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My Absolute Boyfriend: Episodes 33-34

The problem with a robot gaining sentience is that he starts having his own opinions and making his own decisions, to the frustration of his friends. When our metal friend is forced to face his own mortality, he has the choice to handle it like a robot or handle it like a human, and for a robot who already loves like a human, his decision is no surprise.

 
EPISODES 33-34 RECAP

After watching Diana destroy his one chance to save Young-gu from melting down, Bo-won thinks about how he taught Young-gu that love isn’t just about giving. He sighs that if he had known all this would happen, he never would have told Young-gu that love is give and take.

He doesn’t realize that Young-gu is listening until he says that he would have learned that lesson anyway the first time Da-da said she loves him. Bo-won breaks down in tears, and Young-gu tries to comfort him, saying that neither he nor Da-da are responsible for his meltdown.

He says that he’s done his own calculations, and he has about a month until his final meltdown. He tells Bo-won, who he sees as Father, mother, and hyung, that he wants to live, and asks him if he can find a way. Bo-won promises and hugs Young-gu, though he cries even harder.

Bo-won goes to Director Go to beg for help. Director Go says that he’s contacted the manufacturer of the heart cooler to see if he can make another one, but he’s since passed away. Director Go tells Bo-won that Young-gu’s only hope is the model in their European branch, which has a different cooling system, so Bo-won says he’ll look into it.

Young-gu dangerously overheats while making kimbap for a picnic, and he manages to melt his own hand down to the wiring. He hides the damage from Da-da and continues planning their picnic, which he adorably spreads out in the living room. Da-da tells him that she used to go on picnics all the time back in school, and they usually also held treasure hunts.

She asks Young-gu what he’d want to get as a prize for winning a treasure hunt. He says distantly, “Time?” then snaps back into focus. Da-da asks what he means by that, so he tells her that he only has about a month before melting down permanently.

Da-da wants to help search for a solution, but Young-gu says that he and Kronos Heaven are working on it. He’s scared Da-da will get hurt, so he suggests they stay apart for a while. But Da-da backhugs him and says that it’s not love to only stay together during the good times.

She asks if he would leave her if she got angry and hurt him, or someday got Alzheimer’s and forgot who he is. He apologizes, but Da-da asks for him to say he loves her instead, so he does.

Director Go fires In-hyuk for stealing the heart cooler and giving it to Diana, knowing that she would likely destroy it. Young-gu is at Kronos Heaven so Bo-won can fix his hand, and he asks if he might accidentally hurt Da-da if he touches her. Bo-won says he’ll be fine for a while after the repair, and when Young-gu looks disappointed, he tells him the good news — they may have found a way to stop his meltdown.

Unfortunately, it requires a factory reset, while will delete all of Young-gu’s memories and the resulting emotions he’s developed. Bo-won promises that Young-gu can go back to Da-da and love her again, but Director Go warns that he’ll have to avoid excessive emotional experiences or he’ll only melt down again. Bo-won asks Director Go to schedule the reset without giving Young-gu a chance to ask any more questions.

Diana arrives at Kronos Heaven just as In-hyuk is leaving and gloats when she realizes that he got fired. She says that her offer is still open if he tells her where to find Young-gu, and a few minutes later, she walks right into the room where Young-gu is lying inactive. She pretends to be having a conversation with him, saying that he deserves to die like the hunk of metal he is for daring to have human emotions.

She says that instead of feeling sorry for her, he should feel sorry for himself. Suddenly, Young-gu’s damaged hand bursts into flames. Diana tries to leave, but the doors close automatically to prevent the fire from spreading, trapping her inside with Young-gu.

Hearing the alarm, Director Go blocks Bo-won from trying to save Young-gu and pulls him along to evacuate. At the same time, Director Park runs into the building looking for Diana, who’s having a flashback to the house fire that almost killed her. We see that a piece of furniture had fallen on her hand, trapping her in the fire.

Director Park finds Diana and manages to open the doors, but Diana is too frozen with fear to move. Director Park yells that staying here won’t absolve her of the guilt of failing to save Diana back then. Young-gu wakes up but neither of the women notice him.

He listens as Director Park tells Diana that she was always kind to her when she was only a maid, and that she used to treat everyone with love. She says that that’s the Diana she wants to remember, and Diana wakes up and starts to cry.

Da-da arrives just as Young-gu and Director Park are leading Diana out of the building. She runs to Young-gu and hugs him, and when he says he’s fine, Da-da passes out in his arms. She’s taken to the doctor, who tells Wang-joon (acting as her guardian) that Da-da is under a lot of stress.

Wang-joon tells Young-gu that this is all his fault, angry that Young-gu didn’t keep his promise to make Da-da happy. He tells Young-gu to get lost now if he’s just going to melt down and disappear, to spare Da-da any more suffering. When Da-da wakes up, she asks about Young-gu and Diana, and Bo-won says they’re both fine. Kyu-ri tells her that Young-gu and Wang-joon had an argument, and that they haven’t seen Young-gu since then.

Young-gu is sitting alone outside, giving serious consideration to allowing his memory to be reset. He’s seen how Diana’s memories poisoned her and turned her from someone with a vast capacity for love and kindness, into someone cruel.

Da-da finds him and surprises him by knowing all about his hand, and she guesses that it’s why he suggested they stay apart. She says she’s still against it, refusing to leave him no matter what happens. Young-gu stares at her lovingly and says she’s pretty.

He apologizes and tells her that he has to go to the head office for a procedure that could stop the meltdown. He deliberately leaves out the part about his memory being erased, and Da-da is relieved, believing that she’ll get him back the way he is.

Soon it’s time for Young-gu to leave for the head office, and Da-da gives him a new pair of sneakers as a gift before he goes. Bo-won mentions the superstition that giving someone shoes will make them run away from you, but Da-da says that if he believes all those myths, he’ll never be able to love. Bo-won gives them a private moment to say goodbye, and before he goes, Young-gu gives Da-da one last, sweet kiss.

After he’s gone, Da-da gives herself a pep talk, reassuring herself that Young-gu will be back in a few days. She’s surprised to find a note from him in his Love Room, tucked into his copy of The Happy Prince, that says he’d anticipated her being lonely so he stashed notes for her all over the house. Awww, he made Da-da a treasure hunt.

Days pass, and one day soon, Da-da is vacuuming when Young-gu sneaks into the house and surprises her. He tells her that he’s all fixed now and they hug, glad to be together again.

Young-gu’s smile fades as he remembers what happened while he was gone — before Bo-won had put him into sleep mode for the trip to the head office, he’d told Young-gu that Director Go decided that when he returns, he has to go to a new owner.

Now that he has his own love, he’d promised Young-gu that he would convince Director Go to send him back to Da-da. But Young-gu had said that he didn’t want to be reset and lose all of his memories of loving Da-da. He’d tried to say he’d rather die, but Bo-won had interrupted, reminding him desperately that he’d said he wants to live.

He’d tried to forcibly shove Young-gu into his crate, but Young-gu resisted until Bo-won paid attention. He’d said that Bo-won and Da-da won’t ever forget him, and that he also wants to remember everything, like a human being. He’d told Bo-won he wants to spend his last month making happy memories with Da-da, and had asked for Bo-won’s help.

So instead of going to the head office and being reset, Director Go and Bo-won had replaced Young-gu’s skin with a material that will prevent any more fires. Director Go had told Bo-won that he could send Young-gu to the head office and have him reset while he was powered down, but Bo-won had said he wanted to honor Young-gu’s choice.

They’d powered Young-gu back up and asked him what he wanted to do next, and Young-gu said said he wanted to go back to Da-da so she could see him smiling in his last moments with her. Bo-won had refused to help him lie to her, and had coldly insisted that Young-gu stop calling him “hyung” until he’s willing to go to the head office and be reset.

Tears slide down Young-gu’s face as he hugs Da-da, and he quickly wipes them before she sees. She asks expectantly if he brought her a gift from Switzerland, and Young-gu thinks fast then frames his face with his hands, hee. She made a fancy dinner, and they toast to his return (with beer in wine glasses, so cute), and Da-da says that if there’s anything humans do that Young-gu wants to try, she’ll make sure it happens.

Kyu-ri and Yoo-jin get together with Yeo-woong to watch the first episode of Doctor AlphaGo 2, but Yeo-woong is worried about Bo-won, who isn’t answering her messages. He finally calls her back and she leaves to meet him, and she can tell by his expression that something is wrong.

He admits that they never made it to Switzerland because Young-gu refused to be reset, and says that now all they can do is wait for him to shut down. He starts to sob at the thought of Young-gu turning into nothing but useless junk, and says he can’t watch that happen.

At the end of the day, Da-da and Young-gu sit in bed, and Da-da admits that she’s worried he’ll break down again. Young-gu lies that he’s completely fixed, and he refuses to say when Da-da notes that he seems to be thinking of something (and her tickle attack fails for obvious reasons).

They snuggle under the covers, and Young-gu says that he wants her to always smile like she was doing just now, even if he’s not around. Da-da says there’s a meteor shower tomorrow night, and that wishes made on shooting stars always come true. They make plans to visit a conservatory and watch the meteor shower, before Da-da nods off to sleep.

In the morning, Da-da shows up on set and demands that Kyu-ri and Yoo-jin pay up — she won the bet that Doctor AlphaGo 2‘s first episode ratings would be over ten percent. Her team gets in trouble right away for forgetting to tell Da-da that there was a schedule change and they need a certain dummy a week early, but the PD grits his teeth and plays nice for once.

They need the dummy for an evening shoot, so Kyu-ri offers to finish it with Yoo-jin’s help so that Da-da doesn’t miss her date with Young-gu. Da-da says it will go faster with all three of them, but when she tries to call Young-gu, he doesn’t answer.

She asks Yoo-jin, who’s going back to the studio for the dummy, to let Young-gu know that she has to cancel their date. But Young-gu is at Wang-joon’s place to tell him that he’s leaving and ask him to take care of Da-da. Wang-joon naturally gets angry, but Young-gu says that Wang-joon was right — better to leave now and save Da-da more pain later.

He asks Wang-joon to make sure she smiles after he’s gone, and Wang-joon can see from the expression on Young-gu’s face that he’s still broken. Young-gu explains that he didn’t get the reset because he’d rather leave remembering everything about Da-da, and begs Wang-joon not to tell her. Wang-joon asks why Young-gu chose him to protect Da-da when he hates him. Young-gu says it’s because he hates him on Da-da’s behalf, and because he believes Wang-joon can make Da-da happy.

Yoo-jin isn’t too worried when he finds the house empty, and he writes a note for Young-gu about Da-da needing to cancel their date. He tapes the note to the wall by the stairs, but the tape gives out and the note falls to the floor.

Bo-won asks Yeo-woong not to tell Da-da about Young-gu, but she argues that Da-da deserves to know the truth. Unfortunately, Yoo-jin returns just then and overhears them, and he says that if it’s true that Young-gu isn’t fixed, then Da-da should have the chance to say goodbye. Bo-won agrees, but he says that Young-gu should tell her himself.

Since he hasn’t seen Yoo-jin’s note, Young-gu gets ready for his stargazing date with Da-da. While he waits for Da-da to return home, he happily remembers the day he asked her to speak banmal with him and to stop calling him “Young-gu-sshi.” She’d teased him, asking if she should call him “jagi-yah” (similar to “sweetie”) instead, and he’d felt his heart leap.

When the director finally wraps for the day, Wang-joon stops Da-da on her way home and they go to his dressing room to talk. Wang-joon asks Da-da to tell him if she’s having a hard time, or if anything happens to Young-gu. She asks why he’s acting strange and assures him that Young-gu won’t be breaking down anymore.

Da-da finally gets home and finds Young-gu sitting in the dark, having waited for hours. She apologizes that he didn’t see Yoo-jin’s note, and she asks if there was something he wanted to wish for. Under his breath, Young-gu whispers, “Please don’t let Da-da forget me.”

Da-da says they can make a wish next time, but Young-gu refuses to cheer up. He pouts that she said shooting stars are rare, but she says there will be one this time every year that they can see together. She makes Young-gu pinky swear, but his eyes still look sad.

He listens as Da-da chirps happily about the things they can do over the next year, knowing that they will never happen.

 
COMMENTS

This was a sweet episode, and I tried to let go of my disappointments and could-have beens and just appreciate what the show does give us, which is a lot of sweet moments between Da-da and Young-gu. I liked that Young-gu finally stopped just doing as he’s told and made a decision for himself for once, and it’s that that made me stop seeing him as a cheerful, obedient robot and start seeing him as the sentient being he’s become. I wish it had happened sooner, because it would have been fun to watch him explore what it means to be human, but better late than never. I’m proud of Young-gu for deciding that being with Da-da for a short time is better than forgetting her and living with a different owner, because what’s more human than choosing how you want to spend the last moments of your existence?

Young-gu finally seemed human when he began to stand his ground and insist on living his life in his own way. I’m not happy that he made this decision without talking to Da-da first, because I hate when a character makes a decision that deeply effects someone else without recognizing their right to have input on their own life. And I think it was wrong of YG to get others involved in his deception, because I can imagine how hurt Da-da will be when she finds out that almost everyone knew Young-gu was going to break down and nobody told her, but I suppose that another side-effect of becoming more human is the capacity to make mistakes.

I did find the scene with Diana in Kronos Heaven to be very odd and out of sync with the rest of this episode. For one thing, she actually stated that In-hyuk’s ID wouldn’t get her into the building since he was fired, then minutes later she’s walking through a high-security facility without anyone stopping her or questioning why she’s there, when her picture should be all over the place with orders never to let her in. She gets right into the room with Young-gu, which is something even Bo-won can’t do at times, then just monologued at his inert form.

I’d hoped that we might get something meaningful when the sudden fire trapped Diana in with Young-gu, but instead, all that happened was Director Park pulling the doors apart with her bare hands (which is something even Young-gu can’t do!) then for some reason start talking about how Diana used to be nice. I mean, maybe that’s true, and we know that the fire when she was young warped her because she believes her family wanted her to die, but what a weird time for Director Park to start talking about it. And if that simple “You used to love people” line is all it takes to reform Diana, then I’m just DONE. She was the one character with any potential left for character development, and I refuse to accept that all she needed was to be told she used to be nice to erase the years of verbal, emotional, and physical abuse she heaped on everyone around her.

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Other than the cute scenes, the whole Diana arc, backstory, whatever is a complete train wreck and I can't figure how it even works into the story in any meaningful way. She is the deux ex machina to the story. She has no credible reason for doing what she does other than it furthers the story line. Once again, I keep being super disappointed with this story, but watching (watched) to the bitter end.

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@sychotic1 Athena,

Er, no way is Diana a "deus ex machina." She's strictly a "diabolus ex machina."

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Thank you @lollypip. You’re almost finished!

Forget the robot plot. At this point, I was watching this drama for the makjang that it is. ML with terminal illness counting down his final days, shortsightedly resisting therapy, lying about being cured, setting up SL to take care of FL... you know, textbook stuff from Melo 101.

Diana who? It seems like that character should be the lead of Doctor Alpha. I think she just walked onto the wrong set. Cuz, how is a villain of a drama that irrelevant to the plot?

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And yet it's popular with int'l audiences...

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By int'l audiences, are you referring to comments on sites like Viki, MDL soompi and such? Once you cast an actor with sizable fanbase, the drama would be 'popular' even if it's F grade.

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Yup.
There are quite a few comments of "awww", "so cute", "hug, hug", "heart, heart" etc.

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'quite a few' is probably an understatement :P

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I wish I could “like” all the toaster comments 😂

(You know I still love you Jingoo, araso?)

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@geliguolu toaster comment? I actually googled and got reviews on toasters.

Is it something like roast?

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@outofthisworld You have to watch AB on viki to understand 😂

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Brilliant! I discovered this while searching for a place to heal, LOL, about the outrage that was the end of this show. All the amazing possibility for exploration with this show -- what does it mean to be human, what is the nature of love, etc. -- and they simple squandered it. It seemed less like a show than a prank, played on its audience for being dumb enough to follow it. You described and assessed it perfectly, and I feel better just knowing that my perceptions were validated. Your remarks are conscientious and constructive, and I'll be returning if/when you write about the rest.

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A question about Diana, which will probably be addressed in later posts: What was going on with that scene with Diana just dropping in at DaDa's home? (Which seemed to have more foot traffic than a major airport.) She tells him "You're going to be in New York tonight," or some such thing, which seemed ominous, and then it's just dropped. I have my own suspicions, which still make the scene pointless, but I'll save them for later reviews. The last few episodes are still haunting me and annoying me.

I love this site so far, and am looking forward to exploring it further.

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I have read the recap yesterday and I still don't have a thing to say about the episode. What does that say about the show?

Thanks for sticking it out with us @lollypip!

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Thank you for soldiering on, @lollypip. Your take on this episode elevated the action, and made it read as more interesting than it actually was.

He’s scared Da-da will get hurt, so he suggests they stay apart for a while. But Da-da backhugs him and says that it’s not love to only stay together during the good times.

She asks if he would leave her if she got angry and hurt him, or someday got Alzheimer’s and forgot who he is. He apologizes, but Da-da asks for him to say he loves her instead, so he does.

As I read this, I realized that Da-da's abandonment issues / demands for “perfect” love will forever trump Young-gu's right to exist. It never occurs to her that the stress of worrying that his failing systems could harm her is actually accelerating Young-gu's demise. She wants him to stick to her like glue, even if it kills him. If she truly loved him, she would encourage him to do whatever he needed to do to take care of himself, and let him go, no strings attached. Young-gu’s current state is not “the good times,” and no amount of wishful thinking on her part can make it so.

I have to keep reminding myself that Da-da is a poster child for “misery loves company.” And that her idea of love is more like holding someone hostage. When she asks him to say he loves her, it felt to me like emotional blackmail. How he didn’t have a meltdown then and there is beyond me.

It was okay for Da-da to dump Wang-joon after seven years when she finally admitted how miserable she was and could no longer stand having to keep their relationship a secret. Doesn’t Young-gu deserve that much? Calling it quits didn’t endanger either of their lives. But Young-gu is different. He is a sentient machine built to exacting tolerances, and they have been exceeded, to the point that his continued operation is in jeopardy. He knows what he needs to do – so let him do it.

I don't consider it noble idiocy to separate if one is legitimately concerned that one's presence could be injurious or fatal to the other party. One should be equally concerned for one’s own well-being, too. Alas, Young-gu is tearing himself apart in an effort to fulfill his design imperative. His best bet is to be reset at the factory, but that would mean forgetting Da-da. Truth to tell, I cannot help but wonder if he would have been better off with another human who was less screwed-up than Da-da.

If I had my druthers, Bo-won would persuade Young-gu to agree to be reset, with an upgrade that would turn him into a BroBot who would spend the rest of his days with his programmer. He’s one of a kind, and should be studied to determine exactly how he came to achieve sentience. Bo-won cares for him deeply, and that reciprocation of feelings ought to be just the ticket to ensuring Young-gu’s felicitous existence.

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Well said. Perhaps Young-gu was never programmed for self preservation.

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You make sense but I am sure we were never meant to see Da Da in a bad light. This means the writing of this character is terrible. The drama has been trying to sell to female fans the idea of perfect and eternal love as embodied by Young Gu. This male companion will also die loving you. Literally. But fear not because love conquers all.

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@outofthisworld,
You've hit the nail on the head. We're not supposed to see Da-da in her true colors, even though she is immature, irrational, and selfish. Or, someone who is seriously depressed and in need of help. I've hesitated to say that because mental health issues are no laughing matter. Better to attribute the utterly frustrating Da-da to terrible writing.

When I think of the mess that Young-gu is in, all I can think of is "Painful Love isn't Love" by Kim Kwang-seok. He tells it like it is.

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wtf! im just half way of the drama and cant control my eagerness to know who will be the last guy for the girl. so i read this. and damn!!! how could be this the ending?? how could the writer go with the robot human love?? like wtf, the guy who truly loves the girl, left to be alone?? hell no!!. the programmed love wins?? so disappointed. i think i will not watch this drama till the end.. so disappointed

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