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Bride of the Water God 2017: Episode 3

The trouble about being a fantasy rom-com heroine is, sometimes you don’t know you’re in a fantasy (or a rom-com, for that matter), and thus everything that happens seems to be designed to drive you batty. So-ah gets some moments to shine today as she battles her personal conflict of wanting to help and not wanting to be that helpful person, with a bevy of nagging voices to guide the way. Sort of.


 
EPISODE 3 RECAP

After Ha-baek dives into the river to rescue the suicidal patient, an ambulance arrives to take the patient away. So-ah remains behind with Ha-baek, and asks hesitantly if this plastic house by the water is where he’s staying, and where Namsuri went. Ha-aek merely says, “I lost him” and tells her she doesn’t need to know more.

She says that he can’t continue to stay here, but when he asks if she’s recognizing her duties to him, she says no and mentions welfare services. Ha-baek turns his back, telling her to go if she’s not going to serve him.

So she thanks him and says goodbye, and Ha-baek waves her off.

As So-ah turns to go, a voice says disapprovingly, “You don’t recognize a kindness!” She looks around wonderingly, and when she continues walking, again that voice barks, “You ungrateful thing!” And a third time: “You with no conscience!”

The voices only get more persistent after that, and some days later So-ah calls her friend for advice, sporting serious dark circles as she recounts the voices coming from things like flowers, ants, and water. When So-ah steps on a leaf, she hears a yelp of pain, and the cactus on her desk accuses her of cruelty for withholding water. Initially assuming she’s just tired, the more voices she hears, the more she finds she can’t write it off as plain fatigue.

She consults a med school friend, JO YEOM-MI (Choi Woo-ri), for advice about “Miss A.” Yeom-mi runs through the symptoms and rules out certain conditions, suggesting that perhaps the answer lies with the first voices she heard that called her ungrateful. In other words, maybe it’s her guilty conscience for ignoring someone in need of help.

So-ah protests that it doesn’t make sense for a guilty conscience to result in auditory hallucinations, but Yeom-mi describes Miss A as being quite tender-hearted, but overcompensating by acting the opposite because she dislikes that about herself. As she describes the patient, So-ah’s mind flashes to recent incidents, like helping a grandpa cross the street, and how both Ha-baek and CEO Hu-ye noted that she couldn’t be honest about her reasons.

Yeom-mi supposes that Miss A’s behavior is rooted in some past trauma, and points out that she ignored Mr. B even after hearing that his friend had abandoned him and really needed help.

Ha-baek is back with Namsuri at the park, and they ponder a cell phone and how Ha-baek could have seen Mura inside of it. In concern, Namsuri wonders how they’ll free her from the tiny rectangle prison, and whispers to the phone, “Mura-nim! Can you hear me?”

For once, Ha-baek seems to know more about humans than Namsuri, and he starts to explain how phones work. Unfortunately, that’s when a skateboarding kid nearby demands his phone back, haha. Ha-baek hands it over, but the kid has to yank it out of his clenched fingers.

The kid asks why they don’t have phones, and after huffing a little, Ha-baek asks where to get one. That lands them in a store, but they quickly realize they don’t understand any of the terms—and moreover, have no money.

Namsuri heads off to work a part-time job, leaving hungry Ha-baek with puffed rice snacks and water to fill his stomach. Feeling belittled and angry, Ha-baek winds up to throw the snacks into the river… but pulls back at the last second, unable to do it.

So-ah spends the next several days battling her hallucinations, growing increasingly exhausted, while Ha-baek snacks on foods that he guards protectively from other hobos.

After days of this, So-ah finally appears at the park, her dark circles deepened and her face haggard. She starts to say that she hasn’t been as diligent as she should have as a doctor, just as her ankle rolls and she stumbles. Ha-baek grabs her hand, and she seems to feel a moment between them.

And that’s even before Ha-baek tells her, “I’ve thought of nothing but you all the time. There where the sun rises in the east, until the sun sets in the west, I have only thought of you. No matter how I tried, I could not break free of thoughts of you.”

A little flustered, she asks why. He replies, “I could not understand how you could be so foolish and dim-witted, and because I could not comprehend for the life of me, I could not help but keep thinking of you.” Psh. Of course.

So-ah recommends that he see her professor for psychiatric help, who is much more skilled and helpful than she is. Ha-baek turns her down flat, saying that if there’s one thing he’s learned here, it’s that speaking the truth turns makes people think of him as abnormal—just as she would seem if she admitted to being a god’s servant.

She denies that that’s the case, but he points out, “I am the only one who believes you. Is it an easy thing to earn someone’s faith? How remarkable is it to have someone who fully believes in me?”

His words unsettle So-ah, who walks away telling herself she’s done as much as she can. Then Ha-baek reminds her of his earlier words: that if she doesn’t accept him, she will encounter all sorts of incidents.

So-ah returns to her office a nervous wreck, muttering to herself over and over that she feels positively light and refreshed. Her cactus clamors for attention, complaining about her poor treatment, and So-ah increases the volume of her self-affirmations.

Nurse Sang-yoo urges her to rest, since she’s been irritable for days, but she just tells him in her manic way that everything will be fine. Just fine!

So-ah turns back to her now-silent cactus and goads it to talk more, insisting that her conscience is clear. She catches herself mid-taunt, horrified with herself, and recalls Ha-baek’s last warning about what will happen if she ignores him.

So-ah calls her friend Yeom-mi for more advice, this time about a man and not Miss A. Yeom-mi asks if he’s good-looking, and So-ah blurts, “Yes” before catching herself. She explains that there’s a man who spouts off these ominous saying like those monks in horror dramas who warn of bad omens that you know shouldn’t be ignored. She asks if that can happen in real life, then cuts herself off to say of course not, and hangs up before Yeom-mi can even reply.

So-ah’s current state makes Sang-yoo nervous, so he calls rather than see her face to face, and gives her a series of bad news: There’s no progress on the diamond ring thief, the bank denied her loan at the higher interest rate, and her landlord has decided not to raise her deposit but is raising rent.

Sang-yoo has one last resort tactic in mind, and gives So-ah an invitation to a fundraising event for her medical school alumni. He suggests that she go and rub elbows there, which she rejects flat-out.

Namsuri takes a passenger in his paddleboat, doing his best to paddle along while she sobs about a no-good boyfriend. He grits his teeth to keep going, since he needs more money to be able to buy chicken—and then he looks up at a high-rise building, mistaking its shining windows for gold bars.

Standing in front of the building that looks like gold, Ha-baek explains to Namsuri that it only looks like it. But he assures Namsuri that he’ll regain his powers soon and return Namsuri’s lost gold to him.

Turning back to see his servant staring dumbly at the building, Ha-baek says, “I know why you’re turning into a fool. The fact that I am enduring without difficulty even in this situation is all because of your devotion, I know this.”

And then he adds, “…is what you thought I’d say, isn’t it?” Heh. He’ll never change, will he?

Then Ha-baek catches a glimpse of the screen mounted on the building, featuring Mura’s commercial. He calls Namsuri’s attention to it, but by the time he points up at the building, the ad has changed and Mura is gone.

That night, So-ah ends up heading to that fundraiser after all, and struggles in her painful heels to climb the steep hill to the fancy hotel. She sits on the curb to rest her aching feet, just as a car pulls over—it’s Hu-ye, on his way to that very same hotel. Her pride asserts itself before her sense can, declining a ride. She immediately regrets it, but Hu-ye accepts her word and leaves before she can take it back.

At the hotel, Hu-ye’s secretary suggests that sometimes people say the opposite of what they mean, and that they’re really asking for help when they decline it. Hu-ye is startled to consider that So-ah may have wanted his help after all, but shakes off the thought, certain that she’s very clear about what she wants.

Ha-baek, on the other hand, is convinced that his speech earlier about believing in her got through to So-ah. He tries to go to her clinic, but he’s told that So-ah is off tonight for an alumni event. Nurse Sang-yoo mentions the name of the hotel, and Ha-baek decides to head over.

It’s clear that So-ah doesn’t fit in with her snooty classmates, who greet her practically snickering at the idea that her clinic is struggling. A flower bouquet distracts So-ah by talking at her, and her classmate explains that it’s meant for one of their big donors—none other than Hu-ye. Of course.

Her classmate waxes poetic about all of Hu-ye’s merits, but So-ah retorts that he’s very different on the inside, recalling his line at the bank about just working harder rather than arguing over interest rates, and says he’s probably petty about money. One frenemy makes a snipe about So-ah’s financial difficulties—and then, Hu-ye joins them to note that they’re talking behind his back.

He makes a friendly greeting for So-ah and makes it seem they’re quite cozy, adding that So-ah is also a VIP customer at the bank. So-ah laughs uncomfortably, going with it until she can slip away in mortification.

Hu-ye follows her, and when he comments that he didn’t know they were alums of the same school, she retorts without thinking, “Why, would you lend me money if you did?” He asks if she came to raise money tonight, and she replies yes.

A commotion arises when Jaya arrives, the aspiring celebrity and Hu-ye’s snotty niece. So-ah excuses herself, saying that there’s “someone it’ll be tiring to run into” here, and hurries away.

But Jaya heads off after So-ah and calls out to her, forcing her to stop and acknowledge her. As So-ah turns, she hears voices tittering from Jaya’s flower bouquet, which repeat every snipe Jaya throws at her.

Jaya crows that So-ah is the “three-minute goddess,” a nickname she invented that means that she looks like a goddess at first sight, “but after three seconds she turns into a beggar.” Hu-ye watches from across the room as Jaya makes digs at So-ah about being jealous of her.

So-ah calmly replies that Jaya should take care with her bad pronunciation, pointing out her errors and getting a chuckle out of the crowd. Holding her head up high, So-ah heads off, and I think it’s safe to say she’s won this round.

But Jaya calls after her pointedly, “Has your father not come back yet?” Oh, low blow. Jaya tells the crowd that So-ah’s father went to Africa on volunteer work and didn’t return, calling him a great man who took in beggars and clothed and fed them. Somehow Jaya makes those sound like bad things.

The chorus coming from Jaya’s flowers grows louder, and Jaya adds that Dad was so outstanding that he traded his own family harmony for his greater love of humanity. So-ah finally whirls with blazing eyes, and raises a hand to Jaya—and then snatches the roses out of her hands, screaming, “You be quiet!”

The room quiets, and So-ah becomes the focus of attention. She turns to leave quietly, but when Jaya grabs for her, she rips So-ah’s sleeve.

So-ah manages to keep her composure and leaves Jaya with a few last pieces of advice, like how if she can’t be a good person she should at least fake it, and how she should lay off the social media, because she’s what people call an attention whore.

Hu-ye steps in front of Jaya to keep her from following So-ah out, and warns her to tone it down. Jaya pushes past him anyway, screaming after So-ah.

Jaya follows her outside the hotel, but this time it’s Ha-baek who blocks her path. He asks if she’s from a certain family, stating that she’s quite like someone else he knows: very rude and bad-mood-inducing. Heh.

Jaya tries to shove him aside, but he’s a brick wall and doesn’t budge. He adds, “Why are you following after my woman to harass her?”

So-ah turns back, surprised at his interference, while Ha-baek explains that she’s affiliated with him, and that Jaya needs his permission to harass her. Then Jaya gets recognized by other visitors, and stomps off in a hurry.

So-ah looks defeated when Ha-baek joins her, and cries as she says the flowers were driving her crazy with their chatter. Ha-baek takes in So-ah’s ripped sleeve and the tears running down her face, and shrugs off his suit jacket. He places it over her shoulders and reminds her of his warning.

Ha-baek hails a taxi, and I do love the tiny moments of panic that come over Namsuri every time Ha-baek insists on spending their meager cash supply on expensive cab rides. Hee. Nearby, Hu-ye, leaving in his own car, notices So-ah getting in the cab.

On the drive home, So-ah thinks back to years ago, when her father had ridden away in a taxi and she had raced out of the house after the car. She thinks now that she hadn’t run after the car to hold back her father—it was to gather all her pain and find the strength to keep on living.

That was the night she’d ended up at the bridge, knowing that her father would continue to do his work, and that she would have to make her own way. “That night, I felt all of the pain in my body carved deep,” she thinks. “And that it was all because of my father. I decided to use that hate and resentment to live on. I ran to let my father go. It wasn’t a last resort.”

So-ah’s cab drives past that spot on the bridge in the present, and she looks out the window to see her teenage self there, crying by the railing.

They end up by the river again, and when So-ah asks why, Ha-baek replies that he doesn’t know where her house is, so he took her to his. She returns his jacket and thanks him, but he balks at her repeated instances of accepting his help and then leaving, accusing her of running off he minute she’s scored something.

Ha, which is how they end up back at the cell phone store, looking at all the latest models. Namsuri assures her that they’ll pay all the charges, and Ha-baek adds that Mura will repay her.

Returning to the park, So-ah guesses that Ha-baek saw Mura on a news program on TV, or maybe a passing shot. She guesses he’s talking about a woman, and he corrects her that “our Mura” is a goddess.

She asks about what there is in his world, and he names water, wind, trees, sky, mountain, fish, air, birds. She says they have all that here, but he says that it’s all wrong here, and that it’s a good thing the human world wasn’t made part of the divine world, lest his world end up like this mess.

She’s been limping along in her heels all this while, and now Ha-baek extends an arm and tells her to use him for support—which he loftily calls his godly grace, of course.

They walk arm in arm for a while, and sit down to watch another giant TV screen on a building, waiting to catch another glimpse of Mura. So-ah comments that she’d like if Ha-baek really were a god, and asks if gods could provide her all the things shown onscreen, like a piano and a car. He says he could make those things with a flick of a finger, answering yes to everything she points to, whether bridge or tree or river. He adds that he could even make gold.

So-ah likes the sound of that, and tells him to make it happen. He explains that he can’t right now, and she deflates.

And then, Mura’s commercial comes on the TV. When So-ah realizes who he was talking about, she sighs a little, explaining that she’s “Korea’s goddess” named Hera, thinking that he’s just using the word in the colloquial sense. She, of course, doesn’t get that he means it literally, and suggests that a celebrity like Hera wouldn’t be willing to meet Ha-baek.

“Don’t worry, I am her master and king,” Ha-baek declares. He tells So-ah that if she gets him into Mura’s castle, her job is over and she can stop being his servant.

So, the next day finds them in front of a resort hotel. Feeling close to his goal, Ha-baek says that So-ah was an inadequate servant but will be repaid handsomely by Mura for bringing him, and also offers to give her everything she wanted (car, piano, gold) once his circumstances are straightened out.

So-ah grabs his arm to ask if he really has to go. He tells her that Mura dislikes human woman and that he’d better go alone, misinterpreting her reason for holding him back. So, So-ah doesn’t get the chance to tell him that Hera doesn’t actually live her, although she tells herself to let him figure it out.

Then Ha-baek turns back and gives her a smile and a nod, and So-ah finds that she can’t quite leave. She tries to force herself to leave, but every time she hits the gas, she brakes immediately, unable to abandon him.

Hu-ye’s driver notices the car stopped in front of the building with curiosity, and as they pass, he and Hu-ye recognize So-ah sitting inside.

Hu-ye stops to ask what So-ah’s doing parked in front of his hotel, and she’s startled to realize that he, of course, owns this place. She asks hesitantly if Hera might be staying here, and Hu-ye replies that Hera’s the brand model for his resort.

Ha-baek is pleased with the way the hotel employees all bow and thinks that Mura has taught her staff well, ha. Feeling that she’s near, he goes off in search of her.

So finally, we meet actress Hera, aka goddess Mura (Krystal), who is being prepped for a photo shoot by the pool. She hears Ha-baek calling out her name, and looks up to see him standing there smiling at her across the way.

When So-ah hears that Hera is here for a shoot, she foresees trouble for Ha-baek and races for the hotel.

Mura makes no indication that she knows Ha-baek, who is grabbed by security detail and dragged away. He shouts out to her, telling her of his extenuating circumstances, while her staff figures he’s just a crazy.

Ha-baek fights off the men holding him, then flings aside the others who come at him, and Mura’s stylist advises that they do “it.” Mura tells her to do it properly.

So-ah runs in to see Ha-baek fighting off five men, and tries to break up the struggle, saying that he’s her patient. At that, Mura’s eyes open and she looks over at them sharply, watching as So-ah gets shoved to the ground in the scuffle. Ha-baek grows extra angry to see it, and grabs the offending security guard and warns him to get away from his servant.

He kneels to assist So-ah and check that she’s okay, and an incensed Mura shouts, “Stop!”

She struts over to them, clocks that Ha-baek is holding So-ah’s wrist, and then delivers a slap to his face. Ha-baek and Mura glare at each other for a long moment, and then So-ah’s voice cuts in as she asks angrily what Mura is doing.

Mura asks who she is, and So-ah steps in front of Ha-baek and declares herself his guardian.

“I hit him because he did something deserving being hit,” Mura says.

That logic doesn’t work on So-ah, who tells Mura that people may call her a goddess but that she let the praise go to her head. Flowers wither, she says: “You think it’ll last forever, don’t you? No, it won’t. Don’t be shocked later when you shrivel up, and take care of your mental state in advance.”

With that, So-ah puts her business card in Mura’s hand and offers a celebrity discount, lol. Grabbing Ha-baek’s arm, she pulls him away.

At the car, Ha-baek chides So-ah for stepping in, telling her that she erred, and that Mura is in fact a real goddess who will never age or wither.

“I said I was your guardian,” So-ah returns. “For the first time, I wanted to take you out of your world, using my methods. But I see you have no desire to leave it.”

Ha-baek says that their worlds are different. So she asks again if he really needs to meet a god, and calls her friend Yeom-mi.

Hu-ye’s secretary reports that the photo shoot incident was handled, ascribing the problem to Hera’s uber-fan. Hu-ye’s interested to hear that the fan was So-ah’s patient, who was also at the hotel the other night. Hu-ye smiles in amusement, saying that So-ah’s treatment methods are quite unusual.

Poolside, Mura’s in an even worse mood than her regular bitchface mode, and her manager nervously calls for a break and clears everyone out. Mura makes a call to someone perched on a rooftop railing, looking out at a cityscape—this is sky god BI-RYUM (Gong Myung), and he quips that he’s here to fly.

Mura tells him impatiently that this isn’t the time: “Ha-baek is here!”

Bi-ryum wonders if the red waters have come to the Water Kingdom, but Mura’s more worried about what this means for them. Bi-ryum figures Ha-baek will come looking for him, but Mura recalls that he said something about losing his map coordinates. She warns that where the divine stones are concerned, “You and I are accomplices.”

Then she sees So-ah’s business card and growls jealously that he brought a human woman with him, and that the first thing he did in this world was seduce a woman.

Bi-ryum, on the other hand, laughs to himself that things are about to get interesting. He stands up on the railing, then jumps off, flying into the air.

So-ah takes Ha-baek and Namsuri to an office building, where they can meet “a woman who meets god(s) frequently.” Namsuri pulls Ha-baek aside to ask if could really lead to Bi-ryum, since he did always love women and debauchery. In any case, So-ah leads Ha-baek inside to Yeom-mi’s office, which has quite the curious setup: The floor is entirely empty but for a tiny box of a shop, whose sign indicates fortune-telling. Interesting, considering Yeom-mi is So-ah’s med school friend.

Yeom-mi eyes Ha-baek up and down, then pulls So-ah aside to assess the situation. She puts together that this is the “Mr. B” So-ah was talking about, and that So-ah was Miss A who heard voices out of guilt.

So-ah explains that he’s insistent on meeting a god but refuses a medical approach, so she wants Yeom-mi, who is the closest thing to a person talking to gods, to figure out what kind of world he lives in so that So-ah can help. And yet, Yeom-mi says with some amazement that he’s the real deal, and that he’s someone who will be possessed by a real spirit.

Yeom-mi sits down with Ha-baek, who only wants to know where to find Bi-ryum. She replies that she doesn’t know who that is, and that she serves other gods. She scatters salt on a tray, and names him: “Sigmund Freud.” Ha, okay, well that’s an approach.

Yeom-mi rings a bell, listens intently, then lightly touches Ha-baek’s face. She declares that she’ll hear him out, but by now his patience is wearing thin and he mutters about his foolish servant. He tells Yeom-mi that he’s the next king of the Water Kingdom, giving her his royal spiel.

As she waits outside, So-ah recalls Ha-baek saying that they’re from different worlds, and tells herself that this is as far as she’ll go: “Don’t get any more involved.” Then her mind flashes to their kiss, and she slaps her head to rid the thought.

Yeom-mi calls So-ah on her way out of the meeting, telling her to call their old professor, acknowledging that Ha-baek is a complicated case beyond So-ah’s abilities.

When So-ah returns to Ha-baek, he asks if she was toying with him with this meeting, and says that he’ll let her go for good now. So-ah says, “All I did was not believe thing that couldn’t be believed. This was the best I could do for you.”

“How do you differentiate between truth and non-truth?” Ha-baek asks. “Your truth is to believe what you want to believe. Your way is easier, and less difficult. Some truths cover the eyes that way.”

So-ah hears her mother’s words ringing in her ears: “Your father abandoned us. Think of it that way.”

She looks at Ha-baek with hurt, muttering, “What do you know?” She heads into the stairwell, rattled by Ha-baek’s words and wondering what’s so important about the truth.

Suddenly, a dark figure bursts out of the door, grabs So-ah, and drags her into the elevator.

Outside the building, Namsuri looks up wondering if he should text Ha-baek, and sees a struggle unfolding at the edge of the roof. It’s the man in black, and he’s trying to shove So-ah over the ledge as she struggles.

Ha-baek, meanwhile, is still outside Yeom-mi’s office when he gets a frantic call from Namsuri, who narrates what’s unfolding on the rooftop: “He’s pushing her! She’s falling!”

Ha-baek whirls around to face the windows just as So-ah falls down, upside-down, her eyes meeting his.

Ha-baek races for the windows, not stopping as he hits the glass—and suddenly the glass gives way like water as he flies through it easily. Ha-baek speeds down in amidst a stream of water, and So-ah outstretches a hand toward him.

Ha-baek speeds his descent until he reaches So-ah, encircling her in a cocoon of water, and when they reach the ground level, the ball of water splashes away into nothing, leaving Ha-baek standing with So-ah cradled in his arms.

So-ah stares up at him in utter shock, and the high priest’s voice says, “It’s fate. The one who saves her life once…”

So-ah stammers, “W-w-what…?” Ha-baek replies, “I told you I was a god.”

 
COMMENTS

Ah, his powers are back! I wouldn’t have minded having Ha-baek powerless and huffy for a little while longer (he’s so entertaining when he’s indignantly impotent), but I like that this pushes our story along, now that circumstances are changing, presumably driven by our characters and their connections. I want a beefier reason than that they’re fated to be, so I hope the drama is prepared to take us at least a few steps further into this development, and explain what exactly why he was power-blocked before, and why this situation uncorked that bottle.

As far as character development and deepening relationships go, I do think the episode did a pretty decent job directing the trajectory, and I like that it was driven by more than pure romantic or fate-driven mechanisms. So-ah’s resentment of her well-meaning father makes her an interesting character, and I appreciate the way that it’s shaped her into this sideways direction—she wants to help people and is in a profession that is entirely about that, but she’s also angry at what that meant for her own life and I think it explains her conflicted counseling approach. It’s very realistic to paint her as a child who seems to have felt abandoned even though her father seems to have been a loving and devoted person—just not particularly so to his flesh and blood. It’s human and natural for a daughter and wife to feel they ought to have more of Dad’s love than a stranger needing help, and Dad may have been a great caretaker for others but he seems to have been a poor father and husband.

So given that she met this almighty god at his lowest point, it’s fitting that he brings out both of those conflicted sides—he acts haughty and confident, but is pretty much lost in this world, and she can’t ignore it even though she kind of hates herself for caring. Now that she’s had a minor breakthrough moment (at least in Ha-baek’s challenge to her about believing what she wants to), I’m ready to see how things change once Ha-baek has his powers and is no longer quite like a baby duck that imprinted on a reluctant helper. (I mean, he thinks he’s in control and she’s his servant, but for all intents and purposes he’s been at her mercy for a lot of things.)

I’ve been dying for a glimpse of our other two gods, and I’m interested to know what exactly they’ve done to be afraid of Ha-baek, and also for Mura to act like she’s the wronged party. Frankly I was more excited to meet them before I met them, because I don’t find myself particularly excited to explore more of their characters, but I’ll give them more time to turn me around. At least, maybe Bi-ryum will be an entertaining foil; Mura’s permanent bitchface has a really souring effect that I can’t entirely blame on the writing. But as I’ve warmed to our primary trio (So-ah, Ha-baek, and Namsuri), that’s enough to keep me content for now.

I do find myself a little wistful for a stronger fantasy component to this drama, because when the show premiered and dumped us into the thick of its alternate divine world, I was really into all the rules and challenges in store for the characters. I can see that that this kind of reworking does have a flattening aspect, in that despite the very fresh and interesting background world providing the framework for this drama, the actual plot of the drama is kind of conventional. I can’t complain too hard because this drama is sort of accomplishing what I expect and want of it—I never had sky-high hopes to start with, just medium-level ones—and I do enjoy it for what it does do, and where it’s heading. Just as long as I continue to feel for the main characters and feel invested in their growing bond!

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That ending was all I needed!

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me too...it was epiccc

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Definitely made my day too! I really like those kind of scenes.

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Yep, me too. The minute Habaek smashed through the glass window/water, I said aloud to my laptop: "Oh, this is going to get fun"

...And then I may or may not have rewatched that scene 5-6 times because of the super cool VFX...

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Yesssss! The water to glass effect was so beautiful. Loved it!

I do miss the visuals that could have been had they recreated the original world, but the magic-in-the-present-world is something I don't want to miss either.

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thank goodness the show is starting to pick up some steam. I'm all in now.

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Habaek-nim, I will follow you forever!

Is Habaek hot or is he hot?! I think I did so many times through this episode. I love how he talks as if he's the highest being in the universe (maybe partly, he is) and that makes him seem arrogant an unbelievable but he's been stating facts all around. Really, how do you distinguish between truth and lies? You believe what you believe and that becomes your truth.

So-ah being crazy was awesome to watch. I seriously laughed way too hard when the toilet started singing. ㅋ I've always associated that song to Jaejoong. Hee.

I'm glad it started picking up! I've been watching Arang again and I realized that it was actually a slow drama. I trust the production team and the acting is getting better. Kyaaaa can't wait for tomorrow~

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*died so many times

I got way too excited.

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So now we know what is a water god's idea of toilet humor.

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I'm loving Ha-baek, too, he seems all high and mighty and then he goes hiding his goldfish bread from the hobo, LOL! I loved what he said about truth is what you decide to believe in! And the toilet scene was really funny!

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He just shoved the bread in his mouth like "I'm not sharing". LOL

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"I've been watching Arang again and I realized that it was actually a slow drama"

I noticed that too when I rewatched it. Loved it both times through though, so I am excited to see where this show is going.

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I actually liked that the other 2 gods were introduced... Bec I'm seriously craving more fantasy, world building and mythology...

Also I'll have to disagree with your assessment of mura's "permanent bitchface" considering that she was there for like 5 mins top

I'm still not completely on board but since finding out that the team of misang and nine are involved, I'm going to wait a little more...

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Ha-baek's gag "....is what you'd thought I'd say" never gets old lol.

And why does so ah ignore the thirsty plants?! Even if she feels she's hallucinating, atleast water them!

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haha agreed! what a knee slapper

And so true, if she just fricking took care of the plants, then she wouldn't hear those voices

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Right? Atleast it would lessen the voices around her, I felt sorry for her dark circles.

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Anybody else get a Wonderfalls vibe there? Although its not like hardly anybody even saw that show,

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Yep, I did. Uh... did we just date ourselves?

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Just watched episode 1 of Wonderfalls and got the vibe. Talking objects, constant presence of water, there's even a water god. Looks like it was a fun series. Thanks, Lord Cobol!

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I really wish my plants would tell me what they needed so I can stop killing them ?? ?

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But what if we start hearing voices from literally everywhere like so ah, then we won't be able to eat vegetables & stuff because they'll be crying... And what would happen if we pass by a tree that is being cut down, it'll literally be the cry of someone dying TT.TT

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This time with Habaek's gag, he actually smirked when he did it which I thought was a nice touch in that he isn't humorless and is softening up a bit.

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Thank you javabeans for the recap. If you look closely, Habaek transformed into water dragon when he saved her from the fall. The CGI is impressive.

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I loved how he dived through that window. ^^ so cool

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Yeah, I thought that was cooler than just smashing through the window which is what I was expecting.

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Yes, that was exciting. And I liked it because it was a reminder that there is much more to Habaek than meets the eye. Hopefully the fantasy elements will keep appearing in next episodes, it makes it much more fun. :)

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Yes, I loved how he transformed into his water form, that was awesome, will love to see that happening again!

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*Goes to rewatch*

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That ending made me wish I was marathoning this show

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At least we know TVN can produce good CGI if anything haha

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Did he? Must rewatch - again! Thanks!

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Woah - He DID turn into a water dragon. How did I miss it? Thanks for pointing it out!

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I must confess that I was a tad frustrated with So ah in today's episode. Maybe not just with So ah but with the entire episode, I mean how many scenes are they going to show of So ah suffering because she didn't believe or accept Habaek? I mean we get it! Have gotten it since episode 2.

Thankfully the ending scenes more than made up for this episode's dragging. Still a random man appeared just to shove her off the roof of a high rise? Hope they provide more background in the next episode.

I mean if So ah was so grateful to Habaek for saving her patient 's life, the least she could offer him was a meal and maybe warm blankets instead of spouting off about Korea's organized welfare system. I understand that she has trauma and issues due to her father's abandonment, but still....

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I enjoyed those bits of So-ah going crazy because of talking things, it wouldn't have made any sense if she believed Ha-baek right away! And helping him out wouldn't have made her who she is, that's why she was so conflicted about it!

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she is a doctor of mentally disturbed people so i understand her ,even i wldnt have blved him but going by the preview that plot is in the past ...

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It's going to be hard not to believe him now, he jumped and transformed into water to save her!

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I am frustrated with So ah too! very much actually...find her incompetent and too brazen for a psychiatrist...also what's the deal with giving out her cards to everyone..mental health is a joke, it seems....But Krystal! oh my god! She is carrying herself so so well...was scared of how she eyed So Ah. I want more of her and Gong Myung!

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Having so much fun with this & loving the mix of swoony and hilarious.

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I totally (inappropriately) laughed at the scene when So-ah was falling down the building because of the ridiculous angle she was in and the obvious green screen. It reminded me of Spider-man greeting his fellow villain rivals lol. If was she being pushed down by that murderer, she technically would have had her back facing the windows as she was falling down right?
Also, I am curious about that one blood droplet that flew towards Habaek, like did that signify anything special? I want to say that because So-ah's palm was cut during her struggle with the murderer, Habaek's powers were able to enable him to rescue the girl falling. So I'm guessing the prophecy from the High Priest about the red water was about So's blood initiating the start of her troubles? The High Priest has already mentioned that she only had a year to live and in episode 1, we see So jumping into the water. There are so many questions to be answered!

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" in episode 1, we see So jumping into the water " .... I've thought about that too, and I've got a random theory, I know the show just started, but I was wondering if she jumped into the water to call HB because they must've fallen in love by that time & also painfully separated, so she's trying to contact him or something....

But this is just a super random speculation. We've yet to see what happens next.

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ooh what an interesting theory! But she also threw a white rose into the water and that usually signifies a death or mourning right? OR they both could have been separated from each other's worlds (he went back to the god's kingdom and tragedy occurred while she stayed on land) and she wanted to "awaken" Ha-baek in order to bring him back to earth.
There are so many plots for each character that it's hard not to speculate! lol

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Maybe the white rose signifies her own death? She might die in human world to reunite with Ha baek in God world...?
Your speculation is amazing too. Maybe she wants to "awaken " him because he only acts (I mean his power works) when she is in danger.
We can become amateur script writers lol.

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Same. I cringed watching her "freefall". Sheesh, talk about awkward angling and slow-mo.

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I also wondered about that one loan blood drop. I didn't connect it to the red water though - interesting! And now that I think about it, the previous poster also probably has a point about the scene at the beginning where we saw her jump into the water. She jumped in the first time in a desperate attempt to call back her father. I think the scene at the beginning was her desperate attempt to call back Habaek.

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The show is in flashback. If you noticed after she jumped in the water, we went back to one year before and that's where the show starts from.

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I noticed the blood too, and wondered if it was for artistic effect or more.

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They definitely made a point of showing her getting the cut on the roof and the single drop releasing, presumably onto the on-rushing Habaek. I think it will be some accidental connection they make with each other that will bind them between the mystic and earthly worlds. There will probably be some obscure cosmic rule that will be revealed later where it will become critical.

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Ooh, interesting theory!

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@lisackui It's like the drama gods read your comment and showed a flashback explaining why she was facing the windows while falling in ep 4... though it was such a forced random explanation ! Lol

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haha I watched ep 4 and was like "ok, I see you PD-nim", it was still an odd scene with SSK's upside down pose lol

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I thought that, too. They made such a point of showing the blood as she cut her hand and then it flying up to him as she falls, so I think it activated his powers, too.

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"I want to say that because So-ah's palm was cut during her struggle with the murderer, Habaek's powers were able to enable him to rescue the girl falling".
Wow interesting theory! I thought it was just for dramatic effect but now i see it could have a deeper meaning behind it.

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I really like the fact, it's not going exactly as the manga or manhwa .... Because that was a little to shoujo ... This has balanced things out

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Hye-ra (in the subs I watched) = Hera. Who wasn't very likable even by Greek god standards. Jealous and prone to be mean to mortal women who hook up with her hubby. Nope, must just be a coincidence.

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Omg that's exactly what I thought! The moment I read Hera I immediately thought of the Greek goddess.

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(Hit send before finishing -_- )

....goddess who is always jealous of her husband's girlfriends & tries to kill their kids lol.

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Even in the manwha Krystal's character wasn't very likable so it's a nice touch that they delved further and gave her the name Hera in the drama.

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Why are all the plants so obnoxious?

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I must admit, however, that I made it a point to water my plants tonight.

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The cactus was particularly prickly...

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And the roses were pretty airheads...

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Ooh, rim shot!

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The "three minute goddess" turns into a beggar in three seconds? What else does she turn into to during the remaining 2:56 minutes?

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ROFL. Great catch.

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Jaya said three seconds goddess, if I didn't hear wrong she said "삼 초" which means three seconds!

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Hahaha that's so funny ???

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Why are all the gods so obnoxious?

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I hope someone will make them "come down to earth" by the end of the show.

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Have you read any mythology? Particularly the Greek kind? Lol ?

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Lol, isn't Zeus like the epitome of obnoxious? Oh, and Athena who cursed a poor woman for being prettier than her? I see her in Mu-ra.

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Social media... attention whore. Completely unlike kdrama fanatics who post at every excuse. (Now off to check my thumb-up count)

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Though when he's powerless, he looks like an idiot, Ha baek never failed to give wise advice in each episode. This episode is about truth.

The ending is so good, I love when he transfrom into a dragon. Daebak!

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Just kind of reposting what I shared in my fanpost:

Firstly, HOORAY! The plot is starting to move! I was planning on dropping this show if the show doesn't show any progress but with that ending, I guess I'll continue watching!
Overall I’m enjoying it (mostly admiring the pretty) but sometimes there are jerky scene changes and music choices that distracts me. I'm super happy to see Krystal and Gong Myung <3. I hope they get longer screen times in the next episode!
I think my main complaint is that I can't take Yoon So Ah's father issue seriously. Maybe it's just me but the scene where she runs out of the house? (and I'm referring specifically to her running scene, not the bridge scene) I couldn't feel or see her angst/desperation at all…
I hope next episode will provide us with some answers because I have a lot of burning questions! (What's the significance of the blood? Who's that killer and why is he suddenly pushing her off the building? What did the other gods do? And what exactly is the role of Im Joo-Hwan's character? So far his character is super mysterious and hasn't really contributed to the main story.)

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"And what exactly is the role of Im Joo-Hwan's character? So far his character is super mysterious"

I think Im Joo hwan's characteris related to the land god. They are always talking about sky and water gods but not much has been revealed about the land god. Im Joo Hwan is a good candidate for that; remember how he doesn't quite understand human emotions/behavior, and his secretary has to interpret it for him. I definitely have my suspicions.

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I think it's obvious he's one of them - why else would they put him in the drama poster (other than he's part of the main cast) lol

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Shin Se Kyung is pretty good but I'm afraid I am not laughing as much as I'd like at So Ah's scenes. The alumni fundraiser reminded me of shows like Heirs. Why does the poor candy girl always need saving in the form of a male god? So Ah should have just taken off her stilettos and stab her ex classmates in the eyes.

I'm still getting a kick from pompous god helpless in human world hijinks. Whoever thought of the balloon castle as his earthly abode is a genius.

Now that Habaek is not powerless anymore, I hope that the appearances of the other gods can add to the fun. And less of those annoying human creatures please.

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" So Ah should have just taken off her stilettos and stab her ex classmates in the eyes. " ahhahahaha ! That's an excellent way to stand up for herself. I totally agree with you ??

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YES! I wasn't silently praying for her to beat the crap out of her ex classmate. Too bad she didn't :(

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*was

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Lol. At least she wasn't a typical candy though. I like that she stood up for herself and gave a few jabs too. She didn't take the bullying lying down and chose to leave leave the situation

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She really isn't a typical Candy girl in that she is a well educated medical professional not a plucky part-timer with 3 jobs, a heart of gold, and a grandma to take care of and of course couldn't afford to go to college because of family circumstances. Did I miss anything?

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@mrchuckles add in a little sibling too who needs poor mc's (with a big heart of course) share of food and other sacrifices.

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I love what you write and almost always agree with you. I was satisfied with this episode and I like the development in the characterisation of the main leads. I feel they are doing a good job especially Shin Se-kyung. Nam Joo-hyuk looks a bit awkward but it just adds to the comic relief which I'm enjoying. So far it's been good and I hope it becomes more interesting in the next episodes. After these three episodes I'm really looking forward to this show. Also, I want to understand the fate-part of their relationship a bit more, so I hope the writers provide more light on that. And yes I want more of the fantasy elements.

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That ending really turned the gears to start running, so ready to see how the fantasy will develop in the upcoming episode.

So many questions are running through my mind (of course it's only episode 3, long way to go). Such as who is the masked man pushing her off the building? How did Habaek's power come again, does it have anything to do with So-Ah's blood (but her blood dripped after Habaek jumped through the glass hmmm).

Though cannot help myself to comment on how So-Ah keeps on meeting with the Hu-Ye in every possible occasion. If I were her, I would be thinking on what kind of plot or bad luck does fate have with Hu-Ye, and should probably avoid him since all their encounters always led to dramatic-hard-moment for So-Ah. So, Yu-He's role on the story really need to grow soon for him to have a significant impact on So-Ah and Habaek. And the mind reading, she can listen to plants, water, ants, but not other animals? And if she can listen to water, shouldn't she be able to listen to water-based-component in her own body like blood? Hahaha never mind, it's just me overthinking everything hahaha.

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As for her being able to hear voices, it's possibly because Habaek cursed her with problems for not believing him. She didn't use to hear voices before then.

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I think she started hearing voices after he kissed her. ?

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Thank you for the recap, javabeans!

WOW! That ending has left me craving for more ... sheesh! This drama certainly knows how to use their cliffhangers.

I love seeing So Ah as she struggles will being kind and caring. The talking plants make me laugh every time ... I could hardly contain myself when she started conversing with the cactus on her desk.

Nam Joo Hyuk's Habaek-nim is still so adorable and funny! I absolutely love how helpless he is in these beginning episodes!

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I'm thinking that Habaek doesn't truly have his powers back. It was just in that moment of life-or-death crisis.

Looking forward to seeing how they end up staying at So-Ah's place.

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I loved the end of the episode and hope that Habaek powers came back for good. It was fun to see him powerless for some time, but I think with his powers back the story can go forward and bring more adventure, hehe! Also, I like the idea that So Ah finally starts believing in him. It would be nice to see them working together to get the stones.
Let's see how things go. My bet is that the first thing that Habaek will do is to buy a car ?, LOL! he gives taxi drivers such longing stares, I can't ?

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Yoon So-ah had me dying this episode, I love Shin Se-kyung but I've never seen her in a comic role. She's totally killing it. The water scene at the end was very well done.

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did I say how much I love this drama??? its too good... I hope she starts to believe him now

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Thank you for the recap javabeans!

I felt bad for So-ah but couldn't stop laughing at all the voices, the toilet and the orange especially when it said "why you koreans pronounce my name oranji" I died laughing! I didn't understand why would Jaya talk about So-ah's father as if it's something bad but hearing her voiceover when the car was passing by that bridge got me, my heart broke for her, her father might've been an amazing person to others but when she needed him he wasn't there for her, he put other people's happiness over his own family's and he left them for others, it hurt her really bad and I think she resented him for that!

Ha-baek and his puffed rice snack, so cute and funny, he made me laugh when he hid his snacks behind his back from the hobo, yeah, what a generous God, LOL! And I love how he's still so fascinated with cars, the way he was looking at the steering-wheel I thought he'll ask the taxi driver to let him drive again! Now that he's got his powers back So-ah will have to believe him, want to see how she's going to help him out in his quest! I don't know what Mu-ra and Bi-ryeom have planned but Ha-baek is definitely not going to get those stones from them easily!

The ending was SO COOL and got me really excited for the next episode!

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I almost fell out of my chair when the toilet said "the pee is going down, it's going down".

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I also noted the fact that her rival spoke of So Ah's father's charity and giving heart as if it was something obviously negative. I thought that was a little far-fetched. I know So Ah's inner struggle regarding it is meant to be multi-layered and interesting, but I'm not going to lie...the fact that she's been so resentful of it that she said she had to use her "hatred as strength" makes me feel a lot less warmly toward her. Of course character flaws have their value, and it gives So Ah some depth and room to grow, so there's that. I can understand smaller, deeper-down feelings of sadness and resentment, that a father should spend more time, energy, and money to care for his own family and hold them as special, but I'm not going to be able to be completely sympathetic to her and her mother's feelings of victimization unless I see specific flashbacks showing abeoji being a less than caring father and husband as well. The flashback when she went home and was pissed to see all the kids eating in her house felt like it was trying to show her baggage and compel some sympathy for her, but I thought she seemed like a brat. I thought about it for a while, making excuses for her, like "Well maybe she was just so tired of not having any space or things for herself after a long time, or she was annoyed at some of them for something...." But if her dad was as they say, wouldn't he raise her to also be giving and caring? I know the argument is that she's caring and kind deep down, but doesn't want to be "because of all she went through," but I'm sure many of us were raised to be thankful for what we have, and to do what we can to help others. So wouldn't anyone, at least to some degree, admire her father (like the fellows who said "Wow, he was amazing,") and not make it into a blatant disservice and crime against the family? The way they are treating it in the drama is interesting to me...

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By "anyone," I should have said, "most."

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The thing about people like this is, they tend to shove the feelings of their family aside for a 'greater' cause. You can't complain because then you'll get "what have you got to complain about, people have it worse" as if just because other people have problems your own problems don't count. They become a saint to others but barely spend time or care for their own family to the extent that they become strangers to their own people.

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Exactly, what I wanted to say! I think her father might've thought it was enough that she had a roof over her head and food on her table, I'm not saying he didn't care about her just that he was never around to show it to her, put yourself in her shoes, she grew up never getting the attention she needed from her father, everything of her she felt like she had to split with other even her father's affection, and one day he was gone forever, even when she jumped from that bridge she cried for him to save her knowing he wouldn't and couldn't because he wasn't around, she had to do it herself, she had to depend on herself for everything! I understand her resentment towards him!

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I definitely get what you're both saying! I am just waiting to see if it's that alone, or if there is more to the story, to warrant her "hatred," (a super strong emotion!) of her father.

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I was on the fence after the first two episodes, but after the third episode I think I will stick around awhile.

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Im convinced to watch this now haha

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Where is the epilogue I miss it....."is that what you thought I would say"haha this line surely is amusing haha poor Namsuri. I was wondering does the God's also have rivalry among one another. Funny to watch anyway the water God looked cool at the last shot

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Hm, I bet his powers aren't really back... only when he needs to rescue her. Like a K-drama Wondertwins they need to be together for him to do something....

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❤️??

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I loved the goddess music they played when Moo Ra started walking. It made me giggle.

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Thanks JB!

I do agree that a stronger fantasy element would be great. I was hoping that we could have met all the protagonists by the end of Ep 2 and gone on to figure out how to undo Habaek's loss of power plus have more fantasy by Ep 3's end.

However the suddenly magical ending with creative CGI was worth waiting for and it was a spectacular way to see Habaek's power at work. Could that be the reason why the unknown assailant brought her up to the roof to kill So Ah instead of quietly strangling her in the lift (not merely as a plot device so that we get to see the rescue ... although there's that too) - to test Habaek perhaps and see if he could get his power back, even momentarily? ?

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I'm sure people have already noted this but I was thinking that her blood droplet came up toward him while he was in a water form. Which he almost immediately switched out of. So what if he's incorporated her blood into himself. Forming a whole new kind of connection?

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As for why this show has "2017" in the title: if it isn't because that's this year, it's because they have too many gods running around and swapping jobs and this show is about the 2017th.

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I like all of So Ah's run ins with CEO Shin. Their interactions crack me up. But I also like the CEO's secretary as he is as observant of So Ah and her actions as the CEO. And he even had to coach the CEO (who is obviously a god) on the subtleties of human speech.

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how did her shirt rip that easily lol wtf

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it simply had too. Hahaha

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I agree. I believe the her hand getting cut and her blood being released felt to me like it was the one that activated Ha Baek's powers...When he arrived on earth, he practically landed on her when you could see he was on a different trajectory then suddenly changed course and landed on So Ah... I really like the thought that maybe it is the other way around when it comes to their connection... that maybe the promise to her ancestors was more the Water Gods would serve the descendants hence his powers became active when her life is in danger...

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Last scene was awesome my heart was like dugeun dugeun....thanks for recap watching this drama makes me laugh a lot

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Even a Javabeans recap couldn't make this episode interesting.
That final scene though...
*snorts*

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