You From Another Star: Episode 4
How adorable. You From Another Star is really hitting all the right notes for me, from its romantic chemistry to its fizzy comedy to its light genre touches. The pacing continues to be quick and efficient, with just enough relationship build-up to tease, yet leave me wanting more.
It’s no surprise that the drama broke the 20% ratings barrier in a mere four episodes, which is no easy feat these days, and especially for a rom-com (for whatever reason, dramaland’s been rather dry on solid rom-coms in recent years, yielding its big hitters to the melodramas). Episode 4 brought in a 20.1%. (Miss Korea was at 7.7%, and Pretty Man at 4.3%.)
SONG OF THE DAY
Lyn – “My Destiny” from the drama’s OST. [ Download ]
RECAP: FOURTH RECORD
Min-joon realizes that Song-yi went on that boat even though he stole her high heels hoping to keep her grounded (…snerk), but his dread over a possible accident wars with his policy not to interfere with human lives. It’s Lawyer Jang who exclaims that he should go after her, but Min-joon explains that in his many years on Earth, he has been witness to a number of terrible things.
We flash back to the Joseon storyline in which Yi-hwa arrives with him at her parental home. She is greeted with disbelief and joy, news of her death having preceded her arrival. Yi-hwa’s mother cries in relief as she hears of her daughter’s attempted murder… but there’s a suspicious stricken look on her father’s face. Ack, was he in on the plot to kill his own daughter?
Yi-hwa introduces Min-joon as her savior, and her father offers him a grand feast in gratitude. Min-joon digs in, enjoying the tasty Earth food.
Yet later that night, trembling hands sneak up on Yi-hwa to choke her in her sleep. Yi-hwa awakens with a gasp as her mother strangles the life out of her, saying that she has sullied her body and her family’s honor, and therefore it is better to die a clean death. Poor thing is either too naive or too trusting, because it hadn’t occurred to her that arriving in the company of an unknown man would be a shameful thing.
Yi-hwa’s father keeps watch outside, but the moment he steps away, Yi-hwa’s mother lets up and tells her to run away. She shoves money into her hand and begs her to live in hiding. Belatedly Yi-hwa realizes that Min-joon is also in danger; we see that he has been tied up while his poisoned food knocked him out. (He’s sick, but not dead the way a human would be.) As he lies there in pain, he looks out the window and sees three UFOs flying off into the night, leaving him stranded here.
While Min-joon has learned to detach himself from human interactions as a result, Lawyer Jang reminds him that people still live on knowing they will eventually die, and love passionately as though there’s no tomorrow. “That kind of foolishness is what humans do,” he chuckles. “Even so, even though the future is important, isn’t the present moment also important? If something were to happen to her, are you confident it will not upset you?”
Perhaps he convinces himself he doesn’t care, because Min-joon heads home to watch TV while the cruise ship sets off for its wedding. As luck would have it, a feature on Song-yi plays on TV, showing a previous episode’s epilogue asking about her first love. She recounts being saved by a warm, mysterious man who still lingers in her memory.
Min-joon shuts off the TV and heads out… and we fast-forward to 60 hours later.
Biking by the river, Min-joon stops to watch a large-scale search party coming to a close as a corpse is pulled out of the water. The body is covered, but the feet wear a pair of glittery high heels.
Inside the police station, lead cop Detective Park is ready to put a swift end to the investigation, deeming it a suicide. The top star was on depression meds and recently tweeted about how living was difficult, and on the day of the accident she was seen drunk. He asks the prosecutor in charge to help wrap things up, but Prosecutor Yoo is less willing to gloss things over without a full investigation.
I’m wondering if the show will trick us with a victim twist, but it’s definitely Song-yi they are investigating. Prosecutor Yoo pores over the CCTV footage of the wedding cruise, and now we jump back to the day of the event. Song-yi sits with Hwi-kyung and Se-mi, the former joking about marrying Song-yi in a quiet ceremony and the latter looking crushed to hear it. Song-yi sets Hwi-kyung straight by saying she’s not joking about not being his bride.
Scary hyung Jae-kyung drops by to say hi, and Song-yi asks whether he’s dating anybody, since Yura had bragged about marrying into the chaebol family. Hwi-kyung swears up and down that it’s not him, and hyung deflects by saying that he only knows her as their brand model, nothing more.
Song-yi drops by to greet the bride, and then Yura joins them and the catfight continues. Yura hints that she’ll be making a wedding announcement of her own later tonight, Song-yi calls it rude to take over someone else’s wedding, and then they both realize they’re wearing the same shoes. Ha. Also aha. The budding fight is interrupted by the photographer calling for a photo, and the rivals start striking elaborate poses in another bout of one-upsmanship. It’s pretty hilarious.
Yura ends up with the bridal bouquet and sends knowing looks at Jae-kyung, who studiously ignores catching her eye. Afterward, Song-yi finds Yura’s clutch in the bathroom and puts it in her purse to return later.
Se-mi approaches a movie director and compliments his upcoming project, wanting to network a role for herself. But he’s annoyed to hear she got her hands on the screenplay (she’s not important enough) and dismisses the possibility—until a gleam enters his eye and he invites Se-mi for drinks sometime. Ugh. So much ugh.
Se-mi realizes she’s been relegated to the casting couch, just as Hwi-kyung comes up and says pointedly that the movie might not even get made—after all, it’ll need investors first.
He puts a protective arm around Se-mi and recalls that S&C Group is investing in the movie, adding that he didn’t find the script all that interesting and was just about to advise his hyung to pass on it. Aw, he’s a sweetie, even if he’s totally oblivious to Se-mi’s feelings for him. Hwi-kyung treats her like a kid sister and says that all men are wolves (“Except me!”) and tells her to make sure to get his approval when she finds a boyfriend. She grumbles, “Who are you to do that?” Hwi-kyung grins, “I’m the future husband to your BFF.”
They see Song-yi off on the other end of the ship, swaying with a martini in hand, just as the whole ship rocks with a wave. When Se-mi looks up, Song-yi is gone.
Thus the ship pulls into the dock early, its guests leaving while the search is conducted for its missing guests. Se-mi tells manager Bum that Song-yi has disappeared… and so has Yura.
Hwi-kyung scours the ship for sign of Song-yi, checking room after room and breathing a huge sigh of relief when he finds Song-yi sleeping in a bedroom. He leads her down the hallway while she staggers drunkenly, and the detectives watching the footage note that Song-yi was the last one off the boat. And the last anyone saw of Yura was fighting in the bathroom with Song-yi. Ah, so Song-yi isn’t the victim in this case, but the suspect.
In class, Min-joon’s lecture of the day is about the power of malicious gossip: It begins wherever people congregate and has the ability to do great harm, possibly even killing a person. Sure enough, already the internet is abuzz with accusations of Song-yi offing her rival, spurred by the release of video footage from their beauty salon run-in. It certainly looks bad for Song-yi, and fuels the narrative that Song-yi harassed Yura until she took her own life.
Song-yi’s brother Jae-yoon watches the media coverage, furious on his sister’s behalf. Also on her side is her sometimes-friend Bok-ja, who barks to her manhwa store customers that Song-yi’s rude, but no killer.
It’s a PR nightmare for Song-yi, who’s home is staked out by rabid reporters. Song-yi, hilariously, has slept through the whole mounting crisis and has to be told by Bum that Yura died. Over the phone, he orders her to meet him in the parking lot, then mid-sentence orders her back into her apartment because reporters have infiltrated the building and are in the elevator up to her floor.
Song-yi panics at her door, not remembering her latest PIN code, and just as the elevator dings to open, Min-joon opens his front door. Song-yi flings herself into his apartment just moments before the pack of vultures arrives. Certain that Song-yi is home, the reporters figure they’ll wait her out.
Inside the door, Song-yi pleads for Min-joon’s help (then presses her luck by asking for some ramyun when her stomach growls). She gives him the full puppy dog eyes and everything, which work not at all on him, and he pushes past her to step out into the hallway.
Immediately he’s bombarded with reporter questions, but he ignores them with his trademark stone face and heads out. Meanwhile, Song-yi looks for a phone and finds none, wondering why Min-joon has only a pager and neither landline nor cell: “Is he living alone in this world?”
Se-mi’s mother shares the happy news she received from a fortuneteller, which saw a “big event” in Song-yi’s future, followed by a big blank future. Meanwhile, Se-mi’s future unfolds at that point into brightness and success. Se-mi is less than thrilled at her mother’s display of schadenfreude, saying that while Song-yi gets on her nerves at times, she is her friend.
Mom, however, asks how long Se-mi can take being a sidekick in her own life. You never know how life will change, she advises, saying that it’s time Se-mi made took her life into her hands and made both Hwi-kyung and the spotlight her own.
Song-yi’s mother is now eager to renew Song-yi’s contract with her agency, which she’d previously been dangling over their heads as leverage. But now that CFs and drama offers are starting to be rescinded, CEO Ahn is the one hedging, not wanting to take on the liability.
Song-yi grumbles about her hunger pangs as Min-joon arrives home, tossing a bag at her silently. Aw, he bought snacks! She invites him to eat ramyun with her, which he refuses, then asks him to at least sit with her so she doesn’t have to eat alone. Which he also refuses.
Min-joon tries to get some sleep, but his ears pick up the sound of Song-yi discovering his secret library while hunting for the bathroom. She takes in the grandiose sight and the collection of centuries-old artwork and artifacts, then pulls a journal from his shelf at random to rifle through.
Out of nowhere Min-joon appears to glower at her nosiness, startling her into dropping the book. She’s naturally curious as to this room and his collection, but he just yanks her out of the library and orders her to get out.
Song-yi appeals to his sense of empathy… which is pretty tiny, since he doesn’t care that she’ll be thrown to the tabloid wolves. So she changes tack to remind him that a teacher has an obligation to look after his pupil… which doesn’t work since he has never considered her his student.
Annoyed, she cuts down to banmal and throws a “ya” at him, which is extra-funny for his offended reaction. He’s not just older than her, he’s also a grumpy old person, so he fights to contain his ire at her rudeness for talking down to him, assuming she’s the noona.
Then she gets smart and says that if she dies in this gossip war, she’s taking him with her—because if he kicks her out, he’ll be outed as her supposed secret boyfriend, and goodbye anonymity, peace, and private life. Lol, she really should’ve led with that.
Exasperated but outmaneuvered, Min-joon lays down the rules: She is to touch nothing, ask nothing, and stay at least a meter away at all times. Song-yi huffs that that’s her line, then muses, “That’s odd. It’s impossible for a man to not like me.” Her natural thought progression lands on: “Does he play for the other team?”
To nobody’s surprise, I’m sure, it’s Jae-kyung behind Yura’s death, continuing his murder spree. Is he going for one per episode, or can we hope that his bloodlust abates sometime soon? Surely at some point people will start noticing that everyone around him is dying.
In any case, his assistant informs him that he’s done away with Yura’s laptop and all traces of their relationship that were on it. However, it looks as though she backed up her files onto a flash drive, and was carrying it in her clutch on the night she died. Ah, that’s the purse Song-yi took, and now it’s Jae-kyung’s priority to find it and do away with it.
Hwi-kyung goes to his big bro for help on the Song-yi gossip, trying to find a way to clear her name. He argues that Yura didn’t have to commit suicide (which would be Song-yi’s fault), but that she could have had an accident or even been pushed. Jae-kyung just tells him that the investigation will surely yield the truth and not to worry.
But Hwi-kyung isn’t the sit-tight-and-wait type of guy, which I have to respect even if he does lack the smarts to accomplish anything helpful. He arrives in Song-yi’s hallway to find it stuffed full of squatters, who assume he’s just another one of them. He has no luck getting to Song-yi, so when the reporters invite Hwi-kyung to join them, he does.
Song-yi makes herself at home in Min-joon’s apartment, making a mess in no time as she lounges around. Min-joon asks about the rumors of her involvement in Yura’s death, and she says that Yura would never kill herself over Song-yi. Song-yi starts tearing up as she recalls that Yura had been bragging that night: “She was only thirty—how did things come to this? I didn’t do anything wrong, but why do I feel so guilty and sorry?”
Min-joon asks about the last time she’d seen Yura, and Song-yi thinks back to their bathroom encounter, which we see in flashback:
Song-yi overhears Yura having an argument and peers through a crack in the doorway as Yura tells Jae-kyung that she wants to go public. She makes a vaguely threatening comment about making an announcement soon, in front of all his friends. Instead of getting angry, Jae-kyung asks how Yura’s depression is these days and says gently, “You know I care about you, right? Take care of your health.” Soooo basically, if he asks about your health, run far, and run fast.
Yura enters the bathroom and catches Song-yi overhearing, though she’s not too upset since she’s going to go public with her news soon. Song-yi broaches the topic gingerly over whether Yura has to have Jae-kyung, suggesting that she could get any other man she wanted. That’s actually kind of nice of her, though given their history I suppose anything short of throwing insults (or fists) would probably fall under the nice category.
Yura understands that Song-yi means that her man doesn’t seem all that into her, but still gloats that she has a secret reason that’ll ensure her marriage to him. Not that she’d share that with Song-yi, of course.
Then Yura says offhandedly that she’ll retire once she marries, so Song-yi can have all the roles then. Song-yi, of course, scoffs that she’s doing quite well right now, thanks. Aw, I like this. They’re hardly friendly, but this kind of grudging respect (even if it comes in the form of backhanded compliments) makes me sad that Yura won’t be sticking around to become a solid frenemy.
The investigators dig through more boat footage and finally come across something strange—an unfamiliar face appears in the crowd, and as far as they can tell the man was neither guest nor employee. It’s Min-joon, here after all.
Back in Min-joon’s apartment, Song-yi recalls something strange happening to her that night—something she had assumed was a dream, but that struck her as so vivid that she could have sworn it really happened. She remembers being drunk that night and unable to find Yura to return her purse, after which she fell asleep. And y’know, Min-joon appeared in her dream. At that, Min-joon tenses, his eyes darting sideways uneasily.
Still examining the security tapes, the investigators sit up in alarm to see the stranger on the boat walking amidst the crowd, and then disappearing into nothingness. What is he, some kind of ghost?
A second later, they realize that at the very same moment Min-joon disappeared from the camera footage, so did Song-yi.
Song-yi asks if he was there that day, and he deflects by saying there’s no reason that he would have been. She agrees, but still can’t shake the feeling that she really did see him. What did he do that night?
We see from Min-joon’s perspective as he walks along the deck, and with a glare at the security cameras, they all cut to black. He spots Song-yi swaying on the deck, just as the boat hits a big wave that sends everyone reeling. Song-yi bumps hard against the railing, poised to fall over it—and time freezes.
Min-joon navigates through the frozen crowd to save Song-yi, then carries her to an empty bed. His gaze lingers over her face as he sets her down, taking his time letting go of her…
Then suddenly Song-yi slides her arms around his neck, pulls him down to her, and kisses him.
Min-joon interviews, “Kissing? It isn’t that I haven’t had the chance, but I’ve never done it.”
We see Joseon Min-joon with a gisaeng (Sohn Eun-seo) who offers him the gift of a painting, which now hangs in his library. She asks him to accept it as proof of her feelings, then boldly leans up to give him a kiss.
At the last moment, Min-joon whirls her around so that he’s the one leaning over her to offer the kiss, though he first has some important facts to disclose about his origins. He points up to the sky and explains, “I came from that star. Will you still accept me? Probably not, as we are people from different planets.”
Instead, his confession sends the gisaeng to tears—she accuses him of concocting a terrible story just to reject her, and runs off crying. With a sigh, Min-joon looks up at the stars, alone again.
Dude, that’s how you reveal your alien nature? Of course she ran off crying, HA. Aside from being a funny tag to go out on, I like this epilogue for showing us a younger Min-joon at least trying to have a relationship. The failure was played purely in joke terms, but there’s a sad ring of truth to the way he just stars up at the stars at the end, because even when he wasn’t trying to cut himself off, he was still alone.
But more importantly: Kisses don’t kill! Huzzah. Fine, I didn’t really think the drama was going to withhold smoochies from us so cruelly by, say, making saliva poisonous or whatnot, but I have to say I wasn’t entirely assured until we saw them kissing safe and sound. (And while we can joke about the closed-mouthed kissing of dramaland keeping kisses saliva-free, I think seeing a kiss rather rules that theory out.) I still find that detail about mixing saliva and blood to be quite intriguing, and will be waiting patiently for the show to explain that. Okay, maybe impatiently.
Okay, so the death count is getting amusingly high, to the point where it might start feeling a little odd to have so much comedy surrounding murder after murder, so I do hope that we’re at the end of the killing spree for now. (Or fine, I would laugh my pants off if they went whole hog and just killed somebody every episode, so I’ll give you that.) But sardonic black comedy turns aside, I think we now have plenty of assurance that big bro is sufficiently evil, so we get the point!
My favorite moments are seeing Min-joon insist that he’s fine not caring, and then contradicting himself right away in his actions. Like how he threatens to throw her out and then goes to buy her snacks. This drama tends to play with chronology in showing us one thing from her perspective, letting us think something happened one way, and then revealing the full scenario from his side. It’s not a tactic that always works, but with this show I think it enhances the romantic development, because the moment lands extra-hard when we realize that not only did Min-joon say or think something, he acted on it. Or the little tiny moment we squee about turns out to be a lot juicier, letting us revel in the moment for just that extra beat. I love it.
- You From Another Star: Episode 4
- You From Another Star: Episode 2
- You From Another Star: Episode 1
- Superpower meets superstar in You From Another Star
- Sparks, showers, and near-kisses in You From Another Star
- Jeon Ji-hyun as Hallyu goddess in You From Another Star
- Kim Soo-hyun suits up to play alien professor man