Things don’t go as our leading man expects…
Chicago Typewriter Episode 2 Recap
Quick complaint about the 5-minute preview / synopsis at the beginning of this episode. I don’t watch previews or trailers so I experience what happens in a drama when it happens. I hope this doesn’t happen again.
Jeon Seol (Lim Soo Jung) has the gun trained on the stalker. Writer Han Se Joo (Yoo Ah In) recalls his daydream of the past, and realizes that Jeon Seol is the girl in that daydream. Jeon Seol’s attention starts the waiver. The stalker notices but Jeon Seol refocuses and shoots the item out of the way. Jeon Seol’s visions of the past begin anew. Recall the visions come when she holds a gun. This time stalker sees her distraction and grabs a golf club. But Jeon Seol’s martial arts skills do the job as she flips him onto the ground and trains the gun on him again. Jeon Seol barks at Se Joo to get a grip and call the police.
The police take the stalker away. Se Joo tells Jeon Seol he’s wondering if she was the stalker’s accomplice. Jeon Seol is dazed from the visions and quietly states she was helping him escape the stalker. Se Joo asks how she knew to return to the house. He scoffs when she explains the dog barked. Jeon Seol sinks to the ground woozy from the visions.
Something, perhaps a spirit, releases from the dog. That something embeds itself in the typewriter.
Jeon Seol wakes and is thrilled to find herself in one of Se Joo’s guest bedrooms. Bang Jin calls Jeon Seol wondering where she is. Jeon Seol whispers she’s in Se Joo’s bedroom and can’t talk. She hangs up on her excited friend.
Jeon Seol explores the house and find herself standing in front of the typewriter. The visions return. She sees herself bursting into a room gun trained on a man, whose back is facing her, who is typing. Then it is another man. Just as Jeon Seol reaches to touch the typewriter, Se Joo bursts into the room and yanks her away. Jeon Seol starts to give the excuse that the door just opened in front of her beckoning her inside but realizes she’s said that too many times already. Se Joo accuses her of putting a bug in the typewriter. Jeon Seol realizes the typewriter must have been in the package she delivered earlier. Jeon Seol’s stomach growls. Se Joo treats her to cup ramen while he types. He’s not overly grateful of Jeon Seol’s efforts and still suspicious of her motives. Se Joo claims he could have handled the matter without her help. He grouses that the publicity from this incident will not be to his liking. Jeon Seol quips that he is as inflexible as the demarcation line between north and south Korea. Se Joo asks where she learned her gun’s skills. Jeon Seol states it was long ago. Immediately Se Joo flashes to his past daydream. But Jeon Seol clarifies she trained in high school. Se Joo smiles. Yes, I knew he could turn his frown upside down! Jeon Seol takes that to be positive. Se Joo squelches this stating he doesn’t care about people. He asks why she quit shooting. Jeon Seol states that’s top secret. We all know if Se Joo talked to chatty Bang Jin, she’d spill the secret in a second! Jeon Seol notices Se Joo’s wrapped hand is bothering while he types. She offers to type for him.
Jeon Seol’s fingers fly over the keyboard thrilled to be reading a first draft of his work. He quips she reminds him the book Misery. Jeon Seol recalls the line from the book “the only people that can see my work are my agent and the person that saved my life.” She smiles knowing she saved his life. Se Joo counters he saved her life by calling his personal doctor when she collapsed.
In spite of himself, Se Joo enjoys watching Jeon Seol react to his words as her finger fly across the keyboard. I want to personally extend an invitation that Jeon Seol come and type for me! It’s lovely to see a comparable moment between these two. He’s smiling. She’s smiling. I’m smiling.
Once again we see moments from the past the mirror the present. Jeon Seol is typing on the typewriter while Se Joo watches. Se Joo grouses that she’s too slow. Jeon Seol counters that his writing is too sloppy. Se Joo reminds her the deadline is in 30 minutes. Jeon Seol counters that drinking too much and cutting his hand on a beer can landed him in this situation. In his dash to the publisher, Se Joo runs his bike into a cart. He tosses the manuscript to Jeon Seol and implores her to take it the rest of the way. She hopes on his bike, the tosses his bag with the manuscript back into his arms. She tells him to write something great, not this dreck. She rides away leaving Se Joo yelling after her calling her “Yoo Soo Yeon”.
Se Joo and Jeon Seol stare at each other. Did they both mutually recall that past moment? Se Joo asks if she had a strange moment. Jeon Seol concurs and asks if he had one too. But she describes an earthquake. Then everything starts shaking. They duck under the table and snap at each other while the house shakes. As the camera pulls away we see that only Se Joo’s house is shaking, nothing else. Inside the house the shaking tops but the lights go out. A painting peers at them. Jeon Seol manages to fan girl this moment, thrilled she’s so close to her idol. Se Joo snaps at her to stop. Ha! They stare at the moon light streaming into the window. They stare at each other. Se Joo asks when they met in the past. Jeon Seol starts to tell him but is interrupted when Publisher Gal Ji Seok (Jo Woo Jin) bursts into the house yelling. The lights come back on. Se Joo and Jeon Seol scramble from under the table. Se Joo warns her that if Publisher Gal finds her, things will become messy. He orders her to leave. He exits the room. Jeon Seol grouses that leaving after experiencing a perfect melodramatic moment is a bummer.
Super scene with them under the table in the moonlight. I felt their chemistry. Jeon Seol couldn’t sputter out their first meeting details…sigh. They have decent banter skills. I’m a banter-holic and love the rapid fire back and forth dialog between characters. Banter is always smart, sassy, and pithy. You know, things no one in real life ever says in a moment.
Publisher Gal is upset to see Se Joo’s hand hurt. Se Joo tells him it was unnecessary to come to him during the earthquake. Publisher Gal thinks the imagined earthquake is stress from the stalker. Se Joo tells Publisher Gal that the stalker incident should hurt book sales. Se Joo spies Jeon Seol exiting and has to bring Publisher Gal’s attention to him so she’s not spotted. Publisher Gal implores Se Joo to talk to the girl that saved him. Loose lips sink ships is his belief. They both hear a scream though Se Joo pretends not to. We see Jeon Seol outside on the ground after exiting through a window. She quips that fan girls suffer. It looks like she breaks the wall by talking directly to the audience.
A woman watches a police report showing the stalkers lair with tons of items about Se Joo. Baek Tae Min (Kwak Si Yang) enters the room and sees what she’s watching. He tells her that the stalker’s behavior is not due to Se Joo or his books. Mother says with disdain Se Joo’s books are third rate. Tae Min walks away.
Mother brings tea to Father who is reading on-line articles about the stalker incident. Mother tells Father that his son is in the public eye again. Father counters Tae Min is his only son. He says the DNA test proved that Se Joo is not his son. Mother calmly states test results can be altered. Irritated Father says that he’s not seen Se Joo for 10 years since he left their home. Mother suggests they are meeting on the sly. Father counters she’s the one that obsesses about Se Joo, not him. He suggests her obsessions hurts their children, Tae Min and Sarah. Angry Mother shouts that he is culpable. Father counters she needs to take her medicine and talk to her psychologist. As Father leaves the room, Mother throws Se Joo’s latest book after him.
Tae Min sees Father in hallway and informs him that he’ll be published by Se Joo’s publishing company now. He tells his father the publisher wants a joint interview done with the father and son writers. Tae Min walks away leaving his father in shock.
As Se Joo writes in his lair, he recalls Jeon Seol’s smile in the past and in the present. He hears chewing and finds the deer he ordered Secretary Kang to get on the grounds. He orders the grounds keeper to get rid of the deer. The grounds keeper reminds Se Joo he’s the one that wanted the deer. Se Joo snaps the deer and their caretaker (who just walked into the scene) must go. Ha!
Back in his writer’s lair, Se Joo suffers another interruption, this time from Secretary Kang. He bids her to explain the issue. Secretary Kang states that a reporter received an anonymous letter stating the stalker wrote consistent emails for 3 years to Se Joo and that some of the contents were plagiarized into novels. Livid, Se Joo bolts out of his chair and leaves.
At the publishing company, Publisher Gal is denying the receipt of emails from the stalker, he tells reporters the email address the public uses to communicate with Se Joo is actually an email address at his company. Publisher Gal yells that the reporters are being hoodwinked and not doing due diligence on this story. Se Joo arrives. Publisher Gal can’t tell Se Joo if they received correspondence from the stalker. If the correspondence team thought it was from a crazy person they ignored it. Publisher Gal is incensed that the reporters will now link crimes performed with the actions of characters in Se Joo’s book. Publisher Gal muses that the anonymous letter writer might have been on the scene during the confrontation. Publisher Gal eyes open wide as he makes the connection that Jeon Seol was there at the scene. Se Joo sighs and leaves listening to Publisher Gal yelling that it was Se Joo’s job to keep her quiet. So much yelling!
Se Joo overhears workers speculating that he did plagiarize and he uses ghostwriters. One of the workers is a fan of Han Se Ju and says he uses ghost writers, so this is a common practice among writers. Se Joo interrupts their conversation and says he might feature ghostwriting in his next book. He tells the workers he’s sure they won’t accuse him of plagiarizing the idea. He strolls out cool as a cucumber. The workers can’t believe it.
Se Joo thinks about Jeon Seol’s claims that she didn’t work with the stalker.
At the vet, Jeon Seol brings flyers looking for the lost dog. Tae Min enters and calls out “Seol”. Jeon Seol turns and answers. They stare at each other. The vet clarifies that Tae Min is looking for Baek Seol. He confirms this. The vet leaves. Tae Min clarifies that Baek Seol is his cat’s name. Jeon Seol introduces herself. The vet brings out Tae Min’s cat. He puts the cat in the carrier after cooing a bit and leaves. Jeon Seol asks the vet if that was writer Tae Min. The vet confirms this.
Jeon Seol spies that Tae Min’s car is blocked. She offers to help, offering her business card with a flourish. She gets results and Tae Min is grateful. Her fee is a request for an autograph. Tae Min is pleased she knows his work. Jeon Seol says that Tae Min and Se Joo are the top writers around. As Tae Min signs his name, Jeon Seol shares his first book “Connections” is a personal favorite. Tae Min gets a look on his face that tells us there is an issue with that book. Did he plagiarize Se Joo? Jeon Seol is embarrassed to admit his follow-on books haven’t hit the spot for her. Tae Min is gracious about that. Jeon Seol is thrilled to get a call from Se Joo.
As she strides to the meeting location, Jeon Seol is all smiles. Holy smokes, the location is inside a boxing ring! Jeon Seol quips his taste in dates has a savage edge. Se Joo tells her he picked this location so she couldn’t record their meeting. Se Joo asks if Jeon Seol told the press about what happened with the stalker. Jeon Seol can’t believe Se Joo doesn’t trust her again. She denies talking to the press. She demands to know why Se Joo is accusing her. Se Joo lays out in simple terms. Only 3 people know what happened in the house – the stalker, him and her. The stalker isn’t talking, he isn’t talking and therefore she must be the source the press are citing. Jeon Seol wonders why he’s asking when he’s already determined she’s guilty. Se Joo counters that if she admits her guilt, he won’t press charges against her. He warns she won’t be offered a second chance. Livid, Jeon Seol lets it fly. She’s a fan, not a stalker. She saved his life, but he isn’t grateful. She’s kind, but he doesn’t trust her. She yells that one day Se Joo will need help from someone, and he’ll learn that his isolation will yield no one in his corner. Se Joo sneers that day won’t every come. He turns to leave. Jeon Seol flips him over her shoulder! Go girl! She yells that she’ll never help him again. She strides away. Se Joo stares and hold his aching back.
Good confrontation. Logically Se Joo has to suspect her. Emotionally Jeon Seol couldn’t believe it. Her martial arts move left an impression!
Jeon Seol wipes tears from her eyes and mutter that he wasn’t like this 10 years ago. She declares her fan girl days are done.
Ma Bang Jin (Yang Jin Sung) explains to the chef that he has no chance with Jeon Seol because the only man for her is Se Joo. The chef claims he can cope with Jeon Seol’s fantasy love for Se Joo. Bang Jin continues her inappropriate sharing ways and tells the chef that Jeon Seol recently visited Se Joo’s bedroom. Jeon Seol strides in the room and says it was only the guest bedroom. Jeon Seol sinks into a chair and declares that her image of Se Joo was only a mirage. She declares she’ll clear her head and cleanse Se Joo from her. The chef is thrilled. Bang Jin is sad. She wanted Se Joo to review her writing. The chef sings “Bésame Mucho” using the ukulele as his instrument. Jeon Seol smiles.
Se Joo arrives at the police station and thanks him for coming. The officer leads Se Joo to an interrogation room where the stalker waits. Se Joo, looking fabulous in a navy leather jacket, sits. The stalker says his younger sister informed the media. Se Joo is surprised. The stalker says his sister felt that Se Joo had treated him badly and informed the media as payback. Se Joo sags knowing he falsely accused Jeon Seol. The stalker says now the world knows about their relationship. Se Joo asks what relationship? The stalker says his novels inspired him to kill and he gave Se Joo the inspiration for his novels. Se Joo denies it. The stalker claims he was Se Joo’s muse. Recall the fortune cookie that referenced a muse. The stalker claims Se Joo was his muse. Se Joo is clear. He never read any correspondence from him. His novels are not about him. The stalker doesn’t listen. He asks if Se Joo wants his story for his next book. He stares into Se Joo’s eyes and declares they are soul mates. Yikes! He’s all kinds of obsessed crazy! The stalker claims to know every detail of Se Joo’s life – he was orphaned at 10 years old, his guardians took the life insurance money and left Korea, and then Se Joo rotated among relatives. He asks why Se Joo left Writer Baek Do Ha’s home, where he lived for 5 years. The stalker asks if Se Joo was thrown out. Se Joo tells him to shut up. The stalker smiles with pleasure watching the anger in Se Joo’s eyes. He declares they are soul mates. The stalker says he was abandoned too and lives in fear it will happen again which makes it so he can’t trust anyone. Se Joo counter that he is a crazy murderer and stalker. Se Joo says he committed murder because he craved attention. Se Joo says the murders could have been the way he lessened the anger. Se Joo scoffs that he could be inspired by the likes of him. Se Joo declares he’s nothing like him. The stalker gets angry that Se Joo once understood him but now renounces him. Se Joo stands to leave. The stalker stand and screams “My live is over because of you! Because of your book, I’m dead! You should become a victim! You should die because of what you write!” The police drag the stalker away.
Excellent scene. The production of it was perfect. The tension was ratcheted up with each verbal exchange. The stalker’s craziness fully bloomed and chilled me. Se Joo couldn’t hide that he was disturbed by the stalker’s ravings. Both actors killed it!
Se Joo calls Secretary Kang to get Jeon Seol’s address. He arrives and calls her. But Wang Bang Wool answers and steps onto the street as she speaks. Se Joo sees her and asks who she is. Bang Wool points to the sign that declares her a celestial fairy. Se Joo asks why she’s answering Jeon Seol’s phone. Bang Wool states that Jeon Seol left and told her to handle any customers. Se Joo asks where Jeon Seol went. Bang Wool states Jeon Seol went wherever her feet took her. Bang Wool says this is normal when Jeon Seol needs to clear her head. As Se Joo makes to leave, Bang Wool says his spirit is upset. She can feel the dark energy around him. She says his fate involves death visiting him many times. She says he has a difficult discerning good and bad connections. She prophesizes that he’ll meet two people soon. These people will help him live. She goes into the house. Se Joo can only stare after her.
If you were Se Joo, wouldn’t you be creeped out by the day’s events?
Back at his writer’s lair, Se Joo can’t get the stalker out of his mind. He can’t write a word. He decides to sleep only to be woken by Publisher Gal who tells him not to leave the house, read anything on-line or watch TV. The stalker has committed suicide. Se Joo watches the report which states the stalker left a detailed list of grievances about Se Joo. Unable to believe this cruel twist of fate, Se Joo decides to leave. But when he exits his home a gaggle of reporters are waiting. He recalls the stalkers threat about becoming a victim because of his writing as he stares at the shouting reporters.
Wow, another stellar moment. The stalker struck Se Joo where it hurt. The stalker’s claims will be there forever. Se Joo’s realization that he was trapped was palpable.
Reporter Song finds Publisher Gal at the publishing company and asks where Se Joo has disappeared to. Publisher Gal claims Se Joo is working on his next work. He gets a phone call and leaves.
Publisher Gal arrives to find Se Joo laying on his bed. He asks if Se Joo met with the doctor. Se Joo says the doctor diagnosed PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder. The prescription was rest, exercise, and not to worry. Se Joo shakes his head at the advice that won’t help him. My drags Se Joo to his writing lair, plops him in front of his computer, and orders him to write. Publisher Gal is forceful. Se Joo pulls away and says if Publisher Gal won’t write for him than he should be quiet. Seeing a lifeline, Publisher Gal asks if Se Joo needs someone to write for him. Se Joo asks what he means. Publisher Gal itemizes many missed deadlines, interviews, etc. Publisher Gal can’t let the project fail. Se Joo yells at him. Publisher Gal yells that he need only have Se Joo’s permission to hire a ghostwriter. Se Joo stares at Publisher Gal stunned. He can’t believe the suggestion. Publisher Gal presses this as a solution. Se Joo screams at him to get out. Se Joo says he’ll meet the deadline.
Publisher Gal arrives at a bar and orders a drink. He calls a ghostwriter.
In his writer’s lair, Se Joo can’t write. Frustrated he knocks the computer off his desk.
Publisher Gal meets with the ghostwriter. We don’t see the ghostwriter’s face.
At home, Se Joo dozes. He dreams of a 1930’s club, Carpe Diem. He’s there writing. He and a man watch Jeon Seol dance. He laughs. He tells the man he has a deadline to meet. The man drags Se Joo onto the dance floor. Jeon Seol joins them and they dance and laugh. Se Joo is woken by a phone call. It’s Publisher Gal asking if he’ll meet the deadline. Publisher Gal says he’s secured a ghostwriter. He can send him, Se Joo need only give him approval. Se Joo doesn’t want that and hangs up.
Se Joo picks up his laptop and sees the cracked screen. He sees the 1930’s typewriter and strides to it. When he touches it, he gets flashbacks.
The man, Jeon Seol, and Se Joo exit the 1930’s club, Carpe Diem, and walk down the street singing.
Se Joo wonders if the scene was from his imagination for a novel. He picks up the typewriter and puts it on his desk. He puts paper in the machine. His hands poise above the keys. Se Joo gets out the cigarettes he gave up 2 years ago. The matches bear the name of the 1930’s club, Carpe Diem. When he lights the match, he flashes back to 1930. He drops the match and runs away.
Se Joo drives. It’s raining. He wonders if he’s crazy. He thinks if he can no longer writer, then he can die. But then he rejects death. Why should he die because of what others have done to him? He rages at the injustice that the world has given him. He swerves to avoid a deer, goes through the guard rail, and the car flies over a ravine. Se Joo thinks he’s not ready to die. The car flips and strikes the hill. The car slides down the hill. It stops turned over. Se Joo is in the car and hovers between consciousness and unconsciousness.
A man walks into Se Joo’s writer’s lair. Is it the ghost writer?
Someone approaches the accident site. Se Joo sees someone walking towards him. He tries to speak. The person stands next to the car, looks down, and stares into Se Joo’s eyes. He opens his eyes widen in recognition. It’s Jeon Seol!
The man sits down to the 1930’s typewriter on Se Joo’s desk. He begins to type. The camera pans back. We see the other lead character we haven’t been formally introduced to yet. It’s Yoo Jin O (Ko Gyung Pyo).
Jeon Seol stares into Se Joo’s eyes. He recalls her promise that she would never help him again. She lifts the shovel. Se Joo yells.
Stellar second episode. I am hooked! Our trio of leading characters has been introduced. We know next to nothing about Jin O, but we’ll get there. The interactions between Jeon Seol and Se Joo were solid. The stalker and Se Joo interactions were riveting. Se Joo was dragged into a downward spiral of despair that blocked his writing. Writer Jin Soo Wan tied together details and provided karma moments that made this episode sing. It was poetic justice that Se Joo went over the railing dodging a deer when he had previously ordered the deer banished from his yard. Then Se Joo suffered writer’s block, something he brayed would never happen to him. Then the stalker accused Se Joo of ruining his life and proceeded to ruin Se Joo’s.
Jeon Seol (Lim Soo Jung) couldn’t believe it when Se Joo didn’t trust her…again. Their confrontation at the boxing ring was excellent. Se Joo spoke plainly. Jeon Seol spoke plainly. She vowed she’d never be hurt by him again and promised never to help him. Frankly I loved that she left town to clear her head. After tons of years being a fan girl, she was cruelly shown her idol had feet made of clay. The shook her foundation. I must say Jeon Seol’s friend Bang Jin shares way too much and too freely. I loved the predictions of Bang Wool.
Writer Han Se Joo (Yoo Ah In) saw his impenetrable shield breeched and his world collapsed from the onslaught. Se Joo was cocky and needed to be taken down a peg or two. Done. Se Joo didn’t trust Jeon Seol and tossed her aside like garbage. When he learned of his error, to his credit, he went to her house to make amends but learned it was too late, Jeon Seol was gone. Then Bang Wool correctly read the forces swirling around him. Se Joo was thoroughly spooked. The confrontation with the stalker chilled Se Joo’s soul. At the end of the episode he was exactly where Jeon Seol predicted he’d be one day, desperate and alone. Per the saying, break them down, then build them up. Se Joo was broken down in this episode. Will Jeon Seol and Jin O build him back up? Did you notice extensive eyeglasses wardrobe that Se Joo has?