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Arang and the Magistrate: Episode 12

Aww, another strong episode, with more dots being connected and more emotions on the line as our characters struggle to figure out what it is they feel, and what they can possibly do about it.

More significantly (okay, maybe equally significantly), we get some long-awaited freakin’ honesty all up in this hizzy. At a certain point you figure, you can pick Door No. 1 or Door No. 2. Be heartbroken amidst a mountain of denial and frustration, or be heartbroken all out in the open. I vote open, ’cause that’s the door with all the smooches, right?

SONG OF THE DAY

Lee Jun-ki – “하루만” (Just One Day) from the OST. [ Download ]

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EPISODE 12 RECAP

Just as Eun-oh is about to come face to face with his mother (er, the demon inhabiting the body of his mother), Joo-wal bursts onto Mom’s property and stops him.

Mom peers out through a crack, seeing only Eun-oh’s back. Eun-oh notes Joo-wal’s jittery attitude and the way he glances nervously at the house, but he plays along and says he’s here to see Lord Choi.

Joo-wal tells him he’s trespassing on their sacred shrine, and that he waltzed right in despite the locked gate. (Which hadn’t been locked but left ajar—curious or not?)

He asks after Arang, and that gets Eun-oh’s hackles up; he retorts that Joo-wal ought to mind his own business. Joo-wal replies that it’s strange how Arang seemed so familiar to him even upon first glance—naturally that would keep her in his thoughts.

Eun-oh gives Joo-wal a message to pass on to his father, which is basically: Mess with me if you must, but touch a hair on Arang’s head and you’re toast.

Mom is not pleased to hear that man who dropped by is the magistrate, and she rips into Lord Choi for being the cause. She orders him not to lay a hand on Arang, warning that she’ll remove him from his place with another misstep.

Lord Choi and Joo-wal trade hard stares as one leaves Mom’s house and the other enters. Mom seems to have keyed in to Joo-wal’s conflicted feelings about Arang, and why he’s dragging his feet. But she tells him that he can never have Arang—and if Mom possesses her, she’ll no longer be the girl he knows. He gasps in horror, and she confirms: “What I want is not her soul, it’s her body.”

She orders him to cut off his attachment at once—literally, cut the heart strings—and takes out a knife. Suddenly I’m afraid that what we take figuratively, she means literally.

Left at the magistrate’s office, Arang paces in worry, then decides she’s heading out to find Eun-oh. She doesn’t need to, because he arrives just then, looking adorably pleased at her worry. He prods her to admit it, and she shakes her head no. He says her concern is written all over her face, and she grumbles that she’s got lots of things to worry about that aren’t him, and that she’s better off worrying about peaches. Ha.

Lord Choi receives his minion’s report that the interloper yesterday appeared to be Joo-wal. He fumes, and wonders what “they” are up to; the word refers to a he and a she, so he’s suspecting Mom and Joo-wal of conspiring against him.

His man confirms that Arang had definitely died. Lord Choi wonders at Mom’s order not to touch Arang. Ooh. Is he going to figure out her plan, and bugger it up? I sure hope so.

Eun-oh and Arang puzzle over that talisman and what it means. Asking directly is out of the question, and so is swiping the other talisman. (Arang adorably sighs and pinches the bridge of her nose in a mimicry of the pose for “I am contemplative,” and Eun-oh laughs. Aw. He’s so in the everything-you-do-is-cute phase of the romance, which itself is cute.)

Arang offers up a few suggestion that he dismisses, like sneaking into the house to go hunting for clues. Eun-oh says he has an idea of his own, but he’d need trustworthy patrolmen for the job: “To catch a raccoon, you have to smoke it out.”

To that end, he’ll meet Lord Choi; the man won’t talk, but if he puts pressure on him, they should be able to track Lord Choi’s next movements. But this magistrate’s office is sadly understaffed and has no patrolmen.

Arang perks up: She can provide them. He asks who, and she gives him this saucy look, saying, “You know.” Is she referring to ghosts? That would be hilarious, and also perfect.

HA. That night, Eun-oh stares open-mouthed at the assembly. Four ghosts sit at his table and bow respectfully at Arang’s instruction.

Arang points out the benefits: Ghosts are invisible, silent to the human ear, and able to get to high rooftops or under floorboards. She gives the ghosts her instructions to search the house for anything odd, and to monitor Lord Choi’s movements.

I love Eun-oh’s eye-roll of capitulation, because she’s not wrong. But she has another stipulation, and his mouth drops open in incredulity to realize she means for him to solve all their murders.

Speaking in private, Eun-oh grumbles and complains that she made the promise up front to the ghosts. She’s unusually penitent, bowing her head and saying she was worried that his burdens seemed so heavy.

At her glumness, Eun-oh tells her it’s okay, but she continues berating herself in this sad voice—she didn’t realize his dislike of ghosts was so fierce, and she was wrong, and she’ll just dismiss the ghosts then, and stay up alllllll night for days to handle it herself, siiiiiiigh. Ha, she’s totally working him.

Eun-oh tries to tell her to stop with the self-recriminations, and finally slaps a hand over her mouth to get her to shut up. That brings them nose to nose, in the dark, pressed against the wall. Rawr.

They both spring apart all flustered, and you can practically hear their pounding hearts from here.

Up in heaven, the two gods watch Mu-young brooding off alone, and the Jade Emperor wonders if it was such a mistake to kick Mu-yeon out of heaven. His fairy (the smart-mouthed one) tells him he only did what he had to, and Jade counters that it was after he’d evicted Mu-yeon that the fairy started looking so sour-faced. Without missing a beat, the fairy replies, “This was always my face.” Hahaha. Normally I’d think she was being her usual dry self, but now I wonder if the Jade Emperor just sees things through the filter of his own guilty conscience. Hm.

Hades says that both are true: That was always how the fairy looked, and it was unfortunate Mu-yeon was kicked out in such a way. But he says they should have sent her straight to hell.

Eun-oh drops in on Lord Choi unannounced, surprising both Choi men. Lord Choi puffs up in outrage when Eun-oh shows him the talisman taken from the gravesite—how dare he bring such a terrible artifact into his home?

Eun-oh counters that the talisman is quite at home here, and asks straight-out how he could have a talisman identical to one that came out of a murder site. He also charges him with covering up the crime scene and disposing of the evidence.

Joo-wal interrupts. He’s trembling a bit with nerves, but tries to sound forceful as he tells Eun-oh that the talismans at the house merely protect them, and that such a thing is common. Eun-oh says that may be so, but it’s not common for one to match the kind dug up at a murderer’s grave.

He asks Eun-oh which shaman drew the talisman. It’s a question with no good answer for Joo-wal, who says he has no inclination or obligation to give that information. He sounds terrified saying it, but Joo-wal draws upon his wits to bluff that it’s an old talisman from before he was born, and there’s no way of knowing whether the shaman is even alive.

As Eun-oh leaves, Joo-wal turns on Lord Choi angrily, telling him that now he ought to see the severity of his actions, with the magistrate sniffing all around. He’d better figure out a plan to deal with this complication.

Eun-oh leaves feeling pleased with the bait he’s thrown. He gives the ghosts a nod to begin work, musing, “I’ve started the smoke, so Lord Raccoon ought to be react now.”

Except… the ghosts can’t breach the premises. Any attempt to enter the estate has them bouncing off a kind of force field, and that is more alarming than anything. Eun-oh’s aghast: “What IS this house?”

Arang is surprised to hear it, but she recalls being unable to find any ghosts at the house. That comment niggles at Eun-oh’s memory, too—he hadn’t sensed any ghosts up at the mass grave either. Arang wonders if the talisman could be for blocking ghosts, then, and proposes going to check it out herself. Eek! Don’t do it!

Eun-oh tells her no, that they’re better off finding a way to get ghosts into the house. But I don’t like the distracted look on Arang’s face…

Bang-wool pores over all her reference books, but can’t find any trace of that talisman. Eun-oh shares their suspicion that it blocks ghosts and asks if she can whip up a counter-talisman to allow ghosts. Bang-wool says she’ll try, although such a thing would necessitate understanding the original. And still, Arang is distracted, lost in her thoughts.

Eun-oh asks about her mood, and she says she wonders why her father would have given her off in marriage to such a shady household. It’s sad and sweet, Arang’s sympathy for this total stranger named Lee Seo-rim, who was her yet is completely foreign to her. Would Seo-rim have just lived doing as she was told? What did she think?

Arang confesses how upsetting it was to hear Joo-wal say that Seo-rim wouldn’t have recognized him. At first, all she wanted to know was who she was. After that, she wanted to know what kind of person she’d been. But she finds herself wanting more and more: “I hope I was loved. Okay, if I wasn’t loved, I hope I was someone who knew how to love.”

In any case, she wanted to know what Seo-rim was like, to see her. But to hear that Seo-rim was neither one nor the other… She sighs.

Eun-oh gives Seo-rim’s diary to Arang, and tells her she’ll find the answer to her question in it. Seo-rim was “a much better person than you think,” he adds.

Arang begins reading. As Seo-rim narrates, we see slices of her life. Seo-rim writes lyrically of her surroundings and her feelings; it’s poetic and sentimental.

And then, there’s… a memory? It comes from Arang herself, not the diary, and shows us her first look at Joo-walk, taken on a walk outside as she passes by him on the bridge. Enamored at first sight, she asks her father to initiate the betrothal.

Joo-wal doesn’t request any meetings during their engagement, to her servant’s disgruntlement, but Seo-rim is happy nonetheless. And as it turns out, there’s a bit of Arang’s impishness in Seo-rim as well, in the way she talks cheekily to her maid.

Eun-oh paces outside while she reads, worried at her reaction. Arang tells him that her maid must have loved her like a daughter, and shares her flashback of falling in love at first sight. Arang thinks Seo-rim cared for Joo-wal quite a lot, enough to think of it as a once-in-a-lifetime love. She can feel her heart racing, the way Seo-rim’s did when she met Joo-wal, and the admission brings a pained look to Eun-oh’s face. Aw.

As she bids him good night, Eun-oh calls her back: “Arang. Last time, you said you were you, and Lee Seo-rim was Lee Seo-rim.” Double aw. He reminds her that he’d thought such a comment senseless at the time, “But now, I’d like it to make sense.” AW. Aw aw aw aw aw.

Eun-oh takes a sudden step toward her, but her knee-jerk response is to retreat and distract, commenting on the sky. Eun-oh entreats, “Arang.” She hurriedly excuses herself, leaving him staring frustratedly after her.

Arang asks herself what he was about to say. Hey, I know a good way to find that out. ASK HIM. She tells herself, “I am me, and Lee Seo-rim is Lee Seo-rim, that’s true. But don’t say a word.”

Eun-oh broods in his room, remembering Arang’s warning not to fall for her, since she’s operating on a deadline.

The next day, Eun-oh informs his Bang staff of his intent to hire patrolmen. They protest, naturally, complaining of the lack of funds and necessity. Eun-oh “concedes”—if they’re so strapped, he’ll cut down his plan for a hundred men to a mere twenty. He instructs them to post Patrolmen Wanted notices in town, and when they continue to balk, he shuts them up with a remark about knowing they were getting a cut of Lord Choi’s ill-gotten stores of tax money.

Bang-wool turns her room upside down to find her grandma’s talisman book, locating it just as Dol-swe drops by (with another meat delivery, ha). He asks what she’s up to, and she explains about the ghost-warding talismans and Eun-oh’s intent to call some ghosts to do some work for him. How nice for him, she sighs, that he can call ghosts forth at will.

But this is all news to Dol-swe, whose eyes bug out as he demands to know what she’s talking about. That ends with her puzzled comment: “Did you not know? Your master can see ghosts, and that’s how he met Arang back when she was a ghost!” Let’s see now, just exactly how many beans were just spilled?

Dol-swe goes running back to town, thundering, “I knew it! I said she was either ghost or gumiho!”

He confronts Eun-oh, whose reaction confirms it. Dol-swe storms out intent on confronting Arang, too, only to find that she’s right outside. Sapped of spirit.

Dol-swe gets in her face and asks if she’s a ghost. In a small voice, she says, “I’m a person.” He clarifies, “But you were originally a ghost.” Arang says in an even smaller voice, “I was originally a person.”

Dol-swe accuses her of bewitching the magistrate, and asks Eun-oh too. What a muddle; Eun-oh knows his heart too well now to deny it, and yet by admitting to it he’s casting Arang as the seductress.

Dol-swe tells her to leave his innocent master alone and go, threatening to call a shaman to cast her out if she doesn’t. He grabs her arm to drag her off, and Eun-oh steps in to stop him. Dol-swe runs off with hurt feelings, calling him a dumb young master.

Eun-oh calls Arang’s name gently, but she won’t meet his eyes. She runs to her room and tells him to stay away. So he goes away, thinking of her, unable to do a thing.

Joo-wal thinks of Mom’s plans to take Arang’s body, and takes out the knife she’d given him. He mulls it over for a good long while, then visits Mom to inform her that he’ll do as she said and cut out his feelings, then return. She’s pleased, telling him to cut those ties and start afresh. I honestly can’t decide whether she’s freakier when she’s furious or when she’s happy.

Despite the reference to his heart, now it becomes clear they’re both referring to Arang. I guess… she symbolizes his heart? Or something. Joo-wal warns that this’ll make it a second time, which will infuriate the magistrate (you’re tellin’ me), but Mom isn’t concerned. All he must do is find out what the girl wants.

Tonight also happens to be the full moon, and Mom finds the pattern amusing: “That girl must be fated to die every full moon.” I’m going with less fate, more being targeted by a crazy person with murderous intent.

Joo-wal ninjas out and sneaks along rooftops to the magistrate’s office. He steals into Arang’s room, just like last time, as Mom’s words ring in his ears: “Cut [those ties] cleanly and come back.” Hovering over her bedside, Joo-wal thinks of Arang’s smiling face, and chants to himself, “You can do it. Wife’s words are right—I must cut them to live.”

With trembling inner voice, he reminds himself that she can’t be his anyway, that she’ll come back to life anyway, that he mustn’t hesitate. Joo-wal reaches for his knife, poises it over Arang, and tells himself to do it.

He strikes.

And in another room, Eun-oh senses something: “Arang!”

Joo-wal thrusts down with his dagger—but his hands pull back just before making contact. The knife hovers in the air, just barely grazing Arang’s chest as Joo-wal struggles with himself.

He can’t do it. He drops the knife and reaches to touch Arang’s face with his hand, his black ring glowing red. He can’t touch her this way, either, fingertips hovering without making contact.

Arang wakes up to find herself alone in the room, though the door is ajar. Eun-oh bursts in moments later, making sure nothing is wrong.

Joo-wal returns to Mom’s house in misery, collapsing to his knees in front of her doors and genuinely not confused at his own behavior. He asks, “Why am I doing this?”

Mom lays it out for him: Stupid humans call it love, while she calls it useless. She closes her doors in his face, and he cries outside.

Eun-oh finds Arang out in the yard, poking at the dirt. Neither can sleep, and she assures him that Dol-swe’s behavior is understandable, and not something to get worked up about. She feels guilty for causing trouble for so many people, and says it would be best for all this to end quickly and for her to leave. Not a prospect that cheers him.

He tells her that he doesn’t know why he’s feeling this way, and it has him confused. But he’s decided to think of the whys later, and to start with this: “You told me not to care for you, but I—”

She cuts him off and tells him not to finish the thought. Eun-oh finishes anyway, “…will like you, Arang.”

He moves to face her, and reminds her that she called herself an honest person, doing as she thinks and feels, no matter what others say.

“What does that matter to us now? Do you want to know my honest feelings? I will say it then, without spinning words. I don’t feel the same way you do. So don’t be that way, either.”

Eun-oh grabs her wrist and pulls her close. “This is the last chance.”

 
COMMENTS

I expect that a fairly sizable contingent of viewers will lump Joo-wal into the villain column and call it a day; he did kill innocent girls, and he is siding with the devil. (Okay, maybe Mom’s not an outright devil and we’re still unclear on the exact nature of her abilities, but given her stance on the gods who keep the world in balance (firmly opposed), I figure she’s a close equivalent.)

I don’t disagree. Be that as it may, I see Joo-wal and my heart always gives a little pinch, because he seems like a lost little boy just dying for some love. He was so starved for affection that he clung to a demonic fairy with a bloodlust for revenge, which to me indicates the depth of his desperation. Which isn’t to say he’s redeemable or “just misunderstood,” since he’s gotta be held accountable for his own perfidies. It’s just a good year for villains whose conflicts are wrought with pathos, who feel like tortured humans more than Mom-like beings whose main dramatic purpose is to thwart our heroes. Joo-wal’s a person, not just a tool.

It’s aided in great part by the way Yeon Woo-jin plays him, all scared and rabbity. There’s such a fascinating duality to both our villainous men, in fact, in that I almost pity Lord Choi when he’s cowering in front of Mom despite knowing full well that he’d lash out in cruelty to those under him. Joo-wal too, who is so heartbreakingly vulnerable in front of her, and yet also capable of sliding that ice-cold front into place.

The two-faced-ness is especially apparent when these two men face each other—they really ought to be compatriots in their misery-complicity trap, and yet they turn on each other instead. They won’t stand together, despite literally being the only people alive who understand what the other must be going through. It’s terrible, but it’s why Mom chooses people like them, to manipulate and bend and pit against each other. What we get is an Oedipus complex in psychology, despite the lack of shared blood.

K-dramas have this tendency to put antagonists on the path of all doom, then have those characters insist, “Things have gone too far now. I can’t turn back.” It’s a logic that makes sense, sorta, within the confines of dramaland but utterly none in real life, where you’re like, You did one bad thing, so you’re doomed to always do bad things? You’re not even going to TRY to be better? It’s this exceedingly obsessive perfectionism that leads to warped thinking and eating disorders.

Which is why it’s nice to this trajectory for Joo-wal, who has committed enough terrible things that most people would give up on him entirely. But Joo-wal doesn’t know that; he’s still struggling with himself, and in the end he can’t kill Arang, even knowing that she won’t stay dead. I love that Joo-wal’s reaction is the same kind of thing Eun-oh did yesterday—it doesn’t matter that she’d come back to life, because what’s important is the pain he’d be inflicting, the wrong he’d be doing. Just because she doesn’t stay dead doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be wronging her, and that’s what he can’t do.

I’m so glad we got a glimpse at the real Seo-rim at last, and through Arang’s own eyes this time. Seo-rim has been a cipher the whole drama through, and sometimes I wondered if she wasn’t just a MacGuffin, not meant to be dramatically interesting except for the fact that Arang used to be her. There was no connection. So it was nice to see her as Arang saw her, and showing that same spark of mischievousness that characterizes the afterlife version. It reminds us that what she was is important, even if it’s not who she became.

As for Eun-oh, gah, he’s stepping it up big time and it’s killing me. In a good way, except also in a bad way because my heart, it bleeds for you. He’s had enough of the denial game, and despite knowing mentally why Arang’s approach is the smarter thing (tie up loose ends and go poof), he just can’t. And he challenges her to be honest too (even if she’s totally lying at the end, the lying liar who lies). Side note: Would it have killed ya to cliffhang a few seconds later, drama? I know you need to keep us on the hook, but lemme tell ya—we’re plenty on the hook already. A bone, please? Can you throw us one? (This show is generally okay with cliffhangers, but I find that it always cuts out just one beat too short. It’s almost there, but… then it leaves us dangling.)

In any case, I love how intense and glowery Eun-oh becomes when he’s in pursuit of the truth, and right now he’s pursuing it with Arang. We saw signs of how fierce he would be once his heart became as engaged as his brain, and I’m excited to see how much more he’ll up the intensity now that he’s being all honest and confrontational. I just hope Arang isn’t equally good at evasiveness, though one figures she wasn’t a runaway ghost for nuthin’.

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Joining the outpouring of love for this drama a little late, aish. I won't repeat all the spot-on comments (LJK and the Great Confession!!!!), but:

1. Just love the instrumentals in this show, for all the tingling feels they give me.

2. Loved the little flashback of Arang-Eun-oh scenes in this ep. I feel it was inserted at just the right moment in this drama, and really showed how far the OTP has come.

3. The whole second half just had this great mood and atmosphere, very poetic. Seorim's prose was beautiful (and also quite funny considering Arang the gangster ghost), as was the way they closed the ep. We didn't get a preview of the next ep but Eun-oh's dialogue layered over the scenes was a really nice touch.

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Seorim’s prose was beautiful (and also quite funny considering Arang the gangster ghost)

I like how they show SR as an innocent, sheltered little girl who fell in love at first sight, and experienced deep attachment on her side, but it was an idealistic, one-sided love that was never tested.

In contrast to Gangster Arang who is finding a more real, mutually earned love with a person she is partners with against a very cruel and scary world.

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This drama is really awesome. For me it's the best drama I have ever watched. It has never let me down not even once.

The acting is superb and the story line... I have no words to describe...

This occured to me today which totally made my heart hurt. Is it possible that Arang will remember everything and become Seo Rim again? Will all the emotions, thoughts and feelings come back to her? If so, will she decide she still loves JW? I mean those were some pretty intense feelings there, judgiing from her poetry and actually initiating the engagement.

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If that happened it could be one more amazing, layered conflict. Because whatever Lee Seo Rim felt for Joowal--it was a kind of love, but like the love of not knowing someone, of loving a stranger from a distance, of a crush. But the feelings are still real and they are strong. So if that comes back, how does it come into conflict with Arang's feelings for Eunoh? What they have their is not only love, but friendship and partnership. They actually know one another, though I guess you can say that Arang now knows Joowal, too (well, except for the serial killer part...)

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It may be possible that Arang's feelings for EO are what make her understand SR's feelings when SR saw JW. Since she didn't know JW, that love she felt is "her" love or "how she loves" more than her love of JW as a person. Remember when Arang first felt her heart race at the sight of JW she didn't know what that was. Now she does.
I'm also astounded at the acting chops of Lee Jung Ki. Holy wow - that man can act! Seriously.
From whom did Arang grab that hairpin when she was dying? Was mom there when she was killed, before she was taken over by the big bad? Why? And, poor JW, kills his bride to be, that he now knows could have filled his heart. And poor SR falls for the man who will kill her. Did she go to him willingly and meet her death? Did she see him as he killed her? How heartbreaking is that?

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I love that interpretation--that only by learning how to love can she recognize what she felt before as something like love. So heartbreaking! And so smart of the writers.

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Hmmm... I like what you guys are saying.
I would like to think that our experiences make us who we are, regardless of what we were like in the past. Perhaps for Arang, Seo Rim's feelings will be just like old memories.

Perhaps she will say, "oh! so I was this sort of person..."

She is experiencing new love now, one that was different from Seo Rim's dreamy one.

Btw isnt LJK's acting unbelievable. Serously the way he calls Arang... *dies*

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I'm not sure Joo Wal killed Seo Rim. Not sure Lord Choi did it either. Not sure if Lord Choi only vaguely remembers Seo Rim from the betrothal proceddings or from his murdering her.

Wondering why the first magistrate died. Was he working with Lord Choi to any degree? Is there some other guy who killed the women? Cause wouldn't Joo Wal have remembered that he killed Arang/Seo Rim? Not that magistrate did that...but... I think he's involved in it somehow.

I just don't see Lord Choi or Joo Wal being the ones to kill her.

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i think so , when hades king say before that the true of her death not important that give make me think that Seo Rim death has nothing to do with all the evil thing in this drama .
maybe she really being killed by someone elso and all she have with this evil story that she was Joo Wal fiancee not more ,so the two king know the true of her death and that not important thing and on the same time they just think of the proplem of the evil mom so it not the same matter , wait now i get this if Seo Rim death was for the evil mom as all the girls then how she was with reaper after death ,their no way her soul would escape when they catch her on the same time (as how Joo Wal did to arang when he kill her when he use that talisman ) ,but the reaper was their after the death of Seo Rim so that make many questions !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Okay, I might have missed something since I only managed to watch these last 2 episodes on the fly, but does Joo-Wal now know that Arang was Lee Seo Rim, his one-time fiancee? He was saying something to Eun-Ho (after Eun-Ho burst into Lord Choi's room to egg him on so he can get his ghost squad to spy on them) about how Arang seems familiar to him now, like someone he knew in the past?

Don't have the time to review the eps now, but if someone would be kind enough to clear that up ....

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I don't think that JW knows that Arang is Lee Seo Rim.. and about what he said that Arang looks familiar.. I wonder myself too.. how..

But when Lord Choi said that Arang looks familiar.. I hv the feeling that Lord Choi have something to do with Lee Seo Rim dead..

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Love this episode, for the funny and the sweet angst.

Funny: Just love Arang's idea to use ghosts to infiltrate Lord Choi's household! Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there's another drama where ghosts are so handy and available!

The sweet angst - the fact that Eun Oh spent time contemplating whether to give Arang the diary, and did it eventually, even when it may mean that her feelings for JW may return, just pierced my heart. That's love, for love is not selfish. He did it so that she wouldn't think so lowly of Lee Seo Rim, alter ego. It makes me love him more!

Some other thots:
Love LJK's expressions when AR said that she remembered loving JW. However, I think that in time, she'll come to realise that her 'love' for JW was just an infatuation, but her feelings for EO is the real thing!

JW- poor, poor boy! I hope good will come to him at the end and that he'll find the love that he so craves for.

Evil mum asks JW to find out what Arang really wants. What if she wants him? Wonder what he'll do?

Btw, Arang's certainly affected by EO. She keeps telling him not to be nice to her, cos she's afraid that she'll fall for him, and she can't let that happen as she knows that her time on earth is limited.

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Eun Oh has come so so far since his cold self in Episode 1. :)

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Thanks for the recap.
I love how all the scary things scare you as much as me...

One tiny difference in my observation on this scene:

Eun-oh takes a sudden step toward her, but her knee-jerk response is to retreat and distract, commenting on the sky.

While she does distract him after he steps forward, there was also an added reason for her to back of f- seeing the full moon triggered her to remember they were now in countdown mode. Poor things.

Someone needs to explain "Carpe diem" to Arang, or in this case "Carpe Sato."

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LOL....I agree that Arang needs to seize the Sato.

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Ditto!

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So for a while I've been questioning whether or not Arang loves Eunoh, and at first I wasn't sure. Clearly, Eunoh is head over heels for her, but what of Arang? Sometimes she seems a bit clueless, which I partly wrote off as her being clueless since she was a new soul and was relearning a lot.

But the more I think about who Arang is the more I am certain that she does love Eunoh. Why? Because if she definitely didn't have feelings for Eunoh, she would have balked at him and been blunt and harsh. Crazy Sato, she would have said. But we've seen moments where she becomes all too aware of her attraction to him, where she feels hurt when she thinks he doesn't care about her at all, and conversely, terrified when she thinks that he cares about her too much. Her time on earth is limited and because she cares about him she doesn't want to hurt him. But the thing is, while I think she loves him, she's not ready to admit it yet, because then she thinks then it's total doom for them, and maybe it's the girl being the noble idiot here instead of the guy, wanting to not hurt him, and so distancing herself--yet hurting him more all the while.

Shin Mina is doing a great job of that, especially in this last episode. The way her face flashes these expressions of pain and worry when Eunoh makes his confession--the way she turns away not wanting him to go there because there is no going back, and because if he confesses he's going to take her there with him sooner or later.

Oh, this OTP. I haven't had one that has made my heart ache as much as this one in a long time. And I think that is in part because I have no idea how this is going to end for them, where in rom coms, duh, of course they will get together.

This show is so awesome. I want to marry it and have its ghost and magistrate babies.

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lol, I'll come babysit your ghost and magistrate babies!!

loooooong comment on your good comment:

Arang, as a new soul, doesn't know man-woman love. Her previous self, LSR, didn't know that kind of love either - she had a crush on a guy she saw one time; to me, it looks like s a ticket out... wasn't it said that she hardly ever left her room? She led a secluded, lonely life and she might have hoped to get out into the world with JW. I think it could have been any guy at that stage.

I never doubted Arang's love for EO and I always thought their love for each other developed in parallel. They shared the first 'moment' during the measuring scene (that clearly caused both of them a fast beating heart!), and it just continued from then (scene where he fights for her in the barn; scenes when he falls over the cliff and in the cave; scene where he meets JW and Arang on the street and just reaches out his hand; scene with the field of flowers, and very clearly when he gets beaten up in front of her, etc.).

While I think they're both equally in love at this stage, Arang has a fundamentally different perspective on things. And that's why I'm not sure I'd call her clueless ... I'd rather say she's overwhelmed. She has no past and no future. She knows that on a physical and emotional level because she doesn't have any memories. She was a ghost, probably expecting to be one forever.

Eun-oh on the other hand might KNOW (intellectually) that their time is limited, but he doesn't FEEL it the way she does. Wouldn't he, deep down, have hope that it's somehow not true, that they can somehow make it work? He is human after all and has always been (though one borrowed time, unfortunately) and human beings have that tendency for hope - and also for denial, because of hope.

She doesn't have that hope, it's not even on her radar - and that's why this love isn't even a remote option for her. She knows/feels that she is a pretend human, but not a real-human; that's why the 'moment of truth' (Dol-Swe) in this episode is so great and well-placed. It's always terrible if somebody else bluntly states what we ourselves know but don't really want to admit.

So yes, she cares deeply for Eun-Oh, and yes, she truly knows that if he admits his love (to himself, firstly), he will suffer great, great pain - and she doesn't want that. Her reaction in this episode when he is about to confess to her seem like the reaction of a child who puts its hands in front of its eyes and thinks the world can't see it anymore.

She implores him to not say it, because she seems to think that only saying it aloud will make it 'true' - and that leaving it unspoken will make it go away. What she doesn't realize, the non-experienced being that she is, is that this ship has sailed at least one full moon ago and that she cannot stop his love for her, regardless of what she does; and that she cannot stop her love for him, regardless of what she does.

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I just got off work and sitting here eating at a buffet restaurant and I'mcrying all over you comment. Literally. Ahh my heart is breaking.

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^ BEST. POST. AND. COMMENT. EVER.

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YUP! BEST POST!

*read it and it hurts my heart.. hope for the best for our sato and arang*

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@ophelia, @kakashi

Impressive analysis. Very thought-provoking. Thank you both for sharing your insightful thoughts.

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Same here. I love both of your thoughts ophelia and kakashi! Definitely bookmarked. :)

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I want to have the babies of this comment and the one above it, just for being that lovely and squee-making.

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Javabeans, thanks a bunch! Actually, thanks many bunch-s! Finished the raw Thursday night (early yest morning as it was already AM) and still figuring out what they were saying with my very ABC-level Korean, your recap just perfectly filled up all my missing puzzle pieces! It is indeed a very heartbreaking episode, and not to mention, it's just the beginning of all future heartaches - at least we have your team to lighten us up with the wonderful recaps!

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my greatest fear is a possible twist at the end resulting in an unhappy ending. I desperately want Eun-oh and Arang to end up together but the tangle of conflicting events doesn't provide a clean direction to the inevitable conclusion. it could still be an unsatisfying ending for this drama. One I that I dread - the cause of sleepless nights.

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ha ha! am reading the last bit and as if on cue my playlist changes to Usher's 'confessions'....poor Eun Oh, come to mommy!

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Small rebellions. I really feel that Joo-wal is slowly pulling away from Evil Mom. It's not enough to make too huge a difference, but it's enough to give me hope for his character.

How much do I love Arang? She is absolutely adorable, and she is so sad. I don't like to see her sad. I prefer it when she's happy, probably because I know she's either going to hell or heaven. And she doesn't have much time left. One more moon and then she has to go. I hope she solves her murder soon.

Annnnnd, EUN-OH! Oh, man. He really stepped it up in this episode. I'm so proud of him. At least he is willing to love Arang for as long as he can, even though it will end in heartbreak.

Now, my concerns. As of last episode, when we had that flashback of Jade saving Eun-oh, Jade said something like whatever time Eun-oh spends on earth will not belong to him, or something, right? Does that mean that after all this goes down, and the dust settles, that Eun-oh will die? Will he go to hell? I'm really scared that the writers will pull something like that.

And also, the deal that Jade and Hades have going, that if they can't defeat Mu-yeon, Hades gets Jade's body. Jade never said what he wanted if he won the bet. I'm am hoping that he will ask Hades to give Arang permission to stay on earth as a human with Eun-oh. I really hope for this, but I don't want to get my expectations up. Because, it probably won't happen.

Anyway, thanks for the recap, Javabeans!

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Thanks for the recap!!!

I freakin' LOVE this show!!!!

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I've watched this without subs, then with subs, then read your recap. I also kept on coming back here to read comment. Omg. What am I doing with my life. (tortures self with Junki's voice in the background)

I don't know what else to comment. I feel like you've said all of it and my heart overflows with emotion. Seriously, I'm getting teary-eyed while typing this. This drama is most definiely not perfect yet it has something that goes straight to my heart, no questions asked. I do have some complains regarding the camera works and editing but those have already been made up for by the storyline and strong acting.

Seeing Shin Minah in Gumiho, I know that she is a good actress but this is my first time seeing Junki in a drama (except for My Girl which I barely remember watching). I wasn't really expecting much but wow! I feel like saying that he's a good actor is too much of an understatement. He can act with his eyes and that makes all the difference. He didn't have to say his lines for him to speak to me. But his talent would have been a waste if he's acting with so-so actors. Arang and Joowal are wonderful. The whole cast, actually.

I'm in this phase where I don't want this to end yet I want to know the ending. I still can't imagine this drama having a happy ending but please, give it to us. I think this drama will haunt me even after it ended.

Thank you so much for the recaps! Dramabeans is playing a huge part in me loving this drama. And oooohhh the comments here, I love you guys! All the brainstorming here is awesome. Not just 'omg oppa you so hot' comments. Instead, sharing thoughts with everyone and enjoying our time. See you next week!

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This was another great episode. The actors are nailing their characters and I for one am a happy camper.

Thanks JB!

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I wonder what Eun Oh meant about: " this is the last time".. for what??

this is the last time for him to barely confess his feeling..
is this the last time he will be concerned to her....
or this will be the last time he will stop his feeling towards Arang...

so much for the cliffhanger.. and week again become a decade.. its nice to hear all your wonderful thoughts, aside from the great storyline of Arang and the Magistrate, reading all the comments make this experience more worth it. :)..

see you next week.

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may i added something too:

this the last time he will allow her saying that .....
this the last time he going to do what he going to do( like kiss or hug maybe )....
this the last time they have this chance or do she want to go without being really honest ......
this the last time he will talk about this so don't leave him ......

soooooooooooooooo much "this the last time" and i want the one with the hug or kiss thing and maybe JW will be watching aftar caming back from the evil mom house .
so thank to writer for make me all the week wonder what this "this the last time thing" wonder and worry and even eager to this more then the true of all the mystery things on this story ---- dear how could you do that to me ?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I wonder if EO's mum is the reason why Seo Rim died. I mean it seems they were together in that creepy house next to the bone tomb. It also seems to me like they were in some sought of fight. ---> I recall to Arang's memory of how she took the pin.

Maybe Moo Yeon saw the desperation of EO's mom and told her she could help her with her revenge if she brought her a pure soul. Maybe EO's mum took Seo Rim there and the struggle ended where her body was found.

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This episode wasn't as great in revelations as the last one, but it was a good character-unfolding one. The scene that stuck(besides the intense Lee Jun Ki confession!) was when Joo-wal went back to the evil mother after his failed mission and literally cried "what's wrong with me?!" because he is totally confused. The answer to that question is an endless list, but the fact that he went back instead of running away really tells us how closely attached he has become. Even confiding that there must be something wrong with him and literally vulnerably asking for a mother's love and explanation. I felt heartache for him, but I also realize it's a moment where he can swing either way on the evil vs. good playing field.

I don't think it's just a matter of good and evil, because I'm sure Joo-wal knows he is NOT a good person, but it's the fact that he's been able to be cold and kill so much all his life up to this point, that suddenly finding himself incapable, frozen, is really shattering his world. "If I am evil because I have always done evil, then why can't I do this? Because I am definitely NOT good and even sparing this one life won't make me a good person. Where does that bloodly leave me?" How about human...

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ahh Eun-Oh swoon.
every time he called her 'Arang~' ah so so sweet

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maybe it's just me, and maybe someone else has mentioned this, but does anyone else think lee jun ki's channeling so ji sub lite? at least, so ji sub's face?

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Confession time. Finally!! Lee jun ki just acts out all the feelings so well......I am falling in love with him ;)

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I was hoping Arang would confess first, something along the lines of how she doesn't want to leave at the end of two moons, but Eun Oh has fallen too hard too fast. Arang is fully aware that Eun Oh is in love with her -- that's why she avoids all confrontation -- but the sad thing is Eun Oh is oblivious that Arang loves him back. He thinks she avoids him because she doesn't return his feelings. I really hope he doesn't stay oblivious till the bitter end.

Dammit, now I regret them letting Bang Wool in on their secret if she's just going to blab it all to Dol Swe. It was painful watching Arang swear, "I'm a person. I was originally a person," because she so desperately wishes that to be true, to be human. Arang's ghost friends were so cute, especially when they kept trying to enter the Choi house. I wanted to say, "That'll do, pig. That'll do."

Thanks for the recap, javabeans!

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A few points that still bug me:

(1) Neither Arang nor Eunoh has connected Lord Choi / Joo Wal as Lee Seo Rim's murderer. They should seriously think about it, now learning about the talisman pattern at death shack and Choi's house.

(2) Evil Mom and Joo Wal seem not bother to find out whether Arang is aware of her supernatural power or not (and what else she's able to do apart from being immortal), and also about Eunoh's involvement with her. Maybe when Mom starts to question about Eunoh's master, a.k.a Arang's fake father, we'll see flash back about his background and training.

I'm curious to see whether (1) or (2) will happen first.

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all i can say is, i want mooooooore episodes i really love their chemistry. and waiting makes me want a week to move fast :-|

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I feel a need to write a comment just to let out my angst and LURVE for this show. I can't understand why it's not receiving more love but this show is da bomb!

Never been a fan of LJK but am definitely one now. This guy can act for sure and the chemistry between him and SMA is sizzling...

Acting chops aside, this show is going in all the right directions when it comes to plot development. We learn something new every episode and now that we're past the halfway mark, surely the pace will now speed up, culminating in a finale which will hopefully be memorable.

Just read up something on LJK and it surprised me that he was initially supposed to be in FAITH. He had to back out cos of the enlistment. What a turn of events. I'm about to give up on that show and am just reading recaps now. Though LMH is a big draw, the awful directing is such a huge disappointment. It's almost as if you wish the crew could take a cue or two from AATM and learn something.

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I totally agree. The few times I watch faith, I was not impressed. I think individually they are good actors but casting the leads together was for me not working.

LJK and SMA on the other hand, just rocked my socks off in AATM.

The preview of episode 13 is out, looks like the story now turns away from feelings and back into the truth about A's death...

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I'm still stuck on the hidden meaning from a few episodes ago when Sato told Arang "i'll be the one to take you to heaven." knowing this awesome production/writing team, and my intense love of all things Buffy, i'm going to read too much into that. SO, i think the contingency plan is the magistrate and arang b/c his hot Jadiness said he cant trust Moo Young to deal with Moo Yeon; so he made someone other that Moo Young have the ability to deal with Moo Yeon.

If sato and arang cant be earthly bound can we get some reaper-spirit love in their own little peach orchard in heaven?

Also i want to know what evil fairy did to get her triflin behind kicked out of heaven. She is fallen spirit, then evil human, who regain spiritual powers? How did she get the powers? If i were to kick someone out of heaven, imma make them leave their powers. I can't figure this out and thats why i LOVE this show.

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I just have to write to say how awesome is our sato when he is confronting Lord Choi and Joo-wal over the talisman in this episode! EO is not even the least bit scared of this murderous duo, and uses this wry, world-weary approach against them that is damn effective because it makes clear just who has the upper hand. I actually burst out laughing in glee when EO whines that he should have just sent Dol-swe to deal with them because they were so unhelpful and looked contemptuously down his beautiful nose at the two men before leaving. LJK is so awesome. His acting is truly magnificent, and I lurve him. That is all.

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I know right. I loved that part too.... kkkkkk :)

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Indeed. Our Satto confrontation with Joo Wal and Lord Choi topmy fav scenes in this drama

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I love to read all comments here..like many said before.. this show gives us a clue but leaves us with more questions.. can't wait for wed..

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A few random things for thought:

1) How does Dol Swe not know that Eunoh can see ghosts? I thought that was why he acted so scared early on when Eunoh would pretend there were ghosts behind him? Or was his shock when the Shaman told him about that more to do with the fact that Arang was a former ghost?

2) It was so heartbreaking when DS was asking Arang if she as a ghost and she kept saying, "I am a human" in a small voice. Poor baby girl. Things are really tough for her with this, too. It seems like she is questioning it more and more while Eunoh is seeing her more and more as human.

3) I love how honest Eunoh is with Arang at the end of this episode. And he pushes her to be equally as honest--but this is the one thing she can't be honest about. I wonder what she thinks the afterlife will be like for her if she lets herself love Eunoh and be loved by him? Does she think she will retain those memories of him? Or is she mostly concerned that he will be hurt when she is gone?

As for the "This is the last time" cliffhanger, this show has shown me that I cannot expect anything that I might usually expect. The normal way would be for him to kiss her to try and convince her, I think. Will it go that way? I actually hope that what happens is this. Eunoh says, "This is the last time...the last time I will tell you this. Do you like me?" And when she says no again he walks away, dejected...but she thinks about it more, and goes to him and initiates the kiss instead--that she is not forced into making a decision by him forcing the emotion, but by her thinking it through and making that choice since he has already made his. I think that would be in line with her character, too. Whichever way, I can't wait until episode 13 airs.

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Agree! Agree! Agree with everything you asked and said. I hope the ending is like that to. I love how this drama has really taken the heroine to a new level. She is strong and doesn't let people step all over her. For Sato to force a kiss on her would be going against all of that, I think. So, I also feel that the only way to go is for her to come into this decision on her own. :) Cannot wait for Ep 14.

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I don't think he would force a kiss, either. With the writing and acting it seems like they have really rendered Eunoh well in the way that makes you understand that he's not that kind of Kdrama hero. I think he respects her enough to take her at her word even if he (and she) knows what she says to be false. Forcing the point with someone as strong as Arang wouldn't get him anywhere anyway.

At least that's how I hope it goes. Which is why I want Arang to be the one to make the next move, to show him that, screw the limited time. Love is hard enough to find, and it will hurt them both more in the end to deny it while they have the chance.

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i think big bad was granted a wish to live on earth as a human, only to have some ill fate befall her human life/family and hence the stray to the darkside and her anger towards both lord choi (flashbacks of eo childhood, big bad was blaming younger lord choi)

Some unanswered questions:

Why was arang's body in perfect condition and only chosen to be revealed 3 years later?

Why does big bad need to know arangs greatest desire? Is this some special condition for a body exchange/possession as opposed to just the usual sacrificial soul consumption?

Why is it that only mu young has the power to kill mu yeon? Is some kind of blood tie necessary for this?
Is that why jadey trained eunoh? When can we see this training!!!

Will the crazy house with weird symbol portals (when arang threatened mu young) play a part in any upcoming vanquishes?

Why arang? Why did jadey untie arangs ropes 3 years ahead of eunoh arrival? Was this all part of his plan? If so, what's the special link of arang and eunoh that jadey specifically made such arrangements.

Wed/thu now please. Thank you

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Big Bad is not EO's mom. She is just possessing her body. I watched the episode where she was recruiting Joo Wal and her voice at that time is not the same as Big Bad's voice now.

I cant wait to watch ep 13 & 14. kyaaaa!!!!!

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continue to episode 13 please admin :)
i'm waiting for synopsis

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Fuh.

I'm exhasusted.

Tired of the feeling of heart wrenching, heart melting, heart bleeding, heart-tugging, everything heart felt about this drama. I have been lurking here and there everywhere around the web about Arang.

I have to say Arang and The Magistrate is NOT perferct. It has lacking in directing and editing but it has full of heart and a very depth and subtle writing,

I have read comments in soompi about the two of them getting married in real life. Yah, that how much I LOVE this couple.

Me too, want that to happen if they want to. They have a very rare raw, natural, sizzling, intense, chemistry I have ever seen. My previous OTP I love is MCW and PSY in The Princess Man and MISA (So Ji Sub and Im Soo Jung) but this couple is just tooo REAL!

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AAAAAAAAAAAAHHH it's time for the next ep already and i just don't want this show to be over! (I do want more Arang-EO smoochies though! This time with her conscious and, er, participating!) And LJK is just breaking my heart here, he needs to stop acting so good with his face and eyes. (he used to be so pretttyyyyyy when he was younger, but I love this manly handsome incarnation of him even more!)

I hope we get more of an answer on why Lee Seo Rim had to die, though. Obvs Demon Mom had something to do with it/was around when she died, but why'd she decide to kill this poor harmless girl in the first place? Was it because she'd wanted to marry JW? Surely they could solve that problem by saying no when her dad came forward with the marriage proposal....

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I've got no sympathy for Joo-wal. Every time I almost get some, I remember all the people he killed. Yes, I would like it if he didn't kill any more people, so I'm glad he's felt something for Arang. But does this mean he's going to go out and kill some other girl with a pure soul since evil-not-mom needs one once a month? Or did we just forget about that?

I do wonder how she died now, if Lord Choi didn't kill her and Joo-wal didn't kill her. That would mean evil-not-mom did it, but then why did she turn into a ghost and just why was her body preserved? All the Jade Emperor?

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Did anyone notice the "ghost" passing by in the background behind EO just as he was confessing at the end?? There's like this white shadow that passes from left to right behind him. TOTALLY freaked me out. "Ghost video bombing a ghost story??". Hilarious

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This drama is as awesome as it can be. Lee Jun Ki and Shin Mina are glorious. Their chemistry is unmistakable. Yeon Woo Jin is outstanding in his own ways as well. 8 more episodes and I am in for a ride.

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ohhh the love life of our magistrateeee

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