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W–Two Worlds: Episode 4

This show blows my miiiiiiiiiiiind. Every new episode blows it up, puts the pieces back together, and then blows it up all over again. Just when I thought I had gotten a handle on the rules of the two universes and the way the story would go, our heroine does something to change the hero’s narrative, and the domino effect on his world, her world, and our story is a game-changer.

It feels pretty great to be this excited about a show again, and to feel like I can put my trust in the writer and enjoy every twist and turn with excitement instead of fear. I’m happy that the ratings for W climbed this week too (both episodes came in at 12.9%, bringing the show into first place), just so that the producers get some recognition for this awesome world that they’re building.

 

 
EPISODE 4 RECAP

The detour before Kang Chul’s business trip turns out to be a meeting with Ajusshi, who finally gets his manhwa introduction: His name is Sohn Hyun-seok, and he’s Chul’s dad’s best friend, who now runs that crime investigation TV show that Chul bought the broadcast station for.

Ajusshi is busy surveying trucks at a container terminal in Busan, and tells Chul that no amount of searching has turned up the random truck of doom from his sudden attack in the street. More than anything, Ajusshi is concerned about Chul hiding Yeon-joo from the police, and says he saw the video of them in that clothing store.

Chul realizes that Ajusshi heard about all this from So-hee, and Ajusshi chides him for not recognizing how great So-hee is. He says that everyone’s just waiting for Chul and So-hee to marry, and wonders what his relationship is to this mysterious Oh Yeon-joo. Of course Chul just smiles without explaining a thing.

Ajusshi updates him on the nurse who tried to poison him in the hospital, and says that she had no motive and nothing adds up about her—no matter how much the detectives grill her, she can’t remember why she switched the meds. Chul isn’t surprised, and says that everything that’s happening to him lately is out of the blue and without context.

Chul says that the recent attacks were all like that, even the night he got stabbed. We see it in flashback as he explains that he got a call from someone saying they had information about his family’s killer, but he can’t recall who it was or why he believed it. He also doesn’t know why he left his bodyguards at home when he was going to a dangerous meeting.

He stood there on the rooftop unprotected, just waiting, when the hooded killer just walked up right up to him and stabbed him. Chul tried to fight him off, but he got stabbed over and over again, until he collapsed to the ground in a bloody heap.

In the present, Chul says he has no memory of why he exposed himself like that, and let the attack happen to him so easily. The truck, the nurse, his own actions on the roof—they don’t make sense, because murder should have motive and a culprit, but all he has is a series of inexplicable incidents. He says it’s like ten years ago when his family was gunned down, for no apparent reason.

He argues that they should’ve found a lead by now, given that their criminal investigation TV show is really an excuse to hire the country’s best and use them as a personal investigation unit. He says that they’ve solved every other case, unintentionally earning him national hero status as a result, but they still have no leads on his family’s killer. Well that was a clunky bit of exposition (I hate it when characters exposit to the only other person who already knows this information, but whatever).

Chul doesn’t know how to make it add up, and says that lately, he’s even had the thought that maybe the killer lives in a different dimension. Ajusshi: “Are you saying it’s an alien?” Ha, that’s your go-to guess? Chul laughs and says sure, maybe, though they look like regular people—like Oh Yeon-joo.

Chul explains that Yeon-joo seems to know everything about him, including personal secrets he’s never shared with anyone. It’s as if she’s looking down on him from the heavens, he muses, but the good news is that she has good intentions toward him and wants to save him. The thing he doesn’t know is why.

It’s his theory that the killer lives there too, wherever Yeon-joo is from, and when Ajusshi looks at him like he’s a few marbles short, Chul says that he’d think differently if he saw a woman get shot through the heart and live. What, you DID shoot her in the heart?! Boy, you’d better have a good reason for knowing she’d be invincible.

What Chul does know for sure is that Yeon-joo is the key to his life—the only person that’ll open the secret door.

Yeon-joo gets a shock of her own when Chul’s staff arrives with mountains of designer clothes, purses, shoes, and makeup for her to choose from. She gasps and wonders how much all of this stuff cost, and darts around awkwardly when an attendant tries to help her zip up a dress and put on makeup.

Yeon-joo insists that she’s more comfortable doing this on her own, and the attendant just offers the helpful tip that Chul likes feminine styles. Yeon-joo gives her this hilarious face and asks, “And why do I need to set my style to his taste?” Is what I’m sayin’!

The attendant just thought she’d want to, since she’s Chul’s fiancée, and that word brings Yeon-joo to a grinding halt. Apparently he told his staff they were engaged, and Yeon-joo just nods awkwardly that it’s true. Hee.

Yeon-joo looks at herself in the mirror and wonders why things keep flowing this way: “W is an action-hero story. Why does it keep acting like a romance drama?” She presses a hand to her cheek and sighs that it’s making her heart flutter.

When Chul calls, she tries to sound extra calm and collected on the phone, but the second she hears his voice, she thinks, “Even the sound of his voice makes my heart drop!” She manages to sound breezy as she asks why she suddenly became his fiancée, and he says he needed to tell his staff something that wasn’t she’s my prisoner. Yeah, good call.

He apologizes and asks if it made her feel bad, and she totally tosses her hair as she says, “No…” He asks oh-so-subtly if her boyfriend might get mad if he found out, and she says she doesn’t have one. He wonders why, and she says defensively that not everyone needs to have a boyfriend.

He means that she’s got a lot of appeal and he’s surprised that she isn’t in a relationship, and she scoffs, reminding him of the dogs-and-cows-are-pretty comment he made about her. He chuckles and says she might not be pretty, but he does think she has “a crazy sort of appeal.”

The silence makes him wonder if she’s mad and he says he was joking, but she rolls her eyes and says she is crazy, for getting fluttery at a comment like that. She grumps that he seems too cheerful for someone keeping her captive, and he points out that she can go home whenever she feels like telling him the truth.

He says goodnight, and just before hanging up, Yeon-joo blurts, “I love you!” Pff. She waits for some kind of reaction, but Chul just smiles and reminds her that it won’t work on him. But then he does this lip-bitey thing that makes me think differently…

They hang up and Yeon-joo head-desks away her embarrassment, while Chul looks at his phone and says aloud, “If I hear it one more time, I might be shaken.” Omo! Yeon-joo counts how many days she’s been here and worries that she’s already getting used to this world.

Meanwhile, So-hee contemplates something for a while before heading into the penthouse. She finds Yeon-joo wandering around looking bored and suggests they get some wine in the restaurant bar.

Something feels off about it though—So-hee insists to the bodyguard that it’s safe, and suddenly remembers something she forgot, sending Yeon-joo to the table ahead of her. And then her bodyguard gets called away, leaving Yeon-joo there alone.

Yeon-joo sighs wistfully and enjoys the view, figuring that she won’t get to come to places like this very often. The waiter comes by with menus, and ack, it happens to be that waiter who helped her save Kang Chul on the roof the first time she was here. He recognizes her instantly, and it’s only then that Yeon-joo realizes this is the same hotel.

She makes some awkward excuses and the waiter runs to tell his manager about her, and when he points out the table, she’s already gone. Yeon-joo runs through the kitchen and calls Chul, who answers with a smile and asks what other confession she’s going to make. But she says she’s about to be captured by the police, and that So-hee turned her over.

Chul hurriedly calls his bodyguard, who was under the impression that So-hee’s orders were from Kang Chul. After being straightened out and ordered to help Yeon-joo, the bodyguard finds her and unlocks a random room with a master key to get her out of sight.

But he’s a few seconds too late, because as she runs to the open door, she’s spotted by the cops. She tries to run but knows she’s about to get caught, so she does the only thing she can do to protect Kang Chul—she slides the phone he gave her into the room where the bodyguard is waiting, just seconds before she’s arrested and taken away. The bodyguard tells Chul the bad news, and he deflates. His plane takes off again the moment it lands.

So-hee tells the bodyguard that she’ll take responsibility for lying to him, and takes a call from the detective on Yeon-joo’s case, acting surprised that the suspect was caught.

Yeon-joo’s arrest is all over the evening news and the report shows her being led inside the precinct in handcuffs, looking scared. The detective interrogates her but all she can offer is her name, and she can’t answer any of his other questions about her national ID number, her address, or anything else.

Yeon-joo sits crouched in the corner of a cell that evening, and she perks up with relief to see So-hee approach. But So-hee admits to turning her in and says that this was the best she could do in this situation, because Kang Chul can’t continue to be living with a suspect in his attempted murder.

So-hee promises her all the best lawyers and anything else she can do to help Yeon-joo clear her name, if she just cooperates with the investigation and lets them confirm her identity. But all Yeon-joo can say is, “Even if I wanted to reveal it, I have no identity to reveal!” So-hee asks skeptically who doesn’t have an identity in this world, but Yeon-joo swears that she doesn’t.

The interrogation only worsens the longer it goes on. The detective becomes increasingly desperate and frustrated, while Yeon-joo continues her silence, growing wearier by the minute.

Eventually they give up trying to get answers out of her, and she’s transported to the penitentiary. Dammit all, can’t Su-bong draw her an escape tunnel or something? Come on, scenery artist! Your noona’s in trouble!

Kang Chul finally returns from his trip and is met with a crowd of reporters at the airport. He smiles and says in a upbeat voice that he doesn’t believe Oh Yeon-joo to be in league with the killer, and winks at the female reporter right in front of him with a friendly warning not to believe everything she hears.

In the car Chul is less jovial, and when Do-yoon mentions that So-hee keeps calling him because Chul won’t answer her calls, he decides to have it out with her. Chul says he’s going straight to the prison to see Yeon-joo, and So-hee defends her decision, saying that the lawyers are trying, but Yeon-joo isn’t testifying to anything.

Chul says that Yeon-joo can’t testify, and that’s why he was protecting her. So-hee argues that the answer is already obvious if Yeon-joo can’t reveal a logical explanation for her actions—it means she’s guilty.

But Chul says that’s the kind of flawed reasoning that led to him almost ending his life—people just assumed that he killed his family because the facts they saw on the surface supported their idea, and he became a murderer.

He says that people always see the phenomenon on the surface, and not the underlying context for why it’s happening—and they mistake that for common sense. Chul argues that the last thing Yeon-joo did was toss the phone he gave her, in an effort to protect him. For him, it’s not identity that’s important, but reading a person’s true motivation.

He tells So-hee: “I started this business because I wanted to help other people who were victims of common sense like me. But you created yet another victim. That means you don’t have the right to be my assistant. Just remain as my friend. You’re fired.” Ouch. I’m on his side, but that’s gotta hurt. Both So-hee and Do-yoon look shocked, but can’t say a thing.

Yeon-joo gets called out of her cell, and is led to a visitor’s booth where Kang Chul is waiting for her. She looks happy to see him, and he smiles at her sweetly. He apologizes for the delay—despite turning around as soon as they landed, it still took too long.

He asks how she’s holding up, and she says it’s hot in here. Chul remembers his time in prison and says that summer is the hardest. Yeon-joo looks like she’s about to burst into tears, and at first when he asks if it’s hard on her, she shakes her head no.

But then the dam bursts, and along with her tears, she admits that she’s having a hard time. She’s just an average person, she cries, and this is stuff that only happens in movies. He says that innocent people sometimes find themselves thrown into prison one day, with no understanding of how they got there.

He describes the torturous process that she’ll undergo as they attempt to break her and weaken her resolve, interrogating her relentlessly for so long that it’ll be difficult for her to ever return to an ordinary life as a normal citizen again. Chul says that he doesn’t have a means to help clear her name, but he does have a solution: She can tell him truthfully where she’s from, and disappear from here.

Yeon-joo points out that it’ll cause a frenzy here if she vanishes, but he says he’ll deal with the mess since this is his world. She says with tears in her eyes that she can’t tell him because it’ll make him unhappy, and he says with a rueful smile, “I don’t think I’m enormously happy now. I can’t sleep because I never know when I’ll die. You know that.”

He asks if she’s really okay to be trapped here the rest of her life, and she cries no. He says they don’t have much time, and asks her where she’s from. Yeon-joo answers hesitantly that it’s Seoul, and he understands that it’s a different Seoul—she confirms that she lives “there,” and he lives “here.”

He asks how she knows everything about him, and Yeon-joo can’t bring herself to answer that. She wipes away her tears and jokes that a nude show would be better than this. He laughs and says that won’t work on him, and prods her again to answer.

Yeon-joo: “You’re going to regret it.” Chul: “I won’t.” He asks again what world she comes from. After a long pause, she finally says the words: “Inside a manhwa.” EEP. She said it!

He thinks she’s answering his latest question and saying that she came from inside a manhwa, but she clarifies: “No. Here. This… is inside a manhwa.” Ohmygod. Are there brains exploding everywhere? I can’t look!

Kang Chul is frozen in shock, and Yeon-joo continues that this world is inside a manhwa that she reads: “And you’re the main character of that manhwa.” As her words start to sink in, Yeon-joo spots the “To be continued” chyron being written in the corner.

This time she vanishes right before his eyes, and she reappears in her own world at the bus stop where she’d fainted, dressed in her prison jumpsuit. Well that’s not conspicuous or anything. Better than lingerie though?

Kang Chul doesn’t move at all, and just keeps staring at that empty chair like he can’t believe she really vanished. But guards come running and confirm that she’s really gone. And then… Chul looks right into the camera, like he’s peering at us through the screen. Aaaah, stop that! It’s just like he does to Dad in the manhwa!

Back in Yeon-joo’s world, Su-bong pulls up in a panic and literally trips over his feet to get to Yeon-joo. He gapes at her and asks if she really really went to prison, and while rifling through the nearest clothing store to buy her a change of clothes, he hits himself on the head and says this is crazy.

As he waits in the bathroom for her to change, he explains that not thirty minutes have passed. He drove here to pick up her purse and phone after she vanished, and parked nearby to dig through the purse and look for some sort of clue.

But then he got a call about her dad putting up another episode online, and he saw Yeon-joo appear in the manhwa again. He cringed at her nude show and yelped, “Isn’t this noona going too far because it’s just a manhwa?! Oh, oh, another kiss?!” He wondered if he was worrying for nothing, if she was perfectly happy with her wish fulfillment. But then he saw Yeon-joo going to prison in the story and freaked out, and a second later, she appeared at the bus stop in her jumpsuit.

He explains all this as he drives her back to the workshop, and asks how it’s possible that she was gone for half an hour and spent seven days in the manhwa. She’s overcome with exhaustion and says it certainly feels like seven days’ worth of tiredness.

Yeon-joo says that prison is no place to be, and that she couldn’t even survive one day in there. Su-bong asks if she really told Kang Chul everything, and she gasps, “What have I done?” He assures her that everything will be okay, but he doesn’t sound very sure of himself.

In Kang Chul’s world, the prison gets put on lockdown and Do-yoon goes looking for Chul when he overhears what’s going on. Do-yoon asks how Yeon-joo escaped, but Chul says nothing, and just continues to sit there numbly.

So-hee drinks away the pain of being newly unemployed, when Do-yoon calls and breaks up her pity party with news of the prison break. Ajusshi hears about it at the broadcast station too, and it’s all over the news that Yeon-joo escaped.

We haven’t seen this character since Kang Chul’s trial in his youth, but now Prosecutor Han is Assemblyman Han. He watches the news and says with an evil glint in his eye that he’s finally found a way to catch that psychopath murderer Kang Chul for good.

Yeon-joo goes running into Dad’s room, but he still hasn’t come home. Su-bong suggests just putting up “The end” and ending the manhwa here, because he doesn’t see how Yeon-joo could survive another trip to that world when she’s a known fugitive there.

But she asks what happens to Kang Chul then, clearly not wanting to end things here. Su-bong: “You’re worried about Kang Chul? The living people are all about to be carted off to the mental hospital and you’re worried about a manhwa character right now?!” Heh, point taken. Su-bong sits down at his computer to just end the manwha here, and deal with the fallout later.

As Chul walks out of the prison, he finally gets over the initial shock enough to think about Yeon-joo’s words. He remembers her saying before that his change in emotion was the key to her coming and going because he was the main character, that she could see how he’d be in trouble when she was outside this world, and that she was rooting for his happy ending because she was his fan.

It starts to come together in a way that he can’t ignore, and Chul is so lost in thought that he doesn’t notice Do-yoon nudging him to take a call from Ajusshi. Chul needn’t explain anything to Ajusshi, who’s already guessed that if what Chul said earlier was true, Yeon-joo disappeared into another dimension.

Ajusshi is worried that Assemblyman Han has been waiting for an opportunity like this to nab Kang Chul, but Chul says that Assemblyman Han is nothing compared to this: “The reason I exist—that’s the real problem.”

Chul looks like he’s holding back tears, and Ajusshi asks what Yeon-joo told him. Chul says it was crazy nonsense, and that he was right about her at the outset—she’s just a crazy woman: “She spouted unbelievable nonsense…”

Ajusshi asks why he’s concerned about it then, and Chul admits that her crazy nonsense explains everything that he previously couldn’t explain about his life, and everything that had no context now makes sense.

Chul says it’s an explanation that never once entered his mind, and hesitates again and again before finally saying out loud: “This world… That this world… is all fake. It’s a completely fabricated world.” The moment he says the words, the prison guards in front of him all suddenly freeze mid-stride.

OH. MY. GOD. Is this his Matrix moment?

Kang Chul slowly lowers the phone from his ear and stares at the frozen officers. He whirls around to look at Do-yoon, who’s also standing there like a statue. Chul tries to speak to him, even shake him awake… but Do-yoon remains suspended in time.

At the same time in Yeon-joo’s world, Su-bong erases the “To be continued” from the webtoon’s last frame, and says he’s going to put up a notice that they’re ending the series due to personal reasons. He figures they’ll get a gazillion anti-fans, but they have to do it.

Yeon-joo clearly doesn’t want to, and can’t even watch as Su-bong does the deed. But as soon as he starts typing the message, the webtoon image disappears and his screen goes white.

Kang Chul marches down the corridor, shaking nervously as he walks past more and more frozen officers. He reaches the common area full of visitors, and every one of them is suspended in mid-motion as well. It’s like time just stopped.

Chul collapses to the floor, breathing hard. He stares at his phone, and we cut to Ajusshi at the station, also frozen. So are So-hee and the rest of his staff at the hotel. He’s all alone.

As Chul starts to panic, Yeon-joo narrates: “The moment the main character recognized the fiction, the world inside the manhwa stopped. Only Kang Chul was the lone survivor in a world where time had been suspended—like a punishment brought down on the one who was self-aware.”

Su-bong runs around trying all of the computers in the workshop, but it’s no use. Yeon-joo stands still, tears brimming in her eyes as she cries, “Something’s happened to Kang Chul! Because of me! Something bad has happened because of me! What do I do?”

She bursts into tears, and at that moment, Kang Chul notices something changing in his world. He turns to look down the hallway, and sees an outline of a frame—like the outside edge of a webtoon frame—being rendered out of thin air.

He walks over to it, and the space inside the frame fills with a glassy, liquid pool of light. As Chul stands in front of it, the camera swivels around to the other side, and we see Kang Chul’s image change—outside the frame he’s real, and inside the frame he’s a manhwa drawing. Okay, that’s cool.

Chul slowly reaches out a hand and dips his fingers into the glassy light, and the sensation triggers a memory. He flashes back to bleeding to death on that rooftop, when a similar frame had been rendered next to him. He’d reached into it… and of course we’ve already seen the other side, when a hand had reached out and pulled Yeon-joo into his world.

Now sure that this is the portal into Yeon-joo’s world, Kang Chul makes a decision and stops to pull a gun from an officer’s holster. Determination sets into his face and he walks right into the light, without hesitation.

He comes out on the other side, Terminator-style (but with clothes! Get your mind out of the gutter!) and rises to his feet. He’s on a modest rooftop, and the colors are noticeably less saturated and gleaming in this world.

He looks out over the city and walks away, and we see Dad’s cracked monitor nearby on the roof, sitting among a collection of random junk. The screen flashes with that liquid light, and then goes black as rain starts to come down.

Down in the alley below, Kang Chul walks through the pouring rain, in an echo of the first time he overcame his creator and was reborn on that bridge.

 
COMMENTS

Whoa. This show moves so fast I can hardly believe it, even as it’s happening in front of me. It’s so thrilling to get invested in a drama that’s building an intricate world and unraveling it at the same time—as soon as we learn the rules, something happens to break down what we know and throw us into a whole new game where we have to start over.

It’s not only that the writing is brilliant (even though that’s mostly it), but there’s a nice synergy between the writing and directing that brings the ideas to life in vivid ways. Each world is styled differently, with Yeon-joo’s world in realistic, muted tones and Kang Chul’s world in bright, saturated colors with glamour lighting following everyone around wherever they go, making them really feel like different dimensions, and not because we’re told they are. And the coolest part is the in-between, where we see manhwa shift into live-action, and vice versa, as Kang Chul steps outside his world for the first time.

It’s really a drama where the visuals matter greatly and could ruin a great premise, and instead it sucks us into this story with trust that every frame is intentional and meaningful. That’s the kind of drama I want to be a geeky fan about, because there’s a payoff for the hours (days, weeks…) that you pour into watching, re-watching, and dissecting it in loving, gory detail.

I cannot wait to see what happens now that Kang Chul has stepped into Yeon-joo’s world. He operates by a totally different code, one where it’s apparently okay to shoot a woman in the heart, but not testify on her behalf to get her out of prison. I’m sure it was an impossible situation, what with her complete lack of registered personhood in his world, but come on—he was totally laying it on thick in prison, trying to convince her that it would be torturous in there and all she’d need to do is answer the question he’s been dying for her to answer. I don’t blame him, since it’s shrewd and it’s not at all a lie that she would suffer all the things he said. (And I do appreciate their moment of connection when he identifies with her as a victim of that kind of witch-hunt.) We just know that his motivations are driven by his curiosity to know the truth about himself over everything else.

It’s definitely Kang Chul’s relentless curiosity that’s done him in—the desire for self-awareness is his fatal flaw. It’s a metaphor as old as time—the schism between god and man is always tied to self-awareness, and there’s no un-knowing the separation between creator and creation once it’s out there. In Chul’s case it’s that his entire world is a fictional construct, and that’s doubly earth-shattering because his fictional world literally revolves around him. So by acknowledging the fiction, he’s actually broken it entirely. There’s just no such thing as taking the red pill and then staying inside the Matrix—that’s the oxymoron of self-awareness that can never be undone. So by the time he was asking, Who? Why? What is the reason for my existence? he’d already begun breaking down the barrier between the two worlds.

The thing is, in this case Kang Chul has to find a way back to his world in order to complete his narrative—I feel like that’s the journey being put forth, so he can’t just become aware and live in the real world and be a regular guy. Maybe when he returns he’ll have the same outsider’s view that Yeon-joo has in his world, where the edges of the fiction are always visible to her (like “To be continued,” for example).

There are still so many questions, because the portal between dimensions seems tied to Yeon-joo and her feelings for Kang Chul (if she was desperate for his survival both times that the frame appeared in front of him?), but how did he know she’d be the key, and that there even was a secret door to anywhere that she’d unlock? Will he have different abilities and feelings in this dimension? How will complete free will change his character, and his feelings for Yeon-joo? I can’t wait to find out. I just hope he’s not going to try shooting her again in the world where she’s not invincible! Don’t mix those up!

 
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omg it's here! thank you!!!

i have no words for this show. it is seriously amazing.

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How glorious is it that Kang Chul is smart enough and measured enough to kind of grasp the concept of a comic character coming to life, so much so that he's the one who states it outright, and then he gets completely blindsided by the realization that Yeon Joo's not the manhwa character - HE is?

I also love the art assistant being so visibly torn between disbelieving the entire thing and being actively annoyed at Yeon Joo for kissing Kang Chul again. Heh.

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Yes! I loved the short comedy moment when he was in the car because I felt like my heart was going to BURST from all the excitement/anticipation with what was going to happen next to KC and it was almost a bit of a relief to have a moment to breathe before it all got exciting again!

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Kang Chul really reminds me of the male lead from Queen Inhyun's Man. They're both intelligent and consider all possibilities despite being on the brink of impossible.

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Kim Boong Do - top time-travel boyfriend of all time. If you have to go into a time-travel situation and have only one fictional character to pick? PICK HIM.

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He certainly handled it a bit better than Park Sun Woo (9 Time Travels) who ended up making his wife his niece. Heh. We'll see what Kang-Chul does.

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Yep. He'll always be my first pick from the overflowing hotness of k-drama leads. Very smart and reliable. One to beat in my heart of hearts. ?

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I feel like Kim Boong Do is someone you could travel with to 2590 or 841 - he's the Swiss Army knife of time travel companions, in that he already contains all of the pieces you'll need for survival no matter where/when you end up.

Park Sun Woo is both a bit of an ass and a little cavalier with his incense stick usage, but better than your average time-traveling companion. Though I'd almost want to travel with his younger self instead? Also, Park Sun Woo had to deal with a much more complicated and rolling time-travel structure that consistently screwed him over no matter how carefully he planned, so there's that.

No one should travel with the lady from Faith. She can help you if you get stabbed, but is also highly likely to get you stabbed in the first place. No one should travel with ANY of the Rooftop Prince guys. The girl from Splish Splash Love should be okay, though not very useful. And obviously anyone from Dr Jin should be murdered on sight.

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@ Miranda

I bow to you. Especially your 1.1.2.1.3 comment, word up!

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I love Kim Boong Do <3

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"No one should travel with the lady from Faith. She can help you if you get stabbed, but is also highly likely to get you stabbed in the first place. No one should travel with ANY of the Rooftop Prince guys. The girl from Splish Splash Love should be okay, though not very useful. And obviously anyone from Dr Jin should be murdered on sight."

@Miranda +1,000,000 to you especially on the Dr. Jin mention!

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@Miranda - please consider this an electronic bowing down to 'the Swiss Army Knife of travel companions', the accuracy of that statement is killing me.

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Miranda -- you just made my day and ruined my eye makeup all at once.

Best comment... 1.1.2.1.3

:) <3

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Lol @Miranda your comments are spot-on and just too good.

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Why do I feel that Miranda's comment 1.1.2.1.3 will make it to the top of Beans of Wisdom?
Probably because it is one of the best comment I've read so far regarding a show - witty and humorous.

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@Miranda
Loved your comment. Love Queen In Hyun's Man.

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Yeah this writer always has a smart and caring male lead, sooooo different than the usual douchebag male lead who will warm up later, this guy tries to resolute with the girl even after she slapped him for buying her clothes lol

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Hm... I'm not sure I'd consider Kang Chul especially CARING yet. I mean, he's got potential, but he did shoot an innocent woman. Heck, even Kim Tan didn't do that (Wait- did he? I've kind of blocked Heirs from my memory...)

But yeah, I'm definitely with y'all on the writer. She is freaking amazing. <3

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I must say that Kang Chul's responses are quite unexpected for me - after one too many quick-tempered, foot-in-the-mouth, wool-over-eyes heroes.

I can really appreciate a male lead with a good head on his shoulders ?

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@rubytuesday Well, Chul IS an action male lead so there's that. Action men aren't particularly known for their sensitive streak...
And I join you all about the writer. I LOVE her works (except Nine...Sorry not sorry).
Queen In-Hyun was such a gem I had to translate it myself (French) to share around my friends and family, because I wasn't satisfied with the subtitles made by fans. I guess W - Two worlds will have the same fate...

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Can you give me the site where I can watch Queen Inhyun's Man? Pls.. Viki and dramafever didn't work in our country, dramacool doesn't have it.

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Can you get dramafire dot com. They have it.

Re dramacool and dramanice -- they both seem to have clone sites with different domain registrations. .to .eu, .in .io, etc, etc. I wonder if the a different domain-version might let you in.

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Try myasiantv.se or dramania app

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myasiantv or gooddrama.net

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dramacool has it:
http://dramacool.to/drama-detail/queen-in-hyuns-man
it's much better to watch there..no pop-up ads :)

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Thanks for help.... gonna start watching it while waiting for W next episode.

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The problem with the assistant is that I saw him in Modern Farmer. Now every time he comes on screen I'm half expecting poop jokes to start. Not his fault, but kinda takes me out of the mood.

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Doesn't want to spoil the mood, but are we allowed to post illegal website to watch kdrama in dramabeans? No bad intention here, just worried if this site get in trouble.

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People have done it before, and the posts haven't been taken down as far as I know, and JB and GF haven't asked people to stop when it happened (again as far as I know) so I don't think it'll be an issue.
The thing is, there are many countries that don't have legal sites offering kdramas, so illegal sites are the only way to go if you want to watch dramas. It's sad, but that's the way it is.

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Amazing imagination
Both main leads are excellent in acting
Great drama

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Hi, sorry to ride your comment..

Does anyone here know the background music for ep 4 when he fell down at the balcony after seeing how everyone froze/time stopped. The same music was played during the part when the time froze during his car crash with the truck in ep 2..

Thank you..

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I LOVE that track. But, sadly, I doubt it's been released yet. Instrumentals are typically released after the drama ends.

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I love that track too. Unfortunately, I don't think we'll get our hands on the whole track until they release the entire OST since it is instrumental. I so LOVE it. I get chills every time it's used. It was also used in EP 2 when YJ, with the help of KC, escaped the hospital and the police.

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This drama is proving to be all kinds of epic!! I find myself unabashedly whooping, cheering, and fist bumping throughout it all - once that chyron kicks in, my mouth is left agape right up until the final credits. And then that beautiful ost. Damn, I’ve not felt this good about a drama since Healer/I remember you. So much goodness!!

For me, the best moment out of all the best moments has got to be when KC sees the screen/portal. And as he walks towards it, with that kick ass of an instrumental playing in the background, we’re swivelled around (along with the portal), looking into his world, whilst he steps out in full comic book glory. A-mazing. Hats off to Song Jae Jung for writing such a brilliant narrative.

Thank you, Girlfriday, for providing such entertaining recaps and for your thoughtful afterthoughts!

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@namedx

I'm exactly like you! I haven't felt this way since Healer and I Remember You as well! Both are my top best/favourite dramas!! Nothing beats these two :) Nine is quite epic too and comes close second almond with Queen In-Hyun's Man. It says a lot about the writer that Nine and QIHM came from the same writer. She's a writer I can 100% trust.

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Ah, I've yet to watch nine!! *covers eyes in embarrassment*

It's a drama I've heard much about, and is on my list of things to watch alongside all the other (seemingly) epic dramas I regrettably missed whilst they were airing!!

To watch:

Nine
Misaeng
Punch
Signal

Clearly, I've been living under a rock!! But now that I'm officially off work for some time, perhaps it's time I crack my fingers and go all out with the marathoning...except, I've been told that some of the above dramas is best watched in small doses lest it becomes too much for me to handle, yikes!!

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Scrap the seemingly, they are epic and definitely a must watch for everybody (just my humble opinion). :-D

I've marathoned all dramas in your list except Nine (also still on my to watch list) and out of those I'd say Punch is the one to watch in smaller doses because it's really frying your brain with a twist happening every 5 minutes.
Signal is best watched in 3-4 days imo, you'll still be able to grasp everything without the heavy cases making you too depressed.
Misaeng is easier to marathon though I think stretching the watch over a week makes one appreciate the characters and stories more (not to mention the final episodes are movie length). Just my two cents. :-)

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Dont worry namedx!

I am right there with you on getting embarrassed!

I have not seen Nine either! Or Misaeng! Or punch! And that is exactly waht am gonna do while waiting for next episode. Marathon nine!

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@angieya - Thank you, I'll take your word for it!! Now to start the actual marothoning, hee! :-)

@Divyrus, *hi5* yep I'm starting with nine too! Let me know how it goes! : )

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@namedx - that's a very good list of drama to watch. I've seen everything on the list except for punch. I'd say Signal and Misaeng are both easier to digest. Though Signal has quite a bit of twists in each episode. Nine I would say is mind blowing and requires a bit of thinking (a lot like W) so great for marathoning in small doses of 2-4 episodes. The cliffhangers really hook you lol

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Nice selection,

Misaeng can be binge watched pretty easily, it flows well and have impressive character development throughout the narrative.

Signal, now this drama is pretty powerful, I would try to slow the pace a bit to maybe 3 episodes a night.

Not sure if you have watched this but Queen Inhyun's Man is really good as well.

Those are my 3 favorite K-Drama at the moment. W-Two Worlds is really getting up there on my list mighty fast.

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@anon,

Yep, I've watched Queen In Hyun's Man - loved it!

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@namedx - have a glorious time watching!! Nine, Misaeng and Signal are some of my #1 dramas OF ALL TIME!!!! They all share the #1 spot lol, I can't choose one over the other. hahahaha!!! I love, love, love them! I am so excited for you to get started!! Hoot for quality dramas!

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Funny you mention I remember You because I just finished watching it today- for the second time. I found myself intrigued by the story even though I had watched it earlier. It's a shame that it couldn't do as well in the ratings game because it really was so much better than some of the dramas I have been watching recently.
I was thinking of watching Misaeng but wasn't really sure how to go into it... Apparently it has quite the slow start. Is it worth of waiting through the first few (slower) episodes?

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Misaeng is quite the underdog series, but it approached the subject beautifully and was grounded in reality (somehow. Lol.). Heartwarming office dynamic. Try watching it. :)

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HOW is there still 12 episodes left of this glory !? I mean what could possibly span over those 12 episodes when we've made THIS much headway in just the first 4. All I can say is that I completely trust the writer, director and cast. This show is like crack.

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I need this show to stay good the whole way thru. Pretty please?

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My thoughts exactly! What more will be developed and revealed???

Mind blown! I really, really hope they can keep it up as good as the Matrix and away from its sequels.

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It's totally a crack. And we're junkies.

Only 4 episodes and it's already gone THIS FAR. I just can't cope with all the feels for this drama. What's gonna happen next? Even the preview for episode 5 doesn't explain anything (maybe for the best, because who likes a spoiler-preview?).

In any case, I can't wait for next week's episodes.

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I'm pretty sure things are only just beginning...

We have more twists and revelations to look forward to, I can feel it.

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You mean, we ONLY have 12 episodes left???!!! waaah~

---

But honestly, I'm just loving this ride. I don't know if it's bad that I'm not quite nervous how the rest of the episodes will pan out. I've faith in the writer. I'm not even trying to come up with theories. Maybe I'm becoming a lazy viewer, but I'm just having the time of my life being entertained and amazed.

Usually, I tend to worry how the ending will pan out. I was actually stressed with Signal over worrying what will happen with Detective Jae Han. Hence, I couldn't move on from that drama. But now, W has taken over, but I'm not stressing myself out. I love happy endings, and would prefer to see a happily-ever-after. But for this one, I'll take whatever the scriptwriter is going to give me.

I'm so happy this drama fell into Lee Jong Suk's lap. I really love him as an actor, and I want more accolades for him. This drama also made me into a Han Hyo Joo fan!

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Yeah exactly my thoughts!!
Normally I would guess / think of the scenarios. (and most probably one of them comes true)
But MAN!!!! FOR THIS I DONT HAVE A TIME TO THINK!!!

It just grabs you for 50 min!

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+100

Is this show a drug or is it a drug.

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It's a drug, I'm addicted

I AM AN ADDICT

#proudaddict

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ME TOO! embrace the addict :)
#namechangetime

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I want to contribute to the conversation and show off my superior intellect. Except i'm too busy spazzing! I love you show, i love you. Don't you dare change.

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Lol I wholeheartedly agree!

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Same. I'm so busy thinking about all my theories and ideas and yet I'm in such a daze that I can't seem to put my thoughts into words. It's quite a predicament.

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@bips99, chandler and Britener

I know right! I have been trying to write a long post of my thoughts from last night. Am at loss for words.

So am gonna just reply to all intelligent discussions here by nodding my head! :P

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Same! haha! All I can do is spazz over this episode but I have so many things in mind about this show but alas I cannot write them coherently.

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I feel a little bit like Javabeans in one of the healer recaps (#8):

"It’s a good thing I write these recaps as I watch the episode and not after already watching it through, because otherwise today’s recap would just be pictures and unintelligible vowel sounds. Like urrrrrrr and eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee and ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. I’m sure that would’ve been entertaining for all of two seconds before you needed to know exactly what happened to asplode my lingual skills." ~Javabeans

I don't write recaps, but I sure have a hard enough time commenting after this show.

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@Cozybooks

Ha ha, I often come back to read her one liners nd intro to recap!

And I have often wondered, how does one write recaps as they are watching?

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Hehe, I do too. Writing recaps would be such a hard job for me--for exactly the reasons I've been describing. I get cool thoughts in the moment and then am left as a morphic puddle of happiness at the end. Live writing would distract me from the show--but I might sound a bit more coherent, even if it is all squeals. :)

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Mind.Blown.

I can't even, how is this show so good. What are we supposed to do till Wednesday ?!

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Okay, where my 90's babies at??? This drama reminds me of Jumanji, that movie that these kids find a game in their attic and the characters in the game come to life, including the dangerous ones, but at the same time one of the characters is actually a kid who got trapped in the game and grew in there to become a man and is finally released from the game when these kids played the game.

Could it be that Kang Chul was somehow trapped or pulled in as a kid originally and became the main character and forgot his origins, that's why he is gaining self awareness or was he really just created? If so what is causing the whole W universe to be real?

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Whoa. Whoa. I had not even considered this possibility. Very interesting theory!

(Also my brother and I loved Jumanji and watched it all the time.)

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HOW DO I WAIT A WEEK????

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Enter the manwhorld, find the main character, tell him you'll meet him for lunch in a week, run offpage. Problem solved!

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Alternatively, rewatch Queen In Hyun's Man.

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Funny, earlier today I called an old friend and suggested he watch this (and Let's Fight Ghost). Turns out he had just been re-watching Queen In-Hyun's Man.

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Good option. Another problem though... how to enter the manwhorld?

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Find your fave character (mine is Ireke Naoki from years ago), stare at him, weep and long for him, praying and hoping him to have the happiest ending. In the end, it's the sincerest hopes and longing (*cough* Faith *cough*) that would lead you to find a way to enter the manwhorld... ^^

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Good idea, but what if I reaaaaally already like the OTP in Dengeki Daisy and don't want to interrupt their bliss? Should I stalk the Take On Me music video makers and ask for their secrets?

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Try burning different kind of incense and see which one works aka SUN WOO (Nine). ?

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Or you can try the Girl Who Lept Through Time approach. Just run for your life and jump. Hopefully not from a very high place (in case it doesn't work).

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Or you could try jumping into a puddle when it rains (aka Splash Splash Love style)? It's winter here in Australia so perfect opportunity to find puddles when it's raining :P

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I'm loving all these time-travel movie/anime references, hahaha. ?

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Maybe I can enter and start a yaoi spin off with the bodyguard...

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yaoi=next level bromance. Count me in. l'll be one of your subscribers ?

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Interesting...(giggles)

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Oh, you could replace the leads of ManxMan and actually make it what all the info so far makes it sound like but actually won't be!

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easy, watch it againa and do our life.

yeah I am bluffing but tbh the excitement and the waiting period is perfect to avoid being saturated by something we love

and yeah I just try to make some logical explanation to calm my heart to admit that a week is a freaking long time.
at least kang chul and yeon joo like a logical approached

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I have decided the only thing I can do is watch Queen Inhyun's Man again. Perhaps followed by Nine (one of my favorites). But I'll be in real trouble once I am done marathoning these two again.

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That was my first question. I'm considerably less helpful than those above, with only "refresh the page ONE more time" to console you. Maybe it'll have come up early, by some miracle. Maybe it'll come to life.

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Wait, I have one more idea. *hands over a raspberry chocolate bar and the links below*

https://thetalkingcupboard.com/?s=Lee+Jong+Suk

https://thetalkingcupboard.com/2016/06/17/lee-jong-suk-for-ceci/

https://thetalkingcupboard.com/2013/02/20/lee-jong-suk-ceci-march-2013/

https://thetalkingcupboard.com/2016/01/26/lee-jong-suk-for-high-cut/

... and there's a gallery for some other actors on the same site. Have fun, see you in a week!

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I think I can do a bit better than that. Here are the YouTube links for a couple of Ceci shoots. Trust me, you won't regret it.

https://youtu.be/2Kw6Lc_L1w4
https://youtu.be/2DZtGQUHQMc

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That's not nearly enough material to last me six days. T_T And I had just finished watching Queen In Hyun's Man. What do I do now? T_T

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Signal or I Remember You?

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In Signal's first episode, the statute of limitations for the girl's kidnapping ended on July 29, 2015. Wahahaha! Today's July 29. Just in time.

Sorry, off-topic. XD

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Watch Police Unit 38 (if you aren't already) hehe

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I followed Police Unit 38, dropped it for some reason before the first case ended. I should pick it up again soon. But man, Signal's intense. My gut's clenched the entire time while watching.

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Awesome core workout. Watch Signal. lol.

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Lol, I already frequent that site (they're one of the only ones that upload translated interviews and pictorials of my kdrama boyfriend, Lee Je Hoon ?) so that's not exactly new material for me.

I'll take that chocolate bar though. ❤️

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Thank you, Miranda, you saved me from reruning Doctor Stranger. Lol. I've already seen I Remember You about four times.XD

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Well, I tried. And heh, I love his interviews too! I always laugh whenever he says he's terrible at dating. My brain goes "ooh, pick me! pick me! I think you're wonderful!" But now I see he's taken. ;)

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You just have to suffer the pain of waiting ...

I rarely follow a drama week by week, I usually wait until it finished before watching it in 1 go. But this drama feels worth waiting for.

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+1000000000000000000000

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YAAASSS THANK U!!!! I THINK IM GNA DIE WAITING HALP

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LEE JONG SUK IS LITERALLY KILLING IT! I mean, I have always loved his acting, but he has added something... AND IT SETS MY SCREEN ON FIRE!

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Agreed. Lee Jong Suk is KILLING this role.

That "lip-bitey thing"... Mmm yes, indeed. I confess I went back to that screenshot a few times. Thank you GF!!!

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"That lip-bitey thing". I love that lip-bitey thing. I want to BE that lip bitey thing. That sounded naughty, oh dear. *coughs* but yes, yes... love the acting.

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I have been staring at his lips since the time i discovered him. But honestly, i prefer HHJ's acting compared to LJS's. I find him uneven in some scenes. She feels always on-point. Sometimes he overdoes the smug, amused look

*hides in a corner* *don't hurt me*

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No hurting, just... crying a bit inside. ;) I like HHJ, too. She's good--and the character is a truly likable one.

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i just want to be the lips..so i can be bitten..please bite me KC!

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I'm totally a goner when he did that lip-bitey thing. It a habit that I absolutely ADORE and love when Park Bo Gum does it! ??

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That smug, amused look totally does me in, though!! Idm overdosing on it ??

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And @Bongsookie OMG HIGH FIVE MY PUPPY PARK BO GUM

A hundred "YASSSS"es hahah ✋✋✋

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@delurk hehehe *high fives back* yesss Bogummy is such a cutie. I have a soft spot for that guy ❤

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@Bongsookie You and I both, darling, you and I both. ?

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Wanna go back to that scene but now I'm still at work and it's only 1:40 PM. (I watched the whole drama during lunch break, yes, I'm just that dedicated.) Ugh.

I want to bite that lip in his stead. *hide self under the desk and touch blushing cheeks*

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@mianmian cozybooks bips99 and Bongsookie

Let me join your spazz party! I swear I replayed that moment about 20 times before I moved on to next scene.

And that is the first pic I saved of this screencap! I love you GF for screencaping it!

*waves wildly to Bongsookie*

I have been lurking too long! How are you?

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@Divyrus *waves wildly back* ???

I'm doing well these days, life keeps me busy sometimes but I still check by dramabeans to see what's good to watch. I can never loved without kdrama these day haha. How about you?? It's so great to see you again here. I seriously miss Healer-days :D

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Same here Bongsookie!!!

Life is busy but I need my kdrama fix, even if there is nothing much to watch, I need my dramabeans fix! And read beanies comments! I have been silently lurking for long, lol.

I hope the drama keeps blowing our mind and pushes us to get together like this! <3

I should pop into Healer final recap one of these days! :D

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@divyrus yes its my first time to save that photo too ? And this is the first time for me to comment..all because his lips ??

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Yesss! and when he smiles ughhh straight to my poor heart. I also read that the highest rating moment in EP 3 was when LJS winked! He's got so many charming mannerisms he needs to stop! /cries

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Hahaha, seriously??? That is so bomb ?

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Ugh! That welling of tears in his eyes the moment he heard of the truth and when he "declared" the truth. It's the kind of subtle acting that needs to be appreciated. Dude can definitely deliver the tears, but that scene where OYJ told him he's a manhwa character, I really love how LJS attacked that scene.

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Oh God! Someone calm my beating heart! That ending !

Also, what will happen to bodyguard hyung??? I want him back! Moving, talking, looking cutely shocked.

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That was my exact thought. I want the giant puppy bodyguard in THIS world. How's that going to happen?

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I really do wonder how that works though...will the manhwa just stop as a whole since the main character is gone? Will the time there just be still the entire time? Or will there be a moment where everyone starts again and wonders where they both went?! AGHHHHH. THIS IS TOO MUCH FOR MY BRAIN. *brain died*

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Maybe it's a matter of will of a creator? Initially the will was provided by Dad as the artist, but over time Kang Chul not only developed his own will but challenged Dad's perception of events and actively changed them. But as soon as Kang Chul became aware that his world wasn't real, any willpower/motivation to do things in that world stopped, because he thinks that his world is meaningless and all the real decision-making happens in Yeon Joo's world - and then the screen opens to allow him through.

So either Dad has to keep writing the manhwa for it to come back to life, or Kang Chul has to reenter the manhwa and give in enough purpose to start the engine again. Though I have no idea how he reenters at this point - does he get drawn back in (literally)? I genuinely have no firm guess, which is thrilling!

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One of the few dramas where I cannot think of different paths the story could take.

One thing though, I don't want the manhwa world to disappear or stay still. The only character I care about is bodyguard hyung, but even so, it feels weird to leave an entire dimension in stand still.

Did all those people just not exist?

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how about creating a new hero, kangchul missing brother that suddenly appear when kangchul gone missing.
or make the killer appear with identity

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But things that i dont understand is why would he want to go back in manhwa(if not dragged), 'cause he knows now that everything is fake and i dont think that he will be able to live inside a world knowing its all fabricated.
And also now what will happen i mean what is left to happen. It has only been 4 epds and evrything i thought for the whole drama has already happened. Now is the drama going to be based on how will he survive in the real world and with dad.. Oh god im going mad but excited as hell

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@Aditi, I'd say that the fakeness is... subjective. If Kang Chul was capable of developing free will and agency, it's possible his friends and coworkers could as well. And if everyone in the world is dynamic enough to make it work, then isn't it real by default?

Kang Chul doesn't know yet that he's been directing the manhwa, he's probably very depressed thinking that his entire life has been directed. But as we know, it hasn't - there's something else at work here, and once he knows there's a possibility, I expect him to make the most of it.

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@Aditi

It's important to remember that the revelation that his world is fake has such a huge impact on him precisely because his world and the people in it are very much real to him. All the pain, suffering, and hardship that's been written for him are actual things he's experienced. Yes, I think he'll have a hard time living in a world that's fabricated, but, the fact is, he's fabricated. And yet, because he was the capacity to take control of his life, there is no reason why they shouldn't be able to also.

While I do think that the Dad's illogical decisions dictate certain choices made by the characters, it's been clear for a while that this webtoon has taken on a life of it's own.

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Iiiiinteresting. Was a bit confused by the So-hee part, actually: did she or did she not act upon compulsion from some otherworldly source??

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I think Sancheezy has it right--what if the villain gains consciousness too (or was conscious to begin with) and crosses over (or just realizes that Kang Chul is here). Oof. Either way, it doesn't give us our bodyguard "hyung" back. When Chul said that to him, my heart broke just a bit.

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oh you read my last ep late comment, thank you . . .

I really think the killer is outside the webtoon, that's why kangchul need a path to cross to end his story

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What if, what if the killer is actually another character from another manhwa who got bitter that W took his/her manhwa's spot?
Since he/she got grudge against Kang Chul, he/she took the appearance of the hooded assassin (which is I believe Yeon Joo's dad creation who maybe he has not decided yet who the killer's identity is since there is not a single clue yet in W about the killer) and tried killing Kang Chul in the penthouse.
Because the killer who killed KC's family and the one on the rooftop is/are definitely drawn by YJ's dad...

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(Continuing from above)
Or the killer can be another character in another manhwa who was like Kang Chul, who became conscious and cannot live normally anymore in the real world and just goes around entering another manhwa so that other manhwas' main characters suffer like him too, or her.

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ohgod if the others (especially the villains) gain consciousness/awareness to enter the real world, it'll be chaotic... and fun (for us audience). However, only KC was "alive" when he found out that his world was fake so I'm not sure if the others will eventually gain consciousness. I hope so. KC needs Do Yoon. And I need Do Yoon to be real. lol And Sohee too.

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Oh gracious heavens. Think of the chaos! (If all the webtoons started to come to life). I don't know what they have in the drama, but out here we've got Noblesse, and Tower of God, and Dice and the Gamer and... and... it would be so scary.

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Don't worry, its just 4th episode (whaat???) Everyone will be back including the shady prosecutor (oh no!). The question is that when KC walks back into his world, will he take her along ? Is she going to appear in the middle of the prison again ?

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Me too. That bodyguard is CUTE!

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He's in Come Back, Ahjussi in case you haven't seen it. And I already like him there. So cute!

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