Tags Goblin Episode 5

Goblin Episode 5

I was all set to gush about the Goblin-Reaper’s deadpan bickering being my favorite thing about this show, but then the show went and pulled a big dramatic move, which suddenly makes the light banter feel small in comparison. Even so, the episode is full of laugh-out-loud moments and heightened roommate hijinks. Let’s enjoy them while we can.

 
EPISODE 5 RECAP

In Quebec, Shin thumbs through Eun-tak’s book of poems, stopping to read “The Physics of Love” just as Eun-tak calls out to him from across the street. She lights up with joy when Shin makes the crosswalk lines change colors as she steps on them.

She runs up to him full of excitement over the crosswalk “red carpet” as he finishes the poem: “My heart / From the sky to the ground / Continued to swing dizzyingly like a pendulum / It was first love.”

He looks at her with such a serious gaze that she thinks he’s upset with her. His mood remains somber as return to Seoul, and as he drives home, Eun-tak offers to walk to cut the ride short. She’s hurt at his ready agreement, and Shin doesn’t even look her way when she gets out of the car.

He returns home thinking of Eun-tak, then of the moment he was stabbed with the sword. Suddenly, he’s hit with a wave of agony and recalls the god’s declaration that only the goblin bride could pull out the sword and return him to nothingness. It seems the pain from the sword only comes in bouts, and this time it fades quickly, though he’s left shaken.

Eun-tak walks home listening to a radio program, and the DJ says that sometimes a strange genre will pop up in your life. She asks which genre described everyone’s life tonight: heart-pounding rom-com, strange and beautiful fantasy, or sad melodrama. Hey, are you watching this drama too?

Suddenly the audio squawks, and Eun-tak looks around nervously. Uh-oh, is this not a radio-related issue? Eun-tak turns away when she sees a girl off in the distance looking at her, but the girl (ghost) appears in front of her with pleading eyes. Eun-tak can’t continue ignoring her, and she tells the ghost to approach her normally instead of being all scary.

The ghost begs Eun-tak for a favor: to fill her refrigerator in her gosiwon room, because when her mother comes, it’ll pain her to see it empty. Eun-tak says apologetically that she has no money, then thinks of an idea that sends her to the gosiwon room armed with juices, ready-made lunches, and fancy chocolates. (Hotel snacks?)

Eun-tak also makes the bed and tidies the room, and the ghost gives her a heartfelt thanks. Later, when Mom comes to her dead daughter’s room, she looks around with eyes full of emotion, taking in how her daughter lived. At the sight of the full refrigerator, Mom breaks down in tears, while her daughter cries behind her.

The ghost arrives at Reaper’s tearoom, where he gives her tea and tells her she worked hard in this life, and to go carefully into the next life.

Sunny returns to the bridge where she met Reaper, and to her shock actually sees him there today. She pelts him with questions, like whether this is coincidence and why he never called.

Reaper says in his awkward way, “I will. Right now.” He starts to leave so he can call from home where the phone is, which naturally makes no sense to Sunny. She points out that they just met (meaning, we can just talk right here), but he misinterprets that as a reminder of manners and says, “Nice to see you.”

She suggests coffee instead of a phone call, which takes them to a cafe where Reaper silently drinks four iced Americanos in a row. Ha, did you interpret “Let’s get coffee” as “Let’s just get coffee”? Sunny asks if he’s just going to sit drinking coffee, pointing out that the sun has gone down. Again taking the literal route, Reaper just agrees that the daylight was short.

Sunny says it wasn’t short for her, sitting here while he didn’t talk, and asks frustratedly, “Aren’t we going to exchange greetings? Aren’t we going to talk?” Reaper immediately bows his head and makes a greeting.

After an exasperated moment, Sunny goes with it, and speeds through the pleasantries of conversation: “Yes, and how have you been? Is my ring doing well? Do you still have no cell phone?” Reaper rattles off, “Yes, I have been well. The ring is well. I have no cell phone.” Oh my god, this could go on all day, but I would watch it all day.

Sunny guesses that he forgot her name, but he proudly announces it as Sun-hee. She starts to protest, then laughs and calls him funny, asking if this is his concept. Man, she must really like him.

She notices him staring and asks impatiently what he’s looking at. Reaper says that he couldn’t help not looking when she laughed, and that appeases her. But when she asks his name, Reaper’s face goes sad.

Next thing we know, Reaper and Goblin are sitting morosely at the dining table, one with freezing hands, the other emanating blue fire. LOL, and then they exchange items—Reaper’s hand-chilled beer goes to Goblin, whose hand-warmed egg goes to Reaper. Love the mundane use of superpowers.

Reaper says dully, “She asked my name, but I don’t know my name. She asked how I was doing, too. To ask that of someone who doesn’t even live.”

Shin&#8#8217;s thoughts return to Eun-tak, and he thinks, “At her smile, recalling the moment my life crumbled in the sunlight of the hottest hour of day, I decided. I must disappear. Before I want to live longer, before I become happier. It’s a choice I must make for your sake—ending this life.”

Reaper says he can hear everything and asks if he really means to die. Shin says yes, before the first snow. They both drink and sigh.

At the hotel, Deok-hwa looks over a bill of charges and confronts Eun-tak over eating and drinking everything in the hotel refrigerator, including alcohol. Eun-tak reminds him that his grandfather told her to ask for anything she needed, and asks Deok-hwa to pay the bill, since she has no money. He admits pathetically that he doesn’t, either.

Eun-tak is surprised by a visit from Shin and asks if Deok-hwa oppa told her about the fridge incident. She asks if he can pay it for her, reminding him that he drank the liquor, and threatens to blow out every single candle and fill his day with back-and-forth trips.

Suddenly, all the candles blow out, and Shin tells her not to make any more wishes. A hurt look comes into her eyes, until he adds, “You won’t need to, because I’ll be with you constantly. Let’s go home.”

She asks if he loves her. He replies calmly, “If that’s needed, I can do that. I love you.”

He says it completely impassively, and they stand there staring at each other while it pours rain outside. Eun-tak asks, “Do you dislike me that much?” She thinks he dislikes her so much that he’s sad about it, causing the rain.

Still, she says that she’ll go live in his house anyway, using a turn of phrase meaning beggars can’t be choosers (i.e., being picky about hot rice or cold rice): “I’m not in a position to be choosy over a hot goblin or a cold one.” (Hot. Always go hot.)

On the drive home, Eun-tak looks sad at the sight of the continuing rain. When she asks what Shin’s name is, he doesn’t immediately reply, which she takes the wrong way. She says glumly, “I guess we aren’t ‘we’ yet.”

“I think it started before you were born,” Shin tells her. “We.”

Pausing at a red light, Shin lists some of the names he’s used before, and then his real name, Kim Shin. She smiles a tiny bit at that.

Reaper steps out with the trash just as they pull up to the house, and is shocked to hear she’s going to live here now. Then he recalls Shin’s thoughts about ending his life and grins, telling Eun-tak that he’s rooting for. He wishes her well on “her work,” which Eun-tak assumes refers to house chores.

But they’re stymied by the front door, namely the keypad with the passcode they’ve never used, since they don’t need doors. All Shin can figure is that it’s probably four digits, while Reaper knows they hit the star at the end. Eun-tak starts to give a speech about how it’s like that moment of fear before entering a haunted house at an amusement park, only to find that both men have already poofed inside the house. Shin opens the door from the inside, hee.

Inside, Deok-hwa gapes at Eun-tak and barrages her with who-what-why questions. (He reveals that the door code is 1004, a common pun: Spoken, it sounds like the word “angel.” Yup, that’s about the maturity level I’d expect of him.)

They show Eun-tak to an unused room currently used for storage, and Shin starts planning the decor like it’s an art gallery, while Reaper contradicts his color choices. Eun-tak settles on a compromise to incorporate both ideas: Shin’s romantic 19th-century-style wallpaper here, and Reaper’s pastel-colored hearth over there.

Eun-tak offers to sleep on the sofa tonight or even the flower bed outside, but Shin tells her to sleep in his bedroom, making two pairs of eyes bug out. He insists he didn’t mean that—and then takes his pillow into Reaper’s room and tells him in magnanimous sageuk speech, “I shall sleep in the bed, so do not worry yourself with me and sleep comfortably on the sofa.”

But when Reaper says he’ll make Eun-tak sleep in the flower bed, Shin relents and takes the sofa. (Shin: “Were you always this inconsiderate?” Reaper: “Yes.”)

In Shin’s room, Eun-tak spies her poem collection on the table, and next to it a handwritten journal and her laminated maple leaf. She’s pleased to see that he kept it after all and starts to read his journal, but gives up right away because she can’t read hanja.

We jump back centuries to when Shin first wrote in that journal, describing the warfare that ravages this foreign land as much as it did his homeland: “Foreign gods and Goryeo’s gods are all the same. I have buried the grandson of the grandson of the grandson I left Goryeo with.”

Shin continues, “My will is not something I write as death looms. God, my will is a plea to you to grant me death.”

We see Shin grappling with the sword in his chest as he continues, “There have been times when I considered this life a prize, but ultimately my life has been a punishment. I have never forgotten anyone’s death. Thus, I intend to end this life. But as ever, the gods are not listening.”

Lying awake that night, Shin asks, “Have you ever seen god? Are you maybe looking at god right now?” Reaper is not happy to be roused from sleep and grumps that a low man on the totem pole like him wouldn’t get to see god.

Shin says that he’s seen god once, and Reaper asks curiously what god looked like. Shin flashes back to lying in that field a thousand years ago in Goryeo, when a butterfly danced around and landed on his sword. “Just… a butterfly,” he says.

Reaper sighs, feeling like he can’t even harm a passing butterfly now. Shin muses, “If god showed me a face, I could at least resent him concretely. If it’s really true that god only gives you as much hardship as you can endure, I wonder if he hasn’t overestimated me.”

Reaper asks sincerely if he’s having a hard time, and Shin assures him that fog won’t be rolling in or anything. Reaper wonders, “How is it that we’ve never once seen the god that humans see all the time?”

In the morning, Eun-tak wakes up and smiles to remember that she’s at Shin’s house. She wonders if they’ll have fixings to make breakfast, then looks around the big empty room and says, “They have everything they should, but there’s something lonely about it.”

She’s thrilled to come downstairs and find the guys cooking—Shin with his meat and Reaper with his veggies, as usual—and says with excitement that it’s been a long time since anyone’s cooked food for her. Shin points out that they never said they were going to give her any, and she frowns.

But they share, of course, and Eun-tak sits between them at the long dining table, cleaning off a plate of both steak and salad. She says she’ll earn her keep and do all her own cooking and laundry, and notes that they seem to do all of their own housework unlike most rich people…

Then she turns around to find Goblin and Reaper in another silverware battle, floating a pair of knives between them with kung fu mind control and taunting each other like a couple of children. Reaper: “Have you been practicing in secret?” Eun-tak says dryly that this is why they can’t have workers in the house, and they drop the knives, chastened.

Eun-tak says she’s written a few things down and clears her throat before reading it to them: “Letter of plea: 1. I would like it if it didn’t rain often. It causes the citizens discomfort, so while I’m living here, please be happy.” Reaper wags a finger at Shin.

She continues, “2. If you have a complaint, please say so in words. I would like it if you refrained from taking me away, or saying that you’ll take me away, or actually taking me away.” Now it’s Shin’s turn to wag a finger at Reaper. Number 3 asks for them to call her instead of materializing out of nowhere all the time, and she leaves her phone number with the caveat that school, work hours, and library time are off-limits.

Eun-tak leaves for school, and Reaper and Shin stare at the letter she’s left on the fridge like it’s written in code. Shin wonders, “Does it mean I should call her?” Reaper counters, “Or she knows we don’t have cell phones and she’s belittling us?”

Cue: Two shiny new cell phones arriving at the house, courtesy of Deok-hwa. Reaper picks the black one, of course, and Shin switches to sageuk tone to tell Deok-hwa that Reaper is excitable because he’s never seen one of these before, but he himself knows alllll about smartphones and doesn’t need a tutorial, thank you very much.

Deok-hwa is skeptical, insisting that the smartphone is very smart, but Shin will hear none of it and says he needs no help. Deok-hwa says they’ll start by going to the Google Play Store, and Shin immediately stands up to put on his coat to go to this store. Pffft. He instructs Reaper to put a coat on, and Deok-hwa just watches them with his mouth open.

Reaper and Shin sit in their respective rooms and attempt a video call to each other, but Reaper just holds the phone to his ear and waves a hand in front of his face going, “I can’t see your face!” Shin instructs, “Is it on your ear? Take it off! Your arm! Put it far away!”

Reaper complies like a robot, stretching his arm out but not understanding why, still looking for Shin’s face in front of him instead of in the phone. Hahaha.

At school, Eun-tak does an internet search on Kim Shin and is impressed to find that he was a general, calling it a stable government job. She wonders why the information on him is so scant, disappointed that that’s all there is.

Eun-tak is surprised to get a call from Shin, and they go shopping for things she’ll need at the house. She says she didn’t know he’d use a smartphone, and he rattles off the phone’s specs like a big geek, thinking that it makes him seem knowledgeable.

Eun-tak stops in front of a stuffed toy and says it’s Shin—it’s a goblin who knows that people are afraid of him, so he wears his favorite buckwheat jelly as a hood to disguise himself. “Isn’t it so cute? You know what I’m saying, right?” she says with a long pause. Cut to: Goblin and sidekick toy in their shopping cart.

She runs around excitedly adding this and that, and finally decides to stop because it’ll be too much to carry out when she leaves the house. He raises an eyebrow at that, and she points out that you never know how things will end between men and women. Shin just counters, “Who said I’d let you take them with you?”

That night, Reaper does his reaper paperwork, signing receipts for every dead soul. No wonder Reaper is an old fuddy-duddy, when his job hasn’t modernized with the times. He signs with the name all reapers use, Messenger Kim, and that reminds him of Sunny asking his name.

Apparently he didn’t know how to answer, so he just got up to leave. Sunny had chased him outside the cafe, confused, and he’d said he was sensitive about his name. Then he’d asked for the receipt that she took to claim a refill, because his office is so strict about them.

Now, Reaper pulls out Sunny’s number, and struggles to save it into his new phone. He has trouble typing and ends up just saving it with typos: Su Nny not Sun-hee. Wait, after all that you’re not even going to call?

Shin and Eun-tak return home, and he tells her that her room has been made “mostly livable,” which means brand-new furniture and full decor.

Shin asks if she likes it, holding up his hands as though to claim credit for doing with his own hands. He says, “I had it done in the spirit of one who does it himself.” Sure, that’s totally the same thing. He leaves her with the instruction to tiptoe because his room is below, but once he’s back in his room, he smiles to hear each amplified sound, picturing what she’s doing.

Reaper drops by to ask her a question, and Eun-tak hilariously jumps to the wrong conclusion, thinking he’s going to carry her off and arguing that she’s got a family and a husband now.

Reaper clarifies that he just wants to know what man’s name women like, since he doesn’t have one. She’s surprised to hear it since Shin has a name, and when Reaper hears what it is, he pouts jealously.

Eun-tak asks him about names he likes, and he goes through a couple, clocking her (non)reaction to them all. So Eun-tak gives him three names representative of what women like: Hyun Bin, Won Bin, Kim Woo-bin. Reaper catches her drift, and ponders possible Bin names.

Deok-hwa drives Eun-tak back from school the next day and wonders if Reaper really is going to make himself a name like those actors. She says he’s hardly in a position to criticize when his name is Yoo Deok-hwa (Andy Lau’s name Koreanized). Deok-hwa sighs, explaining that Shin was really into Andy Lau in the year he was born; to this day, Deok-hwa refuses to watch Infernal Affairs because of it.

Eun-tak directs Deok-hwa to drop her off in front of Sunny’s chicken shop, and he’s dismayed to find that she works there, because he was planning to close down all the storefronts. He meets with his grandfather’s secretary to cancel those plans, only to hear that the secretary never even started. Heh.

Deok-hwa asks if his grandfather had anything to convey to him, hoping for his credit card. The only thing the secretary has for him, though, is a message for Eun-tak to take care for the upcoming college entrance exam.

Eun-tak busies herself with her studies in the coming days, and Shin drops off delicious and elaborate snacks, accompanied with notes saying that he knows she’s studying, but when she has some free time, maybe… she could help… with that sword…?

Haha, and then Reaper sneaks in a snack tray too (his is plain broccoli with hot pepper sauce) asking her to help that guy out with the sword, and to keep his encouragement a secret between them.

When she drops by the kitchen, Shin’s there to ask passive-aggressively what her dream is, since it’s keeping her too busy studying to do anything about any swords. Eun-tak answers readily that she wants to be a radio producer, and he complains that that wasn’t his point.

Eun-tak says that she’s been thinking she’ll defer “making him pretty” (i.e., pulling the sword), because once she does, it’ll take away her usefulness, and he might kick her out. He whines about her eating all those snacks, and she calls him out on his pettiness, saying he could have just given her that 5 million won and be done with it.

He asks why she asked specifically for that amount (about $5,000 USD), which isn’t even enough to put down a deposit on an apartment. Eun-tak replies that she wasn’t even being that greedy; it was calculated to cover the various fees and expenses she’d incur while registering for university and waiting to hit adulthood. To people as poor as her, she says, 5 million won is just as unattainable as 500 million.

That’s when Reaper sidles into the room to tell Shin to give her the money, as though he’s cruel for not having done so yet.

Then Reaper asks if his name is really Kim Shin, looking extra sad as he says, “Your name is really cool.” Aw, poor Reaper!

At the chicken shop, Eun-tak interrupts Sunny from an afternoon of glaring at her non-ringing phone to ask for advice. She asks to call her unni, and Sunny declares that coming to “unni” for help can only mean one thing: Eun-tak’s pregnant, right?

Eun-tak assures her that she isn’t, then asks what Sunny thinks of marrying young. Sunny asks how old he is and what he’s like, brushing aside the descriptions of liking books and art and serving his country, asking simply, “Is he good to you?” Sunny asks if she likes the guy (“No,” Eun-tak exclaims) and if the guy likes her (“…no,” she says slowly), and is confused at why marriage is even on the table. Eun-tak laughs uneasily and sees her point.

Eun-tak walks home thinking of how Shin had said he’d love her if necessary, and how flatly he’d said he loved her. She says aloud, “I don’t need a love like that. And don’t you need it, either.” She grumbles that she won’t be making him pretty, hmph.

In a nearby bookshop, Shin jumps up from reading a book as soon as he sees Eun-tak pass by, and reappears at home to assume a casual pose. Notwithstanding his heaving chest from all that exertion, he acts like he was home the whole time.

Shin narrows his eyes and watches closely as Eun-tak joins Reaper in folding freshly laundered towels, pointedly complimenting him so Shin can overhear.

Shin attempts to divert attention back to himself by walking by with artwork and rattling off its pedigree like an art history professor. He asks for advice on where to hang it, but the other two ignore him in favor of their towels, leaving Shin to dance around in the background with the painting.

Reaper just asks about the red scarf, remembering it from when she was nine, and Eun-tak explains how it was her mother’s, and she wore it thinking that covering her birthmark would prevent her from seeing ghosts. Hit with more sympathy, Reaper turns puppy-dog eyes to Shin and requests, “Give her that 5 million.”

Shin complains to Eun-tak about having everything turn into a sad story, and she replies that she wasn’t talking to him. She and Reaper agree that Shin has a strange personality, talking about him like he’s not standing right there with furrowed brow and frowny face.

Eun-tak asks if Reaper has picked a name, and he starts to reply enthusiastically, only to have Shin cut in and say she ought to be studying. He needles her, saying she’ll fail her exam and never be a radio PD this way. Reaper calls that a cool career and gets her talking about her dream, and Shin is cut out of the loop again. (Ha, who knew Reaper could out-converse anybody? Shin’s stock has taken a dive today.)

Shin gets possessive over the conversation topic, saying she’d told him about wanting to be a PD, and yet she’s talking to Reaper about it.

Eun-tak says that you talk with the people you live with, and Shin huffs that she isn’t living with any people. Eun-tak suggests that Reaper consider Park Bo-gum a potential name, emphasizing the last syllable because it means sword.

The bickering escalates, with Eun-tak blaming Shin for her birthmark, Shin huffily looking past her hair to declare the birthmark pretty, and Eun-tak taking offense to him “hitting” her hair and saying that he got his sword stuck in him for a reason. Shin gasps, asking if she’s a psychopath to hit him exactly where it hurts.

She calls him a psycho too, reminding him that he was the one who said she wasn’t a goblin’s bride and should live in reality. He exclaims that he was doing it for her benefit, and she yells back, “If you’re doing things for my benefit, hand over my boyfriend!” She lists her original three wishes, saying that it didn’t come true, and Shin yells right back, “He’s right here, your boyfriend! Right in front of you—me!

Silence. Pause. Awkward frozen moment in time.

They both look away uncertainly and fidget for a while, while Reaper shoots them a dry look. Then they simultaneously dash for their rooms.

In her room, Eun-tak acts like she’s put out by Shin’s words while looking pleased. Shin, meanwhile, notes that he’s more appropriately a husband than a boyfriend, and wonders if he should go back to correct the discrepancy. He sighs that it’s a troubling situation, but smiles like a little boy.

The next day, Reaper sits at the table, grumbling about the other two and how he can’t even call Sunny because of his lack of a name. He sits there all day, brooding until darkness falls and Deok-hwa and Shin join him.

Shin guesses that a woman is at the root of Reaper’s gloom. Reaper blusters defensively, but Deok-hwa sees the phone number with the lipstick kiss, teasing Reaper about kissing the paper in secret.

Shin dials while Reaper is distracted, and hands him the phone when Sunny answers. Reaper shoves his hand aside, which accidentally sends his phone flyyyying across the room. He freezes time to calmly pluck the frozen phone out of the air, clears this throat and practices a few lines, trying to decide on a strategy for answering the call.

HA, then Shin unfreezes to offer his advice, explaining that he can freeze time too. He stuffs a dinner roll in Deok-hwa’s mouth, then restarts time.

Reaper finally says hello into the phone, and Sunny gets bristly, noting that he does know how to use a phone after all. Taking her sarcastic comments literally, he assures her that his fingers didn’t break and that her number is doing fine right here.

She prods him to say more, so he asks for an example of what he might be expected to say. Then he parrots her example back at her: “Morning, lunch, or dinner, which is most convenient for you?” Sunny replies that she prefers meeting in the morning and separating at night.

The next day, Reaper heads out for his date, trying his best to do everything to be “most human-like.”

Shin and Eun-tak have their first run-in after his awkward declaration, and they both recoil nervously. “Ji Eun-tak!” “Yes?” “What?” “You just called me.” “I did?” “Yes.” “Why?” “I don’t know, why?”

Shin thinks why, and says it’s because he felt awkward. She says the same, and then offers to say “very naturally” that she’s hungry, and he offers to then reply naturally about going to eat meat.

They walk into the same fancy steakhouse they’d visited before in Quebec—and as Eun-tak heads to a table, time suddenly slows waaaaay down for Shin. He watches people moving at half-speed and Eun-tak taking a phone call—and then, suddenly, she looks different. Older. Dressed like an adult.

Eun-tak turns to greet her lunch partner, an unseen CEO, seemingly not seeing Shin sitting in front of her. “At 29, you’re still bright,” Shin says, looking at her with sad eyes. “But I am not there next to you. My life’s immortality has come to an end. After my death, you and your life after my disappearance have forgotten me and come to perfect completion. I must disappear. For the sake of you, who smiles prettily. The choice I must make is ending this life.”

And then, as we see scenes from their prior encounters, Shin disappears from the picture: Eun-tak stands alone in the Canadian street, points at nothing where she once pointed at the sword in his chest, and stands by the shore holding buckwheat flowers by herself.

Shin realizes, “In the end, I made that choice.” A tear falls down his face.

For a moment, it’s 19-year-old Eun-tak he’s sitting with, but then it’s back to grown-up Eun-tak, waiting for her partner, not seeing Shin.

 
COMMENTS

I’m not clear on the specifics of what we’re looking at in the last scene—premonition? Imagination? Manifestation of fear?—but it did effectively make my stomach drop. Till now, I’ve enjoyed the comedy aspect of this show the most, above the melo, because I suppose I don’t really know when Shin fell in love or feel like I buy it wholesale. I understand her better on this front, because her reactions, while contradictory, seem contradictory in a very human and realistic way. Maybe I’m not meant to quite understand the heart of a god, but I’m accepting what the show tells me about his heart because I want the story to work and I don’t want to challenge it too much. It’s not something I feel in my gut, though.

But in any case, the comedy has been the real highlight for me, because here’s where the banter crackles and the wordplay is light and easy, not forced in the way that drama wordplay can sometimes get. Plus, these characters are a hoot, and Reaper is fast becoming my favorite, with all his stiff, old-fashioned ways and inability to read beyond the literal meaning of words that are spoken. Plus, his budding alliance with Eun-tak tickled my fancy today for the way they conversed easily, which was doubly fun for the way it made Shin prance around like a puppy trying to demand attention and pouting when it went ignored.

That said, I’m starting to come around to the heart-twistiness of the melo line, because there’s something beautifully sad about a lonely, immortal soul being torn between life and death, wanting to live as a regular person for once while knowing that he can’t let this one chance at eternal rest go. That’s always been sad in theory, but today in that last scene we really got to see how that affected Shin, in the aftermath (is it aftermath if it hasn’t happened yet?)—imagined or not, the loss was real, of having Eun-tak not see him, not respond to him, and moving on with a life that doesn’t have him in it.

It certainly helps that Gong Yoo’s anguish was palpable and immediate, and moved me in a way I haven’t felt yet for his character. After living a thousand years, it makes sense for him to have adopted a mostly placid demeanor—what’s to get fussed about when it all passes?—and the calmness is both soothing and pitiful. But to see him moved to such pain was extra heart-pinching because it’s outside his normal scope of emotion—particularly after we’d just seen him so light-hearted and happy. Why is happiness so fleeting? Can’t a god catch a break around here?

Goblin Korean Drama