As I watched the episode, I realized how random the romance part of the drama seems at the moment. It would have fared perfectly fine as simply a mystery/thriller genre without the cheesy romancing and awkward lip-grazing kiss scenes. This is especially true now that I know Kang Chul is a webtoon character who possesses enough willpower to overcome any situation, no matter how extreme or dire. And yes, that includes death.
Chul is shocked to find out that he is just a 2D character in a made-up world.
Like Oh Sung Moo, who is Chul's very creator, so triumphantly and smugly told his creation, Chul is nothing but a fictional fragment of his maker. Oh, fallen to the deepest pits of despair following the abandonment from his wife and daughter and battling his worsening alcoholism and depression, gives birth to a character at his most desperate, lowest point in life. And that character just so happens to be Kang Chul (roughly meaning 'steel' in Korean), a tragic hero who is the polar opposite of Oh's innate loathsome self. Chul, like his name implies, is indeed as strong as steel, overcoming his past tragedies and traumas to return even stronger than before. Chul is everything Oh wants to but cannot be. Oh shaped Chul in such a way that, unlike his weak-willed self, he would never back down or grow discouraged. Considering all these factors, it's clear that Oh is not only Chul's creator but also Chul's biggest admirer.
Yeon Joo thinking back on all the lip grazes she shared with her 2D lover.
Unfortunately, Oh hadn't stopped to consider the just how much his desire to be someone like Chul ended up birthing his most successful yet eerily lifelike character in his overall touch-and-go career. After he finally achieves success as a webtoon author, Oh decides that he has no more need of Chul and tries to end his character by drawing him plunging to the depths of the Han River. But with his will to survive and the dogged need to capture the murderer of his family, Chul somehow comes back to life...again and again, despite Oh's many attempts to kill him once and for all.
A round of applause to Kim Eui Sung for putting on the most emotional, convincing performance in this episode.
But then we learn the shocking truth that there is no murderer to begin with. This was where I was like WTF?!? This author is one sadistic arsehole! And he doesn't know how to write good mystery plot that is worth the read. A murder case without a concrete murderer is like....an apple pie without apples(?). Oh is stumped when Chul tells him to think of a solution to revert things to the way they were and to give him the ending he wants which is to finally find his family's murderer. As an author, that shouldn't be too hard to do, right? Oh's whole career depends on his ability to conjure up stories and bring them alive on the pages through words and pictures. It might be difficult but certainly not impossible to change the story around, especially because now it's going in an entirely random, romance tangent from the strictly/thriller genre that it was before. It's Oh's only chance to set things right. Too bad Chul shot him in the chest, though. Hopefully the guy isn't dead because that means a 2D character is stuck in the real world forever.
Chul is devastated to learn that he can never get a happy ending....or can he??
The last scene leads me to believe that if Oh is truly dead, then it's up to Yeon Joo now to continue the story. Perhaps she can give Chul the ending he wants, something that her father was incapable of doing. I guess that's what Chul meant when he said that he believes Yeon Joo to be the key to his life. We'll have to continue sticking it out to see just how Yeon Joo will save Chul and his story.