You From Another Star: Episode 6
I just really love this show. There’s genuine funny at play, but even as you’re laughing, the show slips in all these doses of heart, many of which catch you unawares because you’re still laughing at that drama parody or cheeky pop-culture reference. Like a sneak-attack of pathos. This episode gives us the full picture on the tragedy in Min-joon’s past, explaining why he’s simultaneously so determined to protect Song-yi while keeping his distance from her. He isn’t, however, in denial about how he feels, which explains why I spent so much time squealing into my pillow.
(Ratings keep climbing; this one brought in a 24.6%.)
SONG OF THE DAY
Thomas Cook – “아무 것도 아닌 나” (I’m not anything) [ Download ]
RECAP: SIXTH RECORD
Stuck in traffic with Detective Park, Min-joon makes a break for it even though that makes him look even more suspicious. His flight into the streets is partly a necessity of logic—he can hardly do his vanishing act in front of the detective—but also driven by an emotional reaction, as the scenario makes him think back to his Joseon experience:
Following the death of Yi-hwa’s father, Min-joon struggles to chase after Yi-wha, still weak from the poison. She cries for him to leave her, because she’s the one being chased by authorities and she doesn’t want him further hurt because of her. But he persists, “Did I not tell you I would protect you? I don’t want you to be hurt. So let’s go together.”
Min-joon holds out his hand to Yi-hwa, who takes it. They resume running together.
The second the cop loses sight of Min-joon, he teleports himself, landing in the lobby of his apartment building. He literally drops out of thin air, which naturally draws the attention of the security guards on patrol. Their backs are turned so they don’t see the moment of re-entry, but they’re still mighty suspicious of his abrupt appearance. They stop him for questioning, to his chagrin.
At home, Song-yi prepares coffee for Jae-kyung, who’s doing his creepy prowly thing. Granted, even his neutral face tends to be creepy, but you know. I’m not worried for her life because as far as he knows, she merely has Yura’s incriminating USB drive, and he casually wanders into Song-yi’s closet to look for it. With only a second to look, he finds nothing.
To explain his visit, Jae-kyung feigns concern for Song-yi’s condition in the wake of Yura’s death, and Song-yi wonders the same of him. Uh-oh. He pretends not to know what she means, but she says that she knows about their relationship—she heard them arguing on the boat and thought they were going to announce a wedding. She was worried that oppa would be feeling devastated for fighting with Yura just before she died.
Jae-kyung checks that she hasn’t told anybody that, then asks if Song-yi’s insomnia is improving, telling her to take care of her health. Aaaaah, it’s the kiss of death!
Hwi-kyung drops by, and the sight of men’s shoes in the front hall has him bristling jealously: “Is it that jerk next door?!” He relaxes somewhat to see that it’s his brother.
Upon confirmation that Min-joon is a resident, the guards let him go with apologies. He catches a glimpse of Jae-kyung in the security cameras and hurries away; the minute he leaves, the guards notice that all of the motion-sensor-triggered lights have suddenly flickered on for a dark floor. It’s too fast to be anything but a ghost, or a glitch in the system. Orrrrrr another thing.
Min-joon jabs Song-yi’s doorbell repeatedly, worried for her safety. I love that he’s losing his cool. It’s Hwi-kyung who answers the door, and he’s not pleased to see Min-joon, who has no time for trifles. He shoves Hwi-kyung aside with a burst of superhuman force, letting himself in (and locking Hwi-kyung out, HA).
Song-yi’s surprised to see Min-joon there, but he’s fixated on the threat and asks whether she’s okay, and whether anybody else has been by. She describes Jae-kyung oppa, then moves to open the door for Hwi-kyung, who has been pounding on it the whole time. Min-joon does that angry-relieved thing of lashing out at Song-yi when he really means to protect her, asking harshly if she’s “the kind of woman” to just open the door to any man who comes knocking.
That ticks her off, and she agrees that she must’ve been wrong to let him in then. He clarifies that he means everyone but him, but she retorts, “Why exclude you? Leave! Now!”
She shoves him out the door, where he and Hwi-kyung resume their pissing contest. (Hwi-kyung: “Just looking at him I can tell. He isn’t all that.” Min-joon: “Psh, in all my long life that’s the first time I’ve heard anything like that.” Hwi-kyung: “Oh, I’d think you would’ve heard it before.”) Fed up with both boys, Song-yi asks them both to leave and slams the door on them.
Hwi-kyung offers to buy Min-joon’s apartment, which gets flatly denied. Then he warns Min-joon that Song-yi is his woman, to which Min-joon asks whether that decision was arrived at mutually (Hwi-kyung stammers that it’s in progress). Hwi-kyung says he and Song-yi are “very special” to each other, citing their long friendship: “I’m going to do everything together with her in the future. I’m going to take responsibility for her entire life, until I die.”
Min-joon’s mind flashes to his lecture series on mating, when jealousy is the topic of the day. He calls it a childish reaction, experienced from infanthood when Mom pays attention to another child, born of a fear of losing something. Thus adults who act on it are regressing to a childish state.
Hwi-kyung warns him against dropping by Song-yi’s home again, and Min-joon declares childishly that he only dropped by because she’d left a hair tie at his place. Pwahaha. And then when Hwi-kyung wonders if Song-yi was drunk again, Min-joon clarifies, “Don’t misunderstand. She was completely sober when she slept the night at my house.”
Back to the lecture, where a student asks whether he gets jealous when he’s dating someone. Min-joon states that jealousy is a base emotion, felt by people with low self-esteem or inferiority complexes: “I have never felt it.”
Song-yi tries to visit Yura’s funeral, but her van gets pelted with eggs from angry fans, preventing her from paying her respects. She goes to her agency next, where she finds her mother raising hell with CEO Ahn for being reluctant to renew Song-yi’s contract once it expires at the end of the month.
Before she can get dropped again, Song-yi speaks up first—the agency has done such a crappy job of managing this mess that she’ll have to reconsider the renewal. She offers to pay the penalty for the recent CF cancellation (instead of the agency, as per the contract), which makes CEO Ahn vastly relieved to be let off the hook.
Stating that she intends to take a hiatus, she tells Bum he’s no longer her manager. Aw, I do love that while CEO Ahn is about to do a jig for this neat ending to his troubles, Bum shoots him a disappointed glare, since they all know Song-yi’s just doing this to save face.
Se-mi and her mother walk in, and the latter wastes no time gloating about Se-mi’s recent rise to leading lady status. Se-mi says she doesn’t want to go along with the story change: “I don’t want it this way.” She can’t be the person who swoops in when her best friend gets kicked to the curb. “If I wait, another chance will come my way,” she says optimistically. “And if it doesn’t… I can’t do anything about that.”
That’s sweet of Se-mi, as befits a true best friend, though I wonder if this is a martyr ploy to prod Song-yi into doing what she does next, which is to tell Se-mi to take the part and not feel bad about it.
As she leaves, Song-yi asks Se-mi’s mother pointedly whether she’s okay wearing high heels given her ankle injury (which was Se-mi’s excuse the other night). Se-mi freezes, knowing she’s been caught lying.
After Song-yi leaves, Se-mi admits to her mother that she already agreed to take the role, and that she lied because she felt bad for Song-yi. And yet, more than anything this encounter has stirred Se-mi’s long-simmering indignation—Se-mi finally got her big break, and Song-yi wasn’t even happy for her. Mom fans the flames, saying that Song-yi only ever thought of her as a bridesmaid—she should take this chance and show her.
Song-yi comes home to find a birthday gift at her door from a fan. But inside the box is a funeral photo of Yura with blood smeared to resemble tears. Badly spooked, Song-yi drops the box and pounds on Min-joon’s door, but he’s not home. She fumbles with her phone to call him, then recalls that he doesn’t have one.
At the prosecutor’s office, Detective Park is still trying to make sense of how he lost Min-joon in the blink of an eye. Seok has done a background check and knows that he’s “no ordinary person,” starting with his “chaebol level of wealth.”
To explain that wealth, we cut to a fishing trip where Lawyer Jang wonders how Min-joon amassed so much money (and Gangnam real estate). Min-joon explains first buying land in 1753 from a famous Hanyang real estate agent. (Aw, it’s a cameo from his Moon Embraces the Sun best buddy/eunuch Jung Eun-pyo. I loved them together so much.) That land is now some of the priciest real estate in Seoul, though at the time it was cheap stuff
Min-joon asks Lawyer Jang to slowly dispose of his holdings. Lawyer Jang muses that his impending departure is only now starting to sink in for him, and Min-joon admits that he had envisioned being able to leave readily when the time came, but there’s a hitch: “I leave a person behind me. And also unsolved curiosity, lingering attachment, and sadness.” He adds, “Death is the end, it is disappearance. That’s what I believed. Might that not be true?”
Min-joon comes home to a Post-It note on his front door, on which Song-yi has instructed him to buy a cell phone: “In an emergency, I can’t call you.” He wonders, “The person I had believed to be gone forever—has she come back after these long years to appear before me?”
Jae-kyung drops by the vet’s office, where he volunteers weekly. Quick, somebody hide the puppies! True, he’d wanted to be a vet before taking up his chaebol duties, and he does seem to show care for the animals. Onnnnn the other hand, he pets a poor dog that’s beyond help, saying that its suffering will soon be over. Back to creepy serial killer. He gets An Idea upon mention of the dog’s anesthetic, propofol. And we know him, all his ideas are bad ones.
Hwi-kyung gets more dating advice from Song-yi’s mother, who prods him to do something special for Song-yi’s birthday. So Hwi-kyung puts in a personal day at the office, which his brown-nosing supervisor accepts readily.
Song-yi finds a Post-It on her front door, a terse message from Min-joon reminding her that her finals are today, and absence results in an F. She calls her brother Yoon-jae to mock-complain about his lack of birthday wishes, and he comments on her jobs being cancelled. So she says somebody insists on a meeting today—she means the exams, but he doesn’t have to know that.
Without a manager, Song-yi decides to chauffeur herself, enjoying the drive as she takes up two lanes on the road and leaves her purse dangling outside. (A parody of a Jung Hyung-don bit.) Keeping in mind that chun means thousand, she raps about her big sister named Man Song-yi (Ten Thousand Song-yi) and her little sister named Baek Song-yi (Hundred Song-yi). It’s hilarious.
Cars honk angrily, which she interprets as loving greetings from fans. Haha. When the honking continues, she harrumphs that somebody must be menacing the streets with their terrible driving. She drops by the gas station for a fill-up, and when the attendant asks her to sign the receipt, she hands over an autographed photo of herself. Last but not least, she pulls into campus and asks the ticket booth operator to valet her car.
She manages to park (a miracle), just as another car rear-ends her. She recognizes the driver as a reporter and hurries to cover her face, telling him it’s fine and he can go. Naturally he doesn’t, and then a news van pulls up and cameras surround the car, trapping her inside.
Min-joon checks his watch throughout the exam, disappointed at the no-show. But as he glances out the window, he sharpens his senses to hear the commotion outside Song-yi’s car, where the reporter is getting increasingly aggressive with her.
Min-joon shows up to confront the reporter, using precise legal terminology to cite all the reporters violations. Asked to identify himself, Min-joon declares himself Song-yi’s legal counsel and lists the hefty penalties the reporter may have to deal with if he keeps this up. That gets the news team to back off, and Min-joon informs the smartphone-wielding crowd that circulating videos without consent opens them up to civil lawsuit.
Then Min-joon assures Song-yi she’s safe to come out. “Hide only when you’ve done something wrong,” he tells her. “Don’t just hide anytime.”
Song-yi musters up her haughty actress shield again (calling Min-joon her manager, lol), but she takes his hand (to his shock) before leading him away. That’s a sight the reporters can’t pass up, but the VJs find that the cameras no longer work. Aha!
Song-yi’s already missed her exam, so Min-joon takes her to the museum (“the place in this school with the least number of people”). She asks for some lenience given her extenuating circumstances, but he says she would’ve failed even if she took the exam, ha. He hushes her when she starts complaining loudly, and she mutters that this is why she hates museums—you have to be quiet and they put her to sleep.
But then she catches sight of that crystal hairpin—once Yi-hwa’s—and it captures her attention. Min-joon clocks her strangely emotional reaction.
Se-mi drops by her brother’s room as he sleeps, and can’t resist looking over the case files on his desk. She sees the photo of Min-joon on the boat and furrows her brow in recognition, flashing back to an encounter in her own youth:
Teenaged Se-mi buys an album for Hwi-kyung’s Christmas present, and walks by in time to witness Song-yi running off crying and Hwi-kyung chasing her. From a distance, she watches as Song-yi runs into the path of that truck. One second later, Song-yi is safely cradled in a stranger’s arms. Half in shock, Se-mi raises the camera she’d been carrying around and takes a photo.
Now she digs around to find that photo, and compares it to the one from the boat. The faces are grainy, but the resemblance is undeniable.
Min-joon drives Song-yi to her dinner date, and she takes a call from Hwi-kyung. She wonders why he picked an amusement park and says he’d better not be planning an event there, which of course he is. Flowers, lights, signs, hearts—the whole shebang. Hwi-kyung nervously says of course not, then sweats bullets when she complains about the guy who once showered her with a thousand roses (song-yi is the counter for flowers, so chun song-yi means a thousand flowers).
Hwi-kyung swears he’s not doing anything of the sort, then runs around telling everyone to get rid of the roses and balloons.
Song-yi almost calls Bum with a question before remembering that he’s not her manager anymore, then asks Min-joon if he’s up for a part-time gig while school is on vacation: How about he be her manager? Or legal counsel, or bodyguard?
He remains silent and she sighs, “There’s not much I know how to do. Since the age of twelve, all I’ve done is stand in front of a camera and laugh when they tell me to laugh, or cry when they tell me to cry.” As an example, she says that she loves coffee but hasn’t had any recently without a manager to buy it for her. Not because she can’t go into the stores, but “because I don’t know how to order.”
Min-joon asks, “How much will you pay me?” Awwwwwwww.
Hwi-kyung bristles when Min-joon escorts Song-yi to their date, balking when she suggests including him in dinner. Min-joon just tells them not to stay out too late and goes off alone.
To explain why he called her here, Hwi-kyung points to a Ferris wheel, which she always rode on her birthdays as a child. She remembers happy rides with her father, and on one particular occasion Dad had asked whether she found her work schedule too tiring. She had said she liked working: “Now that I’m making money, Mom doesn’t get mad at you anymore.” Dad had told her not to worry about money, but she had assured him it was fun.
Song-yi confirms the story, but wonders how he knew it. Ah, so that was Mom’s tip. Hwi-kyung takes her hand and leads her along… and from the far end of the amusement park, Min-joon can see them walking hand in hand using his super-vision.
Now he thinks to the museum trip earlier, and Song-yi’s reaction to the hairpin. She’s teary-eyed without knowing why: “Why does seeing this make me feel sad?”
He narrates, “That is a story like a sad dream. A story that is now like a faraway star, like a dimly remembered legend.”
Joseon. Holding hands, Yi-hwa and Min-joon run through the fields, but the torchlights of their pursuers get closer and closer. They come to the edge of a cliff, and Yi-hwa gives him her hairpin, telling him that her grandmother had told her, “Farewells should be made in advance. Because if it is truly the end, you cannot make farewells.”
Yi-hwa reminds Min-joon of her confession on the day of the first snow. “Before I met you, I had no hope for the days I had yet to live. I felt only resignation and resentment. After meeting you, for the first time I felt happy for my future. For the first time, I wanted earnestly to live.”
Yi-hwa rises to her feet, then sinks down in a formal bow. “I was thankful, and more thankful. You must return to your home. I will not forget. I cannot forget. After death, in whatever world I come to, I will not forget you.”
The officers arrive and encircle them, weapons at the ready. Min-joon steps in front and musters his powers, sending some soldiers flying back with his mind, then drops to his knees. That only convinces the men that he’s an evil being, and the chief gives the order to fire.
Arrows fly at them, and Yi-hwa throws herself in front of Min-joon. He sharpens his mind to stop them, but he’s weakened. Two land in her back.
He narrates, “There is a moment I wish I could stop forever. The moment a person I loved met death.”
Yi-hwa falls, dead. He continues, “It’s a moment I don’t want to see, I don’t want to believe, where I can’t do a thing, where I am helpless.”
Horrified, Min-joon sobs with Yi-hwa in his arms. Aaaaah, these two actors are so good together—I’m so sad that we’ve come to the end of her tale.
So now, he looks up at the Ferris wheel, which has started moving. Inside, Song-yi thanks Hwi-kyung for bringing her here, a comfort given her recent troubles. Hwi-kyung says he’ll prepare himself to be hit for saying so, but he likes that she’s been in difficulty lately, “Because now there are things I can do for you.” He knows it’s wrong (and she agrees), but asks, “Can’t you think of this as love?”
He tells her that he’d played off all his confessions jokingly because he feared losing her friendship if he’d been earnest and still been rejected. “Can’t you think of these pathetic feelings as love?” He reminds her that she’d told him she doesn’t feel bad crying in front of him or showing her bad sides, because she’s so comfortable with him. “That, too—let’s think of that as our love. Just come to me. You, your family—I’ll take responsibility for them until I die. Do all the things you want to. I’ll make it so you can.”
Min-joon hears these words from afar and turns away to go. Hwi-kyung asks her to take her time replying, but Song-yi is ready to answer now. Song-yi says, “My answer is—”
And at that moment, everything freezes. Min-joon starts walking away, thinking, “There is a moment I wish I could stop forever. And even if I must do this to prevent it, there are words I don’t want to hear.”
Song-yi opens her door to find a sad Bum there with a letter. He sniffles, “Noona, be healthy,” then runs off crying.
Song-yi opens the letter, which is addressed to “The Next Manager.”
In it, he warns that Song-yi can’t drink more than three drinks, because she turns into a dog and bites you. (HA, this time it’s an Answer Me 1994 parody.)
He also cautions against her using social media, and lists all the genres Song-yi can’t do: Medical dramas, because she can’t memorize the terminology. Legal dramas, because she can’t memorize long passages. Sageuks, because she dislikes the Joseon era.
Song-yi notes, “He knows me well.” Then she wonders why she dislikes the Joseon era. “For some strange reason, I dislike it.”
Aww, he loves her! I love the echo of his reaction to Yi-hwa (the moment he wishes he could freeze) in his reaction to Song-yi, which somehow avoids the thing I usually dislike about these kinds of reincarnated-lives stories where you’re not quite sure which person he’s in love with. Perhaps it’s because Yi-hwa was so young, or heck, that he was young when he knew her (relatively speaking), but I see that story as more of the cautionary tale, the one you learn from. The parallels of Yi-hwa’s story and Song-yi’s aren’t Fate-driven—Min-joon is spurred by the first one to bring about a happier outcome in the second—and for that reason, this feels like an active romance. (Passivity and fatalism don’t really do it for me.)
I also really love that he’s arrived at love first, though clearly she’s heading there too. We could argue that he had a 400-year head start, but I definitely feel the connection between them as people in the here and now. Song-yi’s resemblance to Yi-hwa is what aroused his curiosity, but after that point Min-joon becomes responsible for his own choices, like all the times he has huffed that he doesn’t care and then does things for Song-yi anyway.
So while I’m sad to say goodbye to Yi-hwa (I suppose she could always come back in a flashback, but chronologically we’ve come to the end of her story), I appreciate that this opens the door to a new chapter in the story. Min-joon may have relived some similar beats with Song-yi that he experienced first with Yi-hwa, but this is where their paths diverge. I mean, they sure had better.
Because while the fateful reunion and the alien-who’s-afraid-to-love elements are strong and compelling, I’m eager to see what happens now, once the alien has admitted to himself what he feels. That’s, sadly for him, not where his conflict ends, because whether or not he loves her, his comet’s on his way, and is anything (or anybody) worth losing his first shot in 400 years to return home? He might get love now, but man, there’s a lifetime of loneliness after that if he keeps outliving everyone he cares for. And that’s something fresh in dramaland that I want—I need—this drama to explore and resolve for me. (Happily, of course! That goes without saying. But it’s still worth saying.)
- You From Another Star: Episode 5
- You From Another Star: Episode 4
- You From Another Star: Episode 3
- 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