Are You Human Too: Episodes 23-24
It’s beginning to feel like more people know Nam Shin-III’s secret than not, but there are still very dangerous reasons to keep his very existence a secret. Unfortunately, there’s danger from multiple directions, yet somehow Nam Shin-III doesn’t let it interfere with his growing relationship with So-bong. There’s only one person who could do that, and Nam Shin-III will have to rise to the occasion when his true enemy finally shows their face.
EPISODE 23 RECAP
While Ye-na was crying over Shin’s bedside, he’d woken up and shushed her before she could call out to anyone. She’s the only one who knew he’d been faking his coma for some time, and when they were alone, they’d planned to lure Jong-gil here by having Ye-na turn on her phone.
When Jong-gil showed up at Ro-ra’s hideout, Ye-na told him that what he wanted was at the office — a robot that looks just like Shin. She’d given him the body of Nam Shin-I, not at all sorry to be tricking her father this way.
David stopped Nam Shin-III before the presentation, but he’d changed his mind and said he’d see him at home. Ye-na called Nam Shin-III and told him that her father found her and was on his way to the hideout. She’d asked him to come help her move Shin, and he’d gone, not suspecting a thing.
Ye-na drove Shin to the office and helped him inside, where he and Jong-gil had their showdown. So it was Shin who smashed the glass and bled to prove he’s human, then sneered at So-bong for confessing. The first thing she thinks of is Nam Shin-III’s kill switch, and she runs out in a panic.
Shin says coolly that they’ll have to postpone the presentation because of his hand. He turns to leave, but before he gets out of the room, he passes out cold.
So-bong calls Nam Shin-III, who’s at the hideout, and he tells her that Shin is gone. She screams at him to get out of there and meet her where they rode bikes, and not to talk to anyone.
David reports to Chairman Nam that he can’t convince Ro-ra to give up on the kill switch. Chairman Nam is more concerned about what just happened in the presentation room, but it’s the first David has heard that Shin is awake. He calls Nam Shin-III, who doesn’t answer his phone, so David goes after him.
When So-bong sees Nam Shin-III, she visibly relaxes and says in a wobbly voice that she thought he’d disappeared. He says that he waited for her to come to him, without checking her GPS or calling, and she grabs him in a hug. She tells him over and over not to go anywhere, and he’s confused, but he returns her hug.
Shin is back in bed and unconscious while Ro-ra yells at Ye-na for not telling anyone that Shin was awake. The doctor says that he’s far from recovered, and that he may slip in and out of consciousness. Ro-ra just barely manages not to kick Ye-na out, but Young-hoon stops them from berating her and says that what’s important is that Shin woke up.
So-bong leads Nam Shin-III by the wrist, with no plan beyond “get far away.” He asks brightly if the human Shin is like he portrayed him, and So-bong snaps, “He’s nothing like you.” Nam Shin-III wants to meet him, but So-bong forcefully forbids it, startling them both.
Young-hoon calls Nam Shin-III, but So-bong answers without saying anything. Young-hoon tells Nam Shin-III (he thinks) to go to the hospital and pretend to be Shin recuperating. So-bong says that won’t be happening because she can’t trust them not to do something to Nam Shin-III, but Young-hoon asks her to go to the hospital now and they’ll discuss things later.
In the background, Ro-ra barks that there’s nothing to discuss. She grabs the phone and demands So-bong let her speak to Nam Shin-III, but David grabs the phone from her to promise So-bong that nothing will happen to Nam Shin-III, and that he needs to speak with her.
When he hangs up, Ro-ra objects, but David demands she tell him where she hid the kill switch. She says she’s already decided to be a bad mother, and that regardless of how special Nam Shin-III is to him, she has no choice. David yells that this is about her, and asks if she really won’t care when Nam Shin-III is gone after all the years she spent with him.
He says that even if Nam Shin-III is a robot, he cared for Ro-ra, and getting rid of him won’t mean he never existed. He tells Ro-ra that if Nam Shin-III made her think of her son when she looked at him, then looking at Shin will remind her of Nam Shin-III the same way, and he storms out disgusted.
At the hospital, Nam Shin-III plays his memory of So-bong hugging him on the television when she asks what he’s staring into space for. She blocks the TV and tells him to turn it off, embarrassed. Nam Shin-III asks if she cried this time because she was happy that her friend didn’t disappear, but So-bong says he’s not her friend anymore.
Nam Shin-III thinks she’s saying she doesn’t like him anymore, awww. But So-bong clarifies, “It’s because I like you… not as a friend, but as a human man.” Nam Shin-III points out that he’s not a human man, but So-bong says she likes him more than she likes any human man, and offers him her hand if he thinks she’s lying.
He checks, and asks if she’s talking about the chemical reaction called love. She nods, and he gets all interested in whether she’s releasing dopamine, or oxytocin, or endorphins… So-bong tells him she doesn’t know, she only knows she wants to be with him, and they agree that emotions are hard.
Nam Shin-III hugs So-bong, who hugs him back and asks if he feels anything, and he whispers, “Not yet. I’m sorry.” She says it’s okay, that she doesn’t like him because she expects something in return. She gives Nam Shin-III her locket, saying that her mother told her to give it to someone she wants to give her heart to. Nam Shin-III touches the locket and smiles.
They’re joined by David, who asks So-bong to speak alone. He tells her that Ro-ra won’t use the kill switch for now, since Shin still isn’t well enough to resume his life. He says that Nam Shin-III can’t run away because it can be activated remotely, and they can’t just break it because that would automatically activate it.
The only thing to do is turn Nam Shin-III off so it won’t work if it’s activated, but that makes him essentially a walking corpse. So-bong gets an idea, saying cryptically, “To gain a life, I have to risk a life.”
When Shin wakes again, he ignores Ye-na to look at Ro-ra for the first time. Young-hoon pulls Ye-na from the room to give them privacy, but when Ro-ra reaches to touch Shin’s face, he turns away from her coldly. He asks if she really considered “that thing” her son, and she explains that she made Nam Shin-III thinking of him, and brought him here to help Shin.
He asks to see Young-hoon, who seems hugely relieved to see Shin awake and asks why he didn’t tell anyone when he first woke up. Shin doesn’t answer, he only says that he wants to know what happened while he was unconscious. He tells Young-hoon to bring Nam Shin-III to him tomorrow, curious about his clone.
Young-hoon says there’s no need since Nam Shin-III will be sent away once he’s better. He adds that Shin will feel weird, but Shin retorts that it’s more likely Young-hoon who will feel weird.
Nam Shin-III is gone when Young-hoon arrives at the hospital to get him. Ro-ra immediately assumes that So-bong took Nam Shin-III to the media to expose them, only for So-bong to arrive just then. She’d asked Nam Shin-III to trust her and not ask questions, then removed his battery. She’d hugged him as he’d powered down, then left him in David’s care.
She brings Ro-ra all of his extra watch batteries, and tells her that she’s deactivated him and hid him somewhere safe. Ro-ra has the nerve to say that this is insulting to Nam Shin-III, but So-bong says it’s more insulting to activate his kill switch and destroy him.
She asks why Ro-ra is so upset when she just made things easier for her. She says she’s here to negotiate, and demands that Ro-ra hand over Nam Shin-III’s kill switch. Ro-ra refuses, telling her to just keep Nam Shin-III powered off forever.
She knows So-bong can’t do that because she cares for him, so So-bong snaps, “Then just activate it. But you’ll become a murderer. Because you’ll kill me, too.” She says she’ll stay by Nam Shin-III as long as he’s powered on, so when he explodes, she’ll die with him.
Ro-ra calls So-bong reckless, but she says that Nam Shin-III is the reckless one because he saved her life, scolded anyone who disrespected her, and stayed up with her when she was injured. She says they promised to protect each other, and although she’s not as smart or strong as Nam Shin-III, she’ll do what it takes to keep that promise.
She says sadly that this was her last resort, but it didn’t work, and she starts collecting all of Nam Shin-III’s batteries. But Ro-ra asks if she can promise to take responsibility for Nam Shin-III, saying that it won’t be easy, and So-bong says she’s scared but willing. Ro-ra gives her the kill switch, and she tries to hide it as Ye-na comes to say that Shin wants to see her.
He remembers So-bong as the guard he hit at the airport, and he tells her to bring Nam Shin-III to him. He asks why So-bong didn’t bring him today, and wonders what secrets she and Ro-ra were discussing. Ro-ra tells So-bong to bring Nam Shin-III just for a short visit, so she calls David.
Nam Shin-III arrives, and for the second time, he and Shin find themselves staring into their own face.
EPISODE 24 RECAP
Shin makes Nam Shin-III imitate him, fascinated by the resemblance. He tells Nam Shin-III to say something, so Nam Shin-III introduces himself and says that he knows Shin well from the information about him stored in his memory banks. Shin calls that unfair since he knows nothing about Nam Shin-III, so Nam Shin-III invites him to ask.
Shin tells him to prove he’s a robot, so Nam Shin-III invites him to touch him, since his skin feels slightly different than human skin. Shin slaps his hand away, so instead, Nam Shin-III plays videos of himself as Nam Shin-I and Nam Shin-II onto a laptop screen. Shin sees that they looked like his younger self.
Nam Shin-III says that the videos also show a side to Ro-ra that Shin doesn’t know. He shows Shin video of Ro-ra smiling at himself, then crying over Shin’s prone body after his accident. Shin tells him to turn it off, but Nam Shin-III says that there’s no need to feel threatened because he’s only a robot.
He says he came to help Shin, and Shin gets a sly expression on his face as he asks if Nam Shin-III will continue helping him. Nam Shin-III agrees happily, so Shin says he’ll give it some thought. Oh, this seems very bad.
When So-bong sees Nam Shin-III again, she gives him a once-over to check if he’s okay. He tells her that Shin asked him to keep helping him, but that he Ro-ra doesn’t seem to want to see him. So-bong says she’s sure that’s not true, and she thanks Nam Shin-III for doing as she asked without asking questions.
David meets up with Chairman Nam in Nam Shin-III’s server room, kill switch in hand. He asks Chairman Nam to let him stay until he figures out how to destroy it, and they agree that neither of them wants the kill switch used. David says that his reason is love while Chairman Nam’s is greed, but that the greedier Chairman Nam grows, the safer Nam Shin-III will be.
So-bong takes Nam Shin-III home to stay for a few days, and the first thing Dad Notices is that Nam Shin-III is wearing So-bong’s locket. Nam Shin-III admits that he’s staying here because he wants to know more about So-bong, and Robocop chuckles that it doesn’t look like one-sided love after all.
Reporter Jo wants to speak to Nam Shin-III privately, and So-bong nods for him to go. He tells Reporter Jo that he knows she knows, and gives her permission to look all she wants. The first thing she tells him to do is strip, since she’s dying of curiosity and he should have no sense of shame.
But when Nam Shin-III agreeably starts undoing his pants, she chickens out and shrieks at him to stop. She asks if he really has no emotions, and he says he comprehends them, but can’t feel them. Still curious about his body, Reporter Jo kneads his muscles, and of course Dad walks in just as she’s feeling up his pecs.
Dad yells at them both — Reporter Jo for feeling up So-bong’s man, and Nam Shin-III for being too easy. He starts to kick Reporter Jo out of the house, so she reveals that Nam Shin-III isn’t human. Dad thinks she’s being facetious, but she’s all, No, seriously, he’s a robot! Dad just smacks her upside the head and tells her to move out in the morning.
Later, So-bong tells Nam Shin-III she’ll clear up the misunderstanding. She’s got him bedded down in the boxing ring even though he doesn’t sleep, and he scoots over and invites her to sit. He notices that she looks sleepy, and she admits it was a stressful day.
Growing serious, Nam Shin-III comments that Shin doesn’t seem happy to be awake, because his smile didn’t go to his eyes and he spoke coldly about Ro-ra. So-bong pouts that she only has the luxury of worrying about herself, but when Nam Shin-III asks what’s bothering her, she just says she’s not reliable enough to be responsible for someone else.
Nam Shin-III asks who she has to be responsible for, but So-bong succumbs to her exhaustion and nods off on his shoulder. He takes advantage of the opportunity to study her features, until she suddenly wakes again, and her cheeks grow pink. Nam Shin-III asks if it’s because of him, but she pulls her hand from his and lies that she was just surprised.
Shin wakes up when Young-hoon returns, and he tells Young-hoon that he saw “that thing” today. He admits he was shocked at how much Nam Shin-III resembled him, and he asks Young-hoon if he was ever confused by Nam Shin-III, since he knows Shin best. Young-hoon says he wasn’t, but Shin knows it’s a lie, having heard Young-hoon say he feels sorry for Nam Shin-III when he thought Shin was still in his coma.
Dad brings Nam Shin-III an extra blanket, muttering that he must really like So-bong to sleep here instead of at his palatial home. As he’s tucking Nam Shin-III in, he sees the watch battery, and he looks thoughtful. Uh-oh.
In the morning, So-bong is woken by Dad, Joint, and Robocop frantically performing chest compressions on Nam Shin-III, frightened that he died since he isn’t breathing. So-bong finds his watch battery missing, and Dad admits he took it off since it looked uncomfortable. So-bong forbids them to call an ambulance and demands they bring the watch.
Reporter Jo produces it, and kicks out Robocop and Joint, but insists that Dad stay. So-bong replaces Nam Shin-III’s battery and he powers up, introducing himself as AI robot Nam Shin-III and making Dad scream and pass out. Dad wakes later and immediately starts whacking So-bong, so Reporter Jo sends her out for some sedatives.
Nam Shin-III apologizes to So-bong for shocking Dad, but she says it’s not his fault he’s not human and that she likes him. She says they won’t be sorry anymore, and that whenever they feel sorry, he has to grant her a wish. This time, she says she wants to go for a walk holding hands, and Nam Shin-III is happy to grant her wish.
He waits outside the pharmacy while So-bong goes inside, watching some girls giving away prizes on the street. So-bong catches him checking out their long legs and smacks him for it, but he innocently reminds her that she told him it looked strange for him to ignore pretty girls. She wails that that was back then, her face going red again, and Nam Shin-III gleefully identifies her emotion as jealousy.
Instead of apologizing, Nam Shin-III offers to grant her another wish. He hugs her, and when she shoves him, he gives her a kiss on the forehead instead. She pinks up again and walks away, grumbling that he’s crazy.
He gets a call from Shin, who reminds Nam Shin-III of he promised to help him. He texts So-bong that he’s going to help Shin and will be back soon.
Ro-ra waits in a coffee shop, where she’s joined by Nam Shin-III. She tells him she needs to hurry this up and get back to Shin, so he asks if he can stay after Shin recovers. Ro-ra says that if that’s what this is about, the conversation is over, and Nam Shin-III’s eyes change as he listens to a communication from Shin.
Shin tells him to ask if he’s the only thing that matters to her, and if Nam Shin-III is really nothing. Shin sneers at Ro-ra’s hesitation, then she answers that this is why she regrets making Nam Shin-III. She says that every time she looked at him she thought of Shin, and she tells Nam Shin-III to leave and never come back, because if he does, she’ll die.
They’re the exact same words that young Shin said to push Ro-ra away all those years ago. But Shin remembers that he said them to save her from being hurt by Chairman Nam, and he has his answer — she’s trying to protect Nam Shin-III.
Ro-ra continues, telling Nam Shin-III to go whine to So-bong. Nam Shin-III also knows she’s lying, after having read her expressions and listened to her voice for over twenty years. He says that he knows Shin is more important to her because he’s her blood, so she shouldn’t feel bad.
He tells her, “Thank you for everything, Mom. For creating and watching over me. I’ll remember that.” He stands and bows to her, then turns to go, but she stops him. She says he’s wiser and greater than his creator, and tells him to protect So-bong instead of her, now.
After Nam Shin-III leaves, he calls So-bong, but she doesn’t answer. She’s with Shin, demanding to know what he made Nam Shin-III do, and he asks if she doesn’t communicate with Nam Shin-III since she likes him. She says her liking Nam Shin-III has nothing to do with him, and he grumbles that he didn’t hit her hard enough at the airport.
She glares, and Shin asks nastily if she hates him because he’s human. She snaps back, “No, I hate you because you’re not human.” That infuriates Shin, and he looms over So-bong, then grabs her roughly by the wrist.
Nam Shin-III arrives right on time, and seeing Shin with his hands on So-bong, he storms over and pulls her away. He glowers at Shin, then turns to So-bong to ask, “I must get you away from him. Is this jealousy?”
YES, a real, true emotion! Nam Shin-III is definitely jealous, and probably angry as well. I’d argue that it’s not the first time by a long shot, but that he just didn’t know that he was feeling anything. He’s always been told he doesn’t have emotions and he had no reason not to trust what he was told, but I haven’t bought into that for quite a while. I don’t think he experiences emotions like humans do, but I do think he experiences something. I can’t wait to see what other feelings Nam Shin-III discovers now that he’s identified an honest-to-goodness emotion.
I didn’t like Shin at the start of the show, and I double don’t like him now. I get that he’s lived a difficult life, losing his father and ripped from his mother all in one fell swoop, then being forced to tell his mother to leave him behind to save her life. He was raised by a cold, manipulative grandfather who always found him lacking, then when he finally takes control and tries to find Ro-ra, he ends up in a coma and wakes to find that his mother made a robot that took over his life. It’s no wonder he’s surly and angry, but there’s something else that makes me feel like there’s also something deeply wrong about him.
I’m beginning to think that Shin may be the real danger here, not Jong-gil. His eyes are sometimes emptier than Nam Shin-III’s, which makes me worry about what he’s thinking and planning. That sneer when he asked if Nam Shin-III would keep helping him concerns me, because we don’t know much about Shin as an adult, so we can’t guess what he might be planning and what he’s capable of. He doesn’t know Nam Shin-III as anything but a replacement for him, made by his mother, and he’s doubtless feeling all kinds of things like anger, jealousy, and resentment. Shin is prone to lashing out at whatever upsets him, so I’m scared he’s going to lash out at Nam Shin-III and do something terrible. At best he’s acting like a spoiled child, but at worst, he could do some real damage if he wanted to.
I feel so bad for Nam Shin-III and So-bong, even as I’m glad that So-bong admitted her feelings for Nam Shin-III, because they have a tough road ahead. Even if all of the family drama and kill switch anxiety didn’t exist, So-bong finds herself in the position of teaching a (presumably) emotionless robot about love, with no guarantee of being loved in return. But I think it’s wonderful that she accepts him as he is, including what he can give her on an emotional level, and it’s sweet how patient she is with him when he’s trying to figure out what it means to feel.
At least he’s a willing student, and he wants to feel emotions like human love, though I still maintain that he feels something or he wouldn’t be so attached to So-bong already. He worries about her, thinks about her, and puts her first at all times. He says over and over again that he wants to get to know her better, and does whatever he can to learn more about her. If that’s not the very definition of someone falling in love, I don’t know what is. Nam Shin-III may never be able to experience human love, because he’s not capable of producing the hormones that humans in love produce, that create those deliciously intense feelings. But in his own way, Nam Shin-III does love So-bong — all he has to do now is realize it.
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