Let's Fight Ghost Episodes 5 & 6: Old Foes and Old Pain
The plot thickens even further this week as we learn more about Ghost Vet and his dastardly past, Bong Pal’s sad childhood without friends, and Bong Pal and Hyun Ji’s seemingly hopeless crushes. Bong Pal and Myung Chul are both facing an old enemy with a new face, and we learn that Ghost Vet is narrowing his focus onto Bong Pal. Why Bong Pal? Why does Myung Chul feel at fault for Bong Pal’s mother’s death? Will Bong Pal be able to make it past his old hurts and make new friends? Join Taleena, Amy, and me, Kate, as we discuss this week’s episode of Let’s Fight Ghost!
Taleena: Well, well what an interesting couple of episodes we got. A deep dive into what makes Bong Pal tick and a confirmation that the Ghost which killed his mom is housed in Professor Vet.
Kate: It was nice to have even more backstory. Bong Pal’s troubled childhood seeing ghosts? Check. No wonder he would rather not try to hard to find friends. It seemed as if the child ghost and living mother in episode five really resonated with him and brought back plenty of his own bad memories, even though their situations were somewhat different, they shared a specific kind of pain from loss.
Amy: There was definitely something personal about the fight with the stepdad’s ghost. Having lost his mother, Bong Pal must have related to the mother who lost everything when her husband killed her son. The regret the mother felt was something that Bong Pal had experienced too.
Taleena: Yeah, they did obviously trigger something in him (side note: it is a good thing the abusive stepdad’s “death spot” was his neck and face because Bong Pal was going to pound on him until he was done.) even if the circumstances were not quite the same. The feeling of helplessness and loss expressed in the mother/son bond with a boy just the right way? Seems right. As for that trauma causing him to withdraw from friendship, you are absolutely right. Bong Pal has made a virtue of necessity in his aloneness, and I think it is nicely reciprocal that his ghostly sensitivities are what are gaining him friends now.
Kate: Hopefully he will learn that his ghost senses are not entirely bad in the long run; he’s helping people with his talents, earning money, and now making friends. I have to say, though, it’s probably the teacher in me but I really enjoy that his character is such a great student. I guess without many friends he has had lots of time to study. Still, it is nice to see him helping Hyun Ji with her studies and doing better on the group projects by himself than any group in the class did together. They could have so easily made him a bad student, making his way through school with ghosts to help him cheat, or too tired from ghost hunting to get his work done, but he has a great work ethic with school and otherwise.
Taleena: I think that striving to be perfect and holding himself aloof from others is his coping mechanism, because if you are perfect you can call their dislike jealousy, and if you are alone then people can’t disappoint you by leaving. Bong Pal is facing a sad situation here though: the girl he started opening up to is either A) a ghost or B) crushing on a possessed vet. That was a sad spin the bottle game.
Amy: Although I agree that it is pleasant to see how well Bong Pal is doing in school, it is sad to see how alone he is. I similarly think that the perfection he strives for is a coping mechanism to deal with the hardships he has faced in life. Hopefully, Bong Pal doesn’t lose Hyun-Ji, who he is finally opening up to as a friend.
Kate: Wasn’t it sad, Taleena? Though it isn’t as if we couldn’t see that disappointing confession a mile off. The episode kept building up Seo Yeon and Bong Pal as a cute couple, and that definitely couldn’t last. I do wonder, though, how she was convinced to go on that retreat with the three guys. There must have been some motivation to join them other than a free retreat, right?
Taleena: Well, I choose to believe she kind of likes Bong Pal but doesn’t yet see him romantically. He has never made a move on her or really given much indication that he likes her. Sure, we know because we are privy to his mooning at lunch time, but she doesn’t. Plus, unless K dramas have completely lied to me, there is not such a huge stigma between a professor/student relationship in Korea as there is in the US of A. It is completely reasonable that she moves towards someone she also likes and has a connection - through the dog - with. As for her joining the retreat, I feel like she practically was patting the Derp Duo on their heads and saying, “there, there” to make them feel better.
Amy: Seo Yeon seems like a nice girl who would accept the offer just to help others out. I don’t think there was any personal motivation behind going on the trip other than thinking it could be a fun experience. It was disappointing to see Bong Pal all heartbroken when he realized that Seo Yeon had another man in mind, but I didn’t expect much either.
Kate: Wasn’t In Rang’s (grandmother’s) summer house gorgeous? It totally figures that he’s secretly from a wealthy family. It makes his and Chun Sang’s money problems last week even funnier. I wonder why grandma doesn’t like Chun Sang? Chun Sang could probably be seen as a bad influence on the “young master.” Chun Sang seemed a bit more together in this episode too. He was definitely crafty in trying to play cupid, and he has been pretty successful at manipulating Bong Pal into helping ghost hunt and join the club. And he was completely prepared with the paperwork needed to start a new club in order to get the club room back. Chun Sang and In Rang seem a bit silly on the outset, but I think I’d rather have them on my side than not.
Taleena: Chun Sang and In Rang yet again were as silly as could be. (Steve JOBS!) My read of Chun Sang is that he is pretty competent, gets a little arrogant, makes one or two epically bad decisions and then has to start all over again. The kind of savvy it takes to do an end run around entrenched bureaucracy like that is usually hard earned. I can definitely see him categorized as a “bad influence” on In Rang, who is probably the apple of his wealthy family’s eye. And yes, I had house envy - even if it had a malevolent water ghost in the lake out back.
Kate: That sixth episode water ghost was a nice variation to the usual episode structure; we spent more of the episode watching character development and arc development rather than hunting a particular ghost. The ghost doesn’t appear until near the end, and is still a threat at the end of the episode. I’m looking forward to Bong Pal making it up to Hyun Ji that he didn’t believe she was the one who pulled Seo Yeon into the lake. It was also nice to give the episode room to breathe so we had the time to see the finding of the body of the student Ghost Vet murdered and see Ghost Vet and Myung Chul run into one another. That was a neat moment. Myung Chul has faced this spirit before and lost. I wonder if that failure was what caused his loss of confidence that caused his downward spiral as an exorcist.
Amy: I definitely have a lot of new questions. The story is finally beginning to connect, while new stories are also being introduced. I’m extremely curious about the backstory between Myung Chul and the Ghost vet. I wonder what other crimes the ghost vet had committed and also if any of those crimes relate to Hyun-Ji. There is plenty to look forward to in the upcoming episodes.
Taleena: Yes, they very nicely set up three more big pieces of the arc: Ghost Vet twigging to Bong Pal as a threat (complete with breaking and entering!), the police becoming suspicious of Ghost Vet, and Myung Chul coming face to face with (what is undoubtedly) the new face of his old foe. It was interesting to me that Myung Chul, who can barely sense ghosts anymore, had ZERO issues not only sensing the possession but immediately identifying who it was. Perhaps Ghost Vet stripped Myung Chul of some of his mojo in their last match up? Tangential thought for the future: will Bong Pal be fighting the three menacing lady figures from his dream? Are those ladies the victims of Ghost Vet? Could it be they are scary because 5 year old Bong Pal doesn’t have the capacity to understand their needs? Inquiring minds want to know as the saying goes.
Kate: The only real lack I’m feeling right now is for Hyun Ji’s story. We’re already 3 weeks in, and we only have a very brief flash of a memory with no context, from the first week back when she and Bong Pal had their accidental kiss. I need some more Hyun Ji backstory! How does she fit into all of this?
Will we learn more about Hyun Ji's story soon? What happened when Myung Chul and Ghost Vet faced off in the past? Is any of this connected to Hyun Ji's death? Do you think that Bong Pal's crush on Seo Yeon is hopeless? Tell us in the comments.
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Amy: Mrs. Cop