Syringed with emotion, this dramatic installment captivates viewers throughout, though it steps up a gear in a phenomenal closing stretch.
We recap the Netflix K-Drama series Alchemy of Souls Season 2 Episode 6, which contains significant spoilers.
Thanks to a jaw-dropping ending and generally well-built structure, this episode of Alchemy of Souls was delivered on all fronts. Now, there are plenty of reasons for viewers to tune in, and with Seo Yul’s (Hwang Min-hyun) life in jeopardy, as well as Jang Uk’s (Lee Jae-wook) attitude shifting, the final two weeks of this show could even arguably be must-see.
Alchemy of Souls Season 2 Episode 6 recap
While Jang Uk’s confusion over Bu-yeon’s recollections persists, and his partner wishes to be seen for the person she is, Seo Yul is spotted. The genius mage quickly explains why he is in Jinyowon, an act which allows for an adequate enough distraction to be set up so So-i, who was nearly poisoned by an enraged Ho-gyeong, can be rescued.
As So-i excitedly tells Seo Yul there’s a way he can be saved (she cynically also directly teases that Bu-yeon isn’t who she believes herself to be), Jang Uk manages to get Ho-gyeong to allow him to check the safety of the firebird egg. Though things aren’t great between the prospective in-laws, they argue over Bu-yeon’s apparent role in life as the eldest child of Jinyowon.
After Seo Yul is told the soul of Naksu is alive in the body of Bu-yeon, which means the priestess has the face of the rescued assassin, he becomes unable to see anything but his former love. So much so that he privately embraces Bu-yeon as if she was Naksu, teary-eyed with the knowledge she is technically alive. Later, Jang Uk hears So-i was rescued by Seo Yul because he was “indebted” to her and that his friend needs to handle something alone.
Following light scenes highlighting Bu-yeon’s closeness with Seo Yul (plus Jang Uk’s mild jealousy when he ascertains the pair’s history), we watch So-i get sworn to secrecy about Naksu’s soul living in Ho-gyeong’s eldest daughter. It’s an easy vow of silence for the swindler, given that Seo Yul’s safety depends on it, yet the genius mage himself is most concerned with everything concealed from Jang Uk, not wanting his friend to go through any more struggle.
When Seo Yul has another one of his Naksu-related nightmares, So-i points out they could be tied to the bird whistle he carries, believing the item shows he cares about the assassin. However, the swindler soon becomes concerned, as Yul chooses to take this comment negatively and alludes to potentially needing to kill Bu-yeon despite what it’d mean for him. Elsewhere, Maidservant Kim tells Jang Uk she is engaged to Park Jin and receives an emotional congratulations from the man “like a son” to her.
With Park Jin ordering all items arriving from the southern volcano to be inspected, knowing the energy there is likely used to create the well-drying firebird copies, Yun-o panics. So much so that he makes a snap judgement, ordering Jin Mu’s men to dispose of all their goods in Lake Gyeongcheondaeho. Concurrently, Jang Uk tells Master Lee that people are coveting the fire bird. At the same time, the Gwanju requests the royal family that Cheonbugwan gather the Unanimous Assembly for earlier conduction of the “lake’s rite.”
Next, Jin Mu tries to get Jang Uk appointed as “the general of the North Fortress,” wanting to be rid of the monster hunter in Daeho so Cheonbugwan mages can run the capital. Meanwhile, Jang Uk considers whether it’d be right to use his powers to “protect the world” when he couldn’t safeguard Naksu. Here, it’s also shown Uk is aware he is the one born under the King’s star, but he appears hesitant to do anything about it, given Park Jin’s vow to stop the monster hunter should he pursue “chaos.”
As Bu-yeon helps Park Jin find fire bird copies and talks candidly with him about her energy-seeing powers, the Queen seems to tease she would like to inherit Cho-yeon’s body. Then, Bu-yeon rediscovers another of Naksu’s memories – her dangling from a bridge – before coincidentally meeting the Crown Prince. It’s not a fun conversation shared between the two, though they do offer comfort for the other’s woes, such as the priestess’ struggling relationship, and the royal’s constant pretending.
When visiting Jang Uk, the Crown Prince floats around the idea of him staying in Daeho, subtly desiring the monster hunter to be Jin Mu’s “obstacle.” But Uk doesn’t play ball, tauntingly rebuffing the royal’s wishes, despite his awareness of the fire bird threat. Thus, the Crown Prince, who initially held out hope for a pleasant interaction given his adversary took care of his turtle, turns stern, reminding Jang Uk his old master said it was “better to die than do nothing,” and that the monster hunter is basically dead due to his lack of vigour, even if he possesses great power.
Rejecting help from So-i, Seo Yul almost welcomes his ongoing pain, believing it gives him the chance to atone for his regrets. However, it’s revealed through overlapping narration that should the blood parasite “go mad,” it will kill the mage with the agony it’ll cause. Ho-gyeong herself is discussing this back at Jinyowon (through the lens that whoever the victim is cannot reveal Bu-yeon’s secret because of this), and seems to divulge that birds are the antidote to the lethal insects.
Once informed Bu-yeon is regaining her divine powers, Master Lee looks concerned, muttering that it’ll mean Naksu “retrieves her old memories and will eventually be rejected by that body.” Meanwhile, Jang Uk shares warm recollections of his time under Naksu’s tutelage when his partner shows him her newly acquired Songrim spirit plaque. Though the atmosphere soon changes. This is because Jang Uk, who is now no longer sure what he wants from Bu-yeon, has found himself startled once more by her striking resemblance to his former master, both in words and actions.
As Bu-yeon pledges to help Jang Uk and find out who she truly is, Jin Mu requests So-i is put in charge of importing goods, furious that Yun-o allowed the well-draining earthenware to be discarded. But it may prove a difficult task, with the swindler already on her way out of Daeho thanks to the help of Seo Yul. Concurrently, Maidservant Kim and Park Jin share a humorous discussion on priorities, one which subsequently makes way for a heartwarming message about saving those close to them.
While Seo Yul determinedly dissolves his bird whistle memento, seemingly prepared to confront Naksu, Bu-yeon tells Dang-gu she would like to travel to Danhyanggok, so she can see the “big tree” from her memories. Coincidentally, Yul actually catches the tail-end of this discussion, so they volunteer to travel alongside the Jinyowon priestess. Later, a contemplative Jang Uk signs off on this trip, albeit somewhat enviously, given his partner is excitedly heading to Danhyanggok with Seo Yul.
After vividly daydreaming about killing Bu-yeon, Seo Yul clears the air with Master Heo – he wishes him good health and assures there are no hard feelings about him being sent to Seoho Fortress previously – then heads to Danhyanggok. Elsewhere, an abruptly returning So-i gets caught by Cheonbugwan mages on her way to check whether Yul, who she states helped her see a “clean and bright” world, had departed for Jinyowon. Subsequently, the swindler is brutalised, with Yeom-su hoping to have her admit to removing the blood parasite from her body.
Hearing about this, Seo Yul changes his plans and departs for So-i’s gambling den. Meanwhile, Jang Uk is informed about Yul’s blood parasite by Bu-yeon, who decides to also share news of her friend’s ill condition.
Continuing, Seo Yul makes a dramatic entrance into the gambling den, and begins to fight the Cheonbugwan mages occupying space there in a bid to rescue So-i from Jin Mu’s threat. It’s intense stuff, yet things quickly go badly for the genius mage, whose poor health catches up with him, which means the blood parasite’s location is accidentally exposed to Yeom-su.
Throwing So-i aside when she stabs him with an umbrella, Yeom-su prepares to attack Seo Yul again. The protagonist manages to temporarily deal with the threat (albeit in a way that leaves him wounded), allowing him to check up on the beaten swindler. Smiling, So-i reflects on her gratitude for being able to see Seo Yul once more, then seemingly passes away.
Following this, Seo Yul is unable to cope with the threat of Yeom-su and co. and looks to be vulnerable enough to be killed. Until Jang Uk arrives, that is, the monster hunter using his powers to instantly quell the threat posed to his close friend. “Not a single person will be able to walk out of her alive,” Uk says, ending the episode determined to avenge the collapsed Seo Yul’s strife.
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