Alchemy of Souls – Season 2 Episode 5 Recap & Review

Meet The Parents

Episode 5 of Alchemy of Souls season 2 starts with Yul desperate to know what’s inside his body. He speaks to So-yi and demands the truth. She admits that he has a blood parasite inside him and the medicine was supposed to be keeping him safe. Only, he didn’t take that because he was convinced she was trying to play him.

So-yi is incredulous and hurriedly slits her own wrist, telling Yul to put it back inside her. He refuses, pointing out that it’s in the core of his energy right now and there’s no way for him to be rid of it. Once it eats out all of his energy, it could be bad news. However, no one else knows that he has the blood parasite and he asks her to keep it a secret while he tries to find a solution. He’s not going to kill her though, convinced that she truly was just trying to help him.

Meanwhile, Cho-yeon starts to warm to Dang-gu, especially when he gives her a gift. Eventually she ends up kissing him on the cheek, saying thank you. However, less thankful is her mother, Ho-gyeong. She’s not happy that Bu-yeon has accepted Jang-uk as her husband. Park-jin speaks to her plainly though, pointing out that he hopes the pair keep each other safe.

We seem to know their bonds have been solidified though, especially if that kiss is anything to go by. The pair act awkwardly with one another (mostly because of Jang-uk, let’s be honest!) and eventually they decide to go back to sleep. In the morning though, Bu-yeon continues to get flashes of her old life, with Mu-deok’s memories starting to bleed into her own. After complaining to those in the palace of a headache, she goes missing, sending the whole place into raptures to try and find her, led by Maidservant Kim.

When Jang-uk shows up, he wonders where she could be and begins looking in all the hotspots. Given he doesn’t know much about her, he’s drawing a blank and deliberates over whether to go to Jinyowon. Well, he needn’t bother.

While overlooking the village from a high vantage point, he ends up seeing Bu-yeon hustling at the stalls. She also learns rumours about the rice stall guy cheating on his wife… but before she can give her two-cents, Jang-uk shows behind her. He feels her head, realizing she’s not got a fever and wonders just what she might be suffering from.

Jang-uk and Bu-yeon next come face to face with the Queen in a planned meeting. Jang-uk tells his wife before they enter that she needs to look at him lovingly as if they’re madly in love. She’s obviously very suspicious when they’re sitting together, and taken aback when Jang-uk promises to keep Jinyowon safe as there are many who would do it wrong.

When Bu-yeon leaves the meeting (coming up with an excuse about bees swarming around), Jang-uk gets to the crux of the issue. He wants to use the ice stone and even offers to grant her desperate wish in the process. Of course, Jang-uk could use Hwansu to shift her soul. It certainly has her all-ears to the plan at large, as Jang-uk walks her right into this verbal trap. He realizes that she wanted to use Jinyowon to summon Naksu and hinder him. She’s consumed with trying to switch but Jang-uk refuses, even going so far as to promise swift retribution and revenge if she even tries to go for Bu-yeon again. Oh, and she’s told to relay that message on to those she’s scheming with too. Namely that of Jin-mu.

After Jang-uk helps take care of the Crown Prince’s turtle, warming the water at Bu-yeon’s request, the Prince finds himself wondering just what to make of this. He’s conflicted and continues to ponder just what all of this means.

Meanwhile, the situation involving the dried-up wells continues to baffle. Yeom realizes this was done purposefully and wonders whether it could be a shaman’s work. With the droughts ongoing, Dang-gu is sent out to the merchants’ association to see if any more have been found around the capital. As for Park Jin, he intends to cook Master Lee’s favourite food. Spicy beef soup. Of course, everyone immediately warns him against this, knowing what his cooking is like. The irony here, as we later find out, is that Park Jin’s soup is actually super tasty! Unfortunately Dang-gu puts his foot in it, talking about Lee and his true love, Maidservant Kim, causing Park Jin to leave in jealousy.

Master Lee happens to be with Jang-uk, who comments how nice it is to see him again. The pair marvel over Mu-deok’s stone towers and he’s shocked to learn Bu-yeon actually remade the tower again after toppling it. Chuckling incredulously, he informs her that he was the one who looked after her and nursed her back to health.

As they walk together, the attention turns to Bu-yeon’s memory. Ho-gyeong wants her daughter to head back to Jinyowon, worried hat she’s going to get everything back and lose her daughter forever. She refuses though, pointing out she married Jang-uk because she wanted to. As a result, Ho-gyeong demands she bring Jang-uk over to apologize for his wrongdoings. Only then will she even think about approving of their marriage.

When Bu-yeon relays this on to Jang-uk, who realizes that Master Lee had already asked him to do the same thing! He refuses to get involved though and she eventually walks away, upset that Jang-uk would not help her like this. While sitting alone, Yul sees her crying and watches from afar, still wondering how to handle her own problems. As a result of Jang-uk’s invitation decline, she decides to go alone. When Jang-uk learns of this, he feels guilty as Maidservant Kim berates him.

So-Yi speaks to Ho-gyeong and tries to find a solution to her blood parasite situation. She even blackmails her, promising to unveil who Bu-yeon really is if she doesn’t speak up. Instead, Ho-gyeong blasts her with energy and tells the others to keep her to the annex. Interestingly, So-yi knew this was a possibility (that she’d be caught) and relays on a message to Yul, letting him know that Bu-yeon actually has Mu-deok’s memories inside her.

With her gone, Bu-yeon is surprised to find Jang-uk show up and surprise his wife. She holds her hand as they eventually head in together to see Ho-gyeong. While they do, we find out that Jin-mu is actually the one who has been messing about with the wells and in charge of causing droughts. He entrusts his men to keep it a secret.

Meanwhile, Park Jin finally plucks up the courage to ask Kim to his wife. She accepts! Horray! And as the pair end up kissing together inside, Dang-gu and the other soldiers – who had earlier shown up and noticed a second pair of shoes outside – happen to be listening and immediately start cheering and applauding.

Elsewhere, Jang-uk requests to spend the night in Jinyowon not in Bu-yeon’s old, stuffy basement. Instead, they’re given proper accommodation alongside a nice bed. Bu-yeon immediately believes this is part of him deciding they should “do their duty” but he just wants to gain their trust for an alternate plan. Specifically, he wants her to open Jinyowon for him. The thing is, he’s not the only one looking for this trinket.

As we know, Cheongbugwan (and specifically Jin-Mu) are also looking for the ice stone. Unfortunately, the latter uses the Crown Prince, who starts to have a change of heart over helping this shady man. Of course, that doesn’t go down well with him, given the events that happened last season. Jin-Mu blackmails the Prince into submission.

When darkness falls, Jang-uk heads outside with Bu-yeon and the pair end up holding hands after talking. She knows how to open Jinyowon’s doors but before they can, they duck out the way of the guards doing their rounds. It’s become a habit for Bu-yeon to hide and she goes on to recite a story about a tree and waiting for a Prince that seems eerily similar to that of Mu-deok’s plight. As the pair link hands, Jang-Uk is taken aback. “I must be going crazy because of you.” He says, as they stare into one another’s eyes.

The Episode Review

Happy Christmas Eve readers! Alchemy of Soul’s latest episode isn’t a proper Christmas cracker but instead more like the average parts of a Christmas dinner. It’s absolutely fine and it certainly fills you up but it’s not going to blow your mind.

The stand-out parts here largely come from the supporting characters rather than Jang-uk and Bu-yeon, who continue to drag their heels with this whole amnesia plot. Seeing Kim and Park Jin finally tie the knot and decide to get married is a wonderful moment and a personal highlight of the whole second part so far.

Likewise, it would seem that Dang-gu and Cho-yeon are making amends now, while the situation with Yul looks like it’s going to take a turn for the worst before this season is done. Maybe he’ll save Bo-yi from her fate or she’ll sacrifice herself to save him. Either way, you do feel that one of them is going to meet the Grim Reaper before these 10 episodes are done.

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