Season

1
22

Sisyphus: Episode 11

In order to save the person he loves, our genius engineer risks his life to travel the unknown and find her. However, this mission requires much more than courage from our hero as he faces his own hidden demons and regrets. In the end, our genius engineer and time traveling warrior must save each other if they wish to survive and see another day.

 
EPISODE 11 RECAP

Trapped inside her past, Seo-hae wakes up in her old bedroom and looks for her mom. Though Seo-hae can see and hear her, the reverse is not true, and Mom walks right past her adult daughter.

Overcome with emotions, Seo-hae reaches out to touch her but moves away at the last second. In the process, she knocks over a cup, and despite being unable to see Seo-hae, Mom notices the fallen cup.

While Seo-hae traverses the timelines, Tae-sool finds himself locked inside a cage in an attempt to save her. His captor, time traveler Agnes (aka, Seo-jin), warns him about that man, and on cue, the doors swing open. Sigma waltzes in, and moments later, his lackeys drag Mr. Park in as well.

Seo-jin snarls at Mr. Park for bringing Tae-sool here, but he chuckles and calls her a hypocrite. Sigma orders Mr. Park to be placed in the cage instead of Tae-sool and accuses the broker of breaking his promise. Mr. Park blames Sigma for not keeping his end of the bargain first and asks why he did not send his family over.

Sigma tells him that he brought his wife and daughter to the uploader, but it was their choice to not come. He wonders if they hate him, and Mr. Park laughs, vowing to kill Sigma with his own two hands. Sigma snickers at the threat and tells the broker to sit down before turning his attention to his other guest.

Sigma greets Tae-sool warmly, and Tae-sool plays along—both of them dropping honorifics and treating this conversation as if it was a wedding engagement. Tae-sool says that he came for the cure, but Sigma wonders why they should hand it over to him.

Getting off topic, Sigma asks why people make antidotes and blames this wishy-washy behavior as a result of dishonesty. Tae-sool laughs at him for acting superior, but Sigma genuinely believes he is an honest and trustworthy man who just happens to want a war.

He asks Tae-sool to build the uploader in exchange for the cure, but Tae-sool refuses since it causes the end of the world. Sigma corrects him since only the peninsula is destroyed, but technicalities aside, he asks why the world ending is a bad thing in the first place. From his cage, Mr. Park calls him crazy, but Sigma wants to hear Tae-sool’s answer.

Tae-sool says that normal people would not want the end of the world, but again, Sigma disagrees. He claims that if given the choice, most people would push the button that destroys the world, and of those individuals, Tae-sool is no different.

Sigma proposes an experiment and hands Tae-sool a gun. He dares him to shoot in order to save the world, but Tae-sool cannot pull the trigger. His refusal to kill him proves to Sigma that Tae-sool pushed the button and chose to save the girl rather than the world. He tells Tae-sool not to feel guilty about it, though, since everyone is selfish.

He points to Seo-jin and Mr. Park as examples because they could not shoot him either. Sigma says that he gave everyone a chance, but no one chose the world, which means the real bad person is all of them rather than him.

Not falling for Sigma’s twisted logic, Tae-sool asks why he killed his old fund manager, and for once, Sigma’s smile disappears. Tae-sool continues his accusations, asking about his brother next, and Sigma regains his composure.

He tells Tae-sool that Seo-jin and Mr. Park were the ones who actually harmed Tae-san the most. As for the fund manager, Sigma says that he was betrayed, thus he merely took back his things. However, he takes back his previous comment about Tae-san since someone else should be blamed for his misery: Tae-sool.

Coming back to their main topic, Sigma asks Tae-sool again to build him the uploader, but like before, Tae-sool refuses. At first, Sigma laughs, but his expression hardens as he comes to a decision. He allows Tae-sool to have the cure and even throws in Seo-jin to help him administer it.

Tae-sool doubts his offer, but Sigma says that he likes him. He calls Tae-sool his last puzzle piece and brings up their old history. He was, after all, Tae-sool’s first investor, and tells him to be grateful from time to time.

Turning to Mr. Park, Sigma contemplates burying him but decides to give him one last chance. However, if he betrays him again, he promises to send over his wife’s and daughter’s dead bodies to him.

While still in a giving mood, Sigma offers to answer more questions, so Tae-sool asks how he wrote the message at his house. Sigma says that he can get anywhere, and with that, he ends the session.

As he gets up to leave, Sigma turns to Tae-sool and asks if he remembers him. Tae-sool looks up at him in confusion, and Sigma smiles, realizing that he must not.

While tied up at Asia Mart, Sun asks Bingbing why the brokers have not fled, and she tells him that the Control Bureau blocked the airports. He pesters her with more questions, wondering why she cares about the downloader so much, and she tells him that she is waiting for one more person.

His incessant prying gets on her nerves, and she points her gun at the hostages to shut them up. Seo-hae’s Dad does not even flinch—instead, he scolds her for illegal possession of firearms—and Sun looks unbothered by the threat as well.

He continues asking about their current situation and learns from Bingbing that Tae-sool invented time travel. He asks if the war could be stopped if Tae-sool disappeared then, and she does not refute it.

Once Tae-sool and his group return to Asia Mart, Seo-jin immediately gets to work and kicks everyone out besides Seo-hae and Tae-sool. She explains to Tae-sool that someone needs to find Seo-hae and administer the drug to her there, but failure means never returning to the present ever again.

Without even the slightest hesitation, Tae-sool takes his seat next to Seo-hae and grabs the needle. Seo-jin asks why he would go so far for her, and he tells her that he does not want to lose Seo-hae.

Accepting his resolve, Seo-jin hands Tae-sool the cure and tells him to take the shot as close to the present as possible. He notices a missing needle inside the case, and she tells him that the first person failed.

Before sending Tae-sool off, Seo-jin tells him that the future is a mirror of the past, so no matter how quickly he tries to outrun it, he cannot change what will happen. Listening to her warning, he replies, “A mirror can’t be faster than us, either.”

As Seo-jin administers the drug into his arm, Tae-sool loses consciousness and suddenly wakes up in Seo-hae’s old elementary school. Barely able to talk, Tae-sool stops some students to ask about future Seo-hae, but none of them have seen her.

He finds an odd door at the end of the hall, and on the other side is an open field. Tae-sool walks into the park, and this time, a passerby goes straight through him. He calls out for Seo-hae and spots her in the distance staring at her parents and younger self.

Tae-sool hugs Seo-hae in relief, but she tells him to get off since she has a splitting headache. She asks why he is here, and he tells her that he risked his life to save her. He smiles, asking if he looks cool, and she thanks him for coming.

She wonders what they should do next, and Tae-sool says that her parents are waiting for her in the present. In the middle of his explanation, Tae-sool starts coughing uncontrollably and spits up blood. Seo-hae asks if he is alright, but the world spins around them and sends them to a different place.

In the background, the television plays a report about a couple who died while saving people from a car crash, and Tae-sool recognizes the two little boys in mourning clothes. This is his parents’ funeral, and distraught Tae-sool watches as a scammer approaches his brother.

Seo-hae reminds him that his warnings are pointless since this is only a memory, and she drags him away. They end up at another scene on the same day, and Tae-sool sees his brother give up his dreams to go to college in order to provide for him.

Back at Asia Mart, Seo-jin tells Mr. Park that she will confess everything to Tae-sool when he returns, but he calls it a bluff since the truth would turn him away from her. She points out that he created this mess by stealing the safe, but Mr. Park says that he nearly died when she let Tae-san disappear.

After the fiasco at the Control Bureau headquarters, Officer Hwang reprimands Hyun-gi for breaking multiple rules, but Hyun-gi is too bothered by the truth he heard from Seo-hae. He asks if he time traveled, but Officer Hwang reminds him to ignore everything the prisoners say.

Distorting the truth, Officer Hwang blames Seo-hae’s dad for leading her to Hyun-gi’s house, and Hyun-gi accepts this version of events without question. As punishment, Officer Hwang takes away Hyun-gi’s gun and sends him home until further notice. However, as his superior officer leaves, Hyun-gi slips into the storage room that was left ajar.

While Officer Hwang walks down the hallway, a familiar voice calls out to him, and he twirls around to greet the chairman. Looking down from the upper floor, Sigma praises the officer for following orders and assures him that this should be enough. Just as Sigma planned, Hyun-gi steals a gun and Seo-hae’s file to exact revenge.

Sigma tells Officer Hwang that people believe what they want rather than the truth, which is why he knew Hyun-gi would seek vengeance instead of blaming himself for neglecting his mom. With everything in place, Sigma says that all they need to do is wait and asks the officer to gather everyone for one last farewell.

Meanwhile, Tae-sool and Seo-hae continue their journey through his memories and end up at the beach where the brothers sprinkle their parents’ ashes. Tae-san tells his younger brother that they will get to meet their parents again in heaven if they are good, but little Tae-sool rattles off the scientific principles that disprove his claim.

Seeing Tae-sool in pain, Seo-hae tells him to keep moving forward and leads him to the door. They walk into an abandoned building and find the brothers huddled in a corner. While little Tae-sool sleeps, Tae-san wraps his coat around him and silently cries.

Seo-hae holds onto Tae-sool’s hand as he wipes away his tears, and he tells her that this is the first time he saw Tae-san cry. Though she understands his fears since she had to relive her painful past as well, she tells him that moving forward is the only option.

Holding onto each other, they open the door and step into a blinding light. Tae-sool instantly recognizes the next memory and tells Seo-hae that this is the day his brother died.

Tae-sool watches his past self hanging out with his friends after the company party without a care in the world. While Seung-bok brags about raising Tae-sool during their university days, his jolly mood turns somber when he notices the look between the couple. After he leaves the table, Seo-jin mentions Tae-san, and past Tae-sool complains about his annoying brother.

Hearing his past self talk, Tae-sool grits his teeth and calls himself crazy. Though Seo-hae tells him that he isn’t that person anymore, Tae-sool knows that the man sitting there is still him. He lists all his faults and blames himself for causing the end of the world.

After Tae-sool’s angry outburst, the lights flicker, and he vanishes in front of Seo-hae’s eyes. She shouts his name, and suddenly, the scene changes to a wasteland. She finds him lying on the ground and shakes him awake.

Refusing to move, Tae-sool pushes Seo-hae away and tells her to leave him since he knows what is waiting for him behind that door. He says that he was never happy, but Seo-hae will not accept his breakdown because even she has happy memories after the war.

Seo-hae shares about the time she played in the empty classroom with her dad as well as the time she went to the stadium of BTS’s last concert. She also tells him about the clear night skies in the future and the shooting stars she saw. Everyone has precious, little memories which help them live, and Seo-hae believes Tae-sool has these, too.

Her words remind him of his own happy memory when his family went to the beach, and Tae-sool finds the strength to stand again. As they walk to the door, the case containing the cure falls out, and Seo-hae grabs it before they leave this terrible nightmare.

The next destination is a beach, and Tae-sool recognizes the building in the back. He tells Seo-hae that they reached the present and opens the case to get the cure. His smile momentarily falters when he sees one of the needles shattered, but he pretends to be alright in front of Seo-hae.

He distracts her by talking about her parents and tells her to take the drug first. Once he injects her with the cure, he apologizes, and Seo-hae opens the case, revealing the choice that he made. He tells Seo-hae that she can defeat Sigma and says that he has no one waiting for him anyways unlike her.

Before they part ways forever, he tells her to be less serious and laugh a lot. He pulls her closer, and they kiss. With tears streaming down her face, Seo-hae looks into Tae-sool’s eyes until she disappears, and Tae-sool is alone on the beach once again.

Seo-hae wakes up in the present timeline and stands next to Tae-sool’s unconscious body. She tells Seo-jin that there was only one cure and calls Tae-sool a jerk. She points out that she is waiting for him and shouts at him to wake up.

Tae-sool shields his eyes from the sun as a figure approaches him and reveals himself: it’s Tae-san. Smiling at his younger brother, Tae-san says that he promised they would meet again, and Tae-sool looks over at his family playing nearby. Tae-san explains how they share memories because they are brothers, and Tae-sool asks if he has been hiding here this entire time.

He touches Tae-san’s face and wraps his arms around him, apologizing for everything. Taken aback, Tae-san apologizes for not being a better brother and thanks Tae-sool for growing up so well. He pulls out a needle—the missing number one—and injects Tae-sool before he can object. He says his final farewell and reminds Tae-sool that he was and always will be by his side.

Unwilling to give up, Seo-hae talks to Tae-sool and begs him to get up. She needs him to use his skills to solve this problem like he always does and return to her side. She says that she misses him and buries her face into his chest. The heart rate monitor starts to beep again, and a smile spreads across Tae-sool’s face.

Opening his eyes, he caresses Seo-hae’s hair, and she whispers his name, staring at him in relief. He asks if she admitted to missing him, and she threatens to kill him. He chuckles, confessing that he doesn’t actually want to die, and sits up. He hugs Seo-hae, and she hugs him back.

 
COMMENTS

A lot of the episode was spent on Tae-sool’s quest to save Seo-hae, but in the end, his life-risking trip was less about showcasing his heroism and more about presenting his grief and regrets. From the beginning, the show depicted Tae-sool as a flawed hero possibly experiencing depression and exhibiting self-destructive behaviors because of his unresolved grief and anger. He never got over the death of his brother and allowed his sadness to control and derail his life. Thus, when Tae-sool was forced to experience those painful memories again, he broke down and refused to move on. Rather than face the truth, Tae-sool thought living in eternal limbo was the better alternative. However, when all hope seemed lost for Tae-sool, Seo-hae was at his side and helped him find a reason to live.

Tae-sool finally takes the first steps towards healing by having a genuine friend show empathy and stay by his side without expecting anything in return. Seo-hae didn’t need to make a grand gesture to save Tae-sool. All she had to do was be vulnerable and present. She shares her happy memories with him, and it reminds Tae-sool that life is worth living for those small, seemingly insignificant moments. In the end, the loss of a loved one never truly heals or stops hurting forever. The show makes that clear with Tae-sool. Despite the pain, though, moving forward is the only way to heal, and eventually, just as Tae-sool moved from the wasteland to the beach that held his happiest memory, the road ahead will lead to clearer skies.

While some of the writing still relies heavily on convenience to create tension and move the plot (how did just one needle get utterly shattered while the other remained completely intact in that metal case?), the writers did successfully capture the universality of grief and that feeling of hopelessness after losing a loved one. Though the protagonists may be experiencing farfetched situations, the writers have rooted the story in human emotions. The allure of science fiction isn’t just in the possibilities of science (or the impossibility in some cases) but also the metaphors used to reflect the present time. Ultimately, the draw of the show is in the depiction of the human experience that people can relate to and understand.

While this episode had great Tae-sool and Seo-hae moments, I was moved more by the brothers’ relationship. As Tae-sool relives his past, he experiences scenes that he technically should not know. He sees Tae-san give up college as well as cry by himself in the abandoned building, and at the end, the show explains why. All this time, Tae-sool was not only watching his memories but Tae-san’s as well. They went through these painful moments together, and Tae-sool recognizes this fact even before he realizes that these were Tae-san’s memories, too. This was also why Tae-sool felt so guilty towards his brother because all this time he was too caught up in his own pain to notice Tae-san. He only ever considered himself as the victim, but watching the past as an adult, Tae-sool sees just how young his older brother was then, too.

However, what ultimately unites the brothers isn’t their miserable upbringing and shared pain but their happy memory. Both of them remember that day at the beach, and it wasn’t merely a coincidence that Tae-sool and Tae-san find each other in that timeline at that spot. It’s a bittersweet reunion since this will truly be the last time the two of them meet, but just as Tae-sool chose to sacrifice himself to save Seo-hae, Tae-san chose to save his little brother. It’s unclear what traversing the timelines means since Tae-sool and Seo-hae could interact with certain objects and people but not others. However, even if Tae-san may not be there physically or in his ghost-like presence, his final message to Tae-sool was that he would always be with him in spirit. Though this trip nearly cost Tae-sool his life, he came away from it a better man who is now able to move on and live his life with at least one less regret.

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , ,

22

Required fields are marked *

I can’t say enough how good jo seung woo is as an actor. Even though I’ve lost the emotional attachment to this drama I still cried with him during his scene with his brother. And that scene at the beach! Both park shin hye and him nailed the emotions, and when they hugged at the end ♥️ Aaargh!!! It looked so warm and fuzzy without the distracting limp arms that are usually present in hugs.

I’m sad the brother couldn’t make it with him but he’s always been a self sacrificing person especially towards Tae Sul so it only makes sense that he sacrificed himself for his brother yet again.

5
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

For me, JSW is the heart of this show. PSH is someone I'm neutral on as a performer, and by Ep 9 I did finally click to her Seo-hae. But tbh, JSW baby!!! I just have this crush on him lol, even though he's an ahjussi he's so charismatic even though he's in his 40s :D I may or may not have blushed a lil bit seeing him ahem flirt his way through lmao. Like, its so nice to see him be his charming and romantic self once again, and this time I think the romance has been a slow burn. We got a kiss scene folks!!! Huzz-ah!! Please give him a great rom-com with someone equally great as him soon!!!! Perhaps he can take the role NJH is playing alongside Kim Tae-ri ;)??!

The brother storyline though, was so sad and bitter sweet. What a great brother, that scene of the past was really touching. I think they've such a great/strong dynamic that I feel like since Ep 2 was placed on the backside for unnecessary car/chase scenes when we should've gotten more of their interactions. To me, this show is the strongest when its about each character's regret/characters individually than the sci-fi mechanics.

2
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

I’m totally fallen for Jo seung woo’s charms after this drama and he’s now officially part of my favourite ahjussi actors lol. I could not be more grateful that he chose such a charming and flirty character. It suits him so much.

The bts clips are even more of a gem and his chemistry with PSH is so adorable and hilarious. I do hope to see him in more romance/comedy dramas because I think he deserves to showcase that side of himself as an actor. Also I screamed when they kissed. I’ve never seen him kiss anyone and my heart nearly burst coz I was so taken aback and ecstatic by it😍

3
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

IKR! I’d never see him kiss anyone either, so I was pleading, “please be a good kisser!” And OMG he is!!!!!

3
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

This was me, too! He did not disappoint!

1

Lol yep! His musical works have helped him ;) Tons of kisses over/over again surely help! Now, if we would ever be so lucky to see him in a full romance/rom-com genre!! I think we would all collapse from the goodness! Ah. I don't want a sad/mopey romance Melo, I just want to see him in a sexy/mature rom-com (Something like Hyena or Oh My Venus lol!).

3

He's delightful right? I can't believe he's 42 :D I gather he's just as charming in rl too, judging by the BTS clips of the show. Man is secretly a baby haha! Seeing him express/emote/flirt is amazing, pls more roles perhaps a romance/rom-com?!

I think they've more chemistry in BTS clips tbh lol. CSW said that he's not oppose to romance, but the ones he's offered are cheesy/too easy for him lol. I gather when the right role/work comes, he'll do them. He actually used to do more romance roles back in the day. I've seen him kiss and uhm other stuff too ;) But yes minus his musicals, this is his 1st kiss on-screen since Horse Doctor.

1
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

do you know where he said about not being opposed to doing romance roles?

0

@inkcityxx Yes! Here:

https://entertain.naver.com/read?oid=469&aid=0000327537&spi_ref=m_entertain_twitter

"Its not that I don't want to act in a romance drama. I haven't come across any good ones. Love is expressed too straightforward. I think it can be slightly different. There are many ways to express it."

"All the works that have come in so far are about love too one-dimensional. If you go that way, you will find it cheesy. I don't want to talk so one-dimensional anymore. I hope there is a new form, a new perspective, or a new expression."

Also in his video interview too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mx5PLITfyZg&t=3409s at the 52:29 mark, when the MC asked him "But lately you haven't done any romance ones. Can we perhaps expect you to take up a romance project, Cho Seung Woo ssi" And his answer to that was: "I can't give you an answer straight away right now." The MC said "They when will you be able to?" and he responded with "If I come across a good project, then of course I would do it. Yes, I would definitely want to and would do it." And the MC said "You're always up for it," and he said "Yes." And she wishes that he can come across a good romance offer. (Ends at the 52: 59 mark).

It seems like Sisyphus is slowly dipping his feet back into the romance genre, albeit not 100% but prob. 75-80%. I assume due to his age, and how charming/attractive he still is, that I can see him get a rom-com/romance drama soon. I hope in the next 1-1 1/2 yrs, and this time with an equally dynamic actress who can push and pull with him? My picks: Song Hye Kyo, Han Ji Min, Kim Hye Soo, Seo Ye Ji, & Shin Hye Sun just to name a few. He better keep on his word, and give us the goods!!! PLS Sir, before you get taken off the market ha ;)!!

1

I fell hard for him in The Classic. So romantic!

1

Absolutely loved theis episode though the first half was a bit draggy. Honestly I think that's the real issue with the show. So many great emotional moments getting bogged down because of how long they drag out some scenes. Nevertheless, I still find myself entertained (espc when turning off logic) and cannot wait to see how it all spans out in the end.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really like the brothers relationship, it's sad we don't get more scenes of them together.

I don't really feel any fondness for Seo-Hae, I don't know if it's the writting or the acting...

I'm kinda scared by Sun realizing that if Tae Sul dies, there is no more uploader... Don't do stupid things!

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This episode was boring for me and so much a filler.
As much as I enjoy CSW and PSH together, this felt a bit like A Christmas Carrol. I get how TaeSul gets to admit how selfish he's been and that he genuinely cares for SeoHae, and their kiss was sweet and I believe in their love story.
But the rest: I'm tired of half said sentences and half truths. Up to this point, we as viewers should know more about what's happening or why, but with only five episodes left, we still don't know anything.
And finally, regarding TaeSan... am I supposed to believe that he was 18 when their parents died so he could have custody of his younger son? If so, someone should have chosen an actor that actually looked 18...

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I concluded that brothers have run away before they got into an orphanage. That's why they lived in an abandoned building at some point, probably also the reason why Tae sool didn't graduate from that elementary school.
When Tae San became 18, he legally got the custody of his brother.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I cried like a baby when the brothers parted. The actors have had so few scenes together, but the story telling was so good with all the childhood flashbacks and Tae Sul realizing the sacrifices his brother did make for him, it made that scene stick to me. And the kiss! So good! I’ve been in the show always and for only CSW/JSW and he has outdone himself here. He’s soooooo talented I can’t stand it.

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

The episode never answered the question why Tae San was in the limbo world, why is this the last time they will see each other, what happened to the Tae San that threatened Seo Hae. Their reunion was sweet, but it was also incredibly convenient. Tae San isn't a character, he is a plot device. Whatever, lol.

5
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

What isn't a plot device in this drama?
Nothing about Tae San makes any sense.

2
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

This is true. lol

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

So, here are two Tae Sans.

Tae San #1 - the present one, he has been into hiding, sometimes secrately taking the photos of his brother. Knows that Tae Sool is going to be killed. He has been placed in Asylum from which he ran away. Then he lived in the house in the field where he later found his body.

Tae San #2 - has unsuccessfully traveled in the past. He was transported in front of the plain and most likely died (?).

Tae San #1 who lived in the old building, found his body, therefore has his memories. He knows that in the previous time loop Tae Sool got stuck in the memories world trying to save So Hee. Therefore, he asks Seo- Jin to let him go in the memories world with the antidote.

2
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Nods head, this is a plausible explanation.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

No use flogging a dead horse, but the emotional over-/ undertones in this episode fell completely flat for me, because the whole show has been jumping from one mess to another. Giant sigh.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Of all the things that do not make sense I chose to focus on one thing – What were Sigma lackeys were wearing? Leather jackets with Long black scarf? Wrapped around head like hood?
Is it a dress code? Who chose it? Is it Sigma?
If yes, he has some weird tastes (apart from destroying whole world.)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *