Thank you for the great watch<3
I know this is the first time I wrote a post on Chicago Typewriters, and I went straight for the finale recap. I’ve always wanted to write on it but –enters the usual excuse- there wasn’t time. Read till the end to find out what I think!
After Hui Young’s tragic, bittersweet ending, Shin Yul sat in his room alone and defeated. He received a parcel from Hui Young, who sent it prior to their then impending mission – in it contains his typewriter and his pocket watch. Hui Young wrote a letter and told Yul that he was really happy to receive the typewriter as a gift, “I don’t think I can repay you ever for what you have done for me.” In return, he requested that Yul finished his novel for him. We found hope in despair, we found happiness in danger, we loved and fought to our utmost. Lastly, he left Yul with his pocket watch to remind him to treasure each moment and to take care of Su Hyeon. Let’s meet again…even if we die.
I’ll ask the skies for a favour…I’ll ask them to let me be with you guys again in my next life.
Back to present day – Jin Oh updates Jeon Seol on what happened and she conveys the message that he has fallen from a tall building. Se Ju awakes and tells them that he was possessed by a ghost the moment he fell from the rooftop. A moment of silence ensues, and then both Ji Seok says, “Ms Kang, please call a psychiatrist” and Ms Kang calls for one at the same time. HAHA.
Tae Min reels from the shock of having thrown Se Ju over the rooftop and for hitting Jin Oh. He tries to flee but is stopped by Jin Oh who is angry that he once again, doesn’t know how to repent his actions. Tae Min throws him aside and opens the door, but the police has already arrived.
Se Ju insists on returning home and comments that Ji Seok is being too overprotective. Seol’s legs give way and a worried Se Ju quickly turns to Ji Seok, “Process the documents to admit her to hospital”. Oh I love this drama for sneaking in funny tidbits even though the backstory is sad.
The two end up being on put on drip since both presumably refuse to return to the hospital. Se Ju wonders about the old man who appears just right on time. and tricks Seol into thinking that Jin Oh operates on batteries HAHA. He updates the two that he has recalled everything from his past life upon falling from the building. I guess this is one take on the saying that when you die, your life flashes past you. Later, Seol asks Se Ju if he knew who she killed, and he smiles, “Just let go if you cannot remember.” However, he does tell her one thing – that he prayed to the skies to meet them again in his next life.
He leans towards her with an evil gleam, “I’m going to do something great for our country now.” HAHA she rejects his advance but kisses him on the lips anyway.
Due to him grabbing Tae Min by the collar earlier on, Jin Oh recalls his past encounter with Young Min and wonders if he’s the one who killed him. Tae Min’s parents visit him in jail and his mother rabbles on about how this must be a conspiracy between Se Ju and Jeon Seol, “I should catch her right away and torture her.” Tae Min finally breaks and yells at his mother – he can’t breath because of her and she’s killing him. Mr Baek throws the noisy mother out (in my words) and Tae Min asks to meet Se Ju because Se Ju would know about the man whom he hit.
The next morning, while shopping for groceries, Bang Jin spots Seol’s mother and takes a photo. Ji Seok throws open Se Ju’s doors happily and is taken aback to find the couple asleep together.
He shuffles back and forth before tripping right at the foot of the bed. His noisiness wakes the couple up and they bicker over who was the one who didn’t let Seol leave the night before and who crawled up the bed.
Ji Seok hilariously announces his presence, just when Seol receives the photo and rushes off.
Seol finally meets her mother again, who asks her how much she already remembered. Seol knows that Madam Sophia/Mum was a secret agent, but she’s not Su Hyeon – Su Hyeon wouldn’t have forgiven her mother for being a betrayer, but that’s not her. What Seol couldn’t forgive was that her mother left her daughter behind, so she should just tell her the truth and leave her past life behind. What I don’t get it is – okay they say that if you are the parent of that person, you probably owe that person a debt in the past life right? But I feel like Su Hyeon would have balked to know that Madam Sophia would be her mother in the next life; she wouldn’t have thought that it was a gift/wanted the repayment of debt. Anyway, just mindless rambling here. Also very amused with the saying, bet our parents all think that HAHA.
Jin Oh presses Se Ju sincerely for the truth behind what he has remembered and is horrified to hear that he may have betrayed Hui Young. Se Ju keeps disclaiming that it’s his inference and not from his own memory, but the fact is that the Alliance’s hideout was attacked, which neither Madam Sophia nor Su Hyeon even knew about. “Then the person who killed me…”
Seol breaks into the room, “It’s me.” We flash back to the olden days again, where Su Hyeon was released. She kinda retreated into herself and visited the blocked-up Carpe Diem.
A leaflet on Hui Young’s suicide flew past and she stared at it. In the meantime, Yul recalled Hui Young’s last wish to finish his novel and started typing furiously. A group of high-ranked Japanese officials gathered in the now police-owned Carpe Diem. Tae Min gave a thank-you speech and a toast, but just as the glasses touched, Su Hyeon appeared in a shooting rampage with the Chicago Typewriter gun. Young Min was the only one left standing but Su Hyeon appeared behind him with a shotgun. He promised releasing her if she spared his life, but her words reminded him of Hui Young and he laughed, “He was bluffing even at the moment he shot himself to death.”
A pull of the trigger, a fall – “In the name of Joseon Youth Alliance, the enemy’s hunting dog is removed” – and Young Min lay dead. Yul heard of the news that someone ruthlessly shot all the Japanese officials dead but remained at large. He rushed back to Carpe Diem and released that Chicago gun was gone. Come here Su Hyeon, I’ll be waiting for you.
Madam Sophia roamed the streets in fear, as she should, and Su Hyeon drove up to her in a carriage. “In the name of Joseon Youth Alliance, I remove the secret agent who betrayed the comrades.”
Finally, Su Hyeon dashed into the room and pointed the gun at Yul. She lost control and shouted, “Why did you do that? Why?!” She cried that he should have let her die no matter what and Shin Yul muttered that she must carry out the Alliance’s Code of Conduct.
Her gun started shaking and Yul murmured with tears in his eyes that she mustn’t hesitate. Su Hyeon asked if he had any last words, to which he replied that he would want to be killed by Su Hyeon.
“In the name of Joseon Youth Alliance, I remove the betrayer.”
Bang! As Yul got thrown forward onto the typewriter and his blood flooding through it, his voice narrated – I’m sorry I couldn’t keep the promise in this life. If there’s a next life, I will keep my word then. I will come to you to make you two happy.
Seol collapsed under a tree and saw a vision of Se Ju. She cried that she killed Yul, who was like a brother, a father and a friend to her. Se Ju wiped her tears away and she was afraid that he would leave again. He wanted her to live her life well and see their liberated nation.
“I might be too tired. I…am…sleepy…” She leaned back onto the tree with her last breath and her hand released its grip on the pocket watch. After years, Jeon Seol’s father picked it up and gave it to his daughter.
Jin Oh is traumatised that he betrayed Se Ju and that he made Su Hyeon kill him. The shock shakes him so much that he collapsed and Jeon Seol calls for Bang Wool’s help…since she can’t exactly call a doctor.
A little tiny comic relief there, just as Bang Wool stares down at an empty bed where Jin Oh lies. She hears that Jin Oh has cracks and was shocked, and tells the couple that Jin Oh will soon perish. When he perishes, he will become nothing and will not even reincarnate.
Later on, Jin Oh recovers and smiles that he has finally learned why he sealed himself in the typewriter – it is to apologise to the two of them and to make good his promise of letting Se Ju date Jeon Seol. In his next life – “You want me to give up?” “No! I want to date another girl.” Yes please!! Se Ju murmurs that Hui Young trusted Sin Yul all the way to the end; he already forgave him.
Jin Oh also talks to Seol privately, “Su Hyeon…it’s not your fault.” He doesn’t want her to feel guilty anymore. She should move on and live in the present. Seol replies that she wants him to do the same. She knows, and Su Hyeon knew, that he did what he did to save her, which is why even when she pulled the trigger, she felt extremely sorry and grateful. “When she was crossing the river of oblivion, she couldn’t stop looking back multiple times.”
As the rain lightly pelts behind them, she thanks him for all that he had done for Su Hyeon – for letting her live a life as an awesome sniper, for telling her that she was beautiful. Everything about this scene speaks of a bittersweet closure, of a quiet coming-to-terms, of appreciation of life.
Mr Baek asks if Se Ju could meet Tae Min, to which he accedes to. Tae Min wants to know who was the guy he hit and rambled about how he didn’t do anything wrong. Se Ju asks gently why it is so difficult for Tae Min to admit that he was wrong, “Someone waited 80 years to make an apology. Someone even risked his life to keep his word. Life isn’t only about the good days. If you did something wrong, you should admit it.I wish you atone for what you did for the rest of your life so that you can make a fresh start.” And that is the last we see of Baek Tae Min. Thank you Kwak Si Yang for giving us a good run!
Jin Oh finally finishes his novel and celebrates by drinking with Se Ju. Se Ju reminds him of his promise and hands out the co-writing contract which is probably 100 pages long, but “I’ll be generous to you, you only need to fulfill one clause.” And that clause is that until the novel is finished, Se Ju and Jin Oh would live together. If Jin Oh disappears without notice, “I will kill -” oops “I will reincarnate you.” HAHA.
I guess the actual completion of the novel isn’t that important (it’s the process) because the next thing we see is that Se Ju has completed it. He wants to seal Jin Oh in the novel so that he can recuperate and reincarnate. “Promise me you will come back to me.”
Jin Oh starts to shine again and Se Ju brings him to one last place – fishing! Seol makes a bet on whether Jin Oh will reincarnate and the words of the person whose fishing rod moves first will come true. Se Ju says he might reincarnate, Seol replies that she wishes he will and Jin Oh indignantly says that he definitely will. Se Ju thanks Jin Oh for appearing in his life, for giving him inspiration to write, to live and for bringing Seol to his life.
While speaking halfway, he realises Jin Oh is gone and shouts at the chair. Seol, who has gone off to get bait, rushes to hug him in consolation. The couple turn to realise that Jin Oh’s rod is moving.
In the next scene, Se Ju releases his book at a press conference and dedicates it to Jin Oh, his muse and his friend. The couple later strolls down a street and they ponder over Jin Oh. Seol’s shoelaces come untied and she wonders who’s thinking of her.
Se Ju kneels down to tie them, “There’s someone who misses you. There’s a person who has been waiting for you for almost 100 years. There’s a person who can’t leave you because of destiny.” It’s the same words as what he has said to Jeon Seol earlier on in relation to Shin Yul, but now he’s talking about himself – and there’s something beautiful and poetic about this echo.
They flip a coin to find out whether Jin Oh is safely sealed in his novel. A slow unveiling reveals a seeming image (unless I’m wrong) and the scene jumps to the old days again where Su Hyeon is bickering with Hui Young. Jin Oh appears and says that he had a dream of them living happily in a liberated country.
He reaches into his pockets and looks at the photo of the three of them. I hope that we could be together again somewhere in the future.
It didn’t really strike me straightaway the significance of the ending, but I realised this means that he’s in there – he’s now sealed inside Se Ju’s novel about the old days.
This is one of most beautiful endings I’ve watched and seems to continue somewhat the trend of Goblin’s ending (also TvN), where there’s bittersweet closure and poetic endings. I know I keep repeating the word “beautiful” but this is really one emotion that I associate with the drama.
Finale-wise, I have no quips at all. It tied up loose ends; it spoke of finality and farewells. In that moment when Seol rushes up to hug Se Ju who is trembling in fear that Jin Oh is gone, I teared with them as well. There’s so much emotions threading through the finale, some of which may be conflicting, and I think the drama handled it really well. Imagine how Su Hyeon must have felt killing Shin Yul. It’s no wonder that she looked backwards across the river of oblivion. I love it too that she hesitated because of Shin Yul, not Hui Young. Although both male leads are deeply in love with the female lead, I think this is one show where I root for the main couple and sympathise with the second lead at the same time. This is partly because the friendship dynamics was never compromised. Even when there’s love involved, there’s also friendship, and Hui Young’s trust and love in Shin Yul, which mirrors the love Se Ju has for Jin Oh, is moving. You can also tell that despite love being a huge pushing factor in the plot, it is not the main focus. In the finale, we didn’t even have a passionate kiss but I’m fine with that, because that leaves the focus of the story where it should rightly be.
Drama-wise, I watched this in tranches so I can’t really remember what happened at the start. I knew I was a little bored with the pace but very intrigued by the plot. At the same time, I think I was a little lost because I couldn’t really tell what the main conflict was. Once that was clear, everything went smoothly for me and I enjoyed every moment. Yoo Ah In, Lim Soo Jung and Ko Gyung Pyo exhibited excellent top-notch acting that really suited both the 1930s and 2017 stories. Their eyes spoke stories.
At the very end, this drama leaves lingering thoughts about forgiveness, moving on and closure, about treasuring each moment that the current generation has, and about paying tribute to those who had gone before us to create the world we now live in. It pulses strongly of the passion we have as youths and for loving the hardest we can. Thank you for the great watch, Chicago Typewriter!