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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "The Night Watchman's Journal" Episode 14


I liked the shocked expression and reactions Sadam goes into here, realizing that someone is actually fighting him on the whole sneaky ghost business. Given everything that's happened up until now it's understandable that the man is fairly perplexed. It's also understandable that his own counter-initiatives to take down the main characters prove less than inspiring. The guy's been working pretty hard what with all the night ghost business, the dragon reviving, and political maneuvering. It's tough trying to just focus on one thing.

"The Night Watchman's Journal" has moved (I hope) into a general pattern. There's less here that can be really be called deliberate action. Mostly it's just all build-up and communication. What differentiates this from previous episodes is that there's not much in the way of annoying misunderstandings that could be easily cleared up by simple conversations. It's more a matter of, all right, this is what we just did, what can we help you do next since we all have the same basic goal.

It's a marked contrast to Sadam's attempted machinations, which as usual prove incredibly complicated since he's trying to make people more powerful than him do things they don't actually want to do on the basis of threats that can't be proven. I actually really like seeing characters take shots at Sadam, not because I think he's a particularly good villain, but because everything he does is set up like an elaborate house of cards. The slightest obstacle could and probably should unravel everything.

The world building continues to be confusing, but at least the drama isn't reveling in it. At this point the only part of the mythology I don't fully understand is the question of who sees ghosts under what circumstances and why. This episode seems to imply that not everything is actually a ghost. Some of them may just be deranged hallucinations. I'm not very confident in this assumption, mostly because the writing has been inconsistent enough that this could easily just be a bad guess on my part.

"The Night Watchman's Journal" is still not really a good drama- it's just a substantial improvement over what we've been seeing so far. The problems of bad build-up still abound, though. That whole thing with the extended bloody note and death scene are just...well, it's kind of absurd, to be sure, but the main problem with these events is that they're just not all that memorable. This drama's had a lot of trouble with attention span and that doesn't seem likely to change soon.

Review by William Schwartz

"The Night Watchman's Journal" is directed by Lee Joo-hwan and Yoon Ji-hoon, written by Bang Ji-yeong, Kim Seon-he, Yoo Dong-yoon and features Jung Il-woo, Ko Sung-hee, Yunho, Seo Ye-ji, Yoon Tae-young and Kim Heung-soo.


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