W–Two Worlds: Episode 14
Let’s be honest—on a good day, Dad makes my blood boil for the string of terrible decisions he’s made and the effect that’s had on his daughter’s life. He’s weak-willed and pathetic, and pretty much the source of all my frustrations when it comes to our hero’s pain. But when two adversaries stand to lose the one person they both love, maybe there’s a chance that they can put aside the mountain of issues between them and save the day? Come on, guys, your girl needs you! Save first, therapy later!
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Kang Chul runs to the hospital in tears, and finds Yeon-joo surrounded by doctors trying to resuscitate her. They shock her twice and manage to get a heartbeat, but she’s lying so still…
Back in the manhwa world, Assemblyman Han arrives at the crime scene and puts on a pair of gloves before digging around for any evidence that might link him to New-Face Killer. He retrieves the warehouse address he wrote down at gunpoint in Chul’s car, and then he roots around on New-Face’s dead body for the phone containing that incriminating recording between them.
He opens the trunk of New-Face’s car too, and whatever he finds inside, it’s something of interest. He’s annoyed to find his hired henchmen dead, all but one, and confused when he discovers the spot where Yeon-joo was shot, but no body.
Out in the real world, Dad’s no-face slowly disintegrates… revealing his original face underneath. Oh thank ye drama gods—are we done with the faceless portion of our programming?
New-Face must really be dead-dead, because Dad wakes up in full control of his faculties, and looks stunned to be holding a hammer in front of his smashed tablet. And magically, he seems rather fine for someone who hasn’t breathed or eaten in a while. He calls out for Su-bong and Yeon-joo, but the workshop is empty.
Dad picks up the phone to call Yeon-joo, but then he starts having memory flashes of kidnapping Yeon-joo and holding her up at gunpoint. Gack, is he having New-Face’s memories? Dad’s face twists up in horror as he realizes what’s happened.
Su-bong is still crouched outside the front gate where Kang Chul told him to stay, like a good puppy. He calls Yeon-joo repeatedly, on the verge of another breakdown, when finally someone picks up—it’s Dad.
They rush out of the workshop together, with Dad getting behind the wheel despite Su-bong’s flailing protests. Su-bong deduces that Dad is using New-Face’s memories to track Yeon-joo, and he keeps glancing over at Dad to double-check that he’s still him.
Dad drives to the warehouse where he remembers New-Face shooting Yeon-joo, and the construction worker who found her tells them that she was taken to the hospital. Dad is beside himself and expecting the worst, and Su-bong tries to tell him that she’ll be okay. It doesn’t do much good.
Kang Chul paces outside the intensive care unit, ignoring Su-bong’s calls. His hand continues to flicker in and out, but he just hides it behind his back when the doctor comes out. Chul’s face falls to hear the news that Yeon-joo isn’t waking up despite the surgery going well; the doctor tells him to prepare for the possibility that she won’t pull through.
Dad and Su-bong arrive at the emergency room, where the nurse tells them that Yeon-joo is brain-dead. Dad collapses to the floor and demands to know where she is, and the nurse looks troubled.
Chul sits by Yeon-joo’s bedside, quietly spilling tears. He reaches out to hold her hand, but then he sees his hand turn into a manhwa drawing and threaten to disappear again. Outside, he hears the police officer come by to ask questions about the shooting, and when he comes in, both Chul and Yeon-joo are gone.
Ah, this turns out to be a flashback, and the nurse tells Dad and Su-bong that both Yeon-joo and her husband disappeared without a trace.
Yeon-joo’s mom is worried that she hasn’t come home yet, and Su-bong grimaces when Mom calls. Dad tells him to lie that he doesn’t know anything, and Su-bong’s voice trembles as he tells Mom that Yeon-joo was called to the hospital and left her phone here.
The only person who looks more distressed than Su-bong is Dad, who slumps down in his chair and reaches for a bottle of pills, and downs it with scotch. Oh noooooo, Dad! This is not the time to incapacitate yourself!
Dad just curls up in bed crying Yeon-joo’s name, overcome with depression. But then the sound of the doorbell gets him up, and Su-bong scrambles outside to the gate, hoping that it’s Yeon-joo.
It’s Kang Chul, looking grim and defeated as he waits for Su-bong to open the gate. He ignores the questions about Yeon-joo until he gets inside, where Dad has gotten himself upright (just barely) and out of bed.
Chul says he moved Yeon-joo to the manhwa world because the doctor here said there was no hope. He explains, “If she dies here, I can’t reverse it.” Thank goodness one of you has a brain today.
Chul says that he took her to the hospital there, but it was the same diagnosis, and so after a few days he moved her to the hotel because he couldn’t explain away the gunshot wound. He says that they spent a week like that in the hotel, and in flashback Chul clutches Yeon-joo’s hand and lights up when she opens her eyes and looks at him.
In the present, Chul says, heart in his throat, “She opened her eyes, just once. For a brief moment…” Agh, why does that sound so final?
Dad asks shakily what happened then, and Chul’s lip begins to tremble and his eyes fill with tears. “She died,” he finally ekes out. Dad crumples to the floor in shock, and Su-bong bursts into wailing sobs while Chul quietly continues to cry.
In the morning, Professor Crazy Dog bursts into Seok-bum’s office and asks after Yeon-joo’s father, who’s been admitted into the hospital for stress and mixing pills with alcohol. Crazy Dog sighs and admits guiltily that this is all his fault—last night he put up some negative comments online about the manhwa peppered with swear words, and he’s convinced that he put Oh Sung-moo in the hospital. Aw, you’re the nicest anti-fan ever.
Su-bong takes a call from Kang Chul and steps out of Dad’s hospital room just as Crazy Dog enters. He chides Dad for drinking again when he expressly told him to lay off the booze. Crazy Dog tries to lighten the mood by talking about the manhwa and asks, “Why did Oh Yeon-joo suddenly die?”
Crazy Dog admits that she’s kind of a useless character, but when she died like that, he wasn’t happy about it. That just brings all of New-Face’s memories flooding back for Dad, and the memory of shooting Yeon-joo in the back overwhelms him, and he suddenly darts out of bed.
Dad runs barefoot down the hall like a man possessed, and Kang Chul happens to see him run into the stairwell and gives chase. Dad runs straight for the rooftop and begins to climb over the railing to jump. What, seriously?! DAAAAD! GET IT TOGETHER!
He’s halfway over the railing when Chul finds him and yanks him backward. Dad struggles and screams to be let go, but Chul manages to pull him back down safely. Phew.
Chul asks why he’s doing this, and Dad breaks down in tears saying, “I did it. I shot her. I shot Yeon-joo.” Chul tries to tell him that it was the killer who shot Yeon-joo, not him, but Dad can’t separate himself from the memory and the guilt, and cries, “I shot my daughter! I can’t live any longer!”
But that’s enough guilt babble for Chul and he shakes Dad, shouting that there’s work to be done: “You’re the only one who can save her! So get it together! You can’t break down. You have to save your daughter!” Dad doesn’t see how, when she’s already dead. Well, you were never very creative to begin with, were you?
Chul says that there’s a way to save her, and explains that Yeon-joo already started to become a manhwa character the moment she married him—as a main character, she was able to get hurt inside the manhwa world, which is why she died when she was shot.
But Chul points out that this means the opposite is true too—that she can be saved in the manhwa and brought back to life, just like he was. Chul explains that he took her to the manhwa world before she died for that reason, and says with conviction that he’s going to bring her back no matter what. “I won’t ever give up! I’m going to save her!” he shouts.
Dad is too depressed to see any hope of saving her though, and cries that the tablet has been destroyed so there’s no way to draw it. But Chul won’t be deterred, and is convinced that they will find some way.
Crazy Dog and Su-bong wander the halls looking for Dad, and Su-bong asks what Crazy Dog could’ve possibly said to make Dad suddenly disappear. Crazy Dog innocently says he only brought up the manhwa and asked why Oh Yeon-joo died, and Su-bong grabs his hair and screams bloody murder: “Why would you ask that, WHY?!”
Su-bong’s rant can probably be heard from outer space, and he’s so busy screaming at Crazy Dog for asking such a thoughtless question that he misses Kang Chul walking up right behind him with Dad on his back.
Hilariously, Su-bong turns on a dime and goes from violent ranting to politely asking for a nurse the second he sees them. Crazy Dog stands there stunned, wondering what he said that was so wrong and why his feelings were hurt just now.
Once Dad is safely tucked in bed, Kang Chul asks Su-bong to look after him and leaves again. Dad watches him go and thinks back to the rest of their conversation up on the roof. Chul had said that Dad couldn’t possibly know how he felt about Yeon-joo.
Kang Chul: “Yeon-joo is my only family—not a fake family that you made for me, but a real family with a physical entity. Instead of manufactured memories, I have real memories with her. Instead of a predetermined fate, she’s the fate I chose myself, for the first time, by my will alone. So I can’t give up. Yeon-joo is proof that I am a person like you—that I am human.”
Chul said that he was going to save Yeon-joo and be happy with her, and he refused to back down or be discouraged by anyone. He was convinced that a late-game reversal was possible, and declared that he would get his happy ending no matter what. Suck it, Fate!
Dad seemed moved by his words, and then as Chul piggybacked Dad down from the roof, he said that Dad’s life mattered to him now too, “Not because you’re the god who made me, but because you’re the father of my wife. You’re already my family.” *sniff*
Chul said with a little smile that Dad might not acknowledge it yet, but that’s how he thinks of it anyway, and he warned Dad not to hurt himself anymore. Dad didn’t say anything in response, but just let Chul carry him back to bed like a baby. And here I thought Kang Chul couldn’t find yet another way to be swoony, but there it is.
Back in the present, Dad’s lips curl up in the tiniest of smiles, and he mutters his usual insult for Chul—arrogant bastard—but this time he says it almost like it’s a term of endearment.
Su-bong shuffles after Chul to see him off, and begs him to be careful. Chul tells him not to cry (aw) and to wait for his S.O.S. He doesn’t have a plan yet, but intends to call on Su-bong for help when he needs to.
Back on the rooftop, Dad had said that he’d only ever used one tablet, which was now destroyed. But Chul was sure that New-Face wouldn’t have had him smash it if he didn’t have a backup plan of some sort—that tablet was his lifeline, and he wouldn’t have gotten rid of it so easily.
Sure enough, we see New-Face ask for Dad to draw him a duplicate tablet, back while he was on the run after kidnapping Yeon-joo. With Chul’s prodding, Dad recalled that he drew a second tablet in the trunk of New-Face’s car.
Chul didn’t remember seeing the tablet on the evidence list from the crime scene, but then he and Dad both landed on the same conclusion: Assemblyman Han. He discovered it in New-Face’s trunk and moved it before the cops came.
In the present, Assemblyman Han’s assistant tells him that the tablet is used by professional illustrators, and he wonders why on earth the killer would be carrying around something like this when it isn’t even a weapon. He gets called away to a meeting, and leaves it turned off on his desk.
Chul has no idea if the duplicate tablet will work, but there’s only one way to find out. He breaks into the real-world equivalent of Assemblyman Han’s office and takes out his gun before summoning himself back to the manhwa world.
Chul materializes in the empty office and goes to grab the tablet, but he stops short when he notices that it isn’t identical to the original. He thinks, “Trap,” but as he’s having that very thought, someone hits him from behind and sticks a syringe in his neck.
The room starts spinning and Chul goes down, groggy and unable to fight back. Assemblyman Han’s voice rings in his ears, as he shows Chul the real tablet and asks if this is what he’s looking for.
When Chul regains consciousness, he’s tied to a chair in a warehouse, and Assemblyman Han waxes nostalgic about how he missed this old dynamic between them. He happily points out that thanks to Chul faking his own death, he could kill him right now and get away scot-free.
Assemblyman Han asks if Chul wants to know where he got that syringe that he attacked him with, and he points to the tablet. He demonstrates by pulling up the drawing of the syringe on the screen and then pressing Enter, which makes it materialize on the spot. And then he presses Delete, and it vanishes. Crap.
Chul winces and Assemblyman Han laughs like a kid at Christmas. Earlier that night, he’d changed his mind about leaving for that meeting, and began to search through the tablet’s hard drive. He found folders filled with drawings of various models of guns, and was terrified when pulling up a drawing made that very gun appear in his hand.
In the present, he tells Chul that the tablet is filled with all sorts of poisons, and tells him to pick his poison, literally. He makes another syringe appear and sticks it right at Kang Chul’s neck, but pulls away, enjoying the taunting.
Assemblyman Han says he finally gets why Chul and New-Face were fighting to the death, but now he wants real answers, like what the hell this tablet is, whom it belongs to, and how Chul appears in his office whenever he wants. He says the real interrogation begins now, and grabs a steel pipe with a glint in his eye.
Assemblyman Han swings at Kang Chul full-force with the pipe over and over and over again, until Chul is beaten to a pulp and lying on the ground covered in blood.
Thankfully Assemblyman Han gets called away to a meeting, giving Chul a short reprieve from the torture. Chul spits out the word “hospital” before Assemblyman Han is about to leave, and asks to be taken to the hospital.
In the real world, Su-bong paces in the hospital hallway waiting to hear from Kang Chul, and he gasps when a new episode of the webtoon pops up on his phone. He makes a cross over his head and shoulders (pfff) before clicking on it. It’s bang-up-to-date as usual, and Su-bong lets out a loud yelp when he sees Chul being tortured by Assemblyman Han. He nags at his phone, “I told you to be careful!”
Back in the manhwa world, Assemblyman Han listens intently to something that Kang Chul says, though we don’t get to hear it. Tears spill from Chul’s eyes, but the only reaction that Assemblyman Han shows is rage and disbelief, and he kicks Chul in the face before walking out, tablet in hand.
He orders two henchmen to guard Chul and not give him a single drop of water because he’s already a dead man. And then he calls someone to say that he’ll be making a quick stop before his meeting.
The henchmen put Chul back in his chair, and he asks them what time it is. When he finds out that thirty minutes have passed, he smirks and says that “it” should be arriving soon.
Chul raises his head and says, “Park Su-bong-sshi, the item is going there. Take care of it.” And then the “To be continued” chyron appears in the corner. Woohoo, is Su-bong getting written into the story?
Out in the real world, Su-bong’s eyes widen as he reads the webtoon, and he stammers, “That’s… my name? Is he calling me? Me?” Su-bong runs into Dad’s room to show him the webtoon and the message from Chul, and wonders what the item is.
In the manhwa world, Assemblyman Han heads to the hospital with tablet in hand. He’s headed to a room on the eighth floor, and in flashback we see that Kang Chul told him the truth—that his wife died, and he needed the tablet to save her.
He said that she could be drawn back to life if he brought the tablet to its owner in the hospital, and Assemblyman Han didn’t believe him, calling it like something out of a manhwa. Chul smiled and asked, “And what you saw wasn’t like a manhwa?”
Assemblyman Han sent a few minions to Kang Chul’s penthouse to check on his story, and Chul told Do-yoon over the phone to let them in. They saw for themselves that Yeon-joo had just died, and Chul told Assemblyman Han that he’d have all the proof he needed if he took the tablet to the hospital, and had its owner draw his wife back to life.
So back in the present, Assemblyman Han does just that, like an obedient little mouse bringing his own cheese to his trap. As soon as the webtoon episode ends, Kang Chul gets zapped right back to the real world, leaving the henchmen scratching their heads.
Assemblyman Han arrives at the hospital room, but the patient there is a woman, not Oh Sung-moo, and he figures that Chul lied to him.
At the same time, Chul concentrates on Hypothesis Three—that he can summon characters to the real world by thinking of them—and says aloud, “I summon Han Chul-ho to the real world.”
Chul shuts his eyes, and as Assemblyman Han turns to go, he suddenly materializes in Dad’s hospital room just as Su-bong wonders how the tablet and Assemblyman Han will get here.
Everyone in the room turns around at the same time to face each other, and jaws drop. Dad confirms that he’s Oh Sung-moo, but then Assemblyman Han recognizes his face and thinks he’s the killer. Su-bong, on the other hand, doesn’t wait for introductions—he just dives for the tablet the first chance he gets, and Assemblyman Han chokes him to get it back.
Dad grabs the nearest IV stand and thwacks Assemblyman Han in the back with it, and then thwacks him again in the head, and he goes down.
Dad races to get the tablet plugged in, and as soon as he turns it on, Assemblyman Han vanishes. Huh. And then a new variable: When Dad picks up his pen, his hand starts to morph into a manhwa drawing. Whaaat. He begins to draw furiously.
Factory workers discover Kang Chul lying unconscious on the floor of their warehouse, and at the same time, Yeon-joo wakes up alive and well, scaring Do-yoon half to death. She doesn’t even get to say anything before the webtoon episode ends, sending her back to the real world.
A little while later, Su-bong arrives at the factory looking for Kang Chul, but he isn’t there. Wait, he didn’t disappear, did he? Su-bong is over the moon when Yeon-joo calls, and his reaction to hearing her voice is just so happy, it kills me.
Su-bong asks everything three times like he’s hopped up on a twelve-pack of soda: “Noona? Yeon-joo noona? Is it really you? Are you okay? Can you speak? Oh you’re speaking now. Do you have all ten fingers and toes? Do you remember everything? What about where you were shot?”
Yeon-joo tells him that she woke up in the hotel and suddenly came back to this world, and she’s perfectly fine and not even in any pain. She’s just as relieved to hear that Dad is back to normal too. Su-bong tells her that Dad drew her back to life and is probably on his way to see her, since he was sitting at his desk all day just clicking refresh and waiting for the webtoon to show up online.
Su-bong says he’s here looking for Chul in the place where he was tortured, and Yeon-joo asks worriedly what he means by that. Su-bong says Chul isn’t here though, and in flashback we see that Chul was brought outside by the workers who found him, but he asked for a taxi, not an ambulance, because he needed to go to the hotel.
That was twenty minutes ago that Chul disappeared while the workers called an ambulance, and Su-bong guesses that he’s on his way to Yeon-joo. She asks if Chul is badly hurt and if Dad is okay, and Su-bong just chides her for worrying about other people when she was the one who died.
Yeon-joo figures it’ll be faster to just read the last few episodes of the webtoon for herself, and she bursts into tears to see Kang Chul being tortured to try and save her.
She heads out to the hotel driveway to wait for Chul, craning her neck and wondering why he’s so late.
As she turns around, lightning strikes and it’s suddenly pouring rain outside. Is she back in the manhwa world so soon? Yeon-joo is startled to see So-hee walk past her into the hotel, and their eyes meet. So-hee seems to think it odd but she continues on her way.
Yeon-joo looks up at the sky, where she sees a new chyron being written above her: “Final Episode.”
Oh, the final episode already? I mean, I knew it was coming—the show is ending soon, after all—but it’s a little troubling for Yeon-joo to end up in the manhwa world without any preparation and without meeting Kang Chul, because the final episode means she’s now trapped there until it ends, right? There are no more to-be-continueds to use up in an emergency, and no guarantee that when the manhwa ends, Kang Chul will come back out to the real world with her. I just hope that this was Dad’s doing, in an attempt to give them a happy ending, and not the manhwa world breaking down altogether because Chul’s time is running out. I still worry about Kang Chul suddenly poofing into nothing, and now it looks like Dad’s got the same problem. Is it because of his mind-meld with New-Face? Is he now more manhwa than real? And is he disappearing because he’s lost his right to be the central villain with Assemblyman Han taking over? I can’t figure out if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but at this point, anything with a face is better than a life with no face—that much I know for sure.
I did feel a lot of the tension sap out in this episode, partly because we already know that Yeon-joo has to be brought back somehow, and partly because the way they manage to bring her back doesn’t use any new or nifty tricks. For an episode of W, it was disappointingly twist-free, and a fairly straightforward rescue, thanks to Assemblyman Han not being very bright. I find him to be less intimidating as a villain overall, which might have something to do with it. Okay, so the violent torture was scary in an unhinged way, and I don’t like how dangerous it is for him to know what the tablet can do—even without self-awareness of the manhwa world, a machine with the power of life and death is not a thing you want him to be aware of. But anyone who can be taken down by Dad and Su-bong? Not really very high on my all-time scary villain list. Right now I’m more concerned with the battle against Fate, and the rules that govern the manhwa world and keep Kang Chul tethered to that realm—they’re the real enemies now.
I was seriously about to throw my hands up and give up on Dad in this episode when he sank into depression and drank, instead of trying to find a way to save Yeon-joo. I was so done with his defeatist attitude, and so angry that he’d let go like that without even attempting to bring her back. It’s so in character though, and I do appreciate Dad as a character on a meta level because he’s such an obvious foil for Kang Chul, who was made to be everything Dad wished he could be. Dad’s pathetic weakness of character serves to highlight Kang Chul’s strengths, and I actually see envy and admiration in Dad’s eyes when he sees how Chul won’t give up on his family.
It’s actually Chul’s singular drive—to avenge his family in his youth, and to protect his family now—and it makes me sad to think that W was really Dad’s way of living out his fantasy post-divorce, where he’d be the kind of man not to ever give up on his family and lose them. It explains the villain’s sole focus on always killing Kang Chul’s family without rhyme or reason, because family was always the core of the conflict—what the hero/Dad was fighting for, what he’d lost, what he desperately wanted to regain more than life itself. And to get symbolic, it explains why the villain’s face was ultimately Dad’s own—because he’s the one who destroyed his own family.
I’m sure Dad never imagined in his wildest dreams that Kang Chul would be the one to give him a family again, but in loving Yeon-joo, Chul is actually solving both the hero’s conflict and the creator’s conflict all at once—he’s going to protect his family at all costs, and now that family happens to include Dad. It’s a neat little convergence in a relationship that otherwise has every reason to be at odds, since we’ve seen Chul go so far as to shoot his creator in an attempt to exercise his free will. But I like that Kang Chul 2.0 consistently finds better ways to do the same thing, and now he’s discovered that loving Yeon-joo and choosing a life with her is his ultimate rebellion against his predetermined fate. There are a lot of things to love about their relationship, but I like that it represents choice, and that at every step of the way, they’re actively choosing to be together and fight for their happy ending. Could Fate be so cruel as to not grant them that one thing? Don’t answer that. I want to think happy thoughts while I still can.
- W–Two Worlds: Episode 13
- W–Two Worlds: Episode 12
- W–Two Worlds: Episode 11
- W–Two Worlds: Episode 10
- W–Two Worlds: Episode 9
- W–Two Worlds: Episode 8
- W–Two Worlds: Episode 7
- W–Two Worlds: Episode 6
- W–Two Worlds: Episode 5
- W–Two Worlds: Episode 4
- W–Two Worlds: Episode 3
- W–Two Worlds: Episode 2
- W–Two Worlds: Episode 1