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Memories of the Alhambra: Episode 9

Upon reaching a new tier in the game, our hero receives a mandate to find the game’s creator, the thus far missing Se-joo. We get a peek into the possible series of events that may have led to Se-joo’s disappearance and how they may have mirrored our protagonist’s current nightmare. Our hero is determined to the the mission through, both in the hopes that finding Se-joo will shed light on the game’s workings and to make things right with Se-joo’s sister Hee-joo.

  
EPISODE 9 RECAP

In the airplane to Granada, Hee-joo answers a call from Jin-woo just before take-off. He tells her that he found Se-joo and suggests that she deplane, since her efforts to search for her brother in Granada will be futile. Hee-joo demands that he reveal Se-joo’s whereabouts, but Jin-woo responds that he’ll tell her in person.

Suspecting more duplicity from Jin-woo, Hee-joo wonders if there’s a reason why Jin-woo won’t let her go to Granada and seems determined to do things her way. Jin-woo insists that he’s just trying to prevent her from wasting her time in Granada, and Hee-joo hangs up, conflicted.

Jin-woo lets dancing Min-joo back into his office and thanks her for letting him use her phone. Ah, smart — Hee-joo wouldn’t pick up his calls, with all his wrongdoings. Min-joo asks if her sister will be returning, but Jin-woo presumes that she’ll do the opposite of everything he says because she doesn’t trust him.

As Jin-woo opens up an envelope, he says that he’ll probably go to Granada as well to take care of other business, but Min-joo jumps to the conclusion that he’s following her sister to propose to her. Min-joo admits that she peeked at what’s in the envelope — signed divorce papers from Yu-ra — and hopes that the news goes public soon, so that her matchmaking dreams come true. Jin-woo looks perplexed by what’s going in her Min-joo’s head.

Jin-woo tells his office assistant to escort Min-joo to her YD (hur) audition and says that she better not prove his recommendation wrong. She assures him that she’ll do well and thanks him. Before she leaves, she wishes him luck in his proposal to Hee-joo. Ha!

When Jin-woo takes out the divorce papers, he finds a note from Young-joon (Yu-ra’s manager) confirming that they’ve signed in agreement to all his terms — but without Yu-ra’s consent. Jin-woo signs the papers anyway, and as he seals the envelope, Director Park peeks his head inside the office to check in about Jin-woo’s upcoming business trip to Granada. Jin-woo insists that it’s for a very important quest in the game, but Director Park looks doubtful.

Jin-woo goes to Yang-joo’s office to request any special items that Yang-joo has been developing, since he’s not sure what the quest will throw at him. Yang-joo shows him a special drink that increases your vitality in the game as well as an unassuming lighter that emits an explosive stream of flame. Jin-woo wants both items and any new ones that Yang-joo has up his sleeve.

Jin-woo picks up a call from Hee-joo, who has followed Jin-woo’s suggestion to get off the plane. She asks where to meet him, and he smiles. In narration, Jin-woo reminds us that this all began when Se-joo urgently called him while under pursuit in Barcelona. Though Se-joo was captured on surveillance footage boarding the train in Barcelona, there was no footage of him deboarding at any station.

As a mad man seeing the crazy hallucination of Hyung-seok, Jin-woo shares another crazy hallucination — his best take on what happened to Se-joo. In this hypothetical, Se-joo kills Marco in the game and searches Marco’s dead body for Jin-woo’s contact information. Se-joo remembers Marco sharing his strategy to pit Jin-woo and Hyung-seok against each other to get the biggest offer. As Se-joo runs off, we see that Marco is dead with bullet to the head.

Se-joo urgently sends an email to Jin-woo from Marco’s computer, and just as he’s about to leave, the thunderstorm and insidious guitar music begin. The game informs Se-joo that an enemy has arrived, and he looks up to find NPC Marco. Jin-woo presumes that Se-joo was far more frightened than he was with Hyung-seok because Marco was at a much higher level, armed with a gun.

Se-joo trembles in fear of dead Marco reappearing before him, and we hear the gunshots along with the booming thunder. The door opens, and it’s Se-joo, miraculously alive but clearly injured. As he runs down the hall, NPC Marco also walks out of the room with his gun pointed at Se-joo.

Running for his life, Se-joo buys a ticket for the train and makes a call at the payphone, first to Hee-joo. He tells her that he’s heading back to Granada that night and that he misses her, to which Hee-joo seems pleasantly surprised by his uncharacteristic affection. Then, he makes the fateful call to Jin-woo that started the entanglement in the universe.

Jin-woo presumes that Se-joo called him because Jin-woo’s company had the capacity — the programmers — to resolve the bugs in the game. Se-joo rushes to finish the call with Jin-woo because NPC Marco appears again, and he runs through the game thunderstorm with Marco right at his tail. NPC Marco points his gun and continues to shoot with glazed-over eyes, just like Hyung-seok.

Almost at the train, Se-joo trips and finds Marco behind him with a sniper gun (eeeek!). Se-joo runs and safely boards the train, with Marco still aiming his massive gun at him at the platform. When the train begins the move, the game notifies Se-joo that their fight has been cancelled due to the distance.

On the train, Se-joo wakes up to clear skies and wakes up his cabinmate as they’re approaching Granada. Then, the thunderstorm rolls in, and Se-joo looks petrified by the presence of his enemy once more. When he opens the door to the cabin, Marco is standing there and makes the first attack. Se-joo falls to the ground in pain, and Marco shoots at Se-joo relentlessly.

As the hypothetical continues, we see the cabinmate wake up to Se-joo’s dead body, and Jin-woo narrates that if Se-joo was really dead, then his dead body would have been discovered, just like Hyung-seok and Marco. But Se-joo’s body was never found, which must mean that he’s alive.

Se-joo runs out of the cabin, and the door blocks their battle, giving him time to run away. When Se-joo gets off the train, he crawls on the ground in pain, but the other passengers don’t notice him at all. He falls unconscious, and this is when Jin-woo arrives at the station, looking for Se-joo. Jin-woo suspects that Se-joo was there, but nobody could see him.

This brings us back to Jin-woo being rewarded with the Citadel Hawk for reaching level 90. The hawk lands on Jin-woo’s arm and delivers a message from ‘master.’ Jin-woo unties the message, which is a secret quest that can only be accessed and completed in Granada. The game informs Jin-woo that there is a time limit on this opportunity, and the countdown begins — he has 48 hours to complete the quest.

When Secretary Seo arrives, Jin-woo throws him a gun and gives him five hours to advance levels so that he can be useful in Granada. Secretary Seo is only at level 48 (gun access is granted at level 50) and seems doubtful that he can advance two whole levels within that time.

Hee-joo returns home and tells fretful Grandma that she decided not to go to Granada because she was worried about completing a guitar order on time. She waits in the shop for Jin-woo, who promised to go to her when he finished his business, but hours pass and night falls with no word from him.

Min-joo calls Hee-joo and wonders why she isn’t going to Spain, since Jin-woo was going to follow her there. Hee-joo looks confused by the conflicting information, but Min-joo only confuses her more by saying that Jin-woo has a special reason to meet her. Giggling Min-joo hangs up and then texts Hee-joo with a hint with just the consonants to the word “proposal.”

Hee-joo calls back and gets angry at Min-joo for playing jokes and demands to know what information Min-joo has. Min-joo reveals that Jin-woo is probably going to propose to Hee-joo because he’s single now and gets hyped that he may have already bought a ring! This girl cracks me up!

Exasperated by her sister’s theory, Hee-joo says that she can’t believe that Jin-woo would be buying a ring to propose to her. Jin-woo walks in just as she says this, and Hee-joo falls silent. He plays along and cheekily asks if he should go out to buy the ring now or some flowers at least. Ha!

Hee-joo tells him to come inside without a fuss and asks him about Se-joo. Jin-woo says that he’s headed to Granada later that night to search for him, but he’s not sure if Se-joo will be in Granada. Hee-joo asks for proof that Se-joo contacted him, but Jin-woo says that he can’t show any evidence because it was through the game. She needs to wear the contacts to see for herself.

Jin-woo gives her Yang-joo’s contact information, but Hee-joo argues that he’s not being transparent. He explains that he only has 48 hours to complete the quest, and already, 12 hours have passed. Hee-joo doesn’t understand what he’s saying, but before he can continue, Sang-bum walks in and punches Jin-woo to the ground.

Hee-joo tries to hold him back, but Sang-bum pushes her away and spits fighting words about his disapproval of Jin-woo. When Sang-bum tries to attack again, Jin-woo pushes him back with his cane and warns him to stop. Jin-woo accuses Sang-bum of making one-sided claims about being like family to Hee-joo, and that provokes Sang-bum to lunge at him again. But this time, Jin-woo expertly uses his cane to beat Sang-bum down and crash a guitar aside to disarm him.

Jin-woo explains that all he’s been doing nowadays is getting in sword fights and that he’d prefer not to see real blood. Grandma walks into the noisy argument and sees a bloody scratch on Jin-woo’s neck. She scolds Sang-bum for fighting and kicks him out of the house with a ladle (a classic granny weapon).

Late for his flight, Jin-woo calls Secretary Seo to pack their bags and meet at the airport. He tries to leave without getting his injury treated, but Hee-joo gets mad and tells him to listen and stop being so arrogant for once. Jin-woo silently and obediently walks over to get treated.

While Hee-joo cleans his wound, Jin-woo asks why Sang-bum is so overbearing, like they’ve promised to get married. If that’s the case, Jin-woo says that he disapproves because Sang-bum is a poor fighter. Hee-joo says that she’s never considered marrying Sang-bum but may consider it now because Jin-woo mentioned it. Jin-woo warns her not to get married in a moment of anger because she’ll end up like him.

Jin-woo notices the guitar he broke and asks Hee-joo how much he owes in damages. She tells him it’s fine, so Jin-woo insists that he’ll buy a guitar instead. She doesn’t respond, so Jin-woo wonders if he doesn’t even deserve to buy a guitar now.

A tear falls on Jin-woo’s jacket, and Hee-joo’s sniffles make Jin-woo turn around in surprise. He asks why she’s crying, but she says that she doesn’t know. She’s pieced together that Jin-woo has been obsessively playing the game to level up enough to contact Se-joo. That means that only Jin-woo deserves to meet Se-joo, and she can only watch the game from a monitor.

Jin-woo asks if she still thinks that he’s insane, and she nods. Despite this, Hee-joo says that she’ll trust Jin-woo and wait for his call. He asks why she’s trusting a fraud like him, and she responds that it’s more distressful to distrust him. He warns her that she may be being fooled again, but she cries that it’s more distressful to try to not be fooled.

She mumbles curses, and Jin-woo says that she’s quoting his catchphrase. As she cries, she curses Jin-woo for making her life difficult and making it hard to hate him. Jin-woo looks at her tenderly and reaches out to wipe her tears. They stay like that for a moment before they hear the door opening.

Hee-joo runs out to see Jin-woo’s taxi driving off, and Jin-woo narrates: “Although we didn’t leave with Hee-joo, this trip is definitely the most important moment in our lives.”

After Jin-woo and Secretary arrive in Barcelona, they decide to take the overnight train to Granada to follow Se-joo’s footsteps from a year ago. Then, the thunderstorm arrives, and Secretary Seo runs out of the convenience store to the platform, where Jin-woo faces his immortal enemy. As always, Hyung-seok is along for the ride.

We jump back to the previous day, when Jin-woo told Director Park that he was headed to Granada to complete an important quest. Director Park told him to make time for lunch with Professor Cha, but Jin-woo wanted to push to after his trip. At that, Director Park stormed into Jin-woo’s office and demanded that Jin-woo also concern himself with reality, not just the game.

At the restaurant, Jin-woo messaged Hee-joo that he would meet her at her house. Director Park warned Jin-woo not to trust Professor Cha or him, for that matter. He reminded Jin-woo that Professor Cha coldly cut ties with his own son, and Jin-woo quickly caught on that he’s at risk of being cut from the company.

They’re met by an unexpected guest — Soo-jin, who’s been invited by her father-in-law. Professor Cha entered and said that he invited everyone for this awkward reunion lunch. Over lunch, Professor Cha asked about Jin-woo’s divorce and seemed relieved to hear that it’s been settled.

Then, he suggested that Jin-woo and Soo-jin get back together, since the source of their calamity (Hyung-seok) is now gone. What?! Soo-jin’s hands trembled, and Jin-woo looked at him with disbelief.

In the bathroom Director Park told Jin-woo that he wasn’t expecting Professor Cha to pull this card. Jin-woo got the message that Professor Cha doesn’t intend on discussing the company with him, so Director Park is his only lifeline now. Knowing that the chips are down, Director Park tried to convince Jin-woo to not go to Granada, but Jin-woo wouldn’t budge.

After the lunch, Jin-woo received a call from Soo-jin, warning him about her father-in-law. Professor Cha had tortured her endlessly after Hyung-seok’s death, even refusing to hold his grandson unless it was for the camera. She never shared the hardships with Jin-woo because he was surely living through his own hell.

Soo-jin warned Jin-woo that Professor Cha doesn’t trust Jin-woo at all and only declined Hyung-seok’s autopsy because of his own pride — not because he believed Jin-woo’s innocence. She knows that Professor Cha’s pride is the most important thing to him, and he didn’t want to accept that he was wrong about his choice of Jin-woo over his own son.

She claimed that Professor Cha believes that Jin-woo killed Hyung-seok. She could understand why Hyung-seok feared his father, as she’s now scared of him as well. Jin-woo thought back to Professor Cha slapping Hyung-seok at their separation and how Hyung-seok would cry in loneliness when they had drinks together.

Back at the Barcelona train station, NPC Hyung-seok approaches Jin-woo with his sword, and Secretary Seo runs to protect Jin-woo with his gun. Just as Secretary Seo aims his gun, Hyung-seok is shot by Jin-woo and collapses onto the train tracks. As Jin-woo hopes that this will be their last journey together, Hyung-seok disappears, and the two gamers stow away their weapons as the train arrives.

Secretary Seo leads Jin-woo to their cabin and assures Jin-woo that the space is too small for Hyung-seok to appear. As the train heads toward Granada, Jin-woo grows more anxious and can’t seem to fall asleep. He’s only able to catch a quick nap before he’s woken up in preparation of their arrival.

As Jin-woo washes his hands in the train bathroom, Secretary Seo tells him that he’ll be waiting on the platform. When Secretary Seo walks out, he suddenly hears the booming thunderstorm, as does Jin-woo. He knows that Hyung-seok is waiting right outside the bathroom, so when Jin-woo opens the door, he immediately shoots his enemy dead.

Before Secretary Seo boards the train, the game tells him that Jin-woo killed Hyung-seok, so he steps back on the platform in relief. Then, the thunderstorms start again, and the game informs Jin-woo that the enemy has arrived. He turns back to find NPC Hyung-seok dead and then looks up to find a game terrorist in mask with a gun pointed at him.

Secretary Seo also hears the thunderstorms and tries to run back into the train, but he’s shot down by an arrow. Inside the train, Jin-woo gets shot in the arm by the terrorist and gets back inside the bathroom. The terrorist manages to stick a hand inside and shoots at the bathroom while Jin-woo forces the door closed.

On the platform, Aragon warriors on the rooftops attack Secretary Seo, who cringes in pain and doesn’t manage to get back onto the train. He runs behind a pole and painfully snaps off the arrow before shooting at the warriors. He tries to run away and shoot at a further distance, but the gun can’t reach that far.

As Secretary Seo tries to change his weapon, other enemies with swords appear before him. He shoots the first one down but runs out of bullets to fend off other attacks. He resorts to his sword, but as soon as he kills the enemy, a group of them crowd around him. Desperate for help, Secretary Seo calls Jin-woo, who’s fending off enemies of his own.

Secretary Seo cries for help, and that prompts Jin-woo to make moves against his enemies. He shoots the terrorist’s hand and proceeds to shoot the two attackers dead. He tries to reach for the emergency exit, but it won’t open. As he passes by on the train, he sees Secretary Seo struggling to fight his enemies.

On the train, Jin-woo tries to call Secretary Seo, but the phone keeps ringing. Then, the game informs him that he’s lost his ally and that an enemy has arrived. From the corner of his eye, Jin-woo sees another terrorist approaching him, and he turns to see the terrorist pointing the gun straight at him.

The terrorist shoots, but the bullet freezes in mid-air. Jin-woo has traveled outside of Granada and beyond the radius of the game, so the attack has been cancelled. The NPCs disappear, and Jin-woo looks frightened to death.

  
COMMENTS

WHAT WAS THAT?! This cannot be the quest that Se-joo had prepared — I highly doubt that he would put Jin-woo in this much danger, assuming that the quest is a rescue mission. The spontaneous hoards of attacks must be the consequences of leveling up or the game morphing into chaos in the one-year gap. Neither Jin-woo nor Secretary Seo were ready for that, and I’m curious to learn how the rules of this game have evolved in the past year, particularly in the implications of “death.” I’m starting to question the rules of “death,” in this game and at what point “death” became no-quotations death.

Jin-woo died plenty of times when he first played the game, and he simply logged back in to try to beat his current level. For Jin-woo, the first time the game bled into reality was with Hyung-seok’s death, so was that the threshold at which the game and reality merge into one alternate reality? And since Secretary Seo was Jin-woo’s ally, do the same rules apply to him? So is he dead dead?!!! I can’t fathom Secretary Seo dying at this point, and I desperately hope that he’s been somehow granted some mercy by this merciless game.

The terrorists appearing right after NPC Hyung-seok was terrifying, and that truly gave Jin-woo a taste of Se-joo’s experience, if level 92 Marco did reincarnate in the game as a revenge-seeking NPC, according to Jin-woo’s hypothetical. Of course, we don’t know if that hypothetical is true, but it looked highly possible with what we know about the game thus far. I like how this remains a hypothetical — a crafty move by the writing to open up the possibilities in narrative tweaks — because we have no idea if any of it is true. I’m convinced that 90% of this is true, but I’m mentally preparing myself for this hypothetical to be flipped on its head.

I’m starting to see the romantic potential of our lead pairing, though I don’t think the previous moments of forced affection were quite necessary. I use the word “affection” loosely, as most of the emotional moments between our leads were based on the trauma of Jin-woo’s accident. I’m not sure why there was such an emphasis on tears from Hee-joo when Jin-woo left, and I honestly found that scene a bit overdramatic. I thought the tears from Hee-joo in this episode were much more nuanced and convincing. She has no other choice but to trust a guy who lied to her, and she feels completely useless in the desperate search for her brother. Despite being betrayed by Jin-woo before, she finally knows the full truth and is willing to trust Jin-woo. I think that trust is meaningful, especially to Jin-woo, who’s realizing that her trust holds more weight that he thought.

I would much rather have Hee-joo directly involved in the search for Se-joo, which I hope we get through her alter ego Emma. But Hee-joo’s deference to Jin-woo got me thinking: Where are the female gamers? If given a chance or an alternate reality, I think that Hee-joo, Min-joo, and even Grandma could excel in an AR game. Imagine a game universe for Grandma in which grannies level up with weapons like ladles to chase out overbearing boys creeping on their granddaughters. Or a universe for Min-joo in which k-pop star hopefuls have dance-offs and navigate their connections to land an audition. Just a thought.

Editor’s Note: Please don’t discuss spoilers because we’d hate to delete your comment! This includes anything shown in previews.

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I could analyse this show.
I could tear apart every plot hole and game flaw. I could rant about how the premise was doomed from the start, and how it would be much better if the game as the antagonist was fully realised and the rules of this world fully established and how any explanation they are going to give us is probably going to be weak and unsatisfactory. I could rant about what ifs and could’ve beens and how badly I want this to be a full fantasy horror with a liberal sprinkling of dark comedy. I could also defend Hee Ju’s tears and actions. I could do that. And then I could rant again about the poor character writing in literally everyone except for Jinwoo. I could wax poetic about how he’s the only fully fleshed out character and how he’s actually pretty darn relatable in a lot of ways.
And usually I would. Usually in a show like this I would swing one way or the other. It would either annoy me enough to write a full essay rant, or I would connect to it enough for me to repeat over and over again what I loved about it.

Except I don’t really feel like doing either of those things.

The truth of the matter is- contrary to some of my fanwall sarcasm- I do not hate this show. The things that are annoying, and annoying enough for some people to decide to drop it, are merely inconveniences to me. I do not actually yell or throw anything at the screen that often. The angst doesn’t even get to me. It’s just there.
And the things I do like about this show, the gaming, the sword fighting, the hints at horror and Jinwoo, are enough to keep me going. But I don’t exactly fully love it either. I have simply found my way of enjoying it.
And that way of enjoying it is through being absurdly silly about it.
You know when you reach a point in watching, that is not hate watching, nor is it full unbridled glued to your seat attention, it’s more of a watching for shits and giggles? That’s how I’m watching this show. My biggest reaction is simply a soft WTF and a lot of incredulous laughter, followed by a lot of excessive sarcastic commentary on Dramabeans because it’s fun.
This show could end in the most expected worse way possible, or it could pull a magic trick out of it’s ass, shock all the sceptics and solve everything, and my reaction would still be the same: “Well that was fun.” Both ironically and unironically.
And hilariously, the more people hate this show, the more intent I am of making my own fun out of it.

Some of you may love this show- and that’s fine. There are enough elements to love about it that I understand.
Some of you may hate it and may have dropped it. I understand that too.
But me? I just can’t wait to make more shitposts about it.

*so don't mind me, I'm gonna go do just that with Episode 10* *come join me on the Dark Side if you can* *we have cookies*

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Waiting for your Ep 10 shitposts....

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I'll make sure they're up before you have to sleep mwahaha

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I'm still loving the heck out of this drama, but you make some really fun shitposts. Hehe... Will wait for your comment on eps 10.

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I live to entertain, m'ady. ;)

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This is a good way to think about. I gave up on making sense of the show and i'm mildly curious about the ending, so I'm sticking with it, despite the nonsense happening right now.

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Sense? What's sense? hahaha none of that here!!! :)

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That is true. It had a good opening that could have made sense, but then the writer did what this writer always does and threw the writing into to space. She then told Hyun Bin to up the charm and prayed no one would notice. SIGH

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@sicarius I will of course be reading and joining in with great delight, also with tongue in cheek and eyes rolling!!! 😈

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Yess, yess, yess! That's how I feel about it now. It's simply fun to watch. I was annoyed by the crying and the lack of logic before, but I have accepted what it is few episodes back. And it's more enjoyable that way.

What I do give it credit for is the production value, from extras, to props and designs, to action sequenes and visual effects. The staff and crew are still doing their darndest to give us quality drama. I'm grateful for that.

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Wow that was awesome.❤️ Anyway i’m with you till the end on the Dark Side but hopefully you have caramel popcorn.

P/s: After I watch Confidential Assignment two days ago, now I can accept that Hyun Bin is hot.

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So, because I have so much time to kill during the holidays, I keep thinking about the 'what ifs' of this show. Like would jin woo experience the same trauma with his reincarnated now-npc dead friend if he deleted his account (while logged in through the lenses) the first time hyeong suk showed up. He should've deleted his acct and created a new one, of course all progress and data would be lost, maybe, if he did so, including the dead guy. lol

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Exactly my way if thinking too...just ride the storm for now without hurting my brain about cracking the logic and flaws in this drama. Therefore, my mind will stay in healthy condition and remain sane 😅😅😅

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My sanity was definitely questionable before but YES TOTALLY THIS. Ahem.

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My mood exactly!

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I love your shitposts, Sicarius. Keep them coming. They crack me up and make my day. I have nominated you for Shitposter of the Year, and I'm confident you're going to win this highly coveted award, hands down. Happy New Year and happy shitposting😁😁😁😁!

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I wandered over to your wall - your posts made are some of the best things I’ve read recently. Never drop this show please and keep your posts coming. :) these interactions are making me want to sign up to DB but too scared to get sucked into the kdrama world *denial mode*

I am one of those who love this show until the latest episodes .. it was just too much WTF for me... and I feel bad for Hyun Bin. He’s totally delivering his part but the story seems to be falling short. It makes me curious how actors choose projects (don’t they get to see the WTF moments and does that give them pause) and how much his career will be impacted if MOA falls flat on its face (is he established enough in Korea to survive with flying colors). same with PSH as well

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I have been in the dark side since episode 5. 😂🤣

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Even with all your humorous shits, you must admit there were some really scary moments that were full of suspense and danger. There were times I was scared shit of the dark and the haunting music and that look on Jin-woo’s face as he was about to face whatever that was going to appear out of the thin air ...scary stuff. This is what futuristic computer games would be like. For the time being I’ll stick with candy crush and angry birds...

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I don't get scared very easily and I wanted this show to go more horror hahahaha so I... uh... unfortunately don't commiserate. However if AR does ever exist, Horror games are going to be batshit terrifying, yes.

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Well scooch on over and make room because I've been deeply annoyed by the lack of complex characterization for our female lead for a while now. And Park Shin hye can't even flex her acting muscles in the role of Emma, where is she is literally an object, an NPC, for the gaze of the male gamers and functions solely to cheer on Jin woo from the sidelines! There's something a little icky about the fact that Jin woo interacts with Emma, drinking in her face, and the curly-haired guy ogles her and dresses her in different outfits, all while Hee joo's has no idea she inadvertently sold away her image with the game. Also, thank you, dramallama, for pointing out that there is no reason the beta testing should be such a sausage fest! Where my ladies at?

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I loved loved loved this episode! I was at the edge of my seat the whole time.
I especially love the way the show layers reality. Each time a scene repeats we see a bit more of it; another perspective, a few minutes before or after. I love how the repetitions are never redundant but rather like an AR game - they are layered and intricate.
When the message of losing an ally appeared in front of Jin-Woo's eyes, I think my heart broke a little bit. I truly hope that Secretary Seo is not actually dead.
I look forward to tomorrow's comments! 

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I wish Jin Woo would have let Hee Joo go to Granada and help him with his quest!

I can't even imagine having to defeat 92 level NPC Marco everyday! Hyeon Suk is still bearable considering all he has is a sword and can't use physical violence, but having to dodge bullets that can kill is a dangerous game.

Speaking of the game, it has certainly gone cuckoo! The Game AI probably can't tell the difference between real and game world and is out to kill. But maybe that is only triggered when you 'kill' some player in the game. Then the game want's to 'actually' kill that player and then resurrect them (just like normal NPCs) to attack the player again.

But Seo! He sounded so much like spiderman with his 'Save me!'
My heart went out to him and the look on JinWoo's face when he got the alert that he has lost his ally! Arghh. Why show , why the heartbreak! He didn't ask for this! This was not in his job description!

He was so cheerful in the beginning. Such a good loyal friend to Jin Woo! He was eager to learn the game and became an essential support system for JinWoo! He saved JinWoo so many times! Game , you better not claim him. Seo is too good of a person to meet that fate!

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Yes. Sec Seo is like my bubble of happiness. Went everything in the game went south, I just want to get inside the bubble and look at him grinning and being silly. But now I can’t. 😢

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Secretary Seo is my favorite character. I'll be devastated if he's really gone. I should stop getting attached to side characters in action dramas, they keep getting killed off. The redshirts of kdrama.

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Me too! why oh why do I fall hard for the red shirts !
It's too early in the drama to loose him (well he shouldn't be lost period). But for instance we have often seen our beloved side character sacrificing themselves towards the end and we still have 3 more weeks to go!

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He's my favorite, too!

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But he's really really nice 😭. He's been very loyal to Jinwoo and sincere. It's hard not to attached to him. He reminds me of Ma Sang-gu from BTIMFL, one my favorite oppas of dramaland. He's the normal person in Jin-woo's crazy world.

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He's nice and loyal and sincere and all that stuff but I also like that he's really a friend to Jinwoo, like he feels free to say that he's better-looking than Jinwoo, and ignores Jinwoo firing him. Jinwoo doesn't have many (or any?) friends, he needs all he can get.

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@unmyeong2025 Yashashree Jadhav
Yes, by now, Hee Ju should be in on the game and the quest to save her brother. It would have been the most logical step. So sad that she isn't!!! I guess it could be too much effort to write in more interesting details for Hee Ju to contribute more, on top of the stuff for the game from JW's point of view. 😒

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I was thinking how nice it would have been if they were given time to prepare for the quest and Hee Joo could have bden part of the team as a “guide” to Granada. They could have designed the quest in that way and tied it up with her job as a tourist guide. There was a comment below that this show is more about JW’s solo journey and the quest seems to be more of a trap. I guess the writer is telling a different story from what I was expecting. A lot darker and sadder at that. Still in for the ride to see the story unfold. But a part of me wish the story went with using the quest to get JW his own team thay includes the secretary and HJ and they found smart ways using their own skills to beat the game (too much like W?) :) I would have found that more fun and a more believable, engaging way to get the romance going.

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Right! How awesome would it have been to have a kicka** team with Jin Woo, Sec Seo, Hee Joo and maybe another person. They could have special skills. HeeJoo having lived in Granada could have special navigation skills and so on!
That would certainly have been a great way to get a good romance going and Sec Seo would totally ship and help that too!
Ahh the what ifs!

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@unmyeong2025 @sabina LOL, we can write a better screenplay that could satisfy more viewers probably! 😆

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@growingbeautifully can I join? :P

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@sicarius Join writing a screenplay? Sure thing!! Probably you're more the 'writer' than I am. So it's the other way around, seeing how to plug the plotholes in advance, you might like to start a train of thought and we'll gladly add on. (Together with or separately from snarking of course!! 😂 )

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@growingbeautifully pffhahahahahaha the snarking might be default at this point. Stay tuned for Memories of Alhambra: Sic Edition. Special Release Expansion Pack.

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contrary to popular belief, she should really not be brought into the game.
you think she will survive? she will die

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haha the way she is right now, yes probably.
But I think I was thinking of an upgraded/differently written version of her (for the joining the game fantasy).
This new version of her has useful skills, perhaps even fighting skills and actively helps in finding SJ. Like the fighting skills her character in Doctors had!

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@alasecond I was thinking that since Yang Ju could create more tools, weapons etc and a safe place for Jin Woo, then he could also create a character for people to assume, that is a not for battle but that could have safe passage. The possibilities are quite endless since so much is a matter of development of the program.

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i know it would have been nice, but the only and the biggest problem is they are not able to overwrite or usurp an existing original code hierarchy.. so as a result game can identify what it created in which location and whether its original stuff vs new code..and that's a bummer!

Maybe the pirates in cafe - i hope there are more such NPCs who can communicate with players.. ultimately every universe must have some rules that can be made to work against it

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The moment when 'oppa' shove HJ out of his way TWICE to be able to continue his testosterone-fulled rant while JW was busy wrecking other people's property was the moment I completely gave up on this show.

This is by far the worst work of this writer in terms of narrative construction, but I was willing to persevere just to see where she was taking it all. Not anymore. My time is too precious for this kind of macho nonsense.

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Goodness gracious! I was so irked when he shoved her twice and without any trace of gentleness at all! He clearly has feelings for HJ but that doesn't entitle him to do such thing. How satisfying was it to see JW beat him up with his staff! Ugh

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OK. I am not for shoving people, but this girl has been this guy’s friend forever, and doesn’t even consider HIS feelings in this craziness because she’s so wrapped up in this new mysterious guy. I’m okay with the shoving. Her longtime friend got hit multiple times with a fruggin cane, and she didn’t even check in on him and has gma usher him out???? I love Jin-woo, but please, girl...

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I actually get your point but being friends with someone forever doesn't give you the right to shove them. The first time he shoved her I was appalled and even expected her to be shoved to the floor the second time she tried. I know JW didn't do any better either but if I think about it in his perspective, being chased by an immortal NPC, his reflex would be self-defense. He was just holding himself back bec of HJ.

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There wasn't a single moment in the series so far when 'oppa' behaved like a real friend rather than a overbearing jealous jerk. If she had any spine to speak of, HJ would have sent him to the devil ages ago or at least she would have set some proper boundaries. The fact that she allowed him to come to KR with her and even went into business together is a testament to her cluelessness.

There's tons of irony in that particular scene: nominally everything oppa-jerk is doing is supposedly for her benefit but he has no problem being violent to her just to prove how much he cares. (what was that sarcasm sign again?)

Given how over and over again he completely disregards her wishes and wellbeing, I say she owes him less than nothing. If only grandma had a bigger ladle (ideally one of those neat fire throwers would have come in handy too)...

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HAHAHA oh my gosh my point exactly! It's so ridiculous to think that he wants to protect her but he doesn't even mind forcefully shoving her out of the way just to express his anger. If we rewind to an earlier scene he even insisted following her to Granada despite her wish for him to stay and make her family not worry.

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or she knows he likes her and she keeps him around to use him, do her stuff.. and he does help her out in life stuff off camera (as in general stuff that the game or JW may not be interested in .. if she asked him about contract before signing and took him to talk to JW.. pretty sure she has been using him on a lot of other things.. and the whole moving to korea,somebody picked up those bags)

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I'd like her better if she was using him, but i doubt it.

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Unfortunetly, with her character it's more likely he decided to planted himself in her life and she just let it be because she is as self assured as jellyfish is firm.

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I'm with you. I thought she would go off the first time he shoved her and then he did it again. I said oh Hell No, TF. Not today satan. I still haven't quit though.

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Ikr. I haven't even watched ep 10 yet. I'm just feeling so done with this show.

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JW got to solve a quest in 48 hours and he lost 12 hours already. Hee Joo is like 'Fine! Lets forget about my not-seen-for-years-may-be-dead brother! Lets just worry about the that teeny-tiny scratch in the neck that nobody can see' Ugh! And she is going to wait while he goes to save the brother. At least HS has a purpose. Not sure what is hers. I am still here for HB. He owns this show.

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But for some reason, I liked the position of the wound. Behind the neck. Usually, it is always in the forehead where the heroine tends to the hero. But if it was like that here, their close proximity (and then they would be looking into each other's eyes and all, yeah we have seen that scene playing out countless times) would have been really awkward or cringing (not for them maybe). I would give a cookie to whoever chose the position of wound here.

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i think we're supposed to hate the guy tho? he was pretty nice in the beginning but then got increasingly shown to be a jealous jerk as the show went on. i'm more upset at HJ for letting him behave like that than the writer actually

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[Part 1] I could go around making guesses all day, but this show keeps putting me in a tailspin. I'm trying to apply video game logic to this, which probably doesn't work, because of the fantasy genre and the fact that so many things are unexplained and unexplored.

That final scene was, I think, a direct attack. I think the game is created using a particular AI as a base, and that Se-Joo (and Marco) were more like designers and developers of the game but using a pre-existing AI (if my sponsorship theory is correct, then they were provided with the realised AI and high-spec PCs to work their magic). So my question then is...who has the AI? Where is it based - where is the server? Is someone controlling it, or did it go rogue?

I think these questions would go a long way to find out what happened at the train station. I think this was a very directed attack, and it seemed to me that Jin-Woo was being kept separate from Secretary Seo. Is the goal to attack Jin-Woo's ally and weaken him for whatever is coming up next?

The mass respawning of the NPCs was bizarre. In a game like Fallout 76, enemy NPCs respawn rapidly and right under your nose if another player comes into the spawn radius. The enemies respawn so that the new player can also get the XP, the quest objectives and the loot. I wondered at first if this might apply here and another player was nearby, but I'm thinking more and more that it was about separating Jin-Woo and Secretary Seo.

The fact that these NPCs can cause physical pain, though...until now it was only Hyung-Seok and Marco who could do that. But none of these NPCs seem to have once been real people. So has the game's AI learned from the people who play it? Very creepy.

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[Part 2] Speaking of Hyung-Seok, I find myself more and more interested in him. The actor must be amazing, because Hyung-Seok doesn't get much screentime and the majority of it has been as a revenge-faced silent NPC in a bloodied suit, but somehow he's so compelling to me. And the little bits we learn about his past paint him as a sad, lonely and bitter person.

That flashback scene where they were drunk and he started crying made me laugh at first. I propped up the bar for most of my spare time at uni, and I saw a lot of weepy drunks, and it could get pretty hilarious. But then I looked a little closer at Hyung-Seok, crying over that table, and it wasn't funny anymore. I feel increasingly terrible for him, and the way his life ended, and the way he's immortalised in this game. It's not something I'd wish on someone I hate, and certainly not on someone who seems so pitiful.

Also, I really don't like Sang-Bum. What a pushy, ridiculous guy. Once again he's getting physical with Hee-Joo too, pushing her out of the way. So far she's a character that constantly gets shoved around, her questions going mostly unanswered. Maybe it's just me, but I'm also failing to buy her urgency over Se-Joo. Everyone deals with things in different ways, but she seems much more restrained then expected when faced with everything that might have happened with and to her brother.

But then again, when they were in Spain, the whole family didn't even seem overly concerned about where he was, why he was late etc. even though he was still a minor at the time. To me, this is very strange and totally outside of my understanding. My parents think I'm dead if I'm ten minutes late and didn't call them. They'd be trying to gather sniffer dogs and put up banners in the sky. Maybe it's just a cultural difference that I don't get? I dunno.

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I find Hyung-Seok interesting, too. His relationship/rivalry with Jin-Woo kept me interested in the beginning, and I was worried when they killed him off. I was initially curious about the mechanics of the game, too, but I gave up after I realized there were a lot of things that would remain unexplained. I'm still bothered by the way the show handled Jin-Woo's sudden inability to stop an attack. Early on, we saw him log off when he was about to duel Hyung-Seok, so it bugged me that we didn't see him at least try to wave his hand in front of his face or whatever he did before. I understand that he sees the game when he's not wearing lenses, but it's so weird the way he just accepts the arbitrary rules without seeming to explore alternative solutions. I'd be working on ways to break the game, build a mobile barrier, etc.

Also, can't the minions at his company see video of what he sees when he has the lenses in? I would ask them to watch me play, especially if the secretary can see Hyung-Seok. I find it really strange that Jin-Woo, along with everyone else, is quick to believe he's delusional, when deaths or injuries to players should trigger concerns about the game (for causing mental/physical trauma at the very least). I can understand Jin-Woo's guilt and the company's desire to keep the game secret, but it's strange for those marketing and developing the game to not at least question its potential dangers (as a form of insurance against potential detractors and future lawsuits).

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"it's so weird the way he just accepts the arbitrary rules without seeming to explore alternative solutions" THIS! I've been commenting about my theories involving nano tech, and that could be discovered if he had some scans or even a blood test. We haven't seen him look for reasons why he's permanently plugged into the game, nor has he been trying to discover/manipulate the game to his advantage beyond levelling up.

He should definitely have used the lenses to prove what was happening, at the very least his team would see the Hyung-Seok NPC and think 'oh wow lol sorry I called you a nutso'. But I can understand why he himself thinks he's delusional.

He mentioned anxiety in a previous episode, and I think he really does have anxiety - it's probably also part of what activates the game randomly, when he's worrying about what will happen next. When it gets extreme and unchecked, anxiety can really mess with how you see things. Jin-Woo has real problems with the game, but he probably also has real mental health issues. I would too, after what he's been through.

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That is a very interesting idea that there is a pre-existing AI system that Se Joo and Marco happened upon (or were given sponsorship) and they used it to develop the game.
Now I am no gaming expert (lol I am not even a beginner, so excuse me if I don't make sense). But I guess you require a lot of rendering power to make graphics that good and computer power in general to have a game of that magnitude. So how did 2 kids get their hands on that?

So maybe whatever AI they ended up using, ended up using them to create an elaborate world that can actually play the 'game' for real and hurt people!

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Absolutely. I have a mid-range gaming rig that struggles to keep up with very realistic and high quality graphics, the machine gets so hot that I had to fit it with extra fans just hoping to make the hardware last longer. It was all I could afford, and even that left me broke.

It reminds me of how Jin-Woo mentioned that his contact lenses were hot after his first experience of the game in episode 1. It's also super expensive to buy and maintain the level of hardware needed to run a game like this.

So I definitely wonder how Se-Joo and Marco got the equipment to make it. And how they got their hands on something like the contact lenses to test it, because that is expensive tech. They both seem pretty broke to me, so I'm sure someone supplied the PCs, the AI and the lenses to them. I'm looking straight at Papa Cha.

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Oooo I love theory time !
If papa Cha had something to do with the development of the game and its eventual coming to JOne (which seems to be his #1 priority) then technically, Hyeong Suk's death is on him.
(which I got to say makes me feel better to blame him)
He does seem like the snakey person who would give an experimental AI to kids to make into something he can make tonnes of profit out of.

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I wouldn't be surprised if he's responsible for Hyung-Seok's death. And if he knows how it happened, he might know he could be responsible, which would explain why he's stubbornly doubling down on laying blame and anger elsewhere.

I'm sure he's all about pride, but also profit. He probably sided with Jin-Woo purely based on who would be superior and more profitable with their business ideas. And letting Se-Joo and Marco float the sale of this game to Hyung-Seok and Jin-Woo to see who would win the rights was probably an interesting experiment, and he could stand to gain either way.

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For all those who have seen episode 10, though the recap here is not out yet, must have felt something isn’t right about papa Cha. I am guessing Hyung-seok may not be his biological son after all. When Hyung-seok was crying, he was lamenting he was alone and wonder why he didn’t have any siblings. And I wonder why he would say that. Now I am curious to know who’s the actual father of Jin-woo’s ex wife’s baby.

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I would feel 50000 times worse for him, too, if that's the case. Hyung-Seok's loneliness did seem a little more than just having a crappy dad, and his crying was painful to watch. I can't wait to start getting some answers. Ugh this is the struggle of watching a show as it airs.

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ooh that's an interesting theory! designing and making a game of that caliber is definitely not a one man job as we've made to believe in this show (not to mention the hardware needed to design&render that kind of graphics) since it was supposed to be solely made by SJ alone. and JW's hypothesis about what happened to SJ wouldn't make sense if both SJ and marco didn't have the lenses while playing the game, so that's also suspicious in itself since JW was talking about adjusting the lenses to fit the game in the beginning.. if SJ really did have a sponsor things would make more sense (i'm eyeing you, prof cha)

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It's absolutely not a one-man job. It could be done mostly with AI, though...but that comes with flaws. I saw a comment recently where someone wondered if one of the worst, most glitched games released this year was coded by AI.

Makes me think about whether an AI gone rogue caused the craziness in this game. Se-Joo and Marco would have been helpless.

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And that scene when one of terrorist NPC was able to block the door?

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I find that pretty interesting - Hyung-Seok has a physical force, a collision, too. He's capable of doing things that shouldn't be possible, probably why Jin-Woo thought he was losing his mind.

These new NPCs that appeared on the train and at the station seem upgraded somehow to match Hyung-Seok. They can cause pain and cause a real 'collision' barrier in the world. I have theories on why this is, but it's all speculation, and it's frustrating that we haven't seen much investigation on why this is happening.

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Thank you @dramallama for the recap. I haven't seen this episode yet and this gives me a preview of what to expect. Like Min-joo, I also want to see our protagonists get together.

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I want to know what people think is actually going on and how you think it might end. My best guess (which is probably TOTALLY wrong) is that in the end, once the game is beaten, everything goes back to normal "Jumangi" style and only the people who help beat the game actually remember any of the events that happened. Because how else will there be a happy ending? Will there be a happy ending? Argh.... this show has me so confused. Anyone else?

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bodies in coffin r gone right

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Wow I think that is a really great theory

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How I wish that the thought of his ally should be around lvl 90 to survive the quest has crossed Jin-woo mind back then. If Sec Seo has been equipped with better armory and he’s at high lvl probably he’ll survive going out on his own. Perhaps because of their circumstances, the time limit of the quest and being in their comfort zone in Korea for too long, made them not considering how menacing the actual game could be in Granada.

I find the quest is rather fishy. Why would master put an expiration time on the rescue quest if it’s the only backdoor to save him? So, I find master is rather fishy.

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JW would be haunted with Seo's plea for to rescue him if anything bad happens to Seo. Seo's phonecall to JW was so sad, he was so desperate for help 😢

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I agree. This quest is too fishy. Jin-woo and Seo were ambushed. The expiration time sounds like a fear tactic to add pressure and make Jin-woo react quickly (kind of what like he did to Hee-Joo during the sale of the hotel).

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Oh my gosh, I had forgotten about his breakdown of why he structured his pitch to HJ that way. I originally thought it was just the writer showing us how calculating JW is, but I love that this scenario echos it!

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nice catch with the scare tactic!
ikr if the quest was really made by SJ to help himself then why put a time limit on it

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It's definitely fishy. I think it's a trap designed by the AI or, if someone's controlling it, the controller and it's not Se-Joo. Everything was designed to rush Jin-Woo off in a panic, not giving him time to think or prepare, or give his only ally time to level up more. Then the attack at the station kept them separated. *insert Star Wars IT'S A TRAP meme*

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Ahhhhhh! Not Secretary Seo! I was hoping against hope that he wouldn't become a casualty of the game. With the game claiming Jin-woo lost his ally and considering these new NPCs seem to inflict real damage/pain I don't see a favorable outcome for Secretary Yeo. I wish he had practiced more actual fighting instead of relying on gaining XP by tagging along with Jin-woo. He might have had a better chance of fighting back had he done that.

Jin-woo is killing me! I'm falling in love with him along with Hee-joo. I can't take his mischievous smile, his dimples, nor his sad, longing gaze. I'm doomed. I think I'm now officially a Hyun Bin fan.

Hee-ju's friend needs to go! He was seriously annoying me last episode and this episode he was infuriating! Not only did he attack Jin-woo, but in the process forcefully shoved Hee-joo out of the way, grabbed a guitar, that he knew damn well took a long time to make, and then planned to hit Jin-woo with it, and then has the audacity to behave like he genuinely cares for Hee-ju. Ugh, he annoys me to no end.

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The last 10 minutes of this ep was good, When they started to move on with the game.

The lonely tear drop on JW's shoulder was the moment i can recall vividly in my mind from ep 9. And the dyson vacuum, it had its own moment to shine too. Especially when a lot are talking about both on the fanwall 😆

Other that that, sadly this ep was filler. Half of it was JW's delusion of what could have happened to SJ. Which possibly did happen or did not.

Still watching because i do find it fun despite all the flaws and plotholes i can personally see~ haha

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@katakwasabi I was also thinking this show was less about plot progress and more filler. The many minutes of Hee Ju on the plane, or waiting, and even the tender moments were rather long drawn out. Basically what we got out of this episode is:
1) guesswork rationale for Se Ju being alive
2) Jin Woo threatened with expulsion and recognising a new enemy in Prof Cha
3) JW continuing a quest that loses him his ally and through which he may have fallen into a trap.... (so this is the set up for that several episodes ago scene of the time JW returned to Granada by train and came out of the washroom shooting?)

I was aghast at how Jin Woo didn't just shoot the NPC's hand that was in the bathroom long before so that he could get out of there and would have seen that Sec Seo was beset by attackers. He waited so long that the train started moving out of the station!! It was just a waste of time and added to the sense that this was filler.

Hee Ju should have been allowed to go to Granada and been given a role to play in helping Sec Seo, if nothing else!

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Hahaha the dyson vacuum was too obvious! They really had to zoom in on that while she was cleaning. Oh PPL, you're like the undying NPC of korean dramas! 😂

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OMG!! Dang, they linger name of Dyson too long for me.

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I was laughing out loud when I saw that teardrop falling on to jin woo's suit. Here she goes again...
BTW do you think the position of the wound is little unusual for a Kdrama standard? Usually, it is in the forehead so that there will be this close proximity when the heroine tends to him.

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Reading the comments here, I wonder why I never have such issues with the things other beanies have. Maybe because I don't think the game is the centerpiece of this show. Eps 5-6 were a little bit boring and next week ep 11 will be aired. Which feels weird because the show is fast-paced but progress has been slow. How many episodes do we need to tie some loose ends? To wrap up another plotline? Tsk tsk tsk

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I do think the game is central to the plot but also wish we spent less time watching JW just fighting in the game. As a non gamer it feels really boring to me. Its likr watching my husband watching youtube or twitch gamers, and I cant even make fun of myself like I do my husband.

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I take back what I said. Just said ep 10 hahahahaha oh god why. I enjoyed watching play games tho.

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Hahaha yes I was thinking of ep 10 when I read your comment!

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Feels like I just got punch in the gut. Writer-nim reminding me to take the drama seriously. Hahahaha fml

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I enjoy watching him play the game and want more of it... but that's probably because it's kind of exactly like a let's play and I like watching game plays on you tube if the player is fun... hah!

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I just enjoy some wallkthrough on Youtube. I'm not really into this fighting game in MOA, prefers Resident Evil and the likes.

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"Imagine a game universe for Grandma in which grannies level up with weapons like ladles to chase out overbearing boys creeping on their granddaughters."

@dramallama I would seriously love for this to happen! Your comment reminded me of one of the Naruto games in which his mom comes out with a frying pan. Can't remember which game, it's been a long time since I've played the game, but I loved having her as an ally just to see the frying pan come out.

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Oh yes, Paperboy game is the granny with frying pan. I missed that old school game in the arcade.

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I haven't played that one, but it sounds like it was a fun game!

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For all the talk about how crazy Jin-woo is, I think Prof Cha is the craziest person in this drama. I always thought that most of his actions and decisions didn't make sense (like how easily he cast his son out and didn't seem to mourn his passing one bit), but after listening to what Su-jin said, I think she nailed it. Cha is a person who only ever cared about his pride, and that probably made him the most dangerous person here. He would stop at nothing to achieve whatever he needed to boost his pride and position and to always felt in control over everything and everyone else in his life. Su-jin might believe that his marriage suggestion is only another way to insult her, but I have a niggling feeling that it might be a long-term plan Cha prepared to keep Jin-woo in check. Cha knew that Jin-woo is slipping away from under his thumb when the game started becoming the thing that ruled his life, but he also knew that Su-jin is still one of Jin-woo's weak spot. And that's probably the real reason for his come-out-of-nowhere suggestion. Can I hope for an unexpected alliance between Jin-woo and Su-jin to stop Prof Cha's machination?

As for our wayward game, Granada sure is a heaven (hell??) for NPC. Things seem to work against all rules there with enemies swarming the city without any warning and wounds that felt painfully real. Is there a special dimension warp there? Or is that an inexplicable side effect from the creator residing in that city?

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I've compared Papa Cha to the grandpa from Are You Human Too before, because they're both prideful people who are willing to throw even close blood relations away if it suits them.

I'm not sure Papa Cha wants Jin-Woo close to him or under control anymore. He's felt extremely cold since Hyung-Seok's memorial and I'm wondering if he'd prefer it if Jin-Woo was gone entirely. He even seems cozier with the Director somehow.

I'll bet he and the Director are aiming to push Jin-Woo out of the company on mental health grounds, and they probably entered beta stages for the game without Jin-Woo's consent or knowledge (can't see him approving a game that disabled him and killed at least two people).

In which case the thing with Soo-Jin was an insult to both her AND Jin-Woo, since Jin-Woo had a face like a slapped butt too. I wish we knew more about how she and Jin-Woo split, there might be an answer in that information.

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I really loved Jinwoo kicking that oppa that considers himself family with his cane.

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Yes! it was wonderful to see him use some of his sword fighting skills IRL. 'these days all I've been doing is playing my game and sword fighting. So don't come at me or you will be hurt!'

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If only oppa was an NPC so he could get kicked out with a grenade launcher

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Give him a beta-tester pass and then as soon as he logs on give him the HS/Marco treatment :)

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LMAO yes, he can become an enemy NPC who goes around grabbing and shoving people to death (seriously Jin-Woo needs to teach that rude jerk a more thorough lesson)

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Real question: what on earth happened in a year that changed the game to the state that it is at the end of ep 9?

Why wasnt JW attacked when he was playing the game in the early stages? This was not his first time at Granada train station. Did it have to do with JW levelling up? But Seo was half of JW's level, and he was attacked by swarms of warriors whereas JW just had to face the terrorists.

The game is totally bonkers. Theres no sound explanation to it anymore. Hua3

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I think the swarm of terrorists and other NPCs only attack the higher level players.
When JinWoo was in Granada last he was still a low level (4 I think) so he wasn't advanced enough to gain access to all the NPC action.
Also I think Seo was really only attacked because he shares everything Zinu has. City Hunter is an ally, so when the game turned real for Zinu, it did for him too. The quest affected Zinu so it affected City Hunter too.
but yeah, the game is bonkers for sure haha

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I think enemies get more modern with modern weapons as the levels get higher (which is why guns like pistols etc are level locked to 50 and above - levels before 50 might have had flint-lock muskets or something).

The warriors that attacked Seo were more his level, judging by their dress, but they were a mob and they were spawning in an unexpected area - I'm pretty sure it's a planned attack (this whole quest feels like a trap). And these NPCs could cause physical pain, which has never happened before with base game NPCs (only with Hyung-Seok and Marco).

This is an intentional attack, but I have no idea who's behind it.

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We seem to be moving steadily towards Papa Cha as a villain. Not sure how to logic my way there, but I wonder if he set the quest as a trap and is trying to get rid of Jin-woo through the game. Both as revenge for his son and as a way to get full control of the company.

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I've suspected him from the start tbh, so I might be biased in my vision, but he started to ramp up the bad vibes after Jin-Woo returned to SK. And I didn't like what I saw of Hyung-Seok's mental state and his dad's treatment of him.

If Papa Cha has the AI that was used in the game, he might have some power over giving it commands. It's pretty easy to set up a quest in a game, I made a really basic quest mod once and the hardest part was designing the dungeon it took place in.

All he'd need is someone to plug the quest into the game, like a mod or something. It's frustrating that Jin-Woo's team, who are planning to release the game, aren't able to investigate more or even seem to understand the game they're planning to release.

But I really think that's possible - actually, I think that's the best idea so far. This is a trap and a brutal way to get rid of Jin-Woo. He avenges Hyung-Seok and gets the company.

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Seems like an ambush
I highly doubt sejoo was the real messenger now

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i think the attacks this time is part of the secret quest, not a normal gameplay

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I agree. If it's an outside force, the quest could even be a plugin, like a mod, added purely to get at Jin-Woo

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This was a roller coaster! A shout out to how cool it was that as the train moves away and he sees on AR view that he lost his ally. The game keeps breaking the rules. The drama may not be perfect but you have to give it credit for such a pumping rideThis was a roller coaster! A shout out to how cool it was that as the train moves away and he sees on AR view that he lost his ally. I like the editing of this drama, you either follow or not follow. And if you do, it makes absolute sense. The game keeps breaking the rules. The drama may not be perfect but you have to give it credit for such a pumping ride

I have also watched ep10, i’ll Say this has to definitely be the writers and PD mind:
1. We are going to write a darn hell of adventure, with a fish pumping horror chase of a hero on a quest - this will be the focus of the story and the audience will follow him on this - it will be non stop action and we are going to hit them with all the rules and break the rules

Advertisers: erm we need a female lead guys

Writer and Pd: no we don’t

Advertisers: yes we do, we already have one, Hyun Bin romancing someone will guarantee some ratings esp with those dimples. Just write it in!

Them: no we can’t - the story is tight!

Advertisers: no female lead no Granada

Them: erm ok.

So we’ll fit her in but the story remains unchanged

that’s it! I hope to be proven wrong but it’s not enjoying my view of this drama because constantly at 1 hr I’m enjoying myself

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Omg I shudder at my typos pls ignore them hahahaha

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The imagined conversation is hilarious and it may very well have gone that way. 😉 Although, seriously, I've just removed the expectation of needing a female lead. This story is about Jin-woo and everyone around him serves as a purpose for his character development or as a detriment to his plans. Had I not been watching some other shows with some badass female leads then I might be bothered by Hee-Joo's portrayal. Thankfully, like you, I'm still enjoying the show. Can't believe there are only six episodes left (not including episode 10 that aired today)!

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Yup, Hee ju's character and her importance to jin woo seems like an afterthought from the part of writers. Whereas they might have lessened soo-jin's importance.
If they take out these forced interactions the story will feel a lot tighter.
I think at first Hee-Ju was just a person with whom he had some emotional obligation but they included romance to milk the fans. The concept is a risky one and a lot of people could pass it because of its gaming aspect.
Somebody mentioned in an earlier discussion that PSH rejected the offer before because the romance was not part of the main story.
I think if it was a movie Hee-ju would have only appeared in a very few scenes whereas Su-jin will have little more emotionally heavy scenes.
Jw's and SJ's relationship seems a little complex. Unlike before Sj doesn't blame JW for CHS's death and even think they're somewhat in a similar sticky situation before Cha Sr.
Jin woo's expression whenever he looks at SJ is also complex. I thought he will hang up when Sj went all ranting in the phone but instead, he asked what happened.
I am not saying they have an otp potential just that their interactions are interesting.

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I actually do like the interactions between Jin Woo and soo Jin - to a certain extent the story between them seems interesting and I wanna know more (why did she leave him? And she seemed to know some secrets?) he does seem to convey a soft spot for her, as he’s gentle with her whenever they exchange

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I have dissed a lot about the writing of Hee Joo but I never thought her as an afterthought. It's just incredible that the writer view her as a sort of emotional tool to heal Jin Woo and uses her tears to personify her. It wouldn't be that bad if her characterization goes beyond these but no.

"Somebody mentioned in an earlier discussion that PSH rejected the offer before because the romance was not part of the main story."
Really? I didn't know that. I saw the preview and it's telling me otherwise.

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I am not sure but I think it was in the soompi thread of this drama. The person seemed like a PSH fan and was so excited about the romance prospects so I didn't doubt him/her.
Are you talking about the ep 11 preview? Just saw that. Maybe romance was supposed to be little more slow and subtle.

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I think you’re right that romance was forced in for marketing 😂. Frankly I haven’t given any interest in this romance since episode 1. It’s just uninteresting and sometimes distracting to the plot. If it were another actress I’d say bring her into the game as an ally, but PSH, um no. If they’d dare make little sister a gamer, I’d jump in joy, then sit down and grab tight for the ride.

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This drama continues to be so compelling - oh my goodness... that whole ending scene with the train reminded me of how scary and suspenseful those hospital scenes were and I was biting my lip. Really look forward to and also nervous about what is going to happen.

The only part about this episode that bothered me was the scene with Sang Beom and Jin Woo - I did not appreciate Sang Beom and understand that impulses and emotions often go together but it really bothered me how he treated both Jin Woo and Hee Joo (especially Hee Joo).

Besides that, such a gripping episode otherwise... looking forward to the next one. I continue to be impressed how they have made this game and how real it is.

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Thanks @dramallama! I'm all for your suggestion on the game universe for grandma and Min Ju, LOL. I was hoping for more interesting quests and stuff rather than just killing to level up. In Granny game universe, Grannies can level up by guessing the right ingredients to each pot of stew and then gain more points by ladle hitting greedy kids who try to steal their food. 😆

The thought that came to me was that it was a pity Hee Ju's character is made to be the butt of jokes or the one who is caught in an embarrassing situation. First time was when she was on the kitchen counter trying to stop the fire alarm, then falling out of the toilet stall and fainting... etc and now we have her caught on the phone embarrassing herself before Jin Woo. Poor girl deserves a break. She also needs to lose the 'family friend,' Sang Bum, who has no business behaving like a thuggish husband.

I feel that show is entering the territory of game universe rule changing again. I'm not sure that the initial rules were always clear and consistent, but if this goes the way of 'W', we may get more sudden changes in what we thought were rules and without explanation or logic, (just to keep show surprising and viewers on our toes).

And this ties in also with what you, @dramallama say about the 'guesswork/delusions' of Jin Woo on what Se Ju may have gone through: "... we don’t know if that hypothetical is true, but it looked highly possible with what we know about the game thus far. I like how this remains a hypothetical — a crafty move by the writing to open up the possibilities in narrative tweaks" This is precisely it. Writer could be preparing to lay on a whole bunch of tweaks and twists on us. Yet, I remain hopeful for more logic and some explanation. 😉

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I was anticipating this episode because I thought Hee Joo was going to go to Granada with him but the preview must have been misleading *sigh* One thing this show manages to do well is create tension so I don’t even question some of the bizarre events of this episode but am more worried about the safety of the characters. I feel like the writer has yet again has not prepared enough answers for the questions she’s thrown but I’m not too upset because I know it’s only make my head hurt trying to connect the dots to each point.

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This episode was filled uncertainty and tension. Hyun Bin’s portrayal of Ji-Won is interesting and heavily-burdened. How does Ji-Won mentally survive this game, or the consumer? It may be a visionary’s goal but at what cost?

The AR storyline is building nicely and I cannot wait to see Ep 10 & the recap. Thanks

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This episode marked the first time I was invested in the action because I thought a character (the secretary) was at risk. I like the secretary, and I hope we've only been tricked into believing he was killed.

A few thoughts:

I don't particularly dislike Hee-Joo, but she cries a lot and it's hard to feel moved by her tears, even if Jin-Woo finds virtue in the constant waterworks (overly emotional people can be annoying, whether they're sincere or not).

At this point, I'm basically ignoring myriad questions and watching for certain characters now. Hee-Joo's little sister is cute, but Jin-Woo and his colleagues keep me watching this show. Hyung-Seok, Soo-Jin, and Professor Cha add a little intrigue, but I keep wanting more. The actor playing Professor Cha has ample experience as a villain, but I'm hoping he doesn't become an evil caricature here.

I'm still not sure what the show is trying to do with the game scenario, since the game world is underdeveloped and this show has not been particularly philosophical. I can excuse some unanswered questions, but I wish Hyung-Seok's death and the craziness that followed had been handled with greater sophistication. It was frustrating to see Jin-Woo blame himself without ever explaining or acknowledging that he still believed it was a game when he killed Hyunk-Seok. He did not use real weapons, and he had no reason to believe his blows were fatal. The show mentions guilt, delusion, and reality, but never really addresses such concepts in any depth. Even if he wasn't in his right mind, the people who were following Jin-Woo's progress in the game should have asked for an explanation after the accident, especially if the game was likely triggering his erratic behavior. It's very strange that everyone would just continue to develop the game and assume his apparent mental breakdown was unrelated.

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👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

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Based on the premise and set up, I thought this show was going to be fast-paced and electric, a fist-bump inducing action-packed thriller (just as W was at its best). Week after week though, I am pleasantly surprised to find that Memories of the Alhambra is firmly rooted in introspection and horror, with flashy action almost taking a back seat. I know quite a few people wanted the game to play a bigger role in the story, but I think show has done a great job so far of balancing between world building within the AR, and exploring how real people entering the AR has in turn created a breach between these two planes of existence. Jinwoo's trajectory in engaging with the game--starting with his child-like wonder, progressing to denial, and ultimately landing squarely somewhere in horror territory--has been constructed with a sensitivity that is not often seen in this genre, and I think that's what makes Jinwoo such a compelling protagonist. Hyun Bin is knocking it out of the park, playing a broken man whose spirit remains unbroken.

The writing is not without its faults, but combined with the thoughtful directing, there's sort of a synergy imbued in each scene. I love the slow-burn, layered storytelling at display here, with details from the newer episodes slowly trickling down to make sense of scenes that were introduced in the beginning. I don't think we learned anything groundbreaking or wholly new in this episode (we didn't even find out what was in the parchment!), yet the tension built up over the last 15 minutes was so thick I didn't even realize I was holding my breath until the credits started rolling. I never perceived Junghoon to be vulnerable, assuming he'd be protected by plot armor. But wow, oh wow, that last scene with Jinwoo watching helplessly from the train as Junghoon got slashed by the NPCs was both horrifying and heartbreaking (doubly so, because it was evident in Junghoon's pleas to Jinwoo to save him that he knew he wasn't going to make it out of this one alone).

It's really such a shame that Heejoo remains so severely underdeveloped and sidelined from the main story. It stings more when you realize there are absolutely no female characters in the show who have been given even a fraction of depth and substance Jinwoo possesses. That's my only gripe with the show, and viewers are completely justified in not wanting to stick around until the end for this reason. I'm here for the long haul though, come rain or shine.

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Love how you described the show. I was not very happy with episodes 9 (and 10) and I think it was because I am expecting this show to be a wild ride like W. Instead, as you perfectly described it, it’s a lot more about painting a close look to a man’s downfall, his struggles, his brokenness and his continuing will to fight despite all the challenges and heartbreak. Your description made me look at the show differently and made me appreciate it in a different way. Looking forward for things to take an upward turn in the coming episodes.

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So I did a play by play of this episode in the car while my husband was driving and I was watching. And my daughter joined me in the back seat. Shoot, it was way more fun that just watching it on my own. I think most of us had already concluded what Jin-woo hypothesized had happened to Se-joo and Marco. And also knowing that Se-joo was in hiding. Although, it surprises me that he is still in Grenada. I would be as far the hell away from there as possible seeing that the second they arrived they were ambushed. Anyway, probably another plot device, but hey, it’s still entertaining. I’m also still fine with PSH. I’m glad this is the only thing I’ve seen her in though. I might not watch anything else she’s in as a result of this though. She’s pretty to look at, but that’s about it so far. And now that there are a couple Zombie NPC’s in the game I’m thinking that the other NPC’s are also affected and can really kill people. Like the zombies are viruses in the game. Can that happen?

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Hyun Bin during the scene where he comes in just as she's yelling at her sister over the phone about a proposal--those DIMPLES. "Should I go buy a ring right now?" OH MY GOD. I ACTUALLY SWOONED. I feel like a complete fool, but I truly swooned, and then could not stop giggling. I am so djfa;lsdjfl;asdjfla;. Just kill me already why don't you.

I literally had to pause the episode to come over here and comment this, so don't mind me heh

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@lady malfoy It was a hilarious scene. I'm proof against those dimples and twinkles in the eye, but I don't mind watching him closely and repeatedly. 😂

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lol jinwoo's scenes with minjoo (or any scene related to her) is such a breath of fresh air in the overall doom and gloom aura of the show. his uber perplexed face when minjoo threw the 'proposal' idea at him was precious

i've never actually found hyun bin hot before this drama. he really does get finer with age

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Wouldn't it be hilarious if Hee-joo is the key to reversing all of the crazy going on in the game? Like what if the ominous guitar music was really just a hint that Hee-joo/Emma's guitar playing is like the safe word needed to do a reset. I know, probably not even close, but God I wish she would do something more functional and less decorative in driving the plot forward. Right now she feels like a NPC "in real life" too.

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@alasam What a great idea!!! That would be so cool. It is actually in the realms of possibility since Se Ju has enough attachment to his sister to make her an NPC guitar player. I would love for this to be true! :-D

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Thanks for the recap!
I went from giggling at Jin Woo cheekily asking if he should get a ring to my heart screaming nooooo at the idea that Secretary Seo is dead....
Another heart racing episode!

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I think that Hee-joo, Min-joo, and even Grandma could excel in an AR game.

Min-joo would be a natural in AR, since her matchmaking persona is already in an alternate reality. But fix the really-kill-the-players but before you let her in.

Hee-joo's special skills would be crying and vacuuming until the NPCs die laughing.

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my god this was one good episode! i've been having drama slumps lately..like when watching other dramas, i'll be half browsing on my phone but i was totally in it for this episode!

this episode and episode 10 was so gripping. WHY MUST WE WAIT ONE WHOLE WEEK

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So did some enemy imprison Se-ju?
1a: And prepare the quest as a trap for Jin-woo?
1b: Or did Se-ju arrange a rescue quest before he was locked up?
2: Or did Se-ju create the dungeon and zombie guards to protect himself from Marco or some other badie?? Then the quest would be a way for Jin-woo to prove he is worthy and that with him around it is safe for Se-ju to come out.
2b: Then how pissed would Jin-woo be about losing his secretary/friend that way???

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the time limit is very suspicious tho.. if you desperately want someone to save you would you put an expiration date on it? esp if you know they would probably die while trying.

i'm leaning more towards a trap

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the recap's mention of the game going haywire as 'bugs' made me snort, thank goodness i have never found bugs of this caliber in my 15 years as a programmer lol. wouldnt it be hilarious if this whole thing was started because there was an extra colon somewhere int he code? XD

idk why people keeps saying the story is inconsistent tbh, i find it pretty tight if somewhat confusing. but we are supposed to be confused, because the drama has constantly put us in JW's perspective, so everything we know is what he knows, which are in bits and pieces and make up the rest with hypothetical scenes. he will only get real wounds from HS, the rest are just normal gameplay to level up.

this trip to granada and the attacks on the train is NOT normal gameplay though, it's part of the secret quest, which is why it only happens in granada, and with real wounds. the secret quest is like on the same thread with what happens with HS

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*semicolon* omg english fail...

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@siesta I need to watch the game play again to see when players feel pain. What you say seems consistent in the game as opposed to what goes on in the quest. I'm quite breathless watching the battles.

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i think it makes more sense if you consider the game to have 2 separate threads
1. the normal gameplay where JW levels up, has to use the lenses and login into the server to access and no RL physical impact

2. the 'magical' gameplay, where you can actually get killed in RL, can pop up anywhere anytime with thunder and MOA guitar as sign,accessible without lenses and connection to server, yet still somehow connected to the game levels, can only be seen by you and your allies. this is where HS, marco and the secret quest resides in

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Thanks for clearly articulating exactly what I was thinking when reading the about the rules and game not making sense!
I think it explains why he cant just show HS to everyone with the lenses because you need to be an ally and he isn't wearing the lenses when he appears.

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Oh, you are a programmer, so you must know a quite lot of things which people like me (who are no computer geek) pass over. I would love to hear your theories about the game and its erratic behaviour.
A lot of people are commenting about the game inconsistencies and writing flaws but I am still motivated enough to see it through the end with Yoo Jin-Woo.

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What Hee Joo said "it’s more distressful to distrust him. He warns her that she may be being fooled again, but she cries that it’s more distressful to try to not be fooled." is Jin Woo's catchphrase. I wonder When exactly Jin Woo said in which ep? I could not remember at all???

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It's just too impossible for se ju to still be alive at this point in the story. If he didn't die after npc's killed him and is being held hostage, he will still die of starvation. It's been a year already! I doubt the game would be sending him food 😑while locked up in some dungeon. I bet his body will show up at some point, a totally emaciated corpse.

I watched ep10 already, and am now giving up in finding logic here. I'm just hoping if the writer can magically kill people, then she can magically bring them back to life too, no? 😂

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No to your First Question Dramallama
The game as an entity is trying to prevent Jinwoo to compete his quest given from
Sejoo !!!
1) It seperated Sec Seo so that he would be
ally less
& 2 ) The game attacked him in the train so that he would not be able alight Granada
Thereby reducing the the time he needed to compete the Quest. This would result in Mission Failure

It's Simple Divide and Delay

As to your premise Of Ladle chasing grannies and Kpop hopeful dance-off . Im highly Intrigued by it

You should write a spoof / premise on it if you have the time for it.

Id love to read such a story !

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Who else notice Jin woo reaction when prof Cha suggested he and Sujin remarry since Hs is gone?
Sujin hands were trembling but Jin woo had this expression that was :
1.What?
2. Wtf
3. I cant be hearing this
4. Omg, I have enough in my life now to deal with this crap
5. i have to level up, NPCs to kill, a quest on my hands, and the thunder is going strike anytime soon
6. I give up (got to end this lunch - I’m going to the toilet to wash my hands and escape)

I swear Hyun Bin was able to convey all these in the few seconds of expression!

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hahaha Hyun Bin has the best facial expressions. He can really act. For the sake of me seeing him in dramaland soon, I hope MOA turns out to be much much better than his last drama. If not, he might really stay away from dramas for good. His movies do really well I heard.

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yes... all these and more.

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I watched this episode and 10 back to back. The last 10 minutes and first 10 minutes is heartbreaking.

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Continue..

What happened to first episode makes more sense now. I so wished Hee Joo joined the game. Make it happen writernim.

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..”tears from Hee-joo when Jin-woo left”....

She’s in love with Jin-woo already...that explains the tears.

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I'm so devastated when it says "you have lost your ally"... what a big burden for Jinwoo.. guy need moral support y know 😭😭😭

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His black hole just gets deeper and blacker
Jin woo simply cant catch a break
Even though this sounds sadistic, but I like the way it’s heading. The game is evolving and I’m hoping it’s something AI related eg HAL hmm .. rather than human

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Granny with a gun is a LOL :D :D
I like your idea though :D

I think the game became reality when a gamer killed another gamer and Granada became like finale level or a finale game and only gamer with level 90 above that can enter it.

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Did anyone else notice how obvious it was that the Barcelona train station was actually Budapest? The episode went out of its way to show it was Hungary by showing the skyline of Budapest and a ton of Hungarian signs at the train station.

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