As the show continues, 'Goblin' is becoming more about romance and less about action. For some viewers, this development in the story line is the moment they have all been waiting for. However, for action lovers such as myself and hater of all things cliche, the show is getting a tad bit dull and uneventful at times. I do enjoy a good romance (particularly hoping for more between Sunny and the Grim Reaper) but I'm sensing a lot more difficulties coming Kim Shin's way.
Episode 4 dabbled deeper into the goblin Kim Shin (Gong Yoo)'s past as well as the relationship between him and Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun). Some moments felt a bit wonderful and filled with bliss, such as when they have their little water fight by the fountain or when they go out and drink together at the convenience store.
But other scenes have some tension and taboo-like feelings such as when Kim Shin picks Ji Eun Tak up from school looking like a total sugar daddy or how he gets drunk and flirtatious. Not to mention when Ji Eun Tak reminds him frequently that she is a teenager - and he is 937 years old.
Still, that doesn't stop her from trying to move in with Kim Shin and prevent him from leaving Korea. I mean, Kim Shin is responsible for her becoming homeless since he tricked Ji Eun Tak's aunt and relatives into pawning off stolen gold but Ji Eun Tak's character is oddly impatient and aggressive. Drama logic, yet again.
That awkward moment when your friends leave you alone with their parents.
Something about this drama and the dialogue combined give off an odd vibe at times regarding relationships and age. Age is just a number but viewers can't deny that people are already forming opinions (both negative and positive) about the ages of the main characters.
Even their actions (such as the odd head-patting scene) leave behind an awkwardness. At least the fun, childish, prankster relationship between Kim Shin and the Grim Reaper remains untainted.
After a few drinks, there was a crucial scene regarding Kim Shin and the sword. You can see he is still hiding from Ji Eun Tak. His unwillingness to mention the sword and its purpose proves he still can't open up to Ji Eun Tak or hurt her feelings. Ji Eun Tak believes his little white lie of "I'll become pretty once you remove the sword" and states she will pull it out on "the first snowfall," but what is this obsession with K-Dramas doing the most romantic or climatic scenes during "the first snowfall"? 'The Legend of The Blue Sea,' I'm looking at you!
Once again, Kim Shin's powers, alongside his purpose as a deity, come into question as he is frequently seen meddling with other's affairs. Whether he does it with the right intentions or not, the Grim Reaper (Lee Dong Wook) is never pleased with his actions - especially if it puts a stop in nature's intended plan. Whether he is using his emotions to control the weather or levitating more sharp knives at the Grim Reaper, it is comical to see Kim Shin use his powers to enchant people to fall in love!
But let us not forget after he enchanted the young couple at the cafe, he mentions "they have crossed paths in a past life," because this drama seems to keep pushing our attentions towards the past. For example, when Kim Shin reunites with that boy he met in episode 1 and helped him with his test scores and fed him a sandwich - he meddled for a reason.
During the boy's (who is now an elderly man) final hours of death, he meets with Kim Shin one less time as they discuss some serious dialogue regarding opportunities and not waiting for a miracle in order to do something in your life. This scene wasn't made for nothing, so I feel keeping this dialogue in the back of our minds will be important when Kim Shin and Ji Eun Tak come across a similar situation.
Another cool aspect the directors brought into the drama is the fact that just by looking at someone's face, Kim Shin can tell if they were reborn from a past life. The Grim Reaper can also see if someone is a reincarnate but only if he touches them, which Kim Shin belittles him for. I feel the director intended to make the Grim Reaper the butt of the joke (on numerous occasions) and because of Lee Dong Wook's cute reactions, I wouldn't want it any other way.
I will say, like everyone else, I am enjoying the bouts of aegyo the male leads exhibit now and again. It is always cute to see a guy using aegyo, and since Gong Yoo is so manly and Lee Dong Wook is quite calm and collected, their aegyo is 10 times better than most!
Returning back to the idea of magical powers, I really love that Ji Eun Tak is taking advantage of her abilities to see ghosts, especially to get back at that horrible school bully with the terrible bangs. The 4 female spirits seem to be the only guidance Ji Eun Tak can rely on, and I love how they knock the bully down a notch by putting cigarettes in her hands and getting her caught by the school staff!
When you can smell your friends alcohol breath a mile away!
Her ghoul-friends (Yes, I made that horrible pun) are turning out to be more useful than she could have imagined - which is why I'm speculating that they are responsible for giving her information regarding Kim Shin's sword and past.
Overall the character's are maturing nicely, aside from Ji Eun Tak who is still coming off as more unpredictable than before. Gong Yoo is putting on quite the performance as now the story makes his love life the center of attention. While he spends a lot of time reminiscing on his past love during the Joseon Era, the queen, he struggles to decide whether or not to continue life with the sword or to actually let Ji Eun Tak, the Goblin Bride he spent 900 years searching for, pull the sword and relieve him of his immortality.
The ending was romantic but also created a melancholic feeling - a sensational balance from the viewer's perspective. It seems that Kim Shin is simply struggling with his decision to end his immortality (which can be viewed as a selfish option similar to him approaching the King in the past) or staying with Ji Eun Tak until her possible death. Unless it is revealed that Ji Eun Tak has the power of immortality herself - or even more interesting, if she somehow works out some sort of deal with death - Kim Shin will be forced to witness the death of another loved one.
With all that in mind, we can only hope the next episodes will pick up the pace with a bit more drama and a lot more thought-provoking dialogue. For a drama that built up the lover status rather quickly between the two leads, it is taking a sudden halt in its development and we need to see a change - fast! The 'Goblin' keeps our attention but now it must strike while the iron is hot.