsik shouldn’t underestimate younger people, like San.

Immediately afterwards, Samsik plots to take down a dangerous Ki-chul. But even his associate believes they won’t get away with the old ways of doing things.

Back in the bunker, Samsik tells Jang that Ki-chul is even worse than his father, Yosub. He laments not having recognized Ki-chul earlier. He’d originally taken him for a kid when he’s actually far more terrifying than Kang. Samsik believes he may have been mocking them all along. Could San ever be his match? Samsik believes that, unfortunately, San has a soft spot for people who recognize his worth – and may be taken by him.

Seoul, April 3, 1960, San tells Choi that with the UN investigating the election, they don’t need a coup. Conversely, Hanmin insists the time to act is now. But Choi is against brute force if a revolution can happen without it.

Hanmin collects men for the coup, including those who will become interrogators in the future, Sooil and Hyun-seok. Colonel Hyun-seok is keen to ensure that these are General Choi’s wishes that they’re receiving.

Masan, April 1, 1960, Yeojin thinks through all that’s happened, asking San about her father’s death. Zip to the ally and now seeing Samsik for the first time, and San with him, she wonders what else he’s getting into – like stealing ballot boxes.

Finally catching up, Taemin gives Yeojin the truckload of ballot boxes, again apologising for accidentally killing her father. Then claims, honoring the Alliance, he’ll turn himself in. On the truck, Yeojin and Lee slash Sail Bakery cardboards to find the original locked ballot boxes.

Samsik receives a message that Hanmin met 10 or more high-ranking officers, with General Choi a topic of discussion. Notably, Captain Lee Sooil is among the attendees. Together he and San land that Hanmin is secretly using Choi’s name to push the coup forward. Further, they work out that Sooil’s family is intertwined with Ki-chul’s, making San worry more for Choi, who’s been taken by Hanmin.

At the paper, the reporters set up round-the-clock guarding of the ballot boxes acquired from Taemin. They gather tips from contacts, all pointing toward tampering by the Liberal Party.

Samsik and San eventually figure out that Ki-chul must be behind it all, that Hanmin couldn’t possibly organize a coop takeover himself. They realize that when the coup is complete, Ki-chul will slaughter everyone – Samsik, Kang, San, Choi. Everyone.

Meanwhile, Minkyu shouts at Kang wanting him to pin everything on Samsik but Kang resists, insisting that Samsik is someone they can rely on. He turns on him, refusing to budge.

At the bunker, Hanmin and Hyun-seok meet Choi, while in a meeting Sooil and Ki-chul agree that they’ll move forward with the coup even if Choi doesn’t agree. Ki-chul is certain he can take care of any US troops.

Kang arrives at Samsik’s HQ to hear that Ki-chul has threatened him. As he shouts at Samsik for not fixing it, San defends Samsik making him Kang’s new target. They go head-to-head with Samsik trying to cool temperatures and refocus on Ki-chul. They decide martial law is the best way to stop the coup and Ki-chul.

The paper runs a story about the ballot boxes, causing chaos across the country. As the now-necessary martial law is declared, Hanmin gets his men ready. And in the interrogation bunker, Samsik confesses to Jang that martial law was his idea.


Episode Review

Samsik and San still remain aligned, even though they clearly have different wider goals and plans for the country. Can they remain on the same trajectory as Samsik had once thought?

With Haemin off the rails, before he gets to the dirt pit in the previous chapter, how much havoc can he wreak? Is he Ki-chul’s pawn as they believe or just power-hungry with an idea in his head?

One more thought on the coop – do Hyun-seok and Sooil create a coop themselves when they find out Hanmin isn’t working under Choi? Is that how they lead the bunker investigations? After all, that’s where the coop appears to be based. Or are they operating as military police after the fact? Then again, the ‘winner’ of the coop would have military police.

So much is coming together and only three episodes left. What are the chances that Taemin, who seems to be at least a beige hat in all this will survive and make it to Osaka as he’d wished?


Who’s your favorite pawn in Uncle Samsik? At this point, it could be anyone. Let us know in the comments below. 

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