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Rugal: Episodes 9-10 Open Thread

This week our fighters get an up-front look at the evil that Argos is capable of. However, a deeper threat lurks amongst them as we learn that our hero is slowly losing power to fight the AI within.

 
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP

Rugal picks up where it left off: our boring, confused hero dealing with some strange new memories. Why does he keep seeing himself at the scene of his wife’s murder, as if he were the murderer? As if being unable to forget this troubling vision wasn’t enough, his AI eyes continue to replay the scene for him.

It’s like in real life when you can’t forget an embarrassing or harrowing moment and keep replaying it in your head — except it’s worse than that because it’s literally replaying in your head thanks to self-aware bionic eyes. What does this mean for our hero? Does it make Ki-bum any more interesting? What I do know is that this is an occasion to Ki-bum to have an argument with his actual eyeballs (yes, that happens).

What was interesting this week — and was probably the highlight of the show for me so far — was the sudden invasion of Rugal HQ. One second Ki-bum is moping in his weird room with the exposed rock wall. The next, he’s trying to escape HQ while some crazy SWAT team is clearing the halls looking for our fighters. Gwang-chul pipes into his ear set and says that somehow Ki-bum’s identity was exposed (possibly due to Argos publicizing his identity last week), and he has to make a run for it. And he does!

It’s possibly the most exciting sequence Rugal has managed, and I get exterior shots to my heart’s content as Ki-bum escapes the bunker and tries to hide in the nearby neighborhood. His photo is plastered everywhere and I couldn’t help but think it was good he wasn’t wearing the weird blue Star Trek suit. And then? And then he wakes up. This whole sequence was a dream. And now I’m basically spitting tacks.

But our team has no time to rest, with Argos on the move as ever, and they crash a big Argos event. This requires some nifty role-playing and full-on disguises. Tae-woong (growing more attractive by the episode) gets slicked back hair and a weird mustache. Gwang-chul gets a sorta haircut. And Mina gets a dress and a wig. It’s not completely apparent what they’re trying to accomplish here (outside of planting a bug to listen in on Ye-won’s conversation), but that’s okay since it feels like it’s only for fun, anyway.

Then Dr Oh, who’s been all but forgotten, sends a distress signal, and our team rushes in, barely having time to change from their fancy clothes back to the black leather and face masks. The costumes in Rugal are fun, I’ll give them that.

The team is led to what I’m pretty sure is Duk-gu’s lab where all the zombie experiments are happening (but I can’t be sure since every set looks the same). Here our team is confronted with the full horrors of what Duk-gu/Argos is doing. They survey the massacre while slow, sweeping music plays in the background. I want to feel something but I can’t.

Why? Because Rugal continues to rely on dramatic music and fantastic lighting to keep itself afloat. I can’t blame them, since they do both of these things quite well, and I enjoy the music and lighting each week. But music and lighting a solid drama do not make, and what Rugal needs is more plot, not more style.

But we do finally hit on something — Ki-bum’s inner AI is starting to take over. In the words of Bradley, nothing is technically wrong, but the AI has the power to hijack his thoughts and the more Ki-bum uses the AI, the more pull it has.

We see this getting more and more serious this week, and it hits the ceiling (I think?) when they’re on a mission and Ki-bum “loses himself.” The blue bionic eyes we are used to seeing turn red, and kinda like how that works in Star Wars, red = bad.

Ki-bum brutally destroys some baddies, and even “reads” Tae-woong as a threat until he snaps out of it. Well, I guess it’s one way to make Ki-bum more interesting — pit him against himself?

We get another sudden development when Mina tells Tae-woong that her chip is actually linked to Ki-bum’s. This means she can sense/feel his emotions and knows when he’s going offline. I wish they told/showed us this in a more meaningful way, but we’ll have to take it — and the coffin it nails for Tae-woong’s budding interest in her, too (boo!).

As we close this week’s episodes, Duk-gu hacks the nation’s TV and makes it look like the government/police are behind all the crimes Argos committed. And his scapegoat is none other than Kang Ki-bum. It’s a giant mess and Rugal is in a kerfuffle, but poor Ki-bum has the time to mope around the conference table and ask, “What did I do to deserve this?” Is he talking about being vilified by the nation, or getting cast in this drama? Pretty sure I know the answer.

 
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@missvictrix, your weecap is a delight. Thank you for watching and writing, so we don't have to. Heroes come in many forms.

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I kind of feel like she needs hazard pay.

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At this point I'm imagining the drama gods conspiring to throw all the terrible and nonsensical dramas into her recap list just because they are enjoying the sass and wit of her writing. Because this recap is ART.

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Plagiarist

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yes

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Now I'm wondering if you're both the same person, trying to distract us from this fact. You may also be @sincerelytod.

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At least I stole from the best.

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@ndlessjoie, alas we are not the same person, but just two old dames on opposite sides of the world.

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well, I'm old and not @sincerelytod

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I am both 'the best', 'perfect' and mistaken for egads on the same day. It is a good day.

I am also not @sincerelytod, which is a shame considering the number of time fangirls have sent me into fast moving traffic.

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Agreed. After Melting Away All My Goodwill, I thought she'd had enough, but this one is a gem.

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"Heroes come in many forms."

This is a line that bears many interpretations.

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Haha thanks everyone! You make all the brain cells that died while watching this show worth the while :)

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all i can say is i am so happy to stare at jin hyuks pretty face and wait for another episode to finish. this is so bad it is BAD! what a waste for those actors who play their parts as well as they can. please send jin wook a decent script this next time please?

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This drama may be unwatchable
But your recap @missvictrix is ART

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Seriously, I worry for @missvictrix. Take a leaf from the Clams. JUST KEEP BREATHIN'.

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Did they ever explain the clams?

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The significance of the clams was semiotic code for the viewer, not a conscious narrative component of the drama.

It is not important what the clams meant. It is what the clams meant to you.

So... no...

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To @missvictrix

"Once you start down the dark path (*inserts* of recapping), forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you, it will.” – Yoda

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In between giggles, I had goosebumps breaking out all over my body. This hero was eerily reminiscent of Forest Oppa. The Hot Boring Hero. Is this the new Alpha in Korean drama?

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I think that with Oppa's fifteen different personalities each episode, he was probably more interesting.

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Ki - BUM.

That name is wicked.

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I see a recap from @missvictrix and I click. I know it will be hilarious. Thank you! I do enjoy your weecaps so much.

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Choi Jin hyuk is such a charisma vacuum. I mean, how can a murderer with atomic eyes who has reeked havoc on the very institution that saved him be so damn boring and wooden. There should be a ton of charisma to this character and all we get is this. Having that from you lead alone (and talent above stale oatmeal) can overcome a lot of holes in the product. I am committed this long for Park Sung-woong and there is not enough of him.

Poor Bradley, to have his world turned upside down by such a boring person. And this is a man who works for a covert government.

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Giggling at vacuum. Maybe, Kim Bum is intentionally boring. It is his weapon. To take his foes by surprise. So he's droning on and on and on, and his enemy starts to nod, his eyes cloud over, and wham! Lethal karate chop to his neck. Enemy rolls over, dead. Kim Bum the Ultimate Killing Machine. Imagine the tagline: FIRST HE BORES YOU. THEN HE KILLS YOU.

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"BORING to KILL"

*not watching. Just enjoying @missvictrix at her finest, and all your comments.

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Choi Jin hyuk will strip soon for a grittier look. Remember, @katakwasabi? It's the go-to when a character gets too boring. So he'll be AI-ing in nothing but a black mask soon. Stay pressed.

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LOL at charisma vacuum. That is a serious burn if I ever saw one. He has a nice build and height to him, but he's like a stiff board.

I heard his show he did (name escapes me) that had a lot of kissing scenes was ok. Or maybe the kissing scenes which were more than the K-drama standard swayed viewers lol?!

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Are you referring to Devilish Joy? I liked that show a lot, but now that I think about it, what I remember most vividly are indeed the very nice kiss scenes and the Female Lead being hilarious.

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Lmao, the utter joy I feel reading this makes up for how truly terrible this drama is.

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"Our boring, confused hero"... sounds like a perfect beginning for my memoirs. Thank you for the weecap! The pictures give me mask-envy every week.

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@missvictrix You had me at "spitting tacks". You do realize none of us are actually watching the drama since your weecaps are ever so much better. We bow down to your mastery of witty sarcasm/snarkiness/whatever you'd call it.

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I was wondering that yesterday - is anyone here actually still watching this drama? I dropped it like a hot potato. A very weird, strangely boring hot potato.

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I believe that's why I posed the question: did Netflix produce this for American audiences? Because it reminded me too much of slick, vapid, emotionally void, cardboard characters often seen in American action shows.
Of course I was scolded for thinking just because it's a Netflix original it didn't mean Netflix did anything but bought the exclusive rights to air it. However, I just read an article that stated Netflix also produces Korean dramas besides just buying the rights to air.
Either way, I lasted five minutes watching his blank face at his wedding. But then what if he's only a robot, AI, whatever it is they're doing.

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Netflix didn't produce this, it's an OCN drama.

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I stopped watching near the end of episode 3, when Ki-bum went AWOL AND came very near to violating the Prime Directive. But I can't quit the weecaps, they're just too damn good.

We should be able to vote on some key categories for Dramabeans Awards. This has to be in the running for Recapper Whose Witty & Snarky Reviews Kept Me Returning for More, Long After I Quit Watching the Show.

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**slowly raises my hand** Still watching and still holding on the threadbare string of hope that there may be a point to all of this. Hahaha. I'm just kidding myself. I will finish it just to say i accomplished something. Lol thank you @missvictrix for the weecaps, and for watching with me, as this slowly burns to ashes.

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As I watched every minute of About Time, I will not judge your, well, judgment here. But just know that it's okay to drop a drama. Unless, of course, the DB overlords have you locked up somewhere and force you to watch. I'm not saying that's what is happening to poor missvictrix, but it's just as plausible as bionic eyes that argue with a boring hero. Maybe truck of doom will be more successful in Rugal than it was in About Time.

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Him arguing with his eyeballs is less strange to me than how new eyes mean he can do backflips.

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You see eyeball info all the time in scifi literature and film.

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Jajaja no one has me locked up thankfully. Unless they have and have surgically implanted something in me that has erased my memories. And props to you. I did drop About Time like four episodes in. That was something that just dragged and dragged for me. Rugal at least has some action.

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What - you watched every minute of About Time? Kudos, wow. No offense, but that one was unbelievably dumb and the ending was even dumber. And bad acting. The singing was good though (was it singing, or did she dance, I don't remember...)

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I watched every episode of About Time because I was promised a double ToD but nobody told me I had to wait 16 episodes to watch those two idiots get smashed into the pavement.

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I don't feel the least bit sorry for missvictrix, - I can just imagine her taking notes, pausing, hilarity ensuing, with great leaps of sarcasm and a great wit to share with us.

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I'm still mourning over how wasted Park Sung Woong is in this role. I adore him in everything and this is so painful to watch.

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watching this with my bf and he keeps asking why they've not run out of people to kill or reanimate with robotic parts yet.

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Thanks for the weecap.

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