We finally get a long visit of the 1930s timeline as the show treats us with the friendship of the trio in this episode. We see past Se-joo and past Seol’s bickering as past Seol (she is called Ryu Soo-hyun) reminds past Se-joo not to just write for fame, but to create good stories.
Our star writer is starting to feel the slump that was promised by the show. His very intense talk with his stalker-turned-murderer shakes his weak spot, triggering his writer’s block. Some important bits of information are revealed to us about Se-joo’s family background. Se-joo has been abandoned too many times in the past, which explains his cold-hearted nature. I can now understand his prickly attitude towards everybody, and his hesitation to let anyone meddle with his personal life.
Se-joo’s relationship with the Baek family is somewhat implied in this episode. We see Tae-min’s father worrying about Se-joo’s current situation, and his mother’s disgust and suspicion that Se-joo is a legitimate son of her husband. I am looking forward to more screen time for Kwak Si-yang, please?
I also admire this show’s depiction of the 1930s retro flair, with a good balance of suspense and humor. The scene about the “white spirit” leaving the stray dog and entering the typewriter is so creepy, but it draws me to scrutinize every piece of detail that the show is trying to hint its viewers. Do not even get me started with the moving eyes of Se-joo’s room paintings!
The show also uses a clever way of incorporating the reincarnations; with Seol’s connection with her past life through a gun, and with Se-joo’s visions of his past life through a typewriter. I want to insert an interesting observation here. It may seem at first that Soo-hyun’s statement to past Se-joo in the pilot episode that “a typewriter is stronger than a gun” contradicts her personal principle in the story, but if you think deeper, it is quite true because she was compelled to shoot someone due to a piece of writing. This then reinforces the idea that a typewriter has the ability to dictate the actions of anyone, even a person with a gun.
To deliver the point further, the murders committed by Se-joo’s fan depict the strong influence of literature to someone’s actions. Se-joo’s writing encouraged his fan to kill the ones who have wronged him, paying tribute to the adage “the pen is mightier than the sword.”
The most intriguing part of this episode is ghostwriter Yoo (Go Kyung-pyo). We get a glimpse of his friendship with past Se-joo during their night out at the Carpe Diem bar. These 1930s scenes are my favorite in the show so far. We also see writer Yoo typing on Se-joo’s typewriter (noticeably wearing a very retro outfit) without any problem of seeing visions of his past self. I wonder if the “ghostwriter” hints in the story should be interpreted literally.
The recent turn of events remind us that we are watching a supernatural series after all.