Kairos: Episodes 13-14 Open Thread
My head was spinning with all the twists and turns Kairos took this week, and the reveals we got in the past, present and future. As always, it’s a thrilling ride, and the protagonists are gearing up to face the Big Bad that’s always been waiting for them at the end of this road—they just have to stay alive and free long enough to outsmart him.
EPISODES 13-14 WEECAP
A flashback to the Taejung collapse: Seo-jin and Ae-ri’s dad were trapped under the rubble together. Dad gave Seo-jin the last of his water, and asked him to tell his daughter he loved her.
Afterward, teenage Seo-jin told little Ae-ri not to be like their dads, poor and easily taken advantage of. Ah. So here we see the reason that sunny young Seo-jin became the hardened man we met at the beginning of the drama.
Now, Ae-ri shows the watch to Seo-jin: it’s stopped at 10:33, when she can talk to Seo-jin 31 days ahead, the length of time Seo-jin waited to be rescued. To prove it, she lets him speak to his future self. Ae-ri catches him up on what’s going on, and they FINALLY TEAM UP YES.
In the future, Seo-jin and Gun-wook hide Ae-ri’s mom while they track down Kim Jin-ho, but as soon as Mom receives the recording Jin-ho was holding onto for her, a man finds and nearly kidaps her, Seo-jin barely stopping him and getting caught by police in the process.
In the present, Ae-ri acts as bait to lure Taek-kyu out and get him to incriminate himself. Instead, he takes her to Chairman Yoo, who puts on his benevolent old fogey act, and then Taek-kyu kidnaps and tries to murder her. Seo-jin and the police rescue her and put Taek-kyu behind bars—but this only brings Hyun-chae and Da-bin back to life in the future, not Ae-ri.
A relieved Seo-jin also suddenly recalls finding Hyun-chae and Do-kyun at their hideout in the alternate timeline. He moves out and tells Do-kyun to find another job, so the illicit couple know they’re busted.
Hyun-chae tells Do-kyun the whole story about her childhood and her father’s threats.
Do-kyun, having gotten his hands on the recording, tells Seo-jin he’ll trade it for everything Seo-jin has, and then threatens Hyun-chae’s father to stay away from her.
But that backfires—Hyun-chae meets her father to keep him quiet (forever) but he tries to kill her instead. Do-kyun makes it just in time to save her, but both men die in the ensuing altercation. Seo-jin finds Hyun-chae in the aftermath, wracked with grief.
In the present, Chairman Yoo’s man assaults Kim Jin-ho and puts him in a coma just as he was going to hand over the recording to Ae-ri.
Our protagonists’ only hope is is that the he’ll wake up in the future and tell them where it is—except that Chairman Yoo has gotten to him first.
What a whirlwind this week was. It was harder than usual to simplify the events of these two episodes into a weecap, given the nonstop twists, the jumps between now three timelines, and the way things keep getting undone in the future and giving us multiple alternate timelines to keep track of. Fun to watch, but tough to recap!
We got so many things that I’ve been waiting for, like Present Seo-jin and Ae-ri finally getting on the same page, even if their partnership can’t hold a candle to what Ae-ri has with Future Seo-jin. But Present Seo-jin is trying just as hard to rein in Ae-ri’s tendencies to throw herself recklessly into danger, with the added layer of the debt he feels he owes her now that he knows her dad was the one who saved his life. He promised to keep her safe, and that’s exactly what he did this week, at least in the present timeline. Not to mention that Seo-jin and Gun-wook teaming up in both timelines is a gift I didn’t know I wanted.
Props to Shin Sung-rok for the subtle shadings in his performance of each version of Seo-jin, his care and concern for Ae-ri clearly differentiated as it develops in each timeline. And his acting overall just keeps leveling up. The entire sequence of him quietly realizing his marriage is over, icily confronting Do-kyun, leaving Hyun-chae—oof. SO well done. I’m not sure why his alternate memories of the cheating couple are hitting him now, but it was both devastating and a relief to see him treat them with the cold contempt they both deserve. It was getting to be too much, watching a naive Seo-jin attempt to rekindle a happy family life.
And yet, I found myself surprisingly moved by Hyun-chae and Do-kyun’s relationship, even twisted as it was by trauma, obsession and ambition. It was kind of heartbreaking to see Hyun-chae realize, once she told him about her past, that Do-kyun would have loved her and stayed with her no matter what. That she could have had the safety and belonging that she felt was out of reach this whole time. She did love him after all, even if her ability to show affection was warped by her abusive upbringing.
As despicable as she and Do-kyun have been, they’ve also had relatable motivations, and that’s a stark contrast to Hyun-chae’s father (good riddance) and Chairman Yoo’s unstoppable greed. And now that we know that the building collapse was caused by explosives and not faulty materials, I’m going into finale week with even more questions. But I have faith that Kairos will give us an unforgettable ending, in its usual thrilling way.
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