Tale Of The Nine Tailed – Episode 16 (Finale/Ending) Recap & Review

One Final Twist

Episode 16 of Tale Of The Nine Tailed begins with Yeon and Imoogi falling into the River. The latter crumbles and dissolves into nothingness while Yeon manages to cling onto his consciousness a little bit longer so he can hear Ji-A crying. He bemoans that the love between a fox and human always ends this way. As he turns and disappears, it looks like Yeon has gone.

The virus that plagued Korea has disappeared too and while the majority of people celebrate, Ui-Ong returns to a fully-recovered Taluipa (how?) who bemoans that she was unable to save Yeon. Ji-A shows up at the door, banging and knocking while waiting outside and hoping to be let in.

Ji-A eventually heads inside and tries to plead with Taluipa to save Yeon and bring him back. She refuses to do so though, telling her there arfe rules in this world and even she won’t be able to break them to reincarnate Yeon. Still, that doesn’t stop her ringing the afterlife multiple times to try and change their mind.

Rang meanwhile falls into a depressive state of grief as he struggles to comprehend what’s happened. Despite Yu-Ri and Soo-Oh’s best attempts, he simply ushers them away. Shin-Joo heads over and tries to talk to him instead, snatching the wine bottle from Rang’s hands and telling him to get it together.

It turns out he has a video from Yeon and as Shin-Joo hands it over, we see a really touching message about family and how much Rang has to offer the world.

Afterward, Ji-A and Rang do their best to move on but both find solace in remembering Yeon and his various quirks. As Ji-A mentions she’s going to write a book, “Tale Of The Nine-Tailed”, they trade stories about what Yeon was like.

Elsewhere, Shin-Joo proposes to Yu-Ri after singing her a song with his guitar. She accepts of course, and everyone is there to celebrate with them including Ui-Ong and Hye-Ja.

6 months later Ji-A finishes her Tale Of The Nine-Tailed story. It happens to be Ji-A’s birthday too and her parents get her a red scarf (another nod toward Goblin!) and a gift from Yeon. That gift happens to be a beautiful white wedding dress and a liter about their time together. Inevitably, Ji-A breaks down crying at the end of the note.

Rang and Ji-A both meet and notice the fortune teller with his pop-up tent from before has returned. They head inside and question whether it’s possible to reincarnate Yeon. Rang and Ji-A strike a deal to try and make this a reality.

In order to do so though, they’ll need to bring him something valuable. Ji-A asks whether her memories of Yeon are valuable enough but when that fails, she instead offers her own life in exchange for Yeon’s. Rang refuses to listen and instead offers his own life.

Despite having a family, he gives himself over and makes a truly selfless act to save Yeon. The only thing left when they disappear is a picture of Rang and the others as his background picture on the phone.

At work, Ji-A heads out into the rain but one of the employees hands over a red umbrella — Yeon’s red umbrella – and tells her that whoever handed it over did so 5 minutes prior. As Ji-A heads into the rain, she looks across the road and finds Yeon alive and well, having been reincarnated but as a human instead now. And armed with the same face and memories.

After spending the night together, Yeon watches Shin-Joo’s wedding video and notices how caring Rang is toward Soo-Oh. Not long after, he meets Shin-Joo and the two discuss what it’s like for him being human now. As they talk, the conversation inevitably turns to Rang, where Shin-Joo admits how distraught the fox was after Yeon’s death.

As Shin-Joo hands over his phone, one last recorded message happens to be there from him. His final message toward Yeon confirms his sacrifice and he struggles to hold back tears as the end approaches. He hopes they meet again and calls Yeon his brother.

This final goodbye paves way for Yeon to say goodbye to Taluipa one more time too before marrying Ji-A for real.

Life goes on and Yeon struggles to deal with human life. When a boy falls off his bike, he reminds Yeon of a young Rang and believes he’s been reborn into this child.

As rumours of the Spirit off Misfortune spread, Rang heads out with his red umbrella and suddenly wields a sword. As his eyes glisten orange it seems he has his fox powers after all.

The Episode Review

How does Yeon have fox powers? Is it channeled through the umbrella? Is he now a fox? If that’s the case then it completely undoes all the sacrificing and work done up until that point – especially when it diminishes Rang’s sacrifice. After everything Yeon did to protect Ji-A, the fact she was so quick to throw her life away just shows how meaningless this actually was. I understand that this is for love and they’d die for one another but in terms of narrative consistency it just feels like a bit of a low blow.

And bringing Yeon back even diminishes Rang’s sacrifice too. If there’s one person who deserved a better ending it’s him and although the sacrificial bittersweet conclusion for him is fitting, I can’t help but feel it could have been handled better. That’s before mentioning Taluipa too who’s suddenly absolutely fine with no explanation. While it would make sense if it was Imoogi’s power…it wasn’t. He used the mirror which seemed to reflect her own magic and turned her to stone so it’s not initially clear how she’s okay now.

Then again, these niggling plot contrivances have been a mainstay throughout the show. While the fantasy elements have been good, there’s an awful lot of nods toward Goblin and both the editing, writing and music fails to match up. Still, it’s been a fun ride nonetheless, and despite its contrived ending has definitely had some high points.

What did you think of the ending? Did you like seeing Yeon back? Let us know in the comments below with your thoughts!

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12 thoughts on “Tale Of The Nine Tailed – Episode 16 (Finale/Ending) Recap & Review”

  1. What a bummer! Lee Rang finally has a sense of family and belonging and he sacrifices himself for his arrogant, handsome brother who selfishly wants to live with his girlfriend, etc. Well, I guess the love triangle had to be broken up. What I loved was seeing Kim Bum in his role as Rang. It brought out acting skills and more appeal than he was able to show in Boys Over Flowers.

  2. Last part was confusing he gain his power how ? They cleared he became completely human their is a no point!
    Rang in the end it’s necessary to sacrifice himself.. he is the one created once again so he payed!!

  3. Disagree. Its good that he has his powers again. Nothing clashes. All sacrifices were circumstantial. Rang had to balance the bloodbath he did before turning good. His selfless sacrifice for his brother is what balances it and got him another life.

  4. The truth love we can see between Lee Rang and Lee Yeon. But after reincarnation, Lee Rang as kid didnt remember or recognise his brother and they didnt have any relationship anymore. But did everyone remember the video messages from Lee Rang handphone? He want to meet his loving brother again. Lee Rang part are most tragic and make everyone cry..i cant deny it.

  5. Well! People who have logical sense of understanding would definitely get the ending. In Korea, legends say a fox can become a human if he’s not identified within 100 days. And those crying over Rang’s sacrifice, even if not for Yeon he would still die because there were no more ground cherries left and also he would be sent to underworld because of the number of crimes he committed . Therefore the writer added value to his life by letting him sacrifice for Yeon.

  6. From first till too lastt iam watching it desperately how yeon try to protect ji ah and how he love her truly… Love them together last but not the list my rang when he cry makes every one cry love him love all the members of this thiss…. Watching this kind of drama makes me fell that this kinds of fantasy real were excited..

  7. It had a strong beginning got a little slow in the middle. About him still having powers… All I can say is can’t trust a fox i guess lol

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