Mermaids, octopus princes, and demons, oh my! tvN’s “Hwayugi” sent more mythical creatures our way this week, accompanied by increasingly tangled romantic developments. The drama gifted us with some excellent comedic and emotional moments in Episodes 7 and 8, but also played a few unkind tricks with our feelings, so let’s recap what we loved and hated!
Warning: spoilers for Episodes 7 and 8 below!
1. Hated: the sham confession
Well, still your beating hearts, because it turns out that Oh Gong’s confession might not have revealed his true feelings after all, as he may not have actually been free of the influence of the magical Geum Gang Go bracelet like we thought — at least not according to Summer Fairy (Sung Hyuk).
So were Oh Gong’s feelings still controlled by the Geum Gang Go? Did Winter General lie about his ability to freeze the bracelet? Or is Summer Fairy lying to Sun Mi? We don’t know anything for sure except that we can’t trust that confession scene, and it’s downright cruel of the drama to give us such a shining ray of hope, only to snatch it away from us a week later!
2. Loved: the increasingly interesting demon world
The world of “Hwayugi” is filled with richly intriguing mythological creatures, and the drama keeps introducing more and more of these in increasingly (and hilariously) absurd ways. This week gave us not only a library-haunting mermaid-ghost, but also a sea-dragon prince trapped in the body of an octopus… found at the local fish market. Because where else would a banished sea dragon prince be?
Of course, poor Ma Wang (Cha Seung Won) ends up with more than his fair share of these creatures as houseguests.
And while he is dismayed at the increasing number of trouble-causing demons he has to babysit, we can’t get enough of the ensuing hijinks.
3. Loved: Octopus Prince Alice
This week, these hijinks included said octopus prince inhabiting the body of pop diva Alice (Bora).
And experiencing all the trials and discomforts that come with living in a female K-pop superstar’s body. Heels and dresses aren’t easy!
Neither, apparently, is fighting back (formerly) secret feelings for her labelmate P.K (Lee Hong Ki).
4. Hated: our divided emotions
One of the trickiest conflicts “Hwayugi” viewers must grapple with is the paradox of Oh Gong and Sun Mi’s relationship. Sun Mi knows that Oh Gong’s feelings for her stem from the Geum Gang Go, yet she continues to allow herself to fall deeper in love with him, accepting that it could very well end in heartbreak for her once the Geum Gang Go is removed.
We like Sun Mi and we want her to be happy, so rationally we should want her to protect herself by following Summer Fairy’s advice, right?
But we also love Sun Mi and Oh Gong together so much that we can’t help but hope that their romance continues to flourish, even if it means Sun Mi forgoes her chance at ending up happy with a fellow human, and may face tragedy down the road.
5. Loved: Oh Gong’s jealousy
Speaking of fellow humans, this week we got to know one who seems to have made it a life goal to have a happy ending with Sun Mi. And while Sun Mi’s childhood friend Jonathan (Michael Lee) is nice and all, the best part about his role in the drama is the intense jealousy it stirs up in Oh Gong. Because thanks to Jonathan’s crush, we get scenes like this:
A little romantic rivalry works wonders to speed up a relationship!
But also scenes like this:
And as much as we love agitated, impassioned, jealous Oh Gong, we also can’t get enough of the Oh Gong that is open, vulnerable, and honest about his feelings in the most heartfelt way.
6. Loved: the touching reunion
Oh Gong also reveals his tender side in the most touching of ways when he slips Sun Mi a mermaid tear so that she can have a virtual-reality encounter with her deceased grandmother.
This reunion is plenty heart-warming on its own, but the sweetness is compounded by what an incredible sacrifice this is for Oh Gong, who forgoes his opportunity to use the mermaid tear to drink alcohol, which he has intensely missed during his long-standing drinking ban. And rather than telling Sun Mi that he is responsible for her moment of happiness, he simply stares wistfully into a wine glass full of water, taking none of the credit for his good deed.
7. Hated: netizens hating on Han Joo
Sun Mi’s assistant Han Joo (Kim Sung Oh) is the most kind-hearted, good-natured ray of sunshine on this drama — which is why it is devastatingly heartbreaking when he becomes a casualty of negative SNS comments in the wake of Sun Mi’s efforts to catch a demon that has been wreaking havoc online.
Thankfully, Oh Gong is a surprisingly good shoulder for Han Joo to cry on, and even comforts the poor guy… in his own way.
Han Joo’s plight is a good reminder of how our interactions on social media affect each other, and we hope that his beloved daughter proves the haters wrong and becomes a star!
8. Loved: the bull statue’s makeover
Finally, Ma Wang’s poor bull statue got upgraded this week from a coat hanger to a blank canvas of sorts. Someone gave it a makeover, and we can’t decide what the best part is — his reaction:
Or Oh Gong’s celebratory happy dance to “Gangnam Style”:
Will we ever find out Oh Gong’s true feelings? Will octopus prince give Alice her body back? What will happen to Ma Wang’s bull statue next? We’ll have to wait for next week to find out! Catch Episodes 7 and 8 of “Hwayugi” on Rakuten Viki! Start watching below:
Hey Soompiers, what did you think of this week’s “Hwayugi” episodes? Let us know in the comments!
hgordon stays up way too late on weeknights marathoning K-dramas and trying to keep up with the latest K-pop releases.