Hwayugi: Episode 12
Things take an unexpected turn when our heroes discover that they’ve awakened something extremely old and powerful, and basically rolled out the red carpet for evil to enter their lives. This is what you get for ignoring the warning signs, people—when a demon is afraid of something, just go ahead and assume it’s really bad.
EPISODE 12 RECAP
After Sun-mi calls out to Oh-gong to stop him from murdering Buja’s hit men, he comes to his senses and doubles over in pain. The bracelet has seized his heart so tightly that he coughs up blood, and it shocks him so much that he doesn’t let Sun-mi come near him.
He holds out a hand to stop her from coming any closer, and when she persists in worry, he vanishes before her eyes.
The hit men make their escape and go down to the spot where Buja fell from the roof, but once again her corpse has disappeared on them.
Sun-mi goes to Mawang in tears and says that Oh-gong is hurt, and she thinks it’s because of her. Mawang just observes vaguely that she made it happen.
Oh-gong has taken Buja to his liquor cellar, where she asks worriedly if he’s okay. He insists that he’s more in shock than in pain, and that he’s not in any position to receive sympathy from a zombie in her state.
He asks for a quiet moment before he tends to her wounds, and muses to himself while clutching his heart, “She must really be the one to kill me.”
Meanwhile, Mawang ventures a guess that Oh-gong felt pain because Sun-mi had commanded him to stop going after the hit men, and he ignored her at first. She argues that the bracelet has never caused him physical pain before, but Mawang explains how the bracelet works, and how Oh-gong’s once indestructible body has now developed a weak spot—a soft heart.
He tells Sun-mi that Oh-gong can now be hurt and even die, and she made it that way because of the bracelet. He adds, “Of course, the only one who could kill him is you—the one he loves.”
Oh-gong pours magical healing whiskey over Buja’s wounds and even lets her drink a little, making sure to note that it’s a very pricey bottle for a zombie to be drinking. She asks after Sun-mi and says that she can feel how sad Sun-mi is right now because they’re connected.
Buja shares her happy news that she’s found her real name, Jung Se-ra, and that she wants to go tell PK right away. She suggests that Oh-gong go to Sun-mi as well, and he calls her annoying but refers to her by name instead of “Zombie,” which makes her smile.
As they head out, Buja grabs the back of Oh-gong’s coat like a little kid (it’s the cutest thing), and then asks him to burn her here when it’s time, because she likes it here. He agrees to do as she wants.
Meanwhile, PK drinks at Summer Fairy’s bar, unable to shake the feeling that something was wrong with Buja. Summer Fairy says that she was going around saying goodbye to people as if she were headed on a faraway journey, and PK suddenly gets scared that Oh-gong is burning her somewhere.
He runs off in a hurry, and Dragon Prince (still in Alice’s body) gripes jealously about the pig falling for a zombie, while Summer Fairy looks over at him in pity and wonders how an octopus fell for a pig. Ha.
PK thinks back to Buja’s farewell earlier that day and grows even more worried that something isn’t right. He’s determined to find her, but she ends up finding him first, and he’s so relieved that he runs over to her and grabs her in a hug. Aw.
He says he was about to go crash into Oh-gong’s car just to find her, and she tells him the good news about finding her name.
The hit men nervously tell Kang Dae-sung about killing Buja and losing her corpse again, but this time he’s not so dismissive of them because of his own encounters with Buja dying and then disappearing. He decides to call her back on her mother’s phone to track her down.
Sun-mi tries Oh-gong at home but he isn’t there, so she asks CEO Sa to take her to Oh-gong’s lair. He points out that she could just call his name, but Sun-mi is worried that she’ll hurt him somehow, and CEO Sa says that no one can enter the portal to Oh-gong’s home if he doesn’t want them there.
She tries the elevator portal anyway, disappointed when Oh-gong doesn’t let her in. She crouches in front of the elevator in defeat, but then the doors open behind her and Oh-gong steps out.
She’s so relieved to see him that her legs give out and she falls trying to stand up, and he says, “Does it hurt? I was in a lot of pain because of you too. We’re even now.”
He holds out a hand to help her up, and she immediately throws her arms around him in a tight hug. He smiles and notes that she has a habit of telling him not to seduce her and then making the first move herself, while she just hugs him tearfully.
He sighs in satisfaction and says, “It was worth being in pain.” Aw.
Sun-mi fusses over Oh-gong at her apartment, making him tea and looking for things to feed him, while he notices that she keeps avoiding calling him by name. She says she’s scared it’ll hurt him, because earlier she screamed his name and it caused him pain.
He asks if she’s really not going to say his name anymore, and when she remains silent, he asks if their contract is over and she’s going to take the bracelet off. He says it lightly to lift the mood, but she takes it seriously, which definitely gets his attention.
He asks if she means it and holds his wrist out, and watches intently as Sun-mi tentatively reaches out to remove the bracelet. But she stops at the last second and says she can’t do it because she still needs him. “You said you like me, but you must not like me enough to take this off,” he says.
But then he adds, “You did well, Jin Sun-mi. That’s the right thing to do. If I ever shake you again like I did just now, don’t budge. I’m warning you. Because I love you,” and he caresses her face affectionately.
While Sun-mi remakes the tea that she’d accidentally made with salt instead of sugar, Oh-gong quietly takes the death bell out of his pocket and contemplates it.
Secretary Ma wonders if Oh-gong will tell Sun-mi the truth about the bell, but Mawang says it’s more advantageous for him to keep it a secret so that she’ll fall more in love with him. He refuses to believe that love could defeat a bad guy like Oh-gong, but she points out that he could be keeping it a secret to spare Sun-mi’s feelings.
She says that Mawang seems to be rooting for Oh-gong to live, and Mawang insists defensively that he is not on Oh-gong’s side and he dislikes him very much. Uh-huh. He’s positive that Oh-gong will use the death bell to bewitch Sun-mi, “Because he’s a bad guy.”
Buja tells PK her real name, and he feels bad about calling her Buja all this time, but she says she loves the name he gave her as his dongsaeng. So he says she’ll always be his dongsaeng Buja, and happily runs off to get her more energy balls.
While he’s gone, Buja gets a call from her mother’s cell phone, and this time it’s Kang Dae-sung on the other end. He says he’s taking care of her mother and wants to meet, so of course she heads off alone like a dolt. Did we not learn anything from your last encounter with the hit men?!
Mawang comes home from the hospital ready for a big homecoming, only to be met with an empty house and an empty fridge. He ends up having a pity party while cleaning, and by the time Oh-gong comes home, Mawang is pouty and upset about the lack of help around the house.
But his spirits are instantly lifted when he sees that Oh-gong has bought him his favorite porridge and a bottle of wine, and Mawang sings to himself as he sets a table for two. Cute.
Oh-gong is surprised that he wants to share, and even more surprised when Mawang shows concern for the fact that he almost died earlier. Mawang won’t admit it, of course, and says that he just wants to make sure Oh-gong didn’t put something weird in his food.
Mawang asks if he told Sun-mi about the death bell, and Oh-gong just teases him about worrying that he’ll die and leave Mawang all alone. Oh-gong is concerned about that tree demon that Sun-mi mentioned, and makes sure that Mawang knows what he’s doing and didn’t awaken something bad. Mawang insists that he wouldn’t make another mistake like releasing him from prison, though something about the tree still niggles at Oh-gong.
At his creepy warehouse, Kang Dae-sung laughs in Buja’s face for coming to see him alone. He readily admits that he’s the one who killed her in an accident, and asks how it is that she never dies.
Buja just asks where her mother is, so he points out the shipping container in his warehouse—the one that contains the coffin dug up underneath the tree demon, which he intends to drop in the ocean.
She stupidly walks right inside (I guess she has an excuse since her brain is rotted), and of course he locks her in. He orders the hit men to throw it in the ocean so that she can never come back.
Inside the container, blinding white light shoots out of the coffin again, and this time it etches a mark on Buja’s chest. She’s hit with a strange sensation and is drawn to the coffin, and when she touches it, she sees the same vision that Kang Dae-sung did, of a woman in a black cloak performing a ritual.
But this time the ground begins to shake violently and the light bursts through the shipping container, opening its doors. The hit men nervously head inside to check, and find the whole container floor lined with red rose petals.
The woman in the black cloak is standing at the coffin, and she turns around just like in the vision… except now she’s wearing Buja’s body, with blood-red lips and icy-blue veins. She says with an eerie smile that she will accept them as sacrifices, and the door to the container slams shut as the hit men scream for their lives.
When Kang Dae-sung returns and opens the container, all that’s inside is an empty coffin and bloodstains everywhere.
Patriarch tells Mawang and Oh-gong about their new problem: They’ve unleashed a being that was asleep for a thousand years under that tree demon. Patriarch describes her as a priestess who used to serve a king, and she was sealed inside that coffin after she died. You know she’s bad if they felt like they had to mystically bind her corpse.
Mawang just sees this as an opportunity to score a bunch of points at once by catching her, but Patriarch tells them not to take a priestess lightly. He says that she’s not a demon, and can hide among humans, and even manipulate and use human hearts against them. She has the power to awaken a dragon and make a king, which he says could turn the whole world upside down.
Patriarch tries to task them with finding the priestess, but Mawang starts coughing and feigning weakness from his stabbing, and Oh-gong follows suit with complaints of a weak heart. Did the dog eat your homework too? Patriarch is annoyed, but agrees to consult heaven on the matter.
Mawang and Oh-gong bicker all the way home about whose responsibility it is to clean up this mess, and it ends with them taking it out on each other’s statues childishly.
But the priestess has already found Sun-mi, and she blows a few rose petals at a deliveryman to put him under a spell. He delivers a bouquet of roses to Sun-mi, which Han-joo assumes is from Jonathan.
The priestess is able to control the roses from outside the building, making a petal fall and cut Sun-mi’s hand, drawing blood. She collects the drop of blood in another petal, and by licking a different rose in her hand, she can taste Sun-mi’s blood.
While Sun-mi steps away to bandage her cut, the priestess floats more petals in preparation to draw more blood, but Oh-gong appears and zaps them with his wand.
When Sun-mi returns to her desk, he’s gone and so are the roses, and she asks the monkey doll accusingly whether his hyungnim stole them. The priestess is long gone, and Oh-gong only finds a single rose left behind.
Patriarch has left Mawang in charge of his messenger duties while he travels to heaven to confer about the priestess situation, and Mawang especially delights in meting out divine punishment to nasty humans.
He says that heaven should really intervene more often, vowing to fix that when he becomes an immortal. He gets really worked up and theatrical when he confronts a man who conned tens of thousands of people out of their life savings and caused multiple suicides.
Mawang describes how the man is going to fall down the elevator shaft and be mangled but barely alive for days until he’s rescued, and growls in his face until the man jumps on his own out of fear.
In the car, Secretary Ma notes that delivering divine punishment is a very satisfying job, and Mawang looks forward to the day he becomes an immortal and can intervene in human life officially.
While they’re stopped at a red light, his wife Princess Iron Fan is yet again just outside his window, but omo—this time he turns around and sees her! She’s crying at the bus stop, and Mawang turns to her in shock.
He hadn’t even known all this time whether she’d been reincarnated in this life, and reaches for the door handle to go to her. But Secretary Ma stops him with the reminder that he can’t intervene, and if he does, she will still die a tragic death and see even more misfortune in her next life.
That makes him stop, and all he can do is watch her go with tears pooling in his eyes.
He follows her from afar as she returns to work in her jewelry shop, and then after a while he trudges back to his office to look at her portrait.
He finds Buja there, not knowing that she’s been possessed by the priestess, and tells her to eat more energy balls to recover from her fall. The priestess asks whether he’s found Iron Fan, and he tells her tearfully that he finally saw her today, and she must be living a hard life because she was crying.
The priestess offers to help him and intervene in Iron Fan’s life, since she’s not human, monster, or ghost. He wonders how she even came up with that idea, but says that fooling heaven is not easy.
On her way out, the priestess walks past Secretary Ma, whose dog nose picks up on Buja smelling different. The priestess says she found a new perfume to cover up the zombie smell, which seems to convince her.
She also runs into PK, who fusses over her disappearing on him again and tells her to wait at home while he goes on a photo shoot. The priestess notes that this Buja girl is loved by many, but decides that the monk’s body is still better than a rotting zombie. Oh noes.
The priestess seems especially happy to see Oh-gong, and tells him that Mawang gave her energy balls to eat. But there’s a strange pause in Oh-gong’s response, like he senses something off about her.
He says that she looks too well for being so broken recently, and decides that he needs the energy balls more than she does. He stops on his way out and holds out the rose that he picked up on the street. Ooh, does he know?
He tosses it at her feet and reminds her of what she’d said about wanting to die while she was still pretty like a flower, and promises to burn her. He calls her Buja and then adds, “But you’re not Buja anymore, are you?”
After another tense pause, he calls her Jung Se-ra instead, and the priestess relaxes. He’s got to be messing with her, right? She watches him go and wonders to herself, “If I take over Sam-jang’s body, will he become mine?” Oh noooooo.
Oh-gong bursts into Mawang’s office and asks if he saw her, but Mawang has no idea what he’s talking about. Oh-gong is aghast at Mawang’s blindness and blurts that the priestess is wearing Buja’s body as a shell. Thank goodness someone noticed!
Oh-gong wonders why the priestess chose Buja and what she wants with them, and Mawang can’t believe that Oh-gong just let her walk away because he knew it would be hard to fight her. Lazy Monkey.
Oh-gong agrees to capture her if Mawang finds a way to bind her, but then Oh-gong grows suspicious over the fact that Mawang was the first person the priestess visited. Mawang swears that she just took energy balls and that he’s not up to anything sneaky.
But the minute Oh-gong is gone, Mawang tells Secretary Ma that he’d ignored the priestess’s offer when he thought it was Buja, but it could serve him well to work with her. They make plans to betray Oh-gong by making a deal with the priestess, and Secretary Ma drafts a contract.
Jonathan prepares to return to the States and promises to invite Sun-mi to the movie’s premiere when it comes out. She thanks him for the roses, which he says weren’t from him, but he hands her a box with a rose and a necklace inside.
He says that the necklace signifies a happy ending, which is the kind of ending his movie will have, and he wishes her a happy ending with her fairy. Aw, that’s nice.
Sun-mi is happy to add another good luck charm to her collection, but when she goes looking for her bell, she finally notices that it’s missing.
Oh-gong tells Summer Fairy about the death bell but warns her not to say anything to Sun-mi, and Summer Fairy agrees that not knowing is better, since the fate to kill or be killed is too sad to bear. Oh-gong uses Sun-mi’s words: “Knowing ahead of time just means being sadder for longer.”
Oh-gong asks if Buja stopped by the bar, and Summer Fairy says she came by and borrowed a lipstick named Rosy, which makes him scoff. He’s disappointed that Summer Fairy doesn’t know anything about priestesses, but she points out that Sun-mi is essentially a divine priestess of a sort because she’s carrying out a heavenly calling. Oh-gong wonders if that’s why the priestess was hovering in Sun-mi’s vicinity.
CEO Sa is surprised when the priestess requests steak, since Buja doesn’t like meat. And then he notices that she’s suddenly using her knife with her left hand when Buja was right-handed before. Gack, don’t kill him!
There’s a chill in the air as the priestess puts down the knife and fork, but she just pleasantly says that she was always left-handed, using her mind-control voodoo to convince him that it’s true. It works, and she asks him to make food that Sun-mi likes so she can bring it over.
Kang Dae-sung is about to have the priestess’s empty coffin thrown into the ocean as planned, but then he notices a few stray rose petals on the ground and picks one up, enticed by the scent.
Mawang and Secretary Ma trace the coffin to the warehouse, but it’s already gone, and Mawang wonders if maybe Kang Dae-sung found out that the priestess has the power to make kings. Yeah that part is worrisome. So is the part where Kang Dae-sung has moved the coffin into his house.
The priestess visits Sun-mi with food and fresh roses, and creepily smells her hair while she’s not looking. She asks where Oh-gong is, and Sun-mi mentions that he was hurt because of her, and the priestess runs with that, suggesting that she shouldn’t call his name if she doesn’t want to hurt him anymore.
The priestess points out that Sun-mi is powerless without Oh-gong, and says that for someone like Sohn Oh-gong to be her protector, she ought to have a special ability. She begins to blow into a rose to cast some sort of spell, but before it can reach Sun-mi, Oh-gong appears behind the priestess and smacks her in the head.
He’s still treating her like she’s Buja, but makes sure to sit her down so she can’t leave, and throws the roses in the garbage. He tells Sun-mi that she doesn’t need flowers when she’s so pretty, and that flowers are dangerous anyway.
He heals the cut on her hand and barks at her not to get hurt because it saddens him, and the priestess watches all of this looking a little envious. Oh-gong surreptitiously checks his watch and says it’s useless waiting for the “evil cow bastard,” realizing that Mawang betrayed him.
Mawang is biding his time knowing that Oh-gong will take the priestess away from Sun-mi, and he figures that during his fight with her, Oh-gong will discover her true objective for being here.
Just as Mawang predicted, Oh-gong tells the priestess that he’s going to take her to his house to burn her, and when he whispers at her menacingly to come without a fight, she realizes that her cover is blown.
He keeps up appearances for Sun-mi’s sake and says he and Buja are swinging by his place for a nice bottle of liquor, and they teleport away.
After a while, Sun-mi gets tired of waiting and wonders if she should call Oh-gong back, but Mawang rings her doorbell first and asks her not to call Oh-gong tonight, because he has very important business to attend to.
Oh-gong pours the priestess a glass of red wine and she wonders if he brought her here to fight. He balks, “Are you crazy? Do you know how many expensive bottles of liquor are in here? Why would I fight in here?”
He figures that she wants to do all sorts of things after being asleep for a thousand years, and says he has no intention of getting in her way, unlike Mawang. She asks if he’s really not going to interfere, and he asks what it is she really wants.
“I want to become Sam-jang and have you,” she says. Say no! You’d better say no, Monkey!
She says that he’ll become her protector, and Oh-gong scoffs at his rise in popularity these days. He says that that’s not something she can do, but she just smirks in response and blows a handful of rose petals in his direction.
Oh-gong blocks them with his arm, but one still manages to get to him, and his eyes glow red with rose petals reflected in them.
She caresses his face and says, “I have the power to control souls. What I want is you. From now on you will stay by my side, unchanging, and protect me forever.”
She sits in his lap, and he does nothing to fight it, completely under her spell.
Aaargh, how could you let yourself get bewitched by a priestess?! Shouldn’t an all-powerful immortal who survived hellfire have better defenses up his sleeve? This is bad news bears, especially if she’s not lying about Sohn Oh-gong being the thing she really wants. Maybe he’s a means to an end, but she seems pretty fixated on receiving love, and everlasting love at that. I don’t like this one bit.
As an adversary, the priestess is an interesting character to introduce because she’s powerful enough to do some damage to Oh-gong, and manipulative in a sinister way. This works better than the child-stealing demon who tried to become Sam-jang but failed to own Oh-gong’s heart; the priestess is much more of a threat because she’s not looking to transfer ownership—she’s actually after Sun-mi’s body like she wants to mortgage it for a good thousand years. What creeped me out the most was that she wasn’t interested in destroying Buja’s life while in her body—she was taking it over and enjoying the attention from her various relationships. And as a temptress she knows right away how to seduce Mawang into helping her, by dangling the love of his life in front of him like a carrot. She’s clearly smarter than our good guys, which has me worried.
It wasn’t a very big episode for the central romance, since Sun-mi took a pretty passive role in this episode while things were happening around her. It felt like we took a pause to introduce a new villain and to complicate Mawang’s motivation (and of course it comes at a time when the bromance was hitting a high point!). For the most part, Mawang has been the moral compass of the monster group, usually doing the right thing for the right reasons just by his nature. But one glimpse of his lost love and we’re reminded that his priority will always be her, not Oh-gong or Sun-mi, and I wonder how that dynamic will change in the coming weeks when he makes a deal with the priestess to help his beloved. I expect him to sacrifice Sun-mi at the drop of a hat if it saves Iron Fan, but I can’t hate him for it when Cha Seung-won plays his heartache so well.
I’m also sad that we’re missing out on Buja’s moments with PK and Monkey Oppa while she’s possessed, because her storyline has become one of my favorites. She just brings out their protective side like she’s the monster gang’s pet zombie, and I love her interactions with everyone. I suppose I wouldn’t mind some jealousy from PK while the priestess is wearing her body and has Oh-gong mind-controlled—that would make up for a lot. So would Sun-mi coming to Oh-gong’s rescue this time. Come on, be a hero and snap him out of the trance, Sun-mi. May I suggest kisses as your weapon of choice?
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