Hwayugi: Episode 8
We get a visit from the green-eyed monster today, both literally and figuratively, and someone sticks his monkey foot in his monkey mouth. As expected, our hero does not take to jealousy very gracefully, and makes a giant mess of things. Why do I find it so endearing that he’s so terrible at love?
EPISODE 8 RECAP
In the past, Little Sun-mi watches enviously as the other kids play with an older boy. He flies his remote-control helicopter into someone’s yard and enters the house to retrieve it, and Sun-mi says to herself that the ajumma who lives there is scary.
As soon as the boy enters the abandoned house, he hears a baby’s laughter and something starts to creep up behind him… when Sun-mi runs in and pulls him aside.
They huddle together in a corner behind her ghost-warding umbrella, and Sun-mi clamps a hand over the boy’s mouth as a ghost mother carries her ghost baby right past them.
In the present, movie producer Jonathan laughs as he tells this story to Mawang, describing himself as a coward back then while Sun-mi was always brave. Sun-mi calls him “oppa” and says he was the brave one, befriending her when all the other kids were afraid of her. Aw.
Mawang is proud of himself for bringing them together and offers wine, only to have Secretary Ma tell him that Oh-gong broke all of the wine glasses in the house. Of course he did.
Sun-mi thinks back to the moment when she’d first arrived, as Oh-gong kissed her jealously in front of everyone. He’d whispered in her ear afterwards: “Don’t have a good time.” He’d instructed her to leave quickly and smirked at her before taking off. Why is angry Monkey so hot?
Sun-mi calls him bad as she recalls the moment, but it gives her shivers and puts a smile on her face.
Jonathan says their reunion is like a movie, and tells Sun-mi about his new project that was inspired by her. He reminds her that as a child she’d always believed that a fairy would come rescue her when she was scared and alone. If you only knew what fairy she meant. Sun-mi confirms that her fairy did show, but says that the story wasn’t exactly a beautiful fairytale.
Said fairy is currently stewing in jealousy at Summer Fairy’s bar, as PK explains that Sun-mi is with another man right now. Summer Fairy nudges PK to go check on Oh-gong since dating is his area of expertise, but PK doesn’t want to be turned into sweet and sour pork for butting in at the wrong moment.
They watch nervously, waiting for Oh-gong to explode at any moment… but then he suddenly starts smiling to himself and kissing his hand. LOL, he’s reliving his kiss!
Summer Fairy and PK can’t believe that dumb Monkey is sitting there pleased with himself instead of focusing on his rival. PK goes over and gently suggests that Oh-gong ought to be a little more worried about Sun-mi being with another man, but Oh-gong insists that she promised never to betray him, on penalty of death.
PK points out that “first love oppa” could be winning her heart this very moment, but Oh-gong says that she can’t show her feelings for someone else in front of him unless she wants to die, not caring how she actually feels as long as he doesn’t have to see it.
PK oinks in frustration and says he’s right—no matter how much Sun-mi falls for that oppa, all she has to do is keep her feelings hidden from him. That finally triggers Oh-gong’s jealousy… in the form of a fireball with PK’s name on it, ha. Thankfully Summer Fairy collects him before he can be turned into barbecue.
Oh-gong thinks back to the moment Sun-mi had hugged Jonathan, and realizes how much he hates the idea of her liking someone else. No one ever said Monkey was quick on the uptake.
Back at the house, Jonathan gets ready to escort Sun-mi home, but she says she’ll stay behind to see her temperamental fairy. Mawang takes note with some displeasure.
Jonathan asks Mawang on his way out if he knows this fairy, only now realizing that Sun-mi’s fairy might be a real person instead of an imaginary figure. Mawang just encourages him by saying that in all fairytales, the fairy’s purpose is to unite the heroine and the prince, and then disappear.
Secretary Ma tells Sun-mi that she and Jonathan are a good match, wondering why she didn’t leave with him to continue the date. Sun-mi says that Oh-gong would only get angrier if she did that, and Secretary Ma just rolls her eyes. She has the best reactions.
Sun-mi’s cheeks get flushed as she thinks back to the kiss, and Mawang watches her with a cloudy expression, muttering to himself that she’s going to get fooled by her fairy yet again. “I’ll have to show it to her,” he says. Show her what?
Oh-gong sits in a dark room and tells someone that he won’t forgive him for not doing his job. His sole purpose was to keep watch over Sun-mi, he says, and Oh-gong thinks it unforgivable that he allowed another man to get close to her.
He says he’s going to make him disappear into nothingness without a trace… and then we cut to the stuffed monkey that he’s yelling at. Pffft.
Sun-mi finds Oh-gong like that in her office and stops him from throwing the stuffed monkey away, and Oh-gong makes silent I’m-watching-you gestures at the monkey behind her back.
He likes that she seems unhappy, assuming that she had a terrible time at the dinner party. He says that it would be wrong and shameless of her to make him wear this bracelet and then see another man, and Sun-mi wonders if his idea of having shame is making all those seasonings to eat her with. Ha, is that what Mawang wanted to show her?
We flash back to earlier that night, when Mawang had laid out all of Oh-gong’s monk seasonings on the table for Sun-mi’s benefit, complete with helpful demonstrations for how he would flavor her.
Rightfully horrified, Sun-mi challenges Oh-gong about it now, aghast when he doesn’t see the problem. He thinks she should be grateful that he didn’t use the seasonings, and says that Mawang (“that bull bastard”) left out the part where he clutched the seasoning container and cried. You’re right, that was the best part.
He’s completely tone-deaf to her anger and glosses over the issue, offering to do something fun with her since she must’ve had a boring time with that other guy. Sun-mi says she had a great time, actually, and that she didn’t think of him once.
He calls her a liar and says she must have thought about it, and kisses his hand with a smug little grin. Sun-mi is flustered, but she insists that she didn’t think about it at all, and Oh-gong’s confidence starts to waver.
She asks what he’s going to do about the seasoning, and he says he’s going to keep it to remind himself of their true natures—he’s a monster, and when he’s free of the bracelet, she’ll be his prey.
Sun-mi looks crushed and admits that she’d thought for a brief moment that maybe he wouldn’t kill her even if she removed the bracelet, but she realizes now that she was wrong. She tells him to keep the seasoning so that they never forget each other’s true natures.
Oh-gong finally seems to get that he screwed up, and the first thing he does when he gets home is light the monk seasoning on fire. Mawang chuckles to himself in glee.
At a bus stop, a disgruntled man grows envious when he sees a young chef’s successful profile online, and a demon latches onto him and whispers in his ear to destroy him. His eyes light up green and he starts leaving nasty comments online for the restaurant, and soon after, Sun-mi and Han-joo are standing outside the restaurant, which has closed due to an onslaught of bad reviews.
Sun-mi happens to spot the peddler’s grandson from the General Store walk by, and he tells her that the restaurant has been cursed by a badmouth demon. She wonders why he’s setting up a street stand and calls him out on skimming off the top to pocket extra allowance money, so he offers to let her have something for free.
She picks up a little red bell charm and wonders why it’s silent, and he tells her that it’ll ring when she’s met her fated match. She prefers the black bell next to it, but he quickly snatches that one out of her hand. Sun-mi doesn’t need a charm and asks for more information on the demon instead.
She takes the case to Mawang, who’s pleased about her finding a nice point-builder like a badmouth demon. He says that to catch a person who’s badmouthing others on social media, they’ll have to make an account for Sun-mi that attracts attention.
He tells Secretary Ma to bring every limited-edition designer thing they have on hand, and snaps photos of Sun-mi to post online. Mawang instructs her to look as arrogant as possible, which just leads to a lot of awkward poses and a very frustrated Mawang.
He has every celebrity in Lucifer Entertainment follow Sun-mi’s account, and in no time she’s drawn a bunch of attention online. Han-joo is amazed, though he’s confused when Sun-mi says she made the account to attract negative comments, and asks how she can get more hate.
He says that people hate it when you don’t act your age, so she posts a cutesy selfie for maximum mockery.
Frosty holds up the picture and asks Patriarch why Sun-mi is acting this way, and wonders why Oh-gong isn’t helping her if she’s after a demon. Patriarch explains that she found out about Oh-gong’s monk seasoning.
Patriarch notes that Frosty is extremely powerful these days, and mentions him freezing Oh-gong’s bracelet. Frosty says he doesn’t have the strength to do it again and that he did it because Sun-mi wanted to know Oh-gong’s true feelings.
Patriarch calls it a futile gesture, because to fulfill the monk’s calling, Sun-mi’s feelings can never get involved. Well that’s not suspicious or anything. Frosty asks point-blank if that’s the reason he put the bracelet on Oh-gong, “So that they can never know each other’s true feelings?” Patriarch evades the question and saunters off.
Continuing on her social media quest, Sun-mi takes a group photo with PK and Alice (who’s still possessed by the Dragon Prince). PK is distracted by Dragon Prince adjusting his chest, and scoffs when he tries to flirt with Sun-mi while wearing Alice’s body.
Dragon Prince says it’s just in his nature, but PK warns him that one wrong move and Oh-gong will turn the octopus into takoyaki, heh. Dragon Prince asks Sun-mi if she’s Oh-gong’s girl, but Sun-mi takes offense and says no. After Sun-mi leaves, Dragon Prince asks if Alice can’t hold her liquor, and PK shrieks to see that he’s had a whole glass and runs to catch him as he passes out.
At home, Buja and CEO Sa worry that a badmouth demon is dangerous, and Oh-gong says he intends to help out after the fun event he’s been waiting on. He checks his watch and then looks satisfied when Mawang comes home and lets out a bellow.
LOL, Mawang comes home to his precious bull statue painted as a milk cow. He flips out and declares war on Oh-gong, but Buja raises her hand and says that she’s the culprit, and CEO Sa says he even witnessed her do it.
Mawang isn’t falling for it, and Oh-gong just laughs and gallops away singing, “Mawang milk-cow style” to the tune of “Gangnam Style.” Pfffft.
Mawang asks why he’s doing this, and Oh-gong says with an edge to his voice that he’s trying to end this as a joke, because they can’t fight to the death over it. Oh-gong says they’ll end it like this, and then he can’t help adding a pun on his way out: “I lost [jeot-so, also meaning “milk cow”].”
PK calls Buja for help getting untangled from the drunk octopus, who’s determined to spend the night with him. PK: “Let’s not do this! If you and I mix, we’re squid and pork belly bulgogi!” The menu gags just keep on comin’ in this episode.
PK’s night only gets worse when reporters snap a photo of them looking very cozy in his car, and he takes off running after them.
Buja arrives outside the Lucifer Entertainment building a moment later, just in time to be spotted by the two hit men who lost her and have come looking for her. They can’t comprehend how she’s alive, but figure they’ll kidnap her to see if she recognizes them.
But PK gets to her first, lamenting how he doesn’t want to be in a scandal with an octopus. The hit men watch them walk away and wonder how a dead girl ended up friends with a top star.
Back in Buja’s mother’s hospital room, they wonder why she hasn’t visited her mom. They decide to stay quiet about it for now, since they could get rid of Buja quietly without anyone ever knowing they messed up.
Secretary Ma reports to Mawang that Sun-mi’s social media account is going strong, and that she and Oh-gong have yet to reconcile. She offers to make a batch of fake monk seasoning to keep up the misunderstanding between them, and Mawang praises her for her petty thinking, ha.
She says she’ll make sure that Sun-mi continues to fear being eaten by Oh-gong, but Mawang wonders if that’s really what Sun-mi fears. He thinks back to the moment he’d shown her the seasoning—she’d cried, saying that she had begun to hope that without the bracelet… but never finished her thought.
Mawang doesn’t think she was crying out of fear, and Secretary Ma doesn’t see what else she could be afraid of. He says the human heart is far more complicated and difficult, and plans to figure out the answer first to prevent Oh-gong from doing so.
Sun-mi goes to the market in search of her biggest anti-fan, and soon senses someone following her from behind. Armed with her umbrella, she makes her way down the aisle to confront the demon, but it’s Jonathan who’s found her instead.
He leads the way for Sun-mi to confront the woman who posted negative comments about her online, but she turns out to just be a jealous woman, not the demon-possessed person she’s looking for.
Jonathan asks why her fairy isn’t with her, and Sun-mi says her fairy is bad and might eat her, which he thinks is reason to call him a monster rather than a fairy.
Speak of the devil, Oh-gong is waiting for them when they reach the parking lot. His first thought is to play petty pranks, of course, and puts the brakes on Jonathan’s shopping cart and then sends it zipping away, Jonathan in tow.
Oh-gong tells Sun-mi that he threw away the seasoning, surprised when her response is disinterested and cold. He grabs her arm and asks her to come with him, and she pulls away, repeating his own words to her about the seasoning—that she won’t do it even if he pays her.
She tells him angrily to just kill and eat her, suggesting that he go into the market to buy more seasoning ingredients. Oh-gong fires back that he’ll make another batch and eat Jonathan with it, and she dares him to try. “Do you think I won’t? You know better than anyone how bad I am,” he says. He warns her that he’ll be watching and storms off.
Mawang is shocked when Oh-gong comes home with an armful of cleaning supplies to clean his bull statue with, and even more delighted to hear that Sun-mi was out on a date with Jonathan.
Oh-gong pouts and says they were talking about him behind his back, so he threatened to eat Jonathan. It’s not until Mawang clucks at him pitifully that Oh-gong’s smile falters: “…Should I not have said that?” LOL.
Mawang asks if he’s ever worried about what happens after the bracelet comes off, and Oh-gong asks why he would when that would be great for everyone. Mawang says that might be the case for him, but it must not be for Sun-mi. Oh-gong wonders to himself if she really thinks he’ll eat her once the bracelet comes off.
Sun-mi plays he-loves-me-not with bar nuts at Summer Fairy’s bar, though her options are “He doesn’t like me at all” and “He likes me a little bit.” Then she amends it to: “When the bracelet comes off, he’ll like me… he won’t like me.”
The man possessed by the demon is at the supermarket after all—he’s an employee there, and he finally finds Sun-mi online. But she isn’t the one who incites his envy; Han-joo is, because he’s a man with a happy family.
Soon Han-joo’s account is attacked with a barrage of nasty comments, and he sobs by himself in a dark corner of the office. Oh-gong comes by and Han-joo grabs him in a hug to cry some more, and over his shoulder, Oh-gong mouths to the monkey doll not to report on stuff like this. Ha, is the monkey really a spy?
Oh-gong listens to Han-joo’s story and tells him not to be swayed by those words, and promises to rip that guy’s mouth right off.
Meanwhile, Mawang tells Sun-mi that there’s something about the bracelet that she should know: Once she fulfills her calling as the monk, the bracelet will disappear on its own. Moreover, after she fulfills her heavenly duties, she will no longer be the monk anyway, which means that Oh-gong will have no reason to eat her, and no interest in her at all.
Mawang tells her this thinking it’ll put her at ease and solve her worries about the bracelet, but he can tell right away from her expression that this wasn’t the answer. He watches her leave and realizes that the thing she was afraid of wasn’t being eaten, but the feelings that would disappear along with the bracelet.
Sun-mi tries to convince herself that this makes her feel better, though her eyes are brimming with tears.
Oh-gong makes his way into the market after hours to hunt down the demon, who quickly bails from his host body. But before Oh-gong can smash the phone he’s tied to, the demon whispers in Oh-gong’s ear, “Sohn Oh-gong will die at the hands of Sam-jang!” Oh nooooooo.
The demon whispers it over and over, and as Sun-mi appears around the corner, it says again and again, “That woman will kill you!” Oh-gong raises the stick he’s carrying and fixes his eyes on her… and then slams it down on the phone, destroying the demon.
Sun-mi asks if Oh-gong is okay and whether the demon said something to him, and when she prods, he says that it told him that she likes him. Flustered, she says it’s not true, and that he shouldn’t believe anything that the demon says.
Oh-gong asks if it’s really not true, and then says he’s not going to believe the demon anyway: “It said you were going to kill me. If I think about it, you’re the only person in this world who can kill me… because if you told me to die, I would.”
He holds up the bracelet to emphasize his point, but Sun-mi shakes her head and says that would never happen. “Never say never,” he says, “and… don’t leave me behind. Don’t leave me behind and go to another man. If you do that one more time, I might really die.” Ugh, my heart.
Sun-mi promises not to, and he adds, “Don’t get mad at me or hate me either—it really hurts me. I love you, Jin Sun-mi.” She says she knows and thanks him, and they smile at each other.
PK’s scandal with Alice breaks the next day, and Mawang says that celebrity gossip passes, but a badmouth demon invading regular humans’ lives is a bigger problem. Secretary Ma muses that a demon could do real damage to the world if it latched onto an important figure with influence. Cue: a not-so-subtle transition to politician and presidential hopeful Professor Kang Dae-sung, finishing up a meeting in the broadcast station lobby.
Naturally today is the day that Buja has been invited to watch Mawang’s show being filmed, and she stops just outside the station when she recognizes the car she’d remembered.
Professor Kang is frozen in fear when he comes outside to find Buja standing in front of his car, asking him if he knows her.
Flashback to the night of her death: Professor Kang had been driving that very car and didn’t notice Buja crossing the street until it was too late. He’d hit the brakes but crashed into her head-on, and Buja rolled over his hood and fell to the ground, instantly dead.
He’d stood over her body and covered her face with that towel from Kingdom gym, and then walked away.
Back in the present, he asks if Buja knows him, and his nerves settle down when she says that she’s seen him on TV. He lies that he doesn’t know her, but once she’s gone, he wonders to himself with sinister calm if something went wrong.
Sun-mi tattles on the peddler’s grandson selling magical goods on the sly, and brings Mawang and Secretary Ma with her to catch him in the act. Mawang thanks her for the points he’ll earn with this, and asks if she’s made up with Oh-gong.
She says that she no longer has to fear what happens after the bracelet is gone, so she has no expectations, and that puts her at ease. Mawang leaves to deal with the grandson, which is when Sun-mi notices the stray bell charm that got dropped when he ran: the black one he’d pocketed.
Sun-mi thinks it’s the same as the red one, which rings when you’ve met the fated love of your life. But back at the shop, the grandson freaks out when he notices that the black bell has gone missing. Patriarch: “The black one? The death bell?” Mawang: “The one the grim reaper uses?” Oh lovely.
Suddenly the bell begins to ring in Sun-mi’s hand as she walks through the marketplace, and she wonders why it’s acting up. But then she turns a corner and sees Oh-gong standing there smiling at her.
As they lock eyes, Mawang says, “One who dies, and one who kills. When the ones with that deadly fate meet, it is said that they will hear the ringing of the death bell.”
None the wiser, Sun-mi smiles back at Oh-gong thinking that the bell has signaled the love of her life.
We don’t need the red bell to know that Oh-gong and Sun-mi are both fated to love and fated to bring each other death—that’s the tragedy, of course, and we even know that one of them will face death to save the world at some point. But I love this little twist that Sun-mi doesn’t know she has the death bell and it functions to do the opposite, to confirm her love and make her feel secure that her heart is in the right place. All along she’s been telling herself logically that she can’t fall for the man who wants to kill her most, and trying to convince herself that his love isn’t real. But she’s learned that she can stop fearing him as a predator since she’ll no longer be the monk after her mission, so her guard is down at the exact wrong moment.
But the reason we root for the romance is because they’re aware that it’s dangerous but fall in love anyway, like the way that Oh-gong dismisses the very blatant warning from the demon that Sun-mi will be the one to kill him. He knows that she holds his life in her hands and chooses to just let her have it. Even though he can’t control whether or not he loves her, he doesn’t seem to argue or resent it anymore like he used to. I don’t know if it was the pain he felt when she rejected him, but his tune became very sincere, at least in the moment when he asked her not to leave him behind because it hurt so much.
This drama gets a lot of mileage out of monsters reacting to very human situations in inhuman ways, but it was especially entertaining today when Oh-gong was navigating jealousy and relationships (I mean, when PK calls you dumb, you’re not having your best day). Mawang and Secretary Ma are nearly as stupid when it comes to figuring out Sun-mi’s feelings, so the whole thing made for a really funny cycle of misunderstandings when her feelings were really as obvious as they could be.
But Oh-gong’s declarations always pack a punch because he spends the whole episode saying the exact wrong thing and then has one moment of insight, but the key is that he’s perfectly honest the entire time. It’s not like he lies and then chooses to say a swoony thing—he’s stupid and selfish so he says inappropriate things that are too honest and not helpful, but then later when he learns a lesson or has a moment of self-awareness, it has an impact because he’s been consistently truthful the whole time. I hope that doesn’t change going forward, because I’m already scared that he believes what that demon told him. Let’s hope for their sakes that they stay in the dark about death bells and omens for long enough to actually enjoy the romance.
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