Dr. Brain is getting weirder and wilder! [Apple TV+ review]

In this week’s episode of Dr. Brain, neuroscientist Sewon Koh discovers a powerful ally as he chases new clues as he searches for his son and his wife’s killer. Reality and the imaginary are beginning to merge in a way that suggests that they may not be able to distinguish them any time soon.

Oh, and Sewon’s new ally? It’s in his brain! The new trippy South Korean sci-fi / mystery series Apple TV + is getting wild.

Dr. Brain review: ‘chapter 3’

In the episode, called simply “Chapter 3,” Sewon (played by Sun-kyun Lee) comes to visit from Kangmu (Park Hee-soon) just as his confidence in everything is collapsing. Minutes before Kangmu’s arrival, Lieutenant Choi (Seo Ji-hye) convinced Sewon that Kangmu was actually dead. But if that’s the case, is the man out of cheating … or something else?

Kangmu teaches Sewon through the question and then goes to the morgue where they find his body. It turned out that he had synchronized his brain with Kangmu’s corpse without being aware of it and now Kangmu’s memories are trapped in Sewon’s brain.

If you want some clues why Dr. Brain rises a little above most TVs, note that this episode is a race out Sixth sense to Solaris way The beginning in five minutes without blinking. And we still have 50 minutes of plot left to go through!

New mysteries

Sewon now has several new mysteries to solve, such as who killed Kangmu and how he ended up as the body he first synchronized with. Sewon assumed it was an accident, but didn’t actually procure a body to synchronize the brain. No, that would be his reluctant accomplice, Namil Hong (Jae-won Lee), his colleague at the research center.

Anyway, Sewon and Kangmu’s ghost head to the scene of the car accident that took Kangmu’s life. He headed for the house of Junki Lim (Kim Yu-hun), but he can’t remember exactly why. Kangmu’s eerie apparition also can’t remember the exact moment of his death – but Sewon can. Kangmu was followed, and the one who threw him out of the way came down to finish the job.

It turned out that they were the same guys from the memory of the dead cat on Junkie’s murder. But who are these mysterious people? And who do they work for?

Dizzying pace

At this point, I want to admit that everything I just described is happening in the first 15 minutes of this week’s episode. Dr. Brain is so clogged with incidents that you would think it might be difficult to follow. But director Kim Jee-Woon is such a dynamo with action choreographies and such an elegant narrator that you absorb everything and anything except praying for the next development of events.

One should disbelieve at some point, any of these events, but in between sofa directing, Kim’s brio of storytelling, photography by Kim Cheon-seok, the pulsating score of Mowg, and the dedicated performances of the lead actors, all flow.

Kim Cheon-seok has made a resume over the past decade, but Dr. Brain marks his most prominent work to date. Mowg, on the other hand, is everywhere. Kim’s regular composer ever since I saw the devil In 2010, he worked on both small and big hits like Dongyu: Portrait of a poet, peninsula i Burning.

This team works great together, creating a kind of permanent insomnia of the underworld of thieves, cops and ghosts. The scenes in which Kangmu appears to Sewon as a kind of grinning devil on his shoulder, who teaches him through a lie and fight detector test, are delicious. Park makes a great grotesque, greasy eel in sunglasses finally enjoying the fact that he can no longer stop or be held accountable.


This is the first time Kim has indulged in his love of action choreography since the show began, and he’s making a meal out of an argument Sewon is having with two thugs who killed Kangmu and Junki. Because of Sewon’s brain synchronization, he can now see what will happen when they come for him because he gets extra-sensory help, so he’s able to defeat his attackers with little effort. It’s pretty cool, and I hope it hints at more of these things below.

The big revelation this week comes after Choi shoots and kills one of Sewon’s attackers. Sewon’s brain syncs with the dead man in the morgue, revealing that the killers were sent from Junki on the orders of a mysterious benefactor. Then they had to go back for Junki’s daughter, Heejin. Turns out the bully didn’t have the heart to bury the kid, so he left Heejin with the old girl.

The chase scene in which they return to the typical steps of the night when he failed to kill Heejin is from the magnificent Tony Scott Already seen, and the scene in which she is sought in the forest looks like a deliberate call back ET alien. It’s exactly the kind of pop cinema bingo I expect from Kim.

Dr. Brain it develops as a fascinating thesis about the last 30 years of action / sci-fi as the genre has crossed global boundaries and returned with new passport stamps.

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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