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Tale of the Nine Tailed: Episode 6

Thanks to an old friend, our couple gets some new leads on our heroine’s missing parents, but their investigation raises more questions than it answers. Our heroine makes a major decision to protect what matters to her, and it may put her in more danger than she realizes. Everyone keeps warning our star-crossed lovers that there will be dire consequence should they remain together, and fate seems to be proving them right.

 
EPISODE 6: “The Four Pillars of Destiny”

We pick back up with Yeon kissing Jia on the bridge. After a moment, Jia lightly pushes him away. “Is the woman you just kissed me?” Yeon’s silence confirms Jia’s guess. “I am not the shadow of your past.” Jia tells him he can either live in the past or with her in the present.

At the station, Sae-rom spams Jia with messages asking who Yeon is. She could tell they had some relationship, but she’s surprised because Jia is infamous for bombing dates. Ha.

Yeon and Jia take a walk through the forest by the village. Jia is so awkward she can barely look Yeon in the eye. When Yeon points it out, and she’s all, “Look at the fish!” He grins while she acts super interested in the lake, finding her awkwardness cute. Yeon stares unabashedly at her, making Jia regret her words from earlier that he should “look carefully at her.”

Back at the station, Jae-hwan thinks they’ve seen Yeon somewhere before, but Sae-rom insists she’d remember that handsome face. Team Leader Choi comes up, berating them for not working. Then he asks if Jia has replied yet. Pfft.

At the traditional village, Yeon tells Jia that they’re there to find the Magistrate who knows about her parents. He lives like a human but is one of the four mountain gods. Jia is wowed that they’re meeting a god, making Yeon petulantly remind her he was also one of those gods. Jia recalls he was expelled, but Yeon bluffs that he totally quit on his own and boasts that he was the strongest of the four gods.

These nostalgic villages are the best places for spirits to hide. Yeon doesn’t need to search for them since he knows they’ll come to him. Sure enough, a group of performers gather and stare at Yeon.

Jia and Yeon go to a fortune teller’s for fun and have him read their past lives. He whips out his cell phone and snaps pictures of their faces. “Are you using an app?!” Yeon asks incredulously. Ha. Yeon is impressed when the fortune teller correctly surmises that Jia was a princess in her past life, but then he says (after peeking at his app) Yeon was an industrialist who died building the Han River Bridge. Pfft.

Things turn more serious as he claims one of them will die if they stay together. Yeon glares as the fortune teller says their destinies never should have intertwined.

Rang dramatically makes his way to the fortune teller’s shop in an open palanquin as Yeon and Jia leave. In the middle of their conversation, Yeon catches an arrow midair heading for them. Attached is a message from the Magistrate with a meeting place.

Rang enters the fortune teller’s and tells him to cut the act – he knows who he is. The man lowers his sunglasses to reveal cataracts on both eyes. Rang is surprised to hear another gumiho was there and realizes Yeon must be around.

He asks for the object that lets you see into the past: a tiger’s brow. The man fishes through a bag and pulls out … a pair of glasses? Huh. Rang flashes a briefcase full of money, but the fortune teller declares that mythical objects can’t be bought with money.

Meanwhile, Yeon and Jia meet the Magistrate. He and Yeon go back and forth about their perceived misdeeds, and Yeon asserts that they’ve chosen different paths. The Magistrate’s answer is to lock them in and have his men surround them, weapons drawn.

At the fortune teller’s, Rang threatens to take the items by force. The fortune teller informs him he’d be sucked into his bag if he tried. We see what looks like a swirling, mythical black hole inside. His price: Rang’s most treasured possession.

Yeon pulls a worried Jia aside and tells her to wait five minutes. He proceeds to fight the guards, but one of them goes after Jia. Yeon spinning kicks a spear toward the guard, which the Magistrate catches midair. They both agree to have a clean fight, and the Magistrate offers Jia a seat on the podium with him.

The fight recommences, and Yeon whips out his sword when archers join the fray. Jia jumps up in fear as she watches him fight alone. When the Magistrate asks if she loves Yeon or has been seduced by him, Jia responds that she’s using him.

She put Yeon in this dangerous situation because she’s using him to find her family. But now she just wants him to win quickly so they can go home. He’s always getting hurt because of her.

The Magistrate notes her road isn’t lined with flowers either. Jia practically reasons she can sprinkle some flower seeds along her crappy road then. Jia is startled when he laughs that she’s as interesting as the rumors say. But she’ll regret meeting him.

Yeon wins the fight with only minor scratches. Elsewhere, Taluipa has another temper tantrum, this time over someone bringing their cell phone to hell. Hyun Eui-ong quickly gets out of the warpath.

Back at the Magistrate’s, now that Yeon has defeated the guards, it’s time for the gods to go against each other. Jia watches as Yeon and the Magistrate battle it out. They seem pretty well-matched. At one point, the Magistrate uses some mystical mirror to redirect Yeon’s sword toward Jia.

Yeon accuses him of using something meant to protect as a weapon. The Magistrate in turn accuses him of using his fox bead to save one instead of many. They agree to fight bare-handed. As they beat each other up, the Magistrate tsks at Yeon for falling for a human again.

Again, Yeon wins and Jia rushes over to make sure he’s okay. Yeon extends his hand to pull the Magistrate up, suggesting they go for coffee. Jia is confused, so Yeon explains that this is his best friend who was originally a bear.

At the Snail Bride, Hyun Eui-ong ignores a call from Taluipa. He complains to Hye-ja about the anxiety his wife causes him, and she reasons that every couple has trying times, especially ones that have been together thousands of years. Hye-ja encourages him to talk to Taluipa, but he’s too scared.

At the next table, Shin-joo treats Yoo-ri to a meal. He’s worried he’s been misunderstanding her – he’s never seen a true villain pitying a weak animal. Shin-joo is unfazed by Yoo-ri’s proclamation that she doesn’t like him and makes her angry when he likens her to an abused, abandoned dog that attacks because it doesn’t know how to accept love.

Meanwhile, Rang is still puzzling over what is most precious to him. He calls Yeon, but Yeon ignores it while he catches up with his stoic bestie. He recognizes Jia’s parents from the photo and divulges that a man came to him earlier that year to say he planned to cause an “accident” on March 3. Since the Magistrate doesn’t involve himself in situations where people are harmed, he wouldn’t lend him his subordinates.

The strangest part is that the middle-aged man was human. (Ooh, could he be the CEO?) The Magistrate remembers he had a sinner’s mark on his forehead that read “Seo Kyung” (West Seoul). Jia realizes that mark means he lived prior to the Joseon era. The Magistrate speculates he’s still nearby and clarifies that the accident wasn’t targeting her parents – it was targeting her.

Hyun Eui-ong finally answers a call from his perpetually angry wife and agrees to rush over there in a conciliatory tone. After hanging up, he tosses the phone down and screams that he wants a divorce. Having no idea who he is, Yoo-ri rants that no one cares, so shut up.

Hye-ja stares in shock, and Hyun Eui-ong sputters in disbelief and anger. Shin-joo tries to hide under the table but jumps up to respectfully bow when Hyun Eui-ong glares. Even after learning who he is, Yoo-ri doesn’t see why it should matter.

Shin-joo brings up the injured dog, and Yoo-ri says he should raise it. The person who saved her from the zoo doesn’t want it. Shin-joo is surprised to hear her “savior” killed people to get her out and asks who he is. Yoo-ri smiles and says he’ll meet him soon.

As Rang continues trying to call Yeon, the Magistrate cautions Yeon not to keep Jia near. That man said she has “the king’s scales.” Yeon turns to him in surprise as he asserts that she has the king’s energy.

Yeon glances concernedly at Jia and recalls that weird incident in the woods where Jia’s skin looked scaly and she seemed possessed. Now, he wonders, “Was that Ah-eum? If not …” Elsewhere, the imoogi boy picks up a dead bird and cups his hands around it. Moments later, it revives and flies off.

Jia racks her brain trying to think of who that man could be. What is she that her family had to suffer like that? And why does Yeon keep protecting her without telling her anything? Yeon looks at her compassionately and says he doesn’t want her to get hurt or do anything for his sake. He hopes she can trust him.

Yeon suggests they start with catching that man and finally answers Rang’s call, figuring he’ll know something. Rang snaps at him. Did he not see the 22 missed calls? He claims he’s not up to anything and asks to meet.

Yeon plans to let Rang lead them to the man. He borrows a calligrapher’s brush and dips it in water. He writes a charm on his shoe that will take Rang to that man. This is their only chance, so they can’t lose Rang.

Jia goes inside to meet Rang while Yeon presumably switches their shoes. Rang finds Jia’s irritation amusing as she repays his compliments with barbs. When Yeon arrives, Rang brings in the fortune teller, calling Yeon an idiot for not knowing he’s the real deal.

Rang tells the fortune teller to “appraise” Yeon, muttering that he’s not sure if this is a valuable item to him or not. After examining Yeon with a magnifying glass, the fortune teller declares his brother is indeed the most precious thing to him. HA! Rang closes his eyes and sighs in embarrassment.

The fortune teller hands over the tiger’s brow and Rang leaves. Jia wants to follow, but Yeon holds her back. Outside, Rang can’t believe Yeon is childish enough to steal his shoes and wears Yeon’s instead.

The fortune teller stops Yeon from leaving, claiming he’s his property now. He raps him on the shoulder with his cane. Jia watches in shock as Yeon turns to energy and is sucked into the fortune teller’s mystical bag. Jia is torn between following Rang and helping Yeon but ultimately chooses Yeon.

To get Yeon back, Jia must also trade her most precious item. He gives her until that 9:00 that night to return with it. She rushes home, struggling to determine what’s most precious to her.

When she returns, the gates are closed. Thankfully, the Magistrate recognizes her voice and lets her in. Jia makes it right in the nick of time and hands over her musical carousel, the reminder that what happened wasn’t a dream and her parents might be alive.

While he appraises her item, Rang makes his way to the CEO’s house in a trance. He comes to with no idea why he’s there. He looks down at Yeon’s shoes and scoffs when he sees the charm lift.

The fortune teller declares Jia’s item lacking for the trade. He gives into Jia’s pleading and uses his magnifying glass on her to see what she can do. He jerks back in surprise at what he sees in her eyes and asks to see her hand.

He excitedly discovers that she has a special fate and recites:

Water and fire are at odds, and the earth is dense. Gold will temper it. Even if you are surrounded by darkness, the moon rises in your sky.

The moon refers to her fox bead. He breathlessly asks for it, saying her future is full enough without it. Jia doesn’t hesitate to make the trade. He smiles and says their deal is complete. Jia watches as a new palm line appears on her left hand, changing her fate.

The imoogi boy looks up from his game of chess and notes that the fox bead has disappeared. He smiles. Yeon, on the other hand, is not so happy once he’s released. And he doesn’t even know about the bead yet.

Jia assures him she didn’t trade years of her life and calls the price “cheap.” She says he’s hers now, likening him to the genie in Aladdin. They drink at her place, and Jia explains that she did waver, but in the end, she decided to give up their lead with Rang and trust in Yeon.

Jia gets a far-off look and reminisces that there are lots of times when kids need their parents. For her, it was being the only one without homemade kimbap at school picnics or when kids would threaten to tell on her to their mom.

She used to feel resentful that her parents left her, but now she’s learned it’s her fault their lives were ruined. Yeon encourages her to cry, but Jia would rather eat spicy chicken feet and let the tears come that way. Yeon is relieved she’s not pretending to be fine. When he tries the chicken feet, he about dies from the spiciness but pretends the tears are from something getting in his eye.

We get some ominous shots of the imoogi boy staring out his window in the dark, and Taluipa staring into the distance. Back at Jia’s, Yeon drapes a blanket over Jia who’s falling asleep on the couch. She stops him from leaving and asks him not to treat her too well since it’ll make her want to lean on him. She worries it’ll make her weak.

Yeon wipes her tears and promises the sleeping Jia that she’ll live a peaceful life. It’s okay if she one day needs to forget him and his world. He just wants her to live an ordinary life.

Yeon then confronts Taluipa about the imoogi. It didn’t die, did it? At home, Jia looks feverish and dreams that she’s standing in the imoogi boy’s talisman covered room.

Taluipa reveals that Jia is the one who woke the imoogi. She warned Yeon not to find her. Yeon scoffs and wonders what he fought for and why Ah-eum sacrificed herself. Taluipa won’t tell him where the imoogi is and again issues the stern warning that a fox and human can’t be together.

As Yeon yells at Taluipa to tell him where it is, Jia approaches the imoogi boy who turns and greets her. Jia wakes up gasping in fear. Taluipa explains it was hidden, “but I just found a fragment of him.” The back of Jia’s neck is now covered in scales.

 
COMMENTS

Oooh, so this is interesting. I had assumed that incident in the forest was Jia getting possessed temporarily, but there’s much more than that going on. Is Jia also imoogi or does she just have a connection with it? The yet-born Jia “luring” her mother to the island where the imoogi slept makes way more sense now. Taluipa’s mention of a fragment makes me think it’s possible for the imoogi to be split into pieces, so to speak. If so, the imoogi boy and Jia could be aspects of the same imoogi. That would explain her dream link with the imoogi boy. On the other hand, her blood was used in the ritual to wake it up, so maybe the connection with the boy is from that. Whatever the case, I’m assuming the fox bead suppressed this aspect of her, and it could only express itself once the bead was gone. I wonder if she has powers like the imoogi boy who can apparently bring things back to life. You know, when he’s not sucking the life out of them instead. Now that she’s possibly a mythological serpent, I think Jia’s chances of living a boring, ordinary life are slim.

I’m not a fan of Taluipa, but I feel her frustration with Yeon is warranted. She’s warned him again and again about the dangers of his obsession with Ah-eum/Jia, and he just flagrantly disregards it. Putting yourself in danger willingly is one thing, but this won’t stop with just him. Or even the two of them, probably. All the more reason why Yeon needs to stop “protecting” Jia by keeping her in the dark. This is seriously one of my pet peeves because when has that ever worked? It’s always more dangerous if someone doesn’t know what they’re walking into or what to expect. She’d be safer if she were more prepared, and I think Jia has proven that she’s not someone who needs to be coddled. Plus, Jia has explicitly told Yeon she’d rather him not hide things from her.

Jia isn’t someone who likes to be sheltered from hard truths or avoid confrontation. She’s the type that’d rather take charge and face something difficult head on. I love that she addresses things right off the bat, like with the kiss. She immediately made sure Yeon sees her for who she is and isn’t confusing her with Ah-eum. Jia isn’t about to be a stand-in for his dead girlfriend and knows she deserves to be loved for who she is. I think Yeon does see her as Jia most of the time, but he has moments where he conflates her and Ah-eum. It’s understandable but not fair to her, and I’m glad she brought it up early on.

So I’ve decided I like Shin-joo and Yoo-ri together. He definitely brings out the sane in her, and they have a cute dynamic. She seems really damaged, and Shin-joo may just be empathetic enough and patient enough to coax her out of her extremely spiky shell. She and Rang are so similar in that way that I can see how they connected. Are all of our villains just broken and in need of love? I’m pretty sure Yoo-ri and Rang could both be lured from the dark side if Shin-joo and Yeon tag team it.

How amazing was Rang’s utter embarrassment that his most precious thing is Yeon? It was bad enough for him to admit it to himself, but then the fortune teller announced it to the room. Even if Yeon already kind of knew, it’s another thing to have it stated as fact like that. Any chance of Rang’s “hatred” being taken seriously are shot now. If Yeon is like most any sibling ever, he’ll never let his little brother live this down.

I missed the horror elements this week. It’s almost like we’re watching two different dramas that are spliced together – a fantasy romance and supernatural horror. I don’t dislike the contrast per se, but I do wish they were blended a bit better. This applies both tonally and visually. Some scenes are intensely bright while others are so dark you can barely see. Balancing that out a little without eliminating the contrast could make the shifts less abrupt while still changing the atmosphere. With the reveal about Jia and the focus on finding her parents, we seem to be moving back toward the supernatural horror side. Now that most of our pieces appear to be in place, I’m looking forward to seeing where the plot is headed.

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*ahem* PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCMENT:
Yeon is the most precious thing to Rang.
Wait let me repeat that:
Yeon is the most precious thing to Rang.

*and then the dork is horrified at that and glibly hands him over anyway.* *THESE TWO.* *Honestly.*

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Aren’t they cute???

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also
"Just because you're the brother in-law to the King of the Underworld, doesn't give you a right to be loud in restaurants!"

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And "Even if you don't (like me), I'm sure you'll like the soup. Try it."
Shin-joo, smooth as always.

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I’m loving YuRi more and more and more and more.

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Thanks for the recap, quirkycase!

I agree, Yeon and Ji-ah need to talk to each other about the reason Ah-eum died and her giving up the fox bead.

I think the fox bead is the reason why Ji-ah was reincarnated with part of the Imoogi while simultaneously protecting her from its control.

Show blessed us with Lee Kyu-hyung in sageuk attire to compensate for last week's horror and I'm all for it.

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omg, I didn't realize that was Lee Kyu-hyung!! I'm frustrated that Yeon just walked into Rang's trap. Rang may be cute, but he's still dangerous! And then him not probing into what Ji-ah traded to save his life.

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He really should've asked that, or she should've told him. And an object "meant to save many" is definitely not a cheap price.

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I found that scene with the Magistrate (Lee Kyu-hyung) eating the macaroon endearing. In my mind's eye, I could see a bear in sageuk attire sitting on the chair picking up the macaroon and quietly munching it. No wonder Jia was so fascinated.

I like your theory about the fox bead. I wonder how the imoogi came to be in Jia, whether it was something she inherited from the 'king' or she took it on sacrificially, or it was put into her somehow against her will. Does this mean that the separate parts of the imoogi are going to combine later? Definitely not a good thing that Jia doesn't have the protection of the fox bead now.

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I vaguely remember "Our tragic destiny could have ended if you did not stop me from crossing the Samdo River" or something, so I guess Yeon giving her the fox bead prevented Ah-eum from having a clean slate reincarnation.

It may also explain the shaman's comment that she tricked her mother to go to the island before she was born since she was reincarnated with part of the Imoogi's soul/being (whatever).

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It's kinda make feel like Voldemort and Harry Potter vibe🤣

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LKH cameo was fantastic!
Brothers reunited!

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I'm already starting to anticipate him in a sageuk xD

From brothers in Life to bestfriends in Nine-tailed ❤️

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I'm new to Kdramas so I don't know Lee Kyu-hyung but he really elevated the little bit of this episode that he appeared in. He's got a lot of presence and his interactions with Jo Bo-ah were great.

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Ikr we're blessed with Lee Kyu hyung's special appearance in this episode. He looked so charismatic as the Governor .. with the saeguk attire and a little moustache, it took me sometime to realise who was the Governor.. the character fit him well! Though I have mixed feelings watching him fighting Yeon when they both were my favourite brothers in Life!

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Thank for recapping! I really enjoyed this episode actually:
1. Love that Jia didn’t just accept the kiss I still think their relationship has a way to go on Jia’s end for her to actually start loving him the way he loves her. But I see the tension and chemistry there.
2. Lee Kyu Hyung as Sato!! I love him he’s adorable so I was so happy when he turned out to be Yeon’s friend.
3. Rang needs to get it together and hash it out with Yeon and accept that he loves his brother a lot haha. But for real I hope we work through the trauma Rang obviously has and he can team up w lovebirds and defeat Imoogi (...pls)
4. I’m actually interested that Jia gave up the fox bead and I want to know how Yeon will find out and what this means...I’m just confused why it didn’t come up when he asked her what she traded, did she just forget she got a new palm line or what?
5. I’m just excited for the plot with the fantasy, imoogi horcrux, A Eum death to develop. I really hope you be of them doesn’t die at the end but I’m prepping my heart huhu

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Also forgot to add, props to makeup department from what I can see because the scales looked scary and cool!

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Jia is a horcrux...she's um...nagini 😅.

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It seems so!

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Seriously considering Ji-ah as a girl crush cause she is quite refreshing for a kdrama lead. She might not be kick-ass all the time, but like @quirkycase said, she's the type to face difficulties head on and it shows through her words. Like the appropriate response to the lip bump kiss, and admitting about using Yeon to Moon Bear, and the reason she ate spicy chicken feet. As Yeon said, she is basically one cool chick.

Yeon making the promise to reunite Ji-ah with her parents and then let her forget everything kinda breaks my heart. It's like he'll be happy with making shared moments but okay to just remember on his own, coz he never expect them to end up together anyway T_T So shut it, will you Taluipa, he already knows!

But it's true that both need to start talking, Yeon about Ah-eum and Ji-ah about the bead. It's bad enough between your standard kdrama OTP, why expect communication is better between supernatural being & reincarnated soul...

About the supernaturals, Yeon mentioned Ah-eum as a princess, so is she the King a.k.a Imoogi's real daughter? Will it be dad vs lover fight? Wondering what her true fate is, being a mythological serpent herself, or just being kept safe in a cage as a horcrux? And now the fox bead is gone, will her changed fate somehow allowed her to be with Yeon..? Or maybe in the end Yeon will be human and they'll live out their HEA with wrinkles and all. Maybe plus the Imoogi boy too, if "all of our villains just broken and in need of love" extends to him.

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Lip bump! Haha you’re right, I demand a proper kiss(es) down the line!
I definitely think A Eum was the Kong’s daughter but from how I understood it, the Imoogi might have possessed the King? Or killed the King and pretended to be him. So I don’t think she is the Imoogi’s daughter just that the Imoogi chose the King for the power

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I also believe that the King was just a vessel for the Imoogi at some point after Ah Eum was born. I wonder if we had a Kingdom sort of situation going on. The theme seems to be that it's not really the supernatural being evil, but humans being terrible and even using the supernatural for their own selfishness.

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I'm confused by the tone of Taluipa’s and Hyun Eui-ong's relationship. Are we suppose to root for him to leave his basically coerced relationship? Or is it suppose to be played for laughs.

On another note - I'd watch the shit out of a spin off of Rang, Yeon, and the puppies that tag along the way on their magical adventures.

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I don’t really like Taluipa, but I don’t like either the way Hyun Eui-ong talks about her. It reminds me of so many men who always rant about their woman to others, and say nothing while at home because they get things done and don’t have to worry about anything else.

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So true 🤣

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I like how embarrassed (annoyed?) Rang was knowing Yeon is the most precious to him. The two of them need to sit down and have a real talk. Both are freaking old, lets act with some maturity
lol
I assume as much that Jia probably still tied to Imoogi based on previous ep but I dont understand what's the bead doing to it. Unfortunately we dont get both powers clashing on her since she surrendered her bead.
Glad we get new info but I still not liking the pace. I also dont understand why Taluipa story is important? Shinjoo and Yuri is enough as secondary couple

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That fight was a lot longer than 5 minutes. I'm glad to find out that the Magistrate was his friend though. Sad that the friend has to work for living too. But yay for more meeting more supernatural creatures! I love the idea of spirits just hanging out at these nostalgic villages. Yeah, the fortune teller did Yeon and Ji-ah dirty, but he's interesting. I wonder what he will do with the fox bead. I side-eye him breaking his rule about trading what's most precious.

I found it more sad than cute/funny that Yeon is still Rang's most precious person- after all these years. I feel like Rang is always treating Yeon seriously, but Yeon is just so standoffish and treats him like a mosquito. I wonder what the Tiger's Brow glasses do that Rang could easily throw away Yeon to get.

Is the creepy dragon boy capable of goodness - considering he revived that bird? Or it out of sympathy or just whim in playing with his powers.

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Yes about side-eyeing the fortune teller, and then there are the ways Moon Bear & Yeon use their items... is it just me or the supernaturals feel more and more like Running Man: somewhere along the way there's gonna be betrayal and cheats and bite fight ><

Am also wondering whether dragon boy can be brought into the light. Or maybe show just want to tell us that he has power over death.

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I reckon Yeon was using the fight to impress Jia. I submit Yeon's cheeky smile at Jia as evidence. "Wait five minutes." Oooookaaaay....

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I agree with Rang and Yeon relationship. I feel like Rang wanted his feelings to be taken seriously by Yeon but Yeon seems like he is not able to provide safe space for Rang probably because he's so into his own problems you know first love problem who might be a horcrux and imoogi

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On the dragon boy healing the bird... I was actually thinking that maybe he was going to use the bird as a spy.

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So Ji ah is basically a hocrux for the imoogi which is what the show is hinting at..interesting.

The fox brothers relationship is a complicated one but one I enjoy watching coz they don’t have a typical hate relationship but rather a love-hate relationship with a hint of comedy. They way Lee dong Wook shoved his feet in Kim Bum’s face to greet him was just hilarious as well as Rang finding out his brother is the most precious to him, just adorable!! I do hope they work out their differences and work together in the future.

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"Where are my shoes?" | "Dunno!"
What are they, 12? LOL.

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Yes. Yes they are.

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I bet they are 17 and 13 in gumiho age.

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I'm fascinated by this episode because it may have shifted the narrative from "epic romance across centuries" to "a morally questionable hero and a heroine who may literally be a monster" and I love it.

Yeon is so problematic, my God. His devotion to Ah-eum seems romantic on the surface but then you think of all the beings who've been sacrificed to his obsession. He abandoned his mountain (which has been overrun with evil spirits), his brother (who suffered devastating pain and loss as a result), and also the humans who prayed to him for protection. He's really a terrible person in many ways yet also charming, sexy and charismatic so it's hard to be as angry at him as he deserves.

I love that Ji-ah is not only a horcrux (or maybe the imoogi's daughter?), she also admitted that she was using Yeon to find her parents. In her own way she's just as obsessive and selfish as Yeon and as heedless of what it costs the beings around her. I'd say they were made for each other but their combined actions are wreaking havoc in the world.

As much damage as Lee Rang has done, he's turning out to be less selfish than Yeon and maybe more loyal (he takes care of random abused dogs and seems to be looking out for his feral girlfriend in his twisted way). He's suffered the most from Yeon's behavior and yet I suspect he's going to eventually end up making the ultimate sacrifice for his brother (though if Rang dies protecting Ji-ah I will be very pissed at the writers, please don't do that to him).

The imoogi child saving the bird's life is utterly fascinating. He's not 100% evil. Lots of moral ambiguity and shades of grey to play with in future episodes.

Yoo-ri and Shin-joo are freakin' adorable but I sense one or both of them isn't making it out of this story alive, sob.

Rating the performances of the leads so far:

*LDW: amazing work, he's sexy, funny, dangerous and heartbreaking, often all in one scene. I love how in the fight scene with the Magistrate's men he's acting like a teenager trying to impress his girlfriend. He keeps making showy moves and then grinning at her as if to say "Aren't you impressed?"

*JBA: unfortunately kind of one-note so far. She's good at being feisty but she isn't wowing me in the more intimate moments with LDW.

I really, really hope this show gets super dark and gives us a lead couple you struggle to root for, with shifting alliances and betrayals and moral complexity. I mean, probably not but a girl can dream.

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i think its the fox "nature" to become loyal af? Aheum is the first woman he fell in love with in his immortal life. im not saying its right dropped everything for a woman, but his people who destroy the mountain and Rang destroy some villages are wrong too.
Yeon agree that his action was extreme and he still doing his punishment.
But Rang keep killing people for 600 years and he is summoning a whole monster to get revenge on his brother.

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Yes!! I completely agree with you on Yeon. He is morally questionable and I wish the show would address it more. He has sacrificed the safety of so many people for love and it's extremely irresponsible of him. And I draw the line at leaving a child sibling for love. That is so not okay, and he's never made up for it. He isn't even trying.

And I also feel you on the fact that Rang is in some ways less selfish, as crazy as that may seem to sound at first. It manifests as hatred, but we know that Rang has strong feelings for his brother, while Yeon seems mostly indifferent to him.

And also, I was pretty horrified by Rang's actions at first, but now I'm not so sure. Because, aside from his vindictiveness, the fact that Rang kills humans does not clearly make him a villain in the ethical sense within the context of this world.

It comes down to interesting questions of speciesism in a fantasy context. Let's not forget, Rang is, in essence, a fully sentient animal (yes, he's half human, but he doesn't seem to identify as such). He's watched humans hunt, mutilate, eat, imprison, abuse, and torture animals (many of whom he probably considers kin) for centuries. The fact that he rescued Yuri from a zoo (and the way he rescued the tortured dog) says a lot about the way he sees the world. From his few, humans are probably an evil, destructive species, and he probably has no more compunctions about killing them than a real wolf would or fox would feel attacking or killing a human. And considering the way he's seen humans treating his fellow animals, I'm not sure I really blame him. He does do horrible things for horrible reasons (to be intentionally cruel, sadistic, etc.) which indicates some serious character flaws (caused by trauma no doubt, but still), but when it comes to killing/eating humans as an animal...I'm not sure that it's as ethically clear cut as it seems.

And that's an interesting dilemma that I kind of wish this show would get into more. Because, from Rang's POV (and the magistrate's in early in this ep) Yeon is a traitor who betrays and kills his own kind to protect humans, all to be reunited with his human lover. And I can see why they are angry. Clearly, the underworld office regulates foxes and other supernatural creatures more closely because they have more power (in theory) than humans. But from the foxes' perspective, why should humans be protected, and foxes punished, when humans have been brutalizing animals for centuries? I mean, their species is extinct (native Korean red foxes) probably due to humans. So yeah, it's an ethical grey area that a more sophisticated narrative might tap into more, instead of taking the default perspective that it's more horrific to kill a human than to kill another sentient being.

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I think what's missing for me in the Yeon character is any sense of guilt for the people he had left behind or any anger. Maybe that is too human an emotion for a gumiho to have? I don't want him to be another tortured supernatural...but at the same time, shouldn't he be? Seems like all he has to do is go into work just every other day and wait? And his work is like really easy given his powers. Like what would be awesome is if he were forced to take on the persona of a fried chicken shop owner.

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That's a good point, that he should feel some sense of anger at the fact that his home was destroyed along with (no doubt) some of his kin. And considering the fact that Rang is still so full of rage and pain, I doubt it has to do with being a Gumiho (unless, we're to reason that Rang is so emotional because he's half human, which I wouldn't really care for as an explanation). But yeah, I agree that Yeon really should feel a lot more than he does, and I'm hoping the show will either develop him sufficiently, or explain why he's so seemingly blase about everything except for Ah-eum. Because it would be tiresome to have a hero who is inexplicably two dimensional in a story where everyone else has a lot of feelings. Sigh...

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I'm okay with him being two dimensional as long as it's called out and in this episode it was, by his best friend. I hope we see more of that like hey Yeon, there are other people to care about than the woman you're essentially stalking through the afterlife.

Having said that I'm so conflicted watching because I want to smack Yeon and then LDW does something adorable or looks amazing in a suit and then I get romance feels when I really shouldn't be.

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The relationship between Lee Yeon and Lee Rang is really well developed. I just wish there was more time spent on Shin-joo and how he became Yeon's servant and more of their relationship. Overall, though, I am really enjoying this drama and I have NO idea where it's going to go. I don't think it will end happily.

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With you on this one - not knowing where it's going to go makes it a particularly interesting drama. Even on the OTP making it out alive together - maybe not. Loads of back stories to be explored that may or may not be deeply significant. I like the open-endedness of it all.

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Rang in pink is cute! 😁
I sure hope that we will get a scene where Yeon teases him about him being the most precious to him. Bromance! 😊

I admire Jia for calling Yeon out with that kiss. It is def unfair for Jia if Yeon likes her only because of Ah Eum.

ShinJoo and Yoori!!! Okay they are adorable. I sure hope that ShinJoo will be able to help YooRi with her issues. Plus Yoori is so fearless when she yelled at Taluipa's husband. She is growing on me. 😂

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Honestly, she had no right to be mad about him possibly not seeing her as Jia. She knows she looks exactly like his first love then goes off to basically dress up as Ah reum. Of course he's going to have an emotional reaction. It's like dressing up in a "nerd outfit" then getting mad that someone sees you as a nerd.

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She has a right to call him out on it. I do not think she has an idea on what reaction she will get wearing that outfit. Its normal to want to wear a hanbok if you are in a place like that. Its like wearing those goofy hats in theme parks. But i digress, I can't get mad at Jia for wearing a hanbok but I dont see anything wrong asking him if that kiss is for her or his old love.

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Hmm interesting but I have to disagree, I don’t think she dressed up to incite this feelings in Yeon (although I did question why she randomly left to dress up in a hanbok too).
But knowing what we do about Jia’s past and personality, I think it’s fair that she wants to make sure the people she keeps near accept her for herself, not out of sympathy or pity. So I actually liked that she gave Yeon a reality check there.

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Rang is cute whatever he wears!
Even when he’s evil he’s cute.

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I'm kind of annoyed by how flippantly she gave away the fox bead? Like seriously, at least find out WHY the fortune teller was drooling over it and vie for a better deal. That is one powerful object! While I'm glad that Yeon is back, I feel like she's made herself vulnerable and visible to the Imoogi when perhaps there might have been alternatives to her decision.

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She doesn’t know the value of the bead. And so don’t we. It seems it has been protecting her, and now she’s being exposed for real to the imoogi. Ups.

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I wa more confused by how it didn’t come up when Yeon asked her what she gave up to buy him back...like based on the tone of the scene I just don’t know if Jia forgot to mention (how..?), if she deliberately didn’t mention (why..?), or if Yeon can somehow recognize the bead’s presence, why he didn’t feel something was off?

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My thoughts exactly. It's weird that Yeon isn't able to sense the bead at all, which makes me think that Taluipa had a hand in shielding it. That, or the conditions of its detection are limited to the state Ah-Eum was in when she received it, i.e. bitterly crying for the loss/perceived loss of a true love. Which would explain why Yeon was able to see it after saving Jia from the fall when he was very wounded and she cried out of concern for him.

Regardless, Taluipa definitely knows more than she's letting on, or is helping hide the bead from Yeon, maybe in effort to protect him from a worse fate than his current assignments and turmoil. This would explain her sheepish looks when the topic of the bead/reincarnation are broached.

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I don't think Taluipa is a villain. She clearly has a soft spot for Yeon but she's got huge responsibilities and has to think of the bigger picture beyond whatever impulses Yeon has. I agree she's probably protecting him to some extent but will be willing to betray him for the greater good.

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She's definitely a softie where Yeon is concerned, but definitely big picture and willing to do what needs to be done for the greater good.

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Things I loved about this episode:
- Jia making it clear she’s not AhEum and making Yeon realise it. I may have been her, but I’m not her now.
- Rang being so frustrated to admit that Yeon is his most precious thing. And that pink suit. Oh, this sweet bad fox.
- Yuri and ShinJoo together. My favourite ship.
And of course, our foxes. I keep being distracted by them. I love the distraction. I can even be more distracted. I’m not putting limits to my foxy distraction.

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And of course Lee Kyu Hyung as Sato!!!
Brothers reunited as friends!

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Yeon is kinda frustrating... What good is it to be old and powerful if he doesn't use his brain. He didn't see the fortune teller wasn't fake, he trusted Rang without thinking, he didn't really ask what Ji-Ah gave for his return...

Taluipa is making things worse by keeping Yeon in the dark, like Yeon with Ji-Ah. They're making things more simple for the bad guys.

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I guess Yeon as a forme God is used not to use his brain because of his power and getting things done his way and people obeying and bending to him, just because. I never thought of a god as hard working guy, you know.

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yeah at this point Taluipa should know that Yeon wont listen to her. she should inform him how to reduce the damage he will done later

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Last episode was sad I couldn't comment about that 😢. The poor puppies. Ugh that got to me. Also so uncomfortable to watch. I felt bad for Rang. Underworld for children what? Also I don't like Tuilpa either. I liked that a drama finally addresses the whole reincarnation thing and how the person would be different and dramas don't tend to do that (cough, men are men, cough). Ah yes Shin Joo and Yuri are my faves. Don't mind the changes in tone/atmosphere. I am used to movies and dramas which tend to be like that lol. So I rarely relate with people finding it jarring. Yeah keeping things from people to proctect them ends up doing the opposite. Lol the professor from Brahms is here (team leader) and so different here, now that's jarring. Also Yeon's friend here is the Hi Bye mama actor? Omg didn't recognise.

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Underworld for children is just awful. My working theory is that Taluipa is working for the (yet unrevealed) Big Bad. No way she doesn't know anything about the imoogi and Rang going around killing people

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Lee Rang in a pink suit riding that sedan chair. Yes, prince of mischief! 💚

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Granted, he may lean a little bit too much on his murderous instincts, and torturing those kids isn't really ok, but, hey, nobody's perfect! I'm so ready for this redemption arc

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🙋🏼‍♀️🙋🏼‍♀️

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I was just looking for this comment... The way he just sat there a mighty in his olden day taxi... Be still me heart

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Kim Bum is eating up the screen whenever he appears. He seems to know what drama he is in. This show is really my Hello there, Kim Bum!!!

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Detective notes:
Aheum was the human daughter of the King, unafraid of the supernatural foxes. Is it possible that she inherited part of imoogi from her father?
Yeon's love for Aheum caused the forest to become unprotected, destroyed by the villagers. Was that part of the King's plan?
Yeon gave up one of the rare and powerful spiritual items, the fox bead, to Aheum, as a means of tracking her down. But what if it was a trick to acquire the power of the bead so the imoogi could collect in the future all the spiritual items to become a full dragon?

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That's excellent detective work! But how does the mysterious human CEO figure in this? Could he be Ah-eum's father?

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Now that I read the recap, I can lay my finger on what I missed for those last two episodes: the horror. I am sure I am quite in the minority here, but for example those ghost girls weren't even creepy enough for me, I want more of the OCN-like-horror elements of the beginning.
Apart from that, I am still enjoying this a lot. It was really puzzling that Yeon didn't recognize the fortune teller's true identity, or that Jia didn't tell him the minor detail that she gave away the fox bead... but, well, what can I say, pretty foxes make my brain go "Ookay, if you say so". *shrugemoji if I knew how to insert it*

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Agree about the horror thing. I liked very much the pilot and the event on the island. It was refreshing.

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Well this episode confirmed few things
Rang has biggest brother complex ever.
All foxes and other immortal beings do not bother about human morals. Their behavior reflects their other nature more than the human one. Yuri and Rang are more foxes than they are human. Yeon is Gumiho first, his nature is to remain loyal to one and he can not see anything other than that.
Yeon and Taluipa should explains details more clearly. If you are working in team, you should explain your teammates every how, what and why. Don’t be vague.

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So my heart skipped a beat when Goblin's hat appeared. With Lee Kyuhyung's cameo, any chance of Gong Yoo?

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Oh boy! Kim bum is killing it! It’s his best role yet and I am loving how he is playing the character! He gives Rang life and more! I am actively invested in his career from now on. He needs to get an award for this role and then his acting career needs to pick up! I really hope it does after this stellar performance!

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These last two episodes slowed it down a bit - I don't mind, but I do miss some of the action/horror elements of the first 4 episodes so hope they bring that back. I'm guessing that will be the case with the fox bead gone now and the imoogi empowered to raise its head imminently.

I love the brother relationship. I saw a comment that Rang has a lot of twisted love/hate/grievance/abandonment, etc. feelings about his brother but that Yeon is indifferent to and dismissive of Rang. I don't actually think that's true. Yeon comes across as cool, collected, unruffled and sardonic, but that very much seems like a front and defense mechanism to me. He clearly feels and loves deeply, and I think he treats Rang like an annoying kid precisely because his feelings for him run so deep - it's just a cover. We see flashes of this in their interactions, and especially when he tells Rang on the rooftop that he knows who he really is (and a murdering psycho isn't it). I also believe that he intentionally missed the killing blow when he was sent by the gods to mete out justice (sh*tty move, gods).

As others have mentioned, I don't think that Ji-ah or Yeon are in love, but I do think they are very attracted to each other (life and death situations probably accelerating it). I kind of like that - it's normal, mature adult situation, and it will be interesting to see how that's navigated. Both of them know that Ah-eum is the ghost third in this relationship (yay Ji-ah for explicitly getting that out front and center so early on), so how they both handle that (what's true, what's them, what's the "shadow of his past") will be tricky. When I think about it, much of this show is about the duality of darkness and light, truth and trick. I see Ji-ah struggling to reconcile her growing attachment to Yeon with her uncertainty that he can really see her for her, but I felt like her admonishment to look at HER did strike a chord with Yeon - and I can see him starting to do that. Whether he will truly succeed in the end, and whether they can both make peace with whatever pasts they are unearthing, remains to be seen.

Anyway, whatever happens, I'm not taking it seriously and just enjoying the frivolity!

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Jiah being a horcrux was very blatantly spelt out by the shaman in epi 3, when rang and her were at the well, talking about the imoogi taking her body. Its just been a matter of when Yeon will find out. That's probably what "awoke" temporarily in the forest when jiah grabbed his throat, what got her mum to go to the islands, probably why she sees ghosts and all. This mess cudve stopped if Yeon had let her go, but she had to be reincarnated because of the deal he wagered, plus how else will we have a show at all. It's frustrating that he won't tell her all these important things, which led to her giving up the bead which was probably protecting her all this while, but how else wud we have gotten yeaom back and the stakes been upped? So much of their senseless decisions are a necessary evil to keep the show interesting, which it is. Its just frustrating, lol.

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I do like the drama but, am I the only one who feels like it seems Rang has more power than Yeon? Why does Yeon keep falling for Rang's traps? How is it that Rang could trade him and he didnt have any power to stop it.

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For a supernatural show PD, Ji A isn’t very curious is she. She gets told she has a fox bead in her and she just gives it up that easy? Without asking what it’s for, how it got there or anything, not even after seeing the gleeful look on the fortuneteller’s face. Not asking Yeon, a Fox, what a foxbead is good for..jeezz.

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I'm catching up this show only now and I know I'm late af And I don't know if anyone else has already written this BUT I have to say it out..for someone who's worked as a PD in a show about supernatural entities and urban legends stuff, not knowing a fox bead's importance was the ultimate slap in the face of logicality! 🤦

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