TL;DR: I did not get a single thing that I had hoped for in this finale. Not one. (Okay, maybe one technically, but the fulfillment of it it entirely denied the spirit of that hope.) Consider me underwhelmed and disappointed.
Having said that, I do not begrudge Yeon-joo and Chul their romantic happy ending. After all, you can’t have the “bad ending” twenty minutes into the episode if you’re not going to spend the remaining forty minutes salvaging it. I just felt…exhausted by the end of it, though. Yeon-joo and Chul were, too, but really I was more concerned about them getting something to eat and several hours of uninterrupted sleep than I was about a romantic reconnection between them. Their reunion didn’t give me the kind of joy I was hoping for–
But maybe that was on purpose, considering the general tone of the episode. The one swoon-worthy moment in the whole thing was when Chul finally told Yeon-joo he loved her, which was very nicely done. And their whole reunion is possible solely because Seung-moo sacrificed himself. Like…how do you create a functional, healthy relationship with that lurking forever in the background?
(This is, of course, assuming that Yeon-joo was not fooled by the picture and knows full well that her father died so Chul could live. Because if Chul actually listened to Seung-moo’s final wish to keep his daughter in the dark about his sacrifice, I’m going to flip tables. You don’t keep secrets like that.)
I think the thing I was frustrated about the most in this ending is something that also helped ruin God’s Gift: the heroine made a declaration that she would save everyone and then was denied the opportunity to do so. The show took away her chance to save the day so someone else could do it, and that just…ruins it. Maybe not all of it, but enough of it that I’m feeling bitter over it. Yeon-joo had spent so much time saving Chul that I wanted her to do it again and save her dad on top of it.
I wanted Yeon-joo to be able to create her happy ending with her own hands. Instead the choice was taken from her by her father, and the ending turned out more than a little melancholic.
It also felt horribly contradictory. Why is Chul so special that he could defy his determined characteristics? Why could he shoot someone even though Seung-moo declared it impossible for his character and still survive, while Seung-moo helps save Chul(/give Chul a happy ending) and immediately goes up in smoke?
There were a number of–not contradictory, necessarily, but elements that weren’t thought through very well. The show had introduced so many different elements and rules that played big parts in earlier episodes that were just plain missing in the finale. Why couldn’t Yeon-joo have used the tablet to create portals (like Seung-moo had done for the killer earlier) in order to find Chul? She knows the bus line he’s at, and if Chul can’t see or find the stop number to tell her which one it is, why doesn’t she just sit at the tablet playing with the stop numbers on that line until she finds him? Why can’t she fill the tank of gas in his car so he can drive himself to a landmark? Why can’t she draw him medical supplies so he could stop his bleeding/give himself a blood transfusion? Why couldn’t she have made a random NPC decide to pull over to the side of the road to check on the car with its hazard lights flashing?
Why was the only option to have Yeon-joo drive around while Seung-moo sacrificed himself? It feels as if the writer wanted to go for the bittersweet ending from the start rather than have that be the only possible way out.
(Killing Cheol-ho was a
bout the only clever use of the mechanics, I’ll give the show that. Also terrifying.)
Ultimately, I’m leaving W: Two Worlds a little sad about the discrepancy between what I wanted the show to be and what it turned out to be. My hopes were too high and too specific to be satisfied with the latter half of the show. I’ll try to temper my enthusiasm the next time around.
By the Numbers
- Off-screen escapes: 1
- Surprise appearances: 1 (by So-hee *GASP*)
- Years passed: 2
- People shot: 5
- Bechdel Test: 9 episodes passed*
*Around half of these were me hoping that Yeon-joo’s mom would get a name and counting any single exchanges between her and Yeon-joo as passing. If the show ever revealed her name, I missed it.