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__jesse

SunTaek
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About __jesse

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  1. [Drama 2017] Argon 아르곤

    @hmmmgood and any others still following this thread: Will anyone be interested to read brief recaps of Argon?
  2. About Getting the Timing Right I kinda understand why JH-WS shippers would be upset with the recent developments. JH’s 13-year-old one-sided love suffers from a series of unfortunate timings and missed opportunities. The idea that fate is determined to work against his favour seems too cruel and unfair. “Timing” is a sensitive word. It reminds us of the other JH from Reply 1988, who once blamed it on bad timing for his failed love. But even Junghwan later realises that it isn't the red lights that stopped him from getting here first - it is the hesitation and inaction on his part. While he spends an hour watching Forrest Gump and contemplating his next move, Taek chooses to give up his competition without any hesitation. Timing is but a convenient excuse for us to shrug off responsibilities and shift the blame to particular unforeseen circumstances beyond our control. In R88, JH blames the traffic lights. In TBH, JH blames it on WS’ new boyfriend, bad weather, the dog, the honking car and the bird that pooped on him. By turning it into a running gag, the drama ridicules the idea of “the right timing”. There will never come a day where the weather is perfect and dogs don't bark, cars don't honk, birds don't poop. The best timing to do anything is now. GJ has to learn this hard way, so I’m glad JH acts upon his father’s advice immediately. Even though he is rejected, at least he can live without regrets and what-ifs. GJ: You have to do something when you want to do it. ‘Maybe, later, one day.’ These are all useless. If you take after me, don’t take after this aspect of me. You shouldn’t regret like I did. Do what you want to do and express your feelings freely in your life, okay? Perhaps it’s no coincidence that JH still has HJ’s watch engraved with his name. After all, “HyunJae” means “the present”. It’s a constant reminder to live in the present, seize every opportunity and make every second count.
  3. @blackberrypie, I enjoyed reading your analysis of the characters, and I too have been on the HJ-WS ship since day 1. I love how their relationship has developed organically over the past few episodes, and in ways that WS and JH couldn’t despite knowing each other for 20 years. WS → HJ At first, WS made HJ promise that he would move out of the loft if he couldn’t pay her. But instead of chasing him out of the house, she turned him into her slave. It shows that she actually enjoys being around him and subconsciously wants to see him more often. She was also the one who named him Ddabong, which hints at a certain level of closeness and affection. On the other hand, she still calls JH by his full name. Her feelings towards HJ became obvious when he said Do Hyeri was prettier and she got jealous. Isn’t it funny how she became his ssam-nyeo (wrap girl/some girl) too when she forced him to eat the garlic wrap? HJ → WS For HJ, WS naturally became an important person to him because she gave him a name, gifted him his first handphone, and taught him how to eat samgak kimbap. For a free-spirited person who doesn’t like to be controlled by others, he doesn’t seem to mind being her slave. He even memorised her handphone number and would call her to chat for no reason. In the last ep, it became obvious in the way he sped home to deliver the noodles. He carried the bowl of jajangmyeon wherever he went and chose to deliver the noodles instead of finding his money. I thought it's funny that the writer made HJ buy jajangmyeon from paju, because irl YSY once bought gukbap for his ex-gf from busan. HJ ↔ WS The drama keep dropping hints that they would be endgame too. Both of them were momentarily mesmerised by each other after their mini makeovers: And both of them would be lost without each other:
  4. I think that JH isn’t HJ’s son either, but YJ’s instead. To add on to what others have shared, I think that HJ isn’t allergic to peanuts. Firstly, it doesn’t make sense that he would forget having a food allergy. Secondly, if it were indeed a peanut allergy, then his fans should’ve known that HJ doesn’t eat peanuts and not peanut butter per se. By saying that HJ doesn’t eat peanut butter turns it into a matter of preference - he eats peanuts, he just doesn’t eat peanut butter. The assumption that he doesn't eat peanut butter could then have arisen due to a misunderstanding. All along, JH knows HJ is his father. He simply dismissed the idea that Ddabong is HJ, for a few possible reasons: HJ’s public image is very different from how he behaves in private. HJ is supposed to be a cool, talented and confident musician. But Ddabong appears to be lazy, jobless and aimless. GJ and BH may have painted a glossy image of who HJ was. As much as GJ hated HJ in his heart, he would want JH to grow up thinking that his biological father was good. Ddabong didn’t age one bit since 1993. For a level-headed person like JH, it doesn’t make any sense that he is HJ, a person who was supposed to have died 20 years ago. If YJ were JH’s real father, then that would explain - according to kdrama logic - why JH isn’t as talented as HJ. Even after training for 3 years, JH still lost to HJ on stage. But unlike YJ, who still to this day copies HJ’s unreleased songs, JH works hard for his dream. So, I do believe that JH would make it big one day, because his hard work will definitely pay off. In the original timeline, HJ did not time-travel to 2017. We know this because his doodles appeared in YJ’s copy in real-time. If he was meant to time-travel to the future and back to 1993 again then YJ’s copy should’ve been doodled upon already. So, HJ’s unexpected journey through time is heaven’s way of giving him a second chance - to unravel the truth behind his disappearance, make amendments for his past actions and live anew. The fact that HJ is modelled after Deux’s Kim Sung Jae also makes us wonder, what if KSJ didn’t die in 1995? How would he be like now, and what impact would he have made on kpop? For endgame prediction, my money is on HJ-WS Crazy theories under spoiler:
  5. Part of the variety aspect of TBH comes from the idea that the characters are modelled after real life people. In Producers, we had Baek Seungchan = Yoo Hojin, while Ra Joonmo and Tak Yejin = Park Inseok + Shin Soojung. We were discussing about this drama when @pixiemoondust suggested that Hong Bohee's character might be modelled after Ha Soo-bin. Ha Soo-bin debuted as a singer in 1992 as was known for her innocent beauty. After releasing 2 albums, she suddenly went into a hiatus in 1993. After 17 years, she made a comeback in 2010 with her 3rd album. http://www.allkpop.com/article/2010/10/ha-soo-bin-to-make-a-comeback-after-16-years Here's a video of her hit song back in 1993. The resemblance is uncanny!
  6. Started watching this because i'm a huge fan of 1n2d and i'm loving what i see so far. Don't think anyone posted about this yet, but Yoo Hyun Jae's character may be inspired by Deux's Kim Sung Jae, who was also 24 in Korean age when he died. From wiki: Deux members Lee Hyun Do and Kim Sung-jae met when they worked as back-up dancers for Korean rapper Hyun Jin-young. They debuted in 1993 with the album, Deux, which featured the hit song, "Turn Around and Look at Me." In addition to helping introduce hip hop and new jack swing to Korea, the duo is also notable for popularizing hip hop-influenced choreography and fashion. After releasing three more albums, they broke up in 1995 to pursue solo careers. Only one day after his solo debut, Kim Sung-jae was found dead of an apparent drug overdose. Investigators later found traces of animal anesthesia in his body, and determined that his girlfriend had recently purchased anesthesia. However, there was insufficient evidence to continue the investigation, and the exact circumstances of his death remain unsolved. After Sung-Jae's death, Lee Hyun Do released the greatest hits album, Deux Forever. He went on to work as a producer and composer for popular K-pop artists and has appeared on TV shows YG Win and Show Me The Money. At the start of the drama, JH and HJ parodied two of Bruce Lee's movies, Enter the Dragon and Game of Death. Both movies were released posthumously after Bruce Lee's untimely death at the age of 32. The official cause of his death was a drug allergic reaction to a painkiller, though cannabis was also found in his stomach. Both Bruce Lee and Kim Sung Jae died because of drugs, be it by choice or accident. And it may or may not be a coincidence that MC Drill said, "Music is the only lawful drug allowed by our government." This public service announcement also comes at an uncanny timing when kpop is plagued by drug scandals. Personally, I'm still warming up to JH's character. But I spotted something interesting, which may be telling of JH's future. JH stood in front of the mirror, wondering to himself, "Will I have the best hit? In a crucial moment, will I be able to throw the punch?" And the answer came right before ep 2 ended in the form of an epilogue where JH decisively threw a punch at WS' ex-bf. I think this celebrity wannabe will do just fine.
  7. It doesn’t matter to me who the protagonist in the drama is, because every character is a protagonist in his own right. A good script would take into consideration every character’s intention and motivation, and how those influence the plot. For this reason, I thoroughly enjoyed “The Defendant”. The writing was tight and well thought out; every single character had a history and a purpose, which affected their actions and contributed to the story’s development in various ways. In my previous post, I wasn't trying to prove that SJ and Seol are the destined OTP - I don't think anyone would have any doubts about that. Instead, I wanted to show that YJO was sincerely in love with Seol, to the point that it's silly, adorable and heartbreaking to watch. @evok @soryuu13 Sorry it took me so long to reply, I've been swamped with work. When SJ showed Seol the photos, YJO looked expectant - he really wanted to know what her ideal type was. Also, when SJ popped the question about TM, he didn’t look happy or proud. It was more of a mix of exasperation and disbelief. So, does YJO really plan to possess a human to confess his feelings? The plan sounds ludicrous and I'm sure he knows it himself. I don't think he was hoping for a happy-ever-after ending with Seol. All he wanted was to express the feelings he had been harbouring for her over the past 80 years, so he can move on to his next life without any regrets. YJO may look like a cool, suave and confident guy, but he is also deeply faithful and simple-minded whenever it concerns Seol. Whether it was in 1939 or 2017, he always chose Seol over Sejoo. That’s why I don’t think he is trying to play cupid; his feelings for Seol are sincere. The symbolism of fire, snow and rain Fire destroys. In the opening sequence, a gunshot is fired, causing a rose to go up in flames. Also, during the dramatic stare-off between SJ and YJO, SJ took the manuscript of CT and burned it. Both scenes allude to a tragic ending to romance in 1930. Fire illuminates. The Carpe Diem matchsticks triggered a flashback when SJ lit it. In his dream, YJO also lit a matchstick and used it as a guiding light to lead SJ back into the past. When HY rescued SH, he too gave her a Carpe Diem matchbox and directed her to Shin Yul. It's interesting to note that the matchbox contained matchsticks just like how jazz bar stored firearms for revolutionaries. RSH: Ladies and gentlemen. Still engulfed in deep darkness, the skies of Joseon make us hopeless. But today, I saw a dim ray of light in the darkness that surrounds us. The light will become a torch that drives away the darkness. I’ve witnessed the birth of a phenomenal writer and I’d like to share the joy of discovering the writer with you. Here’s to the bright future of the great writer, Seo Hwi Young! In SHY’s name, “휘/Hwi/辉” means brilliance, fire and luminosity. And the exact opposite of fire is snow, which is what Seol’s name means. Snow spells hardship. A season when trees wither and animals hibernate, winter marks the end of growth, and is often linked to death and hardship. Also, in South Korea, white is the colour of death and mourning. Seol believes that she killed someone in her past life. Since young, she has always been haunted by the fragmented memories of 1930, and because of that, she was unable to pursue her Olympic dream. Snow promises a new beginning. After every cold and harsh winter comes spring. Melting snow symbolises the end of hardship and a new beginning. Because snow covers everything and changes a familiar landscape into something new, it can also be associated with transformation. Seol’s dad: I found this in the snow when I went hiking… Look at it. The second hand is made of gold, rather than the hour hand. The owner of this watch must know that the small thing has to be right for the big thing to move well. Here, it’s yours. From now on, don’t dwell on the past. Don’t sacrifice the present for the future. Be present in every minute and every second. Rain cleanses. Seol’s dad’s message echoes the meaning of Carpe Diem. Forget the past and live in the present. And a new beginning for Seol will come when snow melts and turns into rain to wash away her guilt and regrets. Coincidentally, when snow meets fire, it turns into rain. It was raining when SJ crashed his car, when Seol found him and when SJ came to fetch Seol. Shaman: Seol’s name means ‘snow’, right? Bangjin: Yes, it does. Why are you asking out of the blue? What is it, Wang Bang Wool fairy? Shaman: It’s going to rain. Bring in the clean laundry. Sunbae: Are you expecting someone’s visit? Seol: Pardon? No. I was just wondering it it’s raining. Sunbae: I don’t think it’ll rain. Seol: Right? It doesn’t seem like it. Sunbae: Do you wish it rains?
  8. YJO → Seol Bangjin: Are you married? YJO: No, I am not taken yet. YJO has been nursing a crush on Soohyeon since 1930, but I believe that for some reason, he never got to confess his feelings. A glimmer of hope appeared at the pojangmacha when he thought for a second that Seol was looking into his eyes. But it was only a moment of illusion, which would soon be crushed by the cruel reality by the end of ep 8. For a perceptive guy like him, it’s unfortunate that YJO doesn’t know the power of bickering in kdramaland -- he confidently assumed that Hwiyoung/Sejoo and Soohyeon/Seol would never fall for each other. Chauffeur: Are you worried that the two boys will fall in love with each other? Shinyul: No way. I’ll be thankful if they don’t kill each other. SJ: What if she likes me first during the process? What would you do? YJO: That’s impossible. If you keep on acting like this, that will never happen. He took for granted that it would be safe to entrust Seol to SJ. But SJ’s words served a clear warning, “Betrayal hides on the other side of friendship.” As he stood there watching Seol cry in the arms of another man, I wonder if he was reflecting on his own advice to SJ: YJO: If you’re angry, you can show your anger. If you feel bad, you can make an apology. If there’s a misunderstanding, you can straighten it out. If you did something wrong, you can ask for forgiveness. That’s life. Your heart beats. You can do everything. Can you tell who is human and who is ghost between us two? Sadly, the opposite is also true: That’s death. Your heart stops beating. You can’t do anything. Because he is a ghost, he cannot do anything for her. There was a palpable sense of regret, helplessness and loneliness. HSJ → Seol HSJ: When I see you, my heart beats. But I’m not sure whether it’s because of you or it’s because of someone I met a long time ago. I’m confused. Her face overlaps when I see your face. Then, my heart beats. I don’t know which one makes my heart beat. I’m confused. On the surface, SJ appears to be at the mercy of YJO’s every request, but the real reason why he does all these “childish and crude things” is because he really wanted to. I don’t think YJO has any intention to matchmake SJ and Seol. But YJO unwittingly becomes their cupid by providing the perfect excuses for SJ to get close to Seol. If we retrace SJ’s actions, we can almost draw a line that connects the dots in his head. Each time, even before YJO voiced his request, SJ already had the intention to find Seol. He just needed a nudge from behind. SJ was so bothered by the fact that Seol and TM were going to meet that he hammered his finger. YJO’s condition gave him an excuse to reiterate his stand to TM, “I told you. I don’t want to lose anything to you anymore.” SJ had been eying that bag since ep 6. That’s why he didn’t buy the design YJO picked. It wasn’t a gift on behalf of “the magical being”, but a gift from SJ himself - which explained was he was hoping for some reaction from her. Even though SJ said he wanted to write, he seemed preoccupied and obviously bothered by the fact that Seol had asked TM out for a cup of tea. He didn’t care about YJO’s question. What he really wanted to find out was, “Do you like Taemin in a romantic way?” The pivotal turning point in this (non-existent) love triangle came at the end of ep 8 when SJ looked for Seol for the first time without YJO telling him to. And he even brought medicine for her - YJO didn’t know she was sick. So, when SJ said, “There aren’t three people here. It’s just us. It’s just me and you,” Seol was thinking of Soohyeon while SJ was also referring to YJO.
  9. Hi @gongi, I get where you’re coming from, and I think your understanding of “Carpe Diem” applies more to Ryu Soo Yeon. When she dances, she does so with all her heart, without paying attention to how others may view her. When she carries out a mission, she risks her life in hope of liberating Korea. When she uncovers a literature gem, she pops a champagne and celebrates with everyone at the bar. She was a walking example of how to live a life to the fullest. However, I’m not so sure about the other patrons at the jazz bar. Firstly, I don’t know for sure what they do in the day. Secondly, they appear to be drinking and dancing every night while Korea remains under the Japanese rule. It feels to me that being in the bar helped them to escape reality. It also reminds me of that saying, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” There is a sense of abandonment and nonchalance regarding what tomorrow may hold. I’d be disappointed if Taemin suddenly appears in the 30s because it’s way too convenient to have make a character the super villain in a story, where every bad occurrence rises and falls with him. With his baddie character being set up so early in the drama, I hope it means he will have a chance to repent and atone for his wrongdoings in later episodes. Btw, I think it’s worth paying attention to who YJO and Soo Yeon is referring to as “our head”. My guess is that’s the man who ordered her to shoot YJO/Hwiyoung.
  10. Carpe Diem Just a little something I shared on SikSeekLand earlier... I think it's interesting that the swing jazz bar was named "Carpe Diem", which means to seize the day. It was first used by Horace in this phrase: Dum loquimur, fugerit invida Aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero which translates as: While we're talking, envious time is fleeing: pluck the day, put no trust in the future The idea of seizing the day and putting no trust in the future runs contradictory to the mindset of revolutionaries who suffer today in hope of a better future. With such a name, the jazz bar served as a perfect guise for revolutionaries who believed otherwise. But at the same time, it reflected an internal struggle for these youths living in the prime of their lives. Should we forget about press submission deadlines and just dance the night away? Should we forget about political ideals and betray the country for monetary comfort? With this in mind, it then becomes worth noting that YJO was the owner of the jazz bar. He was also the one who told SHY what it meant. After watching ep 6, it seems logical to think that maybe YJO was the traitor. If he was shot and killed from behind, then he wouldn't know who killed him, why and how. Also, he was sitting in front of the typewriter, so it explained why his soul was trapped in it. Right now, I think all options are open; any one of the OT3 could've been a traitor, or maybe none of them were.
  11. The Persistence of Memory Furbabe from SikSeekLand shared an interesting write-up on Salvador Dali’s melting clock. Here’s my own interpretation of the artwork’s relevance to the drama. In this famous 1931 painting, we see pocket watches melting away under the sun in a desolate and barren landscape. The orange clock at the bottom left is covered with ants, which symbolise decay. This impermanent nature of time and life seems to contradict the artwork’s title, “The Persistence of Memory”. How can memory withstand the test of time and - in Chicago Typewriter’s context - reincarnation? For this, I’d like to suggest that while memories may appear to have faded from our consciousness, they are merely being transferred to a backup hard disk called the unconscious mind. Salvador Dali was heavily influenced by surrealism, and notably Sigmund Freud’s writings on psychology. According to Freud, the unconscious mind stores all of our forgotten or repressed memories and past experiences, which influence and form our behaviours, habits and beliefs. In the same way, even though Se Joo and Seol have reincarnated, the memories of their past lives remain in their unconscious and continue to affect their thoughts, feelings and actions in their present lives. Surrealists like Dali are fascinated with dreams because they provide clues on how the unconscious mind works. Freud described dreams as “the royal road to the unconscious” as it is in dreams that the ego's defenses are lowered so that repressed memories may surface. In order to tap into his unconscious, Salvador Dali self-induced hallucinations in a process he called the paranoiac-critical method. In Provenance is Everything, Bernard Ewell described how Dali worked: “Sitting in the warm sun after a full lunch and feeling somewhat somnolent, Dali would place a metal mixing bowl in his lap and hold a large spoon loosely in his hands which he folded over his chest. As he fell asleep and relaxed, the spoon would fall from his grasp into the bowl and wake him up. He would reset the arrangement continuously and thus float along - not quite asleep and not quite awake - while his imagination would churn out the images that we find so fascinating, evocative, and inexplicable when they appear in his work.” Dali floats in and out of sleep to conjure dream imagery from his unconscious. In the same way, Se Joo’s dreams and hallucinations tap into his unconscious, take him back to 1930 and unlock the secrets of his past life. Note: There is a slight difference between the terms “subconscious” and “unconscious”. The subconscious, which Freud referred to as the preconscious, refers to the part of our minds that store memories which may be retrieved by choice at any time. Memories in the unconscious mind, however, cannot be retrieved by choice. Parallels between 1930 and 2017 Maybe it’s fate. Or maybe it’s the unconscious mind at work. But for some reason, we often see history repeating itself in 2017... Hwi Young crashed his bike; Se Joo crashed his car. Hwi Young broke his arm and Soo Yeon became his typist; Se Joo broke his arm and Seol became his typist. Twice, they dropped the pocket watch when running for their lives. It was a keepsake from Hwi Young’s dad, then it became a keepsake from Seol’s dad. Lastly, Soo Yeon wanted to save her country but had to kill people; Seol wanted to save animals but ended up killing more. Sejoo: By any chance, did you just get a strange feeling too? Seol: Wait, you too? Sejoo: It felt as if time and space were collapsing. Not only did the past and present overlap, the present also served as a continuation of the past. The pocket watch stopped moving, presumably when Hwi Young died, and continued to tick when it reunited with Se Joo. This implied that the unfinished business of 1930 will need to be resolved in 2017. In 1930, Hwi Young was a romance writer. But in 2017, Se Joo “abhors dating” and only writes thriller novels. It suggests that he was betrayed by his loved one. In 1930, Soo Yeon was a gunman. But in 2017, Seol couldn’t hold a gun without thinking that she had killed someone before. Could it be that the person she killed was Hwi Young? Sejoo: The garden looks too dreary. Should we raise a deer? Besides Eugene O’Neill, the other portraits in Se Joo’s room are of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce, all of whom were influential writers in the 1930s. So it got me wondering if the deer head trophy hanging on the wall represents Hwi Young, suggesting that he had been hunted down. If Soo Yeon were the hunter, then it would explain why she unconsciously aspired to become a vet in her next life. And the “animal” she saved, was none other than Se Joo.
  12. I'm enjoying the two episodes so far, and I think this drama deserves much more love! Here are some of my thoughts and findings thus far. The ghost of a ghostwriter I belong to the clan that believes Yoo Jin Oh is a ghost from 1930s because in Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger, he wrote, “Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.” 1. His fashion and hairstyle remained the same since 1930s 2. As @kentangbakar mentioned, he has only one name - Yoo Jin Oh - whereas Han Se Joo was called Seo Hwi Young and Jeon Seol was Yoo Soo Yeon in their past lives. Having the same last name also implied that Yoo Jin Oh and Yoo Soo Yeon were probably blood-related. 3. YJO was called “유령작가”, which means ghostwriter. Just like the English equivalent, the Korean term is made up of two words: “유령” (yulyeong/幽靈/ghost) and “작가” (jagga/作家/author). Hence, 유령작가 could be a word pun to suggest that the ghostwriter in question is also in fact a real ghost. 유즈들은 유령이라서 때론 초대받지 않은 곳에 나타나곤 한다 – 스티븐 킹 The muses are ghosts, and sometimes they come uninvited. – Stephen King The various meanings of “Chicago Typewriter” Jin Soo Wan writer-nim seems to love using puns. There are two meanings to “Chicago Typewriter” as explained in the drama. 1. A typewriter from Chicago The obvious explanation is that this typewriter was found in a cafe in Chicago. The cafe owner said it was handcrafted in Gyeongsang, but historically, that is highly unlikely. Because the Hangul typewriter was actually invented in Chicago. The oldest Hangul typewriter was invented by Song Ki Joo in 1926 when he was studying at the University of Chicago. In 1933, he entered an agreement with The Underwood Typewriter Company in New York to manufacture this 4-set typewriter. It is now being displayed at the National Hangeul Museum. 2. Thompson submachine gun Soo Yeon: Do you know what this gun’s nickname is? Hwi Young: I don’t know. What is it? Soo Yeon: Because its gunshot is similar to a typewriter sound, it got the nickname “Chicago Typewriter”. The Thompson submachine gun was popular among Chicago gangsters and police alike in the Prohibition era (1920-30s). It became widely used later on by the Allied troops during WWII (1939-1945). In the opening sequence, the typewriter is likened to a machine gun that uses the Korean alphabet as bullets. It is especially poignant in the context of Korea under the Japanese rule. Leftist writers who believed literature should serve the cause of class liberation founded the Korean Artists Proletarian Federation (KAPF), which was eventually forced out of existence by the Japanese in 1935. Soo Yeon: A pen is stronger than a knife. A typewriter is stronger than a gun. Hwi Young: So? Soo Yeon: You should write something good. Don’t write to gain fame and women. Write something magnificent. The power of the written word was demonstrated by the stalker fan who built a gun and murdered his coworkers after reading SJ’s novel. In the same way, SJ’s life as a writer was killed by the stalker’s suicide letter, which led him to contemplate suicide. A murder novel begot a murder, a suicide letter begot a suicide – such is the power of the written word. Stalker fan: Because of you, my life came to an end. Your novel and your writing have gotten me killed already… You should feel the same. Why don’t you taste death with my writing? Something interesting to ponder about: Soo Yeon herself said that the typewriter is stronger than a gun. But later, she would need to decide whether to shoot a writer with a gun. How ironic is that? My gut feeling tells me she won’t shoot. Also interesting is the repeated reference to Stephen King’s Misery in ep 2. Wiki summarises the novel’s plot as such: The novel focuses on Paul Sheldon, a writer famous for Victorian-era romance novels involving the character of Misery Chastain. One day he is rescued from a car crash by crazed fan Annie Wilkes, who transports him to her house and, once finding out what he has done to Misery in his latest book, forces him to write a new book modifying the story – no matter what it takes... Seol: I can’t believe I’m reading your rough draft. I’m so thrilled. Se Joo: Don’t say things like that. It creeps me out because it reminds me of “Misery”. Seol: Oh right. There’s this line in “Misery”. “The only people who can read my manuscripts are my editor, my legal representative, and the one who saved my life.”
  13. Every fantasy world is governed by its own set of rules, and the same goes for Goblin. KES spent 6 years doing research to construct this world, but it’s up to us if we want to respect it. That said, we live in a free world... whatever floats your boat, especially if it helps you sleep better at night. Fate vs Choice These two concepts have been repeatedly discussed in the drama. The popular opinion is fate and choice are polar opposites that cannot co-exist, because fate is a predetermined ending that has been unilaterally decided by the forces above. Choice, on the other hand, is a conscious decision to escape fate by carving out your own destiny. This is a perfectly valid worldview, but unfortunately, it is in conflict with Goblin’s world. As a missing soul, ET’s fate was to die. And she chose to die in order to save the children. As a goblin, KS’ fate was to pull out his sword. And he chose to pull out his sword to destroy purple lips. Both ET and KS made conscious decisions, but their choices did not enable either of them to escape their fates. Quite the contrary, their choices sealed their fates. Now, this is where we need the highly-esteemed proverbial open mind to put aside our personal beliefs - whatever they may be - and consider the writer’s POV. I’m not a Buddhist myself, and have only started reading up on this after watching Goblin, only because the recurring themes of karma, suffering and rebirth are fundamental Buddhist concepts that need to be explored in the right context and with a proper understanding. The almighty doesn’t decide your fate A butterfly once said, “I was always listening. You were pleading for death, so I gave you a chance. But… why are you still alive? I never erased your memory. You chose to have your memory erased and yet, you think it’s the almighty’s plan or mistake? The almighty simply questions. Fate is the question I throw. You... can find the answer.” In Goblin’s world, the almighty doesn’t decide our fates. He merely throws questions, and the onus is on us to find the answers. The answers reflect our choices, and these choices in turn will determine our fates. Again, this brings us back to the concept of Karma which I’ve previously mentioned. Based on Karmic laws, we are the result of what we were and we will be the result of what we are. For example, consider the making of a goblin. Samshin granny: When a powerful desire indwells in things touched by mortal souls, they become goblins. A blade smeared with blood from countless battles was enchanted with a powerful desire bedewed with its master’s blood. The king ordered KS to send news of his death and never return to the palace, but KS chose to win the war and return triumphantly. Although he knew he would never reach the king, he chose to continue walking. Even after his death, KS chose to hold a grudge against the heavens and refused to moved on to afterlife as his dead body laid out here on the open field over the years. Hence essentially, it was his own desires that turned himself into a goblin - a powerful desire to protect the king and get rid of purple lips. Sunny: You should’ve seen how stubborn he was in Goryeo. Why did he come back knowing that he’d die? He should’ve run away and lived. Next, consider how and why KS returned as an immortal goblin. Samshin granny: Only the bride of the goblin will be able to draw the blade and once drawn, everything will turn to ashes and peace will be granted. After the sword had been pulled out, Goblin was supposed to return to dust and rest in peace forever - this rule of the game had been repeated over and over again since the beginning. He was not allowed to re-enter the reincarnation cycle and become human again. Humans have four lives, but the goblin has only one. When KS refused to move on to afterlife, it was by the butterfly god’s grace that he left the door of desperation open. Again, all the deity did was to leave the door ajar. He didn’t shove KS through the door, neither did he force ET to summon him according to the contract. Whether or not KS could return depended on their own choices. KS chose to wait in limbo, while ET chose to make a wish and blow out a candle on the day of the first snowfall out of a desperation to find the cause of her inexplicable sadness. Life is a series of multiple choice questions The young boy from 1968 had planned on running away from home after trying to slit his wrist. After he turned his life around by becoming a lawyer and helping many unfortunate people, he met KS again and solved a very important math question on life. KS: I told you that the answer to number 17 was four. But you still wrote two. Boy: No matter how many times I tried, I got two. Even if I knew the right answer, I kept getting two. So I couldn’t put down the right answer. I couldn’t solve the question. KS: No. You solved it very well. Your choice is the only answer in your life. Boy: So that’s what it meant. Deities being deities, they can foresee your fate because they know the choices you'd make, and where those choices would lead you to. The future which KS foresaw in the thousands of people to whom he handed out 6” subs, was a future based on their choices if no divine intervention were made. By intervening in their lives with an enlightening word, KS changed their mindsets, which in turn affected their choices and eventually changed their fates. This is the inextricable cause-and-effect relationship between choice and fate. Even the tea of oblivion, which shouldn't be served as an optional menu, was offered as a choice to those who are heading for reincarnation. There's nothing passive about KES’ concept of fate, because it is based on karmic laws. Instead, it sends across a very empowering message: our fate is determined by our own choices in life. KS: Most people just stay in that moment of miracle and ask for one more. They say that they know that I’m there. It’s as if I owe them miracles. But you changed your life. That’s why I’ve always been rooting for you.
  14. I didn’t plan to write this because I think KES had explained everything very clearly in the final episodes. But every time I pop by this thread, I’d see soompiers expressing their disappointment and unhappiness with ShinTak's ending. So here are my thoughts, in hope that more people would come to appreciate the ending as I believe KES had intended. There’s no point in comparing the two couples’ fates to see who got the longer end of the stick. Because they are individuals who have chosen to make different life choices and as a result, they all have to face their own fates. And as my friend @kentangbakar put it, deities are like parents who show their affection in different ways, but love their children all the same. The inevitable truck of doom ET was supposed to be killed by a truck when she was 19. Later, the truck appeared again when she was 29. Even if she had chosen to avoid it, the proverbial truck of doom would come for her again when she turns 39, 49, 59, so on and so forth. There was no way she could escape her fate as a missing soul. If she had been killed when she was 19, her life would have been futile. But at 29, ET accomplished everything she had set her mind on. She made KS pretty again, she realised her dream of becoming a radio PD, and she even married KS to officially become the goblin’s first and last bride. She lived a life without regrets. ET: Now that I think about it, it was such a perfect day. When I woke up, I was in his arms. Then I made perfect eggs. The show today was perfect, too. Everything went perfectly to bring me to this moment. So that I won’t be late. I couldn’t be late, not even for a second. This was my fate. ET: Every human dies at some point. That’s why life is even more beautiful. That’s why the first thought I had once I got my memory back was to live each day as if it were my last. If today is my last day, this will be my final memory of the person I love. So I’d better live hard and love. That’s what I told myself. God creates miracles, humans make sacrifices Instead of lamenting over how short her life had been, I believe ET considered all 29 years of her life as a blessing. After all, she was never meant to be born in the first place. Since she was saved by a miracle, it became extra meaningful that she sacrificed herself to pass on the gift of life to other children. Lady 1: The car must have taken all the shock. My goodness. Lady 2: She must’ve been an angel. I believe that she’s not an ordinary person. Had it not been for her, a lot more people would have died. At this juncture, I don’t think the writer’s intention was to turn ET into an angel literally. Rather, the point is, we become just like angels and deities when we choose to make sacrifices for others. These sacrifices may come in various shapes and sizes - even in the form of a sandwich. For centuries, KS had given away thousands of sandwiches to strangers. But this was probably his first time receiving one from a stranger. KS: Every life is touched by a deity at least once. Just when you’re drifting away from the world, if someone nudged you back in the right direction, that would be when the deity chose to visit you. The children’s lives were changed because of a missing soul’s sacrifice. The shining guardian was encouraged by a sandwich from a jobless man. Round and round, what goes around, comes around. We sow what we reap - that’s the law of Karma, a fundamental concept in Buddhism. Every human has four lives ET: Have you heard this? Humans have four lives: a life of planting seeds, a life of watering the seeds, a life of harvesting and a life of cherishing the harvests. ET’s altruistic sacrifice was not pointless because according to Karmic laws, we will reap what we sow, somewhere and sometime in this life or in a future birth. Since it was her first life, by sacrificing herself to save the children, she was planting seeds of good karma, which she would eventually harvest and enjoy in the future. ET: In our next life, I will make sure to be born with a long life and stay by your side for a long while. I will beg the divinity to let me do just that. As we become emotionally invested in a drama, it’s understandable that we wish for the best ending possible for our favourite characters. But it would be unfortunate if we overlook these precious lessons on life in pursuit of a fairy-tale ending.
  15. Here’s my take on the boy who always got bullied at the alley behind Sunny’s restaurant. Clue 1: The boy is poor. Boy: Give it back! Bully: Where did you get these cookies? Did you steal them? Boy: I did not! My grandma bought them for me! Bully: Did she beg for them? Boy: Don’t say that about my grandma! Wind bomb! Thus, I don’t think his grandma is the triplet granny, because she looked like the most affluent one among the three in the photo. However, there is another granny we know who looks poor. She may not look like one now, but children still see her as a granny. Also, the boy always carried the same red backpack. Clue 2: The boy’s mom ran away. Bully: Hey, are you homeless? You don’t even have a dollar on you? Boy: You don’t have it either! Bully: That’s why you should go get it. Then we’d have it. Boy: Don’t hit me! Wind bomb! Bully: He’s crazy. Did you hear what he said? Your mom ran away because you watch too many cartoons. Some said the boy is the same boy whom Samshin healed in the hospital. They look different to me, so I’m not too sure about that. Samshin: You suffered too much. Your mom is worried about you. Good boy. But if the mom were worried about the sick boy, why would she run away? Also, I’m not sure how this side story – even if Samshin were indeed his granny – would play a role in the grand scheme of things. Btw, just to avoid any misunderstanding, @lkgy99 and @nearsea, that's not Park Bo Gum's acct. He doesn't have an ig acct. There are a few fanmade photos of him with the sword, which I'd share in the spoiler below:
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