Season

1
132

Tale of the Nine Tailed: Episode 16 (Final)

We’ve come to the end of the road, and I have mixed feelings about it. We get some lovely developments, but there are some big unanswered questions that left me feeling frustrated. This hour, everyone grieves and begins picking up the pieces after the battle, but our heroine and our favorite half-gumiho struggle to move past their loss. Neither are ready to give up, so they continue searching for a way to save our hero, despite everyone saying it’s hopeless.

 
EPISODE 16: “A Rewritten Tale of the Gumiho”

In the Samdocheon river, Yeon watches the imoogi disintegrate. He hears Jia’s sobs and wants to tell her not to be so sad – this is how love stories end between gumiho and human. He’d hoped to enter her world and become human. In lieu of that, his death was like “a passionate love letter to my human first and last love.” (Pretty sure she could’ve done without that letter.)

He wishes for her not to wait for him or cry too much and longs to see her one last time. A vision of Jia appears, and they reach for each other like they’re recreating that Michelangelo painting. She floats further and further before winking out of existence, and Yeon closes his eyes.

While Yoo-ri comforts Shin-joo at the clinic, everyone who was infected by the plague throughout Seoul is cured. At the Afterlife Immigration Office, Hyun Eui-ong joins Taluipa. Huh, guess that stone situation was temporary.

Taluipa blames herself for failing Yeon, but Hyun Eui-ong thinks she did her best. It’s why he returned to her side. Hyun Eui-ong assures her Yeon is at peace – he saved Jia, after all.

At that moment, Jia makes her way to the building. She calls for Hyun Eui-ong, but Taluipa doesn’t let him go see her, arguing that Jia needs to forget Yeon. Jia begs through tears to know how to save Yeon. Over the coming days, Jia keeps coming back. Even Taluipa looks affected by her cries, but they refuse to respond.

Rang isn’t faring any better, sitting huddled and shaking in his apartment as that night replays in his mind. As usual, he’s drinking away his sorrow. He rebuffs Yoo-ri’s attempts to talk to him, and when Puppy Boy tries to cheer him up with stickers and toys, Rang screams at him. Yoo-ri sweetly covers the kid’s ears and leads him out.

Jia’s loitering pays off one day when Taluipa lets her in. She bluntly tells Jia that Yeon is dead, and rules prevent her from bringing him back. Jia asks her to help him reincarnate, but Taluipa is firm that jumping into the river and giving up reincarnation was his choice.

Even so, Jia isn’t ready to give up. But Taluipa has nothing more to say and shuts her out again. On her walk home, memories of Yeon fill Jia’s mind. She stumbles in the dark, but Shin-joo catches her. A light flickers on, and he tells her he contacted the district office. Aw.

Shin-joo is his usual smiling self if a bit deflated. When Jia checks if he’s okay, he responds he has to be with so much to take care of. She tells him what Taluipa said and wonders what to do now. He encourages her to follow Yeon’s wishes and forget everything.

Next, Shin-joo heads to Rang’s. He rips the bottle out of his hand and sternly tells him this won’t bring Yeon back. Rang calls him disloyal for seeming totally fine. Shin-joo raps him on the head (HA, Rang’s face is priceless) and commands “Pull yourself together! Don’t be a crybaby and live right!” This is what Yeon wanted to tell him.

Rang immediately calms down, and Shin-joo tells him to listen to the rest himself. Yeon recorded a video for him right after they had naengmyeon together. Ha, Yeon cringes at himself – this isn’t as cool as he thought. Rang laughs through his tears.

Yeon astutely guesses that Rang is busy downing wine. Being a villain doesn’t suit him since his little brother who can’t even pass by an injured puppy hasn’t changed. He tells Rang he needs to live well because he has a family to protect.

Rang quietly retorts that he doesn’t need them. Yeon presciently chides him for talking back. Yeon gets emotional as he tells Rang again that he never abandoned him and asks him not to abandon himself. Rang lets out these whimpering cries as Yeon says it’s his final request.

After a second, Yeon announces that the video will self-destruct in 10 seconds. Rang holds it away in alarm, but Yeon smiles that he’s always wanted to say that. Pfft. The message ends, and Rang sobs. We see Yeon breaking down in tears after he filmed it.

Jia has decided to record Yeon’s story – she doesn’t want to forget and plans to wait like he did for her in hopes that they’ll meet again. Looking a lot better, she goes to meet Rang at a hair salon, one of his many internet-suggested attempts to cure heartbreak.

She tells him of her personal project. “Tale of the gumiho [nine-tailed]? That’s a crappy title,” he criticizes. Heh. Jia wants to interview the people close to Yeon, and Rang is her first stop.

For once, they smile and laugh together, trading stories about Yeon. Jia is amused to hear that Yeon used to stare at his reflection and declare his face the personification of beauty. Rang finds it hilarious that Yeon fell for a voice fishing scam and eagerly shares that Yeon was scared of spiders, finding their legs creepy (amen to that).

Rang can’t help smugly asserting that Yeon spent more time with him, and Jia fires back that Yeon cooked (badly) for her. They start going back and forth, listing all the things Yeon did for them. Pfft.

Jia notes that Yeon did so much for them both. Rang asks if she knows what Yeon’s dream was. “To be human,” Jia responds sadly. They both grow quiet.

Despite what Taluipa said, she does try to get her brother King Yeomra to reconsider Yeon’s situation. She starts off sweet but ends up screaming at him until he hangs up. Hyun Eui-ong laughs at her calling her brother “inflexible.”

Yoo-ri waits for Shin-joo at the Snail Bride. Oh gosh, he comes around the corner with a guitar and serenades her with a love song. Ha, she hides her face in embarrassment. Shin-joo laughs and asks her to marry him.

He kneels and presents the ring. Yoo-ri grumbles that a ring isn’t enough, so he tells her about the apartment. Yoo-ri says that they might have some guests living there … Shin-joo is ecstatic she’s agreeing. Yoo-ri said she was going to ask if he didn’t and squeals in delight as she slips on the ring.

Aw, everyone is gathered – even Sae-rom and Jae-hwan. Puppy Boy tosses confetti, and Jia films as Rang gives his blessing. Shin-joo thanks Yeon and says he misses him. His sniffles turn to sobs when he says Yeon was supposed to officiate.

They have a joyous family dinner during which Team Leader Choi drops by to join them. Jia gets people to record messages for Yeon. Rang actually looks relaxed and contented, even wiping Puppy Boy’s messy face.

Jia narrates that she doesn’t cry anymore when she misses Yeon since that would make it a true tragedy. Six months later, she finishes her project. And that’s when news of Yeon comes.

She forgot it was her birthday until her parents presented her with a cake and gifts. She sees a large box on the table and opens it. Inside is a white dress. We flash back to when she’d asked Yeon to buy her a proposal gift for her birthday. Her dad hands her the letter that came with the delivery.

Poor Shin-joo might’ve gotten more than he bargained for in marrying Yoo-ri. Rang and Puppy Boy are also living at their place, and Shin-joo struggles to manage the household like a frazzled daughter-in-law while Rang lounges around and complains Shin-joo’s food is salty.

When Shin-joo complains of the “in-law stress,” Yoo-ri tells him off. Oh, this is great. But Shin-joo perks up when Rang says he bought him the kimchi fridge he wanted. “I love you, hyung!” Shin-joo cries. Yoo-ri excitedly notes that they’re all like real family now, and Rang gets this little smile.

Elsewhere, Jia reads the letter from Yeon. He writes about how much he liked her for the way she kept going despite her burdens. He loved every moment they had together. He knows she’ll be fine and encourages her to let him go. Yeon had sobbed as he wrote the letter, and now Jia sobs as she begs him to come back.

On Rang’s way out, Puppy Boy asks if he’s going looking for that “gumiho hyung” again. Rang has been beating info out of supernatural creatures, hoping to find a way to save Yeon.

He runs into Jia who’s surprised to see him. Rang says he came to talk to “that old man.” Following his gaze, Jia sees the fortune teller. Ah. He introduces himself as a god of the underworld, the Great King Odo.

After making Rang sit up straight (heh), he admits reincarnation is his jurisdiction. When Jia realizes he still has Yeon’s fox bead, she jumps at the possibility of saving him. She knows the terms of the trade and is willing to do it again.

King Odo reminds them that reincarnation is random, and they may never meet or even recognize Yeon’s reincarnated form. Jia and Rang look at each other and both agree it doesn’t matter. He gives them until the hourglass runs out to bring him their item.

Taluipa senses that King Odo has come and runs outside excitedly. She and Hyun Eui-ong sober as a crow caws three times. “We will have another funeral,” Taluipa proclaims.

Jia reasons that Yeon is her most valuable thing, so she’ll trade her memories of him. King Odo refuses the trade and instead wants the remaining lifespan Yeon’s sacrifice gave her. Rang shakes his head at her, but after confirming that Yeon will get to reincarnate if she gives her life, Jia agrees.

Rang jumps up and berates her for easily throwing away the life Yeon died to give her. “Does your life mean nothing if he’s dead?!” King Odo turns to Rang and asks if he’d give his instead, then. Rang observes that his lifespan is stolen anyway, and he agrees despite Jia’s protests.

King Odo is dubious, seeing as Rang never treasured his life. He’s surprised by what he sees – Rang now has a family and values his life. “Pass! The deal is valid,” he declares. Jia jumps in front of him as King Odo raises his staff. Rang requests the remaining time of the hourglass and asks Jia to call his family.

Yoo-ri, Shin-joo, and Puppy Boy come running, but the hourglass is almost out. Rang nervously waits and smiles with tears in his eyes when he sees them coming. A light appears in King Odo’s hand and slowly expands. Rang smiles as the light engulfs him. He and King Odo are gone. Noooo.

His family watches in shock. Yoo-ri sinks to the ground in grief. Jia picks up Rang’s phone and cries to see the background photo is of him with his new little family. Soon after, Puppy Boy places a bouquet on Rang’s grave in the mountains. It’s a small gathering of Rang’s family, Jia, and Hye-ja.

It’s raining as Jia exits work one day. The security guard runs up to her with a familiar red umbrella. He claims it was left in their office for her a few minutes ago. Jia goes running through the streets. Just as she’s losing hope, she spots Yeon across the street.

Girl is so excited she almost gets run over when she tries to dart across the crosswalk. Jia can barely believe it’s him. He assures her it is, but he’s not quite the same – he no longer has powers. Jia flies across the street and embraces him. They both cry when he tells her he’s human now.

At his place, Jia marvels that he managed to wait 600 years for her while she barely managed 6 months. She’s still amazed that he’s human now. They bask in each other’s company and kiss.

Later, Yeon watches the documentary Jia filmed. He can barely handle the cringe when Shin-joo starts singing to Yoo-ri for his proposal. Ha. He smiles while he watches the messages to him from Hyun Eui-ong and Hye-ja. When the camera focuses on Rang sweetly taking care of Puppy Boy, Yeon leans forward and his smile turns sad.

Yeon surprises Shin-joo outside his apartment. As expected, Shin-joo almost squeezes him to death with his ecstatic hug accompanied by much sobbing. Inside, Shin-joo jokes that he didn’t miss him because he was so busy being a newlywed.

Yeon whines that his emotions are volatile now that he’s human, and he feels inferior for the first time. Shin-joo is glad he’s back and says they all dealt in their own ways but relied on each other. Yeon is quiet for a beat and then asks, “What about Rang?”

Shin-joo tells him what a mess Rang was after Yeon died. He got better living with them, but he kept searching for Yeon. Yeon asks if Shin-joo was with him when he died and worries that Rang was scared and alone.

That night, Yeon looks through the happy family photos on Rang’s phone. He stops on a video and hits play. Rang says he’s about to die and wanted to make Yeon experience this video will like he had to. He tells Yeon not to cry – he didn’t cry at all when Yeon was gone. Ha! Right.

Rang gets choked up as he says he bothered Yeon for a long time, but he doesn’t want to apologize since it went both ways. Yeon always gave him the bigger half and the eggs he loved, yet in the end, he still left him for love. How could he not become twisted?

He informs Yeon he intends to be reborn as a Dokdo shrimp, so Yeon better not eat any shrimp just in case. Pfft. Rang struggles to compose himself and tells Yeon to be reborn soon. He hopes he’s super ugly (such a brother), “but if it’s possible, let’s meet again, hyung,” Rang entreats as he smiles through his tears. Yeon covers his face and sobs.

Puppy Boy is harassed by a couple of mean little boys from his class who taunt him for having no mom and being a “beggar.” Yoo-ri appears and he runs to her. She tells the kids they aren’t beggars, and they flinch from her raised fist.

Yeon watches from afar and smiles to see the effects of Rang’s good deeds. He goes and sits by Rang’s grave, staring out at the mountains.

Next, Yeon pops by to visit Taluipa and Hyun Eui-ong. Taluipa acts all gruff and pretends she didn’t work her butt off to save Yeon, but Hyun Eui-ong sells her out. Yeon came to see them one last time; he can’t keep coming now that he’s human. He thanks them for taking care of him all this time.

Taluipa begrudgingly tells him to have tteokbokki with them before he goes. Yeon watches the couple fondly and narrates that they now compromise and talk about their son.

We cut to Jia wearing that white wedding dress and Yeon in a tux. They exchange flower rings in a field. Jia keeps it simple and notes they’re a perfect fit because she likes the egg yolk and he likes the white. Yeon isn’t confident about being human yet, but he is confident about loving her.

Flower petals rain down as they declare their love. Elsewhere, Taluipa smiles and says nature is congratulating its former mountain god. Jia and Yeon kiss amidst the petal rain in autumn.

While Jia and Yeon happily watch their wedding video, Jia proposes, “Should we have a baby?” Yeon is all for it but has one concern. What if their daughter is embarrassed because he didn’t go to college? Jia laughs that they’ll say he was busy saving her and the world.

Yeon shares his woes about being human with Shin-joo; it’s not all puppies and rainbows. He even has astigmatism – seeing Yeon in glasses puts Shin-joo into a fit of laughter. We see Jia hauling Yeon by the ear into the dentist for a root canal. But he gets to enjoy ramyeon and soju with Jia later at home.

One day, Yeon sits in the park and sees a boy lose control of his bike. Ooh, is that little Rang? Yeon goes over and helps the kid up. Aw, it’s definitely little Rang’s face. Yeon stares at him tenderly and tells the kid to pick himself up next time he falls.

Yeon watches with a smile as the kid runs over to his mom who puts her arm around him. “So he couldn’t become a Dokdo shrimp,” Yeon notes amusedly. Heh.

Jia is still running into strange creatures it seems. She tells Yeon she met a man who wore a traditional mask that wouldn’t come off. After hearing Jia stepped in gum, Yeon ascertains he was samjae, the embodiment of bad luck that strikes every nine years.

That night, Yeon stands on the balcony and narrates that being human is full of firsts and lasts like his “forever first love.” Jia joins him, and he wraps his arms around her as they stare at the night sky.

In the middle of the night, Yeon grabs his red umbrella and heads out. “Are you samjae?” he asks a masked man. Yeon’s sword materializes, and his eyes turn yellow.

 
COMMENTS

Seriously? So he’s not human, and he’s just lying to everyone about it for some inexplicable reason? I guess that makes as much sense as him reincarnating as a fully grown man with the same face and all his memories intact a mere six months after he died. *Sigh* I’m guessing it has something to do with the fox bead, but that’s just speculation since they gave no concrete explanation for what happened. I had hoped we wouldn’t get some deus ex machina happy ending; I would’ve preferred a bittersweet (and more logical) ending where Yeon gets to reincarnate thanks to Rang’s sacrifice but doesn’t necessarily meet his loved ones again this lifetime.

Otherwise, I did like where we left most of the characters. I loved seeing how Yeon, Rang, and Jia brought everyone together to become family. Shin-joo’s new family in particular was adorable, and Rang as the stress-inducing in-law was fantastic. Of course, all of that made Rang’s sacrifice hit that much harder. I had a feeling from the start that Rang would end up dying for Yeon. Although his death was sad, it felt like a fitting ending for him. He created a wonderful little family and learned to value those around him. Selflessly stabbing the imoogi and then choosing to give up his stolen time so his brother could reincarnate was a great way to “redeem” him. But for reincarnation supposedly being random, it’s funny how almost everyone who reincarnates in this drama has the same face as in their past life and just happens to reincarnate during the same lifetime as all their loved ones.

I feel like the writing in this drama was a mixed bag. The overall plot was engaging with good pacing – things kept moving and didn’t always go the direction you expected. We got changes in dynamics between characters and shifts in the plot focus that kept things interesting. But sometimes style came before substance and explanations fell by the wayside. In the case of the ending, rationality clearly wasn’t a huge factor. Some characters were well-written like Jia and Rang, while others were much less consistent like Yeon and Taluipa. The character situation I was most baffled by, though, was Jia’s parents. They were such a large part of the early episodes, but it’s like the writer had no idea what to do with them once they returned. It all felt so awkward I just assumed something was wrong with them. All Jia did was talk about getting her parents back, but when she succeeded, they faded to the background.

But then we had a character like Rang who was so well-written. His character development from villain to a broken man who struggled to heal was handled naturally and believably. Even though he got a redemption arc, he wasn’t given a personality transplant to become “good.” Rang was layered, interesting, and problematic, and none of that changed. He just learned to embrace his better nature and stop lashing out. Of course, a lot of credit for the character goes to Kim Bum for his nuanced performance. This role could’ve easily been overdone in the wrong hands, but he infused Rang with such pathos and vulnerability. I’ve always liked Kim Bum as an actor, and this just solidified my appreciation of him.

The brothers’ storyline was one of the highlights of the drama for me. Their fraught relationship always felt more emotionally engaging than the main romance. In general, I think this drama did a better job with creating an emotional pull from the depictions of family than romantic love. Yeon and Jia’s romance just never landed for me. It’s not that I necessarily disliked them as a couple – I just felt no emotional connection. I already talked about my issues with the rushed development of the romance, so I won’t belabor that point. I feel like they tried too hard to make the romance feel epic and didn’t let it breathe. Seeing as the romance was the crux of the drama, this did make it hard to feel fully invested in the story.

In the early episodes, the horror elements and the way the drama put its own spin on traditional mythology were what primarily held my attention. I’m disappointed those aspects were less prominent in the latter half since they added something unique and fun, but I wasn’t surprised because I did kind of expect the drama to turn more stereotypical fantasy-romance down the line. Although I didn’t feel the romance which was the main focus of the later episodes, I cared enough about some of the characters to stay invested. I’m sure it’s no surprise that Rang was my favorite character, but I also really liked Jia. From the start, I found her to be an interesting heroine thanks both to the writing and Jo Boa’s portrayal. I’m glad Jia stayed consistent all the way through (with maybe a few blips) and didn’t wilt or lose agency as sometimes happens.

While there are things that I wish had been handled differently in this drama, I did find it fun overall. It may not have answered all of my questions or delved as deeply as I would’ve hoped, but I liked the supernatural world our characters inhabited. The ending was frustrating, but unlike a certain recent drama that shall not be named, it wasn’t bad enough to ruin everything for me. In the end, I’ll still fondly remember the family our gumiho brothers cultivated and the journey that brought them there.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , ,

132

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for the recap @quirkycase!
I absolutely adore our gumiho family. Yeon and Rang has been the heart of the show for me since the beginning. Their story is what I look forward to the most. I agree that the main romance was too rushed and lacked substance. But hey, I still liked a big chunk of the show to give it a bean.
What I felt was lacking is probably show snippets of Yeon looking after Rang through the centuries they have been estranged. I guess it will just be left to my imagination and take Yeon's word for it.
I absolutely love the other supernatural beings - ShinJoo, Yuri, Snail Bride, Moon Bear and maybe Hyun Euiong. Puppy boy SooHo I adore.
This will be on my to watch list.
Regarding the last scene, I do not think Yeon lied. I like to think that he is human and still has his powers accessible thru that umbrella/sword. It makes no sense for him to lie. If he got the fox bead, it shouldve been explained why he got it back from the Afterlife Judge. Since he wouldve exchanged something he cherished for that.

I am glad that Rang was not reincarnated as a shrimp. That last scene with Yeon and reincarnated Rang was so bittersweet. Glad that Rang appears to have a better life this time around with a loving mother.

11
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I am also glad that Rang was not reincarnated as a shrimp! ^^
I also like your hypothesis about the umbrella!

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Overall this was a decent watch. There were so many loopholes but I still enjoyed the show. Iam gonna miss the quirky banter, eye brow lift smirk and Kim Bum. Although I was expecting to lose Rang at the end it still hits hard. I mean he deserve to have a life with yeon . Its dramaland and anything can happen here. Rather than Rang's reincarnation as the little boy I would rather see him coming back as himself living with Yeon.
I felt that the weakest part of the show was the portrayal of imoogi.with all the buildup around that character , I expected it to have a much more impact. All the actors did a fantastic job except may be again for LTR who I felt was a miscast.

8
12
reply

Required fields are marked *

LTR was okay but I have to agree, Imoogi’s character would have been better if it was portrayed by an older actor (preferably in his 30s). I was thinking maybe Yoo Teo or Sung Hyuk who played General Winter/Fairy Ha in Hwayugi.

4
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree. LTR was good at being creepy when he was first introduced, but he looked less and less threatening as the show went on.

Oooh Sung Hyuk! That man is fine.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah it's hard to be threatening when you are obviously younger than anyone on the show save Blacky ha ha!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Imugi made no sense because they didn't know what to do with him/them. One or two? Wants to be God, wants to be real boy, doesn't want to share friendship, wants to marry JA why exactly? That's just too many often conflicting motivations that didn't add up and didn't make the character(s) threatening but petty and indecisive. Which isn't formidable. Moreover, we also had gems like little Sae-rom pacifying Jimugi with a simple slap. Who needs Soul Slaying Knife/Fox Sword/Medusa Stare if it's really that easy? Mess.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Neither Imoogi made any sense to me. I still don't get why Tae-ri Imoogi wants Ji-ah. Like she was about to be taken over by the other Imoogi so why? It would have been interesting to further explore the two Imoogis and have them fight each other or combine at some point.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yup, this. Fixation on JA made no sense beyond well, that pisses off Yeon, even though they were setting up the interest to be genuine and then dropped it. Ditto set up that Imugis could turn against each other. Nothing came out of that either. Mess. Honestly, first show where no one knew what to do with their main villain(s). Usually shows have good idea about hero/villain dynamic and villain endgame but this one was clueless and all over the place. I have a feeling that there were too many cooks spoiling the stew in the last 5-6 episodes, hence why 11-16 are much weaker to me than 1-10.

1

what really irritated me about Rang's demise is that it killed a really great character arc. He patched up with his brother, started to help people and he had a chance to be a better brother to Soo-ho than LY was to him. Instead, the arc with Soo-ho was given to Yu Ri and Shin-joo. Like, why? Shin-joo was already caring and responsible and Yu Ri while getting character conclusion with being a good mommy isn't as effective as Rang being a good older brother. I always cringe when one character's acr is given to another. Bran getting King of the Seven (er, Six) Kingdom's arc and Arya getting Azor Ahai arc from Jon Snow come to mind. Just ugh. That did nothing for their characters (especially Azor Ahai switch) but ruined Jon who was rendered pointless.

2
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think killing him was necessary to complete his character arc. He had too much blood on his hands and was living off of borrowed time as it was through the ground cherries. I think he felt remorse enough and redeemed himself enough to earn reincarnation as a better off person in his next life, but no matter he was going to die sooner than the rest when the last ground cherry ran out. He might as well die in such a way that gave him leverage to have a better deck of cards in his next life. The only thing I would have changed is him being reincarnated as Yeon's kid or even Yu-ri's kid. Then Yeon could have showed him the love he should have in the 1st life or Yu-ri would show him the love they both always wanted from a parent.

6
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agreed that he could have been reincarnated as a child in either family. But it seems that they didn't want a time-jump coda hence that BS with that other kid played by Young Rang actor.
Too much blood on his hands doesn't have to end in death since it's lazy and as shown on the show, he was doing more good. The arc was cut short because the series was designed to fawn over the leads. karma that he stole the show so even doing him dirty didn't change the fact that he was the MVP giving a star turn that completely clobbered ML and FL.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

He was doing more good at the end but he still had that whole village he slaughtered at the beginning and all the souls he used up in ground cherries. I think they had this arc planned from the start only cause of the constant theme of Rang versus Jia. It was always a choice presented to us and to Yeon. I think the writer didn't take into account that by the end most of us would pick Rang. She probably figured that his bad points and redemption arc would go unquestioned but Kim Bum just made us fall in love with this lost hooligan.

1

@Jig
"I think the writer didn't take into account that by the end most of us would pick Rang."
Bingo. Slaughtering Red Shirt village (for burning the forest so not that innocent) and using souls in ground cherries (strongly implied they were jerks like Soo-ho's stepdad) are hardly incriminating things cause most fans don't care about those nameless faceless expendables. If he killed a favorite character that would be another matter, but bunch of nobodies was not going to sway most opinions. So yes, the writer miscalculated badly. Furthermore, it never felt right that Yeon fully expected child Rang to be OK with his choosing Ah Eum and wait for her over him. The show tried to blame Rang for Yeon's fallings in order to make Yeon look beyond reproach but that really didn't work.

2

I was bummed that Rang sacrificed himself but I agree with it being necessary. I'm glad his next life was of a human boy with a nice mother. I knew he was going to die by series end, and had hoped he was going to be Yeon and Ji-ah's kid since Yeon and Rang have more of a dad-son relationship. Then this episode screwed it up by weird reincarnation shenanigans.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

@quirkycase Thank you for another great recap. I agree with you that this show was pretty much a mixed bag. What I enjoyed most was the relationship between Yeon and Rang, and not so much the romance. The ending left me with more questions than answers. Sigh....

7
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the recap @quirkycase. You concisely described how I felt about this final episode and the drama as a whole.

I still feel I need to get some stuff off my chest though. I don't want to sound like a wet blanket because I honestly did enjoy this drama, but my biggest peeve in this final episode was how the show just seemed to ignore its own rules for the sake of hitting emotional high notes (e.g. reunion between Yeon and Jia), which, I think it mostly missed because they were not sufficiently tethered to anything my mind and heart could resonate with. There were many plot and logic holes big enough for a Truck of Doom to careen through. (Also, I cringed because I was anticipating said truck to make an appearance when Jia ran across the road to meet Yeon like in an earlier episode. Don't tempt the drama gods twice, woman!). The cheesy special effects and lines when Yeon was floating in the Samdocheon river kinda set the tone for the whole episode and things just felt disconnected for me as a viewer from that point on.

Like, why does Terry-imoogi disintegrate but not Yeon? And what happened to the imoogi in Yeon? And isn't it convenient that the mayhem and consequences Terry-imoogi caused just disappears when he does? That ending too, Yeon's human but then he's actually not? And what a coincidence that he's reincarnated as himself (except human), despite all the earlier warnings that reincarnation is random?

Despite this, the final episode is not without its charms. I loved Rang's scenes, and I wished there was a different ending for him because it seemed somewhat contrived, more to get an emotional response out of viewers rather than to close a chapter in his story. Isn't there a K-drama rule somewhere that a character who has redeemed himself deserves a happy ending? I felt there was so much potential left unmined in the relationship between Rang, Yuri, Shinju and Puppy Boy. Even between Snail Bride and Team Leader Choi. The petty and humourous exchange between Jia and Rang at the hair studio hint of what could have been if the tensions in their relationship had been explored further. Alas, it wasn't to be.

All in all, I would still recommend ToTNT to watch, but it'll come with an advisory to expect a lot of cheese, plot potholes, and cringeworthy 80's special effects.

10
28
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes almost everything you said. I felt a bit detached from the last episode, and only connected to the scenes Rang was a part of.
I love the love story at the beginning, but from the minute Yeon decided to save Rang before saving Jia, I knew which one was my OTP.
The lines Yeon said while falling into the river... well... I'd better not talk about them as well as how creepy is to give your girlfriend a wedding dress as a birthday present when you have decided to commit suicide. Brrrr.
Lots of questions not answered, loads of plotholes and those parents who were so sloppy written.
Even so, just for Rang and Yeon interactions, I think the show is good to watch.

12
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ugh I hated the wedding dress part. Not sweet or romantic. Because if he truly wanted her to let him go and forget him, he shouldn't have done that.

But I also knew kdrama rules and that he would come back to her somehow so I tried to not focus on this scene much. 🙄

8
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

And what woman in her right mind would wear that marrying another man?! It was mind-blowingly non-sensical.

9
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Omg yes exactly!

3

The wedding dress was weird. He definitely did not want her to forget him and move on. And did he want her to wear his dress at her wedding to her future husband. The only scenario where that would work would be if she and Rang fall in love and get married.

It reminded me of how well Crash Landing on You - as fantastical as that drama was in many ways- did with the OTP separated and believing that they could never ever be together again because she was in South Korea and he was in North Korea. The way he helped her enjoy life and encourage her do self-care even when he's not by her side.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

I am going to think Ep 15 was the end. Leo Yeon sacrifices himself to save the world from Imugi and his lover. It's sad, but atleast logical!!

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

The floating in the river thing was cringeworthy bad. I literally looked away. I actually felt sorry for LDW.

8
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

@carlybisek It was just so bad. I facepalmed at least a couple of times. LDW was a real trooper. He milked his lines and that scene for all they were worth but there's only so much he could do. The show supposedly took the earlier break to work on the CGI for the last few episodes, and I can't help but wonder how much worse would this scene have been if it didn't.

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Definitely a real trooper. Scenes like that, he must have been thinking, How did I get myself into this? haha

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@carlybisek I reckon he's probably built up a tolerance for it over his many years in the industry. I suffer terribly from secondhand embarrassment and some of the things the Korean actors and entertainers do for variety shows just make me cringe. On the one hand, I admire their sporting attitudes and ability to handle anything thrown their way with positivity and good grace, but on the other hand, I am mortified with embarrassment. Especially when aegyo is called for from these actors and entertainers. Egads. I appreciate the fan service, but still. Egads.

4

"but my biggest peeve in this final episode was how the show just seemed to ignore its own rules"
Bingo. First they claim LY is human (which is what he wanted to become) and even give proof (root canal, astigmatism). Then it's nah, he's still a fox (built-in-sequel anyone?).
Up until this episode, all reincarnations on the show (JA, Sae, Jae, Team Leader, Soo-ho) were born, their spirit or whatever didn't just slip into an already living person. Yet somehow, Rang reincarnates in an 8-9 years old boy days or few weeks after he died. And just as conveniently, King of Odo gave some incoherent exposition about randomness of reincarnations to justify this.
Til this episode, you couldn't reincarnate if you kill yourself (includes sacrifice). But we learned that someone could take your place in Sandocheon. So why didn't Taluipa or her hubby exchange themselves for their son instead of spending 1000 years moping about him? We saw that Rang did the swap just fine. And speaking of, turns out he needn't bother cause a phone call would do the trick. Taluipa pulled strings with her brother for Yeon and apparently that helped more than the swap. One has to wonder why she didn't pull strings for her son but settled to only talk about him with her hubby instead of, you know, actually have him back. Amazing characterisation, so resonant to all parents...not. And speaking of that, rule of narrative is that if you introduce a fake version (think Barty Crouch as Madeye Moody in Goblet of Fire) you have to introduce the real deal (Moody in subsequent books/movies) or there's no point. So the reveal that Imugi took son's face was just a throaway reference without meaning (no, the Moon Mirror is not that kind of narrative). Why even bother with face theft if you aren't going to show the son later? Which 15 seemed like setting 16 up for but nope.
Also, one of early episodes showed us part of underworld (Bridge of Blades) yet 16 couldn't show us this super hyped Sandochean beyond having LY twirl like a kebab against poorly rendered smokescreen standing in for water lol? Samsung cheque bounced.

10
reply

Required fields are marked *

I had to laugh at the whole Yeon "floating" in the river. Like that's really the best you could do?? It was sooo awkward. I wonder if LDW saw it after and was like um well now I look dumb...

8
11
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yep. You see, I'm a huge fan of TOTNT OST. So I listen to the score and notice incredibly LOTResque theme Snow Mountain Hell and go "wow, those older episodes were so much more epic than the later ones!" We saw Underworld - Bridge of Blades - and it even got this epic score. So why the heck they couldn't show us Samdocheon and write a score for it? Even if there were budget restrictions, reminder that big budget Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Pt 2 didn't have expensive Afterlife, but just Harry and Dumbledore at the empty train station. Because the point was these 2 characters and not glitz and glamour of the Afterlife. Yet all we saw of hyped Sandocheon was landscape (ep 15) and that embarrassing smoky screen-saver behind twirling LY in 16. Just awful and so unlike the show that was very inventive with AIO as the Otherworld. That was cheap but effective way to built the universe around Underworld/Afterlife. I wished they didn't drop Granpa's crash courses in what to expect after death. I love those scenes from the early episodes.

3
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think it was more time than money restrictions. Even with that break, it didn't seem to get them too far ahead. At times like these, they really should be more inventive as you said. Films have depicted otherworldy places before CGI was invented. I mean they could have just thrown LDW in a literal river...(well ok I'd feel a little bad for LDW with it being winter but still...)

Oh man that would have been a perfect bittersweet moment if the guy gave the speech to LDW.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, exactly! Throw him into a river (it would be a stunt double anyway ha ha) so that we think oh no could he actually drown in afterlife, have him get pulled out by a familiar face, so we all go oh shoooot, but it's not the bad guy who stole the face, it's Taluipa's son. cause if you tell us so pointedly in Ep 15 that he jumped into this same river, and then reveal that the bad guy ruined his life and took his face, most logical Wow moment in the next episode would be that Yeon meets the real son (since they talked so much about him). And all that wouldn't cost more than the episode ended up costing. But no, they literally had no ideas hence padding the longest running time yet with old footage. Disgraceful.

3

I think what's even worse than the river was the door that lead to it.. like that's it? the door to the afterlife river was behind grandma's desk? *cringe*

2

For the below:
Heh true. Poor stunt double.

Yeah that would have been nice. We could have gotten the same speech even cause he'd be telling the guy why he's there.

I didn't really mind the padding. But I always like seeing just the la de da of their everyday life after all the dramatics in any kdrama (that I care about).

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@Anonymous and @crysta Totally agree with your points. Even if time and cost are taken into consideration, the final episode's CGI was a letdown and imo, it hardly had any real impact on the storytelling. I like the idea of Taluipa's son being the one to pull Yeon out of the river, but I think that would create another plot hole because the show gave the impression that jumping into the river would end a person's total existence, and hence no reincarnation. If Taluipa's son still existed, Taluipa would just be able to pop down to the river to see him any time she wanted, what with being the gatekeeper and all.

1

@scully I wished they were more clear with Underworld rules. For example, in ep 13, Grandpa says that they couldn't retrieve their won's soul yet. So that sounds like Samdochen suicides have some kind of "lost" existence. I guess Yeon floating (lol) is basically it. They are stuck without hope to be reincarnated. So confusing because they break their own rules for convenience too. It' possible that, as you say, the son ceased to exist but Yeon didn't because plot convenience. :eyeroll:

1

For your below comment on being more clear on Underworld rules:
I think the loophole may have been that Yeon didn't technically kill himself. He set it up for himself to die but Rang gave the final blow. I'm not sure if Yeon actually thought that through or just happenstance lol

I will say I think this writer was writing as they filmed. There were things people commented on and then would be answered in a kind of throw away comment as if the writer read netizens complaints and felt the need to address them in some way. It worked sometimes but obviously can't work if the complaints are on the last episode.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think that just jumping into Sandocheon, which he did while alive even if mortally wounded (well, if God can be mortally wounded that is) warranted no reincarnation, since they repeated it X number of times. But then, of course, they bended/broke rules of their own universe without explaining (also see Yeon being the fox in the last 10 sec of the finale despite numerous claims that he was now human and that he wanted to be human). So your theory is good. It is a loophole of convenience but a loophole nonetheless. They can always pretend they planned it even though obviously they didn't.

2

The drama also screwed him over in that scene when Ah-eum forced Yeon to kill her. They dragged that scene of him staring in horror so long, it looked really funny. Like someone doing a parody.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

HHAHAHA cant help laughing reading all the comments about LDW floating in the Samdocheon Riverr and not only the CGI and bg is bad the posture position amd angle tooo, like LDW's body was sorta twisted sideways hahahah

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree with feeling the disconnection this last episode, especially when it was revealed that Yeon came back in this lifetime and with all his memories, face, body, and even hairstyle intact. Not even one of those time-jump hairstyle changes!

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@asianromance Right?? Whatever happened to the randomness of reincarnation and consequences? Ugh, that really made me facepalm. I would have been ok if the show had a plausible reason behind it, but there was none.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agree so much about show trying too hard in "hitting emotional high notes", it's like half of the episode is spent in a eulogy for Yeon when we all know he'd come back anyway. Rang's sacrifice and the subsequent resurrection reincarnation feels kinda abrupt after all of that.
And the video messages, one is enough to get me laughing in the middle of tearing up, but getting two of them is hitting too high on my emotional notes...

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@meowingme Yeah, I would have liked to have seen more fallout from Rang's sacrifice that would have allowed the weight of his decision to be felt more. At least the show depicted that Yeon was affected by it, but I would have liked to have seen more of the impact it had on the others who are close to Rang, like Yuri and Puppy Boy.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

and @meowingme

Agreed. Extreme focus on mourning Yeon when another character died too reminded me of Endgame where Tony got a massive eulogy from virtually everyone (founder of the Avengers and real reason why MCU took off) while Natasha only got about 1-2 min of sad faces and Clint and Wanda tearful hug near the end. It's a standard ML-takes-it-all procedure that no world cinema or TV is immune to but it's jarring nonetheless. Dear departed heroes deserve equal measure of on-screen grieving.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's over 😭😭😭

We knew it, didn't we? We all knew that Rang would be the one to die at the end. It makes sense but it was so sad to watch. I loved him as a character.

I also thought Ji Ah was a strong character throughout. She wasn't interesting or complex like the others but she was consistent throughout and I liked that.

Despite all the flaws I really loved the drama for its supernatural bits and it really had amazing moments.

Rating: 8.5/10 (-1.5 for the weak chemistry and plotholes)

It was a really fun watch and I enjoyed through and through.

Thank you to Tale of The Nine Tailed Fox, I'm super happy with this Kdrama. Will miss you!

*I ugly cried when during Rang's video and in Lee Yeon's video* Bromance wins, always!

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

The bromance was definitely the star!

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have the feeling that this drama tried to be a lot of things : epic romance, fantasy, creepy, funny, action, etc. But it got lost in the process.

My favourite character was Shin-Joo. It was so nice with everybody. He let Rang living with him when the same Rang beat him in the past... He was a cute sun shine!

I didn't get the end and the principe of reincarnation in a young boy for Rang or in the same body for Yeon? It was weird. Yeon had his dream come true but didn't seem so happy with it, it was kinda disapointing when Rang died for it.

Jo Boa got a lot of critics for her acting. I liked her, she was good in her role and as a villain for me. The issue with the romance was more a writting issue than her acting.

8
12
reply

Required fields are marked *

Jo Boa wasn't bad, she as miscast. There's a difference between the two. An actor can be good and still wrong for the part. Daniel Day Lewis is arguably better actor than Arnold Schwartzenegger but he would be miscast as Terminator. That was the case here. There was nothing wrong with Jo Boa's performance from technical POV. However, she just didn't have what it takes for the epic heroine. For one, she didn't have chemistry with anyone and therefore didn't feel like a daughter or girlfriend or friend. She worked the best as PD-nim in early episodes, a detective basically. Two, she isn't likable. She may not be unlikable in other roles, but the more JA and LY scenes became cringey lovefest with rains and rainbows and all that diabetes-inducing cutesy stuff, her character was sinking deeper and deeper. There's nothing more off-putting than have someone who doesn't project cuteness/sweetness act like one. It feels fake.
So anyway, just a wrong actress in the wrong role. Mind you, I don't think that LDW fared much better. He was saved by genuine chemistry with KB and the rest of the cast minus Jo Boa. But KB clearly outshone him and he started to act increasingly self-aware in the last 4-5 episodes.

6
10
reply

Required fields are marked *

I completely agree that she was miscast. Her acting was fine, I guess, but she didn't portray the multilayered, dual character well. Some of the problem was the writing, but when you have the right person cast, they can bring nuance to the roll and make it believable even when the plot is nonsensical.

4
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agree. LDW and JBA just didn't have the chemistry for "epic romance." It's a shame, and it's the fault of the casting director, ultimately. If you're going to do a show were the romance has to be epic, you'd better dang well make sure your OTP sizzles.

6
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

" you'd better dang well make sure your OTP sizzles."
And then comes Ep 15 and LY and Imugi have THAT kind of sizzle and I'm, like, look at these guys, was it really that hard to find a leading lady that would generate that kind of spark with ML? Apparently it was and my guess is that they went with name check casting rather than whether actors really had chemsitry regardless of star status.

2

was it really that hard to find a leading lady that would generate that kind of spark with ML?

No, it's absolutely not. I've seen good chemistry with LDW and the FL in other shows, so I'm also just...baffled by this casting choice.

1

JBA seemed better as Shemoogi than as Jia.

6

Yep this. Rang wasn't perfectly written either (he spent a full episode and then some lying in bed and after that all his motivation was #saveLY) but the actor worked around it, brought nuance and charisma that overcame rough spots. So writing is not always to blame. It's just that some actors are more skilled at circumventing it and others are not.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I've heart that Kim Bum is painfully shy in real life, so I was a little surprised he did so well in this role. Although I loved him in Padam, Padam. That's my favorite.

2

I don't think she was miscast. She was good as spunky reporter. She had very good scenes with Imoogi or fun ones with Rang. She was good as Imoogi.

She had a great chemistry with Yoon Seung Ho in My Strange Hero. So it's not her fault alone for the lack of chemistry with LDW.

I think the writer and the PD tried too much to make an epic love story but failed in the pace.

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah, lack of chemsitry goes both ways. Casting director is really to blame for pairing actors who just didn't have it. And then the writers and directors who thought that more OTT romantic scenes were going to fix the problem whereas they just emphasized the lack of spark. They should have de-romanticize their scenes once it was obvious epic love story that was not, and let both interact with other characters and keep their separate goals and motivations like at the start of the show. The last 5 episodes were all Save LY/JA and nothing else for characters to care for or do. Boring.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm not saying that Jo Bo-Ah is a bad actress; she just didn't fit this role as it was written. I think she did an excellent job as Ah-Eum, but not so much as Jia. Part of the problem was the writing and directing; however, the rest of the cast (mostly) was able to work around those faults and make their roles believable, even if the storyline isn't. I totally didn't buy Jia's longing for Yeon one bit. And since that was the story's main focus, that's a big problem. Even though Yeon's character was poorly written, I felt that Lee Dong-Wook brought something to the role that made me believe he wanted to save Jia no matter what, even if that didn't make sense thematically or logically or chemistry wise.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love Shin-joo! I liked Jo Bo-ah in this too, mostly because her character was had a good head on her shoulders and because she did really well as the Imoogi.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

This wasn't a finale, this was a bonus feature with outtakes, goofs&gaffs and lots of fawning over the ML. A complete non-event that had maybe around 7 min of something actually happening (Rang disappears, Yeon reappears, people get married, ending retcons the claim that Yeon is human now) and 1 hr and 12 min of interminable filler that included 50% recycled old footage in hope to hide that ML wasn't available for a longer shoot or something. Worst finale ever. I can forgive a finale that goes for outrageous twists just to get people talking (DoDo anyone?) but I can't forgive nothing happening for almost the whole running time plus being forced to watch the same old scenes again.
This show went from heights (Episode 9 still unsurpassed) to complete crash land. It worked fabulously in 1-10 stretch where Rang was the conflicted main antagonist, bromance was the spotlight, monster-of-the-week format built fun universe, ML and FL had other interests and motivations beyond #saveJA #saveLY and were more of detectives than stars in sugary Hallmark montages of dating bliss. All that changed when Imugi threat (especially after the unnecessary split in 2) became the focus. Gone was PD-nim and in her place we got this annoying damsel-in-distress whose sole focus in life in #saveLY. Likewise, once LY and LR resolved their differences. LY became annoying #saveJA virtue signaler trying to brainwash his brother, BFF and surrogate mom into caring for his "true love" more than him which was ridiculous. Quality of writing took a nose-dive. There were some decent spots here and there (the fox switch from ep 11 was a hoot, 15's homoerotic fight/death was another) but the rest was repetitive drivel of characters swearing to save each other over and over (with LY always ending up the savior) and increasingly ridiculous power display by the villain(s) who never worked (pandemic anyone? also, what's with Jimugi just bulging her billiard ball eyes and cracking cray cray smiles but never doing anything actually threatening?)
Worth watching from 1-10 for Kim Bum's star turn, bromance, fun supporting cast and absolutely fabulous score (that didn't falter even when the writing and some acting did). The finale aka Ep 16 strictly for LDW fans and Unicorns (that's genuine LY/JA shippers). The show really ended with 15 but should've had ended with bromance reconciliation (9 or 10).

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agreed. Episode 1-12 was the best for me. It was a really fun ride and then just went wobbly then after

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree with you about last episode being a filler, and that the best episode was episode 9.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Overall I enjoyed the drama. The side characters are what really hooked me. I loved the dynamic between yu ri, shin ju and rang and puppy boy.
Some parts, like in other reviews mentioned did not make sense and continuity was lacking but the story was engaging enough to hold my attention. Rang’s arc was most satisfying for me and his growth made his decision to sacrifice himself very believable. It was only because he learned what family love was that he was able to make that choice.
Like others I was most disappointed in the last minute. If he is lying to everyone why?! So many unanswered questions. But like @quirkycase said it was much better then the drama which will not be named

7
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

The last minute was just WTF. Like they can't trust us to like Yeon/LDW without him being a supernatural character!

What's with these male leads going liar-liar-pants-on-fire?

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

That's exactly what I thought too, that show is being insecure about us not loving human Lee Yeon more than the gumiho one. And him not being a human kinda negates the last one-fifth of the episode, and basically his whole married life. Am upset! Even if show is hoping for a sequel, I'll watch one supernatural cracking duo of gumiho + investigative reporter like in the early episodes, NOT a househusband leaving wifey to do things on his own.
It was just 3 minutes so will pretend it never happens...

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes! I hate when the show doesn't trust the audience to believe what it's telling us.

Show said, "he reincarnated as himself memories in tact as a human." We said, "weird flex, but okay." And then in the last possible moment, Show goes, "just kidding, he still has gumiho powers, hahaha." Really?!

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think the change was last minute possibly because they want more adventures with Yeon (Season 2?). That's a blatant built-in-sequel and why else they would delete scenes they filmed with Yeon, Ji Ah, Taluipa's husband and LY/JA's 5 years old daughter? They clearly wanted a time-jump coda originally but opted out of it at the last moment. Doubtful Yeon was a fox in the original ending with his kid.

1

Yes, it was a fun show despite all the confusion! Sorry for my ignorance but can someone tell me the name of the drama which will not be named?

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Dodo sol sol la la sol

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

What was that ending really? I thought i missed something but apparently not. Yeon coming back like nothing’s changed was a little too convenient but while I’m sad about Rang the ending does seem fitting for him. With Yeon definitely not a mortal i wonder if they’re gonna have a second season? I would love to see more of Yuri’s family and I’m really curious how a pair of adorkable foxes (one with the mental age of a teenager) gonna take care of their human child.

5
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks so much for the recap and comments. Reading them has been one of the best things after watching every episode, as well as discussing here with beanies. It was great sharing this time with you all.

As for the last episode, I was so sad, so, so sad, specially when I realized Rang would die. I cried as I read your recap remembering the feelings. He was the best part of the drama, and I agree that the brothers relation was by far the real love story of this drama. Not that I disliked Jia as a character, because I liked her. I also liked sassy Yeon. But somehow the two together were fine but not great.

I loved the life fox-fox-puppy family, and I hope Puppy boy can meet reincarnated Rang and be forever friends.

As for the ending, I choose this: Yeon didn't exactly lie to everyone, as he is a human now. He's made a deal with the gods to come back with his own face and memories, and that is that whenever they need to take care of an evil spirit, he will have his powers back to destroy that spirit. And then he's back to a human who's afraid to go to the dentist and has astigmatism.

And well, Rang's death joins with Gu Seung Jeung's death in my "How could you make this to me, show? How am I going to get over it?" list.

10
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for ending interpretation. I am going to stick with it, it sounds plausible and takes away the disappointment I felt at first.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

read: for your interpretation of the ending.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Aw, Puppy Boy meeting Rang will be the best thing ever! Can just picture them on a bicycle, riding off into the sunset...

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Gu Seung Jeung... ㅠㅠ

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for the recaps and final thoughts @quirkycase. I thoroughly enjoyed this show and the ride it took us on. By and large, it gave us a lot of entertainment, some interesting characters, and fun moments, so I was willing to overlook the stuff that didn't quite make sense from time to time.

Yeon and Rang were the heart of this show for me. I appreciate that Ji-ah was set up to be a different kind of FL lead (and I like Jo Bo-ah as Ji-moogi a lot), but the romance never landed for me, either, and that was probably my biggest stumbling block to getting on board with the 'epic-ness' of the tale. Additionally, I wish they would have given more depth to Yeon's character - Lee Dong-wook squeezed the juice out of what he was given to the max (and I really did love watching him do it), but Yeon was never as fleshed out as Rang.

Rang was the breakout MVP. I wish we could have had more time with him and Yeon. I do think that the ending and his sacrifice made sense. But honestly...I would have been okay if they somehow managed to save him, too, and everyone just got to hang out together all the time, grill up some pork belly and raid the new kimchi fridge weekly or something. But maybe that's because I was watching this to have a good time and was thus completely willing to set aside any desire for purity in the storytelling.

The parents were the weirdest part to this whole show. I was convinced they were going to be part of some evil twist because they were so stiff and weird, but instead they basically just...faded into irrelevance. Was that a red herring? If it was, they should have made that more obvious.

The ensemble of the characters came together so well - seeing them all together celebrating Shin-joo and Yu-ri's wedding made me realize how well they blended and formed a very believable extended family (and I'm so happy the Snail Bride found her husband again, too).

Finally, I'm choosing to ignore the last few seconds of Yeon's golden eyes, except to say that I buy into the same concept that @jillian shares in her comment.

I'll miss our distracting foxes and weekly visits to a more magical and mythical world. And I had a lot of fun watching and discussing this one with you, Beanies!

8
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I feel you about the parents. They were acting so, so strangely that I was totally convinced they were mere bots Imoogi would use at some point. But not, they were just poorly written, if written at all. I mean, they would walk around the house smiling and being happy. Something totally normal for two people that woke up one day to discover 20 years had passed and they weren't there but kidnapped by some evil spirit inside a plant. Yes, I totally get the smiles...

6
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

“ They were acting so, so strangely that I was totally convinced they were mere bots Imoogi would use at some point. ”

I felt the same. Reminds me of clams and a hole from Forest, among other things. Thing that were so odd that they Had to mean something...but were literally nothing.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

The parents not being there for when Yeon returns was even weirder. We started the drama with Ji-ah losing them in a traumatic manner. She got them back. Then they're gone? Yeon wanted Ji-ah to have a normal life. So it's weird that the end didn't show the parents at all. It would have been nice to see Yeon hang out with the in-laws.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think the parents being weird was just a poorly written misdirection. The parents were actually just awkward because they had disappeared for 20 years and then magically reappeared looking exactly the same but with no memories of that lost time. It would've been better if they had more screen time, because the show could've used that misdirect to save Jia (or someone) from trouble. I'm more annoyed that Jia spent her whole life (and half the series) searching for her parents and then spent all of five minutes with them once they returned.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think the writer's world building was a house of cards at the end because there were gaping holes in explanation of the spirit world "rules" to come to any meaningful conclusion. The series should have ended at Episode 15.
The show butchered any concept of reincarnation. How can Yeon return as if nothing happened, while Rang's soul is transplanted in a 7 year old boy? The latter may have been just wishful thinking. How was the administrator returned from stone when that was her method to kill the imoogi? Why was Yeon saved and not her son?
Why did the OTP need a happy ending? The OTP romance was the weakest story line.

6
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

It does feel a bit like that extra week they took was not put to very good use.

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

For everyone who is interested in what was deleted, check out Mind Melt On a Bun Blog Tumblr (dunno whether this site allows tags so I'm not tagging but Google search should be easy). They have photos showing LDW, Jo Boa, actor who plays Taluipa's hubby and a little girl about 5 years old. Pretty obviously LY/JA's daughter. They filmed in a park. So it seems to me that daughter reference in 16 was because they deleted this scene. Now, my theory why they did it is that such ending would be definitive, while the hasty, breaking-one's-own-rule's ending with fox LY let the door open for more if they needed. It's a classic built-in-sequel end. So whether they are mulling over Season 2 remains to be seen. I'm not interested without Rang. More focus on LY or LY/JA is not for me.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh, thanks for this. Was really curious to what changes happened in the extension time, and now wondering whether the original version is better or worse than the one we watched...

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

"Why was Yeon saved and not her son?"

More people should ask this question. It's the most gaping logic in any characterization. I get that the show is designed for all characters to kowtow to leads but c'mon! No mother is going to prioritize some "son figure" (with whom she didn't even get along til 1-2 next to last episodes) over her son. That Taluipa pulled strings with her brother (aka son's uncle) for Yeon and not for Bok Choy or whatever his name is most ridiculous thing ever. Bring back both or bring back the son and Rang took care of Yeon's return anyway. But this way, Rang sacrifice is undermined (why did he bother if King Yeomra influence did the trick?) and Taluipa character is completely assassinated. That's not how you write a mother.

5
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah, that jumped out at me too

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh, Show, you had so much potential. I feel like the writers ran out of compelling story halfway through and just bumbled along to a contrived finale. I wish that we spent more time with our secondary characters and developed their back stories more. We also left a lot of the cool supernatural aspects in the dust, which is sad.

I may be in the minority here, but I did not like Jia. She spent the last few episodes crying all the time (where did strong Jia go?), and like Rang pointed out all the time, why must Yeon sacrifice himself for her? This was a plot that could have been solved as a team, but our leads just continuously tried to noble sacrifice themselves for the other.

I also didn't find either of the imoogi believable. Tae-ri was just a broody, spoiled brat, and it was hard to tell the difference between Jia and Jia imoogi. All Jia did at the end was cry, and all Jia imoogi did at the end was laugh.

The ending felt very forced into a happy ending, but I feel like this could have had a bit of angst. Oh well.

9
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

"All Jia did at the end was cry, and all Jia imoogi did at the end was laugh."

This is such a spot on summary. Bravo!

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I loved Rang's story arc. He had to die and it only made sense that it would be in sacrifice for Yeon to redeem him. As much as Kim Bum made us forget with all his charm, Rang had too much blood on his hands and was living off ground cherries as it was (though the last one wasn't by his own will). We could also see that he wasn't going to ever get over having to kill Yeon. He truly needed a fresh start. I'll just ignore that he came back as like a 10 year old kid some months later and be happy that he's in a caring home. The perfect perfect ending would have been if he was reborn as Yeon and Jia's son. This would have given Yeon a chance to redeem himself as well in truly taking care of Rang. (I see Rang being all bitter that he's still the inferior in this relationship though haha).

10
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

It is such a mix bag. There were moments of pure brilliance with certain relationships, dialogue, plot points but then in equal measure there were head scratching moments and a sense of detachment in other relationships. It was definitely worth the ride to me and I think I'll keep positive memories of this show, but it does make it hard to completely recommend the show to others.

7
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I cried only cuz and for Rang!! 💔
And that's the only thing worth remembering from this finale...that how PRETTILY Kim Bum cries 😫
💟 SO PRETTY 💟

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for recapping! You really stuck with one, through thick and thin! I wasn't expecting the ending to be any better than the show was, so I can't really say anything surprised me (except for that last scene, cause wtf, show?).

Obviously, Rang's death was telegraphed ahead of time, along with his reincarnation, but it didn't feel even remotely satisfying. Because I was struggling to understand why Yeon's life was worth more to the story structure overall, aside from his being the default central character. Trading a character who had grown from resentment and misery to a contented life with a loving family for a character who had barely changed or grown or evolved at all in the last 600 years doesn't feel like a satisfying trade.

And for me, that was the ultimate problem with this story. The fact that it centered around Yeon, a character so thoroughly lacking in dynamic development that his lack of narrative pull really detracted from all of the other characters' stories. Nearly everyone else in the story had richer potential for growth than he had, a richer backstory, and a richer story arc within the main narrative. I saw a lot of comments expressing dislike for the female lead in favor of Yeon, but if I had to choose the stronger character between the two of them, it would easily be Jia. Between her search for her stolen parents and her possession by Imoogi, her struggles were light-years more compelling than Yeon's, and held the potential for a far more interesting character arc. Obviously, the show was in many ways hampered by the romance, but Jia was the character whose development was most hindered by the romance, while Yeon's character was defined by it. His love for Jia/Ah-eum was literally 95% of his character's motivation. His only other compelling relationship (with his brother) was also directly affected by his choice to shirk his responsibilities for love. So very little existed for him, as a character, beyond that love story. But Jia had a compelling story outside of Yeon. The story of a the slightly mad, tough as nails female pd (emphasis on the female, because I've never seen a show about a woman pd, and that in itself was perfectly compelling material for a main character) from episodes 1-3 was what hooked me in the first place. And it would have been really interesting if the show were more focused on her and her search for her parents while she struggled with being possessed by a foreign entity.

Also, from a thematic standpoint, she fit in perfectly with Rang's story, because they were both left to fend for themselves as children and spent their adult lives fixated on recovering what they'd lost. So, those themes of abandonment and loss of family were consistent throughout Jia's and Rang's and Yu-ri's and Soo-ho's stories, and could have been far better explored if those characters were more central. So if I could rewrite this story, I would be far more interested in seeing Yeon's role reduced...

4
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

to that of a secondary character, whose main involvement in the story revolved around how he affected Jia and Rang's narratives. In fact, I would have been far more interested in seeing Rang and Jia as platonic frenemies whose growing friendship drove a lot of the developments in place of the primary romance. Their conflict was compelling and cohesive, and their similarities would have, in my opinion, made for an interesting platonic dynamic that could have still driven the plot. That way, Yeon could have still been a factor, but he could have still been the 2D brother/boyfriend he was in the show without detracting from more fully rounded characters.

So I guess in the end, what what I'm taking away from this show were the performances from Kim Bum and Jo-boa, who I loved as the PD from eps 1-3 before she was written as blandly lovestruck. But any moment when she got to play something more than that, she pulled me right back in. And then of course, the actress who played Yu-ri. It was my first time seeing her, and she's a natural. Aside from that, I took away a great lesson in what it takes to tank a story with great potential. Anyway, it's been a bumpy ride, and slightly tedious at times, but it was a pleasure taking that ride with all of you lovely folks! Till next time!

3
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

You raise a really good point that Ji-ah had a much more compelling motivation than Yeon. I think LDW's crabby, smirking, eyebrow-raising, sharp-tongued, mint-choco-eating antics probably distracted me from that quite a bit. Good form, more substance would probably have been more compelling.

I also would have liked to have seen more of Ji-ah and Rang together. The few scenes where they do interplay/spar were fun - each gave as good as they got, and they both may be more similar than they realized.

3
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

JA was poorly integrated into the team that cared for Yeon (brother, BFF, surrogate mom) but was constantly told by Yeon that they should save her over him. That's a poor foundation for emotional payoff. You had bunch of people who didn't have any reason for care for JA but only as a favor to Yeon. They reluctantly cared only because he did. OTOH, if it was Yeon who needed saving, if, lets say Imugi took over his instead of JA's body than everyone would genuinely care to save their brother/boyfriend/BFF/surrogate son. And Imugi wouldn't be a mess of a villain who never achieved anything (he/they only threatened to become God by taking LY's body and marry JA but didn't failed in both) if we have several episodes of "Evil LY" which would considerably raise stakes. But I guess ML has to be a savior and not the one that gets saved so we got this convoluted mess with 2 ineffectual villains that were pretty much there just so that LY could sacrifice himself as is a custom for Dramaland MLs. Oh well.

4
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think that's been my issue with this drama all along. I couldn't see why we should care about saving Jia besides her being a reincarnation of a past love. There were many parts of her story also that were never carried through -- like her relationship with her parents after they came back and her job as the PD of a supernatural show.

1

So true. And if he had been the Imoogi host, Yeon would have had some internal conflict beyond his love for Jia. But he would have also been flirting with the dark side, and as you said, this writer seemed determined to write Yeon as flawless to the point of ignoring his darker aspects, and having him gaslight other characters into believing this faults didn't exist. I was on board with him at first, and wanted to find him sympathetic, but I was irrevocably off put by his inability to apologize to his brother for abandoning him as a child, and the amount of mental gymnastics he (the writer, really, because Yeon seemed to be a pretty blatant Gary Stu) had to perform to make everything Rang's fault. The whole idea that Rang needed to save/fend for himself seemed like such a paper thin veil for Yeon's faults, because it didn't actually make sense within Rang's narrative. Yeon initially found him when he was small child, beaten half to death, seriously wounded, and being attacked flesh eating monsters. The fact that he would have been killed without Yeon's assistance does not mean there was something wrong with him, nor that he lacked survival instincts. To tell a child in that situation that there is something wrong with them because they would have died without help is absurd and, in actuality, emotionally abusive. And that idea would have had more credence if Rang had spent his entire childhood after Yeon left not caring for himself and waiting for Yeon to come save him. But he didn't. He literally took up a sword and murdered everyone who had ever hurt him, and then some. I mean, he took "saving yourself" and taking initiative to the opposite extreme. So the idea that Yeon would basically gaslight Rang and say everything was his fault, ignoring the fact that he'd been "saving himself" for years before Yeon came along and badly wounded him (before leaving him to be enthralled by an evil stranger) was just so infuriating. And then the whole forest incident was written to justify Yeon's lack of responsibility, by having Rang suddenly fit the bill of someone who wanted to give up (not acknowledging that what he really needed was Yeon to take responsibility/initiative in saving him) and then having Yeon say "I never abandoned you" which was, possibly, the emptiest statement uttered in the entire show, because they were never proven true, and nothing indicates that they had been true. And then the thing that made me laugh the most was when he gave his underwhelming apology for not knowing that Rang was in danger (I though you'd never abandoned him, Yeon, so how come you had to have Shin-joo follow him after 600 (!) years him to see whom he was indebted to?) and then saying, over iced coffee, haha, I should have been kinder to you a long time ago, why didn't I?..haha, as if his flaws could only be acknowledged in passing, as a joke. Because it seemed obvious that the writer saw Yeon as perfect, and therefore had to alter the narrative...

2

@treacylbr Yep eevr since parents returned they were dropped and we never found out why mom went to the island and later hired a hypnotist. obviously something with Imugi plot device but for a set up that they had something important to reveal, they proved big time wasters. Also, JA's co-workers added up to nothing and the show forgot JA had a job in later episodes.

@Anon
"his inability to apologize to his brother for abandoning him as a child, and the amount of mental gymnastics he (the writer, really, because Yeon seemed to be a pretty blatant Gary Stu) had to perform to make everything Rang's fault."

This x 10000. They twisted themselves into a pretzel to justify why a young child should have been more understanding to his big bro's obsessive love. Talk about toxic character that the show treated like a paragon of virtue that was beyond reproach.

2

Hey, Anon! I was hoping to see your take on Ep 15 since so much happened in that one unlike this bonus feature (I can't call this an episode).

"Rang's death was telegraphed ahead of time, along with his reincarnation, but it didn't feel even remotely satisfying. Because I was struggling to understand why Yeon's life was worth more to the story structure overall, aside from his being the default central character."

But you know what's ironic? Nobody needed to die. Taluipa could have pulled strings for Yeon without Rang sacrifice even get her son back as a bonus. Oh well.
Such trash ending that retroactively ruins the whole thing.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Lol, I got cut off mid rant in my response to your other comment (that Yeon should have been the second Imoogi) above lol, and there was no further reply option. But here's the remainder 😂

"Because it seemed obvious that the writer saw Yeon as perfect, and therefore had to alter the narrative around him to legitimize the problematic things he did. So I completely agree that the writer would have seriously struggled to write him with the inner darkness that they gave to Jia. I always say, you can tell when a writer is in love with their character to a fault, and is struggling to view their strengths and weaknesses objectively, and that was definitely the problem here. Whew, sorry for the rant lol. I just figured if I never got that off my chest, I never would. 😂"

Anyway, there's that haha. For episode 15, I had practically laughed my way through the climactic sequence (the way Jia was standing across the room right until the moment Yeon was stabbed was hilarious to me. Along with the fact that Yeon was so far away from the door he had to slow-mo moonwalk while holding moogi boy in his arms had me rolling. But comedic aspects aside, I felt that the ending, where Yeon sacrificed himself to save everyone else was probably the best ending we could have gotten, because I was hoping the other characters would be free to develop without him around. But I also guessed that he would make a pointless return and that either Rang or Yuri would sacrifice themselves to bring him back, which preemptively annoyed me. Aside from that, the mechanics of the episode followed suit with the rest of the show, so I didn't feel the urge to comment, especially after the ending was as weak as I expected.

I completely agree that no one really had to die, but the writer seemed determined to kill Rang off since day one, so I was hoping it would be done in a narratively stronger way (although it made me pretty annoyed that it happened at all). But, alas.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Totally agree about Writer's Pet Syndrome or shall we say Self-Insert? Gary Stu if there was ever one.
Ha ha this is what I said about the final fight on another forum where I reviewed the episode after watching w/o English subs:

Yeon gulps the scale and takes Jimugi into himself. Jia is now free to uselessly stand around and scream no no no, while Yeon grabs Terry and, well, next 10 minutes of their tight embrace with punctuated moaning and panting (cause offiically they are both wounded but unofficially you know this is hot Imugi sex) is the hottest thing on the show ever. It's fantastically gay and hot and just what the show needed from the romantic leads but never got. Rang shows up to fulfil his promise which is to stab Yimugi and Terrimugi together and send them to hell. The door to Underworld opens showing Samducheon resort, Rang hesitates probably too mesmerized by the sheer power of 2 Imugi homoerotica but finally runs the phallic symbol through them and they die in each others arms falling into hell in slo-mo with Jiah and Rang yelling everyone's favorite Noooo in slo-mo.

I must have re-watched this yaoi bliss 100 times since. Never fails to amuse me and it puts in such sharp relief how sexless and toothless mandatory hetero romance was (and often is such hinderance) when these 2 enemies schooled OTP in how it's done. Yeah Ep 15 is the finale to me.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Alternate endings game:

Yeon is human and pretty helpless without his powers. Needs protecting.

Shin-joo and Yu-ri have some fighting ability from their nonstandard origins and can provide the muscle to fight supernatural baddies.

Jia recovers/retains her courage, detective ability & general baddassery from earlier episodes and becomes the brains of the new demon-fighting trio.

Puppy Boy & Kid Rang might also turn out to be demon-fighting child prodigies.

8
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I like your ending much better. I'm buying!

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm on board. Could we maybe also please find a way to just...bring Rang back as he was and make him some kind of double agent catching underworld baddies? I would totally invest in this.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Team Gumiho: Off-Happy Ending Investigation
(Taken from Team Bulldog: Off-Duty Investigation which I recommend for an easy and short watch for an extra bean ><)

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

In the beginning, Rang’s deranged smiley look was unsettling. I’m glad he mellowed a bit in the later half. He was the only one that got me emotional in the finale. He didn’t get to say goodbye to his family. It sucks that he couldn’t get one last hug.

Quirkycase brought up a good point about Jia’s parents fading into the background after they were saved when they had been such a big part of Jia’s story. So weird....

I was casually curious about this drama and I got hooked by the creepy, mysterious horror elements. Finished all the episodes, but never felt fully invested.

Lee Dong Wook was super handsome. He looked so in love. It was nice to see Kim Bum in a new role too. And I’ve only seen Kim Yong Ji (Yoori) in in two guest roles, but she stood out in this drama. She was so pretty and often cute. I think she was wearing contacts… Her eyes were striking.

11
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you all for your comments and of course the recaps along the way!

I loved the horror and embrace of all its gory, campy elements in the beginning... Lee Dong Wook's otherworldly good looks and his talent abound... the fighting scenes in the woods and the island setting... the OST... Shin Joo in general... and Kim Bum giving it his all, swagger and crazy smile and crying his heart out.

Hoping for 2021 to give us an epic fantasy show that stays epic and plausible till the end. I have faith in you, dramaland!

7
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

My wife and I loved this show to the end. It was great storytelling.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I loved it too! It took 2 of my 9 beans!

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Not a bad drama, but it's been demoted to folding-laundry watch. Not a waste of your time to watch it because it was fun, well-paced, and how could you not meet Rang, Shin-joo, and Yoo-ri? But I would do something else while watching it since it will only annoy you to pay attention and then notice things aren't meshing later on.

I enjoyed the fun/emotional aspects of this filler-esque ending, but was really annoyed when they brought Yeon back just as he was and then let him retain some gumiho-ness. I would have loved for Yeon and Ji-ah to meet again in another lifetime instead of what they've done here. She's got to have a messed up concept of death after this.

Now that Yeon is alive (and with some Gumiho in him), I'm worried about the Imoogi being alive too. Are we sure the Imoogi is dead this time?

7
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Imoogi is not just dead but essentially dissolved.

Yeon could not dissolve because his fox bead was NOT there is the river with him. We were reminded of this in the last episode but the significance of it was not really explained- we just know that King Odo (fortunately) has it. But he could not re-incarnate without Rang's sacrifice- basically he was stuck. With Rang's sacrifice he could be immediately restored rather than randomly reincarnated because King Odo could use the Fox bead itself for that purpose- and even leave the now Human Yeon with some measure of gumiho power, even though he is no longer a gumiho.

5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Although this show was the same old fantasy drama with an ill fate between the leads I really found the story engaging and unpredictable at times which made me come back each week. I adored every character and loved Rang’s character development the most. He was just bratty at the start but as he resolved his misunderstanding with his brother he naturally became more endearing without a personality change. I was devastated that he had to go but it was a very fitting ending for him.

I agree that the reincarnation aspect of the drama felt a bit off and too ‘easy’ especially because he came back with his memories and face intact not even past a year. But I’m glad this had a nice ending because I would have felt empty if it ended tragically for our main characters.

6
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

By this time I've done my mulling and decide I both love and hate the finale, with maybe 7-8% more on hate. Like everybody here, I rue that Rang has to die just when he found where he belongs, and I think show really set that up well. They make us hate him first only to make us love him so much, so they can take him out and leave us in a puddle of angst. Yes, okay, well done, show *slow clap*

The switcheroo was the best twist and even though none topped that, it's been quite a fun ride (with the last 3 minutes cut). Love all the changing/unchanging and complicated relations and interactions between the ensemble characters, especially all the witty banter. Will always be grateful to show for gifting us another unbelievably beautiful otherworldly character for Lee Dong-wook; will remember Lee Yeon, the gumiho whose aspiration is to be a househusband, for a long, long time.

Thank you @quirkycase for the loving recaps and the well-placed jab at the show (e.g. Yeon's love letter that Ji-ah can do without); always thought Shin-joo was the son-in-law but you are so true, he's indeed the daughter-in-law ><
Also, totally enjoy all the discussion and theorizing happening in the comment section!

7
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Anyone want to just edit this drama so Rang is the main story and it ends with his sacrifice? Who’s with me?

4
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Sign me up!

IMO, this really should have ended after the fox bros reconciliation. They made the full circle, grew as characters, there was nothing else to say.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Me! But it kind of was??? I thought the elements with Rang were well done. Writer did a good job making us care for him by the end.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I’m here for the last recap, and overall enjoyed this show very much! Without others’ opinions coloring my judgment since I haven’t really been following the recaps and comments, I was able to enjoy this one fur what it was and nothing more. I just let the story play out and didn’t think too hard on the fantasy elements, if they made any sense or not and nothing truly bothered me about the execution of it. The actors portrayed their characters well and all were strong. The letters and videos from the grave tore me up this episode. But in a good way. I did do a double take at the end as well when he transformed back into the nine tailed fox. I guess some habits are harder to break! But it was kind of cool and I don’t think he’s truly a fox, but maybe given the atrocities of the spirit realm, is given back his powers at times by the gods. He’s told the Sandocheon elders that he would not be seeing them anymore. The little family that was formed was also adorable, and I guess you can kidnap a kid from their guardian without so much as a missing persons report in S. Korea. It’s true the child was abandoned and abused, and with a chronic rhinitis (probably due to allergies, 😂) and I love the family that “adopted him.” Again, it was a fleeting thought and didn’t really bother me. It did make me sad that child abuse must be so rampant in S. Korea as every show depicts it in some way. Loved my fox brothers the most though. Glad Rang was able to find redemption at the end.

When Yeon came back I couldn’t help but be reminded of Goblin, so when Jia’s parents told her to come down on her birthday to blow out her candles on her cake I was half expecting Yeon to apparate. 🤦🏻‍♀️ Instead, we got a wedding dress. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️. But glad he eventually came back (even though she lingered in the crosswalk for way too long for my liking).

Yeon (and LDW) continued to be so ethereal throughout. I kept wondering how he could be a real person? Maybe he is a gumiho in real life!

Thanks for the ride everyone! I needed this show right now like I covet anything that doesn’t involve what’s really going on in the world.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

The videos from the dead made me cryyyyy

It's nice to see someone else who can just enjoy the show for what it is without taking the plot holes seriously. *Virtual hug!*

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for the recap @quirkycase! Absolutely agree with everything in your comment, thank you for calling it out. The most fascinating thing about the show in the beginning was the fantastical elements and how scary and life-threatening it all seemed. Even the Imoogi. Anybody remember the horror of the stories at that village where the Imoogi was able to wake up again? How gruesome all the details were? It's like the writer had a team of researchers, and the person responsible for research into folklore resigned midway. Imoogi by the end of it just seemed so tame. We kept hearing in news channel snippets about people dying from the plague and it should've been way more scary than it felt. I guess this is the difference between show and tell.
The romance too. Although I liked it in the beginning, later on I found myself wanting to skip forward through their dates. I mean it was sweet and nice and heart-warming and I wish them all the happiness in the world, but if your protagonist has to keep saying over and over again about how he waited for his lady through centuries, how epic this love is, how romantic his sacrifice is - almost trying to remind the viewers about how glorious the romance is - instead of all of us just feeling it and knowing it - there's something wrong, won't you say? And how weird is it that Jia's parents didn't attend her wedding? At this point I believe it would've been better to bring them back to life in the last episode or done something else or I don't know .. anything else would've worked better.
Not to mention, I think I can safely say everybody predicted that Lee Yeon is going to come back and they're going to get a happy ending. Which made his death in episode 15 that much less horrifying. Overall I think it's a bad idea to kill your hero in the second last episode - the world can guess that episode 16 exists to get him back to life. Lee Rang was the only one who's ending felt justified and truly sad. This was a character well done. (Once again, were separate people responsible for separate characters under this one writer? Or what happened? It's so hard to believe that the same person can write one character well and the other character not so well) A part of me, the cynical part, kept thinking that Lee Yeon will come back to life and find some way to save Rang too and then I can truly roll my eyes at this drama. Remember the time when stakes were high and you were actually scared about characters' lives? I'm not saying I wanted Lee Rang to die, but from a story point of view his separate story line deserves respect in comparison to others. Maybe that should've been the center of this drama, and he should've been the gumiho we all focused on.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

You nailed it with show vs tell. I thought that, save romance that was never convincing to begin with, the show in the beginning showed a lot and didn't need to tell. But then reversal happened in the later episodes and we were constantly told about things that weren't shown. Moreover, that ML and FL had enormous plot armor and were heading to a HEA via death fakeout was clear ever since they lost all other motivations and interests and became solely fixated on saving each other (yet it was always ML who ended up a savior per episode). When the show goes "oh no no no only one can live" and both ML and FL go "I'm gonna nobly die for my one true love" x 1000, you just knew both would be fine. There's no suspense in that.
Also, bingo on that Rang should have been the ML in the story instead of a deuteragonist in other ML's story. he was the MVP hands down.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Overall, it is a weird show for me.
I'm here for Kim Bum and happy that he comes out strong as Rang.
He stays true to his character until the end.
Yeon-Jia is a major disappointment, as probably most us feel. But somehow, it's just expected.
Yeon-Rang is much more convincing, which makes me furious that Yeon seems to take Rang's sacrifice so easily.
I mean he lost his only brother but it's Jia Jia Jia?
I don't like you, Yeon.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeon-Rang was much more convincing and compelling because the story is resonant. Abandonment issues are resonant. Family discourse is resonant. Choosing between girlfriend and family is resonant. It's all based in reality.
OTOH, they tried hard to make Yeon-Jiah epic and tragic but they weren't because their story wasn't resonant. It had a generic monster villain as the obstacle and that doesn't connect. Compare that to a real tragedy which was that of Taluipa's son (something that should have been a drama on its own, not a throwaway reference on another drama). Betrayed by his friend to whom he showed kindness when no one else would. Betrayed by his mother. That resonates because it's based in reality. Friends can betray us. family can betray us. Yeon and Jiah were just vanilla version of this much darker story. There was no friend betrayal and Taluipa ( a surrogate mother but not THE mother) didn't go through with killing Ji Ah anyway, as we knew she wouldn't, so not really tragic.
Oh and don't get me started on Jia,Jia,Jia ha ha well said. He abandoned a kid and somehow it was kid's fault that he couldn't get over it? Yeah, I don't like Yeon Stu either. :)

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think LDW has grown more handsome as he aged. Is it possible? Has he done some PS? I just love to know how he beats his aging.
He really pulled off his red hair so well. I have never thought that red hair( not the natural red hair though, I love the natural red hair, ginger hair) can be so charming....

These are the things that keep coming up in my brain while I was watching this drama.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm with you on LDW *hearts for red hair and smirky smile*

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I felt like the writers were giving us the hope that rang and yeon would be together again. When they dropped the hint about having a daughter, i got the feeling they were implying that rang might become his son in law in the future ❤

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

well the ending does let you in a WTF state. I just don't get it - is Yeon human or not? They built this convincing act of him being human, just so that would be demolished at the end with "nah, you thought". So as author here i'm asking was it all a big lie? if so what is the purpose?? i doesn't make any effin sense!! h was suposed to grow old with Jia, maybe he's half fox? but if he's half then why he can't see the Hades' sister anymore? what the hell. give us a proper explanation at least. at the cherry of nonsense of the top has to be Rang reincarnated as that kid. sure, it makes sense he was born in a loving family this time, as a reward, but come on. if you are born with the same faces and same connections in each life, wouldn't it make sense that Rang would stay connected to Yeon? as that kid, he would never have anything to do with Yeon anymore. and how does reincarnation works here? you just pop out of nowhere and bam you get to live as a human? no birth, no childhood, just some random ages and out of nowhere? seriously this drama makes no sense at all.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The imoogi storyline seemed to just fade out in the end. I didn't really care about the romance anymore either. I just wanted Rang to live a life where he was loved and was happy. He was my fav character throughout and I rooted for him. Shin ju and Yu ri were good too. Ji Ah was a well written character too. However, the main character Yeon seemed all messed up to me. Rather than leaving his brother alone back then, he could've handled it all well and Rang wouldn't have been the broken man he was. Yeon waa just generally incapable of handling situations well.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ending: I see it this way: Yeon goes to Granny’s to say his farewells. Since he’s now human, he can’t come around anymore. I bet Granny couldn’t just not see him until he dies and seeing Yeon actually preferred being a fox, she made another 200 calls and pestered her brother to make Yeon a fox again which Yeon realized prior to coming out that night to take care of the Samjae.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I've thought about this drama so much in the last month since it ended! earlier when the trailer was released, I commented that it might be good.... but it could also just be very average, and I was right. I never had super high expectations for this drama before it started, but I will say I was disappointed in the last 4 or so episodes because the first 8 were so good!
I've boiled it down and I think the main thing this drama lacks is that its minor plot points are too good and too compeling. Throughout the drama, every 2 or 3 episodes, Yeon and Jia would get in a deadly situation and Yeon would have to think and scheme his way out of it in his cool Yeon-like fashion. I loved this about the show,, but ultimately it meant that when the big bad climax of Imooji came at episode 15... it was anticlimatic. The characters had been facing the exact same thing the entire show, so it didn't actually seem like a big deal. It made the last two episodes super disappointing, especially since episode 16 literally had no substance to it.
I think if they had incorporated more horror elements into the plot, it probably would have turned out a lot better. But after like episode 5, they dropped it completely and turned full fantasy, when imo the horror was one of the main things I looked forwards to when watching the show.
The other main thing that I could think of that this show lacked in was romance. It was just nonexistent. I didn't care about Yeon and Jia ending up together (well, frankly in general I just didn't care about Jia) and so all of the tension at the end with Yeon dying and Jia being alone... I just didn't care about it. Honestly, I think if the show ended at episode 15, I would have given it a better review. But no, the writers decided to bring Yeon back and kill Rang, because... Jia wanted it? Absolutely ridiculous. Jia just had no character and was honestly super boring, I didn't care about her life, I didn't care about her relationship with Yeon, and I didn't care about how she felt after Yeon died.
I think the acting was great, especially LDW and KB, but I mean what else did we expect from those two, they practically are the only reason I continued watching the show.
The dialogue was usually good, there weren't any memorable quotes, but it was good enough to keep me in the story and everything.
The special effects were ok.... but the last episode was really bad in terms of SPX. They didn't stand out to me at all, so I'm kind of neutral on them.
I loved the music in the background, it made all the Yeon-being-cool scenes better and overall contributed to the good feel of the whole show.
In the end, I think that I would recommend this drama to someone, but it's not my first choice, and I'd be lying if I said it was one of the more forgettable dramas I watched in 2020...

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

just wanna say i feel kinda sad they didnt show JaeHwan and Sae Rom again in the last ep, was hoping and expecting them to pop up again maybe a scene where JaeHwan confess amd propose to SaeRom coz all this while throughout the series i thought JaeHwan esp cares and paid special attention to SaeRom as if he likes her...:( sad that Rang died amd some weird moments here and there but overall really enjoy this drama :)))

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you very much for your wonderful recaps!! This really was a journey!

Actually, for the ending I do not think lee Yeon lied. I think he really came back as a human, (nothing can replicate a root canal pain, absolutly NOTHING) but I believe he got his fox marble back and with that he can use his previous powers.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *