The Verge Of Death
We begin episode 4 of Tale of the Nine Tailed with Lee-Yeon and Ji-A searching around the village and realizing it’s completely deserted.
Down by the shore, they find numerous dead birds and ominous bamboo poles sticking out the ground. This make-shift pathway looks like it’s been formed for the Dragon King. Even more alarming, none of their watches are working, stuck to one consistent time.
Elsewhere, Yu-Ri celebrates her birthday but her parents begin questioning their memories. Yu-Ri slams her fist on the table and tells them to forget that for now. After dinner, Lee Rang shows up and convinces his associate to keep going.
Back on the mainland (well presumably so, we didn’t see them travel back) Yeon sits with Rang and asks him outright just where the villagers have disappeared to. He doesn’t let up though but as they verbally spar, we cut back in time and see Rang and Yeon together.
Rang is completely insane and wipes out a whole village full of innocent people. He asks Yeon to join him but he refuses to do so, telling him instead to raise his sword.
This happens to be where their feud began, and as we cut forward in time the pair are obviously still dueling now. Yeon has bigger problems to deal with though when he speaks to Taluipa. She’s not happy about him killing that human shaman last episode and Yeon’s judgment has been set. However, he’s too distracted by what happened with Ji-A to care.
Ji-A meanwhile begins investigating and learns that the 41 villagers on the island have no family. Even more bizarre, they all emigrated across at exactly the same time. On the back of this, Yeon heads back and has dinner with Ji-A.
Throughout the evening, her quirks and quips remind Yeon of A-Eun. This continues throughout the evening, with Ji-A finally leaving but taking the time to message Yeon while she leaves.
While Ji-A attends a funeral, Lee Yeon is given his judgment from the afterlife judges. They task him to living a week in the Snow Mountain Prison but within a human body. While he’s gone, Rang shows up at the funeral and admits the truth about A-Eun to Ji-A. Obviously he can’t help but gloat about Yeon’s current punishment either.
Unable to get through to Yeon, Ji-A walks down the hallway but a blackout engulfs her in darkness. Two strange twins arrive and start choking her out. Having lost the talisman keeping her safe, Yeon senses that Ji-A is in trouble and calls out for his Granny to help.
In order to speed up his punishment, Yeon is taken to the underworld of knives and told to cross a treacherous bridge. As he walks, knives spew at him from all directions, slicing him up.
Ji-A meanwhile awakens cold and shivering. Thankfully Jae-Hwan was on hand to help after she collapsed outside the funeral. It turns out the funeral home used to be a cemetery for children which may be why they showed up.
Only, she notices Jae-Hwan holding the book upside down and figures out she’s not safe yet – even more so when she realizes that Yeon’s talismans are no longer with her. The twin sisters return and ask her to give up her body.
With all hope lost, Yeon returns at the last second to save Ji-A from her fate, cuts and scrapes all over his body. As Ji-A weeps for him, her teardrop magically resuscitates the fox and brings him back from the brink.
The Episode Review
If Lee Yeon is within a human body, surely he’d die of hypothermia at the top of the mountain? I know they wrote this off as him not being able to eat and serving a punishment etc. but this isn’t explained too well. In fact, explanations as a whole just aren’t at the top of the list for this Korean drama.
There’s been a few plot holes so far (what happened to the coin-gobbling monster last episode? Did Rang kill him after all?) and this week throws another at us.
How did Yeon and Ji-A get back to the mainland after the entire village is empty? The first shot is with them on the island the second is with them back on the mainland; it just feels like sloppy editing.
It’s a shame because the ideas are intriguing and I’m a massive fan of fantasy stories but this one is all over the shop when it comes to pacing and storytelling. Hopefully this one settles down soon but 4 episodes in, there still isn’t a consistent rhythm to this one.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|