We begin episode 9 of Kairos with Seo-Jin talking to the Director about the incident at the concert. He tells Seo-Jin to let Ae-Ri go and focus on the project at hand so there’s no distractions. When she leaves the police station, Ae-Ri of course receives that infamous call from Seo-Jin in the car accident.
Meanwhile, Do-Kyun begins looking through the text messages sent between Seo-Jin and Ae-Ri. Within that, he sees evidence linking back to his time with Hyun-Chae at the apartment and starts to get worried. Do-Kyun messages her too, telling Hyun-Chae that he’s got the texts in his possession.
With this knowledge, Hyun-Chae finds pills in Seo-Jin’s jacket and questions him over it. He’s stone-faced though and refuses to give anything up. Instead, she heads to the pharmacy in a bid to find out what the pills are.
Time continues to overlap, as moments involving Do-Kyun promising to be a good assistant bleed through Seo-Jin’s mind while he’s talking to him regarding the materials from the apartment building.
The conversation soon turns to Ae-Ri though, and in particular Seo-Jin letting her go from the police station. Now that he knows about their messages, Do-Kyun remains suspicious and speaks to Hyun-Chae about it. She simply tells him to get rid of Ae-Ri and dispose of her.
As we cut forward to the 10th October, Seo-Jin recovers in hospital while detectives arrive at the scene of the car accident to figure out what happened. With no CCTV to go on, they check the tyre tracks across the road and learn that these belong to a different vehicle that Seo-Jin’s.
In order to piece everything together, Park Ho-Young decides to try and get an EDR report (event data recorder). When he asks where the “wife and daughter” are, we cut across to the coroner’s office where Hyun-Chae happens to be dead.
On the 9th September, we jump back to see Jin-Ho heading in to see his daughter at hospital. There, he’s confronted by Song-Ja who talks to him about Ji-Ah’s surgery. She hands over an envelope of money and tells him to pay for her care with it… in exchange for a favour of her own.
Elsewhere, Hyun-Chae searches Da-Bin’s teddy for the tracker. Searching through the fluff, she eventually finds it and starts to realize what’s happened. Not long after, she receives a message from the pharmacy confirming that the pills were actually sertraline, which is used to treat PTSD.
Ae-Ri continues to try and find a way to track down Song-Ja, contemplating whether the future holds the key, while Seo-Jin begins to lose control, seeing flashes from the alt-future he prevented. Hyun-Chae knows what’s up though and she watches him have this panic attack. On the back of this, when Seo-Jin leaves she begins rooting around his office for clues linking to the past, including the prescriptions.
When Seo-Jin returns home, Hyun-Chae walks out of his office and lies, telling him she was looking for something. Seo-Jin heads to the doctors and explains about the frightening images he’s been seeing and how conflicted this is making him feel. Just before he leaves, the doctor tells him that missing a treatment could hurt his recovery.
Hyun-Chae meets back up with Do-Kyun who remains worried and concerned over what happened with Taek-Kyu. It’s obvious that things are starting to unravel here but Hyun-Chae remains quiet while she thinks up her next move.
Director Yu talks to Seo-Jin about the upcoming project, explaining that Song-Ja visited him during the recent collapse. He vows to do his best to honour the memories of those fallen.
After this conversation, Seo-Jin decides to head in and visit the hospital and see Ji-Ah. Only, there he runs into Jin-Ho. He claims to be happy to listen but Jin-Ho is enraged that it’s taken him this long to say anything.
As they talk, Seo-Jin remains calm and admits that he was a victim from the Taejung building collapse. On the back of this, he promises to help any way he can with Jin-Ho and his daughter. After their conversation, Jin-Ho rings Taek-Kyu and Do-Kyun, bailing on them and deciding that he’s not going to abandon his daughter.
The fateful time of 10.34 arrives but Ae-Ri struggles to get through to Seo-Jin given he’s in a critical condition. As we cut forward to the 11th October, Do-Kyun is called in to the police station for a statement. It turns out Seo-Jin had drugs in his system – the sertraline to be precise – and it looks like he took that before the accident. But why? Or is it the case that Hyun-Chae drugged him? The plot thickens…
Back on the 11th September, Ae-Ri hands out flyers with Soo-Jung relating to her Mother’s disappearance while Taek-Kyu finds out that Ji-Ah has been discharged from hospital. Hyun-Chae meets him not long after though and senses that he’s hiding something from Do-Kyun. She promises to keep his secret from Do-Kyun and, knowing he’s motivated by money, will pay him to find out what it is.
Ae-Ri receives a call from her Mother later that evening asking if she’s okay and out of hospital. Song-Ja tells her she’ll soon be able to return and mentions how it’s “almost over now”. As she starts coughing down the phone, Ae-Ri asks if she’s sick. As we cut across to Song-Ja, we see her clutching her chest, wandering down the road and struggling to breathe.
Without much of a choice, Ae-Ri decides to contact Taek-Kyu and meet with him. She needs to find her Mother before something bad happens. That sees Ae-Ri head to a meeting the company are holding regarding the new Taejung Town project. The people there are not happy but Seo-Jin goes out of his way to quell their doubts.
He opens up in front of this big crowd and admits that he survived the previous accident and explains how his Father committed suicide. He vows to do everything he possibly can to make this a success and build the strongest foundations possible for the future.
After the meeting, Hyun-Chae’s Father confronts his daughter in the bathroom and promises to get revenge. Out in the lobby, Do-Kyun confronts Ae-Ri about her showing up but Ae-Ri bites back, mentioning how he should stop stabbing Seo-Jin in the back. This, of course, is a direct reference to the affair he’s been having.
Cutting forward to the 13th October, Do-Kyun heads in to see Seo-Jin, asking just why he’s the only survivor. He thinks twice about turning off Seo-Jin’s oxygen though and instead, reaches for Seo-Jin’s phone.
With this in hand, he suddenly receives a call from Do-Kyun. As the two talk, Do-Kyun from the past grabs the phone and the two iterations interact with each other, prompting our October version to jerk back and collapse on the ground, with time rewritten slightly again. He quickly hangs up the phone as he realizes his past self was on the phone.
The Episode Review
So what of that car accident then? It seems likely that Seo-Jin drugged himself unwittingly thanks to Hyun-Chae’s interference but could there be more to this story? And what’s going on with Hyun-Chae’s father too? The detectives mentioned another car was on the scene so could this be Taek-Kyu or Do-Kyun’s meddling? There’s lots of questions hanging over this one and Kairos continues to weave a decent mystery throughout its run-time with these questions acting as stitching to keep everything together.
This time around though it’s all about the current drama encapsulating our characters and with less time jumps, Kairos slows down slightly and helps to add some depth to both Ae-Ri and Seo-Jin’s characters. The ending certainly leaves the door wide open for more but quite what will happen next, remains to be seen.