The Thousandth Man: Episode 6

Time to deal with the consequences of last week’s confession, and though they might not be life-or-death (yet), for our couple, they’re still life-changing.

Mom becomes more desperate, Mi-mo more sorrowful, and our hero and heroine try to become accustomed to living with one another – because like it or not, they’re all they have.

 

Episode 6

A group of young gumiho (gumihos? what’s the plural of gumiho?) attend a class on livers: which men have the best ones, how to locate them, and the best method of, er, extraction.

Mi-mo is the teacher’s pet, answering her questions correctly and promptly. Mi-jin, on the other hand, talks only of falling in love and not of finding livers, and earns the teacher’s ire and with it, a sound tail beating.

In the present, Mom is also giving Mi-jin a good (metaphorical) lashing: for choosing to be with Eung-seok when she has less than a month left. Mi-jin defends her man and declares that she’ll date him, liver be damned.

The lovers are causing consternation in both their houses, it seems, as at Last, Kyung-seok hands in what appears to be a resignation (to Eung-seok’s shock)… but turns out to be a grocery receipt. Ha!

Mom remembers the day a decade ago when Mi-mo had become human – and Mi-jin had had but one liver to obtain. The fact that she’s remained static is worrying and Mom fears that at this rate, Mi-jin may never become human.

When Mi-jin arrives at the beauty clinic the following day, it’s to a decidedly chilly air – the staff ignore her and Mom announces that she’s been disinherited. In fact, not only is she no longer welcome at work, she’s also been kicked out of the family home, and Secretary Park moves her belongings to Last.

So Eung-seok and Mi-jin – neither of whom had been privy to Mom’s plans – meet to discuss the day’s events, with Mi-jin in the ‘Mom be crazy, yo’ camp and Eung-seok firmly believing  that she can be made to see reason.

He soon finds out just how wrong he is come evening, when he attempts to persuade Mom that she’s overreacting and instead finds himself insulted on Mi-jin’s behalf, as Mom claims that Mi-jin has never been – and, now that she’s decided to date Eung-seok – nor will she ever be, human. He declares that Mi-jin is the most human of anyone he’s ever met and he and Mi-jin leave, with Mi-jin retorting that she’ll never return. Well, yeah, seeing as you’ve only fifteen days left to either become human or disappear forever, I’d say that’s a likely bet.

Mi-mo drowns her sorrows in soju as Woo-hyun looks on worriedly and she asks him what he sees in her. He replies that he just likes her, because she’s her, which reminds her of Eung-seok and of Eung-seok and Mi-jin… and has her reaching for another bottle of soju.

Eung-seok and Mi-jin sleep separately – Eung-seok on the couch, tossing and turning as he thinks of their current predicament and Mi-jin in bed, absently scratching her nose whenever her tail swishes up to tickle it. Eek, her tail? Do they always come out when she sleeps, or is it because she’s so close to the end of her lifespan?

When she greets Eung-seok the next day, he tells her that though the couch is perfectly comfortable, he couldn’t sleep because of the beauty in his bed. She laments that even the word he uses (miin) describes a beautiful person (technically, a beautiful woman/girl), which she most assuredly is not.

Kyung-seok sits the two down, like a prim chaperone determined to keep his charge chaste until the wedding night, and lays down some ground rules: they can’t share a bedroom, Mi-jin cannot enter the kitchen without his permission and, if they have to be alone in a room together, they’re to leave the door open at all times. Er, you do know they aren’t twelve, right, Kyung-seok?

Mom and Mi-mo visit a hip-hop clairvoyant, so named because he can only foretell the future through hip-hop, who susses out that Mi-jin is a fox in search of love. However, when Mom asks if Mi-jin will get what she wants, the answer is frustratingly unclear.

It’s the full moon and at Last, Mi-jin shivers under the bedcovers and tries to hide her tails and gumiho-green eyes from a worried Eung-seok. She goes a bit overboard, though, and when she shrieks, “Don’t touch me!”, his feelings are hurt. He leaves the room like the dejected little moppet he is, shooting glances at Mi-jin’s trembling form.

The next morning, he whips her up a salad, though this time it at least includes steak, and when Mi-jin wanders into the kitchen and sees him cleaning off his knife, she’s reminded of the General, who’d cleaned his sword in a similar manner. Both men – in the past and present – ask her why she’d said she lived on death and in the present, Mi-jin is saved from answering by Eung-seok’s own explanation of her words: she hides herself away like a fox, living with the pain instead of taking pills, because death is preferable to living like that. Hm, sounds like you’re projecting, Eung-seok.

Mi-mo is sent on an errand to Last by Mom, who’s made all of Mi-jin’s favourite foods. (Because nothing says dispossession like Mom’s home cooking?) On the way there, she runs into Woo-hyun, who gives her a lift on his motorcycle; her long hair whips into her face as they ride, so he stops to tie it into a braid. Which is a sweet gesture and all, but any girl worth her salt will tell you that a braid as loose as the one he’s plaited will come undone in about two minutes (less, on a motorcycle). Regardless, Mi-mo seems touched, and when he rejoins her on the motorcycle, tentatively wraps her arms around him.

At the restaurant, she hands the parcel off to Kyung-seok and takes off, before he can ask her to call him daddy again. (Yes, he does say it and yes, it’s as creepy as it sounds.)

Mi-jin and Eung-seok go hiking and she informs him of his likeness to a man she once knew. But when he presses for an answer as to just how long ago she’d known that man, she hedges, saying that he wouldn’t believe her anyway. Well then, why’d you bring it up in the first place?

He urges her to tell him the truth, as he’ll believe her even when no-one else will, but when she reveals that she knew the man in King Gong-min’s era, he chides her for her outrageous lies. She shows him ‘proof’ of her claims: pictures uploaded to the ‘net of important historical figures… which of course isn’t actual proof at all. He laughs and she stalks off, frustrated at what she considers to be his narrow-mindedness.

Eung-seok describes the conversation to Kyung-seok, who nods wisely and diagnoses Mi-jin with Histrionic Personality Disorder (simply put: extremely emotional and excessively dramatic). Hee.

Mi-jin decides to simply show Eung-seok the dagger the General had given her – though how that’ll change his opinion, I don’t know – but finds it’s not been packed with the rest of her things. She seethes and leaps off the balcony to get it back.

Meanwhile, Kyung-seok has been a naughty boy and hasn’t told Mi-jin of Mom’s package; instead, he shows Eung-seok the specially prepared dosirak. Both recoil in horror as each layer is revealed: they consist of various uncooked internal organs, including liver and tongue. You’d think chefs would be a little open minded, particularly as many of the above-mentioned are rather common in some parts of the world; perhaps it’s the rawness, then, that has them squirming in their figurative seats?

They decide to ask Mi-jin if these are really her favourite foods… but when Kyung-seok heads upstairs, he finds the room empty. He spares a brief moment to wonder how she managed to leave without himself or Eung-seok seeing, before spotting her trunk and brazenly rifling through her belongings. Wow. That’s unspeakably rude – I hope she returns and knocks your block off.

Mi-jin, meanwhile, has returned home to obtain her knife, which Mom has deliberately withheld for some reason. Mi-jin explains the knife’s origin… and tells Mom of Eung-seok’s resemblance to the General.

All Mom is interested in, though, is whether or not the General gave up his liver; Mi-jin admits that he didn’t (though technically, he did give his life for her, which has to count for something).

At Last, Mi-jin explains that the organs are indeed her favourite foods: because of their health benefits. Hunh. Girl is quick on her feet, I’ll certainly give her that.

When she claims that she and Dae Jang-geum (the first female royal physician who, in the drama of the same name, began her career as a chef) were close as sisters, he scoffs, chalking it up to another wild flight of fancy, courtesy of her disorder.

But later that night, he wonders if she’s perhaps telling the truth. If she is, she has to be something supernatural, like a vampire, or maybe… a gumiho? He discounts this line of thinking as nonsense, however, and tries to sleep.

Mi-jin, too, lies awake, thinking of how to provide proof of her longevity to Eung-seok. You could always, I don’t know, do a My Girlfriend is a Gumiho and show him your tails. Just a thought. Mi-jin, however, instead plans on cooking a dish for him, the same one she’d once cooked for King Jungjong, under Jang-geum’s watchful eye. She tries to remember the recipe, and thinks back to when she’d first learned it, over 300 years ago…

 

Comments

Okay, one thing I find a bit odd about this series is the way it chooses to end the week’s episode. It’s neither a cliffhanger nor a clean ending, it just… dangles, as though the production had wanted to add more, but ran out of time. Given the relative strength of the rest of the show, it isn’t something I take issue with, particularly, but… I do think it weakens the effect of each episode, which is a pity.

Episode 6 feeds us a little more information about our gumiho ladies’ pasts – and tells us that Mi-mo has now been human for a little over ten years (and Mom, presumably, for longer than that), which does lead me to wonder exactly how gumiho age after becoming human. If it’s in human years, surely Mi-mo should at least appear to be the same age as Mi-jin as now?

Also, how do they reproduce? And why, of the three of them, is Mom the only one to have had ‘children’? Perhaps the conditions are so specific that neither Mi-jin nor Mi-mo have managed to replicate them? Or it could simply be that neither one wanted offspring, as gumiho, at least.

Maybe we’ll get answers before the end of the show, or maybe not; if we don’t, well, part of the fun of watching a drama such as this one is the speculation, so perhaps actually finding answers to those little mysteries isn’t as important as actually going along for the ride… and having fun along the way.

2 thoughts on “The Thousandth Man: Episode 6”

  1. I read somewhere gumiho can transform into men and impregnate human women to have children but idk if that’s what happened or not lol just some folktale reading I was doing xD

    Thank you for another recap! How many episodes was this again? 8 or 9?

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