There was a moment in the previous episode where Atticus made a phone call to someone, telling her she was right about something. The unseen woman seemed unsurprised.
Her name was Ji-Ah, and this episode deals with her backstory.
Ji-Ah is a young South Korean woman who loves Judy Garland movies. She lives with her mother, someone demanding Ji-Ah bring home a man, and it was something of a change of pace seeing how the series up until now has dealt with African Americans dealing with racism in America. This one does still have some racism on display, but it seems to deal more with Korean culture and folklore. Most of the dialogue is subtitled and everything.
By the by, I know I have mentioned reading the book this series is based on, but this is a new thing. The previous episodes all had at least elements of chapters/short stories from the original novel, but this here is a brand new tale unless I forgot an extended flashback to Korea. And I don’t believe I did.
Besides, how weird can Ji-Ah’s story be?
Oh, she may not be human. As a girl, her mother had a shaman summon a nine-tailed fox spirit to possess her daughter to stop the girl’s stepfather from raping the girl, and the only way for Ji-Ah, the real human one, to be free is for her to kill 100 men during sex. That involves long fox tails coming out of every orifice in her body before plunging into the same orifices of the victim’s body, after which Ji-Ah gets all of the dead man’s memories and her mother has a gory mess to clean off the hardwood floors. Ji-Ah has been at this for a while by the time the North invades. She just needs two more.
Well, one more. And she has a special target in mind: Tic. Tic had helped to get some of her nurse co-worker friends killed looking for a spy. Thing is, she actually spends time getting to know Tic when she finds him in a hospital, and knowing what a horrible thing he’s done, something that should be unforgivable, she still falls in love with him, even controlling the tails the first time the two get intimate.
Then the tails pop out later during a second or third time, and the memories…don’t show Tic dying at her hands but at something else. Her warnings that he’ll die if he goes home again aren’t something he wants to hear since, you know, she nearly killed him with some freaky tails coming out of her everywhere.
Now, there’s some more in there as Ji-Ah and her mother go see the shaman and find out if Tic really is going to die, but the main thrust there seems to be a supposedly heartless fox spirit actually felt love and sympathy for a human man, something that just shouldn’t happen, suggesting she may have been a lot more human than she let on that entire time. It’s a sad sort of existence, and the episode does a good job of tapping into whatever loneliness the character must feel, so even if this one wasn’t about the state of African American treatment in the Americas, it does show there’s more going on out there, and this world has plenty of outcasts outside America’s borders as well.