Recap: Arang and the Magistrate Episode 4


Episode 3 recap by Mariah is here.

Stunning visuals and effects in this episode. Not overused or exaggerated. I had a hard time picking the right screenshots! Just as we dread a tragic ending, the writer gives us hope in the story with an awesome twist. Nice.

Episode 4:


After Arang strikes a deal with Moo Young, she’s on her way to meet the Jade Emperor, unaware of a frantic Eun Oh, searching for her highs and lows on the ground of earth. Seeing the young shaman, Bang Wool, apologizes to the gods, he quickly asks her for Arang’s whereabouts, and she replies, “Where else? She went to the underworld! She even threatened the Grim Reaper for a chance to meet the Jade Emperor. Crazy ghost!”


Following behind Moo Young, Arang confesses that she was desperate to carry out that dangerous plan. She wonders whether he would die too if they were both sucked into the portal back there. Without stopping in his tracks, Moo Young gravely answers, “Nothing lasts forever. I just disappear.” Arang downplays the sadness of disappearance, “Pshh, it’s not a big deal to disappear.” Curious, she chatters on and on, seeking answers to her questions about his life as a grim reaper, “When did you become a grim reaper? Were you born as one? Were you one the previous life too?” He pauses but continues on in dead silence.


Once they’re out of the tall grass, the two face a gloomy environment, where trees and flowers stay withered until a force, such as Moo Young’s light lantern, smashes on the ground and gives life to its surrounding. Moo Young announces their location: River Styx, a river that acts as a border between Earth and the Underworld. Quietly, he says, “Once you cross this river, you can’t come back. Do you have any regrets?” (For someone whose job is to reap ghosts, he sure worries about this one a lot.) Arang lets her head hang slightly, “I didn’t get to say farewell,” but she snaps out of it just as quickly, “Just keep your promise!”


Moo Young calls forth a boat, they descend on it, and off it steers toward the endless river. Turning around, Arang takes one last longing look at the world (and one person) she consciously leaves behind. Soon enough, the green, murky water, along with the colors of life, is enveloped by a colorless world with crashing waves hitting them on all sides.


An overwhelming sense of fear shakes Arang, and she struggles to sit tight in the afloat boat. However, her fear for the unknown only intensifies as boat goes straight to a huge waterfall. Pinching her eyes shut tight, Arang braces herself for the long fall.


Splash! For a few seconds, Arang feels herself submerged in the depths of the ocean waters. Slowly, she flickers her eyes open to the calling of Eun Oh’s voice, “Memoryloss, look here!” Her relief rapidly changes to anger as she sees the Guardian of Hell, instead of the Jade Emperor, whom I think she might swoon over. He’s too pretty.


Cut to Bang Wool explaining to Eun Oh how the crimes Arang committed today sealed her ill-fate in Hell. “No trial is needed.” Dead worried, Eun Oh brushes off Bang Wool’s words, assuring himself that she doesn’t know anything, “You don’t even have supernatural powers!” Her eyes widen. “I read it all in the books!” He scoffs, “That’s a quack book!” However, he can only seek help from her since at least she has a guide book, contrast to him, who has nothing. “What’s hell like?” he beckons.


Bang Wool summarizes that there 10 kinds of Hell, and every single one of them is horrible – being swallowed and deep fried is only the basics. Sometimes, your body is torn and then pierced by a sword! Hearing all these terrible act of punishments unnerve our magistrate, as he stutters, “I… I, we can’t do anything?” Help is out of their power, even Bang Wool wonders whether Arang can withstand the hardships in hell. Aww, these two. They miss her.

Then, we see Dol Soe poking his head into the room where Arang’s body is kept until further investigation. With his face down, he grieves for her death, wondering why such a tragic event befell on such a young lady, who didn’t even have parents to mourn her death. He confesses that his heart hurt seeing her like this. Aww. You too!


As Dol Soe does his task of guarding Arang’s body outside the door, the Bang Trio brings in a string of men. They’re Lord Choi’s minions, here on the holy order to bring back Arang’s body. Fixated on his job, Dol Soe spits back, “Does Lord Choi raise bandits? How can he order you to attack a government office at this time of the night?” haha, he’s funny.

So there it is. One man, unarmed, against a dozen of armed man. Poor Dol Soe. The leader of group pulls out a knife and stabs forward Dol Soe, luckily, it stabs through the hay blanket he’s holding. When the leader prepares to take another jab, a flying shoe hits him square in the back, causing him to stumble forward.


The shoe belongs to….Eun Oh! My face is exactly like that of Dol Soe – overjoyed! After retrieving his shoe, Eun Oh marches right over to the leader and the man curtly puts up a brave face, ready to fight him. Surprised by the leader’s lack of respect for him, Eun Oh pulls out his family card, saying that if something happens to him tonight, his father will be going after the said man’s head. Well, since you said it that way, I guess a wise man would lower that stinky knife of his. Rubbing it in further, Eun Oh demands the man to excuse himself with a proper bow to a nobleman.


After the slew of men leaves the premise, Dol Soe hugs Eun Oh, wrapping his arms around the proud magistrate urgently. Aw.

While this side is all warm and fuzzy, the leader gets whacked in the head for his inefficient trip by Lord Choi.


Like what he did a couple of nights ago, Eun Oh retreats to the room and sits by Arang’s body. Pondering to himself, “Hey there memory loss, what would you want me to do?” Next morning, he has an answer and delivers the news to the Bang Trio, whose jaw drops, “A fun—-funeral?” Yes. You heard it right. Eun Oh wants the townspeople to come as well because they need to seek forgiveness from her for their ruination of her reputation these past few years (saying that she eloped). Alone, he mutters, “This is all I can for you. After the funeral, I’ll be leaving this place.”


Yay! He wants to clear her name! Her reputation! As opposed to the coldness displayed by Lord Choi’s family. Lee Bang, one of the Bang Trio, pays a visit to Lord Choi to announce the news of the funeral and suggests meekly that maybe the magistrate has seen the bigger picture now – that it’s best not to offend Lord Choi over a matter like this. The leader from last night’s attack carefully adds, “Why don’t you meet him one day and scold him for last night’s audacity?” Appeased for now, Lord Choi considers the idea.

All around town, people are seen talking about the 3-day procession of the funeral. They figure it’s better not to go because offending Lord Choi is not the way to survive around here.


Facing her memorial altar, Eun Oh sighs over the fact that not even an ant crawls its way to her funeral the past two days. That’s terrible. “It’s a good think you didn’t meet that Young Master last time. He doesn’t even know your face! What, you have a good taste in guys? Tsk,” and continues in a sad note, “Did you really go to that place? Hell?”

Next morning, Arang/Seo Rim’s seamstress bows to Eun Oh, expressing her gratitude to his generosity. He prepares his belongings, and outside we see a girl hurrying into the office.


Arang greets a dull Eun Oh with a lively smile. While he just stares at her, until Dol Soe comes out and exclaims happily, “Who are you? Are you here to offer condolences?” Shocked, Eun Oh turns and stares at Dol Soe. When the chattery boy keeps talking, Eun Oh tenses and orders him to accompany the other men to the burial site.


Now that they’re alone, Eun Oh asks what happened, and Arang answers him with her billion-dollar smile, “I…became human.” Unable to hold back his excitement, he moves closer and touches her tangible body, while Arang shoves his hands away. He pulls her inside a room for further discussion of her quest to the Underworld.


Flashback: With a nod from Moo Young, the guardian of Hell backs off and disappears into the white glow of light. Arang follows closely behind Moo Young as they walk towards the light. When she opens her eyes again, Arang is flying in the midst of clouds, her hand gripping tightly onto Moo Young’s.


He lets go once her feet land on a round platform. “Where is this place?” she asks out loud. Standing above in their heavenly stage, the Jade Emperor and Hell King stand side-by-side, looking down at their newly arrived guest. Lifting an eyebrow in annoyance, Hell King sniffs the pleasant smell that his brother emits, “What on earth did you put on yourself?!” TOO FUNNY. I guess even divine beings wants to impress the girls – dead or alive. Jade Emperor: “The heavenly Fragrance to greet a woman.” 😛

While the two brothers are engaged in their friendly bickering of fragrances, Arang glares up at the Hell King. “Finally, I get to meet the old man JADE EMPEROR!!” Jade Emperor corrects her, “It’s me. And remove the “old man” part. In what way am I an old man?”

Moving on (still with a tinge of suspicion at the Jade Emperor’s youthful look), Arang voices her complaint, “I want to know why I died and laid under the ground like that.”

“You did?”

“You…didn’t know?”

“Look at this human. How can the Jade Emperor know everything? Do you know how many people I’m responsible for? How can I be interested in ONLY your situation? Who do you think you are anyway? But since you’re that desperate…we can discuss.”


The Jade Emperor leans in to whisper to Hell King, but his brother shrugs him away annoyingly, announcing that the decision has already been made, no discussion is needed. They will give her one chance to return to the living world and find the answer to her own question. However, if her quest provides no answer, she’ll be sent to eternal suffering in hell.



She agrees and they take their position on either side of her, pushing the forces of yin and yang towards her body as the magical wind swirls around Arang, encapsulating her into a crystal ball. While Hell King is bent on his worry that this will create more problems, the Jade Emperor believes in his senses, so he picks up the Crystal ball of Soul and flings it towards the hanging Yin Yang globe. The ball goes through it, splashing into a river on earth.


Inside, Arang is revived, very much like how we come to be when we are born, except her growth rate exceeds the laboring of 9 months. Arang swims to the surface, naked, and screams, “You perverted twin brothers! You have to give me my clothes!” 😀

So a naked Arang sneaks into someone’s house and takes her time to color coordinate her hanbok. It’s interesting to note that even though she’s human, she can still see ghosts. Hmm… To be sure that she’s human, Arang couches down and asks a kid, “Kiddo, can you see me?” “Yea.” “How do I look?”


“You’re pretty.” Immediately, she burrows her giddy face into her arms and wanders down the streets waving at everyone. This leads her to the news board about her funeral, posted by Eun Oh. Deeply touched, she skips her way to the office. Mina-ah. Why are you so irresistible like this?!!


End of flashback. The problem now is….the whole town SAW the dead body of Lee Seo Rim. How are they going to explain about her walking body now? Before he figures out the next reasonable step, Eun Oh thinks it’s better that Arang stay put in the office while he heads out to deal about the burial procession. Inside, Arang wanders to her own room and marvels at her looks in the mirror, making silly faces and being in awe of her own reflection.

Then she flashbacks to the last part of the deal with the perverted twin brothers. They give her a total of 3 months for this investigation. If she can’t uncover the truth, her spirit goes straight to hell. “But how will I know if it’s the truth?” The Jade Emperor presents a bell in his hand, which rings when the truth is discovered. Bellowing his belief at Arang, Hell King smiles evilly, promising to pick the best hell for her eternal suffering. And this is why you’re old and wrinkled! So mean-spirited!


As the two brothers sit over another game of badook, Hell King mocks Jade Emperor’s plan, “That spirit is definitely going to hell. And that’s when you lose. Just keep your promise.”

Jade Emperor: “Tell me now, if you win, what do you want?”

The old brother eyes his brother with a smirk, “Your body. If I win, let’s trade our bodies.” HAHAHA! Although I don’t want him to win, but it would be hilarious to see the two switch body.

Rightfully so, our Jade Emperor is mortified at the idea but he’s quick to calm down, “Then, when I win, promise me you’ll fulfill my request.” I hope your request is: “Lets Arang and Eun Oh be happily married, making pretty babies.”

As the Jade Emperor places his last piece on the badook table, he’s declared the loser this round. His eyes glide over the board, noticing that the amount of dark pieces exceeds his white ones. “There are going to be more deaths. What is it this time? War? Plague? Famine?” Hell King laughs morbidly, “People need to die in order for more people to be born, right?”

Down below, Eun Oh gallops on his horse, following behind the casket with a gloomy expression on. He still doesn’t know how to solve this dilemma.


At the same time, Joo Wal tries to unlock the entrance to a house, where we see a mysterious woman poised in her seat, hand rolled into a firm fist.


Next scene: Lord Choi and his minion man giving out food from their storage to the townspeople. Before you clap your hands, the majority of the food is rotten, and the people grumble in a hushed voice exactly that. Follow-up, Lord Choi checks in on all his tribute products, telling the minion to make sure all sells out well.

When he sees his supposed son, Joo Wal, the man reminds the boy that tomorrow is full moon. He asks, “What did that person say they would do if you couldn’t find the girl by tomorrow? That person couldn’t possibly desert you for one mistake?” Joo Wal replies with his usual distant coldness, “It seems you – father, should not worry to that extent.” Lord Choi says fine, they should each do well on their own job.


For the spectator’s sake, he advises Joo Wal to pay respects to his dead fiancée, and Joo Wal spits back, “I’ll give that position to you, Father. That girl almost became your daughter-in-law. Why don’t you offer a cup of alchohol to the coffin bearers? Surely, that action alone benefits you more than the fake kindness of giving out rotten grains to the people.” Ooooooh.

Despite Eun On’s suggestion to stay put, Arang heads to the burial site anyway, citing excuses that she needs to start her search there. To avoid unnecessary suspicion from the people, she disguises as a guard.


At the burial site, Eun Oh is preoccupied with thoughts about Arang’s story, “Did she really become human? But Dol Soe can see her too.” Dol Soe, along with the Bang Trio, observes his thoughtful expression. Dol Soe: “His mind is definitely not here. Is he thinking about that woman?”

Alas, he’s made his decision, Eun On will stick by her side and solve the mystery behind her death, whether or not his mother is involved with it. 😉


Not sure of the location, Arang wanders down the street and coincidentally bumps into Joo Wal. They don’t recognize each other but the ring on Joo Wal’s finger glows and swirls in deep reds. The enlargement of his eyes doesn’t bother Arang; she says thanks and runs off, unaware that he’s tailing her.


Arriving at the burial site, Arang starts arguing with Lee bang, who orders her as a guard to help shovel. Eun Oh spots her in the crowd and rushes over, afraid that the seamstress nanny would see her face.

Thinking that she’s in troubled with Eun Oh, Arang takes her chances and sprints down the mountain, with the Bang Trio, some guards, Eun Oh, and Joo Wal traveling right behind.

But the person who finds her first is Joo Wal as she’s backed into a corner. Seeing Eun Oh from a distance, she asks for his help, “Can you lend me your back?” so she can climb over the wall. She promises to return the favor and he moves closer to pick her up, aiding her onto the wall.


Once she’s perched on the wall, he says, “A scholar shouldn’t carelessly drop to his knees,” which tickles Arang into a smile and that cheerful smile blinds Joo Wal’s sense for a brief moment. I don’t blame him, I fall back on my chair whenever she shows her winning dimpled smile.


She confirms that she works for the government and jumps over the wall to escape Eun Oh’s pointing fingers. The two men meet again and the music is so dramatic for no reason. ha.

Kap: Love this episode because we see Eun Oh’s conscious transition. He used to believe that he’s in it for his mother but at the burial site today, he realized that he wants to do for her, in spite of everything.

How many think Joo Wal is a wolf? It’s a good theory but I hope the writer is more creative than that. We already have a muscular Jacob with rabid fan girls, let’s think outside the box now. I do believe he’s using Joo Wal’s body as a vessel until he achieves “that” mission. Who knows, maybe the father is also some kind of otherworldly creature. What are they aiming for? In Chinese dramas, most ghosts and demons all want the same thing: becoming human or attain immortality. Maybe both.

And the nicely dressed lady. Is she Eun Oh’s mother? We established in episode 3 that Arang died without the pin, so either 1) She has something to do with ghosts (shady business alert). There’s a high chance that she’s involved since her son (Eun Oh) can see and touch ghost, why can’t her? 2) Someone who saw the murder strategically placed the pin on Arang as a hint to solve her death mystery. I can’t think of anyone else but Moo Young. He definitely has a soft spot for her, always chastising her in a tone of an older brother (his sister must be around the same age).

  1. 5 thoughts on “Recap: Arang and the Magistrate Episode 4

    yeshh!! the effects used are very pretty. if this was a chinese dramas, it would be overused most of the times.

    Oh!!! i know! maybe Joo wal is a gumiho!! a pun to Shin Mina’s drama. hehe. i agreed it would be recycled if he was a wolf. i hope arang could become moo young’s sister. he seem to adore in a morbid way. lol.

    [email protected] twin brothers. omgosh. too funny. new name for the duo.

  2. 5 thoughts on “Recap: Arang and the Magistrate Episode 4

    True enough everything is beautiful in the drama even our leads haha.
    Just love the king brothers, I hope they remain till the end but no its a cameo role, I m going to cry then.
    Dol Soe is an amazing servant anyone can ever have.
    A speculation is going on that Joo Wal and Eun Oh might be brothers and I m so not in favor of that.
    I thought that too that Moo Young talks to Arang softly, like he cares for her.

    last but not the least your commentary is amazing.
    Thanks for the recap

  3. 5 thoughts on “Recap: Arang and the Magistrate Episode 4

    Frea, ahhaha if he’s a gumiho, I’m gonna die laughing. 😛

    But I have to say though, the father looks more like a wolf with his well-groomed beard and hair. And the forever

    Sara, noooooooo if they’re brothers, that’s gonna kill the drama for me in some ways. Why do Korean writers like their twisted, separated brothers-fall-for-the-same-girl so much?! We saw it in Flower Ramen Shop…and then BIG recently.

    Can’t wait for episode 5. Weeeeee ~

  4. 5 thoughts on “Recap: Arang and the Magistrate Episode 4

    It started so well this drama, let’s pray for a smooth and constant ride. I learned to wait and take the information as it came, so no speculations from me. Only that I’m already interested in this drama from the very beginings.

  5. 5 thoughts on “Recap: Arang and the Magistrate Episode 4

    Thanks and Excellent recap, Kap! I totally loved this episode! Things are taking a turn for the interesting!

    I don’t think Arang’s face will be much of a problem cause only a few people actually saw it… Although Dol Swe does recognize her as having the same face as the dead person! And I loved Dol Swe’s reaction to her and Eun Oh! Jealous sidekick is so cute!!!!

    And the heavenly brothers-Ah, I totally dig them! They are so cute together!!! ^^ They may be pervy, but adorably so! 😛

    And yup, I think the gisaeng lady is his mother but I’m also not into the they are secret brothers gang! It makes for great twists if his mother is a part of the whole conspiracy behind Arang and it would mean great stuff for Eun Oh’s character-so far, he’s instilled in his belief to be with his mother despite all and this is the chance to show him a bigger picture!

    And I’d go crazy at the writer if Joo Wal is a wolf-seriously, that’s just plain nuts! Can’t he be something else, something more original?! I definitely hope so!!

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