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Black: Episode 4

Things are finally making more and more sense as we see how all those little details are potentially connected to larger pieces of the puzzle. There are still a lot of questions to explore, but at least the show is well on its way to having Black and Ha-ram become partners against death — provided that she can stop feeling responsible for what happened to Moo-gang and her father.

 
EPISODE 4 RECAP

Black and his old partner watch as Ha-ram’s ex-boyfriend happily walks in the rain. Black’s old partner thinks that Black is cold-blooded and heartless for not pitying the fact that their new assignment looks so happy, unaware that he’ll die soon.

Black scoffs that he’s not human so he has no heart or blood, and besides, it’s odd that his partner is feeling so sentimental — perhaps it’s because this is his partner’s last day as a Reaper.

Black leans on the counter of the fast food restaurant, waiting until it’s time to reap the ex-boyfriend’s soul. Black’s startled when Ha-ram reaches out and touches him (although she thinks she’s touching a Shadow), something no human should be able to do. Even so, it’s not enough to stop the inevitable, and ex-boyfriend gets hit by the Truck of Doom.

Black escorts the ex-boyfriend’s soul to the spirit world, but Black’s old partner stares wistfully at the humans panicking over the tragedy in the street. Black: “Never forget death. We’re always by your side.”

Ha-ram wanders the high school courtyard, wondering where Black went after she pointed out the student with the Shadow. The student lands with a bloody thud in front of her, having been pushed by Black off the building. Ha-ram watches in shock as the Shadow disappears from the boy’s body.

Later that night, she sees Black waiting for her outside her apartment. He asks if she still likes Joon, er, Moo-gang, uh, him. Then he asks her to stay close and be his eyes. Ha-ram finds it suspicious that his attitude towards her has suddenly changed, and it seems like she might have noticed him on the roof right after the boy was pushed.

Black just wants to use her because she can see where the Shadows are hiding, and thus she’ll be able to see what body Loser is inhabiting. But he tells her that they should work together to prevent people from dying like the student, and that she should tell him immediately when she sees a Shadow inside someone else.

Ha-ram angrily asks why he’s suddenly changed his opinion about her — it wasn’t that long ago when he treated her like a stranger and yelled at her to get lost. Why is he suddenly so friendly?

Black sputters that he was shot in the head and lost all his memories (convenient excuse, that). He tells her to forget everything that’s happened up until now and just stick close to him. But Ha-ram refuses, because she blames herself for Moo-gang almost dying. If she hadn’t tried to save the man in the hostage situation, then Moo-gang wouldn’t have ended up taking his place.

Black’s patience is wearing thin, and his Reaper attitude comes out when he forcefully commands her, as a lowly human, to obey his orders. But she yells at him that she won’t. He threatens to pluck her eyes out, and she responds by kicking him in the crotch. Black drops in agonized pain, and Ha-ram angrily returns home.

Man-soo visits his father in the hospital. The old man seems to be doing quite poorly, and Man-soo begs his father to live a long life. His father looks as though he wants to speak, but Man-soo’s brother Man-ho barges in, furious that Man-soo was allowed to see their father.

Man-ho has his bodyguards drag Man-soo out, furious that the doctor allowed Man-soo in. Man-ho then turns his anger to his father, mocking the old man for wanting to be with his youngest son, who is also apparently an illegitimate son. Man-ho reminds his father that he’s is the one cleaning up the mess Dad left behind, but promises to make sure Dad’s funeral is a grand one — provided he dies soon enough.

Black’s back at Moo-gang’s home — with an ice pack held to his crotch, ha — and he grumbles that the only way to find the runaway Reaper is by using Ha-ram. Joseon feels pity for Ha-ram, pointing out that her first love nearly died because of her, so it’s no wonder that she wouldn’t want to follow Black around.

When his phone rings, Black, groaning in pain, asks Joseon to hand it to him — completely forgetting that Reapers can’t touch physical objects. He finally picks it up. The caller is a guy who’s set a coal briquette on fire in his car, which slowly suffocates him.

Man-soo sadly leaves the hospital, vowing to his father that he’ll save Royal Group, no matter what. He then wonders if Ha-ram has kept her promise to investigate the VIP clients. But when he calls her, he hears her phone ring nearby,

He sees her crouched by a bench, downing bottles of soju. She’s just confirmed with Soo-wan that Moo-gang’s memory loss and odd behavior are a direct result of his getting shot.

Man-soo secretly watches as a very drunk Ha-ram sobs that she has no friends, connections, or money, and that because of her Moo-gang nearly died — and her father died because of her, too. She then passes out, and Man-soo gives her a piggy-back ride home (although her drunken flailing don’t exactly make it easy), realizing that she must be just as lonely as he is.

Back at the office, Man-soo studies the file he’s promised Ha-ram. He toys with the idea of giving it to her now, then decides to wait until she’s completed her job for him. He wonders if the man pictured in a photo really killed Ha-ram’s father. Oooh, it’s the guy with the scar from before, and is that Ha-ram’s mother he has his arm around?

A flashback shows the man entering an abandoned building where two boys are hiding — one of them is Joon, another is a younger boy. The man finds the two boys, but as he grabs Joon, the young boy finds a brick and slams it against the man’s face, giving them a chance to go free. I’m assuming that’s how the man got his scar.

Except it’s not a flashback, but Black’s dream. He even nicks himself shaving as he contemplates the fact that he’s experienced something that only humans can do while sleeping.

Joseon and Hip-hop pop out of a closet, startling Black, but as they discuss the events of the previous day, Black wonders why Ha-ram isn’t able to see his Shadow in Moo-gang’s body. She’s looked at him without her sunglasses, so she should be able to see his Shadow the same way she saw the Shadow in the student’s body.

Black realizes that it must be because he’s only ever worn black clothes around her, which hides the Shadow just like her sunglasses do. That means he’ll have to keep wearing black, and when the other two Reapers compliment him on how handsome he looks in in a black suit, just like Brad Pitt in the film Meet Joe Black, Black decides that he’ll be called “Black” from now on (instead of #444, as they’d been previously calling him).

Black heads to work, ignoring the higher ranking officers in the elevator with him because human ranks mean nothing to him. His captain tries to urgently whisper at him to greet the commissioner, but Black just laughs at how the captain’s breath tickles his ear.

Kwang-kyun gets a call from Man-soo — they’ve found Jin-sook’s appointment book which might hold some clues. There doesn’t seem to be particularly anything important in the appointment book, but Kwang-kyun finds a note about a million dollars.

Back at the police station, So-tae receives a speeding ticket notice — but it was from when Moo-gang used the car, which happened to be the day he was shot. So-tae is surprised that the speeding ticket was for an intersection that’s far away from the shopping mall where he was shot. According to the ticket time stamp, Moo-gang should have been headed to the shopping mall.

A couple of detectives from another station arrive to talk to Black (well, technically Moo-gang). They’ve discovered that the man who attempted to kill himself in his car was the person who shot Moo-gang. Black says he’s never seen the man before in his life, although the detectives think there must be more to it.

Soo-wan reads articles about Jin-sook’s death, remembering the last time they talked. Jin-sook said that she needed money to repay a loan, so she told “that man” that she had the tape and to pay her a million dollars for it. But first Soo-wan has to give her the tape.

Except Soo-wan doesn’t have the tape, and she thought “that man” took it with him. Freaking out, she warned Jin-sook that if she doesn’t want to die, then Jin-sook shouldn’t meet with him. After she hung up, she wonders where that tape disappeared to, and if Moo-gang found it since he asked her about it that night on the roof.

If Moo-gang did find it, though, then it’d be hidden in his secret basement room. Soo-wan decides to find the tape and destroy it, in order to protect her and Moo-gang.

The sniper who tried to kill Moo-gang is in the hospital. His suicide may have been unsuccessful, but he’s still in bad condition because of the smoke inhalation. Black visits him, since the man wants to talk to him, but minutes after Black enters the hospital room, all the machines start beeping as the man goes into shock.

The other detective is curious to know what the sniper told Black, and as Black walks away, he casually says that the man said he was sorry.

Man-soo has a new list of VIP clients for Ha-ram to investigate, but she protests when she sees that one of them lives in Mujin, which is nowhere near Seoul. Man-soo says that the man is a close friend of his father’s, so he wants Ha-ram to be extra sure that everything is fine with him.

Soo-wan tries to figure out the code to Moo-gang’s secret room, but she’s unable to open it. She hears a sound and then quietly slips away, just as Black returns home. He sees her leave, but doesn’t seem particularly concerned or interested in what she was doing.

Instead, Black reflects on what the sniper told him — the man did indeed apologize, but he also confessed that he was forced to shoot Moo-gang. It was no accident. The man starts to go into shock when he tells Black that someone will try to kill Moo-gang again.

Black’s takeaway from the man’s confession is that Moo-gang would have died no matter what that day, and that Moo-gang becoming the hostage wasn’t Ha-ram’s fault. If she realizes that it wasn’t her fault, then she’ll probably agree to work with him.

Haha, Black bewilders So-tae when he suddenly arrives at the police station via a closet. Black tries to figure out where Moo-gang must have been going that day based on the speeding ticket, and So-tae wonders why Black keeps referring to himself in the third person. Pffft.

Black goes to the parking garage security office to study the CCTV recording from the day of the shooting, looking for Moo-gang’s car. Black realizes that Moo-gang was actually headed to the hotel across from the mall. Black remembers seeing Moo-gang in the hotel hallways, back when Black was hunting down Loser.

Black tracks down the parking attendant that Moo-gang had paid to get the original hostage’s mother, and has the attendant tell Ha-ram that Moo-gang was actually headed to the hotel, not the mall that day. Ha-ram is surprised, since she thought Moo-gang was the one who went to get the man’s mother.

As she clarifies what happened that day, Black hilariously has to keep forcing himself to speak in first person (since he’s supposed to be Moo-gang). Ha-ram suddenly realizes that the original vision she saw had two gunshots — one for the hostage, and one for Moo-gang who was right behind them.

Black points out that if the hostage was whomever who went to pick up the old woman, the person who would have been shot in the end should have been the parking attendant. That means Ha-ram’s intervention didn’t result in Moo-gang being shot.

Black then brings her to a restaurant where the original hostage is having lunch with his mother. Black tells Ha-ram that if it weren’t for her, that man would be dead, and he wouldn’t be able to care for his aged mother.

Black makes a passionate plea for Ha-ram and him to work together to save lives, adding that if she hadn’t ignored the shadow in the student’s body, that student might still be alive right now. Ohhhhh, that’s just cruel.

Ha, then his stomach gurgles. Time to eat!

Ha-ram is surprised when Black scarfs down his soup, since Joon/Moo-gang never liked to eat intestines before. At any rate, she’s relieved that she’s not responsible for Moo-gang being shot. Black’s just happy she’ll be working for him, but then stares at her in surprise when she tells him that she’ll think about it.

After all, she already has another job, and then panics when she realizes how late it is and how long it’ll take her to get to Mujin. Before she leaves, she gives Black the photo of her and Joon when they were young. She hopes it will help revive his memory.

Kwang-kyun is also headed to Mujin. He’s still investigating Jin-sook’s murder, and thanks to her appointment book, he knows she supposedly met with someone there.

While Kwang-kyun waits for CCTV footage from near where Jin-sook should have been, he visits Mujin’s police chief commissioner, who happens to be an old friend and sunbae from back when Kwang-kyun used to be stationed there — with Ha-ram’s father. Ooooh.

The chief commissioner is delighted to see Kwang-kyun again, although when Kwang-kyun copies the CCTV footage to a flash drive, the chief seems really nervous about what might be on it. Kwang-kyun hurries back to Seoul to investigate the footage in more detail.

Ha-ram also wants to see the chief commissioner, since he’s the Royal Insurance VIP client on her list. As she hangs around the entrance of the police station, she gets a call from Black, which she ignores. The chief commissioner leaves the station just then, causing Ha-ram to scramble to find a taxi to follow the his car since she didn’t see him go by.

Black is furious that Ha-ram won’t answer his calls, especially after all he’s done to convince her that she wasn’t responsible for Moo-gang being shot. The wise Joseon Reaper points out that they have an even more serious problem, since if someone tried to kill Moo-gang, then they’ll try again. If Moo-gang dies again, then Black won’t be able to continue using Moo-gang’s body.

It’s not just that Moo-gang is useful as a detective — if Ha-ram is the only way he’ll be able to track down Loser, then the fact Moo-gang is her first love means she’ll be more likely to help than if Black looked like a complete stranger.

Black gets a call from the sniper in the hospital, and listens to a conversation between the sniper and another man. Black barges into the sniper’s room by way of the bathroom, discovering that the sniper is dead.

Black sees another guy waiting for him — it’s the masked man from before, the one who tried to steal Moo-gang’s eyes and who’s been spying on him with the telescope. They fight each other, but the other man manages to inject Black with something. Black chases the man down, but whatever he’s been injected with starts to take effect, and Black stumbles, unable to keep running.

He manages to stagger to a public bathroom, using the stall door to teleport back to Moo-gang’s house before he completely passes out.

Ha-ram’s taxi finally manages to catch up to the chief commissioner when he suddenly breaks to avoid hitting a small boy. When the chief commissioner steps out of the car to make sure the boy is okay, Ha-ram confirms that there’s no Shadow.

She reports back to Man-soo, and then stops at a convenience store. She sees the boy there, hiding from the sleeping cashier as he happily stuffs his face with stolen chocolate. Ha-ram takes him to the police station so they can find his family.

The cops there tell her that he’s actually the son of another cop who’s been frantically searching for his son. It seems like the boy makes it a habit of disappearing and wandering around, so the cops aren’t particularly concerned.

As Ha-ram waits with the boy, she sees a Shadow suddenly appear next to him. A vision reveals that the boy will be put into a suitcase and buried.

When his parents finally arrive, they apologize for their son — he has a sweet tooth, but can’t have candy because of a sugar sensitivity, so he often runs away whenever he wants to eat something sweet.

Ha-ram desperately tells them that they shouldn’t let their son leave the house, and even though she feels that she’s done her job, she can’t shake the image of the boy’s body in the suitcase.

The chief commissioner stops by Jin-sook’s husband’s house. He asks to see a picture of Jin-sook when she was younger. Jin-sook’s her husband, who seems to be permanently drunk ever since his wife was found in the freezer, hauls out an old photo album.

The chief commissioner flips through the album, then stops at a photo of a teenaged Jin-sook, his eyes growing wide with shock. Behind him, a Shadow appears.

The drugs finally wear off and Black wakes up with a massive headache. Ha, Joseon and Hip-hop are just glad he’s regained consciousness so he can turn the TV on for them.

Black grumpily wonders what the heck Moo-gang was up to before he died, and recalls the secret room in the basement. He tries to teleport there, but because the door is locked, teleportation won’t work. Ahhh, so that explains why toilets are such a popular Reaper portal, since the unlocked stalls mean easy access.

Black attempts to open the locked door to the secret room, but kicking at the handle doesn’t do him any good. He peers through the peep hole, but it’s actually the retina scan, and the door unlocks after it scans Moo-gang’s eye.

Cautiously, Black enters the secret room. He finds the walls covered in photos and news articles about a building collapse in Mujin that killed hundreds of lives. He also sees a TV with a tape sticking out of the VCR. He pops it in, but there’s only static.

Black sees a photo of Joon, recognizing him from the photo Ha-ram gave him earlier. Joon’s standing with the young boy from his dream. Hearing a doorbell, Black leaves the secret room — although he doesn’t fully lock the door behind him, and as he tosses the photo aside, it wedges itself between the step and the wall.

The video starts to play, and it’s the woman from Moo-gang’s memory, the one whose body was found buried twenty years later. The woman makes sure the tape is recording, and then has Soo-wan — or Seon-young, as she’s known then — introduce herself, showing her school records as proof that she’s a middle school student. Then the woman tells Seon-young to undress.

Black opens the front gate to reveal Ha-ram, who tells him that she’ll help him. She promises to stick by his side, and then asks him to help her save a life.

 
COMMENTS

Well, I’d hate to live in Mujin. It seems like all the issues our main characters are dealing with come from there, in some sort of grand, massive conspiracy that’s currently tangled but will hopefully make sense. All I know so far is that twenty years ago, Soo-wan/Seon-young and her friend Jin-sook were caught up in what I am assuming is a child pornography ring, and there are some terrible guys out there who would do anything to prevent people from finding out about it (such as the scar-faced guy, the super shady chief commissioner, and whomever put Jin-sook in the freezer). There’s also apparently other issues of corruption in Mujin, based on the articles in Moo-gang’s secret room.

Then there’s the mystery of how Joon/Moo-gang was caught up in it all, and who the little boy is with him in both the dream and the photo — a younger brother, perhaps? My wild shot-in-the-dark guess is that it’s a young Man-soo, since he’s an illegitimate son from a mistress, and is maybe the reason Joon and his mother moved to Seoul. Not that he’s necessarily Joon’s blood brother, but maybe Joon’s mother was raising him for some reason — maybe his real mother died? Considering that it’s implied the sketchy chief commissioner sorta bought his way up to his rank, the powerful forces of Royal Group could be supporting him. As Man-soo told Ha-ram, the chief commissioner is a close friend of his father’s, so maybe they grew up in Mujin together. Maybe the store that collapsed was owned by Royal Group, and Moo-gang has been trying to gather evidence that Royal Group is secretly terrible and killing people. Which is why, in turn, they want to kill him.

I don’t really know why I assume that Man-soo’s terrible older brother Man-ho is the one pulling the strings to kill Moo-gang, but I don’t feel too far off track, if only because Man-ho is seriously the worst. I didn’t think there could be anyone more arrogant and snobby than Black, but apparently there is, and I fully support any effort to destroy Man-ho.

I also can’t help but wonder if Moo-gang purposefully found a way to be partnered with Kwang-kyun. I find it hard to believe that Moo-gang didn’t know Kwang-kyun was a detective in Mujin (and apparently worked with Ha-ram’s father). This makes me assume that one of the reasons Ha-ram’s father was killed had something to do with those tapes and whatever conspiracy theory is hidden in Mujin. I can totally believe that Moo-gang — the Moo-gang with the secret room, the speeding ticket, and the mysterious meeting at the hotel, not the bumbling Moo-gang that vomits at crime scenes — believed that Kwang-kyun must know something about whatever happened twenty years ago.

It’s just a pity that Moo-gang’s dead. I think. I don’t know how long a soul can last if a Reaper’s taken over a body, or if there’s even hope for the soul to re-enter its original body.

Side note: If Ha-ram did manage to commit suicide, would she have become a Reaper? I feel like technically she would have, but considering she’s seen the Death Shadows all her life, I feel like she should be given an exception, since the reason she would have committed suicide was due to spending a lifetime feeling helpless around death, so it’s actually the Reapers’ fault that she would have killed herself at all. I wonder how she would react if she became a Shadow herself — she’d probably think that she has the worst luck in the world. Then again, I would be delighted if she became Black’s partner in Reaperdom, driving him crazy as she terrorizes him with her instinctive desire to save people even in the afterlife.

Which is why I’m glad that the show seems to have finally begun Ha-ram and Black’s partnership. Even though I’m curious about all the various mysteries and how they’ll eventually come together to reveal some grand conspiracy, I mostly want to see Black and Ha-ram work together to save people’s lives — especially children’s lives.

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Thank you, odilettante, for the recap! I really appreciate all your theories on how everything is going to pan out!

I am finally starting to warm up to 444 as a character. When he was first introduced, I just missed Moo Gang most of the time. I am really enjoying to lore of the grim reapers, and I think it is hilarious that 444 desperately needs Ha Ram's eyes. They are certainly an unlikely pair. I look forward to watching how these two work together as they solve the mystery of who is trying to kill Moo Gang.

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Well, this story is finally starting to draw me in a little. The humor can be a little puerile though but I’ve heard a lot worse.
It’s still a little confusing and I really hope they use Lee El well!

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Why is it that all the best physical gags are centered on Black’s privates?

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Episode 4 is the best up till now, attaining a right balance between mystery, action and humour. The first two episodes can feel draggy and ponderous (that is why I guess they need that slapstick humour to lighten things up and keep audience glued), and the third not enough action. I agree with some of the comments that the long exposition on how things work in the Reaper land should have been done earlier, or perhaps scattered and merged with the flow of the plot, but anyway by now we could get the plot moving since the rules are explained. The action scene and the chase after the needle man are really well-done, and remind me that this is the director of Voice, that drama I love so much. I feel this writer, after having her previous work God's Gift adapted into a US remake, must have spent quite some time studying American mystery/crime dramas. There are many echoes in this drama that nod to these favourite tropes, including the constant switch between scenes and parallel plot developments. She may have yet to perfect her craft, but I like that more variety is introduced into Kdrama.

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Just want to say that I really enjoy reading your comments in this thread, probably because we love the same genre (noir/crime), though I was/am still too chicken to watch Voice, ha!

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Thanks a lot! Noir/crime is indeed my fav.

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I'm glad Haram seems to now be on board Project Save People! It's going to so funny and weird to see Black save people instead of reaping them. I like how she didn't agree to Black's plan right away even after he cleared up her non-role in Moo-gang's death. She made this decision herself after she saw that little boy's death.

I like and don't like that I can't figure out Moo-gang. He has childish tastes and is very squeamish (and I don't think he was faking the squeamishness), but also pretty sharp. Odilettante, that was a good observation that Moo-gang probably got himself partnered up with Kwang-kyun on purpose since Kwang-kyun was in Mujin 20 years ago.

I'm surprised that Soo Wan had not been freaked out that her boyfriend has a basement room with an electronic lock. He could have a secret family in there that he is holding hostage. You'd think she'd be more suspicious after what she'd gone through.

I think it is hilarious that Moo-gang's coworkers are so annoyed by him but have to check themselves because poor Moo-gang was shot in the head and now the poor dude is just abnormal.

Question: how do Grim Reapers move on? And did Black's old partner know Kwang-kyun? The way the beginning scene was filmed made it look like he recognized Kwang-kyun.

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I read a comment somewhere that 444's old partner, who looked so longingly at Kwang-kyun, is actually his son who committed suicide.

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My guess is that Moo-gang is the younger brother together with Joon (who is now dead) and traumatised by Joon's death. Probably even blamed himself for Joon's death. That is why he vomits at the sight of bodies and blood, and why everything about him, including the way he dresses, is stuck in childhood. Since then he has vowed to avenge Joon and takes after Joon in every way he can, including the red wrist band of Joon. That is why he does not recognize Haram. His mother, the doctor, says he almost died when young and that she almost despaired of his ever recovering.

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Judging from original Moo-gang's betrayed reaction when he found out about her connection to Mujin, I think he must have shared his research with Soo-wan, so she probably have some clue about what's in the basement. Man, I'd hate to be Soo-wan right now, with people threatening to open up her hidden past and wanting her to produce tape she doesn't have, plus boyfriend with an M.I.A brain.

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Who is that needle man who could even overpower the Reaper with his superman abilities? He must be more than a mere human. Up till now the Reaper has received two poison shots, and though he has recovered but I feel his supernatural powers will steadily decline, at the same time that he becomes more human emotionally. He even cuts himself when shaving and red warm blood comes out, a signal of his increasing humanity. To be human is to be vulnerable, and the moment of his full-blown humanity would coincide with his complete loss of Reaper power. This would be a journey toward self-annihilation but also re-birth.

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I am having a hard time to 'like' this drama. despite this drama's interesting trope (reaper, the girl that can see death, crime-thriller, fantasy) which I really dig, there is this niggling feeling ever since they showed that Moo Gang is indeed, dead. Like dead, dead. Not dead and turns into reaper, dead.

I feel like I cannot wholeheartedly root for our hero eventhough he changed his name to Black, because I know back in my mind that he is not the real Moo Gang. He is 444 that 'borrows' Moo Gang's body for the time being. Which is why it saddens me, that eventhough I initially like the show, I cannot wholeheartedly accept it, when I usually can turn a blind eye with plot holes and bad acting. There might be something else to be revealed, maybe, but for now that how I feel about this show, and I really wish I can change how I feel about this drama because I really like its premise.

BTW, our real Moo Gang, I think he has some hidden side. The way he vomits or reacts when he saw the corpse, it feels like it was intentional. Like he directed his partner towards some clues on the corpses so that his partner can see what they are missing. Who knows, he might pretend to be clumsy when actually he is the sharpest bunch. He is the character I wish to root, and I never thought he is dead...

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Am enjoying Black's antics, but am rooting for original Moo-gang too. Still crossing fingers he'll make an appearance later on, somehow! And crossing fingers for his happy ending too, tho it seems somewhat impossible for him to be alive once again...

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I think he is not really dead. All other people who die become spirits, like in the case of Haram's ex boyfriend in the first episode. They look clean, without blood or gore, and watch on at their own dead bodies. But Moo-gang looks bloody, and he manages to come back to his own house to confront 444. 444 blames his reaper friends for not keeping Moo-gang under locks, and I feel that he may still lurk around. Very likely he would come back and unite with Haram, after the Reaper comes to his own demise, whatever that may be.

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That's what I thought so too, which I hope is true because if this not-so-real Moo Gang aka 444 keeps on living inside Moo Gang's body until the end of this drama, I think I will be frustrated.

I think another reason why I am so frustrated with the story is because it doesn't play the way I expected, which is to have real Moo Gang turns to reaper, falls in love with Ha Ram and solve cases. This premise is what I initially thought, turns out I was so wrong! But in this drama, we have 444 as Moo Gang, which is actually another soul residing in another body, and because of that I am a little bit skeptical if they will do romance stuff, if any. I guess, only time will tell. I am not asking to be right, but I hope to see where this drama is heading (I hate surprises ;p)

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Ah—It would be interesting to survey potential viewers about what they expected the show to be based on trailers and teaser posters.

I never imagined that there would've been a previous relationship between the Grim Reaper and Ho Ram. I figured he'd have his own body and face. Moo Gang does add a wrinkle here and I'm rooting for his soul to come back.

Black/444 is a bit a jerk so it'll be interesting to see how MG's memories and this relationship with HR change Black.

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Yea to think that ajhussi 444, inhaling the body of Moogang, would fall in love with Haram does beg belief. Just not buying it. They look like father and daughter.

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At this point, the pairings that'd make me happy will be original Moo-gang + Soo-wan, Ha-ram + Man-soo and Black + humanity 😁

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Like you, I'm ambivalent about the show. I like the premise of the show and enjoy the flashes of humor and cleverness. I appreciate a complex plot but this show is definitely not in the same league as Forest of Secrets.

At this point, Black is ice-cream, a candy bar, a bowl of pop corn. I'm not deeply invested in the characters but I like the aesthetics and I'm curious to see how the grim reaper/conspiracy storyline spools out. And, boy oh boy, Song Seung-heon looks great in a black suit.

Here's one thing I'll say for Ho-ram. As downtrodden as she is, she stood up to Black's threats. (I'll scoop your eyes out!") Her strength is that she's stronger than anyone gives her credit for. There's potential in this character and I want to see her do more than walk around crying and slack-jawed.

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Sorry @doubt_no_more—forgot to close my tag. Didn't mean this to look shouty.

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SSH is indeed a hottie here.

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I like this show. Its like rolling down a hill in a rubbish bin. Although it does have some overall logic, its hard to gather up close.

It is a particularly brave show in the way it has introduced the story and it is trusting the audience to stay for the style and small nuggets as we start to figure it out.

For me, this uncertainty is great (except for part of ep2 which sent me for a loop). In a mystery, the overly knowing audience (fed all the information), and lineal plot undermines the search for information and that frisson of tension we need to feel to believe the show.

Have to say this is the best thing I have seen Song Seung-Heon in. All his flaws in other shows are his strength here.

Here he is acting as if he is in a totally separate reality. Its not just aloofness. Its so like a Andy Goldsworthy installation - where the opposite reveals the pattern in the everyday.

Just sending some love for the comments and a really interesting show. I hope it keeps it going.

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Joseon and Hip-hop pop out of a closet

Gives a whole new meaning to coming out of the closet.

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yeah!!! I made a comment about that in my twitter account. So funny somebody else thought about it too!!! xD

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Thanks so much odilettante for the recaps. I do hope the recaps could come out a bit earlier, and not on Thursdays and Fridays when the drama is almost a week old. There is so much to talk about and speculate that I check this blog several times everyday just to see your recaps. Not wanting to overburden you, though. Anyway really love your recaps.

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I don't know why but I am having so much fun with this show. It's just so crazy, melodramatic, and spooky but also knows how to have fun. Everything is heightened and stylized in a surprisingly tonally cohesive way.

I'm basically just rooting for Ha-ram to finally catch a break and be awesome. The mysteries have too many tangled threads for me to keep track of right now. Black/#444/not-Moo-gang is literally the comic relief (which I kind of love), so I'm not very invested in his storyline. Regardless, after watching a bunch of heavy legal/crime dramas, this off-the-walls crazy drama is a welcome breath of fresh air.

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Black/#444/not-Moo-gang

Ha!

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THIS, totally dig your comment! I also had premature thoughts like the grim reaper will rent Han moowang's body for a while, fall in love with ha ram, and then solve cases together. But this show is nothing like I imagined. But coming from the writer of God's gift, I should have known better lol. The first two episodes were all over the place, I could care less for the graphic scenes,which was borderline nasty.😶 But now after couple of episodes, I am glad that grim reaper and ha ram are two different individuals and there is so much to the story than the usual boy meets girl and solve cases types. The show makes us feel like we are watching a compact mystery thriller with so many puzzles planted, and I am earnestly hoping that the show doesn't go 'oh my ghostess' route. Though there could be some silent feelings and someone would stay dead for sure, like how it went with God's gift, but I love a good old mystery with questions. But yeah Lee el is being underutilized here. This woman so needs to be lead of her own show. 😕

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I'm starting to enjoy this show with each episode. Nearly gave it up after Episode 2 but the last two episodes have shown significant progress. I like that it's not straight-up procedural and we're peppered with some dark comedy every now and then. Can Song Seung-heon do more rom-coms from now on? Haha!

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Yes! The dark comedy really helps this show. It would be insufferable if it took itself completely seriously.

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I think one of the recaps mentioned this.. episodes 2-4 feel like a different drama form ep 1. I, on the other hand, proffered episode 1. Episodes 2-4 are like much better versions of the way I feared the story would go. Some haughty godlike being and a human making slapstick jokes that are 20years old. It’s like that but as I said, much more better.
Episode 1, on the other hand, was what reeled me in. I loved most of the things people complained about. The many mysteries that had me so curious to find out. It made me pay attention to every detail because I felt it had every potential to be great. And real Moo-gang was already mysterious enough before adding the 444. Regardless, I’d have preferred if the drama continued with the tone of the first episode but it’s still doing well in its own right. I’m still enjoying it.

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It is so funny how grim reapers love watching korean makjang dramas., like they dont have enough drama in their world. They all so addicted to them.. Hahaha. Even grim reapers in Goblin was so attached to one particular family drama. That part is so amusing!

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The assumption about black clothes acting as shield and camouflaging with black shadow, and, the reason why Ha Ram not seeing the black shadow inside Moogang's body is such a loophole. When Black possessed Moo gang's body when he was in hospital, and he was in hospital gown which is white, why at that time Ha Ram didnt see the shadow?
What i feel is that she is unable to see pure descendants of reapers. She is able to see suicide reapers, but not the pure ones. I hope my assumption is proven correct at the end.

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Good theory.

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I have the same theory. And I have a feeling they will address this issue again since the 'black clothes' theory wasn't presented as fact yet. It was only the reapers assuming that that was the reason why Haram can't see the shadow in Moo Gang's body.

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Erm. She did see Black right? That’s why she told her ex not to leave the burger joint. Because she saw the ex with a shadow. Through Black’s flashback, it was shown that she did see him, avoided looking at him, and even touched him.

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It's a good theory. I thought it was a bit weird too that she didn't saw the shadow when he was at the hospital

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I really want to know SooWan's story ...

And am rooting for her and her boyfriend ....

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This drama works backwards in plot and I am enjoying this.
I think kdrama use to work in forward mode, that everything needs to be shown in the 1st ep rather than the problem while in this drama, the problem is what shown in the 1st ep rather than the character.

I like the mystery and the joke got to me a lot, they make black such a rude ass and it's entertaining cause he has no clue of what is wrong.
There is hardly anything to be certain but it feels that we are learning in the moment with our character, the may make the wrong assumption and so does us but it always feels like we are one step closer.

I am rooting for black and haram partnership, here or perhaps in the afterlife

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Classic structure of a noir detective story. Problem/crime/body first, then everything worked backwards to round up a full circle.

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I finally caught up with all 4 episodes today (thanks Netflix).

This series is AWESOME. I’m living the mix of dark, humour, crime, badassery, and grit. Combine it with a supernatural/fantasy component and Bam! Magic.

Love Ha-Ram’s grit. Love 444/Black’s arrogant panache. Love the sidekick reapers and their antics...

Can’t wait to see how the story pans out.

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Did you binge all four episodes together? That might be the best way to dive into this series ...

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Binged over 2 days... something I rarely do unless I’m really hooked, which I totally am this early on.

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After I finished ep 2 I was decided to drop this. But I saw ep 3-4 's ratings and since they went up I got curious. To my surprise it got better and it is shaping up. I like Black, even when his (or the writer's) kind of humor is a lot sometimes.

Am I the only one who think's #444 looks like Tae Kyung (you're beautiful) grew up, killed himself and turned into a reaper? LOL He looks a lot like the older version of Jang Geum Suk

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Now that you mention it, yes, I can see the “resemblance”. Fine on the eyes...

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Why do I find SSH so attractivein this drama??? Dammit

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Because he is! ;-)

He was hot stuff in the Joseon timeline of SAIMDANG, LIGHT'S DIARY, too.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he keeps on keeping on as the reanimated Mu-gang. It would break my heart to get Jinned after this auspicious start. ;-)

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Dude, I'm absolutely hooked to this drama. I love the murder mystery and the fantasy part.

I really want to know how they'll spin this romance part. At this point I think Black and Ha Ram will fall in love, but why did they spin the whole childhood love story with Moo Gang? That doesn't really make sense since the person Ha Ram falls in love with will be Black?

And the idea that Ha Ram can't see the shadows behind Moo Gang/Black because he wears black is BS, because she's seen Black in a hospital gown and she saw no shadow! I'm waiting for the writers to reveal the truth....

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Here’s my very early theory of how this will play out... (subject to change of course, lol).

I think it will be Black and Ha-Ram who fall in love. However, I think there will be some kind of “merging” of Black and Moo Gang in that they become one and the same person. I base this on the fact that Black is starting to experience Moo Gang’s dreams/nightmares. Why, unless they are starting to be connected?

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Yeah I thought of that before that too! Moo Gang and Black will eventually become one person and will fall in love with Ha Ram. Although I kind of suspect that Moo Gang is actually Joon's little brother, and Joon died long time ago. So many questions!!

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@Napkiin,

Thanks for that clue that Joon and Mu-gang may not be the same person. I think I may have to go back and rewatch from the beginning, even tho' I've already watched through episode 6.

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NP.

After watching episode 6 I firmly believe Joon and Moo Gang aren't the same person... Moo Gang and Joon both have different mothers. 444 might actually be the real Joon, not Moo Gang. Ahh so many questions!

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Just done with ep 5, and I’m more confused than ever. Why is it that 444 can see Moo Gang’s/Joon’s memories? Perhaps 444 is Joon (instead of this pure breed reaper he thinks he is) and Moo Gang is Moo Gang, the younger boy between the two? Why on earth is Joon Oppa’s name not Moo Gang by the way. Did I miss it out anywhere?

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Joon and Moo Gang also have different last names, Kim Joon and Han Moo Gang, I'm slowly thinking that they're 2 different people...

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Agreed. Remember the 1st episode, Black dive into the sea and hug a corpse saying "This is me?!"

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Isn't it normal for black to see moo gang's dreams since he has his body in the first place? The old reaper also explains this part on EP 6.

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Was she wearing her sunglasses in those scenes?

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I honestly still don't understand the connection between a short scene about the newlyweds who got into a car accident and the reaper said 'One must not look into the eyes of anyone who’s in love. If he does, then a horrible tragedy will befall him'. Does this mean Black will be tangled up in a love line or what? I just cant move on with this such cryptic message.

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I think the bride is Ha-Ram’s mother. The reaper who looked into her eyes took over the dead groom and became Ha-Ram’s father.

The mother eventually figured something was “wrong” with her husband and that’s why she told Ha-Ram on the hospital rooftop that he was meant to die.

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If the lesser reapers are suicide reapers, then maybe the "natural born" reapers are born from the souls and resentment of people who got killed by murder or violent death but had their memories whiped to avoid them getting revenge? Maybe 444 was Joon in a previous life. Hence the flashbacks, or maybe if reapers inhabit a body to long, they become human?
Also, it would seem that 444,Haram and Joon where meant to cross paths, because 444 got the death bubbles for both Joon and Haram, does that mean they where destined to die together at the same time or just a trick to bring 444 to them? And if Ha ram did commit suicide, she would probably end up a reaper and black his new partner. I get the feeling that the "old man" up top wants Black and Haram together. Joon, his body reacted to his (ex) girlfriend (heart fluttering) even when it is inhabited by another soul but it's Black that gets impressed more and more about Haram. and drawn to her.
If Ha ram her dad was really a reaper, in the body of her dad, then that means she is part natural born reaper and part human, so literally with one leg in the underworld and another in life. Wonder what would happen if she did end up as a reaper with that kind of heritage :) Ireally like Joseon (agent 007 lol) and 416 (hip hop), considering their numbers, they are way older then black so i don't get why he treats them like they are less then him. Josean especially, being the oldest one seems to be the one most "hip" to modern culture and human emotions. they both of them crack me up..show me the money!! I'm curious to see where this show is going. But they better not "off" Joseon of Hip hop.

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This is a mini series if I'm assuming right? How the heck will he fall in lover with her and solve the whole moogang mystery in just freaking 4 episodes? I just wish they had like 16 episodes or something!!

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I genuinely thought that Reaper was staring longingly at the older cop not the dead body. To the point where I said out loud ‘who is he? Your son, brother .. lover?’

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Wow Black is an asshole. I'm finding it hard to root for him as a character. I'm assuming there will be serious character growth for him and it can't come soon enough.

As for Joon Oppa - yeah, he dead. I mean, so is Han Moo-gang but I mean that Han Moo-gang wasn't Kim Joon. I'm about 85% sure he was the younger boy.

I was a bit disappointed that the tantalising mystery of why Ha-Ram couldn't see Black was "he was wearing black". I should go back and make sure she had her sunglasses on in the scenes where he's in a hospital gown because if she doesn't then that is a mistake.

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I always assumed that Moo-Gang was just faking with the vomiting and that. Especially based on the fact that he served in the military if I'm nit mistaken.

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THE DOOR.. HE LEFT THE DOOR OPEN 🤦🏻🤦🏻🤦🏻🤦🏻🤦🏻 NOOO.....

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