The latest episode of Mystic Pop-up Bar brings more emotion into the narrative as we delve deeper into the relationship Weol-Ju had with the prince. With the looming threat of Won-Hyung ever-present and another twist reveal at the end of the episode, the drama remains enjoyable and should keep you returning each week for more adventures.
Episode 8 of Mystic Pop-up Bar starts with Kang-Bae as Romeo and Weol-Ju as Juliet. Guibanjang and Death arrive too as their respective fathers and start fighting with each other. In the bar, we see that it was infact a web novel Guibanjang has been reading called Juliet’s Temptations. Death arrives next with Kang-Bae who is still grinning from his kiss with Yeo-Rin. All three watch him and guess what has happened and tease him.
As Kang-Bae returns home after work the next day, his landlady shows him a flat she has trouble renting and offers to give it to him half price. As soon as he enters it, he starts hearing voices and feels very cold. He then leaves and finds letters on the floor for a certain “Ice Witch”.
We then cut to Weol-Ju and Guibanjang reading the web novel of Romeo and Juliet again where a twist sees Juliet falling in love with Romeo’s father who is played out by Guibanjang. As Death arrives in the bar, he tells them that they haven’t caught the evil spirit yet and he wanted to make sure they were safe.
The next day, Kang-Bae, Yeo-Rin and their colleagues all meet in a restaurant. Yeo-Rin soon goes in the bathroom and tries to convince herself that she doesn’t have any feelings for Kang-Bae. She decides to do anything she can to put him off by eating big mouthfuls and drinking a lot but it doesn’t work though as he think she is fascinating. As Kang-Bae later walks her home, she decides to come clean as she doesn’t have any feelings for him. She explains that it is the dance competition that had her excited but she knows that the more he will get to know her, the less he will like her. Kang-Bae insists though but to no avail.
Meanwhile in the novel (still played out by our characters), Romeo’s dad and Juliet announce their engagement to Romeo which shocks him. Juliet’s dad arrives and approves of their union. This surprises Romeo who confronts Juliet about it. She tells him it is over and that she is now his mum. Back in the bar, Weol-Ju compares Romeo’s love to the crown prince’s as he cared more about his feelings than his stature and family. Unfortunately, they find out that the last episode of Juliet’s temptations will not be published because the author called Ice Witch has passed away.
Kang-Bae arrives in the bar soon after, looking very depressed. He relays to his friends what happened with Yeo-Rin and her rejection. He starts feeling sorry for himself so Weol-Ju gets annoyed with Yeo-Rin’s behaviour. Suddenly, one of the customers start speaking to him which surprises Weol-Ju and Guibanjang when they reveal he is a spirit. They deduce that him going back and forth between realms has widened his spiritual vision. Kang-Bae starts worrying but Weol-Ju reassures him as it will be over soon and she will go in his dreamworld to shut down his vision.
The next day, Kang-Bae takes the day off as he doesn’t want to face Yeo-Rin or risk seeing spirits. Guibanjang tries giving him some advice and Weol-Ju brings him some pure salt to sprinkle on them. Kang-Bae then tells them about the voice he heard in the apartment and the ex-owner of the flat being called Ice Witch. Weol-Ju and Guibanjang realize that it is the author of Juliet’s temptations which make them wonder if they will be able to read the last chapter.
The trio head into the flat to find the ghost of the author and find her sitting down on the floor looking very upset. Kang-Bae manages to get her to open up as she explains that because she had a heart condition she was never able to go out and have many friends. One day, she met a delivery man Do-Yeong and started going out with him. Unfortunately, before one of their dates he overheard her speaking about a delivery man having no chance and being used. Thinking it was about him, he left but unbeknownst to him, she was talking about her novel.
After that, she wasn’t able to reach him anymore and wished she told him the truth about the kind of novels she wrote. She wants him to know he was the first man she loved and asks them to show him her last chapter of Juliet’s temptations as she wrote it thinking of him.
Later on, the trio manages to lure Do-Hyeong into the bar and make him drink the magic liquid. In the dreamworld, Do-Yeong watches the story unfold until the final act where Romeo is about to drink poison and kill himself. Juliet arrives just in time to stop him. She reveals that she still loves him and the whole wedding was a scheme organised by her father. While watching this, Do-Yeong realises that the story may be about him as Romeo became a delivery man.
In the living world, he speaks to the trio and realizes that Bo-Ra is now a spirit which prompts him to head into her flat to apologise. Weol-Ju relays what Bo-Ra says as she is also sorry that she wasn’t more honest with him. He replies that he really loved her novel and shows her the gift he originally had for her. Bo-Ra also tells him she didn’t want him to feel hurt for the rest of his life because of a misunderstanding. She thanks him and tells him he was loved before putting the broach on. Bo-Ra thanks Weol-Ju and tells her she can now leave with no regrets.
We then see a flashback of the day the crown prince woke up and asked to spend time with Weol-Ju. They met on a regular basis and fell in love until the day Weol-Ju found her mother murdered. Walking out, she came face to face with Won-Hyung with blood on his sleeve. He told her he got into a fight with an assassin who came out of of her house so she asked him to take her to the prince. He revealed that she was not allowed to as he was going to marry someone else chosen for him.
Back in the bar, Weol-Ju is looking sad and tells her friends that she has realised that having someone listening is important but she never had anyone. However, now, she is the one listening to people and has been for 500 years. Kang Bae tells her he is proud of her as he explains that his ability has always frustrated him as he never was able to help people the way she has been. Both Guibanjang and Kang-Bae promise to be there to listen to her if she ever needs to talk.
As both men walk home, Won-Hyung is watching them until suddenly he is stopped by Death. He is surprised to see him and calls him father while Weol-Ju heads outside and looks at the moon. She talks to it and explains that she keeps changing from hating to longing for him. She then makes a wish to be set free from the misery before she becomes attached again. At the same time, both Guibanjang and Kang-Bae raise their hands to make a circle with their fingers around the moon just like the prince did for Weol-Ju.
While the show hasn’t revealed who the crown prince has reincarnated into, I do think it may be Guibanjang, especially with the way their relationship has been developed. I also believe there is more to Kang-Bae that we know of; could Weol-Ju’s mother have reincarnated into him?
Won-Hyung calling Death his father is certainly a big twist and I am looking forward to see the show develop that further as well. Weol-Ju has also only three more people to help and I still believe that the last one she will help will either be herself or Kang-Bae. In the meantime though, Mystic Pop-up Bar is definitely one of the better K-dramas from this year so far thanks to its original story and great chemistry between the cast.