Jirisan – K-Drama Episode 9 Recap & Review

The Hurricane Lily Habitat

Episode 9 of Jirisan begins as Da-won comes face to face with the mysterious ranger. Before we can see the rest of their interaction, we cut to the hurricane lily habitat where a rock formation has been left at the base of a fallen tree.

Yi-gang is trying to contact Da-won at the base of the mountain trail Da-won used when Gu-yeong comes down. He says he did not see Da-won while on the mountain.

A search and rescue mission begins for Da-won. 18 hours pass since her cell phone signal was last detected. Dae-jin’s days off have coincided with this period and the rangers haven’t been able to get in touch with him.

As the search teams come up short, Yi-gang persuades Gu-yeong to send a team to check the hurricane lily habitat where she and Hyun-jo would signal each other. The team finds the rock formation at the base of the fallen tree, and it points to the rocky path by Hae Rock.

When the ranger teams arrive at the rocky path it is splattered with blood, and they find Da-won’s discarded phone. The phone is delivered to Woong-soon while they continue to search the nearby area.

As night falls without results, Gu-yeong expands the search area to the dangerous rocky ridge even though Yi-gang had told Da-won to avoid it.

Woong-soon brings a recording he found on Da-won’s phone to Gu-yeong and Yi-gang. The recording begins with Da-won greeting the unknown ranger. The voice that responds belongs to Dae-jin.

We then flash back to their encounter. Dae-jin tries to talk Da-won into going down the mountain with him while holding the yogurt drink behind his back. Da-won declines the offer and leaves first.

After the flashback, Yi-gang questions why Da-won recorded the conversation, noting the fear in her voice. She checks the daily log, which shows that when Dae-jin met Da-won in Jeonmukgol, he should have been on base patrol in Baektogol.

Dae-jin arrives at Haedong Station, apparently unaware of the drama unfolding. Before anyone can fill him in, the rangers on the mountain radio in. They’ve found Da-won’s body. She’s covered in blood with no vital signs and presumed dead. In her hand are a pair of black gloves. Woong-soon takes Dae-jin in to be questioned after identifying the gloves as his.

On the mountain, Hyun-jo is finally able to move again. He finds the rock formation in the hurricane lily habitat and a brief flashback shows the gloved culprit building it. The terrified herb collector stumbles upon Hyun-jo.

At Haedong Station, Gu-yeong asks Yi-gang why she and Hyun-jo went up to Black Bridge Valley on the day of the incident. He leaves without an answer. The herb collector barges in, delivering Hyun-jo’s message that he did not make the rock formation.

Yi-gang makes a couple of calls. She discovers that the ranger team did not see any sign on the motion sensor camera at the base of the fallen tree and Woong-soon didn’t find Da-won’s ranger notebook with her belongings.

We flash back to the gloved culprit flipping through Da-won’s notebook and taking the motion sensor camera. Another flashback shows the culprit leaving Da-won’s phone on the rocky path for the rangers to find.

The timeline then shifts to 2019. Gu-yeong and Yang-sun are on a hiking date when Yang-sun asks Gu-yeong to meet her mother. He agrees, though he looks anxious. Off the mountain, a dejected Il-hae sits outside a clinic.

At Haedong Station, Yi-gang and Hyun-jo are preparing for the mountain spirit ritual that will take place near the end of May. Hyun-jo comments on the mountain spirit’s lack of mercy. Yi-gang tells him about an evil spirit that comes before the mountain spirit.

Dae-jin pays the old ranger chief, Kim Gye-hee, a visit. During their heart to heart, Dae-jin expresses his wish to retire. Gye-hee asks if this is because Dae-jin wants to reconnect with his daughter. Their conversation then swings to the return of Yang Geun-tak, the president of the Mount Jiri Cable Car Promotion Committee. Gye-hee is troubled, remarking that the mountain spirit will be incensed once again.

We cut to Geun-tak, recognisable as an illegal hiker we’ve seen hiding from Dae-jin. He’s getting signatures for his petition to install a cable car across the mountain when Gye-hee approaches him. Gye-hee asserts that the construction will destroy the mountain’s ecology while Geun-tak insists that replacing walking trails with the cable car will preserve the mountain. Gye-hee then mentions Black Bridge Village and even Geun-tak turns solemn.

On an illegal hiking trail with no reception, a woman is stranded. She asks another illegal hiker for help as he passes but he ignores her requests.

At Haedong Village, the villagers gather to watch the beginnings of the mountain spirit festival rituals. The mountain spirit flagpole snaps as dark clouds roll in, leaving the villagers cowering in fear.

Back on the mountain, a gloved hand picks up the handkerchief that the stranded hiker was using.

That night, Yi-gang’s grandma warns her about the fallen flag heralding evil on the mountain. Her grandma tells her not to go north to the Deokseoryeong mountain pass, and especially not to the Black Bridge Valley area. According to her grandma, the evil spirit will venture there over the next two days when there is a seven and eight in the dates, according to the lunar calendar.

At his place, Hyun-jo is sent a link by the person he was supposed to have a Christmas date with. He clicks it and tunes into a live streamer. The live streamer is the illegal hiker that ignored the stranded woman and is on his way to the abandoned Black Bridge Village, which had about 15 families living there until 1991. The live streamer reveals that just before the village was deserted, three people died.

The live streamer is interrupted by a strange noise. He flees, pursued by a floating blue flame.

The Episode Review

Jirisan’s 2020 timeline is finally gaining traction, but this has come at the cost of Da-won’s life. The only bright spot in 2020; her death has chipped away parts of Yi-gang’s tough exterior and we’re getting glimpses of the true extent of the pain she’s carrying in her raw cries and desperate attempt to go up the mountain and find Hyun-jo herself.

At this point, it’s pretty much certain that Dae-jin is not our culprit and is being used as a scapegoat. But he does appear to be hiding some deeper knowledge of the murders and could even be doing his own investigations, given that he’s collecting evidence and taking well-timed days off. How the introduction of an estranged daughter fits into the mix remains unclear.

So, who is taking lives on the mountain? This episode cast fresh suspicion on Gu-yeong, who was on the mountain when Da-won was murdered and seemed more worried than he should have been to meet Yang-sun’s mother.

After a long wait, we’re also gaining more information on the supernatural side of the mountain. Hopefully the next episode will shed some light on the connection between the mountain spirits, Black Bridge Village, and the murderer.

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