‘Bulgasal: Immortal Souls’ has come out with the sixteenth episode of season 1 on Netflix, which depicts the ancient Bulgasal curse brought to life through spectacular and brutal action scenes from the past and today.
A frightened couple tells their daughter to flee with their baby, 1000 years ago in the mountains. Only, as she frightenedly travels through the tunnels, she comes face to face with Sang-Un or at the very least, her 1000-year-old iteration.
Sang-Un, one half of the Bulgasal, touches the baby’s hand with flaming eyes and blackened hands. Hwal appears as well, but with a silent scorn for the situation.
Sang-Un assists in leading the destitute girl to the village, where she is welcomed by a compassionate old lady. Sang-Un stands back and watches while she is cared for. As a result, the seasons change, winter cold gives way to summer heat, and vice versa, until we arrive at a day five years later.
The daughter has grown up and is now living with her brother. A three-eyed monster known as Jomagu threatens the youngsters as they flee into the woods but Sang-Un is there to save them once more.
Hwal is concerned that she is becoming too connected to the children and that she would abandon him. Sang-Un, on the other hand, reassures him, as the two Bulgasal appear to be in love.
Sang-Un comes by with some medicine to help the poor kid, who is suffering from a horrible cough.
Sang-Un soon decides to dwell among the humans, causing Hwal to become enraged with jealousy. Sang-Un vows to return when the children are older but that isn’t going to happen. As we fast forward ten years, Hwal’s fury is still unquenched.
The kids have grown up, with the girl looking like Si-Ho and the boy looking like Do-Yun. The three heads into the woods but Eul-Tae happens to be there and shoots Do-Yun in the back with an arrow. This occurs shortly after Sang-Un violently murders his own son, revealing her Bulgasal eyes in the process.
Eul-Tae blames Bulgasal for his brother’s murder and because Sang-Un flaunted her eyes before. She and her family are paraded in front of the entire community. Her hand is injured and while it heals quickly, everyone recognises her as Bulgasal.
The King, of course, stabs her in the heart. This pain causes her to revert to Si-Ho’s words. She made a pledge to herself not to injure any humans and she intends to keep it, even if it means suffering greatly in the process.
When it is proposed that Sang-Un be executed. The house must also be burned, according to the King. And that’s when Hwal appears, roaring.
Sang-Un awakens to see Hye-Seok dead and her children bleeding out as she regains consciousness. Despite being Bulgasal, this agony has her wailing and crying. Everyone has been murdered by Hwal. This was his plan, as evidenced by his grin. He did it because humans were attempting to hurt her.
The demonic Bulgasal curses Si-Ho, the King, and Do-Yun for as long as he lives when they all stab Hwal at the same time. Sang-Un sacrifices herself by stabbing her own heart in order to avert Hwal’s fury. Hwal swears to return and exact his vengeance, tracking her down in the hereafter and reminding Sang-Un that she is his.
Anyway, this is when Eul-Tae appears, pleading with Hwal to be like him so that he, too, might exact his revenge. Despite his attempts to walk away, the King stabs him in the back. He promises to seek for forgiveness in the future life and then dies.
Bulgasal Sang-Un later returned to the cave, oblivious to the fact that Hwal had died as a human. She was resolved to exact vengeance for the village’s slaughter, which is why she stabbed Hwal 600 years ago and transferred the Bulgasal to him.
Then, we jump to the present day. Inside the cave, Eul-Tae meets Hwal and tries to persuade him to drink his blood and return to his former life as a monster, asking him to accept the curse. Hwal fights his other half, stabbing him in the heart while also sucking his blood.
Sang-Un comes out to face Hwal as Eul-Tae loses consciousness. As he reverts back to his furious Bulgasal form, her nose begins to bleed. He staggers himself in the heart after staring over at Sang-Un. It’s a painful moment but it’s also a necessary evil to bring things to a close.
Hwal refuses to forgive himself for what happened and recognises that the curse will never stop as long as he lives. Bulgasal can’t reincarnate, therefore, this bittersweet farewell is eerily similar to the rooftop scene from Goblin, complete with the same burning cinders when Hwal leaves her side.
Sang-Un informs Si-Ho and Do-Yun that Hwal has died. The three are obviously distraught, and their grief is compounded when they learn of Kwon’s death. Sang-Un is relieved that Si-Ho and Do-Yun are still alive, and wishes Si-Ho a happy life full of children Si-Ho sees everything that has happened as she touches her palm, including Hwal’s sacrifice to get to this point.
Returning to the house, Si-Ho and Do-Yun decide to keep their word and wait for Sang-Un and Hwal. With the passage of time and Si-Ho’s birth and nurturing of beautiful children, they both dwell in Hwal’s house. Do-Yun and Si-Ho are still close after all these years. Do-Yun marries and has a large family, whereas Si-Ho does not.
After 50 years, the freshly reincarnated Sang-Un receives a photograph of Hwal’s home. She arrives with an address on the back and notices a man outside who looks exactly like Hwal and wants to buy the home.
Hwal tries to aid Sang-Un after she falls over, but he wounds his hand in the process. Both Hwal and Sang-Un appear to be experiencing déjà vu. As the camera cuts to that wonderful family portrait before fading to dark, Hwal inquires.
- Bulgasal wraps things up with a loving conclusion that ties up all the loose ends, explains the 1000-year timeline, and ushers everyone into a fresh beginning. ‘Bulgasal: Immortal Souls’ has superb script and execution.
- It’s a terrific series finale episode with some interesting characters and character growth. The plot has become more integrated, which aids the outstanding actors.