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My Absolute Boyfriend: Episodes 15-16

As our heroine’s lovebot beings acting more strangely, so does her ex-boyfriend, resulting in a lot of emotional confusion. Everyone is acting jealous and possessive, and poor Da-da just wants some peace and quiet. But when multiple threats arise, she’s forced to face how she feels, and the truth surprises everyone.

 
EPISODES 15-16 RECAP

Young-gu surprises Da-da with a trip to the ocean, where he asks her to give him a chance. “I want to be loved now,” he says, adding that he thought his only job was to give love, but when she looks at someone else, he feels strange. He asks her not to avoid him… but Da-da suddenly realizes that she’s supposed to go to work today.

Oh noooo, Young-gu took her to the east coast, a long way from Seoul. She makes him drive her back to the city immediately, and on the way, she gives some thought to his request.

Back home, Yeo-woong insists on leaving the hospital early, preferring to rest and recover at home. Wang-joon drives her home (Yeo-woong: “I never thought I’d ride in a car driven by Ma Wang-joon!”), and she tells him that she heard he never got to speak to Da-da. He says guiltily that Da-da almost got hurt because of him, so he plans to stay away from her for a while.

Young-gu drops off Da-da at home then leaves to return the rented car. Confused about his sudden desire to be loved when he’s always said he just wants to give love, Da-da turns to Young-gu’s user manual, but she learns that there’s no such mode in his programming.

Young-gu arrives at Wang-joon’s place at exactly noon to take him to his script reading. Wang-joon asks shyly if Da-da’s injured wrist is okay, but Young-gu just stares and tells Wang-joon not to ask personal questions at work. LOL.

When they get to the station, Wang-joon hangs back in the van to finish watching an interview he recently did. He was voted most loved by all female age groups, and Young-gu asks how he achieved that. Wang-joon grins, assuming that Da-da said she doesn’t love Young-gu, and he brags to Young-gu that he has a talent you just have to be born with.

Inside the station building, Wang-joon walks past Da-da without even looking at her. Kyu-ri freaks out when she sees Young-gu following Wang-joon, assuming that he came to see her although Da-da tells her that he’s just Wang-joon’s temporary manager. Kyu-ri flirts shamelessly with Young-gu, who ignores her and tells Da-da unceremoniously, “I love you.”

She claps a hand over his mouth to stop him from calling her “girlfriend,” laughing awkwardly that her cousin learned some weird habits while living abroad. Ha, turns out he got the idea from Wang-joon’s interview, which described him as having “charm like a bulldozer.”

They all make their way to the script reading, where Da-da hides behind her script because Young-gu keeps staring at her. She motions to him to look elsewhere, but he shakes his head emphatically and shoots her very serious hand-hearts. Wang-joon can see Da-da’s distress, and gapes at Young-gu’s besotted expression.

They take a break, and when Yoo-jin spills water on his shirt, Da-da pulls out a hanky to dry him off. Young-gu sees this, which reminds him of another explanation he saw on Wang-joon’s interview for why everyone loves him — he incites maternal instincts. Young-gu grabs Kyu-ri’s water bottle and deliberately pours it down his front (Kyu-ri: “He has a six-pack!”), but Da-da just yells at him.

She pulls Young-gu aside to ask what’s gotten into him today. She asks if he’s malfunctioning or jealous, and Young-gu says he’s not programmed for jealousy, he just doesn’t want to see her with other men. He wilts, thinking that Da-da is ashamed of him, but she says it’s not like that.

Young-gu thinks of the third reason for Wang-joon’s charm — his energy to pursue a goal until he succeeds. Young-gu promises not to embarrass Da-da again, then he leans her into the wall and demands a kiss or he’ll call her “girlfriend” in front of everyone.

Da-da makes Young-gu promise to keep his word, whispers ominously that they’ll discuss this later at home, and gives him the tiniest, most reluctant peck on the cheek ever. Just when she thinks she’s safe, they see Yoo-jin standing in the doorway, shocked — he saw the kiss.

He’s grossed out, still under the impression that Da-da and Young-gu are cousins, but the only other explanation is that he’s her boyfriend. Young-gu beams as Yoo-jin assumes that Young-gu is the long-term secret boyfriend. Da-da begs him to keep her secret, and he finally leaves, giggling madly.

Da-da catches Young-gu grinning and threatens to shut him off if he does this again. Wang-joon happens to see them bickering over whether Young-gu will allow Da-da to wipe her lipstick off his face.

After the script reading, the cast and crew go out for dinner, and Young-gu continues his intense staring at Da-da. Wang-joon joins their table, but he won’t eat or drink because he’s on a diet for the show. Kyu-ri continues trying to flirt with Young-gu, and Wang-joon pays close attention when she asks Young-gu if he has a girlfriend.

Da-da makes a not-very-subtle “say no, you idiot” gesture, so Young-gu says he’s not dating anyone. Wang-joon catches the entire exchange and leaves the table in a snit.

Later, he asks Da-da why Young-gu denied dating her, and Da-da says pointedly that Wang-joon claimed not to have a girlfriend for seven years. She brings up the night he asked her to dinner and asks what he wanted to talk about, but he remembers the threats from his stalker and says he doesn’t remember.

Da-da sighs that she got her hopes up over nothing, but Wang-joon stops her with a hand on her wrist. He might be about to tell the truth, but Young-gu comes to take Da-da home. Wang-joon refuses to let him go, saying that Young-gu is supposed to be caring for him. Young-gu retorts that Da-da is always his priority, but Da-da says she’ll have Yoo-jin and Kyu-ri take her home.

As Young-gu drives Wang-joon home, the sight of the riverboat reminds Wang-joon of a date with Da-da, when she’d marveled at the pretty boat. He’d said it was all flash and no substance, and had waved off Da-da’s request to ride it anyway.

Now Wang-joon is surprised to learn that Da-da and Young-gu never rode the boat together, because something came up. He realizes that Da-da was lying when she said she didn’t go to the restaurant to meet him that night, and it makes sense why she seemed so upset.

When Young-gu drops Wang-joon off, Wang-joon gives him a carton of milk and tells him that Da-da always has one after a night of drinking. Young-gu gives it back, saying firmly that he’ll care for Da-da in his own way. Wang-joon says that Da-da will return to him eventually because of all their years of memories, but Young-gu only replies, “Real boyfriends don’t make their girlfriends suffer.”

He hands over his resume and goes home, where Da-da is still up. Young-gu asks her if something about Wang-joon is upsetting her, because he’s noticed that she has this expression every time she sees him. Instead of answering, Da-da just goes to bed, and Young-gu wonders what he has to do to make her love him.

Diana is getting frustrated with the delay in delivery of her new toy. She’s expecting her lovebot in two days, and she tells Director Park that if Kronos Heaven doesn’t come through this time, she’ll “reward” them, as she rips the head off her doll.

After striking out at Da-da’s studio, In-hyuk starts to panic that they won’t find Young-gu before Diana’s deadline. But Director Go happened to see the ring Da-da was wearing while she claimed that she hadn’t seen anyone strange near her studio, and he thinks he’s found the right place.

After a broody shower (thank you, drama gods), Wang-joon takes a look at Young-gu’s resume. Seeing that it lists Da-da’s studio as Young-gu’s address, Wang-joon freaks out at the fact that they’re living together.

Da-da wakes up to find Young-gu standing in a heart made of flower petals, a rose in his teeth and a determined expression on his face. He takes her hand and she sees that he’s also spelled out “love me” in rose petals. He gives her a bouquet of southern corn marigold flowers, which he says mean “I want to be loved by you.”

Annoyed, Da-da asks why he keeps saying that. She orders Young-gu to clean up, then goes downstairs to answer the door. It’s Director Go and In-hyuk, who shove their way past Da-da and say they’re here for Zero-Nine. Da-da says she doesn’t know who that is, but Young-gu walks into the room, giving himself away.

Da-da goes crazy and tries to shove the two men out of the house, but they push her into Young-gu. Young-gu gets angry that they touched his girlfriend and starts to crush In-hyuk’s shoulder with one hand. But Director Go recites a sequence code, and Young-gu closes his eyes and collapses to the floor.

Wang-joon comes to Real to confirm that Young-gu is living with Da-da, and finds Da-da fighting the two men as they try to carry Young-gu away. In-hyuk is shocked by the unexpected appearance of a Hallyu star, but Director Go doesn’t recognize him and says this is none of his business. Wang-joon says it’s absolutely his business when his manager is lying unconscious on the floor, and accuses them of attempted kidnapping.

In-hyuk finally gets Director Go’s attention and tells him who Wang-joon is, and that things will get very bad if anyone finds out about this. Hearing this, Da-da threatens to call the police if they touch Young-gu. A timely police siren scares them enough to make them leave, and as they scuttle away, we see Bo-won hiding outside the studio with a speaker, playing the siren noise. HA.

Bo-won goes inside and sees Young-gu, and he assures Da-da that Director Go only recited Young-gu’s temporary pause code. Da-da asks why those people were trying to take Young-gu, so Bo-won explains that Young-gu was supposed to go to a different owner, where he would be miserable, but Bo-won stole him and fled.

Wang-joon petulantly kicks through Young-gu’s flower petals while he waits for Da-da. She finally comes out of her room, and he says they need to talk.

Bo-won is with Young-gu when he wakes suddenly, asking about Da-da. He hears that she’s with Wang-joon, and he asks Bo-won what meaning a seven-year relationship holds for humans. Bo-won says it means they devoted their youth to each other, and Young-gu says he just wants to be loved by Da-da, but he feels like there’s something more precious to her.

Surprised, Bo-won focuses on the “I want to be loved” part, and asks when Young-gu started thinking that way. He doesn’t comment further, but he looks very disturbed.

Downstairs, Wang-joon asks Da-da if she came to the restaurant the night he asked her to dinner. She admits that she did, and waited for him like she’s always waited. Wang-joon starts to make excuses, but Da-da says he always has reasons and she’s tired of hearing them, because she could never object without sounding like she was whining.

She says that as much as she waited quietly, she always came in second for him, so she’s done waiting. Wang-joon starts to tell Da-da the truth about their breakup, but yet again he’s interrupted, this time by Bo-won.

Bo-won tells Da-da that he doesn’t think Young-gu can stay here anymore, now that Kronos Heaven knows where he is. He asks Da-da to take Young-gu somewhere, just the two of them, but Wang-joon doesn’t like the sound of that so he volunteers to let Young-gu stay with him. Bo-won agrees but Da-da objects, worried that Wang-joon will discover Young-gu’s true nature.

Bo-won is also worried, but it’s better than letting Kronos Heaven have him, and they won’t be able to touch him if he’s staying with a top star. Of course Young-gu doesn’t want to leave Da-da, but Bo-won says he has to go, and stay close to Wang-joon, if he wants to see Da-da again.

At Wang-joon’s house, Wang-joon tells Young-gu to sleep in the living room despite having several extra rooms. He says that one is for his robots and one is his dog, Bbobbi’s, and Young-gu just accepts it, hee. Young-gu is surprised at Wang-joon’s packed schedule, but Wang-joon says it’s been like this since he debuted.

Young-gu asks if Wang-joon gets tired, being too busy to even sleep, and Wang-joon says that people say he’s like a robot with the way he manages the hardest schedules. He doesn’t seem proud of the fact, and when Young-gu says that being so busy can make you forget about what really matters, Wang-joon agrees sadly.

Da-da walks through her empty house, and she finds a little robot wrapped in fairy lights from Young-gu, with a note that says, “Girlfriend! Think of this as me while I’m gone.” Later she finds his book, “The Happy Prince,” in his room, and as she reads the sad story she remembers Young-gu asking her to try loving him back.

She gets scared in the middle of the night when she hears a strange noise, but thankfully it’s just a cat. Da-da takes the little robot to bed with her, and she finally sleeps soundly.

In the morning, Da-da wakes to find a man in a mask standing by her bed. She screams bloody murder, but it’s just Young-gu, who came disguised so he wouldn’t be caught. Da-da is disarmed when Young-gu says he couldn’t stand not seeing her.

He’s excited to see that she slept with his robot gift, and she can’t help laughing at his eager face when he asks if it helped. She tells him to go now since it’s dangerous for him to be there.

After ignoring Young-gu’s warnings about his condition the previous evening, Wang-joon wakes up sick. He calls out for Young-gu, but finds a note saying that Young-gu went to see Da-da.

Young-gu is pleased to notice that Da-da spiffed up the spare room he’s been staying in, adding things like paper heart chains and strings of fairy lights. She tells him that she wanted to do something for him after all he’s done for her, and she even made a little wooden sign for the wall that says “Love Room.” Awww.

Young-gu asks if Da-da is giving him love, thrilled even though she says it’s not that kind of love. He helps her finish putting up the curtains, and at one point the whole thing falls on top of them, trapping them together on the couch.

They pop back up, and Young-gu laughs and says he gets it now — you don’t make memories, they make themselves. He says that moments like this will become their precious memories, and he hugs her and thanks her for the wonderful memory, but behind his back, Da-da starts to quietly cry.

Suddenly, a rock smashes through the window, narrowly missing them. Young-gu runs outside but all he sees is a car speeding away, and on the porch is a black box with dead flowers on it. Young-gu gives the box to Da-da, and when she finds the same damaged photos of her and Wang-joon inside, and a note written in what looks like blood ordering her to break up, she drops the box in horror.

There’s another note that says, “Ma Wang-joon won’t listen to me, will he?” Da-da remembers Wang-joon asking the man who tried to drop the flowerpot on her head about a black box, and how he keeps trying to tell her something serious. She calls Yeo-woong, who tells her that Wang-joon has been receiving the same threats for a while now.

She rushes to Wang-joon’s home and pounds on the door, and lets herself in when he doesn’t answer. She finds him looking desperately ill, and as soon as he sees her, he passes out.

Right on her heels, Young-gu comes in and sees Da-da is holding Wang-joon and crying.

 
COMMENTS

I’m so confused as to where the show is taking us in regards to Da-da’s choice between boyfriends. Having seen the Taiwanese version, I know how that story ends, but the romance set-up in that version was completely different. The leading lady’s human suitor was a long-time friend, not a very recent boyfriend she fully expected to be marrying soon, so the only true romantic conundrum was whether the robot truly loved her and if she could love him back.

In this version, we as an audience are being asked to evaluate which boyfriend is better — one who loves Da-da in a very human, fallible way but who treated her carelessly for years, and made a huge hurtful mistake, or one who seems to do all the right things, but it’s only programming. Young-gu looks good on paper, and he truly does try to love Da-da, but he’s only performing loving acts – until this episode, I didn’t think he had any feelings of his own (now he’s getting jealous so his ability to have emotions is in question, but I don’t feel we’ve seen enough on that to have formed an opinion yet). Then on the other side we have Wang-joon, who I do believe loves Da-da, but in a very self-serving way. For seven years he’s allowed her to do all the giving — much like Young-gu does for Da-da now — but he only made time for her when he had nothing else going on, and when he finally had a chance to validate Da-da’s seven years of waiting, he dropped the ball.

Yes, he had a good reason, but no, I don’t believe that the way he handled it was correct at all. He should have sat down with Da-da and discussed the issue and what to do about it, together, like the couple they were supposed to be. I’m so glad that Da-da finally told Wang-joon how she felt about his constant excuses for making her wait, and how she never felt she could say anything or she’d look unreasonable. Wang-joon needed to hear that, just because she waited quietly for him, didn’t mean she was happy with the way things were. And now he treats her more like a possession than a person, which just rubs me the wrong way.

(And to those who maintain that Da-da actually broke up with Wang-joon — I strongly disagree. It was the night that they’d both looked forward to for seven years, the night that Wang-joon was supposed to reveal their relationship to the world and ask Da-da to marry him, something they’d planned for seven years. But instead of talking to her first, he let Da-da watch, brokenhearted, as he broke their pact on national television. Then that same night, he had another chance to tell the truth about their relationship, but he let her be arrested as a stalker. Maybe Da-da said the actual breakup words, but it was absolutely Wang-joon’s intent to end things, and his actions made that perfectly clear.)

As for Young-gu, unlike in other robot romance dramas, he didn’t fall for Da-da because she’s special or because she was kind to him — he only “loves” her because his programming tells him that the first woman who kisses him is his girlfriend. He may be developing real feelings after the fact, and he’s a complete sweetheart, but it still falls flat when we know that the basis for his feelings is just a program. I had started to be annoyed with Da-da for never giving him a chance (by this point in the Taiwanese version it was obvious that the female lead was struggling with feelings of her own), but then I realized that if this were real life, you would fully expect the human in the equation to guard her emotions. Even a handsome, attentive robot is still, after all, a robot, and Young-gu has a lot to learn about how to act like a real boyfriend.

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"He should have sat down with Da-da and discussed the issue..." Except then it would be a totally different drama, or perhaps that would have been the last episode, or there wouldn't be a robot story...
I'm still on the human's side, hoping the writer will also have an epiphany and redemption arc for him - he's acting all too Alpha Male. Surely he broke up with her on national television to tell whoever is threatening her that he did his job, please leave her alone.
As far as the robot, is "behavior" still creeps me out. For once I'd like to see the all too human traits of jealousy and rage and possessiveness that the robot mistakes for protectiveness That would be something new and different.
This seems to be a learning by fire experience for all of them.

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You are right. If drama characters sat down and talk, there will be no drama. At least not for this one. As @moonbean wrote in an earlier recap, this story uses all cliches and old fashioned misunderstandings.

The character Wang Joon needs to be the alpha male, insecure ex-bf because that's a large part of the story. Without it, there will be no Shiny Robot vs Shitty Ex-boyfriend shenanigans.

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Thanks @lollypip. I didn't get to watch this episode, but your recap was detailed and gave me a good picture of what's happening.

I have ?questions? about Wang Joon. He's a terrible blow hot, blow cold sort of suitor. Poor Da Da!!!

He had the ring with him all prepared, so from hindsight - with the little that we were shown - he seemed to have had every intention of following through with the proposal on this Award night. But why did he prepare this if his sentiment was that they should break up?

We already know this because earlier while Da Da and he were alone, he first mentioned that they should break-up, which shocked her ... then he retracted. So he was thinking about it already, and he looked serious about it, although he played it off as a joke. So why did he have the ring?

Had he perhaps received some black boxes of threats already, that made him think of breaking up?

The way he broke her heart cannot be explained or excused by black boxes. If the threats were the issue, he should have texted her in advance, at least to say that he could not make the announcement yet, even if he could not say why, so that she'd know what to expect. He seems to have chosen the most hurtful way to cut Da Da off. Then, not surprisingly, Da Da takes him up on the earlier suggestion and puts the break up into words. It’s not right actually that the onus of breaking up fell to her instead, when he made the relationship so untenable.

Cake - Given the chance to make things right for Da Da, he blows it by allowing her to be arrested as a stalker and tells Yeo Woong to throw away the gift cake that Da Da made. But again from hindsight, we see that he had retrieved the cake and kept it, but hidden in his room.

This totally reflects his attitude towards Da Da and their relationship. He literally always wanted to have his cake and eat it, while keeping it under wraps. He's still doing the same. He wants to have Da Da available for him, but not necessarily as an official girlfriend, if it upsets his star status. Now he has the added justification that he has to protect her from the threats so he cannot out the relationship.

I agree that he treats her as 2nd or 3rd in priority after other things that he wants. Even if he'd had the chance to give her the ring, would she have been able to wear it in public? Would he have announced his status as an engaged man?

Now he's behaving like a typical dog in the manger. He can't have Da Da, so Young Gu (or no one) should. I'm miffed that Young Gu is the same. He does not like her paying attention to any other man. Nam Bo Won has to answer for this twist in the AI learning and programming. Programmed love, like true love should not include possessiveness! I hope writer-nim is not making out that a sign of true love is this jealous, possessive streak in both robot and ex-BF.

What I foresee (or guess) is that show needs now to redeem the character of Wang...

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... to redeem the character of Wang Joon and make his actions show that he sincerely loves Da Da afterall. He’s going to end up helping Young Gu save her and protect her, etc … It’s gonna be hard to convince us viewers though, that he’s still a worthy suitor for Da Da. I still hold to what I said a few episodes ago. Show should be brave enough to do the unthinkable, ... end by portraying Da Da happy and fulfilled on her own, without either robot or Wang Joon.

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I think it would be amazing if they had Dada single and happy at the end of the show. I really can't see her getting together with either of them.

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Well it won't be hard to convince me Wang Joon can be a worthy suitor for Da Da. And I'd rather see Young Gu save both of them, not just her. Or they can all save each other (let's not be sexist here).
How can she be fulfilled on her own? She has a career already. You mean as in fulfilled because she's all by herself, loving only herself? Well, perhaps she can't really be happy until she learns to love herself but we're already halfway through the drama.
And I can think of plenty other dramas where the female learns to be happy and fulfilled on her own, and until that happens she doesn't find love with the opposite sex. But those dramas usually have something like "a year later...".

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Da Da can be single and happy but if she needs companionship, she doesn't need to choose either of these two.

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Possibilities: 1) She ends up with robot lead because he becomes flesh and blood and a nice guy and they ride off into the sunset
2) ends up with human 2nd lead boyfriend because he changes from a jerk to a nice guy and leaves the idol business and becomes an ordinary bus driver
3) She discovers self love in every way
4) ends up with someone else a year later
5) One or two or all of them dies and this turns into a tragedy.
6) Robot gets turned off and batteries taken out. He gets a new assignment.
Wow, there are more possibilities than I thought.

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@linda-palapala
I got one point into your list and went "OR THEY ALL DIE wait I'm not even watching this show is that a possibility?"
And then I kept reading and was delighted to find that that IS a possibility! Yay!

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@sicarius
7) The robot gets his wires crossed and discovers BL.

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@linda-palapala I was absolutely waiting for Wang Joon to fall for Young goo, or vice versa 😂

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@geliguolu Me too! That's why I added #7 because I kept thinking that, then, no kdramas wouldn't do that, but...maybe? No, Yes, No, I wish...it could be hilarious.

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@geliguolu: Of course, if there's ever a Taiwanese remake, then yeah, they'd go there.

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@linda-palapala I'd totally watch no. 7) What a hoot! If only writers think out of the box.

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Wow!!! You just stole my words!! I literally don't want to ship her with both of them!! MWJ is out of question, bcoz of all the he reasons mentioned here and YG....he is good and sweet...but at the end of the day he's a robot afterall and everything he's doing is bcoz of programming!!
I too would be glad if she actually finds happiness by herself!!

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My biggest problem with these robot shows is that they can never convince me the robot isn't simply following its program. Zero Nine is still learning, his program is iterative, he's an AI. That means of course he's going to keep compiling data and if the data he compiles conflicts with the thing he learned in the lab then he's going to get errors he needs to resolve.

That doesn't mean he now has emotions or is "really in love". It just means being in the world has provided him with new input into relationships - not necessarily good input either.

Da Da has repeatedly told him that giving love is not enough, he should also expect to be loved back. At the same time, she's clearly in love with somebody who's not him. Of course that's going to cause conflicts in his programming.

I agree with you that the best lesson Da Da could take from all of this is that it's better to be alone than to be in an inadequate relationship - whether from someone who refuses to put her first or from someone who is entirely a fantasy.

By the way, I love your "cake and eat it too" comment. That is so true.

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@leetennant, I think you've made a very important point here. Zero Nine's programming is all based on him being bought at a boyfriend (sex?) toy by someone who wants him. Now he's with Da Da, who doesn't want him as a boyfriend and that conflicts with the core fundamental assumption in his programming.

I think Jin Gu is doing a great job at showing desperation set in underneath all the cute. If Zero Nine is not loved, then this challenges his whole reason for existing. The reason why many people find him creepy is that desperation is never very attractive and it's got the possibility of tipping into something much darker. Now, I don't think this show is going to go there, but it wouldn't take much for him to get the 'if I kiss her, she'll fall for me and it will all be fine' route. Hey, he could watch some kdramas and they will tell him that.

Stick with children's books, Zero Nine. Stick with children's books.

I'm finding the whole set-up, and the way it's played, absolutely fascinating and I'm intrigued to see where the show is going to take it.

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Me too.

I try not to mention the Japanese version too much but I'm so glad this has the depth that lacked. There two things in that I really hated - the first was the scientist declaring 'He has emotions now!' and then expecting us to just hand wave that through. The second was the kiss thing, with his "imprinting' being kiss activated. The latter was why I was debating not picking this up but I can now see several ways the show can do that plot line that will work well with the themes they're exploring.

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@leetennant Maybe we should go back and redefine the several ways "love" can be defined, especially in this crazy drama.
Emotions such as fear, fight or flight response, anger, jealousy, self preservation all evolved before logic. Isn't it in a much older part of the brain? So how can an AI develop emotion?
Oh, wait, this is a fiction drama, logic doesn't matter.

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So much is told by flashback and out of order, but this is what I think happened:

-They both knew that this was the day they'd hoped for, that he would win the award and propose. So to be silly, Wang-joon joked that he wanted to break up. They both laughed - they knew he was joking.

-He fully intended to go through with his plan to reveal their relationship if he won the award and propose. That's why he had the ring.

-Just before the show, Wang-joon received the first threatening black box.

-In a panic, he just... didn't say anything. Then later, still panicking, he let Da-da get arrested.

So right up until the awards show, Wang-joon was still planning to propose if he won the award. But the arrival of the first box freaked him out and he just stalled out and did nothing, and let Da-da think he didn't want to marry her anymore.

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Yes, he panicked and froze. I think some fans are prematurely too harsh on him. Interestingly, we're only halfway through, right? And it looks like things are about to change, but it's way too early to know the end result. This is partially fascinating because we don't know where the screenwriter is taking this - will there be a social message or will it just be banal fluff?

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I'm honestly pretty mad at Wang-joon for how he's handled this whole thing. But that may partially be my own experience having been "ghosted" by a long-time boyfriend who was talking about marriage one day, then LITERALLY just disappeared the next day. Totally refused to see or speak to me, or explain, he was just gone. I have ISSUES with characters that make unilateral decisions in relationships without at least a discussion.

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Ah, so it's personal. I imagine in your experience you'll never find out why? Sometimes guys are such cowards.
On the other hand, I was the one who disappeared on a boyfriend once. I never saw him again or explained, but everything in my life had come crashing down while he was away and I just ran away from my problems.
My big question is: who of the supporting cast is the one sending the black boxes with the dead flowers on top? Who was rejected and why?

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I feel for you @lollypip. It must have been terrible for you. One day or if that time has already come, you will realize you've dodged a huge bullet.

I always feel it's hard to be 100% certain going into marriage but we still take the risk, jump in and live the outcome whatever it may be.

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That's interesting @lollypip, because I had the impression that he'd got a flower box before he said 'lets break up'. I didn't think that Da Da was certain that he was kidding, I thought there was a beat there (if I remember correctly) that she thought he was serious, but then laughed when he did. Why would he have made that comment otherwise?

So I thought he'd got the flower box, said to Da Da: let's break up, then stepped away from it by turning it into a joke, was going to go through with the proposal but got a second box and didn't say it.

But as you said, we see it all in flashback so it isn't entirely clear

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My read of that scene was yours. He was serious but when she took it as a joke he laughed it off. He'd already received a box.

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@lollypip @cloggie @leetennant
Yes, I'm with @Cloggie and @leetennant ... I may have to re-watch to be sure, but there was a beat when he said 'let's break up', she was shocked and he looked serious. Then one of them said it was a joke so it was left at that. But it was not convincing as a joke.

There were also several black boxes received in the space of time when Young Gu said he had opened his eyes '11 days' previously. I was wondering if MWJ had been receiving boxes every other day or what.

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Then came ep 17-18 which left my jaw hanging.

This whole Da Da and Wang Joon's break up is actually more interesting than I thought.

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@outofthisworld So glad you brought that up! My thoughts exactly. This drama is a roller coaster and as long as the writer keeps it up I find it more and more intriguing.
Seems they're each considered robotic by someone else.

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I have been dissing this writer but I am liking the issues brought up in Da Da and Wang Joon's relationship. It feels real.

I'd give it more points if there's some lessons to be learnt here for everyone.

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I still want Dada to remain single. Don't pick!

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I never thought Wang Joon intended to break up with Da Da. He might have given the impression under those threats but it was never his true intent. In fact the silly chap thought that his pseudo breakup with Da Da after outing her as a stalker was temporary. I found it hard to forgive Wang Joon after that incident and it could only be salvaged if he were to go on his knees and beg for a long time.

Whether Young Gu develops human like feelings for Da Da or is asking for reciprocal love, I don't really care. I have come to see him as a rather annoying, clingy dongsaeng who will frustrate Da Da in the long run.

The only bright spot in the whole drama was seeing Da Da in her happier moments with Wang Joon. She looked happy and in love. However if those times are few and far in between a tiring 7 year old relationship, I'd rather she find happiness being single and take time to find real love.

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If he has become sentient, Zero Nine is literally a toddler in an adult body in many respects. His "programming" about relationships is completely superficial, so he is learning about real relationships from Da-da. Unlike the others, I am still rooting for the robot.

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Zero Nine is already sentient. The question is whether he is (or even can be) sapient.

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Sentient is not only thinking, it is feeling. Since sapience is either intelligent, which he clearly is, or human, which he will never be, I am using sentient :)

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I'm not feeling this drama.. Which is a shame, because Jingoo owns my heart and I've loved him in everthing, but this one just isn't doing it for me

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At the moment, the only male character in the entire drama that I think anybody should even consider dating is Bo-won and yes, that is taking into account the fact that he's currently homeless, reads children's books and was watching porn at his place of work. He could go out with Yeo-woong and that would be cute.

Apart from that, I'm just laughing my head off at all the weird behaviour and feel that the characters have got a lot of growing up to do and should stay single for the foreseeable future (like 5 episodes or so lol).

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What about Yoo-jin? I could see a Noona romance there. She could be adored by something that isn't an over-sexed Talkie Toaster.

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Actually, yes, that would work!

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I feel like I am beating a dead horse by repeating this but I really still am not feeling Young Gu as anything beyond a machine. I find it suffocating that he doesn’t have a self purpose, he does everything for Da Da. I wouldn’t want to be with someone like that. It’s not romantic, it’s creepy. His persistence, loud exclamations, demands for a kiss are not heart fluttering but harassment. He is making Da Da embarrassed, worse he constantly puts her in uncomfortable situations (including very unprofessionally at her workplace – his only reason to work is to be near her and so she wouldn’t be ashamed of him but she has more legitimate reasons for work, so her job is really important for her). He even resorts to blackmail. I also dislike him depersonalizing her by calling her girlfriend as if that’s her only identity (when she is not even his girlfriend). Seriously, if all this behavior would come from someone without Yeo Jin Gu’s face will people still root for him?

Young Gu’s romantic gestures (be it a confession or flowers) always fall flat as there are no emotions involved and they also highlight how meaningless going through the motions can be when there is no emotion involved. I wonder whether this is the reversal of the dichotomy set up between Young Gu and Wang Joon that was favoring Young Gu in the beginning by showing he did everything Wang Joon didn’t. Now no matter how insignificant they may be Wang Joon’s actions seem much more meaningful as there is real emotion behind them as opposed to Young Gu’s meaningless rituals. He is only going through the motions to make Da Da love him, not to make her happy. If he truly wanted her happiness he would help her get back together with Wang Joon as her heart is clearly with him still.

As if the stupid misunderstandings and near misses aren’t enough I am also annoyed that every time Wang Joon is about to say something heartfelt someone (usually Yong Gu) butts in and it gets interrupted. More reliance on really old fashioned clichés. But of course we need all the clichés to keep going in circles when a story that doesn’t even have enough meat for 16 episodes is stretched to 20. I worry about this drama being unnecessarily long. I fear they will make Da Da waver from one guy to the other along the way - my least favorite thing in a romance drama is a lead who doesn’t know his/her own mind/heart.

One development I liked in this episode was Young Gu moving to Wang Joon’s house that is bound to include hilarious antics as well as both male leads learning from each other. For example when Young Gu learned how busy Wang Joon’s schedule is he gave him some home truths: “When you live a hectic life, you could end up forgetting about what really matters the most.” Wang Joon doesn’t seem to enjoy being a celebrity much so I wonder why he is continuing. He can’t eat because he is on a diet, he can’t sleep enough, he cannot see his girlfriend as he wishes and he seems resigned to all these. It is very...

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... sad.

Regarding where Young Gu should sleep in a 7 bedroom house I think the room for Wang Joon’s robots would have been extremely apt. And surely there is a reason he is so into robots, plays a robot in dramas and is called a robot for his endurance. No wonder his rival in love is a robot!

I am glad Da Da finally knows the truth about Wang Joon’s reasons. It doesn’t negate all Wang Joon’s mistakes but I also think it is unfair to lay all the blame in the breakup of their relationship on Wang Joon’s door. Yes, Wang Joon should have been more considerate but Da Da also shouldn’t have kept quiet for 7 years about the aspects of their relationship that wasn’t working for her and nurture her resentment.

I also think Da Da made mistakes with her relationship with Young Gu as well. She should have never allowed him to continue to call her girlfriend this long and establish some firm boundaries from the beginning. Her attitude of whatever encouraged Young Gu and caused his shock at her choice in the end, but to the audience I think that choice was quite clear.

I am digging Wang Joon’s crazy costumes and colorful sunglasses.

Bo Won should have changed the codes that would shut down Young Gu!

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I don't think you're beating a dead horse. A lot of us agree with you. At this stage I'm still thinking it's deliberate how creepy he is and how much his behaviour borders on harassment. The show seems to be very clearly against this kind of one-sided behaviour as "love".

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You got me thinking - are there any real life relationships where one partner is as perfect as can be and the other who's more normal? Would it survive?

Someone should make a horror film or drama where the partner is like a lovebot except that he's human. Perhaps there is already one?

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@moonbean So now that we're at ep 26-28 do you still feel this way? And btw, I predicted who would show up as robot 10. I think this drama is getting more interesting and less annoying, i.e. 10 minutes of interest to 5 minutes of annoyance.

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I haven't seen this weeks episodes yet so, so far my feelings remain unchanged.

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I think (i hope?) our handsome robot will help actor robot and our heroine get back together, after saving their lives from whoever is threatening them, and sacrificing himself for the greater good. Then he will have learned the true meaning of love and then he will become a "real boy."

I still find WJ the more compelling character here and I have no doubt that he sincerely loves Da-da. However, he has screwed up big-time and has some important lessons to learn. I hope he gets there.

All indications are that WJ has been faithful to our girl. She is someone with whom he can be himself, because he really isn't anywhere close to being as cool as his public persona. He's kind of a dork, actually, isn't he? I mean, he has a ROOM full of robots! Where are the hot girls and the parties?

Once again, we see the noble idiocy at work, because he obviously takes these threats seriously. Why he didn't just sit down and TELL HER instead of making decisions on his own--well, we've been down this road before. I can't explain it nor condone it. It's just a drama.

So, WJ needs to learn a lesson--a whole slew of lessons--before he becomes a "real boy," too. Still rooting for him. Rooting for all of them!

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I think I'm going to swear off any robot dramas after this.

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I've only tried one before this and didn't make it through, but that was due to not really liking the acting/production

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Well, I, for one am enjoying this show very much. It doesn't matter to me that Da-da might fall in love with a robot, who seems to be evolving. How many humans are robotic and never grow in any way other than how they were programmed or taught. So no, this does not creep me out. I am more concerned with evil Dianna and what she will do and I question why does the Director seem to really Hate the REAL team. Sure, the ex treated her badly on so many levels but she also allowed that to happen, as well- regardless of her reasoning. All three main characters need growth and it appears that is happening. Just my thoughts.

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I wonder why recaps are so late. 🤔🤔🤔 Hope lolipip is not sick. If you are hope you will feel better soon. ❤️

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I was actually very sick last week, probably the sickest I've ever been! But I'm better now and working on episode 17-18 as we speak :)

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Im so glad you are feeling better. I kind of felt that you must be sick. Hope you will fully recover soon. And thank you for the recaps. I enjoy them a lot! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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I honestly can't really have a robot as the main romantic love interest which is the main reason I've always avoided robot dramas (which is something I can't believe I'm typing lol) Yes, I don't agree with how Wang Joon has acted yet I'm still one his side if the dramas ends with Da Da actually having a boyfriend. We've seen his caring side before and their flashbacks are so cute. While I can see why some are voting for Da Da to be single in the end, which honestly might be the best option if Wang Joon doesn't change, but I'm a hopeless romantic.
Personally I think Young Gu has a lot farther to go in developing human feelings. In these recent episodes the writers have portrayed his possessiveness and jealously more as a response to Da Da not fulfilling the role of a "girlfriend." His programming gives him this idea of what a relationship should be and since Da Da doesn't quite have feelings for him yet she's not fulfilling that side. Yes, he is different from when he simply wanted to love her regardless of what she wanted, but it's not that much of an improvement if you ask me

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