Sisyphus: Episode 7
Separated from the man she must save, our time traveling warrior reaches out to some questionable allies for help, and along the way, she finds herself an eager puppy willing to risk his life for her. Though everyone tells her that the future cannot be changed, our warrior will not give up since millions of lives depend on her success.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Seo-hae wakes up in an unfamiliar room wearing a floral dress and remembers last night’s incident with the Control Bureau. Standing in the doorway, Sun whispers to his younger sister that Seo-hae hits people who save her, but jokes aside, both siblings worry over her and tell her to rest.
Realizing the time, Seo-hae bolts up from the bed to save Tae-sool, but Sun turns on the news and shows her that he’s fine. She finds the coverage odd, and when she can’t reach his phone, she decides to head out. Sun blocks her path since she is injured, but Seo-hae pushes past him.
As Seo-hae steps into the living room, she sees Sun’s mom feeding his sister, and it reminds Seo-hae of her mom. While she stares at them in a daze, Sun’s mom invites her to join them for breakfast, so she does.
Mealtime is filled with laughter and playful teasing at Sun’s house, and Seo-hae sits among them with a myriad of emotions welling up inside of her. She thinks back to her mom and remembers the day they parted.
Dad held back little Seo-hae who bawled her eyes out, and Mom tearfully said her goodbyes as she closed the door. Once her mom disappeared from view, a loud explosion occurred outside.
Sun takes Seo-hae outside to talk, and he updates her on what happened after they split up at the train station. With no money, he was forced to walk home, but when he arrived, his old boss died and the Control Bureau was crawling around the area.
While hiding out on the streets resenting Seo-hae, Sun found the lottery numbers and took the risk to buy a ticket. After running around town to find a working machine, Sun arrived at a convenience store with minutes to spare. Unfortunately, he was a coin short, but as luck would have it, he found just enough change on the ground to buy his ticket.
Sun watched in excitement as the numbers called matched his own, and when his ticket won, he danced around the store, even rolling around the ground. While enjoying his new life of decadence, Sun remembered Seo-hae and felt a pang of guilt.
He decided to look for her by stalking Tae-sool and eventually made his way to his house where he spotted the two of them sneaking inside. All this time, the creepy person watching them from afar was Sun, which was how he ended up at the chairman’s estate and saved Seo-hae.
Sun returns Seo-hae’s gun and expectantly waits for her side of the story. Alas, she refuses to tell him anything, so he holds onto the only thing he knows: her name. Seo-hae doesn’t give him permission to use it, so Sun goes with noona instead. She scowls at title since she was born in 2012 which is five years after Sun, and the poor boy looks utterly confused.
He wants to repay his debt to her, but Seo-hae tells him that she likes working alone. He points out that she has no concrete plans on how to save Tae-sool and offers to help her even if she refuses. Sun hands her a present and tells her to use it to cover the scar on her wrist and remember him. Once he leaves, she opens the box and finds a thank you note and watch.
Taking out her phone, Seo-hae inputs her mom’s number and calls. When her mom answers, Seo-hae calls out to her, but her mom is confused since her daughter is sitting across the table from her. Unable to say anything, Seo-hae hangs up, and her little self asks if it was a prank call. Mom suddenly tears up, but Dad comes home and everything goes back to normal.
Deciding to trust Sun, Seo-hae warns him about the upcoming war and tells him that she’s a time traveler. She reminds him of the flickering, which means she doesn’t have much time left, and Sun smiles, thinking this is a prank. When she doesn’t laugh, he realizes that she is serious and asks what he should do.
With all their things packed, Sun takes his family and follows Seo-hae’s lead. He drives them to Asia Mart, and Seo-hae takes Bingbing hostage. Though his underlings tense up—blocking their boss’s path in an attempt to guard him—Mr. Park laughs at the situation and taunts Seo-hae about her boyfriend (aka, Tae-sool).
Seo-hae throws the key onto the table and offers it to him in exchange for two favors. Mr. Park asks for some time to consider, and Seo-hae shoots, clearly in no mood for his tricks. He agrees to the deal with the trigger-happy time traveler, and Seo-hae lists her demands: first, she needs him to send three people abroad, and second, they need to save Tae-sool.
She tells him that Tae-sool was caught and shows him the news footage from earlier. She knows the hooded figure is fake since the real Tae-sool would never thank people first, and as she deduced, the person on tv was an actor hired by Seung-bok.
After looking into the situation, the brokers figure out that someone has imprisoned Tae-sool in his own home, and Mr. Park grumbles about the dangerous mission. Seo-hae turns to leave if they won’t help, and Mr. Park yells at her to stay.
He proposes a new plan, suggesting that they help Tae-sool after he gets out of the house. Seo-hae agrees, so Mr. Park orders Bingbing to send an item to Tae-sool. The others object since the higherups might complain, but Mr. Park says that their actions won’t change anything.
Bingbing explains to Seo-hae that they can send things to the future which they then download back into the present. Mr. Park asks for any weapons, so Seo-hae hands him the EMP. He also needs a memorable object for Tae-sool to know the sender, and Seo-hae reluctantly hands over the wedding photo. She writes a message on the back, and Mr. Park puts all these and a cup into a box.
While the brothers leave to drop off the items, Bingbing gets ready for the download. In the meantime, Mr. Park asks why Seo-hae is taking the difficult route when she could just kill Tae-sool before he builds the uploader. When she doesn’t answer, he asks if she thinks she can change the future and laughs at her foolishness.
Seo-hae asks why he wants the key then, and says that the future can change. He wishes that were true, and Seo-hae tells him that she can do it. Bingbing announces the objects’ arrival, and as planned, Tae-sool receives it and escapes the house.
Sun drives Seo-hae to Tae-sool’s location, and on the way, he asks about their relationship. If she isn’t dating anyone, Sun asks her to date him and leave the country with his family. She refuses, and Sun wonders if it is because of Tae-sool. Seo-hae looks away, unwilling to answer.
Once they arrive, Seo-hae takes out her gun and rubber bullets, but as she leaves, Sun calls out to her and tells her that he’ll be waiting. She smiles back at him, and he breaks into a grin.
Taking position on the upper level, Seo-hae watches Tae-sool sneak around the alley, unaware of his pursuers right behind him. She easily takes them out one by one, but a couple of hooded figures find her and attack. She shoots them before they can fire back, but in the process, she loses sight of Tae-sool.
Seo-hae looks around frantically, and eventually finds him messing with the phone. While she resumes her duties, Tae-sool calls her and makes her miss her shot. She quickly recovers, though, and answers his call.
We see their conversation from Seo-hae’s perspective, and contrasting against Tae-sool’s anxiousness, she smiles easily while taking down more foes. With the last pursuer closing in on him, she tells Tae-sool to duck and shoots. Tae-sool finally looks around his surroundings and discovers the fallen bodies all around him.
He escapes to the upper level where Seo-hae finds him, and he comments on her odd clothes. He asks if she is real since he cannot differentiate between his hallucinations and reality anymore, and Seo-hae notices him panicking. She grabs his hand and stares into his eyes, assuring him that she is right here. She leads him away, and Tae-sool smiles at her.
They return to Sun’s car, and Seo-hae jumps into the backseat much to Sun’s disappointment. After they drive off, Seo-hae tells Tae-sool about her partnership with the brokers, and he worries about it backfiring. Meanwhile, Sun pouts in the driver’s seat, and Tae-sool picks up on his petty antagonism. The two men start arguing about their age, and Seo-hae tells them to shut up.
Once they arrive at Asia Mart, Seo-hae sends Sun back to his family since his job is done. He wants to help her, but she says that he will die if he stays. She tells him to leave, and Sun sighs as he does as he is told.
Mr. Park greets his guests with guns and waves at Seo-hae to hand over the key. She tosses it to him and whispers to Tae-sool that she met his brother. All this time she wondered why Tae-san would keep such important documents in a safe, and after seeing him, she figured out the answer.
Seo-hae smiles as she watches Mr. Park open the safe, and his excited face twists into panic: there is no blueprint. The only thing inside the safe is a letter addressed to Tae-sool from his brother, and Tae-sool’s jaw drops when he recognizes the handwriting.
In the letter, Tae-san tells his brother that he has the blueprints which means Tae-sool will be safe. He says that he’s fine, though he does miss him from time to time. He wonders if the future can’t be changed—even Tae-sool’s death—and writes about his new goal to save him no matter what.
He tells Tae-sool to live a life without regrets and hopes they will meet again in the future. He ends it with “I love you,” and Tae-sool sniffles, holding back his tears. He turns to the second page which has a postscript and a photo of him. Tae-san tells him that he knows Sigma’s identity, and Tae-sool finally understands the purpose of all those pictures: his brother was looking for Sigma.
The brokers point their guns at them, and Mr. Park accuses Seo-hae of duping him. Before he can pull the trigger, they hear sirens outside, and Bingbing barges into the room to warn them about the Control Bureau. Seo-hae calmly says that she called them and uses the distraction to steal Mr. Park’s gun.
While the brothers go upstairs to close the door, the Control Bureau storms the area and arrests them. Downstairs, Seo-hae demands the location of the back door, and Bingbing cracks, handing over the information. Tae-sool praises Seo-hae for being cool, and she replies, “I know.” Heh.
Mr. Park orders Bingbing to lock the door and stay downstairs with the downloader. She holds him back, but Mr. Park pushes her away and reminds her to keep the machine running at all costs. He chuckles, commenting on how he’s going back there again, and heads outside to turn himself over.
Sun and his family arrive at the airport to fly to the US, but as they near the gate, Sun clenches his passport and changes his mind. He tells them to go on ahead and rushes out as they call after him. Meanwhile, Seo-jin pours herself a glass of wine in her office, and Seung-bok sits lost in thought at Tae-sool’s house.
The chairman greets his wife in the morning and smiles to see her healthy. He goes into his study, but to his shock, Tae-sool is waiting for him. He warns the chairman of the sniper, and from outside, Seo-hae aims her gun at his chest.
Staying calm, the chairman takes a seat and reaches for his panic button, but Tae-sool already cut the line. He informs the chairman that no one will come to his aid and asks for his cooperation unless he wants to see everything he loves destroyed.
The chairman remains silent, so Tae-sool fires him on the spot. When the chairman objects, Tae-sool plays a recording of the chairman’s conversation with Seo-jin. He explains how he left his earpiece in the room when he fainted and threatens to send her to jail if he doesn’t talk.
Caught in Tae-sool’s trap, the chairman tells him that Sigma was there since the beginning and gave him medicine to fix his wife. Sigma was also the one who told him to invest in Tae-sool as well as put Tae-san in a mental ward.
Tae-sool demands to know Sigma’s location, but the chairman says that they contact him, not the other way around. He apologizes, and Tae-sool storms out. When the red dot doesn’t disappear, the chairman worriedly pats his chest, but after a second, it vanishes, leaving him exhausted in his chair.
The chairman does not appear at the company’s press conference, so Seung-bok goes ahead without him. He reads a decision from the board to appoint a new leader, but Tae-sool waltzes in and stops him mid-announcement. He takes over the stage and stares into the cameras for a very important message.
He first addresses his brother and tells him to stay safe until they meet again. As for his next big declaration, Tae-sool aims it at Sigma, taunting the loser to show up. However, he suddenly changes his mind and issues a challenge: he’ll find Sigma.
In the room with all the screens, the camera pans over and reveals Sigma’s face (Kim Byung-chul). As he stares at the multiple faces of Tae-sool, he says that things are finally getting interesting and laughs.
In his house, the chairman sits next to his unconscious wife, and over the phone, he apologizes for his actions. After hanging up, he grabs his wife’s hand and apologizes to her, as well. He goes into his study and pours himself a drink. With shaking hands, he takes out a gun from his drawer and pulls the trigger.
At the chairman’s funeral, Seung-bok comforts Seo-jin, and outside, Sigma stands in the crowd with the other guests. He fails to see why they are making a fuss over a single death and wonders what they will do when 50 million people will die in the near future.
With the action kept to a minimal and the Control Bureau scenes not taking up precious airtime, I found myself enjoying the show a lot more. The interactions between the protagonists and the brokers are much more entertaining than anything that has to do with the Control Bureau, and unlike the latter, they bring a sense of intentional levity to the show. Though only a few hints were dropped, we learn that the brokers aren’t some rogue group but part of something bigger. They need to keep the downloader on at all times even if it means letting the Control Bureau arrest them. From Mr. Park’s comment near the end, this also might not be their first time getting caught, which could be related to Seo-hae’s earlier statement about her limited time. One explanation is that the time travelers die after a set period outside of their regular timeline, but another interpretation of Seo-hae’s comment is that they get transported back to the future. If the latter or some form of it is true, then time traveling isn’t a permanent move but more of a blip. This would also imply that people could time travel multiple times, but then, why is Seo-hae flickering already when the other time travelers seem fine? It could be that the later time travels are more unstable, but maybe Seo-hae holds a different secret—one that would explain why she’s so confident in her ability to change the future when everyone tells her that it’s impossible.
The other interesting thing about the brokers, particularly Mr. Park, is their defeatist attitude. I always wondered why no one seemed to care about stopping the war as much as Seo-hae, but this episode brought up the possibility that people—likely thousands of them—have already tried and failed. No matter what they do, the future is set in stone, so then what purpose do the time travelers have in the past? Seo-hae says that people jump because of regret, but what motivates the brokers to put themselves in danger to keep the downloader going? There must be something else on the line for these seemingly materialistic and cutthroat people to stick together and risk their lives. Though they probably aren’t on the “good” side, they also don’t come across as completely evil. I wouldn’t go so far and call them neutral either, but outside of Sigma and the Control Bureau, there’s clearly more entities involved in this business of time travel.
The show emphasizes the futility of changing the future, so no matter what anyone does, things that are bound to happen will happen. This mentality permeates the show except in two characters who share the same goal: Seo-hae and Tae-san. Both these characters want to save Tae-sool, and as a result, they defy what the future has laid out for them. For some yet to be explained reason, Seo-hae believes that she is special, and I don’t get the impression that this confidence is coming from some misplaced self-importance. However, Tae-san thinks she will bring harm to Tae-sool, which immediately puts them at odds. Just as I wonder why Seo-hae thinks she can save Tae-sool, I am also curious about Tae-san and why he sees her as a danger. Is this related to Seo-hae’s comment to Sun about him dying if she’s with him, or does Tae-san know something about Seo-hae?
The biggest secret revealed this episode was Sigma’s identity. We only got to see his face, but so far, we do know that he arrived from the future in 2001 and currently stalks Tae-sool. The other important piece of information was that Tae-san figured out his identity and said that he has been close to them all this time. My suspicions immediately went to Seung-bok, which would mean Kim Byung-chul is sort of a red herring and two actors are playing the same character. For one thing, I thought it was odd for the show to choose an angle of the brother’s fight with Seung-bok’s head caught in the frame as if he was “Sigma” and has been watching them this entire time. In addition, present-day Seung-bok might not actually be Sigma, but rather, he could turn into him, which explains why he lets other people boss him around. On the other hand, Seung-bok could have been Sigma from the very beginning and has kept this secret by acting the part of the ignorant sidekick to the genius hero. The show hasn’t really introduced any other viable candidates to be Sigma, so unless a completely new character is introduced soon, it seems that the main antagonists might be the best friend all along.