Feels like writers went on a sugar rush and decided to bombard us with LOADS of things this episode!
This episode, we get to hear robot Shin’s voice again. As different flashbacks from across the drama appear, robot Shin tells us how human Shin controls him like an avatar, hurts him intentionally, and plays with him like a toy. I can’t do this anymore. This is not who I am. And he decides to stop pretending to be human Shin. He asks Ho Yun for her help and also, admits the truth to Ji Yong. There’s no need to hide it. I’m not human. And now we return to the end of last episode, where robot Shin goes on stage and introduces himself as NamShin III.
A scene taken perhaps right before this shareholder meeting, it is revealed that it was robot Shin’s own idea to come out to the world. Young Hoon agrees to help him because he also wants to stop human Shin. Reporter Jo chips in her support by priming the stage from outside – this is why immediately after robot Shin’s announcement, everyone’s phones start buzzing with news about robot Shin. The news are all positive and make mention of how robot Shin was the one who saved people from the club’s fire and the driverless test drive.
Young Hoon announces to the meeting that it was the Chairman who believed that the company’s future resides in AI. Seo tries to stop this from derailing and insists that human Shin has received the shares already, but alas, Ho Yun joyously bursts his balloon by announcing that Grandpa has changed his will. All his shares now belong to Young Hoon. “And mine too. It’s a bonus.”
Human Shin looks betrayed, “Hyung, is this true?” Young Hoon steels his heart and tells the audience that he received the shares on the condition that the company operates with AI as the core. Therefore, Young Hoon is the agent and robot Shin is the true business manager. Human Shin stumbles and Ye Na quickly helps him out, followed by Laura.
Meanwhile, a shareholder in the audience flips his papers in anger at how nonsensical this sounds. Robot Shin gets off stage and bows to him, telling him to continue if this can make him feel better since he doesn’t feel emotions. However, his heart rate is spiking and if he gets anymore upset, it will strain his heart. The shareholder gets flustered and the audience tells him to give robot Shin a chance to finish his statement.
Robot Shin gets back on stage and announces the M-City plan to the room. He uses holograms to show everyone a future smart city in which accidents, illnesses and health are completely AI-regulated, where they can commercialise fast and environmentally friendly car systems etc. In the movies, AI robots control and attack humans, but not him. “I excel more than humans, but I do not compete against humans. I do not attack or rule over humans. I meet their inadequacies and learn their sensitivity.”
With a meaningful look at So Bong, he continues, “I want to be with humans. Will you join this impossible dream of an artificial intelligence?” Ji Yong stands up in applause and the room follows.
The doctor arrives at the company as per Young Hoon’s instructions but this only infruriates human Shin even further. He sees Young Hoon and punches him, “Ho could you do this to me? Say something. Make an excuse. Anything!” However, Young hoon merely looks at him coldly and shuns him aside. Human Shin murmurs, “Hyung,” but stumbles again.
Left alone in the auditorium, So Bong asks robot Shin how he feels now that the truth is out to the world. Robot Shin says he’s more worried about So Bong since she will be the target of people’s curiosity for being close to a robot. He asks her to stay away from him when they are outside, but she retorts that she likes being close with him. “I like that I like you.”
Robot Shin smiles a little at that and confesses that he has something else that he can only say to So Bong. He confides that if he had stayed with human Shin or Seo, he would have become a robot who would break rules and hurt people. He could only protect his identity because he’s with her, “It’s such a relief that I’m your robot. I am your robot, Kang So Bong.” So Bong likes the words, “My robot,” and points out gently that people would usually continue this confession with a, “I like you. I like you so much that I could just die.” Robot Shin ponders about it but So Bong knows that liking and dying are unrelated to Shin.
They leave the company and the swarm of reporters goes up with a flood of questions. Instead of answering, robot Shin hugs So Bong, stunning everyone into silence and then bundles the both of them into the car. Hahaha. So Bong’s dad and sidekicks watch the news at home, just when the couple arrives. Sidekick 1 faints upon seeing robot Shin while Dad asks why robot Shin returns to the gym after having dropped a bomb like that. Robot Shin replies that he has nowhere else to go, “I think people will hate me anywhere else.” In that moment, I truly feel for him. So did Dad, as his heart softens and tells robot Shin to change so that he can clean.
Human Shin wakes up to find Laura nursing him and pushes her hand away. Laura gives him a ticket to Czech and tells him to go with her, but he immediately sits up right to tear the ticket apart before lying down with his eyes closed. Laura leaves the room, resigned, while human Shin recalls the entire scene in the auditorium and feels betrayed.
The next morning, Seo finds himself fired from the company and calls Young Hoon in a rage. Young Hoon agrees to meet him in the Chairman’s room (also, Grandpa’s ex-room) but tells Seo that he’s only meeting him there so that Seo can see the room one last time. Seo points out that he only betrayed Jung Woo because Jung Woo left him, but now Young Hoon trampled all over Shin while standing right next to him. He threatens Young Hoon with the clip of robot Shin strangling So Bong but Young Hoon already has a come-back, “How do you know whether that’s human Nam Shin or robot Nam Shin? So Bong will say that it’s the human Shin.” Ooooh that’s smart. Seo is outraged that Young Hoon doesn’t seem to care if human Shin goes to jail for being a murderer but Young Hoon continues goading him. “Why don’t you sit on this chair once? You worked for it all your life.” Seo launches himself at Young Hoon but gets hurled out of the company by the guards. He lands on his knees and Park whines at the side, “Please pull yourself together. If you do this, what am I supposed to do?”
The positive media campaign continues with a fire, as reporters interview the survivors of the club’s fire. Wowww, how long ago was that incident? It has such a different vibe to the later half of the show that it makes me want to rewatch this entire series again. Laura watches the news, as the reporters note that PK’s share prices are at an all-time high and everyone wants to know who the person who invented NamShin III is. Robot Shin appears, “You are the one who made me.”
Laura thanks him for coming to the house even though she called out of the blue. Robot Shin apologises for doing what he did without first informing her but she says that it’s okay since it’s going to happen eventually. She knows it’s wrong but she has one last favour to ask – since he and human Shin can’t live in the same place together, “Can you go back with David to Czech Republic?” Robot Shin apologises and replies, “The moment I said I was a robot, human Shin was probably already hurt. I realise there are things I had to protect …even if it hurts others.” He hopes that human Shin will come to accept his image, which Laura created for him. This is the only way they can accept each other and grow closer. Although this is a small step, it once again shows how Robot Shin develops, understanding that sometimes, he has to choose between two difficult choices.
Laura gently confeses that she has installed a kill-switch inside robot Shin, “Once Shin wakes up, I was going to…” She cannot finish her sentence and apologises for being a terrible mum. Although Shin looks hurt initially, he smiles at this and tells her she’s just trying to protect someone precious to her, like how he will protect So Bong no matter what. Laura tells him that it is So Bong who saved him, “She even risked her life to prevent me from activating the kill switch.”
This is such a bittersweet scene that I find myself tearing unknowingly – for how Shin must have felt hearing that his mother tried to kill him, to Laura’s difficult confession that she’s terrible, to the mention of So Bong. I know some may feel that robot Shin’s reaction is anti-climatic, but for me, it is very well-done. He’s a rational robot and therefore, isn’t going to react in the same way as a human So Bong does, but that doesn’t demean in any way So Bong’s feelings about the kill-switch. Still, you can almost put a finger on the intangible air while this conversation and reconcillation is going on. I think Seo Kang Joon and Kim Sung Ryung have amazing chemistry as mother and son, and the music just hits all the right notes.
So Bong waits anxiously outside the house and turns around with a smile when robot Shin opens the door. He immediately envelops her in a hug and she’s surprised since she isn’t crying and neither is she so happy to see him that she’s crying. Hahaha. Robot Shin chimes that he can hug her even when she’s not crying and she hugs him tighter. He updates her that he now knows about the kill-switch but he’s okay because he has her.
The couple finds David, who passes the kill-switch back to its rightful owner. He notes that his robot is all famous now, and roots for his progress. He secretly tells So Bong that tomorrow is the day he’s made and that it’s just liek his birthday. “Be born again…my son.”
Young Hoon meets with the doctor who doesn’t understand why Young Hoon threw Shin away like that. Young Hoon reveals sadly that this is the only way he can bring Shin back to his senses. The doctor comments that he had hoped that Young Hoon would be like a normal person who is ambitious and gets obsessed over titles but Young Hoon laughs under his breath that both Shin and him don’t care for those. Shin is only behaving like this because he’s angry at Grandpa. “Once he calms down and realises what he truly wants, I will help him.” I get that Young Hoon only has Shin’s interest at heart, but I do wish he hasn’t quite shunned Shin in the same way as he did in the earlier part of this episode. I know it’s to show a facade that he is now out to get the company, but that surely is only going to push Shin over the edge and I don’t believe Young Hoon can’t predict that.
The doctor sighs that human Shin might not turn back so easily as he’s not in the house and is probably out and about again. We switch to a scene of human Shin breaking through a wall of reporters to visit his Grandpa at the nursing home. Grandpa watches the news and is updated about his company but when human Shin appears, he calls him his masterpiece. Ugh, Grandpa mistakes human Shin to be robot Shin! Human Shin scoffs and asks why Grandpa gave his shares to Young Hoon, wondering if he must take first his mother, then his hyung from him. Grandpa tells him to stop pretending to be human Shin and to watch out for Shin. “He can’t find out about the kill-switch.” Shin immediately knows something is up and changes his tone to micmic robot Shin. Human Shin learns that Laura made the kill-switch but instead of being ‘touched’ that his mother actually wanted to get rid of the robot once he wakes up, he’s angry that his mother hid the switch from him.
He smiles at Grandpa and easily tricks Grandpa into telling him that the switch “is in his head.” And then you have Nam Shin acting as NamShin III, just enough to deceive Grandpa, which allows the viewer to observe the slight change in his voice and expression that is meant to be micmic robot Shin but very much tainted by the human Shin’s anger. Amazing!
Shin works out that the head refers to the server room and recalls the box which David was holding. He grabs Ye Na’s phone to call David but Ye Na who is scrolling through Instagram inadvertently points Shin to the location of the box – someone has uploaded a video of robot Shin with the caption ‘I found the robot at the gym in our neighbourhood!’ and guess what, in that video, robot Shin is clearly holding on to the box. I can’t believe social media is our FOE but I guess it makes sense in the social media-saturated Korean society as it is. It feels a tad too convenient but it’s okay, I will give you a pass, drama.
Next morning, robot Shin sits up straight upon Dad’s command and Dad brings him to the sauna. Robot Shin is confused why Dad thinks the sauna is “refreshing” when it’s 42 degrees celcius, and Dad points out that people feel refreshed after they take a bath. I can’t help but smile watching robot Shin navigate the curious things of human world, that is the sauna.
Dad however is pretty impressed that Robot Shin really doesn’t sweat. Robot Shin even smiles so satisfactorily when Dad observes that he probably doesn’t pee too. HAHAH. They leave the room after robot Shin notes that Dad’s temperature is too high and they have a meal. Dad passes him a hard-boiled egg and demonstrates the way to eat it – hit it against your head and peel the shell. Robot Shin woodenly follows and his hand opens up to reveal a completely smashed egg. HAHA, omggg our adorable robot looks sooo confused when he sees that.
Dad quickly takes over and wipes Shin’s hand, noting that nothing will survive upon hitting his iron head. He tells Shin to drink some seaweed soup (since it’s his birthday) and Shin eats his meal with gusto. Many have wonder about what happens to his food, and so do I haha. I suppose since it doesn’t need to be digested, it will remain as mush? Does it go into a box to be unloaded? Or is he equipped with a robotic butt where mush can pass through??
Dad asks if Shin likes his daughter and Shin replies that his number one rule is to protect So Bong. Dad nods and mutters that that’s probably his way of saying he likes her. Knowing that Dad is worried about So Bong liking him, Shin apologises but assures him that his own feelings wouldn’t change because he’s a robot and predictable. Dad tells him not to be too confident since he’s modelled after a person and he keeps developing. So what’s important is that “just for today, like if you like, hate if you hate. Like and hate to your heart’s content. That way, you won’t regret it later.” I cannot take my eyes away from the fact that throughout this conversation, Shin still has remanents of the egg on his hair. I wonder if that’s intentional (like they scooped and placed it there) or it was accidental and they just rolled with it. This. Entire. Scene is a gem!!
Shin repeats Dad’s words and suddenly realises something. Dad brings him to a jeweller where they make a necklace that is the same as So Bong’s mother’s necklace. Dad praises him with some pride and reluctance that at least he knows how to return a girl’s heart. “When I give her this, I will know what it means to like and hate to my heart’s content.” The jeweller thinks that Shin is Dad’s son and he bristles, but he can’t help but smile, “Future son-in-law.” Shin breaks into a big smile and repeats, “Future son-in-law.” The Dad-Robot duo just killsss me.
Human Shin waits till So Bong is out of the gym and quickly enters, leaving Ye Na outside to wait for him in the car. However, Ye Na is quickly abducted by Park and his men. Sidekicks are shocked to see Shin back in the gym since he’s supposed to be at the sauna, so human Shin immediately adopts robot Shin’s demeanour and claims that he’s back to take something. The moment sidekicks are gone, human Shin rolls his eyes and scoffs. He rummages through the items and very quickly, locates the kill-switch in a corner of So Bong’s room. I guess the couple didn’t think of hiding it eh. Maibo greets him, “Nam Shin III, welcome home,” but human Shin knocks it over in annoyance.
He leaves the gym, eager to hop into his car, only to see the street empty. Ye Na gets hauled back home and guarded in his room because Seo doesn’t want her to see anything that he’s going to do from now on. It’s his last bit of kindness to her.
Human Shin thus grabs a taxi instead. While on the ride, he ignores a call from Laura, who then sends a text telling him that she has cooked for him and will wait for him. He throws the phone aside after turning it off.
Shutting Ye Na in her room is actually a trap (no wonder, since I was wondering why she was allowed her phone), as Seo has placed a tapping device in her room. Ye Na, unknowing of this fact, calls Laura and tells her that human Shin has the kill-switch and that they were going to head to a construction site. Seo instructs Park to look into Ye Na’s car navigation system.
At the meal, Shin looks at So Bong and smiles. He fidgets to take out the necklace and Dad quickly stops him. Because timing issues?? I chuckle at how innocent our robot is, such that he needs help from Dad. It’s even funnier because Dad signals to him to wait and he nods. So Bong and Jo comment that they are up to something and Jo observes that they look nothing alike but they feel the same. So Bong jokes that that’s an offence to NamShin III and Dad grumbles that although he raised her, she’s – “Useful,” Shin interrupts. “Since So Bong is pretty, cute and loveable.” Hahaha. So Bong wonders if this is another error and Shin says that he has promised to say what he wants to say.
A text from human Shin, telling robot Shin to be alone when he calls in 10 minutes, breaks the moment. Robot Shin excuses himself without telling anyone of the text and So Bong quickly sets up the party when he leaves. At the foot of the cafe, human Shin runs into the sidekicks who are confused because he was just at the gym, in different clothes no less! Uh-oh…after sidekicks go ahead to the cafe, robot Shin receives a call from human Shin and asks if he went to the gym. He looks across the street as instructed and sees human Shin waving the kill-switch.
Robot Shin is lost but he asks for a few minutes and human Shin scoffs, allowing him to say his goodbyes at the very least. He leaves first in a cab and tells robot Shin to track him later. From a plot/thematic point of view, I think it’s pretty cool and intentional that they are doing all of this on the day he’s made.
Robot Shin returns to the cafe and sees the party all set-up. They do not notice that Shin is back and wonder out loud what’s taking him so long, since the sidekicks saw him downstairs. Shin watches So Bong from a far, at how she’s laughing, and takes out the necklace. He turns to leave, and the camera pans out to see the necklace hung on the fake tree.
With sad music, we see robot Shin looking at the human couples on the street. He calls his mother but doesn’t get through. His cab arrives and just when he opens the door, So Bong shuts it. She asks where he’s going without her and assumes that he’s meeting Laura, since it’s the day she made him. Shin doesn’t speak and simply nods. So Bong grabs his hand and throws it down in another, “Liar,” which takes Shin aback a little. But she’s just kidding this time because she’s sad that he’s leaving. “You’ll be back soon, right?” Shin once again just nods silently.
OMG you know what this means – this is the first time robot Shin has lied. It’s against his rules, but he has finally learnt what it means to lie to protect the one you love. It’s not about whether this is right or wrong, but there’s something poignant watching him evolve to become more human-like in this area, and know that his heart (his robot heart) must be breaking.
So Bong takes out the necklace and grumbles that he should at least put this on her before he leaves. As Shin leans forward to close the clasp, So Bong smiles, “Let’s stay together for a very long time…until the very end, okay? I can’t live without you now.”
Shin pauses for a moment and with determination in his eyes, he kisses her. HE KISSES HER! OMGGG I’m so glad this isn’t in any preview or steals because it’s a well-kept secret that has a lot more impact this way! So Bong closes her eyes and after a while, he pulls back. So Bong hugs him and he says, “I love you, Kang So Bong.” He smiles a little but his eyes are sad, and he quickly leaves in the next cab.
This scene is so beautiful that I rewatched it so many times (cough) not just because it is squeal worthy but because it is meaningful on so many levels. I appreciate when shows are realistic and depict couples behaving as normal humans do. But in this show, where a robot-human love is so innocent and precious, and means so much more than physical attraction, the kiss by contrast, signifies so much more. I love it, and I love that what may seem to be first step in relationship for other Kdramas is totally turned on its head in this drama. A kiss is the final step in sealing this relationship for this couple.
We are now reaching the climax of the our episode, where Seo and Park head towards the construction site.
Robot Shin meets human Shin at the site just as planned. Human Shin ignores a call from Laura as usual and calls out to robot Shin, “You made it.” He tells robot Shin to plead and beg, but robot Shin knows that he wouldn’t change his mind anyway. He wants human Shin to stop destroying other people and to end his rage with him. Just as human Shin is about to smash down on that button, Laura rushes up and protects robot Shin.
Robot Shin anxiously tells Laura to move away, not knowing what human Shin might do. But Laura protests that she’s his mother and she needs to step in to protect them both. Laura tries to speak to human Shin and tells him take his anger out on her instead. Rather than being appeased, human Shin notes coldly that Laura just lost her final chance to get her real son back. He unhesitatingly presses down on the button which starts a 1 minute system shutdown countdown and leaves.
Robot Shin’s eyes flash red as he falls to his knees. His last words are, “Mum, please leave. Mum.” Laura takes out a chip from her pocket and inserts it into the back of his head. “It’s my birthday present. I hope it works well. Please.”
This reverses the shutdown but unfortunately, one evil human Shin steps away and one Seo steps in. Robot Shin’s system starts up again and notes that although he can see, his body cannot move. Laura assures him that it will move soon and not to worry because she will be with him. As Robot Shin smiles, Seo presses a button that unleashes multiple barrels to the floor below.
Mother and son look up in horror, and Laura pushes robot Shin aside. As the barrels clang around him, Shin finally moves and in disbelief, he rushes to his mother. He cuddles Laura in his arms and Laura tells him that it’s not his fault, “I promised to go with you to Czech, but I broke my promise.” Yet another throwback line to the first few episodes.
She touches Shin’s face gently, “When I made you, I was truly happy.” Her hand falls away with, “Tell Shin that I’m sorry for leaving him alone once again.” Seo watches from above and calls the police, “A robot killed a person. It’s a killer robot.” Shin is lost and keeps repeating, “Mum, don’t die.”
Thematically, I kinda get it why Lauara had to die (I think she died? But I’m hoping the show didn’t actually go through with it? But she probably did because Shin says in the preview that he hoped he can cry). But I also feel that it isn’t necessary for Laura to die. I get it that robot Shin just recovered and therefore couldn’t move to save himself or his mother. But rationally speaking, Shin has a much higher chance of recovering from any smashing than Laura does. So I guess what is the true meaning behind the scene is that – Laura’s maternal instinct kicked in and that’s why she would do anything to save robot Shin, her son. And that’s important! Because it’s probably the first (and the last) time that Laura did something for robot Shin as his mother rather than his creator.
I guess in a nut shell, I think that the show can achieve the same result with alternative routes, without Laura having to die, but I see the sense in this route too. Perhaps, the only way to bring human Shin back is the regret of seeing his mother dead, without having reconcilled with her. Yet, I’m not sure if this is the most satisfactory outcome I would want for human Shin. I know he’s a potential murderer all, but I had wished that he would have come to terms with Laura.
Nonetheless, it was still a heartbreaking scene, especially when Shin doesn’t know what to do with himself or Laura at the end. The way he keeps calling out to her not in grief but in disbelief and bewilderment really hits it home.
Somehow, I’m not too worried about Seo’s plan of calling Shin a killer robot because I see the plan more as a means to get Laura dead in the plot-sense. Therefore, I only hope they resolve Shins’ feelings towards Laura’s possible death well. Seo will probably get his just desserts where someone will reveal his plans. I don’t think that the show will go down the route of having robot Shin/human Shin actually being pinned with actual suspicion of having killed their mother. Hope not!
Now on for some ramble.
As for the kill-switch, guys, it was mentioned earlier that David couldn’t deactivate the kill-switch despite working hard on it. This is why ultimately only Laura could step in to help. I’m sure with more time, robot Shin could have figured it out and dismantle it himself (which was Laura’s initial fear) but he only got it for a night so be fair to him! He had to take multiple tries to hack into the manual mode, much less the kill-switch. I understand that people love to pick plot holes or feel confused with a drama, but pick where it deserves?
At the second last episode, we also now have a surge of people saying that it doesn’t make sense for a robot-human love. I can’t believe that there were still people believing that the show wasn’t going to end up this way – whether So Bong will end up with robot Shin is one matter, but it was obvious from day one that the show is going to be about whether robot Shin will reciprocate So Bong’s feelings and how. For me, I absolutely have no problems seeing that a robot can feel love. Do you think humans feel with their hearts? Scientifically speaking, I would think our brains had more to do with anything than our hearts, which exist primarily to pump blood. If Laura had equipped robot Shin with the same chemicals as humans (ambiguous whether she did), robot Shin would definitely be able to feel those endorphins and what not. But even then, I can’t quite see what’s the contradiction between a robot brain and understanding that someone is cute or loveable.
I think this whole thought-rambling process has go to to do with constantly being irked by people complaining about plot holes where they don’t exist. The thing is that I don’t even think that the show’s at fault for being confusing; I’m quite sure if people follow the show, everything would flow. Like stop pointing out that human Shin liked So Bong – because he never did and the show never implied such a thing!
Last thing, I do get it that it’s unrealistic people are so receptive towards an AI robot, but I also do think that the show has done its best given the circumstances. Do I want to watch a long, drawn-out episode on how society is scared of AI and reacts badly towards robot Shin? Not really. That’s not my real interest at this point of the drama. Although just a quick line, it is nonetheless important to remember that robot Shin doesn’t feel like he belongs anywhere because he believes people will hate him. He also mentions how people will target So Bong out of curiosity. So while it’s pushed to the backdrop of the show, I do think the script has tried to pay some attention to the fact that it’s not going to be all roses from now on.
This episode is so heavy that I probably still have many unrealised thoughts. Yet, I think this is a good episode because Shin has finally taken that evolution step towards having feelings and because we finally dealt with the kill-switch. I reserve judgement as to the true impact of the kill-switch until the finale, so we shall wait and see in the next episode! Preview hints at a bitter-sweet ending. I initially thought it’s possible for kill-switch to be activated again but for robot Shin to be transplanted/re-made, but if Laura is going to die, then that’s nothing but a pipe dream. Also, if Laura dies, who’s going to be doing the maintenance works for robot Shin?
Last recap tomorrow!