Chapter 9: Spirit Of Darkness
We begin episode 9 of Tale of the Nine Tailed with Yeon arriving to save Rang, who both stand back to back surrounded by these blood-thirsty grudges.
Using the lessons learned during their sparring sessions as kids, the duo manage to fight their way through the horde and flee. It turns out they’re in The Forest Of The Starved; a manifestation of Rang’s worst nightmares.
Ji-A meanwhile is forced to relive the painful moments on that fateful stretch of road. She pleads with her parents in vain to stop the car but it’s no good. Shattered shards of glass fly past her face as the car tips upside down just as before.
Looking among the wreckage is our Imoogi, who walks with the Juice Lady (later revealed to be the urban legend for the Spirit Of Darkness) and awaits Yeon’s arrival. They intend to ambush him, confident that Yeon will choose this door.
Back in the real world, Ji-A’s work colleagues find Ji-A passed out on the floor. They’re not alone either, Yu-Ri finds Rang passed out while Shin-Joo happens to be standing outside the two doors with Yeon lying on the ground. Of course, none of these characters will be able to wake these guys up.
Ji-A awakens and finds herself in the family home with her parents still alive. Her Mother smiles warmly, claiming that Ji-A was in a coma all this time.
Looking around this dreamy room, she tests her Mother (or the spirit claiming to be so) and asks for walnut cookies. Her Mother chuckles and tells her daughter she’s allergic to nuts. It’s enough for Ji-A to drop the knife and embrace this manifestation of her subconscious mind.
As the Juice Lady and Imoogi leave this vision, they appear in the TVC President’s room. Their plan is a bit of a bust given Yeon never showed in Ji-A’s vision. The Imoogi turns on this lady though, challenging her to try and defy him.
Back in Ji-A’s vision, she does her best to piece together what happened and manages to remember fragments of the Juice Lady asking about her fears.
Rang meanwhile asks Yeon why he chose his door but he simply shrugs his shoulders, telling him he picked the wrong one. As Rang gets up to walk away, a nasty bite across his leg and a horrid fever causes Yeon to begin worrying about his brother.
Knowing that the poison is spreading and he doesn’t have much time, Yeon wraps the wound and prepares to move out. After walking for seemingly hours, Rang collapses on the ground and can barely walk. He tells his brother to leave and see Ji-A, claiming to have nothing compared to him.
Yeon bemoans arriving to save Rang and tells him he shouldn’t have shown up now or then in the past. He tries to encourage his brother to hold onto hope, telling him not to give up.
Despite massacring an entire village in his rage, Yeon just cannot kill his brother and tells him a story about his sword and how it never misses. “Think about that with your stupid brain,” He rasps, flashing back to a moment where he stopped at the last second shy of killing Rang.
He realizes that his brother really does care about him and gains enough strength to stand up and walk toward him. Together, they realize the visions are a result of the Spirit Of Darkness. Before they can dwell on that though, the ravenous grudge return and force them to flee.
Yeon realizes that the only way to get through this is for his brother to face his fears. He tells Rang not to be a wuss and if he can overcome this, a door will appear and he’ll be saved. Yeon buys his brother precious time, sacrificing himself to hold back the hordes.
With the mangled, disfigured corpse of his mother clinging to Rang’s leg, Yeon dives across the cliff-face, pulling it off Rang and allowing him to climb up and save himself from this nightmare. As he awakens, Rang tells Yu-Ri he needs to see Yeon.
Meanwhile, Shin-Joo tries desperately to get Yeon and the others back. He approaches Taluipa and promises he’ll do anything to try and save them. He arrives at the hospital with purpose, snatching up Ji-A from her bed and taking her back to where Yeon happens to be. Tying a bracelet around them both, he hopes for the best.
In Ji-A’s vision, Yeon rings her and tells Ji-A she needs to remember everything and come back to reality. After stabbing the back of her hand, she heads downstairs and speaks to her parents, telling them she promises to find them both. What she really fears more than anything else though is being away from her parents. Ji-A faces her fears head-on and manages to save herself in a heart-wrenching segment.
With both Ji-A and Rang awake, it leaves Yeon stuck in his own personal underworld surrounded by bleak nothingness. Stumbling forward he eventually collapses on the floor, bemoaning that he’s stuck in this world while wanting to be with Ji-A.
As Yeon collapses, Juice Lady arrives and reveals that Ji-A managed to make it back home. Yeon suddenly stands up where it’s revealed that actually he’s been luring her to this place all along.
Everyone is forgetting this urban legend and because of that, the Spirit Of Darkness could be no more soon. After vanquishing this foe, Yeon managed to reach through to the human world and pull out a button belonging to the Imoogi. “Found you,” He smirks, as the Imoogi watches emotionlessly as this urban legend disappears in front of his face.
Yeon manages to save himself from this hell, just as rain pours down outside. Ji-A is soaked through but spies Yeon and his familiar red umbrella from across the street. She hurries over and the two start kissing, which is where the episode ends.
The Episode Review
The latest episode of Tale Of The Nine Tailed does a great job capturing the fears of all our characters and the mental strength they possess.
Seeing Rang and Yeon together, learning to cooperate and leaning on each other when times are hard is a nice touch while Ji-A’s mental strength to overcome her worst fears really speaks to her toughness as a character.
The fantastical elements in this show have been great and with the urban legend of the Spirit Of Darkness, Tale Of The Nine Tailed leans into these Korean legends nicely.
When it comes to the characters though, there just doesn’t seem to be a natural chemistry between Ji-A and Yeon. Maybe it’s just me but I’m not really feeling their characters romantically involved in one another. Sure, they have some good humour but I think it’s the way Ji-A has been written that holds her back from being more memorable.
Still, the growing feud between the Imoogi and Yeon looks set to explode in a flurry of action in the near future. We’ll have to wait and see how that plays out but for now, Tale Of The Nine Tailed delivers another good episode.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!