Episode 7 of Bulgasal: Immortal Souls begins with Hwal and Sang-Un leaving early, determined to discover more about Sang-Un’s hidden origins. The place in question happens to be old farmland, a place where Sang-Un has a personal connection to from a past life.
Some 50 years back a fire broke out there, assumed to be started by a woman called Kim Hwa-Yeon. She was a recluse, afraid to go out and spent all of her time writing and scribbling. Her worried parents tried to convince her to take drugs or herbal remedies to cure her perceived craziness, but nothing helped. The fire that broke out also killed her parents. This woman, Hwal reveals, was actually Sang-Un in a past life.
Sang-Un has her doubts though, but Hwal is convinced this is the way things were. Even if she doesn’t have a scar now, she was still Bulgasal.
Elsewhere, Si-Ho heads back from the doctors with Detective Kwon. They both talk about Bulgasal, with Si-Ho mentioning the name Eul-Tae, overheard from her sister. This gets Kwon thinking, bringing him back to the station to butter up Captain Han for information.
When the Mayor leaves, Kwon’s suspicions begin to grow as he realizes the official could be linked to Eul-Tae. As we know, he definitely is. Han warns Kwon away from this line of questioning, pointing out that this is dangerous and could lead to trouble.
The Mayor is joined by several other crooked officials who all brief Ok Eul-Tae on the current issues around town. Eul-Tae is pretty ruthless with the progression of his empire though, reminding the four men that he has dirt on them that he could easily use against them if they betray him.
Back at the house, Si-Ho and Do-yun set to work cleaning Hwal’s place. Hye-Suk is there too, and as she scrubs, she reveals to Si-Ho that she actually lost her memories when she was 6 years old. This causes Si-Ho to question the validity of Hwal saving her during her childhood. She also sports a burn on her leg too – from a fire.
As we see from a flashback a little later on, Hwal actually saved her from that fire that started 50 years back, although her parents were killed in the ensuing inferno. Closing her eyes, this girl seemed to be possessed as she told Hwal to follow the fire. Collapsing in his arms, the camera pans down to show her scar – the same scar that Hye-Suk sports.
After catching an overnight boat-trip to a small village, Hwal and Sang-Un prepare to visit Hwa-Yeon’s old neighbours. He’s determined to figure out Sang-Un’s mystery. When they arrive at the house, Hwal contemplates whether the fire may have been started by an infamous monster in the area called Gapsangoe.
Sang-Un eventually senses the monster, in the form of a weakened old woman lying on the floor in her house. Hwal heads in to confront her, as the woman admits outright that she did start the fires but was deceived by Dark Hole in the process.
Her son (ironically the original guy whom they thought was the monster earlier in the episode) is actually the one about to start a fire though, typified by the paint thinner and equipment in his car.
Hwal actually had a run-in with this monster during his ancient days, using drums to disrupt the monster and destroying it before it could take them out. The thing is, the repeated fires in this town could be a result of the monster reincarnating and keeping that same fascination with fire going.
He shows up at the place Sang-Un and Hwal are staying, and after showing their picture to the owner, prepares to start the fire. However, Hwal manages to burst in just in time to stop him from igniting the place. In their absence, Sang-Un questions her past.
According to Gapsangoe, Sang-Un may be human but she never used to have human emotions. She also reveals that Dark Hole has a big secret.
Interestingly, Si-ho seems to have the gift of foresight, or at least of experiencing past memories. Touching Hye-Suk’s hands, she relives some of her memories as a child. This also has a knock-on effect to Hye-Suk, who’s mesmerized by the flames.
Unfortunately a big twist comes in the form of Do-Yun. It turns out he actually has ties to Eul-Tae and is on his side. Eul-Tae brings him in to his house as the pair wind up playing board games together. Do-Yun is clearly an informant, but he has a conscience too and isn’t happy about watching Hwal and deceiving him. Eul-Tae though reassures him, claiming this is all to keep Sang-Un safe.
When Do-Yun leaves, he quickly feeds back where Hwal and Sang-Un have gone. Only, this fuels Bulgasal into motion, which in turn sees Gapsangoe suddenly spark to life and choke out Sang-Un.
Just before she succeeds, Hwal bursts back into action and saves her from an unfortunate fate. After handing over her son to the police, the duo leave and check out one last spot. A place Gapsangoe’s son told Hwal about.
This place happens to be a grave holding the skeletal remains of Hwa-Yeon. It’s too much for Sang-Un to bear and she begins sobbing. Hwal takes pity on her though and gives her a lift up the street when they leave. As they do, Hwal tells her his name. As he does, the scene lingers on the pair as she wraps her arms around him. Is this the start of this forbidden romance? I think it might be!
The Episode Review
Bulgasal: Immortal Souls returns this week with another solid episode, one that starts to deepen the lore involving Bulgasal and Sang-Un’s tragically fated past. It seems like she has a big part to play in all of this but so far we’re only really seeing the puzzle pieces and not how everything slots together.
However, the trip away does allow some time for Sang-Un and Hwal to grow closer together, with that moment right at the end of the episode doing a great job to tease that we’ve got some romance on the horizon for these two. That’s tto say nothing of Sang-Un’s potential link to Eul-Tae and how that feeds into the bigger picture.
The big talking point here though comes from Do-Yun. It’s perhaps unsurprising to find he has a bigger part to play in all this but finding out that he’s aligned with Eul-Tae is quite the twist.
There’s some serious Goblin vibes being given off from this drama, but it feels like a much darker, more chaotically charged story than that fantasy/romance hybrid. It’ll be really interesting to see how this one develops but right now, this is arguably the most interesting and captivating K-drama currently airing at the moment.