Episode 9 of Bulgasal: Immortal Souls picks upright where we left off from before. Yeon-Su confronts Eul-Tae, pointing out his secret to Hwal. This serves as a nice distraction for our antagonist to turn his back to Hwal. In doing so, he sneaks up behind him and inject the syringe into Dark Hole’s neck.
With our antagonist on the floor, a conflicted Detective Kwon shows up and eventually chooses to help Hwal back to his car.
We then jump back 1000 years. The King learns their son Eul-Soo has fallen after hunting in the mountains. Of course, Eul-Tae is the one to break the news that Bulgasal is responsible but he refuses to accept it. The thing is, it was actually Eul-Tae.
After bashing Eul-Soo’s head in with a rock, he looked upon the face of the other Bulgasal – Yeon-Su.
Meanwhile, Hwal is in no state to move or hit back against Bulgasal. Instead, he’s forced to hold tight for the time being. When Yeon-Su offers her blood, Hwal refuses, pointing out that he made a promise long enough that he’d never do this.
At the same time, Kwon contemplates his life choices, bemoaning the fact that his biggest foe was right under his nose this whole time. The news that Hwal is Bulgasal has hit him hard.
It’s here we jump back to 1975 and see more of his story. Kwon was there for his sister, being sure to protect his sister from their insane father. In fact, he even tries to poison the poor girl. The maniacal look in his eyes seem to hint that he’s a monster.
That much is almost confirmed when Hwal, as Bulgasal, kills their father out in the open. Kwon’s sister dies in his arms right there and then. If the flashbacks that follow are anything to go by, it appears that one of the two Bulgasals actually bit the poor girl’s neck after, but Kwon is conflicted over which one it was.
Kwon has carried this painful memory all this time, and when Hwal shows up at his door, the two hash out their differences. There’s still animosity between them but Hwal does try his best to help, apologizing for not telling him the truth.
While this is going on, Do-Yun visits Eul-Tae, who doesn’t even disguise his disdain anymore. Instead, he tasks Do-Yun with bringing Yeon-Su to him. Do-Yun isn’t sure this is a good idea and is quick to point that out, but Eul-Tae urges him to follow through so they can separate her from Hwal.
Meanwhile, Yeon-Su heads off to visit Go-Bun with Hwal. They want to know more about Dark Hole. Unfortunately when she sees Hwal, and the scar on his hand, she becomes animated and pleads with Yeon-Su to leave.
Seeing Go-Bun like this sends both of them back home, determined to try and formulate another plan to stop Dark Hole – and convince Go-Bun to help.
Once there, Hwal reflects on Yeon-Su’s ability to see her past life. He learns she’s unable to use this on herself. When she speaks to Si-Ho, she suddenly feels the need to vomit. This is, of course, a direct result of Si-Ho’s pregnancy. When Hwal finds out, he’s silent and shocked by the news.
Lee Hye-Suk eventually catches up with him later that night. Hwal is troubled by what she originally told him about entwined lives. Specifically, how once people are entwined, the ties can never be broken.
With that in mind, Hwal deduces that A-Chan could well be born again with Si-Ho. While this would ordinarily be good news, the fact that he wouldn’t technically be Hwal’s son doesn’t sit well with him.
Do-Yun’s decision is made that much more difficult that night when he has a one on one with Hwal. The latter shows affection to the boy, touching his head and reminding him that his brother’s illness isn’t his fault.
When Do-Yun mentions a supporter, Hwal speaks to the detectives in confidence, determined to know who this person may be.
After, all our gang gather together and celebrate Si-Ho’s pregnancy. As they look set to eat cake, Yeon-Su is quick to remind them all that they’re family. They may not be blood-bound but they’re a family all the same.
This beautiful night, complete with laughter, good times and funny jokes, is enough for Do-Yun to ring Eul-Tae that night and tell him he can’t follow through with his plan.
Eul-Tae though points out a particular memory from 10 years back. Specifically when Eul-Tae held his hand tightly at the orphanage. Eul-tae still remembers that grip and how he helped Do-Yun at the moment he needed him.
Using this as ammo, Eul-Tae likens this exact moment right now to his way of needing that same help. It’s pretty shady but it’s enough for Do-Yun to reluctantly follow through with leading Yeon-Su to Eul-Tae.
The next day, she shows up at the bus stop with him. When Do-Yun learns that Yeon-Su hasn’t told Si-Ho where she’s going, Do-Yun is nervous.
Eventually he breaks the news that he’s bringing her to Eul-Tae. Do-Yun tries to apologize and asks whether she wants to go home. Do-Yun eventually stops her from getting on the bus, just as Hwal shows up.
Although Yeon-Su covers for Do-Yun, Hwal knows the truth. He speaks to Do-Yun in private and demands to know how deeply this deception goes.
Eventually Hwal has enough and tells Do-Yun to leave. Kicking him out the group is the worst thing that could happen to Do-Yun but unfortunately the damage has been done.
Hwal vows to kill him if he comes back, forcing this conflicted boy to be stuck with nowhere to go. The thing is, Eul-Tae has been manipulating him all this time and when Do-Yun rings him later on, he learns the truth.
Do-Yun’s brother died a while back but Eul-Tae has been stringing him along this whole time, using him to get through to Hwal.
After hanging up on the guy, Do-Yun gets on the bus to parts unknown. Just before he leaves, he rings Yeon-Su, struggling to hold back tears, and admits the truth about his deceased brother.
Yeon-Su tries to talk Hwal around but he’s having none of it. He refuses to listen to her. He does however, listen to Si-Ho. She opens up about Do-Yun’s manipulation and drops yet another bombshell – Do-Yun was actually born blind.
Eul-Tae helped him get an eye transplant, which confirms what many fans have been thinking for a while. A-Chan is back… but he’s actually Do-Yun.
The Episode Review
Bulgasal: Immortal Souls returns this week with a slower episode, turning the focus away from Hwal and Yeon-Su somewhat to focus more on Do-Yun. Understanding more about his past and how that ties into Hwal’s struggle is certainly welcome.
Not only that, it helps to show how far Eul-tae will go to manipulate those around him. The guy doesn’t even bat an eyelid to revealing Do-Yun’s brother is actually dead and it’s a despicable moment.
However, the real bombshell comes right at the end as it turns out Do-Yun is actually the reincarnated version of A-Chan.
Many fans have (correctly) theorized this over the weeks but it’s still good to see it confirmed and tie this whole group together as a family. And although dysfunctional, a family is what these guys have become.
This episode ultimately feels quite reflective and slow paced as a result. After a breathless few episodes and lots of drama, that’s certainly welcome. The ending certainly hints that Do-Yun’s part in this story isn’t finished just yet!