Hello and welcome to my deep dives into the world of TV series from around the globe! This time it’s on the Korean drama series – The Tale of the Nine Tailed fox!
As always TV series deep dives consist of not just episode recaps like this, but synopsis versus expectations before beginning the show, mid run reviews, penultimate episode recaps and a final spoiler free review if you are looking for just that. To check out any of these posts for the “Tale of the nine-tailed fox”, go ahead and click right here! Now onto the recaps, and remember the recaps will be accompanied with my commentary in bold italics.
Episode 9 – Ghost of Darkness
Rang is in disbelief that Yeon actually chose to save him over Ji Ah (I’m thrilled he did because I’ve wanted these two to repair their relationship for quite some time now). The only problem is that Yeon’s powers don’t work and he has a tough time keeping the zombies at bay.
Meanwhile Ji Ah is trapped in the car with her parents talking about her visit to the psychiatrist. The young Ji Ah wakes up and the gift is given to her and as expected the accident happens. The Imoogi and the juice lady/the spirit of darkness realizes Yeon went to Rang first and wonders if Yeon understood what this test was about after all.
By this time, Shin Joo finds Yeon, Yu Ri finds Rang and Ji Ah’s team mates find all three of them unconscious at different places. We soon come to know the juice lady is a sort of spirit of darkness that transports us to the world of our deepest fears where we eventually get killed. And things are serious. Yu Ri sees injuries on Rang’s body and panics, in the other world Yeon realises the zombie poison is spreading in Rang and he has less than an hour left, and wistfully hopes he made the right decision to come to Rang first.
Ji Ah wakes up and it looks like she has been transported to another setting – she and her family are fine, the accident had only caused her to be in coma for a while. Ji Ah doesn’t trust it at first but then finds out that it’s really her parents.
Meanwhile time has almost run out for Rang. The two brothers argue as Rang cannot understand why Yeon would want to save someone who tried to kill him many times. Finally Yeon reveals the truth – centuries ago, when he came to kill Rang, Rang didn’t survive because Yeon missed, but rather because Yeon purposefully missed so that he executed his duties but not at the price of losing his brother. I’m not crying, you are.
Rang listens in shock and finally agrees to survive and is helped up by Yeon. YAAAASSSSS!!!
Meanwhile Shin Joo goes to Grandma and begs her to help, even if it costs him his life. We already we know we have to be super careful when striking deals with Grandma. Shin Joo receives a thread of sorts and leaves. Meanwhile Ji Ah tries to piece together what is happening to her with the juice lady, the accident. But as her parents comes and calls her for breakfast, she seems to forget about that and walks away. Looks like her mind is getting lost in this world? Yeon and Rang are trying to figure out how to leave this world by thinking about how they got here in the first place.
They realize they are trapped in Rang’s deepest fears – being abandoned by Yeon and his mother. Yeon shakes him angrily on why he can’t beleive that Yeon has never abandoned him, even when he had to kill him. The brothers have an emotional moment, and as Rang realises and fights his fear a door appears – the exit. Predictably the zombies come and Rang panics as he sees his mother – who is now a zombie. Yeon pushes Rang into the door and falls into the depths of the cliff with the zombie. Rang wakes up in the real world and cries to go back to Yeon, and collapses, much to Yu Ri’s shock.
Shin Joo has meanwhile kidnapped Ji Ah and tied her and Yeon’s hand together with the thread he got from Grandma’s place. Ji Ah is enjoying her family time when she gets a call on a phone that only she can hear the ringing of. Yeon talks to her and asks her to remember. She thinks back and sees things that remind her of Yeon, the plant he brought, him sitting at her table. She stabs her hand (ouch) and comes to her senses and remembers. How did she overcome her fear then? Or did she not have to because of the thread from Grandma?
She goes down and talks to her parents and asks them what they would do if they lost her to which they answer that they would search the ends of the earth for her. Ji Ah realises her fear is being away from her parents. She stands up and leaves and promises them she will find them. You have to admit this parting is painful, when we know how long she waited and longed for a normal life with her parents.
It looks like Yeon is caught in the world of his deepest fear- being alone for eternity without Ji Ah. Such a hopeless romantic, but jokes aside we can see how much it matters to him. He soon collapses and the juice lady comes in on him with glee that she was able to finish Yeon off.
Yeon however wakes up like there is nothing wrong with him, guess it was an act, and grabs hold of the juice lady. He proclaims that this is the mind of the mountain god and that he has all control and chokes her. Somehow, his hand stretches out in the real world and grabs the imoogi and snaps off one of the imoogi’s buttons. That was a badass move. He then kills the lady and escapes the world of his fears to be reunited with Ji Ah in classic romantic style with his red umbrella, a romantic drizzle of rain, and a kiss. This feels like a series finale, tbh.
Episode 10 – Dejá vu
Now reunited Yeon recounts his and Ah Eum’s story to Ji Ah. On the day she exchanges a romantic gift with him, he breaks up with her and asks her not to come – mainly because he feared to fall in love with a human, who in comparison to him has a very short life span. Ah Eum mentions she will protect him too, to which he scoffs. But we always eat our words and one day while Yeon was too far away from the forest and his powers grew weak, he was being chased by the villagers. On that night it was Ah Eum who saved him, and since a fox always pays back their debts he promises to make up for it and fiery ring of promise shines on their fingers.
Eventually we come to the end of the story – Ah Eum had given up her body to the imoogi to save her father and now possessed she has a battle with Yeon and even kills two humans. She however comes to her senses when Yeon was just about to kill her and he holds back. He eventually agrees to give up his body and heart – the source of the mountain god’s power to free Ah Eum. At that moment Ah Eum comes to her senses and asks him to keep her promise and kill her now before she does further damage – a fiery ring appears again and Yeon out of his will kills Ah Eum. Fast forward to where we are at the present as Ji Ah finally understands what happened.
Meanwhile the imoogi is quite smug as his little experiment with the spirit of darkness reveals to him that Yeon will definitely not kill Ji Ah. This time , he plans to make sure he wins. I like how convincingly evil the guy who plays the imoogi is doing. He looks like a nice guy but you can’t help but hate him for what his character is doing and that for me is good acting.
Meanwhile Rang us weakening from the battle and the poison and for the fact that he has lived quite long for a half gumiho – Nononono you can’t kill him yet! Yoo To begs him to eat the berries again but he doesn’t want to. As he waits for Yeon to come, the TV station CEO pays him a visit.
We see that it was the CEO who saved Rang after he was slashed by Yeon all those years ago with a berry. Because of that Rang can’t die as he has a debt to the CEO. Rang is instructed to bring Yeon to them in two days. Nooooo, we were just getting things back to normal! Yeon even brought a branch of azalea leaves from their old forest because Rang said he forget what it tasted like 😭.
While Rang is troubled at double crossing Yeon and the vow that he has to maintain, Yeon is one step ahead – he had Shin Joo spy on Rang and find out that Rang is being used. Okay, well at least he knows, I hate misunderstandings the most.
Meanwhile a mummified body is discovered during the demolition of a building and detectives and their teams start swarming in. Ji Ah reveals the truth about the past lives to her friends as well as she fears they are in danger.
The next day is Yeon is at the CEO’s house and “scares” him quite strongly to find “it”. Is it that dead people plant?
A new intern has arrived at the broadcasting station and it’s none other than our main villian , the imoogi who has for some reason gone by the name – “Terry”. I don’t know why but I find it really funny. Ji Ah and Terry head out to film the mummified body incident for their show and makes sure she shows no leniency to him even though he joined the company with influence. The imoogi is annoyed that he can’t read her mind like the others.
Rang is meanwhile at the Immigration of death – where he’s wanted by the way – to break his vow and end his life as he seems to be unable to harm Yeon. Oh, poor Rang!
At the morgue Ji Ah and Terry inspect the mummified body and she notices that it has a a fake acrylic nail on it, the same one she found at the CEO’s home. She confronts him and she finally realises that he is the branded prisoner they were looking for. He gives her a paper carnation on which her parents have written – “Ji Ah why aren’t you coming to save us”- and suggests tk exchange her parents for Yeon. Just how many people are they manipulating to get Yeon?
The episode ends with Yeon coming face to face with the imoogi. The imoogi says he will let all of Yeon’s loved ones go – is Yeon gives up his body to the imoogi.
Episode 11 – Chinese Lantern Plant
Yeon tries to attack the imoogi but realises that it’s not possessing a body like it did many years ago. At the same time Ji Ah is shown to be clutching herself in pain. It seems Ji Ah and the imoogi have some connection, something more deeper than we think?
The CEO talks about how he was brandishes a criminal for being born poor and dreamt of a different world. It’s when he met the imoogi and he got what he wanted even though he had to sacrifice his family. He gives Ji Ah a sleeping draught and asks her to give it to Yeon.
We also realise that Grandma’s and Grandpa’s son committed suicide because Grandma had killed her wife – probably was due to some unavoidable rule of the heavens I bet. She had to kill her as she had the spirit of the plague and she couldn’t let the plague take over and wreck havoc.
Meanwhile they are sounded by an alarm – a rampant increase in suicides – surely the imoogi has started his work.
Meanwhile Ji Ah is seriously contemplating to giving in to the CEO’s demands and handing over Yeon. Yeon is concerned for her though, whether he is oblivious to her confusion or not I guess we need to wait and see.
Meanwhile Shin Joo and Yu Ri have taken their relationship up a notch, and Rang has brought puppy-boy into his home to save him from his abusive step father. Okay so this is next step adorable.
Ji Ah has come to her senses and tells the truth about the deal the CEO tried to strike with him.
Rang isn’t as lucky though as the CEO emotionally blackmails him stating that no one cares for him and if he wastes his life for Yeon it will be for nothing. Yeon and Ji Ah go to the Immigration office for the deaf to get Grandma’s help – they can catch the imoogi while she helps with her powers. Yeon later has a discussion with Grandma and she informs him that killing the imoogi means killing Ji Ah as well as a part of it remains in her – it was her fate all along which is why she tried to keep Yeon away from meeting her again. But Yeon says no matter what he would have chosen to be with her.
Rang decides to lure Yeon and calls him to a garden cafe of sorts. While Yeon is distracted Rang spikes his drink and renders him unconscious and calls the CEO over.
Now that he has handed over Yeon he wants to end his deal but the CEO won’t until he carves out Yeon’s heart. Just as he is about to Rang stops him and says he won’t sacrifuce his family. Looks like Rang and Yeon shape shifted into each other. Yeon, now in his real form threatens the CEO to end his contract with Rang or he’s dead meat – literally. Scared out of his wits he agrees and the contract is dissipated. We see a flashback scene of the two brothers reconciling and planning out this act.
Ji Ah finally confronts Terry/Immogi for what he is as she knows he can’t harm her easily. She recieves a text that they were able to recover the ghost berry tree and she rushes home to see Yeon outside. As she walks into her home she sees her parents waiting inside her home. Wow, FINALLLYYY?!! But with all these happy feelings, I feel like tragedy is around the corner, but let’s not ruin the moment!
Episode 12 – Catch The Tail
Ji Ah is thrilled her parents are back, and so are we, as they share an emotional exchange between them after seeing each other for almost twenty years? After seeing Ji Ah struggle for so many episodes to find her parents and the pain because of that, this scene was very satisfying to watch. However that night she has a dream that she meets the imoogi and sees her face with scales – as of she and the imoogi are connected – she wakes up with a start and is worried.
As Yeon tries to plan on how to end the imoogi, the imoogi has plans of its own as it approaches Shin Joo and seems to hypnotise him of sorts with a command we can’t hear. He also arrives at the Snail Bride restaurant and does the same to the owner. His final stop is Yu Ri who is commanded to “kill him” and next thing we know, she stabs Rang, clearly not on her own will.
Rang is seriously injured and as Shin Joo treats him Yeon is considering using the berries although that means he has to kill people, indirectly. He decides to defeat the imoogi and save his brother instead, now that the imoogi is clearly sending out a warning. Yu Ri however is desparate to save Rang.
Meanwhile Yeon is found to be meeting the CEO to bring down the imoogi, although to what extent we can trust him, we can never know.
Meanwhile Ji Ah’s colleagues are conducting studies on how to defeat the imoogi and wonders if there are two of them since none of the stories with the imoogi have happy endings and someone ends up being sacrificed. They also find that the imoogi is averse to horse blood and send the info to Yeon only to find that the imoogi has reached them.
With her colleagues as bait she is forced to meet the imoogi and hear him talk about his origins of how he looked devilish at birth and was locked in, instead of being killed. He was eventually thrown into an area with the plague and he emerged as a white snake which people then considered unlucky. Ji Ah and the imoogi get into an argument on his intentions and he tries to attack her but is saved by Yeon. He encloses the imoogi with all the elements, the hair, blood and lightning but sees that the imoogi is virtually unaffected. To his horror, he can see Ji Ah in pain, then emerge with the scales and the imoogi in her goes – “Long time, no see, Yeon.”
Aaahhh the imoogi is playing it’s super smart. He has split himself into parts with a significant part within Ji Ah, knowing full well Yeon won’t do anything to germ this is just like what he did in her past life but this time, maybe more extended? We are knee deep in the problems with imoogi and I for one, am excited to see how the final episodes will pan out the story.