Uncle Samsik – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review

Hypocrisy Disguised as a Dream

Uncle Samsik Episode 5 drags us back to Busan 1946 and a 16-year-old Kang. Yosub’s eldest son Ahn Min-chul, the Liberal Party Assemblyman, tells him a prince’s only choice is to either become his father’s lackey or kill him for his throne. When he talks back, Ahn hits him, igniting a fight his father then breaks up.

Later, Kang sits sullenly outside a room where Ahn and his father party with booze and women. Ahn can’t help mentioning his mother’s suicide. Later, when everyone is passed out, Kang tries to stab his father but Ahn pulls him away, earning Kang a beating.

To fight injustice with necessary violence, Kang leads other kids in swearing allegiance to Sineui Alliance. His father is their first target, whom they blow up with a bomb.

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Per Episode 4, San speaks to Yeojin, where he claims he can align with Choo and her publicly, giving up his new job, but she walks away when he talks of his hypocritical dream. As a fight is unleashed on Innovation Party supporters, Taemin watches Yoon remove Choo from the scene.

Samsik shunts San away, but they argue about him showing his face at an event with Yeojin. San promises that this is the last time but that he doesn’t want her to see him as a coward. They argue about allegiances and Samsik is forced to reveal his greater plan – with San as Prime Minister in 3 years, able to make any changes he wants as they buy 170 people into parliament. San will give up Yeojin but he wants his economic plan to start too.

Yoon hides Choo in an ally and checks for safety while Taemin tracks him. When Yoon goes head-to-head with Seodaemun leader, Gu Hae-jun, Taemin follows with a gun. Taemin and his recruit shoot Hae-jun and Yoon but also Choo, as he leaps out. Choo’s critical condition is reported to various Ministers, including Kang.

As Taemin is reported spotted on scene, Yoon is declared dead as is Hae-jun. The police show his brother Han-soo Taemin’s ID – a manager at Sail Salt Farm. At a newspaper, a political journalist receives a package that includes the photo of Taemin and Kang. The journalist shows the photo to his editor, circumstantially linking it to Ahn Min-chul’s death.

The newspaper prints the old photo and an implication without naming Kang, but Yosub is already sold. Samsik tells the Federation that he will investigate Kang, a member, discreetly. Kang swears to Minister Choi that everything is a smear campaign but Choi questions his future usefulness to the Federation, led by Yosub.

Minister Jiwook checks in with Jeon Soyong, the Director of the National Security Bureau regarding Taemin’s Alliance. He’s told they’d been ordered to release them all 10 years ago.

Separately, Yosub asks Samsik about his son’s killer but he says he’s not sure. Yosub orders him to stop all outgoing campaign support funds and to look into Min-chul’s killer. Samsik’s guy gives Taemin his ticket and some supplies, confirming that of course Samsik will meet him.

Jiwook asks Samsik about Taemin, declaring Kang sent him, but gets all song and dance. Standing on Samsik’s neck, he pulls all the info on Taemin’s planned escape. And turns his band of freelance workers to seek the gang, advising to shoot Taemin if he seems dangerous. He suggests they start at Kang’s property. One of Samsik’s informants passes him the details and he quickly changes the Taemin meeting location.

The press asks Kang about the Sineui Alliance and Ahn Min-chul’s death, but he claims it’s not him in the photo. At a meeting, Assemblymen ask Kang why the Federation’s promised funds are not coming through. His secretary encourages him to beg for Yosub’s help otherwise they won’t have the funds to change the Local Government Act.

Upon reading the paper, Kwangmin meets with San, worried because he’s the one who introduced Yoon to the Innovation party. San visits their newspaper contact to check the evidence, discussing theories.

The remaining Seodaemun leader, Han-soo, tells Samsik he wants revenge. Samsik give him a job to do first.

Joining the vigil at the hospital, Yeojin tells San to get lost and go chase his dreams. He then reports to Yosub, saying he’s ready.

Under interrogation, San says he doesn’t know if Samsik was involved with Choo and Yoon’s murders. The investigator also mentions Jiwook in that group. San notes that Samsik doesn’t believe in fate but makes his plans and adjusts them as he goes.

In another room, Samsik faces his interrogator, General Jang, the traitor. However, Jang says he’s there to set him free. Samsik doesn’t see how he’ll do that, but he does note that it’s not he who made the world, but the world that’s made him.


The Episode Review

This seems like San’s final straw, now that Yeojin has let go. While I don’t believe cowardice is the adjective she’d use for San right now, she may get there eventually. For now it’s more like hypocrite, climber… jerk?

Kang has way bigger problems than funding for President Rhee’s re-election. Is he confident enough in his poker face to meet Yosub in person now? If he makes it past the murder thing, he’ll certainly want to continue his way up the ladder, that on Rhee’s coattails. 

Learning Kang’s backstory of his mother’s suicide and father’s abuse, it’s not surprising that he seems a little unhinged. Or that he had a grudge against Min-cheol that’s bigger than just politics. But there’s surely more to the story. What happened after he blew up his father?

Taemin, part of Kang’s history, is another violence-prone hothead, perfect material for an Alliance built on revenge. What are the chances he’ll make it to Osaka? I’m betting slim. And now we’ve seen police evidence of his connection to Samsik.

Sail Salt Farm – recall ‘Sail’ on a business card in Samsik’s name? Now that Han-soo sees it, does he know the connection? Will the police? It seems that Jiwook can take care that, if he and Samsik make friends. And the police are used to be told who they can and can’t arrest. But a friendship between Samsik and Jiwook is not looking so steady right now… this is the first time we’ve seen someone get violent with or try to humiliate Samsik since childhood. Oops.


Who’s your favorite pawn in Uncle Samsik? There are many from which to choose. Let us know in the comments below. 

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