Sometimes what you see isn’t what you always get and that is so true for this drama. Neither one set out to fall in love, but it was inevitable since they mirrored each other in actions and outlook. When they first met, both had only one agenda and that was to look out for themselves. She only cared about protecting herself and surviving till the mystery of her death was solved while Eun Oh kept to himself and didn’t care about other people’s problems. So how perfect is it that two people so indifferent to the world end up the most empathetic. To the extent that he could sense her vulnerability under a facade of nonchalance with just a glance and she saw through his bravado to the core of his loneliness. What these two endured to get to this stage of love makes you wish for the impossible. If any characters every earned a happily ever after, these two did every step of the way. You can just sense it every time they are together. Unless you have loved this much, you can’t feel this much pain in having to say goodbye.
Joonni came to my rescue for key scenes so everything should be more coherent now. She even translated that last scene for us. Bless you for all your help tonight.
Written before it aired: The fact that they came here to say goodbye just kills me. It’s perfection. This has been my favorite locale for this drama since the start. Night or day, it’s where Arang went when she was troubled. It was also where she felt genuine joy for the first time in her past three years when he agreed to help her. It’s only fitting they say goodbye here holding hands and looking out at the water.
This drama should have always been called Arang and her magistrate. It was obvious from his dream of kissing her that he had fallen for her first. He was also the first to do something about his feelings and was brave enough to say them aloud. That’s why it was only right that she should reciprocate and be the first to say “I love you.” LSR never got to tell the love of her life, but Arang did. Wherever she ends up, she will always have that at least.
Who they love and how they love were the only choices they ever had. How long they could stay in love was up in the air from the start and built into the premise of this drama. My cowardice said stay clear of this show, but my heart just loved the idea of a wandering ghost determined to find out who killed her. The icing on the cake was when she set out to seek help from a young magistrate. As we all know, we got a lot more than we ever expected from this drama. I anticipated a certain amount of fear, but not to this extent. I even knew a tragic ending was highly possible, but there is no preparation for that. After all the stomping this drama did on my heart, I really didn’t think I could take anymore. But that’s where I was wrong. Just like these two continued to love each other despite the impending pain and separation, there was no way I was going to look away as they said their final farewells. I faced everything else with them so I feel like I earned my seat in the front. In recent years, I’ve learned not to put too much faith in satisfying finales. Take it with a grain of salt I tell myself, but this time I want a little more. This whole story seemed like something out of a fairytale so I want the happily ever after. I don’t want them to repeat what happened with Mu Young and Mu Yeon and end up in heaven unable to love with no memories. I want Arang to remain here with Eun Oh and build a life together. That’s the only ending that will satisfy me at this point. After what they put me through emotionally last night, all I can say is I am ready for anything else they have up their sleeves. Jade had better come through in a big way or I am going to be mentally kicking his heavenly butt up and down so he makes Hades look handsome.
If this actress who played sato’s mom ever came out as a nice person in another drama, I will never fall for it. She played evil so well on Can You Hear My Heart, but then she outdid herself in this drama. She might be smiling here, but it still gives me chills. Even if she was my mom, I would take a step back to keep my distance and be more obedient for sure. If Korea had a MTV movie awards, she would be a shoo-in to win Best Villain.
If J really was the one who ending up killing LSR cuz he threw her body off that cliff, then his death will make that bell ring in heaven. I just assumed cuz they checked her pulse that she had already died, but I guess it’s possible he was wrong. Just like when he thought Arang had died after he stabbed her. If that means J has to die, I hope it’s done in a way so he will feel free. Now that we know he has to live with all his memories of his past murders, that isn’t much of a life so it makes sense that he has to die to end his misery. Just like LSR had her maid, at least J will have one person in the world crying over his death cuz Kim really seems to care for him like a son.
Starts from Mu Yeon shoving M aside and running for arang. M stops MY. She begs please save me brother but M says sorry for leaving you to suffer so long. Let’s go together. he holds her in his arms. M: Let’s end our connection (time together) here. then he stabs her in the back. then he stabs himself. Arang cries and says Mu Young. She remembers how she had asked him as they walked together in the afterlife “can a grim reaper die” and he said “we just disappear.”Now in present time, M disappears. J comes over and sees that.
Arang runs over to E’s side. He is holding his mother and crying. blood appears where he stabbed her and the hairpin disappears. she looks at him and cries in pain. She closes her eyes in his arms. E keeps calling out mother.
E carries his mom on his back. He tells her to endure a little longer cuz he is taking her to the doctor but she says put me down. He obeys and she touches his face and says my son. He says mother I am sorry. She thanks him. She looks at arang and nods her head. Arang nods back with tears in her eyes. It’s like his mother asked arang to take care of her son and arang agreed. She looks at him again and dies in his arms. He holds her close and cries out mother over and over.
J walks and says wife died. Wife died. Now what do I do?
He goes to his room and sits. He has another memory and remembers how he threw LSR’s body over the cliff. He cries and says to arang: I didn’t know I coldly threw you away like that at the end. I don’t know if saying I didn’t know deserves forgiveness but I really didn’t know. how many more memories are going to come up-I am so afraid. he cries more. how do I live? He keeps crying with his head down.
Hades says in the end M rescued Mu Yeon when I should have put her in hell. Jade says it’s too bad that her existence is extinction but Mu Yeon might have wanted the fires of hell more. hades: what does that mean. jade: did you forget? She was sick and tired of heaven where no desire is permitted so she probably wanted the fires of hell more so she can have one emotion of suffering and hang in there. hades: so extinction for her might be the harshest punishment. jade: who can know what she really feels inside. Anyway the guy i had as backup performed very well. hades says our bet is not over. I will say it again – Arang cant solve this problem no matter what so you prepare to switch bodies (with me)
E is paying his respects at his mother’s grave. Arang stands nearby and says in her head – even though she left the bell of truth didnt ring. the truth of my death was not sato’s mother. since I dont know the truth of my death and I have to go to hell like this – it’s ok. why – cuz I have to go to hell to remember him. E holds her hand and says M told me a way to find out your truth. arang?
Flashback to M telling E. M: there is a way for arang to find out the truth of her death. you just have to look in the book of life and death in the afterlife. every person’s life and death are all recorded. so arang’s death is recorded there and it will have the real criminal on it. E: how can I see it? M explains that the records of people alive is in heaven but the record of people who died is stored at a location in the forest of the afterlife
E tells arang what M said. E: until your days (left) are filled, he said you cant go on the road to the afterlife so I will go. I will go so you dont worry. She says no. do you know where the forest of the afterlife is? it’s in front of the river of the afterlife. You have to die to go there. do you plan to die? he says who’s gonna die? B told me a way but arang cuts him off and says stop everything. I dont have to go to heaven. He says what are you saying? why are you like this suddenly. I told you I will send you to heaven. She says no I don’t want to go to heaven anymore. E: what do you mean you dont want to then do you suddenly like hell? arang: yes. she lets go of his hand and walks off in anger. He calls out to her
Arang walks along and remembers how B’s grandma said arang would have to leave all her memories behind if she goes to heaven and even if she goes to hell, she wont be able to live on in people’s memories so arang says I want to go to hell and remember sato
E goes to meet B. she explains how you take out the soul/spirit from the body and only the soul can go to the forest of the aferlife. E: how do you take it out? B: how to do it is in grandma’s book but there is a problem. E: what problem. B: you dont know the road to the forest of the afterlife. normally the grim reaper should have showed you the way but plan to go alone and you will lose your way. There is one solution. Arang has been to the afterlife so she knows the way. He says arang cang go until her full moon days are up, she cant go anywhere near the afterlife road. B tells him about another way -only her consciousness needs to go. E: what do mean B: arang’s consciousness can go with you and lead the way
E says to arang: cuz you dont want to forget me you are willing to go to hell? how could you have such foolish thoughts? if it’s you, even if you go to heaven you will find a way not to forget me. sitting here doing nothing and waiting for hell isnt like you. think about it carefully – why you came here. Let’s go and find your truth and think about the rest then
She goes to her room. she remembers how she told LSR I will find out who killed you.
E is walking along and ghosts stop him
At night E is taking notes about how each ghost died and what they want him to do for them. One died by getting hit by a plank of wood that was old and broke off. his wife had a son at that time without him and his baby still doesn’t have a name cuz his father is gone. so he wants E to give his son a name. E: is that all? so E writes it down. Next one died by drowning and his family cant find his corpse. So since his corpse cant be found anyway, he wants E to leave a small thing so he can go on to the afterlife. One died from a tiger bite on his way to get fruit for his mother and his mother doesn’t know he died and is waiting so please tell her I went somewhere good so don’t wait anymore. E agrees to do that and writes it down. One wants to get married (with his ghost fiancé). E: what?
E looks over the list and makes notes to hand out to each ghost. They thank him.
E went to each guy’s home and carried out their wishes. one got a marker for his grave. the mother got a persimmon. one got married. All the ghosts bow to E and disappear
next day, E looks out over the land and says I think I did everything I could in this place.
Arang and E hold hands and go take a walk by the water. He says the wind feels good today. She says when I went to the afterlife I crossed a river like this. only two full moons passed, but it seems like a long time ago. even after I leave the time here wont stop and continue. Wont it? he says I hated hearing time goes by too fast like an arrow. Cuz of the hard times seemed too slow. But the time with you now, the time that is running away so indifferently, I resent it. I cant believe it’s so short. She says in her head, “Where the flowers wither, they will bloom again, and where the wind blew by, another wind will blow again. But I will hold onto that first heart forever even if I go to heaven and forget you, or go to hell and you forget me and we can’t recognize each other wherever we are. Eun-oh says in his head “With this heart I will find you. Recognize that it is me when you see a boy stopped in his tracks after passing you, looking at you with tears falling and with a racing heart.” He says aloud: Arang I love you. he holds her face and kisses her. they both cry as they kiss
J dresses and goes outside. Kim sees him walk by and says please be healthy young master. he bows and leaves
J walks along the woods and his voice narrates “even when I open my eyes the days were dark. even if I was alive, the time stopped. walking as a coward, I want to end this now. even though I stabbed people in the heart, I am perfectly normal/healthy. cant forgive myself for that.” He stands at the edge of the cliff where he threw arang. He looks out and remembers how he bumped into arang on the street when she was dressed as a patrolman. Then how LSR died for him and he threw her body over the cliff. Then how arang loved those peaches. J cries and says to arang: If I end up meeting you again – if a life like that is permitted to me – at that time I want to stand behind you. from far away, like a dark shadow, just looking at you in pain. I wont dare to love you. with tears flowing down he closes his eyes and jumps.
E gets dressed in normal clothes and looks at his sato outfit folded up.
D and bangs come over and say to E “you look so good today. are you going somewhere with arang.” E says to the bang: thank you for being good to me and choosing me to be the sato when I lacked. in the future like now, please take good care of the office. D asks why are you like this? did you have a dream at night about dying? why are you saying thank you? why are you like someone who is leaving. E: I have to leave cuz I did everything i was supposed to do here. He says listen well and lists all the things they should do with the villagers. They post it and villagers are happy cuz they have more equality. they all have the chance to become part of the government police force, and the citizens can pick the sato for themselves.
D and B are walking and he tells her to hurry along cuz she is trailing behind him. He tries to hold her hand and then he does. D: why? She says people are looking. He says I am holding it for others to see. who is going to say anything when I am holding what is mine. She mentions how this is the road she went back and forth a thousand times but now it feels like a different road now that they walk together. They go over to a man. D asks him to draw them. draw it the best you can. old man compliments their looks. B offers to carry the drawings since it’s not heavy but he says no where else will I use these broad shoulders. I can carry you too. I am really strong. should i show you? but she says dont do that. it doesnt look good for a guy to exert energy. D: is that so. B: not sure about nights though. his eyes grow big cuz he is imagining something racy. Next D walks over and looks at rings. he chooses one and asks what she thinks. B says I would be thankful but I dont know how to choose and dont need it.
At night they look over their sketches. He asks do I really look like this. she says you look the same. She asks how do I look. What he says seems like a compliment (like a lump of moon)so she thanks him. He puts the sketch away and takes out the ring she chose. she says I told you i didnt need it. He says didnt you know. I dont listen to stuff I dont want to. also lies dont work on me. He puts the ring on her. she asks how did you know my ring size. And remembers how he held her hand and looked at her finger size. B: i just thought your body was good but you are smart too. He takes out another ring for himself for her to put on his finger. D: are you just going to smile? she puts it on him. He holds her hand afterwards. D: until now I lived thinking just using strength was a guy. but it isnt. a regular guy just uses strength for the sake of a girl, but a real guy uses his heart for the sake of the girl. can you accept my heart. she says once you give your heart don’t take it away till you die. he says her name and hugs her
Arang and E are lying side by side. B ties bells on their wrists after she binds their hands. if she does this then the two of them wont lose each other in the forest of the afterlife. The bell is so she can call them back to earth when it’s time to return. arang asks are you doing this properly. B:how many times did I tell you. she isnt sure cuz her shaman skills arent great. E asks if arang remembers the way to forest of the afterlife properly. Arang says how could I forget that place. if you go and come back once you will never forget it. E asks B – you are going to ring this bell right? B says yes when it’s time -I will shake this and call you back. she gives them warnings and says don’t stay too long and you have to come back before dawn or else sato might die. she doesnt say the last word and says I will shake this till I sweat. arang thanks her. B says you have to win. Don’t get tempted by visions and just look ahead and run. arang and E look at each other. B starts her spell as arang and E close their eyes
They wake up together in the woods and arang says this is the forest in the afterlife
B prays to her dead mother, grandmother -please.
Arang and E run through the woods and ghosts come towards them. E asks what is all this. arang says focus. they keep walking through all the ghosts. Arang stops cuz she sees her maid. Maid says come here and I will escort you. I have something I must show you. follow me. E calls her name so she wont go, but Arang follows her maid.
Arang walks into a room. it’s her mother and young LSR. Her mom says don’t cry Seo Rim. I should have given you a younger sibling. Leaving you lonely like this. I am really sorry. The girl cries mother open your eyes and her mom says live happily and dies. Arang watches and cries.
Sleeping arang cries next to E
E tells her to wake up. she was leaning against a tree. She says I saw young LSR. No I saw myself as a young kid. E: what are you talking about. Arang: I saw my mother pass away. She cries and he tells her to focus. Let’s hurry and go. They get up and run. They get to a gate. He thinks it’s that way. They run towards the door. He pushes it and goes in.
there is one lone guard standing there. E says let’s go and they walk towards him. Guard says who are you. E says we are here to see the book of life and death. Guard says only the records of the dead are kept here. E: i know. guard: you know? then why are you looking for the records of the dead. a living being looking for the record of the dead -you are the first. E: there is a reason I came all this way. I have to find out something so let me in. guard warns there is a time limit once you come in and within that time if you dont find what you want, you will never be able to leave forever. do you still want to come in. E says I came all this way and you think I didnt already think of that- so don’t worry and let me in. the guard says ok. Follow me. Arang waits outside as E is led inside
They are in a room with books. Guard says you cant see all the contents. You can just get one answer to your question. E: how do I get the answer. Guard says “ask with your heart what you are curious about and it will answer.” He says the time I am giving you is until the 5 red dots on your skin disappears. E looks at his hand at the 5 red dots. E starts to look through the books and has 3 dots left. he says I can get it. let me know who is the criminal who killed arang. He flips through the book and reads. He repeats the question. let me know who is the criminal who killed arang. letters disappear and then the answer is there. He says the one who killed arang was herself.
Arang wonders why he isnt coming out. she tries to go in but the invisible barrier stops her. she calls out sato.
E closes the book and then sees another one. He reads it and says why am I inside this book of the dead? I died at 6yrs old. why? Flashback to jade carrying young E to his home. How jade said I will leave this as your debt. from here on you are not the owner of the time you received. a day will come when you will remember this kindness. E says jade emperor – I already died once. then why save me? if I am not the owner of this time then who is the owner? he calls out jade emperor.
Suddenly E is standing in heaven in front of hades and jade. Jade: say it kim EO– what do you want. E asks why did you save me back then (when he was 6). Jade: that was cuz you were a human I needed. E: to use me to kill that fairy. jade: well not only that. E: just know this – you started this plan but what finished it up was my will. It was my choice to stab my mother’s heart. Jade: there is another reason why you wanted to meet me. E says I found out the one who killed arang was herself. arang is in a body that cant die so that means she cant solve this to ring the bell of truth. Hades says yes that’s why I said she cant ever solve this problem. E: why did you give her that kind of test? you gave her a problem she couldn’t ever solve/get the answer to and you stood up here in amusement as you looked on. if that is your source of amusement, shouldnt you have given her a problem she could solve at least. shouldnt gods be fair? Hades says yes I am fair but jade goes back and forth. Jade says: kim EO – arang didn’t come here for the sake of going to heaven. it was just to know the truth of her death and for the sake of knowing who she is, that’s why she came. so I let her know what she wanted to know. if arang finds out herself what you learned, then that kid received her compensation. heaven or hell comes after. now tell me the real reason why you came here
E runs out and arang asks why did you come so late. E: let’s go. arang: did you see the book?Who killed me. He says I will tell you later. they run and disappear
B rings that bell to bring them back. She says come back. it’s daylight outside
E and arang run through the woods and she falls and disappears. He can only hear her voice but cant see her
B yells hurry and wake up. hurry and come back. Arang came back and opens her eyes. B asks didnt you come back with lord sato. what abou the lord. Arang tells E to wake up. arang starts to disappear. She is gone. B yells to E: there is big trouble. sato
Arang is at the magistrates office ground and there is a big dark hole ready to engulf her. she turns and calls out – sato wake up – answer me so I know you are alive. tell me you are ok. she gets pulled in
B says there is big trouble. she tries to shake E to wake up.
arang: sato -Be well. You cant wake up cuz of me. It’s all cuz of me. I was the one who made myself die. That’s why sato didn’t tell me. I cant die so I was meant to go to hell.
E wakes up and yells arang. He goes out and sees her about to be pulled into the hole but he pushes her away and gets pulled into the hole in her place
E told jade -since I caught that fairy you wanted to catch – change your condition so arang’s truth bell rings. Jade says if I change my condition what will you do. E says I will give my life. hades says giving your life is not enough. Can you go to hell in arang’s place.
Arang watches as E gets pulled into that hole. Arang cries out sato, but he is gone. she suddenly disappears.
then she appears crying as she reaches down on her way to heaven
D walks in dressed as sato and bangs greet him. D says did anything happen at the office. Bang says thanks to you sato everything is fine in mirang. Come inside cuz there is a lot to do for the citizens sake
B is feeding a woman and asks how it tastes. the woman says let’s do business together cuz this tastes so good it’s not just your typical taste. it wont just be daebak – it will be more daebak. So B opens a restaurant for pork and kimchi
B takes some food to ghosts and says you waited a long time didnt you. I will put it down at the count of 1,2,3. she puts the food down and goes. Among them are choi and G. Choi tells G to share and scolds him for speak banmal to a noble. G says why not since we are ghosts. He runs off with the food and knocks choi down
Hades says I was going to let kim EO live here in heaven as reward for his scarifice so why did he want to go down to earth. why do humans want to live on earth so much. jade says that’s why they are humans. Hade says this time I thought I would get your body for sure. jade says there will be a chance next time to get it. hades: it’s really too bad. jade: Since I feel sorry we couldn’t switch bodies I prepared a small gift. Jade calls out “Mu Young” and gives the goat to hades. hades laughs and says out of all the things you did this was the best one. jade reincarnated M especially cuz it seemed hades missed M a lot. hades says it’s not bad for M to spend his time here in heaven paying for the sin of not being able to end her life. i will have to come here often. Hades asks if the new grim reapers are doing well. Jade says they are coming now. One of them is J. J says we came back
A young girl is playing in a field of flowers. A young boy comes over. His mother – B- calls out eun oh and the boy hides with the girl. Boy: my mother is looking for me. excuse me but it doesnt feel like it’s the first time I met you so I am talking to you. I’ve met a lot of girls until now, but none as pretty as you. can I ask what your name is. She stares at him. young E: I asked what your name is. she says I am arang. look here sato – I told you not to drink from the well of forgetfulness, but did you drink it? what are we going to do – if only I remember, what is the point? You really don’t remember me? you really dont? what are you going to do you amnesiac. (all that yelling makes him fall backwards) she sighs deeply and tells a story, “A long long time ago there lived a ghost named arang and a sato called eun oh.” She is frustrated cuz he doesn’t remember and only she does. she complains “how am I supposed to say this long story – from where do I start? what are you we going to do? why did you drink that?
Suddenly we see grown up Arang and Eun-oh. As she hits him, she says “What are you going to do? You still don’t remember? Why did you drink from that well of forgetfulness? I told you many times not to drink it.” Eun-oh, rubbing his arm replies, “I know. I memorized it all because you told me till my ears hurt.” Arang says, “Memorizing is not the same as remembering.” Eun-oh smiles saying, “Still, for us, this moment right now is the most precious time.” Arang smiles in response and kisses Eun-oh. As the camera pans out she asks again “dont you remember?” and he replies “not sure – it seems like I sort of do…” She pulls on his hat cord to bring his face closer so he puts his arm around her and kisses her some more.
Joonni said: I think those little kids grew up and Arang is still trying to get EO to remember. But he doesn’t. With this line- “I know. I memorized it because you told me till my ears hurt”- EO means that he knows that in their past lives she had told him not to drink from the well because the current arang has told him the story over and over again, but EO still doesn’t remember. But it doesn’t matter because here they are again, together and in love.
In a nutshell, this is how Joonni explained this to me. Instead of sending E to hell as they said, hades and jade looked on his sacrifice favorably and gave him a chance to be reborn or live in heaven. obviously E chose to be reborn cuz hades said that. so E is reincarnated without memories, but arang has hers intact.
This is the silver lining I mentioned. Since E was reincarnated as B and D’s son, he got to meet Arang pretty much right away. They are both young so this just means they get to live out the rest of their lives from childhood on and grow up and get married. So in this way, they got a whole lifetime to love. It doesn’t get any better than that since they both end up with great childhoods too with normal parents and all. Pretty sure whether he recalls his memories of her is not important since he will just end up falling in love with her all over again on his own. He lost his memory, but at least she got what she wanted and retained hers along with her feisty spirit. Judging from how quickly he fell for her again, it won’t take long for him to catch up to her feelings. If you look at it from this light, this ending was perfection.
I knew J had to die to end his misery cuz he was getting back more and more memories of his past murders. it seems along with his memories, he got back a soul and a conscience and those two things would not allow him to keep living. he thought he didnt deserve to live so I didn’t view his death as cowardice. more like redemption. he took lives so he took his own cuz it’s only fair. that Jade turned him into a grim reaper was sort of good cuz at least this way he wont have any memories of what he did on earth. at least he found peace in the end so that part of the story was tied up well.
There are certain scenes or moments I treasure in a drama and this one had too many to name. I think my favorite ones were when I laughed the most. Like the first time they met or when he carried arang on his back to B’s home cuz he thought she was drunk, but she totally wasn’t. the way he kept dropping her saying she is just a ghost that no one can see so what does it matter. But he would look down and feel guilty so he would carry her again then complain about his precious back later. These days the last thing he cares about is his back and I bet he would have carried her all the way to heaven in a heartbeat if he could. I still don’t get why he had to point out that her body doesn’t have warmth in that cave. I wasn’t sure if he was saying that cuz he didn’t want her to be cold with him lying on the bare ground or if it really was true. But he more than made for it when he tried so hard to go back and look for her body after she fell off the cliff. If I had to choose, I think I like the earlier episodes more. the way they always bickered was so cute. I loved how he was so speechless and enamored each time he saw her come out after a makeover. Towards the end the story got a little darker than I anticipated, but I still loved when they finally admitted their feelings for one another. This genre is so different from your typical Korean drama so I really appreciated how it pushed the boundary in regards to the fantasy. It didn’t frighten enough for people to turn away and the way they beautifully portrayed their love just made you glued to the screen anyway. I finally updated my favorite drama list and ranked it higher than I planned to cuz all the emotions from this drama still resonates with me even now. If anything, this really was a ghost story cuz their love haunts you for some time to come.
Overall, I have to say this drama was worth every minute of fright, laughter, and even all the tears. Thank you all for joining me here each week.