Jirisan Episode 4

Present Day…

At the Jiri Mountain National Park Ranger Station, Seo Yi Gang (Gianna Jun) reviews daily logs.

Ranger Lee Da Won pulls the memory card from motion sensor camera she installed as well the rocks and marker per Yi Gang’s request. She notices the rocks and marker are different. She takes photos and compares to the original setup. The birds squawk.  A hooded man steps toward her. Unnerved, Ranger Lee runs away, right through the ghost/spirit.

Still in a coma, Kang Hyun Jo (Ju Ji Hoon) twitches as the monitors beep.

Ranger Lee looks back, sees nothing but senses something and flees. We can see the face of the hooded man. It’s Hyun Jo!

Did the young shaman’s curse that Hyun Jo would walk the mountain after death come true? As coma is a deathlike state. Can it be broken? It’s obvious that the ghost is NOT the serial murderer.

In her quarters, Yi Gang reviews the dates of all the fatal accidents on the mountain with the worklogs. Every accident Branch Chief Jo had a day off. The door rattles. Yi Gang approaches slowly. Then she sees someone running down the hall. She swings the door open. Ranger Lee and Yi Gang startle each other as she rushes into their room. Ranger Lee declares she has something Yi Gang must see. She shows the photos which reveal differences in the original and current rock marker. The shows the motion sensor video which reveals one of the twig markers moving by itself. Ranger Lee shares she heard a twig snap and fled. Yi Gang declares someone is going to die.

She rushes to the control room and claims an injury report came in. The rangers in the field call in and head to the spot. Ranger Lee can’t believe that Yi Gang lied about the injury report. The rangers converge and report they found the victim. A hiker with his mouth foaming. A helicopter arrives to airlift the injured hiker.

Yi Gang goes to the hospital. The police reveal the hiker had a bad reaction after drinking a bottle of yogurt. That gets Yi Gang’s attention.

2018…Hyun Jo quizzes two women hikers where they got the bottles of yogurt they are about to consume. They point out drinking yogurt isn’t prohibited on the mountain. Yi Gang apologizes for Hyun Jo’s questions and steer him away.

Hyun Jo reveals that he spoke with the soldier they recently rescued. The solider shared he found the man looking in a pink backpack. Hyun Jo’s hypothesis is that the man planted the poisonous mushrooms in the backpack but it was the bottle of yogurt that was the culprit.

Flashback…the solider describes the man looking in the pink backpack.

Hyun Jo believes if they find the man, they find a murderer. Yi Gang points out his hypothesis is merely conjecture and the police can’t do much without evidence.

Present day…Yi Gang visits the hiker. He’s grateful for her help. She asks where he got the bottle of yogurt.

Flashback…the man drinks water from the spring. He sees two bottles of yogurt cooling the stream. He drinks one.

The man reveals the yogurt incapacitated him. He suggests the rumors of the mountain ghost are true. Supposedly you die soon after seeing him. The man says he saw the ghost.

Flashback…the man sees Ranger Lee running and a man following her. His snow suit had the ranger station emblem.

Yi Gang shows the man a photo of herself and Hyun Jo in snow suits. The man’s eyes widen and he declares the man in the photo is the ghost. He asks if the man in the photo is a ranger. Yi Gang can’t believe it. Her mind flashes to moments with Hyun Jo.

Yi Gang calls the hospital where Hyun Jo is and asks for status. The nurse says nothing has changed and he’s still in a coma. As Yi Gang ponders, researcher, Kim Sol, sees her. She asks if there could be a ghost on the mountain. KS notes that many hikers come to release grief and pain at the mountain. That could keep them there as a ghost. He leaves. Yi Gang ponders more.


Yi Gang and Hyun Jo watch an engrossed Ranger Jung Goo Young sign up for a mud festival on-line. Hyun Jo informs him it isn’t a good place for a date with Ranger Lee Yang Sun as she’ll get muddy.

Yi Gang takes Hyun Jo to a refuge where the director, Dr. Yoon, complains that 4 of her chipped snakes have been poached. She asks Yi Gang to look for the snakes on the mountain. Yi Gang retorts the snakes are no longer on the mountain.

In town, Yi Gang and Hyun Jo pose as married when they question an exotic collector and his wife. When they get in the car, Yi Gang and Hyun Jo tells Dr. Yoon the collector has her snakes. While they wait for the tracking device to confirm this, Hyun Jo asks Dr. Yoon if poison can be extracted from the local poisonous mushrooms. Dr. Yoon notes it isn’t easy. Yi Gang shares Hyun Jo’s hypothesis. Dr. Yoon concedes it could be possible but only ranger would have the knowledge and why would they? The exotic collector leaves his shop. They follow.  The tracker goes off. They wait outside the building where the collector goes. Tired of waiting, Yi Gang leads the charge and opens the doors. The collector is holding one of the missing snakes. He drops the bag holding the other snakes, who slither out. When the police arrive, the collector is arguing with Yi Gang. She points out there are laws protecting wild animals. The man declares his family has been taking herbs and animals from the mountain for generations. Things get heated between Yi Gang and the man. Dr. Yoon counts 94 illegal snakes including hers. As the snakes are loaded in the police car, Officer Kim tells Yi Gang that Hyun Jo is young and plain. Yi Gang doesn’t agree. Dr. Yoon goes with the police. Yi Gang and Hyun Jo walk back to their car. A man with claw-mark like scars on his hand removes his black gloves (like we’ve seen from the mountain murderer) and watches them go.

Hyun Jo has a vision of the scarred hand adding a rock to the marker, blood dripping off leaves and rocks.

Yi Gang shows Hyun Jo where she things he had a vision of. He agrees and asks why she’s more cooperative. As they leave the exotic collector and his wife watches them go. They split up to set traps to collect more snakes. The collector sees the rock on top of the marker. He tosses it in the air. It explodes! Yi Gang and Hyun Jo call in the incident and hurry back to the area. The collector is bloody and slumped over the marker.

Dr. Yoon explains it wasn’t a rock, it was a potato bomb, used by poachers in the 60s and 70s. Branch Chief Jo notes that they tried to sweep and remove all the potato bombs, but obviously didn’t get them all, especially in remote locations. Hyun Jo admits he and Yi Gang had patrolled the area just before the incident and the potato bomb wasn’t on the marker. That gets everyone’s attention. Yi Gang confirms Hyun Jo’s statement.  Branch Chief Jo notes that they may be blamed for the potato bomb or carelessness in not removing it. Sure enough the family stops by the ranger station with the casket. The wife yells that the rangers did this to her husband. She accuses Yi Gang and Hyun Jo not removing the bomb and her husband died because of their incompetence. She declares her husband went to the mountain because those nosy rangers forced him to. She screams they are murderers. She swears they will pay. Tons of tears and drama. Someone takes pictures from a car. The family leaves the man’s casket in front of the ranger station.

The pictures reach Chief Kim at headquarters via newspaper articles blaming the rangers. The board meets to discuss how to handle the situation. Branch Chief Jo points out the man and wife were poaching in a restricted area of the mountain; therefore, compensation would condone illegal activities. Chief Kim declares someone will be made responsible.

Team Leader Ranger Park chastises Yi Gang and Hyun Jo for leaving the potato bomb. Ranger Jun points out if it was there it looked like a rock or potato not a bomb. Ranger Park notes accidents are increasing too. Chief Kim and the board exit the meeting. Branch Chief Jo reports Chief Kim will accept responsibility and resign. He walks away.

Yi Gang catches up with Branch Chief Jo and states the potato bombs wasn’t there when they did their patrol. Someone put it there. If they catch that person, the truth will be confirmed. Branch Chief Jo counters that is a job for the police. Their job is to protect the mountain and those that come to it. They’ll have to regain the public’s trust.

Chief Kim visits the wife’s home. He kneels in front of her. She screams that she wants her husband back. She asks how she can live without him. The casket is buried. The family sobs.

Hyun Jo tells Yi Gang it can’t end like this. Yi Gang says it has to. Hyun Jo shares he saw a scarred hand adding a rock (really the potato bomb) to the marker. Hyun Jo the scars looked like claw marks from an animal. Hyun Jo vows to find the person that was on the mountain that day.

Rangers put up warning banners about potato bombs.

Hyun Jo visits Dr. Yoon.

It the day of the town meeting, goes missing previously claiming he was sick. Yi Gang backs up his story claiming he went to the hospital, he felt so bad.

Hyun Jo asks Dr. Yoon to confirm it was an old potato bomb. She confirms and states the mechanisms can’t be purchased anymore. She doesn’t understand why someone would keep an old bomb. She concedes some townsfolk did so, but they were later confiscated by the government. That gets Hyun Jo’s attention. He asks if she knows who had the old bombs. Hyun Jo talks to folks who might know others.

Ranger Jun is disappointed when Ranger Lee Yang Sun is distracted (by a memory of a potato bomb) when he asks her out. She rushes away.

Hyun Jo arrives at an older man’s residence. He asks about the bomb removal team he was part of. The man looks nervous and claims to know nothing. Hyun Jo doesn’t believe him. The old man declares the remaining potato bomb disappeared. The old man says he didn’t want to get his granddaughter in trouble. He takes Hyun Jo to the storage barn. It’s the same barn the Ranger Lee Yang Sun saw the potato bombs.

The grieving family and other towns people arrive at the town hall. Yi Gang notices the scarred hand of one man as he enters.

Ranger Lee Yang Sun hikes to a location on the mountain. She doesn’t look happy.

Hyun Jo looks at the family photo. We see the brother (potentially with the scarred hand), grandfather (man Hyun Jo is visiting), the granddaughter (Ranger Lee Yang Sun) and the parents. The grandfather reiterates he doesn’t want his granddaughter to get in trouble. He shares she’s a ranger too. Hyun Jo can’t take his eyes off the brother in the photo.

Yi Gang can’t take her eyes off the scarred hand man in the town hall. She remembers Hyun Jo’s statement about the scarred hand in his vision. The man smiles at her in a creepy way.

My Thoughts

Who knew a potato bomb would be a riveting plot device? Writer Kim Eun Hee continues her food weapons, adding a potato bomb to the arsenal, an addition to the poisoned yogurt. The scarred hand man seems to be identified. His smile at Yi Gang was creepy. What’s his story? What’s his sister’s story? What’s going on?

Seo Yi Gang (Gianna Jun) begins to trust Hyun Jo’s visions. I can’t blame her for starting to believe him. He’s earnest. His visions match what happens. Yep, it is compelling. I enjoyed the argument between Yi Gang and the poacher. I enjoyed the banter between the Officer Choi, Ms. Yoon and Yi Gang. Writer Kim has a light but effective hand with humor.

Kang Hyun Jo (Ju Ji Hoon) sees a scarred hand in his vision…it identifies a potential suspect. Now that we know that Hyun Jo has history with the murderer from last episode; his visions and determination to find the murderer makes sense. I was surprised the ghost of the mountain turned out to be Hyun Jo in his snow suit. While we don’t know the details of the accident that paralyzed Yi Gang and put Hyun Jo in a coma, it happened in winter on a snowy day. Undoubtably they were wearing their snow suits. I was a bit surprised that the hospital didn’t notice the jump in the monitors attached to Hyun Jo, when ghost Hyun Jo appeared in front of Ranger Lee.

The second song of the OST is “Memories” sung by GaHo.

I rank this episode as very good, 8 on a 10-point scale.

Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on https://kjtamusings.wordpress.com/.

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Posted in Jirisan
5 comments on “Jirisan Episode 4
  1. DramaDazed says:

    It’s keeping me interested!

    I wasn’t surprised to see Hyun Jo as the spirit, because wandering coma-spirits are not unusual in kdrama, because of the little girl shaman’s prediction (I don’t think what was written on the amulet found in the stream was revealed? ), and because of Hyun Jo’s clear attachment to the mountain.

    I can see Yi Gang moving toward belief.

    Side point… I don’t like seeing the environment and animals abused for financial gain – and – there’s a valid point related to the poor (way different than corporate interest) when the family livelihood has to give way to the greater good >>without a substitute livelihood being provided, or a least a path to something new. Rock and a hard place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jane Tilly says:

      When Newbie Ranger Lee Da Won ran through the hooded figure it appeared he was Hyun Jo which was confirmed by another hiker who claimed to see the ghost. I have also seen in Kdrama spirits appear as ghosts that were in comas. I agree with DD that the cause maybe Hyun Jo’s attachment to Jirisan. The young shaman portending Hyun Jo to roam Jirisan, even when he’s dead adds some credence to the theory.

      I concur that Yi Gong is beginning to believe Hyun Jo’s visions.

      I also believe there is a fine line, which I keep wandering over, between a poor family’s livelihood and being a good steward of the land.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I wasn’t surprised to see Hyun Jo as the spirit… the little girl shaman’s prediction and because of Hyun Jo’s clear attachment to the mountain
      Stuck on the mountain as a ghost. Not a fate Hyun Jo deserves. Can it be changed?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane Tilly says:

    My question is how is it the Forest Service’s fault that someone was killed in a restricted area, when the victim violated the law entering the restricted area in the first place❓⁉️. There are consequences for breaking rules, although thankfully most consequences are not usually fatal.

    Is Ranger Lee Yang Sun the Ranger Jung Goo Young is crushing on❓⁉️ Looks like Ranger Yang Sun’s cousin (Mr Scarred Hand) is the potato bomber. I don’t think we see Ranger Lee Yang Sun in the contemporary timeline … what happens to her❓⁉️

    Liked by 1 person

    • My question is how is it the Forest Service’s fault that someone was killed in a restricted area, when the victim violated the law entering the restricted area in the first place
      Valid question.

      I don’t think we see Ranger Lee Yang Sun in the contemporary timeline … what happens to her
      I’ve wondered the same.

      Liked by 1 person

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October 2021

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