Be ready for a longgg recap on finale breakdown and my thoughts!
It is rather apt for a finale to open the episode this time with Laura’s thoughts – it is the first and last chance we hear her as a mother and a creator. In the past, she thought that she had no choice but to destroy robot Shin. Don’t be hurt. I was wrong. And in a flashback, we see that whilst human Shin and robot Shin were facing off on the rooftop, Laura was actually watching in from another tablet. She watched as robot Shin approached the edge of the rooftop and knew that she must stop both of them.
That was when she started working on the reversal of the kill-switch.When Ye Na called Laura, the reversal chip was still in progress and not completed, but she decided to grab it and head to the construction site anyway. I’ll stop it. I’ll protect you.
We return to the end of last episode where the barrels are unleashed onto the mother and son, and Laura pushes him aside. A heartbeat and black out later, Laura dreams of her two sons playing chess with each other, while she peels bananas for them. Why am I only having this dream now? I’m happy.
As the two sons smile at her in her dreams,
she continues, Goodbye…my sons.
Her hand falls away from robot Shin’s face in real life, while robot Shin murmurs her name in disbelief. Every time I watch this scene, it just kills me a little inside.
I realise I never once said this through the drama but can I just say, I am sooo in admiration of Dr Laura Oh? As a genius. She’s the only one who truly can complete AI technology and you can tell David is only probably the level of an assistant, and no where near her. I love that!
Turns out that Laura had pre-contacted David and So Bong to come to the construction site, just in case. While the two meet outside the warehouse, they see the news on their phone that NamShin III has been arrested for the murder of Ms Oh. I kinda bristled at this, because it felt so glaringly unrealistic – no one writes an article about how the guy is arrested if the guy is still there, obviously UNARRESTED. But I know this is all in Seo’s plan, so he probably gave false/anticipatory news to the media to release ahead of time.
They rush into the site and robot Shin tells them confusedly that his mother stopped his kill switch but she wouldn’t breath, “It’s all my fault.” As police sirens ring out, David tells So Bong to bring Robot Shin somewhere to hide first because the police would do something to robot Shin if he gets caught. He reluctantly leaves his mother behind, while David cuddles Laura and cries, “Was this why you thanked me? I said you didn’t have to like me. I told you to just let me stay with you…you’re so mean.” He sobs, “Please…” as the police swarms around them. David’s reaction is a nice contrast to Robot Shin’s and I’d like to think it’s an intentional touch. David’s way of grieving is something robot Shin is unable to achieve, and that further highlights the poignancy of the scene.
It does make me think too – what are the laws that can regulate an AI? Sure we treat him like a person, but he’s not a person. On a general note, if there are AI that are programmed to be evil, surely ‘arresting’ them just isn’t going to cut it? But I guess David also implied was that the government would probably step in and do things to the AI.
Human Shin returns home to find an entire meal prepared for him and scoffs. Seo calls to offer his condolescences for Laura, “The robot lost control and…” Shin starts to feel scared. Young Hoon appears and he asks him if something happened to his mother. Young Hoon looks down, “She passed away.”
We then pan out to the news being rolled out quickly to the public of robot Shin having lost control and killed Laura. The clip of him strangling So Bong has also been included. Meanwhile, So Bong takes care of a very still robot Shin by putting on a cap and mask for him. She throws his phone away and drives them off.
Young Hoon brings human Shin to the funeral parlour but he hesitates to step inside. Young Hoon gives him alone-time and he recalls all the previous times he shunned his mother.
He takes out his phone and reads the last text from her, where she asked him to come over and eat what she cooked. He recalls her asking him to return to Czech with her, and he crumbles in tears.
I can’t believe she really died damnnn. I knew she did from the preview, but I so desperately want her to stay alive just because she’s such a genius and also because I wished human Shin can reconcile with his mother. Thank you Seo Kang Joon, for doing justice to this scene! Of crying tears of guilt and regret.
Young Hoon and David can hear Shin crying from within the parlour, where Laura’s body lies. David murmurs that Shin’s mother’s heart will break from hearing him cry. As for why David’s free, well, the police lets him go because there’s a witness who insisted that it was robot Shin who killed Laura. Young Hoon notes that people are fast to point fingers at robot Shin because to them, he’s just a machine.
Young Hoon tells David that it was Seo who told human Shin about Laura’s death and therefore, he’s suspicious. David thanks him for believing in robot Shin and he replies, “It was because he showed me things.”
Ye Na reads the news about Laura’s death and finally realises that her room is tapped. Seo returns home and tells her to stay overseas until she has calmed down. She pretends that she doesn’t suspect her father’s involvement and obediently agrees to go overseas the very next day. As she leaves for her room, she falls. Seo helps her up but she sneakily leaves her phone underneath the sofa.
The couple remains hidden at a beautiful cabin (whose?). So Bong’s Dad and sidekicks call So Bong to tell her that they believe in robot Shin but Dad reminds her to stay alert and that they cannot keep running away. “And comfort him.”
So Bong returns to the room, and finds Shin cuddled up by the wall. She cheerily tells him that Dad and sidekicks believe in him but he doesn’t reply. She asks how long he would stay like this and he murmurs, “I keep seeing Mum.” I initially thought he meant a hologram error where he sees Laura, but turns out, he has been replaying the memory of Laura’s death over and over again. “Mum keeps dying. Continuously.”
My tears just fall on their own accord as we see that Shin has been watching the video of Laura dying on loop. I love how the dramas turn these little things on their heads with a little twist. In the episodes before, it was always cool and convenient that Shin could replay memories for others to see, but when it comes to sad, haunting memories, Shin will be able to remember them forever.
So Bong tears and she tells him to stop doing that, or Laura will be very sad. Shin turns to look at her crying and she says she’s okay, “I’m crying on your behalf since you can’t.”
Shin whispers, “Tears…”
As the snow falls heavily outside, Shin leaves the cabin and looks at the sky. “I want to cry like a person.”
So Bong hugs him from behind, “I’ll hug you…because your heart is crying.”
And the couple just stays quietly this way, while Shin looks up at the falling snow.
I love this scene because it’s so beautiful, gentle and sad. The music brings out all the right emotions and my heart does break for Shin, who is both grieving for his mother and yet unable to cry.
Since the reversal chip isn’t completed well, the kill-switch is reactivated again in the night. 15 hours countdown. In his house, Seo gloats over the success of having killed Laura and laughs that it’s game over once he deals with Young Hoon. He plans to kidnap human Shin and threaten Young Hoon to turn over the shares since Shin is his weakness.
The next morning, Young Hoon tells human Shin that robot Shin didn’t do that to Laura and that Seo must have something to do with it. After he leaves for the office, human Shin receives a text from robot Shin via So Bong’s phone, saying that he needs to meet him to tell him something about their mother. He replies with a location tag.
Robot Shin then receives a worried call from David and inadvertently reveals that the kill switch has been reactivated. He has only 11 hours and 12 minutes left. David panics and tells him to get to Laura’s house right now, but robot Shin has something important to tell human Shin. So Bong overhears this part of the conversation and wants him to protect himself, but robot Shin must convey the truth about Laura’s death to human Shin.
Meanwhile, Young Hoon faces an angry mob of shareholders who wonders at his involvement since he publicly announces that he’s the agent of the robot. Seo appears triumphantly, much to the delight of the shareholders. Young Hoon stoicly reminds them that investigations are not over yet and he believes Shin is not the murderer. They bristle at Young Hoon using the word ‘chingu’ to address Shin and scold him for not coming to his senses yet.
Nonetheless, they are momentarily satisfied because Young Hoon promises to forfeit his shares to human Shin if results show otherwise. No matter what, he will not let Seo, the scumbag, have the company.
As human Shin drives out to meet robot Shin, Park follows after in another car. David then enters the home and continues on Laura’s work of the kill-switch. There’s only 8 hours left.
David calls robot Shin and tells him to come over once he sees human Shin. Otherwise, he will keep losing power as the countdown continues.Robot Shin covers his watch furtively, as he still hasn’t told So Bong the truth.
So Bong asks if David called about the back-up watch because she has one and Shin hurriedly replies that David only wants to see him because he misses him. Omg he’s getting so good at lying.
Turns out, Ye Na, who knew instinctively that it was her dad who killed Laura, intentionally turned on the recording on her phone and threw it under the sofa, where it recorded the conversation between Park and Seo the night before. She retrieves her phone from the sofa and replays the recording. Her eyes widen as she hears her father’s plans to kidnap Shin.
She quickly calls Shin but something must have already happened since he doesn’t pick up. Her guards hurry her to pack for the airport and she sneaks to a side of the house while they load her luggage. She calls Young Hoon, who similarly cannot get through to Shin, and tells him that it was Seo who killed Laura. Right after, Seo instructs a secretary to bring Young Hoon to the Chairman’s office, where he shows a video of Shin being beaten up by thugs.
Young Hoon yells at him in rage and calls him an animal. Seo laughs that he’s a demon, not an animal, and passes him the share transfer agreement. Sign it, or else Shin will join his mother.
Young Hoon runs out after but immediately gets arrested by the police who wants to bring him in for questioning. Seo watches and tells Park on the phone that he has gotten the signature, “To think my dream came true through a piece of paper. It feels so empty.” Human Shin struggles and yells through his gag and Park asks what he’s supposed to do with him. Seo answers nonchalently that he would have to kill Shin himself. He walks off in glee, not knowing that Ye Na has overheard the entire conversation.
When the couple reaches the location as human Shin has instructed, David calls again. Robot Shin quickly takes over the phone and asks softly, “What is it?” which causes So Bong to be suspicious. She grabs the phone back and hears David’s reply that robot Shin has less than 4 hours but he can do something with the chip in his neck.
So Bong quickly pulls up Shin’s sleeve to see the ticking watch and finally realises that the kill switch is reactivated. She wants to leave right now but robot Shin insists on meeting human Shin.
Young Hoon gets hauled off to the police station but Ye Na stops them with her recording where Seo, as plain as day, admits to killing Laura. Young Hoon gets out of the station quickly because of that and says that he will thank her after he finds Shin. If you are wondering how Ye Na get there and hoping the drama would address it, nope, it’s unanswered till the end but I suppose that’s because it’s not important in the grand scheme of things. Just assume that she threw off the guards.
Since this is the last we see of Ye Na, I’m glad that they somehow still link taking down Seo with saving her oppa, human Shin. We can see that till the end, she’s pretty harmless and she never wanted to hurt others. She only wanted to be with human Shin, which is in line with her motivation throughout the drama. This is why I like it that they didn’t just suddenly try to imbue her with some conscience that make her send her father to jail (death penalty?) just like that.
The location turns out to be a church but there’s no human Shin in sight. Young Hoon calls Shin and tells him to track the human Shin since Seo has abducted him. Using his GPS, robot Shin locates them easily and sends Young Hoon the address. He will also go over now. So Bong wants him to go to David instead but robot Shin gently pushes her hand away. She flares at him for being crazy, “He activated your kill switch. He did this to you. Why would you go there?”
He replies, “I have to go. You know that, Kang So Bong.” So Bong retaliates in tears as she points out that his time is getting shorter and he is in greater danger. He wants her to wait at the church while he brings human Shin over very soon.
As he walks away, So Bong asks, “What about me?” He turns around as So Bong asks what happens if he goes like this and his time expires? What should she do?
Robot Shin walks back and hugs her as she pleads with him to stay. As he pulls back and touches her hair lightly, he explains that he couldn’t do anything when his mother died.
If human Shin dies now, he will keep remembering his mother dying. “It’s my rule to help humans. Help me stick to that rule.” So Bong shakes her head and that’s when he promises to come back.
“I’m your robot after all.” I knew it, that he will promise to come back – and robot Shin never breaks his promise! I do think the scene was a tad long given that the time is ticking, but I also see it as robot Shin kinda teaching So Bong what it means to stick to your principles. Teaching us. He turns to leave once more but this time, So Bong grabs him and tells him she will follow him till the end.
Human Shin, dazed from all the beating, looks up to see Seo, who taunts him about how a family should stay together. Robot Shin enters the warehouse and easily deals with the guards who attempt to take him out using rods. I laugh a little when I see how the rod is the thing which bends upon being in contact with robot Shin. How does So Bong feel every time she hugs Shin? That must feel like rock, rock hard abs man.
Seo points a gun at human Shin, “Tell your father I said hi,” and looks away as he prepares to pull the trigger. A rod flies in and hits the gun away. Seo looks up in shock and finds himself hurled away by robot Shin. So Bong quickly runs in and unties human Shin. As she puts a coat on him, human Shin asks why robot Shin is here.
Robot Shin finally gets to say, “To relay Mum’s message. She said…she was sorry for leaving you alone again.” There’s something very simple and steadfast about this robot that I truly admire – you really can trust him to do something for you.
Mum’s last words hit a note with human Shin, and you can tell somewhere, his heart aches. Upon robot Shin’s instructions, So Bong puts on the back-up watch on human Shin because he wants human Shin to pretend like he’s the robot. So Bong helps human Shin up and as the two Shins come face to face, human Shin tells robot Shin that it isn’t his fault, “It’s my fault Mum died, so don’t blame yourself.”
Robot Shin smiles, “Thank you, Shin.” So Bong brings human Shin out of the warehouse but almost runs into Park and other thugs, and quickly helps him to hide somewhere else. Robot Shin waits till Seo wakes up from the hurl and coldy fires shots around Seo.
“Are you afraid? I said I’d do exactly to you what you did to my people.” Seo yells that he can’t kill people anyway and robot Shin brings the gun up, “This is the final bullet.”
He points at Seo and Seo whimpers in fear. The last bullet goes off above his head and robot Shin leaves with a warning, “Don’t play with people’s lives.”
Can I just say though, both times when robot Shin directly warns Seo not to touch his people, he was incredibly hot!
Okay anyway back to the show. Robot Shin stumbles as he leaves the warehouse, because his power is decreasing. 23 minutes left. He quickly tracks So Bong and runs to where she is. So Bong receives a call from Young Hoon who tells him that he’s going to arrive soon with the police. Human Shin tells her to stay with him because it’s dangerous out there and she shrugs him aside, “Do you know what he gave up to come here? His life. The kill switch got reactivated.”
As human Shin processes this information, So Bong throws out a, “Stop whining,” and runs off. Robot Shin stumbles as he finds So Bong and accidentally runs into Park and his thugs too. This time round, they notice him and give chase, thinking that he’s the human Shin. So Bong looks around the port and is unable to find robot Shin. Instead, she runs into David who tells her that he found a way to deactivate the kill switch but Shin must have lost of power.
With only 2 minutes left, Robot Shin finds himself at the edge of the port, edged between water and Park/thugs. In this 10 minutes, human Shin has managed to get to the ship a level above them and he watches from above. Park mutters, “If you are human Nam Shin, I will kill you.”
Human Shin makes a move, but robot Shin, who sees that he’s there, discreetly shakes his head.
As the thugs flash the lights to check Shin’s wrist, he hides his wrist behind his back and quietly flips the watch into the sea. They verify that he’s the human Shin and Park triumphantly takes out his gun.
Seo arrives and snatches the gun, shouting, “Dieeee!”
A shot rings out and hits Shin right in the chest. Across the water, So Bong yells, “No!” Shin turns and his eyes connect with So Bong, then David.
Another shot rings out, then yet another shot.
As he moves backwards with each shot, he doesn’t stop looking at So Bong.
The final shot rings out and he falls into the sea. Young Hoon arrives too late, and So Bong crumbles to the floor, repeating, “No!”
There is nothing they could do.
As robot Shin falls through the water, the camera shows us his necklace and his wrist, and the server room being disconnected.
OMG he took off his battery!! Remember? The kill switch doesn’t work when the battery is taken out!
The scene goes black and we return, 1 year later. 1 year later?? I wasn’t expecting that.
1 year later, Seo is in jail and Park is visiting him. Park is sad because the chairman’s inauguration is today and Seo should have been there, “It’s all because of that robot.” Seo confesses that right till the robot fell into the ocean, he thought he was the real Shin. “The times I spent with him were the most thrilling in my entire life.” Park updates him that Ye Na is with her mother in Boston and that she hardly leaves her home now. He asks if Seo wants to contact Ye Na but Seo smiles a little and shakes his head.
And thaaat’s the end of Seo. You know, when Seo was shooting at Shin, I was curious as to whether he knew that was the human or robot Shin because he was firing with such vengeance. I’m glad the show at least addreseses this but wow, that really blackens Seo’s personality (it’s already filthy before). This means that he would have unflinchingly and cruelly killed human Shin in that manner. As many have pointed out, Park should have been there right with Seo because he abetted in the murder crimes but I guess if Park was also in there, then this scene can’t be done because there would be no one else who want to visit Seo. I do feel slightly unsatisfied because Seo is such a bad guy and I wish something really bad happens to him other than jail (as recent Kdramas have ventured into) but oh wellz! I can’t quite think of what would be befitting either.
If you are wondering, the chairman is Young Hoon. As he sits in the Chairman’s office, human Shin appears and Young Hoon smiles, “Shouldn’t you stop travelling now?” He wants Shin to come back and take over the company but Shin says that if he takes over, he will sell the company.
He asks about So Bong and Young Hoon replies that he couldn’t ask because he didn’t want to reopen her wounds.
We then cut to So Bong sitting next to Maibo after a day at the gym. Maibo replays the previous recordings of Shin’s messages and she cries, “I don’t want to be alone.” I miss you, my robot.
Some time later, she brings Maibo to the sea and eats a sandwich, since it’s the only food Shin and her ate together. “I’ll be back. Don’t be lonely.”
She tells Maibo to say bye to Shin and it cleverly moves its arms. The colours in this scene are so pastel and pretty.
While packing up, So Bong accidentally knocks Maibo on to the sand below. She rushes down to pick it up and dusts the sand off. Maibo replays the recording of Shin saying that he’s sorry for being a robot and she replies, “Don’t be sorry for being a robot.”
A voice rings out from behind her, “I’m sorry I’m a robot, Kang So Bong.” She stands up and turns around, and there he is, Shin.
She is in disbelief but a heartbeat later, human Shin breaks the moment, “You still get confused?” He jokes that he’s being nice to her by pretending to be robot Shin. Realising that human Shin is just playing a prank on her, she walks off in anger with Maibo.
Human Shin tags behind, “Sorry! I came to pay my respects too.” So Bong walks and walks and cries, “Stupid jerk.” As she wipes her tears away, another voice rings out from behind her. This one, much gentler. “Are you angry?”
She turns around again instinctively with a frown but her face melts into bewilderment as she takes in the sight before her.
This. Is undoubtedly robot Shin, with a beige soft cardigan and her mother’s necklace.
She stands rooted in her spot, while robot Shin walks forward and envelops her in a hug. “The rule is to hug you if you cry.” She quickly pulls back and checks the watch. The watch is there; it is him!
Tears start to fall as she asks, “Is it really you?” He smiles, “Yes, Kang So Bong. It’s me.”
She reaches out to carress his face, all the while crying that this is impossible, and he leans into her hand.
From afar, the three men look at the happy reunion.
David thanks the two guys for helping him retrieve robot Shin, and Young Hoon points out that it was all due to human Shin’s money and power.
Human Shin laughs that it’s the first time he enjoyed using money and power, and David murmurs that Laura would have been happy to hear him say that. “It was worth the long effort in fixing you, my son.”
And that’s the last shot of these three! I am amused to find that there ARE people out there who also think that human Shin and Young Hoon seem more like a couple.
As the camera pans over the couple necklaces, Robot Shin holds So Bong’s hand in his and tells her that most of his abilities are gone.
“I’m close to an average human now.” So Bong replies, “It’s okay. You became closer to me and I became more like you. My heart won’t change anymore, just like a robot.”
They look at each other with a smile.
As the sun shines from behind, robot Shin leans forward to kiss her.
They pull back into a hug and as So Bong cries into his shoulder,
a tear….a tear rolls out of robot Shin’s eyes.
It’s funny how watching an episode the second time for recap purposes brings another layer of feels and thoughts. The first time I watched this, I was delighted with the ending scene. The second time, I actually teared (a literal tear), knowing and seeing that tear is about to appear from Shin’s eyes. The whole effect just comes together so beautifully. This tear seals the deal and is such an incredibly nice touch because right from the first episode, crying is a recurrent theme throughout the drama. It comes back in every other episode just to remind us of Shin’s progress, and there’s a sense of closure now that Shin himself can cry. Stamp of approval!
On the thoughts of the finale alone –
(Read this: Okay I inserted this section because I realise there are some people who don’t get why robot Shin didn’t die and felt like it was just a cliche random ressurection. Basically, when robot Shin removes his battery, this stops the countdown and effectively stops the kill-switch. Remember how So Bong threatens Laura that she will keep robot Shin turned off so that Laura can never use the kill-switch? That’s the little tidbit the show has been keeping and I’m actually impressed it came back in this way, in this manner. So rather it being a deux ex machina, I thought it to be well thought-out!)
I initially felt that the 1 year break is a weird change of momentum given that we already knew Shin couldn’t die due to the battery being removed. I half expected the next scene to be them fishing him out and immediately resuscitating him, so the 1 year gap caught me off guard. I kept waiting eagerly for the show to reveal this twist, but they didn’t. I suppose that’s because they feel like the viewers would have caught on to that anyway and therefore, the focus would have been to bring the couple back for the most beautiful reunion they can imagine.
I’m also not quite sure what to think about Shin’s abilities being gone now. I know that many people like it and that it’s to show that he’s becoming more human-like, but hmm I don’t think that’s necessary. I guess it is the drama’s way of bringing the leads closer to each other and to make it more accceptable for a human to last long with a robot. But well, that’s me, I would love robot Shin to continue possessing his cute abilities to learn to play the piano in 15 seconds just out of jealousy.
Now for the drama as a whole. Let’s tackle with some common complaints. I cannot comprehend the comments who think that it’s a problem the couple cannot create a family biologically. Want to have children? Adopt?? That surely can’t be the crux of why you dislike the show. Real life couples face problems like this too but are you telling me that that means one partner should leave the other? Some REAL people also definitely don’t see having children as the hallmark of happiness or what it means to have a loving and meaningful relationship. But if that’s your choice/life ideals, then I guess that speaks more about you than the show!
For those who kept complaining about how So Bong would age while Shin wouldn’t, do you also complain when you watch Goblin (guy is freaking 1000 years old falling in love with a school girl – are you complaining then?), You Who Came From The Stars (guy’s also 10000 years old maybe and is an ALIEN), Korean Odyssey (monkey??) etc? And stop, just stop thinking that So Bong should have ended up with human Shin.
But because this is the last episode and my final recap, I shall not spend any more time harping on other people’s comments!
So on to my own thoughts.
There were some people we didn’t really see much in the finale and ending and I do feel that something more could have been done. For example, Ye Na’s last shot is at the station; Grandpa’s last shot was in the nursing home. As for Seo, it seems that it was never revealed that he was the one who strangled Jung Woo’s dad? He did right? For So Bong’s Dad, it would have been cute to watch some form of epilogue where they perhaps make another birthday party for Shin or where Dad lecutres Shin on how to be a good husband/boyfriend – that would have really made me smile.
Ep 17/18 (33 to 36) really dialed up the notch on melodrama and I wasn’t quite sure that the drama had prepped us adequately for that. The materials for the drama were present no doubt, but the last two episodes suddenly became very loaded and heavy. Nonetheless, I do think that this kind of dramas (if executed well) leave a longer lasting impression on me. Dramas with one final episode dedicated to showing happy endings, while good for my heart, also ironically temper my drama blues drastically.
I also hope that robot Shin has his data and ability backed up because it would have been a waste of Laura’s two decades of work for it to be gone just like that. Actually I’m not even sure why his abilities are gone – is it because it malfunctioned while he’s in the water and David can’t maintain him as well as Laura did? Or the kill-switch having been switched off only so close to going off managed to do some damage?
Anyway, at the end of the day, why do I love this drama so much?
First, acting. Truthfully, I put this show off for a while because I didn’t know the two leads well, but I eventually started because of Lee Joon Hyuk. And I’m so glad I did because now, I’m so proud of what the cast has achieved. Seo Kang Joon’s handling of the two drastically different personalities and where they had to impersonate each other at various points of the drama is excellently-done and amazing. He acted as human Shin, as robot Shin, as robot Shin pretending to be human Shin, at human Shin pretending to be robot Shin (one level of being good enough to trick the viewers and at one level of being obviously human Shin, just enough to trick the undiscerning characters). Regardless of the ratings, I think this project has been made a success largely because Seo Kang Joon really rose to the occassion.
We cannot forget Gong Seung Yeon as well. She really moulded a likeable Kang So Bong. It’s my personal opinion but I am extra thankful that this role didn’t go to Go Ara. I can’t quite see the chemistry between Go Ara and Seo Kang Joon and also, I’m pretty sure Go Ara wouldn’t have been such a cute So Bong. Thank you, Gong Seung Yeon, for bringing life to your own character, for being the true pillar of support to robot Shin! I watched an interview where Seo Kang Joon said that Gong Seung Yeon helped him out a lot because he would bounce off the vibes from her, as to whether she’s interacting with robot Shin or human Shin, in order to keep tabs on who HE is supposed to act as. And that’s something quite lovely which I wouldn’t have realised if not for this interview. If not for a good partner like Gong Seung Yeon, Seo Kang Joon may not be able to shine like he did today.
For the rest of the cast, I really like Kim Sung Ryung’s acting as the mother and creator of the two Shins. The changes in her attitude towards robot Shin are subtle but it really shows through her expression, whether she’s feeling cruel determination or guilt. I don’t think Lee Joon Hyuk has gotten a chance to shine as Young Hoon is a pretty stable character with not that much development, but I will continue to support his projects!
Second, plot. I do have gripes with the plot here and there. For example, I think So Bong should have been portrayed as less annoying in the first four episodes. Her back-story is saddening and to some extent, I think it’s a well-crafted justification for her personality initially, but it also turned many people off the show. But for me, the true gem of the plot lies in all the questions they provoke about AI/robot and love. I re-read some of my older recaps for this drama and it’s interesting how some issues get developed. This is not a fun, harmless drama and that’s probably also why some people didn’t like it. But for me, this is exactly why I love it – it’s so meaningful, it’s not just a typical K-drama, and I find that often, our answers to the questions posed by the characters reflect more of us than the show. And that’s interesting!
Third, it being a pre-produced drama really shows because throughout the drama, I never felt like the writers didn’t know where they are going. The edits were smooth and the cliffhangers were well-executed, precisely because the producers already had the big picture and knew what they were going for. The ending was a tad rushed for my liking (like I’d said, I would prefer them giving more details as to how robot Shin is saved and also an epilogue) but you probably can’t deny that for a good 80-90% of the show, the drama was intact and solid. The music hits all the right notes and really, really brings out the emotions of each scene. The CGI was amazing and convincing. Not once did it feel like it was unrealistic or laughable, and I can’t imagine the amount of hard work that must have gone in to make this work. Kudos!! The fact that it’s pre-produced also allows the show to execute the beautiful introductions, where each character takes on a narration each episode and shows us just slightly more from their perspective. And almost always, I find that the narration changes or deepens my feelings towards the character.
I suppose it is suitable to end off this recap with what I think ultimately of the two Shins. For Human Shin, I am sad that he doesn’t get a chance to live life with his mother. Laura dying was probably the only way to bring him back to sanity but I still feel this sense that the same could have been done if only the scriptwriters chose an alternative route. I never hated him from a viewer’s perspective because I find that his emotions are actually understandable, even if not right. I constantly appreciate his exisence as a character to bring contrast to robot Shin. In commenting on one of the later episodes where human Shin was at his worst, I pointed out that human Shin and Robot Shin show us that no matter how you look superficially, it is who you are inside that matters. The same face (same actor no less) as the only constant between the two characters really higlights that it is the internal, the thoughts, the personality that we root for.
In every way, robot Shin ironically is the one who teaches the viewers and the other characters what it means to be a human. His sweetness, kindness, loyalty to his rules, and passion for other human beings will be something that truly make this drama memorable. Are You Human? is the show’s subtle, intangible question posed every episode to its viewers, and although I don’t think they highlighted this very well in the finale, I think this show is meant to be a commentary on what humanity means. Perhaps this is also why I didn’t quite like robot Shin losing his abilities because I felt like that wasn’t the point of the show.
It’s going to take a few days for me to fully settle with the notion that I can’t see this cute robot any more and perhaps at that point in time, I will check back in on the drama blues. But I think I can say that right now, this has definitely made it to one of my favourite dramas of all times! I can’t believe it’s over for real!
Thank you for sticking around and hope to see you guys soon, perhaps in any of our leads’ projects!