The Final Fight
We begin episode 15 of Tale Of The Nine Tailed with Ji-A outsmarting the President and shooting him in the chest. It turns out where he cut her she turned into the Imoogi which is why she was able to beat him. Hae-Ryong teases her while bleeding out on the floor, calling the Imoogi neither human nor spirit and eventually meeting his fate. As he draws his final breath, Hae-Ryong reflects on his life and passes away.
When Jae-Hwan notices what’s happening, he’s held up against the wall by Ji-A who tries to entice him to shoot her. He refuses to do so though until Sae-Rom shows and literally slaps some sense into Ji-A. When she comes back to her old ways, she sees blood over her hands and breaks down crying.
Meanwhile, Yeon and Imoogi discuss their powers as the former tells Imoogi that he’s stronger. As the two continue their power struggle, Imoogi eventually ends up with the upper-hand as he demands Yeon take him to Samdo River.
It turns out Yeon’s concocted plan with Imoogi involves using a poison to trick Taluipa by using Ui-Ong against her. There, he promises that the end will take place.
As we know, Imoogi is cunning but despite him taking the bait Yeon is worried that something could go wrong. Even worse, Imoogi suddenly brings up Taluipa’s son which is entwined in the middle of all this.
While Hye-Ja tends to Choi’s sickness at The Snail Bride, Ui-Ong happens to be there too and he clearly misses Taluipa. As he debates what to do next, he’s caught at a crossroads over the best way of dealing with his situation. Does he go back to Taluipa or not?
After tending to Ji-A and comforting her, Yeon speaks to Shin-Joo and tells him his plan, including jumping in Samdo River and swallowing the scale. Instead, Shin-Joo offers himself up as a sacrifice which Yeon quickly dispels. As he leaves, Shin-Joo struggles to hold back tears.
Ji-A heads off and meets Rang, finally understand that Yeon is going to sacrifice himself to save her. Placing a gun down on the table, she tells him that if she hurts Yeon while under the Imoogi’s control, she’ll kill herself. If that fails, she wants Rang to kill her.
Given they both have a common interest in saving Yeon, they form an unlikely truce, one that’s almost sealed with a handshake…until Rang instead uses a toy given what we know about foxes.
With the final fight coming up, Yeon hands Shin-Joo an envelope holding plans for a new apartment in his name as thanks for everything he’s done. Next, Yeon meets Rang and the two brothers enjoy their food together. As they do, Yeon comments on how grown-up his brother is now but continues to tease him. He even hands over his boiled egg for Rang to eat.
Yeon gives a pretty telling look, one of affection and sadness as he realizes this may be the last time they eat together. However, he asks Rang to turn up at Samdo River with him to make sure nothing goes wrong and this plan goes ahead without a hitch.
Meanwhile, a restless Yu-Ri wants to head home but Imoogi convinces her that she has darkness in her soul. Furthermore, no one wants to save her and she’s doomed to misery. After deceiving the girl, Imoogi tells her his real plans include taking over the world. Eventually he asks her to accompany him to Samdo River.
With Taluipa in charge and Yeon’s death date arriving, Hye-Ja pleads with her to save Yeon. In particular she asks Taluipa to look beyond her icy facade and cold heart to how she really feels about Yeon.
Given she refused to even help her own brother, Taluipa refuses. However, Hye-Ja is insistent and tries to get through to her. Hye-Ja claims that she’s been beating herself up all this time and that saving Yeon could be redemption for her.
After dropping medicine on the table, she takes her leave before Taluipa shows her true feelings, weeping by the urn she has of her son.
Meanwhile, Rang speaks to Shin-Joo about Yu-Ri and admits that he’ll never approve of their relationship. However, he does agree to take him up to see Yu-Ri. Given she’s been told that she has no one by her side, Shin-Joo’s arrival obviously means a lot to her.
Watching them through the monitor of the front door, she struggles to hold back tears as Rang promises to save Yu-Ri while Shin-Joo holds a ring box up to the screen. Now she starts crying as the emotions come flooding out.
Yeon and Ji-A decide to head out for a date. With the virus seemingly not spreading any more (despite various characters being ill) they head out on a date together. As the sun sets, the pair spend time together by the shore and make wishes over the future. Ji-A hopes she can save them both but it’s obvious that there’s a lot riding on this.
Taluipa phones Yeon and brings him to her place. Given Hye-Ja’s words before, they’ve clearly got through to her and she talks about her son and how he jumped in Samdo River. She claims to quit smoking- for real this time – and eventually goes on to admit there’s a way that both he and Ji-A can be saved without one of them being sacrificed.
Brandishing a special sword, she gives it to Yeon and tells him to stab Ji-A with it. When she’s nearly dead, the spirit of Imoogi will leave her body and try to find another host. When it does, Taluipa will step in and turn it into stone. Yeon worries about Ji-A dying but instead, decides to help Ji-A and stop her from dying.
With Sae-Rom still in a bad way, Ji-A receives a call from Imoogi enticing her outside to talk. She demands the antidote but it turns out there is no cure given he was born from a plague. Reaching out, Ji-A turns into the other side of Imoogi and tells him not to trust Yeon as he’s planning something.
When Yeon returns to Ji-A, he finds her turned to her side of the Imoogi and learns that The Governor was attacked. As the subject turns to the Mirror of the Moon, Yeon remains shocked and even more so when everyone by his side turns on him.
This, as we soon see, is a direct result of what Imoogi whispered in his ear about turning on Yeon when Imoogi shows up in “her”. While Rang is indisposed and struggles to fend off his brainwashed allies, Taluipa has a shock of her own.
Imoogi appears before her and it turns out it has the same face as her son, Bok-Gi. As she listens in stunned rage, Imoogi reveals that he was the one who planted the plague in her son’s wife.Unable to control her emotions, she blasts him with power but it turns out he has the Mirror of the Moon in his hand and reflects her magic.
When Yeon shows up, he finds Taluipa turned to stone. Even worse, with the two sides of Imoogi now here and Yeon’s plan a bust, things look bleak as he’s forced to fight off both Ji-A and Imoogi in a well-choreographed fight.
In the midst of all this, Ji-A continues to lose control and suffer. Not knowing what else to do, Yeon makes a bold decision and swallows the scale after Ji-A almost shoots herself in the head.
Rang bursts inside and starts fighting with Imoogi but it’s no good – the damage has been done. With everything seemingly lost, Ji-A cradles Yeon’s face as he tells her they won. Getting back to his feet, he reveals what his real plan was all along.
Apparently he swallowed primroses earlier in the evening and given this is one of Imoogi’s weaknesses, it’s enough to even out the balance of power and make things more fair.
Holding onto Imoogi, he hands the blade over to Rang and tells him to stab them both. He struggles to do so but given it means turning into Imoogi as the alternative, he eventually plunges the sword through them both. As Ji-A races up to him, she watches as Imoogi and Yeon both fall to their doom. Just before they do, Yeon tells her he loves her.
The Episode Review
Well that was dramatic! Is Yeon really dead? It’s difficult to know with this show as there’s been so many red herrings and fake-outs that it’s always a little questionable whether the writers have followed through. My guess is that he’ll come back, courtesy of Taluipa.
Still, the final fight was well-choreographed and the idea of putting both halves of the Imoogi together for this fight, with Ji-A in the middle stopping Yeon’s sword blows, was definitely an inspired one.
The one issue here though comes from the viral subplot. It seems to have been completely dropped which is odd given the dead bodies lining the street several episodes ago. It still feels weird to just completely disregard all that in the wake of Ji-A and Yeon going on their final date together. However, now that the threat of Imoogi has passed, it seems likely that the virus has been lifted.
Still, there’s certainly a lot of elements here that are enjoyable and the series has done quite well to capture some of the fantasy elements inherent in Goblin. Unlike that series however, Tale Of The Nine Tailed doesn’t quite have the narrative chops to back up its fantasy with a coherent story.
Quite what will happen in the finale however, remains to be seen but it’s definitely not one to miss!
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|