It wasn’t much of a surprise that Yeon Joo will get revived, so the question really was how we get there.
Across the recent episodes, we’ve seen Kang Chul gain greater control of movement between the two worlds such that he is now able to not only transport himself, but bring other people with him across the two worlds – an ability he wasn’t able to control in the previous episode. In this episode, he brings Yeon Joo into the comic book world so that her death will not be real and then he also summons the Congressman out into the real world so that the laptop can be taken by Soo Bong and Seong Moo. He’s arguably at his most brilliant in this episode in manipulating both worlds and bringing about the necessary circumstances for victory through speaking to both Seong Moo and Assemblyman Han in both worlds.
Part of me wishes though that there was more complexity to Assemblyman Han. After the viciousness and creepiness of the killer, the Congressman just doesn’t cut it. In the finale, we learn that since Congressman aims to be president of the comic book world, he cannot be aware of both worlds or else the comic book world will break down. I felt this could have been explored in earlier episodes leading up to the finale in terms of the different implications of different people knowing the truth of the two worlds. There was so much potential there.
Returning to the core of this episode which was the resolution between Kang Chul and Seong Moo, I thought that was very well done. Arguably, the writer had to bring Seong Moo’s character to even lower points just to highlight how heroic and strong Kang Chul was. However it provided a good mirror on what had happened in the series earlier. Kang Chul as a comic book character had arguably “saved” Seong Moo’s life earlier as the comic book brought hope back into his life after the divorce. Earlier on when shooting the dad, he had also deliberately shot him at a spot which wouldn’t kill him and now he prevents dad from jumping off. Kang Chul has certainly come a long way from being constrained by the rules of the manhwa to now being well versed enough to be able to convince the dad about the possibility of saving his daughter.
The conversation at the hospital rooftop was meaningful. We learnt that Yeon Joo was Chul’s first “real” family and his first opportunity to experience emotions that were not manufactured. Beyond that, she represents the fate he has chosen for himself, not some pre-determined fate and thus proof that he is human, just like all of them. This speech by Kang Chul represents to me why their love relationship is convincing to me. Some comments I have read have spoken about how the love between Yeon Joo and Kang Chul feels false and rushed because there’s no exploration of how their feelings develop. This, to me, seems to be imposing the expectations of the romance genre on this series. The crux of their relationship is that it represents to Kang Chul how “human” he is and how it has empowered him to gain control over his life.
The whole scene ends with him piggy backing Seong Moo and acknowledging him as family, not just his author. Now this was neat to me because it brings in another way of viewing the author – character relationship, which is something I’ve enjoyed about this drama. In the first exchange between Kang Chul and Seong Moo, the relationship between author and character was portrayed as master and slave. Seong Moo spoke of how Kang Chul could never break out of the construct he had created; that he could only take justice through legal means and Kang Chul spoke continually of how he had been tormented by Seong Moo’s pen. Now, the author and protagonist are portrayed in a cordial relationship with the protagonist even advising the author on how to take the story forward. Certainly this is what happens too when writers decide to take long term series ahead and have to think back on how the characters have been created in order to move ahead.
This scene between Kang Chul and Seong Moo then launches us into Kang Chul’s plan to save Yeon Joo which is honestly a lot of fun to watch, especially since Soo Bong is involved! So now we learn that a message can even be sent from the manhwa world to the real world and because of that, the dad regains control of the tablet and Yeon Joo is saved. Soo Bong’s scenes are always great but he was particularly hilarious this episode with his exchanges with Crazy dog. His great excitement and joy when Yeon Joo calls him was also extremely touching and mirrors how many viewers feel.
And the episode ends with Yeon Joo running out of the hotel, seeing Soo Hee and the words “final episode” appear on the screen. What’s going to happen next? Will they get the happy ending they all desire? What exactly does the happy ending entail? This is something I will discuss further in the review of Episode 13. 🙂
Part of the joy of watching a TV show for me is reading what others think about it and seeing others dissect and analyze the show. In this aspect, the dramabeans reviews have been excellent and I always look forward to reading them as much as viewing the episodes. Check out the review for episode 14 here.