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Circle: Episode 1

Circle began with a literal bang this week, and after months of trying to find a fix for my drama slump, I’m almost hyperventilating at how good it is so far. I was nervous because I didn’t know whether the two timelines would mesh, or whether the whole dystopian future would be executed well. But, almost everything, from the fast pacing to the rich background stories to the high-quality acting, is on point. So without further ado, I give you Circle.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

Part 1: Beta Project

In the year 2007, two young children walk alone in the woods with a bike between them, moonlight guiding their way through the dark. The younger brother asks his older sibling: “How did you find me? Twin telepathy?” The older brother scoffs at the idea and tells his younger brother not to go wandering off into the mountains anymore.

The younger twin, KIM WOO-JIN, keeps telling his older brother, KIM BUM-GYUN, that this time, he’s sure: He’s convinced that aliens and UFOs are real. Bum-gyun asks for evidence, and Woo-jin is happy to oblige: Exhibit #1 is the fog, but the older brother explains it away by temperature difference. Exhibit #2 is a burnt pine cone, but this is similarly explained away by the presence of local lumberjacks who also work in the area.

Suddenly, a white light beams from the sky, seeming to chase them menacingly. They get on bike to flee, but it keeps following them. Faster and faster, Bum-gyun pedals as streetlights burst when they pass along the street. A truck almost runs into them because of the bright light, but it misses them by a hair and crashes.

The bike falls when a light from the other direction comes toward them — but it’s the headlight of a car that stops in front of them. It’s their father, KIM KYU-CHUL (Kim Joong-ki), who comes out of the vehicle, and he runs to save them from the strange bright light.

After the ball of light descends from the sky, a huge supernova-like blast occurs, blinding the family trio. When they finally open their eyes, they see that the light contains a humanoid figure. And as it materializes, it crystallizes into a naked human female form (Gong Seung-yeon).

She walks toward them, and Woo-jin says that his final evidence is “Exhibit #3: an alien.” She collapses, and he approaches her fallen form as his father and his twin call him back.

Ten years later, a college-age Kim Woo-jin (Yeo Jin-gu) walks past the crowd of protesting Handam Science and Technology University students while another classmate calls after him. He ignores the calls and makes his way to a classroom where only he and Professor PARK DONG-GUN (Han Sang-jin) are present, and he proceeds to take an exam.

As soon as he walks out, he’s confronted by his some other classmates, who heckle him for not upholding their boycott of the exam. The boycott was to show support for the protest that’s happening outside to urge the school’s president to step down for condoning brutal academic competition and fostering a harsh learning environment. 

However, Woo-jin isn’t having any of it, because as a scholarship student, he needs to stay at the top of the class to maintain his free tuition. So he sarcastically quips back a thanks for an easy first place exam when the others try to make him feel bad for his choice to take it. As he leaves them, a phone call from his grandmother’s hospice reminds him that he’s late on this month’s payment. 

We next see him adjusting his makeup in a mirror, since it turns out that he’s working a part-time job as a female ghost in a haunted house. He scares one child who begins to cry, and immediately feeling guilty for scaring him, Woo-jin begins making funny faces with two lollipops. But this only serves to make the elementary schooler cry harder, and so Woo-jin gives him both candies as he scientifically explains the fear of supernatural entities away. 

Later, while eating his dinner of instant ramen noodles alone, he receives a text that his sunbae, Ji-hyuk, is dead. His group chat log becomes inundated with messages like “RIP Ji-hyuk” and “You will be missed.” But Woo-jin has only one thing on his mind. 

The following morning, he goes to Professor Park’s lab (where Ji-hyuk had been working before his untimely death) and asks if the professor is picking a new research assistant. Woo-jin offers his candidacy, and the professor, glancing at the mementos still piling on the late Ji-hyuk’s desk, is shocked and taken aback by Woo-jin’s request. He tells him so, and Woo-jin understand, but he re-emphasizes that he wanted to be considered before any other student was in the running.

A sunbae who had been watching this entire situation unfold with outraged disbelief corners Woo-jin as he leaves the lab for being so insensitive about Ji-hyuk’s death. He pushes Woo-jin against the wall and tells him that it was mercenary academics like him who caused Ji-hyuk to commit suicide. 

However, Woo-jin doesn’t just take this sort of condemnation and fires back at the sunbae: “Do you think the world is so easy? Because you’ve lived your entire life privileged, you took advantage of Ji-hyuk too, taking credit while he did all the work. Isn’t it too late to pretend to be a good guy?”

Woo-jin pushes past the sunbae, but in an attempt to rile him up and get the last word in, the sunbae asks about Woo-jin’s older brother, Bum-gyun (Ahn Woo-yeon). That makes Woo-jin stop, and his mind goes back to a flashback to his high school days where he went to the police station to see his brother in handcuffs.

Turning around, Woo-jin replies to his sunbae that his brother is still in prison, and he adds that if they do end up working together in Professor Park’s lab, he won’t be able to take advantage of him as easily as he did Ji-hyuk.

As Woo-jin is about to leave campus grounds, he passes by the memorial for Ji-hyuk and overhears the detectives talking to a student who had witnessed Ji-hyuk’s last moments. The witness tells the cops about a boy with a taser who was seen with Ji-hyuk before he died, and this makes Woo-jin remember that Bum-gyun had always reminded him to carry a taser in case of another alien attack. This prompts him to go to the rooftop, where another memory surfaces of Bum-gyun threatening a female student with the taser, accusing her of being the alien.

Back in the present, Woo-jin looks down toward the memorial from the rooftop, and he sees a figure wearing a black cap, and the figure clearly reminds him of his brother. He runs down several flights of stairs to catch the figure, but when he finally gets there, the figure is gone.

He comes home to see a pair of shoes that aren’t his own, so he glances around, and his brother comes out of the bathroom with a huge grin on his face. Woo-jin asks suspiciously how Bum-gyun got out so early, and his older brother explains that while Woo-jin may be a model student, he was a model prisoner, which earned him an early parole release.

A little suspicious, Woo-jin asks whether it was his first day out and whether he visited Handam University, but Bum-gyun replies that he rushed home straightaway. They exchange happy greetings in brotherly fashion, with good ol’ chokeholds and wrestling.

They go out to eat chicken, and Woo-jin watches his brother down the fried meat at an unbelievably rapid pace. Bum-gyun tells him about the chicken dreams he had while he had been locked up before he gets distracted by a spam text.

When Woo-jin asks where he got the phone from, Bum-gyun avoids the question and just says he procured one. It’s not a big deal because Bum-gyun seems cheerful, and they take selfies together in commemoration of his release from prison.

At night, still suspicious of his brother, Woo-jin rummages through Bum-gyun’s drawers looking for any sign of the taser, but Bum-gyun wakes up and asks him what he’s doing. Knowing that Woo-jin is worried about his obsession with the alien, Bum-gyun reassures Woo-jin that he’s gotten over it and won’t cause any more trouble.

He adds that he’s even been hired as a pastry chef at a bakery right near Handam University. Woo-jin is surprised but happy to hear the news, and they laugh and wrestle together before going to bed.

On his way to school, Woo-jin sees his brother working at the pastry shop through the window and is relieved that Bum-gyun was telling the truth. He reports to Professor Park’s lab, where he’s told to wait a moment. But when he looks at all the flowers and photos that have piled up on Ji-hyuk’s desk, he notices a familiar number on the wall. Typing it into his phone worriedly, Woo-jin realizes that it’s the same as Bum-gyun’s new phone number, and so he calls his brother up to ask whether he knows anyone at his school.

When Bum-gyun replies in the negative, Woo-jin becomes even more suspicious, but he tries not to hope for the worst as he asks his older bro when he’ll be leaving work. Bum-gyun says he’ll be off at 8:00 p.m., but Woo-jin has been staking out near the bakery and sees his older twin leaving much earlier than he said he would. Woo-jin follows him to a seedy motel and sees him locking up a particular room.

Once Bum-gyun’s gone, Woo-jin breaks the lock with a fire extinguisher and finds that his brother has been up to his regular alien-tracking activities. The entire wall is covered in clues and maps regarding on the alien’s whereabouts, and when Woo-jin looks through the drawers, he finds the taser.

That’s when Bum-gyun comes in, looking guilty, but when Woo-jin asks him directly if he’s the one who killed Ji-hyuk, he denies it vehemently and says that it’s the aliens who took him. 

Bum-gyun apologizes for lying to him but insists that he’s found proof for the existence of aliens, while Woo-jin just looks like tired of this old rhetoric. The older brother brings up their broken family: ”You know the alien took Dad. Don’t deny reality.” However, Woo-jin tells his brother to come back to the real world and face the truth: Their father left them. 

The scene goes to a flashback where Woo-jin and Bum-gyun watch as their father leaves them behind… while in his car, the alien woman sits in his passenger seat. Back in the present, Bum-gyun promises that this time, it’s for real—he’s found the alien hideout, and it’s on the second floor of the building above his pastry shop (which is why he started working there). Woo-jin, half-knowing that it’s a wild goose chase, says that this is the last time, and if it’s not the alien’s hideout, Bum-gyun will go back to the psychiatric institution.

When they arrive at the second floor alien hideout, it only looks like an abandoned office space. Seeing this, Bum-gyun becomes frantic, looking around everywhere for the alien that isn’t there. Woo-jin grabs him in a desperate bear hug, pleading with him to please stay by his side and not add to his burdens. 

But Bum-gyun doesn’t want to let it go, and in a low moment, he confesses he doesn’t want to let it go because that would mean he really was crazy for all these years. But then he’s back on his high and springs out to pursue the alien woman, convinced that they’re only minutes behind her.

As he walks in the rain, Bum-gyun seems fixated on something and shakes his brother off as he tries to pull him back. Woo-jin looks in the direction that Bum-gyun is staring at, and sees Her.

On the other side of the crosswalk, the woman who appeared to them from the ball of light walks under a pink umbrella. Bum-gyun points at her, reminiscent of how Woo-jin did ten years ago, and says, “Exhibit #3: an alien.”

Part 2: Brave New World

It’s 2037, and on Ordinary Earth, dusty yellow smog and pollution is everywhere. The air is so bad that the citizens can’t breathe without masks. Trash litters the streets, and the condition of living looks squalid to the point of being uninhabitable by most standards.

A drone controlled by a man in a red flannel shirt, LEE DONG-SOO (Oh Eui-shik), lands and delivers a USB file. After viewing the racy contents of the USB, the man in the checkered suit next to him compliments Dong-soo on his hacking skills. It looks like this is a shady business deal where the checkered man asked Dong-soo to intercept the USB’s contents which contained evidence of his extramarital affair before it got to his wife.

A team of cops headed by Chief HONG JIN-HONG (Seo Hyun-chul) arrive on scene and begin pursuing Dong-soo. He’s at a dead end, but a man wearing a monster mask and a black hoodie comes to save him.

The masked man takes the entire team of cops down in an incredible action sequence as Dong-soo watches. When they’re all knocked down, Dong-soo comes out of his hiding spot to introduce himself, and realizes when the man takes off his mask that it’s someone that he knows: Detective KIM JOON-HYUK (Kim Kang-woo).

Joon-hyuk drags Dong-soo away, saying that they need to talk, and after they leave the scene, Chief Hong arrives, telling his guys to stop pretending and get up quickly. Grumbling, they take off the protective padding where Joon-hyuk hit them and say that if they have to act this scene one more time with Dong-soo, they’ll be ready to shoot a Hollywood film. It looks like this was a setup to help Joon-hyuk gain Dong-soo’s trust by “saving” him from the cops.

Off in an isolated area, Joon-hyuk wheedles Dong-soo by flattering and coercing him at the same time so that he’ll hack into the Smart Earth’s system. However, Dong-soo says that he doesn’t have the ability to do so, but he gives Joon-hyuk a tip that there is a legend of a hacker, codename Bluebird, who is rumored to either be a super genius human or an AI machine. He may be able to get Joon-hyuk in.

When Joon-hyuk gets back to station, Chief Hong asks how it went, and he confidently says that Dong-soo will do as he’s told (even though that’s not exactly what Dong-soo said). Chief Hong mutters under his breath about how if this plan doesn’t work out, he could get fired, and Joon-hyuk teases that it’s a good thing the chief has a side job. The younger man playfully threatens to reveal the older man’s secret identity, and Chief Hong is quick to appease him by telling him that of course they’ll go along with his plan.

Next to them, DETECTIVE OH (Kwon Hyuk-soo) is reading a web comic that he finds fascinating, although he does admit that the ratings are poor. Chief Hong glimpses at the screen and seems pleased, which is when Joon-hyuk reveals just to Detective Oh that the chief is the author of this semi-autobiographical comic. They go out for drinks because Detective Oh is still flabbergasted that the handsome young detective in his favorite comic series is his older superior at work.

At the bar, they talk about the first two major chapters of the comic, with Chief Hong explaining that the first chapter was about the cold case at Handam University (referring to Ji-hyuk’s death). Though the case was ruled as a suicide, he explains that he suspected it was actually a homicide. In the real-life case behind the second chapter, he actually caught the kidnapper Gong Min-woo of a young girl named Kim Min-ji, but he got away scot-free because of his rich and powerful connections.

When Detective Oh asks about the next chapter to be released online, an advertisement hologram announcing the 5000th day of a crime-free Smart Earth pops up. They all groan at the announcement before Detective Oh asks about the third cold case again, and Chief Hong tells him that the third one is based on the case of missing twins. From his pocket, he brings out a crumpled flyer of Woo-jin and Bum-gyun. (Dun dun dun. Did the alien snatch them?)

The following day, Detective Oh receives a call from Smart Earth from a woman who insists that she’s seven years old and that she has been kidnapped. Thinking that it’s a prank call (because no crimes are supposed to occur on Smart Earth), Detective Oh hangs up. But Joon-hyuk and Chief Hong’s senses tingle, and they listen to the recording of the call. In the recording, she introduced herself as Kim Min-ji, and when they run the coordinates, they realize that she’s the same girl from Chief Hong’s second chapter of his web comic and that she’s currently at the house of her kidnapper, Gong Min-woo.

Chief Hong and Joon-hyuk rush to the airport to go to Smart Earth, but when they try to barrel through the gates, showing them their police badges, the guards stop them for not having a warrant. A Smart Earth government official named LEE HO-SOO (Lee Ki-kwang) appears when it looks like Chief Hong and Joon-hyuk may be too much for the guards to handle.

Ho-soo takes them to a separate room to discuss the situation, and Joon-hyuk tells him that a kidnapping has occurred on Smart Earth. Ho-soo politely but firmly replies that that isn’t possible because of its Human B Safety Therapy System. So, Joon-hyuk plays the recording of Kim Min-ji, but Ho-soo brushes it aside as the prank of a hacker.

Ho-soo leads them out, but on the way, Joon-hyuk becomes agitated by his complete lack of understanding regarding the need of urgency in case Kim Min-ji really was kidnapped. When Joon-hyuk grabs the Smart Earth man by the collar, the emotional regulation control chip implanted behind his ear starts flashing red, and Ho-soo begins hyperventilating until Joon-hyuk backs off. The chip turns green again, and Ho-soo relaxes back to normal before telling Joon-hyuk to leave. But just as he’s smiling at Joon-hyuk while telling him to kindly piss off, he receives a Code-0 message on his phone, indicating an emergency situation.

He rapidly turns his back and begins to walk away when Joon-hyuk receives a similar message regarding a death on Smart Earth. Joon-hyuk and Chief Hong, who are being escorted by Smart Earth goons back to the exit, devise a plan so that Joon-hyuk can get to Smart Earth to discover what’s really going on. Ho-soo receives more information on the Code-0 emergency, and he learns that a murder has happened on Smart Earth, but his higher-ups don’t want anyone to find out.

Joon-hyuk escapes the guards, and seeing Ho-soo walking down a corridor, he backs him forcefully into an empty room and locks the door behind them. Joon-hyuk begins to grill Ho-soo on the case, demanding to know how much Smart Earth has hidden this entire time, and Ho-soo lies about lying by claiming that Smart Earth has never deceived anyone.

But, Joon-hyuk calls him out on this baldfaced lie by shoving his face into a clip of Kim Min-ji, a Smart Earth citizen, as she repeatedly stabs Gong Min-woo, her kidnapper and fellow Smart Earth citizen.

A serious discussion is taking place amongst the highest level of Smart Earth government officials, with Mayor YOON HAK-JOO at the head of the table. They want to minimize the bad publicity and realize that they need to shut Joon-hyuk up in order for that to happen.

While waiting to holographically meet with Mayor Yoon, Joon-hyuk keeps baiting Ho-soo by taunting him on the artificial nature of his fake smile and his generic white suit. When he puts a special set of glasses on, he’s faced with Mayor Yoon, who directly tells him that Smart Earth is prepared to give him what he wants if he promises not to spread any rumors regarding the murder.

Joon-hyuk replies that he wants to head the investigation of Kim Min-ji’s case and that he wants the freedom to travel around Smart Earth without having the emotional chip implanted in his brain. When Mayor Yoon says that it’s not possible because the chip is a requirement for anyone to enter Smart Earth, Joon-hyuk says that rules and patterns have already been broken (via the anomaly of the murder), and he threatens to publicly get a warrant to pursue the case if Yoon doesn’t comply.

When Joon-hyuk gets back to Chief Hong, the older cop is replaying the clip of the murder, and he confesses to the younger man that he’s relieved that Kim Min-ji is not the one being murdered. He tells Joon-hyuk to pursue two cases on his visit to Smart Earth: Kim Min-ji’s case, and the missing twins’ as well.

Joon-hyuk has to leave via an airplane to escape the pollution cloud, and we see that Smart Earth is a utopian island where children play in clean parks and dogs roam freely, completely different from Ordinary Earth’s current situation. As he arrives on Smart Earth, Joon-hyuk takes out a photograph of young Woo-jin and Bum-gyun smiling next to the expressionless alien woman, and he recalls Chief Hong’s last words that the answers are on Smart Earth: “Find your brother.”

 
COMMENTS

Oooh, so he IS one of the twins. So that’s why he wants to be on Smart Earth so badly, or does it have something to do with the female extraterrestrial? The mystery is already pulling at my whodunnit senses, and I absolutely love the heightened thrill brought on by the sci-fi component. This is like a combination of District 9, Elysium, and E.T. all rolled into one!

In the last scenes, I loved Joon-hyuk’s cheekiness with Ho-soo and the way he not-so-subtly pointed out the differences between the Smart Earth and the Ordinary Earth districts, emphasizing the artificialness of the so-called “safe” district. I can’t tell if he’s the serious Woo-jin or the obsessed Bum-gyun because his playful yet determined personality doesn’t seem to fit with either. In any case, I want the twins to reunite because the sibling camaraderie in both the childhood and youth timelines was precious to watch. And while Part 2 was fascinating with all it’s world-building elements that showed us this possibility of a dystopian future, it was the present timeline that really captured my interest.

I want to start a virtual slow clap for Yeo Jin-gu! His acting is so riveting that I don’t have the proper words to describe the depth of my enjoyment every time he came on screen. Normally, I’m a pretty neutral viewer when it comes to emotions, but a small corner of my heart tugged when he was scolded out of the professor’s lab after asking for the RA position only a day after his sunbae’s death. His dynamic expressions showed—even without dialogue—how he understood the inappropriateness of his query given the situation, but those same expressions also conveyed his own desperation and the weight of all his burdens.

The actor playing his twin brother, Ahn Woo-yeon, also impressed me with the degree of manic power in his gaze when he saw that the alien’s hideout had been emptied. I’d seen him before in Five Kids and Strong Woman Do Bong-soon, where he played characters that were likable, if a little bland. But his role here is completely different, and I would totally have believed that he was an actual schizophrenic patient if it hadn’t been for the first few scenes that introduced the alien.

Regarding the actual subject matter of the drama itself, I’m so used to equating “rich” with “powerful” in both dramas and real life, but this strange dystopian society really takes that concept and turns it on its head. By requiring that all citizens of Smart Earth must have an implanted chip that controls their behaviors and even their emotions, the wealthy have voluntarily surrendered control of their minds to essentially become ignorant puppets in exchange for “guaranteed” safety.

Whereas, despite their horrendous living conditions, the poor citizens of Ordinary Earth still possess one of the most important aspects of being human: their ability to feel and and think independently. So which group is truly more free, those who can go anywhere physically or those who can go anywhere with their imaginations?

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I'm so excited for this drama !

Beta Project : Yeo Jin Goo is pretty with lipstick haha.
Did the alien really “seduce” the twins' father ? If so, what happened to him ? What is the alien's mission ? Is she the real murderer ? I have too much questions.

Brave New World : The two separated worlds remind me of the manga Gunnm. And it's already a good start. I can't help but think about the budget ! They went all in !
I like the different tone in the 2nd part. It's surprisingly quirky and light. The shift to the Sherlock's webtoon (again Sherlock !) and realty vs webtoon killed me.
The chip inserted in Smart Earth's people's head control their “dangerous/impulsive” instinct. That's why the Peacemaker restrained his reaction when he was obviously getting annoyed. It will be interested if he lets his impulsions out at some point and will be the example of the system's failure.

Bluebird must have access to important informations. He's a the number hacker in 2037 and he was mentioned in both time line.

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"Beta Project : Yeo Jin Goo is pretty with lipstick" - priorities <3

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Yep I had to point this haha.

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I legit thought he was a girl for a second. He definitely rocks that look.

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Me too ! He's soo pretty.

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Haha, even watching the episode a second time, I made the same mistake and went through realizing it was him all over again.

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When that scene began I was like "oh, introduction time for a new character" hahaha. Nope, still just him.

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Nude Heroine can't excite the guys in the that dangerous atmosphere. I don't think father was seduced. It was more of protecting his own children.
Actor did amazing job/ was awesome etc. Acting is your standard one. This is what you expect from an actor. So i'm not blown away by anything.
I am strongly vouching for Brothers Pair.

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It's a mystery why the father left the two kids and went away with the alien woman. He seems to be the doting kind of dad, and it seems impossible that he would leave them alone.

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Yes he seems like a sweet dad. The alien could have kidnapped him or worse killed him.

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tinybeanie said he must be one of the twins, but during the episode I took it to mean he was a younger brother of both twins. And I'm wondering if Alien Girl seduced Dad and he's half alien? Maybe that's too much of a stretch...

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I thought he meant he was a younger brother to both twins too. But does tinybeanie understand Korean? If so, she must be right and the subtitles I watched were misleading? I honestly hate it when I can't trust subtitles in plots as convoluted as this one is proving to be!

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I just understood what you meant - that if he is a younger brother, it's possible the alien woman is his mother? Interesting! I don't think it's that much of a stretch if we can clear up whether he's one of the twins or a younger brother to both of them.

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As a fluent Korean speaker, I'm pretty sure the senior detective said, look for your brothers, as in plural. This suggests that Kim Kangwoo's character is the third brother, but more likely that he is not aware that he is one of the twins. Probably doesn't have any memories.

But yeah... I don't like watching with subtitles, nor because I don't need them but because they're usually annoyingly a word or phrase off and it bothers me to know that so many people are provided incorrect subtitles.

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The translation I watched said "siblings", which suggested to me that he was a younger brother of the twins. However, since we haven't seen a sibling it could have been a mistranslation. I was excited at the prospect that this was a brother we didn't see in the flashbacks because it suggested there was something we didn't know yet. Also, if this character is one of the twins he has to be over 40 and he didn't seem that old to me.

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Onetheory about the father, is that he left them to study the alien or something along the lines.

When he left them, I'm pretty sure it wasn't because he was seduced by the alien. But i think the writers want us to think that way for now. That "leaving behind" scene was very different to most scenes of that kind in kdramas. The father did not really looked like he likes the girl in that sort of way.

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I wonder if Brave New World in this drama is some kind of allusion to a classic dystopian novel with same name by Aldous Huxley. I haven't read it, yet. Anyone have read it can confirm this?

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It is an allusion to Brave New World, after all the book is one of prominent dystopian works out there.
The elusive promise of happiness, and the artificial medium for happiness are two among the second part's elements which are similar to those of the book's.

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SO, SO, SO GOOD!

Finally, my new drama crack. Thank you, dramagods!

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I know right. The two parts are so riveting!

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And I, for one, am a newly converted noona fan of Yeo Jin Gu! I get the hype now, I really get it.

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He's a joy to see on screen! I keep sounding like a broken record, but I saw him in Jackpot and he had such screen presence that I thought he was in his 30's in that. Come to find out he was 18 or 19 and I had to re-set my priorities. I mean, I could be his mother---and not a teen mom either! ????‍♀️ I'm now just really proud of him! *yes, that's what I keep telling myself*

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I think the first time I saw him was in "The Moon Embracing the Sun", when I suppose his voice had become much deeper. The young cast in that series is too talented for words. I have yet to see his early child actor works, but I should​ do that soon. Next I saw "Hwayi", etc. The acting chops he has... Wow! @Ally, I know what you mean, as I'm proud of him, too! Ahem. ?

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Welcome to the club! One can't deny his talent! And that voice! I'm pretty excited to see him not play a member of the royal family! He is one of the gems of dramaland so I am hoping this show stays consistent and interesting

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Im hooked!

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This drama should be on everyone's list! 2037 reminds of Psycho Pass, one of the most interesting anime I've ever witness.

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yeah!!! I was also reminded of Psycho Pass while I watched ep 2. They have a system called Sibyl system where interestingly it is controlled by a system of brains of humans who are criminally asymptomatic. Alarmingly discomforting I must say :/

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yes, it made me remember Psycho Pass too.
Indeed, everyone should watch this drama.

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The plot, pacing, visuals, acting are bang on and so far it's really slick and intriguing. It's an interesting dilemma but I think I'd choose freedom, so Ordinary Earth!

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But the pollution on Ordinary Earth is so bad that it seems uninhabitable. I like the pacing of the show too, probably because of its short number of episodes, the storyline is tighter, and there are less fillers.

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B-but how am I gonna fangirl for my oppas to the fullest extent if my emotions are controlled? D:

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Dilemma of a fangirl, i'm with you

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So hi is one of twins ? This one whitaout glases? Because i was litle confuse :) i saw this episod (ekstra coooolllll ;) ) but the subtitles was - find your sibling, or siblings ( the poster tell us, that they are both mising ) not brother, and i thought that something is wrong :) or mayby he is this boy from episod 2 ?
Drama is cool :)

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I am not sure he is one of the twins or maybe he is related somehow. I was a bit puzzled by the end and used the recaps to help clarify. But, only time will tell. I have a feeling this show will only drop little crumbs of information for a while.

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I believe he is Woo-jin. I'm going with "sibling" and it's meant for him to find his twin brother. Their father disappeared for 10yrs so maybe I shouldn't rule out "siblings" either.

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I believe he is Woojin too. Must be something bad really happened in the past that made him to change to change his name.

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I don't think Kim Kang-woo's character is one of the twins. They were about 20 years old in 2017 and 2037 is just 20 years later, Kim Kang-woo doesn't look like he's in his 40s. I could be wrong though.

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Kim Kang-woo is 38. Close enough to me :).

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IRL Kim Kangwoo is almost 21 years older than Jingoo. :D

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Oops.. just 19. (I'm bad at math sorry)

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He has the look for someone near to 40 if not 40s (who is hot.) So I think it makes sense. LOL.

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I think KKW is one of the twins, probably WJ. His twin is probably hiding somewhere on Smart Earth too.

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I suspect the older one is probably the chairman guy in the second episode.

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Kim Kangwoo's character is 41 according to his character profile in Circle's website. I had my doubts too about him being one of the twins because he looks like he is in his mid thirties... :)

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I watched on dramafever, and it translated, find the twins. :S

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I'm very much satisfied with the way the story is going and I'm very much impressed with the acting chops in this drama. Ahn Wooyeon was such a great surprise since I've only seen him on Jealousy Incarnate as a pining highschool boy.
Yeo Jingoo's acting is insane... how does he keep improving each time? I'm happy that despite all the praises, he still pushes his limits and does his best to improve at his craft.
I love the pacing so much, the effects of course isn't perfect but given the very short time production and probably not really high in budget, I thought they did so well.
The tones in parts 1 and 2 are vastly different and yet I love how connected they are to each other, each question being solved by the other part.

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A great actor never said that he's done learning! Yeo Jin-goo is forever going to be my ultimate bias.
This is a much better role than "Orange Marmalade." I thought that he wasn't up to his usual high standard in that drama but I'm loving him in this role.

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And for that, I feel so proud of him <3 Just imagine when he gets older @[email protected] Oh definitely, I somehow feel like he did that drama cos he just really wanted to do a highschool role before getting any older. Not as good as his other performances although I think he did pretty well for a badly written character.

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Oh I agree, he was good and still better than the rest but it was not his best performance.
Poor Jin-goo it's hard to compete with himself lol.

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Ahn Wooyeon really hits the right notes as the maniac who's obsessed with the alien woman. Even his gaze says so. I only watched him in SWDBS, and his bland character there is a 360 degree change from this one. I am impressed by his acting chops.

I haven't watched Yeo Jingoo in any dramas yet, but his performance blew me away in this show. It's excellent, and I love the chemistry between the two brothers.

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I'm really glad that it's him playing opposite Jingoo in the role as his twin. Ahn Wooyeon is totally nailing it and I've only seen him in one drama but based from what you and the others said, it's good that someone with hidden acting abilities like his is finally getting a moment to show it off. I just really feel for these two brothers. T_T

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He must have been bland in SWDBS cause I don't remember him and I watched it! Who did he play? The brother?

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Yeah, he was Bong-soon's doctor twin in that drama. I first saw him in Five Children as Sung Hoon's younger brother. He was so cute in that drama.

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YJG seems so adult to me in this. The way he looks, yeah, and sounds, of course, with that low voice--but even the way he moves, sits, walks--he definitely is a young man now.

Like tinybeanie, I was riveted to his every scene and I wasn't even sure why. But every expression and movement seemed so authentic to his character. You notice how many close ups this director uses on YJG, and that's not by accident. That boy can act.

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Meh. YJG acting is so so. I like Part 2 more because the actors are much stronger.

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I don't care for aliens or Sci-Fi in general. I haven't even watched ET, but wow this show has me hook, line and sinker. What a great start! And I really like both story lines so far. Can't wait what next week has in stall for us. If I had to guess, I'd say it will be more awesomeness. Yeah I'm really excited for this drama.

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Also, they sneaked in the theme of the Phantom of the Opera, my favorite musical, which just gives it extra points.

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That was the male lead giveaway lol. I knew it was Kim Kang-woo behind the mask.

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I watched it because it was touted as a sci fi show. And boy, was I hooked by the first episode. It was a great first episode. I can't help but keep my eyes glued to the screen, and I was equally invested in the two different worlds. I can't wait for the second episode!

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I must say Yeo Jin Goo = perfect acting. I watch very closely every movement he makes, he does everything right. Yoo Seung Ho is over-crying, Yeo Jin Goo is right crying, his tears come right with action and emotion. And he just got manlier and manlier. Im torn between wanting him in modern or sageuk. Hes gonna be a great chungmuro actor.

The story is ok. Im glad yoo jung didnt take the role though.

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I like Yeo's acting in this show. It's riveting. I am also impressed by KKW. I like the maturity he emits in his role, and the occasional playfulness. I think all the actors are doing a good job, drawing us into the show. Great job, guys!

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I like them both. I think they have different style and methods. If Yoo Seung Ho is like a puppy-eyed hoobae that I wanna dote on, Yeo Jin Goo is a dongsaeng that I wanna call oppa, LOL (sorry, I'm shallow).

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Why did you even bring up ysh? Doesn't make any sense to me, each actors are different..

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I love Yeo Jin-gu. He is just phenomenal in everything he does. I figured Joon-hyuk would be grownup Woo-jin, but who knows at this point. But what is clear is that he is one of the twins. I don't connect with the Brave New World segment as much, but that's just because I was blown away by YJG in Beta Project. But I already know, I've found my new drama love.

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Oh and I also find Ho-soo to be very interesting. He acts very calm, but I get the feeling he is like a powder keg just waiting to explode. It seems he feels very deeply and the only thing keeping his emotions at bay is that chip. I like Lee Ki-kwang in this role. His emotional shift from insincere smile to panic was palpable.

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Also, I feel like even Hosoo is a victim behind all these misleading Smart Earth schemes. And I really enjoy all the bromance scenes with Joonhyuk :D

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I share your feelings about Hosoo.

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I think Ho Soo will be part of the team that in the end helps our hero as well. I think he's already seeing the light!

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I find HS interesting too, and believe he will be a layered character. The actor brings the subtle emotions to life. I like his portrayal of the character.

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I knew I'd seen him somewhere else! The first k-drama I ever watched was "Me too, Flower", and he was in it! What a train wreck that became. I'm happy to see him in this series, which is intriguing and fast-paced. More, please!

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OMg I have been waiting for this recap since the episode aired! Thanks so much for the recap~!! These were just my thoughts from watching the entire episode >////< I will read the recap and add more thoughts in the comments~

I have to admit the later half did interest and engage me much more than the fist half…. Maybe it was the dystopia that really got me but I honestly watched this without really thinking too much into it. I didn’t read much of the promo and I really only knew that this had aliens in it so when it did the time jump it honestly threw me for a loop because I didn’t know we were going to be engaging with two different time lines. But I am honestly really excited~! I love the way they have brought the characters in and we really got to see into the twins minds.

But I am slightly confused… the subs said “Find your siblings” or something along the lines of that but… I didn’t know that they had someone other than just the two of them?? There was a secret third sibling!?!? I feel like if I had actually dug around to find out what the premise for this show was actually about, most of this premier wouldn’t have shaken me up like a washing machine. I honestly am really excited to see where this will go and what will happen with the twins and also with our special Smart City helper…

I kinda want him to fall into the Normal City side rather than staying with the Smart City. TEAR OUT THAT CHIP AND BREAK FREEEEEEEE~!! But I also feel like it would be equally as satisfying to see him turn to the dark side. But of course that will be very careful planning of his character development to both of these endings (or beginnings).

But I see TVN and I watch so I am sure they will do whatever they plan to do amazingly.

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Okay that was the bit I was majorly confused about in the subs version I watch it said "find your siblings" not "sibling" which changes the whooooooole game. I might have to go back to the place that I watched it and just maybe note that down for people who are watching... Cause I was legit looking for clues of a third sibling which confused me greatly.

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Same. I'm still not sure if this was a mistake in the translation, or if dad and alien girl had a third son (but I doubt it).

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It's definitely just a mistranslation because if Joonhyuk is the 3rd brother, then they'd be triplets (Joonhyuk is the same age as the twins) unless the dad had another son when the twins were born. XD

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Nah i think he is one of the two twins but I think we all know which twin XD

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I think it's the problem of translation. Different sites translate the dialogues differently, but I believe the translation of finding your brother/sibling is more accurate, not siblings.

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Yeah I think the same... Haha but it did make the show become less complicated which I liked cause it was starting to get there pretty high with how complicated it was getting....

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Maybe he told the other detective that the woman was his sister? ^^' Then it would make sense if he searched for his "siblings" meaning the twin boy and the girl. However, I think it's probs just a mistranslation.

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Yeah I think it was a mistranslation~

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I believe the actual word used was "형제" (hyung-je), which translates to brother/sibling. But because Korean often doesn't specify plurals, it could either be brother or brothers depending on context. So it was likely just mistranslated.

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Dramafever subs said "Find your siblings" but VIU subs translates that part as: "make sure you find your brother".

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From how I understood it, VIU said it right. Chief Hong said, '형제 (hyung-je)' which means brother or sibling. It's in singular form, I think. So he's not talking about siblingS? Just his brother.

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I think maybe it's deliberately ambiguous, because MYSTERIES. We truly can't know for sure (yet), we can only guess.

Also, my guess - if KKW *is* one the twins - is that he's Bum-gyun, NOT Woo-jin. For one, Woo-jin is too obvious. Beta Project is already Woo-jin-centred, so it makes much more narrative sense for Brave New World to be Bum-gyun's side, and his hard road to becoming this stable guy who is now capable of being a hero.

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I think so too. But KKW doesn't wear glasses.

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Thank god.. after tunnel ends i was kinda hopeless.. i hope it remain good until the end..

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Dude you and me both omg.

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Yeahh.. It sounds good.
Actually i just want to fill my emptiness after tunnel ends. *fingers crossed*

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Ep 1 blew my mind. So amazing!! has anyone see the brazilian show called 3%? doesnt smart city remind you a bit of that? also, didnt the chief at the end say find your 형제? my korean is super limited but does that mean your brothers?

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형제 - It means brother or brothers :) In the context of the scene, it meant brother in order to imply Joonhyuk is one of the twins.

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Ah, that makes sense.

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When I watched the first episode, I was sold immediately. It's indeed so amazing!

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Yeah Smart city reminds me a lot of the Maralto in the show 3% (at least how it is described) and Normal Earth seem like the korean counterpart for "the other side"... good catch!!! I am also confused about siblig or siblings (mis)translation...guess we'll have to wait to answer this question.

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I was equally intrigued by both timelines – I loved seeing the character interactions between Kim Woojin and Kim Bumgyoon. They clearly love each other, but both are frustrated by the other - Woojin with his hyung for not being able to get past their father’s abandonment and continued relapses, and Bumgyoon with Woojin for never believing in him and being quick to condemn him. (This is something I have problem with. This is definitely not the way to deal with someone who has a mental illness)
I thought it was really interesting that when they first encountered the alien as children, it was Bumgyoon who was sceptical and gave very scientific excuses, and Woojin who whole-heartedly believed that he had seen the aliens, but as adults, it was the opposite. Woojin saw everything in a very logical and scientific manner, and Bumgyoon who had reverted to a child-like state of believing in everything. Both actors did a great job portraying their respective characters.
I want Lee Hosoo to fall on the Normal Earth side, but it would be really satisfying to see him turn dark. He has shown glimpses of emotion, so it’s not like he’s completely emotionless, but at the same time, living in that environment, where everything the government says is right is can and for someone who needs to have everything compartmentalized, he can so easily turn to the dark side if he doesn’t want to see his perfect world falling apart around him.
What’s also interesting is that Circle has quite a few writers. The original idea was thought up by the writers of Six Flying Dragons and Tree with Deep Roots, but the scriptwriters are slightly lesser known writers (mostly from drama specials). I’m excited to see how these writers blend in their worlds to create a great package.

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<This is something I have problem with. This is definitely not the way to deal with someone who has a mental illness

Sure, but remember Kim Woojin is, what, like in his early twenties and seems to have been abandoned/left behind by his dad when in his teens (I'm guessing). From what we've seen he didn't grow up in a remotely normal household and he probably doesn't know how you're supposed to appropriately deal with certain things – my guess is he is just surviving best as he can, dealing with the obstacles that have been thrown in his way with little to no adult guidance. Obstacles being no mother since young age, an "alien" stepmother (and whatever happened with her seems to have been not very good at all), father that disappeared, brother who went crazy and committed crimes serious enough for imprisonment... I think he's smart and clinging to science as much as he can, but I don't think he really is trained/knowledgeable about how to deal with someone with serious mental issues. He's just dealing with him as his brother that he loves and hates at the same time...

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He is studying neuroscience, so he definitely has at least a basic knowledge of psychology and mental illnesses.

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I like how they're portraying Bumgyoon - as a child he was the more science-oriented, logical minded twin, and he still is really, because once he became convinced she was an alien, he followed up on it. Whereas Woo Jin is the imaginative, more sensitive twin, who once thought her an alien but imagined that belief away once it started damaging his brother. Very interesting dynamic here where they seem to have switched places as adults but they haven't at all.

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Yeo Jin-gu as Woo-jin is So Good he practically mesmerizes. I love his dynamic with his brother so much, and I can't wait already for them to be reunited. I do think there's an issue with subbing though, because that last scene with the one I watched was translated as "Find your brothers." I'm trusting tineybeanie's recap more, so.

I wasn't as taken with the 2037 world, although I think that's a good thing, because it feels appropriately futuristic and distant. And everything is shot so well, the difference between Normal Earth and Smart Earth made so stark by how one looks like a dystopia and the other a utopia. For me, personally, I might have to choose Smart Earth, if I ever had the money. Not all emotion and thought is taken away, right? To my understanding, it's only strong emotion that's withheld. So I'd rather be safe, but that's just me ?

I do wish there were more scenes with ladies in the picture talking, especially in 2037, because at this point, it seems the female population had reduced significantly in size. I don't want to have to look for women. It may seem like a small complaint, but there were no girls that caught my eye, other than Kim Min-ji who herself was just a voice and part of a blurred out video. It's no good if the future of the world includes no women in it, or at least women in some position of power. This probably this is the only thing that I want to pick on in the premiere though, and thankfully it gets better in the next episode. Otherwise, this drama has been almost perfect for me.

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Yes! That was one question that was nagging at me for the second half of the first episode. Where were the women? It seems that only guys inhabit the utopian part of the Earth while back on the normal Earth, there were traces of both men and women.

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Yeah, that's my main complaint so far too--so little women! Even in part I, the only prominent female character is the alien, who has no speaking lines.

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Well they did say the chip implanted on smart earth takes away strong emotions & love can also qualify as a strong emotion.It can make people do crazy & irrational things.
Ex:Every single k-drama

Thus people can't love & no love=no babies=no use for ladies=No population. No offense I'm a strong believer in feminist rights. Either they got killed or something bad happened to them.

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I feel like everyone uses this word, but I have to say it: I was SHOOK after watching the first episode.

The opening scene reminds me so much of Stranger Things. Frankly speaking, Circle could've been easily sold to Netflix. It seems like it'd be right up their alley (The OA, Stranger Things, 3%).

The way Joon Hyuk was taunting Ho Soo was kind of hilarious. He criticized his outfit, smile, everything.

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This definitely has a Netflix sci-fi show written all over it. I also think that it's aided by the fact that Netflix does a TON of sci-fi whereas Kdramas really don't.

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The opening scene reminded me so much of Stranger Things ! This drama has all it takes to be awesome.

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Wow. What an interesting introduction to our story.

Best moment: the spaghetti western entrance of the senior detective. Hahaha. The slow-mo coat flipping to the theme music to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly was priceless.

I was sad when Part 1 ended as I was already drawn into the twins's story, however, Part 2 quickly drew me in as well. So, thankfully it seems that this format will not make me begrudge having to watch one in order to get to the other.

I thought it was interesting that the other half took place only 20 years in the future. It seemed such a short time for such a change in society and technology. But, if I am understanding things correctly, Joon-hyuk is the one of the brothers then obviously, it cannot be set 100 years from now. I wonder why the senior detective thought that the answer to the twins's disappearance would be found inside Smart Earth?

Kikwang's character was creepy as f*ck. Talk about a dystopian character from your nightmares. I would NOT want to live on Smart Earth if one has to be basically lobotomized.

I was describing the general plot line to a friend who said that it reminded her of the Matt Damon film Elysium. I have yet to see this film and am wondering if it really does share some similarities.

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It also reminded me of the movie Equilibrium. People take a "medication" that frees them from emotions ( = the cause of wars and conflict). I loved that movie. The protagonist went rogue and stopped taking them. I wonder if we'll see Le Hosoo (Kikwang) do the same.

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Smart Earth felt a lot like "Equilibrium" to me too. I was thinking about Christian Bale's character when Joon-hyuk went there.
It would be great if Bluebird is the other twin.

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I meant Bale's character = Ho-soo. I think he is going to question the higher ups decisions and help Joon-hyuk.

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Can't wait for this to happen!
Him experiencing all the suppressed feelings for the first time like Bale's character did.

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Bluebird being the other twin would make things quite interesting.

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That's my thought too, that Bluebird might be the other twin. But then there's the kid that's being tutored by Woo Jin who said he didn't have to study because he was going to be a computer genius of the future. Did they name that kid? Was he in this episode or the next one? I swear my memory is upside down. Anyway, I think just because he mentioned being a computer genius he's either Bluebird or the other guy in the future that the main character cop is using.

Hmm, now that I think about it that would explain why the computer hacker knows Joon Hyuk if he's grown up Woo Jin and Woo Jin is his former tutor. Whereas Bum Gyeon certainly seemed to have the brains and logic to make a phenomenal computer hacker himself so could be Bluebird. That's my bet at this stage anyway.

BG = Bluebird (operating in both worlds so he'll have a Smart Earth persona? that's why Joon Hyuk wants to go to Smart Earth, to find his bro?)
WJ=Joon Hyuk (for some reason he had to disappear in the past as well and change identities - must have to do with girl?)
Computer hacker=kid WJ tutored

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Hi, Barbrey :).

The name of the kid being tutored is Lee Dongsoo, which is the name of the hacker we met a few times in the 2037 part.

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I haven't seen Equilibrium either!!

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I enjoyed it and I thought it was great. Just don't read all the noises at RT :).

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Omo! What to do?! Was toying with the idea of watching casually because of Ki-kwang (BEAST got me into kpop then kdramas after all) but now that it seems decent in its own right I'm torn! I don't have the time to fit this into my drama schedule ?
#somuchdramasolittletime
#kdramafanproblems

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High five fellow Beauty! Beast/Highlight members haven't disappointed me yet in their drama choices, plot and their acting so...I'm still trying to convince myself I have the time to fit Circle in my very limited schedule for dramas but already looking forward to early tue morning to watch ep 3 subbed.

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I caved, @wakimary - and I'm so glad I did! Caught up with the first 2 episodes so far and it's epic ? (Ki-kwang is doing a pretty good job so far as well!)
Good to know there's someone else I can fangirl with! I definitely don't have time, but then again, sleeping is overrated right?! x

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Thanks for the recap!

You know, I feel like the show is trying to tell me that Joon-hyuk is one of the brothers...but then something in episode 2 made me wonder. I'll have to discuss this later though. Hmmm, this is the kind of show that's hard to talk about if you've seen beyond the recap because intriguing things happen constantly! But I'm excited to share theories on the next recap!

For now, I'll just say that I'm loving it so far. And that I'm happy Ahn Woo-yeon finally got an interesting, meaty character after not getting much to work with in his recent dramas!

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Hi, Chandler :).

For some reason, I also do not think that he is one of the twins. I did think, however, that he might have been a younger brother (I commented below, number 24). I look forward to reading your thoughts about the second episode. I'm waiting for that recap as well because I have a couple of thoughts/theories.

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Can you comment under the video for the OST for Circle on my fan wall on what it is in episode 2 that makes you think Joonhyuk isn't one of the brothers?

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Sure! I'm actually feeling like I need to rewatch the episode, but once I do, I will! Also someone mentioned that the character description has Joon-hyuk's age as the same as the brothers so one of my theories may be wrong.

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And I completely agree with Ahn Wooyeon finally getting a meatier role

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Oooh I am loving this!! This is my first time seeing Yeo Jin Gu in the lead role and he has completely reeled me in.. And the plot is turning out to be really interesting with good pacing and just enough clues and hints to make you want for more. Already I have so many speculations and I am eager to watch the story unfold.
Its interesting how Woo-Jin believed in aliens at the age of 6 but refuses to acknowledge aliens at the present while his brother grew believing the exact opposite. I am more interested to know what caused this reversal. Also I legitimately got scared for a moment there when Kim Kang Woo made his appearance with that monster mask! :D

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That last sentence, like, me too haha! Was not expecting that.

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<Oooh, so he IS one of the twins.

I don't think so... [No spoilers, see second episode]

I didn't read up on this drama beforehand so I had no idea about the two-part structure, so I found it a little odd. Or rather, Yeo Jin-gu is so good in the first part so that when he doesn't appear on my screen for half an hour, something seemed to be seriously missing. But, by the second episode I got more into it – as in, both halves have their captivating bits.

But, Yeo Jin-gu is really top-notch here, his acting seems effortless. One of those that you can 100% rely on, in any role (I am tempted to compare him to Sometani Shota or Suda Masaki, they are the same kind of acting chamaleons that can do any role, any look* – just a very amazing range). Ah, I want more actors like Yeo Jin-gu in kdramaland, though I totally get that most of those that are this good prefer to stick to K-films – because too few dramas really are worth their abilities. Fortunately, this one is very promising so far.

*Compare Yeo Jin-gu as a female ghost and Suda Masaki in female clothes in Princess Jellyfish...

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Man, I don't think I can take the pain of waiting for the next week. This is THE drama that needs marathoning to enjoy fully.

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It's too late for marathoning. I have already watched it live. There is no going back. Sigh.

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I'm still trying to convince myself that I have time to watch this week after week but here I am already wishing it's Tue early morning so I can watch Ep 3 subbed.

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"So which group is truly more free, those who can go anywhere physically or those who can go anywhere with their imaginations?"

Ooh I love this statement tineybeanie!

It's essentially the Free Will vs Safety argument taken to the extreme. (Thank you Elle for this term!)

This episode (the second half) has painted a strong argument for Free Will but I hope later episodes will highlight the areas of grey which are that in no where is the right to free speech absolute because when this right is extended to things like hate or libelous speech, society will suffer.

Makes me think about how the USA is obsessed with freedom of speech, their right to bear arms, which ironically has made their country less safe and less tolerant. So much racism and xenophobia, and gun related deaths.

And contrast that to Singapore which some people accuse of having a draconian government who stifles free speech, with a zero tolerant approach to racial disharmony. But as a young female I could walk the streets alone after midnight and be certain I would reach home safely.

Truly, both have their pros and cons but can we really say that one country's citizens are more free than the other?

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I'm actually born and raised in Singapore and I really don't find the free speech thing an issue like so many others apparently do?? Maybe it's just because I'm used to it, but I have heard what others think and in some instances I have to agree, especially with the media control. Everybody basically knows the government controls the media, but the general public as far as I know doesn't seem to be very bothered by it. Singaporeans, we complain a LOT, it's considered our national pasttime, but the ones that really finds issues with our society are usually foreigners who aren't used to such strict laws. In Singapore as long as you abide by the laws, you will be totally fine. But there's always a case or two of foreigners getting in trouble because they act as though Singapore is their country and they don't bother about the consequences. Of course some people will say we're too harsh, and they always bring up our death penalty as an example, but really all our laws are there for a reason. We have to be so strict so that Singapore won't dissolve into lawlessness which is very possible considering how small our nation is. Freedom is a very relative term, and while I don't agree with how our government carries certain things out, they have tried their best to make Singapore a good nation, maybe not necessarily "free" like in western opinion but our society is functioning nonetheless. For there to be freedom, there has to be confinements within society of places you can't go. Or something like that, I got it off a book I read XD

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Very interesting perspective, Chloe. As a Canadian, we guard our fundamental right to free speech in a democracy and freedom of the press very dearly. It was hard won by our ancestors though we often take it for granted now. Surprising how something can become so part of your cultural identity that when a society doesn't practice it, or is not allowed to practice it, it seems just so wrong. There are checks and balances in every nation, though, and if the majority are happy with yours then all power to them.

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I fully agree with you. I do feel like this ideal of total "freedom of speech" has been revered so much such that people feel that settling for anything less is blasphemy. But I don't believe it's true at all- most people cannot be trusted with total freedom of speech, and the internet is a great example of that.

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I tend to think that citizens can tolerate their government policy as far as their economy is good. Since Singapore is relatively young country and has been economically growing very fast without a hiccup much, Singaporean can tolerate with harsh policy and put up with crazy study hours etc etc . However, you must know that the miracle can end some day. Then what could they do? I often wonder that.

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I actually think it has more to do with the fact that the government in Singapore is doing a good job such that majority of people don't feel the impetus to "rebel". Actually, as long as you keep to within general socially acceptable norms, Singaporeans have the freedom to do most things. Inciting racial disharmony is severely frowned upon, but well, I don't particularly respect or think highly of individuals who feel stifled that they can't go out and freely sow racial discord. If anything I feel we have a long way to go regarding LBGT rights, but I think that has more to do with Asians cultures being more conservative in general rather than anything to do with the government. So it's less that Singaporeans "tolerate" it, but more that we are quite happy with the status quo and don't see a need to violently rock the boat.

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I'm liking this show so far. I have some ideas and theories running around, but I don't want to share them until after the recap for episode 2.

Regarding the sibling revelation at the end of the episode, I have a question. The word used was "형제." I recall the English translation of the episode using the word "brothers." I believe that 형제 can be used for brothers in particular and siblings in general (when there are both male and female siblings). According to the recap, however, this word is translated as "brother" (singular). After watching the first episode--and with the plural definition in mind--I thought that there was another brother involved and that Joohyuk might have been the younger sibling of the twins. After this recap, however, I am not sure. Additionally, the second episode adds some more potential revelations regarding Joohyuk's identity. Could some Korean speakers help me here? Thanks a lot. And thanks for the recap :)!

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I'm not a Korean speaker but I believe 형제 can be used as both singular and plural. http://endic.naver.com/search.nhn?sLn=en&searchOption=all&query=%ED%98%95%EC%A0%9C

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Thanks for sharing :)!

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No prob ^_^

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:)

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Thank you! That's what I thought too.

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I'm no Korean speaker, but the word 형제 is implying a set of brothers (younger and older), hence why it would translate to "brothers", but Detective Hong said "Your 형제", meaning he could be implying Joon-hyuk's brother, as opposed to "Your brothers". I get your confusion must have arisen from DramaFever's translation, but based on episode 2, I can assure you it's meant to be singular here. I hope this clears up the confusion for you.

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Thanks. I didn't watch this on dramafever, but the site may have taken its subs from dramafever. I did replay that scene today, as yes, I heard "Your 형제." It sounds like it go go either way: "your older brothers/your older brother." Thanks for your help. I can't wait for the next recap. Yes, there are other hints in the second episode that point to a specific brother, but I feel like those hints might be misleading. I have other thoughts as well, but I'll hold off for now. Thanks again :).

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Detective Hong would have said, "네 형제들" if he meant "your brothers". 형제 here is definitely singular since he addressed this to Joon-hyuk, as opposed to if he addressed this as an information to a third person saying "그 형제", then he would have meant "those brothers". I didn't think much of this when I first saw because the word implied to me that he's one of the twins, I'm thinking the translation definitely confused everyone.

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Thanks again. I appreciate your explanation :).

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Yes, this was the most confusing. At first I thought he may be the younger sibling of the twins. However, reading the recap and seeing people's interpretations, it seems that he could be referring to a singular brother, meaning he is one of the twins.

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Seeing all the question about the siblings part... I think it's just impossible that KJH is a third brother because for one, Joonhyuk (41yo in 2037) is just the same age as the twins (21 yo in 2017).

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Just out of curiosity, is Joonhyuk's age revealed in the drama?

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Not in the 2 episodes as far as I remember, but it's mentioned in the character descriptions they released on naver.

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It's on their official website.. http://program.tving.com/tvn/circle/7/Contents/Html It's really understandable though that people would be confused because most people would just watch the drama as it goes and Joonhyuk's age wasn't really specified so far.

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Thanks for sharing.

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His age doesn't really need to be specifically specified if we assume the actor is playing close to his own age, which he is. But it is nice they seem to have included it in the character description.

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That's true, but sometimes there is quite a difference between a character's age and an actor's age. But I did think his character was in the mid thirties to early forties range.

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Thank you so much for the recap, tineybeanie!!! I'm traveling so I can't watch it right now but knowing you love it so much excites me!!

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Thank you for the recap!
The translators for the video I watched translated Chief Hong’s last words as "find your siblings." Knowing now that it should've been translated as "find your sibling" changes things.

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I dreamt Circle. It has seeped that deeply into my subconscious. I absolutely love it.

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I wonder how will they put Subway in this drama, will Subway still exist in 2037?

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They have to stop for Subway lunch during their hunt for the mysterious killer in the campus, it's the law. And probably 20 years from now on, in 2037, that's all people eat in the Smart City because they lost their free will to even choose their own food.

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Sublent Green, anyone?

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Will there be subway in this show? I don't think it's possible to put it in 2037. It doesn't make any sense.

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That moment in your life when you have zero expectation over this drama but upon watching this ep, you are just speechless.

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