“Circus” shifts focus to the ongoing character arcs and worldbuilding as we approach the show’s end.
This recap of Tomorrow season 1, episode 15, “Circus”, contains spoilers.
This week’s episode of Tomorrow begins by recalling last week’s rather excellent one which delved into Ryeon’s backstory with Jung-gil and her suicide after his rampage over her mistreatment. In the present day, this changes the way Jun-woong considers her, especially in light of her choice of career, which he recognizes is a way for her to prevent people from suffering the same tragic fate she did.
Tomorrow season 1, episode 15 recap
Jung-gil, meanwhile, doesn’t share these memories; all of his regarding Ryeon have been locked and sealed away, but his wounds were so deep that they remain with him, as well they might.
Jung-gil struggles with the knowledge Ryeon killed herself, especially in relation to his own past. The Director is evasive when he questions her about his memories, and he’s reminded of the Reaper’s Vow not to allow him to see his own history. He doesn’t handle this well, either, and his frustration begins to get the best of him.
Anyway, the case of the week involves Cho-hui, someone close to Ryeon, and by all accounts a well-meaning woman who has nonetheless been tormented to the verge of suicide. There’s important thematic weight here around idol culture – which we’ve discussed on these very pages before – and online bullying and harassment; the cost of fame is a steep one. This also ends up intermingling with the relationship between Ryeon and Jung-gil, pushing Ryeon into breaking a ton of Reaper rules out of emotion.
It’s here, I think, that Tomorrow is really starting to shift in focus, becoming more about its ongoing character arcs and larger worldbuilding ideas than it is its individual cases. The show has been spotty in this area in the past, but I think the stuff about the locked memories, the Reaper Vows, and the rules governing Reaper interference makes for a neat way to raise the stakes and develop some internal logical consistency. It’s nice to see potential repercussions for the Reapers breaking rules for once, and as we approach the show’s end, it’s looking likely that the Reapers themselves will be the ones facing potential personal and professional ruin.