Mystic Pop Up Bar · Recaps

Mystic Pop Up Bar Ep 9 Recap (and a little bit of angst)

Grim Reaper Yeom tries to reason with Wonhyung saying he’s served 500 years in hell and his this close to completing his punishment. Grim Reaper Yeom asks him to go back but Wonhyung refuses, saying he has unfinished business with Weolju and the Crown Prince (who is definitely 100% Manager Gui). As for why?

Ooohhh so the Crown Prince probably found out about Wonhyung’s deceit. Wonhyung’s out for revenge. His goal is to make sure Weolju fails in reaching 100,000 and dies in the Hell of Extinction so that Manager Gui can suffer. Grim Reaper Yeom says Wonhyungs called them so much pain already. Wonhyun cries that it doesn’t even come close to the 500 years he spent in hell. Grim Reaper Yeom strikes Wonhyung saying he disappoints him as usual. Wonhyung cries that he always took the prince’s side, and never once took his side even to the moment of Wonhyung’s death. Grim Reaper Yeom falters at that. Wonhyung cries that he just wanted to be loved by his father and takes Grim Reaper Yeom’s hand (why do I feel like this is a fakeout). We fade to black and thus starts episode 8!

Kangbae gets ready for another day at work, bringing sunglasses and salt to avoid ghosts. He sighs that he can avoid ghosts this way but he can’t seem to avoid Yeorin. At work, his coworkers sigh that things didn’t work out between him and Yeorin, but they haven’t given up just yet even if Kangbae has. Jindong notes that Kangbae’s the sort of guy who just grows on you and that they need to ensure that he and Yeorin spend a lot of time together. They send Kangbae to work at the parking lot to bump into Yeorin. Only Kangbae sees a grandma ghost and freaks out right as Yeorin comes in.

They’re pretty awkward around each other until Yeorin apologizes telling him the kiss and everything was her fault and that Kangbae shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells around her. Kangbae says it was his first kiss so he feels a bit hurt that she wants to brush it off. Seeing his hurt face, Yeorin admits it was her first kiss too but not to read too much into it. Kangbae’s delighted at this, his puppy love renewed.

Meanwhile, Manager Gui and Weolju are at a tea-shop where Weolju’s sought out a fortuneteller. Weolju wants to know if there’s anything she should be careful about. Only the foretuneteller she’s meeting is the fake in Ice Witch’s apartment. Weolju interrupts the man’s lies to help the customer he’s swindling, and glares the man down. The fake fortuneteller asks her why she keeps taking away his customers. Weolju warns him to be careful or he’ll ruin his life.

Upon returning, Weolju wonders if she should see a tarot card reader. Her dreams have been strange of late, featuring closed doors wherever she goes. She wonders if that’s a sign of something. Manager Gui asks if she can design her own dreams. Weolju says not even hairdresser can cut their own hair lol. That’s when the fake fortuneteller comes in and begs for Weolju’s help. He used to be a good shaman but started losing his spiritual vision. He’s tired of scamming people and wants to live decently. Weolju agrees to help him and gain another successfully-served customer in the process.

As far as the case goes, it appears simple. Weolju and Manager Gui only need to travel to his unconscious and open the door (literally a physical door) to his spiritual vision.

Only it’s not a piece of cake. The door is well and truly jammed and neither Manager Gui nor Weolju can seem to get it open. There’s a sign by the door saying that the door has been shut down. Weolju and Manager Gui head to the Afterlife Offices to inquire why the door has been shut down. One of the Afterlife government workers tell them and the law was revised after an unfortunate incident. After 1,000 years, the Jade Emperor sent down someone to save mankind but someone closed his Door of Spiritual Vision. Weolju starts guiltily. Said monk turned out to be six-years old and his mother had come to Weolju for help because she thought her kid was too young to know what he wanted. Weolju had not only closed his door of spiritual vision but welded it shut with everything she could think of.

The worker said that the monk would have saved 1000s of lives if the door had been closed. Turns out no one has any power to open and close spiritual doors anymore. The law has to come all the way down from the Jade Emperor himself. Cutely, Weolju and Manager Gui aren’t worried about the fake shaman but about Kangbae.

Back at the bar, Manager Gui yells at Weolju for closed the door and for not checking Kangbae’s door before making him sign the contract. They ask for Grim Reaper Yeom’s help. Only Grim Reaper Yeom seems off.

Weolju remarks that he says it like he doesn’t know what Kangbae’s capable of. I have a strong feeling that Wonhyung’s in his dad’s body. Yeom/Wonhyung tells Weolju he has no connections and can’t help. Weolju sighs that it looks like she’s going to have to go to Samshin.

After bringing Samshin with coffee, the lady relents tells Weolju there’s one way. A human like Kangbae with strong spiritual vision has 100% ying energy. To get rid of the effect, he must be partnered with someone with 100% yang energy. Samshin tells Weolju to look for the reincarnation of the Cinnabar. Weolju pauses at that and flashes back to a mountain, where her and her mother bow deeply before a flaming rock, a mystical rock with high yang energy that spirits can’t stand to be around. Weolju’s mother scrapes some off for use and tells Weolju not to scrape off too much as spiritual objects have feelings too.

Turns out the Cinnabar’s been reincarnated into a woman (why do I feel like this is Yeorin), a woman who’s had terrible luck with guys. Weolju and Samshn get excited about the two meeting but Samshin says it’s not about just becoming friends. They’ve got to performe dthe most hallowed ritual in every fairytale in the world: true love’s kiss. Weolju goes BLEAGH but asks her where the Cinnabar has been reincarnated. Samshin stops herself as the reincarnation of a spiritual object cannot be disclosed. Weolju presses for more but Samshin kicks her out.

Meanwhile, Kangbae runs into a woman (HYEONOK) on the street passing out flyers of her missing child. Moved by Hyeonok’s situation, he helps her pass out flyers and brings her to the bar. Yeom/Wonhyung watches looking hella suspicious. Manager Gui contacts the Afterlife Police to see if they recognize the son, JOONWOO. It’s been 15 years since he vanished. Hyeonok doted on her son and did her best to take care of him as a single mother, after her husband passed away. However, she was being harassed by a former schoolmate, SANGCHEOL, who seemed to think he had a right to go on a date with her. Hyeonok firmly refused, saying her son was her priority. That day, she came come to find her son gone. She searched and searched but couldn’t find him. She suspected Sangcheol but he had an iron-clad alibi the date Joonwoo disappeared and the police let him go. Sangcheol then cut off all contact and vanished.

Manager Gui searches for leads on Sangcheol and makes the unintentional mistake of showing Yeom/Wonhyung the address. Yeom/Wonhyung happily hurries off to do evil, while Manager Gui, Weolju and Kangbae drop Hyeonok home. Manager Gui and Weolju note that Kangbae really empathizes with the lady, perhaps due to him being an orphan. Weolju sighs at her situation.

Weolju and Manager Gui still don’t know how to tell Kangbae that him staying around them could make his spiritual vision stronger and stronger. They allow him to come with them on the condition that he doesn’t do anything and relies only on them. Meanwhie, Yeom/Wonhyung arrives at Sangcheol’s place and kills him, but not before learning that Sangcheol dropped Joonwoo off at an orphanage. The trio arrives but they’re almost too late. Sangcheol’s about to die in a few minutes and if they go into his subconsicous, they’ll be trapped there once he dies.

Weolju says it’s their last chance to find Hyeonok’s son. She and Manager Gui lock eyes for a long time before Manager Gui says he’s coming with her. They ask Kangbae to stay and keep watch and call them out the moment Sangcheol dies.

SANGCHEOL’S DREAM WORLD

They see Sangcheol approaching Joonwoo in a playground and yelling at him saying it’s his fault that Sangcheol can’t get with Hyeonok. he raises and drops the child, who hits his head on the back of a slide and passes out. Unwilling and incapable of taking responsibility for his actions, Sangcheol drops Joonwoo at an orphanage. The Dream World starts to crumble as Sangcheol dies, Kangbae pleads for Weolju and Manager Gui to hurry, but Weolju’s can’t let it go. She refuses to leave until she knows where the child went. Once she sees it’s an orphanage, she refuses to leave until she sees the name of the orphanage. All she manages to see are the words ‘Doori’ before the man dies. Manager Gui and Weolju barely make it out in time.

Weolju bitterly ekes out that Sangcheol abandoned an injured child in front of an orphanage. The fact that he was hurt was bad enough but all that was Sangcheol’s mind was still getting the child away from his mother as opposed to providing medical attention. Weolju says she’s glad that someone got rid of Sangcheol because she’d have done it herself after seeing this.

The next day at work, Kangbae is corned by a ghost in the locker room, when Yeom/Wonhyung shows up and gets rid of it into one of those soul spheres, similar to what Manager Gui does. Kangbae is understandably grateful and Yeom/Wonhyung uses it to sneak into Kangbae’s good graces and feed him lies about Manager Gui and Weolju. He starts off by commiserating with Kangbae’s position ‘it must be so tough. People have demons they don’t want anyone to see. When you bring out those demons with a touch of your hand, they must get quite angry.” Kangbae sighs that this is why he didn’t trust people and didn’t have a lot of friends.

He says they showed him a new side of life, using his gift to help others. He enjoyed his life and life a lot more. But Yeom/Wonhyung starts to poison his mind.

He tells Kangbae that his gift doesn’t work on them so he doesn’t know what they actually think so how can he trust him. Kangbae says he just trusts them. Yeom/Wonhyung laughs that he warned Kangbae that everyone has their own demons and tells him not to forget it. After Yeom/Wonhyung leaves, doubt crosses Kangbae’s face.

Meanwhile, Weolju gets a call from the orphanage. They found Joonwoo, who’s flying from the states to see his mother. They discuss what to do about Kangbae. Manager Gui thinks that they should tell him the truth and let him quit. Weolju asks for more time, saying she’s going to visit Samshin again. Manager Gui’s skeptical, even if they find Cinnabar, how are they going to make the two fall in love?

Kangbae arrives just as Manager Gui accuses Weolju of deceiving Kangbae. Manager Gui says it’s not about keeping the truth from him, it’s about being transparent before things get worse for Kangbae. Little do they know that Kangbae hears every word. He barges in and asks what they’re talking about.

He asks what they’re on about but Weolju and Manager Gui can only stutter. He begs for an answer saying they were certain they could fix him. Manager Gui apologizes but the damage is done. The truth is out. There’s no way to fix him that they know of. Kangbae yells that they’ve been lying to him this entire time. He calls Weolju a hypocrite, pointing out her dislike of people who exploited others while doing it herself. He tearfully says he trusted them. He trusted that they were different. He leaves at that. Manager Gui runs after him but Kangbae’s faster. Yeom/Wonhyung watches gleefully as Kangbae tries to run his hurt away. Back at the bar, his silence is heavy.

The next day, Yeorin searches for Kangbae who’s taken another sick day. Jindong tells her that Kangbae’s been under a lot of stress lately thanks to someone, though it isn’t technically true in this case. She snaps at him to be a better colleague and he snaps back telling her to say something if she actually cares (Yeah she’s driving me insane with her inability o be honest to herself. She literally has no valid reason for keeping his guy on a string besides the fact that she doesn’t know her own feelings even when they’re this obvious, it’s annoying. Kangbae’s too good for her).

Kangbae’s at a fishing pot, staring at the lake when Manager Gui plops down beside him and apologizes. Kangbae sighs that this must be his life. There wasn’t a point to try and be normal. Manager Gui tries to apologizes, Kangbae cuts in saying he’s used to being used and abandoned. We flash back to Kangbae’s childhood. People at the orphanage hated him, as they’d spill out all their secrets the moment he touched them. They’d gossip about him (despite him being earshot) saying this must be why his parents abandoned him. Even when he was adopted for the first time, his foster mom touched him and then spilt out that the only reason she was bothering with adopting Kangbae was to stop her husband from straying. The husband yelled that he’s only put up with her because she’s rich and is planning on taking her money and divorcing her.

Kangbae sighs that everyone called him cursed. They’d spill out their shit in front of him and hate him for it, even though it was their shit, not his. He says he wanted someone he could lean on and share his troubles with. Manager Gui says he’ll listen but Kangbae shakes his head.

Manager Gui says he’ll find a way but Kangbae refuses. He’s done with trusting people only to be let down. He tells Manager Gui to leave; he doesn’t want to see him again. Meanwhile, Weolju’s on the warpath. Armed with a baseball bat, she treats to smash Samshin’s dream machine unless Samshin gives up who the cinnabar reincarnated into. Samshin asks if she’s sure she wants to go to hell. Weolju rolls her eyes, saying she hung herself on the sacred tree, going to hell is no big deal. Samshin says she’ll tell Weolju in exchange for a condition but we don’t get to hear what it is.

Cut to Weolju looking drained back at the bar, while Manager Gui wonders why Samshin gave it up so easily. Weolju shrugs that she must have felt bad for Kangbae. Weolju says she’ll have to drop by the hospital because Joonwoo’s back in Korea but really sick. Manager Gui sighs at all the bad news, but Weolju looks on the bright side, saying he’ll at least get to meet his mother.

Weolju brings Hyeonok to Joonwoo’s hospital room. Hyeonok tears up at the sight of her son. Weolju cries as well.

As she leaves, she mutters to herself that she envies Hyeonok. Unlike her, Weolju didn’t even get to see her son. Samshin calls Weolju saying she’s about to get work and knows who Cinnabar was reincarnated as.

Samshin goes to Kangbae’s workplace and asks him to listen to what she has to say. She says Weolju’s not the sort of person to use someone. She’s warmhearted and loyal and has a habit of sacrificing herself for others. Samshin then reveals what made Weolju cry as she read the scroll back at the end of episode 2 and what made her change her mind and accept her punishment. Samshin says the reason Weolju’s been helping souls for 500 years:

Kangbae’s shocked that Weolju had a child. Samshin reveals part of Weolju’s past, that she hung herself on the Sacred Tree not knowing that she was pregnant and killing 2 additional lives. The life of the Sacred Tree and her child’s life. The Sacred Tree’s hatred entered her child and saved its soul but would eat away at the child unless Weolju saved 100,000 miserable lives.

We flash back to Weolju dropping the scroll and asking Queen Yeomra if she was pregnant. Queen Yeomra asks her if she still wants to go to the Hell of Extinction. Weolju cries that the baby did nothing wrong and asks why it should be punished just because she hung herself. Queen Yeomra asks if she still wants to be ripped to pieces and killed. And the rest, we know, is Weolju’s history.

Samshin says that’s why Weolju takes such risks. Kangbae sighs that he didn’t know. Samshin says not even Manager Gui and Grim Reaper Yeom know, and she only reason she’s telling Kangbae this is because she’s never seen Weolju worry so much about another human. Kangbae’s confused until Samshin pulls out a contract. This was the condition she’d asked Weolju for. In return for learning who Cinnabar was reincarnated as, Weolju would have to agree to be punished in the hell of Extinction. Instead of being fazed, Weolju’s just glad to be able to help Kangbae.

Samshin asks if she’s sure and says she doesn’t have to do this. Weolju says she never wanted to be reincarnated and doesn’t think it’s a waste because she’ll be able to keep her promise to Kangbae.

Kangbae weeps saying he can’t let Weolju do this and asks Samshin to undo this but there’s no turning back. Samshin says this is all she can do.

Meanwhile, Manager Gui and Yeom/Wonhyung discuss Sangcheol’s death. Manager Gui’s caught onto the fact that it wasn’t a human who killed him, that it’s most likely the runaway evil spirit, and that the evil spirit seems to be out to hinder Weolju from meeting her quota. Yeom/Wonhyung looks more and more cornered and says he’ll take care of it.

But Manager Gui seems to have noticed something fishy about Yeom/Wonhyung because he wonders why he hasn’t had his customary serving of noodles today. Yeom/Wonhyung makes excuses but..I wonder…

Meanwhile, Kangbae goes to Weolju in tears. Weolju sighs at Samshin’s big mouth and says it’s no big deal; she’s didn’t even want to be reincarnated. Kangbae cries that she could have at least gone to heaven, but Weolju laughs that there’s no way she’d be let in.

Kangbae’s determined to find another way, any other way. Weolju says he only has to help her reach 100,000 souls and send her off coolly. That’s all she needs. Kangbae morosely agrees. Weolju asks him not to tell Manager Gui and Grim Reaper Yeom about the contract.  Right then, Manager Gui comes in and is delighted to see Kangbae again.

Manager Gui updates Kangbae on Hyeonok and Joonwoo. The latter is very sick but his mother’s testing to see if she’s eligible for a kidney transplant. Manager Gui sighs in relief that it’s all worked out. Kangbae wonders if he’ll find his parents as well. He says he’s going to stop thinking as though he was abandoned, perhaps they too are searching for him right now. Foreshadowing!! I’m pretty sure Weolju and Manager Gui are his parents!

Right then a lady shows up behind them . It’s the queen from Weolju’s past! The prince’s mother! She says “I’ve been looking for a long time for you, Crown Prince.” Both Kangbae and Manager Gui turn, as though the show is still trying to make it ambiguous as to who the prince is but surely it’s Manager Gui!

Looks like Weolju’s facing the reincarnation of the queen next episode! Stay tuned!

2 thoughts on “Mystic Pop Up Bar Ep 9 Recap (and a little bit of angst)

  1. From the start, I’ve always felt that Weol-ju was pregnant when she committed suicide on the sacred tree. I was also leaning towards the notion that Manager Gui was the crowned prince reincarnated and Kangbae was their child. What I was not expecting was Yerin’s character being the reincarnation of the Stone thing.

    I love the series. They bring out twist after twist. I’m always at the edge of my seat watching the episodes.

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