Tale of the Nine Tailed: 1938 – K-drama Episode 8 Recap & Review

Indigenous Gods

Episode 8 of Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938 begins with Shin-joo awakening Yeon and Rang with a big emergency. As they come rushing out the bedroom with weapons drawn, Hong-joo is there to greet them in the courtyard. It turns out they’re about to host one of Myoyeongak’s biggest events. It’s Gimjang season so they need to make kimchi. If they refuse? Well, they have quite a large bill for staying all this time!

Remember the Shinigami Mercenaries from before? Well, they show up at the train station and begin looking about. Kato’s subordinate is there to greet them, incredulously commenting that they look like hillbillies. On their way into town, these mercenaries spot Yeo-hee and notice immediately that she’s a mermaid. However, the woman (Yuki) pleads with the others to let her eat the girl’s flesh. Thankfully they have other things to do but it’s still an unnerving situation as they head into the office and greet Kato and Akira. The Shinigami Mercenary boss is tellingly missing.

Kato reveals his plan to them. He wants to covert Joseon demons into the Empire’s war weapons. Their mission is to capture those demons but they’re under strict instructions not to kill, and they’ll be paid by the head. Akira is not so sure this is a good idea but Kato is determined to uproot the demons in town, even if it means calling forth great, unstable warriors to do so.

Back at Myoyeongak, Rang decides to head out and mulls over Moo-yeong’s words regarding his brother. Speaking of which, Moo-yeong pays his respects to his brother before boiling his bones. He’s intending to set up the Banhon Charm, something which revives the dead. He knows he may not be forgiven for it but he feels like it’s something he has to do. He’s driven by his unwavering desire to revive Hi-gyeong no matter the cost.

While those protests continue outside Taluipa’s abode, Jae-yoo shows up to confront Shin-joo and the bandit boss, who have been going at it since Shin-joo learned he’s the thief who stole his gear earlier in the season. Jae-yoo lays down the law and demands they take it in turns to do the chores.

Hyun Ui-ong is the unfortunate soul tasked with playing messenger in the middle of this, letting Hong-joo and Yeon know that they need to stifle the protests and deal with the civil complaints. One after another these Gods come in and have a number of different complaints ranging from poisoned wells to missing demons from the underworld.

Rang heads to Club paradise to hear Yeo-hee sing but he’s distracted once more by the ominous warning that Yeon will cause him to die. He heads out into the rain but Yeo-hee follows. He tells her about his troubled life and how Yeo-hee is one of his weaknesses. He bemoans feeling “pathetic feelings” and decides to leave. Yeo-hee calls him a coward and how their kiss wasn’t for nothing, urging him to face this.

In fact, she wants to marry him and pleads with the God to not run away. Rang concedes and the pair get dried up together, but every time Rang lets himself feel happiness, he’s reminded of Moo-yeong’s warning again.

After sorting all these demons out, Yeon and Hong-joo contemplate why there’s so many issues. They’ve heard rumblings of demons going missing and Kato is the one, as we know, behind this. Yeon wants to fight back but Hong-joo reminds him that he’s just a guest in this time period. Besides, he has less than a week left here so he needs to pick his fights wisely.

When Rang returns to Myoyeongak, he finds the Shinigami Mercenaries outside who entice him in to play a dangerous game. While they start betting on years of their life, Hong-joo discovers the culprit that pulled Jae-yoo into the toilet earlier in the episode. It turns out it’s a Toilet God and she wanted to spend eternity with Jae-yoo while nesting. She tries to persuade Hong-joo to let her stay, pointing out that there are rumours of treasure being kept here in the form of the golden ruler and guardian stone.

Back with Rang, he loses everything and has less than a day left to live. When Yeon finds out, he’s livid and demands that Dokgakgwi revert it all back. He refuses to do so, forcing Yeon into action. He’s going to bet with the Gods himself and win back Rang’s lifespan.

With everything hanging in the balance, Yeon discovers that Dokgakgwi has been cheating all this time and he slices his hand off. Now the God has to play fair and Yeon demands that he do so, by also returning all the years he’s stolen from the other Gods by cheating.

Yeon continues to fold until he has a good enough hand to go all in, a tactic that Dokgakgwi continues to exploit. As he wins for all those indigenous Gods, as well as Rang, the game comes to a close. And hilariously, we learn afterwards that Yeon actually cheated his way to victory too.

Over with Kato, he speaks to Sunwoo Chan and decides that he’s going to remarry, and he’s chosen Ginko Tawara (Eun-ho), his sister-in-law, as his bride. Kato’s soon-to-be father-in-law is shocked and forbids this… until Kato blackmails him with proof that the culprit behind the bombing is Eun-ho.

With a witness at hand, Kato twists the guy’s hand and it seems like this marriage is going to go ahead whether he likes it or not.

Back at Myoyeongak, Yeon speaks to Rang and reveals exactly what goes down in the future. He points out that Rang protected him but Yeon couldn’t return the favour. He does lie though and doesn’t tell Rang that he cried profusely when his brother passed, throwing a joke his way instead.

Yeo-hee shows and throws her arms around Rang, eternally grateful that he’s okay and hasn’t succumb to the wicked Dokgakgwi’s games. We cut back to the forest where Moo-yeong speaks to his brother and pleads with his plaque to come back. However, he needs the golden ruler and guardian stone to make that happen, so he heads off to recover those artifacts.

As he walks, the Shinigami Mercenaries double their efforts and begin capturing the Joseon demons about town. When Yeon and Rang catch wind of what’s going on, they inevitably decide to get involved.

The Episode Review

It’s so rare to find a second season of a K-drama surpass the quality of the first but that’s precisely what we’re getting with Tale of the Nine Tailed. The story has been so well written this year, with much more emphasis on the brothers rather than the tepid love story, which was easily the weakest part of the first season.

What we get here is a rip-roaring adventure, complete with plenty of Gods, intriguing individual episodic tales and a lot of memorable moments. The fact that Yeon actually cheated in the game after learning those same tricks from that troublesome God is all sorts of amusing, while the Shinigami Mercenaries are a tasty inclusion that promise to really spice things up in the episodes ahead.

The subplot involving Eun-ho and her family in this timeline is arguably the weakest part of the whole show though, and this doesn’t really have much to go on beyond Eun-ho potentially playing out the “damsel in distress” trope.

Despite that, there’s lots to like with this and Tale of the Nine Tailed continues to deliver great drama, setting things up for an intriguing double bill next week.

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You can read our full season review for Tale of the Nine Tailed: 1938 here!

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