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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Circle" Episode 5


The ghosts of the past roam the future as it is time for many identities to be revealed. In 2017, Jeong-yeon and Woo-jin have a fallout over the past she is afraid to face. The old asylum gets many visitors in search of clues, including Detective Hong. In 2037, Joon-hyeok meets his Bluebird and discovers that he is being watched. The big question now is whether Woo-jin is still alive and whether that is a good thing.

I am glad that some identities are sorted and some motivations are established. Park Min-yeong (Jung In-sun) being Dr. Park (Kim Min-kyung-III) became clear when Joon-hyeok's (Kim Kang-woo) identity came to light and the forever salty Lee Hyeon-seok (Shin Joo-hwan/Min Sung-wook) has not changed much. Jeong-yeon's past and the source of her humanity are still unknown, but we know that humanity defines her and her choices.

Detective Hong, Woo-jin and Min-yeong looking for Beom-gyoonJeong-yeon struggling with her new information

There is an interesting parallel between the twins, Jeong-yeon (Gong Seung-yeon) and Ho-soo (Lee Gi-kwang). Woo-jin (Yeo Jin-goo) spent so long rejecting the truth and Beom-gyoon (An Woo-yeon) looking for it. Now Jeong-yeon wants to give people back their lives while Ho-soo wants them to remain trapped in a superficially pleasant, sterilized, cold lie. I know the series wants us to fear that the Chairman may be Woo-jin, but a lot does not fit and so I am pretty sure this is not the case.

That being said, Woo-jin has to be somewhere and if Jeong-yeon is not lying or unsure herself, he has to be alive. We have not really met a lot of characters of Joon-hyeok's age, so where is his little brother hiding? More importantly, where does Mayor Yoon (Nam Myung-ryul) fit into things? Will we see him in the past and learn how he and little Dong-soo (Jung Joon-won) became connected to Joon-hyeok? I know not everyone has to be connected, but Korean drama loves this trope and the creators of "Circle" seem to share that sentiment.

Mayor Yoon meeting with now-minister ParkProof that Woo-jin lived after 2017

There are things I am still curious about when it comes to the world building here. What happened between the two timelines? Why are local places called Smart Earth and Normal Earth? Where is the rest of the world in this and how could a corporation mass-erase memories without people knowing? I would think building an artificial island with kidnapped amnesiacs would draw some local and global attention.

I know we will probably not get answers to these questions. We can just assume that countries cut all contact with one another or that the island is a test observed by major countries who want the technology to control citizens. I still wish the series would throw us a bone, however. "Circle" being a highly enjoyable science fiction work makes me greedy and I consider that greed a sign of success for a story.

"Circle" is directed by Min Jin-gi, written by Kim Jin-hee-III, Park Eun-mi-I, Ryoo Moon-sang and Yoo Hye-mi and features Yeo Jin-goo, Kim Kang-woo, Gong Seung-yeon and Lee Gi-kwang.

Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

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