[recap] Arang: the Magistrate’s Chronicle – Episode 3

Episode 3

So Eun Oh closes his eyes, expecting a kiss from Arang only to find out it was his imagination (ha! who called it?!) and realizes he’s going crazy. The next morning, he hands Dol Sae a letter, telling him to give it to Jun Wal. Dol Sae asks if he’s really going to be the magistrate for Milyang and Eun Oh replies he won’t be it for that long.

Up in Heaven, Jade Emperor is fishing with the Underworld King, you know, the typical Sunday morning activities that immortals usually do. Underworld King is stressed out because things aren’t in their proper order due to the influx of spirits and Jade Emperor tells him to relax and let them handle it. Underworld King disagrees and asks what they’re going to do about the ghosts that they’ve lost for 400 years?! Jade Emperor apologizes for that and Underworld King notifies him that he still hasn’t gone down there and fixed the situation himself like he promised. If Jade Emperor doesn’t fix it, then Underworld King will use his own methods.

Arang fixes her hair so it’s pretty and Bang Wool comes in with the clothes that are going to be offered to her. Arang admires her beautiful hanbok and tosses away her old hanbok. Sadly, Arang cannot see how pretty she looks. Eun Oh waits outside impatiently and asks what’s taking her so long, but it’s worth the wait when she comes out and he does a double take. Arang asks if it fits, but he doesn’t reply, just coughs and tells her only her messy hair has changed. He tells her to wait at the shaman’s place and the shaman protests, telling him to take Arang with him.

Jun Wal receives the message from one of the underlings about Eun Oh’s wish to see him. Meanwhile, Bang Wool prays to the spirits to send her a warrior ghost instead of Arang, not knowing Arang is right behind her. She asks hesitantly with Arang is there and Arang says yes. Bang Wool begs her to leave since Arang gave her enough trouble already and she’s just started eating again after the distress. Arang apologizes and looks sad as she walks away. Arang decides to just to and visit the meeting place early, walking there with a proper young lady stance of course.

Eun Oh talks to himself and decides that she should have kept the messy look since he’s not “used” to the new look. However, the clothes are what makes her look pretty, he concedes. He also decides it’s better if they stick together, who knows what trouble Arang might cause (right…you just keep telling yourself that lover-boy).

Arang walks around in the village and finds the building where she first took the pills to make her visible. She remembers there’s a gosiwan and decides to go there for food since Eun Oh’s busy. She’ll be going to the underworld after the meeting with Jun Wal is over anyways. She enters the abandoned buildings and three thug ghosts appear (they were the ones that blamed her for them losing the food last time). They grab her, still harboring a grudge over the loss food and step on the hem of her hanbok. She fights them off, give them a beating and taking it too. They manage to grab onto her again, but is saved by Eun Oh.

Eun Oh scolds her, wondering why so many guys are always out to get her and then realizes her clothes are soiled. Doesn’t she know how much it costed him?! The ghosts are surprised a human is here and asks him to leave since this doesn’t concern him. Eun Oh doesn’t leave though since this is his issue too using the excuse of the dirtied clothes (yup, it’s totally not about Arang). He takes out the red beans bag and threatens them with it, only to find it empty except for one bean. He starts beating them all up and it’s in slow motion (I’m really hoping this isn’t his imagination again). He’s good at martial arts and he starts moving around like he’s on some wu xia movie. Arang fights them off too, not acting like a weakling.

The reapers come in and they use this chaotic time to get away from the other ghosts. Arang’s sad that her clothes are all messed up and Eun Oh asks a bit harshly if she’s sad about her clothes being all like this and if she wants to wash her face. Arang says no, it’s not like Jun Wal can see her anyways and runs off. Eun Oh chases after her when it suddenly rains (fox rain?). Jun Wal is waiting at the meeting place, but leaves after waiting for a while.

Eun Oh follows Arang for a while and decides to take matters into his own hands. He grabs her and takes her to the meeting place only to find Jun Wal is now gone. Arang is angry that nothing goes her way and starts cursing Jade Emperor and Underworld King for doing this to her.

The two immortals are playing ba-duk again and they hear the curses Arang is saying. She demands to know why this is happening to her and why they are doing this to her. Whenever Jade Emperor put down a stone it reverberates though we don’t know the significance of the ba-duk. It cuts to another scene where the rain pours and a ribbon is visible in the dirt (perhaps it was Arang’s…).

The three men run up to the magistrates office, Lord Choi, and Jun Wal with some urgent news: they found a girl’s corpse. The body is covered, but Eun Oh can identity it is Arang’s with the dress’s hem which has the embroidery he found in the old magistrate’s daughter’s room. But what’s odd is the body hasn’t decayed at all even after 3 years. He uncovers the body to find it is Arang, but there’s no hairpin on the corpse.

It seems like she was murdered and Eun Oh turns around to see Arang standing there. He tells her not to look, but she glances anyways and see the seamstress mourning for her. As they pull the seamstress away, the mat over her flips up and Arang sees her dead body. Arang is in total shock and runs off. Eun Oh wants to chase after her, but is called by Dol Sae when Dol Sae sees Jun Wal heading to the crime scene.

Arang runs away and distraught about not knowing why she’s dead and why this happened to her. We flashback to when she’s first a ghost, her shock about people walking through her, her getting beat up for eating the food first at a gosiwon, her beating up other ghosts and her being chased by the reapers. She runs until her legs give out.

Back at the crime scene, Jun Wal stands over her covered body and just stares in shock. Lord Choi (not present) wants to claim the body and Eun Oh objects. This was obviously a murder and they can’t give the corpse to someone who isn’t family. He wants the corpse moved to their place and the underling demands to know who Eun Oh is. Eun Oh replies he’s the magistrate. Jun Wal and Eun Oh have a little staring contest.

Jun Wal asks why Eun Oh wanted to meet him, but Eun Oh said he had something to ask, but changed his mind. Jun Wal won’t ask anymore, however he can’t comply with the Eun Oh taking Arang’s body because his father ordered for it to be given to them. Eun Oh points out Arang’s been framed, however Jun Wal doesn’t want gossip to occur because of this again since it shamed Jun Wal’s family. Eun Oh understands Jun Wal must resent her for what happened, however that’s not it. Jun Wal’s never even met Arang, only saw her once and he doesn’t even remember how she looked like. For there to be resentment, there has to be feelings. He doesn’t care what Eun Oh does, but Lord Choi won’t just let Eun Oh do whatever he pleases.

Arang ends up sleeping on the grass where she fell at. Meanwhile, the seamstress is burning Arang’s old hanbok as a sacrifice while Eun Oh watches on, listening to her pray that Arang is in a better place. Dol Sae asks what they should do with the body and Eun Oh doesn’t know, he says he’ll ask again (to Arang) whether she wants honor restored, mystery solved or to just be buried, but Dol Sae thinks he’s talking about asking Lord Choi. Lee Bang whispers it’s the last choice, but Eun Oh just ignores him (ha).

Arang looks at her body which has been changed into white funeral clothes. She sees her face for the first time in three years and realizes she looks pretty. She talks to her body asking why she was in such a dirty place and who killed her.

Arang: Even if I don’t know, you should know. You don’t know? Why don’t you know, idiot? Why don’t you know? Just wait, I’ll find out for you.

Arang heads up to the roof to talk to Jade Emperor. She doesn’t know how to pray but she wants him to listen. She wants the Jade Emperor to tell her what happened, he should know since he watches from up high. She then repents for all the wrong things she did. She waits for a response and then angrily calls Jade Emperor an old man again.

Jade Emperor hears her shout the last part and sighs. Underworld King tells him not to do anything because once she crosses over, she’s his and he’s going to give her a heavy punishment. Jade Emperor heard her prayers and wants to tell her and Underworld King gets mad that he would make such a deal. Jade Emperor’s messing up the order and Underworld King will just have to fix it, why does he always play the mean one and Jade Emperor the nice one?!

Bang Wool continues praying for a warrior spirit to come and meet her (I’m hoping she doesn’t call forth a reaper). The candles blow out and she starts chanting (so funny!) that it’s coming. To her disappointment, it’s Arang she hears and Arang needs a favor. Bang Wool asks what she ever did wrong to deserve this.

Bang Wool ends up in an abandoned house where there’s a door sealed with yellow paper. The gate sealed is the door to the underworld which Bang Wool breaks open. She tries to open the gate as well, but is too weak so Arang opens it easily. They go in and Bang Wool warns her that if this doesn’t work, Arang might become non-existent. Arang tries to touch the canister that Bang Wool was carrying, but it hurts her.

Eun Oh tells Dol Sae to watch over the body since Eun Oh has to go out and he refuses. Eun Oh tells him to listen to him and for today, Dol Sae is the magistrate.

Jun Wal looks up at the moon and his father comes out to scold him for failing to recover the body. If anything bad befalls their family, it will be his fault.

Bang Wool prepares everything and slides this wooden panel away to reveal a drawn seal which is the same tattoo Arang has on her neck. Bang Wool has never done this ritual before, but it will probably work if she follows the instructions. She takes out a cloth from the canister. Bang Wool wants to know what Arang is trying to catch, but Arang just blows at her face and causes Bang Wool to break out into warts (gross!). Arang wonders if the reapers will come if he sees Bang Wool in that state.

Arang apologizes for doing that and tells her she’s going to the underworld. Moo Young does come and asks if she is really ready to cross over. Arang is, but she has one condition: let her meet Jade Emperor. Moo Young says the only person she’s meeting is Underworld King, Bang Wool can’t believe that she’s actually talking to a reaper. Moo Young says she can’t and Arang says she has to meet the old man. The words “old man” is a sign for Bang Wool to push the wall she previously slid out (which now had a cloth on it with a symbol) behind Moo Young.

A vortex opens up and Moo Young is almost sucked in along with Arang. Bang Wool repents, not knowing she was actually doing this to a reaper. Moo Young asks if Arang knows what terrible deed she is doing right now, but she keeps insisting on meeting the Jade Emperor. The only reason why they are not sucked into the vortex is because Moo Young is clinging onto the walls. Meanwhile, Jade Emperor and Underworld King are still playing their game of ba-duk, both think what’s happening is bad and not bad respectively.

Underworld King wonders it’s been a long time since the Jade Emperor struggled like this, but Jade Emperor puts the white stone on a spot that shocks Underworld King. Arang continues to beg to see Jade Emperor, but Moo Young replies he doesn’t make deals with spirits. Moo Young tries to grab at the strings on the end of the cloth which would close this portal.

Underworld King asks the Jade Emperor to let him undo one turn. Jade Emperor asks what he’ll do for him? Back in the mortal world, Moo Young hears his name being called by Underworld King and Moo Young decides to take the deal. Arang calls out for Bang Wool to take down the cloth which would close the portal. Moo Young falls on top of Arang and quickly gets up. He tells her never do something like this again and Arang says they’ll never come this close ever again.

Eun Oh runs to the grassland where Arang last took off to, but he doesn’t find her. Meanwhile, Arang follows the reaper like 3 years ago except this time, she’s not bound by red rope.

Comments:

Have to say, Arang has guts for pulling a stunt like that. I’m still a bit confused about the ba-duk and the connection to the mortal world, but I guess every move the JE and UK places turn the situation bad or good?

This episode gives us progress since now she’ll actually meet the Jade Emperor and maybe know how she died. However, it’s unlikely she’ll find out the whole story since the drama is about her recovering her memories unless they take a different direction and make the drama into a revenge sort of thing, but i prefer the mystery aspect of this drama.

I’m really loving the cinematography, but not so much the music placement. Some music just sounds off for certain scenes like the fighting one, I guess it doesn’t make sense to me because Arang wasn’t really having fun fighting those bad guys off. Usually, the whimsical music is used in a fight if the person fighting is really winning by a long shot and is just a quirky fighter. I think the camera does make up for it though, there are some really beautiful shots and camera movement such as when Arang was running away from the crime scene and they did this one cut where the camera was filming the field from her point of view.

To find out what the Jade Emperor says, we’ll just have to watch episode 4. I’ll let May take over for that episode hehe.

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2 thoughts on “[recap] Arang: the Magistrate’s Chronicle – Episode 3

  1. My thoughts after this episode were wondering if Joo Wol has something to do with those souls that disappeared 400 years ago. Perhaps he possessed the son’s body to hide from the reapers or some such? I’ve got even more theories (or more expanded theories) after episode 4!

  2. They definitely needed Arang; its obviously they were also desperate for the body. Makes me wonder what but I have no clue but whatever it is, will transpire on the full moon! First thing comes to mind is werewolves but that makes no sense. The cinematography exceeds where sometimes it doesn’t in Faith. I love this story! I love the infusion of folklore, supernatural and just a regular saguek at the same time! Love LJK and SMA; also love all of the supporting actors! This is really turning out to be fun and enjoyable!

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