Yeon Joo takes over as the author of the comic, which results in a light-hearted, fun and sweet episode. I didn’t write about this in detail previously but this series does comedy really well too and this is an episode is a perfect example.
The whole contract marriage between Yeon Joo and Kang Chul is so hilarious and over the top that it’s almost as if the show is poking fun at Yeon Joo for her crazy fantasies. Loved the scene of Do Yoon presenting the four choices of romance to Yeon Joo. Her facial expressions are hilarious and Do Yoon trying to re-enact Kang Chul’s options is just great fun. There’s so much sweetness when we see Kang Chul carrying out loving acts through referencing a book, and it’s funny yet endearing to see him bumbling through the hair tying (admittedly most guys wouldn’t be able to do that too). I have to give a lot of props to the cast, but particularly Han Hye Kyo who has impeccable comic timing and performance.
Even before we reach the ending, there are already hints that this romantic interlude is fleeting. During her night in prison, Yeon Joo voice-overs that her own life felt unreal and she began to believe that her life in the comic was real, ignoring her mum’s concern or her job as a doctor. The “realness” of her comic book existence ironically becomes true as the contract marriage between her and Kang Chul makes her a real comic book character who can be hurt and killed, as we learn in the next episode. While tying her hair, Kang Chul says that they need to do as much as possible as he’s not sure when she will disappear again, as they are still confined by the rules of the comic book world. And at the end of the episode, we learn that their marriage marriage has revived the purpose of the killer, who now wants to kill Yeon Joo since he was created with the mindless motive to kill Kang Chul’s family and bring misery to him. While the dad had decided after Kang Chul’s death that he was done with the manhwa, he won’t be able to do so now because his daughter’s life is now at stake and the killer will need to be captured in order to save her.
I’d like to share further thoughts on this show in comparison to the Queen In-hyun’s Man. I had previously commented that QIM was slower in plot development, which is still true and my stand remains that W Two Worlds is an infinitely more competent and complex series in terms of writing. However, upon thinking further about QIM, I have observed that it plays within very fair rules when it comes to the travel between worlds and does not keep adding new rules that confuse the readers. The time travel is relatively straightforward and built on very sensible rules – It is activated by the talisman that can only be used by Boone Do; in the historical world, he is transported when he faces a death situation but in the modern world, he can summon himself back. These rules are established in the first few episodes and they don’t vary even towards the later half. This makes the drama more grounded and easy to understand, compared to W Two Worlds where new rules keep being added on, even in the final episode. I’ve read that many viewers fell away because they became confused.
To me, this is not a big issue – some kind of internal logic would be good but I am more interested in the storyline, character development and thematic exploration that arises from the travel and this is where W Two Worlds really excels in. Furthermore, the supposed loop holes provide more room for speculation that also allows the reader to fill in the gaps which I have really enjoyed doing. In fact, my further theorizing has often led me to uncover further consistency in how Song Jae-Jung has constructed the series, which makes me admire her even more!
Final note: There’s an interview with Song Jae Jung on dramabeans which is definitely worth a read. Some interesting nuggets include how she hasn’t watched Episodes 15 and 16, how apologetic she was to Han Hye Joo for Yeon Joo’s ending and how her motivation for the series started from Goya’s painting. Do check it out.