A Surprise Visitor
Episode 15 of The Uncanny Counter begins with Mun clawing away from Mayor Shin who’s far stronger than he expected thanks to Hyang-Hui breaking the barrier. Shin’s unexpected power surge is certainly something he didn’t expect, as Mo-Tak arrives to help. Fighting breaks out between them while Hyang-Hui and Ha-Na cross paths.
Ha-Na looks close to dying as she fights against a choke hold from her enemy. The two trade blows, ending with Ha-Na eventually summoning the evil spirit from within and casting it off to Yung. At least, that’s the intention anyway. In truth, Hyang-Hui passes out and awakens in jail without her memory and a psychotic cellmate.
With his lackey down, the attention of the Counters now turn to Shin who manages to slip away in the ensuing carnage. With the spirits in Yung, our Counters retreat and formulate a plan to catch Shin and free Mun’s parents’ spirits trapped within.
Shin realizes that Mun is getting stronger and curses his luck. He heads back home where Hyeok-U watches in horror through the security cameras as his Father beats down a supporter in the garage with a wrench. As he turns around, he smiles maniacally into the camera.
Mun heads to the training room and prepares to battle Mo-Tak as scheduled. Instead, Ha-Na shows up and tells him to take a seat. There, she patches him up and promises to do her best to allow Mun to see his parents again one more time. As they talk, Mo-Tak sneaks in and teases her, prompting Ha-Na to leave just as Mo-Tak prepares for training.
After a morning spar, Mun senses a level 2 spirit and rushes out to chase them down. Only, on the way he runs into a former Counter called Jeong-Gu. He was apparently in Singapore but now he’s back. Jang-Mul actually summoned him there to, although he’s not entirely happy he’s arrived. Under the pretense of releasing his spirit in Yung’s album, Jang-Mul wants him to help heal Mae-Ok.
As Mun summons the territory just like before, Jeong-Gu marvels at his skills as the Counter does his best to heal Mae-Ok. With blood trickling from his nose, he manages to help her back to a decent fighting level. Alone though, he mentions her “condition” and how serious it is. He warns that she won’t be able to survive out on the field for much longer but for now, this is left suitably cryptic and vague.
Hyeok-U shows up at the Noodle Bar looking the worse for wear. While he’s taken in and comforted by Mae-Ok, the rest of the Counters head out together with Jeong-Mu to find Shin. On the way though, they tease him about his “junior” (Mun) saving him from the level 2 spirit.
It turns out the evil spirit has actually switched bodies and is now inside Hyeok-U. This means Mae-ok is in danger, especially when the Counters find Mayor Shin in a comatose state, breathing softly in his seat.
Back at the Noodle Bar, Hyeok-U stands up and begins giggling as we cut back and see Shin deciding to use him to kill the others and serve as a decoy. With the black smoke protruding like tendrils, they enter Hyeok-U’s body while Shin passes out in his seat.
Mae-Ok decides to fight but despite valiantly holding her own, it’s not until Mun shows up that they manage to stop him. Mun screams at Hyeok-U, demanding the spirit leave. It does just that too, leaving Hyeok U and returning to Shin’s body. Mo-Tak and Jeong-Gu are there waiting though but despite both working together, are quickly manhandled by the evil spirit.
Unfortunately in the ensuing fight, Jeong-Gu is impaled by Mayor Shin’s sword. Mo-Tak is beside himself with grief, having seen another friend killed. This time though Jeong-Gu’s spirit is consumed by Mun whole as it turns out he’s actually the doorway between Yung and the real world. This means Jeong-Gu’s spirit has arrived safely after all.
That evening, Mun takes Hyeok-U back to his house and lets the boy rest. While he’s asleep, Mun reads his memories and sees evidence of a pained past; a loveless Father/son relationship and lots of grief.
In the morning, Mn allows Hyeok-U to experience a home-cooked meal with his grandparents. After, he calls Kim Ung-Min over who begrudgingly agrees to let his bully hide out at his vacation villa while the final fight looms on the horizon.
After a strange occurrence with a taxi driver, Mun heads back to the Noodle Bar as the group prepare for the final fight. As they do, they take one more photo and head off to the construction site, where Mayor Shin happens to be waiting for them. It’s game time. The final fight is here!
The Episode Review
The Uncanny Counter bows out its penultimate episode with an action-packed taste of what we’ve got to look forward to in the final fight to save the spirits trapped within Mayor Shin.
Poor Mo-Tak though, the arrival of Jeong-Gu was certainly met with elation…which quickly turned to despair when Shin killed him. While his inclusion felt a little superficial and pointless, I guess the intention here is to show how far all the Counters have come since he was in the team.
Either way, seeing Mun serve as a gateway between the two realms is a nice touch while showing Hyeok-U a kind family before he head off to the villa is another moment that shows how far Mun has come since those early episodes. Sometimes you just have to kill them with kindness rather than trading blows.
Speaking of which, given how quickly screenwriter Yeo Ji-Na left the show last week during off-screen disagreements over the final episodes, you can tell the writing style has shifted slightly.
It’s barely noticeable to be fair but at a guess, I’d imagine the writing is gearing up for a big cliffhanger ending to tease a follow-up. The original Yeo Ji-Na had in store may well have wanted to wrap everything up neatly. That’s purely speculation though so take that idea with a pinch of salt!
In the meantime, The Uncanny Counter continues to impress and right now, this is definitely one of the best K-dramas airing on TV.