Mama Fairy and the Woodcutter: Episode 13
A new realization of the truth is a game-changer for our steadfast fairy and her two earnest suitors. Each of them react to this revelation differently – while one gives up and retreats and another wallows in despair, one of our trio decides that it’s time to take some action. But will they act in time to make things right, or will the trio’s star-crossed friendship be condemned to another few hundred years of loneliness and fear?
EPISODE 13 RECAP
Woodcutter Bausae is approached by the deer, who carries Ok-nam’s winged dress across her back. She warns him that if he returns the dress, Ok-nam will take their children and fly back to the fairy realm, but he asks for it back anyway.
It disappears as the deer advances on Woodcutter Bausae, angry that he’s living a happy life after making her this way. Scared, Woodcutter Bausae backs up, then he trips over a rock and falls into the ravine.
Geum wakes from this nightmare after spending the whole day sick in bed. He runs out of the house and into the rain, heading for the school campus.
At the same time, Ok-nam is telling an upset Yi-hyun that no matter how harshly he speaks to her, she knows who he truly is. He stares at the glow that surrounds her, marveling that the rain isn’t even touching her. Ok-nam leans up to kiss him, but as soon as their lips touch, they both freeze in surprise.
Dazed, Yi-hyun says that he doesn’t remember anything, nor does he want to remember. He asks how everyone can be so sure he’s a good man when he’s in miserable pain, not knowing who he really is. He leaves, and Ok-nam breathes to herself, “It isn’t him. Blinded by desire to find my husband, I went after a delusion. I was foolish.”
Geum runs into Yi-hyun, and when he tries to share his umbrella with him out of worry, Yi-hyun slaps it away angrily. For a moment he sees Geum in different clothing with long, white hair, and when Geum asks what’s wrong, Yi-hyun punches him. He grabs Geum and demands to know who he is and why he keeps interfering with his life.
Geum pushes him away, but Yi-hyun just gets more aggressive, shoving him to the ground and jumping on top of him. He swings again, but when Geum grabs his fist, it’s Izy pinning Bausae down and accusing him and Ok-nam of betraying her.
Yi-hyun suddenly comes back to himself and stands, but he just tells Geum that he’s sick of him and starts to walk away. He only gets a few steps before collapsing, and Geum piggybacks him home. He forgets the passcode again so Yi-hyun has to groggily enter it in (awww).
In the shower, Yi-hyun remembers hearing Izy’s voice telling him that Ok-nam might go looking for the person she’s really meant to be with. He’s sitting in his room later when Geum comes in hugging his pillow, saying that the Immortals told him to sleep here tonight.
Yi-hyun notices Geum’s bruises and asks how Geum got hurt, and he’s confused when Geum says he punched him. He yells at Geum for never fighting back, blaming him for making things worse by not responding, and Geum wonders if he should have hit Yi-hyun back, ha.
Instead, he asks if something happened to Yi-hyun today to make him act so strange. Yi-hyun doesn’t answer, he just sighs at Geum’s bruise and goes to bed. He tells Geum to go back to his own room because he snores, so Geum leaves obediently.
Ok-nam practices healing her plant friends, but they quickly wilt again, proving that her powers are beginning to fade after so many years in the human realm. She goes inside to find Jeom-soon working on another lusty web novel, but instead of lecturing her daughter, she says they need to talk.
Soon after, Geum opens the front door to find Jeom-soon in cat form, wearing the hat and scarf he got her. She switches to human form and invites him to go to Hangang Park with her one day to eat sausages from the food trucks. She thanks him for helping her publish her web novel and tells him to keep the royalties.
Geum watches Jeom-soon leave, vaguely recalling a promise made long ago. We see him as Woodcutter Bausae, promising his baby daughter that Daddy will protect her from anything bad that might happen to her.
In the morning, the coffee kiosk is closed up, and the magically converted storage unit Ok-nam has been living in is just a storage unit again. Bong-dae tells Geum that Ok-nam left, saying that she has no reason to stay, and Geum looks devastated.
Bong-dae gives him a letter from Ok-nam along with his phone, and tells him that Ok-nam only went back to the mountain, not all the way to the fairy realm. In the letter, Ok-nam apologizes for not saying goodbye in person. She tells Geum that she was wrong about having found her husband and feels guilty for confusing him and Yi-hyun, and she thanks him for his kindness and cheerfulness.
In her older form, Ok-nam catches a ride with a local back to her coffee shop, and he tells her that the town will be glad that she (and her coffee) have returned.
Yi-hyun learns that Ok-nam has left the city when he overhears some students talking about her. He goes to confirm it for himself, and when he sees someone crouched in the plants wearing her tiger jacket, he grins with relief. But it’s the (male) groundskeeper, and sure enough, the kiosk is locked up tight.
The Immortal trio are also surprised by the news that Ok-nam didn’t find her husband after all. They wonder if they should go home, too, and Bong-dae threatens them with dire consequences if they don’t leave her city soon.
Master Gu in particular seems reluctant to leave, making Shin-seon suspect that he’s got a woman on his mind. Cut to Geum’s mom, lol, who’s busily making heart-shaped food.
Master Gu returns home, and when Mom offers him some cabbage juice for the upset stomach he mentioned earlier, he completely panics. He gulps the juice, spilling it down his front, and when Mom goes to clean him up, his heart pounds and he runs out the door screaming.
Jeom-soon already misses Seoul, most especially the widely available wi-fi. She’s curious about what Kyung-seul is doing now, and we see that he’s lurking around the coffee kiosk. He gets a text from an unknown number asking what he’s doing, accompanied by a photo of him at that exact moment, and he freaks out.
Bong-dae pops out of nowhere to ask why he’s not answering her question, and Kyung-seul falls over in fright. He jumps up and accuses her of stalking him, but she says she’s just doing her job as second-in-command of the fairy realm.
She orders him to bring every one of his recordings to her by tomorrow morning or he’s dead meat. Kyung-seul snarls that none of them are human and threatens to post his proof online, then runs away. Bong-dae sighs that this will be harder than the simple scolding she was planning for him.
Dr. Lee keeps Yi-hyun company while he drinks, and he asks her what he’s done so wrong that people always leave him. She’s a little too happy to hear that Ok-nam left town, earning a baleful glare from Yi-hyun. He rambles that he misses Ok-nam’s coffee, her smile, and having her near him, and that he wants to stop being anxious about her getting close to Geum and tell everyone she’s his.
He goes on and on until Dr. Lee slaps him upside the head with a dried squid, sick of listening to him moon over another woman. She tells him to stop pretending he doesn’t know about her feelings for him, and calls him a selfish bastard. She yells that Ok-nam left because Yi-hyun isn’t her husband, but also because she doesn’t have feelings for him. Ouch, but true.
Yi-hyun stumbles home later, mumbling drunkenly that Dr. Lee knows nothing about Ok-nam and how long she’s waited for him. He calls her and leaves a long, convoluted message about how Ok-nam is the only one for him, ordering her to take back everything she said. He falls asleep on a bench, repeating that nobody knows what Ok-nam means to him.
While packing to return home, Shin-seon keeps eating jellies he took from Geum’s room, complaining that Geum was hoarding them all to himself in his room. Fairy Oh grabs one and checks the label — it’s insect food, ha.
Fairy Oh thanks Geum’s mom for taking such good care of them, and Mom asks if Master Gu will be going back to the mountain, too. Master Gu returns home soaked with sweat from running frantically around the neighborhood, and he somehow musters up the courage to say to Geum’s mom, ” I like you! Come with me.”
She freezes with her back to him, which he takes as rejection and prepares to flee in agony. But she cries out, “Don’t run!” They stand there looking as awkward as possible, while Shin-seon cringes and Fairy Oh giggles.
On his way to work, Geum keeps hearing Ok-nam’s voice calling to him. He tells Kyung-shik and Jung-min this, making Kyung-shik jokingly ask if Ok-nam is a real fairy, and Geum nods glumly and adds that Jeom-soon is a cat.
His friends think that his crush on the coffee halmoni has driven him mad, so Geum takes back his words. He gets on his phone to send Jung-min some files, and he finds a picture of Ok-nam and Jeom-soon that they took before leaving the city and left for him to find. It makes Geum cry again, awww.
He helps Kyung-shik lift some boxes, but the stack tips over and one hits Geum in the head, hard. He falls unconscious and experiences a memory of himself as Woodcutter Bausae, telling young Jeom-dol that he’s going to cut wood and take it to market. Jeom-dol asks him to bring back a toy top.
Only half-conscious, Geum mutters that Jeom-dol is waiting. We see Woodcutter Bausae lying at the bottom of the ravine, bleeding and badly hurt, holding a top in his hand. The last thing he thinks before he dies is that he hung the incense talisman in the tree at home, fearing what will happen if he can’t find it.
When Geum wakes, he’s crying again as he gasps that he has to go back. He runs to the store to buy the newest laptop they have, and he runs into a little snag when the shopkeeper tries to sell him everything but a laptop.
Last night, Yi-hyun had stumbled home wasted after his fight with Dr. Lee. Master Gu had still been up, and had tucked a letter into his pocket to read later. The letter notifies Yi-hyun that the Immortals are leaving, and thanks him for his kindness.
Yi-hyun gets a text from Geum that he’s borrowing his car, but Geum ignores him when he tries to call. Yi-hyun goes to Kyung-shik and Jung-min for answers, but all they know is that Geum ran out in tears, saying he had to go to Gyeoreub, wherever that is.
In the hall, Yi-hyun runs into Dr. Lee, and he asks her if she knows where Gyeoreub is. She tells him that it’s the original name of Mt. Gyeryong (where Ok-nam lives). Yi-hyun borrows Kyung-shik’s car, his “most prized possession,” which is hilariously filled with cutesy baby-pink stuffed animals, hee.
He takes a call from Dr. Lee, who asks if he’s going to the mountain after Ok-nam. Yi-hyun says that he has to go, and she warns that this may mean the end of their friendship. Yi-hyun tells her not to threaten him unless she really means it, and he admits to being a selfish jerk but says that he needs Dr. Lee to be understanding.
Geum finds himself familiarly driving in circles on the mountain, but eventually he finds the marked stones that lead to the fairy spring. He stacks them to activate the path, then runs up the rocky stairs leading deeper into the forest.
He reaches the fairy spring and remembers the day that he and Yi-hyun saw Ok-nam bathing here. A clean, fluffy towel falls at his feet, seemingly from nowhere, so Geum takes the hint and gets into the water for a bath.
A short while later, Ok-nam arrives at the spring to take a bath of her own. She sees Geum splashing in the water, and she watches in astonishment as he steps out and wraps the towel around his waist.
That’s when Geum sees Ok-nam, and they both freeze in place, stunned at seeing each other here again. Then, at the exact same time, both Ok-nam and Geum step forward and fall into each other’s arms.
Epilogue: “You seem like mine when you’re not — the tale of their chemistry.”
Geum’s mom gives Master Gu a green tea, which he opens then gruffly shoves back at her, making her swoon. She tells him that she’s been looked down on because she has no husband, which doesn’t bother her, but she worries that it’s hard on Geum.
She says that someday Geum will find a mate and she’ll be alone, but she adds coyly that she’s not lonely today, thanks to someone. She leaves, and although Master Gu never says a word, he watches her go with a look of desperation on his face.
Oh, I love this turnaround! How sweet that after seven hundred years, Ok-nam and Geum are reunited in the same place where they met so long ago, and where they found each other after being separated — at the fairy spring. I wasn’t on Team Geum until recently, but once it seemed obvious that Geum was not only Ok-nam’s reincarnated husband, but the one who has real feelings for her in this life, I was all in. Geum is entirely made of sweetness and earnestness and pure love, and he deserves to find his fairy and be happy.
Yi-hyun is a good person (outside of Izy’s influence) but his interest in Ok-nam has always felt as though it was about not being alone, while Geum just loved her from the beginning, purely and honestly. I felt so bad for Yi-hyun when Dr. Lee told him the truth — that Ok-nam left because he’s not her husband, but also because she doesn’t have feelings for him. It’s a painful truth, and one that Yi-hyun needed to hear… Ok-nam has never felt romantically for Yi-hyun as he is now, only for the person she thought he was, and once she realized she was wrong, she left without hesitation.
The person that Ok-nam has feelings for has always been Geum, though she’s been too wrapped up in her belief that Yi-hyun was her husband to realize it. She’s felt the same pull towards Geum that he’s felt towards her almost from the beginning, but since Yi-hyun seemed to also know Ok-nam and Jeom-soon, I can see how Ok-nam got confused. What I don’t understand is how, once Ok-nam realized that Yi-hyun wasn’t the right man, she didn’t then think Oh yeah, there’s that other guy I can’t stop thinking about, what if it’s him? I have a feeling it has something to do with the incense talisman that Woodcutter Bausae left behind, since Woodcutter Bausae seemed very afraid that something terrible would happen if he couldn’t find it. My guess is that the incense talisman was meant to guide Woodcutter Bausae’s spirit back to Ok-nam and his children in case anything happened to him. it seems as though something kept him from finding it for all these years, and that when he did finally find Ok-nam, that same something interfered with her ability to recognize him.
We’re nearing the end of our fairy story, but there are still a lot of questions to be answered, particularly in regards to Yi-hyun. Is he the reincarnation of Izy, as we suspect? What happened between Izy, Ok-nam, and Bausae all those years ago when they were still fairies, that got Izy kicked out of the fairy realm? For that matter, what happened between them later when Ok-nam and Woodcutter Bausae were married, and Izy was trapped in the body of the deer? And why has Yi-hyun seemingly spent many lifetimes being punished to the extent that he’s having nightmares and is still traumatized, hundreds of years later?
- 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