The Lonely Shining Goblin: Episode 8
Aha, time for answers to some major questions, some of which we’ve suspected all along and others that are fresher, as well as the opening up of brand-new questions. It’s an interesting conundrum to witness love deepening in a world where love may not, in fact, conquer all (or even very much at all). And yet, everybody has the right to want love for themselves and protect it, whether human or god. If only there weren’t a god hierarchy that put the meanest ones at the top.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Shin flings Eun-tak away before she can pull out the sword, then catches her before she rams into a truck. He’s hit by the realization that he’s hesitating to end his immortal life because of Eun-tak, a weighty moment set against a comically inappropriate fireball as traffic turns into wreckage behind them.
Eun-tak is badly shaken by the experience, and goes limp in his arms. Shin takes her back to the house, and it isn’t till she’s back in her bed that she comes back to herself and asks if he’s okay. He says that’s a question that ought to be reversed, but she shrugs it off and says he didn’t know either how much it would hurt, thinking he threw her aside because the act of pulling out the sword was so excruciating.
She’s happy to have proof that the sword is movable, though, and that she’s the true bride. His reaction is more muted, so she asks if that’s not a good thing. Shin manages a smile and tells her that it is.
While Deok-hwa waits for Shin to come home so he can hand-deliver the old scroll (of the queen), he idly looks up the news and sees footage of that multi-vehicle massacre in the street. When Shin joins him in the living room, Deok-hwa asks if that was his doing. Shin just tells him to clean it up, and that he’s too tired to explain.
Deok-hwa gets on the phone to his grandfather and Secretary Kim to alert them to the mess needing cleanup, and has to insist repeatedly that it’s Shin’s doing, not his. Well, you can’t blame them for assuming…
Secretary Kim assembles a team to take down every video on the internet related to the accident. Deok-hwa goes to the scene directly to deal with the witnesses, armed with a huge suitcase and one reluctant Reaper. He directs people with damaged vehicles to line up next to him, and directs those with damaged psyches (from witnessing the scene) over to Reaper, heh.
Reaper wipes each witness’s memory and replaces them with the idea that the cars were wrecked in a “gust of wind” and the money was merely “a windfall dropped from the skies.” Hilariously, his recitation gets faster and more halfhearted the more times he has to repeat it. Deok-hwa, meanwhile, hands out literal stacks of cash.
The last phase of cleanup requires wiping video files from the system, which turns out to be rather easy when you have a walking, talking, memory-wiping aide right on hand.
Back at home, Deok-hwa informs Shin of how much work they had to do because of him. Shin wearily thanks them, which Reaper wearily declines, saying that he doesn’t have the energy right now to fight with him. Shin tells him he’s even more tired, and it looks like they’re about to start another pissing contest, but Shin ends up abandoning the conversation.
Lying in bed, Eun-tak replays the moment of being flung into the air and saved by Shin. She cradles her goblin plushy toy (named Mr. Buckwheat) and says happily, “We don’t have to move out now. I’m confirmed as the real bride.”
She belatedly realizes she’s sore all over and sticks medicated patches all over, just as a crash sounds outside. She finds Shin slumped on the ground and Reaper cleaning up broken dishes, and worries that he’s dead.
Reaper says that he’s just medicated and leaves him there to sleep it off. Eun-tak suggests he might help carry Shin, but Reaper just tells her good luck with that.
Eun-tak crouches next to Shin and asks why he’s taking medication: “Are you still in pain?”
Reaper glimpses Shin’s door ajar, and can’t resist going back for another look at the painting of the queen, wondering who she is to stir such deep feelings. Dramatic-irony cut takes us to Sunny, who drinks alone in her empty shop, watching people pass by, telling herself she’ll go home when she counts fifty of them.
Eun-tak ends up sitting with Shin on the ground, lighting a whole display of candles around him. She catches herself before blowing out the match, shaking it out instead, and tucks a blanket around him. She carefully places a pillow under his head and checks their respective temperatures, noting no fever, then lies down to watch him sleep.
She wryly comments on him falling unconscious so randomly, and then Shin replies, eyes still closed, “Because I’m sick.” He admits he was lying earlier when he said he was fine, and she reaches out to pat his hair, telling him to get better.
He tells her that she doesn’t know what’s paining him, and when she asks what it is, he replies, “First love hurts a lot.” Thinking he means someone from his past, Eun-tak gets pettish, saying she must have been really pretty. Shin says, “Very much… every day… it hurts.”
Annoyed, Eun-tak tells him to rest up, patting his arm extra hard, telling him that’s not something you say to your bride. “If you look hard, you can see where she’s pretty,” Shin says. “So don’t go.”
We return to Subway, because Deok-hwa’s price for a bribe is apparently a five-dollar footlong. Eun-tak presents him with her notebook of hanja copied from Shin’s journal, asking him to make sense of it. Eun-tak suspects that it’s to do with Shin’s first love, and Deok-hwa confirms that it’s a love letter, confessing a sad love.
He starts to read, but Eun-tak grabs the book away, stung, not needing any further confirmation. She mutters that of course it’s possible for him to have one unforgettable person in his nine hundred years, though she doesn’t quite sound as gracious as the words.
Deok-hwa is startled to hear that Shin’s name is Kim Shin (he’s using a different one now) and that he has a sword stuck in him, and pesters her to explain. He gains her interest by mentioning a secret that only he knows.
Deok-hwa tattles to Shin about Reaper crying at the queen’s portrait, and urges him to confront Reaper about it… and then cowers behind Shin’s back when he does just that. Reaper admits that he had an extremely emotional reaction but doesn’t understand why, and asks who the woman is, feeling like he’s seen her before.
Shin replies that she’s his sister. He asks where Reaper saw her, and Reaper guesses that she may be one of his reaped souls. Shin asks if she’s been reincarnated, but Reaper has taken away too many souls to remember everyone, and says that it just feels like he’s seen her before: “I don’t have memories, only feelings. I was just incredibly sad. My heart hurt.”
Deok-hwa lights up with an idea, and suggests that Reaper is Shin’s reincarnated sister and urges Reaper to call Shin “oraboni” (brother). Ha, that gets him a swift synchronized shut-down. (But later in his room, Reaper tries to say the word, though he bails before making it all the way through.)
While out on duty, Reaper’s hoobae informs him of a scandal within their ranks: Another reaper found himself tasked with reaping his wife from a past life, so he filed her as a missing soul and they ran off together. Reaper is suddenly very interested and asks how the reaper recalled his past life. Hoobae says that nobody knows but that everybody’s envious, then sighs that the thought of what his past-life crime could be has driven him to drink lately. He wonders how severe that crime was, and whether it’s god’s consideration to have them atone by working in this way.
Reaper says that whether one recalls anything, it just all be god’s will—but what he’s curious to know is god’s intention in returning a lost memory.
Reaper heads off to usher his newest charges, a mother-daughter pair, to his teahouse. Mom tells her daughter she ordered “heaven” for her, and Reaper presents the teacup to the little girl, calling it heaven.
Eun-tak spots Shin walking down the street, and surprises him just as he’s knocking on a stranger’s door. A tired-looking man steps out, and Shin just orders him to step aside and, with a motion of the hand, sets on fire the noose hanging inside. In wish-god mode, Shin instructs the man to air out his home and hands him a sandwich (did it have to be a Subway?), telling him he’ll need it.
He stalks off all cool-like, and Eun-tak hastens to match his swagger as the rescued man looks after them in wonder. Then he’s surprised at the sudden arrival of his (estranged, it seems) young daughter, who found her way here on her own, taking a taxi driven by Samshin Grandma. The little girl is hungry, so it’s Subway to the rescue.
Eun-tak peers back to see the man embracing his daughter, and tells Shin he was a little cool today. He says that he just gave the man a sandwich: “What saved that man was not me, but his daughter.”
Then she wonders why the sword moved when it wouldn’t before, and Shin thinks back to Reaper’s comment about it requiring something stronger than the curse—perhaps true love? Going with that theory, Shin prods Eun-tak to say whatever she’s been meaning to say, wanting to hear her love declaration.
He leans in expectantly, and she says, “I know you have a lot of money, but is it okay for you to just stay home?” He insists that he’s worked before, and we see a montage of all the retail sales positions he’s held, using the same tagline each time: “It may not be immortal, but [this product] lasts a very long time!” He’s comically bad at it.
Eun-tak figures he didn’t last at the jobs because he was inadequate in some way, which has Shin huffing and puffing in denial, insisting that he’s never been called that before. Eun-tak snipes that his first love must not have told him, and he accuses her of jealousy.
Eun-tak denies it loudly, then asks if she’s from Goryeo or Joseon, and then reminds him of the old saying that first loves never come true. She storms off, telling him not to wait up for her. Shin sighs to himself that he doesn’t want that to be true about first loves not coming true.
Eun-tak runs into a familiar face at the library, who notices that the birthmark on her neck has lightened considerably. Eun-tak isn’t concerned, but the girl looks curiously bothered by it. Ah, she’s a ghost, and Eun-tak is in the habit of buying her coffee even though she can’t drink it. Passing by a mirror reveals her true appearance, bloody and ragged.
Eun-tak asks why this ghost doesn’t ask her for help the way all the others do. So the girl asks her to come to see her once in her hometown, bringing flowers, and explains how she died in a traffic accident on her way to her graduation ceremony.
That night, Reaper drops by Sunny’s cafe, and he and Eun-tak gape at each other in surprise. She’s suspicions that he’s sneaking up on her, but he says he’s just here to order chicken.
Just then, Eun-tak gets agitated to see Tae-hee oppa walking toward the shop with his baseball team. Reaper asks shrewdly if he’s interrupted their planned date, and Eun-tak stuffs his invisibility hat on Reaper’s head and orders him to wait quietly while she packs his order.
Reaper watches her greet Tae-hee oppa with narrowed eyes, then proceeds to bring home fried chicken every night for days on end. Finally, Eun-tak pulls him aside to ask why he keeps coming to the shop, and if he’s there for her boss. Reaper says he’s just going to look, and tells her that everything will be fine if Eun-tak just keeps her mouth shut about him. She retorts the same, telling him to keep his mouth shut about Tae-hee’s visits and how she’s been sneaking extra chicken in his order.
From alllll the way down the hall, Shin comes charging in to confront her, insisting that he was Tae-hee’s savior back in the day and that his baseball career is all his doing. (Reaper, meanwhile, preoccupies himself trying to figure out just how much extra chicken Tae-hee got, feeling huffy about not getting the same coupons.) Eun-tak argues that Shin didn’t make Tae-hee successful; that was through “my first love Tae-hee oppa’s own will.”
Shin tries to bribe Reaper to help with the promise of chicken coupons, but Reaper declines, saying he has his own ways. Shin is left stewing in jealousy, and makes the sky thunder with a sudden storm.
That night when Tae-hee gets home, he’s puzzled to find his old piano back in his living room, HA.
After school, Eun-tak is approached by another student, who asks how her college entrance exam went and where she’s applied. They’re both good students, and the girl worries that Eun-tak will be in direct competition. Then she asks if the ghosts say Eun-tak will get in to her schools, and Eun-tak replies that she may see them, but they don’t tell her things. The classmate points out that they’ve been in the same class for three years and are only talking now, then wishes her well on her university interviews. Eun-tak says the same.
As she makes her way to her interview, Eun-tak is reminded of Shin running with her to the entrance exam and smiles. She’s bristly again when she finds Shin waiting for her, until she realizes he’s brought her red scarf to her before her interview.
He wraps it around her neck and gives some last-minute advice not to be nervous. He asks if she’s still mad at him, and she says his scarf move has made that hard. He points out that she’s jealous (of his first love), and readily admits to liking it.
Cheer restored, Eun-tak heads off grinning and waves goodbye. As she boards her bus, a scream sounds—a woman has just been mugged by a perp who’s cycling madly away. As he bikes past, he locks eyes with Shin, and now we’re in his mind’s eye, seeing the man’s future: A short while later, the thief crashes into a vendor’s table and falls into the road, right into oncoming traffic.
A taxi plows into the cyclist and skids in the road, causing multiple cars to crash into it. A bus swerves madly to avoid it, and ends up crashing into another car instead. And then, in case that weren’t enough, the bus comes directly in the line of a Truck of Doom, and gets T-boned. Uh, you sure are being spendy with that budget, yeah? Let’s hope all those sandwiches paid for all your cars.
When everything comes to a halt, the street looks like something out of a war zone, or maybe Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim. The bus is a particularly dire scene, with bloody bodies thrown on top of each other, everybody fatally wounded. Is this Eun-tak’s bus? Is she in there too?
We return to the present moment, about fifteen minutes before the accident, and Shin wonders why Eun-tak is in the bus when she isn’t in his premonition.
On the bus, a boy says that if he messes up this interview, his mother will kill him, and wishes for a car accident instead. His friend tells him to cut out the morbid talk, while nearby, Eun-tak smiles down at a baby in her mother’s arms.
Nearby, an army of reapers stands by, waiting to do their duty. Reaper’s mustachioed hoobae complains when the upstanding hoobae brings Reaper a coffee (oy, it’s hard describing them when nobody has names!). Reaper states that he specifically ordered Hoobae not to get Mustache coffee, still peevish about being stuck with that dinner bill the other night.
There are so many scheduled deaths that they’ve called in other departments, and Reaper is assigned multiple souls. He flips through his stack of death cards, noting the mother and daughter pair, and figures he’ll have to prepare more heaven for them.
But Shin swings into action, using his door-portal ability to shortcut himself to the street vendor and advise him to quit early today. The man protests, but Shin offers to buy all his merchandise (piles and piles of socks), trying to hurry him along—he’s only got a few minutes until the accident.
Then as the thief bikes toward him, Shin kicks him over early, sending him falling onto the sidewalk rather than in the street.
The thief recognizes Shin from the bus stop and accuses him of following him, while Shin just sends the man’s bike floating into the air and crashing down before his eyes.
Shin holds up a stack of wallets the man has stolen, tossing them to him one by one as he lists the cash amounts. He adds that the man nearly took multiple lives just for that cash, and cites the series of unfortunate events that will befall the latest victim, including breaking a bone and going to work anyway because she can’t afford the lost pay.
The thief brandishes a switchblade at Shin, demanding to know who he is. Shin says it’s a pity to let him live, but that he’ll consider it a side effect. He warns the man not to consider himself off the hook for his crimes, saying that he’ll have to suffer the punishment even after death.
“Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth—that is my way,” Shin says grimly. “It will hurt a bit. Deal with it.”
Suddenly, the man’s hand twists and breaks, and he clutches it in agony. The bus passes by, unharmed.
Over at his station, Reaper and his colleagues get ready as the bus rolls in, anticipating an accident any second now. As the bus pauses, Eun-tak recognizes Reaper and waves at him, and he waves back without really thinking about it.
Hoobae gapes that a human can see them, just as Reaper is struck with alarm for a different reason: Eun-tak is on the bus, but she’s not on their death roster. The others wonder what that means, but Reaper announces that there’ll be no accident today.
Reaper has guessed what happened, and looks across the way and locks eyes with Shin. The other reapers are at a loss, never having experienced anything like this before, and ask what to do. Hoobae marvels that miracles do really happen, while Mustache complains that the paperwork required for this many missing souls will be massive.
Shin appears right behind the reapers, who startle at seeing a goblin. He pulls Reaper aside, and they relocate to the teahouse, where Reaper accuses Shin of meddling in human life-and-death affairs, and Shin is just as upset that Eun-tak almost died and Reaper didn’t tell him about it.
Reaper starts to say that her death would just be her fate, but Shin cuts him off to say, “The only thing I can’t do anything about is my death. Shall I try interfering in every human’s life and death in this world, because of her?” It’s a big threat, but doesn’t quite sound empty.
Then Shin comes back to the issue of the accident, feeling that something’s off about it. He saw the scene several days ago when he first saw the thief, and Eun-tak wasn’t in it. Moreover, he saw Eun-tak alive in ten years, and yet she would have died in the bus.
Reaper answers that it’s merely because it wasn’t her fate, since she had a goblin boyfriend who would change it for her. He adds through clenched teeth that thanks to him, he’ll be buried in paperwork.
Reaper adds the jab about Shin just returning to nothingness, but is surprised to see Shin so serious at his jibe. Shin replies, “It’s because I wonder what it means to return to nothingness. Is it scattering into dust or wind or rain, into the world somewhere?”
Reaper is stunned to hear that Eun-tak could move the sword after all, and Shin says he almost killed her because of it. Moreover, the pain had never been that strong before. Reaper suggests that Shin tell her the truth of what happens when the sword is removed, but Shin disagrees, wanting to hide it as long as possible: “For about eighty more years.” But he wonders if that’s possible.
Eun-tak’s in a good mood as she leaves her interview, and brightens further when Shin pulls up to the bus stop in his car. She notices the stacks of socks in the backseat and asks about it, and he replies that it was in order to save somebody’s twenty years of life, and thirty. She asks if he’s setting up a sock business because she said he was unemployed.
He asks teasingly if she’ll do it with him, and she readily agrees, saying that now that she’s done with her interviews, she’ll pay him more attention. “What kind of attention?” he asks.
To that end, she starts working out her arm muscles, announcing that she’ll pull out the sword without causing him pain next time. Then Shin notices a white butterfly flying around, and asks Eun-tak to step out so he can have a chat. It’s a strange request, but she complies.
Once she’s gone, Shin talks at the fluttering butterfly (aka god), half-pleading that he’s been punished enough, and half-arguing that god-butterfly showed him Eun-tak’s future to force his hand. He ends up pacing the room chasing the butterfly, and Eun-tak wonders if he’s still sick.
When he emerges, Eun-tak stammers that she totally wasn’t watching him. But he’s not concerned about that, and wears a sober face. “I really don’t like it,” Shin says. “The me who likes you can’t be this foolish.”
The admission startles her, and Shin says, “Never mind, if you didn’t hear.” She replies that she did hear, and he replies, “Then good.” When it finally does sink in, Eun-tak thrills to have received a confession.
Sunny drinks alone again, counting the passing pedestrians. Tonight, Number Fifty is Reaper himself, and he shows up in front of her window and holds out his phone, looking pouty. Sunny runs to check her phone, and when she sees that she’s missed ten calls, she exclaims that he never calls so she stopped checking.
They go out for a walk, and he says that he thought of something to say while working late. “Religion,” he says. “Atheism.” Ha, he’s replying to her question belatedly, and she can’t believe he called ten times to tell her that. Reaper says rather proudly that he wanted to tell her quickly. Man, I’d hate to see what he’s slow about.
Charmed, Sunny calls him cute, and he’s so flustered that she asks if no women have ever called him that. The question stumps him, and he starts to say that there haven’t been other women. Sunny recognizes his pattern of running when he doesn’t have something prepared and cuts him off, saying that she likes this no-women business and that he is not to go off and prepare one. Hee.
Then Sunny proposes that they each answer one truthful answer, and explains that her real name is Kim Sun, a name her parents put particular effort into deciding, in order to ensure a good life for her. She prefers Sunny and dislikes the original, finding it too pure, as though there was a story behind it. As she explains, we flash back to the young queen before she was the queen, balancing bowls on her shoulders.
It’s also the name Shin writes now, at the temple for his yearly sojourn.
Sunny asks Reaper for his real name, promising not to laugh even if it’s old-fashioned. Reaper hesitates, not knowing how to respond.
At the temple, Shin writes a second name, his eyes taking on a particularly pained look.
Flashback. Back in his human days, Shin had been presented with his shiny new sword by the young king, who said he was giving it to him with both anger and concern. He’d told Shin to go far away and not return, and Shin protested that he’d done everything the king asked of him, that this was his country and that his sister and his people were here. The king noted that Shin’s thoughts were the king’s concerns (as in, he’s overstepping), and had made it an order.
In the present, Shin continues writing the second name. As he does, a sharp pain shoots through Reaper’s chest, as though Shin’s brushstrokes are stabs instead. Sunny reaches over to help him, but Reaper jerks away and stares into her eyes until her eyes go slack. He informs her that they never met today, and apologizes for not seeing her home.
Back at home, Eun-tak wonders where Shin has gone.
Deok-hwa accompanies Shin to the temple, recalling his grandfather telling him to remember this day well in the years he serves Shin. Grandfather explains that these people are longtime debts of Shin’s heart, and when Deok-hwa asks about the sword in Shin’s chest, Grandfather tells him sternly not to talk about that with Shin.
Shin attaches those two names to a lantern (Kim Sun for the queen, Wang Yeo for the king) and sends it into the sky. Grandfather’s voice explains that the sword is Shin’s prize and punishment, both his reason for living and the key to his extinction.
As Eun-tak walks down the street that night, Shin’s voice narrates, “You, who are my life and my death. I like you. Because of that, I harbor a secret and ask the heavens for permission. To keep you from knowing for another day, to keeping you from knowing for a hundred years.”
Shin watches her pass the storefront of his favorite bookstore, and starts to follow her out. But suddenly, the bookshelves move of their own accord, closing in around him, trapping him in a box. And then the bookcases on the end lift upward, revealing a figure in red. Samshin Grandma.
Reaper looks at the queen’s portrait again, thinking that something went awry somewhere, and that this person is the source of it.
After waiting all evening for Shin to come home, Eun-tak goes to Reaper to ask something that’s been niggling at her. She recalls Shin alluding to having to go farther away once he met his bride, and asks Reaper specifically what happens when the sword is removed. Where will he be going?
Samshin Grandma tells Shin, “Pull out that sword soon. Remove it, and return to nothingness.” He asks for a reason, and she says he’s lived long enough. She adds that she was happy when Eun-tak lived, and tells him to make his decision.
“It’s ironic,” he says. “I don’t know what decision you’re telling me to make. When I was born as Kim Shin, you would have blessed me. Am I not your child?” She replies that that’s why she’s telling him this, for the good of her child, Kim Shin. She says he’ll get what he wants most—for Eun-tak to live.
And then she drops the bomb: “If you do not return to nothingness, Eun-tak will die.”
At the same time, Eun-tak gets her own bomb dropped, and hears that Shin will die when the sword is pulled.
Samshin Grandma says that Eun-tak was born with the fate to pull that sword—and that Shin made her have that fate when he saved her life. If a tool is unable to fulfill its intended purpose, it loses its value and reason for existence. “Therefore, if you don’t pull that sword out, death will keep coming for her,” she warns. “It will have already happened many times.”
Suddenly the bus crash makes sense, and Samshin Grandma says even bigger, more powerful accidents will come—and that Shin nearly killed her with his own hands.
A tear falls from Shin’s eye as he narrates, “After living a hundred years, on just the right day… It was first love. That I may confess it, I ask the heavens for permission.”
Plot twist! I like this new discovery, which adds a Final Destination-esque dash of morbid whimsy to the mythology, although I can’t help feeling that this drama saves all its plot for the last ten minutes of every episode. I don’t mind this tendency quite as much on funny days, because this show works wonderfully for me as a comedy—it’s quirky and dry in a very fresh way—but I’m less thrilled on days that are more emotion-based, because I actually have a hard time feeling the emotion in this story.
It’s a pretty fun world with interesting fantasy elements, and I like all of that, but I’m having a hard time getting into this show, and I keep wanting the plot to mooooove. The overlong episodes and the slow pace make me antsy, even though I keep waiting to fall in love with the show, like I feel like I’m meant to. But the plot tends to run in circles and waits a lot, pausing frequently to draw on the melo line. Which is great if you love the melo line, but not if you don’t feel the romance, which is where I am. It isn’t gratuitous in the way The K2 was gratuitous—a glut of flash and sizzle—but I find it gratuitous in the way it wallows in sentimentality, so much so that it has the opposite effect of removing me from it entirely. I can see how, if the sentimentality works for you, it could be quite moving—but on the flipside, if it doesn’t, it starts to feel tedious.
I keep trying to figure out what isn’t working for me, because I like all of the ingredients of the show separately. I guess it’s not my brand of soup. I like all the characters, and they’re all wonderfully played, but Reaper’s the only one who tugs my heartstrings, so the rest of it tends to feel distant and glossy.
But I do really love the Reaper, and for being such a terrible person in Shin’s original life, he’s quite moving now, in a version of himself that’s been stripped of memory and baggage. My interpretation of the reaper system is that Reaper’s personality is essentially intact, and that he just doesn’t know anything of his past life. But of course, that past life is so full of emotional scars and pain that not having a recollection of them would make him fundamentally a different person now, without them. It seems that Shin had trusted the king before the king had been poisoned by his advisor, and he’d told us that he’d never seen all that jealousy and fear directed at him. So I read the king as someone who could have been decent and warm, the way I see Reaper now, and it also explains why Reaper has this childlike innocence about him. I just want so much for him to heal that rift and be best buddies with Shin, because better 900 years late than never.
Now that the Reaper’s and Sunny’s identities have been cleared up, the question we turn to now is what comes of their reincarnations and why they’re meeting again. I’m also curious as to the mechanism for reincarnation in this world, since we’ve seen souls move on to the afterlife and presumably not return again. Do reincarnated souls have unfinished business? What gives them the chance to come back in a new form, as opposed to, say, ghosts that don’t even make it that far because they haven’t even left their first life behind? Will resolving their issue allow them to move on for good?
We also turn to the issue of dual sacrifice, now that one must die for the other to live: I can see both Eun-tak and Shin being unwilling to pull the figurative trigger and take the other’s life, so I’m bracing for a bout of noble idiocy and hoping it’s not too epic. It’s totally in character for them to be self-sacrificing, but when two people are determined to die to save each other, we’ve got just as good a shot of both of them dying. And wouldn’t that be a drag? Can we tackle this problem with more laughs and less tears, pretty please with a cherry on top?