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Are You Human Too Episode 21&22 Recap

This episode is such a delight and a thrill to watch.


We start off the episode with real Nam Shin narrating in a voice-over, that he thought seeing robot Shin was a dream, and how he didn’t understand why they are standing Shin, a robot, in his place. Try acting like me all you want. When I wake up, it’ll all be over. 

We then see his fingers twitching, which was the scene that ended off last week’s episode. What they added on this time round, was that Young Hoon actually saw his fingers, and the whole team got the twitching videoed. The doctor tells them that human Shin’s gag reflex is working, and soon, he’d be able to wake up.


Meanwhile, robot Shin says that he’s looking at humans so that he can understand facial expressions better, and therefore understand So Bong better. But he doesn’t quite get her last fleeting expression. Knowing that it’s futile to lie in front of robot Shin, So Bong admits that she just wished for a moment for him to be a human.

Laura is wary of So Bong since she returned to be robot Shin’s bodyguard and even knew about the kill switch. She tells the crew not to let her know that the human Shin woke up, “Didn’t you see him decide and act on his own? If he remains near real Shin after he wakes up, it can get very dangerous.” David protests at her use of the word ‘real’, “Is he then a fake to you? Doesn’t he matter at all?” Laura grits out, “There’s only one real Shin anyway.” I’ve always been quite bothered about the word ‘real’ because attaching it to the name NamShin just somehow negates the existence of robot Shin (which is why in my recaps from the start, I referred to them as human and robot). They are both real. They are NamShins in their own right and certainly, one doesn’t replace the other. Actually, this is ironic but Laura shouldn’t even have created NamShin I to satiate her own selfish motherly urges. Ultimately, this is a mess a self-entitled human has created.

Robot Shin sends So Bong to the gym and wants to visit her father, but she stops him saying that nothing good will come out of seeing him. After she enters the gym, her father appears behind Shin. Haha! He tries to sound out Shin on how he feels towards So Bong and incidentally hears Shin’s new way of calling So Bong in banmal form. Shin clarifies that they are very special friends and he doesn’t trust anyone else like he does with So Bong. Sidekick comments that Shin doesn’t see So Bong as a woman, which is why he’s insisting that they are friends.


Dad verifies this with Shin, and Shin innocently replies, “Of course I see her as a woman. Her gender is female.” Hahahaha, Shin is so adorable.

Back at home, Jo finally shows us what a horrible woman she is by threatening So Bong with the video of Shin smashing the car that she has transferred to her phone. She even made a backup file! Now Jo, you are disgusting because this is not how you treat friends. This is not your property to begin with, and certainly none of your business. You have no right poking your nose where it doesn’t belong, and the way you insist on knowing what’s the deal with Nam Shin just makes me want to punch you real bad.

Young Hoon ponders about his earlier visit to human Shin where he held his hand and had the expression of desperate wishing for him to wake up. I feel like my absurd theory in the previous recap is coming true by the minute. Okay but it’s probably just Young Hoon feeling guilty.

He is interrupted by robot Shin who comes into his room to tell him happily that So Bong has returned. Shin lcomments that now he knows what relationship Young Hoon has with Shin – that of friendship. Just like how So Bong wants to protect robot Shin as a friend, “You want to protect human Nam Shin too. Right?” Look at him smiling just like a kid who got a quiz right.

Shin smiles and asks if Young Hoon wants to be friends with him since he looks exactly like the human Shin. He thanks Young Hoon for bringing him to Seoul where he experienced things, and one day, he will be friends with Young Hoon, “Because you are a good person whom I want to be friends with.” Young Hoon stays silent and Shin sees his discomfort, observing out loud that Young Hoon doesn’t want to be friends. He then offers to be brothers instead since he knows that human Shin calls Young Hoon hyung.

Seo tries to convince Ye Na to return home and threatens to do something to Shin if she doesn’t comply. Ye Na reveals that she has overheard everything, and that he had already done something to Shin.

Seo puts up a show about how he did all that so that he could survive; he did many dirty deeds for the Chairman but the Chairman would still kill him so that he doesn’t stand in Shin’s way. He begs Ye Na to tell him the truth about Shin so that the both of them can survive, but thankfully, Ye Na doesn’t fall for that. She stands up, enraged, and points out that Seo did all the dirty acts not because he had no choice but because he wanted something out of them, “You’re disgusting.”

The moment she leaves, Seo drops his facade of desperation and calls Park to track Ye Na because she definitely knows something about Shin.

Meanwhile, Laura looks at the kill switch again and David comes in. He tells her that when human Shin wakes up, he’s going to take robot Shin with him and stay in hiding in Czech. Laura doesn’t believe that human Shin will want to hide when he has already been accustomed to living in society.

David points out that Laura has spent 20 years with robot Shin, which is much longer than with human Shin. Before Laura can further retort, Ye Na cries out at Shin’s twitching fingers, so David and Laura have no choice but to tell Ye Na the truth – that human Shin will wake up soon.

We switch back to Jo, who has toned down a little by promising not to tell others the truth. Besides, no one would even believe her. I can’t believe So Bong thanks her for letting go of a story of a lifetime, and didn’t even get angry for Jo’s prying. Girl, just stay away from such friends! Nonetheless, I guess Jo is genuinely worried for So Bong, knowing that So Bong willing returned to Shin despite being intimidated by Seo, “Why are you endangering yourself for a stupid robot?”


So Bong cuts in, “He’s not a stupid robot. He doesn’t just look like a person. He’s much better than me and I’m a person.”


With gentleness in her voice and what is very apparent adoration in her eyes, she continues, “He knows how to hug someone who is sad, and to save someone who is in danger. He doesn’t lie and abides by the rules. He always keeps his promises. He’s always honest and sincere. He’s warm and smiles a lot.” Jo sighs and rants that So Bong is totally blindsided by love. So Bong is saved by Shin’s message, delivered through Malibo, “Friend, I’ll be there soon. Get ready and come out.”

So Bong quickly escapes and in the car, Shin grabs her hand without warning. He analyses her sleep the past night and asks why she slept so little, “If something’s bothering you, tell me. We are friends.” The way he’s so eager to please his friend really makes me want to squeeze his cheeks and coo at him. So Bong recalls Jo’s words but mutters to herself, “That’s right, we are friends.”

And unexpectedly to both of them, Shin’s eye winks – because So Bong is lying.

He’s taken aback, “Why are you lying? Aren’t we friends? You don’t want to be friends?” Look at how alarmed he is and So Bong quickly blames it on his sensor. Shin is confused but doesn’t press the point. He tells So Bong that he also asked Young Hoon to be his friend but he didn’t want to.

Shin stretches his right hand and says that his FT sensor must be wrong, especially since he broke a car for a friend. So Bong replies that that friend is too embarrassed to say thank you outright and Shin smiles.

In the office, Laura is uncomfortable to see So Bong but is cordial enough to robot Shin. The M-Car team has a meeting, which Grandpa crashes, and the team leader presents the idea that the M-Car can even save lives. People often point out that a driverless car is dangerous – what if the person has a heart attack and no one controls the car? No fear, because the car can be programmed to drive itself to the nearest hospital. They can also change oxygen levels in the car to help the driver. In other words, the car will save lives. Shin concludes the presentation, “M-Car can have another meaning. Medical Car.”

Laura approves of his idea, which surprises So Bong. Grandpa is pleased with the presentation and tells him to tidy it up so that the team can pitch it at the shareholders’ meeting next week. He praises Shin for working hard.

Later, Shin thanks Young Hoon and calls him hyung but Young Hoon is cold and distant, “Don’t call me that.” Shin looks a little hurt and asks if Young Hoon is angry. So Bong observes that something seems wrong, since Young Hoon just got praised by the chairman for doing a good job with Shin and yet he looks guilty. Young Hoon sends Shin ahead to speak with So Bong privately.  He’s getting busy so he will leave Shin with So Bong, “Please continue to be of strength to him.” I’m getting this inkling that Young Hoon is treating Shin like this because he feels guilty – he feels bad for warming up to robot Shin when human Shin is still alive (and waking up) and he feels bad for robot Shin whom is ultimately treated just as a replacement.

Robot Shin calls Laura to his office and tells her that he will do well; he will make things better for human when he wakes up, “So don’t worry.” Laura puts on a fake smile but her facade slips when she hears that Shin wants to come by the lab later to fix his sensor. She hurriedly insists that he cannot visit because the lab has problems.

So Bong learns about this from robot Shin and tests it out by calling David immediately. David slips up because he doesn’t even know that the lab’s supposed to be broken. So Bong, putting together Young Hoon’s earlier suspicious behaviour, knows that something is wrong and threatens to go the lab right now. In the next scene, we see Laura gazing proudly at human Shin’s twitching fingers video.

So Bong confronts her angrily on whether Laura kept the truth about human Shin waking up from the both of them in fear that So Bong will tell robot Shin about the kill-switch, “Are you afraid that he’ll run away? He wouldn’t run away because of his mum.” Laura replies, “You speak of him as if he’s a person.”

So Bong points out, “You made him look like one and treated him like one.” Exactly, I love how this show points out all the teeny cracks in Laura’s story – simplistically, she’s a creator of a machine and she has the power to decide when to stop its production. However, you can’t have your cake and eat it! You can’t make something to resemble a human being for your own needs and then start backpedalling furiously when you realise you are just a tad too successful. Robot Shin was never meant to be just a robot. If he was, he would simply be another version of Malibo.


Laura warns her not to tell robot Shin about the kill-switch and So Bong retorts that she wouldn’t even if Laura asked, “I can’t tell him something so cruel.” She, however, cleverly threatens Laura to tell robot Shin the truth of human Shin waking up, or else she would reveal the kill-switch, “Don’t make him a fool that got played. Tell him yourself.” Faced with no choice, Laura calls robot Shin to tell him.

So Bong escapes into the stairway to gather herself and lies to robot Shin on the phone that she’s in the bathroom. However, robot Shin appears, knowing that she’s lying. I mean, he has a GPS on her. He innocently asks about her lie and she deflects it.

She pretends to be happy and surprised hearing the news of human Shin waking up from robot Shin but Shin knows from her expression that something is wrong, “Don’t hide it. Tell me.”

So Bong forces a smile, “I’m not hiding anything,” so Shin takes up her hand and his eye immediately closes.


So Bong lashes out about his lie detector and GPS, “Who are you to track me? When I want to be alone, just let me. When I don’t want to get caught, pretend not to know! That’s what you do if you really understand me!”


Shin looks hurt as So Bong storms off.

Laura is furious with David for leaking the truth to So Bong and doesn’t get why David is going up against her this time. David protests that it’s because he always gave in to her, that he thought she will think from his point of view this time, “If you are going to dump him, dump him to me.” He exits the house and calls Grandpa with fresh updates. On Grandpa’s side, he’s neutral about human Shin waking up (wow, much heartlessness) but he warns David not to let the kill-switch be activated,  “Do whatever it takes to stop her. Otherwise, you will be useless to me too.” What do you think is David’s true motivation? Is it from the perspective of a scientist who just wants science to progress? Or a genuine desire to see robot Shin do well? Or as some point out, just a selfish urge to protect his profit and commercial project?

Back at home, So Bong realises that Maibo is missing from her room and frantically digs through thrash, finally locating it in one of the boxes. She wipes the dirt off the robot and recalls her harsh words earlier on.

Shin suddenly sends a message through Maibo, “Sorry about earlier. I won’t track you ever again. I’m sorry for not understanding. I’m sorry for being a robot.” She turns around to find robot Shin right behind her and dashes past him.

He asks, “Would it have been better if I were a human?” and this stops So Bong in her tracks.

“You wished that I wasn’t a robot. What happens to me when human Nam Shin wakes up? Where should I be and what should I do? I’m a robot so I need to be useful but I’ll be useless to Mum then.” Aww it pains me to hear robot Shin assessing his situation like that – it’s analytical and calm but yet you can tell that he’s lost.

So Bong retorts, “You’re useful enough for me,” and he doesn’t need to be useful for anybody. Shin smiles a little and says this is why he’s grateful for her because she understands him. This is why he wants to understand her too, like a human friend.

So Bong tells him to just stay where he is and not disappear, which leads Shin to ask, “Why would I disappear? I’m right here.” He steps forward and embraces So Bong.

So Bong points out that she’s not crying but he says, “You want to cry. I know. So go ahead and cry, Kang So Bong.” So Bong finally lets out the tears she has been holding back,

“You’re a robot, but why does my heart hurt so much?” and robot Shin holds on to her while she sobs her heart out.

I like this scene a lot because it shows that robot Shin is really evolving. He knows how to hug So Bong even before a tear escapes, showing his true desire to hug someone who is sad (echoing So Bong earlier), rather than it just being a rule programmed into him. He doesn’t need the tear to trigger his hug. Also, who threw Maibo away??? Did he walk there himself or did Jo dump him in, because if it’s the latter, I think it just dialed my hate notch for her up again.

Later at night, So Bong sits alone in the arena with Maibo and ignores a call from Shin. Shin speaks through Maibo and says that he will not track her using GPS because she may want to be alone. In the wee hours, So Bong lets out her emotions by punching the punching bag furiously. Dad, who thinks that So Bong is upset because she loves Shin while Shin only treats her like a friend, lets her be.

In the morning, Shin, who attempted to sleep like a normal human, opens his eyes with much anticipation but realises that So Bong didn’t call. I admit to being a teeny bit amused with a robot version of insomnia. Young Hoon notices Shin’s downcast expression and asks what’s wrong. Shin confesses that So Bong said her heart hurt because of him, “What should I do?”

Young Hoon softens a little and teaches him about humans – people need time, and ‘waiting’ cannot be defined with a number, “It’s until the other person feels better and returns.” Shin looks down at his phone and repeats, “Until she returns.”

It’s the day of the presentation. Laura leaves for the company and David sneaks into her lab, only to find that she has taken the kill-switch. He looks furious at his thwarted plans. Meanwhile, Seo downs alcohol, knowing that his career is over once Shin gives a fantastic presentation. Park arrives with good news that Ye Na’s phone has turned on, and therefore, they can track him.

So Bong dresses up for work, much to Jo’s confusion. Dad stops Jo and lets So Bong go for work, telling Jo that it’s best to let So Bong go as far as she can if stopping her won’t work. Jo scoffs, “That’s not what this is about. You don’t know anything.”

Ye Na continues to take care of human Shin but Seo arrives at the house due to the tracker. He pushes Ye Na to tell him the truth about Seo and Ye Na finally relents, in order to stop Seo from entering the house, “What you want isn’t here. It’s in the office.”

In the company, David signals for robot Shin to go aside privately. Robot Shin diverts Young Hoon and asks David about human Shin. David then tell robot Shin that there’s something he needs to know. So Bong meets Laura and begs on her knees, “Get rid of the kill switch.” Laura coldly tells her to get up and doesn’t succumb to So Bong’s threat of telling everyone that Shin is a robot. Once human Shin wakes up, everything will go back to where it is before but So Bong quietly points out, “Not everything, since he’ll be gone from the world.”

How could a mum of 20 years treat robot Shin like this, when even So Bong has started caring for him? “That’s not a real mum, that’s just a disgustingly self centered human.” Laura replies, “I can’t be a mum to both of them.”

Grandpa and Young Hoon enter to see Shin looking at his presentation materials with focus and concentration. So Bong dashes over to him and he smiles. She pleads with him, “You always do as I say. If you want to stay by my side, let’s go. I want to do that with you.”

Shin stares at her and asks why.

She replies, “Because I like you. I like you. I just like you. I like you unconditionally so don’t stay with these people and come with me.”

She grabs his hand and he looks down at their clasped hands. Before they can do anything, Seo appears triumphantly.

Seo finally realises what’s the deal with Shin, pointing to Laura, “She’s your mother but she didn’t give birth to you. She built you.”

Park brings in NamShin I and Seo rips off his face, calling NamShin I a monster. If Laura built a young NamShin, she could easily built an adult version, “Do you still insist you are a human with flesh and blood?”

So Bong tries to drag Shin away but suddenly Shin’s expression changes.

He flings So Bong’s hands away, holds a cup, brings it up and smashes it.


Everyone in the room gapes, including me, while his hand starts bleeding profusely. He looks at everyone with a deadly gaze, “Have you not seen a person bleed before?” He turns to So Bong, “You like me? Who do you think you are?”


-the end-

I really like that we aren’t just talking about Robot versus Human anymore. With this show, we are actually even thinking about what humanity means (which is part of the reason behind the title of the show). And I think that’s why we have so many varied humans around whom we don’t exactly like – Ye Na, Laura, Grandpa, Seo. It’s to test the premise of what exactly constitutes humanity? And what makes humans think they are so great?

I saw sooo many good theories about whether it’s human or robot Shin in that last ending scene and it was so fun to read! So I’m going to hazard a guess here as well (much as I’ve watched years of dramas, sometimes I’m still proven entirely wrong haha) – I think it’s human Shin in the ending scene because 1. the suit in the 2 scenes is different and there’s no reason to swop even if NamShin III is acting as human Shin 2. Shin seemingly isn’t wearing a watch (unless this is a wardrobe malfunction) 3. NamShin I is almost definitely a bait set up by David (perhaps with NamShin III) – because there is no reason that NamShin I is found in the office! It should have been left behind in Czech or even in Laura’s lab, but there’s no way that robot could have been found in the company 4. watching this scene a second time, I think Shin’s reaction to So Bong’s confession was very stiff – he only smiled at her at the start but thereafter, he questions her and refuses to budge when she pulled him. I think robot Shin would have at least stood up or be concerned.

Some people have brought up  the fact that it must be NamShin III because human NamShin hasn’t seen how the two interacted before and therefore, wouldn’t have known that he beams at her in that way. I’m guessing that human Shin knew how to smile at So Bong because David/robot Shin tutored him on his expressions, or least pointed out that So Bong is someone important to robot Shin. In order for the switch to succeed, it would make sense for them to try and put on a facade for So Bong because she would be the first to know if robot Shin isn’t himself.

As for next episode, I think human Shin isn’t that strong after coming out from the coma, which is why he’s only putting on a show for this scene and then he goes back to Laura’s house to recuperate while robot Shin takes his place in the hospital (which is why he’s donning the hospital gown when So Bong confesses to him again). Also, I don’t think robot Shin could ever bring himself to say something so hurtful to So Bong because of his rule to always protect her, and I doubt he will override it unless the big picture is framed in such a way as to benefit So Bong.

I’m honestly not too bothered about the whole issue of whether a human should fall in love with a robot. I know it’s problematic in itself, but it’s definitely not an issue particular to this one and only drama – this trope has been done over many times. If I can suspend my reality and belief to stories where humans fall in love with many different sorts of – gods, werewolves, vampires, aliens -, why not extend the boundary to robots?

I am so proud of this drama for making such good progress with the plot. Not one episode has been a filler thus far and every detail propels us deeper into the world. I held off the drama initially because of alleged scandals but boy, how silly that is of me. I ended up watching because I am a fan of Lee Joon Hyuk since City Hunter days (while I think Young Hoon is a great role, I do think that Lee Joon Hyuk deserves something more than a supporting character), but I have now come to love the leads so much. Seo Kang Joon is really an amazing actor and he’s hitting on the subtleties in the right place. I’m so glad we don’t have to wait a week for the next episode!


1 Comment

  1. Mary says

    Yesterday’s episode was amazing and I can’t wait to see what happens tonight. I love that the story is more and more thrilling and that the relationship between So Bong and Nam Shin III is making progress. That scene in the car when he asked why she was lying was hilarious and utterly cute at the same time. I can’t wait to see what happens when Nam shin III learns that So Bong likes him, haha!!

    Liked by 1 person

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