W: Two Worlds, Episode 16 (END)

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.

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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? Continue reading “W: Two Worlds, Episode 16 (END)”

4 Things I Want from the W: Two Worlds Finale

The finale is this week, and I’m looking forward to it, despite the see-sawing of my enthusiasm during the second half. I want a satisfactory ending to the show, one that will make me understand what the writer was trying to go for in crafting this particular story. (Whether or not I agree that they achieved that is another thing entirely.) Here are the four things that, if they show up in the finale, will make me feel like this drama was a good investment of my time:

  1. Yeon-joo gets to take a third option and save both Chul and Seung-moo. This, I feel, is almost a given. W has a lot more in common with Queen In-hyun’s Man than Nine, and I believe the writer will give us a genuinely happy ending, not a mindfuck. But we’ll see.
  2. Yeon-joo talks to her mother. Yeon-joo has had a hard stretch these last few episodes—a villain with her dad’s face killed her (temporarily), and then her actual father strangled her. I would love it if she got to go home after her adventures were over and ask her mom for a hug. She could even bring Chul with her to introduce him to her mom for reals and not just a fantasy sequence.
  3. There is some acknowledgment of an independent/neutral force between the real world and W. Throughout the show, something has been picking and choosing which scenes, even which lines of dialogue get transferred to the comic. Some kind of entity is deciding when to do time skips and what is a significant enough moment to shock Chul into ending the chapter. More importantly, something listened to Chul’s desire to be done as a manhwa character and kickstarted The Final Chapter. What is it? I don’t know, but I wish we would find out.
  4. They decide to destroy the tablet. Once they’ve put together their happy ending—or even before, if they’re clever enough, I want them to destroy all remaining copies of the tablet. It is verging on Artifact of Doom territory right now, and nothing good will come of its continued existence.

What’s on your list? Let me know in the comments!

W: Two Worlds, Episode 15

TL;DR: There have got to be better ways to keep up the suspense than skipping over a crucial scene and then revealing it later in a flashback.

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I feel as if this episode did itself a great disservice by skipping ahead a year in W-land. Why was a year-long wait for Yeon-joo to appear essential to Chul and Seung-moo? I liked the month-long skip we had a few episodes ago, since it let Chul come to terms with the possibility that he was a manhwa character whose past had been retconned—a past which included falling in love.

But how did waiting a year further Chul or Seung-moo’s character arcs? Chul knew Yeon-joo was alive and got to agonize a little about (but also understand) why she wasn’t coming, but beyond the appeal date, nothing really changed for him. Yeon-joo could have showed up when he got the original guilty verdict for killing the station manager—it still would have given us the escape from police custody and everything. Continue reading “W: Two Worlds, Episode 15”

W: Two Worlds, Episode 14

TL;DR: Yeon-joo got a taste of the eternal slumber in this episode, and I spent a good portion of it yawning.

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I’m trying to sort out why this episode fell flat for me when it is clearly meant to be the emotional mirror of episode six. I enjoyed episode six a lot, but this one felt like a pale imitation of it. Perhaps it was the fact that nothing about the setup leading to Yeon-joo’s death was a surprise (aside from Chul taking her into W so her death could be undone once they figured out how to do that)—as viewers, we’ve been waiting for The Killer to shoot Yeon-joo since episode seven. We’ve been waiting for it to happen for so long that it didn’t pack nearly as much a punch as it could have. Continue reading “W: Two Worlds, Episode 14”

W: Two Worlds, Episode 13

TL;DR: Hope you enjoyed all the cute in the first half, because one of the villains figured out the rules in the second half, and it’s just a disaster from that point on.

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The first beginning of this episode (once you skip over Cheol-ho’s part, that is), is pretty similar to the start of episode fifteen in Queen In-hyun’s Man. Cute domestic scenes (albeit Yeon-joo’s fantasy montage of them), an adorable date with food, etc. My one complaint about this was that it seriously dragged on for forever. I understand the logic of giving the viewers fanservice at this stage—you need to show them the happy could-have-beens just before you rip the good things right out of their hands—but it started to feel more and more like filler with every minute we spent on things that would obviously never happen. Continue reading “W: Two Worlds, Episode 13”

W: Two Worlds, Episode 12

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.

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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. Continue reading “W: Two Worlds, Episode 12”

W: Two Worlds, Episode 11

TL;DR: I feel like I’ve been waiting the entire show for our hero to be this vulnerable. Unsurprisingly, this is also the point where I’m starting to believe that the romance may yet become something I will wholeheartedly enjoy. Just don’t screw it up, okay?

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I love Yeon-joo so much, and this episode highlighted all the reasons why as she continued her trajectory from Chul’s distant observer to an active participant in the story. I loved how she immediately raided her own hospital—job be damned—in order to get all the supplies Chul would need to operate on himself. She wasn’t about to risk getting references off the internet like her father did—she wanted to ensure that Chul would have exactly what he needed so that she would able to walk him through every step without being able to watch in real-time and offer corrections. Then she got to take on her faceless horror of a father (off-screen, alas) and locked him out of the room so she can save Chul. Continue reading “W: Two Worlds, Episode 11”

W: Two Worlds, Episode 10

TL;DR: The show continues to draw parallels between Seung-moo, The Killer, and Chul, and Chul comes out the worst for it. I am half terrified, half excited about the possibilities.

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I’m so glad that we got to go back and see Seung-moo’s face get stolen (not a sentence I ever expected to type). It gave us such great insight into The Killer and how he views himself, and it was a magnificent display of power when he reached through the tablet and grabbed Seung-moo. My second thought (after the delighted shrieking) was that if The Killer is so like Chul—able to defy his creator, to step into the real world—then he clearly needs to do some other things that Chul has also done.

Like drag Yeon-joo into the comic. Continue reading “W: Two Worlds, Episode 10”

W: Two Worlds, Episode 9

TL;DR: Hope you’re up for some body horror because holy shit. I can handle mass murder and bloody gunshot wounds but that bit at the end there was too far.

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I spent the whole time Soo-bong was narrating Seung-moo’s plan on how to end the comic in four neat chapters thinking to myself yeah, cool plan, but did you forget that The Killer has a will of iron, just like Chul? And then I realized that…maybe they actually didn’t know. I complained about what I perceived as a viewpoint error in episode eight, but now it looks like it really was narration from a future!Chul who had learned that The Killer could defy Seung-moo as easily as he could. Future!Chul was the one who claimed that The Killer had refused to let the suicide ending stick—present!Chul only had enough information to guess at (with Yeon-joo’s confirmation to bolster it) The Killer’s presence in the “real” world. They really didn’t understand just how strong The Killer is, and that’s why they went ahead with a mostly logical ending that backfired spectacularly.

Continue reading “W: Two Worlds, Episode 9”

W: Two Worlds, Episode 8

TL;DR: I called the “it was all just a dream” retcon too early, as I momentarily forgot this writer’s pattern of giving us all the cute shippy moments before disaster strikes. And what a wonderful disaster it is.

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The best part of this episode was the continued condemnation of Seung-moo’s hack writing job. The man can’t even bother to decide who his grand villain is in the ten years he has been writing it, so of course the singular reason for So-hee’s existence is as Chul’s romantic prize for the far-off day in which he wins. If there had been any purpose beyond that, she wouldn’t have started to disappear.

But she did start to disappear, because Seung-moo is a hack who created her to be eye candy. And Soo-bong became unbelievably creepy in that flashback, too. Ugh. I like him most of the time, but every time So-hee comes up, he gets all of the negative points. ALL OF THEM. Continue reading “W: Two Worlds, Episode 8”