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Circle: Episode 10

I’m always blown away by the pace of this show — there’s barely any lag, and answers come almost as quickly as you can think of the questions. It’s a rare show that both outsmarts its viewers and respects their intelligence. And while we work our brains to keep up with the show, Circle repeatedly brings us back to the heart of its conceit: Who are we without our memories?

 
EPISODE 10 RECAP

It’s 2008, and Kim Kyu-chul comes home late one night, much to his mother’s surprise. Looking harried, he hands his mother something and tells her not to give it to anyone but him.

He promises to come back again, and with one last solemn look, he hurries away from his home. His mother calls after him, then looks down at the wooden cross in her hand — it’s the pen drive Kim Kyu-chul used to store his research.

Part 1: Beta Project

Jung-yeon and Woo-jin are stunned to find Woo-jin’s memories preserved as footage on the computer in his father’s old office. As they watch, the Byul in Little Woo-jin’s memory hands him a star-shaped device and tells him that with its help, he can see his mom from his own memories.

Jung-yeon wonders how she could have made such a thing while Woo-jin observes that anyone who discovers the existence of such technology would never be able to give up looking for it. With that scary thought in mind, the two turn to look at the screen again.

In his office, Professor Park spies on the duo using the secret CCTV camera and gasps at the significance of what he just learned. But in the parking lot of the university later, Professor Park is kidnapped and brought to a darkened warehouse by the corrupt Detective Choi. There, he’s tied to a chair and questioned about the location of Professor Han.

The shadowy man in charge stands with his back to the interrogation while a surprisingly nonplussed Professor Park looks around and guesses that the people holding him now are representatives of “Human B,” the shadowy foundation that funded Professor Han for many years.

The shadowy man is surprised by his gumption, but he make it clear that Professor Park in no position to be asking questions. Seeing the effort Human B put into finding Professor Han, Professor Park baldly declares that he’s trying to decide whether or not he should hand over his discovery to them in an attempt to make a deal.

Professor Park tells them about the system that stores memories as footage as a means of showing what he could bring to the table, but the man in charge scoffs at his claims of having found out how to make it work. Professor Park gains confidence as he points out how they failed in their attempts to mimic that technology, even going to the extent of killing students to make it work.

Feeling braver, Professor Park asks if Human B wants to keep hedging their bets on Professor Han, or if they’d like to join hands with him instead, since only he knows how to access the system.

The man in charge turns to face him and asks what he wants. Professor Park asks to be untied, pointing out that as the sole person to know the secrets of the technology, he can neither be killed nor harmed.

Later, as Professor Park stumbles down the road a free man, he recalls the man in charge telling him that they would be in touch. Sitting on the curb, Professor Park grins to himself: “Life sure has a funny way of working out.”

Woo-jin stands in the yard of his childhood home trying to come to terms with what he just learned. But just then, he gets a call from a hysterical Min-young saying that Bum-gyun can no longer recognize her. Trying but failing to calm Min-young down, Woo-jin just promises her that he’ll find a way to help his brother before heading back inside.

Sitting in a corner of the office, Jung-yeon wonders if she really was an alien and why she came here. She rallies when Woo-jin comes in, though he immediately sets to pulling external hard drives from his bag.

He tells Jung-yeon that even if he doesn’t know how to use this program to help his brother, he knows that he’s the key to making it work. For now, his intentions are to preserve his own memories, so that if there comes a day when Bum-gyun can no longer remember anything, Woo-jin can show Bum-gyun his own memory footage.

When they reach Min-young’s dad’s hospital, they walk in to find Bum-gyun’s room empty. Panicked, Woo-jin and Jung-yeon run all over the place looking for him, until they spot Bum-gyun cheerily waving at them from a bench in a nearby park. Bum-gyun hails Woo-jin, but then looks at Jung-yeon carefully.

Woo-jin moves in front of her protectively, but Bum-gyun just erupts in a wide grin as he guesses that whoever-she-is must be Woo-jin’s girlfriend. Bum-gyun introduces himself in an uncannily playful and carefree way as Woo-jin and Jung-yeon look at each other in surprised dismay.

Min-young approaches them with a bicycle, and at first, there seems to be a glimmer of hope when Bum-gyun hails Min-young by her name. But then Bum-gyun introduces her as the friendly daughter of the hospital’s director that he just met, explaining that Min-young asked him to teach her how to ride a bike. For her part, Min-young exchanges a glance with Woo-jin, quietly asking him to play along.

After an initial push, Min-young slowly pedals away under her own power. Bum-gyun observes that she’s quite good, but upon noticing Woo-jin’s distracted look, he slowly slides behind his brother. With a sly grin, he hits the back of Woo-jin’s knees with his own, only to run away laughing like the happiest kid in the world after Woo-jin stumbles in surprise.

Woo-jin watches his brother with an amazed smile on his face, which Jung-yeon notes uneasily.

Back inside the hospital, Woo-jin takes a seat next to Jung-yeon and asks if they should just stop now. “My brother is smiling,” Woo-jin says suddenly. “My brother was uneasy every day since Dad went missing, but… he’s smiling now.”

Looking at Jung-yeon directly, Woo-jin adds that Bum-gyun doesn’t remember her, so that means he doesn’t remember anything about aliens or their dad. Hopeful now, he asks Jung-yeon if they can’t just go away somewhere with Bum-gyun and start anew.

Having overheard that last part, Min-young rushes up to confront Woo-jin over what he just said. When Woo-jin confesses that he thinks Bum-gyun might be happier this way, Min-young asks if Bum-gyun ever said that he wanted to be rid of his memories (the implication being that Bum-gyun has no way to decide for himself). “Do you know your brother so little?” Min-young asks.

Woo-jin: “No, it’s because I know him that I’m saying this! My brother has been through so much already. After Dad disappeared, he was miserable for ten years. Why would I try to restore those bad memories?”

Min-young: “Because those memories are Bum-gyun! Bum-gyun is only Bum-gyun because he has Bum-gyun’s memories!”

Min-young asks how it can be all right for Bum-gyun to be happy without his memories, adding that Bum-gyun doesn’t even recognize her now, which means he might not recognize Woo-jin tomorrow.

In shocked disbelief, Min-young accuses Woo-jin of giving up in the face of the much harder task of recovering Bum-gyun’s memories. She turns to Jung-yeon and asks if she agrees with Woo-jin, clearly looking for an ally. Struggling with her own doubts about recovering old memories, Jung-yeon can only look at Min-young as she answers, “I… don’t know.”

Later, Jung-yeon comes to sit beside a sleeping Bum-gyun, wondering who she is now without her own past memories. “Bum-gyun-ah,” she thinks to herself, “I don’t know what the right answer is.”

Over the phone, Professor Park urges Lee Sunbae to place his trust in him and do as he says. After he hangs up, Professor Park gets a call from a restricted number — it’s the shadowy man from Human B, and he agrees to Park’s offer. Acting like he has the upper hand, Professor Park tells the shadowy man to do what must be done.

As if on cue, Chief Hong suddenly finds his access to the evidence room restricted. He punches the policeman blocking him from the room, but this only earns him a suspension from the section chief.

Woo-jin asks Min-young’s doctor father to remove the bug from Bum-gyun’s brain, but Dad says that it’s impossible to do without more information about how the worm works. Before Woo-jin can plead with him further, a group of men carrying the signature search-and-seizure blue boxes enter the office and seize the doctor’s personal and patient records, citing a likely trumped-up embezzlement charge.

Back in Bum-gyun’s room, a nurse comes in and tells Jung-yeon that they’ll be performing a few tests after he administers an injection. Jung-yeon points out that Bum-gyun is still sleeping, but this only nets a reassuring smile from the nurse, who proceeds to inject the drug anyway.

Chief Hong arrives at the hospital while the search and seizure is going on. As he speaks to Woo-jin, Min-young runs to them and says that the men are also taking all the patient records, including Bum-gyun’s. Chief Hong is instantly suspicious, since an investigation of embezzlement would have nothing to do with a patient’s test results.

He wonders aloud if someone is trying to get rid of the evidence at the hospital just like they did at the police station. At Woo-jin and Min-young’s panicked expressions, Chief Hong tells them about being suspended, and how no one at his station even bothered looking into the corrupt Detective Choi.

The nurse tells Jung-yeon that he’s taking Bum-gyun out for an MRI. It’s only after he’s wheeled out Bum-gyun that Jung-yeon remembers that MRIs can’t be performed on patients with metal in their body, meaning that Bum-gyun should be excluded because of the chipped bug in his brain.

Jung-yeon runs out into the corridor and finds the nurse waiting with the stretcher by the elevators. This time, she notices his suit pants and shoes sticking out of his scrubs, which raises a lot of red flags. She hides just out of sight and calls Woo-jin.

Chief Hong tells Woo-jin and Min-young that “they” might try to target Bum-gyun, since he’s the most decisive piece of evidence. Just then, Woo-jin gets Jung-yeon’s call, and she tells him that the fake nurse has Bum-gyun and is waiting by the tenth floor elevator with the down button pressed.

Woo-jin and the others run down the stairs, racing to reach the basement parking lot before the fake nurse does. When he wheels Bum-gyun out of the elevator, there is already an ambulance and another fake nurse waiting to transfer Bum-gyun inside.

Suddenly, compressed air hits them in the face as Woo-jin and Chief Hong emerge from around the ambulance wielding fire extinguishers. As the fake nurses cough out their lungs, Woo-jin and Min-young push the gurney away as Chief Hong runs ahead to bring out his own car for their getaway.

Before they can get Bum-gyun inside, the fake nurses come running and try to get hold of the gurney. Min-young throws herself at one of the men while Chief Hong throws himself at the other, and thinking fast, Woo-jin picks Bum-gyun up and hurriedly places him in the backseat. As Jung-yeon comes running, Chief Hong tells her to take the wheel and drive while he and Min-young hold the abductor nurses at bay.

They get away in the car, and Professor Park has a tantrum about it on the phone. Changing tactics, he directs his new ally to leave them be for now.

Once they’re parked elsewhere, Woo-jin becomes worried that Bum-gyun’s waking up. Jung-yeon tells him that he’s been sedated, but Woo-jin can’t help but panic as he looks at Bum-gyun’s still form.

Jung-yeon takes Woo-jin’s face in her hands and steadies him by reminding him that they have to stay calm and protect Bum-gyun: “You’re all he has, after all.” He nods and slowly clasps her hands in his, drawing her hands away.

Woo-jin gets a call from Professor Park, who lies that he just barely managed to escape after being kidnapped by Professor Han. He warns Woo-jin that Han might be after Bum-gyun and asks to meet with him right away.

When Woo-jin arrives on a street alone to meet Professor Park, he notices his professor’s hand trembling. Park gets tearful as he apologizes to Woo-jin and lies that Professor Han had forced him to meet with and convince Woo-jin of something. He tells Woo-jin that more than Professor Han, he’s scared of the people behind him — the mysterious Human B, which has been funding a search for Byul’s technology for years.

Woo-jin asks if Professor Han wants his dad’s research, but Professor Park says that Han has given up on that. Instead, he says only that Professor Han wants to continue his research on Byul with Woo-jin, as he had done with his father, Kim Kyu-chul, before. Professor Park tries to convince him that that’s the only way Bum-gyun can regain his memories.

Woo-jin understands that what this really means is that he’s being told to bring Bum-gyun and Jung-yeon to Professor Han. Professor Park adds a final threat “from Professor Han:” Woo-jin has nowhere to run to anymore.

As Professor Park examines Woo-jin’s face with fake concern, Woo-jin relents and asks for just one more day. Agreeing to convey that message to Professor Han, Professor Park watches as Woo-jin walks away into the night, a calculating expression on his face.

Woo-jin ends up in his dad’s old office, and the computer switches on again in his presence. “Is there really no way out of this? Do Jung-yeon and I really have to go?” he wonders to himself. Remembering how the program answered his question about his memories, he asks it if his dad’s research even exists. The program does nothing, and with growing frustration, Woo-jin shouts, “Is there really nothing that Dad left behind?”

That’s when the program shows him a moment from his childhood, when he had walked into the same office and found Byul sitting at the desk. As Woo-jin sighs in frustration at the apparently useless memory, his gaze suddenly snags on the cross-shaped USB drive on the desk. His eyes widen as he remembers seeing that cross amongst his grandmother’s belongings, and he runs out of the house.

Meanwhile, in his office, Professor Park looks in on the moment with a frown.

Woo-jin arrives at the hospice room and approaches his grandmother cautiously. She looks at him curiously, but when he asks if Dad gave her the cross hanging around her neck, she flies into a panic and calls for the nurse. On his knees next to her, Woo-jin finally just breaks down in frustration and begs her to give him the necklace, crying that it’s the only way for him to save Bum-gyun.

As Grandma sees him crying, his head buried in her blanket, she seems to remember him again. She touches his hair softly and asks where Bum-gyun is. Woo-jin raises his head and promises that if she gave him that necklace, he’ll bring his brother back safe and sound. She takes off the cross and hands it to him, and Woo-jin tearfully thanks his grandmother.

Woo-jin reaches his studio apartment and plugs the USB drive into his laptop. A video screen opens, but it only shows static. Possibly thinking that the file is corrupted, Woo-jin repeatedly presses buttons until frustration gets to him and he gives up. “Is there really no other way?” he wonders, defeated.

Just then, his father appears on screen, sitting in a room where the walls are papered with post-it notes. He introduces himself and titles this as his last entry on the Beta Project.

With hope lighting in his eyes, Woo-jin whispers, “I found it. I found it, Hyung.”

Part 2: Brave New World

Professor Han tells Jung-yeon and Joon-hyuk that Woo-jin was killed by Minister Park. As Joon-hyuk grapples with the devastating news, the mad Professor Han frowns in confusion and adds that it was a perfectly scientific death (he even goes into grisly details), but if it was, he doesn’t know how Human B could still be working.

There’s only so much of Professor Han’s gibberish that Joon-hyuk can take, as he demands to know what Han means. Professor Han cackles as he says that the supercomputer can’t work without Woo-jin, but since it is working, does that mean Woo-jin is alive?

“No, he’s dead,” Professor Han finally concludes, causing Joon-hyuk to almost choke him in frustration as he screams, “Is Woo-jin alive or dead?!”

Professor Han shoves him away and continues his rambling line of thought as he wonders if Minister Park found a way to run the supercomputer by himself. Jumping from one thought to the next, Han wonders if Woo-jin could possibly be alive, before once again concluding that it would be scientifically impossible. Only, a smile touches his face as Han examines a new thought: “Or… is it possible? Is resurrection possible?”

Joon-hyuk and Jung-yeon leave Professor Han’s room and discuss what they learned outside. Joon-hyuk remembers that Byul’s star only recognized Woo-jin, so it makes sense that he would be the only one able to operate the system.

This naturally leads them to realize that if Human B doesn’t work without Woo-jin, then it must mean that Minister Park couldn’t crack the secret of the system even in the twenty years he’s had it. “Then where is Woo-jin?” Joon-hyuk asks.

Secretary Shin’s phone rings, and Ho-soo sees that it’s Deputy Chief Lee. He hands her the phone at gunpoint and tells her to answer normally. She seems to do exactly as she says as she tells Deputy Chief Lee that her sister Seo-hee is ill and that she’ll get back to him later.

When she hangs up, Deputy Chief Lee tells his men to look for Secretary Shin, because her sister’s name isn’t Seo-hee. (Ah, smart.) His men locate her outside Professor Han’s residence, and Lee reports the kidnapping to Minister Park. He directs Deputy Chief Lee to use an Ultra High Frequency (UHF) network to communicate so that they can avoid all the Smart Earth technology that Bluebird can hack into.

Ho-soo gets the order on his comm along with other security personnel, and after shooting an accusatory look at Secretary Shin, he goes inside to warn Joon-hyuk and Jung-yeon. Jung-yeon is arguing that they have to infiltrate the Human B building if Woo-jin is inside, while Joon-hyuk says that it’s too dangerous. But Ho-soo offers an alternate plan.

We find Chief Hong and Detective Ha occupying two benches at the Smart Earth terminal as they wait for word from Joon-hyuk. Dong-soo arrives and tells them about the directive that just went out over the UHF network to catch Bluebird alive. Together, the three realize that Joon-hyuk and Jung-yeon’s location must have been compromised, and they wonder if they can get inside Smart Earth somehow.

Security personnel with their stun wands creep closer to Professor Han’s building, when suddenly, a car careens out of the driveway. They call it in, and a barricade is placed further down the route to stop the car.

It’s Ho-soo behind the wheel, and he drives straight at them before punching the break at the last possible moment. The personnel converge on the car and arrest Ho-soo. Sadly, the only person in the backseat is Secretary Shin. Ha!

As they help Secretary Shin emerge from the car, she says that there’s a way to find out where Bluebird is. Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Lee is furious to find out that Ho-soo has been playing him, and Minister Park orders him to check Ho-soo’s memory footage immediately.

Ho-soo is brought back to the Investigation Unit, and Secretary Shin tells him that they’ll be reconnecting his chip to Human B again. “You failed in what you tried to do,” she tells him, and a tear slips out of Ho-soo’s eyes. Aww.

Minister Park watches with vulture-like interest as the connection to Ho-soo’s chip is reestablished in Human B’s control room as he waits for Ho-soo’s memory to be checked. But suddenly, Bluebird’s logo populates the towering screen above them, and he’s told that there’s a virus infecting Human B’s computer network.

Reeling in disbelief, Minister Park wonders how a virus could get in when Human B is completely disconnected from any outside server. Then, he notes how Ho-soo is staring straight and unnervingly at Secretary Shin, whose eyes Minister Park is currently using to watch the situation. Only then does Minister Park realize that the virus was in Ho-soo’s Care Chip.

As Minister Park glares down at Ho-soo on the monitor, Ho-soo looks up at Secretary shin, a victorious smile tugging at his lips.

In flashback, we watch the trio discussing Ho-soo’s plan. Ho-soo tells them to let Human B capture him, since they would immediately reconnect him chip to check his memories for their whereabouts. Jung-yeon immediately catches on, but says that it’s too dangerous.

The non-tech-savvy Joon-hyuk asks them to speak clearly, and Ho-soo explains that if he were to be captured, Bluebird/Jung-yeon could hack into Human B’s security system. He tells them that the supercomputer is on the 99th floor, and this is the only way they have any hope of getting inside.

The risks are high, since they know that once Human B realizes what Ho-soo has done, they will likely block Ho-soo’s memories. Looking at Jung-yeon, Ho-soo asks her to promise that once this is over, she’ll return his memories to him.

Joon-hyuk is reluctant to risk his friend’s life or memory, but seeing that there is no other way, he puts a hand on Ho-soo’s shoulder and says, “I’ve never said this before, but thank you, Lee Ho-soo.”

Ho-soo smiles and says that no matter what else he may forget, he should remember this moment, since it’s the first time he’s heard these words from Joon-hyuk.

In the present, Deputy Chief Lee has his people seal off all entry points to the Human B building. With the security system disabled due to the virus, Jung-yeon and Joon-hyuk are able to sneak into the Human B building through the basement. They find the door’s automation down, and Joon-hyuk is impressed at how well her virus worked.

But since they can’t get through the door the regular way, Joon-hyuk pulls a crowbar from his bag and says, “You’re digital and I’m analog. What do you think? Aren’t we a great team?” They grin at each other, and Joon-hyuk gets to work on the door the old-fashioned way.

Minister Park asks for an update on the virus, and when he’s assured that it’ll be removed soon, he turns to Deputy Chief Lee and directs him to check on “Circle 8.”

Joon-hyuk and Jung-yeon make it up ninety-nine floors on foot. Nearly out of breath, they pause a moment at the door leading to the 99th Floor and look at each other. With a nod, Joon-hyuk pulls open the door, only to come face-to-face with a small army, all of them pointing their guns directly at them.

Minister Park walks up to them and smugly tells Jung-yeon that she should have called if she missed him. He orders her to be taken away, and as the personnel grab her, Joon-hyuk pushes his head against the barrel of a gun daringly as he points out that men with chips in their head can’t shoot people.

Minister Park laughs at his cleverness, only to remind him that he has no chip in his head moments before he takes a gun and points it straight at Joon-hyuk. At this very real threat, Jung-yeon immediately stops struggling and agrees to go with them. As Joon-hyuk yells after Jung-yeon, they drag him away and lock him in a room.

Jung-yeon is taken to a bare room with a laptop on a desk that’s running Byul’s memory program. As Minister Park walks in, Jung-yeon observes that he used Woo-jin and the star to make Human B work for all these years, doing nothing on his own merit.

Minister Park admits that Woo-jin is the most important component of the supercomputer. As Jung-yeon yells that Woo-jin is a human being and not a component, Minister Park taunts her for judging him, when she’s been hiding this whole time — if she really cared about Woo-jin, shouldn’t she have come sooner?

He adds that Byul’s memories hold secrets that can give new technologies to humankind, but while Jung-yeon went around unblocking other people’s memories, she never tried to access the memories that Kim Kyu-chul locked away.

“Why am I forcing Woo-jin to make the sacrifice? Because you won’t,” he finally tells Jung-yeon. “If you want to help Woo-jin, then regain your memories. All you have to do is sacrifice yourself instead.”

A man in a surgeon’s gown and mask pushes a cart topped with menacing-looking equipment and, worst of all, a Care Chip. Realizing what’s about to happen to her, Jung-yeon sits heavily in her chair, and as her eyes fall on the chip, tears slip down her face. Minister Park waits with a smug smile as the surgeon brings a scalpel toward Jung-yeon’s neck. Noooo!

But just before the blade can touch her skin, all the lights suddenly shut off.

Ordering the men not to lose Jung-yeon, Minister Park runs down to the control room. There, he’s told that the supercomputer is frozen, but not because of the virus. Deputy Chief Lee rushes in to tell Minister Park that “Circle 8” has disappeared.

Stuck in the locked room, Joon-hyuk suddenly realizes that the lights on the door panel are turned off. He turns the knob, and the door opens easily. Avoiding Human B’s by hiding in the shadows, he slowly creeps out through the corridors and makes his way to the stairwell.

At the Smart Earth terminal, security stops people from going in as they blame it on a system error. Dong-soo realizes that this means that the supercomputer must be down, and Chief Hong gets his men to cause a commotion so that they can get inside. Mingling with the impatient crowd, they begin to stir panic and anger until everyone pushes through the barrier in a rush to get inside the city.

Joon-hyuk must have been incarcerated at a lower level, because we find him running up the stairs to the 99th floor again. Exhausted but determined, he asks Woo-jin to wait for him.

Jung-yeon uses the scalpel on the tray beside her to injure her guard and get away. She runs out to the stairwell too, and when she finds Joon-hyuk, she tells him that the supercomputer is frozen, which can only mean that the connection between Woo-jin and the system was somehow severed. Fearing the worst, they run up the stairs together.

Deputy Chief Lee, Minister Park, and their henchmen take the emergency elevator up, while our heroes trudge laboriously up the steps again.

Suddenly, Joon-hyuk stops Jung-yeon by putting a protective hand out in front of her. The sound of slow footsteps reaches them as someone descends the steps above them.

As the person comes in view, Joon-hyuk and Jung-yeon can only stare up in shock. A tear rolls down Jung-yeon’s face, but we can’t see whatever they’re seeing.

“Kim Woo-jin,” breathes Joon-hyuk, barely able to believe his eyes. “Is it really you?”

 
COMMENTS

Gaaaaaaaaah! Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god! Just… give me a moment to finish hyperventilating here. So much happened in this episode, and yet everything feels organic and inevitable. They’ve been setting up these dominoes in small doses throughout the story, and finally, it’s time to tip the pieces. I can already see the pattern they probably form, but the thrill of this show is in the fact that you can never be sure. They have completely broken my confidence in my ability to anticipate drama plot twists! And yet, I couldn’t be any happier.

Let’s begin with Beta Project. There is something so satisfying in watching the foreshadowed pieces of storytelling come to life. From what Jung-yeon already revealed, we knew that Woo-jin had considered giving up on Bum-gyun’s memories because forgetting them made his brother smile. But in this episode, we were able to see that play out and understand that it was a momentary lapse in judgement.

As Min-young cuttingly pointed out to Woo-jin, he neither had Bum-gyun’s permission to let him forget, nor would his brother remain Bum-gyun without his memories. Having watched Woo-jin struggle with poverty and a shattered family life, we know how highly he values his brother to have come this far. It’s natural and human for him to at least consider giving up.

And then we watched Jung-yeon fight a war within herself, where her desire to remain who she is now clashes with the nagging question of identity. Without Byul’s memory, she was no longer Byul. But it was her own past, and just like Joon-hyuk in the future, she can’t stop thinking about finding out who she used to be. It’s an idea that is both alluring and scary, because once Byul’s memories are unlocked, Jung-yeon wouldn’t be just Jung-yeon anymore.

In the Brave New World sequence, Ho-soo’s sacrifice was cleverly written, but didn’t quite land emotionally for me. Perhaps it’s because he was so opposed to Joon-hyuk for so much of the show that I didn’t feel they had time to build a strong bond. Joon-hyuk and Jung-yeon’s relationship landed more for me, because theirs is based on the mutual need to find Woo-jin, and culminated in that sweet moment in the stairway where they were united as a team. There are decades of wariness and hostility between them, but for Woo-jin’s sake, they have become something close to friends.

It’s to the credit of the show that Woo-jin’s future existence and purpose was kept cleverly under wraps, even as the characters who were in the know made sly references to his involvement with Human B. The position of the CEO was the biggest red herring used to distract us from Woo-jin’s true situation in 2037. The reveal was absolutely brilliant, so praise goes to the writer.

I’m surprised at how believable it is that Woo-jin would buck the shackles of twenty years to exercise his free will for the sake of Jung-yeon. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the lights went off exactly as the surgeon was about to cut into her skin (without anesthesia!). Even without any heavy-handed romance in Part 1, I am completely convinced of Woo-jin’s decades-long attachment to Jung-yeon, who was once Byul.

But I do wonder if he recognizes his brother in Joon-hyuk and whether he has all his memories intact. I have a feeling that despite using Woo-jin as a “component” of his super computer for twenty years, Minister Park hasn’t been able to uncover everything his erstwhile student knows. There are secrets here that the show has yet to reveal!

I also appreciate this cliffhanger, because it feels like Circle revealed exactly the right amount of information for this week, and kept the rest for the grand finale. I feel satisfyingly full and deliciously eager for the last episodes now. No matter how far off my speculations about Woo-jin are, I’m happily confident that the show will give us a final week to remember by delivering its best surprises when we least expect them.

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Oh my God! The moment the lights went out during Jung Yeon's "surgery," I was like is Woo Jin is there, right. Everything happened so fast, and I'm still reeling from Ho Soo's sacrifice. The worlds of 2017 and 2037 are blending in and my mind is still in shock. Do I have to wait for the next episodes? I need them now. >_<

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More thoughts-
Is it really Woo Jin? How is 2017 Woo Jin going to save Bum Gyum with that new info? There are so many more questions and I don't even know how to explain everything I'm feeling right now.

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All this talk of cloning is scary and eerie. If the real Woo Jin died and the supercomputer is powered by a clone, it would make the reunion of the brother ls bittersweet, but at least there would be an explanation of the picture of Woojin in the chairman's office, and they could still keep Yeo Jin Goo as an actor in the Brave New World.

I hope that it is still the original Woo Jin and that Chairman Park was flirting with the possibility of cloning him because he realized Woo Jin couldn't live like that forever, but knowing Prof Park's greed, this theory is unlikely.

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Is cloning possible when Prof Park can't even crack supercomputer technology for two decades long? I mean, if he is smart enough to clone a human, he should have operated supercomputer himself without Woo-jin's presence. Cloning isn't photocopying, I suppose, you can't create the exact same copy of living creature. And even if cloning is possible, it's still very risky on Prof Park's side to sacrifice the original Woo-jin. Like, what if the supercomputer doesn't give access permit to the clone?

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Well, Park Dong Geon has a lot of resources as the chairman of Human B, sp he could've asked anyone to do the cloning for him.

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Woojin isn't immortal, so I guess Prof Park desperately attempts to create a clone of him for the case he dies someday. I agree that even tho trying to replicate another version(s) of Woojin might not turn out to work because there might ever be a 100% idential copy to the original which means in the end there won't be a key to run the supercomputer anymore. But from what we have learned from the show some scientiest won't stop researching until they have achieved what they want.

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Like you, I am hoping for it to be the original Woojin (with an older actor playing the part). I think that Park has not actually done any cloning at this point.

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I wonder about the painting, because at some point someone realized that while it is currently in the chairman's office it also was hanging at the university in the past (chairman park's picture in the office). Were we sure of the date of the picture? Maybe it was taken years before after all. Before Woo Jin disappeared.
The clone issue is really interesting. I think it is pretty possible that Chairman Park could push that research ahead. After all, we're close to cloning already, we're not advancing towards it in our world now because of ethical concerns putting a lot of barriers to it (thank you, ethics! although it would be nice to be able to grow organs as needed for sick people...).
What I find freaky about the clones is not just the idea that they may have WooJin enslaved for eternity hooked up to that computer century after century to keep things working, but that people in power could become immortal. A bit like what happens in Aeon Flux (the Charlize Theron movie, I confess I have not watched the original cartoon). The people in power who do not wear chips could clone themselves and load up their memories in the new bodies and keep living on forever. Meanwhile, they could have the rest of humanity with chips completely under control because they could erase or implant memories as needed. There would be no possibility of people ever revolting. They could do anything they pleased for ever and ever and nobody would be able to stop them. I wonder whether Chairman Park is so eager to get cloning approved because he wants Woo Jin to keep running the system, or because he wants to make sure he can have a nice young adult copy of himself to stuff his memories in when he's near death--to rule Smart Earth forever, even as it possibly ends up covering the entire planet. This show seems to be going to a really ugly place.

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I think he may have saved Bum Gyum (and Jung Yeon) by offering himself as 'component which is ?

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Oh, Circle 8!!! The Dramafever subs wrote it as 'circulate'. Circle 8 makes so much more sense! Thanks, festerfaster! Does this mean Woojin is the 8th clone?

Loved Hosoo's part in this ep, with his evil mwahaha grin after planting the virus. Also, he looks fabulous in black.

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Sameeee! The sub I watched said CIRCULATE and I was like wtf another machine? Thank God for recaps! ?

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Circulate made no sense, i was confused lol but this Circle 8 made me even more scared. Does this mean it's the 8th clone they succeeded.....

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But wait, if it's the 8th clone Prof Park managed to clone why in the world does he need to try and pass the clone bill?? Omg this show is making my brain do impossible somersaults in the best way possible

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Maybe the clone bill is for legalization of his business?

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Noooooo! I don't want Woojin to be a clone! That would be too inhumane!! I would rather they keep Woojin under deep sleep, like they did in Yong-Pal for Kim Tae Hee. And after 10 years WooJin finally broke through the deep sleep when he heard their plan to put a chip into Jung-Yeon. Please, please, I don't want a clone!

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I literally cannot wait to see what Woo Jin looks like in 2037 T___T maybe a cameo????

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That would be the most top-secret casting ever if they managed to snag a high-profile cameo for an older Woojin. :)

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It may as well be a younger Woo Jin, if he's a clone. It could be the little boy with wires sticking out of his head like spaghetti, saying "Byol noona!"

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i know Yoo Seung-ho is the little So Ji-sub but i keep imagining him as the older Woojin though...

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My secret wish is that Won Bin makes an appearance. I've posted about this on my fan wall. A girl has a right to dream, right?

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Quite impossible, but imagine if it's one of the actors Jingoo played the younger version of previously - Jang Hyuk, Lee Beomsoo, Ji Sung, Lee Junki, Kim Soohyun, Jo Insung, Ji Changwook :D

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I choose Janghyuk or Jo Insung, apperance wise to match with Joonhyuk.

Is there really no news about cameo?

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I actually want Jang Hyuk the most for my imaginary casting as future Woojin. But I'd still very much prefer Yeo Jingoo so long as they would be able to execute it well.

No news at all. And on IG, Jingoo is said to have just finished his filming yesterday. I think yesterday or today is the final shooting.

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Same, Jang Hyuk and Kim Kang-woo looks more like brothers.

I still hope Jin-goo will make an appearance in the final episode.

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I meant quite impossible to have the actors I listed..

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WAAAHHH... how can you end it this way? I was screaming for the camera to face the other way so I could get a glimpse of whoever it was on the other side (Woo-jin?)

It was extra heart-breaking for Woo-jin and Min-young to see Beom-gyun who had lost his memories to be so carefree and happy, but because the memory degeneration is ongoing, it's only a matter of time before Beom-gyun will forget Woo-jin and himself as well. Without memories of who he is, he'll be nothing but an empty shell.

It's an interesting styling choice that Ho-soo wore all white when he was still working for the City Council and oblivious to his own memories. But once he got his memories back, exercised his own free will and as a result be a part of the good guys' team, he's in all black, as if he just got reborn and just now starting to fill in the colours of his life.

We're near to the end of the story, and I hope we get to see the scene where Woo-jin saw Jung-yeon for the last time and gave her a keepsake coin(?). Man, I already have separation anxiety. I'm going to miss you so much, Circle!!

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That blue bug is like Alzheimer's in fast-forward. Yikes! Same here on all your points!

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Favorite scene from this ep: Ho Soo & Joon Hyun's exchange of words before executing their plan.

Ahhhh I'm just starting to get attached to this show but there's only two eps left. Can't wait for Woo Jin's reveal next week!

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My favorite scene was when the Chairman saw he got screwed over by them and Ho Soo stood up and smiled at the assistant's face because he knew they were watching him through her. Gave me chills!
He probably won't play a big part in the last two episodes but Ho Soo was such an engaging character. Lee Kikwang did a great job!

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Yeah Ho Soo actually became one of my favorite characters in this show since the last few episodes. I was surprised to find out that Lee Kikwang is actually an idol.

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One question: Is Woo-jin still a human in Brave New World?

Because I can't imagine a strong enough reason for him to not trying to revolt/rebel for the past 10 years. Unless he is physically or mentally incapable to do it. Which is horryifying. Can't we get a happy ending for the twins who had went through so much?

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I was literally holding my breath to see who was walking down the stairs and then when the credits rolled, I was so angry but also really excited for the next episode. Now that beta project has pretty much lined up with the story of brave new world, I am looking forward to 2037 more but I still want Yeo Jin Goo in both worlds. He's just so charismatic that I can't take my eyes off the screen whenever he is on it. To think he would have spent decades being a component is so tragic for Woo Jin but true to his character. I am so ready for the grand finale! Bring it on, Circle!!

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I'm the opposite I'm terrified to think of what happend to him all these years as their power genrator & my mind can conjure some pretty gruesome images that I rather wish didn't...Is he even still sane or is he a clone? If he is their eighth clone then what happened to the other clones? Does eight have the memories of Woo-Jin.The other "experiments" as Park dubs them couldent have had it much better & might have even been thrown away and recycled into metal waste.If all eight did survive then maybe they can join the family of Bum-Gyum & Jungyeon.Also his is why i can never pursue a major in science.Too bloody,too cruel,and I love bunnies ?

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If Woo Jin had to suffer all through his short life with a father who abandoned him, a mother who died young, a twin brother who was sent to the psychiatric hospital and an amnesiac grandmother coupled with money problems and being alone, only to end up as some kind of battery for a supercomputer, I'm seriously going to pull my hair out. I mean can't the kid catch a break? Why so much tragedy for one family with no good luck interspersed in between?

I finally realized why the ratings for this drama plummeted and didn't pick up. Say what you will about the brilliant writing, tight plot and the fantastic performance by the cast; the underlying story is too bleak. Even the most tragic story needs something bright to balance the sorrow, but Circle doesn't throw out much hope. We watch in Part 2017, Woo Jin searching for his lost twin and finding him near comatose, and then in 2037, Bum Gyun searching for his lost twin and finding that he's been used to power a super computer for 20 years. So when do the twins just live and make happy memories together?

I still love drama, but I confess that I put off watching this week's episodes as long as I possibly could, because I didn't want to get my heart broken.

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Oo I completely agree. I love this show, but I'd been putting off watching this week's episodes because it's so bleak. I don't need/can't handle any more of that during an already stressful and busy working week.

I wonder if Circle would have done better as a weekend show?

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I have to admit that the #WheresWoojin arc got frustrating after quite sometime. Now we're only two episodes until the finale and left with more questions than ever.

The twins deserve some happiness and I hope Professor... errr, Minister/Chairman Park and Chief Lee will get their comeuppance soon and a deserving punishment for every suffering they've put the twins through.

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To be fair this is nothing compared to the: "Who's the husband?" of Reply series. ?

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Actually the title for 2017 timeline could be "where is Bum Gyun" wheras for 2037 it is "where is Woo Jin". Not that I want to complain , the whole show is about two twin brothers finding each other. Lol.

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Ah, good point. And this is why I badly need this show to give me a satisfying and happy ending for the twins. They have more than earned it and I've already suffered as much angst as I can take. But I'm still hoping for better ratings next week. For all the hard work the staff and cast have put in for this show, they truly deserve it.

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It's painful to think that for 20 years, the Woo Jin we know and love is bring used to power a computer. It's so disturbing really.

I wonder if they'll stay in the past and wrap up that part in ep 11 then in ep 12, we go to the future.

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What even hurts me more is the thought that he might have willingly given himself up to be used under the assumption that his brother either didn't need him in his life or was dead and there was nothing left for him to live for. I just want the twins to be happy.

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I didn't see any power outlet near the glowy star thingy on the ceiling and I did see it working hand-held. What power source does it use that is still good after 10 years? Forget the (alien?) memory-messing tech, I want their battery tech.

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I know right? If Byol could make that kind of technology, maybe it'll be only better if she regains her memories. Who knows what secrets Byol holds and if she could save the earths, both smart and not-so-much.

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I always assumed it could be like a lamp or one of those infrared detectors they use for alarms or security cameras that are attached to the ceiling or wall with no visible wires or batteries--that they're just hooked to a wire that goes through the ceiling. Clearly they've kept the house powered the entire time, as the computer is still being used. It did not make sense at first (I kept thinking the father and halmoni were long gone, so who on earth was paying the power bills?) but once we learned it was professor Han's property that he had lent to the twins' father it made sense. He was probably paying the bills the whole time and using the place for his secret tinkerings. Thats the explanation I gave myself. Oh, the time we spend apart from work and studying trying to figure out these little details in the story...

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My heart is already breaking for what Woojin may have suffered in all those years being a 'component' in Human B. Though, granted he may have given consent. But still!
And am I the only one who thought the footsteps sound metallic? But Woojin is still human in 2037 right? Right? Omg I'm so excited for the finale.

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Yes, and they sounded heavy, slow & clumsy. More like a Cyberman or Cylon than a human, unless he's carrying a whole supercomputer on his back.

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well atleast that helps the romance if nothing else..

if WJ is android now.. then he won't age. and byul doesn't change..
our love stry ends happily everafter

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Lol such a positivity you got there xD

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I so want the romance to happen in some way. Yet I've always got the sense that they're more like siblings, too... like Woo Jin cares about her the same way he did when he was a kid, rather than being attracted. I guess we'll find out this week!!!

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I think romance would've totally been developed had they not been in that messy situation. This show has certainly hinted at some romantic tension, but the writers have also made it a point that Bumgyun's welfare and happiness is what drives Woojin the most as a character. I really liked that scene in the parking lot where Jungyeon held Woojin's face, reassuring him and I think Woojin would've wanted to stay like that for much longer but he had to put her hand away... :( It was just so bittersweet. If this was a rom-com or a melo they would've totally kissed already. LOL

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Oh goodness. So good! I want to see woojin in the future so bad!

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Me, toooooooo!

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I swear, ever since I started this show, I've found it hard to breathe. The twists and turns, the brilliance of the writer, the acting. I can't get enough. I legit stopped breathing just when they were about to cut into Jung-Yeon. And the minute Minister Park had Deputy Lee check in on Circle 8, I was like woahhhhhh, that's Woo-Jin. Now all I can do is hang in there and hope to all the forces that are good in the world that Woo-Jin is actually alive as a full blown human, not some mechanical android with no memories and no part of his humanity, except for the vague certainty that he knows Joon-Hyuk and Jung-Yeon. Also, wouldn't it be perfect if it turns out that Woo-Jin turned it off because his super computer self scanned Jung-Yeon like the star did to him whilst he was younger and it was more a case of access granted or system shut down or protect Jung-Yeon that was the command sent. Anyway, the season finale will blow my mind and I can't wait for it to happen.

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And also can I add how much I love the bit of karma that was Professor Han losing his mind. As a scientist who was okay with messing around with other people's memories, one who prided himself on research and the brilliance of his own mind, it is the most fitting punishment they could give him. Have him live in his own mental hell, going around in endless circles. I love it!

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Oh yess, that was quite satisfying. He's a pitiful sight to behold now.

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I'm still wondering where the world is the twins' father ??

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PDG threatened Professor Han that he could end up the same way the dad did if Prof Han wouldn't cooperate. So probably dead or imprisoned or something.

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Tell me about it I nearly got a heart attack several times these recent episodes.I actually only read the recaps I dont think my brain can physically take watching sci-fi human experiments and peopke getting there necks skewered open any moment & to echo another beanie (WITHOUT ANESTHESIA).?

Also @Itenoria please dont jinx It I want Woo-Jin in one piece 100% human,fully organic,and full organs intact,but maybe immortal..wait..no..no..not immortal since his brother is still human..wait but Byul is immortal..Agggh so If we pick the romance ship we only get a tiny shipment of Bromance since Bum-Gyun is eventually going to die.Then If we pick Bromance ship then the romance ship will sink.He coulden't end up with Byul since he is still human...?

Excuse I need to curl off into a corner and cry & imagine a happy ending ?

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I'm really sad this amazing show is about to end and I'm really hoping the finale wouldn't disappoint.

I'm so sad for Woojin. Please just let him have his happy ending. He never had a happy life except when he was a child, ever since his dad left he's been leading such a miserable life. And to think of the possibility that Human B has taken a hold of him is just so horrible... him being treated as a mere "component" is really heart wrenching.

Oh, so it's Circle8? That just sounds sadder... T_T if there's a chance that's the 8th clone then, what about Woojin? What happened to him? Have they indeed really killed him? I still really doubt it because that would just be too cruel. Bumgyun reuniting with a clone for a brother is just too tragic.

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Maybe that's what Prof. Han's babbling at the start of the episode alludes to, though I hope not. I want Original Woo-jin to be in that staircase! Circle has been a fantastic, crazy ride for me, and I still love it. Just don't go off the rails into Crazy Town next week, please.

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Wow, I agreed! I don't even know if we're up for any romance but I can't shake up the thought that those supercomputer freeze match too coincidentally with the scalpel about to reach Jungyeon's neck. The question is, if it were Woojin, why now? My guess is still Woojin might be misinformed by Prof. Park about Jungyeon and Joonhyuk, they might tell Jungyeon is dead or smth. As for Joonhyuk, we haven't gotten to the point where he got in an accident or smth that made him lost his entire memories (when Hong and minyoung finally gave Woojin's memory). So the moment 2037 Woojin knew they survived and still alive, that would be the moment he escaped.

With how Woojin is tied to super computer and how amnesiac 2017 Bumgyun behave, now I'm 99% sure Joonhyuk IS Bumgyun.

Anyway, the way they show the cliffhanger, it seems like neither Jungyeon nor Joonhyuk recognize the guy suppossed to be Woojin so they must've gotten another actor :( The only way this will work for me is if they got Kim Soohyun as 2037 Woojin, okno but finger crossed.

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JH and Jungyeon could also just have been astonished that WJ looked like his 2017 self.

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Gah i hope so but that means he isn't human in 2037................

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A part of me still hopes he is similar to Byul. And that maybe the memory box would never be replicated even if Byul's memories are regained because the star would only work for someone like her. She did tell Woojin that he is the only one who could make it work. But that is just a wishful thinking without any evidence at all hahaha

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I was screaming like an idiot throughout this episode, for various reasons HAHA This show is just so well-written, the characters have so many layers, and the manner of story-telling is amazing! Knowing that Minister Park is the Chairman adds so much depth and complexity in the scenes of Part 1, I couldn't help but just scream just to protect Woo Jin from the real bad guy.

For Part 2, the reveal of Woo Jin's possible in this entire operation was awesome. I really do think he's alive (or maybe a clone??)but I'm so interested as to who he is now and what he's been up to. You can tell that Circle 8 is crucial to Human B, but the fact that the system went out at such a crucial moment means that Chairman Park isn't in complete control after all. I think we're in for another roller coaster next week, and it's the finally so this show hasn't even given us the best of what it can do, I CAN'T WAIT!

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whoops. Got too excited haha
*reveal of Woo Jin's (possible) involvement in this entire operation
*it's the FINALE

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My heart stopped when the lights went off at the right time. I am so pumped to know that Woo Jin is alive, and oh, can't they just show us a glimpse of 2037 Woo Jin at the stairs? Now I gotta wait till Monday.

The finale week is gonna be amazing, I just know it.

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It was sooo cruel to end it there!

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Great storytelling though.

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I almost flung my laptop. I was yelling "are you freaking kidding me right now?!" Lol.

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All cliffhangers will always do this to us. Turning humans into a circle of insanity....lol.

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I'm dying over here. Patience is a virtue, but it's a hard virtue to cultivate, ESPECIALLY WHEN THINGS LIKE THIS HAPPEN. I have been silently questioning Jin Woo's presence in 2037 (like if he was there at all) and I am SO THANKFUL that the writers didn't kill him off and the way they kept him alive was BRILLIANT. This show is definitely going to stay in my memory (hur, sorry couldn't resist) for a long, long, long time.

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When I read the last line and saw wat followed was comments.... i was like "èeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.."
This show can surprise you, and shock you at the same time!!!!

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Can someone tell me since when WJ gone missing?
How many years has passed?
And between that what JY did? Until we saw her unlocked memories of smart city's people (and hacked the chairman computer, which she got WJ's picture)
Because I have the same question like Prof Park "if she really cared about Woo-jin, shouldn’t she have come sooner?"
Couldn't she took a guess Human B was the one who responsible for all of this? And she also know about that star-thingy? Why it took at least (in my assumption) 10 years to realized WJ was in Human B's building?

And I also think the electricity went out wasn't coincidence.. But why now? If that was because of WJ or circle 8 gone missing (for the first time since smart city existed right?), so the connection cut off. Why that happen now? Because he can sense JY (and JH too) in danger?

Haha maybe I should stop thinking so much and just let myself enjoy the show.. Can't wait for the final week. Hope they can bring the awesome ending

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In the first episode, they talk about the missing twins case and they mentioned that in 2017, twin brothers went missing at Handam University.

So given that Joonhyuk is the other twin, they must've used that name to hide Bumgyun's identity and protect him.

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I can't believe this show already ends next week. It is sooo good, but my heart couldn't handle anymore cliffhangers like that...so I guess its ok?
It is wonderful that Circle tackles those moral and philosophical questions and doesn't give an easy out. Bum-gyuns and Ho-soo's character development is fascinating to behold and makes it even harder to come to ones own conclusion about what is right, wrong or just easy. And now the show is grazing another controversial problem: cloning. I guess Human B is so terrified of loosing Woo-jin that they want to clone him, to have some extra batteries for Byuls supercomputer. This of course is a terrible use of cloning, but then you see the little sister of Secretary Shin who might be able to see thanks to that...its interesting.
I'm thoroughly exited for next Monday and Tuesday. I want to finally see Woo-jin! Also I hope we get some answers regarding Byul and where she came from.

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Is it weird that Circle 8 immediately made sense to me?
Maybe because I'm melodramatic and use the term '9th circle of hell' so often.

I just wikipedia'd it and the 8th circle is the circle of Fraud, which (if it is connected) fits in brilliantly with the theme of Human B cheating, lying and deceiving Woo-Jin about the safety of his brother (which I'm assuming he traded for his part as a component of Circle 8 -
"I will help you fraud these people if you leave my brother alone!"
*is fraduded too*
Does that mean he's been de-frauded?
Augh, my brain) and all their customers too AS WELL AS the whole point of stealing/blocking people's memories creates a new type of lie where crime 'doesn't' happen. Does a crime happen if you can't remember it? Interesting stuff.

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Also from Wikipedia's entry on the 8th circle: "the image of the City in corruption: the progressive disintegration of every social relationship, personal and public."

I think that's actually Human B's secret tagline, right?

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Wow that is really super interesting. Thanks Saner for giving this background information. This just makes the show so much more enjoyable.

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Wow, I only found out about the "Circle 8" being the actual term meant in the drama... but great input you have there. It would be really be awesome if they intended it as such.

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@Saner,

Thanks to festerfaster, I realize the subtitles I read were wrong. "Circulate" makes no sense to me. But the 8th Circle of Hell in Dante's Inferno immediately came to mind. Sure enough, Fraud in all its glorious varieties and permutations is the name of the game -- and there are ten sub-sections within the 8th Circle to punish specific forms of fraud.

In Smart Earth, everyone has been sold a bill of goods, a pig in a poke, pie in the sky. And they've fallen all over each other for the privilege of paying through the nose with their rights and freedom in return for Human B's dubious technology. Smart Earth itself is just another manifestation of the Emperor's New Clothes. To some folks, it's another Circle of Hell.

Professor / Minister Park is perhaps the biggest purveyor of hogwash. He didn't create anything -- aside from those disgusting blue bug bots. He stole Byul's system, but couldn't make it work without Woo-jin. At least Professor Han admitted that he was still trying to make the memory editing technology work.

It occurs to me that, in addition to Circle 8 / O8 referring to Dante's Inferno, 8 is a vertical infinity sign -- which consists of two adjoining circles, which remind me of the twins. Circles also refer to infinity because they are endless lines. I'm not sure how this ties in with anything else in the show, but it got my attention. Maybe by the finale, everything will come full circle.

I just got an image of a square dance or a contra dance in which participants progress through a series of intricate steps before returning to where they started ("promenade home"). Thus far, Minister Park thinks he's been calling the tune, but methinks the jig is up, and it's nearly time for him to pay the piper.

Re: eradication of crime, this is the biggest con of them all. You can't fight crime with crime -- it's a contradiction in terms. You can't make crime disappear by robbing perpetrators of their memories. And you can't banish it with "lies, damned lies, and statistics," to borrow a phrase from Benjamin Disraeli. Throughout history, power grabs have been justified as a means of preventing civil unrest -- and crime. But such abuse of power is itself a crime. Dang, this is getting circular.

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This show kills me, the writing acting direction everything is Perfect!
I am in love with WJG and KSY's acting. I am so emotinally invested in the beta project becoz of them.
So here is my theory-- prof han was right WJ is either dead or on a coma and the Circle 8 or circulate ( as in the subs in the video i watched) is connected to a clone. I think the clone now has WJ memories and thats y the lights went off just when they were about to hurt JY.
I am hoping i am wrong n having watched 10 episodes i think the writers may have another twist planned.
Cant wait for the next ep!!!

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"It’s a rare show that both outsmarts its viewers and respects their intelligence."

THIS! Circle has definitely made a mark at least on me. I will gladly re-watch it and enjoy the thrill once again. into the last 2 episodes, and Circle still leaves us with questions. So excited for the finale.

I hope Yeo Jingoo still plays Woojin in 2037. And can we please not kill HoSoo.

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I want to marry this show. It is so GOOD! I knew as soon as the lights went off that is had to be Woo-jin. Whether he was monitoring what they were about to do to Jung-yeon or if her virus alerted him to her presence, in any case, the timing was too perfect. Maybe he allowed himself to be held captive for 20 years because he thought his loved ones were being threatened. Whatever the reason, if that is Woo-jin on the stairs (and it better be, Show!), the last two episodes will be epic. I noticed the preview for next week didn't show any scenes from 2037. They really want to keep Woo-jin's appearance and involvement under wraps until next week. Both clever and cruel to us. I am so looking forward to next week, and at the same time dreading that this show will end. One of my biggest questions is, who will play future Woo-jin? Will they use someone different or use Yeo Jin-gu and make him look older? He's such a baby, I don't know if that second option would work. But part of me wants them to still use Yeo Jin-gu because for me, no one can top Yeo jin-gu.

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Exactly. It only makes sense to make use of another actor to play future Woojin, but Yeo Jingoo just owned the role so hard I hope if they ever get another actor, I would be able to root for him the way I did for YJG as Woojin.

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I want to see as much of Yeo Jin-gu as possible; he's sooooo good at everything here! I can't wait for next week's episodes, but dread it at the same time, just because those will be the LAST ones. Nooooo!

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Noooo! and also, Yesssss! We'll know what the hell has been going on all this time and then we get to marathon it with this new perspective and see how it all works when you know the riddle at the core. Many shows cannot stand the test of being rewatched because details do not fit, but I bet this one is going to hold itself pretty well.

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Yes, I'd totally marathon the hell out of this show once it's over and look for all the hints they have sprinkled throughout.. But I'm so scared about the finale, I really hope it wouldn't disappoint.

I hope they wouldn't do something silly like suddenly make Joonhyuk - Woojin. But I have a lot of trust for the writers so ahhh I'm excited and nervous and sad that this show is about to end.

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WooJin, where art thou?!
I will just take it as is whatever ia decided on the last two episodes.
It wouls be amazing if the older WooJin is another actor. Would be amazing if its a cameo of another great actor. It would be improbable that it will be Yeo JinGoo. Unless they will have some backstory to tell why YGJ looks the same like Byul despite being years older.

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It's unfortunate how Woojin has to carry so much weight on his shoulders just because of the greed of the adults in his life. He's the only one his brother has and it's been that way for years already. It must've hurt when Minyoung said that he just wants to take the easy way out. He's never had an easy way out since their dad abandoned them, and it's the first time he's seen his brother truly happy. He's the one who has seen his brother go through so much suffering. I understand Minyoung's point though and I'm glad Minyoung is there to say her stance on Bumgyun's memories. We've seen that point of view change though, so I'm really curious how and why it happened.

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While I understand Min-young's viewpoint, I wanted to slap her for saying Woo-jin was taking the easy way out for the very reasons you stated.

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IKR. Although of course Minyoung doesn't have our POV as the audience so she wouldn't know much about what Woojin had to go through. But still... Woojin could just never catch a break. T_T

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Finally! Are we finally going to find out what happened to Woo Jin? I don't think I want another fake out again. Last time it was Minister Park as chairman, then Prof Han... can we please have the real Woo Jin this time?

Im also more invested in Brave New World because I feel like the 2017 timeline is destined to end badly with Woo jin disappearing and he and Jung Yeon gettting separated (I ship them!). And I am dying for a happy ending for them in 2037. Which I'm gonna get, right?? Right??? ?

I also hope the writer hasn't bitten off more than he/she can chew because I'm genuinely worried now- too many loose ends and only 2 more episodes!

Pls stay good please stay good!

Also, all my other thoughts are here in case anyone wants to hear me rant/rave more ?

https://mydramalesslife.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/what-i-watched-this-week-and-thoughts-on-circle/

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"I don't think I want another fake out again."

You and me both! I think it'd be great if Dad were in fact alive and well somewhere -- possibly even the man behind Human B (with a proxy playing the role of the Big Boss). If that were the case, I'd love to see the look on Prof. / Minister Park's face when he finds out.

Or maybe it will turn out that there was only ever one son, and the other is a figment of the imagination.

Obviously I've blown a gasket trying to grok what's going on in this show that has more twists and turns than a roller coaster. ;-)

Enjoyed your rant 'n' rave on your blog. See you for the thrilling conclusion. ;-)

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That cliffhanger is handsdown one of the best I've seen. We know it's Woo Jin (hopefully) but we can only guess at the form of him. Is he part cyborg? Or did he just disconnect himself from a really deep sleep? I cannot wait for Monday!

In 2017, I loved how Min Young brought up the concept of memories making up your identity. I also loved that they addressed the question of choice, something they have done in earlier episodes as well. This show gives you food for thought!

Professor Park, now that he's given into his greed is quite creepy. The man is playing everybody like a fiddle. He's so good at switching between defeated and concerned to cold and calculating. If there's a redemption arc for him, I'll scream. Dude is not worthy of one.

I hope the video of Woo Jin's dad helps him understand his father's actions and disappearances. The boy needs some closure!

I'm also really invested in seeing what happens to Jung Yeon. Will she go back to being Byul? Can they unlock her memories? And if they do, do we find out more about aliens like her! And more importantly, are any other aliens on Earth!

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I have a feeling Woo Jin's dad was actually the good one who managed to fight his greed and tried to stop this from happening. Thats why he blocked Byul's memories. Also from the preview of the last two episodes, Byul begged for her memories to be erased.

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HOW COULD THEY NOT SHOW HIS FACE?!!!!!!!!!! (I'm glad I only watched this today, bc I didn't have time during the week)
I might be in the minority, but I hope an older actor is playing 2037 WJ. Someone mentioned it in the last recap, but I find it too easy to bring in the whole clone thing to justify Yeo Jin-gu's presence in 2037 (admittedly, I wouldn't mind it too much if YJG did appear).

Anyways, about this episode:
- For all this show's smartness, our characters surely walk into an awful lot of traps. I understand that them getting caught on that roof significantly advanced the plot, but the writers could have done better.
- Amidst all the fiasco, I appreciate that WJ could at least smile once. I genuinely teared up at how happy he was to see BG so carefree
- Park Dong Geon is officially on my shitlist, if he wasn't already. What a two-faced bastard. At least Prof. Han acknowledged his own evilness

I can't believe this show is almost over, but I'm excited to get our final answers on all the burning questions like: What happened to Kim Gyu-chul? Is Jungyeon really an alien? etc.
I'll stop trying to figure things out, and just enjoy the finale.
I have confidence in the writers and I hope they give us good closure.

Thanks for the recap @festerfaster
And thanks to all you Beanies who love and commented on this show, it's been fun theorizing with y'all. I wish this show had higher ratings, and that it was appreciated by more people. I think this has earned a place on my list of favorites.

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"I might be in the minority, but I hope an older actor is playing 2037 WJ."

You're not alone :)

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me too, because KBG also played by KKW, I need an older actor to played future KWJ

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"Someone mentioned it in the last recap, but I find it too easy to bring in the whole clone thing to justify Yeo Jin-gu's presence in 2037...."

LOL! That was me. :) I also said that while I don't have a problem with the idea of cloning being introduced, I don't want any cloning to have actually taken place. I also want an older Woojin. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

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I love Min-Young, she really genuinely cares for both the twins. Love that the core principle of this memory-make-us-who-we-are came from her and Joon-Hyuk reprised it in the 2037 timeline. Love their bond.

BTW, they were gonna perform chip implant on Jung-Yeon without any antiseptic!!! That's super unhygienic. Eeew...

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I was like before prof park can get her memories, she would die because of the infection.. Eh but wait.. She's an alien so...

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You were thinking antiseptic, I was thinking anesthesia! Ouch!

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I know! But remember that time in the past in the café when the glass cut right through her neck and she was just hanging there as if nothing hurt? Maybe she would not hurt after all! Although of course there's no reason why the bastards that are about to insert the chip would know this. Which makes me wonder--since she now feels physical pain, does it mean she always did and just did not connect it with emotion in the past? Or has her transformation into a more human creature made her also feel pain?
I always wondered if her getting cut in the neck was what actually made her start changing? Maybe she did have a chip there to control emotion and it got destroyed in the accident? It seems like too much of a coincidence that she ends up having that cut where everyone else has a scar/chip. That would be interesting because maybe that means that these aliens really are like humans, but have just advanced as a society to a point where they decided to kill emotion. And now after being "human" for a while she seems to hate the idea.
Everytime I start responding to a comment about a simple thing a trillion other things come to mind. Which is why I LOVE this show.

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Well, I thought they should at least concern with infection complication afterward even if they didnt care how she would feel!

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Well....do you think the villains would care? They are not called the villains for no reasons ?

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Let's just hope that when the next episode airs we actually see Woojin. One more fake out and I might just scream.

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Agree with you @festerfaster. Ho-soo's sacrifice didn't quiet land emotionally for me either. I think it's because to me, his character development felt rush. I understand how he goes from wanting desperately to forget his bad memories concerning his girlfriend to "we have to keep our memories because that's the only way we can be responsible for our actions," but i still don't quite buy it. I need more scenes of the memories slowly coming back to him, you know? Especially about how he find out that his girlfriend's father use to abuse her. That would have give more weight to the scene where he confronted the father for me. But i think they just don't have time. The plot had to keep moving and they need Ho-soo back in the good guy's side eventually, since i think we all know that that and his bromance with Joon-hyuk is gonna happen. I understand that too. But i can't help mourning the bromance we could have had if the show has more time to develop Ho-soo and show a more friendly relationship between him and Joon-hyuk before the whole Human B can alter memory thing. Basically what i'm getting at is Circle need more episodes dammit (but that's probably gonna slowed the show's pace and i don't want that either. I'm conflicted. LOL)

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You're Woo Jin, remember Joon Hyuk? All clues point to grandma coming down the stairs. Then guns are raised, care chips explode, smog is lifted, and open ending.

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This made me laugh so hard >.<

You forgot the anguished screams of a hundred thousand disgrunted/disappointed viewers.

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I have a strong hunch that it will end up in an open ending too. Nooooooo !

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what a cliffhanger! Now we have to wait till Monday to see the person who came down the stairs! Hope Yeo Jin goo is still playing Woo jin! He seems irreplaceable as Woo jin!!

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This show is definitely THE BEST. Every episode is filled with big twists, the reveal of who Joon Hyuk is, Bluebird, then the chairman, and spent half the drama convincing us that Prof Han is the bad guy.

When I started watching, I thought Beta Project was the more interesting half (partly because of Yeo Jin Gu), but as the drama went on, Brave New World became much more interesting. Now I dread watching what happens to Kim Woo Jin in Beta Project but am very much interested to see Kim Joon Hyuk find his brother. Please please please give us a tearful reunion in the last two episodes and let the brothers live happily ever after. They've both gone through so much :(

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Byul/Jung-Yeon is exactly the perfect example for the 'our-memories-make-us-who-we-are' theory, considering that she expresses 3 different personalities during the course of 30 years.

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If Woo Jin is Circle 8 and he is the 8th clone. Could it be Jung Yeon is also the clone of Byul. That would explain why she doesn't have a scar on her neck and why she only had memories after turning 18.

Well, I hope I'm wrong because this show keeps me surprising.

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Good thinking. You might be right.

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No, the "you lost your memory at 18" was fed to her by her "father" Professor Han. We see briefly in the preview for Monday that Byul asked the twins' father to lock her memory away, and Han himself confirmed this multiple times already. How could they already clone a never-aging alien in 2017?

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Basically she looked about 18 when her memory got locked. He enrolled her in a university, hence the age given to her. Of course if they had waited for 10 years it would become clear she doesn't age, but they hoped they would recover her memory before then. It was just 3 years in.

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Fesrerfaster, I'm glad you are looking forward to next week, but I don't know if I am. I fear the show will pull a fast one on us, and leave us saying, whaaa????? It keeps the pedal to the metal for sure, but will it just spin wildly out of control and off the cliff of doom? I felt that there was a lot of running around for naught in this episode and we're still wondering who Woo Jin is. Also, Human B's men in black have one job. Find Bluebird. Then Keep Bluebird. There were a lot of mistakes made by our heroes this past week. But more by Human B. They are smarter than this. Ho Soo made the ultimate sacrifice--treason--and then they got caught 5 minutes afterwards. I'm still not over the frustration. But, silver lining, all our questions will be answered in a couple more days! And, acting wise, I can't complain. Just hope the writers know what they're doing.

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Just gonna copy paste my fan-wall post:

My Korean is really basic so I could be wrong, but tvN spells Circle 8/Circulate as 써클레이트 in their officially uploaded vid. Shouldn’t it be 써클에이트 for Circle 8 and 써큘레이트 so it can be Circulate? Given the Hangul, shouldn’t it be Circle Rate or God forbid, Circle Late? Not that they make sense lol.

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I am actually in love with this show..

But i don't really like the shadowy guy of Human B when it comes to the present.

It seems so deus ex... there's another villain right behind everything that can..do everything.

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One big question nagging at me though, why would the twins dad stop the research when he had figured it out? Had this been published in an legal way with the whole science community to watch, there's no way a mind controlling organization like that would be able to use it to make people "happy". At the stage that byul had contructed it, it was actually a very helpful device that could help solve crimes, help people mentally etc. Plus the fact that he literally disappeared, I wonder if hes dead?

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Thanks for the recap, festerfaster!

I love it -- the old Trojan horse trick. Ho-soo's "special delivery" made my day. I can't help but wonder what kind of greetings Jung-yeon might have sent to Woo-jin in that payload.

I was grossed out at the lack of even local anesthesia -- let alone disinfection of the skin! -- during that aborted chip implantation. Dang, Professor/Minister Park is evil.

I'm waiting with bated breath to see if it really is Woo-jin who's coming down the stairs. With all the twists this show has already pitched at us, I fully expect there to be more curve balls during the finale episodes.

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I'm so nervous for the finale. I'm worried that the writer is having too much fun with his plot twists, and the guy walking down the stairs isn't Woo Jin/WJ clone. Honestly he has 2 episodes left, so I don't see how plot twists can fit in and there still be a good solid ending. While I think its pretty clear that Woo Jin or WJ's clone is Circulate, the writer has been known to laugh at us and say "hahahahhaha, WRONG!" I'm wondering if we'll EVER find Woo Jin. Hopefully the writers wrap this up well :)

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The quality of this show is really good. It's not predictable at all, It is really a sci fi thriller. I wonder if we'll have time to delve into who/what Byul really is and why she came to earth and seems to have attached herself to twins family.

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its been a hot minute since a drama has made me think and anticipate something so much. The writing in this is what makes everything so tight, concise and so intelligent. Like give that person a raise! And it just brings the audience to question to how we approach delimmas in life and give us a perspective that even the hard things that we go through life are worth remembering. I cant believe next week is the last week! I want mooorrreee!!

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OMG can't wait for ep 11, and 12 recaps! Please i know all of you are busy but can you post the recaps a bit earlier!

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Aarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrg!!! ??Show why do you do this to me.That cliffhanger? I just so badly want to see Kim woo jin .I want is suffering to end.I want a happy ending. I want closure for the twins.I want closure for Byul/yeon jun/bluebird.I want the villains to pay. Please please please drama gods do this for me just this once???????.I want a satisfying ending period

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"They have completely broken my confidence in my ability to anticipate drama plot twists! And yet, I couldn’t be any happier." - I love this show because of this! Credit goes to the writer indeed!

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