Tale of the Nine Tailed: Episode 15
The battle is nigh, and everyone feels the weight of what’s coming. Our hero prepares to put his self-sacrificing plan into place, spending his remaining time with his loved ones. But our heroine doesn’t intend to just sit around and be saved, so she has a contingency plan of her own. Not to be outschemed, the imoogi works behind the scenes to turn things to his advantage. It’s finally time for the showdown, folks.
EPISODE 15: “You are my destiny”
We open on a series of dramatic shots. The imoogi violently attacks someone. Yeon stares unfocusedly, blood dripping from his mouth and scales on his face. Jia holds a gun to her head. Rang sobs alone on the stairs.
Rewinding back to the end of the previous episode, Yeon and the imoogi shake hands. The CEO pulls a gun on Jia who tries to warn him of the danger. He fires off a shot which grazes her neck, calling out the imoogi. It grabs him and shoots him twice in the stomach.
The imoogi calls itself the CEO’s “owner,” but dying makes him honest as he grits out that he only stayed because of the life-giving lanterns and mocks the imoogi’s “complex” over being neither human nor god. The imoogi responds to that by viciously sticking Jia’s hand in his wound (ew), hastening the CEO’s death. Imoogi Jia sees Jae-hwan watching in terror from the hallway. “Did you see?” she asks with a smile.
At the mansion, in typical villain and hero fashion, the imoogi argues having nothing to protect makes him stronger while Yeon argues the opposite. “Terry” cheerily shares that Jia’s imoogi has awakened again, but he holds Yeon hostage by vowing to dissolve the alliance if he leaves.
After convincing himself the imoogi won’t put Jia in danger yet, Yeon sits back down. The imoogi scoffs, but Yeon reminds him he also has something to protect: the other imoogi whose strength he needs. “Terry” doesn’t deny it and says they need to take care of Taluipa first.
At Yeon’s, the imoogi has fun playing with a terrified Jae-hwan. It puts the gun in his hand and dares him to shoot and kill Jia. He’s got one shot or else he’ll end up like the CEO. He shakes and thinks of Jia as the imoogi gives him three seconds. When he doesn’t shoot by “three,” the imoogi takes the gun and puts it to his head.
“Nam Jia!” Sae-rom yanks Jia’s gun arm down and slaps Jia in the face, telling her to come to her senses. Ha! It seems to work, and Jia stands in shock while Sae-rom uses her own sleeve to wipe the blood off of Jia’s hands. Jia’s friends comfort her as she stares at the blood on her hands and the floor – the CEO’s body seems to have disintegrated – and cries.
Meanwhile, Yeon and the imoogi strategize. Yeon will get Hyun Eui-ong to give Taluipa the same sleeping draught Rang was supposed to give him. “Terry” can take care of the rest. They agree on noon the following day.
Yeon worries things are going too smoothly, and it doesn’t help that the imoogi asks all innocent like if it’s true Taluipa and Hyun Eui-ong had a son. (Ooh, could he have the son’s face?) Yoo-ri eavesdrops from around the corner.
When Yeon returns home, Jia tells him about what happened with the CEO and how she almost hurt Jae-hwan. He holds her as she cries, and he promises it’ll end tomorrow.
At the Snail Bride, Hye-ja nurses Team Leader Choi who asks what her late husband was like. She describes how he used to dote on her, and Team Leader Choi confesses he feels familiarity and longing when he eats her food.
At her office, Taluipa stresses over the massive death toll caused by the imoogi the previous day. She calls for Hyun Eui-ong to bring her supplements before remembering he left. Seeing all the sweetly labeled herbs in the cabinet, she angrily slams the door.
Meanwhile, when Hyun Eui-ong frets that Taluipa must’ve run out of her joint supplements, Hye-ja encourages him to go home. He admits that he loved her, but they’re just too different. Hye-ja begs him to do something to save Yeon, but he’s not sure what he can do.
Rang anxiously waits for Yeon’s call, but he’s surprised when Yeon just asks to meet after mentioning he saw the imoogi and says nothing about Jia. Rang’s doorbell rings, and he finds Jia standing outside his door.
At the clinic, Yeon explains his plan to Shin-joo. Yeon feels responsible for not only Jia’s life but everyone’s. This is the only way. “Then I’ll do it,” the ever-loyal Shin-joo volunteers. Yeon asserts that he can’t handle the imoogi.
Shin-joo starts to break down and begs Yeon not to die. Yeon blinks back tears as he grabs his friend’s shoulder and says he needs him at least to understand. Shin-joo begins to sob.
At Rang’s, Jia sarcastically thanks him for his “gift.” She acknowledges she would’ve done the same in his position. To his surprise, she doesn’t plan on telling Yeon about his involvement. Yeon cherishes him and would be sad.
Rang tries to reign in his emotions and breaks it to her that Yeon is planning on sacrificing himself to save her. She’s startled at that. When he asks why he shouldn’t kill her now, Jia recommends he doesn’t since he’d get hurt.
She places the CEO’s gun on the table. Jia plans to kill herself if she hurts Yeon at all. If she can’t do it, she wants Rang to kill her. She holds out her hand, suggesting they work together to protect Yeon. Rang hesitates … and instead touches her hand with the toy robot’s. Pfft, that is so petty.
At the clinic, Yeon asks Shin-joo to protect Jia and try to keep Rang in line if he starts to live recklessly again. Shin-joo unhesitatingly agrees. Yeon presents the deed to a new apartment he got for him and Yoo-ri as an early wedding gift.
Before Yeon leaves, Shin-joo asks why he saved him from his old mountain god. Yeon leaves him flabbergasted when he declares it was revenge for the god stealing his hardboiled egg when they had noodles together. He always saves his egg for last.
Yeon takes Rang out for naengmyeon (although he claims Rang is paying), and he notes that Yoo-ri was right about Rang using mustard instead of vinegar. Rang thinks it natural that she’s so attentive to him given that he’s her savior.
Yeon finally asks about Puppy Boy and learns that he was Rang’s old puppy. He starts laughing when Rang says he took him because his stepfather was abusive. Yeon finds it ridiculous that Rang acted like “the Joker” but actually went around saving people. HA. Yeon fondly watches Rang while he eats and even gives him his precious egg when he asks for it.
At the mansion, Yoo-ri says she wants to go home and insists Rang and Shin-joo are still waiting for her. The imoogi thinks she, like him, has darkness inside and brings misery to those around her. He advises from personal experience not to be so hopeful – no one will save her.
Rang asks why Yeon is willing to risk his life for Jia. Yeon doesn’t want her to die to protect him again, but Rang thinks that sounds just fine. Yeon asks Rang to come with him to catch the imoogi and help him handle unforeseen events. Rang is all “I’ll think about it,” prompting Yeon to wonder how he’s so blasé when his brother could die. “You won’t die,” Rang insists. Gumihos don’t die that easily.
Yoo-ri asks the imoogi what he plans to do after becoming a god. “I’ll have the world, and I’ll have Jia,” he says with a smirk. He expects Yeon won’t play fair either and orders Yoo-ri to block whoever Yeon brings with him. He threatens to make Rang or Shin-joo kill themselves if she doesn’t agree.
A nervous Hye-ja goes to see Taluipa to plead on Yeon’s behalf which Taluipa finds insolent. Hye-ja’s appeals to her empathy don’t work, although Taluipa does look affected when Hye-ja asks if losing Yeon won’t hurt. She knows Taluipa is fond of him because he reminds her of her son, but Taluipa reminds her she didn’t give in to her son’s desperate pleas for his wife either.
When Hye-ja claims that’s why Taluipa still can’t forgive herself, Taluipa grows truly angry and commands her to leave before she “crushes those hands you cook with.” Before leaving, Hye-ja “delivers” joint supplements and asks Taluipa not to abandon Yeon or Hyun Eui-ong.
Meanwhile, Rang tosses a stuffed animal at Shin-joo’s face upon hearing that he accused Yoo-ri of using him. Ha. Shin-joo, who is piggybacking the sleeping Puppy Boy, wants Rang to talk to Yoo-ri for him, but Rang refuses since he doesn’t approve of Shin-joo. And then he takes him to go see Yoo-ri.
Rang talks to her though the video intercom at the mansion and makes her laugh when he says she’s made his life uncomfortable – no one gets him naengmyeon and Puppy Boy covers him in stickers. Heh. Shin-joo takes a softer approach and just asks her to stay safe.
Rang cuts Shin-joo off as he shows the engagement ring he bought. Rang promises to save her and drags Shin-joo away before he can vow to save her too. Pfft. Yoo-ri cries to see her family did come for her.
Elsewhere, Yeon and Jia spend the day doing stereotypical drama date things like going to the arcade. Yeon struggles with the claw machine, but Jia guides his hand and wins them a fox plushie. I love how Yeon demands, “Help me!” as he goes in for another one, whereas Jia refuses to let him help her make a basket later, declaring it her fight against the machine.
Later, they eat ice cream, and Yeon confesses he must really love her. Despite his long life muddling his memories, all the time he’s spent with her is clear. She asks him not to ever forget her and says she loves him. They each get emotional, both acting like it’s their final day.
At her son’s memorial alter, Taluipa wonders who abandoned whom. She’d vowed never to forgive him, but she realizes it’s herself she can’t forgive. “What kind of mother was I?” she asks and cries.
That night, the mood turns somber for Yeon and Jia. If things go wrong, he hopes she’ll forget everything. Jia shoots that down – she plans to wait for him like he waited for her. She wishes for a miracle so they can both live.
Yeon gets a call from Taluipa and goes running to see her. She talks about how her son shut down after his wife died. Taluipa thinks he left behind the shoes she made him as an accusation, but Yeon offers a different interpretation: even in death, he didn’t want to ruin the shoes his mother made him.
She announces she plans to quit smoking like her son (and Yeon) wanted. It’s time to do things she hasn’t done. Yeon perks up. There’s a way out of this where Yeon and Jia survive, she proclaims. (Now she tells him…)
Taluipa hands Yeon a sword and instructs him to strike Jia with it when “Terry” shows up. The imoogi will desperately try to escape Jia’s dying body and merge with its other half. When they’re whole again, Taluipa will turn the imoogi to stone. She promises to save Jia, even though it breaks the rules. Yeon
grabs her in an ecstatic hug.
Elsewhere, the imoogi pays the Magistrate a visit. After he procures the “mirror of the moon,” he knocks the Magistrate out.
While sitting with Sae-rom, Jia gets a call from “Terry” who is outside her building. She arms herself and heads out to meet him. Jia demands to know the cure, but he claims to never have looked for one.
Jia curses him to hell which he finds endearing, I guess. He again asserts that he’ll have her, but Jia would rather die. He calls out the imoogi in her who immediately warns him not to team up with Yeon. But he’s not worried about whatever they’re planning – he has a task for his other half.
When Yeon gets home, he finds Imoogi Jia who informs him that her other half attacked the Magistrate and stole something valuable. Yeon looks alarmed as he utters, “the mirror of the moon.”
Taluipa stares in disbelief, asking how the imoogi has that face. (Aha! It is her son’s face.) She stumbles back as he advances and taunts that he chose this face for her.
Yeon realizes what the imoogi is planning to do with the mirror, but Imoogi Jia won’t let him go to Taluipa. All of the imoogi’s sleeper agents – Shin-joo, Hye-ja, and Rang – are activated and hold Yeon back.
The imoogi tells Taluipa her son was the only person who would talk to him. He’d thought of Bok-gil as his first friend, but he still infected Bok-gil’s wife with the plague. Taluipa is horrified as he says his friend looked too happy.
Taluipa loses it and goes to attack. Behind his back, the imoogi activates the mirror. From outside, we see the whole building light up from within.
Yeon fights off the imoogi’s agents and begs Jia to come out. There’s a way for them to survive. The others come to, and Yeon orders Rang to come with him and Imoogi Jia.
Yeon finds the imoogi waiting in Taluipa’s office. The imoogi nods to something covered in a sheet. Yeon pulls it off to reveal Taliupa turned to stone. Yeon grabs “Terry” by the throat, realizing this was his plan all along.
When the imoogi blames Yeon for resisting and causing this mess, Yeon whips out the sword and attacks him. But it’s two against one, and Imoogi Jia is much more effective at fighting Yeon since he’s afraid to hurt Jia.
Suddenly, Jia grabs her head in pain. “Terry” watches smugly as the scales spread and her eyes blink yellow and slitted like a snake’s. Yeon can’t stand to see her in pain and says he’ll ingest the scale.
Outside, Yoo-ri wields her hairpin and blocks Rang from going inside. As Rang threatens to kill her if Yeon gets hurt, Yeon prepares to eat the scale. “Don’t!” Jia surfaces and holds a gun to her head. Yeon tries to coax her into lowering the gun, but she’s determined to protect him.
Jia whispers, “Goodbye,” and starts to pull the trigger. Yeon rushes her and manages to point the gun at the sky as it fires. Before Jia can stop him, Yeon eats the scale, and Jia’s scales begin to move onto Yeon.
Rang punches Yoo-ri in the stomach and runs inside where he sees Jia holding Yeon whose face now has scales. Enraged, Rang flies at “Terry,” but he’s no match for him. The imoogi ends up wounding him in the leg with his own axe.
Something happens, though, and “Terry” seems to be struggling. Nearby, Jia holds Yeon and cries. He assures her that they won and stands. As “Terry” seethes and spits up blood, Yeon shares that he ate evening primrose from a graveyard.
Jia and Rang watch helplessly as Yeon and the imoogi trade blows. The imoogi clutches his heart and yells in pain but keeps fighting. Yeon locks him in a grip and shouts for Rang who pushes past his pain and runs to his brother.
“You know, right?” Yeon asks him. Rang shakes his head in anguish. Yeon tosses him his sword and opens the door to the underworld.
Yeon begs Rang to kill “Terry” before Yeon turns into the imoogi – he wants to be himself in the end. Rang cries and says in a small voice, “I don’t want to,” looking like a terrified kid.
Yeon spits up blood and looks like he’s losing himself. “Rang, save me,” he pleads. Rang steels himself and rams the sword through “Terry” with a scream. Below, Jia screams too.
Rang stares at his hand in shock while Jia runs towards them. The imoogi vows that he’ll be reborn, and then he’ll find Jia. But Yeon knows it’s impossible to return once you’ve crossed the river. Yeon looks at Jia and whispers, “I love you,” while he falls into the underworld. The door shuts behind him.
Jia screams in agony. Her and Rang both sink to the ground and sob in grief. Amidst her wails, Jia narrates that Yeon gave a relieved smile like this was his happy ending.
I was hoping they’d find a way around Yeon’s murder-suicide plan, although I did have a feeling this would be the outcome. Ah-eum sacrificed herself for him the first time, so if one of them had to die, I expected it would be Yeon this time. But poor Rang! What an awful thing to have to do. He looked so terrified and vulnerable – Kim Bum killed that scene. Last time, Ah-eum forced Yeon to kill her to end the imoogi, and this time, Rang essentially took Yeon’s role. As if Rang needed more trauma to work through. He’s probably going to be a mess after this. I am glad he told Jia about Yeon’s plan, though, so she wasn’t entirely unprepared for what might happen. If only the imoogi hadn’t gotten to Taluipa first. She’d finally come around to helping and could’ve saved Yeon and Jia both had she not fallen into the imoogi’s trap.
Looking back, it was quite the oversight for them to leave items like that mirror vulnerable. I had almost forgotten about the Magistrate, and it seems Yeon and the gang did too. The imoogi planned this more thoroughly than I expected. I had thought the imoogi halves might hinder each other, but they were a united front in the end. Taking on the appearance of Taluipa’s son was a smart move to throw her off her game. I like how that backstory with Taluipa’s son was woven into the main plot. I thought he might’ve had something to do with the plague the daughter-in-law spread, but I hadn’t anticipated that the imoogi knew Bok-gil personally and was “friends” with him.
I’m still wondering if there’s something else in store. Where was Hyun Eui-ong during all this? There’s no way he decided to just sit it out. I wouldn’t be surprised if he planned something on his own behind the scenes. I’m not sure what the extent of his powers and authority are, but maybe he can do something to save Yeon. At the very least, he might be able to help Yeon reincarnate. And what happens now that Taluipa has been petrified? Is it permanent or can she be revived somehow? I wonder who is in charge of things if she’s incapacitated. There’s no way a position like hers can remain unfilled.
If Yeon is really gone, although it will be hard, I think Jia is resilient enough that she’ll be okay. She has her family back now and her extended family in Jae-hwan and Sae-rom. Those two have grown on me. At the start, they were kind of background characters that I didn’t notice much. I wish they’d been developed a bit more because I do like them. Anyone with the no-nonsense sensibility to smack an incredibly powerful and malicious mythical creature in the face earns my approval. Clearly, they should’ve had Sae-rom around more since her instincts are on point, and the woman means business. And Jae-hwan is so sweet and loyal, much like Shin-joo. Only Rang is petty enough to dislike someone like that.
Rang and Yeon both share the family trait of pettiness, that’s for sure. Watching Rang squabble with Shin-joo was amusing, though. Even while they worked together to convince Yoo-ri, Rang couldn’t help sniping at him. If they all become family, that’s going to be greatly entertaining. Jia is pretty much on the opposite end of the petty spectrum. I’ve always appreciated her maturity, like how she handled the situation with Rang. She confronted him about the CEO right away and rationally decided to put aside their animosity to work together in their common goal of protecting Yeon. I’m so glad her character has remained resourceful, tough, and determined all the way through.
From the way things went this hour, it looks like fate has won this fight. Although, we’ve still got one episode left, and I can’t imagine this is all over and handled. I’m honestly not sure what exactly I want out of the finale; there are lots of ways this could go. Mainly, I just hope we get an ending that makes sense and does justice to
Rang the characters we’ve grown attached to over the course of the drama.
- Premiere Watch: Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol, Private Lives, Tale of the Nine Tailed
- Mystery builds in new teaser for Tale of the Nine Tailed
- Gumiho brothers Lee Dong-wook and Kim Bum fight in Tale of the Nine Tailed
- Gumiho Lee Dong-wook crashes a wedding in Tale of the Nine Tailed
- Lee Dong-wook lurks in the shadows in new promo for tvN’s Tale of the Nine Tailed
- Lee Dong-wook, Jo Boa sign on for new tvN fantasy drama