Side dish: If Shin’s spirits can be raised by a good sandwich, yours can be, too. He and Eun Tak love beef, so how about a Roast Beef Sandwich? This recipe from the Food Network Kitchen looks like it would restore your will to live.
Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun) immediately accepts Shin’s (Gong Yoo) marriage proposal. Shortly thereafter, she is able to see her ghost friends who are happy to have the chance to congratulate her.
Yeo (Lee Dong Wook) processes a rich man and his driver. When the rich man objects to being given the same treatment as his employee, Yeo ominously points out that his worldly possessions will be worthless. The only thing that will count in the afterworld will be the rich man’s deeds. The rich man begins to cry.
After Shin takes petty revenge on the former classmate of Eun Tak (Go Bo Gyul) for attempting to set Eun Tak up on a date, he barges into Eun Tak’s workplace to announce that they’re getting married that weekend. An amazed Eun Tak is then whisked off to a lunch with Duk Hwa (Yook Sung Jae) so Shin can share their wedding plans. Duk Hwa does not remember Eun Tak, and is impressed that she knows that Shin is a goblin. The couple immediately make preparations for the big day.
Duk Hwa reports the marriage to CEO Kim. Initially, Duk Hwa plots to steal the limelight by getting married before Shin until CEO Kim points out that he has no candidate for marriage. It finally occurs to Duk Hwa to ask about CEO Kim’s marital status, and CEO Kim congratulates him on becoming more thoughtful of those around him.
Unbeknownst to everyone, Sun (Yoo In Na) not only moved home and restaurant, but also sold her building. She notifies everyone through a farewell letter read aloud on Eun Tak’s radio program. Shin arrives at Eun Tak’s home just as she is reading a goodbye letter from Sun. They realize that Sun has remembered everything all this time, and Shin guesses that his sister left, because she cannot forgive Yeo.
Sun is about to depart from the bridge that she frequents when Yeo arrives. Sun vows never to see nor contact Yeo again, and he tearfully nods. She asks for one last hug, and Yeo complies. They wish each other well.
Yeo cries in his bedroom while Shin cooks in the kitchen for him, but the death god has no appetite. Yeo attempts to return the painting of the Queen to Shin, but Shin tells him to keep it. Shin is aware that Yeo has been memorializing him and his sister for the past nine years, and wonders how much longer they will be punished.
Yeo figures that since the female death god met with Joong Heon nine years ago, she remembers her life. Hence, he feels that it is right to apologize for using her to commit suicide. He asks for forgiveness and encourages her to forgive herself. The female death god breaks down into tears.
Eun Tak is the unwilling host to her evil aunt’s ghost, and the ghost will not be appeased by anything less than access to her mother’s bank account. The evil aunt is about to strike Eun Tak when her longtime ghost friend takes a hold of the aunt. The friend announces that she is ready to pass over to the other side, and will take the aunt with her. Eun Tak thanks her aunt for raising her before her aunt is dragged away protesting.
When Eun Tak is summoned by Yeo, she wonders if he has a death note with her name. He denies this, but Eun Tak reveals that she has been living every day like it is her last. Yeo gifts Eun Tak with a bridal bouquet.
Shin and Eun Tak get married alone in the field of buckwheat flowers then return to have dinner with Duk Hwa, CEO Kim and Yeo. Things turn awkward when CEO Kim is witness to Shin and Yeo’s powers, then Shin and Eun Tak perform an a cappella duet. Shin and Eun Tak spend their first night as husband and wife in a sleepy embrace.
Eun Tak is still in the honeymoon period of her marriage when she spots Yeo on the job, about to collect a bus load of children. After Eun Tak drives past Yeo, the fate of the children all change, and Yeo is horrified to realize that this has been brought about by an unforeseen death.
Shortly thereafter, Eun Tak’s car comes between a barreling truck and the school bus. Eun Tak’s final thoughts are of her perfect day that brought her to this moment. Yeo witnesses the crash and tearfully explains to his subordinate that human sacrifice occurs so suddenly, it cannot be predicted.
Yeo collects Eun Tak’s ghost, and she asks him how many times she has been reincarnated. Yeo tells her that this was her first life, and she is relieved to know that she can be reincarnated three more times. Shin appears and Yeo leaves them to talk.
Shin breaks down immediately while Eun Tak calmly reminds him of their agreement that whoever is left behind must live on. Shin envelopes Eun Tak in a hug and sobs while she apologizes. She asks him to grant her final wish: to wait for her return. She also asks Yeo to check in on Shin intermittently during her absence, but refuses to drink the tea that will make her forget this life.
After Eun Tak’s departure, Shin has a personal memorial ceremony, and a rainy season follows. Shin wears Eun Tak’s red scarf while recalling their time together. Meanwhile, the mysterious lady in red (Lee El) speculates to herself that Eun Tak has finally met her mother.
30 years have passed, and Yeo receives his final death notice; it is the end of his punishment. Yeo packs up before opening the death notice, and is shocked to discover that it is for Sun. When he processes her, Yeo lovingly places the Queen’s ring on her finger, and she wonders if they will get a happy ending. Yeo breaks the rules one final time, and has Shin come to see Sun off. Yeo walks hand-in-hand with Sun out the door as Shin watches. Shin is left alone in the world.
Sitting on a bench facing the water, a stranger notices Shin looking depressed. He offers him half of his sandwich, assuming that Shin, too, is down on his luck. It restores the goblin’s faith in the world, and he returns the favour by directing the unemployed man to go in a direction that allows him to run serendipitously into CEO Kim.
Shin has shuttered his house in Korea, and as he departs, he spots a film set with an actress who looks like Sun and a consulting detective who looks like Yeo. They bicker upon meeting then end up in a love motel together. Later, on, they try to figure out their relationship, and decide to date.
Shin is back living in Québec City when he is found by a school girl who looks exactly like Eun Tak. She asks him if he knows who she is, and he immediately identifies her as the Goblin’s Bride. They happily tear up while watching each other as the sun goes down.
This was a rather melancholy and subdued final episode of “Goblin”. Everyone was subject to their fates, but still managed to eke out a happy ending.
We watched Eun Tak and Shin rush to get married with a sense that such a happy moment would be fleeting. After all, Eun Tak could not avoid the death notice that is repeatedly held over her head in spite of Shin’s best efforts. With her premature death, the couple were prepared to take on the burden of another prolonged separation, and seemed to trust that they would be reunited. When they finally do come face-to-face in the final scene, it is not a romantic moment, but rather, feels like a hard fought win for the couple.
To my pleasant surprise, Sun sticks by her conviction not to allow history to repeat itself, no matter how attracted she is to Yeo. While both of them remember the past, Sun cannot be with Yeo. When Yeo has finally paid his dues and forgiven himself, Sun is also ready to forget her past lives. Thus, we are treated to a reunion of the couple that was more jubilant than that of Eun Tak and Shin.
The ending is satisfying though it leaves a number of questions unanswered. Is Shin fated to be an immortal Goblin until the end of time? Will he be left alone in the world when Eun Tak runs out of lives to reincarnate into? We saw an elderly CEO Kim, but what happened to Duk Hwa? Did he ever grow up and have all the children he wanted?
I am thankful for the comedic relief of the ridiculous wedding duet of Shin and Eun Tak. Shin’s exasperated reaction was gold, and I completely agree with him: happy people in love are awful to behold.
Check out our series review, coming soon.