With added mystery courtesy of the introduction of an enigmatic new character, Bulgasal: Immortal Souls begins to take shape as a potential epic.
This recap of Bulgasal: Immortal Souls season 1, episode 4 contains spoilers.
Proceedings pick up right where they left off, with Hwal weighing up the reasons as to why his reincarnated wife is now with his foe. He lets them leave, but when the sisters return to the shared apartment Sang-un is visibly distressed, realizing she may have left something at the old house, and that Bulgasal may have met her there. She suggests they move again, but Si-ho seems reluctant. She has to use a fake name, live a lie, and has no friends, wondering if the life the two live is even living at all. Her pregnancy is the biggest factor though, with the youngest of the family determined to put the work in with her future child even with the absence of her partner. Thus, the two sisters confide in each other but wonder if a successful plan is even possible in their attempts to escape this hidden away, secretive lifestyle.
Bulgasal: Immortal Souls season 1, episode 4 recap
Meanwhile, Hwal is caught in deep contemplation, seemingly both upset and entirely lost. He speeds into onrushing traffic, remembering the pain he caused in his past before he crashes his car and slips down into the water. He bleeds but has to face up to more woe as he sits reflecting on the old shaman lady explaining how those close to him were dragged into his bad karma, and how he was and always will be destined to meet them again. Things do turn light soon enough though, as an eccentric lady (quickly revealed to be the shaman’s reincarnation) rescues Hwal, mockingly saying how he should just reveal his identity as Bulgasal to the world by pulling stunts like he did. When they get back to the house, roles are defined more clearly; this woman is in charge of handling Sang-un’s transition “back” into Bulgasal and locking her up in an abandoned well so she lives in complete isolation.
Unfortunately for Hwal, he is doubly inconvenienced by the fact that the student he rescued earlier on has now snuck into his home. Without his phone, he wonders about the identity of a man he recognizes as being stabbed but now as entirely fine, and antagonizes Hwal about the drawings on his bedroom wall. It leads to the once kidnapped teen being choked and told to leave before he begs Bulgasal to allow him to stay for a few days so that the killer cannot track him down. Until then though, he is tied up and left alone, locked in a room as Hwal ignores the constant calls for help.
Now, we are introduced to a character dubbed Dark Hole, a being who interrogates the bus-driving monster for information on Sang-un, before exclaiming that there had been a warning about touching her (something the soul-hunting reincarnation had done the night before). The duo appears to have hatched a plan to find Sang-un before Hwal, but we are not told any more than that.
Some time passes, and the student, named Nam Do-yoon, escapes the ropes he’s been bound by and answers one of the burner phones which incessantly rings. It’s former policeman (and current PI) Kwon Ho-yeol, who wishes to find Hwal to seek out his intentions for finding Sang-un, the woman who cost him his job all those years ago. He ends up in the house after lying about a delivery that needs to be made, coming face-to-face with the teenager. But instead of helping free his arms, the curly-haired ex-detective prods for information as to how he and Hwal are familiar. Ho-yeol then pokes around the room, staring at the image of Sang-un whilst scouring for clues. He knows he’s found the culprit of the murders 15 years ago, and rushes to leave the house, a semi-tied-up Do-yoon with him.
Elsewhere, Hwal chases after the bus driving monster, who had come to Sang-un’s house to try and kill her (it was only Si-ho home, however). As they fight, the unlikely pairing of Do-yoon and Ho-yeol find Hwal and chase him, leading to the latter intervening in an altercation which shows the monster’s strength in the rain, an attempted hanging, and the rearing of Bulgasal’s aggression that preceded their arrival. Visibly emotional, Hwal flees upon recognizing the man who was once his father, reflecting before he calls one of his contacts to give an update on the woman who holds his soul. There, a mysterious man lingers at the car window of the detective staking out Sang-un, before we see that he has met his death, blood dripping onto the front seat as his limp body presses against the steering wheel.
“Kill Bulgasal with Bulgasal” is the message that comes from Sang-un’s meeting with the old woman who once housed them, and just after Si-ho calls, correctly theorizing that the man who has become part of their lives over the last 24 hours is not human due to the fact that when she touched him, it felt strange. Before any true pondering can be made by the older of the two sisters, a man pulls up beside her, calling for her by her pseudonym, and claiming to be from the administration looking after the elderly lady. Sang-un spots the blood on his shirt and runs, but he prevents her from getting far, pursuing her slowly yet menacingly. He insists that all he wanted was to give her a ride to the bus stop, but the expressions on his face say otherwise. Stupidly, Sang-un’s escape plan includes locking herself in the pursuer’s car, something which proves fruitless when he smashes the window and walks in, admitting that he has to kill her. He doesn’t quite fulfill his goal this time around though, as Hwal turns up and runs the man over.
Now, in the tunnel, Hwal and Sang-un confront each other, the sword-wielding woman aware that he is Bulgasal as she stabs him deep in the stomach. Distressed, she shouts about the death of her family as Hwal has her by the throat before a flashback proves that it wasn’t actually him responsible for the deaths of the mother and sister. “I don’t kill the innocent,” he says in the present, stating that someone suspicious was around at the time and must have committed the deed instead. We’re given key context, that it growled like a beast and wasn’t human, but Sang-un further insists that it had to be Bulgasal and nothing else.
Concurrently, the rain-loving monster, who has been led to Sang-un by Do-yoon and Ho-yeol, tries to strangle the latter as he hunts down the soul that makes him sick. The two survive, but the bus driver is nowhere to be found, and another chase ensues. He sees the man who was run over by Hwal first, though, finding him feasting upon the body of the fiend who failed to deliver on its promise. When the human feasting monster turns around Ho-yeol falls, complete with a nosebleed which makes him mutter the word “Bulgasal.”
As the being walks to find, and kill, Sang-un he encounters Hwal, who pulls the sword from his chest ready to fight. But it’s the mysterious entity that gets the upper hand, explaining that he must rid Sang-un of her soul, and disallow the goal that the man we know as Bulgasal has. The monster walks up to its prey, ready to stab her, saying that their “ill-fated bond” reaches the end here. In that moment, where death seems inevitable, Sang-un remembers what her twin said 15 years ago, but we’re brought back to Hwal, who is being loosely looked after by Do-yoon. As the knife is pulled out of the stomach, the monster above Sang-un’s body falls with an animalistic wail, clutching the blood that drips. So he chokes Sang-un, wondering what her sister has done before he is stabbed by the sword launched by a limping Bulgasal. Nursing the unconscious foe of his now, Hwal is desperate for her to wake up and equally desperate to never have to seek her again. Fortunately for him, she does arise, and it’s revealed that Hwal is allegedly the sword who can kill Bulgasal, as opposed to Bulgasal himself. Clutching his arm, she asks for help before passing out, her arm dropping lifelessly to the ground.
You can stream Bulgasal: Immortal Souls season 1, episode 4 exclusively on Netflix.