Episode 8 gives the audience a much-needed background into Sigma and Gang Seo-hae’s future. There are plenty of moving parts, and when they come together, it works every time.
This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series Sisyphus: The Myth episode 8 contains significant spoilers.
I’ve explained this before in previous recaps, but you can tell that Sisyphus: The Myth is storyboarded to a tee; everything that comes full circle feels right — it feels like it fits. After episode 7 sees Tae-sul realising that Sigma is an individual, episode 8 is all about finding this person.
Episode 8 opens with a flashback that we’ve seen before, but this time it is extended; Tae-san is on the train tracks, and he sees the man with a briefcase, holding a photo of Tae-sul and Tae-san. The man suddenly flickers and takes a large gulp of air — this is Sigma. The man enters the streets and takes someone else’s clothes by attacking them. Sigma then finds a place to stay and unlocks his briefcase. He notes it’s August 2001. After paying for 3 months worth of rent, he examines stock prices and horse racing — this continues to increase his wealth. He then colludes with a stockbroker named Kim Dong-hyeon on future investments on the market. Dong-hyeon’s behaviour is seen as dodgy, and his manager berates him. Suddenly, 9/11 happens in the USA. Sigma and Kim Dong-hyeon have taken advantage of a disaster and are now extremely wealthy.
This gives me Fringe vibes — how the series is linking sci-fi to real-world events that changed everything, forever/
How does Kim Hang-yong connect to all this?
Sigma then asks Kim Dong-hyeon if he can arrange a meeting with Kim Hang-yong, an IT investor. They meet Kim Hang-yong for a meal, and Sigma references that Park’s wife is sick with ALS. He shows Kim Hang-yong some medicine to help his wife and states that it is the cure. Sigma asks Kim Hang-yong to try the medicine and to get in touch if it works. Kim Hang-yong tries it on his wife, and there’s a health improvement immediately. Seo-jin is in shock at her mother’s recovery.
After the medicine’s success, Sigma asks Mr Park to invest in Han Tae-sul, claiming he has something he needs to create for him. If he does, he will provide Kim Hang-yong with medicine every month.
This explains everything that has happened in the last three chapters — Kim Hang-yong was emotionally compromised; it’s understandable why he colluded with Sigma.
Tae-sul and Gang Seo-hae disagree over finding Sigma
In the present day, Tae-sul is wondering why he cannot find Sigma, and he’s obsessing over it. Gang Seo-hae is concerned and wants Tae-sul to stop looking for Sigma as she fears he’ll die. She knows that if he fails, there will be a war again. Tae-sul insists he’s going to look for Sigma, but Gang Seo-hae calls him selfish; this turns into a heated argument. Gang Seo-hae tells him looking for Sigma isn’t the same as looking for his brother and that he is going to die on October 31st. Suddenly, Tae-sul’s facial recognition machine beeps — he’s found a match for Sigma.
As we saw from the premiere episode, once Tae-sul is obsessed with something, he cannot help himself. That’s what Gang Seo-hae is dealing with; a stubborn, smart man.
Speaking to Kin Dong-hyeon’s wife
In the car, Tae-sul talks about Kim Dong-hyeon and how he made a lot of money from 9/11 — he knew what would happen. He died in an “accident” (he was killed) recently, so they cannot use him to find Sigma. They visit his wife instead, who tells him that Kim Dong-hyeon was arguing with Sigma in their home last week. She then talks about a painting that he gave them that Sigma claimed to paint himself. It’s a city burning. Gang Seo-hae tells Tae-sul that’s what the future looks like. Tae-sul uses the painting of the city to figure out where Sigma painted it from.
What does “Sigma” mean?
Sisyphus: The Myth episode 8 reveals to the audience what “Sigma” means, but I guess any of us could have googled it.
Tae-sul and Gang Seo-hae head to a building where they suspect Sigma drew his paintings based on angles and proximity. Tae-sul sees a painting of a man pushing a boulder, and it suddenly dawns on him that Sigma means “Sisyphus” — an eternal sinner in Greek mythology. The man is pushing the boulder up the mountain as eternal punishment. Suddenly, someone starts opening the door to the room, but then it quickly shuts. It’s Sigma, so Tae-sul and Gang Seo-hae chase after him. Tae-sul is attacked by another man who tries to stab him, but Gang Seo-hae saves him. There’s an “M” where Gang Seo-hae is stood, and then suddenly bricks fall from above, so Tae-sul pushes her out of the way. Gang Seo-hae is hurt from the chase, so Tae-sul tends to her wounds and puts her in bed.
It’s Gang Seo-hae’s birthday
Episode 8 then gives us a final act that gives us more insight into the future.
While Gang Seo-hae recovers, Tae-sul looks at video footage of Seo-hae with her parents. They are a tightknit, loving family. As he continues to look through it, he realises it’s Gang Seo-hae’s birthday. The audience is then treated to the future; Gang Seo-hae wishes herself a happy birthday as she gets ready for the day. She’s at the amusement park that she has always wanted to go to. She pretends to ride the horse on the carousel. Gang Seo-hae is trying to make the most of her birthday in a post-dystopian world.
Nothing is simple in the future, and episode 8 proves that even things we take for granted, like antibiotics, is hard to get.
Gang Seo-hae returns to her father with the snacks, and she sees that his gunshot wound has gotten worse. She packs up to go to the hospital to get him antibiotics. She stands on a high building to see how much security there is near the hospital before navigating through a ventilator system — it seems that the nuclear fallout did not hit part of the city. Gang Seo-hae finds a medical room, but a nurse finds her, and they point a gun at her. She manages to take the gun off the woman and asks where the antibiotics are. Suddenly, an armed guard walks through and attacks them both.
Gang Seo-hae has to escape the hospital because the guards are on alert. She uses her excellent marksmanship, and then she smashes herself out of a window to escape. As she sprints through the woods, the guards chase after her, but she eventually jumps into a hideout and waits with bated breath. As she waits, she cries — the stress of this world getting to her. After a long sleep, Gang Seo-hae continues to head back by using a map and a compass. At one point, she looks over the city to see how desolate it looks. Behind her is a grave, so she examines it. She lifts a few rocks to see a pink diary (the same one she has in the present day). It’s addressed to her.
Gang Seo-hae rummages threw the grave and finds two skeletons — we have to assume this is Gang Seo-hae and Tae-sul. As she touches one of them, it flickers in and out of existence, which suggests the skeletons she’s touching are Tae-sul and Gang Seo-hae, who have time travelled. She sees memories of going into the past and meeting Tae-sul. Tears flow down her cheeks. Remember in the last episode when Gang Seo-hae rang her mother in the present day, and a single tear rolled down her mother’s cheek? It seems that if you talk to someone you know in a different time period, it gives them memories that they have not experienced yet.
The diary tells Gang Seo-hae to go to the past with the uploader and save Han Tae-sul — “if he lives, the war can be stopped. Save him from Sigma”. A photo then falls out of Gang Seo-hae and Tae-sul on their wedding day.
Sisyphus: The Myth episode 8 gives the audience a much-needed background into Sigma and Gang Seo-hae’s future. There are plenty of moving parts, and when they come together, it works every time.
- Sigma is around at key moments. Even at the moment, Tae-sul and Tae-san argued outside the conference.
- Hwang Hyun-seung is happy to see Mr Park arrested at the Control Bureau. They interrogate him and threaten to visit his wife unless he gives information. Mr Park threatens to find their family as well.
- Late in the night, Choi Jae-sun visits Tae-sul, and he’s annoyed that Gang Seo-hae is getting hurt because of him. He wants her to stop, but both men understand that Gang Seo-hae will not listen to them.
1 thought on “Sisyphus: The Myth episode 8 recap – learning about Sigma”
Thank you! Q: Isn’t it more than a bit mysterious and creepy that the diary was left by her from a future where she eventually dies? And nuclear war not averted?