Revenant Season 1 Episode 5 Recap – Who is possessing San-yeong?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: July 8, 2023 (Last updated: July 10, 2023)
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Revenant Season 1 Episode 5 Recap – Who is possessing San-yeong?


A fantastic leading performance and some welcome revelations make the fifth episode of Revenant the season’s best thus far.

This recap of the Disney+ K-Drama Revenant Season 1 Episode 5 contains spoilers.

There has been lots to like about Revenant thus far, not least the performances. Kim Tae-ri, having already proved her acting chops in stuff like Mr. Sunshine, Space Sweepers, and Twenty Five Twenty One, is a clear stand-out in the fifth episode of the Disney+ K-Drama.

She’s been good throughout, obviously, but she’s particularly great here really leaning into the demonic double-act routine.

Revenant Season 1 Episode 5 Recap

What are jangseungs?

Continuing a good habit of showing rather than artlessly telling, we learn about janseungs, or “village guardians”, through Hae-sang watching a video about them.

Jangseungs are totem poles used primarily in summoning or repelling the dead. They mark paths for travellers, frighten away demons, that sort of thing.

Hae-jang’s theory is that the village lady altered the Jangseungs, drawing the wandering spirits to Baekchol so she could reunite with her deceased daughter. To protect himself from the ghosts, Hae-sang broadcasts the ritual sound through the neighborhood’s speakers as he embarks on a mission to locate the modified Jangseung, which, when he finds it, he destroys with an axe.

Why did Gyeong-mun leave Gang-mo?

After a conversation with her dead father, which leads both she and Hae-sang to realize he was possessed by the same malevolent spirit, San-yeong confronts her mother, Gyeong-mun, about a literal lifetime of deception on the subject.

As it turns out, she was pretty justified in fleeing Gang-mo and eloping to Seoul with San-yeong. When she was pregnant with her second child, a possessed Gang-mo’s curses resulted in the loss of the child’s life. That’s not something one necessarily gets over.

Who is possessing San-yeong?

Of course, this is really the doings of a very determined spirit, so you can’t blame the guy entirely. It all relates back to a Jangjin-ri tradition wherein villagers would sacrifice second-born children to summon a youthful spirit and avert looming disaster. Both Hae-sang and San-yeong consider the spirit inhabiting the latter to be the vengeful Mokdan, sacrificed by her own family.

Mokdan has a field day with San-yeong in this episode, but it does at least lead to those aforementioned acting highlights, with Tae-ri doing a wonderful job in embodying this dual personality, especially late on after Semi invites her to a senior girl’s wedding celebration.

Oh, we also learn that when possessed San-yeong can see Hae-sang’s deceased spirit friend, Woo-jin, who previously believed San-yeong was not privy to his presence. This leads to a bit of a falling out between Hae-sang and Woo-jin.

Revenant Season 1 Episode 5 Ending Explained

Things take quite the turn towards the end of this latest episode.

San-yeong, possessed and driven to fulfil her darkest impulses by the spirit, murders a famous influencer so she can attend the celebration in something elegant. There, she behaves with such disturbing ease that, when she regains her senses, she flees in terror of her own behaviour.

The final scenes connect San-yeong, once again possessed after imploring the demon to leave her be, and Hae-song. She intones “You found it,” as Hae-sang digs up a buried object at Gyeong-mun’s mother’s place.

You can stream the K-Drama Revenant Season 1 Episode 5 exclusively on Disney+.

Additional reading:

Disney+, Streaming Service, TV, Weekly TV
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