Sell Your Haunted House: Episode 15
In this episode our team is faced with a supernatural dilemma and must decide whether to make the ultimate sacrifice, or live with the consequences of their inaction. Meanwhile, a dangerous enemy finally suffers the consequences of his actions.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
After dropping Secretary Choi off at Sky Building, In-bum calls Ji-ah and offers to pick up macarons on the way home — she hangs up, but then rethinks and texts him to bring back dumplings instead.
Secretary Choi calls Ji-ah and agrees to testify against Director Do, claiming to have a secret ledger squirrelled away somewhere that would contain enough evidence to take Do down for good.
In-bum recognises Do’s hitman Turbo exiting the building and rushes after Secretary Choi to stop her from entering her apartment, but is unfortunately too late. Ji-ah sees the gas explosion on the news and rushes to Sky Building to check on In-bum, but discovers he’s been possessed by an egg ghost.
Ji-ah runs back to her car to grab a new necklace, and after a struggle with the egg ghost manages to get it around In-bum’s neck and eject the spirit from his body, although the necklace turns red and disintegrates in the process. When In-bum wakes up on the drive home and asks what happened, Ji-ah tells him there was an explosion and doesn’t mention the egg ghost.
The police are looking for Turbo, having recovered CCTV footage showing him exiting Choi’s apartment shortly before the incident, and Ji-ah decides that they need to find him first. Ji-chul volunteers to try and track him down digitally, while Ji-ah asks Hwa-jung to look into any real estate holdings Choi had, remembering the hidden ledger she’d mentioned that could be the key to taking Do down.
Ji-chul is appalled that Director Do could kill someone who was loyal to him for 20 years so easily, without any regard for all the innocent people who got caught up in the explosion. Ji-ah looks uncomfortable and leaves without saying anything, pausing on the stairs as she remembers the egg ghost overpowering her.
Director Do is smug when Detective Kang is forced to release him but outside the station he gets mobbed by the press, all eager to hear more about his involvement in the arson case, and soon finds that his powerful contacts are now dodging his calls. His lawyer tells him that they’re planning to smuggle Turbo out of the country the next day.
Ji-chul manages to track Turbo down and Ji-ah and In-bum head out after him, In-bum worrying that he’ll refuse to sell Do out. He’s taken aback when Ji-ah tells him that she has no intention of handing Turbo over to the police, vowing to make him talk herself.
Ji-ah and In-bum arrive at the docks to find Turbo dying from a stab wound, and are forced to exorcise his ghost. In-bum sees Turbo ransacking Choi’s apartment before he set up the gas leak, stealing her valuables and pocketing a key. Do arrived at the docks not long ago and congratulated him on a job well done, before having him murdered to tie up loose ends.
Ji-ah finds the key in Turbo’s pocket and hands it over to Detective Kang after getting a call from Hwa-jung telling her that she’s discovered a townhouse owned by Choi with a private storeroom underneath. She suggests that he might find some crucial evidence there and he asks warily if she’s been getting information from ghosts again.
Kang goes to the townhouse and finds Choi’s ledger, which contains details about all the illegal activities that Dohak Construction and Do himself have been involved in, including embezzlement, bribery, professional negligence and instigation to murder. It’s enough to put Do and many people he was involved with away and a warrant is issued for his arrest, but he’s already absconded.
Ji-chul tells the team that there’s a rumour online that Sky Building is haunted by a faceless ghost which causes anyone who sees it to die and both In-bum and Hwa-jung are horrified, realising that it’s an egg ghost.
Ji-ah and In-bum head to the hospital to speak to the victims of the explosion, and find one patient hysterically drawing a faceless ghost, convinced he’s going to die. While they’re there another man who had mentioned seeing the faceless ghost passes away, and the other patients begin to panic.
Back in the car, In-bum asks Ji-ah if the faceless ghost is the same as the egg ghost that possessed him 20 years ago. She confirms that the egg ghost was formed from the spirits of the people who died in the explosion, which means that Do is once again responsible for creating it.
The Daebak team gather to discuss what to do about the egg ghost and Ji-ah explains that the only way to exorcise it is to stab the person it’s possessing through the heart with a nameless awl, fatally injuring them. Ji-chul asks if that means that In-bum would die and Ji-ah replies that exorcists can be possessed too — so it just means one of them would die.
Ji-chul is against the exorcism but In-bum argues that people will keep dying until the egg ghost is stopped. Hwa-jung says that it will eventually disappear by itself after it’s caused enough deaths to vent its anger, but there’s no way of knowing how many lives that might take.
Ji-ah and In-bum remember Mi-jin’s intention to sacrifice In-bum to prevent the deaths of many more people, and Sung-shik’s insistence that he’d let all those people die before he’d let harm come to his nephew.
Hwa-jung says that the egg ghost is so powerful that it’s basically on par with a natural disaster, but In-bum argues that they can’t just stand back and watch it kill people when there’s something they could do to prevent it. She asks if that means he’s planning to sacrifice himself to stop it and Ji-chul is horrified and forbids it.
Ji-ah stops the argument and tells In-bum that he can do whatever he wants but she won’t be getting involved. Warning him not to mention the egg ghost to her again, she leaves.
Hwa-jung says that she’s looking into getting Sky Building’s safety permit revoked, which would stop the residents from moving back in and buy them some time to figure something out. The permit would never have been issued in the first place if Do hadn’t bribed the officials, because it was very poorly and cheaply constructed and doesn’t pass safety standards.
Ji-chul tells In-bum that there’s nothing he’ll be able to do without Ji-ah’s help anyway, and tells him to stop thinking about it and get some sleep. In-bum agrees, but after Ji-chul leaves he solemnly opens up the table to reveal the exorcism tools. Meanwhile, Ji-ah spends a restless night trying and failing to forget about the egg ghost.
In-bum interviews the emergency workers and bereaved families to create a list of people who actually died at the scene of the incident. The poor construction of the building caused more harm than the actual explosion, because most of the casualties asphyxiated to death on the smoke created by the burning of the cheap building materials, and the sprinklers never went off.
Even Ji-chul realises that something must be majorly wrong with Ji-ah when she barely touches her food, and she heads over to Sky Building to make sure that it’s secure and no one can enter. Just then the safety inspectors arrive to carry out their survey of the building and Ji-ah blocks their way, warning them that they’ll die if they go inside.
The guard starts to argue with Ji-ah so she snatches his keys off him and throws them away, ending up in the police station yet again. She refuses to answer when Detective Kang asks her what she was thinking, and another detective rushes over to tell them that the safety inspectors have been involved in a fatal accident at Sky Building.
In-bum is waiting for Ji-ah when she gets home, having heard that she went to Sky Building. Looking fond, he tells her that the Ji-ah he knows pretends to be cold but cares deeply on the inside, and he knew she wouldn’t be able to just sit back and do nothing while people were dying.
Ji-ah reaches out her hand and In-bum bashfully tries to hold it, only for Ji-ah to dodge and flatly demand his research materials, looking unimpressed. He’s found the names of the 8 people he believes make up the egg ghost, and wonders if doing 8 separate normal exorcisms or putting all 8 names in the awl at once might work instead.
Ji-ah asks him if he’s at all concerned for his own safety and In-bum replies that they’re both great at their roles, so there’s nothing to worry about.
While on the run Do covertly meets with an assemblyman and pleads for his help, but the assemblyman isn’t interested now Do no longer has money, power or influence. He tells Do to read the room: he’s finished.
Do’s lawyer breaks the news that the police have found and frozen all his secret bank accounts when he gets back to his hideout, telling him that it was Ji-ah who gave Choi’s evidence to the police. Do orders him to track her movements but the lawyer just hands him a fake passport and a boat ticket before severing their relationship.
Hwa-jung tells Ji-ah that Sky Building passed its safety inspection which means that residents will be allowed to move back in after renovation work is carried out, and Ji-ah says that they’re just delaying the inevitable.
Hwa-jung asks if that means she’s going to sacrifice In-bum but Ji-ah thinks she’s found an alternative which will mean that no one has to die and tells Hwa-jung to have more faith in her — she’ll never die while Mi-jin’s spirit is still trapped here.
In-bum’s list of victims gave Ji-ah the idea to seal the egg ghost away rather than exorcise it. It’s not a permanent solution and can have serious side effects for the exorcist, but even a worried In-bum has to admit that’s better than death.
With no time to lose, Ji-ah and In-bum set off immediately, leaving Hwa-jung and Ji-chul behind feeling anxious and powerless to help. Hwa-jung looks up at the window of Daebak and asks Mi-jin to look after Ji-ah.
Both Ji-ah and In-bum wear necklaces to ward off possession as they drive to Sky Building, and she tells him to run outside immediately if anything goes wrong. Ji-ah thanks In-bum for not giving up and he replies that that’s what partners do, telling Ji-ah that he trusts her.
In-bum and Ji-ah set up the sealing ritual in the lobby and summon the egg ghost, which Ji-ah can sense but not see. The sealing pot rattles and then shatters, and Ji-ah screams at In-bum to run.
Ji-ah walks into the kitchen at Daebak, where Hwa-jung, Ji-chul and In-bum are enjoying a meal cooked by Mi-jin. Bewildered, she joins them at the table and tells her mother she dreamed she was an exorcist, which Mi-jin says sounds like a fun dream.
Crying, Ji-ah tells Mi-jin that it was a sad dream because she was a ghost, but Mi-jin just laughs and tells her that it was just a dream. Mi-jin suggests that Ji-ah take her necklace off while they’re eating and when she hesitates the others all stare at her and tell her to take it off.
Ji-ah realises that it’s an illusion and suddenly finds herself alone except for Mi-jin, who’s facing away. Ji-ah says that person’s not her mother and the figure turns round to reveal it has no face.
Ji-ah opens her eyes and gasps, suddenly in the lobby once more, and sees In-bum’s necklace lying on the floor. He’s been possessed by the egg ghost again and it deliberately steps on the necklace and grinds it into pieces, before throwing Ji-ah across the room.
The salt barrier is broken but Ji-ah gets to her nail gun and fires at the egg ghost’s feet before it can escape, vowing that she’ll never let it leave. Ji-ah realises that this must be how Mi-jin felt when she had to make the difficult choice to sacrifice a child in order to save many people, because exorcists have to make those hard decisions for the greater good.
Tearful but resolved, Ji-ah pulls out her spirit awl and wraps the list of the victims’ names around it. She lunges at In-bum but doesn’t stab him, instead grabbing hold of him and ripping her necklace off so that the egg ghost will transfer from him into her.
In-bum wakes up to see Ji-ah, fighting the possession, plunge the awl into her own heart and grabs her hands. They both gasp as the egg ghost is exorcised, their eyes lighting up the same way they did 20 years ago, before collapsing on the ground.
Ji-ah tells In-bum the exorcism was a success before he passes out, and then struggles to her feet to call Hwa-jung and give her the good news. Suddenly Do appears out of nowhere and stabs Ji-ah, reminding her that he warned her not to cross him.
I find Do a little 2-dimensional as a villain, but Ahn Kil-kang does do a great job with what he’s given and seems to be having a lot of fun with it. Do seems to feel genuinely betrayed when his croneys dump him like rats fleeing a sinking ship, and keeps mentioning the money he gave them which actually seems surprisingly naive of him — those kinds of people only care about what you can give them now, not what you’ve already given them in the past. Was he actually under the impression that he was buying more than the illusion of loyalty? Or is he just in denial, unable to accept the sudden change in his circumstances? The stabbing at the end really hammers home the similarities between Do and the egg ghost, showing that when stripped of that civilized veneer he’s nothing but spite and viciousness at his core. It would have been poetic justice for him to have been killed by his own creation, particularly if the egg ghost satisfied its grudge in the process and disappeared.
There’s a bit of irony in Ji-ah miraculously managing not to be stabbed by the spirit awl only to get stabbed by Director Do instead. Did the exorcism work because they’d found the 8 names of the spirits that made up the egg ghost (this might have been more difficult to do in the past with fewer records so perhaps Ji-ah’s ancestors weren’t able to attempt it) or did the glowing eyes mean that Ji-ah and In-bum’s special connection circumvented it somehow, perhaps by splitting the energy drain between them? And well done to In-bum for thinking outside the box rather than just accepting that one of them has to die! I like that kind of critical thinking!
I’m willing to believe that Choi kept the ledger hidden in a secret location given what we know about Do, but the hitman just happening to take the key they needed from Choi’s apartment before he blew it up made no sense — it’s not valuable and he had no way of knowing what it was for. It was also pretty unnecessary, because Hwa-jung found the townhouse address independently and I’m sure the police or the team could have forced entry. The writing has been so consistently good (and well-reasoned!) that these little nitpicks stick out even more in comparison, so I’m a little disappointed with that choice.
In-bum seems to be developing a bad habit of losing his necklace at inconvenient moments too, both during the explosion and at the end of this episode. I wonder if he was also bewitched by the egg ghost and enticed into taking it off himself, the way it tried to do with Ji-ah? Will we get to see his delusion too? I originally thought In-bum’s possession was just another layer of Ji-ah’s trance, and that the egg ghost remembered her using a necklace to force it out of In-bum earlier and was trying to manipulate into taking her necklace off and doing the same thing again.
I like that Sell Your Haunted House has not lost sight of its real estate roots! I didn’t think that aspect would still be very relevant this far into the story but Hwa-jung proved me wrong by finding the ledger through Choi’s real estate holdings and trying to get Sky Building’s safety permit revoked to prevent more deaths. I felt for Hwa-jung and Ji-chul as they were forced to watch Ji-ah and In-bum head into danger, powerless to help them, but I was pleased that they were both shown as important members of the Daebak team earlier in the episode. Often the support roles get forgotten about in favor of the more exciting action in this sort of team situation, so it was nice to see Hwa-jung and Ji-chul making important contributions to the Sky Building case by tracking down Turbo and the ledger between them.
In-bum really hit the nail on the head when he said that the Ji-ah he knows pretends to be cold but is warm on the inside. It’s an exorcist’s job to make those hard decisions for the benefit of others, and you have to care deeply to be able to do that. The thought that people might be suffering because of her inaction was clearly tearing Ji-ah apart — she’s much more like her mother than she likes to admit.
Biggest surprise for me this episode was the casual revelation that Mi-jin’s ghost still hasn’t been exorcised! I thought Ji-ah was still speaking to her mother’s spirit out of habit and because she missed her, not realising that Mi-jin was actually lurking somewhere out of sight. It did seem a little anticlimactic that there was no big goodbye between her and Ji-ah though, so it would be nice to get a little more closure. I assume that Mi-jin is one of those spirits that will move on by themselves when she and Ji-ah are both ready for her to go, so I’m expecting the next episode will have some bittersweet emotional moments. Ji-ah has grown to the point that she can stand on her own two feet now, and Mi-jin will be leaving her in the care of people who love her and who she loves in return.