Yay! It’s a great start, creating a world where ghosts roam the earth, and broody (some might call him smexy, like me) reapers are out to get them! I’m collaborating with Mariah from Akikos’s Morning Coffee to recap this zippy drama. If you haven’t checked out episode 1, go here. I hope this one doesn’t disappoint or we’ll rage together.
Recognizing the hairpin as his mother’s belonging, Eun Oh (Lee Jun Ki) responds immediately, jumping on a nearby horse and swooping a surprised Arang (Shin Mina) onto his new four-legged friend. The leader of the reapers, Moo Young (Han Jung Soo) , isn’t giving up the chase and continues to tail them, until Arang reaches into her breast pocket and hurls more petals his way, stopping him in his tracks (and giving him another cut on the face).
Strange, isn’t it, he prefers to run after them when he can perfectly fly…
When he’s sure they’re safe, Eun Oh demands to know where Arang found the pin but she’s in slight dazed after the perilous encounter. Slowly coming back to her senses, Arang snatches the hair pin back and tells him blatantly that it’s hers since she woke up dead with it. Eun Oh thinks in his head, “Then does that mean she met my mother?” She thanks and bids him goodbye while he contemplates on the next steps. Moments later, he concludes quietly, “Regaining her memory may be a path to finding my mother.” Eun Oh relays the decision to her aloud and she beams in return, “My eyes were right. You are braver than others. And you have a very warm heart.”
He takes her outstretched hand and off they gallop in the middle of nowhere, next to a flowing river. The scores in this scene is heavenly. I’m in love! He sighs that since she’s already a ghost, why not go where she should? She replies solemnly, “I have a reason for doing all this, finding my name and birthplace is significant, as important as it is for you to find your mother.” He continues to challenge her determination, “What if you’re such an awful person when you find out?” Arang: “It’s better than not knowing. That’s the conclusion I made after wandering around for the last 3 years.”
Up in the peaceful world of heaven, Moo Young looks on at the angels tending to the garden with longing eyes. He’s caught by the Jade Emperor (Yoo Seung Ho) as the latter advises him to let go of his human life, whether his sister or son-in-law, the memories of them should be put to rest. The Jade Emperor then inquires about his task of capturing Arang but Moo Young bows his head in defeat, just as Hell King (Park Joon Gyu) makes his way in with a cough, wondering why the Red Robe untied itself back then.
Not one bit worried, the Jade Emperor makes his way to the center of the garden, assuring his brother and subject that she’ll come back willingly, it’s in the hands of fate, “Round and round it spins. And then you end up where you started.” However, once he’s alone, the Jade Emperor wonders, “Why am I disturbed like this?”
Back at the tavern, Eun Oh tells his fearful servant, Dol Soe (Kwon Oh Joong), that he’s going to act like a magistrate for the time being, now that he has a find a valid reason to find the post helpful.
At the same time, the Bang Trio of Lee, Hyung, Ye gather around a table to write a note to the King, announcing that the new Magistrate has left his post and should be condemned for his action. Before they can finish, a very agitated Dol Soe rushes inside and grabs the guys’ collar, demanding to know what they did to Young Master (why has he accepted the post?)! Standing at the door in his hay rain coat, Eun Oh screams out a “Stop!”
Inside, the Bang Trio has a brief meeting, maybe it’s not too bad to have him accept the post? Since they need to fill the royal order, Eun Oh could be their puppet magistrate? Bingo! Brilliant plan, or so they think.
The leader of the Bang Trio reports the news to Lord Choi (Kim Yong Gun), a nobleman in the region of Miryang. He doesn’t object to the new magistrate but finds it extremely troublesome that Eun Oh is the son of Lord Kim Eung Boo, who coincidentally is the person who got Lord Choi demoted back to his hometown, here in Miryang.
In the comfort of his new office, Eun Oh finds the hardest job yet; drawing a picture of Arang so he can search for her identity. He’s thrown out many pieces of drawings, all of which raises furrowed brows from Arang, who’s shocked at her own beauty, according to Eun Oh’s artful strokes. Ha! I love that since no one can see her, he’s forced to do it.
The sun finally sets and the two of them are as agitated with each other as ever. Eun Oh gives up trying to replicate her beauty onto paper and deduces it’s better to find hints where she died. When asked about the location of her demise, Arang is upset, “Have you been listening to my story with your leg? I woke up walking with a Death Angel! Walking behind him on the road to hell!” Exasperated with her no-help attitude, he sputters, “You don’t know anything! From head to toe is just empty space!” 😆
Subsequently, Arang confesses that there are two things that she knows: 1) She has been a memory-less ghost for 3 years (he rolls his eyes) 2) Sometimes, the left side of her ribs hurt, she thinks that she might have died from a stab!
Next morning, Eun Oh orders the Bang Trio to bring autopsy reports of the ladies died in the last three years to him and he reads them with mild interest since most of them are related to passionate rendezvous and infidelity. Later in the night, Arang steps out from the shadows, suggesting that maybe her corpse is still undiscovered. In response, Eun Oh laughs morbidly, “Maybe it’s somewhere rotting pretty well!!” She glares at him and leaves in a huff, retreating to a bridge to curse at him and her poor judgement of character, “He may be brave but has no inner warmth at all.”
Troubled, Eun Oh also heads outside for some fresh air. He walks past a locked home, and trespasses the premise since his curiosity is piqued. It looks to be a home of well-off person and he enters the room of a female occupant, filled with makeup powders and hair pins. The item that attracts him is an embroidery of butterflies… Has he seen it somewhere?
After venting out her anger, a calmer Arang treads back to the office and on her way back, she sees a ghost gathering in front of a house. Turns out they’re here because someone is holding an ancestral rite. Which means food for them! Arang flashes back to her meeting with another ghostly being, who gave her food and named her Arang.
Curiosity clings to Eun Oh as he searches around the same room until a voice alerts him. The ajuhmma is the seamstress of this office and she answers gravely that this is the house belonging to the previous magistrate and that room is his daughter’s. Because she’s unsure of her whereabouts, she preserves the room as it was before the lady went missing. When asked how long has the girl been missing, the seamstress confirms, “This coming month marks 3 years.” Eun Oh narrows his eyes, “Found it. The girl who lost her memory.”
Well, Arang is busy, shoving her way into the formed line, ready to fight for ONE bowl of food offering. The bowl slips right through her fingers. Poor her. Such a lonely ghost against two groups of hungry souls. She gripes back at them, a hint of sadness in her voice, “Ghosts are supposed to travel by themselves! Don’t you have any pride?”
Pacing impatiently back and forth in the backyard of his residence is Eun Oh, wondering where Arang is. Once he sees her, he drags her to the same room, confirming that her name is Lee Seo Rim. She bends over and compares the butterfly embroidery on the stand to that of her dress. Bingo! Still, she can’t remember a single thing.
So Eun Oh fishes out information from the Bang Trio and learns that Miss Lee didn’t go missing, she eloped with an errand boy. “No one could imagine that a quiet lady like her would do such a thing!” Promptly, Eun Oh snorts at “quiet” and glances up Arang who is listening in the corner. The Bang Trio continues that no one actually saw her face since she veiled it whenever she stepped outside. Moreover, her father lost his mind and died not too long after. They were a pair of loving father-daughter, no other relatives had been seen. The other dilemma: she was engaged to someone else too.
Now that they have identified who she was, Eun Oh repeats his question, “So, have you remember anything?” She shakes her head and suggests that they meet the guy she was engaged to, then she would know more about herself. Eun Oh rejects the idea initially but slowly succumbs to the idea of finding his mother, and relents. She’s clearly touched, unaware of his reluctant face. heehee!
The next day, they head to the Choi’s residence and sneak glances at Choi Joo Wal (Yun Woo Jin). However, the moment Arang lays eyes on him, her heart thumps rapidly and Eun Oh scoffs at her reaction, “What kind of ghost’s heart beats?” She doesn’t have an explanation and keeps panting for breath so he waves his hand near her chest and mumbles, “What, like this? Like this?” and catches his hand before it reaches the Danger area. hehe. She wants to come back here again tomorrow but he isn’t going to waste his time like this. Quickly, she covers his open mouth and drags him away.
They settle in a food place and she drinks herself silly, now half-drunk. When asked for the reason of her rapid heart rate, she mumbles, “I think I liked him. Maybe I was greatly in love with him.” I have the same reaction as Eun Oh, “What?” but I’m worse off since I’m drinking water… These two crack me up.
Her logic doesn’t flow through him though, and he raises some flags, “So you loved him but ran off with the errand boy??!!” She looks confused and he’s ready to lose that scholar hat of his, “Then, we should meet them and investigate this further!” She screams bloody no, “I might have liked him….I can’t let him see me like this!”
Eun Oh keeps his voice down and reminds her, “You must have forgotten. He doesn’t see you!”
“But still, we can’t!”
“I SAID HE DOESN’T SEE YOU!!”
She slumps on the table and whines, “No one would give clothes to a ghost like me.”
He gives up. There’s no negotiating with a pretty ghost, much less a pretty and DRUNK ghost!
Elsewhere, the Bang Trio puts their heads together, trying to figure out what Eun Oh is trying to accomplish with the magistrate’s missing daughter.
Oh gosh. This is too funny. I guess there’s no way around piggyback rides in Korean dramas. As he carries her, he cries out, “If I knew a drunk ghost would be this heavy, I would’ve woken her up! To think she was so light when I picked her up previously!” 😀
When her head falls close to his face, he has a charged moment and immediately flicks her away. She falls flat to the ground. He stretches himself and picks her up again, “This is okay. Helping her would aid in the search for my mother. This much, I can bear!” When a passerby looks at him suspiciously, he drops her like a hot potato again. hahaha!
Cut to Choi Joo Wal, sitting frozen at a gisaeng house, with the best girls lined up for him to pick. However, a brief gloss over the girls agitates him. He leaves in a grumpy mood, “If I thought I could find her in this kind of place, I must have lost my mind.”
Although he’s prepared to head home, a pesky gisaeng insists that they go somewhere else to have fun. Hm. She doesn’t have a good grasp of body language as far as I can tell. Disturbed, he pushes her against a tree and pulls out his pocket knife. Dude! We have a psycho in the house!
He doesn’t kill her but merely warns her to keep her mouth shut.
Back to our adorable human-ghost duo. Eun Oh finally makes his way to the Shaman’s house and cheeky Arang hops off his back, answering his question, “What? When did you wake up?” with “A long time ago. I’m telling you, ghosts don’t have hangovers.” He holds the back of his neck in pain and annoyance.
The shaman, Bang Wool (Hwang Bo Ra), drops her jaw when she finds out that Eun Oh can see Arang. Inside, he gives her two gold balls (?) and asks her to make a pretty dress for Arang by tomorrow. Since she can’t see Arang….the measurement is tasked to Eun Oh, much to his dismay.
Chest Size! Arang offers to do it by herself and whispers the numbers to Bang Wool, and the girl turns up her volume, declaring that it’s 33 inches! Eun Oh chuckles.
Oh goodness… the tension in this scene….
After the measuring is done, a flustered Arang rushes outside and Bang Wool kneels on the ground, begging Eun Oh to teach her the way to see ghosts. With a stern face, he replies, “If you say one word about me seeing ghosts, I’m going to make you into a ghost!”
Once he’s outside, Eun Oh fists his chest, “Why am I like this? I haven’t gone crazy yet!” with an amused Arang watching from the rooftop, complimenting her eyes for choosing the right human.
Walking home, Eun Oh can’t shake off the tinkling sensation, though the appearance of Joo Wal sparks his snerky side, “What does she like about that type of guy? Does she really have an eye for choosing human?” heh.
A servant reports to Lord Choi where his darling son went. The old man is amused, saying that he must have been quite disturbed and asks for the date of the next full moon.
In his bed for the night, Eun Oh opens his eyes, shocked, to see Arang lying next to him, her face inches away from his. She reveals that she holds a grudge… “Not getting a kiss before becoming a maiden ghost.” He gasps and she leans in closer….closer…
Kap: Tsk Tsk. So who thinks this is Arang’s mischief? Or maybe it’s our Magistrate’s fantasy deep down? Tune in on Wednesday morning to find out.
This drama is tickling me in the right places. Eun Oh can hear, see, and touch her? How awesome is it going to be when they develop feelings for each other? 😀 Love Shin Mina’s portrayal of the spunky ghost. I was afraid it’s going to be the same as her cute gumiho, but I’m relieved to say her tone of delivery is different here. And she remains as charming as ever. Lee Jun Ki. Hm. That deep of his does not match his soft features at all. I keep thinking Lee Dong Wook is standing behind him or something.
As for the story itself, so many mysteries. Are they sacrificing the “girl” to achieve something? Maybe Arang is wrongly killed and gets a chance to live her life properly in the end? I do prefer that option better than the alternative of him joining her in the after-world. Joo Wal puzzles me, does he love Arang? Did he kill her? If Arang is dead, what has become of the errand boy? Hiding?
Also, our broody/sexy reaper. Seems like his sister is dead? And what seed did Jade Emperor plant? Tell me now so I can volunteer to go on set and water it.