In the fourth episode of ‘Alchemy of Souls’ part two, the people of Daeho believe Naksu is back to kill Jang Uk’s new bride, Bu-yeon. The episode is now streaming on Netflix.
Bu-yeon tells Jang Uk about the new memory she has regained; she tells him she saw them exchanging yin-and-yang jades. When he gets angry, she adds that she probably saw the memory of the owner of the jade, not her own.
Jang Uk forces her to keep the blue jade if there is a chance that she can see what happened to Naksu in her last moments; this is his way of getting the answers he thought he never would.
Bu-yeon stays in the Dark Forest until late at night, rebuilding Naksu’s stone tower that she accidentally destroyed. She now knows that Naksu was Jang Uk’s true love and the woman he wanted to marry.
She has a hard time finding her way in the dark. Suddenly, fireflies appear before her and lead her to the place where she finds Mr. Lee and other men looking for her.
She gets a glimpse of Jang Uk, who had been following her to ensure her safety and had sent the fireflies to assist her in the dark.
A frightened man covered in blood swims out of Lake Gyeongcheondaeho at night; he tells the people that Naksu has become grotesque and has killed everyone at the lake.
The next day, after a heartfelt conversation, Yul and Jang Uk accompany Dang-gu to Park Jin’s house. He has cooked another atrocious meal for them.
After the meal, he gives them rice cakes to eat, saying that one of the three rice cakes contains fish sauce. They must take their pick and let their destiny decide what they get.
He teaches them that life is unpredictable, but they choose their own destiny. They must experience and accept it, no matter how bitter or sweet it turns out to be. Jang Uk does not tell his friends whether his rice cake had fish sauce or honey in it.
The news of Naksu’s return reaches the capital; it causes chaos as people everywhere start buying charms in bulk to protect themselves from her. Nobody knows what she looks like, which escalates the panic among the public.
Bu-yeon meets Ju-wol in the market. Ju-wol tells her a little about Mu-deok’s life and warns her that if Naksu is back, she will come for her since Bu-yeon married Jang Uk. She also invites her for a drink.
At the pub, Bu-yeon runs into Go Won, who still believes that she is a shaman while she thinks he is a eunuch working for the royal family. He eventually tells her that he bought the turtle that she asked him to buy.
Go Won, despite having several impressive pets, is now raising the turtle himself. He does not allow his attendants to raise it on his behalf.
He tells Bu-yeon that he will bring the turtle to the pub sometime, and she can come and visit it. He still does not reveal his true identity to her.
Meanwhile, Jang Uk is summoned by the king to take care of Naksu’s ghost. When Jang Uk argues that it is just a rumor and that it does not exist, Jin Mu tells the king that the public might think that Jang Uk is not getting involved because he still cares about Naksu.
To prevent people, who have only tolerated an extremely powerful Jang Uk because they think he is protecting them from soul shifters, from losing faith in him, the king orders him to get rid of Naksu.
Jang Uk agrees, and Jin Mu tells Go Won that the rumors will haunt Jang Uk forever. If a soul shifter appears, people will believe it to be Naksu, and if that soul shifter kills anyone, the blame will fall on Naksu as well as Jang Uk, who was unable to stop her.
To ease people’s fears, Jang Uk would keep chasing after Naksu’s ghost, which does not exist, while Jin Mu would use this opportunity to separate Bu-yeon from Jang Uk. Jin Mu tells Go Won that he planned this for his sake; he wants to bring Jinyowon to the royal family.
So-i pays Byeong-gu, the man who started the rumor about Naksu’s ghost and tells him to go away for some time.
At the pub, Ju-wol shares some parts of Naksu and Jang Uk’s story with a jealous Bu-yeon. She gets another memory, but she discards it as Naksu’s memory trapped in the blue jade.
Yun-o, who is also drinking at the pub with his friends, decides to call Bu-yeon to see him in order to humiliate her.
However, Yul arrives there and reprimands his friends when he learns what they have planned. He takes Bu-yeon away from the pub without telling her anything.
Bu-yeon detects that Yul is suffering from an illness and rebukes him for not treating it, but he dismisses her concern.
She then tells him that he has expensive tastes when he confesses that he likes pine pollen tea cakes; this makes him think of Naksu, who once had a similar conversation with him.
At Park Jin’s place, Jang Uk is told that Bu-yeon had promised Park Jin to protect him. Park Jin asks Jang Uk to do the same for her.
The queen is planning to throw a banquet on the night of Naksu’s third death anniversary, the night when Naksu is rumored to return. She wants to cause panic among all the young ladies who would come to attend the banquet.
When Bu-yeon is invited to the banquet, Maidservant Kim makes her try out several new outfits to distract her from the rumors about her husband’s dead lover.
Jang Uk sees her in a dress, and he calls her pretty and precious and tells her to cut her nails. Furthermore, he tells her he wants everyone to see her as his wife at the banquet.
Bu-yeon asks him if she could wear the ornaments with his family crest and boast to people that he lights up dark paths for her. Jang Uk easily agrees to all her demands.
Maidservant Kim cuts her nails and takes them to Park Jin, who flirts with her. Dang-gu gathers up the courage and gives a box of diamonds to her. He requests her to give the box to Cho-yeon at the banquet.
Park Jin goes to visit Jin Ho-gyeong while young women are presented to the queen at the banquet. Bu-yeon is presented as Jang Uk’s betrothed instead of his wife, as there will be a formal wedding ceremony soon.
Byeong-gu returns to the gambling den despite So-i’s warnings. She helps him escape, but Yul catches her. She tells him that she spread the rumors to make some money with the shamans by causing mass panic.
Yul further questions her about his own diseased body; he wants to know what is inside him before he dies. He also tells her that he has not been taking the medicine that she has been sending.
At the banquet, Bu-yeon sits alone while other ladies enjoy themselves with their friends. Yun-ok approaches her and asks her if she ignored her advice to stop trying to win Jang Uk’s heart, but Bu-yeon lies and says they are closer than ever.
Maidservant Kim announces that Jang Uk had arranged for fireworks in Bu-yeon’s honor. She then asks Bu-yeon to go to the back garden where he is waiting for her.
Jang Uk meets her there and tells her that he must put an end to the rumor about Naksu today itself as he wants her to rest in peace.
Jin Mu, along with the queen, had planned to have Bu-yeon killed at the banquet by a soul shifter. People would assume that it was Naksu who killed her, and Jang Uk would be blamed for it, making him Jinyowon’s enemy.
A soul shifter attacks Bu-yeon. However, it turns out that it was not Bu-yeon that was attacked but a Jinyowon relic in her form that Jang Uk had asked Park Jin to acquire from Jin Ho-gyeong to protect Bu-yeon.
He goes after the soul shifter and kills it, putting an end to the rumors as well as Jin Mu’s ploy.
Master Lee comes to meet Master Yeom and tells him that he was the one who treated Bu-yeon.
Jang Uk visits the cliff where Naksu died for the first time. At Jeongjingak, he thinks about her and drinks alone. He sees a vision of her walking towards him, but it turns out to be Bu-yeon.
He finally allows himself to cry and mourn her death as Bu-yeon comforts him. She puts him to sleep, but he wakes up and kisses her when he finds her lying next to him.
- The episode accurately shows how easy it is for people in power to manipulate the masses. The fear of the common man is used by not just the rulers but also men of religion for their own benefit.
- Although the show claims that Bu-yeon is not a damsel as she is also protecting Jang Uk, it cannot be denied that she only protects him emotionally. The show sticks to the age-old patriarchal notion — the man saves the woman from physical harm while the woman provides him with emotional support.
- The whole episode revolved around Jin Mu’s plan, but the way it played out was very anticlimactic; there was a lot of build-up for something that ended in minutes.
- The episode features a beautiful banquet and it ends with Jang Uk’s character development. The heartfelt moment of Jang Uk’s vulnerability made this episode much better.
Alchemy of Souls part 2 episode 4
Director: Joon Hwa Park
Date Created: 2022-12-18 23:01
Also Read: Alchemy of Souls part 2 episode 3 recap and review