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Mirror of the Witch: Episode 8

This villain has always been sly and manipulative, and this episode shows exactly how she preys on a desperate victim’s vulnerabilities to get what she wants. Everyone knows she’s evil, but when she gives just a sweet taste of what she has to offer, all resistance crumbles and it’s hard not to succumb to the temptation. It’s almost like she’s the devil. Meanwhile, our good guys all struggle with their personal agendas, making us wonder if they even have a chance against Hong-joo’s well-calculated plans.

 

 
EPISODE 8 RECAP

Watching Jun’s sleeping figure, Seo-ri hesitatingly leans forward in a move to caress his face. She thinks better of it and pulls back, when suddenly, Jun grabs her arm and opens his eyes — looks like he wasn’t asleep after all. Eyes glistening, he asks her, “You’re Persimmon, right?”

Seo-ri, however, maintains her cold attitude and tells Jun that he’s mistaken her for somebody else. Undeterred, Jun asks her what happened, and even offers to help her, but she cuts in sharply, reminding him that he’s in no position to help others. She tells him that she just wants him to finish documenting the Mauigeumseo, and with that, he relents and apologizes for confusing her with someone else.

Seo-ri rushes back to her candlelit alcove within the Cheongbing Temple, and once she’s out of Jun’s sight, she finally lets her emotions come to the surface. She recalls that fateful night five years ago, when evil shaman Hong-joo had told her that everyone she loves and everyone who loves her, will die.

Just then, Yo-gwang interrupts her thoughts to announce that Jun has finished transcribing the contents of the Mauigeumseo. Yo-gwang asks Seo-ri for the Oblivion potion to make Jun forget he was ever here, and she reluctantly passes the bottle over.

Moments later, Jun drops by the alcove and wordlessly places the finished Mauigeumseo behind Seo-ri. He follows Yo-gwang out of Cheongbing Temple and Seo-ri watches them leave.

Yo-gwang and Jun stop for a rest while passing through the forest, and when Jun sits down to appreciate the view, Yo-gwang quickly pours the Oblivion potion into his water bag. He offers the “water” to Jun, who politely suggests that Yo-gwang drink it first. Taken aback by Jun’s unexpected courtesy, Yo-gwang frantically insists that Jun drink first and practically forces the water bag into Jun’s hands.

As soon as Jun opens the water bag, though, he gets a whiff of the potion and recognizes the scent. He asks Yo-gwang if this is what Seo-ri wants, and explains that he knows what the potion is because all of the Mauigeumseo’s contents are in his head. Yo-gwang looks away, not wanting to answer the question.

In a flashback, we see that Jun had long confirmed that Seo-ri was Yeon-hee when he had spotted her kite in her little alcove. In the present, Jun looks off in the distance where Seo-ri’s kite is flying over the temple. He asks Yo-gwang to tell Seo-ri that he drank it, and proceeds to drink the potion all at once.

Yo-gwang returns to Cheongbing Temple and asks Seo-ri if she’s feeling regretful over Jun, but Seo-ri just answers that she’s glad Cheongbing Temple will finally be quiet now, and that it doesn’t really matter because she’ll never see him again anyway. Yo-gwang knows she doesn’t mean it, but lets the subject rest for now.

At the palace, the king thinks back to his meeting with Hong-joo, who had asked to be restored to her position as the head of the palace shaman council. An uneasy expression crosses his face.

Elsewhere in the palace, the queen dowager finds out that the spy she had planted in the king’s entourage is missing. The eunuch tells her that the king doesn’t seem to have realized that there was a mole, but that only confuses the queen dowager more and she wonders who else would take down her spy. Suddenly, a servant rushes in to relay some shocking news: The king has decided to reconstruct the shaman council.

At court, the king defends his decision as a way to restore peace to the country. The ministers plead for him to reconsider his decision, reminding him that the queen dowager is the one who abolished the shaman council in the first place, but the king just retorts that he’s the king of this country, not the queen dowager.

He calls for Hong-joo to enter, and she walks past the ministers with a smirk on her face. The king announces that she will be the head of the shaman council, and the ministers immediately fall to their knees, begging him to withdraw his order. Hong-joo simply laughs to herself and comments that she’s enjoying their welcome greeting.

Outside the court, Poong-yeon runs into Hong-joo and demands to know what she did to the king. She replies that she simply asked for the shaman council to be restored in return for curing the king’s illness, and that knowing the king was sick is all a part of her job description. Poong-yeon warns her that he’ll kill her if she ever harms the king, but the threat has no effect on Hong-joo — she merely mocks him in response.

Back in the city, Jun spots the dismembered corpse dangling in the town square and realizes that it’s supposed to be him. He quickly hides his face behind his hat and takes his leave. He walks to his mother’s grave, and he’s startled to find that it’s been desecrated by signposts calling her the mother of a murderer. He tears the signs out and trembles in fury, and runs back to the city.

At the gambling den, Jun plays with his face hidden so that nobody recognizes him — not even Soon-deuk, who’s back to her old tricks, standing behind Jun and signaling his cards to the other gamblers. Jun easily outsmarts them again and wins the jackpot, but to Soon-deuk’s surprise, he dumps the money into her hands before leaving. The other gamblers look at her accusingly, and she chases after Jun for clarification.

Jun reveals himself to her, and Soon-deuk immediately grabs his collar, demanding to know why he killed her gisaeng friend Man-wol. He asks Soon-deuk to do him a favor, and argues that he would never kill Man-wol when she was the only friend he could talk to. Soon-deuk realizes that Jun has been falsely accused, but still refuses to help him, not wanting to be associated with Red Cloak anymore.

Jun offers her double the amount he just gave her if they succeed, and asks her to find just a few people for him. At first, Soon-deuk looks unconvinced, but Jun’s earnest plea for help moves her and she agrees.

At the gisaeng house, a drunken Heo Ok demands to be sent home on a palanquin. On his way home, the foot-bearers exchange places with four masked men (one of them is Jun), and Soon-deuk comes out of hiding to pay the foot-bearers for their help.

Ok is woken from his sleep by creaking noises outside and opens the door to see what the problem is, only to realize that the palanquin is placed precariously above a rocky riverside cliff. He panics and screams for help as the palanquin begins sliding down, when Jun, still in his masked disguise, jumps in to save him.

Traumatized by the near-death incident, Ok thanks his savior and angrily whines that the foot-bearers don’t know who they’re messing with. In a nonchalant tone, Jun sarcastically wonders aloud who would dare touch the captain of the royal guard.

Jun pulls down his mask and Ok backs away in shock, stuttering as he tries to form a comprehensible sentence. Jun comments that it seems like Ok has seen a ghost, and says that he’s just here to escort Ok, even as a ghost. Jun tells Ok that he’ll always be around to check on Ok’s safety, though it sounds like more of a threat than an offer of protection. Jun warns Ok that he’ll do everything he can to clear his own name, and walks off, leaving Ok to scream in fury behind him.

At the palace, the queen dowager kneels outside the king’s chambers on a straw mat and begs him to reconsider, reminding him that Hong-joo will only bring misfortune to the palace. Despite the concern of her servants, she refuses to get up until the king gives in to her, and demands that everyone leave the premises.

Inside the king’s chambers, Hong-joo brings out her jar containing the black spirit and puts the king in a trance. She mutters a spell, and when the king begins convulsing, she guides the spirit into his body.

Outside, the queen dowager continues her exhausted cries for him to renounce Hong-joo. She lifts her head, only to stare aghast as she watches Hong-joo coming down the stairs from the king’s chambers. The queen dowager is in disbelief that Hong-joo would have the audacity to return to the palace after what she did to her son the crown prince, but Hong-joo responds that she is back to correct her mistakes.

The king lumbers sleepily out of his room, and the queen dowager rushes over to kneel in front of him, repeating that Hong-joo cannot return to the palace. The king seems to slowly regain his senses and when he sees the queen dowager, his eyes widen in recognition. Bending down, he calls her “Mother” and claims to be her son, Prince Sunhoe. At first, the queen dowager thinks the king is playing a cruel joke on her, but when he breaks down in tears, she hesitantly asks if he’s really the crown prince.

The king’s face morphs into Prince Sunhoe’s, and the queen dowager cups his face with her hands, overwhelmed that her son is back. She throws her arms around him, weeping, and Hong-joo stands in the background, smirking knowingly.

In the midst of their tearful reunion, the king suddenly lets go of her, and solemnly addresses her as the queen dowager. The queen dowager pulls back in shock, and the king asks if she’s okay, only to faint and collapse to the ground. As the servants carry the king away, Hong-joo steps behind the queen dowager and promises to return her son to her.

In the king’s room, the queen dowager now completely changes her tune, asking the king to rebuild the shaman council. The king is suspicious at this turn of events, and asks the queen dowager why she has changed her mind. She simply responds that the will of the king ought to be the will of the palace, and gets up to leave.

As she makes her way out, the king demands to know if she’s familiar with Hong-joo, and the queen dowager denies it. She adds that the king ought to be careful, and warns him, “If you are blinded by desperation, you will lose many things.” Seething in rage, the king chucks a book at the floor, but the queen dowager simply ignores him and walks out.

Outside the room, the queen dowager meets with Hong-joo and reminds her of their promise: If the queen dowager allows Hong-joo to return to the palace, then Hong-joo must help the queen dowager meet Prince Sunhoe again.

The queen dowager questions if Hong-joo can truly bring back her son, and Hong-joo explains that currently, Prince Sunhoe has a soul, but no body. The queen dowager balks at the plan to use the king’s body for Prince Sunhoe’s soul, but Hong-joo reminds her that the throne originally belonged to Prince Sunhoe anyway. As the queen dowager walks away uneasily, Hong-joo smiles, knowing that she’s got the queen dowager wrapped around her finger.

Hong-joo flashes back to when the previous king, Myeongjong, had been on his deathbed, and his advisors had begged him to choose an heir. We see that Hong-joo had been controlling the former king’s movements from her lair, and made it so that the current king, Seonjo, would be chosen. That is, Hong-joo had expressly chosen the current king because his body was a good fit for Prince Sunhoe’s soul.

After being revived by Hong-joo, Taoist master Hyun-seo returns to his home. He quickly hides when he hears people approaching and overhears his wife telling the maid that they don’t know when he’ll come back, so they must keep “it” safe.

Hyun-seo sneaks into his study and opens a box on his shelf, taking out a torn piece of paper. It has a drawing of a symbol that looks like the tree mark on Jun’s chest, and a flashback reminds us that Hyun-seo had ripped this last page out of the Mauigeumseo.

At the palace, Hong-joo walks back to her shaman hall, and comments that everything is back to its start again.

At the watermill, Jun investigates the scene where gisaeng Man-wol was killed. He kneels down to see the traces of Man-wol’s blood still there, and suddenly glances up. Behind the creaking gate doors is Red Cloak, who advances towards Jun and unsheathes his sword. Jun attempts to deflect the blow, but Red Cloak mercilessly cuts him down.

Jun stammers out, “Man-wol,” and then we see that this was merely a figment of Jun’s imagination — he was picturing what happened to Man-wol the night she died. Horrified by how Man-wol was killed, he asks aloud, “Red Cloak… Who exactly are you?”

At Cheongbing Temple, Seo-ri flips through the copy of the Mauigeumseo and smiles when she notices that Jun had added cute doodles of the time they first met on the corners of each page, like a flip book. She hugs the book tightly, and elsewhere in the forest, Jun sleeps soundly in a cave.

Poong-yeon and Sol-gae are back to investigating Red Cloak, and Poong-yeon explains to Sol-gae that the people are still in danger if the real Red Cloak is at large, and the only thing he can do for the king right now is to catch the true culprit. Sol-gae asks Poong-yeon if he will really be all right, and we see what she means when the scene cuts to Poong-yeon at the gisaeng house, looking mighty uncomfortable as the gisaengs flirtatiously tease him.

He’s here to find out more about Man-wol, but the gisaengs refuse to tell him a thing until he drinks his cup of wine. Poong-yeon insists that he doesn’t drink alcohol and the gisaengs nearly force it down his throat until Sol-gae comes to his rescue and downs the cup in one shot. She tells the gisaengs to stop fooling around and tosses the cup onto the table with a loud clang, her glare scaring the gisaengs into talking.

One gisaeng (the one who was the first to see Man-wol’s transformation) explains that Man-wol was quite ugly, and no one ever asked for her except Jun. The gisaeng is shocked that he turned out to be Red Cloak, and Poong-yeon presses for more information — did anything strange happen to Man-wol before she died? The gisaeng recalls how Man-wol became beautiful after visiting the Hundred Year Tree, and sighs in pity that she died right after.

Conducting his own investigation, Jun sneaks into Man-wol’s room to look for evidence. Suddenly he hears Poong-yeon and Sol-gae discussing how all the Red Cloak victims are connected to the Hundred Year Tree, and is forced to think of a way to escape.

Poong-yeon opens the door to Man-wol’s room and coughs in embarrassment to see a gisaeng getting dressed. Poong-yeon apologizes for the mistake, and Jun rushes past him wearing the women’s hanbok with his face hidden, but not before Poong-yeon takes note of Jun’s black boots.

As Jun makes his way out, the other gisaengs stop him for failing to greet them, which allows for Poong-yeon and Sol-gae to catch up. Sensing something strange about him, Poong-yeon stops Jun in his tracks and clamps a hand on his shoulder. Jun grimaces and tries to resist, knowing he’s been caught. But he’s forced to show his face, and the moment Jun turns, he pushes Poong-yeon into the gisaengs and makes a run for it.

Just when Jun thinks he’s in the clear, Poong-yeon grabs him from behind and pushes him against a wall. He peels back Jun’s clothes to look for the scar that should be on Red Cloak’s shoulder, but Jun’s shoulder is unmarred. Nevertheless, Poong-yeon doesn’t let go and tells Jun that he needs to be thoroughly investigated because he could still be an accomplice.

Upon hearing that, Jun tries to free himself from Poong-yeon’s grasp, but Poong-yeon keeps his hold. Poong-yeon demands to know where his golden bell is, and Jun responds that he has no idea what he’s talking about.

Taking advantage of a distracted Poong-yeon, Jun pushes him off and runs away, only to be stopped by Sol-gae. Poong-yeon ties Jun’s hands together for good measure and Jun is brought to the jail cell, where he pleads his case to Poong-yeon. Poong-yeon, however, doesn’t waver and simply answers that they’ll find out the truth during the interrogation tomorrow.

At the temple, Yo-gwang is sent into panic mode when he sees that the talismanic shields are starting to burst into flames again. He hears Seo-ri calling for him and he hurriedly blocks her from seeing the vanishing talismans. Seo-ri tells him that she’s ready to make the potions again and asks him to bring her the wish-tags from the Hundred Year Tree.

Yo-gwang makes his way back to the now abandoned Taoist temple. He frantically flips through books, searching for a method to prevent the talismans from burning away. Just when he’s starting to think it’s all a lost cause, he spots the symbol on the metal shield that the Taoists had once used to defend against the black spirits.

He recognizes it as the same symbol that Jun had on his chest. After digging through more books, he learns that Jun is a human talismanic shield. He groans in frustration that he made Jun drink the Oblivion potion, but now he knows that Jun is their only hope for keeping Seo-ri hidden.

In the forest, Hyun-seo makes his way towards Cheongbing Temple and stares at the large talismanic shield posted at the entrance.

Jun fiddles with his lock in jail, but it’s no use. He jokingly wonders if he ought to call a shaman to get rid of his bad luck, but suddenly one of the guards unlocks his cell. It’s Yo-gwang, who’s disguised himself with a talisman, and he rushes in to free Jun. Yo-gwang hurries through an explanation of everything that happened with Seo-ri at the temple, cursing himself for insisting that they give Jun the Oblivion potion.

Meanwhile, Hyun-seo puts his hand on the large talisman and causes a ripple of effects — the large talisman burns away, the candles in Cheongbing Temple flicker out, and the smaller talismans surrounding the temple burst into flames.

Inside the alcove of Cheongbing Temple, Seo-ri takes out a bowl of potion, and in flashback we see that she had hesitated after making the Oblivion potion for Jun. She’d turned back to empty the contents from the bottle, replacing the Oblivion potion with water before handing it over to Yo-gwang. As she examines the remnants of the Oblivion potion now, the entire temple suddenly begins to shake as if there’s an earthquake.

In the shaman hall at the palace, Hong-joo tells one of the shamans that she can feel the princess’s spiritual presence.

Back at the temple, Seo-ri looks around in alarm and tries to keep the place from falling apart. Suddenly, she’s overwhelmed by the familiar screeching sound of the black shadow spirit and she holds her head in horror. We see that her curse mark has returned below her ear. Meanwhile, Poong-yeon is walking with Sol-gae when he too hears the screeching, and faints.

Hong-joo’s shamans rush through the forest and Hyun-seo comes out of hiding, watching them carefully.

At the entrance of Cheongbing Temple, Yo-gwang hears Seo-ri’s screams and rushes inside. Seo-ri flails around frantically as the spirit lifts her in the air and turns her hair white. She suddenly goes limp and begins falling towards the ground; although Yo-gwang goes forward to catch her, it’s Jun’s arms that she lands into.

The earthquake inside Cheongbing Temple abruptly stops, and Seo-ri wakes up briefly to see Jun. He manages a smile and says, “We meet again,” before she faints in his arms. Seo-ri’s hair turns back to black and the dark spirits appear to leave her.

COMMENTS

Although I’m still not entirely sold by the romantic chemistry between Seo-ri and Jun, I think they have a wonderful rapport as friends and I’m so excited that they’re finally ready to work together. With Seo-ri’s constant confinement and Jun’s confession that Man-wol was his only friend, it’s clear that both of them are rather lonely characters, and that very loneliness really helps them understand one another in ways that others just can’t.

I love that Seo-ri trusted Jun enough to switch the Oblivion potion with water because she had an understanding of Jun’s personality that Yo-gwang didn’t, and I love that Jun knew just how to cheer her up and show that he remembered her when he doodled those drawings in the Mauigeumseo. He’s just so thoughtful and sweet, and besides, how many episodes has it been since we’ve seen Seo-ri’s adorable smile?

I desperately want Poong-yeon to team up with the trio, but I’m worried that his dedication to serving the king (who’s slowly becoming Hong-joo’s puppet) will put him at odds with his love for Yeon-hee/Seo-ri. Poong-yeon acts as an interesting foil for the king — Poong-yeon is morally upright and a stickler for the rules whereas the king is more willing to deceive the public and do certain things for personal gain — but I’m curious to know what Poong-yeon would do if he’s faced with a conflict where he’s more personally involved.

Considering the clues about the potion bottles and the Hundred Year Tree, I’m starting to think that the show is setting things up for Seo-ri or Yo-gwang to be framed as Red Cloak once Jun clears his name. If Poong-yeon were to think that Seo-ri was involved with Red Cloak, what would he do? Would he continue to stick to the rules, or would he find some leeway in his book for Seo-ri?

When the king breaks the rules for personal gain, I actually find his reasoning quite understandable — he’s hiding the truth about Red Cloak to keep the public satisfied (perhaps not the best way to do things as Poong-yeon had pointed out, but I can sympathize), and he’s restoring Hong-joo to her position, thinking he can save his own life. If Poong-yeon were put in a similar position, as he might be with Seo-ri, what would be his course of action?

With that being said, it’s interesting how our alliances are all over the place at this point. Seo-ri, Yo-gwang, and Jun will be working together against Hong-joo; Poong-yeon is wary of both Jun and Hong-joo at the moment; the queen dowager and the king are under Hong-joo’s control even if they don’t realize it; and we have no idea what side Hyun-seo is on, or if he’s been contaminated by the shadow spirit. So many characters are still so ambiguously aligned, and here’s one instance where the saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” does not apply (yet?).

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I am thinking that Oraboni's father might be Red Cloak. It would be a VERY interesting situation to have the son have to confront his own father. Just thoughts.

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Omg I thought so too. I imagine it has to be a key character for him/her to be wearing a mask, you know... to create suspense for the great revail. Maybe he has been under the control of the black magic? So it would definetly be heartwrecking for them AND us to watch them face off

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It would definitely has me thinking a lot...and it would be super heart wrenching if the drama decides to go that way. This (these?!) writer(s) have kept me on the edge of my seat. Sure there may be a plot hole here or there, but overall, there has been VERY few. And better yet, it has been wholly entertaining, suspenseful and ridiculously CREATIVE. If they threw in some mini-marshmallows and a dragon I think that my life would be complete. I am just amazed at how some people are such great writers.

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But that means Hyun Seo is under Hong Joo's black magic influence for quite long time is it?
I'm beginning to suspect more and more characters, including Poong Yeon's right hand woman because the description says Red Cloak shorter than many men and I don't think HS fits the description and character. Albeit HS is very suspicious indeed, he's searching for a piece of paper from the book then burn the shield to the Temple. Suspicious indeed.

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I also think Sol-gae is suspicious. When the story teller in the gambling den was confused over whether Red Cloak is a man or a women. And then the gate keepers didn't know whether Sol-gae was a man or women.

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Great thought! It makes sense since hong-ju's minions are all women with similar hair-do.

Off topic but who else thought that scene with the dowager queen and the late crown prince was SUPER creepy. It's like Hong-Ju is switching souls around and putting them in and then taking them out, all while keeping the soul locked up in that little jar (she has so many little white jars like that by the way... makes me wonder...). I love that this show gets creepy right!

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I thought red cloak were hong ju's minions... and since they wear mask while killing ppl who got their wishes granted at the wish tree to take out their hearts, general public just confused them to be one person... It was how I understood. And since hong joo's minions are women...they will be shorter than men... dunno

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I thought so too! But the fact that the drama made a point of having Yo Gwang ask Red Cloak who they were during their fight gave me pause

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Joon 's doodles at the corner of that book page was the sweetest thing ever, I swear. And him being the human barrier makes me giddy for the next development. That means he will stay veeerrry close to Seori, right? Right??

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gadis,
I share your feelings! Of course, he needs to stay as close as possible to her, for her sake, for Joseon's sake, for our sake! <3 What I am curious about is that if he is the human shield, does this absolve him from the curse of "everybody who loves you will die" and "everybody who you love will die as well"?

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I'm afraid they're not.. are they?

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I don't think it will negate the curse, otherwise their romance story will be a smooth sailing from this point onward. I guess this new development will complicated things further because they need to be in close proximity, and that will surely spurr their feeling toward each other. Not that I'm complaining. We won't have a drama, otherwise...

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I think HJ should not be affected by the curse. Even if he is, the curse's strength will be lessen and he will not die. He is a human shield who can protect his surrounding from magic, so naturally, he himself is protected too.

But he is not immune to mortal wound, so the enemy should hurt him in order to curse YH/SR. I think it is the same as how the witches' shamans tried to break the shields in episode 1, after black magic failed to penetrate the barrier.

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Most of the talismans and shields end up getting burned or broken lets hope this doesn't happen to Jun. I was thinking so if Jun is a 'mirror' could he reflect or throw back curses aimed at him.

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If Jun starts burning, Yo-gwang can just throw him into the creek like Jun did last ep with the Mauigeumseo. XD

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Hello HappilyEverAfter, welcome to the beanie family! <3 Thank you very much for the recap! :D

I love this drama! It's dark because of the cave scenes, evening scenes, etc. I hope it will get brighter once our beloved witch can go out with her human shield! So exciting! I love how they pay attention to detail in this drama. In the cave, as Yeon Hee/ Seo Ri didn't want to let Joon know that she had supernatural powers, such as moving things by thought only, she didn't use magic to retrieve that jar from the upper shelf, but instead she tried hard to reach it to no avail, hence the help from Joon. So, definitely not solely for an OTP moment! hahaha ;)

I am continuing to sub this series into Turkish on Viki. As I am working alone for that language, I could finish the subbing of 4 episodes. As I will be busy with exams these couple of days, I'll cease my subbing activities, but resume later. Meanwhile, I will keep an eye on this series, as I like the mystery :D

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Wow, I've never paid much attention to the other subbing languages, but cool to hear that there are Turkish audiences too. d= All the best for your exams and good luck with the subbing efforts!

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Thank you very much for your kind wishes about the exam! By the way, just for your information, on Viki channel, this series is being translated into 25 languages for fans by fans :)

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Aww it's sweet that you're working on this.

Good luck with exams and thanks for your subbing efforts!

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I appreciate your kind words and encouragement! <3

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So THAT'S who the king is. (Thank you drama for explaining that.)
And does Joon still have the ability to remember everything he reads? (Good talent to have, if he does.)
I can hardly wait until episode 9

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I think Jun still has the memory skills. Seo Ri switched the oblivion potion with water. Which makes me wonder, why did Jun act as if he was drinking the potion when YG offered the water bottle to him just before they parted company? The writer's hiccup? ?

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I don't think it was a writer's hiccup - I think it was an intentional misdirection. In my mind, Jun expected it to be the oblivion potion, since he helped Seo Ri make it. That is why he kept offering to let Yo-gwang drink it first. Yo-gwang's reaction showed that he clearly thought it was the oblivion potion meant for Jun. But I suspect that when Jun sniffed it, he realized that it was NOT the oblivion potion - that was why he asked Yo-gwang if it was what Seo Ri wanted. This way he could confirm that she had changed her mind.

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Ha ha, a misdirection.
So, Joon now knows that Seo Ri does NOT want Joon to forget their time together at the temple cave!
Thank you! ?

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Hi there!

I have a rather different analysis about this. I thought that Jun could sniff the herbal smell from the botol. Afterall, the botol content was indeed Oblivion Potion and the smell must still be there. So at that time, he asked Yeo Gwang whether Seo Ri really wanted it (to forget him).

But then, after he drank it, he closed his eyes and waited for it to take effect. Perhaps he also wondered."How come it tasted like water??". He must've figured out that Seo Ri has some difficulties that she couldnt tell, so he just brushed it off and leave. After all, a girl's mind was difficult to understand.

That is my interpretation :p ...

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Woa you were right!!!!!! Your explanation is spot on! Jun is expecting to be fed Oblivion potion. Then when he sniffs the water bag, it is supposed to smell bad... it is not... so Jun knows it. You are so perceptive!!!
Ok this
is exactly why I appreciate dramabeans community!!!! >:D<

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Thanks :)

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He did drink it but Seo-Ri changed the potion to water without telling anyone. He knows that she is unwilling to accept his help for now, so he's playing along until he can 'remember' at the right time (whenever that is).

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Yup, I agree

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Agree with this theory too (because my mind refuse it to be anything else than this)

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I knew it! Jun is the human shield! Gosh, it was so exciting to find out about that in this episode so that they can keep Jun with them always.

I already expected it that Seo-ri would not give the Oblivion potion to Jun and I'm glad that it's true. That means she trust Jun wholeheartedly and it's so heart-warming. And who can forget the doodles? It's just so cute.

Love love love this episode. I'm really digging the universe and even though Mirror is my first sageuk ever I'm seriously enjoying it and I seriously consider watching sageuk from now on.

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How's with the dead prince's "I'm hungry" as soon as he wakes up? He said the same thing the first time he woke up too and I just thought it was to show he's now back to normal. But this time it totally sent a chill down my spine. There's gotta be something freaky going on there. I dunno, zombies in sageuk land?

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Lol - I half expected him to take a bite out of his momma's shoulder after saying it. It was indeed creepy.

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That "I'm hungry" is a sign that the dead prince ( and present king) has been possessed by (evil) spirits.
In my part of the world ( Asia, though not Korea) there are anecdotes of people 'hosting' these spirits as having voracious appetites, although they are on their death beds and are physically, just skin and bones. I guess Koreans may have similar beliefs.
So, it's the possessing spirit who's 'hungry', not the prince then, nor the king now. The king being hungry showed that at that moment, he was possessed by the 'dead crown prince'.

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I also agree on that line being the sign that it really was the death prince, to make it more real to her mother, God the scene was quite disturbing... But what you say about the beliefs of people in Asia is quite interesting too!! Those kind of folk tales can go no wrong with fusion saeguks, I love it!

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When I watched "Arang and the Magistrate", they say that ghosts are always hungry because there are limitations as to how ghosts can eat food. (Not a zombie thing at all.) Imagine if you couldn't eat every day. You'd be super hungry even after you do find some food.

There is one odd scene involving livers being wanted, but that being is not exactly a ghost. (It wasn't a gumiho either.) It reminded me of someone who is possessed. I forget what it was called, as I haven't rewatched that show in a while. The how/why the dead eat issue also gets coverage in "Oh My Ghostess" as well.

From my limited understanding, most ghosts who haven't passed on to the underworld eat during their death day when their family puts out the food for them, or if food is left at their grave for a visit. (In Ghostess, ghosts were gathered at funerals to eat as well. I can't recall if food/drink she ate when she possessed folks counted or not.)

In Arang's case, there really wasn't anyone to leave the Arang food, so she was always fighting for it until she meets those willing to feed her.

Also in that show, you see all the ghosts eating food that is either left for the dead (which is what they're often fighting over if it's not their food), or is giving to them by their loved ones or a sympathetic shaman/person who can see them.

So my guess is because his spirit has been shut up in that jar all that time, he's REALLY hungry. It's not like we ever see the Shaman feed him. Might have been too high a risk of him getting out of the jar or kept him unhappy? I'm not sure.

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I think you're right! I like that the show keeps us guessing or bringing out interesting topics on folcklore and myths! And whenever you guys mention Arang I get totally excited again, watching MOTW reminds me of waiting for new Arang eps back then!! God I became obsessed :D

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Yeah, you're right. I also remember a scene in OMG where a woman was possessed by a ghost in a jjimjilbang (bath house) and was waiting a whole tray(!) of eggs.

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Because he came back wrong, I'm getting Pet cemetery vibes creepy!!!

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Wasn't there a horror film about astral projection where the ghost ended up in the boy's body and was eating like a HUGE mound of pasta in the epilogue?

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LJH portrayal as the vulnerable-sick king made me a fan of him. He just have to play sageuk drama from now on. Modern drama did not give him opportunity to show his ability and charm to date.

Idk why but I thought it is the king himself who is the red cloak. He is under HJ thumb from the beginning, though unaware about it. His disease must be her own make as well. If he truly is the red cloak, PY would surely have a helluva time to uphold the justice.

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Oh... it would be major twist for sure!

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me too! i mean for both LHJ's superb performance as the king and the hope that he is the red cloak!

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Dude, that queen dowager-king/crown prince scene creeped the heck out of me. I guess my expression was similar to the queen dowager. O.o Major props to Lee Ji-hoon who switched his whole demeanor within seconds.

I'm looking forward to the next episodes, we're halfway through now, the human shield is established, time to start giving us some answers, show!

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The actors who play the king (Lee Ji Hoon) and the crown prince are really good. Major props to them. My heart hurts for them, but then again it's not like the king didn't have any choice to re-instate Hong Joo again.

Btw when will Heo Joon learn medicine and become the Great Heo Joon?? I watch this expecting Heo Joon will show various medical knowledge and skills a la Dae Jang Geum.

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Maybe when he read the book that was the start of it? He already had some knowledge from his peddling days.

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Yes, I suspect as much. When he read the secret medicine's recipe book he acquired all of his knowledge that one day would turn him to the famous court physician.

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I really, REALLY agree with this. I was really struck with how multi-layered the young prince was played, but I am so impressed with the actor portraying the KING. He can look so vulnerable and In. Pain. I know that the special effects have helped make his condition, but he is totally SELLING me his pain, suffering and his character. His acting is very impressive. And that possession. Wow.

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Considering that now Jun has amazing memory skills. We can assume that later they will stumble across a library full of medical books, maybe for their new housing now that their cave has been found. Then as he's a human shield, he can't go out of that house and read all those books instead. Making him know all about various medical skills for a short time.

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Love this theory :)

Perhaps, the palace's library?? Perhaps the King is gonna be sick again and HJ is the one who'll cure him.

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What age gap? Yoon Shi Yoon is selling the sh!t out of this romance. I about died when he whispered, "Why are you doing this?" It is painfully obvious how much he likes her by his lovelorn looks at her and crestfallenness once he realized she fed him the potion after his kite confirmation. I was thankful Seo Ri had switched it out with water. How perfect is it that he is her talisman. It helps that Yoon Shi Yoon has this eternal baby face, but I may hate myself later for shipping them.

I appreciate the humor within the suspense. Yo Gwang's bumbling antics are such a welcome sight. Mirror of the Witch is crack.

Many thanks for the recap, HappilyEverAfter!

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And he's a GREAT seller.. His lovelorn looks are killing me!! Poor Seo ri is gonna have a real hard time holding back the feelings!!

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I'm completely with you on this. I'll admit- when I first read the news about this drama's casting, I doubted I would be able buy a romance between our leads. They are both very talented actors, but her real life age and their age gap just seemed insurmountable. However, as the drama has progressed, we've seen both actors give nuanced, charged performances and they've shown some real chemistry. While I still wish we lived in a world where young girls were not romanticized/sexualized, particularly as suitable partners for adults significantly older, I will give major kudos to our main pairing for their beautiful performances. Their interactions are the highlight in a show that just keeps giving- amazing visuals, badass and intriguing villainess, eerie vibe- which is definitely not an easy feat. Based on everything thus far, this show is poised to make it onto my all-time favorites list (drama- don't fail me now!)

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I never doubted YSY and KSR. When first announced they'll lead this drama, I was way in ( I was one of the few). They are too good not to be awesome! And without a doubt, they killing their roles. Loving them. But I'm surprisingly loving the whole cast and props to LJH as King. This could be a breakout role for him:)

Let's get this Mirror Cast!!!!

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Now that we know he didn't drink any oblivion potion but remains with the "memory" one, I think he'll get to know about Seori's curse and maybe he will start investigating through whatever book he can find to help him come out with a solution, hence then writting the book Mirror of Eastern Medicine? Or maybe I'm just over reading the facts?

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Since Jun is human talismanic shield. I believe Yo-Gwang will help Jun to improves on his martial art skills. I can't wait !

The casts are doing such fantastic jobs! From major to minor roles, I can't even find one bad actor.
YSY's eyes and his smile are totally swoon worthy!!!
I LOVE MOTW ! It keeps getting better! Friday can't come soon enough!!!

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Hi,guys I'm a huge fan of this kdrama...I ship YSY and KSR so much...that I might die not seeing them together...I know about their age gap,but...i can't help it,both of them are so cute together...so I'll just gonna keep hoping that their develop romantic feeling towards each other...I mean it's not wrong,to wish that cuz both of them actors,they just need to do their job as an actor/actress to sastified the viewer...they don't need to do skinship or what so ever... just show some evidence that both habor feelings to each other,like a pure innocent love...you know what I'm saying? Anyway,I want to thank you for the recapping, I really appreciate it...so thanks...can't wait for the next episode...already watch the preview,and it was fantastic cuz I got to see both of them together...OK peace yo....✌

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Am loving the awesome villainess! Was confused when he (kind of) killed Prince back then, but now feels like she's always planning on her own palace takeover. She's actually using the curse for her advantage. Props to Yum Jung Ah, dunno how someone can be so pretty and creepy at the same time.
Am kinda rooting the villainess, coz so far, the palace people doesn't inspire support. Nastiness seemed to be inherited with the Dowager Queen position. Not sure whether the current queen is obsessed with his son or power over the throne; she never waste a motherly thought on her daughter.
Love the mystery thread in the show, keeps me curious and waiting for next episodes. Hope there'll be more bromance in store!

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Hahaha!! I just entered here to say that I like Hong Joo so much, she is so evil and glamorous. But I cannot root for her because I am in team witch Seo Ri and her "mirror" :D

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Have just realized after reading your comment that the title of the show literally means Jun, hahaha *brain in buffer mode
Yea, Hong Joo is one gorgeous grande dame of evil, she's really working those eyeliners! Am also rooting for Jun + Yeon Hee and eternally endearing Yoh Gwang, but wished Hoong Joo will just ditch the irksome queen somewhere far...
Hooray, new episode in few hours!

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Glad I'm not the only one loving Hong Joo, she really is killing her role (literally too). Her eyeliner is so on point, I like how they present her character visually. She doesn't have anything crazy looking on her, but the evilness is there.

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Loving Lee Ji-hoon in this.

Also, the part where Yeon-hee looks through the copy Jun made with the little drawings was too cute!

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Disclaimer: commenting based on recap, as I haven't had time to watch ep 8 yet

I'm just wondering if perhaps, now knowing how scary Hong Joo's black magic is, Queen Shim is trying to do a reverse psychology on the king? Although she probably has her own secrets, in the previous episodes, she did seem like she was genuinely worried that the king is suffering under the black magic/curse. So maybe by deliberately changing tunes in a very obvious manner, she was trying to make the king suspicious of her sudden support for Hong Joo, and therefore be wary about Hong Joo?

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Nah, it was very clear she just wanted her son back.

It's ironic that she warns the king that he'll be swallowed up by Hong-joo's offer of what he desires, when she's doing the same thing to get her son back!

Seriously. Watch that scene with the possession of the king by the crown prince. I was so spooked, I started to tear up in fear and horror ;_;

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You beautiful, beautiful drama!

I’m so in love with this drama, it’s been a while I felt like this, it just has its way of keeping you hooked. It keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time and you keep wanting more.

Brilliant writing, I would've never thought that the small piece Jun picked up will be this important. I was very curious to know how they were going to make Jun and Seo-ri's stories meet, how their fates intertwine but would have never imagined this. WOW, Jun is now Seo-ri's Human Shield!! That little piece of mirror did save him twice and now he’ll play an important role in keeping Seo-ri safe.

About Hyun-soo, I don’t know why he did that! Why burn the talisman? He’s supposed to protect Seo-ri but burning the talisman was like leading Hong-joo’s army to her, did he turn evil? if so, is he the red cloak? I hope not!

And Hong-joo, she gives me chills! I think she’s the one who got the curse on the king so one day she could be back at the palace! But who is she being honest with? the queen dowager? the king? even though they showed us the flashback of her being the one to actually pick the next king, I can't seem to trust her! The whole scene with queen dowager and the king/crown prince was heartbreaking + creepy!

And I have to praise Lee Ji-hoon, he’s doing an awesome job here, I’m so impressed. I always thought of him as the sweet guy from Mamma Mia and even though he was in SFD, he was just good but here, OMG, he’s killing it.

I can't get enough of this! Loving it!

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i literally screamed when Jun tenderly call Seo-ri "Yeonhee-ah" aaaaaaaahhhhhh~~~~ the way he said it, looking at her, makes me feel his confusion and pain about Seo-ri being how she is now compared to the last time they were together.

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I, for one, do like the romance between Jun and Seo-ri. It's a slow build, which I think is entirely appropriate given the age difference between the actors in real life. I'll be surprised if they even kiss in this drama, and, honestly, I don't really think a kiss (on the lips, at least) would fit. I really like romances where you can tell the two people love each other from just the looks they exchange, or the skinship between them (i.e. holding hands, hugging, piggy back rides, or, for example, Jun catching Seo-ri when she falls (love that last one; can we have more of that, please?)) and you can certainly see how much they care for each other here. I honestly think the PD and writer are mindful of the real life age difference and are trying to keep things as PG as possible where romance comes in. The rest of the stuff, they're going all out on. There is definitely a horror feel to this show, especially whenever Hong-joo summons that shadow thing. Creepy is an understatement.

Anyway, this was a great episode. I just love Jun, with Seo-ri, Yo-gwang, or anyone else, and by himself. Yoon Shi-yoon, I think, is killing it with this role. I'm so glad he chose this as his comeback role.

I just seriously love this drama and can't wait for next week! Thanks for the recap!

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thanks for the recaps! keeps me company while waiting for the new episodes of MotW.

the reveal of jun being the human shield is great! for me it's an indication that the writer knows the end game and not afraid to dole out the answers bit by bit. the world building of their universe is done from ground-up, simply amazing!!!

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I am really enjoying this drama, the writing is pretty good. Hong Joo is a complicated character, though she only looks out for her own interest no matter what, I feel pity for her. I keep trying to understand why she became who she is. I wrote this from her point of view from episode 4:

The will of the heavens
You talk of that
The will of the heavens
To do what
To be born with nothing
to be laugh at
Stepped on
Be used
Disposed by
The rich
Whose will is that!
It is not mine
It will be me
I who will
Crushed them
I who will
Be
Powerful
I who will laugh
At them....
Thanks for the recap.

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Thanks for the recap, HappilyEverAfter!

This drama is my highlight every week. Love the fact that Jun is the human talisman shield!! Yogwang realizing that and finding him again was awesome. Also happy to confirm that Jun did see the kite in Seori's alcove and knew she's Yeonhee even when she denied it. The flip book doodles were so sweet and cute, and I love how it made Seori smile. And yes! I knew Seori wouldn't be able to bare having Jun forget all about her. So glad she swapped it with water.

That final scene with Jun catching Seori was an amazing note to end on. Love how we can see her physical transformation when he is protecting her as the shield.

YJA continues to be amazing as Hong Joo and LJH is incredible as the king, playing all the different facets of pain and emotions. Can't wait for more ep's!

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By the way, who else LOVES the music in this series. I love the scary drumming beat thing that happens whenever the curse is coming around. It's great for setting that creepy mood!

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HEA, thanks for the recap! It is a labor of love, isn't it to try to capture a gorgeous show like this one, and you are doing fabulous!

I LOVED the Oma-ma-ma, not Oma-ma-ma scene. It was genius. That shaman is fuxing with everyone and so far, winning at it. Watching the level of acting, the make-up, the music and the complete mind blowing imagination of it all, it felt entirely cinematic. The writing, director, creative team is hitting this out of the park. I guess Tree with Deep Roots was the last awesome show like this one where I simply marveled at the ingenuity.
I agree with everyone who is impressed by Lee Ji-hoon. Jang Hee Jin, playing the Dowager is also great. The longing and trust and fear and hope she showed in that scene with her "son" and then the Evil One, gave me shivers. She is really convincing.
LOVE IT ALL!

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It really does have a TREE WITH DEEP ROOTS vibe overall:).

TWDR was so awesome it almost surpassed JANG DAE GEUM as my favorite historical kdrama :). But then again, I haven't seen all but I'm def checking SIX Flying Dragon next so....yeah. I like kdramas but especially historical kdramas:).

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Seems like I'm echoing everyone here but oh well. Loving this drama and the cast!

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