Doom at Your Service: Episode 2
Our heroine has officially entered into a contract with doom, but she finds herself unprepared for the consequences of this supernatural deal. Doom begins taking an interest in his human client who is dealing with more than her fair share of challenges. As they spend time getting to know each other, they begin to realize they might have more in common than they first assumed.
Dong-kyung takes Myeol-mang’s hand and lets him help her up. As they cross the street, time rewinds to before the incident. Myeol-mang warns her not to let go of his hand if she wants to live.
They sit in a café, still holding hands, and Dong-kyung tries to find a polite way of asking what the heck he is. Myeol-mang reminds her of all the impossible things she’s witnessed him do, but Dong-kyung is struggling to accept the truth.
Myeol-mang sighs and causes a power outage. When Dong-kyung says it could be a coincidence, he powers off every cell phone in the café. “Ah, so is your identity related to electricity?” Ha.
He scoffs and pointedly looks out the window. Dong-kyung gapes as several comets shoot across the sky. Myeol-mang returns everything to normal when she asks, but he cautions that he’s not a good person.
Myeol-mang is alerted to the impending death of a man in prison and gets up to leave, but Dong-kyung is reluctant to let go of his hand after his warning. He covers her wrist with his other hand, leaving a bracelet made of red thread.
With this, he’s fulfilling his promise to make her dying days painless. But to ensure she doesn’t run away, she has to “recharge” it every day before midnight by holding his hand. He reminds her to choose her one wish and walks off.
At the prison, Myeol-mang arrives in time to stop the man who went on a stabbing spree from hanging himself. He’s been hearing voices of people cursing him to die and can’t take it anymore. Myeol-mang refuses to allow him that relief.
Meanwhile, Dong-kyung ignores a call from her cheating ex and goes to her friend’s house. NA JI-NA (Shin Do-hyun) is curled on the ground, lamenting that it’s all gone. Dong-kyung covers her mouth in horror to realize the power outage made Ji-na lose all her writing for the upcoming episode.
Ji-na doesn’t see the point in rewriting it since her work hasn’t been getting a good response. Dong-kyung keeps the editing team’s criticisms of the webtoon to herself and gets Ji-na back at her computer to write. She can’t bring herself to tell her friend about all the crazy things happening to her lately.
Dong-kyung gets a call from Doctor Jung who’s worried she’s not taking her diagnosis seriously. He warns her the pain will be unbearable, but Dong-kyung muses that treatment can only slightly lessen the pain – she’ll die painfully either way.
At the hospital, a woman hands the goddess a flyer about the coming of doom. She claims God is angry, and the comets today were an omen. The goddess smiles and agrees when she sees Myeol-mang standing in her doorway.
He’s in a good mood since he found a human who wished for doom instead of the usual personal gain. If the “garden” disappears, there’s no need for a gardener or butterfly. The goddess says to do as he pleases, and she’ll do the same.
Myeol-mang wants to know why it has to be him, and the goddess vaguely answers it must be his fate. “How cruel,” Myeol-mang observes. She says fate is cruel to all and warns him he’ll be punished if he does anything bad. “I’m already being punished,” Myeol-mang responds.
Dong-kyung gets another text from her ex saying she’ll regret not taking his calls. He sends a picture of her workplace where he’s currently protesting with a sign and everything. Dae-han (cameo by Kim Ji-suk) has the audacity to call her a homewrecker who made his wife leave.
Dong-kyung’s coworkers watch Dae-han with disgust. When Dong-kyung arrives, he has it out with her right there. The manchild blames her for inciting his wife to divorce him and accuses Dong-kyung of not having any manners. He then acts like he was doing her a favor by dating her since she’s not all that and doesn’t even have parents.
At this point, Dong-kyung begins contemplating whether it’d be a waste to use her wish on trash like him. When she says she really wants to kill him, Dae-han says she’s “making it obvious” she didn’t have parents to guide her.
Dae-han approaches CHA JOO-IK (Lee Soo-hyuk) and tries to get Dong-kyung fired. Joo-ik instead roughly shoves him out the door, knocking Dae-han to the ground.
PARK JUNG-MIN (Park Tae-in) returns from his lunchbreak right as Dae-han runs back in. Thankfully, Dae-han’s wife shows up. As she drags him out, she apologizes and announces that her husband’s words are all lies.
The atmosphere is tense and awkward as everyone tries to get back to work. Tae-in wants to gossip about what happened in the company-wide chat, but Ye-ji puts a stop to that. Understandably, Dong-kyung hands in her resignation, but Joo-ik refuses to process it; he says she’ll have to wait for CEO Park to return from his trip to Bali with his girlfriend.
That night, Dong-kyung walks home after another crappy day. She gets to the crosswalk and freezes, remembering her recent brush with death. Myeol-mang appears by her side and takes her hand for a “recharge.” He walks with her across the street and tells her she can call him when she’s scared.
Myeol-mang asks how her day was, hoping for something doom-worthy. Dong-kyung asks what happens if she doesn’t uphold her end of the bargain and dies without wishing for doom. “Someone else will die instead – whoever you love most,” he answers casually.
Dong-kyung is horrified at this penalty, but Myeol-mang says she already agreed to this contract. She calls him a scammer and starts to walk off, but she stops when he asks if knowing this would’ve changed her decision.
Suddenly, she’s back at the intersection with the truck barreling towards her. Myeol-mang says they’ll do this fairly and gives her another chance to choose. Echoing Myeol-mang’s earlier sentiment, Dong-kyung demands to know why it has to be her. When he says it’s fate, Dong-kyung replies, “How cruel.”
The irony isn’t lost on Myeol-mang who repeats the goddess’s words that fate is cruel to all. With the truck almost on her, Dong-kyung yells for Myeol-mang to stop. The scene changes back to night, and the truck is gone.
“See?” Myeol-mang says with a satisfied smile. Dong-kyung marches over and slaps him hard in the face, calling him a jerk. Is it fun to toy with her? He reminds her he’s not on her side but will always respect her decision.
Once he’s alone, Myeol-mang drops the playful demeanor. He thinks back to asking the goddess why it had to be him and having his question thrown back at him by Dong-kyung.
Meanwhile, Dong-kyung gets a surprise visit from her little brother. As she stares at Sun-kyung’s smiling face, she thinks of Myeol-mang’s words that the person she loves most will die if she breaks her contract. Dong-kyung wordlessly grabs her little brother in a hug.
The next day, Dong-kyung expects to see Myeol-mang hanging around her, but he’s nowhere to be found. At the office, she meets with a sleazy writer who goes on about how “social stigma” shouldn’t be involved in “pure love,” which is why he includes things like a grown man hitting on a middle schooler in his webtoon.
“Love that extends beyond social stigma is called a crime,” Dong-kyung argues. Heh. The writer is stunned at being talked to like this, whining that she was never this way before. Dong-kyung is unapologetic and clearly tired of giving a damn.
Dong-kyung has lunch with Ji-na who’s decided to change her pen name based on a shaman’s advice. Apparently, it’s inspired by a guy’s name who she is no longer on friendly terms with. Ji-na wonders if she should quit writing.
Dong-kyung asks what Ji-na would do if she had 100 days to live. For her, she’d use those days to make sure Ji-na is successful. To Ji-na’s surprise, Dong-kyung suggests ending the webtoon within the month. Oh, and it’s no big deal, but her boyfriend turned out to be married. Pfft.
Elsewhere, Ye-jin gathers the rest of the editing team to make sure they won’t make a thing of what happened to Dong-kyung. Jung-min is the only one who hesitates, but the others pressure him into agreeing.
They’re meeting in a café run by the building owner’s son LEE HYUN-KYU (Kang Tae-oh) who seems to be the inspiration for Ji-na’s pen name “Lee Hyun.” When everyone returns to work, Dong-kyung reports that Ji-na agreed to end the series early.
Joo-ik wonders what Dong-kyung said to the sleazy writer earlier because he asked them to change his editor to “someone pretty.” Ugh. Joo-ik deadpans that he’ll take over since he’s the prettiest. (That’s fair.)
In his direct way, Joo-ik asks what Dong-kyung saw in Dae-han. It seems they had quite the meet cute. She was editing in a café when a spilt coffee almost ruined 80 pages worth of material. Dae-han blocked the coffee with his body, saving her work.
Dong-kyung looks at the blank pages in her planner and thinks of what she wants in her final days. She has no money, dreams, or love to speak of and wishing for those things for such a short time is meaningless. “The world I’m surviving in is no different than doom in the end.”
She wonders if everyone lives in this in-between, feeling neither alive nor dead. We cut to Myeol-mang at the hospital where he watches doctors doing CPR on the goddess. After she’s revived, she tells Myeol-mang it’ll be hard for her to live past 20 in this lifetime.
The goddess says someone must pay the price for the existence of the world. This time, that price is heart disease. She exists because humans asked for God. They created her, and she created Myeol-mang. It’s their job to pay the price.
She argues he can’t escape his fate, but Myeol-mang is determined to try. The goddess warns she’ll have to act, too. He stills when she tells him to go – it’s almost midnight. A god knows everything; they just pretend not to.
Myeol-mang arrives while Dong-kyung is having her funeral photo taken. She’s still mad at him for last time, but he walks home with her anyway. He thinks she’s wasting time. Why do humans bother with things they won’t be around to see?
Dong-kyung says it’s for others and accuses him of being selfish. He retorts she can’t imagine how much he lives for others. Even after she slapped him, he’s here to “save” her. He holds out his hand, and she reluctantly grabs it for a recharge.
A light flickers near them, and Myeol-mang explains that things like this happen around him. An ambulance whooshes by, and Dong-kyung sees a sign with the number of car accidents in Seoul the past day. Myeol-mang admits that’s because of his presence, too.
She wonders how he lives like this. He brushes it off, saying he’s more existing than living. He’s just a “doom button” whose every action leads to doom. That’s his whole reason for existence. Even if he does nothing, hell breaks loose. We see him sitting in the dark, covering his ears as all sorts of disasters occur. Voices cry in desperation and curse him.
Dong-kyung stares at him thoughtfully and says she understands what he meant with his earlier comment that gain always involves loss. For light to exist, there needs to be darkness. The same with birth and death. “So you’re winter, darkness, and death.” Now she agrees that he does care only about others. She’s the selfish one. Myeol-mang studies her silently.
Realizing they’re still holding hands, Dong-kyung asks how long they need to recharge for. Myeol-mang cheekily says he thought she just liked it. Dong-kyung yanks her hand out of his grip and walks ahead in a huff.
Myeol-mang walks her to her place and asks if he should pick her up tomorrow. When he makes a comment about how he shouldn’t care if she’s in pain or not, Dong-kyung goes off. Why is he picking a fight when they were getting along so well and understanding each other?
Amused, he steps closer and clarifies, “I’m telling you to cling to me. To the fate that came to you.” She’s speechless as he smiles and walks away.
Myeol-mang turns around when a thoroughly drunk Dae-han yells, “Hey, Tak Dong-kyung!” Dae-han stumbles toward Dong-kyung and drops to his knees. He whines about how he didn’t mean anything he said earlier and claims they were in love.
Dae-han starts drunkenly singing and clinging onto her despite her telling him numerous times to let go. While she struggles to push him away, her funeral portrait drops to the ground and shatters.
Myeol-mang makes his way over and grabs Dae-han by the jacket. He asks Dong-kyung if her wish is to make this man disappear from her life, but Dong-kyung doesn’t plan to waste her wish on the likes of him.
Myeol-mang decides to go a less severe route and pretends to be her boyfriend. Even that doesn’t drive Dae-han away. Instead, he takes it as a good thing since it means they’re both cheaters. The man is deluded enough to think they’re even and can start dating again.
Before she can address this latest insanity, Sun-kyung comes up with a mop. He’s ready to take out both men but decides to start with the married one and chases Dae-han down the street.
Myeol-mang watches Dong-kyung start picking up the shards of her photo frame. She cuts her finger and laughs humorlessly at the absurdity of it all. Myeol-mang crouches down and gently drags his finger over her cut to heal it.
He starts picking the shards off her photo and says he gets why she thought of him now – why she wished for doom. At that time, she was the only person with the same thoughts as him. Dong-kyung stares in surprise when he says he’s grateful to her.
Myeol-mang wipes off her photo and hands it to her before leaving. Dong-kyung calls out to him, saying this won’t do. “Let’s live together.” Myeol-mang is so surprised his cigarette almost falls out of his mouth. Then, he grins.
Dong-kyung is already getting under Myeol-mang’s skin, and it’s only been a couple of days. He seems interested in her both for their similar desperation and the fact that she’s able to surprise him. Her empathy for his situation took him off guard, and he clearly wasn’t anticipating her suggestion that they should be roommates. I’m up for some cohabitation hijinks since I’m enjoying their chemistry. Maybe it’ll help Myeol-mang lower his walls a little because we’re still only getting glimpses of what lies beneath the surface. I know I already talked about how much I love Dong-kyung in the last recap, but this episode cemented that for me. She’s just such a well-drawn character whose reactions never feel overblown or unrealistic as sometimes happens in these sorts of stories. Dong-kyung feels like a real person who is processing trauma and grief over what’s happening to her. I hope she tells her loved ones about her diagnosis soon, though, because she’s going to break if she keeps trying to power through on her own. Right now, Myeol-mang is her sole support system, and he’s not even completely on her side yet.
Although, given how he’s been going above and beyond to help her, I’d say that’s rapidly changing. Myeol-mang easily could’ve left her to deal with Dae-han and the aftermath on her own, but he voluntarily intervened. Speaking of Dae-han, wow is he shamelessly awful. I can’t believe he went to her work and made everything out to be her fault, going so far as to publicly embarrass her and try to get her fired. I was glad to see most of her coworkers, particularly Ye-ji and Joo-ik, have her back. I loved how Joo-ik casually asked Dong-kyung about her relationship later, bringing it out into the open and making it no big deal. He may appear aloof, but he pays attention and eases the tension in his own way. With everything Dong-kyung has going on, thank goodness she has some good people around her.
The tone of this drama is so interesting. Everything from the color palette to the storytelling style to the side characters tells us this is a rom-com, but the story itself is dark and squarely in melo territory. This intentional dissonance creates an intriguing, slightly off-kilter vibe. It’s by no means a happy drama, but it doesn’t feel as dreary as it should either. Much in line with the theme of this episode, the brightness and darkness balance each other as complementary forces. I like the drama’s focus on balance and maintaining the natural order of things, particularly as it relates to the fantasy elements. The gods and supernatural beings might be powerful, but they’re beholden to the humans who gave them life. The goddess and Myeol-mang serve as tools to balance the world’s existence – their power is offset by personal suffering.
Dong-kyung is learning this lesson on cosmic balance and sacrifice the hard way. She made that deal with Myeol-mang out of desperation and didn’t fully think through the potential consequences. There’s no way a contract with a supernatural being wouldn’t have a penalty clause to ensure you can’t back out. Since Myeol-mang has been summoned, someone has to pay the price. As this episode hammered home, there’s always a sacrifice. Either Dong-kyung chooses doom’s target or the person she loves most becomes that target. Right now, that person is her little brother, but what happens if the person she loves most is doom? Can doom be doomed?
- Premiere Watch: Doom at Your Service, Move to Heaven
- A closer look at the supporting cast of Doom at Your Service
- Seo In-gook pranks Park Bo-young in Doom at Your Service
- First look at tvN’s One Day Destruction Entered the Front Door of My House
- Casting lineup confirmed for new tvN fantasy romance with Park Bo-young, Seo In-gook