Se Joo grabs the hand offered to him…
Chicago Typewriter Episode Recap 7
1930…Jeon Seol is miffed that Se Joo doesn’t intend to publish the book that has her as a primary character. Se Joo counters that it is his book. Jin O tells them to stop bickering like children. He asks Se Joo to take a look at Jeon Seol’s bullet graze wound that may be infected. Se Joo was once a medical student, but he forsook that for writing. It’s helpful for the resistance to have a medically minded member with a family of doctors who he can pilfers supplies from. As Jin O leaves, he admonishes both of them to treat the wound. They snipe like children.
Though Jeon Seol resists she finally relents and lets Se Joo treat her wound. It’s painful but Jeon Seol doesn’t make a sound of protest impressing Se Joo. She comments that his medical family must be nice. Se Joo retorts that his family disowned him, so he couldn’t comment. His family wasn’t happy that the only son dropped out of medical training, to become a writer, and rejected the family business. Jeon Seol admits that Se Joo is helpful to the resistance. Guns aren’t the only weapons they need to fight. Jeon Seol tells Se Joo she knows his book is good and that one day he’ll become a great writer. She tells Se Joo to continue to write for the resistance and she’ll use her gun for the resistance. With their efforts, the resistance will prevail. Jeon Seol tells Se Joo no matter how long it takes she hopes he complete the novel. Se Joo smiles. Jeon Seol smiles.
I love the parallel between past Jeon Seol’s faith in Se Joo’s writing and present Jeon Seol’s faith in Se Joo’s writing. FYI, I will not use their past names and use their present names. It makes it clearer for me.
Present… Jin O (Ko Gyung Pyo) tells Writer Han Se Joo (Yoo Ah In) that their fellow resistance fighter Jeon Seol would want him to complete the novel. Jin O implores Se Joo to complete the novel. Jin O thinks Se Joo should be pepping him with questions: how did they meet? why does Jeon Seol carry a gun? why does Jeon Seol dress like a man? how did they die? Se Joo retorts that if Jin O’s assertions are correct, who cares? The past is done and the present is tiresome. Jin O asks Se Joo to write for the sake of their friendship. Se Joo retorts that betrayal and dependence come with friendship. Jo can’t believe how jaded Se Joo has become. Se Joo says today’s world requires a cold exterior for survival. Jin O realizes Se Joo won’t write or help him. He apologizes for bothering Se Joo. When Se Joo asks for his name, Jin O has vanished.
Jin O thanks the shaggy dog for helping him.
Jeon Seol (Lim Soo Jung) complains to her friend Ma Bang Jin (Yang Jin Sung) that Se Joo ripped her bag. Bang Jin is appalled Se Joo threatened a defenseless dog. She calls Se Joo a psychopath. Of course, Jeon Seol switches to being Se Joo’s champion not liking the harsh verdict from her friend. Bang Jin grouses the Jeon Seol has to choose. Is she Se Joo’s fan or anti-fan?
When Bang Jin exits, she finds Jin O near the shaggy dog. She’s excited then deflated when she realizes Jin O is there to see Jeon Seol not her. As Jin O starts to confess he’s a ghost, the need to pee overwhelms Bang Jin and she dashes off assuring Jin O she’ll be back in in a flash.
Jeon Seol drinks and wonders why she’s so lenient with Se Joo. She wonders if she owes him for something in her past life. Jin O spots Jeon Seol drinking alone. He sits next to her but she’s unaware because he’s a ghost. He tells her leaving her will be hard. Jeon Seol wonders why Se Joo is so selfish. Jin O chuckles his agreement. Jin O wonders if Jeon Seol would believe his story of their past life together. Jin O wonders if Jeon Seol would be happy to have him in her life again. Jeon Seol turns and seems to see him. She smiles. She passes out in his arms.
Bang Jin rushes back to the eatery. Jin O isn’t outside with the shaggy dog. Jin O isn’t inside with Jeon Seol, who is passed out on the bench.
Chef Ricardo piggybacks Jeon Seol and complains to Bang Jin that he only gets a call when something is wrong. He hopes that Jeon Seol was drinking because she hurt his feelings when the take out was for Se Joo not him for them to share. Bang Jin scoffs. She declares she must drop the shaggy dog at the vet clinic. The passed-out Jeon Seol mutters “mother…father”.
1930…Se Joo works while Jeon Seol sleeps. He hears her mutter “mother…father”. He sits on the bed and looks at Jeon Seol with tenderness. He gently soothes her and she quiets back into sleep.
Wow! That scene was pure emotion in a glance.
Present…Jeon Seol wakes and touches her forehead where past Se Joo touched her.
Se Joo dreams of the past and remembers Jin O’s questions. He imagines a hand on his forehead from past Jeon Seol. She soothes him. Jeon Seol wishes that the happiest times are yet to be. Se Joo smiles and drifts back to sleep.
Wow! Those two scenes were perfect bookends. We know Jeon Seol and Se Joo care for each other in the past and present. Jeon Seol was Se Joo’s advocate in the past and present. Lovely!
Publisher Gal Ji Seok (Jo Woo Jin) is irked to hear that Se Joo has declined a camp. He calls Secretary Kang to get an update on the elusive non-writing writer and learns that Se Joo is trying a variety of new activities – gardening, cooking, etc. Publisher Gal is dismayed to learn that everything comes before writing.
Publisher Gal sees for himself when he arrives at the house to find Se Joo gardening. With a smile Se Joo tells him that he’s following the carpe diem (recall that’s the name of the 1930’s club Jin O runs) philosophy of seizing the day. Se Joo states he need to write to live not live to write. Publisher Gal is not happy with this change pouting as a petulant child would.
Publisher Gal takes Se Joo out for a drink. He cajoles him to write again. Se Joo maintains he’s in a slump. Publisher Gal reminds him of how they first met.
8 years ago…Publisher Gal did not impress Se Joo who walks away from the “I can make you a great author” statements. But Publisher Gal stops Se Joo in his tracks when he declares Se Joo’s book, Destiny, is merely a pale imitation of Tae Min’s book, Fate. Se Joo hears Publisher Gal’s pitch that he can make Se Joo a successful author. When Publisher Gal asks if Se Joo would like to join him, Se Joo agrees, surprising Publisher Gal. Se Joo appreciates the Publisher Gal is cheesy and a snob, but above all money hungry. Se Joo tells him never to change.
LOL, how Se Joo and Publisher Gal remembered their encounter with different slants (cloudy/sunny, slovenly/nattily dressed). I finally realized Destiny and Fate are 2 different books. I missed that clue in earlier episodes. I thought the discussions were always about Fate, the book Tae Min stole from Se Joo. I didn’t catch on that Destiny was Se Joo’s second attempt.
Present…Se Joo tells Publisher Gal while he had a clear goal of success when they met, now things are murky. He doesn’t know what to write or why he writes. More importantly, writing doesn’t make him happy. He stares at his glass of beer and thinks of the missing component of his life.
I’ve enjoyed having a couple of scenes where Se Joo and Publisher Gal aren’t yelling at each other. Plus, Se Joo’s attraction to Publisher Gal was based on their mutual desire for material success. Se Joo used Publisher Gal as much as Publisher Gal used him.
Se Joo feet take him to the Vet clinic. He watches Jeon Seol interact with a customer. She senses someone watching her and sees Se Joo stare through the window. When she finishes the conversation with the customer, Se Joo is gone. When she steps outside, she doesn’t see him hiding behind some plants. Se Joo sighs wondering what he’s doing.
The poignant longing between them is lovely to watch. You can say so much with only a look.
Bang Jin and Jeon Seol stare at the shaggy dog who can no longer stay at the vet clinic. What will they do with the poor dog? As they walk home, Jeon Seol admits the shaggy dog reminds her of herself when she was abandoned and taken in by her mother. Bang Jin remembers when Jeon Seol accepted her despite the fact that her mother was a shaman. Both women hug each other, knowing their mutual acceptance is a precious gift.
Bang Jin’s mother, Bang Wool, finds them crying and hugging and snipes at them to get a grip or they could chase away their luck. Immediately Bang Wool spies the shaggy dog. Adorably they try and convince Bang Wool the dog is an English sheep dog but Bang Wool surprises them by stating she wants a Sapsali (shaggy Korean breed of dog). They reverse their story quickly. Bang Wool agrees the dog can stay outside the house. Bang Jin is especially surprised that her mother singles her out as the reason why the dog can stay. We see Bang Wool wants the Sapsali dog around because it reputedly keeps away ghosts which Bang Wool knows Bang Jin can see. Bang Wool tells Jeon Seol the cost of food is her expense. Jeon Seol gratefully agrees. Jeon Seol admonishes the dog to be a good boy so Bang Wool doesn’t kick him out.
But the dog barks and whines driving the house inhabitants crazy and interrupting their sleep. Bang Wool reaches the end of her rope.
The day taking the dog for a walk, Jeon Seol assures him she’ll find him a good home. She wonders how she’ll keep that promise.
Se Joo looks at the invitation to the camp which bears his picture and Tae Min’s picture. He tosses the invitation aside recalling his initial meeting when Publisher Gal when he told him not to produce pale imitation books to Tae Min.
Desperate, Jeon Seol calls Baek Tae Min (Kwak Si Yang) and asks if the offer to adopt the shaggy dog is still open. She’s relieved to find that it is. She offers to bring Tae Min a coffee and the dog.
Jeon Seol is surprised to find Se Joo getting a coffee too. She ignores him as she places her order. Jeon Seol chides Se Joo for speaking informally. She says when he was a respected author in her eyes, she’d allow that but no more. Se Joo tries to bully her into a conversation but Jeon Seol holds firm. Se Joo has to relent and politely ask to speak with her.
Se Joo sincerely apologizes for his behavior at their last encounter. Recall Jeon Seol found Se Joo about to strike the shaggy dog (which Jin O had inhabited). Jeon Seol has to smile at the rare apology, it’s like someone gave her a unicorn. But the apology loses its luster when Se Joo maintains she misunderstood his interaction with the dog and someone else ripped her purse. This begs the question, who ripped Jeon Seol’s purse? Se Joo doesn’t want to say. Jeon Seol encourages him. Se Joo asks if Jeon Seol believes in ghosts. That’s it, Jeon Seol snaps that something is wrong with him. She wanted a heart-felt apology but he comes up with ghosts to avoid being honest.
Se Joo doesn’t impress when he acts out the position of himself, Jeon Seol, and Jin O at the table when Jeon Seol’s purse was ripped. She stares at him, stands, and orders him to leave.
When Se Joo spots the shaggy dog, he assumes Jin O is using the dog as a host. He tells the dog his life is a mess because of him. Jeon Seol rolls her eyes when she comes upon Se Joo telling the dog no one understands him. Jeon Seol can barely stand to listen to his claims that something is different about the dog. She snaps that he bothers her…a lot.
Se Joo stops the retreating Jeon Seol and says she may not believe him, but he needs the dog. Too late, Jeon Seol says the dog has a new owner and she’s delivering the dog right now. Se Joo promises to care for the dog. Jeon Seol reminds him that he’s allergic to dogs. Tae Min says that’s news to him as he walks up. Jeon Seol stares at Se Joo accusingly. Se Joo admits that was an excuse. He promises to care for the dog and lists all the perks of living with him. Tae Min smiles, takes the leash, and gives the dog to Se Joo. Tae Min makes sure that Se Joo overhears him planning to meet Jeon Seol later.
Tae Min is a jerk. Even the dog sensed it. Se Joo looked like a raving lunatic.
Secretary Kang can’t believe it when Se Joo brings the dog home. She’s further shocked when he tells her he’s going to commune with his dog. She reminds the staff of the confidentiality clause in their contract of employment. Ha!
Se Joo quickly realizes Jin O isn’t in the dog. He builds a dog house muttering about Jin O as he goes. After he smacks his finger with a hammer, he reflects on Jeon Seol’s positive support in his dreams and in the present. He recalls Jin O’s plea for him to finish the novel as Jeon Seol would have wanted him to.
Jeon Seol is distracted thinking about Se Joo. Tae Min shares that Se Joo is competitive with him. He makes Se Joo to be obsessive about him. Tae Min asks if Jeon Seol is she’s involved with Se Joo. She denies a love interest. That pleases Tae Min.
Se Joo considers writing Chicago Typewriter. He stares at the old typewriter. He asks Jin O if he’s there but nothing happens. Se Joo yells that his life is in shambles now. He screams he’ll write, he’ll write! The lights go out. Jin O appears!! When the lights come back on, Jin O stands before Se Joo. He asks if Se Joo meant it, will he write? Se Joo confirms it. He says they should write together. Jin O is pleased.
Se Joo tells Jin O that he still doesn’t care about his past life or that they were once friends. He needs to resurrect his life from the shambles. He’s willing to write with Jin O to accomplish this. He hopes it works and he figures out who makes his heart flutter. Jin O warns him that once they start, he can’t stop, he has to see this to the end, no matter what he discovers in the process. Jin O asks if Se Joo is willing to commit. Se Joo commits. Jin O smiles. He tells Se Joo there is one condition…
Jeon Seol completes her task for Tae Min. Before she goes, he gives her an invitation to the literary camp. Jeon Seol promises to consider it. She darts out, declining his offer of a ride. He doesn’t like that she isn’t open to him.
As she searches for her umbrella, Tae Min appears and offers his. He pulls her away from an oncoming motorcycle. He keeps her wrist in his grasp and he repeats his offer of a ride. Jeon Seol tries to escape his grasp. Se Joo appears and pulls Jeon Seol wrist away from Tae Min. They all stare at each other.
Jin O tells Se Joo the condition…remove all men around Jeon Seol. Jin O tells Se Joo to stop “his girl” from dating anyone else. Se Joo doesn’t want to and yells at Jin O that he’ll look like a psycho.
Now we repeat Se Joo removing Jeon Seol’s wrist from Tae Min’s grasp. Tae Min laughs then glares at Se Joo asking what he’s about. Se Joo says he won’t lose anything else to Tae Min. Jeon Seol tries to remind the guys she’s part of the equation.
Se Joo looks at her, and pulls her away with him, sweeping her under the umbrella. He strides past an approving Jin O. Tae Min glares after Se Joo, his civil mask gone revealing the ugly hatred he harbors.
Jeon Seol can’t believe that she’s walking in the rain with Se Joo. He has a satisfied smile on his face.
Finally, the story is going to stop spinning in circles and head into writing Chicago Typewriter. Writer Jin has effectively portrayed the blocked, frustrated, freaked out by a ghost Se Joo. I don’t fault Writer Jin’s choices but I wasn’t as engaged with this episode as others. Why? Because I was waiting for Se Joo to gain traction again. Writer Jin convinced me several episodes ago that Se Joo was stuck in quicksand. He finally sunk low enough, now he can rise from the grip of the muck.
Tae Min claims Se Joo is the obsessive one, but he’s the culprit. He’s creepy, with a cruel streak. The way he stares at Jeon Seol, like he wants chain her to him, bothers me. The way he grabbed her wrist in anger, bothers me. The way he smiles his fake smile, bothers me. He’s trouble.
Jeon Seol (Lim Soo Jung) couldn’t believe Se Joo was talking about ghosts. She’s still drawn to him but goodness, Se Joo isn’t making it easy on her. The coffee cup reenactment of how a ghost ripped her purse, not Se Joo, shocked Jeon Seol. Then when she caught him talking to the dog, she was shocked again. I was pleased that Jeon Seol felt an aversion to Tae Min. She practically ran from his stifling presence. He’s trouble.
Jin O (Ko Gyung Pyo) was pleased as punch when Se Joo called him back and agreed to write Chicago Typewriter together. I’m hoping that Se Joo will write it but maybe Jin O will write it from Se Joo’s dictated memories. The point it to get Se Joo writing again, that’s what I want to see. I enjoyed Jin O’s satisfaction when Se Joo wrest Jeon Seol from Tae Min. Does he realize that Se Joo and Jeon Seol have a mutual attraction in the present? Did he realize they had a mutual attraction in the past?
Writer Han Se Joo (Yoo Ah In) realized that banishing Jin O from his life didn’t solve his problems. Gardening, painting, whatever activity he tried didn’t fulfill him. He realized Jin O was the key to get his writing mojo back. He looked like an idiot in front of Jeon Seol and Tae Min but he had to go there. Se Joo tried to explain the truth about Jin O to Jeon Seol but it was too fantastic for her to believe. I loved the ending scene when Se Joo went alpha male all over Tae Min and dragged his woman away. Bravo Tae Min! Relish your victory. Tae Min will no doubt cause trouble in the future.
The fourth song of the OST is another good one. Check out “Be My Light“ by Kevin Oh.