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Bride of the Water God 2017: Episode 12

It’s possible to lie so much that a person begins to believe their own lies, but So-ah is beginning to realize that at some point you have to face the fact that the deception comes with consequences. She’s been lying for so long that she nearly believes what she says, but when she finally gets what she thinks will make her happy, she may learn that she never wanted it in the first place.


 
EPISODE 12 RECAP

Mura tells So-ah about Nak-bin, a human woman Ha-baek fell in love with. The king of the Sky Realm offered Nak-bin eternal life if she would help him steal Ha-baek’s powers to create a new order in the Realm of the Gods. Nak-bin foolishly accepted, and Ha-baek was cursed to appear as a child whenever he was touched by daylight.

Nak-bin is captured, and Ha-baek, in the body of a young boy, enters the cave where she’s being held. As he ventures into the darkness, he transforms back into his adult body. He conjures blue water fireflies to light his way, and Bi-ryum follows him hesitantly.

With a wave of his hand, Ha-baek reveals the watery barrier that cages Nak-bin, bound and asleep. He speaks her name and she wakes, and he can hear her calling his name in her mind.

Ha-baek tells Nak-bin that the Queen Mother has ordered her execution, and that her death will break the curse she visited on him. He says she will gain the eternal life she coveted, existing in a never-ending limbo, forbidden to either move on to the next world or be reincarnated in this one.

Nak-bin begs Ha-baek to have pity and save her, saying that she didn’t know he would be cursed and that she did it so that she could be with him forever. But he just looks at her coldly, and says, “I will never forgive you.”

Nak-bin is taken to the edge of the sea, where the Queen Mother and Bi-ryum wait to witness her execution. Ha-baek, again in the body of a child, thinks about when he and Nak-bin were in love, as Mura stands nearby.

Nak-bin is led to the very edge of the ocean, and the Queen Mother waves a hand, conjuring a force that takes over Nak-bin’s body. Nak-bin screams Ha-baek’s name as she walks into the water against her will, futilely begging for her life until the very end.

At the moment of Nak-bin’s death, Ha-baek’s curse is broken. He changes back into his adult body, and he bows his head in sorrow. Mura covers him with his cloak, and Ha-baek has one last vision of Nak-bin admiring a flower. He picks it and throws it into the ocean where she died.

Mura tells So-ah that Nak-bin’s life wasn’t enough to appease the Queen Mother, who also demanded the lives of her brother and his son. The brother begged for mercy, vowing in exchange that he and his descendants would serve the gods forever.

So-ah asks what any of it has to do with her, refusing to feel guilty for what Nak-bin did over a thousand years ago. Mura tells her that she’s foolish, and doesn’t fully understand.

Ha-baek paces So-ah’s house until she comes home, and when she does, she makes light of the situation and brushes off his concern. Ha-baek demands to know what Mura said to her, so So-ah says that she just told her his old love story, which wasn’t even very interesting.

She asks why she should be responsible for something her ancestor did so long ago, calling it ridiculous. Upset, Ha-baek asks if that’s really what So-ah wants to say, and So-ah looks him right in the eye and tells him to go back where he belongs, as soon as possible.

He growls that he’ll leave when he pleases, and turns to go. But So-ah says to his back, “You did nothing. When the woman you loved was dying, you did nothing.” Ha-baek glares at So-ah and storms out, slamming the door behind him.

He doesn’t know that Mura told So-ah to make Ha-baek leave, whatever it takes. She’d told So-ah that Ha-baek is hesitating to go home because he’s in love with her, so she has to make him go. Mura had explained that Ha-baek and the Water Realm are inextricably linked, so no matter what he wants, he has to go back and become king.

Mura told So-ah that Ha-baek punished himself when Nak-bin died, and she can’t stand to see that again. She’d earnestly begged So-ah not to hold him back like Nak-bin did.

Back at his penthouse, Mura tells Bi-ryum that she wishes she could cry, or get drunk, or any of the stupid things humans do. She’s upset that she had to admit to So-ah that Ha-baek is in love with her in order to get So-ah to understand, and Bi-ryum says she didn’t have to do that.

Mura says it was the only way she could send him back, and Bi-ryum tells her not to be angry or regret it. He gives her a back-hug and says he would beat Ha-baek up if she’d let him.

Neither Ha-baek nor So-ah can sleep that night. In the morning, Ha-baek dresses in the suit he wore when he came to Earth, and he looks at the door between his room and So-ah’s house, though he doesn’t go through it.

He steps outside and wakes Namsuri, asking if his feelings were hurt that Ha-baek worked to buy So-ah a present. Namsuri admits it and Ha-baek apologizes, saying that he knows Namsuri works hard at multiple jobs while Ha-baek just takes baths and enjoys food and books.

Namsuri loudly begs forgiveness for being upset with him, but Ha-baek adds, “You weren’t actually expecting me to say such things, were you?” HAHA, never change, Ha-baek.

They go down to breakfast, where Ha-baek actually thanks So-ah for the meal. He hands over his and Namsuri’s phones and asks So-ah to cancel the service, and dispose of his clothes and books. Nooo, he’s leaving!

Ha-baek tells So-ah not to stay out late, and to get a porch light that turns on automatically after dark. He instructs her to eat better and clean the house more, and to submit a complaint when the streetlight out front isn’t working so she doesn’t have to walk home in the dark.

Ha-baek dismisses Namsuri, and once they’re alone, he reminds So-ah that he can see it on her face when she lies. But he says that last night he couldn’t tell, and he realized that she truly wants him to leave. He admits that he bluffed that he would protect her, and that he’s embarrassed that he made a promise he knew he couldn’t keep.

He says he wants to ask her if she’ll be okay if he leaves, and how she really feels about it—but he knows she’ll be okay because he hasn’t done anything for her. So-ah blinks back tears and says she’ll be fine.

She agrees that he hasn’t done anything for her and says she’ll barely notice he’s gone, other than a bit of loneliness. She reminds him that she’s good at enduring since she’s only third-rate, but she still looks surprised when Ha-baek says that he’s leaving right now.

He refuses her offer of a ride to the divine gate, and steps outside to find Namsuri and Bi-ryum waiting for him. He walks away without another word, not looking back at her.

At the divine gate, Ha-baek sends Namsuri on ahead, staying back to take one last long look at this world. Maybe he’s hoping So-ah will come and stop him, but she doesn’t, and he steps through the gate back to his own world.

At Hu-ye’s hotel, Jaya reluctantly takes an acting job that involves being on a fishing boat, even though she gets severely seasick. Secretary Min overhears and tells her to turn the job down, but she says she can’t afford to be choosy. Secretary Min grabs her phone and calls the PD back, pretending to be her manager. He explains that she’ll definitely be throwing up on the boat a lot, making the PD cancel the job himself.

Mura tries to practice her kissing on the giant blowup doll, but it moves every time she tries, until she loses her temper and slaps it. Amused, Bi-ryum guesses the doll just isn’t her type and offers to get her one that looks like Brad Pitt, hee. Mura is actually interested, but Bi-ryum laughs and says that won’t solve the problem, because she is the problem.

He says that she scares guys instead of making them fall for her, then grabs her by the waist and pulls her close, silencing her protest mid-sentence. He says it’s those threats that scare her co-stars so badly that they can’t kiss her.

Mura stammers incoherently, and Bi-ryum leans down as if to kiss her. But he stops just an inch from her lips, and when she looks flustered, he grins and says, “There, that’s how you do it.” Oh, you sexy bastard.

Mura shoves him away, blustering that she’s been too easy on him lately, but Bi-ryum just laughs in her face. He tells her to let him know whenever she needs to practice kissing, because he’s much better than a mannequin.

So-ah is aggressively cheerful all day, and Sang-yoo gives her the good news that thanks to their patient Bong-yeol’s connections, the bank finally approved their loan. Sang-yoo notices how manic So-ah seems, but she just gripes that he’s too negative.

Yeom-mi bursts in to confront So-ah, upset that she asked a friend to set her up with someone. So-ah’s excessive laughter makes Yeom-mi and Sang-yoo worry, and Yeom-mi takes So-ah out for coffee. She squints suspiciously as So-ah insists, a bit too brightly, that she’s not as broken up about Ha-baek leaving as she thought she’d be.

She babbles on and on about how very okay she is, until Yeom-mi blows up and says she’s happy they broke up, but she’s not glad to see that So-ah isn’t crying. She reminds So-ah that she used to brag about how good she is at enduring pain, but So-ah ends the conversation.

So-ah heads back to her office, where Hu-ye waits for his session. Sang-yoo talks his ear off, telling Hu-ye about how So-ah grew up and asking him to prevent her blind date.

When So-ah returns, they both apologize for what happened the night he showed up drunk in her office. She says she knows he was reacting to a bad dream, and asks him what happened that reminded him of his painful past. Hu-ye hesitates, then finally says that he met some people he wanted never to meet.

He tells So-ah that those people want to lock him up in his past, and that they criticize him and remind him of what he used to be. So-ah says kindly that nobody can change their past, and ends their session when Hu-ye doesn’t appear to want to talk about it any further, though she adds that he should trust her more.

Hu-ye shakes off his dark mood and asks So-ah to have dinner with him. She hesitates, since he’s technically a patient, but he talks her into it. At the restaurant Hu-ye jokingly admits that he’s still miffed she tried to push him away when he simply wanted to have dinner and be friends.

He starts listing off all the things he knows about So-ah—her financial situation, her personality, who she likes, why she’s hurting right now—though he assures her that he never stalked her; he just has a photographic memory. He adds that she also knows a lot about him, and comforted and encouraged him, too.

It’s his way of pointing out that they’re entirely qualified to be friends, and Hu-ye lists all of his positive attributes and sighs that he’s not asking her to marry him or anything, making her laugh. He holds out a hand and So-ah shakes it, sealing their agreement to be friends. At that moment, Mura and Bi-ryum walk into the restaurant and see them.

Bi-ryum glowers and starts toward Hu-ye, but Mura stops him. She tells him to just leave quietly, so he does, ordering Jin-geon to take Mura home and driving off alone. Mura asks Jin-geon why Bi-ryum is like this around Hu-ye, but of course Jin-geon doesn’t say a word.

After dinner Hu-ye and So-ah go for a walk, and he says he’s still a tiny bit miffed because he doesn’t ask many people to be his friend. She laughs at his ability to hold a grudge and says she’s a little miffed herself since he doesn’t trust her as his psychiatrist.

So-ah turns to see a street vendor’s table, and she recognizes the blue stuffed dinosaur from Ha-baek’s modeling pictures. Hu-ye offers to buy the dinosaur for her, unaware of its significance, but So-ah jumps in and pays for the dinosaur herself.

Hu-ye gets a call from work and has to go, leaving So-ah to walk herself home. She makes coffee and drinks it from Ha-baek’s mug, the one with the matching blue dinosaur, then goes upstairs to his empty apartment. She thinks about the times they spent together, then sees the book he’d read to her, If There Were a Word More Loving Than Love.

She rereads the part he’d read aloud to her: “I didn’t want to think that we met by mere coincidence. So the only thing I can do is to do my best…” That’s where she’d cut him off, but today, she continues on: “…to love you. At this moment, I am passing through your love.”

As she reads, So-ah’s tears fall on the pages. Finally she gives in and sobs, her heart broken.

The next day, So-ah isn’t in such a good mood. She imagines Ha-baek sitting in her office, gently chiding her for saying she’s okay when she’s not. She replies that she was the one who broke up with him, but he says that it feels like the other way around.

He guesses that she hates him for not catching her lie, and says that it’s impossible not to ever hurt anyone. He tells her that lots of people live certain moments as if that day is their last, because they know they need to live today in order to see tomorrow, and they believe that memory will last them the rest of their lives.

Imaginary Ha-baek asks So-ah if that’s not easier than trying to find a way never to hurt anyone. So-ah lets out a wry little laugh and whispers that he’s not even human, and Ha-baek fades away.

In her shop, Yeom-mi looks up to see So-ah standing in front of her, dripping wet. She fusses at So-ah for never carrying an umbrella, but So-ah just silently mouths something to her friend then turns to the door.

Someone else walks in, but all we see is a pair of shoes, also soaking wet, before Yeom-mi wakes with a start. She tsks that So-ah must still be in love with that water god, then calls So-ah and tells her to come see her when she can.

Mura informs Hu-ye that Ha-baek returned to the Realm of the Gods. She asks Hu-ye to look after So-ah and make her his, insisting that the gods neither need nor want her as their servant. She’s oddly conflicted, and Hu-ye asks if she’s trying to be responsible.

Mura says that she just doesn’t believe that humans deserve to suffer because of the gods. Hu-ye wonders why Mura told him to take So-ah instead of saying to make her happy, but Mura just wants So-ah to forget Ha-baek. She tells Hu-ye to marry her and stay with her until she dies—that way, they can break the lineage and end this god-servant connection. “For her own sake, this tie must be cut,” Mura says. “Help her.”

Thanks to his help with the director earlier, Jaya tries to poach Secretary Min to work as her manager. He pretends to be excited then turns her down flat, ha. Next Jaya asks for his advice, and Secretary Min says that if she truly wants his advice, then she has to call him “oppa,” lol. Jaya asks how old he is, and when he says they were born the same year, she says that he can’t be her oppa because she was born in January.

Secretary Min informs her that he was born at one minute past midnight on January 1, then starts to walk away. Desperate, Jaya calls after him, “Oppa!” He turns back triumphantly, and she asks him again why Hu-ye would hug her then act so distant.

Secretary Min lays it out honestly — that Hu-ye is in love with So-ah, so it’s time for Jaya to face reality. Furious, Jaya calls her grandfather and demands that he evict So-ah from her office immediately.

So-ah shows up at Yeom-mi’s shop as requested, and Yeom-mi offers to read So-ah’s fortune, which she’s never done before. But a frantic call from Sang-yoo has So-ah rushing back to her office, where she finds Chairman Shin’s representative with several men, packing up her things.

He tells So-ah that Chairman Shin isn’t willing to wait any longer for the rent, and he refuses to accept the money from her today. He passes on the message that this decision is Jaya’s, who holds the real power.

So-ah’s patient Bong-yeol, the man Ha-baek saved from drowning and whose father runs the bank, shows up for his appointment and orders the men to stop in a booming, authoritative voice. He stands in front of So-ah protectively and tells them to put everything back, but then he loses control and starts swinging with both fists. The room erupts into pandemonium, and Bong-yeol is still fighting later as they’re all at the police station making their statements. So-ah’s in a bit of a fix, not having anyone to call to act as her guarantor.

Hu-ye shows up, having been called by Sang-yoo. He settles everything, and Yeom-mi and Sang-yoo take Bong-yeol home. Alone with So-ah, Hu-ye admits that he laughed a bit when he got the call, because she’d been so leery of being friends but had to then call him.

He offers her a ride home, but So-ah says she’ll take a walk to clear her head. Hu-ye says he’ll call her later to make sure she got home okay, and she heads off alone.

Hu-ye calls while she’s still walking, and we see that he’s following her on foot, making sure she’s safe. So-ah tells him that she just learned that her building owner’s granddaughter is her old school nemesis.

She complains that she doesn’t know why Jaya hates her so much, and Hu-ye sympathizes, saying that he’s dealing with people like that, too. Hu-ye offers to go with So-ah to talk to her landlord, or even to just buy the building.

So-ah turns the corner to her alley, then stops dead in her tracks. She drops her phone in shock as she sees Ha-baek, waiting for her under her streetlight like he never left.

So-ah takes a tentative step toward him, then another, then she breaks into a run and throws herself into his arms. Ha-baek catches her and holds her tight as she sobs, whispering, “I told you to come home early. You really don’t listen to me.”

COMMENTS

Awww, he came back! I don’t even care why Ha-baek came back, I’m just so happy that he did. I really hope that So-ah stops fighting this so hard, now that she’s felt how miserable she was without him, and just treasures the time they have. My only fear is that Hu-ye is right behind her, and he’s about to see that Ha-baek is back, and I’m afraid that he’s going to lose control over his violent side.

I’m so glad to finally know the truth about Ha-baek’s past, and why So-ah and her family have been the gods’ servants for over a millennium. It’s a heartbreaking story, and it explains a lot of why Ha-baek is the way he is with humans in general, and So-ah in particular (and I appreciate how it incorporated Ha-baek’s curse to appear as a child in the daylight, which is a major part of the manhwa). He was badly betrayed and hurt by a human he let himself fall in love with, so it’s no wonder that he tried so hard this time to hold himself apart and not let his emotions get involved.

But it also highlights how amazing it is that Ha-baek did let himself fall for So-ah, especially knowing that they would inevitably be separated. Yet he was willing to put himself out there again, and he even asked So-ah if she could feel the same for him, fleeting though their time together would be. He let himself care for her so much that he was willing to go through all that pain again just to be with her for a little while, which just makes my heart crack right open for him.

So while I do understand why So-ah has been pushing Ha-baek away, it’s also frustrating that she reacts to her feelings in the exact opposite way as he does. I can’t fathom how hard it must be to love a god, and to know he loves you in return, and yet to choose to forgo even a moment of happiness while you can have it. So-ah will be heartbroken either way when Ha-baek is gone, so why not let herself enjoy that love while she can? But she already knows the pain of loving someone and being left behind, and it nearly made her give up on life entirely when it was her father. I imagine she’s terrified of what she might do if she lets herself love Ha-baek then loses him.

In that sense, it was right of So-ah to honor Mura’s wish and send Ha-baek away sooner rather than later. She knows he has to go back and take his throne, that there’s no other option for him. So it’s better to do it now, before either of them gets in any deeper and she loses her resolve. I wanted to cry when Ha-baek said he couldn’t tell if she meant it when she told him to leave, because she did meant it, just not in the way he thinks. He believes she sent him away because she doesn’t care for him like he does for her, but she did it because she cares for him so much and doesn’t want either of them to hurt anymore.

I’m very curious to know why Ha-baek came back, and how So-ah will act now that she’s been without him. I hope that even that brief day of misery has shown her that a little bit of happiness is better than none at all, and that she lets herself love him while he’s here.

 
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Thanks for the recap, @Lollypip!

Wow, so many conflicting feelings regarding this episode, but here are my initial thoughts…which are basically a character analysis of Hu-Ye:

As the complexity of Hu-Ye becomes clearer, I want to go BACK to the earlier episodes to see how IJH portrays this conflicted character from the very beginning. Im Joo Hwan's decision on how to interpret his Hu-Ye is quite clever. At first I thought he just wasn’t a good actor since Hu-Ye comes off so stiff and unnatural.

But, now I understand it was conscious choice on IJH's part to show how awkward Hu-Ye still is as he’s learning how to be “human”…not even that, but to become the “perfect human.”

With things he’s not comfortable with: humor and pursuing love, he still requires for guidance on how to behave: reading books or asking questions (of So-Ah) to measure if he’s doing it “right.” But, then, that is why he’s “wooden”, it isn’t natural for him yet. I guess this is what it means to be a demigod, neither completely divine nor completely human. Some things just don’t resonate with him. Will they ever? That’s just so tragic and heart wrenching.

I love how when Hu-Ye is plotting with Mura, we see the more calculating, darker side of him; yet, when he’s with So-Ah, he’s just so very careful to be a gentleman and respect her agency that he almost comes off as too passive. He’s trying so hard to be “good”, it does come off as unnatural. I suppose this is partially due to the fact that he doesn’t have to hide who he is from Mura, who already knows, but he wants to ease So-Ah into the truth of who he is. He fears rejection from So-Ah that he doesn’t from Mura.

I find that interesting, too….that the darker side of him seems more “true” to who he is, which sounds strange because only in the last episode we saw how tormented he was at his past actions, and how he deeply wanted to change, which also felt genuine, sincere, and “true” to him. So, there is light and there is dark.

Maybe the High Priest is right, the halfling can choose to be good or bad. Yet, that dichotomy doesn’t have a place for those “awkward” bits of life - such as humor and love which don’t fit into moral categories. One isn’t necessarily morally good or bad when it comes to humor; and one isn’t morally good or bad when in love.

No wonder Hu-Ye is lost as to how to progress!! Is progression even possible as a demigod? Can a “god” learn what it means to be human when his ontological existence is inherently different from that of a mortal?

I’m becoming more convinced that the writer is in love with her creation of Hu-Ye, and quite possibly Im Joo Hwan. Hu-Ye is just way too interesting to be a cookie-cutter rival. I really hope the writer finds something creative to do with Hu-Ye. I don’t just want him to become predictably dark and lose it after being unable to woo So-Ah successful...

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Heck, I'm in love with Hu-Ye and how he's being played by Im Ju-hwan! This is reminding me of Hwarang all over again when you like both Sam Maek Jong and Sun-woo and don't want to see them killing each other D':

I really wonder how much of it has to do with being a demigod and how much of it has to do simply with his being poorly-socialised. (All that time in the cave, being despised, feared, treating as a disgrace...) Perhaps the latter just makes the former worse.

For me, Hu-ye comes across as someone trying to understand the entire ordinary human gig and do it well. But he's never been born into human society and socialised into those rules: all of this is him observing, studying the human condition, and trying to imitate/employ it. Love is already mystifying and pretty confusing for most of us (just remember being a teenager!) And trying to treat this whole human thing as something that can be copied, as a set of rules to be learned...that's definitely pretty hard.

I really hope Hu-Ye and So-Ah can be good friends - even if they can't be what he wanted to be, that they can still be friends. But I tend to have expectations unrealistic for kdramaland...

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Man, I hate coming to the comments for the recaps cause lo and behold: everyone is hating on the lead, the OTP, the story, the writing the supporting characters basically any aspect of the show that isn't restricted to Huye just to point out how superior IJH is to everyone else. I actually use to love Huyes character but some of these comments have made me find it downright obnoxious when he comes on screen now. Can't even have a healthy discussion about the show without it going towards how much more BETTER the show would be if Huye was the lead and how he should be given his own spin off season two with Soah and him marrying ---not kidding, this is actually a sincere desire for some of the fans of superior drama taste lol

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This!!!! I couldn't agree more, it's been weeks since I contributed to any discussion for the show and just come to read the recaps because the comment section always leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I mean we get it Huye's a tragic character with a good trajectory, but how the hell does that lead to some of these people to imply that the writer for the show is intentionally sabotaging the main lead, OTP and her whole damn show just because she's that goddamn head over heels for IJH. Uhh yeah I don't think so, lol. And it's especially peeving because some of the comments are so obviously posted by the same persons, with literally mins inbetween post times and the same/similar stuff being paraphrased. That's why I just go to Soompi to discuss the show, no fake anons there and a more balanced discussion actually being made. Btw I agree, although I like IMJ and HuYe perfectly fine, I'm starting to hate every moment he's on the screen cause now I'm hypercritical of how good he actually is since at dramabeans the comments are always going above and beyond to emphasize how much better he is than everyone else on the show

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I really like your analysis, @pineapplegongzhu!

Also: "I’m becoming more convinced that the writer is in love with her creation of Hu-Ye, and quite possibly Im Joo Hwan. Hu-Ye is just way too interesting to be a cookie-cutter rival."

Similarly, I think Milton was far more interested in Lucifer in Paradise Lost than in any of the other characters. But I think K drama rules will have Hu Ye to become predictably dark and lose it, as you say. TT TT

On another note, Hu Ye has reminded me from the beginning as someone very high-functioning on the autism spectrum. Or maybe one of the Meccas from the Spielberg movie A.I. (based on Pinocchio)? He wants to be a real boy...

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I've been a fan of Im Joo Hwan from previous roles and was ecstatic to see him in a cutesy (not creepy, not murderous) role but as @jamieopso wrote, I'm sure Kdrama rules require him to go dark and twisty T_T

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That sounds pretty correct to me. On top of that, what I'm interested in is how much empathy he really has - he doesn't sound very high on it, if he's struggling to mimic all kinds of behaviour and especially with humour.

This kind of matters to me because I've been wondering for a while if Hu-ye (and the gods, by extension) are pretty amoral - using for this case the specific idea of lacking moral desire/sentiment. On the one hand, I'm not too convinced by this, since Hu-ye seems deeply-troubled by what he's done and rather convinced that he's done something bad (in his past.) On the other hand, there's almost something rather... IDK, weird about his schtick about becoming a good person? His idea of what being good/doing good entails is rather...abstract. Philanthrophy (presumably), planting trees.

I don't mean to say that we can't reason our way to the (moral) good. What I do mean to say is that often, we humans get some sort of gut feeling driving our moral judgements. "X is just wrong." "Y is just the right thing to do." How much of Hu-ye's 'trying to be a good person' is based off study, due to an impairment in his ability to make these sorts of snap/gut moral judgements?

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@kaoren, I agree that Hu-Ye doesn't empathise with humans as he is only partially human.

Perhaps this is what I find most interesting. He has obviously repudiated his divine powers (destructive as they are), and focused solely on becoming a good human.

I think you're right that Hu-Ye is attempting to compensate for the fact that he doesn't naturally empathize with certain things, like humor, because he isn't fully human through study. But, obviously, head-knowledge is different from heart-experience.

Anyway, my take re: Hu-Ye's drive for human perfection is because he has been so scorned, rejected, neglected, abused and finally abandoned because of who he ontologically is, that he is trying desperately to find a way to become acceptable. Since he was rejected in the divine realm, it makes sense that he wishes to try in the human realm to become acceptable. If I am right, it is quite sad because there actually isn't anything wrong with him, and certainly not (at birth) anything that was his fault.

I also find it interesting that in one of the earlier episodes he thought that after understanding humor, he would become perfect. It's interesting that he chose humor and not love to be the measure of perfection, the one thing he lacked.

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@pineapplegongzhu You make a good point about Hu-ye's obsession with perfection and humour!

But that's what fascinates me a bit, actually! I know the Queen Mother, Bi-ryum, Mu-ra, and Ha-baek aren't exactly models of well-functioning human beings, but next to Hu-ye, they appear fairly well-adjusted. Sure, Ha-baek has ego issues, but it's not like he's actually incapable of comprehending these things - he just doesn't see the rules as applying to him. (And why shouldn't he? He's like, the god of gods.)

I guess I'm just not entirely sure about how incapable the gods are of understanding human emotion, and in particular, how much of that is really due to inhabiting a completely different 'god-centric' framework of reasoning and action.

Sure, sue me guys, this is a romance, everyone's gushing about the OTP and all, but I'm more taken in by all these other rich implications of the setting and as much as I'd rather that the story was written somewhat differently, I'm still glad it's given me so much to sink my teeth into and ponder!

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@kaoren: Gods in mythology often seem to have a completely different moral framework than humans. To them, we're servants; nuisances; bugs; pawns; pretty maidens to be seduced or ravished; sometimes like a flock of sheep to be protected and/or culled from...all because we're mortal and relatively powerless. It's the power differential, I think, rather than some innate alien difference. Look how petty and childish the gods can seem!

Hu Ye's deal is different, I think. His difficulties relating to humans is more down to his abused and sealed-in-a-cave childhood (lasting thousands of years). It's like those kids who weren't cared for in a human way in orphanages when they were babies? They were given food, etc., but no loving human contact or attention. Those kids tend to have attachment issues, trouble relating to other people. So much of what makes us functioning people is socialization.

At least, that's my current theory... I hadn't really considered that the gods are fundamentally alien. That's an interesting thing to think about--along with Hu Ye then being half-alien.

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@jamieopso I would generally agree with this assessment, with one or two caveats. I'm not really on board with the notion that Hu-ye's differences can be more or less chalked up to his being half-god, and I think you're largely right that it has to do with his poor socialisation, and possibly his personal psychological make-up.

The caveat is that, of course, we don't know exactly how...alien the gods in this particular show are supposed to be. (I've found myself wondering more than once if their element plays some role in their nature, but this is idle speculation.) We know they don't feel hunger or thirst, probably not exhaustion as well. Besides being immensely powerful, it's possible they don't really experience world in the same way we do (see Ha-baek's talk about being the Water Nation.) If that's the case, I would expect differences in their moral outlook to not just be attributable to the fact we humans are pretty much nothing in the scheme of things, but to the fact that their psychological make-up will be fundamentally different from ours, simply because they aren't driven by so many of the same urges that we are.

(And especially if you're super-powerful and long-lived, would the same things be morally important to you? Could you psychologically relate to beings who live their lives in a rush (from your perspective), get worked up over the slightest things, eat, copulate, all those dirty, raw emotions in the hot mess that is life? [It's no accident, I think, that the colours of the Water Nation are the way they are, or that the Water Nation seems, in a way, frozen in time.] I don't know if I would think of them as being alien in the way an octopus's conscious experience would be alien to us. But at least based on what the show is revealing to us, I really don't know exactly how...different from our psychology the gods are supposed to be, at least according to the show.

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@kaoren, I like the way you think. It is a lot more interesting than the way I am looking at them (which is that very powerful beings lose or never develop empathy). And when Ha Baek said he is the Water Kingdom I just figured it was standard imperial fare.

These gods, though...they may not have our physical needs or limitations, but they sure get worked up over little things. Jealousy, anger: freezing people's tongues and shattering them, causing thunder and lightning storms when in a bad mood, punishing humans to the umpteenth generation--not as calm as you'd think immortals would be. Since they're so petty and vindictive, it'll be an interesting mental exercise to try to think of them as alien-like.

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@jamieopso You're probably right to just read it as standard imperial fare, lol. I have no idea how I just took him at face value and thought he meant he was some kind of genius locii.

Their getting worked up about little things sure dovetails well with what you mentioned, about how gods are traditionally depicted in mythology. (Am thinking of all the times Apollo and Athena competed with someone and then got fed-up, here.)

The downside of thinking of them as alien-like I suppose is that it raises questions about their capacity to really form meaningful (or at least, what we would recognise as meaningful and normal) relationships with human beings. Might even be kinda like dating Cthulhu.

Man, I keep getting torn between the 'Hu-ye just has been poorly socialised, although the gods sure do have a weird moral framework' and the 'gods themselves are just psychologically unrecognisable to human beings so that's not helping Hu-ye out' perspectives :S

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Bertrand Russell once wrote that our set of morals/ethics comes from what we heard from our nanny (quoting from memory here). Meaning that what we think is "gut feeling" is just implanting and conditioning from our young years as is everything else.
Russell did not believe that there is any such thing as objective ethical facts: “When we assert that this or that has ‘value’”, says Russell, "we are giving expression to our own emotions, not to a fact which would still be true if our personal feelings were different." (Russell 1949, 230-31)
Further reading: http://www.iep.utm.edu/russ-eth/

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Perhaps! Certainly, Hume would disagree with Russell on meta-ethics! The big issue with the expressivist/emotivist denial of objective moral facts though is that this exposes us to the Frege-Geach problem: genuine moral disagreement becomes impossible. Yet on the face of it, we do appear to have genuine moral disagreements: we do think that when Alice and Bob disagree about whether it is ethically acceptable to kill innocent civilians, they're not just disagreeing in the way we do when we prefer chocolate ice cream to vanilla ice cream.

Now, I assume you're asking the interesting question of what we get if we apply Russell's meta-ethics to BotWG. And the answer is that we're left with two pretty cool possibilities: A. Hu-ye simply never received the correct sort of conditioning and implanting (the question then being whether he could aquire such deep conditioning after the fact), or B. the gods simply acquire a completely different set of conditioning (if so, how?) and Hu-ye's behaviour is actually consistent with that conditioning (see Jamie Opso's comment about Bi-ryum's and Mu-ra's behaviour.)

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kaoren
they are both correct A&B
HY being secluded didnt get any set of morals or behavioral social habits.
and the gods have different set of morals, actually very reminiscent of imperial times. what is ours we save and keep everyone else,enemy/less and pretty much in the same way, we see they have a High Priest, even the name is design to show guidance.
ps
i of course agree more with russell.

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Hey @jamieopso! Ah, great reference to Milton! I can totally see that.

Funny that you mention autism, because there was a part of me that thought the same thing when I was watching the first few episodes.

Awww....Pinocchio.

Obviously Hu-Ye is not going to end up with So-Ah, but I do hope he is redeemed, preferably in a way where he can embrace who he fully is. It must be lonely being a demigod as he doesn't fit comfortably in either realms, divine or human. I would like to see him embracing his powers of fire for the use of good, which I feel the writer has opened up the option for it....but will the writer take that option?

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Hey @pineapplegongzhu! I was traveling most of the day yesterday, and didn't get a chance to read or respond much. Today I am playing catchup and reading so many great comments!

Yes, Hu Ye will never end up with So Ah: she's in love with Ha Baek and is just not interested in Hu Ye "that way"--and maybe wouldn't be, even if Ha Baek wasn't in the picture. But they could be friends (if he doesn't go dark, which he will, sigh).

Like @kaoren above, I am probably interested more in other aspects of the story than the romance.

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Biryeom just kiss her already.

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Same. Next episode though, hot damn!

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That moment when BR pulled Mura close, man was that hot! I only did now realized that they have chemistry and I like their pairing. BR be her kissing partner quick!

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Rawr! *fans self*

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Couldn't agree more. Some serious making our needs to happen. Like right away. Cheeky Bi Ryeom definitely kisses better than that creepy doll, for sure.

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Been shouting that as well. Kiss her!!! Can't wait for the next episode. Surely a scene that I'll keep on repeat.

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P.S. Comment #1, the last word should be *successfully

Okay, my less interesting non-Hu-Ye-centered thoughts:

[1] FINALLY! We got the backstory of Nak Bin and how So-Ah is connected as the descendant of the deities’ servant. #tragic

[2] Habaek leaving: a bit anti-climatic - meh.

[3] I was a bit bummed when Habaek showed up again. MAN! No break for Hu-Ye at all!

[4] HAHAHA….Ja Ya and Manager Min are really quite cute together. I have to wonder if he realizes he’s falling for the spoiled brat of a chaebol princess.

[5] Dang, Bi Ryeom. He certainly knows how to turn up the heat when he wants to tease Mura with a kiss fake-out. Well played, sir. Waist-grab = RAWR

“Close your mouth. You’re not making an adult movie.” HAHAHAHA….what cheek, Bi Ryeom!

[6] Conversation strolling: okay, I have to admit that in episode 11, when I saw Hu-Ye following So-Ah while talking on the phone with her, it felt a wee bit stalker-ish until I read @Reneme’s comment, and I saw the romance in it. But, in THIS episode, I definitely got the flutters. Unlike the first phone-walking conversation, suddenly their conversation started to sound natural, and even a bit intimate. So-Ah was letting Hu-Ye in by confiding in him about her struggles. Before, since the beginning, she would brush off all of his attempts to help her, yet this time, she willingly revealed what was troubling her.

Maybe this is why I was a bit bummed that Habaek showed up in the end. Hu-Ye was JUST getting his foot in the door, only to have it slammed back. Part of the reason why I dislike that is because I was REALLY hoping that Show would make Hu-Ye a really GOOD rival that Habaek had to content with. My suspicion is that the writer couldn’t think of a plausible storyline where Hu-Ye could be a real rival to Habaek yet still argue that in the end, So-Ah should choose Habaek instead. Boo……

[7] I find it hilarious that Geol-rin, Nurse Yoo and Mura are pushing Hu-Ye to pursue a relationship with So-Ah. #TeamHuYe #SLS

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I literally groaned aloud in frustration because Habaek returned.

Things were getting back to good-normal slowly, and time will eventually heal everyone. But Habaek of course has to return to rock the boat. ?

And yes, I also really liked that Hu Ye and So Ah scene where they were walking and talking on the phone.

In real life, it may be a little on the stalkerish side (depending on the person and circumstances), but trust IJH to create warm fluttery feelings out of this intimate scene.

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I liked that scene very much. It was pretty symbolic, I thought, that she's always walking ahead of him, and the part where he rounds the corner, and she's almost reached the end of the alley, she's just so far from him, and the moment she turns, she looks up and Habaek's there. Every step she takes takes her further and further away from Hu Ye, and closer and closer to Habaek.

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ME TOO! LOL. Like, why did Habaek come back!? It's kind of weird that everybody else in this show is interesting and layered: Hu-Ye, Biyreum, Mura, Nam soo ri, Jaya and Secretary Min, even the psychiatric patient except for the leads: Habaek and So-ah and to me, they have zero to no chemistry. They have more of a sibling relationship on-screen not something that gives you goosebumps.

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Given how K-dramas are, I don't think we would have enough time to develop Hu-ye has a good love rival to Habaek at this point. They should have started his development much earlier for this. It's not that there is no time, it's just that this show does a crappy job at explaining/developing certain things.

I loved the phone conversation as well. I think we all assume that he had good intentions. The way So-ah opened up was pretty good as well. If I'm not mistaken, Habaek did the whole I'm right behind you taking to you on the phone thing first.

I might be in the minority but, I really missed Habaek for those few minutes and was happy to see him back. If this goes where I think it will, the show will be all the better for it.

Finally, that backstory opened up more questions than answers for me. lol.

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I second that. Others may think that ha baek came back too soon, but i was agonizing together with so ah the whole way. She's very prideful, trying so hard to be fine, even if its breaking her. Its painful to watch. So i am totally glad ha baek chose to come back now, it was perfect timing. Watching so ah gave in and surrender, aka acknowledging her grief and loneliness, it was beautiful. That last scene was imo perfectly executed for both of them. Just enough

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Funny that you say that he came back too quickly, I was dying with the scenes wiht HY because I cannot stand him or his conversational antics. When I saw HB I was as happy as a pup. Besides, SA is already in love with HB, like deep as heck, there was noooo way she was gonna feel even a tinge for HY. If she were to feel anything for him that should have happened way before, and she's never even seen him in that light, so there was no way she was going to start now. I think the separation was more of a tool for SA to accept however little time she has with HB and to give HY false hope that he could ever have SA love him in return since HB wasn't around anymore, but he never had real change.

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@wingedswan,

Oh, I totally agree that the separation was a storytelling tool to show how deeply So-Ah is in the love with Habaek. In fact, I think this episode was really GREAT in showing how, despite her busy schedule and manic happiness, So-Ah was sorely missing Habaek. I felt her pain in the separation, and there was definitely a relief seeing him underneath his streetlight. <3

I mean, obviously, the OTP will end up together. But, I'm trying to explain that it's a bit boring with love triangles that aren't really triangles. As an example, a lot of people were dissatisfied (for a variety of reasons) in MLSHR because they were expecting Hae-Su to fall in love with Wang So immediately, but she was in love with Wang Wook for half the series! But, I actually rather liked it. I liked that Wang So had to REALLY fight for her love. Wang Wook was a GREAT rival. That's what I'm getting at. I like a real struggle, not the 2nd male lead just pining over the female lead who only has eyes for the male lead.

That's all!

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Thank you, Lollypip!
I really liked this episode. It made me laugh and cry all at the same time ... yes, I am a mess. Here are some of my thoughts:
- The episode opened up with the telling of how So Ah became servant to the gods. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting but it was nice to hear more of the history.
- I was pretty impressed with the emotion that the women reflected in this episode. I found it interesting how they expressed Mura's reasoning for telling So Ah her past and how the god was able to convince So Ah to let Habaek go.
- How amazingly delicious are Habaek's monologues? From his confession last episode to his farewell to So Ah, so swoony ... I could melt.
- On a lighter note, I didn't realize how much I liked the Mura and Bi Rym Pairing, but goodness, that scene when Bi Rym pulls in Mura a little too close. Delicious!
- I loved see how much strength So Ah possessed throughout this episode. Whether it was when she sent Habaek back or while she's trying to return her life back to normal, it's a nice divergence from your typical kdrama.
- The agreement that is forming between Mura and Hoo Ye seems to be foreshadowing something terrible. I don't really like all the passing and having of women. I thought it was a nice change for Hoo Ye to respond that he doesn't plan to have her but to make her happy. This would be sweeter, if the audience doesn't expect this agreement to go wrong somewhere down the line ...
- Habaek's return ... I was surprised that he returned so quickly ... I'm hoping it's not for him to just leave again but that was what the preview was allowing. I guess we'll just have to see. I would assume we need to all brace ourselves for a lot of ups and downs to come.

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today, So-ah grows up a little, learning about the other side of her view in life. She's a prideful person, so prideful that she chooses to endure every unplesant thing behind the closed door. She's resentful of her parents for leaving her alone. She uses every bit of her strength and bitter to prove her ability to live alone without relying on anyone else. Sometimes, that tendency goes extreme, she hurts people who care for her.
Understanding the healthy boundary between independence and the need to have someone beside is indeed the most essential part for So-ah's growth as a person, to be happy with or without Habaek. Habaek comes and helps her realize by herself, in her mind, he's still there, giving her wise advice as usual. i love their relationship and how they affect on each other. I roots for them, bcz that's the definition of an ideal human interaction to me haha.

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Hopefully Habaek has gotten his powers back!!!!!!

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Let's hope so! Thwy can go on bubble dates and do all sorts of water-inspired rendezvous!

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That's what I'm seriously seriously seriously hoping for.

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Just what I was thinking! I want to see some more cool things !

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At this rate, I'm wondering if the world isn't falling apart since Habaek hasn't return to his throne.

I was actually crushed to see Habaek back, because the fishes, the environment and let Huye have his moment with Soah. SS Huye + Happiness is about to leave the port ... only to be docked by the freaking ocean that is Habaek. LOL, it sort of makes sense in metaphorical sense.

I don't care if Mura is the villain or Huye ends up knocking her from the top spot, I admitted that I love them both. They managed to be written complicated characters than some. I'm still on the fence with Biryum though.

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> SS Huye + Happiness is about to leave the port ... only to be docked by the freaking ocean that is Habaek.

Habaek doesn't have full dominion over water for nothing. ???

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I nearly threw my tea at my laptop screen at that final scene. I mean, COME ON, Huye + Happiness needs to happen for everyone's sake and sanity.

I shouldn't get my hopes too high, but I can't help it everytime Huye graces my laptop with his sad puppy presence.

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Preach it, sister!

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BWAHAHAHAH ??
Laughter aside...that's really sad?
I'm getting this weird feeling that Hu-ye is going to give in to his evil "nature". Dammit, I wish the ship had left the port ages ago...and reached its destination (happiness) by now!

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Isn't that blue plushie some kind of a pokemon?

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Not too sure it's a Pokemon. Thinking it's an original piece.

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oohh it sure looks like a blue Tyrantrum or something...

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I don't know why, but I think JaYa is the real servant..

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Well in the manhwa So-ah was not the girl to be sacrified as the bride. But she was sold off by her father to a wealthy family to replace their daughter as a sacrifice.

Now this makes a bit of sense as to why in the first episode the high priest mentioned to Ha-baek that the human servant he meets has a different surname.

In the manhwa, Hu Ye is the son of the Emperor and brother of Nakbin...so I am really curious how the writer has written him in this drama :)

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Ugh, this episode felt especially long! I did enjoy the Hu-yecentrism though. So much so that I groaned when Habaek returned. From the looks of the preview for next week, Hu-ye is going full-on annoying stalker second lead and this does not make me happy. In more important news, all my side ships were adorable this episode. Namsoori is still the only man in this show worth falling in love with, although I am loving
the Secretary Min and Shin Ja-ya dynamic.

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I also don't want Hu Ye to go the usual full-on annoying stalker second lead mode.

Come on, Show, I think we all know Hu Ye and IJH deserve better fate and writing than that. Hmph.

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Habaek telling So-ah: not to stay out late, to get automatic porch light, to eat better, clean the house more, and to submit a streetlight complaint is worded better than simply I love you
And So Ah reminising: I read the book you read to remember your voice, I sat on the chair you sat to feel you warmth, I touch the cup rim you're lips have touched is better worded than simply I miss you
Oh and I love that OST: I'll never fall in love again

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IKR! This romance is painfully daebak! Heart breaking at its best! I was crying almost nonstop watching it but I still want some more. Ottoke....

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I was bawling my eyes out so much in this ep. That was unexpected. In a good way. I just wish Habaek did not come back so soon!

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Habaek's confession and parting words were really freaking good. He let himself be vulnerable and took a risk. For a god to do that, let alone Habaek, was all the better.

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For once, I almost liked Mura for schooling Soah on this relationship-not-relationship thing that she and Habaek had going on which would only hurt them both if it dragged on.

I also really liked how Hooye schooled Mura for not asking him to make Soah happy instead of just taking her. (Girl's not a possession, y'all!) But I didn't really get the whole "I don't have a complex with being nice" conversation because that wasn't the vibes I was getting from her. I was just confused by what she was saying, eh.

On Hooye: He's trying, and it's very endearing. I love how he listed all his attributes, even including "I plant trees". I think he's got a pretty dry sense of humour when he puts his mind to it, but it's really too bad that SA's heart is already taken. Since I'm pretty much on the HB ship (I'm not a believed of "he's more awesome than HB so he should get the girl") I'm not so much interested in his romance, but more in his backstory and how the conflict with the gods will be resolved. I need a happy ending for him, or we're gonna have some words, show.

On Soah: Finally the whole back story on Nakbin and why Soah is the servant. I really like how Soah brushed aside the archaic thoughts of having to be responsible for everything her ancestor did (and this was mirrored when she told HY that nobody can change their past) and didn't use that as the reason why she had to break it off with Habaek. I'm sure that was Mura's intended reason for telling her the story. It was probably the fact that Habaek would be nothing if he weren't King that made Soah go down the "noble idiot" path and push him away - she didn't want to take everything he was away from him.

On Habaek: I know there are a lot of comments on him being flatter than HY, and how HY should get the girl, but I guess love is a lot about the right timing. At SA's lowest points, he's always been there, and I can see why she came to love him - she's always been alone, and he's been a steady rock offering companionship and advice. The last scene was very symbolic for me, because she rejected HY's offer to drive her home, but when she saw HB waiting she ran to him immediately. And he looked so secretly pleased. I was a happy trooper.

On Mura & Biryeom: At this point I'm pretty much on the MR-BR ship. I feel like HB's just a long crush for MR, but the actual person she really likes is BR. He's the one who knows her, puts up with her tempers, and he likes her back. I'm glad to see some awareness on her part when he pulls her close.

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Krystal as Mura sure is hair goals every single episode! And her dresses. But really, her hair ♥♥♥

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Oh yes, her hair is ❤

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The reason why Moo Ra told So Ah the back story was not to make her feel guilty for her ancestor's deed and break up, but rather to explain that he can be destroyed by attempting love with a human, and after that love inevitably ends, for one reason or another (in the case of So Ah it may not be betrayal, but it will surely be death at some point, as he's immortal and she isn't). "I cannot bear to see him throw himself away and punish himself as happened last time when he lost Nak Bin"

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Thanks for the recap, @lollypip!

In particular, thanks for explaining what Imaginary Habaek was saying on So Ah's office couch.

I don't know if things were lost in translation, or if it is my aversion to algebra, but the translation I read mentioned an "imaginary numbers" having its square a "number below zero". May be a math thing, but I had no idea what Habaek was trying to say. ?

One of my favorite NJH scenes in this ep was when he was with Nam Suri. (Haaah!!!!!! I maintain NJH has very good comedic timing. Plus I wanted to give Nam Suri a hug, the darling.)

My other favorite scene actually was when he was saying goodbye and enumerating his last reminders to So Ah. Boy actually had me teary-eyed in that one.

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He was trying to tell So Ah to do her math homework! :O

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Truth to tell, that time in a previous episode when So Ah was emotionally talking to Habaek about finding new equations to compute for x -- I also didn't feel anything. ?

Maybe somebody ought to tell this OTP that math is almost never romantic. ?

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Sadly, I have to disagree about this - used to go on dates doing maths and physics together when I was younger. But I can see why this wouldn't have a ma(th)ss appeal :P

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I agree with you.. That math part was equally romantic for me...

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My translations said the same things- 'imaginary numbers' and "number below zero". Actually, he means that however she calculates things up, she will not get a positive value, but a negative value. it simply means that there won't be answers/solutions that both of them won't be hurt and have a happy ending. Imaginary number means the steps for the solutions and number value zero means negative value.

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Thank you, Forsythia!!!!! ? Your explanation was clear and really helpful. ?

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"Oh, you sexy bastard" my thoughts exactly *seal clap*

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My heart went "awww" for the last scene... I always love watching the loving Water God waiting patiently by the wall. The look in his eyes when she appeared from the junction. The way he nagged her for coming back so late... He's attentive and swoony. And she's lost without him around. Poor HY, so alone...

Love the story and development in ep 12 than 11. Thanks for the recap, @lollypip!

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Habaek was actually pretty swoony when he "reprimanded" So Ah for staying out late.

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HB is either in incredulous or swoony state whenever she was with him. Look at his eyes... ❤‿❤

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That waiting for her at the wall with the hanging greenery and the amazing lighting under it has been some of my favourite aspects of the show thus far. I loved how it came full circle at the end here.

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Me too, I like this scene from the first one. I love to see man who patiently wait for the one he loves. Waiting patiently without rushing her to come quicker. He simply waits since he knows she'll come back. The helpless romantic in me always charmed by such gesture.. ^^

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When you put it like that, I re-watch the scene and swoon some more. ♥♥♥

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I didn't know I loved Ha-baek so so much until the moment he was gone and it was completely dreadful for the next half of the episode. Then he came back and there are only fewer moments in dramaland that made me truly happier - like Min-joon returning to Song-yi for example. That he went through all that heartbreak, betrayal and pain, and to believe So-ah might not even love him the way he does and that she truly might've wanted him to leave. Then to throw all that behind him and somehow find the courage to show up again, still wanting to love her, still wanting her to be his "first and last" - it's heartbreakingly moving. Ha-baek might not be perfect, but he's perfectly human and in the end, and if I ever had any doubts, the moment he left - so simple and understated because he believed she wanted him to leave - won me over.

I also really really love So-ah actually. I know she's been getting a lot of flak for being so closed off etc, but she's completely the most realistic female lead I've seen this year. She's so full of flaws, someone who gets hurt and doesn't allow other people to see through it. She pretends to be okay, pretends to not feel heart broken, and only cries when the doors are all closed. It's so me. One thing I hate is pity. I don't want others to feel sorry for me. And I think that's basically what she feels. Sometimes it comes across as too prideful, too stubborn, but it's her way of protecting herself and that's something I respect. But seeing him leave like that, having experienced that pain and suffering - it was necessary to make her realize what it means to not have Ha-baek in her life. She can be successful in her clinic, get all the support from her friends, even have a chance to go to Vanuatu, but it can never make up for Ha-baek just being there - no matter how powerless he is. There was so much desperation as she saw him standing there like he always used to. I think at that moment, she realized how much she truly does need him in her life.

I don't know how they'll solve this. But they better. Even if the writers repeat the stupid silly ending of QIHM, I'll be on top of the world. I want them so much to be together. I also want Ha-baek to be King, and So-ah to remain a psychiatrist. So I know I'd be disappointed with one aspect at least. But that's okay! I just want them together!!

As for Hu-ye, I adore his character and conflict and how much he wants to be a better person despite what others think of him and despite his true nature. But I think this whole Ha-baek return is going to push him right off the cliff. That really sucks but that Ha-baek is back - I wouldn't exchange it for anything.

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As for Hu-ye, I adore his character and conflict and how much he wants to be a better person despite what others think of him and despite his true nature. But I think this whole Ha-baek return is going to push him right off the cliff. That really sucks but that Ha-baek is back - I wouldn't exchange it for anything.

I hope I'm not just one out of a few people who would agree with you here.

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I was happy to see Habaek too! And really show, is it really gonna come down to HY fighting over SA with HB? Cuz that is ultimately lame, I dont like how that minor god and Mura are egging him on to "take" her as if shes some pet. She's a woman who knows her mind and heart and they both point to Habaek.

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It would be lovely if Nakbin was a cameo done by a famous/popular actress. ??

And I really wonder if Habaek's powers are back, whee! ?

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Remember from the beginning when it was said that So-ah would die? And how Ha-baek only has powers to save her?

I don't think Ha-baek's powers come back for real until he has to save her from actually being dead. Then maybe he has to give up his powers and become mortal in exchange for saving her(?)

Then the big showdown between Hu-ye and Ha-baek, where So-ah comes in between and gets killed, turns into the path so some happy-ever-after-ing. Maybe. Except it's too predictable --
it's what you get if you add up every kdrama trope ever.

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So the male lead was absent for a large part of the episode.... and I barely noticed.

Is that a bad thing to admit?

#HuYeForTheWin

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Nope. Definitely not a bad thing. I love HY to bits and sympathize to him. But he deserves to be loved as much as he loves the other. Hence, SA is not the right one for him at this moment since her heart lies elsewhere.

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So true. Huye + Happiness my otp in broftwg))

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NO, I'm with you.

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Still impatiently waiting to know who the little blind girl is. Could she be connected to the doomed Nak-Bin somehow?

Also waiting to know what the deal is with the mute minion god.

I have a feeling that this late in the episode count, we're either going to be left with unanswered questions, or, overwhelmed in a barrage of last minute plot tie-ups.

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OH! I keep forgetting about that little girl! But I think you are on to something! And I am also curious about the mute god. I hope the writers have some serious plans for how this story will end!

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Also the "inconsistency" in why So Ah's mother or father didn't immediately die in accordance with the curse. (If that has still any relevance to the story.)

Plus the follow through on the dying fish phenomenon, of course. :P

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It struck me as I was watching this episode - I think I have a random theory about how demi-gods are supposed to grow old but still have eternal life. Their divine element is fire, right? So maybe when they grow too old, they essentially immolate themselves and then rise emerge from the ashes as a baby again like a phoenix. Just a random thought/theory I had for how that's supposed to work for a demi-god. I wonder if that messes with their memory, or at least just makes things difficult.

Also, is it just me or is the show not very clear about how the curse on So-ah's family supposed to work? We know that they will only ever have one descendant at once, and the spouse will die after the descendant is born. So...Does this mean that if Habaek marries So-ah and if they ever pop a demi-god kid (which should be anathema, since we've seen how much they love Hu-ye for it), Habaek himself will die? Alternatively, how is Hu-ye and So-ah getting together supposed to mitigate this? Do demi-gods and humans yield normal children? Or are they somehow infertile? Or is Mura just expecting them to have the politest, chastest marriage ever? Or--yet another alternative--is Mura selling this to Hu-ye as a way of getting rid of Hu-ye and So-ah at the same time?

Plus, the High Priest did mention So-ah is fated to die, right? (Please please please let it not be Hu-ye killing her or whatever.) I'm really confused about all of this right now.

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Edit: Sorry guys, italics were meant to be strokes but I apparently derped on the coding. Sigh.

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I don't think strikethrough works on Dramabeans.

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Ok, I seriously didn't expect that to work. I tried it before on the old site and it didn't work. For those wondering, it's "s" or "strike."

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Thanks for testing it out! :P

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'del' works for sure. Looks like you typed 'strike', so I guess that works too.

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That backstory on the curse did nothing but confuse and annoy me even more. The whole Habaek and So-ah copulation and baby thing might have to have some deus ex machina involved. They are god after all.

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I don't think the curse would work on HB. He is immortal so he won't die and the curse would then break off. that is why MR ask Hy to marry SA. Since HY also have eternal life, he won't die and the curse would break off. Mr told Hy on this.

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Even though I have eternal love for Im Joo-hwan and I love him as Hu-ye, I'd rather him searching for his happiness first and become the human he wanted to be rather than pursuing So-ah. Even though So-ah opened up to him, it's more friendship than love. And I hate seeing Hu-ye get herat broken more than this because he thinks that So-ah could give him that happiness, while I don't think he would be happy living with someone who loves someone else. Just saying

Bi-ryeom is soooooo sexy in this episode *___*

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The way for HY to get happiness is not from SA or any other people. He can be happy if he can make peace with his past. Accepting who he really is and appreciate it. Then, he would be happy. It is the first rule of happiness for human too: Accepting who you are and always make peace with your past. Forgive yourself and forgive others. For now, HY is not able to accept and forgive his past. HY hates himself rather than loving himself.

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Oh my heart...this episode is rollercoaster..its killing me and the most touching moment for me is when soah buy that blue dragon n don't let hu ye pay for her like its just between her n habaek....and when she drinks from yongyong cup...touching the edge of the cup with her finger somehow i feel intimate sensation between her n habaek...and i cry with her tooo whe she read the book and the last part of the book filling with habaek heart...that scene is sooo emotional n beautiful...and when habaek comes back...yay....she run to him immediately..hug him desperately...oh my..i can feel her....love this show....and i don't give a shit about what people saying...

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Is that wrong that I ship So Ah with both of them? I don't know I like Huye, or I just love Im Johwan so much!

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One day, kdramaland will do me a favour and just resolve a love triangle with a cheerful threesome where it's all rainbows and fluff and happiness--

Oh, who am I kidding. *ambles off to drink*

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Three words, Sassy Go Go.

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Ha ha ha! That would be the best.

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I'm with you... I ship them both but in different ways... You're not alone.

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Wow. I never knew until when he was about to leave that Ha-baek has grown on me so much. It felt like I was going through the same ordeal as So-ah when he left. I just couldn't take it! I missed him so much my heart was just broken all the way through.

Until that last part! Omg! I was screaming like "You're here! Is this true? Omg Ha-baek!" in between tears.

I hope that Hu-ye will be fine with just being friends. I like him but So-ah obviously loves Ha-baek and she's been rejecting Hu-ye's advances.

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I wish Hu-ye would've showed his flirty side earlier. Because I know So-Ah's point of view, and that is there's not good ending w/ Habaek. I wanted someone that can truly takes care of her in her world and end the servitude thing. Super surprised at Mura's action, telling the truth to send Habaek back to avoid another tragedy. Still curious about Bi-ryum's actions and goals. What did Hu-ye did so bad that Bi-ryum want to see the end of Hu-ye. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the happy ending, but I'm skeptical. I will say, I love how the book made her break down and recognize her own feeling that she's trying so hard to fight. And I love how the imaginary Habaek made her realize that no one will come out unscathed, something (if not everyone) will get hurt her way. Rather to have love and lost than never to have loved at all. Can't wait for next week, thanks for the recap.

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So wouldn't a simple solution to the god/human love story be for Ha-baek to stay on earth for 50 or 60 years with So-ah and then ascend to the throne? He isn't king yet, so it would hold off any destruction, right? So many questions about the realm of the gods. The Queen mother decreed that Nak-Bin had to die, but what punishment was meted out to the Sky God for trying to usurp the throne? Why was Bi-ryum there at the execution? If Ha-baek doesn't return and the human world ends, doesn't that mean the end of the gods, since the high priest explained that gods can end when they are not believed in anymore? Are all the gods stupid? Because they sure don't seem to have learned anything in their very long lives. (I'm looking at you Mura and Bi-ryum. Pouting, angry and poking things with sticks is not behavior that will help anything.)
I am actually really enjoying NJH portrayal of Ha-baek. It is a very tightly controlled performance, but the small expressions on his face and especially his eyes are really impactful. Though I will admit that his angry face is more hilarious than fear inducing.

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Also, I thought gods weren't allowed to hurt humans? Was the Queen Mother justified in initially planning to likewise kill Nakbin's relatives, when for all intents and purposes, they were innocent?

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Wasn't it specifically the protector gods who weren't allowed to hurt humans? It's why Mu-ra and Bi-ryum aren't allowed to do so, but Bi-ryum could still whistle up a bunch of minor gods and get them to go hurt Hu-ye. (Especially since they were shocked when he got up and came for them and then clued in that Hu-ye wasn't entirely human - they'd expected him to stay down, which means a serious world of harm there...)

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Thanks for the explanation, @kaoren!
That makes sense. I thought BR used the minor gods because they didn't want to return to the realm of the gods anyway, and hence they could live with the punishment/consequence of hurting a human. ???

In any case, I thought that was unfair/unreasonable of the Queen Mother to do. For deities who have lived thousands and thousands of tears, they sure still aren't so wise and benevolent, practically any of them! ?

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That's also possible - I'm not super sure about my recollection!

Well, but then again - gods, among other things, are long-lived and seem to know nothing of hunger and pain and all those little physical drives we humans have. (Guess they do the lust thing just fine though.) To them, what would we be anyway? Mayflies? Insects, short-lived nuisances who don't really matter at all in the grand scheme of things. It's not surprising that the gods depicted here don't really care about conferring moral status onto human beings. Nak-bin's family? Feh, doesn't matter, what matters is the harm that was done to Ha-baek.

It's rather blue-and-orange morality, but I kinda like that. Emphasises just how alien god-thinking is, especially if they need to actually put in place punishments in order to discourage gods from harming humans.

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I'm so conflicted.
So-ah pushed Ha-baek away, she didn't hold him back from doing his duties. She doesn't feel guilty for her ancestor's mistake(but I think Nak-bin did that mistake unknowingly as she had claimed and she did it just to stay with Ha-baek.). I respect So-ah for this.
Mo-ra is trying to protect everyone and Bi-ryeom is following her. So they are not wrong. I dislike them till they give a good enough reason for hating and picking on Hu-ye.
I just hope that they don't push Hu-ye to be evil even though he had been evil before, he is trying to redeem himself. But then I dislike Hu-ye a bit also because imagine a person had killed your family because he didn't have control over himself, you can't forgive them. So I want a good justification for whatever happens.
Last part was a hit, I was waiting for Ha-baek. Loved it.

Well here is a irony. Even though I knew it from the start, this episode just hit that fact on my face. I found it a bit odd and funny.
Ha-baek had loved Nak-bin.
Ha-baek loves So-ah.
So-ah is an ancestor of Nak-bin.
The heroine fell for her great great great great great great great.........grandmother's ex-boyfriend.
See the comparison.
I found it funny. No offense to anyone.

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Or is it her great great great great great great great aunt's ex-bf? I think So-Ah was the descendent of Nak-bin's brother. Poor guy and his kid also got punished. Kdramas and the punishing of relatives for the sins of their parents/siblings!

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Oh yeah, sorry. Its aunt.
And like we say we are god's children, then this love story is wrong in so many senses.
But then if we are using logic then we shouldn't be seeing this.

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Aunt....so weird.
Maybe for the gods it isn't weird (esp compared to the relationships greek gods had with each other) but I'm surprised So-Ah wasn't like WTFFF

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Right....

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I’m sorry to say but the backstory confused me even more.

1. If gods aren’t born, then what is the need for a “queen mother”, and where is she now? Once again this drama went to cliché territory, instead of taking risks with the backstory, and being creative. It just feels contrived, and am I to believe that Soah will have a cold “mother-in-law” if she marries Habaek (since the title is bride of Habaek)?

2. Why did Habaek return? I liked the last sequence, because the hug between them was beautiful and emotional. However if Habaek just returned because he wants to love without regrets, and there isn’t a secret plan/big-picture that we the viewers aren’t seeing yet, then that is just really cruel (because it means that he’s not allowing her to move on). But if there is a master plan (and Habaek has already decided to marry her), and the twist will be revealed later on, then that would save the story. I will choose to believe for now that Habaek and Bi Ryum are up to something, since Bi Ryum disappeared after he saw Soah with Hu Ye in the restaurant, and suddenly Habaek reappeared.

3. I hope that Habaek has his powers now… really, really hope this, because the story needs to move forward from want-to-be-together/can’t-be-together theme already.

4. The dream that Soah’s friend had of her was eerie, it almost looked that soaked Soah was asking her friend for help (and the wet shoes that appeared behind her, made the dream creepy).

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Yes, Queen Mother would make a scary mother-in-law.

Run, So-Ah, RUN! Find yourself a nice chaebol and a mean mother-in-law who has to resort to envelopes full of cash and glasses of water in the face, not one who can magically take over your body and make you drown yourself.

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LOL

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LOL!! I'm actually surprised Ha-Baek's mom isn't keeping tabs on him. Maybe she's dead? or whatever the god equivalent of dead is.

I really like So-Ah and wish she'll get a nice mother-in-law, especially since she's pretty much an orphan. Or no mother-in-law!

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Imagine, a MIL "who can magically take over your body and make you drown yourself" ... AND WHO LIVES FOREVER. ?

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Ah, but the MIL goes away if you stop believing in her! Quick, click your heels and think of something else -- anything else! :O

P.S. "Fire is the destructive element." Yeah, because whatever the heck that was totally did not destroy Nak-bin. C- for logic there...

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4. The dream: yes, so creepy! What with the drowning motif and all. *shudder*

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Biryeom & Mura has more chemistry than the lead couple. I like their story more.

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this is the moment i wish this goes a totally dfferent way than the original. previews kind of showing something bad happening to someone and /spoiler ahead/ MR and BR do die in the original so...
please do not.
i ship them

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Oh my god I hope not! I will literally hate this show if they kill MR and BR in the end T_T

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Things still unclear:

1. What went down when Joo-dong disappeared/lost his memory. We know that Joo-dong (according to Mu-ra) said there was something weird going down with the gate and asked them to meet him there, Bi-ryum and Mu-ra fight (we still don't know why exactly), the third stone is lost, and Joo-dong goes to retrieve it. Interestingly, this is thirteen years ago.

While Hu-ye just so happens to be in the area at the same time - the night his father cast him out – by Hu-ye’s account, this is ten years ago, which means Joo-dong has been missing for about three years or so, but shows up just in time to crash into Hu-ye (per Hu-ye's account anyway), gets struck by lightning, and Hu-ye picks up a swanky Earth kingdom mark, while Joo-dong loses his memory and his powers. Right after that, someone picks up Hu-ye and gives him the surname ‘Shin.’

What was Joo-dong doing in the interim? Who was lurking around that day? Who threw the bolt of lightning? (Lightning certainly seems to be a Sky Kingdom sort of thing; we know Bi-ryum can throw lightning. Or - the other possibility - Hu-ye's father is one and the same with the person who threw the lightning.) And what on earth is the significance of that Earth mark? And who exactly picked up Hu-ye?

2. We know how this 'ends': a year later, with So-ah drowning herself in the river with a white rose. What we're getting now is the context, but obviously, it won't end in the river - things happen after that. Is So-ah sacrificing herself, as Nak-bin did, in order to enter the Realm of the Gods? (Connected to the High Priest saying So-ah is fated to die?)

3. What's with the dying wildlife Mu-ra is dealing with? Is this in some way connected to Ha-baek?

4. Why doesn’t Ha-baek have his powers? (Please don’t tell me it’s some complicated long-term guilt thing because he did nothing when Nak-bin asked him to save her…) Is this in any way related to the time the guy ruling the Sky Nation tried to get Nak-bin to help him steal Ha-baek’s powers?

5. What’s going on with Geol-rim? We know he’s supposed to be a minor god as old as the High Priest, and (for some reason) he kept visiting Hu-ye in his cave, until according to him, he ran afoul of a bunch of gods from the Water Kingdom five hundred years ago and booked it to the human world. [Incidentally, since Hu-ye’s father cast him out around ten years ago, we know Geol-rim isn’t Hu-ye’s father. But why come and see Hu-ye? And why talk to Hu-ye, presumably over the casualties he’d caused?]

And what’s with kissing Ha-baek, lol? We know there’s also a connection between Mu-ra and Bi-ryum and Geol-rim, and Geol-rim seems to have been put up to it by Mu-ra, but to what end? What don’t Bi-ryum and Mu-ra want Ha-baek to discover, apart from the thing about the stones?

6. What’s the significance of Min (the blind girl Hu-ye spends time with, and whom Joo-dong talks to)?

7. What on earth does everyone want lol. It’s not...

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Whoops, comment limit.

7. What on earth does everyone want lol. It’s not really clear what Mu-ra’s motives are, or Geol-rim’s, or even Bi-ryum’s. And don’t get me started about Hu-ye: he wanted to be a good person, to live a nice, quiet, normal ordinary life in the first couple of episodes but suddenly he wants to make So-ah happy (and looks likely to escalate into jealous/possessive territory.) What happened to wanting this god business to pass him by?

8. For that matter, what on earth went down with the corpses in Hu-ye’s dreams, and the people he killed that Geol-rim told him he didn’t kill? And why have Hu-ye’s powers been mostly under control except for recently?

9. The minor god who doesn’t speak and who lost a twin. What’s going on there? Does it have any connection to why Bi-ryum immediately says he hates Hu-ye and will never stop hating him and talks about revenge? (It’s telling that Bi-ryum or Mu-ra don’t immediate recognise Hu-ye: is this because whatever Bi-ryum hates Hu-ye for is only based on secondhand knowledge? Or is it because child!Hu-ye did the killing and was thus confined in the cave, and Bi-ryum doesn’t recognise adult!Hu-ye?)

10. How is the curse on So-ah’s lineage supposed to work, and how is marrying Ha-baek or Hu-ye supposed to resolve it in a way that does not: A. produce more horrible abominable demi-gods, or B. result in Ha-baek or Hu-ye dying. (Unless, of course, such pairings cannot produce offspring.)

11. What’s Bi-ryum’s deal with Ha-baek? He seems to blame Ha-baek for Nak-bin’s death, though why is not particularly clear. We also know Bi-ryum suggested the creation of the servant lineage, and is apparently creating difficulties for the Water Nation over it. Mu-ra disagrees and disapproves.

12. All the questions that don’t look like they’re going to be answered because holy Christ it’s four episodes left how why even.

This is why you don’t leave your exposition to the last minute even though it gives us some really cool moments so I guess that’s fine sorta.

Also I could go for a completely bland coffeeshop AU in which Hu-ye just learns how to normal people and the pursuit of happyness.

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10. I would guess that the curse on servants/descendants only applies to mortals (?). So marrying a god or half-god is the way to break the curse (?)

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Can you add to your list, "who is Hu Ye's father?" . Is it Biryoem's father, Habaek's father? "Is Nak Bin, Hu Ye's mother?"

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in the manga Nak Bin was Hu Ye's sister

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I am almost expecting a surprise birth secret, and it turns out that Habaek is Hu-ye's father. He had an affair with a human girl around the right timeframe. The girl was locked in a cave for an unspecified amount of time.

I don't expect either Habaek or Hu-ye would know if this were so. It looked like Habaek only visited the cave that one time. I'm pinning either the Air King or Bi-ryum as the evil father figure who kept Hu-ye locked in a cave for hundreds upon hundreds of years and then kicked him down to earth. By all accounts, the Air King is just as big a jerk as Bi-ryum, and either scenario would explain why Bi-ryum has such a chip on his shoulder about Hu-ye. I could see this as being a punishment for their role in the whole Nak-bin debacle -- being forced to raise the "abomination."

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I would think so, but the timeframe is kinda wrong. Hu-ye notes being in the cave for almost three thousand years (to be fair, he's not the most reliable source and he may have been lying about Joo-dong among other things), whereas we're consistently told by more reliable sources that the Nak-bin affair happened 'twelve hundred years ago.'

If everyone is being reliable (granted, I do not doubt this), then the timelines don't synch up.

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Darn, I totally forgot that question/(s) D: Anyway I can't edit this so feel free to just add on!

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11. Bi ryum is a mischievous who loves to create troubles. So, it looks like he is feeling the fun of playing with HB and others. But, that's not all that. One thing that makes he hates Hb is because of his jealousy on Hb as MR always worried and cared of HB.

4. A mystery that only the universe can answer..LOL..taking the words from the book HB read: the universe have calculate everything to make them fall in love. so, i believe it is fate.

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11. I'm reluctant to consider Bi-ryum just mischievous. I think the drama has gone some way to showing us he does in fact have a dark side - he just hides it pretty well.

I'll be upfront about this: I'm also biased against answers that refer to just 'love', because they're awfully convenient, and because real-life beings tend to have more complex motivations and drives than just love alone. Maybe this is unrealistic for kdramaland and I should know better by now, but *shrugs*

4. I hope there's an answer eventually. But 4 episodes, rofl.

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I agree that Bi-ryum is not "just mischievous". He attacks viciously poor Hu-ye, both with words AND when he has him beat up to a pulp. Sorry but this doesn't qualify as "just mischievous".

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Thanks @kaoren and everyone for organizing the timelines and all our pending questions!

I am so going back to this thread by the end of the series and see how much -- and how well -- the Show will have answered these.

I don't know how they'll do it without seeming rushed or contrived, but hey, I will be optimistic! ??

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Addendum: Ha-baek and Bi-ryum definitely appear to have a falling-out over/related to Nak-bin. The question is what exactly - how does Bi-ryum factor into this?

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And if I remember correctly then the High-priest had said the girl was not from the Shin/Shim family. Is this the same family as Hu-ye or something different?

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@Kaoren

All great questions! I hope the writer has enough space to answer them!

Regarding your first question, the timeline between Joo Dong and Hu-Ye’s does need to be resolved. My guess on the following questions you posed are below:

[1] In terms of the lightning, I actually think it was Hu-Ye’s power that caused it. I think that for a variety of reasons:

- In the flashback, we see that when Hu-Ye enters into the human realm there is a storm brewing and then lightning hit Joo Dong.
Hu-Ye, in his dialogue with Bi-Ryeom, claims responsibility for hurting Joo Dong.

- In episode 11, when Hu-Ye is drunk but distressed over his nightmare at So-Ah’s office, there’s a storm brewing outside again.

My guess is that Hu-Ye’s emotions dictates the harmful storms

[4] Re: Habaek’s powers, the Show implies that his loss of power is an accident, but I don’t think it is. My guess is that every Water God who will become king must go to earth to learn what it means to be king over people who are powerless. What better way than to strip a god of all his powers and see what it is like to live like a mortal?

[8] Re: Hu-Ye’s powers, I think these people were killed during Hu-Ye’s entrance into the human realm, when he was disoriented and frightened. I think he has been able to control his power until now because he hasn’t had much that would threaten or harm him…until Habaek and Bi Ryeom shows up in his life.

[10] I don’t think Mura has thought quite so far in terms of progeny with Habaek & So-Ah. Never once does she say “If So-Ah marries Habaek, we’re going to have to deal with more Hu-Yes!"

Her concern seems to flow primarily from Habaek’s past dealings with a woman, which resulted in a curse, death and tragedy.

In regards to Hu-Ye, my guess is that Mura is banking on Hu-Ye and So-Ah not having children at all….which I don’t think means they won’t consummate their marriage, but that Mura expects such a marriage not to have progeny. Not sure how that works since Hu-Ye in a demi-god. Is a demigod infertile like a mule is?

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[1] You make a good point, and I went back and picked up on the dialogue with Bi-ryum later on. My main gripe with the storm hypothesis is that at least based on the lore thus far, demi-gods have the element of fire (explaining why the Fire Nation keeps attacking Hu-ye keeps doing things with black smoke and the caterpillar bursting into flame.) It's possible that we'll discover there's something weird about the categorisation system, or that lightning is really sky-fire and so kinda the same thing, but I'd expect that more of a Brandon Sanderson novel, not kdramaland.

We also don't know if Hu-ye was trash-talking Bi-ryum: either way, the fact he contradicts the account he gave Mu-ra and Bi-ryum earlier does put a question mark next to his reliability. Given that So-ah notices there's something weird about his (edited) story of that night, and given the lore thus far, I'm more inclined to think that it has to do with the Sky Nation. (And I do think Hu-ye has a connection to them.)

[4] I agree with this, and I think you make a good point. The only difficulty with it is that the system doesn't quite go far enough: sure, Ha-baek might be stripped of his powers, but he's not helpless helpless. He doesn't bleed, he doesn't really need to fear for his life, and the only reason he experiences human drives like hunger and thirst is because Geol-rim (seemingly put up to it by Mu-ra) cursed him. Now, certainly, it might be part of the test that Mu-ra did it, but it's just a discrepancy at this point. Nonetheless, I would not be surprised if the answer is more or less what you've suggested.

[10] Good point. It seems like the god also has to be embodied in order for the human woman to bear children so possibly not an issue if they do it in the Water Nation, but...argh. So many more questions, haha.

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I can't tell sometimes whether they know when the other person is lying. He'll say - "I can't tell if you want me to leave" ... and I'm thinking "Of course she doesn't, you idiot! Look at the tears-duh!"

Maybe I'm just a bit dim, or it's intended to be nebulous, or the leads aren't really amazing at conveying complex emotions.

All I know is that I like when characters are confused, not as much when I as the viewer is confused.

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Well said.

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Are the fish dying and the water polluted because Habaek isn't getting back to his "real" job? I was just in Seoul last month...right at the water park where this drama was filmed (didn't know it until I got home and looked at my photos next to scenes in ep 2) and I had my feet in the Han.....there was no pollution smell at all, so I'm wondering if this is exaggerated in the drama to show Habaek's negligence! OMG - I really want So Ha to go back to god-land with him so she can see him in full Water God regalia...plus eye liner!

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I think it made perfect sense fir her to send him away. They needed to end this mess after her ancestor did that . She was doing the selfless and noble thing and not sure why people think that was wrong

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hu-ye marrying so-ah will be a perfect ending to end the curse. IJH should have spin-off dramas as the male lead, either turning to the dark side like Darth Vader, or make cute demi-gods babies with so-ah like Fairytopia's... Habaek is probably the stupidest god I have ever watched, he is repeating the same mistake by falling in love with a human. Is there no other female gods in his World beside Mura? I actually find Mura more attractive and feminine than So-Ah... Very disappointing still... no superpowers... all I am watching is the wishy washy flickle flirty useless god travelling back and forth not knowing what he is doing... Doesn't Habaek have any godly business to take care of? is he on vacation mode or what?? sigh....

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IKR, it's like HaBaek falls in love with the only two girls he's ever met. Dude, have you (Water God) never heard the one about "there's always more fish in the sea"? And while we're on the subject, how did he meet Nak Bin anyway when he's never been to Earth before?

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nak bin is the human sacrifice but the water realm accepts her and let her live in that realm because they never need human sacrifice. it is the human who thought that the god needs a sacrifice to please them. then hb meets her and fall in love but i am sure their love is not that deep and true because hb can just let her die and she can betray him for her own greed.

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This is the most delusional post I've read... Lol yes of course it makes perfect sense for Soah to Mary Huye even though she's never once shown any interest in him, and only in this episode decided it was okay to be friends with him -because some of you are so in love with LJh that you have to put down the story, the writing, the lead, every other character in the drama just to point out how superior he is.

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the whole drama is delusional.... what's with my comment that you don't like? IJH is a great actor. What's wrong with that?? smh...

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The problem is that So Ah doesn't love Hoo Ye. Love doesn't follow the logic of "it would be more convenient to love this guy instead of that one". She happened to fall for Ha Baek. And yes, Ha Baek fell for her, for some reason. Love is a random and illogical illness that comes to you when you least expect it. So there's no point on hating people because they fell in love for each other. The interesting part is how they deal with it, what choices they make from then onwards.

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I'm sorry but nak bin .....yea she had to go. no tears whats so ever

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I really liked these last 2 episodes. The comic antics between them and the heartbreak. I like how the incorporated the chibi habaek part from the manhwa. Hope they will have some happy moments in the next episode. Wonder if so ah will ever end up in the realm of the gods. Would be interesting

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A clever interspersing of characters from the manhwa into this drama. Getting ‘krystal’ clear now that the picture puzzle is almost completed. Anticipating a ‘free-for-all’ showdown among the gods/demi god, just hoping for a good outcome for poor Hu-ye - the lovelorn loneranger...sigh! Im Ju Hwan should have a male leading role drama right after this! Alas, Soah couldn’t hide behind her crumbling false-front ‘I m strong’ woman façade anymore. See how ‘True Love’ can expose all personalilty traits and break barriers? She has finally thrown cautions to the wind, succumbing to Habaek’s ever so irresistible gentlemanly charm ,must-get-your-woman-persistence & stoic love! Phew! Where are all the Habaeks in real life?..sigh! Anyways, just hoping for the ‘Servant Tablet’ to be found so So-ah could make the only one wish to grant her a one-way ticket to water realm to be Habaek’s god-fully-wedded bride blissfully forever ever-after! As for the rest of the other couplings, do the maths! Meanwhile, will continue to watch and wait for lollypip’s next recap…?

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Sorry to ask a noob question... but can anyone tell me the meaning behind So-ah always being reflected alone in a round mirror?
Really appreciate :)

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I assumed it was just so they could film from the angle slightly behind her, mostly in profile, consulting with the person in the chair, while still showing us her full face so we can see all her expressions. Maybe not? Maybe there is a meaning.

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i actually thought that it was bc she, at least at the beginning hated her job and was pretty uncaring about her patients.
the mirror was to me a symbol that she always sees herself bf others. some filter so she wont see her patients directly. as patient Ma accused her of.

although i agree that from the filming point it is to show her emotions, and that she never looks at her patients.

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@lollypip would love to hear your explanation please! this recurring symbolism is driving me crazy ㅋㅋ

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You know, I've noticed that too, but I have no idea! It does seem interesting that only So-ah is shown through mirrors, but I haven't been able to think of a reason why...

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The only couple that I'm truly shipping is Jaya and Secretary Min. I feel like everyone else should just remain single and friends.

Some questions answered. Many more still remain. And more questions arise with each episode. I hope there will be more revelations in episode 13 without introducing new questions. I'm still really fuzzy on the curse and how the god realm works. So water seems to be the most powerful and admired (like Gryffindor!). Then the sky (Slytherin!). Then the land gods are the nice ones who don't seek power (Hufflepuff!). I'm surprised that Bi-ryum is even allowed to hang out with the water gods after what his dad did, especially since Bi-ryum is a troublemaker.

I really hope Hu-Ye doesn't turn evil. I don't think I can continue watching if he does.

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I'm shipping Jaya and Min too

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I always love reading your recaps! I'm too lazy to watch full episodes so I just follow the story in your reviews and insights! Keep them coming! Kudos to your team ☺???

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I am a bit sad for the lack of Hu Ye in this episode ☹️

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Such a sweet ending to the episode. I am so relieved that the OTP did not have to spend so much time away from each other. I kinda worry about what they have to go through to be together considering it was Soah's ancestor who set a very bad precedent for a human-god relationship.