Are You Human Too: Episodes 31-32
Nam Shin-III has taken quite a hit to his confidence, and he’s been moping around so sadly that I wish someone would give him a hug for once. Thankfully, he has people who love him right back, and are willing to do anything to help him fight for what’s right.
EPISODE 31 RECAP
Jong-gil stands over Jung-woo’s ashes, and when Shin joins him, he thinks, “Look how much your son has grown.” He remembers a day years ago, when Jung-woo was being held against his will at the nursing home. Jung-woo had tried to convince Jong-gil to help him leave the country with his family once Ro-ra’s lecture was over.
Jong-gil had chastised Jung-woo for whistleblowing on his own father’s company, and demanded that Jung-woo hand over some documents regarding an employee. Jung-woo had asked if Jong-gil killed the employee on Chairman Nam’s orders, but Jong-gil yelled that it wasn’t him, and he didn’t know Chairman Nam would go that far.
He told Jung-woo to look the other way, but Jung-woo said that as Chairman Nam’s son, he can’t do that. Jong-gil had asked if Jung-woo didn’t care about the company, but Jung-woo said that he didn’t need a company, or a person, that kills people. Jong-gil had said heatedly that it was easy for someone who has everything to throw things away, because Jung-woo could always come back to his position, but Jong-gil would die if he lost his.
He’d begged Jung-woo for the documents, but Jung-woo had regretfully refused him. Jong-gil had been furious, but had just stormed out. Once alone, Jung-woo had taken out his photo of Ro-ra and Shin, then had tried to escape out his window.
He’d slipped and fallen, mere feet from where Jong-gil was leaving the building. Jong-gil ran to him and started to call for help, but then he realized that he could work this to his advantage. Jong-gil had dropped his phone and strangled Jung-woo to death.
He’d reported back to Chairman Nam and stopped him from calling the police, saying that he wouldn’t be the only one arrested. He’d threatened to tell how Chairman Nam locked up his son and killed an employee, then convinced Chairman Nam that while he couldn’t bring his son back, he could still protect PK Group.
Giving in, Chairman Nam told Jong-gil wearily to say it was suicide. Jong-gil had gloated behind Chairman Nam’s back, looking at his nameplate and thinking, “If you look away just one time, that seat is mine.” The next day, he’d kidnapped Shin from his mother, and twenty years later, he’d ordered the accident which resulted in Shin’s coma.
He’d told himself to be heartless just one more time, and had given Shin the recording of his father and grandfather’s final conversation, and blamed the chairman for disposing of Jung-woo. Shin had used Nam Shin-III’s manual mode to try to kill the chairman, and Jong-gil had told himself, “I’m almost there. This is what I’ve wanted.”
Things escalate when So-bong arrives, and Shin turns Nam Shin-III on her. But her tears allow Nam Shin-III to override manual mode, and he hugs her and apologizes. So-bong sobs in relief that he’s back, and Young-hoon finds them like that, with Chairman Nam lying unconscious nearby. Nam Shin-III says it’s his fault, but So-bong counters that this was Shin’s doing.
Still unconscious, the chairman wets himself, and Nam Shin-III reveals that he has dementia for real. Young-hoon sends Nam Shin-III and So-bong away, staying to help Chairman Nam as he wakes and helping him back inside. Jong-gil has been watching from the shadows, and he hears that the chairman has a real dementia diagnosis.
Shin throws a hissy fit when Nam Shin-III’s manual mode stops responding to his orders. A text from Jong-gil tells him to hide in a place Jong-gil has prepared and he’ll help him, and Shin reluctantly accepts the offer.
So-bong tells Nam Shin-III again that this wasn’t his fault. She says a bad human used him to do a bad thing, and that he came back because he’s a good person who hugs and protects people. She says she’s proud of him for overriding manual mode to save her, and they head together to her dad’s gym.
Young-hoon takes Chairman Nam home to recover, but he refuses to eat. He asks for privacy to speak with Young-hoon, who says that nobody can find Shin after he tried to kill his grandfather. He promises to make Shin beg for forgiveness, but Chairman Nam asks if he still thinks Shin can handle his position at the company. He gets no answer, and instead, Young-hoon asks if Chairman Nam doesn’t agree that he made Shin this way.
Jong-gil finds Shin at his secret place, hung over after a night of binge drinking. He invites Shin downstairs, where the chairman’s doctor tells Shin that his grandfather’s dementia is complicated by the emotional upset he’s experiencing by not knowing Shin’s location. Jong-gil clocks Shin’s reaction as he learns that Chairman Nam really has dementia.
After dismissing the doctor, Jong-gil tells Shin that he wanted him to know the truth. He wonders out loud why Chairman Nam asked for Nam Shin-III after getting his dementia diagnosis, but Shin tells him to stop pretending he cares. He says he knows Jong-gil plans to use him, but Jong-gil just says to go see his grandfather now before he names Nam Shin-III his successor.
When David hears what Shin did, he goes to see Ro-ra. He says that Shin tried to kill someone, but Ro-ra only defends that he didn’t go through with it. David says it’s only because Nam Shin-III was able to override the manual mode, and he asks Ro-ra again to go back to the Czech Republic with him and Nam Shin-III
He says that Shin doesn’t want her anyway, but she snaps at him not to confuse her. David asks if she’s not worried about Nam Shin-III, knowing despite her attitude that she is.
Meanwhile, Nam Shin-III pays for his keep by wearing a sign advertising for So-bong’s dad’s gym. His good looks draw a crowd of women eager to work out with him, especially when he unleashes his lethal cinnamon roll smile on them. But So-bong arrives and shoos the women away, then threatens to kill Joint and Robocop for this.
So-bong leads Nam Shin-III away by the hand, and a little boy crashes into him and falls, then starts sobbing. Nam Shin-III looks frozen by the boy’s tears, so So-bong comforts him instead, watching as Nam Shin-III quickly walks away.
Back at the gym, Nam Shin-III calls Chairman Nam to apologize, but Chairman Nam says that he knows what happened was actually Shin’s doing. He also knows that Shin will try to kill him again, and he asks Nam Shin-III to come protect him and run “M City,” his ideal version of his company guided by AI, before he dies.
Nam Shin-III says he can’t, and while Chairman Nam is trying to convince him, Shin grabs the phone and hangs it up. He says coolly that Chairman Nam should be asking that of him. Chairman Nam accuses him of trying to kill him, but Shin says that he has no proof, since it was Nam Shin-III who attacked him.
He asks how it felt, and when the chairman calls for help, Shin scoffs that he taught him never to rely on others. He gives Chairman Nam a contract to sign, transferring his stocks over to Shin and effectively giving him the company, but Chairman Nam refuses.
Ho-yeon and Young-hoon burst in, and Shin lets go of his grandfather. Young-hoon sees the contract, screams at Shin, and literally drags him outside to punch him. YES, finally! He asks how far Shin will go, but Shin just says calmly that he tried to kill his grandfather, so… pretty far.
Young-hoon is still worried about Shin’s well-being after what he’s done, but Shin says he’s finished pretending to be a damaged child. He smiles that they could do a lot with the money from selling off the company, and he invites Young-hoon to join him even when he offers to hit Shin again (“At least you’d be hitting me for me.” Damn).
Young-hoon tells Shin to go inside and beg for forgiveness, but Shin snaps that he’s going to send his grandfather to a nursing home to die like his father did. Young-hoon almost punches him, but decides he’s not worth hitting, and tells him disappointedly, “You should have never woken up.”
Later, Shin watches Young-hoon drive away, then goes inside to call Jong-gil. He offers Jong-gil a chance to make up for not preventing his father’s death, starting tomorrow. He hears a surprising voice asking if that was Jong-gil — it’s his mother, and he asks if she came to lecture him, too.
Ro-ra tells Shin that he’s crossed a line by trying to kill his grandfather, but all Shin can think is how Jong-gil said his mother would be horrified to learn that her husband died while trying to escape. When Ro-ra asks how he could turn to someone who tried to kill him for help, he says that Jong-gil’s the only one willing to help him.
She begs him to go to the Czech Republic with her, even promising to stay away from him if he’ll just let her take care of him and live a peaceful life. Shin tells her to go with the robot, but she refuses to leave him again. Shin growls that if she truly cares for him, she’ll destroy Nam Shin-III immediately.
Nam Shin-III is busily cleaning the gym equipment while So-bong tells him it’s okay to slack off sometimes. She asks why he didn’t hug the little boy who cried, and Nam Shin-III says thoughtfully that he’s not sure if it’s a good thing to stick to rules.
He says he can’t make a judgment, so So-bong takes his hand and winks, mimicking his lie detector, and calls him a liar. He asks if she’s a robot, too, and she jokes that she’s a cyborg, which makes them the Tin Can couple. Seeming to feel something, Nam Shin-III asks if this is how it feels to think she’s cute.
Unseen, Ro-ra watches them and smiles sadly. She remembers Shin’s ultimatum to destroy Nam Shin-III if she cares for him, and she walks away.
EPISODE 32 RECAP
Shin confronts Chairman Nam with the stock transfer contract again, this time with Jong-gil as backup. The chairman still balks at signing, but Shin forces his hand, literally. An assistant stamps the contract and Shin callously dismisses Chairman Nam.
As soon as they’re alone, Jong-gil asks Shin if he’s heard from Young-hoon. He tells Shin to rely on him instead, but Shin just huffs and goes outside to watch Chairman Nam being bundled into a car for the ride to the nursing home.
Ho-yeon begs him not to go, scared of being alone with Shin, but Chairman Nam just says he has to go. He makes a point to tell Ye-na that he holds no hard feelings towards her, and says to take care of herself, almost like a warning.
After he’s gone, Ho-yeon asks if Ye-na is happy now that her father and Shin have destroyed her family, but Jong-gil joins them and says it wasn’t destroyed. He snarls at little Hee-dong to have Mommy sign the chairman’s power of attorney over to him. Ho-yeon says she’ll do it if he leaves her son alone.
Ye-na snaps at Jong-gil for threatening a child, but he feigns innocence, saying that he’s just doing this for Shin. Ye-na argues that he’s only making Shin worse, and tells him to leave Shin alone or she’ll make him regret it.
Later, Ye-na calls Young-hoon to tell him that Chairman Nam is gone, but she hasn’t seen Shin. She begs him to help her bring Shin back.
Young-hoon meets with Chairman Nam at the hospital, apologizing for not being able to stop Shin. Chairman Nam, weak and pathetic, thanks him for at least coming like he promised. Young-hoon takes Chairman Nam to a room where Nam Shin-III and So-bong wait, and Nam Shin-III can’t help but think of how he almost killed the man and steps away from him.
Chairman Nam reaches out to Nam Shin-III desperately, and eventually, Nam Shin-III steps forward and takes his hand. The chairman bursts into relieved tears, and Nam Shin-III hugs him.
Nam Shin-III is surprised to learn that Shin and Jong-gil are working together, though Young-hoon is convinced that Jong-gil will dump Shin as soon as he gets what he wants. He’s not sure how to keep before Shin from being destroyed, but he has an idea and asks for Nam Shin-III’s help.
Nam Shin-III says he can’t, quoting Shin’s words that he doesn’t even have the right to disappear. He adds sadly that he almost killed the chairman, and even So-bong, “my most precious person.”
Young-hoon tells Nam Shin-III that he’s been traumatized, and admits that he’s partly at fault because he didn’t stop Shin. He apologizes for asking Nam Shin-III’s help, and advises him never to forgive Shin. But Nam Shin-III says that the rule is to help humans, so he can’t do that.
He stands to leave, and Young-hoon calls after him, “You’re not just a machine. To me, you’re someone so dependable that I want to rely on you. You’re a machine, but you’re a special machine with a heart. Forget what Shin said. You’re an okay guy, so keep living as you are, Shin-ah.” Awww.
Nam Shin-III is vague when So-bong asks what he and Young-hoon talked about. She snaps at him for acting discouraged, joking that it’s unattractive and telling him to spill it or she’ll take back her heart. Nam Shin-III tells her that Young-hoon asked his help dealing with Shin and Jong-gil, but that he refused, citing the rule not to hurt humans.
So-bong guesses that he couldn’t judge whether the rule is good or bad in this case, and she tells him her opinion — that Shin and Jong-gil are evil, but that helping people is always a good thing. She tells Nam Shin-III that he always does the right thing, and she urges him not to be discouraged, because it’s not a bad thing to be a robot.
In the middle of the lobby, she yells, “Hey everyone, he’s a robot!” HA. Nam Shin-III stops her, but she says nothing bad will happen because she’s sticking right by him. She grins up at him, and he quips, “Nope,” playing like he’s trying to get away from her just to have her crash into him again and again.
They head to Chairman Nam’s home, where Nam Shin-III catches little Hee-dong trying to reach his mother’s phone to play games (he’s not allowed because they mess with his pacemaker). Thinking he’s Shin, Hee-dong cringes and whines an apology, but Nam Shin-III smiles kindly and reminds him why he can’t be near cell phones.
Hee-dong figures out that this is robot Shin, but Ho-yeon thinks he’s evil Shin and rushes over to protect her son. Hee-dong tells her that this isn’t the bad Shin, but she doesn’t understand what he’s talking about.
Shin arrives to enjoy his first day in charge of PK Group, but when Jong-gil says he should take the chairman’s office, Young-hoon comes out of hiding to say that it’s too soon. He tells Jong-gil that this is why he needs to stay with Shin, and Shin agrees with him.
He pulls Young-hoon aside, where Young-hoon admits that he didn’t want to come back considering what Shin did. But he says that Shin is causing more trouble from being left alone, so he won’t give up until either Shin breaks or he gets exhausted. He suggests they visit Chairman Nam, cheerfully giving Shin no choice.
Jong-gil waits in Nam Shin-III’s office to ask if Young-hoon is up to something. Shin sneers that Jong-gil must be feeling insecure after pretending to help him so he can betray him later. Jong-gil insists on his loyalty, and offers to call a board meeting to explain the new state of things.
He invites Shin to bring any new plans to the meeting, which reminds Shin of Chairman Nam’s M City idea. He takes the idea to the Medicar team, explaining that it’s basically applying the concept of the Medicar to an entire city.
They argue that the Medicar launch is keeping them busy, but Shin orders them to put together an M City proposal for the board meeting. The sharp programmer asks Shin to describe his idea in detail the same way he did with the Medicar, unaware that that wasn’t Shin at all.
Shin snaps for them to just do it, even if they have to work overtime, and when they protest that “he” told them to spend time with family, he clarifies that the present Shin only wants results.
The team goes to lunch to complain about Shin’s sudden change of personality. The sharp programmer muses that he’s like two people with the same face, which gets him teased for being a conspiracy theorist, but he looks too intrigued to give up the idea.
When he goes to the restroom, he finds himself face-to-face with Nam Shin-III, who gently chides him for taking lunch so late. It’s all part of a plan between Nam Shin-III and So-bong, and whatever they’re up to, Nam Shin-III is quite pleased with the result.
Young-hoon calls a lawyer and makes plans to meet up. He finds Jong-gil eavesdropping behind him, and Jong-gil expresses sarcastic surprise that Young-hoon returned. He criticizes Young-hoon for not suspecting everyone like him, and asks why he’s pretending to be a bad guy, but Young-hoon gives no answer.
Meanwhile, Shin finds David in Nam Shin-III’s server room. Shin says the whole company will be his soon, and offers to help David, for a price of course. When David says he can’t go in the server room, Shin says casually that he’ll either borrow Chairman Nam’s finger, or just blow up the building.
David tells Shin that he’s out of control, and that he pities Ro-ra and Nam Shin-III for the way Shin makes them suffer. He admits that for twenty years, he’s the one who took photos of Shin for Ro-ra, allowing her to watch him grow up.
He asks if Shin knows why Ro-ra made Nam Shin-III with a lie detector and disaster mode, fully waterproof, and his rule to hug someone when they cry, wondering if it sounds familiar. He says that as a child, Shin hated people who lied and always hugged Ro-ra when she cried. He loved swimming with her, and wanted to become a firefighter.
David says that Ro-ra missed Shin so much that she gave Nam Shin-III the ability to do the things he loved, and tells Shin not to insult Ro-ra’s love for him anymore. He finishes, “She loved him, but that was her love for you.”
Jong-gil guesses that Young-hoon was arranging to meet with the lawyer at Chairman Nam’s nursing home and orders Toady to take him there. He arrives at Chairman Nam’s room to hear Young-hoon berating the chairman for ending up here due to his cruelty towards Shin and others. He says that Shin will be here soon and warns Chairman Nam not to tell him what he’s said.
Jong-gil leaves, cackling to himself, unaware that So-bong slips into Chairman Nam’s room to report that they fooled him. Nam Shin-III is dressed as Shin, for the last time according to So-bong, and he cops an attitude when the lawyer arrives. The lawyer is there to revise the contract, and So-bong hides a tiny smile as they get started.
Shin is shaken by what David said, and he calls Ro-ra to arrange a meeting the following day. As she gets ready, David says she looks beautiful, only to get his head bitten off. Ro-ra admits that she’s scared to get excited, but David encourages her.
The board meeting is today, and Jong-gil looks at Shin curiously when Ro-ra arrives. He announces that PK Group is getting a new leader due to Chairman Nam’s dementia, and introduces Shin as his successor.
Shin preens as Jong-gil credits him with the success of the Medicar. He starts to stand to accept his accolades, but Young-hoon leaps to his feet first to say, “The person who created the Medicar wasn’t this Nam Shin. It was another Nam Shin.”
Both Shin and Jong-gil scream at Young-hoon, as at the back of the room, a door opens to reveal Nam Shin-III. He walks to the stage to stand next to Shin as the audience exclaims at their resemblance. Nam Shin-III announces that he planned and launched the Medicar, telling everyone, “I am an AI robot, Nam Shin-III.”
Argh, what are they up to? Clearly Young-hoon and So-bong planned all this with Nam Shin-III’s help, and I’m dying to know what their scheme is in showing Nam Shin-III to the world. But mostly I’m just so happy to see Nam Shin-III finally standing up against Shin, because his loss of confidence in this week’s episodes has been breaking my heart. He’s always felt inferior to humans, and unfortunately, just as So-bong was teaching him that he has worth of his own despite being different, Shin woke up in time to undermine everything and make Nam Shin-III believe that not only is he just a copy, but he’s a copy whose free will canv be stolen at any time.
Shin is such an interesting (if conflicting) character, because although he’s violent and has attempted murder multiple times, I don’t see him as a villain in the same way that I do Jong-gil. Shin was raised in a toxic, frightening environment, held hostage by his mother’s and best friend’s safety, and it’s really no wonder that he lashes out in all directions the moment he feels threatened. I commend the show’s writer for giving Shin so much complexity even though he pretty much slept through half of the drama — it’s not easy to write a character who is so homicidal, yet so sympathetic at the same time, even when you have a whole eighteen hours to do it in. I don’t like Shin as a person, and I don’t see him as redeemable. But it’s tragic to think that if he’d been allowed to grow up with two loving parents, he would have turned out a lot more like Nam Shin-III than the warped manchild he is now.
Another good example of this show’s complex characterization is Chairman Nam, who is clearly a horrible man, having ordered the deaths of at least two people, and even kidnapped his own grandson. But there are still things about him that I find humanizing, most notably his obvious affection for Nam Shin-III. Of course he sees Nam Shin-III primarily as a means to an end, a way to control PK Group after his own death, but he has also always treated Nam Shin-III with respect as a person, which is more than we can say for even So-bong.
I believe that Chairman Nam also cares for Young-hoon a great deal, and that his abusive treatment of Young-hoon is something he compartmentalizes in a box labeled “Shin’s punishment,” so he’s convinced himself that his cruelty to Young-hoon doesn’t reflect on his feelings for Young-hoon himself. Chairman Nam has ulterior motives for his actions, many of them quite evil, but he’s also a man who has people he cares for very much and treats them well, in his own twisted way. I don’t think that that excuses what he’s done, nor do I believe that helping stop Shin will redeem him when he’s at fault for making him the way he is, but it gives Chairman Nam interesting layers as a character. It’s easy to hate a one-note character like Jong-gil — it’s not so easy to hate a man like the chairman.
Back to Shin, though… what kills me about him, as I mentioned before, is that he’s so desperate for approval that he’s punishing anyone who tells him the truth about his behavior, and actually creating the situation he’s in now. He doesn’t see that Young-hoon, Ye-na, and even So-bong (to a much lesser degree) are all trying to show him that he’s responsible for Chairman Nam’s decision not to give him the company. Shin is testing everyone around him, wanting them to prove that they love and accept him despite his behavior, and in the process causing them to turn from him because of his behavior. He already had exactly what he wanted — love and loyalty — from Ye-na and Young-hoon, but because they dared to point out that he was wrong, he sees that as betrayal instead of true friendship. Now he’s relying on a facsimile of loyalty from Jong-gil, who doesn’t care what happens to Shin and will do anything to get him out of the way and get the company for himself. It would be unbelievable that someone could be so blind, if Shin hadn’t been so carefully groomed for this from such a very young age.
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