This episode had a lot crammed into it and moved a little fast for me. But it’s a television show and only eight episodes at that, so I’ll cut it some slack. I really love the family element that it has going, but the romance has been put aside for the mystery that is Gu Mi-jin. I hope we bring back the romance in the last episode because, well, that’s why Mi-jin is willing to die, right?
Oh yes, ratings went up to 4.5% according to AGB Nielsen Nationwide.
Episode 13 – Are you happy because you’re a fox?
“Closer and Closer” – Verbal Jint and As One (from the The Thousandth Man OST)
episode 7 recap
Mi-jin wakes up the next morning and tries to remember the recipe that Jang-geum taught her. Downstairs Eung-suk makes her French toast. She is disappointed by the lack of meat. She needs meat for breakfast but he says that this is all there is today – they need to make room for the king’s royal dish.
Oooh, them’s fighting words. She takes up the challenge.
Mi-mo is running (and she looks really funny running). Apparently she’s left poor Woo-hyun behind and is annoyed that he followed her. He’s annoyed she didn’t remember their promise to exercise together, but she doesn’t really care – he started liking her by himself. Finally fed up, he stops her by yanking off her headphones and asks how much more he has to like her? Taking a moment to think, she replies that he has to be willing to die.
I guess Mi-jin’s willingness to sacrifice her life for love has really jarred her.
Woo-hyun looks like he’s having trouble swallowing that statement.
Mi-jin sniffs out Mi-mo and sits her down to ask for the recipe that they learned from Jang-geum.
Flash back to the royal kitchen where Jang-geum asks Mi-jin and Mi-mo to make a steamed dish with prawns even though they’ve never done it before. They are tasked find the best ingredients to accompany prawns. Jang-geum is quite the peculiar character in speech and body language. She also prefers Mi-jin to Mi-mo, which elicits the funniest facial reactions from poor, little Mi-mo.
Mi-jin’s ingredients are accepted with a pleased smile while Mi-mo’s get dumped out. Finally, Mi-mo can’t stand it and says that Mi-jin cheated, she saw how this was made before. Jang-geum orders Mi-mo to clean instead of cook and Mi-jin jumps to her sister’s defense, saying Mi-mo was correct. Jang-geum isn’t pleased, but gives Mi-jin another chance – try to make the sauce because she won’t know the ingredients just by looking.
As Mi-jin prepares, it jumps to the present where she does the same in front of her very curious audience of two. When Chef Seo tries to taste it, she stops him and another flashback explains that Jang-geum taught not to taste it but to do it by feel. Apparently tasting ruins the food.
In the present, Seo comments that trusting one’s fingers over tasting is something only top chefs do.
Eung-suk tries the dish and does not look very impressed. Seo chides him and tries the dish. He starts crying and then praises it. She’s happy about that but is concerned about Eung-suk’s reaction.
She gazes at him and remembers that he has an illness. If it’s not in his body, where is it?
My take on this scene is that the taste shocks Eung-suk and the facts that start adding up aren’t equaling a conclusion he can readily believe. That and he may not be feeling well. In the first episode, Eung-suk stared at a jar of salt forlornly. Perhaps the tumor is affecting his taste buds?
We find Eung-suk at the hospital where he asks about a terminal patient that needs men. Hahaha! The doctor thinks it’s a coping mechanism or perhaps despair. When Eung-suk continues to question, the doctor urges him to focus on himself.
Eung-suk asks how long he’s going to live, a question he’s never asked before. He was calm when diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor but he wants to live now. The doctor says he can’t promise anything.
Mi-sun and Mi-mo talk about Mi-jin. Mi-mo has cut her hair and it flips out like a ‘50s housewife ‘do. They’re talking about Mi-jin and the fact that she won’t give up her belief for her last liver. Mi-mo then asks if there is a man who’d give up his liver for her and when Mi-sun says “yes,” Mi-mo teases her that she’s lying. Mi-sun shoots back that men just hit on Mi-mo. They make a bet and then Mi-mo assures Mi-sun that Mi-jin will take any ol’ liver when it comes down to it.
Mi-jin and Chef Seo sit in the garden and he compliments her on her cooking. Of course it was good, she says, it was for the royal table. He thinks that she learned it from the royal cookbook. He learned Old Korean to read the recovered royal cookbook that the French plundered from Kang-hwa Do. He mentions that he saw a lot of ancient texts in her room and assumes the cookbook was one of them. Her face drops as he speaks and she tells him not to look at someone else’s things in the future. He apologizes but she stalks away angrily.
Dude, do NOT go through a woman’s things, even if they are lying there. You know better. Don’t even go into her room!
Eung-suk comes out with a tray for them and she passes right by him. Chef Seo admits he saw some things of hers in her room and Eung-suk tells him that it was his fault.
Secretary Park comes in sporting a new ‘do. It must be new haircut time. Anyway, Mi-sun warms up to asking him for his liver and gets him to admit he’d give any body part for her. But when he begins to think that she really needs a liver, he refuses to give her his because it is unhealthy and fatty. He promises to get it healthy for her, but that doesn’t assuage her annoyance and disappointment.
At the same time, Mi-mo asks Woo-hyun if he’d give her his liver if she asked for it. He wants her heart (thinking figuratively) in return but Mi-mo is desperate and in no mood for games.
In Eung-suk’s room Mi-jin flips out over Chef Seo seeing her documents: a letter she wrote to her mother when she stayed with Saimdang (a famous Korean artist b.1504), a journal she kept when the Japanese Government General was established (early 20th century). Eung-suk calls up and she quickly hides the documents in her box. He brings her coffee and apologizes for Chef Seo. Eung-suk thinks Seo was jealous of how awesome her dish was, but she assures him that’s not the case.
Eung-suk has to grab a few things, which look to be pill bottles, and while Mi-jin is waiting, she glances in the mirror and watches one of her eyes change to her green gumiho eye. She freaks and covers her eye as one nail on her left hand grows to it’s gumiho length.
Eung-suk is alarmed by her strange behavior but has no time to find out what is going on before she sends him away.
Downstairs Chef Seo awaits the verdict on Mi-jin’s mood and doesn’t notice Eung-suk hiding the pill bottles behind his back. Eung-suk tells Seo that she wants to be alone and then scolds him for looking at her things. But Seo explains he couldn’t help but looking – they were out in the open! Plus, they were ancient documents, which would make her have the same interest as him! The ancient documents bit piques Eung-suk’s interests.
When Eung-suk walks away, Chef Seo sees a flash of something outside the front door, but dismisses it.
At the Gu home, Mi-mo bemoans the fact that Woo-hyun refused to give her his liver and tells her mom to forget about asking Secretary Park.
Too late, Mi-mo.
Mi-sun recalls Park’s ardent refusal and shudders. Mi-mo tries to turn the mood around by saying they should be proud of the fox because getting a liver this day and age is very difficult. It doesn’t comfort her at all.
(I think more horrifying than one green iris is the leather gloves with the red fringe…)
Suddenly, a very pathetic wailing sounds outside. “Eommaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”
Mi-jin runs inside with a hat, glasses and Michael Jackson gloves on. She reveals her green eye and her long fingernail to the horror of her family. They have no idea what happened to her either and wonder if she turns into a fox before she vaporizes. Then Mi-sun remembers Mi-ja also is running short on time and they call her.
Chef Seo leaves and calls his farewell to Mi-jin, but she doesn’t answer. Eung-suk had thought she was up there and goes up to check, but she is nowhere to be found. Seo recalls that he saw what looked like someone jumping down from the second floor, but Eung-suk thinks he’s nuts.
However, he still goes downstairs to check it out and Seo takes the time to steal Mi-jin’s documents.
You nosy, nosy mofo. You’re going to get a gumiho ass-kicking.
Eung-suk calls for Seo, fretting that she isn’t there and won’t answer her phone. Seo calls the cops while Eung-suk keeps trying her.
But she’s ignoring him as a quartet of gumihos gather to help Mi-jin figure out her dilemma. Mi-ja says she was like Mi-jin and asks for some time alone with Mi-jin to help her. They leave, then come back to peek through a crack in the door.
Mi-jin has trouble showing Mi-ja her eye, but Mi-ja makes her take off the sunglasses and quietly says, “Come here,” opening her arms to Mi-jin. Mi-jin accepts the embrace as Mi-ja tells her to think of her happiest moments.
Mi-jin imagines her Goryeo Dynasty general tapping her on the shoulder and embracing her. Her eye changes back to a more human brown and her long nail returns to its shorter length. She is surprised and Mi-ja explains that the stress over the short time left and remaining a gumiho caused the transformation. She needs to think about that man who once loved her and stay calm.
Mi-sun whispers loudly that Mi-jin has to become human and Mi-mo says she can’t. Mi-jin turns to glare at them and her eye turns green. The two eavesdroppers slink away as Mi-ja calms Mi-jin again.
Secretary is drinking dulcis tea to strengthen his liver. Heehee. He notes that Mi-jin looks great today (she’s trying to look like a human) while the other two are looking, well, not so good. Mi-mo takes offense as not looking quite as human as Mi-jin. Mi-sun tells Park to forget everything she said about livers and he puts on his sunglasses to try and keep from crying. She orders him to smile for Mi-jin’s sake.
Outside, Mi-mo and Mi-jin start fighting, Mi-mo poking fun at Mi-jin’s temper and purposefully trying to incite her while Mi-jin just wants to go to Last and be with Eung-suk and away from Mi-mo. Mi-sun sends Mi-jin to Last to separate the quibbling sisters and keep Mi-jin calm.
Episode 14 – Gu Mi-jin in crisis!
Mi-jin sneaks back into Last but ends up waking up Eung-suk and Chef Seo who have been sleeping on the sofa, waiting for her to return. They even called the police because they were so worried about her disappearance. She gets cranky at them before becoming sickeningly sweet, apologizes and making the excuse that she missed her mom so much that she sleepwalked her way home.
They boys are incredulous and tired. Poor guys.
Chef Seo returns the documents he took and gets scolded again. He was just curious about the content – he found the name “Mi-jin” in it.
Eung-suk promises to return it but instead calls a friend of his who studies ancient text. The friend thinks it’s the documents that Seo wants translated, but it’s just something that Eung-suk is curious about and needs translated quickly – he’s got to give them back soon. He asks for it to be translated in a day.
When Seo left Last, he got a call from Mi-sun and visits her office with a very stern Secretary Park watching over them. He compliments her office and she smiles prettily. She wonders if her eccentric child worried him and he says that there is nothing wrong with missing a mother. Mi-sun is very pleased and mentions that not even the girls’ father was so open-minded.
Park loudly protests this comment, scaring Mi-sun and Seo. Park offers tea very threateningly. Seo tries to push the fact that he’s better than Mi-jin’s father, but Park about rips Seo’s shoulder off with his insistent offer of tea or coffee or….juiiiisssssse (juice). Seo quickly retracts the “dad” statement and Park retracts his hand with a triumphant smile.
As they eat lunch, Eung-suk notes that she doesn’t look sick and she says that she’s not. He looks confused and she gets annoyed that he can’t just believe what she says, tired of having to explain everything to him. She gets so annoyed that one of her tails pop out just as Chef Seo walks in. He gapes at her tail, which she quickly hides.
Just to note, the sound effect of a gumiho hiding her tail apparently sounds like a fart! Kekeke. I love me some potty humor.
She apologizes for troubling him, saying there was no fur there. Eung-suk apologizes, saying Seo has been weird lately. Mi-jin apologizes in that strange, sickeningly sweet way she has adopted to control her stress-level. When Eung-suk wonders why Seo is there rather than at home, Seo delivers a package from Mi-sun and Mi-jin hurries upstairs. Eung-suk shakes his head at Seo who pushes Mi-jin’s chair in…
…and finds fox fur on her chair.
Eeek! I know it’s episode 7 and things should be happening, but still, “EEK!”
Upstairs, Mi-jin is still flipping out and forces herself to calm down before opening the box – it’s full of pictures of their family through the years.
Aww. For serious Mi-sun, this was amazingly sweet. Rock on, mom!
Mi-jin is touched, too and reads the letter her mom left with the photos.
Mi-jaj said beautiful memories would help so I’m sending old pictures. These will help you a lot at difficult times. You know I love you a lot, right? Don’t give up and persevere. Fighting!
The tears start to flow after reading the letter and I get this ache in my gut. She has two weeks to live and she’s just utterly miserable a lot of the time.
The translation of the documents has yielded interesting results. The translator wants to know where the documents are from because they’re very unique. One of the documents is a murder report from Joseon.
A man had his liver ripped out and he had a knife-wound on his neck that occurred before the liver was removed. The peaceful look on the man’s face suggests that there was no struggle and makes it hard to call murder.
Mi-jin watches nearby with a cloth to her mouth and tears in her eyes. The men notice her there and thinks it’s strange for a woman to be near a dead person she didn’t know. She makes the excuse that she gathers herbs and often buries dead bodies found on the mountain eaten by wild animals. The interrogation gets more heated and she keeps sidestepping, saying she feels bad about his sudden death. Then they see blood on her clothes.
She snatches the account from the recorder’s hand and makes gumiho eyes and the translator says the account ends there. This is bizarre because these accounts aren’t supposed to leave witness statements out, but this ends in the middle, meaning someone took this record.
Eung-suk says that it makes that girl, Gu Mi-jin, look like the culprit. This gets him thinking.
There is another letter written one hundred years later by a woman also named Mi-jin, who was to perform an exorcism for the dead. But it was a bad luck day so she laments to her mother in the letter.
The translator thinks it’s bizarre that this Mi-jin woman keeps appearing, even one hundred years later. Another funny thing is a journal written by a woman, named Mi-jin, who came to Seoul for the first time after living in Kang-won. She is indignant about the Japanese occupation and their behavior after taking over.
Eung-suk wonders if all of these documents could’ve been written by one woman who had lived hundreds of years, but the translator says it’s impossible. If the writing style is the same, could it be the same woman? Eung-suk muses and the translator suggests handwriting analysis.
At home, Mi-sun is counting how long Mi-jin has lived on her fingers, just to be exactly sure that she only has two weeks left. She ropes Mi-mo into counting, hoping for a few more days because of the change from the lunar to the solar calendar.
It makes no sense to me, but that’s what they’re doing when Woo-hyun walks in for a chat with Mi-mo. He gets roped into helping.
Haha, that’s what you get for falling in love with a nutty gumiho with family drama!
Eung-suk is drinking tea, worrying that Mi-jin will find out what he did when Mi-jin comes out and takes a photo of him. She’s taking them because she’s happy. And from now on she only wants to think of good memories. Eung-suk says she’s similar to him – she’s hoping she’ll remain in the photos even after she dies.
She wonders if her photograph would be a good memory for him if she disappeared? He says he’d need time and then quickly says they have no pictures together and they start a cute little montage of taking couple pictures.
We seriously don’t see these characters smile enough. I love these photos.
Time for a nice little cameo from Block B’s Jaehyo as a handwriting analyst. Flow of emotions and favorite words are the same and he’s not sure about the ancient handwriting, but it seems to be the same woman. The time span is from the early Joseon period to the late Joseon period.
Eung-suk wonders again if it’s one writer, but Jaehyo thinks a forger wrote the whole thing to sell them.
This makes way more sense to Eung-suk who talks it through with Chef Seo, assuming that she did it for fun. They just think she’s a quirky gal and have a little laugh over it.
However, Eung-suk can’t stop the niggling feeling that perhaps Mi-jin is a thousand years old and the documents are authentic. Seo says it probably isn’t true and not to worry about it and says he’ll return the documents.
Why do I have a feeling Seo is going to eat his words?
Mi-jin and Eung-suk pick photos for a photo album and when he complains one picture makes his face look too big, she playfully says hers is smaller and measures their faces. The cute moment is interrupted by a text from Seo asking Eung-suk to come outside alone. Mi-jin is immediately suspicious and follows Eung-suk outside. Seo tries to hail Eung-suk from behind some bushes but is deterred by Mi-jin’s presence.
There is creepy gumiho music playing!
Mi-jin urges Eung-suk inside, saying Seo must be drunk. Then she excuses herself to quickly run to the store.
Chef Seo nervously sits in his parked car. After a moment, he pulls out the documents that he didn’t return. Instead he took them to an expert who says that they are authentic, period documents. the expert won’t pay a lot for them because they were written by a commoner. Hehe.
Anyway, Seo dials Eung-suk and tells him to listen without saying anything. He mentions Mi-jin’s name but gets cut off by the sudden appearance of something very large on his windshield!
One episode left! What will happen? Gah!
Okay, so many things to say and I’m not sure I’ll remember everything that I wanted to say…
First, I’m disappointed that she can’t just tell them the truth and leave it at that. But it’s in our nature as humans to doubt and then have fun playing detective. Plus, it’s good plot fodder.
Second thing, I really, really adore the family part of this drama. They’re slightly dysfunctional, but they love and support each other. That letter that Mi-sun wrote to Mi-jin really hit me in the gut. Even the bratty little sister loves her unni and looks up to her enough to take on Mi-jin’s view of love.
Don’t forget our Secretary Park. I love his humorous addition. At first I wasn’t sure, but he’s so ridiculously consistent! Kekeke. Don’t touch his Mi-sun; and you probably shouldn’t touch those sunglasses either.
As for Chef Seo, I wonder if Mi-jin had written that she was a gumiho in any of the documents. I’m assuming so or else why would he be practically peeing his pants in that last scene. I find it really obnoxious that both Eung-suk and Seo continued to dig into her life, but, as I said before, necessary to the plot. Humans are fickle and untrusting/untrustworthy creatures.
There is one scene that really threw me, though. When asked to imagine her happiest moments, Mi-jin imagined her Goryeo Dynasty general, not Eung-suk. The general truly loved her, gave his life for her without a second thought, protected her while they lived together. She was happy with him. I’m not sure that she wanted the general to die for her.
And now she has Eung-suk, the general’s 21st-century doppelganger. I think she liked him at first for the similarity and she then later grew to like Eung-suk as Eung-suk. But it worries me that she didn’t imagine Eung-suk right away. Although they may be doppelgangers/incarnations/look-alikes/whatever, they are NOT the same person. This is why I hope that they bring the romance back. Even if Mi-jin and/or Eung-suk is to die, I feel like closure for Mi-jin is necessary. Love has been the center of her existence so that needs to be shown for her peace of heart and mind.
Like I said, I think if she dies for him, it would bring closure to the Mi-jin and Genera/Eung-suk cycle. And maybe dying for love would make her feel what she’s always wanted. Besides, I’ve thought since episode one having men die for love of you and you letting them was always a little, well, unlike love.
Of course, I hope she gets to live, but the melo label on the drama freaks me out.
And last, but not least, I want Mi-jin to be happy for her last two week. When Eung-suk discovered his cancer, he lived without too much stress. Although he wasn’t as alive as he is with his love for Mi-jin and new-found interest in life, it’s the life he led, the lack of stress, that I wish for her. If she’s made her choice, I wish for her to enjoy her time with her family and Eung-suk as much as possible.
What will happen next episode? Well, the shit is hitting the fan, that’s for sure. Seo knows the truth and Eung-suk will, too. And the question will be answered: Will Mi-jin get her thousandth liver or will she turn into foam?