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266

Arang and the Magistrate: Episode 4

So good. Arang and the Magistrate has got to be one of the most creative shows I’ve seen in recent memory. The central conceit isn’t itself new — we’ve had ghosts and heaven/hell stories since the beginning of ever — but this drama’s interpretation and visualization of these ideas are so innovative. It’s colorful and refreshing. And simply gorgeous as well, which isn’t always an automatic given despite improved CG and cinematographic techniques these days. This is one drama where the technical aspects really enhance the storytelling; it’s the whole package.

SONG OF THE DAY

아침 (Achime / Morning) – “파도색 신발” (Wave-colored shoes) [ Download ]

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EPISODE 4 RECAP

Eun-oh looks for Arang and can’t find her that night, worrying about what’s happened. He sees Bang-wool running madly through the woods; she arrives home and immediately prays to the gods, crying that she did nothing wrong.

Eun-oh scares her half to death with his sudden appearance and asks after Amnesia. She tells him Arang went to the hereafter — for real this time, replete with a goodbye to the shaman. She wonders if Arang went loopy in the head, daring to threaten the grim reaper and demanding an audience with the Jade Emperor: “She probably won’t be safe in the afterlife, either.”

Mu-young leads Arang through the forest. I love that while he’s as grim as his job description, Arang goes from walking behind him to sidling up to his side, asking whether he can really die. He answers, “Nothing in the world is infinite.” If he dies, though, he just disappears — the same fate Bang-wool warned would befall Arang if their portal-trick went awry.

Again Arang sees no big deal in disappearing, which I suppose is what happens when you have no memory and therefore no pathos about not having ever existed. She asks if he has a human past too, but he doesn’t answer.

They arrive at a clearing, and the reaper’s lantern drops to the ground, absorbing into the earth — and night turns to day, just like that.

They’re at the bank of the river to the afterlife — once they cross, she cannot return. He asks whether she feels no lingering attachment to this life, and she notes, “I didn’t say goodbye.” To Eun-oh, she means.

Still, she’s ready to face what comes next and just reminds him to keep his promise. A boat floats down the river toward them, and he boards it. Arang joins him and takes a seat.

As the boat travels on carrying the two of them, Arang looks back toward the shore. It’s eerily beautiful imagery, traveling on water that’s littered with greenery, almost like they’re floating atop the world.

Soon all the color drains away, leaving just black and white and coldness. The water turns choppy, and Arang looks on in horror as they approach an enormous waterfall. All around, there are other passengers in other boats, all falling over the edge. Arang falls, too, bracing herself.

The camera pulls back to give us a look from a distance, showing us that the waterfall is actually in the shape of a huge circle, leading to a white, watery abyss in the center. That’s so cool.

She falls into the water, sinking deeper and deeper… and then somehow the medium around her changes and now she’s floating in air, toward…

“Look here, Amnesia!” Where’d that voice come from?

Arang opens her eyes and finds herself standing with Mu-young in a large cave. A huddled figure in white suddenly leaps to its feet, vaguely human in shape but with strangely long, withery appendages.

The evil-looking scarecrow flies at her, face to face, looking at her with fiery eyes. It hisses at her…

Cut to Eun-oh, who asks, “Hell?”

Bang-wool is explaining the process of punishment and passage into the hereafter, determined by the life you led as a human. Most people have a little leeway, she explains — you spend some time in an ethereal prison as punishment and then go on your way to what’s next. But Arang? The thing she committed against that reaper? Instant hell for her, with no wiggle room.

Eun-oh argues that she can’t know that, since she doesn’t even have full shaman powers. Way to insult the only one who can help you, dude. Bang-wool huffily points to her shaman’s guide, all, How dare you disrespect The Book?, and outlines the description of hell: there are ten of them in all, each with its own punishments. Boiling vats, flying knives, and other horrors.

After all this, I’m going to die laughing if Arang shows up amidst literal daisies and rainbows. But it’s dire news for Eun-oh, who asks if there’s anything he can do. But what can you do when the opponent is Death?

Late that night, the Bang Trio lead a group of Lord Choi’s men into the magistrate’s yard, here to take agasshi’s body. Dol-swe has been put on guard duty and although Lord Choi’s name has him quaking in fear, he stands his ground. Commence fight!

Dol-swe’s outnumbered and unarmed, but he’s like a huge roaring bear and keeps fighting. One man goes after him with a knife, just as a shoe flies into his back, knocking him off-balance.

It’s Eun-oh, and Dol-swe cries out in relief.

Eun-oh has expected something of this kind, figuring that Joo-wal and Lord Choi wouldn’t let go of the matter easily. He drops his father’s name and warns that should anything befall him, these henchmen are digging their own graves.

It’s enough to get the men to back down and leave with hateful glares. Dol-swe cries and embraces his master like a huge lumbering puppy, and Eun-oh thumps him on the back for doing a good job. I love these two.

Eun-oh asks the corpse what she would have him do, at a loss. In the morning, he informs the Bangs to begin preparations for Seo-rim’s funeral. The villagers will be informed to pay their respects, and apologize for gossiping and maligning her name.

He sighs to himself, “Amnesia, this is the only thing I can do for you. At least your body may lie in rest. After your funeral, I will leave.”

Lord Choi is displeased to have his plans thwarted, although he is mollified to hear of the funeral. He’d thought Eun-oh was going to make a big deal of the murder, but now it appears he’s letting the matter drop. So did you kill her?

A notice is posted in the village announcing Seo-rim’s funeral and asking for apologies for besmirching her name. They wonder how it can be that the corpse hasn’t rotted, finding it creepy.

Eun-oh sits at the memorial altar, sighing that nobody has showed up in the past two days. He says it’s a good thing Arang didn’t meet Joo-wal after all, considering how he was so dismissive of her death. He asks, “Hell… Is that really where you’ve gone?”

The next day, Eun-oh receives the bows of Seo-rim’s servant woman, both dressed in mourning whites. Aw, has he taken up the position of her next of kin? That’s so sad and sweet. Today’s the burial day, and Eun-oh plans to take off afterward.

Dol-swe vents his outrage over Seo-rim’s lack of mourners as he packs their things. Though he concedes that it’s not just the people’s fault; it’s because they find it so hard to scrape by, thanks to Lord Choi’s harsh rule.

But when Eun-oh steps outside, he comes face to face with… Arang?

He stares in shock, while she leans in and teases him for his speechlessness. Cheerily, she says, “Good to see you again.”

Dol-swe joins him outside — and curiously, he looks right at Arang and asks if she’s here to pay her respects. What, he can see her? Omg. Is she alive?

Dol-swe leaves wondering who she could be to have the master in such agitation. Then he stops in his tracks, indignant: “He got himself a sweetheart without me knowing?!”

Arang’s incredibly touched that he went looking for her, which is just adorable. But he’s dying to know what happened to her (and so am I, frankly), and he impatiently demands her explanation.

Arang says, “I’ve become a person.”

Yesssss! I dunno how, but I’m ALL FOR IT.

Stunned, he touches her face, then grabs her shoulders as though to test it out. Which would be a better indicator if, you know, he couldn’t do that back when she was a ghost.

So she gives him her story, as we flash back to the last time we saw her, confronting that hellish scarecrow being:

The scarecrow flies backward and in its place grows a bright white light. Mu-young leads Arang toward it… and together they fly upward into the clouds…

Arang lands on a floating stone disk in front of heaven’s gate. The Jade Emperor’s voice asks, “Why did you ask to see me, Arang?” And there they are, the rulers of heaven and hell, standing tall to meet her.

Hilariously, the King of the Underworld leans in suspiciously and asks what Jade Emperor sprayed. Jade replies, “A heavenly scent to welcome a woman.” Pwahaha.

Arang defiantly harrumphs and says, “So we finally meet, old fogey Jade Emperor.” Which she directs at Hades. HA. Jade Emperor’s all, Yo, I’m over here, and she gapes: “You’re the Jade Emperor… old fogey?”

She gets to the crux of the matter: Why was she left dead in the ground? Jade Emperor replies, “Oh, were you?” Feigning ignorance, he says he can’t know everything — do you know how many people he has to keep watch over? But you know, if she’s that desperate, he’ll confer with Hades.

Hades grumpily refuses to play along with his charade of “consultation” and retorts that they already decided what to do. Ha.

Hades: “Arang! Looking at your sins, you should be heading for hell immediately. But because of the Emperor’s desperate plea—”
Jade Emperor: “Hey, that’s not right. I’m not one to desperately request anything of you—”
Hades: “—DESPERATE! PLEA! I have decided to give you another chance.”

This is the first time they are permitting anything of this kind, but they are returning her to earthly life — to find the answer to her question herself. If she can’t find the answer, Hades will take her to the deepest hell. Will she accept?

Arang’s reply: “Sure, why not?”

They stand under a huge orb, a heavenly yin and yang. There’s Hades and Jade Emperor, with Arang smack dab between them.

Jade Emperor gathers his heavenly power in his hands as he explains that before there was an earth and sky, there was one yin-yang. From that, all things were born, and the universe was created.

Hades draws upon his own dark force, and both of them shoot their energies at Arang. The forces swirl around her, sending her in a whirlpool of wind and power, light and dark, black and white.

The result? One perfect little glowing sphere, containing Arang. One side shows the swirl representing the yin and yang as we know it. On the other side is the seal that had almost sent Mu-young and Arang into the great unknown.

Jade Emperor tells Arang to uncover the truth about herself, and throws the ball into the sky, where it absorbs into the big yin-yang in the sky, which I swear is not a euphemism for anything.

On the earthly side of things, that ball of energy falls out of the sky and lands in the sea with a huge splash. In the water, the ball unfurls and Arang emerges from the fetal position, a literal rebirthing. It’s part Aphrodite emerging from the sea, part Little Mermaid.

Arang swims to the surface and yells up at the sky, “Are you crazy?!” Now she’s addressing both old fogeys, pointing out that they could’ve given her clothing. Haha. These grand entrances are high in visual splendor, low on practicality.

Arang darts through the grass, dripping and naked, and stealthily swipes the clothing hanging from a clothesline. What’s one more sin to add to the list?

Interestingly, Arang can still see ghosts. To test whether she’s really a human, she asks a child if he can see her, and asks how she looks. She giggles when he says she’s pretty, and goes off skipping, greeting every person in her path.

Spying the funeral notice in the village, she’s touched that Eun-oh would give her such a send-off. Off she goes to meet him… and that brings us current.

Eun-oh half-scoffs at the incredible story — why does only she get this treatment? She shrugs; the gods probably felt sorry for her. She eagerly proposes that now they can start delving into her murder case together.

Dol-swe’s voice cuts in from outside, calling him to the burial. He’s adorably pissy at his young master, assuming he’s romancing the lady, while Eun-oh tries in vain to get rid of him. Eun-oh orders Arang to stay put here and not move a muscle, then heads off to the burial.

She complies for all of about two seconds before exploring the house, heading next door to Seo-rim’s old room, and she announces that she’s returned.

Arang makes faces in the mirror to confirm it’s really her, marveling at her humanness. “I’m really a person!”

But it doesn’t come without its conditions: the gods had given her three full moons to solve her murder. Only after she finds the truth will the bell be rung. Hades warned that he’ll have hell prepared for her, cackling that she’ll never figure it out.

She’d challenged, “And if I do it? Then will you negate everything and let me live in heaven?” Jade had told her they’ed think about it when the time came.

Now Arang grumps that she’ll show the old fogeys — and what’s more, she doesn’t even need three whole months! “I’m different from that weak Lee Seo-rim. I’m not going to be ignorant and do nothing but scream!” Which is why we love you.

Up in heaven, Hades points out that the truth of the girl’s death isn’t really that important: “Do you really think your strategy will succeed?” He smirks that he’d thought Jade had a better plan up his sleeve, clearly believing it’ll fail. And when it does, he’d better be ready to honor his promise.

Jade Emperor assures him he will, and asks what Hades wants if he wins the bet. Hades: “Your body.”

HAHAHAHA. There is not one thing he could have said to make me laugh more, but it’s so perfectly in character. Petty-minded, calculating, aging Hades wants the heavenly king’s youthful hottie looks? Of course he does.

That actually shocks Jade Emperor into stutters, but he agrees. He doesn’t specify what he wants out of the deal if he wins, saying merely that he’ll let him know later.

Hades wins this round of badook and cackles in glee. Jade Emperor asks what earthly lives will end now, since each game results in life or death consequences on earth. Oh wow, so it’s a direct connection to the fates of mankind, is it?

Hades replies philosophically that things have to die for new life to spring up in its place.

The funeral procession makes its way through the village. At home, Joo-wal suddenly looks up at the sky — sensing something ominous?

Elsewhere in a small, isolated cottage, a woman sits in a room. She’s behind a veil, wearing the hairstyle of a gisaeng.

Joo-wal turns the lock in the gate — shutting something out? Or himself in? Who are you, creepy possible non-human?

Lord Choi’s steward leads villagers to a warehouse containing sacks of barley, potatoes, and corn. It’s an act of charity to starving citizens, and they thank him for the generosity. It’s rotten food, but they carry it off nonetheless. The steward tells Lord Choi that the food was unsellable and unconsumable, so they’ve earned a debt of gratitude from the people without losing anything themselves.

Joo-wal walks through the gate, and Lord Choi pointedly asks his man when the next full moon is. Isn’t it tomorrow? Father and son exchange loaded looks.

Lord Choi points out that this is particularly ominous, being the full moon of a leap month. He asks Joo-wal, “If you cannot find that girl by tomorrow, what will that person do? Surely he wouldn’t cast you away because of one mistake. Don’t worry too much.”

Joo-wal replies coldly that Father need not worry about that and suggests his father go to the funeral. Buying a round of drinks would do a lot more for his image than handing out spoiled food. Hm, so Joo-wal openly disapproves of his father’s corrupt and avaricious ways, but they’re clearly on the same side with regards to this cryptic secret. There’s such an interesting tension between them.

Arang decides to head out to her funeral, and dons the uniform of a guard as her disguise.

While the coffin is lowered into the ground Eun-oh wonders if Arang’s story can be true. If she’s visible to other people, it must be true. All the while Dol-swe glares at him silently, which cracks me up so much. He thinks jealously, “Look at him — his thoughts are somewhere else! What are you thinking about? That woman? Who the hell is she?”

Arang hurries along, belatedly realizing she doesn’t know exactly where the burial is. In her haste she bumps into someone coming from the other direction, who grabs her arm before she falls: Joo-wal. And wouldn’t you know, the black ring on his finger starts to glow a bright red, to his shock.

Arang pulls away and thanks him for his help. Would he happen to be going to Seo-rim’s funeral? Does he know where it is?

Joo-wal stares incredulously as she excuses herself and continues on her way. He runs after her.

Eun-oh decides to believe Arang’s explanation of becoming human to uncover her truth. He tells himself fine, she can do that, and he’ll continue investigating his mother’s mystery.

Just then, Officer Arang joins the party and promptly gets into an argument with one of the Bangs, who orders her to shovel dirt. The Bangs realize they don’t recognize this face and ask if (s)he’s new to town. With no way to gracefully escape, Arang pushes her way free of them and darts off in a run, setting off a chase.

Eun-oh pursues griping that he knew she’s cause trouble, and bringing up the rear is Joo-wal.

The chase-a-thon heads into town. Eun-oh darts off in a different direction, while Joo-wal hops on rooftops. Arang loses the bumbling Bangs, but Joo-wal catches up to her in a dead end.

Eun-oh’s not far behind them, and she panics, knowing he’s going to be upset that she disregarded his instructions. She tries to hop the fence and asks Joo-wal for a lift, promising to repay the favor.

So he lifts her up onto the wall, and she beams at him in gratitude. He doesn’t realize she’s a woman, but the smile strikes something in him, and he asks if she’s really an officer. She insists that yes, she is, absolutely.

Just then Eun-oh spots her and yells out, sending her quickly hopping over to the other side. He gets there too late, and belatedly registers Joo-wal. They eye each other warily, two suspicious alpha males.

 
COMMENTS

If yesterday was Arang’s episode, today gives us more of Eun-oh and his growing attachment to her. While she’s around, he could grumble and pretend he found her irritating, but at the idea that she might be gone forever, he showed a melancholy that I found really lovely. He was so worried for her fate and unable to do a thing about it, and that pathos was palpable.

And then she returns? HUMAN?! What a fantastic twist I didn’t see coming. I guess now it makes sense why Seo-rim was so closeted, if only for the fact that it makes Arang’s return less of a narrative pickle, since there are so few people to recognize her.

On one hand it’s nice and convenient to our romance to make her human again… but no gives come without a cost, and with the ticking clock hanging over her head, I don’t doubt we’ll be getting our share of heart-wrenching conflicts in the days to come. It’s great.

Because: Human falls for ghost? That’s a sad, impossible romance. Human falls for human with a limited life span, governed by powers greater than yourself? Well, that gives them a lot more reason to grow to love aach other, and lament the loss when it comes time for her to make good on her side of the deal.

It’s a nice bit to have her retain her ghost-sight, keeping us firmly anchored in the world of the supernatural. Or is that sentence an oxymoron? In any case, I love the idea of both our hero and heroine sharing this second sight while the rest of the world remains blind to it.

This episode seriously upped the fantasy element, and I loved everything about it. Not just that it looks so beautiful and has great ambiance, but because it brings out some really interesting narrative themes — like Arang being indifferent to the idea of non-existence. I
love the idea of memory being the great loss of death. With her blank memory, she’s got literally nothing left to lose, as she told Mu-young when she was threatening him with the portal — it makes her more desperate, but it also keeps her adrift in her ghost-existence.

Everyone else understands the difference between dying and not existing, but Arang shrugs it off like it’s nothing. I wonder if that’ll tie in with the final conflict — this idea that she may go, but she’ll be remembered. Because at the end of the day, she’s dead. Her great tragedy isn’t dying, but in not existing, twice over: Once because she can’t even recall herself, and again because her death is shrouded in mystery and being covered up, by evil men-werewolves-reapers-or-otherwise-supernatural-beings-maybe. (What is Joo-wal’s deal? I’m so curious.)

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I really feel like the Grim Reaper dude is her father. lol

I don't think the young Master did anything. I think he's pretty much at his father's mercy and does his bidding. I feel like if it was the young master that is too obvious anyway.

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i saw the preview for ep 5, the woman in the room ask, whom hall i save this time? and i think, maybe that woman in the room save the young master from imminent death, but in order to give him life they must sacrifice another life , a virgin's soul, and that is Seo Rim.

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Thank you for the recap!!! So inlove with this drama! its cute, funny, has heart stopping moments thanks in equal parts by the the mystery and the growing attraction between our two leads <3

After watching the episode and reading the recap twice I keep going to Hades and Jade Emperor's chat about their bet and specially Hades remark that she won't figure out how she died. It makes me think its not going to be as obvious as the two apparent baddies who may or may not be human. Maybe she killed herself, maybe it was Eun-ho missing mom and that would explain the head pin, could have even been her Dad who went mad after her disappearance. Dang it!!! I love and hate that I 'm not sure what to expect!

So far this show has 4 mysteries (maybe even 5-6) that connect and so far we only have the assurance Arang is only one of the pieces in the game the question is is she a peon, a bishop or THE QUEEN!?!!!!?

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GAH! I can't wait to find out the secret behind Joo Wal. It's literally driving me batty. And we have to wait another week!

Thanks for the recap!

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I was thinking the same thing. Especially when jade emperor asked mu. Young if he was looking for his sister.

Or the other option is that the hidden gesang woman in the locked up shack is mu young's sister. Remember the Jade empower and Hades were arguing about what happened 200 or 400 years ago? I have a feeling sending Arang back has something to do with this incident.

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although i absolutely love mu young's vibes towards arang(brotherly as can be), i wouldn't like it if they ended up actual siblings. seems like another makjang element, considering some people are already debating that joo-wal might be half brothers or brothers with eun-oh.
man.
but i think perhaps mu young is searching for his sister, and arang maybe reminds me of her? I think for me that would be so much more poignant, seeing her as his sister, and caring for her.

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I have watched it RAW, read your recap, and just finished watching it withsub! Now its time for comment, but first of all let me say, "THIS IS AWESOME SHOW!" kkk

Watching this show i felt like watching a Box office Movie, really love the storyline, the CG, Cinematography technique, the music background (they really know how to play with music that can rise and drop ppl's mood!), visualization, etc etc, it really got me WOW! one thing that lack is, i want Eunoh-satto scenes more!

I love Dolswe jealousy, and the Gods, wow, YSH really acts pretty well. I am looking at him as old as his brother The king of Hades now in person, not in appearance. And i love the scarecrow, its frightenned me!

and its really innovative to make a reborn without using the old body so it can prevent a chaos and gossips that might happen in public, and i still wonder about the reason why the body didnt decompose for three years. The Jade emperor knows it pretty well, he just acts he doesnt know, i think! God must knows everything! kkk

And Joo Wal's ring seems like indicatoring something, curious about it! Joo wal character is really mysterious, but i thought the actor has not invested all his best to play it like YSH did as and old fogey with young appearance! i want more from him, something like ah, you got me like, YSH did, but maybe its just me!

LJG and SMH really did a great Job, on Ep.4 LJG didnt do much action, but his mimicking is totally awesome! and show, i want Lee Joongi more!

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I think eun-oh was touching her to feel for her warmth to test if she was human, rather than to test if he can touch her?

Thanks for the recap! There's still so many questions I have in my mind. I think I'm officially hooked to this drama!

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remember that part of her neck where she was tattooed to indicate she was a ghost?
well, that's where he searched first. and he touched her neck to prove it.

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I love this drama so much!!!

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Omg..this drama is rocking my world ..moreover the chemistry between all the characters is amazing...I m so giddy right now !

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Last week I liked Arang. It was cool.

This week I fell in love with it. Seriously, its so pretty to look at (especially Yu Seung Ho) and all the mystery and newness of the plot is a sweet piece of intellectual candy.

Everytime I see Joo Wal though, I automatically think 'Maknae Oppa.' lol. It's hard to not see him as that.

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YAY! glad you hopped on the train arhazivory. ;)
Good to see you here my heartie.

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It's nice to be here mangos. We'll have fun with this one I think. :D

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OMG so good to see both ilikemangos and Arhazivory here! I foresee a lot of message board spazzing in this show's future :)

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Was shocked to see Arang returning as human - totally did not see that coming, and i couldn't help but think "...that was really convenient". But well, now we know one of the possible ways how we can get a happy ending for our leads.

Highlight of the ep for me had to be the meeting between Arang and the Werewolf(?). We know from the ep 15th of the month is approaching, and from the looks of the preview, he probably stabbed her that day under whatever special, inhuman form he is taking. Or maybe re-stabbed.

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I like the part where she returned as a human. The water represents the amniotic fluid in the mother's womb and babies are always naked when they are born. It symbolizes a rebirth for her in many ways- her lifestyle, her world view, her relationship with the people around her... no more is she the protected, sheltered, nameless girl whom everyone knew only as the magistrate's daughter.

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;-D Seriously loving this drama! First time to watch RAW cause I'm too excited, then read recaps, then watch the one with subtitles. Good job JB and all the Subbers! Bless you! ;-D

I think September will come by so fast, and the next thing we know, it's October! Yay! I want the Wednesdays and Thursdays to come by so so fast! I need my weekly doses of Arang and Magistrate! Love, love, love Lee Joon Gi so so much! ;-D

And yes, the preview is killing me!

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First, with the gisaeng lady. I definitely think she is the Big Bad, and that Joo Wal has made a deal with her to gain more power, but his dad definitely has too much interest in things. I think they have her locked up for sinister reasons of their own, but she allows it because she gets something out of the deal.

I worry that Arang was misled by the gods (and from previous experience in fiction, when you make a deal with a god or the devil, or both, there's always a major catch)—they said 3 full moons, and it's one day until the first full moon. So, they made her think she has 3 months, but it's really just over 2. I think Hades will definitely make a big issue of that down the line. Jerk!

This show is so freaking awesome! I love all the dark creepiness interspersed with light and beauty. So awesome. And Arang just rocks my socks! Such a great heroine!

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The writer is handling all aspects of the drama very well and with such delicate intricacy that the drama rocks. Can't wait for Wed-Thur to arrive!

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Ooh, good thought about the moons. Hadn't thought of that. Those gods can indeed be tricky. Now I'm wondering if they also gave the ring to Joo Wal. But then again, I wonder if Gisaeng Lady is a werewolf and she might have to be substituted for with another lady in order for Joo Wal to free her. Then again, she might be his mother, or his future meal. Also, she might be Magistrate's mother. Or...heck, she could be.....
or they could.....

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i'm ON this boat. after K2H and QIM, this particular drama again makes me anticipate each passing day. argh. why does it air only 2x a week?

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One more thing i had to add in my list of why i like this drama is because it doesn't make me despise the god of the underworld. Park jun gyu is so cute! Lol!

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so cute that he actually envy the Jade Emperor's (JE)youthful looks,! See, if he wins, he wants the Jade Emperor's body, the emperor was shock, so he lost the game and what a consequences, many people will die becasue of that. JE even ask, how will it be this time, war, plague, natural disaster.

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ewww, I can't get over the cheesiness of this showwww. But I'm curious about the story (which reveals itself sooo sparsely) so Im still watching. Still. Neither of the sageuks right now are my favorites. So much cheese.

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What did you expect from a fantasy sageuk?. Reality is that way ---->.

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LOL :D

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haha. i think they meant to be somewhat cheesy with it.
i think this drama overall has this comedic tone where you can't take it seriously in some moments and just go with the flow, but it also it's very heartfelt moments that you take seriously.

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which aspect is it cheesy? the romance? the fantasy? the plot? the heavenly world of flowers, goat and chess? or hell with the creepy bandaged gatekeeper?

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I couldn't get enough of the mysteries in this drama, that I hang around here, reading all the comments . I feel excited everytime there's a new theory like the woman in the room,

a gisaeng,
shaman with enormous power
someone who has something to do with the disappearance of the 400 souls
Eun-oh 's mother
mo-young's sister

and as for Jo-wal,

a vampire,
a werewolf,
a ghost who exchange his soul to a virgin to be human
or maybe the servant who stabbed arang ( that one's comes from me hehehe)

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My guess on how she died; SUICIDE!!! by a silver chastity knife. And for what reason? she was to be sacrificed to make her haft human groom half monster completely human by her mother in-law to be who is a wanted fugitive of 400 yrs from the other world. She gets to solve this, and the jade emperor winning the bet will ask for her to remain in the overworld and continue living as a human. And they live happily ever after.

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SUICIDE , well there's a bite to it, coz why would HAdes and even Mo-young says that her destination is Hell! ( the judgement is based on her living life not the ghost one) and Suicide is an unpardonable sin.

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Suicide is a good possibility. That would be the most tragic death to find out. But I'm not sure if suicide will be the reason that she's going to hell since suicide in Confucian times can be excused from being considered immoral and sinful if it's done for specific purposes. Maybe everyone goes to hell at one point to get judged and then pay off their debts for their life's little sins. If it's a bigger sin, I wonder if she may have dabbled in any sort of magic or witchcraft. She was always hidden in her room...

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Dang! Is the woman in the shed a ghost? But suicide is a good possibility? And why did Arang forget how she died? Other ghosts didn't forget their names or how they died.

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I also suspect suicide and that's probably why hades seems so confident she will never solve the mystery, since it'll be hard for her to suspect herself. It might also explain why she was bound for hell despite living a seemingly quiet life.

I'm thinking that when she was engaged, she was introduced to the shaman/giseng woman who is possibly EO mum and she discovered something so horrible about her fiance and what they were planing to do to her that she committed suicide.

Just speculation but I'm thinking it's either suicide or EO's mother killed her. The missing hairpin might actually be the murder weapon or what she used to stab herself. Then the choi family were involved in the cover up and spread the rumour that she ran away and started looking for another girl to replace her.

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I like the idea that the hairpin may have been the weapon that killed her.

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There's the bell right? It will sound when the killer is around or something? If she's her own killer, shouldn't the bell make some noise?

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The Jade Emperor said that the bell would ring once her killer dies. So, only the death of her killer would mean that she fulfilled her mission.

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Very Awesome Drama...Love it <3

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I haven't loved a show this much in ages! Thanks so much for the recaps :D

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thankuuuuuu for the recaps , this drama is awwwww , I didn't care for a kdrama since some time now but this one is rocking , lee junki and shin min ah know how to chose their dramas ^^
I think that lady who looks like a gisaeng is the first evil person in this stroy , maybe she made a deal with the dad that in some special period the dad has to give the soul of a young lady ( like soo-rim ) for some reason as a gift to this gisaeng so she let him be the richest and the most powerful person in that place , maybe she is the same person who asked him to adopt dal woo in order to help him getting the ladies by pretending getting engaged to them then in the needed day they kill her , anyway , too many possibilities and very few clues to understandthe story behind the full moon
how will I be able to wait till next week

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woah! thank you so much for recap,i love this show especialy shin min ah and lee jun ki

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Well obviously, after reading the comments, the gianseng is EO's mother.

But I don't think she is evil. I believe she is kept as a prisoner by Lord Choi, who uses her and JW for his own evil purposes.
I also dont believe she killed Arang. On the contrary, I think she tried to save her, and caused the reason why Arangs dead body didnt rot in those last 3years. Also the hairpin has to be a kind of 'clever' present from her to Arang, so Eun-Oh can find and save them all. After all she is described as avery powerful shaman....
But I am not sure wheter she may be YM long lost sister or not. If so, he lost her about 200-400 years ago !? She cant be that old !...?

After a long time period, nearly one year, I found a K-Drama that got me hooked. I started to watch because I like LSK very much, even the story line didnt get me hooked ... Luckly I did start watching it.

Thanks for the recaps JB and GF. I belong to the ones who cant wait for the subs. First watch it raw, and later reed your recaps here or at Koala's who is first (honestly I read both - cant get enough of different sight/recaps on this show) Thanks a lot again, you all are great.

Then I have to say, this drama is so well set up and acted, its the first time I could go without any subs, and understand totally whats going on. That is realy superlative, amazing ! I whished the same for all other K-dramas were that good in story-telling.

I love this show and hope it will have a Happy-End.

As I do not post very often, I also want thank DB very much for all those years incredible service with recaping and have us up-to date with the K-drama world.

God bless you DB-Team <3

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The sad thing about Lee Seo Rim's first life is that while she lived she did not really have a life. She was locked up in her room or lived a solitary life with no friend at all. So yeah, now when she dies, she will be remembered and have lived a real true life.

I gotta say I really like Joo Wal. Oh my gosh! Maybe it's a hangover from Jaejoong's tragic angstiness in Dr Jin but I'm seeing all sorts of noble angst here. And I LIKE IT! I'm not sure if Joo Wal actually saw Arang's face in her first life. He says he didn't and I didn't quite believe when he said that. I'm not sure if he recognized her because of her face or because of that ring. IF he has a ring, and she has a bell, who gave him the ring? Is there some Buddhist demon who might rear its head later in the story? If he was supposed to marry Lee Seo Rim and she and he were linked in some kind of destiny back then, (if he knew they were linked by some destiny) then why would he --mostly likely it daddy Choi-- kill her? And if he is looking for her after her death, why would he have to find her if he killed her, and how would he know the Jade Emperor would bring her back? Was it the Jade Emperor who gave him the ring?

Anyway, I'm not sure if Joo Wal is wondering about his orientation right now or if he knows it's a girl. The ring wouldn't lie.

Gotta say that I now have three major crushes in this drama. Grim, totally hot. I never thought I would fall for grimness but yeah, seems grim angst is totally doing it for me. Equally sexy is Joo Wal. I just love this guy so much and I'm getting second lead syndrome vibes from him. Then of course, Jade Emperor. I wasn't really feeling him and then...well, today... I'm now in love with him. Chock it up to my Cha Chi Soo infatuation with spoiled rich men...uh, gods.
-C

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so many mysteries and they are really interesting too.

i know what you mean, those three have their own interesting and appealing charm. you have the jade emperor, who's quite mischievous and cocky in a hot way, if you get what mean, the grim, who is kind of tragic yet has they silent brooding thing happening and then joo wal well he has this kind of bad boy thing happening yet something sad about it which yes is hot. i mean i love their characters and presence. but i wonder are we all going to hate joo wal if he really ends up being the typical bad guy, yeah probably but it will be disappointing, i want him to be like Loki from thor, his bad yet you feel sorry for him and can't help liking him to some extent. i hope his not going to become a flat out bad guy character. and then there's the grim reaper, can't help get the feeling i'm going to feel sad for him as well. omg this show is awesome

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i* , has that* there*.

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Ah, a woman after my own soul. Yeah, these guys are hotness in all its wonderful forms.

I don't think Yoo Wall will be bad...but if he does turn out to be bad, it'll be heart-breaking badness and we'll be weeping copious tears, grieving for his soul...because he had to do bad stuff for Mommy and Daddy. (And I'm so sure that we're gonna get a satisfaction of seeing cheapo daddy and/or whoever is responsible for Arang's death suffering in one of those many made-to-order hells.)

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I started to like Joo Wol here too. The moment he so deftly ripped at his father for acting like he's so generous when giving away rotten food, I was like huzzah. He still creeps me out, but the way he looked at Arang when she smiled at him for helping her over that wall.

Does anyone think he looks a little bit like Kim Jung Hoon at times, but more expressive?

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Does anyone know what that ring is historically worn for? My guesses was that it's a virgin-o-meter used to find virgin girl victims or a ghost-o-meter used to warn him of ghosts.

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Don't think it is a virgin o meter because the guy would go to a gisaengs hosue then LOL nobody is virgin there LOL

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LOL.

Perhaps it alludes to what JE stated, "For the person who was alive during death and dead during life, allow the living body and dead heart."

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LOL @ tn and Rui. you guys are hilarious.
AHHAAHHAHA

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i love the heaven and hell brother,so awesome to watch those two. i like how for a kdrama this is really creative in making its characters and going outside the box. if this didn't have the love story aspect i would still watch it, taking into account how the other storyline are great. but what i'm more curious about is what could arang have done that is so bad that it lands her in hell in the first place. would it be fair if she went to heaven "if" she has done something bad that goes against our moral standard.

what i love about this show is its supernatural characters and the mystery, that's what makes me keep coming back for more.

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Oh my goodness, the expression in Lee Jun-Ki's eyes when Eun-Oh and Arang meet again... Swoons. So gorgeous.

The chemistry these two have is so good. They make such a great pair. The highlight of the drama, for me, is always the scenes where two of them interact. Their bickering is adorable, and that he cares so much for her right from the get-go is unexpected and so sweet.

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The joy in Arang's eyes when she and Joo Wal meet again. My heart leaped. Or maybe it was the joy in Joo Wal's eyes! Either way, the scene made my heart leap.

I wonder why she trembled when she saw him the first time -- from the back-- but this time when she actually spoke to him there was no trembling at all. Granted she was hurrying to her own funeral and had other stuff on her mind but....

Anyway, am waiting to see if she's gonna die. Tomorrow being full moon and all.

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I have to say her interactions with Joo Wal are interesting. I'm curious what he needs her for and why does he evoke such a strong response from her. Otherwise, i find most scenes with Joo Wal somewhat boring.

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I'm falling for Lee Jun Ki's acting! someone help me please =P

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Still need his brooding shower moment--was his army duty all for naught? OK, and I did miss his acting...

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Hmm... I wonder what's the saeguk equivalent of broody shower scenes...

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Brooding river scenes. :D

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Yes please!:D

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LoL!!

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my guess is that maybe eun-ho's mother had supernatural power that he enhireted and Joo-wal i like a catcher of these supernatural criatures. he thought Arang was one of them and killed her by mistake. Perhaps momma dearest was on the run and withour knowing she framed Arang to her death and that's why she gave her the hair pin.
well, this is just a thought... i love this drama!!!! can't wait for next week's episodes, thanks for the recap :)

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I'm still wondering why Eun-Oh can see ghosts, or if we'll ever get an explanation for that one.

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He might have suffered some kind of traumatic event before this... probably when he was young.

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some of us were speculating that his mother who is 99% for sure the shaman they have hidden in the room may be be the person eun-oh inherited his powers from. thus, he can see ghosts.

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even though i know the outfit is for funeral intentions and due respect is expected ... but eun oh looks so good in an all white male version of the hanbok!!

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Tell me about it. Striking.

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You too?! I was swooning over him when he was in white.

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This is such a great show! Can't wait for next week! :)

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I am afraid the writer has another twist that has not been mentioning here, kkkk
Just like I make a analysis like this, and you like that and then she writes other twist, well actually if it's true, I'll be happy, that means the tag line is right, the truth that is deeper than you can imagine.

BTW have I mentioned I love LEE joongi so much? kkk

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Ahh more comments on Joo Wal's character. I know he's suppose to be evil and the bad guy but the distressing convos he has with Lord Choi seem like he's at a pretty bad disadvantage as well. I don't feel like he's evil evil but just has some issues to overcome. I guess I'm pretty biased towards the actor because I saw him in All My Love and he was the "popular teacher" lol. But yep, definitely keeping an eye out for him always ;)

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Oh, this is my first drama of his and I am very sympathetic towards his character. He cannot be evil!

If he is sacrificed in the end for Arang or whoever, I don't know if I would handle it well. LOL.

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LOL! I actually share the same sentiments that I don't really want him to be evil but the fact that nearly all his scenes are accompanied by evil bg music and they promoted him as the bad guy I guess we have to accept the reality. LOL. I'm glad you are sympathetic though because he was seriously the eye candy in the previous drama I watched of his. ;D haha

I kind of ship Arang and him tbh.... ;P

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I know, but the bell did not go off when they met so it gives me hope that he's not her killer.

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I have this feeling JW's forced into it, either by LC or the shaman. I expect we'll have more of his story when he attempts to kill Arang.

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i like this drama , none of them act cute , or too stupid ,
good comic , worth to watch

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I love this drama. It makes me smile and scared at the same time.

Thanks for the recap ladies!

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Yoo seung ho is so dreamy here...so adorable! I'm watching four dramas every week lately and I can't keep up. I'm glad I'm not watching any weekend drama these days or else I'm dead with lack of sleep. I'm tossing between 4 dramas, work, 50 shades of grey, dating and socializing with friends and fAmily but life is good!

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My theory is LSR was stabbed by EO mom's hairpin (and the murderer, be it EO mom or not, took it back after she's dead). So the dead body wasn't found to hold it, but it's with her ever since she became a ghost.

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Why the fuck is Joo-wal even wearing A FUCKING MOOD RING?! Really, in Joseon times? XD

I luff this drama. Makes me miss Hyang-dan Jeon more and more. And Siwon as Lee Mong-ryong, LOL.

ALSO...luff Hades' "I want your body." EUPHEMISMS ABOUND, NAOWWWWWWW~!!!! XD

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the mood ring turns red when you find that burning passion for loo0o0ovee.
hmm...

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But really, a MOOD RING??? and in Joseon?

Suspicious...

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I am still wondering who "untied" arang's hands when she was being tied with that red rope following behind mu young when she was first being led through the foggy forest. Cause i remember them talking about how it just magically "came loose"
was it jade emperor? or was it actually mu young?
Hm.

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Touching her neck is so sweet little thing^^♡
A man cant randomly touch girl's neck if he isnt that close to that girl, neck is more sensitive area than forehead that always be touched to check someone has a fever. I love that moment, it means Eunoh has felt that close towards Arang^^

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Yaaaaaay. *swoon*

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I think he was just checking for the tattoo that was on her neck. I like your explanation for it, though. Eunoh definitely fell for arang. It would be hard not to!

:D

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I like the fantasy aspect to this show. It's set up and executed so well.

I'm really excited to see where the story leads and how the heroine's and hero's are connected.

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ARgh, this show is driving me nuts!^^

I 've been spending waaayy too many hours trying to figure it out. Must rest otherwise brain might explode.

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I think that's the sentiment everyone here is sharing. :P The truth will be revealed in due course...

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Nice to be in the company of very analytically knowledgeable and critically thinking viewers who enjoy Arang and the Magistrate. Here's what's been bugging me -- how is it that when human-form Arang meets Joowal, there was no sudden fluttery heartbeats like she had when she originally was supposed to meet him? Did human Arang lose her 6th sense for danger and/or lovestruck-infatuation in the process?

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She has no idea the JW she is looking at in this episode is her fiance, hence no fluttery heartbeats. Besides, she's not into affairs of the heart at the moment, given her desire to solve the mystery of her death. Previously, she had the fluttery heartbeats due to the expectation of meeting her fiance, whom I don't think she caught a clear glimpse of.

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When Arang originally saw Joowal, I thought the sudden increase in her heart rate was not flutters of love (as she wonders herself what it is and isn't sure, but reads it as such since he was her fiance) but actually fear, because he was involved in her death/killed her. But having no memory, she makes what seems like the most logical conclusion: that is is love that makes her feel that way.

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Who can tell me that in the rebirth scene of Arang Shin Min Ah really exposed? Well.if it were her,I must confess she has great curves,great waist line>3

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Am prolly the only one not that impresses with the incarnation, for one nothing changes between arang and the magistrate cuz she was like human to him anyways, plus i see less hijinks with her being human cuz some things that happened when she was a ghost were funny even without intending to. Besides that i gotta agree with one of ur earlier comments, Hades & Jade Emperor should totally have their own show up there, they r just hilarious!

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This is just a theory, of course, but I'm thinking before the full moon, Joo Wal needs to give a virgin girl as a sacrifice to the ominous gisaeng figure, whoever or whatever she is in exchange for keeping him and his household in power (or just to keep himself alive). The way Lord Choi keeps going on and on about his son doing his part and Choi doing his makes me think they have to keep doing their evil ways or else it's their necks on the line.

Joo Wal's ring only lights up when he's holding a virgin, which is why he laughed at himself in a past episode when he went to a gisaeng house looking for one.

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Am suspecting that Seo Rim died by suicide too which explains Hades' glee.

I am loving this drama not only because it reminded me of Legend of HD but also it bears some visual resemblance to 300, which is one of my all-time faves.

And am I the only one who cackle hysterically when Head Bang (heh) told everyone to spread out during the chase & everyone else headed in the other direction from him? ROFLMAO ... totally slayed me.

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OMG ! the evil Shaman is Eun oh's mom :O
i found it on soompi , scroll down a bit you will see the shaman's face and the actress name is moon young which is the mother of Eun oh at the start :/

http://forums.soompi.com/discussion/375165/drama-2012-arang-and-the-magistrate-%EC%95%84%EB%9E%91-%EC%82%AC%EB%98%90%EC%A0%84

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What the...

http://enewsworld.mnet.com/enews/contents.asp?idx=13305&idxType=News

I read this article and it says K viewers are not liking arang that much because LJK isn't getting too much spotlight but just Arang is. Whut? They say arang isn't that good of drama and they are watching only because of their LJK.

They leave complains on the website's board about how the drama is not friendly and how there is too many questions and no answers. They say they are confused and want the questions to be answered.

Omg, they are soo annoying. We are at episode 4 and they want all the answers? Then won't have much to do for the next 16 episodes!

They even said Arang and The M. is slow. WHAT?

It just seems for me the LJK's fangirls want to see her oppa and that is it. How many years are them?

They also complai about Faith saying it is boring and repetitive and how LMH is also not getting too much spotlight and the others actors received too much of the time........

Grr

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I Meant How old they are?

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Reads more like fan clubs gone wild. :)

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yeah. sounds like to me it's just the younger viewers that have no patience and only watch for their lee jun ki, which, dont get me wrong, love him, but if that is your only reason for watching, you'll be bored during the lee jun ki-less scenes.
i wouldn't bother about it.

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and im hoping the writer doesn't listen to those fangirls considering arang to me right now is the most in-depth character and it's been a while since we've had a heroine equally matched in that area as the hero, huh?

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Yeah, Arang is awesome and I hope the writers don't pander to the young, vocal crowd of fangirls because a big reason I'm so drawn to this show is the strong, interesting female lead. Which, as you well know, is totally my cup of tea :).

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i agree , too many mysteries were unraveled, but since this is a 16 episodes drama, i will patiently wait for them to be revealed one by one. REVEALED and explained, and tied in the end. I swearing to all gods if they'll end it like BIG! i know, mess it really big time.

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I am loooooooooooving this show. It is just visually stunning, and the characters are compelling to boot.

I continue to be impressed by how complete the fantasy feels, but also how grounded it is. The PD doesn't just luxuriate in the pretty (and given how pretty it is, he certainly could). Instead, he builds very real relationships and stakes into the supernatural realm. From the adorable familial bickering between the Jade Emperor and Hades, to the ghosts forming gang-like alliances with each other to compete for limited resources (and how the ghosts' competition for food parallels the poor villagers' accepting Lord Choi's rotten scraps because they have no other option), to Arang being a major pain in her friend/shaman's ass...there's a realism to the relationships here that makes the fantasy all the more compelling.

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Amen :).

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