The Healing Power Conundrum
We begin episode 2 of The Uncanny Counter right where we left off as So Mun grabs Hyeok-U’s fist mid-punch. Unfortunately he’s blindsided and with a 3 on 1 advantage, the bullies eventually overpower Mun.
However, Team Noodle arrive and even out the odds. They remain calm until Hyeok-U throws Mun’s cane back at him. Mo-Tak agrees to one punch each boy and in true Mortal Kombat style, he hits forward and cracks bones in a single, slick movement- complete with an x-ray view and bones crunching.
Before their territory fades, the team agree to wipe the memories for these boys, with Mae-Ok even going out of her way to heal the bones of these boys.
Mun awakens at the noodle restaurant as he realizes his leg has bee completely healed by Mae-Ok as promised. Given he’s struggled with this injury all his life, Mun heads outside the noodle shop and starts testing his new legs out, sprinting down the street and straight onto the track at school. This brings back memories of the past as Mun ran on the beach to his parents.
Mun eventually heads back to the noodle bar and tells the others about his parents. It turns out the other driver was drunk and that’s what caused the crash.
As they continue talking, Mo-Tak mentions how he lost his memory in the past, having fallen off a building. He was badly hurt too and managed to be brought back with the help of Ha-Na and Mae-Ok. It turns out 7 years ago was also the time period for Mun’s accident. Is this a coincidence? Or linked in some way?
Ha-Na suddenly interjects and reveals that she’s spotted a level 1 spirit and bolts out the door. Mo-Tak stays behind and reveals that as a Counter, they all possess physical abilities three times stronger than normal. Just to pove the point, Mo-Tak tells Mun to throw a punch, and he does so straight through a chair.
As we soon learn, Level 1 spirits lie dormant and the human can’t sense the evil spirit. This is before they kill anyone and the most crucial stage to catch them.
Level 2 is when they become fascinated with killing and level 3… well we’ve seen level 3 last episode. As the pair talk, Mun decides to join them after running full force past a bus at night. While the driver doesn’t seem too phased, someone in the window watches them with shock.
Anyway, the group work together just as before, relying heavily on Ha-Na’s powers to uncover the source of power. Mun takes the initiative though and pries open bars on a window to find a kid locked inside.
Mo-Tak uses his senses and sees what happened there before they arrived. The young child is in a critical condition too and so it’s up to Mae-Ok to bring him back from certain death
Thankfully Mun managed to save him from his ordeal and his quick thinking saved the day. Even Mo-Tak pays him a compliment, telling the boy that he did good.
Ha-Na meanwhile, draws the evil spirit out of the Father, breathing heavily as she watches it dissolve into oblivion. Afterward, the group promise the abused woman that they’re on her side.
After this, the group converge back at the noodle bar where they talk over what happened after his taste of this life. With an outfit all ready for him to go, Mun eventually decides to think it over. With Mo-Tak muttering his disdain, he eventually tells Mun to hurry up and make a decision.
Mun meanwhile, heads home and greets his Grandma. He reveals that he can walk now and even tells her he can jump and run. As she watches him perform these actions, she begins crying and tells him she doesn’t recognize him anymore. She’s happy of course but it’s obviously a big change.
That evening, Mun decides to visit Yung again, holding his chest and meeting Wigen in a brilliantly white room. He’s made his decision and is given the three rules. One of which includes not meddling in human affairs which is a little construed given what we’ve seen so far.
Anyway, he’s given the rules and agrees to them all… but on one condition – he wants to meet his parents.
Back in the present, Mun takes on his hazing ritual with the rest of the group. With his hand painted blue, he’s tasked with imprinting the wall as high as he can…which just so happens to be the very top. The others are shocked but he manages to almost best Cheol-Jung’s, which happens to be quite far
At school the next day, Hyeok and the other bullies arrive and continue to make life miserable for Mun. They ask him what happened as they can’t remember why they woke up in the gym.
Eventually Chun snaps and manages to thwart the threat, beating down the bullies as they surround him. He tells them next time to come for him and if they touch Ung-Min or anyone else again, he promises to get his own back.
At lunch, Mun heads out for more training with the Counters. There, we finally get to learn more about these territories. There are times when the abilities these guys possess are increased fivefold and that occurs whenever the territory is active.
Mun has experienced this too, given the time inside the gym. It turns out a lot of the evil spirits descend of Jungjin and there’s all different types too. These levels actually extend up to level 4 too, with the two-voiced level 3 evolving to see the host and evil spirit working in-sync together.
As Mae-OK hands over a composite sketch, Mun struggles not to laugh and eventually asks for another. There’s a whole book full of them and although he laughs, it turns out the others have been using these all this time to track down the killers.
Eventually Mun picks up a pencil and shows off his artistic skills, drawing a much more accurate sketch for them to work off.
Eventually they all take pictures but when Mun tries to put his arm around Ha-Na, she knocks him across the room. It turns out touching others causes her to read their memories and it’s not the first time she’s done this either. It turns out she’s thrown everyone across the room so it’s not an isolated incident.
Down in the basement, Mun warms up ready to practice, doing his best not to ogle at Ha-Na as she lies on the mat.
Mun goes through the wars, beaten down by Ha-Na despite managing to punch straight through the bag. After she knocks him flat on his back, Mo-Tak shows next for his second lesson, grappling Mun to the ground.
Eventually Mun starts honing his skills as a slick montage cuts in and shows him running outside and fighting in the basement. He seems to be getting the hang of it too and screams to the heavens. Only, a sleepy Ha-Na heads down and tells him to keep the noise down.
The next day at school, Mun is called away by a new case for the team to tackle. As he gets in the Counter car, Ha-Na briefs the team as they prepare to stop this spirit from killing.
The Episode Review
So if Mae-Ok has healing powers, how far does this extend? Does she have the power to, say, heal flesh and bones from an impaled stick? I’m sure you know where I’m going with this so why couldn’t she save Cheol-Jung last episode?
Unless I’ve missed something of course, in which case please do correct me and I’ll edit this out the recap completely. This just seems like a pretty big plot hole already and it’s only made worse by the announcement that the territories only accentuate a Counter’s power
And what about that rule around meddling in human affairs? Does Mae-Ok healing humans that have been hurt constitute as this? I know healing that injured child is the right thing to do but this rule seems like it could very easily be misconstrued.
Still, the series gets off to a good start and while yesterday showed off the action, impressive camera work and choreography, this follow-up adds an element of humour to the fold too. And boy, does this episode have some funny moments.
The composite sketches were a great touch and seeing the whole family playing that scene straight only added to the humour. That’s before mentioning Ha-Na knocking Mun over and the Rocky montage ending with Ha-Na telling Mun to go to bed.
So far The Uncanny Counter is a bit of a mixed bag – but an enjoyable medley of ideas nonetheless. Hopefully the niggling plot holes will be addressed soon but the narrative is compelling, making for a really enjoyable watch.