What Is The Ghost Doing? ~ Recap [TriAngle]
“That day, I erased you out of my life,
But you still remain in my memory
And I keep you with me in this picture.”
Pop goes the weasel!
∠ ~ Euphoria & Discomfort.
8 years ago, Cheon Dong wanted to congratulate Moo Rim on their first anniversary since her magician was quite happy to be with her! Instead, she told him to break up and she was serious while he thought she was just kidding! As for what did he do wrong? He was a loser during the day and a loser in bed too! Cheon Dong could only scream his lungs out while she was leaving!
8 years later, Cheon Dong goes to interviews to get a job, but she’s there reminded him what a loser he is during the day! And when he’s about to do something with another woman she’s there once again to remind him of what a loser he is in bed too! Moo Rim’s ecstatic laughter blends perfectly well with Cheon Dong’s lamenting screams which shake the night!
Cheon Dong’s mother can’t believe how happy she was when she gave birth to him and now that he’s reaching 30 he can’t even earn his keep! She thinks he pretends that his belly is hurting and once he tries to run away silently she notices him! His father caught him on his way out, but Cheon Dong managed to escape while both of his parents thought he was feigning illness in order not to carry the cabbages!
The evil colonoscopy doctor ordered Cheon Dong to relax his buttocks and the demonic finger shattered all life before his very eyes until relief embraced! It’s been some time since he last did and he visits the doctor once per 3 months, but Cheon Dong doesn’t want the doctor to refer to him as a patient! The doctor points that because he can’t do it with others or by himself, that’s why he comes to him every 3 months and suggests Cheon Dong to visit a psychiatrist since he thinks the origin of his problem is pathogenic!
There she is telling him not to be nervous and there she is again calling him a blockhead! And once Cheon Dong chases the paper on the floor it keeps going further away every time he tries to reach it and even if he falls down the most painful part of the story was the split in front of the stairs! The paper led him at Moo Rim’s funeral since on that paper was lying the painting of her face along with Cheon Dong’s further artistic concerns! Cheon Dong can’t believe he’s seeing Moo Rim on the paper, on the picture and right in front of him at the same time! He slaps himself but it won’t work and then he tries to escape, but Moo Rim follows him everywhere and he will definitely need a psychiatrist, not for his thing but for himself!
Chae Dong’s scared to death and he thinks it’s a prank composed by Moo Rim! He can’t believe it’s her, but she looks like Moo Rim, the one he knows, but a while ago at the funeral, she looks like her too and starts thinking that a fake funeral was taking place! Moo Rim informs him that her parents would never work on a fake funeral and Cheo Dong thinks that if she is Moo Rim and Moo Rim is dead, then the person standing in front of him is actually a ghost! She takes him in front of a mirror by her side and he can only see his own reflection. She’s really Moo Rim and she’s really a ghost! Cheon Dong falls on the ground crying out that she’s a ghost and everyone around starts watching at him since he’s the only one they can see!
He’s at the funeral again and Moo Rim emphasizes on the fact that she didn’t want to die so young, but she doesn’t recall why she died either. She tries to scare him once again pretending to be a ghost while being one and she wants Cheo Dong to ask her parents the reason why she died by introducing himself as a friend of hers! Even though he leaves Cheo Dong keeps following him around and he can’t believe he’s the only one seeing her and starts screaming! Of course, everyone starts staring at him believing something’s wrong with his brain! Moo Rim has a task for him, she wants him to find for her the man she loved. She doesn’t recall anything about him and Cheo Dong will be the one to find the answers. He asks her if she’s still scared of bugs since one was on her and of course it was a prank for him to escape by entering the bus!
Cheon Dong’s relieved he ran away, but there she is again and he starts screaming with everyone thinking he’s a lunatic! She warns him that she’s a piece of cake of a ghost and she appears with her most ghastly presence scaring him to a wider extent! She orders him to find her loved one for her and once he says that he will do it only over his dead body the bus horizon darkens and once they reach the tunnel all of the passengers, including the driver, have turned into ghosts urging him to care about himself instead of them! The end feels near and once he screams that he will help her everything’s back to reality!
∠ ~ Footsteps in the fog.
He’s laying back on a bench and Moo Rim’s there once again and pats him on his butt! She threatens him again and Cheo Dong lets her know that he will help her. She takes him to her house and he takes the talisman off the door so that she’ll be able to enter. Moo Rim’s so happy she can enter her place again and they start searching for evidence of who could be the man she loved. It’s also the first time Cheon Dong entered her room.
Cheon Dong found her underwear and hastily put them back, but then again he found many childish things and started thinking if she was really 29 years old! He found the man’s ID card and Moo Rim hugged Cheon Dong full of happiness! Since he fulfilled his tasks he intends to leave, but she won’t let him because he has to be around once she meets Joon Hyeok who won’t be able to see her, but he’ll be able to listen to everything she has to say through Cheon Dong. He’s not willing to comply and she asks him if he ever fell in love before and not being able to meet the person he loved. Cheon Dong points out he had never fallen in love so he doesn’t understand what she wants to convey.
8 years ago after he had broken up with Moo Rim and he was drinking he asked the same questions to his friends who couldn’t understand his condition. The day he was joining the army he saw Moo Rim in the distance and he ran towards her. Cheon Dong asked her why she was there and she took his hand off her letting him know that she was there to see her boyfriend off. He witnessed someone waving towards their direction and he ran after the bus swearing at him.
Since he was late on his first day in the army he was taught a few lessons by exercising in the rain and promised that he will finish the rest of his service well and that he will succeed in his life afterwards! During one interview he stated that he overcame the hardships of young while studying hard and everyone believed that his girlfriend must have left him and they started thinking that he may be useless! He didn’t pass the interview and his world was filled with the “a loser during the day and a loser in bed” motto!
Cheon Dong’s on his bed hoping that the message he received would be positive, but he failed another interview. He always fails because of Moo Rim! He took out the copies of her painting and started transforming them into something funny while thinking that she was eating so many bugs and her teeth got rotten and creating artificial nosebleed thinking that he made her look prettier! Once the copies reached the end there was only the original left, but she was so beautiful he couldn’t harm it, it’s the painting that keeps her close to his heart.
He’s once again at her funeral and he thinks he should visit a real psychiatrist as he feels like a senior citizen even though he’s 29. Moo Rim’s there as he tries to hold back his tears and once he tells her that he will help her she brightens! However, after he helps her he will never have to see her again. Once of the nurses notices he was talking to himself and she asks him if he has any issues. Once he tells her that he wants to see the psychiatrist she understands and accompanies him to the waiting hall.
Since this is the last time she will be seeing him Moo Rim wants to have a big impact upon him with her feelings! She wants him to remember how much she loved him and have beautiful memories of her. Once again, Cheon Dong looks like he was talking to himself and the nurse told him that he can take his invisible friend with him at the doctor’s office! Cheon Dong asks Joon Hyeok if he knows Moo Rim and the doctor wants to know the reason why he’s asking him that. It’s because he’s her friend and once he starts talking about her another woman appeared with ther wedding invitations. Neither Cheon Dong nor Moo Rim could believe their eyes and things got emotionally complicated.
Moo Rim cries her heart out since thing didn’t turn out as expected. Cheon Dong points out he kept his promise so she should keep hers as well and vanish from his life. If he had said anything else inside the doctor’s office he would had been treated like a nutcase and she’s apologetic. Cheon Dong urges her to find out that she did to him emotionally and starts shouting at her, but an ahjumma started hitting him for talking like that to a girl. The nurse took her away but Moo Rim had already left. As he walks alone he doesn’t feel quite well and recalls his interactions with Moo Rim before and after she found out her loved one would get married.
Cheon Dong went back to find the doctor and he urged him to remember all these good memories with Moo Rim and that he should be happy every time he brings her in his mind. The moment the doctor thinks this is a misunderstanding Cheon Dong started uttering Moo Rim’s words and eventually punched the doctor. Both of them found themselves at the police station and the police officer can’t believe Cheon Dong’s story when it comes to the ghost! However, the moment the doctor found out that his name was Cheon Dong he told him that he always wanted to meet him as he was Moo Rim’s doctor.
∠ ~ Realization, awakening, bliss, closure.
Joon Hyeok took Cheon Dong to Moo rim’s hospital room and told him she had Alzheimer’s. She hoped that her condition would worsen slowly and she broke up with Cheon Dong because she didn’t want him to see her suffering even more day by day. She always hoped she would never regret that decision and once day she left the hospital because she wanted to see Cheon Yong for one last time. It’s the day he was joining the army. While Cheon Yong was running after the bus she slowly left in tears but due to her sickness she didn’t know where she was all of a sudden. The doctor found her at the police station and she thought he was Cheon Dong and took off his necklace name thinking it was Cheon Dong’s.
As the illness was progressing her brain was functioning less and less, but still, she would keep loving the distant memory of Cheon Dong and all she would write was “Cheon Dong sorry, i love you, thanks” and that she misses him. She didn’t want to do anything else except for writing and it was always Cheon Dong oriented. The doctor gave Cheon Dong her diary. Even though she wouldn’t remember her own name, she kept remember Cheon Dong and until the end she was severely missing him. The doctor told him that if her soul came to him while missing someone she loved then he knows by now that is no other than Cheon Dong himself. He can’t hold back his tears and rushes to her funeral, but it was already over and started wandering around, trying desperately to find her.
Devastated and with tears in his eyes he wanted to see her one more time before her departure. The sick lady who had scolded him earlier that afternoon appeared and told him that he won’t be able to find her since she wouldn’t recognize him anymore. Cheon Dong acknowledges he held unto an incorrect memory and pushed her away the moment she came to see him, he knows he’s at fault and he wants the lady to find her for him. It won’t be easy now that he had hated her during all this time he wasted for her. However, he didn’t know why she left like that and even though he never tried to find her he never forgot her. Cheon Dong was thinking of her every day and he was missing her so much to the extent of hating her.He thought it would be better if he cursed at her and that’s why he did that and that’s the only truth. The lady informs him that if he conveys his feelings for her he may find her, but there’s no guarantee she would remember him. All he has to do is to go at the place where their most precious memories were born.
He recalls the days at a gathering where he introduced himself and only Moo Rim was cheering for him. He wanted to run a guesthouse and become a webtoon artist. She wouldn’t take her eyes off him and after his introductions she went to ask his name! She took his necklace name and made it her own! On his way there he keeps thinking that he should had been aware of the truth so that she wouldn’t suffer alone. Once upon a time she couldn’t open her bottle of water and pop went the weasel as Cheon Dong opened it for her! Moo Rim told him that he looks like a magician, someone who can make anything happen! At the present he keeps thinking that if he was someone who could make anything happen she should have told him she was in pain and he’s apologetic once again for not protecting her.
Inside the library Cheon Dong was studying and Moo Rim would only stare at him! She asked him if he wanted to become her magician and Cheon Dong thought of another meaning, the one of someone being pure until turning 40 and she left! He ran after her and right now he’s walking among the woods just like back then! He sat by the tree and opened her notebook and before reading all these repetitive lines he noticed that Moo Rim’s wish was to get cured and see him again by the time she would finish this notebook. He only wishes she would had finished it in order to meet him after getting cured and he started writing from where she stopped in the exact same way, only the name changed as he was referring to her.
Back in the days, she was pissed off he didn’t want to become her magician, but he promised he would. She initiated the first kiss and in a cloud of bliss she progressed towards the second one; pop goes the weasel! And there was such a beautiful hug! Back at the present, the morning found Cheon Dong by the tree still writing. Once he finished the notebook Moo Rim appeared in slight mist and passed him by. He kept calling out her name but she wouldn’t recall him until he told her “pop goes the weasel, you are so pretty” and “pop goes the weasel, i really love you.” She turned around and as he kept uttering these phrases she recognized the magician and he rushed to take her in his embrace with both of them having been lost in tears!
She replies back “pop goes the weasel, you are so cool Cheon Dong” and “pop goes the weasel, i really love you Cheon Dong” and it’s his turn to take the initiative in the kiss factor! She thanks him for finding their happy memories while he’s apologetic for not being there for her when she was suffering. She urges him not to as she was so happy and thankful for helping her remember. She received so much love that she will take it with her and he intends to keep the love she offered with him as well. They bid farewell one another filled with tears and beautiful smiles carved upon their faces as he steadily lets go of her hand. Moo Rim stares at Cheon Dong for one last time and they wave at each other as she vanishes in rainbow light and stardust!
At the present the tissues disappear faster than expected and it seems like Cheon Dong’s health issue has been solved! His parents will go on vacation and he will take care of the guesthouse! He walks around the streets and he can see people with the ghosts of their loved ones by their side.
“Thanks to you i have opened my eyes to a new world,
A world that seemed scary and sad,
But the time with loved ones still flows here.
For those who have passed on,
The people still living here need to work harder to be happier.
The hearts that remember loved ones sparkle in the darkness.
That’s so that those who are lost and haven’t come back yet can find their way home.”
He drinks his beer under the moonlight thinking of Moo Rim and a ghost appeared! He was there because Moo Rim told him about Cheon Dong’s charisma as he was the best at fulfilling dead people’s wishes! And she is, Moo Rim’s on top of a gate and she’s shining; aegyo ghost! She owed the ghost a favor and he wants Cheon Dong to find his wife for him while Cheon Dong cries out Moo Rim’s name urging her to come down and help him!
“Wherever you’re shining brightly, i will know it’s you.“
◎ ~ Circular view.
Haven’t you ever dated anyone?
Haven’t you ever been in love?
Not being able to meet again the person you love…
Don’t you know how that feels?
What Is The Ghost Doing? is probably the most concrete South Korean production i watched this year as it had beginning, middle and end with all the necessary and insightful flashbacks that played their own part in the progress of the story. I can already imagine what a great drama it could had been since many aspects of one single episode could had been presented throughout a 16-episode duration!
The reasons for watching this drama special were very specific, it was because of Lee Joon and Jo Soo Hyang, but the storyline itself was yet another reason that rewarded me in the end. I am definitely going to keep re-watching What Is The Ghost Doing? in the future in order to revive in front of my very eyes the perfection it preserves.
Lee Joon is a living masterpiece, he never ceases to amaze me. On top of that, he keeps amazing me to a wider extent every time he works on something new. He’s one of the brightest examples of an actor who makes me think that he will never disappoint me. Lee Joon has to work really work in order to depict a disappointing performance and i am pretty certain that if he works that hard the outcome will be the opposite by offering yet another exemplary side of his.
What Is The Ghost Doing? is the perfect meet and greet opportunity for someone who hasn’t seen Lee Joon acting before. His role as Cheon Dong reflects almost all of his sides within almost 1 hour and 20 minutes, but not all of them since Lee Joon is multifaceted and he has proven it throughout his roles.
Lee Joon as Cheon Dong is like a quirkier mixture of Dae Han (Mr. Back) and In Sang (Heard It Through The Grapevine) far away from the sickening textures of Tae Oh (Gap Dong) and the broken aesthetic of Oh Young (An Actor Is An Actor). In addition, Cheon Dong is a bright example of how great Lee Joon would be in a slapstick comedy drama with romantic aspects. At this very moment, Lee Joon is more than ready to work on a first lead figure!
Jo Soo Hyuang is a highly promising and rising force in the world of acting. I first met her in School 2015 and i was amazed at the way she brought to life a seemingly one-dimensional figure by making So Yeong pound with so much hatred. I also wanted to treasure her interpretation in Snowy Road, but the absence of subtitles prevents me from watching it for the time being.
What Is The Ghost Doing? was the perfect example of how talented she is as she managed to present more aspects of her acting skills which range from a highly comedic performance to a dramatic and romantic one eventually. She has so much to offer and i am already looking forward to her next attempt. In her eyes i have witnessed the same multifaceted hints i had seen in Lee Joon’s passionate sparkle for acting when i started following him and i deeply hope that she will live up and surpass my personal expectations.
While other couples struggle to forge chemistry within 16 or more episodes, Lee Joon and Jo Soo Hyuang needed just a few minutes and the magic was there. Both of them were so natural and fresh it felt as if they knew each other for years. I humbly bow in front of them for the 1 hour and 20 minutes of magic through What Is The Ghost Doing?. After all Cheon Dong was her magician who could make anything happen in front of her very eyes for her eyes only and Moo Rim was devoutly receiving all this magic as his muse.
Their quirky explosions were magnificent and this couple never failed to make me laugh my lungs out with Cheon Dong shouting and Moo Rim driving him crazy! His facial expressions at her funeral the first time he witnessed her all over the place were hilarious. It was the face of someone who was going crazy while trying to convince everyone that he’s pretty sane!
Lee Joon jumping, falling, running, screaming through supersonic and echoing earthquakes and losing his mind as Cheon Dong while everyone around him would think he’s crazy was as humorous as it could get! And the invisible to others but omnipresent to his eyes Moo Rim was always there to raise hell in front of his very eyes with her explosive temperament!
Moo Rim trying to convince him to help her find her loved one for one last time was heartrending in an adorable way because that person was no other than Cheon Dong himself. At first she drove him crazy, then she was so cute in order for Cheon Dong to comply and then she drove him even crazier until he decided to help her after the bus ride to hell!
He would never want to help her find her loved one, but he did so because he knew how it feels to long for someone’s presence in one’s life without being able to acquire it. It’s because he had dated someone and he had been in love and he knew how it felt not being able to meet the person he loved for a long time. It was always about her and he knew how it felt, that’s why he didn’t tell her the reason behind his sudden decision.
Cheon Dong’s happiness was ruined overnight the moment she decided to walk upon a separate path and just like his life was floating in oceans of bliss in one hand, on the other hand it was ruined in her very absence because he never got to know the reasons why she left him so suddenly. As the story was progressing all the humorous aspects surrendered to an ever-expanding emotional charge of heartrending moments from the past that started making so much sense at the present.
She was everywhere, in the twofold farewell at the bus station the day he was joining the army, in the interviews he was failing one after the other, in his inability to get closer to other women, in the painting which was keeping Moo Rim in his memories and he was so unable to destroy the original. He would only paint upon its copies to pretend he would feel better. He wanted to see her happy for the last time even if her happiness would be for someone else. This love story just breathes a good old Korean ballad air through a modern prism, it possesses an old school sense of melancholy, longing, fulfillment and closure.
After both of them witnessed with their own eyes that the doctor was with someone else and even after Cheon Dong scolded her and urged Moo Rim to never appear in front of him again he couldn’t give it a rest. The person he loved would pass in the afterlife with her most precious wish unfulfilled and the only thing he could do was to visit once again the doctor and unveil Moo Rim’s feelings in his own eruptive way.
That’s how he found out that he was always the one and only she ever loved and longed for his presence in her life. That’s why Alzheimer’s kept her far away from him because she wanted him to remember her at her finest. She didn’t want to burden his life with her own suffering and she decided to put an end to their relationship even if it would hurt both of them.
She kept writing and writing about the most powerful states of the heart which were always Cheon Dong oriented, but her writing was simplistic given the health circumstances. It was all about how much she loved him, how apologetic she was and how much she missed him, so much sincerity through so much simplicity to keep his distant yet so warm memory alive even though she had forgotten who she was.
The struggle to get treated by the time she would have finished her notebook in order to be with him again was immense. Eventually, the emotional realization of Cheon Dong when it comes to her real feelings, but also his own feelings, paved the way. He hated her because he loved her and it was killing him on the inside the fact that she was absent from his life. But all this hate was yet another way to keep her alive deep inside and i loved the parallel past-present presentation while he was trying to find her on his way towards the place which held alive their most beautiful common memories.
“Do you want to become my magician?”
Sitting by the tree and writing in a Moo Rim oriented way to finish her notebook so that she may appear for one last time was such an intense scene. It was all about these blissful memories from the past that would blossom anew in front of his very eyes. And we got to witness all these heartwarming interactions when they first met, the playful attitude at the library and the craving for more magic between them which led to their first and second kiss with Moo Rim initiating both of them back in the days.
And there she was passing him by as she was unable to remember, but the magician who could make anything happen made it happen again for the emotional closure both of them wanted. He uttered the phrases they were familiar with and Cheon Dong rushed in the renowned Lee Joon hug style which is always empowered by love! Why? Because Lee Joon can’t be controlled, his hugs are always explosive making you think he could kill his partner with love and then follow her in the afterlife!
It was Cheon Dong’s turn to take the initiative when it comes to a kiss and Moo Rim could finally depart from this world having found her loved one who continued living with a different mindset filled with a beauteous reminiscence of the past devoid of all these traumatic memories which had their own impact upon him, not only emotionally but also physically!
What Is The Ghost Doing? is an ode to the power of love and the sacrifices that may occur at some point in one’s life. It’s a power which may skyrocket one’s life to the highest peaks of utter bliss, but it can also devastate one’s life in the very absence of everything two people used to be. It’s also an ode to the loved ones that have departed from this world, but there are the beautiful memories that keep them alive among us on a journey without them yet always with them by our side. What Is The Ghost Doing? is dancing among explosive humor and emotional crescendos and one way or another it forces you gently to partake in its dance even if you don’t know the steps.
“The hearts that remember loved ones sparkle in the darkness.
That’s so that those who are lost and haven’t come back yet can find their way home.”