Doom at Your Service: Episode 5
After our heroine puts herself in harm’s way to save our gloomy lead, he realizes his understanding of humans may be less complete than he thought. Since he can’t read our heroine’s thoughts, he’s left with good old-fashioned observation to try to make sense of her motivations. To our heroine’s exasperation, he decides this is best accomplished by following her everywhere and never taking his eyes off her.
After compelling the attacker to cut his own throat, Myeol-mang reiterates that people can only want, resent, or fear him. Dong-kyung slowly reaches up to touch his blood-streaked face, but he grabs her hand before she can touch him.
He moves them away from the entrance, and Dong-kyung marvels at his completely healed hand. He swats her away and asks who she thinks she is. Meanwhile, medics rush the man into the hospital where no one remembers seeing Dong-kyung and Myeol-mang during the incident.
Myeol-mang angrily asks why she’d endanger herself to protect him when she was wishing for his death shortly before. Anyway, she knows he can’t die. Dong-kyung fires back that he can still hurt and bleed. She sees the suffering in his face every day, and she can’t help wanting to spare him more pain.
He sighs that he’s not the one in pain. Dong-kyung retorts that if he knows that, he should stop yelling at a sick person. “Just like I’m not getting mad at you!” she says angrily. Ha. Somewhat baffled, Myeol-mang says they should drop it.
Dong-kyung answers his question from earlier about why her life is special enough that she should survive. There is no reason – it just is. The same is true now. There’s no reason for why she tried to save him. It just happened by instinct. She apologizes for “not knowing her place,” but she doesn’t regret what she did. He should thank her.
Myeol-mang storms up to her and says that man is going to die because he killed him. “So I’m not worthy of you doing something ‘just because.'” Dong-kyung knows Myeol-mang must’ve had a reason for killing that man “because that’s the kind of being you are.”
They’re interrupted by a sobbing Sun-kyung who throws his arms around Dong-kyung. He apologizes profusely through his tears and panics when he sees the blood on her coat, although she assures him it isn’t hers. Sun-kyung is inconsolable on the drive back to Dong-kyung’s and cries the whole way to Dong-kyung and Myeol-mang’s frustration.
When Sun-kyung learns that Myeol-mang has known the whole time about Dong-kyung’s illness, he thinks it’s a sign of true love and approves them moving in together. He peppily goes limping off, telling Dong-kyung to rest and not worry about him.
Once he’s out of sight, Sun-kyung immediately starts crying again and calls to tell his friend he’s not going to that academy. He walks into the first place with a “hiring” sign: Hyun-kyu’s café. Taking in his red-rimmed eyes and pitiful state, Hyun-kyu hires him on the spot.
That night in their joined house, Myeol-mang stares at his book without flipping the pages while Dong-kyung watches a news report on the stabber’s death. After learning the man’s identity, Dong-kyung asks if Myeol-mang was doling out punishment.
When he says he did it because the man “bothered” him, Dong-kyung notes that Myeol-mang says that about her too. She can’t imagine her and that man are the same to him, but Myeol-mang asks, “How are you different?”
He stares at Dong-kyung as she struggles to wash the blood out of her clothing, but when she turns to offer to wash his clothes, Myeol-mang is gone. He doesn’t emerge the rest of the night, leaving Dong-kyung to sleep alone on the couch.
Myeol-mang goes back in time to the incident with the stabber and watches everything unfold from inside the ambulance. His eyes lock on Dong-kyung as she sees the weapon and jumps in front of him. The goddess appears next to Myeol-mang in the ambulance and asks why he saved Dong-kyung.
She calls his reasoning that he needs Dong-kyung to end the world a “good excuse.” Myeol-mang admits he wants to know what Dong-kyung was thinking – did she really save him just because? The goddess encourages him to ask Dong-kyung directly.
Dong-kyung wakes up to find Myeol-mang sitting in her living room. He gets straight to the point. What did she mean by “just because?” Did she save him because she needs Myeol-mang to survive? Dong-kyung challenges him to put himself in her shoes and try to figure it out.
She supposes he doesn’t understand how to utilize this necessary skill since he’s not human. Irritated but curious, Myeol-mang asks how it works. Dong-kyung takes him on a little outing to practice guessing people’s motivations based on observing them, but he cheats by reading their thoughts. The only thing he’s able to accurately guess is that he’s making Dong-kyung mad.
Dong-kyung asks for his full name so she can call him by it when she’s angry, but he doesn’t have one. She decides to name him herself and starts ironically calling him Kim Sa-ram (saram = person).
When Myeol-mang almost gets plowed over by a shopping cart, Dong-kyung yanks him back and loses her balance. Myeol-mang gets to do the obligatory slow-motion catch, after which they stare at each other for a long moment.
Still in his arms, she awkwardly breaks the silence and asks him to let go of her. Myeol-mang does but keeps looking at her. He says he doesn’t get it and warns her that he’s going to start observing and trying to figure her out like she suggested.
We cut to Dong-kyung staring in dismay at Myeol-mang who is now posing as Jung-min at her office. Dong-kyung is called into Joo-ik’s office where he asks if she’s talked to Ji-na after hearing that they kissed. She says no which doesn’t seem to be the answer he’s looking for. He tells Dong-kyung to get him everything they have on Ji-na’s work and dismisses her.
Throughout the day, Myeol-mang stares at Dong-kyung non-stop and pesters her about everything. He even marches over to complain when he gets a papercut. Although he’ll heal supernaturally, Dong-kyung puts a band-aid on it, explaining that it’s just as much about consolation as physical healing.
Myeol-mang is so openly interested in Dong-kyung’s every move that the whole office assumes they’re dating. Dong-kyung later chides his immature way of “observing” her and is relieved to hear he won’t infiltrate her workplace the next day.
Using his nascent powers of observation, Myeol-mang notices Dong-kyung seems tired and finds a seat for her on the subway. He pretends to be indifferent to her praise over his considerate behavior but can’t help cracking a small smile.
Dong-kyung starts to feel awkward when Myeol-mang refuses to find a seat and instead stares at her silently, continuing his observation. She distracts herself by checking out Ji-na’s web novel and is happy to see the man sitting next to her reading a web novel by one of LifeStory’s other authors.
She grins, and Myeol-mang wonders what’s so funny. Is it because the story isn’t in order? That’s what the man next to her is thinking. Alarmed, Dong-kyung checks her phone and realizes the wrong episode was uploaded.
At home, Ji-na reads through the mostly positive comments on her novel. Then she sees a comment complaining that all her male leads are the same. She vows to get revenge on Hyun-kyu.
Meanwhile, Joo-ik reads Ji-na’s latest chapter. Hyun-kyu is surprised to find him home early, but Joo-ik says he has to leave work early or late to avoid his coworkers. Hyun-kyu suggests he tell people he’s the landlord’s son, but Joo-ik doesn’t want people to think he’s slacking off because he’s rich.
Hyun-kyu gets annoyed that Joo-ik isn’t paying enough attention to him and snatches Joo-ik’s tablet out of his hands. He reads a scene from Ji-na’s novel and calls the male lead trash. When he says he’s not worth the female lead’s tears, Joo-ik agrees and wonders what she sees in him. He rates the story five stars.
The next day, CEO Park yells at everyone over video call for the upload disaster. Dong-kyung takes the blame for Da-in’s mistake and is disappointed when CEO Park doesn’t let her immediately hand in her resignation.
Dong-kyung meets with the writer (cameo by Nam Da-reum) who is now refusing to finish the story. She takes him for lunch and finds Myeol-mang running the little restaurant. Myeol-mang watches with distaste while Dong-kyung sweet talks the rude young writer.
When the writer asks for more food, Myeol-mang says they’re out of everything, so Dong-kyung runs to the convenience store. Myeol-mang takes her chair and confronts the kid over his rudeness. They bicker until the writer walks out.
Myeol-mang smiles to see Dong-kyung badmouth the kid later and wonders why she held it in. Dong-kyung hadn’t noticed Myeol-mang walk up and asks how long he’s been following her around. “From the moment you were born.”
He explains that he follows humans from the day they’re born. Thanks to her, he’s had to do even more “public observation.” Myeol-mang again encourages her to wish for money, but Dong-kyung sighs that everyone lives like this. People all have their own burdens to bear, even if they’re not as severe as Dong-kyung’s.
Myeol-mang suddenly covers her eyes with his hand. When he uncovers her eyes, they’re at her beach. She takes it in and says she feels like she can live again. Dong-kyung shares that she used to sit like this on the beach every day as a child when she felt like crying.
She didn’t want to cry in front of others or even herself, so she held it in. Myeol-mang slowly reaches his hand toward her but stops short of stroking her hair. Dong-kyung asks why he’s being so nice to her, and he jokingly replies he’s trying to seduce her.
After some staring, Dong-kyung asks if he wants to kiss. But when he bends down and leans in, she pulls back. Myeol-mang smiles and says he’ll pretend she didn’t say anything. She lets him help her up, and then they’re back outside her apartment where Dong-kyung awkwardly rushes inside.
The following day, Ji-na goes to the salon in preparation for facing Hyun-kyu at the reunion. The stylist is a friend and commiserates over how awful Hyun-kyu was for breaking up with Ji-na over text.
Ji-na is surprised to get a call from Joo-ik asking to meet. He offers to help guide her in all aspects of creating her work so that she gets into the Top 10. If he succeeds, he’ll take a 5% cut. She’ll have to agree to listen to him completely.
Joo-ik notices she got her hair done and surmises it’s because of Hyun-kyu. He knows she won’t listen but tells her not to go the reunion anyway. Ji-na argues it’s none of his business, but he points out her only writing weakness is her recurring male lead. To fix that, she needs to let go of her regret.
Dong-kyung arrives home that night as Myeol-mang is leaving for a job. He lets her tag along to a village where they watch a traditional wedding ritual. (The groom wears a squid mask and carries a box of wedding gifts from his home to the bride’s.)
Myeol-mang explains that doom isn’t only about physical death. Being unable to see the things you used to see daily is a form of death, too. It’s his job to watch over all types of doom, including situations like this.
He agrees with Dong-kyung that it’s both pretty and sad. She’s reminded of the way a supernova shines brightest in death, and its energy becomes another star. “Isn’t it like that? Both this and you.”
Myeol-mang confesses that he thought he’d been wrong to choose her, but now he thinks it was a good decision. “Love me,” he says. If she can, it could be a good method. “Become the first human to ever love me.” Above their heads, a shooting star traces a path through the sky.
Does Myeol-mang being on board with her plan mean that he’s changing his goal? His first reaction to Dong-kyung’s declaration to make him the person she loves most was to take it as a challenge. Now, his demeanor has completely changed. He said before that he’d have killed himself already if it were possible, so maybe he’s decided to use her to achieve that end rather than having her doom the world. It’s unlikely the goddess would let his plan of ultimate destruction succeed anyway, so I can see how this could seem like his only way out. But I doubt the goddess will stand still while he dies, either. From what we know, he’s needed for balance in the world. Since she created him, I suppose she could bring another being with his function into existence, but maybe it’s not that simple. Whatever the case, I’m sure the goddess won’t allow Myeol-mang and Dong-kyung to bring about disharmony.
One thing that became evident this hour is that this drama has gone all in on the staring. SO MUCH STARING. I felt like a quarter of the episode was Dong-kyung and Myeol-mang just staring into each other’s eyes, but thanks to Park Bo-young and Seo In-gook’s chemistry, it kind of works. Now they’ve even incorporated staring into the plot with Myeol-mang’s literal interpretation of Dong-kyung’s instructions to observe. Watching Dong-kyung teach Myeol-mang how to perspective take was cute. I hadn’t considered how his ability to read humans’ thoughts would hinder his ability to read people in a traditional way. He’s never had to use cues to surmise what people are thinking or feeling, which has made him inattentive. I loved that moment in the subway when he was all proud of himself for anticipating Dong-kyung’s needs. When he’s not determined to be unlovable, he can be pretty endearing.
Myeol-mang finally appears to be accepting that he has emotions and has stopped being a jerk about it. Dong-kyung’s selfless act of putting herself in danger to save him made an impact and showed him he might not know as much about humans as he thought. It’s nice to see him taking a step back, making an effort to truly see Dong-kyung rather than slapping the label “human” on her and calling it a day. Dong-kyung is now the one growing hesitant to take things further. Loving Myeol-mang in the abstract is one thing – loving him in reality is another. Not that I blame her. She’s considering loving doom himself, which isn’t what most would call a wise idea. And now that he’s dropping his guard a little and not actively pushing her away, it doesn’t seem impossible. Sun-kyung made the comment before that Dong-kyung can’t resist people who are nice to her, which is probably why she almost kissed Myeol-mang on the beach. Myeol-mang can see that she isn’t ready to take the next step yet, and maybe he’s realizing this plan takes two. He’ll need to cooperate and treat her well for this to work. Of course, we already know he’ll fall for her too. We know Sun-kyung, at least, is all about their “true love.”
I’m glad that Sun-kyung is indeed re-evaluating his choices and responsibilities after learning about Dong-kyung’s diagnosis. There’s hope for the kid yet. I didn’t expect Hyun-kyu to come into play through Sun-kyung, but I like the idea of them working together. Now with this potential contract between Joo-ik and Ji-na, it’s only a matter of time before everyone’s lives intersect. I guess Joo-ik was only half joking when he made that proposal to the sleazy writer about helping him in the rankings. I’m not clear on how on the up-and-up this kind of contract is, but it sounds like he’d be a consultant, essentially. With regards to Ji-na, it’s hard to tell how much of Joo-ik’s interest is personal versus professional. I don’t think Joo-ik is the type of person to let his feelings dictate his work, so he must believe in her writing ability, but his interest in her doesn’t seem entirely professional. I have a feeling things will get messy, although Ji-na already kind of seems like a mess. She’s let Hyun-kyu have way too much power over her. I don’t know enough about her relationship with Hyun-kyu to say whether she should drop him for good, but I hope she doesn’t lose herself in whoever she dates next.
- 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