The Lonely Shining Goblin: Episode 6
I miss the comic hijinks we had yesterday, but the melancholy tone is lovely too, and it’s a big episode for our gloomy goblin, who has to make some pretty big decisions about life, death, and the consequences for those around him. He seemed pretty dead set (hur) on the dying, but the problem seems to be that the closer he gets to death, the more he begins to want to live. Isn’t that always the way?
EPISODE 6 RECAP
As Shin and Eun-tak return to their favorite restaurant in Quebec, Shin is suddenly struck with a vision of Eun-tak’s future at 29: She proudly tells Sunny over the phone that she’s traveling well and hardly getting lost, and waits for someone to join her, and Shin realizes that he isn’t there with Eun-tak in her future.
He thinks, “You and your life after my disappearance have forgotten me and come to perfect completion. I must disappear. For the sake of you, who smiles prettily. The choice I must make is ending this life.”
He imagines deleting himself from all of their memories and says out loud, “In the end I made that choice,” and wells up with tears. 19-year-old Eun-tak hears those last words and wonders why he’s looking at her so sadly.
Reaper and Deok-hwa are all dressed up, and we see why when Sunny brings a friend out for a double date. It’s all part of Sunny’s plan—she says that you can figure out a man’s true nature when he’s around his friends.
Her friend looks out the window at Reaper and Deok-hwa arriving and sighs wistfully that whoever gets to date those men must be happy. Sunny agrees with a big smile.
The mood back at home is melancholy, and when Eun-tak braves a knock on Shin’s bedroom door, he ignores it. He seems to come to a decision and belatedly comes out to the living room. Without warning he says, “Pull out the sword, now. I’m asking you.”
She doesn’t know how to respond, but he insists, saying, “I want to stop… thinking the thought that I could choose.” But… isn’t this choosing? She asks if this has anything to do with that choice he mentioned at the restaurant earlier, and looks nervous as she asks what he’s choosing to do exactly.
He says he only wants an answer from her, not questions, so she says it isn’t time yet because she hasn’t completed her research. She admits to looking him up on the internet but says there was almost no information, as if someone had gone and deleted it.
Eun-tak remembers what he’d told her initially about being the goblin’s bride—that if she discovered something about him, she’d come to resent him. She knows now that the “something” is the sword, but she doesn’t know yet why she’d come to resent him, so she knows there’s something else he isn’t telling her.
She asks, “Did you maybe do something bad, and that’s why you were erased from history?” She says that if he’s being punished for doing something bad, she’s not sure if she should pull out the sword. “Did you… commit treason or anything like that?” she asks. Ouuuuuch, of all the things, why’d you have to say that?
He instantly flashes back to the Goryeo battlefront, and then to the moment his king betrayed him. We flash for a moment to Reaper and Sunny, and then return to Shin.
He looks stricken as he says, “Yes, you’re right. It was a time where survival itself was a struggle. It was a time unrecorded in history. I used all of my strength, but I could not make my death honorable. Going forth to the king would not have made things better. But I came forward, and with every step I took, innocents lost their lives. My sin was not forgiven, and I am being punished. This sword is my punishment.”
Eun-tak listens with tears in her eyes, and Shin asks, “But even if that is my punishment, if I’ve received it for nine hundred years, isn’t that a long time?”
She says tenderly, “No… it can’t be a punishment. There is no way that god would have given you that power if you were truly a bad person. If you were a bad person, only goblins would exist, and there would be no goblin’s bride to pull out the sword.”
Her words hit him hard, and a tear trickles down his face. With a gentle smile, she reaches out a hand to wipe his tears, tears streaming down her own face as she does so.
“I don’t know what kind of existence it was, but you are being loved now, truly,” she tells him, making him cry all over again. She clarifies that by “bad things,” she meant like stealing the king’s woman or something, and apologizes for bringing up treason.
He asks if she won’t make him pretty now, which is still what Eun-tak believes will happen when she pulls out the sword. She says “Yes” and he sighs in relief until she clarifies, “Yes, I won’t.”
The tone suddenly shifts to comedic as he wonders where the conversation went awry, and Eun-tak asks if he’s thought this way for nine hundred years and cries that she feels so sorry for him. He asks if she can’t try and be a little more consistent with her actions and words, ha.
Ignoring him, she says that she’s crying because she’s sad, but that he really should shape up and put in a little effort instead of feeling sorry for himself: “Don’t you think you’re not trying hard enough to become prettier?” Lolwut. She advises him that pity won’t get him very far, so he needs to take action if he wants her to pull out the sword.
She’s still crying, amazed that his life is actually more pitiful than hers, and mutters through her tears, “I’m going to punish them all!” She suddenly cuts the conversation short to go to work, and tells him to think carefully about what she wants from him.
Flustered and not following a thing she’s saying, he asks if she wants money and jewels and a house, and Eun-tak just turns to him dramatically and says, “Is that really what I’m asking for?” “Is it that—the thing I said I could do if needed?” he asks hesitantly. “What, love?” she asks. He nods, and she counters, “Why can’t you think to buy a house with money, and fill it with jewels and love?”
He shouts at her to go to work, and she reminds him that she’s already told him the answer before, but maybe he can’t remember because warriors have bad memories. He huffs at that.
Once he’s alone, Shin wonders how she can cry in empathy for his pain but not pull out the sword, and how her thoughts could lead to what he’s going to do for her in exchange. He remembers 29-year-old Eun-tak greeting her lunch date with a smile in his vision and suddenly throws a jealous tantrum that he died and she met someone new. Ha.
Sunny and Reaper’s double date begins with introductions, and Deok-hwa tells them that his occupation is “third generation chaebol heir,” which the girls don’t take seriously at all.
Reaper hems and haws and says he works in the service industry, and that he can’t give further details. Sunny asks if he has a name today, and Reaper beams proudly before announcing, “Yes. Kim Woo-bin.” Hahahaha. *cringing in embarrassment so hard*
Sunny’s friend guesses that with a name like that and a service job, he must be a waiter at a nightclub (club servers often take on celebrity pseudonyms). She asks Reaper for his business card, and he deflates, realizing that he is yet again without a thing he’s supposed to have.
But then the girls’ attention is diverted to Deok-hwa when a quick internet search proves that he really is a chaebol. Sunny is suddenly very complimentary and attentive to Deok-hwa, much to Reaper’s ire. He grows so angry that the room starts to go dark and black smoke swirls around him in a haze, and Deok-hwa looks over at him in warning.
Reaper blurts, “I’m going to leave early,” and Deok-hwa doesn’t mind being left with the women at all. But Reaper means for Deok-hwa to say it, and commands him with his reaper-mind-control powers. Hee! Deok-hwa immediately gets up and leaves, and he does the same to Sunny’s friend, and then makes Sunny forget what he just did.
Once they’re alone, Reaper gives Sunny the jade ring. She accepts it happily and asks for Deok-hwa’s number in exchange, which makes him frown, but she says that if Deok-hwa really is who he says he is, he’s her lord. Reaper balks, and Sunny clarifies, “He’s my building landlord.”
She says she has a lot to say to her landlord, so Reaper reluctantly takes out his phone to search for Deok-hwa’s number. He fumbles with the smartphone so Sunny offers to help, and Reaper jumps back when she reaches for his hand. She thinks he threw the phone at her rudely, but he covers it up with profuse gratitude.
Sunny asks for his passcode and when Reaper says he doesn’t have one, she muses that he sure doesn’t have a lot of things. Aw. She opens up his phone contacts, which consist of: Deok-hwa, Goblin, Goblin’s Bride, and Sunny Not Sun-hee. She laughs, assuming that Goblin is the name of a store, because she knows a rice cake shop named Goblin.
Reaper comes home to find Shin popping pills dejectedly, and asks if human medicine does anything for him. Shin says he’s choosing between pills and liquor, and Reaper chooses liquor, sighing over the fact that Sunny called him a strange person because he didn’t have a business card to give her.
Shin says unsympathetically, “You fooled her well. You’re not even a person.” Reaper scowls and asks if he’s manic or depressed today, and Shin just says he’s in pain. Thinking of all the mean things he’s said to Eun-tak, he says that all the words he’s spit out are returning to him, and that it must be the consequence of interfering in human life.
Shin sighs that he grew up badly and Reaper dryly pours salt in the wound: “All you did was grow tall.” Ignoring him, Shin says he ought to know better at his age than to say things he can’t take back, wondering if he deserves to die.
Reaper surprises him by saying that no one deserves to die. Shin looks over at him with hopeful eyes, and then Reaper adds, “Except for you.” Shin glares pitifully, and Reaper feels a little bad, saying that it was a joke.
Reaper asks if something happened with Eun-tak, calling her “Missing Person,” and Shin rambles that she cried and he cried and she felt sorry for him, but won’t pull out the sword and he doesn’t know why. Reaper: “Did you cry? In front of Missing Person?” He says it’s over now, insisting that women like prickly, indifferent men, not criers. Shin: “Is that why you cried when you first met [your girl]?” LOL. Reaper looks like someone kicked his puppy and Shin tells him to drink.
Reaper tells him to stick to either looking good or showing his weaknesses in front of Eun-tak, musing that he’s not Hamlet. Shin grows nostalgic and says, “Shakespeare, that guy. All I did was say, ‘To be or not to be,’ and he wrote that masterpiece.” Reaper literally spits out his drink.
When Reaper asks if he wants to go to the hospital to get checked out, Shin asks if it would do any good when the sword has begun to hurt him. Yikes. Reaper remembers Shin wondering the other night if god hadn’t overestimated what he could handle, and suddenly opens his arms wide. Figuring it’s an emergency, Reaper asks, “Would you like a hug?” Hahahaha. Yes, please!
Shin responds by summoning his goblin sword and wielding it menacingly. Reaper retreats instantly, and Shin swings his sword around like an overgrown child.
Sunny admires her jade ring and feels that it must really belong to her. Eun-tak is happy for her when she hears that the strange and handsome man gave her a ring, and Sunny says he’s still strange, but she forgets that every time she sees his face.
Eun-tak thinks the ring must be very old, and behind them, a ghost pops up from under a table to say that her boyfriend gave her a ring once. The three remaining ghosts in Eun-tak’s ghost-girl foursome show up to beg for her help, after hearing that she helped their gosiwon friend with her request.
Eun-tak tries to ignore them, but the ajumma ghost asks if she can’t get the winning lottery numbers from the goblin so they can split the winnings, and Eun-tak seems to like that idea.
She runs home and Shin rushes to sit down and act natural. Eun-tak pours on the sweet sugary act and compliments him, calling him an example just by being him. Once he’s buttered up, she asks for the winning lottery numbers, which he says he doesn’t know. But the second she says that lottery numbers would put her in a sword-pulling mood, he rattles them off to her.
Eun-tak shares the numbers with the ajumma ghost the next day, and Shin catches her in the act. She swears that this ajumma lived a good life and deserves this, and that she plans to tell the numbers to her son in a dream.
She runs off saying that she has to study, but beelines for a convenience store instead and tries to buy a lottery ticket. The cashier says that minors can’t buy lottery tickets, so Eun-tak returns in a change of clothes and makes a second and third attempt, to no avail. Um, why not go to a different convenience store?? She tries to convince the cashier that these are the winning numbers and offers to go halfsies if he buys the ticket for her, but he kicks her out.
Shin is there to catch her yet again, and she grumbles that he seems to know everything. He says that the ajumma ghost didn’t get a chance to tell her son the numbers either, and Eun-tak says he should’ve made it possible, because he’s a struggling farmer who had a bad year because it only rained in Seoul. She glares accusingly.
Shin says defensively that he’s not in charge of ALL the rain, and that there will be no lottery winner this week, which means the pot will double next week. He says that the farmers are hardworking, good people, and that they’ll dream a strange dream from a guardian god.
Eun-tak suddenly thinks he seems very cool. He wonders why she’s happy when she can’t buy a ticket next week anyway, and she points out that she’ll be twenty in two months and there’s a new lottery every week. She points finger guns at the goblin, who tells her not to act like they know each other in public.
Eun-tak turns around to see that he was right about the winning numbers, and in the store, the cashier sees that Eun-tak was right and falls out of his chair.
The ajumma ghost thanks Eun-tak when she hears the good news, and Eun-tak asks why the gosiwon ghost isn’t around anymore. The ajumma ghost says she moved on, pointing to the sky, and they both realize that the ajumma will be moving on too. She tells Eun-tak to live well with the goblin, and they smile warmly at each other.
At home, Eun-tak sits lost in thought for a while and asks Reaper if she’ll meet god if she dies. She says she plans to pick a fight: “Goblin-sshi is such a lonely guardian god. People don’t know that at the moment they’re becoming distant with the world, that someone is pushing them back towards it. But I know. So I’m going to pull out the sword. So that he’ll be prettier, and become a shining guardian god.”
Reaper is alarmed at that (aw, you DO care!) and he’s in such a hurry that he accidentally calls her Eun-tak, then corrects himself and calls her Missing Person. He argues that she could lose her usefulness and get kicked out, but she says that none of this is hers to begin with: “Life is just borrowing for a short while and staying for a short while. Hell isn’t just in hell,” she muses.
Eun-tak thinks of all the abuse she endured from Aunt and her family, and says that she’s been so happy every day that she’s spent in this house. She says with a huge smile that she wants to repay that kindness, which is why she’s going to pull out the sword.
She doesn’t know what it means exactly for the goblin to become prettier, but she figures that if Reaper Ajusshi is cheering her on to do it, it must be a good thing. Oh noes! Take it back! Tell herrrrrrr. Reaper just cringes, feeling a pang of guilt.
Reaper heads to work, where he watches a blind man crossing the street. He doesn’t notice (or cant’ see?) Samshin Granny passing behind him. She heads to the hospital where a little girl seems to see her true face, and she gives the little girl a wink.
Granny visits a little boy who’s suffering in pain, and she puts her hand on the boy’s forehead and says he’s suffered enough, so it’s time to stop hurting now. Hm, are you saving him, or is he going to die?
Reaper goes through a particularly grueling day of work, where one woman asks to be reborn as Kim Tae-hee in the next life (to which he hands her a ticket saying that she’s 92,414,945th in line, ha), and one couple gets into a fight because the man doesn’t want to be with his partner again in the next life.
The blind man just calmly goes toward the door to the afterlife as instructed, but he lights up when he hears a familiar bark at the door. His old seeing-eye dog Happy is there, and Reaper says that Happy has been waiting all day and will lead the way. Awww.
Reaper passes his usual pedestrian bridge on the way home and picks up a discarded business card on the ground. It’s an advertisement for a loan shark, but he notes the person’s title jealously.
He’s caught off-guard when Sunny approaches, and he’s so panicked that he throws his hat on and makes himself invisible. Sunny naturally thinks of him when she’s on the bridge, and complains out loud that the jerk isn’t answering his phone, and wonders what his deal is.
Reaper just watches her with a stricken expression and thinks, “I’m a grim reaper.” He thinks sadly that grim reapers must act on command, but Sunny interrupts his thoughts by suddenly announcing that she’s going to kill him because her pride has been wounded. She calls him right then and there, but ack, his phone rings out loud and she can hear it.
He doesn’t even notice at first because he’s so transfixed by the ring on her finger, and scrambles to shut his phone off. Sunny gets scared and looks around, accidentally slipping on an icy patch. Just as she’s about to fall, she stops, suspended in mid-air.
Cut to: Reaper crouching below her, holding her up on his back. Well that’s awkward. It terrifies her and Sunny goes running, leaving Reaper to watch her go with a long sigh.
Sunny runs into work and asks Eun-tak between heaving breaths if she believes in ghosts, and Eun-tak glances nervously at the two ghosts standing near the counter before saying that that would be absurd.
Sunny brushes off her strange encounter and remembers to tell Eun-tak not to come to work for the next few weeks, to focus on her college entrance exam. Best boss ever.
Shin sits at home contemplating what Eun-tak wants from him, and then recalls her saying that she’d like him to be happy while she was living there. He wonders if that’s what she wants, thinking it a tricky thing to do.
He waits outside the bookstore for her to pass by, and as she walks toward him with her head buried in notes, he thinks to himself, “Life walks to me. Death walks to me. As life, as death, you do not grow weary as you walk to me. Then all I have to say is this: I am not sad. It is done if I say this. It is done…”
She sees him and is a little touched that he watched her approaching for so long. She asks if he sees anything different in her now, remembering that he said he couldn’t see her twenties and thirties before. Shin lies that he still can’t.
He says that usually he can see a person’s fortune and misfortune, but with her he can’t. She figures that it’s because she’s a missing person, and prefers to think of it positively, that she gets to determine her own future.
She stills wishes she could know how she’ll be when she’s twenty and thirty, and Shin says, “You’ll grow up just like this—prettily.” She jokes that she can’t be pretty every day and probably has an ugly day or two. He counters that it could be an ugly month or two.
As they walk, she asks if he has particular rules for the people he becomes a guardian to, and he says no—he just chooses based on his mood day by day, and tends to help children more than adults. He explains that when he was at his most distant from the world, a child was the first person to reach out a hand to him. He flashes back to the moment the little boy who looked just like Deok-hwa asked to serve him back in Goryeo.
Eun-tak asks why he saved her mother when she was an adult, and he says that he was weak-hearted then because he’d had a drink, plus, the person her mother was asking him to save wasn’t herself.
Eun-tak is suddenly overcome with tears and says, “That you were the one who answered her cry to be saved—it just seems like such a miracle.” She cries happy, grateful tears and he stares at her for a long moment before raising a hand to pet her on the head.
She smiles and then says he’s not supposed to press her head like that, but caress the hair softly. She shows him by reaching up and petting him on the head, and he’s just lost in the moment for a while, looking into her eyes.
He comes out of the reverie and pulls away brusquely, saying that today must be one of her ugly days. Sigh. And you were doing so well!
She runs after him in a huff, but her mood lifts when they get home and she discovers that Shin put up a Christmas tree for her. She tells him that she was being selfish before because she thought he’d kick her out if she pulled out the sword, plus she thought maybe he’d become prettier and meet a prettier girl.
She stops to ask, “Aren’t you going to say you’re not?” Shin: “Do I have to?” Ha. She announces with a smile that she’ll make him pretty, because if he’s making the request, it can’t lead to a bad result. She asks where they should do it and he panics.
“Today? Right now?” he asks. She rolls up her sleeves right then and there, and Shin hurriedly pretends to answer a call while running out of the house.
He goes straight to Reaper’s tea room and asks for liquor before sharing the big news. Reaper asks if Eun-tak knows what pulling out the sword means, and Shin says no, adding that he’s worried because she likes him a lot.
Reaper doesn’t buy it, and Shin argues that Eun-tak asked him to marry her as soon as they met and said, “I love you,” putting him in a really awkward position. “She has no reason not to like me,” Shin points out.
Reaper counters that there are plenty of reasons, like their enormous age gap, and says the second she goes to college she’ll meet a gazillion young, good-looking boys. Shin: “What, that 900 years? So what?” Pfft.
Reaper tells him to stop shortening his age, saying that he’s 939, but Shin says he’s actually got an early birthday, so he’s really technically a year younger. HA. Both boys actually start laughing at that.
Shin says this is better than liquor and then says wistfully, “She’s the only one who can make me die, but she keeps making me live. It’s funny, isn’t it?” Reaper reminds him that he lived well before meeting her too, but Shin thinks it’s strange that he can’t seem to remember that.
He lies in bed that night remembering every time Eun-tak ran up to him calling him Ajusshi, and he says aloud, “Stop calling me. Stop calling me, Ji Eun-tak. Let me go.” She calls him for real outside his bedroom door, but he doesn’t answer.
She lingers in the hallway, and Shin leans against the door from inside his room.
Eun-tak gets a visit from Aunt’s loan shark gangsters after school, and though they start to harass her about Aunt’s debt, they don’t get very far before picking a fight with each other. Ha, because Reaper Jedi-mind-tricked them to fight till they die?
Grandpa’s secretary comes up and asks Eun-tak if she knows those loan sharks, and says offhandedly that he used to be one. He offers her a ride home and calls the police to report the loan sharks, who still bicker even at the police station and admit that they don’t know why they keep fighting.
On the drive home, Eun-tak launches into an awkward speech about how nice Deok-hwa oppa is and how responsible and frugal he is for a chaebol. Secretary Kim asks for an example, and she actually can’t come up with anything, and just apologizes. Secretary Kim is unruffled, though he cracks a little smile at her humming to fill the awkward silence.
Eun-tak is annoyed when Shin ignores her as she comes home and then again all throughout dinner, and asks Reaper about Shin’s mood as they sit and peel garlic. Reaper says Shin can’t remember the past, but says he doesn’t know anything beyond that. She doesn’t believe him, and he just threatens to call her name three times and she stops pestering him.
Reaper says these days, the dead follow when you say their name only once, and Eun-tak says it must be difficult work. He points out that missing persons are what make his job truly difficult, and Eun-tak sweetly offers to peel all the garlic herself. Reaper offers up, “The Goblin has an early birthday, so he’s actually a year younger than his age. That’s all I can tell you. Do well.” Pwahaha.
Eun-tak asks why Reaper found her at age 9 and then again at 19, and he offers up a little grim reaper secret, that people are most at risk at the time just before completion (meaning at ages ending in 9).
He stares at her intently and thinks to himself in voiceover, “At 29 you will also meet a grim reaper, even if it isn’t me. That is the fate of a missing person. There must be order in this life, and 9 is the closest incomplete number to 10, the complete number of the gods. With this too, do well.” To her, he just lies that he had a good dream the night before he found her. Gack, is she not going to live past 29?
Eun-tak finally corners Shin and asks why it seems like he’s mad at her. He says he isn’t mad but answers acerbically, “What are you? What are you, to call me so loudly? Why do you keep bewildering me? Why do you keep confusing me? You should have pulled out the sword when I asked. That is your worth.” Ouch.
Hurt and confused, Eun-tak says she agreed to pull out the sword, and he’s the one ignoring her. She says that she doesn’t have all the time in the world like an immortal, and that they should just get it over with today.
But he says, “Tomorrow, not today. The weather is too nice today. I’m going to go on a walk with you.” Tomorrow comes, and again he changes his mind and says tomorrow, not today, this time because the weather is too bad. The day after that he says, “Not today, tomorrow. Just one more day.”
Grandpa is heartbroken when Shin tells him his plans, and Shin thinks of his right-hand man in Goryeo who had served him faithfully and plunged the sword into his heart while crying, and of the queen who had died because of him.
He hands Grandpa the old scroll painting of the queen and asks him to burn it, saying how much he regrets not being able to find those he is still indebted to. Shin asks him to look after his young bride and make sure she will always eat well and learn well without him, and says this is his final request of Grandpa.
With tears in his eyes, Grandpa says respectfully that he will accept the command, and Shin takes both of Grandpa’s hands in his warmly. Augh, stop saying goodbye!
Next, Deok-hwa stares at his new credit card in disbelief, and Shin tells him to live freely, and that this is the prize he’s giving him. Deok-hwa says he didn’t do anything to deserve a prize.
Shin pets him on the head and says he grew up well, and Deok-hwa blurts, “I love you.” Ha. That makes Shin smile, and Deok-hwa just beams at his card, unaware of what it all means.
Then Shin tells someone in a grave tone that he left the deed to the house. He says that once he’s gone, the mark on Eun-tak’s neck will disappear. “Erase her memories, so that she doesn’t hate herself,” he asks.
Suddenly Reaper answers in a fuzzy voice over the phone, “What? Speak louder, I can’t hear you!” LOL. They’re on a video call, and Shin tries to get Reaper to put his headset on, but Reaper shouts, “It’s away from my ear now! I see your face!” Shin just hangs up on him.
Eun-tak contemplates Shin’s behavior the last few days and the things he’d said: “I like walking with you,” and “I like coming to get you.” Even now he sneaks up on her and says, “I like looking at you.”
She asks why he’s being so nice to her all of a sudden, and then asks for his hand. He holds it out to her, and she traces a hanja into his palm and asks what it means. He tells her it’s the character for “listen,” and she thanks him and says goodnight.
He stands there with his hand still outstretched, more affected by the moment than she realizes.
Eun-tak just runs to her room and writes down the meaning of the final hanja, ready to decipher what she has written down in her notebook. Oh, is this from Shin’s journal? Please say it is. She doesn’t get very far in translating it though, to her frustration.
Shin sits in his room for a long time just staring at the hand that Eun-tak held, and then brings gifts to her room. She opens them excitedly, and he tells her that it’s the 5 million she wished for, and things that she’ll need once she’s twenty and going out with her college boyfriend.
She asks why he’s giving her these things, and he just answers, “Today. The sword.” She agrees to pull the sword and then asks, “Is there love anywhere in these?” indicating his presents.
It takes him a while to answer, but he says “No,” and she says she was just asking.
They go through a door and end up in his buckwheat garden, and Eun-tak runs around and asks if the flowers he gave her were from here. She says she remembers their meaning, and he says again, “Lovers.”
She asks if this is a special place, and he calls it “My beginning and end.” He asks her to pull out the sword now, and Eun-tak pulls out a notebook first to say that she wrote a few things down that she wants him to agree to first. It’s a contract (we don’t get to see the whole thing), and at the very end it asks him to listen to her summons on the first day of snow each year, because she’ll be waiting.
Shin thinks back to a conversation he had with Reaper, when he said he was planning to die before the first day of snow. When Reaper asked why, he said, “Because I don’t want to ruin her first snow.”
Shin signs Eun-tak’s contract readily, and the moment he does, it begins to snow. Eun-tak looks around in amazement at the earliest first snow she’s ever seen, and realizes that he’s causing it. He says he’s sorry that it’s selfish, adding, “But I wanted to have a memory like this.” She says they should hurry up and make him pretty, and he agrees that it’s time.
Eun-tak asks for his final words, and Shin says, “The time that I spent with you was blindingly bright. Because the day was good, because the day was bad, because the day was just so. All the days were good. And whatever happens, it’s not your fault.”
She asks worriedly if he might actually turn into a broom, but he laughs and says that won’t happen. Reassured, she says she’ll pull it out now, and reaches for the sword, which materializes before her.
Shin closes his eyes…
But when she tries to close her hands around the sword, it vaporizes and she can’t grab it. She tries again and again, but it just keeps ghosting on her.
Shin asks if she’s using all her strength, but Eun-tak says she can see it… but she can’t touch it. His eyes go wide and he starts to say that she’s not the goblin’s bride, but she cuts him off to say that she’s more thrown than he is right now.
He demands to have the contract back so he can burn it, when she suddenly says, “I know what it is. It’s that, I know it. The prince in the fairytale, the prince with the curse! That!” “What?!” he asks. She grabs him by the collar and yanks him toward her. “A kiss,” she says, as she gets on her tiptoes and plants a kiss on his lips.
Shin’s eyes grow wide, and all the snow starts to fly up to the sky in reverse.
Huh, is she not the bride? I’m still operating under the assumption that she’s being honest about seeing the sword, but it’s definitely curious that she can’t seem to touch it. At this point it would be worse if she weren’t the goblin’s bride—it would negate all the she-is-life-she-is-death angst, so she has to be. There must just be some other rule in play that they don’t know about. Maybe she’s onto something with the kiss, not the kiss itself, but the idea that true love is a factor. I’m hoping it’s something else though, because Shin mentioned regret about not repaying his debts before dying. The ghosts linger in this life because of their unresolved grudges, so I would think that the goblin is no different. Maybe seeking out the innocents who were brought to death because of him, or even taking revenge on the king will resolve the century-old grudge lodged in his heart. Maybe he has to make the sword materialize before the bride can take it out?
This episode felt really long today, mostly because Shin and Eun-tak kept changing their minds about the sword-pulling, and I’m a little weary of the back and forth on that. I mean, I obviously don’t want the goblin to die! I just don’t know why that conversation had to happen about a hundred times over the last four episodes, because if it repeats enough times, you have us wondering why he doesn’t just live or die already.
I think Goblin’s reason for wanting to live is actually clearer at this point than his reason for dying, so I felt like the back and forth actually made it seem obvious that he wanted to live and made his subsequent decision to die a little like just giving up. I thought there should’ve been a bigger change in him when Eun-tak made him cry with the big emotional declaration today, that he couldn’t be that bad a person because her existence alone is proof that this life is no punishment. It made me cry, it was so beautiful, and I finally felt like I got an emotional connection between them that wasn’t just based on a pretty moment on a pretty day. In this conversation she becomes his hope and a sign that even he deserves life—because why give him a bride if he deserves eternal suffering? I just found it sad and frustrating that he reverted to choosing death anyway when there’s her way of interpreting the whole goblin-bride relationship.
Now that we know a little something about Eun-tak being more vulnerable to reapers in her plus-nine years, I wonder what it has to do with Shin’s first vision of her future at 29. We don’t know yet why he got to see a glimpse of her in that moment, but based on what we learned from Reaper today, I don’t think the reason is a happy one. I’m sure that Reaper has his rules about not sharing his trade secrets or interfering in matters of life and death, but in any case, it’s sweet that he wishes her well even at 29. I find his growing friendship with Eun-tak adorable, since they’re the normal ones who have to deal with he moody goblin roommate and have bonded over it. Reaper is just adorable with everyone, really, and I hope for the comedy’s sake that he stays as bumbling in his romance with Sunny as he has been.
At least we got the big sword-pulling question out of the way for now, seeing as how she can’t, and they can stop arguing about whether she will. I just don’t even want to hear about that anymore until she’s better informed and understands the consequences of sword-pulling, because it seems unfair to put something like life and death in her hands and not tell her about it. We did get some good character stuff as Shin was wrapping up his affairs, even though we obviously knew he wasn’t really going to die—he can’t, with ten episodes left to go—but I enjoyed his goodbyes to everyone. Plus, we even got to see Reaper start to grow fond of Goblin and be sad that he’s going to die! I was pretty touched at that, though I wished he’d go the extra step and tell Eun-tak the truth about the sword. I mean, you’ll never get your Reaper-Goblin hug if Shin climbs those eternal stairs!
- The Lonely Shining Goblin: Episode 5
- The Lonely Shining Goblin: Episode 4
- The Lonely Shining Goblin: Episode 3
- The Lonely Shining Goblin: Episode 2
- The Lonely Shining Goblin: Episode 1
- Love in the time of immortality in the Goblin
- Food fights and cuddling in posters for The Lonely Shining Goblin
- The otherworldly couples of The Lonely Shining Goblin
- The Lonely, Shining Goblin goes from ancient warrior to modern man
- The odd roommates and seductive chicken shop owner of The Goblin
- The fateful rainy day when the Goblin meets his bride