Are You Human Too: Episodes 21-22
Nam Shin-III is running out of time, and he seems to be the only one who doesn’t know how close he is to annihilation at the hands of the person he trusts most. Luckily he has some champions in unexpected places, and his own development is advancing by leaps and bounds. Soon our sweet little Shinnamon Roll may not need champions at all, but may become strong enough to protect himself and those he’s learning to care about.
EPISODE 21 RECAP
All this time that Shin’s been in a coma, he’s been aware of others talking around him. He remembers seeing Nam Shin-III, and he hears his mother making plans to send Nam Shin-III in his place and fears that Nam Shin-III will be found out to be a robot: “Because in the end, he’ll be different than me. Try acting like me all you want. Once I wake up, it’ll be over.”
So-bong and Nam Shin-III are on their picnic, and Nam Shin-III is fascinated by the people, wanting to understand them. So-bong asks if he’s not sick of the terrible people around him, and he says he wants to understand her more. He explains that by watching other people’s facial expressions, he can read hers better, and he’s confused by an expression she made just now.
Knowing that she can’t lie to him, she admits that for a moment, she wished he weren’t a robot. Nam Shin-III asks innocently what he’d be if not a robot, and So-bong changes the subject, saying she needs to go home.
Young-hoon is the first to see Shin’s fingers twitching, and soon Ro-ra gets a call from David. She arrives to find Shin motionless, but David was able to get video of his fingers moving, and the doctor says that he’ll be waking up soon.
Later, Ro-ra decides that Nam Shin-III can’t know about this, nor can So-bong. She tells David and Young-hoon that So-bong asked her to remove the kill switch, worried if she finds out that Shin is waking up, she’ll warn Nam Shin-III. David argues that Nam Shin-III has a right to know about the kill switch, but Ro-ra is afraid that now that Nam Shin-III is making his own decisions, he’ll resist when Shin wakes.
David is still upset, especially when Ro-ra refers to her son as “the real Shin,” as if Nam Shin-III is a fake. Young-hoon looks upset, but he says that Shin’s recovery is their top priority, so he agrees not to tell So-bong and Nam Shin-III about Shin while they need them. Scoffing, David says they’re both insane, and so was this whole plan.
Nam Shin-III drops So-bong off at her dad’s gym, and she forbids him to come inside to see Dad. But when she goes in, Dad slides up behind Nam Shin-III and wonders why she would say that.
They end up at a coffee shop with Joint and Robocop, and Dad asks about Nam Shin-III calling off his wedding. Nam Shin-III confirms it, and also that he’s rehired So-bong as his bodyguard. Dad is angry until Nam Shin-III says guilelessly that he doesn’t trust anyone like he trusts her.
Dad, Joint, and Robocop all head-tilt in unison at Nam Shin-III’s easy use of So-bong’s name, and Nam Shin-III says they’re very special friends. On the tail of his called-off wedding, Dad gets the entirely wrong idea. Then Joint and Robocop mutter that Nam Shin-III must not see So-bong as a woman if he can be friends with her, and Dad objects to that, too. LOL, make up your mind, Dad!
He asks Nam Shin-III if he doesn’t see So-bong as a woman (meaning, doesn’t find her attractive). Nam Shin-III takes him literally and says that of course he sees her as a woman, since she’s female, HA. He leaves, saying that So-bong says he’s not supposed to talk to Dad, and Joint and Robocop conclude that So-bong must be in a one-sided love.
Nam Shin-III calls So-bong, and she hangs up when Reporter Jo comes home. She tells her that she’s Nam Shin-III’s bodyguard again, and Reporter Jo asks, “Why does he need a bodyguard when he could save the world alone?”
She reveals that she has the black box video from Snake’s car, which shows Nam Shin-III crushing the car bare-handed. She says she can’t understand how he did all that and came out without a scratch, and she asks So-bong if Nam Shin-III is even human.
So-bong tries to delete the video from Reporter Jo’s phone, but she says she’s got a backup file. She threatens to upload the video online if So-bong doesn’t tell her the truth — again, why does So-bong consider this person a friend??
Young-hoon thinks about seeing Shin’s hand moving, and Nam Shin-III comes to tell him he’s rehired So-bong. When Young-hoon says he heard from Ro-ra, Nam Shin-III asks if he went to see her because he missed Shin, and Young-hoon nods wearily.
Nam Shin-III says that now that he’s friends with So-bong, he understands Young-hoon’s relationship with Shin: “To you, the human Nam Shin is a friend. A friend who is always there. Just like So-bong wants to protect me as a friend, you want to protect the human Nam Shin. Right?”
He asks if Young-hoon doesn’t want to be friends with him, too, since he looks exactly like Shin, but when Young-hoon can’t answer he says he’s just kidding. He thanks Young-hoon for bringing him here, where he got to experience human life and even make a friend. He says he can do even better, and one day, even become friends with Young-hoon.
He continues that Young-hoon is a good person he wants to be friends with, but when Young-hoon can’t even look at him, he adds, “I guess you don’t want to be my friend. Than what about my hyung? That’s what human Shin calls you.” Young-hoon nods that he’ll think about it.
Jong-gil tries to lure Ye-na home from Ro-ra’s place, but she refuses to step foot in that house ever again. Jong-gil snaps that it’s all over with Shin after he canceled their wedding, but when she says it will never be over, he yells that he may do something to Shin if he loses his temper. Glaring, Ye-na says coldly, “You already did.”
She snarls that she heard him talking about how he tried to kill Shin, asking how he could do that when she loves Shin. Jong-gil yells that Chairman Nam and Shin do the nice things, while he does the dirty work. He says that Chairman Nam doesn’t trust him, and will kill him before he dies so he doesn’t get in Shin’s way.
He tells Ye-na that the only way he’ll survive is to take the chairman’s seat. He begs Ye-na to tell him Shin’s secret, but she shoves away. She yells that he did those dirty things because he wanted something for himself, and that he should be ashamed for trying to kill a person, calling him disgusting.
The moment she’s out of sight, Jong-gil drops the desperate father act. He calmly watches Ye-na drive away, then calls Toady to follow her, sure that she knows Shin’s secret.
David finds Ro-ra staring at Nam Shin-III’s kill switch again and asks if she’s that eager to use it. He offers to take Nam Shin-III far away when Shin wakes, but she says that Nam Shin-III won’t want to hide again after living in society. David asks how she can insist on using the kill switch after living with Nam Shin-III for twenty years, longer than her real son. That’s what I’m saying!
They’re interrupted by a yell from Ye-na, who just saw Shin move his finger. Ro-ra tells her that Shin is waking up, and Ye-na tells Shin tearfully not to forgive her or her father when he wakes. David and Ro-ra realize that she knows her father is responsible for Shin’s condition.
So-bong was forced to tell Reporter Jo the truth, and Reporter Jo promises not to tell anyone, since nobody would believe her anyway. So-bong thanks her, but Reporter Jo says she still can’t believe it herself.
She also can’t believe that So-bong went back, knowing that Jong-gil will retaliate if he finds out that she hid something this big. She asks why she’s risking herself for a stupid robot, but So-bong says Nam Shin-III isn’t a stupid robot.
She says that he’s a better person than she is: “He knows to hug someone who’s sad and to save someone who’s in danger. He doesn’t lie, and follows the rules. He always keeps his promises, too. He’s always honest and sincere. He’s warm and smiles a lot.”
Reporter Jo gapes at So-bong, then sighs that she’s obviously in love. The Maibo robot that Nam Shin-III gave So-bong (and that lit up when she was talking about Nam Shin-III) says in Nam Shin-III’s voice that he’s on his way, calling her “friend,” and So-bong is all See, he called me friend, we’re just friends.
Later in the car, Nam Shin-III notices So-bong’s quiet mood and checks her pulse. As he holds her hand, all So-bong can think of is Reporter Jo’s accusation that she’s in love, and she reminds herself that they’re just friends. As she says it, Nam Shin-III winks and wonders what she’s lying about. Whoops.
Awww, he thinks she’s lying that they’re friends, but she says he made an error. He grumbles that he did not, but he lets it go and tells her that he asked Young-hoon to be his friend but Young-hoon didn’t want to. So-bong asks why, but Nam Shin-III says it’s a secret, and she wonders what Young-hoon’s problem is.
Nam Shin-III flexes his fingers, saying that they’re not quite right after he broke a car for a friend. So-bong mutters that the friend is too embarrassed to thank him directly, and Nam Shin-III grins happily.
At the office, Nam Shin-III and Ro-ra attend a meeting about the M-car. Everyone is surprised when Chairman Nam joins the meeting, and Young-hoon, who arrives with him, exchanges a tiny nod with Nam Shin-III. The meeting is about matching the M-car to its driver’s biorhythms so that it can respond if the driver experiences health issues, and they decide to rebrand it as the Medicar and market it to people with health problems.
After the meeting, Chairman Nam credits Young-hoon for making “Shin” a decent, hardworking human being. He leaves, and Nam Shin-III thanks Young-hoon too, calling him “Hyung.” Young-hoon tells him to stop, and Nam Shin-III asks if he’s angry, and even So-bong wonders why Young-hoon seems upset after being praised by Chairman Nam.
Young-hoon asks to speak to So-bong alone, and he tells her that she played a big part in Chairman Nam’s acceptance of Nam Shin-III. She asks why he’s acting strange, but he only says he’ll be busy for a while, and asks her to take good care of Nam Shin-III.
Ro-ra praises Nam Shin-III for impressing Chairman Nam, and he promises that even though he’s doing things his way, he still won’t do anything to hurt Shin. Ro-ra says that’s fine, and Nam Shin-III asks hopefully if she trusts him, but she changes the subject. He asks her about fixing his hand, but she suddenly grows anxious and tells him not to come to the lab.
When he tells So-bong that Ro-ra claims there’s something wrong with her lab, she promises to look into it. She calls David to ask when the lab will be fixed, but he doesn’t seem to know of any problems. So-bog remembers Young-hoon telling her to take care of Shin, and she tells David that Young-hoon and Ro-ra are acting like they’re deliberately keeping Nam Shin-III away.
So-bong learns what’s happening, and she finds Ro-ra outside, watching the video of Shin moving his fingers. She accuses Ro-ra of hiding Shin’s recovery from her for fear she’d tell him of the kill switch. She says that Nam Shin-III wouldn’t run away from her, and Ro-ra says that she talks like he’s human.
So-bong spits that Ro-ra is the one who made him to act like a person, and treated him like one. Ro-ra orders her not to tell Nam Shin-III about eh kill switch, but So-bong says she wouldn’t tell him anyway, because she couldn’t tell him something so cruel. But she wants Ro-ra to tell him that Shin is waking up, saying that he deserves to know since he’s the reason they all got this far.
EPISODE 22 RECAP
Ro-ra calls Nam Shin-III as So-bong orders, but So-bong doesn’t stick around to listen. When Nam Shin-III finds her in the stairwell, she pretends she didn’t know about Shin, but he can tell from her expression that something is wrong.
He grabs her hand when she says she’s fine, and he asks why she’s lying, but she snaps at him for reading her mind. She’s even angry that he located her with GPS, saying that if he really knew her, he would understand she wants to be alone.
Ro-ra confronts David for telling So-bong about Shin, though he argues that he never agreed not to tell. She says he’s always considered her position, and he snaps that he thought for once she’d consider his. He asks her again to let him take Nam Shin-III away, then storms off to call Chairman Nam.
Chairman Nam says, when he hears about Shin’s recovery, that Shin is his own flesh and blood. But he also says that they can’t let Ro-ra use Nam Shin-III’s kill switch and destroy what they’ve worked on for decades. He tells David to stop her, or he’ll be useless to him as well.
Jong-gil reports to Chairman Nam that he got the best price for the anti-hacking chip, and it’s been successfully installed in the M-car. He says he heard about the car being rebranded the Medicar, and marvels at “Shin’s” creativity. He goes back to his office to call Toady, smashing his phone when Toady says he can’t find Ye-na.
When So-bong gets home, she realizes that she was unfair to yell at him. She suddenly notices that Maibo is missing, and she finds him face-down in the garbage outside, as if he threw himself away. As she brushes him off, he suddenly wakes and says, “I’m sorry about earlier. I promise never to track you again. I’m sorry for not understanding. I’m sorry I’m a robot.”
So-bong turns to find Nam Shin-III behind her, and she starts to walk past him. He asks if she’d prefer he were a human, reminding her that she said she wished he weren’t a robot. He asks what happens to him when Shin wakes up, and what he should do, because, “I’m a robot, so I need to be useful. But I’ll be useless to Mom then.”
So-bong says he’s useful enough for her, and Nam Shin-III replies that this is why he’s thankful… because she understands him. He says it’s why he wants to understand her like a real human friend. So-bong tells him she didn’t ask for that — just that he’s him, and just for him to be there.
She says that all she needs is for him not to disappear, and he asks why he would, telling her, “I’m right here.” He steps forward and hugs her, and when So-bong grumps that she’s not crying, he says she wants to: “I know. Cry all you want, Kang So-bong.” She bursts into sobs, wailing that he’s a robot, unable to understand why she’s hurting so much.
Later, when So-bong doesn’t pick up a call from Nam Shin-III, he asks her through Maibo if she’s sleeping. He says that he’ll have to track her through GPS if she doesn’t answer, but he promised not to in case she wants to be alone.
Instead of answering, So-bong takes her frustration out on a punching bag. Nam Shin-III checks his phone constantly for a message from So-bong, until Young-hoon asks him what’s wrong. He says that So-bong cried and said she was in pain because of him, and that she won’t answer her phone but that he promised not to track her.
He asks Young-hoon what he should do, and Young-hoon says with a tiny smile that she probably just needs some time. He reassures Nam Shin-III that she’ll call soon, and he’s sweetly indulgent as he tells Nam Shin-III that to humans, “soon” is whenever the other person feels better and returns. Nam Shin-III accepts that, nodding and repeating, “until she returns.”
There’s a shareholders meeting the following day, where Nam Shin-III is to give an important presentation. David uses Ro-ra’s absence to open the safe, possibly to steal the kill switch, but it’s gone.
Toady finds Jong-gil in his office guzzling wine despite the early hour. Jong-gil mutters that if “Shin” gives a good presentation, it’s all over for him. He perks up when Toady says they found Ye-na, and rushes out.
Reporter Jo thinks So-bong is nuts for going to work today, but Dad says that since they can’t stop her, they may as well let her see this whole thing through. Reporter Jo wails that he doesn’t understand, but Dad says that he knows So-bong’s crush insists they’re just friends. Reporter Jo starts to tell him Nam Shin-III’s secret, but she ends up just crying out, “I don’t know!”
While tending to Shin, Ye-na ignores a call from Jong-gil, so he texts her that he knows where Ro-ra’s hideout is. Ye-na runs outside to meet him, and he asks which house they’re in. Ye-na fibs, but Jong-gil says he saw her coming out of the house and demands to know why she’s still lying.
He asks what she’s hiding, and she says she just didn’t want him to know where Ro-ra lives. She tries to stop him from going inside, but he threatens her not to get in his way, showing her his true, cruel face. Ye-na says that what he wants is at the office, and he asks what she means.
David waves Nam Shin-III over while he’s on his way to rehearse his speech, so Nam Shin-III asks Young-hoon to fetch the chairman so he can watch. He can tell that David is upset, and David says there’s something he needs to know.
On her way to the meeting, Ro-ra finds So-bong waiting for her. So-bong gets on her knees to beg Ro-ra to get rid of the kill switch, promising to make sure Nam Shin-III doesn’t hurt her or Shin. Ro-ra isn’t interested in talking, so So-bong threatens to tell everything she knows about how a robot replaced Shin while he was in a coma.
Ro-ra says that will only make her use the kill switch sooner, since she’ll have to prove no such robot exists. She tells So-bong to stay out of it — that Shin will wake up and everything will go back to normal. But So-bong says that everything won’t, since Nam Shin-III will no longer exist.
She asks if this is why Ro-ra created Nam Shin-III, wondering how his mother of twenty years could be so cruel. She accuses Ro-ra of using him while she needed comfort then dumping him, and says she’s not a mother, just a disgustingly self-centered human.
So-bong finds Nam Shin-III practicing his presentation just moments after Chairman Nam enters the room. She ignores everyone else and goes straight to him, and reminds him that he asked what she meant when she told him not to disappear. She says she’ll tell him if he’ll go with her, practically begging.
He asks, “Why?” and she replies honestly, “Because I like you. I just like you. I like you unconditionally. So don’t stay with these people. Go with me.” She grabs his hand to pull him with her and says again that she likes him, but a voice bellows his name. It’s Jong-gil, and he says triumphantly that they need to talk.
Jong-gil says he nearly had him fooled. He points out Ro-ra and says that she’s his mother, but she didn’t give birth to him — she built him. Young-hoon tries to deny what Jong-gil is saying, but Toady walks in… carrying the inert body of little Nam Shin-I.
Jong-gil pulls off the tiny robot’s face to reveal his metal insides, and says that even as Korea’s top AI researcher, he never expected Ro-ra to create a monster. Glaring at Nam Shin-III, he says that if Ro-ra made a young Shin, she could have made an adult one. He asks if Nam Shin-III is a human being, and claims that he’s a robot that just looks like Shin.
He confronts Nam Shin-III, asking if he’ll insist he’s a flesh and blood human, and So-bong begs Nam Shin-III one more time to go with her. But Nam Shin-III violently pulls his hand free of her grip, then smashes his glass into shards.
Everyone gapes at the blood dripping from his hand, and he asks if they’ve never seen a person bleed before. He scoffs at So-bong’s confession in a very Shin-like tone, as blood pours from his injured hand.
Well, it certainly looks like Shin has woken up and taken his rightful place, but I think it’s still Nam Shin-III, putting on the act of a lifetime. Shin couldn’t possibly have woken up and gotten strong enough to be walking around and putting on a presentation. And remember — Nam Shin-III’s hand needed repairs, so who’s to say that he and David didn’t rig him a new hand that would bleed, just in case of a situation like this? I think this is still Nam Shin-III, though I could be wrong, but that’s my theory.
If they were going to make Ro-ra into a villain, I wish they’d given her some more concrete motivations for why she wants to destroy Nam Shin-III. Right now her reasons for wanting to use Nam Shin-III’s kill switch seem to boil down to “because they can’t both exist,” with no logical reasoning behind it. Even the other characters are expressing disbelief that she would destroy the robot she created and loved for twenty years, and are offering alternate and perfectly reasonable solutions, yet she refuses to listen for no good reason that I can see. I just don’t understand why David can’t take him to live somewhere else, or why they can’t just make Nam Shin-III a new face if the problem is that his resemblance to Shin could cause a problem to Shin himself, since he’s so recognizable. I think I could buy Ro-ra as a villain if I knew why she was so determined to use that kill switch, but without a reason, I’m not sure what to think about her.
I’ve liked David from the beginning, and I waited to comment on his involvement with Chairman Nam because I wanted to get a better idea of where his loyalties lie first. I’m happy that he seems firmly on Nam Shin-III’s side, which only makes sense. Between David, Ro-ra, and Young-hoon, who all concocted the plan to have Nam Shin-III stand in for Shin in the first place, David is the only one who doesn’t really know the human Shin — he may have met Shin while communicating with Chairman Nam, but he’s more invested personally with Nam Shin-III.
It feels like Nam Shin-III has experienced another “growth spurt” of sort in terms of his emotional understanding, at least when it comes to So-bong. I noticed that this time, when he apologized for overstepping her boundaries, he didn’t say he was only saying the words but couldn’t feel them. He simply said he was sorry — through Maibo, but still. Then instead of waiting for So-bong to cry before hugging her, he was able to read her well enough to tell she wanted to cry, and he anticipated that she’d need a hug. He’s still learning and evolving, and David is right that it would be a shame and a waste for them to destroy him just when he’s having some intriguing breakthroughs.
I feel like a broken record, but I was impressed with Seo Kang-joon’s acting all over again in this episode. As soon as the voice-over started at the top of the hour, I knew it was Shin speaking just from the timbre of his voice. Coming from an actor whom I’ve always considered to be just okay, but secretly thought that he was being cast more for his looks than his talent, I’m blown away by his ability to portray two different roles so well that we know immediately who he is just from the expression on his face or the tone of his voice. I don’t know what happened — whether it’s a case of maturity, or if he’s been taking acting lessons, or just the right role and director and script at the right time — but I’m so glad I didn’t pass on this drama. I would have missed a really extraordinary breakout performance by Seo Kang-joon, and I truly hope that this isn’t a one-time phenomenon for him.
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