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Tale of the Nine Tailed: Episode 3

Our leads continue investigating the strange deaths that have taken place on the island and find that our heroine may be more linked to the island than they thought. Meanwhile, our resident evil schemer teams up with a local to enact his newest diabolical plot. If all goes according to plan, his older brother’s painful past will come back to bite him and, better yet, destroy him.

 
EPISODE 3: “The dragon king’s secret”

We back up 12 hours to one of the fishermen desperately chugging any water he can find. He resorts to drinking out of the toilet, but he suddenly begins struggling and drowns. Rang plucks a straw doll marked with the character for “death” and the man’s photo out of the sea.

Later, Jia examines the body. Adding to the mysteriousness of him drowning in the toilet is the fact that he was on the boat that capsized with Pyeong-hee’s father. Yeon comes in and complains of a rotten-fish smell, finding a clump of hair gripped in the man’s hand. Disgusted, he passes it to Jia and notes it smells kind of like Pyeong-hee’s blanket.

Pyeong-hee sits by the water and pricks her finger, drops of blood landing on two of those straw death figures and a photo of the three survivors from the capsized boat.

When Jia shows Yeon an article about the survivors, he speculates they’ll all die. Jia drags him along to stop it. At his house, the hammer wielder hears Pyeong-hee’s father call out to him and screams at the headless apparition before him.

The other fisherman desperately stuffs himself with food and begins to choke. Yeon busts into his house and wrenches the knife he grabbed away from him. Yeon threatens to break his fingers one by one if he doesn’t tell him what happened on that boat.

The man explains that a storm hit, and Pyeong-hee’s father drowned. The other three were floating in the sea, but he can’t remember what happened after that. Before Yeon can start breaking fingers, Jia takes over, guessing that it was terrible waiting on that raft for 28 days to be rescued.

As she details what must’ve happened, we flash back to the men near death on that raft. They’d been starving and dehydrated. Pyeong-hee’s father tried to encourage them to live, and they turned toward him with a dangerous gleam in their eyes. Oh, they ate him, didn’t they?

Jia and Yeon come to that same conclusion, and the man shakes and repeatedly says he didn’t do it. Except the flashback shows us he and the others did indeed do it. He laughs in a deranged way and points his knife at Jia, calling her “meat.”

Yeon shoves him away and stands between him and Jia. Abruptly, the man begins choking and drops to the ground, dead. Jia pulls his hand away from his mouth – there’s a clump of hair. Elsewhere, Rang approaches Pyeong-hee and asks how she intends to repay him.

At the Afterlife Immigration Office, Taluipa angrily demands to know who’s messing with her list. A warning flashes on her ancient computer, showing an unlisted death. And it’s not the first time this has happened.

On the island, Jia checks out the final survivor’s home and notices a folk painting that creeps her out. (The other survivors had that same painting too.) Yeon comes in, munching on snacks. Jia takes issue with his blasé treatment of death, but he’s too conditioned to it to care.

Jia reasons he must’ve experienced at least one death that affected him. Yeon stares at her face and thinks of Ah-eum dying in his arms. Jia pulls him out of his thoughts to have him look at the painting of the Dragon King.

Yeon comments it doesn’t resemble him at all; they took a “leadership seminar” together. Pfft. Back on topic, Jia points out that the dragon in this painting is missing its feet. Yeon notes that makes it a snake. An Imuoogi (legendary serpent), Jia supplies.

Rang makes his way to a well bound in rope. The shaman greets him respectfully and tells him the revered serpent is slumbering inside. Rang heard it died after fighting Yeon, and “that human girl” died too. The shaman says the serpent left “a part of his body” with her family before taking the girl’s body.

It sounds like the shaman has a female sacrifice prepared. While Rang takes care of Yeon, he tells her to pick primroses from the graveyard that “grew from the deceased’s blood and flesh.” The shaman asks one question: are he and Yeon biological siblings?

Rang replies they’re half-siblings. She clarifies that Yeon won’t survive if this creature awakens. Why help his brother’s enemy?

Yeon orders Jia to leave the island immediately, warning her she could die. Jia doesn’t see why he cares about saving her when he’s made it clear he’s not interested in saving people. And she isn’t about to leave without answers about her parents.

At the well, Rang thinks the shaman is smart for not trusting him and asks if she’s familiar with what Yeon was like as a god. She recites that he was the harshest of the four gods and ensured no one exploited his domain.

Rang reminisces about Yeon giving him the bigger half when they’d share an apple. “He cut into my stomach with that kind hand of his that used to halve an apple.” He reveals a scar on his stomach and says the scar on his heart is bigger. And foxes always repay debts. Soon, he and Yeon will go to hell together. Sooo that explains a lot.

Meanwhile, Jia gets Jae-hwan to look up any incidents that happened on the island, particularly strange deaths. Yeon calls Taluipa to make sure she hasn’t heard any news of the supposedly dead imoogi – he can’t have it in the same world as Ah-eum.

Jia checks in with Pyeong-hee who’s reading Moby Dick. Sharp as ever, Jia immediately knows it’s not her, and Rang shifts back to himself. He advances on her, noting with a wolfish smile that she’s alone. Jia scoffs at his obvious book choice and surmises he’s the one who killed the fishermen.

While Yeon threatens another man into talking, this time about the Dragon King painting, Rang is impressed by Jia’s deduction that he’s up to something and using the deaths as a smokescreen. He offers her a prize for her correct answer: he’ll find her parents.

After Yeon learns that an elderly neighborhood woman bought those paintings from the market for everyone, he erases the man’s memory of their conversation. As he goes to leave, the man mentions the “pretty young man” who was looking for Pyeong-hee’s house.

Said pretty man tells Jia to just say the word. She steels herself and declines – foxes always repay, so favors come with a price. Jia gives him a “friendly” warning to stop playing with people’s pain, calling him a bullying bastard.

That actually gets him angry since he apparently hates profanity. Ha. She asks why he hovers around her, but he won’t say. He leaves her with a warning in return: don’t trust Yeon too much. Things won’t go well for her if Yeon gets what he wants.

Yeon comes running up to find a dejected but fine Jia. She tells him about Rang’s offer, and he looks smug when she admits she turned him down because she’s betting on him instead. Jia doesn’t mention Rang’s warning.

At the Snail Bride, Shin-joo watches Yoo-ri and says she’s not a local gumiho. He muses to Hye-ja that the only ways for a fox to have that kind of status is to be born rich (like Yeon) or steal someone’s life.

On the island, Jia thinks a boring, relaxing life sounds nice. Yeon would rather have modern luxuries like his beloved mint chocolate ice cream and americanos than nature. Besides, life is harsh everywhere.

Jia wonders if his long life has been harsh, but Yeon turns the question on her. Why wait so long for her parents? Jia simply missed them. Yeon shares he’s also waiting for someone he misses.

Jia guesses it’s his first love. Who was she? How did they part? Yeon reveals she was human and died. He’s waiting for her to fulfill her promise to reincarnate.

At the Snail Bride, Shin-joo catches Yoo-ri trying to sneak into the staff room. She introduces herself, calling them the same species (So he is a gumiho!). Shin-joo correctly guesses she’s from Russia, and Yoo-ri claims she was smuggled into Korea.

She knows he’s curious about how she got so rich and waves him close. “Sweetly and violently,” she discloses as she kisses him on the cheek and puts a pistol against his stomach. Yoo-ri swipes his necklace and walks away. (Swiper, no swiping!)

Shin-joo calls Yeon all depressed because he can’t talk to animals without the necklace. Yeon berates him for losing his head over a woman, which Shin-joo thinks is rich coming from him. Shin-joo was shot once and lost his tail, so he’s scared of guns and begs Yeon to come help him. Yeon hangs up.

While the shaman prepares for a ritual, Yeon heals a broken tree, and Jia talks to Jae-hwan who tells her about the four suspicious murders over the years on the island. She realizes they all happened on the same day on the Lunar calendar, which happens to be that day.

We’ve caught back up to Jia getting hurt after chasing the fisherman. She grabs Yeon’s throat, asking why he killed her. We see a series of images wherein Yeon points a sword at Ah-eum and Ah-eum is stabbed.

“Jia” continues that he shouldn’t have stopped the boat that day. Yeon doesn’t buy that she’s Ah-eum since she doesn’t have his bead. She laughs and says he knows nothing.

And suddenly she’s Jia again with no recollection of what just happened. He yells at her, asking who she is. They’re both confused as she replies she’s Jia.

When Rang appears, Yeon grabs Jia and runs. But she goes back for her picture (seriously?!), and Yeon shields her from Rang’s rock missiles. He tells Jia to run away and tries to hold Rang off.

Rang jokingly calls this domestic violence, and Yeon argues he wasn’t able to discipline Rang, so a fox turned into a dog. Rang accuses him of kicking him out first, and they fight.

Jia wanders through the woods and comes across a house. Uh-oh, it’s the shaman. Jia shows her the picture of her parents, and the shaman recognizes them. She serves Jia some tea (ack!) and says that her mother came to pray for a safe birth.

Their island was once rich in ancestral rites and held the Festival of the Souls each year. Jia observes the date matches when the mysterious deaths occurred and says the shaman must’ve personally held the ceremony.

Jia noticed the flag typical of shamans outside her house. Plus, her mother was a doctor and would’ve gone to a hospital, not the gods, for birth complications. The shaman says Jia can’t leave, and Jia assumes it’s because of the tea she didn’t drink.

But when she tries to walk away, her feet won’t move. She falls to the ground, and the shaman explains it was the fragrance, not the tea. In the mirror, the shaman appears as a much older woman.

In the forest, Rang laughs that he’s bought enough time. Jia will become a sacrifice soon. He holds up her phone, taunting that Yeon can’t reach her. Yeon rushes to find her, but he can’t catch her scent anymore.

Night falls, and the shaman tells the unconscious Jia that her mother also came to the island voluntarily. Pregnant, she dreamed the same dream every night. “You lured your own mother from the womb.” Jia opens her eyes, listening.

Yeon raises his arms majestically and commands the forest to light the way to Jia, but nothing happens. Then, fireflies begin gathering and lead him forward. Jia, meanwhile, is dragged to the well. The shaman tells her the other women were important sacrifices. She calls Jia a “very special child.”

The shaman tries to stab her, but Jia holds her own and fights. Yeon sees them struggling but can’t cross the primrose line the shaman drew. He threatens to cut the shaman into pieces if she hurts Jia. Who gave her life? Who is she serving?

She laughs and says he can’t stop her. When she strikes with the knife again, Jia grabs it. The shaman pushes her into the well, but Jia gets ahold of the side. Yeon watches, pained as he thinks of Ah-eum’s death.

The wind gusts, and Yeon’s eyes go golden as his fiery tail appears. It begins to rain, wiping away the shaman’s primrose line. With a word he strikes the shaman down with lightening. He grabs Jia’s wrist right as she falls. Elsewhere, Taluipa is livid Yeon killed someone, and Rang watches the rain with a scowl.

Yeon bandages Jia’s hand and carries her when she can’t walk. She asks what that shaman was, and he explains she was just a human who wanted an extended life. The music turns ominous as we focus on Jia’s blood staining the well.

Shin-joo worriedly scolds Yeon for causing trouble over a human again. Yeon shares that Jia seems to know about Ah-eum’s past life, so he’s going to keep an eye on her. Shin-joo hangs up when Yeon catches on that he’s using Yeon’s credit card to console himself.

Inside their room, Jia is drinking. Yeon takes offense at Jia’s informal speech, but he changes his mind when she suggests calling him “grandfather,” the polite address towards an elderly man, instead. Jia asks why he saved her. Does she have something he’s looking for?

Yeon just stares at her, so Jia says to leave it be for now. She thanks him for both times he’s saved her, in her childhood and now. She doesn’t have powers, but she’ll make sure to protect him too one day. Yeon’s eyes widen as he recalls Ah-eum saying she’d protect him with that same smile. Jia snaps him out of it, asking him to make her soju bottle into a case of soju. “Am I Jesus?” Ha.

Elsewhere, all the villagers gather at the well, peering inside intently. That can’t be good. In the early hours of the morning, Rang hands off a crying infant wrapped in a blanket covered with talismans to a man on the beach.

That morning, Yeon sees Pyeong-hee limping and guesses her leg was the price for revenge. He advises her not to curse someone again since it’ll come back on her. Jia comes running up saying every villager is missing. She and Yeon walk through the empty streets in what now looks like a ghost town.


 
COMMENTS

I’m guessing the imoogi isn’t down for the count yet. Are Yeon and Jia going to have to fight off the whole village now too? As if Yeon wasn’t in enough trouble already. I have a feeling he’s going to pay for his unauthorized slaying of that shaman. Taluipa did not look pleased. I hope we learn more about Yeon’s arrangement because we don’t know much yet about the rules of his servitude of sorts. That kind of goes for everything, though. We’re still in the early stages, so it’s not a big deal yet, but I would like some more worldbuilding soon. I’m enjoying the different mythical creatures and folklore, but nothing has really been explained about how things work in this universe. I’m glad we’re not getting info dumps about it since I much prefer when the information is incorporated naturally as the story unfolds. But as a viewer, I want enough info to know that this is a well thought out world that isn’t just being thrown together on the fly.

We haven’t spent a whole lot of time developing our side characters either. They’re feeling a bit flat so far, coming off more as caricatures than nuanced people. Shin-joo, for example, just seems like your typical comic sidekick. A gumiho sidekick, apparently. I really dropped the ball on that one – I totally misunderstood and thought he was human. Whoops. Now he makes a lot more sense but is also less mysterious than I thought he was. I was kind of disappointed his special power to communicate with animals just comes from an amulet. There are hints that he has an interesting backstory though, so I hope we explore that.

Onto our main character, there’s definitely something weird going on with Jia. Everything points to her being Ah-eum, which would mean something happened to the fox bead. I don’t know if it can be extracted or changed in some way, so it’s hard to speculate. Then there was that weird thing the shaman said about Jia being a “special child” and luring her mother to the island from the womb. Either the fox bead somehow was drawing her there or something else makes Jia unique among humans. This is where more information about how things work would be helpful.

Dramas have made me paranoid when I have a female character I like because she often turns into a vehicle to showcase the hero’s impressiveness and loses what made her distinct. I really don’t want this to happen to Jia. So far, even when Jia is saved by Yeon, she’s still not helpless. Both when she was little and now, Jia has used her own resourcefulness and great perceptive skills to keep herself alive and intact until Yeon got there. It feels more like a joint effort than the hero swooping in to single-handedly save her. I just don’t want Jia to lose her spirit as we go.

Everything about Ah-eum and her death is still pretty vague. It looks like the imoogi had something to do with her death, but then we also had that flash of Yeon pulling a sword on her. Although, this world is populated by creatures who can shapeshift, so I’m not sure it was even Ah-eum. And now the imoogi Yeon killed is coming back somehow. I guess it was only mostly dead. How did Rang know about this creature when even Taluipa didn’t seem to be aware? I feel like Rang is that person you go to who knows all the latest gossip. He’s such a busybody, involving himself in everything and telling everyone his family’s business. His hatred of Yeon makes a lot more sense if Yeon tried to kill him in the past. That would make you a bit bitter.

I’m glad the backstory is being doled out bit by bit since it helps give Rang some nuance. As much as I enjoy a fun, campy villain, it is easy for them to become one note. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen here and he’ll continue gaining more depth as we go. Really, everything in this drama is a bit over-the-top, but I kind of like that. For shows like this, I usually prefer when they don’t take themselves too seriously. It keeps things fun and makes it easier for me to overlook believability issues and just enjoy the ride.

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Nice Tails should have hired a lawyer before signing that contract. No stipulations on when she'll get reincarnated and length of service. He's a screwed indentured servant basically. Smh.
I really like the chemistry between Evil Tails and Special Child. Their verbal sparring is going to be just as good as Nice Tails and Evil Tails's physical sparring.
I find the world and mystery building has been good enough so far. Granted, I'm not huge on needing to figure out the secrets and twists. I usually just go along for the ride or skip to the ending then go back to see how it fits...

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We've had a lot of takes on how the afterlife functions in a modern world recently... now I need an afterlife lawyer. Come on dramagods, I know you listen to me sometimes...

(P.S. Evil Tails and Special Child... see I knew I should be sh☠️tposting this drama; the nicknames just write themselves)

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that korean movie.. god of something something with cha tae hyun

(along with the gods)

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I'd love to take a seminar on afterlife law. Specially if Nice Tails would give a lecture.

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Nice Tails was desperate and blinded by love apparently, so he did not bother to look at the fine print. Or hire a lawyer.

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The world building has been sparse on detailed rules.
If foxes take human form and live in the real world (eating rare steak at restaurants), why do they need to kill humans?
Is Yeon's punishment being a Spirit Reaper or an afterlife cop (a mash up of Hotel del Luna and Mystic Pop Up Bar)?

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I think it's not that they "need" to kill humans, but that some just love to. Just like Nice Tails and Evil Tails, there are good gumihos and bad gumihos. Also, like the bride in episode one where she used to eat humans but gave it up when she fell in love with one.
I think his demotion was punishment but him having to hunt down evil supernatural beings is part of his deal in getting his first love reincarnated.

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Nice Tails and Evils Tails lol... sounds like the name of a Sonic AU.

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Reminds me characters who promise, "I'll do anything!!" and I'm like "for real, anything? Are you sure?" I agree that there should be a clearheaded lawyer figuring out that contract.

In korean dramas, don't people naturally get reincarnated if they want to? Trying to figure out what she or he may have done that could possibly prevent reincarnation unless Yeon enters indentured servitude.

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wow i didn't expect this show to take a dark turn this episode and edged on horror than thriller which i really loved. It definitely gave me the guest vibes.

On a lighter note i am really feeling the chemistry between the main two despite it being so early in the drama. I also love the budding relationship and the potential crime fighting duo that is slowly forming between them and i hope that there is something that Jia can do to not be the damsel in distress in every situation.

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I agree with you on teh chemistry note. They have this budding relationship which feels too cute not to miss. You can feel something whenever they are in screen together. Also I wouldn't say Jia is a damsel in distress in every situation cause there is only so much you can do against mythological beings with superpowers.

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i know, and i acknowledge that, but given that she is a human, she throws herself in dangerous situations without a back up plan except miraculously waiting to be saved is my issue.

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Hmm you are right there

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I was thinking that she was a bit damsel-y too but I do give the character credit that she doesn't *try* to be a damsel. She is smart and fights as much as she is able, but there's only so much you can do against supernatural forces. I don't think this is to just set up an unfair advantage in favor of the man but like the more they become a team the more they'll be mutually beneficial to each other and she won't just be a "liability." It's natural that he'll have the tools to go against these evil forces, but she'll be a quick learner on more ways to fight the supernatural (I hope).

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i agree. She needs to utilise her smart thinking when coming in contact with these supernatural beings because its her only power right now

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Jia is smart and using her knowledge of korean folklore to her advantage. Case in point that verbal sparring with Rang.
She is headstrong and independent but not completely helpless.

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Totally agree with you about the chemistry between Yeon and Jia, and how natural it feels.

In fact all the actors have great chemistry together, tbh.

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Drinking tons of water - I wonder if that is a specific characteristic of demonic activity in korean folklore, creepy beach with even creepier shaman.

I really like Ji-ah and Yeon's fun, buddy chemistry and am sort of dreading them entering into a romantic relationship.

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I also didn't expect the show to be much darker than anticipating but i love it and like you it gave me the whole The Guest Vibes that made it even better...Hope the tone will be kept as i think it really fits and adding much more mithology into it would be a plus...I also like Jia that she is indeed no Candy and is smart and good at her job and in her limitations taking care of herself,after all she is just a human surronded by different mystical beings...

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I enjoyed this episode a lot. I dont know if it's just me but the horror in this show is more creepy than anything I have ever seen. I feel like the mythological world here works on the rule of no freebies which is fair. I'm with Lollypip on Jia being trapped but not hapless. Even I'm afraid that the show might just water her character down. That shaman was straight up creepy and why do I feel like the imoogi is that demon baby. On another note, I'm glad that Yeon couldn't find the fox bead in Jia. At least this way he isn't sure she is his first love but at the same time she reminds him so much of her that he cant walk away. I liked this episode but not as much as the first two. Also now I'll be extra scared when I go to small islands

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I also think the baby is the imoogi and that Rang wants to rise it so it can kill Yeon.

And I also wish the Jia we are seeing in these first episodes doesn't disappear as drama continues, because I really like her. I like how observant she is and how aware she is about the world that surrounds her, taking care of every detail that can give her a hint of what's real and not.
My bet is she was possessed by the imoogi before dying so she has that special connection with the supernatural forces.

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Thanks for the recap, quirkycase!

First off, I think it's the first time I've seen LDW wearing a t-shirt and he looks so damn fine.

Didn't watch the tent scene because the music was your typical jumpscare, so reading that it was a headless man just makes it worse. The cannibalism came out of left field, but I guess humans have the capacity to be monsters when survival is in question.

I'm relieved that Rang isn't the big baddie here, just the lil bro fueled by bitterness who sets things into motion and would smirk as he watches the world burn down around him. Redemption arc please?

The shaman outsmarting Ji-ah shows that although she is clever and quick thinking and recklessly brave, she's still human. And it's hard to be the human in a setting where everyone else is otherworldly.

The Afterlife Immigration Office is quirky and reminds me of Mystic Pop Up Bar, though MPUB's was a big corporation with the latest technology (and Steve Jobs!) while here it's a rundown shop with outdated tech that breaks down often 😂

Also, anyone else lowkey shipping Shin-joo and Yuri?

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Me me me. I'm shipping Shin Joo and Yu Ri

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Ah, hopefully! Shin-joo's reaction to her in episode 4 was just "awww..."

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We are at least three on that ship.

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Atleast 5 confirmed as of now @jillian and @marylou lol

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Add me as well. Episode 4 sealed the deal for me.

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*make me 7*

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I am on board that ship too.

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I'm on board too!

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It's funny (or well not but you know) about the cannibalism scene- because it really didn't shock me when it was revealed and I almost went "really? is that all?"... because there are actually many real life shipwreck stories where people did resort to eating each other (although usually they drew lots as to who was the unlucky sod) to survive.

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It was surprising because I was thinking that the death of the father was related to the bigger mystery of the deaths from 1954 and because of Yeon's comment that the daughter was supposed to die on that day. Oh well.

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Yeah okay fair, I agree with that. I was expecting it to be MORE and then it was "just" cannibalism.

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Ahaha. Instead of the father somehow sacrificing himself at sea to save his daughter or botching up the ritual and dying, we got him getting eaten because he's the weakest and was wounded.*sigh*

This is morbid lol.

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To be fair (like cannibalism is ever fair), he would actually be the best bet to eat first in terms of survival. As long as the wound wasn't septic...

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When I was in High School, we had to translate for our English class a short version of the book Alive about the Andes crash in 1972. People eating people doesn't shock me anymore.

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Gee, I wonder why.

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She needs to redeem herself first. 😆 but i dont mind them getting together.

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Lowkey shipping? I am highkey shipping!

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Am jumping aboard the shipppp! But will it make little lonely Rang throw another tantrum..?

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Ahoy, mate!

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I'm a scaredy cat so the show turning horror spook me. I now can only watch it during day time now :)

I know that gumiho is part of korean folklore. I'm curious if the rest of the other magical creatures are also part of folklore?

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Yes they are, all of them.

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Yes they are but I personally don't know enough about them (yet) to really expand.
See bellow for more on Imugi though, and that one does come up if you google it.

The Dragon King has been in several dramas before and is a recurring figure in Chinese and Korean myth... I think? The mermaid in Legend of the Blue Sea was the daughter or something of the Dragon King. Somebody can correct me if I'm wrong it's been a while since I watched that.

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Imugi was also in that horror show Night Watchman's Journal with Jung Il Woo...The Dragon King of the East Sea belongs to Chinese mistycal lore if i remember right but i think here they might add more than just korean creatures...

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Korean mythology can overlap with Chinese, because sometimes the Chinese myth is actually the source of the Korean myth.

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Do the people in the after life ministry are the same with those in Mystic Bar?

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Scaredy cats unite! I watch this in the evening because I can't wait until the next day, but when the music turns horror-y I put my phone away and watch while covering my eyes (as if that will protect me from the ghosts).

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I use similar trick. I wear glasses so I usually take them off when the music cue that something bad is about to happen. At least blur image doesnt keep me awake at night 😄

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I had to fast-forward in 10 second increments in Viki (so glad they have that feature) to get through ep 4.

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Just skip-watched that last bit of ep 4 in 10 second increments 🤣🤣 Creepy kids, I just can't 😅

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exactly that part.. aak.. too creepy

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I figured the restaurant name meant something too so looked it up. It is very apt. The snail bride story goes: A snail was found by a farmer and he brought it home to keep. When he would leave for the day, the snail would turn into a beautiful woman who would cook him a meal then turn back into a snail before he came back. Selfishness ruins everything and things don't end well (though there is a happy version too), but it's a bit perfect that the restaurant is named after someone whose main characteristic is cooking.

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Maybe it’s the owner who’s the snail bride.

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I had sorta of thought that too especially with him having the convo about other supernatural beings were in the human world too right as he was checking out from the restaurant. She obviously is unfazed by it all and it's like the it place for gumihos at least.

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Maybe it’s low key a place where all the gumihos gather in. The Order of the Gumihos.

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This is just a gut feeling, but I'm getting environmental/Greene man vibes - I got it when Yeon said that the forest on the island was dead, that the spirits of the forest had departed long ago. Then when he bound up the broken branch, it seemed just right.

He comes from Baekdu Mountain, he is a god of wind and rain (I somehow understood he was the god of the forest?), and he communes with the spirits of the forest, but he has been cast out of his domain. I imagine that, as a result, all the forests would suffer from his removal.

Meanwhile on the island something corrupt has arrived, according to the spirit of the tree, and Jia is the one who cuts her free from her bondage, so Jia, as a special child, has a role in this mythology too.

I wouldn't be at all surprised that Jia, on whom Yeon's spells of forgetfulness do not work, and Ah-eum, or Jia/Ah-eum have some role to play in the disruption and re-establishing of this balance. We find out some more about the role of the adversary, the Imoogi in the next episode.

I'm betting there is a great cosmic battle on here. Yeon reminds me of Orpheus who goes to the underworld to bring Eurydice back. From memory, this myth explains the seasons. Could this be a battle between Yeon, the Forest God, and the snaky thing from the sea for the living forest?

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Fun linguistic fact:
When Rang first talks to the Shaman, and she talks about the thing in the well, she addresses it as "the spirit of immortality" and "the King of the Corrupt" and then she calls it "Lee Ryong- [mi ssi] imnida". (The subtitles just say Lee Ryong).

Ryong (룡) is the old Korean word for Dragon, the modern spelling being Yong (용).

An Imugi, according to Wikipedia, is a type of serpent that often appears as a lesser dragon or serpent aspiring to become a fully fledged dragon. (see the picture of the Dragon King that is not the Dragon King...)

They can either a) become a true dragon ( yong or mireu), if they catch a "Yeouiju" which had fallen from heaven. (idk what a yeouiji is)
or b) are simply hornless creatures resembling dragons who have been cursed and thus are unable to become dragons
or c) are a proto-dragon which must survive one thousand years in order to become a fully fledged dragon.

What kind of Imugi this one will appear as in the show, I don't know, and what kind of clue it being called Ryong is, I'm not sure either, but the title of the episode was called "The Secret of the Dragon King", and then Rang scoffs at her that "adding a title from the afterlife in front of their name, doesn't change who they were", so go crazy with your theories, folks.

(I just kinda geeked out a little at the Ryong/Yong reference cos it's one of my favourite Korean words/names... anyhooo)

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Thank you so much for the references and information @sicarius. This is so interesting

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Thanks for this. I guess our Imugi is just b.
Although, maybe, whatever a Yeouiju is, it may be AhEum/Jia. I the opening animation, we see AhEum falling from a cliff... so, is she the Yeouiji the imugi wanted to catch but when Yeon realized killed them both (the imugi and AhEum) to protect AhEum soul? What about this totally wild and nuts guess?

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Used "trusty" Wikipedia for yeouiju:
"Very occasionally a dragon may be depicted as carrying an orb known as the yeouiju (여의주), the Korean name for the mythical Cintamani, in its claws or its mouth. It was said that whoever could wield the yeouiju was blessed with the abilities of omnipotence and creation at will, and that only four-toed dragons (who had thumbs with which to hold the orbs) were both wise and powerful enough to wield these orbs, as opposed to the lesser, three-toed dragons."
I wonder if the orb in Nice Tails's love was a form of yeouiju and while Nice Tails for some reason can't see it, Special Child does have it and would be super helpful to the imugi if eaten. Also the one thousand years lines up pretty well with the age of Nice Tails too. So, the imugi may be becoming a full fledged dragon who is very close to also getting a yeouiju.

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It's amusing that my answer for what a Yeouiju is, was on the very same page that I got the Imugi info from and yet still missed it... welp. -_-

I was under the impression that the bead Yeon gave Ji A was simply a fox bead, one of the most important parts of Gumiho folklore and the main thing that separates it from its cousins the Kitsune and the Huli Jing.

However I notice on the Gumiho article, that there is some overlap between dragon and gumiho mythology in that a Gumiho can permanently become human by obtaining yeouiju.

There was also a section about how if a human swallows a fox bead they can obtain preternatural knowledge.

I imagine this show is going to use its own variations on all these myths, and I don't even know if the yeouiju will turn up, but it's very interesting to read about it and think about it all in context nonetheless.

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Also can we just talk about

"Return the Earth" *instant lightning disintegration*

because
I mean
C'était magnifique~

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I'm really frakking mad there's a typo in that ...

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I so loved that. It was perfect.

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I LOVE the dramatics! Why go half the way when you can go all in!

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I wonder why Yeon is punished for killing a human that was not intended to be killed and yet Rang goes around killing lots of people being unpunished... I guess it has something to do with the contract Yeon signed when he stopped being a god, otherwise it doesn't make sense.

I really like the fact that we are not spoon-fed about the story, that we get all the pieces as the episodes go on. I really hate those "car conversations" in which one character makes a summary to the others so we, viewers can understand what's happening. Of course, I don't like being in the darkness all the time, because that makes the show boring, but so far I like the way we are given the information.

I also like the way the show is not really taking itself seriously. I mean, it's not a joke, of course, but there's those jokes and meta references I really love and put a smile in my face.

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I know what you mean. I also prefer being shown and told in little pieces what is happening.

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I also wondered about that too. The human he killed wasn’t even a nice/innocent one to begin with but you’re right, it’s probably because he himself was/is a god and also, the contract.

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i think its just because Yeon is simply an afterlife's employee so he has to do works and has rules to obey. he said this in his interview too. meanwhile, Rang is a free body.

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It sounded like she didn't know Rang was the one doing the killing. Not sure why she wouldn't know but that's why she was freaking out about the computer errors. This woman doesn't seem to be omnipresent but maybe has a special connection/tracker on Nice Tails because of the contract or his past position.

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I do like Jia's resourcefulness a lot. She can hold her own against Yeon and Rang. What she is though seems to be more than ordinary. Even Yeon is perplexed by her and that encounter at the woods. Hopefully we do know a little bit more about what the rules are and what caused Yeon's servitude.

Shin-joo and Yoo-ri. There will be something going with this two. Hopefully not something that will break Shin-joo's heart. Or that may be the least of his problems if it involves her.

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I just don’t want Jia turning into Sun-mi of Hwayugi. Initially JSM was quite resourceful character. A human in the world of supernatural, she had will to fight and survive. She built her own business and was quite successful too, but in later episodes her character became weepy and lost the shine. She became just a sacrifice to propel Monkey God’s character development.

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I can't agree more.
Besides, AhEum already sacrificed herself to protect Yeon, so please, don't turn her into a damsel in distress, please.

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Yeah, Hwayugi went off the rails as Sun-mi stopped confronting ghosts and just became an object to propel Son Oh Gong’s storyline. What a train wreck. I’m actually thinking about this as I watch Tail of the Nine Tailed and desperately hoping the writers are going to keep Jia’s character as strong, sharp, cunning and independent as she is now, at the start of the series.

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Although let's be honest here- the Monkey King barely got any development in the latter half of that show anyway, was also sidelined and also a shadow of his former self, and became a chew toy of the gods and the unnecessary villainess, for reasons I still cannot determine. Perhaps I am still slightly bitter that the main character of that show was barely the main character at times... Perhaps. 🙄🙄

You're right though, I should hate either of our leads to loose their sparkle later on, although this show actually reminds me of Hwayugi in a lot of ways, which is both a good thing, because I still liked Hwayugi despite it's plethora of technical flaws, but also doesn't necessarily bode well for the future... *which is why I said it could totally dissolve into a trainwreck* *hopefully it's a fun trainwreck though*

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It is hard to describe how much I like this. I expect the show to really lean all in into the campy, horror elements, and it does. Thank you, show. Please stay like this.
On a side note, Park Il Do and his water chugging shenanigans are back on that small island... I am a bit sad we didn't get a cameo by Kim Dong Wook and his eyepatch and shaggy hair, though.

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You all ever start watching a drama and are enjoying it, into it but then suddenly something happens and - boom - your heart falls? Remember that part during the scene in the woods where Jia dashes back for the photo, Rang crushes the rock and pelts the pieces like bullets, and Yeon dashes back and throws his jacket open to protect her? The camera flips back and forth between their faces, and in the 3rd flip, he kind of smirks and raises his eyebrows and SPLAT went my heart. Yes, my broody gumiho and intrepid, quick-witted PD, I am now 100% yours.

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Him and those smirkkkk! He did it too when he put himself between her and the bulgasari, ah my heart...

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Yeah, he is using his eyes with intent, and it is working on me for sure.

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Ah yes, LDW’s “see that? That’s why I’m popular” smirk sold me. I fell more in love with him (as if that’s possible, because LDW owns me by now).

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Am kinda sad that Ji-ah got saved instead of saving herself, but at least show is consistent with her being smart. She reads people so well and seems to know intuitively what to say to stump/rile the gumiho bros, LOL!

Making her forget strangling Yeon feels like a cop-out, tho... is she going to just have blips of recalling her other self, or was it due to the herb thing? Guess what blood Ji-ah had shed into the welll is not enough for the imoogi, hence the the villagefull of people disappearing into the well...

Gotta admit I am not 100% fully concentrating while watching because one, I ff-ed the scary scenes because even watching through fingers is too scary and two, sometimes got totally distracted by how pretty Lee Dong-wook is ><

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A fun, well-paced episode with an extra dash of horror. Also with even better banter between Yeon and Ji-ah! I just want them to spend the rest of the series exploring the creepy-thing-of-the-week.

So is Shin-joo...a pahl-miho, since he had lost a tail before and should now have 8 tails?

And *rolls eyes* of course, Yeon is one of the gumihos that are born rich. Reminds me of Moo Young in Detective Zombie grumbling how unfair he had to worry about making ends meet while in dramas, supernatural creatures are financially well off.

I warmed up to Rang in this episode, especially during his confrontation with Ji-Ah. Love how she didn't give into temptation. They have a good chemistry too. I'm not looking for a love triangle, but would be nice to see them paired off in another drama.

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I tried this show but it's not for me. LDW is very hit and miss for me. He was alright in Goblin but nothing special and in this show KB outshines him in every scene they're together. JBA is just terrible.

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