Doom at Your Service: Episode 12
Our heroine makes a choice that switches things up, but maybe not quite as much as she’d hoped. She tries to stay optimistic about her situation and focuses on her health as she develops a worrying potential symptom. Meanwhile, our pessimistic lead encounters a couple of people who remind him exactly why he’s never been fond of humanity.
We open on Myeol-mang stalking through a dank building toward a man who plans on committing arson. Myeol-mang arrives in time to catch the lighter before it touches the gasoline-soaked ground. The man tries to fight him, which obviously doesn’t go well.
The man is a budding serial killer who’s already murdered animals and is upping his game. Myeol-mang doesn’t get why the goddess won’t get rid of scum like him. He torments the man a bit and then force feeds him some of the poisoned cat food from the man’s bag.
While Myeol-mang meets with the goddess at the hospital, Dong-kyung meets with Doctor Jung who briefs her on the treatment plan. She’s being admitted to the hospital the next day. Dong-kyung is sure she had her reasons for taking so long to decide on treatment, only she can’t remember them now. They assume her memory loss is a system of her tumor.
When Dong-kyung gifts him some apples she bought on the street, Doctor Jung sighs that she should be living more selfishly. He wants her to live freely and for herself, although he appreciates what a kind person she is.
In the goddess’s room, Myeol-mang is back to his resentful self, complaining about humans. The goddess smiles sadly when Myeol-mang asserts there’s not a single human that is likeable or pitiable. “I’m sorry,” she says without further explanation.
In the hallway, Dong-kyung and Myeol-mang unknowingly reenact their first meeting. They bump into each other, and he steadies her. She’s dazzled by his handsome face, and he replies, “I know I’m handsome, but I’m busy.” After she walks away, Myeol-mang pauses and looks back at her for a moment before going on his way.
Dong-kyung visits Dalgona after her (successful) surgery and admits she’s a little afraid of starting treatment herself. Dalgona notices she’s lost the spark she had when she said life was fun, but Dong-kyung doesn’t even remember saying that.
Dong-kyung is bothered by the memory loss but is trying to be positive since she’s still quite healthy given her condition. Dalgona promises to visit her during Dong-kyung’s chemo and help her make new happy memories. She starts by gifting her a bouquet of yellow tulips that happen to look just like the ones Myeol-mang bought for Dong-kyung before.
At home, Dong-kyung gets a text from her now-divorced ex. He’s heard about her illness and acts like he’s the taking the high road by saying he’s trying to forgive her even though she’s responsible for his divorce and recent hair loss.
Sun-kyung is irate and tells Dong-kyung to block his number, which she does. But all of this talk of boyfriends gives Sun-kyung the strange feeling that Dong-kyung had some other guy in her life. Dong-kyung smacks him for his crazy talk.
That night, Myeol-mang drinks alone at his house until almost midnight. He automatically gets up to leave but stops himself, confused.
Dong-kyung admires the moon from her rooftop, and we see Myeol-mang’s bracelet is still on her wrist. Soo-ja reassures a nervous Dong-kyung that she’ll handle everything while Dong-kyung is in the hospital. Once Kevin takes care of things in Canada, he’ll be back too. Dong-kyung feels guilty for inconveniencing everyone, but Soo-ja won’t have it.
The next day, Ji-na helps Dong-kyung get set up at the hospital. Ever the editor, Dong-kyung asks how Ji-na’s writing is going and gives her a pep talk. In the lobby, they hear the ladies from the ghost club talking about the mysterious happenings at the hospital.
When Dong-kyung mentions the handsome doctor she saw, the ladies are sure it’s the ghost – there aren’t any handsome doctors at the hospital. Soon after, Dong-kyung sends Ji-na home to work on her novel. As she waves goodbye, her bracelet falls off.
Elsewhere, Myeol-mang pays a visit to the funeral of a child who was beaten to death by his father. The man is entirely unapologetic, so Myeol-mang inflicts upon him the very injuries he inflicted upon his child.
The injured man runs to the parking garage with Myeol-mang leisurely tailing him. Nearby, Dong-kyung is trying to retrieve her bracelet from underneath a car. She hears all the car alarms start blaring and sees Myeol-mang catch up to the man.
Dong-kyung watches as Myeol-mang accuses the man of stepping on his doom turf. He starts to strangle the man but stops when he looks over and sees Dong-kyung watching wide-eyed. She tries to pretend she didn’t see anything and ducks behind a car.
While Joo-ik waits impatiently for Ji-na’s new chapter, Hyun-kyu waits just as impatiently for Ji-na to contact him. After Joo-ik leaves the apartment, Hyun-kyu finds Joo-ik’s tablet on the table, the novel still open in his browser. He skims through the first chapter of Ji-na’s new book.
Outside, Ji-na finds Joo-ik waiting for her and reminds him he was the one who wanted to only communicate through text and email. Joo-ik says it’s her fault for “bothering” him (ugh) and reveals that he quit his job in some part due to her.
Joo-ik does feel responsible for her current writer’s block since her new male lead is based on him. They go to her apartment where she denies he’s the new male lead. Joo-ik asks for a clear answer: does she like him? He needs to know whether he should “steal” her or love one-sidedly.
He tells her to think it over. In the meantime, she should write the next part of the story where the female lead reunites with the male lead nine years later.
At the hospital, Dong-kyung and Myeol-mang sit to chat. She offers him a coffee, but he says he doesn’t eat or drink. Dong-kyung thinks he’s a ghost per the rumors, so she pokes him to see if he’s solid. She asks how he made the cars go crazy. Does he have powers of electricity?
Myeol-mang chuckles but freezes when he hears in her thoughts that she’s seen him before. He’s shocked she remembers him after meeting in the hallway but brushes it off. Again, Dong-kyung assumes her tumor is making her hallucinate. When he encourages her to believe he’s a hallucination, she’s stunned he can hear her thoughts.
She fires off rapid questions, wondering if she’s bound to help him relieve past grudges or something. He scoffs at her pitying him. “You’re going to die soon. No matter what you do, you’re fated to die.” So much for Dong-kyung getting a second chance to not know her fate.
Myeol-mang tells her not to tell anyone about him; they’d just think she was seeing things anyway. He leaves Dong-kyung aghast at his rudeness.
Now that the Dong-kyung situation is handled, Myeol-mang finishes what he started with the murdering father. The man wakes inside a morgue cubby with his hands and feet bound. Myeol-mang isn’t interested in the man’s begging and insincere apologies and leaves him locked inside.
The next day, Dong-kyung hears rumors of weird happenings in the hospital where two men went crazy and starting confessing. Dong-kyung tries to convince Soo-ja they should switch hospitals – there really is a ghost here.
Sun-kyung comes bounding in with fresh cookies for Dong-kyung and all her roommates. The ladies moon over his handsomeness. Then, in comes handsome young man #2, Young. He stopped by to offer Dong-kyung the comfort of his pretty face before his nearby shoot. Pfft.
He’s eager to hear how the dilemma over whether to doom the world or the person she loves was resolved. Young is disappointed she doesn’t remember but tells her his solution anyway: rewind time so the protagonists never meet. Although, fate might still push them together and have them fall in love again, leading to the same choice.
Dong-kyung thinks it’s a shame for his writing talent to go to waste, but he confides that he’s still writing in secret. When Young promises to visit again, she says he doesn’t have to, but he admits he has no friends because he’s “shy.” Ha.
Meanwhile, Ji-na struggles to write her novel and can’t stop thinking about Joo-ik asking if she likes him. At the café, Hyun-kyu reads Ji-na’s old novel and doesn’t put together that her pen name is based on his name until Sun-kyung points out the similarity.
Hyun-kyu finally gets a text from Ji-na asking him out for a meal at their old spot. He rushes off and leaves Sun-kyung in charge of the café.
At the hospital, Dong-kyung sees the goddess struggling to open a bottle and helps her out. The goddess suggests she visit the rooftop – it’s a nice spot. Downstairs, Myeol-mang and Young pass by each other and start bickering in a way that feels familiar to Myeol-mang.
Later, Myeol-mang shares with the goddess that a human recognized him, but it should be fine because she’ll die next month anyway. He notices the goddess staring at her now-dying plant and asks why she gives it so much attention. “You,” she replies ambiguously.
Elsewhere, Ji-na and Hyun-kyu have their awkward date at their old spot and reminisce. Ji-na drives him home, saying she brought her car so she couldn’t drink and get too honest with him. The more they talk, the more obvious it is how little they know each other now.
Before he gets out, Hyun-kyu asks if her pen name is Lee Hyun. Ji-na assumes Joo-ik told him, but he assures her that’s not the case. She doesn’t deny the male lead is basically him but asks him not to read any more of her work. He starts to bring up her new novel but decides to drop it.
Hyun-kyu hopes they can drink next time and vows to try to be someone she feels comfortable being honest with. As she pulls away, Joo-ik comes up and sees Hyun-kyu.
Dong-kyung goes up to the hospital rooftop and runs into Myeol-mang having a smoke. He claims it’s his spot and orders her to leave. They start bickering, and Dong-kyung warns him not to bother her since she’s in the mood to doom the world.
He’s thrilled by that prospect and smiles. “You have potential.” Dong-kyung is creeped out and thinks he’s trying to scare her into leaving. Myeol-mang follows her into the elevator and predicts she’s going to be in pain soon.
Moments later, she drops to the ground in agony. She reaches her hand toward him and begs for his help. Myeol-mang asks if that’s her wish as she grabs onto his coat. He takes her hand, and her pain dissipates.
If she’s thankful, ask him to doom the world. Doesn’t it feel unfair that a good person like her will die early while bad people get to live on? Dong-kyung isn’t convinced of his power and calls it a coincidence that her pain eased when he held her hand.
The elevator opens onto the Jeju beach of Dong-kyung’s childhood. Just like before, Myeol-mang explains that he’s doom and offers the contract to make her remaining life painless in exchange for her dooming the world.
He offers his hand, but Dong-kyung doesn’t take it this time. She admits she was swayed – she likes this spot. Myeol-mang only sees bad memories here, but Dong-kyung insists there are good ones too, even though she can’t remember them.
Myeol-mang finally notices her bracelet and asks about it. Dong-kyung says she feels uneasy if she doesn’t wear it. He stares at her and slowly reaches up to stroke her hair. He stares at his hand in surprise and transports himself back to his house. Alone, they both find themselves inexplicably crying.
Myeol-mang barges into the goddess’s room and demands to know what she did to him. The goddess clarifies that she did something to Dong-kyung, not him. After he storms out, the goddess’s flower begins to revive. “As expected, there are things that can’t be helped,” the goddess states.
Dong-kyung finds “Saram” as a contact in her phone and calls him. The elevator doors open to reveal Myeol-mang whose phone is ringing. “Tak Dong-kyung, who are you?” he asks. “And who are you?” she asks in return.
Since the goddess said she’d be erasing Dong-kyung and Myeol-mang from each other’s fates, I assumed that meant an actual reset not just scrubbing their memories. She didn’t erase their connection – she severed it. And she didn’t even do that particularly well. Although she wiped memories of Myeol-mang from the humans around Dong-kyung, she didn’t wipe or alter their memories of events. Sun-kyung still remembered Dong-kyung had a boyfriend, and everyone around Dong-kyung remembered conversations exactly as they happened. Only Dong-kyung forgot everything from the past couple months. The goddess even left physical evidence like Myeol-mang’s cell phone and Dong-kyung’s bracelet! With all that, of course they’re going to find their way back to each other, especially when they frequent the same hospital. The execution was so shoddy that I’m not convinced the goddess even wanted this plan to work. Otherwise, that suggests she’s not very powerful, not very bright, or she’s just sadistic and toys with people for her own amusement.
If we’re going this route, I would’ve preferred a true reset. It makes more sense and ups the stakes. Instead, we got amnesia that barely took. They forgot each other for about a day, and then we’re right back where we started. The drama wants to make the case that they’re fated to be together, which makes sense given the heavy focus on fate from the start. However, toward that end, an actual reset would’ve been much more effective. If I’m supposed to believe they’re fated to be together, show me by having them overcome the odds. Rewind time and erase their meeting in the first place so that their reconnection feels destined rather than inevitable due to oversight on the goddess’s part. The drama even presented this option through Young’s meta suggestion for how a writer could resolve the contract dilemma! I’m baffled as to why they didn’t take their own advice.
Now that Dong-kyung and Myeol-mang have realized their connection and that something fishy is going on, maybe they’ll regain their memories on their own. If not, I wouldn’t be surprised if the goddess just jogs their memories for them. Her sending Dong-kyung up to the roof was no accident; she knows Myeol-mang hangs out up there. If the two of them being together will truly upset the balance or bring destruction, you’d think the goddess would be keener on stopping it. She’s so contradictory and her attempts feel so halfhearted that I wonder whether she’s just apathetic or Dong-kyung and Myeol-mang’s connection isn’t that serious. Maybe the drama is trying to frame her vacillation as a conflict between her duty to the world and her care for Myeol-mang, but that’s more guesswork than something the drama is giving us through the writing. It’s a shame the goddess isn’t written better because she has an interesting setup. As a deity who serves as a perpetual sacrifice, she could’ve been a compelling and emotionally resonant character. I was hoping her motives would become clearer as the drama progressed, but I think that’s all she wrote.
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