A simple, yet important and chilling episode!! I’m so hooked!
Here’s a quickie recap of sorts but I just had to DROP everything and pen down my thoughts. Truthfully, ‘nothing much’ happened in EP5 in that the entire episode was in the same setting (and yet everything happened): we pull back a bit in storyline to find out that the late night call wasn’t from Yang Joo but from Jin Woo’s drunk wife. And this was why Hee Joo ventured upstairs before getting thoroughly traumatised by Jin Woo’s fall –
Park Shin Hye nailed this scene in showing how spooked she was, but honestly my mind was screaming omg woman stop wasting time gasping and checking if this is the CEO; it doesn’t matter WHO fell, just get the freaking ambulance???
Anyway, Jin Woo gets saved via CPR by one of the hostel kids who was a medical student (thank goodness) and he finally wakes up in the hospital to Cha Hyung Seok’s father touching his face with concern.
Father then goes off to see his dead son’s body. The fact that Kim Eui Sang is acting as the father gives me major vibes that the father is a key character; is he also involved in this alternate/virtual reality? Hmm.
As Jin Woo drifts off, we see through a flashback how the father chased Hyung Seok away from the company (referring to some ‘betrayal’) and how Jin Woo found out belatedly that his ex-wife married Hyung Seok. I’m glad there are some flashbacks so that we don’t have to keep seeing Hyung Seok in his freshly-dead form.
In that moment of finding out about the marriage, Jin Woo told his friend, Park Sun Ho, that if he had a knife, he would have stabbed Hyung Seok – and this was interjected with scenes of the fighting at the park. This is what I’m referring to in the previous review; the way Jin Woo just slashes at Hyung Seok is honestly alarming and kinda makes me think – to what extent would people live out their urges thinking it’s ‘just a game’? What is the impact on society if such a game is really created, allowing people to ‘kill’ whoever they want with maximum sense of reality?
In my FAVOURITE, most chilling moment of this episode – Jin Woo wakes up proper and through his phone call with Secretary Seo, he (and I) realises that he wasn’t wearing the contact lens last night!! OMG. He wasn’t playing the game.
There I was wondering in #chroniclesofcontactlens why users wouldn’t just remove their lens to avoid dying and the drama threw the answer right at me straightaway. Incredibly pleased and amazed.
Jin Woo is now utterly spooked because he kept thinking he was wearing the lens but now he recalls, he definitely took them off and placed them by his bedside. Rain suddenly falls…and the door opens……..but thankfully, it’s Hee Joo and Min Joo. It’s a little amusing yet scary at the same time that the rain now bears a different meaning.
Hee Joo calls the nurse and is angered to return to a Jin Woo using his phone so she storms away with it. Having watched the preview, I was so scared that Hyung Seok’s NPC moment is going to be now – rob the guy of his phone and he will have nobody to call for help! But nope, I was just overthinking. Jin Woo asks Min Joo why her sister is angry and Min Joo replies, “She likes you.”
Ha ha, you not-so-little one, you are cheeky. It’s also nice to see that Jin Woo genuinely likes this girl, for he gets so tickled by her during the conversation, his ribs hurt.
Oh and the rain? Min Joo sees it too phew; rain is real. And the bandage by his side wasn’t from the sword wound but from his injury after the fall. Hmm seems like the show is keeping injuries within their separate worlds then. Although Hyung Seok did die from blood loss though – so it didn’t seem like injuries will be ‘converted’ to one which could be suffered in reality?
Jin Woo is however alarmed to hear that Hee Joo had informed his wife, Yoo Ra, of his injury and that the said Yoo Ra is on her way up to his ward right now. He demands for Hee Joo to settle this issue or he WILL run away. Hee Joo tries changing his room with the nurse, and now Jin Woo’s left alone…..a clap of thunder startles him but he thinks nothing of it…
till he hears the sounds of Memories of the Alhambra (Have I mentioned how much I love the tie-in between the title of the drama and the actual guitar piece?)
He looks up to see the game’s notice, An enemy has appeared, but a touch over his eyes confirms that he is NOT wearing the lens. The door opens, revealing Hee Joo…but Hyung Seok appears behind her.
Jin Woo shouts at her to close the door and realises quickly that the door, acting as an obstacle, prevents confrontations with enemies. A 60-second countdown starts, after which the confrontation will be ‘postponed’. Hee Joo almost opens the door halfway, but Jin Woo yells at her to keep the door shut. She sees Yoo Ra approaching and quickly leads Yoo Ra away to a wrong room.
The countdown keeps ticking (oh so exciting!), but at the last second, a confused patient opens the door thinking it’s his room. DANG.
Hyung Seok enters to face-off with Jin Woo, who has no choice but to grab the patient’s stick, thrashes the room and hobbles away. Hee Joo later hears that Jin Woo has escaped, and sees his phone left on his bed, so she finds him worriedly.
Secretary Seo and Hyung Seok’s father return to the room to find only Yoo Ra. They hear that Jin Woo (allegedly) escaped knowing that Yoo Ra is coming and Hyung Seok’s father chides her for visiting even though she knew he hates her. Yoo Ra jibes at Hyung Seok’s father, telling him to take care of his family (Hyung Seok’s wife) and she will take care of hers.
As adrenaline pumps through his body to stay alive, Jin Woo drags his body out of the hospital but Hyung Seok still manages to get a few slashes in. What Jin Woo doesn’t know is that his leg is broken and probably won’t heal. Jin Woo falls to the ground as Hyung Seok raises the sword.
Knowing that his game is up, he closes his eyes and narrates to the viewers that he now understands – it was he who killed Cha Hyung Seok and that he’s now going to be killed in the same manner. What we wish for everyday…has now become the reality.
Just as the sword is about to land, Hee Joo kneels in front of Jin Woo in tears. She stands up to tend to his leg but Jin Woo quickly pulls her back.
The 60-second countdown starts again and Jin Woo holds her there, “Just stay here for a minute. Don’t move.” He asks Hee Joo if he’s weird and mad and she can’t answer. Jin Woo faints after the timer goes up and Hyung Seok disappears.
Hyung Seok’s father hears that the police is investigating Jin Woo because there is evidence of a scuffle between Jin Woo and Hyung Seok. As the nurses bring Jin Woo back to the room, Hyung Seok’s father touches him and he murmurs, “Sorry.”
An outtake shows Se Joo on that train again – in the thunderstorm and hearing Memories of the Alhambra. Jin Woo narrates that maybe Se Joo was being pursued by a killer, just like he was. We see the scene of Jin Woo rushing to find Se Joo at the train station. Se Joo, did he die at that time…? If not…?
But this time round, as Jin Woo turns around, there is Se Joo on the ground, holding a gun with bloodied hands.
I love how the show constantly ties it back to the scene of Se Joo – because that introduction scene was just a few minutes long but had so much to unpack, and each time the show ties it back, we learn something more about that train scene. Like how we first knew that the rain wasn’t real; it was in the game, and now we learn that 1. players hear Memories of the Alhambra and that 2. Se Joo wasn’t unarmed possibly when he opened that door. I think we will learn still why both Se Joo and Jin Woo in the flash-forward opened their doors; is it because the avoiding confrontation method no longer works? The fact that Se Joo was holding a gun and so is Jin Woo 1 year later also makes me think if the game has an upgrade/modern version – since Jin Woo is still using a sword right now and the setting is set in medieval times.
There’s still a lot more we don’t know about the game and about the characters and I’m so excited to find out more. What’s up with both Hyung Seok’s father and Soo Jin? Why did Soo Jin leave Jin Woo? I thought she was blackmailed by Hyung Seok but the way she shrieked at Jin Woo sounded like she genuinely wanted to leave Jin Woo. In the midst of these entangled relationships, I appreciate that Hee Joo (at the moment) represents somewhat the innocent and external world. But is she going to be pulled in soon?
I’m also wondering if the show will ever come up with a reason as to why the virtual reality shades into the reality. This premise has an added touch of creepiness for me, because while most dramas/stories focus on characters going across a reality and a ‘fiction’ (W for e.g when comic characters come into reality), this one looks at a merging of virtual reality into real life. The two worlds aren’t kept distinct and the fact that a virtual game’s actions have real-life consequences is chilling. It would be perfect if the show could explain coherently why this happened but I’m feeling like they could also just end it with a it just happened that way, no one knows why thing. Because now that the twist is thrown in that the game continues even without users wearing lens, it becomes a lot harder to explain the phenomenon. Maybe it’s magic.
Woohoo, excited for the next episode!