[recap] Arang: the Magistrate’s Chronicle – Episode 4

This drama is definitely the new definition of pretty. What’s not to love, when everything is so gorgeous? The people, the camera work, and even the clothes? What amazes me the most is the camera work, which makes everything looks like they come straight from paintings. The special effects aren’t that flashy, but I can take it since this is a fantasy themed drama. One might find the story slowing down a bit in this episode, but I enjoyed it so much because there’s a lot of things that worth the watch.

And this is the third time I’m changing the featured image. It’s hard to choose one!

[Episode 4]

We go back to some time after episode 3 ends, where Eun oh was searching for Arang. He then goes to Bang wool’s house, only to find the place empty. He sighs, wondering where has the ‘Memory Loss’ Arang has gone to.

 

Cue Bang wool running past him, completely oblivious of the fact that Eun oh is standing there in front of her house. She goes straight to her praying corner, pleading the Heavens that she has done anything wrong regarding Arang. Eun oh suddenly shouts out her name, sending her into crying fit (probably because she thinks his voice is from the Heaven). Bang wool quickly recovers from her shock and fear when she realizes that it’s only Eun oh.

He asks about Arang, and Bang wool explains that she has gone to the Underworld and everything that happened before. The shaman thinks Arang won’t have a good ending in the Underworld and she mutters her prayers as Eun oh tries to digest the new fact.

 

Arang, on the other hand, is walking behind Moo young. The scene is exactly like the first time she woke up as a ghost, but this time without the big red rope around her. She walks faster to stand beside him, asking about his death. He explains that although he’s a grim reaper, he’d also die and disappear. He doesn’t answer her when she asks about his previous life and walks away silently as Arang is left with her curiosity about him.

They arrive at a river bank and the dangling yellow lantern drops onto the ground to light up the whole world around them. Moo young calls the river Hades’ River; once crossed, one could never return. When asked about her regret, Arang replies that she didn’t bid her farewell to someone, but that’s not important. The only thing she cares about for now is the promise Moo young made to her before.

 

A boat comes towards them and Moo young jumps into it, telling her to get in. The boat sails itself and it travels into the Underworld as Arang looks back with a little sadness on her face while Moo young stands behind her calmly. Well…this might be his daily ride, so he’s already used to it.

The boat dives into a waterfall in the middle of the sea (looks like Niagara Falls) and Arang looks like she’s drowning in the water, but soon, the water disappears and she floats into a dark place. Eun oh’s voice wakes her up, and she realizes that she’s now inside a dark cave.

 

A white figure sits far away in front of her….the Jade Emperor? Sadly, it’s not. The white figure suddenly rises, revealing his eerily long limbs. Arang looks at him with fear and then asks Moo young whether he lied to her. Moo young doesn’t even flinch as the figure flies towards Arang and stops in front of her, his face directly in front of hers. Creepy, because he has fire in his eyes. Nope, the fire is actually what his eyes are made up of. Super creepy.

Back to the life on Earth, where Eun oh is listening to a lecture about Arang’s punishment in hell from Bang wool. He cuts her in the middle of her lecture, wondering how a shaman without any power could have known all that. She points out that everything is written in the book in front of her (that I call ‘Shaman 101: A Complete Guidebook’). As a shaman who looks up to her guide book, Bang wool gets angry when Eun oh says that it’s useless.

 

She opens the book (it has such a looooooong name!) to explain about the different types of hell in the Underworld. As she reads the explanation, the pictures shows the hell and the punishments, each of them with Arang being punished. Eun oh listens to this with worry written all over his face. He asks with a shaky voice, whether there’s nothing they can do for her from their place. Bang wool’s answer: “No one can go to the toilet and underworld in someone’s place.” Pwahahaha. Now I know why she and Dol swe are going to make an amazing couple. LOL

Eun oh’s worries multiply when Bang wool sighs, saying that Arang might be strong outside, but she’s actually full of fear and she might not be able to withstand the hell.

The magistrate for the night, Dol swe, opens the door and looks at Arang’s corpse. I just love what he says to the dead body and wish that Arang could her it herself.

I might not know about your real situation, but how could this happen to a young lady like you? You don’t even have your parents here. It’s not that I have any desire to become a magistrate or anything, but looking at you right now, my heart just hurts.

Awwwww…can someone hug him at this instant?

 

A few men barge into the magistrate’s office and heads towards Arang’s quarters where her corpse is kept. Dol swe wakes up in puzzlement and pushes the men who try to enter the room as he questions the reason why they come there. Lord Choi’s right hand man says that it’s his master’s order. Dol swe is surprised, but he’s still firm on his decision to protect the place. So he’s beaten up by those men as Arang’s corpse is lying in the room.

He’s bleeding from the beatings but Dol swe doesn’t move away. Lord Choi’s man isn’t going to let him behave just like that and takes out his knife. He then stabs him….and actually stabs the rag. Haha! He pulls away the knife to stab Dol swe, only to have a shoe hit his head before he can do anything.

 

And we have our savior of the day Eun oh, tip-toeing on one foot while smiling at Dol swe. As usual, Dol swe lets out his ‘Young Master~’ squeal. Eun oh challenges the man to fight him and he’s pissed off when the man talks down to him (using informal terms with him). Eun oh warns him that his father, the previous Prime Minister won’t stand still if he’s killed,and even if that man has Lord Choi’s backing, he’ll be killed, not Lord Choi. The man retreats and leaves, but Eun oh stops him, telling him to bow to him. That man obeys, bows to him, and leaves.

 

Dol swe hugs Eun oh in relief while crying,and Eun oh pats his back for his brave effort to protect Arang. Why these two are so cute?

Lord Choi’s man gets his ‘reward’ for his failure: a block of wood thrown at his head, making his forehead bleeds. Joo wal enters the gate and runs into that man and sees him holding his forehead. He then looks at his father’s room’s direction and smirks.

Eun oh sits beside the unmoving Arang, her face uncovered. He stares at her and asks what she wants him to do for her.

 

The day changes, and the three City Hall members are shocked when Eun oh wants to hold a funeral for the late Lady Seo rim. He’s not that happy when they want to use cheap wood for her coffin and snaps at them when they question about the visitors to her funeral. He wants the whole town to be notified and come to apologize to her for badmouthing her all this time. As soon as they go out of his office, he speaks to himself that this is the best thing he could do for her, and he’ll leave the town once her funeral ends.

Lord Choi is just about to meet Eun oh himself, but he’s visited by one of the City Hall members who reports about the funeral. Lord Choi is glad to know about that, because as his man suggests, Eun oh must have realized his mistake to go against his order. The man is still holding grudge towards Eun oh, as he asks Lord Choi to give Eun oh a good scolding.

 

The notice about the late Seo rim’s funeral is put up around the town and two men talk about going to the funeral to meet the new magistrate to complain about the high tax that they pay to Lord Choi. One of them is scared Lord Choi will find out about it, plus Eun oh doesn’t really know how things work around their town. They’re about to leave as they talk about Seo rim’s corpse that was found intact, not normally rotten when they realize that Joo wal is behind them. Everyone leaves, leaving Joo wal alone in front of the notice board.

 

The magistrate’s office, where the funeral rites is being held, is still empty with no one coming to pay some respects to Seo rim. It’s sad to see how lonely she is if she’s still alive.

Eun oh is the only one sitting inside her room, sighing over the fact that even a single ant hasn’t come for her funeral. He’s glad she didn’t meet Joo wal, as her ex fiance doesn’t even remember her face. He’s curious, whether she’s really gone to the hell.

 

The third day of the funeral arrives, which means it’s the burial day. The officers prepare the coffin to be brought to the grave as Seo rim’s nanny bows to Eun oh, thanking him for what he’s done. Eun oh prepares for the burial and his journey to leave the town as Dol swe complains about the town’s ignorance towards the deceased lady. No one has came to pay respects to her.

At the same time,a woman walks into the magistrate’s office in hurry.

Eun oh and Dol swe go out of the room but Dol swe forgets his bag and goes inside to take it. Eun oh is just about to walk out when he sees the woman’s face. He’s shocked, and I break into tears. Awwwh. I know who’s that woman!

 

It’s Arang, dressed in different clothes! She greets the shocked Eun oh with a wide smile on her face. Dol swe comes and asks who’s the woman in front of Eun oh. Oh my, he can see her too? Eun oh is surprised and chases Dol swe away to have a good talk with Arang.

Dol swe walks away to follow the funeral procession and he keeps thinking  about Eun oh’s relationship with that woman for him to behave like that. He’s angry as he realizes that his master hides her from him, but he doesn’t have that much time to think about it. The funeral’s about to begin.

Meanwhile, Eun oh is still trying hard to believe that the person in front of him is indeed Arang. She knows that Bang wool told him about the Underworld. She’s happy to know that he was looking for her, but he’s impatient to know what happened to her. Arang tells him about her returning to the world as human. Pretty impossible to believe, right? Same goes to Eun oh, and he touches her to verify whether she’s a real human.

Arang shrugs him off, and Eun oh drags him into the room. Haaaa~

 

He asks what does she means by becoming a human, and we go back to the time when she was in the cave with Moo young and that creepy white figure.

The figure glanced at Moo young and after the reaper nodded at him, he flew back to the black hole behind. A light shone through an opening, and Arang followed after Moo young towards the light. Then, she’s flying in the sky with him the moment she opened her eyes.

She arrived at an unknown place, and a voice greeted her, asking her the reason why she wanted to meet him.

 

Yup, that’s the Jade Emperor, with Hades stood beside him. Arang was speechless for a moment and kept staring at the smiling Emperor and the scowling Hades.

 

Suddenly, Hades turned his face towards Jade Emperor and smelled him. He asked what did he put on, and Jade Emperor cheekily answered, “A perfume to welcome women.” Hahaha! Who doesn’t love him?!

Arang was impatient and she started calling the Jade Emperor ‘old man’ and of course, she’s looking at Hades because he’s the old man in the house physically. The Emperor corrected her and wanted her to omit that ‘old man’ part, because he’s not an old man in any way. Arang still thought he’s old; he’s young only in appearance.

Moo young warned her to mind her manners in front of the two heavenly rulers, but she never brought along her manners with her when she died. Nice answer. The Emperor gave her permission to continue and she explained that she wanted to know how she died.

Surprisingly, even the Jade Emperor couldn’t catch up with every single thing happened down there in the mortal world, so he’s decided to discuss about her situation with Hades, only to be pushed away by Hades. It turned out that he’s only putting a show in front of Arang, and Hades said that they’ve already came to an agreement.

Hades took over, announcing that because of the Emperor’s earnest request to him, they’ve decided to give Arang a chance despite her wrongdoings that could send her straight to the hell. They granted her a special chance to return to the mortal world as human to find out the reason for her death herself. If she failed to do so, she’d be sent to the hell without any chance to escape.

 

Arang took some time to think over, and of course, she decided to do it. So she’s standing in between the two rulers under a large yinyang bubble floating above her. They gathered their powers and made a yinyang ball surrounding her and the ball gradually covered her and shrunk. Hades was still worrying that it would be problematic but Jade Emperor assured him that he trusted his own instinct. He grabbed that ball and threw it towards the yinyang bubble. The next thing we see, the ball fell down to the world, where it went straight into a lake.

Gumiho’s glowing tails, anyone?

Soon enough, a woman’s body started to appear in the ball like a baby and the woman came into life before she swam to the surface. The woman is Arang, and as soon as she reached the surface, she cursed the two rulers for sending her to the world…without her clothes. Hahaha! Perverted old men!

 

She walked around naked and found a house with some clothes hanging outside. Lucky girl. She grabbed them and wore them, but she’s surprised to see a woman squatting on the jars outside the house. It turned that the woman was a ghost, and it looked like she could still see ghosts around her! Arang bragged about her being a human and advised the ghost to take care of the jars carefully before she walked off.

She still had some doubts about her human status and she chuckled when a boy said he could see her and she’s pretty. Hehe. She’s so happy to be born again as human, even being accidentally hit by a man seemed blissful to her. It seemed trivial, but it’s another proof that she’s there; could be seen and touched by humans.

She saw the notice about her funeral, so that brought her to the magistrate’s office to see Eun oh.

 

Eun oh finds it absurd for the Jade Emperor to grant her wish and on top of that, she’s the first to get that privilege. Arang thinks it’s because she looked so pitiful. Before she’s able to finish her sentence, Dol swe starts calling Eun oh from the outside, urging him to come out faster as people are waiting for him. Dol swe is sitting near the door step and he kicks Arang’s shoes around, probably because he’s jealous. Awww~

Eun oh doesn’t let Dol swe to come in and tells Arang to stay there. He goes out iin a hurry and accidentally knocks Dol swe with the door. Poor man! He doesn’t tell his servant anything yet and just walks off towards the funeral.

Arang sits in the room but soon, she decides go somewhere: to Seo rim’s room. She greets Lee Seo rim, saying that she’s returned as she looks around the room that used to be hers. She looks into the mirror in wonder to see her own face being reflected there. Arang makes some faces and again, she’s truly a human now!

 

She remembered the conversation she had with Hades and the Jade Emperor before. She’s given three months to find out the truth, and if she failed, she’d go straight to hell. The Emperor would give a sign to her if she succeeded: he would rung a bell. The bell in his hand was so tiny, so Arang questioned how would she hear the sound, so he kind of expanded the bell and rung it, producing an echoing sound.

The bell would be rung only if the man who killed her died. Hades, on the other hand,was eager in preparing the hell for her in advance. When asked her reward if she succeeded, Jade Emperor said that the matter would be decided later.

Arang scowls towards the sky, saying that she would solve the mystery not in three, but one month. She’s not the old Seo rim she used to be and goes out of the room.

 

The two gods discuss about her matter over their baduk game and Hades is sure this time, Jae Emperor will lose to him. If Hades win, he only wishes one thing: he will echange his body with Jade Emperor’s body. Hahaha! That surely shakes the Emperor, but he still agrees to do that. In return, if the Emperor wins, he’ll tell Hades what he wants.

In the end, Hades wins the baduk game, and the Emperor predicts that more deaths will come soon. Hades thinks deaths are necessary for new lives to be born, and Jade Emperor nods in return, agreeing to what he’s saying.

 

As the funeral procession is taking place, the only people mourning for Seo rim are only Eun oh, her nanny, and Dol swe. Others are just staring. At the same time, Joo wal is thinking hard about something, and he approaches a locked door. He’s about to unlock it, but soon changes his thought. Behind the door, inside the room, behind the curtain….a woman is sitting there like a statue.

 

Lord Choi and his men are giving away their rotten crop to the villagers, just because there’s nothing that can be done to the crop. Lord Choi feels it’s a big waste to give them away, but his man says it’s another way to make them more indebted to him. Wow, greedy old man! Plus, he’s so stingy and won’t even let a man take away a bag of onion that’s still good.

He’s thinking about selling the things he received for tribute, and he also receives a good news about Eun oh leaving Milyang. He sees Joo wal walking into the compound and he deliberately asks his men when’s the full moon.

The father and son have a talk about the full moon. Lord Choi teases him about his mission that he hasn’t completed yet. He tells his son to go to Seo rim’s funeral.Who knows, he might find what’s he has been looking for there. Joo wal reminds him to do his job well and he better show his kindness to Seo rim’s coffin bearer rather than giving away rotten crop to the villagers just to earn himself more respect. Joo wal then leaves the house.

 

Arang goes out and gets an idea. She decides to disguise herself as one of the guards in order for her to watch her own funeral. She’s sure Eun oh won’t be able to recognize her.

The burial is taking place somewhere on a hill. Eun oh thinks hard about Arang’s story while Dol swe looks at him with disgust, knowing that he’s thinking about that woman. The three officers are just impatient to see Eun oh leave the office and his post as magistrate, so that they can live in peace.

Arang is still wandering around the town, not knowing where the burial takes place. She’s looking around when she suddenly runs into Joo wal. He pulls her hand and saves her from falling. At that moment, his ring glows red. Arang asks him about the funeral but gets no response from him, so she walks away.

 

Unknown to her, Joo wal follows her until they arrive at the burial site. Eun oh is just about to leave after he decides that Arang will find out the truth about her death by herself, since she’s now a human. However, he’s bright enough to recognize Arang in the guard attire and starts to worry that the nanny might recognize her as she starts to argue with the three officers. Arang realizes that the nanny is behind her and Eun oh is staring at her. She runs away when the officers start to ask who’s her, so she has the guards and officers chasing her.

Eun oh and Joo wal also run after her, with Joo wal having the advantage since he’s jumping from one roof to another. He’s the one to find Arang first, and she’s desperate to run away from Eun oh. Hence, she asks Joo wal to help her climb the wall.

He wonders whether she’s really a guard, and she assures him that she is. Eun oh sees her and Arang jumps to the other side of the wall, running away from him.

 

And…the two men meet again – Eun oh and Joo wal.

[END of Episode 4]

Dear Joo wal, what on Earth are you actually?

He’s the one with the most mysterious background to date but he’s the one with the least screen time. I guess that’s because of his mystery that is yet to be revealed. I find Joo wal is simply an intriguing character. He doesn’t show much of his feelings, but when it’s something associated with Seo rim, his face falls a little. I actually love to see a little shaken when he looks at her in the last scene. He’s probably pretending not to remember her face, and it’s nice to see him having a humane side to him. Hey, I also love his icy cold personality, because he’s the only one who can pisses Lord Choi off. I just hope that greedy old man will die soon. HAHAHA *evil laugh*

This episode gives another clue to the big picture behind everything that happens. I think Joo wal is not a werewolf or anything; he’s just a proxy for the woman behind the curtain to get the things she needs before the full moon. I assume she’s a gumiho or nine-tailed fox for now, but we have to wait for the next episodes to find out more about it.

Arang makes me realize there are too many things that we take for granted, and we don’t ever feel grateful for them. Living as a ghost shows her so many things that she should be thankful for once she’s a human. The ability to be seen, to touch and to be touch are just some of them, and we’re given the opportunity to see the world from her point of view; someone who’s given the second chance to return to the world, to find the truth about herself. One thing that I’m curious about Seo rim/Arang is her life back when she was the noble lady of the town. No one has ever seen her face properly, and I want to see what was she like back then. Seeing her all ladylike is going to be amusing, since the Arang that we know is a kickass woman who loves to curse and never holds herself back.

Enough ranting…hmmm hmmmm…

Did I ever mention that I love men in white?

Jade Emperor…your mane of glory makes you look so feminine…but I love you, so I’ll let it pass. Hahaha!

Eun oh….can you just wear white all the time? Instead of that blue hanbok? 😀

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3 thoughts on “[recap] Arang: the Magistrate’s Chronicle – Episode 4

    1. I doubt we’ll be able to see that..because Jade Emperor will try to avoid it at any cost! He loves his youthful face a little too much! LOL

      I think we’ll see more colors in the upcoming episodes..but I must admit that Yongha’s hanbok is unbeatable 😛

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