Chapter 14: Dead End
With Ji-A’s death date set for today, episode 14 of Tale Of The Nine Tailed begins with Yeon cradling Ji-A in his arms as the end draws near.
When she awakens, Ji-A is disorientated and can still sense Imoogi in her mind. She tells Yeon to hurry and promises to be by his side no matter what. As he holds her hand, Yeon tells Ji-A they’re going to end this exhausting fight once and for all.
Yu-Ri meanwhile watches in shock as Imoogi mindlessly slaughters all those innocent civilians standing in his wake. The end is most certainly nigh though and it seems there’s no mercy for what’s to come next.
Yeon brings Ji-A to Rang and the others, feeding back what happened. Although they weren’t successful in drawing the spirit out of Ji-A, they do now know how Imoogi moves from body to body and that gives them an extra edge in this fight.
The fighting comes sooner rater than later as Ji-A learns about the police station incident, prompting Yeon to rush out and try to help. When he does, Ji-A remembers Imoogi’s words about the viral outbreak and immediately becomes worried that she may be next.
When a truck charges across the street, Ui-Ong manages to make it in time and save Ji-A from certain death. With the gatekeeper involved in all this, Rang watches from afar as he realizes something big is going to happen. That something big comes in the form of death following Ji-A around, like a modified version of Final Destination. Unfortunately Ui-Ong won’t be there all the time to stop it and right now she’s a marked woman.
Yeon meanwhile shows up before Taluipa and confronts the gatekeeper over messing with the list. She refuses to withdraw what she wrote about Ji-A and remains adamant that the girl needs to die in order to kill the Imoogi once and for all.
Yeon pleads with her, drooping to his knees in an act of submission to try and save her life. Much like Ji-A with Ui-Ong, both of them are trying their best to save the other but are surrounded by dead ends.
While Rang spends time with Soo-Oh back home, peeling stickers off his face, he thinks back over moments with Yeon asking him to be his final weapon. Given their values are different though, he refuses to entertain the idea.
When Mr Choi visits The Snail Bride restaurant, he begins choking on his food and eventually coughs up a snake egg. As someone who suffers badly from Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), this scene honestly turned my stomach and made me shudder.
Anyway, more alarmingly, Choi has red spots all over his arms meaning the virus is spreading. And that’s just the start. The virus has claimed numerous victims all over Korea with many more still to come.
Meanwhile, Imoogi takes Yu-Ri to a swanky new house but she’s not exactly over the moon about the living arrangements. Imoogi senses this too and lets her visit Shin-Joo. It’s only a flying visit though and she tells him she’s not able to leave Imoogi’s side.
Given Shin-Joo is supposed to be watching over Ji-A’s parents, he realizes he’s been served up as bait and hurries back to Ji0A’s house.
Ji-A heads into the bathroom and speaks to herself in the mirror, telling the other half of Imoogi to show itself or she’ll stab herself in the neck. Eventually it shows and the two have it out. Ji-A confronts Imoogi and tells it that her death date has been changed and because of that, she could well be visiting the Underworld sooner rather than later.
Ji-A then receives a call from his parents confirming that Imoogi is with them. Ji-A promises to hurt him if he lays a finger on either of them and now it becomes clear that he’s going to cause serious harm.
Looking at her parents, he issues the command “I wish to hang myself”. In unison, they both look set to commit suicide…until Yeon shows and manages to save the day at the last second.
Eventually he sits with Yeon and together they strike out a deal. Yeon offers the chance of getting retribution and that means going after the Gatekeeper of Samdo River – Taluipa. He’ll do anything to save Ji-A, even if that means joining hands with his sworn enemy.
In exchange for killing the gatekeeper, he wants Ji-A to be saved. After laying out his terms, he gives Imoogi some time to think it over and leaves.
When he does, Yeon feeds back to the team what he intends to do. All of this is actually an elaborate trap to capture Imoogi which he’s concocted with Taluipa.
As we see flashes to the past, the real truth shows that Yeon is going to eat the scale and have the other side of Imoogi in him instead of Ji-A. In order to save the girl, he’s going to sacrifice himself which includes jumping in Samdo River to be sure it stays gone.
Meanwhile, patient zero – Hae-Ryong – pleads with Detective Baek for help when he shows up to check on him. Only, it turns out this is actually just Rang in disguise.
Rang shows himself and eventually frees the man from his jail cell, letting him go free and giving him a handgun for good measure. He wants Hae-Ryong to go after Ji-A and end this the good old fashioned way.
Yeon and Ji-A head out for food and drinks – a makeshift last supper given what they’re about to face. Ji-A mentions she has 2 days at best – the exact words Imoogi told her – and wonders whether this is the last soju they’ll ever drink together. It’s worth mentioning that this place is packed full of people and no one really seems to be bothered that people are literally dying in the streets which seems utterly bizarre.
Anyway, they’re interrupted by Jae-Hwan phoning and revealing that Sae-Rom happens to be infected with the virus. This virus is pretty nasty too, with the baby snake hatching from its egg and feeding on its host from the inside out.
Given the recent reveal that Choi happens to be Hye-Ja’s husband from her previous life, Ui-Ong believes this is far too convenient to just be a coincidence.
Instead, he worries that something really bad is about to happen. As the sun rises, Yeon’s phone goes off and Imoogi makes his choice – he’s going to join hands with his sworn enemy to fight off the gatekeeper. Only, Rang is wise to what’s going on and knows this is not going to end well.
Meanwhile, Hae-Ryong shows up and points a gun at Ji-A, firing several times. The screen fades to black though, as we skip ahead again and see Ji-A outside in the rain waiting for Yeon. He shows with a red umbrella and the duo sit and eat noodles together.
The Episode Review
I’m a massive fan of fantasy and anything within this genre is absolutely my forte. Tale Of The Nine Tailed is a strange kettle of fish in that respect as it’s a show that does a lot of things right and has all the elements to be a show-stopping Korean drama but doesn’t quite slot everything together in a way that feels as perfectly aligned as it could be.
There’s a lot of parallels to Harry Potter here too – what with the snakes and Voldermort-esque story involving Ji-A – but it’s the newest epidemic plotline that’s the biggest culprit to weigh the story down. It doesn’t have anywhere near the urgency it should have and a lot of that stems from the nonchalant attitude everyone has to this despite people literally dying in the streets.
Sure we get some wide-eyed expressions and running from our characters but seeing mask-less people inside restaurants acting like nothing is up feels completely bizarre and misplaced.
Most of these plot annoyances could be forgiven if Ji-A was more charismatic and likable but for me, her scenes tend to either be absolutely cracking and perfectly in-sync with Lee Yeon or so far off the mark that you never get a sense of her chemistry with him.
The real stars here though are Rang and Yeon who have a wonderful ebb and flow on screen and easily steal the show. With 2 episodes to go, there’s a lot riding on these final two episodes and quite how this one will end, remains to be seen.
One thing’s for sure though – this conflict is far from over.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|