The Korean psychological drama series “Somebody,” combines genres of thriller and romance to create something that is far less convincing than it should have been. The plot follows Kim Sum, the developer of an AI chatbot used in an online dating app, as she finds much-wanted love and is able to finally feel such strong emotions after years of struggling with Asperger’s Syndrome, before things start to take a criminal turn. “Somebody” stretches way more than was required and is, at times, just a tedious watch. Perhaps followers of the K-drama style might find better things in “Somebody,” but otherwise, it is just an average watch driven mostly by an unnecessary goose chase.
‘Somebody’ Plot Summary: What Is This Series About?
A young girl named Kim Sum is extremely talented with software codes and algorithms, even while in school, and for this reason, she is hired by a man to help rig the lottery machines in his gaming arena. The young girl does so and receives a large sum of money in exchange, and she then continues to do such work, honing her coding skills whenever and however she can. She uses most of this money to prepare for the upcoming youth programming competition, where she puts up her exhibit, but hardly anyone takes any notice of it. When a woman finally arrives at the stall asking about it, Kim Sum uninterestedly explains that she has made an AI chatting bot, the defining characteristic of which is to keep a record of every text that the users type and then delete before sending and then make suggestions based on this record. When asked more about it, Kim explains that she has been able to color-code the emotions and personality traits of users based on how they interact with people in the chatroom. As the woman, who is a programmer herself, states how such a development is a remarkable thing in the software market, Kim says that she has decided to call this bot ‘Somebody.’
A few years pass, and Kim and the woman, Samantha, are now seen working together at the same company. Samantha is the CEO of a matrimonial company called Spectrum, and as part of it, she has launched a new dating app named ‘Somebody,’ based on Kim’s bot of the same name. It was indeed Samantha who had met Kim in the programming competition, and she had taken the younger girl under her wing ever since then, making her the CTO of Spectrum. However, despite being in a good position financially and also doing the work she has always wanted to do, Kim Sum is an extremely sad individual heavily affected by the completely solitary life she leads. She has also had Asperger’s syndrome from a very young age, having trouble, particularly expressing even basic emotions in situations. Even now, her closest friend is the first version of the ‘somebody’ chatbot she made, and Kim regularly chats with it in her garage every evening. Around the same time, the Korean police administration comes knocking on Spectrum’s doors looking for information regarding the recent murder of two individuals. Both of these people had been extensive users of the ‘Somebody’ app and had also met each other through this platform before killing themselves, and the police were now asking for their chat records. But with the release of such information, the reputation of Spectrum would be tarnished, and it is also against their rules to disclose any personal information with regards to their app. Although Samantha tries to brush away from this new problem, Kim Sum decides to investigate it on her own.
Who Is The Killer Using The ‘Somebody’ App For Murder? How Does Kim Sum React To Her Findings?
The police suspected that the two individuals had not murdered each other, but that there was a third person involved in the case; someone they might have met on the ‘Somebody’ app. Making use of the information she can find from the Spectrum server administrator, Kim zeroes in on a few ‘Somebody’ accounts that might have been used by the potential killer. She sends out likes to all of them, and while a few like back instantly and she starts having personal chats with them, a peculiar incident makes her reach the real killer. At that very moment, a stray cat is hit by a car on the road in front of Kim’s house, and she rushes out, trying to help the animal. But all calls made to the emergency service are ignored, and she then decides to relieve it of its pain. She shares this with the men she is chatting with, and one of them encourages her to kill the cat. This incident not only identifies who the murderer is, a man named Seong Yun-O, but it also marks the beginning of a bond between the two individuals. Seong agrees to meet the woman and soon arrives at her apartment before driving her to his office. An architectural designer by profession, Seong gets to know Kim and seems intrigued by the woman. This is perhaps why he does not think of killing her, unlike most of the other women he meets using the ‘Somebody’ app, and he gives Kim a blade that she keeps with herself dearly. Both of them come to the realization that they are different from everyone else in the world and that only the two of them are able to understand each other. We get to know more about Kim’s childhood days when her mother would patiently teach her about emotions and expressions until the girl started to scare her with her behavior. Unable to react appropriately to situations or even to understand the brevity of her actions, young Kim would try to strangle her mother only to see if her face would turn purple or not. Perhaps Seong also had a similar childhood, with nobody to spend time with, and that made him a terribly lonely person too. From here on, the two characters begin a profound and hard-to-believe romantic relationship that keeps growing with time.
Kim seems more invested in this relationship towards the beginning, as Seong does not reply to her message for days, instead going around murdering more women and torturing others. The man is undoubtedly a psychopath who enjoys killing. The possible beginning of this obsession of his is also shown through a flashback. Around a year before the events of the show, Seong had first heard of the ‘Somebody’ dating app from other men who worked out at his same gym. After signing up and creating a profile, the man was suggested numerous profiles of women to connect with, and he messaged one of them, who happened to be the nearest to him. The woman asked him to reach a hotel room, and upon doing so, Seong was told that she wanted to invite a third man to sleep with her. But before this third man arrived, Seong and the woman indulged in lovemaking, during which she told him to choke her. Perhaps experiencing such pleasure for the first time, the well-built Seong went overboard and accidentally murdered the woman. The third man also arrived shortly after, and Seong had to kill him, too, making it seem like the two victims had murdered each other; this was indeed the same case that the police were investigating and wanted Spectrum’s help with. But ever since these first murders, Seong had become addicted to the thrill of killing and now connected with women to meet them and take their lives. He would also then deactivate their ‘Somebody’ accounts, make a new account from their phones and name it with the number that this new victim was in his list of victims.
It seems like Kim’s reason to fall for Seong Yun-O is that he is one of the very few men who have actually come close to her in her entire life, having conversations with her and then sexually charged moments too. But for Seong, his reason to love Kim is starkly different. He believes that the woman is a murderer, just like him, who enjoys taking the lives of others without any reason, exactly like he does. Almost like a test of this murderous intent, Seong sends Kim on a horrific mission in which he messages her on ‘Somebody’ from a different ID, pretending to be someone else, and asks to meet her at an office building after dark. He then also messages four or five other men, telling them that a woman wanted to have an experience of rape-roleplay, technically setting these vile men loose to force themselves onto Kim. While the woman initially manages to escape the clutches of one of the men, she is overpowered by another, later on, and in order to defend herself, Kim does not hesitate to kill this man. Even though she does so in self-defense, to Seong, this is probably hard proof that she is worthy of his love. Later on in the series, Kim finds out that it was indeed her new lover who had invited her to the place through the fake ID, but somehow, she does not react in the manner that anyone would be expected to. Perhaps this, too, is part of her stoic personality, troubled by her Asperger’s Syndrome, and Kim does not retaliate against the murderous and evil nature of her lover, at least for the time being.
Who Are Mok-Won And Young Gi-Eun? How Were They Attacked By Seong Yun-O Too?
Although Kim Sum is shown to have a hard time communicating with most people and therefore has no close relations, she has two estranged best friends, Young Gi-Eun and Mok-Won. How they met and became friends is left unexplained in the series. Young Gi-Eun, who worked in the police force, used to be very close with Kim, often visiting her house, but had recently kept no contact with her at all. It is revealed that Young had a terrible accident while on duty, following which she lost support for her spine and legs and had to use a wheelchair; she had also dropped any contact with Kim since then. Kim Sum had been saddened by this development, and she terribly missed her best friend, as she had confessed to her ‘Somebody’ bot but had also not reached out to Young to provide support in her toughest time. The two close friends had a misunderstanding over this and grew apart. The third friend, Mok-Won, is actually a friend of Young Gi-Eun, and that is how she meets with Kim Sum. Being a shaman by profession, Mok-Won is expected to lead a life of sacrifice and celibacy, but quite contrarily to that, she is open about her homosexuality and often goes out to bars and pubs to have romantic encounters.
These two friends become part of the Seong Yun-O plot, too, after a particular incident with Young Gi-Eun. The woman was also trying out the ‘Somebody’ dating app at this time, hoping to find someone who would accept her with her new physical disabilities, and had connected with someone who claimed to use a wheelchair too. The two fix a meeting spot, and Young drives there, only to see that this man is actually not disabled but had lied about it to get her attention; this man is indeed the serial killer Seong Yun-O. Although taken aback by this finding, Young agreed to stay on for their date, and after the two spent intimate hours together, Seong abandoned her in an isolated place away from the city. He had also thrown away her wheelchair, rendering Young helpless, and the only reason he had not murdered the woman was probably that he believed her to be too weak for him to even kill. He probably thought that the woman would just give up and wait for her own death or kill herself, but he had no idea about Young’s determination. She had crawled out of the place and managed to return to the city, where Mok-Won cared for her and nursed her back to health. For the following weeks, the two friends started to look for ways to find out who this man was and to punish him accordingly. In order to get more information about him through his ‘Somebody’ app, they meet up with Kim, and the three gradually become friends again. Over time, the two suspects that the attacker of Young and the new boyfriend of Kim is the same man, and a lot of effort and duration of “Somebody” is spent trying to investigate this suspicion. Young tracks Seong down and has another run-in, too, in which he once again leaves her almost dying inside a soon-to-be-demolished market complex, and this time it is Mok-Won who rescues her in time. The two friends ask for Kim’s help repeatedly in trying to find this attacker, but Kim refuses to believe that this attacker is Yun-O, and she keeps protecting her boyfriend from suspicion. At one point towards the end, she even lies to her friends after probably finding out that her boyfriend is indeed the one who humiliated Young. It is perhaps now that her blind love starts to fade, and the more natural reaction starts to kick in. Young Gi-Eun also suspects impending danger, and after having tracked down her attacker to be Seong Yun-O indeed, she informs her police friends about a meeting between the man and Kim. She is, after all, scared for her dear friend’s life.
‘Somebody’ Ending Explained: What Happens To Kim And Seong At The End?
It is revealed that sometime before the meeting was decided between Kim and Seong, the man had come to her house and confessed to his crimes and murders. Despite doing so, he had wanted her to carry on their usual relationship and had even confessed his true love for her. Although Kim did not react to this at that very instant, this was probably the point that turned her love into a realization that was much needed even long before. She understood that this love of hers would not get anywhere comfortable or constructive, and if she did not take action into her own hands, it might continue to be such a destructive force. On the day of their meeting, she guesses that Young Gi-Eun and the rest of the police force will try to follow her in order to reach Seong Yun-O, and she comes up with a clever plan to counter this. Leaving her phone inside an empty taxi, she goes alone to the meeting spot, which is a new house being designed by Seong for the two of them to live in. As Seong sits and waits here, he receives a video call from his lover, which actually turns out to be pre-recorded edited footage, while Kim sneaks up to the man. At the very same point, when the man repeatedly confesses his love for Kim, she runs a sharp wire through his eyes and temple, fatally injuring him, and leaves him dying in a pool of his own blood. Mok-Won, who had guessed something like this was about to happen, either through common sense or through her supernatural shamanistic powers, goes to the place after finding the address in some papers and gives Kim a ride back to the city. By the time Young and the police track Kim down, she is back in her Spectrum office, playing a video game with her colleagues, and probably for the first time in such a social situation, Kim Sum laughs out loud when she wins the game.
This experience of love, and then the realization that this love was more dangerous than pleasant, had perhaps brought about a change in Kim, which she had yearned for a long time. By the end, she accepts the fact that she, too, might have had a role to play in letting Seong roam free for this long and therefore wanted to right her own wrongs. It can also be speculated that the reason why Kim brought an end to her lover herself was that she wanted to keep their romantic relationship private to themselves. Much like when she did not want to share the moments of their first love, Kim Sum also did not want to share the moment of the end with anyone else. This would definitely be an extremely romantic perspective of the matter, but in my opinion, “Somebody” is mostly about supremely stretched, unconvincing romanticism.
“Somebody” is a 2022 Drama Thriller series streaming on Netflix.