Are You Human Too: Episodes 15-16
Nam Shin-III may be just as confused about his new primary rule as anyone else, but he sets about following it with an unmistakeable fierceness. Unfortunately, the timing is terrible, as he needs to focus on his role as Shin now more than ever. But So-bong learns a terrible truth about the plans for his future, and she’s forced to make a decision that could change everything, and might even separate them forever.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
Nam Shin-III tells us that his mom (Ro-ra) was the first human he ever saw, and his primary rule — to hug someone who’s crying — was for her. But he replaced the number one rule for So-bong: to protect her at all costs. He wonders why the most important rule was suddenly changed.
He thinks back on his interactions with So-bong and makes some deductions. First, he’s become accustomed to her pattern of extreme actions. Second, his algorithm adapted when he became her slave. And third, their excessive skinship fostered a sense of closeness.
Still, he can’t quite understand what it is about So-bong that caused so much change.
He thinks all this in the split second after pushing Ye-na to the ground, and So-bong recovers by telling him to help her back up. As a curious crowd gathers, So-bong growls for them to make it look like a lovers’ quarrel.
In the car, So-bong suggests that Nam Shin-III apologize to Ye-na for pushing her, but Ye-na snaps that she doesn’t want an apology from a robot. In Nam Shin-III’s defense, So-bong points out that Ye-na kicked her first. She says that Ye-na needs Nam Shin-III until Shin wakes up, so she shouldn’t upset him or he’ll quit helping them.
In his car a short distance away, Snake watches the trio drive off and makes a phone call.
When Chairman Nam shows up at the columbarium, Ro-ra tries to leave, snarling to Young-hoon that she came to see him, not the old man. She stops at the sound of Jong-gil’s voice coming from Chairman Nam’s recording pen, saying that Chairman Nam isn’t qualified to be in charge of PK Motors anymore and should be sent away for “us” to get a chance.
Chairman Nam tells Ro-ra that her son isn’t included in Jong-gil’s “us,” and that they may hate each other, but they have a common enemy. He asks how it feels to see her son again, Ro-ra reminds him that he’s the one who kept her son from her.
Chairman Nam says that Shin is suddenly showing passion after years of apathy, like he’s a different person since seeing her again. He attributes the change to her strong blood, but she tells him not to insult Jung-woo, who wasn’t as weak as his father thought. Chairman Nam asserts that Jung-woo died because he was weak, and invites Ro-ra to join the company before Jong-gil takes what belongs to Shin.
Scoffing, Ro-ra asks if he’s missed her after being betrayed by Jong-gil. Chairman Nam says that time changes people, but Ro-ra denies having changed, and she says she’ll never do what he wants. Chairman Nam tells her not to get emotional, and he tasks Young-hoon with persuading her to accept his offer.
He gets up to leave, and Ro-ra yells after him that he can’t control her. She tells Young-hoon that Nam Shin-III needs to be more careful with his behavior or Chairman Nam will uncover their plan, and Young-hoon says that luckily, Chairman Nam sees the change in “Shin” as a good thing for now.
Nam Shin-III still looks befuddled by his priority shift when they drop off Ye-na. So-bong asks why he came to her defense so aggressively, but he avoids answering. He keeps looking at her on the drive home, and she warns him that she won’t let it go. Nam Shin-III says he’s not sure why he did it, but So-bong won’t accept that answer, worried for her job.
But she still thanks him, and apologizes for Ye-na saying he’s not human as if being human is a big deal. Then she grins and says she’s pretty cool, and Nam Shin-III nods happily. He goes into Shin-mode to answer a call from Chairman Nam, who calls him home immediately.
Snake reports to Jong-gil that “Shin” seems closer to his bodyguard than to Ye-na, and he wonders if So-bong lied when she said she saw another Shin, then later retracted it. If she did lie, Snake thinks there might be another Nam Shin, but Jong-gil says there’s no proof.
Chairman Nam asks Nam Shin-III if he wants the company, and Nam Shin-III says he does if it protects his position. Chairman Nam wonders if that’s his greed or someone else’s, then mentions that “Shin” has changed since reuniting with his mother. He says he likes this new Shin better than the old one, but if the change wasn’t his own will, he thinks that makes the new Shin a fake.
Nam Shin-III says simply that he’s the Shin from the present, not the past, and that he made his own decision to change. Satisfied, Chairman Nam decides to start the process to have “Shin” succeed him, but he lies and says that Ro-ra told him today to give the position to Young-hoon.
Later, Nam Shin-III projects the conversation onto the television for Young-hoon and So-bong to see. The chairman had continued that he originally chose Young-hoon because unlike other young people, he knew his place. He’d warned Nam Shin-III to keep Young-hoon close so he doesn’t become like Jong-gil.
So-bong sees Young-hoon getting upset and tells Nam Shin-III to turn it off, but Young-hoon just says this is a good thing so they need to be careful. He tells Nam Shin-III to assemble the M-car team, and he’ll arrange a meeting for tomorrow.
So-bong heads to bed, and Nam Shin-III finds Young-hoon in his office. He says that most humans would be angry if the chairman suspected them, but Young-hoon says he’ll handle his own emotions and tells Nam Shin-III to leave.
Nam Shin-III asks why people don’t understand that Young-hoon isn’t interested in Shin’s position. Young-hoon warns him not to cross the line and to focus on his duty — protecting Shin’s place. Nam Shin-III says that he knows Young-hoon is angry and upset, and that since he doesn’t have complicated feelings, he can listen to Young-hoon any time he needs a friendly ear.
At the meeting in the morning, the new group leader, Chang-jo, nearly gets called out by Nam Shin-III for lying that he’s glad to see him again, ha. Nam Shin-III says that he’ll try to make the team actually glad to see him, but they’re not impressed by his technological knowledge and mock him in the chat window on their computers.
Unfortunately for them, Nam Shin-III is remotely wired into their computers, and he sees their barbs and cheerfully refutes each one. HA, the whole team turns a little green. When they ask how he knew what they were saying, he says he’s a brand-new Shin so they should stay on their toes.
Jong-gil finds Young-hoon in the hallway and sneers that he must be happy that things are going so well, and Young-hoon says he’s just doing his job. Jong-gil asks if it’s true that Chairman Nam asked him to be his grandson. Young-hoon says the chairman doesn’t say affectionate things, but Jong-gil says he will soon, “Because that’s how he won me over.”
He warns Young-hoon that the chairman can be cold, then warm, going back and forth while training him to be a loyal dog. Young-hoon retorts that Jong-gil may think of himself as a dog, but he doesn’t. Jong-gil says they have a lot in common, plucked from an orphanage as PK’s sponsorship recipient, but Young-hoon walks away.
He reports to Chairman Nam that “Shin” has gone back to work, planning to start up the M-car team again, and that he’s also complying with wedding plans. He says firmly that he won’t be like Jong-gil, objecting to the idea that he’ll be greedy just because he’s an orphan who got a scholarship.
He adds that he doesn’t need any other spot but the one next to Shin, and asks him to stop making offensive comparisons. He tells Chairman Nam that he seemed warm when he asked him to call him “Grandpa,” but that he’ll always be the chairman to him.
So-bong accompanies Nam Shin-III and Ye-na to the bridal shop, where she tries to take a picture of a particularly pretty wedding dress. Ye-na and the shopkeeper complain that some people are too poor and ignorant to know better. Nam Shin-III notices how embarrassed So-bong is feeling, and when Ye-na asks which dress she should try on, he picks the dress So-bong liked.
While Ye-na is changing, So-bong coaches Nam Shin-III on how to react when he sees her in the dress. He does a decent job of acting pleased when he sees Ye-na, at least for those who don’t know he’s totally faking it.
Ye-na sends the shop girls away and asks for a picture so she can show Shin, as if the “no pictures” rule doesn’t apply to her. The shopkeeper comes back and yells at So-bong, insulting her for not behaving more like her betters.
Ye-na whines that So-bong insisted, but Nam Shin-III tells the shopkeeper that he told her to take pictures, asking if the shopkeepers nasty comments were really for him. She looks horrified and says he can take as many pictures as he wants. He poses for a picture with Ye-na, holding her close and looking deep into her eyes… and warning her not to mess with So-bong again.
From across the street, Snake watches as Ye-na accuses Nam Shin-III and So-bong of ganging up on her. She leaves them to get home on their own, and So-bong has Nam Shin-III call a taxi so they can catch up to Ye-na. He just grins, “I don’t wanna,” and starts walking, hee.
So-bong agrees to walk for a few minutes, and when she sees a pair of beautiful women checking out Nam Shin-III, she marvels that Nam Shin-III didn’t even notice them. Nam Shin-III tells her that she’s as pretty as those women, then projects an image of her wearing the wedding dress in a shop window.
He does admit that he made her taller, thinner, and bustier, and she yells at him to take the picture down. But he says to look objectively and she’ll see that she’s very pretty by human standards. Snake catches up just as Nam Shin-III changes the picture back to the shop’s ad, and he looks very confused.
Word of Nam Shin-III pushing Ye-na gets back to Ro-ra, so she asks So-bong if it’s true. So-bong tells Ro-ra about Ye-na’s mistreatment of Nam Shin-III, which gets David’s back up, and Young-hoon tells her to treat Nam Shin-III like Shin even when they’re alone. Ye-na snaps that Nam Shin-III only cares about So-bong, but Nam Shin-III tells her again not to mistreat So-bong or anyone else.
Ro-ra asks So-bong accusingly what she did to Nam Shin-III, and Nam Shin-III jumps to So-bong’s defense. Ro-ra wants to know why Nam Shin-III is creating new rules overriding hers, but she’s interrupted by a loud beeping and Ye-na’s shrill cry: “Oppa!”
They all run into Shin’s room, where the doctor tells them that Shin had a sharp drop in blood pressure, but he’s stable again. Nam Shin-III watches as Ro-ra hovers over Shin, then he lets So-bong pull him away. She leads him to the car with a smile, which he tentatively returns.
EPISODE 16 RECAP
Later, So-bong finds Nam Shin-III telling Chingu, his vacuum friend, that Mom cried today but he couldn’t hug her. He explains that So-bong said he should only comfort a person who wants it, and Mom would rather be with human Shin. He introduces So-bong to Chingu, and So-bong puts them both to work cleaning her room.
She says that Ro-ra was mean to dump him here and only cares about Shin, but Nam Shin-III says that Shin is her son. So-bong pouts that Nam Shin-III is her son too, and she tells Nam Shin-III to rebel like human kids do if Ro-ra ignores him. But he pities Shin, who didn’t have a mom for all the years that Nam Shin-III had her.
After making friends with Chingu, So-bong asks where Nam Shin-III lived before. They go outside, where he shows her pictures of his Czech home using a projector. He tells her that Ro-ra was his creator, friend, and mother, and when she asks if he’s upset to lose her to Shin, he says he doesn’t know what “upset” feels like.
So-bong shyly asks Nam Shin-III to project the picture of her in the wedding dress. She says she wishes she looked that nice every day, and Nam Shin-III projects a series of pictures of herself as he sees her. He says she’s the “ideal woman” that humans talk about, and she tells him he’s the best slave ever.
Nam Shin-III says she’s the best master ever, then projects a video of her yelling at him right after he kissed her. He stops her from covering the lens with her hand, and almost shyly, he asks, “If I were human, would you have gotten that angry at me for kissing you?” She’s too stunned to answer, and Nam Shin-III drops her hand, remembering she hates skinship with him.
So-bong gets a call to meet with Jong-gil, and this time Nam Shin-III is almost frantic to go along with her, insisting he has to protect her. She says gently that that it only counts if the person wants to be protected, and after she goes, Nam Shin-III notices that she left her mother’s locket behind.
Jong-gil sends a car for So-bong, with Snake driving. She seems unnerved by him, and grows even more nervous when she realizes she doesn’t have her locket. Snake takes her to an abandoned building and tells her Jong-gil is upstairs, giving her an evil stare until she gets out of the car.
He’d shown Jong-gil pictures of Nam Shin-III projecting her photo in the store window, and Toady had checked with the store and discovered that their ad screens were interrupted by an unknown electromagnetic wave. Snake had been convinced it had something to do with Nam Shin-III and So-bong.
When she arrives, Jong-gil asks So-bong to find out where Ro-ra lives. She asks him why, but he says her job is to obey, not ask questions. He points out that she hasn’t given him anything useful on Shin, and says that if it keeps happening, he’ll assume she’s doing it on purpose.
He says thoughtfully that it probably doesn’t matter to her who pays her, but she says she’ll get some good information and earn his trust. But she warns him not to call her out like this again or who knows whom she’ll betray.
On her way back out, with Snake sneering at her, So-bong turns off her phone when Nam Shin-III tries to call her. She heads home on foot, and soon detects a hooded figure following her. She breaks into a run and turns a corner, running smack into Reporter Jo.
They both scream bloody murder, and the hooded man walks right past them. Reporter Jo is covered in flour, and she’s being chased by a group of teenage girls who are angry because she wrote a negative article about their idol oppas.
They go to a pojangmacha, and So-bong says that she thinks Jong-gil suspects her. Reporter Jo isn’t surprised considering how close she and Nam Shin-III are, and she tells So-bong to make an excuse and quit. So-bong thinks sadly of her promise to Nam Shin-III to protect him, and she says it’s not that easy.
When he can’t reach So-bong, Nam Shin-III takes her locket to Dad at his gym. He suddenly gets a signal when she turns her phone back on, but Dad stops him from leaving. He asks who Nam Shin-III is to go after So-bong so late at night, and tells him to come inside. Dad breaks out the snacks and soju, and demands to know what kind of relationship Nam Shin-III has with his daughter.
Nam Shin-III denies being in any sort of romantic relationship, since that’s something only two humans can do. He says he’s not human, and Dad assumes he means he’s too high-class to be considered on So-bong’s level. He slurs that he’s not a gold-digger and wouldn’t take money if Nam Shin-III gave it to him, but Nam Shin-III grabs his hand then calls him a liar.
Dad gets weepy and says it’s true, because So-bong’s fighting career was ended over money, and she ended up with a steel rod in her leg. He sobs that it wouldn’t have happened if he were a chaebol, and he passes out with his head in Nam Shin-III’s lap. Young-hoon calls Nam Shin-III to ask where he is, and he says he’s with So-bong’s father and can’t come home now.
Chairman Nam promises never to treat Young-hoon like Jong-gil, or ask him to call him “Grandpa.” He tells Young-hoon to tell the reporters the date is correct, and Young-hoon figures out what he means when he gets a call asking about the wedding date.
Jong-gil is unhappy that they chose a date without consulting him, though he hides it and says that “Shin” should marry, settle down, and work on the driverless M-car. He says he knows of someone who can help lead the team, but Ro-ra walks in and says that Chairman Nam promised the position to her.
In private, Young-hoon thanks Ro-ra for taking the job, which will help Nam Shin-III now that he’ll be at the company more often. Young-hoon asks if she really plans to use Nam Shin-III’s kill switch, and though Ro-ra hopes it won’t happen soon, she says it’s inevitable once Shin wakes.
So-bong is at the company, having decided to take Reporter Jo’s advice and quit. But she overhears Ro-ra and Young-hoon discussing the kill switch, and she realizes that they’re basically planning Nam Shin-III’s death.
She calls Reporter Jo, who says she’s at the gym. So-bong heads there and finds Nam Shin-III, still sitting with Dad’s head in his lap and surrounded by Joint, Robocop, and Reporter Jo.
She shakes Dad to wake him, but Nam Shin-III says to let him sleep. Looking at his sunny smile, So-bong thinks of the kill switch and yells at him to get up. She yanks him to his feet and out the door, still yelling at him for letting Dad sleep in his lap all night and for coming here in the first place.
Nam Shin-III says he was looking for her since he couldn’t trace her last night, to obey his “protect So-bong” rule. She tells him again to get rid of the rule, but he just takes her bag to carry, like a good slave. So-bong grabs the bag back and tells him that he’s free, and not to follow her orders anymore.
She says he’s not her slave, or anyone else’s anymore. She tells him to make his own decisions and use his own judgment, but he says eh has to pretend to be Shin. So-bong says, “You’re not Shin, you’re a totally different entity!” When he still looks confused, she says she’s quitting her job as his bodyguard, thanks him with a bow, and walks away.
Nam Shin-III narrates, “Now that I’ve analyzed why I developed a rule for her. She is the only person who sees me for what I am.” He follows So-bong and stops her from leaving.
Awww, I understand why So-bong is pushing Nam Shin-III away, but how can she not feel like she’s kicking a puppy? Luckily he figured out why he made a rule just for her and gave it top priority, and although he may not realize it, he’s behaving just like a real human would. Human beings fall for the person who sees them for who they are and cares for them anyway, and unlike the other people in his life, So-bong knows he’s an android but still treats him like a person who deserves to be free and make their own decisions.
I’m so proud of So-bong, and how her attitude about Nam Shin-III’s alternative humanity has changed. Not long ago, she was saying even worse things about his not being human than Ye-na has said, even calling him disgusting. Now she’s apologizing for Ye-na’s slurs and grumbling about Nam Shin-III’s mistreatment, and she seemed genuinely upset when Ye-na made Nam Shin-III stand in a corner like an object, and how she removed his power source just to prove he wasn’t human. So-bong’s apology on behalf of all humans was the sweetest thing, and she’s even trying to set Nam Shin-III free to save him from the people who should care about him but plan to destroy him. She doesn’t forget that he’s not human, but she also doesn’t tolerate him being treated as lesser just because he’s not like everyone else.
I find it very interesting, and equally worrying, that Chairman Nam has begun trying to play Young-hoon against Shin, and that it’s not the first time he’s done it. Apparently he played this game once before with Jong-gil, took him in and made him an offer to be part of the family, which fostered a dangerous competition between Jong-gil and Jung-woo, the chairman’s own son. Now he’s doing it with Young-hoon, trying to put him in a place of opposition against Shin, while painting Shin as weak and unworthy. The results were deadly the first time, resulting in Jung-woo’s death, so I can’t imagine what the chairman must be thinking by doing it again. He’s a terrible judge of people — he thinks Shin is weak when in truth, he must be incredibly strong to hold onto his anger at his grandfather for twenty years. Not to mention he put Jong-gil in a position of power, and he thinks he can turn Young-hoon against Shin/Nam Shin-III. The chairman underestimates people to a dangerous degree, and doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes, so I’m gleefully looking forward to his downfall.
I’d wondered how Nam Shin-III would transfer his loyalty to So-bong after being so attached to Ro-ra for so long, and I’m pleased by the way it happened so naturally. Ro-ra went from a doting mother figure to pretty much ignoring Nam Shin-III the moment she saw Shin, which I just don’t understand. Even if he’s a robot, she created Nam Shin-III and spent nearly three times as many years with him as she did with human Shin. Of course her biological son is her priority, and I’m not arguing that he shouldn’t be, but I don’t get how she can just forget about Nam Shin-III. It does make it understandable that Nam Shin-III would gravitate to the people who do value him for who he is — Young-hoon and So-bong. They both appreciate who he is as an individual, and So-bong in particular has put herself out for him several times. I’m not the slightest bit surprised that she took the priority spot in Nam Shin-III’s list of important people so easily.