Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938 starts with Lee Yeon getting dragged back in time to 1938, during the Japanese Occupation of Korea. His only aim now is to get back to the present. But of course, it’s not going to be so easy.
By the end of episode 2, Taluipa tells Yeon that she has found a way for him to go back. But he will only be able to leave after 29 days, when the next full moon takes place.
In the meantime, Yeon plans to spend as much time as he can with his brother Lee Rang, who is unfortunately not alive anymore in the present.
In Episode 3, Moo-young decides to torture Yeon by making him lose his eyesight. Yeon then spends the rest of the episode defending himself against assassins and even Moo-young himself.
At the end of episode 3 of Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938, Yeon gets his eyesight back after he confronts the child ghost, Saetani. He then saves Shin-joo and Rang from drowning in the well that Moo-young put them in, with help from the half-blood mermaid Yeo-hee.
Read on to see everything else we found out in this episode.
1. Why does Moo-young hate Yeon?
In episode 3, we get a flashback scene explaining Yeon, Moo-young and Hong-joo’s relationship. They’ve known each other since they were children and when they were younger, they made an oath promising to protect each other as mountain gods.
Yeon breaks their oath when he leaves to be with a human, Ji-ah, and this makes Moo-young really angry. It seems as though Moo-young also breaks his oath at some point, causing him to be turned to stone by Taluipa.
Both boys end up leaving Hong-joo all alone. She loses her entire family to starvation and later becomes ruthless so that she doesn’t have to face the same fate as her family.
Since Moo-young’s previous attempt to hurt Yeon, by stabbing Rang with a knife, didn’t work in his favor, he tries something different in this episode. He finds the 500-year-old child ghost Saetani and frees her from her box so that she can blind Yeon in his sleep.
2. How does Yeon get his eyesight back?
Shin-joo figures out that they will need to perform an exorcism to help Yeon get his eyesight back. Shin-joo gets Rang to help him, even though Rang is still suspicious of who Yeon really is after he overhears that Yeon will be leaving in 29 days.
Rang and Shin-joo go to a deserted area to perform the exorcism. But the whole thing goes wrong when Moo-young finds them both and hits them with tranquilizing needles.
Meanwhile back at Myoyeongak, Yeon is attacked by 15 men who want to kill him for revenge. Hong-joo alerts these assassins about Yeon’s blindness because Yeon rejects her proposal of starting a romantic relationship.
But as we already know, Yeon is no ordinary gumiho. He manages to fight off all 15 men despite being blind by listening to their movements and using his memory about his surroundings.
Even when Hong-joo starts playing loud music to remove his hearing advantage, Yeon finds a way out by cutting off the electricity supply to the hotel and making all 15 men fight him in the dark.
At the end of the fight, Moo-young sends him an arrow with a message that Shin-joo and Rang are in danger. Yeon asks Saetani, not knowing that she blinded him, to help him reach the location that Moo-young has asked him to come to.
Moo-young then starts hitting Yeon with arrows once he arrives. But yet again, with his incredible skills, Yeon gets past all of Moo-young’s arrows and escapes after making Moo-young get struck by lightning.
Yeon then stumbles upon the place where Saetani was trapped for 500 years. She also arrives there and tells him that she will return his vision if he remembers her name.
In another flashback, we find out that Saetani was a young girl who saved a carp on Yeon’s mountain. As a reward, Yeon had given her a bell to call him with if she was ever in trouble.
Saetani gets taken away by a woman after she exchanges places with her twin sister. But Saetani doesn’t realize that she’s going to be put in a sealed box to starve to death. It was at this time that she decided to ring the bell for Yeon’s help, but to her dismay, he never came.
Yeon remembers what Saetani’s real name was: Lea. This frees him form her curse and Yeon also apologizes for not being there for Lea when she needed him. Lea returns to her human form and her spirit vanishes into the air.
3. How do Rang and Shin-joo get saved?
After Yeon frees Lea, she tells him where Rang and Shin-joo are. They have been tied to each other and are about to drown at the bottom of a well.
Before Yeon arrives to help them, Rang and Shin-joo try to free themselves. Shin-joo manages to untie himself after which Rang gives him a boost to get out of the well. By then Yeon reaches the well and pulls Shin-joo out of it.
Rang, on the other hand, starts to sink to the bottom. But right at that time, the scale in his pocket sends a signal to the mermaid he met earlier, Yeo-hee.
Yeo-hee is the girl Rang met in the previous episode when he went to buy clothes. In episode 3, he meets her again at Club Paradise where she’s singing on stage. Rang saves her from a group of men who try to harass her and in return, she gives him one of her scales to contact her.
Rang’s scale signal works and Yeo-hee immediately gets to the well. She jumps in, kisses Rang and saves him from drowning. After Rang regains consciousness, we see bright rings appearing on both his and Yeo-hee’s hands, as if implying that they are now soulmates.
Yeon notices this and feels content with the fact that his brother will have someone to keep him company after he leaves.
4. What happens to Hong-joo in the end?
At the start of the episode, a group of Japanese envoys dining at Myoyeongak cause trouble for the gisaeng by attempting to buy one of them for the night.
Hong-joo has a bet with them according to which if she can out-drink all of them combined, they’ll have to leave without causing any commotion.
The envoys underestimate Hong-joo and she eventually wins their bet. But when one of the soldiers gets mad and strikes a gisaeng on her face, she follows him out of the hotel and kills him.
Taluipa summons Hong-joo for killing a man unprovoked. She sentences Hong-joo to the Ice Hell but before Hong-joo leaves, Taluipa lets slip out that Yeon is not who he says he is.
This confuses Hong-joo so she further asks about why Taluipa turned Moo-young to stone. Taluipa reveals that Moo-young went rogue and started killing people, so she had to stop him. But she wasn’t the one to set Moo-young free.
All of this new information makes Hong-joo very suspicious of the people she’s around. In the final scene of her at the Ice Hell, Hong-joo says that she intends to find out exactly what is going on.
It looks like we’ll have to wait for the next episode to see what plans Hong-joo has for solving this mystery. Episode 4 of Tale of the Nine Tailed releases on May 14, 2023.
5. About Tale Of The Nine Tailed
Tale of the Nine Tailed is a South-Korean fantasy television drama starring Lee Dong-wook, Jo Bo-ah and Kim Bum. It aired on TvN from 7th October, 2020 to 3rd December, 2020.
Directed by Kang Shin-hyo and Jo Nam-hyung, the series tells the story of Lee Yeon (Lee Dong-wook), an over 1000-years-old Gumiho (nine tailed fox) who is on the look out for his long lost first love who has reincarnated in the mortal world. Besides that, Yeon also fights evil spirits that can harm the mortal world and its inhabitants.