Days away from the nuclear attack, Tae-sul and Seo-hae begin to finally use their knowledge of their own past attempts to change this future against Sigma.
In a story where the villains are sticking hard to the timeline of previous pasts, so the future remains the same, the protagonists maybe should have started using this advantage a little sooner, but ah well, at least we’re here now.
Let’s not use our biggest weapon yet. We still have seconds left till annihilation!
So, finally, they begin using this knowledge to start changing the future little by little, cause there are those who are banking on them to do the same things they did before.
Now, something I’ve wailed a lot about is how much time the Control Bureau has been giving these two to plot their way out of corners every single time. This makes complete sense when we realise that the villains weren’t being incompetent — they were simply ensuring that the score of wins and defeats remain the same this time, as in the times before, so nothing can change their apocalyptic future.
Dear PD-nim, why didn’t you even hint at this before??? I’m utterly flummoxed at how much information Sisyphus kept from us for most of the show.
Badass bodyguard from the future is still badass
I loved getting more time with Bong-soonie, even though I can’t quite accept that this man who was on life support was in any way a priority during evacuations right before a nuclear attack. And Tae-sul was presumably dead before the attack even happened.
But of course he was the one to come and snipe those baddies and save his boss! It’s what his younger self had failed to do, and that clearly weighed on him a lot.
I do wish he’d gone against the faithful butler trope and held a vicious grudge against Tae-sul for creating the Uploader. If he came back to snipe his boss, that would make even more sense.
Though, ha. I love that he kept Tae-sul’s car in the future, and it’s still running great 17 years later.
It’s a crime to be poor
There is tremendous sadness in the way actor Kim Byung-chul played the younger, defeated Seo Won-ju/Seo Gil-bok.
After his initial introduction as a little boy pushed into mental anguish by an abusive parents and a neglectful society, it kind of seemed like a straight path to his rise into an adulthood of nihilism and misanthropy. But it wasn’t that straight after all.
The adult Seo Won-ju is so very, very lonely, and yet, when he attempts to take his own life, so desperately sad to end the existence he finds unbearable.
It’s especially cruel to watch him have a spark of hope at the end of his rope, when he hears that one of his painting had been sold, and then to immediately have it ripped away from him by his old nemesis.
Of course, it’s so very like Tae-sul to stand there mocking the future Sigma about his subpar artistic talents, and never notice that the man in front of him is the one being crushed by his words.
Since we’re on the topic of Sigma, let’s take a moment to parse his life’s philosophy. He has said repeatedly that Tae-sul and Seo-hae could have saved the world any number of times if they didn’t put their own loved ones before the millions who die during the war.
Then he and his table full of rich friends laugh at this human frailty, and absolve themselves of any responsibility for the war about to break out.
This is elitist bullshit, and not worth the eye roll it immediately triggers in me.
Much more interesting is Sigma’s actual motive. He was rejected by society, and now he wants to see everyone burn, while he prospers. Simple.
And if Tae-sul, the man who stood before him with a gun at his lowest moment while tearing down his dreams with his words is the one he can use to destroy the world, all the better!
We might kill the guy who will become the NEXT Sigma!
I have a theory about Sigma. After he gets away from Seo-hae and Tae-sul, Seo Won-ju survives the nuclear attack, probably because he was arrested and in jail. I believe him when he says that the attack would have happened any way.
After surviving, he finds out that Eddy Kim finished the work on the Uploader, and he volunteers to come back to the past in the test set.
After arriving, he makes his money, and then he realises that instead of things going on just as before, the arrival of Seo-hae portends that the world might not end this time. Or at least, that Tae-sul might not create the Uploader. So he begins to interfere with them, creating the Control Bureau and a network of people who will keep the timeline exactly the same.
And who knows how many times he’s succeeded in this?
Though does this mean that Sigma is right? Tae-sul may not create the Uploader, but that wouldn’t stop the nuclear attack. All it’ll do is stop people from the future coming into the past!
Wait, is Sigma even evil?
He was just like you, except smarter and more charismatic
The play on names here are ridiculously on the nose. Tesla is Tae-sul, Edison is Eddy Kim, and Seo Won-ju likely created “Si-g-ma” as an acronym of his artist name, “Seo Gil-bok”.
Also, how is Tae-sul and Eddy anything like Tesla and Edison? Tae-sul has all of the charisma AND talents!
It was a particularly great scene when Eddy realises the limitations of his own talents in the absence of Tae-sul though. He pushed his friend out, believing that he could take the company forward without him, but now he faces a dead end because of his greed.
I guess in the original time line, he’d still been friends with Tae-sul at the time of the attack, and Tae-sul had done more work on the machine by the time he died. Sigma’s interference through Seo-jin may have made it harder for this Eddy to get the job done on the machine.
Oh no, I forgot to let him finish the machine before I stole it!
Tae-sul winning back Seo-hae’s forgiveness by revealing that he built the bunker for her family — but an even better one this time — is just the sweetest and most cliched rich person thing ever.
While I understand Tae-sul going alone cause he knows there’ll be a moment when he has to choose between her and the world, trust him to think he can avoid the choice completely. 🙈
I loved the flashback to Seo-hae and her dad’s trek across the abandoned city to get to the Uploader and their fight scenes. These are the character revealing moments I wish I’d seen at least 6 episodes ago.
Also those quick glance overs that father and daughter give each other, when the other is focused on the enemy. It says so much about how long they’ve fought and survived together, that even in the middle of battle, they instinctively check to see if the other is holding up.
When that package arrives for Seo-hae. Yeesh. I like that she took off then. It wasn’t a grief she could have shared with Tae-sul, and I loved seeing the city through her eyes, while he recalled learning about it from her father.
All in all, a solid week that doesn’t lag in pacing and gives us a LOT of new information about the paradox the characters are stuck in.
The vision Tae-sul has when he touches the powder (very likely to be his own bones) may have shown him something Seo-hae doesn’t know about yet. But I’m definitely ready for the duo to break out of the inevitability of this cycle and do something that would get the boulder to the top of the mountain and make it stay there.
Hoping for the best for the final week, and also looking forward to Saya’s review of it.