We begin episode 10 of Kairos with Do-Kyun heading out in search for Ae-Ri, finding the missing person posters for Song-Ja before accidentally speaking to himself from the future timeline.
In September, Do-Kyun rings Seo-Jin from his phone where he hears first-hand the genuine confusion about speaking to Ae-Ri. As the pair talk, he asks outright exactly why Taek-Kyu is looking for Song-Ja. As he shouts at Ae-Ri, Soo-Jung arrives and manages to stop this from escalating.
Seo-Jin meanwhile briefs the board about the new project and introduces Do-Kyun as the team manager. Director Yu tells him to stay alert but Do-Kyun is clearly dumbfounded that he’s been given a promotion.
Ae-Ri receives a call later that day from someone representing the Taejung Town Collapse Victims’ Association. At the same time, Do-Kyun and Seo-Jin head there too to try and quell their doubts about the new town being built.
When he gets there, Seo-Jin checks the wall and notices pictures of his Father among other workers. Still, they get to the crux of the issue and this man is not happy that the project wasn’t investigated properly originally. He claims Chairman Yu is covering things up and tells Seo-Jin never to return again.
Just before he goes, Seo-Jin learns more about his Father, including news that he was an honorable man and would never have left him (Seo-Jin) to his fate. He was determined to get to the bottom of what happened and search for the truth. This may well have got him killed by Yu and the other chairmen. Unbeknownst to him, Do-Kyun happens to be listening from the door.
On the 13th October, Do-Kyun looks through the text messages and notices the times are similar. Now he’s starting to understand that he’s speaking from the future and finally figures out what’s going on. Believing he can bring Hyun-Chae back to life, he promises to do so no matter the cost.
A day later (14th October), Do-Kyun is still grieving and eventually picks up the phone to Detective Lee. They’ve found the car involved in the accident. He rushes up to check and finds a truck under a tunnel. This was stolen by someone a few days before but with no fingerprints or DNA to go on, it’s tough to know who it was. However, one of the clues happens to be a lighter for a motel nearby. Do-Kyun sees this and races off to check.
As we cut back to the 13th September, we see Hyun-Chae and Taek-Kyu together. The former managed to find the perfect place for this accident to take place and she’s decided to use the pills to make Seo-Jin fall asleep, leaving the car quickly on this stretch of road and allowing Seo-Jin to be killed off once and for all.
Ae-Ri arrives for her scheduled meeting not long after with the victim committee. There, he reveals that their fathers were close, along with Seo-Jin’s too. His words about Chairman Yu earlier in the episode seem to hold weight, as Do-Kyun racks his brain around exactly where he’s seen Song-Ja before. Then it clicks.
After his meeting with Yu about hurrying through the paperwork with the project, Song-Ja passed him and head in for a private meeting. What were they talking about I wonder?
Do-Kyun receives a call from Hyun-Chae and he feeds back what he’s found out. He’s going to plan again for them to leave and asks her for some more time to get things together.
On October 14th, Do-Kyun heads in to check the motel in a bid to try and find Taek-Kyu. Eventually he does so, bloodying his face by smashing it through a glass table and holding Taek-Kyu up by his throat outside.
Suddenly though, Taek-Kyu reveals that Hyun-Chae put him up to this and reveals the truth about the entire plan with the truck and trying to kill Seo-Jin. Do-Kyun’s initially hesitant to believes him but when he does, he decides to try and rewrite time and contact the past to change things. He sends a message to Ae-Ri’s phone telling her that Taek-Kyu is responsible and he needs to be stopped.
Back on the 13th September, Seo-Jin decides to try and book a resort away for the weekend with Hyun-Chae and Da-Bin together. She’s obviously not happy with that given she has plans with Do-Kyun. More so though, she remains suspicious over what this means.
When Seo-Jin checks the news and hears about the typhoon, it brings back moments from the alt-future where Seo-Jin phoned Ae-Ri. He realizes it wasn’t a delusion but for now, is unsure exactly what this means.
10.33pm arrives and Ae-Ri tries in vain to call Seo-Jin. When she fails, she instead checks her phone and sees a message written by Do-Kyun telling her that she needs to team up with Do-Kyun and kill Taek-Kyu. It’s certainly an intriguing turn of events and one that sees her head up and visit Gun-Wook for his thoughts on this.
Given the text message ended with him “doing anything she wants”, she believes someone else is intercepting those messages. Someone like Do-Kyun.
Anyway, Ae-Ri meets Do-Kyun as requested in the message but while they’re talking outside, Seo-Jin notices that the report about the collapse has been hurried and doesn’t have many pages. Do-Kyun and Seo-Jin however, discuss their situation but he refuses to believe what she’s saying. She knows that something bad is going to happen to him whether he wants to admit it or not.
October 15th sees Do-Kyun hire some help to find Song-Ja and Ae-Ri. This eventually rolls round to the usual time of 10.34 as Ae-Ri sends a message to Seo-Jin’s phone claiming that her Mother may well be in a rural area and asks for a number and address of the sauna he (Seo-Jin) found her. As time continues to unravel, Do-Kyun remembers moments from their previous meeting together but is obviously unsure of the exact address.
Back on the 14th September, Song-Ja phones Jin-Ho and gives him some evidence to use against those after her. She tells him to send that evidence on to different media outlets and the prosecution should she or Ae-Ri go missing any time soon. She thanks him and decides to head back and see Ae-Ri. As she buys a ticket back to Seoul, Song-Ja collapses in the bus terminal.
A day passes, and 15th September sees the group decide to head out on their trip. Hyun-Chae notices a difference with her husband, as he spends more time with Da-Bin and even takes a selfie with her. He cooks for them too. Hyun-Chae is determined to follow through with her plan but it’s obvious that she’s starting to have doubts.
As the fateful time arrives, Ae-Ri phones Seo-Jin again but this time he knows that Do-Kyun is on the phone and he answers her. When she mentions his name, he hurriedly hangs up and proceeds to delete the messages.
Do-Kyun heads in to see Seo-Jin and mentions how he can save Hyun-Chae. As he looks to walk away, Seo-Jin grabs his wrist and awakens from his comatose state. It’s only a little though and he’s not complete lucid yet either.
On the 16th September, Song-Ja is brought in to hospital for observation but they’re unsure who she is. Ae-Ri meanwhile receives a call regarding her Mother and they race out to find her. Only, when she wakes up Taek-Kyu happens to be there watching over her.
Time continues to jump back and forth pretty rapidly now, as we jump to the 17th October with Chairman Yu finding out that Seo-Jin has recovered and will live. His choice of words that follow are very telling. “How will we tell him about his family?” We.
And now the truth comes tumbling out. Director Yu has been working with Taek-Kyu to find Song-Ja’s Mother. Hyun-Chae found this out too from Taek-Kyu and handed over an envelope of money for his troubles.
She visited Chairman Yu after realizing the 100,000 dollars wired to Song-Ja was actually done so by Yu. In September, he visits Song-Ja in hospital and asks where her “lifeline” (see: recording) is.
As everything starts to come unraveled, Seo-Jin awakens from his coma in October.
The Episode Review
What a great episode! As the truth is finally revealed it turns out the chairman is the one involved in everything. This is perhaps a little cliche for K-drama land but to be honest it works really well in the context of this story.
Seo-Jin awakening from his coma when he does is a nice twist and seeing Do-Kyun start to communicate with Ae-Ri and unwittingly help her over where to go next is a nice plot revelation too.
That’s before we talk about Hyun-Chae too who’s been kept at arm’s length for much of this series. Yes she’s got some issues with her father but right now it’s not initially clear how all of this ties in with the chairman and his dastardly plan. Could it be that Hyun-Chae was killed because of how much she knew about Yu? And what of this recording? What does Song-Ja have that’s so incriminating against him?
I’m sure we’ll find out soon but as everything gears up to that fateful crash outside, Kairos has managed to do a really good job of not falling into a time-knotted mess like Alice earlier this year.
Whether it can keep this momentum going until the end of the series however, remains to be seen. If it can, this is definitely going to be a solid contender for one of the best k-dramas of the year!