Bride of the Water God 2017: Episode 5
The pace picks up a lot in this episode, offering more information on mysterious characters and answers regarding Ha-baek’s missing powers, while still managing to make time for some nice character moments between Ha-baek and So-ah. They’re growing closer despite themselves, having nobody else to trust but each other. And it’s a good thing, because they’re about to need each other in more ways than they can possibly imagine.
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EPISODE 5 RECAP
We back up to the beginning of the picnic. While Namsuri gets their things together, So-ah soaks in a bit of sun. Ha-baek seems taken with her, only to envy the sunglasses she’s wearing and ask for his own pair.
As they head to their picnic spot, a car passes and Ha-baek recognizes the driver as the same man who seemed to be following So-ah the other day.
Ha-baek watches as the suspicious man tampers with So-ah’s car engine and tires. Having studied up on cars, Ha-baek deduces that the man is trying to cause an accident by making So-ah’s brakes fail.
Later, Ha-baek tells So-ah that he’s sorry. She asks what he means, but Ha-baek just demands a drink, and So-ah wonders what other physical ailments he’s suffering now that he gets hungry and thirsty.
Back at the car, Ha-baek asks for the keys and plunks himself down in the driver’s seat. So-ah argues at first, then relents and climbs in the back seat, and they drive off as the suspicious man watches them go.
Ha-baek drives like a madman, purposely pushing the car and ignoring So-ah’s panicked screeching. He whips across the lanes and then runs a red light, missing another car by inches, while So-ah lectures him that not everyone in the car is immortal, heh.
Finally Hae-baek agrees to slow down, but when he hits the brakes, nothing happens. So-ah starts to panic for real as the car picks up speed and Ha-baek struggles to keep control.
Things look really bad as they approach a tunnel that’s blocked off for construction, but Ha-baek thinks, “Wait, woman. Do you think that I’ll let my servant die so easily?” As So-ah begs him to do something, Ha-baek tries using his powers and orders the car to stop, but it doesn’t work.
They go barreling through the pylons and into the tunnel. Seeing the other end blocked by trucks, Ha-baek analyzes the situation and devises another plan. He opens the sunroof and tells Namsuri to hold onto the wheel, then climbs up to the roof of the moving car. Holy crap, he’s gone insane.
Ha-baek reaches a hand down to So-ah, and she looks up to his face and he gives her a tiny nod. She clasps Ha-baek’s hand and he pulls her to the roof beside him. She asks what he’s planning to do, and he says calmly, “We’re going to jump.”
After telling Namsuri to get himself out, Ha-baek stands and hoists So-ah into his arms. He leans close to her and whispers, “Don’t be scared. You are a god’s person.” Then Ha-baek jumps straight up, and a large bubble of water materializes around him and So-ah, lifting them into the air. Whoa.
After a long moment So-ah opens her eyes and sees the water surrounding them, then the bubble gently lowers them to the pavement. Ha-baek asks So-ah if she’s okay, but then the car slams into the trucks at the end of the tunnel and explodes. But… Namsuri is in there! Ha-baek looks a little shocked and he tells So-ah over and over that it’s okay.
He finally sets So-ah down, and a few seconds later, a charred but okay Namsuri runs up. Oh, thank goodness! Namsuri wails that Ha-baek’s powers have returned, then grabs a rock for Ha-baek to test himself. Ha-baek drops the rock, already aware that his powers have left him again.
Ha-baek reassures Namsuri that his powers will return soon, then tells So-ah that her brakes were tampered with. They file a report, and thanks to the CCTV camera at the parking lot, the man who’s been trying to kill So-ah is soon caught. She recognizes him as the same man she recently bumped into on the street, who’d acted offended at her frightened reaction.
The cop reminds her that the man rear-ended her once, and she suddenly recalls that he’d behaved oddly then, too. So-ah says that the insurance companies handled everything and she never saw the man again, though she does remember that Sang-yoo told her several times that he’d called.
Ha-baek is silent throughout this conversation, watching the man shrewdly through the one-way glass. The cop says the guy is nuts, because he insists that the car accident is a permanent blemish on his life, which he’d lived perfectly until that moment.
The cops discuss how cuckoo that is, since it’s just a few points off his driving record. The second cop says that the man claims to have pushed So-ah off a roof several days ago, and that since she’s still alive, he’s saying that he can’t be charged with attempted murder because she’s not human.
On the way home, Ha-baek attempts to cheer So-ah up by saying that she can focus on taking care of him now that that’s over. When she doesn’t answer, he complains that she’s not grateful enough to him for having saved her life twice, which he finagles into permission to take a bath on the roof. HA.
Namsuri tells So-ah that back home, Ha-baek was known to sit in the bath for an entire day. Ignoring their complaints, Ha-baek commands So-ah to provide him with a bubble bath, a new phone (his was destroyed in the car crash), new clothes, and better food.
While So-ah goes shopping, Namsuri mentions Ha-baek informing him about So-ah’s brakes while still at the park. Namsuri had wanted to tell So-ah, but Ha-baek had clamped both hands over his mouth, revealing his suspicion that his powers come back when So-ah begs him to save her.
Namsuri disapproves of Ha-baek putting So-ah in such a dangerous situation, but Ha-baek dismisses his concerns since it worked. He mutters that he even apologized in advance, and the scene cleverly switches to a shot of So-ah knocking several apples to the floor as she cooks (the word for “apple” and “apology” is the same in Korean).
So-ah makes a terrible mess in the kitchen as she cooks, though she seems proud of her efforts. Then she serves the guys… cup ramyun. Ha-baek glowers, grouchy from his growling stomach. So-ah gets an idea and says that she’ll show him what the really manly gods do. She takes the guys inside and turns on the TV, flipping through the channels.
Ha-baek and Namsuri’s reactions to the TV are hilarious. A home shopping show peddling lingerie gets their rapt attention, and when So-ah changes the channel, she’s graced with two sets of godly frowns.
Finally So-ah finds what she’s looking for—a cooking show. She fangirls over the handsome celebrity chef, which annoys Ha-baek. He stands to leave, but So-ah plucks at his shirt and gives him her best wide-eyed pout… which gets her hand slapped away, ha.
Ha-baek decides that he’s getting his twelve-course meal if he has to make it himself. He watches the show, then expertly ties on an apron and gets to work, handling the food like he’s spent years studying the culinary arts.
Soon they all sit to eat the delicious-looking meal. Ha-baek objects to So-ah referring to his godly superiority as a mere skill, and she babbles about being bad with words “since I was a baby sucking my own snot.”
Ha-baek refuses to look at So-ah as he cuts his steak, then switches plates with her. His unexpected chivalry takes So-ah aback, and she says he doesn’t need to do things like that. Ha-baek just adds a slice of apple (sagwa) to her plate, calling it a token of his apology (also sagwa).
So-ah asks what he did to apologize for, but instead of answering, he asks with a completely straight face why she sucked her own snot. That sends both So-ah and Namsuri into gigglefits, and they laugh helplessly while Ha-baek scowls at them.
After dinner, Ha-baek and So-ah enjoy a glass of wine. So-ah is thinking of her attacker again, whom she guesses has a form of obsessive compulsive disorder driving him to seek perfection. She admits to feeling guilty for ignoring his attempts to reach her, which were probably a cry for help.
Noting that the same thing happened with the patient who jumped into the river, So-ah says that she doesn’t want to feel responsible or sorry for things like this. She admits that she only wants to think of herself, and Ha-baek says that she won’t be able to live her life that way, because that’s not the sort of person she is.
To illustrate, he says that when you ride a bicycle, in order not to fall you have to turn the handle in the direction it’s falling in. He asks So-ah, “Isn’t it just that you’re unaware of which direction your heart is trying to fall? If you keep trying to force yourself to steer in the other direction, you’ll fall over and grow ill.” Wow, the water god is surprisingly wise.
He starts to go to Namsuri, but So-ah reaches out and grabs his shirt again. This time Ha-baek doesn’t slap her hand away, and they share a charged moment as he looks into her eyes. So-ah thanks Ha-baek for saving her again, “… and for keeping me busy today.”
In his office, Hu-ye studies books about humor late into the night. He takes a break to smile over his many (so many!) trophies and awards, and he tells himself that once he nails this humor thing, he’ll be perfect.
His assistant, Secretary Min, calls to fuss at him for staying up late studying again, calling this obsession with human behavior a symptom of having no family. He suggests Hu-ye date instead, but Hu-ye just tells him to get to the point. Secretary Min mentions a few schedule changes for tomorrow then says he’ll take care of the handkerchief issue with Jaya.
The following day, Jaya posts another self-indulgent selfie on social media then waits for the expected flood of adoration. In the middle of chatting with her fans, Jaya gets a message in private chat from Secretary Min about returning the handkerchief Hu-ye lent her.
He says that it’s his handkerchief, which was a gift from an ex. Jaya fires back that she threw it away and that she’s insulted that the handkerchief wasn’t even from Hu-ye, adding that Hu-ye should disappear and that she hopes his business fails.
She’s confused when suddenly, all of her fans start asking if she’s in a one-sided love with Hu-ye. Too late, Jaya realizes that she typed her rant in general chat, and that her fans saw her losing her temper. HA.
Jaya she stomps to Hu-ye’s office to demand that he fix this immediately, then stomps away again, leaving him spluttering in confusion. Secretary Min shows Hu-ye an article that’s already speculating whether he and Jaya are in a secret relationship.
Jaya’s manager laughs to realize that she and Hu-ye are related, and she screams into the phone that they’re not family. She finds Secretary Min’s handkerchief in her purse and throws it to the ground in anger.
Sky god Bi-ryum finds Mura at the swimming pool, though she’s not happy to see him. He notes her cranky mood and wonders if she has to go back to the realm of the gods “to see that jerk, the one the high priest told us about when we were little, the guy who said he’d kill everyone.”
Bi-ryum’s usual impish grin fades to a snarl as Mura asks if he still believes stories he was told as a child. Mura asks if Bi-ryum has a plan, and he suggests they both tell Ha-baek they’ll give him their god stone if the other gives theirs first.
Mura thinks it’s a stupid plan, but Bi-ryum says it will buy them time. He asks where Ha-baek is now, and Mura grumbles that he’s using a servant for the first time in the history of gods, tossing So-ah’s business card to him. Bi-ryum reads So-ah’s name and smiles to see that the servant is a woman.
So-ah wakes the morning after their dinner, and it takes several minutes for it to sink in that she’s in Ha-baek’s rooftop room. She freaks out when she sees Ha-baek sitting on the couch a few feet away, and he tells her that she got drunk on dessert wine last night and crawled her way into his room.
So-ah rushes out, and the corner of Ha-baek’s mouth quirks up in a satisfied smile. When Ha-baek follows her out, Namsuri makes the natural assumption, but So-ah just stammers out a denial and runs downstairs, hee.
Namsuri comes to attention when Bi-ryum calls him, looking for Ha-baek. Bi-ryum requests that Ha-baek come to his home, but Namsuri thinks Ha-baek should recover his full powers first lest So-ah be put in danger again.
He mutters that he feels bad about tricking her, which of course So-ah overhears as she’s coming back upstairs with a pillow and blanket for Ha-baek. Feeling betrayed, she asks if Ha-baek only apologized because he was planning to kill her.
Ha-baek denies it, but So-ah says that letting her get in that car so he could find his powers is the same thing. Winding herself up, So-ah yells that a god shouldn’t put a person’s life in danger for their own objective.
When she storms off, Namsuri follows to explain that Ha-baek thought his powers would come back and he could save her. So-ah’s unconvinced, saying that he used her regardless, but Namsuri gently reminds her that he also saved her life twice.
Ha-baek and Namsuri grab a taxi to Bi-ryum’s home. So-ah shoves her way into the car and says that she’s going along to demand Bi-ryum pay her back for all the money she’s spent on Ha-baek.
When they arrive at Bi-ryum’s building where he lives in the penthouse, So-ah marvels that these gods live such high-profile lives in the human world. Shooting Ha-baek the side-eye, she wonders if the world is in such a shameful state because the gods are living like this, and he snaps that she’s getting ruder.
So-ah mentions the chaebol who wanted to marry her, the one who gave her the huge diamond ring, who also lived in this building. In flashback we see So-ah asking Yeom-mi where he’d gone. Yeom-mi had told her he’d quit school and gone to Rome, which frustrated So-ah because she’d intended to return the ring to him.
They head up to the penthouse, and when Bi-ryum opens the door and smiles at So-ah, she gives a violent start then faints dead away. Wait, is Bi-ryum the diamond ring guy?? The gods go inside to face off over a glass of wine while So-ah sleeps off her faint on the couch.
Bi-ryum smiles fondly at So-ah as she sleeps. He expresses disbelief that his old friend is the gods’ servant, guessing that that’s why he was so attracted to her. His sweet smile disappears as he turns to Ha-baek.
With a snap of his fingers, Bi-ryum makes Ha-baek’s wine fly out of his glass and splash into Namsuri’s face. He says cheekily that divine nature doesn’t disappear because you lose your powers, but he’s curious since he’s never lost his.
So-ah rouses from her faint, and the first thing she sees is Bi-ryum looking at her with that happy grin. Her eyes go wide and she passes out again, hee.
Trying to ignore how much Bi-ryum affects So-ah, Ha-baek demands his god stone. Bi-ryum says that Ha-baek can’t take it by force, but that if Mura gives over her stone first, then he’ll hand over his.
So-ah wakes again and sits up groggily. She takes one look at Bi-ryum, who smiles at her again, and down she goes for a third time. LOL, that’s one powerfully charming smile he’s got there.
Turning back to Ha-baek, Bi-ryum mentions how close Ha-baek and Mura used to be. He muses that it’s a problem if Ha-baek can’t get the stone from Mura, then taunts that he heard Ha-baek gets hungry lately.
Ha-baek admits that after having felt betrayal, he also feels hunger. Borrowing So-ah’s words, he says that he feels like a better king now than he was yesterday, and the day before that. Bi-ryum head-tilts at him, and Ha-baek repeats that he’s learning to be a great king.
Ha-baek and Namsuri stand to go, but Bi-ryum tells them to leave So-ah here so they can catch up. He reaches down to her, but Ha-baek grabs his wrist, and they stare angrily into each other’s eyes. Ha-baek wins this round and he piggybacks So-ah in the elevator, looking supremely annoyed, hee.
Secretary Min helps Hu-ye plant a tree and they discuss So-ah’s reluctance to sign the sale papers for her land. Hu-ye understands that she’d have a hard time selling something that’s belonged to her family for so long.
He says that So-ah is really a very good-hearted person, but she doesn’t want anyone to know. Secretary Min says that wasn’t his question, but Hu-ye cuts him off to say that it’s fun watching her pretend to be evil. He asks if that answers Secretary Min’s question, revealing that the secret to his success is that he analyzes people’s feelings.
So-ah wakes in her own bed, thinking that she’s waking for the first time since getting drunk on the roof and assuming that the fight with Ha-baek and seeing Bi-ryum again were all a dream. She wanders downstairs to find Ha-baek on her couch, eyes closed.
She’s about to smack him when he says, “I heard that diamond ring wasn’t a proposal ring.” He smirks that it was a friendship ring, and that Bi-ryum gave twenty of them to different people. PWAHAHA. So-ah starts to faint again, but Ha-baek’s booming, “DON’T FAINT!!” snaps her out of it.
Ha-baek warns So-ah away from Bi-ryum, but she’s stuck in a semi-daze. Ha-baek pokes her and tells her that Bi-ryum was born on the back of the goddess of love and that he enjoys betrayal. Namsuri says they should talk to Mura again, and wonders where someone named Joo-dong is.
They try talking to Mura, who has to brace herself before approaching Ha-baek. He clearly makes her nervous as he chides her for telling Bi-ryum about his lost powers, then asks for her stone.
Mura stammers that she can’t, then she flinches away from Ha-baek’s outstretched hand. She tells him that she’ll give him her stone once he gets Bi-ryum’s and rushes back to her car, laying her head on the wheel and whining that she’s sorry.
A voice from the backseat startles her, and she turns to see Bi-ryum looking pleased at the idea of ganging up on Ha-baek again (interestingly, his hair is now slightly blue and wavy, instead of blond and straight like before). He vaguely mentions a proposal which he says is still valid, adding that it’s not making Ha-baek jealous as Mura had hoped.
So-ah fidgets in her office, her mind on Bi-ryum. Sang-yoo comes to fuss at her for not answering Hu-ye’s calls, so she makes arrangements to meet him and sell her land.
On the drive back to the city, Ha-baek tells Namsuri that he read up on So-ah’s profession and that he has something to ask her regarding the mental states of Mura and Bi-ryum.
On her way to see Hu-ye, So-ah is startled by Bi-ryum, whose hair is now dark blue and curling wildly. He says that he wants to hear more about her being the gods’ servant, then takes her by the wrist and shoves her into his car, locking the door with a snap of his fingers.
As he’s getting into the car, Bi-ryum locks eyes with Ha-baek. Without a moment’s hesitation, Ha-baek chases Bi-ryum’s car on foot, but Bi-ryum steps on the gas and leaves Ha-baek in the dust. From the overpass, Hu-ye looks down at Ha-baek with an interesting expression on his face.
Bi-ryum drives so fast that the world outside the car fades into a blur. He screeches to a stop on a bridge, and So-ah jumps out to dry-heave. Telling So-ah to wait there, Bi-ryum flies up to the top of the bridge, then waves his arms to the gathering storm clouds and tells them it’s too soon.
His hair blond and straight again, he calls down to So-ah that the gods aren’t almighty—they can’t bring back the dead. He continues that if humans continue to discount the gods, they’ll all die.
Bi-ryum muses that all of the humans who received a ring from him lived well except her, and he asks if she threw it out. He says that he quit school so she could have a scholarship (which she knows is a lie), asking why she went into such an unprofitable profession.
So-ah shoves her hands in her pockets and finds a diamond ring, bigger than the first one. But it suddenly disappears as Bi-ryum flies back down, and he says that he needs a favor. Holding out a tiny vial, Bi-ryum says that if she gets Ha-baek to ingest the red liquid inside, the ring is hers.
He explains that it will make Ha-baek temporarily forget the god stones and give himself time to take care of something. He offers So-ah one wish in addition to the ring, saying that he can even make her rich.
She takes the vial as Bi-ryum warns her to be careful with it, since it’s the only one in existence. With a huff of disdain, So-ah drops the vial and then crushes it under her shoe. She tells Bi-ryum haughtily that her wish isn’t to be rich.
Angry, Bi-ryum informs So-ah that she’s not Ha-baek’s servant, she’s every god’s servant. He tells her that Ha-baek can’t do anything for her without his powers, but So-ah counters that Ha-baek’s powers aren’t entirely gone.
Mura drives Ha-baek and Namsuri to find Bi-ryum, annoyed that they’re going to this trouble. Then she gasps and asks Ha-baek if this is “because of that,” but Ha-baek stays silent.
They find Bi-ryum and So-ah on the bridge, and Ha-baek nervously gestures to So-ah to come to him. She tries, but Bi-ryum waves his hand and sends her flying backward. The concrete cracks around her in a circle and crumbles down to the river way down below, trapping her on a floating island of concrete in the middle of the bridge as both Ha-baek and Mura scream at Bi-ryum.
Bi-ryum offers Ha-baek a deal—show him his powers, and he’ll reconsider giving him the god stone. When Ha-baek hesitates, Bi-ryum snaps and causes a thunderstorm to break right over So-ah’s head. Ha-baek tries to run to her, but Bi-ryum threatens to send her into the river if he takes one more step.
Ha-baek shakes with fury as So-ah screams in fear and rage. Namsuri yells to Bi-ryum that he’s not allowed to harm humans, but Bi-ryum reminds him that the gods’ servants are an exception to that rule.
Raising his fingers for another snap, Bi-ryum tells the seething Ha-baek that it’s his turn to act. But then in a deceptively calm voice, Ha-baek says, “You lost the god stones, didn’t you?” That knocks Bi-ryum’s confidence right out from under him, and the pavement underneath So-ah repairs itself in seconds as the storm ends.
Bi-ryum and Mura look genuinely frightened as Ha-baek asks, “Why did you lose the god stones?”
I’m excited to be taking over recaps for Bride of the Water God 2017, because I’m a huge fan of the original manwha. In fact, this is the first time I’ll have recapped an adaptation where I’m familiar with the source material, so I’m very interested to see how familiarity colors my perceptions of the show. Generally I prefer not to know anything about a show I’ll be writing about, even to the point of avoiding too many trailers, because I like to judge a drama on its own merits.
Oddly enough, what I like about this adaptation is how different it is than the original. I’d worried that by changing the setting and even the basic premise, that I wouldn’t like the drama version. But by making it so different, it feels more like an homage to the manhwa than a pure adaptation, which I appreciate. It’s kept a lot of what I love about the manhwa, mainly the beautiful imagery and the fish-out-of-water situations, but they’ve been altered to fit a modern world (and it’s Ha-baek and not So-ah who’s learning about a brand-new reality). So, with all that said, I’m officially putting the manhwa behind me and evaluating the drama as a creature all its own.
I really love the slow evolution of Ha-baek and So-ah’s relationship; it happens so gradually that you almost don’t even notice. They’ve gone from antagonistic enemies to reluctant partners, to grudgingly relying on each other, and now there are times when you can see them looking at the other with a sort of admiring respect. They’re skirting perilously close to becoming friends, and their burgeoning trust and camaraderie feels completely natural and comfortable. There are even some signs that both Ha-baek and So-ah are feeling something more than friendship, though So-ah is chalking it up to Ha-baek’s godly good looks while he’s characteristically ignoring it entirely. Still, Ha-baek’s awfully swoony when he’s saving So-ah’s life, and while I’m generally not a fan of damsels in distress, So-ah isn’t helpless; I’m all for So-ah being endangered a few times an episode if it means we get to see more sexy powerful Ha-baek.
I’m warming up to Mura and Bi-ryum, now that we’re finally getting to see what makes them tick. It’s no secret I’m a fan of Gong Myung’s, but I’d worried that he was being typecast as the goofy puppy sidekick, so I’m glad to see him doing something a bit different. I’m really liking this bad-boy personality on him. At first I thought Bi-ryum was just mischievous, but it’s becoming clearer that he’s actually got a pretty dark side to his cheerful smiling demeanor (and I love how his hair appears to get darker blue when he’s naughty). I find myself hoping Bi-ryum goes even darker just to see what Gong Myung can do.
I was having a particularly hard time with Mura, since her ice princess routine made it difficult to care about her much. But now that we’ve seen some cracks in her armor, it’s obvious that there’s a scared little girl deep down inside, and that what scares her most is Ha-baek. It seems as though they were very close once, but that for some reason they’ve grown apart. The dynamics between the three gods holds a lot of potential for interesting interactions, both positive and negative, and I hope the show takes full advantage of the unusual chemistry between them. And then there’s Hu-ye. We know he’s not entirely human, but what exactly is he? He seems so innocent and pure at times, but then at other times he somehow manages to feel almost menacing. He’s an intriguing mystery, and I hope we get some answers on him soon.
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