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Average user rating 4.7
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You From Another Star: Episode 16

This episode is chock full of adorable, which is on one hand hugely entertaining, but on the other hand also unsettling because giving a couple happy moments with so many episodes left to go means that pain can’t be far behind. Time is ticking in earnest now, and has a way of putting a damper on the sweetness of the here and now—because how can you fully enjoy something when you know it won’t, can’t last?

SONG OF THE DAY

Sung Shi-kyung – “너의 모든 순간” (All of your moments) from the drama’s OST.
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RECAP: SIXTEENTH RECORD

THE KISS. Oh man, that flying alien kiss.

It’s Song-yi who breaks the embrace, pushing Min-joon back with disdain, thinking he’s playing with her feelings yet again. “There’s really nothing you wouldn’t do,” she says with narrowed eyes before turning to leave.

Min-joon bolts after her to stop her, and she asks, “Why, do you like me?” It looks like he’s struggling to find a way to respond but he doesn’t say anything, and she interprets that as a denial.

Song-yi turns her back, then stops to ask one last question: “Is that how they act on your planet?” On this planet, men kiss women when they like them, and his behavior is unacceptable. She gets no response, and upon turning around she finds Min-joon collapsed on the ground, clutching his heart. Oh no, is his saliva tolerance getting worse or something?

Cut to: Song-yi struggling to pull Min-joon along, swearing and grunting as she gets him to the car. He’s barely conscious by the time she takes the driver’s wheel, and slumps over to rest against the crook of her neck.

Song-yi weaves dangerously through traffic, honking obnoxiously and yelling at all the cars in her way to mooooove. I love her. She’s so concerned about his welfare—he’s broken out into a sweat by this point and looks halfway dead—that she nearly rear-ends a car because she’s looking so intently at Min-joon.

They make it home, where she manages to drop him in the foyer before getting him into bed. She’s connected the dots by now and demands an explanation for why he keeps collapsing after kissing her. She prods him for an answer, musing that it must be a skinship-related condition. By now she’s fully accepted the idea of him being an alien and says, “I have to know what we can and can’t do.” She asks haltingly, “So, does that mean you can’t do anything above kissing? After that… is that all impossible?”

Tired of the chatter, Min-joon pulls Song-yi down and nestles her against his chest. “I can do this,” he says. She looks pleased, but tests him by saying that he can let go now that he’s established that rule, only to have him hold on tighter. After a thoroughly unconvincing non-attempt to get him to let go, she snuggles closer.

Then she settles back and decides she’d like to talk it out to make sure they’re on the same page. So she recounts their relationship progression, beginning with her confession and his rejection, wanting to know how he feels now.

We can see that he’s fallen asleep by now, but Song-yi continues her monologue, saying that the worst kind of love triangle is the kind involving a woman of the past. She asks, “So was your kiss for me, or was it for the woman who looks like me?”

She prods for an answer several times, and just when it seems time for her to realize she’s not going to get one, Min-joon says, “It was for Chun Song-yi.” Loving this too much to let it go at that, Song-yi feigns innocence and asks him to repeat himself several times, wanting to hear him confirm it over and over again. Then they snuggle up again and fall asleep.

In the morning, Yoon-jae looks around the empty house for noona, wondering where she went. Song-yi takes his call as she’s creeping out of Min-joon’s room, saying that she’s just arriving at the building after spending all night in film shoots… just as she turns around and finds Little Bro glaring at her. She hastily offers an “It’s not what it looks like” excuse. Yoon-jae bellows like an overprotective father, “Follow me!”

He sits her down at home to berate her. She mumbles defensively that he’s got it all wrong and that Min-joon was sick and in no condition to do any of the lurid things Yoon-jae’s imagining. He scoffs, saying that all men are the same, sick or not, and that once darkness falls and they’ve got a roof over their heads, there’s only one thing they’re thinking about.

Song-yi’s denial cracks me up, because she tells Yoon-jae that Min-joon was too sick for any of that, sounding awfully put out that sexytimes weren’t even a possibility. “We couldn’t do anything, I said! Anything!

Jae-kyung knows that Hwi-kyung saw Killer Secretary amongst the stunt coordinators. I daresay he’s already thinking up ways to silence his brother, but to his chagrin he finds that Hwi-kyung has woken up from his accident. Their parents are beside themselves with relief, and Jae-kyung tries not to let his disappointment show. Oh, brotherly love.

Thankfully for Hwi-kyung’s sake, he seems to be aware of the danger to himself and plays it safe by feigning a lapsed memory—he can’t remember anything other than going to see Song-yi.

The investigators rewatch footage of their interrogation of Jae-kyung, and now we get to jump back and see that conversation. (This drama often plays with chronology in fun ways, but it also overdoes the jumping around for unnecessary moments too, I’ve noticed. Not everything has to be told in flashback!)

Jae-kyung clarifies that while he never considered Yura to be his girlfriend, she may have misinterpreted the relationship based on some dinners out and work-related meetings. The investigators mention that Yura met his ex-wife, and Jae-kyung feigns ignorance as he asks if that means Yura flew to England to speak to her. He’s a good enough actor that the investigators aren’t sure whether to read his surprise as genuine, though they do decide to keep on the search to track down the ex.

Unfortunately, Seok gets bad news: He’s being taken off the case. We aren’t told whether his boss is acting under pressure from Jae-kyung or if he actually just believes that Seok is wasting his time with an investigation that should be closed, but in any case the boss states that this is a simple suicide. Seok is to wrap up the proceedings immediately.

I’m curious to know what Chairman Dad knows, because he appears to have his own suspicions about Jae-kyung’s involvement but is eager to gloss over any hint of unpleasantness. Are you trying to tell yourself your son isn’t a murderer, or do you not care that he’s a murderer as long as he can run the company? Dad adds that after his first son’s abrupt death, all his hopes now rest on Jae-kyung to handle the company.

Yoon-jae heads next door for a man-to-man talk with Min-joon, pushing his way inside and making himself at home as he demands whether Min-joon likes his noona. Min-joon chuckles to himself, probably because Yoon-jae is an adorable mix of glowering protectiveness and little-kid innocence. And Yoon-jae occasionally forgets his mission and lets himself get distracted, such as when Min-joon asks if he’d like some chocolate milk and Yoon-jae automatically blurts, “Do you have any?” before recalling himself.

Yoon-jae sucks down some chocolate milk as he continues talking, explaining that he’s dealt with guys chasing his sister around for his whole life, but Min-joon is the first one she’s liked on her own. Then he gets distracted again and stops mid-sentence to drool over Min-joon’s fancy telescope. All his animosity drops away and he gasps, “Daebak” and calls Min-joon hyung and asks to take a sel-ca with his telescope. Adorable.

Min-joon cements his hero status by offering Yoon-jae some photos he took in Chile, from a vantage point in the Atacama Desert that Yoon-jae is dying to travel to himself someday. By the time he’s ready to leave the apartment, Yoon-jae is pretty much smitten with his hyung and asks him to treat Song-yi well, and finishes with one last favor: “Can I come by to play again?”

Song-yi visits Hwi-kyung in the hospital, wearing a long face and feeling overwhelmed with guilt and relief. She hugs him and says that she wouldn’t have been able to live with herself if something had happened to him, feeling bad not only for being the cause of his injury but also because she’s never done anything for him. Hwi-kyung tells her, “You let me love you.”

But that doesn’t make her feel any better, and she cries as she apologizes to him. She’s making him unhappy, she realizes, and confesses that she cares for Min-joon. Hwi-kyung takes this well, holding back his hurt and telling her not to be so dire and cutting her off before she has the chance to say they shouldn’t be friends anymore. “Chance!” he exclaims.

That spins us into a flashback to their teenage years, when Hwi-kyung had gotten beaten up after defending Song-yi from harassers. She’d hovered in concern, fussing over his bloody nose, but Hwi-kyung had told her to let him use this as a “chance” in the future—a favor to be redeemed later.

So now he claims that favor, having steadfastly resisted asking for it over the years. What he wants is for her to not say those words she meant to say—he acknowledges that loving her while she can’t love him back makes him a little unhappy, being without her entirely would make him unhappy in earnest.

Jae-kyung visits later that evening and casually brings up the topic of Song-yi, wanting to know how much Hwi-kyung knows. Hwi-kyung does an excellent job in allaying hyung’s suspicions, pretending to know nothing. Then he makes a show of holding his aching head and saying that trying to think of those memories makes him dizzy. Jae-kyung urges him not to overdo it, mollified for now.

When Song-yi comes home, Yoon-jae has had a complete change in attitude and tells her that their neighbor hyung is a pretty decent guy, having been won over by his love of star-gazing. Song-yi sighs that Min-joon doesn’t love the stars so much as he came from them, and when she asks her brother if he thinks aliens could exist, Yoon-jae says absolutely. Why, he’d have no trouble believing one lived right next door, and Song-yi marvels, “He’s a genius.” Heh.

Song-yi heads out to the balcony and very quietly calls out Min-joon’s name, curious to see if he’ll respond. Mere seconds later he heads out to his balcony and asks what she wants, and she marvels at this proof of his super-hearing. Upon realizing that she was just messing around, Min-joon grumpily heads back inside, leaving Song-yi calling after him about missing him.

She gets no response, so she mutters under her breath at his thoughtlessness, only to find him standing right behind her. Min-joon takes issue with her name-calling and pinches her cheeks, ha.

Song-yi asks about Min-joon’s father, and Min-joon explains that Lawyer Jang is a father-like figure, but not actually a relation. She realizes that he’s spent all those centuries on earth on his own, commiserating with his loneliness. Then she shares her happy news, informing Min-joon that she reunited with her father after her accident. Just knowing that he’s here has lifted a burden from her shoulders, and Min-joon is pleased to hear it.

Song-yi surprises him by placing her hand on his and telling him, “You have me now. I’ll stay at your side now for a long, long time.”

But then a horrifying thought strikes her and she gasps to herself. “But… is your face going to stay like this?” He explains that aging and the passage of time are different on his planet, and Song-yi exclaims that she’s going to get old and gray and wrinkly. He tells her she’d still be beautiful, but she cuts him off: “This is why in vampire movies, the girl always gets bitten and turns into a vampire too! If the man stays young and handsome but the girl gets old, even if they stay together that’s not a happy ending!” HAHA.

The terrible thing is that it is a valid concern, but seen through Song-yi’s eyes it takes on a hilarious filter. She heads inside to slap a mask on her face, whining that it might not be good enough. She dives into her fitness routine with renewed vigor, crying out, “No! It can’t be! What’ll I do?”

Min-joon shares the story with Lawyer Jang, who muses that Song-yi’s worries about aging are understandable. Just as he starts to mention Min-joon’s impending departure, however, Min-joon shushes him and points to his briefcase—he has just noticed the bug planted there. He writes a note telling him to talk normally, then changes the topic to his meeting with Jae-kyung.

Lawyer Jang swallows his gasp of outrage when Min-joon says he’ll probably accept the deal to protect Song-yi’s life, then writes a note of his own: “Really?” He relaxes when Min-joon shakes his head no, then continues playing along for the bugger’s benefit.

Song-yi’s mother tells the family that Min-joon handled the contract termination, including paying the breach penalty. Yoon-jae declares Min-joonie hyung to be awesome and gives his wholehearted support for noona dating him.

Hwi-kyung is released from the hospital and heads out with his brother, and thus runs into Jae-kyung’s new assistant. He clearly recalls Killer Secretary’s face and knows this is a replacement, but he acts as though he recognizes New Secretary from the office. New Secretary corrects him and Hwi-kyung sighs that he keeps making silly mistakes because he’s not remembering faces correctly.

Jae-kyung takes note, and Hwi-kyung keeps up the trusting facade for the whole time they’re together. As soon as he’s alone, though, he embarks on his own investigation, starting with questioning the stunt crew about who set up the rig. The stuntman apologizes for the accident, feeling responsible for Song-yi’s fall after discovering the bolt that had been loosened, and recalls that there were a few part-time hires brought in that day to work on the set.

Min-joon drops by to pick Song-yi up for work, and Yoon-jae yells at noona to come out. Min-joon carefully notes that Yoon-jae is a tad impolite to his sister, and immediately Yoon-jae promises to fix his behavior. Adorable.

Then Song-yi comes out, and you really do just have to see the effect for yourself. She’s done her best to age herself down with pigtails and youthful clothes, looking like a thirty-year-old aiming for twelve and landing on anime cosplayer instead. “Is it very weird?” she asks. “Yeah,” Min-joon grunts.

One clothing change later, Song-yi and Min-joon head to the set. Song-yi has an action scene and a kiss scene planned for the day, and Min-joon immediately insists, “Use a double.” She enjoys his reaction and lets him go on for a bit about how she should try being a creative actress who doesn’t do things like all the other actors of the world. It’s a ridiculous argument, but she then admits she was lying—it’s just action work today.

Min-joon still insists that she use a double, given the doctor’s cautions about overdoing it, and she teases, “Then should I ask to change all the action to kissing?” (He barks at her indignantly, and she giggles.)

Getting serious for a moment, she asks him to keep watching her. She knows there are people eager to rip her apart now that she’s a mere sidekick, but she’s happier now than when she was the leading lady, all because she has him with her, watching her. It may take a while, she says, but she’ll reclaim her standing, she says. And as happens every time she references the far-off future, Min-joon’s face clouds over sadly.

They arrive at the filming location alongside Se-mi’s entourage, and Se-mi is back to her sweeter self. I’m going to hope this is her truer nature now that she’s flirted with the dark side and come back from it, so I take her words at face value when she talks to Song-yi in her usual friendly manner. So when Se-mi brings up an interview request that’s based on the idea of them being besties, Song-yi finds herself roped into participating, somewhat against her will.

The interviewer asks about Song-yi’s recent dating gossip about that chaebol, and Min-joon nods approvingly when she says they’re just friends. (Only to then grimace when she adds that he’s a very dear, very beloved friend.) Song-yi’s career has been full of romance scandals, while Se-mi’s own has been very quiet, so the interviewer asks Song-yi to share a few secrets. Song-yi looks at the camera and says flatly, “Just be pretty.” Ha.

It’s hilarious because Se-mi gives good interview and makes the host’s job easy, while Song-yi is the stubborn mule who doesn’t want to play this game. Like a balloon-popper at the party. So while the host gushes over Se-mi’s answer about finding Song-yi a wonderful source of support in her first leading project, his face falls when Song-yi makes ridiculous faces and rolls her eyes, totally not going along with the scripted narrative.

It’s so pronounced that even Min-joon comments on it afterward, saying that she could answer a little prettier, like Se-mi. Of course, Song-yi snaps that he’s taking Se-mi’s side, so it’s probably a good thing that they get interrupted by the director. She gets a cursory apology when the director realizes that his staffer failed to tell her to go home the last time, but Min-joon picks up their sniggering afterward that Song-yi deserved it. They also conspire to rearrange the shoot order so that Song-yi has to film the first and last scenes of the day, just to make her wait.

Song-yi tumbles down a hill in her first action scene, and the director calls NG for every take. You get the sense he’s just doing it to make her suffer, and Min-joon repeats his suggestion to bring in a double. Song-yi insists on doing it herself, though, and throws herself into shooting, even as the director keeps declaring it not good enough. After multiple scenes, he smugly says that the first take was best after all. Ass.

Thankfully we’ve got Min-joon on our side, because he uses his powers to send the director tumbling down the same hill Song-yi did. His AD gets sent down after him, and Min-joon just shrugs at Song-yi innocently.

Song-yi’s pretty sure she knows Min-joon was behind it, though, and says it’s nice having an alien manager. She’s shivering in the cold and asks if he can light a fire with his hand, and slumps in disappointment when he says no. “Can’t you do something to warm me up?” she asks. So Min-joon slings an arm around her, and she’s satisfied.

It’s snowing as they wait around in the woods for Song-yi’s next scene, which is when a crew member declares an hour delay. Song-yi sighs that she’s bored waiting around, then catches sight of some staffers playing a game of Go-Stop.

Next thing we know, she’s the life of the party as she cleans up. The crew members wonder if she’s a high roller, just as Min-joon freezes time to swap her card. Haha. Has he been doing that with all her plays? Is that why she gives him a knowing wink?

In any case, it makes Song-yi’s night, and she confides to Min-joon that tonight was the most fun she’s ever had while being on standby, and that she could wait all night if she had to. I love the little smiles on his face—he loves making her happy, whether she knows why or not—but that smile fades as she asks what they’ll do for their hundred-day anniversary.

He asks what she wants to do, and she says that she wants to do all the stuff couples do, even though she’d scoffed at it previously. But now she sees the fun in couple tees and rings and the Namsan Tower restaurant and making wishes. For their one-year, she wants to eat ice cream (you know, with rings hidden inside), and for the thousand-day she suggests backpacking in Europe.

Min-joon’s face crumples for the teeniest second, and Song-yi wonders at his lack of response. She asks if she has it all wrong again and he wasn’t meaning to date her, but Min-joon says with tears forming in his eyes, “All the things you want to do, let’s do them right away.” Say, within the next month.

She asks why it has to be this month. Min-joon says in a choked voice, “I… have to leave.”

She asks where he’s going, and he replies, “Where I came from. In a month, I have to return to the place I came from.”

 
EPILOGUE

One hundred days later. It’s the top of the Namsan Tower, where couples fasten locks and make wishes for their future together. There’s one lock with the names Chun Song-yi and Do Min-joon written on it, and Song-yi sits alone at a table in the restaurant at the top, looking expectantly to the door every time somebody walks in, and deflating when it’s not the face she hopes to see.

 
COMMENTS

Oof, that epilogue. Of course they left plenty of room to interpret it in a mundane, not-at-all-heartwrenching way, but that doesn’t keep it from making my heart sink for Song-yi anyway. Maybe Min-joon’s just late! Maybe he never left Earth, or died after trying to stay on Earth, or in any way suffered after his supposed last month came and went. Yup, that’ll be the story I keep telling myself.

With Hwi-kyung figuring out his brother’s villainy (or at least being on the fast track to confirming it for good), the focus shifts more to him and away from the investigators, which I welcome. If we must spend time on the details of our villain’s crime, then at least let that investigation have some character relevance, and shifting the suspicions to Hwi-kyung makes me a lot more invested than I was when it was just the cop and prosecutor doing their jobs.

Plus, with Hwi-kyung taking up the brunt of that storyline, it leaves our main couple to focus on the issue that’s far more relevant to their interests (and ours, of course), which is Min-joon’s impending departure. I do wonder if the show will bother to give us any explanation for the mechanics of his comet-hopping trip back to his home planet, because I’ve always wondered just what the significance of the comet’s approach was. We know because Min-joon says so that it’s his ticket home, but how exactly does that work? This point isn’t crucial to my understanding of the show but it IS something I’d like to know, because right now all I’ve got are visions of Min-joon jumping onto a comet, Little Prince-style, and doing a jump-and-roll off its back as it swings by home.

For all that I loved the progression of the romance for Song-yi’s sake—she who wears her heart on her sleeve and takes chances, pain be damned—I appreciate how the later episodes highlight just how much this love does for Min-joon as well. Seen from his perspective, we understand that he feels pity and guilt for leaving Song-yi behind when she’s so starved for love, but in classic noble hero fashion, his feelings are dominated by a lot of selfless concern and sacrificial love. But it’s only once he owns up to that selfish desire that we see how much he blooms, too, under the influence of being loved, and having an outlet for his own love. Selfishness isn’t always bad, folks! Sometimes it gives a story exactly the kick in the pants it needs.

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Does the rubber glove thing really work? Cause that would be so cool!

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5 stars for this episode

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