Bride of the Water God 2017: Episode 11
This episode is all about confessions and choices, with feelings bubbling to the surface and demanding to be heard. But there’s always a risk in putting yourself out there, particularly when you’re not quite sure what answer you’ll be hearing. With all these mixed messages and missed opportunities, it’s enough to drive even a god to drink.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
When Hu-ye shows up drunk in her office, So-ah settles him into a chair and loosens his collar. But in his alcohol-induced dream, he imagines she’s Ha-baek ripping his shirt open to expose the earth mark on his chest. He lunges suddenly, flipping So-ah into the chair and hovering over her threateningly.
He quickly realizes that she’s not Ha-baek and immediately apologizes, horrified with himself. She watches as a cut on his arm heals instantly, but before she can even react, Ha-baek bursts into her office.
Ha-baek takes in the scene and runs down the stairs to punch Hu-ye. He swings again, but Hu-ye catches his arm this time. The two men glare at each other menacingly, but Hu-ye sees So-ah looking frightened, so he backs down and offers her an apology.
He leaves, and Ha-baek stops So-ah from following him with a hand on her arm. She asks Ha-baek why he went straight to violence without knowing the situation, but he roars that what he saw was pretty obvious.
In Ha-baek’s mind, he interrupted a romantic interlude, and So-ah is so offended by his assumption that she refuses to tell him what really happened. She asks what they are to each other to even be having this conversation.
That takes the fight out of Ha-baek, and he drops her hand. So-ah storms out of the office and walks away in the pouring rain, trying not to cry. Equally upset, Ha-baek stays in So-ah’s office all night, fighting back tears of his own.
So-ah’s friend Yeom-mi wakes from where she fell asleep in her odd little shop, sensing that So-ah is on her way. Sure enough, when she comes out, So-ah is there, dripping wet and looking utterly bereft. She asks if she can sleep at Yeom-mi’s place tonight, her voice breaking when she says she doesn’t want to go home.
Hu-ye spends the night in his office, and he wakes from more nightmares featuring So-ah, killing flowers with a touch, and his tiny friend Min planting flowers for him. A last flash of something that looks like bodies lying on the ground wakes him with a start, and he jumps in terror to find minor god Geol-rin standing beside him.
Hu-ye remembers walking in the rain last night and calling Geol-rin. He reminds Geol-rin that he once said that it wasn’t Hu-ye’s fault he was born with such a terrible power, and asks if Geol-rin only said that because he’s afraid of him. Looking haunted, he asks who’s responsible for all the deaths he’s caused, if not himself.
He confesses that ever since the gods showed up, he’s been losing confidence, and that he’d almost forgotten what he used to be, but lately it’s all coming back. “Yesterday, I almost killed that woman,” he confesses.
Sang-yoo finds Ha-baek still in the office in the morning and nearly dies of fright before he realizes who it is. Ha-baek says calmly that he’s waiting, but his eyes flicker uncertainly when So-ah shows up.
So-ah asks Ha-baek why he didn’t go home, and he says he couldn’t, though he wasn’t exactly waiting for her. He explains that he fell asleep while trying to think of a way out of the office, and we see that when he tried to leave and couldn’t lock the door behind himself. He ended up staying all night rather than leave the office unlocked, which would be irresponsible of him. Okay, that’s pretty sweet.
Of course he plays it off like he’s irritated that So-ah left without locking up, and insists that he stayed because he was thinking of others. He chides So-ah for selfishly leaving without giving him the key, then magnanimously forgives her, ha.
So-ah thanks Ha-baek, and he asks if it’s okay to be irresponsible, but something in his voice has changed. He tells So-ah that if he lets himself be irresponsible now, then he’ll become irresponsible in the end, too. He says she’s not a distant sound that will fade, nor is she insignificant.
His voice growing soft, he says, “I wants to hold you, and kiss you. I want you to be my beginning and my end. I want my mind to be filled with thoughts of you. I want my jealousy to be justified, and I don’t want to feel guilty after punching someone.” Well, swoon.
But he adds that for that to happen, he has to begin. He knows their future is predestined, but he asks So-ah anyway, “May I begin?”
So-ah listens to his confession, tears welling in her eyes. Then she gives her answer: “No. Don’t begin.”
Mura wakes to find Bi-ryum making coffee (she’s been staying at his place like Ha-baek told her to). Bi-ryum says he envies humans their ability to get drunk, because he can’t manage it despite drinking until dawn. He wonders at the weakness of humans and snaps his fingers to produce a huge diamond ring, pointing out how something like this doesn’t impress Mura.
Bi-ryum asks about Mura’s plans today, and she says she’s going to keep watch over him. He likes that idea, then spends the day jogging and working out, leaving Mura excruciatingly bored and fending off male admirers at the gym.
At the end of her wits, Mura asks Bi-ryum’s constant shadow Jin-geon why he never speaks, and if she really froze and crushed his tongue. He just gives her this look, ha.
Eventually Mura demands to know why Bi-ryum is so anxious today, but he refuses to tell her. So she asks what he wants from Hu-ye, and the question wipes the smile off Bi-ryum’s face. He says simply, “I want him to die.” Mura promptly calls her manager and cancels her schedule for the rest of the day, but Bi-ryum smirks that he’ll just forget about Hu-ye for today.
Geol-rin had suggested that Hu-ye tell So-ah everything and ask for her help. Hu-ye balks, unsure whether she actually saw him healing instantly. But Geol-rin reminds him that So-ah, as the gods’ servant, is the human most equipped to understand him.
Chairman Shin barges into Hu-ye’s office with Jaya and demands to know if he’s engaged to So-ah, or if she knows his weakness, figuring that’s the only reason Hu-ye would decide not to buy her land. He’s mostly angry that he doesn’t own land in the new area where the mall is being built, meaning he won’t stand to profit.
But he pretends it’s concern for Hu-ye, and he begins to lay on the guilt trip by talking about how he took him in. Hu-ye cuts him off and says he has a meeting, telling Chairman Shin firmly that he won’t be changing his mind about the mall location.
Secretary Min overhears Jaya grumbling to herself, and she asks him why Hu-ye has acted so strangely ever since he “hugged” her. She wonders if she should mention it, but Secretary Min tells her to keep it to herself.
Ha-baek indulges in a dramatic moment on his rooftop balcony, having a good wallow over So-ah’s rejection. He gets himself all worked up, wailing that she doesn’t know who she turned down, calling her stupid and dense, and then sighs that she’s also cowardly.
He calls Bi-ryum, asking his help in losing his iron control for once. Bi-ryum is up for the challenge, but Mura is upset just thinking about why Ha-baek would want to lose control. She asks Bi-ryum why Ha-baek would call him when he doesn’t even like him, and he explains that it’s because he’s a guy.
Before he goes, Bi-ryum tells Mura to work on her kissing scenes, and says that he left something to help her practice in her dressing room. Mura warns him to just hang out with Ha-baek and not get into trouble, so Bi-ryum promises to behave, adding seriously, “I always listen to you.”
Mura goes to her dressing room to find a huge blowup doll beckoning to her in Bi-ryum’s voice. PWAHAHA, she’s supposed to practice kissing with that thing?
Bi-ryum takes Ha-baek to a bar, hoping alcohol will work better on Ha-baek than it does on him. Ha-baek eyes the shot of liquor suspiciously, but Bi-ryum promises this is the way to losing control, so he drinks it down.
Chuckling to himself, Bi-ryum asks if things aren’t going well with So-ah, but Ha-baek just does another shot. Bi-ryum talks about the So-ah he knows from college, whom he describes as looking “like freesias in spring.” He says she wore short skirts and dated a lot, which spurs Ha-baek to take several more shots. When Bi-ryum says that he tried to give So-ah a diamond ring but she refused it, Ha-baek just starts chugging from the bottle, ha.
Bi-ryum starts recording Ha-baek with his phone, and he’s still recording later as a very drunk Ha-baek discusses being rejected by women with a mailbox. A group of men wander by and start harassing Ha-baek, grabbing at him and telling him to give them his wallet.
Despite the alcohol, Ha-baek is still his usual arrogant self, and it’s not long before a fight breaks out. At first Bi-ryum just watches, enjoying the show, but then he snaps his fingers, leaving his camera still recording while hanging in midair, and jumps in to bash some heads.
So-ah is so shaken by Ha-baek’s confession that she imagines him sitting in her office, looking at her with disappointment. She hears him again in her head, asking her if he should begin. She says to herself that no matter how many times she thinks about it, her answer is still no.
When she finally leaves for home, Hu-ye follows her at a short distance, thinking about following Geol-rin’s advice and telling her the truth about himself. He thinks about his vow to win her fairly, but then he remembers how he nearly killed her last night and hesitates, wondering if he deserves her.
Namsuri calls So-ah to ask her to tell Ha-baek that he got a chicken delivery job and won’t be home until very late (and LOL, Yeom-mi is there too in a matching chicken costume). Next So-ah gets a call from Hu-ye, who assures her that he’s fine after what happened last night.
She doesn’t realize he’s right behind her as she walks, and she offers apologies on Ha-baek’s behalf. She keeps the conversation to impersonal topics, and Hu-ye soon stops following her and ends the call.
As Yeom-mi helps Namsuri deliver chicken, she peppers him with questions about the gods. She asks if the gods’ powers are really transmitted through kisses (referring to Ha-baek kissing So-ah when they met, and Geol-rin cursing Ha-baek with a kiss), which makes Namsuri panic and run. Hee.
Bi-ryum delivers the mostly unconscious Ha-baek to So-ah, draping him over her like a scarf. He wonders aloud if, were he to ask So-ah for a favor, he should ask her to keep Ha-baek here or let him go. He decides he doesn’t know how he feels and should probably book a session with So-ah, then leaves with a wry smile.
Struggling to carry Ha-baek in his state, So-ah somehow gets him inside, intending to let him stay until Namsuri returns. Ha-baek trips on the stairs and takes So-ah down with him, landing on top of her on the floor.
It takes some effort for So-ah to get out from under Ha-baek, and once she does she stops to catch her breath and sneak a peek at his sleeping face. She starts to remove his arm from her waist, but he just pulls her closer. He says softly, eyes still closed, “Let’s just stay like this. I won’t begin, so don’t be afraid. Just stay for a few minutes.”
His hand moves up from So-ah’s waist until it finds her hand, and he holds on tightly. So-ah looks at Ha-baek for a long time, then she moves her other hand on top of his. She closes her eyes, and they both drift off to sleep.
The next day, Mura watches Bi-ryum’s recordings of Ha-baek, shocked to see him behaving so out of character. She wonders why Ha-baek hasn’t going back to claim his throne yet, and although Bi-ryum looks like he knows something, he just says that Ha-baek is trying things out before the duties of his throne weigh him down.
So-ah wakes in her own bed, and she gets up to find Ha-baek gone. Then he wanders up the stairs with his coffee and book like he does every morning, and he asks her about the books in her house. She says that they’re mostly travel books and that she hasn’t read the one he’s holding, which is titled If There Were a Word More Loving Than Love.
Taking Ha-baek’s cue, So-ah acts like nothing happened between them. She asks Ha-baek to read the first line of his book to her while she hangs laundry, saying that she can tell if she wants to read a book just by hearing the first line. He balks, but he finally reads her the first sentence, which seems to describe their relationship perfectly:
“How did we meet? One day, a butterfly flew like a petal and made a small flutter. How did we meet and end up here? The corner of the street where we exchanged our love in spring. It was a sudden miracle.”
He continues for a few more sentences, both of them growing more emotional at the beautiful words. Just as he reads a line about not wanting to ascribe their miraculous connection to fate, So-ah stops him, saying lightly that she likes the book and calling him inside to eat. Once she’s downstairs, So-ah wipes away a single tear before going inside.
Ha-baek eyeballs his breakfast, asking So-ah if it’s edible, and she watches him anxiously as he takes a bite. By the way he looks like he’s trying to eat without actually letting the food touch his tongue, I’m gonna say her cooking is still atrocious.
Ha-baek suddenly asks So-ah why she used to wear miniskirts and date a lot, and why she doesn’t look like freesias in spring anymore. LOL, Bi-ryum had told So-ah that he told Ha-baek she was innocent and ladylike, which she now knows was a bald-faced lie. She turns it around on Ha-baek, saying that he’s probably dated countless women in his long life. She asked which one he liked the most, but he just clams up and shoves more food in his mouth.
Ha-baek tells So-ah that he’d have paid her back by now if he had his powers, so she asks what he would have done. He says he’d fix the things she breaks, and make it so she can swim and drink cold water. So-ah says she can do those things herself, challenging him to think of better repayment.
She offers some suggestions, like making it so she finds gold on her land or making her the owner of an oil field. She says he can reunite North and South Korea, build her a house that looks like a cathedral in Vanuatu, and make her prettier.
She continues with her outlandish requests, getting more and more creative (I particularly like the part about having tea with Jude Law), and when she finally winds down she realizes that Ha-baek left the table, ha. He quips dryly that human emotions are confusing and annoying, but So-ah tells him that a king should listen to his people.
As she makes him coffee, Ha-baek says things would be different if she had the servant’s tablet, which has the power to fulfill the servant’s wish. So-ah is all, Well, give it!, but Ha-baek says he lost it.
He explains that he wouldn’t have been able to grant her wish (to live in Vanuatu) anyway, because it has to be for something she truly wants. Before she can ask more questions, Namsuri arrives, and he proudly shows off the money he earned before heading down to eat breakfast.
Namsuri notices So-ah’s cute matching mugs, and she says that Ha-baek bought them for her after working a part-time job. Namsuri is scandalized at the idea of the water god working a lowly job, and he flounces off to the roof in a full-on sulk. Ha-baek follows him, but he stomps off, angry and hurt.
While Ha-baek starts himself a bubble bath, So-ah asks if he wants to go see the ocean. She mentions that he could look up how to make lunchboxes, and though he’s initially indignant at the idea of doing it himself, her threat to take the breakfast leftovers instead has him quickly pulling out his phone.
He decides on an array of fancy foods, all of which So-ah nixes in favor of kimbap. They work on assembling the kimbap side-by-side, and Ha-baek watches So-ah incredulously as she proceeds to reduce her kimbap rolls to shreds (of course, his are perfect).
Mura calls Ha-baek to invite him to lunch with her and Bi-ryum. He turns her down, saying that he’s going to the beach, snapping at So-ah for hacking at her kimbap with a knife. He hangs up on Mura, leaving her completely confused.
She wanders out to Bi-ryum, still wondering what Ha-baek meant by the beach and broken kimbap. Bi-ryum decides he’s starting to like Ha-baek and heads off to change, and Mura picks up his phone to watch the videos of Ha-baek again.
She finds one she hasn’t seen before, and as she watches it, her eyes go wide. It’s a recording of Ha-baek at the bar, very drunk, as he says, “If only I could, I would live with that woman, here in this world.” Mura drives to So-ah’s house at top speed, screaming Ha-baek’s name.
On the roof, So-ah packs up her torn kimbap as Ha-baek tries to call Namsuri. They hear steps on the stairs, but it’s not Namsuri — it’s Mura, who stalks towards So-ah angrily.
She asks if So-ah knows why a lowly human like her is even allowed to speak to the gods, then says that she wonders if So-ah would be able to stay near Ha-baek if she knew the truth about her ancestor.
Ignoring Ha-baek’s objections, Mura says that she’s going to show So-ah how her ancestor ended up as the gods’ servant. She grabs So-ah’s hand and the two of them disappear into thin air, leaving Ha-baek shouting after her futilely.
Is it strange that I’m glad the heroine just got kidnapped, if it means we’re finally going to get some answers? At least now we know there’s a reason the show has been withholding information, but it’s still frustrating to know that we’ve gotten this far with just bits and pieces of backstory and no explanation for why, when it could so easily have been handled better. I have no problem with a story being doled out slowly so long as it’s done well, but it’s been so clumsy in this drama. All the show would have had to do was make So-ah a bit curious about her family and ask questions, and have Ha-baek refuse to tell her, and I wouldn’t have been so impatient with the sloppy way information has been handed out. That’s not to say I’m not still enjoying the show, because it’s an interesting story and I like the characters, but it can be very frustrating to watch at times.
Hu-ye is quickly becoming the most interesting character in this show for me — I love how he’s so torn between what he is and who he wants to be. Im Joo-hwan is perfectly cast here, because you can really feel his despair when he thinks about the destructive nature of his powers and how much death and pain he’s capable of. He’s so tragic, because you can’t help but mourn what he could have been if he’d only had a father who understood him. Yes, his power is fire and fire kills, but it also warms and comforts. Even when fire destroys, it cleanses and paves the way for new, healthy life. Fire can be controlled and utilized for wonderful, life-giving purposes, and that’s the side of fire that I see in Hu-ye. I just want him to see that he can use his powers for good things, because he really is a good person, and that the mistakes in his past were just that and not a reflection of his spirit.
But what I like most about Hu-ye is that we understand why he does the things he does, because his reasons and motivations are made clear. Which makes me that much more frustrated when other characters don’t get the same treatment, because I know it’s not that the show doesn’t know how to do such things, but that it’s just choosing not to. So-ah in particular is annoying me because I just don’t understand why she keeps rejecting Ha-baek. I mean, I can make educated guesses, and I’m probably not far off in assuming it’s because of her fear of rejection and her knowledge that he’s leaving soon. I just wish we got something to let us know for sure why she’s not even willing to try.
So I’m hoping that Mura’s little trip (to the past, maybe?) with So-ah will shed a lot of light on things. I’m dying to know what So-ah’s family has to do with everything that’s happening, because clearly there’s more to it than just their being punished for some slight an ancestor made to a god. I want to know what happened twelve hundred years ago, what Bi-ryum had to do with it, and how Ha-baek was involved and why it’s left him so emotionally scarred. And I’m guessing that even Hu-ye is somehow tangled up in it, because mentions have been made about something happening to him in that same time frame. Regardless, I’m just glad that it looks like we’ll be getting any answers soon, because even though I still think it’s cute and fun, I’d really like to be enjoying this show more than I am at the moment.
- Premiere Watch: Bride of the Water God 2017
- Sophisticated gods and stylish servants in Bride of the Water God 2017 posters
- Forever searching for you in new poster and stills for Bride of the Water God 2017
- The Water God battles the bidet (and loses)
- The Water God so powerful and beautiful that he knows it
- The Water God surveys his kingdom in all his divine splendor
- The star-crossed lovers of tvN’s Bride of the Water God 2017
- Floating petals under romantic moonlight in Bride of the Water God teaser
- First script reading for Bride of the Water God