You From Another Star: Episode 17
Big decisions are made and directions chosen, leading this episode to its all-time high rating of 27%. We also get a sassy cameo from a familiar character (random drama crossover!) to throw in some laughs, not that Chun Song-yi has any trouble supplying those on her own. I do love that even as Song-yi has legitimate reasons for feeling crushed and miserable at times, the show retains its light touch in its expression of that angst; she can make our hearts twinge in sympathy for her while still making us laugh, which is a much appreciated (and all-too-rare) achievement.
SONG OF THE DAY
Sesame and Cotton Candy – “잊어야 한다는 게” (What has to be forgotten) [ Download ]
RECAP: SEVENTEENTH RECORD
In interview mode, Min-joon tells us of a government job he once held, working at the bureau that dealt with astronomy, meteorology, and geography matters. We see the Joseon Min-joon poring over a text that contains detailed calculations of astronomical phenomena, like the phases of the sun and moon and eclipse forecasts. His colleague asks if he’s been going around saying “strange things”—like the world being round or spinning, for instance.
Min-joon says that it’s true, only to have his friend laugh that it’s ridiculous—why are people not dizzy at the spinning, and what evidence does he have for calling the Earth round? Min-joon chuckles that it’s visible from afar, but just smiles to himself when his colleague asks if he’s ever personally seen Earth from a distance.
In his interview, Min-joon says that on his home planet there was a lot of curiosity about Earth. He gives us the nutshell explanation of how they made the trip to Earth, which involved terraforming an asteroid to make it seem like an ordinary comet, to hide it from the Earth’s view, and to time its arrival to coincide with Earth’s orbit at the point where it’s nearest the sun. This orbit takes 404 years, so this upcoming comet’s approach will be his first chance to go home.
It will likely also be his last chance, because there’s always the possibility that orbits may shift in the future. But more importantly, if he doesn’t go home this time, he might die.
Now we resume the conversation as Song-yi and Min-joon wait to shoot her scene. Min-joon confesses that he has to return to his home in a month’s time, and Song-yi tries understand. Not fully grasping the implications, she says that’s okay, but when will he come back? Oof. “I’m good at waiting,” she adds.
But reading Min-joon’s reaction, she guesses that it won’t be one year or even ten. She asks, “You won’t be coming back?” Min-joon nods, too wracked with sobs to say anything. Ackkkk, I love the way he cries, except for the way it tears my heart out.
As this sinks in, Song-yi’s temper flares as she calls him an awful jerk after all, now seeing why he spouted all that stuff about being selfish. “One month?!” she exclaims, as though offended at its tininess.
Song-yi storms off and invites herself on Se-mi’s ride back to Seoul. Everyone sits uncomfortably while Song-yi sobs to herself, then asks for a more appropriate song selection than the peppy Jason Mraz song playing. She makes her requests in increasingly distraught wails, singing along to “Like being shot” (Baek Ji-young), “I’ll get lost, have a nice life” (G.Na), and “Can’t let you go” (2AM).
At home, Yoon-jae catches a news report about the approach of a comet, named Deep South, which is returning for the first time in 400 years. Curiously, there’s also mention of a second comet that has been disintegrated by its proximity to the sun, which seems like it ought to mean something important.
Song-yi arrives home and locks herself in her room, where she cries in bed. That means that when the director is finally read to shoot her scene, she’s nowhere to be found. Indignant, the director orders her replaced right away, happy to cut Song-yi loose.
That lasts for about two seconds until Min-joon approaches in full manager-lawyer mode, stating that Song-yi has been rushed to the hospital. He pointedly reminds the director of the stunt that went awry on his watch, compounded by the extraneous action shoots he forced her to endure, which aggravated her condition. Min-joon apologizes a touch sarcastically for messing up the schedule. The director backpedals right quick, assuring Min-joon that schedules are made to be changed.
Hwi-kyung gets the roster for the stunt team and sees Killer Secretary there. (He’s listed under the name Lee Shin, but why rename him now when Killer Secretary does so well?) He tries calling the phone number, which has been disconnected.
He keeps up the unsuspecting brother routine with Jae-kyung, and asks if hyung will accompany him to visit their eldest brother’s grave. He doesn’t press when Jae-kyung declines with a excuse.
Min-joon arrives home and hears the voices next door as Mom urges Song-yi to stop crying. Heart heavy, he picks up his book again (the Miraculous Journey story) and resumes reading, the words landing with poetic sadness:
Look at me.
Grandmother made a wish.
I learned how to love.
That was a terrible thing.
My heart hearts.
Please help me.
In the early morning, Min-joon hears Song-yi heading out for a jog and follows her outside, wanting to talk. She’s still angry and snaps that they have nothing to talk about—he’s leaving, fine. She’d already decided to get over him when he came after her and kissed her, she reminds him.
He blurts that he did that because she kept doing things to worry him, like signing contracts with random guys and getting caught up in engagement rumors. She retorts that it’s none of his business since he’s leaving: “The day you leave, I’ll grab any random guy and get engaged!”
Song-yi jogs on without him, which is when Min-joon catches the eye of a young woman sitting on a bench, whose face lights up to recognize him. It’s Suzy in her cameo, getting the full goddess intro with hazy white light and slo-mo camera work. She recognizes Min-joon as her professor and introduces herself as Go Hye-mi—you know, her Dream High character—and even adds that he looks just like her ex-boyfriend Sam-dong, which, HA.
Min-joon clearly doesn’t remember who she is or return her interest, even when she admits that she failed his class on purpose so she could take it again. To be polite, he lies that he might maybe remember her, and she says coyly that it’s possible he didn’t recognize her because she’s gotten prettier in the last year. LOL. Good to know the Hye-mi ego is still indestructible.
Min-joon doesn’t quite know how to extricate himself so he humors Hye-mi for a bit, just as Song-yi turns to see the young upstart flirting with her man. So when Hye-mi reaches to brush something from Min-joon’s face, Song-yi slaps down her visor and butts in—literally, backing up to break up the cozy clinch. Then she loiters in the background, watching the scene intently.
Undeterred, Hye-mi notes that the professor has finally gotten a cell phone, and asks for his number. Min-joon tries to refuse, but she pours on the aegyo until he reluctantly starts to recite his number. At which point Song-yi barges in again and informs Min-joon curtly: “You said you wanted to talk. I have time right now. Do you want to talk now or never see me again? Make your choice.”
So Min-joon gives a hasty goodbye and dashes after Song-yi, leaving Hye-mi grumbling about the interfering ajumma who looks like a Song-yi knockoff.
Song-yi cuts right to the chase: Does he have to go? Can he… not? She asks why it had to be now, of all times—he’d lived here for so many hundreds of years, and the minute he meets her he has to go away. Can’t he just stay with her?
Min-joon can’t reply, and she adds, “If you can’t, then don’t shake my resolve. It may be over for you once you leave, but I have to keep living here.” She asks him to leave quietly, “and leave me alone.”
Min-joon replies, “If that’s what you want, I’ll do that.” He turns and walks away. Song-yi turns too, heading in the other direction.
Hwi-kyung and his mother visit his brother’s grave, and Hwi-kyung notes that hyung’s accident befell him when he was this age. Huh, I’d assumed it was in childhood or at least adolescence, but I guess not.
He comments on the oddity of his non-drinking brother deciding to drive drunk one day—and on the day before Hwi-kyung’s graduation, which he’d promised to attend. Mom explains that they hadn’t known he suffered from depression until the autopsy revealed antidepressants in his system. Coupled with news that he was foiled in love, she supposes that he’d decided to take his own life.
But that’s not the conclusion Hwi-kyung’s mind arrives at—something doesn’t add up, he decides. So he digs up an old article reporting on his brother’s death, and the name of that medication triggers a hunch. He scans a news report on Yura’s death, and yes, there it is—the same meds.
Aw, poor guy. It’s a blow to finally get confirmation of what he feared, but that doesn’t prevent him from meeting with Seok to share his knowledge. Seok wonders why he would disclose information about his own brother, but Hwi-kyung says that it’s because he’s his brother that he needs to stop him. He offers one more crucial bit of information: the mental hospital where Jae-kyung sent his ex-wife.
Song-yi takes out Bok-ja for grilled meat, redoubling her efforts to eat only the parts that are supposed to keep her youthful-looking. Aw so she hasn’t given up yet, has she?
Min-joon’s no better off, and Lawyer Jang comes by with consolation drinks. Min-joon reminds him that he can’t drink, but Lawyer Jang figures no harm can happen since it’s just the two of them at home. (Famous last words.)
Min-joon reminds Lawyer Jang of a question he’d once asked, about how he managed the loneliness while living so long on his own. “When I lived completely alone, I never felt lonely. It’s only now that I’ve found someone to love for the first time, and think of having to leave her side, that I feel truly lonely. As though I’m the only one left in the universe.”
He drains his bowl, while across town Song-yi confides to Bok-ja that she wishes she could turn back time so that she’d never meet him. Then she wouldn’t feel this terrible emptiness at the thought of being without him.
By the time Song-yi returns home, Min-joon is drunk and the lights are flickering madly. These things are not unrelated. Lawyer Jang cuts him off, and Min-joon wonders dully, “What should I do now?” His head drops in frustration, and the lights go completely black.
Song-yi’s lights cut out too… as do those in the entire building. Haha. Lawyer Jang lights a candle and grumbles that he thought Min-joon might make things fly around, not short-circuit the building. I love the idea of Lawyer Jang hoping to see some alien tricks for his amusement.
Min-joon slurs to Lawyer Jang that his time is precious—why is he spending it here, instead of where he really wants to be? (Lawyer Jang sniffs that he understands the sentiment, but the wording is mean—is a thirty-year friendship good for nothing when a woman’s involved?)
Then, suddenly, Min-joon disappears. Lawyer Jang finds him on the balcony, drunkenly ordering Se-mi’s billboard to move aside—he came out wanting to see Song-yi’s face. Next thing we know, Se-mi’s lighted ad goes dark too, and Lawyer Jang complains, “D’you really have no better place to use your energy?”
Then the whole city goes dark, and Lawyer Jang worries that he should never have gotten Min-joon drunk. Hindsight is so clear, isn’t it?
Song-yi lights candles and heads to her room, only to find Min-joon sprawled on her bed. She feigns annoyance while actually being gratified, and quietly mumbles at him to leave before giving up, saying, “Well, I’ve done as much as I can.” Haha.
Min-joon starts mumbling, “I… don’t wanna be with Lawyer Jang.” She asks who he wants to be with, and thrills when he answers, “Chunnnn Song-yiiiii.”
In the morning, he wakes up sober and shame-faced. In his interview, Min-joon declares that he deplores people who get blackout drunk, tsk-tsking righteously at humans who would give up their free will to the powers of alcohol.
Making his mortification complete, Song-yi’s staring right at him, ready for his scolding. She informs him that he got roaring drunk and passed out on her bed, and Interview Min-joon says haltingly, “I did? But there’s no way I would…”
She gets right in his face and he asks her to step back. She challenges, “Why should I?” and he stammers, “B-because I can’t th-think.”
“Then what about this?” she asks, and swoops in to kiss him. Then she collects herself, straightens, and orders him to leave.
“Are you playing around?” he asks. “Why’d you just do that?” She points out that he’s probably pissed off, which is exactly how she feels.
Just then, her mother knocks on the door and they scramble around to hide before she catches them in this incriminating scene. Song-yi locks her door and tries to get rid of her mother, while Min-joon focuses his energy to teleport out… only to find his powers on the fritz.
Which means he’ll have to do this the old-fashioned way. Min-joon climbs onto the balcony, gritting his teeth while Song-yi disparages his lack of skills and says that he can’t do anything better than a human.
She returns to her room to find her brother looking at her suspiciously, whom she fobs off with excuses. She reminds him to talk to Dad, even though Yoon-jae barely remembers his father. He talks like he’d not interested in talking to Dad, but he does drop by his father’s security guard job to watch him work from a distance.
Seok goes to the mental hospital for a surprise search, hoping to catch them off-guard. They storm inside with a search and seizure warrant, but there’s no trace of the ex-wife.
Min-joon runs into Yoon-jae in the hallway, and Little Bro offers the information that Song-yi hasn’t been eating or sleeping well. We see her haunting her phone for a call or a message, and when she doesn’t get any, she fires up the chat app. She writes and deletes a bunch of half-completed messages, like how she wants to spend the month with Min-joon anyway.
She changes tack and goes for the direct approach: Speaking aloud, she talks as though Min-joon can hear her (he can), explaining that she’s never been a constant fan of anyone, hopping fanclubs as her tastes changed. She’s fickle like that.
“I’ve been thinking it over, and I think I could forget you right away,” she says. “Just help me not have regrets. If I send you off without having done anything, I think I’ll be left with unfulfilled feelings. So… all the things people do in three months, a year, and two years… as you said, let’s do it all in one month.”
She struggles to keep her tears under control and continues, “If we do everything we want to, maybe I’ll even get tired of you before the month is over. That’s the kind of person I am.”
Listening from his room, Min-joon agrees to her suggestion. “But how do I forget you?” he asks. Song-yi proposes a trip tomorrow, and Min-joon sends a text to confirm it.
So in the morning, they meet in the hallway and head out together. She takes his hand in the elevator, and they keep holding tight as he drives.
Jae-kyung gets word that the prosecutor was at the hospital and makes arrangements to have his ex transferred. The more important question is how the prosecutor knew about the hospital, and Jae-kyung has an inkling of who might have tipped him off. Just then, Hwi-kyung drops by to ask hyung to lunch, and leads him to a private restaurant room to meet somebody important.
Jae-kyung is interrupted by an emergency phone call that his ex-wife has disappeared. He starts to dash out to take care of the matter, but Hwi-kyung grabs his arm and leads him to that room anyway… to face the ex, sitting next to the prosecutor.
In flashback, we see Hwi-kyung calling Song-yi during her jog in the park, where he hears Min-joon’s voice over the line and calls him out separately. Hwi-kyung refers to his hospital stay and confronts him about materializing out of thin air, and also for saving Song-yi twelve years ago. Min-joon confirms that it’s true, and now Hwi-kyung decides to trust him and take him into his confidence.
Now understanding why Min-joon warned him to protect Song-yi from his brother, he shares what he learned of the wire stunt and asks for Min-joon’s help in extricating the ex from the hospital.
Now we see that Hwi-kyung had suggested that Seok’s arrival at the hospital would spur the staff to hide the ex-wife—and Min-joon was there to see where they took her. Min-joon and Hwi-kyung had followed that getaway car to the house where the ex was taken, and Min-joon used his time-freeze to bypass security.
Min-joon and Song-yi hole up in a cozy getaway, where she asks him to run lines with her. She assures him that he doesn’t need to act, which is a good thing because he is hilariously stilted—although that doesn’t stop her from loving hearing him say that she’s the most beautiful woman in the world who doesn’t need to diet or change.
Min-joon complains at the cheesy dialogue—ha, I’m going to die laughing if she made it up—but that’s nothing compared to the back-hug scene direction, which he doesn’t want her to do. She suggests practicing it, which he gruffly refuses to do—and then he reads the next page and stops, suddenly in a dark mood.
Song-yi sticks to Min-joon’s side while he makes coffee, and she assures him that this is all in service of getting sick of him quickly. Min-joon laughs to himself, knowing she’s bluffing when she talks like a dating pro when really, Yoon-jae told him that she’s never once dated before so she has no idea what she’s doing. And also that she gets super attached to things and can’t even raise a puppy because she gets so scared it’ll come to harm.
So when Song-yi finds the main room empty—and also the terrace, and the side house—she tears around the property screaming his name, afraid he’s gone. He shows up behind her and she clings to his hand, saying that she was afraid he’d left already, without warning or farewell.
Min-joon promises, “I won’t go. I won’t leave you and go. I’m going to stay here with you.”
He clarifies that he means not now, and not in a month either. She asks if that’ll be okay for him, and he hesitates. We know he’s thinking he’ll die, but he assures her, “I’ll be okay.”
Song-yi hugs him tight.
Song-yi taps away at her computer, indeed having written all that cheesy dialogue about how she’s perfect the way she is, and better than all those annoying, loud youngsters of today.
She grins to herself and adds a kiss in the scene, but deletes it thinking of Min-joon’s health, replacing it with a back-hug. She squeals to herself at the idea, then goes in for the killer last line, which Min-joon couldn’t bring himself to say: “I won’t go anywhere, I’ll stay at your side for a long, long time.”
He’s not going? Aieeeeeeeee. I’m half-thrilled at his decision—mostly because it’s less frustrating to live with a decision than it is to wait for one to be made—but also wary that this means we’re heading into terminal disease melodrama. This drama has been so solid for so long that I don’t actually believe it’ll tank into a glorified cancer suffering narrative now a la Thousand Day Promise or whatnot, and I do have faith that it’ll keep its sense of humor. If we could get through the noble rejection and the self-denial angst and the separation misery with good humor, then I’m sure we can get through the rest with equal cheer. It’s just, you know. The Cancer Drama was never my favorite genre.
I’m not too worried that Min-joon would actually die at the drama’s end (I believe that it’s a genuine concern to him within the storyline, but this just isn’t that kind of show), but I do feel uneasy at the fact that he’s lying to Song-yi. Aside from the basic part where he’s lying, it’s going to hurt to watch her start planning her future with her full-steam-ahead enthusiasm, while Min-joon will just be hoping he was wrong and won’t keel over at her feet.
And of course, there’s also the all-too-crucial question: But what about the kisses? And the skinship? And no, Saran wrap kisses won’t do, because they were frankly creepy in Pushing Daisies and they’d be just as creepy here.
We got some explanation of the comet-hopping mechanism today, though I’m not quite sure what to make of that disappearing comet. Was that a throwaway detail, or will it have unforeseen consequences on Min-joon’s physical condition, or ties to his planet? The drama has been pretty stingy on comet-related details so I tend to think anything they give us is going to play out somehow, but it remains to be seen how.
In any case, I’m relieved to have Min-joon deciding to go forward with his Earth happiness, even if it’s the infinitely riskier move when it comes to his life. But the guy has lived for 400 years (at the very least), and hasn’t really felt alive till the past few months. Better a short life with love than an unending one without?
- You From Another Star: Episode 16
- You From Another Star: Episode 15
- You From Another Star: Episode 14
- You From Another Star: Episode 13
- Only one episode of You From Another Star to air this week
- You From Another Star: Episode 12
- You From Another Star: Episode 11
- You From Another Star: Episode 10
- You From Another Star: Episode 9
- You From Another Star: Episode 8
- You From Another Star: Episode 7
- You From Another Star: Episode 6
- 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