Bride of the Water God 2017: Episode 10
Ha-baek is beginning to realize that there’s more to his quest to the human world than just finding the divine stones. He’s here to learn a valuable lesson, but first he has to discover what exactly that lesson is. Meanwhile Hu-ye struggles with his darker nature, but you can hardly blame him when he’s being bombarded at every turn.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
Ha-baek turns back to So-ah when she sobs that he makes her feel third-rate for crying. He kisses her, then he pulls back and tells her again, “I said I’m going to leave.” Then he kisses her again.
A phone rings and interrupts them — it’s Mura, calling to say that Joo-dong has recovered. So-ah and Ha-baek drive to Bi-ryum’s penthouse in silence, and when she drops Ha-baek off, So-ah says that she can see the end now. She asks him to show her when he gets the third divine stone, though she says to herself that it’s probably another thing that only gods can see.
Ha-baek watches her drive away, then a voice calls his name. He sees Joo-dong standing close by, holding out his arms for a hug. Ha-baek returns his hug enthusiastically.
Joo-dong tells the other gods that when he lost his memory, he woke up in a hospital with no clue who he was or what happened. The person who brought him to the hospital couldn’t be reached, so Joo-dong ended up wandering, homeless and working small jobs until he ended up at a temple.
Mura says that Hu-ye confessed that Joo-dong’s memory loss was his doing. Ha-baek asks about the third sacred stone, and Joo-dong holds out a hand. When he opens it, a bright light shines in his palm, which materializes into a stone marked with a glowing circle.
Ha-baek puts it with the two matching stones, and when the three stones are reunited, they shine brilliantly. Joo-dong looks for his tablet, and when Mura asks why he brought that to the human world, he says he was told to. Mura and Bi-ryum are confused, since it’s useless here anyway.
Driving Ha-baek to So-ah’s house later, Mura whines at him for going back there every night. Joo-dong jokes that Ha-baek’s place (the roof) has no walls, and that Mura and her “husband’s” homes make him feel claustrophobic.
Mura is so flustered at his calling Bi-ryum her husband that she pulls over to yell at Joo-dong. Joo-dong asks if he remembers wrong, since he clearly recalls Bi-ryum telling him that he and Mura were engaged. Well, that explains so much.
Joo-dong adds that Bi-ryum said they hadn’t spent a night together yet and that he couldn’t wait, and Mura lets out a bloodcurdling scream to shut him up.
Speaking of Bi-ryum, Mura tells the guys that he’s been acting strange lately, overly sensitive and hostile to Hu-ye. Joo-dong defends Hu-ye, saying that his using his powers and making Joo-dong lose his memory was unintentional, but Mura says that Bi-ryum thinks it was intentional. Namsuri wonders if Hu-ye is human or god, since if he’s human, they can’t harm him.
Joo-dong goes home with Ha-baek and Namsuri. Ha-baek hangs back to turn on So-ah’s porch light, but just as he’s about to knock on her door, the interior light goes out so he drops his hand. Inside, So-ah lies wide awake on the couch.
In Ha-baek’s rooftop room, Joo-dong notices Ha-baek staring at the door to So-ah’s house. Joo-dong brings up the gods’ servants, and how many gods were opposed when Bi-ryum talked the Queen Mother into creating them. He says that Mura was one of the ones who thought it was unfair to make humans take responsibility for what the gods did.
Joo-dong asks if Ha-baek is okay, since he knows Ha-baek tried to forget about it, and adds that he doesn’t know if it’s right for the high priest to keep playing along with Ha-baek’s pretending not to remember.
Ha-baek insists that he really has forgotten, and that it’s been twelve hundred years, and that after so long it’s natural that it wouldn’t bother him anymore.
Joo-dong asks why Ha-baek looks unhappy when he’s found the sacred stones, and why Mura is so anxious to send him back to the Realm of the Gods. Ha-baek doesn’t answer.
In the morning, he goes downstairs and approaches So-ah’s door again. This time, before he knocks, she opens the door. The air is awkward and uncomfortable between them, and So-ah leaves for work with hardly a word to Ha-baek.
Sang-yoo is startled to find So-ah at the office before him, and she tells him that they’re working extended hours from now on. He fusses over her and takes over the mopping, and So-ah remembers Yeom-mi saying how much Sang-yoo cares about her.
So-ah can hardly concentrate, replaying Ha-baek’s kiss and how he said he was leaving over and over in her mind. Hu-ye calls her and asks her to meet with him this afternoon.
At a coffee shop, Bi-ryum tells his silent minion Jin-geon that Hu-ye said they couldn’t do anything to him as gods of life.
Meanwhile, Jaya lurks around Hu-ye’s hotel with panda eyes, unable to stop fixating on his back-hug the day before. She decides to ask him about it, but every time she sees him, she hides. She follows him around all day, trying to work up the nerve to approach him.
So-ah arrives for her meeting with Hu-ye, where he tells her that the land sale contract was canceled, but that there’s a high cancellation fee. He offers to let her pay half of it by providing psychological services to his hotel employees, who often need to unburden the stresses of customer service.
As for the rest, Hu-ye splits the cost between her working on his farm (taking her up on her offer to help out) and in treatment sessions for his insomnia.
Eventually Jaya calls Secretary Min, who’s standing right in front of her, hee. He’s startled by how exhausted she looks, and when she asks if he went to church last week, he asks if he needs dating advice. Though she vehemently denies it, Jaya asks what it means when a guy suddenly back-hugs a woman.
HAHA, Secretary Min says that’s sexual harassment and that she should have punched the guy. Jaya admits that it was Hu-ye, but Secretary Min thinks she’s delusional and tells her to get some rest.
They spot Hu-ye and So-ah walking toward them, and Secretary Min tells Jaya that the Block World contract has been canceled. Apparently the entire project has been moved to a new location, and Jaya is indignant that Hu-ye would go to such lengths for So-ah. She reports back to her grandfather, who can’t understand why So-ah would turn down such a lucrative offer.
So-ah, meanwhile, tells herself that this is a good solution, because even though she lost the sale money, she’s gaining a lot of new clients. She gets back to her office to find Jaya waiting for her, and her old rival taunts So-ah for always acting so high and mighty even though she had nothing.
So-ah stays calm until Jaya insults Sang-yoo, then she advances on Jaya and scares her. Jaya blurts that she knows she’s not selling her land because of leopard poop, and she gets loud again until Yeom-mi arrives and asks why Jaya is here.
Suddenly Yeom-mi stares at Jaya in horror, and says there are ghosts all around her. Jaya leaves screaming, and Yeom-mi just smiles demurely.
The ladies go to So-ah’s office, where she wonders how Jaya knew about the land sale. She can’t understand why Jaya is so hostile toward her, and Yeom-mi says that it’s because Jaya is still living in their high school days. She says Jaya isn’t upset about something So-ah did, but about something she didn’t do.
Yeom-mi says she’s here because So-ah showed up in her dreams. She came to see if So-ah has good news, but she can see that something is wrong. So-ah says she’s trying to solve a difficult math problem whose answer she already knows, but the solving process and the answer don’t match. As she walks home that night, So-ah decides to just just blame the math and find a creative solution.
She pauses before rounding her corner again, bracing herself in anticipation of seeing the streetlight empty. But tonight Ha-baek is there waiting for her, so she approaches him and asks why, when he said he was giving up on trying to regain his powers (his usual excuse for being there). He says her name, but she interrupts to tell him that she’s been solving a math problem all day.
She says that she thought of a solution, which is to stop things now rather than starting something new. She says that she wants to end on a beautiful note, and she asks for Ha-baek’s help.
Ha-baek asks what she wants him to do, so So-ah tells him to treat her as he did before yesterday (and their kiss). He doesn’t look happy, but he walks her home without argument.
In the morning, Ha-baek does his best to respect So-ah’s wishes. When she tells him vaguely that she’s changed her office hours in order to sort out someone’s mess, he admits that he wants to challenge her about it. But he promises to behave as long as he’s here, and asks what So-ah needs from him.
She says money (in that drawn-out way that’s become their private joke), and Ha-baek blinks and twitches then tells her to forget what he just said, ha. Chuckling, So-ah says he should throw a farewell party before he goes, but he says he has no money. So-ah tells him to go and earn some, then.
Joo-dong watches them from the roof, then revives a dying plant with a wave of his hand. When Ha-baek comes back upstairs, Joo-dong asks if it’s because of So-ah that Ha-baek looks unhappy and Mura is anxious. He says he understands Mura, because when Ha-baek was going through “that time,” he was as sad then as he is now.
Joo-dong says he’s always been on Ha-baek’s side, and that Ha-baek always makes the right decisions even if they end in tragedy. He says that humans live short lives compared to the gods and can avoid harsh criticism when they break the rules, especially when it’s done out of love.
The earth god explains how their mortality causes humans to do things despite knowing better, like holding onto hot stones, though he concedes that So-ah is different. He asks Ha-baek if it’s pity toward humans he’s feeling or love, and when Ha-baek hesitates, Joo-dong says that Ha-baek didn’t know back then, either. Ha-baek says softly that it ended in disgrace, and Joo-dong repeats that he supports him anyway.
Bi-ryum takes out his frustrations on a punching bag, while at the same time, Hu-ye walks through an empty parking garage. The lights go out one by one, then something slams into Hu-ye’s knee and knocks him to the floor. Bi-ryum lands a hard punch to the bag, and Hu-ye is struck by something that sends him spinning through the air.
Hu-ye is pummeled by an invisible force until he’s battered and bloody, while elsewhere, Bi-ryum pounds the punching bag in a simultaneous rhythm. Hu-ye is helpless to fight back, because there’s nothing to fight back against.
Then we see that it’s not Bi-ryum doing this, but a pair of minor gods who were at the gathering. Still, the way they talk makes it sound like Bi-ryum put them up to this. They collapse in cowardly fear when Hu-ye gets up, covered in blood, and locks his gaze on them.
The two minor gods clutch each other, confused because they thought Hu-ye was human, but terrified because he’s still able to walk. Black smoke begins to emanate from Hu-ye’s body as he advances on the minor gods, and he raises a smoldering arm to strike them.
Someone grabs Hu-ye at the last second and throws him to the ground. He nearly unleashes his attack before he realizes it’s Geol-rin, and the minor gods wisely make their escape. Still shaking with anger, Hu-ye asks why they did this to him, as his injuries disappear like they never existed.
He gets his answer when Bi-ryum calls to say that he sent the minor gods to prove that even the least of the gods is stronger than Hu-ye. He says he’ll consider this revenge for what Hu-ye did to “my friend.”
Jin-geon stares at Bi-ryum, who tells him that just because Jin-geon doesn’t want to get his own revenge, that doesn’t mean Bi-ryum has to forgive Hu-ye. Jin-geon leaves when Mura arrives, and we find out that she’s the reason he doesn’t talk — she froze his tongue and smashed it. Mura wonders why Jin-geon’s twin Mo-myung didn’t come to the human realm with him. Interestingly, Bi-ryum looks uncomfortable and changes the subject.
The four gods meet for lunch, and Joo-dong asks Ha-baek what it’s like to feel hunger. Mura says that’s why Ha-baek needs to go back to the Realm of the Gods, but Bi-ryum notes that Ha-baek doesn’t seem to want to go back.
Mura leaves the table to take a call, and Bi-ryum says that he heard Hu-ye angered his board members by returning So-ah’s land. Ha-baek asks darkly how Bi-ryum always knows everything, and Bi-ryum smirks that he has nothing else to do.
He wonders what So-ah had to do to get the land back, offering to harm Hu-ye on Ha-baek’s behalf if he wishes. Joo-dong asks when Bi-ryum got so crooked, and Mura returns, saying that he was always like this.
She asks Ha-baek when he’s going back, making Bi-ryum complain that she sounds like a broken record. He says that Ha-baek will go back when he’s ready, because he knows what will happen if he doesn’t. Ha-baek stands to leave, telling Joo-dong that he’ll see him when Joo-dong returns in a few days from an errand.
Once they’re alone, Mura blows up at Bi-ryum for the way he’s behaving toward Ha-baek. She accuses him of being rude, irresponsible, and stubborn, and says that Ha-baek only lets it slide because it’s between him and Bi-ryum. He asks if she’s angry because he provoked Ha-baek, or because Ha-baek might use Bi-ryum’s words as an excuse to stay in the human realm as long as possible.
He lashes out, telling her to admit that she’s insecure because of So-ah. He yells that he knows Mura doesn’t want to lose Ha-baek again, and he tells her to just ask him for help like she’s always done.
Mura says Bi-ryum is crazy, but he pins her against the wall and says that he’s fond of So-ah too, but that he’ll always choose Mura over her. Mura looks worried and says that he’s never been this unstable, asking if he’s changed because of Hu-ye. She asks what Hu-ye did to provoke Bi-ryum, but Bi-ryum just walks out.
As Ha-baek walks home, he passes an elderly man pulling a cart full of cardboard. He tries to ignore the man’s struggles, then he decides to try out his powers on the cart. Nothing works, so he just pushes the cart manually, cracking a smile when the man thanks him.
Soon he’s pulling the cart all by himself as the man loads it up with more cardboard. Ha-baek even rolls up his sleeves and helps load cardboard, then he pulls the heavy cart back to the recycling area.
The old man surprises Ha-baek by paying him for his help, and he can tell this is the first time Ha-baek has ever worked. He tells Ha-baek that it’s traditional to buy red long johns for your parents with your first paycheck, and advises him that if he does well, he’ll gain good fortune.
Ha-baek stops at a street vendor when a pair of matching coffee mugs catches his eye, and he remembers that one of So-ah’s mugs is chipped. He doesn’t have enough money to buy the mugs, so he offers to model the vendor’s wares in exchange. He sure knows how to play to his strengths.
He spends the afternoon modeling with trinkets while the vendor takes photos. He walks away with his coffee mugs, looking pretty damn pleased with himself, and rightfully so.
So-ah’s clinic is doing well due to Hu-ye sending all of his friends to her. Hu-ye calls So-ah to ask her to meet him, and she smiles when she arrives at the coffee shop and sees him curiously observing all the people.
She goes inside and orders their drinks, as Ha-baek watches her intently. He denies having been curious when So-ah buys him one of the drinks he was eyeing, though he complains that she got him a black drink when there are so many other interesting colors of drinks, ha.
So-ah accurately nails his chattering about drinks as nerves because he has something to say to her. He presents her with the coffee mugs, looking so adorably proud of himself, then pretends disinterest in her response.
He tells So-ah that he only got them to remind her of her place, which confuses her, so he explains the cartoon figures on the mugs. He says the cute pink dragon on one mug is her, wagging her tail happily to see her owner, the handsome man on the other mug that looks like Ha-baek. He’s even named the dragon Yong-yong, and says that it will remind her she’s a servant whenever she uses it.
So-ah laughs and shows Ha-baek the other sides of the mugs. On the back of the “owner” mug is an adorable blue dragon, wagging his tail to see the girl on the “servant” mug. So-ah asks if this means Ha-baek will be her servant, and he petulantly tries to take his gift back, ha.
They walk together later, and Ha-baek proudly tells So-ah that he worked two jobs to buy the mugs, showing her pictures of himself carrying cardboard boxes as proof. He even has some of the vendor’s extra photos, and he gets adorably offended when she points out that the stuffed animal he’s holding in one shot is the same blue dragon from the mug.
Hu-ye is So-ah’s last patient of the day, and she grows worried when he doesn’t show or answer her calls. He’s at a bar trying to drink away Bi-ryum’s threats and hateful words, and by the time he answers his phone, he’s good and drunk. He apologizes and says he’s on his way.
Ha-baek is also worried, so he calls So-ah. She says her last client is late, and that’s when Hu-ye crashes through the door. She ends the call with Ha-baek, but not before he hears her say Hu-ye’s name.
He’s barely conscious, so So-ah leads him to a chair and checks his temperature. She’s afraid to give him medicine because he’s had so much alcohol, so she takes off his jacket and bathes his face and arms with cool water.
Hu-ye dreams about his confrontation with Ha-baek, when he’d ripped Hu-ye’s shirt open to find the earth god’s mark on his chest. So-ah decides to loosen Hu-ye’s collar, and Hu-ye wakes, imagining her to be Ha-baek. He lunges at her, imagining that he sees Ha-baek’s face, and he spins her into the chair where he was just sitting as black smoke rises from his hands.
He suddenly snaps out of it, and when he realizes that it’s So-ah, Hu-ye looks instantly alarmed at what he’s done. He gasps an apology, and So-ah watches as a cut on his arm heals in seconds.
Hu-ye is still looming over So-ah when Ha-baek bursts into her office. They all freeze, and as Ha-baek and Hu-ye lock gazes, their expressions grow hard.
I really like where this conflict is going between Hu-ye and the gods. Watching Hu-ye struggle with the darker side of his nature, knowing that his clashes with Ha-baek and Bi-ryum are only making it worse, has me on the edge of my seat. Yet even so, it saddens me that things could be so different if not for the prejudice the gods hold for half-gods — they could be helping him learn to control his powers and be a good person, instead of making his fight to tamp down his dark half that much harder.
The tension between Bi-ryum and Mura makes so much sense now that we know they used to be engaged! No wonder Bi-ryum trails after Mura like a lost little boy, and why just a word from her can make him look so miserable. It’s been obvious that he has feelings for her, but their broken engagement was a surprise, and I’ll bet they broke up after that fight at the divine gate the night they lost Mura’s stone.
It also explains at least some of Bi-ryum’s hostility toward Hu-ye. No doubt he’s prejudiced toward him simply because of what he is, but when the high priest first told the gods of half-gods, Bi-ryum seemed more amused and interested than disgusted. Obviously, they’ve alluded to something happening between the two, and I wonder what could be so bad that Bi-ryum refuses to even talk about it. And I’m betting that a lot of his animosity is pure jealousy because Mura continuously defends Hu-ye. You can see Bi-ryum’s pain every time Mura gets angry with him, but he can’t go against his own nature. I feel for Bi-ryum even as I hate the way he’s behaving, because I don’t think that Bi-ryum is a bad guy, he’s just letting his emotions get the best of him. Whatever happened with Hu-ye to make Bi-ryum so angry, he’s going to make the situation a thousand times worse if he doesn’t calm down.
I just feel so bad for Hu-ye. I used to mistrust him, and I still think he’s teetering on a high wire and could easily tip over to the dark side. But you can also feel his struggle to be good, especially in the way he treats people, and I feel confident that if the gods would just leave him alone he’d be happy to live a quiet, peaceful life not bothering anyone and keeping his powers suppressed. It’s Bi-ryum’s constant pressure that’s pushing Hu-ye to lash out, and I’m afraid that if Bi-ryum doesn’t stop, whatever destruction happens as a result of Hu-ye’s fury will be Bi-ryum’s fault.
I really like that about these characters, that nobody is purely good or purely bad. Bi-ryum and Hu-ye are the most obvious examples, as Hu-ye has the capacity for devastating death and destruction but tries to be a good person anyway, and Bi-ryum is mostly just mischievous, but he lets his emotions get the better of him and often goes too far. Ha-baek is so good that he tips right over into arrogance and pompousness, so assured in his goodness and truthfulness that he forgets to be a decent person to others. So-ah is so damaged by her past and her capacity for empathy that she tries to shut that part of herself off entirely, so she often comes across as selfish and uncaring. And Mura is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters, because she’s always honest about herself, and even though she has a lot of faults, she owns them like a goddess and doesn’t try to convince anyone otherwise.
This seems to be the year of the sympathetic villain in dramaland, but I love this show in particular for giving us a full complement of flawed, and ironically human, characters. It’s so much more interesting to watch a story populated with characters that aren’t perfect or one-note, because it makes their character progression (to the good or the bad) that much more interesting. Ha-baek’s growth is still interesting me the most, because he’s really taking an interest in humans now instead of ignoring them because they’re beneath his notice. He’s really changing a lot, in really beautiful ways, and it will only serve to make him a much better king once he goes back home to claim his throne.
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