Gwi's plan to legitimize his rule of the world is, as to be expected, fatally flawed because Gwi vastly overestimates his own intelligence. Humans aren't complete idiots. The vampires showed up at the same time the Gwi rumors got serious, and no one can vouch for Gwi having done anything, well, not unnecessarily violent and selfish. By contrast, Seong-yeol has been the beneificiary of his own advertising campaign in the form of Yang-seon's novels. So that's what it comes down to- a war of vampire public relations.
...That has to be among the most ridiculous vampire story ideas I have ever heard. And that's a good thing. "Scholar Who Walks the Night" has finally come up with some interesting innovative material, and now I find myself wishing that that Yang-seon's novels had gotten way more exposition earlier on in the drama instead of just seeming to be a one-off joke. Of course that would be the key to defeating Gwi- he would never debase himself by reading pulp fiction. His one weakness.
"Scholar Who Walks the Night" has never really been super terrible, but this entire part of the story is just such awful wasted potential. It is so much more fun to have Seong-yeol react to crowds rather than just brooding in the abcess of his own imagination. It's all so dynamic- and organic, too, for the drama to deal with Seong-yeol's self-esteem issues by letting other people judge whether or not Seong-yeol is a terrible person / vampire.
Unfortunately the turnabout is relatively late this episode, so we have to spend a lot of time waiting for the real fight to actually begin while it's more of the usual for "Scholar Who Walks the Night". As far as faint praise goes, I have to give the drama this much credit- the worldbuilding is consistent. The characters can be frustratingly stupid at times, but the obstacles are never all that arbitrary.
As far as stronger praise goes I really should mention that the musical score is pretty good. Especially the fight theme. It all goes down a lot better now that the drama has finally gotten down to the gritty fight of good versus evil instead of good and evil struggling against their own lack of competence. "Scholar Who Walks the Night" can be good, on a fundamental level, when that's what it wants to do. Let's hope it keeps this mood through the final stretch.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Scholar Who Walks the Night" Episode 18"
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