After grappling, the Imoogi tells Lee Yeon (Lee Dong Wook) he’s still arrogant. He states he’s no longer in a human body and can’t be defeated by Lee Yeon’s sword. He sneers he was around before Lee Yeon and will be around after. Lee Yeon tells him not to count on a future life he won’t have. Lee Yeon admits he wants to trample him. The Imoogi declares he controls the lives of Lee Rang, Ji Ah and her parents. The Imoogi offers to let everyone live if Lee Yeon hands over his body.
The CEO looks in the mirror and sees the branding on his forehead. Nam Ji Ah (Jo Bo Ah) looks and sees the branding too. She calls him the Seo Gyeong traitor, the one that took her parents. The CEO gives Ji Ah the pressed flower. Ji Ah recognizes the pressed flower she created for her parents. The CEO tells her to flip the flowers. Ji Ah reads the message from her parents asking her to save them. Ji Ah asks if her parents are alive. The CEO says if she brings Lee Yeon, he’ll return her parents. The CEO is confident that once again Ji Ah will make the right choice. Ji Ah clutches her heart.
The Imoogi says Lee Yeon’s heart will suffice. Lee Yeon considers then declares he’s not going to give the Imoogi what he wants because he can’t be trusted to keep his part of the bargain. Lee Yeon asks The Imoogi why he came back. The Imoogi says he wants Ji Ah. He was supposed to be given her in the past and he’s back to get her. Lee Yeon calls his power of nature. The Imoogi calls his power to make people kill themselves. Lee Yeon watches in horror.
The CEO is thrilled to realize Ji Ah is connected. She doesn’t understand why he’s helping The Imoogi instead of humanity. The CEO puts his wants first. Ji Ah asks why being a traitor once wasn’t enough. The CEO counters he only wanted to help his family eat but he was caught, called traitor, and almost beheaded until The Imoogi intervened. Ji Ah asks what the CEO had to trade for his continued life. The CEO gave up his family. Ji Ah says she won’t become like him. The CEO says if she doesn’t help, she’ll never see her parents again. He gives her a bottle of fluid. He claims one drop will knock Lee Yeon into a deep sleep.
Chapter 11 – Ground Cherries
Hyun Ui Ong massages his wife’s shoulders. She calls their son unfilial. He asks why she’s the only one allowed to feel pain over their son’s death. He declares their son committed suicide because she killed his wife. Granny snaps their son’s wife was possessed by a spirit that was causing plaques all over earth and she couldn’t let it continue. Ui Ong says her priority was always her role not her family. She gets an alert about the rash of suicides. Ui Ong guesses the Imoogi is at work.
Lee Rang (Kim Bum) sees the ambulances stream past. He believes the Imoogi is doing something. He remembers Ui Ong’s advice to untangle the mess not to give into the Imoogi’s demands.
Ji Ah’s boss and coworkers Pyo Jae Hwan and Kim Sae Rom wonder why there was an uptick in suicides. The Imoogi pretends to be surprised when he returns to the office. He hands over his camera with footage from working with Ji Ah.
Ji Ah doesn’t answer Lee Yeon’s call. She considers if she should comply to save her parents.
Vet Gu Shin Joo (Hwang Hee) brings Ki Yoo Ri (Kim Yong Ji) to Lee Yeon’s place. Assuming the apartment is Shin Joo’s, she’s impressed with the apartment and the food he prepares her.
Lee Rang can’t let the boy who is his reincarnated dog, take the abuse his stepfather dishes out.
Shin Joo says he wants to become Yoo Ri’s family. Yoo Ri says she already has a human family. Shin Joo suggests she let her human family (who wrongly belief she is their human daughter) go and rely on him. Lee Yeon’s arrival disrupts the moment. He says this is his apartment, so of course he came. Lee Yeon wants to know where Ji Ah is. Yoo Ri gets a phone from Lee Rang.
Ji Ah stares at the bottle and the pressed flower. She’s surprised to find Lee Yeon outside her house. He asks why she didn’t answer her phone. He says before they talk, he gives her a pair of shoes. She smiles that he remembered new shoes are a favorite thing for her. He puts the shoes on Ji Ah. He asks she’s not happy. Ji Ah assures him the shoes are sweet. Lee Yeon says he likes her. He’s willing to exchange his life for hers. Ji Ah suggests they take a walk.
Lee Rang deposits the stepdad at the CEO’s house. He notices the ground cherry plant has been moved. The CEO shows Lee Rang the ground cherry seed that The Imoogi creates. He puts it in the stepdad’s mouth. He dissolves and a ground cherry is left. The CEO inhales the ground cherry. He murmurs the man was evil and Lee Rang saved a little boy. Lee Rang claims he needed one good deed for the afterlife.
Shin Joo feeds the little boy. Yoo Ri doesn’t like him. The little boy says he no longer has a home. Shin Joo asks where his mother is. The little boy says she ran away because his stepdad beat her often.
Lee Yeon and Ji Ah walk. She brings up the story of the little mermaid and notes she hates the ending. Ji Ah says Lee Yeon is her prince. Lee Yeon says if he were the mermaid, he’d kill the witch. Ji Ah hands him the bottle The CEO provided to bring Lee Yeon to him. She says she wants a happy ending without anyone she loves dying including herself.
The CEO reminds Lee Rang he’s got 24 hours to bring Lee Yeon to him or die. The CEO shares the Imoogi told Lee Yeon that he’s controlling Lee Rang, Ji Ah and her parents. The CEO laughs that Lee Yeon choose to be with Ji Ah not Lee Rang. He flashes back to Lee Yeon’s declaration that he never deserted Lee Rang. The CEO claims that is a lie. Lee Rang counters he saved Lee Rang from the zombies. The CEO says Lee Yeon did that to save Ji Ah, she’s the important one. Lee Rang worries that he’s really not important to Lee Yeon.
Lee Rang calls Yoo Ri and asks for Shin Joo. He asks where Lee Yeon is. Shin Joo says he’s with Ji Ah. Lee Rang demands their specific location.
Granny tells Ui Ong that the Imoogi is chaos incarnate. She says the suicides are only the beginning. Lee Yeon arrives. Then Ji Ah enters. Ui Ong can’t believe Lee Yeon brought her. Granny is not happy. Ji Ah introduces herself. She demands to know why a human was brought here. She tells Lee Yeon to take Ji Ah and leave. Ji Ah says she has something The Imoogi wants and she’ll fight against her fate to succumb. Granny admits Ji Ah has moxy. Ji Ah asks to borrow the gift of clairvoyance so she can know where her parents are. She tells Granny they’ll bring The Imoogi in exchange. That gets her attention.
Outside, Ji Ah is relieved Granny didn’t kill her. Ui Ong explains his role. Ji Ah says the newly dead are lucky to meet him after they die. Ui Ong believes Lee Yeon can convince Granny.
Lee Yeon wonders why Granny hasn’t stopped the Imoogi. Granny says part of the Imoogi is in Ji Ah. Lee Yeon asks if Ji Ah can be separated from that piece. Only if the Imoogi willingly leaves her. Granny says Ji Ah will be sacrificed and Lee Yeon will live in endless pain. Lee Yeon notes Granny didn’t want him to meet Ji Ah so he wouldn’t endure this fate. Lee Yeon says he won’t walk away from Ji Ah. Granny says he always makes that choice. Granny states Ji Ah’s parents are ground cherries. Lee Yeon blows her a kiss and leaves. Granny shakes her head.
Lee Yeon bursts outside and tells Ji Ah to come with him. Ui Ong tells Ji Ah he’ll be rooting for them to succeed. Ji Ah leaves with Lee Yeon.
In the car, Lee Yeon tells Ji Ah her parents are in a ground cherry tree the CEO has. He states the ground cherries lengthen lives. Ji Ah says it was in the CEO’s house. Lee Yeon guesses the ground cherry tree has been relocated. Lee Rang watches them drive away. He remembers this is the last 24 hours of his life unless he brings Lee Yeon to The Imoogi.
The CEO assures the Imoogi that the wedge between Lee Rang and Lee Yeon will yield what he wants, Lee Yeon’s heart. The Imoogi warns the CEO not to underestimate Lee Yeon. The CEO promises one of the 3 traps he’s set will work. The Imoogi promises the CEO anything he wants if he gets the job done.
Lee Rang ponders the CEO’s words. Lee Yeon calls and asks if the CEO has a ground cherry tree. Lee Rang asks if that is all Lee Yeon cares about. Lee Rang confirms and says he can find the current location of the ground cherry tree. He suggests they meet tomorrow to discuss it.
Lee Yeon returns to his apartment and tells Ji Ah he’ll meet Lee Rang tomorrow and learn where the ground cherry tree is. Ji Ah’s coworkers arrive to confirm Ji Ah is okay. They are impressed with Lee Yeon’s apartment and fresh with the knowledge that Lee Yeon is a 9 tailed fox. Lee Yeon isn’t impressed with the offering of mealworms.
Lee Rang drinks and looks at his watch. He looks at the azaleas Lee Yeon left for him. He remembers Granny telling him only a fox can break a deal with a fox.
The food arrives and everyone digs in. Ji Ah tells them about the CEO. Lee Yeon is unimpressed with Jae Hwan’s suggestions for the path forward. He’s impressed with the food. Jae Hwan wants to see Lee Yeon’s tail. Ji Ah urges him to eat.
Lee Rang’s tells the CEO he’ll bring Lee Yeon because he wants to live. The CEO is gives Lee Rang a bottle just like he gave Ji Ah. He states they’ll work together from now on. He offers Lee Rang a bed for the night.
The next morning, Lee Yeon arrives to meet Lee Rang. He doesn’t know the CEO is watching him.
Ji Ah notices The Imoogi and her coworkers are comfortable with each other. The Imoogi shares he was often alone as a child. The boss arrives and suggests a team dinner. No one wants to. The box declares it is the intern’s welcome dinner.
Lee Yeon finds Lee Rang making coffee. Lee Rang puts the liquid into Lee Yeon’s coffee when his back is turned. The CEO watches the video feed on his phone. Lee Yeon wants to know where the ground cherry tree is. Lee Rang asks what he means to his brother. Lee Yeon declares that Lee Rang is family but he doesn’t have flowery words for a whiner like his brother. Lee Rang notes Lee Yeon is endlessly patient with Ji Ah. Lee Yeon points out that Ji Ah doesn’t wrap the loss of her parents like a cloak around herself. She lives. She is brave. Lee Rang notes Lee Yeon was never a nice brother though he pretended he was. Lee Rang admits he wanted to be like Lee Yeon. He tells his brother to drink the coffee. Lee Yeon asks if Lee Rang spiked the coffee. Lee Rang says nothing. Lee Yeon drinks the coffee. The CEO smiles as Lee Rang looks to the camera. Lee Yeon warns Lee Rang not to try anything funny. Lee Rang says he thought he’d be willing to die to save Lee Yeon, but he can’t. He tells Lee Yeon, he’s the one that must die. He breaks a vase of Lee Yeon’s head. He tosses the bottle to Lee Yeon who stares in shock at his brother. Lee Rang snaps if Lee Yeon cared for him like he cares for Ji Ah, this wouldn’t be happening. Lee Yeon falls onto the floor and calls Lee Rang a fool. The CEO exits his car. He confirms Lee Yeon is passed out. He smiles. He calls The Imoogi to report that Lee Yeon has been captured. The Imoogi tells him to wait for him to arrive.
At the team meal, the Imoogi returns and drinks with everyone. The boss is complimentary. The Imoogi walks away. Ji Ah says she needs air and follows. She asks him where he’s going. The Imoogi says he’ll be back after a short meeting with someone. Ji Ah calls him rude and takes him back to the team meal.
Lee Rang checks his watch and demands the CEO dissolve their deal since he’s only got 5 minutes to live. The CEO states the debt is repaid when he has Lee Yeon’s heart. Lee Rang counters he’s fulfilled his part. The CEO says he must wait for the Imoogi. Lee Rang calls him a slave to the creature that killed his family. The CEO isn’t happy about that. The CEO moves to stab Lee Yeon. Lee Rang blocks him. He tells The CEO he won’t sacrifice his family. The CEO declares he will die. Lee Rang morphs into Lee Yeon and says foxes can change their appearances. The CEO stares in shock. Lee Rang sits up and bickers with his brother. Lee Yeon tells the CEO he enjoyed his hospitality last night.
Flashback…Lee Yeon meets Lee Rang as requested. He tells his surprised brother he’s sorry for not realizing that he was a hostage too. Lee Yeon pats Lee Rang’s face and suggests they work together. Lee Rang says he can’t free himself from the debt to the CEO. Lee Yeon suggests they swap places and to free him from the debt. At the CEO’s house, Lee Yeon takes the bottle the CEO gives him. He sees his reflection in the mirror.
The CEO grabs a knife and swings it but Lee Yeon plunges it into the CEO’s body. He grabs The CEO’s throat and offers the choice of Lee Rang’s death and his own OR agreeing to alter the deal. The CEO tells Lee Rang he’ll end their deal if he saves his life. Lee Rang pulls Lee Yeon’s hand off The CEO throat. He tells the brothers he must get to the ground cherry tree ASAP. They follow. The CEO crawls to the ground cherry tree.
Ji Ah puts her coworkers in a cab. Ji Ah tells the Imoogi she’ll have her designated driver take them to their respective houses. They wait for the driver to arrive. The Imoogi asks if she’s dating. She confirms it. She says her boyfriend is like a fairy tale guy. The Imoogi tells her to breakup with her boyfriend noting fairy tales have sad endings.
The CEO rushes away after reviving himself. The debt ring disappears from Lee Rang. Lee Yeon complements Lee Rang’s acting skills. They both look at the ground cherry tree.
Ji Ah gets a text with a picture of the ground cherry tree. She tells The Imoogi that she doesn’t believe his romantic feelings. She declares he’s the thing that took her parents. He laughs.
Flashback…Lee Yeon tells Ji Ah to keep The Imoogi occupied while he finds the ground cherry tree. She’s surprised when Lee Yeon says the Imoogi is closer than she thinks. Ji Ah realizes who the Imoogi is.
The Imoogi steps closer to Ji Ah and notes she’s not afraid of him. Ji Ah counters that Lee Yeon said she can’t be killed by the Imoogi. He confirms that. He grabs her wrist and kisses her hand. He walks away with a smile on his face.
Ji Ah rushes to her house. She sees Lee Yeon outside. She runs into his arms and cries. He smiles and hugs her. He gives her a nod of confirmation. They go to the house. Ji Ah steps inside and sees her parents standing there. They turn and look at her. Ji Ah calls to them. She hugs both of them. Lee Yeon watches and smiles.
The Imoogi loses another battle, but the war isn’t over. Writer Han Woo Ri reunited the brothers in a common purpose – free Lee Rang from his debt and save his life with the bonus of finding the ground cherry tree where Ji Ah’s parents’ souls where held. I worried a bit that Lee Rang would succumb to his long standing fear of abandonment, his greatest fear that Lee Yeon proved wasn’t true. But one can’t always trust our belief when we’ve surrounded ourselves with negative chatter. I was pleased to see Ji Ah realize that the intern was the Imoogi. His kiss of her hand was creepy. Ending the episode with Ji Ah hugging her parents while Lee Yeon watched with a smile was a lovely moment.
Lee Yeon (Lee Dong Wook) found a way so Lee Rang didn’t die and neither did he. Lee Yeon’s confidence is deserved. He might have been momentarily tempted to give up his body to the Imoogi to save Ji Ah and her parents but he correctly called the Imoogi a liar who could not be trusted. Lee Yeon disguising himself as Lee Rang was simple and effective. When he squeezed The CEO’s throat he offered the one thing the CEO wants above all…his life. The CEO couldn’t let himself be killed and agreed to Lee Yeon’s deal. The CEO didn’t realize that the location of the ground cherry tree was what Lee Yeon wanted. Lee Yeon’s pleasure in Ji Ah reunion with her parents was sweet. His faith in her doesn’t waver. I enjoy this couple.
Nam Ji Ah (Jo Bo Ah) told Lee Yeon about the choice. Ji Ah choose Lee Yeon. Good choice. Our trio of leads worked together and Ji Ah found herself face to face with her long-lost parents. Having their souls in a ground cherry made sense. They were hidden in plain sight. The CEO could suck their souls any time but they were preserved. Do their memories end at the night of the accident? It appears Ji Ah doesn’t know that she has part of The Imoogi in her which is why he can’t kill her. If she was horrified at him kissing her hand, can you image how she’ll react to learning she’s got a sliver of Imoogi inside her body?
Lee Rang (Kim Bum) believed his brother and they worked together. The plan was straightforward, the brothers swapped identities to free Lee Rang from his debt to the CEO and learn where the ground cherry tree was to free Ji Ah’s parents. Lee Rang struggles with understanding that Lee Yeon can love him and love Ji Ah, perhaps to an even a greater intensity. That doesn’t mean Lee Yeon doesn’t love Lee Rang though. Lee Rang’s fear of abandonment is so deep and taps a hurt part of his heart which manifests it in dark fear of a repeat bout. While Lee Rang was on the edge of doing the CEO’s bidding, he couldn’t say no to his brother who offered way for both of them to get what they needed while relying on each other.
The fifth song of the OST is “Leaning On You” sung by Sung Si Kyung:
I rank this episode as almost terrific, 8.5 on a 10-point scale.