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Sell Your Haunted House: Episode 12

We’re finally starting to get some answers about what happened in the past, but these revelations inevitably lead to more pain for our leads. In the aftermath of a possession more personal than most, our medium takes a trip to the countryside to visit family. Meanwhile, our exorcist discovers a betrayal close to home which drives her to take extreme measures in her quest for the truth.

 
EPISODE 12 RECAP

Realising that Director Do would try and kill them after the exorcism, Ji-ah met with Detective Kang earlier that day to request police protection. He asked why she was determined to go through with it if it was so dangerous, and she replied that she had no choice because the ghost in question was Oh Sung-shik, In-bum’s uncle. Kang agreed, but emphasised that it was because he has a duty to help a citizen in need, not because he believes in the supernatural.

This means that Detectives Kang and Choi were sat in their car outside the building while all the chaos was going on upstairs. They somehow missed seeing Sung-shik jump from the window but heard the crash as he landed, finding only broken and bloody concrete slabs when they went to investigate. Kang decides to head into the building as Choi calls for back-up.

Detective Kang arrives just in time to save Ji-ah, who has been putting up a good fight against the remainder of Director Do’s thugs but is vastly outnumbered. As soon as she gets the chance, Ji-ah grabs her spirit awl and takes off after Sung-shik.

Director Do is being driven away from the scene, looking dazed and mumbling to himself about Sung-shik, when the driver slams on the brakes. In-bum, covered in blood, is stood directly in front of the car and the occupants stare at him stunned until Director Do, seeing Sung-sik’s ghost when he looks at In-bum, frantically orders the driver to run him over.

As the car accelerates towards In-bum, Ji-ah appears in the nick of time and tackles him out of the way. Do screams at the driver to try again but the police arrive with sirens flashing and the car speeds off into the night instead. Sung-shik staggers to his feet to pursue, but looks down and sees the spirit awl buried in his chest.

Director Do’s thugs had been terrorising the neighborhood to drive the last hold-outs against the redevelopment away, ransacking houses and throwing elderly people like Sung-shik’s mom out on the streets. They’d taken Sung-shik to a back alley and beaten him badly, before Do made him an offer: a new apartment in return for starting a fire.

Realising that his family would be homeless if he didn’t do it, Sung-shik accepted on the condition that Do write up a contract between them stating those terms, which Do was surprised by but agreed to. Sung-shik started the fire of his own free will and watched his neighbors scream as their homes burned down.

Director Do visited Sung-shik in hospital and moved the goalposts, refusing to hand over the promised apartment until he had some kind of security that Sung-shik wouldn’t sell him out. Sung-shik copied out a confession letter admitting sole responsibility for the arson, before accepting a drugged drink from Do and going to sleep, possibly never to wake up again.

After taking one last look at In-bum, Sung-shik’s soul departs. Lying bleeding in Ji-ah’s arms as Team Leader Jung calls for an ambulance, In-bum tells her that his uncle did commit arson but didn’t commit suicide, instead deceived and murdered by Director Do.

Ji-ah sits by In-bum’s hospital bed and waits for him to wake up. The first thing he asks about is whether Ji-ah is okay, and whether he hurt her, and Ji-ah apologises for putting him in danger. In-bum thanks her for helping his uncle’s spirit move on, but has to admit that he didn’t see anything about Daebak Realty in Sung-shik’s memories, which means that Ji-ah is no closer to helping Mi-jin than she was before.

Ji-ah lets Hwa-jung know what happened and Hwa-jung urges her to leave the past alone now and move on. Ji-ah says that she can’t do that until she knows why Mi-jin’s ghost is still trapped, telling Hwa-jung that she can’t understand what it’s like.

Ji-ah knows that Mi-jin’s spirit is cold and lonely and suffering while stuck here, but sometimes she’s still selfishly glad that she gets to see at least a part of her dead mother everyday, and hates herself for feeling that way. Ji-ah leaves Hwa-jung and goes to cry by herself in the stairwell.

The precinct is full of Director Do’s underlings, but despite the best efforts of the officers none of them are willing to rat on their boss and Detective Kang decides to go straight to the source instead. Director Do is holed up in his office having a breakdown over the reappearance of a person he murdered 20 years ago when Detective Kang arrives, but still has the presence of mind to deny any involvement in what happened the night before.

Kang notes how many accidents have been associated with Do’s reconstruction projects which conveniently happened to work out in his favor, both now and 20 years ago. Do vehemently denies the implication that he’s ever been involved in something less than legitimate, but seems unsettled that the police are now also digging up the past.

Now that In-bum knows that a contract proving Director Do’s collusion in the arson incident exists, he heads out to his grandma’s place to find it, and to let her know that her son didn’t kill himself after all. When In-bum gets there though he finds his grandmother collapsed on the floor, and has to rush her to the clinic, upset and guilty that he didn’t know she was ill.

When she wakes up the next day In-bum’s grandma makes him take her back to her house, wanting to die at home rather than in a hospital. In-bum tells her that the police have said that Sung-shik didn’t kill himself and she replies that she never believed that he had — and he didn’t die because of In-bum either.

Apparently In-bum’s grandmother had always told him he was to blame for the deaths of his mother, father and uncle, and he finally confronts her about it, asking how she could have done that to him.

Later, In-bum’s grandma puts food in his rice bowl and his reaction implies that she’s never done that before. She starts to apologise but can’t find the words and trails off, crying. That night she dies in her sleep as In-bum holds her hand, finally reunited with Sung-shik in the afterlife.

Ji-ah signs the sale contract for Daebak Realty and hands it over to Director Do, confirming that the ghost haunting him has been exorcised. She tells him that she’s realised he’s the living personification of an egg ghost, spreading death and misery wherever he goes, except while an egg ghost is created through pain and suffering, he’s motivated purely by greed.

Do tells Ji-ah that money is the most important thing in the world, determining whether people live or die, and she predicts that it will kill him one day too. After he leaves, Ji-ah picks up the envelope he left behind by the tips of her fingers, careful not to touch the cash inside, and drops it in the trash can.

In-bum calls Ji-ah out to the countryside, relieved when she confirms that his grandmother’s spirit passed on peacefully. She rests a hand on his shoulder as he sits in front of the funeral table with his head bowed.

Ji-chul is touched to find Tae-jin and the restaurant owners ready and waiting for him when he goes to join In-bum, wanting to show their support by helping to serve food to the mourners. However, later that night, Tae-jin takes the opportunity to search for the missing contract while everyone is asleep.

Ji-ah finds In-bum still awake, staring at the old family pictures on the wall, and he thanks her for everything she’s done to help his family, putting Sung-shik’s spirit to rest and enabling his grandmother to pass away without that doubt in her mind. His grandma always treasured that only portrait she had of the whole family together, and In-bum removes it from the wall to take with him — only to find the missing contract tucked into the back of the frame.

Looking at Director Do’s seal on the agreement, In-bum realises that he’s now in possession of concrete evidence that would prove Do’s involvement in the arson incident. He still can’t prove that he was responsible for Sung-shik’s death though, and decides to hold onto the contract until he decides how best to use it.

Unfortunately, Tae-jin has been eavesdropping on their conversation and now knows the value of the document In-bum holds. When it’s time to leave the next day both Tae-jin and the contract are missing, and In-bum realises what happened.

Tae-jin is stood in front of the Dohak Construction offices, contract in hand, when he gets a call from In-bum warning him to think carefully about what he’s about to do. If he admits to knowing Director Do’s weakness he’ll become a liability to him, and the director doesn’t like to leave loose ends lying around. Having already run afoul of Director Do once, this reasoning plants a seed of doubt in Tae-jin’s mind and he decides to keep his options open for the time being.

In-bum is banking on Tae-jin coming to them to negotiate instead of Do, once he’s thought through the implications of his choices. Ji-chul apologises to In-bum for falling for Tae-jin’s act, but In-bum says it’s his own fault for not guarding the document more carefully.

Hwa-jung is ecstatic when she hears from Team Leader Jung that she’ll be discharged the next day, but her mood changes abruptly when she learns that Ji-ah has gone to her house to get her a new set of clothes. Sure enough, while looking through Hwa-jung’s dressing room Ji-ah discovers the missing case files from 1979 that Hwa-jung had hidden from her.

Later that day Ji-ah drives to the hospital to confront Hwa-jung over her deception. Hwa-jung tells her that she received the record book from the police with the rest of Mi-jin’s possessions after her death, and it’s Mi-jin’s blood soaked into the pages.

Ji-ah refuses to believe that, insisting that there was no blood when her mother died, but Hwa-jung gently reminds her that her memories of that day are flawed. She tries to calm Ji-ah, but Ji-ah pushes her away, telling Hwa-jung that she can no longer trust anything she says.

Ji-ah goes back to Daebak to read through the notebook, which details the process for exorcising egg ghosts. If the name of the deceased is not put inside the spirit awl, the awl won’t become intangible when the medium is stabbed and will instead inflict physical damage. In order to exorcise an egg ghost, the medium must be stabbed in the heart with a tangible spirit awl, killing them.

The book notes the possibility that the exorcist may be possessed rather than the medium, and Ji-ah realises that Mi-jin knew there was a good chance she could die when she chose to undertake the exorcism. That means that her death wasn’t Ji-ah’s fault after all.

Ji-ah summons Mi-jin’s ghost, angry and betrayed that she acted so recklessly, knowing that she might be abandoning Ji-ah. Crying, she screams at Mi-jin for not choosing her own daughter over some possessed boy she didn’t even know, and Mi-jin’s spirit starts to cry as well.

Ji-ah tells the ghost that she’s finally going to see what happened that day for herself, purposefully reaching for her and inducing possession. On her first attempt Ji-ah is thrown out of the memory, but she tries again and finds herself in Mi-jin’s position, kneeling on the floor in front of her younger self with a spirit awl buried in her chest and her hands covered in blood.

Ji-ah is thrown out of the memory again and induces possession again, although she’s rapidly losing strength and hurts both herself and Mi-jin’s ghost in the process. She snarls at Mi-jin that she’s had enough of fake memories and demands to be shown what really happened, but Mi-jin refuses to give in and the scenario plays out the same way it did before, Ji-ah waking up on the floor yet again.

In-bum notices that there are no lights on at Daebak and decides to call Ji-ah. Meanwhile Hwa-jung, thinking about what Ji-ah said to her about uncovering the truth, grabs her car key and heads over to check on her.

Deathly pale and shivering uncontrollably, Ji-ah staggers towards Mi-jin’s ghost again, refusing to stop trying to find the truth even if it costs her her life. Ji-ah wraps her arms around her mother’s spirit, and outside In-bum watches as the lights in the building begin to flicker madly before all dying out at once.

After Mi-jin had taken Ji-ah upstairs, she’d called Hwa-jung to tell her that a child possessed by an egg spirit had been brought to her, knowing that the only way to exorcise an egg ghost was to sacrifice the medium. Realising that the ghost would cause more and more deaths if it wasn’t stopped, Mi-jin planned to kill the child and then turn herself in, and asked Hwa-jung to look after Ji-ah while she was in prison.

Sung-shik overheard the conversation and was horrified at what Mi-jin intended to do, refusing to let her harm In-bum even if it cost the lives of other people, and they’d fought.

In-bum rushes into Daebak to find Ji-ah kneeling on the floor alone, tears rolling down her face. Voice weak, she tells him that her mom was murdered, before collapsing unconscious into In-bum’s arms.

 
COMMENTS

I was expecting In-bum to be much more seriously injured after how worried Ji-ah was in the last episode and all the comments about how a ghost can inadvertently harm the medium while in possession of their body. The big leap from the window turned out to be relatively anti-climactic, but maybe Sung-shik’s spirit imbued In-bum with superhuman endurance as well as super-strength. I’m glad Ji-ah had enough sense to speak to Detective Kang before walking into Director Do’s trap, which was uncharacteristically reckless of her. I know it was a desperate situation and they didn’t have many options, but both Ji-ah and In-bum have shown they’re intelligent people and I honestly expect them to make smarter decisions. As it was, both Detective Kang and Team Leader Jung were largely ineffective but I guess something is better than nothing?

I don’t think enough emphasis has been put on the fact that Sung-shik was a murderer. He was both threatened and bribed, but at the end of the day he chose to set that fire and that makes him responsible for the deaths of those people, even if Director Do had a share of that responsibility too. Personally, I don’t think that his motives come anywhere close to justifying his actions. Although he had a bit of a crisis of conscience in the hospital and talked about turning himself in, I think that was only because his actions had affected In-bum, and he quickly changed his mind when Director Do dangled the apartment in front of him again. Sung-shik’s ghost lingered because he had a grudge against Do for cheating him out of their deal, not because he felt guilty or wanted revenge for the people he killed, and I think that says a lot about him as a person.

I think Sung-shik got off too lightly here, with his sentimental goodbye to In-bum and tearful reunion with his mother in the afterlife. Everyone was concerned about the emotional impact finding out his uncle wasn’t the person he believed him to be would have on In-bum, but we didn’t get as much of that aftermath this episode as I expected, unless he’s still processing it. Even Sung-shik’s mother seemed far more preoccupied with whether her son killed himself or not than the fact he was a murderer — when talking about his suicide she actually says that she “knew he wouldn’t do a thing like that” but doesn’t seem to have the same compunctions about believing Sung-shik capable of arson. It just seems like an odd reaction to me, but then Grandma also thought it was okay to tell her grandson that he was responsible for the deaths of his mom, dad and uncle, so maybe her moral compass isn’t really that reliable.

I’ve also changed my mind about Tae-jin, he’s too two-faced for my liking. I was expecting a redemption arc for him: starting out pretending to be a good guy to infiltrate Daebak, and then slowly having a change of heart and realizing that he quite liked these people after all and maybe he really should turn over a new leaf. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be where his character arc is going. Tae-jin had no moral compunctions about taking advantage of the funeral and In-bum’s vulnerability to get what he wanted, and he only had second thoughts about selling the team out to Director Do because he was worried about his own skin, not what might happen to them. He has absolutely no integrity or sincerity in him at all.

I really do love Ji-ah’s style. Two little details I particularly appreciated in this episode: the way she picked that money Do left up by the tips of her fingers as though it was something disgusting and then just neatly disposed of it (what a power move), and the fact she’s saved In-bum in her phone as ‘Medium (Special)’!

I loved the repeated possessions at the end! It was heart-breaking to watch Ji-ah throwing herself against a wall again and again, but her conviction was incredibly moving. Jang Na-ra is doing a phenomenal job expressing the pain and rage Ji-ah is feeling, and I can’t take my eyes off her when she’s on screen. Has Mi-jin’s spirit actually moved on now? I’m really interested to see what happens to Ji-ah in the next episode, as she processes what she learned about the past and has to figure out what to do next now she no longer has that purpose driving her.

So how did Mi-jin die? She apparently wasn’t planning to sacrifice herself for In-bum after all, but I think she almost certainly would have died for Ji-ah’s sake. I assume that the egg ghost somehow possessed Ji-ah instead of In-bum when she came downstairs and Mi-jin couldn’t bring herself to kill her own daughter, so somehow transferred the ghost into herself instead?

My other guess is that Ji-ah refusing to take the awl was part of Mi-jin’s false memories, to protect her from the knowledge that she literally did kill her mom by stabbing her in the heart after all. But what about that comment Hwa-jung made to In-bum that she wouldn’t let Ji-ah suffer for Sung-shik’s sake, in the present or the past? We’ve seen Do watching Sung-shik in the emergency room and then standing over him in a private room, getting him to copy out a confession, and handing him a drink which rendered him unconscious — and I assumed dead. However, Hwa-jung has said she also spoke to Sung-shik while he was in hospital, and I’m not sure where that conversation is supposed to fit into the timeline. Maybe Hwa-jung killed Sung-shik to prevent him from telling anyone that Ji-ah was actually responsible for Mi-jin’s death.

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I though it was interesting the way they structured this ep--after Uncle finally got exorcised In-beom heads to his grandma's house just in time to reconcile with her before she dies. Her funeral becomes a proxy for In-Beom grieving his uncle and a way to show that he's processing his final departure. I also thought this was a clever way to let the show take a little breather after the battle royale and jumping-three-stories-from-the-carpark that ended Ep. 11. The little lull in the action was also aided by Yonghwa's quiet and sad performance, which was a nice contrast to his insane fury in the carpark. Kudos to the writers and the director for this little mournful interlude that then made Jang Nara's epic performance at the end of the episode all the more intense and harrowing. Great pacing all around.

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So Im-Bum knows the truth and he was right, truth can be difficult and hurtful. He's uncle was an arsonist. I think if they didn't focused on that part, it was because he was ready to confess his crime and pay the consequences and not commit suicide to escape them. But I think they should have shown us his feeling of guilt too and not only his anger for the appartment. I never liked the grandma and her illness didn't change that.

I wasn't surprised by Tae-jin's betrayal. He showed more interest in his club than everything else. But stealing Im-Bum the day of the funeral was really mean.

The last scene was really good with Ji-A pushing herself physically and mentally to know the truth about this night. JNR was incredible. I'm pretty sure too they did all of that to protect her from the truth and I wondered how she will react about this. She's already very alone and she doesn't trust Hwa-jung anymore.

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I think In-bum’s grandmother and uncle are pretty realistic characters. I can see why the grandmother would have resented In-bum, whose behaviour when possessed must have made life inordinately hard for his family. And just because Sung-shik loved his mother and nephew doesn’t mean he wasn’t selfish and thoughtless. At the end of the day, both had led very difficult lives, and neither was a saint.

Although Director Do had instigated the entire disaster, it was Sung-shik who had not only triggered the egg ghost but also directed its effects towards three innocent people: In-bum, Mi-jin and Ji-ah. In-bum was saved, but Mi-jin died and Ji-ah has never recovered from the loss of her mum. Having found the injured / unconscious Sung-shik and In-bum at the house, Hwa-jung must have sought out and questioned Sung-shik at the hospital before Director Do turned up, and that’s why she knows about Sung-shik and In-bum’s involvement in Mi-jin’s death.

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I also love that In-beom is saved as "Medium (Special)" in Ji-ah's phone. It's such a quirky detail that is so spot-on with her character. Makes you wonder how the other mediums are qualified under the Ms in her contact book.

I noticed at the end that our leads got quite a bit of time apart this episode to take care of the things they needed to (In-beom with his halmoni, Ji-ah with her Hwa-jung and Mi-jin). I really liked that. It's obvious that our OTP have been growing closer as they build a (nicely multi-note) relationship, but the drama has never forced them heavy-handedly as a unit on us. They're both adults, and they both have things to do. But when they call on or need each other, they show up (the funeral for In-beom, the end of the episode for Ji-ah). I'm enjoying both the individual agency and the relationship.

JNR's performance at the end of the episode was the drama's tour de force; a balance of resilience, vulnerability and grief so finely calibrated that my heart broke again and again for her. For years, Ji-ah has been trying to understand why her mother's spirit remains, looking for answers in every nook and cranny of the vengeful spirit paradigm that she knows. What if it turns out that her mother remains, not because she's resentful, but because she's trying to protect her daughter through one last act of love?

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Jang Nara has always been fantastic and I think she deserves more parts like this that allow her to stretch her acting muscles.

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I've been waiting for episode 12 to talk about what I found inexplicable about the plot progress.

1. Oh Sung-shik

I didn't like that there was no recollection of Daebak Realty in his dying memories. I feel that this sort of broke the connection between Ji-ah and In-bum's story, and also made their exorcism efforts somewhat futile. I was expecting at least a tiny tiny hint on Hong Mi-jin's death, enough to water the seed of doubt Ji-ah has. That said, I don't think uncle is a good person at all. He's cowardly and selfish and perhaps Mi-jin's death didn't make him feel remorseful because his nephew was saved. Of course, from another point of view, his indignation about not receiving the apartment might have been a manifestation of him having to discard all his morals to do Do's bidding and yet still come away with nothing.

2. Oh In-bum

I agree that too much focus was placed on the fact that uncle did not commit suicide, rather than the fact that he did commit arson. I thought the primary conflict for this mini story arc for In-bum should be the fact that there is always another side to a person and how to deal with the revelation that your loved one is not whom you imagined him to be. I don't think this part was handled well at all. I also do not know the point in bringing up grandma accusing In-bum of having caused his parents' death if there is no explanation for it.

3. Do Hak-sung v.s. Hong Mi-jin

I am curious about the timing to unravel the mystery behind Ji-ah's mother's death. It seems like they are leaving the comeuppance of Do till the end with the theft of the agreement. I'm not sure about that because I feel that Mi-jin's exorcism should be the conclusion. The weight of the story should not be on just a token villain.

There are also some logic bugs here and there. If the notebook was given to Hwa-jung by the police after Mi-jin's death, why did Ji-ah only just discovered that it was missing? Why would In-bum's uncle even drink what Do Hak-sung offered?

Plus, I have gripes about the actor playing Heo Ji-chul's character, because I think he was really lacking during the more emotional scenes (yes, I know he's primarily a comic relief character). I also found Jung Yong-hwa to be a bit lackluster this episode, possibly because I do not agree with the character arc and therefore I cannot understand the feelings he was trying to portray.

However, I loved loved loved the consecutive possessions. I felt it was great directing, great writing and great acting by the two female actors. Actually, I also really liked Jang Nara and Kang Mal-geum's confrontation scene right before that. The last 20 minutes of episode 12 were the most gripping part of the entire drama in terms of acting. I also wonder why in the first possession we see two Ji-ahs. One standing at the top of the stars and another breaking down at the bottom. I'm not entirely sure if that was to imply that her earlier...

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I think my comment was truncated 😭

...her earlier possessions were manipulated or if there is something more.

I'm looking forward to next episode's developments. I hope that the preview was to mislead us, because I'm not really interested in the romance. I like the cute chemistry between the leads, but I think their relationship right now is pretty good as it is. This drama should not venture into melo territory.

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Yeah, I'm also fine with them keeping the relationship stuff on the back burner. I think it's progressing just fine as it is, and making it a focus would detract from the more interesting elements of the drama's arc.

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I agree with everything you said above on all the plot holes. You wrote it really well. And I do agree that the emphasize of Sung-shik not committing suicide rather than him committing murders (albeit unintentionally) is disturbing. What a missing opportunity for the development for In-bum side of the family.

What I don't agree is on the romance side 🤪. What can i say, I'm a sucker for this kind of thrill. More of this please.

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I think because Uncle DID set fire to the village, In-bum couldn't say otherwise to comfort his granny. To confirm it would be heartbreaking. Hence, he could only say that Uncle didn't kill himself.

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I’m a bit flummoxed about the gap in Oh Sung-shik’s memory as well. There’s the possibility that either Mi-jin or the egg ghost knocked him out soon after he confronted Mi-jin about her plan to kill In-bum, so he was unconscious all the way till the cops arrived. But even then he should still remember arriving at Daebak.

I agree with @L that In-bum didn’t want to break his dying granny’s heart further by revealing that her beloved son had killed all those people. I also agree with @yn00na that In-bum’s family deserves more screen time. But as things stand, I can see how In-bum as a child prone to being possessed could have brought so much trouble to his family that they became outcasts. It’s actually a pretty interesting metaphor for how insufficient support and understanding from society can cause people to fall through the cracks.

I don’t think Ji-ah realised that Mi-jin had been reading the file just before she died. Whereas Mi-jin had to consult it cos she had an egg ghost on her hands, maybe Ji-ah’s cases had never given her any cause to read it , so she only noticed its absence when she got suspicious of In-bum. As for Sung-shik, the guy had already done far worse things on Do’s instructions, so I wasn’t surprised when he drank what Do gave him.

When Ji-ah tried to access Mi-jin’s memories, she was in effect putting herself in Mi-jin’s shoes, just like she and In-bum find themselves reliving the past experiences of exorcised spirits. But Ji-ah herself as a child also appears in Mi-jin’s memories. So maybe the Ji-ah on the stairs is Ji-ah herself, while the Ji-ah who collapses bleeding is Ji-ah in the mind of Mi-jin.

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I was referring to the very first of the multiple consecutive possessions. The Ji-ah crying at the bottom of the stairs was the one several episodes ago where she "accidentally" got possessed, wasn't it? I wasn't referring to the Ji-ah who stabbed herself in her mother's place. Damn, too many Ji-ahs.

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Oh yikes you're right: there are two adult Ji-ah's on the stairs during the first possession. Looks like a real jumble of memories, real and fake, Ji-ah's and Mi-jin's...

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I'm also intrigued as to why Oh Sung-shik had no memory of the exorcism (attempt) at Daebak Realty. Was it wiped? If so, how? And what's the timeline like? Is it like this?

1. Oh Sung-shik burns village
2. In-bum gets possessed by the egg ghost
3. Oh Sung-shik and In-bum go to Daebak Realty
4. Exorcism goes awry (what really happened???)
5. OSS goes to hospital
6. Do Hak-sung visits Oh Sung-shik and gives him poisoned drink.
7. ????

And what is Hwa-jung's role in all this?

I'm a bit worried about the last 4 episodes. While the world-building has been pretty solid, I'm not sure if these logic gaps are due to the way the story will be revealed, or if they are holes which may grow over time. Fingers crossed for the last stretch!

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It could be that Hwa-jung asked him to keep quiet about the exorcism because he was also at the scene, so that Ji-ah will never learn about it. Hwa-jung wouldn't have expected Oh Sung-shik's murder and as a normal person she "silences" people the normal way.

I do hope that the logic gaps will be resolved as well, but I've got this niggling concern that the show might go into "because my uncle's action led to unrested spirits coming together to become an egg ghost and therefore Ji-ah's mother died so I have to leave her", then start a romantic plot. I think that'll be terrible. Damn, I cringe at the thought of that.

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I wonder if In-Bum is really connected to that. Because if the mother gave the necklace to the uncle for Im-Bum, it means she had to be alive and well...

Hwa-jung and the old cop covered the truth to protect Ji-A, I guess. But from what?

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I think she killed her Mother

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Ooooo... That's an angle I never thought of. I always just assume it's In-bum possession exorcism gone wrong. But wouldn't this mean we have a new ghost? Come to think of it, the ghost that possess Jin-ah's mum was not faceless.
There's a memory of Mi-jin being choke by Sung-shik ( which we now know because he overheard her trying to kill In-bum to exorcise the egg ghost). Than the memory of Mi-jin asking Jin-ah to stab her but there's no Sung-shik and In-bum to be seen. What happen in between?

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Now that you mention it, the arson story and the possession story seem to be existing in parallel universes. Did they take place concurrently or were they separated by a significant amount of time? It seems odd to think his attitude was 'Can you perform an exorcism on this kid? I've got an arson job I need to get to tomorrow."

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Based on your comments, it seems that you haven't watched it properly or you do really have a bad subtitle.

The possession only happened because of the arson by the uncle. The egg ghosts that possessed Inbum are from the victims of the arson.

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Jang Na-ra acting is phenomenal! Her pain and rage is so believable. My heart ache for Jin-ah.

I don't think Hwa-jung killed Sung-shik. Pretty sure our resident villain kill him off. It's pretty much what Sung-shik spirit is telling In-bum. Hwa-jung involvement in that tragic day remains to be seen. Not sure why Mi-jin chosed her to take care if Jin-ah tho. Hwa-jun was still just a teenager at that time (or do I have the timeline wrong?)

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If the character is the same age as the actress then 20 years ago she would have been in her early 20s.

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Jang Na Ra continues to be the best part of this drama. Honestly, she is just so good. I also totally agree about Sung Shik, talk about sweeping it under the rug. But I guess the point is that none of these people are good people and we shouldn't have expectations of such.

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Thank you, @branwen, for the recap and analysis. I didn't think much of Mi-jin's ghost until you said that she might have changed Ji-ah's perception of truth so as to help her move on.

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I just want to say that I almost had an anxiety attact for the last 20 minutes of episode 12. I forgot to move. It’s awesome! Jang Nara, you are something! How could you do that? Amazing! Wow!

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I found it interesting when JiAh burned her mother’s name in the incense in order to extract deeper memories from ghost mom. But then she realized she could not trust those memories as fact. I was right to think the egg ghost was a tangled bunch of spirits, but the way to exorcise them seems off and odd.

In-beom was possessed by the arson victims spirits, but there was a way to get them out of his body since he survived and later received the necklace from his uncle. Mi-jin said she had to sacrifice In-beom to stop a destructive cycle. Why? If the spirits sought revenge against Do, let them. Sung-shik had no redemptive quality since he was willing to not pay for his sins, and he probably killed Mi-jin to stop the egg ghost sacrifice. I think In-beom has come to grips that his uncle was a greedy, simple minded criminal.

The police report stated Mi-jin died of cardiac arrest. Why was there blood on the 1979 book? Hwa-jung was too young to have any clout to cover up a bloody crime scene. Was the blood on the 1979 ledger grandmother's and not Mi-jin's?

We do have some clarity on the time line when Hwa-jung killed her child; it was around the same year as Mi-jin's subsequent passing. I believe they got close because Mi-jin exorcised her baby's spirit. But I also believe there has to be some deeper back story between Hwa-jung and Director Do.

One key point reveal: ghost mom can communicate directly to JiAh. She clearly told her to stop pulling the past memories. She showed emotion. Why did JiAh not try this before if the truth was so important to her? It seems odd that Mi-jin would sacrifice her life for the sins of a another person, especially since she had her own young daughter to take care of. And why did Mi-jin trust Hwa-jung, a confessed child killer, to look after JiAh if something went wrong? This show has a habit of twisting our basic assumptions.

One new key mystery: We know nothing of JiAh’s father. What is interesting is that JiAh and her mother share the same surname, Hong. However, in Korea at the time of JiAh’s birth, a child would be registered with the father’s surname. It was not until 2002 that the law changed where a couple with the same surname could marry (with limited restrictions). I ask this to raise the question whether being a psychic or an exorcist is an inherited/genetic human mutation. The show’s structure states that ghosts can only possess mediums and rarely exorcists but not regular human beings (such as Director Do because if that was not the case, Sung-shik’s ghost would have possessed him and caused vindictive harm to him). I also ask this to determine whether JiAh was born out of wedlock and registered solely on her mother’s register as her daughter or another person’s child being raised by Mi-jin.

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If I remember correctly, Ji-ah's ancestors had mentioned in some of the earlier records that egg ghosts can cause death and destruction on a grand scale. So Mi-jin wasn't trying to help Sung-shik - she was trying to prevent a cataclysm that would presumably wipe out large numbers of innocent people.

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The last 20 mins or so of episode 12 is so compelling to watch. Jang Nara's performance is phenomenal. The multiple pocession scene is something else, you can really both feel for Jia and her mom. I really hope that the reveal and aftermath would be as good, if not better. And yes, I agree, JNR/Jia is really the draw of this series.

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My two cents:
1. Oh Sung Shik’s memories and crime
Show has made it clear that the exorcist/In Bum only absorbs the biggest regrets/vengeance of the ghost that keeps them from leaving earth eg painter ghost, In Bum only absorbed the memory of the dying wife, not the ghost’s murder scene and was surprised to learn who the real murderer was. So it was not a plot hole that he did not absorb memories of Daebak - it just wasn’t impt enough to Sung Shik’s ghost to retain it. It was definitely anti-climatic, but I thought from a story-telling perspective (JiAh’s look of disappointment at the hospital was so well acted), it helped to further push JiAh’s desperation to find the truth after hitting that wall.

Also, In Bum had been warned multiple times that his uncle may not be the ‘hero’ of his childhood - JiAh, HwaJung and even JiChul warned him, so I believe he had sufficiently braced himself for it. SungShik seems to also blame the arson deaths on Do who told him the houses were empty, and was willing to give himself up AFTER getting the apartment for his mum and InBum. Would it have been more morally satisfying to hear more regret from SungShik? Yes. But the show decided to make him a real human being - since he had already committed such a heinous crime, to him, his only redeeming factor was to at least provide a home for his mother and nephew. Hence his obsession with A.PART.MENT.

2. In Bum’s childhood
I believe this part was not translated, but when HwaJung first received InBum’s file from Detective Jung, it was written that InBum’s grandfather had died on the very same day InBum was born and his parents died in an accident a year after. That plus his multiple possessions must have made the grandma see him as a accursed child who only brought tragedy to the family. I really loved the scene when InBum finally stood up for himself, telling her their deaths were not his fault. And the meal scene where she starts to apologize but breaks down, yet that was enough for InBum, was very realistic to me. I’m glad writers/director didn’t go full on reconciliation with hugs and tears, it would have been too neat a resolution for me after all those years of hurt.

3. HwaJung’s age.
HwaJung was born in 1976. MiJin died in 2001 so HwaJung would have been 25 then and JiAh 10. The scene where she talks about ‘killing her children’ appears to be when she was in high school, so quite a few years had passed. Interesting theory about HwaJung being JiAh’s mother, I never thought of that!

I really loved Episode 12. I thought the acting all round was top-notch (esp JNR’s last 10 minutes!) and I love that two-thirds into the series, we still don’t know what happened that night (but we’re so close) and I have NO IDEA what will happen next but the writers have been doing a great job so far so I can only trust that they will continue to do so. I do hope ALL FOUR of our team members reunite though, I think the show shines the most whenever...

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Goodness, my ‘two cents’ was too long and got truncated. :P

To finish my thoughts, show is best when ALL FOUR are working TOGETHER.

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Sung-Shik was promised that the places he set fire to would not have any ppl inside. He was unwise, but did not intentionally kill anyone.

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I think I agree with you on this point.

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Dropped. It had no surprises or mystery for me.

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that's a late drop!

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well actually i kinda didn´t feel engaged since the start and I have skipped a lot. the only episode that caught my full attention was the artist one

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oh, too bad. maybe if you have time some other time you can watch it without skipping. it builds up pretty well

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Very convenient that all the answers were written out in a book that was fortuitously found at exactly the right moment. When did the mom get a chance to write that? I'm reminded of the 'Monty Python And The Holy Grail' joke where a carved inscription tells them to go to the castle Aaaagh.... and the knights assume the writer had died while carving it.

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The mom did not write the book itself though.

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Where did you get the idea that the Mom write the book? Did you have a bad subtitle? Remember that Jiah ancestors being an exorcist was way back Joseon. I thought that it was from her grandma. Mijin found out from that writing how complicated and deadly is it to exorcise an egg ghost.

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The reference book is from 1979. Ji-ah’s Mom might be still a teenager at that time.

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Thank you the the recap!
Wow the last 10 minutes of this episode was intense, thanks to Jang Nara's compelling performance. She's a phenomenal actress!
This week's episodes left me with more questions than answers. Hwa Jung clearly cares for Ji Ah, what else is she still hiding regarding that night? Seeing as mum was willing to go as far as sacrifice a child's life to rid of the egg ghost then turn herself in for murder. I'm guessing Hwa Jung went though something similar.

Perhaps Ji Ah did stab mum that night? Is that the truth Hwa Jung is trying to protect her from? Is that why mum is still sticking around because she's worried about Ji Ah discovering the truth? How painful will it be for Ji Ah to find out and how will she ever forgive herself if that is so. 😭

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Did Ji-ah accidently kill her mom? And she has been suppressing the memory to deal with it, so that's why her mom's unrested spirit is tied to her...

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korean speaking commentators on twitter have said that it's implied that ji-ah killed her mom, or at least that's what she perceives. but since her memories are unreliable it's hard to tell. that said, if that's the big reveal and it's happening in ep. 12 i'm all for it. the rest of the eps can then deal with the repercussions instead of dragging it out. bc for me it's more about how it affects all the characters and their interactions and not so much exactly the nuts-and-bolts of exactly how it happened.

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But what if JiAh stabbed mom to stop her from killing the child (In-beom)? I think that would have great repercussions on the characters.

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yes, it could get very angsty from here on out. from the preview it looks like they're heading into the "we must separate for a period of time" trope. maybe because of that?

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I really don't think Ji-ah intentionally killed her mother. The 1979 records state that (1) the egg ghost can only be exorcised if the possessed psychic is stabbed in the heart; (2) exorcists can also be possessed. We have also seen Mi-jin being possessed by the egg ghost several times, and screaming at Ji-ah to stab her. Seems to me that Mi-jin ultimately couldn't bring herself to kill In-bum, so she put the necklace on him (or something) and the egg ghost moved on to her. Then she tricked Ji-ah into using a knife instead of a spirit awl for the exorcism.

So I think Mi-jin has been haunting Ji-ah all these years, not because she resents Ji-ah but because she believes she has wronged her daughter. She managed to destroy the egg ghost and save the world, but the method she used has placed a huge burden of guilt on Ji-ah.

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My two cents on Hwa-Jung and her killing her child. We don't know the age..i was thinking maybe an abortion, or the child was sick and she let it die It was(still is?) technically illegal. It could have been any number of things that we won't know until they reveal how she and Ji-Ah's mother met. I have also noticed in dramas, that if a child dies for whatever reason the parent always states that they killed their child.

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Have to say this is dragging a bit and I’m finding all the doom and gloom and repetitive ghosts quite depressing. Since so much of it is fantasy I was hoping for some romance but the chemistry between the two leads is somewhere between tepid and non-existent. And we only had one episode this week and I’ve only just noticed, which says something.

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This is story is quite depressing but very fun! At least I understand it better than most dramas. Oh, the chemistry is there but I hope there is no romance...It’s good enough without it..There was some “ game” instead of the drama so we only have one episode this week ( or it’s just KBS putting that in the same timeslot because they are out of time filming live.)

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i much prefer this to some over-the-top makjang. the story and characters make sense and behave like actual human beings and their emotions are real and believable. i'm loving the slow burn of the relationship between the two leads and whatever the outcome i'm sure it will make sense in relation to their personalities and experiences. in other words, i don't feel like my intelligence is being insulted when i watch this show : )

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that said, if it's not for some people i totally understand. different strokes---

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