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Mirror of the Witch: Episode 9

This episode of Mirror and the Witch gives us some answers, but also introduces new questions. Our main characters have now reached a turning point in their personal battles and are finally starting to gain some ground on their adversaries, as the tempo picks up in both the plot and relationship developments.

 

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

Hyun-seo makes his way to Cheongbing Temple, and does something to the first talisman protecting the entrance. The rest of the protective barrier goes up in flames, allowing Hong-joo to sense the princess’ presence. She sends her shamans out to get Seo-ri.

Seo-ri’s body is seized by a force, which raises her body into the air as she thrashes. Her hair turns white and the curse tattoo appears behind her ear, and then, suddenly, her body goes limp. She falls…

And it’s Jun who catches her. “We meet again,” he says, and Seo-ri’s hair returns to its original color and the curse tattoo disappears. She loses consciousness.

In Hong-joo’s lair, the prince’s rattling jar stills as Hong-joo stares, confused. The talisman barrier reappears at Cheongbing Temple.

Yo-gwang confirms to Jun that the curse mentioned in the Mauigeumseo refers to Seo-ri, and that the tree-shaped mark on Jun’s chest somehow blocks the curse. As they set the temple cave to rights, Yo-gwang takes surreptitious peeks at Jun’s mark, though he’s not very subtle about it. Jun catches him in the act, and Yo-gwang sheepishly tells Jun to take good care of it.

Yo-gwang asks why Jun was in prison, and Jun insists that he was framed as Red Cloak. Yo-gwang alerts at mention of the murderer and says that Red Cloak killed the people who gave their wishes to Seo-ri, preventing her from dispelling the curse. He swears Jun to secrecy just as Seo-ri appears.

Surprised, Seo-ri asks why Jun is here. Yo-gwang explains that Jun is a human talisman shield, although Seo-ri is incredulous.

Seo-ri asks Jun if he saw “everything” last night, as though afraid of his answer. Jun’s hesitation confirms that he did, and Seo-ri tells him to leave immediately. Though Yo-gwang attempts to appease her, Seo-ri demands that he bring her a wish tag immediately, intent on lifting the curse so that everyone can live. Yo-gwang counters that in order to allow her to do so, Jun will stay with them until the candles are all lit, and grudgingly Seo-ri accepts the situation.

Poong-yeon recovers from his collapse after his curse tattoo reappeared, and his mother surreptitiously peers behind his ear for a look. She inquires about Poong-yeon’s progress in the search for Yeon-hee/Seo-ri, clearly concerned that his condition might be related to the curse.

On his way out, Poong-yeon tells Sol-gae that he experienced similar symptoms the day Seo-ri disappeared. He’s worried that something has happened to her.

Checking Jun’s empty cell, Poong-yeon concludes that Jun must have had outside help in escaping. Sol-gae believes that he must have already left the area, but Poong-yeon flashes back to his interchange with Jun, who’d been dead-set on catching Red Cloak. He believes Jun is still around and suggests that they visit the Hundred Year Tree.

As Jun watches Seo-ri make another potion, he asks her if it’s true that nothing will happen to her if he’s present. Seo-ri is still skeptical that Jun is really a human talisman shield, but Jun comments that she must feel cooped up, being stuck here like she was stuck at her house in the Black Forest.

Jun says that if there’s somewhere she wants to go, he can go with her. His words finally make Seo-ri pause and look at Jun, though she doesn’t say anything.

Jun asks if she’s going to keep ignoring him, but Seo-ri simply tells him that she’s no longer the same person and that it’s better for him if they both don’t know each other. Jun asks why she didn’t give him the real Oblivion potion then.

Seo-ri angrily interjects, telling him to mind his own business. Jun says that he already knows some things about her and gently tells Seo-ri that he wants to help her.

In the palace, a eunuch comes across a lamp with a note underneath. As he retrieves it, Hyun-seo stands watching from behind a pillar. The note is delivered to the queen dowager, who stares at it with great intensity.

The councilors inform the king that there are rumors that Red Cloak is still alive. The king is furious at the insinuation that he caught the wrong man and rails at his court, just as the queen dowager is announced. She immediately takes the king to task for being too emotional.

A heated exchange ensues. The king resents the queen dowager’s interference in his court, while the queen dowager directly asserts her right to oversee state affairs if the king is mentally or physically unwell.

The king summons the head eunuch to escort out the queen dowager, but then she orders her eunuch to bring in someone: the attendant who has been secretly treating the king’s condition. At the queen dowager’s prompting, he reveals the truth of the king’s health.

In shock, the king shouts in rage that it’s a lie, just as his condition flares up and he collapses from pain. Blood begins dripping from his sleeve. The queen dowager feigns concerns for the king’s health, her voice steely as she promises to take care of the state affairs.

Kneeling by the king’s bedside, Hong-joo sprinkles ash over a brazier and sends black smoke into the king’s nostrils. Fresh blood has soaked through his sleeve.

The king opens his eyes and hisses that Hong-joo said she would cure him. His hold on the throne is shaky as he isn’t a direct descendant from the previous king, and everyone is trying to kill him; Hong-joo must quickly heal him.

Hong-joo tells the king to stay calm. She’ll clear the obstacles in his path, one by one. The king questions why Hong-joo would do that for him. He has already re-established the shamans in the palace — wasn’t that what that she wanted?

Hong-joo answers forthrightly that there’s more she wants: to rectify the affliction in the country. In reducing the power of the queen dowager, she wishes to remain his majesty’s faithful subject.

Back in the temple, Jun inspects the ingredients of the potion that Seo-ri is working on, noting that it’s a ghost-seeing potion. Jun wonders why she’s making it, but Seo-ri coldly states that she must complete her work so that Yo-gwang can send him away. She asks him not to interfere.

Jun grumbles in response, ready to leave. He turns back, however, to observe the completed potion percolating into a jar. Jun drinks the potion and the character for “ghost” appears behind his ear.

Seo-ri chases after Jun, who intends on questioning the ghosts of the people killed by someone he needs to catch. He tells Seo-ri that she needs to go with him as well, wrapping a coat around her and remarking happily that it looks pretty.

Overriding her protests, Jun cites Yo-gwang’s words that they must stick together. Then he guesses her true concern, that she’s anxious that he might not really be a talisman shield. He reaches for her hand and clasps it in his, telling her that it’s all the more reason to test it out.

At the gibang, Ok questions the palanquin bearers about who paid them to hand over his palanquin. Frightened, a man gives Soon-deuk’s name.

Ok’s men track down Soon-deuk and he demands information about Jun. Even under duress, Soon-deuk denies all knowledge of his whereabouts. Ok grabs her by the hair and with a chilling smile, says that if Jun’s hiding, then he just needs to come out.

Walking through town, Seo-ri attempts to keep her face hidden and nearly collides with several people. Jun pulls off her head covering and turns Seo-ri so that she can take a good look around her, pointing out how everyone is going about their business.

Jun tells Seo-ri that she looks very normal, then jokes that they might stare a bit because she’s pretty. Exasperated, Seo-ri marches off.

Jun begins to follow, but suddenly shouts in horror at the sight of little ghost boy. Jun runs to hide behind Seo-ri, cowering in fear as Seo-ri mutters, “Who’s the shield?”

Seo-ri asks Jun who he wants to meet. Still clinging to her, Jun says he wants to meet his friend, who was killed because of him.

Arriving at the Hundred Year Tree, Poong-yeon notes the messages left behind calling the tree the Murderer Tree. Poong-yeon directs Sol-gae to search for clues. Sol-gae asks Poong-yeon if they are chasing Jun or Red Cloak, to which Poong-yeon answers: both. One will appear if the other is chased.

Jun and Seo-ri peer into the entrance of the gibang, and Seo-ri isn’t particularly happy that Jun seems awfully familiar with this place. They sneak inside and to avoid detection, Jun suddenly shifts to hide behind a wall. He’s pressed up against Seo-ri and his proximity unnerves her. Jun peers around the corner, just as a ghost appears right in front of him, and collapses with a wail. Seo-ri looks too, then gives him the side-eye when there’s nothing to be seen.

Gathering up his courage, Jun continues on, fearfully making his way to Man-wol’s room. Jun enters with his eyes closed and arms swinging, but nothing manifests… just as a ghost pops her head down from the ceiling, upside down. Jun swiftly retreats, telling Seo-ri that there’s nothing here at the gibang and they should just go. Seo-ri is having none of it though; how can he find clues like this?

Cut to: Jun sitting outside with another ghost, trying to ask questions about whether she’s seen Man-wol. The ghost doesn’t respond, and Jun gives up.

Jun and Seo-ri start to leave, and just as Jun turns toward her, he recoils in fear — Seo-ri’s surrounded by a group of ghosts, though she doesn’t see them and looks around blankly while he nearly sobs from fear.

Jun decides that they’ll look for Man-wol where she died instead of where she lived, and head to the water mill. It’s empty at first, but when Jun turns to go, a creaking noise draws him back and he sees Man-wol’s ghost there, pretty and unscarred.

Jun’s eyes well up and he asks who did this to her. Man-wol looks down at the ground, where a round mark has appeared in the dirt. (For the eagle-eyed, this is the mark that once appeared on Poong-yeon’s neck when he was briefly possessed. Does this mean it’s the Red Cloak’s mark?) As Jun turns to leave with Seo-ri, Man-wol slowly drops to one knee, bowing and smiling gently at him.

Back at the Hundred Year Tree, Poong-yeon decides to leave, since they don’t know when Jun or Red Cloak might reappear. Sol-gae reluctantly agrees, without the support of other police, it’s difficult to capture Red Cloak. Poong-yeon turns to look at the tags one last time, and confirms with Sol-gae that Red Cloak kills the ones who hung wishes on this tree.

As they walk back, Jun explains to Seo-ri how Man-wol had been murdered by Red Cloak while waiting at the water mill for him. Jun asks why she didn’t ask more questions, to which Seo-ri responds that Jun has also looked the other way the other night.

She asks if he wasn’t scared by how she looked, meaning when she was in the throes of her curse. Jun pauses before gazing at her eyes, replying that he was a little surprised and his heart ached. Suddenly embarrassed, Jun changes the topic and asks where they’re going. Seo-ri simply answers that it’s somewhere she wants to go before returning to the temple.

Jun and Seo-ri arrive at the Hundred Year Tree just as Poong-yeon and Sol-gae leave in the distance. Jun notices a tag that says, “I want to meet once more the person that I miss,” taking it with him as he moves to look at the signs saying “Murderer Tree.” Belatedly, he tries to distract Seo-ri from seeing the signs, but it’s too late and Seo-ri asks haltingly why the Hundred Year Tree is now called the Murderer Tree.

Back at Cheongbing Temple, Yo-gwang angrily confronts them for leaving the safety of the temple. Seo-ri instead asks Yo-gwang how the Hundred Year Tree became a Murderer Tree. Now she wonders if the twelve candles that went out correspond to dead people.

Yo-gwang finally tells Seo-ri the truth, that Hong-joo had sent an assassin to kill the wish-makers. Seo-ri is devastated to discover that those people had died because of her and feels that no matter what she does, she’s trapped by the curse.

Crying angry tears, Seo-ri falters. Jun catches her before she falls, telling her that it’s not her fault. Seo-ri asks if Jun’s friend died because of her too, but he replies gently that he’s already told her that Man-wol died because of Red Cloak. Seo-ri looks up at Jun with tears rolling down her cheeks and asks him once more to let go. Jun finally complies, and the men watch her go sadly.

The queen dowager summons Hong-joo and coldly inquires after the king’s health, concerned since it’s the body that the prince’s soul will be inhabiting. Hong-joo pointedly notes that queen dowager has been handling state affairs, to which the queen dowager responds that her son’s throne must be strong.

The queen dowager orders Hong-joo to complete a ritual for the king’s health, requesting her presence in court the next morning to discuss the issue. While superficially the two women appear civil, there is an undercurrent of tension.

Seo-ri walks among her candles and comes to the twelve that have gone out. She kneels in front of them and puts her head down on her knees.

Jun comes up behind Seo-ri and looks at her sadly. He looks at the wish tag that he took from the Hundred Year Tree and takes a seat just around the corner, out of sight yet still right beside her.

Jun begins to talk, telling Seo-ri that because of him, his mother died and his friend died. Since he thought it was his fault, he couldn’t do anything. He was told that his existence was wrong, but he wanted to fight to live. If he fought, he’d be able to become someone who could help others. And then, he might be able to find a reason to live.

Seo-ri listens quietly and raises her head, looking up at the candles that had gone out.

At the palace, the queen dowager sits behind the king as she announces the ritual for the king’s health to the court. There is barely disguised frustration and anger on the king’s face. And then, the queen dowager proposes to hold the ritual at the court’s Taoist temple as well as the shamans’. Hong-joo’s smile slowly fades as the court begins to murmur and the king snorts in disbelief.

The king shouts that he will do what he thinks best. The queen dowager is unperturbed by the king’s outburst and rises as she announces that she reappoints Choi Hyun-seo the head of the Taoist temple. Then he enters court to join them, and Hong-joo’s eyes widen in shock.

Furious, Hong-joo returns to her quarters, and hears that Hyun-seo is currently meeting with the queen dowager.

The queen dowager consults with Hyun-seo regarding Hong-joo’s motives. He informs the queen dowager that Hong-joo used black magic to impregnate the queen dowager because she wants to destroy the country through cutting off the royal bloodline. Hong-joo cannot lift the curse as it is bound to her, and it can be dispelled by only one person: the crown prince’s twin, the princess.

Meanwhile, Hong-joo reveals to the king about how the crown prince and princess were conceived and the resulting curse, conveniently leaving out her role in the story. Hong-joo tells the king that the unstable state of the nation and his illness are a result of the curse. Despite orders to kill the princess and thereby effectively removing the curse, Hyun-seo saved the princess.

Indignant and incredulous at the queen dowager’s schemes, the king asks where the princess is. Hong-joo smirks.

The queen dowager is surprised to know that the previous king, her husband, had tasked Hyun-seo with protecting the princess. She’s also stunned to discover that the king knew about everything, including how the twins were conceived and the curse. The queen dowager blames herself, but Hyun-seo reassures her that the princess will stop Hong-joo.

Hyun-seo explains how he has kept her hidden, instructing her to dispel her curse. The princess should know by now that she can no longer hide. She is strong and will face her opponents.

Seo-ri bows to the unlit candles, then takes one and strides off to make a request to Jun. Yo-gwang attempts to prevent Seo-ri, but she insists on ensuring that the wish-makers are safe. Yo-gwang is worried for her safety, but Jun agrees that a frontal attack is the best: They need to show that they aren’t scared. Seo-ri nods in agreement.

Having been reinstated as the court’s head Taoist master, Hyun-seo enters his building and clutches his abdomen in pain. He opens his top, revealing a thorny mass pushing its way through his flesh.

Hong-joo arrives and offers to ease his pain, looking genuinely upset to see him in pain. But Hyun-seo refuses her help; even though she saved him to kill Seo-ri, he won’t move according to her will. Hong-joo tells him to give up the princess, and that he is barely alive thanks to the black magic.

Hong-joo tells Hyun-seo to take her hand to live. As she offers his hand to him, Hyun-seo grabs her and pulls her close. He grits out that she will regret reviving him, as he will make sure the curse takes her.

Provoked, Hong-joo throws his arm off and tells him to give it a try. However, he should remember the reason why he is still alive right now. As she leaves, she tells Hyun-seo to come to her if he’s come to her if he’s in pain.

Seo-ri, Jun, and Yo-gwang set out together that night. Seo-ri’s made a dreaming potion so that the wish-maker can meet the person they miss in their dreams. When they arrive, no one answers and the home is dark, so they split up to search the house.

Seo-ri and Jun spot something around the corner of the house and hurry forward. Approaching someone around the corner, Seo-ri asks if they left a wish tag at the Hundred Year Tree.

Just then, someone brings a sword to her neck, while another person steps up to do the same to Jun. It’s Poong-yeon and Sol-gae.

It takes a second for Poong-yeon to register who he’s looking at, and then he realizes, “Yeon-hee-ya!” Seo-ri’s just as stunned, answering, “Oraboni!”

COMMENTS

After the cliffhanger from Episode 8 last week, I was super excited to be recapping Episode 9. There’s so many interesting details to discuss in this week’s episode!

In some ways, I actually find the queen dowager to be scarier than Hong-joo. Hong-joo has been very consistent about her objectives, so I feel like I know what to expect from her. However, the queen dowager is a little more opaque and her intentions aren’t always clear to me. Her loyalties seem so subjective, one moment she’s against Hong-joo returning to the palace, the next she’s actively working with Hong-joo to replace the king’s soul with her son’s. It was especially chilling how she refers to the king simply as a body, reducing the king to a host for her son’s soul.

It’s unfortunate that Seo-ri blames herself for the deaths of those who left wishes at the Hundred Year Tree. Her attitude isn’t particularly healthy; Seo-ri shouldn’t and can’t hold herself responsible for the acts of a murderer. That guilt is Red Cloak’s to bear. As a result, I really appreciated when Jun shared his perspective with Seo-ri. He’s had his fair share of unfortunate events happen to him and to overcome the tragedy of those events, he’s learned to return the onus of responsibility back on the real perpetrators. Happily, Seo-ri seems to have taken his message to heart.

I’ve been a little conflicted about Yo-gwang and his role in Seo-ri’s life. At first, I thought the way he tried to protect Seo-ri was really sweet and I enjoyed the comedic moments. However, it’s evident that his method of protection has actually been more harmful. Being better informed would have allowed Seo-ri to find a solution for keeping the candles lit, while Yo-gwang’s method is so ineffective that it drives me nuts. Hyun-seo also tried to protect Seo-ri (and Poong-yeon) by not giving her the details of her curse, which obviously backfired earlier in the drama. By attempting to do the same, Yo-gwang ignores the fact that Seo-ri is now an adult who is more than capable of making her own decisions. He seems to have come around to the idea now that Seo-ri might be better off in charge of her own future now though, while Hyun-seo’s certainly done a 180 — I was not expecting him to have removed the talisman protections under his own volition.

I think that’s why I’m especially glad to see Jun back in Seo-ri’s life. Jun challenges Seo-ri to face her fears in ways that her surrogate father Hyun-seo and protector Yo-gwang have never encouraged. Jun does so not because he’s reckless or ignorant of the ramifications of the curse, but because he believes in Seo-ri. I love how they are equal partners, though Jun is surprisingly a big scaredy cat. In a way, they’re two sides of a coin: Both of them have been isolated from society, ostracized because of the circumstances of their birth, and yet still, determined to see their individual causes through. They’re fighters.

Also, how awesome is it that we finally get to see Seo-ri begin to actually live and interact with the world? It’s especially beautiful to me that Jun gets to be the agent for her new-found level of freedom. Jun’s presence as a walking talisman shield affords her a degree of leeway against the constraints of her curse that she’s never been able to experience before.

In town, it was clear that she was overwhelmed, yet Jun doesn’t let her hide behind her fears; he pulls off her cover and shows her that she can be normal. I think she really needed that moment. I’m sure she’s always known that she was different from other people and being able to feel normal for a little bit gave her freedom to just be herself, undefined by the curse.

Ultimately, I’m just so happy to see Seo-ri emerge out into the world. She’s no longer a child and it’s time for her to finally fly free of her nest.

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Cheap thrills, I know, but it looks like my constant refreshing has paid off! d=

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I know exactly how that feels. Just parking myself at dramabeans, refreshing every 10 seconds.

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I love love love the bromance between Yo-Gwang and Heo Jun. I think Yo-Gwang is relieved to finally have someone else to share his huge secret (and responsibilities of protection) with. Pretty cute how Yo-Gwang was so eager for Heo Jun to leave their sanctuary, since he was suspicious of outsiders and HJ-SR's familiar relationship, but is now Heo Jun's biggest champion after realising how crucial HJ is to their mission.

And it just cracks me up how Heo Jun's curiosity always leads to him "stealing" random potions.

As much as I want to know more about the other mysterious bits of the plot, I'd love more time between Heo Jun and Seo Ri. He is tender towards her, seeing through her brave front and reaching straight out to her loneliness. His words and actions are seemingly small but have a profound impact on giving her a taste of "normal" life and making her feel at ease - the way he rescued her at the start of the episode without being the least bit startled by her appearance, offering to bring her to town, showing her that it's okay to hold her head high in the crowd.

I've held out hopes for Queen Shim, so I'm really glad to see her coming through in these episodes. I remember how she was tender and motherly to the young shaman girl (Seo Ri's biological mother), and I really hope Queen Shim continues to battle Hong Joo. I really think she's just playing mind games - reverse psychology on the king when aligning herself with Hong Joo, and trying to seem ambiguous enough that Hong Joo still finds her of value - But damn, it seems like the king has gone from accepting Hong Joo's help with lots of cynicism, to eating up her lies hook, line, and sinker.

The chemistry between Hyun-Seo and Hong Joo is really quite interesting. It's pretty obvious that in spite of all their differing ideologies, the two care for each other. I don't think either of them can truly kill each other. (With all the resurrections in this show, I suppose you can never take death/murder scenes at face value) It's a bit frustrating though, that they're close enough to kill - sometimes baiting each other - but neither makes a meaningful move at it. I suppose it's necessary to keep the show running full length, but the logical part of me is so impatient!

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Let's not forget, though, that Queen Shim was motherly to the young shaman girl until she stabbed her in the back, which prompted the girl to issue the curse on the children in the first place.

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Yeah...I'd say no thanks to a mama that sticks a knife in my back for mah bebbies (especially ones I didn't ask for...gosh, this relationship definitely deserve the 'complicated' label!)

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Nice balance of funny, heart wrenching, and creepy scenes in this episode. Jun's reactions to the ghosts were so funny and on point! But that scene with Man-wol made me cry so hard. It's even more painful with that background music and her silence! Even when she's not speaking, I can feel what she wants to tell Jun. Just by looking at her face, I can see that she wanted to say she loved him and it's such a shame it became that way but she'll be fine. Pass the Kleenex, please!

I actually like the battle between the queen and Hong-joo because basically, they were cahoots on this. They both killed the shamaness, hence the curse.

That one scene with Seori just pouring her heart out was so painful. I'm happy that Seori and Jun have each other. They understand what the other is going through and sometimes, that's better than any comforting word.

Thank you for the recaps! I always look forward to them. :D

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I agree! Yoon Shi Yoon's acting was so point with the ghosts. It was the startled and scared but not hysterical. So funny to watch. I feel like I'd act that way if I saw ghosts too.

I also think it's funny that Jun is so curious that he can't just walk by a potion without trying it! He always does the backstep back and you can just see the curiosity in his eyes.

I agree with everyone that I'd like to see more Jun and Seo-ri scenes. They have great chemistry and effect on each other and you can see some kindlings of love between them. Now, I'm not expecting any kiss scenes in this drama between the two given her age (a passionate kiss between a 15 year old minor and a 29 year old man is personally eeky to me even if it's acting, although I understand the characters are closer in age in the story), but I think hugs are ok and just the idea that they love each other will be nice.

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I agree. It's safer since it's a sageuk. You know, where romance equals "Let's give each other a loving look and stare at the sunset together."

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Thank you for the recap,i really enjoy them.

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I've gone back a couple of times to watch the ghost scenes, just because the reaction is so fantastically atypical for being scared by a ghost - rather than scream in fear or be angry, Jun just... collapses, and it's hilarious! It's rare that you get such a shock that your legs go watery, but that appears to be what ghosts do to Jun.

It's not like his mind goes blank or he panics, really - it's more like he sees something that makes his stomach do a somersault and the wind goes out of him. It really made me giggle. Excellent acting choice, so much better than the boring reactions, and much closer to something we've all experienced when you see something that just feels WRONG.

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Hi there! We meet here again :D

And I agree with you about Jun's reaction to seeing ghosts. I think that his reaction is so on point and that's why it's so funny and realistic to me.

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I agree! The love the ghost scenes. His reactions are so funny! I think it's particularly funny bc Yoon Shi Yoon has said that he's not really afraid of ghosts and such and he doesn't scare easily (his first episode on 1 day 2 nights where he goes into the haunted house is fun to watch). What a good acting job on his part!

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His eyes still sparkle even when he's fainting in fear. XD

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oh YSS-shi you sparkle in everything...I wonder if he sparkles after a night in bed.... He really needs to be in a romance drama like asap.

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He was sizzling with LJA in M2F. Don't take the drama seriously though if you decide to watch it. Just enjoy the journey of their love story.

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I loved Me too Flower! I know some people didn't like it but I personally loved it. One of my faves. He does a great job in it, better than Flower Boy Next Door, I think. He plays serious and intense characters well, it's be nice to see him in something really dark. I think he could play a psycho villain really well!

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M2F is one of my favorite dramas. It does get a bit over angsty for my taste at a few points, but I still adore it.

Handcuff kisses for the win!

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I just couldn't stop laughing when Jun starts seeing ghosts. And Yeon Hee's no-nonsense expression makes the scene even more funnier. Hahaha.

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I was so waiting for that scene to be recapped, man, and then it got passed over with so little flair. T-T Well, to each her own.

It's really rare for me to watch a scene twice because I like it so much, and that one just had me busting a gut. YSY is one of my favorite comedic actors in dramaland because he's just so darn genius at it. He makes me laugh more in this obviously-not-a-comedy drama than some rom-coms out there.

Another comment, though: am I the only one disturbed by the huge 14-year age gap between our two leads? Mostly I'm concerned about KSR being a minor. I was recently watching Can You Hear My Heart where she plays the child version of Bong Woo Ri (Hwang Jung Eum), and I thought to myself "Wasn't this drama made....five years ago? And KSR is a child here? What's going on? She can't possibly be a teen right now..." Lo and behold, the girl is sixteen while YSY is thirty. I don't know how I'm supposed to feel if there's a kiss scene coming up, which I feel is most likely the case. O_O

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Considering that they are professionals and that acting may require her kissing (people of her own age or others) I don't find this too disturbing. I am always disturbed when roles require minors to act out sex scenes or really violent scenes (like rape or battery), but since the most that can happen in this drama is some light tender kissing I am not concerned. Plus, regardless of what their ages are in real life or in the drama, we have to remember that girls were considered marriageable as soon as they reached puberty for hundreds of years and that they often partnered with older guys. I'm saying that it what I would want for my daughter, but I think in that sense the casting is not inconsistent with the period the drama represents.
I would be disturbed if they dated in real life, though...

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ooops--meant to say it's not what i would want for my daughter ;)--the marrying someone twice her age at 16!

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True, minors were married off early. Most of the time they were psychologically unprepared, though. And in any case, I'm not saying the characters being of different ages is what's weird, especially since early marriages in that time period were normal (furthermore, Seo Ri is 22 in the drama), but the real-life age is. Yes, they are professionals. Fine. I think I'm just overly influenced in my drama-watching experience by outside factors that I'm aware of (unfortunately). Like with Cheese in the Trap, I was fine with letting the drama take its course until I read about all the back stories. Then I couldn't watch the last two episodes because it left a metaphorical bad taste in my mouth. Man I need to stop letting these things influence me. -_- siiiiiiigggh

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I never have problems with that. First, YSY still looked very young. Secondly, like many have said, in that era, girls as old as Seo Ri are considered as mature and ready to be married. Third, they have great chemistry. I didn't even notice the age and continue to enjoy the good story and everything.

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Yes, I agree. I think I will be disturbed if they had a passionate kiss scene between the two. I think it's a fine line between "just" a kiss and sex scene given that the actress is a minor (she's actually 15 but 16 in Korean age) and at the end of the day the scene would be placing a minor in a part where the audience is seeing her in a romantic/sexual role, or an object of passion/desire. It's very much a fine line. Yes, the actors are actors and I'm sure they'll do a great job and do what they're supposed to but I think the industry should put more thought into protecting minors, that's all. So, frankly I think I'll be totally fine with no kiss scenes between the two. Just little hug and a kiss on the forehead will be more than enough for me~ :)

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Did you watch the episode of 1 Night 2 Days where YSY and crew played a game in a haunted house with ghosts. YSY wasn't scared at all and giggled his way through while Cha Tae Hyun was genuinely super scared. YSY acting in the ghost scenes reminded of Cha Tae Hyun.

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Now we know where he got his inspiration...

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I am curious why some ghosts appear with white faces and in white, while others (Man-wol) look the way before they died, just with pale faces.

It seems like it is for the sake of shocking the audience with their sudden appearances but without having any stories to tell.

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Someone on soompi suggested that it's a case of "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder". Jun cared for both Manwol and (SPOILER REMOVED), which is why they weren't scary to him.

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I've been thinking about that too. Maybe the deformed ones had been there longer or they have grudges yet to be lifted. Manwol didn't seem like she hated anyone so she's still there. More like she was waiting to see Jun before she goes to the afterlife.

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Could be time. Master's Sun had a lot of ghosts and I think the ones who had been dead longer looked/acted scarier because they'd lost an idea of how to be human.

Both Mom and Man Wol were pretty recent, and both had excellent reason to be very careful with Jun.

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Been eagerly awaiting your recap; thank you! Loving the writing and direction of the drama, it's pace-y and kinda unpredictable, but I like the fact that affords viewers (and treats them of capable thought!) the chance to be able to interpret the story on their own terms. Stellar acting on all parts, but absolutely loving Yoon Shiping Yoon, Yeom Jung Ah and Lee Yi Kyung. I can't wait to see more future projects from Kim Sae Ron!

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Damn autocorrect! *Shi, of course! Haha

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I want my personal Jun. Period.

And I find the evils are awesomely scary. That's the first time I'm actually afraid that something bad will happen when the evils appeared on the screen. They're just frighteningly and silently scary.

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We all need our own human talisman whose eyes always sparkle like Jun... *sigh*

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Thanks for the recap...

I'm finding myself increasingly distracted - like pause, rewind, replay level distracted by the hairpieces in this drama. Where do they source these things? The sets are so gorgeous in this drama, as well as the costuming - every little background detail and every little side character has been given a life of its own.

Someone be an angel and tell me where I can drool at more pictures of work-of-art hairpins X(

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I think they're called binyeo(?)

I found a Pinterest board about them, but it's mixed with other hair accessories: https://www.pinterest.com/Albaboaz/binyeo-kanzashi-dwikkotyi/

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Loveddddddddddddd this episode but episode 10 was EVEN BETTER. This drama is awesome! I'll be waiting for that ep 10 recap ;~;

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I agree! Episode 10 was really sweet and it had some crucial reveals... although it kind of points at the possibility of a heartbreaking end, and I can't face the thought of it.

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Well, I also thought about it, but I think Jun is going to interfere somehow in this, first of all, he is a shield for the curse...I hope we get a happy ending :)

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What can I say, the magic of Mirror of the Witch has captured me...and I am happy to report it :D
Not sure which is the best part of the show, I am loving the comedy, the suspense, the thrill, the heartfelt moments...and every second Jun and Seo Ri share the screen :) It's making me laugh and cry, and the time flies while watching, it's been a long time since I enjoyed a drama so much :)

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Well, they didn't say whose "true love." It didn't say whose, to whom it had to be directed, etc. just "true love." We are supposed to think it's Poong Yeon's love for Seori, like Hyeon Su does, but I think the writers have a way out: Sol Gae's love for Poong Yeon.

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I agree with opensesame that the queen is a wildcard and, while I don't necessarily think that makes her scarier than Hong-joo (by now, whenever there's a closeup of her face my blood starts to curdle) she's definitely going to make everything more chaotic with her random behavior. I really wish the show would devote more time to this character so we could understand her mental process. I think she's been unravelling, probably since before the outset of the drama, when she was already cracking under the pressures of the palace. I imagine that once she realized the horror she had agreed to, she tried to preserve her sanity by either ensuring that at least her goal of having a heir inthroned was met, or that she could experience the love of a mother. She must be going nuts trying to hold down the thought of the evil she committed to avoid being cast out, the fact that she agreed to murder her own daughter, the fact that her beloved son is actually NOT her son but the soul of a son she stole from another, and she keeps wavering between wanting to put a stop to the madness or pressing forward no matter what further evils are done so at least one of her goals comes to fruition and "justifies" the means. She is a really juicy character. I hope they give her her due time at some point in the show.

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Yup I also think the Queen is descending into crazy. But at least she's not blindly listening to Hong Joo even with the temptation of getting her son back. Can't wait to see if she will try and make up for her past mistakes. Or if she will favor her dead son over her daughter creating a bigger mess but either way I don't think she will have a happy ending.

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It gets better and better love both KSR and YSY...their are so sweet together...I love the scene when Jun tell Seori she's pretty?funny to look Jun reaction seeing ghost hahaha...both are good at acting,as Jun funniest and Seori seriousness...YSY and KSR well done played...oh I almost forgot Yo gwang, with him in scene,he's like a brother who care about Seori,wish I had a brother like him...appreciate all actor/actress all do a great job...but love all scene with Jun and Seori in.Hope to see more of them thanks for recapping

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I'm kind of used to this culturally-accepted overprotectedness where people are deprived of their agency because important info is kept from them "for their own good" that keeps showing up in dramas.

What I'm curious about is if the Korean audience takes it as still proper, or if shows like this are underscoring and criticizing it.

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Thank you for the recap, Opensesame~!

From episode 01 until the last one, nothing but praise that I could say about this wonderful piece. The story, the casts, the CGI, cinematography and all are simply wonderful. I could not stop gushing over this drama and my newfound love of LJH acting. Splendidly superb is the word.

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This show is just amazing. How many times can I say that before it gets old?

Anyway, I'm glad that Seo-ri is back in the world, and that Jun is able to be with her and is the instrument of her confidence. These two, I swear, I love them to pieces.

Glad that Hyun-seo's back and I hope he screws up whatever plans Hong-joo (and maybe the queen dowager) have going. i'd also like some backstory on Hyun-seo and Hong-joo. There seems to be something between them, or there was. If this was already explained, then I don't remember. Please, enlighten me.

Can't wait for the next episode! Thanks for the recap!

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It never gets old, you can say it more: the show is amazing :D
I'm also loving the moments that Jun and Seo Ri spend together, these two are a pure delight, really good actors.

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How I wish I was an amateur kdrama watcher who just watches dramas without even learning the names of the actors and have not learned about KSR's real age at all. Then I would not be confused this much. I am like,

One moment: They are perfect together, so cute *swoon swoon swoon*
The other: Eew!

One moment: I cannot think anyone else other than KSR in this. She is killin' it!
The other: Why did they have to chose a child actress, wae???

One moment: I do not want to watch a kdrama with a decent kiss in it.
The other: *brain exploiding*

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Well, it's not that bad so far. Fortunately, kisses do not seem to be important for this show, I think it can work very well without it; it's being very innocent and I feel I can relax and watch. And I am loving KSR so much that I cannot say anymore that they made a bad choice casting her. What I expect now is that they respect her youth and do not include any inappropriate scenes.
Anyway, I also prefer to avoid pairings of adult-minor actors, so I hope this does not become a trend.

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thank you for the recaps opensesame!

does anybody know the previous work of this writer? thanks in advance...

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Only one thing: this drama is a masterpiece.
My favourite this year (so far), no doubt about it.

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Thanks for the recap, opensesame!!

This drama is my weekly crack! LOL YSY with his eyes oh-so-sparkly in every scene is hitting his role out of the ballpark. From the tenderness with which he treats Seori while catching her in the opening scene to telling her his own experiences of unfortunate events to spur her to get out of her slump. So much love!!

Love Jun's reactions when seeing ghosts and the role-reversal with him hovering behind Seori. XD YSY's acting mass these scenes so comedic. I love how Jun is on the same wavelength as Seori, offering her comfort and solace. So happy to see them together and that Seori finally has a taste of the outside world and can just be normal.

I'm glad Manwol had one last chance to see Jun. Hope she can now go peacefully to the afterworld.

Love the story development and giving clues for the identity of Red Cloak. And it's good to finally see the queen dowager, Hyunseo, Hongjoo, and the king in this battle together. Who will team up with who and what will ultimately happen... I'm just glad Hyunseo is back so that Hongjoo doesn't have full reins on what's going on in the palace.

I had a feeling the wish tag was purposely hung on the tree by Poongyeon to try to encounter Red Cloak. So, the end scene wasn't too much of a surprise.

Anyway, anticipating the next ep's!!

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AWESOME DRAMA. And I couldn't care less about the age gap. They have lots of chemistry. KSR will be 16 in July (17 Korean age) and she has portrayed many intense and troubled characters before so I don't think a kiss with a guy who barely looks 29 years old will be a problem for her. (Aslo, If we ask 16 years old teenagers if they like Yoon Shi Yoon, 9 out of 10 will tell you they are in love with him hahaha).

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I also wonder were the Queen's Dowager loyalty is for. Is it for herself, so she can gain power or for the son she lost.
Thanks for the recap.

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4 Reasons You’ll Be Hooked On “Mirror Of The Witch”

http://www.soompi.com/2016/06/12/4-reasons-youll-be-hooked-on-mirror-of-the-witch/

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I'm a bit confused - if the previous king was the queen dowager's husband, then who is the current king? The previous king's younger brother?

And how did the previous king die?

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Shades of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and the "Drink Me" bottle... Jun's taking a swig from the "Ghost" bottle was a hoot. I have to admit that Joseon had much better labeling laws than Wonderland.

Jun's encounter with the boy ghostie cracked me up. The little shade was channeling Linda Blair in THE EXORCIST -- minus the pea soup... ;-)

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