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Mirror of the Witch: Episode 19

It’s been one long, black-magic-infused journey, but we’re finally in the home stretch. In this episode, love is tested, from familial love, to platonic love, to full-out true love. And though I am glad Mirror of the Witch is finally coming to a close (gotta make room for the new dramas, after all), I have to admit I’ll be having a hard time letting it go.

 

 
EPISODE 19 RECAP

The atmosphere is grim as Poong-yeon lights the kindling around Yeon-hee on fire and almost every face turns away. Except, of course, for Hong-joo, who looks so excited she might as well be holding a bucket of popcorn.

Jun goes crazy trying to break out of his cell, throwing himself against the bars and desperately calling out for Yeon-hee.

Also feeling uneasy, the king exits his quarters. As Yeon-hee struggles to get free, storm clouds rush in. Meanwhile, the queen happily admires clothes for her future child. As Yeon-hee struggles, smoke escapes from the urn left in the queen’s room and takes control of the queen, lifting her into the air.

The king starts at the sound of thunder. With a horrible feeling in his gut, he runs into his wife’s quarters, horrified to find her in the air, screaming in fear and pain. The king’s eyes widen as he realizes the queen dowager’s warning of the royal family being cursed if Yeon-hee died was true.

At the burning stake, Yeon-hee flags in despair… but then, her eyes flash and the talisman on her chest (meant to block her powers) starts to burn. Yeon-hee locks eyes with Hong-joo, her eyes flash blue, and then she lets out a blood-curdling scream. The flames shoot up and burn hotter, as though mirroring her anger.

The king rushes to Jun’s cell to confirm Hong-joo’s plot to cut the royal family line with Yeon-hee’s death. Jun begs the king to stop the execution immediately—they don’t have much time.

As the clouds swirl angrily above, Yeon-hee’s hair turns white and she’s encased by a heavenly glow that seems to drain her of her energy. The image hits Poong-yeon as he remembers the last time he’d seen her in this form.

But the image is overpowered by the voices in Poong-yeon’s head. “That isn’t Yeon-hee. It’s not your fault. It’s the fault of those who deceived you.” Poong-yeon clutches his head as the voices continue to confuse him.

The phrase “only you can protect Yeon-hee” snaps him out of the trance, and he gasps at the sight of Yeon-hee. Once all of her energy is gone, Yeon-hee’s hair returns to black and her head slumps forward.

Poong-yeon looks at his hands, horrified at what he’s done, when everyone turns to a frantic voice calling out to Yeon-hee. Jun runs up to the scene, but he’s blocked by a swarm of guards. His voice reaches Yeon-hee and she stirs awake. Thank goodness, she’s okay.

Jun makes sure she’s fully conscious, and then he tears through the guards, knocking down anyone in his way. Poong-yeon joins in to help, slashing Hong-joo’s arm in the process. While Poong-yeon continues to distract the guards, Jun jumps up to the stand and tries to cut Yeon-hee free with his sword.

Yeon-hee’s eyes flash, sending some of the kindling away and shocking the townspeople. Jun finally cuts the ropes and quickly carries Yeon-hee away. Hong-joo watches them escape, unable to stop them.

Back at the queen’s quarters, the smoke leaves the queen’s body, but I’m afraid it’s already caused the damage it sought to do. The queen falls to the ground, unconscious.

Jun takes Yeon-hee back to Cheongbing Temple to rest. He gently dabs the sweat off her forehead with a rag when she brings a hand up to his face. “What is this?” she says weakly, “Why don’t you know how dangerous your life is?”

Jun takes her hand in his and takes a shaky breath. “I couldn’t save my mother,” he responds, tears pooling in his eyes. He hates that he couldn’t do anything for his mother, and he hates that he can’t do anything for Yeon-hee now.

He admits that he was scared. Yeon-hee musters the strength to sit up so she can wipe his tears away. It’s a very lovely moment as they stare at each other silently and lovingly, as Yeon-hee lets Jun cry.

Meanwhile, Poong-yeon removes his robes and we see that he’s still in pain from the black magic infecting his chest.

Soon-deuk fills Jun in on how Yo-gwang got injured, though she promises not to tell Yeon-hee. Yo-gwang wobbles up to them with a cane, shocked that Jun knows about Hyun-seo’s attack. He glares at Soon-deuk for blabbing, but she doesn’t stop there—Soon-deuk mentions that Hyun-seo was trying to get something…

Yo-gwang claps a hand over her mouth and in a hilarious attempt to get her to shut up, he demands she hurry up and treat him because he’s suddenly in sooo much pain. Bahaha, I can’t get enough of these two.

Yo-gwang drags her off, and Jun tries to go after them when he notices Yeon-hee trying to leave. Knowing the king and queen’s baby could be in danger, she has no choice but to return to the palace. Jun sighs in immediate defeat, figuring she wouldn’t listen if he stopped her anyway.

Jun takes Yeon-hee through the marketplace safely until they reach the palace. The eunuch seems to be expecting them and automatically grants them entry. Once inside, he informs them that the queen dowager thought Yeon-hee would return, and that he’d been instructed to take care of her if she did. Yeon-hee wishes to greet her mother, but apparently, she’s in bed with the cold.

It’s bad news for the king and queen—the baby was lost in her womb. Looking utterly disappointed, the king trudges out of his wife’s quarters.

From across the courtyard, Yeon-hee and Jun catch sight of him looking dejected, and it gives them both an idea.

So, they return to Yeon-hee’s room to get to work. Jun cutely ties an apron around Yeon-hee’s waist like a good little hubby, and they set out to make another potion.

They present it to the king as a tranquilizer potion meant to ease the mind. Yeon-hee tells the king to give it to the queen since she’s probably having the hardest time right now.

“Don’t you resent me?” the king asks her. Yeon-hee confirms that she does. But she’s doing this out of pity for the king and queen’s loss.

With a heavy heart, the king acknowledges the fact that he had been inadequate in believing Hong-joo, and vows not to be weak or waver anymore. He entrusts Hong-joo’s punishment to Jun and Yeon-hee, and offers his help to them should they need it.

The king also informs them that Poong-yeon has quit the head Taoist position and is intent on leaving. Yeon-hee rushes off to see Poong-yeon, but his door is locked. She calls out to him, reassuring him that she’s fine.

Inside, Poong-yeon just listens to the sound of her voice, his face resolved. “Yeon-hee, I won’t see you,” Poong-yeon thinks. “No… I can’t see you. I’m sorry.”

Yeon-hee and Jun leave him alone and as they walk across the courtyard, Jun notices the queen dowager watching them. But just as Yeon-hee turns toward her, the queen dowager is already heading back to her quarters.

Yeon-hee goes after the queen dowager so they can talk, but the queen dowager can barely look Yeon-hee in the eye. Though the queen dowager’s method of giving birth was wrong, Yeon-hee is willing to understand her mother’s intentions. Yeon-hee tells her to stay healthy.

At that, the queen dowager finally looks up. She allows her tears to fall as she tells Yeon-hee to break the curse for sure and to live a good life—it’s all the queen dowager wants. “Yes, Mother,” Yeon-hee utters the word out loud for the first time.

The queen dowager crumbles with the weight of that word and continues to cry as she watches Yeon-hee leave.

Hong-joo treats her wounded arm, venting her frustration to Hyun-seo. She’s convinced that she can’t stop now that she’s gotten this far. She orders Hyun-seo to hand over the last page of the Mauigeumseo. He almost does, but he collapses, the fight for his willpower taking its toll on him. Hong-joo snatches the page out of his hand anyway and hastily reads through it.

Now back at Cheongbing Temple, Jun silently watches Yeon-hee brood over Poong-yeon. Compelled to help in some way, Jun creates a potion just for Poong-yeon, labeled “Clear Mirror.”

Jun meets with Poong-yeon to reiterate that Yeon-hee getting hurt wasn’t Poong-yeon’s fault. But Poong-yeon disagrees—it’s all because he had no control over his mind. Jun hands Poong-yeon the potion, hoping it’ll let Poong-yeon see for himself what his mind looks like.

Once alone, Poong-yeon downs the drink, and he’s bombarded with flashbacks of himself in the past, always telling Yeon-hee that he’d protect her. The last flashback shows him as a young boy cradling little Yeon-hee. Hyun-seo had told him to protect Yeon-hee no matter what, and Poong-yeon obediently replied, “I’ll protect her forever.”

“Were my words to protect her too heavy for you?” This time, Hyun-seo’s voice isn’t in a flashback, but right in front of Poong-yeon.

Poong-yeon just says he did as his father asked; he learned then that Yeon-hee was the child he had to protect for his whole life. Hyun-seo asks if Poong-yeon confused responsibility with love. Poong-yeon insists that isn’t it—he wanted to protect Yeon-hee because he truly liked her.

“But you didn’t protect her,” Hyun-seo points out. He says that Poong-yeon’s desire to protect Yeon-hee made him obsessed with her, not in love with her. So, Hyun-seo wonders, can Poong-yeon let her go?

Poong-yeon lowers his head so he can cry, unable to respond. But when he looks up again, Hyun-seo is gone, having only been a figment of his imagination. Poong-yeon heaves a sigh, his sad and lonely expression changing to one of acceptance.

Yeon-hee is surprised when Poong-yeon turns up at Cheongbing Temple, but she’s glad to have the chance to talk with him. He sits her down and apologizes for hurting her when he’d always promised to protect her. He now realizes that all this time, he’d deluded himself that that promise was for her sake and that it was their destiny. And because of his confusion, he ended up putting her in more danger.

Offering her a sweet smile, Poong-yeon tells Yeon-hee he just wants her to be happy now. Yeon-hee returns the smile and rests a comforting hand on top of his. He pats it with his other hand as Yeon-hee thinks, “I want you to live not for my sake, but for your sake.”

And then, another candle is lit. Hurrah! Jun is shocked to see this, his eyes darting back and forth between the candle and Poong-yeon.

This, of course, ricochets to Hong-joo, and this drama must be turning me evil because it’s oh-so satisfying to see her in writhe in pain.

She crawls over to Hyun-seo, and tells him he’s used up all of the black magic within him—he can no longer live as a human or as her puppet. She berates him for telling our heroes about the Blade of Black Magic, and there’s nothing she can do to save him now. “That’s a relief,” Hyun-seo rasps. Because he can finally escape her grasp.

That hits Hong-joo hard. All the affection is wiped from her face, and she gets in close to tell Hyun-seo he’s now of no use to her. She then has her minions drag him away.

The next morning, Hong-joo’s minions get Poong-yeon’s attention while he’s taking a stroll, and they lure him deeper into the woods. He chases after them until he stumbles upon a body sprawled on the ground.

“Father!” Poong-yeon exclaims. After a futile attempt at waking Hyun-seo, Poong-yeon piggybacks him back to safety. Hong-joo watches from afar, turning away once the two disappear.

Poong-yeon brings his father to the Taoist temple, where Yo-gwang bursts through in a worried frenzy. It’s there that Yo-gwang finally spills the news about Hyun-seo’s condition—how he’s been sustained by black magic and how little time he has left. If any more black magic enters his body, he’ll surely die a more painful death.

Yo-gwang gives Poong-yeon a few moments alone with Hyun-seo. Poong-yeon glares at his sleeping father and pounds him with questions: Why didn’t Hyun-seo tell Poong-yeon? Why didn’t he show more trust? Why did he try to endure it all on his own?

Suddenly, Poong-yeon feels a sharp pang in his chest as the black magic inside him begins to take advantage of his despair again. Hyun-seo’s eyes pop open and he brings a hand up to his son’s chest, summoning all the black magic from Poong-yeon’s body into his.

The scar from his blood bond with Hong-joo gleams as it seals the magic inside Hyun-seo, and it causes him to cough up blood.

Hyun-seo looks up at Poong-yeon sadly, apologizing over and over. Poong-yeon begs him not to do this, but Hyun-seo only continues to apologize, trudging away and ignoring his son’s cries.

Hong-joo is startled by the sound of her minions getting slashed down. Her eyes widen at Hyun-seo, standing right in front of her, completely fine. Hong-joo gasps, realizing he must’ve taken his son’s black magic.

Hong-joo quickly grabs the Mauigeumseo page out of Hyun-seo’s reach, saying that Heo Jun threw himself into a fire for Yeon-hee without hesitation—therefore, he must be the one who will make the last candle light up. Which is why Hyun-seo can’t have Hong-joo hurting Jun.

They get in a tussle, with Hyun-seo trying to snatch the page away, until he shoves her to the ground. Kneeling at his feet, Hong-joo begs him for help, not because of the black magic, but because she’s sincerely asking him to save her. She reminds him in tears that she’d trusted and followed him faithfully since she was eighteen, and asks for his mercy.

In a pained voice, Hyun-seo tells her that he won’t let her wrongs go even if she saved him hundreds of time. He wrings the page out of her fist and stalks off, making Hong-joo completely break down into sobs.

Jun and Yeon-hee are gazing at the stars when one falls, causing Yeon-hee’s face to crumple up in pain. “Only two days left,” she notes. Jun wordlessly brings her head down to his shoulder.

“After lifting the curse, we may have ten thousand days left to us,” Jun says, lightening the mood. Yeon-hee figures they must have thirty years together then.

Jun laughs—how can she propose to him so bluntly? She argues she isn’t proposing and they get into a cute little fight while I’m swooning for days over here.

Jun promises her that everything will be all right. They’ll light all the candles and live ordinary lives. Together.

Ok knocks on the door of a small building to come face-to-face with the same old man who had sold the boat tickets to Jun years ago. The old man gives Ok the exact same speech, saying slaves like him usually get caught. Ok eeeases the door shut, muttering a “nevermind.” Pfft, this guy, I swear.

Jun finds Soon-deuk and tries to get her to fess up again about why Hyun-seo attacked Yo-gwang. Jun offers her money, but she’s not interested this time—she claims she also has loyalty.

Jun tries another tactic and explains it’s an important matter. He has to know if he wants to help Yo-gwang. Soon-deuk sighs and relents, telling him that Hyun-seo was looking for the last page of the Mauigeumseo.

As Jun wanders back to Cheongbing Temple, he’s greeted by Hyun-seo, who gives him the very page Soon-deuk had talked about. After Jun confirms Hyun-seo is currently the real Hyun-seo, he learns that the last candle cannot be lit with a wish. “The last candle can only be lit by the sacrifice of true love,” Hyun-seo informs him.

It slowly clicks for Jun as to what he must do: in order to lift the curse, he must die for Yeon-hee. Hyun-seo says he’ll follow whatever decision Jun makes.

Hyun-seo turns to leave, apologizing for all the trouble he’s caused Jun and Yeon-hee. Jun tells Hyun-seo not to blame himself too much. “You were Yeon-hee’s one and only father,” Jun reassures him.

Yeon-hee is waiting up for Jun when he returns. He makes up the excuse that he was looking around for someone whose wish could light a candle. Yeon-hee smiles and says that she won’t be impatient or anxious. She believes everything will be all right, just as Jun said. Jun beams at her hopeful face and nods.

Jun goes up to see the candles alone, eyeing the last candle dejectedly. He unfolds the last page of the Mauigeumseo where it states Hyun-seo’s exact words: Only true love’s sacrifice can break the curse.

Jun sets the page on fire with one of the candles and lets it burn, having made up his mind.

Epilogue. Jun kneels down to where Yeon-hee is sleeping and gently caresses her face, making her smile in her sleep.

“Yeon-hee-ya,” he thinks. “I think I finally found the reason why I was born.” He takes her hand in his, feeling grateful for all the happy times Yeon-hee has given him.

He leans forward to kiss her forehead as he thinks, “During my remaining days, I’ll live for you.” Then he walks away, turning back for one last look: “If this is for your sake, I hope you’ll never find out.”

 
COMMENTS

Oh, man, I was not ready for this episode. The show has been spinning in its wheels a bit throughout its second half, but with it being nearly over, I’m beginning to realize I’m a lot sadder than I initially thought to say goodbye to Mirror of the Witch. Or, I guess, I’m sad to say goodbye to its wonderful characters, since I’ve been emotionally done with the plot for a while now. But this episode really did feel like a farewell as we got some closure for a number of characters. And tears. A hell of a lot of tears.

I was actually taken aback by Hong-joo’s tears especially, but I think it’s about time they’ve been shed. She’s been consistent with her sinister smiles and deadly glares, yet I’ve always felt she was hiding away a load of emotions just waiting to erupt. Having Hyun-seo by her side seemed to be the last thing holding her together, and when he refused to help her, she just fell apart—*snaps*—like that. I’m long past feeling sorry for her after all she’s done to our heroes, but watching that breaking point was oddly disheartening. I’ve been relishing the moments when she’s beaten down by our heroes (because let’s be honest, those moments were pretty rare), but it’s never easy to watch someone fall apart at the seams. Nonetheless, it doesn’t take away my desire for her to get a proper comeuppance. I’m not sure how the drama plans on wrapping up her story—I just hope it doesn’t leave me unsatisfied.

So far, I like what I’m seeing with the other characters. The queen dowager didn’t quite receive forgiveness from her daughter, but there was an understanding between them, and even a little bit of affection on Yeon-hee’s part, that left me with just the right amount of satisfaction. Even the way things ended between Yeon-hee and Poong-yeon felt justified. The flashback of young Poong-yeon determined on protecting his baby sister gave a lot of insight into how his mind was working this entire time, and I can even understand why it was working that way. I never got the feeling that he loved Yeon-hee in that way, so I commend the writers for turning it around to show that more than love, it was more of a duty he felt to protect her.

Which leaves us with Jun. Ah, Junie. His devotion to Yeon-hee has had me swooning for the longest time, and the last scene seriously ripped my heart to shreds. I know for a fact that Yeon-hee would never allow Jun to die for her sake, and I dread seeing her reaction when she finds out what he’s planning. I have a love/hate relationship with the “for one to live, the other must die” element in dramas, so I’m feeling a bit conflicted over this episode’s ending. I, of course, want both of our heroes to live, but unless there’s some loophole waiting for us around the corner, I don’t see that happening. Whether it’s Jun or Yeon-hee who goes, I think the drama could still whip out that satisfying ending. The question is, who will it be?

[Editor’s note: I know the finale has aired, and I know it’s the nature of the beast that most fans have probably already seen it. But out of respect to the recap writer, and to the fans who haven’t seen the finale, PLEASE refrain from major finale spoilers in this post! Also consider fans who come to this show months down the line and don’t expect to be spoiled. It would be the worst type of surprise. Don’t do it! If you can’t refrain for my sake, refrain for the fandom brother/sister/siblinghood! We’re all in this together!
javabeans]

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The only thing missing was brooding shower scene underneath the waterfall.

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We got Yoon Shi Yoon doing that on 2 Days 1 Night.

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Wait what? God damn it I can't watch the episode until Friday.

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Yes he did!! In the latest episode of 2 days 1 night. He was under the waterfall and took off his shirt! You should watch it!

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Gotta check it immediately.
^^

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Oh, yeah... he's a bit shy about his toned body but the cameras seemed to love him stripping off his shirts. We girls are not complaining, are we?

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Hahaha, of course not! It was such a sight!!! I'm still swooning over that scene.

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Amazing what the army does for these guys. When he left for the army he was a skinny guy that didn't seem so confident. I remember how afraid he was to dive on Barefoot Friends. Then on 2 days 1night he dove off that 6 meter cliff like a boss. He also seems more confident all around. Anyway, off to watch the waterfall episode. ?

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Hehe we did get him shirtless when the monk discovered the talisman on his chest though lol xD

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Thank you for the recap, Sailor Jamun. It's been a long, circuitous journey to the matter of the final candle. This has been a beautifully filmed series that would have been perfect in 16 episodes but still leaves me keen to watch the finale.

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I agree, loved the show but the last two episodes specially felt like they were an extension. Lots of fan service- cute moments which seemed rushed, out of place, too light hearted.

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Damn!! It didn't rain and Poon Yeon had no plans!
?

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Haha yeah I was counting on either of those. But it's also satisfying that it was the king - who finally came round - who was the catalyst for her rescue.

I'm not entirely sure of the significance of the temporary hair turning and the protective talisman on her forehead flashing though. Does she still have her powers? Especially since it looked as if her magical auras were leaving her.

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I was alarmed that PY was still so in thrall to the black magic that he could do nothing to counter it -- at first. I was just glad that he came to his senses and fought off the guards and Hong-Joo. When she grabbed the sword and started heading for Yeon-Hee, I thought I was about to see another of her patented Angel of Death demos.

It wasn't clear to me, either, just what was going on with Yeon-Hee's hair, flashing talisman, and aura... But she was still able to push the burning tinder away, so she seems to have retained at least some magical power.

If YH's magical powers were leaving her in the internal fire (perhaps after a certain amount of temporal exposure?), that suggests to me that the internal fire destroys both white and black magic... so that maybe from here on out, YH's heart is what is at work, not her magic.

As for the king, paying the price is sometimes the only way one can learn from one's mistakes. Too bad for the innocent third parties, among whom I include his queen.

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I love, love love the sense that in Hong Joo's mind, she's possibly in some sort of epic romance with the Taoist master.

She's always treated him in a hauntingly loving way that goes way beyond student/teacher, and it's been especially weird to watch her interact with him when they're alone and we all know he's her puppet: instead of ordering him around or ignoring him, Hong Joo's been interacting with him as though this is all normal. In one moment she'll gently ask for something and actually wait for it, and then in another she'll almost kindly point out that he has no free will anymore. But... her tone and her words and posture all make it seem like this isn't an act, that she believes some version of this is real.

It's as though she thinks they are deeply, deeply in love and that her black magic has removed a small impediment to their being together. The fact that that "small impediment" is his free will doesn't bother her. And if he loves her, truly loves her, then surely he'll let her do what she wants because that's what you apparently do when you love someone in Hong Joo's world? She's fascinatingly amoral.

By the way, it's not like she's entirely wrong - while Hong Joo is clearly in love with him, the Taoist also looks at her in a way that certainly makes me think he was very, very VERY emotionally involved with her. If it turns out that he loved her as much as she did him, and that he never followed through on it because of a sense of morals or something, then that would also go into the stew of Hong Joo's slanted perception of what's wrong in the world.

Also, it's kind of made me wonder about what happened between her and the original king - if this twisted way of thinking cropped up when he attacked her, or if maybe that entire episode is filtered through some really skewed world view.

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Liked your interpretation of Hoong Joo's skewed love. As for Hyun Seo, always thought of him as a cold guy, all about duty, responsibility, and all that is proper, proper, proper. Thought he saved Yeon Hui because he cared, but apparently the previous king asked him to. Fallen into a dead comma, and first thing he did after awaking is taking up his responsibility as Head Taoist, no hi for his family. Planning to do a risky thing and probably losing his life, but all he said to his son is "Don't believe what I said". Uh yea, a lot of comfort there, abbuji! It's like he did all the right things, but always try to keep a distant, stay unattached, involving no feeling.
But then remembered that he actually take a slash to save Hoong Joo a long time ago, so he must have felt something for her back then, and maybe that what made him the way he is now...

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As I re-read your comment, "proper, proper, proper" leapt out at me... and I think I got a handle on his motivation. Hyun Seo is the chief Taoist priest, and as such is charged with such tasks as care and feeding of the Mandate of Heaven. If he'd canoodled with Hong Joo, it would have upset the Cosmic Applecart. Oh, wait...

Hong Joo has been so delusional for so long that it would not have mattered what Hyun Seo did. From his point of view, stopping her revenge was his only option all along.

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Ahahaha, Cosmic Applecart! Maybe the canoodling (as far as stoic Hyun Seo can canoodles) traumatised him so bad that he kept holding all his apples tightly and refusing to share them with anybody ever again...

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Wow, I really like how you've described everything.

I wish we knew more (I know there's a webtoon but I can't read it! about their backstory.

The existing flashbacks don't point to very much on his reciprocation (other than when he protected her from never-aging Yo-Gwang), so I don't know if all his indecision towards her stems out of a mixture of pity and guilt (since he was her teacher, and he was lousy at keeping dangerous objects away) - or if he does romantically loves her in some tortured way.

I've always thought it was the latter, but what you wrote made me realise those were my assumptions. Pretty cool to consider a different point of view!

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LOL @ "never-aging Yo-Gwang"

It's got to be all that good, clean Taoist living -- and plenty of Talismanic Band-Aids®

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@Miranda,

Thanks for your insights. My skin has crawled every time Hong-Joo addresses Hyun-seo after she gets him in her clutches.

*shudders at removal of "small impediment"*

So much of MOTW revolves around free will that seems to not be truly free because of circumstances such as social standing, birth, poverty, etc. -- until one considers that some of the most disenfranchised characters are the ones who repeatedly take the high road when turning to the dark side would be so much easier or materially remunerative.

I second you on Hyun-seo's apparent emotional involvement with Hong-Joo. There was definitely something there, judging by the look in his eyes -- but there's also a line in the sand.

In a way, it's a parallel to Poong-Yeon's obsession with Yeon-Hee. Except that dear ole Dad is the object of Hong-Joo's obsession. Like father, like son -- but with a twist. Another misunderstanding, with epic consequences.

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@Miranda
I immensely enjoy DB recaps, but reading comments like yours is the cherry on the pie. Thanks for putting in words what many of us think about Hong Joo. I just want to add that in addition to be beautiful and smart, Hong Joo was right all the time on what's is wrong with the world (although her methods were questionable...most of the time). Best character ever!

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She reminds me a bit of Gwi in Scholar Who Walks The Night. They both do such heartless, scary stuff but they only last that long because they are right (in a way).

Gwi: Humans are animals. They are stupid and not trustworthy.
Humans: *does stupid, non-trustworthy things*
Me: ALL HAIL OUR VAMPIRE OVERLORDS

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Brace yourself for the finale, ladies!

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You and me, SailorJumun, swooning over the "brusque proposal". Such a cute moment!
Guess with all the time this show has, the plot has been stretched thin so holes are appearing more and more. Like why do suddenly Yo Kwang is the expert on black magic and its effect on Hyun Seo? But maybe he's not so expert coz Hyun Seo is suddenly normal and strong instead of being in a lot of pain and half dead *sigh. Also finding it funny picturing him skulking around in the dark forest while waiting for Jun :D
Am a bit sad that Hoong Joo is all teary and weak, but I guess that's part of the punishment as she was on the end of her tether now. Have always envisioned her to go out with a bang, sad that power duel with Yeon Hui is out of the question now...
I still love all the characters, especially our OTP and their sweet moments. Like Jun realising about the sacrifice, he must be feeling awful but still comforted Hyun Seo, such a kind soul. So only waiting for the final episode recap now
*am keeping in and holding back so hard from spoiling
*have... to... be... strong!!!

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Aigoo, this episode. I don't know either how I'm supposed to let go of this drama. HUHUHUHU

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hehehe javabeans,

I was sad by the end of recap and as I already saw the finale but the last we're all in this together made me laugh out loud.
As soon as I read that line the high school musical theme music started playing in my head and I nearly started dancing along.
Thank you for lightening the mood

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Thank you for the recap. I'm reliving the episode again. This wonderful drama that just tugs at your heart for 20 episodes....a bit too much. ?

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Ya know, considering the title of the show, we haven't seen a lot of mirrors lately.

And don't worry about me posting spoilers -- Let's Fight Ghost has driven the final episode of MotW clean out of my mind. In the battle of teen super-starlets in supernatural-themed dramas with awkward OTP age mismatches, KSH totally wins.

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You know, I did not mind one bit by the extension. I welcomed it:). I could go for a couple episodes more. Hong Joo and the Taoist backstory would add more meat, I think.

I'm frantically searching YouTube for fanfic/mv... I'm so not over it:(

BTW, OST , WOW! Loving all of them:)

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I don't think I'm able to type much, too scaredy-cat of giving the final episode away, but, there's one thing that keeps on playing on my mind, Who revived Yeo Gwang when he was supposed to be dead in the earlier episode? Did I missed something, or they really didn't explain his revival (up till this episode, they haven't shown any, btw.)

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@Fieka,

I've been watching the whole Yo-Gwang revival like a hawk myself. You haven't missed anything, believe me.

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+1

19 eps in, and i still have no idea who reanimated YG. And why. ?

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I know who did it.

SPOILER ********the writer********

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@Mary Lol.. definitely the writer. ???

@Paklana Pikake Ikr. I was thinking the whole time, that it cannot be Sir Choi since has was already caught and put under the spell by Hong Joo. And it cannot be Hong Joo to revive him, coz what's the point of her doing that. Really, though. It bugs me.

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Both Hong Joo's character and the actress' portrayal is really interesting.

Part of her knows her plot is evil, but she also behaves as though it's her "right" or that she's the pitiful one.

That scene where she's begging Hyun-Seo to save her - it's fascinating how she can look vulnerable and naiive, as if it's just a tiny indulgence (rather than death and catastrophe) she's asking for.

And like you said, the YH-burning scenes (both this, and the sham one at the hut) always made her look gleeful and excited. Almost child-like.

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@SailorJumun, many thanks for your recaps -- and thanks to all the recappers who have made watching MOTW such a great treat.

I came late to the party because I don't have the bandwidth nowadays to watch it simultaneously with OHYA... The supernatural overload alone would have been too much to follow and process. I'm glad I decided to watch after all, and caught up in time to enjoy the past few weeks discussing it live with fellow Beanies. ;-)

That old Black Magic just doesn't give up, does it? Yet another royal heir done in by the stuff... as the law of cause and effect comes into play yet again. I'm wondering where the danged ectoplasm slithered off to after it left the queen. Is Poong-Yeon a magnet for the stuff?

Speaking of Poong-Yeon, I'm glad to finally learn the backstory on his obsession with Yeon-Hee. It makes sense to me that Dad's command that he watch out for his tiny sister got garbled. As a noona and unni myself, I remember only too well the parental instructions to watch out for my younger siblings and set a good example, and how seriously I took that task... It must have been worse for PY as oraboni, what with the emphasis on protecting. I can see where he could logically conclude that the way to permanently protect her would be to marry her (they aren't blood kin). Another misunderstanding indeed.

Too bad Dad didn't take the time to be more specific or to clear up PY's misconceptions after they became obvious. The kid wasn't a mind reader, darn it! Talk about the cobbler's children going barefoot... But I guess even Taoist masters aren't perfect, and he had his hands full at court...

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Putting more scenes of Jun and Yeonhee together does wonders for this drama. If only they did that earlier. :(

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Well for fans who will visit this thread months down the line i would say WATCH it. Irrespective of ANYTHING it is worth it. I don't know any other show which is more deserving. Despite the reviews and the little buzz it is generating, i feel it is still under-rated.

Yes, the show does come with it's flaws - which show doesn't? But man, aren't all these characters just so powerful and layered. Which other show will give you so much scope for interpretation? Which other show will choke you with so much emotion? Which other show will handle the old school romance so delicately? In which show will you find such strong female characters who do not need any knight and shining armor and can themselves take down and army? The mythology of this show has been consistent to a large extent... there are a very few scenes where i cannot make out what is going on.

Man leads of a very few shows tear me up by their mere mention - this show is one of them. I just love the personal journeys of these along with the journey of their relationship. In one word - it is beautiful. So when they all out in breaking the curse for the greater good, you know deep down all they want is being with each other. For Yeon hi to rest her head on Jun's shoulders while he gives a content smile - their world is just that much. Such a simple dream, that's it. And yet fate is making them do things, which they did not choose for.

Hell there are so many shows out there which make me cringe when people "sacrifice" for the other going down the noble idiocy path. But the last scene teared me up so much...if it is for your sake i hope you never find out *tears*
Just how much convincing this relationship and deep their love is that despite not wanting either of them to sacrifice for the other, you just know why they would choose that path.

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Thank you. I couldn't have said it better. It's been wonderful to watch a show where all, and I mean all, of the characters are 3 dimensional. The actors have done such a great job of showing what's going on just under the surface. I feel kind of empty...I'm really sad about these characters leaving, even the ones I don't like.

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Their love to each other and willingness to sacrifice for each other is so admirable. My heart constricted amd knotted at the last scenes. I always pray for happy ending for these two. They've been through a lot.

Thanks for the recap, Sailor J!

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ahh.. its official, mirror of the witch is one of my favorite historical fantasy drama!!!
The pure innocent love between heo joon and yeon hee is really what i love the most in this show.. waiting for the recap of the finale! thanks for the recap! :)

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Thanks for the recap, SailorJumun!

My heart definitely breaks and melts when Jun is on screen. That love and devotion without hesitation is lovely and heartwrenching. I loved their moments together in this ep, from brewing the potion together to the stargazing and how Jun always tries to make it lighthearted to ease YH's anxiety.

I'm glad PY was able to come to terms with his feelings for YH. I was also touched when YH finally called the queen dowager Mother.

HJ going down was satisfying and I was hoping that HS would finally harden his heart towards her instead of giving her one more chance every time.

YG and SD are so cute and funny together.

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