Oh My Ghostess: Episode 15 Recap

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I only have this to say about episode 15 of Oh My Ghostess: OMO.

She remembers. Soon Ae remembers everything now. What she doesn’t understand is why – why did Sung Jae have to kill her? It’s simply because she saw everything, and knew everything that he did wrong. He only wanted to get rid of her, so why couldn’t she do him the favor of ascending to heaven?

Soon Ae’s unafraid – all of his crimes are going to be revealed soon, especially since she’s now given Bong Sun the heads up. Sung Jae lunges for her, but she manages to run off. Luckily for her she’s a ghost, so she can’t be grasped by him and can jump into a passing bus to get away.

Let’s go back to three years ago…

Sung Jae was working as a cop then, and he was manning one of the checkpoints to ensure that no one was driving drunk. He encounters his step-father at the checkpoint, and the two greet each other frostily. Dad isn’t pleased to see Sung Jae, especially since he’s hated the kid ever since Sung Jae was about to kill baby brother Myung Joon in the crib. It appears that Sung Jae left the house not too long after that, and grew up in an orphanage during his teen years. Dad reiterates that he never wants to see Sung Jae again, and to make sure they never cross paths, before driving off. (Mind you, Dad doesn’t take a sobriety test either!) That same evening Soon Ae realizes that Sung Jae’s working the night shift (she must have memorized her crush’s schedule by heart) so she decides to prepare his favorite meal.

As soon as he can get out of guarding the checkpoint, Sung Jae follows his family home. He hides in the building’s shadows, and watches his mother, step-father, and younger brother enter the building. They’re so happy together, totally having forgotten that Sung Jae even existed. Dad steps out again to throw out the trash, and Sung Jae stalks him, ready to strike with a stick. But he stops. Sung Jae stops when Dad talks aloud to himself about buying ice cream for Myung Joon. He is so angry about having been abandoned, but at the same time he can’t bring himself to hurt this man.

This is the real Sung Jae.

He drives off, crying, and not really paying attention to the road. That’s when he accidentally hits Eun Hee, and Sung Jae hurries out of his car, aghast. Shock prevents him from acting right away, but it also gives ample time for the evil spirit – who’s presumably been hanging around him since his teenage years – to enter his body. Suddenly Sung Jae’s demeanor changes, and he’s now the evil Sung Jae we know. He gets back into the car, starts it, and drives over Eun Hee’s legs.

I only suspected that he drove over them before, but I couldn’t really believe that he really did it.

As he drives away, Soon Ae rounds the corner and spots Eun Hee on the ground. She sees the license plate, and then calls up 911 on the payphone. After the ambulance arrives, she hurries back to her dad’s restaurant and writes in her diary the numbers she remembers from the plate; she only remembered 2368. Soon Ae knows she has to report it, but turns to Sung Jae for help since she knows him so well.

Sung Jae arrives at her restaurant and she immediately reports that she saw a hit-and-run, and the license plate numbers. He stiffens, and that’s when she notices his car parked outside – with the very same license plate numbers. Um. Yeah.

Soon Ae comes up with a lie about picking up her father and runs out of the store. He quickly makes chase, and she loses him temporarily by hiding in an alleyway. She fumbles for her phone, dropping it and attracting his attention. He quietly stalks her like a predator, and then gives her no choice but to go home with him.

Tied up in his car, she tries to call her father again, but there’s no response. She types out the license plate number on the keypad, but the car suddenly stops. They’re “home.” Next thing we know, Sung Jae is nonchalantly dunking Soon Ae into the bathtub full of water, drowning her. He holds her head down as if it’s nothing more than a mop, checking to see that she’s sufficiently underwater each time. Finally, she stops struggling, and he leaves her lifeless body on the floor of his bathroom while he goes to take a shower.

The last step is to throw her body over a bridge, leaving it to be found by the police early the next day where Kyung Mo and Myung Ho wail desperately in grief.

Back in the present, Soon Ae sobs as she slowly walks the streets of Seoul to Suhbingo’s house. She now knows why she couldn’t ascend to heaven: she had died so suddenly and so tragically that she had a deeper grudge than wanting to lose her virginity. It was to resolve her death. Suhbingo is initially startled by her sudden appearance at her home, but embraces Soon Ae with open arms until the poor ghost is finally calm again. She warns Soon Ae to be careful, as Sung Jae is definitely on the lookout for her.

And lookout he is, as Sung Jae prowls the neighborhood for any hint of Soon Ae. He bumps into Myung Ho, who’s just gone to buy some pork hocks for snacks. Sung Jae is the face of gentlemanly charm when he offers to carry the bags, surprised that Myung Ho bought more than could be eaten by two people. “Oh we have a guest with us,” Myung Ho says brightly. “A guest?” Sung Jae is now intrigued, as he’s got an idea on who it may be.

Back at Myung Ho’s restaurant, Bong Sun’s just called up Sun Woo to let him know that she’s heard news. Sun Woo offers to head over since it’s dangerous at night, and he figures it’ll be safer than her walking to his place. Myung Ho arrives just then with all the food – thankfully not followed by Sung Jae.

It shouldn’t take long for Sun Woo to walk over to Myung Ho’s, so Bong Sun wanders outside the restaurant to check if he’s on his way. Big mistake, because now she’s left herself out in the open for Sung Jae to abduct her. By the time Sun Woo arrives, all he’s got left of her is her sneaker. He immediately calls up the police station to check if Sung Jae is there – but he’s not, and it confirms Sun Woo’s suspicion that Sung Jae took Bong Sun.

Suhbingo prays to the gods to grant her enough strength and power to dispel the evil spirit in Sung Jae, but she’s interrupted by Sun Woo’s insistent knocking. He’s got bad news: Bong Sun and his brother-in-law are gone. Suhbingo updates him about Sung Jae’s misdeeds while being possessed by an evil spirit, so they’ll need to take action now and find them.

Sun Woo first heads home, where he finds his sister and mother worrying over Sung Jae. Eun Hee had worriedly called Sung Jae repeatedly to no avail, and Hae Young had tried to reassure her daughter that Sung Jae’s just taking some needed “man time” for himself. But the worries got worse when Eun Hee had her mother take down the luggage behind the box; Eun Hee had seen Sung Jae quietly slip Soon Ae’s diary in there one night, but didn’t know what it was all about. Sun Woo arrives just as Eun Hee discovers Officer Han’s wallet and Soon Ae’s cellphone, and has no idea what to make of it. He immediately reassures them that he saw Sung Jae, and that he got held up with a criminal complaint out in a rural area and had to go check it out. He then zips up the luggage, pretending that they’re just evidence that Sung Jae needed to investigate cases on his own. It’s a plausible excuse for now.

The police try to track down Sung Jae and Bong Sun, per Sun Woo’s tip, and arrive at an abandoned apartment building, in the basement where Sung Jae presumably prepares for and conducts his evil misdeeds. But only Sung Jae’s phone is found, as he misled them on purpose while he takes a taxi far away, out of Seoul, with a lot of luggage in the trunk.

Yep – Bong Sun’s all tied up in the trunk.

We take a small break away from all this to go back to Sun Restaurant, where the kitchen crew is keeping the restaurant running while the boss and his sister are away dealing with “stuff.” Min Soo takes the opportunity to pretend he’s the king of the house while entertaining a high school sunbae and his girlfriend. The sunbae is impressed with how much Min Soo has grown from being the loser kid in school to actually in charge of a kitchen. To show off his power, he summons Dong Chul to get the best bottle of champagne and serve it to his sunbae.

Lo and behold – the sunbae recognizes Dong Chul as his sunbae! The legendary Dong Chul who “cleaned” up their high school with his “disciplinary squad!” Hah! Min Soo can’t believe it, since he thought all this time that Dong Chul was younger than him (and Dong Chul did pretend to be just so he could get a job at the restaurant). But the sunbae forces Min Soo to do a 90º bow of respect to Dong Chul. How humiliating for him! But how refreshing as well, because now Min Soo actively avoids Dong Chul and doesn’t abuse the others in front of him. Heh. Hehehe. Hehehehehehehehe.

Sun Woo and Soon Ae try to get more information from Suhbingo regarding Bong Sun’s location. The shaman goes into a trance and concentrates: Bong Sun is in the vicinity of Seoul, but she hears a lot of children in the background. Those are the only clues they have, and it turns out Suhbingo (for all her decreased powers) is right. Sung Jae is hanging out at Haneul Orphanage, where he once attended and is a benefactor of. He plays with the kids while the headmistress of the orphanage gives him a small shed to stay in temporarily; it’s the least she could do when he’s donated his old car as well for their use.

Unbeknownst to anyone, Sung Jae has hidden Bong Sun away behind some curtains in the corner of his room. He reassures her that he won’t hurt her – yet. Bong Sun sheds a tear and then notices another ghost in the room. It’s a little boy who presumably died in a fire in that very shed a few years ago. Sung Jae looks over at the kid, who recognizes the evil spirit and dashes out of the room.

Bong Sun struggles against her bindings, knowing she needs to find a way out of here before Sun Woo gets too worried about her. She tries to identify her location, but all she can sense is the smell of rosemary in the room. Good catch on her part, as the orphanage is located right next to an herb farm.

Meanwhile Sun Woo begs detectives to do more in looking for Bong Sun and Sung Jae, but they make the excuse that they have too many cases to work on (while complaining about lunch). He and Soon Ae take matters into their own hands, with Sun Woo going to every school nearby and Soon Ae asking her other ghostly friends to look for Bong Sun in areas with children. And Suhbingo once again asks the gods to bless her with stronger powers to fight against the evil spirit.

The ghost who likes to eat a lot and is now Soon Ae’s friend, wanders around the outskirts of Seoul, frustrated that she doesn’t have much details to go on in looking for Bong Sun. She ends up outside Haneul Orphanage, and bumps into Sung Jae. It startles her to realize that Sung Jae can see her, and she quickly runs away as he slowly advances, somewhat curiously. When she bumps into Soon Ae, Hungry Ghost complains about how it’s the “trend” for everyone to be able to see ghosts these days, including the “tall man with a really strong qi” she saw outside an orphanage. That rings a bell for Soon Ae…

Sung Jae gets some ice cream for Bong Sun so that she won’t pass out in the heat. She tries to convince him to turn himself in for Eun Hee’s sake, but he’s not interested in hearing her talk. Thankfully the headmistress requests his help for moving some furniture, and he reapplies the duct tape over her mouth and leaves her alone. Bong Sun mentally communicates to the little boy ghost in the room, because I guess ghosts can read minds, and begs him to help kick her cell phone over to her.

The little boy isn’t very good at being able to touch physical objects, but a few good kicks and he manages to send the phone over to her. She tries to call up Sun Woo first, which is ridiculous because her mouth is taped up. Sun Woo receives her call while in the restaurant, and urges her to text out where she is if she can’t speak. Bong Sun manages to only type out “rosemary” before she hears Sung Jae returning, and slides the phone across the floor to where it used to be.

Sun Woo contemplates on what “rosemary” could mean. Is she near a place where she can smell rosemary? He asks Joon where they usually get their stores of rosemary, and then notices a small rosemary plant on Eun Hee’s desk. The kitchen crew had heard that Eun Hee bought it while visiting an orphanage with Sung Jae, where a farm was nearby. Sun Woo realizes that she’s at Haneul Orphanage, since he saw the envelope from that place while searching Sung Jae’s room before and knew that’s where Sung Jae grew up, and spreads the word to Suhbingo and the police.

Meanwhile, Sung Jae takes the car out to a nearby pay phone to call up his wife, who’s waiting for him at home anxiously. He reassures her that he just needed to take time off to think, but Eun Hee thinks there’s more to it than that. She wants him to tell her the truth, even if he’s caught up in something bad. She adds that she’ll always be by his side, as she knows he’s a good person. For a moment there, Sung Jae looks quite guilty, as if he feels some remorse for having such a good wife like her, and he hangs up on her before she can say anything further.

The police and Sun Woo arrive at the orphanage at the same time, with all of the officers dispersing to check the orphanage’s main building and surrounding areas. Sung Jae arrives right behind them, and as soon as he sees the cops he makes a sharp turn towards his shed and quickly retrieves Bong Sun. Sun Woo wanders down that road and sees Sung Jae’s car speeding off to the main road, and he quickly pursues in his SUV. Suhbingo and Soon Ae manage to catch them as they arrive in the taxi, and urge their driver to follow them.

Desperate to lose their tail, Sung Jae engages in a dangerous game of weaving through traffic to gain a lead. He’s so busy avoiding Sun Woo that he doesn’t notice Bong Sun in the backseat untying the laces around her ankles. She then grabs a sharp knife that she finds in his tool bag and stabs him in the leg the moment he looks away to a side mirror.

His car swerves to the other lane, where cars are driving in the opposite direction, and it eventually stops in the middle of the yellow lines. Bong Sun quickly opens the back door and runs off; realizing that he’s lost his quarry, Sung Jae cuts loose by himself. Sun Woo quickly brakes right by Bong Sun and carries her away from the middle of the road to safety. He removes the duct tape and unties the rope around her wrists, hugging her tightly as she sobs into his chest.

The taxi screeches to a halt next to them, and Soon Ae is relieved to see that Bong Sun is alive and safe now. But Sung Jae and the evil spirit are now gone, so Suhbingo takes Sun Woo’s car and drives off, speeding like a maniac after Sung Jae. Soon Ae joins her, but regrets being in the same car with her, because at Suhbingo’s rate, they’ll crash and die! Suhbingo: “If anyone dies, it’ll be me. You won’t die again.” Hah! True that!

By the time they see Sung Jae’s car, the day has grown dark. Luckily for them Sung Jae’s left a trail of blood from the car, so they follow the trail through a rural village.

Sun Woo manages to bring Bong Sun home without his car, and he makes some porridge for her to eat. However, she’s already passed out in his bed, moving a little fretfully from the nightmares. He lies down next to her, and pats her arm to soothe her. It’s so sad and yet comforting to see these two reunited once again.

Suhbingo and Soon Ae – the new dynamic duo – lose the trail of blood but find themselves standing before a series of abandoned two-story buildings. There’s a sense of chill emanating from that place, which indicates to Suhbingo that they’re at the right place. However it’s very dark and they have nothing but a flashlight from the phone to guide them. It’s hilarious that Suhbingo is deathly afraid of scary movies, and yet she deals with ghosts on a daily basis.

Back at home, Eun Hee wakes up with a fright when her wedding picture frame falls from the table and the glass cracks. Foreshadowing much?

Suhbingo and Soon Ae climb up the stairs to the roof, and out of nowhere Sung Jae comes running towards them, ready to push Suhbingo off the ledge. Thanks to Soon Ae’s quick thinking, she pushes Suhbingo out of the way, forcing Sung Jae to stop short of the edge. He’s ready to attack again, but Suhbingo throws some charmed beans at him that splatters juice across his chest. He falls back to the ground, and the evil spirit is expelled. It’s a nasty looking thing – not unlike Gollum but seemingly hairier. Suhbingo uses her stick to ward him away, and the evil spirit looks back at Sung Jae, who looks downright scared.

Memories of happier days with Eun Hee float to mind, and even earlier days when he and Soon Ae were on happier terms. This is the real Sung Jae, and he fearfully inches away. However the evil spirit jumps upon him and possess the body again. This time though, Sung Jae and the spirit are battling for control for the body, with Sung Jae struggling to get upright.

Sung Jae finally stands up, and his eyes are pleading and full of remorse, because he knows what he’s done – whether unintentional or not. He runs to the edge of the roof, and then looks at Soon Ae and Suhbingo one last time. And slowly steps backwards. And then, closing his eyes, allows himself to fall over the edge.

And that, is the end of Sung Jae.

Some Thoughts

So. Sung Jae really did die. I did not expect him to kill himself in this manner though, because I more or less imagined him falling over the bridge in the same river Soon Ae died (as a sort of poetic justice), trying to live but unable to keep his grasp on the person trying to save him (perhaps Sun Woo). Sung Jae ended up being a really complicated and confusing character in these last few episodes because you never get the full story about him; you get bits and pieces and hints at what may have been happening to him. The power of suggestion is very powerful in this drama and oft-used, so his possession is only suggested at and never really confirmed.

We know the rules that surround Soon Ae and Bong Sun’s possession, but it’s still unclear what the evil spirits can do. It seems that the evil spirit possessed him since he was a teenager, but must have been in and out of the body all the way to adulthood. After all, it’s quite clear that when he’s unable to kill his stepfather and hits Eun Hee accidentally, he’s not possessed. The evil spirit only takes over when trying to get him out of the car accident, and is responsible for killing Soon Ae.

(Speaking of the stepfather, I just want to sidebar that I really am confused about Sung Jae’s story. It’s implied in a previous episode that he’s the mother’s son from another marriage and was replaced by his baby brother, but then the step-father implies that Sung Jae was an adoptee. Either way, it doesn’t matter who his parents were because he had deep-rooted issues of neglect and abandonment, but it does underline just how confusing the writing on Sung Jae’s backstory ended up being.)

Now we’re not sure if evil spirits work the same way as spirits like Soon Ae, who possess Bong Sun so completely that Bong Sun does not remember anything that happened while possessed. Suhbingo had mentioned that as an evil spirit possesses a body for long periods of time it is more difficult to tell the difference between the two. But it makes me wonder if Sung Jae really is aware of all his crimes. After all, the real Sung Jae had flashbacks of happier memories – memories that I doubt the evil version could have made because he was so testy. So it implies that we really have been encountering the real Sung Jae every so often (during any happy scene) and that the ghost really did leave his body sometimes. But those flashbacks could also have been a plot device for us as the audience to feel some remorse for Sung Jae; he’s done evil but we should remember the happier moments just so the gut punch of his death will hurt harder.

I really have to give a lot of credit to Im Joo Hwan and Kim Seul Gi’s acting once again. Im Joo Hwan is so creepy when he stares blankly in his evil state. His scariest scene was when he killed Soon Ae in the calmest manner ever. It’s disturbing to see him act out as a sociopath, and then switch into a a more sympathetic character who feels guilt and remorse for what he’s done. Equally impressive is Kim Seul Gi’s acting – my favorite scene of hers in this episode is when she visits Suhbingo after remembering everything, and her voice barely comes out in a whisper. It just feels so real and that much more heartbreaking.

It makes the day to the last episode even sadder and harder to bear.

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