Edited by Hwang Hong Sun
Translated by by Kim Hoyeun
The hugely popular The Uncanny Counter, premiered in 2020, returned triumphantly for a second season. With the return of the hero So Mun and the indomitable Counters that hunt evil spirits, the addition of a fresh face promises enhanced teamwork dynamics. However, the evil spirits they’re up against this time are more formidable and sinister than before, setting the stage for a fiery confrontation between good and evil.
Season 2 welcomes back the entire team of Counters from the first season, all without any departures. Having realized his true strength, Jo Byung Gyu stands tall in his role as So Mun, joined by a formidable team that includes Kim Se Jeong, Yoo Joon Sang, Yeom Hye Ran, and Ahn Seok Hwan. Together, they are an unstoppable force, fearlessly taking on evil spirits. While they may bicker among themselves, their undeniable chemistry and mutual reliance remain riveting in season 2.
However, the evil spirits have upped their game too. Kang Ki Young, who previously showcased his gentle charm as a mentor in Extraordinary Attorney Woo, takes on the chilling role of the evil spirit leader, Pil Gwang. Kim Hiera‘s entrance as evil spirit Gelly is reminiscent of the villain Lee Sa Ra from her previous series, The Glory. With their inclusion, the evil spirits’ presence is considerably intensified.
The drama’s action-packed highlights and scale have been impressively upgraded. Right from the opening scene, the blockbuster-level car chase sequence showcases the ambitious aspirations for the new season. The showdown between the Counters and the evil spirits is both more in quantity and quality. Pil Gwang and his cohorts take on a team of Counters in China, delivering a visual spectacle with dynamic visual effects and fluid camera angles. While the previous season felt somewhat lacking in terms of supernatural battles, season 2 delivers action sequences that are truly second to none.
In particular, the narrative twist where the evil spirits can absorb the counters’ powers promises enthralling developments. Episode 4 delivers a high-octane showdown between So Mun, who harnesses the power of the Territory, and Pil Gwang, who, after absorbing a Chinese Counter leader, exhibits similar powers, creating an epic scene from a big-budget superhero film. Given that each evil spirit possesses powers comparable to the Counters, this season’s battles are more exhilarating than the previous season.
While season 2 has surpassed its predecessor in many ways, not everything hits the mark. The charm of the characters feels subdued. One of the captivating elements of the first season was watching So Mun come to terms with his latent power and maturity throughout the story. In contrast, season 2 seems to lack that growth trajectory. While So Mun, having already reached the pinnacle of his powers, may be a reliable ally for the other Counters, he now feels more generic and unexciting.
The same applies to the other Counters. Though it’s delightful to see familiar faces, the familiarity with their backstories and abilities means that their personal narratives lack impact. To offset this, the show introduces Jeok Bong (played by Yoo In Soo), who can track evil spirits through scent. However, his naive and quirky antics are often reduced to mere comic relief. On the bright side, the evil spirits this season offer a more varied and compelling allure, striking a balanced contrast between our heroes and villains.
It’s a common challenge for sequels to a successful series to keep the narrative fresh. Fortunately, The Uncanny Counter 2 continues to magnetize viewers with its magnified scale and direction. Fresh narratives of new characters breathe life into the show, adding depth and broadening the overall canvas of the story.
Particularly eye-catching is the journey of firefighter Joo Seok, who becomes embittered after his wife’s death. Thanks to the remarkable acting ability of Jin Sun Kyu, Joo Seok’s internal struggle between good and evil is convincingly portrayed, adding strength to the drama. This is likely why episodes 3 and 4 were much more engaging compared to the somewhat scattered first two episodes. With Joo Seok succumbing to the evil spirits’ temptations, Pil Gwang’s machinations, and the relentless Counters who must stop them, the real story is only just beginning. “Noodle shop’s on a break – They’re back to hunt the evil spirits!” (7/10)
Editor Hwang Hong Sun: A Korean movie buff who wishes that the warm messages in good works will warm up this world at least by one degree Fahrenheit.