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Chicago Typewriter: Episode 16 (Final)

Here we are at the last chapter of Chicago Typewriter, where our characters have one final shot to look into their past lives. Words will go beyond the page in this finale as our trio reconciles the truth with the guilt they’ve carried into the present. As we approach the last page of this beautiful tale, I have to ask—does a story ever really end when we carry these characters in our hearts?

 
FINAL EPISODE RECAP

A tear escapes from Hwi-young’s eye as he breathes his last. Some time later, a box of his possessions is dropped off at Yul’s home where Yul sits in a daze. He opens the chest to find the gold pocket watch, the typewriter, and a letter from Hwi-young.

In it, Hwi-young writes that he decided to leave his three most prized possessions with his friend before leaving to Manchuria. He remembered the day they saw this typewriter for the first time and admits that he was overjoyed when Yul bought him that machine. Knowing that he would never be able to repay his friend’s endless generosity in this lifetime, this typewriter is all he can give him.

Hwi-young has a request, however: “I hope you’ll complete the novel I never finished with this typewriter you gave to me as a gift. Write our story in my stead; our times together, show the world that we lived on this earth, that we lived in a dark reality, that we suffered real pain, that there was hope in the midst of despair, that we chased after happiness in the midst of danger, that we lived our lives and fought with all our strength.”

Clutching his chest, Yul sobs as Hwi-young requests that his friend remain by Soo-hyun’s side and make sure she is never alone again. He regrets that he didn’t tell Yul enough how much he trusted him “so let’s make sure we come out alive to meet again. No, even if we die, let’s meet again.”

Hwi-young writes that he already has a response ready if he’s asked by god if this lifetime was a happy one: “I was happy that I met you two.” If he is praised for his valiant efforts, then he will make a request—should he be lucky enough to be reborn, he wants to be with them again.

At the hospital, Seol is filled in about the heated exchange on the rooftop that led to Se-joo’s fall. She relays the message to Ji-seok and Secretary Kang about having Se-joo tested for internal bleeding, but that’s when Se-joo rises from his hospital bed.

Assuring Ji-seok that he isn’t a ghost, Se-joo tells them the honest truth about how a ghost possessed his body and saved him from certain death. Cue simultaneous open-mouthed reactions, followed by Ji-seok concluding that Se-joo needs psychological help. Ha.

Worried that he might’ve actually killed a man, a frightened Tae-min rushes to his workspace. He grabs his passport (so you can flee the country?) only to find himself face to face with Jin-oh, who sourly remarks that Tae-min looks like he’s seen a ghost.

Now Tae-min remembers that he saw him in Se-joo’s office and yells, “Who on earth are you?” Jin-oh replies that’s the wrong question to ask; given the current circumstances, he should be asking if the man he pushed off the roof, Se-joo, is safe.

Frazzled, Tae-min claims that Se-joo fell of his own accord, but Jin-oh bellows that he should’ve checked if Se-joo survived the fall instead of running away from the scene. Jin-oh doesn’t buy the excuse that Tae-min was in shock and notes that Tae-min tried to do away with him by running him over.

The fact of the matter is Tae-min tried to take two lives today, and Jin-oh lets out a disappointed sigh when Tae-min asks if he has any proof because Tae-min hasn’t changed one bit: “You’ll commit a crime and try to cover it by committing another crime. You make excuses instead of apologies, you forget rather than feel regret. As always, you know nothing of penance.”

Jin-oh grabs him by the lapels, but that triggers his memory of angrily grabbing Young-min in the interrogation room. Tae-min uses that moment to try and escape, but he opens his door to find detectives here to arrest him for kidnapping.

Se-joo and Seol return home with Ji-seok, who still can’t believe that Se-joo survived his fall with a minor head wound. When Seol goes weak from her worries, Se-joo rushes to her side and snaps at Ji-seok to leave. Ji-seok immediately frowns. D’aww.

The pair is hooked up to IVs later that night, and though Se-joo is upset she put Se-joo’s life in danger again, she is grateful that Jin-oh was there to save him. He wonders where their resident ghost has gone, and Jin-oh shows up as if on cue. Seol is worried when Se-joo asks if Jin-oh is still flickering in and out, but Se-joo jokes that their ghost runs on batteries.

Later, Se-joo shares with them how he saw vivid memories of his past life during his fall. His scintillating preview of action, melodrama, and tragedy puts Seol and Jin-oh on the edges of their seats.

We later learn that Se-joo left out a few key details, like who was responsible for Hwi-young taking his own life on that cliff. Seol enters his room just then, and he wryly asks if she’s hoping to sleep with him tonight.

He’s amused when she lets out a nervous giggle and invites her to his bed to chat. She’s still worried about who she shot dead in her past life and asks if he has any theories. He tells her not to worry about whether or not she’ll remember, and she says he only remembers the memories where he comes off looking cool.

Inching toward her, Se-joo shares that Hwi-young’s dying wish to the heavens was to be reunited with his friends in that lifetime. He realizes that prayer was answered because Jin-oh is here and Seol is sitting here before him. Swooooon.

He leans in with the line that he’ll “do something for our homeland” but Seol foils his attempt to kiss her. Seeing him pout, she initiates the goodnight kiss. Stop being adorable.

Jin-oh notices the cracks in his arm deepen and worries if seeing Young-min in his past life means that Young-min was the one who murdered him.

When Tae-min’s parents visit him at the police station, Tae-min’s mother is convinced that her sweet son would never commit a crime and he’s been framed. What else is new, crazy woman.

She sits there spinning ridiculous theories until Tae-min can’t take it anymore and screams at her to quiet down. Writer Baek ushers his shocked wife away to speak to his son alone, but Tae-min softly admits that he ran someone over. He requests a meeting with Se-joo, believing that Se-joo would know who that man was.

Elsewhere, Bang-jin is out grocery shopping with Dae-han when she serendipitously sees Mom stocking the shelves. She surreptitiously takes a photo and sends it to Seol.

Per usual, Ji-seok barges into Se-joo’s house and does an about face when he sees Se-joo and Seol fast asleep in his bed. Putting two and two together, he runs back and trips onto the floor.

Se-joo and Seol wake up from the noise and sit up, surprised to see the other in bed. He wonders when she joined him in bed, to which she counters that it was his idea to stay up talking all night. She fires back that he’d offered to sleep on the couch and wonders when he crawled into bed. Pfft.

That’s when Ji-seok makes his presence known and Seol slips away to check Bang-jin’s text. She gets Mom to meet her that evening and tells her that she’ll decide how to handle the truth of her past life, so it’s Mom’s turn to share her memories.

She knows Mom was the mole who betrayed their group and she was captured by Young-min, but she reminds her mother that she is her daughter, not Soo-hyun. Her past identity may have vowed never to forgive the maternal figure in her life, but that isn’t the case with her.

What she previously couldn’t forgive was how Mom abandoned her, but Seol needs to hear Mom’s side of the tale and that way Mom can move on.

Se-joo and Jin-oh are having a similar conversation at home, where Jin-oh says he wonders why he still can’t remember the details surrounding his own death. Se-joo asks if he has to remember in order to move on into the afterlife, which suggests to Jin-oh that Se-joo does know something.

When Se-joo hedges, Jin-oh presses for more information. Se-joo asks if his friend is prepared to hear the truth, and Jin-oh nods.

Neither of them is aware that Seol has arrived home and can overhear their conversation. After repeating the portion that Yul turned himself in, Se-joo prefaces that what follows is his own theory. He believes Yul succumbed to Young-min’s demands because Yul couldn’t bear to see Soo-hyun suffering.

Jin-oh refuses to accept that possibility, but Se-joo notes that the safe house was raided the day their group was supposed to flee to Manchuria, and the only other person who knew of that location aside from Hwi-young… was Yul.

He repeats that this is merely a theory, but Jin-oh is caught up in the idea of the one who shot him. And that’s when Seol enters the office announcing, “It was me. I was the one who killed Shin Yul.”

She says her mother helped patch the gaps in her memory, and we see that Yul have Soo-hyun released from custody. Given clothes and money, she’s told to live her life however she wished, but she ends up in front of Carpe Diem, which is now boarded up.

She picks up a newsletter that announces Hwi-young’s death and storms into the club to retrieve the Chicago Typewriter. While Yul fulfills Hwi-young’s final wish to continue writing his novel, Young-min re-opens Carpe Diem as a safe house for the Japanese police.

Calling this day the happiest day of his life, he rallies the others to eat and be merry. Just then, a half-masked Soo-hyun crashes the party and fires the submachine gun into the crowd. She shoots down the officers along with the man Young-min uses as a human shield.

She keeps her gun trained on Young-min, who hides behind the bar and picks up a gun. He waits a few moments before rising to his feet, gun in hand, only to find the club empty and the submachine gun lies on the bar counter.

And then Soo-hyun appears from behind pointing a gun at his head. Young-min chuckles, saying that guns aren’t very ladylike. She tells him to put his gun down before she blows his brains out.

Young-min does as he’s told and offers to let her live, but Soo-hyun has nothing to lose now. He says this moment reminds him of Hwi-young’s death, and Soo-hyun responds by shooting him in the temple. Damn.

Once Yul learns that there’s a masked vigilante assassinating those in the name of the youth independence fighters, he heads to the old hideout behind Carpe Diem. Finding the boxes of firearms empty, Yul decides to wait for Soo-hyun here at the club.

Having heard the rumors about a masked assassin, Madam Sophia walks the streets in fear. A rickshaw stops in front of her, and a gun-wielding hand extends out of the carriage. It’s Soo-hyun, who reminds her that those who betray their comrades must be punished.

Madam Sophia cries that she was also deceived and her son died anyway. But it’s too little too late, and Soo-hyun hopes they meet under better circumstances in their next life, then pulls the trigger.

Now we arrive at the moment of truth as Soo-hyun bursts into the old hideout where Yul is busy typing away on the typewriter. Yul is neither surprised by her arrival nor by the gun pointed at his head.

He turns to face her and shares that Hwi-young left behind a gift for the both of them. He believes she should have the gold pocket watch, and when Soo-hyun asks why he betrayed them, he insists that she end it quick.

Angry tears fall from her eyes as she repeats the question, and Yul answers, “Because I couldn’t stand… to see you dying before my eyes.”

Soo-hyun barks back that it shouldn’t have mattered—he shouldn’t have spilled the beans anyway. But Yul hollers, “Comrade Ryu Soo-hyun! Hurry up and execute your mission. That is an order.”

Soo-hyun’s hand shakes as she accepts the order. Pointing out her quivering hand, Yul places a hand over hers to steady her hand, reminiscent of when he first taught her how to shoot. He reminds her to keep her eye on the target and not to be afraid of the recoil.

He orders her to shoot, and when she hesitates, he asks if he should do it himself. Soo-hyun takes a moment to collect herself, which pleases Yul because he can see that cold-hearted look in her eyes again.

He removes his hand and she asks if he has any last words. “Punish me by your hand,” Jin-oh says. “That way, I think I can be at ease.” Just like before, Soo-hyun states the words of execution… and shoots.

As his head falls on the typewriter, Yul apologizes to Hwi-young that he couldn’t keep his promise of remaining by Soo-hyun’s side. He made her cry instead, and he couldn’t complete his novel either.

He vows to fulfill both promises should he be reincarnated “and I’ll do everything I can to protect you two so that you two can be happy.”

After Soo-hyun loudly mourns Yul’s death, she heads to the mountains carrying the pocket watch. She takes refuge in the shade of a large tree surrounded by flowers and closes her eyes.

Hwi-young walks toward her and bends down to softly touch her hair. She opens her eyes and says, “You came back.” Hwi-young: “I said I’d come back.” Tears well up in her eyes as she tells Hwi-young that she killed Yul, who was like a brother, father, friend, and comrade to her.

She blames herself, but Hwi-young wipes away her tears, reminding her that she knows she isn’t responsible for either his death or Yul’s. She asks if he’s going to leave again, and he nods. She touches the corner of his sleeve and asks to go together.

“No,” Hwi-young gently replies. “You need to survive and live to see a liberated Joseon.” She says she’s too sleepy and rests her head. The pocket watch falls out of her hand, and years pass before Seol’s father picks it up.

Shell-shocked, Jin-oh asks Se-joo if he betrayed him, Hwi-young. He then turns to Seol and says he made her, Soo-hyun, get her hands dirty. He realizes that he’s responsible for their deaths, and then the thunder claps and Jin-oh glows before them before falling onto the floor.

Seol calls in Bang-jin’s mother and carefully explains that Jin-oh collapsed from shock. Bang-jin’s mother says Jin-oh’s days are numbered—soon he’ll return to nothingness. She advises that Seol and Se-joo grant their spirit friend his final requests.

Se-joo sits in front of the typewriter, and when Jin-oh walks in moments later, he asks why Jin-oh didn’t say anything. Jin-oh says it wasn’t all bad because now he knows why he voluntarily tied his fate to this typewriter. “I wanted to ask for forgiveness from you both,” he explains. “And to keep my promise to Hwi-young.”

He believes he kept his promise to let Hwi-young have Soo-hyun in their next life, and says that he wants to meet another woman in his next life, words that get Se-joo to chuckle. Se-joo levels with his friend, sharing that Hwi-young trusted his friend to the bitter end even though he knew that Yul betrayed him.

“Hwi-young has already forgiven you,” Se-joo clarifies. “And I have no reason to forgive you… because you’re Yoo Jin-oh, not Shin Yul.” He tells Jin-oh to give the self-pity party a rest and find a way to avoid turning into nothingness.

He asks Se-joo to let him borrow this office so he can fulfill his promise to Hwi-young to finish the novel, then sits with Seol to thank her because her memories completed the puzzle.

She apologizes for causing him pain, but Jin-oh now speaks as Yul: “Soo-hyun-ah. It’s not your fault, you merely did what you had to do back then… so don’t feel guilty anymore. Forget your past and live in the present.”

“Please do the same, Shin Yul hyung-nim,” she replies, “because your betrayal was your way of saving me.” Seol says Soo-hyun knew that; even in the moment that she pulled the trigger, Soo-hyun was both sorry and grateful toward him.

“To me, you were a respectable teacher, a faithful comrade, and a gentle hyung-nim.” She was able to live a magnificent life thanks to him, and she thanks him for taking her in and liking her so much. Moved, Jin-oh softly strokes her hair.

Se-joo agrees to see Tae-min, who leans in to ask who the man he ran over really is. He says that man haunts his dreams and tells him to repent, though he believes he’s done nothing wrong.

“Is admitting your wrongs that hard for you?” Se-joo asks. “Is saying sorry that hard?” He tells Tae-min that there are people who have waited decades hoping to be forgiven or risk their lives to keep silly promises. Life isn’t always filled with rosy days; it’s best to admit your mistakes and move on.

He hopes Tae-min can find value in his life in order to start over. He leaves Tae-min shedding a tear in his wake.

Se-joo returns to a quiet house and searches all over before sighing in relief when Jin-oh appears with a smile.

Now that Jin-oh has completed Hwi-young’s novel, he and Se-joo share a beer together. Jin-oh says it took 83 years to fulfill his promise to his old friend, so Se-joo declares it’s time for Jin-oh to keep his promise to him.

He takes out their first contract and reminds him of the very first clause of living and working together until their novel’s completion: “Han Se-joo and Yoo Jin-oh’s novel isn’t finished yet.”

He plans on saving Jin-oh by writing this novel, and he later lets out a satisfied sigh once he’s done. He makes Jin-oh promise him one thing before letting him read it: for Jin-oh to tie himself to this story he finished because that way Jin-oh can still live on.

He wants Jin-oh to wait inside this novel until Se-joo’s time comes and they are reunited: “Promise me that you’ll come back then.” His eyebrows furrow with concern when the cracks in Jin-oh glow once more, and the three of them head out to a fishing spot, just like Hwi-young wanted once their homeland was liberated.

Seol suggests that they bet on whether or not Jin-oh will be reincarnated, and whoever’s line moves first, wins. Jin-oh is appalled that his friends would gamble with his future, and whereas Se-joo isn’t sure that Jin-oh will be reincarnated, Seol hopes that he will be. Jin-oh bets that he will.

Jin-oh can feel himself start to break, but keeps it together as Se-joo thanks him for pulling him out of his writer’s block, and it was thanks to him that Seol entered his life. Seol excuses herself, and Se-joo thanks Jin-oh for breaking down the walls of his heart.

Se-joo warns, “So don’t you dare disappear again without a word–” but finds the chair empty. Se-joo instructs Jin-oh to send a sign to let him know that he’s still there, but nothing happens.

Seol returns to find Se-joo barking at the empty space and drops her things to hold him. She points out that Jin-oh’s fishing line is moving.

One month later, Se-joo speaks of Yul at a book signing event for the full-length novel of Chicago Typewriter: “He was my muse, a ghost, and my friend who crossed eighty years to get me back on my feet. Miraculously calling me through an antique typewriter, that special time was a pillar of strength enabling us to live in the present.”

He dedicates the novel to his dear friend Jin-oh, and Seol sends him two thumbs up. They go for a stroll that evening, and Seol worries that his fans will feel betrayed if they see them together.

She feels bad about being so happy, and then trips on her shoelace. She says someone must be missing her, and Se-joo bends down and repeats the words he said the first time he tied her shoelace: “There is someone who does. A person who has been waiting for you for almost 100 years. Someone who can’t leave because of a tenacious fate.”

Asking if that person is a mystical being, she wonders what could’ve happened to Jin-oh. Se-joo hopes that he found his way into his novel, and she asks if he’s happy there. Deciding to leave that question up to the coin gods, Se-joo declares that heads means Jin-oh is fine and tails means he failed.

He flips the coin, and they check to see which one it is… and we cut to Hwi-young typing the last few words of his novel in Carpe Diem. He prevents Soo-hyun from trying to catch a sneak preview, telling her that she can buy a copy if she wants to know the ending. Lol.

Footsteps approach, and Yul appears to join his friends, who ask him what took him so long. “I had a dream,” Yul answers, and Soo-hyun jokes that their homeland will never be liberated at this rate.

“Don’t worry,” Yul confidently replies. “Liberation will surely come.” Asked what he dreamt about, Yul thinks, “A dream where you two are living beautiful lives in a liberated Joseon.”

He discovers a picture in his pocket—the one of Se-joo and Seol standing outside Gwanghaemun… which he now appears in. He thinks, “A dream where even for a brief moment, I was with you two… and the hope that we will be reunited sometime in the distant future.”

 
COMMENTS

If I were to describe this finale in one word, it would be this: heavenly. Well, apart from the grueling experience of having to see Hwi-young and Yul’s death more than once. All I wanted from this show’s last moments was to see a glimpse of Hwi-young, Yul, and Soo-hyun together again, so it warms my heart to see the friends live on within the written pages of their own story.

Even if we aren’t told the logistical details of exactly how Jin-oh leapt back into Se-joo’s novel, it’s personally enough for me to know that Yul has rejoined his friends of the past with his conscience wiped clean and looks forward to being reunited with the friends of the present. Being separated from his loved ones would be the greatest negative consequence Jin-oh could face in his will-he-won’t-he-disappear narrative conflict, and when he asked to be forgiven by Se-joo and Seol, I love that they both made it clear that they are not their past selves, but also grateful to Jin-oh because his impact on their lives enabled them to dream of a future.

It’s that sense of hope that was so deeply rooted in the 1930s storyline that captured my heart. There’s no doubt that the Japanese Occupation era was a tumultuous and dark period in history, and yet there’s something powerful about a story that revolved around a group of young voices struggling against injustice and fighting for a day they may never live to see themselves. Even Hwi-young’s parting words carried weight that extends beyond one lifetime, and I can only hope that Soo-hyun did as Hwi-young instructed and lived to see their homeland liberated.

Which brings me to that heart-wrenching confrontation between Soo-hyun and Yul. Many of us guessed that Soo-hyun pulled that trigger, but I don’t think any of us was prepared to watch Yul’s final moments with her to mirror the one memory they both cherished, when he first taught her to shoot. I loved that Yul got a chance to reconcile the circumstances of his death with Seol, and that he was able to work out the guilt he carried for decades.

But that serves to show just how much Se-joo and Seol have matured over the course of this series. The painful memories of their past lives taught them to see the greater picture of what it means to live and how precious life can be. I found the honesty they shared in their romantic relationship and their friendship with Jin-oh to be wonderfully refreshing, since there have been plenty of dramas where misunderstandings are left to fester and the viewers are left frustrated. Even Mom, who betrayed her comrades to save her son (though did she really think that Young-min would keep his promise?) settled things with her daughter, who knew that it was her responsibility to figure out how to handle the truth, not anyone else.

On the production front, I truly loved how the direction enhanced the story that was told. Even when I felt a bit unsure about where this story would go, I held onto the notion that the writing knew where it wanted to take us. And boy, was the payoff worth the wait. Once the emotional ball got rolling, it hardly let us catch our breath. Nearly every word spoken felt important and wanted to teach us something about stories, relationships, or society as a whole. I wouldn’t be surprised if writer Jin Soo-wan wished to use this drama as a platform to explore the ongoing struggles and stressful demands on a writer, because what better chance is there to project those feelings than through an author as your hero?

One of the beautiful things that Chicago Typewriter has done is to shed light on how freedom is an ideal that is hard-earned and that the current generation is privileged to enjoy. Knowing the cost helps us appreciate just how fragile and precious a notion it truly is, and if a fictional tale can stir our hearts, how much more would learning the actual history break our hearts and leave us breathless? In truth, there aren’t enough words to properly describe how this show made me laugh and cry. Let’s just say that Chicago Typewriter hit the bullseye of my heart from its opening chapter to its final page, and my love for it will surely go beyond this lifetime.

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Ugly crying right now. ???
Will miss you show, terribly.

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with just the right amount of open-endedness....Like Se-Joo and Seul, we don't know if Yul ever get reincarnated in the end, but this ending makes sense, with sufficient closure for all of us.

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I'm satisfied enough to know that Yul lives in their story and happily reunited with his friends. They are moving forward with no regrets now. That's more than I could ask for. Carpe Diem!

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'Twas the perfect ending. ? Kudos to the whole CT team and to the actors for a wonderful show.

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It was actually a beautiful ending... Where each one got their wish and they all had the same wish which was to be together even in death... The true friendship. Btw Incase u dealing from withdrawal syndrome of this series ... Try the book "bone garden" by Tess Gerritsen will give u similar feels

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ok, here's a thought...was there eventually two versions of the novel completed in the end? One is based on actual true accounts from Jin-Oh and another one with alternate version by Se-Jun which is published to the public? The latter version is the one where Yul sealed himself into right? Alternate version where Hwi-Young completed the novel himself and Soo-Hyun hasn't been successfully at "stealing" his draft...

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Oh, no you're not the only one feeling happy for hier full vengeful path. I feel satisfied watching badass Soo Hyun rocking that Chicago Typewriter gun.

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completely off topic... but have to say.. i absolutely loouvvee your screen name!! @i will goryeo you! :D

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Same here! I had initially predicted that she would follow Hui-young by ending her own life but that scene in Carpe Diem was totally badass. ?

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I replayed that scene when she shot up Carpe Diem and put a bullet in Heo Young Min multiple times! It disgusted me how they turned Carpe Diem into a hangout for the Japanese police. And when Heo Young Min tried to distract SH by talking, but she just went ahead and pulled the trigger.

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Hola, @La Plume.... I wanted to thank you very much for your comment (before or after) about not giving up writing. I am also no longer 20, and I still dream with completing a novel based on a family tragedy set in the XIX Century... Not in Korea, but Bohemia...
If one day you stop by a novel with the word "Gallery" in the title, and the description says it happened in Bohemia, in the XIX Century... That was me!
Don´t know when, but it is still in my head.

Take care!! fighting!!!

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I like the way you think; the real version as a private version between the 3 protagonists and the published version one in which there's a happier ending for them.

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This drama may pass as the most underrated drama of all times! Haay.. ?

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It's barely been a day since I finished watching and I miss the characters already. ? Can't believe it's over.

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This legit was one of the best things about my week so sad to see it go... But like most people I loved the open-endedness of the show and how it was really up to our interpretations.

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Such a beautiful drama,from the beginning till it’s last minute…This for sure will be among my favorite dramas from 2017..It had such nostalgic,raw fellings filled with shattered yet strong people,that was the beauty in it,it’s characters and how they managed to heal their souls…I confess my favorite character was Yul/Jin Oh and his journey of redemption and peace yet Se Ju and Seol were only one step behind him in my list as all of them were just great…Se Ju was such a complex character,such a shuttered soul,full of scars,living yet not being actually alive while Hwi Young was such a brave,intelligent man,who dedicated his life till his last second for what he believed,a free country,to be free in his own country having by his side his friends and expressing what he wanted…Jin Oh not only found his own answers to his mortal past self, past locked away in the deep of his memories but also saved two shuttered people and making them reunite and heal each other…I’m more than sure,like Se Ju himself said,Hwi Young forgived and didn’t resent Yul for what he did just as Soo Hyeon did as well,because she knew deep down he did it to save her and sadly she herself carried a big guit even in her walk to the afterlife just as shown dying,more likely from a broken heart&guilt(as we didn't see her kill herself),i guess that's why she could see Hwi Youn again,as she was about to die…I think Yul himself never forgive himself for betraying Hwi Young,his best friend,his brother, more than anything else…His own guilt was so big that he choose to lock himself in the typewriter that belonged to Hwi Young and wait for the day he will redemn himself and keep his promises,to finish the novel Hwi Young left behind among them…I could say all three of the past selves had such a sad ending,and that lingering brought them back together again after hundreds of years…The relationship between Se Ju and Jin Oh was without a doubt the highlight and soul of this drama,the way both of them helped and healed each other,how Jin Oh managed to make Se Ju be alive again and how this one found a true friend and move on and enjoy his life…We can say Tae Min had received his own punishment or just as well say he was given another chance to change yet he choose to go again on the wrong road in his life…I guess he realized his wrongs and that he lived a wrong life in the last moment after hearing Se Ju as he cried so maybe not all is lost for him in this lifetime…I have mixed feelings about the last part because I felt really sad yet the message was still hopeful,seeing how Jin Oh actually managed to lock himself in Se Ju’s book and wait for his wounds to heal and in the future be able to reincarnate and be by their side(in another form for all of them),so we could say he also got his happy ending on some ways…At least in that time he wouldn’t be alone,he would be with his friends and even if they weren’t real in the real sense, for him,inside that word they were truly alive…Go Gyung Pyo...

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Indeed! Another fave part about Seju was his honesty toward Jin-oh when they went fishing. Men in kdrama would usually skirt around their feelings but he just laid his heart bare for Jin-oh to see. Gah! Crying again ?

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I also love how understated the scene when Jin Oh finally disappearing. There's nothing grand about it, no final goodbyes, no weeping your heart out kinda scene. They know it's going to happen somehow, and they are not saying goodbye because they've promised to meet each other again. Se Joo broke down a bit of course, but the whole scene was so simple and yet so beautifully done. I wasn't meant as a goodbye, but simply a closure to a chapter.

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Yep, the friendship was one of the best parts of this show, it was so precious, just watching Se Joo and In Ho together warms my heart ? from the most emotional moments to the small ones. Wasn't it beautiful the scene where they found the typewriter in the shop? and knowing that Jin Ho came back for it and gave it as a present to his friend? They are friendship goals.

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Ryu Soo-hyeon! And Hwi-young! And Yul! I've been waiting so much for this recap, but now that it's here, I'm just a mess all over again. How do you do words???

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Talk about it!! I cried all over again reading the recap and again was left speechless ??

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I knew how everything was going to go down, but I bawled like a baby at Yoo's demise and the subsequent events after HY's death. The music and the actors make the scenes are so good. Good job, everyone!

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I think what got me was Shin Yul reading Hwiyoung's letter. That scene killed me, I couldn't stop crying!

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Gosh yes.. that scene was as heart breaking or even more so than when Hwi-young visited her in jail... the conflict and pain at betraying his bestie and the love and sadness... Gosh.. what a marvelous actor!

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Right? Like we probably know most of what's going to go down but it's still hard to see it happen in front of you. I expected it that Soohyun indeed killed Yul but to see how it happened just broke my heart into pieces. This drama, I tell you!

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I instinctively hit the pause button when he told her "That's not the right posture". I was already a mess, but was really crushed me was seeing him be the loving, kind hyung he always was to Soohyun until the end. Gah, and now I'm crying again.

That scene was really perfect. I really wanted to be able to blame Yul for putting himself in Young-min's hands because no matter how in line it was with his character, it was still a dumb move. It would have been so much easier had he remained the guy who succumbed to weakness and wallowed in guilt for the rest of his life, had he commited suicide or let Soohyun kill him because he couldn't bear it. But he died because he had to as a member of the alliance, snapping Soohyun to attention and reminding her of her duty when she was about to falter, strong, loyal and kind until the end. And crushing my heart in the process.

I bow to the writer, the actors, the music director and all the CT crew!

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he was literally still helping Soo Hyun even though he know he will be dying soon. ?

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What a bittersweet ending. And the short epilogue on Viki about comfort women, the war and how Koreans suffered during the Japanese occupation makes me angry and sad. I'm grateful for the opportunity to watch a drama based on a painful part of Korea's history, a timeline which very few dramas touch upon. I think the only other drama I saw that was based on this period was Inspiring Generation.

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If u didn't watch it yet u should check Gaksital/Bridal Mask,it's an amazing drama that touches this dark and tragic period

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you should watch Gaksital!!!!! It is fantastic and highly addictive.

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Even "Scandal in Old Seoul" is pretty good - based on the same era

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Though it's not as nuanced as CT..

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I share your sentiment. I love Japan, I really do but I just can't reconcile everything that happened then with WW2. And the painful part is that he Japanese education system isn't doing a good job in educating its people about its dark history.

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Capital Scandal (Scandal in Old Seoul) is by the same screenwriter, and is set entirely in the 1930s. In my opinion it's one of the more underrated k-dramas out there. There is a romantic comedy through line, but at its heart, it's a deeply serious look at the impact of occupation and the wrenching choices people have to make in a time of injustice.

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I didn't watch the ending of Chicago on viki but I think I'll watch this epilogue part about comfort women. I don't know why but I didn't make the link between the japanese occupation described in Chicago and the comfort women. How stupid of me!

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It's so true that rarely is there a Korean drama that touches upon this part of Korean history. I wonder why as when I grew up, the Chinese television networks would constantly be broadcasting dramas about fighting the Japanese. I do like this method of storytelling better, though. You never get that nostalgic and tragic feel from the Chinese dramas. This one was really really moving and you could actually feel the pain of those living through that time.

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It has been an amazing ride Chicago Typewriter, and I loved every minute of it. You will be a show I keep so dearly close to my heart.

????

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What a beautiful ending to a beautiful story. I can’t remember the last time I automatically start crying in the first minute of the last episode of any drama. Such is the visceral effect of Chicago Typewriter. Yul getting Hwi-young’s will and belongings, Soo-hyun shooting Yul: his last words and her cries of sorrow, so painfully perfect. Yul/Jin-oh is such a well-written character, with a heart of gold, loyal, generous and loving (No wonder his avatar is a gentle puppy). The fact that he willingly sealed himself in the typewriter for more than 80 years for a chance to seek forgiveness and complete the will of his best friend just says so much about his character. If you look up the definition of tragic hero, you’ll see a photo of Shin Yul there. I cried till I had a headache, thanks Show.

But really, thank you the production team, writer, and director for such a well-made drama. I also want to commend all the actors for their superb performances. Everyone fits their characters to a tee and I can’t imagine anyone else playing them. I’ve enjoyed watching Chicago Typewriter immensely and it will stay with me for a long time.

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I also want to thank the production team (maybe with the exception of whoever did the bad marketing), writer, director, and actors. I'm so glad all these elements turned out to be excellent, since that is not always the case.

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And to whomever made that Seo Hwi Young wig,

Thank you for the wig. That wig is so legendary and I believe it shoots right to the top of the Best Wig Ever Made in Kdrama list - and that it will stay there for a long while (at least until Yoo Ah In’s next wig adventure). You made me believe that Yoo Ah In will look good in any wigs given to him. You gave us reasons to hope that once his hair grows, he will keep that Seo Hwi Young look for good. You should get an award for that, or at least a payrise for what you did there. To me, you revolutionised the significance of having great dramaland wigs, and I will never look at other wigs again without thinking of yours.

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+1000

That wig should make a cameo in every YAI film or drama to come!!

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An "Ode to Seo Hwi Young's Wig" ?????

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LOL! Please, someone translate this into Korean and dig up the wig person's contact so this message gets to him or her.

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YAI recently posted on his instagram a picture of one of the camera staff with the caption "A true hero" - I think he needs to do the same for the exalted Wig Person. Maybe we can start an internet campaign??

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We shall henceforth baptise YAI's 1930's hair as The Hair, which is a character in itself (we can all see that it's also putting on an acting performance) and a 100% winning candidate for DB's end of year Mane of Glory award.

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"The Hair". LMAO! That's one hella good title!!

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Could it be that the sound of YAI's wig resembles that of a typewriter? *sorry couldn't help it* now off to read the other comments.

Hui-young rocked that hairstyle jongmal! ?

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Oh my god you had my tummy stitches!!! XDDDD Can we propose Dramabeans to add the Beannie Award category for The Best Wig in A Drama or Wig of The Year, please?

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Yeeaahh! They no longer have Beans of wisdom.. else this would definitely go into it too!

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Yes! The person who made his wig deserves a daesang. Revolutionized drama wigs!

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Hahaha man, this thread is gold. The wig really left an impression with us Beanies. ?

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Haha! I love how many thumbs up this comment is getting. Truly, that wig is a great contributor to our drama's greatness. We can't root for a hero with bad hair!

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*this drama's lol

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Awww but I like OUR drama better! lol

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You made me laugh like crazy. I just cried reading @m3lon4's comment and then laughed crazily reading yours. Can you believe me that I didn't really recognize that it was a wig? I didn't have any thought of that before you mentioning it. I thought it was his own hair!

And the award goes to.. the WIG PERSON! Yeah.. YAI should be happy that his wig turns out to be really popular.

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The wig's awesome, isn't it? Some didn't even realised it's a wig even after the drama ends lol. I still had trouble telling a friend who watched CT that it's a wig. She refused to believe it lol. #thelegendliveson

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I don't think he had a wig... why not to think they shoot first the 1930's Svens when he had long hair and the modern scenes once he cut it?

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That's the best part of the legend - everybody doubts it's a wig coz it looks so real LOL.

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I'm with you, that didn't look as a wig at all, it was too beautiful, haha!!

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ALL HANDS DOWN TO THE WIG!

The wig practically adding the feeling to Seo Hwi Young's character

Me too hoping that he would grow his hair and keep his hairstylr like that bcs he looks REALLY FINE WITH IT OMG ?

idk if it is just me but, did you realize that his hair looked a bit different on ep 15 when he gathered the comrades to plan out their mission in carpe diem's secret room. Idk why but i think the wig was a bit misplaced (?) lol ? please mind my crazy mind i couldn't move on from Seo Hwi Young's haair hahah xD

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Omg I feel stupid but it never occurred to me that Hwi-yeong had a wig on. I simply assumed they filmed everything separately. X= The style is perfect for him! It totally suits the devil-may-care look that he was carefully building to conceal his involvement in the resistance.

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Heee, Yoo Ah In shaved his head for military before he signed up for CT, and had been sporting the Se Joo looks since then.

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hah okay! Thanks for clarifying that!

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does it even make sense how hot YAI is in his dying moments because of the wig??!

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To be fair, YAI's visual is no joke, with or without the wig ;)

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Exactly! LOL

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Actually, I didn't approve his military haircut, but once he wore a cap I drooled, and then I thought that haircut wasn't bad. His visual is no joke indeed.

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OMG I just came back here to read more comments, and found the wig tread is getting longer ???? Never underestimate the power of wig!

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Sometimes an actor discovers a look for a part that elevates their personal appearance to a new threshold; for instance Chris Pratt done up as Starlord. Now, Yu Ah In has found his look.

I just really wanted someone to lampshade it by saying, "By the way your hair was SO NICE in your past life, you should grow it out!"

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Actually, Yoo Ah In used to sport Hwi Young's hairstyle a long time ago when he was in his early 20s, so it's not that he found his look, but he just returned to his 20s style :p Check out the comparison of his hairstyle 2017 vs 2007:
https://twitter.com/SIKseekers/status/871010126496284673
https://twitter.com/SIKseekers/status/871946814559223808

This is his hairstyle last year that nearly looked like Hwi Young too https://i1.wp.com/i1144.photobucket.com/albums/o488/Furbabe/LIKE%20FOR%20LIKES/19_zps8z2z4rrb.jpg

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Thank you for these comparisons! YAI really looks good with any hairstyle, although I prefer the Hwi-young look. Like, can you believe how HOT he looks in his dying moments in this show?!

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Hahaha! Oh Yess the wig!! :)

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@alert Thank you for your comment, that made my day! I was around the topic because I couldn't move on after the end of CT. And then, I saw your comment I couldn't stop laughing.
I agree with you, I hope that person will be rewarded in some way because Yoo Ah-In without that wig wouldn't be Seo Hwi Young. And without that wig, there wouldn't be a lot of pics of him on my computer...
Anyway, I really hope Yoo Ah-In will keep that look afterwards. Otherwise, I'm ready to make a petition haha

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I made a DF account just to like this bc you said what I couldn't say in words. ♥

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I cried reading your comment. I guess never before did I cry this much from the very beginning of an episode in a drama. This show captured me right from the first moments it played.. Good job show. Just good job.

It's a heartbreaking and self-redemption episode. I walked between my computer and the shower room many times (like 6?) to get new tissues. I had to pause the video just to sob like a child quietly crying. Everything about this production is beyond perfect and all actors just delivered everything needed being delivered. Hands down. This is a great show and you guys, you all should be so proud of yourselves.

*taking another look at a pile of used tissues on my left-hand side*

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@mmmmm I feel you. How cruel are they to put that scene of Yul reading Hwi-young's letter right after we see Hwi-young shot himself? Witnessing him dying, and then hearing his voice again so soon is just... TOO. MUCH. Plus the heart-wrenching content of the letter... GAH! I was bawling my eyes out, crying along with Yul. PS: My laptop's left-hand side was also a tissue grave.

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"If you look up the definition of tragic hero, you’ll see a photo of Shin Yul there."

THIS! <3

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this show did not disappoint. i was worried it might, but the finale was just lovely. i loved these characters so much and i miss them already.

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Same!! ??

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Yup! The precursor to the final week's episodes had such a fantastic buildup I was worried because other dramas have disappointed before in their finale week, but whaddaya know, this show didn't just fulfill all my expectations, it ripped my heart out in the process. So much love for this show!

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i also have the same worries that i'm scared to watch the ending because it might ruin everything. no remorse here coz the writer/s nailed it! i'm so thankful and happy that the ending was so beautifully written.

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The finale was just so delicate, so nostalgic and so lovely. It fits the characters perfectly. I feel a aching sense of loss after the episode ends, but I will forever remember the show to heart. Thanks, show!

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THIS was the episode that had me ugly crying. The forgiveness, the healing, the goodbye...

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Words are not enough to say how much I love this drama! It's rare that an ending leaves me satisfied - it was bittersweet and hopeful at the same time. The storytelling and the visuals, right from the first episode til the last, were always poignantly beautiful and dammit, IT HURTS SO GOOD. I definitely need a hug and maybe a glass of wine (who am I kidding, I need a bottle). CT took us on a thrilling rollercoaster ride of emotions, one that I will gladly sign up for all over again.

In this last episode, I love how they all got a chance to console and then thank each other, for finally having the opportunity to say and do the things they weren't able to in their past lives. As always, our trio of Yoo Ah-in, Im Soo-jung and Go Kyung-pyo were brilliant in nailing their characters and their emotions perfectly. This is the first time a drama's cast didn't leave me wanting from start to finish, even the secondary characters were on point.

A round of applause as well to the talented and creative team who worked behind the scenes to make this impressive drama. It's wonderfully written and directed, and I really wish it got the high ratings it deserved. I'm happy all the same that there's a little bunch of us who stuck around to shed a lot of tears, hypothesize plotlines, and cheer on it til the end.

See you around, Beanies! ❤

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I agree with you on how the characters console and thank each other. And look at how much they communicate to each other. I'm glad our three friends made the most of their time together.

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Yes, that was a thing that I appreciated from this finale, that they said everything that needed to be said and nothing was left unspoken. So beautifully done.

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I'm going to miss this show so much D: I loved the trio and their friendship was worth crying over. It made this drama so much better. Now to watch it all over again....

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I've been waiting for the recap since the ending confused me. i actually thought, Yul somehow managed to go the future and back and the 1930's was the real timeline not the present. How did i miss the entire piece about him going back into the book. I know Se Ju said he was to remain within the pages of his book. But i thought he was being metaphorical. Regardless i loved this show. the entire 1930's storyline just squeezed my heart in a good way. I'm going to miss this show. I'm looking forward to rewatching this in some time

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I was a little confused as well. I thought that the book Yul was 'going in' was about his life as Yoo Jin Oh...So I thought that it may be possible that our favorite puppy / ghost was back in the 1930's timeline before all hell broke loose. Either way I am happy he's happy.

I loved all 3 main characters but Go Kyung-pyo crushed it as Yul / Jin-Oh.

This definitely goes down as one of the best Dramas I have seen from writing & acting to production & music - hope it gets some love at award time.

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TL:DR. One woman. I want to be vigilante Soo hyun comrade when I grow up.

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Just got home after watching Wonder Woman and she was so badass but I still think Jeon Seol is the ultimate badass. I'm such a CT trash.

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i love how Seol just shut Young Min up by putting a bullet in his head. Look who's bluffing now!

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This is officially my favorite k-drama of all time. Seo Hwi Young is the best male drama character I have watched and i've watched about 100 dramas.

I sincerely believe the production crew and marketing team for this drama is the cause of the low ratings. Firstly, the synopsis that they advertised this drama with has NO correlation with the actual drama, due to the pre-election political climate in Korea if they had advertised this drama as what it was it would've done better.

The first 2 episodes of this drama were honestly boring for me - I left it and didn't go back to watch the other episodes until I was bored and had nothing to do about three weeks later, immediately after watching episodes 3 and 4 I was hooked like an addict on cocaine. If you don't capture the live viewing audience with the first two episodes you can bet you'll lose half or more of your viewership.

This was a beautiful and extremely well written drama, all the actors were great and i'm just once again in awe of yoo ah in for the second time after seeing him in veteran. He played dual characters but Seo Hwi Young has my heart, I had butterflies in my stomach whenever he spoke. The message of this drama was great and it makes you really sit down and think for thirty minutes straight after an episode ends. It makes me think how ungrateful I am for not being thankful enough for being born in a liberated country in this era.

On another note, their first kiss is my favorite kiss scene in drama history or at least top 3 because I know i'm in the heat of the moment right now.

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I agree that the marketing was abysmal and the first 2 episodes weren't very interesting, though now that i've finished the series, I may go back to the first 2 and watch it with the knowledge I know now about the series. The way the story was told - some of the things in earlier episodes end up gaining poignancy after reveals in later episodes. For example - the typewriter. Knowing why Yul locked himself into the typewriter. And finding that the typewriter made HY so happy he thanked Yul for it in his last words (via letter)

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Same here! I am in the minority in that I loved all the beginning episodes and wasn't bored for a moment. The way they gave glimpses of the past and drew you in - it was wonderful.

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Same here, the show definitely had me at writer Se-ju and his jaw-dropping library.

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That beautiful library! I want one someday.

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Me too. I loved it from episode 1 but I understand why it took longer for some to engage with the story.

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I also want to become a writer. Actually, I have already written some short stories and one novel, but I studied like a minor in literature and I knew I had to improve. Ayer that, life took me to other roads and since I haven't been able to write anymore, I read.
Anyway, that is the reason why I started to watch this drama and while I was not much invested in the 30's story, or even when I don't believe in reencarnation... I couldn't help but sticking here till the end, and this show gave me more than I expected. Wow.... it has been like...a masterpiece. Kudos for the writer. I hope he or she will be very much praised for this story. Beautiful.

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I was hooked from the moment I heard Boni Pueri' Time Walk, when Se-joo sees the typewriter for the first time. There's a poignancy in that song that sucked me in, and hinted right away at the heartbreak that was coming our way. The OST for this drama is really love <3.

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Ah! I've been looking for the song but don't know what it's called. Thanks for the mention!

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me too. 100%

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I agree with you. They marketed this drama the wrong way in the beginning, they made it like that cliche successful fangirl story, while in fact, this is far far deeper than that. They should have promoted this drama as a patriotic and nationalistic piece in the beginning.

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Indeed, I think they made a mistake because they wanted to play with the identity of the ghost writer and make it a surprise. But I think they did wrong. This show is much more than this, and they should have focused on the adventures, the passion and the epic of a friendship that goes through several lifetimes.

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Oh yes, on top of the patriotic story, this drama is about an epic friendship that transcends through times.

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Even the trailers were so lame... really couldnt capture the gem the show turned out to be! and usually trailers contain the best parts of the show!

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Actually first two epi didn't caught my attention either. But what made me believed to invest my 16 hours was Yoo Ah In, since I had a trust he won't pick bad projects. I also believed Im Soo Jung after spending more than 10 years in chungmuro won't make a comeback for some mediocre script. With that trust, I continued this drama and now I couldn't say how much I love this drama.

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Me too. I found the first 2 eps kinda okay, but just not that gripping enough. There are parts of the show that I love from the very beginning, but it does take a while to warm up to it, and I 'm glad it didn't take long for me. I was totally sold the moment Se Joo burnt that scripts in his library by end of ep 3 or 4 i think ?

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i cannot forget how badass and hot YAI was in that scene!

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I wasn't sure about this drama either, judging from the premise itself (I blame you, tvN!), and also the writer (she's not my fave writer), but learning that the 2 Blue Dragon Awards winners/the Korean version of Oscar -Yoo Ah In and Im Soo Jung- took the lead, I decided to give it a chance and see why they wanted to star in this drama. And yeah, turned out, it's been a good ride.

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For all the CT lovers, please check out this trending news item on Naver, with more than 1000+ comments, which is quite rare for a drama with only 2.2 rating:
http://entertain.naver.com/ranking/read?oid=047&aid=0002152481
What merits attention is that this review of CT is written by a journalist from OhmyNews, which is known to be an independent and therefore reliable and respectable news agency. The journalist points out the pros and cons of the drama. In particular, the first two episodes, the storyline and the editing, are totally disorientating and confusing, failing to attract the viewers from the get-go, which also accounts for why Lim Soo-jung gets criticism for her acting at first. Nevertheless, after the first two episodes, the story and the acting get better. The journalist concludes that CT uses "romance" to deliver the true historical message and overall the drama is very meaningful. He specifically mentions that "Yoo Ah In shines again with his boundless acting talents, despite the initial concern about him" (ps: I think the journalist is referring to his MS).

The Knetizens comments give various insightful accolades and critiques on the drama, especially with regard to pacing, TVn promotion, and the mismatch between Jin Soo Won and the director. However, CT definitely has some devout fan, like the beanies here. Knetizens also heap all the praise on Yoo Ah In’s genuine acting and speech delivery. I definitely agree with Korean netizens that it is Yoo Ah In, the actor, who imbues life and charisma to the character of Seo Hwi Young. (There’s been criticism from Korean viewers on Jin Soo Won from episode 11. Many of Korean viewers, like me, are fans of Capital Scandal, and I can totally understand why they have complaints about the oversimplified portrayal of the 1930s).

Anyway, I am happy that CT manages to hold on its own, despite its flaws. The praise of Yoo Ah-In is especially hard earned and well deserving, due to the debacle of MS. I really hope that he can enter MS soon so he can return sooner with great projects.

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Oh that's nice! I wish someone would translate the article and the comments fully, but I'm so thankful for your brief translations. I hope Koreans realized the gems they've missed/slept on it.

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Was the main criticism of Jin Soo Won the fact that she inaccurately portrayed the independence movements of the 1930s or was it more about her portrayal of the Japanese occupation itself? I also really enjoyed Capital Scandal and felt that it gave a more detailed look at the issues of that era (albeit in a not totally realistic way) but that was helped by the fact that it was set entirely in the past. I'm also curious why they found the writer/director combination odd. I personally found the directing gorgeous, and felt it did an excellent job of establishing key moments and relationships. It's a totally different style than the more presentational, meta, slightly campy approach of Kill Me, Heal Me, but it felt completely appropriate for this particular show.

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There are issues on multiple fronts.
First and foremost, while many viewers were complaining about the slow tempo at the very beginning, quite a few literati, including famous scriptwriters, wrote also via OhmyNew, affirm Jin Soo Won's effort in depicting the creative process of writing, the relationship between the writer, the reader, and the publishing industry. I don't know if anyone knows about the suicide of the assistant PD of TvN's Drinking Solo. Some netizens connected the incident to the attempt of Jin Soo Won, as an insider, to portray to pressure to publish, to reproduce in an age of mass entertainment consumption.
Half way into the drama, CT definitely took a drastic turn by focusing on 1930s--some welcomed the change, but some didn't. CT lost its initial audience who are interested in the portrayal of writing but picked up a different group of audience. (In fact, the DC gallery of CT became rather "vacant" at the end compared to other dramas). I checked DCinside and Korean news lot, so I read all different kind of complaints, mostly directed at TvN and the production company--TvN kept changing the airing time and failed to promote the drama. Yet. quite a few mocked openly that Jin Soo Won definitely needs a ghost writer or is this drama written by a ghost writer? (This comment even got several hundreds of upvotes). Those who are fascinated with the 1930s criticize the repetition of the same scenes, without any fleshing out of the real character, the organization, and the transition between the present and the past isn't that deft as it could be. Then the cohabitation plot is apparently a replica of Goblin. Korean fans also criticize the introduction of new and unnecessary characters as plot devices, like Madame and Baek's sister (so what really happened to the sister at the end?) . As a fan of Jin Soo Won and Capital Scandal, it pains me to read all these critiques but they are more or less valid.
Still, the audience who stuck to the very end appreciate a drama portraying independent movement, and of course, Seo Hwi Young. LOL

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Ouch. it always hurts when your favourite writer or drama gets criticised but I can see where the critiques are coming from.

It's not easy to balance between what the public wish to see on screen and what the writer really wants. I do notice the imbalanced treatment between the present scenes and the 30s, and the usage of unnecessary plot device that probably could be executed much better. But once thing she succeeded in doing is giving the show lots of hearts and it's definitely not easy to do. (Also surpise to hear about mismatch complain because I found the collaboration awesomely done).

I hope Jin Soo Won takes these comments as constructive criticism so she'll write even better dramas in the future.

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@wonhwa To answer your question, many feel that the portrayal of the 1930s remains superficial and too little, especially given that the past is the foundation of the relationship between Se-ju and Seol. I had the feeling that TvN gave up on CT long time ago so the production team didn't have enough money to shoot the 1930 scenes.. ...

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Thanks, @ennui-young. It's interesting to hear the Korean viewer perspective. I generally agree with their critiques, although I think the show would have needed additional episodes (not to mention additional funding) to jump deeper into the 1930's story. I do think the director and actors did a good job creating a lot of impact with minimal screen time, although it didn't allow for a very deep dive into the underlying political realities. I also felt the focus on the writing industry faded in the second half, although I didn't necessarily mind the increased time spent in the past. All in all, I felt the show had a much clearer sense of its overall story and thematic arc than lots of ones I've watched, despite the sometimes awkward balance between the two story lines.

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This! It's always good to read about what Koreans think of the drama. And thank you for the brief translation @ennui-young ❤️ Could always count on you to provide extra snippets like this.

The drama is definitely isn't perfect, but what it does best is it provides us a very satisfying ending hence we're able to forgive the flaws. I'm just happy that Yoo Ah In ends it in high note before going to MS.

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@alert I am not even so sure if Korean viewers are satisfied with the ending across the board.
Here is another hot news item published right on Sunday morning:
http://m.entertain.naver.com/comment/list?oid=001&aid=0009313371
(The new title is "The failure of the golden casting")
While Knetizens criticize unanimously how the journalists shouldn't judge the drama solely by its rating, they articulate their respective discontents (as well as) appreciation throughout the entire comment sections (i.e. this news entry also has 1600+ comments as well). One thing for sure is that the show lost its grip and momentum after the show was cancelled for one week due to the presidential election. The fans on DC gallery started to fizzle out from episode 13, which is really unusual. (Consider for instance, Fashion King DC Gallery continues to be one of YAI's most devout fandoms. ) . Some viewers outside Korea didn't like the ending at all. For instance, China, like Korea, was invaded by the Japanese and therefore, Chinese viewers condemn the show for taking the independentists and their lives too lightly for the sake of "romance." Many of them are very aggravated by episode 15 & 16.

For me, the biggest regret though is that this drama originally captured the attention of critics. Heo Jin Woong was even invited to do a special program for CT. After episode 11, this show, although turning more "dramatic" in terms of plot, loses its unique literary, indie vibe. The most obvious evidence is that the book read by Seol to Se-ju,어쩌면 내가 가장 듣고 싶었던 말 continues to be best seller in all major Korean bookstores like Kyobo. (BTW, the writer happened to be my good friend's cousin.What a coincidence). However, the book read by Yul did not create an impact at all, although the publisher apparently sponsored CT.

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@ennui-young
Wow, it is surprising to hear the mixed responses from Korean viewers. Yes, I have to agree that one obvious thing that I notice is the reduced nudge on the literary vibe that it used to have in the earlier episodes. I miss that and I do wish they could include that more in the drama. It does feel like the drama re-directed its focus on the dramatic plot in the 2nd half of its running, and barely touch on the subject of writing and the literary world as done in the 2nd half. Thus, I do understand the frustration of putting a very high expectation for the drama and being slow-burn by it. The drama was obviously lacking a lot of things - if I were to nitpick - from the usage of unnecessary plot device, the sometimes lazy writing, the redundant scenes from the 30s, the imbalance treatment from both years etc - oh I have aplenty that I’m really annoyed with the show LOL. And for me, the show was never about romance, regardless being marketed as a romantic comedy. And in no possible way that it's a comedy LOL.

But looking at the glass half full, for me, the biggest attraction that this show had is it can garner exciting critics all across board - whether good or bad. It’s a drama that allows open discussions on so many things, evaluations on so many grounds, critics on so many sensitive issues etc (and I believe this might contribute to the high number of comments), which rarely happens in other dramas. Even in this comment section - some of us are not even regular commenters on other threads in DB except in CT LOL. That says something about the drama. Oh yes, I have regrets, a few in facts, as I do miss the discussions about the writing process, the missing excitement of mentions of literary figures in the drama etc. But overall, I’m still satisfied with the ending because it gives satisfying closure to the story - not a perfect one, but satisfying enough to leave me content in closing the last chapter of CT. I feel like it’s a good ending, because I’ve been burned so many times with good dramas with crappy or so-so ending. Hence, I applaud the writer and the director to be able to complete the drama nicely.

This drama might burn some literary bridges, LOL, but I still applaud its effort a it’s not everyday we’d get a drama like excites us like this. Well, at least this is what I see from the perspective of an easily-satisfied kdrama viewer haha.

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What an insightful criticism. I think I understand pretty well what Korean netizens are talking about. I also felt pretty much the same thing, but putting those feelings into word is much harder than it seems.

Thank you very much @ennui-young for your wonderful translation and summaries. I think I can appreciate CT so much more hearing what kind of response it receives from Knetizens.

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I’m going to miss this show so much.

What a beautiful revolutionary storyline to watch in such turbulent times both in South Korea, and the larger world. We really should be grateful to live in a liberated society.

Well-acted, well-written, well-directed, it’s a shame that the show didn’t have amazing ratings. I never quite understand how people judge shows (Why people loved Signal and not this show? IDK). I loved all the actors, but I have to hand it to Go Kyung-po, he really impressed me in this show. I was never a huge fan, but after this drama I will completely be on the look out. The emotion and depth he brought to his character, ugh kill me now.

The 1930’s storyline is what really captured our attention (stalking the comment thread), and I think the writers really knew how to use that story to their advantage. It wasn’t overly complicated, because it didn’t need to be, since the author was telling 2 stories in one drama it makes it easier to cut out useless filler. I wish more dramas took notice, you don’t need a complicated plot to make a moving drama! The themed music, and set were also just amazeballs. I don’t know how much I really enjoyed the present storyline. I honestly, don’t really know what its actual plot was regarding Se-Ju’s writers block - they kind of “fixed” it without spending too much time on it. It might have just been me, but Se-Ju transformed from annoying, pretentious writer to over-protective boy real fast for Seol. Although I did like that the drama didn’t marry them off (ugh I hate those endings), but left Seol’s and Se-Ju’s relationship more open-ended, as if we don’t know what going to happen to them ;).

I enjoyed that this episode took time to differentiate our present characters from their past lives. I think they kind of melded together in the drama, but the different reactions of Seol to Soo-hyun, Se-Ju to Hui-Young exemplified that stance. Could Seol committed cold-blooded murder like Soo-hyun? Unlikely, she probably wouldn’t even be able to hold a grudge against Yul. (I mean Soo-hyun is badass, but she reaaaaalllly did kill a lot of people). Would Se-Ju be able to put his principles above his love? I don’t know, he pushed down all his walls to fall in love with Seol. Would Jin-Oh “betray” his friend for Seol? Again, I don’t know, but it seems less likely. Their past selves are in the past, and they must move forward to be truly happy.

ALSO thank you drama for giving us hot, hot, HOT Yoo Ah-in with his gorgeous 1930’s hair. Will be stalking those pics 5ever.

https://www.google.com/search?q=yoo+ah+in+chicago+typewriter&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwix98GPsKXUAhXD5oMKHaW-BacQ_AUIBigB&biw=889&bih=619#imgrc=mTLb4RvTljDOMM:

https://www.google.com/search?q=yoo+ah+in+chicago+typewriter&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwix98GPsKXUAhXD5oMKHaW-BacQ_AUIBigB&biw=889&bih=619#imgrc=5Lr--MOBkcZJBM:

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"We really should be grateful to live in a liberated society."

That show, and the two last episodes more specifically, really made me draw the parallel between the Japanese occupation in Korea and the German one in France, and realise more acutely than ever before how fortunate I am to live in a country that was liberated after a measly 5 years occupation.

As I was watching episode 15, I found the similarities between Chicago Typewriter and the movies I've seen about that period in France really striking: the 30's storyline could easily be transposed in 40's France, replacing Liberation Fighters by Resistants, Japanese Officials by Nazi or SS Officials and Escape to Mandchuria by Escape to England or Zone Libre (the "Free", collabarator governed, Zone). But what struck me the most was the thougt that, contrary to Korea's Liberation Fighters, most of the French Resistants did live to see their country liberated, and for those who didn't, the Liberation came soon enough to feel like an immediate reward to their sacrifices. There's an added poignancy to the stories about the Occupation period in Korea and Korean Liberation Fighters because we know the Liberation they fight for will not happen until much later, and after decades of ignominy and suffering.

That show, and the parallels I drew from it, also made me understand better than I ever did before the strained diplomatic relashionships between Korea and Japan until this day and why the Occupation period is still a such a touchy subject.

Even if it lasted less than half a decade 70 years ago, the Occupation in France is something that's still fresh in the colective memory. My grangfather was born in 1921, and he would tell us stories about that time: the arrival of the German troups, doing the rounds in the countryside to deliver bread to his boss' clients under the surveillance of a German soldier, the German soldier who deserted his regiment and stayed behind at the Liberation but was executed nonetheless. They are still living people in Korea who lived through the Occupation period, and numeous people like me who've heard stories of that period from their parents and grandparents, wich is obvious I guess, but wich I didn't realise so keenly before. What's more is that the French population was not the target of the atrocities commited by the Nazi regime, as ignomious as those atrocities where, whereas the Korean population as a whole was targeted by the acts of the Japanese Occupants.

On top of that, the Nazi regime was overthrown at the end of the war, wich is not the case in Japan. The Korean government has to interact with a government that is the direct successor of the one responsible for what happened, wich is all sorts of delicate.

I know that everything I stated above might seem obvious for some, but even though it was something I knew on an intellectual level, I never took the time to really think about it and to realise it was something I could...

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...relate to. I'm thankful to the writer and crew for bringing that show to life and making me think so much about all kind of things!

(I didn't realise I wrote such an essay that it was cut off... Sorry for the long ass comment!)

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I never made any parallel with the French occupation because I actually don't know much about Korean history but I do see your point. I know I am lucky to live in a country free from war and in which freedom is guaranteed. I've always known that because unfortunately we see on a daily basis that some countries are still trying to fight for such freedom.

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Wow thank you for such a thoughtful reflection!!

I love the point that you brought up about more immediate gratification after liberation for the French.

Probably while they were fighting for freedom they had no idea how long Nazi occupation would last. They weren't fighting for immediate gratification since they never knew when it would happen. It's so different to look at history than to actually be experience it. We definitely have a perspective that our ancestors did not. For me it's important not to forget that I have this perspective and that the people experiencing this history did not.

I feel like this came off like I'm disagreeing I with you @gwenola, but I'm totally not! Just adding another layer to our conversation. What is a discussion without many laaaayers?

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Oh my, I'm so happily surprised you not only read my massive ramblings but actually commented it! Thank you!

I totally agree with your point on perpective! And in the context of movies and TV shows for example (since this is Dramabeans after all!), I think that perspective we have on History is what can make similar stories feel so different depending on the country or the time period they take place in.

That's litteraly the thought I had when watching the interrogation scenes and Hwi-young's death: "if that story was about French Resistants, I would at least have the consolation to know that the Liberation occured not long after".

That's actually what was on my mind when I brought up immediate gratification for the French resistants: we as viewers/listenners/readers of stories know it's coming soon, even if the people at play in those stories don't, and we at least have that consolation, no matter how sad the story is!

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Thank you for your beautiful recaps of this beautiful series.

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I did not come on the bandwagon until episodes 15 and 16. But what a ride. Loved it! (Off topic: Yoo An-In looked SO good in the period piece. His death scene in episode 15 broke my heart... he looked so gorgeous.)

Fell hard for his Hwi-young character. The flashbacks were great in putting together the story line.

Time to go backwards and check out the other episodes!

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I read a comment somewhere about how it looked like he could've been in a photoshoot with the way he looked and was posing during his death scene. So inappropriate and yet so true!

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I agree! While I'm totally focused on the story, I also couldn't help but go "man, Yoo Ah In looks amazing here" and then go "Stop that! Seo Hwi Young would be disappointed in you."

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Korean viewers said he as Hwi Young could've been the creation of CG all the time ?????

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I may sound like a broken record, but let me say this for the last time: Yoo Ah In as Hwi Young in his 1930s period is super gorgeous ???

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he is too beautiful in that period. ❤️

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