Bride of the Water God 2017: Episode 14
Finally, some answers! Everything makes so much more sense with a little backstory, though knowing the truth only makes the gods’ current problems that much more complicated. And So-ah has her own struggles to deal with—with a handsome, charming water god in the house, it was only a matter of time before she started feeling the effects of his presence.
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Hu-ye stands shocked, staring at Jin-geon lying unconscious on the ground after shielding Bi-ryum from his dark power. Bi-ryum asks angrily if Hu-ye remembers who he killed now. Mura and Ha-baek materialize, and Mura asks what he means by that.
Having been left behind at the hotel, So-ah recalls what Bi-ryum said about her knowing who Hu-ye really is. She starts putting the clues together, between vague things that Ha-baek has said and the time she saw Hu-ye’s instantly healing wound.
Mura asks Bi-ryum, “Was it Mo-myung? Did he kill Mo-myung??” Bi-ryum says that he’s killed Hu-ye countless times in his imagination, even wishing their powers were swapped. Then he thought about how Hu-ye had to live through endless life cycles locked up in that cave, and he decided it was a good revenge.
But he says that seeing Hu-ye outside and living well infuriated him, and he pulls back a fist to punch him again. Ha-baek stops him with a soft word, and Bi-ryum disappears.
They take Jin-geon back to Bi-ryum’s house to recover, and Mura tells Ha-baek that she thinks Hu-ye pulled his power back at the last second, otherwise Jin-geon would be dead. She asks Ha-baek when Bi-ryum first met Hu-ye and what he meant about a cave, and he in turn asks her who Mo-myung is.
Mura tells him that Mo-myung was Jin-geon’s twin brother, and that he and Bi-ryum were very close. She tells Ha-baek that it took her a long time to realize that Mo-myung hadn’t been around for a while. She wonders why Bi-ryum never told her, remembering how he said he couldn’t tell her because she was the one asking.
Meanwhile, Hu-ye is still in a state of shock, his ugly past having been brought to the forefront of his mind by his actions today. He’s haunted by Bi-ryum’s words that he doesn’t deserve freedom, and he huddles alone in an abandoned building, shaking and crying.
So-ah is back home when Ha-baek returns, and she asks if Hu-ye is from the Realm of the Gods. She can see the truth in his face and asks why Ha-baek never told her, and he answers that she never asked, and that Hu-ye is not like them.
She guesses that the gods were the ones who told Hu-ye he shouldn’t have been born, and Ha-baek demands to know when they talked of such things. He asks jealously if they started talking after he left, or even earlier, then something in his voice turns vulnerable as he asks So-ah if she was hoping he would leave.
He gets angry again and asks if she broke down in tears after he left instead of enduring, and if she gave her heart away so easily because of that. So-ah gapes incredulously as Ha-baek darkly reminds her that he is a very jealous and irrational god.
He storms up to his rooftop room and collapses on the couch, then he remembers a conversation he once had with Bi-ryum in the Realm of the Gods. Ha-baek had told Bi-ryum that Nak-bin, the woman who’d betrayed him, was hiding in the Sky Realm, in a cave owned by the king. Ha-baek had asked him to go there as a favor.
He’d assured Bi-ryum that he wasn’t trying to save Nak-bin, he just wanted to know what he was to her. Now Ha-baek realizes that that cave must be where Bi-ryum first met Hu-ye.
So-ah calls Yeom-mi for advice, asking “for a friend” why someone would suddenly get angry in the middle of a conversation. Yeom-mi barks, “Break up with him!” HA. So-ah shoots down Yeom-mi’s guesses that the guy has anger issues or is a jerk, but Yeom-mi nails it when she says that he probably feels guilty about something.
Mura finds Bi-ryum moping on the roof of a skyscraper, and Ha-baek goes to speak to him. He asks if Bi-ryum met Hu-ye in that cave so long ago, and if that’s when Mo-myung died. Bi-ryum doesn’t answer and Hu-ye grows upset, asking why he lied and said he never went there.
We see in flashback that Bi-ryum had refused to go look for Nak-bin, angry at Ha-baek for falling for a human woman and making Mura sad. In the present, Bi-ryum admits that he changed his mind and decided to do Ha-baek a favor, and that he’s regretted it ever since.
Bi-ryum tells Ha-baek that Nak-bin hid in the same cave where Hu-ye had been locked up, and another flashback shows him and Mo-myung finding Nak-bin and Hu-ye, who was still a small child. Mo-myung had stepped towards Nak-bin, and little Hu-ye had weakly attacked the minor god. They’d all been surprised when the king’s soldiers arrived to take Nak-bin away, and Hu-ye had been knocked to the ground in the struggle.
Seeing the one person who’d been kind to him being taken away, Hu-ye had lost control of his powers, and a blast of black smoke and fire had engulfed everyone he thought was attacking Nak-bin. The soldiers and Mo-myung had fallen dead, leaving Bi-ryum staring at the young boy who radiated dark power.
Bi-ryum saw that Mo-myung was dead, but before he could do anything but scream in grief, Jin-geon had arrived and dragged Bi-ryum away. He’d only stopped for a moment to glance back at his twin brother’s body.
Distraught, Ha-baek asks why Bi-ryum kept this from him. Another voice says, “It was the king’s order,” and he sees a recovered Jin-geon standing nearby with Mura. Ha-baek says that Mo-myung died because of him, because he asked Bi-ryum to find Nak-bin, but Jin-geon says that it’s nobody’s fault.
He tells Ha-baek that, as twins, he and Mo-myung shared the same fate and that one of them was going to die eventually. But Mura goes to Ha-baek and says that it was his fault, then she punches him in the face.
She takes Bi-ryum’s hand and leads him away. Mura takes Bi-ryum home and says that she knows he’s carrying around a lot of hatred and anger, especially for himself, and she asks him to let it go. She says she knows he feels guilty for running away, as if he abandoned Mo-myung, but he just scowls at her and turns to walk away.
Mura calls after Bi-ryum that she’s sorry, which stops him in his tracks. She recalls when the High Priest told them about half-gods, and how she’d told Bi-ryum to run away if he ever saw one, and she asks if her words pushed him to run that day.
She tells Bi-ryum that he didn’t run away—Jin-geon pulled him away. She puts a hand over Bi-ryum’s heart and says that she knows part of him wanted to run and was grateful that Jin-geon forced him, and asks if that’s what he really feels guilty for.
Bi-ryum turns his grief-filled eyes to Mura, and she knows she’s right. She tells him that what he did actually saved Jin-geon’s life, because if something had happened to Bi-ryum, the Sky Realm would have had Jin-geon killed.
Mura tells Bi-ryum not to listen to her anymore, because when he does, there are always consequences. She says, “This is the greatest comfort I can give you,” and she takes his face in her hands and kisses him softly. She pulls back and asks if he’s all better now, and Bi-ryum scoffs, “Are you kidding me?” and pulls her closer to kiss her again.
Hu-ye is still huddled in the abandoned building when the little blind girl Min comes looking for him. She says that she can feel that he’s there, but Hu-ye doesn’t respond to her, not even when she trips and falls, though it nearly kills him not to help her.
Eventually Min leaves, and as soon as she’s gone, Hu-ye’s anger and self-hatred explode. He screams and throws things until he runs out of steam, then sinks to his knees, sobbing.
So-ah tries to figure out what Ha-baek meant when he said that Hu-ye isn’t one of them. She remembers Hu-ye saying that he didn’t know his mother, and his father treated him like a monster and kept him locked up so others wouldn’t find out about him.
She also recalls that Ha-baek once said that in the Realm of the Gods, the concept of family is very different. Something occurs to her, and she asks herself what she plans to do when she sees Hu-ye again.
Ha-baek comes home, and he wraps So-ah in a hug and apologizes for what he said. She starts to ask him something, but she sees his troubled expression and changes her mind. She teasingly asks if he was out begging his friends for money, making him smile, then she says, “Food!” to his stomach just to listen to it growl.
She goes out to get the ingredients for curry, leaving Ha-baek behind to peel potatoes. He sees a cute picture of So-ah on a beach and decides to take it out of the frame to straighten it. The whole thing falls apart, and when he picks it up, he sees that there was another photo behind the first. It’s a picture of So-ah as a child with her father. Ha-baek puts the pictures back like he found them.
On her way home, So-ah is distracted looking up curry recipes on her phone. Someone grabs her from behind, and when Ha-baek goes outside to meet her, all he finds is the groceries and So-ah’s phone lying on the ground.
Luckily, it’s only Geol-rin who took So-ah, but she still screams bloody murder and tries to escape once he stops the car. He grabs her and yells that he just wants her to see Hu-ye, so she stops fighting.
She finds Hu-ye in the abandoned building, still curled up in a ball of misery. He tries to leave when he sees her, yelling at her to leave, but she grabs him in a backhug and orders him to be still. She says soothingly that it’s okay, and Hu-ye heaves a big sigh and relaxes.
Ha-baek paces at Bi-ryum’s penthouse with Mura watching, until So-ah calls him to say she’s okay. He knows she’s with Hu-ye and orders her back, but she says that she knows what Hu-ye is and that he won’t harm her.
When they hang up, Mura agrees that Hu-ye wouldn’t hurt So-ah, and she tells Ha-baek to give up So-ah and let Hu-ye have her. She reminds Ha-baek that Hu-ye is rich and can do more for So-ah than he can, refusing to help him teleport to her.
Hu-ye tells So-ah to go home, even screaming at her, but she refuses to obey. He says that he destroys everything and that he almost killed her once. So-ah calmly asks if he thinks his sin will never go away, and Hu-ye answers yes, and that he could sin again at any time. He growls that he’ll never change, but So-ah tells him that he’s not that kind of a person.
He scoffs at her use of the word “person,” so she asks if he’d rather be a god. She tells him that being a person suits him better, because he helps so many people and supports so many children. She says that the work he does as a human being makes him like a god to those he helps.
She continues that if a god were looking down, they would see a tiny human being, helping other humans in a tiny country on a tiny planet called Earth. She says that the god would be thankful for Hu-ye’s help taking care of his people, and say that he did well. He begins to cry at her words. She reminds Hu-ye that she once said that the trees he plants will become a huge forest, and she assures him that the days he has lived until now will never disappear.
So-ah tells him that if he decides to live as a person, then she’ll be on his side no matter what happens. He stares up at her, unable to believe that she sees so much good in him, as tears stream down his face. Hu-ye starts to say something, but Ha-baek arrives just then and pulls So-ah away.
As Ha-baek drives her home, So-ah tells him that she’s Hu-ye’s therapist. Ha-baek refuses to speak or respond, and So-ah says that jealousy is better than no jealousy, but since she’s never been with a jealous guy before, she can’t tell if Ha-baek is being jealous or not. Ha-baek still doesn’t speak, but he takes her hand in his and squeezes it tightly.
When they get home, So-ah offers to make Ha-baek something to eat. Instead he whirls her around and kisses her hard, and though she’s confused, So-ah kisses him back. Ha-baek walks her backwards up the stairs and pushes her onto the couch, never breaking the kiss, but just as things are getting hot and heavy he suddenly jumps up with his hands in the air.
Somehow in total control, he says they should stop, and So-ah blurts out, “Why?!” Ha-baek sticks his nose in the air and says that candy shouldn’t be eaten all at once, then wishes So-ah a good night. ARGH, your time together is limited, why are you wasting it?
Ha, Ha-baek isn’t as composed as he’d like So-ah to think, and he nearly goes right back to her before getting himself under control and going up to his room. In the morning he does frantic push-ups to work off his excess energy, as So-ah sits on the couch, twitching and trying to chase the thoughts of that searing kiss out of her mind.
Her eyes go round as saucers when Ha-baek enters the room, and she sees him surrounded by a bright light and little sparkly hearts. HAHA, is he actually glistening?? Yep, he’s totally glistening, and So-ah even imagines that his collarbone twinkles.
Ha-baek appears cool as a cucumber as he asks to use So-ah’s shower. He heads upstairs, taking his shirt off as he goes, and the sight of his muscular back actually makes So-ah scream, lol. She collapses on the couch, wondering what Ha-baek did to her last night. I think it’s more what he didn’t do to her.
She gets a text from Hu-ye asking to meet with her today, claiming that she should check on her patient. He seems much better, back at work and taking care of business with Secretary Min.
Jaya comes into Hu-ye’s office, tentatively approaching Hu-ye while sneaking little glances at Secretary Min. She has no real excuse for being there, and just stammers and stares at Secretary Min as Hu-ye tells her he has nothing left to discuss with her regarding the mall project. Finally she asks Secretary Min if he’s busy, and Hu-ye stares at them both incredulously.
Once alone, Jaya demands to know why Secretary Min is ignoring her calls, belatedly remembering to call him oppa. He says that he didn’t want to talk to her, snapping that he didn’t tell her about Hu-ye liking So-ah so that she could have her grandfather kick So-ah out of her office space.
Jaya misunderstands, assuming that Secretary Min likes So-ah too. But he says he doesn’t like anyone; he just wants Jaya to become a decent person. He forbids her to contact him until then, and tells her that her plan has failed before walking away.
When So-ah arrives at Hu-ye’s office, she finds him with little Min, drawing pictures of the flowers they planted. So-ah realizes the girl is blind but she doesn’t say anything about it, and Min precociously asks if this is the Yoon So-ah that she overheard Hu-ye talking to, regarding a promise that had to be kept.
Min says that he was in a really good mood at the time, and HAHA, Hu-ye looks so embarrassed. He tries to interject awkwardly, and then he’s saved by Secretary Min’s return.
After sending Min home, Hu-ye explains to So-ah that Min is his neighbor and his only friend, and that her blindness is his fault. He explains that for the first few years he was in the human world, he struggled to control his powers. He tells So-ah that on his first day at his farm, Min’s grandmother left the infant girl alone for a few moments, and she was attacked by a wild dog.
In his haste, he’d used his power to get the dog off of Min, and his power had killed the dog and damaged Min’s eyes. He says that now he feels responsible for Min and lives his life as if it were hers. When So-ah doesn’t respond, he tells her that he’s just decided something—that it’s not a bad idea to enjoy this regardless of her intentions.
So-ah is confused, but Hu-ye just smiles and says she doesn’t need to know what he means. He says that he feels like they’ve met before, a long time ago, remembering her soothing words when she’d given him the backhug. He’d heard those exact words being said once before, but in a man’s voice.
Namsuri responds to a summons from Yeom-mi and finds her asleep in her shop. She talks in her sleep and Namsuri adorably answers her, then leaps back in a fighting stance when she suddenly cries out, hee.
She’s dreaming about So-ah again, unable to hear what So-ah is saying to her. Dream So-ah looks towards the door and says, “That person… that person is the one who saved me, but…” and then her voice fades again. They both see someone walk into the room, shoes soaking wet, but we still don’t see the other person’s face.
Yeom-mi jerks awake with a shriek, startling poor Namsuri all over again. She says that she was dreaming about So-ah bragging about her boyfriend saving her life, then she perks up and decides that Namsuri must really be good for her powers because having him there enabled her to finally hear So-ah.
So-ah cleans the office in anticipation of the building’s new owner coming to visit, but Sang-yoo gets a call from a sick friend and has to leave. Knowing that Ha-baek is on his way to pick her up, So-ah picks up her phone to call him, and she’s startled when she imagines him posing on the screen.
She shakes it off and face-times Ha-baek, choosing an app that adds little kitten ears and whiskers to her face. Ha-baek’s reaction is funny, but not as funny as So-ah’s when his image morphs into a picture of his broad, bare sexy shoulders. She screams, and Ha-baek screams back, and So-ah quickly hangs up. LOL.
Ha-baek heads out and finds Bi-ryum standing in So-ah’s living room. Bi-ryum grumpily says that Mura made him come and listen to Ha-baek, and Ha-baek says again that Mo-myung died because of him, and that he’s lived all this time without even knowing it.
He apologizes to Bi-ryum, adding that Hu-ye was probably trying to protect Nak-bin. Bi-ryum says that he needs time to process this, but Ha-baek stops him before he leaves.
HA, Bi-ryum tells Mura later that Ha-baek asked for money, even trying to make it a kingly order. Bi-ryum had refused, and Mura warns him never to give Ha-baek money. Bi-ryum grins at her temper tantrum and asks if he can kiss her, but she snarls at him to drive, so he suggests they do something even naughtier at home.
So-ah is about to jump out of her skin as she waits for Ha-baek, so she goes to get drinks for the building owner. Ha-baek arrives before she comes back, and he’s not pleased to find Hu-ye waiting in So-ah’s office.
Hu-ye says that he’s here as the new landlord, then when Ha-baek doesn’t know what that means, Hu-ye smirks that it’s someone that’s sometimes more powerful than a god. Ha-baek tells Hu-ye to get lost, but Hu-ye just reminds Ha-baek that he’ll still be here with So-ah when Ha-baek returns to the Realm of the Gods.
Just as Ha-baek seems about to throw a punch, So-ah returns, and she’s confused as to why Hu-ye is here. Ha-baek orders her not to speak to Hu-ye, tosses Hu-ye the keys, and tells him to lock up on his way out, and pulls So-ah out of the office.
Ha-baek drives like a bat out of hell as So-ah smiles at his obvious display of jealousy. She chirps that he’s charming even when he’s jealous, earning an incredulous look from Ha-baek and completely defusing his anger.
They decide to go see the sunset, and they end up on a rock outcropping looking over the sea. As the sun goes down, So-ah tells Ha-baek that she came here once with her parents, but they argued so much that it just made her anxious.
She asks what Ha-baek is thinking about, and he says, “Tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, and the day after that. A day when I’m no longer here with you.” So-ah tells him to only think of today, and reminds him that he once told her about people who are able to live the rest of their lives with the memories of today, and ha, Ha-baek doesn’t remember saying that.
Darkness falls, and So-ah muses that when something fades in the sun it becomes history, and if it’s bathed in moonlight it becomes a myth. She says that their story will become a myth, and Ha-baek leans over and kisses her, for a very long time.
And then we see So-ah falling into the river, sinking deep underwater.
There was a lot of character growth in this episode, with nearly everyone showing how much they’ve learned and matured recently. Unfortunately, the one piece of information I was most looking forward to didn’t really help me—knowing the truth about why Bi-ryum hates Hu-ye so badly does nothing to make me less sympathetic towards Hu-ye. He’s still being held accountable for something he did as a child, without knowing any better or having been taught how to control his deadly powers. And yet, whenever he accidentally hurts someone, he doesn’t lash out or blame others for provoking him—he turns inward, blaming himself and punishing himself more than Bi-ryum ever could. He truly is a good person, as So-ah says.
But I don’t believe that Bi-ryum is a villain either; he’s just someone who lost a friend in a tragic accident and is dealing with a lot of leftover grief and guilt. I’m glad to know that he didn’t go after Hu-ye in the first place as I’d feared, and that what happened truly was an unexpected accident. I do feel bad for Bi-ryum that even after over a thousand years, his own self-blame is strong enough that he can’t get over the way Mo-myung died. While it’s no excuse for the way he’s treated Hu-ye, I can understand why he’s angry, and that seeing his friend’s killer walking around, free and successful, brings all that fury and hatred back to the surface. I honestly don’t think he means to unfairly persecute Hu-ye—in Bi-ryum’s mind, he’s punishing a murderer.
One positive angle on the whole situation is that the conflict between Hu-ye and Bi-ryum does serve a purpose, and that’s that it highlighted why Ha-baek will make a good king. He intervened in their fight without losing his temper or taking sides, then held Bi-ryum accountable for his heinous actions towards another living being, regardless of the fact that Hu-ye is a half-god with the power to kill gods. Not to say that Ha-baek was on Hu-ye’s side—far from it—but he was able to be neutral when neutrality was needed, which is a great quality for a future king.
And I loved how Hu-ye’s distress allowed So-ah to show how much she’s grown emotionally. She used to barely care about her patients, and now she’s willing to put herself in danger to help Hu-ye when he needs her, even in the face of Ha-baek’s disapproval. What she said about Hu-ye’s good works making him like a god to others was beautiful, and the way she said that his deeds would spread like a forest and live forever was exactly what Hu-ye needed to hear. He’s only ever been told that he brings death and destruction, and he needed someone to tell him that regardless of his past accidents, his sum total is that he’s a good man who makes a difference in people’s lives. The fact that it was So-ah who helped him see that just proves how much she’s changed.
But I’m worried about So-ah’s promise to be on Hu-ye’s side, and if it will conflict with Ha-baek’s belief that Hu-ye is an evil that shouldn’t exist. I’m afraid that she’ll have to take sides, and neither decision can have positive consequences. If she takes Hu-ye’s side, Ha-baek will see it as another betrayal and may decide that as the gods’ servant, So-ah deserves to be punished. But if she sides with Ha-baek, it could be the final push that sends Hu-ye to fully embrace his dark side.
The last mystery we have to solve is that of So-ah’s father, and where he’s been all these years. I believe that it was So-ah’s father who rescued Hu-ye, based on how familiar So-ah’s words sounded to him and how he seemed to remember them being said by a man. Plus, if I remember correctly, So-ah’s father disappeared ten years ago, which is when Hu-ye came to the human realm. I have a feeling that when So-ah finds her father, a lot of loose ends are going to come together, though I still can’t predict exactly how things will end. Will Ha-baek and So-ah be able to stay together? Will Ha-baek go back to the Realm of the Gods and become king, or will he choose to stay in the human world for So-ah? Despite all of this show’s flaws, I do still find the central love story beautiful and tragic, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Ha-baek and So-ah choose to live their futures.
- Premiere Watch: Bride of the Water God 2017
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- 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