The Lonely and Shining Goblin Episode 12


Words cannot even begin to describe the experience of watching this episode – seeing all the pieces fall together, with scene after scene of revelations both to us and between characters, evoking a range of emotions from fear, shock, pain, despair and amazement. This episode was certainly an emotional roller-coaster!

The show has created such a rich world, where every relationship has several dimensions to it, rooted in history, the unseen world or both. Yet each relationship still retains such a moving emotional core, which is carried by the script, direction and amazing performances put up by the cast.

I usually don’t do recap style reviews that go through the events of the episode chronologically, but there’s no other way of capturing this episode fully. So here’s my review, presented through what I saw as the top 10 moments or revelations in this episode.

1. Deok Hwa is a vessel for God, Almighty.

The forums and groups were rife with discussion about this, following the ski-resort scene with the butterfly but that didn’t make the reveal any less powerful, especially once our characters started to put the pieces together.

Even though Goblin and Reaper had complained previously about not meeting Almighty before, he had been right in their midst, orchestrating everything that happened and setting things up. However, the important message that comes through is that destiny may be set by the Almighty, but the choice and free will remain in the hands of Goblin and Reaper. I have a sense that Deok Hwa will have a role to play in finally defeating the ghost of Park Joong-won, which will definitely be interesting to watch!

How interesting was it that the confrontation with Almighty took place in a disco, with strobe lights and dance music – and not in a temple or a church. And also, the tilted camera angles as they made their way towards him highlighted that sense of disorientation.

2. Grandpa dies.

We had seen this coming as well, but that certainly didn’t lessen the emotional impact. Gong Yoo plays the scene to perfection, capturing the emotions in such a raw manner. This also gives Eun Tak an opportunity to understand the pain of immortality and to be the one to support him. We also got to witness the closely knit family within the Goblin household, as they all rallied to console Deok Hwa in their own little adorable, unique ways, like Goblin offering to make gold. Hah!

I loved Deok Hwa’s response to his Grandpa’s death, telling Goblin that he’ll learn everything from the ground, start learning go and become Goblin’s brother, father and grandfather. Goblin responds with a smile of pride and joy. That was a lovely scene between the two of them.

3. Kim Shin gives Eun Tak the necklace.

In the midst of the intensity of the episode, we still had time for some sweetness between Kim Shin and Eun Tak. He gives her the necklace from Quebec that he saw in his vision of her at 29. She hilariously purses her lips, expecting a kiss, only to get teased by Goblin, who then sets out the ground rules for her in school. It’s a brief but meaningful scene, and we know this necklace will definitely have implications in subsequent episodes.

Taking attention away from the whole Goblin’s bride and sword pulling business has actually allowed Kim Shin and Eun Tak to have more time to develop a more compelling relationship.

4. Kim Shin meets the reincarnation of his friend.

What I liked about this segment was how it showed that reincarnation need not always be about unfinished business in a negative sense, i.e. revenge. Reincarnation can be about getting your due reward from your past life and Kim Shin’s friend and his family gets luxuriously rewarded in this life for his loyalty to Kim Shin.

5. The ghost of Park Joong Won informs Eun Tak of his plans.

I have to give props to the ghost of Eunuch Park – he’s so creepy and scary that I seriously cringe every time he appears on the screen. It’s not just the make up, but the way he moves, the way he speaks, the way he looks at Eun Tak – his eyes are the creepiest of all.

While we had earlier seen that Deok Hwa was the one who had arranged for Goblin to stay with Reaper, we learn through the ghost that this arrangement can be a bane as well. Little does he know about the bond and uncanny partnership that has developed between Goblin and Reaper. My question though is why he tells Eun Tak all of this – what exactly is her role in this? I’m sure it goes beyond her just being a messenger, which is related to point 8.

6. Reaper helps Sunny uncover her past life.

This was such a powerful scene that no words can justify what went on during this entire sequence. Reaper makes the most painful sacrifice of all, for the sake of Kim Shin and Sunny. Helping Sunny remember her past life can bring no benefits to himself, because it will reveal who he is and distance her even further from him. However, he decides to do so, because he wants the siblings to be reunited. He even removes all the negative memories from Sunny at the end of the whole sequence.

The whole sequence was so poetically and beautifully filmed, especially when the young king and Kim Sun transformed into Reaper and Sunny – which was so heart-wrenching and painful. Lee Dong Wook’s performance was simply stunning, with so much conveyed through his eyes and facial expression.

7. The siblings’ reunion.

It amazed me how moving this scene was, given how little we’ve seen Kim Sun and Kim Shin interact thus far. The sibling connection between them was so palpable and real, as Kim Sun walked towards Kim Shin and asked why he did not write to her, even when he was in battle. Their joyful reunion is subsequently complicated when Kim Shin approaches her regarding the truth about Wang Yeo.

8. Eun Tak no longer sees ghosts!

This was a real shocker and mystery to me. I initially thought Eun Tak was just pretending, but it turns out she can no longer see ghosts! Why is that so? Was the purpose of giving her that ability ultimately for her to convey Park Jong Won’s message to Goblin? Or is it because she is now more settled in life and thus no longer needs the “company” of ghosts? Does it also have something to do with the necklace – because I noted it being quite prominently shown in the scene?

9. Kim Shin confronts the ghost of Park Joong Won. 

Given how the show initially dragged out the whole sword pulling business, I’ve been impressed at how fast things are moving now and within the span of one episode, we now have Kim Shin confronting the ghost of Eunuch Park. However, his sword cannot harm him at all! Eunuch Park has also enlisted the help of a Grim Reaper, so I’m sure we haven’t seen the end of him.

10. Kim Shin confronts Wang Yeo.

What an epic, grand and powerful way to end the episode, especially with the parallels drawn between the Kim Shin walking towards the young king in episode 1 and this final sequence. Yet, what Kim Shin does not know is that Wang Yeo was responsible for his reunion with his sister. Unlike the historical young king who came between the sister and brother, Wang Yeo has now been responsible for bringing them together. In fact, Wang Yeo was responsible for both Kim Shin’s realisation that Kim Sun was his sister, and Kim Sun’s understanding of her past life. Even without any memories of his past, Wang Yeo has unintentionally already repented of his past sins.

What a mind-blowing episode this was! I can’t believe we have to wait 1 week for the next episode!

13 thoughts on “The Lonely and Shining Goblin Episode 12

  1. Jasmine
    Jasmine January 8, 2017 / 3:14 am

    I’ve been reading your recaps/thoughts for a while and I really enjoy reading them because you’re literally watching all the shows that I’m watching; Legend of the Blue Sea, Goblin, Weightlifting Fairy, and Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim. We share similar thoughts and I find myself agreeing with you constantly. Anyways, I just wanted to say that I like reading your thoughts. Keep doing what you do!

    • heroonthebeach
      heroonthebeach January 8, 2017 / 8:00 am

      Thanks for the encouragement, Jasmine! I watch way too many kdramas… and yet there are so many more I want to squeeze in 😛

  2. gracesflowers
    gracesflowers January 8, 2017 / 7:51 am

    We’ve come to expect this of you…insightful analysis of another amazing episode of Goblin!
    I just cannot imagine how it all will come together in a satisfying conclusion, hopefully happy too! Can’t wait!

    • heroonthebeach
      heroonthebeach January 8, 2017 / 7:59 am

      The show is really on fire this week, throwing us so many surprises! I believe we’re in for an exciting and good ending for all 🙂

  3. idastravels
    idastravels January 8, 2017 / 12:09 pm

    Although he played it beautifully, I was a little disturbed by LDW’s actions when he kissed Sunny. Did he kiss her without her permission? How was he able to kiss her when, previously, she did’t even want to let him hold her hand a second time without knowing his name? What did I miss? Then the partial memory erasure. Can supernatural beings mess with our lives at will in this universe? Would love your insight.

    • heroonthebeach
      heroonthebeach January 8, 2017 / 4:15 pm

      Hey idastravels, based on what we’ve seen about her pining for him, it did seem like she was attracted to him, even though she turned him away. She also seemed keen to want to know about her reincarnated life, so even though he didn’t seek her permission, I felt that she was willing to let him kiss her.

      Regarding the partial memory erasure, from what we’ve seen so far, it seems like Reaper generally does things without the person’s permission – just like the first time he erased her memories and also what he did to those who witnessed the explosion when Goblin flung Eun Tak and catches her. Within the world of the show, it seems like they are given liberty to use their powers for their benefits, which of course does pose some ethical dilemmas.

  4. Bea January 8, 2017 / 3:54 pm

    Thank you for ur analysis. I’ve been looking forward and refreshing your page waiting for new ones.

    Here’s my interpretation regarding why ET can no longer see ghost. I thought she was endowed with supernatural abilities to see and interact with ghosts as the goblin’s bride. As she ignores her duty to pull out his sword, her abilities as a goblin’s bride disappear. Then I wonder if her ability to summon the goblin by blowing out a flame will also disappear …

    • heroonthebeach
      heroonthebeach January 8, 2017 / 4:16 pm

      Hey bea! thanks for sharing your views. Yes, actually was discussing with some on the Goblin FB group and I thought of this theory as well – that her ability to see ghosts is also fading as part of her not fulfilling her destiny as the Goblin’s wife. However, I was also thinking about whether seeing ghosts is a blessing or a curse and whether it almost seems like a good thing now that she can no longer see ghosts? It means she will be less bothered by them too.

      • Bea January 9, 2017 / 12:19 am

        It’s almost scary because if she loses her ability to summon the goblin, she will die soon as death approaches her more frequently and severely. Then I was thinking back to how park jong won mentioned something like she is the only one that can kill the goblin. So will one of the storyline be pjw saving Eun tak?

      • Bea January 9, 2017 / 12:32 am

        Which FB group is that?

  5. heroonthebeach
    heroonthebeach January 9, 2017 / 10:30 pm

    Hey Bea, why would PJW be saving Eun Tak? So that she can help him kill Goblin? The FB group name is “Goblin Korean Drama Discussion Group”. Let me know if you have difficulty finding it. It has 32k+ members 🙂

    • Bea January 13, 2017 / 6:27 pm

      Ah, I was thinking pjw wants Kim shin to die. Et is the only one who can pull the sword out, so he has to keep ET alive to use her to kill Kim shin

      • heroonthebeach
        heroonthebeach January 14, 2017 / 10:00 pm

        Hey Bea, turns out your theory was right!

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