13

Showtime Begins!: Episodes 13-14

With just a few episodes remaining, it’s time to start wrapping up our ghosts’ lingering desires so they can finally make the transition from this life to the next. But our heroes’ ancient foe isn’t defeated just yet…

 
EPISODES 13-14 WEECAP

Evil spirit Cheon-moo, currently residing in Hee-soo’s body, is getting impatient to have Seul-hae (well, Cheon-hwa) all to himself. And the people closest to Hee-soo are starting to notice that something feels weird about him. For example, when the criminal Seul-hae chases down pulls a knife on her, Cheon-moo comes to her rescue… by brutally killing the guy with one kick to the face.

On another occasion, he invites her on a “stakeout” that’s really a pretense to be alone with her, then gets all up in her space to make her squirm and presents her with an expensive bracelet. When she declines the gift, he gets angry and forceful.

Less frightening but still overwhelming to her are Cha-woong’s unabashed gestures of affection. And once again, I’m pleasantly surprised by how they sit down and talk about it. Seul-hae explains that she feels like he’s looking at someone else, not her; Cha-woong listens, and admits he needs time to sort out his own feelings.

This week is a welcome return to form with a new case: a missing woman and a peculiar intersection where multiple cars of the same color and model have crashed. Seul-hae quickly deduces she’s got another ghost on her hands, but she’s not prepared to face it on her own, so she goes to Cha-woong’s employees for help. He overhears, however, and insists on tagging along.

It’s not hard to guess that the ghost is haunting that intersection for revenge on her killer, but what does come as a surprise is her identity. Her name is KIM MI-YOUNG (Hong Soo-hyun), and she was Dong-chul’s girlfriend when they were both alive.

She’d urged him to leave the gang life behind and start afresh with her. When he’d asked his boss for permission to quit, he’d been sent on a final mission to prove his good intentions. He’d succeeded, but was stabbed right in front of Mi-young.

But it gets worse. Since Mi-young witnessed Dong-chul’s murder, the killer murdered her, too. And the killer was none other than Dong-chul’s former gang boss – also known as “the Badger” — and secret criminal contact of Hee-soo’s father. And, through that connection, the man Cheon-moo commissions to orchestrate a fatal accident for Cha-woong.

Five years after her and Dong-chul’s deaths, Mi-young’s rage is so strong that she’s on the verge of becoming an evil spirit herself and has to be restrained whenever she starts to lose control. Still, she’s able to lead them to her corpse and evidence to prove the Badger’s guilt.

While the team heads out to get said evidence, the Badger himself follows and attempts to send their car over a cliff. But Choi Geom – who has secretly been watching over Cha-woong ever since their confrontation about his betrayal 2,000 years ago – saves them in the nick of time.

Believing Mi-young’s need for justice will only be assuaged if the Badger dies, Dong-chul volunteers to do the deed himself – meaning he’ll become the evil spirit, and her soul will be appeased. Fortunately, Cha-woong stops him, reminding Dong-chul that choosing such a dark path would mean even more suffering down the road, both for him and for his loved ones.

Cha-woong’s words about regret land on Choi Geom, too. And while this doesn’t magically put the two of them back on amazing terms, Cha-woong does take him back on as an entry level employee (much to the other ghosts’ delight, since they now outrank him).

Although Hee-soo’s father pulls strings to get the Badger off the hook, he doesn’t just let him walk free. Cheon-moo didn’t account for the Badger making a recording of the hit he’d ordered on Cha-woong, so Hee-soo’s father protects the family name by poisoning the Badger and disguising it as suicide. The police chief may be pathetic and cowardly, but he’s sure terrifying in this moment.

Now satisfied, Dong-chul and Mi-young get permission to enjoy life as ghosts just a little longer before moving on. And Cha-woong and Seul-hae get a bit of breathing room to re-address their relationship.

Showing off a cute little magic trick with the ring he bought her several episodes ago, Cha-woong confesses that he’s liked Seul-hae for a long time – even before he knew about their past lives. That clarification is enough for her, and he vows to be just as forthright as Poong Baek was hesitant, sealing the commitment with a kiss, which she happily returns. They’re official!

But there’s a new problem: with Choi Geom’s fan so close to lighting all the way up, it won’t be long before he ascends… freeing Cha-woong of his duty and his ability to see ghosts. That means Cha-woong has to 1) hurry up and help the ghosts achieve their final wishes and 2) avoid winning virtue points by giving Seul-hae things to thank him for.

Both he and Seul-hae are let in on the dilemma, so at least there are no hard feelings, but it nearly kills Cha-woong to have to look away any time she needs even the smallest amount of help. Fortunately, they don’t have to wait long before the chance to satisfy one ghost’s final wish arrives.

The wish is Ah-reum’s, and personally, I found her story even more poignant than Dong-chul’s. After a childhood bout with polio left her unable to walk, Ah-reum’s life goal was to return the help she’d received from others. But while she was still a student, she’d died in a fire, unable to save even herself.

Since Cha-woong’s next magic show is at an orphanage, the team decides to showcase Ah-reum’s favorite superhero, Lulu, with Ah-reum herself playing the titular figure. That might be closure enough, but Cheon-moo takes the show as his next opportunity to attack, inadvertently giving Ah-reum an even greater chance to prove herself.

He locks Cha-woong in the director’s office and sets the building on fire. Everyone gets out safely, including Cha-woong (Cheon-moo didn’t realize he had ghostly assistants, apparently), but Ah-reum freezes in front of the smoke and flame-filled hallway.

Spotting a terrified little girl hiding in the room, Ah-reum gathers all her courage and coaxes her out. She carries the girl to safety, jumping off a second-story balcony and landing on her feet like the superhero she is.

Obviously, the focus this week was on giving Dong-chul and Ah-reum a chance to find closure from the circumstances of their deaths, but I can’t help thinking Cheon-moo isn’t doing a very good job of being threatening right now.

He keeps making mistakes and underestimating Cha-woong’s resources, and even he admitted it was a good thing Hee-soo’s dad has enough connections to fix his blunder with the recording. Possessing Hee-soo may have put him in closer proximity to Seul-hae, but it seems to have downgraded him in terms of being a danger to the world.

Not that I’m really complaining, though! I’d be totally fine if our team took him out quickly next week, and we spent the rest of the time saying a proper goodbye to our ghosts and sending Cha-woong and Seul-hae off into the sunset of whatever they decide their future will look like.

 
RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , ,

13

Required fields are marked *

It was nice to see the show going back to the best part of it - the ghosts. Mi-young's ghost gave me a proper jump scare with her eyes lol.

Looking forward to the final farewell to the ghosts next week.

6
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

While I liked that the ghosts received renewed focus, I hated the totally artificially introduced plot device that said Cha-woong can't be considerate to Seul-Ha without making the ghosts wandering prior to becoming evil spirits.

Why not just say that if he was considerate, then he would no longer be able to see ghosts, not making the ghosts suffer for it. Then it would just be a personal dilemma for him, and the ghosts wouldn't be so anxious to discourage him from being nice to Seoul-Ha. (Because, frankly, I think that's the last thing we need today--a show that says you should be mean to help others. Even though it is just a fantasy, I was yelling at the screen!)

I was going to say that, with the exception of this stupid new element in the fantasy, I liked these two episodes as a return to the ghosts/solving cases together format. But then I thought--if I praised these episodes, then the writer's spirit ghost would win virtue points, ascend to nirvana, and the writer would no longer be employed by a studio, but instead be wandering around trying to find someone who would accept new scripts. So I held back.

On the other hand, given the weaknesses in this show, despite the very charismatic cast, do I really want this writer to be writing new fantasy/romances? No.

So, instead, let me give the highest praises to the writer, and does anyone know how I can send flowers or some other gifts to be considerate? The sooner the writer's spirit ghost wins virtue points, the better in my opinion.

6
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't think they'll become evil spirits exactly?- when Choi enters nirvana, CW will no longer be a shaman, severing his connection to the other three that allows them to remain in the physical realm- without CW's shaman powers, they will become wondering ghosts, unable to enter Nirvana themselves (which was part of their contract with CW)- so not Evil Spirits (that happens when a ghost harms a living human too many times, or kills one). I think they're supposed to be something different (or I missed a dialogue connection between the two)

But either way, I didn't love the plot device either.
For me though, I think the issue here stems from the fact that Choi needs Seul Hae to *thank* Cha Woong and that some how gives our general the manna metre towards Nirvana- this always rubbed me the wrong way with how it was used at the beginning- because it didn't feel genuine- they just needed any thanks, no matter how it was got. So he was only considerate to her to get the thanks, to get the manna, to get rid of his shaman powers. I tolerated it in hopes of it being a proper developmental point- both towards his duty and towards being considerate to others.
Now when it's genuine it's not allowed cos then the ghosts will leave too soon! I think both were supposed to be played off just for comedic value but both end up compromising actual character development in some way.
Which is unfortunate.
Here I felt like it detracted yet again, for me anyway, from seeing Seul Hae and Cha Woong as an actual couple- first it was him being stuck in the past, now it's him being hampered by the Nirvana Fan... so what are these two actually like together? I only really felt onboard with it at the very end of 14 pfffffffft.

I'm sad this is your first intro to this writer- Mystic was so much better haha.

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for the clarification. I agree with your reasoning, but I would add that I felt that this was introduced as a plot device to delay the romance for 2 more episodes, plus to provide humorous episodes for their double date, which I already mentioned I didn't find very funny.

Throughout this series, I've felt that for whatever reason, the writer believed there wasn't enough material to fill each episode without extending some scenes beyond their usefulness.

That said, I did like these episodes better than the two previous, and I'm sure the series will end satisfactorily.

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh no it definitely was added for that on an immediate level.
I was just isolating my more fundamental issues with it, that stem from way back, as a sort of core thematic problem, I guess.
And I agree. I also didn't find it funny, more annoying haha.

As I mentioned to @ladynightshade on the Alchemy of Souls thread, I am not convinced that she (uri writer-nim) has much say over either her episode length or her total episode count here. As a fairly new or rookie writer, she'd have even less say over this than others, so I think the filler and drag is quite possibly only partially her fault.
I would even be willing to suppose that she may have had a shorter show planned, but was given the longer slot, and so had to flesh out her story to fit rather than the other way round.
(To avoid retyping, here is a link to the thread that you may peruse at your leisure: https://www.dramabeans.com/2022/06/jung-so-min-tries-to-teach-lee-jae-wook-in-tvns-alchemy-of-souls/#comment-3978477)

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for directing me to this discussion--as usual I learn a lot from your commentary!

I really did not know the writer--I was just making a joke about the newly introduced plot device, of course.

While I often think the writer gets blamed too much for failures that have to do with acting and directing, I do think on this show the writer failed one of the key dictates of fantasy--that it has to be consistent about the groundrules of the world it is depicting.

That was a flaw with the recent Tomorrow--what the grim reapers could and could not do, what the corporate world of death was like kept changing depending on the episode, sometimes with unintentionally hilarious results. The only great thing about those changes was that it brought a number of closeups of Kim Hee-Sun, as she pondered what actions were permitted in that weeks episode. That was enough of a fantasy world for me.

But without a stunningly beautiful cast, this show needed to be more coherent. For example, I've never really been clear as to the extent of the ghosts power, which seems to vary depending on the theme of the episode. And maybe it was explained why Seul Hae could suddenly see the ghosts but I missed it. These are just fun things, not really that important, but they really lead to an uneven narrative.

As far as the newly introduced plot device that irritates me--does the nirvana fan only record positive experiences? If so, why? Would it go backward in points if, say Cha Woong tripped Seul Hae on purpose, or dumped a bottle of soju on her head? He could do a couple of really mean things to her, lower the number of points, and then resume being nice until virtue points again reached a critical level.

As you say above, as a utilitarian basis for a romantic relationship the fan is very unsatisfying, especially because the second the relationship is actually based on love, to be considerate turns into a negative.

In thinking about this device in terms of the writer's real life--I bet she was sick of being indulgent of her partner or spouse, and decided to write this in, so she could say to him/her "forget it, I'm not being nice to you anymore. I'm not going to risk losing the assistance of my ghost writers!"

0

I am reluctant to bid farewell to our ghost employees😭😭😭 I really loved the closure for A Reum's story and Cha Woong's question of "Do you believe superhero's exist?" and the reporter chalking up the heroism as stunt woman using harness 😂😂😂 This show is really utilizing its theme well and my only complaint is the baddie scenes becoming redundant and boring. Chun Moo speaks of acquiring power, but all he did after possessing Hee Soo was creepily stalk/stare at Seul Hae, repeating the same mistake from the past🙄🙄🙄

5
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This show keeps losing me and then regaining me and then losing me and then last minute regaining me again.
First half of episode 14 I wasn't at all convinced by our OTP actually being an OTP or why (don't ask, I'm sorry, I wish I wasn't like this lmao) only for the end of 14 to come back together again and have me enjoying the themes a lot more.
Aiyooo~

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The best part of this show for me has always been the Ghost hijinks so it was good to have that back.
I really don't care about Chun Moo and his vendetta. He could have literally "killed" /attempted to kill ChaWoong since he clearly has the upper hand with the element of surprise so his powerlessness made no sense. I hope his story arc is wrapped up quickly.
I missed Poong Baek and Chun Hwa a little 😅

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I loved last week's episodes and this week's didn't live up to them imo. My main highlight this week was that CCW got closure on his past life and was able to talk it through with SH. The stories of the ghosts didn't really do it for me unfortunately...

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Cheon moo is 2,000 years old. Of course he is dumb and the things he did before will not work in the year, our Lord Beyonce 2022.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

LOL! He didn't think that Cha Woong would have a cell phone on him so that he could call for him! In 2022, we even go do number #2 with a cell phone in our hands!

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really liked how the show addressed Cha-woong's misguided goal to make up for the past life. They derived humor from it, addressed how it was weird and uncomfortable, had the OTP talk about it and take a break, and resolved it before the episode ended.

And I loved how they brought in a new case and had it intertwined with our bachelor ghost. It's always nice seeing Hong Soo-hyun and I totally felt her character's bitterness and thirst for revenge. I hope no one ever kills me, because I would totally turn into an evil spirit! And Areum's story was satisfying. She was not just an unlucky game-obsessed kid. I wish we had gotten glimpses of their stories before instead of saving it all to the end.

As for the newest couple conflict - I hope it doesn't drag on for another episode. Though i also don't want to bid the ghosts farewell. I liked how Cha-woong acknowledges that the house will feel empty without them and was more worried about the ghosts not being able to enter nirvana than him not being able to do "magic". Those ghosts were his family. I wish we could have seen how they met though and why those were the only ones who hung around. Yes, gangster ghost and Areum died in an unfair manner. I wonder what father ghost's story is.

Again, I really like how warm and funny the story is when we don't have to see our uninteresting bad guys. I'm glad Seul-hae is picking up on Hee-soo's creepy, weird vibes.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *