The Couch Potato : The Tale of the Nine-Tailed Fox – (K-Drama,2020) : Ep 1 to 4 recap

Yes, I am on a roll with all these dramas! This is drama #5 as I explore into the dramas that are airing in the last part of October! You can check out my blog for all the other exciting dramas that have been put out on my blog!

Now this is an episode recap post where I try to stick to the main facets of the story (ignoring what I feel are unnecessary details). Along with these kind of posts I would be having other segmented episode recaps, synopsis versus expectations, mid-run review, penultimate episode posts, and a final spoiler free review, all of which you can access right here.

As always my episode recaps would have my commentary mentioned in bold italics.

Episode 1 : What happened at Fox Ridge

Now I, like a lot of people who started this show may have no idea what the mythical creature called the nine-tailed fox really is. There is another popular series called “My girlfriend is a gumiho” (where the gumiho is the nine-tailed fox). Unfortunately I have not had the chance to watch it yet, as my plate is full of all the current releases. However probably understanding that the showmakers have given us a small intro about the nine-tailed fox which goes like this –

A fox, when turning to the age of 100 can choose a form of a man or a woman and can mate with one. Ultimate romance, here we come. At the age of 1000 though, the fox can become a godly creature that rules over the mountains and have immense power that ranges over many miles.

Ji Ah’s accident

The episode starts with Jia, who is our lead and is a young girl, in a flashback. As she and her parents happily travel down a highway, the lights shut off one by one and their car suddenly swerves and tumbles into an accident. Jia wakes up with minor injuries to see her parents ghost like figures outside the car, and she screams. She suddenly wakes up and finds she is at her home in the living room and feels its a dream. However she notices small blood stains – something she got in the accident. She asks her mother for walnut cookies and her mother searches everywhere for it, only for Jia to tell her she is allergic to walnuts, and her mother who is a doctor would never forget it.

Young Ji Ah

Sure enough her parents are not her parents, and are actual monsters, chasing Jia, for something we are not sure of yet. As Jia hides in fear she suddenly hears the noise subside. And there enters Lee Yeon, who I am assuming is our nine-tailed fox, he bends down and asks her if she is Ah Eum, from the intro we got I suspect an old girlfriend. He realizes she is not Ah Eun and tells her to forget everything and uses his powers to erase her memories and leaves, although it looks like she has not forgotten anything. She then wakes up at the scene of the accident again, but her parents are gone. Lee Yeon looks from afar, and then leaves.

Lee Yeon

We cut to 21 years later, Jia is now a PD at a TV station for a show on Supernatural events. Couldn’t have picked a perfect career but something tells me she picked this to find her missing parents?

As she travels to a wedding hall, we see Lee Yeon get ready, eat some mint-chocolate ice cream (I feel this flavor is horrific and tastes like toothpaste, give me a shout out in the comments if you think so too) get ready and leave with his red antique like umbrella. He attacks a bride who is actually a rogue gumiho who has been feasting on humans. Guess not all gumihos are good. She begs Yeon to leave her as she has finally found the one she loves, but her punishment is too severe,and is killed. Pandemonium ensues as everyone says the bride ran away, but her blood soaked wedding dress remains, and the CCTV was conveniently not available. Jia sees Yeon leave, and feel she has seen him before. She also find traces of a red fox on the wedding dress. The red fox is endangered and tagged and tracked, there is no report of one coming to Seoul. I like how meticulous and detailed her investigations are.

Grandma – the god of the border of the life and death

Yeon then reports to his boss, the God of the border of life and death (who will refer to as Grandma going forward since the subtitles seem to show him calling her that) at the Afterlife Immigration Office (LMAO). He doesn’t like doing these kind of jobs, but Grandma who is his boss, just asks him to follow orders. Looks like Yeon had agreed to do all this, and has been doing so for 600 years so that the girl he loves could be reincarnated. Another character present is Hyun Eui Ong, the gatekeeper and weigher of the soul’s sins (who will call Grandpa as he is Grandma’s husband).

Jia meanwhile concludes that Yeon, the strange man in the red umbrella who was caught leaving on CCTV is the one responsible and even puts out news on TV for him. Yeon is unbothered though.

Lee Rang, in disguise

We are also introduced to Lee Rang (strong Boys over Flowers vibe here you guys) who gives Jia a clue on where she can find Yeon, and suggests her to ride a bus on Fox ridge. She sees the bus and Yeon in it but is unable to board because of a grandpa who asks her to piggyback him somewhere but vanishes into thin air. Looks like there are a lot of mystical characters in this drama.

By the time she reaches the bus, she sees it has met with an accident very similar to her own. Only a young girl, a student survives, while there is no trace of Yeon. The girl later claims in the hospital that Yeon is out to kill her which is how Jia finally meets Yeon and comes up to him with these accusations. The conversation naturally doesn’t go easily. I’m so sure the girl is the fraud here. I mean my drama senses are basically telling me.

And my drama senses are right. The girl is actually Lee Rang who killed her and took her identity and caused the accident and causes an issue. I see his is the villian here, interesting. Yeon and Rang fight out supernatural style all over Jia’s home. Unknown to them, she is recording it all on her camera. The brief dialogues the two have between this fight show that we have a backstory coming up soon. Yeon erases Jia’s memory and leaves only to find her with the recording playing on a laptp as she sits on Yeon’s balcony.

As Yeon comes closer, she just drops herself off the balcony. Umm..What? She is caught by Yeon and she says she was waiting for him all along and injects something on his neck, much to his shock and the episode ends. If the man can fly through air and save a woman but get knocked down by a lame injection then I just feel thats contrasting too much you guys. And that balcony scene was dramatic, like crazy dramatic. I am sure there was some other way to coerce that information from him? Anyway, whats a drama, without some drama?

Episode 2 – I waited for you

We see a flashback of Ah Eum visting Yeon in the ancient period as a young girl. The two have a friendship that later grows into a romance. Now that he thinks of it, he wishes he had never met her. The next scene we see is of her dead, and her soul being taken away by Grandma. Yeon breaks all the rules and stops the boat and begs her to reincarnate and that he will wait. In order to identify her in her next life, he gives her his fox bead. I don’t know how important the fox bead is yet, but awww. Unfortunately Yeon says he saw many that looked like her over the years but none had the fox bead not even Jia. At the present day, as the two threaten each other, Jia promises to not show the footage if he helps her find his parents, as he saved her that day thinking she is Ah Eum.

Ah Run, Yeon’s long lost love

Meanwhile Rang is at a funeral centre happily enjoying the pain of all the family members of the people he killed. He has a strange sense of fun, this one.

Looks like Jia got the tranquilizer from Yeon’s fellow fox-veterinary friend Shin Joo. Okay I know its for animals but it still doesn’t make sense how he could be so powerful but could be knocked out by a tranquilizer! Jia meanwhile has a nightmare where her parents appear on TV as she watches an old video and they drop a skull into her room. Wow. Thats a nice thing, to get from your parents, Creeeeppppyyyyyyy!

The next day at the Immigration office while Grandpa is giving an intro into the netherworld, next steps for the dead via a powerpont presentation of all things, Yeon confirms that Ah Eum indeed got reincarnated and desperately wants to find her, whatever form she is in. She asks a favor from Grandma and reveals to Jia later that her parents are not registered as dead, they are missing. But who? Lee Rang? Naahh.. I feel he is not the major villian here you guys.

Yeon and Jia are introduced to a demon that feeds on nightmares as Jia understands how wide and dangerous Yeon’s world is. Yeon meets up with Rang who sent the demon and is worried about how Rang taunts he will kill Jia in a month if he can’t find her and talks about the reincarnation – so Jia is the reincarnation? Where is the fox bead then? At the same time a group of fishermen far away dig up a skull of their old colleague which they recognise and bring to the shore amidst the cries of the dead man’s daughter.

The next day both Jia and Yeon head to the island conincidentally and meet up the daughter of the dead man. She mentions how her father saw her dead mother in his dream the day before he died. The villagers are suspicious and are not willing to reveal anything. The duo then eventually realize that Jia’s parents have been here before when her mother was pregnant with Jia. There are also some mysterious disappearances of four women related to the times that a young tree spirit also informs Yeon. As the episode nears an end, Rang is at the island. The other fishermen choke and look like they are dying, the last one runs with a hammer away into a forest. Jia chases him and is nearly attacked until Yeon protects her. The hammer man leaves and Yeon applies medicine to Jia – but she suddenly transforms and holds him by the neck and asks him – do you remember me? Why did you kill me? What is happening here?

Episode 3 – The Dragon King’s Secret

This episode starts a little before Jia goes all crazy on Yeon, around 12 hours.

The men who escaped the boat seem to be dying from mysterious ways. One man feels unending thirst and ends up drinking toilet water (yes, I gagged) and another man has unending hunger. Jia and Yeon are too late to reach the water man as he is already dead but they catch the man who is trying to eat to the death and they realise what happened on the boat all those months ago. During a storm their boat was gone and they were stranded for 28 days – how did they survive? – by eating one of their boat mates – who happens to be the father of the girl at whose house Yeon and Jia stayed. That’s just. That poor, poor man.Yeon realises that the daughter is making use of some sort of voodoo doll magic to bring these tragic fates onto these men. Rang seems to know this as well. I know Rang is evil and stuff but what does he get out of this? I guess its something like – his ultimate aim is to make sure Yeon’s life is a pain.

The voodoo magic

As Yeon and Jia go around they realise all the villagers have an image of the Dragon King, only there is something wrong with the picture – the legendary serpent Imoogi is missing from the picture. I’m not understanding the prominence of that observation but let’s see.

It also looks like a part of this Imoogi is there in a creepy well on this island and Rang is trying to revive it with the help of a shaman like lady. She wonders why he would do this to his brother and he shows a huge scar on his stomach of when Yeon stabbed him. I somehow surely know Yeon may have had his reasons but what really happened between these two? Yeon and Rang are revealed to be half siblings as well.

Shin Joo and Yoo Ri the two people close to Yeon and Rang respectively meet up. They are gumihos as well and it looks like Rang set Yoo Ri on this task. Yoo Ri steals Shin Joo’s necklance which he uses to communicate with his patients at the vet clinic and leaves.

We come back to the scene where Jia transforms and Yeon is shocked. She comes back to normal with no recollection of it at the same time. With the help of her colleagues she realises that accidents like this happen once in a while on a specific day of the lunar calendar which also happens to be today. Of course.

Jia wanders around the forest and meets the shamam lady who tells her she remembers Jia’s mother who came here to pray for a safe birth. Jia doesn’t believe that as her mother was a doctor and wouldn’t believe superstitions – and she was right. The shaman proceeds to paralyse her using a strange incense and tries to sacrifice her at the well. Yeon panics and Rang tries to buy time as the two fight it out. When he finally reaches Jia he is forced to do the one thing he must never do – kill a human, the shaman, in order to save Jia.

The next day as Yeon and Jia try to leave they realise that the whole island is empty and only the daughter of the fisherman is there. Just before that, Rang is shown handing over a baby covered with charms to a man while all the villagers walks over and start peering down the well. This island is creepy af. Like seriously!

Episode 4 – Aura of Death

Jia and Yeon realize many things are amiss at the island and the girl mentions how she heard the cry of an infant at 2:40 AM – exactly when everyone’s watches stopped. Yeon says it must have because a being that is not of this world must have entered at that time.

Back in the city we see Yoo Ri sitting with her parents for a birthday meal. Parents? As they all talk, the parents get confused as their memory looks like it glitches and they realise their daughter actually died a long time ago. Yoo Ri is frustrated and formats their memory again and send them on their way. I guess this is her borrowed identity. She and Rang may have even killed the girl for all we know. We also come to see that Rang did indeed plan Yoo Ri meeting Shin Joo as well.

Yeon and Rang in the Joseon era

We finally see a flashback with Rang and Yeon. Rang seems to have massacred a whole village which is when Yeon comes in. Rang runs to him releieved to see him as he was worried when Yeon disappeared. He tells Yeon happily how he killed all the humans that tried to set fire on the mountain. Yeon painfully sighs and says he is here to execute the punishment deemed by the heavens and stabs Rang. The scene shifts back to the modern age. Rang is really bitter about that and the fact that Yeon doesn’t pull himself together to do it one more time as he missed his vital organs the first time – I think Yeon might have missed on purpose. Yeon won’t do it again so Rang decides to end Ah Eum’s life this time as well to cause maximum pain for Yeon. This explains a lot.

Yeon sees how much Jia misses her parents and promises to help her find them.

The man safeguarding the “baby”

Rang meets with a man who has supposedly beem living for 600 years and is safeguarding the baby like thing – whatever it is. Rang’s grand plan of revenge revolves completely around it. Unfortunately Grandma can’t see what this thing is either due to the talismans.

Later Yeon says he will be away for a few days and worries that Jia is going to a funeral hall as spirits may be aplenty. He gives her some magical beads to the number of her age and asks her to keep it.

Looks like Yeon is going to get the punishment he is sentenced to for killing a human, no matter how evil he is. He needs to spend a few days in an icy cave with his powers gone. Time flows differently in that realm and earth as well. As he enters the cave Rang meets Jia at the funeral centre and tells a story of a mountain god that neglected his duties and ended up burning the ecosystem to destruction. Jia wonders if its all due to Yeon’s first love.

As Rang leaves he cuts open the bag and the magic beads escape.

Sure enough, Jia is persisted by ghosts especially of two little girls and many others. Realising she is in danger he requests for a faster punishment – crossing the bridge of knives – its basically a long bridge with knives slashing you in all directions. As Yeon struggles through the knives, Jia is followed by the ghosts. As she is almost falling off the building Yeon makes it and saves her, but is severely injured. Jia cries and a fox tail like symbol comes behind her. Yeon realises she is Ah Eum. There couldn’t have been a more romantic scene for Yeon to realise that! Awww!

Well thats a wrap for this set of episode recaps. Click the link at the top for more and let me knw what you feel about these episodes in the comments.

2 comments

  1. […] Jo Bo Ah’s performance wasn’t as satisfactory to me as Lee Dong Wook’s was. I also didn’t feel as much chemistry as I would have liked to see between them considering how dramatic their relationship is portrayed. At times I felt that the character of Ji Ah which we see the most of if very bold but that was maybe taken a little overboard at some instances – cue the fall from the balcony scene in Episodes 1-2. […]

    Liked by 1 person

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