Mystic Pop-up Bar: Episode 7 – RECAP

Last week left us with a cliffhanger: the pop-up bar is gone after Wol-ju and the gang broke the rules to steal a conception dream for one of their cases.

Here’s a distraught Kang-bae wondering what the hell happened

Turns out, both Wol-ju and Guibanjang have been summoned by Yeomradaewang and would have to serve 120 hours of community service in the Afterlife as punishment. In the meantime, the bar will be closed. On top of that, their case last week won’t be counted towards Wol-ju’s quota, which is a shame since the clock is ticking.

For their community service, they’ll be assisting the Reincarnation Grade Rating Committee. We have your typical criminal to show what happens when you do bad things, and then we have seven firefighters, who died on the job. The former will be reincarnated as a dung beetle, while the latter (who just wanted to be the breeze) will become a seven-member boy band named BLS (the ARMY in me is squealing). Of course, before they’re reincarnated, they have to take a shower to wash the memories of their past lives away.

Wol-ju tells Guibanjang that, if she could, she’d forget everything too. Guibanjang can’t help but ask, “Everything?”. This scene hurts a little, because you can tell from the flashbacks that the Crown Prince (i.e. Guibanjang’s past self) loved Wol-ju completely, but Wol-ju’s just a tad bit reticent.

The angst and the longing, I can feel it

But maybe, she’s not as over it as she seems to be. In the library, she can’t resist peeking into the Joseon Royal Family Reincarnation Records but Guibanjang calls her just before she can find out what happened to the Crown Prince. I guess that’s a story that will be told another time; at least, we know she’s curious.

Back in the living realm, our Kang-bae is like a lost little boy without his parents. He’s spacing out and missing dance practice, which Yeo-rin isn’t too happy about. She thinks it’s because she ghosted him and apologizes, but it’s the last thing on his mind and he rushes out. Yeo-rin complains to her roommate about how all the guys she starts liking end up running away, and her roomate’s advice? Just kiss him before you start having feelings for him. Hmmm.

Yeomradaewang calls Wol-ju and Guibanjang back to her office and is buttering them up for a favor. In a hilarious turn of events, she pisses off the Jade Emperor and needs to capture a missing soul to get back to his good graces. The duo agrees, in exchange for cutting their community service short, reopening the bar, and having this case count towards her quota.

The case for this episode is a gambler whose sole dream in life was to hit the jackpot. He was supposed to be reincarnated as a chicken but, following the mishaps of Yeomradaewang, he fails to take the Shower of Oblivion. His spirit returns to a chicken coop in the living realm and, before the sole egg hatches, he possesses the body of the coop owner.

Wol-ju and Guibanjang return to the living realm and no is happier than Kang-bae to see them. They explain to Kang-bae what the mission is and head to the house where the chicken coop is. Turns out, the owner is the chairman of Kapeul Mart, the supermarket where Kang-bae works. They sneak into the backyard and Kang-bae touches a chicken. They have a vision, and realize that the missing soul is in the chairman’s body. Who would have thought that Kang-bae’s powers worked on animals, too?

A happy reunion

We get a flashback of the gambler’s last few moments before he died. He was asking his friend for money, but the friend sold him out to the loan sharks. He died after getting hit by a car as he was running away. In the present, with a chance to get even, he hires the same thugs to destroy the fruit shop that his friend owns.

Now that they have a connection to the chairman, they devise a plan to lure the missing soul out of the chairman’s body. Since the winners of the dance contest get to make a wish, Kang-bae will ask for a drink with the chairman so they can get him drunk and enter his subconscious. It’s a solid plan, except that Kang-bae has to win the dance contest. With a newfound motivation, he practices harder than ever, which bewilders Yeo-rin. They share a moment during practice, and her roomate’s words keep ringing in her head.

Of course, they have to have this pose

In the shifty side of things, we have Yeom and his minion talking about an evil spirit gone loose. The minion shows him the profile of Kim Won-Hyung, and his eyes flash in recognition. We’ll go back to this later.

It’s time for the dance contest! Wol-ju and Guibanjang sabotage the other contestants, but Guibanjang fails spectacularly in his task, drinking the medicine that’s supposed to be for one of the contestants. Oh well, Kang-bae and Yeo-rin still end up winning (and show amazing chemistry throughout), which means they get to ask the chairman for something. Yeo-rin wants a permanent position and Kang-bae wants a drink. Both wishes are granted.

In Kang-bae’s apartment (is it his or Wol-ju’s?), the chairman and Wol-ju get into a debate about working hard and wanting the easy way out (i.e. the jackpot).This is where the show tells us about the value of hard work, and the four of them drink to that. As soon as the chairman collapses, we enter his dream world.

The gambler is taken back to the day he died, but this time, he survives and follows a trail of money that leads him to the thugs’ hideout, where they talk about how the gambler’s friend paid off his debts. He rushes to his friend’s store and overhears a conversation between him and his fiance, where he learns that his friend used the money for their wedding to pay off his debt. Wol-ju tells him that the only way to fix things is to receive punishment for his sins, and he throws away the money he collected from the trail into a nearby dumpster.

Kang-bae and Yeo-rin are outside the supermarket, discussing how to celebrate their win with their teammates. However, all Yeo-rin can think about is his lips, and when he tells her that he had fun with her, she can’t help it anymore and kisses him. Kang-bae is left dumbfounded.

You go, girl!

We see Yeom’s minion heading up to a rooftop with a sword in hand. He finds Kim Won-Hyung and tries to kill him, but is overpowered by the evil spirit, who spent the last 500 years gaining strength from all the other evil spirits he’s killed. He smirks as he watches the city pass by beneath him. After some time, Yeom goes up to the rooftop and picks up the sword. He seems to know something about Kim Won-Hyung, and vows to help end his suffering.

The bar is back and our favorite team is gathered around a table. Kang-bae talks about how he missed them and how sad he’ll be once this is all over. Wol-ju tells him that his condition will go away after this so he should find a girlfriend and enjoy his life. He’s curious about what he must have done in his past life though, to end up the way that he has, but both Wol-ju and Guibanjang tell him it’s not worth knowing. He’ll never be able to live a normal life once he finds out. Yeom shows up and tells them he’ll treat them to a meal to celebrate the bar’s reopening. He watches them walk away with an evil glint in his eye.

What is Yeom up to? Who is Kim Won-Hyun and what is he seeking revenge for? Will Wol-ju ever find out who Guibanjang really is? What will happen to Kang-bae and Yeo-rin?

The best parts of this show are really the flashbacks (and Kang-bae, of course) so here’s hoping we’ll get to learn more about them in the coming episodes!

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K-drama enthusiast, aspiring yogi, and loves angst

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