The Uncanny Counter episode 13 recap – in a thrilling chapter, [spoiler] ends his life

January 16, 2021
Daniel Hart 0
K-Drama, Netflix, Weekly TV
4.5

Summary

There are some gems in The Uncanny Counter, and episode 13 is one of them; combining a deadly mission, and tying up major plot points, the chapter manages to balance emotion and action superbly.

View all
4.5

Summary

There are some gems in The Uncanny Counter, and episode 13 is one of them; combining a deadly mission, and tying up major plot points, the chapter manages to balance emotion and action superbly.

This recap of Netflix K-drama series The Uncanny Counter episode 13 contains significant spoilers.


The opening

Episode 13 begins at a children’s home; Cheong-sin and his small evil-spirit gang arrive. Cheong-sin walks inside, and flashbacks occur. He remembers the time he was picked for adoption. In the present day, he cackles and wakes up his first father who is happy to see him, but then sees the scar on his head and Cheong-sin reminds him he did everything he asked. Cheong-sin provokes the man who gets angry and points a rifle at him. Cheong-sin uses his powers to turn the rifle around. His first father is forced to kill himself, and Cheong-sin sucks out his spirit. This is a brutal opening and suggests that Cheong-sin has evolved into something greater, but there’s a weakness; the writing makes that clear.

Now that Cheong-sin is more powerful, the Counters need a plan

Cheong-sin has been a pain since the pilot, and The Uncanny Counter episode 13 shows the Counter gang finally coming to terms that it needs to resolve, sooner rather than later. At the noodle cafe, news outlets are reporting on Cheong-sin and his two accomplices. The Counters head to Yung; it’s confirmed that Cheong-sin is now complete — the host and the evil spirit are now “one”, and he will be able to heal himself — he’s essentially level four. Wi-gen confirms the souls will perish after a month; So Mun is understandably upset and thinking of his parents. Wi-gen suggests they use a barrier to defeat Cheong-sin.

What is the barrier?

And then comes a hefty explanation of what a barrier is and it sounds harrowing. Su-ho brings out some white staffs. They were made by birch trees planted by the first Yung people; they are magical staffs. Wi-gen tells them to be careful, or they may get hurt. The Yung people use their staffs one at a time. The room comes alive, and a dome surrounds them; this is the barrier — those inside it will have weaker souls once trapped inside the barrier, and they can’t use their powers. Counters will also lose their spiritual powers as the territory powers them. Wi-gen tells So Mun that he needs to be in full control of the territory when confronting Cheong-sin while the others use the staffs.

Mo-tak raises how the barrier almost kills them. They are told there’s a chance they may not survive. There’s a sense of mortality in Episode 13 amongst all the characters. The story has notched up a gear.

So Mun keeps practising, and Ha-na is worried about him

So Mun continues to practice being in full control of the territory, and Ha-na is worried about him. Ms. Chu raises how he is desperate to reach his parents and asks Ha-na if she’s interested in So Mun, and she goes immediately on the defensive. The scene quickly puts aside the romantic possibilities and brings forth the many responsibilities So Mun will have when bringing down Cheong-sin. This isn’t a game any more.

Ga Mo-tak checks out dashcam footage that’s linked to Kim Jeong-yeong’s death

While the story mostly focuses on bringing down Cheong-sin, it does not forget a recent tragedy. Ga Mo-tak is understandably torn up about Kim Jeong-yeong’s murder, and he checks out dashcam footage from another car. He sees a hooded figure and something about the person alarms him. He gives evidence to Kang Han-ul and asks if he can be trusted. Han-ul assures him he can. The next day, Han-ul tells the chief that Ga Mo-tak has evidence of Kim Jeong-yeong’s death.

Getting justice for Kim Jeong-yeong

It really looks like Han-ul has fooled Mo-tak here, but in a twist, he records an officer speaking to Chief Choi about getting rid of evidence in the car park — the office was bugged while they had this conversation. Han-ul plays the audio recording in front of everyone in the station. Ga Mo-tak walks in and uppercuts the officer. Ga Mo-tak then enters the Chief’s office, and they play the audio recording. Han-ul puts the Chief under arrest. Ga Mo-tak asks the Chief how he could kill Kim Jeong-yeong; flashbacks show that Chief Choi pulled the trigger.

Ga Mo-tak grabs him by the neck, and he’s furious; his voiced trembles from all the emotions. This is a bittersweet, but sad moment for Ga Mo-tak — he trusted Chief Choi and was betrayed. While this is a new point of the story with a resolution, it doesn’t feel like a settled conclusion. It feels sad.

The bully getting bullied

At school, Shin Hyeok-u is the one getting bullied by the bullies. So Mun and his friends watch from a distance. So Mun cannot help himself and tells the bullies to stop hurting him. The bullies comply and walk off. So Mun offers Shin Hyeok-u a helping hand, but he bats it away and walks off. This scene shows how things have changed but also demonstrates how much So Mun has changed since he became a Counter; it appears that when his powers got stripped, it changed him fundamentally as a person.

The mayor has last-ditch ideas, but Cho Tae-sin also has his own plans

The Uncanny Counter episode 13 doesn’t forget the mayor and his downfall, which is deserved. Mayor Shin Myeong-hwi tells Ms. Jang that they need to get past the recent murder investigation. He wants her to trust him and is trying to get her to play dirty. When Ms. Jang leaves the station, Cho Tae-sin is waiting for her outside, and Noh Chang-yu grabs her to put her in the car.

Cho Tae-sin tells Shin Myeong-hwi that he will not be checking in with him anymore and that it’s over between them. He then shows him a video and tells the mayor that Kim Yeong-nim and Ms. Jang were very close; she offered to look after her dog frequently, so there was a pet cam; the footage shows Kim Yeong-nim being murdered — Cho Tae-sin sent the footage to Ms. Jang. The mayor is shellshocked — it’s over for him. There’s no way out. At all.

Ha-na is alerted of an evil spirit

And then we approach the final act of Episode 13, and it finally spices up. One of my favorite things about this k-drama series is how it slowly drums up to the more dramatic, and pivotal moments. There’s a brilliant balance between meaningful moments and scenes of action.

Ha-na senses that a child is in trouble at the children’s home, and sees one of Cheong-sin’s men approaching a child. She warns the other Counters, but So Mun is too busy saving another child from getting run over; he uses his powers to save a young boy. He realizes that his powers generate from his desire to save people. The Counters see his territories activate in the distance; So Mun has figured out how to control it. His powers are always linked to emotion, but he has channeled them for good, not for revenge.

The Counters prepare themselves for their riskiest mission yet

The Counters head to the children’s home. Meanwhile, Cheong-sin kills one of his own and consumes his soul. He now has the woman left in his group. The Counters arrive, and it’s night time to really set the mood of the situation. So Mun can sense that Cheong-sin grew up in this children’s home. The Counters get into a circle and rally each other for their biggest mission so far.

The ending

The Counters and financier activate the barrier with their staffs as So Mun approaches the two evil spirits. He activates the territories with ease. It seems to be having an impact on Cheong-sin and his companion very easily. But it’s also hurting the Counters. So Mun says “let’s end this” and throws punches at Cheong-sin and then kicks him to the ground. He then tries to summon the evil spirit to Yung. It’s a desperate struggle, but then one of the children helps Cheong-sin and begs him not to hurt him, stopping the transition. Cheong-sin helped this child earlier in the episode when he was conflicted between his host and the evil spirits.

In a heartwrenching moment, Cheong-sin grabs a gun and says “watch what happens to your parents”, and before So Mun can stop him, he shoots himself in the head. In the epilogue, it’s reported that Shin Myeong-hwi was found unconscious in a prison cell. It seems he has hurt himself.

But what happens now? Are So Mun’s parents gone for good? Where do all the souls go that Cheong-sin consumed? Will the Counters and Yung be able to figure out how to save those who were lost due to Cheong-sin’s evil acts?

There are some gems in The Uncanny Counter, and episode 13 is one of them; combining a deadly mission, and tying up major plot points, the chapter manages to balance emotion and action superbly.

Additional points
  • Mayor Shin Myeong-hwi’s lawyer is doing all he can to defend his client in the murder case. They are desperate now, and Myeong-hwi wants to start a dirty fight and slander the investigator Oh Yeong-deok.
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