I am so proud of our robot taking little teeny steps!
We now see the truth of what happened – Shin woke up way earlier than anyone knew, other than Ye Na (when did he exactly wake up??) who kept the secret for him and remarked that the rest were fools. Shin didn’t trust anyone, not even his mother. On the day of the presentation, human Shin intentionally got Ye Na to turn on her phone so that she can be tracked. The entire thing was planned – Ye Na gave NamShin 1 to Seo and after Seo left, she drove human Shin to the company. David never told Robot Shin anything, Robot Shin was tricked by Ye Na to go to Laura’s house and thereee we go, right back to the ending scene where human Shin was the one who broke the glass.
Although I got the helper wrong – Ye Na instead of David, I’m pretty pleased that most of the guesses in my previous recap turned out right! And since I’ve watched the ending of last episode a second time for the recap, I was quite sure it was human Shin because he just wasn’t reacting like robot Shin. If you haven’t, do give that scene a watch again and you would know what I mean. I love it that Seo Kang Joon managed to pull the human-Shin-pretending-to-be-robot-Shin-who-was-pretending-to-be-human-Shin meta thing going on.
So Bong rushes out whilst human Shin faints right after. She worriedly calls robot Shin, thinking something must have happened due to the kill switch. Thankfully, robot Shin is innocently waiting at Laura’s house and So Bong tells him to rendez-vous at the bicycle meeting spot. David belatedly learns from Grandpa that human Shin has turned up in robot Shin’s place and boy, Grandpa IS furious. I feel like Grandpa is very avant-garde in his way of thinking – while most of us would still value blood ties for example, Grandpa measures worth almost by capability exclusively. Therefore, if robot Shin is better than human Shin, he would rather robot Shin be in existence.
So Bong rushes to the meeting point but doesn’t see anyone. Shin turns up behind her and she rushes up.
He tells her that he waited; he didn’t track her and waited for her to return.
So Bong steps forward and hugs him, “Don’t go anywhere.”
Human Shin is brought back to Laura’s house and Laura gives Ye Na a scolding on hiding the truth from the rest. Just because Shin has woken up doesn’t mean he’s alright physically.
Although robot Shin knew that human Shin has woken up, he’s not threatened at all and even wants to know if human Shin is exactly like how he imitated. So Bong recalls human Shin’s last cruel words to her and mutters, “He’s nothing like you.” She lashes out when robot Shin says he’s curious about human Shin and wants to visit him.
Young Hoon calls robot Shin and So Bong intercepts the phone call – Young Hoon wants robot Shin go to the hospital in human Shin’s place and So Bong rejects the proposition. Laura snatches the phone over but before she can unleash yet another selfish, self-entitled speech, David snatches it over and tells So Bong, “Trust me and go to the hospital. I need to discuss something with you so I will stop by.” From now on, he’s going to fight Laura.
He later yells at Laura, “Getting rid of him doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. You thought of your son whenever you looked at him. Don’t you think your son will remind you of him?” In a slight shift of narrative by the drama, he points out that Laura will be too soft to let robot Shin go and him wanting the kill-switch is actually to make things easier for her.
Meanwhile, robot Shin is admitted to the hospital and replays the moment of So Bong rushing up to him earlier out of worry. He asks So Bong if she cried because she was happy, “Were you so happy that your friend, whom you thought has disappeared, turned up?”
So Bong bravely admits, “You’re not my friend anymore. It’s because I like you more. Not as a friend but like a human man.”
She offers her hand for him to use his lie detector. He innocently questions her on the chemical reactions in her head when she says she likes him. HAHA. She replies that to her, it’s a feeling, “I just want to see you and be with you.” She knows that emotions are hard to understand because they cannot be seen.
Shin suddenly hugs her because he wants to see if he can feel her but apologises, “Not yet. Sorry.” I just realise – did he hug her because of the physical notion of ‘feel’?
So Bong is alright with that – after all, she didn’t like him expecting something – and gives robot Shin her necklace as a sign of her love. David appears to discuss options with So Bong. There will be no use running away since the kill-switch can be activated remotely. They can Shin off such that the kill-switch doesn’t work but then that will render him effectively like a corpse. This gives So Bong an idea.
Human Shin finally wakes up but you can tell that he’s hurt despite finally see Laura properly for the first time. Laura reaches out to caress his head but he turns it away, “Do you really consider that thing to be your son?” He doesn’t want to talk to Laura and tells her to bring Young Hoon instead. Young Hoon smiles and asks if he’s okay. Human Shin wants Young Hoon to bring robot Shin to him (calling him ‘that’) but Young Hoon says that he shouldn’t since human Shin might feel weird.
Human Shin somewhat passively-aggressively asks, “It’s not me but you who feel weird, isn’t it?”
The next morning, robot Shin disappears and So Bong turns up at Laura’s house. In a flashback, we see So Bong asking if robot Shin trusts her. Robot Shin nods and she says, “Don’t ask anything and do as I say.” THIS is what I mean when I say that human Shin’s reaction was off in the earlier episode – robot Shin trusts So Bong to the core and if it was him in the room, he would have stood up or reciprocated in some way when So Bong asks him to leave with her.
So Bong apologises and looks at him guiltily, “Sorry for doing this to you,” and takes off the watch from robot Shin.
As robot Shin starts to turn off, So Bong hugs him.
Soon enough, he slumps into her arms and So Bong hugs him tightly. Back to the present, So Bong negotiates with Laura – give her the kill-switch or she will keep robot Shin turned off. Ye Na tells human Shin that the disturbance outside is due to So Bong quarreling with Laura. Human Shin recalls So Bong’s confession and scoffs.
Laura says that So Bong can keep robot Shin powered down because she would never give her the kill-switch, “You would never keep him in that dead state. This is a fight you cannot win.” So Bong tells Laura in a rage that if Laura activates the kill-switch, then she can become a murderer because once robot Shin is turned back on, she will stick right by his side. “One day, he will explode and I will die with him.” Okay guys, can someone tell me how this kill-switch works? LOL why is there an explosion?
So Bong has promised to protect Shin no matter what and therefore, she will keep her promises, just as he did, “That’s courtesy and respect, regardless of whether it’s a robot or human.”
Moved by her speech, Laura asks So Bong to take responsibility for robot Shin. She hands the kill-switch over to So Bong and tells her to keep it a secret from human Shin. Ye Na pops in to tell So Bong that human Shin wants to see her and seemingly notes the kill-switch, but we won’t know the truth unless this is an important point later on.
Human Shin asks So Bong to bring robot Shin and Laura, in an attempt to placate her son, agrees. So Bong calls David and David promptly brings robot Shin over.
Robot Shin is turned on again and finally visits human Shin. Wowww we finally have the two meet again, since the first episode! Human Shin tells robot Shin to turn around, to smile and to imitate him, all of which robot Shin does. He doesn’t like talking up to him so he orders robot Shin to sit down. The contrast is clear between the two – while human Shin is wary and cautious of this clone robot, robot Shin smiles and asks human Shin to ask him anything.
Robot Shin offers his hand for human Shin to touch and feel, since his robotic skin feels slightly different from human skin. However, human Shin shakes off his hand rudely. Robot Shin then proves that he’s a robot by another mean – he displays his memories using the heart monitor. Human Shin notes jealously that Laura was smiling at robot Shin but tells him to turn it off when robot Shin wants to show him the scenes of Laura looking sad at human Shin.
Robot Shin knows that human Shin feels threatened and tells him that there’s no need for that; he’s a robot and he’s here to help. Human Shin looks at him coldly and asks if robot Shin will continue to help him. Of course, robot Shin gladly agrees. Since the couple doesn’t have any where else to go, So Bong accedes to Shin’s request and brings him to her house.
David finally hands the kill-switch over to Grandpa, noting that Grandpa doesn’t want to destroy Shin more than anyone else. “For me it’s love, for you it’s greed. But it doesn’t matter. The more your greed grows, the safer he will be.” I like that David’s motivations are finally made clear to us and I see no reason to doubt him. I think he genuinely loves Shin as a robot/being in his own right, and as a scientist, he also treasures progress in his creation (although I don’t like the second notion as much).
At the gym, Dad quickly realises that Shin is wearing So Bong’s mum’s necklace and splutters. Shin points out that he’s here to stay because he must know everything about So Bong and one of the sidekicks laughs, “It’s finally no longer an unrequited love.” Jo watches from the side and tells So Bong to send Shin into the room for a private moment with him. Jo still doesn’t really believe that he’s a robot and tells him to strip – since he has no emotions, he shouldn’t be able to feel humiliation. Robot Shin complies and starts to take off his trousers, much to Jo’s shock and she quickly stops him HAHA.
Instead, she feels his arms and touches his face, even feeling his chest. Dad walks in right at that moment and is angered, thinking that Jo is groping So Bong’s man. He scolds Shin as well for letting any woman touch him. Jo sends Shin out and tells Dad the truth, “He’s not human.” Dad tells her to shut up, “YOU are not a human. You are an animal!” Jo finally spits out, “He’s a robot!” Dad hits her head hahaha, “I see now why you are a third-rate journalist.” Okay, anything about Jo is just distasteful. I mean, if you are telling the truth because you think that as a father, Dad should know, then okay but it isn’t in your place to deliver the truth. And certainly, not just because you want to get out of an awkward situation you got yourself into.
So Bong sets up Shin’s sleeping quarters in the arena and he cute-ly pats at a spot next to him, telling her to sit down. He analyses her eyes and notes that she is feeling asleep. So Bong murmurs that she is not reliable enough to worry about someone else; she’s someone who runs away when the going gets tough. Just as robot Shin asks who she has to be responsible for, she falls asleep on Shin’s shoulders.
Robot Shin looks at So Bong’s face and observes, “Kang So Bong’s eyes, Kang So Bong’s nose, Kang So Bong’s mouth. I should look closely. I should look for a long time.” Just that moment (or maybe moments later), So Bong wakes up and sees Shin gazing at her.
Shin sees her blushing and notes her rising blood pressure, asking, “Is it because of me?” So Bong quickly escapes and asks him to pretend to sleep. Right after that, he lies down on the floor with his eyes closed. Such an obedient robot!
Young Hoon visits human Shin again and Ye Na gives them a moment of privacy. Human Shin tells Young Hoon that he finally met robot Shin and tests Young Hoon, “Were you ever confused? You know me the best.”
Young Hoon laughs, “Of course not,” and leaves. But human Shin replays the words of Young Hoon much earlier on – where Young Hoon muttered out loud that both Shins were pestered by humans and that must be why he pitied robot Shin. He scoffs angrily.
In the middle of the night, Dad takes pity on robot Shin and lays out a blanket for him. He sees the watch and then the next thing we know, it’s daylight and So Bong wakes up to frantic shouts that Shin is dead. She rushes out to see the three guys trying to resuscitate him and immediately notes the missing watch. Dad has taken it off earlier because it looked uncomfortable. He refuses to bring it out because he thinks So Bong is silly for caring about a watch when a man is dead but thankfully, Jo finds it and shoves it at So Bong.
So Bong sends the sidekicks away and Jo insists that Dad must be there to watch. So Bong relents. Jo tells Dad to hold on to her tightly and not be shocked. While Dad struggles physically, So Bong sighs and puts the watch back on robot Shin.
Robot Shin immediately comes back alive, “Hello, I’m AI Robot, NamShin III.” Dad screams and passes out. Hahahaha. When he comes around, he immediately hits So Bong so Jo quickly sends So Bong out to buy sedatives.
Shin apologises to So Bong but she tells him it’s not his fault that he isn’t human and she likes him. Instead of being when worse things happen and saying sorry, he should grant her a wish each time something happens. And right now, what she wants to do is, “I want to hold hands and walk around.” Shin immediately grants her the wish.
He waits outside the convenience store and So Bong is offended to see him staring at girls’ legs while she was buying sedatives. I laughed so hard because of how she whacked him HAHA. He explains that he’s just following her instructions not to walk past girls who are pretty and hot.
So Bong raises her voice, “That was back then!” and flushes.
Shin cheekily notes that she must be jealous hehe. “What do you want to do? I will do that instead of saying sorry.”
He grabs her hand, “This?” then hugs her, “This?” and finally,
pecks her on the forehead. CUTEEE. Where are you learning all your tricks from, robot Shin?
So Bong stalks off with a deep blush, “You’re insane,” and doesn’t notice that robot Shin isn’t following her. This is because human Shin has called, “You didn’t forget your promise to help me, did you?”
The next thing we see, robot Shin meets Laura at a cafe and asks out right, “Mum, can’t I stay here even if human Shin recovers?” Laura tells him no, not even when human Shin says that he wants to stay with her. While we are all wondering what happened to robot Shin, it’s shown that he actually has a secret ear piece and is asking questions as human Shin dictates.
“Ask if I’m the only thing that matters to her. Ask if you’re really nothing.”
Robot Shin follows to a tee, and Laura hesitates. Ye Na asks human Shin who he’s talking to and he says, “Someone whose honesty I doubt.” Laura lashes out, “Stop being so annoying. This is why I regret making you. Every time I look at you, I thought of my son, Shin. I won’t go with you so leave and never come back. If you do, I will just die.” You think that’s harsh – but human Shin recalls that those were the exact words he said to Laura when he was young and under threat by Grandpa. He hangs up in a fury and grits out, “She really does care about the stupid robot.”
Robot Shin offers water to Laura but Laura tells him to go to So Bong instead. Robot Shin replies calmly that he knows she’s lying.
He read her expressions and heard her voice for 20 years, and he knows that wasn’t the real her just now. “I understand that bloodlines are important to humans, and that human Shin is more important to you. So don’t feel guilty towards me.”
Laura immediately softens up with a guilty expression while Shin continues, “Thank you Mum for creating me and watching over me. I will remember that.” He stands up and bows to her.
Before he leaves, Mum tells him that he’s much wiser and greater than her who created him, “Now protect So Bong instead of me. Thank you for everything too.”
They exchange gentle smiles and Shin walks out of the cafe.
He turns around and sees Laura crying but even with reddened eyes, he turns back around determined.
I loveee this scene because it feels like there’s some closure on a previous chapter of Shin’s life. In the past, his mum came first. After he met So Bong, So Bong and Laura were of equal priority to him. And now, with his bow, his last look and the walk away from Laura, you know that So Bong is the only one whom he’s going to protect from now on. And I love that! I like the little handling over of authority from Laura herself, when she explicitly tells him to stay by So Bong’s side too.
Shin calls So Bong who doesn’t pick up. Turns out, she kind of misunderstood robot Shin’s earlier message that he went to help human Shin with something and has charged to Laura’s house to confront human Shin…who tells her to sit or kneel because he doesn’t like looking up at her. Egoistic much.
Human Shin sends Ye Na into the room and asks why the two didn’t communicate with each other, especially since So Bong said she liked Shin. So Bong asks, “What does my liking him have anything to do with you?” Shin is offended, “I didn’t hit you hard enough at the airport? You started to like him while guarding him.
You should have protected me too. Why? Do you hate me because I’m human?”
And So Bong delivers one of the best lines in this episode and drama, “No, I hate you because you are not human.” WHAT a terrific burn, someone hand her a medal already. This really hits the nail on the question of what being human means.
Shin is enraged and grabs her wrist. Robot Shin appears –
and pulls her away protectively.
Human Shin retorts, “What’s your problem?” and robot Shin looks at So Bong, “I must take you away from him.
One of the things I admire about this show is that with each episode, it delivers new thinking points and developments. I can’t really recall any moment when the plot was slow or draggy. For me, this episode is great because robot Shin is slowly starting to feel emotions, rather than just understanding how they work. I also like the parting from Laura as well as that ending scene. I swear I was flailing around so much when he says that so cool-ly that you wouldn’t want be sitting next to me. I even replayed it a few times and flailed around more.
To be honest, I don’t dislike human Shin at all. I actually find his reaction very, very relatable and understandable. I mean, any of us would feel threatened by someone who looks exactly like you and is somewhat an improved version of you (always cheerful, kind, doesn’t have any of those undesirable human traits and can do cool stuff). This is especially so if you realise that the mother, whom you have missed for 20 years, actually made a substitute which may have filled the void that you feel only you can fill. But that being said, none of us would like human Shin over robot Shin at this point in time and that speaks a lot of what being a human is – just because you are human doesn’t mean you are great.
I also realise that Ye Na is set up to a perfect assistant to human Shin because she selfishly wants human Shin and therefore, will help him in any way. I’m not sure if there’s something up with the kill-switch. I wonder if it has been swapped or if Ye Na has told human Shin about it such that in the future, we are going to have a scene of human Shin threatening to use the kill-switch on robot Shin, rather than Laura.
I think the change in narrative about Laura is a bit sudden but acceptable. Suddenly, she’s not really portrayed as selfish but rather, a soft mother who cannot bear to hurt robot Shin. But I accept that because the two notions are not really contradictory. I also think that the parting from Laura now clearly delineates her from robot Shin, meaning that in the future, she will be the ‘other camp’ for sure.
Till next week!