Alchemy of Souls – Season 2 Episode 1 Recap & Review

Three Years Later

Episode 1 of Alchemy of Souls Season 2 starts with suppliers arriving to bring liquor for Jinyowon’s ritual rites. It’s been 3 years since we followed our characters and Cho-yeon is looking as beautiful as ever. She mesmerises one of the traders who decides to drink his liquor. Cho-yeon is famous in these parts, but then so too is the legend of Naksu, whom we know fell into the lake…but we also saw her saved so we’ll have to wait and see what happens with that.

Unfortunately, the trio walk right into a massacre, one enacted by our new soul-shifter hunter Jang-Uk. It’s a nice way of re-introducing our protagonist, and he’s certainly grown his skills since the last time we saw him. Jang-Uk effortlessly shrugs off attacks from a soul shifter who shows up, and the trio watch from afar in awe as he bests the man.

Afterwards, the trio show off a charm they have to protect them from Naksu, but of course it just brings back painful memories of the past for Jang-Uk. Given we know how that story ended up, Jang-Uk finds himself haunted by the ghosts of the past.

The bustling streets of Daeho are looking as beautiful as ever but it hides ugliness in plain sight. Park Dang-Gu, the current leader of Songrim, chases a soul shifter that heads into  Jinyowon but the ladies there won’t let him in. Sine we last saw them, they’ve got a strict no-entry policy and that even extends to Cho-Yeon too, whom we know was originally romantically linked with him.

Cho-yeon gives him the cold shoulder, encouraging Dang-Gu to stay feeling guilty about what happened to her father However, Jang-Uk seizes the opportunity to suddenly sneak in, causing her to grow frazzled. She quickly shuts the gates, leaving Dang-Gu outside and Jang-Uk in the unlikely presence of a trapped priestess in the dungeon, after killing the Soul Shifter outside of course. However, he ends up using the sword and his powers in the process.

Inside the room, Bu-Yeon is kept under her mother’s control, having been found 3 years prior, and intent on using her to birth a child with great divine powers. Until then, she’s not able to leave. Jang-Uk makes sure to delay her escape by three days, giving Bu-Yeon a route out courtesy of throwing plates at the wall and wedging them in.

Still, it’s pretty horrible to listen to as Jin Ho-Gyeong cares more about her lineage and claim to power than anything else.

Over at Songrim, Dang-Gu has clearly settled into the role of leader wonderfully. He may not be the best spellcaster, but he is a fine businessman and as such is helping the Kingdom tick over. When it comes to Park Jin though, he’s busy cooking up food and tending to his garden, with Kim by his side. Unfortunately he uses way too much garlic in his kimchi and subjects his family to a pretty horrible meal as a result!

Jang-Uk is not there though and he finds himself drinking alone. He’s not on his own for long though, as the Crown Prince arrives and immediately tries his alcohol, shocked at how strong it is. He also laments how Jang-Uk looks down at him and likens him to an annoying splinter in the finger. Jang-Uk shrugs it off and largely ignores the Crown Prince, telling him he’ll return when he’s killed another Soul Shifter.

Bu-Yeon escapes but she knows she’s on borrowed time, given she’ll be found soon. In the precious moments she has, Bu-Yeon intends to try and find the person she’s supposed to be betrothed to at the palace. There are four different men at Daeho Palace. There’s either Dang-Gu, the Crown Prince, Seo Yul or Jang Uk. She’s betrothed to one of these and believes it’s supposed to be Seo Yul and as such, ignores him and avoids the guy as best she can.

Bu-Yeon decides to confront Jang-Uk personally, asking him to be her betrothed. After all, he has no love lost for Jinyowon either and even reveals her true identity to him as well. Bu-Yeon tells him she’ll wait for him on the night of her wedding.

“Forget it,” Jang-Uk replies and walks away, just as the Jinyowon guards arrive and take her away.

Bu-Yeon is down-heartened but is taken on her carriage, desperately waiting for her groom (Jang-Uk) to arrive and take her away. He doesn’t show, as Bu-Yeon heads en-route to her real husband, we learn that this is not Seo Yul but in fact the cousin of General Seo of Seoho Fortress. The guy lost his parents early and has no one to rely on. She’s assured that he’ll do well but Cho-Yeon is quiet as she listens to her mother.

Bu-yeon drops her petal in the river and she’s transported across to Jang-Uk, who helps her out and decides that she’ll be of use to him. She flings her arms around him and hugs the guy tightly. Jang-Uk awkwardly stands, unsure how to react.

The Episode Review

Alchemy of Souls is back and the drama gets off to a decent start here, reintroducing all of our characters and cutting forward 3 years too. The decision to showcase this by changing perspectives to those traders is an ingenious move and one that actually works surprisingly well to ease us back into the world.

Jung So-Min is a definite miss here though portraying Mu-Deok and that lack of energy is definitely felt. However, Bu-Yeon is a new mystery box, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we see something along the lines of Naksu’s soul inside Bu-Yeon, explaining why she’s so familiar with her bouncy energy.

Of course, that’s before even mentioning the instance of Mu-Deok carried out the lake last time and we still don’t know what happened. I’m sure we’ll find out later on down then line but with only 10 episodes to play with this season, the writers need to get a move on if we’re going to get some solid answers.

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11 thoughts on “Alchemy of Souls – Season 2 Episode 1 Recap & Review”

  1. Buyeon was found by the lake she died. Mother retrieved her body.
    Naksu soul lived inside of mudeok. Yet mudeok attack Jang then those other chased after mudeok/naksu. Mudeok got injured hunted down.
    Master Lee helped that Jin mum because she wanted save her Buyeon body. Buyeon looks were put into mudeok body and with naksu soul cos Master Lee cast a spell worked his magic to put 3 into one. The body is mudeok yet the appearance is buyeon but the soul is naksu. They could never separate naksu soul otherwise the body wouldn’t be able to function.

  2. Jang Uk, Seo Yul, and the Prince all don’t recognize Naksu because they’ve never actually seen her real face before. The only single time Jang Uk and Seo Yul have seen Naksu’s grown-up face was when her dead body was brought back to the secret room in Songrim when she first switched souls into Buyeon’s body, early on in the first few episodes of season 1. Even then, it was only a short glimpse of Naksu’s dead body, so they likely wouldn’t recognise her from that.
    The Naksu that Seo Yul met many years ago was much younger and looked very different (when young Naksu was played by Gu Yu-Jung), which is why Seo Yul felt Naksu was familiar but couldn’t really recognize her yet in season 2.
    This is why the only person who recognized her was Jin Mu, who trained Naksu to become an assassin long before she switched souls into Buyeon’s body.

  3. I’m confused just finished episode 1 and 2.Isn’t buyeon soul just inside naksu body – how come people don’t recognise it’s naksu body I thought Seo Yul would definitely recognise that it naksu since it’s his first love and he knew already how she looks like from before but why can’t he now she looks the same

  4. Hey, you’re absolutely right. I’m actually in the process of writing up the episode 2 recap as I type this now. Master Lee does clear up a lot of the confusion but for the purposes of this recap I called her Bu-yeon simply because everyone else in-universe was so it makes it a little easier to follow. Either way though, the confusion is definitely cleared up next chapter!

    -greg W

  5. I think Master Lee cleared the confusion. Bu Yeon was Mu Deok. Naksu’s soul was shifted into Mu Deok’s body. So when she got petrified but didn’t die, Naksu’s soul was used to bring back Mu Deok back to life. And for the two to be in sync, Mu Deok’s transformed into Naksu’s body during the healing process.

  6. Now I know the answer on episode 2, buyeon is transformed into Naksu. Let’s see if Seo Hyul will recognize her

  7. Why aren’t they recognising buyeon isn’t she naksu/mudeok. Did all of them lose their memory. So far I know buyeon is mudeok and naksu’s soul entered in their body. So her look doesn’t change but why they are not recognising buyeon.

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