I’ve been very intrigued by the numerous comparisons made in many blogs and forums between W Two Worlds and Queen In-hyun’s Man (QIM), another series about traveling betwewn two worlds written by Song Jae-jung. Most reviewers are of the opinion that QIM is a superior series in terms of plotting and rationalizing the travel that happens between two worlds. I’ve only watched 7 episodes of QIM but I have to say that W Two Worlds is markedly more ambitious in terms of exploring the relationship between the two worlds and well-paced in ensuring the plot moves along swiftly. This episode is a perfect example of pacing done well. A lot of things happen in this episode and every scene is purposeful in pushing the plot forward.
We start off in the real world where Yeon Joo immediately gathers medical supplies to save Kang Chul. However, upon reaching her dad’s home, she realizes to her horror that he is now Faceless and being controlled by the killer! She manages to wrestle Faceless dad away to save Kang Chul in the nick of time but things are not so simple as the killer confronts her and attempts to strangle her. She turns off the tablet which buys her just a few moments with Soo Bong before she’s transported into Assemblyman Han’s office. She then realises that it’s not only Kang Chul who can pull her into the comic world, but the villains can do so as well.
Following that, we fast forward a month. Yeon Joo then goes to Kang Chul’s apartment, where Do Yoon lets her in on where Kang Chul has been hiding all this while. She takes a bus to meet him and they reunite. We learn that Kang Chul has been fading out because his fugitive status makes him no longer suitable as the hero of the comic.
After they spend some time shopping for clothes, eating ice cream and buying groceries, they eventually return to Kang Chul’s place where we learn that Yeon Joo had left behind a copy of issue 33 of W which has been Kang Chul’s reading material for the past month. The episode ends with Kang Chul asking her what happens after issue 33 and whether he’s her husband.
Wow, that was a lot packed into one hour! I thought that Kang Chul catching up on all that happened through the comic book was really neat and I never saw it coming! It was also a great way to set up the relationship between him and Yeon Joo moving ahead.
Speaking of their relationship, I was rather unmoved by it the first time round, but in this episode, I found their scenes very heart-warming and endearing. There’s a groundedness to the relationship now that they’ve gone through more. It’s no longer just about replaying romantic scenes from the book for the sake of it. They’ve been thrown into circumstances where the everyday romantic things are a natural part of their lives.
Kudos to Lee Jong Suk for playing the revised version of Kang Chul so convincingly and movingly. The revised version of Kang Chul after the dream reset is more steady, less impulsive and focused on moving ahead rather than dwelling on the past.
I recently read a post on a Facebook group where Song Jae-jung commended Lee Jong Suk for the breadth of his acting and shared how his role in this drama is equivalent to three dramas because he returned from death three times. It’s high praise when the writer commends an actor for bringing her character to life and I completely agree with her on how excellent his acting is!
Ending this review with a theory of mine… Something that bothered me is where exactly does Issue 33 of the comic start and end. Seems like it starts off with Kang Chul injured on the roof-top. Since that scene, we’ve had several scenes ending with “to be continued”. Based on what Kang Chul tells us, he knows all that has happened up until the dream reset, which means some of the “to be continued” scenes may not indicate new issues. I have a theory where the Web version of the comic is different from the print version and the print version us a consolidation of several Web episodes. This makes sense given that in later episodes, the Web version of the comic seems to be updated real time as the events occur, something that’s not possible with the print version. I’ve obviously been spending too much time thinking about this show! Haha