Changing The Future
We begin episode 13 of Kairos on the 8th November 2001 as we see the various construction workers huddled around a fire before the inevitable collapse. As Seo-Kin heads to the restroom, a guy called Lee hurries out the building just before everything comes crashing down.
The building tumbles and Seo-Jin finds himself trapped, calling out in vain for help. Ae-Ri’s Father is impaled and desperate to get back to his daughter, but unfortunately his injuries are too extreme. Just before he passes away, he urges Seo-Jin to tell his daughter he loves her very much. Throwing a bottle of water over, he urges Seo-Jin to survive.
Determined not to give in, Seo-Jin managed to be pulled to safety. Afterwards, he watches over 7 year old Ae-Ri. Sitting with her on the swings, he implores the girl not to be like her Father who had to eke his way through life. Seo-Jin hands over the watch to her, which seems to hint why they’re inexplicably linked.
Back in the present (September), Ae-Ri phones Seo-Jin and hands the phone over to himself which causes a ripple effect through time as the two Seo-Jins finally talk. He tells his earlier self to stop Taek-Gyu and the real mastermind behind everything – Chairman Yu. Seo-Jin pleads with him to change things, as the call cuts out.
Realizing he has the power to do just that, Seo-Jin remains determined to put a stop to Chairman Yu and what’s happened, attributing his survival to fate. First off though, they need evidence. This includes removing Taek-Kyu too, but would inevitably mean putting Jin-Ho in the firing line. That’s something Ae-Ri is not willing to do so she instead sacrifices herself.
After phoning Ae-Ri and arranging a meeting, Taek-Kyu forwards this information on to the chairman. When Gun-Wook finds out what she’s planning, he’s not happy and warns her to be careful. Realizing she’s not going to budge on this, he instead remains determined to help her.
On the 23rd October, Seo-Jin brings Song-Ja to safety and admits that he’s hired medical personnel to keep her safe. To avoid being traced, he switches his phone off and tells her to be vigilant. While he leaves, Gun-Wook reassures Song-Ja and tells her he’ll make sure Ae-Ri returns. Only, someone happens to be watching outside.
Jin-Ho rings after going into hiding, confirming that he has the “package”. This is something Song-Ja wants back. Elsewhere, the police remain determined to try and find Seo-Jin, who’s also gone into hiding. Do-Kyun however, gets nowhere with the police so he turns his attention to tracking down Song-Ja instead.
Jin-Ho arrives to hand over the package while Do-Kyun struggles to find where Seo-Jin and Song-Ja are staying. Seo-Jin does receive a call though, telling him his order has arrived. This sees him head out but unfortunately Do-Kyun happens to be watching from afar and follows in hot pursuit.
Upstairs, a masked man attacks Song-Ja and begins wheeling her up to the rooftop. When Seo-Jin realizes what’s happening, he scrambles up too and sees this masked man looking to throw Song-Ja over the top.
A fight inevitably breaks out but the assailant is too powerful and throws him on the ground. Police arrive just in time to stop this plan from taking place. Unfortunately, Seo-Jin is in the firing line as the main suspect. Because of this, Ae-Ri isn’t able to contact Seo-Jin in the future.
Back in September, Seo-Jin, Gun-Wook and Ae-Ri all meet out in the open to discuss the case. Gun-Wook is not sure they can trust him but he rallies the troops with plans to install security cameras and incriminate Taek-Kyu at a place of their choosing.
The big day arrives and Ae-Ri’s plan immediately goes awry when she’s forced to get in Taek-Kyu’s car and follow him. Realizing their plan may be going awry, Seo-Jin tasks Gun-Wook with following while he brings the evidence he has (a video of Ae-Ri getting in Taek-Kyu’s car) to the police.
Ae-Ri is inevitably brought before the Chairman, wasting absolutely no time in bringing forward the subject of the construction site and how Yu’s responsible for the deaths of all those people. His reply is cagey and to the point, eventually tasking Taek-Kyu with taking her back home. And by back home, that means drugging her and throwing the girl in the back of his car.
Just as he does though, Gun-Wook comes flying out the traps and tries in vain to taser the man. Unfortunately he’s easily overpowered and beaten down. Left in a bloodied mess, Taek-Kyu throws Ae-Ri’s bag to Gun-Wook on the ground and drives off. Seo-Jin and the police race to the scene and see Gun-Wook beaten down. The audio footage is gone – destroyed at Taek-Kyu’s hands – and leaving Ae-Ri’s life hanging in the balance.
The police unfortunately lose track of the car as Seo-Jin realizes he may know where Taek-Kyu is going. That place, of course, being the stretch of road he eventually hits his car in. This, as we see, is exactly where he’s taken her as he sedates the girl and leaves her lying on her back on the road.
Thankfully, Seo-Jin’s intuition sees the police make it just in time. Taek-Kyu does his best to get away from the police but they continue to close in on him.
Jumping forward to the 25th October, Seo-Jin is questioned in the police station over his involvement in what happened to Song-Ja at the hospital. Obviously he’s not responsible but the police believe that he is. However, Seo-Jin remains quiet and pleads the 5th.
Taek-Kyu heads into the police station and finds the cracked phone in Park Ho Young’s evidence box. Only, all of this happens to be in vain as Taek-Kyu is captured in the past. Inevitably, the same dissolving scene takes place as time changes once again thanks to his arrest.
Seo-Jin awakens and finds himself back home too, with Hyun-Chae and Da-Bin both alive and in their rooms. He’s also no longer being chased by the police either. As he hugs them both, Do-Kyun awakens to find himself in his bed too. Worryingly, he seems to have remembered what’s happened.
Do-Kyun shows up at Seo-Jin’s door and embraces her warmly. As he tells her he’s glad she didn’t die, something doesn’t sit well with Hyun-Chae as he utters these words.
Seo-Jin meanwhile, phones Ae-Ri’s number but Gun-Wook picks up. It turns out Ae-Ri is still dead meaning that whoever killed her most certainly is not Taek-Kyu. Although this prevented Da-Bin and Hyun-Chae from being killed, it didn’t stop Ae-Ri’s murder.
As we soon see from a flashback, Do-Kyun is now in possession of Song-Ja’s evidence regarding the building collapse. Alongside the documents is a USB drive which features evidence of Chairman Yu being directly responsible. As Do-Kyun watches this take place, the episode comes to a close.
The Episode Review
On top of that, Kairos does a wonderful job building tension this week as both timelines begin to ramp up the pressure. The hunt to save Ae-Ri is certainly a thrilling inclusion and seeing time change again definitely raises the stakes. Finding out Taek-Kyu isn’t responsible for killing Ae-Ri is certainly shocking and an expected twist in the tale too.
Only, this obviously hasn’t stopped Ae-Ri meeting an unfortunate fate and this leaves many questions hanging over this one over quite what happened leading up to this.
With Do-Kyun now in possession of the documents and lots of questions still hanging over the story, MBC’s latest sci-fi thriller continues to deliver enthralling drama. Roll on the next episode!