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Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter: Episode 15

When dealing with immortal beings, you can’t expect the answers to all of your existential questions to be answered in a straightforward manner. Even fairies have lessons to learn about what it means to be human, but those lessons must be learned through hardship and sacrifice or they won’t mean much. It’s time for our fairies and humans, whichever incarnation they may be in, to learn the reason why they’ve been suffering for hundreds of years, and the answers are a surprise to everyone.

 
EPISODE 15 RECAP

Yi-hyun wakes up in the woods with his memory completely restored. He remembers being the child named Izy who was abandoned in the barn, and being the fairy named Izy who punished humans who sacrificed children. He remembers being betrayed by his most trusted friend, Bausae, and thrown out of the fairy realm.

Ok-nam also remembers what happened to Izy after her banishment, why Bausae had to go with her, and what happened to them after that. And Geum remembers being the fairy Bausae, who had had to leave the fairy realm and the fairy he loved, Ok-nam.

Yi-hyun finds Geum at the fairy spring, and he traps Geum there by setting the trees on fire. He accuses Geum of being reborn over and over, and always taking what mattered most to him. Ok-nam finds them and begs them to come to safety, away from the fire, but Yi-hyun tells her that he’s the one who set the fire in the first place.

He moves closer to her so that she can see Izy in his expression, then reaches up to touch her face. Suddenly the three of them remember being in the fairy realm together in happier days. Izy had grabbed Ok-nam’s butterfly hairdo, joking that it looked like a handle and was old-fashioned. Ok-nam had popped it off, surprising Bausae and Izy, then had given each of them one of the flowers she was carrying.

Izy had seemed touched, but she’d been jealous that Ok-nam was raised seeing only the good things in life. She’d stormed off, and though in her private heart she’d adored Ok-nam’s bright, warm personality, it had also hurt her pride because she could never be like that.

In the present, Ok-nam sees that Geum is in danger and she begs Yi-hyun to stop this. He says he doesn’t care, because, “You never loved me even once. You cared more about mere trees and flowers than me. If I hadn’t loved you, how would I have been?”

He leans closer, but suddenly a roar echoes through the clearing. It’s Jeom-soon in her tiger form, carrying Jeom-dol on her head, and she jumps at Yi-hyun with teeth and claws bared — and sails right over him to land on the other side, embarrassed.

More voices call out… it’s Master Gu with Shin-seon and Fairy Oh (followed by Kyung-seul) , screaming at Yi-hyun to put out the fire immediately. He says that the spring is the only connection between the human and fairy realms left in the world, but Yi-hyun spits back that he doesn’t care, and that Master Gu isn’t his master.

Shin-seon gets distracted, wondering why Master Gu got the title of “master” when he didn’t, giving Yi-hyun time to toss a fireball at them. He notes that Master Gu is afraid of fire, and he asks why Master Gu tried to kill him when they met as deer and hunter.

Izy had taken the form of a deer after being banished from the fairy realm, but she could never rest because she was always being chased. The hunter had yelled that the deer/Izy was responsible for setting fires that killed trees, deities, lakes, and mountains, but Yi-hyun narrates that the deer’s only crime was getting a drink from a lake.

Woodcutter Bausae had saved the deer from the hunter by draping his shirt over its back and hiding it behind his pile of wood. Deer Izy had recognized him even with black hair, and she’d tsked at his humble, dirty clothing when he was such a fashion icon in the fairy realm.

She had asked if he truly didn’t remember the fairy realm, seeming angered that she remembered his betrayal while he recalled nothing. Deer Izy had led Woodcutter Bausae to the fairy spring, where N was bathing with her friends, and had asked him to drape a fairy dress across her back, saying that it belonged to her.

Her hope had been that the dress would allow her to return to the fairy realm, but Woodcutter Bausae’s touch had caused the butterflies in the dress to fly away, losing its power.

Deer Izy had been forced to watch as Ok-nam and Woodcutter Bausae fell in love beside the spring, forgetting all about her. In the present, Yi-hyun accuses Geum of always taking everything he wants as he sends another fireball Geum’s way. Ok-nam emits her protective blue glow as she runs to Geum’s side and throws her arms around his neck, and her glow spreads to cover him.

She takes the peony she always wears from her hair, and pins it into Geum’s hair, telling him that after he died as Woodcutter Bausae, peonies bloomed on his grave. He touches it and calls her “wife,” finally remembering their life together, and they hug as if there’s not an inferno raging around them.

Yi-hyun watches them, and he sees a burning branch falling from a tree straight towards them. He remembers when he was Deer Izy and saw Woodcutter Bausae fall into the ravine and die. Deer Izy had resented Bausae but hadn’t wanted to hurt him, and had been devastated by his death.

Luckily, Geum sees the falling branch and swings himself and Ok-nam out of the way. He calls out to Yi-hyun as Izy, asking him to put out the fire before he destroys the last bridge between this world and the fairy realm. He warns that if that happens, the fairies will disappear, and so will they.

He says that he knows Yi-hyun doesn’t want to feel hate and resentment, and that he has to let go and forgive or he’ll always be in pain. Yi-hyun hangs his head and Izy appears in front of him, pleading, “It hurts. I’m exhausted. I’ve been born again and again, but the pain stays with me every time. I don’t want to hate, so help me. This place, and me — make it all disappear.”

Deer Izy had visited Woodcutter Bausae’s grave often, where she’d seen Bausae’s children visit. She’d noticed that little Jeom-soon was missing a pinky finger. Jeom-soon had brought food for the deer, and Deer Izy would stay with her, noting how much Jeom-soon missed her father.

Master Gu somehow finds his bow and arrows, and threatens to shoot Yi-hyun to make the fires stop. Everyone screams at him not to do it, but he lets the arrow fly — and Izy appears, sobbing that they killed her first. Master Gu’s arrow drops to the ground, harmless, and he wails that that wasn’t supposed to happen.

Bong-dae shows up, surprising everyone, even Kyung-seul (who’s been watching this entire confrontation). She announces her real identity: Master of the Southern Star. She spots Jeom-dol, still on Jeom-soon’s head, and she’s overcome with awe as she sees his true form.

Jeom-dol is suddenly enveloped in light, and he rises into the air where he transforms into a huge blue dragon. Lightning crackles around him, then Yi-hyun finds himself standing in the coffee shop on the first day he and Geum met Ok-nam, in her older form. As Shin-seon and Fairy Oh complain about the wait, Yi-hyun runs outside to wonder if the past week has all been a dream.

Bong-dae walks up to him, carrying Jeom-dol’s (now unhatched) egg, and he remembers her true identity. She tells him that they’re in a universe outside space and time, holding Jeom-dol’s egg out to him. He says it’s just a spotted egg, and Bong-dae replies, “That’s right, it’s an egg. Everything that’s happened in humanity — life and death, the rise and fall of countries, wars, knowledge learned by humanity, beautiful poems and songs — everything is in this tiny egg.”

Yi-hyun looks skeptical, so Bong-dae tells him to follow her to see the Master of the Northern Star. She teleports them to the staircase to the fairy falls, at the time of the Japanese invasion of Korea. They bicker as they stack the stones and Bong-dae draws the line down them with her finger, and she tells Yi-hyun that the other bridges to the fairy realm were destroyed in wars.

Bong-dae tells Yi-hyun that this path is now enchanted to protect the fairy spring. A golden barrier flashes across the path, and Bong-dae says that she’s waited a long time for Jeom-dol’s egg to crack and the door between dimensions to open.

As they walk, they find themselves facing the shrine where Izy was first sacrificed as an orphan. Bong-dae says that Yi-hyun resents his past and dreads the future because of his ignorance, and tells him to look inside the shrine.

A peasant woman runs up to the shrine carrying food for the child locked inside, but the shrine bursts into flames — she’s too late. Bong-dae says that the villagers looked down on the woman because of her unfortunate looks, and that when Izy took her revenge on the village, she couldn’t find the woman.

The woman had been peeling acorns, her only food due to the drought. She had felt the pain of the child locked in the shrine, so she made acorn porridge and ran to the shrine. Bong-dae says that if she had made it in time, Yi-hyun wouldn’t have turned out like this.

She turns back time and makes the woman run faster, over and over again until the woman’s feet bleed, but the shrine ends up in flames every time. Horrified by the woman’s suffering, Yi-hyun tells Bong-dae to stop.

She reminds him that he wanted revenge on the villagers, but when the woman collapses in pain and exhaustion, Yi-hyun runs to help her. She dies in his arms, and Bong-dae informs Yi-hyun that she will be reborn as the fairy Bausae.

She tells Yi-hyun that when he accepts that all things are the same, he’ll be able to overcome the physics of man and return to the temple of the immortals. Yi-hyun cries over the woman, then he and Bong-dae are watching again, as the Master of the Northern Star claims the child and the woman at the request of the monk that Yi-hyun saw in his dream.

The monk says that he’s spent a thousand years’ worth of reincarnations in the human realm, but he still doesn’t understand why people resent or forgive each other. He asks the Master of the Northern Star to make the child and the woman immortals, and the Master of the Northern Star agrees, curious to see what relationship they will form, the flames and the kind heart.

Later, in the fairy realm, Bausae approaches the Master of the Northern Star to report that Izy has dark spots all over her body, the mark of a fairy that’s abused her powers. He begs the Master of the Northern Star to forgive her or she’ll die, offering up his own immortality in exchange.

The Master of the Northern Star warns Bausae that it will mean suffering in the human realm, but Bausae cries that it’s worth it to save Izy. The Master of the Northern Star agrees that Izy will bring about her own destruction if she isn’t stopped, so he decides to banish her to save her life, and take Bausae’s immortality and memories.

He tells Bausae that he will meet Ok-nam again, marry and have two children, and that he will die young and leave them. He even tells Bausae that Ok-nam will wait a long time for him to be reincarnated, but that she won’t recognize him. She will meet a man who has his memories and will believe he’s her husband, which will break Bausae’s heart.

He tells Bausae that his true wish is to comfort a broken soul, and that he will be able to save the child when he learns that others’ pain is also his pain. He gives Bausae the choice to give up, or fight this battle.

Bong-dae and Yi-hyun are still at the shrine when the Master of the Northern Star appears. When the Master of the Northern Star sees him, he asks if Yi-hyun is still hungry, and Yi-hyun bows his head, ashamed. The Master of the Northern Star tells him that the whole universe moved to satisfy his hunger.

Back to the first day Yi-hyun and Geum met Ok-nam, she serves them Deer’s Tears coffee. But instead of complaining about the bowls, this time Yi-hyun looks at Geum and tells him that he’s too sweet, following him all this way just to give him some porridge. He gently frees the moth in his coffee, and follows it outside.

He finds the monk, who pats his head and calls him a good boy, making Yi-hyun choke up. Bong-dae runs over to borrow a pen, and she writes a sticky note with Jeom-dol’s name on it and tells Yi-hyun that she needs to make a trip about a hundred years into the past. She goes back to leave Jeom-dol’s egg on Ok-nam’s porch, narrowly escaping before Ok-nam returns to discover it.

In the present, Ok-nam looks on proudly as her magnificent dragon son flies in a stormy sky. It begins to rain, and the rain puts the fires out. Shin-seon declares that you should never judge a book by its cover and that he could very well be a dragon, too, but Fairy Oh says that no matter what, she still thinks he’s the handsomest.

The Master of the Northern Star arrives at the spring, with Bong-dae, the monk, and a much calmer Yi-hyun in tow. The Master of the Northern Star is happy to see Geum after banishing him as Bausae, and he holds his arms open for Geum to step in for a hug. Geum runs, but he passes right by the Master of the Northern Star to hug Yi-hyun, leaving the Master hanging, hee

Yi-hyun hugs him back, calling him an idiot, but when he realizes that everyone is watching, he pushes Geum away grumpily. Ok-nam rushes over, her arm raised as if to strike, but then she grabs both men by the neck for a three-way hug.

Later, the Master of the Northern Star says that Ok-nam’s ability to grow plants and trees will join with Geum’s warm wind to protect the fairy spring, so it’s time for him and Bong-dae to return to the fairy realm. Geum returns to ask the Master of the Northern Star how Ok-nam can return to the fairy realm without her winged dress.

He confesses that it’s his fault for stealing her dress and getting her stuck, because when he touched it, his wind power chased the butterflies away. Geum goes back to tell Ok-nam that the Master of the Northern Star said she’s already gotten her dress back, and that it’s in her closet at home.

All she can find is the clothes she saved of her husband’s, and the ajumma pajamas that Geum gave her. He says that when he picked out the pajamas, he saw a butterfly that landed on the shirt and become part of the pattern.

Now butterflies flutter all around them, and Ok-nam recognizes the pajamas as her winged dress in disguise. She thanks Geum for returning it to her, and he asks if she’ll be returning to the fairy realm now. Ok-nam says that she misses her home dearly, but Geum asks her quietly not to go.

He says that he remembers being her husband, and he’s not as dashing as Fairy Bausae was. He admits that he’s stubborn and has a lousy sense of direction, and that he doesn’t make much money, so he shouldn’t hold her back. Ok-nam interrupts him with a tiny kiss and tells him that he’s perfect just as he is.

Geum gives her a shy smile, then his shyness dissipates, and he leans in for a longer kiss.

 
COMMENTS

It took me a while to understand the lesson that Bong-dae was trying to teach Yi-hyun, but I think that I get it now. She’s saying that everything happens for a reason, and that those who affect our lives will do so no matter what we wish for them, and whether or not we’re even aware of it. Izy/Yi-hyun has been consumed by anger at what the humans did to him, then for what he saw as Bausae/Geum’s betrayal. Then he’s spent hundreds of years being jealous that Bausae/Geum got everything Izy thought she wanted. But he never knew that in their first lives, Bausae actually gave his life for a child that nobody else seemed to care for, and that later, as fairies, Bausae told the Master of the Northern Star about Izy’s wrongdoing in an attempt to beg for mercy and lost his own immortality (and Ok-nam) in the process.

I really liked this episode, despite it being kind of a hot mess in terms of continuity, because we got a lot of great answers to questions I’ve been asking for a long time. Bausae lost his memory because it was part of his deal with the Master of the Northern Star to save Izy’s soul. Yi-hyun and Geum end up running into each other over and over again because of a failed act of kindness that Geum has been trying to complete for hundreds of years. Geum returned Ok-nam’s dress when he gave her the clothes, though neither of them knew it. We even got the answer to how Jeom-dol’s egg showed up at Ok-nam’s home with a sticky note attached, before sticky notes were even invented, lol.

Seeing that all of the loose ends have been tight up neatly from the beginning tells me that this story has always been well-planned, which brings me back to my previous wish that the actual storytelling had been cleaner. I feel like the story itself is solid and nuanced with a great message, but that the writer struggled with the best way to tell the story itself, and just fell a bit short when it came to explaining things soon enough. For example, I’ve complained since early on that Ok-nam felt more like a prop than a fully-fleshed character, when in truth, her character is a prop, and intentionally so. This was always Yi-hyun and Geum’s story from the beginning, their journey to understanding true love and sacrifice — it was never really about Ok-nam’s search for her husband. I just wish we’d known that a bit sooner, so we could have stopped being frustrated by things that didn’t matter in the long run (like whether Yi-hyun and Ok-nam would end up together) and focused on the real story between Izy and Bausae.

That said, now that we know why we’re here, I really love this twist. I’ve always preferred the relationship between Yi-hyun and Geum to Ok-nam’s relationship with either of them, because they just felt so mismatched, yet there was so much obvious affection and true caring between them. It’s wonderful to see that Geum has been selfless and self-sacrificing every since Izy’s first incarnation, and that his whole story has been about trying to run faster in order to save someone that nobody else in the world cared enough to save. And Izy has spent hundreds of years resenting the person she thought took everything from her, when in reality, he’s the one who gave up everything to save her. Seeing Yi-hyun finally at peace was beautiful, though he’s still a grump, but I’m glad, because that’s what makes him Izy.

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At 1st I thought this episode was going to be the epitome of the campiness that plagued the whole story, what's with the "epic" final fire-down and all the characters gathering to the scene of crime, Geum's and Ok-nam's unrealistic almost non-reaction to the fire, and oh. The fake-looking big fire itself.
But then, after the arrival of Cho Bong-dae things started to get...interesting. Deep actually, I'd say. That was some pretty sensible and thought-provoking Karmic explanation. I knew I always loved the Guardian fairy for a reason, lol. She walks nonchalantly into an apocalypse scene and explains; "Sorry I was late, I'm wearing heels". Then she continues to stumble through the rocks without accepting anybody's hand, yet somehow manages to look cool. I'm going to miss her sass!
Plus, we get answers to somethings we previously swatted off simply as the show being silly. I thought it was ridiculous when Jeom dol got delivered with a sticky note, but now we know why. The egg was actually from the future!
HOWEVER I don't know why did Bong dae feel any need to carry the egg shell with her in the 1st place, because the reason she had to bother with replacing the egg in the past was that it time-traveled and got turned into an unbroken egg. You cannot practically bring a full egg to the future where it's supposed to be a cracked egg, because then the timelines are gonna crash and bad things will happen to Jeom dol.
Orrr I've been watching/reading too much time travel stuff and I'm reading too much into the scene!😋😂
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But I won't be over-analysing if I say it makes NO sense for the porridge lady to get bleeding feet and exhaust when Bong-dae reset the run each time. Because that's not the concept of "reset", right? Unless it was some kind of an after effect from a deity trying to rewrite the smallest part of history in an irreversible, past-can't-be-changed universe.
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Amusing point no.1- Jeom-deol the saviour rain dragon gave me Fantastic Beasts vibes, lol.
2. Izy and Bausae's horrified reaction to Ok-nam "pulling out" her own hair, simple as that.
3. The sweet and epic bromance hug and the Master's obvious dissapointment, lol.
4. So the (in)famous winged Hanfu is converted into an ajumma blouse!??! Ok-nam is going to make QUITE the impression if she's going to ascend to the heavens in them.
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The Biggest bemusing point
I don't know what is Ahn Gil-kang doing in this nearly unnecessary role, as much as I'm perplexed to see the amazing Kim Yeo-jin as a whiny insurance ajumma in Red Moon, Blue Sun. I thought the veteran and well-known actors like them get to pick their dramas and they have the good taste and experience to pick sensible roles?

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'Fantastic beast vibes' Yes!!! That is exactly what I thought too!

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and the Master's obvious dissapointment, lol

Serves him right! How is anybody gonna learn anything when they cannot remember anything??? And all these suffering just because he tried to be ~ deep and philosophical ~ No hugs for you, old geezer!

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Heh. The funny thing is I never felt the Master was silly in his methods. Perhaps because I approached it with the Buddhist mindset? I took the whole memory-losing thing as the natural reincarnation procedure, not something the Master had any control over. I thought the Master was simply warning Bausae about the consequences of giving up immortality, not like.."I'll make you lose your memory if you do this so you can learn better!"
Or it's possible that I'm misunderstanding what you're saying.😅 I too preferred Bong-dae to her orabeoni anyway, because she "spoke with English" when going all philosophical, and Master was more passive and traditional.😁

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No, you understood it perfectly. I just find these "traditional" methods nonsensical. Like, they expect you to "geddit" without letting you have the facts. How to geddit then!

Great battles have been failed because no one learns and history is due to repeat itself if not studied. If you don't tell me anything, no I donch geddit!

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I didn't get why in the world the ajumma pants became the replacement for the fairy robes but then I realized it's probably the production company not wanting to waste extra money on doing another dragon CGI for in the webtoon, Oknam is able to go to the skies since Jeom-dol can carry her in his dragon form lol.
And I think veteran actors take such roles because they unlike leading actors don't have much possibility to be choosey. I remember this particular hilarious (but at the same time bittersweet) moment in Jung Woong-in's speech at the 2014 SBS Drama Awards. He answered one of his daughters' question about playing baddies in dramas by saying he needed to earn money for his family's subsistence.
But I really liked Kim Yeojin as So-ra's mother because she was convincing to the point I was frustrated at her character though she is a victim and I think she's doing this role to add in her acting repertoire because so far she didn't play such an annoying character.

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That was interesting thing to know about veteran actors. I thought they would be a bit more respected when they got role offereings! I'm a little shocked.

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Plus there is huge disparity in income between popular leading actors and the rest, age and experience is meaningless, from what I recall income of 1% most popular actors made around 48% of all income declared by actors to tax office in 2017.

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Also, let's not forget this director is well know, and had a successful drama last year... Why wouldn't anyone want to work with him?? Even in this messy drama lol

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Miss Peony, about your Biggest bemusing point:

Personally I think that South Korea's TV industry leans heavily towards the beautiful and young (like any other country, but more pronounced), so actors in general have an expiring date. That is why a show like Dear My Friends where all these wonderful veterans could flex their muscles is nothing but a miracle, and it shows that these people, even if they are not beautiful anymore, can compensate with nuance, warmth and experience in spades.

My point is, probably my dear friend Dol-Soe (I first saw Mr. Ahn in Arang and the Magistrate, my third K-Drama) probably has to fight to the death for the few roles available for a person his age, just as Ms. Kim (who, being a woman, has an even lower expiration date). So please don't be so hard on them ;) .

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Oh don't worry. I'm not being hard on anybody, I just think these veteran actors should be given the more appropriate roles/characters that are supposed to make the audience learn things from, because when a senior actor plays such a role it speaks more efficiently into the viewers' hearts. (Ugh I'm failing at English here. The basic thing I want to say is veterans can be "used" better instead of wasting them. Roles like Master Gu can be given to the more amateurs so they can practice.)
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Me and mom both LOVE Dol-swe from AATM. And the drama itself! What do you mean, he's your friend? Like..really? Wow.

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Nope, sadly I haven't gone to Korea and personally I don't know Mr. Ahn, but for me he made Arang and the Magistrate. He is not my personal friend but for me in K-Dramas he is a warmth presence.

And yes, sometimes I ask myself why in South Korea, a rapidly aging society, aren't there more Dramas speaking to that age bracket employing those actors (in fact, I think even us younger folks could learn a thing or two about their view of life).

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Ahhh I see. It's just that I was surprised to read the "my friend Dol-swe" part. :-)

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Izy had led Woodcutter Bausae to the fairy spring, where N was bathing with her friends..
Lol, I suddenly had a weird imagery of Eun ho from Red Moon,Blue Sun taking a bath at fairy falls.😅

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Lol when I read that part, I unexpectedly thought of VIXX's song, "Shangri-la" 😂

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This gets better and better! Hehe.

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Oh my god, you guys..

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Exactly what I have been saying for so long, the drama was never a "husband hunting drama" in the first place.
I don't know who to blame for this messy writing, because this was following exactly the webtoon for the most time. I remember getting frustrated reading the webtoon because it never revealed all the information I wanted to know, till the very end when we find out about Bausae and Izy first lifes.
And for this reason, I always thought it was such a mistake to adapt this into drama, but whatever I guess lol
And in my eyes, Oknam was just another victim, she didn't asked to spend 699 years waiting for someone, all because Bausae want to save Izy so badly. Bausae knew she would like a life alone with their two kids, waiting for him, while he lost all his memories... Hm..
But yeah, we need to see a greater good as a result??? He save Izy, who had a broken soul?

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I think that when you are adapting a story to film or TV you should preserve the source story and not just make up your own thing (which happens an annoying amount). But by the same token if the source story is unfocused and wanders and pulls things out at the end that aren't properly foreshadowed an adaption is the perfect chance to do a nice edit on the whole story and present a cleaner, better structured version. However, that's about the rarest thing there is.

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It's so rare, writers prefer just to shield themselves under the original source material, then completely changing its structure.
I think if they had focused more on the fairy realm, Izy and Bausae, the story would've been more interesting imo lol But they focused so much on the present day and the "love triangle", it was bound to get boring.

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But Izzy and Ok-nam both were Bausae's friends. How can he watch Izy destroying herself while he knew he had the capability to do something about it? He probably had the mindset of; "Let's focus on the major problem right now. If Ok-nam and I are bound to end up one way or another, even though this is not the way I wanted it to happen, if it helps saving my OTHER friend...ok, fine. Oknam won't suffer much because she's a fairy and used to year-long days. Even if I am to lose my memories, I'll still find and work my way to Ok-nam. But that's problem to discuss later!"
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I think Bausae is the victim here. If anything, the Master was the one who should've done something like.."Your self-sacrificing is great and all, but to banish a fairy there's no point in losing another one! Let's find another way, don't worry."

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But in the webtoon, Bausae told Oknam about her part in him sharing Izy's punishment and Oknam accepted it. I guess it's because she's just naturally kind and easy-going but she accepted it as she wants to do the best for her friends.

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I forgot to mention that Bausae told Oknam about her fate in the mortal world before he entered to reincarnation.

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Omg. Its nanny from The Last Empress in the main recap pic 😆

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Then I guess it's a good thing she didn't get the guy or girl, get married, and have a scheming little kid. Imagine little princess as an immortal :)

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Haha, first thing I thought too. XD

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Yoon Soyi is a good actress and I think she especially shines in action and (fusion) sageuk.

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I didn't have much expectations for this episode after the previous episodes. But wow, it got really deep when everything was revealed. I felt really sad when I found out about human Bausae helping human Izy. And how the entire universe moved to satisfy Izy's hunger. I thought it was really.. Beautiful..? Does that even make sense? It was satisfying to get my questions answered.

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Yeah right?! Didn't expect it, at all..

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So everybody shows up for the big fire: both kids, the 3 stooges... But where is Smoky the Bear when you need him? Or a package of marshmallows?

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I bet Jeom Soon was thinking of roasting some sausages in the fire

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After I finished reading the webtoon, I was thinking that the title ("The Story of the Fairy of Gyeryong Mountain") was misleading because Prof. Jung was the true central protagonist of the story, and Oknam is more like a character that leads to his story, the main conflict. This explained why Oknam is less developed than the other leads and she didn't go through much change, and why the plot focused a lot on Prof. Jung not because he is the main love interest but because he is THE main character.
I think overall this was a faithful adaptation of the webtoon but there were parts that I consider that they should have been improved (for instance, Oknam whom I didn't consider weak in the webtoon because I was more engrossed by the male characters' backgrounds) or reimagined by the screenwriter to give a more enjoyable viewing experience.

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Where can I read the webtoon? I'm learning Korean and looking for easy reading material. Do share the link if possible. Thanks in advance.

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Hello, I'm sorry for my late reply. About the raw links, I read the webtoon on the official publishing website, NAVER, but you have to pay to read the remaining episodes. There are dodgy websites where you can read them raw for free. But I personally don't recommend them since I am informed that webtoon creators really push themselves physically to complete their works in time. I'm very sorry again.

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I have found them on Naver. I'm still very raw on using the Naver app due to my limited Korean. No problem, I will subscribe I'm ready to tackle this :) thanks.

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It's a shame this drama wasn't better executed, because the story has an interesting depth to it. All the karmic relationships and reiterations of selfless sacrificing and Izy's unbearable hunger (both literal and figurative) are points worth analysing. I really liked that all Geum's incarnations had this pure kindness and sincerity. You rock, sweet potato!

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So true,, I dropped it because of the weak execution. And IT IS such a shame because this drama has a really beautiful message to tell..
And by the way,, I'm a Team Geum from the start. Yaay !!

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#GEUMMIEFOREVER although that kiss with Ok-nam...... 😭 trying not to think about how IRL, the actors are like 10+ years apart o.O (Seo Ji-hoon is only like 21!?)

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What an unusual drama, really, to focus on the love-hate relationship between Izy/Yi-hyun and Bausae/Geum. And to give the main love interest to the second lead, who really turns out to be the hero.

I actually sped through the raw of this and was so dismayed at the way it jumped around that I did not bother to watch the subbed version. I'm really glad reading your recap, @lollypip, because you make sense of it all.

Other stuff: I wish Jeom Dol could stay an awesome dragon and not go back to being his smaller, more ridiculous self. And I wish the Master of the Northern Star looked less like a cheap department store Santa.

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Part 1 of 3

Thank you so much for your recap, @LollyPip. Just when I thought MAMA FAIRY AND THE WOODCUTTER was about to finally go off the rails in a spectacular fashion, it did a 180 and finally disclosed the metaphysics hidden in the long-past earthly lives of Prof. Jung and Geum. If the story ended here, it would almost be enough for me.

I initially thought that the first 20 minutes of this episode were going down the tubes in a ridiculous makjang fest as enraged Prof. Jung/Izy torched the trees around Fairy Falls and threatened the lives of all beings present, including immortals. Geum had no idea what was going on – just like me – and Izy was furious at his cluelessness. In real life, the server was frustratingly slow, so I gave up, took a nap, and tried again. I'm glad I did, for it had truly looked as if Show were imploding.

On my second try, I was thrilled to see that Show pulled a literal deus ex machina redemption of Izy by Master of the Southern Star (Coffee Shop Owner) and her white-haired brother, Master of the Northern Star. Humble little Jeom-dol facilitated the proceedings. Is he ever a chip off the old block. Self-effacing and a true servant, just like his Dad. He is actually Blue Dragon. Jeom-dol's circular flight in the sky looked like Ourobouros (the snake biting its tail) to me. The only thing better would have been seeing him flying in figure eights – the symbol of infinity. He put out the fires. Between him and Alkaid/Mama Fairy as the divine gardener who brings sweetness and light, the bridge to the fairy realm was saved.

We were shown by Master of the Southern Star how Dubhe/Bausae accompanied Izy/Mizar to exile
on earth, leaving his beloved Alkaid in the heavens. In flashback we see that Bausae and Izy had originally been mortals – something that I didn't understand until LollyPip explained it. Geum/Bausae had been one of the villagers, a nameless, crazy-looking woman with a kind heart who attempted to share her humble acorn porridge with the starving boy Izy. Alas, Acorn Porridge Lady couldn't get to him in time, but she gave her all. Southern Star's demonstration to Prof. Jung that the village wangtta tried her utmost to save him really hit home and had me in tears. Kudos to Ms. Lee Do-yeon (GO BACK COUPLE) for her cameo as the first human incarnation of Bausae.

Aside: It takes much time-consuming processing to render acorns edible by humans. In the West, pigs were traditionally turned loose in forests to fatten up on nuts (mast) in the fall. They can digest the tannins and enzyme inhibitors in acorns, and convert the forage into tasty meat. Grilled pork belly, anyone?

- Continued -

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Part 2 of 3

Little Izy's ignorance of the true facts of his pitiful life led to much pain and suffering for many other beings besides himself. It took me a while to realize that both he and his would-be benefactress were wangtta. But while Izy fulminated over the unfairness of his lot, Acorn Porridge Lady empathized with him, and took concrete action, despite time not being on their side. It didn't matter whether she succeeded, or whether anyone else knew about it. Well, actually, it did matter. A lot.

Watching Southern Star's replays of Acorn Porridge Lady running faster and faster until she dropped dead made me really wonder about the being later known as Bausae. I could only conclude that even in his first earthly incarnation, she acted like Kwan Yin, the bodhisattva who hears the cries of the world – in this case in the form of a starving orphan – and does something about them. Dang.

Thank you for explaining the deal between North Star and the Buddhist monk who had cared for the boy Izy and been on earth for 1,000 years attempting to understand the motivations of the human heart.

Now I understand Bausae's impassive expression when North Star banished Fairy Izy from the celestial realm. Methinks his memory had already been wiped in preparation for his own return to earth. Learning that Bausae proactively approached North Star in an effort to prevent Fairy Izy from destroying herself gives a whole new spin to the story. It is especially touching that he offered to give up his own immortality and memory of his past – including his memory of beloved Alkaid, although deep down he still had faint echoes of his feelings for her. It made sense as it unfolded, and brought tears to my eyes. Very moving.

And finally we got the full story of the winged dress. Izy the Shifty-Eyed Deer asked Woodcutter Bausae to retrieve a dress from the banks of the Fairy Falls swimming hole. Deer Izy, who had been hunted mercilessly by archer Master Goo, wanted to return to the celestial realm. Bausae picked up a dress, and all the butterflies in its pattern upped and flew away, so the dress no longer worked. LOL. What great twists on the symbol of rebirth, the butterfly effect – and causality/karma. It really got me.

- Continued -

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Part 3 of 3

Buried under all the random mischigas the hicktastic residents of the mountain strewed in their path, the butterfly symbolism was very touching, and reminded me a bit of the beautiful snowy scenes at the ski resort that had something to do with the Butterfly God in GOBLIN. The Butterfly Dream of Master Zhuang is floating around in my mind, too. – When Geum finally was given all his memories back and recognized Mama Fairy as his wife in his woodcutter incarnation, Jung was burning down the mountain. Geum/Bausae knew that Izy/Jung was in great pain, and ran – not to Coffee Fairy, not to Master of the North Star (har!) – but straight into Jung's arms. It was so doggone touching. He was still on a mission to protect and care for Izy, and this time it seems to have gotten through to Jung. And later, when Geum quietly beseeched Ok-nam to remain on earth – oof. He's still paying for his self-sacrificing decision, and wouldn't have it any other way. Geum/Bausae is one of my favorite protagonists because he's such a decent person.

Show sounds like a shambles, and it was, but the underlying situation and the way it played out were immensely touching to me. I've been awaiting LollyPip's recap of this episode, and appreciate her insights into it. I agree that the way in which the story was told could have been less confusing. Maybe it's because I'm a foreigner who is unfamiliar with the fairy tale. I have not read the original webtoon, so the story is Greek to me. On the other hand, if dramatization is done well, I shouldn't need to read the webtoon. The drama should stand on its own. IMHO, it spent way too much time in the spin cycle playing Who's The Husband? and following the Three Immortal Stooges. Even so, this episode goes a long way to redeeming it for me. Your mileage may vary. ;-)

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reading this recap is totally making me tear up..... >.< a little late because I've been away, but this episode (while making me swing from 'what the heck, what is going on' to 'why did i watch this' to 'oh my heart' to 'OMG GEUMMIEEEEE') really tore me up. seeing everything come together after feeling like I've been in 'Dark Waters' for a few episodes due to the confusion of what's going on, and not to mention learning about Izy/Yi-hyun's story in totality and the revelation that Bausae was the one who was protecting her from when she was a child villager, to being in the celestial world, and even in the present day as Kim Kim.............. oh my heart (x 1000).

on a lighter note... aren't these people/celestials afraid of smoke inhalation!?! o.O it baffled me how long they could all stand there in this episode and have their showdown (or 'fire-down') while Geummie only got out a few polite coughs lol. and Gyeom-seul fainted cos of Jeom Soon and not from inhaling too much smoke 😂

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