TL;DR: I love it when the heroes figure out how to exploit the rules. Unfortunately, I know how this writer’s mind works: it means the villains will be able to figure those same rules out—likely sooner rather than later.
Let’s take a moment to admire just how clever Chul was in this episode. Thanks to the obsessive reading he did of W vol. 34, and the catching up he was able to do while Yeon-joo was recovering from time skip fatigue, he was able to infer several things about the way their worlds worked, cobble together a plan, and test out his hypotheses. Clever heroes are some of my favorite types of heroes—when they are, actually clever, and not just geeeeeeeeeeeeeeniuses.
And let’s not forget Yeon-joo, who was an integral part of Chul’s success by implementing her half of the plan. Chul wouldn’t have succeeded without her help—he certainly wouldn’t have been able to fake his death so convincingly without her, for starters. I was so happy that Yeon-joo was able to put her foot down over a potential “it was all just a dream” plan because it sure as hell wasn’t fair to her the first time around. She lived through it, it sucked, and she wasn’t about to do something that would make her suffer all alone again.
Between the teamwork and Chul’s continued insistence that current!him is not the same guy as the guy in W vol. 34, I’m actually starting to buy this romance. The episode (and the last one) placated some of my ire toward previous!him, honestly, because this Chul was able to look at all of the mistakes he made and promise not to do them again. (I may actually be able to let go of him shooting Yeon-joo now since he isn’t the same guy. Provided he doesn’t do it again, that is.)
I loved that he said that they got married too soon and should date normally this time around, and I loved that Yeon-joo said that she wanted a kiss. It’s nice to be able to feel like these characters are finally, maybe, approaching even footing. I was exceptionally happy that Chul wanted Yeon-joo to draw him his wedding ring again.
That said, there were a couple moments in this episode where I doubted Chul. He claimed to have no memories of the erased timeline, but there was a little flashback to him passing by Soo-bong after he shot Seung-moo. With how it was framed, it was unclear if that flashback was Chul’s or if it was for the audience’s benefit. I’m side-eyeing that moment because we saw previous!Chul recall his non-canon drowning death as a nightmare—is he being honest about his memories? Or is he starting to realize some of his nightmares are remnants of a timeline that no longer exists? I am concerned by this.
Other things I’m concerned by: The Killer and Seung-moo. I love that we keep getting more information about what happened on that hotel rooftop, but I’m still worried that there’s more to it. So far as we’ve seen, “real” people only exit the comic book world when the chapter ends or when they walk through a portal, which means either Seung-moo must have gotten away from The Killer somehow and escaped through the portal (which I think is unlikely as the portal disappeared for both him and Yeon-joo when they got pulled in), or he was stuck there until Yeon-joo ended the chapter. What else happened in that span of time? What else did Seung-moo tell The Killer or bargain with?
I’m also worried that there’s at least one more time period where Seung-moo is unaccounted for. From what I remember, Seung-moo disappeared three times on Soo-bong: the first time where he ended up on the hotel roof, the second time that I could just be imagining, and the third time where he ran off to the hotel to commit vehicular homicide. Am I off base here? Maybe I’m conflating the phone calls between Yeon-joo and Soo-bong with times Seung-moo disappeared (first call = attempted murder on rooftop, second call = attempted murder at hospital, third call = attempted vehicular homicide). I’m going to have to rewatch the first two episodes or see if the DB recaps are detailed enough to rule one way or another.
It’s utterly terrifying that Seung-moo pleading for his life all the way back then just further empowered The Killer. He promised The Killer a face and to make it the main character hot on the heels of discovering his creation had a life of its own—no wonder he was so determined to end the comic by any means necessary. However, this also makes me a little irritated at him, that he didn’t suspect earlier that Yeon-joo’s “it was all just a dream” fix could have been flawed. Only he and The Killer knew that something really important happened in between the stabbing and Yeon-joo’s arrival, and his plan to give the comic a “proper” ending didn’t take any of that into account. I guess his punishment is losing his face, so maybe we’re even. Also, is Seung-moo going to die of thirst/starvation? HE DOESN’T HAVE A FACE AND HE’S NOT HOOKED UP TO ANY IVs.
What worries me the most right now is that this is a Song Jae-jung spec-fic drama, which means the villains are only an episode or two behind the good guys in figuring out how to exploit the rules, too. It won’t take them long at all to turn those rules around on our heroes, and I expect it will be an utter disaster when it happens.
Also? There had better be something amazing in store for So-hee’s character after Chul sets her free by making her think he is dead. You hear me, show?
By the Numbers
- Kisses: 1
- Faintings: 1
- Fight scenes: 1
- Phone calls: 7
- Bechdel Test: 6 episodes passed