The Grading System
Mystic Pop-up Bar returns with another fun and interesting episode. This time, the main theme concentrates around greed while still developing the world with intriguing details, showing us the afterlife and the consequences of people’s actions.
Episode 7 of Mystic Pop-Up Bar starts with Kang-Bae running in the street looking for the pop-up bar and calling for Weol-Ju and Guibanjang. Meanwhile, both are trying to make amends with Yeomradaewang. She tells them that she won’t take the child back and explains that it won’t count towards her quota. Their punishment is 120 hours of community service in the Afterlife and that the bar will be confiscated until then. Weol-Ju tries to protest but in vain.
We then cut to them working for the reincarnation grade rating committee where people are judged based on their life and if they should be reincarnated into human (grade A), animal ( grade B) or insect (grade C). The human then goes through a shower of oblivion which takes away all the memories before being reincarnated.
After three days of work, both talk about how many more hours they have to do and worry that once they are done, they won’t have a lot of time left to complete their quota. Weol-Ju admits that she would like to go through the shower as she had to live with her painful memories for 500 years. She then heads into the library to dust and looks through the reincarnation records until she finds the Joseon royal family book. She starts looking for the crown prince’s one but soon gets interrupted by Guibanjang.
Meanwhile, Kang-Bae is preoccupied because of his missing friends. Yeo-Rin comes to see him at work and asks why he didn’t come to practice the day before. He explains that his CIA duties come first. He runs again to the bar’s location but sadly finds it empty. He remembers their time together and wishes for them to visit him in his dreams.
As Weol-Ju and Guibanjang meet with Yeomradaewang again, she asks them for a favour. She is in trouble with the Jade Emperor and needs their help catching a spirit she let escape to the living realm without having his memories erased. They agree to it but want something in return. They make a deal and Yeomradaewang promises to give her back her bar, counting it towards her quota and giving 10 extra days to complete it.
The spirit they have to catch is Jan Bok-Su, a gambler who took money from his friends and family to feed his addiction. He was given grade B and forced to reincarnate as a chicken. However, as he heads into the chicken coop, he witnesses the owner tripping on the floor and decides to possess him instead.
Kang-Bae checks on the bar again and finally finds both his friends there. After a happy reunion, they explain what they need to do and head into the house the spirit wassupposed to be assigned to, which turns out to be the one of the supermarket’s chairman. They sneak into the house and after Kang-Bae uses his ability on the chicken, it tells Guibanjang that the spirit went inside the chairman. In the car, Bonk-Su remembers how he died. Believing that his friends betrayed him, he ran off but was hit by a car. He then decides to take revenge and pays the loan sharks to ransack his friend’s shop.
After witnessing Bok-Su’s actions, our trio reconvene in a restaurant to discuss their next steps. Weol-Ju explains that they will need to give him the magical drink to try stopping him before it gets out of hand. Kang-Bae heads to his rehearsal next where the chairman turns up to give the contestants gifts. Like every year, the chairman will also grant a wish for the winner – which gives Kang-Bae an idea; he will try winning and asks to have drinks with him as his wish.
A determined Kang-Bae double downs on the practise which surprises Yeo-Rin. She wonders if he is doing it for her and starts getting confused about their feelings while manager Yeom is having dinner with his colleague. The latter tells him that he needs help with an evil spirit who has ran away as the officials are having trouble locating him. As soon as Yeom sees that it is Kim Won-Hyung who died in 1520, he instantly looks worried.
The day of the competition arrives and both Weol-Ju and Guibanjang start sabotaging the other contestants to help out Kang-Bae and Yeo-Rin. After giving out a flawless performance, the duo wins the contest and as the chairman arrives to grant them their wish, Yeo-Rin asks for a permanent position and Kang-Bae for a drink for the chairman.
Kang-Bae invites the chairman home where Weol-Ju and Guibanjang join them too. After talking and eating together, they give him the magical dream to transport him in the dreamworld. There, he gets up from his accident and follows a trail of money. He then learns that his friend has actually been paying off his debt, scarifying his savings for him as he has felt indebted ever since Bok-Su helped pay for his mother’s surgery 10 years ago.
Weol-Ju then appears and asks him if he understands now. Bok-Su wants to apologies and make his life better in the living realm but Weol-Ju tells him it can’t happen and that he will now be reincarnated as an insect. She promises that his friend will be well looked after by them in the afterlife as he had a good life.
The next day, Kang-Bae and Yeo-Rin meet for break and discuss the competition. Kang-Bae asks her what she and her team will eat with the money they won before thanking her. Yeo-Rin then finally has the courage to kiss him but runs off soon after.
We then cut to afterlife police officer who is still chasing after Won-Hyung until he comes face to face with him on top of a building. A fight ensues between them but Won-Hyung soon gets the better of the officer. He tells him he has been sucking the life of evil spirits then proceeds to do the same to his adversary.
In the evening, the trio reconvene in the restored bar. Kang-Bae is daydreaming so Guibanjang wonders if something has happened between him and Yeo-Rin. Kang-Bae denies it so Guibanjang explains that the loan sharks have been arrested and Bok-Su’s friend have been given his money back. As Kang-Bae talks about his life, he tells his new friends how grateful he is to have them and how much he missed them when they were gone.
Guibanjang reminds him that once they have settled all the grudges, they will disappear. Weol-Ju tells him that he should concentrate on finding a girlfriend and living his life. However, Kang-Bae really wants to know who he was in a past life. They tell him it is top secret and having memories of a past life never does any good.
Death arrives on the building where the fight happened and calls Won-Hyung to come forward as he wants to help ease his pain. He later joins the trio in the bar, happy to have it back. They then all decide to have drink together but Death stays behind looking ominously, as we end the episode.
Mystic Pop-up Bar carries on with the same formula each week as it tackles important themes while advancing the story and developing the different relationships of our main characters. However, it never feels repetitive as there are enough interesting twists and fun additions each week. This episode showed us how each human gets graded on their actions during their lives. The shower of oblivion was a fun inclusion and brings more depth into the world too.
The trio have really great chemistry on screen and it was touching to see Kang-Bae desperately looking for his friends. I can imagine that the day they leave will be quite emotional. In the meantime, the trio are bound to face some difficulties when Won-Hyung comes forward. For now though, Mystic Pop-up Bar brings us another enjoyable episode, one definitely worth watching.