The last three episodes, which are Part 2 of Gyeongseong Creature, don’t change much in regards to the story presented in Part 1 of the series. However, just like Part 1, the cliffhangers are the best part of Part 2. They deliver far greater shock value and give us much more to think about than the entirety of the story does.
Let us start with some lighter topics, such as the pairing between Park Seo Jun and Han So Hee. They were the stars of the show, and they also had undeniable chemistry. Sadly, it was wasted. Technically, their characters, Tae Sang and Chae Ok, did not spend much time together. Tae Sang fell in love almost instantly, and then they partnered up for a mission where they both had a change of heart regarding certain things that put them on the same team. This is how we would describe their relationship. Tae Sang and Chae Ok are not being compared to Romeo and Juliet. They are more intelligent and mature than Shakespeare’s tragically stupid lovebirds. But the declaration of love felt empty in some ways. Or perhaps it could be the case of getting used to love stories (mostly Korean dramas) that are so well-developed from start to finish that the Tae-Chae couple is not able to match up. In such a case, it is not a real criticism because their love story was a tool for the Creature Feature and not the main plot. The chemistry between them is satisfying enough.
Our second point of contention is with Chae Ok herself. Was it required that she be only stone-faced or teary-eyed throughout the series? We believe that we brought this up in our review of Part 1 of Gyeongseong Creature as well. Strong women don’t have to be so joyless in life. The excuse that it is her coping mechanism just doesn’t fly when you see that there is a pattern of writing women this way and men, in comparison, are allowed to be complex, like Tae Sang, for example. Either way, Tae Sang was the only character who showed substance. That itself is a sad state of affairs when you consider the promised potential of each character. Let us assume that this writer did not know or did not have the freedom to write women better. But the men shouldn’t have been difficult. What about Ishikawa or even Jun Taek, for that matter? They were so one-dimensional that it felt like a waste of the actors. Ishikawa started the mission and was then written to eliminate himself with his senseless decisions. As for Jun Taek, his entire purpose was to show why the real hero of the day was Tae Sang. We truly hope that Wi Ha Joon did not waste much time on this. Finally, Lady Maeda made her appearance and character known too late. It was clear from the beginning that she was the villain. But we still don’t have an answer as to why that was so. If we consider the opinion that she is just working for the Japanese government, she still has a far more sinister mind than the mad scientist we saw in Part 1. Lady Maeda was cruel because of the absolute faith she had in her prejudices and the hopeless trappings of her marriage that bound her to her job. Exploring that right from the beginning would have been far more interesting.
Finally, the action of Parts 1 and 2 of Gyeongseong Creature was sorely lacking. When you operate with the idea that “real monsters are humans,” maybe show them fighting with more style and dedication or ruthlessness. It brings to mind the recent series “The Song of the Bandits.” Though an average story, it delivered on its promise of good action and style. Gyeongseong Creature was a monster feature, with the struggle for independence thrown in as a subplot. Shouldn’t there have been more focus on the style and scale of what was happening, or, in other words, shouldn’t the visuals have been paid more attention to?
No matter how much we like Park Seo Jun and Han So Hee, we cannot deny that this venture of theirs failed to impress. It grabbed the eyeballs but failed to sustain them. Even a few things done differently would have greatly elevated the story. For example, if Lady Maeda’s involvement had been more apparent or if she was shown as doing a lot more than being a petty bystander who only steps in at the last minute as the scorned lover, we would have had a formidable villain, which the series was lacking. There also needed to be a better representation of the biology and mind of the monster. Simply showing her to operate a lift or be affected by the presence of her daughter was insufficient and just did not add to the emotions or the story in any way.
At the end of Part 2 of Gyeongseong Creature, if you question what the purpose of the story is, you draw a blank. There was a lot of talk about patriotism, living in an unfair world, the madness of power, and the prejudices that are used as a crutch to gain that. But all of it was in a sentence or two and was never properly discussed or built upon. Even in terms of story, how did the characters help the greater purpose of independence? It shouldn’t have ended with the creation and destruction of the creature but encompassed a lot more. An easy reference would have been to look at a show like Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938, where the hero worship of Lee Yeon was masterfully combined with a substantial tale that kept people entertained. Because that is all we ask for when watching a story that takes over ten hours to unfold: that it be entertaining and worth it. Gyeongseong Creature failed miserably in both departments. They used all the keywords to paint a picture of a story with substance, but without the proper writing to accompany that, it was for nothing.