Doom at Your Service: Episode 13
Fate works in funny ways — if it’s meant to be, then history will repeat itself no matter how hard you try to fight it. Despite our heroine’s deal with the goddess, our leads are back on each other’s radars and are determined to figure out their inexplicable connection.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
The elevator doors slide open to reveal Myeol-mang, who calls Dong-kyung by her name. Although they don’t know each other, they can tell that there’s an underlying connection. As Soo-ja rounds the corner, Dong-kyung pulls Myeol-mang into the elevator so that they can talk privately.
Hyun-kyu confronts Joo-ik, who admits to kissing Ji-na ten years ago so that she would leave instead of crying on their steps every day. He explains that he had to step in because Hyun-kyu was too embarrassed about his situation to see her.
Joo-ik shares that he’s being honest because Hyun-kyu is one of the few people he actually likes. Holding onto this secret was difficult. Hyun-kyu regrets everything and is annoyed that even in this situation, Joo-ik makes him feel worthless.
Myeol-mang and Dong-kyung relocate to a nearby café . She tells him that she was crying when she got back to the elevator, but Myeol-mang doesn’t share that he experienced the same thing. He instead describes the goddess as a short girl with short hair, and asks what she did to Dong-kyung. All Dong-kyung knows is that she opened her drink and was directed to the rooftop.
Dong-kyung asks whether he also cried, but Myeol-mang avoids the question and brings up the call she made. Dong-kyung finds it strange, too — while crying, she had the urge to call someone, but isn’t sure who they are despite having their number saved. She calls again now, but nobody picks up and Myeol-mang is satisfied in knowing that it’s not himself. He leaves her to walk back to the hospital even though he drove them there.
Naturally, he’s unable to actually stay away and catches Dong-kyung when she trips over herself, making her think that he’s lost it. At home, Myeol-mang notices a phone on the table and sees the missed calls from Dong-kyung. The photo of them set as the wallpaper confirms that something is going on.
The next day, those around Hyun-kyu and Joo-ik can tell that they fought. Joo-ik meets up with his father who guesses that Hyun-kyu will win because he’s competitive and gives his full effort at all times. Joo-ik, on the other hand, gives in without putting up a fight.
When Joo-ik’s father learns that his son is trying to take something from Hyun-kyu, he muses that Joo-ik will win in that case. “I’ve never seen you not get what you wanted,” he reasons. This includes his new business idea. He tells Joo-ik that if he can’t get over losing, then he’s a bad mentor. If Hyun-kyu can’t get over losing, then Joo-ik taught him wrong.
Myeol-mang confronts the goddess about his relationship with Dong-kyung but as he expected, she stays silent on the matter. While he prepares to find out for himself, Dong-kyung watches Hotel del Luna intently, turning to dramas (again) to study otherworldly beings, hee.
She gets interrupted by Myeol-mang posing as a doctor and kicks up a fuss, to Soo-ja’s embarrassment. For the rest of the day, Myeol-mang plays various roles and administers Dong-kyung’s tests. His goal was to get a hold of her phone during her MRI scan to scroll through her camera roll. There’s no trace of him at all.
Later, Dong-kyung’s colleagues pay her a visit. Jung-min shows up with a fruit basket, Ye-ji offers to grab her food at any time, and Da-in promises to send photos of handsome men to get her through the boredom. As for Joo-ik…all he has prepared is the question, “Have you been well?” Pfft, everyone looks at him in disappointment so he offers money instead.
Ji-na swings by for a visit, but leaves at the sight of Joo-ik. He catches up to her and she tells him that she’s going to drink with Hyun-kyu. He doesn’t intend to stop her because no matter what happens, his feelings won’t change. He admits that he has liked her since the beginning. It’s why he kissed a stranger against his better judgement. Ji-na learns that Hyun-kyu knows about the kiss and Joo-ik’s feelings. She doesn’t know the answer when Joo-ik asks, “Do you think I’ll be able to win?”
Dong-kyung corners her later for details and Ji-na wonders how she became the bad girl. As far as Dong-kyung is concerned, she’s being rewarded for suffering. Joo-ik may have been annoying at work, but he’s a good guy, super rich (Ji-na gets momentarily excited at this), handsome, and really funny. If Ji-na dates him, Dong-kyung is sure that he’ll make her laugh daily.
Ji-na considers seeing a psychic to sort things out and Dong-kyung is open to tagging along because of “some crazy guy” who keeps asking her to doom the world together. Ji-na makes up a love story and interprets it as if he’ll only love her even if the world becomes doomed. I mean…she’s not wrong!
While closing up, Sun-kyung shares that he really enjoys working at a coffee shop and asks Hyun-kyu why he opened up a café. Hyun-kyu comes up with a meaningful story about visiting one while feeling homesick, realizing that coffee is the same anywhere. However, he was kidding — it was either own a café or be unemployed.
“If you’re waiting for something that’s fated for you, then forget about it,” Hyun-kyu advises. He tells Sun-kyung that instead of making elaborate plans, he should just do what he wants to do. As time passes, he’ll become skilled at it and it’ll then become something that was meant for him.
Sun-kyung wonders if Hyun-kyu regrets leaving his first love. If Hyun-kyu knew that he’d end up as a café owner, he could’ve continued dating her instead of studying abroad and getting his heart broken. Hyun-kyu says that her heart suffered more than his. All he did was run away, so Sun-kyung tells him to stop running away starting now.
Inspired, Hyun-kyu gives Ji-na a call to ask for drinks. She had the same idea, already at the café. Sun-kyung freezes when he sees Ji-na, putting the pieces together when Hyun-kyu goes to change. He just has one question…is Hyun-kyu Guy Number 1 or 2? He feels sorry for his boss when she admits it’s Number 1, who Sun-kyung knows is not the one she currently likes.
After downing a few drinks, Ji-na confesses that she went to class reunions every year in case Hyun-kyu showed up. She also frequented places where he might go, but was disappointed each time. Ji-na just wanted to tell him that she’s been loving him alone for a very long time.
However, she realized after meeting him again that who she loved was the eighteen-year-old Hyun-kyu…they know nothing about each other now. Hyun-kyu agrees, but is willing to start over from the beginning. She buries her face in her hands and confesses that she and Joo-ik kissed. Although it doesn’t matter to Hyun-kyu, it matters to her.
Ji-na walks home alone while crying, tripping over her own two feet outside her apartment. Joo-ik was waiting for her and catches Ji-na before she falls. She wonders what he would’ve done if she’d never shown up and complains, “You always do things that don’t suit you, confusing me.”
He closes the distance between them and tells her not to be confused. “I came because I missed you. I came because I liked you,” he says as he gently wipes away a tear. Moved, she plants a soft kiss on his lips before passing out in his arms. When they make it to her apartment, he tucks her in carefully and tells her she should only make these drunken mistakes when she’s with him.
Dong-kyung learns that she’ll lose her hair due to chemo, and her doctor recommends taking care of it before she’s forced to watch it fall out. Soo-ja can barely hold back her tears as she tries to comfort her niece. She uses an excuse to leave the room and breaks down uncontrollably once she distances herself from Dong-kyung.
Dong-kyung heads to a hair salon and requests the stylist to curl her hair as if she were a celebrity. Once finished, the stylist gushes about how beautiful it came out and admits that she was intimidated seeing Dong-kyung in her hospital gown, thinking she came to shave her head.
After the stylist grabs some photos, Dong-kyung asks her to shave it all off. She apologizes and explains that she just wanted to get her hair done one last time, but the stylist invites her to come back once her hair is grown out so she can style it again. She grabs the scissors but before she can make the first cut, Dong-kyung gets a nosebleed. Feeling light-headed, she loses her balance and falls into Myeol-mang’s arms before losing consciousness.
Dong-kyung dreams that she’s at her own funeral where Myeol-mang is alone and sobbing mournfully because of her death. His heartbroken expression makes her so sad that she starts crying in real life, while still asleep. She wipes away Myeol-mang’s tears in her dream, then wakes up when the real Myeol-mang holds her hand to relieve her pain.
Still stuck in the emotions of her funeral, Dong-kyung reaches for Myeol-mang’s cheek and apologizes. He gets up to leave immediately, but begins to see fragments of their history together from the yellow tulips to a flash of her smiling face. He visits the goddess, but all traces of her are gone…her hospital bed is completely empty.
That night, Myeol-mang infiltrates Dong-kyung’s dream and brings her to his place. Like the first time, Dong-kyung runs around in awe and opens every door, but they all lead back to the living room where Myeol-mang is reading Les Miserables.
Dong-kyung tells him about the dream she just had, where Myeol-mang’s tears were flowing at her funeral. He meets her at eye level and stares her down, only to comment, “No matter how much I look at you, I’m not sad.” Pfft, if only you knew, Myeol-mang. He instructs Dong-kyung to smile at him so he can figure out who she is, but her grimace doesn’t do much for him to connect her to the smiling face in his memory.
Worried that he’ll do something to Dong-kyung indoors, Myeol-mang decides to head outside where nothing is alive. She asks what he’d do, but he himself has no idea since he doesn’t know who she is. He casually warns her to run if he does do anything.
They make it out to his garden, which once again has lost its color. He explains that this is his subconscious, just like her beach. Dong-kyung begins to understand what he’s like getting a glimpse of his garden. A mindset like this would make one sharp.
Myeol-mang urges her to recall whether she knows him, but she just quickly quips that she doesn’t know at all. He tells her to give some more thought to it before speaking, but she says, “Why would I have to think? I know when I see it.” The specific phrasing she uses brings back another memory — he’d said something similar the first time he showed Dong-kyung his garden.
Concerned, he asks if she’s been here before but of course to her knowledge, she hasn’t. They continue bickering back and forth with Dong-kyung wondering if Myeol-mang actually reads, with the cryptic way that he speaks. To prove that he does, he quotes his book: “To die is nothing; but it is terrible not to live.”
Dong-kyung counters that with a quote of her own: “The reduction of the universe to the compass of a single being, and the extension of a single being until it reaches God — that is love.” She urges Myeol-mang to remember the beautiful things of this world, so that his garden can grow.
When Dong-kyung directs a genuine smile at Myeol-mang this time, he remembers all the other times he’s seen her beautiful smile. Wordlessly, he leans down and presses his lips onto hers. During the short kiss, the scenery cycles through the significant places they’ve been to together, and both seem to have regained their memories.
Tears well up in Dong-kyung’s eyes as she remembers her final exchange with the goddess, where she granted her wish to make her forget Myeol-mang. She wakes up in her hospital bed and flips through her journal. The previously empty pages repopulate with her bucket list and details of her contract with Myeol-mang.
Myeol-mang is left alone in his grey garden, looking around as the color returns with his memories of Dong-kyung. He remembers everything from the way she cried that she wanted to live, to their first kiss in the rain. By the time he gets to the hospital, Dong-kyung’s already gone.
She nervously makes her way back home, fumbling with the keys as she flings open the door and finds it completely empty with no Myeol-mang in sight. Defeated, she kneels by the entryway until she receives a call from Saram.
Dong-kyung picks up hesitantly and turns around to see Myeol-mang with his eyes filled with emotion once again. They stare at each other silently for a beat before Dong-kyung cries, “How did you forget me?”
Their typical back-and-forth quips are back as he retorts, “That’s what I wanted to say.” Dong-kyung sobs that even if she made such a drastic decision, Myeol-mang should’ve recognized her the moment he saw her. He points out that she acted according to her own will without bringing it up with him, so it really wasn’t his fault.
The pair chuckle at the ridiculousness of their situation, just relieved and happy to be reunited. As they sink deeper into the security of their embrace, the goddess’ plant revives and the flower begins to sprout open.
This episode had a lot of fun throwbacks to earlier moments in the show (like Dong-kyung watching Hotel del Luna instead of Tale of the Nine Tailed to learn more about interacting with Myeol-mang, pfft). Every time Dong-kyung tries something though (loving Myeol-mang the most so that he dies instead of her loved ones, leaving quietly to “un-love” everyone in Jeju, getting the goddess to erase her memories, etc.), we as the audience can already tell where it’s going. We know that in the end, her plans will backfire. Successfully loving Myeol-mang the most means that she will grow so fond of him that it’ll be painful to see him die. It’s not possible to forget about everyone you love just by distancing and isolating yourself. Fate will bring them back together even if they don’t remember one another. The outcome is so obvious that many viewers are tired of the repetition, but I don’t personally mind it too much because it makes sense if Dong-kyung’s desperate.
I think early on, I’ve accepted that Dong-kyung will try anything she can in order to survive and have everyone that she loves come out of this ordeal unscathed. As frustrating as it is to watch her make unilateral decisions that affect Myeol-mang, Ji-na, and her family, it feels natural. It’s very in character for Dong-kyung, as someone who always kept her struggles to herself. At the end of the day, we’re waiting for her to go through different plans (that will inevitably fail) in order to find a loophole that changes her fate, and that’s not an easy task. What I do hope is that going forward, Dong-kyung understands that she can’t be making these decisions alone. Loop Myeol-mang in, at the very least! Perhaps the goddess’ little flowerpot holds all the answers to their problems.
What I am tired of is the secondary storyline involving Ji-na, Hyun-kyu, and Joo-ik. I just don’t understand what any of them see in each other and frankly, don’t think that either man is a good option for Ji-na. Joo-ik confirmed in this episode that he fell in love with Ji-na while she was crying over Hyun-kyu. He already knew about how heartbroken they were over each other, even if Hyun-kyu was pretty immature with the way he handled it. Who decides that kissing a girl (who doesn’t even know who you are) is the appropriate way to ensure she stops crying in front of your house? The logic just does not make sense. I love Ji-na as Dong-kyung’s friend and each character is interesting on their own, but I suddenly stop caring whenever their romance comes to the forefront. It feels like we’re being told that this is an epic love story when it really isn’t. I’d rather Ji-na forget about both of them and move on with her life, write amazing stories, and figure out who she is outside of her connection to these men. I hope that their portion wraps up soon so that we can spend finale week focused on what really matters — Dong-kyung and her little family.
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