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Hwayugi: Episode 3

It’s been quite a couple of weeks for Hwayugi, and to be honest I was actually surprised that tvN ended up airing the show this weekend. (Nutshell version: After the controversy erupted over the injured staffer, filming shut down for four days for safety inspections, a press conference was given, and questions were raised about the future of the show. In the end, the show hired on a third PD, Nine and Bride of the Water God director Kim Byung-soo, to head a C team for filming.) As of now, we appear to be back to a regular airing schedule, but we’ll see if that remains the case.

It’s really a shame for the show itself, because I enjoy the story and find the adaptation clever, and particularly love the twist we get in today’s episode. The show is funny and romantic and interesting, but it’s been so overshadowed by the production issues that the narrative and creative work has taken a backseat. I hope for the show’s sake that it can find a way to stand on its merits.

 
EPISODE 3 RECAP

We resume where we left off: Sun-mi, the ghost-seeing girl with the unfortunate fate of monk Sam-jang, learns that Monkey King Sohn Oh-gong has been trapped inside the picture world she’d escaped. Moreover, because of the promise he made her as a child, she now holds the unique power to call Oh-gong back to this world—something his frenemy Mawang hadn’t anticipated when he’d locked him in the picture in the first place.

So she purposely slices her hand to attract demons with her blood, then hollers Oh-gong’s name into the sky. Moments later, he comes flying through the air and lands at her feet, banishing the demons with one blow.

Oh-gong pushes her behind him as he fights more of the demons that come at her. With an endless stream of enemies headed their way, Oh-gong decides to address the source: Seeing the bloodstain in the grass that’s attracting them, he causes the blood to rise in droplets, transforms them into butterflies, and sends them flying away. The demons chase them instead.

Sun-mi is amazed that Oh-gong even appeared, and when she uses his name, he tells her to use his full title: Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, Sohn Oh-gong. He blows on her bloody hand, and immediately the cut heals over.

“That’s amazing, Sohn Oh-gong,” Sun-mi says. His face suddenly hardens and he grabs her wrist firmly, saying, “It drives me crazy, I can’t stand it.”

Nervously, she asks if he still sees her as food, and struggles to free herself.

Across town, Mawang fumes at the foolish human for freeing Oh-gong again, levitating in a beam of red fire, ignoring Secretary Ma’s warnings to calm down before he’s spotted by human employees. Mawang rages at the idea of Oh-gong becoming immensely powerful if he eats the monk, while idol PK is all for running away in case Oh-gong already ate the monk.

But then, Patriarch runs in to inform them that Sun-mi put the gold circlet on Oh-gong. Suddenly Mawang is happy again, and his fiery beams dissipate.

Sun-mi backs away as Oh-gong ominously advances, and orders him to stop. He does, but reminds her that she’d said that misfortune could arise after putting the circlet on him. He confirms that a disastrously bad thing has indeed happened: “My loving you.”

He doesn’t say it lovingly, though, and tells her matter-of-factly, “Because of this, I think I’m madly in love with you. That’s trouble, isn’t it?”

Patriarch explains to Mawang how, in olden times, the circlet was placed on the head and delivered great pain (this is the way the original story has it, tightening on the head when a spell is recited). However, it was deemed limiting to only deliver physical pain; this modified circlet affects the heart, using love. Thus, Oh-gong has effectively become Sun-mi’s besotted protector.

Over drinks at a pojangmacha, Oh-gong complains bitterly to Sun-mi about the circlet. He yells that he should be dealing with PK right now, but he misses her so much that he can’t make himself leave. Haha, I love this.

Sun-mi disavows responsibility, saying she didn’t know those effects of the circlet when she gave it to him with that kiss. He demands that she prove it by kissing him again and leans in with puckered lips expectantly. She shoves him aside, calling that a trick to get her to kiss him, and he readily admits it.

She’s so embarrassed by his (loud, attention-drawing) talk that she hurries away. Oh-gong follows her, griping that he doesn’t like how he’s behaving, either, “But what can I do when I’ve fallen in love?” Then he shudders at the idea, annoyed at how pretty he finds her right now.

Oh-gong demands that she remove the circlet, and when she refuses, he demands a kiss. She snaps that his love is his own problem, since she doesn’t love him back, and walks off. Oh-gong clutches his chest and gasps in pain—because her words hurt him, ha. She mutters that she thought he was really in pain, and he asks eagerly, “Were you worried? Say you were worried. I think it won’t hurt then.”

Oh-gong boasts that he’s so powerful that he doesn’t even feel physical pain… then shivers at the cold and steals Sun-mi’s scarf, complaining that he’s from warmer climes. But when Sun-mi shivers, suddenly his encircled wrist trembles, and his expression softens in sympathy.

He (grudgingly) returns the scarf to Sun-mi, noting that he truly is afflicted. He explains that while he was trapped, his heart constantly hurt, and the moment he returned and saw her, he knew for certain: “That it hurt because I missed you so much.”

Then he suggests that since this situation is too much burden for both of them, she could just remove the bracelet. She doesn’t fall for it, and he heads off sighing about what a crappy situation this is.

Sun-mi can’t help but be flustered at this whole situation, but she warns herself to be on her guard.

One of Oh-gong’s blood-butterflies flutters down to a macabre scene in a field: Two hit men dig a grave while the corpse of a young woman lies nearby (Lee Se-young).

The butterfly lands on the girl and absorbs into her body, leaving a mark on her collarbone… and moments later, the body revives. Moving brokenly, Zombie Girl lurks nearby, waiting until the hit men finally notice the missing body.

Spooked, they run to the car and decide to tell their client they finished the job without incident. A voice sounds from the backseat, and when they see Zombie Girl sitting just inches away, they drive off in a panic.

In the commotion, they lose control and veer off the dirt road, sending the car rolling down a hill. Zombie Girl emerges from the smoking wreckage and limps off.

After a night of partying, PK offers his car keys to his date, since he’s too drunk to drive. She complains about the sideways-parked car next to them—and when PK reads the plate, he realizes with dismay that it’s Oh-gong’s.

Suddenly, Oh-gong’s car vrooms to life and speeds off… chasing a squealing boar down the street. It’s not long before police cars join in and the chase makes the evening news.

PK ends up groveling at Oh-gong’s feet for betraying him (Oh-gong: “I never really trusted you, so I don’t feel that betrayed”) and insists that Mawang was the mastermind. They’re in the office of CEO “dongsaeng” Sa Oh-jung, who confirms that Mawang was the one who decided to use the circlet against him.

Oh-gong decides that he won’t fight Mawang over this… but he’s not above a little payback and muses that he could send a few “flies” to annoy Mawang.

Which is why Mawang is soon plagued by an endless stream of phone calls and visits from monsters who have heard he found the monk. Mawang denies the rumors while cursing Oh-gong for spreading them, because now all sorts of monsters are hounding him for a bite of the monk.

Secretary Ma suggests that since the news has leaked, perhaps they could all split the monk to eat together, licking her chops hopefully. Mawang barks at her to cut it out.

They pause at an unexpected sight—a large peacock with golden feathers, shining brightly in Mawang’s office. The feathers fold up into a fan, and the figure holding it turns—to reveal Jang Geun-seok, HA.

He’s Peacock (likely a reference to a Buddhist wisdom king), also a famous actor, and he pleads for just one bite of the monk. Mawang tries to fob him off with a number of cheap tricks, pretending to give in and then running away, but Peacock persists in chasing and begging.

Mawang comes home to see Oh-gong’s fur coat slung over his bull statue again, and spits on it in vexation. Oh-gong greets him cheerfully, saying that he was just protecting his food by sending off all the annoying flies swarming around it.

Mawang asks if Oh-gong really just considers the monk as food, since the bracelet has made him a loyal dog serving his master. He explains that the circlet was his way of protecting the monk.

Oh-gong replies that Sun-mi was quite resistant to his requests to remove the bracelet, so he’ll have to ask Mawang for his help later: “Kill her and get rid of her. I’ll ask you at the crucial moment. Also, dry-clean that coat.”

Mawang is confused that Oh-gong is so eager to kill Sun-mi since he was certain the bracelet would punish its wearer with love. He wonders if it’s a fake bracelet, while Oh-gong gets weepy over a jar of seasoning sauce he’d made intending to cook the monk with. He cries at the thought that he missed his chance to eat her back then, but then adds, “But if I actually lose her, I’d really be agonized!”

Oh-gong gets a little wild-eyed and vows to get rid of the bracelet and eat the monk. “When that day comes…!” he vows, and then cries, “Ah, I’m so sad!” Haha, I love how confused Mawang is at his mood swings.

Sun-mi tosses in bed, thinking of Oh-gong’s declarations of love and wondering to herself, “Was it a mistake to call him? The Great Sage, Equal to Heaven, Sohn Oh-gong.”

Then she turns in bed and gasps, because Oh-gong is suddenly right there, smiling down at her. He teases her for calling him in the middle of the night to her bed, but she protests that she merely said his name out loud. He says he can only come to her if she says it with a longing heart.

Sun-mi promises not to call him unless she’s in a dangerous situation and tells him to go. He singsongs to her that he doesn’t want to, then starts rooting around in her kitchen. He comments on her empty refrigerator, and she says defensively that she doesn’t need much when she has no family, friends, or lovers.

“You have me from now on,” he tells her. “When you need me, call. I’ll wait for it.” Sun-mi tries not to be affected by that and tells him she won’t call, and he says, “Then what about me? Should I just die from missing you?”

She asks why that would happen, and suddenly he’s all indignation, brandishing the bracelet and exclaiming, “Because I love you annoyingly to bits!”

When she refuses again to remove it, he growls in frustration before vanishing into the air. Oh-gong reappears outside, and slams the bracelet down onto a boulder with a roar. All that does is split the boulder, and he sighs that despite his anger, he already misses Sun-mi.

The next day, Sun-mi and her employee Han-joo drop by the home of a client who wants to move out of her apartment because of excessive noise upstairs. The curious thing is, the apartment above is empty, but even as they speak, thudding noises sound from the ceiling.

Sun-mi looks around to investigate the noise, and looks inside the bedroom. Suddenly the room darkens, and a girl’s ghost materializes above, banging its head against the ceiling. When Han-joo joins her, he can only hear the sound, so it’s Sun-mi who informs him that the source isn’t coming from the upstairs apartment—it’s coming from this one.

The ghost turns its head to look at Sun-mi, and reveals a face full of eyeballs. Sun-mi grabs her talisman umbrella and holds it out like a shield, then sends the bewildered Han-joo out of the room.

Sun-mi battles her fears to confront the ghost, who startles her by dropping down in front of her, upside-down, and making swipes for her umbrella.

Out of nowhere, Oh-gong appears and vanquishes the ghost with one blow of his golden scepter, then chides Sun-mi for not calling for him. Then he chides himself for following her here because he missed her, when leaving her alone could have been his chance to let her die.

Sun-mi snaps that she could have handled a ghost alone, and he replies that she shouldn’t get angry because that hurts his heart… but if she wants to keep getting angry, she could always get rid of the bracelet.

She tells him to leave, and he pouts at how easily she can dismiss him. But after he vanishes, Sun-mi smiles at the thought of Oh-gong coming to her rescue.

As Mawang gets fitted for a suit, PK laments betraying Oh-gong, not having expected he’d come back so easily. He swears that his loyalty to Mawang is true, but Mawang scoffs that he has any loyalty and leaves him with this bit of wisdom: “A pig that is fat on the outside… is also fat on the inside.” LOL.

Mawang brags about how he fills out a suit better than humans, and PK notes that monsters risk detection when they present themselves too perfectly, suspecting that Yoo Jae-suk is going to be outed soon. Heh.

PK wonders what important meeting this new suit is for, and Mawang replies that he’s saving it for when he meets monk Sam-jang. His eyes flash as he sniffs the ring containing Sun-mi’s blood, and PK begs to have that blood droplet. Annoyed, Mawang levitates PK in the air, then drops him on his rear and warns him not to covet things that don’t belong to him.

At her office, Sun-mi sits down to lunch when suddenly Oh-gong appears and comments on how she has nobody to eat with. He tells her to call him at mealtimes: “I’ll be with you so you aren’t alone.”

He promises to show up at the next meal, but obligingly leaves when she tells him to go. Ha, and when she opens her lunchbox, the peas are arranged in the shape of a heart.

Sure enough, Oh-gong is back for the next lunch, this time with a gift. Since she clearly doesn’t mean to invite him to eat with her, he presents a stuffed monkey that he’s named Sohn Yook-gong (it’s a play on words; oh is five, yook is six). When she sighs at his cheesiness, he tells her he’ll send Seven and Eight and bombard her with cheesiness unless she removes the bracelet.

She dismisses him again, but she does smile at the monkey doll, and even buys an extra lunch the next day, looking around expectantly for Oh-gong to show up. She asks Yook-gong if she should call Oh-gong here, but decides against it.

Instead, Oh-gong visits Frosty’s ice cream cart today, pouting at Sun-mi’s constant rebuffs. Frosty suggests that Sun-mi might be waiting for him, but Oh-gong shakes his head and declares that he won’t be going anymore.

So Sun-mi eats, strangely disappointed at the peace and quiet.

Back to Zombie Girl, who shows up in the truckbed of a farmer couple. They wonder why the dog has been barking nonstop recently, not noticing that Zombie Girl has hitched a ride.

Mawang and Secretary Ma turn up at Sun-mi’s office, and Han-joo attends to them while they wait for her return. Mawang spots Sun-mi’s Pororo slippers nearby, and both he and Han-joo flash back to their embarrassing encounter earlier when Mawang had been sniffing them.

Han-joo asks about the reason for their visit, and Mawang mentions a contract with his agency. Han-joo is amazed that they’d want Sun-mi to be an entertainer, given her terrible “audition” on his show. He supposes that “any dog and cow” really can make it as celebrities these days, while Secretary Ma takes issue with his denigration of dogs and cows. (Ha, she’s a dog monster.) You can practically see her trying to kill him with her mind.

Sun-mi returns and meets with Mawang, though she doesn’t know why he’d want to talk to her. He reminds her that he saved her with the gold bracelet, and declares that he’s here to claim payment for that. He proposes that she contract with his company; if she declines the contract, she’ll have to return the bracelet.

She sees the catch now and calls this a cheap move, but he doesn’t care and paints a comically grisly picture of what would happen to her if she returned the bracelet and got herself killed. He leaves her to think it over, confident that he’s made it impossible for her to turn him down.

Back at his office, Mawang is pleased to see that Lucifer Entertainment has hit the top of the search rankings, though today it’s for an unusual reason: Old pictures have surfaced from a century ago. Netizens just think it’s Mawang’s doppelganger, though Secretary Ma notes that she’s also in the picture—she’s the dog by his side. (Her powers were weaker then, so she spent more time in her natural state.)

Mawang’s mood turns sad as he recalls that time, and we flash back to the world in the photos, back in the Occupation era. A woman runs through the streets from officers and is shot in the back, falling to the ground just a few feet in front of Mawang.

Mawang’s eyes fill with tears as he recognizes the woman (Kim Ji-soo guest appearance), who dies before his eyes.

In the present, Mawang walks to an inner room lined with old art, where a wall panel slides away to reveal a painting underneath. Featured is that woman, dressed in hanbok.

Now we see her running along a cliff in the heavens, chased by swordsmen. When she comes to a dead end, she leaps off of it, falling through the clouds, possibly to another death.

Looking stricken, Mawang wonders, “In this life, where are you and what pain are you enduring?”

Sun-mi mulls over Mawang’s offer, which would require her to catch demons for him. In turn, he’d amass points in his quest to become a Taoist immortal. She’d protested that she isn’t capable of that, but he’d told her to use Oh-gong. She realizes that this was Mawang’s plan all along, dismayed that she played into it.

Han-joo drops by and spots the contract, wondering if she really means to pursue an entertainment career. She hedges that she’ll probably have to attend some “special” events and perform some “mixed duets.”

Han-joo leans in to ask if she could connect his daughter to Lucifer Entertainment; at six years old, she dreams of being a singer. Sun-mi agrees to mention an audition, but firmly shoots down his suggestion to bring the girl to one of her “events.”

Sun-mi wonders what kinds of events might be in store for her, and imagines herself at Lucifer’s offices, being debriefed by Mawang on monster-fighting missions as though they’re mundane singing gigs. She leads a ghostbusting team with Oh-gong, PK, and even CEO Sa as backup, and they pile into a company van like the world’s most motley idol group.

Breaking into her reverie is a text message from her uncle, which simply tells her to deposit money into his account. She heads to the bank, where she makes the odd request for the clerk to bag her money so that she doesn’t touch it. On her way out, she buys a bag of popcorn snacks for her grandmother.

The farmer couple arrives in Seoul, and pull over their truck momentarily for a bathroom break, still unaware of Zombie Girl in the back. Nearby, Sun-mi walks to the intersection and notices a little boy ghost huddled to himself. Stopping to talk to him, she guesses that he died in an accident here and offers him some popcorn, pouring it into a cone fashioned from a promotional flyer.

Her presence awakens Zombie Girl, who pokes her head out of the tarp and spots Sun-mi nearby, walking across the intersection. Sun-mi turns back and sees Zombie Girl standing there, but doesn’t make much of it.

Zombie Girl, meanwhile, picks up the flyer Sun-mi left behind, which contains her contact information. She hobbles on, while a news report helpfully informs us of an idol trainee who recently went missing. The picture is, of course, of Zombie Girl.

The two hit men apparently survived the crash, and panic at the news report. They’re determined to stick to their story, that they successfully buried this girl in the woods.

Sun-mi arrives at her uncle’s gate to an icy reception. He and his wife refuse to let her step inside their house, but she says she’s just here to give them money for Grandma’s memorial, assuring them she didn’t touch it. They take the money, but reject the popcorn (to put on Grandma’s table) and shut the gate in her face.

She overhears Uncle insisting that Aunt throw salt at him to rid him of her bad juju, because Sun-mi ruined the lives of everyone around her.

Sun-mi contains her hurt as she heads off, though she’s waylaid by her cousin Mi-joo, who steps outside and calls out to her.

Chatting at a cafe, Mi-joo says she feels bad for the way Uncle treats Sun-mi. But not so bad that she doesn’t hit Sun-mi up for money too, telling a sob story about how tight finances are with a baby on the way and her husband taking on more loans.

Sun-mi offers it, of course, remaining gracious as they part ways. But as Mi-joo and her husband drive off, Sun-mi glimpses a demon riding in the backseat and runs after the car, though she quickly falls behind.

Mi-joo and her husband are oblivious to the danger behind them; the husband’s excited at getting the money and assures his wife that he hasn’t had very much to drink. The demon whispers for the husband to speed, possessing him with its energy, and the car blows through an intersection and barely misses hitting an oncoming car.

But suddenly, Mi-joo’s car starts spinning in the middle of the street, in perfect circles—orchestrated by Oh-gong at the side of the road. He stops the spinning as Sun-mi pulls up in a taxi and rushes to the car, telling her cousin to get out. Spotting the demon in the back, Sun-mi flings handfuls of red beans at it, but it just makes the others think she’s crazy, and the demon possesses the husband again to spur him to drive on.

But when he hits the gas pedal intending to drive right over Sun-mi, the wheels screech uselessly in place. It’s Oh-gong again, and this time he slams the car down, resulting in four popped tires.

The husband blames Sun-mi for causing this, and gets in her face to yell at her. Oh-gong steps in and grabs him by the collar, warning that his actions drew a malevolent spirit to him and almost got his family killed.

The demon tries to sneak away, but Oh-gong grabs it in his clutches and vanquishes it easily. He finally lets the husband go and warns him not to drink and drive again—and that yelling at Sun-mi again will mean his death.

Oh-gong flings him aside, then asks Sun-mi why she didn’t call him again. He declares that he really won’t appear anymore unless summoned, then heads off in a huff.

When Mi-joo asks if Sun-mi called “that gangster” here, Sun-mi agrees, liking the idea that he showed up for her. Mi-joo complains about Oh-gong’s actions and demands compensation for the car he wrecked, but for the first time Sun-mi pushes back.

She says, “All this time, I had nobody by my side. No matter if I was scared or lonely, or upset like now, I had nobody. So I held back and lived pretending I was fine. But now, I have a name to call. I feel reassured. I won’t hold back anymore.”

She calls this Mi-joo’s responsibility to handle, and calls her cousin shameless before leaving her to her mess.

At the bar, PK and Patriarch discuss the latest events, and PK is tickled at the shift in their unofficial “rankings”: If Sun-mi works under Mawang, and she’s the one controlling Oh-gong, PK now outranks Oh-gong. PK adds that he’ll soon be dating Sun-mi, although Sun-mi doesn’t know this yet.

Sun-mi meets with Mawang to ask if contracting with him will allow her to gain something she wants: to be an ordinary person. Mawang explains that being the monk Sam-jang means she has a certain calling—but if she fulfills that calling, she could live as an ordinary person. But it’s up to her to figure out what that is.

Mawang is so eager to get this arrangement going that she wonders at his rush to become an immortal. He replies that every day that passes matters, because that’s an extra day of pain that someone is suffering.

Sun-mi startles him with her astute observation that he carries the burden of someone needing rescue. He’s impressed and gives her his “You pass” stamp of approval, which she recalls him doing when she was a child. He says that just like then, all she needs to do is be careful of Oh-gong: She mustn’t release him from the bracelet the way she released him from his mountain prison.

Zombie Girl staggers her way across town to Sun-mi’s office building, finally arriving outside just as Han-joo leaves the office and drops by Sun-mi’s (next-door) apartment to drop off a package. Zombie Girl grabs the door before it swings closed, letting herself in.

Han-joo grumbles as cuts open the box, and nicks his finger in the process. That scent of blood travels through the air and alerts Zombie Girl, sending her beelining toward the scent like a zombie on a mission.

Out of nowhere, Oh-gong stops her and smacks a talisman to her forehead. It flashes as it makes contact and freezes her in her tracks. Noticing the zombie clutching Sun-mi’s flyer, he wonders why she’d come looking for her specifically.

Then, he hears Sun-mi calling his name and smiles. He tells Zombie Girl to stay put, then poofs away to Sun-mi’s side.

He finds her sitting on a bench outside alone, and notes that she’s not in any danger. She says she called him to be a drinking companion, asking if it’s okay to call him just for his company. He throws her some finger hearts and says of course: “Because I love you.” Lol, could anyone make love confessions sound any more flippant than Monkey Man?

She admits that she doesn’t hate the sound of those words, but he tells her not to get too used to them, asking her to please reject his love and get rid of his bracelet. And of course he immediately follows that by agreeing to open her beer, “Because I love you.”

Sun-mi tosses handfuls of popcorn onto the ground, and children ghosts come forward to eat the offerings. He wonders at it, and she explains having bought them to offer to her grandma.

Oh-gong remembers her mentioning Grandma before, back when she was a child. He sighs that times were good then, when he could run away from Sun-mi. She sighs that times were good then because Grandma was with her.

So Oh-gong grabs a handful of popcorn and tells her to say, “Grandma, enjoy these.” She does, and he tosses them into the air, where the kernels disappear with a flash of light.

…and across town at the memorial ceremony she wasn’t invited to, a small shower of popcorn rains down on Grandma’s memorial table.

Oh-gong tells her where he sent them, and tosses more popcorn in the air until the bag is empty. In her memorial photo, Grandma’s face broadens into a smile.

Sun-mi thanks Oh-gong sincerely, and he repeats his familiar refrain about removing the bracelet. But she tells him regretfully that she really can’t remove the bracelet now, because she contracted with Mawang as payment for the bracelet in the first place. And to fulfill that contract, she needs Oh-gong.

Mawang looks up at his painting of his beloved, and asks her to wait just a little longer.

Oh-gong says she’s sold him to Mawang. She says that if she fulfills Sam-jang’s calling, she should be able to live normally, and asks him to stay with her until then.

Sun-mi shares, “To be honest, these past few days, I found the thought of you coming to me to be reassuring and not lonely. You felt like family, like a friend, like a lover. I really like having someone like that.”

“It hurts me to ruin a good feeling,” Oh-gong replies, “but what connects us is an event of misfortune. We shouldn’t forget that, should we? Even now, it feels like something really bad is going to happen.”

Across town, the talisman stuck to Zombie Girl’s face flashes again. It falls off and dissipates… and Zombie Girl (re-)reanimates.

The front door beeps open as Han-joo returns, worrying that he left something behind. He finds his phone on the counter, not seeing Zombie Girl lurking…

Oh-gong explains to Sun-mi that at this very moment, her employee is likely being torn to shreds. She says he should save him, but he points out that their contract only involves protecting Sun-mi: “I don’t care if any other human dies.”

Han-joo pauses near the exit to tie a shoelace. Zombie Girl reaches out for him…

Oh-gong asks if Sun-mi wants to save other people too. “Fine, I’ll do it,” he says, and holds up a wrist. “But in exchange, remove this.”

COMMENTS

I love this love-as-shackle plot device! There’s something so wonderfully comedic about this setup where the cavalier Monkey is actually saddled with feelings of love, and how his head is completely aware that it’s a spell even as his heart undergoes the throes of real(istic) love. The flip-flopping emotions are hilarious to watch, and Seung-gi has this natural and off-the-cuff delivery that is perfect for both sides of the coin.

Where it really gets fun, of course, is when the lines get blurry between what is love enforced by a bracelet and what is actual love brewing in Oh-gong’s heart, because I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing both of those aspects growing. I’m willing to bet he’s going to blame everything on the bracelet and insist that none of those feelings are his own, and I’m so looking forward to the day when he gets an inkling that maybe it’s not quite so cut and dried as that.

It’s also refreshing to watch a courtship unfold where both sides of the push and pull action come from the same person, which is great. We get to see Oh-gong being swoony and flirty (and I honestly never saw Seung-gi as sexy until this episode, but wow did that happen all of a sudden), but he’ll undercut his own drippiness before we can even cringe at how romantic it is, because he’s the one who hates the schmaltz more than anyone. Honestly, I think this dynamic is pretty brilliant.

I have a few quibbles about the actual structuring of the episodes, because I feel like there isn’t a lot of neatness in introducing monsters of the week or beginning and ending storylines to conform to episode lengths. It sort of feels like episodes end when time runs out, and not because a story wraps up (sort of like a daily soap, rather than an episodic drama). It’s not a huge complaint, but I just prefer shows where episodes feel like they’re complete mini-works of storytelling that make up a bigger complete arc. But given that I don’t care too much about any of the monsters themselves, I suppose this loose plotting allows us to avoid fixating too much on tertiary characters.

Last but not least, I was pleased to catch a glimpse of Mawang’s backstory—I was honestly not sure if he’d get much emotional development since he’s carrying so much of the comedy. But I like this idea of the tragic love—and more poignant than a lost love is the lost love who suffers, whom he’s desperate to save. Things suddenly feel more grounded once you give him a reason to care, which gives me a reason to care.

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I need Son 6 Gong in my life!!

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Right??! That thing is adorable!

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Allright, can I have Son Oh Gong than? 😁

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It looks so cuddly and squishy! And those droopy eyes 😍 In that lunch scene it seemed as if it was silently judging Sun Mi and it was so cute!!!
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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Anyone know where they're sold?? I need one in my life

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Apparently they have a plush toy version for each of the characters. Or at least I found them online on Qoo10

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Geez, thanks for helping money fly out of my wallet... ;P

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Same!

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This is an ACTUAL love-hate relationship LOL. I love how he's complaining about her but it just ends up paining him, umm also can you imagine turning over in bed and having Lee Seunggi staring down at you like that??!! Like is he gonna come if I call his name? What do I need to do? lol. That Yoo Jae-Suk reference had me in tears (I'm loving all these little meta comments they're getting in, but Hong Sisters do that best).
One more thing tho WHY IS THERE A ZOMBIE>! I can deal with almost all supernatural elements, except zombies for some reasons. They're just plain ass creepy.

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Mawang's commentary during the phone calls is so hilarious, just the names he's saying are funny like I'm assuming when he says "Jolie" he's referring to Angelina Jolie and Jae-Suk hyung is Yoo Jaesuk haha. A boar chase in Gangnam, that's a first too.

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The boar chase was one of the best uses of CGI- not in the quality of CGI persay, but in delivering a great visual and exciting, unexpected moment. I watched that scene like 5 times.

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I agree, not to mention it was absolutely hilarious!

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Yoo Jae Suk with his Grasshopper World song - https://youtu.be/cOZ9mPyK0LE?t=6m9s

No he doesn't turn into a grasshopper on stage. I would completely lose it if the production manages to get Jang Nara and Yoo Jae-suk to make cameos.

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Dude that would be EPIC. Especially if they come begging for a "bite" just a bite from Sun-Mi, you know to retain their perfection and youthfulness ;D. I'm looking forward to what other meta name drops the show is going to be doing in the future.

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Thanks for the source reference info! Had no clue what they were talking about there.

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I was not going to watch this, since I don´t care an inch for the mythology, it is weak. plus the drama makes me uncomfortable. But ... I forgot. Zombie. Hmm. Ok, I am just going to watch the zombie parts.

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Every comment you made in every episode of hwayugi is always negative... don't watch it if you're too pessimistic. Damn! You're spoiling the fun.

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why do you keep reading my comments then? Don´t read them!

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It's part of the page..easier for you to avoid commenting on something you dislike so much.

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Omg
You are awesome jb. You are even faster than subbers.😍😍

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Indeed! Still no subs as of the moment 😭😭😭

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This was a hilarious episode and I'm glad that the show us back on. Hopefully with an extra PD behind the scenes, things will be better for all involved on this show. Thanks for the recap!

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thanks javabeans . you’r faster than ohgong when i need the recap 😍

i am in love with this show !! this could have been better than your goblin and dots of only it was preproduced. and now with 3 pd’s i hope the qualty of the content won’t be affected , because the acting and chemistry is top notch.

i agree i need song yook gong in my life too. it was so adorable . seunggi is acting his pants off so effortlessly . his bioplar declaration of love and hate is a delight to watch . and oh yoen soe is so good why is she so under rated ?

i was waiting for mawangs back story and the whole wanting to be a god to stop his love from suffering for thousands of years is solid reason for him to do watever he’s been cooking up till now . i want more of princess and dog secrety ma. so cute she was the dog in the pic .

lee se young was amazing , they did a good job with the zombie . i guess now we will have a zombie appocaylipse with samjangs blood butterflies waking up the dead . this is so good . can’t wait for the ghostbusters to get in to it .

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i hope sunmi’s employee is not shredded to peices . probably not cause he was in the presscon and if he dies sunmi won’t have anyone to talk to .

hope zombie girl will stick around . and the actress pk likes must be bora , who is a man in a womans body . meta for jeremy who fell for gominam 😂

i thought mawang and oh gongs bromance was over , but seems like they have some history where oh gong betrays mawang so he thinks now things are even . and why are we even suprised they can’t wait to get rid of each other , they are monsters after all.

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I think her employee will be saved. And even without the bracelet, Oh Gong will continue to think and miss Sunmi. He will be more confused and will act crazy. I think this is how it’s gonna go from here on. Ha!

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I think he will be saved too since Sun-mi will be in pain due to the thought of her employee getting torn to shreds. And then that will compel Son Oh Gong to rescue him before he gets torn to pieces.

But as for whether poor Han-joo will ever want to work for Sun-mi again...

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That header pic of Seung-gi 💓💓
I haven't started Hwayugi, but thank you for the recap and lovely pic javabeans.

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Yay! I was refreshing the page for this recap.

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They should make dolls for the entire ensemble. The whole crew would be so cute. 😍

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Omo . . . the subbed is out. Off to watch.

P/S: javabeans recap still the best. *finger heart*

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Not yet for me.... sigh.....

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I'm very fast to assume that it had been subbed when actually, it's only 88% subbed. I realised it after almost a quarter of the drama. 😂

Sorry if I get your hopes up.

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That's OK. I've decided to just watch the raw for now. 😆 Heh!

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This time I'm pretty sure we have a complete sub. . 😊

Waiting for sub is a tedious process. We better off just dive in I guess. 😁

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Why does no one notice a zombie limping around a busy crosswalk in Korea? Not strange enough? Lol. Also, that plushie is so cute!!

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I guess she just looks like a student coming home from cram school.

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HAHAHA you made me laugh out loud HAHAHA

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Yeah, I thought, people are going to freak if she come out now. Then she does, then I forget what I thought, and then I finished the episode. Happens all to often to me in drama land. This wasn't the only stupid thing though. When Sun-mi threw the Adzuki beans on the car door expecting it to miraculously go through the door/window. When the zombie first got reanimated, you would think that the goons would get out of the car instead of stay in the car and hit the gas. Sigh.

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the gangsters were just burying her so she had no reason to hold a grudge, I think she wanted to ask who killed her. if they introduced themselves first, the mystery of her death could have been solved already. I think the gangsters might have not been from a very good family, they didn´t have any manners.

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So is there actual credible chatter about the show getting cancelled? I honestly hope that they can find a safe and fair way to keep it going because I was impressed with the first two episodes AND I get to watch it on netflix so not needing to use a VPN to get access to viki or DF for a change.
I'd also like to know how the injured work man is recovering, does anyone know?

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From the articles I read, they imposed that the show gets better and safer filming evironment which is a relief. They all denied canceling the show.

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Is this show on netflix?

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For some regions, we get it weekly. Netflix USA (and I guess other Western/US/UK regions) will post it with all the episodes once the show is done.

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As of this comment, Netflix (the regions that have eps 1 & 2 already) will get episode 3 on Jan. 12th. Your best legal bet for fastest subs at this time is Viki. Sigh.

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yes, the show is on netflix, its airing one week behind the broadcast in Korea.. for once we don't have to wait months! \o/

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Why did I just imagine Sun-mi's employee: Han-joo immediately breaking down into tears upon seeing the zombie girl and wailing about how he isn't getting paid enough to deal with this. Like he's been dealing with a creepy boss who talks to the empty air, who feeds food to 'nothing' and who gets into screaming matches with drivers, and now he has to deal with a zombie too?!!! It's even more hilarious because Kim Sung-Oh has the best facial expressions. It's like a cross between "not again" and "mummy hold me and take me far away from this madness!!!" Hahahahahahaha.

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Kim Sung-Oh does have the best facial expressions - especially his scared ones. I'm torn between wanting him to be scared because his expressions are so funny and not wanting him to be scared, because when he's scared, he looks so scared! The anticipation of Han Joo getting jumped by Zombie Girl was almost too much those last 10 minutes. I knew the talisman was going to fall off before Sun-mi returns home and Han Joo was taking sooooo long to tie his shoes (omg, why don't you just switch to velcro? Or double knot your shoes?)

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Hahahahaha. This drama should be inspiration for if you can't just slip into your shoes and get out of dodge, then you should be buying new shoes. Hehehehehe. Seriously tho, I love scared Han-Joo. Is it mean that I want the zombie girl to scare him? Not eat him. Just more of a boo. I can already imagine the loud screech that will ensue. Hehehe.

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If it was just one convenient plot device that would be one thing--still annoying though. But there were like 4 in that one freaking scenario! Sure--and as expected--the charm goes bye bye. Sure, he cuts his finger. Sure he forgets something important. Sure he takes longer than average with his shoes. For Pete's sake Hong sisters!

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I like how he called Stephen Chow over the phone. He's the best Monkey God ever..

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I was a bit off about the ep because of what happened ... but then again I watched it raw. Reading your recap made me understand more and I like this ep. The CG effects got a lot better this ep and the story is finally setting and I'm loving it. I died at Oh Gong's mood swings especially when he cried, Seung Gi really is doing a great job.
Also kudos to zombie girl, I was freaked out when she came back to life-dead.

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Hmm I wonder if we can get the plushies at the dramabeans store

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Is the shop still functional? All I can find is my cart. But once it's back, yes, I want allll the plushies!

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thanks for the recap @javabeans !

this episode is hilarious. seung-gi oppa is killing it as the monkey king oh-gong. I wanna binge watch this later but I'm getting tempted to start now *must resist the pull of oppa and zombie*

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Seung-gi really is doing a bang-up job. He has such charisma!

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What if Sun-mi is the reincarnation of the girl from Mawang's past? He did wonder if she was suffering in her new life, no?
Sun-mi could be a reincarnation and her suffering is her ability of seeing ghosts.. and I mean, she was already seeing ghosts before she got the unfortunate fate of monk Sam-jang after releasing the Oh-gong...

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Ooohh! That is an interesting theory!

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This was my first thought after I watched that scene! It would be interesting to see how they'd execute it if ever. I'm not a fan of love triangles though, so we'll see.

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I was excited to find out that there would not be a love triangle, but this is only episode 3 so Hong Sisters could surprise us with a twist. Although the woman's reincarnation during the Japanese occupation had the same face as when she was a Goddess so I am expecting that the current reincarnation would look the same.

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Hong Sisters usually have a parallel romance involving a mature couple. In My Girl it was an aunt with a friend of the family, in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho was an aunt of Lee Seung Gi's character with the father of one of his friends, in Warm and Cozy it was one of the male lead's half brothers with a diving lady... it is one of their usual tropes. So probably we will see that lady again, and she will become Mawang's loveline =D .

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Thanks JB once again for the fast recap!
So far i am enjoying this show that I am even live-streaming it!
Hopefully everything will be spontaneous as i find no dull moments in this drama.

I cannot imagine someonelse who can pull-off Sohn Oh Gong's character so well. I love the cast and the story line..

Again thank you so much JB!

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I really, really like the story so far. Son Oh Gongs dilemma is so unique and incredibly funny. The unwilling Romeo act is the best!
I'm a bit surprised that his flirting technique of being angry with her and the next moment professing his love is apparently working. I guess Sun Mi is just so incredibly lonely that she seems to be happy that there finally is anyone who cares for her and I loved to see her tell off her cousin because of the confidence she gained through it.

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I felt hurt on her behalf when SOG reminded her that it's all an illusion because he's compelled by the bracelet - because it is true. For the lonely Sun-mi, even an illusion was better than nothing. :(

It was shocking and sad to find out that she did have several relatives, but they've abandoned her and that's why she doesn't have family.

I like that even though Sun-mi is cursed and lives a lonely life, she does practice self-care. She used her unique ability to make money. She used that money to set up a business and buy a building. In her house, she has nice photos of herself. She buys good food. She is soft-hearted, but knows she has to have limits. She is not letting SOG go and will use him to gain a life of normalcy (SOG, how dare you look so offended!)

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I really like this take on Sun-mi. I also appreciate that Oh-gong wasn't making her too delusional with his current infatuation.

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Oh Ms. Nelly, reality is far more interesting than fiction. If you read Robert Greene's "The Art of Seduction", you will find that Son Oh Gong belongs to the Natural seducing character, an impish character who seduces with his innocence. Ms. Sun Mi belongs (I think) to the Siren: there is an otherworldly beauty in her sadness, and even if she tries very hard not to let it see, a vulnerability that makes her Oh so precious...

Of course they are not pure archetypes in this regard, but they are very interesting ;) .

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That sounds really interesting. I should check this book out.

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First, i love this show! I have always thought Lee Seun gi was hot! Maybe his army stint did him some good. But I don't know if it is me, but halfway through Ep 3 I feel that the production just feels different. Almost like a B rated soap opera. Where as before that I felt like it was more along the lines of a
movie(ish) production. Something feels off and I am losing some of my enjoyment! Am I imagining this? I love the story and now I am hooked to watch regardless!

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THANK YOU @javabeans for this awesome recap, and so quickly too!!!

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Wow. This was fast.

The ghost still so creepy af btw....

And that was a reallly cute monkey doll

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Something about the extra eyes.... Ugh!!

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I was with for dis..even if it's nt n recapping was done..m so thankful.. but plz do it for this drama

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Waiting for this*

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Thanks again for the fast recaps, it really helps me understand the show more clearly.
I am loving Lee Seung-gi and Hwayugi 'exponentially' like never before. The Zombie Girl really creeps me out, but I'm eager to learn her story. Love the Love-shackle twist of the Gold Circlet, the blood butterfly reviving the Zombie Girl, the cameo of the golden peacock/Jang Geun-seok, the hinting at all the big names being monsters, the flying shower of popcorns.. too many to mention. I'm also worried about the contract signed between Sun-mi and Mawang, surely he has his hidden agenda..
I bet Sohn Yook-gong and the character slippers (including the black and white ones from Jugglers) will be all the rage at Seoul streets soon. Hope someone will get me all from their next trip there!

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Is it me or dat occupation
era scene is very Chicago typewriter ish
a

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Not that you! I loved this episode, but that occupation scene and the whole young-woman-dressed-as-a-boy-chased-by-pro-Japanese-forces thing threw me off since it seemed so Chicago Typewriter and it wasn't even played as your usual Hong sisters' parody.

I have this suspicion that the Hong sisters did watch Chicago Typewriter and were also very into Seo Hwi-Young's hair.

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Ya n then we have kingdom today..girl abuse aka zombie murder ( witch court) ..wanna 1 stuff is funny though..

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I thought about Chicago Typewriter too during that scene and immediately thought maybe there would be an an awesome Yoo Ah-in cameo....but at last that would be totally a very weird tonal shift during this tragic death scene to incorporate winky meta humor.

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The moment LSG holds his home-made sauce and cries is precious!!

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That was great, and got even better when we saw he actually simmered like half a dozen various sauces to flavor his prey.....tremendous loss indeed!

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With Monkey's fixation on devouring his prey, the alternate title could be LET'S EAT Season(ed) 4 [the number of death]. I'm having flashbacks to The French Chef, Julia Child, and her "little bit of brandy" -- which Oh-gong cannot even drink at this time. ROFLMAO.

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I watched ep 3 halfway through... as up till this moment, it was 53% subbed. And I also read the recap halfway through.. as I dont want any spoilers. Haha.

So I'm watching You Are All Surrounded to feed my withdrawal symptoms of Lee Seung Gi -_-

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that was what happen to me after the 2nd episode of hwayugi released. i watch love forecast and 2D1N season 1 continuosly. but still can't get enough of LSG. becoz he rarely act so naughty as monkey king yet charming at the same time. and yes, i do get addicted also. try to watch K2H but the link are all broken.

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This drama continues to be wonderful.
Bipolar Son Oh Gong is the best lol

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Am I the only one annoyed by the plush doll? It is such a rip-off of the Goblin doll in shape and such an obvious set-up for commercial tie-in afterwards that it is a turn-off.

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The stuffed animal is so cute that I don't mind it at all. To be honest I rather the show makes money through its own product placement like this one than seeing another Subway, Instant Coffee, Ginseng Powder PPL and the likes.

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I don't mind it either since other dramas have done it before: Samsoon pig (one of my favorite scenes involving the pig: https://youtu.be/HUcWKi3ygHY?t=17m26s) and the pig-rabbit from You're Beautiful. Goblin and Hwayugi both aired on TVN and are produced by subsidiaries of the same parent company.
Marketing folks could possibly have commissioned the dolls from the same people.

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Hehe in the future there might be enough of these to start a "Drama Plushie Museum"!

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@kimbapnoona @asianromance Agreed. Plushies are as old as drama time itself. Look at me come to regret these words.

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It's already 2018, time to move on...

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It's made by the same company (BONICREW) that made DOTS and Goblin dolls. Goblin wasn't the first. :D

http://en.bonicrew.com/shop/list.php?ca_id=10&grid=store

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I am reading this at night and I really appreciate jb not putting any scary snapshots of the ghosts in this recap...*shiver*

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YAY, I'm still watching despite having low tolerance towards ghosts and creepy supernatural creatures because I stopped caring about them and skipped all the horror plots, haha. And even though I know it's important to move the story forward, but Oh-gong struggling with his feelings and trying to annoy Sun-mi into releasing him by professing his 'ardent' love to her? GIMME MOAR~

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Me after seeing the thumbnail pic: Looks like there's another stuffed plushie I'd want to buy

(I've been looking for the giant snail from BTLIOF ever since. Any luck, beanies?)

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Haha I traveled to Asia last month and was hoping that I might see the BTLIOF snail in the store. It would have been the best and cutest drama loot ever!

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Yes, I'd love to have one too.

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Thank you for the recap, javabeans!

I loved this episode (especially SOG's love struggle) though there were parts that I felt could have been streamlined. I think I've accepted that I love the story, the acting, and the cast chemistry, but direction and editing are a bit disorganized. But given that it's an ambitious drama and it's not a preproduction, it's understandable.

I really enjoy how there are so many supernatural characters and so many kinds. Didn't even realize there could be a grasshopper monster until now (and that it's Yoo Jae Suk). When PK was talking about ranking, it raised questions that I had about the different types of ghosts, monsters (you've got lust monsters like PK and the demon with all the brides), and other supernatural beings, what the order is, and what their end goals are. It seems like there are different kinds of monsters and ghosts that Sun-mi deal with. There are 1.the black shadows with the claws 2. monsters that possess dolls 3. innocent not-scary looking ghosts, like the little boy 4. innocent, scary-ish looking ghosts like the girl who starved to death 5. and was the thing with the many eyes a ghost or a monster or something in-between?

I do like how the supernatural world is pretty much an entire world with its diversity and messy complexity, but I do wish we can know more about it.

A little disappointed that JGS didn't reprise his Hwang TaeKyung role. His scene here was a bit too long, but I like seeing him again.

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I was waiting for a monster like PK to talk about ranking among supernaturals since it social hierarchy is such an ingrained part of the Korean culture 😂

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This drama makes me remember why I have a separate folder for Hong sisters' dramas. Show, fighting!

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Lee seungi never disappoints me .

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Love love that the Hong Sisters is loosely adapting this classic tale into a genre mesh-up of ghosts, monsters, and zombies!

Who knew monkey booty call can be soooooooo sexy?
Here is my suggestion on how to play the Hwayuki Drinking Game:
Everyone takes a shot when Seung-gi says "Because I love you." If you are having a really great (or very shitty) day, take a shot when he says "Now take this off." (both raawwwwrrrr???)

Little moments like LSG after glancing back at OYS in the cold and then ran away like a monkey all shy and embarrassed makes this drama so much fun to watch! LOL when he was waving his sceptor fan to get rid of all the eyeball ghost dust.

I also like that underneath all that fur he is upgrading his wardrobe from leopard print shirt to a leather jacket! The stylist must be having lots of fun creatively dressing everyone. Kind of wishing that Lee Hong-ki would have pink piggy hair instead, maybe even a little wiggly mullet tail in the back.

Trivial observations:
Why is a peacock holding peacock feathers in his hands? That would be kind of like me walking around holding a wig for no apparent reason.

Why is CEO Sa holding a frying pan in the ghost-fighting-squad fantasy sequence? I kind of hope to get the backstory on that! 😂😂😂

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Why is a peacock holding peacock feathers in his hands? That would be kind of like me walking around holding a wig for no apparent reason.

He's that vein maybe? That's the best I could come up with.

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*vain

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I feel like I would attain enlightenment before Ma Wang for exercising so much patience for the subs. Like why are they updated so late? Whyyyy?
Worth it though.

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OMG I have finally found a Korean drama that I can't wait to watch. So happy! I'm so happy, lol.

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Thanks for the recap, javabeans!

Yessssss, this episode had that extra something I've been wanting from the Hong Sisters! It's never been perfection I look for in their dramas, just that deeply entertaining set-up that has me begging for more. I love this take on enchanted "love", that involves all parties possessing conscious understanding of the source of that emotion! Ahhh, it's just too good.

It helps that Lee Seung Gi has always been great at executing just this kind of romance. He's always proud and unwillingly falling in love, but this is the first time his character has been cursed to feel the full extent of that emotion prematurely! Not only was this part pretty much made for him, but there's definitely an added energy and experience to his performance this time around. I'm so excited to see all the fun he'll have with this!

Despite the supernatural ghost-seeing premise making this drama perhaps more comparable to Master's Sun, I'm pleased to find the Hong Sisters bring back more of the wacky energy of Best Love/YAB/MGIAG days, likely with the help of those 3 stars returning (haha, especially Chajumma!). I do think that with the long episodes and the directing not flowing perfectly, the execution could get a bit manic, but the actors sell it well and ground everything in genuine emotion.

Also that doll is so adorably grumpy, I might just have to get it!

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I appreciate that Sun-mi was honest with Oh-gong and told him her motives. Probably my favourite thing of the episode.

Although it's not her nature, I wish Sun-mi were craftier. She is dealing with an unscrupulous bunch after all.

I still can't help but overly inspect the CGI scenes and that's annoying me. I really really wished this was pre-produced. Rating aren't everything drama gods!

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"I honestly never saw Seung-gi as sexy until this episode, but wow did that happen all of a sudden"
I have to admit the same thing. I have been a fan of LSG since Gumiho and 1n2d. It's not the 1st time we've him play the role of a bad boy hothead but this is different. I honestly just suddenly found him sexy from the very first episode and is getting hotter as the story progresses! He came into this role with such confidence and swag, he slipped into this role effortlessly, wearing it like a second skin and making me forget what other roles he played before. Was it because ive missed him on my screen for the past 2 years or was it because of the army and the maturity he now brings to this role? Whatever it is, I am loving it!
Favorite scene hands down was his crying while staring at the sauce he made nyahahah! When I first saw the preview i was dismayed that he seemed to have fallen in love so fast but this twist is slaying me. This is the funniest falling in love trope I have ever seen! He's killing it with his delivery and I'm all for it!
Beyond my love of LSG of course is the story which I find compelling, the mythology and the variety of characters ( and fun cameos, more pls! )> I loved Lee Hongki in YB and Modern Farmer- until it went on too long and the romance was duh. I havent seen OYS in anything yet except this one and so far I have no complaints. I love his chemistry with Cha in YAAS before so I'm rooting for more bromance than ferenemies in the next episodes.
Thanks JB for the fast recaps! Waiting for subbed episodes is the pits! Why does it take so long though? I truly hope that with the number of hour long episodes the story will not suffer. And with all the bad happenings at first may it be smooth sailing from now on for this drama- excellent ratings too!!!

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Thank you for the speedy recap Javabeans! I am loving this drama so much, it's as addicting as DOTS and Goblin was to me <3

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the whole occupation era snippet threw me back to Chicago typewriter especially since she had her hair up under a cap and men clothes on. I had chills remembering that drama, especially how it also ended tragically for the occupation era incarnations.

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Thank you for your swift recap and comments, Javabeans! I read them after watching the raw episode. Now to go back and watch with subtitles.

Patriarch reminds me of a Korean Colonel Sanders with that white suit and tie of his. LOL! Zombie Girl gave me flashbacks to dimension-traversing nerdette Fred in ANGEL -- she looks like a Korean (young) Amy Acker. ;-) The way she was reanimated was quite an example of the "butterfly effect"! Who knows what further mayhem will be caused by those bloody red butterflies?

In the Impending Doom Department, the crack in the vessel that reveals the future brings to mind the rip in reality in DR. WHO. It's as if the metaphysical San Andreas Fault is rupturing further and further. This cannot be good.

Mawang's back story makes his quest to become a Taoist immortal understandable and surprisingly sympathetic. It's not merely an egotistic desire, but a fervent rescue attempt. And it is motivated by love. Who would have ever guessed that the snorting bull could be such a softie? I'm wondering if his achieving immortality is akin to reaching enlightenment, which means an end to the cycle of death and rebirth. But is immortality transferable to third parties? I'm interested to see how this is depicted.

Secretary Ma as a demon hound. Holy Cerberus, Batman! Seeing her in the century-old photo with her master was wild. Thanks for explaining her connection with dogs. If anything, I would have taken her for a horse demon (based on her surname). But in the days of horseless carriages, that wouldn't have worked -- so she manifests as a demonic Lassie instead. That also explains her slavering to chomp Sam-jang. ;-)

The boar chase through the streets cracked me up. LMAO! What a great tip of the hat to PRINCESS MONONOKE -- and WELCOME TO DONGMAKGOL. ;-)

I'm currently watching MAWANG / THE LUCIFER / THE DEVIL. At times I completely slip my clutch while watching HWAYUGI. Bull Demon God Mawang is so different from the other Mawang. ;-)

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Am I the only one who hated that fact that this romances is so forcefull...I would liked it better if he falls for her overtime with out being force to love her because of a stupid spell(object) that made him love her...and she's biting it as well dispite knowing the fact that his feeling aren't real but fabricated by a love object that force him to love her...because at the end of the day his real feeling is false and she is falling in love with a false love created by an object of love...grrrr...I felt like writter is shoving the romance in our face excepting us to like it and I had grew up watching alot of New Journey to the West movies and I still prefer the some movie romances over this....😧😧

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I feel like he's eventually going to fall in love for real, but for now I'm quite enjoying watching Oh-gong fighting against his artificial love. It will make his realization of real love all the more enjoyable. For those of us watching, anyway.

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Watching it with subtitles right now.

Burning question: Who put the hit out on Zombie Girl? And why? Maybe it has nothing to do with show biz.

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Upon watching the episode with subtitles, I was struck by the flashback to Mawang's lady love jumping off the celestial Cliff of Doom, and then noticed that in her portrait, she holds a fan that looks like the one little Sun-mi was supposed to retrieve from Monkey when he was imprisoned. With the peonies in the painting, royalty is inferred. Is she Princess Iron Fan?

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Yes, confirmed Iron Fan Princess. Noticed the fan too, Ma Wang said it's iron fan in ep 1. Now just wondering why she is celestial, coz she's supposed to be demon.

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I loved it. Yook-gong is adorable! I need that plush toy in my life!! ahahhaah
Moneky is hilarious and I love how he loves and hates her at the same time. He does have a heart and I think some of his actions are not even manipulated by the bracelet (see the popcorn scene).
I find Mawang's backstory interesting. The painting of his lady love had the fan in it that was in moneky's prison. Wonder if the 2 are somehow related.

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