Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Nine, Episode 10, The Memory Stays


 Nine, Episode 10

Three months have passed, it is April 7, 1993, and teen Sun-woo has just come home from the hospital. His mother sits in a wheelchair staring into space and only paying attention when someone touches her. The maid impresses me as being very gentle. Hyung has gotten engaged and turned the hospital over to Dr. Choi. Sun-woo wonders into his journal if his older self is reading it, or will ever visit him again, or is even alive.

Older self reads the journal while pouring boiling water. He suddenly gets a searing headache, spills, and burns himself. No more tumor but still has headaches? And how about that journal? It must be a real kick reading that thing every so often, watching the entries change.

In the tv station dressing room Sun-woo stands before the mirror taking pills. His hand is bandaged, but he doesn't favor it. His boss, Chief Oh, comes in saying it is his first night on air and he is the youngest anchor at CBM. [8:30] We know he has been on air already in this timeline so he must be moving up from late night anchor to prime time.

Chief Oh asks why the headache pills? He should get checked, maybe he has a brain tumor, haha. Sun-woo snaps back he's already had that; doesn't Chief Oh remember? The Chief doesn't get it but we do. And at least by that remark we know that he remembers the old timelines. Lady anchor Lee Joo-hee flirts with him annoyingly which sets off the technical staff making snide remarks. (How does she know his injury is bad if it's under the bandage and she can't see it?)

Hyung watches Sun-woo's anchor debut at the hospital, looking pensive. He seems fond of his brother, but unhappy.

Dr. Han picks up Sun-woo in the rain and they talk about the headaches and that they had just done a scan. Dr. Han had started him on regular checks in 2007 and two years ago there had been a small blot, but it's clear now. Pain is a residual in the same way that memories are, and objects brought from the past. So he is going to keep the headaches. But he can't remember what he was thinking in 1992. He has to read the journal every day to find out. This is weird because it's himself, and Dr. Han can remember just fine. But then his life hasn't changed. [19:30]

He makes an excuse to not attend Min-young's wedding but gives her a present of a hi-fi with a turntable. Dr. Boyfriend puts it together and finds the Record from the Past. It looks like her house is the green one of that row of cute colorful townhouses. Boyfriend finds a note written on the record sleeve: I will always love you, JMY and the date when she was in Nepal. He accuses her of cheating on him, and when she copies the note she starts to remember writing it. She was sitting at a table and Sun-woo was in a bed behind her. She recalls him saying he had made Joo Min-young into Park Min-young. Ah! It's coming back.

Sun-woo suddenly starts seeing messages appearing, [38:18] on his guitar, over the door, on the metal railing. Split-screen shows teen self carving it and adult self following along reading.

Min-young shows up at his house to say she remembers being with him in Nepal and asks how that could be. He keeps up the false front and tells her she's drunk. He walks away but she follows, grabs him, and kisses him. A montage of previous kiss scenes follows. “It's you,” she says. He thinks to himself, “The memory stays, the pain stays. It's the consequence of trying to play God.”

Min-young is starting to remember the original timeline, but she isn't getting a flood of memories the way the two others did. Perhaps that is because their brains were adjusted by knowing about the time travel. She is breaking the barrier herself and it comes slowly. 

Running count – time travels: 11; remaining incense sticks: 2; Timelines: Past5, Present4.

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