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Kairos: Episode 5 Open Thread

We only get one episode this week, which is disappointing because of how good this show is, but also STRESSFUL because of the expertly cruel cliffhangers it delivers on odd-numbered episodes! Much is revealed, although our protagonists remain in the dark about some crucial information. Still, Seo-jin and Ae-ri are closing in on the web of incidents and relationships that connect them, and who’s behind this chain reaction of misfortune. But will they be able to uncover enough of the truth, in time to avert more tragedy?

 
EPISODE 5 WEECAP

It turns out that Do-kyun and Hyun-chae met twelve years ago—he fell for her at first sight when she came to play piano at the wine bar he worked at, and she seemed to recognize instantly that she could rely on him.

And we finally see Ae-ri’s mom: she is alive but in hiding, and tells someone on the phone to send the money and keep their hands off her daughter.

Ae-ri runs from the apartment Do-kyun and Hyun-chae are trysting in when she receives Seo-jin’s message, but disturbed by her continued narrow escapes from death, tracks down Kim Jin-ho. He refuses to tell her what he talked to her mom about, but drops the fact that her father died in a building collapse nineteen years ago—the construction project helmed by Seo-jin’s company that still haunts his nightmares.

Ae-ri shares this information with Seo-jin, and they connect the dots that Seo-jin’s personal assistant Taek-kyu is connected to both murder attempts and to Kim Jin-ho.

Seo-jin manages to put a tracker on Taek-kyu’s car while also swinging by Kim Jin-ho’s detention center and pleading with him to tell him who he’s working with inside the company—does Kim think they’ll protect his sick child if they were willing to sacrifice Da-bin? (I just want to say here: deadly smart and efficient Shin Sung-rok on a mission, RAWR.)

But Do-kyun drives to a rural cottage, where Hyun-chae and Da-bin await, alive and well.

The tracker leads Seo-jin to a dark country road that Taek-kyu left just minutes before. There he finds Ae-ri’s mom, dead from hanging. Oh God.

We know now that the crucial meeting Ae-ri’s mom had before her disappearance was actually Taek-kyu; we also know that Taek-kyu is taking orders from Do-kyun. Clearly someone higher up is giving them both orders to cover up whatever corruption led to these two tragic accidents. But there seems to be a personal element of revenge or hatred tied up in Do-kyun’s actions, too. Maybe he feels that Seo-jin stole Hyun-chae from him—he’s clearly willing to do anything from her, including help fake both their deaths. That goes beyond love and into obsession.

On the other hand, I get a weird detached vibe from Hyun-chae, especially when she expressionlessly turns up the music when Do-kyun is talking to Seo-jin. That’s a pretty high-stakes revenge for an interrupted booty call. She strikes me as someone who seizes any advantage, with no investment in others beyond what pleasure or affection she feels in the moment. Likely her marriage to Seo-jin was a calculated move for upward mobility. She seems as though she’s playing a game—far less worried about being discovered than Do-kyun, who is constantly nervous, at least in Ae-ri’s timeline.

Is Hyun-chae this thriller’s requisite psychopath? Or perhaps it’s Taek-kyu. (You know there’s gotta be at least one of those hanging around.)

It’s an interesting choice to show us information the protagonists don’t yet have, whereas before we’ve mostly been in their perspective, even if we get a more complete picture seeing both timelines. But the backstory and revelations in Episode 5 work well to ramp up the tension even more, because it adds to our dread to know that Taek-kyu now knows Ae-ri and is actively hunting her, that Do-kyun and Hyun-chae are only partway through their plan to destroy Seo-jin. To see the truth of how deep their betrayal goes, and how deeply it will devastate him. Seo-jin wants to start over with his wife and child, but is Da-bin even Seo-jin’s daughter?

Our protagonists are reeling from multiple revelations in this hour about how interconnected their lives actually are, and it’s only going to get more complicated when Seo-jin has to deliver the painful news of her mother’s death to Ae-ri. So far they’ve been trusted partners, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Seo-jin’s company may have been responsible for her dad’s death, but he has realized that he’s in a nest of vipers at his workplace. The rot may go right to the top—I don’t trust the Chairman one bit despite all his kind words and assurances, and I’m glad Seo-jin is beginning to see the true colors of the few people he relied on, as lonely as it makes him. He needs to be on his toes in order to defeat these people with no allies in his timeline. At least Ae-ri has Soo-jung for emotional support, and Gun-wook for practical backup.

I also had the (probably obvious) realization this week that they’ve found a way to communicate outside that one-minute kairos: Ae-ri’s actions seem to change Seo-jin’s reality in close to real time, and he immediately gets the memory headaches that let him know she’s done something to affect his timeline, reorient himself to whatever has changed, and then use those clues to gather more information to send to Ae-ri before the end of the day. It’s a smart way to alert Seo-jin immediately that something has shifted, and though the mini-fits could come off hokey, Shin Sung-rok pulls them off beautifully. As he does everything else.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Monday, come soon!

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I knew Hyun-chae and Da-bin were alive. I knew Seo-jin and Ae-ri were connected through the building collapse. I knew Seo-jin's company was behind the incidents. Despite the predictability, I find the drama thrilling. Good execution and top notch acting.

Hyun-chae is a piece of work. I agree with @Laica that she has a weirdly detached vibe. Seo-jin doesn't appear to have been the best husband, but he doesn't deserve to be destroyed. When Seo-jin starts to figure things out he needs to lay some truth bombs on Do-kyun like he did Jin-ho. Hyun-chae used him 12 years ago and is using him now and will destroy him when he's no longer of use.

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I agree with somethings are predictable but it's so well excuted and thrilling to watch. However...I didn't expect ep 5 ending, I was waiting for him to be attacked from behind but what he saw was worse 😱.

Hyunchae is such a good actress. We speculated that she could be the one planning it all and now that it's revealed all her small actions before starts click. I noticed she pushed Seojin away when he hugged her during Dabin's finger scene, brushed it off at that time. Ahhhh...poor seojin 😭.

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I was 95% sure they were both still alive, but still cannot figure exactly what Hyun-chae's game is. And with all the timeline switches am not even sure if hubby knows that Hyun-chae is cheating on him with his assistant. I'm a bit confused.

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I don't think Seojin9 knows yet. He is trying so hard to change the past to save his daughter and wife. But maybe now Seojin8 will catch on after he heard the same music in both phonecalls. The phonecalls didn't happen in the past. These are all new memories.

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I agree that Seojin9 may suspect something, specially after AeRi gets to tell him something (I don't know if she will tell him everything about he saw). In fact, I thought that after he remembered listening to the music, he would go through his wife's things or something, but he didn't.
I know Hyunchae has a plan and has not left traces, but with all this alterations in the timeline, maybe something appears (just as the report in the Prosecution Office).

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There's another company behind the collapse, the project was a joint venture. I think Hyunchae's dad was the boss of the other company, and that company took the brunt and went bankrupt while Yujung construction is still in business, and successfull at that.

In 2008, Hyunchae nonchalantly told Dogyun that she lives in a high end area, and Dogyun believed her because according to him she does look rich. I think she was talking about her old home, before she had to work at bars to support herself.

I do think Hyunchae has the upperhand in her relationship with Dogyun. I do think she approached younger Seojin with a plan in mind, got married and secretly laid out he cobweb and waited until the right moment to attack.

However I don't think the main target is Seojin. I think the target is the company. To me..it doesn't make sense if the chairman is the mastermind to take down Seojin and make him miserable...he gets no benefit from it, and it's bad press for his company 😅.

Looking forward to ep 6! I'm looking forward to Monday too @laica .

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They started their affair prior to meeting Seojin right? Or were they already married then?

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I believe it was before she even met SeoJin.
They may have been working on that together for that long, and even he got the job through their connection.

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I don't know when it started. They haven't shown when the affair began. It could be they are an ex-couple who some how rekindled their relationship after HC got married. Or it could also be an ongoing relationship since 2008 and they decieved Seojin from the start. Either way...poor seojin 😭

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I like your theory about Huynchae. Maybe she was also related to the collapse, maybe it was not SeoJin's dad the CEO of the other company (I think SeoJin's dad had a lower position), but Hyunchae's dad.
I still think her motivation was to marry a wealthy man to get a good position and then get rid of him.

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That's a really good theory about Hyun-chae. It makes a lot of sense.

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A feasible hypothesis. I think they have plotted this from a long way back.

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Just finished episode 1, it caught my attention enough to make me watch the next one.

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I wish more people checks out this gem! I am not into time slip/travel dramas but I think this one is an exception.

I agree with you @katakwasabi, I think evil wife is coming after the Chairman/company. Poor Seojin 🥺

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I agree with Zora! I wish more give Kairos a try too~~~~

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I wonder when Aeri can finally communicate with Seo Jin in August. Like make him listen to her. If September Seo Jin could provide a clue that only he would know, maybe that could be her way of getting through to him. Reference the accident that happened to him in the past? The last words that his father spoke to him? I just want Aeri and Seojin to meet, talk and drink PPL coffee together.

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Yes please. It can even be a milkshake.

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Forget that, originally Seo Jin couldn't contact Aeri becasue she was in jail, then dead, then dead again. But now she's apparently alive in this timeline (as far as he's aware) and he hasn't tried to contact her. Why? Oh I'm sure there'll be some great reveal about what terrible new thing happened to her at some point but that doesn't explain why he hasn't tried to find her once he found out she wasn't murdered. Surely that would be the first thing he did?

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It did seem a bit strange to me that future SJ almost never met future AR. But then again I'm not sure what meeting her in the later timeline would accomplish, other than checking that she's ok, and making sure that she has been ok long enough to be in the position to save Da-bin earlier.

All in all, it's past AR who is most important to future SJ, while future AR seems comparatively... well... useless. She doesn't have anything to tell future SJ except that she hasn't rescued DB yet. And the most useful info she can give her past self (via future SJ's phone) would be info about the mistakes and setbacks that have led to her failure. Since future SJ and past AR already know that they have yet to succeed, it's unlikely future AR's info would be news to them.

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Each character's motivation is a mystery.

Seo Jin chose to work in the compagny that almost killed him when he was young. He really didn't know their implication in this incident? Or the CEO made him a job offer to keep him far from the truth?

The mum wants to revenge her husband, but why now? What new information she got that gave her power to make them afraid and killing her?

Hyun-Chae looks like a rich girl who lost everything and had to survive alone. How is she connected to the collapsed building? She's clearly using Do-Kyun to make the dirty work. But why she's so angry against her husband to the point of acting in an extreme way.

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So we were all right: Neither HuynChae not DaBid are dead (and have never been!). My bet right now it is that HyunChae is the one behind this, she wants to get rid of his husband, get all the money and her child and her lover. I think this is a long term scheme. She’s really a cold and calculating person considering her so real-faked reaction to her daughter’s death.

Can someone be behind her actions? I have the feeling Chairman is up to no good thing. I didn’t buy his good words from minute one. CEO’s in drama land are not that kind, specially the ones in big construction companies.

I believe the objective is to frame SeoJin both for the deaths of his wife and daughter and the low quality materials and get rid of him. In fact, in episode 1 he was about to kill himself when he received AeRi’s messages. That was what the ones behind this plan were after: without him, HyunChae can be with DoHyun and CEO has someone to blame for the materials.

But still I think TaeKyu is a red herring, and this is based only on the fact that it was him the one who gave AeRi’s number to Seojin. I know he was present in the scene where AeRi was supposed to die, that his apartment is the one where DoKyun and HuynChae meet (who else got Billy Wilder’s The Apartment here?), that he follows orders from CEO, that he was the one who took Mum from hospital and he went to the place where se was hiding. That all is true, but then, why giving SeoJin that precise number, when we all know that AeRi seems to be the reason things are changing?

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Should we still keep referring to Da bin as his daughter or just Da bin until we’re sure that she’s his? The wife is a snake so anything is possible with her.
Poor Seo Jin, I don’t think he has done anything that wrong for him to suffer this much😢

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I also was wondering if DaBin was actually his biological daughter, because I have the feeling she's not.

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I was thinking the same thing! Poor SeoJin 😭

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Because she is his daughter in every way that matters. He raised her, he is her father to her. That's all that's important.

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I understand and agree with you but it’d have break him to find out he isn’t her biological father when he’s believed otherwise since she was born. That’d be fraud!
Choosing to adopt a beautiful soul vs being made to believe you fathered a child who isn’t yours isn’t at all the same.
Even though I believe Seo Jin wouldn’t leave Da bin with hyun Chae even is she isn’t his biological daughter.

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Thank you for the recap, I was blown away by this episode. The attention to detail,the editing is just brilliant, can't wait until the next episode airs.

Do-kyun's and Hyunchae's relationship is very disturbing, it doesn't seem like hyunchae has ever cared for him. He worships her and is willing to sacrifice everything at her command. Surely this means dabin is his daughter?

I can't believe Hyun-chae could act so distraught over her daughter when she planned the whole thing. She gave herself the perfect albi by performing on stage. I got the vibe from the first episode that this was an arranged marriage, if she isn't from a wealthy background, who is backing her? Could it be the chairman introduced the two of them together or she targeted seojin to get to the company?
I had thought do-kyun's father was involved in the accident, could it be hyunchae instead?

I also was very worried that ae-ri's friend would be hurt before he paid back the debts. If taek-kyu was smart, he would leave evidence that it was gun-bok.

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Probably shouldn't write comments in the middle of the night! I don't think that made any sense! 😂😂😂

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I am curious how Seo-jin get out of that collapsed building 19 years ago, which Ae-ri's father died in. How is that going to connect to the current situation?

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I've decided to watch Kairos, because I have this love-hate feeling toward Shin Sung Rok since his play in Last Empress. But now I'm glad I watched it.
The story line is unusual and fascinating to watch. Shin Sung Rok's acting is marvellous.

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