Goblin episode 4

Side dish: You know what goes great with steak? French fries. Here’s a recipe from Serious Eats to make your homemade fries as close as possible to McDonald’s fries. Take note, Goblin.

Episode Recap

Long-lived, lonely goblin, Shin (Gong Yoo) discovers that high school student, Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun) has been able to see the blade lodged in his chest all along, but didn’t mention it out of consideration for his feelings. In a panic about what to do, Shin asks his roommate, death god, Yeo (Lee Dong Wook), who has neither advice nor sympathy to give him.

Instead, Shin tries and fails to pay her off, then gets his servant, the Chairman (Kim Sung Kyum) to set her up in an apartment. As Eun Tak enjoys her fancy digs, both Shin and Yeo start suffering from lovesickness, much to the confusion of playboy servant, Duk Hwa (Yook Sung Jae).

While Shin bounces from low to high back to low again, Eun Tak reluctantly gets a ride to school with Duk Hwa, who not only makes a spectacular entrance, but also finally connects the dots on Eun Tak’s identity. Meanwhile, Eun Tak’s aunt and cousins are feeling the wrath of the goblin, as they try to sell the gold Shin left for them. Instead, they end up being questioned by police, where they discover that they can’t remember Eun Tak’s name, nor their former address.

Meanwhile, when the young boy that Shin helped in Paris, now an old man, dies, Shin asks Yeo to help him escort his soul to the other side. Meanwhile, Eun Tak has gone from enjoying the posh apartment to finding it intimidating and lonely. As Shin tells the old man how special he was for making something of his life, Eun Tak pounds on the door of Shin’s house, calling him to come out.

Lucky for him, just as Shin goes to see Eun Tak, she summons him by extinguishing a candle, then demands to know why he’s ignoring her. Shin declines to explain that Eun Tak’s sole purpose in his life is to kill him, and instead takes her out for junk food, while he gets drunk. In his inebriated state, Shin is so happy to spend time with Eun Tak that flowers start appearing on trees around them even though it’s winter.

The next morning, Duk Hwa takes Shin out for hangover soup, and they run into Yeo, who is currently invisible. As Shin agonizes over his vague memories of the night before, both Yeo and Duk Hwa are glued to the last episode of a soapy drama. Finally, as Shin flips out over remembering drunkenly telling Eun Tak that she’s the only one who can remove the sword, Yeo mocks him and Duk Hwa pretends not to know him.

Unable to forget Yeo, apathetic restaurant owner Sun (Yoo In Na) dresses up and does her makeup, but can do nothing other than wait for Yeo to appear. Yeo, meanwhile, starts seeing Sun’s face everywhere.

Back at school, Eun Tak’s bully grabs the Chairman’s business card out of her hand and loudly implies that she’s sleeping around. Thankfully, Eun Tak is rescued by a gang of female ghosts, who put a cigarette in her bully’s hand and get her into trouble instead. But, the ghosts quickly scatter when Shin shows up to pick up Eun Tak.

When Eun Tak suggests going to eat on the drive, Shin decides to take her for steak in Québec City. The two of them flirt as they eat a steak dinner, and then at a nearby fountain, he shows her his sword (a real sword. What were you thinking I meant?). Finally, when Eun Tak goes off to mail a letter at the Chateau Frontenac, Shin waits for her at the park with a poetry anthology. As he watches her come back, Shin realizes for the first time that he’s in love.


It’s a measure of how much I’m enjoying this show that even though I can acknowledge that the only major takeaway from this episode is that Shin is in love with Eun Tak, I still really enjoyed it. Which is not to say that there were no flaws. I’m not sure why the writer chose to make Eun Tak a high-schooler, but their relationship does come off a little like a weary older man finding a Manic Pixie Dream Girl to bring him back to life, a trope that usually annoys me.

But, somehow, it just doesn’t bother me as much as it usually does, and I have no logical explanation. Maybe it’s the intense looks that Shin keeps giving Eun Tak. Maybe it’s the fact that Eun Tak is neither a pushover nor a weeper (though she is pretty clingy). Maybe it’s how hilarious I’m finding Shin and Yeo. Maybe it’s the way this show chooses to laugh at its most serious moments, and be serious at its most funny moments. Maybe it’s the fact that I genuinely want to know what happens next. I have so many questions!

Like, are Yeo and Sun who I think they are? And what kind of can of worms is that going to open? Or, why was Shin talking about love not lasting forever? Or, what happened in the past with the Queen and the King? Or, is the sole purpose of the Goblin’s Bride to kill him? Or, who is Birth Grandmother (Lee El’s character)? Or, what happened to Eun Tak’s mom? Is her spirit still wandering around? Or, why is drunk Shin so cute?

I need answers, damn it!

But since I won’t get any til the weekend, here are some entertaining facial expressions from this episode.

Goblin (쓸쓸하고 찬란하神-도깨비)

goblin 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 || series review

1 Comment

  • I find the Eun Tak character to be really annoying. It also irks me that she behaves like a young primary school child but is supposed to be 19. Most 19 year olds are mature, in university/work and moved out from home in my culture, so I cant understand her behaviour. It was particularly creepy when she was jumping around in her school uniform and the goblin realised he loved her. Why would a grown man be attracted to those kinds of characteristics? This is not romantic its creepy. It kind of makes the goblins character a sick pervert.

    Its almost like the writer wanted to do a lolita themed show but had to label her as 19 to prevent backlash, because from my observations of the Eun Tak character, her personality, facial expressions and her prancing around in her school uniform all tell me this 19 year old actually has the mentality of a young child. Because of this it looks like the show is pandering to the fantasies of middle aged men who wish they could be with highschool aged girls.

    Overall its not the age gap that bothers me, he is over 900 anyways, its the overtly child like behaviour and stage of life the girl is in; why couldnt she be in university when the couple meet? I cant think of any other reason than that the writer/creators of the show condone relationships between highschool girls and older men (which is taboo where I’m from).

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