Chapter 11: Cherry Plant
We begin episode 11 of Tale of the Nine Tailed with the Imoogi coming face to face with Yeon who confronts him, telling the spirit he should have stayed put. Given he’s not wearing a mortal skin now, a simple sword trick just will not do and an impressive action sequence ensues. The pair fight up an apartment building, teleporting until they reach the roof.
At a stand-off, the Imoogi offers Yeon a choice – if he can give up his body then he’ll let everyone else live. It certainly catches Yeon off-guard as he contemplates what to do next. Believing there’s a trick in store for him, Yeon changes his mind and decides against trusting the Imoogi.
With a storm brewing, the Imoogi uses his powers to force innocent people into committing suicide. Yeon does his best to stop them but it’s no good; all around him people start acting with murderous intent as he’s powerless to stop it.
Meanwhile, Ji-A confronts the TVC President and accuses him of taking her parents. In order to see them again, he wants the mountain spirit and as he grins maniacally, he hopes she makes the right decision.
Ji-A listens in horror as she finds out Hae-Ryong sacrificed his entire family just so he could live longer. Handing over a vial that can make Yeon instantly fall asleep, her fist clenches around this as he leaves Ji-A with her thoughts
Meanwhile, Taluipa learns the extent of the Imoogi’s power as 132 victims commit suicide. As we soon hear from her though, she’s not surprised and braces herself – knowing the Imoogi is capable of much worse.
Rang watches as several ambulance pass him, wondering just what the Imoogi has done now. Only, he shows up at Ji-A’s work posing as a worker called Terry, listening in as the group contemplate just what could have led to this mass-suicide.
At the same time, Yeon rings Ji-A but she fails to pick up. She’s having a hard time with what the President told her and seriously contemplates betraying Yeon to save her parents.
While all this is going on, Shin-Joo cooks for Yu-Ri. He wants to be her friend and family. Only, midway through revealing his true feelings, Yeon busts in and breaks the mood. Trying to find Ji-A, he eventually heads over to her house and surprises her with some new trainers.
Soo-Oh finds himself running away from his step-dad and runs straight into Rang. Although he’s initially icy toward the child, eventually Rang’s better instincts kick in and he grabs the man from behind. He brings him to the TVC President as food to quench his blackened soul. Only, as he looks around he realizes the cherry plant has been moved.
Kwon Hae-Ryong shows a blackened seed and places it on the man’s chest. Just like that, it seems to reinvigorate this fruit and the President greedily consumes its essence, commenting how evil this soul is.
Afterward, he stirs up Rang into agreeing to their deal, commenting how Yeon met the Imoogi earlier in the day. Hae-Ryong knows exactly how to get under his skin and claims that Yeon has abandoned him again. It seems to work too as Rang demands to know where Yeon is.
As it turns out, he’s taken Ji-A to see Taluipa and Ui-Ong. Ji-A vows to defy her fate for as long as possible and cuts right to the chase. She wants to use Taluipa’s clairvoyance to find out where her parents are. If she can do that, then they promise to bring Imoogi straight to her.
Taluipa eventually spills the truth with two words – ground cherries. Obviously this refers to the cherries in the President’s living room which hold the essence of living people.
Rang makes his choice and decides to defy his brother. With the vial in hand, he’s tasked with luring Yeon to a location of the President’s choice. With Yeon looking over the flowers in the room, the President watches the cameras with interest as the pair sit and talk together.
“What am I to you?” Rang asks as Yeon reveals the truth. He tells him Ji-A is much tougher than him and it’s enough for Rang to continue the mission at hand. Yeon drinks the coffee and passes out on the floor as the President makes his move and heads inside. He, in turn, rings Imoogi and tells it they’ve captured Yeon.
Sensing that this is a trap, Rang changes his mind and decides against sacrificing his family. At this moment all is revealed. It turns out Rang and Yeon switched places and fooled the President. All of this happened the previous night during the snippets we saw at the bar. Yeon apologized to his brother and asked him to live by his side.
As Hae-Ryong comes at Yeon with a knife, the fox easily turns his hand and plunges it in the evil man’s gut. Yeon gives him an ultimatum and demands he end the deal binding him and Rang together. Agreeing to help set him free, the deal is broken and the fox is freed. More importantly, they also have the ground cherries too.
With Ji-A spending the entire time distracting the Imoogi (operating under the alias of Terry), a picture confirming the cherries are safe is enough for her to break this façade. Imoogi can’t kill her of course but does clutch her hand tightly, telling Ji-A that he’s grown quite fond of her.
Racing back home, Ji-A finds her parents standing right there in front of her, freed from the cherries.
The Episode Review
What a great episode! The action sequences between the Imoogi and Yeon early on were really nicely shot while the entire deception with the President certainly had me fooled. I was convinced Rang had betrayed his brother again and when the truth was finally revealed, it’s a lovely way to show these two foxes working together.
In fact the entire series has done a great job building up this fantastical layer on top of our normal world and the lore has been excellent throughout the show.
I’ll admit that I haven’t been completely sold on Yeon and Ji-A together but they do have some nice moments, namely here the segments with Ji-A’s work colleagues which were suitably funny.
With Ji-A’s parents back, what does this mean for our characters? We’ll have to wait and see but so far this fantasy series has really pulled it back after a slightly wobbly start.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|