Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 11 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 12 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 13 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 14 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 15 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 16 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Shows involving timelines and rewriting time can either go horribly wrong or brilliantly unique. When it comes to the world of k-drama, 2020 has brought a bit of mixed bag for sci-fi. From the disappointing Alice to the excellent King: Eternal Monarch, Kairos is undoubtedly one of the most underrated dramas of the year.
With a simple but effective hook, a smartly written script and some endearing, well rounded characters, Kairos is ultimately the best show you’ve never heard of.
The story takes place across two timelines separated by a single month. In September, businessman Seo-Jin has everything he could ever want; trophy wife Hyun-Chae, adorable daughter Da-Bin and a promising career thanks to Chairman Yu taking a shining to him. When his daughter goes missing, Seo-Jin finds his world turned upside down as he starts a desperate search to find her. Only, the truth is far more disturbing and shocking than he could ever imagine.
Lending him a hand in this search is Ae-Ri, a woman inexplicably separated by a month and able to communicate for 1 minute each day at 10.33pm. Only, it turns out she’s living in August, a whole month before Seo-Jin. To complicate matters further, Ae-Ri’s Mother goes missing and the clues seem to point toward September holding the answers.
As the mystery deepens, the second half of Kairos mixes things up with more urgency as the truth is revealed… and then injected with more suspense by a couple of well worked twists along the way.
In fact, these twists work perfectly across the season and the few moments of deus-ex-machina are easy to ignore because of this unique plot mechanic.
In fact, the 1 month separation seems to be linked through a strange building collapse in the past that haunts Seo-Jin’s memories. Without giving away too much, this does become more centralized to what’s going on toward the latter periods of the show.
To give much more away would be a disservice to this Korean gem but suffice to way Kairos does a really good job with its storyline and remains gripping throughout.
Part of this comes on account of the characters who are all well written and given some decent arcs throughout. Seo-Jin’s work colleague Do-Kyun has a really good arc too while the shadowy Taek-Kyu grows into quite the formidable foe across the 16 episodes. While some of the supporting players are a bit cliched, they’re acted perfectly by a talented cast to deliver a wholly satisfying experience.
In fact, the few tropes and clichés that do show up are about the only recognizable element to most of the k-dramas out there. For the most part, Kairos plays out as a gritty, mature drama that tackles some pretty heavy themes along the way. It does so with an uncompromising story that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and refuses to let go.
Kairos is one of the smarter written sci-fi series of the year and it’s a shame more people haven’t heard of this one. Hopefully Netflix or Viki picks this up in the foreseeable future because it really is an underrated gem.
Well written, perfectly paced and tonally on point, Kairos is one drama you should definitely make time for.