Doom at Your Service: Episode 7
It’s always one step forward, two steps back for our couple. After sharing a moment together, our gloomy lead vanishes without a trace, leaving our desperate heroine with nowhere to search. We get a lot of sad eyes and brooding this hour as both of our leads feel lost and battered by fate. Meanwhile, our heroine’s illness becomes a little more public, and those around her grapple with how to deal with the news.
After Myeol-mang disappears, Dong-kyung runs home and is dismayed to find her apartment entirely her own again. The next day, she zones out at work and only snaps out of it when Ye-ji mentions that the recently returned CEO Park looks different.
Hoping Myeol-mang is pulling one of his masquerades, Dong-kyung is disappointed to see CEO Park has truly returned. Her mood brightens a little when the bratty writer Young makes a surprise visit and declares he’ll finish his story. He’s been having disturbing dreams where a man orders him to finish writing and makes him die in various ways.
Meanwhile, Myeol-mang stands atop a building and wonders where he is. He’s suddenly transported to 2014 where he sees Dong-kyung running to catch a bus. The goddess shows up and explains this is a glimpse into Dong-kyung’s past, so she can’t see or hear him.
The tire blows out on Dong-kyung’s bus, making her late for her interview. Despite her pleas for understanding, they turn her away. The goddess calls her pitiful and blames Myeol-mang for the blown tire since all destruction is linked to him.
Next, the goddess takes him back even further to high school when Dong-kyung’s lunch box spilled in her backpack. Even small misfortunes like this are attributable to Myeol-mang, but the goddess reminds him of his importance. “It’s not your fault. Your existence is essential to this world.”
Myeol-mang then sees Dong-kyung sitting on the beach, pained to remember Dong-kyung’s words that she did that when she felt like crying. As he steps toward her, the scene switches to when Dong-kyung received the phone call about her parents’ accident. Stroking little Sun-kyung’s head, the goddess cruelly reiterates that Myeol-mang bears responsibility for all that disappears.
“Stop!” Myeol-mang yells. He opens his eyes, and he’s back in the goddess’s hospital room. As he glares, objects break and the windows explode. The goddess puts everything right and, like a mother indulging her child, asks if he’s done being mad.
After all the pain he’s caused Dong-kyung throughout her life, he wants to receive her love and disappear? “You dream big.” The goddess deals the final blow by musing that Myeol-mang must’ve been doing something the day the tumor began to grow in Dong-kyung’s brain.
Dong-kyung stands on the subway platform and resigns herself to the idea that anyone who’s nice to her will inevitably disappear. What should she do now? She has a new understanding of the loneliness Myeol-mang must experience while watching everything disappear and being unable to do anything.
When she spots Myeol-mang standing on the opposite platform, Dong-kyung goes running. Her vision begins to blur, and she struggles to make it up the stairs. Myeol-mang grabs her hand as she starts to collapse.
In the car, Dong-kyung asks where he’s been. Did he run away? Myeol-mang says he was “chased out” but doesn’t explain what happened. Dong-kyung snaps at him for his angry silence – she’s the one who deserve to be angry.
Myeol-mang clarifies that he isn’t angry at her but himself for “forgetting everything.” His cryptic answers annoy her as does the fact that he can disappear and give her no way to look for him. Dong-kyung wants to know where his house is so she has somewhere to look the next time he vanishes.
He complies and takes her to the physical location of his house which isn’t in as remote a location as she expected. Myeol-mang’s dour mood is palpable as he states that Dong-kyung won’t be able to find him next time, even if she comes here.
Myeol-mang tells her he misjudged the situation. She shouldn’t love him, and he can’t fulfill her wish to be loved either. He wants to stop living together. Dong-kyung takes a step forward and is suddenly alone in her living room.
Elsewhere, Sun-kyung catches Hyun-kyu staring at a photo of Ji-na. They start talking about first loves, and Sun-kyung pesters him into sharing how he and Ji-na broke up. In a flashback, Hyun-kyu whines at Joo-ik to do it for him.
He blames Joo-ik for feeding him the rice cakes that gave him indigestion and caused him to miss the college entrance exam. Joo-ik isn’t sympathetic since the real issue is that Hyun-kyu impulsively decided to study abroad because his friends were teasing him for not being able to go to university.
To shut him up, Joo-ik starts texting Ji-na while Hyun-kyu looks over his shoulder. Hyun-kyu doesn’t want to meet with her but vows to deal with this properly later. Ji-na sends a text asking if they are breaking up; she’ll take no response as a yes. Hyun-kyu didn’t respond.
Sun-kyung scolds him for his terrible handling of the situation and asks why he did that. Hyun-kyu claims he liked her so much that he was embarrassed of himself. Sun-kyung shares that someone he knows was dumped by text and didn’t let it go for years, vowing to kill the man. Completely unsolicited, Sun-kyung generously proclaims that he’ll be Hyun-kyu’s dating counselor.
Joo-ik arrives home to find Sun-kyung in his living room. Sun-kyung recognizes Joo-ik from the café and excitedly guesses that he’s a colleague of his sister’s. Joo-ik is dismayed to realized Sun-kyung is Dong-kyung’s little brother and makes him promise to keep where he lives a secret.
Over drinks, Sun-kyung offers up his dating wisdom that men are basically all the same but every woman is unique. Hyun-kyu wants an easy answer for how to figure out how a woman operates in a relationship, but Sun-kyung and Joo-ik argue it’s not that simple.
Sun-kyung sighs that life is hard and promises to share his own woes with Hyun-kyu once they’re closer. He chides Hyun-kyu for opening up so easily to a stranger. Once he leaves, Hyun-kyu and Joo-ik talk about how cute he is. Joo-ik says he’s like the neighborhood mutt.
Joo-ik thinks Sun-kyung resembles Hyun-kyu in his younger days, calling them both good kids who do their work well. Now that Hyun-kyu has an apprentice, Joo-ik is ready to push him out of the nest, but Hyun-kyu insists he’ll stick with Joo-ik until he dies.
Hyun-kyu grows serious and shares that Ji-na won’t eat rice cakes anymore. He’s the one who got sick from them, but she’s the one affected. He says that he couldn’t give an answer when Ji-na asked why he’d come back. Joo-ik gets a text from Ji-na, asking him to come help her write, but he replies he can’t go.
Reading the text, Ji-na is reminded of the day she and Joo-ik kissed. She’d been sitting on the stoop to his and Hyun-kyu’s building in the rain, blocking the entrance. He’d given her his umbrella, asking if she really likes Hyun-kyu that much.
The whole neighborhood knows who she’s waiting for, but it’s useless. Hyun-kyu has already left for Japan. Ji-na doesn’t know where else to wait and mourns all the things they didn’t get to do. They never even kissed. Joo-ik watches her cry and leans down to kiss her. (Yeah, that’ll solve it.)
The following day, Dong-kyung gets the bad news that one of her writers is quitting. The woman has ovarian cancer. She isn’t looking for comfort but wanted to tell Dong-kyung directly. She encourages Dong-kyung to live a little recklessly and not worry about what others think.
Dong-kyung is distracted throughout their company dinner that night. She struggles to control her anger when the sleazy writer starts gossiping about the writer with ovarian cancer. He makes the mistake of addressing Dong-kyung directly who is in no mood to accommodate him.
After Dong-kyung drops any politeness and lets him have it, he makes sexist comments about how she won’t be able to get married with her attitude. She informs him it doesn’t matter. “I’ll die in three months from cancer.” Dong-kyung gets up and walks out, leaving everyone stunned.
When Dong-kyung reaches the crosswalk where she first agreed on the deal with Myeol-mang, she thinks back to him telling her to call him if she’s scared to walk across. Out loud, she says she’s afraid to cross the street, but Myeol-mang doesn’t appear.
Next, she tries dangling a foot over her roof and threatening to jump, but that doesn’t work either. It’s almost midnight by the time she enters her apartment. She curses Myeol-mang and falls asleep on her floor.
Myeol-mang quietly arrives to recharge the bracelet and then goes to a desolate spot to brood alone. In the morning, Dong-kyung wakes on the floor with a pillow under her head and realizes Myeol-mang was there. Her frustration overcomes her sense of self-preservation, and she rips the red bracelet off her wrist.
Ji-na frantically tries calling Dong-kyung after hearing about her announcement at the company dinner. She rushes into the office, but Dong-kyung isn’t there. Ji-na breaks down sobbing, so Joo-ik escorts her out into the stairwell to pull herself together.
She now realizes why Dong-kyung asked about having 100 days to live and regrets jokingly asking Dong-kyung if she’s dying. Joo-ik advises her to stop focusing on the past and instead focus on helping Dong-kyung.
Ji-na is such a mess that Joo-ik offers to drive her home. When they turn a corner and almost bump into Hyun-kyu, Joo-ik quickly spins Ji-na around.
Meanwhile, Dong-kyung is rushed into the hospital with a sobbing Sun-kyung by her side. Doctor Jung assures him this is a normal symptom due to cranial pressure. While Sun-kyung waits for Dong-kyung to regain consciousness, their aunt calls.
Myeol-mang is still getting his brood on at his desolate spot. The goddess joins him and encourages him to stand firm in his decision to stay away from Dong-kyung. He shouldn’t see her, even if she’s in danger. But can he really live like that?
Myeol-mang doesn’t bother answering as he hops up and walks away. The goddess muses that children must rebel against their parents to grow, and love requires a broken heart to be set ablaze.
Dong-kyung wakes in the hospital minutes before midnight. She slips past the sleeping Sun-kyung and roams the halls, coming face-to-face with Myeol-mang. Dong-kyung knew he’d show up and calls him out for hiding.
As Myeol-mang walks toward her, she says that she knows him now, so he can’t hide from her. Dong-kyung reminds him that he can’t leave until he grants her wish. The moment he reaches her, Myeol-mang pulls her into a tight hug.
Dong-kyung muses on the misfortunes in her life but also the people who have been there for her. We see the moments that Ji-na, Sun-kyung, and her aunt Soo-ja were waiting for her, brining joy amidst her sorrow.
And now there’s Myeol-mang. Dong-kyung smiles and hugs Myeol-mang back. “Sometimes, the faces of misfortune and fortune are the same.”
I wasn’t expecting the angsty separation to happen before we’ve even reached the halfway point. I really wish the romance had been built up better. The setup is there, and they have great chemistry, but the development has been strangely rushed. Judging from the first few episodes, I thought we were in for a more slow-burn type of romance. The unique nature of their connection and the obstacles they face are a bit more dire than usual, and I was looking forward to watching them navigate those complexities. Instead, they went from enemies to lovers like a switch was flipped. Hopefully, we’ll get to explore their connection more deeply as we go; it’d be a missed opportunity not to take full advantage of the interesting backdrop of their relationship.
While I love Dong-kyung as a character, one thing didn’t sit well with me. I can understand her ripping off her bracelet in frustration, not wanting to be dependent on Myeol-mang who just up and left. But the implication seemed more that she pulled off the bracelet in a desperate attempt to make him come back. If that’s the case, girl, no. Holding your own well-being hostage to get someone else’s attention or to force them to stay with you is never okay. I’d say Dong-kyung grossly misinterpreted what that nice writer lady meant by living a little recklessly. I get that Dong-kyung feels like she has nothing to lose because she’s dying, but this is not a healthy approach. Even beyond that, I just felt such a disconnect from Dong-kyung’s sudden, extreme attachment to Myeol-mang that her behavior seemed out of place.
On another note, what is the goddess’s game plan here? All that talk of resetting and Myeol-mang’s faulty programming made me assume she was definitively against his and Dong-kyung’s relationship. And her cruel but fairly effective tactic of guilting Myeol-mang into leaving Dong-kyung by claiming he’d ruined her entire life supported this view. So why did she essentially send him running back to Dong-kyung when he was moping at the lake of desolation? What was the point of showing him Dong-kyung’s past, then? The goddess is supposed to be omniscient, so maybe she knew her first plan wouldn’t work and has moved onto a new plan.
We delved into our side characters and their messy relationships a little more today. Hyun-kyu has some major avoidance issues. I can cut him a little slack (but not much) for ghosting Ji-na when they were teens, but he’s still engaging in the same behavior! Rather than being an adult and talking things out with Ji-na when they reconnected, he again chose to selfishly stay silent. He needs to learn to take responsibility and own up to his actions. He and Sun-kyung really are similar. Maybe Sun-kyung’s newfound sense of responsibility and maturity will rub off on Hyun-kyu.
I have to say, even after almost a decade of drama watching, I still don’t get the obsession with first loves. I know it’s supposed to be romantic, but I just get irritated that grown adults haven’t moved on from their childhood crushes. It does seem like the drama is going the way of paring Ji-na and Joo-ik as opposed to having Ji-na and Hyun-kyu get back together, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Ji-na is Joo-ik’s “first love” too. I really like Joo-ik as a character, but I’m not a fan of how he’s handling everything with Ji-na. On his first meeting with her, he kissed her out of the blue like it was a consolation prize, which was incredibly weird. And now he’s keeping his working relationship with her a secret. There’s no way that isn’t going to backfire. I don’t think he’s obligated to disclose it to Hyun-kyu, since who he works with isn’t Hyun-kyu’s business, but actively hiding it seems like a bad idea. Given that they live together and work in the same building, it’s bound to come out sooner or later. Joo-ik clearly cares about Hyun-kyu, and intentionally keeping him in the dark is just going to end with everyone hurt.
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