Sisyphus: Episode 10
Two men are on a mission to save the same person—her past, present, and future selves. As timelines collide and more people learn about time travel, it becomes harder to discern the truth from the lies. Though everyone else may believe the future cannot be changed, our two leads will keep trying to defy their fates and accomplish the impossible.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
Seo-hae’s dad investigates the death of Hyun-gi’s grandma and discovers Officer Hwang’s name attached to the case. He wonders why the Immigration Control Bureau is involved, but the oddest thing about all this is the fact that Officer Hwang’s Team 7 doesn’t even exist.
Dad finds Officer Hwang’s daughter for any clues about his whereabouts, but the daughter knows nothing since she stopped contacting him ten years ago after her mom died. She did receive plane tickets from an anonymous sender, though, and hands over the envelope to Dad.
He calls the number on the envelope—the same hospital where Seo-hae is currently captured—but it merely sends him to the customer service line. After he hangs up, he receives a call from his family and hears about the birthday celebration he missed. Mom mentions something strange happening but drops the topic to discuss later.
As Dad enters the elevators, the man watching him from the stairs suddenly catches the closing doors and gets on, too. Stepping behind Dad, the man reaches for his gun, but Dad reacts faster and stops him. They fight in the enclosed space, firing off the gun in random directions, but Dad is the superior fighter and wrestles the gun away.
Refusing to give up, the man whips out a knife to attack Dad, and once the elevators reach the first floor, the man is left standing. However, he collapses in front of the other residents, and Dad steps out with both weapons in his possession.
Rummaging through the man’s pockets, Dad finds his Team 7 badge and a wanted poster with Seo-hae’s name on it. He yells at the man to explain what this is, but the police arrive, forcing him to retreat.
With the system hacked, Tae-sool breezes past the locked doors with his phone and releases all the prisoners with a push of a button. This includes Seo-hae’s cuffs, which means she can now fight back against Hyun-gi. The officer is no match for Seo-hae who flips him over her shoulder and defeats him without breaking a sweat.
After cuffing him to the chair, she tells Hyun-gi the truth about what happened and lets him know that his mom never blamed him. She says that they are all filled with regrets so they just have to do better starting now. He screams at Seo-hae as she leaves, and she barely gets past the door, falling to the ground in pain.
By the time Tae-sool enters the main room, the hallway is littered with fallen prisoners, and reinforcements have arrived. Noticing the wet floor from the sprinklers earlier, Tae-sool shuts off the power and places some exposed wires into the water.
He bangs on the door, pretending to be a delivery person, and as soon as the guards approach him, he turns on the power and electrocutes them all. Apologizing to the unconscious officer, Tae-sool borrows his walkie talkie and sends the rest of the guards away from his location.
Tae-sool finds Seo-hae passed out on the floor and hugs her tight. He apologizes for coming late, and Seo-hae mutters at him to let go. She asks why he came, and Tae-sool reminds her of her mission to save him.
With the guards returning, Tae-sool slings Seo-hae over his shoulder, but Seo-jin blocks his path. Rather than turn them over, she helps them hide and gives them instructions to the back gate. She hands over her access card and thanks Tae-sool for paying for her dad’s funeral and not reporting him to the police.
As soon as Tae-sool takes Seo-hae out of the room, Seo-jin reveals her true colors and calls someone to ask for her mom’s medicine. Once Tae-sool realizes Seo-jin’s betrayal, the Control Bureau officers have already surrounded them with their guns drawn.
Tae-sool points out to Seo-hae that he wasn’t supposed to die today which was why he came, but clearly, things have gone awry. Accepting this as his end, he tells her that he’s sorry and grateful to her, and he wraps her arms around him, shielding her from their enemies.
Right before the Control Bureau officers pull the trigger, a familiar voice calls out to them as if greeting an old friend. Mr. Park and his brokers point their guns at the Control Bureau, and next to them, a handful of escaped prisoners get ready to fight.
Recognizing the guard who helped him, Mr. Park promises to spare him, and on cue, the cell doors swing open. All hell breaks loose as the prisoners swarm the guards, unafraid of their bullets or dying. Up above the chaos, Mr. Park shoots down every single officer he sees just as he said he would.
Though saved from the Control Bureau, Tae-sool knows the brokers are his enemy, too, so he drags Seo-hae through the crowd to escape Mr. Park and his men. He winds up at a dead end, and Mr. Park points his gun at the pair. He blames them for imprisoning him here in the first place, but before they shoot, Tae-sool strikes a new deal with them.
He tells Mr. Park that he has a getaway car ready upstairs and offers to take them out of this place. When Mr. Park laughs at him, Tae-sool begs him to save Seo-hae, and the broker accepts the impromptu partnership for now. He vows to kill Tae-sool once they get outside, and they leave just in time to escape the new batch of guards storming the room.
Following Tae-sool’s orders, Sun brings the car to the back and is flustered by the uninvited guests tagging along. The older brother, Sun-jae, pulls Sun out of the driver’s seat, but a bullet hits him from behind. Hyun-gi shoots at the group from the hospital, but as he aims at Seo-hae, he suddenly falls to the floor.
Dad holds up his taser, cautiously approaching the unconscious Hyun-gi, but his attention turns to Seo-hae who stares up at him. She calls out to him in a whisper, but Tae-sool holds her back and leads her to the car.
The police question Seung-bok about the incident at the hospital and ask why his iris was scanned there today. He shows the officer his alibi, and since the police have no concrete evidence, they let him go. Seung-bok hurries to his next meeting, but as he leaves the station, he runs into Seo-jin.
Pushing aside his busy schedule, Seung-bok sits at a café with Seo-jin and asks about Tae-sool. He wants to know what is happening, and while it seems unbelievable, he wonders if Tae-sool was saying the truth. Instead of answering, Seo-jin returns her ring to him and gets up.
Tae-sool and the crew arrive at Asia Mart, and they immediately get out the medical kits to treat their wounded. While everyone else is busy tending to Seo-hae and Sun-jae, Mr. Park checks on the downloader and sighs in relief. After making sure he’s alone, Mr. Park pulls up pictures of his family on the downloader and smiles at the images of his wife and daughter.
An underground doctor helps out the brokers and removes the bullet from Sun-jae. He tells the others that he probably won’t recover and packs up his things. Before he goes, Tae-sool asks him to cure Seo-hae as well, but with just one look, the doctor knows that she cannot be saved.
Frustrated with their answers, Tae-sool marches into the other room and confronts Mr. Park. He demands the broker to save Seo-hae, but Mr. Park orders him to get out before he kills him. Ignoring the threat, Tae-sool pulls out his phone and asks if the downloader is important.
He begins theorizing about the brokers and why they risk their life for this. He guesses that Mr. Park is waiting for another time traveler and begins shutting off the machine. This grabs Mr. Park’s attention, and the broker points his gun at Tae-sool’s head. Instead of shying away, Tae-sool barks at him to shoot if he is fine with losing the downloader.
Mr. Park chucks his gun to the side and informs Tae-sool about the drug. He says that Seo-hae will end up traversing the timelines like a ghost and disappear in two days. He knows all of this because he was part of the first advance team of time travelers, which included Sigma and the creator of the drug, Agnes Kim.
Tae-sool asks about Sigma’s identity, but Mr. Park refuses to answer. However, he can tell him about Agnes, and she might help him with Sigma. Though Agnes may have a solution for this problem, Mr. Park warns Tae-sool about the consequences: even if Seo-hae returns, she won’t be the same because everything comes at a price.
Unwilling to risk the chance of Tae-sool running away, Mr. Park accompanies him but not before ordering Bingbing to tie Sun up. Sun argues that Tae-sool does not care about his safety, but Mr. Park chuckles since that makes things better.
Meanwhile, Hyun-gi wakes up in his old house, and Seo-hae’s dad greets him. He asks about Team 7 and takes out the wanted poster of Seo-hae. He wants him to know why his daughter’s name is on here, but Hyun-gi silently cries, unable to answer. Though Dad threatens to shoot him, he cannot pull the trigger and leaves the house as the Control Bureau arrives at the scene.
Seo-hae’s dad rushes home and immediately tells his wife to pack their things. After checking on Seo-hae, he grabs his hidden gun, but a knock at the door causes both of them to tense up. Dad asks his wife to protect their daughter and grabs a knife from the kitchen.
Bracing himself, he opens the door, and Tae-sool pops up on the other side. Without a moment to spare, Dad pins Tae-sool to the door and presses the knife against his neck. He asks who he is, but a gun appears next to his head. Mr. Park tells him to drop the weapon, but Dad points out that he’ll be faster. Tae-sool calls both men childish and asks for a couple minutes to speak.
Allowed inside the apartment, Tae-sool tells Seo-hae’s parents about time travel and their daughter. Unlike Dad, Mom scoffs at the ridiculous tale, so Tae-sool pulls out Seo-hae’s locket. Mom instantly recalls the meeting from the amusement park and sits down in a daze.
To prove his story, Tae-sool asks for her locket and explains how time travel is like copying a file over from the future into the past. He tells them that two of the same things cannot coexist, and overlaps the necklaces, making the future one disappear.
Mom wonders if something happened to their daughter, and Tae-sool admits that she’s unwell. Dad asks to see her, so Tae-sool takes him to Asia Mart much to Mr. Park’s annoyance. Once they reach the store, Dad sees Seo-hae lying unconscious on the couch and recognizes his daughter from the scar on her wrist.
Tae-sool tells him about the nuclear war and Seo-hae’s mission to stop it. In the process, however, the Control Bureau attacked her, and now she’s about to disappear. Dad asks how they can save her, and Tae-sool promises to bring her back.
Looking bored by this whole situation, Mr. Park orders Bingbing to shoot everyone if he doesn’t come back tomorrow, and urges Tae-sool to hurry up. Before he leaves, Tae-sool whispers to Seo-hae to wait a little bit longer, and Dad looks at the two of them in a new light.
2035. Seo-hae reads the diary she found at the gravesite and fiddles with the locket. Later that day, she mentions Tae-sool’s name to her dad and asks if saving him will stop the war. Dad frowns at the question, wondering who she heard that from, and calls it nonsense.
Guessing from his agitated response, Seo-hae asks why he kept this a secret from her, and Dad tells her that he made a promise with her mom. When she doesn’t believe him, he says that she will fail because he saw her dying with his own two eyes. He warns her about the past and refuses to discuss the matter further.
Dad goes to bed thinking that Seo-hae will listen, but instead, she writes him a note, explaining her decision to try even if she fails. Her future-self said that she could do it this time, and she wants to believe in those words.
Back in the present timeline, Mr. Park takes Tae-sool to an orphanage filled with illegal time travelers and tells him to visit Agnes by himself. The two of them are on bad terms, and he will not go inside to see her. Thus, Tae-sool enters the director’s office alone and looks around the place for clues about Agnes’s identity.
A couple of academic studies catch Tae-sool’s eye, and in his moment of distraction, a cage falls from the ceiling and traps him. A woman emerges from the shadows and addresses Tae-sool as CEO, but he corrects her since he was fired.
Tae-sool tells her that he is looking for a cure to a terrible drug, and Agnes asks if Mr. Park brought him here. She claims that this place is just an orphanage, but Tae-sool tells Agnes to drop the act and calls her by her real name: Kim Seo-jin.
He recognized her as the author of those papers and marvels at her status as one of the first time travelers. In case she forgot, he fills her in on their last unpleasant meeting and asks for the cure since she is responsible for Seo-hae’s current condition.
Outside the building, Sigma whistles as he walks up the hill and asks a couple of children about the director. Meanwhile, Seo-jin tells Tae-sool that he should not have come to this place today since that man is here. Tae-sool asks who, but he gets his answer as the doors swing open and Sigma steps into the room.
The show finally reveals the reason behind Dad’s warning and why he was against Seo-hae meeting Tae-sool. From his point of view, her mission is bound to fail because he witnessed it himself. He saw her dying, and in the end, the war still happened. Dad wants to spare her from experiencing that pain again, but if the future really can’t be changed, then he probably already knew that Seo-hae would ignore his advice and go back no matter what. One of the interesting things about their conversation, though, is Dad’s word choices. He specifically says that he saw her dying, which could imply that he never actually saw her dead. Maybe Tae-sool and the brokers kept Dad in the dark about Seo-hae, or maybe Dad left out the detail of her recovery in order to persuade her out of time traveling. Either way, Dad knows that Seo-hae failed because the bomb still fell and her mom died in the end.
Though the show is answering a lot of questions related to time travel, I really hope we get more insight into why Seo-hae believes she can change the future. Currently, we know that Seo-hae stumbled across her future-self’s dead body which then fused into her and gave her memories of what will happen. This doesn’t necessarily explain how she can dodge the Control Bureau at every corner, but I’ll chalk it up to the latter’s sheer incompetence. I suspect what makes Seo-hae “special” is that she has died multiple times in the past. As a result, she has created a sort of time loop that repeats itself over and over again. Thus, every time Seo-hae fails, she has new memories of what went wrong which she then passes along to her future-future self. Thus, Seo-hae keeps believing that this time will be different, and if she does fail, then she can simply try again. Granted, with this explanation, the only thing that makes Seo-hae “unique” is that she found her dead body, but this phenomenon could occur to any time traveler. In fact, from the way Mr. Park talks, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has memories from his past selves or if every time traveler is essentially caught in some sort of loop.
Every week the show throws a new twist at the audience, and this time, we learn about the first time travelers. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Park was part of that group as was Sigma, and according to him, they all came over with individual missions. While the show hasn’t given us much information about this group of travelers, it was revealed in a previous episode that Mr. Park, at least, is part of a chain of command. It’s still unclear what Sigma’s relation to the brokers is, but I doubt Mr. Park is as clueless about this enigmatic figure as he pretends to be. However, I don’t get the impression that Mr. Park is in touch with Sigma or actively working to kill Tae-sool despite all his threats to do just that. On the other hand, Seo-jin still remains in contact with him after all this time.
Overall, the biggest shock about the first time travelers was Seo-jin, but even that wasn’t completely unexpected given the fact that she already knew about time travel before it was invented. Also, as soon as Agnes was mentioned, the show made it clear that it was Seo-jin, so I’m glad the reveal wasn’t dragged out. The show has a tendency to keep its audience in the dark, but in this case, the creators opted for speed which I really appreciated. Rather than build up intrigue and tension where none existed, the show approached this scene with a touch of humor, and for the most part, it worked because the moment was about Tae-sool rather than Seo-jin. For the most part, Seo-jin is a dull character despite all the twists, so I’m glad the show focused on the people the audience actually cares about instead of the ones that fill out the roster. Hopefully, future episodes continue this trend and the story focuses on the more important questions and characters since there are still plenty of things the show needs to address without getting lost in the weeds.