Hwayugi: Episode 6
It’s time to put this magical love to the test, come hell or high water. Maybe I shouldn’t say that when hell is actually on the way to get them, but we have a little time before the apocalypse hits, and what we really care about right now is whether Monkey’s love is even a little bit true. Luckily for us, we’re not the only ones dying to know.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
After slipping a drop of Sun-mi’s blood in Mawang’s wine just to make him suffer, Oh-gong watches in glee as Mawang’s bloodlust is awakened, making him writhe in agony. Oh-gong taunts him, knowing that the hunger is driving him crazy.
Mawang growls as he tries to control himself, but then he yanks off the orb ring he always wears, which wipes the smile off of Oh-gong’s face. Mawang sits back and asks if he really thought that a tiny little droplet of blood would undo a thousand years of self-restraint on the road to becoming an immortal, and Oh-gong deflates, his fun ruined.
Oh-gong says he wanted to make Mawang suffer as much as him, and declares that the real test begins now. He flips over a sandglass and tells Mawang to spend some time alone with Sun-mi, who’s just arrived at the house.
Her proximity makes Mawang’s eyes flash red again, and though he manages to hold it together long enough to greet her, soon the scent of her blood is overwhelming. His teeth morph into fangs and his nails turn into claws, and he faces away from Sun-mi to hide his monstrous form.
Sun-mi senses that something is wrong, but despite his desperate warning for her not to come close, she approaches anyway… Just as the sandglass runs empty, Mawang lets out a scream of pain, and the lights go out in the entire house.
Oh-gong has returned, of course, and Sun-mi is confused when he suddenly leads her out of the house. She notes with some disappointment that he seems happy about Mawang feeling ill, and she protests that it’s too cold to go anywhere with him.
Oh-gong doesn’t want to hear how cold she’s feeling, wanting to avoid having to give her his coat. But two can play at that game, and Sun-mi pulls out her best Puss in Boots impression, attacking Oh-gong’s heart with a bout of aegyo.
He clutches his heart and changes tack, and leads her through a portal in the elevator to a place called Sureumdong. They arrive in a greenhouse, which leads to his private liquor cellar. Oh-gong tells her that this is his house (LOL, so you really just took Mawang’s house for kicks?), and offers her a glass of liquor to warm her up.
To his dismay, Sun-mi picks the most expensive bottle on the table. He’s stingy with the pour, but she signals for a refill and he begrudgingly keeps filling her glass. She offers to drink up his whole collection, but he insists that he’s going to drink it all the second his punishment is over.
She asks what he’s being punished for, and Oh-gong says that a human needn’t know the affairs of immortals. He mentions that they tried burning him for 49 days, which did nothing, so they locked him in that house she freed him from. She remembers him telling her once that he was very bad, and asks how long he was a prisoner there. He says very casually that he stopped counting after 500 years, and Sun-mi’s eyes widen.
She notes that it must’ve been very lonely and difficult for him, and Oh-gong is surprised by her words. She offers to buy him even more expensive liquor when he can drink again, but he laughs at her and asks if she really thinks he’d have a reason to see her once his punishment is over.
He points out the irony of her sympathy and flashes the bracelet on his wrist: “You’re the one imprisoning me now.” He equates her to his mountain prison, and admits freely that he wishes she’d disappear.
He’s so direct that she’s taken aback, and she gets up to leave. He tells her coldly to just go back the way she came, but then he gets up to put his coat on her shoulders. She doesn’t want it, but he says that seeing her feel cold is more painful than the torture of being burned alive for 49 days straight. You are so confusingly hot and cold, Monkey!
He gives her the rest of the liquor she’d been drinking, which she refuses because it makes her uncomfortable when he’s nice to her. Oh-gong puts it in her hand anyway and points out that she ought to feel some discomfort when he’s suffering so much because of her, and adds that his love may protect her safety, but he has no intention of protecting her happiness too. Did… you just sort of threaten to make her love you so that she’ll suffer too?
Sun-mi agrees to take the liquor uncomfortably and drink it unhappily, and he sends her off with a smile, though it fades the moment he’s left alone.
Back at Mawang’s house, PK senses that something bad has happened when CEO Sa tells him that Sun-mi disappeared and left her things behind. CEO Sa, on the other hand, is more concerned with polishing the china.
PK notices Mawang’s empty ring on the table and remembers that it used to hold Sun-mi’s blood, and says to himself with a smirk that something fun must have happened.
At Lucifer Entertainment, Secretary Ma offers to bring Mawang another energy ball to restore his strength, and gasps when his voice comes out as a high-pitched squeak. He says weakly that he’ll be okay, but sends her to go get medicine that will counteract Sun-mi’s blood.
Secretary Ma heads to the General Store, but is disappointed when the peddler’s grandson (whose eyes flash red) tells her that his grandmother will be away for some time. He offers to get her what she needs if she pays him in cash under the table, and they head to the back of the store.
From the entryway, PK watches them curiously and wonders with a smile if Mawang is sick. What are you up to, Pig?
At Namsan Tower, a woman searches through the wall of lovers’ padlocks in tears. She finally finds the one she’s looking for, when suddenly a ghostly hand creeps up behind her with a pair of scissors and snips off locks of her hair, sending her screaming.
Oh-gong visits Frosty’s ice cream stand and tells him about Mawang almost eating Sun-mi, noting that she could’ve died if he’d brought a bigger sandglass, though he admits that he’d have saved her first because of the bracelet.
Frosty looks at the sandglass and offers to buy him some time—it’s just a little bit of time, but he suggests that Oh-gong could use Mawang to get rid of Sun-mi if he wants. Oh-gong contemplates it seriously, but for now just asks for strawberry ice cream to go.
Mawang, meanwhile, is a total mess at the office. He has the shakes like he’s going through drug withdrawal, though he thinks it’s worth the side effects to suppress the thirst.
He’s shaking so badly that it looks like he’s having a seizure, and Secretary Ma doesn’t help matters when she suggests that he just eat Sun-mi to feel better. But Mawang fights the shakes and insists that he’s well enough to work.
Sun-mi tells her employee Han-joo that she’s heading to the broadcast station later to see PK, and he likens it to playing a game of baseball with (Jang) Dong-gun or having a beer with (Jo) In-sung, impressed that she’s hobnobbing with celebrities.
He suggests that she call her bodyguard to drive her there, but when she says she doesn’t want to burden him, he mutters that they probably hired that useless guy for his looks, calling him a gigolo/swallow (the word is the same). A folder flies out of nowhere and whacks Han-joo upside the head, and from the ice cream stand, Oh-gong grumbles, “I’m a monkey, not a swallow!”
Mawang comes out of his audition program feeling good, having taken more medicine and sucked more energy from the live audience. He happily signs autographs and takes pictures with his fans, but mid-photo his hand starts to shake and his eyes flash red.
What he doesn’t know is that Sun-mi has just arrived at the station (called tbN, ha) to meet PK. Mawang begins to shake uncontrollably as she comes upon him in the hallway, and Sun-mi innocently chases after him when he hurries away.
Oh-gong watches all of this unfold and just turns over his sandglass without intervening.
Mawang races through the building trying to get some distance from Sun-mi, while she keeps chasing after him. He’s frantic and desperate to control his hunger and get away, but then suddenly he comes to a complete standstill, and the urge takes over—his eyes go red and he begins to walk like he’s in a trance.
Sun-mi closes in on him and Mawang waits around the corner, fangs at the ready to chomp down on her…
The sandglass empties, and on cue, the elevator doors open behind Mawang and Oh-gong knocks him out with a swift blow to the neck.
He falls like a statue, right into Oh-gong’s embrace. HA, the love ballad as he catches him in his arms is priceless.
The doors close on them just in time for Sun-mi to miss the bromantic display.
She goes to meet PK, who returns the things she left behind at Mawang’s house. When Sun-mi asks if Mawang is here today, PK says that he doesn’t know, and warns her knowingly to be careful. He doesn’t explain any further, though he obviously knows something.
PK seeks out Secretary Ma to confirm his suspicion that Mawang wants to eat Sun-mi, and she warns him to stay silent. He says that he fully supports the decision to eat the monk and offers his help, and asks for just one bite in return.
In Mawang’s office, Oh-gong finally cops to the fact that he did this to get revenge for the way Mawang teased him for being in love. You are so petty!
Mawang points out that if he doesn’t show restraint, Oh-gong will lose the person he loves and die of suffering. But Oh-gong corrects him—if Sun-mi dies, the bracelet loses its hold over him and he will no longer feel pain. Mawang thinks that’s moot when Oh-gong’s love prevents him from letting anything bad happen to Sun-mi, but that just makes Oh-gong think of Frosty’s offer again.
Oh-gong takes pity on Mawang when he sees how badly his hand is shaking from the medicine’s side effects, and pours him a glass of water… which Mawang promptly throws in Oh-gong’s face, blaming the side effects. HA.
Zombie girl Buja stops in front of a car, trying to remember anything else she can about the hit man she saw the other night and the car he got into. The car she’s looking at now happens to be Alice’s, the bratty celebrity she spooked recently, and Alice accuses her of scratching her car.
They end up in another tussle, during which Buja loses an eyeball, of all things. Alice picks it up and then watches in horror as Buja stuffs it back into her socket, and she faints on the spot. Alice’s acquaintance assumes she just passed out from drinking, and hands Buja a card, suggesting that she audition with her show because she’s pretty.
Sun-mi and Han-joo go to a flower shop that they’ve been hired to sell as soon as possible. The owner was depressed and in a hurry to sell it after the death of her boyfriend, but when they arrive, she’s changed her mind and seems downright chipper.
She says that she’s “cut away” those feelings about the past, and Han-joo notices that she’s cut her hair too. Only to Sun-mi’s eyes, there’s a glowing blue residue on the woman’s hair that indicates something supernatural. Sun-mi finds the ghost of the boyfriend in the corner and asks if he cut his girlfriend’s hair, but he shakes his head.
So Sun-mi heads to Namsan where the florist’s hair was cut off, and a granny pushes her to buy a padlock even though she says that she doesn’t have a boyfriend. From a distance, a creepy man stops to watch her and takes note of her long hair.
Frosty meets Oh-gong at a bar and vows to help him get rid of Sun-mi, but Oh-gong is in no hurry, and says that they can do it later. But Frosty says that it’ll be too late if Mawang detoxes, and suggests tonight because a cold snap is on the way and will ramp up his power.
Oh-gong is tellingly reluctant to jump at the opportunity, but Frosty insists that tonight is best because he can use the extra power of the cold snap to hold Oh-gong back while Mawang kills Sun-mi.
Hilariously, Oh-gong’s response is to look at his watch and suddenly remember that CEO Sa is cooking rice cakes for him tonight, and it’ll hurt his feelings if he doesn’t eat them while they’re hot. I love Frosty’s little knowing smile.
Frosty counters that it’ll still taste good cold, so then Oh-gong remembers that his weekend drama Your Golden Life is airing tonight, but Frosty says it’ll be rerun tomorrow. LOL, now you’re just messing with him.
Oh-gong mutters that you have to live-watch, and then he perks up when he hears Sun-mi calling his name. He pretends to be suuuuper disappointed that he can’t kill her tonight, and runs off before Frosty can argue.
Oh-gong takes issue with Sun-mi calling him to such a cold place, and when she apologizes, he clarifies that he doesn’t want her to be cold. When she mentions the cold snap, he thinks to himself, “I don’t want to send you away on such a cold night.” Then don’t!
He says that her clothes are especially pretty today, which she finds odd since they’re the same old clothes she always wears. He offers to buy her new clothes and take her out to dinner, which sounds an awful lot like he’s preparing to say goodbye…
She wonders why he’s being so nice to her all of a sudden, and he argues that he’s always treated her well. She says there’s a difference between being begrudgingly nice and sincerely nice, and says he was sincere when he took her out the night he was trying to convince her to give up on her life. Well that’s a sad statement. Oh-gong seems to find it sad too, and he seeks out food as a distraction.
He goes where all the people are lining up, confused to see them buying cotton candy, which he doesn’t know is a food. He pushes his way to the front of the line rudely, but when she says she wants to stand in line, he adorably gets in line just to please her.
He buys her the biggest cotton candy ever, and when she jokes that it could be a blanket, he offers to make her one as big as a cloud, literally. He lights up when he tastes cotton candy for the first time, and Sun-mi is pleased that he was able to experience something new because of the bracelet.
She’s especially happy when he says he likes the ball of cotton, noting that it’s the first time he’s said anything like that because of her. He’s usually expressing displeasure and wishing she’d disappear, and he says that’s still true.
Sun-mi wonders if the cotton candy will disappear when the bracelet and his feelings for her are gone someday: “No memory will remain of the sweet thing you liked, will it?”
Oh-gong answers, “Are you a dummy? Of course it remains. With or without the circlet, sweet is sweet and like is like.” He knows he’s being swoony right now, right?
Sun-mi runs to the bathroom to avoid the awkward moment, and Oh-gong gets annoyed at how happy he feels right now. He stuffs his face with cotton candy, swearing at it for being so sweet.
Sun-mi pauses in front of the padlocks and contemplates the one she bought earlier, and Oh-gong’s words that the sweet memories will last. She decides to hang the lock, and nearby a photographer captures her in the act. He offers politely to delete the photo if she’d prefer, but she says it’s okay.
Oh-gong actually does go home for CEO Sa’s rice cakes, and scoffs when PK says he’s there to help Buja train to go on an audition program. She thinks there’s a chance her family will see her on TV, but Oh-gong snaps at her not to bother finding family when she’s already a corpse.
This is clearly more about him, but it leaves Buja in tears. PK reassures her that he can keep her undead by feeding her energy balls, since he’s a top star with an endless supply of them. He even offers to kick Monkey’s butt once he becomes stronger (from eating the monk, which he doesn’t mention), and pets her on the head sweetly.
CEO Sa, meanwhile, is still fussing over that stained teacup, which PK can’t understand.
Mawang is no longer shaking, but a new side effect has presented itself: rosy cheeks, which he finds embarrassing enough to cancel his whole schedule over. He asks if Secretary Ma found a medicine to purify him of Sun-mi’s blood, and she says the peddler’s grandson is procuring it.
But privately, she takes out the medicine she’s already purchased. Thinking of the grandson’s warning that taking it could lead to death, she decides that it’s too dangerous for Mawang.
PK asks Patriarch what would happen if he were to eat Sun-mi, and Patriarch says he’d lose his promotion, Mawang couldn’t become an immortal, Oh-gong couldn’t return to heaven, and Buja would die.
Of all those, it’s Buja that concerns PK the most, and he grows thoughtful when he learns that her fate is tied to Sun-mi’s because it was her blood that reanimated her. Aw, do you like her?
Mawang tells Secretary Ma that his rosy cheeks have traveled down his body to his chest, ha. Her response is oddly stiff, even for her, and she promises to do whatever it takes so that he no longer suffers this way. Uh-oh…
PK catches her offering to meet Sun-mi down in the parking garage, and guesses right away that she’s going to kill Sun-mi.
Secretary Ma shows him the knife in her pocket and says she’s going to stab her and hold Oh-gong off long enough for Mawang to eat her.
PK peers in on Mawang, and you can see him weighing the pros and cons in his featherweight brain right then and there. Do the right thing, Pig!
Secretary Ma heads down with the knife behind her back, and upstairs, PK cautiously approaches Mawang…
Sun-mi walks right up to Secretary Ma without an ounce of suspicion, and Secretary Ma says she’s sorry and just plunges the knife right into her heart without hesitation.
Sun-mi’s eyes widen, but when she looks up, Oh-gong and Mawang are standing back to back, in between the two women. The knife is sticking out of Mawang’s chest, and Secretary Ma lets go in shock.
Oh-gong just says matter-of-factly, “That must hurt, Mawang. Hey Secretary Dog, if you do something like this one more time, you’re dead.” But what terrifies her more is when Mawang says he wouldn’t let her die by Oh-gong’s hand—he’d kill her himself.
Sun-mi undercuts the tension by asking the monsters in the room what just happened, and finally hears about Mawang’s bloodlust for her. The true blow is when Oh-gong admits that he slipped Mawang her blood, and she looks stricken as she asks, “Because you hoped I would disappear?”
He confirms it, and she runs away as her eyes fill with tears.
Upstairs, Mawang grabs his heart in pain, but still manages to delight in the fact that Oh-gong seemed to be suffering more than him, in a situation of his own making.
Secretary Ma asks Mawang to kill her, and he says that he will someday, but orders her never to be killed by someone else until then. “Don’t ever prepare to die without my permission again,” he says, and she bows in obedience.
Sun-mi cries alone in her car, remembering how Oh-gong told her repeatedly that he wanted her gone. But she gets mad when she thinks back to him saying that sweet is sweet and like is like, and calls him a liar.
She races back to Namsan Tower in tears and scours the padlocks for the one she put up, and the man who’d watched her buy the lock smiles to see her return. His eyes light up blue.
Sun-mi calls herself foolish for believing a liar, desperate to undo her padlock. But before she can find it, the haircutting demon wraps his hands around her hair. He says that she won’t feel a thing, and in fact, if she lets him take her hair, her painful feelings will disappear too.
It’s not a bad trade, and Sun-mi very seriously considers the offer and shuts her eyes, permitting him to take her hair. The demon eagerly takes his scissors to a lock of her hair, but as she thinks back to her moments with Oh-gong, she suddenly realizes that she doesn’t want her feelings to disappear.
She calls out for Oh-gong, who appears on command and puts down the demon in an instant. He tells her to cut her hair at a salon, adding dryly that any haircut would look pretty to him because he loves her.
She counters coldly that she doesn’t care, and that his only job is to protect her. So he answers just as brusquely that he will do as commanded.
Secretary Ma is angry with PK for blowing her whole plan, but he points out that he just saved her from being killed by Oh-gong. She wonders why he changed his mind about getting a bite of Sun-mi, and he doesn’t say, but he’s there just to pick Buja up after practice.
CEO Sa cooks up an enormous feast because he’s so happy about finally getting that stain out of the teacup, and PK is amazed that he didn’t throw it out. Buja says she called Sun-mi to join them because there was so much food, but she refused to come.
Mawang blames Oh-gong since she wouldn’t want to eat at the same table with a betrayer, while Oh-gong blames Mawang since she wouldn’t want to eat with a predator either.
We finally get the payoff for the whole teacup stain metaphor when CEO Sa tells them that stains are harder to get out the longer you leave them there, and advises Mawang and Oh-gong to deal with their problem now.
So Mawang calls Sun-mi to his office the next day to assure her that he’s fully detoxed now and won’t try to eat her, though she isn’t convinced that he won’t change his mind. He says that he needs to save somebody and needs Sun-mi for that purpose, so he won’t be killing her.
Secretary Ma gives a flat, robotic apology like she’s reading from a cue card, and Sun-mi is unimpressed. She figures that she’ll just have to take Mawang’s word for it that he’ll kill Secretary Ma if she tries anything again.
On her way out, Sun-mi walks by the photographer who’d taken a picture of her at Namsan, and he recognizes her instantly. They exchange pleasant smiles as they pass each other by.
Han-joo brings Sun-mi some ice cream, which makes her think that Oh-gong is here to see her. She deflates when Han-joo says he bought it himself, and swears up and down that she wasn’t waiting for Oh-gong.
Han-joo watches her go with a sigh and badmouths Oh-gong for playing with her feelings when all he ever did was buy her strawberry ice cream. Oh-gong magically pulls the chair out from behind Han-joo and grumbles that he did LOTS of nice things for her.
Frosty laments the lost opportunity to get rid of Sun-mi, and then in the same breath suggests that Oh-gong be sincere with her to get her to stop being mad at him. Oh-gong asks what sincerity is to a monster wearing a love bracelet.
But Frosty points out that Sun-mi has sincerity because she’s human, and asks Oh-gong to look into her heart to figure out why she’s mad.
The photographer turns out to be a producer who’s making a fantasy film about a girl and a large bull (a parody on Okja), and when Mawang asks about casting for the young girl, the producer has an exact image in mind, saying that it comes from a very vivid memory of his.
He shows Mawang sketches of a girl, who looks an awful lot like Sun-mi when she was a child. Mawang recognizes her and asks curiously what was so special about this girl, and the producer says she was his first love.
Sun-mi goes to get ice cream herself at Frosty’s, and denies having come for Oh-gong. Frosty knows that she’s mad at Oh-gong right now, but she says his feelings aren’t real anyway, so there’s nothing to be mad about.
Frosty offers to buy her some time, since tonight’s cold snap will mean that his powers will be at their strongest. He points to Oh-gong’s sandglass and says he could buy her just a little time and freeze the power of the bracelet, giving her the chance to know Oh-gong’s true heart. He asks what she’d want to know if given that short opportunity.
Oh-gong goes to Namsan and gazes at the padlock he saw Sun-mi put up, and he says to himself that the more you look into a human’s heart, the more difficult it is.
Snow begins to fall, and Oh-gong doesn’t realize it, but the bracelet freezes around his wrist, which is Frosty’s doing. Sun-mi arrives and remembers Frosty telling her that she would have just a few moments during the snowfall to find out what she really wants to know about Oh-gong’s true heart.
She says, “Sohn Oh-gong, what I want to know is, am I pretty right now?”
Bracelet still frozen, he answers, “Yes, you’re pretty… because I love you.” The last few grains fall through the sandglass, and the moment of truth comes to an end.
Of all the questions, that’s the one she asked? I suppose he gave the perfect answer anyway, so it doesn’t matter, but I would’ve been so angry if he hadn’t added the love part of his own volition. It was a nice rare moment of sincerity from Monkey, even if it required a supernatural chill to squeeze it out of him. And Frosty’s cold snap had a nice progression throughout the episode to get us there, starting as a device for Oh-gong to get rid of Sun-mi, lingering as a possible threat if Oh-gong wanted to pull the trigger, and then the reversal when it’s Sun-mi who uses it to find out Oh-gong’s true feelings.
The episode as a whole had good buildups and reversals, from Frosty’s cold snap to PK’s possible betrayal to Mawang’s bloodlust. It probably helped that the demon of the day was so minor compared to our recurring characters’ storylines today, which I much prefer. I found Mawang’s story particularly entertaining, in making him the predator who not only ran away from his prey, but got stabbed to save her life. Drug detox and noble stabbing was not the progression I was expecting when he was given a taste of her irresistible blood, that’s for sure.
As for the romance, I thought the most telling thing was when Oh-gong blew up at Buja for wanting to form attachments to people when she’s going to die (again) and leave them. He’s clearly thinking of Sun-mi, as if he blames her for making him fall in love with her knowing she’ll die and rip his heart out. It’s somehow calculating and romantic at the same time, because he knows the score but can’t help himself from loving her anyway.
We know that he’s already been confused and in denial about his love being completely untrue, but I appreciated the short magical loophole that got him to say it out loud just once, while not under the influence of the bracelet. I mean, if you’re using rice cakes and weekend dramas as your excuse not to plan your enemy’s demise, it might be time to reevaluate whether you really want her dead. The problem with Oh-gong is that he has no middle, so he’s either wishing her dead or declaring his love, and I find them both equally convincing in the moment. It’s no wonder that Sun-mi feels like an emotional yo-yo, even on a good day.
The question is, will knowing that he loves her for real actually be a game-changer, or will he continue to deny it and keep trying to find ways to have her killed? Monkey is such a loose cannon that I honestly don’t know the answer to that question.
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- Deals with demon kings and rascal monkeys in tvN’s Hwayugi
- Premiere Watch: Hwayugi
- Cutting through clouds and hands of fire in Hwayugi
- Hwayugi brings on the mystical mystery in new stills
- Two demons and a human woman face off in Hwayugi
- Exorcist romance drama Hwayugi’s leading trio is ready to fight
- Lee Seung-gi hits the ground running after army discharge
- Bora and Kim Ji-soo join Hwayugi as top star and first love
- Hwayugi gains a mythical cast of characters