Dr. Brain goes deeper into the decay of memory [Apple TV+ recap]

Exciting new South Korean science fiction series Apple TV + Dr. Brain dive into the past this week to discover mistakes, regrets and murder.

Brain synchronization scientist Sewon Koh is beginning to realize that, although at the heart of the conspiracy, his own guilt is far more important to the crimes in question than he initially thought. After all, it is not illegal to be a bad husband. But when your negligence leads to kidnapping, murder and fraud, it is too late to apologize.

Dr. Brain summary: ‘Chapter 4’

When was the last time we left Sewon (played by him parasiteexcellent Sun-kyun Lee), was looking for Heejin, the daughter of his wife’s dead confidant Junki Lim (Kim Ju-hun) after memories of the dead gangster led him and the authorities to her hiding place in the woods. Now Heejin drew a butterfly, hiding traces of what had happened to her in his wings. It’s all slanted, but it’s more than enough for Sewon to continue – at least until Heejin recovers enough to start talking.

Lieutenant Choi (Seo Ji-hye) does not want Sewon to hope that his son Doyoon (Jeong Si-on) is alive. A theory he had been convinced of ever since he began to see the deaths of his wife and son during brain synchronization. However, Heejin’s mysterious drawing gives him many reasons for optimism. The lieutenant remains cautious to allow the civilian to continue to conduct her investigation, but cannot deny the pain in Sewon’s eyes when he suggests that this be released.

After all, Sewon’s fellow researcher Namil Hong (Jae-won Lee) went into hiding after helping a doctor perform brain synchronization on a dead private eye that accidentally lay in the morgue of their research facility. So, it seems that the chances of a new trail coming off at the moment are small. But then the spooky Kangmu (Park Hee-soon) appears while Sewon comes to visit with his wife in a coma and suggests starting from scratch. Traces may be waiting for Sewon in his memory with improved brain synchronization.

They go to the hut where Doyoon allegedly died in the fire, and Sewon begins to flash his wife’s memories. She tells Junka that she would like Sewon to be a more careful husband. She feels bad spending so much time with Heejin and Junki, but she almost wished Sewon had shown more outward signs of jealousy that she hadn’t spent time with him. That would at least prove that Sewon cared about her. The scientist was so preoccupied with her research that they were like strangers before her accident permanently separated them on this plane.

They looked more like a family without me

Sewon realizes what a bad husband he was, with only an undead Kangmu for company, it’s great. It is a serene moment of reflection on the mistakes the scientist made and how, although he had nothing to do with the crimes that brought him here, he is equally responsible for the situation. Had he been a more careful family man, Jaeyi (Yoo-Young Lee) would never have connected with Junki. And maybe these killings would have been avoided.

The clues are still coming hot and fast. The villains show up at Namil Hong’s house looking for him before the police get there, so they are too late to stop the beatings they inflict on his mother. Obviously, his participation in Sewon’s first brain synchronization experiments was more than pure coincidence.

Meanwhile, Sewon regains a vision from a deceased cat and a dead burglar about the fate of his son Doyon. They seem to have replaced his body with a doll. And since the situation seemed so intermittent and dry, no one performed DNA tests on the charred remains to determine if it was really Doyon’s body found in the explosion that was supposed to take his life.

But there are still many questions: Why did they even want to kidnap Doyon? It wasn’t because of the money, because they made him look like he was dead. Something else much stranger is happening. Perhaps this has something to do with Sewon’s own history as the focus of study in his youth, which led to very appropriately timed death of his mother, the incident that started the series?

As the episode ends, Sewon digs up Doyon – or what he thought was Doyoon – with Kangmu for company (in a scene that exudes Stephen King Pet Semetary). And Sewon finds out once and for all that Doyoon wasn’t in that grave. That, of course, does not mean that he is still alive. But Sewon is still too poisoned by hope to think about it. He went too far. I love the presence of Kangmu as Sewon’s undead conscience, the morbid, violent Jiminy Cricket in sunglasses. The more this show becomes on its own, the better it is to watch.

Look Dr. Brain on Apple TV +

New episodes Dr. Brain arrives on Apple TV + on Friday.

Rated: TV-MA

Look at: Apple TV +

Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of a long-running series of video essays The Unloved for He wrote for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books i Nylon Magazine. He is the author Cinemaphagy: About the psychedelic classical form of Tobe Hooper, the director of 25 feature films and author of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at

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