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I’m Not a Robot: Episodes 21-22

Min-kyu acts like a moth drawn to a flame when he meets the human inspiration for Aji-3, unaware of the danger that it poses for him. Jia struggles to keep her distance from Min-kyu, but he’s not so easily dissuaded. Unfortunately, the Santa Maria team is under attack and Baek-gyun is spread thin as he tries to prevent his research from falling into the wrong hands and protect Min-kyu, whose health still worries everyone around him.

 
EPISODE 21: “Encounter on the Train”

A saleswoman in a jewelry store sets an engagement ring in front of a somber Min-kyu and a distracted Ri-el. Later, Min-kyu suggests that they need to talk, which prompts Ri-el to explain that she doesn’t know herself as well as she thought she did. She admits that she was surprised to discover that she’s not as materialistic as she thought, which is why she can’t marry Min-kyu. 

Ri-el promises to tell her father about their broken engagement and is certain of his continued support for Min-kyu at KM Financial. When Min-kyu offers to take the blame, she insists, “It’s my first time going against my dad, so it won’t be easy…It’s something I must do at least once in my life.”

As long as she’s being honest, Ri-el confesses that Min-kyu’s birthday cards were sent by her father. His reaction tells her that he already knew, but he explains, “Whether they were from you or not, the moment I opened them, I was really happy. For that happiness, I thank you.”

Ri-el notes that Min-kyu has changed — she used to wonder what they would talk about but now she wants to have drink with him some time. Ri-el does regret that she’ll never have his mother’s necklace but assures Min-kyu, “It’ll find a good owner.”

Min-kyu walks through the train station while on the phone with Jin-bae, who just arrived for an out of town contract ceremony. Min-kyu explains that he decided to take a train and promises to meet him soon.

Min-kyu pauses to watch a news report about a meteor shower and then walks away, only to be replaced by Jia, who watches the same broadcast. Her sister-in-law, Hong-joo, calls and Jia promises to let her know when she gets to Geoje Island and then tells Sun-hye the same thing when she calls.

An uneasy Hok-tal and Ssan-ip visit Sun-hye at her coffee shop, only to be told, “Get out.” Before they leave, Hok-tal asks if Jia is all right and Sun-hye softens and takes their order.

When Sun-hye inquires about Min-kyu, a worried Ssan-ip frets, “They won’t cross paths or something, will they?” Sun-hye doubts that’s possible since Jia is on Geoje Island and promises, “They’ll never meet until the sky breaks in two.” Hok-tal continues to worry anyway so Sun-hye decides that if they meet again, it will be destiny.

Min-kyu finds his seat on the train but has to step away briefly. When he returns, there’s a familiar face in the seat across from him and Min-kyu openly stares at a woman who looks just like Aji-3. Jia eventually notices and in spite of her surprise, she has to force herself to look away.

Jia notices the destination Min-kyu’s on ticket and busies herself with a book until they reach his stop. Min-kyu is forced to give up his seat when the passenger assigned to his spot shows up. Jia doesn’t look up until Min-kyu exits the car and then sadly tells herself, “What a relief.”

Still on the train, Min-kyu calls Baek-gyun to ask how he came up with Aji-3’s face. Baek-gyun explains, “I had a character model. With the face, personality, habits, and so on.” Min-kyu wonders if it would be possible to cross paths with that person and Baek-gyun admits that it’s possible, but advises Min-kyu to ignore her if that happens so that he doesn’t come across as strange. 

Suspicious, Baek-gyun calls Jia but her number has been disconnected. Satisfied that she’s out of reach, Baek-gyun continues on to a meeting with Yoo-chul. 

Min-kyu calls Jin-bae from the train to let him know he won’t attend the contract ceremony after all. Jin-bae is concerned for Min-kyu, who admits that he’s a bit flustered and doesn’t see Jia escape to the bathroom where she succumbs to tears. 

Yoo-chul presents Baek-gyun with photos of Jia and we see that the bumblers approached him with their surveillance evidence of Aji-3 in an attempt to get paid. They shared that they saw her at Jin-bae’s house and Curly confirms that he saw her eat ice cream.

Yoo-chul asks Baek-gyun, “Is she Aji-3…Or could she actually be human?” Baek-gyun uses the same explanation that he just offered Min-kyu, she’s the human model for Aji-3. Yoo-chul wonders who exactly Min-kyu met, Aji-3 or her model. Baek-gyun pretends that he doesn’t understand the question and is warned, “You’ll soon have something to say to me. Give me a call anytime.”

Baek-gyun leaves the restaurant and when he reaches the street, he notices a very well dressed Butler Sung accompanied by a younger, professional looking woman.

Pi stumbles across an unknown folder labeled “Monami” on Santa Maria’s computer and asks Ssan-ip about it. He determines that it holds soon-to-be deleted files and they decide that Hok-tal must have created it. Pi asks Ssan-ip to have Hok-tal delete it right away.

Ssan-ip can’t wait for the design team that Jin-bae hired to take measurements for the new lab. As if on cue, the design team arrives, but it’s really the bumblers.

Armed with a tape measure, Brains makes a beeline for the computer. He gets unwelcome help from Hok-tal while Curly sits mesmerized by the sight of Aji-3. She notices his rapt attention and inquires, “Do you know me? I’d like to get to know you as well.” 

Curly raises his finger, E.T. style, but before Aji-3 can respond, Ssan-ip pushes his finger away with the explanation, “I won’t allow you to look at her like that.  And you must refrain from touching her. She’s really sensitive.”

When Pi calls for Hok-tal’s help, Brains inserts a USB with a virus into the computer that allows a remote team to hack into Santa Maria’s files. Yoo-chul hears from the hacker team, “We’ve succeeded.”

Two taxis stop at a modest restaurant called Hong-joo’s Place, located in a small seaside town. Jia gets out of one, while Min-kyu watches her from the second one. Inside, an old woman is on the phone with Hong-joo, who coaches her not to ask questions and to let Jia do whatever she wants.

The woman hangs up when Jia arrives and fusses that she’s lost weight. Jia jokes that it means that she’s gotten pretty, but the woman insists that her granddaughter, Hong-joo, is the pretty one and that Jia is lucky to have such a kind sister-in-law.

Jia immediately dons an apron to get to work and Min-kyu gets another glimpse of her when she clears tables outside. He stares at her from his taxi and recalls Baek-gyun’s explanation that he used a character model for Aji-3.

Jia returns inside in time to hear Grandma argue with a fisherman about the delivery of a special order. Jia grabs her jacket and runs out the door to pick up the order, which only makes Grandma realize how desperate she is to stay busy. 

Min-kyu’s taxi follows Jia to the wharf, where she is warmly welcomed by the locals. They ask if she plans to stay for the winter and are excited to hear about her plans to visit Australia.

Jia walks over to a stray cat, whose markings are similar to those on Min-kyu’s cat mask and confesses, “You remind me of someone.” The likeness isn’t lost in Min-kyu, who watches the exchange with interest.

When the fishing boat arrives, Jia hands the captain her customary gift and takes Grandma’s order. She wrangles the crate onto her cart and heads back to the restaurant with Min-kyu close behind.
 
It’s dark by the time Jia returns to the restaurant and this time, Min-kyu follows her inside. She’s taken aback when he walks in and asks, “You know me, don’t you?” When Jia pretends that she doesn’t know him, Min-kyu reminds her that they were on the same train and explains that he has something he wants to tell her. Jia protests that she’s too busy, but Min-kyu promises to wait and sits down at a table.

Jia runs to the kitchen to remove her necklace. She calls Sun-hye, who blurts out, “Wow, he really did split the sky in half,” when she learns that Min-kyu is on Geoje Island. Sun-hye helps Jia come up with a plan, she must treat Min-kyu like any other stranger, ignore him and then treat him like he’s crazy if he’s persistent.

Jia goes about her work and keeps her back to Min-kyu, who finds it increasingly difficult to be ignored. She can’t keep it up though, and finally confronts Min-kyu over his strange behavior, “Did you follow me from the train station? Did you fall in love with me at first sight?” She angrily insists, “I have no interest in you. You aren’t even my type. Please leave. Otherwise, I’ll call the police.”

 
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Are you a stalker?

 

Min-kyu pauses as he considers his reply and then orders dinner. When Jia points out that there are other restaurants in town, he insists that he wants to eat there. He points to her apron to ask if her name is Hong-joo and when she walks off, he calls out, “I’ll wait for you, Hong-joo.”

Grandma offers to call the police but Jia confesses that she’s the one who’s the problem. Grandma realizes that Min-kyu is the reason for Jia’s distress and clucks as the girl retreats to the kitchen to call Baek-gyun. Unable to reach him, she texts that she’s on Geojo Island and that Min-kyu is with her.

The Santa Maria team realizes that the virus was planted by the design team and Baek-gyun directs them to protect Aji-3’s technical files, no matter what. The teams battle for the files and when the hackers get shut out, they wonder, “Who are these guys?” Pi confirms that they were duped, the appointment with the design team that Jin-bae hired was cancelled. Baek-gyun surprises everyone when he announces that he knows who’s responsible for the attack.

Yoo-chul sits at a bar and recalls Min-kyu’s words, “So keep doing what you always did and stand aside as if you don’t care.” He’s about to throw his glass in frustration until Ri-el stops him. 

Yoo-chul assumes that she’s there out of pity, but Ri-el confesses that she’s not the pitying type. When she calls him CEO out of habit, Yoo-chul stiffens and proposes, “Let’s see how childish I can be. And let’s see how materialistic you can be.”
 
Yoo-chul bitterly observes, “If I succeed in ruining Min-kyu’s career, your dad will eventually give you to me.” He asks why Min-kyu is preferable over him and an offended Ri-el admits, “Min Kyu never gives up on being a gentleman. He doesn’t stoop low and show his worst side like you.” Ri-el walks out in anger and leaves Yoo-chul alone to wallow.

Ri-el gets home just as her father ends a meeting amid speculation that once Min-kyu becomes his son-in-law, he can take charge. When Director Yeh asks Ri-el if she met Min-kyu, she admits that she met Yoo-chul. 

She asks why Yoo-chul was kicked out of KM and learns that Chairman Hwang took bribes to buy enough votes to have Min-kyu dismissed. When Ri-el argues that Yoo-chul did nothing wrong, Director Yeh points out, “He was the CEO, but he knew nothing. That’s what he did wrong.”

Ri-el confesses that she can’t kiss Min-kyu, but her father ignores her and informss her that he booked a larger venue for her engagement party. Ri-el asks if he plans to use her to become the chairman of KM Financial and storms out.

Yoo-chul gets the disappointing news that the hackers failed to steal Santa Maria’s files and throws his drink in anger.

While Min-kyu waits to meet with Jia at the restaurant, he notices a young boy with a dirty face and Grandma smiles when she sees him wipe it clean.

Grandma finds Jia in the kitchen and suggests that she shouldn’t make Min-kyu wait too long. Jia finally sits with Min-kyu and asks, “What is it that you want to say?” 

 
EPISODE 22: “Geoje Island”

A slight rewind shows that Jia tried to call Baek-gyun before she approached Min-kyu, but she couldn’t reach him. Once the hackers were evaded, Baek-gyun saw Jia’s texts, but since her phone was left in her apron pocket, she didn’t notice when he called back.

Baek-gyun confirmed the team’s worst fears and announced that Jia and Min-kyu were together. Baek-gyun immediately called Dr. Oh, who panicked when he learned that Jia couldn’t be reached. Dr. Oh asked Baek-gyun to deliver a message, “Tell her to keep it a secret no matter what… Tell her not to say or do anything that could remind him of Aji-3.”

Min-kyu carefully explains to Jia that he recently lost a friend and she reminds him of her. He confides, “Sometimes, absurd things happen in this world. Things people can’t believe unless they actually experience them. That friend and I experienced that miraculous moment together.”

Jia does her best to remain aloof and suggests that Min-kyu needs to be seen at a hospital. As she walks away, he calls out that he used to tell his friend, “Hi, Aji-3.” Jia stops and struggles with what to do before she turns around to ask if Min-kyu knows Baek-gyun.

Jia admits that she was the character model for Aji-3 but Min-kyu confesses that he already knew. Jia doesn’t understand why he’s not bothered that she’s uncomfortable. She’s shocked when Min-kyu asks if he can just look at her with the promise that he’ll leave when he’s done.

Jia stammers at his suggestion while Min-kyu gazes at her and muses, “It’s just so fascinating.” Jia orders Min-kyu to stand up and physically pushes him out the door. When she calls him a stalker, Min-kyu points to the sign out front and asks for a room. Jia lies that they’re full and shuts the door, leaving Min-kyu out in the cold.

When Baek-gyun prepares to leave for Geojo Island, Pi insists that she has to accompany him. He warns Hok-tal and Ssan-ip not to get hacked again, while they wonder why Pi had to tag along.

Outside, Pi reminds Baek-gyun that he hasn’t slept much and she’s worried that he’ll fall asleep on the road. She stubbornly insists that if he won’t allow her to accompany him, he can’t go. Once they’re on the road, Baek-gyun calls Sun-hye to find out exactly where to find Jia.

A concerned Dr. Oh tries to call Min-kyu, but his phone was left behind in the restaurant.

Baek-gyun and Pi pass the time like two geniuses, with an analysis about Jia’s chances at successfully maintaining her cover. Pi reasons that Min-kyu’s cluelessness improves Jia’s success rate, but Baek-gyun lowers it due to her unpredictable nature and they bicker over who will affect the final outcome the most.

Jia peers outside, satisfied that there’s no sign of Min-kyu. She gets a call from Sun-hye, and learns that Baek-gyun is on his way. Jia next speaks with Baek-gyun, who passes on Dr. Oh’s warning not to do anything that will remind Min-kyu of Aji-3.

Baek-gyun suggests that Jia should lock herself in a room until he arrives and he’s still on the phone when Min-kyu suddenly reappears. Startled, Jia reacts exactly the way that she did the first time that she posed as Aji-3, and Baek-gyun groans over her lapse.  

Baek-gyun pulls over to collect himself while Min-kyu tells Jia that Aji-3 reacted that way the second time that they met. When she asks why he came back, Min-kyu points to his things and adds that he still has to eat dinner. Jia calls Baek-gyun, who suggests that she can just be herself since the robot was patterned after her, but to guard against any more behavior that Min-kyu will associate with Aji-3.

Sun-hye delivers coffee and bread to the barn for Hok-tal and Ssan-ip. While they discuss Jia’s dilemma, Sun-hye happily takes a coffee offered by Hok-tal but turns down bread from Ssan-ip, because she’s on a diet.

When she spills some coffee, Hok-tal wipes her hand and she grabs him to ask, “Am I all you see?” Hok-tal freezes and Ssan-ip breaks their grasp while he confesses, “I always see you.” Sun-hye matter-of factly responds, “I know, yes, thank you,” and Ssan-ip gulps down his coffee as if he wishes it was something stronger.

Jia brings water to Min-kyu just as Grandma asks her to drive the cart to a communal warehouse for another family’s use. Min-kyu asks Grandma if she has a room and she tells him, “Yes, many,” while Jia answers, “No.” Min-kyu smiles in satisfaction as Grandma urges Jia to take him to his room.

Jia shows Min-kyu to a simple room and when he inquires about coffee, she tells him about a vending machine in front of the restaurant. Min-kyu has no change, so Jia hands him some coins and tells him “It’s on me.”

Once Jia leaves, Min-kyu gets a call from Baek-gyun and learns that his little detour isn’t a secret. Baek-gyun tells him that Aji-3’s model called to complain about Min-kyu’s behavior. Min-kyu shares how taken he was by the model and admits that by the time he came to his senses, he had followed her to the island. 

Baek-gyun emphasizes how disturbing his behavior must be, but Min-kyu explains that he told the truth about his interest. Baek-gyun informs him that he’s on the way to the island and warns Min-kyu to leave her alone until he gets there.

Once they hang up, Min-kyu notices the missed calls from Dr. Oh and calls him back. Dr. Oh double checks that Min-kyu still has his medication and syringes, but Min-kyu pretends that he doesn’t. When Dr. Oh sounds alarmed, Min-kyu assures his doctor that he has everything that he needs.

Min-kyu makes one more call, this time to Jin-bae, and confides that he met someone who looks like Aji-3, “Her name is Hong-joo.” When Jin-bae nervously repeats the name, his wife assumes that he’s talking about her.

Jin-bae confirms that his research into Santa Maria included the fact that Aji-3 was based on a real person, which is all that Min-kyu needs to hear. The real Hong-joo asks her husband why her name suddenly came up.

When Pi notices that Baek-gyun is drowsy, she has him stop at a convenience store. While she’s gone, a friend sends a text to ask why she turned down a desirable teaching position and Back-gyun reads it. 

Pi returns with a ginseng drink and tells Baek-gyun to drink it right away. He obliges and gags, but Pi won’t let him drive any further until he finishes it.

The hackers successfully copy the mystery folder “Monami” and get to work on hacking the password while Hok-tal and Sun-hye are preoccupied with Sun-hye, oblivious to the warnings on their computer.  

Baek-gyun can’t believe it when the van breaks down but Pi admits she’s surprised it lasted as long as it did. 

Min-kyu stands in front of the vending machine, unsure what to select until Grandma chooses for him. Jia leaves to drop off the cart and when Grandma asks Min-kyu to accompany her, he jumps at the chance. (I see that matchmaker gleam your eyes, Grandma.) Outnumbered, Jia is forced to take Min-kyu with her.

While Jia drives, she and Min-kyu both remember when he decided to drive Aji-3 to his mansion every morning to conserve her battery. Jia had cutely asked if it was because she was his treasure, which Min-kyu crossly denied. They both laugh at the same memory but when Min-kyu asks what prompted her, Jia ignores him to focus on her driving.

Min-kyu thinks she should be grateful for his company, even though she didn’t invite him. They bicker, which causes Min-kyu to comment that he can see how she and Aji-3 are different. When Min-kyu starts to talk about Aji-3 again, Jia suddenly jerks the cart and explains that she’s a terrible driver. (Ha! She’s jealous of herself.)

Once they pull into the warehouse, Jia realizes that she doesn’t have her phone. She needs a flashlight and uses Min-kyu’s phone, even though it’s almost dead. While she rummages for something, the boat captain shuts the door and locks Min-kyu and Jia inside, unable to hear her cries because of his earmuffs.

Jia can’t believe her predicament and thinks to herself, “My gosh, did I seriously get locked up in this storage room with him?” Min-kyu jumps in surprise when Jia turns suddenly to face him.

 
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Ruh-roh… trapped for the night!

 
COMMENTS

This hour was a quieter, gentler experience compared to the past few episodes. It was a much welcomed breather as all the characters were moved into place in preparation for Min-kyu’s realization that his Aji-3 is really Jia. The board has also been set for Yoo-chul’s dirty fight for control of KM Financial and Santa Maria’s research. Was anyone as surprised as I was to see Butler Sung in a completely different light as the corporate fight promises to heat up?

It was difficult to fully enjoy Min-kyu’s interactions with Jia while he was acting like such a stalker. Of course he couldn’t quite wrap his mind around the living, breathing model for Aji-3 and got caught up in the moment, but it was uncomfortable. Min-kyu still hasn’t quite adjusted to interacting with people and his reaction to Jia made that abundantly clear. What I did appreciate was that Min-kyu’s relationship with Ri-el was resolved before he ran into Jia. He’s free to follow his feelings once he sorts through the truth about Aji-3.

I’m surprised that Ri-el is so drawn to Yoo-chul, who seems intent on taking the dark path to have her for himself. All he has to do is ask Ri-el, because she knows what she wants, but Yoo-chul treats her like a trophy instead of the strong, decisive woman that she’s proven herself to be. He’s not the only one who ignores her, Director Yeh has his sights set on KM Financial and he expects Ri-el to get his foot in the door, even though she doesn’t want to marry Min-kyu after all. Ri-el has turned out to be a pleasant surprise because she genuinely wants her own happiness as well as Min-kyu’s, and refuses to settle for money over love.

Ri-el isn’t the only one with problems. Poor Jia! She has to listen to Min-kyu share his pain over the loss of his friend, knowing that he’s talking about her, but she can’t tell him the truth or react in any meaningful way. Her strength in the face of such emotional bombardment proves how much she loves Min-kyu and wants to protect him. But Jia still manages to find an outlet for her feelings, just like she did when she posed as Aji-3. That wobble in the cart when Min-kyu kept talking about Aji-3 was classic Jia, and how crazy is it that she’s actually jealous of herself? I love the way that this drama deals with the romantic triangle of Min-kyu, Jia and Aji-3, which isn’t really a triangle at all. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t pose a very real threat to Min-kyu though, because it does, and it’s only a matter of time before he’s going to have to confront the fact that his Aji-3 was a real woman all along.

 
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Deceiving a stranger is one thing. Deceiving a friend is a different matter entirely - even if done with the best intentions. The lies everybody tells MK this hour feel like a break of trust and they cloud the cute interactions between MK and JA, leaving a bitter aftertaste. It’s like we undid all the good work that the reset goodbye had done to MK and JA’s relationship. I can't help but feel for MK, imagining the horrible damage that the reveal will eventually cause. Ji-ah, too is pitiful: she’s is in a catch 22 situation - the more she loves him, the more deceitful she needs to act and the more hurt she causes him on the long run. Hiding under the kitchen counter seems like the most sensible course of action after all.

But it’s not all gloom and doom this week. What I did love: the way their facial expressions and entire demeanor completely changed when together. The sad maturity that MK had recently acquired morphs into vulnerability and childlike wonder, like she really is the most beloved toy he’d lost long ago. Once the initial panic settled, it’s clear that even a few hours in MK's presence are enough to bring old Ji-ah back. I also like how everything keeps reminding them of each other (in particular the stray cat, and smiling in sync thinking about the golf-cart scene). I also like Ji-ah being jealous of herself. Lastly I love that MK kept his promise to her - his reasoning might not be working properly when it comes to Ji-ah, but his heart always is; so subconsciously he recognizes her as ‘his Aji3’ right away. Now if only his brain caught up…

PS: If you haven’t watched yet I recommend playing Aji3 bingo during this week’s episodes - or one can make it into a drinking game - one shot whenever seaside Ji-ah does a MK’s Aji3 thing. Like using the phrase ‘it’s bad manners’ or the trademark ‘I’m a treasure’ ayego. The fact that there are so many instances confirm what we knew all along: that fauxbot Aji3 is all Ji-ah.

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Also, about YC: silly kid, not realising that his obsession to win over MK makes him lose the thing that he really wanted (RE); he's fighting for something he already had and losing it in the process.

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"The fact that there are so many instances confirm what we knew all along: that fauxbot Aji3 is all Ji-ah."

Jia can't help being Jia and Minkyu can't also help liking her in whatever version she presents herself. 😅 I think Minkyu even told Jia as Hongjoo that she "feels" similar to the friend that he lost. Ugh, these two.

As for the deception, I think the Santa Maria team is also caught between a rock and a hard place. They've come to care for MK and Jia so much, enough to believe that continuing with the lie will be better for both. (This is the 1% that Hoktal was explaining to Sunhye that they didn't want to risk.) They were also made aware of what happened to the unfortunate Johnny, a person suffering from the same allergy, who died from a severe allergy after being betrayed by the "love of his life", Tilda. I think the most useless character for me is MK's longtime doctor, Dr. Oh. He has been treating MK for so long and never had him checked by another specialist, such as a psychologist/psychiatrist, as his allergy appeared to be psychosomatic? Did he never recommend that MK undergo counselling also after losing both his parents in a tragic accident that he survived?

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Ugh same about Dr. Oh! I was so unimpressed with his urgency this episode that NO ONE SHOULD TELL MIN-KYU ANYTHING! Like sure Doc. We get that his life could be in danger. But what exactly have you been doing towards making him better? All he has done so far is advised Min-kyu to lock himself up in his home and to never touch anyone. It's not until AJI-3 "cured" him that the doctor even bothered to research if there are other cases like Min-kyu's. And then jumped to the conclusion that telling him the truth would kill him. But hasn't even researched ways to prevent him dying even after he learns the truth?? smh I hate this guy!

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Hmm you know I was watching this week’s episodes with the hope that he’d figure it out himself and coolly accept it. I feel you’re right, and the Santa Maria team and Jia’s present lies to keep MK believing this “Hong Joo” is only a character model are doing some real damage. Perhaps if they’d decided to have faith in MK’s love for them, as mentioned in the episodes (I forgot which one) it would have resolved itself. I just hope the pain isn’t prolonged...and resolved in a way that isn’t further exhausting, if that makes sense. Because I don’t know if I can take that!

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"I was watching this week’s episodes with the hope that he’d figure it out himself and coolly accept it." - Ditto! The fact that he's been so clueless and gullible magnifies their offenses all the more, because he's simply not equipped with the usual "defenses." The compounded lies are terrible. I hope 4 episodes is enough for everyone in on the deceit to make it up to him.

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There's a point in this episode where Min Kyu is progressively calling every person he implicitly trusts and they're ALL LYING TO HIM that I got really angry, Like, I know, they have a reason to lie to him but, dayum guys. This is a guy with literally lethal truth issues.

This is why I find it so interesting what they're doing with Ri El. One the one hand, she's the only one in the entire show who's always being completely honest. But then you realise that's because she has no skin in the game. The biggest liars are the ones doing it out of love. And yet that just makes their betrayal worse.

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“There's a point in this episode where Min Kyu is progressively calling every person he implicitly trusts“

Man, I hadn’t even thought of that. Mostly I wanted the deception to be over because I wanted the romance-related angst to be over. But you’re right, and now I want to see Min-kyu not get over the deception too easily, because otherwise the deceivers get off too lightly in relation to the gravity of the offense.

“The biggest liars are the ones doing it out of love.”

This is such a compelling observation.

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LeeT yea I KNOW right!? And then that line where Min Kyu goes “If its you saying so, I believe it” (I forgot which phone call it was or from whom) which like cut through me

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“The lies everybody tells MK this hour feel like a break of trust and they cloud the cute interactions between MK and JA, leaving a bitter aftertaste.”

Thank you for highlighting this. It needs to not be glossed over, especially in the eventual resolution.

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A real velveteen robot met a puppy in the train & it followed her to the sea. <3

I wish I had a matchmaking grandma (or grandma-in-law) too. <3

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Aw, your 17-word synopsis is sweet—and deftly removes the stalker-y elements.

According to Google, it's about 1.42 minutes by train from Seoul to Daegu, where MK was supposed to deboard. I was surprised he stared at her for almost two hours without a word! Sci-fi elements aside, this wouldn't happen in the real world. But I accept everything because it's a fairytale about a velveteen robot and puppy.

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Seoul is definitely more than 1 minute away from the sea. Here is what Google has to say about it:

"Dongdaegu Station, meaning "East Daegu Station", is a railway station in Daegu, South Korea. It is on the national high-speed KTX railway network, 282 km south of Seoul Station."

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Oops, I mean hours, not minutes by train. I described MK staring at her for almost two hours. Good catch. ;)

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Ha! I completely understand you comment the other way around. I took it as how can he stare at her all this time if his ride was super short.

Talking about it, I still have no idea why he needed to go there, do you?

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@coccinelle—I don't remember the details of why he was meeting Jia's brother. It was something work-related but I guess it was something Jo Jin-bae could handle on his own. It's been months since the show ended but the memory of it still warms my heart. ;)

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I appreciate this drama for the emphasis on helping each other out of true sincerity. The Santa Maria team helps one another and also helps Min-kyu, Jia and Aji-3. They understand team work even when it gets uncomfortable, willing to take responsibility. The ones who you feel sympathy for, are the ones who are selfish, because ultimately they are to be pitied. Even the Grandma (할머니 halmeoni) plays an important part to show that caring for others is what is most important!

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I love Ri-el. She's so cool. The only truthful person in the whole drama.

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Totally! And I'm getting worried. Usually the second lead man is great and he gets stuck with the terrible second lead woman in the interest to tie up loose ends. In this drama, she is actually the cool one! She really deserves better than Yoo Chul!

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I agree, I no longer want to see a redemption arc for yoo cheol, if any. And totally don't want to see him marrying Ri el. I just want to see her become a successful, badass, business woman. In case, she truly wants to be with yoo cheol, I hope she makes him work reaaally
hard for it.

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Agree. I thought he would stand also against his father's ambitions, but no... he seems to totally have taken the dark path, and the fact that he is in love with RE, and has paid detailed attention about her whole life doesn't make him better man for her. She should at least be as well with a trustworthy and not cunning, ambitious man.

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I haven't actually watched this week's episodes yet because I accidentally (not so accidentally) watched the ending on instagram so I'm not emotionally ready for the heartbreak. But I guess we were all just waiting for the angst to kick in. I'm glad Ri-el is a sensible woman and dealt with her emotions honestly with Min Kyu, allowing them both the freedom to pursue what they truly want. If only everyone else in this show can stop living in this lie that has spiralled out of control. I just want Min Kyu to get the love that he has deserved all these years and go Jia to finally have someone to appreciate her ideas for what they are. Can we skip the angst already?

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I loved the show when it was light and funny with MK smiling and Jia acting as a robot. I still like it now, but the angst is reeeeaaallly being dragged out. Honestly, you can sum up this week in 2 sentences (and last week, for that matter).

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It was pretty hilarious when Jia as Hongjoo pushed Minkyu out and called him a star of the stalking world when he asked if he can stare at her. Minkyu, who is so happy to see his "Aji3" in human form, just can't help but find her adorable. I'm glad for the light moments as we brace ourselves for the pain that next week's episodes will bring. (Despite that, Wednesday, please come sooner!)

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It was cute and it paralleled how she snapped at him for almost touching her chest earlier in the show, but I can't help but reminded that if it were someone else, it'd be super creepy and stalker-ish.

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I felt like once the taxis pulled up in front of Hong Joo's restaurant/motel, the show lost its way. The comic moments went to the bumbling spy duo, and the poignant moments went to Ri El and Pi. Min Kyu and Ji A just seemed to stumble around as though they had lost their characters. Their meeting could have been funny or moving or both, but ended up just like putting pieces in place and taking too long to do it.

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Feels like filler to me these past two weeks. I know the boy's been in isolation for a long time and he misses his love, but doesn't that feel unhealthy ?

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The show did sort of "slow down" this week. The entire week's episode could probably have been done in an hour. But, there is a level of "fan service" needed and this show hasn't gone overboard yet.

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I've come to expect Korean comedy-dramas to be heavy on the comedy in the first half of the series and heavy on the drama in the second half (I'm looking at YOU 'Strong Woman Do Bong-soon' and 'Strongest Deliverman').

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This episode felt like calm before the storm

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*Braces for impact* still not ready 😢

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This drama has a very feminist message underneath the whole thing. Both Jia and RiEl are treated like objects by the men in their lives and they both seek to overthrow it. They are confident women with their own desires and are quite fierce to protect that. Even when RiEl was going to marry MinKyu for money, she still made it about her decision. Even Pia has her own determinations.

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This is the most feminist thing to come out of Korea ever. It's why it's my favourite thing on TV at the moment.

Even dramas with the best female characters seem to falter halfway through and reset to tired gender stereotypes and offensive, sexist tropes. This is the only one that hasn't (yet). Crossing my fingers.

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Another drama with an well-executed feminist message would be 'because this is my first life'. That's another great drama that delivers thoughtful messages beneath the supposedly cliched premise of a contract marriage. Do check it out if you haven't already :) it's a gem in my book :)

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Is on my list. Might watch it after INAR finishes.

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I've lost track of the number of K-dramas where at the end the heroine leaves the country for a year (or two or three) to pursue her own dream, then the pair reunite as equals to begin a *healthy* relationship together. American TV doesn't often do that.

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this episode was an eye of the storm that was the 2nd arc of the story so far. what I loved the most were the callbacks to the meaningful scenes between them: the jumpscare, the cat, the cart ride.

Jia's conflict was palpable and she's honestly the strongest noble idiot I know for sticking to her beliefs. I loved how spending a few hours together was enough to bring back their brash, snarky, adorable selves after weeks of depression. it's a nice reference to what Min-kyu was trying to do with Aji3.

I liked how Min-kyu's and Jia's ever-ringing phones indicated how strong and caring their support system are and how neither of them are alone anymore. I wrote an essay on how much I liked this episode already and I wish it lasted forever.

this show is honestly giving me everything I want - the tragedy of our leads' parting is deliciously painful, but not overdone. the reunion was bitter-sweet and doesn't make me sated enough to drop the show. I love pretty much every character and their story arcs. it's a tailor-made drama for me and... wait, what do you mean there's only 8 episodes left?? I don't remember my life without it!

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I like that this episode pretty much confirms that it is Jia who Minkyu really loves, even if she has taken another identity as Hongjoo. It's really sweet that he feels comfortable around her, as she feels very much familiar, and that he finds everything that she does adorable. I feel sorry for Jia because she has to hold everything in, pretend that she doesn't care about him, and continue to push him away. It becomes much harder as she starts to realize just how much Minkyu loves and misses her.

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ah yes, another stab in the heart. twist the knife some more, why don't you!
Jia really had it the worst. going from 'worthless' to 'treasure' to 'lost treasure' was traumatic enough, and now she's unable to do what she wants (kiss MK senseless, probably, let's be real) and the more she pushes him away, the more adorable he becomes. sigh.

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kiss MK senseless, probably, let's be real

Hahaha.. I hope we get to see it soon!

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I remember back then: she is not famous enough for my oppa. But serious CSB is so good, she never been this good. She is very on pair with YSH on acting level, YSH has a bit more spark. Shes so good with crying. The drama started a bit weak but the last few epi has pull off all strings...... but i thought this is a rom com?

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Gosh, at least I was able to laugh again. Min kyu is so tender and loyal!! I am kind of... you know, in love with him 😍😍😍

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I didn't realize that was Butler Sung at all! Thanks for pointing that out, Teriyaki! Could Butler Sung be Madam X? Also, can pi and baek gyun's ship start sailing already?

I am conflicted regarding santa maria and jia continuing to decieve min kyu. On one hand, I want them to trust his strength and his love for them enough and to tell him the truth bravely. The best consequence is min kyu accepts it. But, the worst thing is he could die (which is the highest stake ever). So, I feel like, here their deception has a strong justification and they thought by resetting aji3, they stopped it, they didn't take in the variable of min kyu meeting jia, so it's not like they purposefully kept lying to him, it's like they were forced to do so. But, the thing about truths are, it always comes to light (like the truth about the birthday post cards). So, it would have been better for min kyu to hear about it from them. So, yeah, conflicted. But, I still think santa maria team and jia are justified in their lying, because if it's their life, they can take a chance on it and be courageous, but if it's a loved one's life at stake, everyone is a coward.

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I agree that the intentions for good, the problem is that they keep piling up new lies on top of each other. Lies that I don't quite see the point of to be honest. Why did they invent that story of Hong-jo (!!) being paid to model for the robot? Why the bloody hell could they not tell him (part of) the truth? Isn't unnecessary lying how you got in the mess in the beginning? haven't you learn anything from all that pain? And now I am back to being mad all over again...

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Min kyu assumed jia's name to be hong joo. But, I wished also they hadn't added another mistaken identity to jia. Like min kyu has to first reconcile that aji3 is not aji3 but hong joo but hong joo is not hong joo but jia or to him, president jo (that is unintentionally funny, lol). I think that model part was part of the truth. Baek gyun did design aji3 after jia, right? Probably, didn't give aji3, jia's mannerism though. I guess, once you start lying, its hard to cover them up without more lying. Especially when you feel like you cannot tell the truth, no matter what. Sigh. But, I am still not mad at any of them, because if I am in their positions, I am not sure if I would have did any better than them.

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MK got the name wrong initially but then BK and Jia's brother confirmed it (at least BG explicitly, more so in next eps). They should have told him that Aji3 was modelled based on BG's ex Jo Ji-ah - who is rightfully pissed off about the whole thing and so she really does not need MK's interference. It's a better story not only because there are less lies but also because it explains why Ji-ah does not want to have anything to do with him. I suspect BG's pride would not let him admit it though.

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I also didn't catch Butler Sung either and just posted about it too! Who is Madame X?! Ahh, all this time I only cared about or OTP that i disregarded it, but now that he's hurting I just want someone on his side. Our Santa Maria team loves him, but it would've been nice for him to know someone has always had his back.

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But, I do think they are on his side. Only, in this twisted way, where they have to lie to him now which essentially comes from them deeply caring about him. But, it sucks for the person being lied to. Agree, it would have been nice if he had someone without all these complications.

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The Santa Maria team definitely loves him, but he's only had them in his life for a short period of time. I was just saying that I hope Madame X is someone that was closer to him since he was young.

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great comment. I think the best option would be to reveal it to him in a controlled environment (not necessarily at a hospital, but with the doctor present for sure). doctor Oh and BG were really childish about hiding Jia from Min-kyu. her life is way too intertwined with his - her brother works for him, her best friend coached him and is flirting with some of his friends, she's most likely a winner of that startup competition organized by his company... there was no way they'd never stumble upon each other.
I'm still eating it up because angst is delicious but there were much better ways of handling this situation lol

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This is really a good point. They could have told it to him in a controlled environment. But, I guess everyone took rash decisions because of Johnny's death. So, in the end, it's all because of Tilda, lol.

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"So, in the end, it's all because of Tilda, lol."

So, in the end, Tilda is the point. 😂 This joke just never gets old for me.

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Curse you, Tilda
#rememberjohnny

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I LOL'd actually when I saw a bjt of Tilda, even in a flashback, in this week's episodes. It is as if the PD team saw our running Tilda hate on DB and decided to troll us.

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This drama is giving so much happiness. I know the leads are suffering a lot, but I can't help it, I'm enjoying this. I just hope that as soon as he finds out the truth, he can forgive her and start a relationship. I already watched the ending of this week, but I'm looking forward to what its to come. I hope the pain won't last more than one episode thogh, cause I really want to see them happy now

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Woah! I was so interested in Jia and Min-kyu meeting and hanging out that I didn't even notice Butler Sung with that lady. Is she Madame X or is he? Who is looking out for our boy?!

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Actually other than the fact that he started as a child actor and she only debuted 3-4 years ago, YSH and CSB have a lot in common as actors. Both are good at emoting, capable in sageuks which require technical acting skills like pronunciation, and shine even in negative roles (I Miss You/Sassy Go Go).

They have similar wavelengths as actors and they're of a similar age, no wonder they have such good chemistry. I always thought YSH leading ladies before this felt awkward with him but she's just right. It's just sad the ratings are low, I hope no one blames her for that.

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Sorry, comment no. 16 was a reply to @C comment no. 11.

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I think YSH is the kind of actor who works best with actresses his age. Park Eun-bin and him had really strong chemistry and obviously he's fantastic with CSB.

I've also never seen him more alive/energetic and generally happier than he is in the BTS of this drama. I hope his next projects pair him up with actresses similar to these two rather than too old or too young for him. Not until he's a bit older himself at least.

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He was with Kim So Hyun in Ruler: Master of the Mask which was younger than him, but I don't really feel much chemistry between them there. Maybe I just prefer him with Yoon So-Hee.

But I did notice the BTS for Ruler, and he was having a lot of fun there as well, laughing, joking, fooling around, being around actors and actresses of his age more freely.

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I felt he was really shy and quite reserved in ruler actually. Of course he was smiling and laughing too, but it was with a sense of caution. Maybe it’s simply the difference in genre of the two dramas or something.

Anyway I think his chemistry with actors his age is so much more strong and prominent. I too felt Yoon So-hee and him had mad chemistry if only she acted better! They were fire when put in one space. Totally agree on that.

Lol sorry for out of topic discussion!

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I'm not sure if you guys already saw this vlive of YSH and CSB together: https://youtu.be/Z1B62ISGLKA. They just look so good together onscreen. The easy chemistry just comes through. I love that both seemed to have really enjoyed the filming of their early scenes together as Minkyu and fauxbot Jia, even recreated one scene, and had a good laugh together when recalling their laugh out loud scenes together. Too bad that they're not dating (yet).

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Gotta add a line in defense of my man Min Kyu here: I didn’t find Min Kyu’s stalkering creepy. He’s the one being deceived by Jia and the Santa Maria team, and I feel he can sense it in his bones. You know, like a gut feeling? His rationale tells him its not right to follow a random look-alike but that he’ll regret it for the rest of his life if he doesn’t. I believe he knows deep down in his subconscious, but doesn’t have the courage to accept the truth, since everyone continues to lie to him 😭😭😭. I don’t know if I can take the ensuing pain! 😩😭

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I also didn't find him creepy, he was cute, curious, even a little bit childish. And also, the most important thing, he was open... I mean, at least after he presented himself in the Garandma's restaurant/motel... he was absolutely cute 😍

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When Min-kyu went over and cleaned up the little boy that was all Grandma needed to know to make the judgement that Min-kyu was a good guy. Next thing you know she is bringing Min-kyu and Jia together.

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We are lucky he is the hero in the drama and actual partner to Jia. Of course he is cute and not creepy, he is a puppy. If he is the second lead or somebody else, he’ll be creepy and annoying. 😂

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Exactly!

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Agreed. Hardly stalkerish if you walk up to the door and introduce yourself. And he really only ordered food from a restaurant and rented a room in a guesthouse. Hardly unusual stuff. If that is defined as "stalker" - the human race will end pretty soon.

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While I'm missing the cute from our main couple, I understand all of the angst and separation. It's something that has to happen because he totally believes one thing when his eyes tell him something else. Luckily, there's a lot of cute with Sun Hye and Hoktal, and Dr. Hong and Pai or Pi. So I'm enjoying their relationships.

As for KM financial and whoever runs the company, I honestly don't really care if the company goes bankrupt. It's not really important to Min Kyu's mental stability. I think the ONLY reason why KM financial exists is to eventually out Ji A's genius inventions to Min Kyu in the latter stages of the drama so that he realizes how wonderful she truly is.

So there are a couple of plotlines where there are questions, like why does CEO Hwang want so badly to sell Santa Maria to Bold Company, and what does that company have on him that it can bully him so much, and what can Bold company do for him? Also, who is Madame X? And finally, the death of Chairman Park, what happened there? Well, these 3 questions, while useful to dramas where power and money and greed are the center of the show really have little interest to me personally. I honestly would be perfectly happy if Min Kyu and JiA ended up sharing the duties of running that little bed and breakfast by the beach, with him cooking yummy food and her enjoying every bite! The end :)

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my 5 cents on the company story: MK is responsible for 70% of their profits and he's filthy rich. If he gets fired he can either start a new business or take a 30y holiday if he so chooses. If he gets kicked out all the people who worked hard to make it happen will lose a lot of money. Keeping his position is just a matter of pride for him and the not particularly rational villains. So I say the hell with KM Inc. MK should just buy the Santa Maria R&D himself and start making cute heart shaped lamps for fun.

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DAMMIT now I won't be happy with the finale if this doesn't happen. corporations are so dumb, everyone should just open their own small business. Shopping King Louie did it best.

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yes and Jia should have a business of her own.

this could have been so much better on the inventing and science front, but thanks for the effort, show.
she could have invented things as a robot, too, couldnt she`and afterwards that could have been the thing that gives Jia away...
both of them need independence, I too am sick of corporations.

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I think the monami file getting leaked, while disastrous for MK's position at KM Financial, could end up saving him and his relationship with Jia.

I am guessing that there will be a lot of anger in next week's episodes, a la Hangyul in Coffee Prince when he finds out that Eunchan is actually a woman (not a heterosexual guy like him). There could even be a time jump.

I love the ending that you're proposing. I think MK likes cooking more than running KM Financial anyway and it would be really cute to see him run the bed and breakfast with Jia. I'd also love to see Jia open a shop near the B&B where she can sell her quirky inventions.

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I was wondering, why on earth didn't she at least confessed she was Boss Jo? She could have said that without compromising the fact that she (also) took the part-time job of modeling Aji3... that would have lessened her guilt over the whole lie, instead of create another lie over the webs of lies she is already in. That would have still left room for her to reject his so called "friendship" and send him away... I am kind of upset with her that she didnt think of that.

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Yes, I was thinking the same thing! They really didn’t need to create a whole new lie to tell him.

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I initially was too! Because there's just too many lies at this point.

But then I thought about it. If she really did say she was President Jo, then they're kinda/somewhat friends. Or at least frenemies in some very minor level. Min-kyu likes President Jo, and he was so upset to find out she's leaving. Maybe Jia thought telling him that would just make things more difficult. Lol I'm sure I'm just making excuses for her but yea I agree. Hong-joo was a bad idea. Sigh.

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I'm buying it! revealing that they know each other on any level would make it harder for Jia to come up with reasons to treat him coldly.

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True, and also what @mandy says is true. For sure we can see her thinking like that and allowing him to believe in a total very new identity for her, in order to reject him. But, President Jo never had a good relationship with him anyways, even if he paid her, she could have treated him badly and send him away, also with the excuse of how "unjust" he was to her, not paying her on time, and all that. She could have still be more or less "herself" and reject his friendship, but yeah, I know... she, and dr. Hong and santa Maria team are always on the rush, not seeing through the consequences of lying more and more, they just want to prevent the inevitable.
Well, I only hope his anger (of course, he won't die like Johnny) could subside quick, because he will suffer the disappointment before he understands why, and she will suffer the outcome and guilt even more, before she could be forgiven. And there is a lot to forgive.

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Lets keep in mind Jia thinks she's *liable kill him* if he catches the least hint of the fake robot robot. Literally kill him. She's hoping to keep him at arm's length until she can escape to Australia, basically to save his life.

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Min Kyu contacted Boss Jo confessing he had no other friends and was upset to lose her, if Jia admitted that she's BJ, he would latch on like..... (lol, you fill in the blank). With her best efforts Jia is trying not be found out, not to spend extra time with cutie and is lying to save his life - all around hard, while maintaining a poker face. Yes, her brilliant personality comes thru in every character that MK meets - As Sun Hye says - It's destiny.

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Min-kyu knows so many versions of Jia, I find it fascinating that he's enamoured by them all, and that the writer managed to write that so seamlessly.

Aji-3 is obviously one. But so is Umbrella inventor, heart lamps inventor, girl's aunt, President Jo and now Hong-joo. There's so many versions of her in his mind, and he can't even start to imagine they are all just one person, yet he's fascinated by them all. I mean, if that's not fated love, then what is, really?

If Min-kyu could be split in many halves, I think each half of him could fall in love with every one of these versions. The chemistry between characters (not only actors) is just outstanding. I think it's a special talent to write characters that feel so distinct. So much that the chemistry is evident and believable even if the character itself goes through many changes. I'm fascinated.

Anyway, back to the episode, the train scene was simply beautiful. No words were said, literally nothing happened. Yet the way he looked at her, even as a stranger, I'd get unnerved. There was SO MUCH intensity and longing and confusion and wonder, I wouldn't have been able to take it. YSH doesn't need dialogues, his eyes are enough. That was such an impactful scene.

Honestly, I love that everyone basically called Min-kyu out on his stalkerish behaviour. It's very obvious this isn't normal and he totally understands that on an intellectual level. But the heart wants what it wants. If "Hong-joo" really was a stranger, I'd be very disturbed, but she's not. She's Jia who was his Aji-3, and like I said a so many times over, his subconscious mind knows that.

I honestly would rather Min-kyu fall in love with Jia, then feel he's betraying Aji-3 and then realize they're the same person all along. That would've been funny and believable angst. But I trust the story the writer wants to tell. Because they've always proven to be better than what I expected. This drama is precious! ❤️

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"YSH doesn't need dialogues, his eyes are enough."
Well said indeed.

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Also, I'd like to point out that that's how he acts in Warrior Baek Dong Su. His character didn't have many dialogues, nor did he have a lot of expression at all, but just by his eyes, we know what the character is feeling or thinking... to an extent. I think that's really impressive.

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reminds me of Yoo Ah In in Sungkyunkwan Scandal *-* my homeboys do it best

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This.
This is what crushes me. When he smiles, it shows in his eyes. I cannot help but smile watching the show. Same when he's sad. Ugh. His eyes are so expressive. I am stuck on episode 11 right now in Warrior Baek Dong Su because of his character.

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argh, I remember what happened in episode 11. It's ep 13 that really hits me

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I'm terrified for MK, sigh. I hate the lies but I also really, really don't want him to be hurt when he finds out :(((

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I'm a bit worried too, when he first met Boss Jo, he said he can forgive anything but lies... oh dear, WHAT are we gonna do. Pass the tissue, please.

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But what MK also told Riel gives me hope. He found out that the postcards were a lie but still didn't become angry, as these made him happy. But then again, he did not like Riel (nor trusted Riel's dad) as much as he likes and trusts Jia/Aji3.

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⊙ Can I take a minute and say that I find the actress playing Pi very pretty??
Also,she reminds me of my mom. Mom never lets dad drive sleepy either and always sits on the shotgun seat when going a long trip so she can occasionally talk to him and keep him awake and to point out occasional unnoticed hazards.
I wish I could have a friend unni like Pi.
⊙ Matchmaking grannies is a catnip that won't ever get old right?? ;-)
⊙ It's super annoying when Kdramas OFTEN markets some of the characters as computer geniuses then lets them be soooo easily hacked or whatsoever,(side eyeing you,Criminal Minds) so I was so glad this writer didn't let such happen, because it would sure look weird as they are robotics scientists,for heaven's sake.
But then,THOSE two went out and.....uhhh.No words. I guess being a scientist/genius doesn't change some of your character traits.Sigh.
⊙ As @vivanesca already pointed out the heart of Min-kyu's and Jia's ever ringing phones got to me too. And that scenario is very realistic. Sometimes in dramas, when a character needs to make a critical phone call,he would sometimes miraculously manages it in the first go, and if he won't,he'd give up. But here,as real friends do, everybody were soo worried for their friends that when they failed to make the call the first time,they kept trying again and again, then would call every other related person possible to find a clue....it's just so natural and realistic.

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re: phones I also appreciated how natural it was that Jia forgot her phone even though as an audience we were able to track it since she was using it constantly. I really liked how they were all able to keep in touch and make every conversation fun.
Pi's actress is easily the most beautiful person on the set. I love looking at her and when she smiles she makes it count. There's a lot of subtlety to her that makes me hope for a lot of acting opportunities coming her way soon.

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Phone calls seem to be a running gag in today's episode. But I like it. Everyone's communicating, everyone's worried for each other (and I was slightly, ok, very, worried about the fact that MG's phone has low battery), everyone's trying to help. Very realistic.

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I’m enjoying everyone’s thoughts on our beloved characters. One additional thought regarding Ri-el: Let’s have more rational and thoughtful second lead women! In addition to her honesty, I also like that she immediately recognized Jia’s heart lamp as clever and brought back the design competition.

The discovery of the Monami folder made me realize I hadn’t noticed how Min-kyu stopped using or testing Aji-3’s connectivity to the interwebs. His “training” completely focused on building a relationship. I even forgot that Jia wears a special contact lens that allows the team to observe and record her interactions.

Dayum—this drama really knows how to mix the light 'n frothy with Sturm und Drang. I love it.

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Love Ri-el. She’s seriously so awesome.

Her best line - and probably the best line of a second female lead that I can remember. “Don’t talk about me like I’m an object”. She had the strength in her to say this to someone she has fallen in love with. Had the courage to just give him the middle finger when he mistreated her. Yet she had the heart to viciously defended him in front of her father right after. She’s everything I want in every female lead - first or second.

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So well-said. Ri-el honestly might be my favorite character in this show. She was definitely the star of this episode. When Min-kyu said to her, "You're pretty cool, Ye Ri-el" I was actually nodding my head in agreement and thinking "Yes! Yes!".

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I love that we get a classy second lead like Riel in a kdrama. It's refreshing to see someone so honest, so self-assured and someone who is just a good person. The last second female leads that I really liked were Doyeon from I Hear Your Voice (loved her character growth and how adorable her bickerings are with Hyesung), Cindy from The Producers (really great to see a character that can take charge for herself) and Yiryung from Master's Sun (a diva who can be a klutz, an initial rival who turned out to be the best frenemy that any lead girl could have). These characters could 've been your run-of-the-mill bitchy second female lead but are instead given a lot of character growth throughout the drama. It also helps that they were portrayed by actresses who really made the characters their own.

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"(I see that matchmaker gleam your eyes, Grandma.)"
We thank the ahjummas of Kdrama land for being potent matchmakers, hahaha.

"Was anyone as surprised as I was to see Butler Sung in a completely different light as the corporate fight promises to heat up?"
I didn't even realize that man is Butler Sung until YOU pointed it out!

I'm loving the fact that this drama has no real love triangle. Well, for the leads, of course. It's a different story for Sun Hye, Ssanip and Hoktal.

I've gained SO much respect for Ri El. She's so strong and brave to speak out her mind like that. Slow clap to her. Also, I felt a certain satisfaction when she admitted that Min Gyu's a better gentleman than Yoo Cheol. haha.

Classic Kdrama!! Making one person pretend not to know the other person and starting a whole new chain of deception! I was so hoping that she'd admit she's Jo Sajang, but NO. Bah. He just assumed her name is Hong Joo and she just rolled with it. That's literally the only thing I hate about this episode.

Min Gyu being a stalker, yeah, I'm just as weirded out. But we know how awkward he is and because of his 15 year isolation that he probably doesn't even know he's being weird and creepy. I'm good with that. But, mannnn his facial expressions are just too good to pass up! When his eyes kinda go blurry when she explains that he's not her type and such. His "Hong Joo shi!" exclaimation. His delight at getting to ride the cart with her. I never knew how funny YSH can be before this drama. Love it.

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The one thing that struck me in this episode is how awesome Ri El (aka the Real Girl) continues to be. I love we have a second female lead this badass. I really like her.

It was awesome enough when she broke off the engagement with Min Kyu. But then she ran straight to Yoo Chul because he's obviously the one she's attracted to. But the second he behaved badly, she knocked him down flat.

Her comparing him unfavourably to Min Kyu may have been hard on him but she was absolutely right. Min Kyu never gets petty or takes the low road. The fact she didn't let her feelings for Soo Chul cloud her judgement on his behaviour got her 15 more points from me and she's already got a lot of points.

I have a fermenting essay on Ri El and her similarity to the robot, textually, but I won't bore everybody now.

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I remember long time ago I watched a soup opera in my country (and hello, not even completely, because they always write these awful so called "telenovelas" where typically they have a premise that last two or three episodes and the rest of the +99 episodes you don't know anymore what is it about...) where the man was married and his wife dies in an accidental shooting, I mean, he was a police officer, that is why, and according to him, a woman was responsible, and guess what? He started to chase this woman he doesn't even know how she looks like, and in the meantime he marries another girl (not knowing she is the one he is looking for, and believes to be responsible of the death of his first wife), has a new baby with her, because he had two children from the first wife, and years after he discovers she is who she is, that she lied to him hidding her real identity, although we all know the didn't have anything to do with the shooting anyways and she was there by accident... 😑 And to make the story short: he proceeded to incarcelate his actual wife because the shooting was never cleared out and he still believes she was the responsible one. But hey, there is where I got so upset that the storytelling could be so ridicule that she would kept he own identity hidden for so long, because she was afraid, that I stopped watching. And he then sending her to prison without real proofs, it was like is it even logical a police would act like that? Of course, after thousands of dragging the first main issue for +80 episodes, a divorce, the kids getting married, and silly mini plotlines of second characters no one cared about, our main couple ended together, because after so much lies and insults and even prison and crying and sreaming, you guys are deeply in love, your love is real and we, the audience, need a happy end. Those are not even southamerican dramas, those are science fiction!!😂
In k-dramas, on the other hand, we also and always have the "lie trope", even hiding your identity: "she was pretty, you are beautiful", etc... But the writers focus more on character developments, and showing the different emotional reactions when discovering the truth about whatever, I like that. I hate lying in any context, but at least I know: I am never too angstly about a drama like ianr, because not only we have way better acting and things won't drag longer than 16 episodes, but also, the lying in itself and the angst and resolution of such behaviors are more logical, for instance: understandable.
And directly or indirectly, I like that the ulterior message of a kdrama is to tell the truth, because a story will always (or at least most of the time) be resolved and have a happy end when things are transparent clear for everyone inside and outside of the story.
Min Kyu will get to understand the truth and overcome his frustration, with a little bit of hope, maybe without sooo much more pain or hurt.

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well, it is worse than both IANAR & telenovelas in some of our folk stories, where the bride turns out to be a) a ghoul that brakes her beaus´ bones b) a dead person c) the plague d) a baby-eating witch e) a bear.

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the plague 🤣 like how in our folk tales it's always about sex and tricking the devil pft!

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Thank you for the recap. :)

While I enjoyed a reprieve from the heartache of last week, I definitely sensed a calm before the storm feeling looming. However, MK's smiles were just the best. His expressiveness is so good.

I love Grandma.

The breakup conversation was mature and honest for both of them. Had a lot of respect for this scene. Can we have more second lead women like her please? There needs to be similar honesty between Pi and Baek-gyun. Seriously...he needs to get a clue.

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I was kinda hoping Yoo Cheol would stay decent and help Min Kyu out… It made me sad that he had to succumb to the dark side to get the girl. If he only knew that said girl already has him on her mind. #smh

But what I really loved in this episode was the way Min Kyu looked at Ji Ah. 😍 And everytime I look at Ji Ah, oh how my heart breaks for her! She clearly sees how taken he is with her and yet she couldn’t say anything to him! 💔💔💔

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Oh, yeah. I'm quite disappointed in how the show is developing Yoochul as a character, considering his back story with Minkyu. They were actually bestfriends growing up and considered each other as brothers. I would've wanted him to be more repentant and be a much better person than his dad. Writernim could've added more layers to YC's character. Sadly, he is just going down the path of the usual drama villain, a bitter and revengeful rival.

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I have A LOT OF THOUGHTS.

I will preface my remarks by saying that I've been following this drama since the start, but only through recaps. Episode 17 was the first one I watched. In episode 18, I was so frustrated that Johnny's death meant more lying for Jia and the others that I and skipped forward to episode 20, hoping for resolution (no luck there either).

Well, I ended up rewatching episodes 17 and 18 with my sister the other day, and I dissolved into an ocean of tears during the reset scene. (And then I watched it again so I could sob some more.) I went on to watch episodes 19 and 20, and man, does episode 20 feel different when you've seen episodes 18 and 19!

As my sister always says, reading recaps is one thing, but watching the episodes is something else. And GOD I AM SO INVESTED IN THIS SHOW NOW.

Some of my thoughts on episodes 21 and 22:

(1) I hadn't realized before how much these two needed to meet, and fall for each other, as fellow humans. I had thought that all that needed to happen was for Min-kyu to find out that the Aji-3 he knew was actually a real person, and we'd be home free. But this pair of episodes showed me that Min-kyu needs to get to know Jia as herself, because it is the only way they will finally be equals. The Pinocchio-ness (or Velveteen Rabbit-ness, if you will) of the premise has contributed to the show's beautiful fairy-tale quality, but it also means that the first time they fell in love, the power dynamic was terribly skewed ("master," "my treasure," etc.). Now that Min-kyu is just some guy who's pestering "Hong-joo" and doesn't have any special claim on her time or attention (as far as he knows), they can finally come together as "co-people" (to quote that brilliant movie, "Anchorman").

(2) I felt so, so bad for Min-kyu in this pair of episodes. He's grieving and desperate, wanting so badly for Jia to be the person he's missing. There's a bit of a moral/ethical sticky wicket here: we know that Min-kyu isn't being a real stalker, exactly, because he's actually right about what he's seeing (i.e., Jia is the person he is looking for) – but, at least according to the information available to him right now, he is totally being a stalker. For once in my life, I understand and sympathize with a person who, as far as he knows, is acting like a stalker. Poor, poor guy. This show had better make things up to him BIG TIME.

(3) Yoo Seung-ho is basically everything I could possibly ask for in life. The way he played those scenes on the train, around the island, and at the restaurant – his gentleness in his despair, the yearning quality of his hopefulness at the fact that such a creature as Jia exists – it's all almost too much for me. Min-kyu started out as a character who was often either standoffish or petulant, but now he's just kind of vulnerable and wistful. It's very emotionally affecting – and, on a shallower note, extremely attractive.

(4) After some thought, I...

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(4) After some thought, I realized that the scene where Min-kyu wipes off the little boy's face was very well-done. It made the grandmother sympathize with him, and as we can all see, he really needs that sympathy. (And man, does Grandma put her money where her sympathy is!) Also, the scene fits very well with the theme of the show, that Min-kyu is still that little boy who never had the chance to grow up – and is getting that chance now, at long, long last.

(5) I really appreciate the way that the production and costume design extend the fairy-tale-ness of the show's premise. Min-kyu lives in an Old World-looking palace and is often dressed like an updated, grown-up version of Little Lord Fauntleroy. It all goes very well with Yoo Seung-ho's choice to play Min-kyu as, at bottom, a gentle soul. (Contrast this with the costume design of "W – Two Worlds," where Kang Chul 1.0 is basically a rock star, within his universe; CEO Kang Chul is often dressed in bright colors and loud patterns, and Lee Jong-seok plays Kang Chul 1.0 with brash charm and almost-reckless confidence.)

(6) Ri-el is just unbelievable. I cannot believe that a Korean drama has a character who is honest with herself about what she wants, is forthcoming with information that is not to her own advantage ("I didn't send you those birthday cards") even though she's not at immediate risk of being caught in the lie, actually picks up on the fact that she is being treated like an object AND CALLS IT OUT, and says things like "I didn't know this about myself before, but because this is who I am, I have to accept it." WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?

(7) I would love it if Yoo-chul's machinations, and the random bumblings of the world's two most incompetent private investigators, ended up bringing the truth into the open, and bringing Min-kyu and Jia together.

(8) Baek-gyun, what the hell are you doing reading Pi's phone messages?

(9) Pi's real name is Angela. I think it's fitting because it's a pretty name and Pi is rather angelically pretty, isn't she?

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Pi is a nickname, given because of her (mathematical) status a a young genius - having skipped many grades and graduated at age 17.

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Oh, I got that it was a nickname. I remember hearing someone (Baek-gyun?) say that she was nicknamed Pi because she starts to count off the decimal places of pi whenever she’s stressed.

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dude, je t'aime, this is everything my thirsty soul needed. so glad to read your insightful thoughts!

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De rien, mon ami(e)!

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mon... ami... *ugly crying*

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And thanks for the kind words!

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The DB recappers are excellent but it is really different from actually watching the show. I do tend to watch the drama first then read the recaps. (Others do it vice versa. Different strokes for different folks.) I hope you and your sister could find the time to watch the early episodes, especially those from the first three weeks, as these are not just cute but laugh out loud funny. It's a testament to how talented YSH and CSB are as their comedic timing is also spot on, considering INAR is both their first romcom. I also loved how the drama was able to strongly develop Minkyu and Jia's relationship as the drama progressed.

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I appreciate the recommendation, thanks! And I like that you have very concrete things to recommend. Any episodes I should look out for specifically? But I guess it’s better to watch them all, right? 😁

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Haha. Yeah, I highly suggest watching them all. 😉 I was actually surprised to like INAR this much considering that I was pretty meh about it when I watched the pilot half episode. (Good thing I'm the type to give a drama at least 4 episodes to win me over.) The drama just got so cute and so addicting after. I love the LOL moments and the heart and hopefulness, anchored on the fantastic chemistry between YSH and CSB. It was just a good mix. Major props to the writing, directing and the two leads. I know that I mentioned this before but this is one of the few dramas that I watched where I felt that time just goes by so fast. I'm surprised when it's already the end. (It's fairly obvious how much I'm obsessed with INAR right now. 😅 )

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The cut at the last scene felt odd. It was abrupt and it made me think that they simply ran out of time and had to cut there 😅

Anyways, MinKyu was so stalker-ish and was reaching creepy levels in this episode but frack! How is he so adorable doing it?! I was seriously questioning myself.

I love the scene where Jia started spewing curse words and his face went from slight fear to recognition to happiness to amusement. YOO SEUNG HO'S FACIAL EXPRESSIONS!!! 💛

That scene where Jia was trying to ignore Minkyu on the train...huhu i felt her pain~ There were no words exchanged during that scene but i felt MinKyu's shock and Jia's pain :(

As for RiEl...I'm loving her~ my type of female second leads. I love that she's taking a stand for what she wants and will do with her life and going against her father and YooChul who are treating her like and object. YooChul doesnt deserve her~

Also...Is it possible that the woman with Butler Sung is Madam X?

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*an object

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Re Ri El - in a show called 'I Am Not a Robot', to have a woman being bartered over by men as a tool in their quest to control the world and for that woman to be *not a robot* but a Real Girl is just amazing. This show is amazing.

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Not quite in context but here goes (your literary quote of the day and
apologies if it has already been used):
"Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!"
Sir Walter Scott from his poem "Marmion" (1808)

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I was preoccupied earlier but I needed to talk about Ri-el in a separate post because I simply want to gush at how awesom this girl is.

Every scene of hers this episode peeled one more layer. I love how honest and real she is to others, but it’s so awesome that’s she’s so honest to herself. I think that’s one thing a lot of people lack in general. How great is it when she readily admits she might not know herself as well as she thought she did? It was quite a mature thing to say, in the most introspective way.

I love that she told Min-kyu the truth about the postcards. I didn’t think she needed to since they already broke up anyway, but I love that she did. Because she felt she wronged him somehow. And I love his answer even more. He was happy every birthday of his because of her. It was so mature on both ends and such a great way of ending a fake relationship to start a real one.

I hope Min-kyu can learn from that experience and think of every happy moment he’s experienced through Aji-3 with Jia. It’s not the same of course - the situation, the stakes, the relationship or the depth of the lie. But the ultimate result was the same. He was happy because of Jia, and he was cured because of her too. More than anything, she loves him with all her heart just as much as he loves her. And I hope he can remember his own words and find it in him to realize he’s gained so much more than he lost. He has a make shift family now, friends and someone who loves him. It’s worth a lot more than holding on to the anger he’s very entitled to. Because by forgiving everyone, he’ll be happy again and honestly, that’s all that matters.

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This episode fun and silly compared to the previous episodes and I loved it :) Despite the angst and heart-break that both min kyu and ji-a felt previously it was nice to relieve that a bit with some lighter, comedic scenes.

Bonus: yoo seung ho is soo good at acting swtiching between more serious, melo, to fun and light, and back to melo. And chae soo-bin plays her 3 roles so well too!

For 2018 dramas voting, if dramabeans has a category for underrated dramas that deserved more attention again, this one would be one of them. It will also hold as one of my fav dramas in 2018 ❣️

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So summing up, MK has met Jia as:

• Fake Aji3
• President Jo
• Inventor Jia
• Fake Hong Joo

And that's a lot of times to run into the same person and STILL not recognise the person ( IQ of 156, did he say?)

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I don’t think that has got a lot to do with IQ tho.

1. Fake Aji-3 was a robot in his mind so that’s completely out of question
2. President Jo - he met her once when she had a helmet on. He shares a love-hate relationship with the girl and is mostly his frenemy. He only ever calls her on the phone and hasn’t seen her since ep 1. Zero connection with Aji-3.
3. Inventor Jia who he spoke to when she had a crazy wig and face mask on with zero indication of being similar to both girls above.
4. Hong-joo who is the human version of his Aji-3 and someone he DOES suspect. He does recognize her on some subconscious level which is why he’s following her like this.

His IQ being 156, IMO, has got nothing to do with not identifying these girls. They came with completely different identities, two of which he’s not even seen the face of properly. And despite all that, he has chemistry with every single one of her versions. His heart is drawn into them even if his brain doesn’t compute. His situation is illogical anyway, so other than Hong-joo/Aji-3 connection, no one would think President Jo and Lamps inventor is the same person, let alone Aji-3. There needs to be a trigger, which we might get next week.

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I get this strange feeling that it would be Yoo-chul who can cure Min-kyu's illness. Afterall, it was that incident with him that MK first developed distrust towards people and had allergies. I believe there was a misunderstanding during that time and I do not think young Yoo-chul knew what the documents really meant then and also was somehow hurt in the past because MK suddenly became distant and built a sturdy around him. Of course, we cannot blame the young MK because as young as he was, he did not know how to react to that kind of situation and his body, as a self-defense mechanism, responded physiologically in the form of allergy. I don't know what I'm thinking but that is my wild guess. lol

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Thank you @TeriYaki for the recap. I was waiting for this since Thursday.😄😄

This are my best episodes so far. These episodes helps me ease the pain of waiting for the next episode. I will never get enough of Min-kyu's adorable face pining for the real Jia.

People are somewhat disappointed because of the neverending deception but then again when I can still accept the reason of everyone trying to deceive Min-kyu. Risking one's life is valid enough.

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can i just say, I really hope to see more development in Yoocheol's character? There is just so much to explore in the depths of his role in the whole situation.

1. YC could be the one who can provide the ultimate cure to MK's allergy since he was the one who caused it 15 years ago. And release MK from his agony to live happily with Ji-Ah

2. When YC overheard about Chairman Park's sudden death while his father was talking about it in the office (a few eps earlier), his face turned awry as he realised how messed up Chairman Hwang was... i mean you could tell he genuinely wasn't into his father's evil plans. Back 15 years ago, he didn't even have a single clue about those documents that he made MK sign. I truly believe that YC still wanted to keep MK close but was unduely oprressed by his greedy father that caused the strain in their friendship

3. YC also angrily told his father to "allow him to handle the situation himself" in the office, clearly upset with his father's plans of ousting Director MK

4. Lastly in the scene when MK forced YC to resign as CEO, YC confesse that he never once let go of MK

all these point out that there could be possible plot development between their friendship and how it alleviate the piling problem in the show, albeit shouldn't be highly focused on since it is the romance between ji-ah and MK that should be focused on.

However in the subsequent episode i really hope Writer-nim would bring YC back from the dark path of revenge. It would be great if YC watched the Monami leaked file and realises the allergy that MK suffered from and overthrows his own father, to find out about Chairman Park and revive his friendship w MK. Lastly, to start treasuring Ye Riel!! She's such a gem!!

actually why not ye riel, yoo cheol and MK also reunite and relive their childhood joy of being friends lol

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At first I wasn't sure about the technique but the show's habit of rewinding the previous episode a bit to provide additional information is starting to grow on me. It leaves you with the impression that there are unseen depths to the show, that we the viewer are getting *mos* of the story but there always could be more to add in every scene.

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Of course I meant to type *most* ;-)

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Question maybe I'm wrong but why did she say he didn't know her if In the beginning they did the toy selling transaction and know how each other look like ? Or did I miss something

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