Sacrifice Her Soul, Dear Brother
Episode 5 of Bulgasal: Immortal Souls starts with Hwal scooping up Sang-Un and taking her back to his car. Do-Yun shows up and notices Detective Ho-Yeol unconscious by the side of the road. When he points this out to Hwal, our Bulgasal offers him his jacket. When thy leave and Ho-Yeol regains consciousness, he reflects back on the strange Black Hole monster, convinced that he saw Bulgasal.
What is convincing however, are flashbacks to the night Sang-Yeon met her untimely demise. The strange Dark Hole monster was the one responsible for killing her that night, brandishing a knife and stabbing Sang-Yeon right in front of her sister.
With all hope lost, Dark Hole prepared to strike until he sensed Hwal nearby. He ended up getting spooked and hurried away, in turn saving Sang-Un’s life. Although he managed to slip away, the fact remains – Hwal is not responsible for killing Sang-Yeon.
In the present, Sang-Un awakens in Hwal’s house. While she’s all smiles, Hwal tries to control his rage. He’s not happy with Sang-Un, locking her up in the bedroom and refusing to let her leave.
Meanwhile, Hwal sends his best guys to track down Si-Ho and keep her safe. She’s obviously cautious but she’s taken to the relative safety of the butcher’s market by Hye-Suk.
Now that there’s another Bulgasal roaming around, Hwal realizes it’s too dangerous to head to the well and reclaim his soul just yet. For now, he sets his sights on working out who this shadowy man is – and what he wants.
As we see from flashbacks, Bulgasal first spread as a rumour 400 yeas prior to the Joseon period when Hwal was a general. He was originally told there was only one Bulasal but given what we’ve seen, that may not actually be true. There could be another. If that’s the case then Hwal intends to figure out how.
After Sang-Un tries (and fails) to get away, Hwal questions her about what her ties to Bulgasal actually are. She opens up about the past and how he tried to kill her family, but for Hwal’s interjection. Hwal is interrupted by one of his burner phones ringing. It’s Dark Hole, other Bulgasal. He wants to meet.
After being shrugged off at the station, Ho-Yeol decides to try and find proper evidence to incriminate Dark Hole and prove Bulgasal is real.
Hwal meets with the other Bulgasal at a fancy restaurant, where our monster is already dining on red meat. Hwal cuts the pretenses, learning that they’re both Bulgasal. Hwal is not Dark Hole’s enemy though – Sang-Un is. He wants her location and is desperate for Hwal to reveal it. If he doesn’t, this could erupt into a big fight; a bloodbath where they settle their differences in this room and cause carnage.
This twin Bulgasal seems to know why Hwal was cursed and why there was another Bulgasal cursed as a child. In exchange for spilling this information, he wants Hwal’s help in destroying Sang-Un’s soul.
Dark Hole also has a scar of his own. On his chest is a quite literal dark hole, a wound that keeps rotting and healing over time; a never-ending gnarly and painful cycle that’s ongoing. In stopping Sang-Un, he believes that too will get rid of his painful, torturous ordeal. Hwal though, challenges that notion.
This rivalry between the two Bulgasal is intense, and seems to have stemmed back for years back. too. Hwal refuses to let him destroy Sang-Un’s soul, prompting Dark Hole to stab him through the hand, promising to best him. Smiling, he promises they’re not equal and divulges his name – Ok Eul-Tae. Personally I prefer Dark Hole, but there we go.
Elsewhere, Ho-Yeol heads over to Hwal’s house and notices Do-Yun acting shiftily. When Sang-Un starts pounding on the door, Ho-Yeol kicks open the door and saves Sang-Un, recognizing her immediately. However, Hwal soon returns home and confronts the ex-detective. As he slams the man to the ground, flashes of the past come echoing through, key scenes of when Ho-Yeol was a general.
Just as things look set to turn uncomfortable, Sang-Un steps up and admits that she’s working with Hwal and there’s no foul play here. As the pair drive off together, Hwal tries to shake Eul-tae’s taunts in his mind about Sang-Un lying.
They drive most of the day, right through sundown into the bleakness of night. Their destination is the mountain, and more specifically the well he’s created to trap Bulgasal. After refusing to engage with Eul-Tae on the phone (who vows revenge), he leads Sang-Un to her fate.
Hwal admits that he wants to imprison Bulgasal deep in the well for all eternity, letting it suffer and repent for what’s happened. As Hwal turns to Sang-Un, he reveals that she used to be Bulgasal, responsible for slaughtering his wife and son. Now it’s payback time.
As Hwal grabs Sang-Un around the throat, he prepares to stab her. Only, just before he does, Hye-Suk comes bounding into the room with big news. Someone has taken Si-Ho. This is enough for Hwal to stop and reassess his priorities, especially when he learns Dark Hole has taken her.
Sang-un foolishly heads off alone, desperate to find her younger sister. As she screams for Si-Ho, she heads out to the lake but Hwal saves Sang-Un and stops her from walking into this trap. She’s overcome with guilt though, bemoaning her trust in him.
Hwal remains adamant on destroying Bulgasal, once and for all. Until he kills the creature, Hwal is going to let Sang-Un live on as a human; an uneasy alliance between our two main characters.
The Episode Review
A slower episode this time around, but no less engaging, Bulgasal: Immortal Souls continues to weave this interesting story with extra layers of mythology added every chapter. Now, it would seem like there’s more than one Bulgasal and it could be that two parts of this same demon are split into two. Or it could be two separate Bulgasal. Or even more than that, who knows!
Regardless, the inclusion of Eul-Tae (Dark Hole) really helps to add an extra dimension to this series and balance out the power being played with here. It would seem like this maniacal power struggle is going to engulf the upcoming chapters.
Some of the supporting players, like the ex-detective and Do-Yun don’t serve much of a purpose yet but I’m sure they’ll be a lot more important as the series progresses.
The preview for tomorrow’s episode looks like it’s going to step up the pace once more too, in what should be a really exciting chapter. You definitely won’t want to miss that!
Bulgasal: Immortal Souls continues to deliver compelling drama right the way through episode 5, and although it is a bit slower, the fleshed out role for our antagonists helps to raise the stakes considerably. Roll on tomorrow’s follow-up.