Bride of the Water God 2017: Episode 7
I’m having a hard time thinking of anything cuter and funnier than Ha-baek in a jealous snit. A furious baby squirrel, maybe? He’s just adorable, and what’s even better are So-ah’s breathless, flustered reactions whenever Ha-baek turns that intense focus on her. These two are definitely experiencing some major attraction, and although they’re still deep in denial, I’m loving every minute of it.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Ha-baek sees the truck barreling down on So-ah and he screams, but he’s too late — when he arrives at the spot where she was standing, she’s gone. He looks around frantically, and across the street he sees Bi-ryum, smirking with an unconscious So-ah in his arms.
She wakes, and Bi-ryum carefully sets her down. Ha-baek manages to stay calm as he asks what happened, and Bi-ryum says he’s been following them all day. He asks So-ah if they had a fight, but she walks away from them both and gets in a taxi without a word.
So-ah’s taxi driver is awfully chatty, saying that she looks like the dead come back to life. He says wisely that people can’t change their fate, but they can improve their lives by manipulating their luck.
So-ah finds Hu-ye pruning trees and hands him the land sale contract, which she’s taped back together as best she can. With an offhand comment that someone must not want her to sell, Hu-ye offers to reprint the contract, and when So-ah insists on signing now, he says he doesn’t have the company’s seal with him anyway.
Disappointed, So-ah apologizes and turns to go. But Hu-ye stops her, and next thing she knows, So-ah is helping him prune trees, ha. As they work, he says that hard labor helps get the mind off of problems.
When So-ah marvels that he has a hobby like this, Hu-ye says that he may seem cold but that he’s actually a very sentimental person. So-ah agrees that he comes across as closed-off, and she asks how he became a successful businessman. Hu-ye says, again a bit too casually, that he can read people’s emotions if he tries hard enough.
So-ah quips that there are lots of people around her who can do that sort of thing. One of them runs like the wind and creates diamonds from nothing, and another becomes an expert at something after only seeing it done once. Hu-ye just smiles knowingly.
So-ah asks why Hu-ye spends his free time taking care of trees. He says that trees live a long time, and that they create forests but still coexist peacefully with other living things, and even provide for them when needed.
He asks if tiring herself out made So-ah forget her problems, then asks what upset her. She sighs that she feels strangely compelled to unload herself to him. He says that it’s just because he’s another person, and tells her to think she’s talking to a tree.
So-ah admits that she made a mistake — she started relying on someone, then formed expectations. She adds that the worst part is that she opened up to them, but they weren’t the sort of person she should have opened up to, because they’re just going to leave.
Hu-ye says compassionately that that sounds like a bad person, if they knew they were leaving and messed with her heart anyway. Meanwhile, Ha-baek keeps watch for So-ah from his rooftop until after dark.
Hu-ye drives So-ah home, and she apologizes for misjudging him, which makes him really happy. He drives off with a satisfied smile.
As she nears her house, So-ah braces herself, unsure if she’ll see Ha-baek waiting for her in his usual spot. When she rounds a corner and sees him there, she reminds herself of Hu-ye’s words that a person who’s leaving but still messes with her heart isn’t a good person.
But still, she stops to talk to him and asks what he’s doing. He answers that he’s thinking of a way to regain his powers.
She asks if he went to the divine gate, surprised when he says no, and he explains that he doesn’t have a driver’s license and doesn’t trust Bi-ryum enough to ask for a ride. When So-ah smiles, Ha-baek asks if it means they’ve made up from their fight.
A pair of drunk men stagger past, nearly colliding with So-ah. Ha-baek pulls her safely behind him, and though it’s a small gesture, it flusters So-ah. Without missing a beat, Ha-baek turns to finish his question: “Or are we still fighting?”
So-ah says that everything she said today was a lie (about being disappointed in him), telling him that humans lie when they’re angry and asking him to forget it. Ha-baek tells her that he already knows, because it’s obvious when she’s lying. But they both stay up late that night, troubled.
On a beach, Mura crouches by the water’s edge, looking at the weak and dying fish that are washing up onto the sand. Bi-ryum calls her, and she complains that she’s the only one having a hard time, since nothing bad has happened since Joo-dong disappeared and the air seems fine, too.
Bi-ryum says the air isn’t fine, but Mura snaps that water is having the worst time of it. She reaches down to caress a gasping fish, which bleeds briefly but then swims away. She says that she’s restoring oxygen to their gills, but that if this keeps happening, soon even the gods won’t be able to help them because they can’t revive the dead.
Unconcerned, Bi-ryum tells Mura that he saw Geol-rin, the minor god that cursed Ha-baek. That sends Mura running home to ask him directly whether Ha-baek has discovered everything, but Bi-ryum tells her that Geol-rin is a good runner and avoided Ha-baek.
He asks lazily if the issue with Geol-rin is that big of a deal. Mura just tells him to find Joo-dong quickly, because his being in this world worries her. Bi-ryum asks why she’s looking for a place for she and Joo-dong to live, adding that he doesn’t think Ha-baek wants to return any time soon.
While being filmed doing yoga on company grounds, Jaya spots Hu-ye walking by, and his enigmatic smile disturbs her so much she nearly tips over. Hu-ye asks Secretary Min what the filming is for, and it turns out that Jaya pushed for it, claiming it would help promote the hotel.
Jaya finds Secretary Min and asks why Hu-ye smiled when he saw her doing yoga. Secretary Min says that he doesn’t know, but if it had been him, he’d have smiled because she looked silly. HAHA.
Hu-ye calls So-ah to make plans to sign the new contract at his farm. So-ah is startled to find Ha-baek on her couch, and he waves her keys when she asks how he got in, saying she left them in the door last night.
So-ah looks guilty when Ha-baek asks if she’s still trying to sell his land. But he tells her to do whatever she wants, since she said that having lots of money would make her happy.
Then he narrows his eyes and asks who she was just talking to on the phone. Suspicious, Ha-baek stalks towards So-ah, backing her all the way to the wall. He leans close, barely inches from her face, and her cheeks go pink.
He notes her blush and racing heart, then announces triumphantly, “It was a man.” He walks away and So-ah’s knees give out. She sinks to the floor, wondering what just happened. HA, it was a man all right, just not the one on the phone.
Ha-baek stomps up to the roof and starts to strip for a bath. So-ah follows and gets a start at the sight of his shirtless torso, then she’s distracted by the expensive clothes Namsuri is hanging up. Namsuri explains that Mura sent them.
So-ah starts her rant again, asking what Ha-baek meant by accusing her of talking to a man. Of course, she has to admit that it was a man, but she stammers that that’s not why her face was red.
HA, Ha-baek has the best jealous face. So-ah starts to say that she was talking to the person who’s buying the land, then she realizes that that’s not better, and she mutters in defeat, “Let’s just go with your version.” PFFT.
So-ah arrives at work to find people from the Animal Protection Agency leaving, and Sang-yoo tells her that signs of the Korean leopard, which was previously thought extinct, have been found on her land.
This means she can’t sell the land until the research is finished. But she tells Sang-yoo that surely her land isn’t the only place the Korean leopard has pooped, blowing him off.
Mura fends off an ardent lover, dramatically telling him to leave and never look for her again. He starts to cry and leans forward to kiss her, then he suddenly starts to shake and gasp for air. Mura sighs and tells him to breathe, but he crashes to the ground unconscious.
Mura rolls her eyes and walks away… from the scene they were filming. But the man’s distress is real, and apparently this happens to all of her leading men whenever they try to film a kiss scene, hee. Everyone rushes to him as Mura heads to her dressing room.
Bi-ryum enters and sends everyone away, giggling when he hears that another of Mura’s co-stars was sent to the hospital. He tags along as she visits Hu-ye in his office, gloating that he and Mura have the kind of friendship where they trust each other with their lives. Hu-ye wonders what people do to forge such a strong bond.
Mura apologizes to Hu-ye, telling him that she’s going to purchase a house and move out of the hotel. Hu-ye says that his marketing team won’t be happy, since her long-term stay at the hotel has been good for business, though he doesn’t really seem upset.
Back in her suite, Bi-ryum says that he’s never heard Mura apologize before. She replies that Hu-ye is a decent person, strong against the strong and weak against the weak. Bi-ryum marvels sarcastically at her ability to read people, and Mura sneers that he knows nothing about her.
She gets a call from Ha-baek, who says that he’s on his way over. He mentions Bi-ryum but says that he doesn’t trust him. After he hangs up, Namsuri asks why he’s not telling So-ah about this, and Ha-baek says that he doesn’t want her involved.
Mura tells Bi-ryum to leave, and he does, but not before threatening to do something terrible if she keeps hanging around with Ha-baek. As he leaves, he wonders what he has to do to get Mura’s attention, then he decides to “catch that guy” for her.
We cut to Geol-rin, the minor god, climbing from the sewer where he’s been hiding from Ha-baek. Ewww. He’s hungry, so he checks a handy app that tells him when all the local minor gods are getting together.
Mura, Ha-baek, and Namsuri head to the divine gate. It’s the first time Mura’s been here since the day she lost the stone, and she asks why Ha-baek wanted to come, since any clues will be long gone.
He asks if it’s true that Joo-dong asked her and Bi-ryum here that night, saying that they needed to see something strange, and Mura confirms it. Ha-baek heads off, zeroing in on a rock that’s stained by blood.
He says he overlooked it before, but that now he’s bothered by what Joo-dong said. Mura holds the rock and closes her eyes, then tells Ha-baek that it’s human blood. But she adds that that’s impossible, since no human is able to leave a trace on this land.
Ha-baek thinks that if it’s not from this world, then maybe it’s from someone from the Realm of the Gods. Mura agrees that something from there could leave a trace, except for one problem… nobody from the Realm of the Gods has any blood.
Cut to: Hu-ye, planting flowers on his farm with the help of an adorable little blind girl. They finish up, and the little girl says that her grandmother invited Hu-ye over to eat. He wilts dramatically and pouts that he has an important meeting, then takes a few steps away when his phone rings.
The little girl calls out to him, wailing that there’s a bug on her arm. Hu-ye’s eyes flash and he rushes back to flick away the caterpillar on the girl’s wrist. He hugs her tightly and tells her it’s okay, then leads her away. Behind them, the caterpillar bursts into flame.
On the drive back to Seoul, Mura wonders if the blood on the stone might have something to do with Joo-dong and whether the minor gods might know something. Ha-baek tells her not to say anything about this to Bi-ryum, and Mura agrees that she’s hated him ever since he created the gods’ servant and hurt Ha-baek on purpose.
She asks Ha-baek if he really wants to find Joo-dong as soon as possible, explaining that Bi-ryum said Ha-baek doesn’t seem in a hurry to go home, but Ha-baek doesn’t respond. Worried by that, Mura pulls over and asks if it’s true. She admits that she lies to him often, but that he never lies.
Growing emotional, Mura asks Ha-baek to lie and say that Bi-ryum is wrong, that he’s not falling for a human woman again. Ha-baek asks what she means, and Mura says that she’s happy if she guessed wrong. She kneels at Ha-baek’s feet and says that she’ll submit if he wants to punish her for her impertinence.
Regardless of the warnings about the Korean leopard, So-ah meets with Hu-ye to sign the land sale contract. She hesitates, remembering Ha-baek saying that she can sell anything she wants but the gods’ land, but then she recalls him telling her to do whatever she wants.
As Hu-ye watches, she decisively stamps the papers. They have dinner to celebrate, and when Hu-ye asks if she’s sad to sell her family’s land, So-ah says that it’s just useless land. He asks what her parents think, and she tells him that her dad is gone and her mom passed away.
She says flippantly that Hu-ye wouldn’t understand, being from a rich family, but he informs her that he’s an orphan. He explains that he never knew his mother, and that his father abused then abandoned him. So-ah drops her fork in surprise and reaches for it, but Hu-ye takes her hand and tells her to leave it.
Mura brakes to a stop when she happens to see Hu-ye and So-ah leaving the restaurant together. Namsuri tells her how they know each other, and Ha-baek looks dismayed.
Hu-ye apologizes to So-ah for being so blunt about his family and disturbing the atmosphere at dinner. He offers her a ride home but she declines, since it’s such a nice evening. He says he has a question since she mentioned the night air: “How fast was the breeze that shook your heart?”
In the car, Ha-baek asks Mura if she wants the honest answer to her question. He says that Bi-ryum was wrong (about him not wanting to go home soon), and she’s cheered to hear it. Awww, he’s so lying.
Hu-ye had asked So-ah about the breeze shaking her heart because he wanted to know if he can stop it. So-ah says that the breeze isn’t meaningful enough to measure, and that if she wants to stop it, she’ll do it herself without help. Furthermore, she tells him that it’s already stopped.
But as she walks home, So-ah braces herself before turning the corner, nervous to see if Ha-baek will be there as usual. He’s not, and she sighs to herself before walking the rest of the way alone.
So-ah creeps to the roof to look around, and she’s startled to see Ha-baek sitting alone in the dark. He tells her to get some rest, adding that she shouldn’t stay out too late. So-ah can’t help herself, and she says that she noticed he wasn’t under the streetlight “thinking about getting his powers back” tonight.
Ha-baek says shortly that he’s not going to think about that anymore, and that he’s returning to the Water Kingdom soon anyway. So-ah leaves, and Ha-baek looks down at the bloody rock in his hands, remembering Mura saying that nobody from the Realm of the Gods has any blood. He calls her to ask if the minor gods might know any old legends. “This blood,” he growls. “I have an idea of whose it is.”
So-ah goes to bed hugging her signed contract and dreaming of Vanuatu. But she can’t fall asleep, so she knocks on the little door leading to Ha-baek’s apartment, and when he doesn’t answer, she unlocks it herself.
She jumps to see Ha-baek standing right there, then asks him why she can’t sell the land, since the divine gate won’t close if the owner changes. Ha-baek says stonily that that’s why he told her to do whatever she wants — but that he’ll be called the king who couldn’t even protect that piece of land.
That stops So-ah short, and she goes to bed reassuring herself that she shouldn’t be expected to sacrifice for something that may not even happen. But Ha-baek’s words haunt her all night, and she wakes up with panda eyes from lost sleep.
Namsuri helps her hang up laundry, and she asks him if he’s hungry, but he chirps that they’re going to eat with Mura. He says that they saw her with Hu-ye last night, teasing that they look good together, and Ha-baek slams his book closed and stomps off.
So-ah watches them go, wondering if seeing her with Hu-ye means that Ha-baek knows she’s selling the land. She tell herself that Ha-baek doesn’t know who the potential buyer is, then remembers that he saw the contract, working herself into a tizzy.
Mura asks Bi-ryum if there’s a minor god who’s lived as long as the high priest. He says that there is, and that she knows him.
Not far away, a line of fancy cars is parked outside an abandoned warehouse. It’s the meeting of the minor gods, who needle each other about their dealings with humans before sitting down to a lavish meal.
Geol-rin joins them, and he learns that Joo-dong is missing and that the gods have asked the minor gods to find him. The minor gods call Geol-rin a hero for being the only one who dared leave a mark on Ha-baek and got away with it, but he stammers that they shouldn’t talk about the future king that way.
One of the minor gods takes offense, yelling that he came here to get away from that jerk Ha-baek. The doors to the warehouse swing open and Bi-ryum walks in, all backlit and badass.
The minor gods try to escape, but a tiny wiggle of Bi-ryum’s finger has them sitting again. He asks what they’re planning, and this time when they run, he lets them go… all but Geol-rin, who he stops with a finger to the top of his head.
If Geol-rin thought Bi-ryum’s entrance was scary, he’s utterly terrified to see Mura arrive, looking every inch the vengeful goddess. She makes him explain why he marked Ha-baek then ran away, and he splutters that he didn’t say anything to Ha-baek about who challenged him to a fight.
Mura orders him to shut it, and he squeaks that of course he didn’t say it was her. HA, Bi-ryum is amused at how Mura’s losing control of the conversation. Geol-rin continues that he definitely didn’t tell Ha-baek that Mura told him to hit him, and she screams at him to shut his mouth.
A few minutes later Bi-ryum deposits an unconscious Geol-rim into Mura’s car. She snaps at Bi-ryum for laughing, and he asks if she’s afraid Ha-baek will discover she’s jealous. He mentions a fight that happened when “Shim-sshi” came to the Realm of the Gods, and he tells Mura that she was wrong, because Ha-baek hated that woman.
He catches Mura’s expression and seems to realize he’s gone too far. He tells Mura seriously to just confess her feelings and get rejected, because he hates seeing her like this. He blusters that it’s not fitting behavior for a goddess, but that sure looked like jealousy to me.
Over lunch, a subdued Ha-baek tells Namsuri that the high priest once told him a story that he thought was nonsense. But if Geol-rin is as old as the high priest, then he may know something that could help Ha-baek find who left the blood on the rock.
Mura calls Ha-baek, and he heads to her place. Geol-rin starts groveling as soon as he sees Ha-baek, and Mura tells him that if he answers their question they’ll let him go, but that if he ever talks about it, she’ll freeze his tongue and smash it. Ouch.
Ha-baek shows Geol-rin the bloody rock and tells him where he found it. Geol-rin knows it’s not possible, saying there’s only one person who could make human blood show up at the divine gate. Both Ha-baek and Mura know exactly who he means, though nobody has ever seen him before.
Later in the hotel restaurant, Mura says that Bi-ryum talks about that person a lot, too. They’re interrupted by Hu-ye, who approaches their table amicably, but Ha-baek just glares at him. Mura tells Hu-ye that they saw him with So-ah last night, and laughs when she hears Hu-ye refer to Ha-baek as a patient.
Hu-ye offers to shake hands, but Ha-baek just glares at the hand. Hu-ye quickly pulls it back, taking the blame for offending him, and leaves.
Mura says that if she were human, she would fall for Hu-ye. She adds that he’s too good for So-ah but figures she can push them together anyway, then tries to steer the conversation back to the high priest.
But Ha-baek is no longer listening, as he continues to stare at Hu-ye, who finds So-ah standing in the entryway. So-ah says that she’s here to find someone, and Hu-ye tells her affably that if she keeps being this nervous, he’ll think she changed her mind.
She looks confused, so Hu-ye says, “I just got rejected, didn’t I?” But he’s smiling, and at their table, Mura says she’s never seen him smile like that. Ha-baek has seen enough, and he gets up and stalks over to Hu-ye.
So-ah tries to take Hu-ye and escape, but Ha-baek cuts them off, holding up a silencing hand. He leans close to whisper in Hu-ye’s ear, “I caught on to you.”
Hu-ye’s eyes fly open and he looks at Ha-baek in horror. With a triumphant sneer, Ha-baek repeats himself, “I said, I caught on to you.”
What was that?! Is Hu-ye the person Ha-baek and Geol-rin were talking about, that made it possible for human blood to remain at the divine gate? I think it’s pretty obvious by now that Hu-ye isn’t exactly human, and I just don’t trust him. He’s too nice, too sweet, too gentle to be real, and that flash of something in his eyes when he incinerated that caterpillar gave me the creeps. I really have no reason to suspect him of anything, but I just can’t help it. Something about him makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I just feel like it would be a bad idea for So-ah to get any closer to him.
On a lighter note, I actually enjoyed watching poor Ha-baek struggling with the idea that So-ah may be interested in someone. I don’t know if he registers what he’s feeling as jealousy yet, but I love that he’s not ignoring his emotions like he would have just a short while ago. He’s letting himself feel the hurt and betrayal, which is sad to watch. But I believe it’s good for his personal growth. I think that he told So-ah she can’t sell the land, not because some cosmic balance will be upset if she does, but for the simple reason that he doesn’t want her to, because then they won’t have any reason to see each other. Once he realizes why he’s feeling this way, he’s going to be an unstoppable force.
So-ah is really growing on me as a character, now that her insecurities and weaknesses are starting to show and she’s not so prickly. I particularly love how she makes it clear that she needs no saving or help managing her feelings, but that she’s not too proud to accept help when someone better equipped offers it. I’m used to seeing headstrong drama heroines who insist on doing everything for themselves, even when it makes things much harder. So it’s refreshing to see a woman who knows she’s capable, but is confident enough that she doesn’t feel the need to prove it to everyone in the vicinity. I think that So-ah’s willingness to admit she can’t do everything is one reason Ha-baek is developing feelings for her, because those little moments of vulnerability can get through his defenses in a way that stubborn independence never would.
On the other hand, I can’t make myself believe that Bi-ryum is a truly bad guy — he’s mischievous and naughty, and he has no compunctions using people to get what he wants, but so far we haven’t seen him actually hurt anyone. I feel like he’s just a god who feels that the ends justify the means, so he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get himself out of trouble. He enjoys messing with people, particularly Ha-baek, probably because he’s jealous of Mura’s feeling for the water god. But he actually is helping, and I think Bi-ryum is good for Ha-baek — I feel like Ha-baek will be a much better king after Bi-ryum is through with him and he loosens up a notch or five.
And while we’re on the subject of the gods, I wanted to try to clarify something that the show hasn’t explained well. Ha-baek is in the human world to retrieve three stones from three gods, Water, Earth, and Sky. Bi-ryum is the Sky god, but I got confused because Mura’s from the Water Kingdom, and Joo-dong isn’t an Earth god (at least, not in the original story). I’m still unclear about Joo-dong’s role in this retelling, because if he’s not the Earth god, then who is? As it stands now, Ha-baek has two stones, Bi-ryum’s and (probably) Joo-dong’s, but his power is so weak that they aren’t responding to him. Mura’s stone is still missing, with Joo-dong searching for it.
Speaking of which, I’m really worried by that scene with the dying fish — has Ha-baek been away from the Water Kingdom for too long? What happens if he doesn’t get home in time? What happens if he does get home, but he doesn’t have the stones? The show drops so many tiny clues, but we still don’t have a cohesive idea of exactly what’s going on, particularly in terms of the gods’ pasts and why they fight so much. For example, if Joo-dong has been missing for over a decade, why is Mura looking for a house for him to live in with her? Also, Mura said something in this episode about Bi-ryum creating the gods’ servant and hurting Ha-baek in the process, and I’m guessing that was when he dumped the fisherman into the water — but what happened to offend Ha-baek’s mother so badly that she bound the man’s family forever? What did Bi-ryum do and why did that hurt Ha-baek? I like a mystery as much as the next guy, but I do wish the clues were presented in a more organized way so that we aren’t likely to miss them entirely.
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