Uncle Samsik – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap & Review

The Great Plan

Uncle Samsik Episode 4 brings us to 1957 Busan and Yoon has gathered some traitors, including Taemin. Taemin feels exploited by Kang who has them killing whomever he pleases. Samsik convinces Kang to spare their guy.

In the bunker, San recalls the day Rhee announced his re-election and his conversation with Samsik. He’s convinced Samsik will give him the power to make his Plan happen.

Dec 22nd, 1959 and Samsik takes San to meet Yosub, who’s read the National Reconstruction Plan. Yosub promises money and power, but things go awry when San says he’ll marry Choo’s daughter rather than let them marry him into influence. After San walks out, Samsik asks for time and Yosub wonders whether San’s enough to beat Kang.

At the Innovation Party office, Samsik’s guy reports that San is being photographed with Choo’s arm around him. Yeojin declares her participation in the party, convinced by the violence that she needs to stand up. When asked by reporters, San says he’s not a politician.

Afterwards, Yeojin asks whether he’ll join the party but San is noncommittal. He’s appalled to find Samsik is waiting for him nearby, both wondering what the other is doing there. Samsik bargains – if he sees Yeojin in secret, then he’ll get him the chairmanship of the Democratic Party’s Economic Policy Committee. But San won’t agree without understanding the big picture.

Back to the bunker and San is asked about Kim Kwangmin. Kim visits Yeojin and offers buses for their upcoming event. To plan, it’s Yoon Palbong who shows up with him. When she introduces them to her father, it’s as San’s friends. Later, Yoon updates Samsik that he’s now Choo’s security officer and that he’d managed to hide a book in Choo’s office.

Directly after, Kang appears in Samsik’s office, but he only wants to hear that Yoon is now dead. It will be done, but may take a little longer, as he’s been positioned with Choo. Kang insists that Taemin must do the job even as Samsik says he’s still lying low.

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Samsik heads to the salt farm where a chained Taemin is given a visit. Taemin asks who he’s meant to kill this time so Samsik gives him Kang’s offer of an escape to Osaka. Taemin completely loses it in anger. Chained again, Samsik sweet talks him by saying he’ll get rid of Kang before he can become president and encourages Taemin to grab his chance at freedom.

Now calm, Taemin offers evidence that Kang was co-leader of Taemin’s gang, even making homemade bombs. He shares an old photo of them when they created the Sineui Alliance.

At the Minister’s office, they worry about Choo’s rise in the polls. Choi wants to push ahead with changes to the Local Government Act, immediately quashing the idea of a public hearing, instead getting police and civil servants involved. Simultaneously, Kang ignites Minister Pak Jiwook to gather men who are keen for work.

In the bunker, San is asked why he didn’t join Choo’s party when his ratings were high but went to the Democrats instead. He recalls Samsik reeling him in to the party via Sun Wooseok, who can’t say no to Samsik as he’s accepted too many bribes.

The three meet and Samsik claims to Sun – who’s also read San’s plan – that he knows many US investors chomping to get involved. San tries to explain the policy but Sun jumps straight to a route to get rid of the Liberal Party. Sun is already sold so San holds back.

On Dec 31st, 1959, at the US Army Club, Samsik’s pawns/San’s friends gather to the tune of ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ to celebrate San’s appointment as Economic Policy Committee Chair. As they salute the new year, Kwangmin privately asks if Yeojin will be ok with this. And also, if San trusts Samsik.

Kang personally visits Samsik noting that Yoon had just left, disappointed he’s still kicking. He reminds Samsik of the bread his father had given him back in the day. Upon hearing that Yoon is with Choo, Kang suggests it’s easier to take them both down together. He reminds Samsik that he’s the one who chooses the target, but then quickly retracts the statement. Samsik dawns his usual game-pawn-face.

Yeojin explains to Jina why her father wants to become president – to create a world where people can fulfil their dreams. To San, Yeojin shares worries that her father will change his ideals with so many flatterers about. She wonders whether there’s a place for him in the Democratic Party but San quickly squashes that, noting that he doesn’t know anyone there.

The next day, flyers with San’s face and new Democratic title are thrown around in front of the Innovation Party office, which Yeojin quickly spots. She presents one to San saying she always knew this day would come. At a rally for her father, she’s brought to tears recalling conversations with San, he dithering regarding joining politics.

San finds Yeojin at the rally, claiming he’ll support Choo even from the Democratic Party seat. She calls his dream hypocrisy and returns to the event just as Seodaemun runs in with sticks. San is pushed to the ground and Samsik jumps out to rescue his treasure.


The Episode Review

And that’s how Samsik solves his San problem.

San is the last of his roughly gathered mates to fall for Samsik’s promises. As the others were brought in to get San, how long will they be useful to Samsik? He does like having elite scholars at his fingertips…and having them may make San more manageable.

It’s evil magic to watch Samsik manipulate with a bit of truth and a lot of direction, all delivered with an almost apologetic expression. Yes, yes, Uncle Samsik understands your pain. If you could just do this small thing, I can help you out… And so it goes. As he boasts his power with drips of information, any impartial observer can see that the puppet master can easily turn that tactic on you. Impartial being the watchword here.

Interestingly, we discover Kang and Samsik have a deeper history. And the Federation have already taken note that Kang is a problem. Wouldn’t it be karmic for Yoon to be the one to do the job? What’s funny is that Kang believes he’s directing Samsik. Well, many of them do. But as we’re learning, everyone is a pawn in Samsik’s role-play game, some more NFT than others.

There’s a lot going back and forth in time even on the same day, but still, it’s followable, using this tactic of tease and reveal, much like Samsik and his bigger plan. Have you fallen prey? If you’re reading this recap, methinks you’re already in Samsik’s trap. Thank you, Song Kang-ho.


What’s your favorite piece of Uncle Samsik? Let us know in the comments below. 

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