Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow Episode 2 Rises to 7.743% as the Narrative Shows Hand on the Resurrected Bu Yeon’s True Form and Writes the Central Conundrum Back to the Story

Man, watching the second episode of Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow was alternating between these two are cute and headdesking. It’s clear the Hong Sisters had a concept (soul switching! In sageuk fantasy times!) and then wrote the story around it, hence the complete and utter moral quandries they gloss over in attempts to give the female lead a happy ending. I loved the beginning of AoS and the Naksu character, and accepted her ethical breach in taking over Mu Deok/Bu Yeon’s body because I thought it would be temporary or maybe there was no real soul in there to begin with hence an empty shell. Otherwise soul swapping is a BIG F*CKING NO even if it’s the poor mistreated female lead because there you just stole another person’s body!! Now it’s revealed that Go Yoon Jung is playing the body of Bu Yeon who has now transformed into the face of Naksu after using Naksu’s soul to resurrect the zombified body. So poor Jin Bu Yeon’s soul is gone for good and her body has been physically transformed (da hell?) into the face of Naksu.

Sure all of this was set into place by the bad acts of the elders like Bu Yeon’s mom, her evil power hungry uncle, Wook’s dad, etc from the preview generation in all the shit they did but I’m at a loss at how to just be okay with what happened to Jin Bu Yeon, a little girl who got kidnapped to go find the ice stone, falls into a lake, rescued with amnesia, lives in poverty, and then gets her body stolen by assassin Naksu, and we’re all just supposed to be like eh whatevs we like Naksu and she can get whatever happy ending at the expense of Bu Yeon. I am curious what fans who still love this drama think about this, I’m good with moral grey areas but this has gone into nutso serial killer gets a happy ending type of payoff. Well, at least the drama is doing well in ratings and Lee Jae Wook is carrying the entire show with his brooding badass with a marshmallow core ways. Go Yoon Jung has been just meh for me, she looks way better in pictures/posters and short scenes but make her the lead and she’s mostly flat.


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Alchemy of Souls: Light and Shadow Episode 2 Rises to 7.743% as the Narrative Shows Hand on the Resurrected Bu Yeon’s True Form and Writes the Central Conundrum Back to the Story — 34 Comments

  1. I totally agree with you Koala on everything! Still uneasy on the fact that Jin Bu Yeon (‘s soul) is now gone forever – and then the soul transforming the face (and height?) to Naksu’s is also a bit WTH. Go Yoon Jung hasn’t lived up to (high) expectations, but like how she emulates Mu-deok/ JSM somewhat

    • Wew… when JSM ACT AS NAKSU YOU ALL LOVE IT BUT WHEN THEY CHANGE THE ACTRESS OH NOT CHANGE BECAUSE SHE IS THE REAL NAKSU. THE ONE THAT SHOULD PORTRAY AS NAKSU IN THE VERY BEGINNING YOU ALL SAY THIS AND THAT, THAT JSM IS BETTER AND NOW SHE IS PITTYFUL CAUSE NAKSU TAKE HER BODY AS IF YOU DON’T REALISE WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT BRO? GYJ, YEAH.. AT FIRST SHE POSSESSED JIN BU YEON BODY BUT NOW THE ONE WHO DESIDED TO POSSESSED JBY BODY IS HER MOTHER THAT NAKSU WILL POSSESED JIN BU YEON’S BODY AND SHE KNEW THAT HER DAUGHTER’S SOUL WILL VANISH ANS NEVER TO COMEBACK. JIN BU YEON IS JUST THE VESSEL OF NAKSU SOUL. IF NAKSU DIDN’T SHIFTED HER SOUL THERE IS NO JSM BECAUSE THE MAIN CHARACTER IN THIS STORY IS NAKSU.THAT IS THE TRUTH.

      • because one thing for sure JSM CAN ACT BRUH,thats why people love her naksu.
        gyj is still a rookie, her acting in aos2 till ep 2 was just flat, she only has one expression, like make your eyes bigger.
        you are free to hype her up but if you want to state she can act and be like lets bring her crying face in HUNT to show that she can act, lmao you all better sit down

      • Y’all need to take a Xanax, this sort of behavior is so incredibly unbecoming when GYJ is a rookie actress with very limited experience. You guys are quickly gaining the same reputation toxic Kpop fans have with their “biases”.

  2. We’ll this whole bad of event started because an irresponsible mother neglect her duties as a Jinyowon leader failed to protect the icestone and ask other to save her dead baby w/ it’s power. She left it in the wrong hands of others & never care to retrieve or safe guard it afterwards. Naksu whole life/family destroyed/dead along w/ all those others innocent souls being swiped. She has had it worse than JBY, no one to raised her, all along in the wood, & conditioned to killed. While at least JBY got to lived peacefully w/ an elder lady far away from that power driven mother. Hence, she is the least of my care since she wasn’t supposed lived as a baby. How do one makeup for all those deaths innocently killed? Perhaps JBY need to be sacrificed making up for all the wrong her mother /uncle did. After all, BY was the one that trapped NAsku (I hope this is explain later why she did that). Latest ep indicated Naksu never went through w/ the Alchemyofsouls process.

    So it is wrong of u to say Naksu stole BY’s body. You clearly don’t care that saving an already dead baby caused more deaths.

    • Thank God you said baby!!!! It’s not like the baby made the choice to revive itself at the expense of others. So because the baby lived her life in relative ‘peace’ and her uncle and mom are evil people she deserves to die?! Can you even hear yourself?!

      • My comment was very clear. The baby was already dead 12 month in the mother’s wound & likely only holding by her mother priestess power. The ice stone power was forbidden. The baby that u mentioned has already grown into a women. She chose her path & trap Naksu soul instead causing more issue for herself and Naksu.

    • Reading your comment is like seeing someone claim to solve an equation but not only is the answer is wrong I can see where there is a disconnect in making one crucial step in the solving.

      It doesn’t matter what the baby in the womb was (dead, alive, dead but made alive by the ice stone) – once the baby was born as Jin Bu Yeon there was a SOUL in the body. That soul is the crux of my moral dilemma, because that body was born because that soul was in it. Without Jin Mom doing her ice stone pleading there would be no Jin Bu Yeon adult body (which had its own sentient soul) for Naksu to go into.

      We don’t know that Bu Yeon pulled Naksu or willed her body to Naksu to come in. All we know is Naksu started her soul swapping hoodoo and the next thing she knows she’s in Bu Yeon/Mu Deok’s body. For all we know blind Bu Yeon could have wandered in the path of her soul swap hence the zapping.

      Unless I know that Jin Bu Yeon’s soul DID NOT WANT TO LIVE or CANNOT LIVE ANYMORE and willingly gave her body to Naksu, then it’s not right the way the Hong Sisters just disposed of her soul like convenient garbage and ask us to just be fine with it because it’s the only way Naksu’s soul can end up in a physical body which transforms into her old features.

      The Hong Sisters wrote their ending first and then contorted all the logic and facts to make it happen and it doesn’t work.

      • Since it was clear from Ep1, it Doesn’t change the fact that she interfere & got herself in this dilemma. Powerless Naksu even tried to commit suicide until she saw hope that she can get her power back.

      • I think. If I’m not mistaken. Bu Yeon pull Naksu’s soul to her so that no innocent people be used for Naksu’s soul shifting (the original girl Naksu chose). Bu Yeon sacrificed herself.

        People too focus on JSM vs GYJ and GYJ’s beauty to see that the story is baad.

      • Honestly I agree but this is my theory. Bu yeon isn’t really bu yeon. Do you remember when mudeoke was in the ice stone talking to the little girl. Who then transform to mudeok who was blind. My theory is that the soul which enter the baby body when lady Jin was pregnant was actually the first lady Jin. The reason the why master Seo gyeong didn’t destroy the ice stone cause of his love for the first lady jin. This is where my theory canes in. Therefore he can’t destroy the ice stone because his love is in the stone. And that the reason why the first lady Jin let naksu in her body was because.She suddenly remember who she was, cause they both have similarities. Both powerful, fall in love with the king star it’s like history repeating. Or maybe she already knew, remember how mudeoke asked the girl that looked like her. That if she was a relic, but she didn’t seem like she was a host in her body. But rather sameone who was watching it all unfold. Idk about other theory but I just have a feeling that first lady Jin is alive.

      • And before we try to justify the assassin naksu, you have to think about her intention. She wanted to swap soul with innocent person(some other not blind girl), so that she can get out of her dying body. Instead of thinking it as karma which is a convenient excuse, it is wrong and will never be right.

  3. The Hong sisters actually did a decent job of addressing everything you said is a “problem”. Ifffffff you actually rewind the original story, Bu-yeon was already meant to die in utero before her mother sought Jang Wook’s father out to save her, thus, before Jin-mu disposed of her when she was a young girl AND before she spent her life as the lost young girl Mu-deok, she was only sustained by the magic of the ice stone, waiting to achieve its true purpose: be used by Wook for whatever his true purpose is, which is likely his ascension onto the throne as the rightful king of Daeho? Probably? They also mentioned that Naksu’s soul wasn’t switched, it was TRAPPED in Bu-yeon. How? I don’t think they’ve elaborated yet on why Bu-yeon’s body could trap Naksu’s soul, except for “she has strong powers” as Bu-yeon, the recognizer of energies, so I guess it’s a wait and see.

    Yeahhhhhh, actually I think the Hong sisters might’ve thought this one through… FINALLY. *crosses fingers*

    They are soooo lucky Lee Jae-wook is playing Jang Wook! He has chemistry with E V E R Y O N E .

    Come through, Hong sisters!!

  4. I think Go Yoon Jung is doing great so far with what she’s given. She sounds so much like Mudeok/JSM, and of course it doesn’t help that she’s starring in as a female lead for the second half; and her character loss her memory so she’s not exactly playing a badass character, but as an innocent, loss girl who fights for her own freedom and happiness.

  5. Naksu didn’t steal Buyeon’s body; Buyeon sucked her into it on purpose. I hope they explain why someday.

    The person to be mad at and question their morals is Lady Jin, who wins for all-time worst mother as far as I am concerned. Honestly it is a tossup as to who I hate more, her or Jin Mu. Whoever is on screen, I guess. but Lady Jin, I just…have no words. She is the one who decided to just toss Buyeon away and keep the body around. Very twisted mentality, that one.

    As to why Naksu has to look like her original (burned) body and not the body she is actually in (ie Buyeon, who we have been watching for 20 episodes)–I think that is Because the Writers Said So. Ostensibly because they need a device so that no one recognizes her (by “no one” I mean Uk, obviously–she has amnesia and he doesn’t know who she is, so they fall in love all over again). But Jin Mu does know her. The other person who SHOULD recognize her is Seo Yul, and that one doesn’t make any sense. So I get why, but it is the weakest part to me. (Also risky, given it means changing actresses, which is hard for some viewers to accept.)

    That said–I think Go Yoon Jung is doing a remarkable job of playing Jung So Min, playing Naksu. Like, especially in ep 2, there were moments where aside from the face, the dialogue and actions were EXACTLY the Naksu we’ve gotten to know over the past 20 episodes. That was my #1 biggest worry, and so I feel relieved that we haven’t lost the character. She’s still impulsive and crazy as always, even if she doesn’t remember who she is (and has a temporary rest from all the baggage of being Naksu. Which I’m sure won’t last long.)

  6. This drama has become so stupid, I can’t believe how the hong sisters ruined a genuinely good story this way! I still tried to watch the first episode of season two but it was awful and go yoon jung is really flat in her character like you said. She also is not so strong as a female lead must say. Whereas jung so min was so unic with her nonchalant acting and still showed somewhat affection for Lee Jae Wook, here go yoon jung really has no chemistry at all with him. A real disappointment though otherwise they had such a strong overall magic realm, with the friends and the senior father like character and the king who had this love and hate thing going on for mu deok. I am quite mad at hong sister that they ruined the show. It’s like throwing hammer on your own feet lol.

    • Ikr – like what’s the point even of this season? They introduced even more crap into the story. As if the latter half of S1 wasn’t filled with enough silly filler stuff and illogical threads. The Hong Sisters just make stuff up like nobody’s business that the fantasy world-building doesn’t even make sense. It’s even worse than the awry worldbuilding in the Memories of Alhambra. The leads are like in completely different dramas, it’s so jarring. He’s so intense and broody whilst shes like heyyyy I lost my memory let’s get married!! GYJ is sooo bland in this season, she was only good in the action role in S1 probably cos it’s a cameo. No leading lady charisma and in the bts videos, the staff/director seem to constantly need to guide her in her gestures etc. Also no emotional connection whatsoever with her character, she’s just like.. there. I’m now starting to appreciate the dry but at least friendly chemistry JSM had with LJW in season. I feel nothing here. At this point, it seems like only the shippers love this cos anyone with a couple of braincells to rub together can see through the nonsense, it’s basically fanservice at this point. I’ll just be here with my popcorn reading the recaps. I can’t believe how such a promising premise just completely disintegrated like that, it’s such a waste.

  7. First of all, I think GYJ is doing great with the character and she is incredibly beautiful, you saying she looks better in pictures/posters is just wrong
    Naksu suffered so much, losing her family, been used by the people who made her lose her family and the almost dying and losing her powers, way too much for just one person to bear, and then she finally accepted her fate and was going to be with the love of her life and that still was taken away from
    She really deserves an happy ending
    Jin bu Yeon wasn’t even supposed to exist, all this problem started because of her mother, and this was her punishment. Karma works in different ways.

    • I think GYJ is doing good, she is trying her best with her limited acting experience and the mess of a story that is Season 2 – but I don’t think she is this amazing acting genius her fans and AOS2 fanatics are making her out to be. Her and JSM’s voice sound similar and she’s doing great with emulating the dialogue, but it’s a FACT she is falling flat in many scenes, especially when compared to Lee Jaewook’s performance and his growth from Season 1. Her range is limited, her comedic timing is lacking, and it’s starting to show.

      GYJ is absolutely gorgeous but she often falls into the rookie trap of being camera conscious and trying to look beautiful instead of fully absorbing and displaying the emotions of her character.

      Listen, I’m not even a Jung Somin fan, this is the first drama I even saw her in, but it’s appalling how quickly people are trying off her work in Season 1. Comparisons are bound to happen when you go from a veteran actress that can switch from melodrama to comedy to romance at the drop of a hat vs a rookie actress that still has plenty of room for growth.

  8. Already dissapointed from 2nd half of season 1. I sometimes get mad because this drama has great cast, nice cgi, good costumes and setting, good cinematography. Only the story is a trainwreck. Powerful characters just wasted like that. Jang Gang, and now Bu Yeon. Park jin also strong but we only saw his fight in ep1 and the rest he’s a comedic relief that after a while felt exhausting to watch.

    In this second part I feel like we return to zero. Naksu and Jang Uk met but don’t recognize each other because Naksu conveniently has amnesia. Next I’m sure will be scenes with Yul wanting Naksu, and also Crown Prince will be drawn to Naksu. Meanwhile so many questions have to be answered. I’ll be really mad if Jin Mu’s evil deeds not revealed till the end (He made Naksu’s father massacred his family, using Naksu as an asassin, using Bu Yeon to extract Ice Stone, controlling Naksu to kill people at Song Rim, soul shifting people and I’m sure he’s behind the soul shifters going wild now)

  9. I actually prefer Go Yoon Jung rather than Jung So Min. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Jung So Min but it felt like there was a disconnect between her and every one else. I don’t know if it’s because she was acting alongside a group of rookie actors (younger generation, not the older one) or what…but there was no chemistry there.
    Go Yoon Jung is very beautiful and I think she’s doing a good job of acting as the innocent Bu Yeon. It makes me want to anticipate how she’ll change once she remembers.

    Isn’t that usually the problem with Hong Sisters’ dramas? They usually have a good concept but fail in execution (Big, for instance).

    • IDK, I thought Jung Somin’s chemistry with her 2nd and 3rd lead was definitely up to par. That woman can have chemistry with a paper bag.

      • Jung Somin and Shin Seungho’s chemistry was *chefs kiss*. Those two deserve a drama of their own. Part of JSM’s magic as Naksu/Mudeok was her chemistry with all three of her leading men. I don’t think the same can be said about GYJ, which is OKAY because I think her chemistry with the main lead is there and enjoyable to watch (even though the story of donky dookie)

  10. People on Twitter are raving about the chemistry but I really… don’t see it? They are both hot, yeah lol, but I don’t see this electrifying chemistry everyone is talking about? I didn’t think Lee Jaewook and Jung Somin had electrifying chemistry either, but it didn’t feel so forced and spoon fed (I thought Somin’s romantic chemistry with Seungho and Minhyun and even freaking Sangho was much more present lmao).
    Why are people taking the critique of this season so damn personally? Stop being so sensitive and enjoy the show if you want but if people feel it has been dumbed down then let them have their opinion. Goodness.

    • While I loved the chemistry with JSM and while I am also very much enjoying GYJ’s performance, I think I know why some fans are raving about the chemistry in part 2: they want to ship actors. JSM had fantastic on screen chemistry with LJW because she is a generally friendly person who gets along with her cast mates and because she is an accomplished actress and good at what she does. In real life she’s a bit older than the rest, and so off screen she had friendly chemistry with all but there was no romance vibe between her and her younger (in both years and experience) costar. But! Part 2, you have two people around the same age (which fans have pointed out many times), and suddenly there is this desire to pair them together in real life, too. Especially if they do perfectly normal things to promote the drama, such as post stills (hi, it’s called promotion), or like each other’s posts or whatever. It’s literally their job. But there are always those who want to take each and every “crumb” and project some kind of real life romance onto it. Because they are in the same age range, they are therefore more shippable for some reason. Certainly not all viewers feel this way (please do not take offense if you like the drama/chemistry but don’t happen to ship in real life). But I have seen some fans directly posting in this mindset.

      I do think they have good humorous moments together, and I know that the character really is Naksu. I can see Naksu’s mannerisms, and appreciate the good job GYJ is doing there. As for the character herself, it feels like her. But I think before I can wholeheartedly swallow the romance and really believe it, I need to watch it happen, like I did the first time. I need to either see them fall in love for real again (not just, marry me, random strong dude, so I can get out of this room), or for them to remember the depth of what they have already gone through together. Then I’ll believe it emotionally.

  11. Hahahahhahaahha seriously all the things u said bothered me a lot in season 1 too. But again she was an assasin, we watched the drama knowing that fact, and it was Janguk who made her change. It did not just happen, we watched the process in the drama.
    Poor Buyeon, I also thought we’re gonna have a good story for her as well in season 2. She supposed to have divine power!!.
    But if she can’t have it, Naksu can’t have it too. They both supposed to die in the lake, but someone has to come alive to kill Jin Mu

  12. Would have been better if there’s one Naksu trait JSM was unconsciously doing in S1 that BY/Naksu is also unconsciously doing in S2. Helps with continuity somehow. Right now, it just feels like there’s a huge disconnect between Naksu of the 2 seasons. I just don’t ‘see’ Naksu’s essence in S2 – yet.

  13. I’ll just sit back and enjoy the show. I don’t mind GYJ at all, I think she’s doing a good job so far…It’s interesting to see how the others react to this new Naksu, like the prince. I hope Seo Yul is gonna be okay. I love seeing the rest of the cast again too except Jin Mu, ugh, and the King and Queen…

  14. im tired seeing all the shes beautiful comments, lmao
    yes shes beautiful in stills pics and in ig
    but when shes on motion, her face looks awkward, she should stop fixing her face
    she looks good in sweet home, but her face in law school screams i just done ps and too much botox
    it will be ok if she can act, but 2 ep in and shes just eh, i blame the director for not making her re-act her scenes

  15. I think you hit it RIGHT ON THE NAIL. The realm of shipping is the reason people are becoming so rabid over these the LJW-GYJ pairing and overlooking the overwhelming amount of evidence that JSM and LJW limited their online interactions per the instructions of production in order to make the transition between the female leads more palatable. Hell, JSM has mentioned/interacted with Minhyun, Insoo, and Seungho outside AOS but she has pointedly not done it with LJW when for the past 12 years she has always interacted with their costars. They were clearly instructed to not interaction, yet people used this as a means to bash the actress when none of this is her fault.

    There are so many people on Twitter and other platforms passing backhanded comments without using context. It’s incredibly bizarre to the constant lashing out towards even casual viewers that don’t agree with how Season 2 is going.

  16. GYJ fans are acting like rabid Kpop fans by taking every single criticism towards AOS2 as a personal attack. It’s okay if GYJ’s acting is limited, she is a ROOKIE for a reason. Jae Wook’s acting range was also limited when he did his first lead role, he has improved since then.
    Stop acting like she is the second coming of Jun Ji Hyun and have some humility instead of throwing hate at a veteran actress that can act circles around your favorite.

  17. I don’t get why gyj is acting so childish when the times jin buyeon was shown she was actually talking and behaving quite maturely. Also ppl are saying she’s doing well as mudeok well why would she be mudeok as that was what Naksu did in season 1- she had to pretend to be this mudeok character from Sari village so no one would know that she is Naksu in that body.:. This was supposed to be darker and serious, compared to season 1, I think they ruined it with this whole amnesia track, ppl were looking forward to the old bad ass Naksu…. Also the focus is just on gyj’s beauty rather than the storyline… it’s like let’s focus on that to hide her limited acting abilities plus add in this random romance in nearly every interaction with Jank Uk because this is what teen girls crave! Forget the story!!

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