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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Goblin" Episode 13

2017/01/13 | 5794 views | Permalink

So apparently the Grim Reaper has been breaking rules this entire time regarding unnecessary memory manipulation, so it's up to the Grim Reaper investigation team to suitably punish him. As it turns out this is all just a thinly veiled excuse to allow the Grim Reaper to fill in the remaining gaps in the flashback story, although at this point we can pretty easily guess what happens. So much blood spilled, for so little apparent purpose. Kind of like how "Goblin" is with ink.

...That being an imperfect metaphor, since no one writes with ink anymore. Again, kind of like "Goblin" itself. The drama creates all these arbitrary rules and then has its characters disobey them in equally arbitrary fashion receiving various random punishments in exchange. This makes it more than a little difficult to relate to any of the characters. But if I had to choose one, it would be Sunny, who remains rather bewildered by all this past life stuff, even if she is steadfast in certainty when it comes to her emotions.

"Goblin" has this weird effect with romance where the chemistry is sort of good but ultimately completely lacking in logic. Logic is not generally a requirement when it comes to romantic chemistry, yet "Goblin" really does manage to beg that question when characters have these huge grief-stricken epiphanies about love stories I don't remember ever actually seeing. Past life romance seems to be about the only flashback story detail that hasn't been exposited in-depth even though it's really the only important one.

The same can be written about the main villain, whose supernatural abilities appear to be entirely the result of his being an unusually spiteful jerk. I can't decide whether this is better or worse than the previous villain, who was implied to be God, yet who is seen here quibbling over the semantics of utility payments. Time and again "Goblin" is always getting me to write very bizarre sentences that only underscore how surreal the actual drama is.

The cliffhanger is admittedly somewhat intriguing, in that it leaves us wondering whether "Goblin" is actually going to try and close out the remaining episodes without one of the principal characters. Considering how tangential the cast is when it comes to any kind of plot, the drama may well be able to survive that obvious snag, were it not for the problem of grief. This episode is rather somber overall, and I can't see that tone being maintained.

Review by William Schwartz

"Goblin" is directed by Lee Eung-bok, written by Kim Eun-sook and features Gong Yoo, Lee Dong-wook, Kim Go-eun, Yoo In-na, Yook Sung-jae, Lee El,..

 

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