Hwayugi: Episode 14
On one hand, with the deepening of relationships means that trust is strengthened and loyalty demonstrated in satisfying ways… but when there remains just that one small, tiny, life-and-death-changing detail, it also means we’re heading for some major tests of faith and dangerous choices. The truth can be liberating, but man can it also hurt sometimes.
EPISODE 14 RECAP
After being hit with a shower of stars and taking on the suffering of ten thousand years, Mawang lies on the ground and wonders if he has died. Oh-gong calls his name, and Mawang wonders why the crazy jerk’s voice is the first he has to hear upon death.
But he’s not dead, and Oh-gong yells at him to open his eyes, saying he’d worried he was a goner. Hearing that he was able to take on the brunt of 88 stars before collapsing, Mawang declares he must take on the remaining 11 stars, only to have Oh-gong tell him (with dramatic re-enactment) that he took on ten stars himself. The last star was taken on by Patriarch.
Patriarch lies prone on the ground, and Oh-gong tsks at how weak he was to collapse over just one star. Oh-gong cheerily says it’s all over—but his face turns serious when Mawang asks why it’s so dark.
Mawang doesn’t register Oh-gong’s hand waving in front of his face, and his body is ice-cold. “The world has gone dark,” Mawang says.
Having been forced to leave her incense burner behind, the priestess orders Frosty to steal it back so she can swap bodies with Sun-mi. Frosty doesn’t think stealing it from Mawang’s house will be possible, but the priestess orders him to find a way.
PK drops by just then looking for Summer Fairy, and the priestess hides around the corner. PK explains needing Fairy’s warming abilities to help Mawang, and mention of Mawang’s affliction makes the priestess smile, because now Frosty has an excuse to get inside Mawang’s house.
Huddled in bed, Mawang whimpers at the unbearable cold, begging Oh-gong to hold his hand more tightly. With prodding from Sun-mi, Oh-gong reluctantly complies, then updates Mawang on news of Iron Fan, whose life ended as originally scheduled, but without the revenge-killing. Mawang is relieved to hear it, hoping that her next life will be beautiful now that her punishment is over.
Secretary Ma comes rushing into the house looking disheveled, clutching a handful of rare Himalayan berries that will help Mawang regain his strength. Her return had been delayed by a fall down a crevasse, but when he worries about her being hurt, she covers up her scrapes and says she’s fine.
Mawang says they should share the berries with Oh-gong (aww), but Secretary Ma insists that he eat them all (and I notice Mawang doesn’t protest too hard). She hurries away to find more restoratives.
Oh-gong asks for some of whatever she delivered, but she leaves him hanging and he grumbles that Mawang probably ate it all up, sniffing at his lack of loyalty.
But Sun-mi counters that she thinks there is loyalty between them, despite it seeming as though monsters have no compassion. She points to Secretary Ma and CEO Sa as examples, and says that between humans, almost nothing lasts forever.
“Once we make a connection, it doesn’t ever cut off,” Oh-gong notes. “And if we betray someone, we pay with our lives.”
PK arrives with Summer Fairy, whose presence begins warming Mawang right away. She assures him that once the chill recedes, he will regain his sight too. Mawang says that conversing with Fairy without seeing her makes him recall her former appearance, and how beautiful she’d been.
PK recalls the same, explaining to Sun-mi that Summer Fairy had been the most beautiful of all the fairies. CEO Sa adds that Oh-gong had called her the greatest beauty in the heavens, which turns Sun-mi’s tone snippy. Hilariously, neither Oh-gong nor CEO Sa notice her soured expression and reminisce on Oh-gong’s romantic exploits up in heaven, while PK tries to stop them, unsuccessfully.
Oh-gong is surprised when Sun-mi suddenly excuses herself, and PK yells at Monkey for talking about other women in front of her and urges him to chase Sun-mi. Oh-gong gets up right away, and CEO Sa supposes that Oh-gong must really be in love to follow her without first chastising them for bringing up the topic.
PK and CEO Sa wonder if Fairy’s presence here means Frosty won’t be able to run his shop, and remark on how uncomfortable it is to share a body with a sibling. Now it occurs to them that they don’t know the story of how the two came to share the same body, though they don’t dwell on it.
Sun-mi arrives home to find Oh-gong already waiting for her. He says that it doesn’t matter that he thought someone was beautiful in the past, insisting that ever since he’s worn the bracelet, she’s the only person to appear beautiful to him. Still miffed, Sun-mi tells him, “You say I’m pretty because of that bracelet, but I was already rather pretty, you know.”
Oh-gong assures her that she’s pretty no matter what, but she can’t help feeling uncertain because of that bracelet. She asks what he thought of her before he had to wear it, and he tries to think back, not able to recall whether he had any thoughts on her appearance.
She sighs that he was probably only concerned with whether she looked tasty or not, and pouts, “Am I fried chicken?” He asks if she’s afraid he won’t find any beauty in her once the bracelet is off, and she admits it: “I’m worried there won’t be any real feelings.”
Oh-gong says she needn’t worry, since he can just keep wearing the bracelet: “I don’t want to take it off. I want to keep wearing it and love you. This is my free will. It’s real.” That finally puts her at ease, and she assures him he can go now.
Instead, Oh-gong pulls her into a back-hug, telling her it’s okay for her to be angry for longer, since he doesn’t mind soothing her. He says he prefers to fight over things like whether he finds her pretty, rather than just fighting demons and then getting married. Her eyes widen at the word married, and he adds that he understands the ordinariness she wants, because he likes just being with her.
He says, “The Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, Sohn Oh-gong truly loves human Jin Sun-mi.” After a long moment of holding her, he starts to head out for the night—but this time it’s Sun-mi who stops him, saying that after a fight, a choice should be made. Friends would have a drink together, a family member would offer spending money, and a lover…
“Doesn’t just soothe and leave,” she says. Rawr. Oh-gong asks if it’s okay for him to come in, and she nods.
Summer Fairy stays up while Mawang sleeps that night, but finds herself nodding off and wonders if her brother is about to awaken. Sure enough Frosty does take over the body, and finds the burner in a box in Mawang’s closet. He takes it, then conjures up a fake incense burner to leave in its place.
Sun-mi and Oh-gong chat while she prepares coffee, but he disappears while her back is turned and she finds him waiting in her room, sitting on her bed. Not wasting any time, are you?
He reminds her that she agreed to marry him and says there’s nothing more to think about. He holds out a hand, and as she takes it, he asks for her to say that she loves him too.
So Sun-mi confides that she heard the love bell ring, and explains how that signals that they’re a match that’s meant to be. She’s brimming with happiness over this, but Oh-gong’s mood dims when he realizes what that actually means.
Secretary Ma watches over Summer Fairy’s bar, and tells Patriarch that she finds the fated death arrangement pretty harsh. Patriarch agrees that he sometimes finds heaven cruel too, and they both wonder who will be the one to die. Secretary Ma is grateful to Oh-gong for taking on ten of Mawang’s punishments and now roots for his survival, making Patriarch note her faithfulness to Mawang. She finds his loving devotion admirable, saying that not everybody could love like that, and Patriarch wonders whether Oh-gong could do the same.
Sun-mi shows Oh-gong the box that held the so-called love bell, describing how she heard the ringing. She takes Oh-gong’s subdued reaction for skepticism, dismayed when he says he likes things the way they are and pushes aside her hand when she suggests removing the bracelet.
Oh-gong says he doesn’t want to remove the bracelet to prove their fate, and that there’s no need to invite danger. Sun-mi offers to go with him to get confirmation from the General Store owner’s grandson, but he says he’ll go by himself and leaves.
It’s not to the General Store, though, and Oh-gong returns to his cellar to sigh about this predicament: If Sun-mi believes in the love bell, she’ll believe in the death bell too. When Oh-gong doesn’t return, Sun-mi thinks sadly that it’s because he doesn’t believe her or feel certain enough that he’d still love her after taking off the bracelet.
Red fumes waft from the incense burner—Sun-mi’s blood—and the priestess then adds her blood into the mix. She tells Frosty to keep the burner going as she and the monk gradually trade bodies.
That night as Sun-mi sleeps, she dreams of preparing herself for her marriage to the king—or rather, the priestess’s marriage, in her life a thousand years ago.
She wakes with an aching head, which plagues her all morning at work. Han-joo asks if she’s okay, and she explains having fitful sleep and dreaming of being a bride, which they both interpret as a sign of Sun-mi’s desire to marry.
As Han-joo heads out on an errand, Sun-mi has a mental flash of him falling on the snowy sidewalk. She asks if he fell outside, and when he says no, she wonders where the vision came from. Han-joo shrugs and heads out… and promptly slips on the sidewalk, slamming his arm down painfully as he falls.
A still-blind Mawang fumbles his way to the living room, insisting he’s fine to leave his bed. He declares that his other senses will serve him well, while hitting every one of his appendages on various pieces of furniture. He manages to seat himself in his armchair, and insists to Secretary Ma and Oh-gong that he knows where everything is, pointing to the various rooms to prove his point.
An unexpected visitor arrives at the door, and everyone is surprised that it’s the priestess, who is here to request that Mawang burn her body after all. She affects a subdued tone and says that she’s like a ghost here to settle an old grudge, and she would like to move on to her next life.
Oh-gong eyes her with mistrust, not buying that she isn’t hiding something, but Mawang accepts her answer and is grateful that she helped him remove his wife’s punishments. Secretary Ma points out that the priestess’s methods left Mawang blind, but he counters that he was prepared to make some kind of sacrifice. He agrees to help the priestess and burn her as requested.
Oh-gong catches the priestess on her way out and asks what’s with her nice act, since bad folks don’t turn nice for no reason. The priestess says that she merely wanted to fulfill her interrupted wedding, but that her desired partner didn’t want it. Thus she gave up, accepting that Oh-gong will only have Sun-mi as a mate.
“Or… would you like to marry me and be my partner?” she asks. “I’d prefer that.”
Oh-gong beckons her closer, then pokes her forehead away with a finger. The priestess keeps flirting, asking him to treat her as well as he treated Buja and offering to live in this house with him. She says they could be a match made in heaven, and those words turn his mood even icier (Sun-mi had used them to describe their fate, mistakenly) and he orders her to leave.
Secretary Ma checks that the incense burner is still in Mawang’s closet, not realizing that it’s a replica. She and Mawang both note how excessively cold it is in the house, shivering.
At the Lucifer building, PK notes to Dragon Prince Alice that the priestess is quite powerful, seeing as how she’s keeping Buja’s body fresh. He sits at Mawang’s desk and imagines being its next owner after Mawang retires. Dragon Prince scoffs that this office is nothing compared to the grandeur of the Dragon Palace, and wonders for the millionth time what’s so great about Buja.
Oh-gong sits in the real estate office waiting for Sun-mi, and the air is thick with annoyance between him and Han-joo. Finally, Han-joo declares the need to speak up and asks if Oh-gong bought Sun-mi a ring in exchange for receiving the gold bracelet. At Oh-gong’s blank reaction, Han-joo offers the advice that he ought to give Sun-mi a ring, especially if they are to get married.
Poor Han-joo is so exasperated with Oh-gong’s terrible boyfriending that he offers to lend the money to buy her a ring right now, although Oh-gong declines the offer since he has a “little brother” who can give him the money. He thanks Han-joo for the advice and heads off straightaway to buy a ring, while Han-joo sighs at how pathetic Oh-gong is to be so broke that he can’t afford a ring and has to resort to ripping off a kid brother. HA.
As Sun-mi steps out of a bank, she holds the door for a mother pushing a baby stroller. Suddenly, she has a mental flash of that stroller rolling away and being hit by a motorcycle, and the feeling of foreboding stays with her as she returns to her office. So when she notices Han-joo’s wrapped wrist and hears that he fell on the sidewalk, just like she mentioned, she goes running back to the bank in alarm.
Sun-mi reaches the stroller just in time to grab it safely before a motorcyclist slams into it. And as she yanks the stroller, an arm reaches out to steady her.
It’s Oh-gong, and Sun-mi explains to him afterward how she saw the vision of the accident before it happened. She’s excited at the idea that she may be coming into powers of her own, and says she’d like to be able to protect Oh-gong too.
Oh-gong says she’ll need a magical circlet of her own, and asks where she’d like to wear it. He motions to her forehead and neck before taking Sun-mi’s hand—and when he pulls away, her finger is wearing his ring. Smooth, Monkey.
He says they’re even now, both wearing something that can’t be removed. Smiling warmly, Sun-mi promises to protect Oh-gong and tells him to say her name whenever he’s scared or in trouble. She holds out her palm to seal their deal, and he takes it.
Summer Fairy visits Mawang and gives him a warming medicine, but he can’t shake the cold and worries that it will stay with him. Fairy offers to bring him warmer clothes, and as she steps into the closet, her hand brushes the box containing the faked incense burner—and feels the water pooling on the box.
Fairy opens it and sees the burner inside, but one touch of her hand causes the illusion to collapse into a watery mess. Alarmed, she realizes it’s Frosty’s doing.
Summer Fairy meets her brother in the mirror, and Frosty tells her that Oh-gong and Sun-mi’s fates have been sealed by the death bell. Thus, he reasons that helping to kill the monk is not a betrayal of Oh-gong (since it would save him). This is Frosty’s only way of saving his sister’s soul, and he tells her to remain asleep for the time being.
The priestess joins Frosty and says that they’ll have to finish the task quickly, before the burner’s forgery is discovered. She’s also tickled to learn of Oh-gong and the monk’s tragic fates, having overheard Frosty’s conversation with Fairy.
At the dinner table, Oh-gong announces that he will be getting married. Everyone gapes, and Mawang asks if he means to marry the priestess. They gape even harder when Oh-gong says he’ll be marrying Sun-mi, and Mawang reminds him of their deathly fate.
Oh-gong warns them not to say a word of that to Sun-mi; he wants her to continue believing what she does. Later Mawang confesses to Secretary Ma that he feels guilty for his part in bringing them together—he sent young Sun-mi to Monkey’s prison house, and then gave her the golden bracelet.
Secretary Ma suggests that Mawang tell the truth of the death bell to Sun-mi, declining to do it herself because she fears Oh-gong’s reaction. She urges Mawang to be the one to deliver the news.
PK arrives at Frosty’s ice cream shop and is surprised to see the priestess there, wondering how the two know each other. Frosty doesn’t have a good answer prepared, and then PK sniffs the air, catching the scent of lotuses mixed with roses.
The priestess channels Buja to say that PK can smell things well after all (since he’d told Buja earlier that he couldn’t smell her zombie rot). She says she came here because Buja often dropped by, and PK is so pleased at this reminder of Buja that he forgets about the lotus scent.
PK ends up buying a whole array of ice cream flavors for the priestess, and asks if she can sense which ones Buja liked. He tells the priestess sympathetically that she died a sad death—same as Buja, who was a nice kid who didn’t know why she died. He tells the priestess to be nice too, and pats her head like he always patted Buja. His kindness takes the priestess off-guard, and she looks unsettled.
Professor-politician Kang Dae-sung gives a lecture on an ancient grave where living people were apparently buried along with the dead body. As he lectures, the priestess enters the classroom and takes a seat in the back, and Kang Dae-sung freezes momentarily to recognize the girl he’d tried to kill.
The priestess just sits through the class and leaves at the end—and as soon as she exits, the lights go out. When they flick back on, the projection screen has new words on it: “I’m sorry, it was a mistake.” The students murmur in confusion, but Kang Dae-sung recognizes those words—he’d said them to Buja in reference to her death.
The screen changes to a picture of the priestess’s coffin dug up from the demon tree, with new text: “I’ll come find you, just wait.” Kang Dae-sung tries to shake it off, and wonders if this is an attempt to scare him.
Traveling back to the priestess’s wedding day, we see Sun-mi dressed as the priestess and being led by a court lady to the stone coffin. Sun-mi asks what that is, and the court lady replies, “You’ll go inside of that.”
Priestess Sun-mi reels, and then real-life Sun-mi wakes up with a start. She’d dozed at her desk, and the dream leaves her with yet another headache. Han-joo hears that she dreamed that same dream again, and informs her that marriage will do that to you—it’ll make your head ache from second-guessing the decision, and then from making the decision.
Mawang sits down with both Sun-mi and the priestess and asks for Sun-mi’s help in getting the priestess to “go to sleep.” Mawang gets them mixed up and addresses Sun-mi as the priestess and vice versa, until Sun-mi corrects him. Mawang is rattled to have confused them, thinking his senses are failing him. Oh, if you only knew the truth.
The priestess seems pleased with how her plan is progressing, but her smile fades to see the ring on Sun-mi’s finger and she confronts Sun-mi afterward, noting that Sun-mi got what she’d wanted for herself. She adds that while her powers are muted in this dead body, previously she was much more powerful than Sun-mi—she could control souls and see the future. And it was because of her power that she was used, betrayed, and killed.
“You could become like me,” the priestess says. “Even if you have someone protecting you right now.” Sun-mi hides her ring-wearing hand, and the priestess asks, “Who said I’d steal him?”
Sun-mi retorts that that won’t happen. The priestess just notes, rather cryptically, that Mawang was impressive for sensing energies despite being blinded.
But Mawang doesn’t know that, and grows anxious at having mixed up the ladies earlier, worrying that it’s a sign he’s weakening. He proceeds to test his senses with household objects around him, and with a little secret help from Secretary Ma, the exercise reassures him that he’s still got it.
CEO Sa goes over wedding plans with Oh-gong, abiding by Oh-gong’s wishes despite feeling misgivings, as the others do. He admits to worrying about the marriage, since Oh-gong would be better off keeping away from Sun-mi in light of their fate. But Oh-gong says, “I don’t want to. I’ll keep her close and shatter that damn fate.”
CEO Sa adds that marriage is a contract that cannot be broken, and Oh-gong says that he broke the first contract he made with Sun-mi. “This time, I’ll keep it through the end,” he says determinedly. “I’ll take this contract and fight against the fate that the heavens have decided. If I lose, the one who dies…. will be me.”
That night, Sun-mi is hit with another headache, then foresees herself dropping a glass. She takes the glass in her hand and sets it on the edge of the counter, and it falls and shatters, just like in her vision.
But then, she finds the glass still in her hand after all, not broken on the ground. Well, that’s unsettling.
The incense burner continues to burn, and the blood contained in it continues mixing. Sun-mi trudges toward her room holding her head, but collapses before she gets there.
When she wakes, she’s dressed in the priestess’s bridal clothing—and lying in the stone coffin. The lid is off, thankfully, and Sun-mi quickly steps out of it and wonders if this isn’t a dream.
A voice says, “You must keep sleeping. Why have you awoken, priestess?” In steps her court lady, only now it’s Buja/priestess.
Sun-mi asks why the priestess called her the priestess. “Now you will become me, and I will become you,” the priestess replies. She explains that this location was created after their blood was mixed, and will be where their dreams come true. “Outside this dream, our bodies are empty right now.”
Sure enough, Sun-mi’s body lies on the floor of her apartment, while the priestess is asleep before her burner. The priestess intends to return to the world and take Sun-mi’s body, while Sun-mi will remain here, asleep forever.
In Mawang’s closet, Secretary Ma senses something odd about the incense burner and opens the lid to find the box empty. She immediately brings it to the attention of Mawang and Oh-gong, and they try to figure out how and when the burner went missing.
Running through the list of everyone who was allowed into the house, eyes widen at the mention of Summer Fairy. It must have been her, although they don’t know why she’d take it.
Sun-mi balks at the priestess’s plans, warning that she’ll call Oh-gong for help. But the priestess says that he’ll die, reminding her that the last time Sun-mi called him, he was injured. “Why do you think that is?” she asks. “The two of you have death’s fate.”
The priestess holds out the death bell and corrects Sun-mi’s misconception about what it signifies: It rings to signal that one will be the cause of the other’s death. Thus, even if Sun-mi returns to her body, it’s likely she’ll cause Oh-gong’s death, because he can’t kill her while wearing the bracelet.
Sun-mi recalls all the signs that fit with this explanation, and how even before she heard the bell, Oh-gong had said she was the only one in the world who could kill him.
The team splits up to search for Summer Fairy and Frosty. PK now recalls the flowery smell from earlier and guesses that it came from the burner, and remembers that Frosty was with the priestess then.
He’s with her now, too, watching the blood fumes waft from the burner while her body sleeps.
The priestess tells Sun-mi that the one way to cut her fated connection to Oh-gong is for Sun-mi to sleep here. So this is her choice: Return to her world and (probably) kill Oh-gong, or stay here and disappear from the world. I hate that the priestess makes sense with this argument!
Oh-gong and PK head to Sun-mi’s apartment and find her body lying prone on the ground. She’s unresponsive, but Oh-gong knows that the priestess has taken her soul somewhere. He holds her sleeping body close, afraid because he can’t tell where she is. PK supposes that she would call for Oh-gong if she were in danger, but Oh-gong doesn’t look comforted by that.
In the dreamspace, Sun-mi closes her eyes as tears fall from them, lying down in the stone coffin. The priestess slides the lid closed over her face…
In the real world, Oh-gong continues to cradle Sun-mi’s unresponsive body, wondering where she is.
“Call for me,” he urges her. But there’s no reaction, and Sun-mi continues to sleep.
Gah, I knew that Oh-gong’s hiding of the death bell was going to bite him royally—I just didn’t think it would quite happen this way. It was really very sweet to see him proceed with the wedding and commitment to stay with Sun-mi forever, even knowing that he’d likely die at her hand, but I guess we all thought that his death would be the worst-case scenario. But of course our crafty priestess has to go and one-up him on that score, since she’s able to wield the truth as a manipulation tactic—she doesn’t only get Sun-mi to give up her life, but convinces Sun-mi to make it a voluntary choice.
And not only is she using Sun-mi’s love to get what she wants, she’s also coercing Frosty into doing her dirty work by holding his sister’s life over his head as a constant threat. Now that’s an evil genius if I saw one. (I admit I’m waiting for PK’s unceasing faith in Buja’s goodness to kick in, even it seems like such a tiny factor in the midst of all the priestess’s ambitions and powers. I just won’t accept not getting the real Buja back, if not for PK’s sake then my own!)
Once told the truth, though, it made sense that Sun-mi would sacrifice herself, and it doesn’t even feel all that unfair because I’m sure most of our heavenly and monsterly characters are thinking the same—that it’s a shame for such a powerful being like Monkey being killed for love of a human. The span of Sun-mi’s life seems such a short and small thing compared to the vastness of immortality, although it’s that discrepancy that makes Oh-gong’s love beautiful. Fleeting, years-wise, but beautiful. It’s a miserable fate to be doomed to sleeping forever, but I’m not sure Sun-mi would be able to live with the alternative, especially since she was the one to saddle Oh-gong with the bracelet in the first place and weaken his heart, making it killably soft.
Of course, I find it exasperating that they’re both ready to sacrifice themselves for the sake of their love, and that both of them took that step without telling the other of their intentions—if you’re going to die, at least do it with everyone knowing the truth and understanding what’s about to happen! But on the upside, that’s why I was super gratified to see the fire spark in Oh-gong when he declared his intention to fight Fate, because even if we accept that Fate is some force greater than anyone’s will can alter, I dislike the notion of just sitting there and taking it. Even if it were ultimately futile, I want to see our characters challenging this foregone conclusion—and in the hands of our wily Monkey, I’ll even dare to hope for him to find a way to trick, bargain with, or browbeat heaven into giving him what he wants. He didn’t earn that reputation for nothin’; I want to see Monkey wreaking some havoc and loopholing his way to a happily ever after.
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- Premiere Watch: Hwayugi
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- Lee Seung-gi hits the ground running after army discharge
- Bora and Kim Ji-soo join Hwayugi as top star and first love
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