Side dish: If you live in a place where it is currently winter, and you don’t experience the magic of blossoming trees, because a goblin is not falling in love with you, you will have to settle for Orange Almond Olive Oil Cake. You get to use all those oranges that are readily available at this time of year, but taste the warmth of Florence.
Having found out from death god, Yeo (Lee Dong Wook) that restaurant owner, Sun (Yoo In Na) might be the reincarnation of Shin’s (Gong Yoo) sister, the goblin eagerly shows up at her establishment. Sun is understandably freaked out by Shin’s hug and insistence that he is her older brother, and throws them out. Undeterred, Shin returns repeatedly to shower Sun with gifts that his late sister would have loved.
Teenager, Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun) is perplexed by Shin’s fixation on her boss, Sun. She fails to learn anything from Yeo, but finds out that Sun might be the reincarnation of the queen from the chairman’s grandson, Duk Hwa (Yook Sung Jae).
When Sun approaches Eun Tak about the plausibility of her being the reincarnation of Shin’s sister, Eun Tak is supportive of the idea, but withholds the late queen’s fate. Sun decides to approach Shin directly for answers. He shows her the portrait of his sister painted by the king himself, but it does not provoke any reaction. Shin recalls his sister’s experience in the palace as conveyed to him via her letters; the king’s growing paranoia about Shin in spite of his feelings for the queen.
After learning how Shin’s sister died, Sun starts feeling a pain in her chest. She appears to believe Shin’s claim that he is recalling from personal memory, but she continues to hold him at a distance. Outside the house, Sun runs into a morose looking Yeo who frustrates her by failing to ask her to stay.
Eun Tak goes to check in on Sun and finds her in rough shape, suffering from body aches, especially in her heart. Eun Tak takes Sun home, and they run into her tenant who happens to be a death god like Yeo. Ailing in bed, Sun contemplates the mysterious people who surround her. Eun Tak can only apologize instead of enlightening Sun.
Shin finds Eun Tak as she is heading home, and she wonders if they crossed paths in her previous lives. Shin cannot recall. Eun Tak mentions her first love, Tae Hee and the couple resort to bickering again.
On the day of her graduation, Eun Tak manages to make amends with the popular girl who tormented her, but otherwise, feels awkwardly alone. While other students are greeted by their parents, the elderly woman who looked out for her, now in the guise of a striking woman in red (Lee El), brings her a bouquet of cotton. The mysterious woman claims to have created Eun Tak, congratulates her, then reduces Eun Tak’s terrible teacher to tears.
Shin arrives after the woman in red has left, and after spotting Eun Tak’s teacher, he recalls that he met her in a previous life. At the time, he was able to see into her future, and hilariously, foresaw the dominance of smartphones, but also glimpsed Eun Tak. Eun Tak turns Shin into her personal photographer, but leaves him in the lurch when it comes to returning the favour.
Sun and Yeo show up at the graduation, but were really just looking for an excuse to run into each other. She asks him about his investigation into her ring, but he has nothing to report. He gives Sun a bouquet of flowers, which she accepts, but she is frustrated by his lack of transparency.
Shin reveals to Eun Tak that he obtained her evil aunt’s permission that grants her access to her mother’s insurance money. Eun Tak wonders how her aunt and cousins are faring. It turns out they have just been released from jail, and are already intent on hunting her down.
After receiving a death announcement card, Yeo warns Shin that Eun Tak will fall to her death in two weeks. Shin decides to finally reveal to Eun Tak that her life will be in constant peril until she pulls the sword out of his chest. Eun Tak struggles with what should be done: should she die and wait to be reincarnated, should she pull the sword out and let Shin die, or should they both die together? Shin promises to save her, no matter how many times he has to do it.
Eun Tak decides to get on with life, and try her best to avoid life threatening situations. Shin makes her promise to summon him as soon as she feels threatened, and she takes advantage of this to summon him on a whim, which is admittedly very cute. Shin is so charmed that trees blossom in the middle of winter.
Yeo decides to secretly pay Sun’s restaurant a visit while contemplating her ring. He just manages to slip on his invisibility hat as she appears, but she catches on to his tricks. She swings a cherry blossom branch in the vicinity of his hat and knocks it off, revealing Yeo. He is forced to admit that he is a grim reaper, and Sun cannot deny it any longer. This appears to be the final nail in the coffin for their relationship.
Eun Tak gets roped by one her ghost friends into confronting the ghost’s former husband. Eun Tak promptly forgets her promise to Shin not to put herself in high places when meeting with the widower. By the time Eun Tak realizes that the widower actually murdered his wife and would like to do the same to her, she barely has time to summon Shin. Shin maims the murderous widower with his sword, but drops him off at the police station. Eun Tak must protect the ghost from Shin’s rage for placing her life in danger. However, Shin is just relieved that Eun Tak is safe.
Yeo tells his subordinate about ghosts who manage to elude capture, and show no fear of the grim reapers. That very ghost seeks Eun Tak out, and it turns out to be the king’s svengali-like mentor, Joong Won. His black tongue wets his lips as he comes face-to-face with the Goblin’s Bride.
I was beginning to wonder if everyone, especially the writer, had forgotten about the most pressing issue of this series: Eun Tak’s life being in constant danger, because she has not pulled the sword out of Shin. After all, her last near death experience was in Episode 7, and it has been a bunch of time wasting and side stories every since.
So, I was relieved that everyone was reminded by the arrival of a death announcement, then exasperated when Eun Tak took the warning so lightly. Rarely do people get such a specific warning on how to avoid their own death, and Eun Tak still managed to mess that up.
Never have I been so glad to see the appearance of a villain. If the threat of death has become so mundane that it fails to move the story along, then maybe, evil Joong Won and the anger he will provoke in Shin will do the job.
As charming as I continue to find Shin and Eun Tak, I think my impatience for story progression is starting to taint everything. The threat of Shin (possibly) dying from having the sword pulled out holds about as much sway over me as a death announcement appears to hold over the couple. At this point, I just want the sword to come out so we can move past cute moments of procrastination.
Yeo and Sun appear to be making some progress. Now that she understands who he really is, they can also decide if they can build a relationship or not, with sober eyes.
I want more information about the mysterious woman in red. Someone who is clearly so powerful, and has had a hand in shaping Eun Tak’s life, needs to finally be explained.
However, back to what really matters: let’s hope Joong Won succeeds where all else has failed, and forces Shin and Eun Tak to act.