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Goblin Episode 13 Recap





So many big things are happening in this show lately that part of me is excited (finally, big plot movement!) and part of me is scared for what’ll be left for the final three episodes (flashbacks and musical interludes?). But let’s focus on what we do get, because it’s pretty momentous stuff, and we gotta get a move on if we’re going to fix a bromance that’s been broken for a century!

Note: The Lonely Shining Goblin will only be airing one episode this week, and plans to air Episode 14 next Friday, and the final two episodes in a double header next Saturday.

 
EPISODE 13 RECAP

After learning that Reaper is the reincarnation of the young king who betrayed him, Shin walks up the steps of the temple with purpose and greets him with a stranglehold. “General Kim Shin is here to see the king,” he announces. The coldness in his voice sends a chill up my spine.

Shin wonders if he was blinded by the 900 years that passed, and calls Reaper by name: “You are Wang Yeo.” That brings tears to Reaper’s eyes, and he asks, trembling, “In the end am I… that man… am I Wang Yeo? That young and foolish face is mine?”

Shin says that the battlefield was always hell, but they returned, enemies vanquished. He cries, “My soldiers, my young sister, my innocent family—they were slashed with swords and shot with arrows before me. On command! Because of one word spit out by a young and foolish king!”

Reaper breaks down in tears, asking again if that was really him, so heartbroken that it shakes Shin’s resolve. Shin begins to squeeze his hand around Reaper’s throat, but at the last second he wavers and drops his hand. He says that he remembers every minute of that moment every day of his life, then scoffs that Reaper must be living comfortably with no memory of it.

Thinking of that sneering young king saying that heaven would never be on Shin’s side, Shin throws back at Reaper, “Even though 900 years have passed, heaven is still on your side.” He walks off, leaving Reaper devastated. Reaper returns to the temple to ask at the altar what he did, why his memories have been wiped, and what choice he made. He wonders just how cowardly he was.

Eun-tak searches the empty house and paces back and forth in worry, and jumps to greet Shin when he finally returns. He tells her that he met Park Joong-heon and Wang Yeo, and tells her to go pack a bag because they’re staying at Grandpa’s house.

Shin wonders why she isn’t asking him anything, and realizes that she must’ve known who Reaper was. She admits that Park Joong-heon told her as much, but she didn’t know his motives, and determined that if it was a fate Shin was meant to face, he would.

Deok-hwa is confused when the goblin couple arrives at his house with bags. Eun-tak says that she’ll go stay with Sunny to keep an eye on her, volunteering Deok-hwa to drive her there.

Deok-hwa asks if Shin and Reaper had a fight, and why Shin was the one to leave his own house. Eun-tak guesses that he’s being considerate, given that Reaper doesn’t have anywhere else to go. Aw.

Sunny shows up at Shin and Reaper’s house, though no one is there to answer the door. She thinks of Shin saying angrily that she was protecting that fool even in this life. Does she remember Reaper despite his attempt to wipe her memory?

By the time Reaper arrives, she’s gone, and he stands outside on the front stoop for a long time, unable to go inside. When he finally does, he finds the house cold and empty.

Sunny seems to remember everything about Reaper and how she recovered the memory of her past life (when Eun-tak asks how, she answers, “sexily”), and Sunny says that this must be her fourth life, because she met her brother and her lover in this lifetime.

Eun-tak hopes that this is her first lifetime, because she’d like to be with Shin in her second, third, and fourth lives too. Sunny counters that Eun-tak might feel differently had she seen her stubborn oraboni in Goryeo, wondering with a sigh why he came back from war knowing he’d die.

Up on the rooftop of Sunny’s building, Hoobae Reaper argues with landlady Samshin Granny over the utility bill, thinking it unfair. She agrees that fate is really unfair, talking to him but thinking of Sunny and Reaper. She wonders if they’ll have to pay the steep price of fate, then tells Hoobae to pay up in cash.

Shin drinks and drinks and drinks, thinking of the young king sending him to his death and banishing him from his homeland, and Reaper telling him sincerely that he doesn’t want for Shin to die.

The next day, Hoobae Reaper tells Reaper that someone may have run into his missing person, and we see that female reaper meet Park Joong-heon again, after she’d touched Sunny’s hand.

She denies seeing herself in Sunny’s past, but Park Joong-heon reminds her of the poisoned tonics she presented to the queen with her own hands, and says that his sins are her sins. He promises to keep her secret, if she keeps his.

Park Joong-heon watches Sunny like a creeper while she works, and now that he’s made sure she is the queen, he declares that she’ll have to die by his hands in this lifetime too. But just as he says it, Reaper appears before him and lifts his hat just high enough to glare at him. Aw, yeah.

Reaper still doesn’t know who he is, only recognizing the soul as the missing person who’d escaped from him twenty years ago. Reaper calls him a demon feeding off of human darkness to survive, and Park Joong-heon argues that he only helped along the dark ambition that was already inside of people.

We see that he was actually the demon whispering into people’s ears every time Eun-tak was in danger: when Eun-tak’s mother was hit by the car, when that bicyclist nearly caused the bus crash, when that murderer ex-husband was about to shove Eun-tak off the building.

Reaper strangles him and demands his name, but Park Joong-heon just poofs over to the other side of the room and says knowing his name won’t do anything when Reaper doesn’t even know his own. He offers, “Shall I tell you? As always, you’re holding something lowly.”

They both turn to look at Sunny, who can’t see either of them. Park Joong-heon says that even in this life, Reaper will hold tightly because it’s precious to him, and she’ll die. With that, he vanishes and appears in the street below, possessing and sucking the souls out of people and making them collapse.

Even after that, Reaper can’t seem to put the pieces together and just wonders if that demon knows him. You think?

Shin sighs dejectedly as he thinks of all the times he and Reaper cooked their meals together, all the beers they shared, and all the times they laughed together.

Reaper calls Deok-hwa in that moment, and Shin answers the call, though he doesn’t say a word. Reaper begins to speak, but then realizes what the silence must mean, and the screen splits to show both goblin and reaper sitting alone, not speaking but not hanging up. Oh, you two.

Eun-tak comes out of class to find Reaper waiting for her, and at his request she draws a picture of the goblin’s sword, given to him by the king. Reaper guesses by her lack of questions that she’s on Shin’s side, and he asks if she’ll take his side, just once.

He hands her the jade ring and asks her to return it to Sunny, since he doesn’t think it’s good for him to have that excuse to see her. He assumes that Sunny won’t remember him at all, and Eun-tak doesn’t say otherwise, but thinks to herself that Sunny seems to remember him just fine.

At the chicken shop, Eun-tak asks if Sunny is still waiting for her king, and Sunny sighs that she can’t anymore when the person who loves the king is a traitor’s sister. She says it’s confusing to have Sun’s memories blurring with her own, and she wonders if Wang Yeo was sad when she died, because all she saw was his back as he walked away.

Sunny muses, “He told me only to keep happy memories, but even that must’ve made me happy, for me to remember it all.” Eun-tak decides against giving her the ring and tucks it into her pocket. She reaches over tentatively and holds Sunny’s hand, making her smile.

Sunny goes to see Shin and asks him to let go of what’s past, but he points out that what is a past lifetime for her is his current life. He says, much like he did back in Goryeo, that he has nowhere else to go but forward.

Sunny says her answer is the same now as it was then, and she tells him to go if he must. He makes it clear that if he goes forth this time, it is not to forgive Yeo. The answer pains her, but she says she’ll be okay, and promises to truly become happy in this lifetime.

Reaper sits in his room staring at the sketch of the goblin’s sword, thinking about how Shin has lived 900 years with it stuck in his heart. All of a sudden, the sounds of wind chimes rattling puts Reaper on high alert, and he vanishes out of his room in a flash.

He reappears in his tea room, where the chimes are ringing, and finds two men in black sitting at the table, who introduce themselves as the Reaper Division Investigation Team. Ruh-roh.

They’re here to investigate reaper misconduct, for outing his identity as a reaper to a human and using his powers for personal gain. Reaper only realizes now how many times he’s abused his memory-wiping ability and other powers, and readily admits to his sins.

He says he’ll accept whatever punishment he’s due, but the investigators tell him that grim reapers are human beings who committed grave sins, who endure 200 years of hell and then choose to erase their own memories. But as his punishment for breaking the rules, they tell Reaper that he will have to face his sins once again.

Instantly, Reaper is struck with a sharp pain, and he clutches his head in anguish. His memories come flooding back, and we flash back to Goryeo, just after Shin and Sun have been killed.

Park Joong-heon reports of nothing but praise for the king among his people, but Wang Yeo overturns his dinner table in a rage, and this becomes his habit day after day, year after year.

He remains just as angry as he becomes an adult, and then one day, Park Joong-heon orders tonic instead of a dinner table, and the court lady’s eyes widen. Despite likely knowing what is in the tonic, the king drinks it without hesitation.

He spends his days drawing portraits of his dead queen like an obsessed maniac, drinking more and more tonic until he completes that final portrait that Shin has in his possession.

A court lady brings him Sun’s bloody clothes and the jade ring he forced on her finger the day she died, and he crumples into a sobbing mess. He wanders the streets like a madman, calling out for anyone who wants to wear this beautiful robe and this ring.

The one who answers is Samshin Granny. She asks him for the jade ring and says with a smile that she’ll have a use for it someday in the future, so he blankly tosses it to the ground at her feet. When no one claims the queen’s robes, he tosses them into a fire.

At the palace, the court lady brings him another bowl of tonic, and the king says, “My people, my lieges, my woman, even me—no one loved me. In the end I could not be loved.”

He orders for more tonic to be brought, because he knows what’s inside and wants to end it all at once. The court lady falters, so he tells her that it’s a command.

In the present, Reaper gasps as he recovers his memories, and the investigator tells him that the biggest sin is to take your own life, and says that he will now remember his sins and the hell he lived through to pay for them. Reaper is taken off duty for the time being, until further notice. But! What about Eun-tak’s death notes?

They leave him alone, and Reaper breaks down crying, “I was Wang Yeo. I killed them all! I killed myself.”

Shin sits at the temple, asking the souls of those who died what he ought to do about Wang Yeo.

When he returns home, Shin flares up in anger to find Reaper standing in his room, gazing at the portrait of Sun. He snatches it out of Reaper’s hands and tells him not to lay his hands on it again, because he doesn’t have the right to cry in front of this painting.

But Reaper stops him in his tracks when he says that he gave Shin that sword, and that he killed everyone: “I was Wang Yeo.” Shin slams him into the wall and says that he did kill everyone: “You killed, and killed, and even killed yourself. Your woman, your loyal subjects, your Goryeo, even yourself—you could not protect a single one of them!”

Shin seethes as he says that he should’ve lived to the end, when Sun gave her life to protect his. Shin says that Sun knew her name would be the next out of Park Joong-heon’s mouth, and so rather than see her king give up everything because of her, she chose to die as the sister of a traitor first, to protect him.

Reaper spills more tears, confronted with the truth. He cries that he put that ring on her finger so callously, and that it was passed between them in this lifetime too. “Please kill me,” he begs.

Shin lets out an incredulous laugh as a tear trickles down his face. “You’re throwing yourself away this time too? I think it’s enough for you to carry the sin for killing you,” Shin says.

Eun-tak gives Sunny the ring and apologizes for holding back a few days, because she didn’t know if passing it on was the right thing to do. Sunny picks it up and muses that the shaman was right after all, that one person’s regret, sin, and longing all belong to her.

She figures that she’s tied to Reaper because of her past life, but she asks why Eun-tak is connected to her brother. Eun-tak just calls it fate, and Sunny asks if she has any strange powers too. “I can make it rain a little less, and I can make the first snow come a little early,” Eun-tak says.

Sunny asks why her brother ended up a goblin, and Eun-tak says it’s because the world needs strange and beautiful miracles. Sunny guesses that Reaper became a reaper because all people die, and Eun-tak doesn’t really know what to tell her, so she says that it’s because there is death that life shines.

Eun-tak’s blood suddenly runs cold at the sight of Park Joong-heon in the window, and he zaps himself inside and greets Sun as the lowly warrior’s sister and lowly queen. Seeing what he’s after, Eun-tak jumps in front of Sunny protectively, and Park Joong-heon tells her that it’s not her time… yet.

Eun-tak tells Sunny to grab the lighter in her coat, while Sunny just looks around the empty restaurant wondering what she’s seeing. Park Joong-heon grinds out, “Yeo was no different than a son to me, but that bitch ruined everything. I’m going to kill her!”

Eun-tak shouts for Sunny to hurry, but Park Joong-heon suddenly appears right in front of her face, and Eun-tak instinctively covers Sunny and braces for impact. The goblin’s mark on her neck glows green and Park Joong-heon is repelled and vanishes, as Eun-tak falls to the floor unconscious. Wait, does that not call Shin to come to her rescue?

Later Sunny helps Eun-tak home and asks what all that was, when she said she was a person. She quotes the lyrics of “Some” and asks if she’s a “person like a person, but not a person,” and Eun-tak laughs it off.

Eun-tak lights a match to summon Shin, and when he appears, she runs into his arms and they say they missed each other. He says he’ll come to get her soon, and then notices that the mark on her neck has faded so much he can hardly see it anymore. He thinks that means he’s put her in harm’s way too many times, and that now it’ll be hard for him to know when she’s in danger and needs him. Great.

He can tell something happened and asks if she ran into Park Joong-heon again, and Eun-tak says she did, but Sunny was the one he was after. Shin tells her not to worry about that: “Someone else will protect her.” I don’t even think he means himself.

Shin promises to come get her soon, and he thinks back to god-Deok-hwa’s cryptic message that he simply asked the questions, and they needed to find the answers. Shin says now that the question has been asked, and he and Reaper need to come up with the answer.

Reaper fills out the official report on missing soul Park Joong-heon, and asks Hoobae Reaper to process it for him. He warns Hoobae to be careful, because Park Joong-heon has been feeding off of people for 900 years, and can’t be handled like any other soul.

Hoobae also hands over Eun-tak’s death note that was sent to him, now that Reaper is on probation. Reaper stops him from opening it and says that Hoobae never saw it, to make sure he isn’t liable. Her next death date is a week away.

Eun-tak looks in the mirror and sees that her mark has faded, wondering what Park Joong-heon meant when he said it wasn’t her time yet.

Shin finds Reaper and they exchange terse words: Reaper warns him that Eun-tak is due to die, and Shin guesses that it has to do with Park Joong-heon. He in turn warns Reaper that Park Joong-heon is after his sister, and says, “Protect her. Just once, protect my sister, the way she protected you.”

Reaper asks why he came forward that day in Goryeo, when he knew it would be his grave. Shin says he simply wanted to tell him something, and that it was only on the day Yeo was sure that Shin would die that he showed his face.

Reaper asks what he wanted to say, and Shin recounts the last words that his brother, the late king, had said on this deathbed as he made Shin promise to protect Yeo—that he’d looked after Yeo by not looking after him.

On that day, he says he marched up to the palace to say, “By your half-brother the late king, by my sister whom you loved, by me who protected your Goryeo… you were loved.” Reaper is floored.

Shin says he was going to lay down his sword and ask that Yeo kill Park Joong-heon; he just didn’t know that sword would end up in his own chest.

Suddenly Shin is struck with a sharp pain in his heart, and he thinks back to Park Joong-heon taunting him that he couldn’t be killed so easily with a sword made from water. Shin realizes now, “I’ve come this far, and yet in the end I must take up this sword.” Lightning and thunder strike overhead. Well that’s ominous.

Reaper looks concerned and asks if the sword is hurting him again, and Shin says that this was the sword’s purpose all this time—to slay Park Joong-heon. But… to do that it would have to come out of you first… noooooo.

Sunny cries at the memory of meeting Reaper for the first time, and she tells herself to pull it together and stop the tears. It’s because she knows Reaper is waiting outside to follow her wherever she goes, and she pretends not to notice, despite how conspicuous he is.

He follows her everywhere like a shadow all day, until they reach the bridge where they first met and Sunny asks if he’s her stalker, because he’s been following her for days. He swears that it’s not the case, but she says it was nice to feel like they were on a date, and calls him Kim Woo-bin.

Reaper’s jaw drops and he asks how Sunny remembers him, and she says it’s his fault for doing his mind-control the wrong way, because he told her to forget all unhappy memories in this or any lifetime. He’d naturally assumed that would erase him, but she says all moments with him—difficult and sad ones included—were happy for her.

Sunny asks if her dying to save him led to a happy ending for him, and Reaper begins to cry. She muses that if he looks this young, he must not have lived very long, and he says, “Every day was bitter longing.” She chides him for his actions then, and he says, “Because I was foolish.”

Tears pool in Sunny’s eyes and she wipes his tears away sweetly, saying, “You could’ve realized that a little sooner.” She can’t believe she fell for him again in this lifetime, and wonders if it’s because he’s handsome.

But then she slides the ring off and gives it back to him, asking to break up for real this time. She begins to cry as she says, “I’m not going to fall for you in this lifetime. This is the only punishment I can give you.” She adds in her funny mix of English and formal address, “Goodbye king,” and walks away, leaving him in tears.

The little boy who lives near the chicken shop gets bullied by the older kids again, and Eun-tak yells at them when she sees him getting pushed around. The little boy threatens to use his wind-blast superpower on them and the older kids laugh, but when he stretches his hands out, a gust of wind suddenly blows.

Eun-tak looks over her shoulder and smiles to see Shin there, and gives him a proud thumbs-up. I love it when he uses his goblin powers for stuff like this. She tells the little boy to be careful not to use his superpower on people because it’s dangerous, and the boy runs off happily.

Shin suddenly says they should go on a trip, and Eun-tak is giddy at the idea, thinking that he seems happy. That’s exactly why you should be worried! Have you never seen a drama? We’re right at the entrance to Noble Idiocy Highway!

They pack up and head to a guesthouse, where Shin grills up meat and Eun-tak takes pictures of him. They read back to back for a while, and she makes him fall into her lap, caressing his face sweetly.

As they sit outside, Shin says he has a present for her, and Eun-tak puckers up her lips and closes her eyes, which he thinks is the cutest thing. The present is two copies of the contract she made him sign before trying to pull out the sword, and he says they’ll each take one.

She doesn’t like that he’s taking the original and giving her the copy, so she jumps him and tries to attack him with kisses until he gives it up, and they laugh and squeal as he plays keep-away.

But later when he’s alone, he’s awash in tears as he reads over the contract, with his promise to be summoned at the first snow of each year. He remembers how before, he told Eun-tak that there was no such thing as forever love or forever sadness, only to end up wanting to live because of her.

He breaks down in heaving sobs, and then one by one, he visits people and remains at a distance, saying quiet goodbyes. I knew it! Grar. He watches Deok-hwa misbehaving at work and says that he’ll miss him a lot. He watches Sunny smiling at customers and thinks that she looks comfortable and healthy, and that is enough for him.

He goes to see Eun-tak at school, and she runs to him as brightly as ever, making him smile. He says he missed her, and has a favor to ask regarding Park Joong-heon.

She admits that she’s been curious why Park Joong-heon appeared now of all times, after 900 years. He asks her to be brave for just a little while to help him figure that out and deal with Park Joong-heon, and takes her to the roof of a skyscraper.

He reminds her that he’ll call her, which is when she’s supposed to summon him. She takes out her trusty lighter and says it’ll be a piece of cake.

He turns to go, then suddenly whirls back around and launches at her with a kiss. The intensity of it makes her suddenly worried, but he just caresses her face and looks into her eyes one last time before teleporting away, leaving her feeling unsettled.

Shin goes to face off with Park Joong-heon, who isn’t afraid of the goblin’s water sword. Shin expects as much and lets Park Joong-heon poof away.

Eun-tak takes out the children’s book about goblins where she tucked away her dried buckwheat flowers from Shin, but when she opens it, the flowers blow into the wind like dust and scatter. Foreshadowing, check.

Park Joong-heon appears before her, but this time, Eun-tak can’t see him at all. He smiles devilishly, and at the same time, Reaper senses Eun-tak’s death note changing. She’s now set to die tonight of a heart attack, in twenty minutes.

It dawns on Eun-tak that Park Joong-heon’s timing might have to do with her—that he was waiting until her mark faded, so that he could use her to pull out the goblin’s sword. What she doesn’t realize is that he’s creeping up on her as she says this…

Shin calls and tells her to summon him now, but as she fumbles with the lighter, Park Joong-heon strangles her and leans her precariously over the ledge. She finally manages to get a flame going and blows it out just in time, and Shin knocks Park Joong-heon back.

Shin stands in front of Eun-tak, his sword at the ready, when suddenly Eun-tak grabs his sword with her bare hands and tries to stab herself with it. Shin makes it disappear into thin air, horrified.

Eun-tak says she knows why Park Joong-heon waited until now, and pleads with Shin to kill her. “If he enters my body, it’s over! He’s going to use my hands to pull out your sword!” She cries that she was already fated to die before he came along, and screams at him to kill her now.

But in that moment, Park Joong-heon possesses her body and says she was right, but Shin is always too busy looking back to notice. He says, speaking through Eun-tak now, “So you will die at my hands.” Oh shiiiiiiiiiiit.

That’s exactly what Shin seems to be waiting for though, and he doesn’t move at all as Park Joong-heon closes Eun-tak’s hands around the sword lodged in his heart.

In that moment, Reaper appears and shouts in a commanding voice that the dead will answer to the grim reaper, and calls out three times, “Park Joong-heon! Park Joong-heon! Park Joong-heon!” On the third cry he’s forced out of Eun-tak’s body, and she goes limp in Shin’s arms.

Shin lays her down carefully, but then… he takes her hands in his and pulls out his sword anyway. Agh!

The blade goes from blue to red as he yanks it out with all his might, and it’s glowing with fire as he lifts it above his head. He seems more shocked than anyone that it’s finally out, and Eun-tak’s eyes widen when she sees what’s happened.

Shin wastes no time and winds up for one mighty swing at Park Joong-heon. At first it looks like the sword hasn’t cut him down, but Park Joong-heon says he isn’t upset about dying, since he got to kill Shin again. His eyes go wild as he says, “Look, in the end, it is destruction,” before he disappears for good.

The deed done, Shin falls to one knee, barely able to keep himself propped up with his sword. He looks over at Reaper, who’s already crying.

In formal address to the king, Shin says, “Forgive me. It is now that I send word—that I died a heroic death.”

He lets go of the sword, and it disappears. Eun-tak runs to him, sobbing and pleading with him not to go. He’s barely hanging on, as he hugs her close for just a little while longer.

He touches her face and says, “My life was a reward because I met you.” She cries angrily that she doesn’t want this, and that he promised not to let go of her hand.

Shin: “I’ll come as the rain. I’ll come as the first snow. I’ll beg for god to let me do at least that.”

Eun-tak wails, “Don’t! Don’t go like this! I love you. I love you!” He answers, “Me too. I love you.”

And then he adds, referring to his business-like offer to also love her if necessary, “I’ve already done that.”

He lowers his hand and looks at her lovingly, and then closes his eyes. The flame from his heart spreads, and his entire body turns to red embers, and scatters before her, in the wind. Eun-tak collapses in tears.

 
COMMENTS

Nooooo, is he really gone? Just like that? Obviously there’s going to be some way to bring him back—we can’t have The Lonely Shining Goblin without the goblin, for crying out loud!—but the worry is how. I’m pretty much going to cling to the hope that there’s a magic-presto Get Out of Heaven Free card Shin’s earned with the gods, because giving away all of those sandwiches and setting people on good paths will go rewarded somehow, right? He paid for his sins in the way that was deemed appropriate (even though it seems unnecessarily cruel to have him fall in love and want to live just when death was coming), and he even sacrificed himself nobly to kill Park Joong-heon and complete his original mission as a warrior. So there has to be a reward for that, butterfly-god!

My fear is that if they go the reincarnation route, it won’t feel as satisfying to see Shin come back as a different person. I’m never fully satisfied with reincarnations, because it feels like you lose too much of the original character, and a Shin who isn’t a 900-year-old goblin… that would be so strange. I suspect that’s a very big possibility though, given that a happy ending in his eyes probably doesn’t involve outliving Eun-tak by another 800 years. The one upside to this is that this show has dealt with reincarnations multiple times already, and we’ve established rules that allow for humans to remember their past lives and share a consciousness with them, so there’s a chance they’ll make it work decently.

I find it funny that Shin was always chiding his sister for being so faithful to that foolish young king, when in the end he was just like her. I had expected that Shin’s bromance with Reaper would contend with his 900-year-old grudge, which it did, but I thought it more poignant that Shin had loved Wang Yeo even back then. The moment Reaper learned that was perhaps the greatest revenge, to make him realize how truly idiotic he’d been not to know how much Sun and Shin loved him and what they sacrificed because of it. Making him face his own guilt and stupidity and weakness seemed far better a punishment than killing a guy who was already dead. Now that I think about it, getting to forget his painful past and work as a reaper seems like a pretty sweet gig for a guy who had so many sins. Maybe heaven really was on his side.

I definitely had more sympathy for Reaper before he recovered his memories—once he remembered who he was, I could no longer consider him innocent in all this, whereas up until that point, he had nothing but all of my sympathy because I couldn’t blame him for the things Wang Yeo had done if he couldn’t remember them. Now he’s taken on some of Wang Yeo’s cowardice, in asking Shin to just end his life instead of dealing with his guilt properly, but it’s mixed in there with Reaper’s sweetness and his devotion to Sunny, and I’m so torn between feeling bad for Reaper, who pretty much just woke up one day to find out he ordered the death of the woman he loves, and agreeing with Shin’s righteous anger directed at him for being such a weak and stupid king who didn’t know how much other people had given up to protect him.

Bringing Park Joong-heon into the story as a villain injected it with some great energy, for which I’m grateful after a middle stretch of this show where things seemingly went in circles. His arc suddenly brought about major revelations, raised the stakes and put everyone in danger for a legitimate reason, and gave the goblin a heroic purpose to pull out the sword and die, rather than the standard noble idiot version I was expecting, for him and Eun-tak to fight over who gets to die to save the other. There’s really only so much of that I can take. But I was thrilled when Park Joong-heon attempted to use Eun-tak by way of possession (creepy AND clever!), and though I’m not happy about Shin dying, it befits his character to be decisive when faced with a clear enemy and way to kill him. As a warrior, he would never hesitate, and the fact that he makes this sacrifice when he desperately wishes to live eighty more years by Eun-tak’s side is moving. I’m thinking it’s Reaper’s turn to help get Shin out of wherever he goes now, but until then, I guess I’ll spend the next week waiting for rain or snow.

So many big things are happening in this show lately that part of me is excited (finally, big plot movement!) and part of me is scared for what’ll be left for the final three episodes (flashbacks and musical interludes?). But let’s focus on what we do get, because it’s pretty momentous stuff, and we gotta get a move on if we’re going to fix a bromance that’s been broken for a century!

Note: The Lonely Shining Goblin will only be airing one episode this week, and plans to air Episode 14 next Friday, and the final two episodes in a double header next Saturday.

 
EPISODE 13 RECAP

After learning that Reaper is the reincarnation of the young king who betrayed him, Shin walks up the steps of the temple with purpose and greets him with a stranglehold. “General Kim Shin is here to see the king,” he announces. The coldness in his voice sends a chill up my spine.

Shin wonders if he was blinded by the 900 years that passed, and calls Reaper by name: “You are Wang Yeo.” That brings tears to Reaper’s eyes, and he asks, trembling, “In the end am I… that man… am I Wang Yeo? That young and foolish face is mine?”

Shin says that the battlefield was always hell, but they returned, enemies vanquished. He cries, “My soldiers, my young sister, my innocent family—they were slashed with swords and shot with arrows before me. On command! Because of one word spit out by a young and foolish king!”

Reaper breaks down in tears, asking again if that was really him, so heartbroken that it shakes Shin’s resolve. Shin begins to squeeze his hand around Reaper’s throat, but at the last second he wavers and drops his hand. He says that he remembers every minute of that moment every day of his life, then scoffs that Reaper must be living comfortably with no memory of it.

Thinking of that sneering young king saying that heaven would never be on Shin’s side, Shin throws back at Reaper, “Even though 900 years have passed, heaven is still on your side.” He walks off, leaving Reaper devastated. Reaper returns to the temple to ask at the altar what he did, why his memories have been wiped, and what choice he made. He wonders just how cowardly he was.

Eun-tak searches the empty house and paces back and forth in worry, and jumps to greet Shin when he finally returns. He tells her that he met Park Joong-heon and Wang Yeo, and tells her to go pack a bag because they’re staying at Grandpa’s house.

Shin wonders why she isn’t asking him anything, and realizes that she must’ve known who Reaper was. She admits that Park Joong-heon told her as much, but she didn’t know his motives, and determined that if it was a fate Shin was meant to face, he would.

Deok-hwa is confused when the goblin couple arrives at his house with bags. Eun-tak says that she’ll go stay with Sunny to keep an eye on her, volunteering Deok-hwa to drive her there.

Deok-hwa asks if Shin and Reaper had a fight, and why Shin was the one to leave his own house. Eun-tak guesses that he’s being considerate, given that Reaper doesn’t have anywhere else to go. Aw.

Sunny shows up at Shin and Reaper’s house, though no one is there to answer the door. She thinks of Shin saying angrily that she was protecting that fool even in this life. Does she remember Reaper despite his attempt to wipe her memory?

By the time Reaper arrives, she’s gone, and he stands outside on the front stoop for a long time, unable to go inside. When he finally does, he finds the house cold and empty.

Sunny seems to remember everything about Reaper and how she recovered the memory of her past life (when Eun-tak asks how, she answers, “sexily”), and Sunny says that this must be her fourth life, because she met her brother and her lover in this lifetime.

Eun-tak hopes that this is her first lifetime, because she’d like to be with Shin in her second, third, and fourth lives too. Sunny counters that Eun-tak might feel differently had she seen her stubborn oraboni in Goryeo, wondering with a sigh why he came back from war knowing he’d die.

Up on the rooftop of Sunny’s building, Hoobae Reaper argues with landlady Samshin Granny over the utility bill, thinking it unfair. She agrees that fate is really unfair, talking to him but thinking of Sunny and Reaper. She wonders if they’ll have to pay the steep price of fate, then tells Hoobae to pay up in cash.

Shin drinks and drinks and drinks, thinking of the young king sending him to his death and banishing him from his homeland, and Reaper telling him sincerely that he doesn’t want for Shin to die.

The next day, Hoobae Reaper tells Reaper that someone may have run into his missing person, and we see that female reaper meet Park Joong-heon again, after she’d touched Sunny’s hand.

She denies seeing herself in Sunny’s past, but Park Joong-heon reminds her of the poisoned tonics she presented to the queen with her own hands, and says that his sins are her sins. He promises to keep her secret, if she keeps his.

Park Joong-heon watches Sunny like a creeper while she works, and now that he’s made sure she is the queen, he declares that she’ll have to die by his hands in this lifetime too. But just as he says it, Reaper appears before him and lifts his hat just high enough to glare at him. Aw, yeah.

Reaper still doesn’t know who he is, only recognizing the soul as the missing person who’d escaped from him twenty years ago. Reaper calls him a demon feeding off of human darkness to survive, and Park Joong-heon argues that he only helped along the dark ambition that was already inside of people.

We see that he was actually the demon whispering into people’s ears every time Eun-tak was in danger: when Eun-tak’s mother was hit by the car, when that bicyclist nearly caused the bus crash, when that murderer ex-husband was about to shove Eun-tak off the building.

Reaper strangles him and demands his name, but Park Joong-heon just poofs over to the other side of the room and says knowing his name won’t do anything when Reaper doesn’t even know his own. He offers, “Shall I tell you? As always, you’re holding something lowly.”

They both turn to look at Sunny, who can’t see either of them. Park Joong-heon says that even in this life, Reaper will hold tightly because it’s precious to him, and she’ll die. With that, he vanishes and appears in the street below, possessing and sucking the souls out of people and making them collapse.

Even after that, Reaper can’t seem to put the pieces together and just wonders if that demon knows him. You think?

Shin sighs dejectedly as he thinks of all the times he and Reaper cooked their meals together, all the beers they shared, and all the times they laughed together.

Reaper calls Deok-hwa in that moment, and Shin answers the call, though he doesn’t say a word. Reaper begins to speak, but then realizes what the silence must mean, and the screen splits to show both goblin and reaper sitting alone, not speaking but not hanging up. Oh, you two.

Eun-tak comes out of class to find Reaper waiting for her, and at his request she draws a picture of the goblin’s sword, given to him by the king. Reaper guesses by her lack of questions that she’s on Shin’s side, and he asks if she’ll take his side, just once.

He hands her the jade ring and asks her to return it to Sunny, since he doesn’t think it’s good for him to have that excuse to see her. He assumes that Sunny won’t remember him at all, and Eun-tak doesn’t say otherwise, but thinks to herself that Sunny seems to remember him just fine.

At the chicken shop, Eun-tak asks if Sunny is still waiting for her king, and Sunny sighs that she can’t anymore when the person who loves the king is a traitor’s sister. She says it’s confusing to have Sun’s memories blurring with her own, and she wonders if Wang Yeo was sad when she died, because all she saw was his back as he walked away.

Sunny muses, “He told me only to keep happy memories, but even that must’ve made me happy, for me to remember it all.” Eun-tak decides against giving her the ring and tucks it into her pocket. She reaches over tentatively and holds Sunny’s hand, making her smile.

Sunny goes to see Shin and asks him to let go of what’s past, but he points out that what is a past lifetime for her is his current life. He says, much like he did back in Goryeo, that he has nowhere else to go but forward.

Sunny says her answer is the same now as it was then, and she tells him to go if he must. He makes it clear that if he goes forth this time, it is not to forgive Yeo. The answer pains her, but she says she’ll be okay, and promises to truly become happy in this lifetime.

Reaper sits in his room staring at the sketch of the goblin’s sword, thinking about how Shin has lived 900 years with it stuck in his heart. All of a sudden, the sounds of wind chimes rattling puts Reaper on high alert, and he vanishes out of his room in a flash.

He reappears in his tea room, where the chimes are ringing, and finds two men in black sitting at the table, who introduce themselves as the Reaper Division Investigation Team. Ruh-roh.

They’re here to investigate reaper misconduct, for outing his identity as a reaper to a human and using his powers for personal gain. Reaper only realizes now how many times he’s abused his memory-wiping ability and other powers, and readily admits to his sins.

He says he’ll accept whatever punishment he’s due, but the investigators tell him that grim reapers are human beings who committed grave sins, who endure 200 years of hell and then choose to erase their own memories. But as his punishment for breaking the rules, they tell Reaper that he will have to face his sins once again.

Instantly, Reaper is struck with a sharp pain, and he clutches his head in anguish. His memories come flooding back, and we flash back to Goryeo, just after Shin and Sun have been killed.

Park Joong-heon reports of nothing but praise for the king among his people, but Wang Yeo overturns his dinner table in a rage, and this becomes his habit day after day, year after year.

He remains just as angry as he becomes an adult, and then one day, Park Joong-heon orders tonic instead of a dinner table, and the court lady’s eyes widen. Despite likely knowing what is in the tonic, the king drinks it without hesitation.

He spends his days drawing portraits of his dead queen like an obsessed maniac, drinking more and more tonic until he completes that final portrait that Shin has in his possession.

A court lady brings him Sun’s bloody clothes and the jade ring he forced on her finger the day she died, and he crumples into a sobbing mess. He wanders the streets like a madman, calling out for anyone who wants to wear this beautiful robe and this ring.

The one who answers is Samshin Granny. She asks him for the jade ring and says with a smile that she’ll have a use for it someday in the future, so he blankly tosses it to the ground at her feet. When no one claims the queen’s robes, he tosses them into a fire.

At the palace, the court lady brings him another bowl of tonic, and the king says, “My people, my lieges, my woman, even me—no one loved me. In the end I could not be loved.”

He orders for more tonic to be brought, because he knows what’s inside and wants to end it all at once. The court lady falters, so he tells her that it’s a command.

In the present, Reaper gasps as he recovers his memories, and the investigator tells him that the biggest sin is to take your own life, and says that he will now remember his sins and the hell he lived through to pay for them. Reaper is taken off duty for the time being, until further notice. But! What about Eun-tak’s death notes?

They leave him alone, and Reaper breaks down crying, “I was Wang Yeo. I killed them all! I killed myself.”

Shin sits at the temple, asking the souls of those who died what he ought to do about Wang Yeo.

When he returns home, Shin flares up in anger to find Reaper standing in his room, gazing at the portrait of Sun. He snatches it out of Reaper’s hands and tells him not to lay his hands on it again, because he doesn’t have the right to cry in front of this painting.

But Reaper stops him in his tracks when he says that he gave Shin that sword, and that he killed everyone: “I was Wang Yeo.” Shin slams him into the wall and says that he did kill everyone: “You killed, and killed, and even killed yourself. Your woman, your loyal subjects, your Goryeo, even yourself—you could not protect a single one of them!”

Shin seethes as he says that he should’ve lived to the end, when Sun gave her life to protect his. Shin says that Sun knew her name would be the next out of Park Joong-heon’s mouth, and so rather than see her king give up everything because of her, she chose to die as the sister of a traitor first, to protect him.

Reaper spills more tears, confronted with the truth. He cries that he put that ring on her finger so callously, and that it was passed between them in this lifetime too. “Please kill me,” he begs.

Shin lets out an incredulous laugh as a tear trickles down his face. “You’re throwing yourself away this time too? I think it’s enough for you to carry the sin for killing you,” Shin says.

Eun-tak gives Sunny the ring and apologizes for holding back a few days, because she didn’t know if passing it on was the right thing to do. Sunny picks it up and muses that the shaman was right after all, that one person’s regret, sin, and longing all belong to her.

She figures that she’s tied to Reaper because of her past life, but she asks why Eun-tak is connected to her brother. Eun-tak just calls it fate, and Sunny asks if she has any strange powers too. “I can make it rain a little less, and I can make the first snow come a little early,” Eun-tak says.

Sunny asks why her brother ended up a goblin, and Eun-tak says it’s because the world needs strange and beautiful miracles. Sunny guesses that Reaper became a reaper because all people die, and Eun-tak doesn’t really know what to tell her, so she says that it’s because there is death that life shines.

Eun-tak’s blood suddenly runs cold at the sight of Park Joong-heon in the window, and he zaps himself inside and greets Sun as the lowly warrior’s sister and lowly queen. Seeing what he’s after, Eun-tak jumps in front of Sunny protectively, and Park Joong-heon tells her that it’s not her time… yet.

Eun-tak tells Sunny to grab the lighter in her coat, while Sunny just looks around the empty restaurant wondering what she’s seeing. Park Joong-heon grinds out, “Yeo was no different than a son to me, but that bitch ruined everything. I’m going to kill her!”

Eun-tak shouts for Sunny to hurry, but Park Joong-heon suddenly appears right in front of her face, and Eun-tak instinctively covers Sunny and braces for impact. The goblin’s mark on her neck glows green and Park Joong-heon is repelled and vanishes, as Eun-tak falls to the floor unconscious. Wait, does that not call Shin to come to her rescue?

Later Sunny helps Eun-tak home and asks what all that was, when she said she was a person. She quotes the lyrics of “Some” and asks if she’s a “person like a person, but not a person,” and Eun-tak laughs it off.

Eun-tak lights a match to summon Shin, and when he appears, she runs into his arms and they say they missed each other. He says he’ll come to get her soon, and then notices that the mark on her neck has faded so much he can hardly see it anymore. He thinks that means he’s put her in harm’s way too many times, and that now it’ll be hard for him to know when she’s in danger and needs him. Great.

He can tell something happened and asks if she ran into Park Joong-heon again, and Eun-tak says she did, but Sunny was the one he was after. Shin tells her not to worry about that: “Someone else will protect her.” I don’t even think he means himself.

Shin promises to come get her soon, and he thinks back to god-Deok-hwa’s cryptic message that he simply asked the questions, and they needed to find the answers. Shin says now that the question has been asked, and he and Reaper need to come up with the answer.

Reaper fills out the official report on missing soul Park Joong-heon, and asks Hoobae Reaper to process it for him. He warns Hoobae to be careful, because Park Joong-heon has been feeding off of people for 900 years, and can’t be handled like any other soul.

Hoobae also hands over Eun-tak’s death note that was sent to him, now that Reaper is on probation. Reaper stops him from opening it and says that Hoobae never saw it, to make sure he isn’t liable. Her next death date is a week away.

Eun-tak looks in the mirror and sees that her mark has faded, wondering what Park Joong-heon meant when he said it wasn’t her time yet.

Shin finds Reaper and they exchange terse words: Reaper warns him that Eun-tak is due to die, and Shin guesses that it has to do with Park Joong-heon. He in turn warns Reaper that Park Joong-heon is after his sister, and says, “Protect her. Just once, protect my sister, the way she protected you.”

Reaper asks why he came forward that day in Goryeo, when he knew it would be his grave. Shin says he simply wanted to tell him something, and that it was only on the day Yeo was sure that Shin would die that he showed his face.

Reaper asks what he wanted to say, and Shin recounts the last words that his brother, the late king, had said on this deathbed as he made Shin promise to protect Yeo—that he’d looked after Yeo by not looking after him.

On that day, he says he marched up to the palace to say, “By your half-brother the late king, by my sister whom you loved, by me who protected your Goryeo… you were loved.” Reaper is floored.

Shin says he was going to lay down his sword and ask that Yeo kill Park Joong-heon; he just didn’t know that sword would end up in his own chest.

Suddenly Shin is struck with a sharp pain in his heart, and he thinks back to Park Joong-heon taunting him that he couldn’t be killed so easily with a sword made from water. Shin realizes now, “I’ve come this far, and yet in the end I must take up this sword.” Lightning and thunder strike overhead. Well that’s ominous.

Reaper looks concerned and asks if the sword is hurting him again, and Shin says that this was the sword’s purpose all this time—to slay Park Joong-heon. But… to do that it would have to come out of you first… noooooo.

Sunny cries at the memory of meeting Reaper for the first time, and she tells herself to pull it together and stop the tears. It’s because she knows Reaper is waiting outside to follow her wherever she goes, and she pretends not to notice, despite how conspicuous he is.

He follows her everywhere like a shadow all day, until they reach the bridge where they first met and Sunny asks if he’s her stalker, because he’s been following her for days. He swears that it’s not the case, but she says it was nice to feel like they were on a date, and calls him Kim Woo-bin.

Reaper’s jaw drops and he asks how Sunny remembers him, and she says it’s his fault for doing his mind-control the wrong way, because he told her to forget all unhappy memories in this or any lifetime. He’d naturally assumed that would erase him, but she says all moments with him—difficult and sad ones included—were happy for her.

Sunny asks if her dying to save him led to a happy ending for him, and Reaper begins to cry. She muses that if he looks this young, he must not have lived very long, and he says, “Every day was bitter longing.” She chides him for his actions then, and he says, “Because I was foolish.”

Tears pool in Sunny’s eyes and she wipes his tears away sweetly, saying, “You could’ve realized that a little sooner.” She can’t believe she fell for him again in this lifetime, and wonders if it’s because he’s handsome.

But then she slides the ring off and gives it back to him, asking to break up for real this time. She begins to cry as she says, “I’m not going to fall for you in this lifetime. This is the only punishment I can give you.” She adds in her funny mix of English and formal address, “Goodbye king,” and walks away, leaving him in tears.

The little boy who lives near the chicken shop gets bullied by the older kids again, and Eun-tak yells at them when she sees him getting pushed around. The little boy threatens to use his wind-blast superpower on them and the older kids laugh, but when he stretches his hands out, a gust of wind suddenly blows.

Eun-tak looks over her shoulder and smiles to see Shin there, and gives him a proud thumbs-up. I love it when he uses his goblin powers for stuff like this. She tells the little boy to be careful not to use his superpower on people because it’s dangerous, and the boy runs off happily.

Shin suddenly says they should go on a trip, and Eun-tak is giddy at the idea, thinking that he seems happy. That’s exactly why you should be worried! Have you never seen a drama? We’re right at the entrance to Noble Idiocy Highway!

They pack up and head to a guesthouse, where Shin grills up meat and Eun-tak takes pictures of him. They read back to back for a while, and she makes him fall into her lap, caressing his face sweetly.

As they sit outside, Shin says he has a present for her, and Eun-tak puckers up her lips and closes her eyes, which he thinks is the cutest thing. The present is two copies of the contract she made him sign before trying to pull out the sword, and he says they’ll each take one.

She doesn’t like that he’s taking the original and giving her the copy, so she jumps him and tries to attack him with kisses until he gives it up, and they laugh and squeal as he plays keep-away.

But later when he’s alone, he’s awash in tears as he reads over the contract, with his promise to be summoned at the first snow of each year. He remembers how before, he told Eun-tak that there was no such thing as forever love or forever sadness, only to end up wanting to live because of her.

He breaks down in heaving sobs, and then one by one, he visits people and remains at a distance, saying quiet goodbyes. I knew it! Grar. He watches Deok-hwa misbehaving at work and says that he’ll miss him a lot. He watches Sunny smiling at customers and thinks that she looks comfortable and healthy, and that is enough for him.

He goes to see Eun-tak at school, and she runs to him as brightly as ever, making him smile. He says he missed her, and has a favor to ask regarding Park Joong-heon.

She admits that she’s been curious why Park Joong-heon appeared now of all times, after 900 years. He asks her to be brave for just a little while to help him figure that out and deal with Park Joong-heon, and takes her to the roof of a skyscraper.

He reminds her that he’ll call her, which is when she’s supposed to summon him. She takes out her trusty lighter and says it’ll be a piece of cake.

He turns to go, then suddenly whirls back around and launches at her with a kiss. The intensity of it makes her suddenly worried, but he just caresses her face and looks into her eyes one last time before teleporting away, leaving her feeling unsettled.

Shin goes to face off with Park Joong-heon, who isn’t afraid of the goblin’s water sword. Shin expects as much and lets Park Joong-heon poof away.

Eun-tak takes out the children’s book about goblins where she tucked away her dried buckwheat flowers from Shin, but when she opens it, the flowers blow into the wind like dust and scatter. Foreshadowing, check.

Park Joong-heon appears before her, but this time, Eun-tak can’t see him at all. He smiles devilishly, and at the same time, Reaper senses Eun-tak’s death note changing. She’s now set to die tonight of a heart attack, in twenty minutes.

It dawns on Eun-tak that Park Joong-heon’s timing might have to do with her—that he was waiting until her mark faded, so that he could use her to pull out the goblin’s sword. What she doesn’t realize is that he’s creeping up on her as she says this…

Shin calls and tells her to summon him now, but as she fumbles with the lighter, Park Joong-heon strangles her and leans her precariously over the ledge. She finally manages to get a flame going and blows it out just in time, and Shin knocks Park Joong-heon back.

Shin stands in front of Eun-tak, his sword at the ready, when suddenly Eun-tak grabs his sword with her bare hands and tries to stab herself with it. Shin makes it disappear into thin air, horrified.

Eun-tak says she knows why Park Joong-heon waited until now, and pleads with Shin to kill her. “If he enters my body, it’s over! He’s going to use my hands to pull out your sword!” She cries that she was already fated to die before he came along, and screams at him to kill her now.

But in that moment, Park Joong-heon possesses her body and says she was right, but Shin is always too busy looking back to notice. He says, speaking through Eun-tak now, “So you will die at my hands.” Oh shiiiiiiiiiiit.

That’s exactly what Shin seems to be waiting for though, and he doesn’t move at all as Park Joong-heon closes Eun-tak’s hands around the sword lodged in his heart.

In that moment, Reaper appears and shouts in a commanding voice that the dead will answer to the grim reaper, and calls out three times, “Park Joong-heon! Park Joong-heon! Park Joong-heon!” On the third cry he’s forced out of Eun-tak’s body, and she goes limp in Shin’s arms.

Shin lays her down carefully, but then… he takes her hands in his and pulls out his sword anyway. Agh!

The blade goes from blue to red as he yanks it out with all his might, and it’s glowing with fire as he lifts it above his head. He seems more shocked than anyone that it’s finally out, and Eun-tak’s eyes widen when she sees what’s happened.

Shin wastes no time and winds up for one mighty swing at Park Joong-heon. At first it looks like the sword hasn’t cut him down, but Park Joong-heon says he isn’t upset about dying, since he got to kill Shin again. His eyes go wild as he says, “Look, in the end, it is destruction,” before he disappears for good.

The deed done, Shin falls to one knee, barely able to keep himself propped up with his sword. He looks over at Reaper, who’s already crying.

In formal address to the king, Shin says, “Forgive me. It is now that I send word—that I died a heroic death.”

He lets go of the sword, and it disappears. Eun-tak runs to him, sobbing and pleading with him not to go. He’s barely hanging on, as he hugs her close for just a little while longer.

He touches her face and says, “My life was a reward because I met you.” She cries angrily that she doesn’t want this, and that he promised not to let go of her hand.

Shin: “I’ll come as the rain. I’ll come as the first snow. I’ll beg for god to let me do at least that.”

Eun-tak wails, “Don’t! Don’t go like this! I love you. I love you!” He answers, “Me too. I love you.”

And then he adds, referring to his business-like offer to also love her if necessary, “I’ve already done that.”

He lowers his hand and looks at her lovingly, and then closes his eyes. The flame from his heart spreads, and his entire body turns to red embers, and scatters before her, in the wind. Eun-tak collapses in tears.

 
COMMENTS

Nooooo, is he really gone? Just like that? Obviously there’s going to be some way to bring him back—we can’t have The Lonely Shining Goblin without the goblin, for crying out loud!—but the worry is how. I’m pretty much going to cling to the hope that there’s a magic-presto Get Out of Heaven Free card Shin’s earned with the gods, because giving away all of those sandwiches and setting people on good paths will go rewarded somehow, right? He paid for his sins in the way that was deemed appropriate (even though it seems unnecessarily cruel to have him fall in love and want to live just when death was coming), and he even sacrificed himself nobly to kill Park Joong-heon and complete his original mission as a warrior. So there has to be a reward for that, butterfly-god!

My fear is that if they go the reincarnation route, it won’t feel as satisfying to see Shin come back as a different person. I’m never fully satisfied with reincarnations, because it feels like you lose too much of the original character, and a Shin who isn’t a 900-year-old goblin… that would be so strange. I suspect that’s a very big possibility though, given that a happy ending in his eyes probably doesn’t involve outliving Eun-tak by another 800 years. The one upside to this is that this show has dealt with reincarnations multiple times already, and we’ve established rules that allow for humans to remember their past lives and share a consciousness with them, so there’s a chance they’ll make it work decently.

I find it funny that Shin was always chiding his sister for being so faithful to that foolish young king, when in the end he was just like her. I had expected that Shin’s bromance with Reaper would contend with his 900-year-old grudge, which it did, but I thought it more poignant that Shin had loved Wang Yeo even back then. The moment Reaper learned that was perhaps the greatest revenge, to make him realize how truly idiotic he’d been not to know how much Sun and Shin loved him and what they sacrificed because of it. Making him face his own guilt and stupidity and weakness seemed far better a punishment than killing a guy who was already dead. Now that I think about it, getting to forget his painful past and work as a reaper seems like a pretty sweet gig for a guy who had so many sins. Maybe heaven really was on his side.

I definitely had more sympathy for Reaper before he recovered his memories—once he remembered who he was, I could no longer consider him innocent in all this, whereas up until that point, he had nothing but all of my sympathy because I couldn’t blame him for the things Wang Yeo had done if he couldn’t remember them. Now he’s taken on some of Wang Yeo’s cowardice, in asking Shin to just end his life instead of dealing with his guilt properly, but it’s mixed in there with Reaper’s sweetness and his devotion to Sunny, and I’m so torn between feeling bad for Reaper, who pretty much just woke up one day to find out he ordered the death of the woman he loves, and agreeing with Shin’s righteous anger directed at him for being such a weak and stupid king who didn’t know how much other people had given up to protect him.

Bringing Park Joong-heon into the story as a villain injected it with some great energy, for which I’m grateful after a middle stretch of this show where things seemingly went in circles. His arc suddenly brought about major revelations, raised the stakes and put everyone in danger for a legitimate reason, and gave the goblin a heroic purpose to pull out the sword and die, rather than the standard noble idiot version I was expecting, for him and Eun-tak to fight over who gets to die to save the other. There’s really only so much of that I can take. But I was thrilled when Park Joong-heon attempted to use Eun-tak by way of possession (creepy AND clever!), and though I’m not happy about Shin dying, it befits his character to be decisive when faced with a clear enemy and way to kill him. As a warrior, he would never hesitate, and the fact that he makes this sacrifice when he desperately wishes to live eighty more years by Eun-tak’s side is moving. I’m thinking it’s Reaper’s turn to help get Shin out of wherever he goes now, but until then, I guess I’ll spend the next week waiting for rain or snow.

Goblin Korean Drama

List Recap: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Goblin Title: 쓸쓸하고 찬란하神-도깨비 / Goblin Also known as: The Lonely, Shining Goblin Chinese Title: 孤單又燦爛的神-鬼怪 Genre: Fantasy, Romance Episodes: 16 (To Be Confirmed) Broadcast network: tvN Broadcast period: 2016-Dec-02 to 2017-Jan-21 Air time: Friday & Saturday 20:00 Synopsis Kim Shin (Gong …

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