Drama Recaps
Arang and the Magistrate: Episode 20 (Final)
by | October 18, 2012 | 482 Comments

It’s time to say goodbye, and the finale of Arang and the Magistrate ties up our ends in a nicely complete way. Truths are uncovered, tears are shed, and things come full circle to give us just the right dose of closure while keeping the door open for our future.


10cm – “이제.여기서.그만” (Now. From here. Enough) [ Download ]

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Ejected from the body of Eun-oh’s mother, Mu-yeon runs straight for Arang. But Arang screams, “NO!” and by virtue of her rejection, Mu-yeon gets thrown back like there’s a force field around Arang. In a way there is, because the host body must be willing.

Mu-young grabs Mu-yeon, who struggles to break free and begs him to help her. He says with a pained expression, “I’m sorry to have left you to suffer for so long.” How fitting that he sees her mode of existing as suffering, while she’s desperate to cling to it as a mode of living.

She starts to shake her head no in panic, especially as he adds, “Let’s go together.”

Mu-young pulls her to him tightly and says, “Let’s cut our ties now.” He plunges the Jade Emperor’s dagger into her back, and her body vanishes into smoke.

He’s left holding air… and then stoically sticks the dagger into his own gut. Wow. I’m impressed.

Arang watches in horror and recalls the conversation when she’d asked him whether reapers died. He’d replied, “We don’t die. We just disappear.”

Then Mu-young turns into smoke too.

Joo-wal comes by to witness the rest of the scene, though nobody pays him any heed. Sobbing, Eun-oh holds his mother’s limp body, and the hairpin vanishes from her chest.

Mom’s not dead yet, and he runs carrying her on his back, urging her to hang on a bit longer. She gasps out his name, though, asking to be put down. They both known the end is nigh and Eun-oh cries, “I’m sorry.”

But Mom looks more at peace than she ever has and tells him, “Thank you.”

Mom turns to Arang and gives her a nod, which Arang returns; it rather feels like a father giving away a bride to her groom. Then Mom closes her eyes and dies.

Joo-wal walks numbly, telling himself, “She’s dead. What do I do now?” Such a strange thing, to be finally out from under her thumb. I wonder whether he’ll be liberated by his freedom, or strangled by it. I… am not hopeful.

A new memory surfaces: He sees himself carrying Seo-rim’s dead body—and throwing it off a cliff. Whoa. It’s a pretty chilling image, and it devastates him anew. He trembles and says, “Till the last, I threw you away so terribly and didn’t know. Saying that I didn’t know may not earn me forgiveness, but I truly did not know. How many more memories will come back to me? I’m frightened. How am I to live on?”

Gah! You poor, pititful man. I really hope he doesn’t decide he can’t live on, and not just because I don’t want to see him die. I think it shows more strength and remorse to keep living, bearing the burden of his crimes. Alas, we know strength of character is not his forte.

Up in heaven, Hades tsks-tsks that Mu-young ended up saving Mu-yeon after all. Jade Emperor says that it’s a shame that negating one’s existence is an act of salvation. I suppose it’s because that also negates the weight of her sins? Is this the math version of soul-saving, where zero value is better than negative value?

But he adds, “Mu-yeon might have preferred hellfire. Don’t you remember? She hated the tedium of heaven, where she wasn’t allowed any desire. So she would probably have preferred to endure in hell, holding on to pain and feeling.”

Hades muses, “Then negating her existence may be the cruelest punishment.”

Jade says that at least his human came through in the end, though Hades chuckles that their bet is not over yet, and that Arang won’t be able to solve this problem: “So get that body ready to swap.” Heh.

Eun-oh and Arang pay their respects to Mom’s grave. She notes that the Truth Bell hasn’t rung yet, indicating that the truth of her death wasn’t Mom. Still, she thinks to herself that it’s okay going to hell even without finding out that truth, “because I’d have to go to hell in order to remember him.” Now that’s what I call the lesser of two evils.

Eun-oh tells her that Mu-young tipped him off on a way to find that truth. In flashback, Mu-young instructs him to take a look at the record book of life and death, which should list the true culprit. So… the gods knew all along? Was this just some big wild goose chase for the poor dead girl?

A living person’s records are up in heaven, but the dead’s records are kept in a library in the forest of the afterworld.

The catch is, Arang can’t travel the path to the otherworld until her allotted days are up. Literally, she won’t be allowed near it. So, Eun-oh decides, “I’ll go.” Say what? You mean… you’ll find a way to go while remaining alive and human, right? You’re not entertaining some insane death wish, are you?

Arang balks for the same reason, telling him he’d have to die to get there. Eun-oh starts to argue that Mu-young told him a way to go without dying (phew!), but she cuts him off to tell him to forget it. “I don’t have to go to heaven.” She corrects herself: “No, I don’t want to go.”

Eun-oh’s surprised. What can that mean? We know it’s because she doesn’t want to go to heaven and forget, but who else is getting ideas of a perverse drama where Arang becomes Mu-yeon 2.0? It’s almost funny.

Arang leaves first and trudges through town glumly, telling herself, “Even if I go to hell, I want to remember him.” Oh, honey. I feel for you, I do. But sometimes I wonder whether god gave you extra guts to make up for your brain.

Eun-oh asks Bang-wool if there’s a way to pull his spirit from his body (short of death), so it can go to the Afterlife Forest. There is, but a separate problem exists: He doesn’t know the way. The reaper is the one to guide the souls there, and as we know, he just lost his only reaper contact.

Bang-wool suggests he ask Arang because she’s traveled that path before, but Eun-oh tells her about Arang’s temporary restraining order from the area. So Bang-wool offers up a theory that he might be able to take just Arang’s consciousness along for the ride, to guide his spirit.

Eun-oh tries to persuade Arang to comply with the plan, because it’s dumb sitting here waiting for hell just so she won’t forget him. “You’re somebody who can go to heaven and find a way to remember.” Yes, thank you.
He urges, “Think it over carefully, why you came here.” He asks her to go with him and win her future in heaven; they can figure out the rest when they get there.

Arang thinks back to the day she’d asked Seo-rim’s newly discovered body why she’d just died like a victim instead of fighting. She’d vowed to find out who did this to her—words that ring in her ears now.

Meanwhile, it’s time for Eun-oh to honor his deal with his ghost crew, which I find so cute. He hears them out and gets to work.

Ghost No. 1 left behind a pregnant wife who hasn’t been able to properly name the baby without him. He asks Eun-oh to let him give the child a prosperous name.

Ghost No. 2 drowned, and his corpse was never recovered. Ghost No. 3 worries for his elderly mother, who still waits for his return; he was mauled by a tiger while fetching persimmons for her.

Eun-oh listens to these grievances with sympathy, then turns to Ghost No. 4, who bursts out, “Please marry me off!” Pwahaha.

One by one, Eun-oh takes care of the ghosts. A name is selected, a tombstone is erected for the corpseless man, Mom is given her persimmons and informed of her son’s fate, and Bachelor Ghost… is married off to another ghost? That’s so cute, and strange.

It’s a light-hearted sequence, but still quite moving to see the ghosts beaming at him, souls finally at peace, as they fade away to the beyond.

Eun-oh thinks to himself, “I have done everything I can in this place.” Please tell me you mean this place Miryang, and not this place earth. If you kill yourself out of nobility, imma kill you, I swear!

Eun-oh and Arang take a walk along the river’s edge, where she says ruefully that once she’s gone, time will continue on. Eun-oh replies, “I hated to hear the saying that time is faster than an arrow, above all else. Because difficult times always passed by so slowly. But as I’m with you now, indifferent time keeps going, and I resent it.”

Arang thinks to herself, “Where a flower once bloomed, a flower will bloom again. Where the wind blew, a different wind will blow again. But I will hold onto that feeling forever. Even though if I go to heaven I will forget you, and if I go to hell you will forget me. Even though wherever we are, we will not know each other.”

Eun-oh thinks, “With this heart, I will find you. If a man passes by you and stops, and tears form and your heart races—recognize that it’s me.” He says aloud, “Arang, I love you.” They kiss.

In the dark, Joo-wal gets dressed, then blows out his candle. Uh-oh. This seems ominous. He heads outside, just as his faithful servant watches him go. The man says, “Young master, please be healthy.”

Joo-wal heads into the forest, telling himself, “Days were black even when I opened my eyes. Time stopped even though I lived. These cowardly steps that I took with a fearful heart, I will now end. The me who could stick a dagger in people’s chests and remain unmoved, I cannot forgive.”

Joo-wal arrives at the cliff from which he threw Seo-rim’s body. He stands there for a long moment, thinking of Arang, of Seo-rim. Oh, this is so sad.

Joo-wal: “If ever we meet again, if that life permits, I will just stay behind you. From afar, as a black shadow, just looking, just hurting. I will not dare… to love you.”

He closes his eyes, and falls.

The next day, Eun-oh speaks with an air of finality to Dol-swe and the Bangs, thanking them for looking after him and asking them to keep up their hard work in the future. They ask why he’s talking like a person about to leave, and he answers that he must, having done all he can do here.

His last act as magistrate is to post a notice in town stating that there is a royal order not to hold one’s status against a person serving the government. Those who serve the citizens well will be promoted. He gives the citizens the power to elect their magistrate.

Dol-swe leads Bang-wool through the village, urging her to stand beside him rather than trailing meekly behind, which is enough to make me love him (though I already do). He grabs her hand, which practically gives her a heart attack, but he doesn’t care if people see and intertwines their fingers for good measure.

Bang-wool softens, and says shyly that it’s amazing that the road she walked a thousand times now looks different because they’re walking it together. Dol-swe totally misses the comment but he does earn points for taking her to a street artist to have their pictures drawn.

Then Dol-swe pulls her over to a table of jewelry and asks what she likes. She says she’s not much for accessorizing, but gives a jade ring a longing glance. Oho, are we going jade to suggest marriage?

That night they puzzle over their portraits, wondering if that’s really what they look like. She tells him that his macho aura is spot-on, while he tells her, “You’re like a great big moon.” Which makes her wonder dubiously, “Well, it sounds like praise…” Ha.

Dol-swe presents her with the jade ring and places it on her finger, which it’s a perfect fit—he was taking note when he held her hand. Then he pulls out a second ring and holds it out for her to return the gesture.

She slides it on his finger, and he takes her hand to say, “Till now, I’ve lived thinking that being a man was all about being strong. But I found that’s not so. An ordinary man uses his strength for a woman, but a real man uses his heart for a woman. Will you accept my heart?”

Aw, that’s so sweet! You big lug. She tells him he can’t take his heart back, and they hug.

On to the Forest of the Afterlife. Eun-oh and Arang lie down while Bang-wool ties their wrists together with red string, and I’m gonna be honest, this is not how I envisioned them being tied up in bed. But okay, I suppose they’ve got more important concerns at the moment. Bang-wool explains that this way they’ll stay together in the forest, and she’s attached bells to alert them to come back.

She warns that they must leave the forest before the break of dawn—otherwise Eun-oh dies. Also, they may be tempted by visions, but must resist: “Just look straight ahead and run on.” Is anybody else having second thoughts about this plan?

Bang-wool begins the rites, and they open their eyes to find themselves in the forest. Arang leads the way and sure enough, the path is lined with dull-eyed ghosts reaching out to them. Eun-oh shakes them off and presses onward, until Arang spots a familiar face—Seo-rim’s dead servant. The old woman tells her to come with her (“I’ll take you, there’s something I must show you”) and Arang starts to follow.

Thankfully Eun-oh isn’t affected, but Arang follows the woman anyway, arriving at a scene from Seo-rim’s childhood: her mother’s death. This is a mental journey rather than a physical transportation, and Eun-oh shakes Arang awake in the forest, wiping her tears and urging her to get a hold of her mind.

On they go, until they arrive at a building in the woods, where a warrior stands guard with a huge scythe. Eun-oh asks to see the Book of Life and Death and is told he’s the first living person to ask to see the record of a dead person.

Eun-oh says that he has his reasons and asks to be let inside. The guard warns him that once he enters, he has a time limit—and if he fails to find his answer, he will be unable to return to his life. Eun-oh answers that he’s prepared for that possibility. In he goes, leaving Arang behind in the courtyard.

It looks like a tall order, because it’s a large library with stacks upon stacks of books. However, he doesn’t have carte blanche to look at everything; he can only seek one answer here. The guard instructs, “In your heart, ask yourself what it is you wish to know. Then the Book of Life and Death will answer you.” His time will be marked by the red dots that have appeared on his hand: He has until the last one disappears.

Eun-oh gets to work locating Arang’s records. Already he’s lost two of the five dots. He closes his eyes and chants to himself, “I will find it. I can find it.”

Something comes to him, and he heads in a particular direction. He locates Arang’s book, and starts flipping through it, all while repeating his request: Who killed Arang?

A page wipes itself, then the answer appears. Eun-oh: “The one to kill Arang… was Arang herself?”

Stunned, Eun-oh puts the book back and starts to leave… and sees another book right next to it. Kim…Eun…Oh?

He opens it and reads, “I died at six years old.” A flashback comes to him:

The Jade Emperor carries Eun-oh’s six-year-old body and tells him that he leaves him a debt, and his time is not his own. One day he would remember this.

Eun-oh wonders why the Jade Emperor brought him back to life. If he does not own his own time, then who does? He bellows up toward the sky, “JADE EMPEROR!” I’ve got a few choice epithets to add to that.

Suddenly, he’s somewhere else. Gasping, Eun-oh opens his eyes… to find the gods awaiting him in heaven’s garden. Jade Emperor speaks: “Speak up, Kim Eun-oh. What is it you want?”

Eun-oh asks why he was saved, and Jade replies, “You were the human I needed.” Eun-oh asks if he was the tool to capture the fairy, and gets back, “Yes, but not only for that.”

Glowering fiercely, Eun-oh informs him, “Know this: You may have started this plan, but the one to finish things was my own will. Plunging the hairpin into my mother’s chest was my choice!”

Eun-oh tells Jade what he’s discovered, that Arang was the cause of her own death, but as she is immortal the bell cannot ring. Hades chuckles: “That’s why I said she could never solve this problem.” Aw, so did you sadistic old fogeys purposely give her an impossible task? This is why we mere mortals have laws against entrapment.

Eun-oh is furious, accusing them of sending Arang on an impossible mission and cackling to themselves as they watched from their heavenly perches: “If this is your game, at the very least you should have given her a problem that could be solved! Shouldn’t gods be fair?”

Hades says that he’s relatively fair himself, but this other guy “is rather wishy-washy.” I’LL SAY.

Mr. Wishy-washy tells him, “From the start, Arang did not come here in order to go to heaven. She came to know her truth, and to know who she was. Thus I allowed her to know what she wished to know. If Arang were to realize on her own what you have found out, she will have been rewarded. The matter of heaven and hell comes after that. Now tell me, Kim Eun-oh. What is the real reason you have come here?”

I suppose god-maiming is off the menu? Next thing we know, Eun-oh is bursting out of the library to rejoin Arang in the courtyard. He grabs her hand and starts running back through the forest.

In the real world, Bang-wool frantically rings her bell and begs them to hurry back. But Arang trips and falls, and Eun-oh turns back to find she’s gone. Arang wakes up. Eun-oh remains asleep.

Arang pleads at him to wake up… as her body flickers and vanishes. Arang reawakens outside, in front of a gaping black vortex. The door to hell.

It starts to draw her in, all the while she looks back at the house and begs Eun-oh to wake up: “Tell me that you’re alive. Tell me you’re okay. Magistrate, be well. I’m the reason you can’t wake up.”

As she stares into the abyss, being pulled in, Arang realizes, “Everything was my fault. The one who caused my death was myself. That’s why you didn’t tell me, because I cannot die and am meant to go to hell in the end.”

Eun-oh’s eyes open, thank god. He bursts outside and runs for Arang, darting in front… getting drawn into hell instead…

A flashback shows us how Eun-oh had named his request: Since he caught their rogue fairy for them, he wants Arang’s bell to ring. Jade asked what he’d do in exchange, and Eun-oh replied, “I will give up my life.”

Only, Hades had said a life wasn’t enough: Could he go to hell in her place?

Now Eun-oh looks back at Arang as he’s pulled into hell, hand outstretched. Arang screams for him… the vortex closes… and a bell rings.

Arang sobs, and her body vanishes.

We reopen some time in the unspecified future. Dol-swe is dressed in the magistrate’s robes and assured by a happy Bang Trio that everything here is safe and sound, thanks to him.

Bang-wool gives a taste of her pork-and-kimchi wrap to a tavern mistress, who declares that they should go into business together. Soon they’re drawing crowds and raking in the compliments.

She hasn’t forgotten her roots and takes a few plates out to the ghosts in the yard (with Lord Choi in the mix, HA). What’s even better is that in the ensuing fight, Lord Choi’s minion gets it. Lord Choi balks but the minion is all, “So, whatchoo gonna do about it?”

But! All’s not lost for our main characters, as we find when Hades tut-tuts to Jade Emperor about Eun-oh’s whereabouts. He was going to offer Eun-oh a place in heaven for his sacrifice, but Eun-oh insisted on returning to the living world. He wonders why humans are so intent on living there, and Jade replies, “That’s why they’re humans.”

Hades is bummed at the close call, too, saying he really thought he’d get Jade’s body. To make up for that disappointment, Jade offers a gift, and calls out, “Mu-young!”

Pan to: a white goat. Aw, so he didn’t disappear from all existence after all? True, he has to live as a goat, but hey, he’s a heavenly goat. Hades chuckles that this is the best thing Jade Emperor has ever done. Jade says that it IS breaking the rules, but he couldn’t resist since Hades seemed to miss Mu-young so much. So he reincarnated him. Ha, and also, let’s hope Jade doesn’t set off a whole new chain of misfortune with his well-intentioned rule-breaking.

Hades figures that living out his days in heaven is adequate punishment for Mu-young being unable to cut his human ties properly, and declares, “I’ll have to visit often.”

There’s a new crop of reapers to replace Mu-young… and one of them is Joo-wal. Awwwwww.

Back to earth. In a field, a little boy comes up to a little girl in a field of flowers. Omo. Is this… what I think it is?

A voice calls out, “Eun-oh-ya!” It’s Bang-wool, his mother.

Eun-oh ducks out of sight and tells the girl she looks familiar. The boy’s a little player in the making, saying that he’s met loooooots of young ladies in his life (all five years of it?), but she’s the prettiest.

He asks her name, and she says, “I’m Arang.”

Then the girl bursts out, “Look here, magistrate! I told you not to drink from that well of forgetfulness! Did you drink it? *SIGH* This is too much. What are you gonna do?! What good is it if I’m the only one who remembers, HUH? Can you really not remember? Really? AHHH what do we do, you AMNESIA?”

Arang heaves an adorable sigh of long-suffering and starts her story about a long, long time ago when there was a ghost named Arang and a magistrate named Eun-oh… Her frustration is freaking hilarious, and uncanny.

The picture blurs, giving us a version with adult Arang and Eun-oh. She rants in frustration while Eun-oh stares at her, wearing a smile on his face that seems reassuring. You’re faking this, right? You’d better be faking!

Arang beats him on the arm in exasperation and reminds him he wasn’t supposed to drink, and he finally speaks up, “I know!”

He says, “In any case, for us, what’s most important is this moment right now.”

She smiles, and plants a kiss on him.


Ahhh, what a cute, heartfelt ending. The concept itself is a tricky one to pull off, because if conveyed clumsily I could see this being a real disappointment of a resolution—you create a world and a problem, then pull the plug on the whole situation and just reincarnate them? Sounds like a cop-out, right?

But this is a drama where life/afterlife/rebirth is a central conceit, so I have no issues whatsoever with this answer. I’m perfectly satisfied with it, and I think it directly addresses two major issues I had with two recent dramas, Rooftop Prince and Big. In the first instance, I thought our ending was lopsided, making me feel sorry for one-half of the pairing and less so for the other. And in Big, we also dealt with an ending image that wasn’t technically representative of the reality of the situation—that is, refusing to show us the characters as they really were, choosing instead to end on the illusion.

Arang and the Magistrate, on the other hand, completely works for me. The reincarnation is exactly what I would’ve wanted for Rooftop—they both missed their chances, so they both get new ones together—but in keeping personalities intact, I don’t get the letdown of thinking they have to start all over from scratch. It’s not as vague an ending as hinting that they’ll end up together because they’re Fated To Be, which is a solution that would have driven me nuts.

Instead, I really love this idea that these two earned their next lifetime together, and the fact that they retain their memories and meet as children. Because both lived fairly heartbreaking lives in their previous existences, and this way I get the assurance of knowing they would enjoy every single last minute together of the new ones. These kids get to have their cake and eat it too, starting off already in love and appreciative of it. They get to skip all the heartache they endured in the previous life, and ostensibly starting an ordinary, boring, and long life together. I guess that’s what happens when the great big god in the sky owes you a solid; you get lots of cake-eating.

I also love how the drama highlights that Eun-oh had autonomy, the whole way through. Yes, the Jade Emperor pretty much predicted everything that was going to happen, and he stepped in enough times to steer the situation into being. But he didn’t have the power to force anybody to comply, and Eun-oh still had to prove he was up to his burden.

It’s interesting that Arang and Mu-yeon are once again shown to be of similar mind in the way they both regard hell—that pain and suffering is better than nullity. Maybe that’s a lesson Jade could learn from, because one wonders what kind of place heaven really is if you don’t feel that conviction of emotion.

Joo-wal’s ending was a nice touch that took away that trace of disappointment at his suicide, even though I was in no way surprised he made that choice. All along I’ve felt very moved by his character—never supporting his decisions, but still understanding them. That character was really bolstered by Yeon Woo-jin’s affecting portrayal, because he drove home the desperation and vulnerability at every turn. I find Joo-wal to be pathetic and weak, but not unsympathetic. So even though his new incarnation as reaper is rather grim (hur hur), it eases my mind a bit knowing that he does get another existence. It’s not necessarily a bright future, but he will serve the gods whose rules he defied and have to do his penance in a way he can bear. Perhaps it’s also assuring to feel, as the drama tells us, that a continued existence of any kind is more comforting than just vanishing into the void. Perhaps that’s the best gift for his character.

All in all, the drama showed that it had its story and world well plotted in advance, which is a pretty effective argument against the live-shoot in my book. I’m sure there were aspects that were written as the show went along, but you don’t create this kind of intricate world with expansive rules and sprawling mythology on the fly.

I loved Shin Mina and Lee Jun-ki’s chemistry together, both in the cute romantic scenes and the more melo turns, and it’s thanks to their connection that I felt the pathos of their characters’ situation. I did miss the early comedy, but they sold the emotion so much that in the end it was just all about them earning their happy ending.


Awww. Yay for an adorable ending. In any other show, I might have hated having the couple reunite in an afterlife (and was dissatisfied with the mixing of the two in Rooftop Prince, for example). But in this drama where life and afterlife, and the destinies of two lovers carrying on for multiple lifetimes is built into the universe, and both of them are reborn to get a fresh new start, it’s a nice satisfying conclusion to the story. And how much do I love that Dol-swe and Bang-wool named their son Eun-oh, and he’s actually Eun-oh reborn? So. Cute.

The thing I was most concerned about was the issue of memory, so I’m glad that it was the primary concern for Arang as well. That felt right to me, that she’d consider going to hell just to remember him. The well of forgetfulness (and Eun-oh being called Amnesia this time, heh) was a nice touch, but I also would’ve loved to see them fight to come back rather than just be told about it later. Mostly I’m happier that we end the series with the feistier Arang who started the show, because she spent a good long while making so many self-sacrificing choices that she began to lose her spark. It’s probably my biggest complaint about the late stretch of the show, because at some point, plot-wise, it began to feel like we were just biding time until the end.

It would’ve been nice if the ending had something a little more mind-blowing, like Eun-oh finding a loophole that completely turned heaven’s rules upside-down, or Arang discovering a secret that changed everything we thought we knew. This ending felt in tune with the series and the world they set up, but didn’t rock my world or make me go Ooooh, I never would’ve come up with that! That’s what I want to feel at the end of a fantasy mystery, so while the ending was satisfying (on the emotional front), it wasn’t totally awe-inspiring (on the story front).

Overall I did thoroughly enjoy this show from start to finish, because it really did feel like thought and care was put into the construction of an entire world, where mythology and rules were important (because they certainly are to me). And visually, I’m a big fan of this director. I did see a huge gap in quality between the earlier episodes and when the show began to catch up and shoot live, so I think it’s a show that benefits massively from the extra edit/CG pass, but it was certainly a show that cared to tell its story visually, which makes me a fan.

I thought the contemplative goodbyes in voiceover for each of our main characters was a nice touch, and reinforced the life-affirming, cyclical nature of everything in this world. I’ve always had a soft spot for the epic romances that span multiple lifetimes, but they can be tricky to pull off in a satisfying way. It might’ve worked even better for me if they had crossed paths again as adults, but I do enjoy the humor in having a pair of kids meet with their adult personalities and memories. The chemistry between the leads was so good that it actually transfers onto the little kids, because you can see their characteristics so clearly. I think at the end of the day that’s what made the show so compelling—the world was populated with rich, distinct characters, and they had a sparkling kind of chemistry. It was nice to come along for a ride with a planned story from start to finish, and a really successful balance of humor, action, mystery, suspense, fantasy, and romance. It’s not often genre shows can manage to do all that, with so much heart to boot. And I’m not even mad at the moon anymore.


482 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. cv

    Yep, it’s here! 🙂 Thanks for recaps.

    • 1.1 cv

      I have to say, the ending was almost a close call for Arang to remember it was her who cost her own death. I’m glad they found eachother again.

      I love the little girl. LOL She is sooo cute and how she rant her frustration out to Sato. ^^ Adorable! 🙂

      Overall, I liked the ending but it didn’t go out with a bang that will have me remember it. It was just like, oooh, okay. The end. Could have been worst so I’m not going to complain. :p

      • 1.1.1 Kiara

        Eun-oh ya …what a little player, I love love love him. Could he be the playerest player that ever played lol. Little Arang…..sooooo cute cute cute. I want to adopt her. These 2 were my favorite <3.

        • Stardust

          Yah Little Arang had shin Min ah’s mannerisms and speech down to a T… hehehehe SO ADORABLE!!

          • Toystar

            Little Arang so cute!

          • kakashi

            simply adorable!

          • pogo

            I know, I could actually hear SMA’s voice as Arang saying those exact same words, it was a great choice of child casting. Especially when she throws the old nickname right back at him ^_^

        • yaya

          Both are cute.

        • skelly

          Well, I think Kim Boong Do is still the playerest player who ever played…

          • Kiara

            His kid version lol.

      • 1.1.2 Anya

        I’m confused, the bell rings if she will find out who killed her. But in the previous ep, it was EO’s mother who stabbed her, Jowal , throw her off the cliff and then she SURVIVES????, I mean Jowal jump off on the same cliff and he died and became a grim reaper. So i can’t think
        of a scenario of how she killed herself, you mean COST /CAUSE, so that’s suicide when she put herself on the daggers way to Jowal. hmmmm…
        and speaking of JOWAL, why did he become a grim reaper and be in heaven, I thought if you commit suicide just like Lee-Seo-Rim, you are definitely destined to be in hell. So grim reapers are actually souls destined to hell and they got the assignment to be grim reapers and be in heaven sometimes. hmmmm, I’m skeptical!

        • MM

          You have to look at how she died the first time. How she died when she jumped in front of “mom” who stabbed her. Mom was not attempting to stab her. She jumped in front of the moving knife to save Joowal. So she caused her own death.

          When Joowal threw her over the cliff, she was already a former ghost and could not die so that is why she didn’t die that time. After her first death, her “real” death, he hid her body in the barn where they found it.

          The bell would only ring if she killed the person who killed her which was herself which is why it wouldn’t work.

        • Song Sam Dong

          You did get it, yes, the migrates mother is the one who killed her but it’s not her intention, it was arang who shield her body for Joo Wal that’s why she is the one who is responsible for her own death.

          • Song Sam Dong

            You did not get it, yes, the migrates mother is the one who killed her but it’s not her intention, it was arang who shield her body for Joo Wal that’s why she is the one who is responsible for her own death.

      • 1.1.3 Florentine Lily

        JB and GF, thank you for the recaps. Thanks to those commenting. Another drama has ended but life goes on.

        CV, I have to agree with you. It didn’t end with a bang but it didn’t disappoint me. I was not left frustrated, wondering why I spent 20+ hours staring at my computer screen, watching actors go through the motions while the writer/PD was not invested in rewarding the audience for their devotion. The characters were fun and the plot was interesting. The actors were superb. They kept pulling me back when I wanted out. Plus, I’m a sucker of Shin Mina’s dimples.

        About Jo-Wal. I felt it would have been better had he lived helping other orphans like himself, repenting for his sins. But becoming a Reaper was good because those memories would have ripped him apart sooner or later. This way he forgets and is still of service.

        Little Arang stole the show. I could not stop laughing when she started scolding Eun-Ho. So cute.

        Overall, on a scale of 1 to 5, I would give this drama somewhere between 3.6-3.9. Somewhere along the way, Arang the character lost her spark and the Arang the drama lost a bit of it fierceness and I wasn’t as invested.

        There were some things that could have been done better execution-wise. The first half was definitely better than the second half. It was more polished and engaging. Regardless, it deserves a solid 5.0 in the acting, writing and directing category.

        • Donna

          Show be more than 4 … Considering junki best impressive facial expression & EO mother + joo wal good acting. Beside all the cast are good. Well, basically i like the ending here. Sweet & cute endings. The 2 cute kids add more color in this drama. I will give high score for this drama. 4.8 from 5 scale. Almost perfect. I wish this drama get many awards esp junki. Then EO mother …she deserved an award too.

    • 1.2 Dominique

      What kind of flat beer have we just been served in this episode? And why does everyone in the drama cry, cry, cry? Sorry, but I cannot find any kind words for the wooden acting that everyone turned in for the final episode. And more deus ex machina, of course – no surprise there.

      Yes, the last scene had a seed of an interesting idea – reincarnation and all. But was it well developed or executed? Your recap is way too kind.

      In the end, this 20-episode drama played out just like the South Korean soccer team has done in the last two World Cup games: start out front-loaded with the right stuff, advance to somewhere in the middle of the pack (for sure, above average), then be happy and quit trying. Going all the way to the top, no matter the odds, or dying while trying, just is not in the gene.

      • 1.2.1 Mystisith

        Flat beer. Lol, but my thoughts exactly. I anticipated 80 % of what has been given to us and as usual Joo-wal stole the show for me. Man, those tears… Can’t they think a bit out of the box? Reincarnation, bla, bla… Also, the karma laws seem weird to me. If being punished means becoming a flower eating goat in Heaven, I’m ready to become a serial killer. And about those reapers? Something can’t become nothing. I just don’t buy it.

        • arangsatto

          I’m a bit bothered by Joo Wol ending too? That is unsatisfying for me. A bit lacking. I donno but I can’t think other resolution for him. Out of the box, they should do something better with him, indeed.

          However, I think the reincarnation is the best solution and the most necessary ending for them. If you asked me yesterday I wouldn’t want them to be reincarnated but after what happen today after Eun Oh discover the truth behind Arang’s death and she at the first place never be reborn to go to heaven then there is no other option than both of them or Arang herself go to the hell (after she killed herself by protecting Joo Wal) then reincarnation is the best possible ending. It is just suited with whole theme as living, love, death, memory and human desires.

          Until yesterday episode I would prefer or thought that the writer will let Arang remain in the world but I dont think there is any other solution giving that she has an immortal body and the situation is complicated enough at that time.

          I agree that it can be better in terms of the execution but I’m satisfied since this drama has lots lots of HEART, keeps surprising me and satisfactory in many ways. It is not epic nor it is technically perfect but it just stood there with lots of heart, zippy moments, and great fantasy horror saeguk. With lots and lots of love and mythological absurdity. It is a win in my heart.

          • yaya

            I’m not satisfied with Joo Wal ending too… I mean to good for him…consider he has killed so many innocent girls in the past.
            Regarding ..the reincarnation …I think it’s fair enough & that is the best solution for Sato & Arang. JE granted EO to fulfill his wish…fair enough consider EO has done so many good things for him ( esp kill Mo Yeon). I’m satisfied with the ending. ESpecially those 2 mind remains intact. Both of them still remember their past. The 2 kids & the flower field are nice additional …. endings.

          • waiwai

            I’m satisfied with the ending. Cute endings. Love it.

            Regarding JooWal …as human he has paid his sin by threw him self in the cliff. As human he has tragic ending – and then become a Grim-reaper is a good solution for him.

            Basically I think reincarnation is Best Solution for Arang & Sato. And Jade keep their memory ….that’s really Good. Jade is quite wise . Fair enough to reward Sato and grant his wish. Love it !.

            So, I love the well written story. Love Sato and all the Cast. Many unexpected ….outcome but finally all secret has revealed. What can we asked for more ???

          • John

            Jumping on this thread late (I just finished the series about 5 days ago), but did no one else believe that they were going to put Arang’s soul back into her original body at the end and have her live again? This was a body that was killed 3 years prior and had not decayed. She looked just as beautiful before her burial as she did when alive! The whole time I thought that they put her soul into an immortal body to fulfill the mission but, at the end when the mission was over, she would disappear. Then Eun Ho would somehow figure she was still alive inside the coffin and dig her out and they’d live happily ever after! That was then ending I’d imagined anyway.

            I don’t mind them being re-incarnated as long as they both retain their memories and can be together. But it WAS a little bit of a let down that somehow they didn’t get the upper hand and make it work out another way in the end so that neither had to die or go to hell in the first place.

        • febe

          I thought it was Mu Young who was reincarnated as a flower eating goat, and when was Mu Young ever a serial killer? Anyway in Chinese mythology, it is a punishment to be reincarnated as a animal, and the good guys usually get reincarnated as humans.

          The non-existence issue is one of the premises set out in this drama’s world and it was already mentioned right at the beginning (in Episode 3).

          • yaya

            But animal in heaven …will not suffer anything. Different with animal in earth …they will be slaughtered…

          • febe

            Yaya, I was replying to the post above which commented that the punishment for being a serial killer is to be reincarnated as a goat in heaven.

            Mu Young was not a serial killer. He killed his sister tor the good of the universe. Why would you want him to suffer?

          • yaya

            @ febe

            No …you miss understood . I didn’t mean I want him suffer …not at all …I like the grim reaper though ( he is a general in chuno – and I like him since Chuno) .I mean as a Goat in Heaven … is different with as a goat in this world…because in heaven he will not suffer anything. He will be loved & feed by JE & Hades. It’s much better than he become extinct ….

            And he is not a serial killer …he just made a mistake for unable to control his feeling . I think …Jade has thought about this too, his merit to kill Mo-Yeon … therefore he made such decision.

          • yaya

            @ febe

            No …you miss understood . I didn’t want him suffer …not at all …I like the grim reaper though ( he is a general in chuno – and I like him since Chuno) .I mean living as a Goat in Heaven … is different with living as a goat in this world…because in heaven he will not suffer anything. He will be loved & feed by JE & Hades. It’s much better than he become extinct ….

            And he is not a serial killer …he just made a mistake for unable to control his feeling . I think …Jade has thought about this too, his merit to kill Mo-Yeon … therefore he made such decision.

        • Haha

          Goat or not, he wasn’t the one needing to answer to the million of pure (and not) young maiden souls lost. His sister was. She’s now an existence that doesn’t exist anymore. He for the deeds and other slice of pie served; the first being the side served by the protagonists — is that goat in heaven. Whatever his original fate was, it certainly wasn’t punishment. If anything, he chose his matyrdom.

          Which bodes the question: She didn’t like heaven and is said to have probably preferred hell to hold onto the feelings of passion, the memories and almost eternal longing. What of him? From a lover’s point of view, many more stories have been made where one would rather die than live any longer in a world without the other. Sure he did live all those years, following instructions to the t with or without news of the beloved and deranged sister..

          Curiously enough though, the gods of this ‘verse didn’t bring him back because they felt sorry for his plight but rather one of them missed him.
          (It’s perhaps more alarming that it’s possible to un-negate his existence as he chose)(Wasn’t that choice made because that’s where he sent her so she couldn’t be touched by them gods?)

          “Something becoming nothing” is what happens all the time for humans in reality. If science holds true. At least the fantasy mojo lets for tragic black mists and gaping hell tunnels. There’s a deal being made and one can see clearly what is happening and that it is even if they can’t ever fathom why or how. Things unfantastical will just vanish and stop completely and abruptly. Leaving literally, that big nothing but good and bad memories.

          As for the punishment for being a murderor — isn’t that what Joo-Wal is currently? Accepting eternal servitude catering to the higher laws of life. I wonder about his character though. Does he remember? He ended his mortal life to escape the memories. If there’s an afterlife sentence for one such as him, it would be to “live” on with those memories intact. That is why, my opinion contrasts the below — It is quite a fitting end and brings the character (and my argument) full circle.

          There is one other question that entirely niggles at my conscious: Who else clearly remembers the Jade Emperor telling his stoic-faced fairy that her expressions don’t call for many Reaper suitors? Clearly long term, such casual and fleeting moments won’t be enough for love that spanned fate enough for several star crossed lifetimes. However, if fairies and reapers can and have flirt history, who’s to say a true romance isn’t possible? They clearly still do have desires and self, pleasure seeking interests..

          Mu-Yeon clearly has more law-abiding traits in common with her “brother” than one could’ve guessed to have thought Heaven such a place. It’s quite sad for a couple to reincarnate as siblings but retain and regain the feelings of another sort of fate. Sad that only the couple with heartbreaking existences out of having…

          • Haha

            Sad that only the couple with heartbreaking existences out of having the gods own them a solid get a new life with cake.

            She’s also quite dumb. Surely she knew them tricky gods wouldn’t send bait without setting a time limit or some other thing on it to keep more devilish plans coming to fruition if the humans employed did, in some chance, fail? Say what would have happened to the two moons timed immortality if it had been seized unceremoniously?
            Or was that just for “After that, you’ll be punished to hell at hell.”?

      • 1.2.2 Hooliah

        I have a hard time getting mad about deus ex machina in a show where two of the major characters are gods literally playing around with humanity.

        • sorrysarah

          Haha, very well put! It’s kind of built into the premise, isn’t it?

        • Yellow

          My thoughts exactly! There is no deus ex machina when there are already gods in the plot from the get-go. And most of the finale has been hinted in the other episodes, so there has been no usage of deus ex machina.

        • twentyonebuds

          Yes I agree! In any other show it probably would’ve pissed me off but our gods weren’t just fate pulling strings, they were characters who depended on other characters who each made their own choices.

        • emmy

          Great point!

          Jade owns up to breaking his own rules all the time. What’s the point of having gods in the show if they’re just as helpless and rule-bound as humans are.

        • yaya

          IN Confucianism …Gods have certain power to control humans. Give punishment or grants something to human. THis story is based on Confucianism Principal. Hope this give you some insight ~~~

      • 1.2.3 Yellow

        I see no deus ex machina in this episode. All that has happened had been hinted in previous episodes. That defeats the meaning of deus ex machina.
        And…Why would you ask why everyone in this drama cries? Have you no sympathy? After all the hardships the characters have been through?

      • 1.2.4 arangsatto

        I have to agree and disagree with you in certain points.

        I have to agree on your part that the ending could be more well establish or well execute. However, giving the part that the last episode has lots to tied up and many plots to be wrapped I have to say i’m satisfied enough. If I want to complain not the ending but in the middle of the dramas where they should -writer & pd should execute several scenes neatly and tightly so that it will be a well executed drama as a whole in the end.

        I disagree on the crying part. I dont know if one can’t feel the torment, suffering that the characters went through. But each to their own.

      • 1.2.5 febe

        I find it strange to be so hung up on deus ex machina when in the first place we’re watching a supernatural fantasy with gods, reapers, ghosts, demons, immortal bodies, borrowed time, heaven, hell, ghost-killing fans and generally, the unexplainable.

        And what’s wrong with crying when the characters are losing their loved ones? Or in such great despair at the wrong steps and actions they have taken? It is human to be able to cry, and only the cold-blooded who don’t or can’t cry.

        Wooden acting? I think LJK, SMA and YWJ deserve acting awards for their performances in this show!

        • yaya

          EO mother deserved an award too. Lee jun ki is the best in portraying his role as Sato. They way he pulled our emotions with his sophisticated impressive facial expression is superb. He is the Best …second best is EO mother / Moo Yeon. SMA & JW is good too. All of them are Good even Lord Choi & The shaman , Dolsoe + 3 Bangs.
          Regarding awards I will go for LJK & EO mother. Both really deserved an awards.

        • Haha

          Ditto on the deus ex machina. If this was any truer to its story, we’d have a(n extrmemely) melodramatic horror genre on our hands. Starring the one woman show, Mother. Thanks be for romantic comedies. And cake is cake anyway you slice it.Too bad it might seem overly sweet at times. I ain’t for mushiness (which is my romance flicks come with a large dose of com or preferably, not at all) but it was real cute. No idea about rewards for individual acting but the chemistry was definitely all there.

          That purse-y face the nobleman “dad” makes.. So hateful! From the cringeworthy moments between shaman girl and the lovable lug of a servantsma, the redemption(?) of the murderous Bang, the death and resolution of the elderly waiting lady, the characters were rich and the acting well seasoned to match. Strong but subtle is something not easily pulled off. There really wasn’t a single character wasted. Not even the little Big Bad guy’s murdering minion.

          If there’s a deus ex machina to gripe about, I call on the hellholes occasionally appearing here or there to threaten reaper and ghost girl alike. The head whipping from mojo infested grandma that finally enlightened shaman-y Bong-Wool.. And the Jade Emperor. Of course.

      • 1.2.6 booboo

        Sounds to me like you only have negative things to say whenever you leave comments here. Too bad.

        I’d love to hear how you had envisioned for the ending to be. Perhaps we can discuss other possibilities that can tie up the whole story, make perfect sense and please the viewers at the same time.

      • 1.2.7 Sintia

        Everyone who is not Lee Min Ho is “wooden” for Dominique. And every not Lee Min Ho’s drama is bad. All her posts here is about this.

        • Lily

          Thank you for your info ^^

          I’m sure all actors in A&M have no wooden acting. They’re just too great, deserve many awards.

          So, it’s Dominique who doesn’t know lee min ho is the real wooden actor, kkk

          • yaya

            Agree ~~~ All the cast here is Good.

          • jєѕѕα™ 주원사랑 (@jung_kYro)

            agree! everyone in this drama can really act..even the three bangs and Lord Choi’s slaves..they all did well..

        • Kiara

          One of the biggest troll on this board lately. /drives through.

        • kyme

          Yeah! Seriously, Dominique are such a troll~ LOL

          Sorry to say but lee min ho is the real wooden actor! Huhu~*PEACE

        • Lucianabella20

          I know right? Dominique is the most pathetic kind of troll.
          She/he too crazy about Lee Min Ho ! and Ahhh.. I have to say LMH acting is just plane awful though he looks so handsome.

          • yaya

            Totally agree…no offense , though.

          • alexe

            Absolutely .

          • mia

            Totally agree Dominique is an unrelenting troll here !

            But just coz she’s such a fanantic LMH worshipper, there’s no cause to deal such a blow to LMH himself….wat wrong had that charming actor committed ? He’s NO wooden actor, period. In fact, his commendable acting in Boys Over Flower that’s what made that drama watchable.

            Both the Lees ( minho & junki ) have improved by leaps and bounds and both are so good looking, charming and charismatic, each in their own way. There’s absolutely no need to run down the other just to push up the other…..we are all quite matured here ? right ?

          • Tina

            Yes, totally agree! There’s no denying that LMH’s gorgeous but I don’t think he is a good actor.

          • Joongirl

            @Mia we are adult enough, yes… to see who is good actor or not. In term of beauty, okey if LMH and LJG are handsome even for me LJG is away more handsome and natural, but I know that beauty is on the beholder’s eyes, but in term of acting skill and talent, sorry to say but LMH is obviously not in the same level of LJG 🙂

          • luvkay

            @mia, is it really necessary to bring Junki into this? Dominique criticised that everyone’s acting was wooden, without any substantiation to support her criticism. By everyone, it can be supposed that she meant every single actor and actress from the leads and main supporting cast to the cameos and extras.

            The commentors disagreed and said that ALL the actors & actresses in AATM acted well.

            If you bothered to read the comments properly, noone in this thread ran down LMH to push up LJK. You are the only person who said or even implied this. In my humble opinion, LJK’s talent is quite undeniable and has been widely acknowledged in Korea and internationally, so there is no need to run anyone down to push him up.

            You mentioned that Dominique is a fanatic LMH worshipper, as a mature LMH fan yourself, maybe you should advise her to stop bashing other actors and actresses thoughtlessly, as a fan’s bad behaviour will only attract negative feelings towards her idol.

          • midoshi

            I didn’t see lee min ho in this drama, then why are you dragging him out. i like both lee min ho and lee junki, but honestly i have to lee junki is the best both looking and acting, i put lee min ho to 2nd place. lee junki is so adorable charming actor, and very talented.

      • 1.2.8 Wowow

        Gosh, why are you always so harsh? :'(
        I particularly love Everyone’s acting in Arang and the Magistrate, and since you can’t act any better than them, don’t cha say stuff bout “wooden acting”

        • yaya

          Yes…. why don’t we just be honest. Leejunki acting here is superb. But the mother & Joo-Wal is good too. All the cast are good. Even the villains like lord choi & geodol…they have their own charm. So Wooden acting is too much …

      • 1.2.9 personainnominatum

        Well, there’s always room for improvement for everything and everyone. What on earth doesn’t? But if you compare this drama to others which also have supernatural theme, this drama is way better, and i’m not just talking about the finale. How about you come up with the better ending you’re yapping about?

      • 1.2.10 piaaa

        Geeez. Why do you hate this world world so much? I’ve always seen your comments in every other drama with a negative attitude.

        You had some points, yeah. But does not elevates all the harsh things that you’ve said in a drama. A drama where some people got inspired and moved. I know we are entitled to have our own opinion but that does not mean that all of our opinions is right and cannot hurt anybody else. I would be okay if you said it as a constructive criticsm. But, sadly, it is nowhere constructive. It is just criticsm.

      • 1.2.11 achika

        I don’t see how being a Grim Reaper is a light punishment for Joo wal. Not to mention, he was a victim of the harsh life as a kid. I mean, any kid can be easily lured by the evil woman, given his situation with poverty and abandoned by society. The only reason he could kill so heartlessly, was because he thought he wont remember all his evil deeds and that he will forget them anyway. In the end, it all came back to him and he regretted.

        I think anyone who had sincerely regretted deserved a better chance. God is forgiving afterall. 🙂

    • 1.3 Miyoko Nakamura

      Guyz Please i don’t understand how did arang kill her self? and what year exactly? and it’s also confusing the ending…did they really re incarnate as human..

      • 1.3.1 pogo

        I seem to keep repeating this, but it’s not so much that she killed herself as that she caused her own death by choosing to save Joo-wal’s life, back when she was Lee Seo Rim.

  2. Cez Prieto

    And it ends. Sadly. Can they simply have a modern spinoff of this tale…

    • 2.1 h0ns

      with both of them LJK-SMA as the OTP… that would be lovely…

      • 2.1.1 Suzie

        I agree! Would definitely want to see that 🙂

    • 2.2 D

      yeah, if JAng Hyuk & LDH can be paired in 3 dramas why not both LJK & SMA?

      make them happen, South Korea!

      • 2.2.1 yaya

        Haha…btw do you know the 2 Janghyuk friends in Chuno in reality is Leejunki friends. The general is The grim reaper here. Hahaha …but a Good thought . Support u’r thought !

      • 2.2.2 emmy

        Ooh.. Please, please, please!

      • 2.2.3 yaya

        But in Chuno …LDH end up with Oh Ji Ho. That sad.

      • 2.2.4 pogo

        it’s very rare in kdramas for two leads to work together repeatedly as Jang Hyuk and LDH are doing……but I can still pray for an LJK/SMA reunion, can’t I?

        • waiwai

          Of course …why not ??? Maybe the PD or writers read Fans comments …. Fans love LJK – SMA couple… so they will re-match them together . It’s possible… I mean make sense.
          I read netizens comments …many fans praised LJK expressions ( 13 expression) esp in sageuk drama . But they afraid junki will only good in sageuk. Well I slightly disagree …I think he is very good in TBDW too.
          Therefore …all our comments here will be read by the PD & writers …so they will change their mind …and made another drama with LJK & SMA as lead actor & actress. Kekekekkkk

    • 2.3 Jolly

      I’m confused… what is the difference of heaven and hell if they can both be reincarnated? Was this ever explained?

  3. Jinny

    Yeee it’s here! I hope there’s a happy ending<3 Thanks for the recap! 🙂

    • 3.1 Jinny

      Ahh I loved the ending, albeit being slightly confused by it but finally getting it after re-reading for the billionth time haha. I’m so glad they tied up all the loose ends (the parts with the ghosts and Joo-wal was especially satisfying) and also gave the OTP a cute sweet end 🙂

      Does anyone know what drama airs after this?

      • 3.1.1 Angela

        I still don’t get it… Lol. Cuz didn’t Eun Oh come back as human so I assume he and Arang are on Earth together. So I don’t really get the little kids part… :/ and how that transitioned to the adult version.

        And I believe it’s Missing You starring Yoochun!! 😀 Drama comeback since Rooftop Prince. =)

        • Hooliah

          Eun Oh was reincarnated as Dol Swe and Bang Woo-Ri’s son. Arang also got reincarnated on earth and they meet again as children. Arang remembers everything, but Eun Oh doesn’t because he drank from the well of forgetfulness in heaven. The “transformation” of them from children to adults isn’t an actual transformation–the show is jumping ahead in time to show that Eun Oh and Arang grew up together and then lived happily ever after.

          • Stardust

            I am pretty sure Eun Oh didn’t drink from the well becos he was just teasing her at the end… If not they wouldn’t have shown the adult version of them lol

          • yaya

            Yeah …the same here , I got some feeling …he just teasing her.

          • Joongirl

            Arang must be such a beautiful INDIGO little girl then, kkkk

          • Haha

            Whose child did Arang reincarnate as? She must have another name, Sato gets his own back because of his servantsma overly affectionate mancrus–ahem. Because he has witnessed as well as she who bore him, the events that gave him his final fate. (Which uh, must make for some really awkward future family dinners)(A reverse of the dotting dad on daughter hahaha)(Also, did he talk and inform them of himself prompting them to name him as himself at his own birth? Or was it just more of Dol-Swe’s love and worship?)

            What of her? Surely, his magistrate(?) but ex-slave staus would create some discontent with the possible in-laws? who, by the way, seem rather well off with how little Arang is quite neatly groomed. (Still don’t think the bang-less, all hair tied back look suits the adult character’s facial features though. She’s definitely one of those girls whose hair being down is a sudden and instant beauty)

            As for the amnesia bit, the show implies he in actuality remembers but chooses not to reveal it, basking in the meanwhile, in the extra(?) attention.I once watched a show where one side of the loving couple undergoes such irrecoverable memory loss (not fantasy btw) but loves again regardless. It would be quite cute to have him love her despite all those formidable and pretty much unbelivable stuff about past lives and thinking that they saved the gods together.

            A crazy girl spinning a crazy tale, having him really not believing in the existences of the supernatural this lifetime as he so pretended and insisted in his last — yet he loves and adores her in this life despite all of it. For very normal, very non-last-life attached reasons.

            That face though is one that knows his cake when he sees it. Sigh. Oh well. Still one cute ending. Face scrunch uh, squash and all.

        • boholAnna

          In the ending, kid Eun-oh was only teasing kid Arang making her think he forgot. But as he says how could he forget when she kept on telling him repeatedly not to drink from the well of forgetfulness. They must have had a meeting in the afterworld that we didn’t see. Also some sort of negotiation must have happened with the Jade Emperor since he offered them heaven as a reward instead of going to hell but they opted to go back to being human.

          Also, the transition from kids to grown Eun-oh and Arang is a scene showing us that in those kids are the souls of both Eun-oh and Arang with both of their old memories intact.

          • Haha

            That’s a very interesting thought. Didn’t notice that.. I also didn’t think (of what an above comment said) that was precisely the reason why they showed the adult versions of the characters. That it was them, they met and both remember. Though,If they did get the chance to meet in the afterlife before reincarnation, they should’ve just stayed and wandered as ghosts together!

            Would be funny to see Eun-Oh give up his high chair for the food fights with fellow ghosts. Guess it wouldn’t be to comfy for an existence *and life) of cake together though. To fight endlessly for food. Even if there was no need to worry about Reapers, other ghosts could outcast them for the obvious preferences the higherups have for reaping privileges, defeating the whole point of ghost-dom. Wandering forever “without time that changes from day to day” wouldn’t really work for anyone either, least a simple couple in love. Meh.

            And.. unrelated: I finally realised there were these numbers on comments and what they stand for. Thanks site admins! This would make it much easier to track conversations and threads of replies from now on..

      • 3.1.2 donna

        ugly cake

        • Donna

          Ah…your name is donna too ? I use donna nickname too. I give comments since several eps . Nice meeting you.

      • 3.1.3 nanachan

        Jinny, after this is “I Miss You”, with Micky Yoo Chun and Yoon Eun Hye.
        I hope this will be good like AatM…;)

        • personainnominatum

          Sorry, this is so random. But i hope YEH could be a guest in running man since she now has “something new to offer”^^

  4. Sue

    Loved the ending. That little girl was so funny. By the way, thank you for the recaps!

  5. ai

    Love This!!! ^^

  6. ck1Oz

    Thank you for the recap.Won’t write an essay except to say I was feeling surprisingly wretched for Ju Wal yesterday.Like was surprised to feel so bad for him.Sign of a good actor doing his craft well.
    The ending-anything that gave me happiness at seeing them together was acceptable.The little girl though was the cutest thing.So young and making her try to nag was just the cutest thing.
    Thanks for the the recap.
    Forgot.Sato looking at Arang like that at the end *swoon*
    Arang flashing her dimples *cute*
    Now can I ship those 2 beautiful people together?

    • 6.1 charmg

      i will join you in that one;) hehe

    • 6.2 booboo

      yesss……please!!!!!!! them together will make the world a happier place…

    • 6.3 jomo

      I waved to your name on my viki screen!
      Thanks, Manager ck1Oz for your work!!!

      • 6.3.1 JoAnne

        Haha I pointed at her and said oh! it’s you! good job!

        As for the ending I was pleased they got to be together but felt oddly unemotional about it. Strange reaction from me.

        • JoAnne

          Oh and as others have said-yes that little girl was GREAT-areal scene stealer

        • jomo

          I cried, I think in relief.

          It was the stress of him running through the Woods of Zombies, and then, having those stupid dots on his hands disappearing!

      • 6.3.2 Kiara

        I dont remember my pw at viki so I’m glad you stopped by so I can say Thank U to you and team Marang <3.

      • 6.3.3 ck1Oz

        🙂 * hi * to everyone. We had a great team over there, going to miss them. More than the drama. Oops.

        Those 2 light up the screen, more than a painting. Pretty flowers, pretty boy and girl 🙂

        • Amberscube

          What’s your next project? More Power and Long Live Viki, truly powered by avid fans.

        • yaya

          Thks, ck10z & Thks to all Marang Team. I love this drama very much. Thks to all Marang team . U guys are the Best !!!

        • Jambo

          Thank you, Marang Team! Hope it’s ok to express my gratitude at another blogsite. But the Viki Apps doesn’t really show as much as when you’re on the pc.

          You guys are like my lifeline or something. All the subbers are awesome!

          Thanks again! all your hard work are much appreciated. Honestly, I’m a little envious of you.

    • 6.4 Joongirl

      If I were arang, to see how Satto looks at me, I am not just loading him like that, lol!!! OMG, the way he looks can even make statue melted!!!

      • 6.4.1 Joongirl

        I mean kissing, not loading, typo

      • 6.4.2 KinaraLALA

        yeah me too, with that handsome face and see how he looks at me.. KISS HIM IS NOT ENOUGH AT ALL!! :))

        • purplejam88

          u mean for e.g. push him on to e ground n … rawr muhahaha

          • yaya

            For some one as cool as Leejunki …why not ??? Haha. I would die just to spend 1 night with him. Tell me… who would not die to spend just 1 night with him ? Right , joongirl ???

      • 6.4.3 Donna

        Haha understand what you mean

    • 6.5 Amberscube

      Thank you Manager ck1Oz… Just saw your name in viki and im grateful for all your hard work. Kudos to the rest of The Marang Team.

    • 6.6 yaya

      Ah… remember your name at viki . Once again Thk you . Thks to Marang team too.
      I love those scene you mentioned too. And I love when Sato …said I love U ( my heart Flutter ) …and kiss Arang. Hope will see Junki new drama soon. And don’t forget to sub & support JUnki drama ck1Oz.

    • 6.7 pogo

      thank you so much for your hard work and for bringing us this lovely drama <3

    • 6.8 piaaa

      Thanks for all of your hard work! Very much appreciated!

      I could only watch Arang on dramacrazy.net not on viki since it’s not permitted in our country.

  7. Hooliah

    Thanks for the recaps, Javabeans!

    What a great show! I love how this episode got back a lot of the fun that the show has been lacking for a little while and dealt some more with ghosts and the underworld. It’s been some time since they introduced us to new elements like the books of life and death, etc.

    Also very happy that they did the reincarnation ending right in this one!! I love that Arang gives EO shit for drinking from the well of forgetfulness and brings back the “amnesia” moniker. It would have been nice for them both to remember, but I am happy with this too. They still get to be together, and they obviously are just as crazy about each other regardless of memory. I love their relationship so much–they are so natural together. I am so sad I don’t get to see more of them!

    I did have one gripe with this episode and that was how quickly they resolved the whole Mu Yeon mess. They totally could have ended that in the last episode and still had plenty for us to be worried about in the finale without dangling possible possession in there. It ended up coming off as kind of cheap. But given how good the rest of the episode went, I can forgive them.

    Man, I already miss this show! I hope we can see more dramas (and happy endings!!!) like this in the future!

    • 7.1 rbee

      I agree that they got the reincarnation ending right with this one. I loved the ending…was laughing out loud at little Arang. So perfect. It’s interesting: I was totally satisfied here, but absolutely hated Rooftop Prince’s reincarnation ending. I’ll have to go sit in the corner and think about it for awhile. Or maybe I won’t. Instead I’ll just be happy with Arang and her magistrate. Going to miss those two. A lot.

      Thanks JB and GF for the wonderful and witty recaps! Loved every bit of it.

      • 7.1.1 rbee

        Ohhh, I just read JB and GF’s ending comments about Rooftop Prince and the reincarnation endings. And THIS is one of the many reasons I read DB. They are sooo smart. And I don’t think they even had to sit in the corner to figure why this ending worked perfectly and RP’s didn’t. Hah!

      • 7.1.2 Hooliah

        I also really disliked the ending of Rooftop Prince. I think it’s because from episode 1 of Rooftop Prince they pretty firmly established two separate identities for the prince and his future reincarnation, so it wasn’t satisfying for Pak-ha to get the consolation guy who looks just like her boyfriend but isn’t actually her boyfriend (but is, kind of). They tried to drive home the idea that they were the same soul, if not the same person, by having him “transform” at the end, but I didn’t really buy it. If they had started over with a completely new reincarnation of both of them, that would have been more satisfying in my opinion than what happened.

        At least Arang and Eun-Oh got to start over again from scratch and it’s made clear that they are quite literally the same people (same mannerisms, etc–no dopplegangers here!). It doesn’t matter that Eun-Oh doesn’t remember his past life, because Arang remembers for both of them and they have a whole lifetime to build new memories together.

        • Hooliah

          Hah, and I just realized that Arang did exactly what Eun-Oh said she would do, too. He said if she went to heaven she’s the kind of person who would figure out a way to keep her memories anyway and that’s what happened. She’s a crafty rule-breaker, and because of that she gets to snag Eun Oh right from the start with her new incarnation.

          • rbee

            I caught that, too. Totally made me smile and say, “That’s our girl!” Love her!

            And you nailed it, Hooliah, about RP. Ugh, it brings back to mind how wrung out and hung out to dry I felt at the end of it. Really poor execution. What a world of difference with Arang. Just perfect.

            Now I’m wondering what other dramas this PD has directed and the writer written. Hmmm…will have to go looking.

        • pogo

          I think he actually did remember, especially after she called him Amnesia as a little kid, and just kept up the running gag to tease her. So they both remember, and get to be happy – and that’s what I want for them.

  8. PurpleJam

    After watching the show this morning (can’t control myself) and before I start reading your recap (normally is the opp sequence), thnx JB for the fast recap and JB/GF for the comments. That’s superb speed, thought I need to wait till my noon time before I can read it ;D Will further comment after reading the recaps.

  9. jambo

    Good bye, Satto and Arang! Thank you for the recap! Thank you for a cute, happy ending, even if it’s a little Come-What-May-ish. I’m satisfied. This will be one of my all time fave kdrama!

    • 9.1 Ella Zala

      That awesome moment when the show you’ve been following has happy ending~ ^^ **So Much Win**

  10. 10 Sabah

    I enjoyed this drama so much. I am so happy I got my happy ending, rather that they got their happy ending BUT really at this point, their happiness is my happiness. All sappiness aside, I loved this ending. As you say, “They get to skip all the heartache they endured in the previous life, and ostensibly starting an ordinary, boring, and long life together…you get lots of cake-eating.”

    Even though the created world was beautiful and wondrous, for me the heart of the story was Arang and Satto. Lee Jun Ki and Shin Minah were really wonderful, in both their individual characterizations and as a couple. I loved how they brought in so much detailing of the characterizations from paper. I never thought, ‘oh its Gumiho-esque’ or ‘Shin Minah being cute’ or Lee Jun Ki being ‘moody/sexy/a hero.’ I only ever saw Arang and her magistrate! Hehe.

    Heartfelt thanks for your wonderful recaps. I can be quite literal and so I am often in need of people pointing out the actual. Thank you!

  11. 11 Jilly

    At some point, I did start to think it was getting a bit convoluted, but all in all, I rally liked the ending. Mom does seem to have ragequit though lol.
    So eh… now that Shin Min-ah is free, how about we forget that whole Choi Kang-hee thing and just go with her?

    • 11.1 Noemi

      YES!!! I think I’d die of happiness from the dimples-overload. That’d be too cute.

    • 11.2 piaaa

      Haha. That what I’ve been dreaming about since I saw JB’s article of SMA. Secret Agents War, could you please het her instead! PLEEEEEASE!

  12. 12 Kim Yoonmi

    Meh. I felt the reincarnation was a little cheap, myself. There were ways to get out of it. Felt inserted.

    RTP I knew that it was coming pretty much from episode 1. You really had to be dense to not see it coming for all those episode (well, maybe that’s rude… but highly intuitive me figured out the ending early).

    Here it’s almost like: Oops lost track of the hairpin. Oops… wrote myself in a corner *tack on reincarnation because Moo Yeon talked about it*

    I sound like I’m griping. But really I liked the series overall. (and they allowed me to make jokes about the lack of Post Army abs Joonki to the end =P) For such a familiar storyline is had a lot of nice twists to it and there was a lot of imagination (particularly in the world building–I could see the research dripping off of it), but the follow through just needed a touch more work… just a touch. But I realize that writing like the Korean drama industry wants it is downright insane, so I give serious props and slack.

    Other than that the acting was stellar, particularly on Kang Moon Young. She can so act. O.o; She made me hate her with one stare and then feel for her with another.

    And for some reason the acting coordinated well with Im Joo Eun… the same crazed look… which isn’t common either.

    And the directing was very well done too.

    So I really liked the series.

    • 12.1 Yellow

      Nah, I don’t think the reincarnation thing was a way out of a corner. I mean, in a sense, it does sound a bit ridiculous. But let’s be honest, this drama is a fantasy sageuk, with a mixture of mythology, gods, life & death. Reincarnation is definitely not something that is out-of-the-blue in this particular drama.

      • 12.1.1 Kim Yoonmi

        Ahh… *shrugs* I consume a lot of fantasy… so I’m probably being picky. I prefer that the problems come from the fantasy, but that human persistence and work (you know those pesky Confucian things) are what solves the problems created by the fantasy. It’s not quite as fun when the fantasy both creates and magically solves the problems.

        But as I said these things are minor… and fantasy is a new sub genre to Korea.

    • 12.2 febe

      Well, the possibility of reincarnation was always there in this drama, as reincarnation seems to be one of the basic premises of the world that they built for the drama. Mu Young and Mu Yeon are the illustrations, they were reincarnated at least twice. And Hades had said previously that only with death can new life spring up in its place.

      Imo, there was no other way to go but reincarnation if the couple wanted to stay in the human world. After all, both Eun Oh and Arang were already dead in the first place, and Hades, being a stickler for following the rules, wouldn’t agree to re-writing the Books of Life and Death.

    • 12.3 mess

      I honestly felt contented with the reincarnation done here. This way, they get more years to be together starting at the age of 5! [or is it 6? lol]

      • 12.3.1 piaaa

        This gives me idea that this drama should have a season 2! Haha.

    • 12.4 kakashi

      I, too, expected a more clever ending from this otherwise superb drama. I kinda agree with Kim Yoonmi… reincarnation is one of the cheapest options for a happy ending: It’s a reward for the characters but not necessarily for the viewers (emotionally yes, but not intellectually), because it just nullifies everything that has happened before. So, yes, it’s “a way out of a corner” (as Yellow says) but it’s the opposite of clever: reincarnation is just like breaking a huge hole into the wall behind you with a sledge-hammer, thus simply destroying the nice corner that was built around you.

      I am also not sure I like how they created a happy ending for almost every character (goat, grim reaper, Dol-swe as magistrate, Bang-wool as mom of re-incarnated Eun-oh …). That’s too much sugar-coating for me.

      That said, I am still content – because I didn’t have to cry in the end. I wasn’t sure they would give us the happy ending last week, thinking they might go for a dark, un-happy or at least not-sure-whether-happy ending. In a way, I was expecting it from these writers.

      • 12.4.1 yaya

        Not all get happy ending … Moo Yeon get the worst punishment ( even hell is too god for her …). Moo Yong become a Goat ..though he is heavenly Goat.
        LOrd Choi & Geodol become wandering ghost ( hungry ghost).

        • febe

          Agree that not all got a happy ending, only the good guys did. Grim reaper is not a happy ending, it’s supposed to be a punishment to have to work for Hades for eternity and not being allowed to have any desires.

          Dol-swe’s position as magistrate was something that he had to apply and work for, it was not served to him on a platter. It was clear that Dol-swe always had the heart for the people and wanted to serve them, and was given the opportunity to do so when the magistrate’s post was opened to all regardless of status.

          Getting Eun-Oh as their kid…I can already see little Eun-Oh-ah twisting DS and BW around his litte finger…

          About human persistence and work solving the problems created by the fantasy, I think it was Eun-Oh’s persistence, hard work and sacrifice which solved the problems.

      • 12.4.2 Kim Yoonmi

        Messing around, here’s an alternate ending that may work.

        We back up to the hairpin.They put the two and two together, and figure out about the knife, but there is one other thing to solve.

        In solving that one thing, they get rid of the fairy, solve the issue with Arang (or get a clue about it). I would prefer if this ties into Arang finding about Mu Yeon’s past, her desires and ambitions (which would feed into the Buddhist/Confucian thing).

        You still get Mu Yeon dead. She still dissapates, and you still have the ticking time.

        Arang realizes that she was the one that killed herself *through the lost memory* (though I thought it was cheap that her saving someone else is killing herself.)

        JW, on the way to kill himself, saves a young lady from being killed. He *earns* the right to go to heaven as a grim reaper to pay back his sins with the right to go back to the human world afterwards. (He would then be BW’s son…)

        MY still gets put into a goat.

        So Arang and the Magistrate *marry*–because no time like the present. He abdicates the role of magistrate. Time is still running out though they don’t know why after the bell rang the gods haven’t followed through.

        What to do? They think time is running out…

        But EO’s master comes back to him in a dream and tells him of a quandary… Arang is pregnant… and so he can’t quite take her back (mysteries of the human heart/mind). They argue because his master still wants to take Arang back *after* the baby. EO asks how and why he would continue this sad fate.

        Jade says he will allow it on a condition that they take Muyeon as their child, teach her properly, etc. Discipline her harshly and give her the life she never had. (Learn forgiveness, etc. Very Buddhist and Confucian…)


        =P A little funny at the end… and you can still have the reincarnation line, but it would be far more intellectually satisfying and heart satisfying. You can end with something on the order of “No matter how many lifetimes we have I want to be reincarnated as your husband on Earth with you.” (thus closing the loop of grief for Mu Yeon)

        Arang would then, agree.

        It wouldn’t be super closed because you can also insert Arang trying to find about her other memories and past events and about her father and EO swearing to help her do that.

        kkut, THE End.

        Just one alternate. Not quite clear what Mu Yeon’s past would be that would set up for the final show down and the preciousness of life, but I would have liked the final riddle. I thought this episode rehashed a bit too much. I would have liked one final twist. Plus I like it because it emphasizes the human aspect of the heart, keeps up the tension, and you can still insert action into it. Also gives room for forgiveness, which was a smaller theme.

        Sorry, impulsive writer thing… but I think the actual writer was sleep deprived anyway, so I give serious slack.

        • Kim Yoonmi

          BTW, you can shoot holes into this ending or try to improve it. =P I wouldn’t mind. Or give better alternates.

      • 12.4.3 personainnominatum

        It doesn’t exactly nullify everything that has happened before since their memories are intact in their new life. It’s a wonderful gift by the gods to mortals who helped them big time, considering all traces of your past life is to be erased. Plus, as febe mentioned, reincarnation is something that has always been there in this drama. It’s a fantasy/supernatural saeguk after all.

      • 12.4.4 personainnominatum

        That was a nice wrap for this drama; and i’m glad that the pessimistic theories i had for it’s finale are moot. About RTP and big, i’m slightly okay with the former. While the latter totally went down the drain for me. Even though the later episode weren’t taped beforehand, Arang and the magistrate never had problems with editing in any of the episodes unlike RTP. So hands up to this drama for never losing it’s spark. Imma start researching the folktale behind this drama!^^

      • 12.4.5 MsAnneONeamus

        The reincarnated Eun-Oh and Arang ending may not be the most satisfying, but it is the only logical one. And it is not completely out-of-the-blue — we’ve been given hints of it and of what’s to come in that previous episode where Moo-Young and Moo-Yeon were once happy lovers very much devoted to each other and were reincarnated as brothers and sisters because of that devotion. And then lived on once more in the afterlife as grim reaper and heavenly fairy. So pairs of lovers who have formed very strong attachments with one another would have their fates and souls intertwined in their next lives and in the afterlife. That was just part of the mythology of the show, and a fact it has established well before the final episode. So there goes my argument against anyone saying the ending is a cop-out.

        What I am having a beef with regarding the ending is that IT LACKS FLESHED-OUT DETAILS. Girl Arang tells Boy Eun-Oh not to drink from the well of forgetfulness. There’s a well of forgetfulness? Now that’s completely left-field. First time I’ve heard of it, and I’ve followed this drama very carefully from day one. And when did they manage to have this conversation? Last time we saw them Eun-Oh has been bodily sucked into hell and Arang was on an express elevator to heaven. The way I would have written it would be something like this: since Arang did manage to find out by herself and in time who was responsible for her own death (her own self), then she ought to be rewarded with heaven as per the deal she cut with Jade E. and Hades. And since Eun-Oh sacrificed himself to save Arang, then heaven ought to have been on the table for him too. So after being both sucked into heaven and hell, the next scene ought to show them coming face to face with Jade E. and Hades, with the old fogeys explaining this whole heaven-as-their-reward thing to their face, and with Hades being visibly miffed that our OTP found a way to circumvent hell. But the pair, being informed that all desires were a big no-no in heaven, manage to wrangle a let-us-get-another-life-on-earth-instead deal from Jade E. (how they manage to do that I’d leave to the actual writers of the show — but I wanted Arang’s old feisty self to come full front and center in the deal-wrangling). Jade E., agreeing to the deal, THEN informs them that they first have to drink from the well-of-forgetfulness before they can be re-born, and that’s when always-breaking-the-rules Arang tells Eun-Oh her not-to-drink mantra (again, the detail of how they manage to pull this off right under the watchful eye of foxy Jade E. I leave to the writers).

        This is a very, very, VERRYYYY crucial part of providing a satisfying ending that ought to have been shown (as in tell us VISIBLY with the actors acting out the scenes and not just have one character tellit to another) that the writers left out of the show, and should have devoted at least one entire episode to. I think this is what most people meant when they say the ending felt a little flat; for me, the resolution settled quite uncomfortably in the stomach, like a slightly undigested meal. Precisely because the details of the resolution have not been properly chewed out, so to speak.

        One other [unchewed piece of] beef I am having with the show is that they ought to have shown who girl Arang 2.0’s parents were. It makes sense that Dol-Swe would be reincarnated Eun-Oh’s father, as Dol-Swe has been mother and father to Eun-Oh all his life. I think Arang’s mother should have been the seamstress’ (Lee Seo Rim’s nanny) daughter, since the seamstress loved Lee Seo Rim/Arang like her own daughter when she was still alive. Showing this as part of the ending/resolution would have put a deeper emphasis on the show’s premise that emotional ties characters have formed in previous lives would thread its way through in their next lives. Again, I understand that due to the time constraint, this may not have been possible, which is exactly why I am saying they should have devoted at least one entire episode underlining how Arang and Eun-Oh manage to find their own solution regarding the problem how to be together when heaven and hell are literally in their way.

      • 12.4.6 Haha

        This is something I too, wonder about. Emotional payoff is one thing but what exactly is an “intelligent ending”? Seems all they had to do was escape hell and remember each other. Which they did. The end of the characters are certainly there and though it does not disappoint, it does feel somewhat like what it is, deus ex machina fluff.

        The series will certainly be well loved but it won’t go down any particularly in history. Those that have are usually tragedies with even more tagedic ends. Maybe you have more of an idea of what you mean?

        In a world of gods and ghosts, reincarnation is reasonable with gods in charge of rewards, and character-wise, perfect for the mere mortals they only are. Story-wise, it can seen as lazy. For an end that is happy but entirely — satisfactory? One that pleases the seasoned story lover and the characters that dwell in it as well as abiding to the laws of the story’s universe.

        I simply can’t imagine.. Even an alternate ending for our characters. To exist in heaven together would result in a possibility of Fairy-notReaperMaybeMaleFairy Round Two, nevermind my above comments. For these characters though, to live like such would proabbly just be endlessly bone-breaking boring..

        To be ghosts together is to starve constantly. To live in a world of only their own together would be too much favouritism, even Kings cast little attention in the afterword of events, let alone Gods. Besides to be estranged from all the rest of the world and all they knew and loved before? That’s hardly rewarding. So they don’t deserve heaven and they don’t deserve hell. They can only go back to “Earth”.

        This can go two ways, they reincarnate or regain their former bodies. Say the later was taken up. Againfavouritism. But say it was. Wouldn’t that be even more of d.e.m copout? There is another point; both are the same sort of beings, living on borrowed “time”. There was no point to letting two dead souls and one immortal body loose in the world still, using up precious life energy and continuing their respective notorious reputations in the Afterworlds and out. Short of gifting both with a truckload of mojo to ward off more powerful and maliciously greedy souls. This “time” was the “debt” both owed to the Gods. Their own, the one them that made everything owed to them — is repaid as and in another life with memories intact.

        Thus the only ending actually possible by this story’s logic. Line by line, when it is traced, it certainly makes more sense, this ending. Still something is missing. As a fellow agoniser of such detail, am hoping two heads are better than one and you have a conclusion/s in mind that better suits such a crave..

        Certainly it might just be this sense of something missing is driven by a long history or half baked (and not) happy endings. As well the fact that the finale is simply too sweet, too much contentment for everyone and everything. Something that rather severely contrasts…

        • Haha

          Certainly it might just be this sense of something missing is driven by a long history or half baked (and not) happy endings. As well the fact that the finale is simply too sweet, too much contentment for everyone and everything. Something that rather severely contrasts and negates all the drama of drama and all the horrible unfairness of real life. But then again, it’s Gods being made happy and serving debts here so..
          Hmm. Being gods they certainly can give better than they got.. but who’s to say they gave as much as they could, actually give? Again, given the rules of life, they certainly gave.. enough.

          Dunno. Ideas people!

    • 12.5 yaya

      Well, if you understand the Confucian…then Reincarnation is The Best Thing . The Best Solution for everything. And I think Best Solution for this drama too. Once somebody enter the Gate of Death … even trespassed it …unable to return . They must choose either go to heaven, hell or re-born as human. For me, this solution …is the best solution and make sense.
      As for EO & Arang …this is the Best Solution for both of them too. As they don’t want to forget each other. Therefore , I love the endings… can’t ask for more. I think JE wise enough.

      • 12.5.1 Kim Yoonmi

        Reincarnation is a Buddhist thing… just noting that.

        • yaya

          No…in confusius there also re-incarnation . Also cause & effect . Because I’m confucius since I was a little kid . In Buddhism ( I mean there are 2 sect )…there is no real God. They do have heavenly beings but they only pay respect to Buddha. Confucian have so many heavenly Gods & offered FRuit & Foods for their Gods. There is Jade Emperor & Hades . Buddhism is more complicated …must ask dhamma to be more precise.

          • Kim Yoonmi

            Might be that it absorbed a bunch of other stuff… but Confucianism in the pure form doesn’t so much include reincarnation.

            religioustolerance.org/confuciu.htm <–source for the statement.

            If you trace back, the Jade Emperor came as a result of older Chinese beliefs which ran into Buddhism. (Ancestor worship was Wuism, though I believe it's surmised that the God system is separate from Wuism.) Buddhism brought to the table reincarnation.

            Confucianism kinda blended into the fabric of society… but the religious texts don't really talk about reincarnation (as far as I know and have read of them.) It's more conduct on how to live and divisions of the classes/duties.

            The fruit, the offerings, etc, is probably more Wuism–since I recognize aspects of it in Muism (Korean Shamanism). Muism also picked up ancestor worship later in the timeline.

            This show specifically mentioned the levels of Buddhist hell. (theistically) and the name of the Death God, I believe is taken from Buddhism (from the cultural notes I've seen), though I'm unclear if this was also a fusion of something Chinese. (Some versions of Northern Buddhism has more gods in it.)

            For Korea, I do know that Neo Confucianism came *separate* from the Chinese God system as Neo Confucianism came in the end of the Goryeo era (thus squashing much of Muism). But the whole Jade emperor thing came much later to Korea. (Taoism is thought to come earlier than that, but later than Buddhism, which blended a lot in Korea. It's really difficult to separate Taoism from Korean version of Buddhism…)

            If you go "Korean religion" it's mostly a mix of Buddhism, Muism, Chinese mythology, Mongolian mythology, and local mythology (All that water stuff is Muism for the Gyeongsang region… lots of emphasis on water). Even if you are Buddhist in Korea, I still recognize elements of Muism mixed in. (Oori Appa is Buddhist). And if you are Muist, then there are definite bits of mixing with Buddhism (as it picked up reincarnation noted by both Muists and Anthropologists.) Taoism also just permeated everything.

            They also did a little light borrowing from Greek mythology towards the very end too.

            This show definitely did both and did both on purpose because Joseon society is like that.

            Anyway, that's what I know… may be wrong, but I'm fairly sure the god system is more of a different system from Confucianism (and definitely separate from Neo Confucianism) though it definitely could have fused. But for this time period in Korea, it's definitely not considered in Korea to be the same thing.

            Anyway, the show used Buddhism, Confucianism, the traditionally borrowed Chinese mythology, local mythology and a tinge of Greek mythology (the whole pool of forgetfulness, etc was Greek that doesn't belong in Korean mythology as far as I know). I didn't recognize anything Mongolian specifically… but then I'm not so well-versed in that mythology.

          • Kim Yoonmi

            *Muism also picked up ancestor worship later in the timeline.

            I meant reincarnation. Sorry…

            Ancestor worship was there early on. I’m not 100% clear on the origin of ancestor worship. (You can see it through the food offerings to the ghosts on the show)

          • anais

            There is no reincarnation in Confucianism. That would mess up the lineages and ancestor worship big time, and Confucianism is ultimately ancestor worship.

          • febe

            Just wanted to mention that the forgetfulness drink exists in Chinese mythology too, except that it is soup instead of water. When it is time for reincarnation, the ghost/soul is supposed to drink the forgetfulness soup before he crosses over, so that he does not bring his memories with him into his new lifetime.

            Imo, Chinese mythology/beliefs had a strong influence on this drama’s fantasy world. The terms used like Jade Emperor, Yanluo, Huangquan and Wuji, the fiery red flowers along the riverbank…all these exist in Chinese mythology/beliefs.

  13. 13 Noemi

    thanks so much for the recap! this was one drama where I was actually hoping for a big ol’ deus ex machina, but the reincarnation ending is just so cute I am totally satisfied 😀

    • 13.1 Haha

      Love that you don’t think of the ‘carnations as d.e.m. Contrary to what many including myself have thought.. Made day really. Uh, night.

      What would be your idea of one in this show?

  14. 14 charmg

    Thank you javabeans and girlfriday;) i love arang and the magistrate and i enjoyed it immensely;) kudos to LJK and SMA, gosh the chemistry! it’s so palpable and swoon worthy;) till next drama addiction;)

    • 14.1 Kiara

      Ditto, thank you so much Javabeans and Girlfriday. You ladies are the best. Cant thank you enough <3.

  15. 15 Cabbage

    But if Arang: The Bodysnatcher did make it, I’d be happy just to get a season 2. Thanks for your touching recaps!

    • 15.1 Haha


      Bodysnatched Arang would mean less lead interactions. No more action focused character chemistry? Boo.

      Sure they could mix in Bang rivalry, shaman child hijinks and perhaps some nobleDaddy’s family issues but then what’s the overarching plot? A restrained and or constantly fleeing fairy? Or everybody and their mother alive and held hostage? Except the gods and reapers. again. Well, the last are actually not omittable, having turnd rogue and red in first season when the mother was the one possessed..

      Another thing is if the whole point of S2 is to free the girl from the fairy in her body, well.. Said lead actress would be acting in a tub or mono-colored backdrop more than with other characters. When she’s not, she’d have to try imitate the scary eye thing the first actress of fairy possession(episode wise, not in canon) did so well. Hard. Ow.

      And the genre would be a turn for the worse and possible high ridicule (ugh. SPEC. why?!). Don’t think there’d be a second season. Thankfully. And sadly. Still it just wouldn’t be fair to the characters to go through another round of heartbreaking material, possibly moreso than the first for drama value. By the same logic, their new boring and long lives together isn’t really thought entrancing, audience drawing, watchable material either. Sigh.

  16. 16 Joongirl

    Thank you as always dear~♥

    • 16.1 Joongirl

      All we want is happy ending, and the writer -mind just granted it, kkk this is the best ending plot that can satisfying every role, even JooWal,

      I think I got the message, “everyone deserves a second chance, and everyone gets it!!!”
      Even Dolsue who got his chance to be noble man^^♥
      Poor Moo Yeon, she got lot of chance and just made it useless

      • 16.1.1 yaya

        Yup agree….. I’m satisfied with the ending. Can’t ask more.

      • 16.1.2 Donna

        Yes …this is the best ending ! It’s a cute ending !

  17. 17 Rin

    the kids are soooo cuteeeeee.hihi
    and i have to say watching Arang or reading Arang’s recap remind me the feeling of reading Harry Potter series. it’s like each mystery is there for a purpose and resolved perfectly. i loveeee Arang’s writer. might consider to check out his/her previous works

  18. 18 Malati

    Ahhh….I’m gonna miss this awesomeness drama! Thanks javabeans for the great recap! The ending was not the best, but needless to say, acceptable. I know, I was expecting too much, LOL! Hope no one will crucify me for saying this, but this drama should be called ” The Magistrate” coz clearly, it was Lee Jun Ki who carried the show, imho. Now, can I hear some “scandal” that this two are dating or making out in the open?!!!

    • 18.1 Jambo

      They’re both single, no? One can only hope. They seem to be having a good time BTS. 😛

  19. 19 Anne

    Loved it.

    Tho tbh everytime yoo seung ho appears on screen i keep thinking, “wasn’t his role supposed to me some extended cameo?”

  20. 20 sharon

    I’ve been a silent reader for as long as i can remember. Today, i just wanna say THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR POSTS. All writers in Dramabeans, u are awesome! N this recap is fabulous. I love reading your comments! They’re splendid! Thank youuuu!!!

    This ending, is very satisfying. I was hoping for something like this from rooftop prince and BIG’s ending was simply a disappointment for me. Thank you writer nim and PD nim!

  21. 21 Yue

    I still can’t believe it ended. It’s still kinda hard to digest at this moment. Still, I like it very much that the characters comes back as kids and that Eun Oh returns as Dol Sae’s son. It’s a cute touch how their fate is still connected and now Dol Sae get to be the dad that will nag Eun Oh instead of the servant that whines at the back after his crazy master.

    To be honest, this drama did a good job at wrapping things up even if you can kinda guess how it ends.

    • 21.1 jomo

      “now Dol Sae get to be the dad that will nag Eun Oh”

      I didn’t think of that!!! What a great reversal.

    • 21.2 asianromance

      Eun-Oh managed to escape poverty and be born with at least one loving parent twice – now that daddy Dol-soe is a magistrate and mommy Bang-wol runs a successful restaurant. What a lucky guy! Well he is a guy who collected a lot of good karma points – what with helping ghosts and sacrificing himself!

      • 21.2.1 frenetic

        …and say he takes over daddy’s position when dol-sae retires, it will be truly be arang and the magistrate v2.0!

        • Rahnia


        • Gaeina Lee

          Ahaha, good point. Is that a hint of AATM season 2? ^^

        • Jambo

          Ooooh! I like that! Brilliant!

    • 21.3 Joongirl

      That’s why the made Eun Oh amnesia, lol
      Imagine if he remembers, and has to call his ex-servant as”Abuji”

      • 21.3.1 Donna

        I think he remember … His memory remained intact. Both of them. Arang & Sato. Hahaha

  22. 22 pogo

    No words for how much I’m going to miss this show and how much I love it despite the fact that I haven’t even watched the episode yet (damn subs, I always end up late to the party)……..but I’m going to miss the recaps too, and everyone’s insightful comments and love – no matter how it ends for our Arang and Sato!

    And I really hope that when LJK and SMA look back on their careers, they’re proud of what they’ve done here – because they SHOULD be, they’ve outdone themselves here.

  23. 23 jomo

    Thanks for the recap and the lovely wrap-ups.

    I enjoyed most of the series. A few plodding moments with the JE and Hades had to be there to set the stage, I guess, but they just weren’t interesting. Liked most of JW’s story, but I wish he could have died protecting some girl from being murdered to pay back a spec of his sins. I was surprised to see him as Reaper, and happy.

    But did my heart speed up and did I want to turn on the light next to me as we headed into the last stretch? Oh yeah.
    This show scared me from start to finish.

    I was smiling ear to ear when Satto was helping the ghosts’ last requests. So cute.

    And not only did I clap my hands in glee, I hooted at the tiny reincarnates! It was so cute that she called him SATTO!!!!!!! Little Magistrate with his ears sticking out.

    The last kiss made me cry! I don’t want to say bye! Why did we pan away? Come back AatM, let’s do a few more episodes!!!!!

    • 23.1 arangsatto


      love ur comment

      • 23.1.1 Haha

        Seconded. Extensions usually hurt more than the missing the show after it’s gone. But missing is still missing and the missing still hurts. Gah. If only from the beginning, it was one of those shows with a wmillion episodes!

        Seems only China does fantasy of a 100+ episodes. Boo.

        Oooh. Was just wracking brains about possible alternate endings.. That’s a good one! (This is one long insomnia plagued night. Sorry) So he’s doing his cowardy move, about to head himself off the cliff where Agasshi died when a girl and her pursuer burst in on the scene. Her cries spark a wander-eye curiosity and he glances a glance at her, still tooo wrought up in self pity to feel or absorv much of anything. Her deatures set off another memory. Another girl sacraficed to the mosterlady behind the house, with vaguely congruent features.

        The girl being pursued is probably not an innocent young maiden. Those have been long drained out of town by his own persuings. She is however, a sister orsome other blood relative of the dead girl surfacing in his memories and he realises and takes the blade for the girl. He doesn’t die instantly but before finally collapsing into death, he takes her pursuer with him, ending all further threat to her life thus earning his first soul in the afterlife thankful for his existence (Loving him doesn’t count. Sorry Seo-Rim) and actually earning him a place off big guy Hell’s wishlist of people to torture endlessly and mercilessly.

        It is sad that to the end he chose such selfish and cowardy means to everything but your suggestion keeps to character and “redeems” him somewhat and gives his character more explanatory salvation, dying finally and willing if unexpectedly for causes thought just. It also creates a catalyst for more easily accepting being the character he is in the end, a Reaper overseeing death day by endless day.

        Basically it felt really unfair that until his afterlife, Joo-Wal had only been, all his Joo-Wal life, all that he had been declared to be before the evil mother picked him up: an unpleasantly groping, blind, desperate and dirty soul. Wished that while he was still him in that lifetime, he could’ve been something, saved himself. Now it’s like only because Gods forced him to and he has to redeem and that’s the only reason why he knows to do what he is doing now.

        Such a character, what would he do without the all reigners called Gods that control everything including fate? If he only died as people do in reality, he’s not even tragic. If he did not become a Reaper and served in hell, he’s tragic and redeeming himself but there’s no “oof” that gets viewers in the gut. His end was one worth watching but his mortal end wasn’t. So again, thank you comment poster for a more fully satisfactory idea.

    • 23.2 Ladytron33

      Jomo, I love how your mind works! I’m always nodding my head in agreement when I read your comments!!!

      I had the exact same hope for JW. I kept thinking that he would die doing something noble (like saving Arang at some point) as a way to atone for some of his sins. Then he could become a reaper in heaven…. At least I got some of my prediction right (lol). I guess it’s true that his character was weak until the end.

      Even though it was a sad end to JW, I do think it was fitting. He never really had a purpose on earth. He didn’t have people who loved or appreciated him (except for LSR and his servant), or any reason for living except serving a demon, so working as a reaper finally gives his existence meaning.

      Really sad this one ended. It will be missed. Thanks to the DB ladies for the well written and thought out recaps!

  24. 24 MysteryMoonGirl

    Absolutely Love It!!!
    One of the Best Dramas of 2012!!!
    Shin Min Ah Does it Again!!! *Bows*
    Thanks For The Re-Caps Lady’s you R my RockStars!!!

  25. 25 kdramapedia

    I thought it was a cute ending (the little Arang was absolutely adorable) and I’m satisfied with it. It didn’t turn the world upside down, but it made sense within the world given to us.

    I was actually surprised about the whole Arang is destined to go to hell thing. I had completely forgot to factor in the fact that her body was immortal and the truth bell *couldn’t* ring before her time was up. Not cool, Jade, not cool.

    I do love the role-reversal regarding Amnesia. It’s so cute. I love the last scene with the adult reincarnated OTP. love.

    • 25.1 Toystar

      Yes I agree I loved the ending.

  26. 26 arangsatto

    LOVE. LOVE. LOVE is all i can say.

  27. 27 sailoruniverse

    Hmm… the ending is a little bit like:

    Jerry Springer : Ancient Korean Folklore DNA Test Edition

    I wonder how Dolsoe would feel having a son growing up to look exactly like his best friend… you know, since there are certain implications involved.

    *Retrieve mind from gutter*

    Anyways, I love a happy ending and I’ll miss this show <3

    • 27.1 jomo

      “you know, since there are certain implications involved.”

      I had to think that through a couple times, but LOL!

      (Luckily the wife just happens to be a shaman and understands things like reincarnation.)

      • 27.1.1 D


    • 27.2 pillowhead

      hahaha! hilarious 😀

    • 27.3 boholAnna

      Very funny. But, I think his son will look like him and Bang Wool. Though the body and face is different it’s the soul of Eun-oh that got reincarnated as his son.

      • 27.3.1 Haha

        Oh! This explains what the above comment said about “that’s why they panned to adult versions of the reincarnated characters”! “Without them being them, the cameos wouldn’t work”. Had me so puzzled! I mean, sure, it is them, why wouldn’t it be, but why is it “otherwise they wouldn’t have shown their adult versions”??

        So it really is them and the bodies and faces are different but the audience wouldn’t know that so the adult faces of the previous bodies are shown instead! Thank you!

        Feeling a bit dumb here because.. D’oh.
        Another dumb question: Why is the thought that his son growing up to look like his best friend/master a thought “in the gutter”? That she’s virgin mary and got pregnant by god’s anonymous planting of past-life soul fetuses?

        That said, minds in the gutter from misunderstandings outside of the couple in question usually result in unfortunate anger and if he himself hadn’t also stood witness to the extraordinary way said reincarnation lived, doubt he would listen to stories of acclaimed supernatural from the lips of the wife who bore said suspicious son. He believes in ghosts afterall not uh, reincarnations..
        Mary too had been banished after being unable to prove her innocence.

        It’s quite humanting(uh, brain falling asleep. what’s the word?not humiliating–humbling?) to have Sato be son to his former questionlesss servant. Koreans pay great respect to age and elders. Over time even if they forget his former higher existence swapping it for concerned, dotting, well-meaning but firm parenthood (Don’t deny it. Those two particular characters are perfect for each other and the ‘hood) — with his innate personality, he probably won’t forget. Be indignant! Haha!

        It would also be rather funny if he grew up to look alot like his new parents. Can’t say each are exactly looking like “player” material. But then that facade(?) seems like it was just to play in the initial meeting for ghost girl’s attention so who cares.

  28. 28 Honey

    I really like Arang and the Magistrate and I think it’s one of the best dramas of all time!

    But like I said in my Arang and the Magistrate review , I do wonder how the drama would have turned out if the whole thing was filmed prior to airing…

  29. 29 Honey

    I really like Arang and the Magistrate and I think it’s one of the best Korean dramas of all time!

    But like I said in my Arang and the Magistrate review , I do wonder how the drama would have turned out if the whole thing was filmed prior to airing…

    • 29.1 asianromance

      It would have been so awesome if the entire thing was shot prior to airing. We’d probably get more locations instead of the same few sets.

      And we would have gotten cooler scenes like the whole part with Arang entering hell with Mooyoung and being brought back to life.

  30. 30 Jen

    Oh gosh!! I haven’t watch this episode yet BUT…..

    What Joo Wal said right before he jumped off that cliff was just………… SO DAMN heartwrenching!! I bet when I go home tonight and watch it, I’ll bawl…. >_<

    Like what Javabeans and many others said, actor Yeon Woo-Jin realy brought out the vulnerable and sad life of Joo Wal so well, that while he is a murderer and with so much blood on his hands (Macbeth, anyone?), I can never HATE him or want him dead for his sins. His tears these 2 episodes are killing me….. some may say that Joo Wal is a character who doesn't deserve salvation. It may be so, if portrayed by another actor. But when portrayed so heart-breakingly (sorry about the English) by Yeon Woo-Jin, it's a different story altogether.

    I guess what I wanted to say, in my clumsiness, is that an actor's depiction of his role can MAKE or BREAK the viewers' perception of that role. Although Yeon Woo-Jin's acting career has not been that long, his ability to create Joo Wal's scared, confused, love and the sad emotions are just so apt and right. All these make Joo Wal a person whom we cannot hate even though he may deserves to be hated and doomed forever with his sins.

    Glad that this drama has a good ending for the OTP. So cute and such lovely scenes! Overall, this show is definitely a gem, including all these difficult to understand and depict concepts like after-life, reincarnation etc. Luv them all!

    Thank you for recapping this!
    *back to weeping for my Joo Wal……

    • 30.1 earthna

      Hihihi. We are Woojin fans to the bones. *hugs*

      • 30.1.1 Jen

        Hug back*****

        Gonna miss spazzing with you about Joo-Wal/Woo-Jin although its been short!


    • 30.2 Ladytron33

      First of all, I love your comment! I felt exactly the same way about JW. Such a difficult character to root for (he murders women and little girls!!), but the performance of YWJ was so mesmerizing you couldn’t help feeling compassion for him. That’s what a good actor does. Be careful–lots of tears when he got to the cliff *sob*

      Secondly, your post was very well written. Are you sure you have trouble with English? 🙂

      • 30.2.1 Jen

        Thanks for saying that! I’m rather new to commenting here (hence difficulty in conveying exactly what I feel and want to say) although I’ve been lurking around for a long time reading the recaps and comments of dramas I loved.

        There had been a lot of comments on the OTP and story that I feel I must say something about Yeon Woo Jin’s depiction of Joo Wal and how much I love his portrayal.

        Glad to know and see that Joo Wal’s character is loved by many too! And hope that Yeon Woo Jin will get his lead role soon!

        Coz he’s too darn GOOD!

    • 30.3 Purplejam88

      Agreed with your comment about JW. In fact, when watching the whole last episode, I was shocked that I actually cried at the part where he is saying stuff btwn himself & AR b4 jumping off the cliff! Will definitely look out for YWJ show in future.

      • 30.3.1 Jen

        I cried too….. Can’t believe how much my heart bled for him in the suicide scene….. Oh Joo Wal!!

        Looking forward to Yeon Woo Jin’s future projects too!

  31. 31 Redge

    First off, thanks so much GF and JB for your wonderful recaps. It made this ride much more enjoyable.

    As for the episode, loved it! Even though it dragged a few times. I got my happy ending and really, I couldn’t ask for anything more. Just as long as they ended up together, reincarnated or not. Though did Eun Oh REALLY forget, or was he just teasing? I’d like to think he was just teasing–why would he drink from the well of forgetfulness after having gone through so many things to NOT forget? Not to mention after Arang kept kissing him she asked if he remembered, and he was like “hmmm.” Eun Oh, sly fox you. But yeah either way, it was still sweet. I’ve replayed the ending so many times–I’m just really happy our OTP can finally love each other with all the time in the world.

    I have to admit, I cackled that Mu Young got reincarnated as a goat. LOL so random. But at least he’s a *heavenly* goat!

    I’m gonna miss AatM SO MUCH. Wow. Favorite k drama so far. I feel like a piece of my heart died today after the series finale. I’m gonna miss reading everyone’s comments here too! Aww. Wednesdays and Thursdays are going to be lonely again. 🙁

    • 31.1 Yellow

      I like to believe that Eunoh is totally faking the amnesia thing. He’s totally doing it for all the kisses hahah

      • 31.1.1 Charmg

        I agree with you;) haha

      • 31.1.2 autumn93

        I agree, I think that he was just teasing too (or I hope he was)! lol No guy would be stupid enough to drink from the well of forgetfulness after everything he’s gone through to be with the girl he loves!

        Question: So when they go from the kids to the adults, is that a “time jump” or is that just showing us the kids with the adult bodies? I’m so confused!! Please, someone shed light of this!

        • Redge

          Pretty sure it’s a time jump. So we can assume they grew up together and were together 24/7. Haha. It’s so nice to think about too because at least in this lifetime, they have all the time in the world to be together and love each other.

          • autumn93

            That really is sweet! They get to love each other for an entire lifetime and their time is not limited to a couple of full moons! (how I wish there would be a couple of episodes just dedicated to showing their love in this lifetime)

            If it’s a time jump, which makes sense since having two 5 year olds kissing is rather odd, that meant he teased her about not remembering for like 30 years lol

            Also, I absolutely loved the kiss EO planted on Arang as the camera panned away! So glad they got their happy ending!

      • 31.1.3 yaya

        He is Faking it …just Look at his Face …his smile… . He is Playful . He just teasing her.

      • 31.1.4 Jambo

        Yeah, that’s a nice thought. That Littlest Player That Ever Played….:)

        I wish the camera didn’t pan out of their continuing conversation and subsequent kiss that Eun Oh gave Arang at the end.

    • 31.2 khina

      I’m sure EO’s faking it and teasing her.
      lol forever EO, even in another life. that was Perfect ending! They have whole life to love each other while remembering their love of another life.

  32. 32 Peridot

    This was a great ending to a great show. While I did feel that the show began to lag during its latter portion, I also felt that the world the writer/s had created was built upon a solid foundation. I love the idea that while the lives of people are manipulated by the gods, there is still an element (and a significant one at that) of free will.

    I suspected that it might be Joowal’s fate to become a grim reaper, and in a way, he got his dying wish to be like a shadow, watching Arang from the distance. Perhaps, in paying his penance now, a more happy future will await him. While I truly felt sorry for his character throughout the show (and that is in large part to the actor who really brought his character to life), I felt that he had to pay some price for the sins he committed (whatever his motives were for committing them in the first place). This ending for him, while sad, still indicates to me that there is hope for him in the distant future.

    I loved that the children (the latest reincarnations of Arang and Eunoh) maintained the characteristics of their former lives. And I love the spunk of the young Arang. Eunoh’s words to Arang that she would be the person to find a way to retain her memories even in heaven came true. The spunky Arang is not someone to let her life be dictated by the Old Fogeys upstairs (or downstairs, in the basesment, in the case of Hades, lol).

    I truly enjoyed this show, and as a lover of fantasy, was really drawn to the mythology of this world. While at some points I felt that the elements that drew me to the story were placed in the background, I never lost interest. *Sigh* What am I going to do now that Arang and the Magistrate is over 🙁

    • 32.1 Anya

      Oh Jowal, I love his character too and the actor, very softspoken and gentle!

  33. 33 asianromance

    Thank you so much for all 20 recaps, javabeans and girlfriday!

    This series has its flaws (live-shoot fatigue, Arang losing some of her spunk, etc..), but the acting, characters, and just the type of story have been wonderful. There really aren’t many (or any) korean dramas like this one and I’m sad to say goodbye to it. It was a stressful last few months and this drama made it bearable. By Wednesday, I’m usually burnt out, but Arang kept me going (and then later Nice Guy, but Arang is a more uplifting watch)

    I was a bit bitter at the ending (Eun-oh and Arang disappearing happened too fast for me), but came around to it. I’m a fan of reincarnation and I don’t think I would have enjoyed the ending if Arang got another chance to live (just too pat). And the kids were completely adorable. That little girl really knows to how to deliver lines!

    One thing I’m still confuse about is why it was such a surprise that Arang was responsible for Arang’s death. Don’t we all know that she threw herself in front of Joo-wal and got herself killed? Or were they trying to seek some other truth out there because the bell didn’t ring when the memory of her death came back?

    • 33.1 Anya

      that i don’t get! she threw herself of Jowal and that counted as SUICIDE! if it is so, then she should have knows already. All along I think it was the EO’s mother stabbing that killed her albeit unintentional. I had this crazy idea , she was still breathing and conscious when she reach the bottom of the cliff, and upon realizing that
      his young master didnt care, she was filled with sadness and maybe hold her breath, or get some sharp
      rock and slash herself. Coz there will be nowhere to justify that she killed herself.

      • 33.1.1 arangsatto

        Me wonder about it too.

      • 33.1.2 Kaybee

        Agreed! This was odd… Some flaw…but negligible for the sake of the drama…

      • 33.1.3 pogo

        no, dear, I think you have it wrong, it’s not suicide. She was responsible for the decision to shield JW from the knife, knowing that she could die – but that doesn’t mean she wanted to die.

        Closest parallel I can think of is Harry Potter’s mother dying to save him even when Voldemort offered to spare her – you wouldn’t consider that a suicide, would you?

    • 33.2 febe

      Actually, Arang’s book of life and death did not say that she died by suicide, but that she had died by being stabbed in the course of saving someone else. She caused her own death because she make the conscious decision to jump in front of Joo-Wal and take the knife-stab in his place.

      Arang originally only wanted to find out who she was and how she died. When she wondered how she’ll know that she had found out the truth behind her death, Jade said that the bell will ring upon the death of the person who caused her death. As Arang, being immortal, could not die, the bell would never ring.

      Sneaky Jade! The audience were tricked along with Arang…

      • 33.2.1 RockPaperScissors

        Thanks for your explanation. Good to know that I was not the only one who was confused. The suicide verdict threw me off to the extent I couldn’t process the remainer of the episode as it unfolded. I’m sure if I re-watch everything will make more sense.

      • 33.2.2 pillowhead

        aahh! I c now. Thanks, I forgot that the bell would ring upon the DEATH of the person responsible. tsk tsk, how did I miss that.

      • 33.2.3 asianromance

        Thanks febe! LIke pillowhead, I forgot that the bell would only ring after the person responsible dies. I thought it would only ring if she found out the truth. Then again, even when the last moments of her life came back and she saw the scene of her death, she only understood part of the truth, so she really didn’t know THE truth until that moment by Hades’ Library.

      • 33.2.4 chinita

        I agree! I totally did not realize that the bell won’t ring because Arang is immortal even though it was quite obvious that the cause of her death was herself. I’m pretty sure Arang, in a way, knows she is the reason behind it but the bell not ringing confused her and the audience as well. It lead many of us into thinking there must be another reason. Sneaky Jade indeed.

  34. 34 bordeauxblack


  35. 35 Tylee

    Well its safe to say that the lady got killed when she murder herself. Lol

  36. 36 Sirena

    Sigh…it seems like only yesterday I was watching the first episode. What drew me to this drama was the fantastical world and the characters that inhabited it. I will say that the latter episodes did lack some of the spunk and flare of the first few episodes. Nevertheless, I love this drama and will definetly try to buy it when it becomes avaiable.

    I’m pleased that Ju Wal has been given an opportunity to redeem himself. I hope that he will find the happiness that was denied to him. Lastly, I am happy that the writers maintained the connection between the principle and supporting characters. I’m refering specifically to that fact that Eun-oh’s mom is the shaman and that his father is his former servant!

    I am of the opinion that adult Eun-oh hadn’t drunk from the well of forgetfulness. He just wants to listen to Arang narrate their epic love story 🙂

    • 36.1 Redge

      “I am of the opinion that adult Eun-oh hadn’t drunk from the well of forgetfulness. He just wants to listen to Arang narrate their epic love story”

      Oh good, I’m not the only one! I like to think he was just teasing her, especially since he had that really “I’m so in love with you” smile while she was telling him their story. Sigh.

      • 36.1.1 Joongirl

        that part is the most I love, kkk sigh…. I feel so drama lag, now!!

        • Donna

          I love this part ( cute ) and love the part when sato & arang together …sato looking at arang and said he loved her …then they kissed…both of them cried… That moment so touching …and romantic… Made me shivered from head to toe.

      • 36.1.2 Charmg

        Swoon worthy satto;) and i think he is totally faking the i can’t remember thing;)

    • 36.2 chinita

      I squealed inwardly when I read your comment about Eun Oh faking it to hear Arang narrate their story. 🙂 So cute! It is possible because Eun Oh is a smart guy. He wouldn’t drink anything that would erase his memories after literally going through hell to be with his girl. He may or may not remember, but it doesn’t matter much since he seems to be as in love with her as he was in their past lives.

  37. 37 Ladymoonstone143

    Thank you so much for the recaps. I love this show and am sad that it ends…but I am so happy that Lee Jun Ki haven’t lost his touch. He can still make me squeal and squeek…lol. I love the chemistry of him and Shin Mina…which is very important. Looking forward to more dramas with them in the future…:))

  38. 38 Ennayra

    So I just finished watching not 10 minutes ago, and I’m happy to report that I’m really happy with this last episode. Loved it! Sad to see you go, Show. 🙂

  39. 39 Caltan

    I had no idea threats work here on dramabeans!!?? After all the threats about killing the goat, hee hee, the ending is more than satisfying !

    I liked that the original light hearted chemistry between the leads came back on to remind us of happier days. I could feel the freshness of the romance even though it spanned two lifetimes. of course, the context of the flowers helped.

    Being in the field of flowers like EO planned for Arang in the past, when he said i will show you heaven so that you can tell JS where you want to be. So very befitting for young EO to find young Arang in such a field. It is showing that Heaven for them is right here on earth, being with each other. Aww…so sweet.

    • 39.1 pogo

      I think old O-Kwang-Sang-Je the Jade Emperor did actually get a bit scared for his goat’s life from all of us keke

    • 39.2 Jan

      One of the possible endings that I had imagined was EO finding Arang in that field of flowers (their private heaven on earth), because the flower field scenes in the earlier episode were so beautifully written, filmed and acted that they had left a deep impression on me…I was in a weepy and melancholic mood for a while after that. But I had imagined Arang as a flower or butterfly (because in the original folk-tale, Arang had turned into a butterfly), so the drama’s ending was so much more better and wonderful than what I had imagined.

      It looks like Jade got so worried for his goat’s life that he turned our favorite grim reaper into a goat, just in case any of us still had BBQ goat on our minds. LOL.

  40. 40 kirara

    Gosh… Shin Mina and Lee Jun Ki are super cute together.. chemistry is spot on!!! They are such good actors.. Both of them sold this Drama.. entirely… Love it! 🙂

    Now I actually want to see them walk the red carpet together without the period wear and in like a nice suit and dress.. THAT WOULD BE SOO HOT.. :O

    Thank you so much for your recaps.. been a silent reader and haven’t watched the series yet.. mostly reading the recaps but I will definitely will go back and watch the series over Now!!!

  41. 41 Gaeina Lee

    The End. With a kiss, surrounded by the flowers in their little heaven hide away, plus reverse Amnesia role… Perfect!

    I love AATM from the beginning till end. Thank you show, for giving me a well written, beautifully packaged drama portrayed by wonderful-well talented casts. Am gonna miss them so.

    Now, as @bordeauxblack said: No more hating the moon! ^^

  42. 42 Miyu

    That little girl is sooo cute!!
    In the end Eun Oh can’t remember everything.. though I’m kind of disappointed by that,I guess it’s fine.

    Just one question (I’ve got heaps but this is what I’m most curious about) :
    How come Arang didn’t know (since couples of episodes ago) that she was the one who killed herself? She remembered that she threw herself on Joo Wal in order to save him from being stabbed..didn’t she?

    • 42.1 twentyonebuds

      I guess she never thought of it that way, that the choice to risk her life by throwing herself in front of Joo Wal was the true cause of her death rather than the physical act of being stabbed. She knew how the event panned out but she only ‘realised’ in the last ep.

      • 42.1.1 pogo

        exactly, she never put it together that it was Lee Seo Rim’s choice that put her in front of Eun-oh’s mother’s knife to protect JW, knowing fully well that she could be stabbed. Clever trick with interpretation there, gods.!

    • 42.2 chinita

      The deal was that the bell would not ring until the person who caused her death dies so even if Arang knew about her sacrifice, the bell still wouldn’t ring. It’s impossible because she is immortal. I guess she knew it but didn’t understand why the bell hasn’t rung that’s why she thought there must be another reason (just like us viewers thought).

  43. 43 red

    It has finally ended. I’m gonna miss this show. SMH and LJK is my favorite OTP (out of all current and recent shows). I love that we get to have a happy ending but I’m a bit confused and dissatisfied with all the bell ringing and stuff. I wish there was some greater reveal or something like that of the dynamics of the universe. I love YSH but I hate the old mean fogey. Haha.
    I really enjoyed this show – the romance, the humor, the magic – very well paced. Sniff. sniff.

  44. 44 peachys2sleep

    I love Park Min Ha’s portrayal of being the reincarnated Arang! It was perfectly in sync!

  45. 45 Belinda

    I’ve come to hate last episodes , due to the fact that they put everything in that last hour . Anyhoo this was a beautiful drama in all . I was always amazed at how pretty the direction was. What was up with the Arang mom scene I just didn’t get the point except for filling time.
    Jinny – I miss you . Should be next .
    I’m picky about my mellows but I will try a couple of ep.

  46. 46 whimsicalnet

    thank you so much for the recap. loved little arang (so cute) and i think Joo wal was excellent. had to kick myself for taking so long to recognise the same actor in OB (Tae Pil). overall great casting and the ending worked for me. and yes, we need another show for LMK and SMA. While we’re at it, can we have another show for the cute Dol-swe and Bang-wool couple as well. 🙂

    • 46.1 whimsicalnet

      eeks… my typos… but it’s LJK n SMH… yunno…

    • 46.2 LyArisa

      I’m looking forward for another LJK & SMA projects too ^_^ I hope both of them will be best friend after AATM projects 😉

    • 46.3 pogo

      yeah, I hope they work together again too, even if that’s rare in kdramas.

      And I hope their next dramas live up to this and that Arang opens up a new chapter in both their careers – they both had incredible roles that allowed them to show their range and skill as actors, and they should reap the benefits from that.

  47. 47 Reena

    Oh My Goood! Love the ending! I’m quite sad that it’s over now… I’m going to miss these beautiful characters….

    Shin Min Ah and Lee Jun KI!!!! Ahhh! Lee Jun Ki, you made me pine for you in this drama… can’t wait for your future projects!

    I hope they’d do another drama together. hehe

    I’m so scatterbrained right now. I love this drama soooo much…

  48. 48 KRush

    I loved the ending. I’m with JB here in her interpretation. Although, I do agree that toward the last few episodes writing wise, they made Arang fade a bit for sake of drawing out one conflict (a bit too much), but it was done well enough that I don’t think it spoiled it for me, especially with this kind of spunky ending, that reminded me of what she could be under more “normal” circumstances.

    It IS an ending I will remember because this is the first time *for me* that a drama had so many things go right with it in this genre, and pulled off this kind of ending amid this kind of mythos. Plus…our OTP and secondary couples were awesome! Did anyone else LOVE THAT?

    I might be in the minority, but hey. The characters sold it, the story sold it, the visuals sold it, and nothing’s perfect..so off course there’s a few drags here and there, but I loved every minute.

    Thank you! <3 LJK y SMA great together! <3

  49. 49 Krissy

    I love this show! Very satisfied with the ending! The leads chemistry is amazing! I don’t know but the kiss by the LAKE is the sweetest heartfelt and loving kiss I’ve seen yet so far. I can feel how truthful and honest they feel about each other… That kiss says it all. Love and pain all at the same time. Love ARANG and her magistrate! I wish to see them together again in a project. Thank you for th recap!!!!

  50. 50 KRush

    Oh, also:

    Congrats LJK and SMA….

    Lee Jun Ki is what randomly started me on the whole kdrama thing and it’s great to see him so appreciated and having done such a great project..

    Shin Min Ah is one of my favourite kdrama actresses, if not my fav, and again, really helped me love kdrama…

    SO, I’m really happy for them to have success with this show as their “comebacks”. 🙂 At least I think it was a success.

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