We start in the past with the Queen berating Weolju for daring to want something she couldn’t have. She tells Weolju she’ll lose everything for her stupidity and banishes Weolju from the palace, as we saw back in episode 1.
Afterwards, she goes to the prince to push a marriage on him. The prince refuses but his bride has been selected for him. The prince pleads saying that his heart belongs to another but the queen tells him to erase Weolju from his heart, or she’ll erase Weolju. As a prince, he needs to amass strength and that’s not something Weolju can give him. The prince bows his head, and thus begins episode 9!
Turns out, this is a memory that the now reincarnated queen has been telling the Crown Prince in present day. The camera pans and ofc course it’s Manager Gui! She says she once woke up after being in a coma post-accident. After that she’s been able to remember her past life. She kept thinking about her former son, whether he was reincarnated, whether he was haunted by his actions. She’s been searching for him and was able to recognize him all grown up as he resembles his father.
She weeps, apologizing that she didn’t recognize the extent of his affection for Weolju. She says it’s all her fault. Manager Gui tells her he doesn’t deserve the apology and that she doesn’t have to apologize for something that happened 500 years ago. (I kinda disagree, I mean Weolju’s still paying for something she did 500 years ago. Why does this lady get a pass? Also Manager Gui then says something I really, really disagree with).
(Okay, I’m Asian myself but I do think that the queen committed a much greater wrong in trying to murder Weolju and her mother because her son was in love. Is it just me?) The reincarnated queen asks Manager Gui why he’s been living this way without being reincarnated. He tells her that he’s trying to keep his promise to Weolju this time around.
Kangbae returns to the tent to tell Weolju that Manager Gui ran into a woman friend. Weolju snarks that Manager Gui sure is slacking off now that they only have 2 customers left. Kangbae and Weolju reminisce about all the good times since they et and Kangbae wonders if they can keep doing this even after they hit a 100,000 souls, because he’s really enjoying this. Weolju gently says it’s tedious enough helping 100,000 souls, helping more would be overkill. Kangbae really wants do to 10,000 more souls with her, but Weolju gently reminds him:
Kangbae says that she might not have any attachments but he’s attached to her and Manager Gui. He wants her to be reincarnated somewhere good and to be happy. Weolju says that she didn’t agree to this punishment because of the promise of reincarnation. Not knowing that Kangbae already knows her story, she says that someone she loves has been suffering for 500 years because of her. She’ll end his suffering by hitting 100,000 souls but she can never take back 500 years of suffering. Awwww.
Meanwhile, Manager Gui walks back remembering when he tried to chose his punishment and negotiate with Queen Yeomra. She laughs at his attempts.
The prince says he doesn’t care as long as he’s with Weolju. Queen Yeomra sentences him to the Hell of Repetition. His crime: beheading his childhood friend (Wonhyung!) and committing suicide. However, Queen Yeomnra notes that if Wonhyung had lived, he would have killed many people so the prince technically did something good. YI HON (we finally get the prince’s name!), she says, “you have a strong sense of justice‘. That’s why she reduces his sentence and places him with the Afterlife Police to repent of his sins as he upholds the law.
Yihon still begs to know where Weolju is. Queen Yeomra tells him she’s also serving her punishment and to focus on himself. She says if he does really well, she’ll send him to Weolju. And so, Yi Hon/Manager Gui worked his ass off to get here. Manager Gui stares fondly at the bar, not knowing that the reincarnated queen has followed him.
At the bar, Weolju’s now giving Kangbae relationship advice and asking him to go after Yeorin again. Kangbae’s surprised given that she was dissing Yeorin when he was dumped by Weolju does a full 100%. He likens Weolju to a wildcat when Manager Gui walks in and makes a super cute cat gesture at Weolju, saying the animal suits her perfectly.
Weolju huffs that she’s only his ill-tempered because of the idiot man who betrayed her. Manager Gui has a coughing fit at that and accidentally drops a necklace. (OHHH THE NECKLACE HAS THE RING HE GAVE WEOLJU STRUNG ON IT!!!). Kangbae notices and dangles it in plain view of Weolju. She sees it, but doesn’t seem to recognize it and jokes that Manager Gui’s so oldfashioned and should get a diamond ring if he wants to get a girl.
Meanwhile, the reincarnated queen overhears the entire conversation and smiles, glad that her son has finally reunited with Weolju. (Well, I’m glad at this turn of events. The evil mother-in-law thing gets old)
The next day at work, Weolju catches Yeorin spying on Kangbae. Yeorin insists that she would never. Weolju says that Kangbae likes her and she likes Kangbae and to hurry up and date. Yeorin mutters that the CIA must have too much time on their hands these days and runs away. Turns out she’s been aware that Yeorin is the reincarnation of Cinnabar as well all along. Weolju tsks at Yeorin’s stubbornness.
Manager Gui pops up behind her and marvels at Yeorin being the reincarnation. They settle on a strategy to make the two fall in love and use the internet to determine what women want in a man. Oh boy, this’ll be good.
OPERATION TRUE LOVE PART 1: SHOW OFF HIS BICEPS
Weolju drags Kangbae away from work with a can, gets right in front of Yeorin and pouts that she can’t open a can. She asks ‘strong musclar’ Kangbae for help, crowing about his muscles. But Kangbae strains and strans and can’t open it. Yeorin sighs and pops in open in a second. Manager Gui’s in awe. You see, he glued it shut. HAHAHAHAHA
PART 2: SHOW OFF HIS ABS
Manager Gui asks Kangbae to get something from a super high shelf so his shirt’ll ride up and reveals is abbbbbbbbssssss. Weolju walks by with Yeorin at that moment to show up said abs. Only….Kangbae’s underwear shows up and Yeorin almost dies of laughter.
Weolju pulls up Kangbae’s shirt and yells asking wtf he’s wearing and where he even bought this.
PART 3: THE ELEVATOR IS SOOOO FULL MANUEVER
They get Kangbae and Yeorin into an elevator and bring two carts in to push Kangbae and Yeorin close together, even breaking one of Yeorin’s heels. Still doesn’t work.
At the bar, Manager Gui sighs, saying it’s their fault for trusting the internet. Women don’t like biceps and abs, he says, they like men with a great sense of humour and wit. So from now on, he’s going to be Kangbae’s coach. Only all the jokes he tries to crack end up being terrible and Weolju nearly stabs him.
The queen makes her way to the bar walks right in. Weolju stares in shock, recognizing her former enemy immediately. The queen asks for Manager Gui. Weolju realizes that this is the friend that Manager Gui was taking about. The queen asks for tteokbokki but Weolju refuses, saying their closed. The queen points out that bars usually open at this time. Weolju says that’s for the owner to decide and asks the queen to leave. Kangbae being the wellmeaning person he is, serves the queen and tells Weolju they should be kind to Manager Gui’s friend.
The queen then proceeds to nitpick everything saying the rice cakes should be less spicy and that she prefers the kind make from rice not rice flour and Weolju almost hits her with a ladle. Kangbae stops her and asking why she’s acting this way.
The queen pauses at that, which is when Manager Gui and Grim Reaper Yeom come in. Both freeze seeing her. The queen wants to talk to Weolju but Manager Gui takes her out of the bar and tells her that Weolju doesn’t know he’s her former lover. The queen says that they should clear up Weolju’s misunderstandings about the royal family (then why were you so picky about everything you were eating?). But Manager Gui says that Weolju’s almost done paying for her sins. Right now, what she needs isn’t someone who loves her, but someone who can assist her. He says he’s happy with being the latter. AWWWWWWW.
A new day dawns at the mart. Yeorin’s minding her own business when one of the guys she confessed up (and who ran away from her saying she gave him the creeps) pops up with his new girlfriend and laughs at where she works now and points her out as the girl who gave him the creeps. The couple laugh at her when Kangbae walks up, grabs Yeorin’s hand and pretends to be her boyfriend. He yells at the man for insulting Yeorin and calls him out on being way creepier that he accused her of. Yeorin mulls the moment for a long time afterwards.
Back at the bar, Weolju’s been staying away due to the pain caused by seeing the former queen. Kangbae’s heart isnt into it at work either and let many customers go. Manager Gui and Yeom/Wonhyung ask him what’s wrong. Kangbae says that if he keeps helping Weolju…he trails off. He clearly means that Weolju is go to hell, but Manager Gui and Yeom/Wonhyung don’t know that and think that Kangbae’s worried about not being able to close the door to his spiritual vision.
Manager Gui promises that Weolju will fix it, whereas Yeom/Wonhyung cackles that trust once broken is hard to fix and it’s not like Weolju even has a method to fix Kangbae (he doesn’t know about the Cinnabar). Manager Gui laughs that the trio have a strong bond and there’s no way Kangbae would let Weolju go to Hell because of some trust issues, right? Kangbae looks horrified and cries that he never wanted her to go hell. Manager Gui catches his slip.
Kangbae spills the beans and Manager Gui realizes that it doesn’t matter how many more people Weolju saves. She’s booked herself a spot on the express train to Hell. Yeom/Wonhyung is DELIGHTED. Manager Gui storms out of the bar.
We flash back to the moment that the real Grim Reaper Yeom confronted Wonhyung. Wonhyung took his father’s hand, and laughed gleefully, killing him and possessing his father’s body. But Yeom/Wonhyung’s still not done. He’s angry that Weolju’s calmly accepted going to Hell. He has to make it painful for her to leave. He cackles that she’ll be devastated once she realizes who she’ll be leaving behind.
Manager Gui searches everywhere for Weolju and finds her measuring out a new spot for the bar. He yells at her, asking what she was thinking. He says he doesn’t care about the Sacred Tree or anything, why does she have to risk her life this way? He still doesn’t know about his son. Weolju says that ‘someone’ might be suffering because of her. Manager Gui says he’s going to find a way to nullify the contract. Weolju asks who he thinks he is. Manager Gui grits his teeth before saying he’s the manager of a bar. Weolju says he should focus on the bar. Manager Gui refuses. Weolju asks why he cares so much.
Meanwhile, Yeom/Wonhyung uses the former queen’s sympathy against Weolju. He tells the queen that Manager Gui and Weolju will be reincarnated after hitting their quota and won’t see each other again. The queen sighs that it’s so sad. Yeom/Wonhyung says she can help but showing Weolju the truth. All she has to do is lure Weolju into her dream world, and then show Weolju what actually happened and that Manager Gui is Yi Hon, her prince. The queen readily agrees, certain that she’s being helpful.
On the other hand, Manager Gui’s tearing up Samshin’s place looking for Weolju’s contract. She says it’s already been approved by Queen Yeomra. He keeps tearing up her house and she yells his real name ‘YI HON!’. So she knows! Manager Gui says he’s just can’t let her go without telling her the truth. Samsin says she’s sorry. Manager Gui asks her how she could do this. She knows how softhearted Weolju is. How could she ask her to sign that contract?
Samshin says she knew Weolju so well, that’s why she did it (that doesnt make sense?). She tells Manager Gui to stop here but he refuses saying if he stops trying, he might as well have sealed Weolju’s fate himself. After he leaves, Samshin cries wondering what to do with her.
Kangbae and Yeorin go on a cake date the next day. Yeorin opens up saying she probably looked pathetic. She used to be called the ‘Date Bully’ because guys would get the creeps whenever they got near her. Kangbae opens up about being called creepy as well, but that he’s going to move forward and continue trying to get close to people. And she’s someone he wants to get close to. He confesses that he really likes her. Yeorin says she really likes him too she’s just scared that it’ll go the way it always does. She asks if she can like him, and Kangbae happily agrees. BIRTH OF A COUPLE WOOHOO!
At the bar, Weolju’s delighted to hear of the news and tells Kangbae to take the day off to spend with his new girlfriend. Kangbae happily leaves, right as the former queen comes back and asks for tteokbokki again. Weolju tries to send her to another bar but she insists of having a drink with Weolju (uh oh).
The queen talks about her former engagement to someone whose parents disapproved of everything she did. They disapproved of her job even her parents. Weolju’s immediately outraged on the queen’s behalf.
The queen said her fiance told her to trust him and that he’d take care of her, only to marry another woman. She says he still wonders why he left her, whether it was her fault. Weolju furiously says she did nothing wrong. He just didn’t have the courage her after betraying her. But the queen says she’ll never know unless she sees the man and sees the real reason he left. Weolju immediately pours her some ssanggapju to find out. Little does she know, that the memories she’s going to see will feature her as the main character of this story.
The queen pretends to pass out, while Weolju walks through her memories in a rage and pulls open the door, only to find herself back at the royal palace. She sits in on her own memory as the queen threatens to kill her if she returns to the palace. Only there’s a second part to that memory where the queen threatens to harm her mother if she returns. Weolju grits her teeth, realizing that she really was the reincarnated queen.
In a new memory, the queen celebrates the prince’s upcoming marriage in 5 days. The prince is fitted for his robes and tells his mother he’s ready to do his duty. Weolju bitterly notes that the prince sure had a good time even after she died. Why promise her the world if he was going to do this?
She about to go to him to get answers, when Manager Gui bursts in and drags her away. Weolju splashes water on the queen in real life and asks her if she wanted to see what she done. She asks her why she showed up, to laugh at her? The queen says there’s something she doesn’t know and tries to tell her but Manager Gui prevents her, asking her to get out. Weolju insists that the queen tells her, but Manager Gui roars at her to get out (I hate how they’re keeping this from her). He goes with her as she tries to explain that the two of them getting together would fulfill her wish and give Weolju another customer. Manager Gui yells that she’s neither his mother nor his queen now and to live her current life and leave Weolju alone. If Weolju gets another customer now, all she needs is one more before being dragged to hell. The queen looks shocked.
(It’s ironic at how Weolju was so desperate to fulfill her quota to avoid Hell, and now every case fulfilled gets her closer to Hell)
Manager Gui barges into Queen Yeomra’s office and demands to be sent to hell in Weolju’s place. Queen Yeomnra says he doesn’t have to do this, he’s atone for his sins. But Manager Gui says he might have atoned for beheading Wonhyung and committing suicide but he hasn’t atoned for making Weolju die alone. Queen Yeomnra sighs and agrees. (I love how much he loves her but can we please ask Weolju for her opinion on all this before making decisions for her? I know it’s because everyone loves her, but she loves them too!)
Back at the bar, Yeom/Wonhyung’s trying to find if his plan has succeeded and is pretty disappointed that it hasn’t. Weolju thinks something isn’t right and wants to see the queen. Yeom/Wonhyung encourages her to do it before Manager Gui comes back. Which is, of course, right when Manager Gui comes back. He celebrates that the contract has been nullified and makes up a story about coming into some big dirt when he worked at the Afterlife Agency and how he used it to secure leverage with Queen Yeomra so she’d nullify the contract.
Yeom/Wonhyung’s furious, but Weolju’s delighted (in her own way she clearly didn’t want to go to Hell. She’s just the sort of person who’ll do anything for the people she loves) Afterwards, Weolju tries to visit the queen but Manager Gui pretends she’s in Paris. Weolju’s confused. The queen had to know that Weolju hates her but why visit her so many times? Why try to show Weolju her memories? Manager Gui tells her not to think about it.
Meanwhile, the queen’s put together the discrepancy between what Yeom/Wonhyung was saying about Weolju being reincarnated and Manager Gui saying that Weolju would be sent to Hell. She goes to warn Manager Gui but is accosted by Yeom/Wonhyung. He reveals who he is and kills the queen, saying he’ll be taking her son and Weolju to hell.
Weolju goes shopping and sees Kangbae and Yeorin being loveydovey. Yeorin thanks Kangbae for helping her with the carts. Kangbae jokes that it was work for her but love for him. Weolju freezes, remembering the prince’s words.
Kangbae continues to quote word for word from the prince, likening Yeorin to a cart (he could fill it with all the riches in the world for her but can never take the cart home lol. He says it makes him marvel and despair at the same time). The prince had said the same thing likening Weolju to the moon. Weolju rushes to him and asks where he heard those words. She asks who told him.
Weolju immediately runs off in a daze. She remembers all the times Manager Gui’s words overlapped with those of her prince. His speeches during the case where the man’s wife died, where he wondered what he’d been doing when the person he loved died, where he hated his helplessness, where he wondered if he could have done something different. All those times he asked about her past and wondered if she hated her prince. She remembered how angry he was about the contract to Hell.
She runs like crazy to the bar. Meanwhile, Manager Gui’s been trying to contact the queen, wondering why she isn’t picking up. He starts when Weolju runs in with tears in her eyes. He asks if something’s wrong.
And we end there!!
Weolju finally knows!! Cue angst!! The next episode seems to show some cuteness though so maybe we’ll be in for two cute couples!
(Let me know if you like the new layout in the comments!)