Mystic Pop Up Bar · Recaps

Mystic Pop Up Bar Ep 4 Recap (and who is the prince?)

The case of the day gets a little more personal in this episode as we take a look at one of the coworkers Kangbae’s closest to CHOI JINDONG .

We pick up where we left off with Yeorin stopping an irrational customer from slapping Kangbae. She coolly cracks her neck, saying that if he wants to get physical he can do so with her. The customer quickly leaves. Yeorin turns to Kangbae asking him what he’s doing here and tries to take him to security, not believing his pleas that he works at the mart. Weolju intervenes and the three of them sit down for a talk. Yeorin wants to know who they are and what they do. Weolju’s evasionary tactics, where she spills the truth but not the complete truth have Yeorin believing that they works for a) an organization larger than the NIS and b) operating on a scale greater than just South Korea. This is too good. Kangbae unwittingly adds fuel to the fire by asking Weolju if a civilian can be told this much. Yeorin’s now certain they’re some sort of super spy group. To consolidate that impression, Weolju brings in an white man dubbed ‘Agent Smith’ who pretends to berate her on exposing her identity. Yeorin’s even more impressed when Agent Smith is revealed to be Manager Gui.

Kangbae’s even more impressed by Mr Smith and tries to introduce himself when Mr Smith snaps that they’re good here. Mr Smith is MANAGER GUI. Kangbae’s flabbergasted, while Weolju worries about the state of Kangbae’s IQ.

Weolju buys out all the noodles on a shelf and is hassled by an grandmother who wants a few packets of noodles as well. Weolju’s easily won over when the grandmother flatters her by asking if she’s 21 years old. Turns out her grandson is Choi Jindong, Kangbae’s coworker. Weolju runs off before the grandmother tries to set her up with him.

Back at the bar, Weolju asks Manager Gui who he was in his past life. Manager Gui wonders why she’s curious and Weolju says his lettering’s pretty good so she thought he might have been someone of high stature. OH MY GOODNESS IS MANAGER GUI THE PRINCE? They bicker and Weolju grouses that there’s no way someone like him could have been a noble.

Manager Gui scoffs that she’s got him all wrong but Weolju’s more focused on the upcoming event she’s preparing so much noodles for than continuing the conversation. She’s hoping to score a ton of customers tonight. They waiting on Kangbae’s who’s still hung up over the fact that Yeorin is immune to his touch. He tries to touch her again to verify but gets yelled at. Freaked out, he races to tell Weolju than Yeorin is immune to his superpower only to be bewildered at what’s replaced the inside of the bar.

Upon coming in, he’s transported to a sports field, where dead souls from various parts of Korean gather for the Dream World Lottery Battle. A competition of sorts where the winner gets to enter the dream of their descendants and give them the winning lotto numbers. All these ancestors worry about their descendants so no wonder Weolju was so keen to prep for this event, it’s a way to score numerous customers at once. It’s so sad how all these people lament having only passed down poverty to their families and are eager to make amends. One contestant, CHOI SEOKPAN, is extremely eager to win. Kangbae overhears him, realizes that he’s Jindong’s ancestors and encourages him to keep fighting. Weolju drags Kangbae over and introduces him to Manager Yeom aka Grim Reaper Yeom (I think I’ll use that to refer to him from now on).

The games start and Jindong’s ancestor, Seokpan, strikes up a competitor with a wealthy noble contestant whose family’s fallen on rough times, KIM DOYOUNG. In the real world, Jindong hands his grandmother (the one Weolju met earlier) money he’s saved up for her back surgery. His grandmother refuses telling him to save it for retirement. Jindong looks worried as his grandmother tries to play it off as nothing. Meanwhile the contestants race through general knowledge, the equivalent of donut eating, races, limbo and more. Jindong’s ancestor, Seokpan clears it through clearly. Whereas Doyoung cheats his way through much to Weolju and Kangbae’s consternation. The final battle comes to a one-legged fight between the two. Doyoung plays dirty consistently, hitting and striking Seokpan whenever he can. But Seokpan has tricks up his sleeve too and whacks Doyoung with a final move, winning the battle and thereby the tournament.

Seokpan appears to Jindong in a dream and lays out the lotto numbers in front of him. Jindong is very very confused about the whole thing. In the meantime, Grim Reaper Yeom looks at the list of who’s going to die tomorrow and uh-oh, Jindong’s name is on the list. An accident is support to kill him. Kngbae is horrified and Weolju’s even more upset because it means her quota won’t go on. Seokpan pleads for Jindong’s life with Grim Reaper Yeom who even gets a little emotional and tells them one things they could try.

He says he’s already checked the good deeds each of them (Weolju, Manager Gui, Kangbae and Seokpan) have performed and they all fall short. He says they can acquire good deeds from another dead person who has something do to with your family but it’s illegal to acquire good deeds for free and he has to give the other person something he values in return. Uh-oh i fee were this is going and I have a strong feeling it’s going to involve Doyoung. Weolju’s ready to give up despite Seokpan’s please and tells him she does’t have time on her hands to be a philanthropist, but Seokpan’s earnest pleas remind her of her mother’s parting words and her courage to take Weolju’s place. Weolju relents and agrees to help. Jindong’s set to die at 11:03am the next day so Weolju and co need to work fast to find someone who’s done a lot of good deeds and has some connection to the Seokpan-Jindong family. There’s a hilarious Steve Jobs reference when they arrive at the heavenly records room and the receptionist point them to the genius who revolutionized their database. Turns out there is a Lee Kkeotsun who knew Jindong’s grandmother and has maxed out her good deeds in her lifetime. She now runs an orphanage in the afterlife for the souls of kids who died before their parents. Weolju makes the kids noodles while they wait for the director and watches them (and Manager Gui if you ask me) with an affectionate eye.

Lee Kkeutsoon agrees wholeheartedly to hand over her Good Deeds Pouch and even refuses the lottery numbers but Weolju says she has to accept them due to afterlife law. The trade occurs without issue. Meanwhile Jindong’s finally wised up to the fact that he just got the week’s lotto numbers an eagerly writes them down. He’s about to leave for work, Weolju better hurry!

The trio’s leaving the afterlife asking Kangbae about what he thought of the afterlife. Kangbae compares the Afterlife Orphanage to the real life orphanage he spent time and Weolju and Manager Gui sober up, seeing a new sadness in Kangbae that they didn’t before. And of course, Doyoung who’s been lurking nearby takes advantage of this to steal the Good Deeds Pouch. Manager Gui runs after him while Weolju and Kangbae have no choice but to return to the real world to protect Jindong from the accident that is to take his life. Weolju stands on lookout to delay Grim Reaper Yeom, while Kangbae supposed keep an eye on Jindong. The man himself is chipper as hell, having bought a lotto ticket and promises Kangbae a trip to Hawaii. Kangbae spends the entire day lifting everything and trying to save Jindong from stray  shopping carts, ladders, lifting boxes and even banana peels. At 10:53. the 10 minute countdown starts and Grim Reaper Yeom arrives on the scene. Weolju stands in his way ready to beat him up and ends up chasing him around the store to prevent him from getting to Jindong. Meanwhile, Kangbae and Jindong are in the warehouse stocking, and Kangbae’s very worried about how easily someone could die here. And he’s right, because Grim Reaper Yeom arrives on the scene and uses his powers to shove a fully stacked-stocking cart in Jindong’s way. Wait a second, I thought Jindong was supposed to die from an accident. Do the grim reapers in this mythology CAUSE the deaths of the souls they’re supposed to bring? They don’t just wait for it to happen and collect the soul? Oh that’s dark, that’s really dark. Don’t think I like that. Weolju shoves Manager Yeom out of the way and Kangbae shoves Jindong out of the way. Only the touching gets Jindong spilling his life secrets to Kanghae about…how he’s been rejected by 50 blind dates lol.

Weolju pins Grim Reaper Yeom to the ground refusing to let him leave. She wonders what’s taking Manager Gui so long. In the afterlife, Manager Gui’s caught Doyoung and tied him up threatening every manner of murder charge. But the ferry to the real world isn’t due for another 2 hours. Manager Gui grimly resolves to swim across the river himself.

In the real world it’s past 11:03 and Weolju and Grim Reaper Yeom are at a stalemate. She suggests he submit a written apology and that he can copy and paste from the one’s she’s used. Only Grim Reaper Yeom changes the cause of death to a heart attack and tries to attack Jindong. Weolju blocks the first round, but just when he’s gearing up for a second, his power suddenly fizzles out as Yeorin walks in. Grim Reaper Yeom is flabbergasted. Yeorin walks right through him without even seeing him. Once she leaves, Grim Reaper Yeom’s about to try again when a very wet Manager Gui show sup looking sexy and wet.  Weolju makes heart eyes for a second and looks relieved.

The good deeds pouch balances everything out and Jindong gets to live! Meanwhile, Lee Kkeotsun (the good deeds grandma) visits Jindong’s grandma, her old friend, in her dreams. They chat about the old days and Jindong’s grandma rest as Lee Kkeotsun massages her back and heals it using panacea that she traded the lottery numbers for (truly a really good lady). Weolju smiles at the sight and tells viewers to live a good life as well because of all the rewards it reaps.

Jindong’s disappointed now that the lottery numbers don’t work. But he’s delighted to find that his grandmother’s back is now fine. They happily celebrate. Meanwhile, Weolju’s busy making Manager Gui peel garlic, remove poop from anchovies, peel potatoes and more when Kangbae totters in having been doing chores outside. Weolju takes him home to once she notices his fever and leaves the shop to Manager Gui. Grim Reaper Yeom drops by and mentions that Manager Gui’s old job at a policeman who catches evil spirits is still open and the police chief would like him reinstated. Manager Gui seems hesitant to to come back but agrees to come on a ghost hunt while Weolju’s gone. He chases down the spirit in no one and DAMN HE LOOKS GOOD. He’s fast, even cruel and pulls out a sword like the legendary goblin’s! There’s still a lot we don’t know about this man.

Meanwhile Weolju puts Kangbae to bed. He grabs at her hand as she makes to leave. In delirium he says “Don’t go”. That brings Weolju to an old memory of her leaving the prince’s bedside when he grabbed her hand. In the present, Weolju stares at Kangbae for a loooong time. WAIT IS HE THE PRINCE??? Please no, I’d rather Manager Gui’s the price. 

We return to the past as the prince drags a bloody sword to the Sacred Tree and cries that he couldn’t save Weolju. He vows to find her in her next life and to protect her even if he has to sacrifice his soul.


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