This series just keeps on getting better and better. Eeeks! Talk about intensifying the creepy as well as the relationships…and I’m not just talking about the romantic kind. Whew~I cannot wait for tomorrow’s episode, but until then, I’ll just have to wait patiently–ever so patiently–since episode 8 promises to be a big whopper of an episode.
Nutshell: Eun Oh realizes that the black fabrics designate north, south, east, and west. He runs around the area gathering the corresponding pieces of fabric that are tied to the tree branches. While he attempts to gather one of the last remaining ones, he slips off the tree branch and tumbles down the mountain side. The Bang trio, who had crept up behind Eun Oh in order to kill him, think that it is Lee Bang’s doing and congratulate him on courageously “killing” Eun Oh, a praise that Lee Bang tries to deny since Eun Oh fell while grabbing the black fabric/talisman. They quickly leave when they hear Arang calling for satdo (“magistrate”).
As Eun Oh grabs the fabric talisman, he disrupts the magic that the soul-sucker placed around the mountain. The effect? Not only does the soul-sucker sense the disturbance, but the two kings and Moo Young, who observe the events from heaven, watch as part of the glass ball shatters. The Great Jade Emperor sends Moo Young down to see investigate, commenting to the King of the Underworld that humans are, indeed, quite something, especially Eun Oh.
When Moo Young arrives, he sees the black fabric talismans as well as Arang, but he refuses to help Arang find Eun Oh. After all, he’s on another mission. Arang curses at him and goes to find Eun Oh on her own.
She finds him unconscious and uses the rope from the crime scene (that the villagers had marked off) to let herself down. Unfortunately, the rope snaps, and she goes tumbling down, past Eun Oh and over the cliff.
Fortunately for her, Eun Oh regains consciousness in time to grab hold of her hand and pulls her to safety. Despite his injury, he wryly asks if she’s here to save him or to kill him. Heh.
But before they can even call for help or figure out a way off the ledge, rain starts to fall, and Arang grabs Eun Oh, who has once again fallen unconscious, inside a cavern to shield him from the rain. Inside, Eun Oh starts to shiver, and Arang tries to keep him warm. She briefly contemplates taking off her clothes to warm him but quickly dismisses the idea, a comment that brings a small smile to Eun Oh’s face.
With no other way to warm him, Arang hugs him but learns from Eun Oh that she has no body warmth. What?! Arang refuses to believe that she’s not human, but Eun Oh dryly comments that she seems to be full of flaws and that the lack of body warmth is one of them. In disbelief, Arang leaves to find a way out of the cave…but not before sternly warning Eun Oh that she’ll kill him if he dies on her. Heh.
She runs into a strange man who tells her that he, too, came into the cave to get away from the rain. When he learns that there is someone else with her, he follows her to Eun Oh, and that’s when the creepiness takes on new heights. Needless to say, I’m so glad I am watching this is broad daylight. In a brief show of craziness, the man exhibits symptoms of multiple personalities as he switches from one personality to another. Ultimately, though, he’s after human liver, and Arang’s liver apparently smells as fresh as a baby’s. (Korean folklore has this things about livers having restorative and healing properties, and so various people will try to eat livers in order to get well.) But before he can eat her, Eun Oh regains consciousness and comes to her rescue…again. He suspected that this stranger was up to no good since he supposedly came from the rain but was completely dry. Unfortunately, they turn their backs on the guy, and he pummels Eun Oh to the ground and then readies himself to eat Arang. When he tries to stab her for her liver, he discovers that she’s not quite human and asks her what she is. Incensed despite her fear, Arang screams out, “I’m human!” Regardless of her answer, though, the stranger delights in being able to eat her liver if she is what he suspects she is. (OK, now I’m really curious as to what exactly Arang is. Apparently, Arang has some unique qualities that makes “eating” her a prize.)
Thankfully, before he can actually eat Arang, Moo Young shows up, brandishes his sword, and vanquishes the strange man/spirits.
The immediate result? A multitude of souls that had forgotten their identities are released…too many for Moo Young to count.
He reports his findings to the two kings, who then muse that whoever is snatching these souls must have become quite powerful, powerful enough to conjure up a physical person with the trapped souls. The King of the Underworld rants that he was hoping to find the mastermind living in the cave, bu the Great Jade Emperor answers that the smart villain probably anticipated such an event and relocated. He reminds his brother that they still have Arang and the magistrate to help them in this investigation. He comments that anger is what ages his brother so quickly. Heh.
With Moo Young gone–again not bothering to help Arang and Eun Oh–Arang builds a fire with the strange man’s belongings and watches over a now sleeping Eun Oh. She muses over what Moo Young told her: that when a soul loses its identity, it can become an evil thing. She vows to herself that even though she may not be human, she won’t ever become an evil thing, and for that matter, she won’t be going to hell as the King of the Underworld seems to think.
The next morning, she wakes up to find Eun Oh gone. Yelling for him, she finds him coming back from scouting the area for an escape route. What did he learn? That the cave is crumbling. Yikes! The two of them return to their ledge before the cavern can crumble and bury them and get discovered by Eun Oh’s trusty servant, Dol Swe, who yells for Eun Oh with gladness but glares at Arang. At his vicious glare, Arang’s smile fades and she wonders why Dol Swe is glaring at her. Heh…possibly because he sees you as a threat.
How far does Dol Swe’s dislike for her go? Far enough that he pulls back the rope when Eun Oh tries to give it to Arang first. Heh…petty little man, eh? He pulls Eun Oh up to safety after receiving the promise that Eun Oh, not Arang, will be coming up first. After all, his master’s safety comes before anything else. Aw…
Once safely up, Eun Oh quickly lowers the rope for Arang, and Dol Swe hugs his master’s waist to help pull her up. Aw…And as they do, Eun Oh jokingly says that if the rope should snap, she should simply close her eyes and think happy thoughts. After all, she’ll soon be alive again.
Unfortunately, what he joked about comes to fruition…perhaps there is some truth to the Korean proverb that words become reality…and Arang plunges to her second death.
As for Eun Oh, he freaks out–literally–at her death. As he turns to run down the mountain, the loss of blood and exhaustion catches up with him, and he loses unconsciousness.
Meanwhile, Joo Wal sits before the soul-sucker, awaiting instructions in trepidation. When she finally gestures him forward, she caresses his scar from her ringed slap and soothes his pain. She reassures him in disingenuous sympathy that no matter what anyone says, she treasures him most of all her possessions. Ew…creepy. She then calls him her son and tasks Joo Wal with the duty of getting to know Arang well and to find out her mission. As for Eun Oh, Joo Wal needs to keep him alive since Arang is under Eun Oh’s guardianship. But as Joo Wal leaves her, he begins to doubt whether he should obey her orders.
With Joo Wal on his way back to the village to do her bidding, the soul-sucker enters the shrine on her property, opens the underground basement, and summons two spirit warriors from two clay jars to do her bidding. She fondly tells them that she needs their help and doesn’t trust any human. She wants Arang because if Arang is what she suspects she is, then the soul-sucker will have no more need of these frail human bodies. Uh-oh…
Meanwhile, one of these untrustworthy human beings, Lord Choi, recovers from his ailment and learns from his newly returned servant that Eun Oh is not officially Lord Kim’s son. In fact, Eun Oh’s identity was difficult to learn, but it seems as though Eun Oh is the bastard son of the lord’s relationship with his enemy’s daughter, a noblewoman turned slave. He has more to impart, but before he can finish his report, Lord Choi chuckles and plans to get rid of Eun Oh for entering into “the tiger’s den” without any fear.
As for Dol Swe, he rushes to carry Eun Oh back to the magistrate’s residence, where the Bang trio praise themselves for getting rid of Eun Oh. Joo Wal is there as well, trying to figure out where he can find Arang or Eun Oh. Dol Swe yells for them to get a doctor–quickly!–and to go help Arang, who fell over a cliff.
While Dol Swe looks after Eun Oh and the Bang trio practice their facial expressions–after all, they mustn’t be caught now that Eun Oh’s still alive–Joo Wal rushes to find Arang. When he does, she stirs awake and then gently touches his cheek, the same place that his “mother” touched, and comments that he’s warm so he must not be a dream.
In a move reminiscent of his carrying Arang for the leap moon sacrifice (Twin Moon/Leap Moon when the lunar calendar assigns two “moons” to catch up with the deficit of time…sort of like how the solar calendar has a leap day in February), he carries her back to his horse. Once on horseback and in “safety,” Arang promptly falls asleep on his shoulder.
As for Eun Oh, the doctor declares him alive and on the mend to recovery. Dol Swe rejoices when Eun Oh finally opens his eyes but is crushed when the first words out of his mouth is “A…Arang.” Pffft. Seriously, Dol Swe acts like a jealous boyfriend.
Musings: Ack! This drama just keeps amping up the anticipation and the suspense! I’ll keep this episode’s musings to a minimum since I know you all want to read this recap sooner rather than later.
A lot of new developments…the biggest one is that the soul-sucker is now aware that the kings are on to her and is slowly preparing to wage war with them. Her goal? To consume Arang so that she can become immortal. We also learn that souls that do not make their journey to the afterlife linger around aimlessly and eventually lose their identity. The end result for them? To become nameless souls that are full of evil. This is now a fear that Arang has, that she might not remain herself. After all, it comes as a shock to her that, although she looks human, she’s not quite human.
As for the love triangle, we are definitely headed towards a confrontation as Joo Wal starts to play a more prominent role in Arang’s life. But then again, how can Joo Wal’s one “save” ever compete with Eun Oh’s multiple saves? Seriously now. We’re just being taken on a ride, but it’s a ride I’m willing to take if it means we get to see more of those two bickering and growing closer together. In the immortal words of Oliver Twist, “Please, sir, I want some more.” More. More. More.
I’m sure you all have comments to add to this, so please share your thoughts and musings. I certainly didn’t write everything I wanted to say about this episode and would love to hear your thoughts!
Until tomorrow’s recap then…!