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Kairos: Episodes 7-8 Open Thread

It’s almost D-Day, and our heroine has formulated a plan to prevent the kidnapping of an innocent child. In the future, our hero makes a shocking discovery that may help him put all the pieces together. But the villains are catching on, and both of them are in danger of losing everything. It’s a tense, tearful ride as they try outrun the constantly evolving danger they find themselves in, and endure one emotional blow after another.

 
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP

Hope returns as Ae-ri finds her mother, erasing her murder from the future and restoring Seo-jin’s freedom, but Mom disappears the next day after fobbing Ae-ri off with half-truths.

She threatens someone at Yoojoong Construction to leave Ae-ri alone or she’ll expose what she knows.

Do-kyun and Hyun-chae plan their operation: how to make it look like she jumped off the bridge, going to choose a dead orphan to serve as Da-bin’s literal body double.

Ae-ri puts a tracker in Da-bin’s teddy, sending the login info to Seo-jin. She grows increasingly desperate now that her mom has disappeared again, and recklessly runs off to murder Taek-kyu in cold blood.

Thankfully Gun-wook makes her tell him and Soo-jung the whole truth, and the three of them work on a plan to avert Da-bin’s kidnapping on September 6.

But it doesn’t work out as planned. Ae-ri makes the mistake of giving too much information to Hyun-chae, even though the woman practically has I’M SUSPICIOUS written across her forehead. I wanted to reach through the screen and shake her—and again when she put the missing child poster on Seo-jin’s front door. How is that safe or useful?!

Future Seo-jin finds Da-bin and Hyun-chae at their villa hideout, gazing at them in euphoric disbelief until he spots Do-kyun, cozily playing house with his family. Taek-kyu brains him, and they drag Seo-jin into a bedroom and plot his murder. Oh, my heart.

Ae-ri, unable to reach Seo-jin in the days leading up to the kidnapping, carries out her plan and manages to save Da-bin (and Future Seo-jin) at the last minute, only to be arrested for attempted kidnapping herself.

She tells the police the truth, but of course both they and Seo-jin think she’s a crazy stalker.

Seo-jin begins to get flashes from the reality-that-would-have-been, however. Ae-ri is released from prison, and when she reluctantly takes his call that night, Future Seo-jin begs her to save him.

I’m glad that Ae-ri’s plan at least saved Da-bin and Seo-jin, but this is the first week I’ve found myself frustrated with the writing. So far both protagonists have been clever and careful, but Ae-ri seemed to lose her caution right when they needed it the most. Ae-ri has always stuck me as straightforward but not naive, but I was a bit disappointed this week. It’s a small complaint, and I understand that we’re only midway through the show, but it always rubs me the wrong way when a heroine suddenly loses some of her smarts to service the plot.

Now Do-kyun has their texts, and he’s going to figure out their secret, which means Ae-ri’s life will be in continuous danger. I have to give it to the show, despite my nitpicks—it constantly has me on the edge of my seat, tense and worried. These episodes are over an hour, but I never feel the length, and I’m always sad when one ends (once I start breathing again). If I wasn’t recapping this, I’d have waited to binge-watch it for my own sanity.

We’ve learned of the additional wrinkle of Hyun-chae’s father, who seems to be blackmailing her for money using the cover story she’s built for herself.

And Taek-kyu is working for some higher-ups to cover up whatever caused the Taejung Town collapse, but the reveal that Yoojung Construction’s plot is totally separate from Do-kyun and Hyun-chae’s scheme makes sense, because the latter feels far too personal.

I wondered before why Hyun-chae didn’t just divorce Seo-jin instead of going through this elaborate scheme, and now she’s told us. This way she continues to possess everything she wants: Seo-jin’s money, Da-bin, and Do-kyun. In that order, it seems. What little she’d keep in a divorce settlement would probably be extorted by her awful father, and she’d run the risk of Seo-jin exposing her lies. And Master Manipulator Hyun-chae has the perfect tool in Do-kyun.

I’m really hoping Ae-ri’s release means that Seo-jin has started believing that the secondary realities he’s seeing are real. Subconsciously, he already has, or he wouldn’t have been crying when he found Da-bin again at that cafe. Show, all I need next is for these two to start working together in the same timeline. They have to grab whatever advantage they can, now that they’ve been exposed to the enemy.

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it always rubs me the wrong way when a heroine suddenly loses some of her smarts to service the plot

So kdramaland must be really hard on you

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*snickers* *weeps for all the brains lost*

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I'm thinking this isn't 'only' the heroine losing her smarts, but likely an over-used gender-neutral crutch a writer leans on when trying to move anyone into danger. Seo-jin did the same when he stood there in shock watching his wife and child in Do-Kyun's arms. Surely after having so many suspicions about Do Kyun he would have sensed this was not a safe situation (seeing as how Do Kyun was in his bathrobe still) and at least stepped back out of sight to process it better. And even before that, he also went alone to the villa without a plan. Then another writer crutch: the ubiquitous Taek Gyu would be there to bonk him from behind.

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So when Ae-ri was under arrest, could she have made people believe her -- or at least rattled their cages -- if she had told them to check the lottery numbers in her texts?

That was closest thing to proof that I can think of that she might have had.

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I think that was one of the few things, but she could have also had them check the cctv as well to see who else was around. 🤷🏿‍♀️

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Even so, the whole thing is that she fabricated the texts, as they were not on SeoJin's phone (because he hadn't already sent them).
It's still a mystery how SeoJin got AeRi's number the after she lost her number. I wonder if we will ever know.

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I think she could have directed them to Jin-ho who had been getting close to Da-bin.

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These episodes were a rollercoaster.

I'm sad we lost the Seo-jin we've been following since the beginning. I hope current Seo-jin dropping the charges means he'll stop being such a jerk.

Poor Da-bin. Her mom is a psycho and her dad was too busy for her most of the time. The scene where she could hear them fighting made me sad.

No wonder Seo-jin was icy to Hyun-Chae before the kidnapping.

One thing that makes no sense: How would Jin-ho have taken Da-bin from the recital if Da-bin hadn't left her seat to wander around?

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In ep 8 there are new scenes at the charity show. After Seojin got angry at Dabin, Dogyun was the one who consoled her and talked about showing her a giant teddy and carried her to some place not shown on screen. I'm assuming that is why she left the venue. She followed the path Dogyun showed her earlier on. She already knows JinHo. DG and HC made her play with JinHo to familiarize her with him. The kidnapping plan was actually pretty perfect. It looked like she was running away alone.

Both Aeri and Seojin caused a disturbance to their perfect plan. Aeri placing the poster at Seojin's door was the last straw for Seojin. He planted the cops at the venue, he probably also just allowed her to enter despite the event being a rich people charity event. And waited to catch her red-handed. The kidnapping didn't occur. Seojin was well aware of his own plan to capture the person who repeatedly told him his child will be kidnapped.

This is also why HC was mad at him after the event. If Aeri wasn't there, her perfect plan would have been busted because Seojin planted cops at the venue without her knowledge.

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now no need to get too picky with plot holes! it had to happen that way cause that is the way it had to happen!

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I need to catch UUUUPPPPPPPPP!

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Aeri was always emotional from ep 1. So whatever she did in ep 8, doesn't feel far off. She even killed her best friend in the original timeline, so seeing her want to kill Lee Taek Gyu is not surprising. Seeing her talk back to HC isn't far off too, good that HC is so full of herself and treats Aeri as a lunatic (my question is...why did HC went there?). Aeri approached many people (SJ, DG, KJH) to track her mother and Dabin. It was always Seojin who tells her not to do anything reckless over the phone or GW stopping her. SJ stopped her from killing Geunwook. He also told her not to meet LTG alone. Aeri is an action first, think slightly later person. It was because of this she was able to find her mother, she went to the location 2 weeks earlier than the date Seojin9 shared. I'm glad Aeri has friends, they ground her and I can watch a spin-off for these 3.

And I also don't mind Seojin in ep 8 because the character is consistent from the start. He never believed Aeri from the beginning, he still doesn't believe her until ep 8. Which is inline with how the chairman and Dogyun describe him: he trusts no one except himself.

But...I really want Seojin9 to return. The Seojin who had long conversations and worked together with Aeri. I want him to divorce HC before it's too late. Or maybe it's too late...I think October Seojin + family dies in the car accident. I just hope Seojin know his wife is a cheater and psycho potential killer before he dies (TLE memories 😭😭😭).

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We need SeoJin9 back with us. He was a warm and nice person who cared about others. AeRi needs to make him know about their relation, that his dad was killed in the accident, and let's hope that he gets to remember his erased future.
But one thing bothers me: if the car crash happens one month in the future, and he is in the car with DaBin and HyunChae... does it mean he will never believe AeRi until he's got all his memories back of the alternative reality and learns about his wife's betrayal?

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I think the period between the failed abduction and the car crash is the turning point for the earlier Seo-jin. IMO Ae-ri telling everyone and their dog about the mysterious texts/calls is not just because she's a straightforward person, but also because being given all those details was the first step in earlier SJ's convergence with later SJ. I don't know if the info triggered his memories, but the fact that his memories matched the info must have gone some way towards convincing earlier SJ that AR was telling the truth. His own Taejung investigation, including his discovery of her connection with it, would also have changed his view of her. (Actually, even before the failed abduction, he'd heeded what AR said about Kim Jin-ho, hence saving his own skin when the prosecutors took him in for questioning later.)

So it doesn't seem so implausible to me that he phoned Ae-ri after the accident. Even if he didn't completely believe her, he knew she was also involved in what was happening, and - more importantly - that she might be the only person who could avert the disaster.

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Wait...WHA--- Ae Ri killed her bf in the og timeline?!In which episode did they mention this?

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It's in ep 2~~~

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You make a good point about Ae-ri always having the tendency to get carried away by her emotions! I'm still not 100% satisfied with how it played out here, but I get it. I just wish we had a better handle on her character the way we do on Seo-jin's - it seems like she's often put in the position of reacting to things. And I definitely agree that we've known this version of Seo-jin from the beginning and it makes perfect sense for him to react this way to her frankly unbelievable story.

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> it seems like she's often put in the position of reacting to things.

Yes. She is in the position to react because she gets info from the future and can try to prevent it. Seojin9 is/was in the present, he can only search for info for what has already happened and relay it to Aeri. Aeri on the other hand has control because it's her actions/reactions to the info that leads to changes in the future.

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I knew that Shin Sung-rok was his perfect drama here!

But when he cries, I didn't see his tears flowing... I don't know if his tears were exposed.

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I wondered why Hyun-Chae didn't just kill her husband and her father. It's the easy way and it's not like she will feel guilty... For her father, she should have to tell the truth of what she did as a child to Do-Kyun and it's not sure he would have continued to love her after that. So she needs to run away from her father, so being dead is a good way.

I wonder how far Do-Kyun will go for her, he looks like he's reaching his limit.

Ae-Ri is kinda scary too. She shows a lot of violence too. She's ready to kill someone when she could just start by kidnapping. It's interesting like the female characters are the most violent ones in this story.

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So I was totally wrong. Taek Kyu is just another psycho, and not someone who was trying to help. And not only that: he is a double agent, working for DoKyun and... CEO?

I also was a bit disappointed with AeRi. She never told SeoJin about his wife cheating him, and she saw HyunChae cheating her husband and even so, she trusted her. I mean, she can’t know what she had plotted, but she could have been a bit wiser. I agree with you. She’s been a bit frustrating.

So, SeoJin is back to the jerk he was before DaBin’s abduction, but I hope he can remember the alternative reality. In fact, when he kind of remembered Det. Park and then felt the real anguish when DaBin got missing for a little time.

Waiting for the next twist! I’m loving this!

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The show lost the pot with this episode. Ae Ri was acting ridiculous, of course he didn't believe you, he doesn't know you. Her screaming like a crazy person, not only wasn't in character, but didn't make sense either. I also kept wondering why this was 16 episodes and now I understand.

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Yes to crazy AeRi, you are so right.
When she prevented the abduction she must have known that the future would be erased and thus SeoJin wouldn’t remember her. When she asked him to remember her, I was like... he can’t... I thought you were a smart girl.

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I liked that she screamed. Release some stress rather than keeping it in 😆. Not like if she talks softly Seojin8 will believe her anyway. She has no problem voicing whatever she feels from ep1. She screamed at SJ on the phone. Screamed at GW for stealing her money. Screamed at her friend for lying to her about mum. Aeri being quiet is out of character 😆.

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This show is very interesting, in spite of some plot-serving absurd behaviors and shortcuts. I regret watching it in real time, and my only hope is for the show to stay intense and meaningful till the end. In these two episodes, we get the glimpse of the "core" villains; the "kidnapping" chapter seems to be closed and the "corruption" chapter is about to open. My bet for the following week installment is that the "car accident" will make Dogyun reevaluate his options and realize that he has a way to rewrite the present - the poor Ae-Ri. Will she be smarter this time around?
Overall, this show gives me strong "Nine times time travel" vibes: rewriting the past comes at a staggering price.

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I liked episode 8 a lot. I thought it was intense and gripping. I liked the part she lost her head and started screaming, and blaming Seo jin. I thought that it was so real and raw. I liked Seo jin's coldness, too ---- this is a man who has cultivated a remote and detached exterior to hide the pain and insecurities of his younger self, who has probably erected a wall to cope with his brokenness ---- and this is the man that interacts with Aeri, who hasn't yet crumbled in the devastating aftermath of his daughter's kidnapping and his wife's supposed drowning. So it's real, and I loved the chemistry between the icy jerk and the desperate, helpless heroine. I can't wait for the ice to thaw and for him to gradually get to know her.

I was frustrated over the fact that Aeri never revealed the cheating to Seo jin. It is such a huge thing, and the wife is such a suspicious character, with her veiled threats to Aeri ---- she even addressed Aeri by her full name, surely that would have raised an alarm in Aeri's head, that she is keeping tabs on Aeri, that she is watching Aeri?

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I hope this drama keeps the momentum and will have a satisfying ending (*side-eyeing DDSSLS)

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Lol. I'm treating ep 1-8 as Season 1 because the eps are so good. Ep 9 beyond will be season 2. This is to protect myself...so whatever happens in 2nd half, I still have an amazing season 1 🤣 hahahaha

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Hahhahaha 🤣
That is a brilliant idea!

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I'll copy that idea. Thank you!

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The tension in ep 7 & 8, they have done a great job! Hoping that some of the cast win awards for the drama. Brilliant performance.
I'm also annoyed that Ae-ri posted the Missing poster on their front door, it was a stupid and unnecessary move.

Hyunchae is terrifying as we learn more about her, the way she chose out a dead body or her expression when seojin lay there dying. I don't know how Do-kyun can still care for her. What has she got over on him?

I think Ae-ri's mother handed over documents to the Chairman, so that Ae-ri wouldn't be in prison. The chairman called Seojin in to run the Taesang project and then told him to drop the charges in case of bad PR.
It's clear that the company wants to redevelop the site again and the chairman has hired TK to get rid of any problems, i.e. jin ho and Ae-ri's mother.

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The missing poster on the door was a crucial point because it made Seojin place the cops at the venue. Should Seojin9 still be in commission and not unconcious...the series of events would be totally different. He would get new memories about his own plans to plant cops at the venue and alert Aeri to not go to the venue. But he was not able to inform her that and Aeri who does not know what will happen or what Seojin will do decides to take matters in her own hands. I think ep 8 showcased how crucial their communication is. Without the other half, it doesn't work.

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Thanks Kat, hoping that we have a happy end for ae-ri and seo-jin, da-bin too.
I wonder if the tragedies will repeat until they uncover the truth about what happened to the taesung project.

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The almost-kidnapping scene was nervewrecking. All that running down long hallways and escalators and almost losing sight of the child time and time again and.... why didn't Ae Ri just scream "Daaaa Biiiiiin-aaaa!" at the first chance?
Apart from that, I am very curious what Season 2 has in store for us! I would like for them to be on the same page at the same timeline soon. There was not enough interaction between them for my taste (for understandable reasons, still, I missed their phonecalls. They give the show a nice structure and fast paced "24"-vibe).

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I've been bingeing this at a furious rate, since last night. It's so engrossing and stress making, and to think that we are only half-way there.

I had a sudden suspicion that when she left jail, she'd be recruited by the other side on account of her justifiable grudge against Seo-jin. I don't really cherish the idea at all, but what if Do-kyun fills her in on what happened to her father, and they manipulate her, just like they did to Kim Jin-ho, and she decides to take revenge? Tell me that's not what is going to happen, please.

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I feel bad for aeri, she really went through hell just to be trashed like that. Although I understand that it makes sense for seojin to act like that, I can't help but pity aeri :(( Now she has to save him again with another incident hhhhhhh

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