Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter: Episode 7
The more we learn, the harder it is to figure out who is who, and not just when it comes to our fairy’s reincarnated husband. With everyone so consumed by their feelings, the latent memories are really starting to get confusing, especially when each memory only makes the truth harder to determine. Hopefully someone will ask the really important question soon – instead of “Who were we,” shouldn’t it be “Who are we now?”
EPISODE 7 RECAP
In the past, Ok-nam looks up at the stars with her husband, who now looks like Geum. He backhugs her and confesses that he’s scared she’ll fly away and leave him.
In the present, Geum grows emotional while watching Ok-nam shopping, and he backhugs her right in the middle of the store. He says he’s not sure what’s wrong, but that he suddenly felt like she’d fly away and leave him.
He’s embarrassed later and apologizes to Ok-nam for his strange behavior. To lighten the moment, she teases him that he was just scared she’d leave without paying for the clothes and laughs at his horrified reaction.
Yi-hyun gets a birthday card from his mother, which he immediately rips to shreds. He stomps over to his office window, only to see Geum and Ok-nam sitting outside and talking, which just intensifies his bad mood. He goes to the store and buys so much alcohol that the clerk jokingly asks if he’s throwing a party.
Geum decides to work on his project at home, and Kyung-shik asks how he can stand living with his boss. He notices that Geum’s been smiling a lot lately and asks if he’s dating, but Geum says he’s just a smiley kinda guy and waves goodbye.
Having bought a pair of flowered neckties while shopping, Ok-nam embroiders a small flower on one of them to distinguish them from each other — she figures that more flowers is always better, ha. Jeom-soon is dismayed by the wild patterns of the clothes her mom picked out for her, and she forbids Ok-nam to go shopping clothing alone or with Geum in the future, moaning that they both have terrible taste.
But she points out that Ok-nam has been in a good mood since the shopping trip and attributes it to Geum’s accompaniment. It reminds Ok-nam about Geum’s sudden hug and his fear that she would leave him, and she smiles to herself.
When Yi-hyun gets home, he and Geum settle in for an evening of drinking, and Geum tells Yi-hyun about shopping with Ok-nam. He wishes she were here now since she’s so fun to be with, and he shyly tells Yi-hyun that she’s the prettiest when she’s focused on something.
Geum waxes poetic about Ok-nam while Yi-hyun grows even more cranky, thinking about his dream where she told him they were married in a past life. He tells Geum that he should stay away from Ok-nam since she’s weird, calling herself a fairy.
Geum says he’ll handle it himself, and Yi-hyun wonders when he got so mature. He thinks back to when he first met Geum three years ago — though they were both professors, they’d each assumed the other was a student.
They get pink-cheeked from the alcohol, and Yi-hyun giggles that he dreams about a pretty wife, only to get teased by Geum for having racy dreams. Yi-hyun pulls up Jeom-soon’s naughty web novel that Geum publicly claimed to have written, and he reads the more scandalous bits out loud.
Geum begs Yi-hyun to stop, but Yi-hyun admits that the story is actually pretty compelling. By the time he’s done reading an emotional scene, Yi-hyun and Geum are holding hands and sobbing, lol. They get overheated, so they head outside to cool down, and Yi-hyun nearly barfs on Geum while Geum is stuck upside-down on some exercise equipment.
Geum pouts that he wants to visit Ok-nam and give her his phone, so they literally skip to her place. Jeom-soon answers the door in cat form, then Ok-nam comes up behind them, having been out praying due to the full moon. Geum presents her with some dried squid like it’s a precious gift, then hurriedly gives her his real gift — his cell phone.
Ok-nam says that she doesn’t need it, but Geum blurts out, “I need it!” He explains that he wants to be able to call her, then he bows low to her and tries to link arms with Yi-hyun to leave, but Yi-hyun just rolls his eyes and slaps him away.
Ok-nam invites them in for coffee, and Yi-hyun turns on his heel and marches inside, not needing to be invited twice. He recognizes the room as the place where he woke up with the tiger, and he eyeballs Jeom-soon-the-cat suspiciously.
As Ok-nam serves the guys their coffee, a breeze blows out the candle, and the three sit in the room with nothing but the light from the full moon streaming through the window. Yi-hyun looks over at Jeom-soon, who now appears as a young girl with a missing finger on her right hand.
Geum also sees something strange — Izy, the fire fairy, who lights the candle with a gesture before turning back into Yi-hyun. Okay, what now?? Yi-hyun is just as confused as Geum, wondering if he really just magically lit the candle, but he attributes it to still being a little drunk.
Since both guys are here, Ok-nam gives them the neckties she got for them. But the festive box reminds Yi-hyun of the birthday card from his mother, and how she used to yell at him that he never should have been born. She’d also locked him inside, forbidding him to go out.
He asks Ok-nam how she knows it’s his birthday. He accuses her of digging for information on him and refuses the gift, snapping that he doesn’t celebrate his birthday. He sees a familiar jade ring and grabs it, asking angrily why she’s intruding on his dreams and warning her never to do it again.
Geum follows Yi-hyun out, and when Yi-hyun rounds on him, he briefly sees Geum with long, white hair. He experiences a memory from the fairy realm… Izy, her entire body on fire, is banished from the fairy realm for breaking the laws of nature. She looks up at Bausae, who returns her gaze with no emotion on his face, and she thinks that this is happening because he betrayed her.
Unaware, Geum accuses Yi-hyun of being selfish and rude to Ok-nam. He informs Yi-hyun that Ok-nam didn’t know his birthday — she just got paid, and so she got them each identical gifts. He tells Yi-hyun that he needs to apologize tomorrow, and Yi-hyun tosses and turns in bed that night, feeling bad about his outburst.
The immortal trio are woken up at o’dark thirty to work the shrimp boat. They get to the deck in time to see the captain whack Fairy Oh’s reincarnated husband upside the head, so when he yells at them to get to work, they snap right to it.
The next day is Yi-hyun’s actual birthday, so Geum’s mom makes him seaweed soup for breakfast, but neither Geum nor Yi-hyun answer her call to the table. Geum is already at the lab, where Kyung-shik evidently spent the night, and he borrows Kyung-shik’s phone to text Ok-nam an apology for last night on his own phone.
Ok-nam goes to Jeom-soon for instructions on how to reply, the cell phone being a complete mystery to her. They both jump when the phone’s AI talks back to them, but it runs out of battery before they can do anything else.
Geum’s mom carries the seaweed soup all the way to campus, where she gets turned around and confused. She gets into a fight with a professor over a vending machine drink, sailing away victorious when she wins the argument.
It’s raining heavily, and when Ok-nam ventures out into the rain to bring in the kiosk sign, Yi-hyun shows up, grumbling at her lack of an umbrella. He sincerely apologizes about his misunderstanding last night, and as Ok-nam runs inside to get his gift, he notices the jacket she’s wearing with the tiger embroidered on the back.
Ok-nam tells Yi-hyun that she had a husband who died young, and that she’s been waiting for his reincarnation for hundreds of years. She’s been praying to the Master of the North Star to bring back her husband and let her recognize him. She says that she thinks she’s finally found him, and she asks Yi-hyun hopefully, “Are you my husband?”
Yi-hyun sighs and wilts, but he doesn’t get a chance to answer, because they both realize that Geum is standing only a few feet away. He gives Ok-nam the phone charger he brought and turns to go, but Ok-nam stops him and offers to make him some coffee. He declines, gives her his umbrella, and walks away in the rain.
Dr. Lee overhears a pair of coeds complaining that they didn’t get their coffee this morning because Yi-hyun was having a serious discussion with the coffee halmoni. They saw him holding an umbrella for her and getting a gift, and they wonder if he’s into older women.
She goes to the ladies’ room to curse at Yi-hyun for not liking her when she’s much prettier than Ok-nam. Geum’s mom hears her and asks what she’s so upset about, but she’s too mad to do anything but huff and puff.
On her way out, Dr. Lee knocks Mom’s container of seaweed soup onto the floor. They argue over whose fault it was until Mom mentions that it was for Geum’s boss. Dr. Lee cringes to learn that she’s fighting with Geum’s mother, and she suddenly goes all sweet and polite.
When Yi-hyun gets home at the end of the day, he charges up his dead phone to find a text message from Dr. Lee. She says that Geum’s mom was trying to find him with some seaweed soup, and she’s been attempting to call him all day to invite him out for a birthday dinner.
Instead of responding, he lies on his bed thinking of Ok-nam, and how she asked if he’s her husband. He falls asleep, and the three ghosts (or are they demons?) hover over his bed, wondering what kind of dream his confused mind will come up with tonight.
He dreams of a tiny shack, and a little boy who’s tied up inside. He thinks, “I won’t forgive those who abandoned me. I hate them. Even if I die here and am reborn, I won’t forgive them.”
In the morning, he shows up to lecture wearing a wildly floral tie. Wow, and awww. He reaches into his bag for his textbook but pulls out a box of cereal instead, making the class laugh at his absentmindedness.
Geum seems to have a cold, probably from giving Ok-nam his umbrella. When Yi-hyun comes to the lab later, he and Geum gape at each other — they’re wearing the same tie, ha. Yi-hyun claims that his is better, since it’s got a hand-embroidered flower on the back, but Geum sniffs that his is embroidered with a butterfly, which is way more complicated.
Dr. Lee stops by to yell at Yi-hyun for never calling her back, and she asks Geum nervously if his mom said anything about her. He shrugs that Mom only asked where Dr. Lee works. She pulls out a pen and asks for his autograph as Jeom-soon the Tiger, and since Geum doesn’t know what Jeom-soon’s real signature looks like it, he just writes the name inside of a heart.
Geum sneezes again, so Yi-hyun orders him to go home, even offering Geum his umbrella for the walk. Geum pouts that he’s not sick (sniffle) and insists that he feels fine (snort), so Yi-hyun puts him in a headlock and drags him home.
On the walk, Geum asks if Yi-hyun pities him for overhearing Ok-nam say that she thinks Yi-hyun is her husband, but Yi-hyun scoffs that it’s all nonsense. Geum disagrees, saying that he believes her, and that there are things in the world that humans don’t understand.
Yi-hyun argues that Geum is a scientist, but Geum is adamant that even science doesn’t know everything. His words remind Yi-hyun of what Ok-nam said when they first met — that he only believes in what he can see — but he accuses Geum of having a savior complex.
Geum just asks why Yi-hyun doesn’t believe anything Ok-nam says, rendering Yi-hyun speechless. He suddenly declares it ridiculous for two men to be sharing an umbrella (especially since they look like they’re wearing couple ties, hee), and he stomps off shielding his hair from the rain with his cereal box. He runs all the way home, Geum right on his heels.
It’s meal time on the shrimp boat, and the immortals are so exhausted and cranky that they yell at Fairy Oh’s husband that it’s all his fault they’re here after he stole Master Gu’s wallet. Fairy Oh just quietly passes her husband choice bites of fish, but soon it’s time to get back to work. Master Gu and Shin-seon are in excruciating pain from the backbreaking work, so they plot their escape for tonight.
After drinking again, Yi-hyun and Geum attempt to outdo each other’s masculinity with feats of strength and scientific knowledge. They end up lying on the deck looking up at the moon, and Yi-hyun tells Geum that he grew up in an orphanage. He says that two nuns looked after about twenty kids, and that although they were all orphans, he was different.
He’d learned by accident one day that he was the son of Sister Bo-won, and she’d yelled at him that he never should have been born. It had been his birthday, which explains why he hates his birthdays.
Yi-hyun jumps up, and notes that Geum’s lotus flower, which he calls Ssambab (lotus wrap in Korean), hasn’t bloomed yet. Geum says that’s not its name, but Yi-hyun just goes to bed, where he can’t sleep for the thoughts of Ok-nam asking if he’s her husband. Upstairs, Geum calls his lotus flower by its real name, “Ok-nam,” then cringes with adorable embarrassment.
He dreams that he’s sitting in the sky when Ok-nam shows up and catches him tasting a cloud. They find themselves on a paddleboat, which Geum says he once rode with his mother as a child. Ok-nam paddles and the boat flies into the air, and Ok-nam compliments Geum on his beautiful imagination.
He tells her that his life has changed since he met her, and that just seeing her makes his heart flutter. A lotus flower blooms around Ok-nam’s head as she blushes, and she’s still blushing in the morning when she wakes. Wait, so she’s really visiting their dreams?
When Geum wakes up, Lotus Ok-nam is blooming for real. But Yi-hyun is at Ok-nam’s place, there to answer her question. He asks if it’s important that he was her husband, saying that he doesn’t know anything about reincarnation, but there’s one thing he does know: “It’s the fact that I’m starting to like you.”
Epilogue: “Ham-suk’s unrequited love, when he became her man”
When they were still in school, Dr. Lee (whose first name is Ham-suk) and Yi-hyun had accidentally booked the same room for their department meetings. They’d fought so viciously that a teaching assistant thought they were siblings, and he’d said they even have the same eyes.
Yi-hyun chastised him for judging people by their looks, which caught Dr. Lee’s attention and made her fall for him on the spot.
Yay, this is exactly what I’ve been waiting for! I’d hoped someone would say it, and I’m not surprised that it’s Yi-hyun the pragmatist who’s asking… why does the man Ok-nam is with now have to be the reincarnation of her husband? I know she’s been waiting for him for centuries, and that’s commendable — nobody can say that Ok-nam hasn’t been loyal and steadfast. But even Jeom-soon pointed out that after being reincarnated, her husband will be an entirely new person who doesn’t remember her.
So why can’t she fall in love with someone new? Even though she believes that Yi-hyun is her husband’s reincarnation, she seems to be more attracted to Geum, and it’s not like she hasn’t jumped to conclusions too quickly before (when she assumed the man at the spring was her friend Bausae just because they shared a name). The original story has the fairy waiting for her husband so she can recover her winged dress and go back to the fairy realm, but this Ok-nam just seems to want to find him so that her family will be intact again, and because she loved him. But since he’s gone, and will be different even if he’s reincarnated, there’s no reason she can’t be with the man who is right for her now.
Before seeing this episode, I had written out an entire theory of what I thought was happening regarding the reincarnations, and who is who in this life, because I had a sudden epiphany and thought I’d figured it all out. Then we got that scene where Geum briefly saw Yi-hyun as Izy the fire fairy, and Yi-hyun’s memory of her being kicked out of the fairy realm, and it blew my entire theory out of the water. But at least now I’m the good kind of confused — before, I was confused because we had no information to go on, but now I’m confused because there’s so much information and I can’t make it add up in my head.
I doubt that we’re being given the truth yet, but it now looks as though Yi-hyun and Geum are the reincarnations of fairies Bausae (Geum) and Izy (Yi-hyun). I don’t yet know where Woodcutter Bausae, Ok-nam’s husband, fits into this scenario, but we’ve seen him portrayed by both men, so he could have been an interim reincarnation of either of them. Ok-nam believes that he was the reincarnation of her fairy friend Bausae, but she really had no evidence of that, and he could have been either of them, or neither.
Part of my theory was, and still is, that the deer that led Woodcutter Bausae to the spring where Ok-nam was bathing was also a reincarnation of either Izy or Fairy Bausae. If one of them was the deer, s/he could have been the one who stole Ok-nam’s clothes (Woodcutter Bausae seems innocent of this). At this point, it could be that the deer was Izy reincarnated, and that she set up their marriage as some kind of retaliation against Fairy Bausae for getting her kicked out of the fairy realm. She may even have been responsible for Woodcutter Bausae’s death, which would explain Yi-hyun’s dream where he apologized to Jeom-soon that she had to grow up without a father. It’s a lot of speculation, but the pieces fit in an odd, but satisfying way.
- Premiere Watch: Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter, Happy to Die
- Accepting the unexplainable in tvN’s Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter
- The coffee-brewing Fairy in search of her reincarnated Woodcutter
- Moon Chae-won sparkles in teaser for Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter
- Yoon Hyun-min up to romance fairy barista Kang So-ra