Cheerleader Uploader, Save The World
Episode 8 of Sisyphus: The Myth begins August 6th, 2001. We’re back on the train tracks as Tae-San stumbles upon this man from the future. It’s here we finally find out his identity.
As he flickers and glitches, we learn that this is actually Sigma. He eventually stumbles off, oblivious to the train fast approaching. Half naked and carrying a rock, he knocks out a man in the street and takes his clothes.
Carrying along his suitcase and with no Control Bureau in sight, Sigma takes an Inn, paying cash in exchange for three days there. Inside his suitcase happens to be numerous different vials and a folder with numerous different bets and stock results from 2001-2010. He marks off the 6th August and begins cycling through news, including horse racing results, to build up stacks of cash.
Next, Sigma turns to stocks, deciding to invest in profitable companies to build up his wealth. He arrives at the bank and decides to open an account.
That account includes investments for Fomect and Huisang A&T. He drops off stacks of cash but his investor, Dong-Hyeon, worries that he’s going to be investigated soon if he keeps up this rate of growth.
A month passes and 9/11 hits. Korea is in shock as Sigma continues to grow his investment. With a massive apartment and Dong-Hyeon by his side, Sigma tasks the man with finding an IT investor called Han-Yong. He wants him by his side, which brings Chairman Han into this project.
Sitting down to dinner, Sigma wastes little time bringing up Han’s wife and her illness, handing over medicine to help. Given the incurable nature of ALS, Han decides to use this for his wife. She recovers too, as Han is left shocked.
This solidifies his trust in Sigma, as he tasks the man with investing in Tae-Sul. He mentions how he’ll be in touch and leaves, prompting us to cut forward to the day of the conference when Tae-Sn showed up. It turns out Sigma was actually in attendance, hiding in plain sight, while all this was going on. He noticed Tae-San from the doorway and even watched the brothers fight too.
After, Tae-San noticed Sigma in the corridor and asks outright what he’s done to Tae-Sul. He watches menacingly as the security take him outside. Despite the investments, Sigma is deep in thought while he looks out at the Seoul skyline. In fact, he outright tells Dong-Hyeon that everything is going to burn soon.
We then cut forward to the present day as Dong-Hyeon holds an envelope with details surrounding Tae-Sul. He grabs his stuff and quickly phones his wife, telling her to leave with their son and make it to the airport. He promises to see them soon but mentions how he needs to tell Tae-Sul something first. Onty he doesn’t get a chance to do this as he’s hit by a car.
Back home, Tae-Sul begins sifting through facial recognition across different CCTV cameras to try and find Sigma and work out who he is. Using the picture Tae-San has taken, he has a faint outline to go on but nothing substantial. Tae-Sul keeps his focus on the PEXCO Conference room and continues to valiantly find out who he is.
Seo-Hae arrives and exhibits her concerns over his obsession, telling Tae-Sul that she’s worried about him looking for Sigma. She warns against creating the Uploader and reminds him that this could be risky. She talks about the war and refuses to help with this endeavour. It also turns out Tae-Sul dies on October 31st.
Tae-Sul suddenly hits a match on his facial recognition, coming across Sigma and Dong-Hyeon in the newspaper, front page in a big blown up picture regarding the Hedge Fund Investment Loss. While everyone looks shocked, he’s the only one casually looking at the camera at the back. No suspicions there then!
Despite this, there’s no file on Sigma but there is on Dong-Hyeon, whom we learn was killed a week ago.
At the Control Bureau, CEO Park is kept in his cell and beaten down relentlessly. The officers threaten his family but Park hits back, claiming he too can find their family if need be. Getting nowhere fast, Hwang Hyun-Seung decides to turn the Bureau’s attention away from Tae-Sul and onto Seo-Hae instead.
Seo-Hae and Tae-Sul continue to investigate Sigma, heading over to Dong-Hyeon’s house where they find a painting. This shows the Soul skyline burning. Tae-Sul snaps a photo of this too, using the painting to work out exactly where it would have been painted. He matches it up perfectly with room 904 on the adjacent building. What are the odds!
The door slides open too, and both Tae-Sul and Seo-Hae head in. The smell of oil paint fills the air as they notice an oil painting on an easel. The painting inside is of Sisyphus, the eternal sinner in Greek mythology.
As they discuss what this means, someone arrives at the doorway. The pair notice and head off in hot pursuit. They miss them though, as another assassin blindsides them outside. Tae-Sul and Seo-Hae work together to fight him off, and eventually head back home to regroup.
On the back of this, Tae-Sul takes her back home and helps patch Seo-Hae’s hand up.
Watching videos online, Tae-Sul realizes that this day is Seo-Hae’s birthday and he tries to work out what to do about it.
We then skip forward to our post-apocalyptic timeline again. Seo-Hae messes about at an abandoned fairground, claiming it’s a nice view despite skeletal remains all around her. Seo-hae’s birthday is interrupted though by someone stalking from afar. Seo-Hae senses something is not quite right and eventually watches as a wolf jumps over her and takes out the rabbit.
Seo-hae then heads back to her base of operations, not bothering to wear a gas mask this time, and bringing back snacks for the pair. Her Father is clearly not in a good way, leading her out again to find medical supplies.
Seo-Hae finds some antibiotics, and is forced to fight her way out the building. She eventually charges through a glass window, dropping down an entire floor and making it outside.
She continues running as day inexplicably turns to night and the soldiers now chasing her have gas masks on. With packs of wolves on the horizon, and despite carrying automatic weapons, the soldiers decide to pull back and retreat. This leaves Seo-Hae in peace.
In the morning, Seo-Hae heads back out again but finds herself looking out at the cracked skyline of wreckage. She finds a gravestone with the notebook from before, with the first page saying happy birthday to Seo-Hae. As she begins removing rocks from the pile, she finds herself, or at least a dead version of herself. Next to her seems to be another person but quite who, remains to be seen.
Within the notebook is that wedding photo of Tae-Sul and Seo-Hae, with instructions to do her best to take the Uploader and save themselves from certain doom.
The Episode Review
Why didn’t the Control Bureau come after Sigma? Given they’re (allegedly) pretty hot with tracking down illegals, it seems a bit suspect that they didn’t even bother to come after Sigma. Then again, as I mentioned befoere this is a show that you really need to go in with an open mind for.
The Sisyphus the show is referring to seems to hint at this beign Sigma himself. The idea of constantly jumping back and making sure the world is destroyed, an endless paradoxical loop that can’t be broken, is an interesting one for sure. It’s just a shame that everything else around that takes some liberties with the timeline.
Time travel shows are notoriously difficult to get right, and there’s only really been a handful or less on the small screen that have managed to pull off this concept correctly.
This time we see more of Sigma as he starts to bet and win big – which to be honest is what almost everyone would realistically do if they came from the future.
After all, even Seo-hae seemed to know the lottery numbers for that specific day. It’s also a little suspect that no one even thought to investigate Sigma after winning all that money. Props to Stephen King’s 11.22.63 for this though, which remains one of the few that includes a realistic depiction of betting in a time loop.
The post-apocalyptic scenes here are easily the best part of this show though and the ending seems to hint that there’s going to be someone else who dies with Seo-Hae at the end of everything. I’m betting on it being Tae-Sul, although it remains to be seen how this transpires over time.
For now, Sisyphus is one of those shows that’s best to go into without thinking too much about. The writing is pretty poor at times – especially when you realize how inept the Control Bureau actually are.
Still, we march on and as this week’s double bill finishes, we’re left with lots of intriguing questions going into the second half of this series.