Sisyphus: The Myth episode 16 recap – the ending/finale explained

By Daniel Hart
Published: April 8, 2021
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Netflix K-Drama series Sisyphus: The Myth episode 16 - the ending explained - finale


Episode 16 is an emotionally fuelled finale — it manages to keep the audience at bay all the way through to the ending. This has been a brilliant production, and the people behind the k-drama series should be proud.

This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series Sisyphus: The Myth episode 16 — the ending/finale explained — contains significant spoilers.

Read the recap of the penultimate chapter. 

We’ve made it, folks — this has been a ride. An emotional, sci-fi ride. This K-Drama series could have been choppy with the writing, but it sustained and remained in its own quality.

Episode 16 — the finale — opens up with future Mr Park visiting his house to deal with the present-day Mr Park — he can hear him present-self brutally hurting his wife. His assistant tries to stop him, but he explains that everyone is going to die soon. Suddenly, his assistant reveals herself to be his daughter. She had planned to run away with her mother, but she hasn’t turned up. Ji-eun asks Mr Park to trust her.

The present-day Mr Park is about to kill his wife, but then the younger Ji-eun runs out and distracts them both. The future Mr Park is in shock as he starts to flicker; he drops his gun and smiles — he apologies to his daughter for not recognising his own child; he believes everything has changed and wants to see her mother.

The opening scenes are emotional, and this is only the beginning of a rollercoaster for the fans.

Trust me, no matter what happens

Sisyphus: The Myth episode 16 returns to the church; Sigma has Gang Seo-hae, and Tae-sul surrounded. He believes he’s won again. Gang Seo-hae has visions of her been shot in her wedding dress and Sigma asking Tae-sul to make a choice — “the girl or the world?”. Gang Seo-hae tells Tae-sul not to finish the code for the Uploader. Tae-sul tells Gang Seo-hae that she needs to trust him, no matter what happens. These are strong words from Tae-sul — there’s certainty in his voice — it brings goosebumps.

The future is changing

In the first episode of Sisyphus: The Myth, we were made to believe that Tae-sul is a genius; he can fix anything, and he’s good at thinking of his feet. It’s strange how we forget how clever he is as the series progresses, and the finale reminds the audience of who we are dealing with.

Sigma asks Tae-sul to put the code in the Uploader, but Tae-sul asks him questions about his life up until this point. Suddenly, Tae-sul flickers, which surprises Sigma — Tae-sul tells him he’s going to win. Sigma’s phone rings, and there are mechanical noises from the Uploader downstairs — Tae-sul tells him the future is changing. Sigma then starts to flicker, and Tae-sul smiles. Sigma asks his men to shoot Gang Seo-hae, but they flicker and disappear. After a brief fight, Tae-sul is knocked out by Sigma and then the villain proceeds to choke Gang Seo-hae — however, she starts to flicker too. Suddenly, Sigma is shot by someone at the top of the Church. The villain asks Tae-sul how he did this — he talks about how he’s alone in the world. Sigma is shot again as he stands up. He’s dead.

Gang Seo-hae wants to know who shot Sigma. Tae-sul tells her that it’s not important “where” but “when”. Gang Seo-hae realises he’s on about the Uploader — Tae-sul tells her they need to use The Uploader and finish this.

The whole “where” and “when” quote from Tae-sul is the series’s defining moment.

The Uploader

And then Tae-sul’s real plans come to fruition, but there’s still a strange anxiety murmuring under the storyline — everything feels too simple.

Tae-sul and Gang Seo-hae head to the Uploader, and the genius gets to work. He tells her he had all this figured out when he locked her in the bunker. The pair bicker, lightening up the moment a little. Mr Park and his group join them, and he’s surprised Sigma is dead. Tae-sul finishes the coding, and the Uploader turns on. Gang Seo-hae and Tae-sul are injected as they prepare to use the machine. Mr Park tells them that he hopes he never sees them again.

The Uploader is geared up, and Gang Seo-hae and Tae-sul hold each other’s hands as it consumes them.

Crossing over

Sisyphus: The Myth episode 16 starts to replay events from a different perspective to bring an emotionally charged ending.

Gang Seo-hae and Tae-sul arrive at a park — it’s during the same time Gang Seo-hae is locked in the bunker. He tells her he locked her away so she wouldn’t get caught, and she starts punching his arm in a teasing way. The pair head to the police station to meet Gang Seo-hae’s father, Gang Dong-gi, to ask for a favour — they tell him to take care of Seo Gil-bok if he finds him. Before they leave him, Gang Seo-hae hugs her father.

Meeting Gang Dong-gi and asking for guns

And then we experience a scene that we’ve already seen — Tae-sul asks for a gun and a sniper off Mr Park. He whispers to him, “The future you asked me to tell you this. Your daughter is right next to you. But you’ve been wasting time without recognising her. So you can stop it now. It’s okay”. Afterwards, Choi Jae-sun picks Gang Seo-hae and Tae-sul up. Choi Jae-sun reveals he had a bulletproof vest on, and he was in on Tae-sul’s plan. He didn’t die; he fainted. Gang Seo-hae gives Choi Jae-sun a big hug. She then tells Tae-sul that he’s good at lying.

Time loop

And then the church scenes occur again, proving that Tae-sul has begun a loop of events.

The church scene is then replayed but from another perspective, with Tae-sul and Gang Seo-hae setting themselves up at the top of the church so they can shoot Sigma, while the present-day Tae-sul and Gang Seo-hae are in a precarious position with Sigma. Meanwhile, Gang Dong-gi finds Seo Gil-bok (Sigma) and takes care of him just like he asked. Present-day Tae-sul and Gang Seo-hae fight Sigma, and the other Gang Seo-hae snipes the villain.

Gang Seo-hae and Tae-sul head to Sigma, and he flickers from existence. Suddenly, Gang Seo-hae feels faint, so Tae-sul holds her up. She kisses Tae-sul on the cheek, and tears flow down her face. Gang Seo-hae thanks him for everything he did for her. The couple kiss as they cry. Gang Seo-hae begins to disappear, and Tae-sul asks her not to leave.

The twist — Edward Kim

However, in a formidable twist, Gang Seo-hae doesn’t disappear. Edward Kim walks in and shoots Gang Seo-hae. He tells Tae-sul to complete the Uploader, or she’ll die if he doesn’t make it. This is a brilliant moment because we always assumed this all weighted on Sigma — we completely forgot about Edward Kim.

Tae-sul gets emotional and asks why he’s doing this. Edward Kim tells Tae-sul that if he knows his birthday date, he’ll stop as they have known each other for twenty years. He’s tired of sorting out all his messes. He then reveals he liked Seo-jin first and that he came between them. Edward Kim asks the question, “Is it the girl or the world?”.

Tae-sul tells Gang Seo-hae that they should start again, and this time they can either kill Sigma, hide in the bunker together or go back to the beginning before they knew each other. Tae-sul starts putting in the code, and missiles start heading towards Korea. Gang Seo-hae tells Tae-sul that she’s fine and tells him to stop — she doesn’t want to repeat this over and over again. Tae-sul sees visions of everyone suffering because of the war and stops typing. He quickly grabs a gun and points it at Edward Kim.

Save both

The entire series has had a tagline — “save the world or save the girl?”. What we didn’t realise is that Tae-sul is stubborn, and he’ll find his own way. How about “save both”?

Tae-sul tells Gang Seo-hae that he knew all along this was going to happen. He tells her to find him even if there’s no future. Tae-sul turns the gun on him, and he kills himself. The missiles that are about to hit Korea disappear — Mr Park and his team smile at each other and disappear — Agnes and the orphans disappear. Gang Dong-gi looks around, and everything feels peaceful all of a sudden. The war never happened — Tae-sul saved the world.

Gang Seo-hae looks over a dead Tae-sul and admits her favourite person is him and vows to find him. As she holds his hand, she disappears.

She found him

But the emotions do not stop there…

The scene then flits back to the plane that Tae-sul was on at the beginning of the series. A passenger nearby is complaining about his food. Next to him on the plane is Gang Seo-hae, who is asking about the wine list. She found him. They are together. He drops his medication as he clearly doesn’t need them anymore, and he leans on Gang Seo-hae’s shoulder.

The ending

The series then shows Seo Gil-bok. He’s painting a child outside, and then he returns to his place. He sees one of his paintings and opens a notebook — written inside is “Sigma, Seo Gil-bok, Seo Won-ju, Asia Mart, Park Hyeong-do, Seon-jae, Seon-ho, Bingbing, Quantum & Time, Tae-sul, Han Tae-san is still alive, Uploader Bunker, Control Bureau, Hwang Hyun-seung, Jung Hyeong-gi”. He puts on his glasses and tries to imitate Tae-sul in the Forbes magazine and says to himself in the mirror, “Don’t look at me like that”. Audiences will have to make their own interpretations about what this means — did Sigma ever really go away?

Sisyphus: The Myth episode 16 is an emotionally fuelled finale — it manages to keep the audience at bay all the way through to the ending. This has been a brilliant production, and the people behind the k-drama series should be proud.

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