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 …Read More »
Goblin Episode 9 Recap
Our goblin gets a much-needed wakeup call when his lack of honesty nets results he clearly wasn’t ready for, and though he still might not understand the why of it enough to change how he shares his information, it’s forward movement nonetheless. And while Goblin loves to wallow, we at least get from one side of the emotional spectrum to the other in one episode, which delivers quite literally on the phrase “something for everyone.”
Note: Since javabeans and girlfriday are up to their eyeballs in awards ceremony coverage, gummimochi and I will be filling in this week. You’ll get them back, we promise!
EPISODE 9 RECAP
Haltingly, Eun-tak asks Reaper if it’s true that Shin will disappear if she pulls out the sword, and Reaper gravely confirms that that’s the fate of the goblin’s bride.
“If you pull out that sword,” Reaper says, “He will become dust and wind and scatter. He’ll disappear from this world or perhaps go into another world, forever.” In his usual dry way, he comforts her by telling her that it’s not her fault, while solemnly insisting upon his own innocence in keeping her in the dark. That, he claims, was Shin’s doing, and all he did was give her the answer she sought.
And, he adds that he’s on her side even now, which Eun-tak thanks him for even through her tears. She sobs as she tries to pack her things in her room, crying that this place wasn’t her home after all. “It seems I won’t have a place to call home in this lifetime,” she cries, before gathering Mr. Buckwheat and the rest of her things to go.
After telling Shin of Eun-tak’s fate to constantly face death if she doesn’t pull out the sword, Samshin Grandma leaves the bookstore, encountering Deok-hwa outside. She asks him if he wants to have a drink because she’s so upset, and he agrees—but only if she’s buying, since he still doesn’t have a credit card.
While Shin contemplates asking heaven for one hundred years to confess his love to Eun-tak, Eun-tak remembers the kind words Shin had said to her right before he thought he’d disappear, now recognizing them for what they were: words of farewell.
We see the note she left on her door announcing her departure from the house before cutting back to Eun-tak. It starts to rain, and Eun-tak looks up to the sky and cries. In voiceover, Reaper narrates that on that day, Eun-tak is said to have walked through a “certain someone’s” tears for a long while.
Shin storms out of Eun-tak’s empty room, worrying that she’s run away. Reaper tries to tell him what happened, but Shin’s out before he can, using the front door as an interdimensional portal to check all the places where he thought she’d be.
Unable to find her, Shin asks the ghosts that regularly haunt Eun-tak for help, but none of them have seen her. Shin finally asks Reaper to tell him where Eun-tak works part-time, and Reaper hands over a coupon for the chicken shop, as though he were waiting for this question.
Turns out, he was, since he confesses to telling Eun-tak the truth about the sword. When Shin demands to know why, Reaper says it’s because he’s on her side, and explains simply, “I don’t want you to die.” He’s quick to deadpan that those words don’t hold any special meaning—it’s only that he’d be bored if Shin were to die. Suuure.
“You can get mad at me if you want,” Reaper ventures, but Shin blusters that he can’t very well get mad at him now that he’s switched from telling him to die to now wanting him not to die. He storms out in a huff, and Reaper belatedly realizes that they’re actual friends now. Aw.
Shin goes to the chicken shop only to find a sign that they’re hiring part-timers, but as he leaves, he passes Sunny. He sees her future, where she tells Reaper never to contact her again, and in the present, they both stop once they reach a certain distance.
Sunny turns around, looks straight at him, and says, “Oraboni?” Recognizing ye olde term as one his sister would have used with him, Shin looks at her curiously. But the archaic word just seems to be part of Sunny’s normal repertoire. She only addressed him because she thought he was looking for a part-time job, ha.
When he says he was looking for a part-timer who worked at the shop, Sunny suspiciously wonders why someone wearing the expensive clothes he’s in would need anything from a mere part-timer. Is he, perhaps, the one who made her cry?
“She was crying?” Shin asks, which only confirms Sunny’s suspicions. She launches into a tirade against him, demanding to know if he sent Eun-tak away because he was married or something. “We’re not yet wed, but I do have a bride, so I guess you could say that,” Shin replies. Gah, now is not the time to be obtuse!
At home, Reaper asks if Shin has found Eun-tak yet, to which Shin strangely replies that Reaper should get his paperwork in order when it comes to her, that way she’ll no longer be a missing soul. Reaper says Shin may as well just wish for her death, but there’s a logic to his request: Unless she becomes official with an official date of death that they can see, then neither of them can save her.
Reaper refuses to believe that Eun-tak could die anytime soon, since he personally vows to not to take her life. Shin just sighs that there must be greater forces at work, wondering how it is that a goblin and grim reaper can’t even save one girl.
At least this gives Reaper the impetus to file the paperwork at Subway, and he puts the hustle on his hoobae to get it done asap. When his hoobae questions the circumstances regarding Eun-tak as the goblin’s bride, Reaper uses his powers of persuasion to basically tell his hoobae to shut up and eat his sandwich. (They’ve already paid for it with their souls.)
Shin finds Eun-tak’s classmate looking for her at her old house, since the college entrance exam results came out and Eun-tak hasn’t been at school to receive them. He takes the results from the girl before shoving them back into her face to ask for her interpretation of them, and she says that Eun-tak’s scores are good enough to get her into any college she wants.
While contemplating her test results at home, Shin seems to come to a decision, as he tells Reaper to gift his fellow reapers with the socks he bought from that street vendor to prevent the bus crash—hah, is this his way of bribing them?
The weather gets strange as Shin contemplates what Samshin Grandma said to him. As he stares at the blood moon from atop a skyscraper, he thinks that if he does make the decision to return to nothingness, then god had better have a good excuse for forcing his hand.
Even stranger things start happening in Reaper Land, as Hoobae Reaper goes to collect a soul, only for the dead man to rise back up again after his death card bursts into flames. Reaper decides that now is a good time to give his hoobae the socks, figuring they were an apology from the goblin for causing whatever cosmic mess his angst has gotten them all into.
Reaper gives Shin an earful when he gets home, telling Shin that while he understands how he feels, it’s not an excuse for him to wreak havoc on human life. Shin merely replies that he just wanted to see someone—it would have been fine if that someone were god, but even better if it were Eun-tak. Poor Reaper regrets the day he told Eun-tak the truth.
Grandpa tries explaining the existence of otherworldly creatures to his secretary, who seems to have caught onto the fact that Shin never ages. Cryptically, Grandpa says that it was Shin who chose the secretary, and that it was Shin who was the secretary’s patron all these years, willing the secretary to connect the dots.
Deok-hwa knows that Uncle Shin was behind the bizarre weather events, and offers to help him by finding Eun-tak using more conventional methods. We then see the god-butterfly fluttering around an expansive ski slope, eventually landing on top of a lodge.
That’s the lodge where we find Eun-tak working, which seems a strange place for a girl with no money or connections to find, but let’s roll with it. She reads about the strange weather in Seoul without changing her expression, just as we hear Deok-hwa say in voiceover that he’s found her.
She thinks back to how Shin had evaded telling her the truth about his sword, and how he’d said that it was only to make him “pretty.” Calling him a crazy bastard in the present, she remembers smiling at him in the past when she’d told him she’d remove the sword on the first snow. Now that she’s surrounded by snow, she comments that there’s too much of it.
She turns around to find Shin standing there looking at her, and he says simply, “Let’s go home.” She replies that she doesn’t have a home, claiming that they only kept her around because they needed her—and his crime is worst of all, because he only kept her around because he wanted to die.
“I heard that I’m just a tool to be used to end the goblin’s immortality,” she adds, and Shin can only level her with a sympathetic look as he admits that he lost his chance to tell her. But, he says that losing that chance made him happy, and if he could have, he planned to make it so that he’d lose every chance to tell her until the moment he died.
“But I wasn’t supposed to do that,” he adds. “The blood of thousands that stained this blade, and the sheer weight of a single life… I wasn’t meant to decide their fate. So remove this blade, I beg you.”
Eun-tak barely takes a second to think before replying that she’d rather die, adding that she wants them to be like strangers from now on. “Go far, far away from me and live a long life, Kim Shin-sshi,” she says, using as distantly formal a moniker as she ever has with him. “Don’t ever appear before me again. If you do, I’ll really kill you.”
Shin keeps an eye on her at work, and takes to following her wherever she goes in the ensuing days. One day she walks ahead of him for a long while without turning back to acknowledge him, and when she finally turns around, there’s no one.
But when she turns back to her original path, Shin’s standing in front of her. He hands her her test scores and meekly says that she did well on her exams, which she calls an excuse. He knows it’s a pathetic one, but he’s happy it gave him the opportunity to see her, even so.
“Do you want to live together, or die together?” Eun-tak asks, on the verge of tears. She reminds him that she said she’d kill him if he ever appeared before her again, and now tells him to come closer so she can pull the blade out.
He obliges, which only makes Eun-tak angrier. He even goes so far as to put her hand on the blade, but at the real threat of it, Eun-tak begs him not to do it. Growing frightened, she starts pounding on his chest for him to let her hand go, and he slowly drops it as she sobs.
She blames him for having a hidden agenda from the moment he told her he loved her, which now prompts her to ask if he even loves her. “No? Not at all?” she asks, clearly hopeful that he’ll say yes.
But instead, he replies, “I’m scared. I’m so scared. I would like it if you told me that you still needed me. I’d like it if you told me to go as far as to do ‘that.’” (By “that,” does he mean love?) He gets choked up himself as he says that he’d like it even more if she would accept those excuses from him, so that he could use that as an excuse to keep living with her.
Eun-tak stills in her crying as the two of them look deep into each other’s eyes, saying nothing. It’s night when we next see Eun-tak glancing outside the window of her small apartment, and she sees Shin waiting faithfully across the street.
At work, Eun-tak takes a bit of a breather, unaware that snow’s coming in through the roof. The falling snow causes a domino effect of falling shelves, and she ends up knocked unconscious in an empty warehouse.
Shin goes back home, and when Reaper comes to find him, he says that Eun-tak doesn’t want to come home. But Reaper’s got bigger issues: Though her paperwork hasn’t been completed, he just received her death card, which is blank to Shin’s eyes but has a time and date that Reaper can see.
“It’s as if someone is out to kill her,” Reaper remarks worriedly, “but it isn’t me, and most certainly isn’t you.” Defeated, Shin says it is him, since he was told that their fate is that he has to die in order for her to live—if he lives, she’ll die. “This was the true nature of the punishment I received. This was all part of god’s bigger plan.”
Reaper tells him to quit with the cowardly talk, saying that though it may be god’s will, it isn’t his, and he knows it’s not Shin’s either. Reaper orders him to get to Eun-tak before she dies within the hour. Shin returns to the ski lodge to search for her as Samshin Grandma’s words about Eun-tak’s fate keep ringing through his ears.
Eun-tak stirs from her spot on the floor, her memories with Shin flashing through her mind. Tears leak out of her closed eyelids as she remembers their most recent, charged meeting in the snow, and she weakly says, “I need you. I love you.”
The lights on the ski slope abruptly turn off right at that moment, and Shin is able to find Eun-tak. He throws his coat over her, and heroically carries her outside.
She wakes in a hospital surrounded by all of its doctors, who quickly explain that she’s all right now, but wouldn’t have been if she had stayed there any longer. They also tell her that she’s been there a day and a half, and her first worry is what the bill will look like.
The head doctor tells her not to worry about that, probably because it was the chairman of the group that controls their hospital—Shin, of course—who brought her in. She asks the group if anyone has a match or lighter to lend her with an awkward smile, since it’s a pretty odd request.
Next we see her, she’s riding a gondola lift above the ski slope, and she uses the opportunity to blow out one of the matches she’d been given. But, strangely, Shin doesn’t appear. Eun-tak can’t hide her disappointment, at least until she looks up and sees what she’s been looking for.
She smiles when she sees Shin where the lift cars disembark, and he’s there to offer his hand to her as soon as the doors open. Instead of taking it, she disembarks and hits him halfheartedly, angry because she was worried he wouldn’t appear when summoned anymore.
After giving her a once-over, Shin explains that he waited for her, but she obstinately replies that he’s supposed to appear whenever she blows out a match. His response is cute: He wanted to get ahead of her so he could help her out of the car, leaving Eun-tak without another argument to give.
She stomps off, but soon finds Shin’s arms wrapped around her from behind as he pulls her close. “Me too,” he says, seemingly apropos of nothing. When she asks what he means, Shin dismisses it, but she already knows what he means. Ohhh.
Back to her cheery self, Eun-tak confesses that she can’t see his sword anymore, so there’s no chance she’ll be able to pull it out for him. Aw, is she lying? Shin pats her head affectionately, and she smiles in turn. Cue sweeping, long shots of the ski slope that this drama’s really intent on selling us.
Sunny pays a visit to her shaman to ask about the dark handsome man in her life, but dismisses the shaman’s crazy-sounding claims that the man is a grim reaper. Instead, she asks about someone else she knows about, whom she describes as looking “slightly like a dinosaur.” The shaman’s guess: “Gong Yoo?” HAH.
The shaman catches Sunny’s attention before she can go by asking if she received something shiny from someone. Sunny asks her what she means, but the shaman only says that she should throw the object away—it could be carrying the sins and grudges of its former owner.
Sunny holds the item in question, the jade ring, as she wonders what secrets it holds. Reaper materializes at her table just then, but since he’s wearing his hat, she can’t see or hear him. He can only apologize to her as she voices her complaints about him, but panics when she tries to text him, since he knows she’s able to hear the noise coming from his phone even when she can’t see him.
He tries to unlock his phone, but in his hurried attempts, he ends up enabling its security lock. He’s stuck trying to defend himself to someone who can’t listen, as he explains that the reason he hasn’t called is because he feels bad about erasing her memories the last time they met.
Reaper thinks back to unfolding the scroll and the way he reacted to it, so in the present, he also admits, “It’s because I may be cheating on you. I’m sorry.” Hahahaha. He tries explaining further, but he receives her “I miss you” text just then, and the sound freaks Sunny out.
“Me too,” he replies verbally, as Sunny tries singing a gospel hymn to expel the spirit she thinks must be haunting her. Reaper gets a huge kick out of it.
Shin gets upset that Eun-tak isn’t coming home with him right away, but she says that with the holiday season, the pay’s too good to leave. When she says that she can come back home when the snow melts in February, Shin flails as he calls Grandpa to have her fired—if he doesn’t do it quick enough, Shin vows to use his fiery powers to melt all the snow on the slope, ha.
Cut to: Shin and Eun-tak returning to their home with all her things, including the all-important Mr. Buckwheat. Upon seeing Reaper, Eun-tak asks if he was very worried, to which he replies: “Just a little. [Shin] was the one who worried a lot.” He adds that Deok-hwa actually found her, while Shin adds that he was the one who brought her back.
Looking around the house, Eun-tak gets a little emotional as she says that this is the first time she’s ever had a place to come back to—now, this place really feels like home.
Before Shin can unbutton his coat, Reaper ominously tells him to keep it on, since he’ll have to come with him. Eun-tak jumps between them to demand to know where Reaper plans on taking “our ajusshi,” and Shin gets the biggest, silliest grin as he realizes he’s part of an “us” now. Reaper snaps that he can hear Shin’s thoughts, and then tells Eun-tak just so Shin can be more embarrassed.
When Reaper finally drags Shin off to his domain to write an explanatory letter of recent events, he clarifies that the letter isn’t going directly to god, who’s much too busy to handle affairs like this. He wants Shin’s help in filling out all the paperwork, since he caused all the recent anomalies. Since Shin doesn’t want to do it, he teases Reaper about his maybe-telling Sunny about Reaper’s true nature. Fair’s fair, after all.
During the midst of Reaper freaking out over this, someone comes in… needing to use the bathroom? Both of them are completely dumbfounded as to how a human—a living one, at that—could enter somewhere humans aren’t supposed to go.
Hilariously, Shin chalks it up to the strength of human will to change destiny (hint, hint), and teases Reaper for believing in a god he can’t even see when he can’t believe the human he literally just saw. Of course, all Reaper can think of is the paperwork nightmare this is going to cause.
Sunny interviews possible part-timers without any success, but when Eun-tak walks through her door as an applicant, she goes silent with emotion. Eun-tak tears up too as she promises to do everything she says, and Sunny happily hires her on the spot, in exactly the same way she did the first time. Aww.
Eun-tak notices the upgrade (Sunny’s moved her shop to a nicer location), and Sunny wonders how Eun-tak knew where to find her. Eun-tak can’t tell her that ghosts told her, so she only says that she has her ways.
While taking out the garbage that night, Eun-tak chases off a couple of older kids from bullying a little boy, but the little boy walks off afterward without a word. The next day, she nervously checks the status of her college application, and cries to see that she’s been accepted.
She goes from tearing up to laughing and rolling around her bedroom in happiness, only to find out that her tuition’s already been paid by a mysterious benefactor. Well, not so mysterious—he told the woman in admissions to tell Eun-tak his name when she called, haha.
Even knowing that, he’s all, “Ohhh darn, I asked them to keep it a secret,” when she confronts him over it, and he offers her the purse and perfume he’d taken back from her. She accepts it with glee, and reaches inside for that coveted five million won…
But it’s not there, since Shin says he used it to pay for her tuition. Hah. He tells her not to feel too touched since it’s only a loan, and through teary eyes, Eun-tak replies, “You gave it to me before, so why are you merely lending it to me now? How could a person’s feelings change like that?” Shin: “The only ‘person’ living in this house is you.” Lol.
He tells her that she can pay him back in installments over eighty years (aww, I see what he’s doing), refusing to take any faster method of payment (double aww). Eun-tak is delighted that he’s made up his mind for their future, and goes into aegyo-mode as she suggests they go on a date.
Once they’re out, she jokes that if he would’ve brought her the purse instead of her exam results on the slope, she would’ve followed him right there and then, no questions asked.
Holding up the purse, Eun-tak asks if his love is also inside it, and he tells her to look inside—he put it in there somewhere. Aw.
Grandpa’s secretary presents him with a list of gifts that female high school students like, and Grandpa eyes it warily: “Bangtan Boys? What do these boys do, exactly?” His secretary fails at imitating BTS’s “Boy in Luv” dance number (official BTS fan right here), so Grandpa asks about the other thing on the list: “EXO? Is that a liquor?” At least Grandpa gets a good laugh out of his secretary’s attempts to dance and sing.
Grandpa finally settles on a digital camera, which, thankfully, his secretary doesn’t need to mime out for him. Deok-hwa enjoys Eun-tak’s gift for her before giving it over, explaining that it’s from his grandpa (but the selfies are from him, ha).
In the most spoiled way possible, Deok-hwa says that he’s only ever gotten buildings as presents, so she must be sooo happy over a camera. But really, he just wants to keep using it, so the two adorably fight over it while ajusshis Reaper and Shin look on.
When Shin asks if Reaper’s received any more death cards for Eun-tak, he brings up the human in the teahouse as well, wondering if there could be a variable just like that in god’s plan, as well. He vows to find the door he needs to open to create a variable in god’s plan for him.
“I don’t know if it will take one hundred years or ten months, but I am going to try and make the decision that keeps me by her side,” Shin proclaims. “Who knows what door I’ll end up opening by doing that, though?” he muses, only for Reaper to deadpan: “As long as it’s not my bedroom door.”
Deok-hwa uses his camera to take photos of Shin, Eun-tak, and Reaper together, which is adorable, but it also brings out a conditioned response in me—only bad things happen after photos are taken!
In voiceover, we hear Reaper ask Eun-tak about what he can use to impress Sunny, and Eun-tak lists off all the things girls like for guys to do. But of course, he takes her advice about herding Sunny toward the inside of the sidewalk (where it’s safer) too literally, and ends up just awkwardly blocking Sunny’s way.
He explains that he just wants her to walk where it’s safe, offering an honestly creepy semi-smile, which he got from Eun-tak telling him to smile when talking to her. Off-put but not freaked out, Sunny asks him to tell her what he said he had to tell her, which is just Reaper’s answer to the religion question: “My religion is that I have no religion.” Cue another weird smile, ha.
Sunny catches onto his sudden smiling habit and asks about it, only because she’s worried it has something to do with her. Genuinely perplexed, Reaper fishes for her to compliment him on being “cute” again, but the reference is lost on her. She admits that she would’ve thought he was cute if he met her on Christmas like she wanted to, but he has an answer for that too: “Isn’t Christmas a bit strange? I mean, it’s someone’s birthday, after all. Isn’t celebrating it like that selfish of people to do?” LOL.
Reminding her that he’s an atheist, he desperately tries to get her to tell him he’s cute, and that gives her a sense of deja vu she can’t shake (since he erased her memory of doing so before).
Shin drops Eun-tak off outside the chicken shop, leaving Reaper and Sunny inside. Eun-tak notes that Shin doesn’t eat chicken because he’s afraid of chicken blood, and realizes belatedly that he got her a part-time job at the chicken shop back then to keep her away from him.
She calls him a coward, a term he takes a very special offense to, considering that people used to cheer his bravery back when he was a general. To prove just how brave he is, he marches inside the chicken shop, resulting in an awkward four-way date between Shin, Eun-tak, Reaper, and Sunny.
Whispering loud enough for everyone to hear, Sunny asks Eun-tak if Shin is the guy who gave her so much trouble. Not to be outdone, Shin passive-aggressively tries to embarrass Reaper over Sunny by whispering loudly, which only makes things more tense and awkward.
Sunny’s surprised that Reaper and Shin are friends, and only knows Shin from him poking around her chicken shop looking for Eun-tak. Sunny observes basic formalities while questioning Shin, but those formalities are more sarcastic than anything, so Shin calls her out on her tone while being just as (im)polite.
They start squabbling back and forth, with Sunny taking exception to his use of banmal with her, though he defends its use because he’s older than her. Eun-tak tries shuffling the two men out, but both of them refuse to go.
HAH, Reaper’s taken one of Eun-tak’s suggestions on how to be sexy to heart, and whips out a lead pencil and a pair of glasses to solve a math problem at their table. Shin laughs at his efforts until he hears Reaper call Sunny by her full name, Kim Sun, in an effort to sound smarter and more official.
But Sunny’s had enough, and calls Reaper outside, demanding to know how he knew her real name when she never told him. Too late, Reaper remembers that he’d wiped her memories from the day she did tell him, and amends that he’d meant to say, “Kim Sun—…ny.”
He knows a losing game when he sees one, so he tries to peace out, but Sunny grabs his hand to stop him. Able to see past lives through touch, Reaper sees her as the queen bleeding out on the ground, recognizing the jade ring as the same one the queen wore.
To add to that, he recognizes the queen from the scroll, and sees a flashback of the king rifling through her things for the same jade ring, which he seems to take as a sign of betrayal. We see a mysterious hand placing the ring on her finger as Reaper narrates that something has gone horribly wrong… and that something starts with her.
Back in the past, we see the young queen smiling to see someone outside her palanquin—it’s Shin. The past merges into the present as the camera focuses on his face, which is looking at Reaper and Sunny’s bound hands.
We see the same flashback with the young king smiling at the young queen as she balances cups of water on her shoulders (so we’re seeing these snippets play in reverse, it seems), and past merges into present again so that we fully understand that Sunny is the reincarnated queen.
As Reaper questions everything he thought he knew, Shin just watches them, unable (for now) to see the jade ring on Sunny’s finger.
Innnnteresting. It’s rare for a drama to get me this interested in its reincarnation storyline, and while I knew it’d bear some sort of fruit, I hadn’t expected it to suddenly jump into the spotlight like this. I think it’s a great twist, since we needed something of a break from the will-they-or-won’t-they with Shin and Eun-tak, and now that we know they will—y’know, just by defying god’s will and all that small stuff—this provides a welcome distraction.
I’m left with a lot of questions about how things really went down in Goryeo, which is a fun place to be, since I thought we’d kind of mined all there was out of what seemed like a very straightforward drama, with the king growing jealous of Shin and allowing that jealousy to consume him. Don’t get me wrong, the past storyline was still very compelling, I just didn’t think there’d be much more to it. While it’s a bit odd that more seemed to happen in those last few minutes than in the entire episode, I like all the possibilities we’re left with, since the show was purposefully vague about the reunion, and what this will mean for everyone.
The only thing that’s disappointing about the past storyline coming full circle again, but hopefully in a much more different way (please don’t go dark and awful on us, Reaper!), is that there’s not much of a place for Eun-tak in it. Everyone else gets to play out these really neat roles as their reincarnated selves, while Eun-tak gets left out of what now feels like the core storyline. Those last few minutes felt like they stole all my focus from the entire episode, and it seems almost too easy to forget that there’s still a huge life or death dilemma still to be solved.
Maybe I didn’t feel the full brunt of their reunion because nothing feels fundamentally changed, and also because I got the sense while watching that we ended up with two different episodes in one—we got the angsty separation, the angsty reunion, and the tentative happily ever after. Of course, it very much feels like they’re on borrowed time, but their return to normalcy almost felt too normal. And since she just returned to the house to live the life she used to, there’s the eerie feeling that we could cut out the separation bit entirely and not be missing all that much.
Granted, the separation gave us Eun-tak’s declaration of love and Shin’s latest heroic slo-mo rescue, but the core of their relationship dynamic still hasn’t changed. If given the chance to do it all over again, I’m sure Shin would have kept the truth from her, and that small amount of power she had in knowing it was swept under the rug once Shin became aware of a much bigger truth—which, like the last big truth, he’s still stubbornly keeping from her.
I’m not too worried about it at the moment, since I hope that part of the evolution of his character is that he learns to let Eun-tak in and trust her to make decisions with him, but if there was ever a wakeup call, her leaving was it. Right now she only knows that he’ll die if she removes the sword, but how mad does he think she’ll be if she finds out that he’ll die if she doesn’t? Not because of the whole dying part, but because he kept it from her?
But if putting Eun-tak in danger means more teaming up between Shin and Reaper, then I’ll have to grudgingly take it, even if it sometimes feels like Eun-tak is being used as a device for everyone else’s development. I love that Reaper’s become her knight in black armor, and that he was the one to push Shin to snap out of his downward spiral of fate-based thinking. His development from an obsessive rule-follower to being the person willing to fly in the face of destiny has been a great development, and one I honestly wasn’t expecting for his character.
And as long as those developments keep on coming, I can’t exactly complain—besides, watching Reaper freak out about any and all things relationship-oriented (like emotionally cheating with the scroll of a dead woman) are the kinds of things that make my week. Even though something tells me that those clueless days of his that we’ve so enjoyed may soon be over.