Bride of the Water God 2017: Episode 13
Don’t for one second think that Ha-baek has changed… once an arrogant, annoying water god, always an arrogant, annoying water god. But he’s definitely back with a purpose in mind, and a new determination not to waste any more time. But he won’t be able to rest for long—with tensions rising and loyalties shifting, the time is fast approaching when Ha-baek will finally have to step up and take on his role as king.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
While talking to Hu-ye on the phone, So-ah rounds the corner to her house and stops still. Ha-baek is there, waiting for her under the streetlight. So-ah runs and throws her arms around him, and Ha-baek holds her tight.
Up the street, Hu-ye worries when So-ah doesn’t answer him. He turns the corner and sees her in Ha-baek’s arms, so he ducks back behind the wall where they can’t spot him.
Ha-baek sweetly fusses at So-ah for looking thin and tired, then jokes that if she’d looked like freesias in spring, he’d have gone right back, hee. Wiping away her tears, Ha-baek reminds her that he warned her that if she falls for him, there is no medicine for that.
He heads up the hill to retrieve So-ah’s dropped phone, bringing him within mere feet of Hu-ye’s hiding place, but Ha-baek doesn’t see him. Hu-ye watches again as Ha-baek leads So-ah home, their arms around each other.
Namsuri is thrilled to see So-ah, and she feeds him dinner and asks why they’re back. Namsuri tells her that Ha-baek was given another mission, one so vague that Ha-baek doesn’t understand it. All he knows is that he’s to “realize something.”
As Namsuri narrates, we see Ha-baek back in the Water Realm, where the red water had returned four more times while he was gone. He says that Ha-baek was sensitive and cranky, and had no energy.
One day, a message is delivered to Ha-baek from the High Priest, who’s visiting the Sky Realm. His assistant tells Ha-baek that finding out the reason that the sacred stones were kept in the human realm wasn’t really part of his mission, but Ha-baek argues that the High Priest said it very meaningfully back then, for him to find the answer.
The assistant reminds Ha-baek that he kept waving off the task as annoying, but now Ha-baek insists that it was a part of the mission that he didn’t complete. Namsuri breaks in, defending Ha-baek and saying that if Ha-baek says so, it’s true. Pleased, Ha-baek lets him continue, so Namsuri tells the assistant that Ha-baek very much wants to find the answer and become king.
In the present, Namsuri tells So-ah that Ha-baek was so stubborn about it that the High Priest finally got permission for him to come back and complete the original mission.
So-ah goes upstairs to find Ha-baek scowling at Yong Yong, her blue stuffed dinosaur. He accuses So-ah of using a toy to meet her emotional needs, abusing it while she took her anger out on it. Then he cuddles Yong Yong close and asks if she was so lonely at night that she did something weird to it instead. HAHA.
So-ah grabs Yong Yong, making Ha-baek grin with satisfaction. He heads to the door to his rooftop apartment, which So-ah has never let him use, and he asks why she insists on going the long way when there’s a much faster way. They both smile at his double meaning.
Ha-baek steps through and complains that it hasn’t been cleaned while he was gone, gently berating So-ah for not eating well and not canceling his phone contract. He says that she never does what he tells her, then asks how she’s really been.
So-ah turns her back to him and asks why he came back, and Ha-baek crosses the room and folds her into a backhug. He whispers into her ear that he doesn’t care about that: “I came because I knew you weren’t doing well. I have to go back. Going back is my path, as it always was. I came to say goodbye properly. I want to love without any regrets. Even if we have to part, I want to have loved enough that I can understand why we’re parting.”
He says that if So-ah isn’t ready or disagrees, then he’ll go back. She says that making sure they’ve loved enough to say goodbye doesn’t make any sense, and yet it sounds nice. She admits that she hasn’t loved herself very much, and says that it’s no wonder nobody has wanted to love her. Crying now, she says that someone must pity her for something so good to be happening to her now.
Ha-baek turns So-ah to face him and says that it’s because she’s been a nice person. She doesn’t think she’s very nice, and says that it’s not easy to be nice in a world like this one, wondering if the reward for being a nice person is winning a decent guy. Ha-baek asks if that’s all he is and reminds So-ah that he’s a god.
So-ah half-jokes that being a nice person wins you a god, and Ha-baek is all, “Is that enough?” She asks what else she gets, and Ha-baek tells her, “This,” then he leans down and kisses her. After a minute Ha-baek pulls back to gauge So-ah’s reaction, but she just looks up at him with wide eyes, so he kisses her again.
Outside, Hu-ye watches So-ah’s house for a while. He remembers Mura telling him to make So-ah his, and as he leans against the wall that has Ha-baek and So-ah’s names written on it, he says to himself that that’s not something he can make happen just because he wants it.
In the morning, when So-ah doesn’t find Ha-baek in his room like usual, her face falls, perhaps wondering if she imagined last night. Then she runs outside, where she’s relieved to find Namsuri and Ha-baek having a normal morning.
Namsuri asks why So-ah was coming out of Ha-baek’s room, and she stammers that she was looking for something. Ha-baek asks, “Were you looking for me?” as he walks past her to go inside. It completely flusters So-ah, which makes Ha-baek laugh, the cheeky thing.
They gather in the house, where So-ah surprises the guys by saying that her clinic is closed for the near future because of the landlord. But she says cheerfully that she lives with a god, so she can benefit from his amazing powers for now.
HA, Ha-baek looks away awkwardly as Namsuri explains that he still doesn’t have his powers back. So-ah is shocked, so Ha-baek says they came back when he went home, but he left them behind again to come back here.
The High Priest’s assistant had explained this little loophole, telling Ha-baek that the High Priest said he should go back the way he came. She’d said that the High Priest doesn’t think he’ll succeed in his task anyway, so he can use his powers just once in the human realm—to open the divine gate when he wants to return.
She tells Ha-baek that when the sixth red water comes, the High Priest will send a messenger for him to return. Ha-baek starts to object, but she passes along one last message: “Don’t go if you don’t like it.”
Confused, So-ah asks how Ha-baek lost his powers in the first place. Ha-baek says that he asked the High Priest, but he was vague and smirky about it. So-ah asks if they came back empty-handed, so Ha-baek says he was allowed to bring the one thing most needed in the human world.
With a flourish, Ha-baek whips out… his brand-spanking-new driver’s license. BWAHAHA. He does a badass strut past So-ah down the stairs, never breaking eye contact, and it’s one of the funniest things ever.
Bi-ryum swims while Mura naps by the pool. He wakes her when her phone rings, advising her to be nicer to her manager, who’s calling. Mura glares at Bi-ryum, but she softens her tone with Manager Kim, who tearfully thanks Bi-ryum for convincing her director to shoot the twice-doomed kissing scene again.
Bi-ryum tells Mura that he disagrees with the saying that no person lives for another, because he lives for her. She asks sarcastically if that’s why he left for ten years. Bi-ryum wonders if she missed him, and Mura’s halting denial gives her away. He laughs and notes that their lives are extremely peaceful when Ha-baek’s not around.
Later Bi-ryum finds Mura about to practice kissing her giant blowup doll, and his snickering annoys her. She tries to storm past him, but he stops her and offers his help. He kisses her soundly, and when she pushes him away, he tells her to remember that feeling. Mura aims a slap at him but he dodges it, then he catches her arm on the second swing.
Still wearing her lipstick, Bi-ryum reminds Mura that he’s her fiance, reminding her that she begged him to tell Ha-baek they were engaged because she was jealous of his girl. Bi-ryum says that he even broke up with the prettiest goddess of the Sky Realm because of it, and that Ha-baek congratulated them.
When Mura tries to slap him a third time, he catches her and turns it into a hug. As he struggles to hang onto the thrashing Mura, Bi-ryum asks why she pretends not to know his feelings for her. She stops struggling and he backs away, and when she tries again to slap him, he asks her not to hit him because it hurts.
Geol-rin finds Hu-ye sleeping in his office, and asks if this is about So-ah. Hu-ye just apologizes for being a bother and promises it won’t happen again. Geol-rin stops him in his tracks by mentioning that he didn’t want to do it when the king ordered him to take Hu-ye from his mother and lock him away in that cave.
Geol-rin says he tried to ignore the tiny infant and waited for Hu-ye to die, but he felt bad for the lonely little boy. He admits that he was torn between saving and abandoning Hu-ye, and that he tried not to become attached.
Geol-rin says that he came to the human world to avoid Hu-ye, but it didn’t work, and that cave and Hu-ye were always in his heart. He reaches up and pulls off his hair to reveal that he’s bald on top, and he says wryly that even in the human world, beggars have to look good.
Okay, that’s adorable, and Hu-ye smiles and says that Geol-rin looks better like this. Geol-rin advises Hu-ye to show So-ah who he really is, and if she still doesn’t accept him, then they’re not meant to be.
After fighting with So-ah for getting rid of his car, Ha-baek goes to see Bi-ryum and Mura. They’re extremely unhappy that he’s back, though for different reasons.
Mura is too angry to talk, so Ha-baek explains to Bi-ryum that he does plan to go back. Bi-ryum asks why Mura isn’t enough for Ha-baek, but Ha-baek says that he knows Bi-ryum doesn’t mean that, and suggests that he try being a little braver.
Bi-ryum complains that hate isn’t allowed in the Realm of the Gods, otherwise Ha-baek would be his enemy. Ha-baek returns: “When I’m king, I’ll consider it.” Glowering, Bi-ryum says that he’ll look forward to reuniting as enemies.
Bi-ryum runs into So-ah on his way out and says that he’s not on her side, and even less on Ha-baek’s, and that he’ll do whatever Mura says. He tells So-ah that he’s the one who made it so her family would become the gods’ servants, just because Mura was angry over the woman who broke Ha-baek’s heart.
So-ah finds Ha-baek, who’s grumpy because Bi-ryum and Mura refused his request for a new car. They go for a walk and soon find themselves confronted by Geol-rin, who has a determined glint in his eye.
In flashback, we see that Hu-ye had told Geol-rin that he can’t have So-ah because he can’t take away what belongs to Ha-baek. He’d said that he felt more confident when Ha-baek went home to the Realm of the Gods, but now he’s back.
Geol-rin runs at Ha-baek with lips puckered for a kiss over and over, but Ha-baek dodges him easily. Eventually Geol-rin runs out of steam, and when he admits that he’s trying to lift the curse, Ha-baek agrees to submit to the kiss. They pucker up and lean closer… and closer… but a horrified shriek from So-ah has them lurching apart, and Ha-baek decides he’d rather live with hunger than kiss Geol-rin, hee.
Ha-baek gets a call and shoots So-ah a triumphant smirk, crowing that Bi-ryum found him a car. He reports that Bi-ryum talked a woman out of collecting the car, then asks what it means to make “eyes like the cat from Shrek.” PFFT.
Geol-rin informs Hu-ye that Ha-baek lost his powers, which is news to the half-god. He explains that it’s part of a test Ha-baek is going through to become king, but what it means is that right now, Hu-ye is more powerful.
Mura arrives to see Hu-ye and tells him that Ha-baek is back, but he says he already knows. She informs Hu-ye that she’ll be his ally, and tells him to take So-ah from Ha-baek by force if necessary.
Hu-ye reveals that he knows Ha-baek lost his powers, which means that he’s stronger than Ha-baek in the human world. He declines Mura’s help and tells her to stay neutral, because if she and Bi-ryum use their powers on Ha-baek’s side, then Hu-ye will be forced to use his.
Bi-ryum shows up, and Mura decides it’s time to go. She stumbles and Hu-ye steadies her with a hand on her arm, and Bi-ryum sucker-punches him just for touching her. He snarls that he’s holding his temper because Mura asked him to, and he warns Hu-ye to stay out of his sight.
In the parking garage, Mura yells at Bi-ryum for blowing things out of proportion. She says she understands why Bi-ryum hates Hu-ye, but she doesn’t understand why he’s acting like this. She asks if it’s fear because Hu-ye is supposedly some foretold “god of death,” but she says those are just children’s stories.
But she doesn’t believe that he’s telling the whole truth, and she tells Bi-ryum that until he’s completely honest with her, she won’t accept the way he’s behaving. Bi-ryum looks stunned, but when Mura demands to know what his reason is for hating Hu-ye, he yells that he can’t tell her the truth because she’s the one who’s asking.
He refuses to explain further and accuses Mura of hanging around Hu-ye to make Ha-baek jealous. He offers to seduce So-ah to clear Mura’s path to Ha-baek, and this time Mura’s slap lands hard.
Bi-ryum drives away angry, and Mura calls for Jin-geon, who she knows will be nearby. She orders him to tell her why Bi-ryum is acting like this, and he speaks to her for the first time to say that it’s because of him. But he says that’s all he can tell her, even if she really might crush his tongue this time.
Ha-baek takes So-ah for a ride in his new car, and So-ah asks why he was so bent on getting his license. He says that he doesn’t really care, but she’d said she’d feel more comfortable if he had one, so he did it for her. Awww.
We cut to Ha-baek and So-ah back at home, Ha-baek pouting because So-ah wouldn’t let him drive on the highway. She says that she’d rather sit and look at him, and she wonders out loud if this is a dream. Her voice fades to a whisper as she says that if it’s a dream, she hopes she never wakes up.
Ha-baek reaches over to caress her cheek and says that it’s real. So-ah leans into his hand, and they stay like that for a long moment. Then they suddenly break apart and agree that that was awkward, lol.
So-ah suggests they drive to see the sunset tomorrow, telling Ha-baek that she used to think such things were pointless. He asks her to tell him everywhere she wants to go and he’ll help her go there. So-ah says you need money to do those things, saying that Ha-baek should have brought back a goblin’s club, and he just gives her the royal stinkface. So cute.
Namsuri visits Yeom-mi in her shop, and she launches into a confusing line of questions involving So-ah and wet shoes. She thinks she’s having another dream, and she blinks up at Namsuri when he says it’s not, explaining that he and Ha-baek came back.
Ha-baek is annoyed when Namsuri brings Yeom-mi to the house, banishing Namsuri from his presence. So-ah tells Yeom-mi bashfully that Ha-baek returned because he missed her.
Namsuri finds Ha-baek and explains that he only went to Yeom-mi to ask for work. She’d given him a job sitting in her shop, saying that he inspires her and stabilizes her abilities, since her mystical powers come and go. He laughs that she’s just like Ha-baek, who scowls at him darkly, then realizes that they need the money and pastes on a smile.
Downstairs, So-ah explains that Ha-baek came back to say goodbye properly. Yeom-mi sobs that So-ah makes her feel sorry, because she’s a chaebol’s daughter and doesn’t have to worry about money. She admits that it doesn’t happen very often (lol), but she feels bad and really wants So-ah to be happy.
Ha-baek comes down and finds the girls wailing and hugging, and he thinks to himself that they’re weird and keeps walking. Smart man.
He calls So-ah later to tell her he’s going to see Mura. She keeps asking over and over why he’s going there, and Ha-baek evades her questions and asks if she’s jealous. So-ah swears that she’s cool with his having female god friends, and Ha-baek tells her that he gets very jealous over human male friends, hee.
So-ah admits that she’s a teeny bit jealous, then tells Ha-baek that she’s going to work a part-time job today. She says it’s for a human male friend and hangs up, giving Ha-baek a taste of his own medicine.
She gets a frantic call from Sang-yoo and rushes to her office, where she learns that CEO Shin sold the building. Luckily the new landlord says they can stay, and even lowered the deposit and monthly rent. It’s Hu-ye, isn’t it?
After her part-time sessions at the resort, Hu-ye tells So-ah that his employees love coming to her for stress relief. She tells him that a miracle happened and she won’t lose her office, and Hu-ye congratulates her and asks if she’s free for dinner, though he already knows she’s going to decline. He says that he knows she won’t be free for dinner for a long time, and tells her that he’ll wait.
He walks her out, musing that the new owner of her building is probably a warm and generous man, who’s also probably very classy and handsome. Yep, it’s definitely him.
So-ah has a hair stuck in her eyelashes, so Hu-ye grabs her hand to stop her from messing with it, and then gently brushes the hair out of her face. Here to see Mura, Bi-ryum stops when he sees this, and he marches over to them angrily.
He says to Hu-ye that he can’t stand seeing “our servant” hanging around someone like him, then he turns on So-ah, snapping that he’s especially upset since she knows who Hu-ye is. He accuses So-ah of keeping Hu-ye in reserve for after Ha-baek leaves, grabbing her by the arm.
Hu-ye snatches Bi-ryum’s hand away, and in the scuffle, Bi-ryum knocks So-ah to the ground. When she looks up, both Bi-ryum and Hu-ye are gone.
Bi-ryum transports Hu-ye to a secluded location, where he proposes that they just fight and get it over with. Hu-ye refuses to fight without a reason, not accepting that Bi-ryum just hates his very existence. Looking a bit unhinged, Bi-ryum says he just doesn’t like that an abnormal being like Hu-ye exists, but Hu-ye decides he can live with that and turns to go.
Bi-ryum continues taunting Hu-ye, insisting that he’ll make him pay for his sins. Hu-ye yells that he hasn’t committed any sins, so Bi-ryum throws the first punch. He snarls that his reason is the fact that Hu-ye doesn’t know his sin, punching him again. But Bi-ryum says that his biggest reason, the one that makes him crazy, is that he hates himself because of Hu-ye.
Hu-ye finally gets in a punch, knocking Bi-ryum to the ground. Bi-ryum realizes that Jin-geon is nearby and warns him not to interfere, so Jin-geon calls Mura instead. She’s refusing to give Ha-baek a single penny, not even when he makes it a royal order and threatens to punish her. Ha-baek gets a call from So-ah, who’s frantic that Bi-ryum took Hu-ye somewhere.
Hu-ye and Bi-ryum continue fighting, and Bi-ryum jokes that it’s not like they can kill each other. Hu-ye corrects him, reminding Bi-ryum that he can kill. In response, Bi-ryum charges up his powers and smashes Hu-ye with a force wave.
Provoked, Hu-ye stands up, then hurls a ball of his black power at Bi-ryum. But at the last second, Jin-geon throws himself in front of Bi-ryum, taking the death blow meant for his friend.
Bi-ryum yells at Jin-geon for interfering, and Hu-ye looks horrified at what he’s done. Hu-ye looks down at Jin-geon’s scorched face, which triggers a memory—bodies lying dead in a cave, one of them with Jin-geon’s face. His twin? Hu-ye even remembers that Bi-ryum was there then, screaming with grief.
Bi-ryum sees Hu-ye’s stunned reaction and asks if he remembers who he killed now. Hu-ye stands there shaking, and nearby, Mura and Ha-baek materialize.
Well, that explains a lot, and it’s pretty much what I expected—at some point Hu-ye killed several people in the Realm of the Gods, one of whom was Bi-ryum’s friend. I can understand why Bi-ryum would carry that grief and fury with him for hundreds of years, and I can even understand why he doesn’t care how Hu-ye is living now when in Bi-ryum’s eyes, he’s little more than a murderer who got away. Obviously there’s more to the story, based on Bi-ryum’s comment that he hates himself because of Hu-ye, and I’m very curious to know what led to the slaughter in Hu-ye’s cave.
I just wish we’d known this sooner, because for weeks we’ve only been shown Hu-ye trying to be a good person and Bi-ryum bullying and provoking him. Without a reason behind Bi-ryum’s behavior, now a lot of my sympathy lies with Hu-ye and not Bi-ryum. And I say that as someone who actually wants to like Bi-ryum—but it’s hard to get over his apparent malice for no good reason, when we weren’t given any reasons to understand him. I don’t mind the building of tension by withholding Bi-ryum’s real reason for hating Hu-ye; it was actually very effective at the beginning. I just think that if we’d been given a few clues maybe two weeks sooner, Bi-ryum would have seemed less like a mindless bully, and we could have sympathized with his self-hatred over whatever happened between him and Hu-ye that led to his friend’s death.
On a more personal note, I’m definitely not a fan of the forced or surprise kiss/hug, especially after the lady has expressed her disinterest in physical contact with the guy in question. But with Bi-ryum and Mura, it’s a bit more complicated. They’ve known each other for literally millennia, so it can be argued that Bi-ryum knows Mura as well as she knows herself by now. He’s aware that she still has feelings for him no matter how much she tries to deny it, and he’s waited for years for her to come around to him.
I see his increased physical contact with Mura as Bi-ryum’s way of trying to bring her feelings for him to the forefront, not as him trying to force something that isn’t already there. Do I wish he took her “no” for an answer or at least used other methods to try to rekindle their relationship? Absolutely, and at least he doesn’t seem very happy about what he has to stoop to when nobody is looking. But I can’t help but feel that little flutter when he gets all close and personal and smirks that naughty-boy smirk. Mura is a much stronger woman than I would be under the onslaught of Bi-ryum’s cheeky grin.
Ha-baek, on the other hand, is a complete gentleman, and I love that about him. Despite all his lofty talk about being the god and So-ah being his servant, he’s let her take control of their growing relationship every step of the way. When she says no, he gives her space, even when you can tell it’s just about killing him. And now that he’s come back, he’s honest that he’s here solely to love her, yet he still asks her permission and says that he’ll go home if she doesn’t want him. Even in the middle of their kiss, in which So-ah was clearly participating, Ha-baek stopped to make sure she was okay with this before continuing. Coming from a god who’s probably used to women falling at his feet, that’s all the proof I need that he deeply loves her.
I really liked how this episode wove scenes from the Realm of the Gods into the story. It helped explain what was happening clearly, not to mention beautifully, because I find the scenes from the Realm of the Gods to be particularly gorgeous. But it also left me frustrated because I’ve been complaining for weeks that this show doesn’t explain itself well, and now we have proof that it does know how to do that. So I can only conclude that it’s just been choosing not to, which makes me ask… why? Why would you create a lovely world of gods with beautiful scenery and imagery (not to mention the impeccable eyeliner), then withhold it from your audience for most of the show? And why leave your viewers confused and grasping for answers when you’ve been capable of providing them all along? I know the show isn’t trying to be the manhwa, which takes place pretty much entirely in the Realm of the Gods. But after this episode, I can’t help but mourn the show we could have had, with the mystical and the human worlds woven together to tell a really beautiful—but more importantly cohesive—story.
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