Are You Human Too: Episodes 25-26
The consequences of having two Shin’s running around are a lot more worrisome than expected, especially since one Shin is learning to think for himself and the other is a loose cannon. It’s a toss-up as to which will get into trouble first, when they can’t even agree on whether Nam Shin-III is helping or hurting Shin’s cause. With all the tension flying around, something is going to have to give soon.
EPISODE 25 RECAP
Nam Shin-III wonders in voice-over, “How would it have been if I weren’t a robot? If I could be sad if we broke up. If I could be happy when I’m with you. If my heart would break because of you. If I could cry for you.”
As he remembers important moments with So-bong, he imagines himself sad, happy, heartbroken, crying, and even responding, “I like you, too, Kang So-bong,” to her confession. He tells himself that he’s a robot that can’t feel love, but as he runs to confront Shin, he wonders, “Then why am I doing this?”
He sees Shin looming angrily over So-bong and takes her wrist from Shin’s grasp. He tells So-bong that he needs to get her away from Shin, asking her curiously, “Is this jealousy?” as he thinks to himself, “Why am I saying this?”
Shin and Nam Shin-III sit to talk, and Shin sneers that he was only joking around. When Nam Shin-III tells him not to “joke” with So-bong like that again, Shin notes that he does seem jealous, as if he’s in love. He thanks Nam Shin-III for talking to Ro-ra for him, but Nam Shin-III says he won’t do things like that again.
He tells So-bong about his conversation with Ro-ra as he drives her home, and she tells him that Shin only asked who’s more important to her to make her and Nam Shin-III uncomfortable. But Nam Shin-III says that it allowed him to tell Ro-ra not to worry about him anymore.
So-bong asks if he’s okay, and he says cheerfully, “I have you now.” She says he can say that as often as he likes, ha, but she tells him not to talk to Shin anymore.
Back at the hideout, Ye-na helps Shin back into bed and asks why he asked So-bong to protect him. He says he was messing with her, and that he thinks it’s funny that she likes a robot, though he doesn’t seem all that amused.
When Ro-ra arrives home, Shin asks innocently where she went and if she met with anyone. She lies that she just went for a walk alone, and after she leaves, his face twitches furiously.
So-bong’s dad is already feeling bad that the world treats her harshly, and he despairs that she’s in love with a robot, which will only make her life harder. When they arrive at the gym, Dad jumps out of bed to glare at Nam Shin-III. When Nam Shin-III offers him some medicine, Dad knocks it out of his hand and orders him out of his gym, and out of his daughter’s heart.
He yells at So-bong too, for loving something that’s not even human. He calls Nam Shin-III “it,” but David, who followed them, interrupts to announce that he’s “its” father. Dad accuses David of being a mad scientist, but David declares, “I gave birth to him with my heart!” Okay, awwww.
The two fathers face off, but Reporter Jo busts them apart and suggests they talk this out. The three end up at a pojangmacha, the dads argue-bragging about how strong their children are (“So-bong fractured my nose when she was only five!” “At six months, Nam Shin-III almost pulled up a street lamp with two fingers”!)
They do agree on one thing — that they should keep Nam Shin-III and So-bong apart. Reporter Jo grumbles that that won’t happen, because they wouldn’t be in this situation if those two were likely to listen to their fathers. She says they need to worry what the world will say if they find out a human and a robot are in love.
Seeing the wisdom in her words, So-bong’s dad asks David if Nam Shin-III has any weaknesses, like something that would make Nam Shin-III shut down. Then he waves off that idea, saying that no parent would make something to kill their child, and David nervously agrees.
Suddenly missing Nam Shin-III, he jumps up to call So-bong, and admits that he feels bad that he can’t disable it. So-bong reassures him that they’re fine as long as it’s in their possession, and David says he’ll talk to Ro-ra.
Nam Shin-III has been on the phone with Young-hoon, who told them to return to the house, and the company, tomorrow. So-bong remembers that he needs to bandage his hand, since Shin hurt himself in front of everyone, and as she bandages him, she reminds him that he asked about jealousy.
She asks if he really felt something when he took her away from Shin, and he says he acted before thinking about it. He says he doesn’t know what jealousy feels like, but So-bong tells him that a lot of humans don’t know their own feelings, either. She says that emotions are embedded in actions, which gives Nam Shin-III something to think about.
Joint and Robocop show up with blankets to bed down with Nam Shin-III. So-bong headlocks them affectionately until they tap out, then heads to bed. Nam Shin-III’s gaze grows sharp to see So-bong’s arms around the two guys, and when they ask why he’s glaring at them, he growls, “Emotions are embedded in actions.” Yeah, let’s just call this jealousy.
Shin sits up all night, stewing over Ro-ra’s lie that she didn’t see anyone while she was out. Ye-na is asleep by his bed, and when her phone rings with a call from Jong-gil, Shin answers. He listens as her father complains that she’s probably with that jerk Shin, yelling that she lied to him that Shin was awake, then Shin belatedly greets Jong-gil.
Jong-gil answers Shin’s summons, and Shin says that his mind is fine, and he even remembers some things he doesn’t wish to. He asks if Jong-gil tried to kill him because he knew something about his father.
Shin snarls that Jong-gil wanted him dead because he knew why Shin left the country, and that it’s his fault that robot is around now. He adds that he heard from Ye-na that Snake died in a suspicious hit-and-run accident. Jong-gil bristles at the mention of his daughter, but Shin says gleefully that Ye-na would die for him if he told her to.
Jong-gil controls his expression and says that he doesn’t care about a daughter who betrays him, and even invites Shin to test him. But he reminds Shin that Ye-na is the only person who cares about him, since Ro-ra’s “other son” is doing such a great job that even Young-hoon and Chairman Nam prefer him.
Jong-gil runs into Ye-na on his way out and asks if she truly likes Shin even though he may try to kill him. Ye-na points out that he tried to kill Shin first, and Jong-gil’s expression changes into something deeply evil. He says without emotion, “I’ll erase every memory of you, from the day you were born to this very moment. Now, I have no daughter.”
Ye-na confronts Shin, angry that he invited her father here without telling her. Shin says she doesn’t need to know why, because he doesn’t want to see her get hurt, but she snaps that she betrayed her father to be with him and has a right to know.
Shin just hugs her close and apologizes, saying that she’s all he has, though his eyes are cold behind her back. A voice interrupts them — it’s Ro-ra, who wants to know why Jong-gil was here. With a petulant stare, Shin says vaguely that he needed to find out something.
Ro-ra says that all this happened because he came to see her, but now she doesn’t know what to do for him. Shin says that he wasn’t in the Czech Republic to see her, but to check something, and once he did, everything else became meaningless.
Meanwhile, Jong-gil goes straight to Chairman Nam and tells him that Shin almost certainly knows something about his father, Jung-woo, and even went to the Czech Republic to look into it. Chairman Nam just says it’s not possible, and Jong-gil laughs that he’ll be off the hook even if Shin learns the truth, since he was only Chairman Nam’s puppet at the time.
Wondering what Shin could be thinking after he nearly died, Chairman Nam makes a call to Young-hoon. Young-hoon runs into Nam Shin-III on his way into the office, and when Nam Shin-III calls him Hyung, it reminds Young-hoon of when Nam Shin-III asked if he ever gets confused that he looks so much like Shin.
He keeps things short and formal, telling Nam Shin-III to call him whatever he wants when he asks if he can continue calling him Hyung. Nam Shin-III asks So-bong if Young-hoon is being cold on purpose, but So-bong advises him to ignore it if Young-hoon is trying to keep a distance.
The M-car team all get an email from Nam Shin-III containing material regarding the new “medicar” idea. They wonder idly if he really is a robot, after seeing Jong-gil’s accusation yesterday involving Nam Shin-I’s body. Most of them assume it was just a doll, but the team’s hotshot programmer doesn’t look convinced that it wasn’t a real robot.
He squints at Nam Shin-III when he shows up for a team meeting. When it’s lunchtime, every screen in the room goes dark, and Nam Shin-III jokes that he’ll turn them off again if they try to work late. The programmer stares again, probably wondering how Nam Shin-III turned off the screens from his seat at the table.
They run into Ro-ra in the lobby on their way out to lunch, and she apologizes for missing the meeting and offers to pay. She seems uncomfortable, and Nam Shin-III sends So-bong to lunch, saying he’ll catch up in a little bit.
When he arrives at the restaurant, he’s got a package of medicine for Ro-ra’s headache, having recognized the signs. The team praise him for being a good son, noting that he seems like a different person lately, in a good way.
One teammate jokingly warns him not to change back, but he says that he might. He tells them that if that happens, they should follow Ro-ra’s orders, because she always does what’s best for her son. He leaves, saying that he has lunch plans with Chairman Nam.
Chairman Nam is already at the restaurant with Young-hoon, and Young-hoon reacts with shock to Chairman Nam’s question of when he should hand the company over to Shin. He think now is a good time, while Shin seems on a positive upswing, markedly better than he used to be.
When Nam Shin-III joins them, Chairman Nam tells him what they were discussing. Young-hoon says that he agrees that “Shin” is better prepared than before, and that Chairman Nam should pass the torch as soon as possible. Chairman Nam agrees, and says he wants to do it with minimal fuss.
During lunch, Chairman Nam notices that who he thought was Nam Shin-III isn’t wearing his battery watch. Young-hoon figures it out right away that it’s actually Shin at lunch with them just now, and Shin confirms it angrily while Chairman Nam is out of the room.
EPISODE 26 RECAP
When he returns, Chairman Nam excuses Young-hoon so he can talk to Shin. They share a drink, and Shin asks if his father was also a good drinker, what kind of son he was, and if Chairman Nam was sad when he died. Hanging his head, Chairman Nam says he’s not sad, because a parent who buries their child has no right to be sad.
When asked why he’s curious, Shin says that he’s getting close to his dad’s age when he died, and he wonders what his life was like. Chairman Nam asks what Shin truly wants out of life, and Shin says matter-of-factly that he wants the company.
Chairman Nam asks eagerly what he plans to do with it, and Shin’s voice grows hard as he sneers, “I’ll chop it into pieces and sell them off.” At Chairman Nam’s shocked expression, Shin tosses off his usual dismissive, “Just kidding,” and asks for another drink.
After lunch, Young-hoon asks Shin what he’s up to. Shin says he came to lunch to see if Young-hoon and Chairman Nam are planning something behind his back. Young-hoon says that when Shin returns, he’ll need some adjustment time, but Shin says he doesn’t even want the company.
Young-hoon tells him not to say that after what everyone went through for him. Shin isn’t at all thankful that they replaced him with a robot, and he accuses Young-hoon of wanting him to take Chairman Nam’s position because it will mean more for Young-hoon himself.
Roaring at him to stop, Young-hoon says that everything they did was to protect Shin. He asks if Shin wants to hear him say he’s worse than a robot, and Shin looks hurt. Young-hoon tries to apologize, but Shin storms out, ordering Young-hoon not to follow him.
Nam Shin-III is with Ye-na, who thanks him for letting Shin take his place at lunch. Shin calls her to say he’ll be back soon, but he spots So-bong nearby and decides he’ll be a little bit longer. He follows So-bong to a cafe and starts to go in, but he finds himself facing Nam Shin-III instead.
Keeping a distance apart, Shin calls Nam Shin-III, who says that he saw Shin’s GPS following So-bong’s. Shin asks who he thinks he is to say where he can go. Nam Shin-III says that he “permitted” Shin to take his place today because he thought he missed his grandfather, but he has no intention of letting Shin near So-bong. He declares So-bong his person, and tells Shin not to go near her again.
Nam Shin-III tells So-bong about switching places with Shin, but she says she’s not mad. That lasts about five seconds before she explodes and admits that she’s crazy angry over Shin abusing Nam Shin-III, and Nam Shin-III chuckles at her frustration. So-bong can’t stand the thought of Nam Shin-III stuck in that car with Ye-na, who treats him like an object. Nam Shin-III just says softly, “’You’re pretty.’ That’s what I would say if I were human. ‘You’re pretty, Kang So-bong.’”
So-bong asks what exactly he’d think is pretty, you know, if he were human. He just grins, and her phone rings before she gets an answer. It’s Shin, who says that Ye-na doesn’t like seeing So-bong so near his face. He threatens to find out how to use Nam Shin-III’s manual override if So-bong doesn’t stop hanging around Nam Shin-III.
Shin tells Ye-na that he only wanted to tease So-bong for liking a robot, but Ye-na doesn’t see the humor. She says it just proves that he’s interested in So-bong on some level, and when he tries to snuggle up on her, she shoves him away.
That evening, Young-hoon sits by the pool with a beer, thinking about his confrontation with Shin. He’s so absorbed that he doesn’t notice Nam Shin-III sitting with him for nearly four minutes. Nam Shin-III asks how many times he has to grant Shin favors like today, and whether he has to do something if it’s a bad thing for himself but good for Shin.
Young-hoon sighs that right and wrong are simpler than that, but humans complicate things for their own gain. He says that if Nam Shin-III thinks something is bad, he should refuse, and Nam Shin-III sweetly thanks Young-hoon for trusting his judgment. He asks if Young-hoon is distancing himself from him, and Young-hoon nods sadly.
Nam Shin-III returns to Shin’s room to find Shin’s nephew Hee-dong asleep, holding one of Shin’s robots. He carries the boy to his mother, who warily says she’ll make sure Hee-dong stays out of his room, but Nam Shin-III says he can play there whenever he wants.
Ho-yeon bristles, accusing Nam Shin-III of giving her son false hope of friendship. She says that when Hee-dong is older, “Shin” will worry that he’ll try to take what’s his and they’ll grow apart. But Nam Shin-III asks what that has to do with letting him play in his room, and tells Ho-yeon not to worry about the future, even inviting her to play in his room with Hee-dong.
Chairman Nam sees them and asks Nam Shin-III to talk privately. He asks Nam Shin-III the same question he asked Shin — what he wants from life. Nam Shin-III says he doesn’t want anything, and Chairman Nam says it’s because he doesn’t have ambition. But Nam Shin-III clarifies that wanting something means you lack the strength to take it, and a slow smile spreads over Chairman Nam’s face.
Nam Shin-III says that he has the strength to take everything, he just doesn’t need to use it. Chairman Nam asks if Nam Shin-III truly has no desire to live as his grandson, confusing Nam Shin-III (who thinks Chairman Nam still believes him to be Shin), then dismisses him. When he’s alone, Chairman Nam lets loose a maniacal cackle.
Back home at the gym, So-bong finds her dad passed out after drinking. He rouses and calls her a bad daughter, and she agrees that she’s never been obedient and probably never will be. She says he should give up hoping she’ll break things off with Nam Shin-III, and he sighs that she has to be stupid, stubborn, and frustrating — exactly like him.
He tells her to stop doing something if she knows it’s wrong and will get her hurt, even though he couldn’t. Tearing up, So-bong says that she tried not to like Nam Shin-III, but she couldn’t help herself.
Dad blames himself, but she begs him not to criticize her like everyone else. She sobs that she wants to stay with Nam Shin-III, and Dad dries her tears and says he won’t stop her or cheer her on. But he pleads one last time for her not to do anything that will get her hurt, or he’ll break Nam Shin-III.
Contemplating the sunny day, Chairman Nam tells Young-hoon that he hopes he dies on a day like today. He says that dying is just part of life, but he’s worried about the company. He asks Young-hoon if he trusts Shin with the company, and if he does, if he means the old Shin or the new Shin.
Chairman Nam admits that he trusts Young-hoon more than he trusts Shin, because blood aside, Young-hoon is the only one who wouldn’t ruin the company. Young-hoon agrees, adding that he’s confident and he wants it. But he says he only thinks about it and doesn’t truly want it, “Because I don’t want to live like you.”
He says he’s not so greedy as to cast off his own son and grandson and suspect everyone, asking of that life makes Chairman Nam happy. He says he’s been lonely all his life and doesn’t want to hurt Shin, nor does he want to make Chairman Nam nervous.
He declares that he’d rather want less and be happy, so he’s content to serve Shin and be less lonely. He excuses himself, but Chairman Nam stops him to ask what “that guy” is to him. Young-hoon asks who he means, and Chairman Nam tells him, “That Shin-like robot.”
So-bong finds Dad waiting for her when she leaves again, and he crouches to tie her shoelace. She says she’s going to meet the person who told her to quit her job and refuse them, and Dad grumpily sends her off to do whatever she likes.
Nam Shin-III goes to see Shin, who’s in Ro-ra’s workroom, using a wheelchair while he recovers. He tells Shin that So-bong won’t quit, because she works for him, so he’s the only one who can make her quit. Shin snaps that Nam Shin-III is here to help him so he has to obey him.
Nam Shin-III clarifies that he’s here to help Shin, so Shin can’t order him around. He tells Shin not to threaten but ask nicely if he wants a favor, but Shin growls that he prefers making threats. He says that since threats don’t work on a robot with no emotions, he has to threaten something else — So-bong.
In a low voice, Nam Shin-III warns Shin away from So-bong, but Shin yells at him for daring to threaten him. He throws a tool at Nam Shin-III, narrowly missing his head. The noise draws So-bong, who screams at Shin to stop.
So-bong steps in front of Nam Shin-III, but he pushes her behind him for fear she’ll get hurt. Shin scoffs that he must really think he’s human, and he picks up a wrench and advances on Nam Shin-III. He swings with all his strength, but Nam Shin-III barely moves despite the deep gouge in his face.
Shin drops the wrench, which was destroyed by Nam Shin-III’s metal skull. Nam Shin-III calmly looks at So-bong and smiles.
I expected things to get bad when Shin woke, but I never expected Shin to be so violent. I’ve been giving him the benefit of the doubt that he was such an angry adult because he was basically kidnapped by his own grandfather and raised in a cold, unfeeling home, and he didn’t seem so bad in Young-hoon’s flashbacks. But the Shin we’re meeting now is awful, nasty and vindictive and violent, and willing to use people without a single care if they are hurt by him or not. I understand that he’s had a horrible upbringing and feels betrayed and abandoned by Ro-ra, but none of that excuses the way he’s behaving now.
On the other hand, as much as we’ve talked about Young-hoon being conflicted because he benefits from being Shin’s assistant, I never thought about how Shin would feel about it. He’s got to be feeling that Young-hoon is basically paid to be his friend, which explains some of his hostility towards Young-hoon. No wonder he’s angry that they went so far as to replace him with a robot — from his angle, I can see how it looks like everyone around him went to ridiculous lengths to make sure he doesn’t lose his inheritance, but for their own sakes, because being near Shin assures them of benefiting from his wealth and power. I still don’t think it excuses Shin’s extreme hatred and bursts of violence, but I can understand that he’s probably lived a very lonely existence, deprived of his parents and with his only friend being an orphan his grandfather pays to stay around him.
Speaking of Young-hoon, I feel like he may be on the verge of a breakdown. He looks exhausted, emotionally and physically weary, as if he’s about to reach his breaking point. I know his feelings about Shin are complicated, all twisted up in the luxury he’s allowed to live in because of him, and now he’s starting to care about Nam Shin-III as a person and has even admitted that he might like him more than Shin. That’s got to be a difficult set of emotions to be feeling all at once, and I’m worried that he’s going to do something regrettable. That, or if Ro-ra decides to hit Nam Shin-III’s kill switch after all, Young-hoon may have a crisis when he has to choose between protecting Shin or saving Nam Shin-III. It doesn’t help that Shin is being such a colossal ass, while Nam Shin-III is only growing more sweet and understanding. I wouldn’t blame Young-hoon if he chose Nam Shin-III (if it came down to that), but I don’t think he himself could survive the choice.
But as for Nam Shin-III — I knew that he was feeling something all along, he just didn’t know it because he’s been told he’s a robot without feelings. I think that he’s had them for a while now, but it’s been hammered home that he’s a robot and can’t possible have emotions, so he just doesn’t question it even when he is feeling something. So-bong had a good point, that a lot of humans don’t even know their own feelings, so I can believe that Nam Shin-III has just taken everyone’s words for the fact that he doesn’t have emotions and never even realized he was feeling anything. I think it’s cute that he keeps saying, “That’s what I’d say if I were human,” or “I’d feel this way if I were human,” as if it doesn’t count that he’s doing and saying exactly the right things regardless. I don’t think there’s much difference between a person who was taught to hug someone when they cry, or a human who learned to hug someone when they cry — so much of human interaction is learned behavior, so who cares how it was learned? The point is that Nam Shin-III does know what to do, or say, or feel, in any given situation, and I don’t believe that the fact that he’s not organic makes him any less of a person.
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