Did Hyun Bin Die?: The Genius Ending of Recollections of the Alhambra Defined

A overview on how the sequence starring Hyun Bin (Yoo Jin-woo), Park Shin-hye (Jung Hee-ju), and Park Chan-yeol (Jung Se-ju) from the Ok-pop group EXO took “the movie Recreation” to the “Subsequent degree” . . .

Movie evaluation by Bethany Russell

Maybe you discovered the present on Netflix, seen it was extremely rated, or are a fan of Hyun Bin (or possibly all three!). No matter signifies that lead you to Recollections of the Alhambra, you started this emotional journey and noticed it by to the top . . . and are left with large questions. Should you’re like me and may’t cease excited about the final episode of Recollections of the Alhambra, then I’ve excellent news for you. Upon unpacking the story, I used to be met with this breakthrough: just like the hidden world of the AR Recreation, the final episode itself works like an AR lens {that a} viewer is given and should put on with a view to see the present’s hidden message. Consequentially, most of the most steadily requested questions have solutions hid in plain sight.

(Beneath are my private ideas, speculations, and observations. Character names have been spelled in response to the present’s English subtitles on Netflix. Watch out for spoilers.)

My Fan Artwork of Se-ju (Chan-yeol) & Emma (Park Shin-hye)

Why Is The Final Episode So Unusual?

As a beginning place, let’s take into account the present’s author, Track Jae-jung. The Korea Occasions reviews that she has had an “over-10-year profession as a sitcom author” and calls herself a “hybrid author.”1 In her interview, Track Jae-jung explains:

“I used to be not an enormous drama fan and was extra into books and movies. I didn’t get the correct coaching to turn into a drama author. In contrast to different mini-series drama writers, I write every episode considering of a separate small story with an ending like a sitcom. Then parts of the movies and books I’ve seen and skim get included.”

Track Jae-jung, Author of Recollections of the Alhambra

So, based mostly on this info we be taught that, whereas there’s actually an overarching story to the present, Track Jae-jung approaches every episode as its personal small story. We additionally collect that the author is literary with an inventive curiosity within the parts of books and movies. This might make sense, since chapters in works of literature can perform as small, episodic tales stitched collectively as an entire. It’s extremely seemingly that this very approach is inherently chargeable for the finale’s sense of strangeness compared to the opposite episodes as a result of the final episode is within the distinctive place of being each its personal small story and a wrap up of the entire present.

How would Track Jae-jung obtain this?

It appears to me that the strategy she makes use of in Recollections of the Alhambra is to create the ultimate small story by unveiling a hidden narrative by symbols which she quietly prepares within the earlier episodes. We even see this overtly being developed in Episode 15 when Yoo Jin-woo’s voice says, “Now, just one story stays. My final story.”

When the long-awaited final episode arrives, this finale knocks over the primary domino in an extended lineup of different dominos. Relationships between characters, gadgets, and conditions expose each other in an enchanting chain response. As soon as mere coincidences, resembling Marco’s similarity to Se-ju and Hyeong-seok’s similarity to Jin-woo, should not solely defined however all of a sudden tackle an entire deeper which means. We quickly notice that there’s much more to this present than we ever anticipated.

So what is that this hidden narrative, and what are the symbols? The key lies in answering the most important query of all.

Did Yoo Jin-woo (Hyun Bin) Die?

Quick reply: Sure, “zinu” died. However Jin-woo resurrected.

Right here’s how. Within the final episode, we all know that Jin-woo’s consumer ID “zinu,” like the opposite Bugs, is proven to have been decreased to a pile of salt-like Stays. It’s attention-grabbing to notice that along with the identify, the Stays report each the creation date and deletion date — three particulars (identify, start date, demise date) which can be often recorded on a headstone. Moreover, being deleted is used interchangeably with demise by Se-ju, when he says, “He’s in all probability useless. He in all probability bought deleted after he bought stabbed by Emma’s knife.” It’s in contrast once more when Seon-ho later tells Su-jin “I’m nervous he may’ve been erased from this world” and to Hee-ju, “Hand over. Jin-woo is useless. No. He’s been deleted.” Jin-woo’s consumer ID “zinu” is the corrupted a part of his existence that acquired the Bug from Hyeong-seok’s bodily violence and needs to be deleted by Emma.

Just like how demise is related to deletion, we additionally witness a major illustration made with Jin-woo himself. Right here’s one other quote from the interview between The Korea Occasions and the present’s author:

“I seldom learn storytelling-focused books like novels. As an alternative I learn humanities books and magazines. I’m drawn to tales of actual figures and the way they reside this world . . . some extraordinary figures residing overseas.”

Track Jae-jung, Author of Recollections of the Alhambra

In fact, Track Jae-jung’s lead, Yoo Jin-woo, is thought to have been derived from sure features of Elon Musk, an inspiration notably evident in how “they each have PhDs in engineering and that they’re each self-made CEOs of extraordinarily profitable IT corporations.”2 Nevertheless, it’s within the final episode that Track Jae-jung unmasks a way more profound and symbolic dimension of Jin-woo. From Episode 1 and onward, viewers have watched the character of Jin-woo endure the most important transformation in your entire present till he now nears the likeness of a rare particular person. Who’s it? we would surprise.

This will likely appear off-topic, however did you discover how sluggish the final episode felt? I imply, that is the finale. Why are we seeing so many pictures of structure, flashback reels, and scenes of Hee-ju crying? What we would like is for Jin-woo and Se-ju to lastly meet. What we would like is for Jin-woo to warmly reunite with Hee-ju, Seon-ho, and their mates. However that’s not what we get, or at the very least, not what’s proven. So how is it that as a substitute of the apparent ending we would like, this polished present directed by somebody as established and skilled as Ahn Gil-ho (plus top-notch actors, digital editors, crew, and extra) “unintentionally” leaves in these prolonged digital camera pictures . . . particularly people who appear to linger uncomfortably lengthy on the crucifix? The reason is straightforward: that is no accident. The blatant associations made with the story of Jesus Christ are as willful as they’re intensive.

Whether or not or not you your self establish as a Christian, you is perhaps intrigued by the examination of this guiding biblical narrative in Recollections of the Alhambra. Not solely does this interaction have literary worth, however it additionally contributes considerably to the which means driving the backstory, speaks into simply how a lot Jin-woo basically completed in resetting the Recreation, and systematically accounts for most of the questions which come up by the present’s conclusion.

How Is Yoo Jin-woo (Hyun Bin) Like The Christ?

Whereas I used to be watching Recollections of the Alhambra, I stored ready for Jin-woo to return to Granada for the final word confrontation, since I felt it naturally would have been at Emma’s authentic location within the Alcazaba Cafe the place the difficulty started. When this didn’t occur, I requested myself, “If Emma may very well be set to seem at any variety of different locations, then why select a church?” I used to be conscious of the present’s inspiration from Pokémon Go,3 but I knew there have been many different institutions the place AR occasions happen. However then I figured that the church setting is smart with Jin-woo confronting the NPC “ghosts” of the deceased, given the present’s persistent and charming software of gothic literary tropes.

To grasp the perform of a church setting within the finale, we have to revisit the cinematography. What are we proven? A statue of Jesus with outstretched arms is standing outdoors the constructing. A circle of sunshine shines on the enormous crucifix — an odd element, as usually the within spotlights in a church are turned off when the sanctuary isn’t getting used for a service or when it’s broad daylight outdoors. Furthermore, this isn’t only a cross however a crucifix (a cross with Jesus on it), and the digital camera usually pans between this crucifix and the characters. The largest instance of those pans happens proper after Jin-woo provides Emma the Key to Heaven and a tear slides down his face earlier than the digital camera strikes up from the scene to the crucifix and pauses there. The aforementioned circle of sunshine shining on the enormous crucifix is now turned off. It’s off once more whereas Hee-ju is mourning for him the primary evening that she realizes he was stabbed, and the highlight stays off till it activates once more on the morning of the third day of her grieving. That is additionally when the solar shines by a stained glass window at simply the appropriate place as to halo Jesus’s head. The well-known scene being portrayed on this window is named “the triumphal entry” and is when Jesus, whereas using on a donkey into Jerusalem, was greeted as a form of parade, an occasion foreshadowing his victory over demise and but occurring shortly earlier than he was crucified.

Throughout these digital camera pictures, the viewer is conscious that Jin-woo is about to be or has already been stabbed to demise with a view to delete the Bug and reset the Recreation. We endure rising rigidity as to the ultimate consequence, however with these pictures the digital camera is basically saying, “Listen. He goes to his demise. But additionally like Christ, anticipate him to resurrect.” As we then comply with this offered affiliation of Jin-woo with Jesus, we begin to uncover not only a couple however an entire listing of particular similarities. For instance:

The signal of the cross: Though he didn’t initially perceive its which means, Jin-woo does the signal of the cross at Hyeong-seok’s memorial service in Episode 7 and once more in Episode 14 and 15 (proper after his voice says, “Now, just one story stays,” adopted by “My final story,” after which a detailed up of Jesus).Goes to the realm of the useless and makes use of the Key to Heaven: Jin-woo earns this within the “Rescue Grasp” quest that sends him right into a dungeon of useless prisoners much like how Jesus earned entry of everlasting life for others by his journey to the realm of the useless (upon being crucified) and his subsequent resurrection. This idea seems additionally with the Prompt Dungeon (defined later in larger element).New Grasp: Jin-woo turns into Grasp of Se-ju’s Recreation like how Christ is Lord within the Christian’s life (Matthew 6:24).Substitution and defeat of the curse: The Bug (what Seon-ho calls “The Unsolvable Downside”) is the sin that spreads, corrupts, and causes ache and demise. The salt-like look of the Bug Stays is evidently a nod to Lot’s spouse turning into a pillar of salt when she longingly seemed again on the metropolis of Sodom throughout its destruction and so portrays divine judgement. Jin-woo takes Se-ju’s place in being stabbed by the Key to Heaven (related to the Gate of Justice) to destroy the curse of the Bug and reset the Recreation. Jesus “is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and never solely our sins however the sins of all of the world” (1 John 2:2 NLT). 1 Peter 2:24 additionally says, “He personally carried our sins in his physique on the cross in order that we may be useless to sin and reside for what is correct. By his wounds you’re healed.”No physique: The curse of the Bug is disintegrated into salt-like Stays, however Jin-woo’s precise, bodily physique just isn’t discovered (till the top). Neither was the physique of Jesus present in its tomb (Luke 24:2-3).Visited on the tomb within the morning: Jin-woo tells Hee-ju, “Tomorrow daybreak on the earliest. I’ll come over within the morning.” (Jin-woo technically does come over when he stays standing outdoors Hee-ju’s home and leaves after daybreak.) Hee-ju later goes to the spot the place Jin-woo’s Bug Stays and Prompt (or Occasion) Dungeon would have been. Mary Magdalene and two different ladies had been on the crucifixion and went to Jesus’s tomb at dawn of the third day (Matthew 27:54-56; Mark 16:1-2).Three days: Hee-ju mourns for Jin-woo within the church for 2 days. The primary is when it’s wet, and the second is after she wakes up from passing out and has turned into a unique outfit. On the morning of the third, the stained glass home windows are glowing, the highlight has returned to the crucifix, and the daylight halos Jesus’s “triumphal entry” (Luke 24:1). This all factors to how Jesus rose on the morning of the third day (Matthew 17:23). (Observe: Hee-ju’s set of three days appears to be distinguished from the occasions of her seeing the Bug Stays with Seon-ho and the inference of her persevering with to return to church in her fancy garments whereas Seon-ho continues to ship unread emails to Jin-woo.)The great good friend who solely believes if he sees: Seon-ho’s doubt of Jin-woo being alive is much like a disciple of Jesus who is usually known as “Doubting Thomas” as a result of he mentioned he wouldn’t imagine that Jesus is alive except he may see it for himself (John 20:24-29).Longed-for return: Hee-ju believes that Jin-woo is alive and thus coming again. She, like the ladies at Jesus’s tomb, is among the many first who see him alive (Matthew 28:8-9). This additionally refers to awaiting the second coming of Jesus (it’s mentioned that after Jesus rose from the useless, he ascended into heaven and can return the identical means) that’s nonetheless but to return (Acts 1:10-11; Philippians 3:20; 2 Peter 3:4).The corrupt authentic is made new: The Authentic Recreation is like human life and the gorgeous, good world corrupted by the entry of the Bug, aka. sin. Because of Jin-woo’s sacrifice, the Bug is deleted, and the Recreation is reset with out the capability of getting the Bug sooner or later. The Reset Recreation, aptly named “Subsequent,” resembles the following life (or when one’s life is made new upon belonging to Christ), in addition to the forthcoming subsequent world with out the long run risks of sin, ache, and demise (2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-5).

Now, clearly Jin-woo is an imperfect human being and isn’t actually Jesus, since Jesus is sinless (and wasn’t in a romantic relationship with a typified “Mary Magdalene”). How we will recall the times again when our good friend Jin-woo was somewhat imply, smug, and even dishonest to Hee-ju and, maybe worse, poor Search engine optimisation Jeong-hun. Jin-woo is as a substitute a Bug who’s present process a Christlike transformation by following Christ’s instance, which Christians are known as to do. Jesus himself mentioned, “If any of you needs to be my follower, you should quit your personal means, take up your cross, and comply with me.” (Matthew 16:24 NLT).

As a Christian for 20+ years, I do take pleasure in encountering the random cross or sanctuary in a ebook or movie, so long as what’s being conveyed isn’t merciless sacrilege towards the Bible. But it’s essential to level out that when Christian iconography is proven, it sometimes seems in a watered-down type, like as an environment for the setting or a element that informs the plot. I’m not a Muslim, however I really feel as if one thing like this happens in Recollections of the Alhambra by its references to the Islamic supply materials of Fatima, the Key to Heaven, and the Gate of Justice. These are parts of iconography borrowed for the aim of conveying freedom, entry into heaven, peace, and justice with accordance to the aesthetic location of the Alhambra.

With Christianity, although, the present’s interplay goes abnormally deep and direct. This isn’t your common case of a church solely getting used as a trope and setting. It’s not even a scenario of stumbling right into a theme that by the way simply so occurs to additionally seem in Christianity, resembling self-sacrifice and resurrection in one thing like Harry Potter. The ability by which Recollections of the Alhambra handles not simply Christian iconography however precise Christian theology (“theology” is the examine of God) is past researched — this can be very superior. Navigating sacred materials in fiction is a critical problem as a result of quantity of care required when contemplating the story’s framework as a result of to ensure that each to harmonize, boundaries should be in place. Consider it as strolling a good rope. One flawed step in both course causes the expressed Christian religion to deviate and collapse into tragic sacrilege. Science fantasy is tough to put in writing as it’s however think about additionally weaving in compelling characters, plot, and conditions throughout the framework of a developed and accessible theology. The truth that the author does that is actually a feat of brilliance.

Along with the author’s familiarity with the Christian religion, it’s price mentioning that at the very least three of the present’s predominant actors — Hyun Bin (Yoo Jin-woo),4 Park Shin-hye (Jung Hee-ju),5 and Park Chan-yeol (Jung Se-ju)6 from the Kpop group EXO — are reported to personally establish as Christians. It wouldn’t be a far stretch to counsel that their religion knowledgeable their performances, notably with the scenes within the finale, which might have a deeper which means for the actors themselves who imagine the story of Jesus as fact. The actors are, after all, extremely gifted regardless, however these conditions current a particular alternative for expressing private religion, grief, and hope in life. That is my opinion, however to me, the appearing at sure intervals feels so real that it’s just like the actors are breaking the fourth wall.

As for the dialogue, I made a weird discovery. Should you rewatch the final episode, you will see that that quite a lot of the conversations comprise a built-in twin which means. “Jin-woo” may be simply switched to “Jesus” as the topic of dialog, and it’ll concurrently replicate the resurrection story within the Bible.

That is obvious within the scene when Se-ju and Hee-ju are speaking after being separated for a 12 months. Se-ju, who has been crying, says to her, “Somebody should have accomplished the search. I used to be ready for somebody to finish the search. Who did it?” At which, Hee-ju asks, “You don’t know?” Se-ju shakes his head, and Hee-ju persists, “You don’t know the place he’s?” He replies, “I don’t know . . . who it’s.” Hee-ju blinks in disbelief. Regardless that she tells Se-ju to scrub up whereas she units the desk downstairs, Se-ju persists along with his query. “Who’s it? Who accomplished the search? Inform me who it’s.”

Time and again, we’re met with the query of “Who’s it?” (and once more later when Se-ju hurries out after Seon-ho to ask if he is aware of Yoo Jin-woo as a result of he mentioned he was from J One).

When Se-ju is instructed that it’s Jin-woo, he’s shocked. “Yoo Jin-woo accomplished the search? He performed my sport? I’ve by no means even met him.” Hee-ju explains, “You instructed him to return to Granada. I heard you known as him. He got here to our place after that and — ” Se-ju interrupts, “He got here to our place after receiving my cellphone name?” “Sure, he did,” Hee-ju replies. Then Se-ju asks, “What occurred?” That is when the viewer is proven the spotlight reel recalling the foremost occasions of the present.

Author Track Jae-jung makes use of an attention-grabbing plot system right here, since Hee-ju and we the viewers know the gamut of what Jin-woo suffered, misplaced, and went by with a view to save Se-ju, however Se-ju himself hardly is aware of Jin-woo, not to mention that he’d play his Recreation. It additionally comes as a shock that it doesn’t instantly happen to Se-ju that Jin-woo began trying to find him upon his panicked name that basically acted like a determined prayer for assist. In Recollections of the Alhambra, Se-ju’s cellphone name is the inciting incident and massively integral to your entire story, and but Se-ju himself has no thought of its significance. It’s not solely unhappy, however it’s uncomfortable to look at Se-ju be oblivious as to how a lot Jin-woo needed and endured to rescue him.

Hee-ju, although, is conscious. “Do you need to know what occurred . . . whilst you had been gone?” Se-ju is confused by her sudden emotional response and asks, “Hee-ju, why are you crying?” However because it’s an excessive amount of for her to specific suddenly, she says, “Don’t thoughts me.” We fortunately do get to see Se-ju beginning to assume on the finish of that scene, and we all know that the 2 siblings have an enormous dialog off-screen as a result of Se-ju later says to Seon-ho that he instructed Hee-ju every thing, and his dialogue makes it evident that he additionally has since gathered extra info, resembling how different folks had been dying on account of the Bug.

Upon listening to from Se-ju that Emma has in all probability stabbed Jin-woo by the center and killed him, Hee-ju goes to the church whereas it’s raining outdoors, which matches her tears and grieving. She enters and appears up on the crucifix. After this, she then says, “What have I achieved? It’s not true, proper? That didn’t occur, proper? That’s simply absurd.” The digital camera begins to spin as she appears to be like across the church. “The place are you? The place are you? Reply me. The place are you? You mentioned you’d come within the morning. You mentioned you’d come within the morning. The place are you? The place are you?” But with every thing that’s repeated on this scene, Jin-woo’s identify just isn’t talked about as soon as (in response to the English subtitles).

With all this info in thoughts, we will acknowledge with confidence that Jin-woo assumes a Christ-like position in overcoming the deletion that’s akin to demise. However does this metaphor proceed? Sure, it does. As a result of if Jin-woo is a personality who grows to resemble Christ, then who’s Mr. Cha Hyeong-seok like? Or what about Se-ju? Because it seems, the substance behind the finale’s epiphany of who Jin-woo has personally grown to resemble and the way he saves Se-ju goes effectively past only one episode. The primary domino is toppled over, setting off a retrospective chain response of uncovered symbolism that helps inform our largest questions.

Why Did Marco Han (Lee Jae-wook) And Mr. Cha Hyeong-seok (Park Hoon) Die?

Did you additionally discover the similarities between Se-ju and Marco somewhat bizarre? What about between Yoo Jin-woo and Cha Hyeong-seok?

Each units had been at one time good mates previous to betrayal. Se-ju and Marco are roughly an identical age and construct (Se-ju is a teen, and Marco is 23), as are Jin-woo and Hyeong-seok (“hyeong” means “older brother”7). Each Se-ju and Marco are lonely on-line players and are savvy with computer systems. Each Jin-woo and Hyeong-seok have/had a PhD in engineering, had been CEOs of IT corporations, had been married to Su-jin, and bought disowned by their materialistic, prideful father, Cha Byeong-jun (Jin-woo was basically adopted, making him and Hyeong-seok like brothers. In Episode 11, Jin-woo says that he had cherished Hyeong-seok as a brother and had seemed as much as Byeong-jun as a father.).

What’s extra, the variations inside every set truly additionally function connections between the units, particularly Jin-woo with Se-ju and Hyeong-seok with Marco. Hyeong-seok is first contacted by Marco, and Jin-woo is first contacted by Se-ju. Like Se-ju with Marco, Jin-woo’s consumer turns into a Bug by a bodily act of violence (which is towards the foundations of the Recreation) that’s first struck by his evil counterpart. Hyeong-seok and Marco each die and turn into haunting NPCs. Each Jin-woo and Se-ju love Emma and Hee-ju however expertise ache and separation from them on account of Hyeong-seok and Marco (Observe: We even see one other occasion of Marco appearing to separate Se-ju from his household when he instructs Se-ju to not inform them about promoting the Recreation till after the deal is made lest they intrude [Episode 8].).

So what’s going on?

The straightforward clarification is that Marco and Se-ju are two sides of the identical coin, as are Hyeong-seok and Jin-woo. There’s a standard poetic literary system within the Bible known as “parallelism” (on this case, particularly “synonymous parallelism” and “antithetical parallelism“). Synonymous parallelism‘s effectiveness resides in the way it basically repeats the identical message “with some minor variations . . . to increase the ideas introduced and emphasize sure themes,”8 whereas “antithetical parallelism will carry collectively opposing concepts in marked distinction.”9

Inside Recollections of the Alhambra, it seems that parallelism has been mixed with a form of parable (or to some, an off-the-cuff allegory).10 Jesus himself steadily spoke in parables (you’ve in all probability heard of “The Prodigal Son”) that confused folks with the surface of the story however rewarded the curious.

First, let’s proceed exploring the parallelism. Within the paragraphs above, we’ve simply recognized quite a lot of similarities and variations amongst these 4 characters, but there may be nonetheless extra to be unpacked. We additionally already know that Jin-woo grows over time to resemble Jesus, but when Hyeong-seok is a personality who descends into evil, then it’s obvious that he himself turns into just like the Satan. Even whereas he descends additional and additional, the sympathies that we because the viewers have for Hyeong-seok dwell in his earlier shut friendship with Jin-woo, his tragic backstory of being disowned by his father, his ingesting downside, and the struggling he continues to expertise in life up till demise.

With Marco, we will see his gloomy distinction being accentuated when he and Se-ju are every gaming on-line, and Se-ju is interrupted by his household calling him for dinner whereas Marco is interrupted by collectors (Episode 8). Marco must promote Se-ju’s Recreation for drug cash, and Hyeong-seok’s firm seeks Se-ju’s Recreation for a monetary breakthrough. Robust occasions drive out the murderous intents of Marco and Hyeong-seok into the open. Nevertheless, when dire circumstances intensify for Jin-woo and Se-ju, these flawed characters finally select to pursue goodness. The polar reverse nature of those selections inevitably places the characters in distinction to their counterparts.

Author Track Jae-jung, upon being “requested why Yoo Jin Woo and people near him are the one ones whose in-game deaths can result in demise in actuality,”11replied:

“You’ll be able to consider it as a virus. Having murderous intent and breaking the foundations created an error within the sport. In Yoo Jin Woo and Cha Hyung Suk’s (performed by Park Hoon) case as effectively, the murderous fights between the customers induced them to turn into capable of really feel ache and unable to log off.”

Track Jae-jung, Author of Recollections of the Alhambra

The murderous sides of Marco and Hyeong-seok consequentially carry the “homicide Bug” into the Recreation, outcome of their unintended deaths, and, by battle, unfold the Bug into Jin-woo’s and Se-ju’s customers (Observe: We moreover see Hyeong-seok threatening to homicide Se-ju [and the already dead Marco] throughout their cellphone name in Episode 13.). In precept, the murderous intentions of Marco and Hyeong-seok in the end devour their hosts in entirety, creating NPC “ghosts” which can be pure homicide machines.

Being described as useless whereas actively residing in sin and disobeying good by obeying evil (i.e. “breaking the foundations”) additionally replicate biblical ideas:

“When you had been useless due to your disobedience and your many sins. You used to reside in sin, similar to the remainder of the world, obeying the satan—the commander of the powers within the unseen world.He’s the spirit at work within the hearts of those that refuse to obey God. All of us used to reside that means, following the passionate wishes and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we had been topic to God’s anger, similar to everybody else. However God is so wealthy in mercy, and he cherished us a lot,that regardless that we had been useless due to our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the useless. (It is just by God’s grace that you’ve been saved!)”

Ephesians 2:1-4 NLT

Upon the deaths of Hyeong-seok and Marco, Jin-woo and Se-ju are each endangered by the persistent hauntings of those indestructible, evil natures whose “sole programming” is to destroy their counterparts from the within out. Jin-woo has to maintain combating off his evil nature, and it’s solely with the expertise of “leveling up” that he will get higher at maintaining Hyeong-seok at bay. Plainly talking, that is an internal battle between two opposing forces.

Solely Jin-woo and Se-ju are capable of see and expertise the specter of these rivals who particularly and relentlessly assault them. The exception is when Search engine optimisation Jeong-hun and Cha Byeong-jun type an alliance with Jin-woo after which can see Cha Hyeong-seok’s NPC once they too share within the ache and curse of the Bug. Jeong-hun, a pricey and dependable good friend to Jin-woo, helps him carry this burden in life and after demise leaves behind a reminiscence and legacy which proceed to strengthen and encourage Jin-woo even whereas he’s deeply grieved by the loss as a consequence of the Bug’s curse. Nonetheless, the battles of Marco v. Se-ju and Hyeong-seok v. Jin-woo stay distinctly their very own, as they’re the primarily targets.

Now, let’s have a look at the parable. The gist of the story of Recollections of the Alhambra is that this: A Recreation developer, joined by a hacker, is in search of a possible new proprietor for his totally practical, error-free Recreation. However, in consequence of the violent, inside battle of pursuits as to who ought to get management, a Bug is launched to the Recreation and spreads ache and demise. Sadly, the developer who’s Grasp of his personal Recreation doesn’t have the power to repair this lethal downside. As an alternative, one other consumer has to play to turn into the New Grasp of his Recreation, use the Key to Heaven within the Gate of Justice, and be pierced within the developer’s place. The Bugs are deleted, the Recreation is reset (named “Subsequent”) and not in peril of future errors, and each the developer and New Grasp return alive.

We’ve got already been supplied with the sacrificial Jesus narrative on the finale, so the primary half should be, in my understanding, when sin entered the world by Adam. One scenario introduces the issue, and the opposite is the answer. Though Eve can also be within the Backyard of Eden story, Recollections of the Alhambra appears to specializing in the parallel of how the Bug enters the Recreation by one man after which is eliminated by one man. Right here’s a passage from the Bible that helps illustrate this dynamic:

“Now Adam is an emblem, a illustration of Christ, who was but to return. However there’s a nice distinction between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious reward . . . For the sin of this one man, Adam, induced demise to rule over many. However even larger is God’s fantastic grace and his reward of righteousness, for all who obtain it is going to reside in conquer sin and demise by this one man, Jesus Christ. Sure, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everybody, however Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a proper relationship with God and new life for everybody. As a result of one particular person disobeyed God, many turned sinners. However as a result of one different particular person obeyed God, many will likely be made righteous.”

Romans 5:14-19 NLT

For the reason that Se-ju v. Marco battle is basically an internal battle, what I sense is that they as a pair resemble Adam (or humanity) in battle over in search of possession with the Satan-like Cha Hyeong-seok and the way this hostility causes the primary emergence of the Bug within the Recreation — akin to when sin first entered the world and life typically at the start — earlier than being rescued by an act of righteousness by the Christ-like Yoo Jin-woo.

Within the scene the place Se-ju is speaking to Seon-ho about Emma’s knife, he says, “I actually didn’t know that everybody could be useless. If I had recognized about this, I wouldn’t have known as Mr. Yoo. I wouldn’t have despatched him the search or requested him for assist.” What’s telling about this dialogue just isn’t technically everybody who performed the Recreation, such because the beta testers or Choi Yang-ju and the corporate’s tech group, truly died. Even so, when Se-ju makes use of “everybody could be useless” as an hyperbolic expression for the deaths of Marco Han, Cha Hyeong-seok, Search engine optimisation Jeong-hun, Cha Byeong-jun, and even Yoo Jin-woo, it likewise displays Romans 5:12-21, which reads in verse 12, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin introduced demise, so demise unfold to everybody, for everybody sinned.”

What Is the Occasion Dungeon And Is Se-ju (Park Chan-yeol) Useless Or Alive?

Quite a few occasions whereas watching this present, I stored brainstorming that if Se-ju was alive, how on the planet was he getting the meals that he wanted to outlive whereas being lacking for a 12 months after which, after all, if he may get meals, why wasn’t he reaching out to his household. After I found the Prompt (or Occasion) Dungeon, it initially felt uncannily handy. What? So he’s simply invisible in one other dimension? Nevertheless, the extra I believed concerning the Prompt Dungeon, the extra this place each fascinated and disturbed me.

Give it some thought. Whereas Se-ju is there, he doesn’t transfer. He doesn’t eat or drink. He doesn’t age. He simply lies on the bottom as if he’s useless, ready in one other dimension that’s invisible and unaccessible from Earth. It’s plain that Se-ju makes the “Rescue Grasp” quest round when he sends the Recreation to Jin-woo however earlier than being injured on the practice as a result of when he returns upon Jin-woo finishing the search, he’s sporting the very same garments and had apparently been mendacity within the precise location and place upon first getting into the Prompt Dungeon. Moreover, each Se-ju and Jin-woo go to this different dimension shortly after being badly wounded. All these descriptions add as much as a spot eerily much like the Bible’s idea of the grave, additionally known as “Sheol,” the ready realm or holding place of the useless.12

Because of Marco’s murderous pursuit and even Hyeong-seok’s demise menace over cellphone, Se-ju is caught on this dungeon and as a substitute has to depend on another person to earn the Key to Heaven to offer to Emma for her to reset the Recreation (although, as mentioned within the upcoming part, he doesn’t notice that her doing so would kill this particular person). By this, Jin-woo takes Se-ju’s place within the grave, which is tied to the defeat of sin and victory in resurrection (as mentioned earlier). In Christianity, humanity — even whereas being bodily alive — continues to be thought-about spiritually useless in sin with out Christ’s divine intervention of going to the grave to overcome the curse of sin (Ephesians 2:1-4). It is vitally possible too that Jin-woo collapsed in a trend much like Se-ju in his personal Prompt Dungeon in entrance of the altar on the church, the spot the place Hee-ju grieves and herself oddly passes out.

Why Did Emma (Park Shin-hye) Stab Jin-woo (Hyun Bin) And Is She Nonetheless In The Reset Recreation?

To start out, we have to focus on why Emma herself just isn’t a Bug. We may be somewhat positive of this as a result of there’s no indication of her utilizing the important thing to erase herself, as she too would have left behind a salt-like pile of Bug Stays. If Emma was a Bug, this is able to likewise forged doubt on whether or not she may successfully reset the Recreation and take away all of the Bugs. So, Emma can’t be a Bug. The customers turned Bugs upon breaking the foundations of the Recreation, not Emma. She performs her duties as programmed. The hazard as a substitute resides within the customers themselves being the Bugs in an AR Recreation, whereas Emma herself is the debugger.

As Jin-woo explains to Byeong-jun, “I’m saying that we’re the difficulty, each in actuality and within the sport. We’re like a bug in a sport that causes issues. To ensure that every thing to get again to regular, we should be eradicated first.”

In Episode 13 when Jin-woo is beginning to piece collectively what occurred, he says, “From the start, I used to be capable of guess that the error in all probability started right here [at Alcazaba Cafe] . . . To be extra particular, it may’ve began from Emma.” Within the flashback scene, Marco threatens Se-ju, “Hold your mouth shut, or I’ll kill you in entrance of your sister,” and Jin-woo resumes narrating, “The second he stabbed Se-ju with an actual knife in entrance of Emma . . . Maybe Emma is the one witness. The final one who witnessed how these two vanished from this world.”

Emma and Marco are an attention-grabbing conflict. Marco, a hacker, is himself a hack to the Recreation, whereas Emma is a debugger. They’re the one two predominant characters to have names of Latin origin. Marco’s identify means “warlike”13 as his warlike nature innately places him at odds with Emma, whose identify means “complete or common”14 and is alleged outright within the present to represent peace.

Her job as a peacekeeper can also be technically nonetheless wanted for impartial chatroom cafes (together with Alcazaba Cafe, because the “Subsequent” Recreation server reopens in Granada) and within the Recreation as an entire. Being oblivious to the Bug’s very existence in addition to any proof, the corporate’s tech group wouldn’t have knowingly “mounted” the opportunity of a future Bug by eradicating Emma. Neither Jin-woo nor Se-ju seem to have been immediately concerned with the corporate’s redone showcase for the discharge of “Subsequent” (as indicated by Hee-ju’s line to Se-ju [post-release], “You created it. They’re saying that they want your assist.”). Nevertheless, what we may be assured of the corporate doing by itself is deleting all of the Granada NPCs as a result of these are with out portrait rights (Episode 7). Even so, one other NPC or characteristic could be required for the final peacekeeping perform at non-battle, weapon-free zones. Eradicating Emma wouldn’t have eliminated the deadly threat, since a debugger that deletes (or kills) Bugs would harm the customers who’re the Bugs and really feel actual ache due to mentioned Bug. What Emma is uniquely capable of do is delete the virus by Jin-woo because the Recreation’s Grasp. The virus entered by a knife within the Grasp and so exits the identical means.

Likewise, it must be emphasised that solely Emma’s debugging perform is ready to repair “The Unsolvable Downside.” With out it, Se-ju would nonetheless be haunted by Marco till the day he dies (in addition to Jin-woo by Hyeong-seok), and the “The Unsolvable Downside” would hopelessly endure with out remedy when the Recreation goes public. The quickly upcoming showcase and launch of the contaminated Recreation are what create the determined race towards time that leaves Jin-woo as the one candidate and solely hope, for he alone has a degree excessive sufficient to have retrieved after which present Emma with the debugging Key to Heaven.

In Episode 7, when Jin-woo instructs Crew Chief Choi Yang-ju to erase Emma, that is previous to the very important data of her important capabilities and is essentially in response to Yang-ju’s obsessive crush on her, alongside her potential recognition amongst different male players. Furthermore, after we hear Yang-ju speaking to Se-ju about Emma within the final episode, he’s not saying that he’s upset as a result of he misses her for not being in-game or as a result of she stabbed Jin-woo (for he by no means believes within the homicide Bug’s existence, as exemplified in Episode 13). What he’s saying is that he feels betrayed for not being conscious of her perform of resetting the Recreation, which induced the immense lack of a 12 months’s price of arduous work. We’ve already seen how he usually retains Emma in a field and tampers with quite a lot of her options. Yang-ju thought he understood Emma higher than anybody when he actually didn’t. His absorbed curiosity in her magnificence, somewhat than her goal, seems to be solely superficial.

It’s exceptional to invest on Yang-ju’s declare that he would have deleted Emma’s resetting perform had he recognized about it. Ought to he have achieved this, the Recreation then would have by no means been capable of totally delete the virus and reset as a result of not even the tech group actively engaged on the Recreation for a 12 months may discover a difficulty, not to mention resolve it, as we’ve already been proven them restarting the server with out a lot impact. Just like the secrecy of the “Rescue Grasp” quest, secrecy protected Emma’s perform from being deleted by the tech group. It’s ironic to additionally assume that Yang-ju’s curiosity in Emma’s magnificence is what compels him to protect her NPC for the preliminary showcase. Total, although, in view of Yang-ju’s assertion of remorse that he “cared an excessive amount of about her for no motive” and the corporate (underneath Park Seon-ho) in all probability not having her mannequin rights (as Hee-ju’s approval could be extraordinarily unlikely given latest occasions), Emma herself is most definitely not within the Reset Recreation.

In Christianity, God is strictly male, however it appears to me that Emma typifies a significant idea regarding the character of God being each merciful and simply. Yang-ju’s emotions of disappointment and betrayal are what happen when somebody assumes to completely perceive the divine character of God as being compassionate, variety, and peaceable, but leaves out the need of justice additionally central to his character of holiness. The pure impulse is in charge God when really the sin of humanity is accountable. (Observe: Though Emma typifies this idea and but herself might be not within the “Subsequent” Recreation, God himself with all his attributes is believed to dwell amongst his folks within the subsequent life [Revelation 21:1-7]. It’s cheap to counsel that the resurrected Jin-woo represents this side.) Scary as the mixture is collectively, the storm with the music (Recuerdos de la Alhambra tune) displays this mixture of judgment and mercy, as they warn the consumer contaminated with the Bug by giving discover of the approaching hazard of the NPC “ghost.” With out these cues (which additionally assist trace to Emma as the answer to the virus), at any time the consumer may very well be caught solely off-guard and murdered inside seconds of “An Enemy Has Appeared.”

Maybe the purest motive behind Emma’s knife is the way it satisfies the holy requirement for justice. With regard to Se-ju programming Emma to delete Bugs by stabbing them, it’s very evident that he didn’t anticipate the Bug of actual ache getting into the Recreation and particularly didn’t anticipate it spreading (Hyeong-seok to Jin-woo and onward). He even says this to Seon-ho (“I actually didn’t know that everybody could be useless. If I had recognized about this, I wouldn’t have known as Mr. Yoo. I wouldn’t have despatched him the search or requested him for assist.”). The reason is within the scenario of Emma witnessing the violence of Marco towards Se-ju in her neighborhood of peace, which is towards the foundations of the Recreation and ends in an infectious virus attributable to the hack (Habakkuk 1:13). The one option to repair this Recreation is for the Bug to be deleted by the Recreation’s Grasp being stabbed with the debugging Key to Heaven, which, for somebody who’s a Bug and feels bodily ache, means demise (once more Jesus himself is sinless however paid the penalty of demise for our sin, as seen in 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Romans 6:23). The Bug thus each enters and exits the Recreation by a knife within the Grasp, and the Key to Heaven opens the Gate of Justice.

On a aspect be aware, the explanation Jin-woo is ready to use the Key to Heaven in any respect on the three NPC Bugs is simply as a result of he retained it from Emma earlier than she completed utilizing it on him to reset the Recreation. These NPC “ghosts,” in addition to Marco’s NPC and Se-ju’s consumer Bug, would have been destroyed anyway in Emma’s stabbing of Jin-woo because the Recreation’s Grasp (instead of Se-ju) to ensure that the Recreation to reset.

Why Is The Recreation Nonetheless Launched To The Public?

I imply, isn’t there a chance of the “Subsequent” Reset Recreation creating the identical error once more? After every thing that we because the viewers noticed and went by, the plausibility that such devastating separation, demise, and struggling may occur another time is completely sickening, particularly contemplating the huge extent of what Jin-woo misplaced and fought to perform.

However on this, the present is agency. Whereas some issues are extra hidden, this truth is decidedly acknowledged. The Bug and the Recreation’s capability for creating the Bug have been eliminated in the end and forevermore. Seon-ho tells Se-ju, “The bug not exists. It’s all gone now.” In his e-mail to Jin-woo, Seon-ho reviews that “we not should take care of the unsolvable downside.” The entire final episode has a theme of beginning over, in lots of respects, higher than earlier than.

Massive rationale as to why the Recreation is not remotely prone to a brand new Bug after being reset is in the way it resembles the “Subsequent” life introduced by a Christ-like sacrifice and is, in consequence, perpetually with out corruption. In Christian theology, this period is at present in means of arriving, because it follows Christ’s demise and resurrection but can also be nonetheless to return with the final word elimination of ache and demise. Christians, much like Hee-ju for Jin-woo, are awaiting Jesus’s second return for the entire eradication of sin and for the success of the world made new the place God lives amongst his folks:

“‘He’ll wipe each tear from their eyes, and there will likely be no extra demise or sorrow or crying or ache. All these items are gone perpetually.’ And the one sitting on the throne mentioned, ‘Look, I’m making every thing new!’”

Revelation 21:4-5 NLT

In Recollections of the Alhambra, it’s essential to understand that the Recreation itself just isn’t thought-about the final word enemy or wholly nugatory. Moderately, it’s one thing of large price that must be mounted and restored. The Recreation itself, like life and the Earth, is stuffed with surprise (or because the present describes, “magic”) and initially “excellent,” however it had been badly corrupted (Genesis 1:31). The Reset Recreation, aptly named “Subsequent,” is due to this fact the following life and world made new with out being in future hazard of sin, evil, or demise. To talk in pc phrases, the potential for the Bug has been “patched.” So, when it’s secure, after all the Recreation continues to be launched for the general public to take pleasure in. The Recreation’s magical attraction and Se-ju as its developer are each celebrated at the start and on the finish of the present.

Will There Be A Season 2 Of Recollections Of The Alhambra?

Most likely not, given the buildup, completeness, and intricacy of the story as revealed within the finale. However who is aware of? The author has already shocked us, and he or she may shock us once more. Nevertheless, contemplating the present itself (and clues such because the Recreation not being prone to Bugs) and its hidden narrative, the story of Recollections of the Alhambra has basically reached its conclusion.

What Does The Quote Proven At The Finish Imply?

“Belief is the magic that adjustments the world, not the expertise.”

At which, you too had been in all probability asking your self, “Wait. This present was about belief?”

This “theme” quote then dovetails properly into: “We thank everybody who believed in and supported Recollections of the Alhambra,” thereby giving the ultimate sentiment about belief a sensible software of gratitude in direction of those that helped and supported the challenge. It’s like a dedication.

As for the primary quote itself, this evidently expresses a theme or ethical of the story however not one we would anticipate to go together with the present. A lot of the characters in Recollections of the Alhambra are proven betraying and struggling to belief one another (Jin-woo and Su-jin, Seon-ho and Jin-woo, Marco and Se-ju, and many others.). Trusting somebody like Hyeong-seok or Marco would positively be a mistake. So what makes this quote so essential that it’s among the many final issues we’re left seeing?

If we rewind again to the slideshow main as much as the quote, we’re revisited with some particular traces of dialogue pulled from moments of varied episodes. We’re reminded of Jin-woo’s character growth from being untrustworthy and never respectable, in addition to his relationship to Hee-ju (Observe: The chosen quotes of “Why did you come right here at the moment?” and “I missed you.” additionally counsel the reunion of Jin-woo and Hee-ju.). Nevertheless, the flashback to the umbrella scene particularly supplies a significant trace as to the quote’s meant course. Jin-woo asks, “Would you say you continue to imagine me,” and Hee-ju replies, “I imagine you. I instructed you that I do.” Yang-ju doesn’t imagine Jin-woo. Seon-ho struggles to imagine and wavers even after he sees. Byeong-jun doesn’t imagine Jin-woo till he sees Hyeong-seok for himself. Even Jeong-hun believes when he sees. However Hee-ju is the one one who believes with out seeing. That’s religion. “For we reside by religion, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV).

Religion, within the Christian thought, is usually in comparison with belief. Holman Bible Dictionary defines religion because the “trusting dedication of 1 particular person to a different, notably of an individual to God.”15 Within the scene the place Jin-woo is sitting within the church pews as he’s wanting on the crucifix (shortly earlier than he provides the Key to Heaven to Emma), he does the signal of the cross, and we hear his voice saying, “I’ve by no means believed in God, however I want to depend on him now.” This dedication to belief and have religion, even with one thing as small as a quick cellphone name (or a prayer), is what adjustments Se-ju’s Recreation world, and Hee-ju’s trusting option to imagine with out seeing for herself is what adjustments Jin-woo’s world. On a macro degree, Jin-woo’s Christ-like instance and Hee-ju’s religion lengthen this significance deeper into Recollections of the Alhambra as to alter the very world of fictitious present itself. Religion is in keeping with the final episode’s theme and agrees with the hopefulness within the assertion that belief is what adjustments the world. Truthfully, given the buildup of every thing, personally I can’t think about the author devoting her finale at such size to the message of Jesus except she actually felt convicted as to its fact (1 Corinthians 15:16-23).

This brings us to the present’s mysterious ending. Just like the phenomenon of Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, the surprising, off-screen conclusion of Recollections of the Alhambra purposely leaves in rigidity that sticks with the viewer days afterward. Why? As a result of that is the story’s name to motion, to ponder additional, and to hunt solutions. Recollections of the Alhambra is in the end begging the query, “What do you imagine? Is he alive or useless?” And naturally the viewer needs to imagine Jin-woo is alive, but when he seems, he’s considerably blocked out by shadows and basically hidden on the finish. This resolution to blatantly obscure Jin-woo’s face within the closing scene is a daring one, particularly acknowledging Hyun Bin’s expertise for delicate facial expressions and total important position. It leaves us asking, That’s bought to be Jin-woo, proper? He’s positively alive, I feel. However he can’t nonetheless be a Bug, can he? Or an NPC? The silhouette casts thriller, though we’re sure of his identification and have greater than sufficient proof (due to feedback on the Prompt Dungeon, not having to take care of “The Unsolvable Downside,” players mentioning him not being an NPC, and and many others.) that he’s certainly alive. So with all that the ultimate episode has revealed in how he died, conquered sin in our place, resurrected, and has now returned, we’re imagined to fill on this “clean character” with a particular identify in thoughts.

I hope this text has been an attention-grabbing learn and helps ponder the solutions to among the largest questions round Recollections of the Alhambra. Might Jin-woo’s quest of self-sacrificial compassion for Se-ju communicate profoundly to your coronary heart and uplift you with the message that you just too have a lifetime of such worth that it’s price dying for.

What extra MOTA? Discover my fan artwork of Recollections of the Alhambra right here (extra to return)!


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Author: Edward Morgan