Arang and the Magistrate: Episode 3 Recap / Summary

Episode 3 packs a whole lot of punch–fights, relationship developments, more insight into the celestial realm, etc. But what I loved most about this episode is the adorable relationships between the main leads and their little sidekicks: Arang with her shaman and Eun Oh with his Dol Swe. Tooooooooo cute!

The series continues to move along at a solid pace, leaving behind tiny clues here and there for use and development later on in the drama. I’m looking forward to seeing how some of these “clues” help resolve the growing problem between Eun Oh and Arang as Eun Oh, a human, starts to have feelings for Arang, a ghost.

Recap/nutshell: This episode opens with episode 2’s cliffhanger. As Arang leans forward to kiss Eun Oh’s lips, Eun Oh wakes up from his dream. LOL. I knew it was too good to be true! 

The next morning, Eun Oh tells Dol Swe to take a letter to Young Master Choi.

Meanwhile, Arang gets dressed up in her new clothes in preparation to go see Young Master Choi with Eun Oh, a situation I personally find odd since her clothes are visible while she is not. And the new clothes “disappear” once Arang puts them on. Interesting…pesky little detail the drama refuses to deal with. Ah well…I must remember: suspension of disbelief.

Eun Oh hems and haws about how long Arang is taking…until he sees her come out. For several moments, he is stunned speechless by Arang’s beauty and quickly covers up his reaction by insulting Arang when she asks how she looks. Aw…the boy’s starting to develop the symptoms. Heh.

In a pique because Arang looks so pretty and because that prettiness is for Young Master Choi and not for him, Eun Oh tells Arang to wait at the shaman’s house until he comes for her to go meet Young Master Choi.

Arang goes back inside and takes delight in her new clothes, twirling about. However, she soon leaves the house when she hears the shaman praying for her to leave. Aw…

Determined to use her waiting time effectively, Arang enters a deserted barn-like structure in the hopes of procuring more of the medicine to make her visible. Unfortunately, some disgruntled ghosts follow her there and decide to take their revenge on her for ruining their jaesa (yearly ceremony to remember deceased relatives) meal. She fights them off at first, especially when one of them steps on her clothes, her new dress! However, the single female ghost can only do so much against a gang of male ghosts. Fortunately, just as she’s about to get a beating from the leader of the ghosts, Eun Oh miraculously appears, and the two of them fight off the ghosts…long enough for the ghost reapers to appear. As soon as those reaper police appear and the gang of ghosts come under the reapers’ attack, Eun Oh and Arang make their getaway. However, by now the damage is done, and Arang’s new dress is completely ruined.

Undeterred, Eun Oh takes her to the meeting place, only to find that Young Master Choi has gotten tired of waiting and left.

With her dress in ruin and the meeting with Young Master Choi a thing of the past, Arang asks Eun Oh why nothing seems to be going her way. She rails at the Great Jade Emperor, calling him a younggam taengi (old man). Heh…the irony of that moniker when he’s obviously so incredibly young and pretty. LOL. Of course, her screams to the Great Jade Emperor are heard all the way up in the spiritual realm as the very object of her discontent and his brother play yet another game of badeuk (a Korean board game called “Go”). Hearing her cry out against him that nothing seems to ever go her way, the Great Jade Emperor causes the rain to fall and unearth Arang’s physical body.

The next morning, the village is in chaos as people hear news of the unearthed corpse. Arang’s maid identifies the body, and some of the villagers comment that Arang’s body is in pristine condition despite being dead for three years. Eun Oh arrives on the scene and after a few moments’ hesitancy at the prospect of seeing Arang’s dead body, he lifts up the covers to confirm the body for himself as well as to discover that the body does not have his mother’s hairpin.

When Arang arrives on the scene, Eun Oh goes to block her from seeing her own dead body, telling her in concern to not go any further. Unfortunately, Arang refuses to listen and catches a glimpse of herself.

Running away from the scene, Arang cries over the injustice of having died at such a young age and in such a cruel manner. She cries over the past three years of having to live as a ghost. She cries over not getting to marry. She cries..and runs…and cries…until she exhausts herself by the lake.

Meanwhile, Young Master Choi comes to take the body away, and Eun Oh stops him, citing that this is now a homicide and Arang’s body is evidence of murder. In an obvious attempt to deflect his interest in Arang, Young Master Choi lies and tells Eun Oh that he hardly knew his fiance and only saw her that one time during their engagement meeting. He merely wants to take the body away because his father requested it for a proper burial. However, Eun Oh refuses to let the body out of his sight and commands Dol Swe to take the body back to the Magistrate’s residence, something that Dol Swe does not want to do judging from his expression. LOL

With Arang’s body now cleaned and safely escorted into the Magistrate’s residence–specifically in her old room–Eun Oh observes the maid pray for Arang’s safe journey into the afterlife while Arang finally makes her way back to her physical body. Looking down on her now-dead form, Arang softly comments that she looks pretty. Aw…I’d forgotten that Arang doesn’t know what she looks like. She then promises herself that she will find out what happened to her.

Sitting on top of the roof, Arang begins to pray to the Great Jade Emperor and asks him to please, please tell her what happened to her. She prettily apologizes for all the horrible things she’s called him in the past and promises to go on her spiritual journey quietly if he will just tell her how and why she died. However, when she receives no answer–after all, she waited a whole minute!–she resumes her curses, yelling at him.

And of course, the two kings are playing their little board game…yet again…and hear her screams and rants. The King of the Underworld warn the Great Jade Emperor that Arang’s fate now lies with him, not with the Great Jade Emperor.

With no help or answer from the heavenly spheres, Arang decides to take matters into her own hands and goes to visit the shaman one last time. Heh…I love how it’s always one last time, and yet there’s always another time. LOL. Arang threatens/promises the shaman to leave her alone if Bang Wool (Korean word for “bell”) will help Arang open the portal to the spiritual world, and so, these two brave–or foolish–women go to an abandoned and condemned building that has all these papers barring ghosts from entry. And what do they find inside?

A marking that looks exactly like the one on Arang’s neck! Bang Wool then helps Arang summon the head ghost reaper (Moo Young) and hides herself. Of course, when she realizes that Arang has summoned the head ghost reaper and wants an audience with the Great Jade Emperor himself, she freaks out and can barely remember her role, which is to slide open the portal to the abyss.

Moo Young arrives as planned, hears Arang’s request for an audience with the Great Jade Emperor, and refuses to take her to him. At his refusal, Arang signals–several times since her trusty shaman friend Bang Wool is too petrified–for the portal opening. Once the portal opens, Moo Young is sucked backwards, followed closely by Arang, who clings to him for dear life.

Aware of this new development, the two celestial kings continue their game of go, the King of the Underworld ecstatic that he’s finally winning against his brother, a situation that is paralleled nicely in the events on earth. However, in an unexpected–or planned–move, the Great Jade Emperor not only blocks his brother’s anticipated winning move but positions himself to win the game…once again.

Stunned, the brother asks if the Great Jade Emperor will allow him to undo his last move since he’s sooooo close to winning this time. The gracious Great Jade Emperor concedes…at a price. LOL. The price? That Arang be allowed to see him and not be turned over to the King of the Underworld. With the pact made, Moo Young is then given permission, after being “rescued” by Bang Wool, to bring Arang to him.

As for Eun Oh, who hasn’t seen Arang since her flight from her dead body, he leaves Dol Swe with the duty of guarding Arang’s dead body as though it is something that belongs to him (heh…I love how Eun Oh tries to convince Dol Swe to think that the dead body is Dol Swe’s prized possession) while he goes to investigate. More than a bit concerned, he searches for his amnesic little friend while at the same time, Arang follows Moo Young to go see the Great Jade Emperor.

And the cliffhanger revealed by the spoiler to episode 4? That when she leaves to go meet the Great Jade Emperor, she will never be able to return back to Eun Oh.

Musings: Ooooooh, so many questions burning through my mind right now. And no, I haven’t seen episode 4 yet, so if any of these questions are answered in that episode, I. don’t. want. to. know.

Wow…that’s weird for me. Usually, I want to know the ending of my stories before I even start watching the first episode, but for some reason, with this drama, I simply want to discover things as they occur. I am not craving spoilers at all. Weird…definitely.

So, what are some of these burning questions? Want in on some of them? Heh…OK, you’ve twisted my arm:

1. Who is this younger sister of Moo Young that was mentioned in episode 2? The one that he’s watching? Why do I get the feeling that Arang is that younger sister, especially after their interaction in this episode?

2. Why hasn’t Arang’s body decayed over the span of three years? Is this a magical phenomenon that will be used to help Arang’s spirit return to her physical body so that Eun Oh and the Arang (as a human girl) can finally be a couple?

3. What is Lord Choi’s role in Arang’s death? Why do I get this sneaking suspicion that he killed her?

Aside from these and other questions I have, I loved watching this episode. The constant comments about messing up Arang’s clothes (during the fight with the other ghosts) and how much Eun Oh had spent on them were hilarious. 🙂

I know that there’s a lot more I could muse about–like Yoo Seung Ho’s prettiness *cough cough*–but I’ll save that for episode 4’s blog post, which I’m hoping to have done by Tuesday night. And the great thing for me is that since I’m watching last week’s episodes this week, I don’t have to wait a whole week to see episode 5. LOL.

With my “usual” schedule now in place, I hope to recap episode 5 on Wednesday morning before I leave for work. Life is most definitely good! 😉

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Snoopy's Twinkie

Created Musings back in 2010 when viewers were frantically searching for SungKyunKwan Scandal recaps. She currently blogs and comments from the US. You can also find her on FB (@SnoopysTwinkie), twitter (@twinkiedramas), and YouTube (Twinkiedramas).

5 thoughts on “Arang and the Magistrate: Episode 3 Recap / Summary”

  1. Just wanted to offer an explanation for the invisible clothes and why Arang was able to wear them:

    People who practice ancestral-worshiping believe that ghosts can only have an item if someone gives it to them.

    In the past (and even now in modern times) the living always put out food to appease the dead, or offer them things on their memorial days/death anniversary. Of course, the food doesn’t get eaten physically. What the ghosts eat is the “good intentions” and “thoughts” of the people doing the offering. They just eat the essence of the object. Same goes for other objects. So when ghosts are given things like clothes, they wear the “idea” or the “essence” of the clothes, not the actual physical thing.

    When Arang got her new dress and puts it on… you can look down at the tray and see that the clothes are clearly still there where the shaman left them. They don’t turn invisible when Arang puts them on. That’s because she is only wearing the “essence” of the clothes that the Shaman and Eunoh give her, not the real physical thing.

    You can see this concept play out in a bunch of other scenes in the drama as well.

    Remember that scene in Ep 1 where Arang plucked that big leaf to cover her head during the rain? After she pulled it out, you can see that the actual leaf was still there. She didn’t snap the actual leaf (because she can’t), just the spiritual essence of it.

    This probably also explain why ghosts can get wet by rain. They’re not touching the actual water droplets. They’re just touching the essence of the rain water. It’s the illusion of being wet. Ghosts mimic human experience and behavior, but they are not human so they can’t interact for real with earthly things. Like when Arang “drank” alcohol and then got drunk. In actuality, she can’t get drunk because she is a ghost. We realize this later when she told Eunoh that she was never drunk to begin with and was only pretending.

    Ok? ^^ I hope that makes sense, and that this understanding can enrich your viewing experience (as it has mine). Somebody had to explain this stuff to me, too.

    1. Great explanation! Thanks! I am definitely not as familiar with the ghostly rules. Good to know since I missed those little details while recapping. 🙂
      Also, welcome to our community…first comment! Hurray!

  2. Thanks for the recap, ST! I love the way this drama is turning out. So many levels of plot and interaction.

    Thanks also for the explanation, Tberry! Apart from understanding what’s going on in Arang better, it’s currently the Chinese 7th month (aka ghost month) so it’s been helpful in understanding what my neighbours are doing!

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