Bring It On, Ghost: Episode 4
As Bong-pal and Hyun-ji embark on their joint ghostfighting venture, they can’t help but grow closer in the process. They’re learning about each other, and that can only be good for their new partnership. But it’s not all hearts and roses, as some of the revelations are dark and painful, and it’s not easy to open up to someone new even if she is “just” a ghost.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Bong-pal burns the peach dress he just bought for Hyun-ji, and downstairs, her school uniform fades away and is replaced by the pretty new outfit. She smiles happily to herself, then travels upstairs to show Bong-pal. She looks so pretty, all Bong-pal can do is stare.
Bong-pal looks at something on his phone, then picks up Hyun-ji in a princess carry. She’s just about to swoon when he says they have to go to work. Heh.
Elsewhere in a sauna, a woman is showering alone. Her water turns off by itself, and a creepy hand reaches out of a black mist to touch her leg. She looks down and sees a face leering at her out of the mist, and she screams.
Bong-pal doesn’t hold his apartment door open for Hyun-ji, assuming she’ll just walk through it, but instead she bumps her nose. Bong-pal doesn’t even notice when he goes back out to tell her they have another job, and Hyun-ji whines for a day off, tired from last night’s ghost-fight. Bong-pal reminds her of their agreement, pulling her along behind him when she tries to refuse.
Chun-sang complains about the state of the room after the confrontation with the idol ghost, and says that he needs to thank Bong-pal for saving his life. He wonders how Bong-pal knew he was in danger, but before he can tell him, In-rang gets a message from Bong-pal. Chun-sang assumes it’s to check on him, but HA, it’s a reminder for his payment.
Chun-sang is flustered that Bong-pal didn’t rescue him out of the goodness of his heart, but they don’t have the money to pay him either. The club committee representative knocks on their door just then, hilariously knocking it right off its weakened hinges, and the hiding boys are busted.
The next morning, a sleepy Hyun-ji accidentally walks in on Bong-pal shirtless, and it’s hard to tell who is more surprised (though I notice Hyun-ji got a good gander at the abs). Hyun-ji apologizes, then notices that Bong-pal seems particularly nicely-dressed today, and remembers that today is his class with Seo-yeon.
Shy Bong-pal hotly denies it, looking guilty as sin, and heads off to class. Bored already, Hyun-ji follows him, and Bong-pal doesn’t even seem all that annoyed anymore.
Hyun-ji sees Kyung-ja on campus and shows off her pretty dress, though she notices that she’s still wearing her sneakers. Kyung-ja asks if it’s the guy Hyun-ji kissed who burned the dress for her (ha, she calls him “Soondae,” for his soft lips), and immediately assumes romance.
Hyun-ji says it’s not like that, that she only got the dress because she nagged, and anyway he likes someone else. Still, when Hyun-ji pops back to Bong-pal, she can’t help but look at him differently. She sneers when Bong-pal bounces over to Seo-yeon like a loyal puppy, and she’s jealous of Seo-yeon’s feminine heels.
Bong-pal moons at Seo-yeon while they prepare for class, and Hyun-ji teases him for liking her so much. Thinking to force him to talk to her, she pushes Bong-pal into Seo-yeon, but Hye-sung arrives for class so Bong-pal can’t talk to her.
Hye-sung realizes he’s forgotten some class materials just as Hyun-ji is leaning close looking at the scratch on his hand, and though he doesn’t appear to see her, he actually side-steps to avoid walking through her. Huh, interesting. During class Hyun-ji tells Bong-pal that she thinks the teacher can see her, but he blows off her concern.
Bong-pal goes looking for Chun-sang and In-rang when they don’t answer his payment request, and finds their club room cleared out. He tells Hyun-ji that if he doesn’t get paid, that ghost fight doesn’t count towards what she owes him, and suddenly she’s as angry as he is.
Between Bong-pal and the money they owe the school to repair their room, the boys can’t afford either, and they argue about what they’re going to do.
(Warning: The following scene has some disturbing moments depicting violence against animals. Just a heads-up to those who may find this upsetting.)
Seo-yeon sees a friend who didn’t make it to class today, who turns out to be the girl who was feeding the stray cat that ended up dead. She’s acting strange, and when she sees Hye-sung, she remembers seeing him crouching near the spot where she found the cat’s body.
She’d watched while he’d picked up the cat, then calmly squeezed the life out of it. When it was over, he’d actually smiled, then he’d seemed to sense someone nearby.
The girl gets up and leaves, leaving Seo-yeon wondering what’s wrong, and dropping a pen from her bag in the meantime. Seo-yeon picks it up, and realizes it’s Hye-sung’s pen.
Instead of lunch, Bong-pal presents Hyun-ji with a test — he needs to know how much she knows so he can tutor her. She’s ungracious about it, but she takes the test, and Bong-pal gives her a little head-pat as a reward.
When she’s done, she figures that she’d need a score good enough to get into this college in order to move on, and Bong-pal grades the test and grumps that she won’t be ascending any time soon. Ha. Hyun-ji argues that it’s been five years since she studied after all, and Bong-pal jokes that this is the easiest test.
Seo-yeon takes the monogrammed pen to Hye-sung, telling him that her classmate Hyun-joo had it. Hye-sung thanks her and asks after the dog, but his expression turns frightening once he’s alone. He goes to the spot where he killed the cat and finds a small bouquet of flowers, and knows that Hyun-joo saw him that night.
Monk Myung-chul goes for acupuncture treatment, and the doctor asks if Bong-pal knows he did this to himself to save him. Myung-chul says of course not, and forbids the doctor to say a word about it. They discuss Bong-pal’s father, who seems to have moved again without telling anyone where he’s gone.
The doctor asks if he’s still chasing the evil ghost that killed his wife, and gives Myung-chul a photo of young Bong-pal and an unfinished letter that he found at his last residence. That seems to indicate that he left in a hurry, and the doctor says that the landlady mentioned that someone else was looking for him. She didn’t see his face well, but he was young and handsome.
In-rang tries to sell his video camera to raise some money, but the shopkeeper refuses it, saying that it looks like something was forced into it. In-rang blinks over at Chun-sang, who tries to play innocent, but he finally admits that he messed with it without permission. In-rang lets out a furious primal scream.
All sweetness and light now, Chun-sang treats In-rang to lunch. In-rang makes him show all the money he has, and their combined fortune is pathetic. He’s still angry, but In-rang invites Chun-sang to stay with his family for now. But Chun-sang declines, so In-rang just leaves in disgust… with all the money, hee.
That night Bong-pal presents Hyun-ji with a huge stack of books, telling her it’s only the beginning. She fakes a stomachache and tries to run off to the bathroom, but Bong-pal stops her: “You’re a ghost.” Heh. He starts with math, but Hyun-ji nods off, and he has to catch her before she topples over. He lays her head on the table and pushes her hair off her face, letting himself smile at her for a moment.
In-rang finds a sauna offering a steep discount, and Chun-sang wonders why the place seems so empty. They lay down to sleep in the steam room, and Bong-pal texts again about his money. Chun-sang takes the battery out of the phone, and they settle in to sleep.
Some time during the night In-rang leaves the room to avoid Chun-sang’s snuggles, and the lights flicker out. Chun-sang snorts awake, and finds a ghost breathing black smoke down at him. He tries to escape but the door is locked, and the ghost pulls him away from the door every time he gets to it. In-rang finally rouses and sees his friend seemingly struggling alone in the room, and he easily unlocks the door.
Hyun-ji sleeps all night on the coffee table, and yells at Bong-pal for not moving her to the couch. He snarks that she’s too heavy, and goes to shower before she can make him pay for that remark.
She notices that he left the door open to a spare room, one he’d told her not to enter, so of course she goes right in. It’s filled with boxes and personal belongings, and a shelf of videos all marked with the name “Hong Myung-hee.” But the thing that interests Hyun-ji most is a box containing a pair of pretty, strappy heels.
When Bong-pal finishes his shower Hyun-ji asks him to burn the shoes for her, which makes him angry. He yells at her for coming in here without permission and touching his things, and cruelly reminds her that she’s a ghost. “Don’t act like you’re human.” Ouch.
Chun-sang is exhausted from his ghostly encounter, and In-rang does some research and discovers that the sauna was so cheap because a man died there a month ago. An exorcism was performed, but it didn’t succeed, and now the sauna can’t get any customers.
The two friends head off to nap in an empty lecture hall, but run straight into Bong-pal instead. They lead him in a merry chase around the quad, and Bong-pal eventually catches them and flings them to the ground. Chun-sang swears they didn’t mean to cheat him, they just need more time, and In-rang promises to pay up in two days.
By lunchtime Bong-pal is feeling Hyun-ji’s absence, worried about whether she’s eating. She’s thinking about him too, wondering if she should go to see him, but she remembers his harsh words and stays put.
Chun-sang and In-rang cook up a scheme to get the sauna to pay out, and hilariously suit up for the confrontation. Are they trying to look like the men in black? They find the sauna closed, and offer their services as ghost hunters.
Bong-pal arrives home from school to find Hyun-ji still pouting in the dark apartment, and she answers all of his questions with a petulant Who cares, I’m just a ghost. Bong-pal loudly wonders what he’ll do with all the meat he just bought, and it takes all of Hyun-ji’s strength to keep up her grump as he cooks and eats dinner.
The moment he goes to bed Hyun-ji runs to the kitchen, and finds the table set with a huge meal just for her. Awww.
Hye-sung’s nurses discuss how the clinic is struggling — Hye-sung used to have a clinic in Gangnam and made money hand over fist, but one day he inexplicably moved the clinic to this area. He sends them home and heads out, saying just that he has somewhere to go.
Bong-pal takes a call and also goes out, telling Hyun-ji that he’s going to collect payment from Chun-sang and In-rang. He looks adorably pleased when she asks to tag along… so cute.
He meets with Chun-sang and In-rang, who tell him their plan — instead of paying him directly, they’ll bring him jobs. He starts to walk out, causing In-rang to blurt out that they’ll pay triple his price, and Chun-sang drags him away. Meanwhile Hyun-ji sneaks Bong-pal’s drink when he’s not looking, hee.
Chun-sang comes back and offers Bong-pal the high price while Bong-pal is still snarling at Hyun-ji, making Chun-sang raise the amount even more. That’s enough to have Bong-pal agreeing, and they all head over to the sauna. Hyun-ji is good and toasted by now, from Bong-pal’s drink.
Bong-pal is shown the room where Chun-sang was attacked, but there’s nothing in there now. He’s more concerned with where Hyun-ji’s disappeared to, and we see that she’s fallen asleep in another room.
In-rang tells Bong-pal that the man who died here was a regular, but he wasn’t really welcomed because he used to grope the female customers. The lights start to flicker, but the ghost is actually in the room with Hyun-ji, creeping close to touch her bare leg. She wakes and screams, and Bong-pal goes running.
To Chun-sang and In-rang it looks like Bong-pal is talking to nobody. He’s lured away by the ghost, who pops away and appears next to Hyun-ji again, picking her up and tossing her over his shoulder. Her reflexes are dulled by the drink she had, and the ghost throws her at Bong-pal, knocking them both to the ground.
Chun-sang and In-rang figure out what’s happening, but they’re yanked away when they try to help. They run to hide in the steam room, while Bong-pal fights the ghost and Hyun-ji stops to drink some juice.
She decides to jump in, but her sliding kick is foiled by the ghost, who grabs her and tries to kiss her. He throws her across the room when she spits her juice in his face, and Bong-pal comes in with an awesome rolling wrestling move. The ghost grabs his feet and wishbones him, ouch, but it allows Hyun-ji to spot his weakness right in the middle of his chest.
She slurs to Bong-pal to hit him in his chest, and Bong-pal jumps up and plants his knee right in the ghost’s weak spot. Okay, that was cool.
Hyun-ji is a drunken mess on the walk home, though she claims she’s completely fine. Then she falls over, heh. She tries to teleport to prove how very very sober she is, and pops herself right into a sign. She whines and refuses to go home, and says that Bong-pal needs a beating, but she can’t manage to land a punch.
Bong-pal shakes his head at a drunk ghost, but Hyun-ji asks why a ghost can’t get drunk.”Can’t a ghost want to wear pretty clothes? Why can’t I act like a human?!” She repeats his words that she’s just a ghost, and yells at him not to say things like that.
Crying now, Hyun-ji asks if Bong-pal thinks she chose to die. She wails that she doesn’t even know how or why she died, adding that she doesn’t like being a ghost. She says that ghosts can be hurt too, and calls Bong-pal a jerk. You tell him, girl.
Bong-pal just listens to it all, then piggybacks Hyun-ji home. She pats his face and calls him cute, then smacks him when he says she’s heavy.
Someone calls out Hyun-joo’s name as she’s walking home, and Hye-sung walks out of the shadows, his face a frighteningly blank mask. He says he wants to ask her something, and holds up his pen. He asks where she got it, and laughs when she can’t think of a quick answer.
He advances on her, noting casually that there’s nobody around. Hyun-joo runs, but Hye-sung pops up right in front of her as a cat wails in anguish somewhere nearby. He reaches out and grabs her throat, and Hyun-joo gasps for breath. As he crushes the life out of her, Hye-sung smiles.
I just love how Bong-pal is barely even trying to act like he doesn’t want Hyun-ji around anymore. I’d worried at first, concerned that the bickering (my favorite part of their relationship) would slow down, but they seem as willing to snipe at each other as always. It’s just taking a less mean and more teasing tone, and it feels like they’re just doing it out of habit and because it’s fun, but it’s just as adorable as ever. Mostly I’m just entranced by the change in Bong-pal when Hyun-ji is around — she brings out a lighter side of him, making him seem more like a young college boy and less burdened by life. Hyun-ji is definitely having a positive influence on him, and it already shows.
As much as I adore the show just the way it is, and wouldn’t change a thing, I’m also very anxious to learn about some of these secrets that keep being teased. Hyun-ji obviously has some reason for being a ghost instead of moving on, and I have a feeling that it has very little to do with not having taken the college entrance exams. But interestingly and unexpectedly, Bong-pal is just as much of a mystery here, what with his tragic life story and current problems it’s causing, both the ones he knows about and the ones he’s unaware of.
Clearly, his mother’s death was caused by a supernatural force, and the event somehow caused his ability to see ghosts. But something happened with his father as well, and I’m dying to know why he refuses to have any sort of contact with his dad, even to the point of not reading his letters. If his father is searching for the ghost that killed his mother, why is Bong-pal cutting him out of his life? Myung-chul seems to know the whole story but for some reason is keeping it from Bong-pal, as well as some other secret possibly having to do with the loss of his own shamanistic powers. I’m very eager to learn how all this ties together, and how it fits in with Bong-pal’s ghost-seeing ability.
On the lighter side, I’m going to love it if every ghost Bong-pal and Hyun-ji end up fighting is because it’s attacking Chun-sang. He does seem to be a ghost magnet, doesn’t he? It’s already turning into a cute running joke, the way he keeps ending up being this damsel in distress, and Bong-pal and Hyun-ji have to run to the rescue. I’d assumed that Chun-sang and In-rang would help fight ghosts eventually, but if their narrative purpose is actually as procurers and/or ghost-bait, I’m pretty much fine with that, too.
This show does a very good job playing the funny and the scary against each other, and I’m actually pretty damn impressed with the excellent balancing act. Normally a show that offers two buffoons running around screaming, side by side with a (probably) possessed man who strangles cats and coeds in his free time, cute flirty bickering and suicidal idols, would feel very dissonant and off-putting. But the scenes are edited in such a way that it never feels jolting to switch from one tone to the next, and I find myself cringing and laughing equally without any of it feeling out of place. The show is a good story, but it’s also good storytelling, and that’s what makes it such an addicting watch.
- Bring It On, Ghost: Episode 3
- Bring It On, Ghost: Episode 2
- Bring It On, Ghost: Episode 1
- The ghosts come out to fight in Bring It On, Ghost
- Ghost vs. exorcist in Bring It On, Ghost
- The fisticuffs begin on Bring It On, Ghost
- Bring It On, Ghost’s schoolgirl ghost and her exorcist roommate
- The ghost makes its first appearance for Bring It On, Ghost
- Fake punches and a script read for Bring It On, Ghost