Bride of the Water God 2017: Episode 6
This show has a way of offering answers that only lead to more questions. As we delve deeper into So-ah’s family past, it’s becoming clear that there’s more to the story than an ancestor who pledged loyalty to the gods. But uncovering the truth could also uncover long-hidden hurts, causing a crack in Ha-baek and So-ah’s tentative friendship that may be impossible to repair.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
In the Realm of the Gods, a giant eagle flies through the air and then plunges into a lake, transforming into a man underwater. A young boy fishing with his father sees Bi-ryum, the sky god, smiling up at him from the water.
But this is a darker, more sinister Bi-ryum than we’ve seen in modern times. He waves his arm and the fisherman falls out of his boat, and he and Bi-ryum both disappear beneath the surface of the lake.
We rejoin Bi-ryum in the present time, holding So-ah hostage on a floating platform over the river as he explains that gods’ servants are fair game to do with as they please. He tells Ha-baek to use his powers to save So-ah, but instead Ha-baek snarls, “You lost the god stones, didn’t you?”
Immediately the concrete under So-ah repairs itself and the storm over her head ceases. Ha-baek demands to know what happened to the stones, and as Bi-ryum begins to deny it, Mura pipes up, “He did it! I didn’t do anything wrong, Ha-baek.” HAHA, she’s such a tattletale.
So-ah staggers to her feet, brushing away Namsuri’s attempt to help. She slowly approaches Bi-ryum, then nails him with a strong left hook to his face. Sobbing, she walks up to Ha-baek and gives him a heartbreaking look of betrayal, then gets in Mura’s car and drives off with it.
Bi-ryum finds the situation hilarious. When Mura starts to explain, Ha-baek says darkly that they’ll discuss it tomorrow. He follows Bi-ryum to his car and punches him hard enough to knock him to the ground, and says that that’s a true punch.
Bi-ryum holds up his arms in mocking surrender, but his outstretched hand is ignored by both Ha-baek and Mura. They get in the backseat, Mura asking what Ha-baek will do if Bi-ryum attacks him while he has no powers. Namsuri eventually helps Bi-ryum stand, and Bi-ryum mutters that Ha-baek’s fist still feels the same.
After driving a while, So-ah tries to call Yeom-mi from a pay phone, but her friend’s phone is off. She can’t remember Sang-yoo’s number, and she slumps in defeat.
Mura paces while Bi-ryum swims, and suddenly he remembers something that happened two thousand years ago. Ha-baek had given him and Mura each a water firefly to play with, but they’d lost them.
They’d tried the same tactic of refusing to give theirs back until the other did first, and when Ha-baek discovered that they’d lost the fireflies, he’d punched Bi-ryum and nearly turned Mura into a fish. Mura calls Bi-ryum a birdbrain for trying the same scheme when it didn’t work the first time.
Mura asks why Bi-ryum is causing trouble for the Water Country over a measly god’s servant, and he says that this whole issue is causing a commotion in the Realm of the Gods. He claims to be trying to rectify the situation, but Mura scoffs, asking how fanning the flames of Ha-baek’s mother’s anger and turning those humans into servants of the gods is rectifying the situation.
She accuses Bi-ryum of wanting to torment Ha-baek, and he doesn’t deny it, though he pouts that it didn’t work. He reminds Mura that Ha-baek didn’t do anything back then, but Mura sneers that she didn’t blame him. Mura wonders why Ha-baek wanted to talk to them tomorrow instead of immediately, and Bi-ryum crows that he had more important things to worry about today.
So-ah doesn’t return home by evening, and Ha-baek stands on the roof obsessing over the danger she was in today and how he couldn’t help her. Awww, he looks miserable. Meanwhile So-ah visits her mother’s grave, and she sits for a while, idly pulling weeds and chatting.
She asks her mother if she knows their family are descended from servants of the gods, wondering if it’s her mother’s or her father’s side of the family. She tells her mother that so much is happening lately, but that she has nobody to talk to about it.
She mentions Yeom-mi and Sang-yoo, remembering Sang-yoo as the most cowardly and annoying of the orphans her father took in. So-ah says that she’s still never heard from her dad, and that she knows he’s not missing but just choosing not to come back, though she admits that she longs for closure.
Ha-baek eventually goes downstairs to the alley, where So-ah finds him waiting for her under a streetlight. She starts to walk past him, but when he asks if she’s okay, she rounds on him angrily and asks what terrible deed her ancestor did to render her life a toy for the gods.
She tells Ha-baek that she’s never had the luxury of a fun or meaningful life, though she did once have dreams. She even admits that she’s paying the price for having too big of a dream, but she says that if Ha-baek is a god, then she wants him to help her meet her father.
She rants that she wants to ask her father how he sleeps at night after leaving her with his burdens, and how he dares try to save the world when he couldn’t save his own daughter. So-ah tells Ha-baek that she can’t die until she asks him these questions.
Ha-baek listens while So-ah vents, and when she turns away, he grabs her wrist to stop her. He tells So-ah, “I promise that I will never put you in danger again because of things pertaining to the gods. I’ll protect you. Because that is a god’s duty.”
So-ah admits that she wants to insist that she can protect herself, but that the gods are too much for her. She tells Ha-baek to keep his promise, so he takes her hand and pinky-swears, looking her in the eyes with utter sincerity, then slides his hand softly from hers.
Thinking about So-ah’s question about her ancestors, Ha-baek remembers when the whole thing started. The same fisherman that Bi-ryum had dumped into the lake had apparently deceived the gods and had pleaded with Ha-baek’s mother for his life.
She had decreed that he and all of his descendants would be required to serve the gods. Not only that, but the man’s descendants would only have one child, and that the descendant’s spouse would die after the child was born.
In the morning, So-ah finds Ha-baek bathing on the roof again. She averts her eyes as he wraps himself in a towel, and once he’s decently covered she asks where she can find Mura to return her car.
Ha-baek says it’s his car now, having ordered Mura to transfer the title to So-ah, since Ha-baek doesn’t have a license. But he makes it clear that it’s his car, because he’s a god and not subject to human laws. HAHA, So-ah avoids his grabs for the keys and heads off to work in her snazzy new ride.
As Jaya parks at Hu-ye’s building, Chairman Shin yells at her over the phone for causing a scandal and creating rumors that Hu-ye is her sugar daddy. He says it’s a good thing they’re related, but Jaya snaps that changing Hu-ye’s surname to Shin doesn’t make him family.
Jaya learns from her manager that she’s expected to give an interview today with Hu-ye to dispel the rumors. She’s so annoyed that she nearly walks in front of a car, and the driver turns out to be Secretary Min, who calmly says that she was in the road.
He refuses to listen to her spoiled whining and informs her that Hu-ye won’t be giving statements today. He tells Jaya to return his handkerchief as soon as possible because it’s rude to keep other people’s property, leaving her gaping impotently.
When So-ah arrives at work, Sang-yoo leaps at her, upset that she didn’t show up for her meeting with Hu-ye yesterday. He’s also moping because she didn’t call him and let him know what was happening, and he asks how he’s supposed to face her father when he returns.
So-ah runs to her office to call Hu-ye, but Sang-yoo lets him in a few seconds later, having come to see her in person. So-ah babbles about how something came up and her phone broke, but Hu-ye quiets her with a gentle touch on the wrist, just relieved that she’s okay.
So-ah wants to sign the sale contract now, but she suddenly remembers that she accidentally left it in Bi-ryum’s car. Again Hu-ye declines to hear her explanation, just saying that he understands and he’ll wait for her to contact him.
So-ah promises to visit him this evening to sign the papers. But a strange look comes over Hu-ye’s face, and he says that he’ll be in a very private place tonight.
Ha-baek goes to see Mura and Bi-ryum, where they present him with two of the god stones. They only flicker weakly when Ha-baek tries to invoke them with his power.
Mura explains that they got together thirteen years ago, and Bi-ryum kept starting fights. A flashback shows them having a god-powers battle at the divine gate, where Mura knocks Bi-ryum across the clearing with a water grenade, and he stands and says they can resolve this by talking about it.
According to Bi-ryum, Mura ran at him, so he defended himself a little. Mura huffs in disbelief, saying that his “defending himself a little” consisted of throwing a thunderbolt at her, ha.
Bi-ryum adds that that’s when Joo-dong threw himself between them, and the god stones were flung away from them. All we see of this mysterious Joo-dong is a shock wave of power holding Bi-ryum and Mura apart.
They’d found two of the god stones right away, but Mura’s was thrown quite a long distance. Bi-ryum says that Joo-dong went to retrieve it and hasn’t been seen since. Mura tells Ha-baek that they’d tried to find Joo-dong, but then Bi-ryum ran off to Rome.
Bi-ryum insists that he was coming right back, but that he didn’t expect the red water to appear so soon (to herald Ha-baek’s quest for the stones). Ha-baek yells at them both for being so irresponsible, but Bi-ryum says that this is all Ha-baek’s fault for losing his coordinates.
When Ha-baek and Mura leave Bi-ryum’s penthouse, Mura again whines that she really did try to find the missing stone. She tells Ha-baek that everyone knows how Joo-dong tends to disappear when he’s focused on something.
She says that that day, Joo-dong said something was strange and requested that they come meet him at the divine gate. Ha-baek asks what was strange, but Mura nervously admits that she never found out because she and Bi-ryum were fighting.
When asked what the fight was about, Mura snaps that it’s none of Ha-baek’s business. But she promises that they’ll find the missing stone before the water turns red again, because Bi-ryum knows a lot of minor gods and she’s sure he’s working on it right now.
She says that the problem isn’t that Ha-baek lost the coordinates—it’s that the god stones were left in the human world. She wonders what any of this has to do with becoming king of the Realm of the Gods, and Ha-baek remembers asking that very question of the priest who sent him here.
Before she goes, Mura impulsively hugs Ha-baek and murmurs a quiet apology. She gets into her car and starts to drive away, but she stops to add one very important thing: “I don’t like the clothes you’re wearing.” HA, nobody can accuse Mura of being deep.
So-ah replaces the phone that Bi-ryum destroyed, only to realize that she doesn’t know anyone’s number. Ha-baek calls to demand that she bring his car because he has somewhere to go. He’s annoyed when she refuses to let him drive himself, and asks how one goes about obtaining a license.
He takes So-ah to the location where he thinks he lost his coordinates, which just happens to be the same place where So-ah buried the diamond ring from Bi-ryum. So-ah asks what the coordinates look like, but Ha-baek says she wouldn’t be able to see them.
So-ah nags Ha-baek to tell her anyway, so he recites, “It has the temper of water, but the clearness of fire. It is the truth that is engraved with solid markings. All moments are stopped, yet all moments are passing by. The one and only answer that is intact.” So-ah blinks at him, then says that she’ll wait while he looks. LOL.
While she waits, she calls Ha-baek (who’s only a few feet away, hee) to ask for Bi-ryum’s number. Ha-baek says jealously that she doesn’t need it, but So-ah explains that she left something important in Bi-ryum’s car. Ha-baek hangs up on her, so she entertains herself by tinkering with her new phone.
She thinks of how to save Ha-baek’s number in her contacts, settling on “water ghost.” She takes a few pictures and a video of him when he’s not looking, marveling that he’s finally working at something for a change.
When he stops to think about what Mura could have meant when she said Joo-dong claimed that something was strange, So-ah giggles to herself that he looks like he’s striking poses. Then she remembers his heartfelt promise to protect her, and she doesn’t notice him sneaking up on her until he pops up a few inches from her face.
He says that he didn’t find anything, then notices her new phone. To avoid being caught sneaking pictures of him, she suggests that they take a picture to commemorate the place where they both lost something important. But when she can’t get both of their faces in the shot, Ha-baek snatches the phone away and pulls her in close.
He turns his head to find her right there, and they both freeze, affected by the close proximity. Ha-baek gulps a few times, then counts down for the picture.
Hilariously, they can’t manage to take a single picture where both of them have their eyes open. It breaks the tension, and even when they finally get a shot with their eyes open, they’re both making weird faces. Hee. Ha-baek gives up and So-ah sends him the pictures, and he cracks a tiny smile as he flips through the silly photos.
While they walk, So-ah asks Ha-baek if he’ll go home when he finds the last god stone, and he confirms it. She mutters that he won’t be protecting her for long, then asks what happens if he doesn’t get his powers back. Ha-baek says that won’t happen, because he is one with the Water Country.
So-ah is surprised it takes so little to become the king, so Ha-baek explains that it’s because he was born to be king, unlike human kings who are elected. But So-ah says that there are no more kings, just people entrusted with authority for a temporary term.
She explains that the problem is when they elect people who forget that, so they have to be sure to elect people with good memories. She says it doesn’t matter since she’s leaving, but Ha-baek asks, “Does it really not matter?”
He wonders how he would feel if he had to leave the Water Country forever. But he says that will never happen, because the Water Country without him is unimaginable.
They pick up Namsuri after work, and So-ah asks them to direct her to Bi-ryum’s penthouse (so she can retrieve the land contract). Ha-baek snaps that he needs to go to the divine gate, insisting that his need is greater than hers. Namsuri quietly suggests that they eat something, and Ha-baek’s growling stomach settles the argument, to his chagrin.
Before they go, Yeom-mi finally calls So-ah, who rants that while Yeom-mi was gone, she could have been robbed, scammed, or haunted by a water ghost. Ha, Yeom-mi just hangs up and texts So-ah to come to her booth because there’s someone there she needs to meet.
Yeom-mi glowers at Ha-baek and asks So-ah why he’s still hanging around. She pulls So-ah aside to say that she met a godlike guru, and that he’s here to meet So-ah.
She drags So-ah into her weird little fortunetelling booth, where a shadow lurks behind a beaded curtain. So-ah impatiently gets up to leave, then stops dead in her tracks when the man says, “You have no luck with parents.”
He clucks his tongue and says that she’s frustrated because of her land, which is both hers and not hers. He says that it’s not in her fate to sell the land, because a heavy spirit is driving away all of her luck. The guru claims that a minor god is living in her house, and that things will get worse unless she kicks him out.
So-ah whispers that he’s not a minor god but a real one, and the guru barks that a minor god wouldn’t admit he was minor. Suddenly, from behind So-ah, Ha-baek’s voice deadpans, “Who are you calling a minor god?”
The guru parts the beads, and Ha-baek sees that it’s Geol-rin, the banished god who kissed him and made him experience human things like hunger and thirst. Geol-rin shoves So-ah into Ha-baek and makes a run for it.
Ha-baek is hot on his heels, with Namsuri not far behind. Geol-rin heads for the stairwell, nearly colliding with Yeom-mi, who windmills dangerously before Namsuri catches her in his arms. It’s adorably romantic… until Namsuri gently sets Yeom-mi on the floor and resumes the chase, leaving her with her toe still pointed skyward.
Ha-baek nearly catches Geol-rin several times as he flees the building and takes off down the street, but he’s thwarted every time. Eventually Geol-rin finds his way to a balcony and jumps to the ground below. Ha-baek makes a leap worthy of a superhero, staying just behind him as Geol-rin enters another building and climbs to the roof.
Just as Ha-baek catches up, Geol-rin jumps off the building, falling a frightening distance. Ha-baek looks over the edge but all he sees is Namsuri standing next to a minor-god-shaped impression in the concrete. Adding insult to injury, Ha-baek’s stomach chooses that moment to painfully growl its unhappiness.
So-ah takes him and Namsuri to eat, preparing Ha-baek’s first bite of noodles (so cute). But she interrupts him before he can eat it, asking what they plan to do when they catch Geol-rin.
Namsuri says they’ll break the curse, but Ha-baek stops him from explaining how it’s done. So-ah guesses that Ha-baek has to kiss Geol-rin again, sending poor Ha-baek into a coughing fit, ha.
So-ah says it’s better than being hungry, making hilarious kissy noises at Ha-baek as he shoots eye-daggers at her. He barks that he’s not hungry, and Namsuri says that the curse will be broken when they get back to Water Country.
While on the subject, So-ah asks how she can break her family’s curse. Ha-baek says it’s not a curse, but a promise her family made for committing a sin. She insists that he tell her what sin was committed so she can understand, so he slams down his fork and complies.
He says that a woman was attacked and thrown into the water, and that the rules were broken so that she could live in Water Country. She lived a good life, but one day she became ill with worry over her blind father, so she was sent back home.
She fell in love with the king in her own country and got married, and never returned to Water Country. The entire Realm of the Gods felt betrayed after all that they’d done for her. Ha-baek grows more and more furious as he recites the story, and when So-ah asks if her name was Shim Chung, he storms out of the restaurant.
So-ah gets their food packed up and rejoins the guys in the car. She tells the still moping Ha-baek that her parents’ last names were Yoon and Kang, suggesting that he tell her a story with the correct last name next time.
She’s ready to see Bi-ryum now, but Ha-baek says there’s no need and hands her a stack of shredded paper. It’s the land sale contract, which Bi-ryum had given him. Angry that she tried to sell his land, Ha-baek tells So-ah that he’ll forgive her just this once.
So-ah yells that it’s her land, but Ha-baek informs her that it will never sell. So-ah snaps that she has nothing else to sell, and she gets out of the car and walks away.
Surprised by her emotional reaction, Ha-baek’s anger dissipates and he follows her. He grabs her wrist to stop her, and she says that she was happy when he said he’d protect her because she thought she finally had someone on her side.
So-ah starts to cry as she continues that she knew his time here was short, but that she liked being happy, even if it was foolish and temporary. But now she shakes her head at Ha-baek, saying that she doesn’t know what kind of god he is.
Ha-baek says haltingly that he’s the god of water, and So-ah agrees that he’s someone from a world bigger than hers, and meant to do bigger things. She says that it won’t matter if small, nameless things leave without a trace. It breaks my heart that she sounds like she’s referring to herself.
Pulling her arm from his grasp, So-ah walks away from Ha-baek, leaving him looking shaken. She wipes her tears and calls Hu-ye to ask if she can visit him at home. She hangs up and continues walking, and as she crosses the street, a truck swerves around a broken-down vehicle and barrels toward her.
Ha-baek barely has time to call a warning before the truck slams right into So-ah. He runs to the spot where she was just standing, but she’s gone without a trace. Gasping in panic, Ha-baek screams, “Yoon So-ah! YOON SO-AH!!”
The Truck of Doom? Really, Show?? The only way that I won’t be disappointed at this much-overused trope is if the show does something really unique with it in the next episode. It almost looked as if So-ah disappeared at the moment the truck would have slammed into her, and if that’s the case then I may be able to accept this turn of events… provided that she was, for example, saved by Hu-ye, causing him to be revealed as some sort of god. Or some other interesting twist. Regardless, this had better not be your garden variety Truck of Doom, or I’m going to be very upset.
On a positive note, I’m really appreciating the growth that Ha-baek is experiencing lately, particularly in the way he treats So-ah. He no longer orders her around like a servant—well okay, he still orders her around, but he accepts her refusal to obey much more graciously nowadays. And both times when she’s been upset with him, he’s shut his mouth and really, truly listened to her without all the “I’m a god and can do no wrong” bluster. He seems to care what So-ah thinks and feels now, and more importantly, to care about how his actions affect her. Oh, he can say it’s his godly duty all he wants, but you can’t fool me—he’s obviously feeling more than duty towards So-ah. Once they’re back together, I’m betting the tables are going to turn and he’ll find himself having to work to regain So-ah’s positive regard. It’s going to be so fun watching the water god humble himself.
I’m glad that we’re finally getting some answers, particularly in the reasons why So-ah’s family are the gods’ servants. The pact involves more than I expected, and reveals that it’s her father who was the previous descendant, since it was her mother who died. It also explains why So-ah lives such a difficult life even after Bi-ryum gave her the good-luck ring—because a life of hardship is part of her family’s curse. It definitely sounds as though we haven’t gotten the entire story though, and from the way just telling it infuriated Ha-baek, I’m guessing he was directly involved with the human woman who betrayed the gods.
In fact, that’s my only major complaint about the show so far, that it’s doing a little too much teasing of information and not offering enough actual information to balance it out. There’s a way to hint at the truth that whets the audience’s appetite for more, and it’s a delicate balancing act, but at this point it’s very unbalanced. Nearly every time Bi-ryum and Mura have a discussion, I come out far more confused than when I went in. They discuss events and people with no explanation, so with no context and the limited knowledge we have of the lore of the Realm of the Gods, these mentions fail to be interesting teasers and just end up sounding like irrelevant white noise. I only hope that by the time the show deigns to explain them, I can still remember that they were even mentioned.
And I don’t understand why this happens, because some things are teased very well and create a real curiosity. For example, I’m dying to know who this mysterious Joo-dong is, and why he seems to be at the heart of the issue of the missing god stone. I have my suspicions that it’s Hu-ye, but if he’s Joo-dong, then why isn’t he looking for the missing stone? Unless he’s found it, in which case, why is he trying to become perfectly human? Maybe I’m seeing something sinister where there isn’t anything to worry about. But something about Hu-ye seems too perfect, too innocent, and I don’t trust him. There are moments when his perfectly sweet facade seems to slip, such as when he was watching Ha-baek from that bridge, and I just can’t help but put my guard up whenever he’s around So-ah.
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