Episode 6 of SF8 tackles some intriguing ideas, all wrapped up in the usual dystopian sci-fi bubble we’ve come to expect from this series.
The episode begins with Juno receiving a message from an old school friend. She mentions how a girl committed suicide. Yoo-Jin continues on, discussing how rumours of Juno’s death have swarmed. As all of her fans start calling her a pathological liar, she cowers in the corner and clutches her head in distress.
We then cut forward to the 1st Anniversary Special of ‘Show Me Who You Are’. This game promises “Your Trauma Becomes Your Game.” Juno is the game queen and the star of the show. She’s given the rules by Mr Yoon before heading in. If she has nothing to hide then there’s nothing anyone can use against her.
IOM (Inside of Mind) is the game and the newest version is about to hit the air. It’s a game that preys on your own fears and Juno is the one who’s about to test it out in front of an eager crowd.
Following the scandal about her lying, the crowd are less than enthused to see her though.
As she heads in Juno finds herself at school in 2018. Juno is being bullied and she has a whole stack of razor blades in her desk. Suddenly, a mission pops up asking her to find A-Young.
As the room distorts and changes, she eventually finds the girl who appears before her. With a bird’s head, she scrambles backwards and stumbles into a razor blade.
Just like a video game, Juno restarts the stage again. This time she finds A-Young who hands over a note telling her to run away. Unfortunately she doesn’t and she dies.
When Juno awakens again, she uses her watch to get through to Mr Yoon. He tells her that the viewers are dropping and she’s died over 10 times.
As she screams to the heavens, Juno is given her second mission – find A-Young and put her name-tag on. This twisted game takes a turn for the worst when she sees multiple messages on the computer screens relating to her being a liar.
Crows fly past and Juno clutches her head in fear. Eventually A-Young appears before her and she puts the name-tag on her.
The scene changes once more and this time her nose starts bleeding. Her NPC arrives (guide inside the game) and confirms that a fire broke out at the broadcasting station. She’s stuck inside the game in a vegetative state.
This NPC tells her that she’s actually A-Young and not really Juno, who apparently is about to commit suicide. As we soon see, she does just that and Juno jumps off the side.
Cutting back in the past, we see the two girls spending time together. They appear to be best friends. Only, things take a turn for the worst when A-Young abandons her and leaves the girl all alone.
It’s a tough scene to watch and one that sees Juno start sobbing. She goes back to the beginning and knows what she needs to do – jumping out the window and killing herself. As she hits the ground, she materializes into a white crow as a heart monitor flat-lines in the background.
The Episode Review
With an ambiguous ending, SF8 delivers an interesting episode that touches on self harm, bullying and suicide. It’s something that’s incredibly difficult to talk about but for anyone who’s experienced it, it does feel like the end of the world.
Speaking from experience, being alone while everyone bullies you is a horrible experience. Cutting feels like a release; a sharp burst of pain that allows you to feel something against the numb dull throb of a horrid school life.
With our ever-digitalized world, bullying has become even more alarming and Korea is the 10th highest in the world for suicides. Given the overwhelming pressure on kids, it’s hardly surprising.
The idea that A-Young adopted Juno’s face and had plastic surgery is quite eye-opening and shows that she’s wracked with guilt.
While the ending seems to hint that the NPC was correct, for the longest time I was convinced this was all part of the game.
After all, A-Young’s biggest fear has always been not being loved and alone. This backs up her video blogging, the various cut-aways with Mr Yoon and her frantic outbursts when she hears fans are not watching anymore. It’s ironic really, given that’s the gift she gave Juno when the girl committed suicide.
For now though, SF8 bows out with another very good episode and one that leans much heavier into horror territory.
|Click Here To Read Our Full Season Review For SF8!|