Kairos: Episodes 9-10 Open Thread
This show is so good, y’all. Once again, it takes us on a rollercoaster of emotions as our protagonists face new challenges in each timeline, cut off from their nightly communication. Meanwhile, the villains are beginning to get a clue, not only about Seo-jin and Ae-ri’s hidden connection, but about each other—and it’s too early to tell if that spells disaster or defeat for our heroes.
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP
Turns out Seo-jin dropped charges against Ae-ri on Chairman Yoo’s orders. He wants Seo-jin to lead a new project on the site of the collapse nineteen years ago. It’s clear that Chairman Yoo is using Seo-jin’s status as a victim of that tragedy to shield the company from criticism.
Seo-jin and Ae-ri each find out from a survivor who was close to both their fathers that this wasn’t a simple accident, and Yoojoong Construction definitely covered that up and deflected the blame to their partner company. Let’s hope the insurance Ae-ri’s mom left with Kim Jin-ho is enough to protect her from the chairman now that he’s found her.
But the real nail-biting development in these episodes is Future Do-kyun figuring out the truth behind Ae-ri’s connection with Seo-jin, and trying to use it to manipulate Ae-ri into prevent the accident that will kill Hyun-chae and Da-bin and put Seo-jin into a coma.
It’s pretty thrilling to see how Ae-ri and Best Sidekick Gun-wook deduce that Do-kyun’s on the other end of the phone, and make him reveal himself by feeding him false information in the present. (I was disappointed with Ae-ri’s decisions last week, but this week she had me cheering, because we got both cleverness and character development, without losing the essence of who she is.)
Meanwhile, Future Do-kyun realizes that Hyun-chae engineered the accident that killed her in order to kill Seo-jin, bribing Taek-kyu away from Chairman Yoo. After losing Hyun-chae and realizing that she was hiding a whole side murder plot from him, Do-kyun is losing his cool and beginning to slip.
Even in the present, with Seo-jin’s change in behavior, Kim Jin-ho backing out of the deal as a result, and the connection he hasn’t quite figured out between Ae-ri and Seo-jin, Do-kyun’s becoming flustered and revealing information that he shouldn’t. It’s satisfying to see that cool facade finally crack a little. It’s about time our heroes gained a new advantage instead of constantly reacting to things that have already happened (…are already going to happen? You know what I’m saying).
Now that Future Seo-jin’s awake, I’m excited to see him working with Ae-ri again. Their partnership was glaringly absent this week. The show is as excellent as ever, but the lack of that rapport only underlined how important it is to both of them, and how much it adds to the drama. Knowing the fathers they both lost to Yoojoong Construction’s malevolent greed were friends will only strengthen their partnership.
I’m glad to see that Present Seo-jin has also been shaken enough by the experience of nearly losing his daughter to have reevaluated his life a bit, although understandably not as much as he would have if the kidnapping plot had been successful. I was worried when he assumed that his double memories were an exacerbation of his PTSD, and increased his intake of psychotropic drugs, but I’m glad he’s finally realized that he’s not experiencing delusions after all—although it’s given Hyun-chae an additional weapon to use against him.
It was pretty heartbreaking to see Seo-jin using this as the “fresh start” with his family he’d so earnestly promised Ae-ri in that alternate version of events where he’d thought them lost forever. He’s going to have to realize, again, that he can’t salvage this little domestic unit after all, and it’s probably going to be just as painful to watch each time. But given the trauma he still carries due to his father’s death while he was under the rubble—which now looks a lot like murder—I’m hoping that he won’t have to experience any more bereavements, fake or real.
Kairos keeps managing to throw just enough of a wrench into things that every week the protagonists are left on the edge of a cliff, and it’s exhilarating each time. It’s an interesting choice to go from showing us the same day one month apart, to now having an additional day’s gap, heightening the tension and making the story move more quickly. And now that each of the villains and their motivations have become clear to us and to each other, it should be highly entertaining to see how they each try to take out Ae-ri and Seo-jin while trying to trip each other up and not be stymied in return. I don’t know that I’ve seen a show before with this many satisfying villains, executed this seamlessly. I’ll just be waiting here, breathless, until next Monday.
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