SF8: Manxin – Episode 2 Recap & Review

Fortune Favors The Bold

Many people stumble through life allowing the gentle rhythm of everyday life to lull them into a false sense of security. As the old adage goes, easy come, easy go. With unpredictability and fear of the unknown acting as a major vice, Precon Company are here to change all that.

Derived from big data algorithms, Precon have developed an AI fortune telling program called Manxin. With a 96.3% accuracy rate, people have flocked to this as the prophetic future of their life.

It’s so common infact, there’s a psychological disorder known as Manxin Dependence that people are suffering from. Most of the population remain glued to their phones, hanging on Manxin’s every word as gospel.

We begin episode 2 of SF8 with a woman rebelling against the fortune telling app Manxin. That woman is To Sun-Ho. We first meet this woman at a run-down apartment as she pays her way into receiving crucial information regarding an upcoming meeting.

That meeting is fronted by Kim In-Hong, who capitalizes on the Manxin craze by acting as a prophet for these people. As we soon find out, Sun-Ho is not interested in becoming a member and hasn’t even installed the app. Instead, she’s looking for her sister.

Outside, Sun-Ho bumps into In-Hong who manages to stop her from smashing his car window before it’s too late. While In-Hong drives off, Sun-Ho heads into the church and finds Ga-Ram. There, we learn a little more about In-Hong. It turns out he’s actually one of the developers of Manxin but unfortunately he’s become a slave to the product.

Sun-Ho uses her skills to manipulate the receptionist at a hotel, finding out that In-Hong is staying there. She intends to find the origin of Manxin but in order to do that, she needs In-Hong. As she sits with Ga-Ram they discuss the fortune telling app.

He reveals his past, which includes the fortune actually saving his life. The vague fortune foretold that the hardship in his life is over. As he jumps off a building, he lands in a rubbish truck. Is this fate or coincidence?

Before they discuss it further however, the pair track down In-Hong. Sun-Ho weaves her tale surrounding her deceased sister. Sun-Ho believes the fortune told her to commit some pretty atrocious crimes and she wants to know why.

However, In-Hong isn’t the actual developer. While he did create the foundations, he actually sold all of his property across to someone else.

Unfortunately he slips on the bathroom floor and meets an unfortunate end. His fortune? “You’ll be in a life or death situation.” Sun-Ho believes it to be a coincidence and manages to obtain the address for Manxin. Only, given the data from her sister’s phone has been extracted, she actually doesn’t need that any longer.

With the extracted information, Sun-Ho learns that her sister actually kicked her addiction to Manxin a week before passing away. She was no longer dependent on it. Desperate for answers, she installs the Manxin app herself and deciphers the fortune to be relating to Ga-Ram. Racing away on her bike, she heads up to find the man.

Only, when she arrives she also runs into Ji-Ham who happens to be the guy in charge of the project. Ironically this AI algorithm is so invested in what it’s doing, it started reading its own fortune.

One of those fortunes includes the app potentially given the power of the Almighty. Only, this is a risky update and could destroy the app completely.

After a short blackout, the AI makes its decision. It doesn’t want to know everything. In fact, it wants to become more imperfect like humans with the acquisition of knowledge coming with struggle.

As the episode closes out, Manxin’s accuracy rates drop to 50% which actually improves the economy as the fear of the unknown drives consumers on. Sun-Ho deletes the app while Ga-Ram decides to forget about his phone, walking off with Sun-Ho.

The Episode Review

Much like The Prayer last week, Manxin doubles down on the thought provoking questions within its intriguing premise. The idea of a fortune telling app having that much accuracy is fascinating and definitely accurate to how humanity would react to something like this.

None of us know how much time we have left but there’s no doubting that as a species, we’re cursed with a number of bad habits. We have so much time that many people waste the moments they have on this planet.

The app itself spurs people on to become better but at the cost of becoming slaves to the system. Given all of this is driven by big data, many of these predictions can be explained through this.

The probability of slipping on a wet floor inside a hotel is obviously going to be very very high so the fortune about it being a life or death situation is true. The same goes for the garbage truck, which would have been predicted to pass by that moment at the time of Ga-Ram’s fortune being told.

Ironically the most interesting story here comes from Sun-Ho.┬áIn her defiance against the system she actually became convinced that her sister’s death is linked to the app.

Although this was just an accident, belief has made her dependent on clinging to this as a way of coping with the grief. Despite not having the app installed, Manxin has still had a hold over her belief system despite being a realist. That in itself is ultimately what makes this episode so fascinating and helps to add some depth to the character work.

There’s a light amount of humour here too, which does help offset some of the darker material and a few lovely shot scenes with Sun-Ho on her bike help this episode stand out.

So far, the first two episodes have really ignited this anthology series in the best possible way, with both highlighting the dangers within our ever-expanding digitalized world.

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