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Kairos: Episodes 11-12 Open Thread

In a whirlwind of a week, our heroes finally put the puzzle pieces together in both the present and future, gearing up for the fight of their lives. As alliances between the villains shift and re-form, for once our heroes gain allies of their own, giving them a bit of hope after weeks of racing against time to stop one tragedy after another.

 
EPISODES 11-12 WEECAP

Ae-ri’s mom comes home, after refusing to give Chairman Yoo the incriminating recording. Ae-ri works on figuring out the reason for her mother’s disappearance, since Mom steadfastly refuses to say anything.

In the future, Do-kyun overhears the police labeling Seo-jin their prime suspect for the accident. He extracts Seo-jin from the hospital and takes him home, revealing that he’s been in touch with Ae-ri and knows about their time-traveling phone calls.

Confused and traumatized, Seo-jin remembers Taek-kyu injecting them all with something after he hit them with the truck, and vows to kill Taek-kyu himself.

They meet him, and Seo-jin strangles Taek-kyu until he admits that Chairman Yoo ordered Hyun-chae’s death because she was blackmailing him.

Now he has the info he needs, Seo-jin drops Do-kyun, and the act. Turns out Seo-jin already talked to Ae-ri before Do-kyun picked him up. YES! (I never thought I’d be this emotional about two drama characters talking on the phone.)

Ae-ri and Seo-jin separately realize that Yoojoong Construction was more at fault for knowingly unsafe construction, but pushed all blame for the collapse on its partner company. When Ae-ri finds out that Chairman Yoo and Taek-kyu visited her mother in the hospital the day before Ae-ri found her, it all comes together for her.

But a month later, that epiphany has signed Ae-ri’s death sentence. Seo-jin and Gun-wook team up to prevent Ae-ri’s murder from the future as she works on it in the past, and they finally convince Ae-ri’s mom to tell them what she knows.

In both timelines, Seo-jin learns conclusively that Chairman Yoo had his father killed.

And finally, Seo-jin goes to meet Ae-ri.

She’s holding the wristwatch he gave her 19 years ago, after he finally emerged from the rubble—her dad’s watch, stopped at 10:33, given to Seo-jin by the man who was buried with him.

What an incredible pair of episodes! I have to give this production team the kudos they deserve. As thrilling and well-done as this show always is, that fake-out with Seo-jin apparently becoming a murderous amnesiac was so perfectly anxiety-inducing. As Ae-ri said to Seo-jin, they keep averting one disaster after another, and nothing really changes. Even I’m beginning to be weary as a viewer.

Pacing-wise, it’s so smart to make this the moment that the characters feel that fatigue and hopelessness too, and finally gain a way to solve the core issue. It was believable, and painful, that after grieving his family multiple times, with a serious head wound, Seo-jin would lose grip of both his memory and his convictions—and then, the reveal that it was all part of Seo-jin and Ae-ri’s plan to get Do-kyun to reveal what he knows! Such a great moment. I yelled out loud.

These were heavy episodes, with Ae-ri’s little family grieving her death, and Seo-jin realizing the truth behind his father’s murder. (Seo-jin tearing up as he helped Ae-ri and her mom talk across time…me too, dude. Me too.) But they were powerful ones, because the protagonists are gathering not only information, but more allies. Now Ae-ri and Seo-jin have not only her friends, but Mom, Kim Jin-ho and their dads’ friend on their side. Even Do-kyun has finally realized that Hyun-chae isn’t as loyal to him as he is to her, perhaps throwing an additional wrench into Yu’s plans.

It was chilling to hear Chairman Yoo tell Seo-jin bluntly that it was enough of an apology to take him in at Yoojoong, as he basically admits responsibility for all those deaths. Yoo is clearly the big bad, and Taek-kyu is motivated solely by self-interest, but Hyun-chae grows more interesting by the week.

My read is that her idea of love was so twisted by her abusive father that she’s lived her entire life using others to get ahead—but Seo-jin’s change of heart towards his family seems to be cracking that cold resolve. I wonder if Future Hyun-chae called off her murder plan, staying in the car and giving Taek-kyu the perfect setup to carry out Yoo’s orders and bump them all off.

Now that they know all about the collapse, Chairman Yoo’s casual blackmail and murder of who knows how many people, and the fateful connection between Seo-jin and Ae-ri that lets them talk for that magical moment every day, I’m excited for our heroes to get ahead of these misfortunes for once, and hopefully turn the tables on their foes instead of constantly being taken by surprise. And I’m STOKED to see them finally joining forces in the present. I was initially against a romance between the leads, but last week I admitted that I’ve come around to the idea. Now I have Forest of Secrets feels about these two. Like Shi-mok and Yeo-jin, I just ship them as humans, whatever form that might take—I want them to be in the same time and space, helping each other, as partners of any sort.

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Thank you for the writing.

We already on episodes 12, but it seem such a huge work need to be done by our heroes-heroines.

What makes Kairos interesting is the twist that the writer gives when it seem to lead the other way.

And in this episodes, we've been hinted a clue that perhaps Hyun Chae's aboji did exist. Or it's just a red herring?

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@bunda5angels This was just a red herring. One of the women sitting at the table with Hyun Chae noticed her father staring at them.

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I know, but... could it be someone else looking ant them, and HyunChae just imagining it's her dead dad? It could be both, tbh. He actually didn't interact with anyone else but her.

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That would be an interesting twist.

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I'm with you on this. I do think Hyun Chae was chased by her own fear.

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For me, Seo-jin going to meet Ae-ri at the end of ep12 is just the prelude to the main event: earlier SJ finally getting to speak to later SJ on AR's phone. In contrast to AR, who seems to have a stronger sense of who she is and where she is going, SJ has always seemed lost, eternally trapped in that collapsing building. So it kind of makes sense that SJ has to confront himself before he embarks on the final struggle with the villain.

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I think that this drama is so underrated! The plot is so interesting and the main actors are doing amazing job! I am waiting for new episodes every week and I don't want the show to end!

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Wow. This drama, it only gets better every week!

I’m really excited about our gang teaming up in both timelines. Now that they now they must beat fate so it won’t repeat again, I know they can win.

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It's all so gripping and tension-filled. I want to know more about the significance of the timings: the days between past and future; the time spent underground; the time at which they talk. Why is the sequence 30 days apart: 31 days underground; at 20 hours and 33 minutes, for 1 minute? What is the significance of this series, if there is any significance at all? Will there be a 32? What happened with Ae-ri's father and Seo-jin when they were buried that brought alive the connection between them and why was there a 30 day gap in time? The broken watch must hold a clue. And what put Seo-jin ahead by 30 days or Ae-ri behind by that much? And why are they being given the chance to right the past wrongs?

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Since the connection is a fantasy element, I don't try to dig deep about the details. I think the show made it clear they are connected because of their fathers untimely deaths.

I think the 31 day interval and 1033 was explained well at the end of ep 12. It's 31 days because Seojin stared at that watch for 31 days while being buried under the rubble. It's 10.33 because that's the time the watch stopped.

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I was wondering why in the recent episodes the difference is 31 days (between Sep and Oct eg 10 Sep and 11 Oct) whereas when they were corresponding in Aug/Sep, I thought the difference was 30 days coz the dates were the same (eg 9 Aug and 9 Sep) and it just dawned on me that was because Aug has 31 days! So it has always been 31 days! Mind-blown 🤯

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When it was revealed that AR's dad died at Taejung, I thought he might be the guy in the loo with young Seo-jin. But I completely failed to make the connection between SJ's 31-day ordeal and the time period separating him from Ae-ri. Mind blown too!

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OK. My mistake. 31 days separation and 31 days in the rubble. Now it makes sense to me.

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It's funny too that Seo-jin didn't seem to remember giving the watch to Ae-ri.

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Aeri forgot about the watch too. She didn't remember giving it to mum 19 years ago. I think Seojin remembers the watch but he just gave it to Aeri based on the picture he had. He most probably didn't know her name back then. Even if he did, it's normal to forget stuff after 19 years...for example: I forgot what I had for lunch 19 days ago hehehehe 😂

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Sometimes I don’t even remember what I ate the day before 😭😭....

But I like the connection they had 19 years ago and I agree 19 years is a long time to remember all the stuff that happened. I find it believable that he cannot remember who she was but he remembers the watch.

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I'd remember something trauma-related like that. Like Seo-jin, I may not recognise the person I gave it to, but I'd remember giving it. And if someone gave me my father's watch after he died in such a terrible accident, I'd sure as hell remember it because that would be all I had of him.

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Aeri only learned how her dad died recently. Her mum never told her how dad died when she was a kid. One day Aeri came home with the watch and showed it to mum, mum was surprised she had the watch and mum kept it. Mum basicly buried everything that happened 19 years ago, not telling Aeri anything especially after what happened to Seojin's dad.

Seojin remembers he gave it away, he remembers the watch but he doesn't know where the watch is now.

Both their reactions are normal imo.

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Even with a father just disappearing, if all I saw was his watch, and a damaged one at that, though .... I'd remember. In fact, I'd never forget. (Based on personal experience) Don't get me wrong, I'm not picking at this, I'm thinking it through. I love it. I'm totally intrigued by it, and can't put it down. Thank you for the details that I've missed.

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I groaned when Seo-jin appeared to have lost his memory and was so happy when it was revealed that it was part of Seo-jin’s plan to expose Seo Do-kyun. Well done Seo-jin (and writers).

Poor Da-bin, afraid to tell anyone about her injury because she didn’t want her parents to fight. I hope Da-bin can have a much happier childhood going forward (after they save her life, of course).

Poor Ae-ri died (again) but at least now Seo-jin has Ae-ri’s mom and Geon-wook as allies. Speaking of Geon-wook, he was so devastated by Ae-ri's death; If he hadn’t stolen her money and she hadn’t murdered him in one timeline, I could ship them.

I loved past Seo-jin and Ae-ri finally meeting but my favorite moment of Episode 12 was when Lee Taek-gyu told Do-kyun that Hyun-chae was planning on leaving him behind. Ha, Do-kyun.

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Actually what I really want to see is future Seo-jin meeting Ae-ri, but I get the feeling it won't happen till the very end of the show.

I love the "Ha, Do-kyun" moment too. Serves him right for being so tolerant of Hyun-chae's clearly psychopathic behaviour.

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Well, at the end when everything is solved, and the memories of the future are erased, I hope he and HyunChae can live un happily ever after together.

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I better ship GeonWook and AeRi as a couple than I ship SeoJin and AeRi. I can't tell you why, but that's how I feel. But just as Laica said in the recap, I do ship AeRi and SeoJin as a humans and I want them to have their backs from now on.

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I binge-watched this drama in the last few days and the writing is amazing and phenomenal so far (please don’t jinx it 🙏🏼🙏🏼) It is so full of tension but like Laica pointed out, by Ep12, I was rather weary by what our main characters had to go through. Let see: death (3x so far for our poor Aeri), jailed for murder, also suspected of murder (2x for Seo-Jin) or kidnapping, in a terrible car accident, and not to mention the various trauma of having your kid kidnapped and “died”, or your mom disappearing, or you cheated of your-earned money by your good friend, or having two-faced villainous, backstabbing boss, wife and subordinates in your life 😱😱

Hope they finally catch a break in the next four episodes...

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I loved loved the ending. I am so glad they are finally meeting and it isn't drama. I also love that they tricked that snake Do Kyung and he now knows Hyun Chae cares nothing about him.

As for Ae Ri's mom, she annoyed the crap out me, in 9.9 case out of 10, ignorance has never protected anyone. AeRi tried and tried to tell her mom but she refused to listen. Hmmph

That being said the show gets better and better and I can't wait for them to take down the chairman. Hwaiting!!!!!

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I was a bit annoyed by Ae-ri's mum, but past Seo-jin didn't believe her either. In fact no one believes her except Gun-wook, and that's only because he has actually interacted with future SJ. Also, to AR's mum it might look like her disappearing act and the Taejung matter has stressed AR so much that she's become somewhat delusional or paranoid.

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I wasn't so much annoyed that she didn't believe her, but that she wouldn't tell her why she ran away. It was leaving her daughter in ignorance because she was "protecting" her. That annoyed me more than anything.

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Oh I see. Yes I agree AR's mum shouldn't have disappeared. And she did it twice, for goodness' sake. I can see why she believes that AR is better off not knowing anything about Yujung Construction, but she should at least have given AR a believable and less worrying reason for her absence.

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I totally agree with you. I hate all that "I won't tell you anything because I want to protect you". She's not protecting her, she has just blackmailed a dangerous man to have some money and with the promise the he would never touch her daughter, but she's terminally ill (like she will die soon if she doesn't get a heart transplant) and she is in no position of defending her daughter. She should have given AeRi all the information so she can fight Chairman Yoo.

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This, 100%.

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IMO Kwak Song-ja should never have let Chairman Yoo know what she had on him, cos that was the only reason why she and Ae-ri had been safe thus far. But I think she revealed herself to him precisely because she was dying, had no way of getting the medical care she needed, and didn't want to burden AR any further. Her disappearance and eventual death was supposed to be a sort of guarantee that she was taking her secrets to the grave, and that no one else would ever know anything about Taejung Town. If her daughter hadn't got involved with Seo-jin and started crossing paths with various Yujung Construction people, I think her plan might actually have worked.

What I do resent, though, is that her plan smacks of Noble Idiocy, Self-Sacrificing Parent edition. Sure, AR might get to live a normal, financially secure life, untouched by Chairman Yoo. She probably wouldn't have been forever in the dark about her mother's fate, since her mother kept in touch with her friend Soo-jung. But knowing how much her daughter loved her, Song-ja should also have known that her disappearance would hurt AR much more than any privation. In short, she was forcing AR to accept what she believed was best for her, rather than letting AR choose herself.

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I agree 100% too!

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I have to agree that this is the most annoying part of this show, which I love to death otherwise. I mean, how is the Chairman even supposed to know if the mom said anything to Ae-Ri or not? Does he have a listening device trained on the apartment and a sniper on the rooftop? When writers use this device it makes me so aggravated. But that is a minor quibble in an otherwise excellent show. Shin Sung-rok is a new actor to me and he is wonderful.

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Well said, I totally agree.

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Thank you for the recap @laica.
Those moments when Hyun-chae seems genuinely taken aback by the changes in Seo-jin's make me wonder if there is still some hope for her. I am also glad that Seo-jin and Ae-ri both became aware of the Chairman's machinations. They must both expose his crimes if they are to live normal and happy lives. Also, who else wants to slap some sense into Do-kyun? When will he realize that he is just another pawn in Hyun-chae's master plan?

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Well, he will never know. If future is changed he won't remember learning HyunChae doesn't care for him, the same way SeoJin doesn't remember she cheated on him and got him almost killed in the alternative future.
I hope when everything is solved, as I said in another comment, that jobless DoKyun and unmasked HyunChae can miserably live together forever unhappy.

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I really needed the recap for this pair of episodes. I got so confused with the timelines. I couldn't differentiate between them or remember what happened in which.

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I have to pay close attention while watching or else I will get confused between the timelines too, especially with those characters that are still living in both timelines. The dates at the bottom screen helped a lot.

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Actually the scenes in the past has a yellowish hue and the future has a blueish hue.

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handwritten synonym

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Im confused why past SJ meets up with AR at the end of ep 12 since it was before the car accident and they were not in contact between the time line the second kidnap of dabin occurs and the car accident? Why SJ finds AR suddenly?

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He realized that she was the little girl he met 19 years ago, the daughter of the man who saved his life.

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I think he went to Aeri's house after learning about his dad's death. He realized that Aeri has been telling him the truth from the start and went directly to her house or he tracked down the family of dad's friend aka the uncle who saved him. Either way, I think he didn't know Aeri was uncle's daughter until he saw the watch in her hand.

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