[Discuss Away!] Alchemy of Souls Episodes 5-6

It’s the weekend which means a new set of episodes for ‘Alchemy of Souls’! Contrary to episodes 3 and 4, the two latest episodes settled in a bit more and slowed down in terms of progress and momentum. Seo Yul and Mu-deok lovers are probably rejoicing while pupil Jang Wook supporters like me are sitting back patiently. How much longer until we get to see more Jang Wook trainings and fights?

A part of me is kidding with that last question because as much as I want to see Jang Wook get into the middle of things, I also understand that the drama still has a whole lot of setting up to do. Hopefully, by the time he does learn and master all the different forms and skills, everything will be laid out and he can just jump right into the thick of things and save the world plus prove himself worthy and valuable. Episode 5 unfortunately felt a little bit more of a filler episode and I would even argue that the first act of episode 6 trended in that direction as well.

I feel conflicted with episode 5 because I actually sort of like the direction that the storytelling went in: Mu-deok and Jang Wook move to Mu-deok’s (or I should say Nak-su) old village where she used to live when she was younger. It’s nice to see them away from everyone else because 1) it gives us something else to watch other than the two being in the realm and 2) it gives us more alone time between the two which means they will hopefully do more training and teaching. Unfortunately, neither of that really happened in episode 5. The two characters were introduced to Master Lee, the pupil of Songrim’s founder, and former master himself to Master Heo. Jang Wook also enjoys his time away so much that he takes his time doing what he was there to do: learn to control his energy.

Although a part of me wanted Jang Wook and Mu-deok to get to the learning and teaching a lot quicker once they were away, another part of me feels sympathy for Jang Wook who seemed to have fun being away. Whether it’s because he wanted to distract himself from everything or because he genuinely enjoyed being outside of the only place he’s known his entire life, I felt for him when he expressed just how peaceful and relaxing it was. Mu-deok and Jang Wook fought and argued because she wanted him to pick up the pace and get right to learning, but he was so much more relaxed. He had never felt this slower pace in his life before so he wanted to enjoy it for just a little bit more before things picked up again. I felt for Jang Wook when he admitted things like that because he did need a change of scenery and pace. After learning the truth from Master Park about his father and then suddenly getting involved in a duel with the Crown Prince, things must not be easy for him. I don’t blame him for enjoying his time away from the chaos that was Songrim and Cheonbugwan.

However, I also get where Mu-deok was coming from when she was encouraging Jang Wook to hurry with the learning. At the end of the day, she’s only going through all of this because she needs his energy to unsheathe her sword and then get her revenge for her father who died in the hands of the 4 noble families. Mu-deok has her own personal agenda behind all of this and time is of the essence to her in this battle. That’s probably why I was quite happy to finally see her teaching Jang Wook in episode 6. Enough of the bickering and fighting (as funny as they can be sometimes). I want to see more action and moving! We finally witness the training that the two traveled away to do and it was sort of rewarding. Of course, Jang Wook won’t be able to learn everything right away and we actually sort of saw the consequences of what happened when he overexerts his efforts. There’s a threat to all of this too and Jang Wook has to be careful when learning to control his right arm and energy.

I’m not so invested in the Seo Yul and Mu-deok love line that the drama dramatically pushed in the latest two episodes. I get that there’s a childhood connection there and there might be something even bigger behind it that the drama is setting up, but I don’t think it’s completely necessary. There’s already enough going on as it is and it feels a bit forced at this point because it’s uncertain what the reasonings or intentions behind this push is. The same can be said for Dang-gu’s crush on Cho-yeon who is already enamored enough with Jang Wook (and it’s also a shame that that’s all her character seems to be doing at the moment. I wish there was more to her character because I think there is some hidden potential there).

I’m really only here for Mu-deok and Jang Wook’s push-and-pull relationship. The back-and-forth between the two can be overwhelming sometimes with all the bickering and fighting because they’re both stubborn and hard-headed. But it also makes me laugh when it’s obvious that they care about each other deep down. Jang Wook and Mu-deok will argue and bicker and fight like a married couple, but they will also do what the other person wants, especially Jang Wook. Jang Wook wants to be Mu-deok’s only pupil and only wants her to teach him. He’s also willing to master the different levels of skills so that he can take her up the tree that she has many meaningful memories of. Or it’s also in the way he lets her sleep on the bed while he lays on the floor. At the end of episode 6, we get our first explicit hint that he has feelings for Mu-deok. Although it’s not directly stated, Jang Wook is hesitant on marrying Cho-yeon for a bunch of different reasons — with Mu-deok being one of them.

The trouble, risks, and dangers never seem to go away. Along with Cheonbugwan’s men following after Mu-deok, Mu-deok herself has disappeared into another world with one of Jinyowon’s treasures. It’s as if something new happens in almost every episode and you’re left a little baffled at the escalation of it all. I thought I had already seen enough and then now Mu-deok is gone somewhere and it’s up to Jang Wook to find her. What lengths will he go to to protect his maid and master? What will he do with Mu-deok gone? Where did she go? What happened to her? How will Jang Wook find his beloved Mu-deok?

Extra:

I created a small edit of Jang Wook and Mu-deok on my youtube channel which you can watch above. In the midst of brainstorming for the edit, I thought the song “Ocean Eyes” would be the perfect song because well.. Mu-deok’s eyes are blue like the ocean. I’m about to also upload another edit that I’ve created for our ‘Extraordinary Attorney Woo’ couple with Young-woo and Jun-ho. That will also be up on my channel hopefully tonight or tomorrow! Making edits can be a pain and headache sometimes, but they sure are fun once you finish them :]

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