Recap: Mystic Pop-up Bar Episode 1

Drinking: More Sumatran coffee (it’s one of those days)

Currently Watching: The Best of You in My Mind, Fix You, When My Love Blooms, and The Tiger and the Rose

Episode 1 Recap with Spoilers: The episode begins with a young girl walking through through at dark and lonely place at night. She comes up to what appears to be a bar out in a field. She knocks everything off the counter.

The scene flashes to the same girl sitting beside an elderly woman who is tossing and turning in bed. She takes her hand. The girl leaves the room and they ask her if she saw anything. She tells them that the woman’s husband’s burial site has a problem and he has been coming to her in her dreams to try to resolve the issue. She tells them moving the body to a new site will help resolve the woman’s health issues.

Weol Ju is the young girl’s name. She’s greeted by people in the streets who thank her for helping them sleep and resolving their problems.

The Queen is praying to the Sacred Tree for the Crown Prince to get better. Someone whispers to her about a girl who can see into people’s dreams.

Weol Ju’s mother tells her to stop helping people because she doesn’t want her to have the same fate. Weol Ju tells her she feels electrified every time a person tells her she helped them. She tells her she should be thinking about marriage and has set her up with a matchmaker. Weol Ju tells her that she doesn’t want a matchmaker because love is supposed to be like fate.

Weol Ju is commanded to read the Crown Prince’s dreams. She discovers that there are vengeful spirits of those killed by the Royal Family that are haunting his dreams. The Queen asks what they can do to annihilate them. Weol Ju tells her they need to be comforted. She tells her that the bodies need to be moved to a new burial space and a memorial service needs to happen. She said she can help find the bodies. The Queen agrees to try anything to save her son. Weol Ju listens to the spirits and comforts them. The Prince starts to get better. Weol Ju tells the Queen that she needs no compensation but she sends her extravagant gifts.

The Prince is well, but seems to laugh to himself often and has to be called several times to respond. Someone suggests that it might be a side effect from the “human dream catcher”.

The villagers are talking poorly about Weol Ju because she received so many gifts. They gossip that she is on the path to being the Prince’s concubine. They say those of lowly service only know how to sell their bodies. Weol Ju’s mother overhears and goes to pray. She seems to have a vision of some kind and is distraught. She rushes home and tells Weol Ju to dress in her clothes and go visit her uncle-that she’s running out of time. She knows she loves the Prince. Everyone is spreading vicious rumors and wants her head on a stick. She asks why her mother isn’t going with her. She doesn’t answer. She gives her a magical hair piece and tells her it will bring the person she seeks.

Weol Ju hears that there’s a fire in the village. She goes back to find her house burning and her mother dead. She cries and says it’s all her fault. It returns to the original scene of her smashing the altar at the Sacred Tree. She looks down on her village and says that even in her death she curses them all. She hangs herself from the Sacred Tree. Her hair piece falls to the ground and it causes a crack in the ground. The tree appears to set on fire and all these embers that look like fireflies circle her body. One ember travels through the air into the future.

The Mystic Pop-up Bar appears. A beautiful woman with the same hair piece as Weol Ju serves bulgogi to a customer. The woman makes observations about the customer and is convinced she’s having a nervous breakdown. She asks her what’s wrong. The woman doesn’t answer. Sometime later the manager of the store tells her that they wouldn’t be in this mess if she didn’t kill herself on the Sacred Tree. She says that she should start an online chat for people to pour out their worries. He tells her she hasn’t opened the Dream World in months. It flashes to all the horrible times she’s had in Dream World. She’s helped 99,000 cases.

The scene flashes to Han Kang Bae, who works in customer service at a superstore. Every time he accidentally touches a customer, they confess something to him. Cue awkward situations. Later, they announce employee of the month and it goes to Song Mi Ran again. Kang Bae goes out to meet with a former classmate and accidentally touches his hand. He tells him he’s conducting a pyramid scheme and only contacted him because he thought he was easy. The classmate seems to wake up as if from a spell and asks what he said. He leaves quickly. Kang Bae thinks that it’s best to be in the dark if he wants to be on good terms with people. Kang Bae is waiting for the bus when he sees a woman having a drunken meltdown in the streets. Mi Ran.

The next day, Mi Ran is grilling samples and a jerk takes the tongs from her because she’s not grilling properly. She tells him to give back the tongs and goes to grab them. She takes off her mask and seems to crack. She tries to take the tongs from the customer. They struggle. She falls on the floor. She picks up the meat she was grilling and throws it at the guy’s head. He dodges and it hits Kang Bae right in the face. Weol Ju picks up the man by the neck and throws him across the store. She leaves. The store manager at the supermarket tells Mi Ran to kneel and apologize to the customer. She walks away.

Kang Bae sees Mi Ran walking in front of a truck. He runs and blocks her from getting hit. She apologizes to him. He asks her if she wants something to eat. They go to the Mystic Pop-up Bar. Weol Ju asks Mi Ran why she tried to jump in front of a truck to kill herself. Kang Bae thanks Weol Ju for helping at the supermarket. He brought Mi Ran medicine for her scratch from the tongs. She apologizes for hurting his face. He tries to hide it and she reaches to move his hand. She confesses that she jumped in front of the truck because of Mr. Park. She asks Kang Bae if he has time to listen to her story. Weol Ju is shocked. Mi Ran tells Kang Bae that Mr. Park called her into the office. He told her that he knows about how her parents passed away and she needs to support her sibling. He tells her she needs to get a permanent position soon. He takes her hands. She tries to get him to let go. He starts rubbing her arms. He tells her if she keeps up the good work, she will earn a permanent position. He tells her he has the deciding factor. It shows scenes of Mr. Park touching her. Fixing her tie, helping her tie her apron. He tells her not to say anything because people will think he’s violating her. Scenes of Mr. Park creepily checking her out, touching her ankles. She went home and cried. She had to pretend the next day to smile because of customers and she had to make money. Kang Bae is wasted. Mi Ran says she doesn’t want to taken action, she just wants him to know what it’s like to feel cornered.

Mi Ran drinks Weol Ju’s magical alcohol and she dreams of the surveillance office. It shows all the times she was harassed by Mr. Park. Weol Ju corners Mr. Park and burns his hand on the grill. She terrifies him. Kang Bae returns to the pop up bar and sees it fading in and out of existence. Kang Bae is transported into Dream World. He pushes a cart to knock down Mr. Park. Weol Ju finally comes to her sense and sees Kang Bae there. She asks him if he’s from the Inspection Office. Kang Bae learns he is in Mi Ran’s dream. The pop up bar manager shows up and tells him that they grant people’s wishes and help them take revenge in their dreams. They tell him is spiritual vision is unblocked. Mr. Park wakes up and they chase him down. Weol Ju takes out her hair pin and throws it at him. Mr. Park cries and begs to be forgiven. The manager picks him up by the neck. Mr. Park peed himself and the manager threw him.

Mi Ran locked herself in the security room. Kang Bae reminds her that she is a victim. That she has nothing to be embarrassed about. Weol Ju gives her a pep talk. She promises to be brave and fierce from now on. The next day, Mi Ran reports Mr. Park’s harassment. Mi Ran gets an apology from the rude customer.

Kang Bae tries to remember what happened last night. He leaves the supermarket and has visions. He finds Weol Ju’s hair pin on the ground.

The higher ups tell Weol Ju if she doesn’t settle 100,000 grudges by the end of one month, she will burn in the pits of hell. She tells them to send her to hell because it’s an abuse of authority. She tries to flip the table but the manager gives her a shot of soju instead.

Weol Ju realizes that Kang Bae is a magnet that attracts grudges. They meet on the bridge and run to each other. Kang Bae asks for help and she agrees, but she wants something in return. She said she wants his body.

Thoughts: I’m not sure how to feel about this one. It really reminds me of Hotel del Luna. There was a lot of story building in this episode and introduction to characters. Things that were intended to be funny didn’t hit right. The pork throwing scene was great though. The start of a romance is brewing. I think it’s going to take another episode.

Published by Jordan (BookBetch)

Educator. Budding DNA analyst. Writer. Editor. Ravenclaw. Prefers black iced coffee and k-drama.

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